The first time I was in the hospital, I was 18 in KPJ’s ER. I had gotten a ring stuck on my finger, and it had been there for three days. My finger was turning blue, I called three friends panicking (got yelled at by the one I called my boyfriend), and tried a number of DIY remedies: soap, cooking oil and butter.
At the end of the day, I woke my aunt up at 3:30am and she took me there. The staff weren’t very nice so she pulled the anak Tan Sri card. 3 tubes of numbing gel, 2 tubes of lubricant and about 20 minutes of the nurse calming me down while his colleague yanked the ring off my finger, it was off. That ring is now called the cursed gypsy ring.
The second time I went to the hospital, it was UMSC. I was being taken by my mother and grandfather, there were orderlies waiting in case I fought back and we were going to see a psychiatrist. I had tried to kill myself for the fifth time and also had an eating disorder that left me at a mere 42 kilograms. I was 22.
I was sick, and the psychiatrist was nice. It was validating that there was something legitimately wrong with my brain chemistry except my grandfather spoke for an hour and I could feel myself shrinking into the uncomfortable couch while clutching a pillow. My mother held my hand. I had Borderline Personality Disorder, which explains a lot of my former Gone Girl-esque behaviour.
The third time was the OT of Pantai Hospital, Kuala Lumpur. I was preparing to have my first child – unplanned, I was 24. The IV being put in hurt more than drawing blood while having contractions, and the local anaesthetic ensured I didn’t feel them miss the epidural needle. Twice. My anesthesiologist was kind, with a soothing voice I’d imagine a siren having.
Once the drugs kicked in, I don’t remember much except being cold and wondering why there was a skylight in the OT. My ex described to me in vivid detail later how he saw half my internal organs on the table. I heard my son’s cry and he was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen in my life. My son was born during a thunderstorm which makes his name very fitting.
The fourth time I ended up in the hospital, it was UMMC’s A&E. It was two weeks ago. I remember having a meltdown in the car: I hadn’t spoken to my family in a few days, I felt like a shitty person and worse parent, and I had just gotten into a car accident. I texted my psychiatrist who insisted I go to A&E and it was 9:30pm.
I saw the doctor at midnight, spending my time waiting listening to the stroke patients outside banter in Mandarin and Hokkien. My boyfriend translated for me. She was concerned I spent too much time researching the best and most permanant ways to die. I had a follow up the next day, after getting out of the hospital at 3am and she told me to take a week off and do things I liked.
I might have gotten fired, but this is cathartic.