green tea + coffee + whipped cream = heaven

Warning : This is an emo post but you can just enjoy the coffee and shaddap if you do not know what to say.

green tea + coffee + whipped cream = heaven

Yesterday, I had a tea meeting with a bunch of ladies from church, one of them is Datuk Nicol’s mom. These ladies are veterans in organising stuffs for the church and one of them somehow roped me in, someone very ‘young’ *cough cough and chokes on own saliva* into the committee. (I get to meet the CM and 250 handsome priests!) The green tea coffee in Winter Warmers was darn good. Nice ladies like them drink tea, obnoxious char bor like me, drink coffee. So, green tea coffee sounds more like my drink.

Since I like it so much, today I made my own green tea coffee (picture above) and it tastes darn good too. I use the damn expensive green tea powder from Japan and Nescafe gold + condensed milk + whipped cream.

green tea + coffee + whipped cream = heaven

**from here, heavy stuffs I wish to get off my chest**

So, I was getting tired of my routine of visiting patients three mornings a week. Many of the faces I know have gone home. So, it is a bit tiring starting to get new ones to warm up to me. It is not easy to break into the situation, from the first knock on the door to what I should say to them. Though most of the times it comes naturally, it is still a bit draining.

I went to the hospital rather late because I was dragging my feet at home, eating Hokkien mee. I headed to the chapel first and asked myself (or God, or Jesus) what role do I play in their situations? Should I just drop this whole thing? Am I being an annoyance more than helpful?

The scary thing about being a Christian is when you asked for something, wham! the answers will fall on your lap. It is like Jesus telling me, “Ok, if that’s what you want, I will show you.” Believe me, prayers are that powerful.

First thing, I went to see an elderly Indian lady who will be staying for a long time. I chatted with her for three days already so she is glad to see me coming. For me, it doesn’t matter what the condition the patient is because I have learned the skill of seeing the person beside me, the kind of person they used to be. I could stand them retching or the smell from their ‘accidents’. My ears can pick up heavy slang or other languages like Indon, Mandarin and Cantonese. Thank God for that extra deep gut and perky ears I have.

The palliative staff nurse (palliative means providing the ‘end of days’ care ) who is a very fierce and strict woman whom I am terribly afraid of because she is always reprimanding her nurses (for their own good) have observed me, I guess. I supposed I had gained her trust after 2 months. So, she told me about another patient who only speaks Hokkien who is depressed. (the nurses there are either Malays or Indians only) She said the patient’s blood count is dropping as she refused to eat. So, they cannot do any treatment for her.

It is my ‘job’ to see what I could do. So, I went to see her next. We sat down and watched some soppy Hokkien series. One of those no brainers, triangle love story. The kind where I wish I can take my slipper and throw at the hero and ask him to make up his mind already! KNN, for one long month the series have been around and he still cannot make up his mind which woman to marry, married someone because the father said so and refused to have sex sleep with the legal wife!

We laughed at the stupidity of the show, make small talks and in between, I sandwiched in about getting enough nutrition, how the organs need foods, how radiotherapy destroyed good cells and need to grow new ones and etc. This woman just woke up one day and found she is paralysed and now, she cannot even sit up. The lunch trolley came and I cajoled her to eat some foods eventhough she complained of the food quality and etc etc. Madam Palliative Nurse came after that and saw that she ate half a bowl. I know MPN was happy with the progress.

Next room, an elderly man was fighting with his feeding tube. Elder persons hate feeding tube. The children wanted it pulled out. The doctor explained. Old man still agitated. I had seen my sis’s father-in-law’s ordeal and understand the old man’s discomforts. But there aren’t any other choice. I know a lot about feeding tube, suction of phlegm and drips from taking care of my son. So, in my own language, I explained to the children on how to talk to the father. I told them another elderly person had the tube for more than a year already and she is still going healthy and strong (despite her brain tumor).

And now, this darling old lady….she isn’t able to talk much due to her tumor. But I am so proud that she chose me and a few other nurses to communicate with. She could call my name. I took out a leaflet in my bag and showed her the heritage buildings in Penang (I keep a lot of junks in my beg sampah so it is very useful for show and tell to patients who cannot talk). She is 75 yrs old and her birthday is very near mine. She could tell me how many years she retired, where she stays, ‘I love you’ and ‘boring’. I had spent more than a month talking to a person who doesn’t respond and when she finally did, it is like the heavens open up. Praise the Lord.

Another lady, she wants to go to my church to see how Christians pray. I dare not encourage it yet. I told her to take time to recover first. I can get into deep trouble for that. Both from her family and the hospital. Maybe when Fr Fab comes back, I am going to scream, “Die, Father, that woman you prayed over? She wants to come to our church! Damn, your prayer so darn powerful kah? What am I going to do? Say yes, or tell her to wait further?” It is against my own principle to preach religion to sick people and I don’t do that unless they asked me about my God.

So, I thought my job is done for the day after all the above. But sadly, I was given my first case of ‘I am not supposed to feel too much for others’ test. Cancer. It is so nasty. Just when someone thought that all those treatments are complete, cancer has spread. It is very sad to see a person totally robbed off her movements. I ended up spending another hour with this person.

I normally finish my rounds with another visit to the chapel to get everything off my mind. When I walked into the sunshine, to my car, I must be totally free of others’ burdens. I must go back into my own happy world.

But I guess today is one of those days when I questioned the stupidity of the world around me.

People who are racists and argue over religions have never been there to see how sufferings unite people. When you are face with death and a painful disease like cancer, there is only one God, one human race.

People who worries about the little things in life have never seen people being robbed off their limbs, their minds, their body functions, their dignity. These people still struggled with whatever dignity left and they are still a person, despite of all the ravaging illness and the ugliness of the disease.

People who are so preoccupied with how much money they are making and how much they are saving have never seen people whom had spent their lives struggling to make ends meet and end up spending every dime of their savings to save their own life.

People who complains about how naughty their children and etc, have never seen single mother who sold off all her properties, including her cows (in Indonesia) to treat herself, just so that she could get better to take care of her small children. (but only a body was flown back and we do not now what will happen to her children)

People who whine how petrol price increase has caused them less car trips have never seen young man, strong mothers, active women who suddenly become paralysed overnight, due to cancer.

Anyway, I was so amused that my prayers for the Lord to show me signs have avalanche into so many signs. Yeah, I have a role to play somehow. Jesus has a great sense of humour. When He knows that I am doubting self, He pour a bucket of tasks on me to remind me He chose me.

(actually I wrote this in the late afternoon and has no intention of publishing it for fear of people accusing me of claiming credit for self. But then, WTF, it is my life, my burdens and my blog so who fark care what others think.)

13 thoughts on “green tea + coffee + whipped cream = heaven

  1. Cilaka, I checked my Swiss account this morning and you haven’t pay me 50% of your damacai, first prize winning prize. Where is my 10M Euro leh?

  2. You are one really tough woman. I know I can’t do it. I never know how to unload those burden. I worry I will carry it all the time.

  3. I wished I knew you better when my dad was stricken with cancer and both my brother and I don’t know what to say or do to make him feel better. Even though 56 days have gone by and yet the pain and loss haven’t lessen a bit. I keep wondering whether we had done everything possible for him to make him comfortable. Whether he is now receiving his rewards as what Jesus had promised him. Even when he was in terrible pain, he never did complain. He just say his rosary and believe in Jesus. You are right. The power of prayers is really powerful. May God bless his soul and grant him eternal rest.

  4. You proved religion is not a barrier, being human is natural. This post is not just about yourself, about people around us. Reaching out and become human to each other again.

    I am so tired. Need the green tea coffee too la…

    Agnes Tans last blog post..Japanese Tableware

  5. I do enjoy reading your emotions when you do your rounds, the smile of the people responding to you has more oompphh than the green tea coffee although that’s still the best – coffee.
    I’ve help around in the lil’ sisters b 4, my own experience with my father,… I do miss making him laugh (a lot ); he suffered stroke for 11 yrs, but I only managed to help around for the first 4 yrs unfortunately. Still overall, I do enjoy the ol folks there.
    Will keep u in prayer.

  6. I m a person who cannot stand the feelings of seeing ppl suffering (sickness, poverty or victim of racism) thus your post really made me respect u more. Keep up the gd work and hope there will only be more ppl like u in this world 🙂

  7. lilian,
    you were being observed? eerr..were you on probation?
    I do not know how mnay ppl do what u r doing. your role should be recognised by the hospital. Healing a cancer patient requires more than doctors, nurses, ubat, physio etc etc. Esp a dying ones, to restore ones’ faith is as important. This is where you come into the formula.

    I would love to see a multidisciplinary team be set up in cancer care tht consists of the palliative nurses, ward nurse, social workers, physios and you the ‘faith healer’. This will enhance the communication and better treatments towards the patients.

    JTs last blog post..Where the $£@% is SUMMER 2?

  8. JT – I no gaji wan, probation what lah. But initially people do wonder what’s my udang di sebalik batu that cause me to hang around there. Patients and caregivers asked me how much commission I get for ‘recruiting’ for the nursing home. *roll eyes* The world is so jaded with money, they don’t believe people works for free.

    Actually, I wanted to go to Spore to take up Clinical Pastoral Education but the places I asked for sponsorship either said, “Our organisation only helps the poor” or “You pay first for the first unit, then, return here to prove you got the material and we will reimburse.” My ego doesn’t allow me to negotiate like that, so I will just do it without any returns and I refused to go without the positive back-up. Anyway, if I take up the sponsorship, I am to be tied down to a regular 9-5 job for three years and I cannot agree too. This kind of emotional draining job cannot be confined to a regular 9-5, three years contract deal, right?

  9. no gaji..wat lah, at least ask for a private parking space next to the hospital director ma. Go to s’pore, what for….so tht u hav a paper to show at the end of it? good communication is all what u need and believe me, u hav no problem in delivering it. I am guessing that 99% cancer pts u talked to were either seeking comfort/reassurance or even explanation fr a non clinical person like lu punya orang, betul? I hope no sampah bureaucracy or hospital politics stop what u r doing in future…
    respects to you….

    JTs last blog post..Where the $£@% is SUMMER 2?

  10. I see a beautiful soul working tirelessly among the sick and helpless enveloped in Christ radiant. Lilian, what a lady! You seem to have endless energy and spirit. May God bless you richly!
    P/S How you managed being a blogger, 4kids mother and still can find time go visitation to the hospital? Salute!

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