Friday, September 13, 2013

Guilty Feeling

The last post I did on this blog was done on

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Back On The Treadmill

Yes, it was such a long time ago. I really feel guilty for not continue to blog as I have so much to write about. There are too many reasons why I didn't continue blogging but there is no point in delving them as it will definitely be a bore. the point I want to say is..I am blogging again. It matters not if there wont be anybody to read it, but it serve the purpose of preserving this blog Life As I See It... LAISI for short. Hopefully my future generations will peek into this blog to see some of the things I wrote even after I am long gone.
Earlier I have had problems logging into this site as I couldn't key in my password due to the presence of the newer LAISI which I constructed after I lost access to the original LAISI. Now that I have regained access, I am going to delete the newer LAISI in order to avoid further complications when senility starts encroaching into this tired old brain.
The travel bug is biting me again. Since my last post on my trip to Eastern Europe, I have travelled to Jogjakarta in November 2011, Surabaya/Malang in Oktober 2012 both in Indonesia. Revently barely 3 months after my heart operation in March 2013, I took a trip with my family to Hong Kong in May 2013. Nexton my list is a cruise on Star Cruise Libra with the famous compere Aznil Haji Nawawi. 

Next on my agenda will be a trip to Yangon Burma with my wife in February 2014 followed by doing the Umrah with my wife, my daughter Azura and her husband Ridzuan.
Hopefully my coming back to blogging will bring some cheer to those who care to visit this site. It should keep me occupied too as I feel I need to wean myself off from too much of Facebook which had kept me away from blogging thus far.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Back On The Treadmill

It has been more than four months since my last post and it has been much longer since I last used the treadmill. I have no good reason to lay off any of them other than laziness. I have promised several people including my son Azuan that I will continue to blog and post new stories but nothing came out of it. Unlike the days of old, making a new post seems to be quite a mental effort. The enthusiasms of old seems to be vanishing all the more so with the popularity of Facebook which seems to be the new preoccupation of even the most ardent of bloggers. Only a few hardcore bloggers most of whom a political bloggers seem to survive.
With the coming of 2013 I guess it is time for me to make a new resolve and continue to blog. There is so much to share and perhaps the sharing may help others and may even save their lives. "Is it that serious?" you may ask. Yes! It is that serious.
As a start for the new year I did a slow walk on the treadmill beginning with a speed of 2 kph at 0 degrees inclination and peaking at 6 kph at 2 degrees inclination and slowing down to 3 kph at 0 inclination for 30 minutes covering a distance of 2 kilometers. 70 calories of energy was expended. All the while I kept a close watch on my pulse rate so as not to exceed 125 beats per minute though the threshold for my age is 150 beeps per minute. Good enough for a start as anything more could be exerting too much strain on a certain section of my vital organ
Prior to this wet season gardening was the way for me to sweat it out. Unfortunately tough physical job is taboo to me now. The balmy wet weather is not the reason that I have to be on the treadmill to exercise. The reason is the incidental finding of me to be suffering from Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm, AAA for short or Triple A as is often referred to by doctors. The gist of this disease is the swelling of the aorta, the major artery exiting the heart. In my case it occurred in two places along the same artery with the one at the upper arch as most serious as it is more than 3 times the normal size. Intervention is usually recommended if the aneurysm exceeds 5.5 cm in size. In my case it far exceeded that threshold level.
This Triple A condition wouldn't have been detected if I hadn't suffered from a thyroid disorder. It was sometime in October 2012 that I had discovered a lump the size of a halved egg on my throat. It was diagnosed as hypo thyroid disorder when a thyroid function test was carried out on my blood sample. Fortunately for me a Dr. Andy Zulqarnaen of Hospital University Sains Malaysia had taken up my case and he suggested that the thyroid be removed after a further investigation to determine the malignancy of the tumor.
The Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology (FNAC) procedure was carried but the result was later found to be negative. We reached consensus after a discussion with Dr. Andee that an operation to remove both lobes of my thyroid even though the FNAC result was benign tumor. The sample used to determine the result via FNAC was too minute and I could risk a cancerous tumor as an Ultrasound Scan later showed a widespread coverage of the nodes reaching the collar bones on the lower side and the jugular vein on the left side of my neck. If the tumor is indeed cancerous, I may have to undergo a second operation of the other lobe if only the enlarged right lobe was removed.
I was admitted to Ward Dua Intan at HUSM on 21st November 2012. An X ray was taken the night before the operation. The total thyroidectomy for papillary thyroid carcinoma was  performed the next day by a team of doctors led by Consultant Endocrinologist Miss Maya Mazuin. Dr. Azlina was the anesthetist. Other surgeons assisting Dr. Maya were Mr. Mizwan, Miss Galpalam and Miss Athirah. Dr. Andee was in the operating theater even though he wasn't performing the operation. It was a marathon operation which started at 10.00 AM and ended at 4.00 PM. To all these people and many others in Wad 2 Intan, from the bottom of my heart, I beg to offer you a BIG thank you.
To recuperate, I had to be warded further. Two drainage tubes were attached to my body leading to two bottles to receive the discharge from the sutured incision. The bottles were marked as A and B and the amount of discharge was monitored. They will be removed after the level of discharge was reduced. I will be only discharged from the hospital once the drainage tubes are removed.
One of the tubes was removed on the 25th of November and  the other one was removed the next day. On the 26th morning the head of Specialist Outpatient Department (SOPD) came with a group of doctors including the doctors who operated on me. They decided that I was ready for discharge and Dr, Maya Mazuin was given the honor to remove the tape that covered the incision on my neck. That afternoon, I returned home after 5 days in the hospital ward.
Meanwhile the removed thyroid tissues were sent to the laboratory for further analysis.
The X-ray done on the night prior to the operation showed an enlarged aorta and the surgeons were notified of the finding by the radiologist. This finding was conveyed to me during my recuperation in the ward. A Computer Tomography (CT Scan) is necessary to really determine the extent of the enlargement. The CT Scan was done on 13th December 2013 and I was scheduled to meet a doctor at SOPD on 30th December 2013.
Dr. Lee Say Bob showed me the images of the CT Scan on the computer. There were two sections of the enlargement and the one of importance is the upper arch of the aorta as the enlargement far exceeded the threshold level of 5.5 cm diameter where intervention is necessary. Mine was measured at 6.7 cm! The one on the lower section is smaller and could probably be dealt with by inserting a stent. Another finding from the CT Scan is that of cysts in my kidneys.
Dr. Bob confirmed that the findings of the pathology laboratory on the thyroid tissues were of malignant tumor. The total removal of my thyroid was the right thing to do.
After a lengthy explanation by Dr. Bob of the dangers involved as a rupture may lead to fatality, in the presence of my wife, I agreed for an intervention surgery to be performed. It could be done in the General Hospital Kota Bharu but the earliest date that I could have an appointment with the Cardiologist is 14th March 2013 which is months away. Anything could happen to me within that period.
My other alternative is to have the intervention surgery done at Institiut Jantung Negara in Kuala Lumpur. For that I will have to meet Professor Madya Dr. Ziyadi at the Cardio Unit HUSM on 9th Jan for a reference to IJN. Hopefully after that I will be able to secure an earlier date for the intervention surgery at IJN.
All these while I have been oblivious to my ailment as the Electrocardiography (ECG) done at the local clinic has not shown any sign of the problem. It is not that the disease has been totally asymptomatic which I have been telling the doctors at HUSM that examine me, but I did not relate the mild chest pains that I have been suffering as well as the many other tell tale sign that are the symptoms of such an ailment medically known as fusiform thoracic aneurysm. Other notable symptoms are the pain in the lower back, the swelling of the leg which is known as edema and when pressed with a fingger, it is clearly a pitting edema. Most of the time I have been telling myself that the tough physical work that i have been doing was the cause of the muscular pain in the upper left chest.
To all my friends in the age bracket of 50 and above a CT scan of the thorax, abdomen and pelvic area is a good thing to do just to be sure. HUSM Kubang Kerian Kota Bharu charges RM300 - RM550 for a CT Scan. My scan for a thorax and abdomen should cost me RM550 but as a government retiree, I got it done for free. If you have any chest pain however mild, pain in the lower back or pain in the kidney, get a CT scan done, the sooner the better.
For the moment I will be working on my treadmill to improve my overall health so that I will be able to face another arduous operation under at IJN. A serious regime of dieting to reduce my cholesterol level and control my hypertension is also of paramount importance.

Any doctors out there who may notice any mistake in this post, please do not hesitate to correct me as I am only a humble farmer trying to warn others who may have been suffering the same problem without realizing it.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Tiling Job In Kerteh


It was the most inopportune time to do such a heavy job like tiling during the fasting month of Ramadhan. It was planned to be done earlier before the beginning of Ramadhan but due to the delay in completion of other job by the so called contractor, it had to be done during the fasting month itself.
My son in law Lokman had requested me to do the tiling job for his extended kitchen at his home in Kerteh, Terengganu. Since I love tiling job and the prospect of laying large 600 x 600 mm (approx 24 x 24 inc) tiles for the first time, made me accept the offer. I haven't worked on such tile size before and lacked the equipment as I only have 18 inches cutter that can cut tiles below 18 inches. I have checked around at the hardware shops and the cheapest model would cost me RM320.00. So I invested in a cheaper made in China Bossman marble cutter instead which costs only RM210 inclusive of a 4 inch disc blade. It should complement my Makita 6 inch circular saw that can be converted to a marble cutter by replacing the cutting disc to cut tiles. My earlier perception that there will not be much cutting needed since the large tiles will only be for the table tops, sides and pillars. How wrong I was as the table was only 22 inches wide and most pieces of the large tiles must be trimmed to 23 inches, the final width of the kitchen table top. As an advice to any home maker, please ensure that the kitchen table tops are designed for 24 inches and thus avoid lots of trimmings and cutting and save on man hours.
I went to Kerteh some three days before the beginning of the fasting month.

 The tools for the job.
All the necessary tools and some that maybe needed were brought along. Among the tools that I brought along are the Makita circular saw, the Bossman marble cutter, the mini jack hammer, a powerful masonry drill, the 18 inch tile cutter, an angled grinder, 2 lengths of 1 x 3 inches hollow aluminium bars and various small tools.

  The stack of tiles that I will be using.
 I had to wait for several days for other workers to complete the job or demolishing one wall of the house and concreting the floors of the extended area. At the last minute, my daughter decided to have a basinet near the dining area which requires some plumbing job for the water supply and outlet pipe. It required hacking and much dust was generated which spread all over the house despite a large plastic sheet was used as a screen.
While waiting for all these jobs to be done before I could proceed with my job, I spent time helping Lokman to paint up the outside walls of the extended kitchen.

  Balkis is always there to assist. 

  We let 5 years old Balkis to do whatever she could possibly do as a form of training.
 There were ample time for me to enjoy the company of Balkis whenever she isn't attending her kindergarten classes.

Balkis is enjoying herself watching cartoons on her mother's iPad.

Here she watches the cartoons on TV.
 When I told her to pose, these are the poses she gave me.

She is indeed a lively girl.

 Finally the floor was done. The plaster ceiling gang will move in next and they will take up another two days.

After the ceiling was done Lokman painted the ceiling.

 Finally I could start my tiling job. 330 mm square tiles (about 13 inches square) were used. Lokman got it cheap as it was on offer in Paka at RM1.50 each. The tiles were of good quality except for some with chipped sides which I had to watch out and hide them somewhere or use them as skirtings.

 When an area is done with the tilings, painting is immediately carried out. My daughter Azini too helped out.

Balkis is always there to help out.
  The biggest challenge is doing the table top for the kitchen cabinet which involved the use of the large 600 mm tiles. The place where the kitchen hob is to be placed requires cutting out a section of the tiles. My first try ended in a chipped piece and I had to do a new one. The other place that requires such cuttings was the place for the sink. Where no such cutouts were required, the job was a breeze.

The water filter was placed there temporarily as we could not do without it.

I had to invest in the bigger 24 inch cutter which cost me RM400 which I bought in Paka, Terengganu as non of the shops in Kerteh stock the cheaper models. They have the high end model of Eye brand from Japan which was offered at RM750 which is considered cheap compared to other places. Since I am not a professional tiler, the cheaper model should suffice.
The 24 inch tile cutter beside my 18 inch cutter.

 The table top and the splash walls were almost done.

My wife Fatthiyah helped out by filling the gaps with white cements where the white tiles were used.

  The dining table and refrigerator were moved to the new dining area.
The cabinet maker came to make the final measurement. They will only be moving in after Hari Raya as they have their hands full with orders.
Tiling job done. We celebrated by going to Bazaar Ramadan in Paka.

 The whole family at the Bazaar Ramadan.
 Nasi Arab was my choice. Lokman and me opted for Nasi Mandy with beef curry which cost RM7.00. I wanted one with mutton but they said mutton is too expensive.

 Colorful drinks.
 The crowd.
 Mohamad Faiq is currently my youngest grandchild. At 5 months old he had to be carried around.

 Close up of Mohamad Faiq.

 Chickens being grilled.

 Freshly grilled chicken. At this hour everything seems delicious.
 All the work was done and finally we headed for home. We took the yet to be completed Lebuhraya Pantai Timur joining it at the Bukit Besi Interchange after Dungun and exiting at the Kuala Trengganu Interchange. It was a smooth drive but driving during the fasting month made me sleepy. We stopped at a mosque along the way to freshen up. It was very risky and I almost fell asleep when I reached the district of Pasir Mas from Tanah Merah. The stop in Kg. Chekok to collect some durians which I have ordered via my cousin Aminah was a much needed break.
We reached home safe and sound and was very relieved to find our home intact even after a two weeks absence. Thank you Allah for the safe journey home.

My next tiling job will most probably be at my son Azuan's newly purchased home in Shah Alam. After that job, the investment on the new tools can be considered as recouped.