My homework this week has been on managing myself, especially when managing others. I think I’ve made progress, learned to identify and break some patterns. Managed to not cry. I just wish these things came more naturally, and not as work.

It’s difficult to tell when anything short of perfection is seen as a vicious failure. At least it helps me examine how I relate intentions with competence.

Change is the easiest when I can visualise the outcome.

Steeling myself for a long and miserable drive home tonight. I keep thinking of how I’ll care for myself tonight onwards. Candles, cat cuddles, a stiff drink in a neat room. Maybe a predictable dinner at my usual cafe.

I can visualise tonight’s outcome.

In the short term, I just want to crawl into bed tonight, and not be the bigger or better person. Just rest.


Sitting still. Relaxing. But my head and heart are pounding so hard.

6pm. I am at the other end of the ward when I hear repeated cries of pain. I hope it’s not my mother, because that is some amount of travelling sound. I’ve only been gone for under a minute. I return to her bed.

My mother is screaming. She is haemorrhaging blood from the removal of her femoral tube. She screams and she screams and she will not stop. Blood covers her clothes, the bed, the gloves of the nurses and doctor.

The young doctor keeps assuring us “Aunty, it’ll be okay! I am here!”, but we do not trust the doctor who caused this. We saw her repeatedly twist the needle looking for a vein for the patient in the next bed yesterday, this ward does not have any patient that trusts this doctor.

Yells for the doctor. A nurse says he’s on duty. “I’ve called my boss Aunty!” I tersely tell her this boss is on call and not available. Doctor shouts for another doctor, H.

H looks over, but does not come. It looks like he will ignore this. He is slowly wearing gloves. He sees me staring at him, and changes his posture, starts heading towards us, pulling his gloves on. His main priority is to chase me off. I say no. He tells the nurse to get rid of me. I tell her no.

Finally he drops what he’s doing, turns around to close the gap in the curtain. Tells me “Sir we need to work” but it feels more like an act of eliminating witnesses to malpractice. Especially since this is the doctor who promised to “personally see to it” for a matter two days ago, and never returned again. I have a trust deficit in this space.

I let the matter go, circle to another side to see what is happening. My mother screams so much, a woman on the next bed starts crying.

More doctors and nurses arrive. Doctor J is the top of her class, I know this because my uncle taught her, my cousin is her classmate. She explains to my mother that because of the(ir) fuckup with this tube the last time she visited, this fuckup is exacerbated.

The bleeding is stopped. Many people leave, some wheeling carts away. The red gloves are changed quickly, the blood-soaked items speedily removed. A practiced coordination, the most efficient I’ve seen this hospital.

The junior doctor remains behind with H. She compresses the wound with one hand, shows H her other hand, and giggles. “This happened because my hand is too small for this. But yours is big enough”. He responds favourably. I want to puke thinking of the potential of their combined stupid doctor babies. She has avoided my stare since the start of this, no eye contact whatsoever. I wonder if junior doctors are taught this.

Our schedule is set back hours. We may have to stay overnight. We run blood tests, in case a blood transfusion is needed.

When I move my mother’s pink underpad, I realise the entire bottom is soaked in blood. They had just placed a new one on top of the blood. Feels like a metaphor for the whole incident.

A senior doctor comes to check on the wound. It has reopened. She compresses it, would like some assistance.

She calls H. He comes running over pronto, interrupting his rounds, snapping on gloves. Well, look at that. He knows urgency after all. Not for actively bleeding and screaming senior citizens. Perhaps only for senior doctors.

I am scrubbing pools of my mother’s blood off the hexagons on her ripple mattress. I need to get shit done in time so there’ll be someone to help transfer mum to the wheelchair, and car.

My sister msgs. She’s not coming over “cause there’s still pockets of jam all the way there”. It is 9pm, I don’t have the energy to follow up on this.

I bring my mother to the nursing home. My sister is on the way in a car, after a very, very long dinner. Hopes the driver can actually bring her there.

I set my mother’s wheelchair and bed up. Handover what I need to. And I leave. My mother shoots me an upset look when I announce this. I tell her I will fight if I stay on.

I drive straight to my safe space, a familiar cafe. I can’t believe I didn’t flip my shit today. I kind of wonder if I should have.

I would be more stressed now if I allowed myself to lose my temper. Never mind. Take this as a small victory.

Wow. She was there for what, 20 mins?