Tuesday to Thursday were fairly routine. At 5am, a nurse will come to check the blood pressure. I wonder why my BP sometime shot up to 159/86 while I was in hospital. My normal one hardly breached 140. Then again hospital is a stressful place. By 7am another nurse will come to check my blood sugar content which has gone beyond control. Only for the past past few days it has gone down to 9 – 10 level. Now the doctor has decided that I cannot rely on pills anymore. I have to be injected with insulin. Well, its never too late to start to learn to be a drug addict!!. Fortunately for the past few days the injection were done by the nurses. Two fingers away from the navel, swipe with alcohol and zooop goes the needle. Press the syringe and hold for 10 seconds. Withdraw the needle and swipe the needle mark with alcohol swab. All seemed very simple. Wait till I have to do it myself.
By 730am, the bland tasteless breakfast will arrive. Coffee with skimmed milk, oats with milk. Then the count draculas will come to draw blood. For the past four days I have been here, they have drawn blood from my arm not less than 10 times. My inner arms near the elbow joint are now black and blue on both sides. It is not very painful but very irritating. A few times I asked the doctors what were they for, the answers range from testing for infection, testing for virus, testing for thyroid, etc. Can’t they take a few samples and kept them somewhere secure and safe and whenever they want to do some tests or whatever just use the stored stock rather keep withdrawing from the hapless patient.
Then the MO will come asking the same questions over and over again and taking notes. Do a bit of physical examination. By 10am or 11am the specialist would come with coterie of doctors and the whole House MD episode can be seen. The specialist would explain to me the situation and what they are doing which most of the time confusing me. After four days and various testing they are still nowhere near any possible reasons for my bloatedness.
Today, I am scheduled to go for ultrasound check, supposedly the check that could unravel a lot of things. They could not get an earlier date, so it is today. As usual I was wheeled to the scanning theatre on the first floor. One Dr Nurul was attending me. After several swipes of the jelly laden scanning head around my abdomen, she asked a startling question. ” Are you having cancer?” Gulp. Agghhh. “No”. “They are many nodules and lesions on your liver”. After a few minutes a specialist came along and they bantered a bit about life in Long Island New York. Oi Hello, what about me? After a few minutes she said, I am done. My liver is cirrhotic, some lesions that maybe cancerous. The possibility is quite high she said. But she is not completely sure. The team at the ward has to decide what to do she said. I am quite amazed at my calmness at receiving this news. I reckon I have been priming myself at all sort of possibilities. As a Muslim, I have to redha at whatever is coming. I truly believe, Allah is not going to burden you with something that you cannot bear.
As I was wheeled back to the ward, the assistant chided me for reading the report. I did not understand much of it anyway. Dr Nurul was playing it safe. Nowhere in the report she said anything about cancerous. As I can see it, the kidneys are OK, the prostate not enlarged and a few other things that sound very Greek to me.
Back at the ward, the gastroentrologist Dr. Mohan ( I hope I got that right) came followed by the specialist, Dr See. He said the result was quite unexpected. They’ll arrange for CT scan to be done as quickly as possible to confirm. More blood samples to be drawn – tumour marker to check that the tumour has not gone anywhere else.
My mind was playing several scenes on how I am going to break the news to the family. My wife is very strong lady, she definitely can take it, but how am I going to break it to them when they come this evening? Salam everybody, dad may have cancer. That’s it. But Allah is very merciful, as soon as my wife and son came in that afternoon, the team of doctors incidentally came in as well. They did the explaining. The family take it quite well. As I predicted, my wife took it very calmly. Now how I am going to remove this TB marker on my left arm.