Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Pain All Over Again

Pain...that of my heart being ripped. I still feel that pain in my heart as memories of last night flood my mind once again.

It was past 11 and I was driving back from the hospital. I had just left Son No 1 Julian in the ward, arm in cast and not fully out of sedation. Even in that state, he remembered that I had an early trip to Tampin the next morning. He asked me to go back and rest while mum, Jessie, and younger brother, Justin, accompany him a while longer.

I was a spent force. Not from physical exhaustion but mental. I just went through a few hours of excruciating pain in my heart, matching the tearing pain that Julian experienced from a dislocated elbow from a fall in varsity soccer match.

I had shaken my head when I first saw him in the x-ray ward, sitting on wheel chair with his arm bandaged in a splint. How can you Julian? You're so accident prone... these were the thoughts racing through my mind. Even though I did not mouth it, Julian read it.

"I can still move my fingers," he mumbled.

"Great", I retorted.

That opened the floodgates. My 22-year-old was expecting words of comfort but least of all, reprimand, laced with sarcasm. He lashed out, tears rolling down his cheeks. That knocked me back to my senses. How uncaring I had been while seemingly caring.

My mind had been playing back, one by one, the scenes of Julian in hospital since he was still a toddler. The first was when he turned blue in my in-laws' house in Penang. He was admitted and diagnosed to be suffering pneumonia.

The pain came back... how baby Julian had cried his lungs out when at regular intervals, a pipe was put into his mouth to get the phelgm out of his lungs... how he suffered a long needle wound from his buttocks to his thigh as he struggled while the nurse was giving him a jab... how he was getting dehydrated from diarrhoea while being treated from pneumonia...

How I faced the longest night of my life... A family friend consulted a medium without our knowledge and broke the news to us that THAT night was critical. Baby Julian would make it if he managed to make it through the night. Jessie was totally shaken. I flew into a rage. I don't believe in such hocus-pocus. Why! Why? Why tell us this... we didn't ask for it in the first place!!!

The instruction was to give him a drop of holy water every hour during that night. While a non-believer, I religiously went through it. You just can't imagine the relief and the joy to see the sun as dawn broke and replaced the darkness.

It was a beautiful day. And it woke us up from the darkness of ignorance. We decided to discharge him on our own accord and move him to another hospital. There he was immediately put on the drip which the previous hospital consider not necessary even though he was dehydrating.

That was not the one and only hospital episode for Julian. There were many more. As a tiny tot, Julian had to be rushed to hospital several times -- gash on his right eye and several stitches, fish bone lodged in his throat and a steady hand from the doctor to get it out, a deep cut on his lower lip and also several stitches...

All these came flooding back as we waited for the Orthopaedic Surgeon to arrive. He will have to be sedated for the elbow to be "popped" back in place. Later while the Surgeon was going through the procedure, I heard Julian cry out in pain but not as loud as the scream he let out when the Medical Officer in the Emergency Ward had tried to shift his arm to ease the pain.

The pain that we bear each time we see Julian going through all these had made us somewhat protective of him. We tend to curb his adventurous tendencies, but is it getting more and more difficult in his adulthood.

It is out of love and caring for your well being, my son knowing how accident and incident-prone you are. But Julian does listen to reason... like heeding our advice against his choice of hiking Mount Kinabalu for his elective stint as part of his course earlier this year.

May you be blessed with speedy recovery. And no more such pain please... my old heart just can't keep on taking it!


Kak Teh said...

oh, what a heartwrenching piece! My prayers for his quick recovery!! As parents we want to protect them all the time. Take care slimlim! All the best from the two wans here.

Slimlim said...

Kak Teh: Thanks. Well, Julian will be removing the cast this Saturday. I do pray and hope that he's no longer jinxed with accidents.

Jamie: Your daddy's call was a welcomed suprise. Thanks for informing him and for all the good wishes. With the cast removed, Julian was be able to drive and be more mobile then.