Garfieldhug's Blog

This & That Including What Ails

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.


A Conversation With Father

I received a phone call from my father two nights ago and he wanted to know why I have not been around for their recent medical appointments.

Missing the child or the manual laborer?

Was I missed as a child?

Was I missed as a missing good helper?

Probably the latter I supposed.

Long and short of the conversation was the usual that he will speak to the other 2 and that he was sorry for all this. He wanted me to complete the last journey with them so that after they are gone, his 3 children can have better lives.

Ahhh…key point is that he is missing Clean Up Gal On Aisle 4!

The other 2 cannot be bothered and I was the only sucker that would.

Of course it pains me to ignore my 2 parents. I know what it is like to be without help.

I felt the same with MR EX and axed him.

When I needed help, MR EX abandoned me.

But my parent and siblings abandoned me. Only mum stood by to visit me at hospitals.

I am not cruel but sometimes the necessity of being cruel to be kind, is real.

Will I regret my actions once my father leaves this earthly world? No, I did my best.

I always put self last. They mattered most and I do not accord self with any lavish things as family comes first. I reminded this to him and he apologized, again saying that he will speak to the other 2. Till hell freezes, I know he will not.

But I will still not bring self to forgive him for being the biased parent and not being able to lead his other children to be decent responsible children.

I have played this scene a thousand times in my head.

His 2 other children will be at the lawyers’ office with their spouse and mistress eagerly waiting to collect their windfall. Life then goes on for them, richly endowed, forgetting their parents.

I questioned the meaning of being a family.

What makes a family?

Certainly not blood!

Friendships? Maybe…possibly but in this diversified world, we never know what gives.

I guess I believe in believing in oneself.

Give, but not all.

Love, but with limits.

Care, but with concern.

Know, but not without wisdom.

I may forgive, but all the deities help me in this world, I cannot forget.

Yes, without any benefit if doubt, I will fry like a Colonel Sanders Chicken (Kentucky Fried Chicken) in hell!

My Mexican standoff remains….


3 Days Of Selfish Self Time

I have had a good 3 days of self time.

I did not go out and instead literally vegetated on the floor or sat up and did some posts for my blog – oh, I did answer a few urgent work matters on emails. But I resisted for alot more for work.

I did some self soul searching.

I could not answer the proverbial question as to why am I the appointed clean up on aisle 4 gal?

My father’s constant reply to me is that because “the other 2 are living abroad” – this is his excuse and so, I am expected to “suck it up” and just do it like what Nike says!

I refused to accept this statement. Maybe I am illogical or too logical to the point of being idealistic perhaps? As children, do they not have any ounce of duties and responsibilities and how does hiding behind the proverbial “I am not around as I live overseas” excuse them from all or any duties?

For simple minded me, I choose to think it is a matter of choice.

They both chose to ignore. They left me without choice as I had to evaluate my choices and realized that if I chose a job overseas or live overseas, I would be literally “abandoning” the 2 elderlies.

I could not bring self to do it and I knew that if I chose to do that, the other 2 would not bother one bit and this would literally leave the 2 elderlies to their own fate.

My father is a loon really. All he cares about is defending those 2 and in his own demented mind keeps telling me the same old story that he will speak to them about responsibilities. Call it loopiness or forgetfulness or ball-less, he does not dare do it.

He firmly maintains he cares for all 3 of us, which is balderdash as I have seen and experienced the biases of growing up in this dysfunctional family of mine.

George Orwell said it best in Animal Farm, “Some are born more equal than others”

Psychologists and psychiatrists would always say that the middle child is an unwanted child and I totally agree as being brought up as a middle child showed me this.

Being the middle child, taught me responsibility and compassion.

Compassion to know what hunger means, what being poor means and what being unloved means.

It also showed me what is was like to be bullied by an elder sibling and eagerly trying to “buy” love from siblings.

I was “loved” for the 5 seconds till what they want me to pay or buy for them is delivered.

For all this, I hate children and no child should be made to grow up like me.

True, it is said that whatever does not kill me, makes me stronger! But hey, I am broken in most parts! Physically I am stitched up so much, emotionally I am devoid of parental or sibling love.

I keep giving love as I feel what is like to be without love.

My ponderings continue as I try to understand life and its realities.



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.


Off To Men In Blue Again

I had another trip to the men in blue as a colleague is missing from work.

The story goes like this.

Mr Pretend asked his “wife” to text his supervisor to say that he had suffered a heart attack in a foreign land and was hospitalised for immediate surgery.

The updates on text messages were dramatic.

From heart attack to triple heart bypass, to stent, to stroke, to being unable to return to lil red dot for treatment. Then the spiel on the hospital in foreign land “cannot produce proof of hospitalisation”

I must say that the “con” is a good and well thought out one.

Being the typical understanding Lord for one who is so ill, we continuously checked in by text to see how Mr Pretend was faring.

We continued to pay his wages as one who is “hospitalised” provided we get proof of hospitalisation.

60 days of paid hospital leave later and he is still “missing” with no proof.

The “wife” then begins to block us from calls to her handphone and text messages.

Mr Pretend does not answer his calls.

Monkey Lord agrees to make a report to the men in blue and Mr Pretend is now a “Wanted” Man.

I hope for his sake that he is well and working elsewhere. But if this is the case then both he and the “wife” would face jail time or a fine or both. This is not good.

I would not wish he is deathly ill…but if so just prove his stay in Bates Motel. Then he will not be prosecuted.



An Exhausting & Sad Week

Last week has been an exhausting and sad one.

One of my good friends, whom I go to school with at the University of Oregon, saw the loss of her father.

I met her parents when they visited her whilst she was going through her undergraduate studies like me there.

Her father was a quiet man and had a loud booming laughter each time we joked and ate together for meals.

My friend lived 2 units away from where I lived and we shared a common courtyard with 8 others. It was in this same courtyard that we hosted our host parents for summer lunch as each of us brought a home cooked meal from Singapore.

Losing a loved one is tough and in the latter years of “Uncle Anthony’s life, he was pretty much restricted to the bed and cared for by his 2 daughters, one of whom is my friend.

I admire the stoic and calm behavior of my friend as she put up with all the difficulties and constraints of caring for her elderly father and a mother who has dementia.

I can never be that as I find self flaring at my mum who is difficult and tests my patience as she regresses into an ultra sensitive person who gets angry and throws a tantrum whenever something is not done her way.

She refuses to listen to reason and keeps bemoaning her inability to hear instead of moving on in life.

Life has its tribulations and one must move on. Easier said than done.

Hate is easy to harbor and I am guilty of it as I too, cannot forgive my father for the favoritism he plays to my eldest sister and youngest brother in my growing up years. But I have to move beyond this and provide as much support to care for him now since he is loopy in the brain department and that his 2 favorites does not bother much, at most annual affairs.

But for mum it is just eating away at her and she loves to be venerated in a Goddess like stature and think she is always right. For her sake, I hope she finds it in her heart to move on and enjoy the rest of her life happily.

Piglet shared with me the wisest of words…”I am so blessed as my parents left me early so that I will not suffer” Piglet has had a fair bit of setbacks in life and I am glad she is doing well now. I worry about her as she is a lovely person, kind hearted and yes, if she had to care for 2 elderlies, given her own current state of health, then it would be really challenging.

My deepest condolences to my friend and her family for the loss of her father. May Uncle Anthony live in the love of God and rest in peace. He has lived a good life, a full life and with the love of his two daughters.

I wish my friend much love and time to grieve and move on in life.



Mahogany Seeds Or Sky Fruits Deemed Toxic

In lil red dot, there is always a fad of consuming a “miracle” fruit or drug that can eliminate fats or reduce blood sugar.

We have heaps of these remedies and often times we hear of how these unsuspecting consumers end up requiring liver transplants from living donors.

Lately, we are told of another culprit – Mahogany seeds or what we also call Sky fruits. Apparently, more cases are diagnosed with liver failure after consuming this dried seed which can be bought off the shelf in Traditional Chinese Medical Halls.

Whilst our Health Science Authority (HSA) has yet to pinpoint the actual toxicity of the product, it is safe for them to issue a warning to us all to stop consuming this as it causes liver failure.

Our estate security guard would show how he heroically plucks two leaves of the Sour-sop tree and chewed on it, as if like betel nut leaf.

I worry for him as this is another unproven fact that purports consumption of these leaves reduces diabetes or prevents diabetes. It falls short of saying it can cure diabetes!

I am not a stoic supported of traditional remedies that require me to ingest stuff.

I am ok to say if I apply starch water onto rashes for my skin as I know it will not harm me as starch is edible and it flakes off as powder.

But I will not take baking soda with water to reduce alkalinity of water which is supposedly useful to reduce toxins.

Heck, I do not even trust Chiropractors as I worry they manipulate erroneously and my screwed on spine gets dislodged.

In fact my neurosurgeons made me promise not to go near them. To be fair, I did try to engage a Chiropractor and he was decent to say that with my condition, it was best I do not seek their help.

I am sad that it is easy for people to be gullible and believe in an instant cure. I have heard heaps of tales of consuming Linzhi can cure cancer!

Lingzhi is made into capsules and mega doses are taken by cancer sufferers and those that survive, swear by it.

I was watching a documentary the other day and I was told that a survey showed that on average, a Singaporean spends close to $800 each on vitamins and supplements.

I don’t spend any on it except for Vitamin C. I spend more on doctors’ fees. Besides I have too many allergies and was once allergic to Surbex C. I broke out in hives!

So there, au naturale is my take. I live, eat and drink carefully…..and I am still FAT and with alot of health issues. But, the good news is that I am alive LOL!


Food Poisoning In Lil Red Dot

It has been a crazy season of Salmonella food poisoning and gastroenteritis at a couple of restaurants in Singapore last couple of weeks.

One person had died from it and the local authorities has shuttered the restaurant for good.

It seems that the kitchen was in poor hygiene health with salmonella bacteria everywhere!

Knives were uncleaned and slotted between kitchen tables.

Raw uncooked food kept in fridge without covering properly.

No handsoap for kitchen staff to use after toilet use or handling food.

I was appalled!

Then a 5 star hotel, Mandarin Orchard had its banquet kitchen shut down too as diners at a charity dinner held there fell ill after eating the food. MR EX was the host of the charity dinner and he had 20 of his guests in hospital.

This is rare in Singapore as hygiene checks are rather stringent.

I guess we never know what really goes on in the kitchens.

What we don’t see does not mean cooked food is 100% germ free.


Silly Me!

If you are reading this blogsite of mine for the first time, I fractured my little toe and foot plate some 2 weeks ago. Doc says it will take 6 weeks to 3 months for it to heal.

Well, guess what, I banged it again, against a hard stool and boy oh boy, does it hurt!

There is a saying…the more careful you try to be to protect an injured part of your limbs, all the more you will hurt it!

Ahh well, I will live. Afterall this is nothing compared to major surgeries that I have undergone.

I read that a local neurosurgeon who separated the Siamese twins has now performed surgery on a Vietnamese girl who was born with a deformed cranial, whereby a part of the brain is exposed. The brain has pushed so far out that this poor little girl has no facial features and pressure from the brain is causing her eyes to close.

The other person who is doing the next part of the surgery of reconstructing this little girl’s face is a plastic surgeon and used to live in the same building as I. Unfortunately, his wife and he had such a huge fight as each claimed the other had a lover on the side.

I remember the acrimonious fight they had and the same surgeon moved out, leaving the wife (no ex wife) and children behind.

He was particularly snooty as I remember him and he is not at all kind. He does not believe in acknowledging the presence of others and will only speak when he is paid as a doctor. I did not like him.

So, I am surprised he is chipping in. Of course they are both paid handsomely to do the job as the poor mother raised the funds for the operations.

I am disappointed that he was the chosen plastic surgeon as he is not the kindest of man and I am sure he will charge an arm and a leg. I hope the mother of the little girl has deep pockets to get continued care from him.

Perhaps the trouble he encountered with his ex wife has changed him for the better.

Perhaps he has found compassion and know how to give empathy.

I hope so, for the sake of the little girl.


Food For Thought – Or Dirt For Thought!

I received this from Executive Chef William, who is a celebrity Chef in lil red dot. He is a nice fella and used to work with Electrical Lord. He was smart to leave as that was a place that cannot sustain him when Electrical Lord wanted to buy sub standard produce and deliver cheap food.

His text message reads as below,

“One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey.

He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone’s amazement he quieted down.

A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up.

As the farmer’s neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!”

MORAL OF THIS STORY which reasonates with me, since I am the expert of dirt being shovelled on most times by past lords!
Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a steppingstone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.

Remember the five simple rules to be happy:

1. Free your heart from hatred – Forgive. This is the most challenging as I can forgive, but I cannot forget the bad deeds that people do unto me.

2. Free your mind from worries – Most never happens. But truthfully, it is good to always have a Plan B because it is better to be prepared than not to be at all.

3. Live simply and appreciate what you have. I try really hard here and do not have a lavish lifestyle nor designer togs. I do not need Dolce & Gabanna, Giani Versace or Prada. Just Garfield, my inanimate furball and his cartoon T shirts!

4. Give more. Spending time with people who need time is important and I find that the social work I do is meaningful as well as giving the time that my parents’ need. I know it is difficult to give them time and it is draining. I may leave them feeling like crap as they make me feel like crap but hey, they are my only set of parents and they have no one else.

5. Expect less from people but more from yourself. But do not be too hard on yourself. I have been very hard on myself and alot of the physical injury to my body is brought on by hard laborous work during my school going days.

You have two choices… smile and close this page, or pass this along to someone else to share the lesson – I just this by sharing this with my 2,000 plus followers!

I hope you will like this read.