Tuesday, 28 January 2014

The 'Problem'

So when Mr. Urologist came by this morning, I told him straightaway that the test confirmed that I had a problem right???!!!

He told me to take a seat as he has to discuss it with me.

Yes, he said that I have a problem.


I have a problem with my bladder. And he was WORRIED!!!


He said if this continues, my bladder will be damaged and my kidneys will be too.

There is a possibility that I have to take the  medication which he has given me (Tamlusolin Hydrochloride)  for my whole life. 

And he has given me two options which  I must decide by lunch.

I have to stay for a week with a catheter inside my bladder and slowly retrain it to pee. 


I could go home and self-catheter 4 times a day to drain whatever urine that is left inside after peeing. I have to 'poke' myself for 4 times a day??!!!

The risk for UTI is the same for both. The urine being left behind in the bladder is also a risk for UTI AND bladder/kidney failure.

A 'problem' indeed.

A 'Catch-22' is more like it.

The Profession Called Stupid

So the ER doctor had told me to take pain killers and to go home. He told me to fast and to come back the next morning. The urine and blood tests came back with good results. No urine infection. Blood tests were all good.

But the pain in my bladder and back (where the kidneys are) was awful. I was in so much pain (still am). Urinating was a long process. I couldn't completely empty my bladder in one go. And the flow is so weak and slow. And it took me forever to pee. And then when I was done, I had to go to the bathroom again. I still felt that there was urine inside. Something was so very wrong!

ER doctor told me I could be admitted. I felt I should. I would not want to be rushing to the ER again in severe pain during the middle of the night. 

And so I was admitted.

I thought to myself that at least I am in a safe place with doctors who could help me with my problem. (Or so I thought. How utterly stupid and naive of me. I never learn.)

The next morning, I went to see Mr. Surgeon whom they have placed me in his care (though I had asked for an urologist as my wounds are all healed and this has nothing to do with him). 

I told him of the bladder pain and of the severe pain which had somehow radiated to the back. I told him that I have been having difficulty in peeing everything out and that it takes FOREVER for me to empty my bladder. I told him my wounds were all healed and that I had no problem with my anus. It was the bladder that is the problem now.

He then asked me to whether I had problems with my bladder prior to the surgery. I told him only when I had given birth to Joel, 9 years ago, the bladder problems started. I had no problems with the bladder whatsoever before that. I told him how I had urine infections every month for one year. And then my bladder was strengthened and became problem-free when I was recommended two supplements by my pharmacist. But when the anaphylaxis happened, all supplements had to be stopped. 

That was when the conversation became interesting.

Mr. Surgeon: Actually, you're not as sensitive as you think you are. You see, we gave you a host of medication during the operation, and you didn't react. That means you can take lots of stuff you THOUGHT you couldn't take.

You see, anaphylaxis just doesn't happen overnight and cause you to react to every single thing you come across. It doesn't happen that you could eat and use all these stuff and then WHAM! You had anaphylaxis and you couldn't take anything anymore. Anaphylaxis doesn't happen like that.

(I was shocked and lost for words. I felt as though he had slapped me).

Me: I have documentations by the doctors who treated me. I used Epi-Pens. I had steroid jabs which provided relief. Are you saying all those were fake?!!

Mr.Surgeon: All those could have been a 'placebo-effect'!

Me: Are you saying that what the immunologist told me isn't accurate? Are you saying his diagnosis of me is wrong?

Mr. Surgeon: It is not my place to say so as I am not an expert in that area.

(And yet he had no qualms in placebo-effecting my reactions!) Even after I told him that there are people like me whom I've found and that I am heading to Singapore to find an answer to all these that I went through and that I am going through, he remained skeptical. There is no doubt that he is an excellent surgeon, but an excellent surgeon is he, full stop.

I was sent for an abdominal scan. My kidneys and bladder looked fine. And it didn't bring me any closer to what I was going through.

I was sent back to my room and waited for the urologist to turn up.

So Mr. Urologist turned up.

Mr. Urologist: Why did you get yourself admitted? Your results are fine. There's nothing wrong with you. You have no urine infection. There is nothing wrong with your kidneys.

Me: I was admitted because of this severe pain that I am having in my bladder and at my back.

Mr. U: Show me where the pain is.

(I promptly showed him my bladder and also the sides of the bladder and the back)

Mr. U: That is not your bladder.

Me: I know where my bladder is! The pain RADIATES out FROM the bladder to the surrounding area! I am having this pain and I cannot pee everything out. It takes me forever to pee everything out and yet not everything comes out. I keep feeling that there is still urine in my bladder. I do not have a strong flow. It is so weak.

Mr. U: That's normal. That's not a problem. (And proceeds to educate me on how the bladder works)

(As if I don't know how the bladder works. If not I wouldn't know that I am somehow in deep shit to warrant a visit to the ER!)

Me: (Getting mighty pissed at his stupidity) How can it not be a problem????!! I have problem peeing. I have a problem of sitting on the toilet for 1/2 an hour TRYING to pee everything out. How is that even NORMAL????

Mr. U: Your tests all show otherwise. I tell you what, you worry too much. You're anxious over nothing. You worry and worry and worry to the point nothing becomes something. You're IMAGINING you have a problem. You actually don't have a problem.

(Bloody hell! I was boiling at this time).

Me: I know my body and I know when my bladder is fine or not fine. Are there no other tests you can do to check? I'm sure there is.

Mr. U: I didn't even think of any tests as I do not think you need any. It is a waste of time. 

Me: Are there any other tests or not??

Mr. U: There is the uroflow test. But it's a waste of time, I tell you. It will tell you the same thing. You're normal. 

(If I am normal, then you must have a brain).

Me: Send me for the test. I want it done.

Mr. U: Fine. Fine. If you insist. 

(Of course I insist!!!)

And so I went for the test. I was instructed to drink until my bladder was full to the brim. They measured the amount of pee I had before I was to pee into the uroflowmetry machine. I had 800ml!!! 

Sad to say, I could only pee 200ml out. 600 was still stuck inside. I tried and tried but nothing could come out. They measured the volume again in my bladder by ultrasound.

And then they sent me again for another round of pee in the uroflow. Only 200ml came out again. 400ml was still stuck. I tried and tried and tried to no avail.

The test confirmed what I was trying to tell Mr. Moron. I had a voiding problem. And the tests confirmed that I had an exceptionally weak flow of urine.

I then was sent back to my room. But Mr. Urologist had gone back home and would only see me the next morning!!!!!!!

I guess he finally came to his senses as I was prescribed Harnal OCAS (Tamlusolin Hydrochloride) at 10pm. It is a muscle relaxant for the bladder which helps with voiding problems, dribbling and interrupted/weak urine stream. I took the first tablet at 10.20pm. It's now almost 2am. I'm still alive!

The thing about this Tamlusolin hydrochloride is that it takes 4 to 6 weeks for it to work. I guess they will have to caterer the urine which is sitting stubbornly inside my bladder.

So we'll see what the morning will bring us!

'Stupid is as stupid does.'
- Forest Gump

Sunday, 26 January 2014


I'm back in the ER with severe pain in the bladder (AGAIN) and this time at the back (severe flank pain).

Blood tests and urine tests are being done.

Possibility of being admitted.


Friday, 24 January 2014

Final Post-Op Check-Up

Mr. Surgeon said my wounds are fully healed. But not before poking his fingers into my anus and scoping me! (Which I didn't know that he was going to do!!!!!!) No internal hemorrhoids at all!!!

Anyway, there wasn't any pain. Just some discomfort.

So it will be back to normal in no time. Need to build my stamina though. I get tired and exhausted so  easily. I need to continue my heavily-laden fruits and vegetables and high-fibre diet. And go to the toilet IMEEEEEEDIATELY and not hold my stools. That is a must.


I'm healed.

Goodbye pain! Never want to see you again. Ever again!

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Gone With The Fish

They are a LOT of work.

They are fishy.

They cost money!

And I am talking about fish. As pets!

When Joel was on his summer break, I got him some fish to keep him occupied and to train him to be responsible for other living things. He had wanted a pet (a DOG to be more specific). Of course I balked at the idea. Dogs??!! I'm allergic to anything that has fur. Even after stepping into a pet shop that has furry creatures, (I don't even go near to the furry animals section), my nose will be irritated.

Fish is the best.

That was what I had thought. The fishes must have been laughing their gills out.

You love them, but it is a tedious job caring for them.

They are like little children. It is not EASY taking care of them.
  • The water cannot be too cold. They will be very susceptible to parasite infections. 
  • They do not know how to stop eating. Thus, you must time their feedings accordingly so that they will not overeat and die of indigestion. 
  • You must watch out for ammonia (which is rotten food and their poop). If not they will die.
  • You must CLEAN and change water regularly for the fish to be HEALTHY.
  • You must not frighten them or shock them. Their immune system will be low and hence, susceptible to diseases. 
  • If you notice one of them being ill, separate and quarantine the sick fish!
  • Blah blah blah blah blah....
Gosh! It was like having many more kids. Tons of extra kids.

Therapeutic. Calm. Peaceful. (For me that is, WHEN I am gazing at them.)
But when they fall sick ............

Not a care in the world.
Day in, day out.
They poop.
They eat.
They sleep.
Just swimming here and there.
Oblivious to their surroundings.
Or rather stuck in their four-cornered-peaceful-little-world.

Or not.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Fry Me A River...

... or rather an aquarium in this case!

We had 3 fry which were birthed forth sometime during the middle of the night. And then this morning I witnessed another guppy gave birth to another 3 more!!!! It was so awesome seeing it give birth. Some were then eaten by the male guppies. *sob sob* Such cannibalism!
The very pregnant guppy in the process of giving birth.
Out pops a guppy fry!

I managed to catch 2 fry. They are placed in a different tank to prevent them from being eaten alive!

Monday, 20 January 2014

Fishy Friends

It all started out as a holiday project.

And now, they have become a part of the family.

We even talk to THEM!

Yes, we talk to fishes.

Cute little ones.
Our Clown Loaches
The dominant fish will turn its black stripes to a lighter shade of gray to show its dominance. 

Some of the Cardinal Tetras that we have. The algae eater is in the earthen pot. 
They love to eat vegetables too! Only the organic ones! See how clean they eat! Every single scrap. We have some lean and mean eating machines!

Guppies, Cardinal Tetras and Harlequin Resbora fish. 
It is very therapeutic and helps reduce stress. I can gaze at them for an hour and just feel the stress melt away. As I am allergic to pet hair/fur, this is the best option.

How I love my fishy friends.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014


A young lady who was once my student when I was lecturing in a Uni, who for some unknown reason suddenly became unable to walk. Not only that, she has been (and still is) in so much pain 24/7 that steroid jabs are useless that it has now reached the morphine state. And she's allergic to painkillers! It's either pain or allergy. And she's been to the ER so many times that she's a 'regular' there. And there is no answer or cure (or clue) to her condition.

What started me thinking was this sentence which she said, 'I started living when I stopped hoping'. 

That struck me as it was an oxymoron. Isn't hope the thing that steers one to live? Isn't hope the thread that hangs us onto the light at the end of the dark tunnel? Isn't hope the thing that keeps us going?

But then if by hoping, we end up in despair or it suffocates us to the point we lose ourselves and everyone around us; It leaves us consumed and burned with bitterness by hoping, and die on our insides, is it worth hoping?

I had hoped that I would be healed of this idiopathic anaphylaxis. I had hoped that I could go back to lecturing or even teaching part-time when Joel turned seven. I had hoped that I could go to at least Australia or New Zealand last year. I had hoped that I could eat a larger variety of foods. I had hoped that I could return to a somewhat-normal-state-of-life. Did all that I had hoped for come to pass? I didn't get healed. I didn't go back to lecturing. I didn't even leave the country last year. Certain food experimentations nearly landed me in the ER. I'm still living with this condition. 

It has reached the point of 'If-I-get-better-GOOD!' and 'If-I-stay-this-way-GOOD!' as it means I did not become worse. Which is good news. But I do hope that I DO get better as time goes by. But I won't let the hoping consume me to the point that I lose myself. That I think of nothing but hoping to get better that I let my life whizz pass me without even me realising. That I keep on hoping until hope becomes a burden. Or hope becomes death and kills me. 

I haven't crossed many crossroads that I've come to, but I hope to. It may take me years, but I'm ok with that. 

I haven't been able to live life like I had hoped to, but I've come to accept the terms and conditions in which I have to live my life by.

My health is not perfect and it is a battle everyday but I hope to see better days.

I still haven't found God even though I've been searching for him. But I am still hoping that I do before I die.

Hope gives me purpose but it doesn't dictate or consumes me. 

And that, I think is what my friend was trying to say.

'In reality, hope is the worst of all evils, because it prolongs man's torments.'
- Friedrich Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human, 1878

'If you knew that hope and despair were paths to the same destination, which would you choose?'
- Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com

What is hope to you? Do you hope?

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Swelling & Pain

The swelling returned. And when that happens, the pain comes back. And when it swells and there's pain, the bladder will be in trouble. It's like a domino effect.

I drove on Tuesday and Wednesday. By Wednesday afternoon, there was great discomfort. And then the pain returned. My parents helped me pick Joel up from school on Thursday and Friday so that I could rest.

Did some walking on Saturday. Today I felt like I had a blister in the anus. Or rather, stuffed with a tennis ball.

But life goes on. And most of the time life goes on even when you're in pain.

'You gotta love livin', baby, 'cause dying' is a pain in the ass.' - Frank Sinatra

Seriously, it hasn't reached the stages of dying, but this pain in the ass is surely a PAIN in the ass!!!

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

The Rice-Pot Version of Braised Chicken Congee with Millet & Quinoa


1. Shredded chicken pieces and potatoes from braised chicken
*For recipe, please click on LINK
2. 2 carrots (peeled and cut into small chunks)
3. 1 cup of uncooked white rice
4. 1/4 cup of uncooked quinoa
5. 1/4 cup of uncooked millet
6. 5 cups of water
7. Sea-salt (season to taste)


1. Pour all ingredients into a rice cooker.

2. Boil for 2 hours (stirring occasionally).

3. Serve hot.

Bon appétit!

Monday, 6 January 2014

My 1st Post-Op Outing!

Last Friday was my first post-op outing and long-distance-driving (as in 30+ kilometers) after a forced-hiatus for 5 weeks. My car which was only moved twice during the 5 weeks was showing signs of being ill. The engine had some trouble starting and the air-con smelt like a dog died in there.

So hubby sent the car to the workshop in the morning. Little boy and I then went to pick him up. I wore diapers while I drove as the bladder is still not back to normal. My muscles are still not strong enough to hold my urine.

I sat on a rolled-up seat cushion while I drove. I rolled it up and place it underneath my coccyx and anus. It wasn't exactly comfortable, but it lessened the weight on the anus. Little boy said I was driving like normal. About a week ago, I took little boy for a 15 minute drive around our gated community (this was my first attempt at driving after the op) and little boy said I was driving very weirdly. 'You're driving not like you, mommie,' he said. By the end of that drive, anus was throbbing as I had not yet bought the seat cushion.

As last Friday was little boy's birthday, we took him out for lunch. We also met up with a good old friend who is working in Bucharest who was back on holiday. It was a lovely outing and we had a great time catching up. I brought my seat cushion and sat on it wherever and whenever I had to sit down.

The car was only ready at nearly 5pm! I was out since 10am. I was tired. And driving home took another 1 hour plus because it was pouring and the traffic jam was awful! But I had my bum-bum cushion and that helped a lot. By the time I reached home, the wound was painful. I rushed to the toilet to pee and then it was sitz bath time. The salt bath which was given to me by the surgeon really helped with the healing of the wound.

Tomorrow will be back-to-driving-to-school for me. Hubby took leave today as the first day of school traffic is horrendous. It's like back to the rat race. Thus, I get to rest for one more day.

I love what my friend bought for me from Bucharest. Doesn't the suspended bum looks just like mine? Hehe...

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

The Rice-Pot Version of Braised Chicken Breast with Potatoes


1. 1 large chicken breast
2. 15 small potatoes (skin removed)
3. 2 1/2 cups water
4. Sea-salt
5. Soft brown sugar


1. Put all ingredients in a rice pot and boil for 1/2 hour on high heat.

2. Then set on low heat for remaining 1 1/2 hours.

3. Serve hot with rice or congee (porridge).

Bon appétit!