My son is my willpower, he makes me strong

When I was younger, I was very active and I was an only child. But things changed when I got married. Because my mother got cancer and she died of cancer 8 years ago. And it all started from there, as I was very close to my late mother and my late father. Then after they passed away, I felt like I had nobody to talk to. That is how my life started, until today.

Back then, my eldest son got diabetes when he was just 11 years old, and my husband also has diabetes, and he has been suffering from nerve problems because maybe his diabetes was too high. Because of financial difficulties, my husband has skipped his diabetes medication for 2 years and we didn’t know where to go for help, so we just kept this to ourselves.

Seeing my husband sad, makes me feel worse. Sometimes he will cry and say that he is useless and cannot do anything for the family. He will say “aiya today is over, what will happen tomorrow?” Sometimes I don’t know what to say. Until one time I really can’t sleep, even in the daytime.  I tried to go to a polyclinic to try and get some sleeping pills. And then after 2 times, they don’t allow me. They don’t want to give me the medication, instead they want to send me to IMH.

I say, “ah I’m not mad, why do you want me to go to IMH?” The doctor said “IMH is not meant only for mad people. It’s also for people like you who cannot sleep”. Then I say, “I don’t know how to go there, I don’t know how to travel that far.” Then the doctor said “never mind we can get an ambulance for you.” When I heard that I just ran away and went to pay for the bill. If they can give me medicine, I can go. I will try my best to travel to Hougang to take the medication. But the doctor said “No. at least you have to stay there for 3 days and 3 nights.” If I go there for 3 days, 3 nights, what will happen to my husband at home?

That’s the reason why I don’t want to go. I hear voices, asking me to jump down, asking me to stab my husband, that’s why I become very scared. So I think if I can sleep I don’t think I will hear all these voices. But the doctor doesn't want to help me. But now I think I’m okay because I do the volunteering job, which previously I didn't have any friends, but now I got friends. I keep myself busy, sometimes I go down to the CC (Community Club). But now, because of this virus, I cannot go there, but it’s okay I understand.

When I told my husband, he also told me to be strong and he said that this is all his fault because he cannot go out and work. He says he understands, he knows how I feel. How I go through all these things, to pay the bills. These are all the things that make him cry sometimes.

I did go out to work but every time I work, they terminate me. Previously before this virus, my husband and my son had a lot of medical appointments. One day got 2 appointments, some days my husband got an appointment, my son also got an appointment. And then they say the company cannot tolerate anymore. I showed them the proof that they have to go for their appointments, and I even showed it to my supervisor. But they still said that my attendance is very bad. That’s why I cannot go out and work.

After I join the volunteer team then I feel like I got somebody. I won’t share my problems. But I like to joke, and talk. And in the team I got somebody to joke and talk with. Like if tomorrow or next week something comes in, what are we going to do, where are we going to settle this thing, which location we have to deliver the things. All these things make me excited. Before that, I got a lot of time because I had nothing to do. Then I would think and think and think. I would start to imagine things, the bad things. Now I’m happy, even though I’m in a very difficult situation, I can help other people at the same time.

Once I had a stall that sells Ayam Penyet. During my first 4 months of opening the stall, mine was rated the top 10 Ayam Penyet in Sunday Times. Then after 4 months, it appeared on Berita Harian as well. Then the Singapore Popular Food Tourist came and they featured our stall in 2 pages! It was quite some time back, but because we don’t employ people, after my son got sick, and his vision became blurry, I had no one to help. And my husband also became sick and could not help. So we just give up the stall.

I wish I could reopen a very small food stall and I think that would be my dream. I think that would be the end of my sadness. Maybe If I have a food stall like on non-dialysis days, I can bring along my husband and my son, cause my husband travels via an e-scooter, and my son can push one corner in front of the stall. When I work and have to leave him behind, that makes me worried and when I worry it also makes me unable to work. Then every time I get terminated. But if I can have my own stall, my patients – my son and husband are my patients – will be in front of me all the time. But I don’t know whether my dream can come true or not.

But opening a food stall is not cheap. Need to pay rental advance and deposit. I know that one is my dream only. Will never come true. But nevermind, at least I have a dream, correct? I think if I had my old food store, I think my life would be different. Meaning I don’t have to be too dependent. For the past 6 months SSO has been helping me and I thank them so much. But if I can have my own income, I don’t need to go to SSO again and it means out there so many people like me or even worse than me can get the help. If I work, I can get my salary. Then if I have a store, I have a salary also, then it can give other people a chance to get what I am getting now from SSO.

Now I just only wish that my son and my hubby like back on their own feet and stay healthy.

My husband’s condition is okay now because he takes medicine every day. I have a friend who gave him Omega 3 and after he took it he feels better. My son’s condition is also now under control. Maybe with that, I try to make that with my willpower, to make them happy and also myself to be happy. My son is my willpower, he makes me strong. And I always pray for his health.
Mdm Zalehah