Under Her White Coat

posted by ♂YY♀ on ,

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It is the day I can finally spend some time with myself, without any burden in my head, thinking which/how many tutorials I have to prepare or which assessment is coming up soon. Here I am, done with the 9-month BPTC course (hell of a ride). Hopefully, I am done-done. Not resits, fingers-crossed.

Well, obviously I've been hanging out with friends for the past few days after the submission of my very last assessments and spending a ridiculous amount of time talking absolute nonsense, playing lame games like 'Fun Run' and sleeping (Duh?). Before I started this blog post, I wanted to write about the past 9 months. But nuh-uh, I am writing about something else.

Here's why.

I will have to start from the summer in 2016. I was spending a lot of time at home with Sis due to my Dad's illness. I always knew that my Sis started a website to write about IPF (Dad's illness). She vaguely told me the purpose of the website and what she was trying to do, but I was never brave enough to pay her website a visit. It has been almost two and a half years since Dad was diagnosed, and we all know we are going to lose him one day. And that day might come very soon, or not. I still cry like a baby when I delve into my feelings towards this issue, or maybe, the reality(?).

(Fast-forwarding the time) It was early May. I was preparing for another assessment coming up in the university PC cluster and a message popped up. It was from a friend, wanting to talk to me in private. Her father was out-of-breath while driving and had to stop the car to take a rest. She wanted to find out which doctors Dad had seen before he was diagnosed. And this, led me to Sis's website, for the very first time. Honestly, after all these years, I still had no clue how Dad was diagnosed and all. The reason for this was because I was too far away from home and my family decided not to tell me anything odd to worry me. That was why I couldn't answer my friend's question but only to send her the link to Sis's website. I quickly escaped from the negative feeling and dived back into revision after. I was scared to open up the wound that I forcefully mend.

Today, I am finally prepared to read my Sis's website and I finally knew how Dad's journey of IPF began. It kinda struck me there. Mum, Sis and Bro were having such a hard time before and when Dad was diagnosed. I am really upset that I wasn't there for my family during that time.

This blog post is not to whine about them not telling me what happened in the first place, not to express how upset I am. This post is a reminder to me, and to anyone who lives far away from home for whatever reasons - time is ticking. While you are working hard to chase your dream, or to make your parents proud, or to provide your family with a better life, you are losing time that you could have spent with them, your loved ones. Cherish them - go home from time to time, make phone calls or even better video calls, send gifts/cards/letters, send love.

Here's a little advertisement to my Sis's website:

Under My White Coat

She put a lot of thought into this, trying to connect with people who experienced/are experiencing the same thing and to do more research on this rare disease (because information available in Malaysia is scarce). There's this indescribable feeling when I was reading all those comments from people who were trying to connect with Sis and the warmth within. I'm sure Sis is super proud of how this website benefiting people with the same concern or experience because I am.

She's also working on @WhiteCoatBites to provide bite-sized revision tweets for Medical Students out there. :) Do check them out!

To finish this up, proud of Sis who always have that kind soul and who is always passionate about her career field and whatever she was working on. Here to wish you best of luck in your life and love you, Jay :)


posted by ♂YY♀ on ,

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I have been longing to write about this. I just couldn’t find the right time. Too busy? Naa. I don’t wanna find excuses for it. But I really want to make sure that I am all ready to bear the pain telling stories over the year and spit all out here at one go. I don’t want to miss out anything. Before I forget anything about Dad.


Although I’m always updated with Dad’s condition by Sis, I never really knew his actual condition until I met him in the summer. For the very first time, I went to the hospital with Sis and Dad for medical appointment. Sis told me that Dad needs to do a few tests and check-ups during the visit and Dad knows exactly what to do step-by-step. All I needed to do was just to keep him company.

We woke up early and drove to the hospital, just to make sure that we were the first few patients there. Jeez, I really can’t stand how the whole system is operating in the hospital. It’s totally unorganised, inconvenient for patients and not to forget - unfriendly nurses (just some of them). Basically, everyone gets the fking same time for appointment, and first come first served. Oh dear. Anyways, Dad is kinda used to the system already. We were like the second patient registered on that day.

After registering at the counter, we sat down and waited – to be honest I don’t know what the hell we were waiting for, probably for them nurses to get their ass into their job positions (roll my eyes). Dad did not even get to use the oxygen supply until 10 ish and had to use our own oxygen tank instead. Pfft. Alright, I should stop moaning about these and get to the point.

The very first test was a breathing test – spirometry, if not mistaken. Honestly, I never thought that I would cry my eyes out after witnessing Dad going through the test. The nurse seems to know Dad quite well already after so many times coming in for check-ups. She asked Dad to take a deep breath, and put a clip over Dad’s nose while he was blowing air into a tube. I think my heart was bleeding, watching Dad doing the test. That must hurt a lot for Dad. :( I mean, he can barely talk, and now we’re talking about blowing air into the tube continuously for like 10 seconds, or more. Not just once. Three times. What’s worse? Dad was requested to keep redoing it because he couldn’t get proper readings for second or third blow. Dad coughed when he got too breathless and irritated his lungs. And he had to redo it from the top all over again. Jeez.

I tried so hard to hold my tears in the examination room. I handed him over some warm (I would say boiling hot, really) water before redoing the tests. Dad’s face gone all red. He craved for oxygen and needed his breathing tube immediately every time after he finished one cycle. I was really, really upset with what I saw in the room, and helpless at the same time. For the very first time, I realised that Dad is very, very ill. More than I ever thought.

The other test was a walking test. We were brought to a hallway. There were little flags at each ends, marking the distance to be walked. So basically, Dad needs to walk for 6 minutes, non-stop, with an oximeter on his hand. Normally, the nurse would push Dad’s oxygen tank for him while he’s doing the walk. But this time, she would wait at the starting point and I’ll walk with Dad for that 6 minutes, pushing his oxygen tank trolley. I did not expect Dad would walk that fast during the test, because he told me that he was not going to do so just right before the test. But he was power-walking for that 6 minutes, even I, the healthy one, felt a bit breathless catching up with his speed.

At the beginning of the test, the reading on the oximeter was 98-99. As Dad was trying to maintain his speed, I could hear him breathing cautiously beside me. I followed his steps carefully, holding my tears once again. I never walked beside Dad like this before. Like, side by side, for more than 5 minutes. Maybe I did, but probably long, long time ago, since forever. It was obvious that it was getting harder and harder for Dad to breathe, but he did not even slow down. When the time was up, the nurse quickly recorded the distance Dad had walked and the readings on the oximeter. It was around 34-ish. I was totally heartbroken. Dad’s face did not go red like it did in the examination room, it went kinda purple-black instead. He was exhausted, taking deep breaths non-stop. After a few minutes, the reading went back up to 99. But my heart did not mend just yet.

That is the longest and the most emotional 6 minutes in my life. All them thoughts came into my head – things that I wanted to do with Dad for the rest of the Summer, things that I wanted to say to him before it’s too late. I wish I can walk with you like this forever, Dad. We don’t have to chat during the walk, just let me walk with you, side by side. And that’s more than enough.

I can never repay you for everything you’ve done for me, and our family. I love you, Dad. (I know you know it already, but I still need a cliché but good ending for this post.)


Happy New Year, to whoever is reading this.

2017, brand new year!

Great year ahead, guys.


Here's our most recent picture together. You insisted to send me off at the airport even though you were not feeling quite well. You're so sweet, but a lil too stubborn, Dad. And it's clear that I got that bit from you. :')