[Tuesday, 28 November, 2006]
I tried to sleep early especially this night to go to the polyclinic in the early morning. I was not sure what time I dozed off and whether did my mum wake me up, but she suddenly asked me where I was going. Then, she recommended me to a skin doctor and I agreed.
She woke me up at seven plus after I purposely went back to sleep after my alarms sounded. Then, we left home at around eight and walked towards Kreta Ayer Road. Then she told me the clinic was at the third storey and which we could not find. Then she said she suspect it might have moved down and indeed we found it at the second level at exactly the same corner. I was not sure if it had shifted down or my mum had remembered the location wrongly.
I saw the price labelled at the counter stating “$50 to $75” and it freaked me out. After seeing the doctor, he told me the unknown thing on my wrist could be corn and he recommended me to go to the polyclinic and they might remove it for me. I was very upset about the money I was wasting for this advice but luckily he claimed we were not required to foot any bill.
We made the trip to Outram Polyclinic directly. This morning proved the communication problems between my mum and me, or rather, her and my brothers as well. When we were at Neil Road, there were long stretches of shophouses opposite the Police Cantonment Complex and we were supposed to cross over to the diagonal corner of the “rectangular” area (shophouses). We took the inner path and she claimed it was a “shortcut”, which was of an exact distant of taking the path along the main road.
It was a long queue as usual at the Polyclinic and both the nicest doctors, Doctor Sally Ho and Doctor Tan Kok Leong were not around, and I had to go for a random doctor, which was really dangerous. Some of the doctors sucked for they gave really bad attitude and you would probably be freaked out as well and not trust their abilities.
As we were waiting outside the room, the aunties behind us were talking non-stop while my mum and I were trying to take a little nap on the uncomfortable chairs. Suddenly another Cantonese auntie joined in with her extremely loud and piercing voice. I purposely turned back to stare at her and soon she stopped. While she went to the toilet, her number was called and the doctor even came out to call for her. Then, she returned to make a big fuss.
Two hours later, finally it was my turn to go into the room. My mum became a doctor suddenly and asked directly for an operation while I was waiting for the doctor to suggest better alternatives or prescribe stronger medicine. So, the doctor immediately wrote a referral letter to Singapore General Hospital and did not give me any medicine. The first visit to the specialist clinic could easily cost up to forty bucks and the time wasted would be half of the day; it was the last resort I really wished to use.
After making an appointment at the other room, we were told to go back to the registration counter to pay the money since there was no medicine to be collected. Two out of the four counters were closed at lunch time and the other two counters were occupied. I was waiting there for the counter to be cleared and my mum turned to a passed by nurse and said loudly, “Ask her lo.” Obviously the nurse turned to us and I answered her embarrassingly, “It’s okay; I’m just waiting to make payment.”
Suddenly, a lady near me over the other counter asked if I was another guy. I found her very familiar and after a while I asked her if she was teaching at Ngee Ann Polytechnic and she answered me positive. She was Mrs Mok who had taught me during lower secondary as my arts teacher, as well as an English writing course lecturer during my polytechnic days. As we walked out of the place together, she told me she was teaching at “Nanyang” as well and my mum immediately interrupted, claiming that my younger brother studied there as well. I instantly double confirmed it was Nanyang Polytechnic since we were talking about polytechnic all along and that managed to stop my mum from making more blurts.
Towards the end of the morning when we were going to cross over the T-junction in front of the Police Cantonment Complex, my mum said for at least the third time my younger brother knew how to take the underpass across so that we did not cross the road. I never liked to use it since it required taking many flocks of escalators down and up when we could easily just cross the road.
It was quite an unlucky morning.