Tuesday, September 29, 2009

H1N1 Deaths?

Two days ago I attended a medical talk on Cervical Cancer in Royal Adelphi Hotel in Seremban even though I was not feeling well after the morning long run.I had to attend as I had earlier promised Pam from Glaxo SK that I will attend the talk.The talk was very interesting and informative.I met with many familiar faces and colleagues during the talk.I also met my former boss(during my time in government service) and had some time chatting with her.She is currently managing severe cases of H1N1 in Seremban GH.

The below is a news report from The Star on 1/9/2009:

PUTRAJAYA: Health authorities are in the midst of determining whether the three deaths reported in Negri Sembilan on Aug 30 were due to Influenza A(H1N1), director-general Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican said.
“The cases, involving victims aged between 24 and 42, have been forwarded to the Mortality Review Committee, which will announce its findings as soon as possible,” he said on Tuesday.

I got to know from my source that one of the deaths was a medical doctor and she had been ill for almost 2 weeks.After battling for her life in the Intensive Care Unit for almost 2 weeks,she passed away.I was waiting if the government was going to announce a H1N1 death among medical staff but until today nothing was mention of this case.

I took the opportunity to ask my former boss about this case and was told that the government concluded that her death was due to nosocomial infection.

From Wikipedia:

Nosocomial infections are infections which are a result of treatment in a hospital or a healthcare service unit, but secondary to the patient's original condition. Infections are considered nosocomial if they first appear 48 hours or more after hospital admission or within 30 days after discharge.

Nosocomial comes from the Greek word nosokomeion (νοσοκομείον) meaning hospital (nosos = disease, komeo = to take care of). This type of infection is also known as a hospital-acquired infection (or more generically healthcare-associated infection).

Nosocomial infections are transmitted due to the fact that hospitals house large numbers of people who are sick and whose immune systems are often in a weakened state. Increased use of outpatient treatment means that people who are hospitalized are more ill and have more weakened immune systems than may have been true in the past. Moreover, some medical procedures bypass the body's natural protective barriers. Since medical staff move from patient to patient, the staff themselves serve as a means for spreading pathogen.

I was not surprised by what I heard as I have already suspect something was not right when there was nothing mention of this case.There were few other similar cases I heard from my friends working as insurance agents who helped other deceased family to submit claims for deaths suspected from H1N1.

Can we believe the statistics?Sure everything in this world can be manipulated to suit certain purposes.

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Tiring Long Run

We did our usual Sunday long run yesterday and as usual we started at 4.00am from the City Park.The day before(Saturday),I was not feeling well.I felt my body warm and tired.I can sense that I am going to get fever/flu soon.So I took some Panadol twice on Saturday.The fever went off and I was happy.I always looked forward to our fortnightly long run where I hope to do some quality running since I seldom run during the weekdays recently.

As usual the Eric,Yee and Wun will lead the group since their pace was faster.The rest will try to catch up with them.We covered about 33km yesterday.The fastest portion was from Yee's house(after the short stop for water) to S2 Height will covered a distance of about 6km.They were running at the pace of about 5.5minutes/km and I was trying hard to catch up with three of them.Subsequently I had some muscle stiffness over both my calf and abdomen probably due to overexertion.

The second half of the run was at a easier and slower pace as I gave up "chasing"three of them.I know I can't beat their stamina and speed.

Finally we completed our long run at about 8.00am.The average pace was 6.1min/km for Eric,Yee and Wun excluding the time taken for water stops.My pace was probably 6.4min/km.

This run was especially tiring for me probably because I was not feeling well and also the speed and intensity of the run.The rest of yesterday,I don't feel nice.I was tired and my body was warm.I took regular dose of Panadol and I slept for 2.5 hours in the afternoon.I never slept for so long in the afternoon.

Coincidentally there was an article on running and how it affect our immune system in the newspaper yesterday.It stated that our immune system is suppressed after strenuous exercise and we are easily exposed to sickness.Since our immunity is low it will aggravated the current sickness.So those who are sick are advise to rest and not to do strenuous exercise.Seems like I did not follow this advice and my "fever"became worse.

Finally:need to practice on my speed work or else can't catch up the the leaders of the group.Ha..ha..ha...

Friday, September 18, 2009

Our "Loving"Home Minister

Lately there was no races to run and there was no race report to write about.Training and running week end long run is always the same.There will not be races until end of the year.Nothing spectacular is happening except current issues in the country.

As usual our politicians are funny kind of people.Sometime I wonder if they really think before they open their mouth.Must they need to comment on any issue?Do they always mean by what they said?I doubt it!!Just can't trust them....

See what our Home Minister said:

KUALA LUMPUR: Terrorist Noor­din Md Top, who was shot dead by Indonesian police, could have been rehabilitated.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Hisha­mmuddin Tun Hussein said he was sad to hear about the death.
“What he did was wrong. We don’t condone what he did. I am sad that we did not get to rehabilitate him, like we have done with many others, including Jemaah Islamiah militants.
“I am sad because a life is a life,” he told reporters after watching personnel from the police, Rela, Civil Defence Department and Rescue and Safety Department carry out Ops Sikap at the Jalan Duta toll here.

The striking words are :I am sad because a life is a life.

I am touched by his words which reflect his value for life and human beings.But does he really meant by what he said or as usual,politicians like to play with words to capture publics supports?

If he is sincere,then he can prove his sincerity by abolish DEATH PENALTY in this country.Rehabilitate all the death row prisoners.He can do it since he is a Home Minister.Otherwise it is just another talking c*ck statement from our politicians.

Aiyo...How to trust them!!????

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I Can't Believe This!!!

Aiyooooo....I can't believe this is going to happen during the coming Singapore Marathon:

To commemorate New Balance’s return as apparel sponsor for the SCSM, a special-edition finisher’s T-shirt will be awarded to every competitor who completes this year’s Full Marathon.

For the first time ever, runners in this category will be given the option of printing their finishing times on the back of their finisher’s T-shirt. They are invited to bring their finisher’s certificate to any of the four New Balance Concept Sores at the Raffles City Shopping Centre, Velocity @ Novena Square, Junction 8 Shopping Centre and Tampines 1 to get their special finisher’s T-shirt printed. This is a complimentary service extended by the race organisers and New Balance.

I knew there are some suggestions and comments from our KIASU Singaporean runners about how easy one can join full marathon and ended up wearing the finisher's T-shirt.You can follow some of these discussions on SgRunners Forum.

There were too many runners ended up wearing this T shirt,probably in Singapore so making it less glamorous.Those better runners felt less proud wearing it or showing it to their friends since any Ah Beng or Ah Lian is also wearing it around Singapore.

So some brilliant kiasu,kiasi Singaporean suggested of printing their finishing time on their T-shirt so they want the whole Singapore to know how good and how fast they can run.Somehow these 'intelligent' guys managed to convince the organiser to do it!!

I don't understand why they need to be so 'competitive' to the extend of having their finishing time printed on their back for the whole world to see.If one is good,he don't need to announce it to the whole world.Others can see and observe your talent and potential.Don't be boastful!!

I will not have my timing printed on the T shirt even if I can run a fast race and finish with a good timing.If you think you are good there are many others better than you.Just keep the timing to yourself and share it among close friends.The world is not interested in your timing unless you can beat the current marathon world record.

I wonder what the Singaporeans will do next....

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

How Not To Get Sick

Came across a health article in The Time Magazine for middle age people:that's from age of 35 to 50 years ago.The minimal one needs to do to keep them healthy and free from sickness are summarize as below:

Men should get their cholesterol checked regularly after age 35 — women, after 45 — and talk to the doctor about lipid-lowering medication if necessary.

At age 40, women should begin getting mammograms every one to two years. (Women with a family history or other breast-cancer risk factors may start earlier.)

Prostate-cancer screening — although its utility is still being debated by medical experts — with patients at age 50, or younger if they are at high risk for the disease.

At 50, men and women should be screened for colorectal cancer.

Vaccinations which includes tetanus, diphtheria, measles and mumps; the flu vaccine, advisable at all ages, should become a regular part of preventive routine at 50, according to the CDC.

Weight has a way of sneaking onto the middle-aged frame. A teaspoon of sugar has 15 calories. If you consume an extra teaspoon a day without burning off the calories, a year later, you've gained more than a pound. Ten years later, you've gained 15 pounds.

Find a healthy body weight and maintain it with a high-fiber, low-fat, low-sugar diet. Healthy foods should deliver much of your daily requirements of vitamins and minerals. However, many women still don't get enough calcium, which puts them at risk for bone loss, and many are deficient in vitamin D.

A daily routine of physical activity gets more and more important as you age — not only to prevent weight gain and chronic illness but also to keep the brain sharp. Studies have shown that even small amounts of moderate exercise can help reduce the risk of dementia. In addition to cardiovascular exercise and strength training, doctors advise working on balance and flexibility, which can help protect against falls and injury in later life

The term midlife crisis has become a cliché. Nevertheless, middle age can be an emotional low point. A 2008 study of 2 million people in 80 countries found that the middle-age years were associated with the highest risk of depression: at about age 40 for American women and 50 for men. (The data suggest that mood improves from the 50s on.) One of the best ways to promote emotional well-being is to get your blood pumping — even a simple daily walk outside will do. And if any of your bad habits, like smoking or heavy drinking, have persisted into middle age, now is the time to kick them.

Looks like one really needs to take these seriously so they can be healthy to enjoy the later part of their life.Many make their fortune but suffered multiple health illness later in life and unable to enjoy their hard earned money.What a waste...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sunday Long Run

Yesterday,13/9/2009 was my usual routine long run with the Seremban group.We are in the middle of preparation for our end of the year marathon.Only Yee and myself are running both Penang and Singapore Marathon.The rest of them,about 7 of them,excluding Yee and myself are doing the Singapore Marathon only.

Yee proposed to start running at 4.00am in order to cover the distance of 30km and to finish just in time to have breakfast with the rest of the group.However it started to rain heavily at about 2 am.The sound of heavy down pour with strong wind woke me up.I had just slept for 3 hours after watching the first half of EPL game between Arsenal and Manchester City.I tried to continue my sleep and hoping the rain would stop.The laziness part of me was hoping the heavy downpour will continue so I have the excuse to skip the long run.It was so nice and comfortable to sleep on a non working Sunday morning.

Woke up again at 3.15am and discovered it was still raining.I decided to wait for a while for the rain to stop but it continued raining.So I decided to go ahead for the run.When I reached City Park at 4.05am,Yee was warming up.Later Lau,Wun and Heng came.Lau's friend,Casey tagged along.He never run more than 21km and he was trying to break his own distance record by joining us for a 30km run.We waited until 4:30am but the rain did not stopped,so we decided to start our run.We were running in the rain and finally the rain stopped about an hour after that.

We completed the run at about 8:00am with average pacing of 6.5 minutes per km.There were two water stops along the route.

Overall I was quite satisfied with the run.I felt the run was easier than what I did two weeks ago,probably due to a cooler wheather after the rain.Looking back,I will definitely feel bad and guilty if I will to continue sleeping and skipped the running session due to rain.The point is: try to follow the running programme and refused to give in to any excuses to delay or skip it.Human beings are full of weakness and we tend to find the easy and comfortable ways of doing things.

Still half of the group has yet to start training for their Singapore Marathon!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Updating My Blog

It has been 10 days since I last update my blog.As usual life is still centered around work and family.Occasionally I will try to follow up with my training schedule planned by Yee.Most of the time,I only managed to do 2 weekday 10km runs and a long run on Sunday.It is below the minimal amount of distance needed in the training programme.So I have to either put more time and effort in the training or else just satisfied with a below average timing in the actual race.

Thinking of the suffering during running marathon especially during the last portion of the race dampen my spirit.Thinking of having to endure 2 sessions of "torture and suffering"in 2 weeks duration at the end of this year also makes me feeling down.The solutions?Give myself some rewards after each race so as to motivate me to train and race.

The motivation for PBIM is a short holiday in Penang with my family.After getting some advise from Chin Chin,a runner from Penang,I decided to rest in a newly open Hard Rock Hotel after the Penang Marathon.Not to forget,there are plenty of nice Penang foods to try.Ha..ha..ha.

The motivation for SCSM in Singapore will be a 4days/3nights cruise on board of Superstar Vigro to Phuket with my family and a short stay in Singapore after that.

With all the planning,booking for the trips and hotels done,now it is time to buck up the training.

What else happened during the last 10days?

One sad event was one of my church Pastor who was also my previous home fellowship leader:Pastor Main was killed in a hit and run accident along the North South Highway near Senawang.His sudden tragic death brought shock to everyone.Sometime I wonder why such a nice guy ended up in such a tragic death.His head was badly crushed in the accident and the police advised us not to view his body.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Trip To Bangkuati,Limbang Sarawak

Last week I travel to Limbang,Sarawak for my annual "school holidays retreat".I have never been to Limbang,situated at the northern part of Sarawak between Brunei.I was travelling by land using Paul's Toyota Hilux 4WD which is big and bulky but useful especially travelling along the bad road of Sarawak.

Thanks to Paul for allowing me to use his car throughout the trip.I started to like this bulky 4WD and maybe in the future,I will get one for myself.He..he..he...

From Miri we need to cross a bridge before coming to the first immigration check point.The bridge which is only 1.1km long was named -ASEAN bridge.The toll for using the bridge was RM10.00!!!Very expensive for such a short distance.

The view from inside my car...crossing the ASEAN bridge.Sure the toll operator,a private company making lots of money from this bridge.

The immigration check points both of Malaysia and Brunei are very simple and old.Nothing fancy or beautiful big buildings.We need to cross four check points before arriving in Limbang.We don't need to come down from our car at these check points.We just hand in our passports,get them checked and stamped.The Customs official did not check our car and just waved us through.The whole process was fast and simple.

Occasionally there was long queue of cars waiting at the check points especially commercial vehicles carrying goods between Malaysia and Brunei.
There was nothing much to see along the way as we are using road far away from the city.There were only village houses along the road.
Immediately after passing the first Brunei immigration we stopped at a petrol station to fill up some diesel for the 4WD but to my surprise,the petrol station was closed for the staffs to perform prayer.We waited with a long convoy of cars for half an hour before the staffs came to resume their work.Amazing!!Customers were kept waiting for such a long time.Sure this will never happen in Malaysia.However the diesel price is very cheap in Brunei.Only 0.31 cents(Brunei currency) for a litre of diesel.The same amount of diesel cost RM1.70 in Malaysia.

The journey from Miri to Limbang took us about 3 hours.I was driving slowly since I was not familiar with the road and directions.I got a brief map drawn by Yahya who brief me the directions and precaution to take.Yahya is a frequent traveller between Limbang and Miri.He claimed he only takes 2 hours to drive between the two towns.

Finally arrived in Bangkuati in the afternoon.Bangkuati is a small village about 15km from Limbang town.The village has clean water supply and electricity.There are only few houses in the village,scattered over a wide area.Each houses are located far from each other.The surrounding is very quiet and the air is clean and fresh.

The chidren love this new surrounding.They can play outside.There are plenty of spaces for them to run about.

Catching butterfly and insects which children seldom do in urban areas.

The best part was going to trap fishes in the small stream near the place we stayed.They managed to get few fish everyday.
Staying there for a few days were enjoyable especially when one need not to worry about work.However I think life will be very bored if I will to stay for a very long period.There was nothing much to do except to appreciate and enjoy the nature.
The daytime is usually hot and the night is usually very cold.The water supply is also cold especially in the morning.It is freezing cold to take the morning shower.

What is in the bottles ??That is Sarawak herbal tea.I ordered some herbal tea during dinner and the waiter brought these bottles.Ha..ha..ha...something different!
That was a brief summary of my trip to a small village in Limbang.The place for the next "retreat" will depend on where Ah Kek is posted next.Maybe in future,I will bring my children to experience the life in the interior of Sarawak...the Ulu Baram,where life is more challenging.