Sunday, 5 January 2014
Today marks the fourth continuous day that I am warded at the Lohguanlye Specialist Hospital in Penang. I am bored.
With me still on the drip and limited to drinking small sips of water, there is nothing else much that I can do except to be in the ward bed, watch television and surf the Internet. Even then, the hospital's Internet connection was down on Friday evening and for most of Saturday, and I had to rely on whatever limited access through my mobile. And the television channels ... limited channels too with the box fixed on the sports channel or AXN.
I've been diagnosed with diverticulosis, a condition arising from an inflammation of my colon. A colonoscopy procedure earlier last week had revealed this inflammation and thus, the source of my internal bleeding.
I was first discharged from the hospital on New Year's Day but had to be re-admitted when I bled again on Thursday. And this time, the surgeon has said that I should give my alimentary canal some time to rest and recover. It is because of this that I've been put on the drip with nothing by mouth.
The drip means that my mobility in the ward is rather curtailed. If I need to go to the washroom, I shall need the hospital staff to disconnect me from the drip stand temporarily. But thankfully for these short episodes of freedom, I've been able to wash myself, tidy myself and take short walks outside the ward.
The drip also means that I haven't gone hungry despite not eating. I'm surprised that a simple sodium lactate solution can do this to me. There is no hunger but if I were to have the drip disconnected for about a half hour, I can certainly feel some hunger pangs returning.
How long will I remain on the drip? Frankly, I do not know. I would think that even when fluids are given to me eventually, possibly from today or tomorrow, my condition will still be monitored closely. I can only hope that recovery is fast, the bleeding does not resume and I can then proceed to some solid food.
And finally, I'd like to say that being hospitalised means that I have been cut off from the real world outside. However, I am sure that when I do get discharged eventually, I shall face a world of inflated food prices. I've been hearing from friends and relatives that food prices in Penang have increased by some 50 cents for each plate of hawker fare. For a retiree like me, this is surely unwelcomed news.