Sleepless Nights (Patty Loveless)

The days that we’ve been dreading ever since we knew of her condition, just passed last Saturday morning.

And to think that nobody knew about it, from the day she was born at Thomson Medical Centre, to the various GPs who usually check her whenever we consulted them for the typical flu and fever. There was absolutely no tell-tale signs normally associated with the problem and as informed to us, it’s usually detected when a child enters primary school.  It took just one very meticulous female GP at a clinic in West Coast Plaza, whom we have never consulted until that day,  to unravel the problem, when we brought her in for mild coughs. She managed to get an urgent appointment for us the following day with a specialist at KK Women’s & Children’s Hospital and was concerned enough to give Fadelinah a call a few days later to check on our little girl. Soon after, she received a bouquet of flowers from Ooyah as a sign of appreciation.

A month passed and we were back at the hospital to meet with the head of the department and his Japanese associate, who was eventually to perform the procedure on Ooyah. After concurring with them on the operation, a date was fixed. But still, at the back of our minds, we wanted to seek a second opinion, just for some form of reassurance that we were doing the right thing. Jarrod’s specialist acquaintance at Mount Elizabeth Hospital was the second party. Albeit being a private practice, charges were waived, at least from his side, for the necessary equipments to be used to ascertain the problem. He was sympathetic and informed us that the problem could be left untreated till the child matures, but by then, complications may arise and a major transplant may be called upon. The best way was to find a permanent solution and nip the problem in the bud.

Throughout this whole episode, the risks were made known to us. 1% was what they kept reiterating. Well … that figure could also be us we thought. Maybe it was the downplaying of the major ones that made us agree to the operation about a month ago. Thanks to Domo Arigato Dr Roboto, we almost wanted to call the whole thing off a day before the procedure, especially when damages to the kidney and brain were uttered under the same breath as the word ‘DISASTER’. That only weakened our hearts further as we looked at Ooyah surrounded by her soft toys and watching Nemo stuck in the anemones for like the hundredth time.

We decided to only tell her progressively on what was going to happen but it seemed as though she already knew. Maybe the earlier visits to the hospital and specialist were enough for her to gauge. Her responses were different from usual, as if to tell us that everything’s going to be alright, even if it would hurt her. I would trade places with her then even if the pain was a hundred times more just to spare her if I could.

Wednesday came and as the staff prepared her for the surgery in the morning, one by one, we broke down and were left helpless as we waited for 6 hours for it to end. It didn’t help that I had to see a dead child’s body being wheeled out of the ICU surrounded by grieving parents and relatives, while waiting for my own daughter to be sent out from the operation theatre to the ICU. And when they did, it broke my heart yet again.

The period between the start of the operation till Ooyah was ready to leave the hospital was unexpectedly fast, surprising our family, relatives, friends and even the doctors and nurses. As remarked by one of them, Ooyah seems to have a high threshold for pain and while the other patients, older and younger than her were admitted earlier, it took only 3 days for her to be cleared. We saw her resilience as early as the day of admission when blood was drawn out of her by the doctor without a single whimper. I guess we didn’t realise how strong she was mentally compared to the both of us.

The following 2 days were interspersed with moments of tears by a few family members and visits by concerned relatives and friends, as we watched Ooyah persistently asking for water and to be carried, to the point of breaking free of her hand restraints and crouching on all fours just to get away from the numerous surgical tubes attached to her body. I guess it was a matter of comfort over pain. And for the same reason, there was also a rather comical moment when she asked to be bathed and we know all too well how she hates being bathed in the morning. Hearing your own child begging to be carried and not be able to do anything about it is not a position any parent wants to be in.

Fadelinah and I managed to book a family room in the same building and took turns watching over her from midnight to the early morning. During the times that we stayed within the ICU area, we got to know other parents who have children going through the same condition if not worst. There were also very touching letters and pictures posted on a wall along the corridor of the ICU, from parents of ex-patients, most who have recovered and a few who died. The latter pictures were needless to say, saddening.

So begins the estimated 3 to 4 months of recovery period for Ooyah. We have placed ourselves on confinement, away from the crowds, till the day she’s ready. And fulfill one of our promises to her next year we will, to play with real snow and mingle with real-life Disney characters.

On a final note, we thank God for the surgery that went without a hitch. We would also like to thank the people who offered their prayers, well wishes, emotional and financial supports, the moment they knew about Ooyah’s condition. Even though we didn’t require the last, such gestures will forever be remembered. You know who you are.


~ by blackcadillac73 on December 21, 2009.

2 Responses to “Sleepless Nights (Patty Loveless)”

  1. Alhamdulillah the surgery went well. Allah speed her recovery, amin.
    Send my regards to Fadelinah, and plenty of hugs for the brave little Ooyah. She is in me & Hawra’s prayers, always.

    message from Hawra herself : “Shiaan (kesian) baby ni eh, Mommy. Nanti Hawra nak do’a” *she then proceeds to read Fatihah.* Hehe~ Kira okla tu eh 🙂

  2. Am an avid fan of Ooyah’s.
    Hope everything’s okay and may her recovery be a speedy one, insyaa’llah.

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