Switching High School

After a month of attending online classes at her new high school (SMK/public school), Cass finally told me that she wanted to switch school – back to the initial high school of her choice, which is a coveted independent Chinese high school (ICHS). She passed the entrance exam in December last year and was accepted into the school. We had paid the registration and January fee. However, she later changed her mind about going to this school and went to a feeder public school assigned to her.

I wasn’t keen to transfer Cass back to this ICHS mainly because, like I’d mentioned in my previous posts, I do not wish for Cass to struggle studying in Chinese for another 5-6 years in a ‘military’ style tough Chinese high school. Plus, this school is well known for emphasizing importance in academics. It’s not uncommon for students to transfer out from this school to a national school when they can no longer cope with the pressure from this ICHS. There’s a minimum average mark that students have to maintain in order to remain in this school.  Another reason is the school fees.  Hubby’s business and income have been affected since last year when the MCO was imposed in our country at the start of the Covid19 pandemic. With Cass studying in this private school, another huge cost will be added to our monthly expenses.

But I see it pointless for Cass to continue studying at her current high school when she has shown almost zilch interest during online classes. She doesn’t look happy or enthusiastic since the start of online classes in mid January this year. After spending 6 years in a Chinese primary school, the teaching method and language (in BM) seems to have given her a slight ‘culture shock’.

Knowing that chances of our appeal to be accepted back into this ICHS are slim, I still tried my luck and emailed the school.  Several days later, a staff from the academics department of the ICHS called to inform me that our appeal has been approved.  I had to confirm the switch in school by 3pm on the same day as a lot has to be done for Cass’ data which has been deleted from the school system to be keyed in again so that Cass can start online lessons the next day. The staff warned me that the school’s academic expectations are high and homework is heavy. She warned me that Cass will have a lot of catching up to do as she has missed out on a month’s worth of studies and homework.  I explained Cass’ health issues and her impending surgery this year to the staff and she told me to consider carefully on the switch of school as Cass will have to put in a lot of hard work to catch up on  studies/homework that she’ll be missing during the surgery and recuperation at home.

Cass wasn’t worried anymore about the heavy homework load and possibility of struggling for another 5-6 years studying Chinese. She just wanted to switch back to the high school of her initial choice. All Science and Math subjects are taught in dual language in English and Chinese.

I called the school back at 3pm on the same day to confirm Cass’ registration, made the necessary payment and Cass started her first online class the next day at 7:20 a.m.   Online classes start from 7:20 a.m. and only end at 2:30 p.m. from Mondays through Saturdays.  I’ve never seen Cass this enthusiastic in her online lessons since late last year. I hope that she finds her mojo and zeal in her studies again in her new high school.  And she’s happiest as her best friend is also studying in this school, albeit in another class.

The next morning, Alycia had to be in school to arrange tables and chairs in preparation for her final leg exam in high school – SPM, which starts next Monday for a duration of one month! After Alycia was done with the arrangement of tables and chairs, she collected her school leaving cert and helped me to buy Cass’ books.  And there goes another RM500+ on books and another RM600 for the school’s yearly miscellaneous fees!

Haru like a koala bear on Cass’ hoodie jacket while she attends online lessons 😁

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Cassandra’s Choice of High School – Updated

After months of feeling unsettled with her choice of high school, Cass has, after going through a tough time weighing the pros and cons, finally made up her mind.  She’s decided to let go of the high school of her initial choice.  After going through the hassle of submitting the tedious application online and emailing the school by herself, going to the school to sit for the entrance exam and finally getting the results, she has decided to take Plan B.

All the while, I knew that Cass didn’t really want to get into this high school. She knew very well that studying in Chinese for another 5 – 6 years is not what she really wanted.   Alycia has been telling us that had her dad given her a choice 5 years ago, she would never choose this high school.

As most of her good friends applied to get into this coveted high school, Cass followed suit.  When the freshmen list was out recently and Cass’ name was in, she  was happy initially. But when the reality of her going to another tough Chinese school sunk in, she was not enthusiastic anymore.  She didn’t even bother to go to the high school’s website to read the instructions on the online orientation.  She asked me if she could change her mind. I told her to think about it very carefully as she wanted this high school so badly initially.  Finally when the book list was out last week and I had to make payment by last Sunday, Cass had to make the final decision and she chose Plan B.  It was a hard decision for Cass to make.

Even though we’d paid almost RM1k to the high school for registration fee and entrance exam fee, it’s OK that Cass makes an about turn now before we pay another few thousand Ringgit in January next year. It’s OK to forgo the RM1k than to spend even more and Cass is not happy in the high school.

So… Cass will be going to a public school, the same school that Sherilyn is going to. I’m glad that Cass made the decision to change high school before school starts in mid January next year.   This is the second time Cass had to make a major decision for herself.  When she was 10 years old, she told me that no matter the outcome and risks, she would take the risk of going through a CT scan (risk of radiation) and go through another major surgery(s) so that she could be totally healed from her urinary issues.

I hope Cass’ decision this time is the right one for her. But if it’s not, I’ve got her back and we can look at the alternative route, i.e. Plan C.  That’s what parents are for ~ to catch you when you fall and to go through the ups and downs with you so that you’re happy, safe and walk on the right path.

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CMCO Day 191 ~ Thursday, 17 December 2020

This is Cassandra’s book list, downloaded from the website of her high school.  I have until this Sunday to make online payment of RM581.20 to the school.  I have been asking Cass if she really wants to go to this high school before I make payment for the books.   Cass chose this high school mainly because her best friend and most of her classmates are going to this school and not because she likes to study in Chinese for another 5 to 6 years.  No doubt this is a coveted high school but she knows herself too well. She has always struggled with Chinese language, thus, she is now still not 101% sure if she really wants to go to this high school next year  😟

I’ve asked Cass to sleep over it and to let me know her decision by this Saturday.  I would rather she backs out from this high school now (even though I’ve paid almost RM1k for registration and entrance exam) than her regretting it later.  It’s going to be costly and troublesome to transfer her to another school later.

Alycia has been telling Cass that had her dad given her a choice, this high school will never be her choice because it’s just not easy to study all the Science subjects and Math in dual language (Chinese and English) and sit for double exams (public exams as well as UEC).  Chinese independent high school Math is well known to be mind boggling confusing and it’s been driving her nuts for the past 5 years.  Alycia had wanted to get into Catholic High School but her dad is just too, well, pro-Chinese school 😟.

My choice is still international school or homeschool learning (in a learning center) and had we not been impacted financially by the darn pandemic, I would have sent Cass to an international school located right smack in our cozy neighborhood.

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Saturday, 12 December 2020 ~ Cassandra’s Graduation From Primary School

Today is the graduation of Cass from SJKC Kuen Cheng 2.  I’ve never revealed in my blogs where my girls attend primary school for their safety. Finally after 10 years, I can pull up the curtain as I bid adieu to this school.  I will  definitely miss going to this school.  My 3 girls have created so much happy memories and made many good friends in this school.  The teachers are dedicated, caring and hardworking. Cass has always had the best class teachers who are really concerned about her throughout her 6 years in the school.  I’ve made friends with some of the teachers and with some of my girls’ friends’ parents.

January 2015 ~ Cass on her first day of school at Kuen Cheng 2 in Primary 1.

Nov 2016 ~ Cass with her trophy for good academic achievement when she was in Primary 2.

When Alycia was 5 years old, we had to start registering her into a primary school.  Hubs only wanted SJKC Kuen Cheng 2 as it’s a top performance school. I had so much doubts that Alycia would survive a Chinese primary school as she was already struggling with learning in Chinese in pre-school (3QMRC). But hubs was steadfast with his decision to send his girls to a Chinese school.  We are both yellow bananas and cannot guide our girls in Chinese.

As expected, the 3 girls struggled in a Chinese school, they hated studying in Chinese and they hated the corporal punishment typical of a Chinese school. They hated Chinese tuition and there were plenty of incidences of them hiding their tuition homework books and crying / sleeping / hiding in the bathroom during tuition. Ms M, the girls’ Chinese language tutor of 10 years told me frankly to look for another tutor for Cass as she was such a painful student to have! I couldn’t agree more with Ms M.  But Ms M persevered and continued tutoring Cass until the end of November this year.

There were tears from the girls and from me for the past 10 years. There was lots of frustration, lots of hair-pulling situations, several phone calls from their school teachers, several meet-ups with their teachers but the 3 girls made it and graduated from this Chinese school, which is a high prestige school (Sekolah Berprestasi Tinggi).   Cass has even made it to the top 15% of her cohort throughout her 6 years in this school. I am so proud of  my 3 girls for surviving a tough Chinese primary school. And I am so proud of myself for surviving 10 hair-pulling and head-banging years with them!!

Cass and I both attended the online graduation via Webex on our desktop PCs respectively today.

My camera-shy girl is forced to take these pix as her class teacher requires all the students to take a photo of themselves with some hand-written farewell notes in Chinese  😁.

And here’s the happy ending to Cass’ primary school series.  A new chapter will begin soon and the story will center on yet another tough Chinese school (private Chinese high school which Alycia is currently attending). Totally NOT MY CHOICE but 100% Cass’ choice.  My choice is for Cass to go to Sherilyn’s school.    May God bless us both with another 5-6 peaceful, smooth-sailing and happy years with no more head-banging and hair-pulling moments! 🙏

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Cass the Assembler of Things

Cass had too much free time at home since there was no online class and piano last week (Deepavali holiday week). To kill boredom, she yanked off all the keys on her keyboard to do a thorough cleaning of the inside. I thought she’d have a hard time putting the keys back but this Lego and puzzle whizz assembled everything back in under an hour, effortlessly and commented that it’s fun. The cleaning part took a long time though. She used cotton buds, wet wipes and alcohol swab to disinfect her keyboard 😆

My go-to person whenever I buy clothes racks and cupboards that need assembling as I just suck at assembling things.  I have zero patience for such things but will still do it if none of the girls are free to help me.

Cordless keyboard re-assembled in no time. Thankfully it’s still working!

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Online Lessons From Home

Now that schools are closed for the rest of the year due to rising Covid cases and only reopening on 20 January 2021, this will be the scene in my living room, six times a week.

Her desktop PC is turned on with teacher on screen, mobile phone is turned on with Roblox auto-playing and ear phones plugged in.  Every few minutes, she’ll switch screens to different platforms – Whatsapp, Discord, Spotify, You Tube and don’t know what else. And she’s apparently chatting with her classmates on those channels.  The distraction is just too hard to resist for a kid.  Online learning from home is totally not as effective as learning from school.  What’s more, there will be no more final exam this year and all major government exams are cancelled.  Can I really fault her for her lack of focus in her studies now?  According to Cass’ Mandarin tutor, all her students are behaving in a similar manner throughout the MCO.  Thankfully Cass’ class teacher, who’s also her Chinese language teacher has  the right tactic to tackle the students and the kids are very serious and pay attention whenever she’s teaching online.

According to the website of the high school that Cass will be going to next year, classes will continue to be in a blended learning module in 2021.

 

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Cassandra’s Cystoscopy – Thursday, 5 Nov 2020 (CMCO Day 149)

I woke up at 3:15 a.m. today to heat up the meatless Gimbap that Sherilyn prepped for us last night.  Then I woke Cass up so that she could have her meal as her last solid meal before the Cystoscopy today is at 4 a.m.  I was worried that this brat would push me away as she has issues waking up early! Thank God she got up the moment I jostled her from her sleep.  I thought that she’d have no appetite to eat at such an ungodly hour (she’s never eaten a meal at this hour before, besides her comfort sucking from birth to 3 years old) but she noshed the Gimbap and even asked me to reheat the butter garlic mushrooms that Sherilyn cooked yesterday. After the main course, she ate some cut papayas and drank a packet of Izumio and then went back to sleep.   Cass loves her sister’s cooking. Good, I can now retire as the deputy in-house cook and can handover this portfolio to Sherilyn 😁

The Cystoscopy today went quite smoothly without a hitch. I was allowed to follow Cass into the OT and left after she was knocked out by the anesthetist. Before I left, the nurse asked me to give Cass a kiss on her cheek. That was when I was overwhelmed with emotions. All the memories of May 2009 at GMC Penang came flooding back again. And here I am again, going through this the 4th time with Cass and all alone again in a freezing cold OT, waiting anxiously and praying fervently. And it looks like this is not going to be the last time as Cass will most likely require to go through another major surgery.

I sat alone at the waiting area outside the OT (photo below).  The place is devoid of people due to the hospital’s Covid-19 SOP.  The entire place is freaking cold and you know what? I left my jacket at home!!!!   Yesterday I put the jacket in my handbag but when I took my purse out in the morning, I took the jacket out and in my haste to leave the house, forgot to put the jacket back into the bag. Luckily I  had a shawl (made from sheer fabric!) in the hospital bag meant for emergency purpose. And if not for the OT scrubs and head cover that I had to don on inside the OT, I would have frozen to death 😅.

To generate heat to warm up my body and to beat boredom, I walked back and forth this cold corridor for almost an hour while saying my prayers for Cass’ smooth procedure.

Out of boredom, I snapped this photo from the 8th floor of the hospital .

I managed to steal this photo of Cass at the recuperating bay in the OT. Cass will not be happy with me if she found out. Thus, I had blurred her face.

With the oxygen mask still on, Cass’ first few words when I asked if she was feeling OK was “I am so sleepy. This feels like History class” and then let out a tired chuckle😆

Once again, Cass and I were the last to be ambulanced back to the ward as she’s the oldest kid in the OT.   The hospital’s order of priority for all procedures is by age in ascending order.  The procedure started at 12:40 p.m. and we were only ambulanced back to the ward 3 hours later. We spent about 6 hours at the OT.  Cass was the last patient in the OT when we left at around 4-ish p.m.. It was Cass’ first time being wheeled into an ambulance on a stretcher. She was actually well enough to walk or be put on a wheelchair but again, we had to follow the hospital’s SOP.  After the ambulance dropped all the patients from the ward to another building where the OT is, the nurse even insisted that I wheel Cass on the wheelchair to the 8th floor where the OT is as she said that’s the hospital’s SOP.

When Cass was back in the ward at the Institute of Urology & Nephrology, she was almost 100% well again. She ate half of the keto Gimbap that Sherilyn made for me yesterday, ate half my walnut bun and ate the entire plate of rice with chicken and fried cabbage that the hospital provided. She was famished after more than 13 hours of dry fasting.

Below: the keto Gimbap that Sherilyn prepped last night for my lunch in the hospital. It was still very delish when I ate it at 4-ish p.m.

As for me, after two days of anxiety and deprivation of sleep, I lost another 1kg. My weight now is a mere 41.8 kg and I’ve been having heart palpitations the entire day 😔.

To be continued…



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Cassandra’s High School

For those of you who’ve been waiting for my update on whether Cass passed the high school entrance exam that she sat for last Saturday, the answer is a….

No.  She’s not going to the high school of MY choice…

but…

she’s going to the high school of HER CHOICE as she PASSED the entrance exam! 😐

And I guess this is also the high school of God’s choice as I’ve been praying fervently to ask Him to get Cass into a high school of His choice.

Is this a cause to celebrate yet? I’m not too sure.

Yesterday when Cass’ friend informed her via Whatsapp that her name is in the freshman list, we were both floored.  Initially Cass was ecstatic. Then when the reality sank in that she’ll be going to this school with a tough dual examination system, she couldn’t decide if she should accept the offer as she’s not the studious nor disciplined type with the exception to novels. Thick books especially appeal to her! The thicker it is, the happier the girl is.

Actually I was quite confident that she would pass the entrance exam as she’s been in the top class throughout her 6 years in a Chinese primary school. But whether this school suits her or otherwise and whether she could persevere for 5 to 6 years in the school (depending on whether she’s taking UEC / Form 6 in Senior 3), this looks iffy. This high school was ranked as one of the Best Schools of Excellence by the Education Ministry in 2015.

Students at Chinese independent schools still sit for all national examinations such as PMR and SPM. The subjects are taught alongside the school’s own Chinese syllabus, and teachers dedicate lesson periods to teaching the government syllabus too.

Cass has until next Thursday to decide if she really wants to get into this high school that she’s worked quite hard to get into. She filled out the tedious online application forms and emailed the high school herself as I told her that if she really wanted to get into this school (which is not my choice), she’d have to submit the application herself.  Registration fee must be paid by next Friday failing which the seat will be forfeited and given to a student in the long waiting list.

The only pull factor for Cass to want to get into this high school is her best friend and other good friends from her class who are also accepted into the school. She wants to be with her good friends since Primary 1 throughout her high school years.

This girl really needs to pull up her socks if she’s decided to get into this school. The school has a system that compels the student to repeat the entire year if the student’s average mark is below a certain grade.  Usually those who are dealt with a letter to repeat the entire year will leave the school and apply for a transfer to a public school in order to progress to the next grade.

So our littlest rascal has her first important decision to make that will affect 5 years of her life in high school. I hope she makes the right decision and my only hope is that she will be very happy throughout her high school years.



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RMCO Day 117 ~ Sunday, 4 October 2020

Alycia will be sitting for the SPM Trials in less than two weeks. Her high school teachers are providing additional online classes on Saturdays and Sundays to complete the syllabus. Thus, the poor girl has not been able to join us for lunch for two consecutive Sundays.   And the littlest brat is at the stage where she doesn’t like to follow us adults anywhere, except to the book store or to the nearby outdoor kopitiam to dig into her favorite fish paste noodles. It’s a pain to drag her out of the house to have lunch or dinner with us these days. I actually bribed her to get her to follow us out for lunch.  I remember Alycia went through a similar phase at her age.  Cass is now at the age where I see a lot of familiar hair-pulling scenarios that I had with Alycia and Sherilyn when they were at the hell-raising in-between age of transforming from a little girl into a teenager.

Oh well…

Thankfully Cass is my last and hopefully I don’t have to deal with anymore terrible phases from the 3 girls anymore! I remember their Terrible Twos, Terrible Threes and Terrible Tweens very vividly.  Hopefully it’s now Terrific Teens all the way!

We had lunch at The Museum @ The Starling Mall to savour good old Ipoh food. It’s our first time visiting this mall but hubs had been here several times.

Ipoh Hakka noodles, crackling siew yoke and chargrilled char siew, Wanton noodles and Yuet Koong Hor aka “moonlight-style noodles”.

Teochew style porridge with fried fish head.

After lunch at Museum, we segued into Kam Kee Cafe 1967, a reputable Hong Kong F&B brand to get takeaway for Alycia, a fan of  ‘cha chaan teng’ grub.  Kam Kee Cafe channels the charm of a ‘cha chaan teng’ experience in a collaboration between a family of Malaysians and Kam Kee Cafe,  Hong Kong.

This venue in The Starling mall is the first overseas outpost of Kam Kee Cafe, whose branches span Wan Chai to Tsuen Wan – Kam Kee is the legacy of a Teochew native who came to Hong Kong in the 1950s and started a food shop a decade later, during that era’s birth of Western-influenced, working-class cafes that serve affordable fare, from toasts to tarts. fried noodles to baked rice.

For takeaway, we got this Cheese Baked Spaghetti Bolognese with minced meat @ RM18.80 for Alycia,  a portion of fried rice for our dinner and two Polo buns for the girls’ recess the next day.

We also ordered a Polo bun with spam meat, cheese and egg and shared it among the 5 of us, where each of us (who were already quite stuffed) had a small wedge to try.

When you dine at a Hong Kong ‘cha chaan teng’, you just have to order their ‘lai cha’ aka milk tea.  I love the milky and flavorful evaporated milk that’s used in their milk tea.

The mil shared this almond tea with egg white with me and OMG, it is SO creamy, full of almond aroma and delicious!  I requested for less sugar and this beverage hit all the right notes! One sip and I was sent to tong sui heaven 😋

This might be considered fast food, but it’s delightfully fulfilling here – from the choice of ingredients to the care in cooking.  Now that we are all grounded in Malaysia with restrictions on traveling overseas, dining at Kam Kee Cafe brings you a slice of Hong Kong at prices that are affordable without having to fly to Hong Kong.

After lunch, we went groceries shopping at Jaya Grocer with Cass badgering me to hurry up so that she could have some time at Popular bookstore where there’s a clearance sale.  Our bookworm is the happiest whenever she’s at a place surrounded by books (not academic ones unfortunately).

She found The Complete Stories of The Wizard of Oz Volume 2 selling at only RM29.90 for a really thick book and her mood instantly changed from one of sulky to beaming with joy when she saw all her favorite novels on sale 😅

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RMCO Day 116 ~ Saturday, 3 October 2020

Today is Cass’ entrance exam at the high school of her choice.  This high school (which is Alycia’s high school) is not my choice but some how, I was the one feeling anxious for her while Miss Chillax was as usual unflappable and cool as a cucumber 🤦‍♀️.  I was worried of how she will find her way in the huge school as parents are not allowed to enter the school compound due to the Covid19 SOP.  We could only drop her outside the school and she was quickly whisked away by a female security guard. Thankfully there were many teachers on duty at the school compound guiding the freshmen into the respective classes.

I was worried of Cass’ health the most as she’s just recovered from a UTI attack. If she’s not careful and does not practise frequent peeing and hygiene, it’s very easy for her to get another UTI attack as the bacteria that’s hiding behind her bladder walls are just waiting for the right condition to attack and multiply.  Honestly, I am not worried at all if Cass passes the exam or not.  I’ve been praying everyday to God for Him to choose the high school of His choice for Cass. So we’ll wait and see. The results will be out in a week or two and parents will be notified via SMS.

After an hour of being stuck in the massive traffic jam caused by the mass admission of freshmen into the school compound, we finally reached home. I took Alycia and Sherilyn to Family Mart for a sofuto treat!  Belgium dark chocolate sofuto is finally back at Family Mart. How I miss this flavor!

At 6pm, I drove back to the school to pick Cass up.  I told Alycia to follow me so that she could get down to look for Cass inside the school. We waited for over half an hour.  Cass had to camp half a day in school for the exam, comprising of 4 papers.

While Alycia and I were stuck in school, our very capable in-house chef Sherilyn dished out Tonkatsu ramen with ramen egg and homemade Japanese Chashu. The pork bone soup was boiled for over 5 hours, thus was really flavorful and creamy.

This time, after warning from me, she did not overcook the ramen eggs. Last week, she put the eggs into a pot to prep Onsen eggs but she was too absorbed in playing with her phone and forgot all about the eggs 😆



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Health Freak Cass

Lately Cass’ taste buds seem to have evolved. After a recent hospitalization for UTI with strong antibiotics administered intravenously followed by a few days of oral antibiotics and an extremely uncomfortable bout of constipation with IBS recently, her gustatory cells seem to have shifted towards healthier tasting food.  She no longer craves for meat or eggs, though she still eats them. Instead she prefers instant oats (which she now eats daily), fruits, grilled vegetables and non-meat foods.

Perhaps the good bacteria in her guts are now replaced with good ones from the probiotics that she’s been consuming daily and this could have altered her taste goblets? Whatever it is, I’m glad that she now prefers to bring fruits and vegetables to school for her recess and this is something that she’s never done before! 🥰

We prepped this together on Sunday evening – grilled carrots, potatoes and onions for her recess on Monday. She’s been having a sudden craving for potatoes and has been hounding me to cook potatoes for her to bring to school 😆

Steamed then oven grilled root vegetables and seasoned with just one small pinch of salt, thyme, black pepper and olive oil.

Cass told me to just prep plain boiled potatoes and carrots with nothing added for her recess next week.  Seriously? Is this even tasty?  But this girls begs to differ.

Potatoes have no sodium, no cholesterol, no fat, has good source of Vitamin B6, vitamins, minerals and resistant starch.

Resistant starch functions like soluble, fermentable fiber. It goes through your stomach and small intestine undigested, eventually reaching your colon where it feeds your friendly gut bacteria.

On Monday, she brought an apple to school for recess:

I sure hope that her healthy taste buds stay with her for good.  I always pray that our girls will be health and fitness freaks because it is only through a healthy lifestyle that we can inherit good health.



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RMCO Day 107 ~ Thursday, 24 Sept 2020

Yesterday evening Cass gave me a scare. She told me that when she was in school, she had a sudden burning pain down there, momentarily. Just once.  However, there were no other symptoms of a UTI.  Rattled that another UTI is brewing, I told her to skip school today.  I know all too well  the bacteria’s modus operandi, having dealt with Cass’ UTI attacks since she was an infant more than 12 years ago.  Many UTIs in the bladder return after treatment with antibiotics as some bacteria hide in cells lining the bladder, where they cannot be reached by antibiotics.  The small number of bacteria that survive antibiotic treatment because they sneak into the lining of the bladder come out and start to multiply again when there’s an opportunity, i.e. when the condition is acidic, when one doesn’t pee frequently enough or when hygiene is lacking.

Since last night, Cass has been craving to eat pancakes.  After my run this morning, I gave Cass a short tutorial on how to make pancakes. We made low-carb banana pancakes and regular pancakes using Organic Wave Japanese high quality cake flour – the only flour that I could find in the kitchen.

The low carb banana pancakes were so delish and reminded me of my favorite Apom Guan @ Lebuh Burma in Penang. Whenever we go to Penang, hubs would queue up for almost an hour to get 20 pieces of apom. I could chomp down 5 pieces at one go.

I used 4 bananas, 2 eggs and only 1.5 tablespoons of flour with a tinge of vanilla essence. Butter for greasing the pan.  No sugar or salt is needed and the pancakes are naturally sweet from the bananas.

The regular pancakes are made using 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons of flour, some fresh milk and vanilla essence.  Butter for greasing the pan.

Cass’ breakfast – a stack of pancakes, drizzled with maple syrup.



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Cassandra’s Appointment With Urologist – 4 Sept 2020

So the urologist’s nurse finally gave me a date to bring Cass to see Dr Susan. We waited for more than 3 months since the MRU procedure on 18 May 2020 to get this appointment with me calling the nurse every week. And if it wasn’t because Cass got a UTI attack two weeks ago, the nurse wouldn’t have given me a date so soon.   I don’t blame her as this is a government hospital with a long list of patients waiting to see Dr Susan, the head of Urology Dept of HKL.  She could get me an appointment to see just any junior urologist but I only want Dr Susan to manage Cass’ complicated issue.   I can see that priority is given to dire needs patients, i.e. those with cancer or other pressing issues.

As usual, we had to ‘camp’ at HKL for almost the entire day just waiting, from 10 a.m. through 3-ish p.m..  Cass is now scheduled to undergo two diagnostic tests before Dr Susan can decide on the next course of action: a cystoscopy (bladder scope) scheduled in November 2020 and a MAG3 scan in December 2020.  Cass will have to be sedated under GA for the cystoscopy.

A renal MAG3 (Mercaptuacetyltriglycine) scan is a diagnostic nuclear medicine test that allows the doctor to see Cass’ kidneys and learn more about how they are functioning.  A radiopharmaceutical called Technetium-99m MAG3 will be injected into one of Cass’ veins. Technetium-99m MAG3 has a tiny amount of radioactive molecules in it. A special camera, called a gamma camera, is used to take pictures of the kidneys once the radiopharmaceutical has been injected.  During the briefing by the radiologist, I was told that after the MAG3 procedure, it’s best to avoid touching Cass as the radioactive materials can be transferred to anyone touching her. She will need to drink loads of water to flush out the radioactive materials.

This is the creepy old building that houses the radiotherapy and oncology unit at HKL.  We had to wait for almost an hour to get a date for the MAG3 scan and for a briefing by the radiologist.

From the specialist clinics building, Cass and I had to walk for about 10 minutes under the drizzle to this building and stopped twice to ask the patrolling police officers for directions. HKL is a very huge place with many buildings for different units. Patients and staff often have to walk from one building to another.  We walked past the A&E of HKL, the creepy place that still gives me nightmares 😱.   If only this congenital issue is covered by our insurer, I’ll choose a private hospital, any time.



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RMCO Day 89 ~ Sunday, 6 September 2020

Today is the eve of Cass’ exam but this brat is as usual super chillax and not at all nervy or hung up 🙄  She’s always been one who’s able to hold her nerve in most situations and that’s the reason why I can leave her alone at the hospital overnight for 3 nights.

Last night she stayed up late to finish up the thank you card for Ms L, her erstwhile class teacher and asked me to bring her to the post box to drop the card.

Then she dragged me to the stationery shop so that she could have her homemade bookmarks laminated. She’s been drawing these bookmarks whenever she had the time. She walked to the stationery shop and told the shop assistant that she wanted her stack of bookmarks laminated without first checking on the cost. When I went into the stationery shop and asked whether she checked the price with the assistant, she said NO 🙄.   The laminating, cutting and smoothening of the edges cost RM7, duh!  I could have bought a stack of bookmarks with RM7! Feeling guilty, she said that she would pay for the laminating herself 😁

Drawn by a true-blue Potterhead:

Hubs has been working at full steam the entire day today with events at a corporate client’s place.  I went to his shop twice to collect extra food for us.

Blimey, what a lot of food!  The girls could have the yummy seafood + mushroom pasta for a few lunches.

In the evening, my good friend B, Whatsapped me whilst she was on the ETS train from Ipoh – KL telling me that she’s got a surprise for me and would be meeting me at my condo at 6:30 p.m.  But a little drama happened at Rawang and the train got stalled and another train had to be summoned to ferry the stranded passengers back to KL. Despite the 2 hours delay, B still dropped by my condo  at night to pass me my favorite mooncakes from the famous Ming Yue Confectionary in Ipoh. I am really touched beyond words and blessed for having such a wonderful friend.  Thank you B 😘

Ming Yue Confectionary in Ipoh sells the cheapest mooncakes without any compromise on the quality and taste.  The assorted nuts mooncake at only RM10 a piece (only RM10!!) is loaded with fresh and crunchy nuts and seeds and not coyly sweet. Every bite is loaded with fresh crunchy nuts!  Perfect for those on keto diet.  If you’re thinking of trying their mooncakes, be prepared to spend at least half an hour to an hour queuing up.



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Cassandra’s Hospitalization (Saturday, 29 Aug – Tuesday, 1 Sept 2020)

For the first time in her life, Cass spent 3 nights alone at the hospital. Much as I would like to stay with her, I have trouble falling asleep on anywhere that’s not a bed, made worse with nurses coming in every two hourly to do their routine temperature check. At 12 midnight every night, Cass had to be given antibiotics infusion via IV. Without quality sleep, it’s difficult to avoid falling sick. Thus I had to make a tough decision to leave my baby girl alone at the hospital. But knowing that she’s at a 5-star hospital with almost 5-star service, I was at peace and assured that she was in good hands.

And being the tough cookie that she’s always been, Cass had no complaint being left along in the hospital. She’s always wanted freedom and not being fussed and babied at just because she has an issue with her health. Finally she had her taste of freedom. And she ended up missing me! Whenever it was time for me to leave the hospital, she would asked if I could stay just a little longer 😂

Cass’ first lunch. Menu would be hand delivered to us every evening for next day’s meals.

The omelette wrap looks simple but it’s pretty tasty, though not salty or oily, befitting a meal for kids in the pediatric ward.

Tuna bolognese pasta:

Our top favorite dish – grilled rosemary chicken chop:

Chicken breast sandwich:

Tuna sandwich:

Breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner in bed – something that her OCD mum would never ever allow at home 😁

 

 

My afternoon snacks – my favorite Emping Belinjau chips and  raw sour mango bought from the sundry store and MBG at the hospital:

On the day of her discharge, when we were about to leave the room, Cass told me that she’s going to miss her hospital stay. She missed being pampered, having all her meals in bed and not having to do homework.  She kept turning back to look at the room and said that she’s going to be back.  Knock on wood!!

 

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Cassandra’s Hospitalization ~ Day 3 (Monday, 31 August 2020)

Today is our country’s 63rd National Day celebration and Cass and I are still cooped up in the pediatric ward of Pantai Hospital. She and I, we seem to be always stuck with each other in the hospital from the moment she breathed her first breath 😧. I always have this hunch that in our previous life, we were twins. We even have telepathy over each other.  I actually knew it a few days before she had the latest UTI attack.  My right eye lid twitched and vibrated intensely for a few seconds. It’s kind of scary that I seem to be able to sense premonition about her and my other girls. My eye lids never fail to give me forebodings – 9 out of 10 times. Thus when my eye lid twitches (especially the right one), I always pray for help and try to be super duper paranoia and careful.

This is going to be a short post with more photos to do the talking.  I have to drag my arse off my chair to the bed soon. Tomorrow is going to be a long day.  After dropping off Sherilyn in school in the morning, I have to rush to the hospital to prep for Cass’ discharge.  This is going to take the entire morning. It’s going to be a tense day for me as I am still uncertain if our insurer will approve this claim. I’ll know during discharge tomorrow.  Wish me luck and do pray for me that this hospital stay will be approved by our insurer. It’s going to be a costly bill that includes several blood works, urine culture, several urine tests, ultrasound scan, Covid-19 swab test, PPE suits, costly antibiotics infusion via drips and oral antibiotics. Damn the antibiotics, something that I try so hard to avoid for my girls and myself but alas I have to give in to it.  I also need prayers for Cass to never have another UTI again as each UTI will cause harm to her kidneys. Thus, the moment she felt pain on her  right kidney, I stopped home remedies and brought her to the hospital.

On day 1 (Saturday) at Pantai Hospital’s A&E where we spent the entire morning through afternoon there:

Cass got her wish of having a huge Subway sandwich for lunch (grilled chicken breast) – something that I always feel reluctant to buy as I can easily prep this for her at home, except that I can’t find Subway kind of foot long buns.

Blood and urine samples were taken at the A&E too. No need to run to another block this time.  Even my credit card was swiped at the A&E vs. at the Admission & Discharge Department in previous times.

Covid rapid antigen nose swab as part of pre admission SOP was done at the A&E too.  For this procedure,  the long wire-like apparatus that’s shoved into your nostril is enough to make even the burliest of dude to have cold feet but this fella laughed after the 3-second procedure, albeit teary eyed from the discomfort, making the nurse and I laugh too. She’s a real trooper, trained from infant to endure all these pricking and prodding.  Cass had a long nasal tube inserted from her nostril into her throat without sedation during her stay at GMC Penang when she was 13 months old. I still shudder each time I have flash back of her going into a shock when the nurse inserted the nasal tube into her nostril.

See the PPE suits that the nurses donned on? The cost of the PPE will be included into our bill.  All the doctors, nurses and radiologist who attended to Cass had to don on PPE suits and these will be added to our bill 😭

Our room on the 5th floor: 

Though it’s a double bed room, we get to have the entire room to ourselves as there isn’t any other patient occupying that bed. I’m not allowed to sleep on the vacant bed though.

We were given a complimentary toiletry set and brand new fleece blanket in baby blue. We thought that the blanket is the hospital’s but today when Cass dropped a piece of chicken chop on it and I passed it to the nurse to send it to the laundry, I was told that it’s complimentary as well.  Very nice! Wait till the bill comes!

Ultrasound scan of her kidneys and urinary tract. Thank God there was no sign of inflammation of the kidneys. What a tensed moment for me waiting for the procedure to be over before I asked the radiologist the condition of Cass’ kidneys. Renal function blood test was done too and it’s A-OK as well.  PTL!

With such excellent services, friendly and helpful staff, clean room and toilet and not forgetting the airline-like food that we get to choose from a menu brought to us personally by a staff, I am very certain that the bill will run up to at least RM6k!  Dear God, please let our insurer absorb 90% of the hospital bill  🤞🙏

To be continued soon…

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