Why Malay mothers surprise me on a daily basis!
Before you think this is a racist question, please, read on.
Also, do keep in mind that I am in fact Malay. Although my Chinese Husband feels that I’m anything but from the inside.
Mummy Facebook Groups in Malaysia are scary!
So, for the past few months, I’ve joined a few mummy groups based in Malaysia to find out the current parenting trends. Most of them are Malay mothers with very young children. They post scenarios and ask for tips from fellow mothers.
Remember when people use the term ‘mum brain’ to describe women who feel that they become less smarter post-childbirth? These Malay women have taken ‘mum brain’ to another level. After a few weeks, I have grown rather impatient seeing some of their daily antics. I’ll explain why.
One mother posted a photo of her broken swinging cradle with a short narration of how the cradle broke, its iron bar hit her fallen baby and she actually asked other mothers, “Mummies, what should I do?”
Another mother posted a photo of her baby with a bloated tummy. It was not just any ordinary bloat because we could see the baby’s veins popping out from his tummy. Again, like the first mother, this one asked other mothers, “Mummies, what should I do?”
Once I sat down with a Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist to discuss this increasingly worrying behaviour among Malay mothers. She shared some of her experience attending to pregnant mothers and she said, “The stories I could tell you will make you very angry, Paris”.
Even the educated can behave like an uneducated
So, recently a former colleague, let’s just call her ‘Amy’, went to the emergency department at the hospital that I worked at because she had a high fever. She was waiting for her insurance to approve her admission so I called one of the consultants who was (still is) quite close to me to get her opinion. The Consultant advised that Amy can request to be discharged and only return after receiving her COVID-19 test result. Only then, her Guarantee Letter (GL) will be approved for admission. Or else, Amy would have to pay quite a huge sum for the deposit.
To my surprise, when I informed Amy what my consultant advised, the former asked me to speak to the admission staff because she was afraid. I was surprised. Well, FYI, Amy is not a fresh graduate who doesn’t have any experience. She is a few years younger than me and she just had a baby.
Never mind. I went to the emergency department anyway and spoke to the admission staff. Apparently, Amy was given 2 bottles of drip to hydrate herself as her blood was reportedly to thicken when they did a blood test earlier. I tried to speak to the Medical Officer but she dismissed my request. Good thing, the Consultant on-call was a very kind lady. I asked her if Amy can be discharged while waiting for her GL to approve.
So, the Consultant checked Amy’s condition and she decided that Amy was stable enough to return home while waiting for her COVID-19 test result. But the kind doctor made me promise to check up on Amy and make sure that Amy comes back to get proper medical treatment.
When the Archangel Gabriel tells Muhammad to read…
Anyway, the next day I woke up to see Amy’s text asking me if I could check with the doctor on how to take the given medications. I was surprised because you see, at that hospital, all instructions will be properly printed on the box upon collection. So, instead of texting AND bugging the Consultant, I asked Amy to send me a photo of her medicine box.
When she did, I saw the instructions clearly printed on the box just as I knew it would. So, I asked her which part she didn’t understand.
So she asked if the medicine was to be ‘makan’ (oral) or ‘masuk dekat bawah’ (insertion).
Oh, my God!
I believe I had a bitch fit just seeing her reply but I tried to keep calm anyway. I told her, “The word ‘oral’ is clearly written there. What do you think that means?”
She said she didn’t know what ‘oral’ meant.
So, the Mad Bitch from Hell inside of me starting resurfacing and I texted her, “What do you think oral sex means? Do you put it inside your mouth or down south?”
Her reply was rather unnerving, actually. She texted back, “Although I’m married but my mind is still a virgin”.
Oh, my God!
I cannot describe in writing just how angry I was, but at that time I had another pressing matter to attend to, so I decided to ignore her for the rest of the day. Even with age, even when I feel that I’ve become a lot more patient than I was when I was much younger, I know myself well. Even the older version of Ms. Paris Ashiqin comes with a quota.
So I just entertained myself with work and refused to deal with more stupidity.
Just when I thought it was over…
Until the Consultant called me sometime after 4 pm asking me where Amy was.
Apparently, after Amy’s COVID-19 test came out negative, she decided to stay at home to rest. So, I called her and gave her quite an earful. Then, I called the Consultant again and apologised. So, here’s what the Consultant explained, which I’m sure you’d agree with.
“Your friend has a congenital heart condition. Although her fever was triggered by an infection, there’s a possibility it could spread to her heart. So, tell your friend, she can go to any other hospital if she wants. She doesn’t have to come here. But she still needs to be warded. I only prescribed her enough medicines to last 3 days,” the Consultant said.
So, I called Amy again and I told her the exact same thing the doctor told me. I also added something of my own, “I’ll be very frank with you, do you have a death wish? Cos if you do, go ahead. I refuse to be partially held responsible for you”.
Surprisingly, the pep talk worked. Amy was admitted on the same day, albeit much later. Now she has been discharged and made full recovery. I even visited her once, bringing a Starbucks hot chocolate and sat with her for a while. I also brought some donuts for the nurses who took care of her.
Now, Malay mummies, what do we learn from this blog entry?
Stop playing doctor among yourselves because you are not. If you have any concerns about yourself, your pregnancy or your babies, please speak to a medical expert. Self-medicating may worsen your condition. While it is good to research online for information, just make sure that you get the correct information. In the end, the best diagnosis comes from the doctor who is attending to your personally.