I fell in love with my patient.

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Today, I was set up on a blind date through my relative. I went anyway, because I want all of my complicated feelings about you to fade away. If only this new guy can make my heart skip a beat, I would have forgotten about you and move on with life.

We had dinner together at a very romantic place. He is a rather good looking guy with good manners. Very polite, dressed well and he smelled good too! Bonus points, I thought. The date went well, but, I wasn’t thinking about this new guy. I found myself wanted to tell every single thing to you at the end of the night. I found myself, for real this time, missing you, my patient.

All I can say is that you, you make me into a new person. Before I met you again, I was me. Someone who can’t trust and love. You make me happy, even when you’re selfish and awful. Tonight, I would rather be with you – even the you that you think is broken and disabled – than with anyone else in this world. Because I found solace with you.

“He cares so much for you, till the fact that to me, you are his cure. Having you in his life is what he needs.”

“Just let him go. He is ignoring you. He doesn’t care about you anymore. Move on.”

For the past 3-4 weeks, I am confused about how I felt, so I told myself that I should just ignore things and focus on whatever I needed to do. I tried to convince myself that you don’t like me and I didn’t like you. To push away my feelings. To destroy them. Anyway, you don’t like talking to me anymore.

Tonight, just when I think it couldn’t get any worse, it can. My heart cried in pain, just like 8 years ago. Because now, I am trying to love someone and it’s going to be a love in vain.

I don’t even dare to say that I’m in love. I don’t even have the courage to text you about how I felt. So, I could only write all my feelings down, hoping that you will read. I don’t think you will even read this.

Here’s to you if you are reading this:

People used to say that being honest with someone can make you gain a person in life or can teach you a painful lesson in life. I’m going to be honest anyways because words that are left unsaid is more hurtful than words that were spoken. It feels so unethical to fall in love with my own patient, so the only correct way to solve the dilemma is to end our physiotherapist-patient relationship. But will our friendship ends too after you read this?

I cared for you as a physiotherapist in the beginning, then slowly, I loved you as a good friend. And then, I loved you more than just a good friend during the days when we were apart.

I don’t know what else can I tell you, other than that I love you. I don’t care if you are an OKU, or lost a limb, or if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness. All I know is: I love God. I love you.

I know that I sound crazy. I know we’re just getting to know each other, and even admitting what I did just makes you think that I’m nuts and it will draw you away. You would probably avoid me forever.

Still, I want you to know that I love you, not just for the person you are, but for the way you make me think that we can be. I don’t know if I have made the right choice to say this, but I know our lives are made up of our own choices or our lives will never change.

Now, tell me, should I apologize for being honest and watch you leave?

I wish before you leave, you could slap me with the truth. The truth that will set me free. That you don’t feel the same way. Because I’m not the type of girl that you will fall in love with. That I’m not a supermodel with pretty face, nor am I intelligent. I’m just not that girl. I am just a common woman. I have led a common life with battle scars. Just slap me with the truth. Don’t worry. I wouldn’t choose me either.

Now I know why I was miserable.
I fell in love with my patient.
I love you and I’m sorry.

Here comes the feeling you thought you’d forgotten.

Venerable.

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“Finally…”

He brought her home to meet his ailing grandfather. His grandfather was very weak, yet, he still lifted his head slowly to look deeply into her eyes. She sat down beside his grandfather so that he can have a closer look at her.

“You look very smart and knows how to carry yourself. You must be a very determined person and won’t easily give up. You crossed your legs while standing because you are very reserved and that’s why you are very careful with whatever you do. You smile from your heart but there is sadness in your eyes. Your clasping hands showed that you have something that you can’t let go but at the same time, you are trying to believe that you can.”

She cleared her throat and said, “Thank you, Ah Kong.”

Ah Kong reached for his grandson’s hand. And he held his Ah Kong’s hands tightly. Seeing the bond between grandfather and grandson brought big tears to her eyes.

His Ah Kong looked at him and said, “Treat her right. Your words and actions will last her a lifetime. Your bitter words, that day you were angry with her, those times you ignored her, when your friends are more important than her, the times you don’t walk with her to front door, she carries that in her mind.

She is beautiful because behind her, there is pain. She will remember that you made her happy. Wipe her tears, stroke her hair, support and be there for her. She will remember that you treat her like a lady, even when she is wrong. Teach her how to let go of things. You are now a big boy. You have to learn to love, to compromise, to nurture..the kind of man who makes a good husband and father.

If she loves you, be a good man, because if you don’t, you will lose her in the end…”

Ah Kong taught him and her about a good man. Her eyes misted over, and tears rolled down her cheeks. His grandfather began to breathe heavily. “Rest, Ah Kong, rest. I know. I know.” Ah Kong was struggling for each breath and in a few minutes, everything stopped.

He’d gotten emotional but she was glad that he’d shared it with her. She wiped away his tears, reaching over, hugged him and cried together. She wanted to comfort him, but words are hard to come by. Saying the right words is the hardest thing for her but Ah Kong’s words definitely impacted him and her.

 

A grandfather holds his grandchild’s hand for a while and their hearts for a lifetime.

A letter to You.

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I still remember that you called one night to tell me that you had fallen into the trap and that, you are not okay. I could only say I am sorry for your pain. I wish I could take it all away and let you live the life you want, but I can’t.

I wanted to make things better for you, but your condition doesn’t always allow me to do that. I didn’t text, not because I have forgotten about you. I didn’t text, not because I don’t care anymore. I didn’t text, not because I’m avoiding you. But because I understand that you needed time to chill.

Some days, I know you can’t see what’s good in you, what’s worthwhile in you. Sometimes, you can’t see why you matter. And some days, I know you don’t love yourself. So I’m writing and wishing you could see what I see. To remind you of how great you are. That’s what your friends are for!

You are one of the cutest patient ever. Who laughs so much just to kill pain. Who can explain complex ideas into something very easy for yourself to learn. And you always say the right words that gets me through my day, sometimes. Did you know that?

You are caring, kind, a great listener, you don’t judge, and passionate…the list goes on and on. You go out of your way to be kind. You love people. You take on other people’s burdens or inconvenience yourself, to make life easier for another person. The qualities that God gave you makes you pretty amazing. And you need to see that sometimes, you need to come first.

To be honest, selfishly, I am glad for what God has put you through because it made you into you. For as long as I’ve known you, you’ve been carrying this pain, trying to live as good a life as you can without letting the feelings pulling you down. Trying to fix the source of it, trying to deny it and cover it up.

In those moments when you’re most broken by it, when you’re standing honest facing the darkest storm, that’s precisely when I love you the most. That’s when I remember again and again and again why I wanted to be your friend in the first place. Because you’re a real person, you suffer from all this mess and yet you keep on trying, every day. You’re kind of a hero to me and going to be a blessing to others. I trust that you can overcome this.

I hope you understand, just a little bit, why you matter. I want to let you know that I’m holding you in my thoughts and prayers. That I promise you. You don’t have to be strong, trying to hold yourself together in a single thread. It’s okay. It’s okay that you aren’t okay. I’m not leaving, and neither are your friends. I may not be someone who is important in your life but I hope you realize there are a lot of people in your life who love you enough to go through it all with you, standing by you along the way.

We won’t ever see you as a burden or as an annoyance. Never. Because we love you too much. We will be there for you, ok? Remember that your darkest storm doesn’t get to win. Not with God and prayers in your corner.

We love you. Always.

P/s: I’m still waiting for you to compile all of your shouting and screaming videos so that I can watch them whenever I need to laugh. I’ll continue to count the minutes until you do.

Sincerely,

Your friend.

Love conquers all. Always. 

NEVER KNEW YOUR SMILE MEANS SO MUCH TO ME

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Sitting right beside you, counting every independent unassisted movement.

Sitting right beside you, thinking how much I used to dislike you.

Sitting right beside you, realizing that you are a new person.

Sitting right beside you, I am your physiotherapist and friend.

I knew you were the most determined, the most hardworking patient, but nothing could ever prepare me for what was about to happen.

I thought the best gift I can give to anyone in this world – time. Something that money can’t buy.

I thought, I truly thought I did enough.

I was wrong.

I never knew this would happen.

Truth is, we can never be prepared. Nothing is enough. Enough to save a life.

I think I lost a patient. A friend.

Just so you know, I would give anything to listen to you talk on and on and on again.

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It’s funny how things can change so suddenly. 

Why are you dying to be perfect?

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Sometimes, putting thoughts into words would hopefully makes sense on the next day.

Dreams. I day dream a lot. Like, a lot. However, night dreams about falling off stairs is a common thing for me. The word “perfection” would be the culprit behind it. So I was thinking about it.

Well, people say that I deserve all the good things in the world. As I could just thank them shyly for being so lovely with their words, I can’t help but think that hey, I’m not all that they give me credit for. I’m a mess, a bundle of flaws too. It is amazing they see how God works in my life and how lovely, that they see me in a much better light.

But deep inside me, I am so imperfect.

Why are you, why am I trying to be perfect? Why are you, why am I spending time beating myself up for not being good enough? Why are you, why am I not able to give myself a pat on the back when someone compliments? Why are you, why am I comparing myself to better/smarter/more beautiful people than me? Why are you, why am I thinking about issues that are absolutely unnecessary but I do so anyway?

I have to admit that I strive very hard for perfection but again, who is God if I am perfect? God is perfect and I’m just that imperfect. “Perfection” is just a myth.

So here’s to everybody: Stop trying to be perfect. Focus on the whole human package and appreciate the faults. Find the beauty of imperfections and enjoy how you got there. Because the flaws of a person tell a great story, an unique story. Be this beautiful mess, stitched up with good intentions, and inspire others.

 

Sorry, I am not perfect.

Too Much, Too Little, Too Late

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That’s what you texted today. I decided to write down because I just feel sad and empty. I write because you exist in my life. The day could have been of good food and family – you know, things that make you feel happy when you are back to church with family and friends. But, I had to suck it all up.

It feels daunting when someone gives you a math problem to solve, asking you not to give up and when you are halfway through, the person snatches it away from you. Many patients asked us to let them go. I am no stranger to such words, but this time, I felt drenched in shame that in the darkest time of his life, my patient could not bring himself to trust me one more time. Because he thinks that I have too much on my plate.

What I wanted to say, I couldn’t say it. Nothing I say matters now. You wouldn’t listen. But I really wanted to tell you that the amount of stress I have is mines. And not yours. What I am going through is what I needed to go through. What you are going through is what you needed to go through to be a better person too. I just need you to trust me a little more that I can help you, I can help others, I can work and study at the same time. Just that. Is that too much to ask?

So I expect too much from you, cared too little and now it is too late to regret.

Being a physiotherapist can be emotionally punishing, sometimes thrilling and sometimes sobering. Once, I selfishly wished that someone else had faced all these instead of me. Haha. But overall, the best thing about being a physiotherapist was that you always go home with life lessons that made you a better physiotherapist tomorrow.

Today, I wrote it down because one day when I look back into my life, I know all that I’ve done has been in the name of love. 

Dear Students,

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Though each of you are wearing the same uniform, each of you have your own versions. The most common scene will be students staring at their phones and not communicating with friends. That’s the latest trend eh?

So many students with so many different characteristics. Some are happy, some are sad, some are rude. Some of you always ask for assistance in studies, some of you decided to keep quiet ALL the time.

But because of you, I learn too. As we are discussing, I learn about myself, I learn about you all and I learn about conflicts in general. When you kept quiet, I would learn how to smile and reassure you that you can ask any questions at any time. Sometimes I do get annoyed with student’s behaviour, but I learn that you could be struggling with many things that I may not know about. So I treated you the way I would want to be treated during a bad day.

I learn to accept all of you and treat you like equals, like the adults. I believe that people will learn more through interaction than long winded lectures.

So I want to thank all of you for giving me a chance to learn from you all. I know I can never learn enough, just like how I can’t teach you everything. But I hope you learn to make it on your own and go change the world.

Sincerely,

Your lecturer.

 

In learning, you will teach. And in teaching, you will learn. – Phil Collins