Tuesday, October 18, 2005

My trip to IJN (Institut Jantung Negara)

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I was at IJN last Friday to get my dad admitted for a bypass heart surgery. His surgery was due on Monday. As we were not sure what time the admission, we decided to leave early to beat the jam and get a good parking spot. So, there were we leaving the house early at about 6.45 am and reached IJN at about 7.50 am.

Despite that, there were already a lot of people at IJN – some are patients, others the relatives of the patients. We soon realized our mistake of arriving early. The admission was closed and when they opened, we were asked to come back at 11.00 am. Further enquiries indicated that the bed for my dad would only be ready at about 2.30 pm. That means we have to wait for another 6 hours before my dad gets his bed. Deciding against going back home and then returning to IJN, we decided to wait at IJN in the event we got an early admission.

This is what is what I observed during my short “stay” in IJN:-

1. Food

IJN has a small cafeteria (there is no nearby restaurant). The irony of the choices available in the cafeteria is that most of food there either has high cholesterol or high fat. There are little or no vegetables and fruits. It is something that we do not expect to find in a hospital specializing in heart treatment and surgery. The food in the cafeteria was also too expensive (my take of 2 “sayurs”, a sorry looking curry and soy bean drink cost me RM6.60) and there is little to choose from. Basically they recycled the leftovers from breakfast for lunch (I know because I had breakfast and lunch there)

2. TV entertainment

If you thinking to spend your time watching TV, I suggest you forget it. The channel fixed on only one station, TV3 (thank god, it is not TV1 especially on a Friday). Even so, the volume would been switched off, ending the people there to guess of what’s happening on the screen.

3. Newspaper and magazines

There is good selection at the small bookstore at the ground floor and so far, that is best thing I can say about my stay there. Purchased couple of magazines on digital camera and computers but I soon got bored of re-reading the same articles. For those who came early, they can get the free theSun paper placed at various strategic places.

I missed the small library beside the book store – perhaps next time, I will explore the place.

4. Place to sleep

Waking up at 5.30 am is a sure way to be sleepy for the rest of day. There were no beds in the hospital for the visitors but luckily there were plenty of empty sofas for one to sit down and to catch a short nap. I had short naps at various sofas (it was very uncomfortable first but once I was fast asleep, it really did not matter) before I ended up walking back to my car and catch my sleep with the radio on. The heat of the day took its toll on heat and in less than an hour, I was back sleeping at the sofas in the air-conditioned building.
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