When I was 18 I had a massive back problem which required extended hospital stay. In the end – after maybe 6 months of being in and out of hospital – I had surgery which fixed the problem. The whole process took some 9-10 months.
Other than the pain and boredom of being in the hospital, the sentiment I experienced was one of depression. I felt depressed. I was enrolled in Taylors’ College in KL, getting ready to come to Australia for my education. The back problem meant that plan was thrown into chaos.
The prolonged process made me wonder if I was going to get well, and what the outlook was going to be like. I wasn’t even sure if I would be able to come to Australia for uni and if I couldn’t, what would be my option? My brother and a cousin had left for the US but I never wanted to go that way. I saw the US as an expensive alternative with no corresponding quality. I didn’t want to head there unless I could make an Ivy League institution which would be far too expensive and I wasn’t sure I was good enough to secure a place anyway.
That sense of “what now”, or “what next” entails hopelessness which was the cause of despair. A prolonged illness and hospital stay often caused that sort of sentiment. I had forgotten that effect, until last night.
Tress came to my office just before 5pm and we both walked up Spring Street towards St Vincent’s where we caught a bus to Royal Melbourne Hospital. Uncle Jin is in the ICU there, after a fall last week which caused a head injury. He has an emergency surgery over the weekend and had been in ICU since.
This is after all the trauma of being diagnosed with cancer and undergoing chemotherapy in recent weeks.
He was responding well to the cancer treatment and we learned last night, that he and Auntie Pin had been traipsing around town to markets, restaurants etc., in anticipation of a birthday party to celebrate his 60th this weekend. It was during a trip to the markets when he fell. It’s a massive setback.
He looked surprisingly well for one who has gone through (and is going through) so much but clearly he was extremely saddened. He wore a gravely saddened look and tears flowed as we talked to him. I asked if he wanted me to pray for him and I did.
Hope and knowledge of where we’re heading, of where salvation lies, are such tonics in life. Other than medical care, Uncle Jin needs both in spades. I’m glad he now has the Holy Spirit in him who can now provide these.