Friday, June 20, 2014


It was going to be Mother's Day that Sunday and I was hoping to take my Mum out for lunch and a small gathering with a few of my friends and family members. However, my Mum fell in the kitchen on Friday, a week before Mother's Day and because of that, her right foot was slightly sprained. My Mum assured me that nothing was wrong with her foot when I left home for work in the morning of that incident so I was not really worried. At about 11.00 o'clock, I received a phone call from the guy who was supposed to ferry my Mum to and from the dialysis centre. He told me that my Mum could hardly walk. I immediately rushed home and I could see that her foot was slightly swollen. I took her to see the doctor and the x-ray showed that nothing was broken or fractured. I was grateful but still worried. My Mum was a very independent woman and before she started her dialysis treatment seven years ago, she still went to the market to buy groceries. She even went to pay the bills on her own. After she started her dialysis, she was still doing house chores that many elderly women her age had stopped doing. I was worried that she was going to feel helpless and lost since she could not do the things that she always did. To make matter worse, her fistulla on her left arm was also blocked. This happened the following Monday which also happened to be a public holiday. I had just sent her to the dialysis centre and had gone to buy groceries at a hypermarket nearby when I received another call from the staff at the dialysis centre telling me that no blood could come out from her fistulla. I was alarmed and I immediately left my shopping to see what was happening. My second sister and my niece had just arrived to visit my Mum but they could only see her for 30 minutes before I took my Mum to the specialist centre in Ipoh where she had her fistulla done more than eight years ago. Heavens must have been smiling down on me on that day because although it was a public holiday and most of the doctors were away, the consultant general surgeon was there. He had just finished a surgery and immediately came to see my Mum. He was a very nice guy and very soft-spoken. He took a look at my Mum's fistulla and told me that he could only determine the exact problem with my Mum's fistulla after proper scanning and examination. It seemed that my Mum's fistulla had narrowed a little bit and it was also slightly blocked. He advised me on what was best for my Mum and I immediately agreed to his suggestions. He arranged for a corrective surgery to take place on the next day and for the IJC (Internal Jugular Catheter) to be inserted temporarily before the wound on her fistulla could heal properly. The doctor also told me that the healing period for this kind of surgery differed for different people but he said he would see if my Mum's fistulla would be ready to be used again after a week. The surgery took a few hours and by that time, my youngest brother and sister-in-law had already arrived. One day after the surgery, the IJC was inserted through my Mum's internal jugular vein so she could resume her dialysis treatment. I decided to go on with the planned Mother's Day celebration but on a smaller scale. I could not bear to see my Mum on the hospital bed on that special day. Together with my younger brothers and sister-in-law, we took her to her favourite Chinese food restaurant to celebrate. I'm quite sure that the other patrons at the restaurant were shocked when we walked into the restaurant. There we were with our Mum who was sitting on a wheelchair with the IJC hanging from her neck and her left arm bandaged from the surgery. Lunch was fabulous and fantastic. My Mum looked really happy and she ate more than usual. My Mum's fistulla miraculously healed after a week and her first dialysis using the new fistulla went without any problem at all. My Mum had to stay in the hospital for a week and during her stay, quite a number of people came to visit. Those who were unable to visit sent their prayers. My uncle and his family including his grandchildren came almost every day. My neighbours drove all the way to Ipoh just to visit my Mum. My colleagues dropped by in the evening after work. My bffs, CoCo and Shi, took a few of days' leave from work to give me and my Mum moral support. My elder brother came back and called every day after that. My eldest sister brought her special layered cake which my Mum loved. My second youngest brother came every day before and after work so I could take a breather. Everything was well and I assumed that everything had settled down but I was wrong. The dialysis centre where my Mum went for her treatment had to be shut down temporarily because there were a few procedures that were not adhered to properly. We were given only a few days' notice and I had no other choice but to find a new centre for my Mum. Luckily, there was this one dialysis centre that still had a vacancy for my Mum. I also had to find some sort of help around the house since I had to go to work in the morning. Nobody would be at home to help my Mum get ready for her dialysis treatment because she still could not walk properly. I had also told her that she had to take a rest if she wanted to be up on her feet again and that meant no more tinkering around the house while I was at work. I was at lost until I remembered about this lady who used to help my neighbour's grandmother a couple of years ago. I managed to get her number and I arranged to meet her personally at her house. I told her my situation and what I expected her to help me with. Kak Minah (that is what we call her) immediately requested to see my Mum and I took her to my house so she could see what she would be dealing with. I also wanted both of them to get acquainted. She immediately agreed to help around the house but she would not be able to come on Tuesdays since she had to attend a weekly meeting. I could not say no to her request since I knew domestic help could be quite difficult to find especially at such short notice. I also asked her to do whatever that she thought was necessary around the house but her main responsibility was to help my Mum and keep her company. At the moment, my daily routine has changed. I have to wake up much earlier than usual because I had to fetch Kak Minah from her house before I leave for work at 7.00. I also have to send my Mum to the centre at 11.30 every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and I am thankful that my superiors understand my situation. At the moment, everything is going smoothly and I am planning to ask Kak Minah to accompany my Mum at home even after my Mum gets well. Both of them seem to get along really well. She is a jovial and funny person whom I am sure can make my Mum happy and occupied while I am at work. My Mother's Day plan might not have gone the way that I planned it to be but hey, every day is Mother's Day to me and I am grateful to Allah for giving me the strength and patience to do what I have to do. I am also thankful to those around me who have shown their support, love and understanding towards me and my Mum. Indeed, I am lucky and blessed. Happy belated Mother's Day to all and may Allah bless our mothers. Amein.

My Mum at the hospital's dialysis centre

My second youngest brother and my Mum after her first IJC dialysis

My Mum having dinner while using her newly-repaired fistulla for the first time

My Mum at the new dialysis centre

My Mum's IJC which I asked to keep after it was taken out