Friday, January 28, 2011

Two months ago, we admitted papa to the Penang GH because we wanted to have his PEG tiub changed. His PEG tube was dirty and we felt it needed to be changed. As it costs RM 5000 plus to get it changed at a private hospital, we decided to save cost by going to GH, after all papa was a civil servant and he is entitled to medical benefits. Sadly to say, I was totally dissatisfied with how they handled papa's case.

1. Upon admission, a lady doctor checked on papa and exclaimed in front of everyone that his PEG tiub was dirty. She said it was disgusting and went around the ward, sharing with her fellow medical officers on how dirty papa's PEG tube was. I honestly felt like telling her off. How could a doctor humiliated a patient in such a manner? She did that not only once but for a few days. She questioned us for not keeping the tube clean and confidently declared that she would have the tube changed.

2. 4 days passed and nothing was mentioned by any doctor about Papa's PEG tube. Over that four days, papa was only treated for his chesty condition (ever since papa was confined to be, papa's been having pneumonia and that was what the doctors treated) We asked the doctor in charge about the PEG tube and the doctor told us that they could not do it. We continued to request and on the fifth day, a medical officer told my sister that the surgeon would change the tube but we had to go and buy the tube. We bought the tube and it was RM 650.

3. On the 6th day, we brought the tube to the doctor and the doctor asked us how to use it. (that was the first joke). My sister explained to the doctor how it was done at the private hospital and the doctor made a remark which shocked us. 'Oh, so complicated one ah, I thought we could just pull it out' Two things ran in my head. Firstly, had it been so easy, we could have easily done it at home and not admit him to a hospital right? Secondly, the PEG tube was attached to my father's stomach, how could we pull a tube out from my dad's stomach? If we did that then we could look into the stomach already right? How could a doctor make such a stupid assumption?

4. On the seventh day, a Gastroenterologist spoke to my sister and told us that it was normal for the PEG Tube to be dirty and that it was unavoidable. He added that the PEG tube can last for two years and we should not change the tube that often as it was not good for the patient. TO me, it was a fair explanation but why did we have to wait for seven days to get such an explanation. To add on, we paid RM 650 for the PEG tube and now, it was not going to be used. I should have filed a complain but I did not. I am sharing this in the blog because I regretted not filing a complain. The medical officers were all very irresponsible in the way they treated my dad. They failed to investigate and made their own assumptions. To add on, one of them passed remarks that humiliated us and also papa. How could a doctor do things like that? How can we trust such doctors to cure us? I have decided that I will file complains in future should I meet such circumstances again. There are too many irresponsible doctors around.
We live in a terrace house and there is a neighbor who constantly parks their car outside our house everyday, leaving no space for us and also our immediate neighbor to park our own cars. Even when we have outstation visitors, they will still park their car outside ours despite being aware that we need the parking space for ourselves. And because their car is parked outside ours, we and our guests have to leave our cars at a nearby park and walk the distance. Once, this neighbor even blocked our gate with their car and my husband had to leave them a note. THey did apologized but they continued to park outside our house.

It irritates us to see their car outside our house so much so that these days, we would purposely park our car at that spot each time their car is not around. It is a very unhealthy practice but I noticed that some neighbors have resorted to other selfish methods too in order to protect their own parking space. What irritates us the most is that this neighbor would rather take up other people's parking space and leave their own gate clear. One neighbor blatantly described this particular neighbor as selfish. I can't understand how some people can be so thick-skinned. Don't they feel ashamed taking up other people's parking space? If they can afford to buy that many cars, then perhaps they should buy a bigger house for their cars instead denying others from parking in front of their own house.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

We enjoyed all the fuss over us at this time last year. We received tons and tons of smses, greetings, wishes, gifts, praises...etc...etc....etc..... it's almost a year now and we are still standing strong (so far so good).

In this one year of marriage, I've learnt many things about my own husband. I learnt to trust him deeper. I admit that I did feel a little insecure prior to our marriage because he reserved many things from me and that frustrated me a lot. However things have changed for the better. I've learnt to be patient towards his actions (though at times he still irritates me) I respect my husband for the person that he is. Gentle he may be yet he has proven to me that he is worthy to be a family man, a provider. He is not good when it comes to saying the right things but he makes wise decisions that benefits the family. Our first year of marriage was better than I expected. I am grateful to God for all the blessings showered unto us. I pray that the second year of our marriage will be as blissful as the first and I pray that I'll be a better wife and be more life-giving in our marriage. I thank God for the people who walked into our lives and have touched us as we strenghten our marriage.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Today, we received another mail from this 95 year old uncle. THis was the content.


Do not always take, you must sometimes give. There is joy in giving, even to those you do not like. Seems paradoxical but it's true. Giving in expectation of reciprocation is not giving. Hatred breeds hatred. You hate yourself in the end.


You cannot be a good Christian, a good Muslim, a good Buddhist unless you are a good human being. No religion can help you. You have to help yourself.


Is there heaven or hell? Why worry? You can create a heaven or hell - even in your lifetime. Your future is in your hands. You are your architect. Your future depends on your present deeds. That's KARMA. KARMA is life itself. Be a good human being and don't worry whether there is a heaven or hell.
Remember what you have sown you will certainly reap. You cannot escape. You cannot find a way out.

An elephant never forgets. So does the writer. But to err is human, to forgive devine. My memory of those who have helped me is indelible. May they rest in peace.

Got the message above? If not, let it be your mantra. GOOD LUCK, SEE YOU AGAIN- IN HEAVEN, OF COURSE, WHERE ELSE?

My mother felt so sad when she read the letter. She held the letter, waiting for us to come home.
Today, I have decided to share a letter written by an old friend to my father. Recently, he has been writing letters to my dad. He is aware that my dad is ill but he still writes. This letter was dated 23/12/10 (the day we left Penang). I'm sure reading what he wrote to dad leaves us with different thoughts. I have omitted the names for privacy reasons

Dear Peter,

I understand you have removed to stay in Shah Alam. Although it is not too far away from Penang, I feel I have lost you forever and cannot say when I can see you again. My youngest son is working in Maybank KL. If you happen to drop in at the bank, please make it a point to look him up and say hello to him for me. He is an officer there and is due to retire in a couple of years upon reaching the age of 55, probably end of 2012.

I am so sorry to hear you are not in good shape physically. Don't give up hope, there's always a silver lining and light at the other end of the tunnel. God bless you as you have always devoutly gone to church. You will be richly rewarded in your afterlife. You can be sure of that!!

Although I find some difficulty in walking ( I cannot walk without a walking stick) I make it a point to go to KOMTAR to strengthen my leg muscles and knees. If I don't do so, I will soon be confined to the bed and that will be the end of me.

I spend much of my morning listening to classical music of the great composers like Beethovan, Chopin, Schbert, Mozart..etc..etc. My brother helped me to listen and appreciate classical music. Among our clerical staff at the police dept in Penang, he had the best educational qualifications. He even passed Latin in the senior Cambridge Exam in Dec 1931. He could have gone to college had my father had the means to let him further his education. My father was the chief clerk in Gopeng, Perak, in the Mines office. My brother was a genius in his own right although he was said to be 'eccentric'. Some officers in the Penang Police praised him for his good command of English. I miss him very much. He was not only a brother to me, he was my tutor in English too!

I am still corresponding with Mr. R.G. He was the OCPD G/Town in the 1960's. He was a very strict OCPD. All officers under him and the clerical staff (especially in the traffic branch) feared him. Can you still remember the names like Anthony XXX ( who I hear was in very bad shape, almost blind. Remember XXX? He passed away many years ago. He was a jovial type and a chinese scholar. Also remember XXX and brother XX? I wrote to him too. He is lame and have to go about in crutches. He likes to talk-non-stop.

Well, so long, Peter. I have always kept you in my mind. I never forget old friends. They are worth more than gold to me!

Yours very sincerely,
(age 95 +. my target is 100!)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Ever since I brought my parents to stay in KL, I've been overwhelmed with praises. My parents' friends constantly tell me that I'm a filial daughter and that my parents are blessed to have a daughter like me. It feels good to be praised but at the same time I feel that I'm being 'over praised'. It looks as though I'm being noble but is that not something every child should be doing? To be caring for their parents when they are not capable of looking after themselves anymore? Times have changed and we now live in a society where many of the elderly are left all alone by themselves and perhaps that is why the peers of my parents are happy for them when they know that their own child will care for them. Perhaps that is why they are being so generous in praising me.

Sometimes people ask me questions like 'don't you have other siblings? Why are you taking up the responsibility?' They try to convince me that I am the better daughter among my sisters. On surface it does seem so but I'm very sure that my parents are aware that their other daughters care for them as well, it is just that situation does not permit them. For example, one of my sister is already caring for her father-in-law and she also has a child. It is not easy to cope with such responsibilities, how can one expect her to invite my parents to live with her? It would be ridiculous for me to let that happen. Despite her heavy responsibilities, this sister of mine still makes sure that my parents feel loved. She picks my mum up at least once a week and bring her back to have dinner with her family. Is that not love? All of us including myself have our limitations and we do what we can. The strength of another sister compliments my weakness and that is how we give love to our parents. Of course, those who are not close to the family will not see the contributions of my other sisters but that does not mean that they are not doing anything

I feel blessed to have the privilege of having my parents living with me even though I'm already 30. I feel blessed to be able to listen to mum talk about 'those days'. I feel doubly blessed that I married a man who is willing to accept my parents and live with them. I feel blessed that my husband calls my mother Mak and is willing to lend her his ears and listen to her talk, and talk even though the topic may not be interesting, I feel blessed that my husband is not being calculative in the efforts and care that he provides to my parents. Honestly, I will not be able to live the life I am living now if not for my husband. I am confident that I did not marry the wrong guy. He is not perfect but he makes me feel blessed.

Friday, January 21, 2011

YEsterday was a public holiday. Leslie asked if there were any housework to be done. There were many things to be done but I told him that I would prefer to just forget about everything and just enjoy the day and that is how we ended up making PAO. I do not have a name for the pao but it was made of Pork, Shitake Mushroom and Yam.

We googled for the recipe, there were many versions so I studied and few and proceeded. The pao turned out to be ok, edible, better than those you buy in Malay shops (no offense to the Malays but I would never buy pao from Malay stalls because they are not nice at all). If I'm to make pao again in the future, I'd put Sengkuang instead of Yam.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I conducted a lecture today. It was a three hour lecture. Although there's room for improvement, I'm glad with the outcome. I like my students. I was actually amazed by how they responded to the lesson. They were vocal and expressive so much so that it made teaching them so much more easier. I am encouraged by what happened in lecture today. I hope this situation will remain.
I'm starting work today. I'll be teaching in a reputable private university for a semester as a part-time lecturer. I believe that I am very fortunate to get this job. I learned that my degree is not sufficient anymore if I decide to pursue in the education field. I have to do my masters and also obtain a teaching diploma from somewhere. I am sometimes frustrated because I never knew the difference between my degree and a TESL graduate's until I started teaching. I wish I knew so that I do not have to go through the hassle of obtaining a certificate to teach (Which costs RM 6000 for a few months of weekend classes) and even with that, I can't teach in government schools because it's not recognized. Government institutes only provide teaching diplomas for those who will teach in government schools and those who go through such programmes will be bonded for 5 years (including the years of study) Sometimes I feel that it is unfair, just so unfair. I actually have the desire to even teach in a public school despite knowing how terrible it may be if I'm unlucky enough to be posted to a notorious school but the system is not making things any easier. Firstly, I may be sent to study in a teacher's training college that is very far away from home and upon graduation, I will be posted to an interior part of Malaysia for three years. By then, I'd be already say thirty five? How can I provide care to my parents? How can I be a responsible wife? How can we start our family?

I was told by a lecturer at a teachers' training college that many of her students who are training to be English teachers are not competent at all. I get frustrated each time I hear statements like this. This system needs to be improved. I've been teaching at tertiary level because I'm not qualified to teach in schools. Isn't it a joke?

Friday, January 14, 2011

My sister is coming home tomorrow, it is just for a day but I look forward to having her around. Although we sometimes quarrel, I love having my sisters around and I think I'm lucky that my sisters actually make a point to put family in their priority list.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Early this year, I received a call from an ex-schoolmate informing me about the passing of another schoolmate. I was lost for words when I received the news. The deceased had posted in her facebook last year that she was glad to be finally loosing weight, little did she realize that she was actually sick. Her stomach rejected food and caused her to loose weight. When she passed on, she was only 30 + kg.

I do not know much about this schoolmate, I did not speak to her a lot but her death hit me. She was just another young lady who was living her life to the fullest. She traveled, cooked, tried and experienced all that life could offer and silently an illness came and took her life away, just like that.

Her passing reminded me of how fragile our life was. If it could happen to her, it could happen to me and also those whom I love. I feel sorry for her loved ones, for her husband especially. I have no idea on what lead to the illness and how she fought the illness but I hope she was at peace when she passed on. Rest In Peace Mi Ee.
This will be my first blog entry for the year 2011. Today is the 3rd week of January and if I should ask myself if I'm happy this year, my answer would be yes. I do not think that I have experienced sadness yet this year. I guess the main contributing factor is that I do not have much to worry about for now. For starters, I am not working and do not have work stress and I have my husband by my side and that contributes a lot to the happiness that I am experiencing. I cannot imagine how life would be if we are separated again. It is such a joy to be able to see him everyday, to share and to listen about each other's everyday experience. My parents live with us and dad's condition is not improving at all but I do not feel the burden and I believe this is because I have my husband by my side and I have confidence in him that any form of challenges can be resolved because I am not alone and I have him.

I will begin my part-time job next week. I will begin to teach again after a 3month break. It's going to be a new environment and a new experience, I have mixed feelings about it. I fear that I'm not able to live up to the expectations yet at the same time I'm glad that I'm being given a chance to prove that I'm capable.

I look forward in 2011, I look forward to making Bukit Jelutong our home, I look forward to making significant events happen this year.