Thursday, April 29, 2010

your money or your life - chapter closed.

the girl pulled through.

in fact, her recovery is just short of being labelled "miraculous." the kidneys started functioning like normal & no other organs failed despite the sepsis. she even started to eat normally today.

& how do i know the worst is over? she gave me the sweetest smile when i saw her yesterday. the only obvious evidence left of her life-threatening illness is a low-grade fever.

she should be going home soon & i am extremely happy for her and her mother. the latter's gamble may not pay off the next time.

& so ends another chapter of life's unexplained great escapes.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

your money or your life?

it's strange how we misplace our priorities .

the lady came from indonesia with her 15-yr-old daughter who has had abdominal pain for several days. the ultrasound revealed a mass on the right side with fluid in the abdominal cavity, suggesting an infected appendix that had ruptured. despite the severity of the condition, the lady bargained & haggled over the price of surgery.

by the time the operation was performed after a day's delibration, pus had already contaminated the abdomen & the girl had developed early sepsis (generalised infection). her kidneys had begun to under-perform & who knows what else will fail in due time.

perhaps the mother shouldn't be faulted for the delay. after all, some doctors have been known to be scalpel-happy & eager to operate at the slightest hint.

for her & her daughter's sake, i hope all it wasn't all in vain.

Monday, April 26, 2010

honour your parents

spent the weekend in s'pore & stayed at my brother's place in yishun. there's a thai restaurant conveniently located just across the road. well, to be frank, it wasn't anything exceptional....

the pineapple rice looked did the claypot taufu & sotong kangkong....

as well as the honey chicken & garlic fish slices..........

but after a tedious drive & when you're having dinner at 8.30pm, everything looked sumptuous. what's remarkable was that with most tables occupied, the food came freshly prepared in 15mins. not to mention the bill for 5 dishes plus the rice came up to only $36. but this became secondary when cousins who stay apart get to play games together...

the main reason we went down was to catch up with the girl. & bless her heart, she remembered the wife's birthday & even got her a gift...
surely she desires to fulfill the commandment, the one with a promise....
"Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you."
exodus 20:12

Sunday, April 18, 2010

letting go...(sort of)

the girl has fended for herself for a period coming up to 4 months. yes, she had a really difficult time at the beginning, what with the new environment & people. the school work didn't make it any easier either.

but i believe she has weathered the storm & at the same time become mentally stronger. going thru an upheaval of this magnitude at an age not yet 16 is commendable - but perhaps that's a biased evaluation because i'm the father.

so when she asked me a few weeks ago if she could watch Chicago the musical at the Esplanade Theatre by herself, i couldn't really say no. she's been there with her classmates before & it was an afternoon matinee show that she had planned.

she said she needed a break & that's a good enough reason for me.

so when i spoke to her last nite, she was beaming with joy. she had enjoyed the musical thoroughly. i was glad i let her go - she may have been alone physically but her guardian angel was with her.

in military parlance, i think the commander would have said : the eagle has flown.

Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.
isaiah 40:30,31

Saturday, April 17, 2010

timing is everything!

my colleague really had a nice vacation in UK 2 weeks ago because....

1st, the british pound was at its lowest for ages;

2nd, the volcano in iceland has yet to erupt.
sometimes, we organise our holidays with military precision & scrutinise down to the minutest detail (i mean, who doesn't want total control?) but mother nature has a way of disrupting man-made plans.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

home alone

the wife & son has gone away for the weekend church camp, which left me home alone. which also left me to fend for myself at meal times. which is not all bad because i can have food which the wife would never consider as a proper meal.

like a tuna sandwich.

not exactly what you'd find at subway or dave's deli, but still, it's what i want when i want it!!

i'm thinking 2 packs of curry-flavoured maggi mee for dinner tomorrow!! (slurp!)

all this free time has also given me a chance to test-drive a few prospects - now it's down to just a civic, altis or sylphy.

any tips, anyone??

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

i hate kids!!

managed to watch for the 1st time an episode of Mercy this week. one of the nurses' husband was trying to convince her to start a family but she said she preferred pets. she also said this as-a-matter-of factly :

"i hate kids! they fail maths, crash cars & do drugs!"

isn't this view a little extreme?

certainly not in the american context because kids actually do that (& more) over there. similarly, here, some people also expressedly hate kids, going by recent news reports of new-borns abandoned at various public & concealed places, & fathers splashing acid on their kids.

all these new & improved advances that science & technology has brought into our lives hasn't changed our character one bit. in this age of supersonic air travel, super-fast computers & super high-definition audio-visual equipment, can we not also be more caring, more concerned & more gracious to those around us?

we have instead become under-performing human beings. yoda may have predicted our tendency for evil when he said something like this : fear leads to anger, anger leads to hatred, & hatred to the dark side.

anyway, in a twist to the tale, the nurse in question in that medical drama somehow changed her mind & decided to start the family that her hubby desired.

perhaps, there's still some good left in this world.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

rent a worker

the church camp has been slated for later this month. in an attempt to help students/youths attend, the church organised a rent-a-worker program where members can hire youths for tasks like gardening, cleaning house, washing car & even baby-sitting.

although i won't be able to make it to the camp, i offered my car for the task. so, this afternoon, 3 young men worked at a leisurely pace to wash, wax, leather-polish & vacuum the old banger. it hasn't looked this clean & shiny for years!!

it's good to instill a sense of responsibility in our youngsters, esp those who are thriving in a life of comfort & plenty, to let them have a taste of the real world - that there's no free lunch & very few rewards come without hard work.

so, baby-sitting for a good cause, anyone?

"If a man will not work, he shall not eat."  2Thess 3:10

Thursday, April 01, 2010

be careful what you ask for

in a private hospital, everything costs money. consultation, investigation, medication, even the vomit bowl & urinal. if you have a fever, it's cheaper to get someone grab a couple of panadols from 7-eleven for you. seriously.

learn from this cautionary tale...

A woman brought a very limp duck into a veterinary surgeon's clinic.

As she laid her pet on the table, the vet pulled out his stethoscope and listened to the bird's chest. After a moment or two, the vet shook his head and sadly said, "I'm sorry, your duck has passed away."

The distressed woman wailed, "Are you sure?" 

"Yes, I am sure. Your duck is dead," replied the vet.

"How can you be so sure?" she protested. "I  mean you haven't done any testing on him or anything. He might just be in a coma or something."

The vet rolled his eyes, turned around and left the room. He returned a few minutes later with a black Labrador Retriever. As the duck's owner looked on in amazement, the dog stood on his hind legs, put his front paws on the examination table and sniffed the duck from top to bottom. He then looked up at the vet with sad eyes and shook his head.

The vet patted the dog on the head and took it out of the room. A few minutes later he returned with a cat. The cat jumped on the table and also delicately sniffed the bird from head to foot. The cat sat back on  its haunches, shook its head, meowed softly and strolled out of the room.

The vet looked at the woman and said, "I'm sorry, but as I said, this is most definitely, 100% certifiably, a dead duck."

The vet turned to his computer terminal, hit a few keys and produced a bill, which he handed to the woman. The duck's owner, still in shock, took the bill.

"$1000!" she cried, "$1000 just to tell me my duck is dead!"

The vet shrugged, "I'm sorry.... If you had just taken my word for it, the bill would have been $50, but with the Lab Report and the Cat Scan, it's now $1000."