Spread the Love – September 2015

Almost every September was my busiest month of the year due to reservist. I had to wake up before the sun came up and waste my entire day in the camp, only to be able to rush my work at night. This time round, I had two reservist – one low and one high key.

I was fortunate to have a few good reservist-mates. The most important man was Fabian, the driver; without him, travelling inside the camp was a pain in the ass. Sometimes, he also dropped us at the MRT station. I was glad that the regulars were being very kind to us as well.

Spread the Love – June 2013

Thanks to Ahpa Saeyeoh for introducing me to her friends Dickson and William. Dickson has studied Chinese medication for more than three years while William is currently understudying him. Both of them have improved on my back’s condition.

My back problem had lasted for nearly 15 years. It was worsened during my NS days due to the excessive loads I had to carry regularly. I had gone for X-ray and MRI screening but the results were not as “bad” as what doctors expected for me to downgrade permanently. Despite getting temporary “excuse heavy load” medical certificate from the medical officers (MOs), I had to continue to carry heavy stuffs. Well, I was simply unlucky because I had a bastard superior called Captain James during that time who would threaten (indirectly) all the injured co-slaves to work. His moonlighting business – some aquarium shops – should be failed by now after being cursed by so many nice people.

I was in fact one of the fittest guys in my camp other than having the injuries, which nobody could see nor understand. I had to go for regular physiotherapy sessions and campmates would jokily call me “chao geng”, thinking it was just an excuse to skip “work”. Friends who know me well should know that I was a very determined and responsible person who would do everything well and not push work around. An example would be during the BMT’s SIT test, I actually fireman-carried a platoon-mate much bigger size than me over a distance all by myself. Therefore, during my NS days, I was being hurt both physically and mentally.

Anyway, the aching on my back was more terrible than anyone could imagine. For a few times, there were sharp pains when I was jogging – obviously the spine was connected to lower body. The aching happened very often that I had lie down every now and then. More than half of my days, the pains accompanied me faithfully. I simply had to sit down for five minutes without my back supported to trigger the aching for years.

After some examination, Dickson told me I had slipped disc, which was not easily to be detected by both X-ray and MRI. He used a big stick with around five or six split ends to whack my back hard for probably longer than 20 minutes that my face turned red. He was experienced enough to tell that the pain was bearable compared to the 15 years of my torment. However, my back was numbed from the whacking that I was unable to tell him the exact condition so that he could do more.

The sore on my back improved immediately, which stunned me totally. All these years, I always thought the western doctors were right that I could only train my muscle hard to support the injured spine. Most of the time, I thought my back muscle was injured as well. If only I had more faith that my back problem could be cured or improved, so that I could seek better Chinese physician for help earlier, my life would be so much better. The pain had slowed me down badly in my work.

Regaining Freedom

The three weeks of torment has finally ended. To others, they might enjoy it for it was a break from their work. They were being paid as normal to slack and basically needed not use their brain at all. I felt the opposite because I was running my own business and the opportunity cost was high to halt my development. This further made me realise how tough it was to become a young entrepreneur in Singapore. I could not stand wasting my day rotting around and not able to proceed on my website development. The travelling distance was a major turn-off. This time, somehow Terry was allocated to the next batch even though we had attended two sessions together without deferring. I was definitely luckier than most people. Not many could have an easy life when they put on the ugly green skin. There were two car owners and I managed to get free lift. Apart from the first week that I caught the car near the gate, I started travelling down to Hougang to get my free ride. I get daily tea breaks at the canteens. The people were very friendly, which made the experience even better.

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Deferment for Reservist Successful

Two weeks ago on a Wednesday, I received an email from Mindef to confirm that my reservist deferment was successful.

It was quite a waste since this reservist would last around twelve or fourteen days, which was considered as a “high key” one. I had to complete at least seven “high key” and three “low key” reservists in order to ROD and wipe my butts from the trouble.

I was quite shocked for I always thought they would probably give me around two days time-off for my exams, which crashed with the first few days of the reservist.

Anyway, what I did before that was to get Weitat to scan the letter from UOW to prove that I was a student there and then I logged into NS.sg to submit a deferment application, and dropping them an email with the scanned letter together with my timetable. At the website, I indicated that I was in the third year and the school fee cost me SGD15,500 per year.

Another confirmation letter by post was received a couple of days later and I was glad to set my mind peace.

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Hello Stagmont Camp

Since I had lost my password and did not even know my user ID, I called them to retrieve back the password. It was a computer operated line and I had to press numbers until the second stage of the game, I got lost. The terms they used were aliens to me and I decided to drop them an email instead. A man rang me up very soon and asked for my details to identify myself before telling me he would email me my password. I checked my email and realised they had already emailed me.

I finally logged into the NS Portal website and update my particulars. I went to check my medical status.

Booking Type : Medical Review
Sub Visit Type : Medical Review
Date : 17/05/2007
Time : 14:25H
Venue : STAGMONT MEDICAL CENTRE
Self-Initiated : No

I’m going back to Stagmont Camp again. Hopefully by then the MO is not a fucked up one like the previous hamster-look-alike.