This isn’t a trip one would think of in the normal sense. The whole thing was kinda whipped together 2 weeks ago, mostly through circumstances out of my hands.
My grandpa (on my dad’s side, not that it’s important to the story) had a fall secondary to a loss of consciousness (LOC) while he was out and about in the community on his own. He had a stroke back in ’97 or so, leaving his left side severely weakened, but had been managing for the last 20 years pretty well. But that pre-existing condition coupled with the LOC and fall is pretty bad. What’s worse, is that we don’t know what caused the LOC.
So he was sent to the hospital and was stuck there for about 2 wks as docs tried to figure things out (they didn’t). As he was used to getting up and about on his own, but with docs not knowing why he had an episode of LOC, he wasnt allowed up. To the extent that he had to be restrained bc he could’ve been a danger to himself by getting up unmonitored from his bed. It wasn’t a pleasant situation. And the restraint was causing him to get weak as he wasn’t allowed to exercise his muscles through weight bearing activities (in standing, for example), and it showed when he was finally discharged from the hospital.
Originally the plan was for me to come back to provide some physical therapy for him because of his weakened state. I got chosen because it’s easier to pull me away from work compared to my mom or dad who work 2+ jobs thought the week. And also this is more in my field, ish, even though the parents have years more of experience (in OT, not PT, but still). Also because someone from our side of the family (only ones outside of HK) need to send someone for support. I get it, no big.
But then grandpa suddenly had 3 incidences where his heart stopped and had to have CPR to revive him. That. Was. Scary. Luckily the 1st time was when he went back to the hospital for a routine follow up. He was subsequently admitted to the cardiac care unit (CCU, like ICU, but specializing in heart related issues), and the 2 other times he was there when he flatlined. We’re pretty lucky and thankful, given the circumstances, because otherwise if he were at home when it happened… Yeahhh.
So one of the main reasons for my visit had drastically changed, as I can’t quite do therapy to get him back walking again when he’s in the CCU with all the monitoring lines and devices attached to him. But I mean, I’m still glad to be able to be here and visit him, even if I don’t really have this trip planned as a vacation really. Going to visit gramps at the hospital was the 1st stop after I dropped off my luggage at the grandparent’s place.
We’d all love to see him be able to be discharged home, but with his uncertain heart condition, we really can’t safely do so. The uncertainty sucks, and I already feel limited as is with the language barrier and me being so green in the field. It’s certainly a whole ‘nother feeling when I’m on this side of the fence (as a visiting family member) vs a treating healthcare professional.
And I guess a quick blurb about everything else. I don’t remember the flight to HK being 15 hrs long (I managed 6-8 hrs of slp on the flight, so not bad), but haven’t slept in a bed since Tues night (or 46 hrs since waking Wed morning), and also tackled a full 8 hrs of work before departing at midnight. There’s still too many people in HK, which echoes the same sentiment I had 3 years and 5 years ago. I definitely feel as if I just get swallowed up in the sea of people. It’s just so cray. It’s my first time in HK not during the summer, and since the humidity is lower, temp wise it kinda feels like back home in LA. I’d rather be at work at not on this pseudo-vacation, but family first, so I’m glad for the opportunity to visit, even under these less than pleasant circumstances.