We were at NUH again on Friday for a follow up on Abacus’s bronchitis, after bringing him to the A&E on Monday. The appointment itself was pretty fast, and after buying packed lunches (I prefer to feed them at home rather than struggle outside) I brought the boys past the Paediatric ICU (ah, memories), up to the large open air playground in between the children’s wards and the Shaw-NKF Children’s Kidney Centre. It’s already a challenge for adults to have to undergo dialysis, I can’t imagine what it must be like for those kids. As we left we, the smell of the hand sanitizer reminded me of those short days at PICU. They say smell is a very powerful trigger for memories, and the sanitizer always reminds me of room 4. All ended in happy memories, of course.
Going to the hospital is always an experience – I always wonder what the other kids are there for, and sometimes because it’s obvious that they aren’t normal healthy children, and I mean that in the best possible way, I feel both sad and sorry for them and immensely blessed at the same time. Not to say that they might not be leading happy lives, but just the challenges that they as children have to face.
I’m quite convinced that a quick way out of depression is to spend time in any hospital just observing the other patients. (Preferably Government hospitals, in Private ones you might just end up observing Ferraris.) Even when Abacus was in the PICU, I almost always left ward 46A feeling like our struggles were nothing compared to the others.
Then I came home to find out on FB that a little girl named Charmaine, who had been fighting neuroblastoma cancer for a long time, had passed away at age 8. I can’t begin to fathom the pain for her, and her parents, and to all those whose lives she touched.
There are times when I feel lucked out, envious of others’ lives or capabilities, feeling like I got the raw end of the deal, etc., I’m sure many of us get that every now and then. But there sure is nothing like a good meal of humble pie to remind you of what you do have, and how great that is.
- CURE childhood cancer Quiet Heroes (saintvintage.wordpress.com)