Garfieldhug's Blog

This & That Including What Ails

When I’m Feeling Low…Surprises Happen

I was feeling down.

I had to struggle with trying to assist my father with cognitive issues (pre dementia) to sort out his banking transactions through a phone call.

I could not drive self over for a face to face conversation and so it was via phone.

It was ulcerating and frustrating as my father is by nature lazy, depending on me to be at his beck and call to solve issues. He does not wish to apply himself or try to join self help groups.

It ended up with me trying to get my mum with hearing difficulties but good mental faculties to listen and help my father.

Shouting over the phone for 3 hours with a major wound is not fun. It was even more tortorous when I try to elicit help from the banks and I was verbally abused by the banking officer when I asked for help on account of my medical condition when he said to me rudely,” your health is of no concern of the bank”

I was stunned. He refused to help me over the phone to check 3 bank transactions of my father and insisted I had to get my human cadaver down to the bank with my father to speak to him. I pleaded and explained my recent cancer surgery, which resulted in his abusive reply to me. Not nice!

So I ended 4 hours of circus time with 4 bank officers and finally found one who assisted me to call and obtain consent from my father to let me ask for clarifications. This gentleman was an angel and helped me with heart and compassion. God bless him!

By now I had a massive headache. I was down and frustrated, but definitely tired out from all that screaming to get my father to even try and read his bills to me – it failed, which was why I had to search through his common vendors to establish if he was scammed or defrauded!

So when I had my door bell rung 3 times today, I was so surprised to receive 2 fruit hampers and a gift pack of Lunar New Goodies!

From Piglet – Piglet took the trouble to search for one with fruits and my fave sunflower. It had a lovely bunch of 6 bananas, pears, oranges, kiwi, chinese brown pear and oranges.

I shared some of the fruits with Mr Boy next door and Neighbor who cooks for me. They were very happy with the gift of fruits.

From Mr Nice who took the trouble to select unique fruits for me such as Ipoh Pomelo, Persimmons, Fuji Apples, 2 types of grapes, nectarines and a punnet of blueberries.

From Mr Marine was a lovely pack of My Mum’s Cookies (brand name) comprising pineapple tarts, almond cookies and peanut cookies.

Then I received a call from Ms Feisty who is on VTL travel to her hometown, Johor Bahru Malaysia. She called to say she was at a local cookie shop that sold traditional Malaysian cookies and asked if I had any special requests. Otherwise she will just select and send over to me this weekend. It was nice to see her in the photo she sent me. She is happier in her new job, lesser stress and putting on weight.

Meanwhile Ms Intern asked if she could visit me and bring me “Get Well Roast meats” – I told her I was too tired to be able to entertain her but thanked her for kindness. Perhaps when I am better I explained.

So, when the day sucks! Surprises happened and I am grateful to each of my dear friends for their care, concern and love for me.

I am taking my headache to bed. Perhaps hugging Garfield to sleep will relieve my pain. It is already brutal taking 1 gm of antibiotic a day for 2 weeks and I still have 4 days of meds left.

Good night….with thanks to all kind folks and oh….may karma bite that horrid abusive bank officer. I did not need his snide remark really!

Garfield hugs!!

2 Comments »

Gratefulness Defined By My Standards

As I struggle through life’s challenges, I am also a recipient of good friendships (physical face to face ones but with Covid times, it is virtual; WordPress readers; medical fraternity, insurers and just about everyone)

Today I did an interview with the National Eye Center to talk about Sjorgren’s Syndrome and how dry eyes affect me and my life. I told the lovely lady that when compared to the other 30 surgeries, with the last one being Cancer, dry eyes is not as bad. I have a funny way of putting things in context. I always seem to have a bigger fish to fry, if you know what I mean.

The interviewer left off by saying, I ought to write a book about my medical experiences and share with others. Funnily enough, she is the second person to suggest this to me, the first being my trusty friend, Mr Ability To Earn.

I am happy to publish a book about it, was my response, but it must be connected with insurers, a prominent medical institution or the local newspapers.

I know it is crazy to have undergone 30 surgeries up to now.

I have kept my lunacy in check, sanity and gumption prevailing each time, without letting up and ensuring I do not go bonkers as my end.

Some call it courage.

Others call it bravery.

I call it stupidity. It is my stupid way of coping with the illogical numbers of surgeries I have had to undergo. It did not make sense.

I searched the medical fraternity for answers and learnt that if they ever put me through tests or scans, chances are I will have a new ailment!

I also searched the metaphysical aspects for a solution. Zen, Buddhism, Lord Krishna, God etc.

Meditation does not work as my monkey mind is not tamed and it fires on all pistons to stray.

But what I do know is the kindness of 2 doctors; Drs Lim Yi Jia and Boey Wah Keong.

Dr Lim has gone way and beyond his calling as a surgeon for me. When I had wound issues from recent surgery, he told me matter of factly, “a wound is a wound, no matter where it is” – when I questioned him on being an orthopaedic surgeon.

He is thorough and pops in to see me many times in the ward and spends time to pray for me. He encourages me and always worry about my well being. Yes, I may pay a medical fee for his services through my insurers, but he need not be kind, compassionate or caring. Instead, he can be clinical and not bother about about texting me asking me how I am.

When he does not hear from me, he calls. This is true doctoring with a heart and I am so grateful for his kindness towards a problematic patient.

Dr Boey visited me in the ward too as a friend. He sat, discussed my wound issues, advised me and even asked me to sit, calm self and find out what it is I am supposed to do and perhaps end this karmic cycle.

In his Zen mind, there is always cause and effect and I have asked him, that I must have been an evil scientist of sorts in past lives and dissected many animals for science and hence in this life, I need to be sliced and diced too.

MR EX conveniently told me he was also going for surgery, although he would not say what sort of surgery other than exploratory as his so called condition may be “cancer or not cancer” – this was after I shared with him that I had cancer.

MR EX is like that. In all honesty, I feel he lied and that actually he has gone away on vacation and wanted to elicit my sympathy, despite my own cancer situation. This is not nice. If he genuinely cared or loved me in the past, I would have mattered. Ah well, good to know I saw through his colors and dumped him like a hot potato.

Each of us have struggles. Some financial, others for health and or relationships.

I am worried too that Yul Brynner and Eunuch would give me the boot from work for falling ill. But instead this morning, I got a call from Eunuch to say that they have decided to support me with letting me max out the legal 60 days of hospital leave, exhaust my annual leave and this will lead me to the last 1.5 months at 1/2 salary. Then on 1 July 2022, I can be back at work, fresh and well again.

Meanwhile, they will hire a manager on contract for one year to help me tide over this time.

Decent of my Lords is what I would say!

I am grateful.

6 Comments »

Spot Light On Novak Djokovic Stuck In Australia

To covax or not to covax, that is the question.

In Lil Red Dot, from 15 Jan 22, those who choose not to covax is not allowed back to office. If the job cannot be done as work from home, then the employee may be dismissed.

Draconian?

Our hospitals have been inundated with deliberate choice of non vaccinated people getting Covid, putting a toll on health care, tax payers money and putting others at risk.

So in Novak’s case, this great tennis star is in the limelight for wrong reasons.

As a sport, tennis is strenuous and mask cannot be worn. Sweat, saliva and bodily fluids are emitted.

Is he fair to expose others to potential Covid when he did not take required tests?

Whatever his reasons for not getting 2 shots to protect self and others is best known to him.

But based on stats here, vaccination protects and save lives.

Nay sayers of covax must stop and think, is it worth risking death and harming loved ones? Or at worst start a new cluster as super spreader?

He lost a lot in this saga.

4 Comments »

Day 2 – Bates Motel & About That Clock In My Hospital Room

Tonight is my second day at Bates Motel.

Dr Lim Yi Jia made sure things moved very quickly for me as removed my wound dressing and tut tutted away saying that the wound after 19 days will do better exposed.

He removed the steri strips that enclosed the wound and barked for iodine to be applied on parts of the wound that were not behaving.

He is confident that the leaky wound will dry out well with iodine under his eagle eye.

Meanwhile my hands, especially my left hand has ballooned and swelled.

Occupational therapist summoned, drugs ordered to lessen my swelling and Chef Allavi has ensured that I get my fave dishes.

Satay is a fave of mine
Chicken belado and french beans with mushrooms
Garfield’s fave lasagne with mushrooms
Side of button mushrooms that I love
Onion soup with baguette crouton
Samosas with aromatic mint yoghurt dip
Side of fruits

I learnt something new at Bates Motel. The clock on the wall of my room was slowing…it was 10 minutes slow. All it needed was a battery change but noooo, maintenance told me that the clock can only be placed back tomorrow as it needed to synchronise after 12 hours.

It then dawned on me that births or deaths required precise accuracy and the simple wall clock was not a simple wall clock like what I have at home.

Interesting nugget of new information for me and I realised the clock had no brand name.

The plot thickens….

A special clock indeed!

I am still alive….

2 Comments »

Oopsy Daisy!!

A tough looking group of hairy bikers are riding when they see a girl about to jump off a bridge, so they stop.

The leader, a big burly man, gets off his bike and says, “What are you doing?” “I’m going to commit suicide,” she says.

While he doesn’t want to appear insensitive, he also doesn’t want to miss an opportunity, so he asks, “Well, before you jump, why don’t you give me a kiss?” She does, and it is a long, deep, lingering kiss.

After she’s finished, the tough, hairy biker says, “Wow! That was the best kiss I’ve ever had! That’s a real talent you’re wasting. You could be famous. Why are you committing suicide?” “My parents don’t like me dressing up like a girl…”

On a more serious and personal note, suicides are not to be laughed at.

Each has their personal challenges and sometimes without a way out, they turn to suicide as an optional way out. I sincerely hope that if anyone is feeling depressed or burdened to seek counselling and help from the professionals so that by living, you are able to overcome your issues. Easier said than done as they say, but once you are gone, you are forgotten and is that not a life wasted. Stay and fight the good fight and come out stronger than ever.

I remember when in school, a classmate ran away from home as her mum would not let her date an older man.

Another was a colleague at work who was in an abusive marriage and would arrive at work with a black eye. She found love in another man whilst married and I never knew the true story.

As for MR EX, he claims to be chicken hearted to commit suicide and is struggling to make a living. I find this hard to believe as he has 2 grown daughters who are not economically viable by choice as parents can well afford their lifestyle and a wife who is a pastor of 9 churches.

A sob story and I could not be bothered because if he did truly love me, he would have won me over instead of marrying into money the minute I rejected his offer. Two timing? Definitely and the one with most wealth won his heart!

Another reason why I walked away from church as looking at MR EX who claims the Creator in every other sentence, I am sickened by the same Creator.

Religion to me has become a sorry excuse I feel for people to seek comfort in. If you really believe in a “God” that works for you, then this “God” will reside in your heart and not in your pockets and be used as a means to churn money or wealth which is sadly the example of MR EX and his pastor wife.

I know I need not bow or prostate self to this “God” and to step out of the holy church to see parishioners fighting over car park lots or gossiping about things.

I will die a sinner and I rather be a sinner than a hypocrite to use “God” in every sentence, when I know “God” has abandoned me a long time ago.

By praying for something and not doing anything is silly as like it or not, food or manna does not drop from heavens above. Hard work and earning a living does. It should not be the case of this same pastoral wife of MR EX buying a next Hermes bag from church funds isn’t it?

Bah! What do I know??? I only know Garfield who does not pee nor poo and stares back at me with his plastic beady eyes!

4 Comments »

Rainy Start To 2022, But I Ain’t Complaining!

Water is good for our reservoirs and helps to water your kerbside trees and plants. But of course, too much of it can be a bad thing, just like how Malaysia is now facing floods.

Singapore or I fondly call my lil red dot, was like that before i.e. floods occur after non stop torrential rains. As I looked out of my window, I can see the canal 3/4 filled to drain the excess water to the sea. Our government has planned well into the future by ensuring that our drainage system adjusts to suit the wet weather and prevents flood waters from rising, thereby causing damage to property.

I am still skeptical of our future leaders, whom the government has labelled 4 G leaders ie 4th generation leaders, after Mr Lee Kuan Yew, Mr Goh Chok Tong and now, Mr Lee Hsien Loong. So far these 3 stalwarts did good for Singapore and helped put our infrastructure in place with the cabinet ministers they selected.

The 4G leadership is still not identified amongst the list of potentials. Mr Lee Hsien Loong is nearing 70 years old and is much too old to be still hanging on when the 4G leaders cannot agree amongst selves who can be the new PM.

The successor identified, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Kiat has requested a step down from accepting this PM role as he was a stroke survivor and I do not blame him as life is far more important than taking on more stressors. It is not easy being a leader as you will be under constant microscopic review and with social media, Netizens can blow things out of all proportions.

The list of wannabes for PM are Mr Ong Ye Kung, Mr Lawrence Wong and Mr Chan Chun Sing. Personally, I prefer Mr Lawrence Wong and or Mr Chan Chun Sing as these 2 worked hard during the Covid-19 situation to get us vaccines, ensuring that Singaporeans stayed.

I was personally disappointed with Mr Ong as his style of conversation lacks the emotional quotient (EQ) and this is pivotal in a PM to connect with the ground. He needs to deep dive into the areas under his care and ensure that he is kept abreast of the going ons and to put things right. True, he may be a pretty face that people like whereas the 2 beavers are straight talkers but get the jobs done right.

Ahh well, it will be down to the voters ultimately and the pitch each makes. At the end of the day, whoever is chosen has big shoes to fill as our economy gets more complex with social media and managing both in person and online communications.

So long as transport works, food is readily available (for this I have to thank Minister Chan Chun Sing for diversifying our trade partners to reach out to Poland and buy farm fresh eggs when everyone started hoarding during the initial stages of Covid-19), essentials are there for us, masks, disinfectants etc and Singapore plods on with cash reserves being rebuilt again, we will be in good stead.

It is not easy being a leader. I know that. But to be a good leader, for me, this leader must be able to connect with the different stratums of society – from the poor to the middle class to the uber rich, citizens cannot be forgotten and or bypassed for the sake of others.

I know I can never be a leader – at most a leader of inanimate furball Garfields as they do not talk back.

Are you a leader in any way?

1 Comment »

How I Ended 2021….

MR EX suddenly tried calling me. I had blocked him on my cell and each missed call was reflected in my register.

MR EX is also blocked on my Whats App.

I asked self how did we end up as such? The years of relationship or friendship or ‘what not ship” ended like this!

After seeing 3 missed calls over last 3 days, I unblocked him to ask why?

He is not nice as I told him I have cancer and just had major surgery and he had the audacity to say he is going for surgery on 5 January 22 when I said I was going to be re-admitted on 6 January 22.

This is typical of MR EX. He had to instil into me that if I was ill, so was he. He wanted my sympathy but refused to tell me his ailment! 🙄

Compassionate?

Empathetic?

Kind?

None of the above. He wanted to have a meal with me. I declined. Nothing good will come out of this, knowing MR EX.

On 31 December 21, my histopathology results were out. My oncologist surgeon told me that she had successfully excised all parts of the cancer and that the lymph nodes removed showed no spread. I do not need chemotherapy and radiotherapy I think!!🤞🤞🤞

This meant that my diagnosis was at Stage 0 but with nuclear grade 3 cancer cells. I understood this to be an aggressive cancer cell type.

As to if cancer will recur, it is anyone’s guess really. Que sera sera.

I will be going to Bates Motel to sort out the remaining post op issues. I was not at all happy at the Barn and need to have my drainage site and wounds rechecked and confirm if I need more surgery.

I guess this is a wake up call to me to be less stressed. Cancer thrives on stress and I have been under stress for a long time.

So MR EX is a no brainer to exclude and he is the first dispensable that I booted.

Meanwhile I had my booster shot. 7 more to get that pizza haha!

17 Comments »

Another Glimpse Of The Barn

In light of covid-19 measures, windows are mandatory to be opened to ensure air circulation and prevention of aerosol transmissions. A big extractor fan circulates and remove air from the common ward of 6 occupants.

Good news is all of us are masked up and this is socially good for all.

No curtains and so when the sunrises, I arise. Shower time for me is 4.30am and I deliberately do this to avoid peak hour shower traffic.

I started off enjoying this fried noodle for breakfast. When I reached the bottom of the plate, I found an extra “ingriedient” – a strand of black hair!

Eeeuw!!! Told the nurses but no reaction. In fact no one bothers and so, to be a barn animal here, one must be sharp and firm.

For a hospital setting, I was amazed that the Barn does not change bedsheets on daily basis…it is my fourth day and sheets are not changed.

Nurses do not bother to check if patients are washed or bathed. The 94 year old occupant opposite my bed has not been washed for 3 days now. She complained to me but I stopped being big bad mama as have been interceding for her. She needs to speak up for self as she is articulate and sharp as a whip.

Floors of my ward are not wiped daily. The outsourced cleaners do a cursory wipe, ignoring the corners, under the bed. I have only seen 1 cleaner doing this standard of wiping once in 5 days.

So I am amazed that the hygiene standards of the ward is not at ISO standard or any standard of cleanliness of my minimum expectation.

Given the Covid situation, I would have thought that cleanliness or hygiene standards mattered.

It is a real pity as I thought our public health care system was a good one. Having lived in the barn, I am grossly disappointed. ISO certifications are meant for audits only and after that, it literally goes to the dogs.

5 Comments »

Waiting For Results & Wound Healing

In medical science, 3% matters alot.

Dr Surgeon is 97% sure I am cancer free here on but she kept reminding me of the remaining 3% odds. Dang the odds, I’d say! Gimme a break!

At this stage did I beat cancer?

I am unsure. 97% does not mean alot when the odds always seem to get me, as if the upper deities want to continue their poke at me. Hmmm…they seem to enjoy giving me a hard time every time it is Ghost Festival and Christmas season! Bah as Scrooge would say.

Being in a common ward of 6, there is no privacy. My bed neighbor was told news that her cancer has metasized to lungs or if she has independent cancers in 2 locations.

She is fervent believer of God and has had the lump for years she shared but trusted God and not seek medical help. She is al anti covax vaccination, which is sad I told her as she needs all the help to stay safe. Hopefully she reconsiders her options and seek surgical intervention.

As for self, my histology results will be out in 2 weeks.

Now, it is dealing with a wound that sometimes behave irrationally and I hope it behaves so that I can heal.

Physically, emotionally and mentally – there is not much I can do. Nothomg to dispute, just have to suck it up.

Emotionally…friends and wordpress readers have kept me in prayers.

Many have asked me to start living for self. But it is hard when I have un-ending responsibilities.

Today I read in the news that AXA CEO aged 47 passed due to an aggressive form of cancer.

If Covid-19 could drive pharmaceuticals to derive vaccines in record time, why not a mega vaccine against all cancers?

14 Comments »

A Glimpse At The Barn

The medical facility I am incacerated in is what I call, The Barn.

It pales in comparison to Bates Motel but I managed to find warm hearted nurses. They try their best and for which, I am grateful. The Barn is a more than 150 year old facility and its antiquated buildings still stand as conservation of during the British Occupancy serving the Sepoy Lines.

Massive new buildings have sprouted around the lower buildings and these high rise are to cater to increasing Cancer, Heart and Community Care cases.

Nestled amongst trees, the Barn’s medical care is cookie cutter style. They do not treat anomalies and are at a loss to think creatively.

My White Coat is bothered as she now sees for herself, my wound breaking down.

Aahh well her nightmare now begins for me as post operation wound issues usually rears its ugliness. I got to fight this….

Meanwhile this is a sampling of my breakfast and lunch. Simple but edible and am not complaining.

Breakfast – antiquated choc swirl bread
Lunch
Dinner…for good behaviour I got an extra side of ginger pork.
5 Comments »