Surviving a heart attack!
It started the night of Saturday, the 9th May at about 1.20 am. A warm sensation around my chest kept getting stronger. I tried drinking some water, thinking that it was heartburn and would soon go off. Well, it didn’t, rather the pain got worse. At about 4 am, it became unbearable and my wife and second daughter took me to a private hospital in Seremban, where the doctor told me to “trust him” as he knew what he was doing.
Nothing he did made any difference to the pain and all the while they kept telling me that my regular doctor was being kept informed and would be arriving in the next half and hour or so. That family doctor arrived only at 10.00 am, and told me that the indications were that I had suffered a heart attack! But it was my clear feeling that after about 4 – 5 hours in this hospital that they had done nothing to alleviate my pain or to help out in my healing.
At 10.00 am, I gave up and asked my wife to call my brother in Subang Jaya. I had not wanted to bother him. After all, I was in a so called premier health institute in Seremban, or so I thought. My brother and sister in law arrived not long after with my second nephew and his wife, who are both doctors. That was when things got interesting. My niece in law looked at my files and asked a string of questions on why this and that were not done, to which she got unsatisfactory answers. She called her superiors in HUKM, told them about my case and they agreed to admit me.
I was put into an ambulance and arrived in HUKM about 1 pm. My brother and sister in law had arrived a little earlier and gotten me registered, so by the time I arrived, I was whisked straight to the CCU. The rest of Sunday was a blur as the doctors frantically covered for the wasted time by the Seremban Hospital.
The HUKM. I must have been somewhere in this building. I have to go back for physiotheraphy soon. I should have time to explore and get to know this Hospital better.
The angiogram was done on the Monday, the 11th. I was retained at the CCU for another 3 days and spent the last day, Friday at the Recovery Ward, before being discharged. My diagnosis from HUKM said it was a “missed anteroseptal MI complicated with VT, Post PCI LAD”. I am not sure what all these fancy terms mean, but it sure seems to match my feeing that the Seremban Hospital screwed around with my health.
I have nothing but praise and gratitude for the HUKM doctors and nurses. And even their cleaning team. I am very grateful for the sterling health services provided to me with a clear sense of service beyond expectations.
Maybe the fact that my niece in law was a Doctor at this huge hospital might have helped. But I agree completely with what my new friend at the recovery ward, En. Othman, has to say. He had been admitted for the same procedure about a few days earlier. He was 69 years old, and called me a kid! He told me that he still remembered the days of Japanese Occupation and the conditions of the country in the years of the past. If there was one example he would show that our country had developed to first world status, it would be HUKM!
I am back at home now, resting, and slowly working to getting back to the normal grind of my life. I have a whole new and fresh canvas to be drawn regarding my life and future. The Life Contingency Manual has taken on an increasing sense of urgency. Many other seemingly unimportant things have taken a new hue of importance and vice versa.
My family responded to this crisis in a manner I can only wonder at. My wife, two elder girls and the younger kids all pulled their weights and supported one another as I became a burden instead of the normal role of provider / supporter. Maybe this is final confirmation that my two elder girls are now adults and that I can let go.
And to my unearned and purely God given gifts of brothers, sisters in law, nephews and nieces in law, I can only say thanks for your being pillars of support to me and my family in our time of need.