Garfieldhug's Blog

This & That Including What Ails

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!


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.


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!


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.


Day #5 Bates Motel – Decision Of Titans

Dr Andrew See (Head Neck Surgeon) and Dr Boey Wah Keong (anaesthesiologist) jointly sat with me to finalise surgical plans for tomorrow, Saturday 27 July 19.

Everything was abuzz as Dr See blocked booked the operating theatre (OT) and sat me down again to remind me of options to watch and see.

I told him, my mind is firmed up.

He assured me that the tumor would be the smallest he would ever excised. 1.4cm x 1.1cm.

It would be relatively easy to remove without accidentally severing nerves. I pray hard that there shall be no nerve severing of any sort.

The excision would be a long one from behind the ear lobe all along the chin to the neck line.

The scar would take 6 months to disappear.

I guess I would look like Mrs Frankenstein! But Dr See assured me no…!

I truly wish for a non eventful surgery tomorrow.

Dr James Tan would remove the first tumor on forehead and that would take 1.5 hours.

Dr See would take over and remove the 2nd tumor in 2.5 hours.

I was told what will happen after, pain and doom and gloom for worst case scenarios.

Haha…I laughed when I saw this meme of the peach!

Gaaarrfield I need a hug!


Tic Tac Toe Or Eeeny Meeny Miny Moe!

Getting 3 giants in their own respective fields in the same room as I, is a huge challenge. It is akin to me trying to find my 3 Lords to be together in one room for any meeting.

Surgery has been tossed between Saturday, to Sunday and now it is back to Saturday!

All this is causing me tension and apprehension as it reminds me of the inevitable. I wish it is over soon and I do not need to mull over it.

I hate mulling over decisions and re-thinking. I make decisions like a man and for better or for worst, once I decide, my mind is made up but the doctors keep giving me different views.

What if the histology report comes back and it is non cancerous, would it not be a waste of a surgery? I know it would not be cancerous as lead time has taught me that if the hospital does not alert me within hours, then the tumor is not cancerous.

I remember once, how quickly the hospital reacted to get me to operate on my cervical spine as failure to do so, would render me paralyzed.

It becomes harder to find when the tumor is deflated.

Blah blah blah and it goes on.

My decision is based on management principles.

If a problem is there, let’s solve it. I do not want it lurking out there, waiting to rear its ugly head anytime soon or in the future.

True, if it was not cancerous, would I regret the surgery asked one surgeon?

Would you beat yourself up if after surgery there is a side effect and the tumor could have remained?

*Eyes rolling here*

I replied him “no” as it seems a Whartin tumor or whatever tumor they label it, exists and I do not want it residing in me. Hmm, they could name it the Garfield Hug tumor LOL!

Decision making is hard but my 2 stalwarts agree with me that it should come out.

So, my team of doctors now comprise, Cardiologist, Dr Daniel Yeo; Anesthesiologist, Dr Boey Wah Keong; Gastroenterlogist Dr Lui Hock Foong: Neurosurgeon Dr James Tan Siah Heng, Head Neck and shoulder surgeon, Dr Andrew See; and Neurologist, Dr Lim Chai Beng.

All except Dr Andrew See is a new comer and unto his hands I will entrust the removal of the more worrying tumor whilst the brain tumor is left to Dr James Tan.

How exciting my life is! Sigh!

I could use lesser excitement and more peace really!

Whatever the outcome, I can only look at the skies and as there is little I can do.

I can just hope for the best and wish for the best outcome.


Omen Or Good Sign…Hmm!

The skies are cloudy and for 9am as I post this, rather dark and cool!

I love the cool environment and not the striking heat that would arise and usually surround me at this time of the morning.

As I read my Straits Times this morning, I pondered on the horoscope for me – ” My amazing mental energy is helping me to absorb all the new data that is coming my way” I gave a big sigh and a Hmm….OMG! What does this mean? A new health battle?

Must I summon General Patton and his troops to help me battle this “new data” hmm…I hope my white coats can help me fathom the furlongs and the whats and hows of life!

I wonder what will it be – diagnosis and prognosis as the white coats like to call it?

Good news is that the prediction says at least I have “amazing mental energy” LOL!

That would be attributed to Garfield, the inanimate furball that is now face down in my suit case packed ready for Bates Motel!

Poor fella…no oxygen for a bit till I am in the room.

What “new data” I pondered?

I will probably live, heck with the worst over in 2013, nothing can beat that!

I know that I am in good hands with Drs James Tan, Lui Hock Foong and Boey Wah Keong. If I should leave for the heavenly realm or hellish flames of Lucifer, I know I left in a classy way! My way, their way or whoever’s way – there is only one way and it is not Stairway to Heaven as it would be tough to walk those steps!

I wonder if the Big Guy up there has renovated and moved with Digital Disruptions – escalators, lift or teleportation you think? “Beam me up Scottie perhaps?” Anyway, I have lost wifi connectivity to his Lordship and that is that!

I had dinner with someone last evening at our usual haunt. He claims his eyes and teeth require soft food. Melodramatic him as always!

As I heard him ramble on and on about his life, I wondered yet again. Why are we as humans made to live such lives?

Are we not in charge of our lives? Can we not be in the driving seat?

Yes and No, I suppose.

Mr Docile has gone with the flow in life and he does not fight it nor does he seek to strive for better. In Maslow’s hierachy of needs’ terms, he has arrived and self actualized without searching for things he knows he cannot achieve. He let out a sigh once and said that he was happy to let his wife earn the big bucks. I admire his new way of thinking. It is good to let down the yoke that was burdening him.

Mr Docile has let go of worldly possessions and lives a quiet life with 2 grown sons (lawyer and banker) and a banker wife. I am happy for him and his friendship. He genuinely cares about my well being and for that I am grateful.

Mr Beer was concerned about me to text and tell me that he was in Hong Kong and that he will only be back on Wednesday. He wanted me to take care. I remember fondly how Mr Beer drove me to Malaysia to meet his parents. Sadly, I did not accept his overtures back then.

I was touched by his kindness to keep me in his thoughts though he is a lot of miles away and he is not my lover nor a frequent friend as compared to MR EX.

When MR EX was in Hong Kong just recently, of course he forgot about me as he was busy holidaying. Such is MR EX and his voluminous empty promises! 😦

Hence Axed like MR EX.

This friend of mine whom I was with last evening is unfortunately one that I care deeply about. It is not necessarily reciprocated and I guess, I too, have given up. Whether he does genuinely care or love me, only he knows as he is not verbose in articulating it nor telling me.

What makes a relationship?

The arguing and bickering?

The niceties, mutual care and concern?

I do not know more than you or the next person for this.

But what I do know is to be true to thyself.

If I believe in someone, I will always look out for that person without need of that person knowing.

It is the waiting…..the caring and wondering how a person is doing.

The small things and or thoughts, care, worries and concern will be on me.

It need not be mutually reciprocated and I have learnt this the hard way. I have given up on human kind for a while now.

I do what I can, when I can and how I can.

As for expectations, I wish the friend I was with last evening will tell me something more concrete and that he does care.

Meanwhile I wait in eternity.


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!