Garfieldhug's Blog

This & That Including What Ails

My Good Doctors

My medical life would be a disaster if I did not have genuinely good doctors.

It is often commented by people I know that their doctors are merciless when it came to bills and did not give them the warmth or comfort they needed when ill. It was a clinical experience at most was their common feedback.

I am relieved that throughout my stay at Bates Motel, my panel of specialist doctors have taken extremely kind and careful care of me throughout.

This upcoming stay at Bates Motel, I will be sorting some medical issues that I have been putting aside for a while on account of work.

I am still feverishly trying to complete a portion of work so that I can be admitted in Bates Motel knowing that major projects are done and that I need not worry unnecessarily of outstanding items.

I am also quickening steps to conclude on personal business for my parents, not forgetting that before I leave for Bates Motel, I will ensure that my parents’ medical appointments are done till the next wave in August.

My mum asked me what will she do if I am in hospital and there is no follow up. All the information is with me. I assured her that she has 2 other children and so, do rely on them.

If I die, someone has to take over right?

I was frustrated of course.

I texted my 2 idiotic siblings and appointed the eldest to take over should I die in hospital and forwarded all the communications for her to follow up from.

As usual the only brother I have and literally now disliked, is silent.

I hate it when everyone else in the sibling tree is allowed an excuse to ignore their parents and is acceptable by their parents but I am not allowed to be excused to enter Bates Motel for medical treatment.

I feel hurt.

My entire life is always on hold for my parents, and now even at the risk of medical treatment.

I cannot believe the gravity of selfishness till now and I now understand that people can be genuinely selfish, regardless of blood lines.

The only people who would care for me are my doctors. Yes, they may be paid a fee but they have genuine care and concern for me which is most appreciated by me.


Addressing Cohort Of Duke NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore

I was very proud to have been invited to address a graduating cohort of mature students who chose medicine.
I felt it was a worthwhile experience to guide aspiring doctors on good doctor patient etiquette.
I shared the need to be compassionate, speak simply and be attentive to patients.
I was worried that I bored the class. (I cannot remember how many students. My best guess almost 100 students perhaps)
I felt I did not engage them enough as what do I know! My fears and apprenhension was dispelled when questions came forth plentifully – I made an impact and the doctors were appreciative of my little half hour talk. After some 15 minutes of robust questions and answers, I received the best appreciation – loud applause and thanks from Chairman, Division of Medicine
I felt proud I connected.


Is Good Health Taken For Granted? A Timely Reminder

Is good health taken for granted? is a practical blog site and I follow it to learn useful practical ways of stretching dollars whilst living in the UK as a retiree. Do pop by and have a read.

I read his recent article on how he was glad that he was medically cleared of an ailment. He stated a fact that reasonated with me – people moan about ill health but people do not celebrate or write about good health they enjoy! Hmm…

I have good days and bad days for health. Generally, I am ridden with pain daily but I do not live life as if I am dying. I moan and groan about it but I laugh a heck of a lot as endorphins manages pain best.

I recently saw a colleague walking like a zombie and asked her what was wrong. She appeared shell shocked and whispered to me that she was dying as she has been diagnosed with diabetes.

She is not obese and instead normal sized.

I told her diabetes is not a death knell – unlike cancers of heart failures, one can live a good and rich life as all the person needs to do is amend lifestyle habits and exercise plus taking her daily dosage of Metformin and blood pricks in the morning.

She does not seem to accept her disease and informs me that she will not want to prick her own fingers and have asked her husband to do for it. I chided her for not taking ownership of her own health. I ticked her off as it is not her husband’s duty but her own plus what if the husband is out of town for work or worst case, is unavailable – then what?!

She then bemoaned that she cannot stop eating durians! Durians are lethal fruits for diabetics and will lead them to diabetic comas when consumed in mega doses and I know she does consume it in mega doses.

Her answer to me was a real classic one! I cannot stop it as my kids love them. If I stop buying it, they cannot enjoy it.

“Look here mum – you already have diabetes and you are not looking out for your family. You ought to share with them that your mum has diabetes and they must start eating healthily now. They can eat in moderation. You abstain! You need not eat. You can watch them eat!”

I was cross. Why?

She is not without life. She has limbs and a working heart. Organs all else are healthy.

She would drink sugary drinks etc.

I continued to encourage her that diabetics live a long time – so long as they manage their health.

I am lucky I am alive. I am lucky I can walk. For each painful day, I recognize that I am alive and not a burden to anyone.

Good reminder from alifegayventure on living life, celebrating health!

Cheers to good heart health, mental health and physical health to all!



I feel so spent!

I saw Prof yesterday at the hospital and this is how we talked.


“All your fault to put me on 6 months’ gap to see you from last appointment. I told you that you are my amulet against ill health!”


He laughs and nods his head. There is some strange affinity between me as his patient and he as my doctor. It seems that if I see him quarterly, I soak up his cosmic aura of protection and I do not get as sick as I am now.

“Ok, I will put you back on 14 weeks, you see me in 14 weeks then”


“Good! Then I will feel better. I now have so many issues. My left leg is swollen! My forehead appears to have a growth and it hurts and my sinuses are choked!”

I bemoaned and groaned.

He laughed.


“You seem to have so many things going on now.

Why did you take your blood tests so early in March 2019 when I was due to see you only in May 2019?”


Hmm, he starts on his 3rd degree with me…as if FBI is interrogating me, the suspect! LOL!

“I was here at the hospital to take my parents to see their doctors and so I thought, ok, do it along the way!”


“Hmm…I saw your report on your fractured toe. It does not say it has healed but progressively healing. It has been about 8 months and it is too slow. Have you been walking alot?”


I cannot lie now as I have been walking like crazy. I need an excuse to wiggle out of this one. This 3rd degree thing is now getting hot!

“I need to walk. If I don’t walk, I get fat. Even when I take one meal a day, I still get FAT so I must walk. Or starve and I did starve which is why my blood work is showing me as malnourished.”

I felt so achieved! FAT is the best way to argue my way out.


He does not relent.

“Yes, you did put on weight! But if you continue to walk 10,000 to 12,000 steps you aggravate the healing and so your leg gets swollen. “


Sigh! I can never win this argument. So I changed topic.

“I have burnt scabs on my forehead. Why?


“Dry skin and with Sjorgren’s this is now part of your disease. You need steroid creams and what you are doing in terms of suppressing it, is working and good. As for the forehead growth, I suggest we leave it now, as there are too many things going on with you now.”

We both bantered a bit. I bargained for my medicines and he gave me a long list. I tend to just collect the Rx and keep it unless I need it.

I think if I was the doctor, I would have screamed in exasperation at me, the patient.

I can be trying.

I can be stubborn.

More importantly, I can be irritating when ill.

But I admire Prof. He is cool, calm and collected. I asked for spare course of medicines and promised him that I will not consume him, till I text him to discuss the issue and then get his agreement to start me on meds.

I am grateful for having Prof as my doctor.

He has preserved me to live this long – not mummified but preserved in the sense that he believes the lesser is done to me, the better!

I concur but I know he worries about me as he gave me his cell phone so that I can call him if I am ill at any time.

Now that is kindness! I am blessed.


Disruptive Sleep

Over the weekend, Bird texted me to ask for advice to review the MRI report for her uncle living in Indonesia. Indonesia is not trusted for its medical services and a lot of Indonesians do come to Singapore for their expertise in medical treatment.

It seems that since his last visit, her uncle is now diagnosed with Brain Cancer.

The MRI report did not say anything to suggest an cancerous growth except that there was edema or some form of swelling.

To be prudent as I am not a medical practitioner,  I asked her to send me the MRI scans so that I could enlist the help of Dr James Tan to review and if the Uncle could jet into Singapore for assessment.

Bird said that the Indonesian doctors forbade her Uncle from flying in as he had brain swellings.

Dr James was really expedient in his reply and before I knew it, 7 emails comprising scans of MRIs, reports etc were read by Dr James and his immediate response to Bird was to have her Uncle given steroids 4 to 6 hours pre flight and he could fly.

However, the stark news was that the tumor must be located and this could be through a PET SCAN. Based on Dr James evaluation, it seems the tumor has many, many secondaries and if Uncle arrives in Singapore, he will advise radiation to the whole head.

Bird has not registered that it is cancer just yet but a tumor is present. I am hopeful for her and her Uncle that perhaps, it is a benign tumor that has gone wacky.

But the truth is, with that many secondaries, it is unlikely to be benign or cysts as it has permeated the whole brain.

As I was tired on Sunday night, zonked out by 9pm, I woke up at 3am and read Dr James’ message and though I wafted back into lala land, I was traumatized by the news as it meant that her Uncle had little hope of beating this.

Bird’s Uncle would need a miracle for the numerous tumors to be benign.

The frailties of life really. One day hale and hearty and suddenly during routine checkup, this is discovered.

I do hope that if Bird’s Uncle has no hope of beating this, then may his suffering be short as what can be worst than having a brain full of tumors that is compressing his eye sight, and the entire body which could render him in a vegetative state once the brain shuts down.

Bird and I ever so grateful to Dr James who did not even charge a fee to go through all the MRIs, scans and reports to make a quick decision. I hope Bird’s Uncle can benefit from Dr James expertise if he does make it to Singapore for treatment.

Blessings and prayers to Bird’s Uncle for a speedy recovery.


Strokes Of The Brain Kind

Recently, I have been surrounded by people at work who suffered strokes.

2 of my colleagues suffered minor strokes whilst 1 suffered a massive stroke.

All 3 males were in their late 40s or 50s and one similar trait followed – they were all heavy smokers and were heavy set.

Whilst it is easy to blame it on the smoking and or lifestyle, as a people person, I explained to management to try and look at it from the drivers of this habit. It would be work as our work load is heavy, non stop adrenalin pumping and alot of worrying.

I for one, was facing this stressful work life and no other life. Plus with family pressures, I do not have relieve valves, other than hugging my inanimate furball Garfield to bits.

The one with the massive stroke is now unable to work and has to undergo therapy to rehab and gain mobility.

The other 2 were lucky and suffered small strokes.

I guess the top killers, not in any order of severity, would be cancer, strokes and or heart attacks.

On CNY day 1, we learnt from the newsroom that Ben Goi, the son of Forbes 50 Richest Man List Sam Goi, died from a massive stroke whilst visiting his wife’s relatives in Malaysia. The press reported that he suffered an intense headache and died at age 43.

He leaves behind a 1 year old son and a wife, plus grieving family, relatives and friends.

It seems he also suffered from high blood pressure and was heavy set too.

Whilst weight, lifestyle and work go hand in hand, I sincerely hope that employers would not burden staff so much that they have no life.

For the case of Ben Goi, he was under his father’s employment. Like in any business realm, entertainment, long work hours and flipping cash is pivotal.

I am a hard working employee.  I work hard and do not have time to play hard.

It is a silly trait but sadly, genetically, I am keyed that way and I do not short change employers. It resulted in me being bullied at work for more work and not being appreciated.

I always kept silent and tolerated. This is also another shortcoming of mine as with family, I also tolerated their behaviors.

I do not like unhappy situations, always hoping things will become ok, eventually.

But as I mature and age, I realised that I got to fight back.

No one will stand up for me, except me, myself and I.

With Ben Goi’s passing, I sincerely hope that the business community will learn to moderate work and relax a little.

Money will give happiness but it cannot be the sole purpose of life’s goals.


Our Actor Aloysious Pang Is In Critical Condition In Auckland, New Zealand

My heart goes out to the family of our young actor, Aloysious Pang in his early 20s.

He was in reservist training as a technician on the Howitzer and suffered an accident where his chest cavity was impacted.

His family has flown down to see him and he has undergone 3 surgeries since the weekend.

He is now on life support, with failed lung and kidney functions.

One of our chief physician of trauma unit of Tan Tock Seng Hospital has flown to Auckland to work with the surgical medical team there.

He has such a promising future for himself and now this accident has taken its toll on him.

I pray for his speedy recovery and would gladly give him my life as he deserves to live life whereas I am tired of the battles I have.

I am deeply affected by this news not because I know him personally but I have seen him act in local chinese dramas and he is up and coming.

I hope the spirits will lift him and heal him.

Give him a chance to live life.

I wish his condition is as simple as my meme in this post!

Blessings and a speedy recovery is wished for him.


A Conversation With My Mum’s Cardiologist

Last Thursday was my mum’s follow up with her cardiologist at the National Heart Center.

I like Dr Anders from Sweden and my mum and I were very glad he was taking care of her medical case.

As I discussed mum’s case with him, I asked why 2 types of blood pressure control meds were given.

Atenonol was meant to lower heart rate, thereby lowering Blood Pressure (BP).

Yet Amlodipine was prescribed and this raises BP?


This was my test question to Dr Anders to see how he would tackle my question.

He gave a good valid explanation. Amlodipine opens up all the arteries and makes the heart pump faster to replace blood flowing out.

Light headedness and dizziness would then follow as blood pumping freely. This raises BP.

Before meeting Dr Anders, I had spoken to Prof Fong, physician of Duke of Yore. Prof Fong had explained to me the effects of both drugs.

Dr Anders passed my test. He is one of 2 branches of cardiologists – “electrician”, whereas the other branch is the “plumber”

Dr Anders was impressed about my knowledge and asked me how I knew so much.

I shared with him that I mentored under Dr Oon Chong Teik and I was short of getting a degree to practice. Plus I have been invited before to address the graduating cohort of doctors at NUS Duke Medical program.

Dr Anders gave me the greatest acknowledgement and that was when he lifted his stethescope to hand to me.

I laughed and continued to give feedback on how to make the Heart Center more elder proofed and elder friendly.

He felt that I should be hired as a consultant to the center to improve patient work flow. I would like that but I doubt they would as I have a sharp tongue.

I had given them a couple of written feedbacks before and they realised that much could be further improved for patient care.

All I wanted was a better Heart Center to support seniors.


Infect – One Word Prompt

If anyone is down with the flu or any kind of coughs or colds, one must mask up to prevent others from getting infected.

To avoid getting others infected, please practise good hygiene.

Wash hands thoroughly with soap, antibacterial wipes or with rubbing alcohol to disinfect self on reaching home, after toilet use, shaking hands. (*I have become slightly obsessed with antibacterial wipes like Adrian Monk of popular TV series Monk…haha but I am not OCD!)

In 2003, I was an employee in the Institute of Mental Health hospital in Singapore.

It was in that year that Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) was brought into Singapore by a young woman who travelled abroad and brought it back to Singapore.

SARS was unknown to all and the etiology of the disease was off the books.

All we knew was that people were dying from it in Tan Tock Seng Hospital.

Shortly after, a suspected SARS infection broke out amongst the inmates of a ward in the hospital where I worked. Patients in that ward came down with flu like systems.

As SARS was deadly, the government put us on a lock down and the entire hospital was quarantined to prevent transmission. We were called a “cluster”

The military took over and told us that that we will be shot to death if we broke away from lock down to contain this cluster “outbreak”.

We were made to sign and agree on this so that the army will not be held accountable for our own death if we decided to escape.

We were ferried daily by army trucks like prisoners from hotel to hotel and chased out like lepers when hotelier found out we could potentially have SARS.

That week was a traumatic one as we were all tested and awaited results.

We did not know if we would ever see our family again.

I put my heart and soul into work and consoling those who broke down emotionally. I did not know how to be afraid.

I laughed and joked with my colleagues to keep spirits up.

Laughter is infectious and after that harrowing week, we learnt it was an Influenza B infection.

I lived.

My colleagues lived.

We were reunited with family and were relieved.

But we, in the National Healthcare Group lost doctors, nurses and health workers in the isolated SARS assigned Tan Tock Seng Hospital as the communicable diseases center.

To our unsung heroes who battled a war called SARS – I salute you all who put self in the frontline of a pandemic, exposing self to infection, despite mask or gloves as you treated and cared for those infected.

This post is written in memory of the fallen health care workers 💜💛💚💜💛💚 and the loss felt by their families and children they left behind.


Abrupt – One Word Post

My sincere apologies for this abrupt post.

My mum has been hospitalised for cardiac issues this morning…unsure if it was a heart attack and I am sorting her out now.

I will post when I can as I have my hands full.

I do have scheduled posts to keep all in good spirits.

Thanks for your kind understanding as I go through a stressful time now.

Gaaaarrrrfield where are you? I need a hug☹☹☹☹