Biscuit girl

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That was what my colleagues and I fondly called her.

Our little biscuit girl. Whenever we visit the room where she is, we’d always find her with a biscuit in her hand. Sometimes nibbling a little bit of it but most of the time she’s just holding in between her fingers. Her mother said that she always insists on having a biscuit in her hand. Yes, and even when she falls asleep, you’d find that little biscuit piece.

An adorable one year old but the size of one no more than six months, we always find her either lying down or sitting up with a straight back posture. Her mother loves her dearly and she is a clever one. She could point to the various parts of the body when asked to. I especially enjoyed it when she imitates the wings of a duck or when she pretends to ride a bike or when she sticks out and wags her little finger when her mother calls out the infamous phase of “hor hor… tak tau..” or when she cutely smacks her forehead when her mother calls out “ayoyo”. She makes us laugh every time we stop by her room. She was initially admitted into the cubicle which I was looking after. She absolutely disliked being examined and whenever I try to come close to listen to her heart and her lungs, she’d make that “pppptt” sound with her lips… to me. After a few days of being with her, I would playfully “ppptt” her and she automatically “pppts” me back. It eventually became our little thing.

But there’s always a tired look on her face. Her lips dusky blue and her forehead wrinkled as she makes effort to take each breath to sustain her life. You can hear a gasp-like sound when she inhales and an irreversible wheeze as she exhales. You’d hardly hear her speak because it takes too much of effort to. Even her cries were short ones interspersed with the difficult breaths she makes. If she were stronger, she would have walked or stand… but she can’t because her heart won’t allow it.

She has a congenital heart disease that’s not simply correctable. The heart surgeons have seen her and decided that there was nothing they could do to improve her situation. She was just on medication to prevent her heart from failing.

But it eventually did.

I found out over the weekend about her passing. Her heart grew too tired of sustaining her body and inevitably gave way. It happened on the day when I was off-duty. I was told that she still had a fighting spirit even to the very last breath of her short life. That room at the end of the corridor isn’t the same without our little biscuit girl.

I’ve come to realize that we, as doctors are most impacted by the patients who have died than the ones who recovered and lived. We rewind and think again what we had done wrong that had cost these patients their lives – either because of our futile attempts of treatment or just the impossibility of treatment. Sometimes we engross ourselves so much in finding all kinds of ways to save a dying patient that we have forgotten that all lives must also come to an end… somehow, someway. That’s why we are all mortal beings. I remember a quote I once read which goes, “Death awaits all of us, it is just a matter of when.” Perhaps what is more important is what happens after death. Where did their souls go? Did we engross ourselves with making attempts (futile or not) in bringing the eternal-life saving gospel to those who are headed to eternal death… somehow, someway? Whoever who believes in the Son, he is given eternal life, for free.

On a much lighter note, I have redecorated my little home. As you can see the tree is up and that can only mean that Christmas is coming. I’d like thank Carmen C who graciously doodled on her program to blend this picture up for me. 🙂 I love it.

Now that I’ve got my little iphone gadget, you’d think that I would blogging away much more than before… but sadly that isn’t quite happening so far. I will try to though. I know I’ve been lagging behind in trying to update this space. But do stay tuned, I will write… eventually. 🙂

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