A Patient’s Patience

No wonder when we’re sick, we’re called the ‘patient’. Hell, if not for patience, I would’ve walked out of TTSH hours ago… with intestines in tow. The medical staffs there are nice, really friendly, and I hold TTSH in high regard, but waiting 5 hours to tell me I’m ok and I can go home? Come on.

Maybe I’m a little cranky from all that pain. I had this cramp around my torso just below my chest, and the site of pain spans about 3 inches wide towards my navel and around my back. It’s like having a giant clamp around me and squeezing me every 15 seconds. It’s a twisting pain. It hurts so bad, I was paralyzed in bed every quarter of a minute. I cannot move my body too much, no sudden movements especially as that would bring on the spasms. So there I was enduring the piercing pain for about 4 hours before deciding that  self medication was not working (I took a diazepam hoping to relax my muscles).

With great effort, and jabbing pain, I arrived at TTSH. I couldn’t even talk properly without having to stop now and then when the cramps stung my abdomen and back. The back part felt like a cylinder of pincers grabbed a chunk of meat and pinched hard forcing my body to arch back a little, yet the simultaneous cramp in front makes me want to crouch. That’s the misery I was in. Pure S&M fantasy.

So the young doctor gave me a jab, took some blood sample from my arm (after poking me a few times at the back of my left hand and red didn’t flow) and sent me off for an x-ray. The blood test was to make sure I’m not suffering from pancreatitis, and the x-ray to confirm that I didn’t swallow a porcupine. Then for the next 5 hours, I lay in wait at the observation ward (Ward 25) watching geriatric theatre. Sometimes I think the care-givers are the ones whom medical attention (psychological) should be given. This woman taking care of her diabetic father kept repeating what she said twice! The first time for her father to hear, and the second probably for herself to hear, and she kept talking! Non-stop.

And the injection didn’t work for me either. I was still withering in pain the whole time. My inside was a washing machine on spin-dry mode with all the fibers twisted up real fast and very, very tight. And that parrot to my left just won’t shut up. Plus I was getting hungry. It’s amazing that amidst all that pain, I was thinking about the beef steak dad had cooked, and waiting for me at home (I went to the hospital alone by the way. Didn’t want my parents to worry, or worse, bar me from drinking).

In between getting my blood pressure checked, I asked the nurses what’s happening with my case. “You’ll have to wait for the doctor,” nurse said. “Do you have any idea how long that would be?” I asked in my sweetest. “The doctor is performing stitching for a patient,” nurse answered. I didn’t want to press her; anyway, I’ve waited for 3 hours already.

Then at the fifth hour, I saw doc. So he told me everything is fine. I’m probably suffering from something gastric related. It sure didn’t feel like my stomach was giving me problems, I mean, if it’s gastric related, why would my back hurt as well? I’m not a cow. I have only one stomach.

But I didn’t try to find out more or explain my symptoms all over again. I just wanted to get out. Go home to my steak. Even though I’m still having the jabbing cramps, but by then, it had gotten less frequent and the intensity of pain had lightened. I was prescribed some medication for gastric and paid S$80 for not having my problem solved. I had been experiencing mild episodes of stinging pain at the same site for about 2 weeks before this full-blown cramp attack, but those times they had been more like pain from deep breaths and they usually go away after about an hour or two.

Steak never tasted this good. I had a huge serving of salad to go with it. And half a corn, half a sweet potato and 3 scoops of baked beans. Then 2 rows of cream biscuits, 2 packets of Mamee, one-third bar of family-sized Cabury’s hazel nut chocolate, and another serving, much larger than the first, of vegetable salad.


30 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. kissingpanda
    Nov 07, 2005 @ 19:33:31

    You alright now? Take care leh..:-))


  2. heliosrealm
    Nov 07, 2005 @ 19:43:38

    Take care man,,get more rest n take the medication.


  3. abdaziz
    Nov 07, 2005 @ 23:52:53

    I had many bad experience admitting my mom and aunt at TTSH. So I can totally relate to your experience.
    Are you feeling better now? U must be damn hungry man!!! Cadbury hazel nut chocolate.. makes my mouth waters already.


    • celebratelah
      Nov 10, 2005 @ 08:50:56

      Yup… ok already :o) For admission, I think the wait sometimes is for an available bed space. Thankfully I didn’t have to stay there. Yeah… Cadbury lifts the mood 😉


  4. getridofme
    Nov 08, 2005 @ 00:17:39

    i had worse experiances in Melbourne. Take care!


  5. gentlegiantt
    Nov 08, 2005 @ 00:52:10

    do hope your pain will go away soon! i know that nagging cramp/pain. take care! get well soon! 😉


    • celebratelah
      Nov 10, 2005 @ 08:59:29

      On most days, I’m fine. But sometimes there’s still a slight pang of pain at my middle back. Think I should go for a sports massage or acupuncture. Thanks for your concern and you take care too :o)


  6. devinjay
    Nov 08, 2005 @ 00:59:12

    Now I’m hungry, which is weird since I just had breakfast.
    You need to figure out what’s causing the pain, but you probably already know that.


  7. faithpig
    Nov 08, 2005 @ 01:12:19

    Hope you are getting better..
    …however I would have to explain for the staff of TTSH. Having two friends working there, I could appreciate how much the staff has gone through. Due to the SARs issue, TTSH has been regarded as the “miracle” hospital. Everyone believes the services there are top notch and every illness could be cure. As such cases like yours are so common there.
    However there is not only one hospital in Singapore and there are plenty of good doctors around too. I am not saying that your main reason of arriving in TTSH is the same as those people but some really travel all the way to TTSH just for some pain and stuff.
    Do take care and do watch what you eat and drink. Because my intuition tells me you have taken a wrong combination of supplements and food that caused you the pain.


    • celebratelah
      Nov 10, 2005 @ 09:08:36

      Re: Hope you are getting better..
      Hey hey… Well, I went to TTSH coz it’s just across my house. It’s a matter of convenience and not coz I thought it’s a cure-all hospital. I believe my case is common there. But I can’t believe the time they took to get me out of hospital for something so common :o)
      Yup, am watching my supplements now and determining if any of them cause me the pain. Thanks for the concern ya… :o)


  8. discoecstasy
    Nov 08, 2005 @ 02:12:34

    Oh dear. Hope u are well. I did have that before, its basically gastric. Just rest for the day and stick to regular meal times.. 😛


  9. kykydiary
    Nov 08, 2005 @ 05:35:03

    Dr Apo should be consulted mah, maybe he can give first priority in SGH.
    Oh yeah, u should be barred from excessive drinking.


  10. samandsam
    Nov 08, 2005 @ 06:38:55

    Should get a second opinion. There are many cases where the first time they could not detect what is wrong.


  11. matthewbrodeux
    Nov 08, 2005 @ 15:38:53

    barred from excessive drinking
    barred from excessive eating (save the steak for me)
    then you’d get well real soon


  12. contradix
    Nov 09, 2005 @ 01:51:57

    after all that you’ve eaten, i think you do need to double check the fact that you only have one stomach; or that you’re not a cow =)
    hope all is well, cheers!


  13. trevcuteboy
    Nov 09, 2005 @ 18:28:49

    Hiya cutie. I added u to my friends list, hope thats ok. feel free to leave a comment on my journal.ttyl 🙂 Trevor


  14. _scratchit_
    Nov 12, 2005 @ 12:53:44

    just added u to my frd list…:)


  15. kieranfirdausi
    Nov 18, 2005 @ 12:55:07

    Love the way u write. Can I add u? Hope u feel better now.


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