This morning, I have a nagging feeling to visit someone I hardly know in the general hospital ICU. I have been to the GH many times in my line of work. Whether it is some glamourous generous mak datin delivering gifts to children in paediatric ward or visiting some victims etc.
Normally, I can detach my feelings when I am at work. Sometimes I do get a bit emotional but it takes a lot to make me cry or sad or traumatised.
So I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go because it is a hassle to find a parking in the GH plus it is hot afternoon. Moreover, I do not know the person that well and she probably doesn’t know me either.
But as I was my car parked, and having arrived too early for work, I decided to vocalise my intentions. In the car, I told a friend and asked him to doa (pray) for me to have the strength and love to share with the person I was about to visit.
Then, I asked for my boss permission to allow me to leave earlier than our regular lunch hour as I need to be there by 1 pm. After saying these out loud, I knew I had to go and visit.
The reason I had the nagging feeling was I was told thru some friends that the person in the ICU did not response to external things. Last week or so, when we visited her, she was conscious. I do not want her to withdraw and give up fighting. I know I am a good cheerleader when I was fighting with my baby.
So by noon, I was forced to go because I had made the arrangements. The sky was dark, and the radio was playing some sappy songs that made me felt so blue.
In the car, I was already mumbling to myself, Oh God…please give me the courage to do it. There were no other friends going with me. It is just me and my conviction that I probably may help the person with some encouragement.
When I got there, I sort of have some childhood trauma running through my mind. I had been to the GH when my in-laws and other relatives died there. I had been to the morgue as well. There is nothing scary at all.
However, I suddenly had flashback when I was a kid and my brother, sister and even my father were warded there. I was never allowed in the hospital because rules were strict. So, until today, I have that huge gap in me about how my father looked in hospital, how my brother who had a bad accident looked like, how my sister who also was knocked down by a car looked like.
I was also having that blur part of my life when my father died and though I heard stories as a kid, whether when people were talking about it or I was eavesdropping, the hospital is a mighty scary place.
Today, despite the dark clouds, non sunny day, I brave myself and told myself that I am a big girl now. I can face anything. Even when they pushed bloodied patient to be sent somewhere or some disorientated guy lying on the stretcher doing weird stuffs.
GH is not like private hospitals. GH is that huge chaotic crowded place with scary stuffs. But I kept reminding myself, I am a big girl now, I can deal with this. The Lord is with me. He is calling me to go and be a company to the girl I was visiting.
So I hunt around for the ICU and took a few rounds before I found it. By then I had been through OT, cardiac etc etc. I do not know what I am going to do with a person who is on life support and in braces and etc.
Still, I went in, gently call her, tell her who I am and held her hand. It was very cold. She responded somewhat and I speak nonsense or whatever that came into my mind.
I do not know if it is a good thing to assure her that everything will get better. I told her she got friends outside who love her, want her to get better and assured her that though we cannot be with her all the time, we are thinking, talking and praying for her.
She is no longer on ventilator but she can’t talk due to the braces and stuffs they wrapped around her neck. The only way to communicate is thru eye movements.
After a while, I asked for her permission if I can pray for her. She sort of nodded and I started my prayers in English, quite loud so she can hear me. I did not care about the nurses around so I just said whatever comes to mind.
It was something like “Lord Jesus You are the healer, the saviour, the comforter. Come Lord and heal (her name) and comfort her. Let her feel loved and that she never feels alone. Take away her pains and discomforts, Lord. Send your Holy Spirit to watch over her and please give wisdom to the medical people to do everything to heal her.”
When visiting was over, as I was walking out of the ICU, there was a Muslim prayer for the sick on the way. It is in Bahasa Malaysia so I stood there and read them. I don’t know why but I was fascinated that there is a prayer for people who do not know what to say to read.
As I walked out of the ICU, I felt peace. Then a call came in. It is from someone who is going to help some charitable body. I was like Praise the Lord! Help is coming for that NGO and it is because I was just being brave to ask. The person who called me asked me where I am and I told him I at the GH visiting some random person I know at the ICU. I said I felt it is a calling. And he echoed what I felt as he too had to go out of his way to do somethings and said, Yalah, when the Lord calls, we just have to do it.
After the call, I paused and stood at the corridor to reflect. It is not a coincidence that I would be talking to the guy and both of us echoing the same thing. Both of us are doing something we actually do not need to do because it is really none of our business. But we still do it because we felt it is a calling.
So, I guess today I had done my part of encourage someone to keep fighting, keep hoping that she will get better each day and I have sealed her believe that even strangers are capable of loving. Before I left her earlier, I had the urge to touch her cheek, or whatever part that I could access and told her ‘We love you and we want you to fight and get better, remember that.’
Am writing this down, not to brag but to remind myself that I can do even the smallest thing with the biggest conviction that the Lord is my shepherd. Eventhough I walked through the dark valleys, I shall have no fear.