Monday, January 30, 2006

Home leave

We brought him home for 2 nights yesterday. I must say that this is one hell of an experience. It's really like looking after a baby except that this is like 50kg and damn 'uncute'! Without going into details, there were many times when i really wanted to lose my temper and just start screaming my head off at him. Well, at least the first day and night made us anticipate what to expect tonight and tomorrow. Still, it's going to take a some time for me to get used to seeing my dad in this condition (his physical disabilities, memory problems etc) and dealing with my frustrations.

My twin bro cooked dinner last night and tonight was my turn (we NEVER cook). He fried Kai Lan and heated up curry from a can while i made chicken soup/stew. I was not sure of how much salt to put into it (due to my dad's condition) so i ended up putting a pinch of it in. I was hoping the onions and other stuff would make the soup tasty. The result reminded me of hospital food! Well, at least it was edible and damn healthy.

The wife came from Indonesia today. We're not too thrilled about it but then again, at least she's around to help out abit and the baby certainly cheers my dad up.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Fossilized Ikan Bilis!

Check this out! My brother bought this in Maui for me. It's a fossilized ikan bilis! Haha!

I know some of you have probably noticed how dry my hands are. It's from rock climbing ok..!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Maui.. *sigh*

Here are some of the pictures my brother took of Maui, Hawaii..

The islands of Hawaii are basically made up of volcanoes, so naturally you'd see landscapes like this in the higher regions. I was told by my mom that after my brother left, it started snowing at the top of the volcano (it's the winter season). From her house, when you look at the peak, snow could be seen. Can you imagine that? Snow in Hawaii!

My twin bro..

I'm so in love with this hat that i've asked my younger brother who's going to Maui at the end of the month to buy one for me.

My mom..

This cute little thing looks as if it's saying 'Hee hee! If i keep reeeally still, he won't see me...'

Being the winter season also means that whales come into the local waters to give birth. In the distance, you can see one surfacing..

I miss sunsets like these. What i really love about these places are the wide open spaces and their natural beauty.

Once my green card comes, i'm outta here!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Happy Birthday.. yeah right!

It's my birthday today.. anyone care to guess my age?

Anyway, my brother is finally back from Hawaii. It's a great relief to have him around to help out with our dad. And the t-shirts he bought me from Honolua Surf & Co certainly has lifted my spirits. These shirts are similar to Quiksilver's but what makes them unique is that they are not available internationally. So you certainly wouldn't be seeing any tom, dick or harry on the streets wearing it.. except us lah.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

No more ciggies..

That country bumpkin has FINALLY returned to Indonesia (she's only entitled to a week's visa a month). I can now breathe a little more easier..

I think i've also discovered a way to help my dad forget about cigarettes. He knows that he has to give them up but these days, he feels that he needs them to help him sleep at night as he has difficulty sleeping at the hospital.

Thankfully, he has started on his physiotherapy and that tires him out. But unfortunately, he takes afternoon lunchtime naps. So i what do is push him (in his wheelchair) around the hospital grounds after dinner at 6pm and play scrabble with him until his eyes feel heavy and he cannot concentrate anymore. Then, after taking his sleeping pill at 10pm, he knocks out immediately. Before, even with 2 pills, he would not be able to sleep.

Hopefully, he will be able to fall asleep without the pills soon..


I managed to catch Osim's iGallop advertisement on TV today and i must say that it's so damned obscene.. I LOVE IT!!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


My dad got transfered to Ang Mo Kio Hospital today for his physiotherapy. Sadly, there aren't that many pretty young nurses as his Tan Tock Seng ward :(

Rice burgers..

MacDonalds.. your rice burgers... SUCK!! If you're going to follow Mos Burger's rice burgers, the LEAST you should do is make your rice burgers taste as good as it right? NOT worse!

Mos Burger, you'll always have my undying loyalty..

Monday, January 16, 2006

Thank you Gromit..

I took a few hours break from the hospital today and finally managed to catch Wallace & Gromit this afternoon. It was hilarious and was just what i needed. That Gromit character is soooooooooo cute!

Stressed out.

Hi folks,

I know my previous post was strongly worded. Thankfully, i can blame it on stress. I'm so exhausted and stressed out about so many things already that i feel so frustrated that i have to worry about this sort of thing happening! Thank the Gods of Immigration that she's only allowed to stay a week during every month..

Sunday, January 15, 2006


My father and his wife tried to pull a fast one on me today. Seeing how he was feeling restless, i brought him downstairs to the hospital lobby (taxi stand area) in his wheelchair. We sat outside for a while to get some fresh air and his indonesian wife and their kid joined us after they had their lunch. There wasn't any sitting space for them so i gave up my seat for her and sat down a few metres away on another chair.

A few minutes later, she says (in malay) that i look tired and that i should go upstairs and rest. I then told her that it's okay as my younger brother will be coming soon and that i'll be pushing my dad upstairs in a short while. Then after a few minutes, my dad tells me that he'll be smoking 2 sticks. I was like 'WHAT!! You have cigarettes here now!?' And he said that she brought them for him because he asked her to. I couldn't fucking believe it. They tried to pull a fast one on me!! He only told me that he was going to smoke because their ruse didn't work!

I tried not to get pissed and just reminded him AND his wife why he absofuckinglutely cannot smoke again. We just CANNOT afford to have any complications!

My twin brother and i have always distrusted that woman and this incident further reaffirms our distrust in her. She's such a goddamned country bumpkin and she just cannot think! Her brain must be programmed to follow orders from the cash cow. If i ever catch that no-brainer at it again, i'll tell her that that would be the last chance i'm giving them. The next time, i'll ban her from the house and cut off her allowance (i'm handling his finances now). I'll tell her to return her keys and change the house locks. While my dad is under MY care, it'll be MY rules! It's MY way or the HIGHway.. BITCH!

Saturday, January 14, 2006


People are always asking how is my dad doing and not how I am doing..

To that question, i am exhausted. Exhausted from thinking too much about the future, exhausted from seeing him in this state, exhausted from continuously telling why he cannot have a cigarette, exhausted from always having to remind him to wipe his dripping saliva etc etc.

I tell myself sometimes that i should not be by his side at the hospital 12 hours a day. But it's hard to not be there. Why just yesterday, i came in the morning and found him lying on the floor!! The nurses apparently left him sitting in the chair after his bath and as leaned out to see who was coming (he thought he heard his wife), he fell off the chair. Unfortunately, the tv's volumn drowned his calls for the nurse. Other reasons why i try to be there as often as i can is to basically assist him with things he does not want to bother the nurses with.. adjust his lying position, ease himself, clean his dentures etc etc.. if my presence there contributes to him keeping a high morale, then so be it. Of course, i try to take a few hours off everyday to meet friends for lunch and dinner, or even go climbing at the bouldering gym. I think i'd lose my sanity if i didn't..

Anyway, we brought him home today for a few hours. The doctor gave him 'home leave' (10am - 8pm). He was visibly please but he kept bugging me for a freakin cigarette! He even went so far as to ask his wife to go buy lunch AND cigarettes for him! Thank goodness she had the good sense to inform me about it. So since that didn't work, he resorted to asking her to look in the trash for leftover cigarettes! The crazy old man..

Groan... why can't people ask me how i am doing..?

Thursday, January 12, 2006

The primary care giver.

I resigned (with immediate effect) from my job today. The doctors said that he would be transferred to the Ang Mo Kio Community Hospital soon for rehabilitation and would need someone (ideally a family member) to be his primary care giver after he is discharged. Basically, it's someone who prepares his special diet and takes care of him daily. This person must also always be with him to ensure that he does not injure himself

After much discussion, my brother and i decided that it would be me. I'm not too thrilled by it, but the more i think about it, the more i'm convinced that it's the right course of action. I really distrust domestic help to bear such a heavy responsiblity.

Thankfully, a very dear friend is going to give me a 'crash-course' on cooking this weekend. Bless you Vidya..

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Getting better, but..

Yesterday, the speech therapist (she was really hot!) visited my dad to check if he was able to feed himself. She gave him some water to drink, followed by some kinda fruit juice and then some biscuits. He said they tasted like 'heaven'. I can't imagine how dry his throat must be after not drinking anything for the last 3 days. He then asked her if the kopitiam on level 1 was opened 24 hours so that he could get his fried bee hoon.

He is definitely getting better despite the paralysis. He's awake more these days and is able to feed himself and is not incontinent, which i've read are factors that predict rehabilitation success. Heck, he even did a 'DIY' by pulling out the feeding tube from his nose.. causing the nurses to fret! It was really freakin gross!

Despite him getting better, i can sense that he is in great discomfort. He hates hospitals (as do all old folks) and being unable to get around, have a beer or smoke. He keeps bugging the nurse if they could switch the drip to a packet of beer instead of the usual stuff. He can't even get into a comfortable lying/sitting position without my aid. This could be a real problem as the doctors told me that most patients (and their primary care givers) go into depression..

Sunday, January 08, 2006

The next two days.

During the next 2 days, he was basically falling in and out of sleep. The nurses had to come in every hour to check up on him to make sure that he does not slip in unconciousness because of the large area of swelling in the brain. He was often in a daze and looked so tired all the time. One minute he's speaking, the next he's sleeping. It was extremely worrying. If i believed in God (which i strongly don't), i would have been saying my prayers till i was blue in the face.

Anyway, the stroke occurred in the right hemisphere of the brain, which resulted in his left side of the body being paralyzed. He has to be fed thru a tube thru his nose which leads directly into his stomach.. gross!

Friday, January 06, 2006

The longest day ever.

Hello my dear readers (if there are any).

My blog is going towards a different direction from today onwards. My dad suffered a stroke today. So basically, from this day onwards, this will be a journal of sorts for me to hold on to my sanity.

He was in Batam with his indonesian wife when he had the stroke. It was at 4am in the morning. And i only got the call from my uncle at 11am when i was at work (rushing an important project!). So i rushed home to grab my passport, a change of clothes and my handphone charger.. just in case i needed to spend a few days there. We then made our way to Batam by taking a ferry from Harbourfront. During the journey, i was thinking how ironic it was. I had been daydreaming so much about going overseas and here i was going to Batam.. but to rescue my dad!

I spoke to my dad briefly on the phone (he sounded slurrish) and he said that he wanted us to meet him at harbourfront so that we can take him home. I then spoke to his wife on the phone and when she described to me what was his condition, i immediately knew it was a stroke. Difficulty in speaking.. paralysis on the left side of his body. I told her to rush him to the hospital there immediately and that we will look for them there. This was at about 11.30am. His wife's brother and driver met us at the ferry terminal (at about 3.30pm) and to my horror, we were brought to his home! NOT the hospital! When i asked (in my halting malay) 'He's not at the hospital?!', the brother-in-law replied 'He didn't want to go!'. Can you believe that?! They know there's definitely something wrong with my dad and yet, they still listened to his request not to go despite my instruction. The freaking idiots!

When i saw my dad, i almost had a stroke myself. He was so stiff and lying on the bed. And he wanted to take a ferry to Singapore in that condition!! My uncle and i, with the help of those idiots, brought him to the hospital in the driver's car. And by the time he received medical attention, it was like 4pm. Can you believe that?! 12 freaking hours AFTER the stroke!

Anyway, to make a long story short, the scan showed that it was a non-hemorrhaging stroke.. which was good news.. the bad news was that there was a large area of the right brain that had swelled. Thankfully, the doctor gave us the green light to move him to Singapore. The hospital then arranged for him to be transported to the ferry terminal and on to Singapore with an accompanying nurse. An ambulance was also waiting for us at Harbourfront with a medical team and they brought us to Tan Tock Seng. And after MORE waiting, my dad was finally warded at 12.ooam, Saturday.

In my immediate family, there is only 3 of us.. my dad, my twin brother and me. Unfortunately, my brother was on a flight to Hawaii to visit our mother (my parents are divorced) for 2 weeks when the stroke occurred, which leaves me to hold the fort for a while. I informed my brother when he landed in Hawaii. Of course, he was naturally worried and wanted to return on an earlier flight but i said no. It may be a VERY long time before he may get a break like this again.. so i reassured him that everything was under control here. There was nothing he could do if he were to return anyway and both he and our mom was looking forward to their time together for some time.

That being said and done, this was certainly the longest day ever..