Sunday, September 25, 2005

Mothering Emak

Mak is only 55 years old. Although I think 55 is a cosy number ~ I would call her ‘still young’ ~ she feels her age, or maybe older. Sometimes I feel she purposely will herself to be every bit 55 for reasons only known to her. Age is all in the mind, isnt it? At 55, she is very sick and very old.

She has the whole package of illnesses. It started with high blood pressure. Pretty soon after that was diagnosed, she was found to be diabetic. And then daily intake of all those pills have lead her to have a failing kidney. She is on the way to total renal failure. It is only a matter of time before she needs dialysis.

Mak complained of pain in her right foot since two weeks ago. I thought nothing of it until my sister said that the toes have turned bluish and the sole was very very cold. I immediately called my doctor friends and they confirmed my suspicion. That the fine blood vessels to the toes have been constricted and blood flow to the area was severely compromised.

I rushed home Johor and took her to a specialist hospital.

The doctor said they did not have the doppler equipment to conduct tests on her. And so he wrote a letter for us to bring to Sultanah Aminah’s public hospital in JB.

Off we rushed her to JB. It turned out that all the pain and anxiety have made her blood pressure went sky high. Upon admission the systole was way above 200. Of course she was warded.

And so for a week she was there, the doctors were mostly busy trying to bring down her BP. For the foot, they gave some medications to dilute the blood and unclog her blood vessels but the medications were all at a very mild dosage due to her kidney. She was released with her next appointment set in October.

Mak came back Kluang with toes still bluish. And feet still icy cold. And still in pain.

If anything, the pain has now worsened.

Along called. She said, mak is practically suffering. She shivers and sweats and cries all the time. She could not eat or sleep from the acute pain. Nothing that Along tried is of use. But on a positive note, the toes are red again except for one.

I told Along that maybe the pain is a good sign, it means blood is coming back into the toes, isn’t it? But the pain is too much for Mak to bear. The painkillers given are of no help. They are the mild type, again, in consideration of her kidneys. And Mak crying in pain is something totally new. She has always been a stoic gal. Even during labor, she could eat her favorite putu piring in between pushes.

I received a message from Along just now. Mak wants all her children home.

Despite the plea from Mak, my Bro will only be going back this weekend. He has classes to attend.

As for me, I can only go back at the earliest tomorrow evening. I am quitting my job. Instead of giving them a month’s notice, I only gave 10 days. My employer has been kind enough to just close one eye to the balance 20 days. This means, I don’t have to pay them for breaching the contract. I cannot take leave. I have none left. And because the time left is now only another week, I need the time to responsibly transfer over work to someone else. I really can’t just leave. And I will be starting a new job in October.

But I know I only have one Mak. And I know for her I would die many times over. So come tomorrow I will tell Boss that I really have to be in Johor. And if it means he will want me to pay the 20 days, I guess I will have to. At the least, I need to call a meeting tomorrow morning to properly brief the guy who’s going to take over my work. And I will have to call the new office too in case I need to join them later than the promised date. And if it means i will lose the offer, so be it.

The journey back this time will be an adventurous one for I will be taking the public transport. I will have to bring Sun with me because he is after all THE breast-pump. Hopefully he will not be so boisterous on the trip.

Sigh… a mother dedicated her life to her children. When her children are sick, she never considers looking after the sick ones as an option. She doesn’t give excuses. Nothing can ever be far too important than her children. The word ‘susah’ is never in her dictionary.

How can I, as a daughter of this fine mother, turn my face away when she is in pain? How can I deny her the comfort of her children? How can I be calculative of time, energy and money so much so that I can’t just drop off everything to be with her like she must have done for me numerous times? What kind of a daughter am i if i want to jaga hati my bosses more than my own mother's? And what kind of an example am i giving my Dot if i choose to fuss over her than my own sick Mak? Dot will be okay with her buah-hati of a father. Mak needs me more. The roles have been reversed. And i am glad i am now given the chance to mother her.

The past few months have been months of one test after the other for me. Not the easiest of months. God must know that i am strong and worthy of these tests although i may think otherwise. And so i shall be. He knows best.

Please doa for my Mak’s recovery. And please doa too that I would not fail her.

Sunday, 25th Sept 2005

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Super Spendar

It was Friday the 16th. The interview day.

I was dressed and painted for it. Professional, chic, corporate, mature were the image that I wanted to portray.

Just last week, Yamtuan bought me a new blouse. Very serious looking, plain and simple. Dark tan. I wore it with grey trousers and a matching jacket to boot. But since Yamtuan had lecture in the morning I had to go to the place myself. Easily. The office was just a few stations away (and we are talking about Putra LRT not my usual unreliable KTM Komuter). No problem at all.

Interview was at 10, but I arrived at the Ampang station at 9. I went to the loo, relieve myself, checked my appearance, nose not shiny -check, lipstick not smeared -check, uban not sticking out like antenna -check. All okay. I went out from the station and found a nice spot to sit and do last minute homework – reading up about the company. Yamtuan searched the internet last night and had a few print-outs for me to read.

I got the facts well stored in my mind. I could handle 5-minutes conversation easily. Glanced at my wrist watch. 0945. Okay, maybe it was time.

Yamtuan called. ‘Good luck okay?’

Thank you sir. I was all business. Psyching myself up for the role.

And off I walked to the office. Went upstairs, was given a form to fill and waited. Read a book while waiting.

You know, I never did apply for the job. Yes I am unhappy here. But no, I wasn’t in a hurry to leave, partly because the children are still so awfully small. The arrangement here, if you really think about it is actually perfect. I am not busy at all and I don’t honor 9-to-5 working hour. My leaves are never recorded too. So it does give me flexi hours with the kids. On the other hand, sitting idle and biting nails are not exactly what I am cut out for. I am bored and having no responsibility to me is not translated very well. I have been so used to the fast-paced corporate world that I find it very very tiring to just sit and do nothing.

They called me last week, out of the blue, with an offer. Of course I jumped. So there I was on that fine Friday morning with my briefcase of certs and what-nots.

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Soon, they called me in. There were three of them. And so the Interview began.

It went well me thinks. And I was pretty certain that I would be accepted.

Right after it was over, I went to Ampang Park. Bought myself a RotiBoy as a reward for being so-crever and called Yamtuan. He said he could meet me at Amcorp Station in about an hour.

And so I headed back to the Putra Station and began the journey to Amcorp. I reached there early and so I went to the loo again.

Lo and behold! I realized that my zippers were undone! I must have forgotten to zip up since the Ampang loo this morning! Alamakkkk oh alamak! What must they be thinking? Maybe they thought I was using my femininity to get me the job ya? Maybe flashing the underwear would give me extra marks! I peered down, please God, let it be a good underwear not the rusty torny grandmother one and please don’t let it be the naughty one too, and not the pokemon one too, oh no… peered , oh okay, a decent one. Modest, let off only very mild suggestions… not wild, not naughty, not cheeky, not trampy, not too bold, not too old. Ok, phew…

Zipped up. And checked twice. If only I could padlock it, I would.

And then I received THE call from them. I got the job! Got the job! Yippee yippee yey yey! Hey…. the underwear must be a lucky one and flashing it for the whole world to see must have done the trick!

And so people, this is my good news. I will move from this jamban of a workplace to somewhere very very near KLCC. I will be at my new work place on 3rd October!

Yey people yey!

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pssssst psst, BTW hoh,
if any one of you wanna get me a gift, I want a laptop. This one I will be handing back to the boss. Laptop okay? Please queue. I will give you the laptop specifications ya! Jangan berebut, okay, not nice like that! If your budget is limited (I know you have to eat too), just get me a new handphone lah. I accept also.

If not, maybe i should walk around town with lucky Super Spendar! It seems to help me get things i want... hmmmm... that's a thought.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Rembulan Kesiangan

Yesterday during breakfast, a guy walked into the restaurant. He was mumbling to himself. Looked unkempt and dirty. He went straight to a table on our right. Two men were reading newspapers. He started pointing pointing to the newspaper and gave comments. Something to do with politics. And he offered his hand for a handshake. They shook hands.

Then he came to my table and offered a handshake to a guy sitting next to me. And he told us all, ‘I am like this because the moon is full. I will take my medication and will be better soon.’ And we nodded our heads.
‘Go for it dude, take your medications!’

I looked at Yamtuan and smiled. The guy is pretty harmless, I mouthed. But I would not want to shake hands with him.
‘it is going to be full moon soon, that is why lah’ Yamtuan said.
‘yeah, like that has any relevance..’ pish posh!
‘it is true you know, you don’t know ah?’

And so I said I would do my own research on the moon subject. For phases of the moon, hana kirana has it on her spot. Why, dunno also.

Today on the way to work, I was in the bus and the bus was taking a bend when suddenly in front of us, standing right smack in the middle of our lane was this guy. Bent at the waist, he was flashing his glorious butt at us. Despite being a passenger and never driven a car, least of all a bus, I was busy braking braking as well. The bus almost hit him and the cars behind almost hit us. Phew! We stopped maybe a millimeter or two shy from his butt. My face was maybe less than a foot away from that butt. And he kept on with his pose.
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Not a flinch (i was close enough to testify to this). Didnt give a fart!

What is it about the moon?

The werewolves howl the loudest when the moon is full. The pontianaks hop trees and give you their famous heeeheehee with full moon as background. When us girls ‘datang bulan’ we can sometimes be as savage as werewolves AND pontianaks combined!

We romanticise about the silvery moon. And we are in awe of its pale yellow light. Someone told me that she would never look at the moon whenever she was away from home because it would only make her more homesick. Because she explained, wherever you are on this world, when you look up and rest your gaze at the moon, you know that your loved ones are under the same moon. The geography underneath your feet may be different, but the moon, the sky remains to look just like home!

And you have songs about the moon. You equate beauty with the moon and then doomed love affair too. And you want to live on the moon because over there, nobody is going to say that you have a weight problem. The moon, nobody diets up there! My idea of heaven!

Some folklore said that there was this concubine who sacrificed herself for the people in China and so was taken up to the moon by the gods so she could continue watching her beloved people.

And there are stories too about an evil man on the moon weaving a rope. The rope would scorch earth if it touches ground. But rejoice, there is this rat up there who nimbles at the rope so it would never be long enough to do any damage.

BTW do you know that the Blue Moon actually means the second full moon in a calendar month? It is something which is bound to happen once in a while, because the average length of the lunar month is slightly shorter than the length of most calendar months. And, at full moon the earth is between the moon and the sun; at new moon the moon is between the sun and the earth. Always the perfect line-up.

Some creatures synchronise their breeding with the cycles of the moon. One example is sea turtles, which come ashore to lay their eggs at a particular phase of the moon. This is in relevance to the tide. When tide is higher, baby turtles will not have to travel so far after hatching, to reach the shore. Some girls I know also just so happened to be talking about breeding at this time of the moon. Why she wants a high tide I also don’t want to know. Dont make me blush Anedra (this linking trick i just curi the kungfu from uja), really.

Moon causes the tide. Low tide, high tide, are all due to the moon (and sun really). Is it possible that the liquid in our body, (our blood and God-knows what other juice), all experience low tide high tide as well? The human body is after all comprised of 80% water.

And then I found websites discussing this and how actual scientific researches have been carried out and the conclusion they made? There is NO NEVER NADA such thing as human tidal effect.

And so when I ‘datang bulan’ and my blood reaches its highest tide and I snap at your head and go after your throat like a sundal malam, it is NOT the moon, it is just you.

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Sunday, September 11, 2005

Of minah, amoi and kumari.

I did my primary schooling in Sarawak. Standard 1 to 4. My best friends were Kirenjit Kaur and Hasniza Hashim. We were always playing with our good friends, Jeremy Ong, Christopher Ong, K.Saravanan and Gomathy Shanti.

And then I moved to Johor. A school in a kampong. I was 10 years old.

My first day at school, they asked me, ‘what are you?’
‘orang lah (human of course)’ and they thought I was making fun of them. But I honestly didn’t know what they meant.
It turned out that they wanted to know, what type of Malay I was. Baffling, I know. First, I didn’t know that I was a Malay and that as a Malay I was ‘different’ from Chinese or Indian. And so after I got confirmation from my parents that I was indeed a Malay, I had to know what type of Malay was my Malay. I could be Jawa, Bugis, Banjar, Minang etc etc. My parents said, I was just a real Malay. And so the next day I told the kids at school that I was just - a real Malay.
‘How real?’ they asked. And so I went around the new school being introduced as Melayu Asli. An aborigine. Oh well. Best also.
Image hosted by Photobucket.comAnd so that was my first brush with racism if it can be called that. Is Johor more racial than Sarawak? Are nine year olds more aware of racial differences than younger children? I dont know. And i am not about to offer any opinion. I have none. And I am no social science scholar too.

But this much I learnt, that in a multi-racial world that i was in, a few rules must be observed.
First rule, identify which race you belong too. Define your self.
Second rule, wear the proper uniforms. I made the mistake of wearing JEANS (corduroy and bell bottom too, oh no), and so the kids found that confusing. Malay kids in the kampong must not wear jeans.

And as I grew older, to my confusion and horror, it just got uglier.

Yes, we don’t want May 13th to ever happen again. And yes we have been independent for so many years and yes we are now talking about having a Malaysian race. Yes the Malays are beginning to look like Chinese or Indian, and the Indians don’t look typical anymore and the Chinese now have large eyes and big bosom not like before. Sometimes people thought I am a Chinese, sometimes a Filipino. I thought my boss was Chinese but he was really an ahmad. You know, on the surface of things, we have I-love-you-and-you-love-me-we-are-a-happy-family nation. Great.

Then why is it that I still get,
‘don’t la buy from him, must buy from our people’
‘they are out to get us really, they want to take over our birth rights’
‘you know for a *certain race*, you are not that bad’
‘if we want to hire the *certain race*, we must hire ten for one post. Because ten of them will produce the amount of work of one *certain race* person’
‘my boss like that lah, you know what they are like lah’
‘the *certain race* is always playing politics ya? And actually give you service only when bribed’
the *certain race* if they are on motorbikes, you better avoid them. Sure gangster'
'the lowest paid is *certain race*, then *certain race*. pay the *certain race* more because they are worth it'

I don’t know about you. But I don’t think we should label people based on their kulit-ification. You can’t say this race that race is always lazy or sly or power hungry. You can’t generalize unless you have perhaps taken adequate sample size. For example, your encounter with a good representable percentage of the whole Malay population worldwide since their existence and continuously until they become extinct gives you the same observation. Then your conclusion is of worth. Otherwise, it has no statistical back up. It is just prejudice.

I can tell you I don’t like this particular Ah Lee and Senthil because they are crooks, but I wont say they represent the whole population of the Chinese and Indians. And I don’t like certain Ahmads as well because they are crooks too. There are bad apples everywhere. You have good and bad Indians and good and bad Chinese and good and bad Jews and good and bad Malays etc etc.. So why generalize?

We are not any better than the person sitting next to us just because our skin is of a different shade from them? I am not even talking about religion .. yet. Rapists and thieves and murderers are exactly that, rapist-thief-murderer no matter ‘what’ they are.

On a religious point of view, doesn’t Allah completely forbids racism? Yes, He created the human being, in a variety of colours and cultures. But despite the differences, every one of us is created equal. The only superiority one has over the other is the person’s character, morals and piety.

‘O Mankind! We created you from a male and a female, and made you into peoples and tribes so that you might come to know each other. The noblest among you in Allah’s sight is the one with the most piety (who best performs his duty to Allah). Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware.’
~ Al Hujurat: 13.

So who cares what race/religion label you carry? If you are a good person, honest, kind, well-mannered and a being made by the one and only God (how can anyone not be created by Him? You cant spontaneously be), I like you. Enough said.

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Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Past Present Future

Ely and Anedra, so this is my kisah seram.

1985, 20 years ago – I was 15
1. I was in a fully residential school in Muor.
2. I was known among the teachers as The Bertih Jagung (The Popcorn), because I wasn’t very shy and quiet.
3. Had an admirer from the leader of Geng Kepala Anjing, another 15-year old. Football player, not bad looking, had eyeliner and purple lipsticks on, as any rockers of those gender-confused years. Oh he was such a gangstah. Smoking Lucky Strike and wearing Loudness tees and all that. So all the other boys treated me with respect (or risk kena tempeleng with him) even though I never sorta ‘accepted’ him. He left the school after SRP.
4. I myself was in a group called The Rambo Star ~ whatever that means. It was a boy-hate group.
5. I was constantly hungry.
6. I was a very active member of the Outdoor Club, was forever camping and hiking here and there.
7. School was so much fun. Later in Form 4 I developed hatred towards the subject Physics and the teacher Cikgu Norliya hated me too.
8. I hated Geography too, the teacher said if I pass the subject he would eat his shoes. I got an A for SRP. He still hasn’t eaten his shoes.
9. Loved perfumed pen, erasers and notebooks!
10. Hated pink and purple, because the two colors were SO in.

1990, 15 years ago – I was 20
1. I was doing my diploma in ITM Shah Alam. It was during Acis Gersang (no no not Mona, Acis okay? Sheila Majid’s hubby?), Azhar Sulaiman and Azwan Ali years.
2. Have just discovered The Make Up – with disastrous effect.
3. Worked nights as a waitress at FC Restaurant of PKNS. Dated a pretty 17 year old boy who waited tables there too. He was such a kid he would bring Voltron figurines whenever we dated. He was SO pretty though, he preened all the time. I was Beast, he was Beauty. Did not work out, of course. He had a lot of growing up to do.
4. That guy from school? The leader of the pack? He contacted me again. Said he had brain tumor, had to quit uni (was doing political science in US), and it was the thought of me that kept him going. He fought the cancer for me. He was given only a few months to live. So ok lah, we became a couple for real (letters and phones only, never dated).
5. I hated Physics with a vengeance. And the lecturer, Puan Samirah, hated me too. I was so cursed.
6. I was always hungry.

1995, 10 years ago – I was 25
1. Just graduated from UTM Jalan Semarak.
2. Got a job with an NGO. Became an activist for the environment, holding up placards against Bakun etc. Went around the country ‘educating’ school children and colleges on environmental issues. Was such an idealist, very vocal and an avid tree-hugger. Avoided anything with batteries, always picking up litters and writing to newspapers.
3. Got my first article published in D*ewan Kosmik, on medicinal plants. My second article titled Tuah si Landak was liked so much, I was offered to write a series on endangered animals, 12 books. Contract ready but I pulled out last minute. Too busy couldn’t commit. Huge regret. Oh well!
4. Enrolled at UM for a Master Degree.
5. Was in an abusive relationship. Foolish me. Fell for him because he looked a lot like my late father. Despite the beatings, I stayed on. For years!!!!
6. The NGO office was too far from UM. Had to resign to be nearer. Started working as a chemical engineer. Design sewage treatment plants. The one in T*ropicana golf club? That was my first baby! Wooohooo! (gee, I hope the plant still runs okay..)
7. Got my first two very own columns, but in kiddies magazine lah, another Dewan publication. Yey!!! Kid stuff only but I was ecstatic!
8. Took driving class but got discouraged after one hour on the road. That GREAT famous unrivalled traffic jam in 1995? That was my doing, yes. Epicentre was Chow Kit – Bulatan Pahang. Yep, that was me. Sorry, people.
9. Uh, was always hungry still.
10. Jerawat invasion!!!! The whole face every nanometer square all covered!!

2000, 5 years ago – I was 30
1. Finally had the guts and sense to make a police report and end the sorry episode of the abusive relationship. Free at last! Merdeka! Merdeka! Could focus on career and school. Could actually live life! Life to me had just started! Hehehe…
2. Completed my master degree. Majored in Physics!!! Eeeewww! But I graduated! Yippeeee! But the Dewan Tak Cat must got burnt that year. So i was the only batch graduated at Bukit Jalil. Sheeesh...
3. Worked at a manufacturing concern. In charge of the R&D department. Finally able to indulge in my lifelong passion for knowledge and fascination with science and technology (bunyi macam bagus! Such ayat resume!!). Career was going real well.
4. Went to UK for two weeks. Spent the first week in London watching theaters almost every night. Spent the second week in Cornwall visiting the Heligan Garden and the Biome projects. My first trip overseas!!! Didn’t get to see snow though.
5. Met Yamtuan. He was at that time, a salesman for lab equipment. I bought water distiller unit and he bought me a ring! Unethical!! Tsk tsk tsk.. Got married not a year after we met.
6. Adopted two boy cats, Kit and Kat. Lovely boys.
7. Bought an apartment in PJ.

2005, now – I am 35
1. Working (but not quiet) in a university, still hopeful to get some funds to do a phd.
2. Blessed with Dot and Sun.
3. Writing again, my own editorial, except it is actually just in my own little blogspot called Anakikan. Yamtuan already called me Taik Blog, but don’t care.
4. Have weight problem. A serious one. Quoting Yamtuan – macam biskut rendam air.
5. Owe the dentist two wisdom teeth. They must be removed but haiya… am still traumatized. The demise of the first two was a terrible one. My mouth got torn at the sides! And the dentist arm dislocated… sob sob. This year, I promise you doc!

2010 – I will be 40
1. Will have lost all wisdom (teeth).
2. Will SO not gonna be in this shithole anymore. Instead I will be somewhere overseas with Yamtuan, both of us doing phds.
3. Will have another kid in tow. Another sunny son perhaps?
4. Will be able to afford a house with proper garden to plant all my serai pandan and cili padi.
5. Will have a driver’s license (anyone knows where to buy the terbang one?)
6. Will be slim (again) and pretty (again) and a hottie (again).
7. Will be able to afford sending mak and the family to hajj.
8. Will have my first children’s book published and sold millions of copies and translated into many languages – haha, a girl can dream.
9. Have enough money and gold to live comfortably.

2020 – I will be 50
1. Will be alive!! Family members from my side all go before their 50th birthday. I wanna live a bit longer so I can at least help Dot during her confinement. I want to live to be 70! At least 65!
2. Hair will be all white and I will be somewhat shorter (due to osteoporosis).
3. Work from home. But must have the children drive me to town once in a while to collect my royalty cheques (from the many many best-selling books).
4. Definitely slim and a hot chick still.
5. Do taichis in the morning and ballroom dancing in the evening and acrobatics at night.
6. Have my own NGO called Tree Huggers focusing on environmental education for the young.
7. Able to fulfil my earnest wish to help out on a regular basis at centers for special children – why, I dunno also. I have always wanted to volunteer there or hospice centers.
8. Have roads named after me.
9. Watch theaters and/or philharmonics every weekend.
10. Interviewing the children’s suitors and play the nasty Ibu Mertuaku role. Hehehe…

Well, as can be seen, my life has just only started. According to my maths and physics, i really am just 25! Oh the guy, the Kepala Anjing Loudness guy who supposedly had brain tumor? He is still alive today! Tipah Tertipu! Boohooohooo!

Now over to you Maya and Ummi and Hana Kirana and MamiJarum!!!

Oh and whoever read this akan terkena getahnya as well, so i expect your story on my table ASAP! Ye hear?

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The Phlegm ~ Day 1

I wanted to take the afternoon off to take Sun to see his paed. His cough and cold were getting more than just worrying. He had become very subdued, listless and quiet. He did not want to play, he would not even attempt a smile. He refused food and would only take the breast. He couldn’t rest well because the cough was really bothering him. I could practically hear phlegm gargling inside his chest with every cough and breath.

My boss had other plans for me. I couldn’t leave early and so I asked Yamtuan to bring Sun by himself.

Yamtuan called me sometime after 4.30. He told me that the paed found little Sun’s chest actually ‘bloated’ with trapped air. The air that he breathed in was not breathed out properly. The x-ray that they took showed a dark patch in the lower part of his left lung. He MUST be warded, said Dr Mary.

‘can you take a cab straight to the hospital? Sun wants milk and I will need to leave soon to pick up Dot from school.’

And so I texted my boss saying that I really must rush and was soon by the roadside. And texted Anedra and my sister too, to tell them the news.

None of the taxis that stopped would want to go to PJ.
‘that area traffic bad lah’
‘I only go komuter station and here’
‘too far lah, sorry’
‘PJ cannot, sungai buloh can’
‘I only go to the Mines’
‘fifty ringgit can?’
‘fifty ringgit lah?’
‘I don’t have fifty ringgit right now. Must go bank first. Use meter lah’
‘aiyo, nobody uses meter lah’
etc etc

I was on the verge of tears. I was feeling like the lousiest mom on earth. I was angry at myself for forgetting to go MEPS this morning, for letting Sun be that sick, for not having him insured, for not being able to drive, for working so far away from the children, for being so inadequate and ill-prepared for emergencies such as this!

I called an uncle who lived nearby. The wife answered.
‘Mak Uteh kat ofis lagi ni’ (her office in KL, so cant help)
‘Pak Uteh outstation kat Sabah’ (definitely can't be of help)

And I cried. And cursed myself.

And Anedra called. It just so happened that she could leave office early that day, and that her husband was away so she did not have to rush home.

‘let me send u there’ she said.

On any other day, I would have declined. Her house was so not ‘on the way’. It would be a far detour and the traffic was not gonna be kind either. What with the weekend traffic and after-office rush…

I met her through the internet. I have only known her for a few months. I have only met up with her twice, each time for lunch. But despite all the cyberness, I do regard her as a very very good friend, but even that was no excuse to be a trouble to her. But I was desperate.

She picked me up by the roadside and rushed me to PJ. The traffic WAS bad and I gave WRONG instructions, but I was there right in time for when Sun woke up and cried for sustenance.

Anedra, when one day you are in need, for anything at all, a cup of sugar or asam kunyit or nail polish of certain shades and gloss, or the lions in the zoo were too noisy 'at it' and you want someone to shut them up -permanently, or whatever (so long as it doesn’t require me to drive), you MUST let me have the honor of being the one you turned to for help. You must. I shayang you, okay? And, because we friend friend I dedicate the song ‘Ben’ by Mike Jack to you (not that I think u are a rat). ‘ you my friend will see, you’ve got a friend in me’. Hehehe..

I don’t want to say thank you with all the sincerity of my heart for it would only embarrass you. You know like the scene in maybe Seri Mersing, after yum yum Nordin Ahmad saved the damsel in distress from crooks who always got turned on by women washing clothes by the river clad in kembans, and she thanked him profusely with fluttering eyelid?

He would heroically brush it off with, ‘janganlah berterima kasih kepada hamba. Sememangnya sudah menjadi tanggungjawab hamba membantu mereka yang dalam kesusahan. Hamba tidak mengharap apa-apa sebagai balasan. And by the way, are you free for some moonlight rendezvous behind the cengkih estate? I will bring the sirehs and pinangs, you bring the kapur and gambir.’ and she would giggle and run away, oh clutching dearly that wet kemban, aiyoh so coy can die. So no no no Anedra, I will spare you from having to serenade me. But do keep on practicing. You know you need it.

And then all throughout my hospital days, I received calls and smses from Maya, Kak Teh and Ely (through Anedra). People, you know that all those kind words and wishes and doas helped? I read and re-read them and it gave me such comfort . Friendship tested and proven.

So, Anedra, Kak Teh, Maya, Ely, Nazrah and all well-wishers, do terima my humble kasih.

Thank you God! In the ambiguity of internet, I found this treasure chest full of gems!

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Makcik kayo! Makcik kayo!

Monday, September 05, 2005

The Phlegm ~ DAY 3

Bed 3/3, Sang Kancil Ward.

The Sun, the thambi, responds very well to treatment. Lungs sound better. Still wheezing - i know now how it sounds like, coughing and phlegmy (Dr says this is to be expected, the medications have loosened the phlegm from the lungs). Sun is producing pastille-like (texture and size) green snot. If the doctor insists this is good, then I take it that this IS good. Dr P.Mary says that the coughing will remain perhaps weeks after the lungs have been cleared of the phlegm, but that is okay too.

Little Sun Yat Sen seems so much better. He approves of the fish porridge and leaves no traces of fish DNA on the bowl. He is alert and happy again. He plays a lot and offers gurgles and hugs to pretty nurses (itchy!!).

They have taken off the IV drip because it has clogged up with blood clots. But because his condition has improved a lot, he will not be required to take the drips again. He’ll be given antibiotics syrup instead. Good.

He is given physiotherapy after lunch. They call it ‘do the percussion’. Ahah, will tell Yamtuan that not only will thambi be bionic and van-dammey, he will also be Steve Thornton… the boy of many potentials indeed!

Another nebuliser and Dr Mary says he is free to go. Yeah babe!

The Phlegm ~ DAY 2

Bed 3/3, Sang Kancil Ward.

‘How long has he been wheezing?’ asks Doctor P.Mary.
‘Huh? Ummm?’ Mother M.Maria ponders (wheezing? Wheez-wheez? Whiz-whiz?).
And ponders.
And looks up for Divine help. Feet shuffling shuffling.
‘two weeks intermittently? Always?’ Dr. P.Mary
‘you know, I don’t quite know how ‘wheezing’ sounds like.’ Mthr M.Maria (Shame! Shame!).
‘chesty, wet, phlegmy’ Dr.P.Mary (what an ubelivably stooooopid mom! And I thought I have seen them all! Doesnt know wheezing! Sheesh..).
‘oh, like that I know! Ok. 2 weeks lah. Except he was still active, feeding and playing in the first week. In the second week, he became very listless.’ MMM.
‘you bring him in at just the right time. If you were to wait just another day, the infection would have spread to the whole lungs. And then it would be very very bad. We will try to contain the infection first and then we treat. See this spot (point point to Sun's chest x-ray)? This is where it is infected.’
'Some of the fine fine broncheols are totally clogged up with phlegm. We will give him antibiotics by the drip 8-hourly, give him nebulisers 4-hourly, nasal spray and cough mixture. After two days we will see how he responds to the treatment. If the lungs remain cloggy, we’ll use steroids’ DPM (I don’t think this bimbo understands, maybe if I speak slowerrrr...)
‘ok’ MMM.

Later. With Yamtuan.

‘You know, Sun will be very van-damme and olympics-gold-medal material.’ MMM
‘oh ya? Of course he will be. Why?’ Yamtuan
‘he will be on STEEEEEROIDS.’ MMM
‘ok. So long as they don’t do doping tests on him he’ll bring home medals ya?’ Yamtuan.
‘I am so proud of him already’ MMM
‘should we make him bionic too?’ Yamtuan.
‘can! We buy insurance first okay?’