Garfieldhug's Blog

This & That Including What Ails

Theory – One Word Prompt

By now, my regular followers on WordPress and visitors would know of my medical challenges or I call it, life’s little lemons๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹

My theory for my suffering which includes more than 19 surgeries and multiple stays at Bates Motel is that I must have been an awful horrid mad scientist that was chopping up lab animals.

Aahh..karma is back to get me and so, I get sliced, diced, poke and prodded like a lab rat.

But my theory has its flaws. Hmm…๐Ÿค”with each pain and suffering I undergo, I understand pain and suffering.

I  can understand the symptoms and how to fix it – in turn I share with others to get self checked when I hear or see their symptoms.

The people I meet are ignorant to medical intervention. Some tell me it was better not knowing! 

Gee…it is akin to a small problem not arrested and it becomes an ending when things are too late.

I met someone sitting for her turn when my mum was at the specialist.  She told me her first name and I blurted out her last name. I did not know her from Adam yet I could spout her last name on reflex.

My theory is we met in past lives. We must have! 

It seems she has a tumor growing in her and it weighs 5kg but she said that she is still asking the specialist if surgery was really necessary.

The tumor grows a kilo a month on average.

I looked at her and said firmly that surgery is necessary as at the rate it is growing in her tummy she will look like she is 9 months pregnant without a child in her. Her quality of life will be affected, not mentioning if the tumor is cancerous or benign to begin with.

I told her I survived each of my 19 surgeries. I sleep, I awake and it is over. I lived. I was prepared to cash in my chips.

My parting shot to her was to be brave and live for her family. Go for the surgery.

If that fell on deaf ears…at least I spoke from my heart.

Life is sometimes ๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹but with each ๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹experience, I come out wiser but sometimes with more pain.

As for the real meaning for my suffering – its cause and effect…my theory is still unproven.

I am prepared to offer whatever remaining years of my life left to whoever who needs it more. 


Dr Chomp’s Gift To Garfield Clan

I visited Dr Chomp on Saturday and our patient doctor relationship always starts with him dissing my ex employer Electrical Lord.

We then talked about everything else under the sun. We have a good friendship as we both think alike and laugh alike – loudly!๐Ÿ˜‰

This time he went on to share his views on the Orange Man and we both wondered how long he would last.

Dr Chomp shared that he could not find Garfield in his frequent travels to USA.

So he gave me Tigger instead from the Pooh series.

It is feline and so we call him a distant cousin ha ha!

Thank you Dr Chomps ๐Ÿ˜Štill the next quarter my pearly whites are cleaned and cleared of gum swellings!

Yes…I have a funny dental condition. My gums flare up like my autoimmune disease and if Dr Chomps do not manually use his ‘ice pick’ to dig out the clots, my pain in the gums or jaw will not abate.

So, every quarter, I pay for pain and spew blood clots๐Ÿ˜‰

Ha ha! Story of my chomps!๐Ÿ˜ƒ


Humanly Possible & And So The Story Goes #38

I had my stay extended at Bates Motel to receive not one, BUT THIRTEEN injections into my neck.

It was an excruciating experience that I never knew I could go through it. 

Thankfully in 15 minutes it was over as Dr Boey’s hands were skillfully deft and swift. 

It is often said that the doctor’s hands are pivotal. 

Dr Boey is my anaesthesiologist and when I had him manage me during my cervical corpectomy, he told me that inserting the rubber tube into my lungs must be done well else it is game over for me with instant paralysis.

This scared me out of my wits๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜จbut thankfully it was non eventful.

Useful Fact on Anaesthesiologist that I would like to share:

[Anaesthesiologists are medical doctors who specialize in giving patients anesthesia. Anesthesia is only given to patients who undergo surgery to relieve pain or to put these patients to sleep for the duration of the surgery. 

An anaesthesiologist provides care to their patient before, during and after a surgery.]

When Mr EX heard about it, he zoomed down to see me immediately.

I admit at this point I realised that I still do matter to him.

Awfully kind of him except he was as always, rushing between appointments. 

Life of a CEO for him.

He made a dramatic entrance to my room and since the staff nurse was with me, he had to poke me.

He raised his voice and asked the Staff Nurse if I cleaned my posterior or his favorite usage of “back side”

Sigh! Thankfully the Staff Nurse knows of him and left us.

He lost his only audience.

I asked him why he is he so obsessed with posteriors. My million dollar burning question.

His smug reply was “not anybody’s back side, JUST YOURS!”

Aaargh๐Ÿ˜’if only you could see my invisible dagger stabs at him!!๐Ÿ˜•I was not enlightened.

I will not be unravelling this obsession anytime soon, his mysterious obsession with my touche! Sigh!

He tells me he has only half an hour to spare as he has to go into a meeting at 7.30pm.

He saw my fantastic dinner and helped me wolf it down. Least I could do was share my lavish meal which was too much for one person really๐Ÿ˜

I did appreciate his presence as I would not like to be rushing about squeezing out half an hour to slot me in.

I learnt for the first time that he liked tiramisu cake and his eyes twinkled when he saw the green tea tiramisu served.

Macaron and all went straight into his tum tum and like the Phantom of the Opera, he breezed in as quickly as he breezed out!

His exit would not be complete with his further poke at “my touche” to which the story then goes….


“Since you are so hung up on my “touche’s” state of hygiene you could clean it when I am ill!”


Intent was to stunned him to shutting up!


“I will be disrupted by non backside-centric robot”


“Aah good you are buying me a robot!! This way you can continue sing for supper or work for dough lol. ๅฏๆ˜ฏๅถๅฐ”ไฝ ไนŸ่ฆๅ‡บ้ฉฌๅ› ไธบๆœบๅ™จ่ฆไฟฎๅ—!๐Ÿ–’(*translated to mean aah but occasionally the non backside centric robot will need servicing so you gotta do it๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ˜„”
This is where he took this point to exit and breezed out…

Silence ensues as the door closes on his exit.

I am non the wiser unfortunately and not much closer to solving case of the backside obsession!


Day 2 – In Bates Motel

My team of 3 doctors are figuring out what’s next?!! HA! They are busy but I am not.

Bored out of my skull, I only have the goggle box and crosswords to keep me busy.

Other times it is the lovely nightingales with their machines to check my parameters.

A slight scare last night as my blood pressure decided to fall like the stock exchange. 90/50!!

In hushed tones they were flustered. 

Maybe it is the equipment fault muttered the concerned nurse.

Another quickly goes out to bring another set 

Aaahhh 105/70 was obtained after a break.

I will live – they are satisfied and left me.

At 10.30pm, a loud booming voice entered my room!

My room was pitch black as I was trying to sleep.

“Who’s this” I asked?

“Usain Bolt” was his reply! Aaahhh Man in White Coat.

I told him it was his bed time…actually mine ๐Ÿ˜‰

He came to assure me my brain was working and that he will symptomatically treat my ferris wheel rides.

There was another potential issue that Dr James has to look into.

Ball over to his court it seems.

Today another MRI was done and another audio test.

Good news is my hearing is fine.

2 more hours for next test results.

Gee…I feel as if sitting for my exams and waiting for results.

Garfield’s with me thankfully.

Today an administering preacher walked into my room and was looking for Elizabeth.

I guessed she must have been the last patient.

Still he kindly prayed for me. For which he was kind and I am utterly grateful.

Nice of my God not to forget me.

Meanwhile the “throne” in my toilet at Bates Motel is hardly as posh as this

*photo courtesy of internet and if Louis Vuitton did indeed create this water closet or cistern….bravo๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘am sure many rich blokes would now want it!!*


Dr Mark Sinclair, Chiropractor

Dr Mark Simclair practises in Albany, Auckland, New Zealand.

I am one who visualises chiropractors as “cracking” this or that bone or joint!

I have seen how Mr X pays a hefty sum for each session of alternative therapy only to hear a “crack” here and there and cringe!

I immediately visualise all “them bones coming asunder” as if like Jenga toppling ๐Ÿ˜‚

So when sister swore by Dr Mark as “good”, I was wary….very wary!

But by noon time, my thighs were screaming foul…pain in measurement of 9 out of my pain Richter scale of maximum 10.

Hobson’s choice, I had to go as Auckland has more chiropractors than medical specialists readily available.

Thankfully sister knows him well and he saw me as a squeezed in patient.

My trouble begins… in the pain department.

My admiration for Dr Mark went up a notch when he warned me against letting any chiropractor manipulate my bones or joints!

His technique was nerve manipulations and using the brain with zones mapped out, he treats pain through points, no accupressure but nerve manipulation.

I was “pinched” and poked or prodded with fingers but felt good relieve after.

My problem lies with no follow up on nerve injury post operation.

My chin and head postures were not aligned and my feet were walking out of sync with my hip.

I was told not to sleep with a pillow and that I needed 3 sessions or more to resolve my pain.

Admittedly, he said that I have high threshold for pain and he hoped that I could have all that removed.

Trouble is….how do I find time npw hanging around Albany area to sort self out through his treatment and forego sightseeing….my conundrum!

Ah well….we will see where I visit today… journey continues on!

P.s. Dr Mark Sinclair is located at 10 Oteha Valley Road, Albany Auckland, Ph 4780909. His charges can range $100 upwards.


Singapore National Eye Center

Singapore National Eye Center or SNEC is indeed a mammoth hospital.

Today, I am here for my peepers who refuse to behave.

I have desert dry eyes ha ha!

There is no such medical term I assure you but my eyes are so dry that I feel as if in desert conditions.

Because of my autoimmune condition, my peepers are affected.

People whom I know often say “but you can cry” so no such thing as dry eyes lah! *singlish*

Long story to explain and so I will just smile as it is hard to explain to lay people who do not suffer from dry eyes. Sigh!

I literally use bottles and bottles of natural tears or eye lubricants. Wish it was bottles of beer though as that would be more fun ha ha!

Duratears, Visidic gel, Eye Mo etc etc. Oil or water base….been there, done that.

So my trusty Prof feels I need to trot down to SNEC to see the only dry eye specialist in my little red dot!

Ta da! A solution in the making…I hope. Fingers and toes crossed๐Ÿ˜Š

Dry eyes gives me blurry vision when it gets too dry.

Dry eyes can cause corneal abrasions. I get gritty eyes as if someone poured sand in my peepers.๐Ÿ˜

My Profesor’s fear is if I damage my sight!

So my list of ills besides looking fat, ugly, crochety and spine in rigor, it could be me ending up with vision issues!

Gawd! Where’s the gun to shoot self really!

As I walk through SNEC, I stopped by at the exhibits showing its heritage.

Started by then Singapore Health Corporation, initiated by late Kwa Soon Bee and helmed by Prof Arthur Lim, today SNEC is reknowned world wide.

99.2% cararact surgery successes!

Lots of other procedures they do and with good successes.

I am proud of our medical accolades as we reach out and help others in the region and over the world.

I have met Prof Arthur Lim on many occasions with the Dukes and Duchesses of Yore. Quiet, soft spoken and humble man he is also a good artist.

He painted largely oils on canvas and a giving man. He passed away some years back and bequeathed his estate to charitable causes for vision.

If not for Prof Lim, SNEC would not be where it is on world map for opthalmic expertise.

Meanwhile, I sit and I wait for my turn ๐Ÿ˜‰


It’s The Eye…It’s The Eye

Dr Doolittle was happy to see me, and I him.

We are like long lost buddies and would exchange coffee shop talk before consultation begins.

Still, I am wary of other patients waiting outside and must not over stay my time. Lest I be given dagger eyes when I walk out of his clinic.

My results showed I am ALIVE.:-D

Not worst, not better but along the same plateau!

Dr Doolittle was elated. He often reminds me that he would be pleased if I am “status quo” – not deteoriating.

His biggest fear was if I go down the drain!

I am often told to keep eating the same way. Do not starve. Do not over work and stay happy.

Dr Doolittle was not one bit happy about my job. Point blank he asked me if I was paid enough to be slaving the way I was?

I told Dr Doolittle, I stopped looking at monies. I seem to be taboo when it comes to receiving more money.

Call it hocus pocus or some karmic reaction, I used to pay in blood and scars if I got a handsome bonus or pay rise.

I automatically would shudder as it meant that the amount due to me would be expensed in medical bills.

I end up none the better. So, my motto was do not give me more money as I was happy to remain status quo.

Not richer, not poorer but status quo in wealth plus a little to hedge inflation and or increments in consumer price index ๐Ÿ˜‰

We both agreed that I am extremely stressed and I needed meds to prevent a flare up of frightening values.

I moaned about my eyes.

There is little that can be done said Dr Doolittle.

I was to see an opthalmic surgeon to see what is available to help me.

So, like Tatoo of Fantasy Island….I was screaming…”Doctor….it is the eye, the eye” – instead of the TV series script of “Boss, the plane….the plane!”

Dr Doolittle is off for his medical conference for 2 weeks.

I rattled off the medicines I would need and we discussed about a new drug.

Dr Doolittle trusts me and lets me order what I feel like ๐Ÿ˜‰

I am happy for his trust and his care ๐Ÿ™‚

“Behave and I will see you in 14 weeks”

My reply….”yes Doctor. Have a safe trip and learn more so that you can  help me after with new medical insights”


Another Doctor Bites The Dust

As I sat and read my morning papers, I found my vascular surgeon in the news.

A year and a half ago, I met him during emergency hours when my neurosurgeon freaked and thought I was suffering from a blood clot post 11 hour operation.

I remember that fateful night fatefully.

I have two feet! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ha ha sometimes me think I am like my inanimate furball with four paws LOL!

One foot was flushed red, hot and looking purple.

The other foot was pale and cold to the point of freezing.

This happened a week after surgery and I was in Bates Motel (*my nickname for my hospital … .I had to cheer self up and usually tell friends that I would be checking into Bates Motel)


Left Foot Versus Right Foot

In my usual griping, I took this photo and sent it via whats app to my surgeon’s handphone at 9pm, telling him my left foot is freezing and right foot was very hot.

I then turned off my mobile and put it in the room safe and settled in to sleep. I wrapped my cold foot in a towel, tucked it into 2 layers of blanket and shut my eyes.

Wow!! Next thing I know is my nurse rushes into my room asked me why I was not picking up my surgeon’s call!!

Sleeping lah!! Typical singlish me!! LOL!

My bedside landline phone rings. Dr James barks out questions and I answered gingerly as he was now making me very frightened.

I was to be rushed to Radiology as soon as the team is assembled. This is a Sunday night!!

By 11pm, I was made to undergo ultrasound and MRI.

My radiologic specialist was calm. Dr Gavin Chan came in and did all the tests.

It seems the nerves or vessels in my right foot was gushing with blood!

Vasuclar surgeon was summoned and he had no logical explanation other than perhaps my nerves were re- hotwired following marathon operation and rather confused.

Watchful wait they said. I must be watched like a hawk.

By 2am, I was wheeled back to my room.

Next day, Dr James scolded me for not leaving mobile on. After I send something, I must wait for his reply.

Ermmm…my silent heart said, “it is sunday night and I felt he could sleep and reply me tomorrow.”

Point is…Dr James cared for me alot as a surgeon. I am grateful for his thoroughness.

Unfortunately the vascular surgeon he sent to see me is now being sued for alleged malpractice.

This is sad. I could sue for every little thing that went wrong during my op. For eg I told them no plaster but they used plaster and I got huge blisters and now a scar!

My surgeon said tongue in cheek…he had to test and confirm. To him it was verifying a claim as that particular dressing could save me since I gave him only one choice – Tagaderm and to cheat skin too.

Opsite was out for certain parts of skin. Blue reel white tape by 3M Micropore was out. Save for leaving wound open was what they ultimately did!!

So the moral of my story is doctors are humans too. Not Gods. Thankfully I have Dr James.

He cares and is a God fearing man too!!


I Am Alive…….As Of Today!

Yaay!! My session with my most trusted doctor, Prof Fong, confirms that I am “alive” – LOL!!

What I especially appreciate about Prof Fong is that he gives me the overall picture of my health…taking all the tests done, multiple doctors seen for their particular views based on their expertise or speciality and create this finished puzzle of me ๐Ÿ˜€

Long and short of it was that all my doctors treated the ailment but did not find root cause for my cough, pneumonia aside.

So, I posed the question to Prof Fong.

Coughs can happen for 4 reasons:

1. Tuberculosis
2. Onslaught of an asthma attack
3. Inflammation of Lungs
4. Stomach acids

Prof Fong asked if I did an Xray at the recent hospitalisation and I said yes, all clear.

Given the facts, he opined I probably suffered from the 4th cause since my Xrays were clear and that my tests showed no asthma.

I would agree with Prof Fong as I do not eat very much and limited self to one meal a day.

I was on Nexium 40 mg as prescribed by Dr Lui Hock Foong who also opined the same.

What was interesting was that Prof Fong asked if I have been prescribed a higher dosage than 40mg?

Aha….so this means that more Nexium can be taken if required.

This forms my new body of knowledge for self ๐Ÿ˜‰

As for my fainting spells, Prof Fong felt that it was the case of “hypoglycaemia” – whilst the sugar or insulin is pushed to cells, the lag causes me to feel faint sometimes.

This is a “happy” problem as compared to diabetes. LOL!!

To resolve my tummy issues and near fainting spells, Prof Fong wants me to eat frequently and small meals each time.

I can see self like a bird, pecking everytime…..hopefully not like a Pelikan, swallowing huge fishes! LOL!

Prof Fong is worried I would fall one day if I am not careful monitoring my meals intake.

Too little insulin in terms of food intake can cause me to fall and injury would be worst for me given my spinal implants!

Prof Fong was also very sharp to see a huge 3 cm bruise on my arm and asked for cause.

I felt like telling him I wrestled Garfield and lost but spared him the nonsense today. “Cannula bruising” I said matter of factly. He could tell I was holding back a ridiculous answer.

He immediately prescribed a cream to break the haemetoma.

Though I did not tell Prof Fong, that bruise hurt an awful lot ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Prof Fong further reconfirmed my good heart health and great cholesterol results.

We laughed about Dr Flippant’s treatment of me like a dart board and he shared that actually Dr Flippant is one of the best.

Ah well, one man’s meat is another man’s poison or in my case, Dr Flippant met his “match” and was “lost” in treating me ๐Ÿ˜€

Having a panel of doctors but each with their views can be mind boggling as I cannot link to see the overall picture.

Still, all doctors agreed that my lungs are a “weak” link as my autoimmune condition can indeed wreak havoc on my lungs. If that happens then Prof Fong will don his white coat to the rescue ๐Ÿ˜€

So my coughs must be taken seriously at all times since I get bronchitis often and if untreated fast enough, pneumonia can set in with bad infection. Sigh ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

For today, I am thankful to be alive…till morrow comes…breathe!! ๐Ÿ˜€

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Dr Daniel Yeo, Cardiologist

I met Dr Daniel Yeo through my Co-Chief Doctor, Dr Lui Hock Foong.

I was introduced to Dr Daniel Yeo, as Dr Flippant alluded to me having heart diseases.

(Dr Flippant is so named as he was flippant in his easy lip service diagnosis of me.

Makes me wonder if this Dr Flippant has any ounce of compassion for one’s anxiety levels by saying such things!)

My world collapsed on hearing this. Literally, as it is scary – heart disease is no joke!

Logic failed to apply though I have been diligent in my quarterly health checks with my Chief Doctor Prof Fong Kong Yong.

Prof Fong is a careful physician and ensures that my bloodwork is done regularly and it shows good results. If not, I would be put on alert.

Yet….I was devastated by the words of Doc Flippant.

For the first time in my life I went through CT CORROS by a 168 slicer CT Scanner. ( in June 2015, I am told by radiologist that a 698 slicer CT scanner will be installed).

Thanks goodness we have high speed CT scanners else the old fashioned angiogram through femoral artery needed. Phew!!

I also underwent an echocardiogram.

Both tests gave me “pristine” heart health or as good as can be at 0th percentile.

Thankfully with praises to the deities watching over me! ๐Ÿ™‚

Dr Yeo was soft spoken, kindly and did not exude an image of “I know better, you don’t and so please shaddup!!” – Dr Yeo is so unlike Dr Flippant, who had every bit of pronouncing “ailments” without thought, as if following the spin of a wheel.

I like Dr Yeo. He does not look threatening nor scary. He explained the tests and made me understand what he was testing.

I would reccommend Dr Daniel Yeo within a heart beat!

I learnt about cardiologists and surgeons…the former being “electricians” and latter being “plumbers” – still learning. 

It was a good scare as I took heart health for granted.

I thought with eating healthily or lesser, one can have automatic good heart health. This is a fallacy.

I am seeing Prof Fong in a couple of days and I am sure to get a earful from him.

Why in heaven’s name did I listen to Dr Flippant?

Prof Fong has often told me to stay as I am. He has kept me alive thus far and I need not shake the regime he has put in place for me. I forgot to “trust” him.

Prof Fong is a calming factor in my life.

He maintains old drugs are the most stable and to stay away from newer drugs as these have not been widely used just yet.

Younger doctors like Dr Flippant are always eager to use me as a test bed for new drugs on the market with patent. Either that or drug sales people sell well!?!

I would suffer heavily from it and I did with Avelox giving me massive headaches and muscular pain including and not limited to chest pains.

Rather than blame the drug, Dr Flippant alluded to heart problems for me. I was urged to eat more so that I better tolerate Avelox.

This was Dr Flippant’s fallacy as when one is allergic to a drug, no amount of eating more will positively impact the drug causing the allergy.

In writing this, I feel like such an idiot to believe Dr Flippant. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

If I ignored the chest pains, I explained to Dr Lui, I would have cheated myself. This would be the worst ie to cheat myself. Both Dr Lui and I agreed on the tests.

I am glad my ordeal is over and I came out of it, with peace of mind.

I will do what Prof Fong has always maintained for me…keep to my own regime…stay as I am…stay alive.

I do not need new drugs. Stick with stable drugs and live for the day ๐Ÿ˜‰

Man!!! Now I dread my appointment with Prof Fong as I will get a earful….but I deserve it!

With due respect to white coats….Not all white coats can be trusted. In my case, Dr Flippant and he has joined my “banned” list of white coats

Cheers to good heart health folks….I have my marker points now and will treasure heart health ๐Ÿ™‚

I must remember to thank Prof Fong as his foresight gave me good heart health as gently reminded to me by Dr Yeo. ๐Ÿ™‚