I read Andrea Whatever's latest blogpost with a tinge of sadness, emphatising and symphatising with her predicament. Who doesn't love her daddy, ya?
Little did I know, barely a day after, I had to face a similar turn of events.
I was attending to a conference call at 7pm ish on Monday evening. Forgot to switch my phone to silent mode and lo and behold ...it went off in the middle of the call. I saw on the screen it was from my sister (Ibu Noi) but couldn't possibly answer it pronto and pressed 'decline'. I muted the phone instanstaneously too. Sorry kak!
After the conference call, I went on to study a file for some facts & figures, for an urgent recommendation to be made. I completely forgot re Ibu Noi's missed call and only realised when I was packing home. By then it was almost 9.00 pm.
I called her and apologised immediately.
She sounded calm in response to my kelam kabutness mintak maap.
Which was not quite ordinary of Ibu Noi.
For Ibu and Ibu Noi, we are two of a kind, kembar siam of some sort (though 6 years apart). My kelam kabut typically begets her kelam kabut in return.
So her calmness was not at all typical of her.
Which I knew then - something was not right.
In a calm and collected tone, she told me, bapak was not well.
NO!!!! Oh no.....
Yes, he was not well.
BUT he was ok during Raya. We went beraya together to Malacca, the whole family. And he was ok when I left JB after Raya leave!?!!!
Yes, but that was about 10 (or 12?) days ago.
Slumped into my chair, numbed, not knowing what to think and what to say, I asked Ibu Noi if should I be going back 'home' (JB) immediately. She said I should discuss with Ayah but she personally thought that I should. I thought I should too. I called Ayah and he asked me to go home (Rawang) first as it was already past 9pm when I called him (from the office).
On my way home, tears flooded my car. Being the youngest, suffice to say that it's undeniable I was very-very manja with Bapak. Always refered to as 'Anak Bapak'. Countless memories of my childhood and growing up with Bapak flashed in & out.
Discussion with Ayah didn't take long, he simply asked to pack what's necessary and off we shall go. It was just Ayah & I, as baby Alisya was a bit feverish & coughing, and the two boys were almost already in bed. They also had to sit for their monthly tests the day after.
We reached JB at about 2 am ish. We learned that this time it's not about his heart. His blood pressure ok, resting heart beat ok, thickness of blood (?) within range. And after consulting the attending doctor and weighing all opinions and options, they decided to bring him to rest at home instead of staying at the hospital.
The ordeal was just starting.
Bapak has been in and out of consciousness. He's now bedridden, cannot move on his own.
When I was in JB last 2 days, there were moments when he was alert and fully recognised people around him, and there were moments when he completely lost it.
I stayed mostly by his side, on his bed, that night. Don't think I slept at all, maybe dozed off once in a while whilst crouching next to him, trying my best to recite whatever I could whenever I could.
As of Tuesday morning, he could still take in some rice porridge, though a very minimal amount. However, swallowing was an ardous task for him .
Throughout the day and the night that followed, we all continued to recite surah Yaasin and other surahs, in congregation as well as individually, as often as we could . We took turns to stay beside him and whispered syahadah into his ears over and over again.
Later on that evening, with the help of a young nephew doctor (bless him) who kindly did 'house visit' for bapak, he was put on sodium chloride drip via IV at home to reduce dehydration.
His condition improved slightly momentarily. With some help, he was propped up a bit. He started to talk a bit. And we all gathered around him, taking turns to come up close to him & personally seeking forgiveness, one by one. He responded well, and recognised almost all of us, including the cucus and menantus.
But as I said, just momentarily.
That was, for the time being, the only time that he was fully alert. After about 1-2 hours, he regressed, looked weak and tired, and dozed in & out of consciousness all over again.
There was once he nudged me softly with his elbow and asked for his porridge. But he could not swallow easily. And so the rice porridge had to be blended into puree form. And his Glucerna milk drink be spoon fed and plain water be sipped with a straw.
We all continued to be by his side, reciting whatever we could muster.
Every one, and I mean everyone (except for my own children who were in Rawang) was there. And everyone slept just anywhere. Ayah & I stayed on another night too.
By Wednesday morning, his condition deteriorated slightly further. He could not swallow even a spoonful of plain water. So they had to use medicine syringe.
My heart broke in deciding whether to stay on or to return to KL. On one hand I have my bapak in that condition, and on another I have my young kids and my diabetic mother in law
left in Rawang. We concluded to return to KL but made plans to be back home to JB again Friday evening.
And as of this morning, according to Ibu Noi, his condition has not improved. He couldn't even swallow the rice puree without spilling it out again seconds after.
He managed to voice that he wanted to perform his prayer and my siblings assisted him with his wudhu and helped recite the prayers into his ear as guidance for him to perform his solat via eye signals and head movement.
I listened intensely with sorrow amidst much hope to the few hourly phone updates from Ibu Noi or whoever managed to pick up my calls.
Only my body is here. My mind elsewhere, somewhere in between some unfinished task at work and matters at home (kids, MIL, etc). My heart all the way in JB, hoping that Allah would grant time for me to be able to meet Bapak again tomorrow evening, InsyaAllah.
To Bapak, kami akan usaha apa yg patut agar Bapak cepat sembuh. Dan pada masa yang sama kami semua akur dan redha akan apa yang terbaik mengikut ketetapan Allah. We shall do our best to assist you to recuperate, while at the same time pray and submit to God's will.
At all time I stay reminded that everything is in God's willing. Kun Fayakuun - if he wills a thing, he only needs to command the reality of the entity and it shall instantly comes into existence.
And at all time I stay reminded that so limitless is Allah in His divine glory, whose hand is the dominion of all things. Wa ilaihi turjauun - and to Him will all His creation be returned.
Here I am hoping & praying for the best, whatever it could be.
Ibu @ Anak Bapak