Father's hospital stay journal


My father was involved in a traffic accident while riding his electric bike with a helmet on the motor vehicle lane. He was forced to ride on the motor vehicle lane because the side road was congested and not easily passable.

As a result of the accident, his right hand hit the ground, causing a rupture of the shoulder ligament that required surgery. The accident occurred on March 7, 2024, and he was hospitalized in the county hospital on March 8. The liability for the accident was divided with my father taking 30% and the other party 70%.

He underwent two surgeries:

  1. At the Taihe County People's Hospital, he had a "shoulder arthroscopic rotator cuff repair" surgery on March 14, 2024. The surgery lasted over four hours, from 9:45 am to 2:25 pm. However, this surgery was not entirely successful, as an unnecessary and potentially risky action was performed during the surgery—cutting a tendon connecting the shoulder to the arm.
  2. At the First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, he underwent the same surgery on June 18, 2024. The surgery lasted over three hours, from around 5 pm to past 7:30 pm, but the actual surgical time was only 35 minutes. According to Dr. Wang Gaoyuan, the surgeon, this surgery thoroughly repaired my father's ligament, except for the tendon that was cut during the first surgery, as it could not be located due to muscle contraction. The cost was approximately 25,000 yuan.

Medical Journey

Below are some excerpts from the journey, including inner thoughts and reflections.

Fortunately, I have the habit of journaling. Otherwise, even though only a few months have passed, I would have forgotten what happened and how I felt at that time.


When it comes to taking responsibility, one must face it regardless of readiness.

After finishing the night shift in the morning, I had breakfast and went back to the dorm to sleep. I couldn't sleep and ended up watching many episodes of "Friends" until late. I woke up in the afternoon, dreaming about my grandfather for some reason. I ate a banana that was about to go bad and took a bus back home. I felt uncomfortable on the special bus from the city to the county due to the high speed. The driver was late picking up enough passengers, and we ended up paying fifty instead of thirty, finally arriving at the hospital where my father was admitted.

My father was hit by a car on the 7th and admitted on the 8th, but I only found out about it yesterday, the 13th, from my mother. It wasn't until I saw my father sitting on the hospital bed that I truly believed that he was going to have surgery. Before that, I kept thinking: my parents must be lying to me to come back. Because our last communication was not pleasant–they both wanted me to quit my job and work in a factory because it seemed like I would earn more there than in my current company. However, I didn't want to go because I knew that once I did, I would drift further and further away from the life I aspired to, until it became unattainable.

On the way back from the city to the county hospital, I held back my tears, trying not to let them fall. I almost succeeded, but I couldn't help shedding tears on the bus, constantly thinking about various terrible scenarios. But when I saw my father at that moment, my anxious heart finally calmed down. My father looked in good spirits.

I started thinking about what comes next:

  • My father can't do heavy work after the surgery, and our family income will plummet.
  • I need to work harder to earn more money.


The surgery (shoulder arthroscopic rotator cuff repair) started at 9:45 am and lasted until 2:25 pm.

I stayed overnight in the hospital, but I fell asleep due to fatigue and almost let air enter my father's bloodstream through the IV tube.


I slept at home at night and took care of my father during the day, helping him with the urinal, buying him meals, and watching the IV drip finish before asking the nurse to change it or pause it.

I bought pig's trotters and roast duck for lunch. My father ate the pig's trotters, and we had the roast duck together in the evening.


My father had wonton and fried dough cakes for lunch.


We went out for fried noodles for lunch. My father even went to see if he could work (judging if he could do it, scraping the big white).

I went back to the city after 3 pm and continued with the night shift in the evening.


My father was discharged on this day.


Due to persistent pain, my father decided to go to a larger hospital–the Second People's Hospital of Fuyang City.

The doctors at this hospital, after reviewing the relevant test results, mentioned that the risk of a second surgery was significant, and if it failed, his right arm could end up disabled. They recommended Dr. Wang Gaoyuan at the First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University.


I woke up at 4 am to prepare to go to Hefei. The driver who was supposed to take us to Hefei was a bit late when picking us up, but we still arrived on time (the appointment was at 9 am, and we got there before 8:30 am).

I packed a fan, water bottle, sunglasses, clothes (five pieces), slippers, toothbrush, towel, iPad, two chargers, and wallet to bring to Hefei.

So, my father and I took a business express bus from Taihe to Hefei for 100 yuan each and arrived at the hospital outpatient department on Jixi Road. After Dr. Wang understood the situation, he asked us to go to the inpatient department to complete the admission procedures. However, the inpatient department was 17 kilometers away from the outpatient department, and we had to spend 44 yuan on a taxi.

In the evening, we were told not to close the curtains completely, as it would inconvenience the nurses during their rounds.


We informed the doctor that we did not need a blood draw, and this procedure was canceled. We changed the trash bag every night.


Spending this month at home allowed me to spend more time with my parents, which was nice. Taking care of my father helped me understand him better. It is essential to be able to express one's medical history clearly when recounting it.

My father's heartbeat was slow, and if symptoms appeared, we were instructed to go to the cardiology clinic and then to the emergency room for a pacemaker installation. Although the surgery was only for a rotator cuff injury in his right shoulder, it required general anesthesia. My father's resting heart rate was in the forties, and even under general anesthesia, his heart rate could drop further, with a risk of cardiac arrest.

Purple lips.

Purple lips can be a sign of some kind of condition in the body, which could be a lack of oxygen, circulation problems, heart problems, breathing problems, etc. Here are some possible causes of purple lips:

  • Lack of oxygen: When the body is deprived of oxygen, the lips may become purple. This may be due to insufficient supply of oxygen due to respiratory problems, heart problems or other factors.
  • Heart problems: Heart problems such as heart disease and heart failure may lead to poor blood circulation, making the lips appear purple.
  • Respiratory problems: Lung diseases or respiratory problems may lead to inadequate oxygen supply, which in turn leads to purple lips.
  • Cold: In extreme cold conditions, the lips may turn purple due to restricted blood circulation.

If you or someone else develops purple lips, especially if it is accompanied by symptoms such as difficulty breathing, chest pain, dizziness, or loss of consciousness, you should seek immediate medical attention. These symptoms may indicate a serious health problem that requires prompt medical intervention. The best course of action is to consult your doctor for a thorough evaluation and diagnosis.


Reflecting on the hospital, the unfamiliar environment made me uneasy. The hospital had a rule that only patients could lie on the beds, not family members. So, when I lay down to rest one time, the nurses who came for rounds asked me to get up, seemingly indicating that family members were not allowed to lie down. Later, I heard that it was to prevent disease transmission.

Why did I want to lie down? Because it was painful to sit all day, whether on the bed or on a stool without a backrest, playing on the phone for extended periods was excruciating.

Being in the hospital itself was emotionally draining. Hospitals are not places to stay for long, and enduring physical exhaustion only made caretaking more tiring.

In this new hospital, which had only been in use for half a year, everything was brand new, giving me a sense of alienation and unfamiliarity. I felt like I didn't belong in such a hospital because I didn't have money. It would be unaffordable to be treated in such a hospital if one fell ill and didn't have the means.

Before the surgery, it was required not to eat or drink after midnight.

My father's right shoulder rotator cuff injury would prevent him from lifting his arm even after recovery (which would take at least a year). Excessive lifting could cause the ligament to rupture again.


My father believed that I wasn't worried, didn't think the situation was serious, and didn't consider the potential risks, including the possibility of death if the surgery failed. But how could I not worry? Although I couldn't comprehend the fear of death, as a son, I felt scared and feared what would happen if my father passed away.

During the IV drip, the needle pierced his hand, and I saw my father wincing in pain. It made me think that my father could endure the pain of physical labor but was afraid of needles from the doctors.

At 9:17, we were waiting at the entrance to the interventional operating room at the Medical Imaging Center on the first floor of Building 3 in the hospital. We were waiting for the temporary pacemaker implantation surgery scheduled for 10 am.

Watching my father in a patient gown, with his right leg crossed over his left leg, watching videos on "Douyin" (Chinese TikTok).

Around 10:09, we entered the operating room. The surgical table was four to five meters long, with many monitors and instruments on one side, and a large bright surgical light that was intimidating.

At 10:20, other patients and their families arrived, making the wait more agonizing and frustrating.

At 10:26, the room finally quieted down, and the voices became much softer. I almost cried.

At 10:39, my father finally came out of the operating room, with the pacemaker successfully implanted. With the help of a nurse, we slowly made our way back to the ward. Half of my anxious heart was finally relieved.

Why should I not eat or drink from zero hour on the day of the operation?

The reason patients are asked to fast on the day of surgery is to minimize the risk of surgery and to ensure a smooth procedure. Here are some of the reasons:

  • Reducing the risk of vomiting: If there is food or liquid in the stomach, the patient may vomit during the procedure due to anesthetic medications or surgical irritation. Vomiting into the airway can lead to choking or other serious complications.
  • Reduced risk of aspiration: During surgery, patients may lose their gag reflex due to anesthesia. If there is food or liquid in the stomach, it may be aspirated into the airway by mistake, leading to airway obstruction or infection.
  • Effectiveness of anesthesia drugs: When there is food or liquid in the stomach, the absorption and distribution of anesthesia drugs may be affected, affecting the effectiveness and safety of the surgery.
  • Reducing the risk of intraoperative complications: The fasting state can reduce the risk of complications such as reflux of gastric contents and misaspiration during the operation, which will help the operation go smoothly.

Therefore, it is very important to comply with the fasting time prescribed by your doctor or hospital to ensure a safe and error-free surgical procedure. Prior to the surgery, patients should stop eating and drinking as instructed by the doctor to ensure the success of the procedure and the safety of the patient.

At 16:04, we left the ward.

At 16:13, we entered the waiting area for the surgery (family members were not allowed in).

At 18:19, the surgery was still ongoing. The previous surgery lasted 4 hours and 40 minutes, but this time it had been two hours so far.

Post-surgery, my father received intravenous drips of lactated Ringer's solution and normal saline.

At 19:34, the nurse informed us that if my father's blood oxygen level dropped below 95 while he was asleep, we should wake him up. He was supposed to rinse his mouth with saline solution after 2 hours and drink water, and eat after 4 hours. We had a light dinner of boiled noodles, but my father drank water directly before the 2-hour mark and ate after almost 4 hours.

At 20:34, it had been almost an hour since we returned from the operating room, and my thumb was trembling.

At 21:50, my father took his first sip of water after two hours.

There was a young man in the same ward who seemed to be undergoing his first surgery and was shouting in pain. It was unbearable.

The young man asked my father if he was in pain, and my father replied that he was but that he was enduring it.

Ice packs could only be applied for half an hour.

At around 23:12, my father had a banana, a piece of ham sausage, and some fresh milk. After a while, he ate the dumplings we bought.

After returning to the ward, my father had to use the urinal three to four times.

Late at night, another patient in the ward, an uncle, returned and was also shouting in pain as he had surgery on his leg.

I didn't sleep much that night, wrapped in the blanket I brought from home, watching over my father's bed.


Since the pacemaker was implanted on the morning of the 18th, my father couldn't sit or stand as the machine's wire ran from his thigh vein through his heart. Any movement could bend the wire, potentially affecting the heart.

Finally, at around 9 am today, after discussions with the surgical and attending physicians, the doctor responsible for the pacemaker came to the ward and removed the wire. When I saw the bloody wire slowly being pulled out of my father's body, I was still very afraid because one mistake could stop his heart.

Thankfully, my father made it through.


The doctor mentioned that if we needed a copy of the medical records, we should return a month after discharge and find the entrance on the public account.

The surgery was very painful, and the doctor recommended the use of Ibuprofen for pain relief. However, my father chose to go to the local health center for intravenous pain relief.

Next steps included getting the stitches removed at the hospital, doing exercises, and returning to the hospital for a check-up a month later.

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