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.. *

Comments (2) -

Untypically Jia

I feel the exact same way about my Grandmother. I really wish I had been there. I just didn't want her to be alone. Having lost my mother as well, I understand the impact that leaves on your life. And even though I like to say, "Oh I wouldn't change any part of my life cause it made me who I am," there's always going to be a part of me that wishes.


This made my heart hurt for you.  I hope you find closure with this.  

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