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 – 79 (24 – 27 August 2020) ~ Random Updates

I love the colors of sunrise – the cheery scattering colors of apricot, pink, blue, grey and white splashed across the crack of dawn.  I know I’ve posted many similar pictures of sunrise in my blogs and I am still going to post more as I can never get enough of it.   If I could capture the most beautiful sunrise, only then, will I stop capturing them. Every sunrise gives me a brand new hope of a new beginning and a new ending to bad events and memories.

Sunrise on Wednesday, 26 August 2020 @ 6:55 a.m.

Sunrise on Thursday, 27 August 2020 @ 6:45 a.m.

If you look hard enough, you will see that KL Tower is illuminated in the colours of the Jalur Gemilang (Malaysia flag) in commemoration of our country’s upcoming Independence Day.

Cass is down with a mild UTI attack since Sunday and I’m self-treating her at home. I’m praying very hard that the pesky bacteria will not get a chance to travel up to her kidneys.  Thus, Cass has to follow my strict anti-UTI regimen. If she gets high fever with pain on her kidneys, then she has to be hospitalized.

A very meaty lunch on Monday with hubs.  Totally not my kind of lunch with an overload of protein, though I’m on a low-carb diet. My perfect kind of meal would be 70% vegetables, 10% carbs and 20% meat. As I get older, I find that my body cannot stomach too much meat or food for that matter. I find that I can still stay healthy with the bare minimum of food and lots of clear fluids.

Our edible garden on a squeezy balcony:

If you’re an avid edible garden planter, you’ll see that we have spring onions, sand ginger, Thai purple basil, stink grass (good for body detox and actually smells great), Malabar purple spinach and Chinese celery.  The spring onions are planted from purple onions, Malabar purple spinach from stems and Chinese celery from the root end  of the bunch after we ate the top part. So do not discard your vegetable stems and kitchen scraps.  They can be regrown into beautiful organic vegetables.  Everyday kitchen scraps from vegetables can be turned into new ones very quickly that even apartment-dwellers can do, and it’s a good way to teach kids about where food comes from.  We use organic soil and use kitchen scraps (egg shells, fruit peels, unwanted fruits, etc) as organic fertilizer.



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Treating UTI Naturally With Hydrogen Water

I got a scare of my life on Tuesday morning (yesterday). It was around 1-ish a.m. and I heard a knock on my room door. I stumbled out of bed groggily with my heart thumping.  The mil was standing  outside and she told me that Cass had woken up on her own to pee. This has never happened before. My alarm clock rings at 2:30 a.m. everyday for me to bring Cass to pee. Something is not right.

I went to the bathroom and saw Cass on the toilet seat. I asked her whether she was OK and she told me that her bladder region felt uncomfortable. Her urethra hurt a little too. She sat at the throne for a good 20 minutes as she kept having the urge to pee. Dang it, classic symptoms of a UTI! I quickly gave her a packet of Izumio hydrogen water.

I was supposed to feed Cass with Waterfall D-Mannose to zap away the bacteria but I had finished my existing stock. My new stock was still stuck in the UK. The seller (Sweet Cures, UK) had missed out shipping my order but bless her ever kind heart, she gave me 2 extra tubs to compensate for their oversight.

I was insanely worried that Cass has another UTI attack. She had been showing some very initial symptoms of a UTI for the past 2-3 weeks but I now know how to spot those initial symptoms and nip them at the bud before the bacteria starts ‘partying’ and multiplying.

There is current research available that proves that bacteria can colonise layers of the bladder epithelium and bury themselves deep within the bladder wall, especially after an antibiotic attack, waiting to reappear when conditions are favourable. Now you see why I am totally not keen on antibiotics. They only offer short term relief, while sometimes they don’t even work. I am pretty certain that Cass’ recurrent UTI attacks lately are caused by the same colony of bacteria from the first attack in November last year, that were not successfully wiped out by antibiotics. They were snugly hiding deep inside her bladder walls, waiting to reappear and multiply when the conditions are right.  Acidic urine creates perfect conditions that encourage this detachment and regrowth.

My diet for Cass now involves an alkaline one, i.e with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, barley water, coconut water and hydrogen water.  Sometimes this is hard, especially when we eat out.  Almost every darn thing that we eat is acidic, from meat to eggs, milk, bread, nuts and our daily staple. Even cooked white rice is slightly acidic. So when she’s had a very acidic meal, I will ensure that she downs lots of alkaline fluids.

The next day, Cass skipped school. After downing 2 packets of Izumio hydrogen water (at 1:30am and 6am), Cass told me that she no longer felt pain in her bladder region and urethra. I was SO happy but didn’t let my guard down yet. I gave her a total of 5 packets of Izumio yesterday.  Cass is back at school today.

Since I have run out of Waterfall D-Mannose, Cass is drinking an additional of 3 packets of Izumio a day now, making it a total of 5 packets a day.

Below – Cass sipping Izumio in school during recess today. I checked on her in school today and will do the same tomorrow.

From my experience, hydrogen water is effective in treating a UTI attack at the initial stage. I just have to ensure that Cass drinks it every 3 hourly or so. On top of hydrogen, I ensure that her intake of meat and other acidic foods is kept to a minimal.

If you know of anyone who is suffering from recurrent UTI attacks, do give hydrogen-infused water a try. You have nothing to lose by trying. Give me a call at 019-266 4290 or email shireenyong@gmail.com to find out more.

 

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Update On Cass’ UTI – 20 January 2016

This morning Cass told me that the pain level at her bladder region is at 0.5/10 and by evening, it is zero pain, woohoo!!  Am praying fervently now that the pain does not return tomorrow.

I’ll still be keeping Cass at home tomorrow to allow her urinary tract to heal completely before she goes back to school either on Friday or next Tuesday (thank goodness Monday is a public holiday!). I am going to be a nervous wreck when she goes back to school. Though I hate to spend my mornings in school, I guess I have no choice but to spend 2 hours a day in school to supervise Cass on her water intake, to give her the bunch of anti-UTI potion and to ensure that she pees every hourly.

The other thing that Cass has to do to prevent another UTI attack, besides not holding back her urine and to drink water like a fish is that she has a list of trigger food to avoid. These are the foods that will irritate her bladder and are mostly acidic food. Among them is spicy food!  She has to give up eating spicy food *SOBS*!  Which means that I will also have to steer clear of spicy food whenever she’s with me, to remove all the temptation from her sight 🙁

I am now more well prepared in handling a UTI and should the very first tell-tale signs appear again, I now know what to do to prevent a full-blown urinary tract infection from happening. But knock on wood. I hope Cass will never have another bout of UTI attack, ever again!

If you’ve been praying for Cass’ recovery, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your prayers 🙂

 

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Another UTI Attack

Can you believe it took me 3 days to draft this post and finally be able to publish this post? The past 3 days have been a suspense for me with lots of heart stopping moments. I’ve not had much time to sit at my work desk.

On Sunday morning I got a major heart attack. Cass told me that she felt pain when she peed. I knew instantly that it was another UTI attack. I could see it coming since a week ago. All the classic symptoms were present.  The ‘time bomb’ finally exploded on Sunday. Cass told me in the morning that she felt pain when she peed. I felt like I had just been hit by a lorry. Each UTI would cost us at least RM6,000 and would risk her kidneys being eaten up by the nasty bacteria. Scarring of the kidneys would cause kidney failure.

No one would understand the fears and feelings that ran  through my numb mind.  If the UTI turns out bad with flank side pain, fever, nausea and loss of appetite, Cass would require a hospitalization with antibiotics given via IV line. Just 2 months ago, Cass was hospitalized for a UTI. It was her first UTI attack in 6 years. Our submission of claim from the insurance company is still pending, after being rejected 3 times *WAILS!!*  🙁 🙁

IF Cass requires another hospitalization, that would cost us another RM6k!!!   Even RM600 would hurt us, what more RM6k! We would also have to be in the hospital 3 times a day for antibiotics jab to be administered at 9am, 5pm and 11pm.

I tried to remain calm so that I could think sensibly what I should do to prevent the vile bacteria from going all the way up to the kidneys.  I always look towards natural remedies first and if they fail, we will turn to the doctor. But I am still not in favor of antibiotics. Cass was on oral antibiotics since 6 weeks old till about 16 months old. Every single day. On some bad days, she had to be on antibiotics drips in the hospital. On a few occasions during those UTI attacks when she was a baby and toddler, the bacteria were resistant to all the safe antibiotics. There were several times where she had a bad UTI attack and none of the safe antibiotics were sensitive to the bacteria. And my most trusted pediatrician had to make a tough decision to give her a random antibiotics (for UTI) with both of us praying hard that the antibiotics would work on the bacteria. But the antibiotics only managed to offer short-term relieve. Several weeks later, the bacteria in dormant mode would spring back to life and attacked her urinary tract again. Those were my deepest darkest days in the hell hole of the hospital.  I do NOT want to re-live those hellish days. No one should go through these days in the hospital with their child, not even my worst enemy.

Anyway, after 3 days of research on the internet, I am certain that the bacteria in the previous UTI attack in November 2015 were not 100% wiped out from Cass’ urinary tract. I found out from my research that antibiotics would only offer short term relief. If the antibiotics fails to completely eradicate the entire clan of bacteria from the body, there would be a recurrent UTI attack. The only way of completely removing the bacteria from the urinary tract is not through antibiotics but through a more holistic way. If you google the risk of antibiotics overuse on your body, you will be shocked to read the findings. The bacteria can be flushed off from the urinary system through drinking lots of fluids and eating an alkaline diet. When I say a lot of fluid, it really is a lot! And one must be drinking the right kind of drinks. I have been busy planning and reminding her to drink different kinds of potion every hour of the day, round the clock!

For the past 3 days, I have been feeding Cass with these:

1) Waterfall D-Mannose (WDM) – every 2 hourly. I got up at 2:30am and 4:45am to feed her with this and to bring her to pee for the past 2 nights. Bacteria attaches to WDM and gets flushed out from the urinary tract. I bought this product online from the UK.
2) Izumio hydrogen water – 4 times a day
3) Manuka honey + propolis – twice a day
4) Fresh coconut water
5) Ural – twice a day
6) Lots of barley water. Barley is alkaline and good in cleansing the bladder and kidneys.

Yesterday I asked Cass how she would rate the pain in her bladder area when she peed and she told me 5/10. This morning she told me that it has gone down to 4/10 and gradually to 3/10. Later in the day today, she told me that the pain has been reduced to 2/10 to 1/10 and finally 0! But hours later, she told me that she had a 3/10 – 4/10 pain level again at her bladder and private part area.  Her yoyo pain level is driving me nuts!!  This girl is tagging me along for an emotional roller coaster ride with her.  Can’t blame her but I am so emotional now. My eyes are burning now from weariness.

Apart from the pain only when she pees, Cass is otherwise as active and cheeky as ever. Appetite remains unchanged. No fever and no nausea. Thank God! I pray that Cass would continue to heal.

I am still very worried of Cass. It can be easy to treat a non-severe UTI with home remedies if one has a normal urinary tract. For Cass, she has an abnormal urinary tract (duplex right kidney and dilated right duplex ureters), which makes it harder to eradicate the bacteria completely.  She is going to skip school for the whole of this week. Even when she is totally pain-free (hopefully by tomorrow or Thursday), I will have to be in school to watch her like a hawk for 2-3 hours a day. She still needs to drink fluids like a fish and pee regularly to keep flushing out the bacteria. I suspect that she is holding back on her pee ever since school started early this month.  I know she is embarrassed of having to seek permission from the teachers in the presence of all her classmates, every  hourly to pee.

Can everyone pretty please pray for Cass’ complete recovery from UTI without the need for hospitalization and antibiotics?

 

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Cass Is Discharged From The Hospital

After 3 nights 4 days, Cass is finally ‘discharged’ from the hospital!

Since Friday last week, I felt like I have been in a bad dream. My day would start very early (even on weekends). I had to complete some chores before leaving the house at 9 am for the hospital for Cass’ 1st antibiotic jab via IV.  We would then spend between an hour to 8 hours in the hospital.  If we are lucky, the morning jab would take just an hour, inclusive of talking to the doctor. If not, we would have to wait at the hospital until 4pm for the 2nd jab.  On Day 2, Cass had to do an ultrasound scan and urine test. Day 3 was another urine test. Getting pee from Cass was frustrating yesterday as she was in a very foul mood. And her foul mood made me feel really foul too.   She didn’t want to wet any part of her body but the protocol for urine collection is that her down under must be cleaned up first.  I got so pissed that I gave her a good piece of my mind that I had been bottling up and finally managed to unleash it on her.

Going through all these procedures with Cass brought back bitter memories of the time when I had to collect Cass’ pee when she was a baby over 6 years ago. Those days were much worst than now. Collecting pee from a sick baby is a tall order and can take years away from your life!  And I had to do that every single month, several times in each month during each UTI attack, sometimes several times in a day!  Gawd, how did I even survive those dark days??

Night jab is 11ish pm. By the time we reach home, it’d be way past midnight already. Next day, I would be up at 4:45am to get ready Alycia and Sherilyn for school. I’ve skipped swimming since Friday as I have no more energy left for exercise.

My parents from Ipoh and brother and family from Singapore were in KL over the weekend to celebrate my parent’s wedding anniversary. But I was in zilch mood for any celebration. I was worried of Cass and now I am still worried – of the rejected hospital bill by our insurance company totalling RM5,000! Hopefully our appeal with a fresh letter from Cass’ doctor will be approved this time.

Cass was uber happy today, despite spending 5 hours in the hospital as the IV line is finally taken off. The IV line has been causing her so much discomfort and pain since last Friday.

On a more positive note, I am very thankful that despite getting a UTI attack with bad flank side and bladder pain, Cass was still very much active, had no loss of appetite and was not nauseous.  Her fever was very well managed with Izumio hydrogen water, which I gave her lots since last week. I  have been pumping myself with extra packets of Izumio as well.  Because of the stress and lack of sleep, I got bitten by the flu bug from the hubby! The flu started this morning with non-stop sneezing but by 9pm, the runny nose and sneezing stopped!  I can’t believe how fast I got myself healed from flu this time!! Once again, Izumio has not failed me. I am so happy! 🙂

 

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Cass Has UTI

Sorry for the long silence here. Whenever you don’t see any update here for more than 3 days, I must be either drowned in work or a crisis must have had happened. Or both. This time, it’s both.

Cass has urinary tract infection (UTI) and is admitted. It’s her first UTI in 5.5 years. It all started on Wednesday after school when she told me that she felt like dying in school. She complained of pain when peeing. This coming from a tough cookie, I know it must be something very nasty. By Friday, she complained that her right kidney hurt like hell. When it comes to her kidneys, this is something that I will never take a bet on with a ‘wait and see how it goes’ approach. I immediately brought her to her usual pediatrician at Pantai Medical Centre. He’s been seeing Cass since she was an infant and knows her complicated urinary tract condition. Knowing that Cass has a very precious and delicate right kidney that’s duplex, once had a Grade 3 Reflux (and fixed with surgery) and dilated, he did not want to take any risk. He ordered Cass to be admitted right away and to start her with antibiotics drip via IV.

As in previous times, this doctor allows home leave for us, where Cass can go home but has to be brought in to the hospital three times a day for antibiotics jab via IV — at 9am, 4pm and 11pm. The past 3 days have been a whirlwind of events for us. On Saturday we were at the hospital from 9am through 5pm. Cass had an ultrasound scan of her kidneys and another urine test. Praise the Lord that the ultrasound scan shows that there is no infection in Cass’ kidneys. I hope I don’t get a heart attack for getting less than 5 hours of sleep every night!

The ever tough cookie, who shed no tear throughout her ordeal. She only requested that I hold her hand, which I did as usual and gave her all my moral support.

So what could have caused a UTI in Cass? Tracking back all the sequence of events and history, I can only deduce that the UTI is caused by:
1) Cass holding back peeing when she’s in school.
2) Lack of proper hygiene when she pees and poos in school
3) Spending a little longer time in the pool lately
4) Two Sundays ago when we attended a workshop at a hotel, she held on and delayed  peeing for 3 hours when she should be peeing every hourly.

While most kids will have not much problem holding pee for 3 hours, swimming for prolonged time and not getting tip top hygiene in their daily ‘business’, it is an entirely different case for Cass as she has a urinary tract that’s not so perfect anatomically.

The surprising thing that I notice throughout Cass’ ordeal is that she was still active, had no loss of appetite and had no nausea or vomiting. Most people stricken with UTI would feel malaise, nauseous and could not hold down food. And her urine collected for tests was still not cloudy (it was listed as ‘clear’ in the urine test report) and only had ‘occasional bacteria’ in it, though she had pain on her flank side and bladder when peeing. I can only guess that the Izumio hydrogen water that she’s been drinking has been helping her!

Today is the 4th day that Cass is hospitalized with home leave. We will be off to the hospital in a while. Will keep you all posted.

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