Tuesday, July 31, 2007


I'm at peace with myself in ways that i cannot explain.

God must have answered my prayers.

Its a good feeling.

Picture: Sunset on Cenang Beach fr the Langkawi trip album

Friday, July 27, 2007

I'm Back

Settling in to normal routine after almost 2 weeks away.

Dad is doing much better, thanks for all your well wishes.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Balik Kampung trip: Part 2

First the good news, alhamdullilah my dad was discharged from hospital yesterday.

Now back to the Balik Kampung trip.

The second half of my stay at home was mostly spent at the hospital ward with my dad. I have to say i now have a renewed perspective of the quality of care at government hospitals. Its been a while since any of my parents been warded at the GH. A few years in fact. The night of the emergency, it was mom's call to take Dad to the GH rather than the private hospital he goes for his regular medication. It was a good call i think. Any respiratory problems need immediate attention which the GH is well and ready even at that ungodly hour. At the private hospital, at least this particular one...the ER is not as busy at night and early mornings, and probably has a locum/junior doctor on standby. The physician will be asleep at home on call, and it will take at least half an hour if you are lucky for him to get there.

The ward dad was placed in the first 3 days of his stay had at least one doctor and 5 nurses working around the clock on 2 shifts. Since this is a male ward, they even have male nurses around. Gone are the days of rude, fierce loud nurses, or previously called 'misi'....now the nurses are pretty young ladies, and pleasant young man who are well trained, knowledgeable and have the best bedside manners i've seen in a while.

The doctors took their time with each patient, despite the long hours..there were about 30 patients in the entire ward i noticed...with more wheeled in from the ER nite and day. I counted...dad had doctors checking on him 2-3 times a day, with at least one visit by a specialist.

There was this one night, dad had a really bad attack about 2am, both my brothers were with him.....dad refused to get on the bed and wanted to sit on the chair. (Ward is cramped, each bed gets a plastic chair each). The doctor practically kneeled on the floor the entire time giving treatment, my bros sd it took quite long.

And looking around the ward, there's all sorts of people with all sorts of sickness. The taxi driver besides my dad's bed who has refused food for the last 4 months, the popeye-uncle whose bed ridden and forever making scary sounds, the snake-bitten teenager, the lonely Kalimuthu with yellow fever, the sweet pakcik Ibrahim whose sugar level passed way above any meter reading available.....

Except for Kalimuthu, one thing they all had going for them is family. A wife, a son or daughter....friends drop by during visiting hours...but those who stay with you while you ache, who change you when you are wet, who feed you when you can hardly lift your arms are your flesh and blood. And when it all become too unbearable, you whim and cry and ask for God.

It got me thinking and reflecting, at the end of the day, all these things we strive for on a daily basis will come to that.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Balik Kampung trip: Part 1

2 saturdays back, i happily packed my stuff and left for home early in the morning. Usually i will start my journey about 7am so that i will reach there just after noon, in time for lunch. I'm beginning to enjoy the long drives alone, with the stereo blaring loudly. This is supposed to be just another trip home to be with mom and dad. No specific agenda.

Me having a quick breakfast in Tapah- my fav double choc donut and cold green tea.

The first few days at home was pretty normal and relaxed. Dad was having a bad cough and asthma attacks, so we fuss over him and make him comfortable. Other than that all was good.

Mom is having a small renovation project which turned our entire garden into a mini construction site. She spend her days "arguing" with Ah Hee, her resident contractor..mom loves to role-play architect and engineer, much to Ah Hee's irritation :-)...i think it makes mom happy - something else to focus on besides taking care of my dad. Mom would have made a great project manager i think!

The mess!

And this stray cat decided to stay over, so i had her to play with. She's cute isnt she, but she cant stay long. Mom said the cat will have to go soon. Both mom and dad are asthmatic and its not good to have cats around. Its ok if they can stay outside, but this one keeps running into the house, and likes to be around people, chasing after legs and all.

Poor thing!

Of course balik kampung means eating and eating and eating. Its 'musim buah', so there's manggis, and rambutan, and these...!
Kesian dad, we didnt let him have any coz he's coughing.

I love durians with gardenia white bread:-) strange?

All was good until early Friday morning. We rushed dad to the ER at about 1.30a.m. He was coughing badly and had a bad asthma attack. The nebulizer (that little spray asthma patients carry arount) didnt help at all. He was gasping for breath. Me, mom, my sis took turns in and out of the ER acute bay because its actually a no entry zone. They had dad on the "gas" thingy but its not working...i ran around for the nurse. The ER was frantic and seemed understaffed. "Help, get a doctor....its not working, he still cant breathe". Pure panic. Dad was also panicking and rambling deliriously. This made his heart beat too fast. Lucky a doctor passing by noticed, and finally he's getting the "EMERGENCY" treatment we came for. They hook him up with wires, and gave shots, and the nebuliser through the oxygen mask. I left mom there and had to wait outside, peeping occasionally when the door is opened. My sis went in despite the security guard staring disapprovingly. She came out.."doc sd he's not stable...another doc ask dad to mengucap, lets call Abang". Shit, i couldnt find my phone in my handbag. Lucky my sis had hers on her. Nobody was awake at the hour - my 2 brothers had their handphones off, and tidur mati - cant hear the house phone. Anyways, it'll take them 5 hours to get there...so i just left a message.

By 3a.m dad was breathing a bit better, and they are moving him to the ward. A little relief for all of us. Another doctor attended to him immediately at the ward, and mom stayed with him while me and my sis waited outside. The ward had huge sliding windows and we can see his bed from where we were sitting. He didnt sleep till daylight.

Its Day 4 and Dad is still in the ward. He's weak and the asthma attacks still comes and goes. He's been moved out of the acute ward into a single room tho. One one hand i hope he gets discharged today so he can rest at home....but when the asthma attack is bad, its best that he's there.

I've been back since yesterday because i'm running 2 workshops tomorrow and thursday.

(..to be continued)