Jan 1, 2012

"When will you be available for Mr. Liu?"

"Hi. Am I speaking to Mr. Liu? Son of Liu XY?"
"Yes, this is."
"This is medical student Sim working under Dr. Yu. I'm calling from Tzu Chi Hospital in Hualien. Are you free to talk right now?"
"Right. Yes, please go on."
"As you know, your father Mr. Liu was admitted to our hospital a few days ago due to generalized eczema with possible skin infection. He had been living alone and was brought to emergency by a distant relative of his, who visits him every morning while in the hospital."
"Yes. I last visited him a day before hospitalization and he seems OK."
"His skin condition had been bothering him since February. As he has no obvious means of caring for himself, we cannot discharge him back to living alone. We consulted social services and they recommend us to contact you as you're his closest correspondent. So we were wondering if you will be free to visit him soon to facilitate our discharge plans."
"Right. You see, I just found out he is my father a few years ago. He had a few wives when he was young, had never fulfilled his obligation as father, and now is totally dependent on me for his living. I have a job here that I can't simply take off. My wife is unhappy that I'm financially supporting him, so bringing him home is totally out of the question."
"I understand. I was briefed by our social services as well. We could, however, try to apply him into a nursing home nearby."
"Social services told me that as well. But I cannot support him living in a nursing home. I wonder if Dr. Yu can issue him some disability certification so that he can have free nursing home care?"
"Apart from his skin condition, Mr. Liu is, unfortunately, or fortunately, free of any chronic or disabling diseases. I understand the financial situation Mr. Liu, but I don't think it's possible."
"I will ask Dr. Yu for you and see what he feels about this."
"Anyway, it would help us tremendously if you could visit to sort this out together with us. I still recommend that you come as soon as possible. Is this weekend good for you?"
"Look, I just visited him last Sunday like I did once every month. I have a family to support and, like I said, cannot leave simply like that!"
"I understand your situation Mr. Liu."
"Can't you bother the relative he's with?"
"I'm afraid you're legally his son, which makes your decision more valid than hers."
"So we will keep in close contact these few days to arrange for Mr. Liu's discharge. I hope it's OK we call you up very often as you are not physically present to make decisions or sign papers. I would once again, strongly recommend that you visit, at least one day, next week."
"I will try."