Wednesday, 11 July 2012


Life at age 70 is debilitating for some. My mother died at 72 and my father at 77. So I will use those 2 ages to write this post.

Female aged 72
  1. Diabetes and insulin
  2. Hypertension (HPT)
  3. Thyroidectomy; thyroxine for life
  4. Vitamin supplement
  5. Always asked if she's doing fine healthwise
  6. Very quiet. Didn't say much. Quiet most of the time. Lost in space
  7. Would relate her dreams of her late mother coming to visit her and calling her to follow to don't know where. Her mother was in white robes
  8. Ate normally but very little; took 1-2 tablespoonful of rice and a bit of fish and soup with vegetables
  9. Could not take sour fruits; could take sweet papayas
  10. Had full and very good dentition till death; didn't eat sweet, sweet stuff or chocolates, etc
  11. Stuck to healthy menu British style.
  12. Always felt hot (panas) and often took baths
  13. Read books and magazine and knitted, her usual hobbies
  14. Purchased blankets to keep her children warm (one for each child). Probably lost touch that this world is getting hotter and we don't need blankets.
  15. Still cared for the children and grandchildren when they could take care of themselves and her
  16. Could put up with hunger despite being diabetic but died of extreme hunger while travelling 250km without stopping to eat. The driver (my brother) didn't know my mother had heart problems. I didn't tell any of my sibs because it didn't cross my mind. My brother didn't stop for food and my mother never complained that she was hungry (being diabetic). She died 1 week after being on insulin.
  17. She never complained of anything, rain or shine - she kept her mouth shut about everything. All her life stories, happiness and sorrows died with her.

Male aged 77
  1. Excessive perspiration (hot weather in Penang)
  2. Loose teeth, painful to eat hard food; only soft foods
  3. Ate well but only a little, not as much as before
  4. Drank sufficient water but still sweated a lot; adequately hydrated otherwise
  5. Lived quietly like a hermit; some friends have died; didn't go out except for food for himself
  6. Prayed at home cos he could not take the overhead bridge; too old to cross at the traffic lights cos the junction was too big and he could not cross the road in time before the lights turned red; too tiring to walk the distance to the mosque where he prayed all this while, while living in Penang since 1976; he lived in Leeds before 1976
  7. In 2004, at the time of the Asian tsunami, the same year my mother died; he still liked fishing, his boyhood hobby, lifetime hobby. But it was fortunate that he did not go fishing that fateful day - his fishing rod line got entangled and he couldn't fix it in time to go fishing. Else the tsunami would have taken him alive.
  8. Scanned all the old photos and compiled them in his Apple laptop.
  9. Created a lot of snapshots of Ayat al-Quran to store in his pendrive
  10. Browsed old photos and explained them at every opportunity (can be boring for some)
  11. Not interested in world affairs or politics when he was previously in politics
  12. Never said anything negative. Liked to tell his life stories, never ending stories.
  13. Happy as things were; accepted the fact that he was old and going to die
  14. Prepared to die happily since he had no property, no assets and no cash to give away; sifar harta
  15. No debts cos he bought everything cash and only when he could afford them
  16. Already booked the people to wash and prepare him for burial; also prepaid for his burial plot
  17. Happy to leave Earth life and enter Barzakh life
  18. Happy to die cos the wife already died 5 years prior
  19. Not worried, very calm, knew he was going to die after all
  20. Refused hospital treatment whatsoever; did not like hospital at all (he was a medic student anyway).

The rain came and the mozzies are back

It has been raining heavily for the past week. The ground is soft. The mosquitoes are back. There are so many mosquitoes now and they sting so hard, that it gives a terrible itch. One landed on my right arm last night as I was typing. I smacked it to death. Thin lizzy GMO mozzies? Sometimes I wonder if they have escaped from someone's specialty lab. Whose? Who would ever want to breed mosquitoes?

There is a 5-in white worm in my kitten's coup. I cannot classify it yet (forgotten). Probably a 'needleworm' but not a tapeworm. I freed all my kittens for the first time. Born Free! Now I don't know how to clean the coup. Will wait for my 'strong' daughter to return from school and clean the messy coup. She usually cleans everything in the porch, including her motorcycle and her car, and the cats too. Everything gets a wash when she sets to work.

My chilli seedlings have been transferred outside the breeding see-through plastic makeshift bottle-pots. These minyak kelapa sawit bottles are good for making my chilli pots when empty. It was my husband's idea so he needn't have to take me to the nursery to buy new plastic pots. I cut the bottles into 2 pieces and make slits in the bottom, then stick both pieces in the soft soil, one with the neck in the soil, the other with the bottom in the soil. Add soil and the seeds. Wait for the seedlings, now it's time to transfer. They appear to grow well this morning when I peeked through my kitchen door. I have never had success transferring the chilli seedlings but this time they all seemed to make it to the new patch of soil, near the pokok kenanga. My husband has complained that I must get rid of all my other taller plants if I want my chilli plants to survive. I want everything to survive! So now I have a mini jungle in my own backyard. How nice! I don't take chilli; they are for my kids and their father. They munch chillies like I munch baby carrots! What are chillies good for? I remember my Chinese friend BC in Perth, we were discussing about capsasic acid and that it reduces blood cholesterol. I didn't like the idea of researching on capsasic acid - give chilli water to the poor rats!

I'm reflecting on the causes of infant and childhood deaths before Merdeka. Why did they die so young? Some as young as the next day after birth. Some from vomiting and diarrhoea. Some from being knocked down when they tried to cross the road. Some from fever (not specified). I'm just wondering.

I remember writing about the deworming program for Coco's biography. The school boys were also treated for other things, including head lice (kutu rambut). I think kutu is here to stay, even today. Treating one head is not sufficient. Treating many heads and even the whole school is still not the answer; what about those at home? In the pasar? In the kampungs? At the playing fields or playgrounds?

Dust mites are another headache. I have heard quite a bit from families and children - they all scratch. I think so too that the carpets everywhere and especially at schools, prayer spaces, homes, etc, they all have dust mites, which thrive on humans. No wonder asthma is rampant. The rainy season makes it worst as the carpets are damp.

The white ants? They have destroyed my mother's house, my grandfather's house, my house, and just about everyone's house everywhere I have visited. I even have neighbours who threw out their kitchen cabinet! I saw one house long ago, it had white ants tracks from the ground up into the roof. Someone even bought the house! The infestation will heighten now that it is the rainy season, and most houses have a cheap wood for the doors and windows, which swell during the rainy season. This is kayu nyatoh versus the hardwood cengal which only appears in rich homes. I use nyatoh for all my 11 doors and 22 windows. The white ants also ate some of my earlier TEMD manuscripts, photos, notes, etc, practically everything except my bed. You can imagine if they start eating my bed; I will wake up the next day only to find myself on the floor! That's how fast white ants eat dead wood. Can't imagine sleeping on a Flintstone bed with a stone pillow. The Chinese used stone pillows and I wonder whether that helps with blood flow to the brain.