At 5.42am, I suddenly jolted awake and had this strange feeling I forgot to set my alarm clock to get up for my morning hike. Pressed on the ‘home’ button and saw a Whatsapp message from the familiar name. Surprised and worried; it’s unlikely he would message me in the middle of the night. Swiped my finger across the screen and staring right at my face was the message, “Good morning, Might need help to locate a doctor”..
That message was the start of our journey with the great medical industry of the island. Within 22 minutes, I drove from the north to the south east, practically cutting between lanes and flashing on any morning strollers. I know, now the kind of examples you would like to see. Picked Shiny up and rushed to the nearby hospital. As expected, he looked all calm and assuring that he is ok. But deep down, I spot the clenching fist and watched him breathe deeply to control the pain and discomfort. I know him well enough that he just won’t call for help unless he absolutely has to.. And he had. Which means this is not just a normal call for assistance.
Spent 6 hours in the first hospital, waiting for tests, settling insurance stuffs, calling back to office to figure out what is the right procedure just to get the right treatment. Just when all gets sorted out… Things took a big turn and we were given the advice (or rather instructions) to get him out of the first hospital as we didn’t quite have much confident on the reliability. As Shiny put it, “I’m just 2 minutes away from being cut open..“.
Then, the whole process of trying to find a 2nd hospital who would receive the case. A good 1.5hrs was spent just making phone calls, making decisions and lots of going back and forth examination results. Finally we confirmed the receiving end and the ambulance came to pick him up.
By then, it was already past 2pm. Hungry and starting to get light headed, I pressed on and made sure I get to the hospital soon. In my head, I just need to be there with him and have things sorted out. I must. Things moved a little faster in the 2nd hospital. Within the hour, the doctor told us the symptoms and test results did not suggest any heart problems. Boy…were we sighing in great relief. We were just rejoicing!
Shiny knew I would have a hard time handling the whole situation alone. He knew at some point I may have to help him make some decisions. So he prearranged for another girl to join me at the 2nd hospital. Thank god for her, I was able to at least relax a bit. I needn’t have to ensure I stay by Shiny while I get the paper work done.
Very soon, we got to the room and we were having a mini celebration – basically a super delayed version of our lunch cum tea. After helping Shiny settle down and have something light to eat, myself and the girl decided to leave. I needed a shower desperately since I hadn’t clean up since 545am! 10 minutes after I left the hospital thinking I’ll go ahead with my dinner date with Bibs and later get the ginger ale for Shiny, things took a 180 degree change. The blood test results came back showing extremely high cardiac enzyme reading! This wasn’t present in the blood test results earlier on. That’s when the doctor said he has to go for the angiogram; no more delay! Within that hour, we were back to where we were 6 hours ago at the 1st hospital. Confused and worried, I rushed thru my shower and flew back to the hospital to be with Shiny. Shortly after, the other girl came back to be with us. Together, we waited till it was time to send Shiny into the OT for angiogram.
What seemed like a long hour…the doctor finally called us in to reveal the results of the procedure. 2 out of 3 arteries were 100% clogged. Basically the entire left arteries were wiped off. That leaves the right artery as the collateral. Even so, the angio showed that the right artery is deceased. We were shocked. We were just not able to comprehend the results. How could a man that young and healthy, living such health conscious lifestyle could possibly end up with a heart condition as such!
We knew what lies ahead of us would not be something we like. Heart bypass was the only option. The remaining of the night was just long, worrying and solemn. I was busy sending out emails and SMS to people that we had discussed on. Some phone calls started coming too. We waited almost 5 hours for the surgeon to come and speak to us.
At 12am, 25hrs since Shiny’s condition started, the bypass was confirmed. He made a few more phone calls to his family, I made some mental notes on what to do the next day, waited for him to finish some milk; all of us left (4 of us were with him by then).
It’s been a long, long day. Tired. Upset. Worried. I kept thinking and wonder if I had reacted earlier, would this have been better? If I hadnt agree to transfer hospital, would we have fixed him up earlier? No operation can be risk free. We all have the same worry at the back of our heads… What if there’s complication?…
Life is just too shirt and unpredictable…
Shiny, please get well soon…