I Am a Physiotherapist

[Wednesday, 29 September, 2006]

My mum and I were going to bed quite early and I started teaching her how to strengthen her legs. The frequenting to the physiotherapy centres in the past had equipped me with sufficient knowledge that I knew the exercises quite well.

Her knee caps were loose and I relayed the boring message from those helpless specialists to strengthen her thigh muscles.

I began with teaching her leg raise with the leg straightened and added some weights on top, which she could not hold it for long. Then, I remembered I had the thera-band, so that when both the legs were tied together with it, lifting one of the legs up would work on the muscle. Since the strenuousness was easily controlled by her, it would not injure her unlike adding any weight on top.

Everyone should start some daily workout to strengthen the thigh and back muscle since the knee caps and back are the most commonly injured body parts. Simple exercise like the half squat helps a lot.

I am unfortunate one of the victims but it certainly does everyone good that I can pass the message around and even offer assistance face to face.

Revisit to SGH

[Monday, 09 October, 2006]

I went to the physiotherapist for the second time with my mum. I told her I had accidentally strained my calf two nights ago and she was quite stunned. It was all for the long disability that I wanted to witness the progress.

I did some cycling exercise there and each time I used strength, the left calf seemed like going to cramp. Then, I was taught a few more exercises with the thera-band. Luckily the session was less than ten bucks.

Next, we went to the Clinic “C” again. The waiting time was near an hour. I was delighted to see Doctor Tay again and Doctor Sebastian was just by his side. There was nothing much to say and they thought my condition was good. When Doctor Sebastian asked if there was any numbness, I felt around the wound and the skin was indeed totally numbed.

The next appointment is half a year later. By then I do not see any need to go back when I have totally recovered. Twenty-one bucks was too expensive. Perhaps, the reason to go back would be just to pay Doctor Tay a visit.

First physiotherapy after operation

[Monday, 25 September, 2006]

I was shocked to see the appointment date on the paper for my physiotherapy during the weekends as I keyed the date into my website’s calendar. The nurse told me it was a Monday but the calendar showed it was a Tuesday. I checked the date of my computer and finally confirmed that was a cock up.

“26/09/06 Monday”

My mum claimed I should just follow the date instead of the day but I did not want to risk changing the appointment to a day after my ORD day.

On the day itself, I went online to check but realised the website had some bugs or it was just too high-knowledge-required. Then, I took the appointment card for my other hospital appointment and dialled the number, which I realised it worked. I was lucky that I did not take the assumption of my mum.

At first, I wanted to walk over like usual, except this time with my crutches; however, my mum was worried that I could not take it and insisted to take cab there. On the way down to level one, in my attempt to make quick step, I almost fell down from the top of the stairs with my poor crutch drop on the floor.

This time, I was quite ashamed of having my mum to abandon her work to accompany me there; unlike usually I was just afraid she would give me extra problems. I paid for the cab fare which was around four bucks.

By then, we were super early. I was hoping to see Joanna, my previous pretty physiotherapist, but luck was not with me. After filling up a small survey form and waited less than half an hour, I was called by Suelyn and I followed her in.

I seemed quite lost somehow and she thought I was very afraid. She asked me to tell her story about the lump and I was caught by it; basically I could not really remember the full story after the long negligence. Then, she taught me a few stretching and strengthening ways for my muscle, which I had foreseen earlier.

I should be taught during my hospitalised days so that I needed not make an extra trip down. I was worried for my next appointment anyway for it was after my ORD date.

I wanted to take the shuttle bus down to Outram MRT but my mum insisted to take cab again. We stopped by the Post Office and this time she paid for it. We went into the new medical shop first and the man was trying to persuade us to get the more expensive tape. Since I did not need that, we insisted to get the nice transparent plastic one which was three times cheaper; I guessed the shop might not survive for long given the price of rental big space at the location.

The conclusion for the day was my mum was really great except that we always had communication problems.

Farewell to the fun and sorrowful place

[Friday, 22 September, 2006]

After sleeping for two hours, I woke up suddenly with Yixin and Cecilia by my side. Yixin was laughing craftily as they walked off. I was not sure did they do anything to wake me up or I just felt the danger and got up to save myself.

With the frame, I went to the toilet to wash up by myself. The morning seemed so special somehow I loved it.

Since it was the last day of job attachment for my juniors (Ngee Ann Polytechnic students), all of them were so excited to start their three weeks of break; it was just nice for I was going to be discharged on the same day.

Yixin and Jielin were most hyperactive as usual. I laughed at them while they were “cleaning” up the patients and made some mistakes. Yixin even asked me a few times if I wanted them to sponge me, which was a fortunate deal for me but I rejected since it would be awkward, I needed a real bathe instead and Vivi might get jealous.

Jielin and Yixin

Grace and Jielin

I was lazy to move the trolley towards the bed and chose to leave it at the foot of the bed. Then, I told Jielin I looked cool to eat like that but Yixin later came and pushed it to the side of the bed so that I needed not twist my body to the side while eating; Yixin was so attentive.

The physiotherapist came again and finally brought my crutches. She was surprised to see the frame with me and finally shown her “true colours” as she said it was quite impossible to get it and she was just causally saying I could get it to practise on my own. Anyway, she taught with how to climb stairs with the help of Jielin and Kim Kim.

Later on, Cecilia tried to play with my crutches and the rest of them joined in. their laughers had cheered the room up so much.

Kim and Jielin

Cecilia, Kim, Jielin and Grace at the very back

I was so gratified that my auntie, my mum’s sister, came to visit me on the third consecutive day; I did not even visit her when she was struggling to take care of my uncle who was infected with brain disease. She even brought food along.

I was quite bored when the nurses went for their break. After they came back, they helped me to cover up my bandage so that I could go and bath; I had a very tough time inside, trying not to wet my left calf even though it was quite well protected.

After that, the nurses gathered around me again and I could stop feeling fortunate. Perhaps, I was the youngest patient there and that was why they rather had “war” against me; they could not resist waiting to remove all the tapes to see me scream in pain.

One thing which I did not understand about my mum was she kept asking them to become her god daughters. I forgot to ask my mum to bring the camera along which I had even prepared on my table top, with batteries fully charged.

It was around one when my medicine arrived. Then, the permanent nurse came over to give me a new wound dressing. I saw the wound then, which was very disgusting though it was only a line.

After that, the nurses accompanied my mum and I down as they went to take their lunch. From them, I saw hopes in future. They also showed me the enthusiasm to do things.

Second chalet day

[Wednesday, 21 September, 2006]

I woke up as early as five plus in the morning. Then, I waited for my mum to come as she promised to get me breakfast.

The nurse came and asked me to take a seat on the chair while she prepared my bed. I tried to get down and hurt my left leg even when I tried to put it on the floor so gently. She was shocked and apologised but it was my own intention to try walking since I could have hopped over with just my right leg.

Since I could not walk and had only a hand to move, I had to use the thymol gargle solution to rinse my mouth despite hating to trouble the nurse. My mum finally came at around eight but I had already finished my breakfast; the seventy to eighty percent done egg was quite nice.

When I was asked whether I wanted to take a bath, I said no because of the restriction of movement. They could have wheeled me over to the toilet but the needle on the back of my wrist was far too scary for me to move about. But since I had sweated, I allowed them to sponge me. It was an unusual experience.

Before the group of them came to help me, I asked for the removal of the needle on the back of my left wrist. It bled more than the previous time I had a drip and of course, there was more pain than ever. However, it was a nice feeling after that as I finally had both my hand free.

The female physiotherapist came finally and tried to get me to walk with the frame. It was a struggle to put my left foot flat onto the ground but I had to lean my leg backwards in order to do that. I sweated a lot while trying to walk and in the end the physiotherapist helped me to speak to the doctor to let me stay for one more day. However, she did not leave the frame with me that I could not walk by myself.

Vivi came to visit me again upon knowing that I would be staying for one more day but she left at around five thirty. It was a fun afternoon with lots of photos taken. She took some nice photos of me in good angles.

Vivi insisted me to write something into her diary

Vivi and I

Her diary

Sweet love

An artistic photo taken by Vivi of an ugly model. Picture is being distorted by me.

Taken by surprise again

Around evening, Yixin was attending to the patient besides me and seemed a bit shock to see that I was still around. The routine of taking my pulse, temperature and other things continued. While she was seriously and carefully taking my pulse again, I called out different numbers to distract her and eventually succeeded. I even took photos of her. I asked her and Jielin to get me a frame so that I could go to the toilet and they did not fail me.

My new good friend/enemy


I was surprised when Yixin told me she had watched the “Han Wu Da Di” show the night before as she was curious about why I wanted to watch it so badly. We had craps together with other nurses, and I mocked at them for going into the male’s toilet.

The most interesting thing came when the old patient besides me dressed up and even removed the drip by himself. Then, he was walking out with his bag when a male nurse who did not stop him, only until my mum and I shouted out. His relatives came later to persuade him to stay on and explained that the nurses did not give him any food because he was not supposed to eat and that the drip was sufficient to keep him alive.

It was a boring night after all the training nurses left, however, they told me it was their last day the next day and all of them would only be coming in the morning, which was just nice to send me off. Jielin was so sweet to “steal” the frame to keep by my side so that I could walk around by myself.

That night, I dozed off only for a while and then could not get to sleep until five. Suddenly, I decided to try listening to music, which worked after a repeat of the seven songs.

A second lunch

[Friday, 28 July, 2006]

I took a quick lunch, causing a stomach discomfort before rushing to the MMI physiotherapy centre. It was a relaxing afternoon since no physiotherapist was around. I took extra effort to ensure I had done my gym properly.

When I was about to leave, Kenneth asked me to wait for him and Dom as they were going down as well. We went to the NUS’s bookshop and then followed by the canteen. Since both of them were taking their lunch there and that I was not in a rush, I decided to join them.

It was a sin to take a second lunch even though the latter one was quite late. The chicken chop selling at just $2.20 was not bad apart from the salad did not really taste good. Suddenly it reminded me of the NP canteen 1 chicken chop.

As it started to rain, I rushed off without waiting for Dom to get the fruit juice. It was when I got up to the NUH shuttle bus, I gave up my seat to an auntie and she started to praise me in front of her friend.

“This boy is a very good boy.” – In dialect.

I got blushed immediately. It was such a simple courtesy and yet I was praised; everyone should have given up seat to the elderly.

Sad to say, more than half of the population are not doing this and that is why kind people are more recognised. I really wish more people can wake up their sense.

The future permanent physiotherapist of MMI

[Friday, 23 June, 2006]

It was a different experience at the MMI Physiotherapy centre. As Miss Archana had resigned, I was seeing different physiotherapists and I got to see this one who was going to take over fully officially but currently still running two clinics at the same time.

I was informed of how military regimental she was. It was weird of her since she was not army personnel but a medical staff. I preferred medical staffs to be friendly and warm-hearted.

Then, I received a second call to push the appointment time forward from 1410h to 1330h. I managed to get there ten minutes earlier despites all the delays during the journey, but ended up having to wait for more than an hour.

Dom reminded me to greet her just before I went in for my consultation and that was quite redundant since it was my usual behaviour to be polite and respectful being mannered since young.

She asked me to remove my shirt and probed for the exact spot that was having the pain. It was not one but a few parts and I was quite stunned since the pains were living in me for as long as I was too used to them to take enough notice on how and where they were agitated.

She got me to lie down facing downwards to check my spine and commented that my towel was too small. It was the first time I had to use towel during review (not gym) and that she obviously did not know how heavy and bulky the *** towel and my bag were which would further worsen my injuries.

In the end, she expected my condition to improve after the next four gym sessions, which the condition had lasted over so many years and I had been there for nearly a year already without improvement.

Before she sent me off, I questioned her about my knees. She did not know that I had put my injuries together as a case so that I needed not go for more medical appointments, despites that each of my gym sessions was dragged so long. I was quite regretful for there was an essential to pay attention to my knees problems as well.

Physiotherapy was scary

[Tuesday, 09 May, 2006]

Nobody would believe that my body was so weak that I had fallen sick again with flu and cough. It was not that I had been taking junk food again, but being passed on; but I loved it still.

Of course, I did not look like a sickly child. I made it this far due to the determination I had all these years, pushing myself in all physical activities. It was all for the injuries I quite regretted.

A terrible day ended.

Firstly, the return of the forty-eight full desktops by the 8SIG. I needed not exert myself at first but eventually helped out with the carrying of the monitors; a little was enough to hurt my back.

I had to rush for the physiotherapy appointment at MMI. This time, I was really scared when Dom introduced me the new programme. Most of the time, I would stay there longer in order to complete all the exercises and then more items were added on, that I needed to work out for at least two hours excluding waiting time.

This time round, there were more than twenty items. Looking back at the previous night which I had just gone for a jog, my aching legs pleaded. I struggled and at times my face turned pale. I did not complete everything as it reached 5pm without my knowledge.

On the way to take the shuttle bus, my left toes started having cramps that I almost thought I would not be able to make it home.

I survived.

Physiotherapy was scary.

New physiotherapist

[Friday, 05 May, 2006]

Even though I was a regular at the MMI physiotherapy centre, it was so different this time. Miss Archana was no longer working there and I was seeing the new physiotherapist for the first time.

Luck was not with me in the morning as it was pouring again. I was lazy to take out my umbrella from my bag and therefore I waited for the rain to quiet down a bit before I dashed over to the DSO building.

Being caught in the rain, I still waited so long inside the freezing place. It was quite crowded again and things could be much faster if there were a few more clerks.

I got my traction again and the new physiotherapist said it would only act as pain killer, which really dampened my mood and motivation on recovery.

Her explanation of my problems was clear with the aids of the artefact models. I had quite a lot of discussions with her.

We talked about exercising and like what I had analysis on my own, swimming and cycling was better than jogging due to the less impact, and so she assured me. She also advised me to get a pair of knee guards to maintain the positions of my knee caps to avoid more rubbing.

We also talked about downgrading of my PES status and she said my conditions were not under the criteria, thus there were little hopes. She understood that I was going to ORD soon and since she did not want me to waste money after my ORD, she wanted me to go back twice a week for gym.

When MMI fails

I’m extremely disappointed in MMI (Military Medical Institute). Two days ago, the new guy called and cancelled my appointment once again. I raised my voice instantly because that was really outrageous but I managed to cool down somehow.

My condition is worsening each day and the aching is tearing me apart soon. There is too little I can do now.

I need to change my place for physiotherapy since MMI is not doing me any good. Miss Archana is experienced and kind but I cannot have the appointments being rescheduled again and again. I love chatting with Kenneth too and he gladly helped me with things. MMI can be a better place for injured personnel but not for the moment.

I’m quite near to ORD date and time just does not permit me to waste my chance anymore. After that, I will have to pay for my own medical fee. Thus I have to fix everything before the date.