The Good, The Bad, The New Things Learned
What a 9 days it has been.... Havoc since last Friday when I first got the phone call a little over noon from my dad saying,
"girl.... I am so sorry.... I think I fell and broke my knee..."
Such a sink in the heart to my stomach when I heard it and things that raced in my head what to do.
I must say that the very morning this happened, I actually had a dream that I was in a car accident and my left leg was hurt. Maybe it was a premonition of my family; or has something was about to happen to me, my dad ended up taking it on? No one knows; but I only know that God rearranged the chaos into order the day this happened.
When I saw my dad, at the first glance it didn't look really bad but the damage is actually inside. It was quite a task to ferry him in a small car, and we know that general hospitals on a Friday can be very tricky in Malaysia; moreover Emergency Rooms could wait till 10 hours if the patient is not entirely in life-and-death situation.
Good thing with a calm mind, we decided to "speed up" the process (with a bit of a hole in the wallet) by heading straight to the nearest clinic that is recognised by the general hospital and took an x-ray there instead.
Of course, knowing that being at the ER could "take forever", I got to feed my dad first as he hasn't had his lunch before the fall.
Maybe if he had eaten lunch and went to cut his hair (which resulted falling walking on the way back to the apartment), the fall might not have happened. We will never know
All I knew was I need to get him well "fueled" before the long head of the journey.
Things I learned along the way
Patella breakage caused by the knee fall can end up very differently, some broke vertically (like my aunt) and some broke horizontally (like my dad). The good thing the doctor mentioned that the broke was "clean" (no small bits of fractures), so a "post pull through suture with tension relieving wire" was suggested by the doctor...
According to a brief search to show me by the doctors, will show an "hour glass shape" or a "8" shape should be done for my dad's patella (knee cap).
However, to get that result has caused us to wait for 5 hours as 4 out of 5 orthopedic and trauma doctors were down with Covid!
The good however...
was that after 2 years of Covid experience, this hospital that is part of the "Covid center" they have learned to segregate locations and expand in order to be able to cater more normal patients, "living together with covid" was its motto; however a huge part of the open air carpark was sacrificed in order to cater such facility.
With that, even the green trauma clinic was extended outside with a brand new setup, while the original ER is still like a warzone, turning all waiting lobby into extended ward admission for Yellow, Amber and Red (critical) zones.
Which is actually a brilliant new setup so that less critical patients actually get to wait for trauma doctors to attend to them at the clinic (with on the spot blood analysis tests) with A LOT OF ceiling fans just to keep the space well ventilated.
After 5 long hours of wait and blood tests, the doctors have finally sent my dad for casting as we had to wait for 2 weeks due to the fact the operation theaters were all full.
We were bracing ourselves for the worse 2 weeks; I even quickly got my dad a mobile toilet just to be sure that he was able to move a tiny bit from the bed to the toilet. Honestly, I was really wondering how I am going to go through this... where I am still accumulating for the car's down-payment, my car is occasionally still giving me hiccups even after the carburetor's change...
This is where the miracles flowing in
Friends and cousins who knew about what happened to my dad started calling me and my mom and offered help. One of my good friend's sister just so happened to have a wheelchair lying around not doing anything, and her sister was happy to lend us the wheelchair until dad is fully recovered because it takes around 2 weeks + 3 to 6 months of need of the wheelchair.
Then the next miracle came in was within 24 hours of casting , we got a phone call to head over for PCR test because there was a sudden slot of operation open (due to the fact the patient who was supposed to have the surgery was tested positive) , and the whole Saturday evening to Sunday evening was preparation for admission.
Dad did his best to stay calm while waiting for admission, but his knee was already getting more swollen by the hour, and we were wondering do we need to really wait for full 24 hours for the PCR test result out before dad is given a bed (which is already late evening)
The (government) general hospitals in Malaysia now do not allow anyone to admit for surgery unless they are tested negative to reduce risks of infection that could cause more health complications since their immune system will be lowered post operation
Another miracle happened again! The hospital started calling me and kept asking where my dad is, only to realise that though there were some miscommunications from different wards, the hospital actually already had a (newer version) bed waiting for him, but we were actually waiting at the lobby outside the ward because we were told not to go in until the PCR test result is out.
Fortunately being a senior citizen, everything was done for my dad, and all we needed to just to walk in to confirm with the admission letter and tags that we got at the administration office.
This could have been a really stressful admission day, but somehow, the Grace of God was just there all the way.... there was no panic and every step was really organised just in time no doubt with tiny bits of hiccups popping up
Then.... something happened...
My brother who was stuck down South of peninsular Malaysia wanted to head back to help, but there were a sudden sensor error of his car that he was not able to head over sooner...
Moreover, the very day (Tuesday) I got a call to get my dad discharged ASAP (due to fear of more covid spread), I got another call that I was exposed to covid because one of my colleagues tested positive, while we had a 2 hour meeting with him a day earlier.
Not to mention that I had a recording schedule at night and I couldn't get a last minute replacement.
Everything was super crazy on Tuesday; juggling with administrative work in the office getting everything sanitised, workmates tested and make sure the rest of us were negative, re-shuffling work discussed, recording shorted (but done)....
By the time I got things done, dad had to wait for 1.5 hours after doctor cleared him for discharge.
Tired, exhausted.... yet God is still good
My brother actually managed to drive really slowly for 400km and he even managed to borrow another car to get dad so that we can all move everything with dad out of the hospital at the same time!
This was really nothing short of a miracle
Even tough we were exhausted and by the time we got dad settled to bed resting at home, it was already close to 2am in the morning, all was still well.
No more accidents for the day and everyone was home safe respectively; even though there is just another 3 more months of challenge to go, we are just grateful things are heading towards the end of the lighted tunnel.
What I have learned throughout this big hurdle (after my dad almost died losing 3 pines of blood)...
When we know where we stand, we are able to stay calm and see what are needed to be done.
Moreover knowing that there's a "higher power" (for me is my God Almighty, Lord and Savior), there is no need to panic.
Patella (knee cap) is VERY IMPORTANT, and it is more complication towards recovery compared to other broken bones in the leg. Even my mom's total knee replacement could recover faster than a Patella fracture.
Support group is very important. I am just so fortunate to be in an extended family who though not all are wealthy millionaires, the "extra mile" we are all shepherded to "sow without conditions" in our bible study group truly reaps the harvest during crucial points.
Know your country's medical services. Malaysia is very blessed to still be in the top 5 list of best medical assistance and provision especially for senior citizens.
I am just so thankful that the government hospitals are much better compared to 15 years prior. I am happy that both my parents are still able to benefit such service even though they lost their medical insurance.
Be humble and nice to medical officers and nurses can open all the right doors when you need it the most.
Such a whirlwind of experiences friend! It is so stressful but I'm happy that you have managed the situation well.