Garfieldhug's Blog

This & That Including What Ails

Bates Motel – Day #17 Introducing Dr Bohemian

Dr Lim is, to me, Dr Bohemian or Technician or Electrician. He looks like one – simply dressed and if one sees him on the street, he could pass off as a delivery guy too.

But looks are deceiving as he is really talented and the deities endowed him with hands to heal patients like me.

I am not reducing his status as he embraces it. Down to earth without White Coat Syndrome, he does not care about riches, Marseratis or Rolls Royces.

He proudly tells me, he drives a Japanese car and the engine works well. Not ostentatious but quietly seeking practical outcomes.

He dons the same red colored polyester t shirt and told me that he has 2 pcs and goes to the clothesline to get it. It dries fast and the best part is, no ironing required! I nodded quickly too as I have to wear cotton or linen as my carcass does not like other fabrics.

If he is drenched jogging in the rain, he wears scrubs and washes the red T and puts it in the “dryer” in his clinic. It is his “uniform” I told him and it becomes him!

We are both so alike in outlook of life, not chasing designer togs and he does house chores and drives his kids to school and back before and after clinic hours. His committment to both family and patients is 110%.

He has a good sense of humor and always give a loud chuckle. Sarcastic or sardonic.. I love gabbing with him on the world’s ill. I feel he is definitely on MENSA – a highly gifted person with a heart of gold.

Humble, not pretentious and I like his honesty when he cannot fix my other ills. I told him if only I could unscrew my head to let it rest! He offered to cut it off! This is our brand of humor as he always give a straight humorous and fast quip.

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Bates Motel Day #17 – When Bored & Finding Distraction For Pain

When bored, I think I am a great photographer.

Note: Key word is “Think” and not actually!不不

Admittedly, I’m not anywhere near the standards of Ansel Adams or any great abstract or stills photographer.

Gee….I am not even comparable to those lovely photos taken by the WordPress community!

The photos I took in this post was from the basket (see photo below) I received last week. The flowers had begun to wither and I was trying to give it, its last hurrah in life’s stage.

I was trying to find beauty in things that are on its last nature’s legs.

I am waiting for Dr Lim to inject my neck with shincort and marcaine. Then Samy will do my physio.

Away I must…I have a virtual meeting in a bit.

Garfield hugs

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Like A Muay Thai Boxer不不

Part 2 is planned…part 1 went well. Thankfully!

Drs Li Yi Jia Boey Wah Keong and Lui Hock Foong did well.

The seamstress is Dr Lim Yi Jia. He is adept and skillful. Thank goodness!

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T’was An Hour Before Slice & Dice

I took this whilst waiting for Mr Ability To Earn to give me a ride to the Bates Motel. A single but stoic flower on a new bed. It overcame and so shall I.

I was up at 2.30am. Perhaps tired & stressed with today’s exciting time ahead.

6am the Nightingales came in. Time for my antibiotics and stomach meds. I have a unique body that does not cooperate when it should, so Dr Boey has to ensure all is good post operation.

I am breathing in stuff….professionally known as a nebulizer so that my airways do not dispute the inserts in my throat and nasal cavities. To calm, soothe and tell all parts of my body to behave.

It is 7.40am now. The theatre is expecting me at 9am and I….the Pavarotti of surgeries will do my best aria whilst my surgeon and anaesthesist will conduct the orchestra of habadashery of suturing and chemical balancing.

I shall live.

I shall exit the stage when curtain closes after my aria and be back in my boudoir after.

Then comes the hard part….recovery!!

Wish me well folks as I tackle the high notes of life.

Bummer!

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On Tenterhooks

I am unsure how my bag of bones and meat to boot will react to Pfizer vaccine against Covid as I have multiple drug allergies, known and unknown with anaphylaxis or difficulty breathing. I felt that with Sinovac being allowed now for those with sensitivities against Pfizer or Moderna, I might be better off.

Unfortunately I was misinformed as our Health Science Authority (HSA) has not approved this for mass vaccination as one of the key vaccines as its efficacy against Covid-19 and the B1617.2 variants are not proven (?) – it has a rating of about 50% for current tests.

So our Ministry Of Health (MOH) allows it to be sold by private clinics for those who opt for this “old school” vaccine, using a dead segment of the virus.

I had discussed with my trusty Prof Fong and his views are invaluable to me. I was wrong to think that the Sinovac vaccine “may be better for me” as not enough supporting evidence to show if it may cause allergies too. In his view, the Pfizer vaccine is showing more evidence that anaphylaxis may not the sole cause of reaction from the vaccine as there could be other underlying factors in the person. In terms of effectiveness, Pfizer is registering 95% against the mutant strains too as those who were vaccinated and caught Covid-19 were either asymptomatic or showed mild symptoms without need of oxygen or ICU care.

So I went hmmm…..

I have 2 elderly parents that I have to be there for. By not being vaccinated, I am a threat to them as they are not vaccinated given their medical issues. So, to be smart about it, I have to take the chance and go for it.

Frightened? I am not frightened per se as I feel that if I react adversely to it, then I pray for a swift death. I can only wish for big gasps for breaths like a goldfish out of water and report to either the above or below realms! But nooooo long and lingering death to come hither with tubes everywhere. I have tiny veins for crying out loud and to be hooked up like that is painfully dreadful and it takes time to report the either of the unearthly realms.

I am apprehensive – I know the symptoms are fever, fatigue, swellings, facial palsy or aches and pains. I have alot of aches and pains and on bad days, it is tough. So I am not so much afraid of the aches and pains as I tolerate it well.

Fever and fatigue, I will not like as I need the brain cells and physical structure to haul my bag of bones to move about to get work done.

For those who have taken Covax, I am sure they will tell me, stop being a wussy. It is a non event.

For my sake, I hope I do not have the severe allergies flagged and be carted off to hospital. The zone where I am going for the first dose is within the zone of hospitals that I do not have a lot of faith in as their White Coats are less kind than the ones I am used to at the Singapore General Hospital or Bates Motel.

Ahh well come what may, I have to go through it and live to blog about it.

Anyway….shore up, I am a toughie and will survive this as I am sure, my debt to the earthly realm is not completed yet and karma says I have to clear debts still LOL!

Happy Saturday all!

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All Quiet On The Garfield Front

It has been a tumultuous one and a half weeks for me. It started with Mum taking a spill on the floor face down and decided not to tell me, till accidental discovery by her neighbor.

I hate being caught off guard and discovery at 9pm meant that I will need to camp at the hospital till wee hours of the morning to get her checked out, doing the Xrays and CT Scan of the brain & skull.

Thankfully, in Lil Red Dot, our medical facilities are never shut and she was immediately given X rays and CT Scan. It seems the heightened alert we are now under for Covid-29 Pandemic has deterred many non urgent persons to the A&E.

Yes, it seems that we have drunken sots injured from falling over, bar brawls and or malingerers seeking a medical certificate to avoid going to work on Mondays or Thursdays for a longer weekend.

Good side effect of Covid-19 measures is that with the drinking holes closed, lesser incidents and accidents too. The only death was unfortunately due to a mobility device running over an elderly pedestrian on the side walk. I am one of those who dislike having such devices or contraptions as I call them among people on 2 feet! Gee even 4 paws might get injured as the gig riders or morons out for a speed thrill, throw caution to the wind and cause incidents or accidents. But that is another story for another blog post.

So mum and dad stayed with me, in my pigeon hole since then till last night when I could not tolerate it anymore as both my parents are difficult guests.

Whilst food for each meal was provided with compliments by Neighbor, their daily living needs are a challenge. Mum will refuse to shower in the evenings and with the hot humid climate, she can be stinky poo!

Dad is a pain in hygiene. He will grab whatever cloth hanging in my toilet as use it as a bath towel, despite my telling him that a hand towel is not a bath towel.

There is also the constant argument between he and I on leaving the windows closed when my blinds are down. I have very tall windows and the winds that blow can rip the draw blinds off the holders. It can cause accidents and he might fall out as I am more than 10 floors up!

The constant arguments of my dad being a dirty toilet user as it leaves the next person to clean it up before it can be used.

So after a big fight between mum and I, she threatened to call the taxi to take her home. I knew she was incapable of it as for one, she does not have the number and secondly, she cannot even hear nor tell the cabbie where to get her. But that is mum – full of arrogance and defiance with the attitude of MUST WIN!

I then turned my pearly whites with the biggest smile and told her I the driver, would be delighted to take them both home!

It was such a huge yoke lifted off my shoulders to take them both home as I need not be at their beck and call amidst work needs, cater to their tea breaks, snacks or getting lunch and dinner served.

But a new worry ensues – my never ending worry of them being alone on their own and the next fall that might take her life! This is her fifth spill over the years and each fall is due to her own ignorance and stubbornness to follow safety protocol as her legs are weak.

Life goes on and I can only say to those who are the sole care giver to elderly parents that it is not easy and especially tough when there is no breathing space not respite to take a step back and leave them.

I have to be strong to stay mentally sane and soldier on.

If only parents were able to better co-operate and my snide remark to my parents were – I never gave you this much trouble when I was young. In fact, I ticked my dad off as he never liked me as a daughter – I am the pariah of the family. I was left for dead in hospital when I suffered the car accident and had to undergo spinal surgery and neither he nor the glorious bunch of siblings I have bothered to see me then. Only my mum did.

So, whilst I can payback to my mum, I sometimes selfishly feel that why should I care for my dad when he never treated me as a daughter, like how he worships the eldest and the youngest child. Ironically, both decided to abandon them and do not see it as their duty to care for them.

Beauty of “families” – it never ends and my saga continues till either I or they leave the earthly realm. Life goes on!

Onward ho!

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Rise In Community Cases In Lil Red Dot

I was sad to hear in the news that a cluster of Covid cases has erupted in a ward in Tan Tock Seng Hospital.

A patient, a nurse and a doctor. Immediately that ward was locked down. By today, 4 more wards locked down and infections have spread.

Covid-19 moves really fast and what was surprising was that the vaccine did not give the health care workers immunity from Covid-19, despite 2 doses taken.

I sincerely hope that with the vaccine they took, they will not succumb to Covid but live.

This reminds me that safe distancing and keeping good hygiene and masking up is important.

The vaccine does not mean we can throw our masks away.

Our real life cases have shown and proven that with vaccination, masks and PPE Covid still managed to infect the health care workers.

Please please don’t stop wearing your masks, thinking that being vaccinated you are safe.

Take care. Mask up. Covid is alive and circulating amongst us.

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Last Wednesday’s Conversation With White Coats

White Coat was in a placid mood when I saw him last Wednesday. There was no long queue to see him and I was seen as soon as I arrived at 9am which was a boon as government hospitals usually require me to wait minimally for 2 hours.

I suppose with Chinese Lunar New Year just over, patients were not in the jolly mood to see doctors just yet.

ME

” Gong Xi Fa Cai White Coat and how was your new year? Did you do much visiting?”

NOTE1

I had to play the nice victim here as I maybe sliced and diced by him so I turned up the charm.

WHITE COAT

” Just stayed home as limited to 2 households a day. “

ME

” Aaah so you saved on spending on hong baos (red packets of monies distributed to singles or children)” I quipped.

WHITE COAT

” No lah….red packets still need to be given”

NOTE 2

In light of digitalisation, E Hong Baos have been created by banks and transference of money can be done electronically. I prefer the touch and feel of opening a red packet and counting the fresh, crisp new notes.

ME

” See my swollen left hand – is my condition worsening?”

WHITE COAT

” Could be your underlying auto immune issues acting up. What did Prof Fong prescribe for your auto immune?”

ME

I am now squirming as I do not take meds unless drastically required. ” Erm I do not take meds at all. if I am in pain then I take an NSAID”

WHITE COAT

” What is wrong with all of Prof’s patients! Each of them refuse to take meds!” he sound edgy.

NOTE 3

I need to quell his edginess….think fast woman!

ME

” You are very handsome”

It worked. It fizzled out! LOL!

I had to have a steroid injection to resolve the pain. It was brutal and he asked me if I have had such injections before of Shincort and Lidocaine…told him yes, last time 38 injections!

He rolled his eyes.

I need surgery and I am still maintaining August schedule. He has assured me that not much difference and downside to failed surgeries are permanent numbness.

Sigh!

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I Am Ready For Tomorrow….Wednesday Check Up With White Coats

All the hoopla with bitcoins! The bitcoin has certainly escalated in price!

My paws are still hurting.

My left paw is more swollen than my right paw, but my right paw hurts more than my left paw.

Neurologically, my left paw is in worst shape than my right paw but physically my right paw hurts more than my left paw!

Confused yet? Sheesh…I am!!

You think this is how my White Coats treat patients?

Nothing is normal about me. Scans or Xrays can show one thing but anatomically it is worst than what it shows till the White Coat goes in with the choppers!

Truth be told, I am scared out of my wits as I am unsure how surgeries on both paws will evolve.

How will the outcome be?

Stay tuned till August 2021…meanwhile I am gritting teeth and as they say, sucking it up! LOL!

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An “Evolving” Patient – Should I Be Flattered Or Scared?

I love Dr Bones! Not romantically but I love him for his great doctoring, surgical skills, flowery language and outlook in life.

In my last consultation with him, he described me as an “Evolving Patient”

I will share how I earned this flowery title of “Evolving Patient”

As an in patient, I have literally scared the living lights out of 4 surgeons. These 4 surgeons are renowned, experienced and with good surgical practice skills under their belt.

I have had the entire radiology department alerted over a Sunday as a major surgery was done on a Saturday and the attending surgeon was worried I had deep vein thrombosis (DVT) when one foot turned dark red.

I lived. It was not DVT thankfully. Just a prank that the deities decided to play on me and the attending surgeon.

Another remarkable “Evolving Patient” incident was when I was admitted for one major surgery, but led to 2 major surgeries and discovery of another 2 major surgeries to be scheduled soon for my bones.

I will also not forget Dr Bones opening statement after hearing and seeing my medical file as a patient for the inaugural consult. He said, “Looks like you and I going to have a long time relationship” LOL!

Being a straight talker, patients either love him or hate him as he does not beat around the bush about outcomes or surgical processes.

To me life has thrown me lemons. Life is never fair and I appreciate Calvin’s reply and agree with him.

I think Dr Bones gave me an apt description. It is categorically true and I will not refute it.

As a patient, I am a bag of surprises to any attending surgeon. To continue to be on my panel of doctors, they must be calm and experienced to overcome all the surprises or curve balls my body throws at them and react with the right solutions.

I am very glad that very few made it to be a continued medical care provider.

So, as an Evolving Patient, I frighten off surgeons who do not deal with Evolvers like me or patients like me cannot be managed by public sector doctors as they see the same ol’ same ol’ straight forward cases. I could see how the surgeon in the public sector paled beyond comparison when I consulted him.

My regular Prof Fong’s mantra is “to keep me alive, do not change or let me try new things and I will remain constant”

Given it is Hallow’s eve….I am a nemesis and to all medical people, “be very, very afraid!” LOL!

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