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This new year, 2013, on the very week that the girls started school (T2 for the first time in her life), I had to be checked into a hospital for some tests. It was rather bad timing as I was sure that T2 going to school for the first time would have wanted Mama there with her at least for her first few days but alas, we had no choice and she had to attend her first days of school ever with her Daddy. They did great.
Over Christmas, we had the most glorious holiday but immediately after, I had started noticing a lump in my tummy that I had noticed 2 weeks ago before we went on holiday but thought nothing of (thinking it was gas). The feeling was almost like I was pregnant with a 5 month old baby who kicked every now and then. It was that EXACT feeling of being kicked by a baby except that I. was. not. pregnant.
Over the next few days, the ‘kicking’ became more frequent and I decided that there must be a ball of some kind inside! I went to see a Doctor but he could not do a scan to see what it was so he suggested to monitor the ball of movement within me for a week and gave me some high fibre sachets to consume. He did take an X-Ray of my abdomen but could not detect any lumps.
A few days later, I suddenly had a case of watery diarrhea and felt quite sick. The literally waterfall diarrhea of pure, clear water, lasted a few days and then suddenly, I was constipated. Nothing would come out.
After drinking 4 litres of water within 2 hours, eating tons of fruit till one would EXPECT diarrhea and consuming those high fibre sachets, nothing came out. Very soon, I started to feel sick and bloated. I felt like puking and my body felt toxins spreading within. It was awful. Something was definitely wrong. It was strange because I had never had constipation problems before so I went to see the Doctor again who referred me to the hospital A&E.
When I went to the hospital A&E, the Doctor admitted me straight away reason being something was very wrong and especially more so when my own mother had cancer and my aunty (mother’s sister) also had cancer, and I suspected my grandfather too. Groan. I hated hospitals.
When he said he needed to admit me right now, not tomorrow, to do some tests with his voice of serious concern and face in deep thought, and then those words came out, “I really need to check what’s causing the blockage. Especially since you have a history of cancer.”
My kids. What’s going to happen to my kids??? Please God, don’t let me have cancer. I’m too young. And I have my precious kids.
I nodded silently and he was off to organise my next 3 days.
My kids. My precious kids. Oh, God. Is this what it’s like when you are told you have cancer? I can feel now what Mom felt when the Doctor told her.
It was like a death sentence despite the advancement in technology for cancer research and cures. You knew you were going to go, just not when. But then, isn’t life like that? We all die at some point or other. We just don’t know when.
Then tears started wetting my cheeks. As hard as I tried to remain strong, a thousand million fears fell upon me and it was a case of me on the hospital bed wiping my tears with my hands because I had no tissues, composing myself in case the Doctor came back in, then wiping my tears again with wet hands, each time finding more dry spots to absorb those darned tears that wouldn’t stop trickling down.
Thank goodness, I was make-up less that day.
See this needle that got poked into me? Can you see how BIG it is??? I almost fainted and the nurse said this was their smallest sized needle! I am really not good with needles. In fact, till today, there is still a tiny scar that marks the big fat needle that was poked into me. It was exactly 2.5mm in diameter. Every time I looked at it, I felt like fainting.
In fact, every time the nurse came to inject something into it or draw blood from it, I froze. I could not watch and I started having an asthma attack.
Yes, I am a bloody wus.
The process of tests began that very day and I was wheeled around in a wheelchair to every floor of the hospital which I resented because I could really have walked but they insisted I became their Science Experiment to oil the wheels and to test the weight load on the wheelchair fabric. Grumble-Grumble. I was wheeled till my head could no longer see straight.
I also had every test under the sun and was put to sleep which I was terrified of because I’ve heard how dangerous being on GA was. Urgh. Was this all really necessary? Apparently so. Doctors. I hate them. Hospitals. Even more so.
At the same time, the Doctor had also given me an enema to purge the toxins within but it had not worked, so as each hour passed, I was feeling more and more bloated but apart from that, quite fine.
So fine that on my first night’s stay in hospital, I got the Godfather of T1 to pick me up to attend a seminar at 9pm. The Hubs was totally against it but I reassured him that the Doctor said it was fine. Which he didn’t really but never mind that. I did convince the Doctor that I needed to leave the hospital for an hour only as I had a meeting and they made me sign this form that said that if I wasn’t back, they had the right to call the police. Godfather would’ve been the accomplice then. Haha.
I had to fast that night and I was SUPER HUNGRY!!! All I had since lunch was a bloody Milo and by morning, I was praying for the tests to be over as I was almost in Ethiopia already. I felt SO BAD for my Myanmar kids. Here I was barely surviving 2 lost meals……shame on me.
But I survived despite the many tests. Even laughed at a few and entertained myself because it was so boring getting experimented on like a Science Lab Rat. I even pissed one lady Doctor off when I asked her what the difference was between a Radiologist and a Radiotherapist. Oooooohhhhhhh…….That hit a nerve. Come on. Me poor patient needed some entertainment!! She explained to me in her very posh put on British accent (she wasn’t British, mind you) the definition of both terms and continued to list her many specialisations in her field of Medicine so that I knew EXACTLY what a QUALIFIED Doctor she was.
I just played dumb. Not sure if she believed my dumb act from my eloquence and sophistication (ahem) but hey, I had fun.
I also had fun when they brought this balloon pump gadget to place all over my body which did not work and I just teased the shit out of the nurses for bringing me outdated equipment. Eventually, they had to search the hospital for a better set of wires that actually worked.
I was put in the International Ward (not sure why because nobody even asked me nor gave me a choice) but I had no complaints as it had a Microwave and a couch and was comfortably large, larger than my Single rooms when I had delivered the 2 girls. The view however was significantly worse although everything else was better. OK, it wasn’t that bad. I could watch kids playing every evening at the playground below and watch them swim every morning during their playgroup times. Nice long pool for laps.
OK, so the real reason for the horsing around was to mask the real fear. I had not told anyone I was in hospital except for my immediate family and even then, forbade them to visit as I needed the solitude. The Hubs was forced to take Emergency Leave and he did a great job caring for the girls single-handedly whilst I carried the burden of not knowing. He was extremely calm and I know my Mom prayed like HELL for me.
I too had never prayed so hard. I told myself that I would no longer give in to stress. Never again. But just please give me one more shot at this wonderful thing called life? My kids…….they needed me. I had ongoing conversations in my head with God contemplating where I would have gone wrong and at the end of it all, there was nothing I could think of and then believed that I was fine. I had to be fine. I DESERVED to be fine. And you know what? After that entire ordeal, I actually came out fine.
It was a wake up call though and a tough lesson because I know that if I do not start taking my health and stress and sleep seriously from here on, I could very well end up on a very different road. He has given me a chance of a lifetime and I’m going to grab it tight, never ever taking anything else for granted.