I have recently become part of the Healthcare System in Singapore. Many people were surprised to see me leave my entrepreneurial path. They were not aware of this parallel journey that led me to become an entrepreneur and now to return with the skills and heart for Healthcare.
For Care-givers who stand by — helpless and hopeful
For the Carers who care and whose mission and lives were given to heal. Great respect for you.
For the Healing.. and those who have transitioned — your spirits uplift us. Your courage and vulnerability lifts my soul.
These notes were written on FB — as many of my family members could not enter the ICU and wanted to see how my mom and our family were doing. It took on a life of its own as I journeyed for 3 months with her during her stay in Singapore General Hospital in 2013. Many told me they reached out to their family more because of these posts and also saw in my pain and hope, their own challenges as carers and patients. This period was the most challenging one for me and life-transforming.
Feb 13th 2013
Asking all of you for prayers as my mum is in icu and has been given a 50–50 chance of recovery
I rushed back from Seattle and have seen her
She cannot have many visitors and My family and i have to take care of her for the next two crucial weeks
I believe in the power of prayer and the support of a loving community
You are my community
Feb 14 2013
Messages from people who want to make you smile again and take care of you and take away my stress as far as you can — — like all of you in all your messages while my mum is ill
Neighbours who reach out a hand to me — wondering why I am back so soon from my trip because they have been watching my home while I was away
My brother being the centre of the emergency and crying at Ash Wednesday mass with me as he rests in the Love of God
Knowing I want my mother to live but wanting her to not be in pain and wondering if I could take the pain on for her
My best friends and new friends who hug me and hold me (both physically and virtually) and make me smile despite it all
Healthcare in Singapore where nurses and doctors are there doing the best they can for so many with so much stress and tiredness
My uncle Gary whose way of loving us has always been to be there with money and resources and time to “fix” any thing any one of the family could accidentally “mess” up in their own lives. As he stands in ICU saying he could have done more when we both know… we did the best we could with what we knew
My mother who gave me life, whose life has been an inspiration to me — in her kindness towards all and her patience towards me and whose love for my brother and me has never abated
Happy Valentine’s Day my friends. May Love find you today.
15 Feb 2013
Day 5 of the New Year and A New You.
Being 100% present
As some of you may know, my mum is in a high dependency ward (this is one down from the ICU she has been in for 3 days) She has a 50–50 chance of recovery. Her stomach unknown uclers burst… and yes it was bad. I was in Seattle attending Supercoach Academy and was only there 3 days and had to rush back. I was out of the hotel in 1 hour and paid an additional $2k to upgrade and get myself a seat on the crowded plane. I endured over 20 hours of not knowing any news… and the only 1 thought which could make me break down… I am sure what you know that was. And it was a very powerful experiment on myself. As I mentioned to you.. nothing outside of you can make you feel anything. There are NO BAD EVENTS… Merely THOUGHTS which create Bad feelings.
Every moment I stayed in the present and without thought, I was normal calm and could even laugh. Could my mother have passed on.. yes… did she pass yet? No.
Every moment is a gift and if we forget and lose ourselves in thoughts which harm our health of body and mind… then we hurt inside even when the world outside has not really changed. Any moment any one of us could go and yet… we do not feel it until that life is threatened… Or maybe it is just me who takes such things for granted and needs a powerful wake-up call.
In this new year, my community of FLYERS… see for yourself how thought creates our reality… and stay in the moment where creativity and hope resides.. where all is GIFT. All has been GIFT and will continue to be GIFT. and in that wonderful space… CREATE THE INNER LIFE YOU DESIRE.. and the OUTER LIFE WILL REFLECT that ABUNDANCE.
I thought especially of sharing this with you as your own journeys have prompted me to be a role model in my own 100 day thought experiment…. so I was more ready to face this crisis than I would have been without that.
So thank you!
Have you started on the NEW YEAR AND NEW YOU?
Remember your success is only 1 Thought away! and if you don’t like the first thought, don’t take it seriously… thoughts come and go. Act instead from a place of unlimited potential and the 100% YOU
16 Feb 2013
The power of hugs
Yesterday my youngest niece was the one who managed not to cry as she saw her beloved grandma in pain and tubes and struck in a chair
The second niece could not stop
She is 15. She was so sad
The youngest is 10 delivered the message from her mum to my mum and then promptly ran behind my brother and hid there
Affected by the emotional effort that took
Then later she came and gave me a hug
Now she always gives me hugs but this one communicated so much more
It was longer
It was more open for both of us
We really really leaned on each other
It was cuddling up
It was quiet
We sighed together
Just alot of love and sadness and comfort
Later that night I wondered if it was I who was comforting her or she comforting me instead seeing the pain I did not express in words
But you know of course it didn’t matter
We both were healed by that hug
20 Feb 2013
Mummy’s daily meal
Customized to match all Te nutrients she would need or is lacking
Not sure how it tastes but mum and I agree it looks like milk!
20 Feb 2013
What is love? My eldest niece and I sitting in my home now at 11.32pm downloading catholic hymns and popular songs from the 1960s so my mother has something to listen to as she spends another week or more in the hospital ward with 5 strangers and away from home. Research on mindfulness states that giving them music from the time the person was young etc brings them back to that time and of course that state of mind. Let’s put all my psycho-spiritual knowledge to use. Guess the songs we have on our playlist? no googling!
21 Feb 2013
Mum is in the general ward! Woohoo however she still has not used her stomach yet… So we will wait that healing status for now all is great in mummy’s world
23 Feb 2013
Mum has been having a 38 degree fever for the last 2 days. There were a series of tests and the doctors suspect that her large food tube may be causing it as the body wonders what that foreign body is. So they took away the food tube and replace it with a less nutritious but food supplement. The doctors also say the next few days (the 10–14day) are the ones of most concern as the stomach is now either able to regenerate or is sensitive and may break. She had two ulcers. One inside the stomach and one nearer the edge out (which was the strange one) So do keep praying. Essentially next Tuesday they will give her a food through her mouth but through another tube.. and then we will know how much recovery has been made.
24 Feb 2013
Playing Lego with mum for her therapy
Since she has been bed bound for so long we have to do daily exercises for her hands leg feet and even lungs to keep them flexible
25th Feb 2013
Conversations and complications
When one is in the middle of a health crisis or challenge and in a hospital conversations become very simple. What are you eating? Is the common one as my meals are spent with other families in a general ward visiting their own loved ones
Who is sick? What is their illness? Who many brothers sisters etc
Usually considered intrusive questions on the streets are normal questions to show concern and to show our solidarity
We are all after all someone’s son daughter father mother wife husband and we are all fragile
The other day an older lady sat next to be worried about her husband who is warded. Then she lets slip that she faced death in her family already 11 years ago when her son died and I told her about my dad and his cancer and death. She told me she finally got over her son’s death only this year.
And we sat there united in our fragility and humanity.
26 Feb 2013
Day 15 in the hospital
But in the general ward we are a little kampung (Malaya word for a village living together)
I say hellos to the aunties and nurses in the beds
borrow chairs from the other families
say hello to their relatives etc
And thank you to which kind nurse who hung my valentine day card to mum on the pole so she can see it
My mum’s long lost friend came today and she was very happy
I had to track her down as the lady has no phone I went to a rental apartment in Owen Saturday night and knocked at her door hoping she was still there yup
Life is simple
Just about family friends an good neighbors
2 Mar 2013
Day 20 Mum is doing as well as she can. Her stomach is not being used but she is consuming a milky fluid which is delivered straight to her intestines via a tube. The main doctor says another 2 weeks and they will try solid food in that time. After which another 1 week in a community rehabilitation hospital as she has to regain the use of her legs as she has not used them for a while. Thank you so much for the prayers and well-wishes. Pls do keep her in your prayers… I totally believe you have all helped to make the healing process work so well. Much love from a very humble me
3 Mar 2013
mum is moved back to high dependency ward
She has internal bleeding
4 Mar 2013
Day 22 Mum is still critical but she is more conscious today. Her kidney was overworked the last two days because it was managing all the toxins it had to process
The only thing we can do is hope she heals herself
Only thing is good nutrition nothing the doctors can do
So we stay in the moment
In prayer and in thanks for the gift of life and love
She is in pain but very much still here in spirit
She talks to god so she and he will work it out ….
Thanks for prayers pls no calls and whatsapp etc I cannot manage
By the way fb says my post is blocked for some spammy or abusive stuff so I cannot write detailed stuff here
5 Mar 2013
Situation has worsened
Pls pray for her to be in less pain and at peace
5 Mar 2013
Day 23 started off in fear as mum was still having some blood issues and is ending in gratitude for the depth of prayers and well wishes
She had anointing of the sick
A rite from the Catholic Church to bless her healing from fr Brian desouza of st Francis Xavier church
And was alert and in no pain for now
Your prayers are helping her so much as are the committed health care team and the blood donors! Every time she gets new blood she is so much better as she has lost so much and some of her own has become toxic
5 Mar 2013
Thank thank you
To my co trainers who have come to help me with my work at short notice
To June and my junior associates for seeing I am fed put into cabs and have my training needs seen to so I don’t tire out
To my brother and uncle who are the strong men in my life and my mums life now
To my friend fangda who has been feeding and hugging me and making me laugh despite myself
To my friends from every where in my life who are telling and showing me their love
To my clients who have allowed me to postpone my training and some other tasks
To the cab drivers who allow me to eat in the cab to the hospital as I cannot eat in the ward
To the nurses who have been caring for my mum and me
To the fellow journeyers who despite their own pain try to help each other I am amazed at that in the hospital
To my neighbors who check on me
To my training participants who understand my situation with great empathy
To my mum who makes loving her so easy FYI she is an earth angel honestly people who know her say that
To God in whom all things are possible
To the little long moments that make life a gift
10 Mar 2013
Mum is smiling
Moving her legs
The miracle healing is continuing
She is still in the high dependency unit for now
I am asking for a miracle to get her out of the hospital by 23 march pls join me in that intention
She has been here a month
Thank you fellow miracle makers and friends and journeyers in life
12 Mar 2013
When you ask for God for rain go build a store to catch every drop of water you have asked him for
Mum has moved to a general ward
Eaten her first meal by mouth in a month
Sat up and read the newspaper by herself
And doctors say she is stable and predict that she can leave in two weeks
Miracle team keep going !
13 Mar 2013
Since I am holding to the miracle of 23 March my mum will be out of hospital- home and well, I am looking to hire a good domestic helper. Any one can recommend one who is about to end her contract and wants a new family or a good agency pls let me know? PM me…
14 Mar 2013
Seems some of you have been worried about me in this time of crisis. So I thought I would just reassure you that I am as fine as I can be under such stress. Each of my days usually looks like this. Training 8.30am — 12pm — rush to hospital to be with mum so she does not feel lonely — 12–2pm — rush back to training (the co-trainers help me fill the gap I am away) — 4.30pm end training go to hospital 5–8.30pm stay with mum. I usually pack a dinner and eat it in the ward when mum sleeps. Brother drops me home. He comes when he can after work etc. I am exhausted from rushing and standing for 5 hours at hospital as the high dependency ward has no chairs as they do not encourage visitors to stay. If my brother or uncle comes we take turns eating and standing. Once home, I do some admin work for my business or hang out with my housemate and play games or watch a youtube movie to unwind. Then I go to sleep. Sometimes I sleep well sometimes not. So I have not been answering your sms and calls and whatsapp and messages cos I am zonked out! Also I am an introvert and when in crisis I quieten down rather than verbalise. So I prefer not to have to repeat the day and the pains again and again to so many people. Hence my FB updates are where I communicate especially to family members (we have a large family both sides) The doctors and nurses have been very kind to us and ask us to rest and also give us an update when they can. After a month of seeing us — we have become familiar. Essentially I am ok- just tired and emotionally on a roller coaster each time she bleeds. I was a bit sick from the cold (air-con in ward) and tired but have gone to see a doctor and took some medicine and it is just a little throat infection…. Hope this helps allay your worries. And thanks again for being such good friends to me and my family.
15 Mar 2013
Mum is bleeding again
We hope it’s only the small ulcers and surface scratches
Not anything dangerous
We cannot tell for now
But she is receiving blood as blood pressure and fluids has fallen
She told me today in her prayers God said he would heal her soon
Let’s make that a reality
18 Mar 2013
It is now blatantly clear I have been at the hospital too regularly when the hospital car warden recognizes me and the nurses whom I don’t know smile at me
Mum seems good today and no new bleeding
21 Mar 2013
Day 39 mum is bleeding again
Pls pray. She was looking good the last few days
24 Mar 2013
Mum is back from procedure
It looks good
As they stopped the bleeding
Thank you all so very much
Let’s continue to pray for healing
26 Mar 2013
My favorite doctor tells us that my mum is doing well
There is no more bleeding to be found
29 Mar 2013
Day I cannot remember what number
Guess who I met at the hospital today?
Just so you know I probably have a good social life at the hospital because I keep bumping into people
Alot of uncles aunts parents and friends are ill not just my mum
Remember Mrs Kuah? Econs teacher
She and mr Kuah the physics teacher were visiting her mum who had swallowed a fish bone
Mind you this is the second fish bone story I have heard at Sgh
So pls watch out for those with your elderly relatives
30 Mar 2013
Sharing with you the key readings which gave me hope in the days of worry..
“As I chase miracles, I find solace in reading about all sorts of religious women, Christian, Sufi, Hindu — Monica (St Augustine’s mom) types. No matter how obsessed or unusual they may seem to be. I recognize a familiar face in their ability to hold on fast to dreams. For me, Monica becomes emblematic of the knowledge that, with enough hope, faith, and prayer. I can sustain a vision of who I really know I am, of who I believe my loved ones to be, of my children finding their way. With enough faith, things will right themselves in the end. The risk I take of being Monica-like — that other people might think I am too intense, or too obsessive, or outright nuts for being so committed — outweighs the darkness that would ensue if I did not give this life my all. As Willa Cather says, “Where there is great love, there are always miracles.” We are asked in this life to give Great Love.” from Mary Beth Phillips in The Miracle Chase
1 Apr 2013
Celebrating Easter with Mum at the hospital
She is moving to the general ward today
And we are slowing starting rehab for legs arms standing breathing and also mental memory
Many people who stay in the hospital a long time have muscle weakening as well as memory loss
Thank you all for your part in our Easter miracle
(End of Part 1)
As of 5th August 2019. I work at National University of Singapore — Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine in Medical Executive Education
I work alongside educators and clinicians.
I find great fulfilment in being able to contribute back to healthcare — because of the complexity and commitment to Inspiring Health for All. Poor health affects not just the patient but so many others in their community. Pain is felt beyond the hospital bed.