Writer's Workshop - I Wish I Would Have...

~ Posted on Thursday, July 8, 2010 at 12:26 PM ~

This is my first Writer's Workshop entry in my own blog domain. For this week's, I'm choosing this prompt:

"2.) I wish I would have...describe a time when you didn't take action, but later wished you would have."

I wish I had stayed on at the hospital and be there when my mum passed away.

I seriously do. Sometimes I wonder whether that will change anything since my mum is in and out of consciousness during the last few days of her life, but how I wish I would have stayed just that one night and be there for her.

Mum was diagnosed with diabetes sometime in 2006 when my dad was having problems with his gout and other health problems. When dad passed away in April 06',  mum's conditions seems to worsen. I suspected that she has been neglecting her health when my dad passed away.. I mean, what will you do if your life partner for 3 decades plus passed away?

After dad passed away, there's only me and my mum left in the house. My elder brother stays about half an hour car ride away with his own family. My mum is a housewife, she cooks, cleans, chat with her sister and best friend on the phone sometimes, listens to radio, read newspapers and watched TV to pass her time. I continued back to work after things settled down and brought mum for her monthly healthy checks (her diabetes is under control by taking medicines).

One day, while I was getting ready to go work, I woke her up to tell her I'm leaving and she doesn't respond to me. She nods her head, and then she shakes it, and then she looks elsewhere. Very out of place look - she goes in and out of consciousness and fainted then. I realised something is not right and called my hubby (then boyfriend) and brother (at work already). Hubby rushed over (about an hour car ride) and helped send my mum to hospital. It was then that we were told her kidney conditions are getting worse. She's having low glucose level which caused her to be unconscious and unaware of the surroundings. The doc said had I continued to work and leave her at home, she might have passed away.

Mum was discharged a week after - she had no recollections of fainting and it was during the 1 week stay at the hospital that my sister in law (God bless you Rachel ceh-ceh!) brought a church friend (Cantonese speaking) over to visit mum and I got an SMS from Rachel in the afternoon that my mum had just said the sinner's prayer. Words cannot describe my feelings as I read that testimony. In fact, my tears still wells up whenever I think of this.. and as I'm writing this. Well, mum said her sinner's prayer and got better, her blood sugar was stabilised again and was sent home and we went on a strict food diet with her.

About few months later, I went on a holiday with hubby to Hanoi (we bought the tickets at the beginning of the year) and as mum's conditions have been maintained OK so far (her doctor told us a week before we went on holiday that mum's conditions are improving), we went ahead and mum went to stay with my brother and his family. On the last day of our holiday, I got a call from my brother that my mum's getting sick again. Apparently she went to the toilet (my brother and his wife went to work and their daughter was at the nanny's place) and was not able to even stand up - her kidneys are giving her problems that she does not have the energy to even push herself to a stand. She was stuck sitting on the toilet seat for the whole day until my brother and his family got home after work. They managed to get my mum up again and she refused to be send to hospital until I got back to Malaysia. Of course at this point I was angry, angry at my brother for not insisting to send her to hospital, angry at myself for going away on a holiday.

When we got home, we sent mum to the hospital and from there on, she had to go for dialysis as both her kidneys are damaged now. Every evening she had to go for dialysis and even though the needle is very long, thick and sharp, mum did not once complained of the pain at all. I really admire my mum's strength in overcoming her pain and problems. Mum was admitted to ICU for about 10 days and then her situation got better and she was transferred to a normal ward but within the same day, she was re-transferred back to ICU. During the brief few hours she was at the normal ward (sharing the room with 3 other women), mum was babbling stuff and keep saying the room is hot and dark. We tried to adjust the air-cond to the coldest temperature we could (even though it was later changed back by one of the patient's family cos it was too cold), we opened up all the curtains and windows but mum still says its dark and hot. And she also mumbled things like asking her mum (my grandma passed away about 2 years before that) to wait for her. In my mind, I prayed and said quietly 'Grandma, if you are really here, please go away. If it's not mum's time to go, please don't come disturb her.'

After a while mum slept and she was then transferred back to ICU. She was getting stable back in ICU but was still receiving dialysis treatments. Because I had just started work in a new place, I still go to work but left half an hour early everyday and walked to the hospital (about 15 minutes walking distance - there's no bus stop at my working place). On the weekends, I will overnight at the small lounge outside the ICU unit (family members are only allowed to overnight at the lounge sofa and a small room provided. No bed nothing for you but just the 2 sofa). Mum celebrated her 60th birthday at the ICU, I managed to pass a message to the hospital nurse to wish her birthday at 12am. For the few days after that, she slips in and out of consciousness and her body start to bloat with fluids. Doctor said her kidneys are getting bad and fluid retention is causing her body to bloat.

The day before mum passed away, I overnight at the ICU and my mum's relatives came over to visit her. Mum slips in and out of consciousness and I'm not sure whether she knows what is happening. The night before she passed away, the nurse told us to go home and she'll give us a call if there's anything.  I hesitated and the nurse said there's nothing much I can do by overnight-ing att he lounge and I was already there fr few days.  So, I went home and hubby stays for the night with me and the next morning at 7am, I got a call from the nurse saying that my mum's heartbeat is dropping and they told me to hurry up to the hospital. By the time we reached the hospital in 15 minutes, mum is already gone. She passed away on 11th Jan 07'.

I reached the ICU unit to see my mum covered up in a white sheet. I wish I had stay on the night before, at least I get to be near her when she leaves. I was there when my dad passed away and I do wish to be there when my mum passed away. I feel sorry for not being there when she goes. I'm only comforted with the memories that I get to spend some of her waking and conscious days praying and reading her bible stories, getting to hear her said 'Amen' when I finished telling the stories, getting to go church once with her, getting to tell her that I love her.. but I really do wish I could just turn back to that 1 night and stayed on...


* In loving memory.. *

Wordless Wednesday (Ben Listening to Song)

~ Posted on Wednesday, July 7, 2010 at 9:58 AM ~

(* Just gotta tell you guys that Ben totally loves listening to Jayz & Alicia Key's "Empire State of Mind")


A 16 month old Ben...

~ Posted on Monday, July 5, 2010 at 2:25 PM ~

Ben turned 16 months old yesterday and based on Baby Center's milestones for 16 months old toddler, I checked it against Ben and here are my observations:

Excerpts from Baby Center post:

"Your toddler is still likely to explore her surroundings the way she has for the last few months — grabbing random objects, inspecting them closely, putting them to her mouth, banging them on the floor. But you'll also notice that she likes to challenge her physical limits. She knows she can walk, so she wants to try to carry a heavy load, like a box of blocks, while she's at it. She's confident that she can climb up onto the sofa, so she'll want to push a chair to the kitchen counter to climb higher and investigate what's up on the counter tops. If you haven't already done so, now it is essential that you childproof your home. The kitchen can be a particularly dangerous spot, so get into the habit of cooking on the back burners of the stove, turning pot handles inward and out of reach of groping hands, and locking up any dangerous cleaning products and medicines rather than leaving them out in the open."

My observation: Hey, Ben doesn't need to wait til he turns 16 months old to have all this grand ambitions. He has been climbing stuff and getting real adventurous since he started walking at 1 year old! Just take a look at the pictures below:

Scary right? This is one of the pictures in my 'caused-heart-attack-to-mummy' album of all the pictures I took of Ben. He actually stood next to the table, climb onto our bed (mattress on the floor, we took off the bed frame when Ben started to crawl long ago) then leaned over to the table, pushed himself up, using his elbows and legs, he managed to crawl up and climb onto the table. My spiderboy! And picture below was taken few days ago during our church service on Sunday where Ben actually carried the ride-on toy himself...


"Your 16-month-old is becoming more adept at using her hands and fingers. She may be able to stack two or three blocks into a tower, and will delight in immediately knocking it down. When you read books, she'll insist on turning the pages for you, and by now may be capable of turning one or two pages at a time instead of simply flipping from front to back. If you hand her a crayon, she'll know exactly what to do with it, but will probably scribble on anything that's in front of her — books, furniture, and walls included — so "coloring" is an activity that you'll probably want to monitor closely. She may even be able to insert a round block into the proper hole on a board with various shapes."

My observation: Every morning, Ben will hand carry (sometimes hug) the big bag containing 100 pieces of Mega Blocks over to our bed (Ben co-sleeps with us btw) and demanded one of us to play with him. So far, Ben can stack 1-2 blocks but then he is still at the stage of knocking things down.

And also sitting on the blocks that I built for him.

I have yet to get Ben to do coloring although he did enjoyed scrawling over the book and paper with color pencils when we were over at our friend's house few weeks ago to visit them and their daughter (about 2 months plus older than Ben).

"Your toddler is ready to learn to say "the magic words" — please and thank you — at least some of the time. You don't have to push him to say them in every instance — he's noticing when other people use them and the pleased reactions of grownups when children use them."

My observation: Oh well, Ben's vocabulary so far consists of 'papa', 'mama', 'nen-nen' (for my breastmilk), 'mam-mam' (for eating), 'ter-ter' (for water), 'tah-tah' (for dog), 'birh-birh' (for bird) and the rest are pretty much on hand signals and sign and body languages still. He does understand what we told and ask him to do. I guess it doesn't hurt to try saying and teaching him to say 'please' and 'thank you' even though he is not talking much yet.

Oh well, that's about it for now. I can't believe my little boy is 16 months old now! And did I mention that I'm still breastfeeding him? Cool