Lying there …

… and doing nothing.

  • no reading, just finished the 8th book … (don’t wanna start a new read)
  • no radio, boring programmes … (why can’t we have a radio station with no DJ bullshitting but only good easy-listening music ?)
  • no browsing, tied of the phone’s tiny screen … (I miss my Sony notebook)

Instead, I am waiting for the next tasteless meal, next doctor visit to inform me any good / bad news, next blood test, next CT Scan, next X-Ray, next dose of medicine …

May be it is what a typical patient’s life all about … Pointless anticipation.

Making friends

One of the skills you need to master to survive in a hospital ward is about “Making friends” (the others are “Swallowing junk food”, and “Be extremely positive” etc.).

For example, be a friend to the doctors, nurses and ward assistants will make your life a bit easier – i.e. they will spend more time to take care of you and you have someone to chit chat when they are not that busy.

And of course you need to make friends with other patients, those just sleep next to you. The only trouble for me is I have to make new friends every few days, since othe patients will be transferred or discharged – while I am still staying …

So what’s the usual ice-breaker ? “Why are you here ?”, “How long you will stay ?” and “You look terrific !” are the usual ones.

I have repeated the same three questions a dozen times in the past 7 weeks !! How boring ?!

Second inning

Just when I thought things are almost over, I was told by the heart specialists that my heart has a minor problem needs to be resolved. After a week’s observation, they decided another (smaller) operation was needed – the second operation with full-body anesthetized in three weeks…

So once again, I restarted my recovery cycle all over again … how silly …

I hope I don’t need a full 9 innings to finish this wicked game …

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 !!