The most frustrating thing about the whole thing was that I couldn’t get a straight answer from anyone. And had a mini spat with my younger sister on why wasn’t I told that mum was ill. She said she wanted to call but bapak said he would, but at long last, no one did.
So in all my gleeful excitement of preparing for lebaran like a child on a candy spree, I didn’t know that back in my hometown, mum had a 40.5 degree fever for 4 straight days, one of her legs swelled into the ‘elephant’s leg syndrome’ — the swelling of the leg made one leg huge while the other remained normal size, that she couldn’t walk and there were blotches and patches of rashes that made her look as though someone threw hot oil onto her bare skin.
I didn’t know all these. All these I pressed out of her, while trying to contain my fury that I was not even told even a tiny gist of it all. ‘ Tak nak bilang orang lain lah.. kan dah nak raya, orang semua sibuk… buat orang risau ajer…’ she said when I called her, at the time her fever was still that high and she was on drips and antibiotics and tests and x-rays and what not. But I am not orang lain what !!! I am her first daughter for goodness sake. At that point, all the doctors suspected was infections of sorts. But my mother has a history of cancer. Stage one, colon. So of course, anything with blood infection is a cause of worry, especially since she also has high blood pressure and is taking pills for it.
I wanted to pack my bags there and then and head for home right away. But she stopped me. She told me she is stable ( yeah right, she sounded weak and distress and harlow, you cannot fool me lah.. I am your first daughter ) and that we should stay with our plans of hosting Meine Schwiegermutter for this festival and then balik raya on Thursday. Aper sajer sey… But she insisted. Jangan balik dulu. Stick to plan, I am ok— was her final ultimatum.
Alamak, dah sakit pun itu kepala dia ada batu besar ada duduk lah ini makcik… But then again, kalau mak dah cakap jangan, baik jangan kan.. nanti lain cerita pulak jadi. So ok, plan to leave immediately for home, abandoned, but I kept calling and sms-ing for updates. So far doctors have not found the cause of her illness. Initially they suspected dengue but the blood test showed it was not. So test after test that kept me on the edge waiting. And more frustrating is that, I am not there with her.
Just now right after the last iftar for this year, I finally got the news that her condition has stabilized. And that it was an allergy to a medication that caused the infection and it has not affected her in her other health problems ( she has quite a colourful medical history ) and now, like Toni Braxton sang.. I can finally breathe again.
She won’t be discharged anytime soon though. With her medical histories, doctors wanted to be sure that there is nothing more that what they discovered, and also she still has one huge leg and one normal size leg,which means she is unable to stand, let alone walk. Bapak sms-ed that this year, he will be celebrating raya at MacDonald’s near the hospital.
To all the prayers of the people here and personal friends, thank you so much. May Allah bless all of you too. Eid Mubarak, Selamat Hari Raya, Maaf Zahir Batin….