Blood transfusions: can beggars be choosers?

Blood transfusions: can beggars be choosers?

blood bags on white background
Blood transfusion (Photo by Charlie-Helen Robinson on

This is an interesting question!

A handful of patients had requested blood from unvaccinated donors. But more than 90% of current donors have either been infected with covid or vaccinated against it. Dr. Michael Busch explained.

People requiring transfusions may donate their own blood in advance (Autologous blood transfusion). They can also request donations from designated friends and family members. But according to Red Cross, there is no evidence that the latter’s blood is safer.

So, should a ‘beggar’ choose at a time like this?


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


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

Remember to turn on the light!

Remember to turn on the light! (Senyru)

turned on pendant lamp
Turn on a light (Photo by Burak Kebapci on


When darkness consumes,

remember, turn on a light!

it’ s a switch away



“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” — Albus Dumbledore

Those absent- please put up your hands!

please put up your hands! ( Fish sculpture on lid cover by ChenSP)

Those absent- please put up your hands!

… if you are present, would you agree on behalf of those who have left [past]? or for those who have yet to arrive [future]?

In presentism, present-day rules. Not the past, not the future.

Many names of roads during colonial times have been renamed to VIPs of today. That part of history and story about those locations is, therefore, lost.

‘Pa, you always say that during your time, you used to have ten cents daily pocket money! What can ten cents buy today?’

‘We used to manage these workloads with half the workforce! You don’t need extra staff!’ proposed a senior nurse manager. Yea, but today, we manage patients, machines, and lots and lots of defensive documentation! However, the future may be changed when we start to get more robots instead of nurses!

Don’t compare why things were done then, cannot be done now, and vice versa. Each period has its own weaknesses and strengths, and its own challenges. Yet the true challenge is when a veteran or baby boomer, used to chalk and blackboard, now has to meld into current technology and computer age!

One can’t help but to compare and contrast differences!


Sleeping toes touching toes

Sleeping toes touching toes

woods covered with snow
Photo by Mikhail Nilov on

It’s wintery cold

lying face-to-face they sleep

bolster in-between


their toes touching toes

to know the other is warm,

alive and kicking.


An old aunt describes above how old people sleep and check each other under the blanket during cold winters.


Increased winter mortality is reported as an important public health matter in China.

In U.S. death rates in winter months have been 8 to 12 percent higher.


Tomb visiting: Embracing life impermanence

Tomb visiting: Embracing life impermanence

A reminder of life impermanence (Photo by Arina Krasnikova on


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!


Keeping a promise

Keeping a promise.

I woke up one morning,

to find him

waiting outside my door.

boy sitting on stairs holding book
Keeping a promise. (Photo by Victoria Borodinova on

“Are you ready?”

“Ready for what?”

“You promised,

to take me out for breakfast today!”

He never forgets!

Never make one with him.

I kept forgetting!

He won’t accept a ‘no’.

So I dragged myself out reluctantly

to a ‘get set’ and ‘go’!

Another day began,

keeping in pace with him!


An aging carer ponders;

‘my mind wants,

as I used to,

but, will my body will it

in years to come?’

I must remember

not to over-promise

to avoid disappointing him.

Differently-abled person(s)

may have different thresholds

to contain disappointment.


“Don’t make promises you don’t intend to keep.” — Anonymous


Change Your Vision|بینش خود را تغییر دهید — A Voice from Iran

“92nd story” First published: May.23.2019   Once upon a time in a kingdom, the king suffered pain in his eyes. Many different doctors visited him but none of them were able to cure the king’s pain.   The King’s right-hand minister suggested: “There is a wise man in the Kingdom who knows everything, let him […]

Change Your Vision|بینش خود را تغییر دهید — A Voice from Iran

A courier counter service experience for a disabled…

Courier service

A courier counter service experience for a disabled…


Last week, a man went to post three A4 brown envelopes with 3 different addresses at a courier service centre.

He came back to the car where his elderly mother was waiting. He showed one invoice (proof of receipt).

The mother went to the counter… and asked.. Why 3 envelopes but only one invoice.

The counter lady raised her voice.. ” I asked him many times if he wants to put them together. And he said yes.

She went on if to justify her actions to the other three customers in front of the counter.

The mother intercepted her, “hello, hello,… he is disabled!)

“Saya mahu dia belajar berkomunikasi … nampaknyI want him to learn to communicate… look like he has failed! But I am proud that he entered here just now.)

The lady soften her voice, “ya la…ini maksudnya dia berani mahu masuk sini. Saya pun tak tahu dia OKU.” (Yes, indeed, it means he was brave enough to enter here. I didn’t know he was disabled.)

“Nanti saya akan terangkan kepada anak saya.” ( Later, I will explain to my son.)

The counter lady put the 3 envelopes into 3 separate plastic envelopes…and gave the mother 3 invoices ( proof of receipt).

It was a learning experience for the mother.. and hopefully the courier service counter lady learned something, too.

Real flowers, real love?

Real flowers, real love?

Real flowers, plastic flowers…

“Happy birthday!

Here’s a cemented pot

of flowers for you!

It will last forever…

like my love for you…

forever! “


“You… you give me

… plastic flowers?”


“I went through the flowers shop.

Real flowers don’t last long!

And it is a waste of money.”


That pot of flowers

disappeared soon after.


Real flowers, real love?