Tuesday, 14 June 2011

"I Was Trying To Be Clever"

She's almost a wonder woman this little lady whom her nearest and dearest fondly call Tok Mi. She's my Mum, just turned 84, and she lives by herself with a very dependable maid in Old PJ.

All her life she has been generally healthy all and only in the last five years or so developed a touch of diabetes and hypertension. Tok Mi recently had a knee job done. Barely one month post-op she was happily walking around, albeit a little slowly, but pain-free and without a tongkat.

This year apparently is the year for weddings amongst our relatives and friends. In the recent school holidays there were weddings back-to-back. With her new knee she was looking forward to attending them all. She was with us in Terengganu for my sons' engagement and wedding, very much enjoying the change in air and fare. When I was still conked out from the various ceremonies, Tok Mi had my brother (no. 2 sibling) drive her to her little bungalow in the kampong in Melaka for the monthly stay-over and house maintenance.

Last Saturday at one of the kenduris she had complained of dizziness but seemed to be ok after taking some food, although not as chirpy as usual. We thought that she might be overly fatigued from her social jaunts.

Sunday, as everyone at home were getting ready to go out for our 30th anniversary lunch, my elder sister (no. 3 sibling) phoned me to come over to Tok Mi's IMMEDIATELY.

"Why, what happened?" I asked.

"CEPAT!! Ada EMERGENCY!!!" she loudly sobbed.

"OK, OK, OK.."

In the car as hubby drove I called another sister, the calm and collected youngest (no. 9).

"I'm going over to Tok Mi's now, so what should I expect?" I enquired.

"Oh.. Tokmi pengsan, I'll be on my way in about 10 minutes", she said coolly

When we arrived the UH ambulance was already there and Tok Mi inside it with no. 3. Turned out elder brother (no. 1) and his wife had rang for it when the maid phoned them about Tok Mi. Actually she had already regained consciousness and was very alert after the paramedics attended to her. She had had a hypoglycaemic episode i.e very low blood sugar with a reading of 1.6 when normal is about 5.5.

The maid found her on the carpeted floor when she heard her fall off her chair in the bedroom. Tok Mi's eyes were shut and she was in delirium. Thankfully the maid had the presence of mind to make the necessary calls fast.

When she came to, right after being given some oxygen and a shot of glucose directly into her bloodstream, she was surprised to see so many people around and even asked why my sister-in-law, who was actually on her way to a (yes, you've guessed it) yet another wedding, why she was dressed so nicely.

It was a great relief for everyone. The paramedics still had to take her to hospital so doctors can determine the cause of her low sugar.

When asked where she had kept her IC and Pensioner's Card, she immediately answered where. In that locked drawer and the keys are in... OK musn't tell this, it's her secret place. Amazing that she could blurt it out right after being unconscious.

Later we joked we should have asked for her ATM pin too.

At the ER, another sister (no. 4) who knew about Tok Mi's medications was puzzled the diabetes pills weren't in her pills purse. If she hadn't taken them she would have been hyperglycaemic (high sugar), not low. After all she had eaten rich kenduri food the day before and she said she had roti canai for breakfast.

"So did you take your diabetes pills?", the doctor asked, "what shape are they?"

"They are the little round ones, Doctor", she said, "I take half a pill every morning".

"Did you take it this morning?"

"Yes, of course, but since yesterday when I saw my feet were slightly swollen I was scared the diabetes might have gotten worse, so I took a whole pill in the morning and another whole one in the evening. Also this morning, one whole pill", she smiled...

Aghast No. 4 and I went "WHAT???? You shouldn't have done that..., the pills made your sugar hit rock-bottom"

"Alahai...  is that so? I didn't know lah, I was thinking going to the clinic is so leceh"

The doctor was relieved too that the cause was pinned down and told her in no uncertain terms that she shouldn't self-medicate at all. But they will still have to retain her overnight for observations and take the opportunity to do blood and urine profilings, a chest x-ray and a Mantoux test for some coughing from which she had not fully recovered from.

Tok Mi was discharged yesterday and called me from the hospital to fetch her. Yes she had looked up the phone-book in her memory, amazing the man who had lent her his cellphone. He was looking after his mother in the next bed.

Another younger sister (no. 8) came to help with the discharge procedures - at UH it can be a bit tedious, you'd have to queue at the pharmacy on the ground floor to get your prescription filled, then queue at admin. on the second to make the payment, though in Tokmi's case the whole thing was FOC by virtue of her being the wife of a government pensioner (even if  deceased), then you had to sign a form and leave your IC to borrow a wheelchair, and then return it to the ward, in this instance on the 12th floor.

While having dinner at her house and discussing this episode Tokmi remarked "Tak berani lagi aku nak tambah-tambah ubat bila doktor dah hukum. I'll never do it again".

"So why did you?", we asked..

"I was trying to be clever"..

And those were her exact words.


Marina Monroe said...

Tok Mi is so cute..

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Aunty Zen,
That was a scare isn't it? Bahaya self medication ni. purrr...meow!

a.j. said...


risau baca. Ya Allah. Auntie Zen, im dead worry. Im coming home tomorrow.

This kind of story reminds me of Tok Man and uncle zoob. both just in time when i got back.

Ya Allah. risau bace.

Zendra-Maria said...

Marina, she is, isn't she?

Cats, tulah... clever ppl study 6 years to learn medicine

Ayub, Tokmi is back to her old self, she has no memory about falling unconscious but she remembered very clearly being too clever hehehe

Ezza said...

sometimes....saya pun macam tok mi..memandai sendiri dan maleh nak jumpa doktor...hahaha
sekarang ni dah insaf laa bila baca ni...
Sayang tok mi...

Red Alfa said...

and didn't she noticed that I had not visited her at the hospital!

Zendra-Maria said...

Ezza... walau apa pun, IC dan kad klinik jangan disorok dalam tin lactogen tau.. hehehe

Zendra-Maria said...

RA, she misses nothing, doesn't she?