The city government portal site

So after the operation, I need to follow a strict diet for next few months. As part of the excellent services, there were two dietitians explained to me the details, with an information sheet to summarize what I can and cannot eat during this period.

Then, my parents passed me another information sheet from another source , with similar diet information but some minor variations. So I thought that gotta be something in the web with up-to-date information, especially from our city’s Health Department … so where shall I start with my smartphone ?

First, I tried to guess the Health Department website address but failed (I still am not sure why the city government like to use so many un-user-friendly department short form). Then I surfed to the so-call city government’s portal site (the url is easy to remember, not because it is easier to guess but purely because of the recent advertisements) to see whether it helps.

Oh, the site could not detect the source of the visit, so it still display the splash screen with wide graphic in my smartphone (why we need a splash screen anyway ? To generate traffic ?). The links use animated GIFs, so do not work well with the bulit-in browser … and I have to scroll a lot for everything.

Anyway, go into the “categorised” page, I tried the health, food etc. etc. but failed to find the stuff I want and yes, still a lot of scrolling with my phone’s small screen. I tried “simple layout” and other options … still, scrolling left and right, up and down …

Then I go to the search function … blank screen. Tried the advanced search function … it works but with only government news returned but not the information I wanted.

Half an hour later, I “surrendered”. Instead, a search in Google and I found everything I need in

So far, the only good stuff with the city portal is its simple url.

Achievements = happiness ?

Most friends and colleagues around me are not happy – they think they are either under-achievers, or they think they deserve more because they “achieve” lots of thing every single day already.

I reckon it really depends on your definition of achievements. For example, right after a heart operation, the achievements to any patient are actually :

  • you can drink again
  • eat your first bowl of porridge
  • have your first full meal
  • get out of the bed & walk around
  • go to the loo by yourself
  • etc etc …

You see, something a healthy person achieves every day, is a BIG achievement to a patient.

Wannabe a happier person ? Redefine your achievement …

The young and the restless

In most of the wards I stayed in the hospital, I am the youngest patient. There are patients 20 or 30 years older than me but also have similar heart surgery such as valvular repair / replacement or vascular bypass.

What puzzled me a lot is these “older” patients recover very fast (faster than me !), they can walk around the ward and stretch their body just 2 days after the operation.

I reckon may be they are stronger than me (who is 30 years younger) or they really cherish every day they have and they want to go back home early with their kids and grand-kids.

Shall we learn from them as well ? They are old, but restless, and cherish every single day.

72 times a minute

It’s what the textbook says, your heart beats 72 times a minute. But in fact it is a myth to me because my minor heart problem forces my heart to beat more times (say, 20 more every minute) to become fully functional. I’ve never seen the magic number 72 in my life.

Until this magical operation, now I see this not-that-familiar number appear in the cardio monitor … my heart is beating 72 times a minute.

I have a normal heart now … Hurray !!

Full services at a cost

So the hospital not only take care of my illness, I have doctors visiting me 2 times a day, all the treatments, the magical operation but also dietitian, therapist who help me to recover. And of course I have 4 meals a day and a not too bad resting environment. How much did it cost me ?

I just recieved the first 8 days’ bill from the hospital’s accounts department and the bill amount is US$ 3700, but the city government subsidized 97% and I only need to pay for US$ 100 for these 8 days’ treatment.

I told myself my tax payment to IRD finally have some returns … to me and all who in need of all these excellent services.

Killing time softly

So what you can do in a hospital to kill all the time ?

I have finished 6 books already … I am a slow reader but time runs really slow in hospital.

Other then reading lots of books, luckily I have a 3G / HSDPA smartphone with me.

I promptly set up RSS feeds in my phone to check news around the world with Yahoo, soccer news from Soccernet and camera news from Dpreview.

I also check mails with Gmail mobile, check book reviews with Amazon mobile, and browse gadget news with Engadget mobile version. I even downloaded the Google Map Mobile this morning to check the name of the highway just outside the hospital I’m staying …

Then installed the Opera mobile such that I can manage my blog. And of course, I can make phone calls and send / receive SMS.

With all these, I am constantly in touch with the world and all my friends / colleagues.

Time, after all, is easier to kill than life.

Reality show

Unlike what other people think, the specialists, doctors and nurses in the hospital I am staying are young, energetic, and handsome / beautiful.

In fact, one of the questions I asked myself was “Am I now in a reality TV show ?”

Considering every day they have to handle dozens of cases and hundreds of tasks professionally, I really don’t understand why patients like to yell / shout to them. To me, they are really great professionals.

Did I mention “am I now in reality TV show ?” ?