Friday, July 07, 2017

The Big Toe Misadventure

I'm nursing an injured big toe, the result of living in the past... of acting as though I still have the strength of a buffalo. What have I done this time? I pulled a pallet (that those workmen have left in the backyard) so it wouldn't get wet by the approaching rain. When the heavy pallet refused to move I pulled at it with all my might. It suddenly shot towards my foot and hit the big toe which had an extra long nail.

All I wanted to do was scream: "Ow ow ow owww!" But I didn't want to alert the neighbours of my stupidity and clumsiness.

Tips of  nails clipped before going to the doc... hehe

I have often been proud of my physical strength as it has allowed me to carry heavy objects all by myself. Most times I was able to pat myself on the back but there were times when my lifting heavy loads caused minor calamities.

Google Image

Take that long-ago time I had wanted the washing machine shifted from the small bathroom to the spacious bathroom upstairs. I asked Mr. Hubby to move it for me. But even after several reminders the machine hadn't budged an inch. Patience has never been my virtue so I decided to move the monster myself. I was young and strong and it required carrying/lifting the machine no more than 20 footsteps. Not a big problem except I was seven months pregnant with Sonny. Imagine my shock when I saw blood on my underwear after the feat! I went to the doc several days later for a scheduled prenatal visit and I told him about the blood stains.

"You need to rest," the doctor said and promptly gave me a chit for a 2-day sick leave even though I assured him the bleeding had stopped. I guess he had thought I was crazy or dumb to shift the washing machine.

And Mr. Hubby's reaction? He must have been happy he didn't have to move the washing machine after all.

Another time I over-estimated my strength was when I was taking care of my (bedridden) mother.  We weighed about the same...50kg. I had to wrap my arms tightly around her chest while she circled her arms around my shoulders.  Then I had to carry/drag her off her high 'hospital' bed to the wheelchair. Well, one day I forgot to secure the wheelchair to the bed (by tying the wheelchair to a bed leg with a string.) When I carried/dragged my mama to the wheelchair, the chair moved as soon as it was touched. In my attempt to 'run after' it, we were moving farther and farther away from the bed. I couldn't put her back on the bed and I couldn't put her in the chair. Exhausted, I put her down onto the floor. She didn't complain even though she looked all twisted and crumpled up. Luckily, Dottie was home and had heard my horrified cries from upstairs. She rushed down and we both 'unraveled' my mother's knotted legs and put her in the wheelchair. That was one exciting prelude to bath time but there was more drama to come!

This time it involved a potty... or rather the lack of one. I guess it was one of my mother's tests—to see whether or not I’d do her bidding. Or maybe she just craved extra attention and one way to get it was to repeat a request over and over until it was granted.

Well, she wanted a potty. I hadn't got around to shop for one. Even I know that the common plastic potty was not suitable for a bedridden adult. Anyway, on this particular day, she insisted she didn't want to sit on the toilet bowl and she didn't want to shit in her diaper either. She wanted a potty!

What was I to do? The pharmacy where the potty chair was available is nearby. But I couldn't run out and leave my poor old mother all by herself. What was I to do? The only thing that came to mind was—don’t laugh—using one of my big, empty flowerpots! It's hilarious now but it wasn't laughing matter then.

I put the flowerpot right next to the wall so that my mother's back would get some support. Then I helped her sit up on the bed, her lower legs hanging over the side. We hugged each other tightly and I half-lifted and half-dragged her to the flowerpot. It was hard labour and the clay pot was a little too low. Alas, just as her bum touched the rim of the pot, I began to have misgivings. What if the flowerpot broke and dug into her flesh? I couldn't take the risk. I tried to heave her up, away from the flowerpot-potty. And she, not understanding my anxiety, tried to stay down. It was a long while before she was safe in bed again. And it was weeks before my back stopped aching.

When I finally got the potty chair... it cost about RM600 then.... my mother refused to sit on it!

Back to my most recent misadventure...I had over estimated my strength. I frequently forget I am an old woman. And now I'm left with only nine toenails to paint a shocking pink.

Stay safe, folks. Don’t hurt your toes!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

To be or not to be

A few months ago there was a sudden surge of visitors to this humble, seldom-updated blog. Of course I was curious. Who wouldn't be when the number of daily visitors jumped from the normal zero to three to 300?

I wondered if I had become an overnight sensation! I wondered who these people were that had 'strayed' into my blog. I checked and saw that Russians were at the top of the list. Not just 10, 20, 50 or 100. So I knew something weird was happening. Surely they hadn't come to read! What is there to read? I waited for something to happen. Nothing. Then after several days the number of visits did taper off... only to be replaced by a huge number of people from another country! I will never know the reason for the sudden surge of visitors.

Now it's back to normal and my visitors are mostly my fellow countrymen (or perhaps I should say women).

My dear readers, I wish I could spend more time on this blog but age is catching up and by the time the chores are done, the kiddo is tucked in bed and I’m not huffing and puffing, I'd be too tired to string words into coherent sentences. I could of course stop writing altogether but I don't want to kill this blog... even though it is the hidup-tak hidup-mati tak-mati variety. I guess I feel comfortable talking to faceless readers. They can't interrupt you like someone in the flesh could but they let you finish what you want to say without telling you they're better, smarter, stronger, wiser than you. Or if you are talking about misfortune, they can’t say they have worse luck, are suffering worse diseases and have worse in-laws than you do... You get the picture.

I noted that my ‘popular’ posts are about school and students... and the occasional posts illustrating my ho-hum life. Perhaps some former students and colleagues have stumbled on this blog? However, I think it’s quite unlikely that any of my former teacher-friends would have the time (or be interested) to read what I’ve shared here. A few have recently contacted me for some old school photos and after that there was only silence. I had actually expected to be told how the pictures—mainly my personal collection—were going to be used. I guess I had expected too much.

Well, unless I change my mind, I shall be writing mainly about the years I spent as a teacher... about students, teachers, events, heartache, headache... in short, the good, the bad and the ugly from my perspective. Maybe I should start a new blog just to tell about that part of my life. I'm not promising anything, though. I'm still at the thinking stage: to do or not to do; to be a thorn in some people’s flesh or to act goody-goody and be less than honest.

Long past long ago... we were squatters at SRK

 Let me sleep on it. Goodnight, everyone.