Showing posts from February, 2020

What Do You Say When Visiting A Terminally Ill Patient?

I looked at his pale face and frail body on the hospital bed. Lines and tubes on his legs and neck. There was a bag at the right side with yellowish looking water inside. The liquid was not urine but water which had to be pumped out from his stomach cavity. It was difficult to see someone whom you have known since young to look so weak. He had lost weight and aged considerably.     It was the second day of Chinese New Year.  My sister and I took a trip down to Kuala Lumpur to visit relatives. We visited a cousin at the High Dependency Unit, he had liver cancer and was complaining of diarrhea. Visiting hours were 11.30am to 1.30am and 5.30pm to 7.30pm. We had to take turns going in as only 2 guests at a time are allowed. Despite having the experience of a prolonged stay at the hospital and being immobile, I was tongue tied. I didn’t know what to say or how to comfort him.  I could only share with him of my previous struggle at the hospital. On our second visit bef

I'm Still Standing

"I'm still standing...yeah, yeah, yeahhh..." "I'm still standing..." His high chirpy voice reaches my ears as Patrick swayed his body slightly while singing. Eyes sparkling, his body wriggling like a worm moving on the ground. His lips parted in a smile while he kept on going "I'm still standing." It is the latest song he likes. His favourite songs can be seasonal. At one time it was Baa Baa Black Sheep. Then another phase he had was Five Little Monkeys. Another time it was Humpty Dumpty. It is cute seeing him in this state; full of excitement, wonder of Life. Sometimes he can spontaneously laughed or dance on the spot if he hears any song he likes. Today it has been 7 months since his liver transplant  last year. Eileyn has observed the big changes in Patrick before and after the transplant in her recent blog post . Her blog also made me reflect on this young child who is suffering from liver failure. He is two years old n

Meeting Up With Patrick

He glanced at me while smiling cheekily. His mouth revealing his short front teeth. An active boy.  If one does not know his history, he looks like any other toddler.  From his cheerful appearance, there was no hint of pain and suffering he went through the previous year. It was last year during the Hari Raya holidays that I visited Patrick and his family.  Just 2 weeks away before his appointment for a liver transplant in China. When I first met him, his eyes were unnaturally yellowish and his belly was protruding. He looked sickly. My sister who is usually chatty by nature was quiet as she dropped me at their house, she didn’t know what to say to Patrick’s parents.              Patrick seemed cautious when he saw me. Someone whom he had not met.  His mother, Cordelia, informed me, he viewed strangers with suspicion as they might be doctors and poke him with needles. After assessing for more than an hour, he decided I was not a threat. He became friendlier and brought his to