Stress & burden

As for the strength: it shall be continued as long as our days shall continue, and it shall be proportioned to the stress and burden of those days. The words are few, “as thy days thy strength,” but the meaning is full. This day we may look for trial, and for work which will require energy, but we may just as confidently look for equal strength. (Deut 33:25) – C.H. Spurgeon

Did the day call for strength!

It has been such a tiring day – not because I had too much to do, or was running around like a headless chicken. On the contrary, I spent the better part of 6 hours in one clinic, leaving in between just once to run an errand. It has been so tiring because I’ve been an unwilling audience and recipient of many people’s anger, frustration and negative energy.

Seemed that everywhere I turned today, there were monsters.

The first sight that greeted me at the Urology Clinic today was that of an elderly man yelling his lungs out at the clinic staff manning the payment counter. Urology-Pavarotti insisted that he wasn’t visiting the clinic for the first time; the staff tried to explain to him that while he had been visiting the rehab centre, it was his first visit to the Urology Clinic and therefore they needed a bit more info from him. He refused to tell them.

After I got my own queue number (quickly enough!), I moved to a different section of the clinic to wait. Since I’m quite a regular at these appointments, I know how to keep myself amused – politely. But not everyone does. At first, it was a very fit-looking guy, maybe in his 40s,  who decided to watch his (prob fave) Cantonese drama on his smartphone – without earphones. I buried myself deeper into the book transcript I was reading. Couldn’t help but notice that people around us looked increasingly stressed as time went on, shooting daggers at Fan-boy with their eyes.

Then, a young and unkempt chap plonked himself down beside me and started yakking on the phone. Very animated dialogue, which he peppered passionately with vulgarities. He was explaining some of his convictions to the person on the other end of the line, albeit in a very heartland way. After his second phone call, he began bleeding from his mouth, for some reason. I knew, because every piece of tissue he held to his lips was soaked with blood. Was going to ask him if he needed help, but he ran away to the toilet (oh, btw, I realised that one main problem with a urology clinic is that it tends to smell of stale urine…). The poor chap spent the next hour walking around the clinic, trying to ask a nurse for help to stop the bleeding.

When Bleeding (Heart)-Guy left, a couple sat down on my other side. They were quite smart at first – took the stack of newspapers provided by the clinic and began reading. After a while, they decided to undo the metal rule that held all the papers together – “so that more people can read the papers together”. Heh, not like they passed out sections to other people though… The trouble with them doing that was that the papers slipped from their hands and fell into a glorious, messy pile on the floor. It’s no big deal to pick the pieces up and put them back together again, but for this couple, it was quite an event.

But they did it. When that was in order again, they decided that the newspapers weren’t their cup of tea. They turned their attention to the duration of their wait, counting the minutes. At first they blamed the hospital, saying that it was inefficient. Then, they laughed at the nameplate on the door of the room: “Wah, this one so poor thing, don’t even have name… just ‘medical officer’…” The MO inside came out a few times, supposedly to consult the Registrar on the cases he was seeing. As Newspaper-Couple grew more impatient, they started to criticise the MO: “Eh, keep walking in and out, how to see patients like that? He know what to do one or  not?”… Then “I’m sure he doesn’t know what to do – see, don’t even place his name on the door!”… Then the drama line: “What to do? We are only subsidized patients, so won’t get proper attention, of course must wait long time lah…” … Finally, an ultimatum (mind you, they were saying all these things only to each other): “You go in and tell them that if they don’t see us now, we are going to walk out and leave!”

Hey, who suffers if you walk out?!?!

Well, Newspaper-Husband actually acted upon his wife’s ultimatum and went to knock (politely, bless his heart!) on the door of the consultation room. Grey Nurse came out. “Ok, ok, next one already. We see one patient before you… eh, WENDY WONG??” If looks could kill, I would have died instantaneously.  Thankfully I held the book transcript between me and Newspaper-Couple, so maybe they thought I was an ignorant student. I went in as quickly as I could – just as Bleeding(Heart)-Guy came back and sat where I had just risen from. And Urology-Pavarotti walked past, with a frown that stretched from the ceiling to the floor. Fan-boy stood just below the big screen showing the queue numbers, and Newspaper-Couple decided he was their new target of displeasure.


Was glad for the change in location for a while. Was waiting at Station Control for a friend to turn up – music books to offload. Another lady was waiting too. Man, was she WAITING. I’ve never seen anyone so upset with another person for not being able to locate a Station Control. Some miscomms I think – Control-Freaked kept shouting into her handphone, saying she was in the right place. Funny thing was, because of how loudly and fiercely she was talking, the incessant crowds coming out from the trains actually detoured away from her, making it look like she had some invisible force field that was repelling people. Maybe she did.


Errand done, back to the Clinic. But thought of getting some quiet (and some food) first. Had to sit down near 2 women (clearly colleagues in the same team; what’s more, a team that recently had a change of leaders but still overworked… see, that’s how loudly they were talking) who were angry. No, 1 was extremely angry, the other was cleverly silent. I was worried that Angry-Lady might actually pierce her fork right through the plastic plate, seeing how venomously she was attacking the mango-glutinous rice dessert…


We’re such an angry people 😦 Why? 😦

Back at the Clinic. Finally settled dates for the scans and scopes I need to do over the next few months. Really, don’t sweat the small stuff. There are bigger things to bear. And you really have no clue, what kind of troubles and trials people around you are coming from, or going towards. Do yourself a favour – live and let live. Life can be quite funny when you do 🙂

Sigh. Just too much negative energy for one day. No, maybe one week…



About lilac butterfly

Live. Love. Learn. Laugh. Write. Draw. Colour. Blend. Play. Dream. Cry. Reflect. Pray. Sing. Worship. Bake. Cook. Rest. Give thanks.

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