Monday, 23 August 2010

Eating for your health

I have been following a Malaysian cardiologist's blog who religiously write about current updates in cardiology. I have to admit that I like him (?her, I don't know) because he really believes that lifestyle changes (dietary, stress management and exercises) are the most important thing in preventing (and reversing) heart disease (and he frequently give updates on researches in this area).

He recently wrote about stable and unstable plaque in the arteries of the heart. When the blood supply to the heart is blocked, the blockage can be stable or unstable. A stable blockage (plaque) reduce blood supply to your heart, so you have heart disease, but you can live with it. An unstable one is the one that can suddenly rupture, so the body respond to it by trying to heal it the rupture, but this will cause blood clot in the vessel. So that particular area your heart will suddenly be totally deprived of blood supply- and this is what we call a 'heart attack', which are described by people who were lucky enough to survive it, as severe crushing chest pain, with the feeling of impending doom.

He wrote that recently some researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Manhattan have found a way to detect which plaque is unstable, although they only have done it in mice (which means a good 10 years away from the technique to be passed to be used in humans). They used multi-coloured CT scan. (what a scary thing to know that you have an unstable plaque! almost like a death sentence)

Now come the purpose of me writing this entry.

The popular belief is that when you have high cholesterol you can block your heart. This is true but the blockage/plaque has to be inflamed for it to be vulnerable to give you a heart attack. (for readers who does not understand what inflamed means, you can imagine it similar to 'ínjured'). So this multi-coloured CT detects the cells or agents involved in the process of inflammation (the macrophages). And the 'coloured macrophages' will show on the images of the heart, the denser the colour the more macrophages, meaning the more inflammation and therefore the more vulnerable the plaque.

I actually want to write about the inflammation thing. When I was reading about the role of 'nutraceuticals' (medicinal properties in foods) in cancer, I came across the theory that inflammation is the key process that LEADS to diseases (not the RESULT of diseases). Inflammation gives you an unstable plaque in your heart. It also makes your supposedly benign growth spread (therefore becomes cancerous). And it is the underlying process in various types of arthritis and Alzheimer's. There are many evidence to this but I won't go into them now. So scientists now believe that if we control the inflammation in our body, we can live longer and avoid major diseases.

Interestingly, there are foods that have anti-inflammatory properties. This is proven by lab studies and also the measurement of inflammatory markers in people who consume more of these types of foods. Similarly, there are foods that are pro-inflammatory. Hence the advice is to eat more anti-inflammatory foods and avoid the pro- ones. InsyaAllah your body can heal itself and stay healthy till your expiry date. How comforting! :) This gives you a sense of control in your health.

I will be concise and just list the foods here. You can get into search engines of journals to really know what the food molecules do at cellular level if you need more evidence to strengthen your belief. (You need to belief first before you can do lifestyle changes because it does take great effort to refrain yourself from the foods).

Anti-inflammatory Foods (the ones that you should consume more)

1. Green Tea- contains EGCG, most powerful nutritional molecule against inflammation, which is present in all tea leaves but destroyed during fermentation of black tea-our usual tea-to get this EGCG you have to drink unfermented tea ie green tea.

2. Turmeric -the magic ingredient only present in Asian cuisine- might explain why India has low incidence of cancer compared to the West despite the people having worse exposure to environmental carcinogens.

3. Berries (blueberry, strawberry, raspberry)-contains ellagic acid, which does not only counter inflammation but also detoxify cells (about detoxifying cells I will write in another entry, another important step to protect yourself from diseases).

4. Walnuts, pecans and hazelnuts-also contain ellagic acid like the berries (and these nuts also have high omega-3 levels which is important for immune function, another topic that I will deal with later, insyaAllah)

5. Parsley and celery- contains apigenine, also a strong anti-inflammatory. Don't hesitate to dump this whole bunch in your soups.

6. Ginger roots-other than anti-inflammatory, it is also an anti-oxidant and has been one of the oldest medicine on earth (not just in Malay tradition, but also in Ayurvedic and ancient Chinese).

(there are probably many more tropical veges or fruits that are anti-inflammatory but has not been discovered yet).

Pro-inflammatory Foods (should avoid or limit consumption)

1. Red meats (beef, mutton etc)-especially if the livestocks were fed grains, not grass. And especially cured or processed ones eg sausages and burgers (aarrghh..I know)

2. Sugar- not only it causes you diabetes (that's another whole different story, although somewhat related), the sugar itself is pro-inflammatory (ie let's say sugar does not cause diabetes, the sugar itself is a poison). Please note that there are other names for 'sugar' used by manufacturers- maltose, corn syrup, golden syrup, dextrose, fructose. Try not to take sugar in your drinks, or just drink plain water, because unless you are a cake / biscuits maker, you would not realize how much hidden sugar there are in our daily food.

3. Oil -choose your oil wisely, all oils are pro-inflammatory but some have lower inflammatory effects eg olive oil, linseed, flaxseed or rapeseed oil. Olive oil even have extra benefits, that is it contains polyphenols for your immune system. I think this oil subject is very important because almost everything we cook contains oil, and as sugar, there are many 'hidden oil' eg in cakes, breads, biscuits.

4. Trans Fats (or partially hydrogenated oil / vegetable shortening)- this is the reason we should be careful with processed industrialized foods (ie non-fresh foods). A lot of them contains trans fats, a type of oil that has been transformed to make foods have longer shelf life, and better 'mouth-feel'. It is also cheaper, so it is used by many manufacturers. Denmark and Switzerland have totally banned trans fats from their industry, and recently in January 2010 so did California. Here is a very good website to load you with all trans fats information (they even sued Kraft for putting trans fats in Oreo). It is comforting to know that Tesco has removed all trans fats from their own brand products.

5. Excessive alcohol- no explanation needed. All medical practitioners know this.

6. Artificial food additives eg MSG and artificial sweeteners (aspartame)- beware of 'hidden' MSG and aspartame too eg in ready made sauces, diet cola etc.

There are others. I have listed those above because they are very highly consumed and probably most damaging.

Now, come to think of it, the traditional practice of 'pantang larang' (forbidden foods) by our good ancestors have some basis after all. Post natal mothers for example, have to avoid oil, red meats, ice, also ciku, pineapple and coconut juice (some strict ones say must avoid pineapples for one whole year and worse I've heard is to avoid coconut juice for the whole reproductive years). These foods are probably pro-inflammatory, especially to the female reproductive organs. Although we think that a balanced diet is best but at certain times in our life there are foods that we must avoid altogether. This is to help our body fight the disease and heal itself. Also thanks to the wisdom and creativity of our ancestors incorporating medicinal spices into our daily foods.

And what about 'pantang' by Allah swt ie pork, alcohol, unslaughtered animals, blood, food obtained from unlawful income etc? Surely Allah, the Creator of  every creases in our bodies, the Owner of All Knowledge knows best.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

If you are hungry...

The recent flood in Pakistan has affected millions Pakistanis. The destruction of homes, crops, infrastructures will not end there, infectious diseases will soon emerge. Here are some pictures, as a reminder to us, of our countless blessings. Especially now in the month of Ramadhan, whenever we complain of hunger...ooh can't imagine their hunger :(

(I got this from facebook, hope the owner of these photos doesn't mind me posting the photos).

August 6, Northwest Pakistan

what's left...

catching water bottles...

when you are hungry...


police beating looters..please :( .. he is only hungry....

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Heart Of A Muslim

This is a very good nasyeed to teach our young children. The artist is Zain Bhikha (whose voice is similar to the late MJ).

Heart Of A Muslim

Looking up at the sky, searching for Allah Most High
He rejected the way of worshiping gods of clay
Prophet Ebrahim knew that Allah was near
And that the heart of a Muslim is sincere

Under the hot burning sun, he declared God is one
Though with stones on his chest, his Imaan would not rest
The Muadhin knew that right would conquer wrong
And the heart of a Muslim must be strong
(this para is referring to Bilal Bin Rabah)

It's the heart of a Muslim through the guidance of Islam
That makes you fair and kind and helpful to your fellow man
So living as a Muslim means that you must play a part
Allah looks not at how you look, but what is in your heart

In our poor meager state, little food on our plate
Mother said she was glad, always sharing what we had
When I asked how can we share what's not enough
She said the heart of a Muslim's filled with love

He said its time you should know, you will learn as you grow
That some people around will do what's bad to bring you down
Father said to be a star that's shining bright
For the heart of a Muslim does what's right

It's the heart of a Muslim through the guidance of Islam
That makes you fair and kind and helpful to your fellow man
So living as a Muslim means that you must play a part
Allah looks not at how you look, but what is in your heart

So whatever you do, make sure your words are true
Honesty is the best, because life is a test
Even if it hurts so much you want to cry
For the heart of a Muslim does not lie

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Tentang Niat

Beberapa hari lepas saya terpandang sekeping gambar di Facebook yang agak membuat perasaan saya entah gembira atau sedih. Yang sebetulnya saya berasa dengki. Seorang kawan sekelas saya ketika di fakulti peubatan UKM bergambar ketika hari konvokesyennya. Ia konvokesyen untuk ijazah sarjana. Ini bermakna dia seorang pakar sekarang. Pakar sebelum umur 30? Hebat kan? Itu sebabnya saya dengki dengan dia. Tetapi sebenarnya dalam banyak2 orang memang dia lah yang paling layak menerima darjat itu. Dia seorang Muslimah yang sangat merendah diri. Dia sangat pandai. Ketika peperiksaan akhir yang menentukan sama ada kami akan ditauliahkan sebagai doktor atau tidak ramai orang yang cukup2 makan saja lulusnya. Tetapi dia, dia lulus cemerlang malah dipanggil untuk 'distinction viva' iaitu temubual oleh pensyarah2 kami dan juga pensyarah2 luar untuk memastikan sama ada pangkat A yang diperolehinya wajar diberi A+ atau tidak. Saya lupa sama ada dia berjaya di peringkat itu atau tidak. Tetapi sebaik sahaja kami tamat housemanship dia telah dipanggil semula oleh UKM untuk dilatih menjadi pensyarah dalam bidang perubatan dalaman (internal medicine). Dan minggu lepas dia telah berjaya menggenggam ijazah sarjananya. Sebelum umur 30 tahun (sarjana perubatan mengambil masa 4 tahun, bukan setahun seperti bidang2 lain). Dan dia juga seorang isteri dan ibu. Bukan seorang diri yang mempunyai semua masa untuk diri sendiri.

Walaupun dia sangat pandai, kalau bercakap biasa dengan dia tentu kita tak terasa 'inferior' dengan dia. Dia hanya menunjuk pandai jika kita bertanya soalan berkaitan pelajaran atau pun semasa peperiksaan. Gambar konvo itu pun bukan dia yang letak. Itu hanya gambar yang di-tag oleh rakan sarjananya. Di statusnya pun tiada kata2 " Aku pass!" atau sebagainya.

Saya menegurnya dan berkata tahniah dan saya dengki padanya. Jawapannya? Terima kasih, nanti turn kau pulak.

Saya terfikir, kenapa saya dengki padanya. Memangla sebab dia lebih daripada saya kan. Tetapi kenapa saya nak jadi macam dia? Kenapa saya nak belajar dan menjadi pakar? Untuk gaji lebih? untuk status yang lebih tinggi? Supaya orang puji2 saya dan menjadikan saya rujukan?

Saya pun tak tahu (atau sebenarnya saya tahu?). Niat sambung belajar untuk menjadi lebih pakar memang banyak dibayangi unsur riak. Susahnya nak bersihkan niat itu. Saya tertanya adakah antara kita yang menyambung master atau phd semata2 kerana Allah? Kerana kita mahu Islam gilang gemilang. Kerana Rasulullah suruh kita menuntut ilmu hingga liang lahad?

Tentang niat ini sudah lama saya ingin kongsi satu tulisan kawan kami, Dr Wan Ahmad Hafiz. Dia dan isterinya (yang pernah berkongsi satu dorm dengan saya ketika tingkatan 1) telah belajar dan bekerja di Ireland selama 10 tahun. Kini mereka akan pulang ke Malaysia (for good). Ini sememangnya satu keputusan sukar kerana gaji doktor di Ireland mencecah RM 30 ribu sebulan. Peluang melanjut pelajaran juga agak senang berbanding di Malaysia. Untuk melakukan satu penghijrahan memang perlukan pengorbanan dan niat yang betul.

Ini tulisannya tentang niatnya untuk kembali ke Malaysia, yang saya ambil dengan izinnya.

Reasons to go home

When i told others of our plan to go home for good (Insya-Allah), I'll be greeted in any of these few ways:
- "That is so nice. Where is your country? Are you looking forward to that?" etc. Obviously this response usually comes from non-malaysian, who does not really know what is the situation back in malaysia.
- "Why would you want to go back to Malaysia? Didn't you hear all the crazy things that happens to doctors in Malaysia?"

I guess, i don't have any particular tendency or urge to dwell too much on the debate which one is better. I just get on with it, and once i made my decision, let us hope for the best, Insya-Allah. Money is not the ultimate objective for me to stay in ireland. Of course to certain extent, it would help to have an extra income. But there are other reasons. There are people who want to stay here for their children educations, others want to finish their training up to the consultant level and others probably for political reasons.

For whatever reasons that we have, let us make sure that the time we spend in one place would not go wasted from the world viewpoint and moreover the hereafter. The correct intentions are so vital that everyone of us should examine every so often, even for those already in Malaysia.


If i begin with good intention of the reason for coming home, what would it be? Can i force myself to have these intentions? A man came to the prophet and asked, "A man fights for war booty, another fights for fame and a third fights for showing off, which of them fight in Allah's cause?" The prophet replied, "He who fights that Allah's word (ie Islam) should be superior, fights in Allah's cause. (Sahih Bukhari, Muslim).

We learnt from this simple hadith that any intention to elevate islam to its proper level is the way to go. It could be in many different ways. Money could come into picture, but with the correct intention so that we can help other people in need.

Value system

Different communities has different value system. I agree that we might not be 'culturally' advance compare to people of Western world, but I feel at ease talking to our own people and especially with people of the same belief system. It might be that people who stays abroad wants to propogate the teaching of Islam, but for me, I have been here for 10 years, what did I do for Islam? In my opinion, Insya-Allah I might do better in Malaysia.

It would be nice to discuss about religion in open space. I remember reading a blog of my friend. She ts an anesthetist who put people to sleep. She asked a patient to say shahadah before doing so, and the patient died later. This story might be really simple to you, but it sticks with me until now. I would not have the oppurtunity to say those things, and I really want to say it to people:
- Makcik, kita cuba sedaya upaya untuk berubat, tapi jangan lupa selalu doa okay. Allah sentiasa menerima doa hambanya. kalau bukan dgn cara yg kita nak, mungkin dia elakkan kita drp bala yg lebih besar.
- Jangan lupa ajak/tolong dia sembahyang walaupun dalam keadaan macam ni pakcik. Boleh tolong ambik wudhu. Sebelum dia tidur, ajar dia mengucap selalu yer pakcik.
- Dialysis ni umumnya tak membatalkan puasa pakcik. Pakcik boleh cuba puasa kalau pakcik larat. kalau pakcik nak tanya apa apa lagi, boleh saya tolong - kalau saya tahu.
- Tak perlulah marah marah, kita sama sama buat kerja doktor ni. Kalau saya salah, boleh tunjukkan cara mana yang lebih elok. kalau marah marah, itu cuma buat saya sakit hati dan tak akan belajar apa apa bende baru pun.

And so many more....


Looking back at my life history, I actually spent more time outside my home than inside. I left home when I was 13. and till now still am away.

My mother died when I was working in Ireland. i have already missed the whole good deeds that i can do to my mother. Remember the hadith of being dutiful to a mother 3x more than a father. This means that I have to be dutiful to my father a lot more now. Ibn 'Abbas said, "If any Muslim obeys Allah regarding his parents, Allah will open two gates of the Garden for him. If there is only one parent, then one gate will be opened. If one of them is angry, then Allah will not be pleased with him until that parent is pleased with him." He was asked, "Even if they wrong him?" "Even if they wrong him" he replied. (Al-adab al-Mufrad). Ibn Abbas said that he did not know of any action better for bringing a person near to Allah than dutifulness to his mother.

What about the rest of our family members, old or new. I felt that it is part of my duty to 'practically' expand the already expanded family.I don't want to be known as an uncle whom they see only once a year. I want to be involve with them, teaching them something about this life that I have learnt. My kid will need to know who are her parents' family and friends. It is part of the sunnah to continue this tie of friendship with the friends of our parents.

O my brothers and sisters, Prophet has cursed the person whom while having their father and mother but still could not enter jannah, because they did not serve their parents well. And may Allah prevent us from the curse.

Things to change

But they are so many things that are not right yet in malaysia. Look at the salary or working condition for example. And how uneven the distribution of doctors. While in UM, we hear about extracorpuscular shockwave therapy for angina, something which i have to do a bit of reading as i haven't heard about it before - in other place we have doctors performing all sorts of procedure without proper supervision as there just not enough doctors there. Look at the attitude of people/doctors. the back bitting was so severe. That does not include the rape, baby dumping syndrome, the heat, balck magic etc.

Let us not forget, these things does not happen in Malaysia only. It happens here in Ireland as well. we hear almost every day people are bitching each other. In peripheral hospitals, the A&E system was so defective that other doctors make fun of them. Alcohol is everywhere and so difficult to go to restaurant where there is no alcohol on board. Islamic schools are scarce in number, and our teens are exposed to the danger of free sex, drugs and alcohol.

Most of us who is living abroad would like to go home one day. we can make a choice, whether we can be part of the team to build the health system to the level of our satisfaction, or we can join only when almost everything is in place. Of course there will never be a perfection in health system. While there are still plenty to do, I think i better get involve soon.

It is a bit like Naruto after few years training outside the village with Jiraiya. When the training finished, it is time to pass the knowledge to others. Not that I am saying I have sage power, but i do believe that I have the responsibility over other people in the village/country.

Other wordly things

Imagine shopping complex that close at 10pm, not at 6pm, with rows of shops and new gadgets in Low Yat, instead of Currys + PC World + Dixon. in which they are all from the same parent company. Warung that open till midnight, especially when you are tired after coming home from work and too lazy to cook, instead of delivery from Spice n Rice or Chiken Hut.

I have enough of Castles and Churches around Europe when I travel. I am longing to go Sabah & Sarawak with my family, or having a camping experience again like the good old days.

I want to attend formal religious education in the masjid, instead of listening to VCD of Dr Asri, or searching Youtube of Islamic lectures, or learning from books - which is not complete.

May Allah show us the proper way to a prosper hereafter, with whatever way we choose to live in this world. Ameen.

It is time to go home.


Ini blog beliau, yang banyak isi tapi 'senyap sunyi'.

Ramadhan akan bermula. Setiap tahun ayah saya pesan apabila niat puasa niat untuk menyucikan diri sekali. Baru sekarang saya agak2 faham maksudnya (sebab ayah saya jenis diam yang tak berapa pandai nak huraikan maksud). Masa kecil hanya ikut-ikut saja. 

"Sesungguhnya Allah tidak melihat kepada tubuh, rupa luaran dan harta kamu, tetapi melihat kepada hati dan amalan kamu" (Riwayat Muslim)

On a lighter note- hari itu Papaboyz berniat membelikan saya sesuatu, tapi ada masalah lain pula (kami kena beli kereta baru kerana kereta tua kami rosak!) jadi ia perlu dibatalkan (atau ada kemungkinan tangguh saja?). Papaboyz kata, takper.. yang penting niat ada dah dapat pahala :P

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Kisah 3 Musim

Waktu itu cuaca masih dingin. Maklumlah, bulan Februari, angin dari benua Artik masih bertiup. Kami mendapat panggilan dari kawan kami di Leeds yang adik saya pengsan dengan berlumuran muntah di rumahnya. Memang sudah sebulan dia tak berapa sihat, kurang selera makan dan asyik muntah. Kami sangka kerana jangkitan virus yang lebih dikenali sebagai 'winter bug' (Norovirus). 2 kali dia berjumpa doktor dan doktor hanya berkata 'rest and plenty of water' saja.

Sedang mengulangkaji dengan rakan2. Ketika ini dia sudah mula sakit.

Pada mulanya saya masih menyangka yang dia hanya 'dehydrated'. Mungkin otak saya cuba menipu saya untuk melindungi perasaan saya. Sedangkan seminggu sebelum itu kami ada melawatnya dan saya perasan dia agak pucat dan mengadu hidungnya berdarah tak berhenti. Jika saya di dewan peperiksaan dan diberi kes pesakit seperti ini, dengan sejarah kansernya dulu, tentu dah berhelai2 kertas saya jawab apa masalahnya pesakit tersebut. Tetapi fikiran saya seperti dihijab. Itu sebabnya etika kedoktoran tidak membenarkan seorang doktor merawat keluarga sendiri, kerana pesakit tidak akan mendapat rawatan terbaik, dia sama ada akan 'undertreat' atau 'overtreat'.

2 jam selepas itu saya menerima panggilan dari pakar di jabatan kecemasan Leeds General Infirmary. Dia bercakap dengan saya seperti doktor bercakap dengan doktor. Dia terus memberitahu saya keputusan garam Potassium darah adik saya. 8.5. Ia memang dos maut. Saya duduk dan minta dia ulang. Dia mengulang dan memberi juga kadar urea dan creatinine (toksin yang patut dibuang oleh buah pinggang). Ia hampir 2 ribu.

"We have to dialyze him straight away"


Saya berfikir apa yang sedang berlaku. Adakah kanser dia kini menyumbat buah pinggangnya? Ketika itu memang tak diketahui lagi. Saya menelefon kakak saya di Malaysia. Ibu saya baru 2 minggu kematian emaknya. Kami tidak memberitahu sesiapa lagi. Selepas beberapa jam doktor memberitahu yang adik saya akan dipindahkan ke hospital besar untuk didialisis. Hmmm bila saya nak beritahu ibu bapa saya ni... saya mula terfikir kalau2 berlaku komplikasi sewaktu dialisis tentu saya akan rasa bersalah. Sebenarnya saya masih mengharapkan yang keadaan adik saya sebenarnya tidak sekritikal yang saya sangka, supaya berita yang bakal disampaikan itu tidaklah begitu buruk.

Saya telefon mak saya. Saya tanya adakah dia berdiri atau duduk. Dia kata duduk. Saya katakan saya ada berita. Mak saya terus menyangka yang saya mengandung lagi. Kalau itu beritanya tentulah saya tak telefon malam-malam.

Dipendekkan cerita malam itu juga ibu bapa saya menempah tiket kapal terbang.

Sebelum ibu bapa saya datang adik saya sangat kritikal. Jantungnya boleh berhenti bila2 masa kerana potassium yang tinggi itu. Dia boleh koma akibat toksin urea yang mungkin ke otak. Dia boleh strok kerana tekanan darahnya mencecah 200/120mmHg. Alhamdulillah dia masih sedar. Kemudian apabila mereka menebuk pinggangnya untuk 'bypass' buah pinggangnya dia mengalami pendarahan yang tak berhenti. Saya tahu pada ketika itu doktor2 hanya membuat apa yang mereka mampu tapi mereka juga berserah. Mereka tak benarkan saya balik kerana ada kemungkinan mereka terpaksa memasukkan kamera ke dalam abdomennya untuk mengesan punca pendarahan.

"We'll wait and see.."

Alhamdulillah selepas beberapa jam pendarahan berhenti sendiri.

Semasa di high dependency unit

Saya terpaksa ke bilik hostelnya mengambil beberapa barang. Apabila saya masuk, saya lihat sekeliling dan saya duduk menangis seorang diri. Mungkin kerana saya berada di bilik tempat dia belajar, tempat kehidupan normalnya seperti orang lain (yang tidak selalu dia nikmati). Di dinding penuh dengan nota2 dan doa2. Di tepi tingkap ada gambar ketika dia berumur satu tahun, di sebelah kek berbentuk nombor 1. Itu gambar 'favourite'nya. Kehidupan normal untuk dia memang episod2 sementara. Apabila saya turun Papaboyz bertanya kenapa lambat. Saya katakan saya terpaksa mengemas biliknya yang bersepah.

Sehari sebelum ibu bapa saya tiba di UK, saya 'menyental' badan adik saya yang dah beberapa hari tak mandi. Nanti terkejut pula kedua2 orang tua kami yang ada darah tinggi tu kalau melihat dia dengan tiub sana sini dan badan berbau.

Masih mampu tersenyum

Ibu bapa saya tidur di bilik asramanya. Sepanjang mereka di Leeds, warga Malaysia di situ memang telah membantu mereka di luar batasan insan biasa. Yang memasak untuk mereka setiap hari, yang menghantar dan menjemput dari hospital setiap hari, yang membawa ke kedai, yang membawa ke universiti berjumpa pensyarah, yang meminjamkan wang ketika kesesakan, tidak kurang juga yang mendoakan. Ramai yang menyuruh ibu bapa saya tinggal saja di rumah mereka, tapi ibu bapa saya menolak kerana takut akan lebih menambahkan beban mereka yang semuanya masih belajar.

Hampir sebulan adik saya di hospital. Tekanan darah tak stabil, menunggu toksin turun etc. Nasib baik hospital agak selesa. Dengan hidangan makanan yang boleh dipilih dari senarai menu (juga ada menu halal) dan khidmat perpustakaan bergerak, juga pelajar2 jururawat yang sering melayannya.

 Menu, pilih ikut selera

Yang halal

Setiap katil pesakit mempunyai 'entertainment port' sendiri (tv, radio, telefon dan internet)

Salji turun menyeliputi bumi UK. Ibu saya yang tidak pernah melihat salji berpeluang bermain salji. Mahal sungguh harga pengalaman main salji itu, harganya ialah kesihatan anak lelaki tunggalnya.

Mereka memasukkan 'stent' ke dalam salur buah pinggang adik saya dan tiub kecing di pinggangnya dicabut. Namun tak sampai 2 minggu 'stent' itu telah dihimpit oleh kanser yang ganas itu. Adik saya terpaksa ditebuk kembali dan kali ini tiub kencing itu kekal bersamanya apabila dia keluar dari hospital. Maka berjalan2lah dia dengan 'ekor' tambahan. Kencing secara normal itu memang satu nikmat Allah yang kita tak pernah syukuri secara sedar.

Selepas sebulan  lebih ayah saya terpaksa pulang ke Malaysia kerana beberapa urusan keluarga. Kami katakan jangan balik dulu, tunggu chemotherapy mula baru balik jika adik saya tiada masalah. Tetapi ayah saya tetap berkeras untuk pulang. Selang beberapa hari ayah saya pulang adiknya pula pulang ke rahmatullah kerana kanser payudara. Mungkin itu sebabnya ayah saya bertegas untuk pulang.

Sebelum chemotherapy bermula Papaboyz mencukur rambut Ayim, supaya bila rambutnya gugur semangatnya tak gugur sekali.

OK jugak skill Papaboyz ni..

Musim bunga tiba. Bunga2 daffodil dan snowdrops muncul diikuti tulip dan lain2. Ibu dan adik saya tinggal bersama kami di Manchester dan berulang-alik ke Leeds untuk rawatan chemotherapy. Bermula juga perubahan dalam cara kami memasak dan apa yang kami makan. Saya cuba untuk tidak menukar menu, sebaliknya menukar bahan2 sahaja supaya kami tidak mendapat kejutan budaya. Minyak masak saya tukar ke 'extra virgin olive oil'. Telur biasa ke telur 'free range, high omega 3". Gula putih ke gula perang pekat (dark brown sugar). Tepung biasa ke tepung wholemeal. Buah-buahan dan sayur-sayuran dilebihkan. Ayam dan ikan tidak lagi saya goreng, semuanya dibakar. Makanan kaya phytochemical untuk antikanser dimasak setiap hari seperti cendawan, brokoli, bayam, capsicum, tomato, begitu juga buah2an berries, citrus dan epal. Resipi kek dan biskut juga saya tukar supaya lebih antikanser. Burger dan sosej kami dah tak beli. Daging juga kami dah tak beli. Tapi sesekali makan di luar memang ada makan juga benda2 ni. Agak sukar untuk berubah. Ia perlu banyak tenaga minda untuk konsentrasi. Ia juga dikekang masalah kewangan. Memang mahal. Tapi organ badan tiada galang ganti. Kalau sudah ada walau sedikit kerosakan, tempoh 'warranty'nya akan berkurangan.

Suatu hari saya mula memasak ayam 'goreng' saya tanyakan Papaboyz setelah dia makan.

"Ayam OK?"
"OK je. Rasa biasalah"

Nampak seperti dia berfikir adakah salah jawapan yg dia bagi hehehe. Agaknya adakah ini resipi baru yg sepatutnya dia rasa 'kelainannya'. Tapi sebenarnya itulah jawapan yg saya nak dengar. Rasa yang sama. Sebab sebenarnya ayam goreng itu tidak digoreng tapi dibakar. Rupa dan rasa sama seperti yg digoreng. Jadi sejak hari itu saya tidak lagi menggoreng ayam atau ikan, termasuklah jika hendak memasak ayam berlada, ayam kicap, ayam tomato etc. Saya rasa dengan cara ini kami telah megurangkan penggunaan minyak mungkin 30-40%. Minyak itu bukan sahaja meninggikan kolesterol tetapi ia juga pro-inflamasi dan pro-kanser. Jadi sebenarnya makanan berminyak adalah bukan sahaja faktor risiko untuk penyakit jantung, tetapi juga penyakit2 inflamasi (seperti arthriris) dan penyakit kanser. Cara ini juga mengelakkan saya dari mengguna semula minyak bekas gorengan (yang biasa dilakukan). Dapur juga lebih bersih, tiada percikan minyak, dan saya jimat masa memasak kerana boleh melakukan kerja2 lain ketika ayam dibakar dalam oven. siapa yang ingin mencuba cara ini lumurkan ayam dengan kunyit seperti biasa dan masukkan ke dalam oven tanpa menutupnya selama lebih kurang 20-30 minit. (Jika ayam ditutup ia tak akan rangup seperti ayam goreng).


Selepas.. Rupa dan rasa sama sahaja dengan yang digoreng

Kami juga cuba untuk mengurangkan makanan yang diproses. Oleh itu ibu saya terpaksa belajar dari saya cara2 membuat kek dan biskut. Oh, bilalah saya akan dapat breadmaker saya supaya saya boleh buat roti sendiri pula. Bukanlah rajin sangat, tapi sekurang2nya bila datang mood saya membuat roti bolehla kami makan roti segar yang bebas pengawet. Tetapi yang sangat sukar ialah mengurangkan garam dan santan. Yang ini kami masih tak dapat kurangkan. Ada cadangan?

Sepanjang menjalani chemotherapy, Alhamdulillah adik saya OK. Hanya lemah, pening dan demam beberapa kali. Sekurang2nya tiada ulser mulut, muntah2, septicemia atau komplikasi lain yang lebih teruk. Walaupun chemotherapy merosakkan sistem imun (yg sebenarnya sangat penting untuk membunuh sel2 kanser), kami cuba baiki sistem imunnya melalui makanan yang merangsang sistem imun seperti Green tea (3 cawan sehari), rempah-ratus, buah2an dan sayuran tertentu. Kami cuma ikhtiar. Penentunya hanyalah Yang Mengatur Sekelian Alam.

Strawberry celup dark chocolate (>70% cocoa)

Musim panas tiba. Mengikut kitaran waktu sahaja ia tiba, tetapi tahun ini tidaklah panas sangat. Suhu tidak melebihi 25 darjah pun. Hujan juga sering turun. Adik saya beransur sihat. Dia mula menyatakan yang kawan2nya sudah bekerjaya hebat, berkeluarga dan berharta. Ini gara2 melihat gambar2 di Facebook. Memang jika hendak dibandingkan dia dengan Papaboyz, pada umur Ayim sekarang Papaboyz telah pun mempunyai rumah dan kereta sendiri, isteri comel (hehehe) dan 2 orang anak. Apa yang dapat kami katakan? Memang dia tiada apa2 pencapaian yang boleh menaikkan 'self-esteem'nya. Tetapi sebagai pengembara dalam perjalanan ribuan tahun menuju ke destinasi kekal ini, Allah telah berfirman yang anak dan harta itu hanya hiasan sahaja, yang membuatkan kita lupa padaNya.

Rasul Allah (saw) said: “Be in this world as if you were a stranger or a traveler.” [Bukhari]

Dan sebenarnya apakah harta yang lebih berharga?

“Harta yang utama adalah lisan yang senantiasa berzikir, hati yang senantiasa bersyukur dan isteri beriman yang membantu suami dalam menegakkan bangunan imannya.” ( Riwayat Ibnu Majah )

Pun begitu kami sedar, tidak sama yang berkata2 dengan bahu yg memikul dan hati yang menanggung.

Minggu lepas pakar hematologi memberi kami keputusan CT Scan Ayim setelah dia tamat chemotherapy. Alhamdulillah, kanser yang menyekat buah pinggangnya telah tiada. Tetapi kini hanya buah pinggang kanannya yang masih berfungsi. Buah pinggang kiri telah kecut dan lesu.

Hari ini ibu dan adik saya berangkat pulang ke Malaysia.  Semoga selamat tiba tanpa apa2 masalah. Dapat pulang bersama ini sebenarnya satu nikmat besar, kerana pada hari ibu bapa saya tiba di UK pada musim sejuk itu kami tidak pasti sama ada Ayim akan mengikut mereka pulang.

Selamat Jalan Mama dan Ayim.

"Kalau ada sumur di ladang, bolehlah kami menumpang mandi...."

Monday, 2 August 2010

Kisah Pembuli Professional

Sejak kecil kita sering dibuli. Di sekolah pun ramai dibuli. Di jalan raya. Di tempat kerja.

Kalau berjumpa doktor pun pesakit boleh dibuli untuk bersetuju dengan keputusan Tuan Doktor (bukan Tuan Punya Badan). Hari ini saya ingin berkongsi cerita tentang lagi satu golongan yang berkemungkinan besar untuk membuli kerana kuasa yang mereka ada. Ia berlaku kepada kawan saya dan diceritakannya di FB. Saya copy saja ceritanya.

"I was hungry, so masuk kedai and makan by myself. I ate at this adjoining table for 8. Six cops came in, and wanted to sit at the table. No hal on my side. But two of them start to do weird things like shove the tissue box and the kicap and pepper towards me until it hits my plate. Still, I buat donno. Then one of them starts talking to me and asking if I was eating alone, and do I feel weird (I think he meant "embarrassed") eating alone, and I said No. He asked if I'd like to tapau. And I said, No. I mean, I'm eating man, can't you see. Then he starts muttering to his friends something and they all laugh. Apparently trying to make me feel uncomfortable. He then starts to say something to me but I cut him off and say "bukan ke korang tak sepatutnya makan di tempat awam di dalam uniform?". He then keeps quiet and turned away. Then all of them fell silent and makan. So then we all ate in peace and total quiet, at least until I left some 15 mins later."

Hehehe. Saya tak taulah betul ke pegawai polis tak boleh pakai uniform ketika makan di luar. Saya fikir agak susah juga kalau ketika bertugas dan pergi makan terpaksa menukar baju. (Kalau doktor atau jururawat memang tak boleh pakai uniform di luar hospital kerana risiko jangkitan kuman). Tapi mungkin kerana beruniform itu mereka pun berani menimbulkan ketidakselesaan kepada perempuan yang makan seorang diri. Mereka salah pilih mangsa. Kawan saya itu dulu ahli pasukan debat sekolah kami dan kini kerjayanya pun memang memerlukan keberanian. 

Jangan biar diri kita dibuli :P.