It's 4:25a.m now, and here I am wide awake - for two reasons.
Firstly - Ayah was woken up by a phonecall from Sri Ko*a Medical Centre, Klang just over an hour ago, and he had to leave immediately to attend to an emergency heart attack case. He left within 15 minutes of the call - after taking a quick shower to freshen up and gulping down a mug of Ali Ca*e coffee I made him - as an added measure to make sure he stays wide awake and alert on the road at this hour of the night/morning.
He has brought along his work attire with him, just in case his Klang patient needs an emergency angioplasty which would probably, give and take, take 2 hours to complete, after which it would already be time for Ayah to go to TMC for his ward round and later – clinic.
It has become a norm for Ayah to either come back VERY late and/or being called in the middle of the night to attend to his patients for the past 6 months or so. The reason being - he is now covering four hospitals. On top of TMC where he is a Resident Physician and Cardiologist, he's also a Visiting Consultant at 3 other hospitals - Col*mbi* As*a (Puchong), Ass*nta Hospital (PJ) AND Sri Ko*a MC (Klang). He has also been accredited to practise at Su*way MC, but, as it is, he has his hands full with the said four hospitals and has yet to start his sessions at Su*way.
So, you can just imagine the amount of to-ing and fro-ing he has to do on some days if he has patients to see at ALL four hospitals! It's just like you doing your current job, but, four times more at four different offices spread out at four different locations. Almost everyday.
Attending to his scheduled clinics and ward rounds at these hospitals is not much of a problem, as Zaidy, can drive him around. It's answering to emergency cases like this morning that is making his life topsy turvy now (and my life, too, for that matter!) The calls could lead to him going to Kota Damansara (which is not too bad), or Puchong, or PJ, or even Klang at godforsaken hours, like this morning.
But, Ayah did warn me early last year when he was leaving PP*M to go private that the first couple of years would be hell as he would have to establish himself in the private practice first and get his patients base in a few hospitals as he would not be able to survive just on income coming from one source. And true enough, he has to do just that now.
Syukur alhamdulillah, his earnings since leaving the government hospital has been pretty steady without too much fluctuations between the months, but to guarantee that, he has to work twice as hard as when he was in PP*M. (and as it was, he was already working like 14-18 hours a day then! But, it wasn't too bad then as he was only covering PP*M, and was not running here and there between four hospitals like now!)
The kids and I have gotten so used to Ayah's crazy schedule now, and what little time we have with him would be maximized with whatever family outings we could go on.
It has not been easy for both parties – Ayah, and me and the kids. But, over the years, things have become relatively easi-ER.
I know a lot of people out there are thinking just how on earth does he do that? And, maybe a LOT MORE are probably thinking – “How on earth does she know that his coming home late everyday IS because he’s attending to his patients? How on earth will she know if he is in fact up to no good with some other woman?!”
Well, I don't, and I probably won't know.
I’d be lying if I were to say that these thoughts had never crossed my mind – especially in the early years of being married. Hell, I have to admit that as recent as maybe 5-6 years ago I still had doubts about that!
But, like all couples, we would have our arguments, and more often that not, they were always because of him not spending as much time as I wanted him to with the kids, and me doubting if he was really at work during all those long hours he was not home. Hati perempuan, kan…?
But, Syukur Alhamdulillah… things are so much better in that department now. I guess we grew up… Or rather, I grew up.
I guess, as long as I focus on fulfilling my duties as his wife well, and as long as I bersangka baik with him, and trust him with all my heart, and as long as I appreciate just how hard he’s working to provide for the family, and as long as (and I make sure he does! Hehehe…) he appreciates the sarifices the kids and I also have to make over the years for him, insya Allah, we will be okay. In fact, MORE than okay :)
It is strange, but, I do find our relationship has reached another level whereby there are better understanding and tolerance between us, since Ayah went private, even though as mentioned, he is so, so much busier now.
I now see and focus on how hard he works for the family, rather than on how little time he spends with us. BIG difference there.
And apart from focusing on how hard it was for him to be where he is now, I think Ayah now also focuses on how hard it was for me and the kids to go through life with him not being around for most of the time, and I know that he appreciates that fact.
Experiencing life as a doctor, and even more so, as a cardiologist, AND seeing how it has affected us as a family, Ayah is forever trying to discourage the kids to follow his footsteps. His latest attempt at this was made last weekend when he had to give a talk to a group of students aspiring to become doctors, whereby he had dragged the whole family to listen to his talk which covered his journey to becoming a doctor and what he had to give up along the way until now.
Listening to him that day had made me realize that I should have appreciated him more as a very good and responsible husband and father all these years and should have given him 200% more support than I had given him all this while. I should have given him more credits…
Anyway, I don’t think he did a good job at discouraging the kids to do medicine – cardiology in particular, as I think Hasya is more determined to become a cardiologist now after listening to her Ayah’s talk!
In a way, I guess it is not fair for us to discourage the kids to become doctors, and even more so - cardiologists. So, we have agreed that we will not discourage them, but, at the same time, we will not ACTIVELY encourage them to follow their Ayah’s path. We have gone through the trials and tribulations as a family in medical life conundrums - and we know that not everyone will be able to go through it like we did/do.
However, if Allah SWT has determined their paths to be so, then we as parents will embrace it whole-heartedly, and will support them and their families all the way, insya Allah…
So, THAT was one of the reasons why I’m still wide awake at this hour – being woken up by the emergency call for Ayah at 3:30a.m!
A blessing in disguise, I guess, because I have somehow managed to come up with this entry :)
Now, the SECOND reason why I still can’t go back to sleep is that in less than 5 hours, Hanna will be getting her PMR result!
I’m pretty nervous even though I have every confidence in her, insya Allah…But, Moms, being Moms, we just can’t help feeling the jitters, kan?
Come what may, I know she has worked hard, and I’m very, very, very proud of her.
And as my senior at school, Along Faezah would say, “Usaha sudah, tawakal sudah. And now kita redha with anything that comes our way…”
All the best, my darling Hanna! Mommy and Ayah love you VERY, VERY MUCH! And don’t you ever forget that…
And (after all that was said! :)) even when your PMR results would mean that you probably would get good SPM results, too, insya Allah, and can probably go ahead and pursue medicine after school, do think about it twice (or maybe, three or four times, or more, okay, dear…?) ;)
* By the way, Ayah's MM article for this week can be read here :)