It was when Khalida was 2 months old that I first felt a little lump on her right upper chest wall, the size of a bean. I did not pay much attention to it though, as I was more occupied nursing her back to health from the bronchiolitis that kept on taking the best out of her. However, about a couple of months back, when she was warded again for the hundredth time that I noticed the lump had grown bigger and when I spoke of it to her paediatrician, she suggested that I bring Khalida to a surgeon for a second opinion. Again, I gave little attention to it being tied down by work and examinations.
Last Monday, I decided to bring Khalida to a GP just to check whether she would be fine as I needed to be away on a three day course in Kuala Terengganu. She was having a runny nose, nothing alarming, I only needed that confidence factor to leave her under the care of my helper, but it was on that day when we were referred to a surgeon immediately for the lump that was suspected as a lymph node.
We went to Kuantan Specialist for a consultation and what was thought as a lymph node was diagnosed as only a cyst. The surgeon informed us that it was nothing critical or life-threatening yet she needed a surgery to remove it since the cyst has grown bigger and nothing could determine for sure that it would stop at that and eventually if it was left untreated, it would be infected and cause horrid scars in the future. He, therefore suggested for a surgery to be performed as soon as possible (for us) which meant we could leave it till next month or even do it the next day and if it was not for the surgeon's lack of human touch, we would have allowed him to slice my child up there and then! It was all quite sudden and the manner which he spoke in did not assure me he was credible enough as a doctor who was thinking for the best interest of my 23 month old baby. He only sounded money driven...but then, aren't all surgeons like that. Looking back, I think he needed to be seemingly cold-hearted as a requirement for him to be able to cut people up, I guess...
We went for a second opinion at HKL with a specialist I trust with my life who also puts up a cold front but I know she is not in it for the money. After she examined my child, we were advised to seek a surgeon for another second opinion. And while all this was happening, my mother's heart was giving her palpitations and she was warded for it. Her heart was swollen and they needed to observe her. Now, my mum is in the hospital for a heart problem and I needed to see a surgeon for Khalida's cyst. I decided to take care of my mum first and postpone Khalida's case till the next day.
I went to HKL to visit my mum and she looked so frail..maybe it was just me because all this while she seemed to be a very strong woman and all this while I have never seen her in a hospital bed. I wanted to transfer her to a private hospital for I know she would be more than comfortable there than where she was today but she refused. That night, I came to visit her again bringing her some personal things she needed and as I left her for the second time that day, I could not stop the tears from coming down my cheeks when I looked back and saw her looking out the window, all alone, into the darkness of the night. She did not belong there..she was supposed to be at home with us!!! It was at that moment did I see her true age surfacing and it was there that I had a sudden tremble of fear...the fear that I would lose her to God one day...I just could not stop crying on my way down to the car and I am most blessed with a loving husband who didn't ask me "Why?" but instead held me close to him while I cried myself out. Mummy, I love you..and I am sorry for not being the best daughter you deserved!!!
God is great as Mummy's heart was getting okay and we could look forward to her being discharged. I went to see a surgeon early in the morning and still have the time to fetch my mother from the hospital before lunch but lady luck was not there for me. The surgeon I was suggested to see was in Canada until the middle of next month!!! I know my child's case wasn't life-threatening but to think of the leave I had applied for and having left with only 2 more days that I can take in future, I felt that it was all futile and not worth my trip here. The only thing I could console myself with was the fact that I was there to attend to my mother's needs and assist my other siblings in caring for Mummy. I just sat there in the reception area thinking of another date for me to come when a nurse told me that I did not necessarily have to see a paediatrics surgeon as a general one would suffice. So, she managed to wiggle our names in for an appointment at 2 pm sharp and no later than that! Phew...what a relief! I still needed to go to HKL though, to get my mum but her discharge letter still hasn't been issued by her attending physician; that bought me some time for a quick lunch.
We went to see the doctor who happened to say the exact thing as the first surgeon we met in Kuantan did, only this time, he had that human touch and patience in answering all our silly questions..hey, I am a mother and I think I have the rights to massive amounts of paranoia before I let anyone put my child under sedation especially for a surgery be it a minor one! And when I was satisfied with all the explanations, we booked Khalida in for surgery the next day. And while I am thinking of the things I want to blog about, my girl is in the surgery room. I can't stop crying for visions of her screaming with fear is still imprinted in my mind and thoughts..I left her there alone with strangers and I wished and would pay my entire life just to be able to hold her hands even for a single second while they are removing the cyst. I am lucky though that I was there and I held her when the mask was put on her face..and I was the one she was looking at with wide eyes seconds before she fell into her deep slumber. I am anxiously waiting for her to be wheeled out on the bed and every single footstep I hear coming from the operation theatre makes my heartbeat stop..is it done already? Is she okay? Will she feel pain afterwards? So many questions and so many emotions building up from within..I could only cry to the thought that my girl is being put under such trauma at such a tender age..I know that God is there beside her and I envy Him..I know that He is protecting her every minute and He is listening to my prayers..
She was a bit cranky and was shouting hysterically when they woke her up..she was afraid and confused that she took the IV line out herself for her blood to be squirting on the bed and on my shirt. I managed to calm her down with the help of three other nurses..hey, they should give us at least a 10% discount on procedure charges since my gal took out her line for them!! I was shown the cyst and it was the size of a a tamarind seed, white, round and had a smooth surface much to my surprise when the nurses said that it was actually very small!! I thought it was colossal...Whatever..my gal is chirpy and well. She doesn't look at all in pain as she was jumping down from her bed and running about in the room, meaning that her surgeon is an expert indeed. ( based on my SIL's (who is a doctor herself) opinion). As I am typing all these thoughts with its grammatical errors and lack of sequence connectors to give it a smooth flow, Khalida is right beside me singing herself out to the tune of "Downtown" by Petula Graves, for the zillionth time.
I can't quite imagine how I was able to cope with all this. I know that it was only made possible with the grace of God who rendered me strength of the heart to withstand these turbulent moments. I can now breathe and savor the taste of polluted KL air in my nostrils. My mom is fine but will go for surgery next month and Khalida is fine too although her cyst will recur in future. Que sera sera, the future is not ours to see..I will cross the bridge when I come to it..but for now, I am going to enjoy the presence of those who are around me today!!
This is nothing but my plain ramblings for today..