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From My Desk: Of Being The Patient


I finally found out how it felt like be treated as a sick person. Fevers and headaches are temporary but recovering from an operation is something different. Try feeling like someone is clutching your right jaw constantly for about three months.

The experience changed the views that I had of people who are sick. I used to tiptoe around a subject when I talk to a sick person or try to constantly talk about the person's illness or something. I felt that it was important to ask how they are feeling AS FREQUENT AS POSSIBLE so they will know that I care. I felt that it will be very insensitive to not talk about how they are feeling, my comments will be dripping with sympathy.

Now that I've gone through the experience, I learnt that less is more. It was a mixed feeling, really.

On one hand, I have been in the viewers' shoes, wanting to show people that I care for them and now I am the person feeling it. I need distraction from my pain; laugh at silly stuff as a deflection of the sharp pain on my jaw. Now, it's the neck, it used to be the jaw. I'm sure it will be near the chin later. Nevermind.

So, I know this is difficult. Not asking entirely will be insensitive but maybe the patient wants something to distract them. Being sympathetic is allright but making them at least smile can be a good thing.

Positivity helps during the recovery process and I'm truly glad to have positive people around me. I love their dark humour, silly humour, fun humour and other types of humour; I truly love them. And my mother. The first night I had to stay alone at the other bed was empty. She asked 'aren't you afraid of sleeping alone? You know...' Ghosts, I know. It is good that she still can joke with me about the stuff. Ouh and I love chocolates from visitors.

The experience has been an eye-opener (and pocket burner. Can't wait for the claims to be approved). I don't have everything but I'm happy with whatever I have. Great people, you know who you are :).


about the author

Siti Aishah Abdul Aziz

the one who loses her rose-tinted glasses, with the tendency to borrow others thinking caps. 
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