Friday, March 04, 2016

gong gong’s lung lump


That orange Day is holding?

That’s the size of a lump in Gong Gong’s upper left lung.

In a nutshell: After many days in the hospital starting 25 February, and lots of prodding, the doctors have ascertained that it’s not cancerous. But they are still scratching their heads as they have no idea what it is.

Gong Gong was on a bus heading to the temple (where he does charity work) when suddenly his chest hurt, bad, and he found it hard to draw breath.

He stopped at the bus stop where his GP is, walked in, the GP immediately sent him to the Changi General Hospital.

He took a taxi there, was warded, and the doctors got busy with two things:
  • Getting rid of fluid in his lungs which was causing the breathlessness, by sticking a tube into the bottom part of his lung. About 1 litre of semi-bloody fluid flowed out in a day after which Gong Gong felt perfectly normal.
  • Trying to ascertain what that mass was. This proved far more daunting as the doctors pussy-footed their way around my old Dad, starting with ‘safe’ tests which were fruitless and then moving on to increasingly invasive tests. Finally, they stuck a camera down his mouth into his lung and, in conjunction with other tests on lung fluid, concluded that there are no signs of cancer.
Do we breathe a sigh of relief? I’m not sure.

Can he live with the mass? Well... It can cause breathlessness, chest pains and other issues in future. It also seems somewhat immune to antibiotics. He has been on an antibiotic drip during his entire hospital stay and that mass is as solid as ever.

Cut it out? Opening the chest of a 79-year-old to try and delicately remove a mass of toxins is no joke. The operation might kill him.

Gong Gong has lost weight and is a feather-light 44kg. The hospital environment is not conducive to happy living. The kids are very unhappy, that their favourite grandparent is unwell. Gong Gong is also offended that his pristine health record (low cholestrol, good BP, good heart etc) has been marred.


But he’s as spry and feisty as ever, reminding me to pump his bicycle tyres so they don’t get too flat when he resumes cycling. Every time we visit him in hospital, he shoos us away – “Don’t waste time lah”. He’s also banned his siblings from visiting him because they stay in the West with no car. When we laughed our guts out at how to differentiate his used and new underwear (smell it), he was very pissed off: This is a public place, please lah!

He’s also told us where his funeral wake should be held and how his remains should be disposed. Er. I disagreed. Even the kids disagreed with his wishes.

From the experience, he’s also come away with a very important message for my two bachelor brothers. Looking Teng straight in the eye, he said – It is very important to have a family, a wife and children. Otherwise if you are in a hospital, sick, it is very pitiful. (I relayed the message to Choon in Darwin, who messaged back – Huh? So pressure)

The episode is a reminder that Gong Gong is 79, after all. As he aptly puts it himself, every day after 70 is a blessing.

And no, he’s not out. He’s still in hospital, still feeling perfectly normal (chest pain is gone), as the doctors doggedly dredge up more tests to try and ascertain what the mass is.



Debra said...

Aww, hope your dad feels better and can be discharged soon!

A long-time reader, Debra

Sher said...

we hope so too, thanks!

Anonymous said...

I felt every bit of my kids' bewilderment, on top of my own anxiety, when this happened to us. Hope he gets well, and can go home soon.

Anonymous said...

How apt that the post ended with Day and your dad dismantling and eating up the orange.

I hope he gets better soon. And the docs find out the cause, and can resolve it!

Jo (Josephine)

Sher said...

ya i was thinking also. how weird tt they're eating an orange!

Anonymous said...

Hope the docs can figure out what is it and how to proceed so that your dad can go back home. Meanwhile, hang in there and take care, all of you!


Sher said...

thanks :)

rachel said...

sorry to read about your dad being ill. hope he is better and out of hospital.
my dad had a similar episode a couple of days before cny and
the docs scoped before using some laser thingy that removed the tumour. a bit aggressive but better than open chest surgery. dad can breathe much better now.
he did the same things your dad did: told us where the valuables are kept and other arrangements the children would rather not think about!