There I was, lying in a hospital bed in the A&E department of Parkway East Hospital on May the 11th. Saline drip running into one hand, an oxygen clip on the other attached to a machine which hummed in tempo with my (racing) heart rate. I had no hands free to use my phone, so I had plenty of time to think.
About how I was discharged from the same hospital just two days ago after having been admitted for 2 nights.
About that high fever that has been going on for a ridiculously long time. (Two and a half weeks at that point in time, still ongoing today which makes it 4 weeks.)
About how I nearly passed out several times that day, which panicked me enough to sent me flying (okay, not quite) back to the A&E department the third time in a week.
Rewinding three weeks back, the holiday trip which seemingly sparked it all. A getaway which turned sour after I had about half of my cash stolen from my baggage (my first time ever having cash stolen abroad despite travelling frequently), which left me with no cash for the remaining 3 days there. And the high fever began as soon as I landed back in Singapore.
And how just 5 minutes ago, I was wailing my eyes out for almost an hour because the A&E nurse insisted on running the drip at the maximum rate. (I needed emergency rehydration, from the looks of it. And the tears weren’t helping.) After much whining and punching of the nurse call button, they finally acceded to running it at half the rate. The tears stopped, I got slightly more comfortable and started thinking.
Why am I so suay*?
(* – unlucky)
The thoughts continued further. I realized that hey, if my life was a movie, the happenings of the past three weeks would have made a pretty good drama serial. I began plotting in my head just for fun, a story about a female protagonist who seems to be hit by a string of bad luck one after another. (I can’t say much for the acting though.)
Another sudden realization. The previous three weeks is quite possibly one of the most happening periods in my life.
Stolen cash. High fever. Hospital Admission. Dehydration. Crying like a baby in the A&E.
Then for no particular reason at all, I started giggling. Not the high-pitched, loud girly giggling. (There was a younger girl resting in the bed next to me for intense abdominal pain and no way would I want her to think I was laughing at her.) But the silent kind of giggle.
Everything was an experience. Not a good one for sure, but an experience nonetheless. I now know what a holiday trip from hell feels like.
Suddenly, I just felt like taking a photo to remember that moment when I saw the brighter side. I attempted shifting the oxygen clip from my right hand to my drip hand … and promptly sent everything haywire. I couldn’t help but laugh a little again as I punched the nurse call button for the nth time that night. Oxygen clip replaced, I now had a free hand to take a selfie.
Believe it or not, this photo kept me going for the subsequent week and beyond when I was re-admitted into hospital for even more investigations and drips. I got depressed for a while when I could do barely anything without feeling like I was going to pass out, but bounced back quickly.
All I had to do was to glance at that photo.
See that goofy looking girl with the drip in her hand and her tongue sticking out at you? That was you just X days ago, I told myself. And if she can still be as goofy, so can you.
So it happened again; my health taking a tumble.
And this time, I know for sure it’s all my doing. Knowing fully well that I have several background health conditions that could flare up anytime, I still pushed myself too hard. Still the overworker/overachiever I am, it seems.
Being admitted to hospital late last month for chest pains and breathlessness was the first scare. Followed by a really bad sinus infection (acquired from getting caught in the rain in Kuala Lumpur a couple of weekends ago) … which lasted until now without showing any signs of clearing.
I don’t know what it is in my personality that constantly makes me push myself beyond my limits when it comes to work. The continuous voluntary overtime, and constant urge to work, the constant need to want to get things done (and perfect). It’s like as if I want to achieve something. But when I try to think about exactly what I’m trying to achieve, I draw a blank. Well, apart from the success of the company and our product (which is a common goal).
I guess it’s just an inherent thing.
But it’s something I’d better suppress soon before I end up destroying myself.
I swear I’ll stop taking my health for granted. It took me years to claw myself out of that huge health rut in 2008/2009 (things went completely downhill during that period), and I don’t wish to undo those efforts.
Once I recover, I want to;
1. Lift weights
2. Explore the outdoors and breathe in more fresh air
3. Start cycling again
4. Do overtime only when necessary (and manage my time better)
Making lists is easy, keeping to it is hard. I’ll just try my best and see how I fare.
Until then – get well soon, me. (I’m sick and tired of sitting around at home and doing nothing. My brain needs to stay stimulated.)
One of my good friends – Regina (R) – was due for an operation on her knee early this morning.
It was slated to begin at eight. Yours’ truly and another good friend S made plans to be there at 7.30 a.m. so that we could at least spend some time with her before the operation. As such, we decided to leave our homes at 6.30 a.m. fer the long bus ride down.
Strangely, there wasn’t a peep from S despite 6.30 a.m. having come and gone. I rang her mobile phone, only to be greeted by a barely coherent voice and lots and lots of shuffling and mumbling.
Grarrr. That girl was still asleep!
After a round of “Whaaaaaat? You’re still sleeping?” and “Get outta’ bed now! We’re going to be late! Hut! Hut! Hut!” screeching from yours’ truly which (I think) managed to successfully drag S from the comfort of her bed, we finally managed to meet at 7.15 a.m.
We only managed to reach the hospital at 15 past eight, and the operation had already begun by then. The very last text message we received from R before her operation was “Am naked, going in (to the operating theatre) now.”
Yes, darling. Too much information. But I’m glad you still have your sense of humour despite us being late. Oops.
S and I ended up lurking around Singapore General Hospital with yours’ truly clutching a giant chipmunk plush (which we later named ‘Chippy’) for the next three hours or so, occasionally popping up to her ward hoping to see her there but only to face an empty bed.
S (right) and I fooling around in R’s (still empty) ward.
R was eventually wheeled outta’ the theatre at around 11ish.
The first thing she said to us when she saw us was “I’ve very very happy to see you all.” (In the midst of tearing.)
I am very happy to see you too, R dear. But the next time we meet, please let it not be in a hospital? (I can safely say that it brings back bad memories for both of us considering the health problems we’ve been plagued with for quite a while.)
S and I presented Chippy to her, who kept her company in bed fer the rest of the day.
Say hello to Chippy!
I ended up spending the entire duration of her hospital stay (1 day) with her, occasionally conking out at the side table next to her bed (and also on a spare bed at the physiotherapy department while she was having her physio) since I barely slept last night.
It was unfortunately, much to the chagrin of my mum who was insistent that I remain at home considering how the hospital was not the place for me to be due to my weak general health.
But you know what? Heck that. R is my friend. I love her, so I’d stay with her (and keep her happy) and no one can stop me. ;)
You – if you are reading this – get well soon. And remember to do your physiotherapy exercises three times a day mmkay?