Monday, January 11, 2010

My Pilgrimage to Bamboo River (Part 1)

The female malaria-bearing anopheles mosquito (courtesy of National Geographic)

I want to record, first of all, my profound love for and pride in my family members - especially my daughters Belle and Moon, their supportive spouses; my soul-buddy and Magick River co-founder Mary Maguire; and Lily Fu (my ever-loving first wife and the feisty mother of my two glittering gems) - for their impeccable managing of my recent medical crisis, triggered by the unsolicited kiss of a female Anopheles mosquito which left an unprecedented amount of deadly plasmodium parasites in my bloodstream.

Yes, it was indeed a vicious Vampire Attack - if you choose to put it in such colorful terms. I am told the plasmodium count in my blood samples broke all previous records in the history of malaria in the Malayan Peninsula. The doctors soberly informed my family that the mortality rate for this particular species of malaria varies between 60-80%.

On Christmas Eve my family was unable to celebrate because it appeared that I was not going to pull through. However, the next day the plasmodium count dramatically plunged and - with the help of dialysis machines, ventilators, catheters, a tangle of tubes and drips - I began my rapid and miraculous recovery. I was later informed that thousands of friends - including my Orang Asli relatives - were praying for me. It's not every day that one can feel such unmitigated gratitude to be so widely loved and deeply cared for.

View of the hospital grounds from my 4th-floor ward

The Sungai Buloh (Bamboo River) Hospital is staffed with some of the most competent doctors and lab technicians you will find anywhere on this planet. The hospital is extremely well maintained and has as pleasant an atmosphere as any of the best private ones. For Malaysian citizens, it only costs RM3 a day to receive 5-star treatment there; and for malaria cases, it's gratis.

I'm very grateful, of course, to the professionals at Sungai Buloh Hospital who took such excellent care of me during my unplanned two-week sojourn there.

My jolly joy boy Ahau visits his dad at Ward 4A

I intend to record my inner pilgrimage during the days leading up to my sudden hospitalization and much of what follows will, of necessity, be rather self-indulgent and perhaps even shocking to genteel sensibilities. I make no apologies for that. What I'm interested in is a truthful and accurate narrative - one that might illuminate for my own benefit - and possibly others' - what significance this strange pilgrimage from Magick River to Bamboo River and back will have on the rest of my life.

So stay tuned, folks!

[Part 2]

19 comments:

Kris said...

Good to have you back Antares...

Miriam said...

I am so looking forward to that. Truth as only you write it! Keep the garlic handy! No more vamp attacks!

Richard Loh said...

Welcome back, Antares

masterwordsmith said...

What a glorious day it is to see you blogging as usual and with so much oomph as well. Thanks for sharing with us and I can't wait for the next instalment. Stay safe from those vampy monsters with minyak serai or other repellants. Take care!

hugs and much love

svllee said...

Welcome back, Antares

Brad Blackstone said...

Very glad to hear that the angels and muses were guarding you, ole buddy. Keep up the spirit!

Planet of the Monyets said...

Hi Antares, looking forward to reading your stuff again. All the best from the Monyets, Beruks and Kera.

Anonymous said...

Hello Antares. This is Dennis. Happy New Year. Hope 2 c u at The Actors Studio Lot 10 soon. And u know what. Since Kak Yasmin Ahmad left us I dreamt of meeting her in KLCC 12 times and once she asked how is Antares.

Anonymous said...

So relieved to hear you're back on your feet! No blood suckers of any kind shall harm you! -May Lee-

Victor said...

good to know you are getting better each day. keep well and well away from 'vampire attacks'

ktteokt said...

Nice to know that you are back on your feet, brother!

Anonymous said...

So glad you're better.

But you still need to rest & recuperate.

So, good food, plenty of zzzz & take the mind off the calamities of the world.

Su-Ann said...

Big hugs Antares! Now i understand... So happy and excited about you and your journey, i'm sure it was all meant to be, one way or the other. I'm gonna read more...

ThePoliticalCat said...

Plz 2 be resting most strenuously.

A true Malaysian said...

I know you can pull through.

nuni said...

really glad that you recovered well. :D

got me worried for a while when you started calling me a vampire referring to my stethoscope as your friend, Onexus.

Antares said...

Ahhhh... Dr Nuraina? Nuni is so much friendlier! Thank you for dropping by and leaving a comment. Too many things happened during my two-week stay for me to recall all the details, so your input is greatly appreciated ;-) Do keep in touch!

Anonymous said...

Not for me! Bamboo River nearly cost my life........at least not for the ER Dept.
I was referred to the ER Dept of SBGH at end of Jan 2010 'coz of suspected pleural effusion & possibly the deadly lung cancer associated with it. Using the same X-Ray provided by the Co.doctor, the ER physician, doctor, general practioner, or whosoever they are, confidently diagnosed my case as CAP(Community Acquired Pneunomia)just by using the ultra sound scanner.
Water in lung? No.
Expansion of heart? No.
Pain in the chest? Oh, that's due to muscle spasm caused by your coughing.
Relieved...and I thought the Co. doctor has erred gravely.
Prescribed 2 weeks antibiotics & then advise me to see a Klinik Kesihatan after 2 weeks & to be referred back to Sg Buloh again after an X-Ray.This part I don't understand.

Back to Penang for the Chinese New Year holidays and nearly 2 weeks later, situation getting worse with difficulty breathing.
Admitted to a private hospital in Penang with the same Co. doctor X-Ray...one look & the physician confirmed it is pleural effusion! Did a CT Scan & confirmed afflicted with the deadly lung cancer. Period.
This speaks volumes of the doctors at the Sg Buloh ER dept...are they qualified?

Kristina said...

Now IN the magic lamp, mr. magic man?!! I thinky perhaps.............you thinky?
Perhaps that's how you've popped your cork ................hmmmm?!!!!!

Loads of love and laughter.....and the biggest ATTA BOY!