Thursday, March 23, 2006

The experience of Mom going to hospital

Life is definitely a journey through good times and bad times. Going to the hospital in my experience has been one example of a journey of fluctuating emotions. A happy time going to the hospital was realized in my first part-time job as a student in Australia where I wheeled patients to the physiotherapy department for their exercises. More happy times followed much later when I would be at the hospital at the maternity center to become a father on six occasions with Mom. The 'push and cry' part was a little scary but it all turned out happy in the end when all six children with their mother came out healthy.

It was certainly a bad time for me to wake up one day in March 1985 at the hospital in Johore Bahru, the city just next to Singapore, after a head on collision with an oil tanker truck that left me unconcious for 36 hours! I was lucky or should I say blessed to be alive with little permanent injury sustained.

For mom, it was another time at the hospital but not for happy reasons. She was suspected with breast cancer just before our trip to the US(See post.) but the doctor gave the go ahead anyway for our trip. After 3 hospitals and several consultations with doctors, counsellors and nurses when we got back, the choice was made to have the operation at SGH Singapore. For those whose prayers and faith had contributed to the success of her operation, we like to thank you including the hands of the capable doctors and nurses.

Below is a photo of her playing the piano in Singapore a day after the operation where she will stay with family during the recovery and follow-up period. Other photos giving a detailed account of our experience will follow.

Pictorial account of Mom's journey to hospital


After 2 specialists' opinions from 2 hospitals in Malaysia, the third was sought at SGH in Singapore



The first impression just walking into the building was impressive as there were valets waiting at the porch to offer to park the car for you like in a hotel!


An impressive entrance leads us to the specialists' clinics...


...where a friendly reception gives you a waiting number as you sit in a comfortable cosy environment


I walked around to find other well designed offices and friendly well trained staff to handle patient inquiries



The corridors between hospital wards or buildings looked quite good...



..with use of art to contribute to healing which will definitely win Mom's heart!


Hey this looks like our indoor garden pond in our home in KL!


Besides qualified doctors whom we could meet in short notice and waiting time, we were impressed with the rest of the team such as nurses and counsellors to give support.



No this is not part of the hospital but I took mom to a posh spa place at Novena Square to enjoy her first full body massage to help her relax as we contemplate on the decisions to make from the different opinions and offerings of the doctors and hospitals
.


We were quite impressed with SGH with just another appointment the next day so we decided to check into an artsy hotel in town to Mom's delight!


Is this an art gallery hall or just the corridor to the rooms?


Oooo a glazed glassed bathroom wall with a fancy bed with wheels underneath!



Look at the wheels underneath the bed. What a prelude to the hospital bed!



The Gallery Hotel was just by the Singapore Riverside and so we took an evening stroll together...


... enjoying the colorful lights from the cafes along the riverside.


We saw some motorized lit-up kites flying in the air and found the source in a shop by the Riverside shopping cenre



On the next day, the decision was made to have the operation at SGH so she went for pre-admission testing to pass with flying colors to set a date for operation the following week. We returned home to Kuala Lumpur the same night to make preparations in the next few days for the family to be taken care of as mom goes to Singapore for her operation.


On the following week we left KL late on a Tuesday night to spend a night in Johore Bahru with plans to cross over to Singapore early the next morning which turned out to be a bad decision! Even at 6am the traffic trying to cross the causeway border to Singapore was rediculously long and to make matters worse, I discovered the back tyre was flat!



Mom was whisked into a taxi while I took time to put the spare tyre on.



We stayed cool despite the bad traffic and communicated by our cell phones to each other and the hospital to inform them of our delay as we made our separate ways to the hospital!



We were only expected at the ward at 9am and made it on time for mom to be prepared for the operation


It was past 11am and mom was being wheeled to the operation theatre


I could follow her as far as to the door of the operating theatre only and had to wait patiently outside



After the door closed, I wouldn't see mom till about 2pm as though the operation took only about an hour she spent some time to wake up in the recovery room inside!


Here is mom being wheeled into the ward where I was waiting.


After just one night at the hospital, she could check out by noon the next day after the operation. Mom would stay for a week with her brother's family in Singapore to return to the hospital for check-ups and reports the following week on Thursday.


On the night before I would return back to KL on Friday to be with the boys, mom and her niece followed me to the park by the Riverside to see me fly the motorized kite I had bought the previous week. This place and the kite has become a meaningful place and activity for us. Maneuvering the kite successfuly gives me confidence that we can face life's challenges and soar to the sky! I musn't forget to mention that I had a lot of practice earlier to fly the radio-controlled kite on Wednesday nite when mom slept at the hospital!