tpvets_logo.jpg (2726 bytes)TOA PAYOH VETS
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Date:   05 August, 2008
Focus: Small animals - dogs, cats, hamsters & rabbits
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*10 a.m - 5 p.m (Mon - Sun, except Sat). Dr Sing Kong Yuen. By Appointment Only.

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calls available.

Appointment preferred.
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Interesting case studies/pictures

Words don't come easy from a mother


If you have to go, you have to," the young man said but his mum restrained her anger and tried not to admonish him. After all, he was legally a grown up and although he would always be a baby to a mother's eye, she was careful not to preach. She said solemnly: "This is not the order of life. Parents die before their children." This young man, at 21 years of life felt invincible. Well, all young healthy men feel that way nowadays.

He ran the army marathon and won his "King of the Hill" medal which he proudly showed his mum. Like some fortunate youths, he had no financial worries and could indulge in past midnight online multi-role playing games and partied till the early hours.  A few young men of his age group in Singapore had crashed the cars in the early hours of the morning after fun and games. They caused immense grief to their parents. But this young man had a Guardian Angel. He escaped death in 2005 although he ought to have died as did the others if you looked at the tremendous amount of damage to the car. How come?

He had driven his friends home at 4 a.m. On the way home, his car hit the central fencing separating two roads.

The car flew up, crossed the central fence, did a somersault and landed upright on the only side of Thomson Road. A big hole of some 3 metres in diameter was seen in the roof. Front doors and bonnet were dented. The engine was crushed. The car was even facing the right direction in a 2-way road opposite Thomson Medical Centre. A car registration number plate had flown off and dented the bumper of an oncoming taxi. But the taxi driver was not hurt.

This young man did not have one wound. The police did not find him drunk and so he was not charged at all. The 12-year-old Mercedes car was a write-off. Maybe it was the old model with solid body frame that had protected him. Maybe there was really a Guardian Angel. 

Yet there should be some brain concussion or trauma as the car shot up into the cool night air to as it deflected from the central fencing. It rolled and somersaulted.  His brain lobes should spun and parts of the lobes should be  detached. Yet he had got out of the car and walked away dazed but unharmed. Nobody was killed or injured. What an incredible tall tale, my dear reader would say. Yet it is true.

This young man ought to be dead in 2005. Crushed inside a burning exploding car. A young promising life snuffed out in a car accident involving young men who feel they are masters of the universe. Yet this young man was much alive and able to walk. As if a Guardian Angel had cast a protective shield once his car struck the central fencing separating the two roads. The Gods must have been kind to him. But he does not believe in the Divine matters.

Now, more than one year later, he could not breathe well. Coughing non-stop for the past 2 days at least. The general practitioner had given him some tablets for his sore throat. Flu was diagnosed. But he could not sleep as he could not breathe well.

Could he wait till the morning to see the doctor? It was 4 am and his mum was a zombie, barely alert, being a night owl like him. 4 am is the deepest sleep cycle for her. 

"Where's your inhaler," his father asked him. The inhaler delivers drugs to open up his breathing airways. But he did not carry one with him although he was asthmatic. After all, he did not suffer any asthmatic attacks for some years. He had won a "King of The Hills" award at the army running test. He was invincible.

His mum fished out an inhaler kept for him. Mums are always a boy's best friend and they keep outdated medicines for emergencies for their "grown up babies" who are neither independent nor really mature at the age of 21 years old. The young man put the inhaler into his mouth and sucked in a few puffs of the medicine. No immediate effect. He still could not breathe well.

"Well, the inhaler has expired in 2005," his father said. Even if it was not expired, it would not be effective at this late stage of acute respiratory distress. It was best the young man got admitted to the Emergency Ward of the Tan Tock Seng Hospital before total bronchio-constriction closed down his airways and he died.

Can a young man die so easily? Yes, if his mother ignored his acute difficulty in breathing and delay emergency treatment.

"It will be a very painful death as you can't breathe when all the airways have had shut down due to your asthmatic attack." the father said to the young man. He ought to take personal responsibility of his health and carry the inhaler with him at all times. But he did not do it. It was not a cool thing to do and young men and women all over the world want to be cool.

The father said: "I read in the newspapers that a qualified doctor had an asthmatic attack in an aircraft and died. All that was needed was the inhaler and she did not have it with her." Too bad for her. The young man did not learn from the mistakes of others.

His mother would rather sleep as she had to work. A very stressful type of work managing people who have their aspirations but don't know their weaknesses.

This young man was still standing now. Who knows when his lungs would close down, shutting out all oxygen from the air. It was fortunate that he was not in the cruise ship or airplane at this point of time. What he needed was the emergency nebuliser with oxygen mixing the anti-asthmatic drugs and that was found in the hospital.

His mum had to force herself to wake up from the deepest slumber. She got dressed and went to the hospital with him. The doctor masked him and connected him to a machine. It whirled some life-saving anti-asthmatic drugs in oxygen to his lungs. After around 15 minutes of receiving the medication, he could breathe normally.

Singapore's Tan Tock Seng Hospital in Dec 2007. Toa Payoh Vets
Asthmatic attacks with dyspnoea are emergencies

This young man survived because he was treated early. This was his second lease of life. He has to be personally responsible for his own health and learn from this experience. But did he?

McDonalds Ang Mo Kio - 24 hours. Singapore. Toa Payoh Vets
The mum still had to get to work at 8 am

In July 2008, this young man suffered another asthmatic attack while working in a horse establishment. It could be the cold air of winter. It could be the horse dander and other allergens combined. He had difficulty in breathing. Runny eyes. Mucus dripped from his nostrils. He did not feel good.

Did he carry his inhaler? No. He had not bothered. Well, this is the 3rd time he had survived after seeing a general practitioner. His mum was sad, to say the least.  

"When you have to go, you have to go," are indeed brave words of the master of the universe when they are not about to die within the next few seconds or think that they would not die so soon.

Try not to tempt fate, young man. Words don't come easy from your mum as she understands that young people do not like lectures.

To ask you to keep an updated inhaler by your side always and not cause intense grief to your mum when your life is cut short. Many young men born with genetic disorders or become paraplegic want to enjoy the normal things you do. But they cannot do it. They don't mind carrying any inhaler or more equipment at any time, if only their lives can be normal.  

There is so much a young man can do in this golden era of the internet. Facebook, Wikipedia and much more to come.

So much beauty of nature, architecture and design in this world to be appreciated as if you are healthy. If you are not brain dead or paralysed due to delays in asthmatic treatment. You have so many years of living to enjoy the golden era but do you appreciate your health? 

Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 3 photograph looks eye-pleasing. Toa Payoh Vets
Young man - the beauty of this airport design and other things can be appreciated if you live long enough to mature and travel widely

You may not want to change the world. Be responsible for your health.  Death by asthmatic attack is a horrible death as you suffocate. You gasp for air for many minutes. Before turning cyanotic and die. And nobody can save you as bronchio-constriction shuts out all intake of air. There will be no warning of difficulty in breathing as the body becomes hypersensitised the next time.    

In your virtual world of the World of Warcraft, the dead can be revived with a click of the mouse. But in the real world, death by asthmatic attack is final.

Words don't come easy from your mother.  She does not want to preach. She does not like being preached to.  But she wants you to be alive. And not die before she leaves this world.

As do all mothers. The Gods have been kind to you so far. Do not test their patience. Again and again.

Copyright Asiahomes Internet
All rights reserved. Revised: August 05, 2008

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