Friday, March 13, 2009
Thick As Blood
"Hello Mom." I wished her over the phone early this morning, "Just to remind Dad to take his medicine starting today."
"Yes he remembers," Mom replied, "but he can't remember taking it before or after meals."
Just like when he was warded for a week in the hospital, he took his medicine before his breakfast. So the same thing here. Being 82, he forgets easily it seems. Then again, I forget often too, me being half his age... is bad... for me!
Today, Dad starts taking his anti-coagulant medicine, Warfarin again after a 3-day rest from this first batch since his discharge from SGH. We went to his first appointment at National Heart Centre on Monday, 9th March 2009...
"Do you have the blood test form with you?" The nurse asked me when my Dad's name was called 5 minutes after I placed the appointment slip into the Reception tray upon our arrival.
"No. I only have the slip given to us at SGH when my Dad was discharged." I replied. The only explanation I had. With me still are 2 more appointment slips given that same day.
"No worries, I'll get you a form and arrange for the blood test before he sees the doctor." The nurse assured me with a smile.
That is the good thing I noticed. The hospitals on this island strive very hard to increase the level of service standard. The staffs are really patient and go about their jobs readily with a smile.
It is very good effort considering the people they are attending to have more grave predicaments than they can imagine. Being further frustrated with sub-standard services or inefficiencies is the least these people want.
The second call for Dad was a little while later. We were ushered to Room 22 for Dad's blood to be drawn. That was the quickest last minute arrangement, I thought.
The nurse who ushered us spoke to Dad in Malay. She was joking with Dad, making the tense, first time visit to become more relaxed and actually a pleasant one.
I waited outside of the room for Dad.
"OK. Your Dad's blood is too thin..." the nurse told me as soon as the door was opened, "the norm is 3, so it's a bit high."
She asked as to wait at the waiting area until Dad's name was called again.
"I'll bring the sample to the lab," She explained, "we'll keep his queue number for him until the result is out."
About 10 minutes later, Dad received his queue number 1405 for Consultation Room 52. Not long after, we were inside the room attended by a young and obviously quite new, Dr. Tay.
The very familiar series of questions were asked over again... the family tree, history of sicknesses and deaths in the family, smokers in the family... on and on.
"Your Dad's blood is too thin... at 4.8... he should stop the 5mg Warfarin immediately." He assessed. Dad last took his pill that morning and was to stop taking the last 5mg Warfarin and none for the next 3 days.
Dr. Tay prescribed a lower dosage for Dad. Starting today, Dad takes take 2 pills - a brown one that is 1mg and a blue on at 3mg. In total he will take 4mg of Warfarin once a day for one week.
The consultation cost was S$25.00 and the 1 week supply of Warfarin cost S$1.70 after government subsidies for seniors.
Dad will have to see him again next week Friday, 20 March 2009. Go for another blood test to see if the coagulant is at 3.
Elder Sis will be taking him to that appointment. She called me a few days ago, 3rd Sis is tagging along them since she is no longer working after being retrenched recently from her work of 5 years.
It is so good to have many siblings in a close knitted family. Worries and happy times are shared together... there is always a shoulder to lean on. Safety in numbers is quite true. We are blessed to have everyone in our family always willing to chip-in as much as they can.
Being brought up to know that family is important and is all that we have even after the elders are long gone. We love our get-togethers and seek opportunities to meet-up with one another as often. This is especially good for Sonny who is our only child, being close to his cousins, aunts and uncles.
Hopefully this will live on with our children and our children's children, long after we are gone too.
We cherish this blessing everyday and will help and be there for one another in a moment's notice through thick and thin.