Monday, January 04, 2010

We Love You

It is the New Year.

With Dad's exact birth date unknown, except for his birth year in 1926, his birthday is defaulted to first January. So in essence, everyone celebrated his birthday at the stroke of midnight.

All the celebrations, fireworks and balloons released on New Year's was celebrated without Dad. He has been in the hospital for over a month now. He pleaded much to return home after staying over at the hospital for the second week.

It was heartbreaking to turn down his request, for there was hope that he would at least recover from his breathlessness that has kept him awake most nights for several weeks prior to his A&E admission to SGH.

The whole family spent New Year's eve and day at the hospital. Dad was termed DIL or under Dangerously Ill List. His condition turned for the worst since Friday.

Since there was nothing more that the doctors at SGH could do for Dad except palliative, we decided to bring Dad back to his home... to his familiar surroundings... his corridor garden, his kitchen, his bed.

Dad has a week to live. It will be miracle to be with him still next week.

I took the afternoon day off work today and headed down to SGH to sign the Terminal Release form after understanding the risks involved and the agreed consensuses from all my siblings and brothers-in-law.

It was heartbreaking to hear him told me that I lied to him about coming home... he said that when I told him that he was going home this afternoon. He did not believe me until the ambulance paramedic told him so.

I did not lie to him. I told him that he needed to stay to receive the antibiotics via PICC line for a month. That was after he had to take TB medications when the doctors suspected that he had TB and isolated him.

That was when his whole body become "de-conditioned" or muscle dystrophy after being confined to the bed; his fighting spirits diminished after isolated in that TB room all by himself for that 2 weeks. The limited visiting hours we had were just not enough to soothe his loneliness.

They told him that it was not TB after that period but another non-contagious TB-like strain; thus the 1 month course of antibiotics they had him switched over.

Dad, lying on the ambulance stretcher, smiled at me... his first smile since his admission into the TB isolation ward, while we were waiting for the ambulance to pull-up at the pick-up point.

On the journey to my parents' home, Dad was in and out of consciousness. My eldest brother and I were in the ambulance with Dad. The paramedic told us to say some prayers for Dad which Dad murmured and followed through together.

It was quite a scary ride because the doctor had already cautioned that he might not make it through the 30 minutes ride home. It was to be a one-way ride home. It will not turn back to the hospital if anything adverse were to happen to Dad along the way.

Knowing Dad, I had faith that he would reach home. I smiled inside wider than anyone I know.

He misses it so much... he loves his home... his plants and be together with Mom. They are inseparable. It is their sanctuary. Their blissful Eden.

He smiled so wide until I could see his dimple when the paramedic told him that we had reached his home. A second smile in a day! That was glorious to witness.

We had the 3-crank hospital and the oxygen concentrator ready, waiting for him at home. All things were done within the span of few hours upon the receipt of news from the doctor that Dad was not going to make it past this week.

All the family members came... stopped their daily life's chores to be with Dad. Many relatives came by too. Giving prayers and lent Mom a crying shoulder.

It was a solemn afternoon affair but personally, I was not able to stop to feel those moments because I was in the middle of all the arrangements and co-ordinations... include a quick, crash-course on nursing care with my other siblings.

I made myself memorise... with much difficulty, the names of the medicines that Dad is given, including the 5-day duration portable pump for his IV morphine being dispensed consistently via his PICC line.

For now, Dad's condition is stable but we know only for a while longer...


  1. Muhd, what a sad time for you and your family, but good, knowing you are giving your father his fondest wish - to be at home with his loved ones. Love him and each other in these days and hours. My prayers are with you.

  2. He's certainly put up a valiant fight, and I'm glad he is hopefully going to be able to die at home. This is going to be hard on all of you, but especially your mother. I've said a prayer for your family.

  3. my prayers are with you and your family. take care of yourself as well.

  4. It's been awhile since I've been here and I just started crying when I read your post today. Greatest blessings to you, Dear Friend, and the courage to live and love through what you need to. We've all been on this journey with you and your family and it's been a blessing to me to know people who love each other so much. I've always enjoyed seeing your photos and reading your fine words. Please know that though I am far away in miles, I am very close Heart to Heart ... and I pray that all goes very well. I once wrote a poem that I've given to quite a few friends and it was even read at a couple funerals. I will find it tonight and post it on my blog as I have to go back to work right now. It is meaningful.
    Remember ... there is strength in weakness... allow yourself to truly show your father that "little boy love" that you are carrying in your heart right now, the one that doesn't want his father to leave...I believe you understand.

  5. I am so very sorry to hear this news of your father not having much time in life. I am glad that he will be all made the right decision for sure.

    I agree with Kylita...let your vulnerability show and be with your father and tell him you love him...lots of hugs and being there for him as much as you can. This has been such a rough last year for you many responsibilities so many changes in your family life.

    What's so important is that you all are there for him...the whole family. This a precious know you are not alone and loved and cared for.

    I do worry about his wife, and am sure that you will be there for her and maybe if she can't live along one of you might be able to have her live with you. I'm sorry I'm bringing up things that haven't happened yet but like Donna said in her comment I am worried about your mother too.

    Your father has been very brave "warrior" fighterh through all this...bless his precious heart.

    We're here for you and so keep us posted.

    Love and Blessing to your dear dear Father and his precious dear wife and all your family at this time Muhd.

    Love and Blessings,


  6. My good friend heart goes out to you.I admire you for respecting your dad's wishes and enabling him to be in the home he so obviously loves with the wife he hard and overwhelming as it might be right now.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
    As a nurse, I know how responsible you will be feeling right now but I also know that you have only ever done right by your dad and have every faith in you...and pray that you get the strength you need to get through the coming time.
    Hugs from across the miles


Hello Everyone,

Thank you for stopping by and leaving me your messages. I will also try to answer any questions you may have for me.

Thanks again and have a good day.

Muhd Imran
PAL Blogger