Thursday, June 28, 2007

Dad's The Way!

"It was quite uncomfortable at times..." said Dad when the scope traveling in his large intestine.

It was Dad's second year colonoscopy procedure after had his cancerous pulp was removed from his lower colon.

"Everything looks good, pakcik..." Dad told us what his Colorectal Consultant and Surgeon said to him as he patted Dad's shoulder and said "see you next year!"

I was somewhat relieved when I heard that, but I still wanted to hear it straight from the horse's mouth.

The Toilet Marathon

Well, before we could get to know the result, our patient had to visit the toilet just one last time.

That was his umpteenth visit to the toilet since his last meal at breakfast and went through his 6 glasses of Fleet Phospho-Soda drink to flush and empty the contents in his colons for the scope.

He regarded the preparation was worse than the procedure itself. Apart from his numerous visits to the toilet, he vomited the soda twice at home. It was like a drowning experience, he said.

One Of The Longest Days...

Just like yesterday, I took the afternoon off to accompany Dad for his annual colonoscopy procedure at SGH's Endoscopy Centre in block 6.

We arrived and registered as early as half an hour before his scheduled procedure at 3:00pm, but somehow Dad was only called an hour later to prep him and he came out when it was over an hour after.

Dad had his hot Milo drink while we waited for the nurse to call him for the results and next appointment date.

All turned out well with colored photos of Dad's colons shown to us... nice clean colons in fact for an 81 year old dude. Way to go Dad!

His next appointment will be a year later on Jun 26th 2008. Phew! Finally a sigh of relieve from me under my breath.

And yes, Dad's happy smile at the counter was priceless!

The Celebration

Like Dad, fasting after a light coffee and slices of white bread for breakfast, Mom and I had breakfast as our last meal and skipped lunch to be there with him. With the good news it was finally time for our dinner together.

Instead of taking our meal at SGH Kopitiam's canteen downstairs, Dad decided that he wanted to have his dinner at Banquet Foodcourt.

So we endured our hunger for a little while longer to head for CausewayPoint 7th floor Cineplex after a 25 minutes ride back to Woodlands.

No qualms here... all for Dad as the day was his to celebrate.

He is my hero after all. Love you Dad!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Eye Am Good!

Had to rush from work today as Mom and Dad was expecting me to pick them up by 1:00pm.

I took the afternoon off to accompany Mom for her first eye check-up after a year has passed since she had her cataract from the right eye removed.

Had to skip lunch and took a cab from AMK to Woodlands. Fortunately for me the cab driver was willing to continue the journey from my parents place to SNEC at SGH in Bukit Merah.

We're Here!

Registration was a breeze. Our queue number 0931 was called in less than 5 minutes to be served even though there were a lot of people there. Lots of old people... granddads and grand-moms alike.

Another queue number 2742 was then given after registration to Room 30 where Mom had both her eyes tested by reading the letters off the projected screen... which by the way, she did very well.

She looked very pleased when the nurse complimented her good eyesight... then came the part she hated.

The nurse had to administer eye stinging drops on both eyes to get the pupils dilated for the doctor to check next at Room 24. She had to endure another round of eye drops when her pupils were not dilated enough a few minutes before the check.

A Sight For Sore Eyes

All that stinging pain was worth it when the doctor examined and declared that both her eyes are normal. He then pasted a "Discharged" sticker in her file which means she does not need to come for further check-ups anymore!

Mom smiled widely. At age 74, I believe her eyesight is better than mine! I think I smiled even wider simply because I felt happier than she was... to see her this happy.

We walked out and informed Dad of the good news. He smiled from ear to ear and started telling jokes as we made our way to counter 5 across the corridor.

Dad made payment of S$25.00 consultation fee and the whole thing was delightfully over under just over hour. Phew!

We had a good late lunch at SGH's Kopitiam canteen. The food tasted much nicer knowingly because we were in good spirits. Everyone finished their meal in record time... I guess we were that hungry... and that happy to clean our plates off like that.

The whole afternoon was then free for us to chat while sipping ice lemon tea and simply watch people passing by. It was a celebration of some kind.

It's Your Turn, Dad

Dad has to watch his food intake for these two days though.

No dairy products, no vegetables and no fruits for lunch and dinner today. A very strict coffee or tea with white bread for breakfast tomorrow morning before his turn to undergo his annual checkup.

I will be taking the afternoon off again tomorrow to accompany Dad for his second year colonoscopy procedure at 3:00pm. This always unnerves me secretly.

I thank The Almighty for this good outcome and pray for the same happy news tomorrow for Dad too.

Friday, June 22, 2007

What's Up Doc?

Has it been 2 years already? Wow!

I thank The Almighty for the opportunity.

Took the whole day off work yesterday to accompany Dad for his medical check-up. It has already been 2 years since he had his cancerous tumor removed from his large intestine.

Till this day, both Mom and Dad do not know that the tumor was cancerous at stage 4. All they know that it was a pulp that needed to be removed because it caused obstruction to his bowel movements.

He checked-out free from any growths in his intestine from last year's colonoscopy. It was Dad's triumphant fight against this dreadful disease. It was our prayers answered. We are still praying for his well-being every day.

So yesterday, Dad met his surgeon, Colorectal Consultant Dr Tan Boon Swee for his second year check-up.

Like any morning appointments, the peak rush-hour traffic was the first thing to beat. So off we went from Woodlands to SGH or Singapore General Hospital located at Bukit Merah via BKE and exited to Stevens Road, Patterson Hill and onward to River Valley Road.

Despite the careful route-planning, we were not spared by the heavy traffic at BKE when we arrived 10 minutes later... fortunately, the doctor was not in until 10:30am.

Dad checked out good so far, had his blood drawn-out and scheduled to have his second colonoscopy procedure on Wednesday afternoon next week at Block 6 Endoscopy Centre... the most anxious procedure especially for me to know the result.

That will be a day after Mom has her first year annual check-up for his cataract operation done on her right eye at SNEC or Singapore National Eye Centre.

So I will be quite busy with Mom on Tuesday and Dad on Wednesday. I will have to call Dad to guide him on Tuesday on what he can and cannot eat, and again on Wednesday on the specific instruction on using Fleet Phospho-soda for bowel preparation.

I had already applied for leave off work for the two afternoons.

Had our late breakfast at SGH canteen, an always good chat to catch-up, then onward to CausewayPoint Shopping Mall for Mom to buy a cage for her new baby hammie.

Once they were home, I went back home to accompany yet another family member who is not at its pink of health. My Son had previously made a 6:30pm appointment with the vet.

Art, one of our 6-brother hammies has developed an infection in its nose which had swollen-up and preventing him from drinking from the water bottle and eating his usual fruits, herbs and nuts.

We had to feed him with water and food paste using a syringe for days and a dose of Baytril antibiotics each day, but the swelling has not subsides still.

And despite our efforts, Art is loosing its weight and was getting weaker.

The vet at Pet Safari in EastPoint Shopping Mall injected it with liquid to hydrate it and treated its eyes which had started to glued shut due to the gunk.

Art was given a host of medications:
  • A stronger antibiotics Septrim Syrup a drop twice a day,
  • 5 tubes of anti-inflammatory Meloxicam Suspension to finish one each day,
  • Serrazyme Tablet 5mg to be crushed and taken quarter portion twice a day; mixed into honey or food paste to relieve him of general pain, for his eyes and runny nose; and
  • Framixin Ointment 5mg a drop each once a day for his eyes .
We have to continue feeding it with mixed fruit or vegetable baby food for as long as it is unable to feed itself. The medication should last 5 days and we will have to bring Art back for a follow-up after that.

So, what is up, Doc?

Guess I will be the busy resident nurse to my family for these few weeks...

Monday, June 18, 2007

This Father's Gift

Sunday afternoon came the gift I... well, gave myself!

With Wifey's blessings and her excitement to enjoy the gift with me when it was installed in our living room. Integrated with our Sharp Aquos 37 Inch LCD TV, the gift I am talking about is our new Pioneer HTP-33 DVR Home Theater System! Sweet!

Replacing our 5 year old Philips LX3500D HTS which has long spoiled our movie-watching pleasures with unexpected skips and stops, and most irritably, locks and plays only one region code DVD which I had collected to date from overseas.

Like any newer DVD players, it is multi-coded so now we can play any disk format and all region codes 1 to 6 without worrying of compatibility issues.

The good thing about this new Pioneer HTS is its all-in-one deck - amplifier, radio tuner, MP3 player, DVD player and recorder in high definition without the clutter of stacking other sound system equipment on the TV console.

With a 160G hard-disk drive to enable TV programs recordings, among other things like DVDs duplications... ahem, for non-copyrighted materials of course!

Coupled with my recent DVD rental subscription to, the first movie played was World Trade Centre starring Nicholas Cage. Touching story yet with lots of CGI or computer generated graphics and blasting sounds to show off this HTS mighty prowess.

The 5.1 surround speakers is another great thing. Instead of having a pair placed behind the sofa and wires laid under the carpet, the rear speakers need only be placed outwardly in front , along with the other centre and left and right speakers.

To achieve this surround sound, Pioneer makes use of a MCACC microphone that one has to place where one normally sits to calibrate sounds coming from each of the 5 speakers and sub-woofer, then regulates sound levels and delays from the speakers.

No more wires across the living room!

Wifey was so happy with the system's performance that she has requested online to prioritize her own movie titles to watch on it... all 20-odd DVDs of her favourite drama serials... a Korean invasion of sorts. Yikes!

She is preparing herself to enjoy the drama marathon of the Korean kind... a lovely-dovey style with the typical "boy-meets-girl, but their love is forbidden... I know how the story is going to end" drama. Volumes and volumes of it.

Fortunately though, she is going to watch it while I am at work. Phew!

As for me, Sci-Fi and action movies with lots of CGI and explosions... planetary obliterations, devastations or natural catastrophe that totally blows-the-mind kind of movies for the cool special effects.

HollywoodClicks and with a few more free channels offered by Starhub CableTV launched since mid June, we are set to be couch-potatoes on stay-home weekends!

Consider this a father's day cum birthday gift for me!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day

My Father is a man of few words,
But he is big on responsibility for his family.

Though I wished I had grown up...
Having spent more time with him guiding me through life.

His principles, his strength and his passion
Are now mine too.
My Father, My Hero
I love you.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Our Boy's 12

To Our Son,

May this day brings you joy & happiness
May you excel in your studies
May your wishes & dreams be fulfilled

We are proud of you & love you always!

Love Mama & Ayah

Monday, June 11, 2007

3 Clicks Flicks...

Since the demise of video tapes and VCRs in the early 1990s from most people's homes and lives in Asia, I have stopped renting home movies altogether even when it was replaced with VCDs.

My last owned VHS is our wedding video but with no VCR to play it with. It will probably remain in the TV console drawer till kingdom come... or at least until the reel of tapes stick together and it is time to throw it away.

Yeah, I have been meaning to send it to the photo shop to have it transferred to VCD... nope! DVD... that will survive until the industry discards this format again or maybe until Blu-ray format becomes the next standard. Anyway... let me get to the present.

I have started renting home movies again and am even happier now with the many choices of movies the my whole family can watch without resorting to some illegal means.

With the subscription of cable TV for years, I now have added to the many movie titles I want... well, maybe not the really latest, but mostly the many movies and TV shows that I or any member of my family has not gotten a chance to watch yet.

3-DVDs at any one time is the plan I subscribed online for, for about S$36.00 monthly.

I have to queue 50 titles that I like, number 1 being my first choice if the DVD is available to me, else the next in line will be sent instead in about a day's time.

Once we are done with any or all of the DVDs, we just have to put them in each of the self-addressed envelopes given and drop them into the post box. Fortunately there is one post box less than a block away from my home that makes returning the DVDs less of a chore.

I will then get a replacement of the next available queued DVDs in a couple of days. The replacements are unlimited as long as I return it. Furthermore, there is no late return because there is no rental expiry period. Cool!

My first 3 DVDs I picked are:

Space Traveler animation is especially for my Son as he has been talking about it months ago but I was not going to waste money watching cartoons. Animated stories like Shrek maybe, but not cartoons.

Anyway, Son said the movie was a disappointment after he played it on his PC.

Fantastic 4 for my Son. We would need to watch this first movie to at least not be lost when we do watch the new Fantastic 4: Rise Of The Silver Surfer when it hits the cinemas here.

Would not want to repeat it like Pirates Of The Caribbeans: At World's End where I was totally nauseated not by the sea storms, but by the storyline... simply because I did not watch the second movie... I think.

Well... it is actually for me because Jessica Alba is in it. My dear friend Wandi, I really get it now... but unlike you, there is nothing trivial about this.

Charlotte's Web for Wifey and all of us. Heartwarming story that miracles do happen. The ugliest of being can be the most beautiful one of all.

Dakota Fanning was not as terrific as she was in I Am Sam or War Of The World, but I am her fan nonetheless. Julia Roberts died at the end which sucked even though she was a creepy-crawly... and I would still be like that horse in the movie.

Hmm... I get the feeling Wifey is going to choose some Hindi and Korean movies too these fine days... I would rather watch cartoons than playing-hard-to-get love stories.

Now to post them back and catch-up on the movies that we have missed so far...

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Ordinary Miracle Today

Under shade of Arcadia Trees on a beautiful day

I am so happy to finally receive a text message from Wifey this morning.

They have already left Kuala Lumpur and will reach Singapore in the evening. I prayed for their safe journey home.

I do not know why I felt so alive again... I suddenly felt the urge to clean around the house just to prepare it to receive them back home. Strange, even to me... but that was what I did.

Nope! Not because Wifey will nag at me for not picking-up after myself while she is away... though I admit I deserve that if I did not, but I feel that she will be happy to see the house spotless. Nothing much she needed to do, but relax after the 6 long hours journey back.

When the doorbell finally rang, I opened the door with a big smile on my face and a hidden heart-pounding excitement I contained within me. Man! I missed them so much these past week... so glad there are back home again!

Finally, the PC in my son's room is churning-out that irritating Japanese music again with the break-dancing game that our Son has been playing with his cousins and friends online.

Finally, the 37 Inch LCD TV is tuned to Starhub's Channel 99 with Wifey's favourite Korean "Hello, My Lady" love-comedy series... the often predictable, over-acting show that always makes my hair stand, is playing with a faithful fan on the sofa in front of it.

Finally I see their happy faces in our home again. See them, touch them, smell them... talking to them and catching-up on things. Ahh...

Maybe it is nothing much to another man, but this sappy guy feels it as nothing short of an ordinary miracle today.

Life is beautiful! Again...

Thursday, June 07, 2007

I'm Missing You

Since Wifey and Son left for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia last Friday, I was at a loss.

Outing with my parents on Sunday was great. My second eldest sister and her family decided to join us and met us at VivoCity... Daiso to be exact; Mom's favourite shopping store at present.

The weekend went by as fast as it came. Then came Monday and the days became so, dragging long suddenly. Each day felt like the time stopped once I got home from work.

Thanks to HamsterVille residents, they kept me occupied once I had my dinner and find myself flipping channels non-stop.

My Sisters called to chat, so did Mom... knowing I was alone at home, they were nice enough to check on me and spend some time catching-up on the goings-on. I appreciate them thinking of me though I could not help but wonder whether I am that open a book.

All the house chores like making the bed, feeding the hammies, watering the plants and doing laundry myself still make me feel totally bored this whole week!

I am actually looking forward to go to work than being at home. I have been feeling so lonely without them. Sleeping alone sucks... weird kind-of-feeling even. I have no mood to blog even.

I miss chatting with Wifey... seeing her sitting at the sofa and eating snacks together while watching TV. I miss getting those constant updates from our Son on his new discoveries or something interesting that he had read-up somewhere or created... Sigh.

I miss them as soon as Wifey called me over the phone telling me that she was at Woodlands Checkpoint, crossing-over the border into Johor last Friday.

I know that I cannot live my life alone... a part of me seems missing when either of them is not around. I love them dearly... I know I am getting sappy... backbone-less even; but I simply miss them that much!

Calling them sometimes, exchanging text messages, but nothing beats them being at home, being with me here. I am beginning to look forward to their return tomorrow.

I smiled to myself while at work, I smiled on journeys home in the bus; happy... just thinking of them coming back home.

That is until Wifey messaged me a few minutes ago telling me that her Sister's car is now at the workshop and they cannot tell when they will return home until tomorrow... but tomorrow is Friday!

Man, the saying "being apart makes the heart grows fonder" cannot be that much truer than this for me. I am so weak without my family.

I guess, I have to live another day or two without them. Sigh... but I will survive.

It will be interesting to hear all the things they did with Wan and places they visited in KL... over a dinner outing with me this weekend.

Have a safe journey home.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Widgets Do Wonders

Thanks to iMac widgets, I finally get answers to a long time question... 11 years long that is.

Every night, I look out my bedroom window to the night sky. The moon, the few stars and planets that are visible under the bright island city... even lesser without my glasses.

All this time, I thought the single largest bright dot in the night sky was the International Space Station. So thought because it is always the largest, non flickering dot in the sky that may be the only one out on any night.

I even wrote it several times in my old blog about it. I was totally wrong. Thanks to the wizard... I mean, the widget from Starry Night for iMac that confirms so.

I just had to pin-point my location on earth, which is not as difficult as it sounds. I just had to located Singapore in the world map and then tweaked both the latitude and longitude a little to get the nearest to my home.

It located my place as near Bedok... close enough.

With that, I direct it to look to the East, where my bedroom window is facing... and viola! The exact whereabouts of whatever little dots, bright and faint matches the actual view out my window at the same time!

How wonderful it that. How wonderful it is to tell me that that bright dot is Jupiter. Ahh... make sense, since it is the largest most, visible object in our night sky after the moon.

Yesterday was the second full moon in a month, a once in a blue moon... which puts one of my many trivial life's questions to rest at this age. Kind of a little too old to be learning such facts, I know... but I am a very slow learner. Nonetheless I get it eventually.

Now, where is Mars? A Job for Starry Night...

Friday, June 01, 2007

Buying Some Company

Well, Vesak Day holiday last Thursday was great. We had nothing to do but stayed home and watched holiday movies, and playing with our hammies.

Dinner out was obviously a good idea. We decided to go to one of our haunts for seafood dinner. Bedok Market along Bedok Road came to mind and New Hawa Seafood Restaurant was our pick. The outdoor seating was always enjoyable for me.

It has been quite some time since we had seafood, so Chili Crab was always great to go with Baby Kai Lan in Oyster Sauce and we did not forget our all time food enhancer dish... Tom Yam Seafood Soup. All to go with plain white rice and Teh Tarik for both Wifey and I, while our Son had his... you guessed it, Ice Milo.

The food was scrumptious as our Son can testify because he finished his plain rice for once and before we could finish ours. He is after all, a growing boy.

It was our last dinner out together before Wifey and Son go off to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to spend a week with her Mother, our Son's Wan as she is affectionately called by all her grandchildren.

By the time I reached home from work, the house was already dark and quiet. Both had left for KL with her Sister who drove her family as well all the way to Wan's place this afternoon.

I was already missing them when I switched on the lights as I entered. Dinner was bought from the new Malay food stall at S11 Foodcourt, but did not taste as great alone even when it was my favourite Mee Goreng Seafood or Fried Seafood Noodles.

My first meal alone really sucked big time... dumbfounded, not knowing what to do when the Friday Night Movie on Channel 5 ended.

Flipped channels but nothing interesting worth watching. Ended-up watching The Greek Islands on Discovery Travel.

I am definitely not an alone person... but I have to survive this week, just one week.

Oh, tomorrow is Saturday!

At least I have to go to my parents' place to catch-up on things and give them some spending money for this month.

Maybe they want to go shopping since it is Great Singapore Sale has started and there are very good bargains that they would like to get.

Oh, yes!

There's this PC Show 2007 that has started since the holiday and will end in Sunday. Wifey had repeatedly reminded me to not spend on any "gadget that you don't necessarily need."

No, I do not need anything this time... well, maybe... just a cradle for my Dopod C800 for my desks at home and in the office. I think I will go have a look-see on Sunday.