Wednesday, February 13, 2008

What's Up Doc? You A Croc of Shit?

Recently a very good friend went for a surgery. He had his abdomen cut opened and his intestines examined from end to end, every inch squeezed and stretched. This was in Dec 2007 and I got to know about it in late Jan 2008. WTF, I asked him? Why was I not told? He said that he does not want the fuss and et al.

As to the reason for the operation, my friend could not pass motions or flatulence and his stomach was bloated, and he was in great discomfort and pain.

He saw a doctor from a specialist center and the doctor could not diagnose the problem as well. It was a lot of "educated" guess work. In the end, the doctor recommended some sort of drip. So my friend was admitted into the hospital and was put on some sort of drip. The next day, my friend could let flatulence and defecate.

Thinking that he was getting better, he was set on getting discharged. The doctor paid a visit and said that he was still not sure of the cause of the problem. He recommended some sort of intestine examination using fluoroscopy, which required my friend to ingest barium. The X-ray revealed nothing. Next the doctor recommended surgery to check thoroughly. My friend was reluctant but the doctor was painting a very dark picture of what could happened, etc. talking to the wife and putting the fear in them.

So my friend agreed to go through with the surgery. After the surgery, the doctor was still not sure of what was causing the problem. But he did remove my friend's appendix while he had the intestines out... consolation prize I supposed.

In my opinion, I think my friend was being insurance scammed by the doctor. These doctors prey on you when you are at the weakest and vulnerable, capitalizing on your fears and of loosing your love ones.

Since I was 16years old, I have had a three difficult major encounters with doctors, GP or general practitioners in general.

Stomach Upset? My Ass!

The first was in 1979. One night, I had major abdominal pain. My mom took me to see a doctor in the little town in Sibu, Sarawak. The doctor quickly dismissed it as normal stomach upset and sent me home with a couple of medications. I suffered throughout the night with the pain spreading throughout the abdomen. Did not sleep a wink! The next morning, my mom took me to see the doctor again. This time, he pressed down hard on my lower right abdomen and held it for a while before letting go. I felt a sharp pain. The doctor quickly told my mom that I had severe inflammation of appendix and quickly told my mom to admit me to the old Sibu General Hospital for immediate surgery.

When we reached the hospital, the bloody bastard at the admission counter told an orderly to sit me down and wait after viewing the papers from the doctor. It must have been more then 30 minutes and I think I almost passed out from the pain. A passing orderly or was it a doctor noticed me and quickly call out to someone and wheeled me into the emergency area. While semi conscious, I noticed someone shaving my pubic hair and cleaning my abdomen. Next thing I saw was the operating theater multiple lights above me before I passed out.

When I came through, I noticed that I was in one of the ward filled with other patients. I was in and out of consciousness, probably stoned out from the amount of morphine I was getting... LOL. I remembered by mom and grandma sitting by my bedside. With my grandma holding on to my hand, it was a great great comfort to me.

I was told that I had severe appendicitis and would have died within the next hour if I had not gone in for surgery. MF!

When I got well, I ran through the whole ordeal in my head and came to a conclusion that doctors are just idiots like the rest of us. They read more, enough to get a medical doctor title, and then they qualify to diagnose from the symptoms that they see and make educated guesses.

When you were a kid, in a small town like Sibu, doctors, teachers, parents, polices, etc. were treated with great respect and widely admired. I came to a different conclusion that day. Fair or not, as far as doctors were concerned, they cannot be trusted, especially with my life!

Just A Little Yellow Urine, Drink More Water!

My second major encounter with a doctor was in 1991 in Petaling Jaya. At that time I was working for Parkson Grand. I was a buyer based in Subang Parade. One day, I noticed that my urine was very yellow. This continued for a couple of days. I went to see a panel GP in Subang Parade. And typical of a GP, she just prescribed some fucked up medication, advise me to drink more water and sent me home. The yellow urine persisted and I felt very tired and I developed serious itching on my elbow and knee. I went to see the GP again and was given some crap medication again and more advice to drink enough water.

Not the one to trust what a GP said, that night I went to my friend's house and decided to look up those symptoms in an old Reader Digest Medical Encyclopedia. I searched for "yellow urine" which led me to read the section on jaundice and the excessive bile (yellow color) secretion in the urine, thus leading to yellow urine. Next, I followed the related sections on hepatitis and itching, and found the link to the liver diseases. I read up on hepatitis A, B, C, D, E and G. Boy, I was really worried and vulnerable then. Almost in a state of panic!

The next day, I went back to the GP and told her, "Hey, you might want to check and see if I have any liver disease?" "Bingo!" I could almost see the bulb lighting up! Bloody MF! Immediately, she wrote a letter to get me to go for a check-up in Subang Jaya Medical Center (SJMC).

I went to SJMC and when my blood test result came out, I was immediately admitted. I stayed there for two blissful weeks. My job grade entitled me to a twin sharing room. Each day I had to take these green capsules at every 4 hour interval and that was it. I had a menu to select what I wanted for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Each visit by the doctor consisted of him reading the chart and only sometime he would ask a question. I found out later that I was billed RM80 for each visit.

Anyway, the good thing was that my urine returned to normal and I felt great! Later, I found out that, I had contracted a severe case of Hepatitis A and that I had nothing to worry about. On top of that, I have natural immunity against Hepatitis B. When I asked about the green capsules, I was told that they just helped to strengthen my liver.

Every Breath I Take Reminds Me Of A Pair Of Forceps

My third major encounter was self-perpetuated. For the longest time, I could not breath properly. My sinus was acting up constantly since I came back to Malaysia from Canada back in 1987. I could not taste what I ate nor smell anything. My nights constantly consist of blocked nose and the morning was followed by constant sneezing.

It was in 2006, when I decided to do something about it. I went to see a Ear, Nose, Throat (ENT) specialist in Petaling Jaya. He diagnosed me with severe sinusitis and I had a lot of polyp growths which blocked by nasal passageway. The only way to remove these polyps was to go for surgery.

Of course, my cynicism for doctors' diagnosis precedes me. So I decided to consult my good friends at and, leading me to tons of reading materials on sinusitis and nasal polyps.

Satisfied with my own findings, I checked myself into Sunway Medical Center and went for surgery. The polyps were removed and my sinus cavities were widened. When I woke up from surgery, I felt extremely uncomfortable as it was still bleeding and the bandages were soaked with blood, and I was in pain as well. When the ENT specialist visited me, he told me that one of the forceps broke during surgery and he wants me to go for X-ray to see if part of the forceps was stuck inside. WTF!!! That was some fucking news! Oh... and the reason he gave was, "It is required by the manufacturer to submit a report when the forceps break under use." WTF do I care? He offered no apologies whatsoever except, "I am not charging you for the x-ray."

Anyway, the good news is that the X-ray result showed that there was no forceps parts in my head! But I could not help it but felt that maybe, just maybe a metal piece could be stuck in my head!

The recovery was a torture! I had to breath through my mouth all the time until the bandages were removed from the nasal passageway (must have been about 2 meters worth of bandages stuffed into my nasal passageway). To make things worse, I must not leave the house for a month. The reason being to reduce the chance of me getting an infection. If infected, I would have to go surgery again, which I was determined to avoid at all cost!

Now I can breath easy and my sinuses are clear. All in all, it was worth it. I was also warned that the problem could recur in future. I don't care, I can taste food and smell the flowers now.

I hope if anyone is reading this post, my message to you is to wake up and smell the flowers too. Don't trust the doctors (or anyone) completely (especially when you are feeling vulnerable and weak). Always get second opinions. My favorite places to get second opinions are my good friends at and!

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