Friday, November 07, 2008
What's Up Dad?
So, the urgent leave off work taken on Friday was quite an unnerving one.
Do not know about Dad, but I was totally saddened by the whole thing for him... frail and walking slowly to keep up with us to the Endoscopy Centre at SGH Block 6, but still managed to give us a smile when he saw me looking at him.
Elder Sis, a stay home mom who lives in Woodlands called early in the morning to inform that she was fetching Dad from our parents' home. That gave Wifey and I some time to have breakfast and head straight to meet them up at SGH instead of going across the island to fetch Dad. Mom wished to stay home alone this time.
Everyone had their breakfast, except Dad who had to fast from midnight last night until after his bronchoscopy procedure at 10:55AM.
Arriving early at 10:00AM, seated at Polar cafe, Elder Sis was reading her Wanita magazine, while Dad was busy looking around, most probably for us. He gave a bright smile when he caught sight of us from afar.
We registered 40 minutes early, but Dad was called in exactly on the appointed time anyway. Then it was the wait... the procedure was to take about half an hour, but the recuperating time was expected to be about 3 hours.
So with time to kill and left to our own devices, Wifey and Elder Sis went straight into a conversation... catching-up mostly and intermittently involving me with questions. After a while, the comfy waiting lounge the Endoscopy Centre offered was no longer attractive.
We moved to the hospital canteen and had ourselves a cup of coffee. I left for Friday prayers at Moulana Mohamed Ali Mosque, situated right at the basement in OUB Centre at the heart of the financial district in Raffles Place... two stops away from Outram MRT station.
Gave Mom a call to update her on the goings-on. Then I let the body of water glimmering in the hot afternoon day offered me a quick solace.
I spent some time sitting on the surprisingly cool granite bench under a shady tree, staring at the water while the afternoon lunch crowd of office workers went wild crisscrossing each other behind me.
I can understand how the calming setting can help many fast-paced and high-staking investors and bankers "re-calibrate" themselves back to sanity simply by being close to the Singapore River.
Though temporary, I had a nice feeling... of peace of mind, until I had to go back to the hospital.
Met up with Wifey and Elder Sis at the Endoscopy Centre lounge again. We began to feel a little uncomfortable when Dad was still not out yet after 3:00PM. My second Eldest Sis and her husband came by too to fetch Dad back, but had to wait too until a little after 4:30PM.
By that time, I believe bad thoughts had already ran through everyone's head. I know I felt very uncomfortable... rehearsing my reaction in my head, somewhat mentally preparing myself to face whatever bad news that might come out from the glass doors.
Slowly and with a slight hunch, Dad finally walked out from the glass doors. He managed a smile when he saw a larger reception waiting for him.
Dr. Devanand came out too and gave Dad a pat on the back while reminding me to come back for the results this coming Thursday, 13 November 2008. Dad's appointment at 3:20PM at Clinic A will tell us the next step that we will need to take.
I dread that outcome very much. "I have to tell you bad news" bid from the doctor before this procedure kept running through my mind like a broken record player every time the thought crossed my mind.
"I'm very hungry..." Dad told me while we walked to the elevator, "I took this from the pantry just now." He continued, pulling out and showing me a pack of Jacobs biscuits from his pants pocket.
From his weak smile and course voice, it was evident that he was recovering still from the anesthesia and deprived of food in his system until this late hours of the day.
"We'll eat at the canteen now," I said while putting my hand around his shoulders, "let's break your fast with an early dinner."
"Anything you want to eat, Dad." Brother-in-law offered.
Dad had his request for beef noodle and additional kaya toast bread. His appetite was indeed good.
Apparently the beef noodle is the favourite dish amongst everyone in this family. Everyone was eating the same dish. Something we know, after patronizing the canteen for many days now.
Waving off as the car drove away from the hospital building, Wifey and I went home by train... making arrangements until the next appointment on Thursday.