It’s been a very busy few days and I haven’t posted any news since the day that Jill had her accident – at about 11.00 am on Thursday (the day before we were due to come home). It was a result of her being distracted and accidentally driving her scooter over a step and falling sideways. She suspected that she had fractured her hip and this was confirmed by X-rays as an interstrochanteric fracture at the hospital. After surgery,she now has two pins in her hip.
On her arrival at the hospital by ambulance, my last sight of Jill was her being taken into the A&E Department at the Ng Teng Fong Hospital at Jurong. I was not allowed to accompany her. It turned out to be a frustrating twenty four hours for me as I had no contact with Jill until she was finally admitted around 10.30 pm and given a bed in a ward. I didn’t get to see her until late morning on the next day. The hospital is on a very large modern building. One tower has medical suites for appointments and the other two contain bed wards. Jill is on the eighth floor (of sixteen) in a ward with five others. Each ward is semi circular has a large open space in the middle and the beds are arranged in a herringbone pattern along each wall. They give the feeling of being well separated even though they are in the same area.
The most frustrating thing was that, although she had her phone with her, she could not make, or receive, calls because of one incorrect setting. I could have fixed it in a few seconds but I couldn’t get access to her in the A&E Department, nor could I tell her what to do. One kind doctor offerered her own personal phone to Jill as a wifi hot spot at one stage so, after about twelve hours, I finally had my first contact and had a brief idea of what was happening to her.
In the afternoon of her injury, I went back to the Jurong Bird Park where her accident happened and picked up her scooter and brought it back with me to our hotel. Through our experience in America a few years ago, I knew what had to be done. I called the travel insurance company to register a claim, deferred our air travel, extended my stay at the hotel and called the family.
The hotel staff here at the Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay, have been fantastic and I have already written to the General Manager to compliment him on the staff’s hospitality and care. It is one thing for the staff to know that their customers think that have done a god job, but is much more important for their boss to know that they have exceeded their customer’s expectations. The staff have been fabulous and have found a way for me to extend my stay (at a reduced rate) even though there are some days this week that they are almost fully booked. The doormen and concierge seem genuinely concerned about jill’s welfare and ask about her everything that I leave, or come back to the hotel. The manager of the hotel’s club lounge even visited Jill in hospital, bringing a large platter of fruit as a gift.
On Friday, the day after her accident, Jill was in a lot of pain until she finally had surgery at around 6.00 pm. She wasn’t back in the ward until after midnight. Her doctors are first class – trained at either the Alfred or Austin Hospitals in Melbourne. Jill is getting excellent care.
On the day, after her surgery, the Physios had her up and walking somewhere around 20 metres on a walking frame. That was cancelled yesterday as she felt lightheaded with low blood pressure and was also cancelled today because the hospital network’s IT systems had crashed. When I arrived this afternoon, all the nursing staff were just standing around as their terminals on which all the medical data is entered did not have any access to the IT platform. Jill was scheduled for a blood transfusion today to increase her haemoglobin levels but that did not take place because of the IT issue. Today was a bit of wasted day in terms of her recovery and potential to return home.
I have decided that I should visit Jill in the afternoons as the hospital has a morning routine of medical care – bathing, tests, physio and doctors examinations. I have been using my time to do a few assorted things, but nothing spectacular.
One morning, I went back to the bird park to have a second shot at some photos from our first day with which I was disappointed.
Yesterday morning, I wandered around the Fort Canning area in the old part of the city, looking at Sir Stamford Raffle’s house, the old military barracks and a pioneer cemetery. There was a large number of young women picnicking in the park. These were the Indonesian and Filipino house maids who were enjoying their one day per week off and meeting up with their friends.
I was a couple of kilometres from the hotel when it began to rain. It was very difficult to find a taxi and even use the app in my phone to order one, It was exceptionally humid. Drops of water (or sweat) kept dripping off my nose, landing on the screen of my phone and making it impossible to swipe or use any of the touch sensitive features. In the end, I decided to just walk back to the hotel in the rain. It took a shower and an hour in air conditioned splendour to feel normal again.
This morning, I went shopping because this extension of our stay is causing me to run short of clothes. I looked in a number of clothing shops around the hotel but the largest size in shirts that I could find was just ‘Large’ – not nearly big enough for a tall westerner. I reckoned that the local stores of the British company Marks and Spencers would be a good shot for something that might fit, so I head to one of their local stores and found things that were just right for me. I’m glad that I was just looking for shirts as I would have had no hope of finding any pants that might have fitted me, .
The hospital at Jurong is about 15 km away from the hotel and the taxi fare is about $22 – 25 each way. It takes around 30 minutes to get there. I plan to claim all of the taxi fares on my travel insurance. A few of the taxi drivers have had very good English and I have been able to have quite a chat with them. With others, it is much more of a challenge.
Singapore is now a little further advanced with Covid restrictions than Australia. I need to wear a face mask within the hospital – everywhere else apart from public transport is optional. There is no longer any mandated period of isolation here. Just stay at home if you feel sick and have symptoms, but go back out if you are feeling well. Most of the hotel staff still, opt to wear face masks.
Tonight, Jill was anxious to have some comfort food and one of her friends who has a daughter living in Singapore suggested a supermarket in the basement of one of the major shopping malls on Orchard Road. I stopped off there on my way back to the hotel and picked up a few treats for her. I found her some Vegemite and some Kit Kats amongst some other things and I bought some more toothpaste for myself.