I got an SMS from my good friend Jansen, yesterday.
Jansen said he can't get my work done as promised (I asked him to sort out my invoicing system by month-end). He's been warded into the ICU ward of Gleneagles, Jalan Ampang.
Jansen was down with dengue. Apparently his platelets count dived from a normal of 300K to only 17K. In short, his life is in danger.
I called his wife Lynette to asked for the details. Jansen needed platelets transfusion. He's being given lots but his system was not regenerating.
Not so good.
The last time I called him about 2 weeks ago, he was 'recovering' from his Dengue fever after being discharged from the hospital. But last Sunday, a regular blood-test indicated that his platelets count was way below normal. His doctor referred him for admission.
I drove to see him. He looked confused and tired. Perhaps he was scared.
I would be scared too.
I avoided saying the wrong things as much as I can. You see, he's one of those who's got an irreverent sense of humor. Standing in front of him, with tubes and lines all over his body, it suddenly felt wrong to be funny. And it was difficult. I was wondering how he managed to SMS me with all those IV lines running into his hands and oxygen tubes taped unto his nostrils.
Yep. Standing on the edge of this life, with the door to the next half opened, was not funny.
But one thing got me thinking. And it was touching, really.
I found out he's got a lot of people rooting for him.
Yes, my friend Jansen, he has a lot of friends. Real ones. These friends, prickly hairs, broken English, over-weight and all, drove all the way, beating the Jalan Ampang traffic to get to the hospital to donate platelets to him.
His wife told me he needed B+ blood and I was one. So I went quickly.
After spending 5 minutes with him, I went down to fill up 2 forms in a hotel-like waiting room. By the time I was donating my 500cc of juice, there were about 8 people in the small room, all eager to give their life source to him.
Think about it, if you are sick and in need of blood, how many friends will be there for you? With a SMS from his wife, he's got about 8 keen donors, all there within an hour. One guy, he looked around 45-50, even made a big fuss about donating his platelets even though he'd just donated less than 3 months ago. Apparently Gleneagles didn't have the machine to extract platelets only. They needed a full blood donation and that disqualified him.
And he was upset.
I am not sure I will get that many friends over, ready to bleed for me. Well, I don't have that many friends. Lucky guy, my friend, Jansen. That says a lot about the person he is, I believe.
I told him to get out of ICU and get my job done by next week. :-) He looked eager in a dazed sort of way.
He better not quit on this one.
Not when he's got 2 and a 1/2 kids.
I called his wife an hour ago and his platelets came up to 28K. Not excellent but I think he is recovering. I hope he is recovering.
I think you know, there's no medication for Dengue. It's between Dengue and your immune system or you. If your system gives up, you die. If your system gets up, fight and regenerate its own platelets, you win more hours on this earth.
Funny thing, some die, some live.
I am not sure.
Anyway, I look forward to Jansen wise-cracking about his experience in the ICU ward.
Jansen is out the the ICU and is recovering in the common ward. His last platelets count was 65K.