My better half suffers from a skin ailment which afflicted her just after we got married. The cause of the disease is still not known and scientists have yet to find a definitive cure.
In September of last year, the situation became a bit serious and she had to spend a week in hospital. After a regime of antibiotics and other medication, her condition improved but the specialist doctor still could not pinpoint the exact cause.
Six months ago, the skin inflammation recurred and she had to be warded again. As I was helping her `check-in' at the time, it surprised me a bit that she was assigned the same bed in the same room of the 1st Class Ward at Hospital Sultanah Aminah, here in Johor Bahru. The HSA is the oldest government hospital in the city. Its 1st Class ward is located in a new wing and the rooms are quite comfortable. Nearly on par with that of private hospitals. The sad thing is that, admission to 1st Class is quite restricted and upon direction of the specialist doctors only. The rest of the common folk have to make do with beds in the lower classes. The Malay proverb of `duduk sama rendah, berdiri sama tinggi' does not apply in this case. How I wish that one day, all Malaysians can have access to equal health treatment.
The duration of my wife's second stay at the hospital was as long the the first. Again, still no clues as to what caused the recurrence.
Last night, her skin flared up again and I took time off from work to accompany her to the hospital earlier this afternoon. While waiting for the administrative work at the admissions counter, I casually mention that it would be a very slim chance indeed if she gets the same bed again. Once registration is cleared, a nurse leads the way to the room, and lo and behold.... it is the same bed, three times in a row! What a coincidence. My wife shares this fact with the nurse and we are all amused. I jokingly add that my wife has signed a long term tenancy with the hospital for that particular bed.
I did a quick mental calculation on the probability of such an event happening. The women's first class ward at HSA JB has 16 beds. That means 1 in 16 chance (or 6.25%) of being assigned the same bed on the second visit. If my memory of Probability Theory serves me right, the chances of the same thing happening the third time is not doubled but squared.... i.e. 1 in 256 or a teeny-weeny 0.39% only. How's that for great odds.
Well.... the jesting aside, I wouldn't want my missus to be spending time in that bed (or any other hospital bed for that matter) longer than necessary. I hope she gets well soon.