In Sickness & In Health…

Hospitals are terrible places to be in if you have no business in it. Go to any hospital around and you will find the odour that lingers around in the corridors of these buildings extremely similar.

I avoid going to them, I seriously do. Except for the times where I religiously went for my physiotherapy sessions last year. Lying down tied to some machine that would occasionally pull and release its tug, giving constant pressure to my back wasn’t exactly the best of experience. But I digress.

My dad was outstation when we got the call of a close relative being admitted into ICU last week. Her kidneys had failed to function and her life was at stake… or so the doctors said. With no other choice, my mom had me drive her to the hospital. When we arrived, my cousin’s mom was crying uncontrollably. After a little consoling from my mother, she gave my mom and I passes into the unit to see her daughter’s condition.

Upon entering the unit, almost every bed was occupied by patients and the sight was somehow… menginsafkan. I saw my cousin lying motionlessly on her bed while some nurse was fixing some tubes affixed to her. Her mouth was slightly ajar and I saw dried blood on her upper lip. Her skin had somehow turned slightly yellowish. We just stood there watching.

My sick cousin’s daughter who was away in Sabah for National Service was instantly called back, totally clueless of the whole situation until she was brought to the hospital. She too had miraculously survived a life threatening dengue fever last Raya and had made an astonishing 180 degree turn from the worst of conditions.

We frequented her those few days she was really ill. Four days later, after constant monitorings from excellent nurses and doctors, my cousin resurfaced to her old self and was stabil enough to be transported to the general ward. She too like her daughter, pulled it off and fought to live. Now, she is counting the days to be released.

Hospitals were nice when my 4 brothers were born. I remember myself peering through the window pane while my dad pointed out to my 1st brother. Believe it or not, I was merely a year old obsessed with Sesame Street. When my 2nd brother was born, I was mad at my mom. She had had a contraction in the morning and wouldn’t let me go to school since my dad would have to send her to the hospital instead. I was 7 and cried like a heartless moron.

My 3rd brother was born when I was 12 and I stayed by my mom in the hospital. I don’t remember for how many nights, it could’ve been a night or two but what I do remember was that the food they sent her was delicious! During late nights when I had absolutely nothing to do, I ordered toasted cheese sandwiches. I guess the nurse knew they were for me.

The following year my youngest brother was born and while my mom was recuperating in the hospital, I was in charge of my 3rd brother. We never had any maids and so I became a part-time one. I remember wondering why my mom wanted another baby when the other was still so young. I was mad but when she brought the baby home, everything took a whole new different meaning.

Now that they’ve all grown, they’re nothing but pests I immensely adore!

Note: To my best buddies studying medicine, your decision to be in that field is a noble one and I salute you for your courage and determination to help others. I am sure it is not an easy task to fulfill but I am positive that the reward you receive from making others smile again is priceless. No money can pay you enough but God’s rewards definitely will.


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