Tuesday with Teddy

Tuesday with Teddy– Poem (A Senryū)

wood bridge cute sitting
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Who will play with me?
For I am a single child
with Teddy watching

Teddy doesn’t fight.
Teddy watches patiently.
All my toys are mine!


A smile to set things straight (Senryū)

woman in purple sweater using a smartphone
A smile (Photo by SHVETS production on Pexels.com)

A smile to set things straight (A Senryū)

never seen her smile

never perfect when dented

can one fix a smile?



A smile is a curve that sets everything straight. – Phyllis Diller


Kuching ( meaning cat) is Malaysia’s cat city.

Kuching ( meaning cat) is Malaysia’s cat city.

I just read Dr. Martha’s post about cats on a ‘Caturday’. It reminds me about Malaysia’s cat city, Kuching!

assorted color kittens
Cats (Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com)

I used to conduct training in Kuching. One can see many iconic cat statues in the city. There is even a cat muzeum! I love the sea food there!

Historically, the first ruler (a white Rajah) was an Englishman, James Brooke (1841 to 1946).



People who don’t like cats were probably mice in an earlier life. – Unknown

“Kittens are angels with whiskers.” – ISABEL ABDAI

Of all God’s creatures, there is only one that cannot be made slave of the leash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve the man, but it would deteriorate the cat.- Mark Twain


A well-lived present will make tomorrow, a better future.

A well-lived present will make tomorrow, a better future.


grieve not the loss of breasts.

grieve not the loss of an anus.

grieve not the loss of an amputated limb.

grieve not the loss of a mentally healthy child.

It is all, but, the past.

internet technology business design
Breast cancer survivor (Photo by Olya Kobruseva on Pexels.com)

welcome a new life beating breast cancer.

welcome a stoma, a new anus.

welcome a new prosthetic limb.

welcome a mentally well-rehabilitated child.

black letters on blue surface
Future (Photo by Tara Winstead on Pexels.com)

Live the present, the best one can.

For today, the ‘present’, well-lived,

will make a tomorrow,

a better future!



“Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.” – Bil Keane


Honey, have you seen my glasses?

Honey, have you seen my glasses? ( A Senryū)

selective focus photo of silver key beside brown smoking pipe and clear eyeglasses
Have you seen my glasses? (Photo by Sam on Pexels.com)

I left it right here!

“Have you seen my spectacles?”

“There, it’ s on the shelf!”


Dad found it again!

“cos he’s the one who kept it!”

In case I lose it!


Have you experienced this hide and seek game at home? Unintentionally?


Whispering Waves on Wednesday

Whispering Waves on Wednesday -Poem (Haiku)

palm trees at beach
Whispering waves on Wednesday (Photo by Alex Azabache on Pexels.com)

Serene peaceful beach
crawling and whispering waves
sunset or sunrise?

Coconut trees sway
Can you feel the winds blowing?
See leaves fluttering?



A Haiku, The Wild Bears — Travis J. McRoy

A Haiku, The Wild Bears — Travis J. McRoy

So this haiku originated with a simple verse from a Winnie The Pooh jingle, “I’m so rumbly in my tumblyTime to munch an early luncheonhum da de dum dum.” It got me thinking about what bears will go through just for sustenance. With no reservations at all, they will swing their arms through swarms of […]

A Haiku, The Wild Bears — Travis J. McRoy

Beautiful people do not just happen!

Beautiful people do not just happen!

photo of person covered with brown textile
beautiful (Photo by Noelle Otto on Pexels.com)



“I’m not the kind of person who likes to shout out my personal issues from the rooftops, but with my bipolar becoming public, I hope fellow sufferers will know it’s completely controllable. I hope I can help remove any stigma attached to it, and that those who don’t have it under control will seek help with all that is available to treat it.” — Catherine Zeta-Jones

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” — Elisabeth Kübler-Ross


Cancer And The Doctor’s ‘Crystal Ball’

three person looking at x ray result
Cancer And The Doctor’s ‘Crystal Ball’ (Photo by EVG Culture on Pexels.com)
Cancer And The Doctor's 'Crystal Ball'

How many years have I left? 
At my stage of cancer, 
and according to statistical studies, 
the doctor said that I had about two years left! 

Mr. Despondent cried. 
I cannot afford to be admitted. 
For each day without work 
would mean no food for my family! 

Mr. Suicidal mulled. 
Cancer means death. 
Cancer means a lot of pains. 
My family will worry about more hospital bills! 

Mr. Pious calmly accepted. 
It's not for the doctor to decide. 
Only GOD will determine when he takes me. 
Meanwhile, I will continue to do good. 

Mr. Philosophical stated. 
My young colleague died, 
on the spot, in an accident, 
and another two, 
of heart attack and dengue. 
With cancer, I have time to plan 'my future'. 

Mr. Fighter scoffed. 
That was twelve years ago! 
Look at these two scars on my tummy. 
I challenged each time the 'Big C' returned! 
It’s interesting to note 
how some people have greater will-power
 to live compared to others. 

It is important to have 

a nurturing of hope, positive attitude, 
stronger determination, better coping skills, 
with good family support and love. 

Each physician should not look at 
his or her own ‘part of the elephant’ 
but at the client as a whole. 

Are there sufficient supports 
from nurses, palliative team, social welfare, 
counsellors and religious personnel? 
**************** “The cure of many diseases is unknown to physicians because they are ignorant of the whole. For the part can never be well unless the whole is well.”  - Plato.

A Smile To Open A Hurting Heart

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
A Smile To Open A Hurting Heart

I used to meet him around the corner, 
walking alone, deep in his thoughts,
I have never seen him smile.
His feature frown leaves many wondering,
setting permanent, a crease between his brows.

... is life knocking hard on him? 

Many poor children born with defective hearts,
had theirs repaired complimentarily
by this one without a smile;
a saviour hand lent by God.

'...but who will heal my child of his ailing mind?'

Yet he is entrusted 
to care for many other sheep because 
he is the chosen one, capable of doing so.

Lina, Anna and Rosnah sat waiting 
for their child at the mental rehabilitation centre.
These single mothers, too, have forsaken their smiles,

...for 'who will mend their broken hearts?'
“A simple smile. That’s the start of opening your heart and being compassionate to others.”Dalai Lama  
An honest smile is an icebreaker.    -  Toba Beta

The swiftlets’ hotel

The swiftlets’ hotel ( poem, a haiku)

The swiftlets’ hotel, courtesy of Toh HL

As we hike uphill, we see tall buildings rearing swiftlets for the bird nest.

1 kg of raw bird nest fetches about RM5000.

My friend, Ah Seng is an entrepreneur, investing into rearing swiftlets. One needs land and a bird building costing about RM300K or above. Some convert their shops into “bird hotels.” They arrange for swift mating music, have swift droppings in the buildings to provide the smell. A certain temperature and humidity are maintained.

It’s a Chinese belief that bird nest enhances health and beauty. Swiftlet bird nests are really small. It takes about 120 nests to weigh 1 kg. Each kilo costs Rm 5000. The nests are actually made from the saliva of both the male and female swiftlets. It takes them about 2 months to build a nest.

Farmers normally harvest the nests after eggs are laid and the fledglings have flown off. The swiftlets do not fly off but will build another nests for the next season. Like turtles and salmons, the fledglings will return to make nests and lay eggs when they mature into adults.

by Toh H L, photographer and writer


An OKU (PWD) went for vaccination.

An OKU (PWD) went for vaccination.

Today Anna brought her son, Kenneth for his first dose vaccination at Axiata Arena. There were many designated sign boards to guide OKUs (PWDs).

There were some people on wheelchair at the tent.

Vaccination ( Photo by CDC on Pexels.com)

“This is the OKU lane?” Anna asked a guard.

“Yes. Who is OKU? You? Or him?”

Then noticing his slightly stiff outstretched hands (a side-effect of anti-psychotics medication), “ah, you? This way…” Anna followed.

At a registration counter, the lady asked him, “anda takut ‘injection'” ( are you afraid of injection)?

“Tak ( No),” Kenneth straightened his shoulder proudly. The lady gave him a cute thumb-up. Anna smiled.

Entering the cubicle, the nurse asked him to sit down, “Kenneth, do you know why you are here today? ”

“… for vaccination,” his legs were shaking vigorously, though he put up a brave front. He pulled up his sleeve.

“Breathe in and out, Kenneth,” Anna instructed him as the nurse gave the injection.

There were some people who stared at this abled-looking young man who seemed to bypass them in the queue.

Then they went to the observation bay to sit for a while before being allowed to leave the arena.

It was fast. In less than forty minutes they were out of the arena.

“I am proud of you, Kenneth!” Anna was so glad all went well for the day.


Yes, I have caught your eyes!

Yes, I have caught your eyes!

Some cats do have a place in their owners’ hearts!


In a cat’s eye, all things belong to cats.- unknown



The daily addict

I did not write thisbut found it on the internet and thought it was so beautiful!

A professor gave a balloon to every student. He asked them to inflate it, write their name on it and then throw it in the hallway.

The students were then given 5 minutes to find their own balloon. Despite the hectic search no one found their balloon.

At that point, the professor told the students to take the first balloon they found and hand it to the person whose name was written on it.

Within 5 minutes everyone had their own balloon.

**** A moment to wish a beautiful woman named Kay – a Happy Anniversary! She has remained sober for 43 years TODAY!! Thank you for paving the way for so many of us and being such a dear close friend to me. I love you 🙂

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The HR angels, Supported Employment, and the Mentally Disabled.

The HR angels, Supported Employment, and the Mentally Disabled.

Anna brought three young men 
from a mental rehabilitation center
for supported employment.
It was to be part of
their rehabilitation journey.

Tom went in with his mum.
He has finished O-level education.
"Tom, would you like to work in the kitchen here?"
"No! I don't think so!"
The HR manager, Lisa, glanced at Anna and
remembered their prior conversations.
"Er... Tom, we are very busy here!
We need help to clear the tables and wash the dishes.
Can you help us?"

"OK, can!"
Lisa, Anna and Tom's mum sighed with relief!

"We have six job coaches here
to supervise people with disabilities.

If he is not well, he can inform us.
His salary can be hourly-based for a start."

Tom started with four hours a day work
and gradually increased when he was ready.

The other two were the next to be interviewed.
They had a degree and a master degree.

Since the 1980s, the Supported Employment approach encourages open employment for people with disabilities (PWDs). Some countries require compulsory corporate social responsibility (CSR) on employers. That is to fulfil 1 – 2 % allocation of employment opportunities for PWDs, or face a monetary fine to help with the country’s PWDs.

There will be a support plan at the workplace which includes selected tasks, flexible working hours (and correspondingly the salary), a buddy system or mentoring system.


  1. Ogawa H.,(2012). Introduction to Job Coach– Promoting Sustainable Employment of Persons with Disabilities. MPH Publishing: Petaling Jaya.
  2. [Eds] Kenji Kuno, Yeo,S.L., Ogawa, H., Sakai, D. (2012). JOB COACH HANDBOOK– A Practical Guide to Job Coaching. MPH Publishing: Petaling Jaya.

‘Apathy’, unfeelingly

 'Apathy', unfeelingly

Great sufferings, yet
void of emotions and care,
feeling, what feeling?
kitten lying on surface
I don’t care! (Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com)

This poem is about the indifferences and apathy. So much energy is spent on destructions, when they should spent on ‘building’ the nations.


  1. We may have found a cure for most evils; but we have found no remedy for the worst of them all, the apathy of human beings. Helen Keller
  2. Fear is better than apathy because fear makes us do something. Emiliano Salinas
asperitas dark clouds in gloomy sky
Unfeelingly, apathy (Photo by Andrew Beatson on Pexels.com)

Terjemahan Google ke Bahasa Melayu – ‘Apathy’, tanpa persaan

Penderitaan besar, namun
tanpa emosi dan penjagaan,
rasa tidak peduli?

Haiku ini adalah mengenai sikap tidak peduli. Begitu banyak tenaga yang digunakan untuk kehancuran. Tenaga ini sepatutnya di gunakan untuk membangunkan negara-negara.

谷歌翻译成马来语 – “冷漠”,毫不留情




Watching silently on a wonderful Wednesday

white and black owl on tree
Silently it watches (Photo by Erik Karits on Pexels.com)

Watching silently on a wonderful Wednesday

Silently watching,

the wise owl is listening.

It’s observing you!


Its eyes bore deeply,

into your innermost you.

Shh, not a word, please!



A visually impaired ostomate with ‘imported stoma bags’

A visually impaired ostomate with ‘imported stoma bags’

Anecdote 2 – Mr. Wong

Nurse Chen was on her first night of the night shift duty in an active male surgical ward. Mr. Wong, a seventy-year-old ostomate, appeared at the door way of the injection room, “Nurse Chen, my bag leaks again. This is the fourth bag I changed today!”

Nurse Chen said, “alright, clean up now. Call me when you are ready.”

Nurse Chen found that the stoma was constructed ‘flushed’ or ‘not protruding’. On top of that, the old man was visually impaired. The stoma was placed low on his abdomen or ‘tummy’ where he could not see it. Nurse Chen got him to wear his thick spectacles. She placed a mirror near the sink so that he could see his stoma. It took about ten minutes to guide him to apply the bag correctly.

“I see you have a good-quality bag here; a pink opaque bag… even with an odor-filter! We don’t have this type of bags in our hospital. You are very lucky.”

“Yes, my son is very filial. He imported them from the UK.”

One morning before the staff came on duty, Mr. Wong came to the counter where Nurse Chen was writing her reports. “This is the third night I slept well without a plastic sheet on my bed. I had been doing this for the last four months to prevent accidental soiling on the bed linens! I know how to apply the bag correctly now. Thank you very much!”

He took a few steps backward and bowed ninety degrees, like how the Japanese people would do!

man in white thobe praying
Bowing like Mr. Wong! (Photo by Michael Burrows on Pexels.com)


“Leisure” by William Henry Davies

Leisure” by William Henry Davies (3 July 1871– 26 September 1940 – a Welsh poet and writer.)

Sunset, ( courtesy of Toh H L)

Toh H L: In my twenties, thirties, forties and fifties, I was busy rushing from one activity to the next. Retirement and especially MCO ( lock down) have slowed my life. Watching the sunset regularly is now a hobby and I am finally appreciating the ever changing beauty of nature and the remaining bit of my life. I want to live life like what the poem Davies wrote:

"What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can,
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare."


This blogger must be very fit and healthy!

This blogger must be very fit and healthy!

Whenever I read blog posts about exercise, hiking, yoga, and dances, my first impression is “this blogger must be a very fit and healthy person!” Reading them reminds me to get up and do some exercises at home since I can’t join the group Tai Chi!


1. Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. – Joseph Addison

2. “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”- Jim Rohn


Lovely Freezing Wednesday

An icy backlane: Icy toppings over all structures it laid upon!

Lovely Freezing Wednesday


Living in an all year round summer country, snow is

… a novelty!

See the smooth icy toppings on all structures it laid upon!

Such a beautiful sight!



  1. To appreciate the beauty of a snowflake, it is necessary to stand out in the cold,”- Aristotle
  2. “The snow was endless, a heavy blanket on the outdoors; it had a way about it. A beauty. But I knew that, like many things, beauty could be deceiving.”― Cambria Hebert, Whiteout



Pantun Kanser Payudara

Pantun Kanser Payudara (A poem on cancer breast – revised)

A Woman First‘ is pleased to welcome a guest writer. He is Dato’ Dr. Ziaudin Ahamed Bin Abdul Kareem, an advocate for Quality of Life. ‘Pantun Kanser Payudara’ means a poetry about breast cancer.

A Woman First‘ dengan berbesar hati menyambut penulis undangan. Beliau ialah Dato ’Dr. Ziaudin Ahamed Bin Abdul Kareem, seorang Pengamal Perubatan Paliatif.

Pantun Kanser Payudara


“女人优先”很高兴欢迎特邀作家。他是拿督的Ziaudin Ahamed Bin Abdul Kareem博士,生活质量的倡导者。 “ Pantun Kanser Payudara”是一首关于乳腺癌的诗。

The above poem can be summarised as /Puisi di atas dapat diringkaskan sebagai:/以上诗可概括为


Death: a solace and comfort because God loves him more

Death: a solace and comfort because God loves him more

woman comforting desperate girlfriend and embracing gently
Photo by Liza Summer on Pexels.com

When I was a young nurse in ER, a young motor vehicle accident victim died. His parents and siblings cried. A Muslim nurse consoled them and said, ” don’t cry. God loves him more!”

No! How can you stop them from crying?

Different cultures approach death differently. To them, it’s a solace and comfort to know that he will be in a better place!



I hold the view that death is rather like changing one’s clothes when they are torn and old. It is not an end in itself. Yet death is unpredictable-you do not know when and how it will take place.- Dalai Lama

A girl calls and asks, “Does it hurt very much to die?””Well, sweetheart,” I tell her, “yes, but it hurts a lot more to keep living.- Chuck Palahniuk, Survivor



All I am I owe to my mother

All I am I owe to my mother ( Poem)

woman reading book to toddler
Reading with mother (Photo by Lina Kivaka on Pexels.com)

I read my first book,
got my first caning from mum.
But I owed her most!

All I am today
with her love and discipline,
owed in love, in strength


For some, father is the significant figure that forms one’s character and guides one’s life. For some, mother is the hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world!


Quotes from two presidents

  1. “All I am I owe to my mother.” – George Washington

2. “All that I am, or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” – Abraham Lincoln



Blogging: A Thousand Apologies!

Blogging: A Thousand Apologies!

Did I unfollow this site? How come they are not in my reader? Or are my thumb and finger too big for the tiny fonts on my mobile that I accidentally deleted it?🙏🙏🙏

“oh, this one? Yes, I did because they were too many f***words (nearly eight on one page!) in his write-ups for my liking!”🙅🙅🙅 At times he writes intelligently, though! 😐

I haven’t heard from this site for some time now. Is her dementia mother or her child with mental disorder taking up her time? 🤔🤔🤔

Many writers are in or nearly in their golden years, including me. When I don’t hear from some of them, I wonder if they are well or not?”☹️☹️☹️

Still writing and reading are good to keep one’s remaining brain cells active!

This lady below looks sweet in this pose. If you remember her in a previous daring pose!

happy asian lady using netbook on couch in living room
Writing (Photo by Michelle Leman on Pexels.com)


Waiting at a corner of the room

Waiting at a corner of the room (a Senryū)

Go, go look after 
your siblings and the cafe 
Pa's waiting for me.

This Senryū is about a mother telling her children to go home. She reminded them to look after their younger siblings and their coffee shop. This lady pointed to her late husband waiting at a corner of the ICU room.

grayscale photography of sitting man
Waiting… (Photo by Alessio Cesario on Pexels.com)


  1. “Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely.” – Buddha
  2. No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet, death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it, and that is how it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It’s life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.” – Steve Jobs



Postscript: She is up there now…

Post script : She is up there now, twinkling from above!

This is a postscript to “A Penny For Your Thought?”

Postscript: She is up there now…

Wen Li was such a perceptive little being!

If one thinks, talking to children about birds and bees would be difficult, this one about ‘living and dying’ is another challenging one!

“My mother never taught me about this, nor did my school!” Li Na thought to herself.

Perhaps, that’s why stories always had it this way, “… she has gone to heaven, and angels are looking after her now. Look at the stars! She is up there now, twinkling from above!
She is now an angel. Put your hands together, and say hello!”

Wen Li closed her eyes and her hands together, “May you be happy up there!”


Travelling and Windsurfing

Travelling and Windsurfing

by Toh H L

When I was younger,

I windsurfed 3 times a week.

It was excessive,

but the hope was to reduce the appetite.

About 8 years ago,

I bought a new surfboard,

the urge is still there,

the mind is willingly,

but, alas, the body is uncooperative!

beach foam motion ocean
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I still retain the hobbies of travelling,

hiking and a bit of mountain climbing.

These activities not only exercise

the body but the mind as well.

Planning a travel itinerary,

requires a lot of brain effort.

Somehow, these hobbies releases

the happiness hormones, ie dopamine, endorphines, serotonin and oxytocin.

It’s a bit addictive, but we are

merely triggering and tickling its release

to feel what Louis Armstrong sung….

“What a wonderful world.”

by Toh H L


How high is one’s self-esteem?

How high is one’s self-esteem?/ 一个人的自尊有多高?/ 中文和马来语)

close up of black teapot
making tea (Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com)

Self-esteem comes from being able to define the world on your own terms and refusing to abide by the judgments of others.Oprah Winfrey

How high is one’s self-esteem? Here are some examples of young people with high confidence and self-esteem. What others think does not matter!

  1. Kavievanan and his masala tea business It was sensational news when jobless graduate engineer, Kavievanan Subramaniam, 23, took to the road on bicycle to sell masala tea. He becomes an instant businessman, his own boss! Mr. Kavievanan became a role model for many young people to emulate, especially during this trying COVID-19 period. This is an example of a person with high self-esteem. Never mind what others think. As long as he is making an honest living! Congratulations!
  2. Michael Tee and his bagful of goodies! “Michael lugged a bagful of calculators, pens, and toys. He went from table to table at the restaurants.” “Why can’t you just sit at home and wait for your A-level result?” “I enjoyed doing this. Many aunties bought from me. They must have pitied me!” Michael grinned cheekily. He flopped onto his bed and was soon fast asleep! So high was his self-esteem then. He ignored what others think about him selling items table to table openly. That was quite an experience while waiting his result and entry to tertiary education!
  3. Tommy Lam, his free chemistry book, and a washing machine Tommy approached the stationary shopkeeper. “If I buy thirty books from you, can I get one free?” And he did [RM400 per book]! Next he bought a washing machine and shared the price with other course mates who stayed in the same house they rented. When they graduated from that university, the machine was sold to the next lot of housemates! Good self-esteem, very enterprising, too!

谷歌翻译成中文 (Google translated to Chinese)


迈克尔 · 蒂和他的一袋好东西!”迈克尔拖着一袋计算器、钢笔和玩具。他在餐馆里从餐桌走到餐桌上。”为什么你不能坐在家里等待你的 A 级结果?”我喜欢这样做。许多阿姨从我那里买的。他们一定可怜我!迈克尔咧嘴一笑。他扑倒在床上,很快就睡着了!那时他的自尊心太高了。他忽略了别人对他公开出售物品的看法。这是一个相当的经验,而等待他的结果和进入高等教育!
汤米林,他的免费化学书,和洗衣机汤米走近固定的店主。”如果我从你那里买了三十本书,我可以免费买一本吗?他做了 [每本书 Rm400]!接下来,他买了一台洗衣机,并与其他住在他们租的房子里的同学分享了价格。当他们从那所大学毕业时,这台机器被卖给了下一批室友!好自尊,也很有进取心!



Leaking stoma bags and ‘the window’

Leaking stoma bags and ‘the window’

Anecdote 1- Mr. Ahmed

“Nurse B, my bag leaks again! The other nurse A applied the bag just thirty minutes ago!” called Mr. Ahmed, a bed-ridden patient.

“Sigh! Look at the mess! Now I have to change a new bag again, the bed linens and your hospital clothes!” Nurse B grumbled as she changed the linens and the stoma bag…

Nurse Chen saw the patient tearing silently. She went toward him.

Nurse Chen, see that window? If only I can walk! I would jump out of it!” he cried sadly.

“What is the point of ‘saving my life from cancer of the large intestine’, if my life is such a mess everyday!” he lamented the poor quality of life after operation.

Window (Photo by Sindre Stru00f8m on Pexels.com)


That happened in the late 1980s. A small pioneering team of surgeons and nurses were tasked to look into the care of patients who were operated and had a stoma (<—see the images here) on their abdomen or ‘tummy’.

Those days stoma bags were a basic bag with zinc oxide adhesive (below). Very often it leaked and the fecal effluent spilled all over their clothes and bed linens. The skin around the stoma became excoriated or burned by the frequent contact with the excrements. It became inflamed and excruciatingly painful.

It was very depressing for the patients, and frustrating for the patient, home-carer and healthcare staff, too.

Upon discharge, some patients used cloth, new-papers, coconut shell, empty tins over their stoma to collect the effluents. Some created their own stoma bags (see below).

Self-made stoma bag for faecal effluent or discharge

Who is the strongest of them all?

people woman office girl
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com
old woman doing makeup in room
Who is the strongest of them all? (Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com)
 Who is the strongest of them all?

Mirror, mirror on the wall,
who is the strongest of them all?
A figure so tiny, so frail,
but she's a matriarch behind a veil.

Besides a man so strong and tall,
is a woman who takes over when he falls.
When the family is cracking and breaking,
that maternal glue is in the making.

See the dame running the family millstone?
The comforting bosom that belies a financial backbone?
So, mirror, mirror on the wall
who indeed, is the strongest of them all?


“You’ve got to stay strong to be strong in tough times.”
– Tilman J. Fertitta

“Sometimes you don’t realize your own strength until you come
face to face with your greatest weakness.” – Susan Gale


“So, You Have an Ostomy”: The Complexity of Coping —Part 1 — lights camera crohn’s

Part 1 of “So, You Have An Ostomy” focuses on what it’s like to find out you need an ostomy, the complexity of coping, and adjusting to your new normal.

Please click below:-

“So, You Have an Ostomy”: The Complexity of Coping —Part 1 — lights camera crohn’s


Gratitude is a basketful of vegetables!

Gratitude is a basketful of vegetables!
(a poem)

Here’s my basketful
with blessings and gratitude
for healing my wounds!

carrots and corn on brown woven basket
Gratitude is a basketful of vegetables (Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich on Pexels.com)

A former student, Ms Paat S.L. narrated how she put stoma and wound care into practice when she went back to Sarawak. It was very satisfying to see her patients recovering and healing. Some patients’ relatives came from the far interior (in Borneo Island). They would bring a basketful of vegetables or fruits as a token of appreciation upon discharge!

Stoma and wound-care can be very challenging, yet rewarding, indeed!

I am glad she found the ‘ikigai’ in this new field as the first stomaltherapist in Sarawak!

She went on to train many other nurses in the Borneo Island.


My wobbly knees and Tai Chi

My wobbly knees and Tai Chi

Cheng Man-ch’ing (1902-1975) – snake creeps down pose

A decade ago, a friend and I were walking up the stairs.
The lift was not functioning that day.
We cursed as we climbed.

She said, “next month I will be going for my knee operation.”
That had me thinking. For a year or so,
my wobbly, weak, and painful knees made climbing a challenge.

I enrolled for Tai Chi the following week.
I have never looked back since.
I don’t need to take knee supplements too.

I called Tai Chi, the ‘dancing meditation’!
Graceful yet deceptively challenging movements!

One of the toughest movements
is ‘snake creeps down. (see pose in picture above)
Many new students, including myself, looked on.
We (about thirty to sixty years old) shook our heads.
‘There is no way we can do this pose!’

It took me about three years
before I could do the ‘snake creeping down’!

…and my Tai Chi sifu was more than seventy years old! Still graceful and flexible!


May I borrow some nutrients and love?

May I borrow some nutrients and love?

Parasitic attachment


During my evening walks, I notice these parasitic attachment on a bigger host.

It’s like a metaphor to orphaned kids on foster parents.


“May I borrow some nutrients
and love?”



Evening walk: In the harsh nothingness, they grow

Evening walk: In the harsh nothingness, they grow

How does this leafy plant grow- on top of a ceiling sheet, no soil, only rain water and air!

As I set out to walk in the evenings,

I notice a particular leafy plant.

And I was so amazed to find

a few of these plants growing

on top on zinc ceiling sheets- no soil at all!

That would mean no nutrient?

Just rain water and air?

Then it reminds me

of the poor kids out there

with no parents, no guardian

to help them by.

Yet, they grow…

some did better

than those in the warm comforts of home!

This leafy plant found a snuggly warm comforting place between the two tree trunks- maybe with access to soil!

Pressure rising, a wake-up call and my three angels

Pressure rising, a wake-up call and my three angels

If there is a post I MUST write in this life-time for many managers out there, this is the one.

My secretary held her phone away from her ear. Manager X was screaming at her. I went to his department to talk to him. He had a history of hypertension on medications. The consequences could have been worse than what happened to a young me as I narrated it to him.


Three timid-looking students came to me.
“Can we practice taking vital signs on you?”
“Yes, of course!”
Just then, another two students stood in front
to report that they were not ready to present a role-play
which was assigned the day before.
I felt my face getting warmer, and
my pressure rising…
“When I come up to class, you shall present!

They ran up to prepare. (The whole night, they couldn’t think of

how to do the skit. Ironically, in 30 minutes they could!)


“Alright, come, girls!”

I rolled up my sleeve for the girls in waiting.

The first girl took my blood pressure twice.

She whispered to her colleagues.

The other two took turns to take my blood pressure.

“It’s 190/120mmHg!”

“Are you sure? My normal readings are around 110/60mmHg!”

I took over the stethoscope, “OK, pump!”

Looking worried now… they were right.

(Both my mother and my maternal grandmother

had hypertension and a stroke!)

It was a wake-up call for me. A turning point!

A few months later, a colleague lecturer commented,

“I notice nowadays you are very calm. I seldom see you getting angry!

You are like a 360-degree change!”

Three decades on, my blood pressure is still within a normal range.

Thanks to those three angels!

Whenever I meet someone losing his or her ‘cool’,

I will tell him that the one (s) he is angry at,

will not come to change his pampers or feed him

if he collapses with a stroke or heart attack!



A lot of people in my family have high blood pressure. Dre told me I better start hitting the gym…so I took his advice.   – Warren G.

Reaction about pressure: The harder one throws a ball, the harder it will bounce back.’. – Chen S.P.


Waiting for his mechanic boy…

Waiting for his mechanic boy…

repairing vehicles (Photo by Malte Luk on Pexels.com)

Visitors were leaving bidding goodbyes, and kissing hands of their elderly kins.

A weak and forlorn-looking old man waited patiently at the door with clutched hands, looking at the long corridor leading from the lifts.

A young bespectacled teenager came running along the corridors. The patient’ s face lit up.

The boy’s dusty mechanic overall was smeared with black oil. His sweaty breath oozed heavily as he panted smilingly.

As they sat down to share food from a tiffin carrier, the security was already on his round with his baton reminding visitors to leave.

“My boy just finished his ‘O’ level’ exam. He became the bread winner as I was unwell. There are just the two of us in the family.”

“They won’t issue a pass because I am not so ill apparently ( not bed-ridden). He finished work at five pm. He rushed through the traffic jam to reach here. The security must have held him up a bit before allowing him to come up.” The old man explained sadly.

A pass was issued explaining their situation. His presence was very important to the patient’s emotional well-being…in fact, for both of them.



When a dead body cannot beat a lizard’s tail!

When a dead body cannot beat a lizard’s tail!

Lizard? (Photo by Rajesh S Balouria on Pexels.com)

“What’s that? What’s that?” Liza brushed her hair with her hand and shook her head, left and right!

A lizard dropped from her head and ran quickly under the sofa,

… minus it’s tail!

“Eee…eik!” Liza felt so disgusted as she pulled out the tail that entangled in her hair!

She cried and she moaned …. as she washed and scrubbed her head and hair, vigorously!

Amusing silent stifled giggles…

Nobody dared to laugh, except their papa…

“Dead bodies, you are not scared! You are scared of lizards!” He loved to tease dangling that cold-blooded reptile in front of her!

I empathized with Liza as I found myself in similar situations before, fear of lizards and reptiles, herpetophobia 😥

Many of my nursing friends agreed, too! Some would run away, or jump on top of chairs and beds!

It is true, even a dead body cannot beat a lizard’s tail! 🤦🏻‍♀️



Perhaps, Covid19 is nature’s remedy…

Watching turtles during sunrise in Port Dickson – Courtesy of Toh HL

Perhaps, Covid19 is nature’s remedy…

The sky and sea are bluer than ever before, with the lockdown in place and reduced human activities. Even the sunsets appear more splendid and brilliant. I saw 6 turtles bobbing up and down in the sea just a week ago. Perhaps the reduction in pollution makes it right for them to seek a place nearby to lay their eggs. Who knows?

Perhaps, Covid19 is nature’s remedy for the pollution and destruction we have wrecked on Mother Earth. It’s time for humans to cooperate to conserve the Earth’s resources. Pollution is increasing, sea levels are rising, global warming is becoming a threat, floods and tornadoes are more rampant. There can’t be economic prosperity when Mother Earth is dying.

by Co-author Toh HL


“… I saw 6 turtles bobbling up and down in the sea, just a week ago.”

“.. you’re supposed to stay at home during this pandemic!”

“… from my balcony.” (by the seaside!)


Quote: I like this statement!

Perhaps, Covid19 is nature’s remedy for the pollution and destruction we have wrecked on Mother Earth. ” – Co-author Toh HL , from Port Dickson



Noble silence at a meditation retreat!

Beautiful nature (Photo by Arnie Chou on Pexels.com)

Noble silence at a meditation retreat!

Noble silence! That was the essence of the meditation retreat.

The newbies were rather excited and chatty. However, the seniors seemed to know the rules of the ten-day noble silence sanctuary. The centre is like an oasis in the middle of a forest. They kept our mobiles, notebooks and pens. It was absolutely solitude!

“Where is your room? Let us go to the dining hall together after unpacking.” The twelve-day vegetarian menu was so simple, yet, delicious. I should come back as a helper in the kitchen next time! (Which I did, cooking for hundred-over people!)

At the dining table, we learned that silence means no talking verbally, as well as non-verbally! No eye contact nor gestures are allowed. Everybody was in a mind your own business mode! On the way back to our individual rooms, [low voice], “oh, in case I don’t hear the gong at four am, please knock at my door!” The course manager glanced disapprovingly at us.

Soon, the orchestra of croaky frogs and tadpoles began. It became part of the otherwise tranquil nights. I hid an insect repellant, a few packs of biscuits, and some masking tapes. The latter was to cover any holes on the window nettings, which I read about online.

The classes started at four o’clock in the morning and ended at about ten at night. The assistant teacher of S.N. Goenka gave some instructions and teachings on the Vipassana technique. During meditation, the huge hall was in pin-drop silence.

We had to listen to our breaths as the air entered and left our nostrils as in normal respiration. Fleeting memories of the past and worrying concerns of the future flitted in and out of my mind. Very often, I had to recall myself to the present moments.

This task of breathing in and out was hard work, indeed! The meditation’s goal is to purify the mind completely of emotions like anger, hatred, sadness or fear with the help of natural respiration.
There were, in fact, a lot of reflections going on in our minds the next few days. By the third to fifth day, several ladies were releasing their emotional ‘taps’ silently. A few men on the other side of the hall were seen sniffing too.

One day, after a lunch break, I saw a lady sitting under a huge tree, all alone, crying. So I told the course manager about my concern for her. She took that lady to see the assistant teacher.

In this practice of noble silence, there was no one to listen to, as everybody was not talking. We were actually listening to our own little self-talks; self-reflection during our mindful meditation.


1. “In solitude, I find my answers.” Kristen Butler
2. “Without great solitude, no serious work is possible.” Pablo Picasso



Pressure-ulcers: what is right is not always popular.

Pressure-ulcers: what is right is not always popular.

I am not proud to write this post.

When friends called for help; 
that their loved ones 
were discharged from hospitals 
with a pressure ulcer...

" My mum is bedridden.
Please keep her dry and turn regularly.
... to prevent her skin from breaking down."

"This is too demanding, impossible;
... cos we're short-staffed!"

What is right is not always popularly done.

Yet, some hospitals are able to maintain a zero pressure-ulcer rate
among their bedridden clients.

"I have been in a wheelchair since five years ago
and I don't have any pressure ulcer on my butt.
Know what?
The therapist showed me a picture- 
an ugly pressure ulcer!!!
I work hard not to develop one!"

"We took turns to look after 
our mum in hospital.
Changing her when she is soiled, 
turning her regularly 
with the help of the staff."

What is popularly done, is not always right.

Some unfortunately, 
did develop pressure ulcers 
during their stay in a hospital. 
 Prevention of pressure ulcers 
is a multidisciplinary responsibility 
(Physicians, physical therapists, nutritionists, nurses), 
although nurses play a significant role. 

Do you agree that the family members and carers should have a role in pressure ulcer prevention too?

"A pressure ulcer should not be allowed to develop in the first place. 
Cos it would take another long journey to healing that 'wound'!"



A jewel in the medical tourism sector

A jewel in the medical tourism sector

A hidden jewel in Malaysia’s medical tourism (Photo by Yulia on Pexels.com)

In the early 2000, my student presented her case study on robotic surgery in urology… Oh, a robot operates?

My friend flew in and flew back with a higher, well defined nose and discreetly, slimmer! “Where are the wounds, … hardly noticeable!” So I observed as we went around visiting some scenic places and tucking in some favorite local cuisines, especially in Penang.

When I had presentations in nearby countries, I would ask the the team of Japanese or Korean staff interpreters how to greet in their languages.

And practiced for days how to say “Ohayōgozaimasu” and “Annyeonghaseyo”!

Indonesians form a bulk of these clients, but language is not a problem. Malaysian and Indonesian languages are almost the same. There is a pool of other interpreters to assist the healthcare staff.

The most noticeable is the presence of Philippines and Europe trained nurses among our locally trained nurses. But I don’t see any Indonesian nurses working here. Probably it is because their training curriculum is different from ours. Our founding nursing ‘ancestors’ were from the British colonial times.

So for years, Malaysia has already been poised to be a significant medical tourism centre,

…. a hidden jewel in medical tourism!




(Google translated from English to Chinese)



“因为我是男人。 男人不戴胸罩“




” ………..男人也是如此, 但是很少。”


“… !!!”


据估计,2018年,全球有627,000名妇女死于乳腺癌,约占妇女所有癌症死亡人数的15%…而且这个数字还在继续增加。 它在男性中很少见,仅约1%。

Breast Cancer Worldwide.
https://www.abcglobalalliance.org/articles/breast-cancer-worldwide accessed on the 26, Sep, 2020

WHO Breast cancer.
accessed on the 26, Sep, 2020



Kanser Dan ‘Bola Kristal’ Doktor

three person looking at x ray result
Cancer And The Doctor’s ‘Crystal Ball’ (Photo by EVG Culture on Pexels.com)
Kanser Dan ‘Bola Kristal’ Doktor 

Berapa tahun saya tinggal?
 Pada peringkat barah saya,
 dan mengikut kajian statistik,
 doktor mengatakan bahawa 
saya tinggal kira-kira dua tahun!
 Tuan ‘Kecewa’ menangis.
 Saya tidak boleh masuk wad.
 Setiap hari tanpa kerja,
 bermaksud tiada makanan untuk keluarga saya!
 Tuan ‘Ingin bunuh diri’ merenung.
 Kanser bermaksud kematian.
 Kanser bermaksud banyak kesakitan.
 Keluarga saya akan bimbang 
dengan lebih banyak bil hospital!
 Encik ‘Alim’ dengan tenangnya menerima.
 Ini bukan di tentukan doktor.
 Hanya TUHAN yang akan menentukan bila dia akan mengambil saya.
 Sementara itu, saya akan terus melakukan kebaikan.
 Tuan ‘Falsafah’ menyatakan.
 Rakan sekerja muda saya mati, di tempat kejadian, dalam kemalangan,
 dan dua lagi, dari serangan jantung dan denggi.
 Dengan barah, saya mempunyai masa untuk merancang 'masa depan saya'.
 Tuan ‘Pejuang’ mengejek.
 Itu dua belas tahun yang lalu!
 Lihatlah dua parut luka ini di perut saya.
 Saya mencabar setiap kali 'Big C' kembali!
 Sangat menarik untuk diperhatikan, 
bagaimana bezanya sesetengah orang
 mempunyai  kehendak hidup 
yang lebih besar berbanding orang lain.
  Yang penting adalah 
pemupukan harapan, sikap positif,
  tekad yang lebih kuat, 
kemahiran mengatasi yang lebih baik,
  dengan sokongan dan kasih sayang 
keluarga yang baik.
  Setiap doktor tidak boleh melihat
  ‘bahagian gajah’ miliknya
  tetapi perlu melihat klien 
secara keseluruhan.
  Adakah sokongan yang mencukupi 
daripada para jururawat, 
pasukan paliatif, kebajikan sosial,
 kaunselor dan pegawai agama?
"Penyembuhan banyak penyakit 
tidak diketahui oleh doktor
 kerana mereka tidak mengetahui keseluruhannya.
 Bagi bahagian itu tidak akan pernah sihat kecuali keseluruhannya baik. "
- Plato


The first cries

The first cries

Newborn (Photo by Vidal Balielo Jr. on Pexels.com)


moons of snuggling and swimming in the comfort of mum’s womb

suddenly, being yanked out into cold, cold, unfamiliar handlings!

scrunching up the little face, hands clenched, kicking lower limbs,

loud shrieks fill the room

I remember a horrified hawker’s cry many years ago,

“another girl? This will be my eighth girl! My mum- in-law will make my hubby divorce me!”

Otherwise, boy or girl, it’s usually a warm welcome

… for a newborn!



Tomb visiting: Embracing life impermanence

Tomb visiting: Embracing life impermanence

A reminder of life impermanence (Photo by Arina Krasnikova on Pexels.com)


Once I was cradled in your arm,

so warm, so comforting.

Once I was fed on your bosom,

so nourishing, so fulfilling.

Once I rode on your shoulder,

so happy, such fun!

Once I was created inside you,

such a wonder is life!

Now you both lie in here,

back to dust, back to earth,

embracing the truths of life,

such is, life impermanence!



Look! The sun is moving!

Look! The sun is moving!

Sunset- courtesy of Toh H L

I have just watched the sun slowly dipped into the water at the horizon. It gives the illusion of the sun moving, not the Earth.

By photographer and co-writer Toh H.L.


Along Hospital Corridors

Along Hospital Corridors

Hospital Corridors (Photo by Sandy Torchon on Pexels.com)


Along hospital corridors,

rushing steps of doctors and staff,

cries of loved ones accompanying

sick, injured patients

on wheeling trolleys

zooming past

to theatres or wards.


Despairing looks,

choking desolation of those

squatting along the corridors

having lost their loved ones wondering

if life will still be the same



A hot egg and a black eye.

A hot egg and a black eye.

panda bear in cage
A hot egg and a black eye (Photo by Kayla S on Pexels.com)

Two seven-year-old kids were running on the playground. One of them fell. There was a bump on his right forehead.

Young aunt ran to get a towel with ice cubes. She placed it over the swelling on his forehead.

Next, his mum came running. She had a hot hard-boiled egg wrapped in a towel. Anxious over her only child, she threw away the ice. She rubbed the ‘warm egg’ compress over his forehead. The boy cried in pain.

His aunt grimaced to think about the dilation and more tearing of the tiny blood vessels. These will cause more bleeding!

“See! It is so effective! The swelling has subsided!” The mother exclaimed proudly. “This is an age-old practice!”

A few days later, both of them went to the aunt’s house. The boy had a black eye!

“The doctor said his right eye was not injured. His skull X-ray was ok. This bluish-black discolouration is blood collected around the eye. It will go off after a week or two!”