Garfieldhug's Blog

This & That Including What Ails

904 Publishing Streak On WordPress & New Moans!

Ok, it seems I am admittedly verbose, with heaps to say on paper or print! But I have genuine grouses and lemony stuff to report 😉

I am happy that I am at 904 for continuous publishing as it is my self achievement of being disciplined to blog about stuff.

Besides the humor streak in me, I assure you that there is this very frightened and stressed out being in Garfield Hug that has tons of think thoughts about her future and where it is heading.

Since I do not have that much needed crystal ball to gaze into, I do not know what tomorrow brings.

Each new day is a surprise for me and sometimes, it is manageable and sometimes it is not.

My follow up consult with my new found surgeon, Dr Bones is another shocker to me. Ok – I know that I will be forever in need of a slice and diced but to hear it formally from an accomplished surgeon is a reality check!

I am genetically predisposed to a lot of bony issues.

Dr Bones said that we will be seeing a lot of each other as I had a multitude of bone issues that cannot be solved in one go.

I agree with him and am glad to have found him as he can take care, wholistically, my spinal structure or skeleton i.e where damn bones are!

For one, I am pre-disposed genetically to bone spurs and so, every now and then when a bone spur reaches a sizeable threat, it is “out you damn bone” time.

Dr Bones is a pious Christian and he openly told me that he only takes care of “real patients” and not fake ones i.e. those without heart.

I could tell he is a sensitive kind soul and he shared with me that he inherited a down and broke patient whose leg was supposed to have been amputated but decided on reconstruction.

Having been tapped out of SGD1 million in medical costs racked up, he was taken in by Dr Bones.

Dr Bones is doing it pro bono to help this patient.

I am glad that Dr Bones see me as a “real patient” – by definition, a “real patient” is one who carries no airs and is not difficult in character to manage.

Dr Bones is very wary of my case as he is unfamiliar with my medical condition and he is apprehensive, taking a conservative approach.

Dr Bones will do what he thinks is best for me to remove some pain, but NOT ALL PAIN!

Impossible he says, given my medical condition.

Sigh! I know I am born to suffer.

Dr Bones, like Dr James, both echoed the same – God has HIS plan for me! Gee for crying out loud, email me the darn plan as God seems to have forgotten about me.

So, now, I have as a 2 in 1, two good surgeons with spiritual encouragement. A boon and a plus!

Dr Bones will definitely need to remove the culprit bone spur that is causing me arm mobility issue and will not do anything to the inflammed scapular except to do a steroid jab in the operating theater into the joint.

He hopes this will abate the inflammation and allow me to lift my arm.

Next is my left foot. It seems I have an extra piece of bone that has come loose and needs to be removed and the ligaments redone! I asked a simple question as to why my foot hurts so much when I walk and Dr Bones looked at the Xray and delivered the news!

For now, I always joke and say that I cannot even lift my hand to slap any one who offends me. Looks like I have to add, I cannot even kick anyone who offends me too!

Sigh….more lemons sent my way!

Lemonade or other lemony treats anyone?

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27 December 19 – Another Major Surgical Procedure

Being back at work after a 2 months’ hiatus has been stressful as I have a fair bit of back log to catch up on.

But, thankfully since I have been keeping track of work even whilst in hospital, I am quite up to speed except for the Clergy Of The Lord’s 2 papers that require me to get internal Lords’ clearance.

As I finished the 2 deck of slides for the coming November’s Clergy Of The Lord’s meeting, I resigned self to the fact that the only lull period for me to be sliced and diced was Christmas week of 2019.

This will allow me 2 months of recuperation and be back for the Kingdom’s Annual General Meeting, Minions annual wage increments and all things related to the year end reports.

Yet another Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year will be spent in Bates Motel.

My appointed 3 medical specialists will be Orthopaedic surgeon Dr Lim Jia Yi, Gasteroenterlogist Dr Lui Hock Foong (who is my dedicated doctor and knows all my allergies and is the best man to treat my post hospital complications) and Anesthesiologist and Pain specialist, Dr Boey Wah Keong will oversee this procedure.

All have agreed on a common date and I had already put a request through hospital for the same nurses and ward to take care of me during my recuperation, post operation.

I could not help but wonder, of all the asinine luck, for me to undergo 4 major surgeries in a span period of not more than four months!

What is the reason for this?

I make no sense as usual.

Some say it is the deities above who wants me to help others by being ill myself!

Others say it is God’s will and decision to have this on me.

On and all – there is a lesson in all this.

For me personally, I learnt that I have been lucky so far playing this russian roulette as I come out of it, alive and mobile.

Will my luck run out? This time round, my left shoulder has a bone impingement and each time I use my dominant left hand, it is sawing on my tendon, causing it to tear.

Whilst I am cross that the earlier orthopaedic surgeon either chose to close his eyes or turn a blind eye as he has no expertise to fix it or “shut up” there is no point “being angry with him” when he said I was “fine” and all I needed was “physio” – many have screamed sue the bugger but what is the use? Will it heal my shoulder?

I am however, grateful to Dr Andrew See who asked me to consider seeking a second opinion and encouraged me to do so.

With his encouragement, I did reach out to 2 shoulder specialists and they both concurred on the findings.

No amount of physio would have helped me.

I interviewed both options of surgeons and chose Dr Lim Jia Yi.

There was something open and direct about him and I liked this trait.

He explained more and could click with me as he made me understand the problem I was having.

I now need to speak with him to find out the risks, probabilities of failure and complications.

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Imposing Your Will Unto Others, No Matter How Good You Think It Is

We all have freedom of choices when it comes to the healthcare we need or things we can afford or require.

I write this post to explain how the Vegan Doctor could have done better in the management of my health care.

I have nothing against anyone who is a carnivore, a vegan or vegetarian or however one chooses to live their lifestyle.

There are umpteen types of diets out there for anyone. It is an each to their own preference or choice and whatever that works best for them.

I have read of keto diets, protein diets, carbs diet etc. Different participants of the diets have sworn by it and I am glad it has worked for them.

I am sure that each of these diets will apply to a respective individual who sees merits in it and most importantly, it can work for them.

My sister works for a vegan chiropractor and I have seen him for some of his pain relieving techniques which physio may not be able to assist – this is nerve pain relief.

Vegan Chiropractor does not impose his will nor beliefs on anyone like a zealot. Instead he educates and leaves the choice to his patients. I like and appreciate this approach, no forcing of wills or either this way or the highway attitude.

He is a kind soul and would always provide a bowl of vegetable soup for my sister’s lunch. I am told how lentils and beans make a tasty refreshing bowl of soup for lunch.

On the other hand, my Vegan Doctor went off tangent when he goes by the old school way of “I know best, you are an idiot and you do not know what you are doing” – I dislike this, but being brought up to respect seniors, I listened and left it, without ticking him off.

Perhaps it was also my fault for not telling him off. But I did not like to hurt his ego and I was not prepared then to migrate to another medical doctor for treatment.

His graduating cohort knows of his style and mannerism and also finds him odd as a doctor. What I dislike is how he mocks the obese or fat and flatters self for his slimness. He is disproportionate in size – his head sticks out like a brocolli spear on a thin as a rake frame.

I am not slim. I describe self as full or large, not morbidly obese!

I have always been fat since young and the only way to control my diet is to eat only 1 meal a day and not a big meal, mind you! A smallish one at best.

I share what I eat in a day.

Breakfast

3 tablespoons oatmeal

6 to 8 blueberries or 1 strawberry

No sugar and milk

I cup of Nescafe Gold, 2 tbsp non dairy creamer ( I am lactose intolerant)

Lunch

Water

3 pcs of crackers or oatmeal, again 3 tbsp

Dinner

Vegetables

3 tbsp rice (brown rice)

Small piece of pork or fish

I do occasionally binge out when I eat a packet of economical rice without the rice, but just the cooked dishes or meet friends over satay, grilled pork or beef on a stick, dipping gingerly into the peanut sauce that is laden with calories!

My vegan doctor condemns fish or being “oily” and unhealthy.

Meats are death traps to him. I am old school brought up on the merits of good fish oils, eating some meat for protein etc,

If he had been a moderate, expounding the benefits of his diet and sharing like a kind soul, perhaps it will be more palatable to me.

I did try his diet of carbo loading and vegetables but it caused me to have sugar spikes and this is dangerous as it could lead to diabetes.

He claims that a diet of white rice with vegetables would keep diabetes at bay! I doubt.

I prefer to live and let live. No one knows their own body best than the person and his medical doctor treating him or her for current conditions.

As it is, my calcium level is dangerously low, Vitamin D is non existent as I work like Count Dracula, leaving my lair in the wee hours of the morning and returning home with the owls! My protein levels are low but I live with it.

It does more harm than good to impose one’s views on another!

Often times it just ricochets and hits a by stander or at worst ruins a relationship – professional or otherwise.

I sincerely hope that Vegan Doctor knows how to reign in his beliefs and work on cajoling instead of force feeding his will unto others.

His dwindling patient numbers are real.

I used to walk into a waiting lounge filled with patients and these days, I see at most 3.

The age profile of his patients are also rising, meaning, no self renewal process as the ones who stuck by him are those who has been with him since young and are now grandparents.

For his sake, I hope he moderates and through this methodology, offer more assistance than deterrence.

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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.

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My Adventure Today

When I am coughing so bad like a banshee, it is an adventure to slide into my car and drive to anywhere.

I had no choice. I needed to see the GP as my coughing is relentless, plus I needed to get ginger to boil and drink, which is supposedly a natural remedy for my cough.

GP doc said that I have bronchitis. I needed more antibiotics for another 5 days. He wanted to precribe 3 days sick leave but I told him not required as I am still on hospitalisation leave.

GP Doc matter of factly told me that I am literally a doctor’s nightmare. I seem to have alot of issues and that I am an atypical patient with so many drug allergies.

I pondered over what he said. Yes, my doctors who treat me are brave as I can ruin their perfect track record of uneventful doctoring.

Dr Andrew See is one new example whereby he is now mindful not to remove my stitches during normal prescribed timelines.

My wound after first suturing split open after he removed sutures. He saw it and second suturing after debridement now leaves stitches longer than 14 days – 21 days! Come this Thursday, he will remove second sutures.

Ah well…I was devastated by what another surgeon told me.

Stunned actually!

I hope this surgeon is just being an ass, no pun intended to below meme as he gave me a diagnosis without tests or biopsies!

I may have to be hospitalised again in 2 months for another procedure and it may kill me this time….not immediately but over time if results are not good!

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Day #13 – Bates Motel, Lucky 13!

My motley crew of specialists now tallies at 8!

1. Dr Lui Hock Foong, gastroenterologist & internal medicine specialist

2. Dr James Tan Siah Heng, neurosurgeon

3. Dr Boey Wah Keong, anaesthesiologist & pain management

4. Dr Andrew See, head & neck

5. Dr Tan Chai Beng, neurologist

6. Dr Tan Jee Lim, orthopaedics

7. Dr Leong Keng Hong, rheumatologist & immunologist

8. Dr Daniel Yeo, cardiologist

8 is auspicious in Chinese numerology and I feel assured as 發發發 (this means “prosper” and is on the face of mahhong tiles.

But my hospitalisation bill will be astronomical! I am complicated as a patient. Sigh! I am tired.

I looked like above kitty when Business Officer of Bates Motel spoke with me on Day 5 when I asked for an estimate of my bill as at Day 5 She droned on and on.

I felt like saying “Woman, let’s get to the main sum…you know mula?!”

Finally I was handed an itemised listing of some 10 pages. Hmm..trees were killed too!

My inanimate furball Garfield just sat all comfy life, watching this charade of mine.

I am in my usual Bates Motel garb..hard to change out of incarceration garb really.

Coffee here is nespresso pods or nescafe instant granules. The kitchen makes the latter so thick that it is undrinkable. I miss my nescafe instant granules. Another sigh.

I laughed when I saw above meme…I need of $$$ and alot of Jesus!

What a hoot!

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The Real Day #8 Bates Motel

I hurt.

My surgical wound on my forehead sticks out.

My left ear behind to neck is sliced. Good news is that my facial nerves are intact but my ear to left cheek is heavily swollen and painful.

Tis hard to laugh really!

Swelling has slowly lessened on ear but I cannot gargle as my left cheek is weak and I speak a bit funnily for now.

Dr Andrew See said that it will take 6 to 8 months for full swelling to resolve and for me to regain muscles and nerves to speak or gargle properly.

For now I have a shunt that allows serrous fluids to exit the wound.

Meanwhile, tummy has wreaked havoc and my left foot is swollen for whatever reason…unknown to me.

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Day #8 – Bates Motel, Alive & Visit From Piglet & Friends

Piglet is a friend I met on my blogsite and I was very happy to see her today when she visited me.

We chatted and she gave Garfield a carry as she loves my raggedy furball.

She gave me a print out of Garfield get well wishes which I appreciated.

Piglet is another strong person, overcoming medical issues. We encourage each other.

I was especially touched by her kind words to me today.

I am always at odds with God and I have lost wifi connectivity with heaven.

But my surgeon, Dr James, sent me a tweet from the Pope.

Dr James is a very devout Catholic and a great surgeon. He does not give up on this “soul” he says LOL!

I appreciate his tolerance of my nonsense.

I kept asking him WHY? Why ME? Why am I chopped up so much?

I came to know Dr James for my cervical implants, titanium rods and screws – the works!

He later then helped me with Dr Pang BC to put lumbar spinal implants in me.

I could walk. But no rollercoaster rides or bungee jumping!

Instead of WHY, he said my suffering is a vocation to help others.

I told Dr James, let me mull over…….is God speaking through him?

Mr Docile visited me and I will save that for another post.

Ms Feisty, Mr Jaguar, Ms Audit and Ms Legal also visited me.

I feel so loved!

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Day #6 – Bates Motel – 1 PM The Witching Hour

I scheduled this to be posted at 1pm my time as I will be in the theatre!

Oh no no…I am not in some grand ol Opry or great cinematic theatre of any sort, but the one with white coats! I am not doing any arias or concertos or any performance of sorts! LOL!

I know it will be hard for me to post for the next few days and so, I decided to write this ahead of time.

I intend to return with all my faculties intact and most definitely with my funny bone still in place.

Someone’s got to laugh and I might as well laugh!

I hope they do not misplace my brain and that Dr James Tan leaves my brain intact. I did not agree to have my skull plate removed and replaced with a metal plate with screws as it requires a cut across my forehead and an indentation of my skull afterwards.

I will look like Ms Frankenstein with a laceration across my forehead and a sunken one at that!

How troll! I will have a permanent Halloween outfit!

My left leg is killing me as it decided to protest now and I have been taking laps around the floor my hospital bed is located.

I wonder why it protests now. I have taken an antiflammatory to nuke it but it is taking its toll on me, making me grumpy before the surgery.

I am also upset that the nurses here have short term memory. I was missed out on doses of meds and I insisted that I was not given although the nurse claims she had.

Thank goodness, it was not a vital medication but an optional one.

I have asked for my breakfast cart to be removed of its cutlery, crockery but it falls on deaf ears. Half has been removed and the other half seems to be protected by a hex as 2 nurses I told, have severe short term memory lapses! Either that, or as I said, the hex protects the life span of the crockery, left over food and what nots!

Have I made you smile or laugh just yet? I hope so.

I need the mighty deities to get me out of the theater, intact and in one piece.

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