Garfieldhug's Blog

This & That Including What Ails

My Saturday Morning Scare

For the first time in a long time, I could sleep till 9am on a Saturday as my brother flew in en route from Sri Lanka to Hong Kong.

He said he will spend 5 days here and offered to take mum to her doctor’s appointment this morning. I was grateful!

As I drifted in and out of lala land trying to enjoy an 8 hour sleep cycle as I only went to sleep at 2am….the heavens did not allow it! Drats!

By 9.20am I got a text message from my brother to say that it seems the blood test taken last Saturday yielded results of a moderate high result of blood potassium.

My heart missed a beat as this means my mum was in danger of a heart attack. A million things clouded my mind but I quickly called my brother to go back to the clinic and speak to the doctor or when he reached there, to call me so that I could speak with the doctor.

My siblings are not conversant of the medical conditions of my parents as their role is merely if i am there, I just do the taking there and bringing them home bit. They are at a lost for medical things on my parents healthcare.

They also do not have the common sense to call me there and then so that I could speak with the doctor.

He did not sound too happy to totter back to the clinic but I made him do it.

My brain went into overdrive to find out the sudden increase in blood potassium levels. Anarex or Piroxicam could elevate it?

What about the recent lidocaine and steroid injections to help my mum in her pain management for the muscular pain she suffered from her fall in January 2018?

What about the high dosage of Calcium for 8 weeks and the new dosages of Vitamin B to prevent old age dementia?

My brother was cross when I called him on international call when he was at the clinic but I could not be bothered as he refused to pick up the free call through whats’ app.

I filled the doctor in on those supplements and medications that my mum was on.

A second blood test was ordered for my mum and I was so glad that the blood test showed potassium level falling back to 5.2. It was not 5.5 and I was relieved.

I also felt that the phlebotomist was having a hard time taking the blood test the first time as she was “digging”to find the vein. This may have cause an anomaly reading.

I am no doctor but based on common sense elimination of facts, I surmised it could be due to the lidocaine and recent taking of NSAIDs.

Still to err on the side of caution, I quickly asked my brother to whats app the test results to me so that I could check with Drs Boey and Dr Yip for their further advice. These were the 2 doctors that have introduced new drugs to my mum and I guess they would have a better solution or advice for me.

Meanwhile…my brain is on overdrive again as I worry about these things.

Come 9 October 2018, brother is off to Hong Kong and he will not bother to extend stay even if something major happens. I need to be prepared and again, self help to stay available for mum.

I pray not!


Typhoon Mangkhut In Hong Kong

Mangkhut is Thai for “mangosteen”, the fruit.

As to why the MET has so named this super typhoon after a humble, harmless mangosteen fruit, befuddles me!

My friend, Herman, and ex colleague who lives in Hong Kong (HK) shared with me a video clip whereby the glass panel on a high rise unit shattered and the whole unit is ruined with broken shards of glass and the rain beating in with the strong winds. I pity that owner as the cost and clean up is going to be a pain on physical work as well as cost.

I have not heard from my bro just yet. I was told he had moved to his new home (actually on resale market) just yesterday, despite the threat of Typhoon Mangkhut overhanging. He has lived in HK for many decades now and I have no doubt he is smart about these things to stay safe, taping windows.

As to why they only tape an “X” also makes me wonder. Why not the whole glass panel? Is “X” really enough?

For the first time in 60 years, HK has raised Typhoon Signal 10 – the full force it seems!

I have lived through the experience of Typhoon 8  when I worked in HK some years ago and I was only on a 3rd floor apartment unit – it was not as scary as my friends and colleagues who lived on higher floors.

Philippines where Mangkhut has barreled through and already killed 14 people, is still causing destruction from the following rains post typhoon.

The world’s weather has gone bonkers. Florence has wreaked havoc in USA, forest fires else where and now Mangkhut.

Singapore or lil red dot’s weather is eerily calm. The sun is not seen and today, the winds have picked up. I have decided to close the windows as the howling winds are not helping and I worry if my windows fly off!

I have come to see the pattern of post typhoons weather after it hits Taiwan or HK and Singapore has lots of rain and stronger winds. I could do with cooler weather and rain!

Lil Red Dot is located on a continental shelf and we are safe from Tsunamis, earthquakes of typhoons. Given the last Tsunami following the earthquake in Indonesia that killed thousands, our lil red dot commissioned a study to see if our island and the resort isle of Sentosa would be affected like Phuket or Bali?

There was talk among netizens that Singapore would be sunk!

I was glad when the study showed that it will be a ripple in the ocean by the time it comes to us.

I guess over time, the weather will change again as what nature gives, man (generic term) will destroy though deforestation, over harvesting, wanton waste disposal of plastics etc.

I hope for the sake of mankind and its survival – the future of our future generation is at stake.

Let’s do out part and try to conserve through re-using, re-cycling and not waste anything, including food!


466 Days Streak For Posting On GarfieldHug

Like a child, I get so excited when I see these little badges appearing in my  inbox notifications for WordPress!

It seems I have posted non stop, 466 days in a row!

This means, no sick days, no nonsense excuse to miss a post. I remember when I knew I was to be hospitalized, I worked like a beaver to write and schedule my posts ahead so that when I was out of action, my voice is heard from beyond.

Frankly I did not know if I was going to live and it would have been so cool if my voice was heard from beyond the realm of death.

I am a freaky person if I want to be and a bit on the macabre side as the idea of me pre-scheduling sending of messages or posts after I am dead, would amuse me literally. LOL!

Anyway, I was out a mall today and bumped into MR EX.

He looked very old and haggard. He and I met when I happened to stop to awe over a toy model of a Mini Cooper with battery operated features complete with steering wheel and wheels. The price was $389. It would allow a toddler to sit in it and drive this car around.

It was in bright cherry red color.

I stopped to look at it as my nephew had a jeep when he was a toddler…a larger model and it cost my sister back then the sum of $700.

Kids these days were spoilt!

So much for using an empty milk can to kick about in the dirt for fun. These days it is Personal Mobility Devices or Hover boards or something or other to amuse the new Generation.

MR EX told me his sob story as we sat for tea. It would have been rude of me to put up a fight in public and so I trotted off with him.

He was not snide. Neither did he make jokes about my unwashed back side.

He was seriously down!

He shared that he bumped into his pastor and when the pastor told him it was ages since he last saw him, he poured out his woes and he said that he cried when talking to him.

I was told that I was the only one who knew the true story of his struggles and that he was struggling in life and that if he had a choice, he would leap off a building. Or if the jail scene was as comfortable as the Japanese one, he would commit a crime and be fed and clothed for the rest of his mortal life.

As I sat with him, I looked back at his life. How did he end up in this state?

He told me he was very much alone – again it meant that he and his wife were married in name sake. His 2 daughters were of no help to him with the eldest, almost near 30 years old still jobless and studying. His younger daughter could hardly support him.

I don’t know if I should pity or sympathize with him as it is hard to believe a perennial liar.

In the public limelight, he is Mister Big! The ultra rich! The mega sales man with lots of companies that were reaping in huge profits.

Anyway…he will forever be to me, MR EX and that is it.

I cannot trust him nor believe what he says.

I am bad I guess?



Meeting Board Members

Today I met with Monkey Lord’s bosses – the Board, comprising Chairman and 3 other board members.

My presentation was delayed from pre noon till 2.30pm and I did not dare go and have a quick bite as I was told to wait, as in standby.

I was famished but I held on.

Silly me, made self a cup of green tea in a styrofoam cup but only to have it spilt all over my linen white pants!

Gee…I have yet to present my slides and meet the Board and my attire is soaked with green tea!!

Off I scooted to the ladies to dry my blouse and pants by using the hand dryer.

Thankfully we have those powerful trough like dryer to slot hands in to blow dry. I put my blouse in it and it was blown dry. Luckily I wore a green blouse. Green on green was not obvious.

Finally my turn came.

In his mid 70s, Chairman has a wealth of experience and I was impressed with his comments and observations with Human Resources.

Chairman was a nice grandfatherly type chap. He wasn’t rude (*rumors from Money Bags implied Chairman was “unreasonable”)

Chairman was astute and commented on my role to help Monkey Lord in a strategic HR role. It was not about daily administrative stuff but the planning and coming up with great ideas to grow the talent pool.

He said that they waited patiently for me to join them and would like me to assist in coming up with incentives and plans to retain talent.

I am not Houdini but will try my best to get it done.

Thankfully they had salad for lunch and not pizza.

I ate my bread bun at 4pm…My lunch at 4pm left me too full to eat dinner at 7.30pm but hungry at 12.15am…sigh….FAT!!
*Peanuts meme is courtesy of the creator of Peanuts and Snoopy Gang, Charles Schulz.


Relatives – Like Them Or Hate Them

My parents’ relatives are not the best of relatives.

They do not visit my parents at all during any time of the year nor exchange pleasantries but will only come to announce “births, deaths or hospitalizations” I find this annoying!

Our Chinese custom is that on announcements of births, deaths or hospitalizations – money is exchanged as “gifts” to defray costs of the event. This is the sole purpose of announcements.

I have an idiotic cousin who takes it upon herself as Tribal Chief to announce these events and I am getting pretty cross with her as I look back and realized that none of these so called “relatives” bothered to visit my folks nor I when I was in hospital.

So why bother to keep coming to us to get “gifts” from my parents and inconveniencing my mum when she is so old.

I am not being selfish but practical. If anyone is so poor to be unable to afford a burial, I will gladly pay for it. But these relatives are well off and in “shady businesses of loan sharking” – this is the one that gripes me!

Yesterday poor mum was cajoled into making her to way to a hospital some distance away to visit an in law [More like an “outlaw”] who apparently developed hand cancer. This is the same sister in law of my mum whom my mum had helped during her youthful days to get medical attention to arrest Outlaw’s breast cancer in the 1960s.

My mum was not thanked nor did this sis in law of hers decide to visit my mum at any time from 1960s to present.

Tribal Chief is a dumbo and thinks as self elected tribal chief to organise these visits as it adds to her importance.

My mum has a spine issue and her arm hurts plus weak legs. Plus Tribal Chief made my mum pay for taxi to get both of them there.

On top of that, my mum had to present a “gift”  – fairly large sum to help defray the Outlaw’s medical bills.

I told mum it would be better off if she donated the money to a worthy charity as this Outlaw has money in loan sharking. Let her pay her dues as her family has made a living hell of those poor families who could not pay their borrowings and hefty interest payments.

I sound mean. But I am a realist and a practical person.

If anything happens to my mum and heaven’s forbid she tripped and fell en route to Outlaw, then what? I will be the one who has to be inconvenienced. Certainly not Tribal Chief nor the bunch of moronic “relatives” – heck, I cannot even rely on my own siblings to help me!

I hate it when Tribal Chief thinks she is acting smart. I ticked her off as she did not even bother to “organise” any visits to my parents nor I when we were laid up in hospital back then.

It is not the question of wanting to be visited. Heck no! When I was ill, I was glad for the peace and quiet instead of trying to stay awake to make intelligent conversations when all I wanted to do was to hug Garfield and sleep or complain to Garfield that I was in pain. Plus I do not need the cross infections of visitors who may have a sniffle or a bug and because of my compromised immune system when ill, get it and cause my doctors to hit the panic button.

it would be smarter to organise walks or something more cheery than to face the doom and gloom of “forced” hospital or wake visits.

Love comes from the heart. So does compassion and empathy. I am not one who believes in putting up charades to pretend that I care when I don’t care.

Care is or has to be reciprocated and I do know that I am not Mother Theresa of Calcutta nor am I up for nomination for the Nobel Prize!

Yes, I am selfish. Very selfish when it comes to the health and well being of my parents.


Stan The Plumber

Water cistern overflowing has been arrested!

I am grateful for good plumbers as these are gems that are hard to come by.

I have known Stan for years and somehow we clicked as pals and when I saw him today as he came by to fix the overflow, I realized how much he has aged.

He bemoans his poor memory as he tottered down to his van to collect a part to enable repair and forgot to bring another tool.

I told him to ensure that his memory stays good, to do puzzles. I do not want him to end up loopy as he needs to keep busy.

Stan works hard. He has a small business that is 2 man operated. When his assistant is not available, he works on his own.

With his sense of responsibility and hard working attitude, he has raised a family of 2 children and a wife.

I admire his ability to work hard and still keep his smiling face.

When I first met Stan, he was a struggling newbie. I called him based on an advertisement he took out in the classifieds. I gave him a job to fix the sink and found him to be meticulous and careful. What I liked most about him was that he left my premises clean and pristine. Others tend to leave the repair site messy!

As we chatted, his hands worked hard. He spent an hour, changing parts of the cistern and left after an hour.

I was happy to part with $90 as this was indeed a kind friendship price. Had I called on any other plumber, I would have been charged a minimum of $150!

This is the value of Stan towards our friendship, for which I am grateful.

I am happy that the toilet is working now and that I need not totter to another bathroom to use a facility.

Thankfully I have 2 toilets else, I would have been going back to the old days of using a pail to flush as I closed off the main valve!

Stan’s parting words to me were that he will always help me so long as he is around.

My reply to Stan was that may he live long and healthy – I would not mind giving him some of my living years. Life for me is enough and I do not need much longer years whereby he will need it more as he can serve a greater community.

Am I mad?

No, I am really sane. Life is not meaningful unless you can serve a greater good and not live selfishly.


Hissy Fit

I have been in a hissy fit with my folks.


Often times, I feel like I am not appreciated one bit, even though alot of things fall on my shoulders.

My dad is a difficult man. Though his brain is loopy, he can still remember to be mean to me. I am unsure about his heart but the words he utters (even when not loopy) is pure sarcasm and caustic.

When he was in good mental health and not forgetful, he was also not nice to me. He tends to play favorites with his other 2 children. I have given up on ever getting love from him.

Even in his loopy pre-demented brain or mild cognitive impairment state, he is not helpful nor will he try anything to help self. I am at my wits’ end really.

If I send him to go to the clinic on his own, he will throw away the medicines he get from the doctors. He has done this twice. This results in me getting more busy as I then have to re-take leave and fetch his meds!

But in terms of eating time, he never forgets. Ohhh..he loves his food and will always remember to eat by the clock.

So, I tend to feel that he has selective memory. He chooses what to remember and what to ignore. I wish he was not selfish and can help me with small little chores so that I can be relieved of some of the burden of chores.

I do not live with them just yet. But in time to come, I will have to and I dread the day as it means that my sanity will be at stake.

If I have to live with them, I will ensure that I keep my own unit (which is silly as I could rent it out for income) or get a good hotel rate such that when I need a space of my own to chillax and get away from a sarcastic old man, I will have that privilege to go to a place and sleep.

It is not easy growing old. I fully understand it but sometimes, if one does not help self, it is even tougher.

I will grow old too. When the time comes, I am worst off as I have no one to turn to. I can forget about siblings. I really need to earn and save enough for me to be able to have a decent living standard – not at poverty level and hope that Bird Man or S Man would once in a while drop me a call or text to see if I am alive.

I really do not want to die rotting away at home!


Nothing Fazes Me But It Hurts Still

Whilst I did my best to wish my father a happy father’s day, he told me that I was insignificant and said I was worth ignoring.

My typical sad story.

I wonder why I try really when in good mental health he never treated me well.

In poor mental health, he is just as nasty to me.

When you are not his favorite, nothing is appreciated.

My heart tells me to hate him. My mouth says it.

No one else bothers about him or my mum.

I have a heavy yoke.

Each and every available vacation day is spent taking an ungrateful dad to the doctor’s.

My hands told me to take the icon of Mother Mary and Jesus hanging in my bedroom and toss it down the rubbish chute – I just did!

It felt good as that God never blessed nor lighten my load. Yes, I will burn in hell. So be it.

I hate God really for making my life a misery everyday, with no end to suffering.

I am tired.

Often times, I feel like committing suicide.

Surely there must be an end to all the difficulties of my life?


Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri To Muslims On Wordpress

In lil red dot today, muslims celebrate a special day after one month of holy Ramadan.

I warmly wish all muslim readers a happy hari raya celebration.

Today they will wear new clothes, visit families, friends and feast!

Yes…food such as festive cookies and snacks will be served.

I admire their ability to fast the entire month whilst at work. They must feast up to pile on lost weight haha!

As I have been swamped at work and not catching up with my folks, I made the effort to see them at 7pm last night, though I was dead tired.

I rushed from work to get a haircut for my ugly mop and forgot some documents I needed to do today and had to drag them to my office before we moved on to the airport for my dinner.

By the time I sat down to eat it was 9.30pm. Thankfully I told my parents to eat first before I picked them up as I knew my work schedule was erratic.

In the 2 hours at the airport, I managed to get groceries, eat dinner whilst my parents had desserts and their favorite apam (Indian rice flour pancake) with brown sugar and grated fresh coconut.

I also got dad a chendol, shaved ice with gula melaka (*palm sugar or brown sugar), coconut milk, sweet red beans, kidney beans and green starchy strands. His favorite.

I got mum barley gingko but she did not like it. I boo booed on this choice!

By the time I reached home it was 12.10am.

Though today is a public holiday, I worked the whole day from home.

Monkey Lord and the Board Members tasked me to deliver key performance indicators by 10 August for the entire company, develop an orientation for new board members with insight into last 3 years board papers, develop HR SOPs and policies and give an overview of current organisation structure.

On top of this I have a HR department to run for 160 staff located in 3 different countries.

I have not been this stressed in my entire life as targets are unreasonably short and I only have self plus another assistant.

Lots to do and I have to handle the difficult wife of a 38 year old staff who had a stroke from overworking.

Loads of clean ups and I hope I survive. I woke up puking my guts out from stress and had to drag self to work still.

I don’t know if I can survive this job as it is not a bed of roses. The thorns prick me badly and Monkey Lord wants me to prove self before considering more headcount for me as my last 3 HR head honchos did not survive 6 months. They left in 3 months.

Sigh…I have bad luck indeed! I hope the darn Gods will help me.


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.