I thought I have gotten over fear, less frightened than before. But no, I had been staring at fear again this week. Intellectually, I know that fear is irrational and without basis as it is to do with the unknown and to do with future which may or may not happen the way I think.


What sparked this episode? It started with water getting stuck inside my left ear cannel and caused a buzzing and muffled noise. Hearing of my left ear was impaired. There is an imbalance as only one ear is good for hearing. My doctor prescribed ear drops to dissolve the ear wax that had built up inside the ear. Instead of solving the problem immediately, the ear drops caused further stuck feeling.


Anxiety took over and I began to imagine life with hearing loss on top of my poor eye-sight due to AMD some years back. Both hearing and eye-sight are important to be a normal person. I can now appreciate when my mother was complaining about losing her eye-sight and hearing ability because of old age. I am not ready for this at my age!


This brought me to the subject of fear of death. For some time now, I meet up with patients in palliative wards. For these patients, it must be traumatic to count down the days till the end. The fear of the unknown is not fathomable by a healthy individual and I cannot feel the way these patients feel each day in their hospital beds. It must be agony beyond description. My current health condition is miniscule compared to these patients.


When I visited these patients, I was just present in person for them. I let them take the lead in wanting to see me or not. If they did not want to see me, I respected that and moved away from them. I waited for cues from the patients on what to talk at different times. I listened more than I talked. During the short visits, hopefully patients could temporarily move away from the physical pains and mental sufferings. I am hoping that we can, despite the body being sick, should not subject our minds to additional sufferings.


I know that this is easier said than done as the past week again highlighted that I have not mastered this. The fear is always lurking somewhere and I can succumb to it quite easily. At least, I know my fears and this is a consolation.

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