Facing Death

http://video.toggle.sg/en/series/facing-death/ep4/349119

Of all my 18 years watching dramas, TV shows, reading books… I have never cried at any story I have heard before. After watching this tv series, however, I actually teared at like almost all of its episodes LOL.

This series “Facing Death” talks about palliative care in Singapore- the job of healthcare workers, what patients go through and how family members react, etc. I think death is a topic nobody likes to talk about when they are alive, because who wants to talk about such a scary thing? This show really informs the public about the importance of talking about Advanced Care Planning (ACP), and that death isn’t really a scary thing after all.

Even when they are nearing the end of their journey, patients don’t really want to talk about their death, especially when they feel that there’s still a glimpse of hope. They look up various cancer medications, new developments in treatment possibilities, and go through several rounds of radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Many do so because they have the will to live, a reason to live on- watching their children complete their studies, waiting for their niece to be born or wanting to attend their daughter’s wedding. Because of the things they are not willing to let go, they are not ready to leave yet.

As palliative healthcare workers, it is their job to give hope to these patients, and provide emotional support and counselling to not only them, but their family members. I think I finally understand what it means to be a nurse/doctor. It is not about saving a patient’s life at all costs, but doing one’s best to save it, because at that point in time, you become the patient’s only hope. Despite saying this, when you know that a patient is suffering, maybe the best option for him, is to let him go. Respect the patient’s decision, and be someone they can turn to if they need support.

To the elderly, many do not mind passing on, as they are already contented with what they have already experienced in life, and they just want their sufferings to be reduced. In such circumstances, the patient is ready to move on, but family members are not. I think family members will have to consider what is best for their loved one, yes, but they should also consider his wishes. Precisely because they are too afraid to talk about death when the patient is still sane enough to talk about it, that’s why people die with regrets, as their wishes are not met. In the part of family members, sometimes we have to be brave, courageous enough to be open when talking about the end of life.

Watching this series made me learn to treasure my loved ones even more, and more than anything, treasure myself. The kids who were diagnosed with cancer at such a young age had so many dreams and aspirations…they had a long journey ahead of them. It really is so unfair to have their lives taken away from them just like that. Yet here we are, worrying about A levels, and failing to appreciate that we are even alive and well to take these examinations. Many a times, we take for granted the opportunities that we are provided with, the comfort that we are living in, that we forget that all these are bonuses. Even in a developed country like Singapore, there are still kids suffering out there, due to chronic illnesses and doesn’t mean we live in a clean city, we are completely “protected” from premature dying. Most importantly, I think it kinda furthered my interests to pursue a career in the healthcare sector, even if I don’t enter medicine. I want to be a friend to the patient, despite being the one delivering the bad news; I want to understand their stories, share their emotional burden, and rejoice with them during the better times. I want to work hard with them, researching and looking for treatment possibilities, even if hope is slim. I want to be their teacher, their caregiver, and to be part of their lives, even if it changes mine drastically. This is my calling.

For now, I only wish that I can finish this A level exams smoothly, so I can spend more time with my loved ones ❤ Tell your friends and family that you love them, because life is really unpredictable. Every new day is a gift, and be grateful for it. You never know when and how you will die, so make sure you live to the fullest, and pass away without regrets.

 

Kai Lin 🙂

 

 

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