Monday, April 14, 2008

Her Childhood Haunts

Boy! This pill is tough to swallow.

Well, inhale too. No, not me, it is Wifey.

Today, I took half day off from work to be with Wifey to know the result from her Spirometry Test done a few weeks back.

It is official. Wifey is now enrolled in the Asthmatic Support Program at Changi General Hospital or CGH for short.

Her nightly incessant flu-like symptom last few months and at times breathlessness has a name now. It's Asthma. No surprise... a term she was familiar with, but as a child and in her early teen years, but not heard of for so long until today.

Though we kind-of know about it, Dr. Imran confirmed it for us.

So, her childhood illness has finally came to haunt her in adulthood. This time is it for the rest of her life as the Specialist had informed. She is now in Dr. Imran's preventive care.

No worries... as long as she sticks to the daily routine of her preventive medications of Symbicort for her lungs and Nasonex for her nose, she "will lead a good quality of life" just like a normal person would.

Her appointment at 3:50PM was delayed 20 minutes because of urgent cases that came and had to be attended to first.

I was in disbelieve when the doctor told Wifey about her condition. I asked question after question to be extra sure, simply because Wifey only had attacks in very infrequent occasions and far in between.

I was somehow in denial with the prognosis and the lifelong medication that she has to take with her "mild" condition, whereas Wifey was quiet... shocked, maybe... resent to fate, maybe.

I did not know what was going through her mind when the doctor was explaining and answering my 101 questions.

I could not accept the fact that her asthma has recurred and will stay for the rest of her life. Poor Wifey, my love.

Yes, she had symptoms of asthma and actually had several attacks that were frequent only in January 2008. The symptom with that excessive phlegm was gone after Dr. Imran treated her with all those medication.

She has recovered from the flu, but had bouts of shortness of breaths on some nights, but nothing "worrying" as Wifey puts it.

After the doctor had explained it to us, it came to mind that Wifey was late in seeking medical treatment for her flu. She waited for 2 weeks and after several "nagging" by me that I was able to "drag" her to our family doctor. Her unnecessary epitome of tolerance.

I had to "drag" her again to CHG when she had a relapse... and all led to this final prognosis and now a change in lifestyle and diet for her... and for the family, since she is the resident cook in this household. We eat what she can eat and cook.

I have to mention that Felicia, the Asthma Consulting Nurse was thorough and very patient to explain all the things that is... well, asthma, now that Wifey is in the Asthma Support Program.

A phone call away for advice and subsidized cost on her monthly medications bill.

I was still in the state of shock but ultimately understood the prognosis than seeking a second opinion an hour later, after Felicia painstakingly and genuinely explained and showed how the medication should be taken.

Just as Wifey understood what exactly asthma is, I finally understood how it occurs or triggered by, how to avoid another attack, how to prepare for overseas trips, why the need for lifelong preventive medications, the difference a relief medication provides and many more facts.

Wifey was made to practice administering the 3 daily medications to Nurse Felicia for her to be sure that Wifey was doing it correctly. Explaining the effects that may be gradual but dangerous when the symptom recurs if Wifey stopped her medication intake.

So we will have a bill of between S$60.00 monthly for her medication once these run out in June 2008. After which, her next appointment and a review on its dosages.

Sonny was saddened and gave his Mama a hug when he was told about her medical condition that will become her lifelong routine. That was heartfelt to watch. He loves his Mama.

Anyway, Wifey has the support from her two beloved people in this household. A minor but important change in our lifestyle which is doable starting tomorrow morning.

Love you Wifey... nothing has changed.


  1. I didn't realize a change in diet helped with asthma! I do know it's a dangerous condition and needs to be monitored carefully. Hubby's sister might go for six months with no problem, then out of the blue she will have an attack and can hardly breathe. She thinks acupuncture has helped her asthma.

  2. Hello Donna,

    Wifey believes from her experience that her condition gets triggered when she eats something "cold" like softdrinks with ice and fruits like papaya, while oranges seem to give her more phlegm.

    Weather is evident as I will see her symptom appears whenever the evening gets cold. She can't stand too cold air-condioned places like shopping centres. That is why living in the tropics suits her fine.

    She had a hard time while we were in Monterey Bay in California and in winter in Dayton Ohio. Fortunately, she asthmatic symptom did not appear and complicate matters while we were in a foreign land.

    No insurance, no medical attention, so I've had the impression. We took out worldwide medical insurance policy when we go overseas.

    I've heard acupuncture seems to do lots of good things, no harm to try it out too. Thanks for sharing.

    Thanks for stopping by. Have a good day

  3. This is difficult news for your family to absorb Imran. I'll send my prayers your way, sure that you and Wifey and your son will find a way to manage this challenge, and continue your happy and healthful living.

  4. Hello MomPoet,

    Thank you for your prayer. We appreciate your kind thoughts.

    You are right. This is something new to this family. Wifey will get all the support she needs from both Sonny and myself. She is all the more dearer to us.

    Wifey is a strong-willed lady and that is one of the traits I love about her.

    Thanks again for your message. Have a great weekend with family!

  5. From what I read, you care a lot about your family. Your writing displays tremendous passion for life. Thanks for sharing. Look after everyone's health well and
    take care!

  6. Imran can u understand Malay?? I hope u can because I am not good in English... First time here. Hi!!!

    Hmmm my house mate pun pernah kena serangan asma yg teruk sampai kena dimasukkan ke hospital... trend kehidupan masa kinilah yg menjadikan mereka ni sakit. Dan memang betul, perubahan cara hiduplah yg mampu menyelamatkan mereka malah semua panyakit pun.

    Doa saya untuk Wifey sembuh semula..

  7. My sister is asthmatic and it's awful to watch her suffer in an attack. I feel completely helpless. I also have a friend who strongly believes she controls her attacks with diet. I say modern life isn't so good all the time....
    Anyway, best wishes to Wifey for her daily battle.

    Love the hamster wheel by the way, got a bit lost in that one....!!

  8. Hello Everyone,

    Thanks for coming over.

    STST | I'm very happy that you came by and giving me your well-wishes.

    I went over your blog and discover Singapore like I have never seen it before. Thanks for the informative sites your personally visit on this island and share.

    Beruang Madu | Yes I can speak Malay... still good enough, but my son and many young children are not so verse anymore.

    They are now taking tuitions for Malay justlike Chinese children are taking their mother tongue language tuition.

    All because we speak English more than our own language and because children interact with different races in schools and housing estates, so English in school is used in daily lives too.

    Ya, tren pemakanan memang penting terutama sekali bagi individu yang berpenyakit.

    Begitu juga Wifey. Kita sekeluarga makan apa yang Wifey masak and makan... yang selalunya bahan-bahan yang sihat. Begitu telitinya Wifey saya.

    Thanks for your well-wishes and actually linking my blog in yours.

    Pink Icing | Great that you are fresh from your rest and thank you for taking the journey here.

    I used to know an auntie who had asthma when I was very small, but of course I didn't know she was suffering from it at that time.

    It was just that she always had to take deep breaths and talked in short sentences. She was a very nice lady and always had a smile on her face.

    She had passed-on after we moved away from our village. The scare I have for Wifey.

    So I will guard Wifey like she is my life because she is my life.

    Oh, the hamster and wheel? I got that when I visited Donna's site about horses that led me to the site to download it.

    Buddy was our most favourite hammie of all times. The "founding father" of HamsterVille. Will never forget him. The best and gentle hammie of all.

    Thank you all for your messages. Have a great week ahead!

  9. Sorry to hear about Wifey Imran but she sounds in very good hands, especially yours...
    My friend Berenice, who has a link on my blog has had this condition for many years and she is fine.
    She does as the docs say, is in a good routine with her inhalers and leads a normal life. If she gets a cold or flu, she suffers a bit more than non-asthmatic people would but other than that...fine.
    So try not to hard as that is when you love someone so much.


Hello Everyone,

Thank you for stopping by and leaving me your messages. I will also try to answer any questions you may have for me.

Thanks again and have a good day.

Muhd Imran
PAL Blogger