To Drink Or Not To Drink?


Is the north wind upon us already? It certainly feels like that to me. The air is dry. I know it is. My lips are dry, my palms feel odd and I keep blinking my eyes. Lethargy is slowly sucking the life out of me. This is one of the few times of the year that I dread. In olden China, this is the season they make waxed sausages, waxed duck, waxed pork and every other thing they can wax. These are hung out to dry in the cold winter winds blowing in from the north. I am beginning to see the similarities.

Fortunately, I have a cache of agar-agar in the fridge to tide me over the next few days. I like them less sweet and with a hint of pandan fragrance. I do not know how far this is true but I was told that eating too much of these will cause the hair to fall off. This could be an old wives’ tale. I will never know because for a while now, every time I brush my hair, clumps of it get entangled in the brush and come off, long before I started making agar-agar. It will not make any difference if it is contributing to my hair loss. I was already losing a fair share of hair every day without eating it anyway.

The weather has also caused me to drink more than the usual amount of water. Going to the toilet often is least of my problems. While drinking fluids is encouraged, too much of it will overwork the kidneys. This is not good news for my compromised kidneys. As is with my diet, moderation is the keyword. I am trying hard to balance between quenching my thirst and not drinking excessively. It is a little difficult when the mouth is screaming for hydration while they kidneys are begging for some self-control.

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Slave to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. End-stage renal disease since 2017. Principal Facilitator at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. Former columnist of Breaking Barriers with The Borneo Post. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

17 thoughts on “To Drink Or Not To Drink?”

  1. Hmm… That is a dilemma. For me, I don’t particularly like drinking water but when I’m thirsty I suck on ice. That might help.

  2. James,
    That was one of the suggestions given when I started taking the bladder relaxant drug, dry mouth and dry eyes being its side effects. Sucking on ice, although it helps, presents a host of other problems for me. As my mouth feels dry most of the time, I need to keep an ice cube in my mouth all the time. That numbs the tongue. Too much of that and my chest will feel congested too. At times like these, I really understand how it feels like to have the Sword of Damocles hanging over one’s head.

  3. Interesting. I’m always impressed by information that goes “…In olden China, this is the season they make waxed sausages, waxed duck, waxed pork and every other thing they can wax.” Must read whatever book you’re reading or learn from whichever guru you’re following.

    Understand the drinking dilemma. Granny had to be careful too. Does wetting you lips work?

  4. Marita,
    I was told that they make those foodstuff when the north winds begin to blow and just in time to to be ready for the spring festivities, namely the Chinese New Year. I learnt that from listening to stories told by my parents.

    It is troublesome wetting the lips with a cotton bud all the time. So all I can do is tolerate the discomfort and patiently wait for the dry season to pass.

  5. “Sword of Damocles….??” U really can B a drama Queen at times !! :o) Geez……..

  6. Pauline,
    It is not an exaggeration. Too much or too little or just right will still give me problems in such weather.

  7. Your agar-agar looks wobbly yummy. Keep some for me. Yeah, I feel the ‘park hong’ too. Very Chinese-y new year kinda feeling already.

  8. Lilian,
    They are yummy but a little to soft to some people’s liking. The air is getting drier by the day and that makes me very uncomfortable during the day.

  9. North wind in Malaysia and you can feel it already?? Try north wind in UK especially this yr. Its already below 0 deg and its only autumn. The air is super dry too.
    Anyway…the agar agar looks so yummylicious but if I were to eat them now, I probably will just freeze my stomach off.
    Been eating lots of warmer stuff lately. Its just way too cold here.

  10. Hi Peter,
    just a suggestion, got this idea from my mom–get a spray like the one we use for ironing cloth? fill in the drinking water (can add some ice if you want), spray on your face, neck, even open your mouth spray some in it, this will help. this spray quite handy and econamic, can prepare a few put in every corner of the house, spray in the air also can.

  11. Cherry,
    I have never experienced extreme cold weather before except one time at Genting. I will probably be frozen stiff or my limbs will go into spasms all the time, either of which is still going to be very uncomfortable. What warmer food do you eat? Curries?

    The spray is a good idea but using it throughout the day is another matter. I have done that before and for one reason or another, at the end of the day, it made me feel uncomfortable in other ways. Too much hydration perhaps.

  12. Hi Peter
    I missed claiming my kopi-o and agar-agar this morn. While we are still on this topic of hydration, have you tried moisturiser? Nay… not the sissy, girlie type. Try getting those meant for skin eczema like Balneum from the pharmacies. The theory is if you apply H2O, it make the skin surface drier when the water evaporate or something.

  13. Lilian,
    I did not go to Mass today. Woke up early but no transport. I will need a whole tub of that if I were to use it to moisturise from head to toe. This is a problem all tetraplegics face because we are unable to regulate the internal body temperature.

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