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“Empathy is about finding echoes of
another person in yourself” – Mohsin Hamid
months in the hospital, my body was still weak and my legs were still painful but I was
starting to be able to stand long enough to be transferred to a wheelchair. One
evening, my sister put me on the wheel chair to visit the nearby convenience
store located at the hospital.
she was about to leave me outside and enter into the store alone (the store was
narrow and filled with goods, hence it was not convenient to bring the
wheelchair inside), a tall Malay boy in his late teens or early twenties came out
of the convenience store. Suddenly, he stopped walking and started to stare at
me. Then he approached me.
noticed that his head was misshapen, had stitches and was dented at one side,
an indication that he had undergone a brain surgery.
He looked curious, “What happened to
you?” while pointing to my head which was covered in bandage.
I was startled by his blunt and direct
“She was burnt,” my sister replied.
could feel my sister was hesitating to leave me with this boy outside of the
Waving my hand towards my sister, “Don’t
worry, I will be OK. You can go in.”
However, my sister was still in a protective mode.
Before entering into the shop, she gave a warning to the boy.
“You can talk to my sister but
don’t touch her, there are a lot of germs.” She was not actually trying to
scare him, I was having MRSA infections (a type of super bacteria that is
resistant to common antibiotics) every now and then.
I narrated to the boy about the gas
explosion. He then asked, “How long have you been in the hospital?.”
I replied, “Around 8 months.”
Suddenly, I could see tears coming out
from his eyes falling to his cheeks.
“Don’t cry.” I said to him without
thinking and started feeling emotional myself.
I then asked, “How long have you been in
Wiping his tears away, “3 months” he
At that moment, there was a short
Although our sickness and pain may not be the same, it felt like there
was a sharing and bonding between us, a connection of suffering between 2
Trying to comfort me, and also perhaps
comforting himself, he said, “have patience”. At the same time, a woman came
out of the convenience store and he quietly followed her.
person who has suffered is able to relate and show empathy towards those who
are suffering. I find this true in hospitals, especially among the patients.
On a journey of uncertainty, confusion, chaos and emotional turbulence, that is when we turn to Faith. Some lost Faith when they did not get the answers they wanted or what they prayed for did not manifest. Some Faiths however strengthen despite the journey appearing more unknown and uncertain. To me, Faith is a personal journey. No one can tell you what you should do with your Faith. It's yours alone and not for others to dictate what it should be to their understanding. To their belief system. To their comfort zone. For God would show the ever faithful His Answer, His Direction. His Guidance. I remembered my Faith was weakened in the month of April 2018. Patrick's jaundice did not appear to be growing any better. In fact, it was steadily increasing in bilirubin. My mother questioned on why is he not getting any better. Sometimes I do not know how to answer her. How could I give her a definite answer when the doctors could not? On average, I had been sleeping 3 hours nightly bec…
The birth of Patrick changed my marriage life from the two of us to the three of us, a family. We were excited, happy, worried followed by all kind of emotions for our baby son. So many things to learn, to experience. Breastfeeding, constant thoughts on our baby's well being especially when his jaundice appeared to rise during his first month. The lacking of sleep. There were moments I observed his breathing while he slept. We were amazed by every new mannerisms that Patrick displayed. We were so charmed when he first smiled to us. I would observed how gently my husband would treat Patrick and how Patrick would looked up to him, listening to his every word.
We were enjoying ourselves as new parents until something happened in the middle of November 2017 that changed our lives forever. "There is something not right with his stools."
My sister in law remarked to me while I tiredly changed Patrick's diapers. Mentally I can be exhausted as new mothers would be. We visited my s…
When I saw Patrick's stained fingers, I observed closely it was blood. I assumed the stain came from his ears again. I observed - no wound. I checked on his arms and legs. No wounds as well. I was puzzled where the stain came from. Then I had a sudden thought - check his diapers. When I saw the bloodstain on the diapers, I panicked and called my husband to come upstairs quickly. When he reached the room, I told him Patrick is bleeding. "where?", he asked "Anus." I pointed to his diapers and then his anus stained blood. It had never happened like this before. Usually there were droplets of blood together with his stools. Even that rarely happened. "Is it starting?", my worried thoughts came. When I glanced towards my husband's face, he too have similar thoughts. "It" refer to liver damage. My husband advised me to clean up his anus. After the blood stain was cleaned, my husband took a closer look. "There is a cut near the anus hole." …