Sunday, July 10, 2011

Inpatients: To Visit or Not To Visit?


oh dear... i am losing touch at updating my blog frequently haven’t i. i guess i won’t be one of those successful bloggers who can make money out of writing. do forgive me the fact that i have a stable job that demands more of my attention lately.

but nevertheless, here i am. today, with all the rallies and commotion about Bersih 2.0 going on, no i’m still not going to talk about that issue. wait till i read up more on politics and understand it’s endless dramas as aside to the real deal, then will i start sharing my thoughts with you on anything political. in the mean time, consider me A-Political! ;P

today i’m gonna share with you on a topic that still gets some of you or other people’s minds out there boggled. To visit or not to visit someone sick in hospital.

First of all, MOST of you would of course say “MUST VISIT!”. why? Some of you might answer “sebab orang tu sakit, kenalar visit! kesian dier!”... but still, why? is your presence there going to make the disease any better? sure, there’s that slight possibility the type of sickness will render the patient dead in a few days and you feel the need to visit them one last time, but how about those just admitted to get recovery and REST?? and now he/she has to entertain a few bunch of you when u come visit them?? ever considered that he/she might be too sick to even talk to you? and what?! don’t tell me you’re all there to talk amongst yourself and catch on up on each other’s daily activities, while he/she might actually need peace and quiet to REST????

ok. No i’m not writing this so that in future you don’t visit your sick mother who was in hospital. or anybody at all for that matter. that would be just so cruel. i mostly want to share my experiences on what happened during my limited working experience as an attending doctor and a relative to a sick family member. that not all patients would want visitors to visit them. and some of them don’t really want you to stay with them, long enough that you don’t know where you live anymore. So how to identify the ones that do than the ones that don’t? and if you HAVE to visit all, how do you go about it? are there ethics in visiting patients? sure there is! Here’s roughly how:

  • DO VISIT when someone is admitted for childbirth if you can. coz delivering a baby and seeing them to say your hearty congratulations is mostly appreciated. But try not visiting straight after the mother had JUST finished delivering. she is obviously pushed back to her room to get some rest from the “marathon” she had while pushing her baby out. and to expect all of you crowding up to her congratulating and asking her “does it hurt or not?” or “ohemgee! how did it feel??” will not help her get the rest she sooooo rightfully deserves! plus, some will have to undergo caesarean section and will most probably be on sedative analgesia and would be too sleepy to talk to you! but if ur there, talking amongst yourself and to the father in the same room, memang susah lar nak tido kan! so please BE SENSITIVE! i’m sure you’ve not heard any of them complaining to you or ‘tarik muka’ when you can’t visit them at the hospital. for most uncomplicated deliveries, the mother and child will be discharged in a day. so you have all the time in the world after that to make a visit to see them.
  • DO VISIT your relative or friend whose admitted for some disease that is known to be fatal (ie shortened his/her lifespan in the near future). These would be patients diagnose with debilitating diseases like most cancers or terminally ill stroke patients or heart disease patients. just to name a few common ones. how can u know? well since you are close to the person that you’re going to be visiting, i’m sure you are interested to know what he/she is having. right? and u’ll be hearing such things like “i’m afraid, there is no cure for this disease” from the doctors. and usually these patients will have FREQUENT admissions whether from disease progress complications or remission. and by then mmg banyak lar your chances to visit them , EVERYTIME they’re admitted. but izzit necessary? 
  • DON'T VISIT IMMEDIATELY if ur someone not really close or can't contribute to helping more to the patient than just “showing face”. Why? because they will definitely have family members/very close friends to do that. coz believe it or not, i’ve been told by a few patients to not allow any visitors that day except close family and friends. and if you really have to, MAKE IT SHORT and SWEET! Yer lar! just imagine if he/she just had a heart attack and is on oxygen therapy and lying there on the bed in need of adequate rest. you plak datang ramai-ramai not able to talk to him/her but instead to just stare at him lying there on the bed. when u get bored, you start talking to other ppl around you. and then your kids starts chasing each other around in the room!! sheeessshhh!! You are most likely the one responsible to cause him another heart attack!!!

ok. maybe some of you won’t agree with me on this. but terpulanglar. i’m just saying don’t be selfish when it comes to just pleasing yourself as if you’ve done your part by visiting the patient. BE SENSITIVE to the person you’re visiting. if he makes a facebook status announcement that he is admitted in the ward, then chances are he most definitely wants you to visit him. and most of the time, this scenario applies to younger patients who are admitted for non-fatal diseases and thinks it’s cool to be admitted in the ward. but you don’t see it done amongst your aunties and uncles or even your grandparent’s friends. what they need from you most is your prayers and well-wishes for a speedy recovery. and if you do happen to be able to visit them, LOOK at their condition. if they are cheerful and not morbid enough to entertain you, then yes, they appreciate your visit. but still, most malaysians are known for their courteous manners (especially the old-timers, coz they are less rude than the new age people). so they would muster all the energy they can to entertain a visiting guest until they couldn’t anymore and excuse themselves to rest. even so, again and again i stress this. BE SENSITIVE. and make your visits short when necessary. After all, the reason they are admitted into a hospital is to get treatment, taken care of personally, be fed, and GET BETTER. not to boast and want visitors to JUST VISIT.

coz if that is what you only care about, just visiting, then you should have visit them when they were healthy and can actually CONVERSE with you with full stamina and not breathing through a face mask or attached to a life support machine! Masa orang tu sihat takder masa pulak nak tunjuk care and rapatkan silaturrahim! you get free drinks some more! or even lunch if you’re lucky! so if u tell me you’re visiting because you care (rather than admitting to just SHOW FACE) puhlleeeasssseeee larrr!! wait till they are discharged and needs nursing at home for changing their diapers and cooking for them. Ha! by that time OFFER this CARING side of yours by relieving their family members off those duties for one day. JUST ONE DAY. Cuba lar!! i’m not saying to those close family members tau! itu pun ada yang susah nak take turn jaga mak bapak dier sakit!

Oklar. i guess i’ve shared what it is i wanted to share. Simply because, iDISLIKE being the one scolded (a few times mind you! Ughh!) by relatives/friends when told that the patient requested to not be disturbed. If you don’t agree with me, that’s totally fine. hopefully when the time comes when you do get admitted from some illness (which you will if you live till you’re old by the way), don’t request a personal one-bedded room for privacy but only to have it filled with your own visitors crowding up to you and then complain that you’re not getting better from inadequate rest!! i mean, you even have your OWN ROOM at home, and you don’t let guests come in and lepak there, but coming to get well in a hospital, you boleh pulak nak share your room with your sisters, uncles and aunties and friends all at one time to lepak with you. SUCH IRONY!! I speak, as well, on behalf of the makcik and pakcik hospital guards that gets yelled at for doing their job to make sure people comes visiting during VISITING HOURS. WE work for the hospital and SERVE the patients. NOT THE DEMANDS OF THE RELATIVES/FRIENDS. 

So again.


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