Sometimes not so good things happen to good people. And it can extend to their family. Last week regular posting was interrupted because we rushed my mum to the hospital. Although our foreheads were creased with worry my Dad and I managed to pack everything we might need as we thought the most that we would stay there was just over night.
I am not a stranger to the hospital where we rushed my mum to. A few months ago I had my own trip there via ambulance and I still have the mark from when the doctor plunged a needle in my hand to give me a drip. The last time I came, there were barely any patients at the emergency ward waiting area. On that fateful Wednesday night it seemed that maybe 2 out of 5 people had met with an accident. The overhead screen told us that if you had an urgent matter a doctor will attend to you in THREE hours. God bless my mum as she waited with teeth clenched for almost two hours. Sitting there on the wheelchair, her hair damp with perspiration, she rested her head on my dad’s side as he stood vigil over her. When the waves of pain wracked her body until it was too much to bear I looked for a nurse and basically demanded her to either get my mum medical attention or give her something to ease the pain. Even if the A&E ward was full of patients waiting some of them could walk back and forth perfectly well.
When we finally had our queue number called, I didn’t realise it was just the beginning. My initial relief will be replaced by a gnawing uncertainty and helplessness to my mum’s pain.I just have to share that I can’t stand the sight of blood, especially other people’s spilled blood. The color just automatically disappears from my face, I break into cold sweat and start feeling dizzy. The worst that could happen was that I will faint – and I am embarrassed to admit that I did faint before.
So the doctor was following procedure and he needed to take two samples of mum’s blood. Since I was the one who wheeled her in I got trapped inside the examination room as well. Knowing that I can’t stand the sight of blood and feeling lightheaded as I have just recovered from stomach flu I stood up so I won’t see the process. It didn’t matter as I had to sit down again because when the doctor poked the needle through my mum’s hand, her blood flowed on her hand and in between her fingers. Internally I was panicking as I knew I would faint if I looked at it any longer. The doctor then pulled the rubbish bin so the blood won’t spill on the floor. He hadn’t even filled the first vial. I felt the blood drain from my face and ringing in my ears. I quickly sat down as my knees gave way. When the nurses finally wheeled my mum to get an X-ray and I had to leave the examination room and met my dad outside, I was so weak I had to lean on him. He said I looked like I was a patient myself.
Instead of staying overnight, it became a six day stay. As a caregiver at that period I went through a rollercoaster of emotions. I was never an expert at putting on a brave face. I am the type of person who believes that feelings are valid and I have no qualms about expressing it at the right time. In the face of uncertainty I tried to be candid and not show my parents I was worried or tired myself.
Those six days of watching over my mum and seeing the other patients has shown me that family is all that matters. A person receiving a lot of love from their family recovers faster and treats other people better. That when you’re sick and helpless it’s family that will come running to your side. I learned that there really are friends who stick to you closer than a brother.
I have also appreciated the nurses and the doctors. The nurses who spend their days and nights taking care of other people’s family. Standing for almost twelve hours making sure every patient gets the best care.
Once the doctor gave the all clear to my mum that she can go home I was so happy. I’ve missed home, and a home without her is not just home. I just pray for good health for everyone in my family for a long, long time.