Thursday, 6 September 2007

In Reflection: A Prayer for Adrian...




A Prayer for Adrian...



Sorry I’ve been rather quiet lately…I just started a new semester here in college, and assignments are already pouring in…My Psychology paper this semester is a heavy one, and it is made worse because it is a short semester. While combing through articles, I keep wishing there was an actual model (plastic one lar!) of the brain in front of me, one which I can remove bit by bit and rebuild all over again…Nothing helps me learn better than having something I can touch and feel and see…



I have also been rather quiet because a friend of mine recently suffered a stroke, just over a week ago.

He is a 28-year-old, with no known health issues, and who was fit-as-a-fiddle. And one day during my short two-week holiday, while in the swimming pool with the kids in the hospital (It’s called Hydrotherapy), I got a call from my mother saying Adrian had gotten a stroke and was in the ICU.



I went to see him that very day, and the first thing he muttered was "Pray"…His right-side (mouth, hand and legs) is paralysed; the stroke was caused by a blood clot deep in his brain. I wasn’t told exactly which part of the brain the clot is, but his dad told me the doctors said operating will paralyse his entire body for life…I spent that first day chanting prayers (some people call it singing) to him till he finally fell asleep...



He was ok for the first few days; When we went to see him later again, he was eating a little and could smile…I didn’t really know what to say to him…



And then I came back to college…

My mum keeps me updated. It seems Adrian is now slowly slipping into depression. It is as if the reality of the situation has finally sunk in, and he feels at an all time low. I asked my Physiotherapist friend (I volunteer in her department) in the hospital to go and pay him a visit. She did, and said he was really weak…



You know, I worked with stroke patients for about two months before switching to Pediatric Rehab.

And I saw tremendous recovery in the few patients I latched myself to. One which stands out clearly was *Pakcik Baharuddin, whom I saw from his first day in rehab. He could not even hold my hand. By the beginning of the 3rd week, Pakcik was slowly hobbling with his walker, unaided. He could even climb steps a little, with help.



I was Pakcik’s Never-Stop-Chatting-Motivator (and very, very annoying, I might add!)…I kept chirping ‘You can do it! You can do it!’ over and over again, so much so that he was chanting it himself by the end of the 2nd week…


But with Adrian, I found I could barely say a full sentence.

I’ve been trying to think...Why?



And then it hit me…



With Pakcik and all the other patients, the first ‘image’ I had of them was that of a ‘crumbled’ person. My ‘job’ there was to build it back, and I was very objective in my goals: Get them back on their feet! No buts or what if’s



But with Adrian, it is different. I knew him before he had a stroke; I knew the strong, independent and standing Adrian…And all of a sudden, I see an Adrian that is lying on the bed, hooked with a urine bag and who is tearful…




With Pakcik Baharuddin and all, there was no Before-Stroke and After-Stroke to compare to…

It was just Pakcik and me, and a whole range of possibilities…There can be no disappointment or failure when there was nothing to compare to…The patients and I embraced every new bit of progress as a milestone...There was no history...



But with Adrian, I know the Before-Stroke, and a big part of me fears he will never be the same, no matter how hard he tries. I guess the main thing that is holding me back is fear...

And here is where I can no longer chirp: You can do it!



After all, if I can’t convince myself, how do I convince him? And from so far away...This sucks: I can help complete strangers, but not my own friend?



To all those reading this, I would be most thankful if you could spare a prayer for Adrian and his family who has been tested one time too many...Adrian's elder brother was killed in a hit-and-run accident about two years back, leaving behind a fiancée he was to marry just a month later...His father (one of the sweetest man I have ever met) recently had Cancer of the Larynx, which led to the surgical removal of his voicebox...




So while everyone prays for Tun Dr M's speedy recovery, remember Adrian Shisman too yeah?



Note: *Name has been changed. Full story of Pakcik Baharuddin, another post...



31 comments:

the Razzler said...

Dear Daphne ..

I can truly feels how Adrian is feeling now.

I had a mild stroke attack back in 2003 & had since been on medications and still does.

My whole world crumbled right before me at the hospital..

1st Question : Why me?
2nd Question : What have I done to deserve this?
1st Action : Try very hard to recall what actually happened?

I still can't recall what happen on the fateful day .. so I decided to just let it go .. & instead focus on what's NOW & especially to share my love & treasure everyone around me.

Perhaps Adrian just needs to build up the strength in himself to `accept' what happen to him & find the strength in himself to rebuilt his life.

I did & I know he could, too!!

DareDevil8 said...

stroke in relatively young people with no risk factors is mainly embolic in nature.check the heart for a shunt.

i emphatise with him,he was an independent goal getter,now all seems lost..............take a day at a time.

Anonymous said...

I think it is only natural you feel the way you feel and he feels the way he feels. But in time, I think your 'annoying' spirit will prevail again and Adrian will find comfort in it. My prayer goes out to him and family.

tokasid said...

Regards to Daphne:

I'm sorry to hear about Adrian's stroke. A stroke is always depressing . What more to a young person in his 30's. Its difficult to comprehend that you had a stroke. One day you are doing all that you love to do and suddenly, you become immobile and loss of conscious.
When you regain yourself, suddenly you can't move, you felt numb all over. You try to speak but word are slurred and ppl can't make out what you say. You have to pee via the catheter and open bowel in a huge napkin. Who wouldn't be depressed?

Daphne, you should pick up your courage and motivate Adrian. You must give him that hope of recovery, even if its not a total recovery. You must tell him, all is not over for him. He might have to adjust here and there, but life is still waiting for him.
This is the crucial time for him. He needs all the family and friends' support available to him.
You have the experience and knowledge of doing that. You do it Daphne. Pick him up again. Motivate him. Give life to him.

What the razzler said is true. I'm sure bro kerp can give some insight of this.

I'll make doa for Adrian to recover with as little neurological deficit as possible. If you see him, tell him Tokasid sends his regards to Adrian.

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

We’ll definitely pray for his speedy recovery.

I can really empathise wit him too. but what he needs now is to immediately bounce back in which he needs to strengthen his mind. Its always easier said than to do it but improving oneself mentally is a huge step closer to recovery. Time is very much on his side so I am positively sure he will get back on his 2 feet again. Don’t be surprised there are cases where stroke patients recovered completely, including the physical side of him/her. With guidance from the doctors and physios, top with family’s love, Adrian will pull through.

Sharifah Yasmin said...

Daphne,

I am sure your reaction is just temporary. I am sure your reaction now is just because you are shocked and your shock has made you frightened. I am sure that once you get over the shock Adrian is going to find a lot of comfort in you. He is going to find that there is someone who will go all out to bring back life to him and that someone is you.

Having read your blog for so long (but not leaving a comment), I know you will bounce back and give him full support and love like you do to all those lives you have helped and touched and inspired.

To many people you are an inspiration because of the way you reach out to people, and you do it so naturally.

But you are also human so you also get frightened.

But I know you will bounce back. Adrian too will bounce back.

Give him my regards and you take care too.

Sharifah Yasmin

PrincessJournals said...

my prayer for ur friend Daphne. I hope ul find the way to uplift his spirit.

J.T. said...

Hey Daphne

It is natural that you are afraid but I am confident you will overcome it and motivate Adrian back to "life".

My prayers are for him and his family.

kl_gal said...

I have been silently reading your blog for a while ( link on Farinas blog)and I have to say this : You are one awesome lady. I'm not one prone to be sappy or mushy in life or my blog comments but I sincerely mean this. I will keep Adrian and all your wonderful kids ( big + small) who are incapacitated right now in my thoughts and prayers.

winniethepooh said...

Daphne, will pray that Adrian will gain back his positive attitude towards life and for you to find ur strength and courage to motivate Adrian through this 'hurdle'.

Pi Bani said...

Daph,
It's normal to feel that way if the "patient" is someone we personally know before the incident. You'll get out of it soon. Adrian needs your support. So here's me annoying you with "YOU CAN DO IT! YOU CAN DO IT!" so that you can in turn annoy Adrian till he gets back on his feet!

Go girl! YOU CAN DO IT!

mott said...

You'll find the strength somehow, to push him ON ON ON!

He may get a tad annoyed with you.. ;-) but hang in there..

will pray for him. take care

jimi said...

Adrian is 30s like me, Daphne. And it scares me.

marie said...

daphne, does it matter whether he will never be the same again?

life changes us, we all change...we never really remain the same!

there is always a blessing in disguise in tragedies, and the key is we always have to look at the big picture! and i guess, compared to God, we humans tend to be rather short sighted in life. haha!

the fact that he is living, breathing, able to fight back to get back on his feet...have loving family and friends (like YOU!) is really, something to live for! he has the gift of life...and while he has it, you have to help him fight for it!!

ruby ahmad said...

Hi Daphne,

Can I just echo Pi..'YOU CAN DO IT! YOU CAN DO IT!' Go on do your bit now. Chin up Daphe.

Daphne Ling said...

ESorry everyone for the late replies, been really busy:-

Hi The Razzler,

Firstly, congratulations for being back on your feet! It is a big accomplishment indeed! Getting a stroke victim to walk again is like teaching a baby to walk for the first time...You never really forget the moment when they take their first step...=)

Yes, I agree that Adrian needs to build up the strength in himself, and find the strength around him to rebuild it...

But, easier said than done...

I guess he first has to come to terms with it, cos well, acceptance leads to understanding, which leads to healing...

If you can't accept, you won't read up/talk to others/seek support etc which will help you to understand the problem, which means you can't heal...

Huh?

A big salute to you for achieving all that!

Daphne Ling said...

Hi DareDevil8,

Thank you for the empathy...Adrian needs it, whether from strangers or people he knows well. I know what you mean about scary...One day, you're fine, and the next day, you're just...not...*Shudders*

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Anon 6.20 pm,

Thank you for the vote of confidence. I hope it comes back in full swing too, just in time for me to go home at the beginning of Nov and go bug him like some pest that won't go away...;)

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Tokasid,

I know what you mean...It's scary how things can turn for the worse overnight, and how your entire life and that of your family's changes completely...

My mum told me two nights ago the doctors are making plans to transfer Adrian to KL for further treatment (to which facility, how long etc, I don't know yet)...

I hope things will work out fine...We'll see how everything goes. I'll update if there's progress!

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Kerp,

Despite the different circumstances, you of all people will be a great source of inspiration to him, that life does go on...I'll find out where he's going to in KL, and who knows? It might be near you enough that you could pay him a visit or something! =)

Daphne Ling said...

Dear Sharifah Yasmin,

Thank you for the words of encouragement. It is very motivating, to say the least. I'll come back, sure I will...Hopefully, it will be of help to him then...

Like they say: The only thing we have to fear is fear itself...

I think it was Franklin Roosevelt who said that =)

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Princess,

Thank you...I think Adrian will be touched to know that even people in the US are praying for him...Great talking to you the other day! *Hugs*

Hey JT,

A thank you to you too, and the same goes to you about Adrian being touched! Thanks for being there; I know I've talked about Adrian before =) *Hugs*

Daphne Ling said...

Hi KL_Gal,

Thank you for your words and for all the prayers for all the little kids and big ones! Greatly appreciated by me and I'm sure by their families too! It's ok...I welcome mushy-ness and sappy-ness on my blog anytime...;) Tissues are optional...*Heehee*

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Winnie,

Thank you! And now, I will add Canada to the list of far, far away people praying for Adrian. Thanks for the support *Hugs*

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Kak Pi,

Thanks for annoying me! When I go back to Ipoh, will try and go annoy Adrian too! Hopefully he doesn't throw me out or ban me...Hope he doesn't stay in KL too long =)

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Mott,

Haha...Tad bit annoyed? I think it will be much more lar...I got very big mouth and very thick skin...You jeling ke apa, I will pester you on!

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Jimi,

It scares me too...Who would have thought? *Shudders*

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Marie,

You know, to a person who's watching, as long as the person is alive and there are people who care for and love him, things are cool...

But it isn't always so for the person who 'ditimpa' lor...

It really isn't easy, but I too hope that Adrian will find solace in the people around him, and embrace life again...

Thanks for the words of encouragement though; I appreciate it a lot *Hugs*

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Kak Ruby,

Haha...Sounds ironic! But thank you very much...Sounds more convincing already...;)

marie said...

daphne, i was encouraging you to encourage him! hehe! :P

Anonymous said...

My PRAYERS FOR YOUR FRIEND...

I know how it feels like in this situation - my mum was in coma for 7 days and that was the worst situation in my life -

Nimily