Monday, October 24, 2011

My wheels

The DJ posed this question over the radio yesterday morning, in lean times, what is the one thing one cannot give up. Honestly I cannot give up the freedom of driving around. Though the petrol price is on the rise, the expensive parking lots are getting harder to find and not forgetting the ERP gantries.

I can dine out less, have one less pair of shoes but I want my freedom to drive.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

English in Malaya

The recent commuting between two capitals gave me time to indulge in my favourite pastime.
Ever wonder what sort of lives the british rubber planters in Malaya led in the 1950s? How they were selected and shipped here on a 4 or 7 years tour of duty to run an estate thousands of miles from home. To a hot and humid country infested with mosquitoes and snakes and sometimes miles from civilisations and a bathtub. Chance upon this book, "Eleplants, tigers and Tappers" by Micheal Thorp a planter landed in Malaya in 1956 barely 21. How he had to learn the malay language, the trade of planting rubber to tapping latex to running an estate of 600 workers. A must read for all those curious to know a little of this part of history not found in school textbook.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

MG Crisis

After 60 bottles of IvIg 19 days in the ICU dad was finally won the battle. Dad first realised he was suffering from myasthenia gravis disease, a neuromuscular disorder, when one day his right eyelid started drooping. After some lengthy examination, the neurologist comfirmed that he was suffering from ocular myasthenia gravis. For the next 14 years he was on steroid to suppress the immune system response until recently. As the dosage was decreasing over the years and nothing happened, the neurologist decided to withdrawl it totally. Then, slowly over the next few weeks, the eyelids began to droop, the head was just too heavy to hold up and chewing was a chore. The neurologist noted and decided to increase his steroid. A sudden increase in dosage and frequency, dad suffered an MG crisis. Barely made it to the A&E when his lungs collapsed. Intubated for the next 17 days. At 71 and with an irregular hearbeat, we were worried. Both hands and one foot had intravenous lines. He was drifting in and out of consciousness unable to speak he wrote. When he wrote about dreaming of his parents and his recently deceased sibling, brother got really worried. Then miraculously he recovered. The lungs strong enough to breathe on it's own. Yesterday, he was discharged from UMMC. 21 days later.