MC for Two Days

Wednesday morning, my mum and younger brother left the house before I woke up to go to Bali.

I had a little difficulty in breathing at first. I hesitated again but decided I should take more rest at home instead of destroying myself at work. I went to see the doctor at the Outram polyclinic finally.

The checkpoint outside the main door was cleared. There was only a poor guy standing inside near the queue ticket machine, asking everyone if there was any symptom of flu, fever or cough. Then, a couple of old people bothering him over the queue machine in quite a rude tone, which I thought was so silly and ridiculous.

After putting on the mask, I realized my breathing had improved somehow. My queue number was F009 and it was not very long before I went into the consultation room. When the doctor was checking my throat, she said it was very red inside and that made me very curious. I remembered when I was in the army, I went to see the doctor for diarrhoea, and I was told the same thing. I was not having a sore throat that time and thus I took it lightly until the next day, it started to hurt.

I was given two days medical leave by the doctor without asking for it. If I were to tell her about my occupation, she would probably make me stay at home until the next Monday.

After reaching home, I dropped a couple of emails. I was planning to go downstairs to buy lunch before my elder brother’s girlfriend offered to do it. She went alone to help me get my wantan mee.

It was a lazy afternoon for me and I spent lots of time lying on the bed.

In the evening, the food delivery man interrupted my sleep. I checked my phone and realized my brother had informed me to wait for the food because his girlfriend could be asleep. My brother got home soon and we shared the two packets of food.

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Another Unpleasant Visit to Outram Polyclinic

Last Friday, I went back to Outram Polyclinic again. The queue was short and I got to see Doctor Alfred Wong very soon, which was one of the fastest ever.

He gave me the impression that he was from overseas, or rather, used to work as a journalist; he simply reminded me of a colleague. Anyway, he insisted there was nothing wrong with my eyes except for the recent virus attack, which had subsided since a week ago. Regarding my gum, he was certain that it was probably due to the gum had overgrowth and thus it was “back to normal” after I had some bleeding months ago; he was definitely a moron and I regretted telling him about the problem in the first place. Maybe he was shortsighted that he could not spot the difference.

Nevertheless, I was given two bottles of same artificial tears, which was quite helpful in relaxing my eyes.

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Flu Again and Again

I pinned high hopes to get some vicks or strepsils from the Co-Op in the yesterday morning. It was over 10 AM and after looking at the notice on the door, which “9am to 4pm” was written, I happily went in to get my lozenges. The girl at the cashier was asking me what I wanted and told me it was not in operation yet.

It was so ridiculous to have the operating hours indicated at the door and yet the shop was still not opened an hour later. I supposed none of the retail shops out in the market would do this. The excuse was that the girl in charge, Colin, had not arrived yet and probably due to some traffic jams. Her working hours were supposed to be 8 AM to 5 PM and yet the traffic jam could actually cause her to be late for two and a half hours. When the shop was finally opened for business, I realised none of the lozenges was on the shelves anymore and that the excuse given was that it was coming to the end of the semester soon.

I had lunch at the Tradehub with Baey, Joy, Alfni, Alex, Hasnah and Bernard. I ordered a plate of chicken rice for $3 and the can of carrot juice cost $1.50. The meat seemed to taste quite good with the gravy and nasi lemak rice, but I was unfortunately having flu and thus did not get to enjoy much. I did not join in the conversation often since I had to handle my runny nose.

I almost finished a packet of tissue papers in the afternoon; it was a tough afternoon for me.

Was it so difficult to follow instructions when the speaker was not right besides you? Was it just because of your self-discipline problem that your attention was diverted away once nobody was right besides you to monitor you?

This afternoon, I repeated my words many times and did as many times debugging as well.

As I was rushing off from work, Bernard offered to send me to Dover MRT and thus saving me lots of energy and time. I was more appreciative of the companion.

I took the wrong exit out of Outram Park MRT, having to make a detour. As I was asking for Dr Sally, the nurse at the counter disappointed me by telling me Sally was on leave. I had not met her for years and she was one of the best doctors at the polyclinic.

The waiting time was in fact, quite short, at four PM. I got into the room right after around two patients. Dr Ho in room 2 looked quite stylish. My main purpose for visiting the polyclinic instead of a Chinese physician was because I wanted to ask about my swollen right wrist and freckles on my shoulders but she did not seem to be able to help me at all. I was then prescribed the usual flu tablets and cough syrup, and she asked if I needed any lozenges, which quite stunned me since she was the doctor. The short consultation period cost me $9 together with $4 of medicine. I was wondering if I could get better medicine if I were to pay more than thrice the amount in a private clinic.

My mum was cooking dinner when I got home. I took my meal earlier than normal. I finished the last episode of the “Ten Brothers” online, which I missed it a day ago on channel 8, before swallowing a flu tablet and dozed off shortly.

First MC of the Year

I woke up feeling more feverish than before. My body was weak and the joints were aching. The sore throat resided for a while like the day before but the flu did not stop.

I was so terrified of myself whenever I recalled being inside the class, having to move to the back to sneeze badly. When the fluid tried to drip down from nose, it was really gross. I wanted to maintain a clean sheet record but it would certainly hurt my conscience if I were to spread the virus to others.

For the first time since the first day of my work, I went to see a doctor for medical certification. I preferred Chinese physician but it was too bad their certification might not be recognised.

The polyclinic was crowded and I waited for around forty people before I got my queue number. Doctor Sally was busy as usual and when I asked about Doctor Kok Leong, the nurse at the registration counter was stunned and told me that he had been transferred to the headquarter. She checked my record and realised my last visit to the polyclinic was in year 2006, which was more than a year ago.

Surprisingly, I needed not wait as long as the usual two plus hours to get everything done. The doctor, Doctor Mark, assigned to me was from Ireland. I managed to get to see him quite soon with the absence of two to three patients who were not around after their numbers were flashed for minutes. He seemed to be having flu as well. It was a common infection inside my body.

The medicines prescribed were:
Loratadine 10mg Tab
Glycerin Thymol CO Gargle 100ml
Dequalinium CL 0.25mg Loz
Promethazine Codeine Co Linctus
Amoxicillin Cap

As usual, for as far as I could remember, the doctor asked the same question, “Do you need an MC for today?” – How about the next day? The medicine prescribed would definitely cause drowsiness and how could the virus be wiped off within a day? Since I did not want to miss work longer, I did not try my luck.

I spent yesterday lying on the bed, having too much sleep to doze off again.

The Singapore Waiting Hospital Again

[Tuesday, 28 November, 2006]

I tried to sleep early especially this night to go to the polyclinic in the early morning. I was not sure what time I dozed off and whether did my mum wake me up, but she suddenly asked me where I was going. Then, she recommended me to a skin doctor and I agreed.

She woke me up at seven plus after I purposely went back to sleep after my alarms sounded. Then, we left home at around eight and walked towards Kreta Ayer Road. Then she told me the clinic was at the third storey and which we could not find. Then she said she suspect it might have moved down and indeed we found it at the second level at exactly the same corner. I was not sure if it had shifted down or my mum had remembered the location wrongly.

Disgusting Corn

I saw the price labelled at the counter stating “$50 to $75” and it freaked me out. After seeing the doctor, he told me the unknown thing on my wrist could be corn and he recommended me to go to the polyclinic and they might remove it for me. I was very upset about the money I was wasting for this advice but luckily he claimed we were not required to foot any bill.

We made the trip to Outram Polyclinic directly. This morning proved the communication problems between my mum and me, or rather, her and my brothers as well. When we were at Neil Road, there were long stretches of shophouses opposite the Police Cantonment Complex and we were supposed to cross over to the diagonal corner of the “rectangular” area (shophouses). We took the inner path and she claimed it was a “shortcut”, which was of an exact distant of taking the path along the main road.

It was a long queue as usual at the Polyclinic and both the nicest doctors, Doctor Sally Ho and Doctor Tan Kok Leong were not around, and I had to go for a random doctor, which was really dangerous. Some of the doctors sucked for they gave really bad attitude and you would probably be freaked out as well and not trust their abilities.

As we were waiting outside the room, the aunties behind us were talking non-stop while my mum and I were trying to take a little nap on the uncomfortable chairs. Suddenly another Cantonese auntie joined in with her extremely loud and piercing voice. I purposely turned back to stare at her and soon she stopped. While she went to the toilet, her number was called and the doctor even came out to call for her. Then, she returned to make a big fuss.

Two hours later, finally it was my turn to go into the room. My mum became a doctor suddenly and asked directly for an operation while I was waiting for the doctor to suggest better alternatives or prescribe stronger medicine. So, the doctor immediately wrote a referral letter to Singapore General Hospital and did not give me any medicine. The first visit to the specialist clinic could easily cost up to forty bucks and the time wasted would be half of the day; it was the last resort I really wished to use.

After making an appointment at the other room, we were told to go back to the registration counter to pay the money since there was no medicine to be collected. Two out of the four counters were closed at lunch time and the other two counters were occupied. I was waiting there for the counter to be cleared and my mum turned to a passed by nurse and said loudly, “Ask her lo.” Obviously the nurse turned to us and I answered her embarrassingly, “It’s okay; I’m just waiting to make payment.”

Suddenly, a lady near me over the other counter asked if I was another guy. I found her very familiar and after a while I asked her if she was teaching at Ngee Ann Polytechnic and she answered me positive. She was Mrs Mok who had taught me during lower secondary as my arts teacher, as well as an English writing course lecturer during my polytechnic days. As we walked out of the place together, she told me she was teaching at “Nanyang” as well and my mum immediately interrupted, claiming that my younger brother studied there as well. I instantly double confirmed it was Nanyang Polytechnic since we were talking about polytechnic all along and that managed to stop my mum from making more blurts.

Towards the end of the morning when we were going to cross over the T-junction in front of the Police Cantonment Complex, my mum said for at least the third time my younger brother knew how to take the underpass across so that we did not cross the road. I never liked to use it since it required taking many flocks of escalators down and up when we could easily just cross the road.

It was quite an unlucky morning.

Pre-Admission testing date changed

[Wednesday, 13 September, 2006]

The nightmare of the sleeping hour continued.

Another thing I could not understand about my mum was that she insisted to switch on the air-con at night despite the heavy electricity bill. My elder brother was careless about the two hundreds plus dollars bill after using the air-con even during noon time, but she did not do anything other than complaining about him in front of me. So, I could describe them as like mother like son, or even the son outshone the parent. We were blood related though.

Apart from this nonsense of bills, since money could not buy happiness and I should skip it for the moment. But she obviously knew I was sick with flu, cough and sore throat and yet she switched on the air-con still. I had no room to escape to, except the living room which was not a very peasant place.

I battled the cold in my illness, could not doze off eventually, and finally decided to switch off the air-con. Though my nose was more relieved and could finally doze off at around five in the morning, I woke up to ease my bladder and refill my throat with water so frequently. From five to seven in the morning, I woke up numerous times.

I gave a call to SGH but they did not pick it up. I went directly for the Pre-Admission testing centre then and asked if I could proceed on with the testing when I was sick. They told me I could do it two days later, which would not affect my operation date. In fact, I actually felt like chicken out for the blood test; I was just a coward in fact of blood sucking instrument.

I went straight to Outram Polyclinic then and waited three hours before I could see the doctor. Out of the bottle of cough syrup, fungus medicine, some Lozenges and flu pills, and pimples cream, I had everything except for the latter. So once again I told myself I could become a doctor.

After reaching home, Gilbert messaged me online immediately. I took my lunch and had some discussion with him before taking the medicine and went to lie down. After a short conversation with Vivi over the phone while she was on her way home, I finally dozed off.

As we chatted over the phone again in the evening, she totally forgot that I was ill and requested me to sound lively and I almost banged my head on the table. I would settle for a sweet revenge once I recovered.

Defeat my purpose

[Tuesday, 29 August, 2006]

Having failed to listen to Vivi and sleep early, I had a hard time getting up in the morning. Her sweet messages woke me up a few times and finally I got up around noon.

My plan was to go to the polyclinic and get a referral letter to NUH (National University Hospital) orthopaedic specialist for my back and knees problems. I was reluctant to leave my house due to tiredness, moreover she had told me to get her a FBT short, which I was not sure where to get.

So, I decided to go to the polyclinic first and follow by Queensway shopping centre. I told the doctor straight to point about the referral letter and he was cool about it when I had my back’s MRI report with me.

I also asked him about the problem with my body getting numb so easily but he told me it was very common for everyone; I did not quite agree with him but could do nothing. Perhaps, Chinese physicians could have done more for me.

I went to the room to book the appointment. While waiting, I asked her if she wanted to go Queensway with me and she agreed.

Since the NUH had a long queue, the nurse called AH (Alexander Hospital) instead. There was an immediately appointment half an hour later and the next one required another one plus month, which would be after my ORD and I probably would not be going. It could be a good try but since I had an appointment with Vivi, I had to give it up.

I quickly gave her a call after I finished with the booking. Then, she gave me the most shocking answer that she did not know how to go to Queensway shopping centre when her school was so nearby.

I raced to her school in order to give her a surprise, but on the way I reflected on myself and my decisions, feeling sad that I was neglecting my health for girl again. I was worried about my injuries and my PES status after ORD.

I was so worried she would take other route that I called her and she told me a white lie that she was near the bus-stop but she was actually being dragged on by her friends. It was good to give her such surprise but I could hardly smile with an exhausted mind. Then, she told me it was too late to go to Queensway anymore and refused to call her mum to ask for a later curfew.

So, I was struck again for I had skipped this chance of going to AH and yet the outing had to be called off.

The good thing about the day was that I was able to get to see more of her friends. However, I thought she might be teased that I did not bring myself forward to go near her group of friends.

Sweet sacrifices and commitments were worthwhile for sweet wife-to-be I supposed. But this long journey was too early to be celebrated about.

I think I can be a doctor too

[Friday, 02 June, 2006]

It was another disappointing day at the polyclinic.

Sally Ho was not around when I thought she could be kind enough to solve my problems. I was assigned to another doctor then, Dr. Foo something, which I found the name very familiar.

I was the first patient and this slacker started “operating” later than other rooms’ doctors.

I told him of my problems, from the flu, cough, sore throat, eyes and nose irritating and the lump on my left calf, but there was too little things he could do than to indirectly hurrying me out of the room; probably he did not want to lengthen the queue.

I would greatly appreciate a doctor who would probe me more about the problems but he just did not seem interested. He asked me to go back a month later for the lump on my left calf, which I had told him it was there for very long already and recently giving me more pains. He simply examined it for a few seconds.

There was a little difficulty in breathing and I told him I was not sure if it was the nose irritation or cough causing it and he told me I had to go A&E (Accident and Emergency) department to check up in case of dengue fever. He had already taken my temperature before that and he gave me an impressive he was trying to play a fool on me.

Knowing that the medicine he was going to give me would cause extreme drowsiness on me, he did not even offer an MC until I asked for it, and which he almost tore it when he wanted me to go to the hospital.

Realising about his attitude, I did not tell him another swelling problem at the top of my left thigh. In future, I would request not to be attended by him then.

When I went to collect my medicine, I realised there were only cough syrup, flu pill, lozenges and another type of medicine to start running nose; there was no eyes drop or the nostril spray.

Polyclinics for two days MC

[Thursday, 11 May, 2006]

I stepped into the polyclinic with queue number 5036, being the thirty-six patient at 0745h. The clerk assigned me to room 29, Dr. Sally Ho, and I felt it was kind of coincidence since my mum was mentioning she always asked for this doctor specially.

I sat there thinking I should be able to see the doctor soon but the first patient somehow was adducted and kept everyone waiting.

The number was skipped and the next patient went in. Just as I thought everything was fine, one old uncle went in right after the patient came out and another guy was telling him, “It’s not your turn yet.” But this troublesome looking uncle replied, “Nevermind, I will talk to the doctor.”

Similar to what I had thought, this old uncle must be pestering the doctor inside that he took such a long time to come out and when I got inside after another patient, it was already nine plus. I thought those idiots would have spoilt her mood.

The check-up was fast. I opened my mouth twice for her and she told me she would not be giving me antibiotic since it was a normal flu, cough and sore throat. Then, she stunned me by asking if I wanted one or two days’ MC.

That was the first time ever in polyclinic that I was given chance to get two days MC. I got one day only since the next day was a holiday – Vesak Day. So freaky, I could have super long weekends to rest if I did not have HLS duty the previous day and thus could not visit the doctor.

I continued to chat with her while she was printing out the MC even though my throat was torturing me. She was friendly.

It was soon I took my medicine after breakfast and started dozing off with the drowsiness. It was all for Vivi’s accompany the whole afternoon was great that even sleeping could be such a great entertainment.

The drowsiness caused by the medicine refused to leave me.

Report sick

[Friday, 28 April, 2006]

I have this bad habit of not going to see the doctor immediately until when more problems arouse.

This day, I actually went to see doctor for my giddiness, eyes and nose irritation, injured nerve on my right finger and stomach discomfort.

I told her about the giddiness and breathing difficulties caused by the nose block. She did not really seem to care about the nose problem. She told my blood pressure and it was the first time I was told to stand up while taking it. Then, she asked if I was knocked on my head or had other injures recently; I answered no. Before leaving, I asked her to check my throat and after I opened my mouth for her, she said “Oh ya, got some problems there.”

I went to collect my medicine and realised there was only tablets for flu and giddiness.

When I was about to leave the building, I remembered I was knocked onto my head a few weeks back, not sure if it was related but I had giddiness on that day itself; I did not tell her about the pain on my right knuckle as well.

Indeed, it is not good to struggle with illness or injures and not reporting sick immediately, because it is either the doctor would find you irritating or you would most probably forgotten about getting solutions for some problems.