Though not as planned.
I'm just taking a longer journey, a different route because the road available has been closed to me. It's time for a new venture, a new experience and a new learning.
"So, how are you, Aliya?" my gyneacologist greeted me as he made his checks around the wards.
Clad in the pink uniform patients wear, I was already on the hospital bed having admitted myself at 8.30 on Sunday morning.
The following medical checkup was not good. Not good at all.
The ultrasound scan revealed the size of the fibroid. As I had feared.
"Hmm, the continuous bleeding have caused it to grow back to normal size, and too large for the laproscope. We'd have to do an open surgery to remove it," said the well-known and highly-respected gyneacologist.
"Oh, do we have to do an open surgery? No other way?" I was quick to ask. Thump thump thump, my heart beat.
"Unless you want another 3 months of injections before we arrange for another checkup and laproscope surgery. Since you're continuing bleeding despite the medicine, I won't advise it."
"Oh doctor, you're not going to remove my uterus, are you? Just the fibroid?"
"Don't worry. I promise you I'll remove only the fibroid. I'm very uterus friendly," he smiled kindly.
And then he sprang another surprise.
"We'll do the surgery later. Your blood pressure is high (based on the readings taken by nurses when I checked-in) and I'm giving you medicine to bring it down before we can proceed. You'd need at least 10 days for the medicine to work, so I'd suggest 2 weeks from now. Do you prefer surgery on Wednesday 13th or the following Monday?"
O, tell me, how do you cope with two bad news within 3 minutes?
I took a deep breath and said, "I don't think I can make it on 13th as my husband will be out of town. 17th is better."
"Good then, you check in on 15th and we'll operate on 17th."
"Doctor, should I return to school?" I was thinking of exam papers, meetings, students to discipline, etc. Enough to raise blood pressure above 120/80.
"Oh, we'll give you medical leave till you check in. Go home and rest. Come back with a good BP reading."
I called Husband and gave him the news. We had initially agreed that he'd return home once I've settled in and the surgery's confirmed. Instead we had to wait for the green light to check out.
For those who are alien to government hospital procedures, let me explain. It's easy to be admitted at a hospital but difficult to get yourself discharged. I had to wait for a physician to prescribe my medication for blood pressure (10am-4.15 pm), then take the medicine at the pharmacy before it closes at 5pm, then take the billing receipt from the officer in charge at the registrar, before I was finally discharged and given a new letter of admittance to hospital and a medical certificate. While waiting, I had lunch and tea on my air-conditioned hospital bed. And how much was I charged for a day's stay? RM3.00 for the bed, hahaha.
As I'm a civil servant eligible for 1st class ward, I'm only charged for the bed in the air-conditioned room. It was an interesting stay. There was an Indian lady who has decided not to have any more children, a pregnant Malay lady who's praying that she won't suffer another miscarriage, and another Chinese lady who needs a surgery as she suffers great abdominal pain for 2 days each month. We talked as we lay on our own beds, shared our stories and comforted each other.
And we all felt that there's something wrong with the automatic machine used by the nurses to read of our blood pressure.
"There's something wrong with the machine la. I always take mine and it has never been this high."
"I don't know. I didn't have enough sleep, being nervous about this operation the whole night and they already took the reading 10 minutes after I sat the bed. How accurate can that reading be?"
"Can you believe mine? My afternoon reading is higher than the morning's."
But we know the risk.
"The anaesthetist warned me not to risk surgery with an above-normal reading of blood pressure. We might suffer a stroke halfway during surgery and might never recover."
Three of us checked-in for Monday's surgery. Two returned home due to suspected high blood pressure. As I bade them goodbye, I wish them all the best. I'm blessed for having friendly and kind roommates for a day.
"Sabar, Allah swt knows best," advised my tired husband as we left the hospital at 5.30pm. He had waited at the hospital since morning for me to be discharged, so that he could take me home.
I am home now. Tired but upbeat. Still hopeful and positive. Oh, I did cry a little at the disappointment of not being able to go for laproscope surgery, as the open-surgery mymectomy poses a higher risk of infection and longer recovery rate. I'm taking my medication as prescribed.
I don't know why it's being delayed again. I guess Allah swt has other plans for me. Perhaps it's not the best time. Perhaps it's not the best method of surgery for me. I can only pray that I could have surgery done safely on the rescheduled date.
Syukur alhamdulillah for all His blessings and all His mercies. My Mom and brother had rushed to the hospital when they found out that it's being postponed, fearing for my emotional health. They met a smiling me, who quietly accepts the change of plans. My husband, tired as he was, had been my pillar of strength and counsellor the whole of yesterday. We had prayed together and recited the surah Yassin together when we reached home. It always feels good to pray together with my husband. Alhamdulillah for that.
It's the second time the surgery's postponed.
It's something beyond my control. Time to move on. Life continues, regardless.
InsyaAllah, I'll savour this extra time before surgery to rest, read, help those who may need help, cheer those who need cheer, and do whetever He had decided for me to do. And most importantly, time to be closer to Him.
Alhamdulillah life is good.
I've gained a new experience yesterday at the hospital, get to know many interesting characters. I've made another milestone in my journey of life. Learn another level of patience. Learning to accept the things I can change, and things I can't, and being wise enough to know the difference. That's good.
And as I salam with the nurses who were sorry for me, I had told them, "InsyaAllah, see you soon."
Surah al-Ankabut:1 " Do men think that they will be left alone saying,"We believe" and that they will not be tested?"