Caught In The Act

Jalan P. Ramlee
Photo by Wuan.

William, Cynthia, Wuan and I were chilling out at Jalan P. Ramlee?s Coffee Bean one early Saturday morning. We sat out at the patio and were just contented with watching the clubbing crowd pass us by. At the same time, we were also keeping an eye out for the police or DBKL enforcement officers because William had parked his car by the roadside.

From where we were sitting, I caught sight of a familiar figure standing by the road sign at the junction and was taking photographs of the Petronas Twin Towers. He stood there for a long time oblivious to the rushing traffic that passed just inches away from him. When he finally was done taking photographs he ran across the road to where we were sitting, I waved at him. Perhaps he did not notice me and continued on his walkabout and disappeared into the maddening crowd. That photo was snapped at 12:16am on June 25, 2005. Go figure out who that is. I have no prize for the winning answer though. Maybe Suanie will offer something….

* This entry was posted at Bloggers are Morons for Blogathon 2005.

Seeking Peace in Mother Nature

Rumah Hospice, Compound

If there is anything that I would like to do when my mind is unsettled, I would like to go back to Nature. Amongst the green trees, fresh air, chirping birds and screeching insects, I usually find serenity. I miss those days when I could go hiking to Pantai Kerachut. That was a good place for me to reenergize my inner self. After a leisurely forty five minutes hike, the sight and sound and smell of waves crashing into the beachside rocks never failed to invigorate my spirits.

The few times that I had the opportunity to be close to the jungle and the beach again, a sense of appreciation usually pervades. I like the tranquillity of a virgin forest and the powerful force of the sea. Both, although of contrasting characters, was exactly what I needed to discover myself again. Being in the presence of such wonder has never failed to impart in me a sense of gratitude and renewal, in body and spirit. One day, I hope I will be able to do the things that I have done as a teenager and rediscover the beauty of nature again.

For now, I can only be thankful for the occasional pockets of greeneries that still exist here. I found one at the Rumah Hospice compound. Amidst the non-stop traffic just outside its perimeter fencing, I found serenity again. The soothing sight of the trees virtually drowned out the incessant din of cars and motorcycles rushing to their destination outside. It was there that I found peace again, although for just a short moment only. It was sufficient to charge me up to do what I want to do for a while. That is the wonder of Mother Nature.

* This entry was posted at Bloggers are Morons for Blogathon 2005.

Answering The Call of Nature

Pee Kit

Have you ever wondered how I do it when I have to answer the call of nature? The above are the devices that I use when I need to empty my bladder. There is the kidney dish, a tube of KY Jelly and a catheter. I seldom leave home without them. Although I can micturate the normal way, it was recommended by the urologist that I should empty my bladder every four hours to prevent a reflux. A reflux is when the urine flows back into the kidneys from the bladder. The pressure from the backflow will damage the kidneys. A majority of those with spinal cord injury suffer the same problem if they have a spastic bladder.

I have been doing what is known as intermittent catheterisation since 1991, five times a day without fail. Every four hours, I lubricate the catheter with KY Jelly and insert it into my bladder through the urethra. The catheter is long latex tube with one rounded edge and eyes on both sides much like the eye of a sewing needle. That is for draining the urine. The other end is a flared opening where the urine comes out and collected in the kidney dish. After I have completely drained my bladder of urine, I remove the catheter, wash it and keep it for the next use. One catheter can last up to four weeks after which it has to be discarded. The catheter I use is called a foley catheter or balloon catheter.

If there is a need to keep the catheter inserted for a period of time, the balloon inside the catheter is expanded by injecting distilled water, usually 30ml, through a valve by the side of the flared end. The enlarged balloon will prevent the catheter from slipping out. For indwelling catheterisation, the flared end is attached to a urine bag.

Intermittent catheterisation has become ritual I practise every day without fail. It has kept my kidneys relatively healthy up to now. Some damage is bound to happen. I hope that with a proper diet, intermittent catheterisation, medication and routine medical check-up, my kidneys will last for many more years.

* This entry was posted at Bloggers are Morons for Blogathon 2005.