Saturday, 3 November 2018

Getting rid of the really bad and tough bacteria

Around three weeks ago, I noticed a small rash on my lower right leg. It was very itchy and I couldn't restrain myself from not scratching. Of course, that made the rash worse, but no worry I thought. I applied some cream medication left over from my last visit to the skin clinic.
After a few days, the rash did not heal. In fact, it became much worse. The area of skin affected became reddish and grew to about six inches in diameter. It was horrible to look at. The wound had become infected.

I then went to see my regular dermatologist. He was quite surprised to see me after a lapse of more than one and a half years. I showed him the new ailment. Quite badly infected, he said. I may need to refer you to the hospital, he added. There is a risk that the infection may have gone deeper than just skin. But let's try some oral antibiotics and cream first. Come back in one week and we see if it gets better.

A week passed and the prescribed tablets have been consumed as directed. So I go back to the skin specialist. Tiny improvement, he said, but not quick enough. He asked if I'm willing to be referred to another specialist at a private hospital. Sure, I replied. The terrible itchiness was becoming uncontrollable.

I took his referral letter to an orthopaedic specialist at KPJ Puteri Specialist Hospital (the nearest private hospital to where I live). That's when I learned that orthopaedics is not limited to skeleton and bones but to the related muscles and tissues as well.

The ortho doctor read the referral letter, asked me a few questions and then suggested intravenous antibiotic treatment. This required me to be admitted.

So here I am for my second stay at Puteri after being warded the first time about two years ago for dengue fever. Today is my second day and so far I've had three doses of fluid antibiotics (unasyn) being injected into my bloodstream via an IV needle stuck into my right hand.

I'm trying to kill some of the boredom by using the hospital's wifi to do some mobile blogging. Wish me a speedy recovery..

Enjoying a tasty hospital dinner

Sunday, 21 October 2018

World Psoriasis Day 2018

The state-level event for the 2018 World Psoriasis Day in Johor was held yesterday at the AEON Tebrau City shopping mall. Unlike previous years when the event was held at government hospitals, the public venue gave the occasion a joyous and cheery feel. It also allowed the organizers a wider outreach to spread the knowledge of the skin disease.

Apart from the standard booths and displays relating to the disease and its various treatment methods, there was also a blood donation drive, free health checks and a lucky draw. My better half and I were there for short while to offer moral support and renew acquaintances with other patients and medical personnel.

This year's event was jointly organized by Hospital Sultanah Aminah, Hospital Sultan Ismail, Hospital Pakar Sultanah Fatimah, Johor Doctors Association and the Psoriasis Association of Johor.

Thank you to all involved in this wonderful effort to create better awareness of psoriasis to the general public.

On stage, just for the photo. No presentation involved :-)

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Do something green today...

The title of this post is a phrase often used by a veteran bonsai enthusiast from Canada, Nigel Saunders. I have been watching his youtube videos quite frequently for the past month or so because I've decided to try my hand at growing bonsai plants. Of the thousands of videos about bonsai planting on youtube, I find the presentation by Mr Saunders most useful and interesting because of his clear explanation, good quality recording and consistency of producing updates. At the end of each video, he normally close with this simple advice... `Do something green today.' Plant a tree, or ride a bike, or recycle your trash.

I would list gardening as one of my hobbies and I credit this interest as coming from my mother. My preference is growing plants in pots, especially the green leafy kind. Somehow, the flowering varieties do not thrive under my care. I guess this is due to my inconsistent attention. There have been times when I totally ignore my garden. No watering, no pruning, no weeding and surely no nourishing with fertilizer. When I hit this rough patch, most of my plants die. The few hardy ones that make it would be revived when I somehow find the passion to go green again.

While I may say that gardening is one of my pastimes, I cannot be called a keen gardener. I grow many types of plants but I can only name a few of them. Starting this month, I'm trying to change that. I've been reading up more about the plants and trying to remember their common names (the scientific names would take a bit more time to learn). I browse Google search images to identify plant types and watch youtube videos for gardening tips.

Why am I trying to grow bonsai? I have actually made an attempt at it many years ago but the plant died on me and I subsequently lost interest. Totally my weakness because I dived into it without proper reading of the subject.

This time around, I'm trying it again but with proper advice and guidance from the experts. As to answering the question `why?', I guess it's because of patience. Something that I find myself sorely lacking of late. I hope bonsai gardening would help me recover that trait.

Last month, I re-potted one of my bougainvillea plants which has the shape to become a good bonsai. Actually, I did not do the re-potting entirely correctly as I had not discovered Mr Saunders yet at the time. But we'll see how it goes and if need be, I'll re-pot it again next year.

I'm not sharing a photo of that first bonsai attempt but rather of another shrub which I'm in the process of propagating via stem cutting and later grow into a bonsai. I learned of its common name today. What I initially thought as a species of jasmine is actually something else. Orange jessamine (murraya paniculata), locally known as kemuning. Wish me luck...

Small white flowers with strong, pleasant scent

Wednesday, 26 September 2018


My first grandchild's name is Maisarah Bt. Arshad Khalid.

Before she was born, my wife asked if I had any suggestion for the baby's name. I decided that I would not suggest any but rather allow the honour to be given to my daughter-in-law's parents.

In the end, the name was decided upon by the baby's parents. It was a name that I would have chosen too if I was to have a daughter of my own, many years ago.

For sure this little lady would be growing up fully pampered by her two grandmothers...

Maisarah at 4 days

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

An old man in the new year

Today is 11 September 2018 by the Gregorian calendar. It is also the first day of the new year in the Islamic calendar, otherwise known as the 1st of Muharram for 1440 Hijri. I have previously written in earlier posts about the difference between these two calendars; the main one being that the Hijri year is shorter than the Gregorian by about 10 to 11 days. However, I don't think I have mentioned of another notable dissimilarity.

In Islamic tradition, the beginning of a new day occurs at dusk, i.e. when the sun of the preceding day has set. This means that the new Hijri year began yesterday evening at around 7.07pm (sunset time for the district of Johor Bahru, Malaysia). I am highlighting this fact because a significant event took place last night.

Our daughter-in-law, Nor Hanida Bt Elias, gave birth to her first child, a girl, at around 9.20pm at Sultanah Aminah Hospital. Both mother and baby are doing well, alhamdulillah. They have been discharged a few hours ago. Our first grand-daughter arrived in this world on 10 September 2018 but by the Islamic calendar, she is a new year baby. By coincidence (or the Almighty's design, depending on your point of view) the baby's father, my eldest son Arshad Khalid, was also born on 1st Muharram exactly 30 Hijri years ago.

My better half and I are now grandparents.

In previous posts, I have acknowledged many times that I am a senior citizen by virtue of the numerous grand-nephews and grand-nieces in our extended family. Even the Oldstock nickname (first applied when I was still a teenager) is a reflection of this. And now, with the arrival of our first grandchild, I am a confirmed `Datuk'. An honour not bestowed by any king or nobility.

An old man in the new year...

The new baby in the arms of her grandmother