Public Health Screening’ 16

5.05am

My phone’s light illuminated the darkness of the early morning and my eye was definitely not thankful for that. However, knowing I still had 45 minutes worth of precious sleep was extremely comforting.

I thought I would have slept well until the annoying sounds of the alarm clock broke the midnight silence, but being engulfed by the realms of nightmare woke me up. To my horror, the nightmare involved today’s public health screening (PHS) event. Nightmares usually signify a deeper layer of stress that my conscious mind was blind to, and honestly, I never knew PHS was ever a stressor in my life.

Turns out it was.

Following the 45 minutes sleep, I woke up to find myself freezing in the cold weather, feeling sluggish and feverish. My infection in my upper respiratory track was spreading rampantly downwards. That was concerning because I did not want my fever skewed mind to be present for the PHS subsequently.

I fight the urge to stay in bed and headed for a shower. A piping hot shower to relieve the coldness and discomfort my body felt.

A couple of panadol later, I picked my bag up and left.

P and I are supervisors for the Phlebotomy team today, and I was surprised when I noticed that we were the only two that reached on time. We were given a quick brief about the actual event before we changed into our red supervisor shirt (which I look super awesome in!) .

After a more detailed brief by D and V, we were all set to start until I realized that my volunteers were completely unsure of where to meet us (oops!). So I had to quickly provide directions for them and thankfully, all of them were on time and we had sufficient time to brief the volunteers!

Surprisingly, P told me that he wanted to treat me a cup of drink for helping him manage our team of volunteers. I kindly rejected him, but his persistence got the better of him and I relent.

Prior the start of the event, I took a couple of photos to commemorate the whole event. What I noticed after a period of time elapsed, was that I missed out two of my precious volunteers (they left to mend another booth) and my two committee attaches. Oh, well.

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Here’s a pre-event selfie!

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And here’s a quick update before we start

Within a couple of minutes, the first resident came into our station. And that was the initiation for the cascade of residences dropping by our station. At the start, P and I were considering the rotation system. P was thinking against it, but I was firm about it. I understood his reasons why, and I was really hoping that we could rotate the volunteers around the various roles to get a full fledged experience. By putting myself into my volunteer’s shoes, I eventually won the debate over with P and we started planning for the rotation.

Time honestly flies so quickly when you are busy and we had one of the toughest slots for the PHS event! I had plenty of interesting stories to share, and to protect the identity of these people, I shall not highlight their names or any important information that could break confidentiality.

One of the most memorable people I met was this lady who was sitting on a portable scooter. As I was assessing her requirements, she casually told me that her blood vessels in the eyes burst before. After finishing her assessment, and waiting by her side, I decided to probe her further. Thankfully, her sight was not affected and she was very healthy. We spoke a bit more about her personal life before she was wheeled up to the side of the phlebotomist.

Another interesting encounter I had was this angsty uncle who had fasted since the day before, and the queue number for the phlebotomy was not jumping fast enough. He started to complain about how bad our systems and arrangement is and thankfully, we were able to calm him down a bit and one of the committee members even managed to convince him to wait a little longer. I remembered his number was the next of the series and he stood up to wait. Turns out, the other series number moved 7 times and his series was not progressing. He started ranting again and I lent him my ears and nodded in silent agreement. Thankfully, he was less agitated and we thanked him for his patience.

There were a few more super nice residences who thanked us from time to time, giving us the smile and it was through those bright beams that made me realized how the day was worth it.

Before our station close for the day, we took another group selfie with the phlebotomist!

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Anyway, as the day progresses, I headed over to NUH to deliver the rest of the blood tubes to the lab. Throughout that period, I was communicating with another committee member of PHS, J, and found the silence quite comforting sometimes. I guess I was a bit too ragged to be enthusiastic and extremely communicative, and I was really fortunate that the conversation was a two-way highway rather than one (like how my conversations with D goes).

When I was back from the hospital, I joined P and decided to hang around the various stations for PHS.

Somewhere along the way, I was bringing and talking to one of the residences when I walked past D. I don’t remember exactly if D was talking to anyone, but when I crossed past him, he whispered:”You can hang on”.

As I was quite focused on the bringing the resident, I kind of ignored D’s words (anyway, I don’t even know for sure he was speaking to me. There is a high chance that he was talking to me though, since it was a whisper, and not a shout to the nearby people [which was quite far given that the resident and I took up quite a big space]) and left.

Just when I thought I was over D, that whisper threw my balances upside down. He caught me totally off guard, and if I was still in the earlier stages of infatuation (I think), I might spazz and collapse.

That was indeed a sweet moment which I will never forget. But I am over with D, not totally, but slowly. It’s really heartbreaking though. My heart seeks closure, and one day I would get it. I really appreciate the times you stood there for me, or even raising the false hopes I harbored. Those were the times. Those will be the ones I will pen down and never forget. The smile, the close proximity, the small chats, that eye contact, and lastly, the heart-warming eyes of yours.

Moving away from the topic about D, when we were all done, V and D threw P and I a surprise! They wrote us cards! Like can you believe it? I am a huge fan of handwritten letters and they actually wrote it for us! I am extremely touched to the core and kept it in safe conditions until I reached home.

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The lovely card they gave! So sweet right?

I was really amazed by the message V left for me, because I never knew I left such an impression. For D, well, it was kind of disappointing from a certain perspective. Still, I really appreciate him for leaving a tangible footprint. At least, there’s something to refer to about him next time when I reminisce about the past!

In my previous post, I mentioned that I will confess to D.

I did not and if given the chance (and today’s circumstances), I doubt I would have that opportunity anyway.

Thanks D, thanks for everything.

And most importantly, thank you for all those who stayed by my side through this D period, as well as my awesome volunteers and P for making today’s PHS a success!

P/S: Looking back, I did not regret signing up for PHS and NHS even when I was quite apprehensive about them at first. I was so glad I did not make the wrong choice 🙂 !

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