My grandmother when she got her US Citizenship back in March.


Since the end of my P90X series, my blogging has plummeted, with only the 2013 Poetry series keeping the blog semi-alive.  I intentionally cut down on all my activities in April to focus on the MCAT, which I took on April 26th.  Afterwards, I thought I was going to live the life and have lots of fun, but things didn’t turn out that way.  My grandmother had a heart surgery.

The doctor said she needed surgery because of severe blockages in her coronary vessels.  So she was hospitalized and scheduled her surgery.  Actually, the surgery was the easiest part for my grandmother; it was the recovery that was so painful. As if splitting open her chest and getting 4 coronary artery bypass grafts wasn’t going to be hard enough, my grandmother was not a very cooperative patient…  She kept getting up and trying to move, even when she shouldn’t (and couldn’t); she refused to use the bedpan so nurses had to do more work; she complained about everything the nurses did; she was super paranoid and worried about the littlest things; she had no appetite so couldn’t eat anything and then kept moaning about how she was going to die because she had no energy.  O gosh I still feel sorry for the nurses.

I understand this was really hard for my grandmother, and of course she was on edge.  But it was really hard for us too, especially when she was so resistant of things that were going to help her recover.  I couldn’t rage at my hospitalized grandmother, so I often hid my longing to smack her and tell her to be a good little grandma.

Oh how naive I had been to think I was going to have so much fun after the MCAT! Since my grandma can’t speak English, I needed to be there constantly to translate.  I was supposed to spend my post-college adult life discovering new places, making cool inventions, meeting awesome people, and conquering the world…  but here I was, spending most of May and early June at the hospital taking care of grandma.

I think I had it all wrong about adult life though.  Maybe being an adult was never about doing whatever I want, but rather taking care of other people.  That’s what parents do; that’s what leaders do; that’s what I was learning to do.

Simeon Koh


P.S.  –  My grandmother is mostly better now.  She’s been home for a while and is moving around and doing house work etc.  The cardiologist is slowly taking her off medicine, and says she’s doing well.