A few readers have written to me to enquire as to why I have not been writing
regularly in my blog. I am thankful for their concern. The truth is I have been sick since 1st of November. It was after I came back from Kuala Lumpur, that I went to visit my doctor at the Polyclinic on 14th December to complain about my persistent vomitting, loss of appetite and weight. Immediately the doctor sensed that something was awry and sent me to have an ex-ray which showed an enlarged liver.
She immediately referred me to the A & E at the Singapore General Hospital. I told her I had planned to visit my best friend, Geok Sim who was warded at the National
University Hospital after a surgery. "No, No, please take a taxi to A & E now," the doctor continued to coax me.
I was warded at the SGH after a series of tests. That night, I was woken up at 2a.m. to do another blood test. Although I was half sleepy, I saw that the doctor was young and had flawless complexion that any lady would envy. I told him he looked very healthy and he said it is important for doctors to keep fit. An hour later, was given an ex-ray! The lady handling the ex-ray was so enthusiastic and cheerful, even at 3am in the wee hours of the morning. Gosh! The staff works round the clock at the A & E. What a fantastic work attitude!
The next morning, the hospital was a buzz of activity as nurses changed shifts.
I observed the nurses and tried to hear what they were discussing, and one senior
nurse caught my attention and asked, "Is this the first time you are warded?" I said "I was warded 28 years ago as a foreign student and now I am warded as a senior
citizen." She smiled.
I was later sent for a CT Scan, a kind of huge machine that looks like a big dryer, and you are just wheeled inside the machine for a while.
Later the senior doctor and another trainee doctor came to see me, and I thought the trainee doctor looked so sad with his head bowed down most of the time. It reminded me of people coming to pay their respects at a wake! The older doctor asked me if I had relatives around and I told him that they are all living overseas. "Why?" I asked.
"So that I could speak to them if necessary." "Doc, you can tell me everything.? Are my results bad?" "What do you think? We have sent you for a CT Scan."
"Oh...Oh! I must start singing, "Nearer my God to thee, nearer my God to thee....."
By the way, I must also rewrite my will..."
Because I was so cheerful the two doctors also started to smile.Just then, a young
lady doctor with her stethstoscope on one of her shoulders came and announced that she was from Oncology Department! When she saw me crying, she suddenly made a u-turn and that was the last I saw of her. Maybe she thought with my crying, she would
not be able to talk to me, but she did not realise I was crying over a friend's pain and sufferings over her husband's cancerous condition. I did not want to tell my friend I was in hospital with a worse condition.
Perhaps it was God's plan, because later in the afternoon, another doctor came to see me and announced himself as "Dr. David Tai". He asked me how I ended up in the ward and hence I narrated to him about my visit to the Polyclinic and finally told him that I had to see an oncologist. Only then did he gently announce, "I am the
oncologist."Dr. Tai is so gentle and tactful, and I took to him immediately.
Dr. Tai told me that the pancreas had also passed the tumour to the liver, part of the lungs, kidneys and my gall bladder had been partly compressed. I asked Dr. Tai
why he could not just cut off the affected part of the liver and he told me it was not possible and showed me the scan. There were lighter images of the lesions and somehow they reminded me of something and I told Dr. Tai, "My liver looks even prettier than the Christmas tree decorations in Orchard Road. Dr. Tai laughed. Suddenly an idea came and I said to Dr. Tai, "My liver looks like a bad mango, with black spots all over. Can you not just take a knife and
dig out the bad spots?" Dr. Tai said he wished I was a medical researcher as I had such good imagination.
I was arranged to have a biopsy to see whether the tumors are benign or malignant as well as an MRI.
Many medical students came to interview me and although it was somewhat tiring, I
obliged because if it could help them in their learning, I should play a little role.
I am so impressed with the staff which includes the doctors, nurses, supporting staff and even the medical students with their eagerness to learn.
I just love to live in Singapore, where everything works with clock work efficiency!
Chapter two will be written tomorrow, as I need to rest now.
Wednesday, January 05, 2011
Posted by The Oriental Express at 10:43 am