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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Cassandra is Hospitalized

Hi all!  I just got back from the hospital. Cass has to be hospitalized for UTI.  Her pediatrician is extra careful with her whenever she has a UTI attack as she’s got a right duplex kidney and had Grade III Kidney Reflux. He’s very cautious over the bacteria traveling up to her kidneys and scarring them. Thus each time Cass has a UTI with pain on the right kidney, he will order for her to be hospitalized with antibiotics infusion via IV.

It’s 11:10 p.m. now and I’ve got to force myself to my bedroom and force myself to get some sleep, though I’ll be worrying about Cass alone in the hospital by herself. It’s her first time sleeping alone in a foreign place without anyone of us with her.  But I trust that she’s in good hands at a 5-star hospital with 5-star service.  And I’m praying hard that the fever will break by tomorrow and she can be discharged by Monday.  Also praying hard that our insurer will approve this claim, else it’s going to be a BIG OUCH to our hearts and pockets 😭.

To be continued with more stories and photos as soon as I have the time to sit down in front of my PC again.

 

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RMCO Day 76 ~ Monday, 24 August 2020

Today is the last day of the school holidays and Cass has a farewell party to attend at Galactic Laser @ Sunway Pyramid. It’s also 7 more days to her school exam but she is still as cool as a cucumber.

One of Cass’ besties since she was 8 years old, D’s last day at the Chinese primary school is end of August, after which she will be going to an international school to start Year 7.   D also invited Miss L, the kids’ favorite class teacher since they were 8 years olds, to the farewell party as it’s also Miss L’s last few days in the school. She will be promoted and transferred to another school.

D’s parents booked the entire floor at Galactic Laser for D and her 14 classmates entirely to themselves to avoid sharing it with other users, for safety reasons during this pandemic that is still far from over. The kids also had frequent breaks where they were sanitized.  The laser party started at 10 a.m. and lasted for 3 hours, after which there was lunch.  After I dropped off Cass at Galactic Laser and chatted with the other kids’ parents, I joined hubs, mil and Sherilyn at Ippudo for lunch.

After brunch Sherilyn and I walked almost the entire Sunway Pyramid for 2 hours to shop and clocked in over 8k steps before we went back to Galactic Laser to pick up Cass  👍 🏃‍♀️.

Cass with her classmates who grew up with her since they were 7 year olds. Most of them remained in the same class throughout their 6 years at the Chinese primary school. Miss L (on Cass’ right) was their class teacher from Standard 2 through Standard 4.  The kids dot on Miss L and are terribly sad that she will be leaving the school.  The cute boy in blue tee on the far right is the top student, very bright and a gifted pianist. He shares the same birthday as Cass.

Cass may never see most of her friends again after they graduate from primary school this year end as they will all be going to different schools. Some of them will be going to international schools and many of them have applied to the same Chinese Independent High School as Cass.   So if Cass passes the entrance test, she may still see some of her friends, though it’s going to be tough as the school is very, very  huge and they may be placed in different classes on different blocks. I wish that these kids will keep in touch with each other via social media and hopefully they will still be friends with each other 40 years later.  I still keep in touch with my pre-school friends after over 40 years! 🥰

 

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High School For Cassandra

Our laid back littlest brat whom I thought I’d managed to talk her out of choosing a Chinese Independent High School (same private high school as Alycia) changed her mind when almost three quarter of her classmates applied to get into this school, including her bestie, J.   I told the brat that I am not in favor of her choice of high school mainly because of her lackadaisical attitude towards her studies, in particular Chinese language.  Moreover her Chinese language is not strong with both parents being yellow bananas.  She converses in English with her besties most of the time though she’s in a primary Chinese school.   But she has been very steadfast in her decision and not at all funked by the high academic stress, high discipline and intense workload.

In Chinese Independent High Schools, students start learning Physics, Chemistry, Biology and high level Additional Math in Form One (in English and Chinese language) and the difficulty level only gets tougher by the year while students in other schools only start learning all these subjects in Form 4 (for Science stream students).  Also, they have to learn almost all the subjects in both Chinese and English and sit for two examinations in both languages.

To be fair to Cass, I told her that I will give her an opportunity to apply to the high school of her choice and I challenged her to submit the online application herself. The brat took my challenge and filled out the tedious online forms herself, including submission of all necessary documents including corresponding with the school via email herself. She didn’t want me to help her at all!  Her application has been successfully submitted and acknowledged by the high school.   The entrance test will be in October and results will be announced in the same month.  I can’t wait to know if she makes it to the high school or otherwise. I’ve been praying fervently to God to ask Him to choose the right high school for Cass. Whether it’s the high school of her choice or my choice, I pray that Cass will be happy throughout her 5 – 6 years in high school and will be blessed with dedicated teachers and good friends who are good kids who will be her forever good friends.

Our Korean lunch on Sunday at Seoul Korea — the best authentic Korean restaurant around and our all-time favorite. We really don’t mind having our once a week treat at Seoul Korea every Sunday! ❤️

Our weekly supply of organic vegetables delivered to our condo by our regular organic vegetables seller:

From top left clockwise: ‘Yeh Heong Fah’ edible flowers aka Chinese Violet Telosma Cordata (the fragrant flowers only bloom at night, thus the moniker), choy sum, winged beans and a special cross breed vegetable between choy sun and kailan.



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RMCO Day 18 ~ Saturday, 26 June 2020

I have to make a decision by this week on which high school to send Cass to next year. The high school that Cass wants to go to is the one that her Alycia che che goes to, which is one of the top Chinese Independent High Schools in the Klang Valley.  Her main reason for choosing this school is because almost all her classmates will be going to this school (95%). The remaining 5% are going to international schools and national schools.  Applications for entrance test to this Chinese independent school can be submitted online by early next week.

However, I have reservations in choosing this Chinese independent high school for Cass because I know this girl too well.  Her Chinese is weak and her choice of language is English. She will thrive in an English medium education environment.   Before our country was hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, I was almost 100% certain that I would be sending Cass to this small-sized international school located conveniently right smack in our neighborhood.  But when our country came to an almost standstill on 18th March this year for two months, the hubs’ catering business was impacted.  Social gatherings were prohibited, which meant that his catering business was reduced to zilch.

When the government recently reopened almost all the economic sectors, hubs’ catering events slowly trickled in again.  It would take  some time before his business returns to its heyday. Thus, we would have to reconsider our plans in sending Cass to an international school which costs almost RM2k a month.  Things are so uncertain now without a Covid-19 vaccine.  With almost every social and economic sector returning to normal now, our country could experience a new wave of Covid-19 cases, just like in Beijing, Tokyo and Australia, which are seeing a surge in new cases after the state of emergency/restrictions in their countries were lifted recently. If this happens, another lockdown would be imposed and the whole vicious cycle affecting our country’s economy will be repeated 😪.  With so much uncertainties over our country’s economy and hubs’ business, I am taking the conservative approach and have made up my mind to send Cass to a national school — the one that Sherilyn is currently going to.  I had a lengthy discussion with my education consultant, aka my wise mom who was a school teacher for almost 40 years and she has given me the same advice.  I also had a brainstorming session with Alycia and Sherilyn over the choice of high school for their baby sister and they all think that a national school suits Cass more, for now.

Cass has now accepted our decisions for her and I hope that she’ll thrive and be really happy in the high school that she’ll be going to next year.  I’ve been praying hard that she’ll be getting dedicated and caring teachers as well as cross paths with new good friends in this high school.

This morning I went to our favorite coffee shop to get takeaway fish paste noodles for Cass.  When I got home and poured the noodles out from the stainless steel food carrier, I was stupefied.  There was not a single piece of fish paste or ingredients in the container except for plain vermicelli and soup!  The seller must have totally forgotten to add all the ingredients and fish paste into the food carrier. And I paid RM9 for it!!   I quickly googled the name of the fish paste noodles and thank God I found the seller’s mobile phone. I gave him a call and I think he realized too that he’d forgotten to add in the fish paste into my food carrier. He promised me that he’d give me a rebate or give me extra fish paste the next time I patronize his stall.

My 3 perpetually hungry girls walloped all the noodles and soup anyway, though it’s vegetarian and without any ingredients, except for some tomato skin floating in the milky soup 😆.  My girls are really pretty ‘cincai’ (simple) kids who don’t mind eating anything as their main meals, though their dad always spoils them with luxurious meals. They’ll be happy with just biscuits or bread for lunch or dinner when the mom is lazy to cook. I’ve always instilled a sense of humbleness, modesty and thriftiness in them so that they will be able to face the real harsh world when they’re completely on their own in future.



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MCO Day 84 ~ Tuesday, 9 June 2020

Today marks the last day of the Conditional Movement Control Order.  Effective tomorrow, 10 June through 31 August 2020, our country will be placed in a Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) phase.

Today our country recorded no cases of Covid-19 transmissions among locals, over the last 24-hours.  According to our very capable Health Ministry Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah today, he expressed confidence in Malaysia achieving zero transmissions in the near future.   Here’s to Malaysia following suit New Zealand’s latest declaration of a nation that’s free from Covid-19 soon!   New Zealand prime minister on Monday (yesterday) announced her country had no active cases of the novel coronavirus and that the country is moving to lift almost all restrictive measures after midnight yesterday. I’m so happy for hubby’s relatives who are residing in New Zealand. I can’t wait to hear this from our very own prime minister too in the weeks to come  🙏

The littlest brat was insomniac again last night (repercussion of prolonged home quarantine) and it was almost midnight. As online classes resume the next day (today) after a 2-week break, I shooed her to her room and threatened that I won’t be waking her up in the morning. If anyone’s late, he/she won’t be allowed to ‘enter’ the class. I thought she wouldn’t care but this morning I heard two alarm clocks blaring away at 7:45 a.m.   She does care after all ☺️

The Education Ministry will announce tomorrow on when schools will reopen for Form 5 and Form 6 students.  Alycia ain’t very happy that her freedom is about to come to an end but life has to return to how it used to before Covid-19.  She still has to sit for one of the most important exams in  her life (SPM) by the first quarter of next year. I wonder how long more Cass has to be engaged in online learning. I can’t decide if I should be happy or sad that she, too, will be going back to school soon. And I can’t decide if I should continue to let Alycia and Cass take the school van or be a full time Grab mom for their safety sake but lose all my me time and freedom that I used to have pre-Covid19.  Decisions, decision, decisions!!



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Cassandra’s MRU @ Hospital Wanita Dan Kanak-Kanak, KL (HWKKKL)

18 May 2020 – MCO Day 62 (Monday)

Hubs drove us to the hospital in the morning for Cass’ MRU procedure. Magnetic resonance urography (MRU) is a radiation-free exam that uses magnetic waves to create detailed pictures of the kidneys, ureters and bladder. It is a radiation-free way to look at the structure and function of the urinary tract, which is the part of the body that produces and transports urine.

We reached the hospital at 8:30 a.m. and  thinking that we were early  and feeling relived, I had no idea that we would be camping at the hospital until 8 p.m.!  And because there was no proper communication between the Urology Department and the Day Care Ward doctors and nurses, there was a lot of confusion and frustration.

The pediatric Day Care Ward is mainly for Cancer kids and other patients who need daycare treatments and scans with insertion of IV catheter. When the oncologist on duty saw the prescription papers, she was pissed off that no one from the Urology Dept. informed her of Cass’ case today.   Each time I asked her a question, she snapped at me impatiently and angrily as if I was wasting her time that she could better spend on more chronic patients who needed her prescription for the different cocktail of drugs.  While the nurses were all patient and helpful, I felt terribly chided that the doctor totally lacks empathy and compassion.  She could have toned down her voice and spoke in a more refined manner.

After waiting for more than an hour, Cass was sent to the OT to have the IV catheter inserted and blood drawn for a renal blood test. The oncologist and the nurse didn’t know that this test was needed before the MRU could proceed.  The oncologist tried to call the Nephrology Dept. (which is in another building) but the line was as usual uncontactable!  Had I not done my own prior research and reading, I would have blindly followed what the Oncology staff instructed. Different departments have different SOPs.  None of the staff at the day care ward was aware that Cass had to do a blood test first and only after a doctor has reviewed the blood test result can she be sent to the radiology dept. for the MRU.  Reason is if renal function is not good, the contrast may cause damage to the kidneys.  I really think that the Urology Dept. staff could have given clearer instructions to the Day Care Ward to minimize all these unnecessary confusion and frustration.  The Day Care Ward doctors and nurses are already very busy attending to high needs patients, some of which are chronically ill.

After waiting for half a day at the Day Care Ward, we were brought to another ward to wait for Cass’ turn to do the MRU.   But it wasn’t until another 5 hours later that it was finally her turn!

After spending a couple of hours at the ward, we were brought to another ward just outside the MRI room and we waited for another 3 hours there!  When I asked the nurse why we had to wait the entire day for our turn when we were at the hospital so early, it was only then that I found out that priority order is by patient’s age and not on a first-come-first-served basis. Again, different departments have different SOPs.  As there were many babies and toddlers today and Cass is the oldest kid for the MRU, she was the last on the waiting list!  Cass was finally sent into the MRI room at 6pm and the procedure lasted 2  hours.  I sat at the end of the room just staring at her and the gigantic doughnut shaped machine for 2 freaking hours whilst listening to the piped in music from 94.5 Mix FM.  Though I was given a pair of ear plugs to wear, I didn’t use them as the noise emitted from the MRI machine was bearable, kind of like super loud techno beats and someone blowing a trumpet into my ears… for 2 hours.

Just before Cass’ turn for the MRU was a baby with urinary tract problems. The baby had to re-do his MRI three times as he woke up in the middle of the MRI and had to be sedated again and again. Poor baby and his anxious parents! Because he was sedated thrice, the oncologist told the parents to admit him for the night.

Another area that lacked clarity and communication from the hospital – the staff were unsure whether Cass needed to fast before the MRU.  Initially I was informed by the Nephrology Dept. staff that Cass needed to fast for at least 4 hours prior to the MRU.  When I called the Radiology Dept. two days before the procedure to reconfirm the appointment, I was informed by the staff that no fasting was required as Cass didn’t need sedation. On the day we were at the Day Care Ward, the staff were still unsure whether Cass needed to fast as she was sent from the Urology Dept and they only have experience handling Cancer kids. Thus, Cass was advised to fast, to be on the safe side.  Cass only ate some mangoes and guava in the morning and I brought fried rice and a bun to the hospital, thinking that we could eat while she waited for her turn but it was only 13 hours later that we could eat!  Thank God she didn’t have any colic pain and gastric pain, like she normally would if she skipped a meal. I wasn’t so lucky. I had gas trapped in my abdomen that caused me terrible pain and nauseousness.

Our next hurdle is the MRU report and appointment to see the Nephrologist, which I guess will only be after the Hari Raya holidays. I hope that this time, the Nephrology Dept. staff will be more efficient and won’t make us wait for another half a year.   This is the price that we have to pay for getting free consultations, diagnostic tests and treatments.  Today’s MRU procedure is absolutely free as I have a letter from Cass’ school confirming that she’s a student. Had this been done at a private hospital, it would have cost a few thousand Ringgit.  This is the privilege that Malaysians get to enjoy.  Overall, apart from the lack of communication from the two departments, it’s not exactly an icky experience. At 5 p.m., the grouchy Oncologist from the Day Care Ward came to explain things to me before she left.  OK la, she’s forgiven.  I know she must be stressed out dealing with drugs and her high needs Cancer patients.  This hospital is new and clean but if you are there for the first or second time, you may get lost in the building!  The nurses and most of the doctors are very helpful, patient and compassionate. The facilities are definitely comparable to private hospitals.

At the Day Care Ward – the little girl on the bed opposite Cass is also 12 years old and she has Leukemia. She has to be sedated to do a spinal procedure.  Such a pretty girl she is, even without hair. I saw her sweet face when she removed her Tudung and face mask. I hope that she will overcome Cancer and enjoy many healthy and happy years ahead of her.

Having her temperature taken:

Another young girl is on this bed and she was also sedated to do a spinal procedure.  When she woke up, she threw up everywhere and her father carried her to the sink. Bless her loving father and the cleaner who had to clean up the vomit on the floor.

Cass at the OT to have an IV catheter inserted. Not a pleasant sight here as blood is everywhere on the floor and gobs of hair on the bed (from cancer kids) and there’s not enough time to clean up given that there were so many young patients and the doctors were working at full steam.

Having her blood drawn out by the doctors. This tough cookie said that it’s not that painful!

Backflow of blood dribbling out from the catheter – another caring young doctor (who’s handsome 😆) helped to flush the line and put on a new cap.

Mobile signal strength is super crappy throughout the hospital. I can’t even use my own mobile data.  At this ward pictured below, there was hardly any human and I just sat there staring at the four walls waiting for time to tick away.



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MCO Day 49 ~ 5 May 2020

Today is just another uneventful MCO day at home. My poor car is still stuck at the car repair shop as the boss is facing difficulties getting the spare parts to his shop due to the MCO.  I can’t wait to have my car back and give it a good scrub. She’s not taken a  shower for almost 2 months! I imagine myself dusting away inches of dust from my baby before getting into the car  😷

When May rolls in every year, my mind automatically brings me back to the year 2009 –   6 May 2009 to be exact.  It’s the day that Cass’ life and mine would change forever.  11 years ago today was the eve of Cass’ major surgery.  Cass and I and our helper, Dyah, checked into GMC Penang exactly 11 years ago. I couldn’t sleep the entire night with too many what ifs and worries on my mind. I could never sleep well in any hospital.  Never in my worst case scenario imagination would I have expected to be cooped up at GMC for almost a month.  And during our 3 weeks stay at GMC, everything that could turn wrong, went wrong. Even hubs was hospitalized (in GMC too), in an isolation ward for suspicion of H1N1 on the day of Cass’ surgery! And I was all alone, worried and having chills outside the OT, waiting for half a day for my baby C to be wheeled out of the OT. I, too, had high fever on the day of Cass’ surgery.

The GMC nightmare is now behind us, though Cass is still not 100% out of the woods yet.  She’s scheduled to undergo an MRU at HKL in 2 weeks. Hubs went to Cass’ school to collect a letter from the principal today, to confirm that she’s a student at the school so that we don’t have to pay for the procedure. This procedure would burn a big hole in our wallet if done at a private hospital.

May has always been an eventful month for me. I’ve never liked the month of May.  But this year’s May may be a better May for me, maybe? I hope and pray that it will be. ❤️

Our lunch today – reheated beef bolognese dip that I’d made a week ago, to go with baked wholemeal tortilla.

Our baking queen used the entire packet of Gardenia wraps to make the tortilla chips.

Many of my friends asked me why I’m still so slim despite having a hubby who lives to eat and who’s in the F&B industry, and now Sherilyn’s favorite past time is baking.  Well, the answer is here —

By the time I’m done snapping the best photos of the food, what’s left for me is just one miserable spoonful of whatever that’s on the plate.  I have 3 perpetually hungry piranhas with bottomless pits.

Dinner of bitter melon omelette, pan fried scallop nuggets, braised organic Japanese pumpkin with dried shrimps and garlic, ‘pak choy’ soup with pork bones, braised sand ginger organic chicken and blanched lady’s fingers.

Something light-hearted in the light of Coronavirus  😆



No. of times viewed = 47

MCO Day 23 ~ 9 April 2020

Today is Cassandra’s 12th birthday!  It’s another birthday celebration in house quarantine for our family but we are very, very blessed that hubs could still get sumptuous takeout food and cakes for dinner from Red Kettle, our favorite cafe in the neighborhood.

This is not the first time that Cass has to spend her birthday in house quarantine. 11 years ago, she had to spend her first birthday in house quarantine too.  I had to keep Cass free from infections and sicknesses as well as plump her up from 7kg to at least 8kg so that she is healthy and strong enough to undergo a complicated surgery on 5 May 2009 to fix her urinary tract.

Today’s breakfast is pork ribs porridge just because the Ketua Keluarga craved for it and his wish was her command. No I didn’t cook it.  The mil did; she cooked it in the slow cooker last night so that everyone could have it for breakfast today.

In our household, we have organization of duties. The matriarch usually cooks. The eldest daughter cleans the dining table, brings the garbage to the refuse chamber; the second daughter washes the dishes and the youngest dries the dishes and keeps them. The Ketua Keluarga sometimes helps to wash the dishes, keeps them and he does the bulk of the groceries shopping.  I do all the shit that no one likes to do like bending my back and knees to mop floor, clean up greasy kitchen floor and stove, scrub bathrooms and climb up the ladder to clean fans and air cond filters.😑  I can’t wait to have Maria back in our house to help out!! And I symphatize with her that she too, has a loss of income throughout the MCO.

MIL made scallion pancakes for tea time, for the first time.  This ‘lockdown pancake’ has been trending on social media lately and many of our friends have been making it.  Not bad for a first try, though it would be better if the pancake is thinner and crispier. Not totally satisfied with the end result, mil vowed to make this pancake again soon.

Our delectable spread from Red Kettle to celebrate Cassandra’s 12th birthday!

Someone wasn’t in the mood to take photo (as usual 🙄) but she’s got no choice as it’s her birthday! 😆 I had to hide behind my girls as I was in my night gown, sweaty and sloppy from house cleaning.

It looks like Cass would not be getting her My Kad (identity card) any time soon.  I’m sure JPN will waive the penalty. Even when the MCO is lifted, no way would I be risking Cass and myself at the overcrowded government department to apply for the My Kad, even it if meant paying a late penalty.

Happy birthday Cassandra! My only wish for you is for you to be healthy and happy everyday of your life. When the MCO is lifted, you will be allowed into our condo gym without dad & mum accompanying you. Congrats! 😆



No. of times viewed = 18

Update On Cassandra’s Appointment at HKL – 5 March 2020

I finally got an appointment to go to HKL today, but not to see the Urologist. I went there to sign a Consent Letter and to get a date for Cass to do an MRU (Magnetic Resonance Urography).  The parent needs to sign a Consent Letter as the procedure has some risks tied to it. However, not all patients will experience these side effects. In the past, Cass had gone through MCUG and MAG3 scans that required contrast injected via IV and thank God, she didn’t suffer from any side effects. Hopefully her body will have no issues dealing with the contrast again this time. Fasting is required and besides having contrast injected via IV, Cass MUST NOT move throughout the 1.5 hours inside the MRI tunnel, which emits deafening sounds. Any movement will render the images unclear.  Cass had done an MRI before 6 years ago but that was without any contrast injected. The images were not 100% clear.  I think the hardest thing about this procedure is not being able to move for 1.5 hours and being strapped and wrapped up like a mummy;  not fasting for 8 hours or more.

The Consent Letter:

I was late for almost an hour for my appointment with the Urology Dept nurse as I couldn’t get a Grab driver. None of the Grab drivers wanted to accept a passenger who’s going to HKL, thinking that I must be sick with some suspicious virus.  HKL is one of the government hospitals to handle Covid-19 cases besides Hospital Sg Buloh.

I then downloaded the My Car app and finally managed to get a kind driver who came to pick me up. We chatted throughout the ride to the hospital. He went to the wrong building (HKL is really HUGE!) and had to make a detour; I had to pay extra and was terribly late. He told me that he’s now very careful with accepting orders to and fro hospitals; orders to and fro the Sg Buloh Hospital will never be accepted as it’s the centralized hospital for all Covid-19 cases in the Klang Valley. Thank God I managed to get a Grab driver after the appointment some 4 hours later, as the driver had to drop off a doctor at HKL. On both trips, the drivers wore face mask. The My Car driver told me that he has to sanitize his car every 4 hourly and fumigate his car with potent disinfectant once a week.

I wore a mask 😷 throughout my time at HKL; also washed and sanitized my hands umpteen times till my hands now feel like a 100-year old woman’s wrinkled hands.

Hand sanitizer located on every floor and at the lift areas:

From the Specialist Centre at HKL, I had to walk under the sizzling hot sun to the Women & Children Hospital, some 10 minutes walk away.  This is housed in a new building, which is so huge that I kept getting lost inside.  Each floor looks like a maze inside, with many doors unlabelled.  From the 9th floor, I had to go the 2nd floor, then back to 9th floor and finally 1st floor.  Even finding my way out of the maze was mind boggling and I had to stop several times to ask the guards and doctors for directions back to the main lobby for me to order Grab.🤪  The only upside is my Fitbit buzzed and vibrated to inform me that I had hit 10,000 steps! Yay!

This is the Imaging Dept and there is no signal and no mobile network here, thus couldn’t do anything but people watch for more than an hour in freezing temp.

At the ward, I saw small kids undergoing dialysis and it’s really heartbreaking.

At the Registration Counter, I saw this little boy of about 5 years old hooked to a machine with tubes. It must be an oxygen tank or something.

At the Imaging Department, I saw a Malay man with 2 boys – one is about 12 and the other about 14 and both of them, though mentally normal, were on a wheelchair each. One of the boys has dwarfism and digestion issues and the other boy couldn’t walk and has a slightly enlarged head.  And I thought how unfair can life be for this man as both his sons are wheelchair bound and sick but he looks like one very loving and patient dad.

Another Chinese lady walked out of the Imaging room with her maid carrying her daughter (about 8 years old) and this girl’s body is floppy and looked ‘twisted’. I could only guess that she has severe Cerebral Palsy and some other issues.  At the lobby several Down Syndrome and cancer kids walked past me.

Like I’d mentioned before, whenever you feel like life’s unfair to you and you feel dissatisfied with your current life, just take half a day off and make a trip to HKL. You’ll instantly feel that your life ain’t that bad after all when you compare your life with what you’re bound to see at the hospital.

Cass and I now have a little over 2 months to prepare ourselves mentally for her procedure. Wish us luck. We really need loads of it.

No. of times viewed = 27

Chinese New Year 2020 – 8th and 9th Day

Last Saturday, 1 February 2020 was the 8th day of CNY. It was Sherilyn’s Lunar birthday. She was born on the 8th day of CNY 15 years ago. I remember so vividly the thunderous fireworks let out for about half an hour that midnight when I was struggling to breastfeed this fiery infant who suckled my boob so aggressively that a small piece of the tit was bitten off by this toothless infant who wasn’t even a day old. My boobs were terribly sore, painful and bloody but I persevered with nursing this precious baby girl of mine. What a grand presence she’d made into the world with her loud and long first cries (loudest and longest of our 3 babies) in the OT and then later bit off part of mummy’s tits just several hours later  😂  Her character was already so prominently displayed the moment she announced her arrival into this world. My dare devil and drama queen!

On Chor 8, we had dinner with our old buddies at Oversea Restaurant @ Jalan Imbi. Dinner time allocated to us was at 8:30 p.m. and by the time we finished dinner, it was already close to 11 p.m. We were the last group of patrons to leave the restaurant.

The damage came up to over RM2k for 2 tables. The kids could wallop as much as us adults!

A big bulk of the bill came from the tiger prawns and Soon Hock fish.

My favorite dessert from this restaurant is their signature double boiled almond paste with egg white. It’s so addictive it’s illegal! Every mouthful is chokfull of silky smooth and creamy aromatic Chinese almonds, thickened with egg white. Though it was already 10 p.m. and way past my last eating time, I just couldn’t resist chomping down a bowl of this ‘hung ngan tun tarn tong sui’, all my myself.


Fireworks seen from our unit on the midnight of Chor 8 / Pai Ti Kong night.


The next day Cass had a gathering at her ertswhile class teacher, Ms L’s house in Ampang.  Ms L was Cass and her classmate’s class teacher from Primary 2 through Primary 4. When Ms L announced that she would no longer be teaching them in Primary 5, Cass and her classmates were terribly disappointed. Her classmates then created a Whatsapp chat group with Ms L in the group. As Ms L is no longer their class teacher, she’s now like a good friend to them.  Cass dots on Ms L.


Cass gets a hug from her favorite teacher, Ms L.


Cass and her classmates at Ms L’s CNY open house.

The boy in blue jacket in glasses is a Malay boy and is one of the top scorers in the entire standard (Chinese school). I am always very amazed by him.

After dropping off Cass at Ms L’s house, we went to one of the famous Ampang Yong Tau Foo stalls to have lunch.  In all honesty, I think the Yong Tau Foo at that stall is nothing to shout about.  There are stalls in my neighborhood that sells  similar Yong Tau Foo and stuff that taste just as good.

Hardly with her hair let down, Cass had to let it down as her hair tie snapped while she was in the car. Alycia commented that Cass looks gorgeous with her curly brown hair let down  😄


From behind, my baby girl looks so grown up. She’s going to be 12 soon!



No. of times viewed = 39

KL Book Exchange

For the last one year, our avid bookworm has been pestering me to bring her to the book exchange ground at our neighborhood held on the first Sunday of each month. But I never had the time to do it. Firstly, it’s on a Sunday where the girls have Sunday School and Youth Fellowship  at the church at 11 a.m.  Secondly, it’s starts frigging early at 8:45 a.m. and ends at 10:45 a.m.  Though I’m already up by 7 a.m.,  I don’t have the luxury of a live-in maid to help with the chores. My mornings are usually spent doing chores.



Last Sunday the hubs was already up at 8:30 a.m. and took Cass to the book exchange ground. An hour later and with body drenched in sweat after being roasted by the scorching morning sun, Cass got home with 6 thick novels. She was one very, very happy camper!

 

Cass managed to stumble upon Dan Brown’s mystery thriller novel – The Da Vinci Code, a novel which she’s always wanted to buy but mom said no as it’s too expensive! She also found another old gem – a very ‘seasoned’ Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,  a fantasy book written by British author J. K. Rowling and the fourth novel in the Harry Potter series. The pages are so seasoned I think they were most probably been feasted on by termites – the papers provide nutrients to the termites 😱  This book should be around 20 years old!

Thank goodness we did not donate all the girls’ old books. A few weeks ago I gave away 3 big bags of books to the Tzu Chi Recycling Center. We kept some in a box and now Cass gets to exchange them with new titles. Books make her one very, very happy girl. I wish I could say the same with her school books too 😔

If you have tons of books that you want to get rid of, bring them to the KL Book Exchange grounds. Effective February 2020, they will be in Taman Desa and Sunway Velocity Mall on the LAST Sunday of the month. Books will be exchanged on a one-for-one basis, in the same language of the book.



No. of times viewed = 19

She Still Cares :)

My baby girl still helps me to deshell crabs and feeds me the crab meat with her hand so that I don’t have to dirty my hands. She started doing this for me since 3 or 4 years ago when we were in Penang and had a feast of seafood. She was about 7 or 8 years old. I told her that I hated the fishy odor on my hands and she’s since taken on the job of deshelling the crabs and feeding me my favorite part of the crab – the claw 😁

I know Cass is going to cringe when she reads this post. She does not like me to call her baby girl nor display any form of public affection to her anymore😭



No. of times viewed = 14