I have never been this demoralized before.

Growing up, I must admit I am not really close to my dad. Whenever I have problems, I would run towards my mom and seek solutions from her. My distaste from my dad stemmed from the seeds implanted as I was growing up. In fact, I hated the way he drinks, the way he throws his tantrums when he did not get what he wanted, or the way he was being superstitious. 

Being a devout Buddhist, my dad often burns some incense at home to show respect to his religion. As a rebellious kid who favored science more than religion, I hated that act. Especially when the fumes from these incense never fail to suffocate me badly. I raised this issue to my mom, but nothing was done. Hence, in order to bring my message across, I threaten him I will injure myself badly if he doesn't stop.

The threats didn't seem to scathe him, and I got injured pretty badly. 

I guess that was the turning point in which the seeds grew exponentially, increasing the hatred I had for him. As a child, I was unable to deal with his conflicts so I decided to shut him out.

Eventually, I shut out my mother too.

I don't recall the reason why my mother was implicated, but I cannot stand how she wanted to always be involved in my life.

I want to have a life of a bird, where I can spread my wings and fly without being tied. Sometimes, I am really glad that my grandparents were not involved in my growing up progress because I have lesser strings to worry about.

However, going through army completely changed my mindset about them. I remembered crying during one of the field camps where we had to reflect on our lives in the jungle because of the nasty things I did to them.

Instead of being sympathetic and be more receptive to them, I build even more walls. Ironic right? I tried to tear down the walls and let them in, but with each attempt, I tried to isolate myself even further.

I guess that tired me out and I stopped trying.

However, only recently in this year, my conscious starts to bite into me. I had been a heartless kid in the past who showed absolutely no concern when my dad had a stroke (and twice) and landed up in the hospital. I ignored him and pretended that everything was fine when he came back home a few days later. You can call me an asshole again if you like. 

One day, while I was out with my boys from the army camp for a nights out, I received a text message from my aunt. 

"Your dad is in the hospital."

Honestly speaking, I have no idea why that struck me so hard and my mood was totally ruined - I was dumbfounded and scared. I did not want to lose my dad despite what I have done to him and shutting him out from my life.

That was when I decided to look into his condition and find out more. 

I have no idea why I was concerned. My aunt has been telling me over the years that my dad's heart health is deteriorating and her words keep falling onto my deaf ears. If I could turn back time, I would probably bite the bullet and showed more concern to my dad. Maybe this would have prevented whatever he has gone through now.

Moving back to the topic, I called my aunt and elicited more information. I then called my dad to show some concerns and headed back home to see if he was alright.

Apparently nope. He wasn't okay. 

I took leave for a few days and decided to accompany my dad to his consultation at the doctors. Somehow, I did not realize my dad was scared and afraid about going through this ordeal by himself. Yet, I still showed absolutely no sense of empathy.

I acted like a snobbish little kid and showed off my medical knowledge, leaving his fears hanging in midair.

As time goes by, I understood his condition more and more. Seeing how he transitted from consultation to being sedated for the operation and then recovering from the operation made me realized something - my dad was aging and this was not a reality I was ready for.

I was still shutting him out from my personal world when one day, he came home and started complaining to my sister how he was going to die and how the pain was killing him. I admit I overheard him saying about dying, but I did not probe further nor go and solicit information about it. I feigned ignorance and decided to continue with my studies.

If it wasn't for my sister, I would not have spoken to my dad to find out his concerns and I would not have realized how afraid he was. And more importantly, how much he had wanted to talk to me.

Minutes ago, he knocked silently on my door and asked if I was free. He handed over a package of Panadol, asking if he could take panadol for his fever. 

That was when my morale took a dip down the black hole below. I am not equipped with the knowledge to help him check whether panadol has any drug interaction with the long laundry list of drugs he was consuming. I felt totally useless.

I guessed I missed out some parts here and there, but since the time I accompanied my dad to the specialists, he has been consulting me about his heart conditions. So I took my time to study and help him understand his condition more. I will never forget the day before the operation when the surgeon asked him: "Do you know what is happening to you now?"

And my dad says: "No, they always communicate in English which I cannot understand."

That moment struck me so badly that my dad has become one of the main reasons why I wanted to pursue medicine so desperately.

I want to use my knowledge to help other people who is suffering the same condition as my dad. I really don't want anybody to go through what I had saw when my dad suffered and then not knowing what is happening to his body.

I really want to prevent that.

And tonight's case highlighted one important aspect of why I wanted to become a doctor.

I want to be there for my patients, especially when they need help and have no one else to go to like my dad, who wants to check for drug interactions before he consume that panadol.

I swear I will make my medicine dream a reality. 

I will fight this war.

Published by Lucius