I guess there's only so much one could do. Not going to be hopeful.
Pessimistic? No, I'm just a realist.
And life goes on. Que sera sera.
She looked at me in the eyes as I introduced myself. She made an attempt to smile, or at least that's what I thought.
"We'll need to do a blood test today," I mentioned casually, as I have done hundreds of times before.
"Just a small scratch." She looked away, just as her relatives drop by to visit her in hospital. Great. I never liked being watched inflicting pain.
I walked around the bed to her other arm, the one which did not have a bag of salt water attached to it. As I grabbed her arm to move it into position, she let out a whimper which took me by surprise. Half the day I have been on the ward, she has not made a sound.
You see, the contractures were so severe she is permanently in a curled up position. She is at the terminal stage of the disease, trapped in her own body. I try not to imagine how she must be feeling.
"I'm so sorry," I blurted repeatedly as I try not to cause any more distress. Then as the needle goes in, she let out another whimper with tears forming in her eyes.
I've not done many things worth me mulling over, but honestly, I've never felt so bad in this life.
It would have been your 30th birthday earlier this week. Rest in peace.
I had wondered what would I be thinking if that had been me. If I had been struck by a sudden illness and told I only have weeks to live. Contemplating my own mortality, and how we won't be here in this world for ever is pretty morbid for some. For me, it made me look at my life, or what's left of it.
26 years of existence, and there is still too much I want to do here, too much I want to experience, too much I want to feel. The thing is, if I don't go out and do them, all I would do is just sit at home wishing I had ticked more entries on my bucket list.
That was actually what I was thinking about during my 1-hour 10km run last Sunday at the Great Scottish Run in Glasgow. Missed my target by 2 minutes 22 seconds! Rainbow puking unicorns. Also I figured there wouldn't be a better time than any to start doing things I actually wanted to do.
And thus was born a new tag for my blog posts, aptly named "bucket list". I'll add to it and cross it off as I waste more of my limited time here.
Will start with a short list first as it is a very lovely Saturday morning (you don't know how rare that is in Scotland) and I'm too lazy. First on the list, I'm aiming to combine 2 loves and 1 phobia - a triathlon before my 30th birthday! And other smaller achievements leading up to that:
Official senaiboy's bucket list
Pedal for Scotland 47-mile cycle 2013
Sleep at least 12 hours a day
Conquer my attention span of a gnat
So is this the ending those of you who denied his right wanted?
I hope you're happy now.
Rest in peace, Tony. Life was not fair to you, but neither were we as fellow human beings. You have been a true fighter and shown great courage when the rest of us would not be able to. Lots of love from a stranger.
I sincerely apologise if anyone is offended but I just have to let it out. Yes, I have very strong feelings regarding this issue.
I have been following Tony Nicklinson's story for the last year or so, and personally I feel it is not right to force him to go through what he has gone through. If by any chance I ever end up in his position, I'd want to know I have the right to end my own misery.
It really broke my heart when I saw the video of him crying after the court decision was announced last week.
I felt that has broken him, as he refused food or treatment for pneumonia after that. He eventually escaped the prison that is his body, but it didn't have to end this way.
There has to be a more dignified way.
Disclaimer: This is my own personal opinion and does not reflect my professional conduct in any way.
He sits in his bed, sleeping most of the time. Other times when he's awake, he usually just stare blankly at the end of his bed. The numerous lines and tubes connected to his body made any movement cumbersome, or maybe it was the pain that's stopping him. The constant beeping of the monitor next to his bed must have been annoying, though I guess he must be used to it by now.
It's been more than a week since he was admitted to Surgical HDU, my current habitat as a slightly less useless FY2 for the next 4 months. I saw him when he came in, and as the days go by, as we put him through more and more investigations and took vials and vials of bloods off him, I noticed it.
The way he avoid looking at us when we come around to his bed. The way he shrugged his shoulders and reply "okay" every time we ask him how he is. The invisible wall he put up around him, as if the very environment of HDU is hostile to his wellbeing. The resignation in his eyes.
Over the last 10 days, I noticed the weight he's losing, the swollen limbs he's getting, the jaundice he is now developing. And yet 10 days on, we are nowhere near the answer to what is going on with him.
Specialists after specialists come and go, each scratching their head and unable to provide a reason for his illness. Tests after tests threw up more questions than answers.
There is often a hushed conversation when we talk about him. Deep inside all of us, we have acknowledged that this is rather likely to be terminal, whatever it is that is causing him all the distress. He is not well, that much we know for sure.
Yet when we speak to him, we try to make it sound positive, be optimistic. We tell him we don't have the answer yet, but we'll keep trying our best. Sometimes I feel as if we are all holding on to the smallest hope that this might be something treatable. That he will get well once we find out what this is.
Other times I feel that we are not letting him in on our suspicions, that he should be made aware of the gravity of his condition to the extent he might not make it out of the hospital. But I know that will only drive him over the edge. It would drive anyone over the edge, I myself struggle to even comprehend the very notion of it happening to me.
Because, nobody expects to not make it past their 30th birthday.
It's not fair.
It's just not fair.
I don't believe in God, but if there is one, please let our suspicions be wrong just this once.
The elderly gentleman glanced at his watch umpteen times while he's in the department.
"Are you in a rush to get home, sir?" I asked, wondering why he is so anxious.
"Well, yes, you see if my wife gets home and couldn't find me she'll panic. I need to get home before she does."
"Ah. You had a nasty bump on your head though, we'll need to look at that first."
"Oh I'll be fine. I don't need anything done. No stitches."
"We can always give your wife a call to let her know you're here?"
"No it's okay I'll be fine. I just need to get home."
Eventually managed to convince him to stay until the wound was stitched, and he ran back home right away, still slightly staggery. Unfortunately for him though, I don't think his wife won't notice all his blood-soaked and dirty clothes. Guessing he must be worried he'll get an earful back home for drinking too much and 'slipping'.