Garfieldhug's Blog

This & That Including What Ails

What’s In A Blog Post?

The WordPress community is a friendly, kind and supportive one.

True, not everyone is the same and I do get an occasional oddball – in fact in all honesty, with 7 years of blogging under my belt, I only had one ranter who heckled, chided me for posting about pokes on Orange Man and blogging about my illnesses or about lil red dot.

I did a post on this when it happened and was heartily surprised when my blogging community supported and reminded me that any reader has an option to choose to read. Ranter could ignore my blog and move on to read others. Yet she chose to read and gave some odd comments. I should feel flattered that she chose to read, but had a difference of opinion.

I felt this ranter (a “she” by the way) had a very bad day and was on a melt down or an avid supporter of Orange Man. Who knows, she could have been a staff of Orange Man and had to stand up for her Boss?

My posts have always been about humor, on myself venting of the illnesses I face and work blues.

Thankfully, the latter is manageable now as Monkey Lord is decent and work is really busy but at least I need not be fending off knife wounds!

But what does get into my head when I sit down to do a post?

My primary intent is that it must never debase any human being.

No racial slurs or mean things.

Everyone is a sister or a brother in this zone.

We are all the safe. Orwellian theory does not fly here although some are super great bloggers with hundreds or thousands of “likes” and followers!

I use nicknames for the humans I meet in life but they remain anonymous, known only to me.

No personal attacks or hurling of vulgarities but a good dose of sardonic humor.

I look at things as they are and say it as I see it.

I do not sugar coat things as my messaging gets watered down and that defeats the punch lines I want to deliver. I need to give it that “kapow” LOL!

I appreciate good government, good work ethics, honesty and sincerity.

I dislike hypocrites, dishonest people and those who love to do a “Knife To The Back”

I have long searched for my true love and realised that this person does not exist. There is no romance waiting for me. Romantic love, marital love and all kinds of love tags elude me.

I have questioned the Almighty Lord but He has not found the time to reply me. I am in spiritual limbo for sure. I guess with Covid-19 now, the Good Lord is even busier.

I challenge my medical team of specialists such that they confess they have sleepless nights trying to figure out how to keep me alive.

I quote Dr Short Tongue (Brilliant specialist and a trusted medical chap for the Who’s Who who stutters when he is excited about a find or observation. He is a big wig in his field and it shows me that despite whatever challenges one has, one can aspire to climb to the top because of meritocracy!) and admire him for his honesty with me.

He said that so long as I “stay as I am, without major shifts in conditions, then I am well” and that he has done his job. I trust him with my life as he asked me not to invite viruses or germs to my body when I asked if I should take shots against this or not.

So, now I ponder – if a Covid-19 vaccine becomes tenable and available, should I take it? Or will I react against it and instead die from it? I must remember to ask for his opinion when I next see him! Hmm! I wonder what he will say?!

The insaner side of my posts are about my raggedy inanimate furball Garfield and how he hands out Garfield hugs and squooshes to keep me sane. Garfield with his beady plastic eyes accompany me on stays at Bates Motel and keeps me company when I groan in pain and recover from my many slicing and dicings!

There is always a child in us and I applaud Pam, another blogger who does fantastic quips that really made me think when she did a post on this. I have a big child portion in me but unfortunately due to the position I carry at work and in social work life, I have to be an adult.

Being an adult is draining as I have to always behave in a politically correct fashion. No tantrums, speak in soft tones and be mindful of who the characters are in my plot of what I call life.

So what’s in a blog post? Or specifically, my blog post?

Who’s to tell? I get all sorts of ideas and when the light bulb lights up, my fingers go to the key board and tap away.

But I believe in not deliberately hurting anyone in life or in words as I know what is is like to be hurt. It is not nice!

A blog post is a window to a life I think I need for the day.

A blog post offers me refuge from my daily adult life.

A blog post lets me laugh freely.

A blog post lets me vent my frustrations.

A blog post lets me share my thoughts and elicit views.

A blog post, most importantly, is my own work.


Covid 19 & What’s Cooking At My End

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has renamed the novel Corona virus to Covid 19 and I learnt that it was so named with “Cov” denoting the Corona virus and “d” because the first case was reported in December and “19”representing the year the virus surfaced.

Covid 19 is causing much worry in lil red dot.

My Lord is worried as 3 of our lads are under mandatory quarantine by the Men In White and they have to sit out the 14 days to see if Covid 19 rears its ugly cough.

The sickening part is that no one knows about the etiology of the disease and if it is indeed true that 14 days will cause it to manifest or more days?

There has been some cases whereby the nasty virus took longer to incubate and this could be why we have escalating numbers of community spread.

There is also the debate on to mask or not to mask up is the question?

Shakespeare would be proud that his “to be or not to be”question is well used in other circumstances.

Masks are in short supply because the factories producing masks hail from China and from the Wuhan, Hubei province! I was told they are also the biggest producer of the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that healthcare workers don on for taking care of patients.

China has not be entirely honest in its reporting of numbers and it could be that they have no resources to cope with testing more people.

Comparatively speaking lil red dot is more “kiasu” or “afraid” and does more testing and in so doing, found more cases and provide full payment for the treatment of Covid 19 during their stay in hospital.

I was surprised to learn that in a typical day in lil red dot we have an average fo 400 to 500 cases of pneumonia island wide. I guess this is due to the large elderly population we have and the younger children getting chest infections etc.

So to be extra cautious, our health officials are testing all and every pneumonia case and treating it as Covid 19 until the tests show otherwise.

This could be why our numbers are staggeringly higher than other South East Asian Country.

New community clusters are formed in churches (2 churches have been affected), our DBS bank went on red alert to evacuate the whole office tower of 300 people to deep clean when 1 officer was diagnosed with Covid 19.

Better safe than sorry is our attitude and I am glad that we are being super diligent.

Good news is out of the 50 cases, 8 have been discharged (recovered) and 8 are in critical condition. We have been advised to be prepared for the worst as fatality is inevitable.

But here is to praying for zero fatalities and that our hospitals can treat each victim and give them good health to walk out alive.

Thank goodness Garfield is inanimate else he will need a mask for sure and anyway he is in isolation like me.

I only hobble out for medical appointments and return home.

I have not even gone to the supermarket just yet although I heard of panic buying by citizens grabbing instant noodles, rice, toilet paper etc…

May have bemoaned inability to find hand sanitisers and I explained to them to resort to old fashion hand soaps. All soaps are antibacterial before the advent of advertising post SARS to say some hand soaps are labelled anti bacterial.

Anyway, I have been washing my hands so much that my hands are cracked and dry. Small price to pay for being germ free!

Stay safe all and keep good personal hygiene to prevent COVID 19 from finding us!


Eve Of Lunar New Year Of The Rat…Wuhan Virus!

Tonight, we celebrate the eve of Chinese New Year (CNY) with a Reunion Dinner.

Except for me, I am in Bates Motel and Chef Boyadee has just popped by to discuss a special meal for my CNY celebration in Bates. Comforting indeed!

Families will gather for dinner and a popular dish is steam boat or hot pot whereby many relatives can gather for an easy meal of dunking meats and veggies in boiling broth.

Customer Service Of Bates Motel dropped by my room to wish me happy new year with a pair of mandarin oranges in an oriental paper bag with greetings of prosperity for me. It is a nice gesture and meaningful touch, I felt.

Wuhan Virus has arrived in lil red dot.

A Chinese man from Wuhan arrived in Singapore and stayed at Rasa Sentosa Shangrila with 9 of his friends and his son. He arrived with a sore throat and soon felt unwell and was brought to SGH accident & emergency.

His son also tested positive for this strain of the Corona virus.

Many are avoiding crowds as we will not know if tourists from Wuhan are around and may be carriers of this virus.

What a scary thought to start the new year.

Hopefully no pandemic. Mr Docile is on high alert as he is in infection control business.

It seems Scotland has also seen its first case.


Bates Motel – Day # 25, Iodine To The Rescue?

I have not been aware of the efficacy of the humble iodine till now.

Branded under the pharmaceutical name of Betadine, Technician is now using iodine to help stem the “weeping” wound.

I thought back of the parotid gland surgery done in July 2019 and wished back then that the other surgeon thought of using this instead of waiting it out and letting the wound down my neck turn necrotic, resulting in a need to be re-admitted to the operating theater for a clean up and restitching.

I am praying hard or willing the Gods or forces of the universe to help me resolve this weeping wound as I do not need another ugly keloid or painful scar.

Surprisingly the wounds from the 4 key holes for my should surgery have closed nicely without incident and I am grateful for that.

My body is strange in that different segments of the body, the reactions are different.

If I was a drop dead gorgeous babe, I would be screaming for the plastic surgeon to redo the ugly keloid and painful scar. Instead, I am living with it, not because I am vain but I am practical as I am unsure how it will turn out if I do decide to re-do it.

Scars remind me of the trials and tribulations of life. This long curved scar that spans from earlobe to shoulder, reminds me of the cancer scare.

It reminds me of the frailties of life.

It reminds me of my humanity and that I am not infallible.

More importantly, it reminds me to be humble.


So I Think I Know Everything…

I was targeting to be discharged on 22 Jan 2020 from Bates Motel but am not hopeful as my leg wound is still not behaving and my shoulder and biceps have knotted.

I was unaware that my shoulder tendon was reconstructed and placed in another position to allow my arm to function better after removing the culprit of a giant bone spur!

The surgeon did such a good job that I had full range of the arm and I started to use my arm like normal, this causing the overreach.

Mum is doing ok at home but my brother is flying the coop on Monday for his own home in the Fragrant Harbor. I do worry as I am not out by 20 Jan 20, there will be a gap in my parents’ home care.

Worrying will get me no where and I am hoping the home care team will kick in twice a week soon so that at least they have some help.

It is hard to age in Singapore as the social network is not an established one and there are no retirement community villages that look nice. A nursing home turns all into zombies and the elderly are made to look silly, singling karaoke, doing silly twirling umbrella dances and mindless stuff.

I do not blame it as unfortunately these homes cannot stage it at different levels; high functioning or low functioning and uses low functioning brain type activity to cut across the masses. This will alienate people like my mum and dad who are high functioning in the brain department and they feel stupid doing it, as if ridiculing their presence.

It is tough to manage the elderly and I find Chicken’s advice fairly useful i.e. to treat them like children, reward them when they do what is expected of them and discipline them like children.

There is also a need to put on a show for them so that they feel comfortable accepting what you expect them to do.

As for now, my dad has to be persuaded to take a second bath before retiring to bed and be reminded of medicines to take.

I think back to Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night – all the world’s a stage and of which, there are 7 stages. I fully agree that this is the circle of life. We begin as babes, end up with baby mentality and pass on.

I wish and pray that I may never get dementia as it is such a horrid illness. But then with so many rounds of general anaesthesia, I do worry.

So, I think I know everything…for now when my mental faculties and wits are with me.

What about when I have to live longer?

Will I think I know something or anything?

I clearly do not know everything but I can safely say that I know some things, some of the time and not most of the time.

I get by!


Bates Motel #4 – Day 5, Almost 2020

‘Technician’ (*as I address my Orthopaedic Surgeon) has a kind heart.

It is a massive book really LOL!

As my surgeon, he cares enough to see me 3 to 4 times a day and this is appreciated as he has a heavy case load of 20 patients at his clinic and he needs to surgically operate.

Climate change in North Pole is wreaking havoc in Santa’s workshop. Hopefully Greta the climate change advocate succeeds in drilling into us to reuse, recycle and manage our earth better.

He swings by in scrubs or his signature black outfit of T shirt and jeans. Definitelt not a cut out of a surgeon. Hence my ‘technician’ and he loves the title accorded to him.

Sometimes it is hard to discern between general waste or recycling worth!

Doctors without airs or superiority complex works best for me as the warmth and heart they exude helps me recover faster.

Bucket List Done!

I am up at 3.15am for my daily shower. I like avoiding peak hour shower times at 7am and needing supervision to shower is currently what I require till my left hand is more mobile.

If I forget, the Bat Signal Works!

I am worried about part 2 surgery as without a left leg, how do I walk properly without hurting.

I was assured that the space boot helps and I guess I will look like robocop – a boot that is massive looking and a left arm sling with Garfield in tow.

I must look like a casualty of war.

Technician promised me that he will not turn me into a cyborg but made a comment that we will have a “long term relationship as a result of my musco sketelal issues.

I am resigned to fate.

A New Mr Bean Atttitude For 2020 – It Might Work!

After going through more than 20 surgeries; some major and others minor, I am sanguine and takes it in stride.

No point beating at my breasts hollering why me? But just suck it up and move on.

The saving grace is that I have good doctors, nurses, good Lords (*for once) and great dietary needs at Bates Motel.

After being a regular icon here the head chef actually visits me to craft my menu as I get tired of the same foods.

Life goes on.

I live.

I breathe.

I laugh.

I have Garfield.

I have you folks rooting me on and that is precious indeed.

Not much from me just my humble but sincere wish for all to bask in love and warmth of those you love.

May you and they be constantly wrapped in good health.

May happiness surround you and if you have been praying for that miracle to happen, then may you get it in 2020.

Happy New Year 2020 folks from Garfield and I.


Bates Motel #3 – Preparing For Surgery #2 During This Stay

I am doing better than expected.

I am ever so grateful to (1) Dr Boey Wah Keong, my anaesthesiologist, my orthopaedic “technician” (2) Dr Lim Yi-Jia of Ortholimb Bone and Joint Surgery and (3) Dr Lui Hock Foong my gastro doctor. It makes a huge difference when I have surgeons who care and not out to choke us for every penny we have.

I am largely alive because of their dedicated care.

Tomorrow I need to do an MRI to assess my foot and how much of a damage is there.

It means going back to the operating theatre and being sliced again.

Thanks to the creativity of Nurse Marites, she put crushed ice into this rubber glove to use as an ice pack over my swollen shoulder. Slipped into a paper matting sleeve, it sits on my freshly operated shoulder.

I must get a photo of him as he looks nothing like a surgeon but a rock climber and rocker. Awesome in humor and keeps me going to face the health issues that face me.

I have to remember this!

My mum in another hospital is stable and doing well. I am relieved as my worry was with her. If I do not fix my limbs, I cannot help her.

I think my rocker surgeon would dare to wear this T shirt haha!

I am sad about aging parents. I saw how Dr Boey reacted to losonv his mum recently and how Dr Lui lost his dad in the middle of this year.

They were calm accepting their death due to aging. I believe their professional training has helped them.

Don t we all wish for gold coins and nof chocolate ones in gold foil haha!

I too must let go when if is time and hope to celebrate their life instead of mourning their deaths when the time comes.


Bates Motel Day #1 – It Begins

Sayonara Santa!

How quickly Santa came and left.

All the parties, revelry and family yakkity yak leaves everyone drained literally

My inanimate furball Garfield and I are settled in Bates Motel. For familiarity, I was assigned the same room as previously given.

He is snugly tucked in.

The usual blood work for pre-operation. ECG and chest X rays were done.

Good that they are convinced I have a lung and heart that works.

Tomorrow’s surgery is scheduled at 10am.

After that, a tad challenging to use my cell phone and post blogs.

Please excuse my silence till then.

Or if I can manage I will let you know how I am doing.

My mum is stable and she is recovering post stenting.

When her doctor called me, he informed me of how complex it was to tunnel through calcified arteries.

I admire the precision work of Dr Aaron Wong and his team at Singapore General Hospital’s Heart Center unit.

I was told that drilling through calcified arteriee are dangerous as debris not sucked out or caught travels downstream and it can cause immediate death or stroke.

I was very, very worried throughout mum’s procedure and am a little relieved now. But I was reminded that the next few weeks are crucial for mum.

So says the cat!

Bro, Sis, dad and I had a simple X’mas dinner at Streats located in IMM mall.

It was not much to crow about meal and did not come cheap as the food was sub par. But the mall was so crowded that we just decided to eat there as my legs were in full rigor by then and I could hardly lift it

I have informed Dr Lim my orthopaedic guy about it and will entrust him to sort it out.

Sigh….I am so tired.

Happy Boxing Day folks.


Worried About Mum

The doctor called me this morning to update me on my mum’s condition after they warded her in the Singapore General Hospital (SGH).

A lady I met at the Emergency Room whilst waiting for my mum to be assessed in triage gave me this medicinal plant. I do not know the botanical name but she shared that when boiled it becomes a healing solution for people who suffer from itchy hives, uticaria or skin conditions. Using the boiled solution helps to alleviate the itchiness.

Things are not looking good as mum did indeed suffer a heart attack.

Come Monday, she will undergo an angiogram with dye contrast to find blockages.

This was the second herb that the lady I met at Emergency Room gave me. By drying these leaves and soaking it in rice wine, till it looks like tea color, it can be applied to cat fish stings, swellings and or insect bites. She really seems knowledgeable in local herbs that we all see as weeds!

If the blockage can be opened with a stent, the cardiologist would do so.

If the blockage cannot be cleared through a stent, then a coronary bypass is required.

Risks for my mum is at 3%, given her age and that a stroke or death may occur for stenting.

I am not so worried about percentages for doing stenting but more if stenting is not a viable option.

The doctor shared that we shall not worry about coronary bypass till they try stenting. “Let cross that bridge if stenting is not a viable option.”

I am frightened and worried.

I do not wish to lose my mum.

I cried as it is scary.

But at least the doctors at SGH are cogent, professional and I know my mum is in good hands, with thanks to Dr Anders Stahlen.


An Early X’mas Gift From Ms Feisty

A Garfield Power Bank

I was so touched to receive this from Ms Feisty as Garfield items are rare and hard to come by.

She has also ordered some cell phone covers of Garfield for me too!

The power bank is helpful as mum has been transferred to an acute hospital as she is not doing too well. I now have a power bank to use and charge my phone instead of worrying about low battery.

It is a useful handy gift.

Meanwhile, Mum’s cardiac enzymes are elevated, there are ECG changes and her haemoglobin has plummeted like the Hang Seng Index.

Also her sodium is low.

This means she will be at risk of more heart attacks, after suffering one in hospital 2 nights ago.

I freaked. I asked the family physician at the hospital to identify the trigger.

None of his team doctors or himself understand what I meant triggered this heart attack?

Another Ms Dim Wit told me trigger was due to her heart disease.

Moron! I snapped.

Of course I know my mum has underlying heart disease as she has had 2 stents put in the 1990s.

I am asking what triggered the heart attack?

Low sodium? Was it due to the meds called Indapramide?

Dr Dense was clueless and did not follow case notes. I knew mum will be in harm’s way if I do not transfer her to Singapore General.

I spent 2 hours telling Dr Dense where he and his team have failed in due care and diligence.

Finally he caved and me thinks he wanted this problematic Garfieldhug out of the way and ‘washed hands’ when he approved the transfer of my mum, out of Dr Dense’s hospital.

I am worried.

I am worried if the low sodium will trigger another heart attack?

I am worried where is the unknown bleed?

In the gut?

Is cancer lurking in mum’s intestines?

I hope she receives better care in her usual hospital than at Dr Dense’s.

When I took Dr Dense down a couple of pegs, he asked me what was my background and profession?

I gave my signature statement, ” I am your world’s biggest BITCH or your world’s best friend! Take your pick!”

I wish my mum recovers fast as this is day 12 for her in hospital.