I had a dream that my father had a heart attack. I was crying in my sleep. In my dream I rushed back to KL, thinking over and over in the plane ride why I chose to leave KL. To pursue my so-called dream? Leaving my parents alone at home? As I woke up, it was in the middle of the night, I was still weeping. It took me a few hours to realize that I woke up already. The first thing I did that morning was call back home. Listening to my father pick up the phone, muttering "Hello" into the ear piece calmed me down. But I couldn't help feeling the tears streaming down my face. What if it was real? What if death did happen? How would I react?
I asked for my brother, who according to my father that time was asleep. I told him about the dream. My brother that is. I couldn't muster the courage to tell my father I dreamt he died. My brother reassured me that it was okay. My father was still well, and very well alive.
I kept on wondering why I dreamt about my father that day, or just about death itself.
Maybe because I've been working in the industry where I meet death almost everyday.
People come and go, and every other day there will be patients who require CPR in the ward.
That day, we had one patient just sent up from A&E. He was diagnosed to have septic shock. At the ward, suddenly one of the nurses shouted out that patient's BP was unrecordable. We commenced CPR. There were a few medical students following our rounds that day, and they too, attended to the patient. I started CPR, followed by my colleagues. I then held the responsibility of bagging the patient. This time around there were a lot of bloody secretions from this patient, almost 500mls suctioned out. As the resuscitation was taking place, I saw the old man looking at us, eyes tired. As we tried to pump the very last drops of his blood to his brain to carry oxygen, his eyes got more droopy by the minute.
At that point I thought, if he could say something, what would it be? Would he ask us to stop? Would he tell what it feels like to be between life and death?
The patient couldn't make it in the end. Resuscitation was stopped after 30minutes.
I took off my bloody gloves and cleaned up after the resuscitation. The patient's family members were waiting patiently for us to tell them that the patient was gone. Red faced, crying.
I went to the toilet, then realized some of the patient's blood got onto my white coat, my mask and my stetescope. The remnants of the patient being in the ward.
I got home, and cleaned up. Told my grandmother of what happened that day.
Then my grandmother told me that she was in that condition too, when my grandfather was being resuscitated.
Everything was going on so fast, after the CPR she realized my grandfather was gone. She told this tale to me, still teary eyed, after 25 years of my grandfather's death. Is that how much in love she was with my grandfather? That after 25 years she still manages to feel pain and cry for him upon telling this story?
I guess I have so much more to learn. Although so many others have moved on and have families of their own, I need to toughen up. Maybe that's why God opened up my heart to chose Sarawak General Hospital as my first choice that day, instead of Hospital Kuala Lumpur. Maybe there's another reason why I'm here. I just haven't see it yet.