Thursday, April 23, 2015

In Loving Memory of my Mother



Today marks the 5th anniversary of my mother’s passing away.  I wanted to write this article to commemorate my mother and at the same time pay tribute to all mothers whom have sacrifice all their lives for the sake of the better future of their children.

Maybe most of the young people would not appreciate what I have written 5 years ago “In Remembrance and Honor of my mother, Tan Seng Keng(陈秀缎)”, as most of them live under far better condition and environment compared to previous generation.  However, the reality is that the sacrifice of mother happens in one form or another, generation after generation.

I am very grateful for what my mother has done for me and my siblings.  We are who we are today because of my mother.  Regardless of all the hardships she has to go through, even during her suffering through cancer treatment, she placed high importance in making sure our education will not be compromised.  My mother realized that education can change a person’s destiny in life, although she was illiterate herself.

At times, I feel pity for those children who have to give up their education because of the poor family condition.  Poverty should never be an excuse to deprive a child from having the proper education.  Education should always be the top priority of every society.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Stroke Related Organization

I am going to spend some effort on compiling the list of the stroke related organization worldwide (particularly in Malaysia).  Family members of stroke patient needs a lot of support but I feel that it is lacking in Malaysia.  Where should they go for help or advice?? General Hospital is just trying to keep their hands clean and the private hospital is merely interested in making money.  A sad situation in Malaysia.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

My friend's mother passed away after suffering from stroke

My friend's mother has passed away after 8 months of stroke suffering.  I hope that there is explanation out there on why it happens to stroke patient?  Same as my mother, she was recovering slowly from stroke.  However, one week before she passed away, she started to feel uncomfortable.

My condolences to her.  For those whose parents still alive, pay attention to your parents health.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Rising pressure of healthcare cost

The medical cost in Malaysia is increasing.  It seems that it is not enough, MOH is introducing the fee paying section in government hospital.  I wonder what the government is thinking.  Healthcare is the social responsibility of government.  Refer to the report in the Star on the rising pressure of healthcare cost in Malaysia, it is already a burden to the poor and impossible to them to seek treatment in private hospital.  I am sure that doctors in the Government hospital will be biased towards towards the patients as it is the weakness of human being.

Friday, May 7, 2010

In Remembrance and Honor of my mother, Tan Seng Keng (陈秀缎)


I don’t have a lot of memory of my childhood.  However, I could still remember vividly that we used to have our meals on the floor when my family first moved into the house where I grew up.  It’s not typical for Chinese but simply we were poor at that time.  Not long after that, I recalled my mother came home one day by a trishaw with a foldable table in front of her.  She had bought the table for us and that was when we started to have proper meals.

My mother had never deprived her children from any necessity when we were kids. The scene of her going from one house to another to wash clothes to earn a meager living to make ends meet still linger in my mind.  Imagine that she had to wash clothes for whole family members of more than one household manually using her bare hands everyday without fail.  Normal people like us today could not even do their own laundry.  Not only that, she would bring back extra clothes to wash at home.  She did it all on her own, and she never asked any of us to help her.  She was doing all this on top of raising 5 children.  This is the sacrifice of a great mother to her children.

Her hectic schedule would start in the early wee hours despite hardly had any quality rest each day. She wakes up early in the morning everyday to start her housework and prepare us for school.  When we got up, everything was ready for us.  Hot water she would boil for us to bathe and breakfast was served, thereafter we were ready for school.  Although she is illiterate (she only finished her education at Standard 1), she knew the importance of education for her children.  She ensured that all of us go to school, making sure that she earns enough to pay for our books, school bus, pocket money and everything that we need.  We are lucky enough that we are never required to work as a kid.  We cherished every moment with her and enjoyed our childhood like other kids, although we never had any luxury toys to play with.

My fondest memory of her was she had a kind heart like bodhisattva as she would help anybody who required assistance. Poverty had never hindered her from performing any good deed or charity. She had instilled such good quality in us and we would continue in doing so.

I could not remember if she ever falls sick although she worked so hard throughout the years.  Finally, she fell sick during my third year in university.  She was diagnosed with nasopharyngeal cancer and had to go for treatment.  I was not there with her to go through all this.  I never know that it was very painful to go through chemotherapy and radiotherapy.  I only came to know about such dreadful experience from friends who either underwent the treatment or description from others.  Throughout the years and the treatments, she bears all this agony alone and I never heard her complained a single word.  She is a tough and brave woman!

The only reason I can think of why she never complained now is that she did not want us to be worried.  She chose to go through the battle on her own.  Maybe the fact that she survived the cancer is because she still had unfinished task, that is to make sure that we are all grown up and taken care of.  At that time, my younger sisters just enrolled her first year in university.

At last, she recovered from the cancer and survived for more than twelve years.  However, her condition started to deteriorate.  At one time, she lost her sense of taste.  She started to have hearing loss and totally lost her right hearing.  She complained of dizziness and imbalance during walking.  However, she still insisted on going to market every morning and even finished all house chores by herself, just to make sure that all of us are well taken care of.  This is the love of a mother for her children.

In April 2008, another tragedy happened.  She fell down outside the bathroom and knocked her head during midnight.  Luckily my sister discovered her lying down unconsciously and bleeding profusely.  She suffered from the brain contusion and had to be hospitalized for about one month in hospital.  Again, she was very tough and survived; and life resumed to “normal” after that. 

After surviving so many ordeal and illness, on 23rd April 2010, my mother passed away.  I received a call from my sister in the afternoon that day.  She told me that there was something wrong with her.  Her face turned bluish.  When the ambulance arrived, it was already too late.  The nurse told me that she has gone, and they are not supposed to carry a dead person to the ambulance. It’s a sudden shock to me; I totally did not expect it to happen.

It’s after more than 5 months of suffering from the stroke.  It was a total shock and disbelief for me.  I did not expect it at all. She was still at her usual state the day before.  After the stroke, her whole body was paralyzed.  She can only move her legs and hands a little bit.  Occasionally she would respond to us by moving her eyes and sometimes she did not give us any feedback at all.

When she was first attacked with the stroke, the doctors from Penang General Hospital refused to save her as they had given up hope on her.  I was really angry and till today, I have yet to receive any explanation from the hospital.  We enquired at Penang Adventist Hospital and the doctor gave us lame excuse that no bed was available in the ICU ward and therefore they are unable to perform the surgery.  Finally we admitted her to Penang Gleneagles Hospital and a neurosurgeon finally agreed to operate on her.  However, we were informed that she only had 50% chance of survival. About seven to eight hours of precious time in saving her life was wasted in Penang General Hospital.

After the operation that took more than 4 hours, she managed to survive although her condition was very bad.  The hemorrhagic stroke had damaged her brain stem.  The doctor had to put the tracheotomy to let her breathe.  She could only be fed using feeding tube.  One of the things I regret most is the fact that I did not spend enough time to care for her after she was discharged. 

We took her home after more than two months in hospital.  Just when we thought that she would slowly recover and recuperate, suddenly she passed away on 23rd April, 2010.  Her sudden demise without leaving any words has left a huge emptiness in us. I have never said “I Love You” to her as this is not our culture to express such feeling openly.  However, I want to say “I Love You” and “Thank You” for your endless sacrifice.  Mom, you should be proud of yourself.  You have nurtured your 5 children to be who we are today.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Resources to help caregivers of stroke patient

Today, I find that there is little or no resources to help caregivers of stroke patient.  The burden on the caregivers can be enormous.  National Stroke Association of US, http://www.stroke.org/, is a good site for us to get information on stroke.  Check it out.

Monday, February 22, 2010

3 months after stroke

It is now 3 month since my mom suffered from stroke.  Today, she is still lying on the bed/chair without able to move the body or responding to any of us.  However, she can still move her leg and hands (only slight movement though).  I am wondering what else I can do for her.....

I sent her for Qigong session last week and another session tomorrow.  Since the western medicine can not do anything now, we have to try alternate medicine.  Any advice is welcome!!!