Movement Control Order From The View Of A Burn Survivor

When the government announced Movement Control Order (MCO) throughout Malaysia because of the coronavirus, chaos and panic happened at the supermarkets, despite the government’s assurance of enough food and daily necessities. 
The government thought that the message was clear, everyone to stay home, social distancing from one another.
However, on the 1st day itself, some defied the MCO and continued with their merry ways, not taking this pandemic seriously. Now, day 14th has passed, the government has extended the MCO until the 14th of April as the numbers of those infected within the country became higher.  
This is not the first time I am being confined to a place, like a bridge between two stories, I can’t help but to compare and connect it to my post burn care experience.

The feeling of isolation, uncertainty for the future, unpredictability, anxiety, hopelessness, not being in control, fear, confusion regarding the situation and most of all, not seeing the light at the end of the t…

International Women's Day 2020

International Women's Day is here once more. Some celebrated it. Some feel should not as a celebration of womanhood should be everyday. To me, these days can be served as a reminder to us.  We can be preoccupied with our responsibilities, activities, our families and of life that we sometimes even forget our own birthday. 

Today I reflected on the women who have impacted me. Because of these women, they inspired me to write a woman song in 2018.

Women Song sang on 8 March 2020, dedicated to all  women readers here. I wrote it in 2018. 
There are so many women out there who made a big impact on me over the years since a teenager until today. Let me list them whom I can remember offhand:-

1) Anne Subashini - founder of The Inclusive Outdoor Classroom. I have the privilege to get to know her since drum circle days. Her passion is infectious. Her faith, her belief that there should be no division between children no matter of their backgrounds, no matter of their health conditioning is emp…

Helping Out A Fellow Burn Survivor

Many do not understand the pain and suffering that a burn survivor goes through, sometimes it may continue for years from the initial burn incident. The complications of wound healing and also contracture sometimes get into the way of healing and makes it difficult for a burn survivor to lead a normal life. Treatment and managing the after effect of burns can be a lifelong process.  Furthermore, burn care is one of the most complicated and expensive treatment at the hospital. 
Fatimah nearly died in a fire at 6 years old. Since then, she has gone through numerous surgeries throughout her young life.
Despite the challenges and odds against her, Fatimah entered high school and continued with her studies at the University of St. Thomas. However, her studies were often disrupted with her medical needs.
Fatimah is a kind and caring lady who often shares her experiences with newer burn survivors on how to cope with their burn injuries. Although she has her own life challenges, she often motiva…

What Do You Say When Visiting A Terminally Ill Patient?

I looked at his pale face and frail body on the hospital bed. Lines and tubes on his legs and neck. There was a bag at the right side with yellowish looking water inside. The liquid was not urine but water which had to be pumped out from his stomach cavity.
It was difficult to see someone whom you have known since young to look so weak. He had lost weight and aged considerably. It was the second day of Chinese New Year.  My sister and I took a trip down to Kuala Lumpur to visit relatives. We visited a cousin at the High Dependency Unit, he had liver cancer and was complaining of diarrhea. Visiting hours were 11.30am to 1.30am and 5.30pm to 7.30pm. We had to take turns going in as only 2 guests at a time are allowed.

Despite having the experience of a prolonged stay at the hospital and being immobile, I was tongue tied. I didn’t know what to say or how to comfort him.  I could only share with him of my previous struggle at the hospital.
On our second visit before our trip back to Penang, …

I'm Still Standing

"I'm still standing...yeah, yeah, yeahhh..."
"I'm still standing..."
His high chirpy voice reaches my ears as Patrick swayed his body slightly while singing. Eyes sparkling, his body wriggling like a worm moving on the ground. His lips parted in a smile while he kept on going "I'm still standing."
It is the latest song he likes. His favourite songs can be seasonal. At one time it was Baa Baa Black Sheep. Then another phase he had was Five Little Monkeys. Another time it was Humpty Dumpty.
It is cute seeing him in this state; full of excitement, wonder of Life. Sometimes he can spontaneously laughed or dance on the spot if he hears any song he likes.
Today it has been 7 months since his liver transplant last year. Eileyn has observed the big changes in Patrick before and after the transplant in her recent blog post. Her blog also made me reflect on this young child who is suffering from liver failure. He is two years old named Abdi. The doctor…

Meeting Up With Patrick

He glanced at me while smiling cheekily. His mouth revealing his short front teeth. An active boy.  If one does not know his history, he looks like any other toddler.  From his cheerful appearance, there was no hint of pain and suffering he went through the previous year.
It was last year during the Hari Raya holidays that I visited Patrick and his family.  Just 2 weeks away before his appointment for a liver transplant in China. When I first met him, his eyes were unnaturally yellowish and his belly was protruding. He looked sickly. My sister who is usually chatty by nature was quiet as she dropped me at their house, she didn’t know what to say to Patrick’s parents.
Patrick seemed cautious when he saw me. Someone whom he had not met.  His mother, Cordelia, informed me, he viewed strangers with suspicion as they might be doctors and poke him with needles. After assessing for more than an hour, he decided I was not a threat. He became friendlier and brought his toys to me.
He was const…

Finding My Voice Through Creativity

This is my first post for 2020. How have the year been for you?
Since 1 January 2020,  I have been baking, stitching sock dolls, writing and singing. I would never imagine my creativity can go beyond poetry writing. I used to have a rather fixed mindset on who I am; what I am capable of and what I am not. 

A few friends shared they could not see me as a sock doll maker or a baker. I could not vision myself as that too. I considered myself an inept cook. I do not consider myself much of a cook and a baker. I have no interest to learn too. Because of Patrick, I encouraged myself to make some attempts. 

Years ago, the only creativity I allow myself to channel was through poetry. My voice hidden from many others. I would allow myself to feel the raw emotions and of my vulnerability through poetry. When I could not consciously process my thoughts, it is through poetry when I would pause and release what is stored within my subconscious. When I wrote it out, I became clearer in my perception o…