Friday, 23 January 2015

Half day in KKH

It was terribly long few hours yesterday, our first appointment in ENT.

Nice landscape at B1
We were registered by 1.30 pm, did the audio test by 2.15pm. Saw the doc by 2.30pm, made payment, scheduled for the day surgery, it was already 3pm - all in Level 2. Then went to the playground and pharmacy at Level 1. Then went to the Rehabilitation Dept and Day Surgery at Level B1. Then went back to canteen at Level 1. Then went down to Level B1 to catch a cab home.

Yummy OREO!
In the audio room, a set of headphone was placed, and he was to raise his hand whenever he heard any sound. I found it agonizing. It was not a short 10 times trial, but I believe he raised his hands more than 50 times. I understand about different frequency pitches and all, but to see him so near to nap time, so tired yet so excitedly raising his hand (sometimes both hands) when he hear something, and was not allowed to move his legs etc,.. believe me, it was agonizing. So much so I was near to tears. Why does it have to be him going through this? I know.. silly right, it was nothing, but a set of headphone, but I still question, nonetheless.. His hearing was perfect although his ears were covered with ear wax. Errm.. I've never cleaned his ears, to be honest, I thought ears are supposedly "auto-cleansing". Looks like I was wrong.

Then we went to the see the doctor. Information was scattered. I'm not sure if it was because I had blocked my brain (or ears) or had somewhat made up my mind on something. I couldn't digest what the doctor was saying. One moment, she was asking me to fix surgery date. Next moment, she said she could clear the ear wax for him when he is under GA. Next, she said she needs to soften the ear wax with olive oil. And then she said we could do it at home too. Then she said about can fix an appointment just to clear ear wax (not surgery day). Then she said see how it goes. Mostly see how it goes, so how will it go?

Anyway, I decided he should go for the surgery. Doctor said it'll be using laser (knife / scissor.. I couldn't remember) and there will not be a single drop of blood. What a relief. Have to undergo GA for 5-10 mins and that the cutting will be done in the count of 5. "1, 2, 3, 4, 5, done" she said.

The doctor was so kind to tell me that she could prescribe something for his runny nose and cough. Very much appreciated, then I could skip the trip to Sinsei!

So we waited to make payment. Both the audio and the nurse at the doctor said "I cannot give you a candy as you are coughing". The payment counter, was attended by a lady who was transferred from the Eye dept. This is when you feel like you know KKH that well. Like oh ya, I've been to both departments! The lady offered IZ a balloon, he said he wanted green, and he got the last green.

Happy boy with his reward
Then we had to wait to fix appointment for the day surgery.

While waiting, I was shoved a piece of paper for the Rehabilitation Department to schedule for his speech therapy. Yup, speech therapy is essential to train him how to speak properly with his "new tongue". I shivered thinking the waiting list of 6 months.

Surgeries are available only on Mon and Thu. I chose Thu and the earliest possible. Hubby has been really busy, and I do not think there's a need for both parents to be around (although it'd be nice if so). Only a parent is allowed to company anyway, so I guess we'll just go ahead, with or without daddy. Thursday is also a good day so that he doesn't skip too many days of school (and me, work).

BUT........ we'll not know what time is the surgery until the day before. They'll call us from 4-6pm to inform us of the time and the fasting instruction. EH?!

By then, he has been bugging me about playing at the playground, and me holding on to 3 tasks, ie. to get prescribed medicine in the pharmacy, to go to the day surgery to get the cost, and to rehabilitation dept for speech therapy appointment.

Felt bad that I didn't keep my promise (playground after seeing doctor - of which I broke coz we had to wait for our turn to make payment, and wait for our turn to make appointment for day surgery), I let him play for 15 mins.

Then it was another waiting game at the pharmacy. We waited close to 50mins in total to get the prescriptions, which were heavily subsidized. For a small bottle of Zrytec, a packet of Fluimicil, a bottle of virgin olive oil and another flu/cough syrup, it cost us only S$11+.  Oh, not to mention, we had to queue to make the payment too.

All this while, I was worried about him skipping nap. Like what if he suddenly knock out and want to nap, how do I carry him with all the barang-barang and the tasks in hand?

So in order to perk him up a little, I told him we could have his favorite egg prata after we're done. Big mistake, later on, I tried to change the direction to Saybons / Delifrance where I could have better yumcha, he refused, and insisted to have egg prata. :-/

Before yumcha, we went to the Rehabilitation Department to make appointment for the speech therapy. I was very lucky as there were toys and tables there to keep him occupied. He was very happy while I waited for our turn and given a date, 1 week from the surgery. woohoo! I was so happy and felt lucky that we do not have to wait 6 months! Maybe because he has to undergo surgery, so therapy should start immediately otherwise he will not use his tongue properly? Asking him to head to Day Surgery was not easy. He said he wanted to stay there coz he was having fun. I told him we'll be back next month (not exactly a good thing, but that's the truth).

At the Day Surgery, he found something to keep himself occupied too. So the helpful lady printed out something called Financial Counseling Form (if I remember correctly). It'll cost us S$541 for the day surgery including GA and 3 hours rest. He has to be able to eat and drink without problem before releasing. If we decided to stay beyond the 3 hours, it'll be chargeable (obviously). We can pay using Medisave first and claim insurance thenafter.

Finally, it was yumcha time. That, we had to wait too. There were 2 customers before us. Telling me he would eat a little bit, I ordered just ONE egg prata and waited. The Indonesian lady before us with 2 kids ordered Indian rojak and 2 pratas but she didn't have enough money. She had $10 only while the whole cost was $11.80. Right away, I wanted to jump in and pay for her. But something held me back. She ordered banana prata, tissue prata with chocholate and a big plate of rojak. So, I was not sure if she genuinely calculated wrongly or not. She asked the stall to keep the rojak, who refused, saying he cut already he can't take it back. I decided that even if she is not telling the truth (that she didn't have enough money with her), I would do a good deed. Not just for her, for myself too. It's only $1.80 anyway.

IZ decided the prata was too nice to be shared. I only took 2 bites and he finished the rest. I couldn't buy another one as queue was building up.

Yummy prata!
Even the queue for the cab was terrible. It was 5+. On the way back, IZ nearly doze off. I had to keep him engaged and entertained. When we reached our block, he could have fallen asleep while walking. It was not easy to keep him awake for the next 2 hours and gave him medicine before knocking out completely at 8.20pm when my yoga class started!

Oh ya, dropped the olive oil into his ear yesterday and I saw some came out today. Hopefully it'll get better and need not help from the doctor.

He has to be in best of health for 10 days leading to the surgery. So if he still has runny nose or coughing by next week or we have to reschedule, EVERYTHING!

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Feels loved..

when he opened up his arms, asking for a hug when we wake up in the morning despite how late he got home the night before..

when he sent me to work as usual, only to sleep in the car by the side of the road to catch up on sleep as work starts slightly later than usual..

when he asked with concern how I got home while it was raining and he was not around to chauffeur..

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

I loved it..

when he drank milk like a baby in my arms..

when he was "drowsy" sucking milk..

when he was dozing off in my arms..

when he slept holding on to me..

when he grabbed and held my hand even when he dozed off..

when he woke up smiling and said "Good morning!"..

when he said "I love you, Mommy!"

Monday, 19 January 2015

Volunteering weekend takeway..

Kids in Play: 17th Jan'15

It was the first session for the year. There were 3 kids in my group, all of them from P2.

He appeared to be uncooperative at first. Complaining it was boring and that he wanted to do other stuffs. At the end of the session, the kids were given a hotdog bun each. He exclaimed he didn't like hotdog bun, and stopped eating.

I asked him why he didn't finish his bun, he said he was keeping it for his grandmother. So, it was pride that made him said he didn't like hotdog bun, but really, it was his sweet thoughts for the grandmother that he stopped eating.

I told him he could finish up his, and he could have mine for the grandmother. He shook his head and said no.

I chose to share about what he did at the debrief session, and he was given compliments albeit not being there personally. I hope the good note would be conveyed to his caseworker and in the end passed to the grandmother as well as the parents. That the kiddo is very sensible.

I'm very proud of him.

Project Besar House-call: 18th Jan'15

This time it's food rations distribution for the Chinese New Year which is just around the corner.

IZ joined us after his violin class.

One particular family with an elderly woman walking with a stick. She told us her hand has not been well and that no one could clean the fan. Her son was jobless coz of heart issue. So we offered to wash the fan. While we have just started dismantling and showering the blades in the bathroom, the son woke up and showed us very unhappy face and insisted he needed to use the bathroom. Didn't feel embarrassed at all that he is a fully capable man with a giant built that us 2 ladies helping his mother cleaning the fan. YET, he gave us the face as if we owed it to him.

Neighbor uncle came, reprimanding us that we shouldn't have helped them as they are not exactly the ones in real need. He then brought us to another unit where the elderly woman is suffering from osteoporosis, using walking stick and needed to sit on the stool when she talked to us. The uncle told us, THIS is what needy people. But, she still did all the housechores on her own. So very proud of the aunty.

This neighbor uncle also told us that he is still working, so he doesn't see the need to take the food rations. He said he still can survive, let other people who needs it more have it.

Another elderly woman in her 80s, who speaks Cantonese. When IZ called her "Ah Mah" out of the sudden, she said "wah, why are you so guai!". Living alone, depending on neighbors for her meals. But she was all smiley and all positive.

God bless them all.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015


I can't remember if I've shared IZ has pronunciation problem, especially with f, s, c. We noticed since he started talking, ie. when he could answer when strangers asked him "what's your name?"

The most irony about the mispronunciation has always been his look when he has to repeat his name, sometimes twice, sometimes thrice, and many a times, we have to jump in to "save him". Strangers will then go "Oh, IZ!"

His form teacher once told us not to worry about his pronunciation as he was too young. In the last PTM, she told us she was worried of his pronunciation as he didn't show improvement although she had been correcting him for a year.

I thought of monitoring him this year as he progressed to K1. I've checked the cost of speech therapies last year, and it would cost us BOMBS.

Not sure what struck me. I started googling more information about his pronunciation problem and got really worried on Monday. I wrote to a fellow mommy with similar experience in SMH and asked if she could share her experience.

Her information was very helpful. And it was frightening as she shared that her son withdrew coz of speech problem. I started to panic and immediately made appointment to Polyclinic for referral to KKH. I confirmed that would be a cheaper way.

So doctor did an assessment and concluded that his speech problem could be due to tongue-tied (short frenulum). She said "a minor surgery" could be done to solve this. If not, speech therapy would do.

She referred us to KKH ENT for further review.

Appointment was made on 16th Feb'15, but I called earlier today to check if there was possibilities to change to other dates. Kinderland would be having CNY performance on the 16th, I wouldn't want IZ to miss out the fun for hospital visit.

Luck was on our side, the lady who answered the phone actually gave me 22nd Jan'15 instead! How lucky!

I'm very anxious, nervous, worried, all jumbled up. And a little in denial too.

I remember how I was treading very carefully between correcting his pronunciation mildly and not over-doing it so that he doesn't withdraw and never speak again.

I remember how anxious I am every time people ask him to repeat what he said and correct him. At times making fun of him.

I remember how I've threatened him to speak properly, pronounce accurately by telling him if he doesn't, we would have to go for doctors and it'll cost us money, thus we won't be able to afford to go on holidays. Little did I know, he actually couldn't help it! :-(

Now that I'm reading more about the surgery, all the more I pray not to be put through this agony.

Although it's a minor surgery, I don't think my frail heart can see him in pain in any way.

Please Lord Buddha, I pray to you. Please give us strength. If there's anything wrong I've done in my past lives, please let the Karma be on me instead of the little one.

Added on 15th Jan'15:

Apparently heart-shaped tongue is not exactly normal. It could affect our pronunciation to certain extent. To some, severe mis-pronunciation, to some, very minor.

Monday, 12 January 2015

More talking!

Acknowledging his feeling

Yesterday, whilst in the car. Same scnenario happened again and again..

IZ: you are driving too fast, daddy!
Dad: (glancing at speedometer - 75km/h) no, I'm not..
IZ: yes you are! Its dangerous!
Dad: no, it's not fast

(above scenario will ongoing until IZ is distracted with other stuffs..) X N times

Immediately, I recognised an opportunity to put what I read in "How to talk so kids listen, how to listen so kids talk" book I borrowed recently, on acknowledging children's feelings.

Me: it sure feels like daddy is driving very fast right? But he's not you know..
IZ: ya, I feel very fast!
Me: he's driving within the speed limit

And the conversation ended there. No argument.

Power of acknowledging his feeling.

You didn't see!

IZ: I draw this clock from Thank You For Being My Best Friend book (in the school)
Me: (acknowledging) I see..
IZ: No, you didn't see, you were at work!
Me: @-@