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The day Kor admitted to the Hospice | Is it the end of the Panick Attacks?

Kor was discharged from TTSH after the Doctors said that there was nothing they can do for him anymore. Kor insisted on a discharge ASAP as he did not want to waste any more time in the hospital.

I remember that phone call from the Oncologist. Following the family conference, the doctors monitored Kor's health. But the fever did not go away. Neither did the infection. The doctors could not start treatment. No treatment. I was in the office when the doc called. I wrote down all the words he said. I was worried I misinterpret when I break the news to the family. I asked the doc so many questions; he struggled to give me the best answer.

Kor's lifespan from this day: 1-2 weeks.

One day later, Kor was discharged.

Kor had a serious panic attack the first night he came home. After that, he had panic attacks non-stop. It was terrifying for him, as much as it is for us. Someone would be with him 24/7, at all times. Either Mommy, Cheryl or myself. So that we can help him when he gets one of those attacks. Slowly, we try to find the patterns - what caused the attacks, and what calms him down.

Panic attacks are sudden periods of intense fear that may include palpitations, sweating, shaking, shortness of breath, numbness, or a feeling that something bad is going to happen. The maximum degree of symptoms occurs within minutes. Typically they last for about 30 minutes but the duration can vary from seconds to hours. There may be a fear of losing control or chest pain.

Kor would struggle to breath, even the oxygen supply didn't help. His body temperature will increase. He would go in to that state even when he moves too much. He no longer leaves the bed.

As the days passed, the attacks gotten more serious, more frequent... and more difficult to calm him down. We had to rely on more medicines, namely morphine.

Until one day, it got so serious... so tiring for him... so painful for us.


- Written on 19 Feb. The day Kor was admitted to the hospice -

19 Feb 15:00 • Day 5 of discharge from TTSH.

I am sitting on kor's bed, watching over him as he sleeps. He lightly snores, an indication that he is really sleeping I hope.

In the background, the fan lightly blowing at his face. And in the distant background, the repetitive sound from the oxygen concentrator which was just outside kor's room.

The machine stands at the junction of the family's three bedrooms. Making much noises as it pumps air in and oxygen out. But no one once complain.

The table filled with his essentials. Kinda.

A cup of thicken Pokka Green Tea, a cup of thicken water, another cup with normal water for wetting his lips. And a container with iced water to wet his body to cool him during attacks.

Little white styrofoam cups, with red straws. It looked as if a party just ended.

I had just taken over Cheryl's 7ish hours shift. We have been taking turns to look over him at he sleeps. He would wake up every so often. Sometimes just to look who's beside him. Some times for water. And other times by a panic attack.

"Help me. I need help."

He would call out. During my night shift, I dosed off many times. Light sleep... light enough to be awakened each time he moved. Each segment felt like 15 minutes or so. I never knew the exact timing. I'd never checked.

It's been barely 15 minutes since I first sat down here. The silence... so calming. Yet alarming.

In this short 15 minutes, he drifted in and out of sleep. Shifted twice in bed, and woke up once to smile at me.


15.24 • After another PANIC ATTACK.

Kor had another round of panic attack. Cheryl gave him another jab of morphine. She had to call the doc a few more times to check if it was possible. We were so worry bout overdosing. But kor kept asking for it.

Cheryl was in charge. I had no clue on how to handle the medicine. She kept track of the timings, and the medicine given.

"Chelsea, I don't want to live rest of my life like that."

So I brought up the idea of the hospice again. The topic that was brought up by the social worker who visited us 2 days ago. That very night she planted the idea into his head, Kor asked each of us separately what we think about the hospice.

All three of us (Mommy, Cheryl & I) coherently gave the same (politically correct) answer - you decide. It's your choice, where you would feel better. Hospice would be good since there would be proper care.

I assured him that we would be where he is. Don't have to worry about that.

I was tasked to talk to him about it. To convince him. I grabbed the bullet when opportunity struck. I said that they will lessen your pain and discomfort.

He asked, somewhat concernly, "you want me to go hospice? You feel its better?"

I gave a firm "Yes". And said, "Be there a few days. And get a bit better first. And you can come back after."

I wasn't sure if he could come back. I didn't give a guarantee-plus-chop on that statement. But I knew it was for the better.

He said he had things to do at home. He said he don't think he can come back.

My heart ached so much. I worried about the same thing. But what choice was I given?


My free hand reached out for my phone. I texted Cheryl to make arrangements. As always, Cheryl is the family's nurse, taking control of the medications every time someone fell ill. And this time even doing jab-ish for his morphine supply.

The home care nurse inserts a plastic tube into his left arm, making it easier for caregivers to insert med into him when necessary.

Kor called for more medicine. I tried to calm him down, but he said it was too difficult. He was struggling to overcome the anxiety. But he couldn't.

His mouth was dry. His body was hot. He couldn't catch his breath. He was panting so hard, as if he ran a marathon, or three.

As with every attack, we sat beside him. Giving him strength and assurance. Instructions actually... to guide him out of it.

It started with "Breathe. Breathe slowly. Breath through your nose (where the oxygen supply was)."

But by last night, as he was hallucinating, I added "Don't worry. Everything is okay. I am here. You are at home Kor."

The hands moved while the mouth talked. It was a routine of cleaning his body with a wet cloth to cool him down, and wetting his lips.

We waited for the on-call doc to come. She took forever. Kor must have been really urgent, he suggested we pay for her cab fare to take a taxi. He must have been really desperate to think that she would be taking the public transport at such urgency.

In his drowsy state, he ordered me to say "Please come."

I didn't understand, but I did it anyway. He kept hallucinating.

The doorbell rang right after I said "...come"; as if I said the correct key words. We waited.

Kor joked, "So long (haven't come in). Maybe it's not the doc, maybe it's a Yakult lady."

Cheryl texted instead to say that it was a delivery, not the doc.

"TMD" - was his response. I didn't dare tell him it was the hair dryer I ordered on Shopee last week, to replace my faulty one.


The doc came soon after. A petite lady, with a mask on the whole time. I didn't know how she looked.

She looked at kor. Then discussed with Cheryl was what taken, and what she would give next. The discussion was extensive. Too much numbers and info. It was on the tip of escalating Kor's anxiety.

"Discuss outside. Just give what is necessary." I shoo them out of the room. I felt I was rude. I didn't care. I couldn't risk another attack. Kor gets aggregated when there's too much sound around him.

It's so funny (not the best word), how kor is so alert and aware of the surroundings and his mind. Like what causes his attacks. What medicine is given etc. But yet, he can't control his attacks.

Mind over matter? Mind over body?

What's the saying... doesn't matter anymore. His body was taking over his mind.

The doc gave some medicines to cool him down.

We waited as the medicine took effect. Cheryl and the doc were outside making arrangements.

I sat in the room, held Kor's hand and gave him a weak smile... trying hard to hold back my tears.

Time to time, offering him water. He was restless. Tired from all those panic attacks. It's been 5 days.

"It's a pity you're not a nurse. You would have been a good nurse."

"Eww. No. I'm only caring for you because you are my 哥哥*."

My response was immediate... so was my tears, which I managed to hold back.

* insider family joke on calling each member of the family by their "status" (?). 爸爸 妈妈 哥哥 姐姐 妹妹

With 姐姐 being me.


The Ambulance finally came. Two guys with a stretcher.

It was difficult to reach Kor as the bed had shelves and table around it. There was only a small space to "enter" the bed. The worst part, was that Kor could not stand on his own. Too much movement, and too much sounds/instructions would trigger even more panic attacks.

The whole process that anyone could easily take 2 mins, took way longer. Probably even up to an hour!

Kor kept apologising to the ambulance guys. But it really wasn't his fault. Really.

They were kind and understanding. Patient even.

After forever, they finally managed to get him out.

I accompanied Kor in the ambulance, together with the doc. I had the essentials with me. Water bottle, wet wipes... even had to get them to turn off the radio, music messes with his mind.

I held kor's hand throughout, wetting his lips. With all the humps and bumps, I wasn't sure how he would manage the ride. Thankfully, the hospice was only a 15 minutes' drive from our home.

Cheryl and Mommy followed in our car.

21.36 • Dover Park Hospice, Room 218.

Kor finally settled down. The environment is quite pleasant.

They gave us a private room, one where the family members can stay over. Kor's room right in front of the nurses' counter. It was rather noisy, but we can catch the nurse's attention really fast.


This was the start of another whole series of drama.

❤ ❤ ❤

The longest two-month fight the family gone through.



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