Same location. Different emotions.


Hospitals and airports are such incredible places. You could either step out of the building feeling so joyful and grateful, or feeling you were robbed of something that meant the world to you.

And life is so full of strange coincidences. Sometimes you need not worry so much, because somehow it sorts itself out. You see, today, the moment I ended my last lesson at 3.40pm, I got a call. It was from my auntie, who said my grandmother was taken ill and asked if I could rush home to check on her. I did so immediately, my boss was kind enough to release me because I had finished teaching for the day. Might not have been able to get away otherwise. Talk about perfect timing.

When I got home, I saw my grandmother sitting on the portaloo in her room, looking quite dishevelled and traumatised. She had suddenly started to vomit since 3.30pm, and now wanted to poo as well. She complained of cold sweat, giddiness and she was totally convinced this was going to be her last day as an earthling.

Very soon the paramedics arrived. Grandma was soon packed off to Changi General Hospital. I was in the front, and to be honest, it was a thrill to be speeding legally on the roads in such a heroic and important manner.

After a series of checks, grandma was put in the observation ward to recover. She had a jab to stablise her condition, and she soon drifted off to sleep. Outside her ward, a group of nurses gathered, looking very worried. Their eyes were red. I heard an old lady wailing loudly, “My poor grandson, he’s suffering so much!” I heard someone else blaming herself for what happened.

I spent a total of 4 hours in A&E, which was more than enough time for me to gather information for a 3-page story in The New Paper on what happened to the crying nurses.

A CGH nurse’s 10-year-old son had been knocked down by a reversing lorry and was in critical condition. That explained the large number of nurses hanging around the resuscitation ward, whom I intially thought were skiving off work. Family members hung around, all crying and worried sick.

I did remember to check on grandma while I did my tabloidy investigations. She was still very weak so I left her to sleep. The doctor came round with the blood test results and to our surprise, it wasn’t a case of food poisoining. Grandma had fluid imbalance in her ears which resulted in the nausea, giddiness and vomitting. She had to stay in the hospital overnight.

After 2 hours of thumb-twiddling, grandma finally got a room in this super efficient hospital. That was when my mother came to break the news. “The boy passed away.” I was shocked. I thought he was just very badly injured, but he would be OK.

As I walked back to the ward with the admission papers, the family had gathered around a grey metal coffin. They were all crying, but all very calm. A teenage boy, possibly the little one’s brother, leaned against the wall to sob. The coffin soon disappeared but the family stayed on to get themselves together.

A porter finally arrived to wheel grandma up to her luxurious A1 suite. By now she was asking for hot milk and looking a lot more alive, so we knew she would be OK. Exhausted, my mother and I made our way home.

Tonight, as I sit here typing this entry, I can’t help but think we were lucky to leave the hospital as relieved relatives who are glad our loved one is slowly recovering. Tonight, a mother left the hospital with too much pain and sorrow in her heart as she knows she will never hear her little boy call “Mummy” again.

Explore posts in the same categories: Family, Health, Life

One Comment on “Same location. Different emotions.”

  1. My dearest Cindy,
    Thank you for dropping a line at my blog. In fact, over many Sats, I have been wanting to call you, but I am afraid you are busy.

    I hope your grandma is fine now and you are coping alright with everything.

    You asked me if all are well, I wish I can say so. I have not written anything about it on my blog because we are anxiously (a bit calmer now) to receive some good news over the past few weeks. Please pray for my mum for healing, recovery and strength to face any challenges ahead of her.

    Talk to you soon and meanwhile please take good care of yourself.


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