Monday, 12 May 2008

Can I Care For Another Chee Keong?




Chee Keong...





I went to the hospital today, and it was very nice to see the babies again...They were screaming and wailing away, but you can't get angry at a baby, they're just so cute!


I then popped over to the General Pediatric Ward to say hello to the nurses, and lying on the bed nearest to the door was one little Indian boy, with a tube down his nose, and who was noticeably alone...


Uh-Oh...


I remember this boy, *Vivegan...He was in-and-out of the hospital during the time when Chee Keong was in the hospital, but because I had my hands full with Chee Keong, I did not pay much attention to him...After all, I could not care for two babies at the same time, and so I concentrated on the first child I met...




And today, lying on the bed, with a bad cold, a fever, a tube down his nose, and no clothes, was Vivegan...

Gosh, it was so deja-vu'ish sitting there looking at him...That was how I met Chee Keong too, albeit a younger boy than Vivegan...



Vivegan was sweating away and all it needed was for someone to carry him to air his back, and to talk to him...


But I just sat there today looking at him, holding his chest...I didn't carry him...For one, he was sleeping, and secondly, I don't know if I can do it all over again...





I know I would grow to love this boy too, and the nurses they would too...In fact, one SN said to me: "Daph, jangan tengok dia tiap hari...Nanti mesti you sayang, then lepas tu, you mesti sakit hati bila you kena pergi Canada atau dia meninggal" (Daph, don't see him everyday. Because you will surely give your heart to him, and you will be heartbroken when it is time to leave for Canada, or if he passes on)...




But that boy needs someone to care for him...But I also know the nurse is right...


Can I do it? Should I do it? Because I know once I pick him up, there will be no turning back...I thought of seeing him every now and then, but would that help him? Or is that a way to help myself cushion the effect of having to say goodbye? So is that helping him, or me?



They say: It is better to have love and lost than to never have loved at all, right? But it doesn't make it any less painful...




*Note: Name has been changed...

39 comments:

WP said...

I think you should listen to the nurse...it's about protecting yourself. There's this quote from Charmed that I really like (don't know whether you watch it); they were talking about how to get over losing innocent people.

Paige: So you've got to...harden your heart?
Piper: Protect your heart.

You've got to try not to get too attached to those you care for. (true, it's hard...) You'll be helping the both of you if you see him from time to time...

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

tough one, this. but in all honesty, its a wise move not to take another 'Chee Keong'. for one daph, your departure date is looming and you'll be away for at least a coupla years. to be attached to another soul is the last thing you need now, as it will only make it harder for you to leave. you may think i parrotted WP's piece, but thats the honest truth.

meatbag said...

Hi Daphne,

I've heard of your blog ages ago through MM's blog, and have opened it a couple of occasions in passing and just to peruse. But this post caught my eye. And i read your story about Chee Keong. At 21/22 (the same age as me), i cannot believe the courage, the determination and the parenting instincts, and the amount of care you have for another human being. For that i think the world of you. And i still am in awe that after all you've gone through there's still space for you to consider getting 'involved' with another disadvantaged child.

A quick question though, how did you actually get started in all this? As in the whole going to the hospital to see the children who are orphaned and helping them out? And more importantly where can i help out? Lol. Not many people know but there's this side of me who wants (and always have wanted) to volunteer somewhere in Malaysia rather than sitting at home watching tv.

Best regards,
Shean

Pi Bani said...

Daph,
Whether or not you can care for this boy will depend on whether you will be able to control your emotions. If you can care for him without getting yourself totally attached to him, then yes, go ahead. Care for him because he needs love and care.

Tough, I know, but in our voluntary work, that is one thing you've got to learn - ie helping and caring without getting too emotionally involved. Know where and when to draw the line.

You think you can handle that?

sharlydia said...

Not that I dont agree with the nurse, but I wont discourage u despite the fact that u'r leaving to canada soon and wont have much time with this lil indian boy...

I would say...follow your hearts Daph! God has His way for the lil boy when u'r gone. Who knows some1 as lovely & as kind as u would appear to take care of him when u'r gone?

Mat Salo said...

Daph.. betul kata Pi, tu. If you can draw the line then go ahead. But think of the little guy too. He might miss you more than you, him.

Eh, got serious internet issues on my kapal here. Lama dah tak boleh connect. Ini curi line client. Hope preparations going well. We all are going to miss you.

P.S. Thanks for the B'Day wishes for my 'princess' ya?

whre4arthou said...

Nai dear,

It was difficult getting over Max..

It was even more difficult learning to love Luciano..

But I realised yesterday that if I don't get to see Luciano again I would be as heartbroken as the day I had to leave Max..

Although if I had never met Luciano I would never know that my heart was big enough to love two..

Luciano's growing up well now and although I still dread his constant demands for attention I love him to bits and my Mondays will never be complete without him and his cheeky smile ;)

lionel teh said...

Hi Daphne,

I understand where the nurse is coming from, applies to doctors as well. Or else they will be mr/ms miserable forever.

However I do think we should share our love and care whenever we can, even for a brief second. It is beyond the notion of protecting one's heart (a little self-centred, don't you think?) but simply give what is there to give, share what is that to share.. but of course with many circumstances.. but if we look at the bigger picture, it hurts us less...

Anyway...do what you feel is right as long as you don't regret your decision :)

Faridah Khan said...

Daphne sweety, I know you have a heart so mcuh of love that it would kill you to not give that love to some kid who needs it. I know you will be very heartbroken if you DONT care for Vivegan. Becos you just have so much love to give. You are worried you will be heartbroken again when you leave or if he dies, but I know that you are strong enough to face it when the time comes. Giev it a chance and if you hurt later on we are here for you.

Ydiana said...

Hi Daph

I kind of agree with Pi Bani and Faridah Khan. You have so much love to give, but just be prepared for the worst...

Things happen, and we don't know what tomorrow will bring. As long as you know before you leave for Canada, that this child is cared for, you may be happier when its time to leave, knowing that you've given your best to this boy; rather than regretting it even after you left, for not able to contribute to his life. At least you have made a difference...

Anonymous said...

Hi Dik...

I care for women with cancers everyday and they ranges from the very young to the very old and yes, they come and go...some left this world after a short period of illnesses without much sufferring, some developed recurrence of disease after sometime and eventually parted with us, but had to endure with a lot of complications related to the disease before they passed away. Just today, one of them left us. Of course I'm sad...but at the same time, I'm glad that I had looked after her, made her comfortable, talked to her, relieved her pain and learned something from her - the will to live. But I continue to care for them. Why? Because...to me life is about sharing and caring. I learn so much from each of them...their determination, their will power, their patience and many more...

So, I'm sure you can...whether you get emotinally involve or not is another matter. The main thing is, you heart says you want to care for this little boy...so, follow it.

Hope to meet up with you before you left to Canada

:)ST

mott said...

Hey Daph,

As a mum, sometimes, one cannot take it for granted that my kids will be around forever. So... you love them everyday as much as you can, with all your might. Tomorrow is always another day.

It's hard to make this decision because you will be going to Canada soon. I wud, if I were you.... then cry my heart out when I have to leave..or if he leaves me...coz I don't know how to draw lines when it comes to love. *sniff*

Daphne Ling said...

Hey WP,

Oh gosh, that is a lovely quote (never heard it)...Funny huh? How some of the loveliest quotes and sayings come from television...How come we don't come up with profound words like this more often?

Thanks for sharing it...I will try and remember it...

=)

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Kerp,

I know what you mean...Having emotional baggage here is not a great way to start a new life in Canada...

Funny...I am fine about not forming any emotional baggage with a guy here, but having a hard time with the kids I work with...;)

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Shean @ Meatbag,

Thanks for coming by, and leaving me a note...

Well, I've got many little bits of my heart waiting to be taken, and all these little kids just take up bits here and there, so there's always place for one more! =)

As for volunteering, it depends on your interest...I naturally like children and animals, so I just went to the most obvious place where they would be in (hospitals being one), and asking if they have positions available for volunteers!

If you like the same thing (like volunteering in the hospital, where there are other fields open to volunteers), just go to the Government Hospital's (try big hospitals, not the tiny district types) Medical Social Work Department, and enquire within...

In my case, I stuck mainly with the hospital and didn't venture to other 'children places' like orphanages cos there are so many areas in the hospital itself which have children...

So I branched out within the hospital itself, like rehabilitation, the nursery etc...

=) Hope that helps at least a little...

Good luck!

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Kak Pi,

You know, I don't generally get attached to the children I work with, except the orphans...

I was just talking to mum last night, and we spoke about the 'why's'...

I guess it's because in non-orphan kids, I know that my role is just to cheer them up a little, but at the end of the day, they have a home to go back to, with people who care for them, regardless of their disabilities...

I know that no matter how bad things go for them (financially, medically etc), they still have love...

But in the case of an orphan like Chee Keong or Vivegan, I don't know that...I don't know who will love them, and that hurts the most...I don't know who will care for them...

In Chee Keong's case, for example, my fears were not unfounded...He passed on, after all, and all the nurses themselves here said he most likely would have pulled through if he had someone to really care for him, since he had these near-deaths alot in Ipoh Hospital too...

I guess I get attached because that child has no one else to share love with, and so I give him my all...

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Sharlydia,

Yeah, that is the best thing to do...To follow my heart...=)

As for hoping for the best, I have learnt over the years to be a little more realistic too, and in reality, I have learnt to not hope toooo much, because it is easier to 'drop' when you do...

Lesson I learnt when Chee Keong left to the home, and I had to learn that no matter what, he would never get the love he got in Ipoh Hospital, from EVERYONE...

I expected it, I really did, and I was disappointed...=(

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Abang Mat,

You're right about him missing me too...

That was the one thing I had to keep asking with Chee Keong, and after being repeatedly 'ignored' by him, all of us thought it looks like he won't miss me, and the missing is all on my part (with his condition, it was hard to know what he was thinking)...

We were wrong...

When I went to visit him in the home about a month after he left, he called me like mad!

For a boy who frequently dozes of when I'm talking to him, that day, him staying up for nearly two hours to 'talk' to me (he kept making coo'ing sounds and gesturing and smiling) said a lot!

Looks like he did miss me after all...*Boohoo*


PS: La, connection teruk lagi huh? Kesian...

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Whre4arthou @ Ae Mi,

Hey! Awww...I know what you mean about thinking you would never love again...

And I remember how we were both crying like cows when I had to say bye-bye to Chee Keong and you to Maxxie...

Read my comment to Kak Pi...I think it sums up the same thing I wanna say to you...

*Hugs*

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Lionel,

I know what you mean about doctors and nurses...They learn from experience to not get attached, cos they all have stories to tell too!

As for being "a little self-centred" when it comes to protecting one's heart, I don't think so lor...

I think it's perfectly natural and correct to protect your own heart, and putting your own needs first before someone else's...

After all, if you don't take care of yourself, you can't possibly care for someone else...

I mean, if you crumble, you can't help others, right?

And there is always a line to helping people...You don't help people and destroy yourself ma...;)

But I agree with you about showing care, love and concern whenever we can...

Wise words indeed!

Thanks for sharing...=) Hope your job interview went well, by the way...

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Faridah Khan,

Haih...How right you are...

I will be heartbroken if I don't at least try and care for Vivegan...It will haunt me for the rest of my life...

The 'What If?' would be following me around...=(

You know me so well, don't you? Quite scary also! ;)

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Kak Ydiana,

Ala, you sum it up even better than Faridah!

Yes, I would be grieving if I don't give it a shot...If I try, at least, I can tell myself I tried my best...

Thanks!

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Kak ST,

Haih, you're right also...=)

Yes, my heart says I should care for him, while my brain says I shouldn't, because I know I will get hurt...

Susah huh?

You know, I worked with terminal cancer patients too, and I always tell myself before I meet them that they will pass on, and soon, so I must remember that...

And I do...

But when they pass on, I also feel the pain, although I get over it pretty quickly because I know they suffer no more...

But it is somehow harder with little children (even with the same internal pep-talk), because you somehow see so much hope and future when it comes to children...

I'm so sorry for the loss of your friend, by the way...May she rest in peace, and I am sure she is looking out for you now...

*Hugs*

PS: Yes, we must meet up! When you driving down again?

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Mott,

You're like me then...Can't draw a clear line when it comes to love...Especially with something/someone which/who is so helpless...Children and animals are clear examples!

As for tomorrow being another day, I remember my teacher Ms Pushpa (yeap, the one who spoke about toilets!) always said that a person who says 'See you tomorrow' and means it, is a positive person...

Because no one knows for sure they will be here tomorrow...

Anonymous said...

I agree with Pi Bani, if your heart can endure this without breaking into many pieces, go for it.Your caring, love and compassion may be the only thing that sustians this little boy for now.You are truly a rare gem, girl. I hope that you realize this.
kl_gal

Wan Ying said...

geeez..Daphne, your post, i can't comment coz this has always been a dilemma to me too - where's the fine line betwen professionalism and compassion?

Though shamefully at present I have no experiences like yours, but in the future, it will be a big part of my everyday life. The comments to your post are very, very helpful.Thanks to all, most to Daphne lar of coz (bodek sikit).

but i am still confused, as pi bani put it: helping and caring without getting too emotionally involved. How do you actually do that? How do you care without emotions?

the Razzler said...

Dear Daphne..

The love within you is a gift from God to all those whose life you've touched..

Please continue to share your love .. for each and every soul whom have endeared your love is blissful & blessed!!

Wai Wai said...

Hi Daph, follow your heart, for me that's the only thing matters, people can give a lot of opinions, but we don't know what's in you, how you really feel. You are a girl full of love, that's I know.

Raden Galoh said...

Dearest daph...

many have spoken their mind and heart out... and you've replied too with emotions and logic...

ask yourself, your heart, are you ready when you have this short time before you will stay away from vivegan for many years at least like 4 years, i see you mcm nak sambung master there...

bottom line...we all love u, okay?

Azura said...

Hi Daphne,
Loving somebody always beautiful especially babies. They will always be in ur heart. For me, there is no harm by doing so......Anyway, I received ur beautiful card. Thank you very much. It is a beatiful day indeed. The second result came out negative. I feel blessed. Just need to take extra care of myself from now on. Tq once again for your thoughtful thought.

Salt & Turmeric said...

I cant comment on ur part but i do kno tht i cannot do wht ur doing. im weak. :(

Anonymous said...

I've only known you through your blog BUT I already know that you have a BIG heart!

Stay that way as there're not many people have that kind of heart nowadays! Nor do mine =(

LOVE ALL VOLUNTEERS OUT THERE -- THOSE WITH BLOGS, OR NO BLOGS -- WHO HAVE SACRIFICED A LOT IN ORDER TO MAKE THE WORLD WE LIVE IN A LIVELY PLACE.

I AM GLAD AND THANKFUL TO GOD KNOWING THAT THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO STILL CARE FOR ANOTHER BEING OUT THERE ON A SELFISH WORLD.

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Gurdeep (KL_Gal),

I decided I will go and see the boy from time to time, and try not to get tooo attached, but I only got to see him once, before the doctors decided it is best for everyone involved that he goes home (of course it is in HIS best interest first)...

But yeah, I also learned that it's ok for your heart to break...It will rebuild itself...Over time...=)

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Wan Ying,

I seriously can't answer any of your questions, but what I think happens is, after a while, you harden yourself because you want to protect yourself from feeling too much...

And you don't want to feel to much, because you don't want to get emotionally worn out everytime something bad happens, and that might jeopardise your decisions...

I think that's why people becoming 'emotionally unattached'...

I think that's the 'why's', but I don't know the 'how's'...

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Uncle Jimmy,

Nah...I'm the one who's "blissful & blessed"...

Really...

As for a gift from God, yes indeed...He gave me the chance to love...If that's not a gift from Him, I don't know much else...

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Wai Wai,

You know, you're right too...Just follow my heart huh? In this hospital work, I realise many times, my heart talks and my brain freezes...

So yeah, I always have been following my heart in a way...Thanks for reminding me again...=)

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Aunty Dalilah,

I really don't know what my future is, but if I get a chance to continue studying, then yes, I will!

There are many kids worldwide who need love...Whether I'm here or there, or anywhere else, I'm sure there is a child who can open another world for me, and make me cry like a baby, all over again...

*Misty eyed*

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Kak Azura,

I'm sooo happy for you! This is great news indeed, and I'm relieved you got the card safely...It was nothing much lar, just a simple, tiny card...I just wanted you to know you're not alone, that's all...

*Hugs*, and regards to your dad...

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Kak Farina,

You're not weak! =(


Hey Anon 15:10,

Thanks for coming by, and leaving me a comment here...We all have big hearts lar...We just need the opportunity to show it! =) If there were not many people with big hearts, not many will be keeping pets!