Berat mata memandang..

I’m pretty sure everyone knows how this phrase ends. But sometimes we fail to fully comprehend what it means.

For the past 6 months, my family has been going through an emotional as well as physical roller coaster which from the looks of it will not be subsiding any time soon. In reference to my last post, my dad successfully underwent his bypass 2 weeks ago during ramadhan, which I can say has been the most haywire fasting month I have undergone in my entire life. I doubt I had a proper meal during the whole ordeal what with going back and forth from serdang to IJN, to trying to not miss terawih until my sister actually fell sick. She was then followed by my brother.

To be perfectly honest my dad is a restless patient. He needs constant supervision and constant emotional support which requires our physical presence. Even then, there is never an assurance that an emotional tantrum will not lash out. But because that is what a sick person goes through, you learn to be very patient.  I’m sure for those who have handled frequent hospital visits will understand. And I’m sure emotions run high for both patient and care giver. This is not in any way abnormal.  That being what it was my dad demanded to be released from IJN one week post operation even when we thought it was best for him to stay a while longer. Why did we concede? Because the doctors seemed to think that is was perfectly permissible and when a sick person stresses themselves out, especially after a bypass, it can lead to so many other complications.

But true enough, that very night my father suffered palpitations with his heart rate peaking at 220. Thankfully my brother was able to bring him straight to emergency and he was stabilized once again. My sister and I of course made the trip home and waited till 3 am to get him into a ward. Out from one hospital and into the next.  He was finally released from the hospital the night before raya.

And for two weeks he seemed well. Religiously taking his medication, and kept to a strict diet that we carved out for him. It was planned that by the end of the 2nd week of raya my family was supposed to meet up with their bakal besan back in tanjung malim. To be on the safe side we asked doctors if my dad was fit to travel and none had told us that he needed to stay put. In fact his physiologist had told him to keep moving, since it was the only way for him to regain strength. That being said we monitored him for the whole two weeks checking his blood sugar every day, as well as his blood pressure, which remained stable. We also constantly asked his condition, asking whether he felt his body was strong enough to travel. He seemed perfectly excited for the trip. We took precautions as to take a homestay so that they could rest before and after the travel. And I thought everything would be going alright.

But it seemed that our test was far from over. Later that evening I got a call from my brother saying that my dad had suffered a 3rd stroke right at his fiance’s house. So again, my sister and I made the drive to slim river hospital where my dad was thankfully stabilized once again and was transferred that night itself to HKL where again we waited out till 3 am until he was properly warded.

I think Allah swt really loves him. 3 strokes and my dad is still talking and able to move all his limbs. And whenever he suffers from these strokes there are always people around to get him immediate medical attention.  I think the doctors themselves are confused as to what is happening to him. As with vascular dementia, the strokes are like time bombs. It seems like they come without any trigger whatsoever. My dad suffered his third stroke in the middle of talking and laughing with his bakal besan.  He was not stressed, he was on medication and he was not eating anything out of the ordinary. When he first came to and my brother told him he had suffered another stroke he was exasperated and asked why? I felt so sorry then because even I was shocked that he had a re-occurrence after all the precautions we had taken.  Amazingly enough, during the transport of my dad to HKL from slim river the nurses had forgotten to bring his box of medication along with him in the ambulance. Thus the next day, my brother, sister and I made the round trip once again to retrieve his meds. It was then my turn to get sick. And by Monday I was a walking zombie.

It is not my intention to lament about the hurdles that me and my family go through. It is to inform that as difficult as it is for people who are watching, it is that much harder for those involved to cope. As much as you can pity my dad who is constantly in and out of the hospital, imagine how we feel when he says he is sorry for causing so much trouble, or asking if it was his fault that he is once again laying in a hospital bed. As much as you can get emotional, imagine how emotional we are but are not able to show it just because we do not want him to worry. And as much as you can give advice and say things should be done a certain way, understand that as his immediate family members we are doing our level best to give him the care and attention that he needs to get better. Remember that he is our dad, and we want the best for him just as you would with your own.

This serves also as a reminder to myself to be able to put myself in other people’s shoes. To try to understand their position first, instead of judging them without knowing what they go though.

Berat mata memandang,

Lagi berat bahu yang memikul.

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