Sometimes we go through some personal issues that we have to deal with and that means we need to take a ‘time off’ from our usual routine. It happened to me just recently. This time, it wasn’t about going on a vacation, trip or any leisure activity.
It was a surgery and blood infection.
A few details of the story:
23rd of October 10am, when I rushed myself to the hospital. Yes, I called the ambulance and told them to come and pick me up at my house because I couldn’t even walk since I was suffering from excruciating pain in my abdomen. I was glad that the response from designated rescuers on that day was very quick. 15 minutes after I made the call, 5 men came with a stretcher. Yes, a stretcher! The first thought in my mind was I would never lay down in there and be carried up by 4 men as if I am being rescued from a burning house. And so, I managed to straighten up and staggered to the ambulance. It was adrenalin rush I suppose and my pride.
In the ambulance:
I was alone in the ambulance with 4 men, one was asking me so many questions in Chinese, that I answered in English, that he retorted back in Chinese, and I tried to answer in Chinese with all the limited knowledge I have that somehow conveyed meaning at last. I had no idea which hospital to go when they asked me, how do I know in the first place? I have never been hospitalized in China before. Finally, they made the decision as to which hospital to take me.
In the First Hospital:
When we reached the hospital, one of the men assisted me and took me directly to the ER, and there again, nurses asked me questions I hardly comprehend, so we tried using actions and body language, it worked! Picture this I was in serious pain doing some jerking, and facial expressions to show them what I mean. So when I told them that I threw up twice in the morning, imagine me doing an action for “throwing – up” while in pain. One assisting nurse helped me out through everything. They put me in a wheelchair and the nurse wheeled me around the hospital to undergo some series of tests. Seriously I had a vague memory of where I was and what was happening. I was already feeling so weak and my body was all consumed by pain that I could no longer think straight.
I am scared of IV’s, blood tests, anything that involves a needle piercing through my skin. So imagine how I freaked out everytime they inject me for IV fluids, and to get my blood samples. I cried like a baby with a constipation!
When the results of the tests came out, the attending Physician advised me to ask a friend or a relative to come. Only then I told my husband who was at work to come to the hospital. I have not given any pain reliever or whatsoever to calm me down, which made my husband furious. He just couldn’t take seeing me in such agony. He talked to our Chinese friend if it would be possible for me to get transferred to a better hospital where I’d get immediate medical treatment. He thought the Doctors and nurses were not reliable enough in this critical situation. I thought so too. 6pm when I found myself in a stretcher (this time I was literally lying in a stretcher!) hauled by my husband to the ambulance to transport me to another hospital.
Feeling this moment:
I was completely weak, almost unconscious, sleepy, experiencing severe pain, scared, mad at the Doctors for not doing anything, and worst thirsty and hungry. I have not eaten nor drank anything the whole day.
In the Second Hospital:
I didn’t have much memory of the details here while I was in that condition. Except that time when I realized I was feeling very cold even under the thick covers wrapped on me. Here, I lifted up the blanket covering my face and to my big surprise, I was in the middle of a zebra/pedestrian lane. Cars were honking, and people rushing by. Wait a minute! What happened was, I had to be confined in a ward that is on the other side of the main street so they wheeled me down the busy street. Apparently, the main building didn’t have enough wards for patients and currently they are building extension wards that are not finished yet.
The good thing was.…
When we got settled in our ward, the Doctors and Nurses did immediate tests and gave me something to make me feel better. Even the Head Doctor and the head Nurse came to see me though it was already late. The nurses in duty constantly monitored me throughout the night and the next day they ran one more test that made them conclude: I had to undergo a surgery. I felt so scared. But my husband was there all throughout whispering over and over again “It is going to be okay, I love you so much” these few words gave me enough POWER and STRENGTH to face what will come next.
The next day In the OR. 24th October.
You know what I have in mind when I was already lying down in the operating table? Have you ever seen the movie COMA? or do you watch Grey’s Anatomy?
It was comforting that the surgical team were nice and patient enough to tolerate my whining After they injected me the anesthesia I couldn’t remember how long it was before I drifted off to nothingness. 5 seconds maybe? yeah 5 seconds and I felt nothing at all.
What I realized.…
Maybe, when we die, everything will close behind us. Everything. Memories, loved ones, experiences, feelings, emotions…everything. If I died that moment in the OR, there was nothing at all. That’s how important it is to cherish life, and make the best out of it. We only have one life. JUST ONE. For every breathe, for every heartbeat, it sustains us. There is just a very thin line between life and death.
When I woke up…
I heard someone calling my name “Wake up Angel” and felt gentle pats on my face. It felt like it was only 5 minutes long I had been unconscious. So my first question was “is it over?, where am I?” and I tried to roll over my eyes to look for my husband. And there he was right in front of me. That cued me that I am now safe and sound.
What I learnt from this experience:
1. We only have one life, cherish and take care of it.
2. Make it a priority in our calendar to go and visit the Doctor and go for full body check – up regularly.
3. Practice eating on time (for breakfast, lunch and dinner) and keep a healthy diet.
4. Loving words from people we love can really uplift spirit and gut and strength, say it constantly and listen to it more.
5. Know and trust our MD.
6. IV doesn’t really hurt.
7. Equipped and educate ourself with knowledge concerning Health. As the old saying goes ” An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.
It has already been a month after that horrible experience I had, My husband and I are thankful that I am now completely okay and there are no complications involved. My priority right now is to focus on getting completely well, and to gain my strength again. I have already finished the course of my oral anti-biotic intake and IV’s (for blood infection that happened a week after my surgery) and now will undergo a physiotherapy as my Doctor advised.
Now I am back in my usual writing routine after a month. Thanks everyone for your constant visit on my blog though I have not updated in a while due to what happened.