Say A Prayer -- September 2 2008
I am remembering the time we were all at the Intensive Care Unit of Pantai Medical Centre in June 1990.
Mak was lying on the bed with all sorts of tubes in her mouth, needles in her arms. It was not how we wanted our mother to be but she was very ill.
Bapak visited her regularly, holding her hands, whispering in her ears, reciting prayers.
But Mak succumbed to a heart attack after a week.
This time, we watch Bapak, frail and motionless -- tubes in his mouth, nose and arms.
It has been eight days since Bapak was admitted to the hospital for lung infection. He was treated for lung and blood infection.
There was that brief period last week when he was conscious and communicating with us. Then the infection came back and he was put on a respirator and sedated.
We were still able to be with him to recite the Yassin.
When his condition worsened, he was not allowed any visitors. Only family members were allowed in . They must don the mask and apply antiseptic on our hands before entering and after leaving his room.
When his condition did not improve, Dr Ridzwan allowed only one family member to be inside the room. It seems logical that my step-mum be with Bapak.
Dr Ridzwan wanted to make sure his infection is contained.
We are happy that at least a family member is with Bapak to comfort him and recite the Yassin and read the Quran.
When my step-mum steps out for meals or prayers or when she goes home to freshen up and rest, Bapak is alone. A nurse sits outside, keeping watch.
Since his condition worsened, he has been allowed visitors. But they can only see him from outside, through the glass panel.
Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his wife, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah visited him early last week when he had already regained consciousness after being admitted.
Dr Ridzwan briefed Tun on Bapak's condition. All the while, Tun held Bapak's hand.
I was thinking how youthful Tun looked. He is just a year younger than Bapak.
He stressed on one thing -- he never smoked.
Bapak's heavy smoking had always been Dr Ridzwan's bone of contention with Bapak.
"I have been quarreling with Pak Samad about this for the past 15 years," he remarked.
Dr Ridzwan never gave up. But Bapak is a stubborn old man.
Nina intimated, and to Dr Ridzwan's horror, that Bapak was still having his last puff about a month ago, before he became bed-ridden.
"There's nothing we could do," Nina said, forlornly.
When Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak visited Bapak yesterday, he seemed familiar with Bapak's notorious habit.
"And he was still smoking ......", Najib, said, smiling and shaking his head.
And I believe if Bapak could hear our conversation, he'd probably --- well, he is a stubborn old man.
So, the stubborn old man is now frail, listless and helpless.
We are hopeful for his recovery. We continue our do'a, our prayers.
Allah SWT knows best.
*I wanted to write a happier "Tuesday With Bapak" but Bapak did not get better. Please bear with me.
My family would like to thank all the people who visited Bapak including his old friends - Aunty Lin, PC Shivadas, Ibrahim Ngah, Philip Mathews (and wife), Tan Sri Mazlan Noordin, Wahab Majid (and Family), Syed Husin Ali, Datuk A Samad Said (and wife), Datuk Abdullah Abdul Rahman (and wife), Tun Daim Zainuddin, Tun Musa Hitam, Datuk A Kadir Jasin (and wife), Tan Sri Abdullah Ahmad, Zainuddin Maidin, Datuk Nazri Abdullah (and family), Datuk Khalid Mohd, Datuk Zahid Hamidi, Datuk Idris Tulis, Datuk Manja Ismail (and wife, Noorzita), Datuk Shukor Hassan and wife, Datuk Rejal Arbee and Datin Noraini, the family of the late Usman Awang, Datuk Ng Poh Tip, as well as former NSTP journalists Ahirudin Attan, Shamsul Akmar, Kee Thuan Chye, Aishah Ali, Rose Ismail, Hisham Harun, Baidura Ahmad, Saleha Ali, Wahti Maidin, Rusdi Mustapha, Tengku Sharifuddin, Ashraf Abdullah, Saiful Azhar and Rosidi Daud. Also Ann, Aman Ali, Hardev Kaur, Zainul Arifin, Theresa Manavalan, Kamarulzaman Salleh and Suraya Alatas.
Thank you also to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Parti Keadilan Rakyat adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and PKR leader Datuk Dr Wan Azizah who visited Bapak yesterday and Information Minister Datuk Shabery Cheek who came by on Sunday.
And also to Lim Kit Siang and Dr Tan Seng Giaw as well as Datuk Shaziman.
And to all my brothers and sisters in and outside of blogosphere for their prayers and their well wishes.
UPDATE: (3pm, Sept 2, 2008)
Bapak's kidneys are not too good and they need to put him on a dialysis. They need to make an insertion in his trachea because he has difficulty breathing.
I saw that he was getting blood transfusion. Again.
It's downhill,I was told.
I pray for a miracle.