Sunday, August 29, 2010

Private vs Public Hospital

I have been going to and fro the hospitals for the last decade quite frequently whenever my ageing father is down with a number of illnesses that require treatment and hospitalisation both public and private. The most glaring difference between the two is of course the charges incurred whenever he is discharged.

Nobody likes to be hospitalised unless one has to be admitted for one reason or another, and since the last decade my father had been in and out of hospitals for many many occasions that I could well remember, whether in Seremban, Petaling Jaya or Kuala Lumpur. And this Ramadhan he is hospitalised again when all of a sudden he became very weak and shivering after a nap one afternoon.

The strange thing this time is that the doctor told me to take him home after being wheeled into the emergency by ambulance and with the understanding that I should bring him again to the hospital Seremban should his condition warrants it. I suppose on that day the number of emergency cases were too many that hospital beds were at a premium. True to what was promised, I had to rush him to the same hospital at 2.00 am in the wee hours of the morning because he had the chill again.

Upon being warded at 3.00 am and being Ramadhan, I had to take my "Sahur" at the restaurant which was opened nearby and then went to my sister's house in Paroi.I managed to get help from friends to get him transferred from the third class ward to the first class ward after my father had to spend two sleepless nights because the conditions in the ward hardly enabled him to get some sleep.

I had always called Seremban General Hospital an unfriendly hospital when compared to other hospitals because I had to climb a hundred over steps in order to visit the ward from the parking area. What more if I had to do it in the heat of the day in Ramadhan. Often times I had to stop for my breath before stepping out again, because of the steep climb. I noticed that a new multi-storey car park is being built by the road leading up to the hospital and it would be completed in two years. By then I hope I can be sure of getting a parking bay without having to stop for my breath. For now it is still an unfriendly hospital to me.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Ramadan O Ramadan

For many who are true Believers, the holy month of Ramadan signifies one of the greatest Blessings from ALLAH S.W.T. because the rewards of performing one of the obligations as required of each and every Muslim and Muslimat is very much awaited for in the Qamariah calendar.

For those who look forward to this month which is termed as Ramadan al-Mubarak it holds many significant promise as found in the Al-Quraan and the Traditions of our beloved Prophet (PBUH), but for many it is just another ritual which must be fulfilled. Nevertheless all believe that in this period of the year, we must perform one of the Pillars of Islam. But lo and behold! for those who do not perform the obligatory prayer for five times a day, their fasting is all a waste and all they get is ' Lapar dan Dahaga' which means they shall not benefit at all in terms of what ALLAH has promised.

It does not take a rocket scientist to know the benefits of fasting, because it gives the stomach a much needed rest at least once in a year and that is only during the day. However it still does it job during the night. And for those who perform the Terawih prayers after the solat isya' knows that it helps the digestive system to function better.

So let us do our best this Ramadan because one can never be sure of meeting the next Ramadan.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Count your Blessings

I talked at length today with my cousin about her husband who was 'lost' last week for more than twenty hours after sending their daughter to school. My cousin and family went to Brisbane to see their daughter who is studying at the University of Queensland more than three weeks ago, and her husband and the youngest daughter came back earlier.

One day last week he send his daughter to school in the morning but something strange happened when his daughter had to guide him on the directions and after dropping her off, she had the instinct to call her brothers who were at work informing them about the incident. After being alerted of the situation, the eldest son immediately tried to locate him to no avail. It took the son and the daughter to be on the road for ten hours trying to locate him and a police report was made saying that he was missing.

To cut the story short, their father managed to find his way back home at 2230 hrs much to everyone relief. It seemed that he went to visit his ex-colleague in Putrajaya and then he reported to the police on the loss of his car. Actually he had forgotten where he parked it and then with the help of his colleague's staff and then drove home. But instead of home he drove a total distance of 700 kilometres for the whole day trying to figure out where his house is.

After this incident his sons brought him to see a neurologist and he was diagnosed as vascular dementia. It meant he had a silent mild stroke which affected the brain and thus contributed to his lapse of memory.

When I am told of his predicament, I am grateful to ALLAH S.W.T for the Blessings bestowed to me in the form of an active mind and a relatively healthy body. I still have the risk factors but it is under control and God Willing I intend to keep it that way. One of the ways of keeping the mind active is lifelong learning and thus I keep busy at the keyboard,much to the consternation of my wife sometimes. But that is how to keep up with knowledge instantly nowadays and the most effective method of communicating with my friends. I supplicate to ALLAH S.W.T. that I am always protected from such a condition and manage to have a healthy mind, body and soul.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Taking Care of the Elderly

We have been told many a times that it is the Asian value to care for our elderly parents especially when they are infirmed and senile and the term bandied about is filial piety.

But recently there have been a number of incidents reported in the Press where parents or one of them have been left on their own either to roam the streets or placed in the Old Folks home without bothering to visit them or seeing them even on festive days. Even in my neighbourhood of the so-called elegant satellite city to the Federal capital there is a mushrooming of nursing homes and centres for abandoned old folks run by individuals or charities.

Last week I went to visit a close relative at a privately run centre for the elderly and the infirmed about half an hour drive from my house. I only came to know about his presence at this particular home by chance, when I met his brother-in-law at a wedding function in Taman Tun Dr. Ismail.

Before going I enquired from the owner of the centre where the place is and when can I pay a visit. The good lady answered me giving the directions from my house and said that I can pay a visit at any time. I took along my 90 year old father and my family one fine morning to visit the place because he had not seen my uncle ( cousin to my dad) for many many years. Upon reaching the centre, I took out the wheelchair from the car boot and gave it to my sister for her to wheel my dad up the slight slope to the centre. While I was parking the car, one of the centre's helper opened the gate and allowed my wife and sister with my father being wheeled into the house. When I entered the house after them, I found my uncle seated on a sofa and I could not recognise him initially. He is so frail and looked very different when I last saw him several years back. He could not talk and he could not recognise any of us. The helper told us that he could not even recognise any of his siblings except for the youngest sister of his.

Instinctively my tears were shed when I went to inspect his room where a bedridden inmate is placed next to my uncle's bed. I stroke the person's head and he lay there as helpless as a baby, complete with diapers and unable to speak a word. It was such a pitiful sight and I prayed that I would not live to such a situation, God Willing.

We were told by the helper that ' Tok Misai ' the nickname given to my uncle, his condition is such that he suffered insomnia and he fell a few times at his house in Seremban which needed a few stitches and probably contributed to the hapless situation where no one could take care of him anymore. I was informed that his wife is now with her daughter and she is also not in good health.

We spent about two hours trying to relate to him but to no avail, though he smiled when I told him that we are from the same roots, ' Tambusai' because he was the first pro-tem Chairman of our family association called ' BERKAT' as the acronym. The last time I met him, we could talk about the activities of the Association and he was happy that it was still running after its formal inception in 2002. I then assumed the post of the President for two terms and I resigned voluntarily a few months before the end of my term for personal reasons.

I told my father that God Willing he would not be send to such a centre no matter how well run the place is, because I have a responsibility and duty to take care of him till his last days. And I pray that I would not have to be an inmate of such a centre because all the faces whom I saw there were evidently sad ones and hardly any who smiled. Such a fate hopefully would not befall any of my family members, now and ever.