Thursday, 23 July 2009

"I'm Stupid; I Can't Even Feed Myself"...



People who know me well know there are 3 things which tug at my heartstrings, and which I have a very soft-spot for...

1) Children, especially the exceptional ones...

2) Animals...

3) Old people...



Today was hospital-volunteering day, and today, after I was done with most of my work, one nurse approached me and asked if I was busy because she needed a favour. When I told her no, she replied that she had a 'super-duper' job for me, if I was willing.

Sure, but what was it?



I had to feed a lady who was about 90 years-old, who was terrily miserable because she could not guide her spoon to her mouth and had made a mess all over herself and the floors when she spilled all her water and juice...

Uh-oh...

The moment I saw her, I could feel myself getting all sad.

Uh-oh...



We spent over an hour just to finish 3/4 of a muffin, and half a cup of yoghurt because it was mountain of an effort for her just to swallow...

The poor old dear kept saying thank you and saying how stupid she was that she couldn't feed herself because her tremors were so advanced (her hands were constantly shaking even when her hands were resting on the bed)...

And she held onto my free hand practically throughout...




Haih...I guess I always spend time in hospitals where I get teary-eyed. In Ipoh Hospital, it was all the special needs kids, over here, where more than half of the patients I come into contact with are very old, it's people like her who make me feel all teary-eyed.



But as much as I used to feel it was a liability, one nurse put things into perspective a while back: She said the one thing which makes me actually sit there is because I actually feel. So maybe my tears make me more effective.


I think she may be right, after all...

Cos I surely wouldn't have sat there for over an hour if I didn't feel sorry for that nice old lady...



13 comments:

denise said...

Bless you Daphne. Not everyone has empathy when it comes to dealing with the aged. For someone so young (compared to me, I'm ancient), you are truly a blessing to those you minister to.

Cheers

Dalam Dakapan Ibu said...

Oh Daphne, I got teary-eyed just by reading your entry!

It must've been difficult for you to control those tears from falling.

Whatever you do, remember that you've already made a difference in every soul you've touched along the way.

May God Bless you always :)

Wai Wai said...

I once fed my late mom when she broke her arm and was very fragile, it sent tears in my heart but I found the joy of seeing her finished that bowl of porridge, now that scene will always be in my mind. I'm sure the elderly lady tasted the sweetest muffin ever.

Ben said...

Been reading your blog for a long time, Daphne. You have a good heart and a blessing to everyone who knows you.

joan said...

Awww Daphne. That was sweet. I remember you wrote about sitting with an old woman in a pharmacy once, in a post a long time ago.

Sure people who do the best work always do it from the heart. And empathy is what we always try to teach children so they too will feel. It is NOT a liability!

Salt N Turmeric said...

sedih tengok orang tua sedih kan? at least she has you to help her Daphne. :)

Daphne Ling said...

HI Denise,

Thanks for coming by =) My main motivation is, heck I'll be old someday and I don't want people to be nasty to me! Golden rule...

So it's selfish in its essence, lol...

Daphne Ling said...

Hello Aunty Ja,

Oh, I can't even control tears watching a Hindi movie! Lol...

Oh well...But thanks for the words of encouragement. I appreciate it!

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Elaine,

My (very belated) condolences to you for the lost of your mum...:'(

I know what you mean about seeing them finish. It was the same with Chee Keong and also with the old lady.

It's an achievement alright! For both parties, especially when you realise how much time went into it...

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Ben,

Thanks for coming by, and finally saying something! ;) It's nice to meet new people...

And thanks for your words!

Daphne Ling said...

Hello Joan,

Hey, you remember Aunty Ong! So do I! Nice old dear too, that one...

Teaching empathy is not very easy--heck even teaching sympathy isn't easy! Some people can look at the most horribly sad things and not even flinch.

Or they will say 'aww', but with cold eyes. I'm scared of people like that...*Shudder*

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Kak Farina,

Yeah, sedih seeing them sad...Some are just so helpless, and some feel hopeless.

It's worse when they tell you how stupid they are...=(

the Razzler said...

Dear Daphne..

You're truly an Angel! I am so proud of you.. :)