Garfieldhug's Blog

This & That Including What Ails

What Makes A Friendship Or Relationship?

My recent hospitalization has left me with food for thought and fodder for posts on WordPress.

I am one person who hates to inconvenience people as I know like any wage earner, not much time can be spared for doing things especially when one has a family to care for.

I silently went into hospital, telling only MR EX.

I did not expect visitors, as I also told my office colleague that it was a small procedure, I did not feel up to visitors as well. It later became a big deal and several of my close knitted colleagues gave me a surprise by showing up.

It is hard when I have to sit up and entertain visitors and felt that it was worst as I took people’s time, money they spend to buy me get well items.

Strangely enough, I had the comfort of Mr Docile, Mr Beer, Ms Classmate, Chicken and on 3 occasions, MR EX.

I guess, my biggest sadness was expecting that one person to care more than others on account that we have had a longer befriending history of as long as I have lived thus far, deducting pre college years.

So what makes a friendship or a relationship?

I really do not know.

To me, it is caring and sharing, being there for a person in need of comfort, giving time or just lending a ear.

MR EX accuses me of all sorts of expectations and in turn says I do not give him a thought on his financial woes, struggling to earn dollars to sustain his lifestyle.

I find it hard to accept really as to the world, he and his family are always dressed to the hilt in designer togs such as Gucci, Prada and the likes.

They are always seen at gala events and he is all decked out in his tuxedo and enjoying the high life.

There are 2 personas of this man and Ms Classmate said it best, it is probably his way of showing to the world.

Was I then seeing the real MR EX?

Is he as poor as he makes out to me?

He drives a brand new Mercedes Benz which he wrecks it by driving carelessly each time.

He travels the world for business and touts charities he has opened and sustains.

Why the need to do all this?

Am I being prejudicial?

Am I not giving him the benefit of the doubt?

Is he really in dire straits?

What puzzles me is that he will go to famous people’s wakes whom he does not know so as to be caught on social media.

He will donate to charities for that glamour moment.

But he will not consider offering me a helping hand to lug groceries or give me time to take me to the doctors when I need help.

Mr Docile explains it best. MR EX is unwanted noise and is hanging around to harm me.

Ms Classmate said that MR EX is who he is and left it at that.

When MR EX showed up on my door step 2 days before I was to be admitted for day surgery for histology specimen to eradicate cancer, I asked him for help.

He appeared his usual insensitive self and left in 2 minutes after dropping off mooncakes, telling me he was not interested as he wants to earn $.

I did not need his mooncakes but I took it as it would be rude to throw it at him.

In turn I asked him for 2 minutes of his time to know what I was going through.

He refused.

We quarreled.

I forced him to listen and he left.

Silence has ensued.

I have never felt so alone that night as I realized the true meaning of friendship and the relationship I thought I had with MR EX.


What Soothes A Throat & Gives Good Bladder Health

Post General Anesthesia has caused some discomfort to my throat and instead of dosing on more meds, cough mixtures, linctus or lozenges, I decided to leave it be.

With the haze and bad air quality, I resorted to boiling barley pearls with water and gulping litres of it.

Barley water cools the systems and is touted to help those with Urinary Tract Infections (UTI). It is better than paying an arm and a leg for cranberry juices which is laden heavily with sugar and or urobiotics that cost $60 for 30 sachets!

It is relatively cheap to procure and for a better taste, the Cantonese usually add candied water melon strips and rock sugar.

I don’t have any of those ingredients and stuck to the raw method of just barley pearls with water.

Refrigerated, it makes a nice drink on a hot perennial summer day for people like me living in lil red dot.

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Now That I Have Dodged Another Medical Bullet, What’s Next?

22 July 2019, was the day that I admitted self to Bates Motel for what I thought was a straight forward medical surgical procedure.

To err on the side of caution, Dr James Tan Siah Heng did an MRI of the brain to ensure that what he was removing (ostema) was straight forward. He exuded medical profession and did that. We talked about how simple the method would be and how his fantastic drill cum sander (yup, just like construction tools) would go in and within 2 seconds, the osteoma would be nipped in the bud.

Unfortunately the MRI returned to show that I had a tumor of sorts in my left parotid gland.

An ultrasound was immediately conducted and it showed the tumor to be “watery” and the discussion came back to me to assess and consider next steps.

An expiration of the tumor or cyst was the smartest move and radiologist would insert a long needed to draw the fluids for histology testing to see if it was cancerous.

These days, you throw a stone into a crowd and for sure, cancer survivors are amongst the crowd.

The head and neck surgeon was called in. I did not know him from Adam but his name came out of the mouths of 3 of my trusted surgical stalwarts.

Dr Andrew See has done thousands and no case recorded for failed nerve preservation, resulting in facial palsy.

If the surgical procedure went awry, I could have a crooked left side of my face, suffer from saliva drips – basically paralysis of the left face which could be permanent, as if like a stroke sufferer.

I discussed at length with the surgeon and he suggested leaving it as it is or do a watch and see approach. This is the conservative approach.

Dr See was mindful that I had underlying Sjorgren’s Syndrome and that it could be a Whartins tumor, which could turn cancerous over time.

I had a million dollar question to answer – another round of Russian Roulette was to be played by yours truly.

As I laid in the hospital bed, I consulted my good friend and medical internal specialist, Dr Lui Hock Foong and Dr Boey Wah Keong. These two men have seen me through more than 20 surgical procedures.

Both opined that it would be wise to remove it as I have odds stacked against me. One can never tell how cancer can rear its ugly head in the coming year or months if I left it.

Further, if I already was scheduled to remove the osteoma, it would make commercial and good health sense not to have 2 procedures separately.

I was still not convinced till I spoke to the night nurse who hailed from China and is now a Singapore Citizen, with 3 monkeys (her children and this was why she worked permanent night shifts).

Chen Jing said it simply without frills – “it is not a gem, why keep it?”

In those simple but mind blowing words, I received the message.

The next day I I underwent 2 major surgeries.

I was not frightened of cancer then. Then, my left shoulder ballooned like a swollen balloon. More MRI and hoo boy, torn shoulder tendon!

Again, my trusted doctors guided me to say that physically my body was too weak to undergo any more surgeries for now. Physio and see how it goes! I agreed.

One month later after discharge, I had bleeding.

I consulted the specialist for this – my usual doctor for donkey years, who matter of factly told me that I “probably have cancer because I was not a vegan and that I was to do a watch and see. Next appointment to see him was 2 months from that date!”

I was shell shocked and dumbstruck for a week before I plucked up courage to confront Vegan Doctor. I asked him on what grounds or basis did he say that.

“I cannot find the source of the bleeding and your brain only listened to the word cancer, shutting down everything else I said, just like my wife”

I could feel self lunging forward and giving him an invisible slap as he was now back pedalling.

I knew it was a waste of time talking to him and marched off to Dr Lui who immediately pointed me to the doctor next door to him, who was an onco specialist.

I must admit that new surgeons, do not not know me or how complicated I can be. I am atypical and in this case, to be fair to the new Dr Onco, she was not prepared for the day surgical process for me, which resulted in an A&E night episode for her and me.

Good news is that I am cancer free. As to the cause of bleeding – dryness could cause that was the simple explanation.

Would it or could it happen again? Probably.

I guess this was the same case with Papa Bear who had to cauterize my nose with Silver Nitrate post operation on my sinuses as I also bled out.

Autoimmune diseases such as Sjorgren’s is a “drying” experience – I suffer from dryness of the mouth, eyes, skin and have a lot of complications from this. Lymphatic cancer, kidney involvements and multi organ issues are real.

This is where I had another unpleasant spat with MR EX who ticked me off by saying, “what is the big deal of your autoimmune disease – it is not as if you have cancer!”

As I look back at MR EX, I realise that he was never a good friend or boyfriend to me. There is no empathy or the want to know about my disease or how to help me.

In contrast, Mr Docile has been mindful of my illness and has always been worrying quietly on the sidelines about me.

I am blessed for the friendships of Ms Classmate who sat with me throughout my day surgery, offering me the comfort of care, Mr Docile for worrying about me from his office as I refused his presence (I did not want to appear vulnerable to him and cause misunderstandings between he and his wife), Chicken and Bird.


Paddy’s In Trouble

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Still Wrong!

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Math Does Not Work Always

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Features Of iPhone 11? Seriously?

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I Am Ok – I Will Live!

16th September 2019, I had surgery to obtain a histology report on cells to see if I had cancer.

This was because a old fart of a vegan doctor who saw me some weeks back for my medical condition said that since I am not vegan, the cause of my condition is cancer!

So after spending close to $10,000, I am utterly relieved that I do not have cancer!

I feel just like the Garfield meme and wish I can sack that asinine vegan doctor for such a bad utterance.

He is oh so sacked!! Nitwit really for stressing me out. He really has no integrity by my books!

I can now spend the last week of my hospitalisation leave stress free and focus on getting better from my other surgeries.


Expletives….With Reward

A crusty old man walks into the local Baptist Church and says to the secretary, ‘I would like to join this damn church.’ The astonished woman replies, ‘I beg your pardon, sir. I must have misunderstood you. What did you say?’ ‘Listen up, damn it. I said I want to join this damn church!’
‘I’m very sorry sir, but that kind of language is not tolerated in this church.’ The secretary leaves her desk and goes into the pastor’s study to inform him of her situation. The pastor agrees that the secretary does not have to listen to that foul language. They both return to her office and the pastor asks the old geezer, ‘Sir, what seems to be the problem here?’
‘There is no damn problem,’ the man says. ‘I just won $200 million bucks in the damn lottery and I want to join this damn church to get rid of some of this damn money.’ ‘I see,’ said the pastor. ‘And is this bitch giving you a hard time?😜

Money does make the world go round!