Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A not so good start to the year of the Ox

What a drama its been for me for the past month.

I was admitted to the hospital for an undisclosable reason in this blog 2 weeks back. But this post is to share my experience in a GENERAL WARD at government hospital!!! Ok I am not sure if HUKM is considered to be government, but boy was it an adventure.

I've had the misfortune of being admitted to hospital for various reasons over the past 4 years. I've been in Gleneagles and Pantai. Both private hospitals and I have my own single room. Spoiled with hotel like facilities at Gleneagles, I could not imagine myself with any other. 

Until two weeks ago....

I've been visiting HUKM for a certain treatment and came across some complications. To cut the story short, I was admitted on emergency at around midnight, Sunday, 2 weeks ago. Although I put up a huge protest, the on call doctor managed to convince me that it will be ok, and that they need to admit me immediately for immediate attention. I was in too much discomfort to to think of alternatives but to give in.

They wheeled me up to the gynecology ward in a wheelchair, with hubby and my aunt in tow. I was greeted with friendly nurses and gentle snoring. OK, so far so good. They have not started to annoy me yet. It was a 6 bedded open ward. They gave me my hospital gown and I gingerly lay down. Hubby and my aunt had to leave, meanwhile another on call doctor came and asked me a whole lot of questions and then prepared my IV. Its those plastic tube things that they stick into the back of your hand so that they can insert the drip or inject whatever medicine during your stay. Convenient but a pain to insert, cos its PAINFUL. But the doctor was quite skillful and did it with minimal pain.

Meanwhile, the nurse pointed out to me that the toilet is "over there". Then it dawned on me that the toilet is SHARED!! OMG! But I was really too exhausted to cry or get depressed. After my IV was inserted they started my drips. 2 bags of water was completed by 6am! I was that dehydrated. I slept not so soundly til morning. A newborn baby in the next cubicle was crying on and off all night. 

The next morning I woke up to the open ward, curtains was all drawn back. I could see my neighbors who had just woken up. Some smiled at me, some just carried on with whatever they were doing. Most were heading to the bathroom to wash up before breakfast. The ward doctor was looking at my file and asked me more questions. Some similar to the questions I was asked the night before. I was overwhelmed by my surroundings. Surreal, daunting, but not uncomfortable. Somehow, it was a friendly and warm atmosphere. The doctor was kind and gentle. He examined me and then went off to the next patient. He told me that Prof (the doctor whom I've been seeing for my treatment) will be along soon for his rounds. I was impressed! Usually wards don't have their own doctors. Usually only nurses. The only doctor who comes around is your own doctor on his rounds. Ok, I was more and more impressed.

HOWEVER, since HUKM was a teaching hospital, there were also many student doctors roaming around. Apparently it was the 3 year's final exam and they were busy practicing whatever it was that they needed to do on patients. They came to me and asked me if they could ask me some questions. They did introduce themselves first and I thought... ok la... layan je la. They basically asked me the same questions the doctor last night and this morning asked me. They were practicing asking patients questions so they can build some history on me case. So I obligingly answered and wished that they will go away. Finally they finished and I could get on with my breakfast.

My breakfast was placed on the table at the end of my bed. Due to my condition, I had difficulty getting up. The lady next to my bed saw me and asked me if I wanted to eat. I said yes, while I struggled to get up. She came over and pushed the table closer to me. I smiled gratefully. She was the one whose newborn was crying all night. 

Breakfast was porridge with blended carrots and green veggies. I was thankful as it was just what I needed, I could not eat any solids. It tasted surprisingly good, and almost homecooked. I was pleasantly surprised.
I decided to give the bathroom a shot. I prepared myself for the worst. The bathroom was surprisingly clean. It was not that dry, but it was not sloshy either. The sinks were CLEAN. Just like at home! I was surprised yet again! This is not too bad after all! I did had to bring my own toilet paper though. 

All in all, the hospital stay was surprisingly comfortable. The nurses were great. Very friendly and had great bedside manners. A far cry from the very posh Gleneagles, where the poshness ends where nurses are concerned. At HUKM, I had a favourite nurse every shift. When you need them, you just call for them and they are there within minutes. We all know that in private hospitals you push the dam button and they would only appear like half an hour later.

Food was great too. Its usually rice with one veggie and then fish or chicken. Cooked malay style, its not tawar, or spicey. Of course you don't get a menu to choose your meals, but it is served by a uniformed catering staff. Very ontime too. I never felt that I had to wait ages for a meal.

Over the 4 days I was there I walked around the ward. It turned out that the ward was really 3 rows of 6 bedded areas. It even had a pantry where you can help yourself to hot or cold water. It also had a small nursery for the new arrivals. Ocassionally at night you hear the babies crying because they were with their mums at the cubicles. Surprisingly, it did not bother me one bit. I discovered that different babies have different cries too! haha! it was real cute.

The hospital bill at the end of the 4 days surprised me even more. I had drips almost non stop, plus medications, 3 blood tests and one urine test. It was a whopping RM 258!!! Haha! how cheap is that!!

So HUKM is not a scary hospital to be in, even though its the general ward. Thank goodness for that!


dudae_simboyo said...


that is good news actually. now we know that some government hospitals are good. a while back one of my friends had to send his son to the hospital in klang and the bill, after an overnight stay, medicine, food, consultations, drips too like you, came to a grand total of rm 24?


citykoos said...

WO! sooo pink! i thot i was in the wrong blog!! :D

am hvg a BAD jet lag, beb.. just landed tonite, ada gak i tuang esok ni..

Baby Mits said...

dudae: Long time no see! In my blog and in person! Actually I saw you one time at the KLIA Golden Lounge. Segan nak tegur :)

Dils: We were wondering what happened to you! You missed the fantastic food at the party!

Cun tak my website background? hehe