Stories V

You get what you paid?

S’s father wasn’t in the best of health for a long time. One day, he had a fall and S and her mother rushed him to the hospital. They asked the junior doctor present if he had to be hospitalized, and the doc replied, “dunno lah, got to wait for upstairs.” S and her mother dropped their jaws and looked at each other. They didn’t expect such a response. The doctor realizing his faux pas, then clarified, “have to wait for upstairs management to decide.” S didn’t understand why that was the case.

While at work, S received a call from the hospital, and it was from the junior doctor. “Your father’s condition is rather weak. If he goes into a coma, can we switch off the respiratory system?” S was shocked and didn’t know what to think. She told the doctor she couldn’t answer his question since she is not a trained medical professional. Following that call she couldn’t work at all. She left work early and went to the hospital immediately. When she saw her father, she was surprised to find him chatting happily with other patients. She was totally confused, and demanded to talk to a senior doctor.

A couple of days later, she got another call from the hospital who said her father was ready for discharge and was told to pick him up. S couldn’t make it and so her husband went on her behalf. He called her from the hospital and told her that her father didn’t look too well, and wasn’t sure if he was fit for discharge. But the hospital insisted. That day they sent the father to a community care center for physiotherapy, and he collapsed. He had to re-admitted into the hospital. S found out later that the hospital was short of beds and so got her father to discharge prematurely.

While at the hospital, a nurse wanted to remove the respiratory support on S’s father. S refused to allow that and the nurse exclaimed, “but he’s so old already!” S was taken aback by her attitude, but she wasn’t backing down. Finally the nurse called for the doctor to talk to S.

When her father finally passed away, it was late at night. S and her mother were exhausted but they had to wait around for the hospital to release the body for the funeral. An hour passed by, then two, and after four hours, it was a ridiculously long wait. S’s husband checked with the hospital staff on the delay. They were told there was a mix up with the bodies, and they would be getting the correct one soon. Needless to say, they were speechless.

S later mused if the poor treatment they received was because her father stayed in a cheaper hospital ward, unlike her uncle and father-in-law who had no complaints in the more expensive rooms. But she conceded that there were some really nice nurses. Despite her father incessant questions on when he would be discharged, they were very patient with him.

Siow Cha bor (Crazy bitch in Hokkien)

A was having lunch with her sis, Z, when the latter received a text message from H. “I’ve taken a lot of sleeping pills. I have to go now, please take care of my brother and parents for me.” Z was shocked and texted back to find out what happened but there was no reply. Z couldn’t pull herself away from lunch and asked a mutual friend, C, to check on H.

When C arrived at H’s apartment, she found her downing alcohol with packs of pills in her hands which C snatched away at once. A and Z arrived subsequently, and found H drunk and incoherent. They couldn’t get out of her how much pills or alcohol she had taken, and found a few suicide notes lying around. One of them talked about her taking sleeping pills and leaving the bulk of her money to her boyfriend when she died. They decided to call the paramedics in.

When the medics arrived, H refused to follow them to the hospital and made a scene, trying to chase the medics out of the apartment. A suggested to the paramedics to forcefully strap down H but they couldn’t do that. Instead they called the cops. H was by then at the balcony and the others were afraid she was going to jump. So while waiting for the cops, they kept an eye on her to make sure she didn’t do anything rash. H asked A to call her boyfriend but A refused. So H then called him and wanted A to relay the message to him that she was sorry and she wasn’t going to do it again.

When the cops arrived, they quickly circled H with one against the balcony wall to stop her from jumping. They tried persuading her to go to the hospital with the medics but she refused. During the whole process, A and the rest went through H’s cellphone to figure out what had happened. From the bits and pieces of information, they gathered that H was very emotional over the break up with her boyfriend. When A got to talk to him again, she found out that they had broken up a few weeks earlier but H refused to let go. A couple of days ago she went to his place and made a scene. The ex called her an attention seeker.

The cops spent hours trying to talk to H to go to the hospital with them. A got impatient and told them they should get the ex boyfriend to persuade H instead, but the sergeant didn’t want to involve him. Finally H relented and agreed to follow the cops. Before she left, she asked Z to take a photo of her with them to send to her ex boyfriend. A was incredulous, and she later told her sister to delete the picture because she suspected H would use it as an emotional blackmail against her ex.

The next day, A and Z went to the hospital to check on H, and they were told by the doctor that test showed no drug in her blood and H was basically alright except for being low in potassium. They rolled their eyes in disbelief! All that hue and cry and drama just for attention. A couldn’t help swearing, “WTF! If she is my sister, I would have bitch-slap her senseless!”

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