Wednesday, March 10

When Life and Death meets

Is there a shortage of hospital beds in Singapore government hospital?

Lisa died of ovarian cancer some months back.

On the last few days before she died, she was placed in a 6-room ward.

With 5 other much younger mothers who had just given birth.

Lisa was unconscious and had an oxygen mask over her face. There were about 20 of us there who were gathering around Lisa, and some cried.

On the other hand, the other 5 patients laid on the bed and kept to themself, some holding their newborn babies, some chatting with their hubbies.

I found it pretty ironic how we all ended up in the same room. A simple reason was that the gynaecology department deals with both life and death -pregnant women and also patients with reproductive system issues such as ovarian cancer.

I felt sorry for the fellow patients. They seem to be containing their joy for the newborn, because it doesn't seem socially appropriate to be celebrating a new family member when you are beside people who are going to lose one.

Many of the ladies pulled the curtains, so that they can have some privacy, and be less mindful of the existence of the dying. We even volunteered to help the patient next to us to pull her curtains, knowing that she may be too weak to do so.

She was grateful and smiled at us with gratitude. And rightfully so.

Life and death was just a curtain away.

Not long after, Lisa was voluntarily upgraded to a 1-room ward by the hospital. A tad too late, but better late than never.

About the Author: Shingo T wonders if the hospitals that Doctor Stiletto Girl works in is this crowded.


HappySurfer said...

Sad reality of life. Thanks for sharing, Shingo.

Keats The Sunshine Girl said...

What a mix!:( Thankfully, the move to another ward was initiated.

RicAdeMus said...

That was awful to have her in with the newborns. Makes no sense.

But on the other hand, in the US we hide death maybe too much. Unless we live on a farm, most of us don't learn to see death as a regular part of life--it happens somewhere else, to someone else, out of sight and out of mind.

MKL said...

That story you wrote a while ago was very sad. And you have some good points here. I don't think it's appropriate that they put newborns and possibly dying patients in the same room. Especially, because Chinese culture has big respect for the death. I hope they would find more space in Singaporean hospitals.

Wenny Yap said...

The Management of the hospital is really a inconsiderate lot or they totally lack compassion.

Come on, ample beds or not, how can they place terminally-ill patients (irrespective of their illnesses) together with delivery ward. Common sense, duh?

Anyway, my condolences to Lisa's family.

Roxy. said...

Wow, after i read this, i turned my attention to the newspaper and I saw the headlines. Less beds in hospice. Wondering if shingo now has telepathic powers too.

Yes, there are shortage of beds in the C ward and even in the B wards. Hospital the only place to celebrate life and mourn death.

numbernine said...

In one generation being a doctor has changed from being one of the most desired professions to being one of the shittiest professions.

Lily Riani said...

the hospital - very very inconsiderate..... gosh! i tot chinese would be pantang on these right.

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