Waiting for the Emergency Door to Open

Short Talk: Today I learnt how to change dypers, replace the drip, shift the bed up down forward backward or even upside down, and helped clean the ward all thanks to the mere 5 nurses that's running the entire hospital.

This past year, I learnt that the most painful and grueling process, is to wait.

Yes, waiting.

Nothing is more torturing than to wait for something, especially when it’s something uncertain and negative. It’s like the whole world has stopped moving, fast forwarding, and back tracking AT THE SAME TIME.

To wait for the doctor to come instruct you for the last time before the operation, to wait for the nurses to arrive to push your away on a bed to the surgical ward, to wait for the hours to pass till the doctor comes back to announce the news.

Time: 01:10pm

I was sitting on your bed back in the ward, curling my legs up in my arms, rocking back and forth staring into the space between the bed and the window. I looked at my phone for the time, 25 minutes have passed since you went through the door.

My mind was empty, I was waiting. Memories of the past sipped in, I remembered I was hugging you half an hour ago before the nurses came to ask you away; two weeks ago we talked on the phone about your surgery and my date to go back; 14 months ago, we white water rafted down a steep river in Bali and then we were sleeping in a caravan under the stars in Florence Italy three years ago; more than a decade ago, I was tugging your shirt to play water log in Disneyland with me in Los Angeles, and finally I remembered you hugging me when I returned home crying after my tuition teacher scolded me for not knowing what “eagle” means in Malay, I was seven, and I hated Malay language then.

I returned to the ward, time: 01:25pm.


I woke up, it’s freezing cold in the ward, the nurses came in to check on me. Recalled I dozed off on the bed because of exhaustion, I had some dreams, couldn’t sleep well, kept waking up between intervals. Didn’t sleep well last night, and the night before; I flipped some old newspapers lying on the side table, re-read them over and put them aside.

Still waiting.


Walking anti-clockwise in circles in front of the op room.

Why did the time pass so slow? I wished someone from inside could tell me what’s going on then? Was the surgery going smooth? Or did the heart meter run flat?

Images from TV series where the patient in emergency room would suddenly run out of the blood or their heart just stopped ticking flashed through my mind. Damn it, I wish those shows weren’t true.

I squatted with my back against the blindingly white wall, “Why is it so bright here?” I thought. It felt so unrealistic, like I was in another realm.

A familiar nurse walked passed heading for the lift, I stood up and took few big steps after her. “How is my mom? I mean, Dr. Chee’s patient?”

“The surgery is still going on, will take probably 5-6 hours. You can go back upstairs and wait in the ward, we’ll inform you when she comes out.”

I looked at the time, three more hours to go.


“What if I’m not ready to face the truth? It took so long, did something happen? No, nothing can happen. Stop thinking stupid stuff.”

“One more hour to go and the doctor will be out, or not. What if he came out and told me… no hush! Stop thinking that! You’ve waited long enough, didn’t you want the doctor to finish the op and come out?”

“But, what if it’s bad news?”

“No it won’t be, everything will be fine.”

“The time is passing too fast, why can’t it be slower? At least let me breathe for few more hours, I’m not ready to hear the result yet”

“Why is that odd guy looking at me? I wonder what’s on his mind? Never seen a girl walking in circles before?”

“There goes another patient into the room, what kind of surgery is he going through?”

“Oh… the door’s open! ….. Ermm.. no.. it’s not mom, when is mom coming out?”

“Erm, I can see through this reflective mirror when I move close enough. Nope, nothing inside. Oh god! I look like a panda! How long have I not sleep?!”

“I think I saw a tear on the patient’s face that went in just now, he appeared to be in his 50s”

“There’s someone crying outside for his father and I think her aunties are scolding her for not respecting his father few days ago. That’s not really helping on the girl’s emotion.”

Many things go through one’s mind when one is waiting.


You know you’re in love, and want to throw yourself and hug him many times over, when your 44 year old surgeon comes out from the op, telling you the surgery was ok, and she’s waking up.


19 kissed Nicole

  1. Hi Nicole.. be strong yea. There are always a reason behind things we go through in life. And yes, God does exist and He knows what you going through. Just reach out to Him and He'll help you through.

    God Bless.

  2. I know how hard it is waiting for someone you love to come out from the OT. I've never experienced it myself, but when I was in the OT for my surgery, twice, for spinal cord surgeries as well, I can see my parents' and my girlfriend's concerns.

    Just be strong. Your mum needs your care when she is recovering. And she will recover.

    I'll keep praying for her well being.

  3. Do take good care of yourself.
    Everything will soon be ok.
    Take care.

  4. So happy to hear that the operation went well.

    Take care of yourself too nic.

  5. glad to hear that everything seems to be going on well...

    u better take good care of ur health too, u can't be knock down now.........

    take care...

  6. you're strong, but you dont know it. i believe there is a reason behind everything. and i will keep you in my prayers.
    take care.

  7. Our line of life. There will be a certain moment when we will feel life totally Sh*t. But this moment was captured the moment we was born. So, it is up for us to how we gonna view the future and the remaining path will totally affected by the way we view them. And the sad and sour moment we felt in life actually was jot down the moment we are born too. It is a destiny...

  8. So glad to hear that the operation went well :)

    Nicole, you yourself should get more rest too k.. *huGs*

  9. Glad to know that it went well. =) Take care and have lots of rest.

  10. There is this saying that many a times, we worry about things that is not going to happen.

    Glad everything went fine on your site.

    You owe us a picture of your smile. ^_^

  11. Don't walk in the circle again. Hospital got long corridor. It's meant to be walked up and down :P

  12. Stay strong and fit...No wrries your mum gonna be ok. U need to be strong yrself to take care of aunty !!

  13. :) so glad to know that it went well.

  14. Nicole =) Glad to know that your mother's all right now.. Just keep on staying strong, in life..and in love. Always smile..cos luck always come to those who smile~ =P

  15. *hugs*
    i understand how you feel. I almost lost my grandma last week - but she won the battle too! She is a very strong woman, I'm sure your mum is one too, and she will not give up - she has such a wonderful daughter!

    all the best nicole! and this will bring u guys even closer together =)

  16. Hi babe, I don't know you personally, but I've been reading your blog, and I just want to give you a BIG HUG for staying strong for your family through this painful period. I went through something similar a few years ago when my mummy was diagnosed with breast cancer... and was similarly super relieved when she had a successful op. The recovery period will be painful as well, but at least you know that you have your mummy, and you will treasure all the moments you have together. *hugs* Stay strong! :)

  17. Hope your mom turned out okay, yah Nicole? Make sure you take care of her at this time when she really needs you... It will be your way of thanking her for all the things she's done for you when you were little =)

  18. Hospitals remind me of 'City of Angels'. I know how irrelevant it is, but, yeah. Hope all's well now. :D