Tuesday, 31 December 2013
New Year's eve drama
What a way to end the year: laid out on a hospital bed. My first time staying in a hospital as a patient, something which I had managed to avoid for 59 years of my life.
The problem started on Sunday night. At about 9.30 p.m., I was stricken by a bad bout of diarrhea. But I was startled by the amount of fresh blood in the toilet bowl. Three times I had to run to the toilet and three times I had to endure the sight of fresh blood. By 11p.m., I was completed wasted.
My panicking wife wanted to send me to the KPJ Specialist Hospital on the mainland, not the most ideal choice but it was the nearer of two private hospitals to our home. However, the KPJ hospital said they were full and could not send any ambulance around to our house.
The alternative was to send me to the nearest government hospital which would be the Bukit Mertajam Hospital. The ambulance picked me up and delivered me to the emergency ward. I vaguely remembered blood was taken from my arm and an ECG machine hooked up to me to discount the possibility of a heart problem. That turned out normal.
After about two hours, the attendant doctor said that I was well enough to be discharged but initially, my wife wanted me to stay back in the hospital for observation. The doctor, however, cautioned us that the condition in the third class ward may not be acceptable. "You can go see the place for yourself before making up your mind," he suggested. We took his word for it and opted for discharge.
On reaching home, I felt very lightheaded again. No, home was definitely not the place for me to stay but with KPJ and the BM hospitals definitely out of the question, the alternatives left was a private hospital on the island. There were a few for consideration but I chose the Lohguanlye Specialist Centre. It was either that or the Gleneagles or the Adventist hospitals for me. (Going to the Bagan, Pantai, Lam Wah Ee and Island hospitals never ended my mind.)
So my brother-in-law lent his assistance by driving me to Lohguanlye. As an aside, we were stopped at four police check points. I don't know how many he encountered on his way home to Bandar Tasek Mutiara in Simpang Ampat but I'm sure that there must have been one or two too.
Check-in at Lohguanlye was relatively quick and easy, and pretty soon I was warded. The next morning, the surgeon arranged for both gastroscopy and colonoscopy procedures for me on Tuesday. So for the whole of Monday and much of Tuesday, I was put on drip in order to prep me up for the two procedures.
Luckily, my hospitalisation expenses were covered by my wife's medical card from her place of work. That provided my peace of mind. But still, there were some uncertain moments from the insurance company. They wanted to know my medical history, which even annoyed my surgeon because he said diabetes and hypertension had nothing to do with my present condition. However, the questions still had to be answered before the insurance company would give the go-ahead to pay for my procedures.
The approval for payment was received finally after 12 o'clock and the nurses then began preparing me for the appointment with the surgeon. Bearing in mind that this was my first stay in any hospital and the procedures could potentially uncover some serious conditions with my alimentary tract, I was remarkably calm. The sedation worked quickly and before I knew anything, the attending nurse was already trying to wake me up. By my reckoning, the procedures had taken about 45 minutes to complete. By 3p.m., I had been wheeled back to my room, and by 5.30p.m., I was already tucking into my first meal since arrival at the hospital some 36 hours ago.
But I am not discharged yet. That will only come tomorrow morning. So one more night to endure at the hospital. I shall be looking forward to the discharge. Home will look so welcoming after an experience like this. Here's wishing everybody a very Happy New Year.