Bad News, Good News

A man went to see the doctor.

“What is ailing you?” the doctor asked.

“Doctor, I am not feeling too good.”

After a thorough examination, the doctor said, “I have bad news and I have good news. Which do you want to hear first?”

“Give me the bad news first,” said the man.

“One of your kidneys is atrophied and probably not functioning.”

“What is the good news then?”

“Well, you can still live with one kidney.”

That pretty well sums up the situation after the ultrasound of my abdomen. My right kidney is 10cm, which is a normal size, while the left is 7cm. The atrophy could be due to the reflux of the urine from my bladder back into the kidneys. This is a preliminary diagnosis by the radiologist. I still need to go back to see the urologist for further assessment and treatment. This checkup is pursuant to the blood test which showed an abnormally high serum creatinine and uric acid levels.

Bad Blood

There are many advantages of having a doctor for a neighbour. Recently, I met Dr. Anthony. He stays at the block next to mine. When I told him I wanted to have my blood tested last Thursday, he instructed me to fast from 10pm onwards. The next morning, he came and extracted three vials of blood. No waiting. No fuss. I have been meaning to get my blood screened for diabetes and renal function for a while now. I should get my blood tested routinely because of my condition. What I dislike is the perennial long queue at the hospitals.

I received the report early this week. It stated that I am mildly anaemic and my Total Cholesterol/HDL is level slightly above average. Those are the least of my worries. However, my serum creatinine is way too high which is a concern. The creatinine is a yardstick for kidney health. Dr. Anthony will be making an appointment for me to see a nephrologist and urologist for further tests next week.

Toilet Tales

With a flimsy piece of tissue paper wrapped around the lever, she cautiously pushed the door. As it creaked open, a thousand thoughts ran across her mind. She wondered what she would find inside – a stench so repulsively strong that it was as if something had been decomposing inside for weeks, or one that reminded her of a garden full of blooming fragrant flowers?

No, this is not a whodunit or even a horror story. This is what Wuan and would I do whenever we are at a shopping complex or hotel. We would check out the disabled toilets there. This is not some bizarre perversion. After all, that is one of the places where we would go to discharge, forgive the pun, one of our basic bodily functions every few hours or so.

Some disabled loos are there just for show and most times they are in a sorry state – leaking faucets, dirty sinks, wet floor and cans that are not flushed. While most people can decide not to use that particular latrine, the disabled have no choice because such facilities are limited.

And then, there are establishments that take great pains to keep their johns for the disabled more than spanking clean. These are not your run-of-the-mill water closets. They are replete with floor-to-ceiling tiled walls, motion-activated faucets and flushes, and floor-spaces that are larger than my bedroom.

In that aspect, Jusco Mid Valley Megamall wins hands down with its impeccably clean disabled toilets. Notably, the Household Department at Level 2 boasts of one with a floor-space that is at least 14 square meters (150 square feet). The floor and other fixtures are clean and dry. The door slides effortlessly and the latch works. Bravos to Jusco for taking into account your disabled shoppers’ comfort and to the cleaners for a job well done. Terima kasih.