Monday, August 27, 2012

A storm in a tea cup!

After six months of travel and eating all sorts of different food I can honestly say that neither of us has been really ill or bed bound. I had to see a doctor for a spider bite and Warren had cut his leg on coral and it became infected. Other than that we are the picture of good health, until a week ago!


After the Royal luncheon, I could not keep my food down. My throat and oesophagus felt as though the lining had been scraped off. I had to go on a milk and yoghurt diet as everything that I swallowed, burnt. I googled my condition and this is common in Malaysia after Hari Raya as the spices used to prepare the dishes are strong and dangerous! So for a week I felt rather miserable and uncomfortable. This, I confess, was a wonderful way to shed a few kilos and kick start my healthy eating regime!


As Nick works in a medical centre he offered for us to go for full check ups as it costs a fraction here of what it would cost back home. Warren was keen but I was not interested until this setback. In particular I wanted to have my headaches checked out as I was worried I might be suffering from Blood pressure and I was nervous about our impending flight home. So I requested just a BP reading. This lovely doctor we visited insisted on doing an ECG as well....a first for me.


Lying on the bed with all the pads connected to my body I was not really worried as I had never had reason to believe I had anything wrong with my heart. The nurse takes the first reading through to the Doc, comes back, repeats the process and then tells me to dress as the Doc wants to talk to me. This Doctor has the most beautiful face and as he takes my hand and gazes into my eyes he says "I think you may have had a heart attack!" WHAT? what did you say? He then tells me I need to see a cardiologist immediately and has arranged for a driver to take my hubby and I across the city to see the right person. If I hadn't had an attack I was about to! It is Saturday morning, we fly in three days time ...what to do?


So off we go in a state of shock, my mind reeling and wondering exactly when this attack could have happened? Several strange scenarios take place in my mind I can assure you! Some funny and some not so funny. But it was not the time to get the giggles....we arrived at the most exquisite hospital ever. Evidently it is known as the Hotel hospital and is outlandishly expensive. We go off to the specialist and after fifteen minutes see this youngish fellow. He looks at the ECG results we have brought along with us, shakes his head and says the results indicate that I have suffered an attack, could be a week ago, a year ago, twenty years ago! The next thing to do is an Echo cardiogram. I slow him down and ask how much all this will cost as we have have just run out of our medical cover which was only valid for 200 days and we are just over that time period. With the consultation this investigation would cost six hundred ringgits which is about one thousand five hundred Rand which we thought is probably a fraction of the costs back home. So it Is agreed that we have no option but to proceed!


Once again my top is exposed and prepped for the Echo cardiogram when the nurse comes running through and says to hold off on that test and to just do another ECG. After reaching 65 and never having had an ECG, I am now having my third!! To cut a long story short, this specialist had worked out by looking at the original readings and then the new readings that the nurse in the previous rooms, had attached one of the pads upside down thus the strange results which led to the doctors thinking I had had a heart attack. In fact my heart seems fine. Much relief and without any further fuss we went home to lick our wounds and celebrate our good health! it really was a case of human error and at least I know what an ECG is now!


The above images are not mine but borrowed off the Internet!




A little escape.

To fully enjoy these holidays we booked into the local Hyatt which is situated on the Beach. I have never been up to this part of the world and as always I love nothing more than finding and experiencing new places.

The hotel was great and Joshua loved spending hours in the pool with his Ten Ringit fishing rod. He is swimming like a little fish himself so while we keep an eye on him he is reasonably safe.


During the day was lovely. Malaysians love flying kites. At times the sky was full of beautiful kites which are so lovely to watch as they fly around in the sky. While watching them on one occasion was amused to see a real live Kite in bird flying attacking these kites as she was obviously concerned about these foreign objects entering her territory! She would bomb them and bomb them trying to defend her territory! One of the ladies near me reeled her expensive kite in as she was not prepared to have it damaged! Who would have thought?


Both the big boys and the little ones had fun with the kite.

At night the troubles started. The fireworks and crackers never seemed to stop exploding into the night sky. Asians love their fireworks and don't stop until The early hours of the morning! I guess it's fine if you are outside and part of it but if you are trying to sleep it can be most irritating! The worry is the animals and the sleeping children. That is another difference. Asian children seem able to stay up all hours of the night, certainly longer than I can!


While I was not particularly well, I really loved being at the seaside and having this little quality family holiday., just before we leave Malysia. Thanks Nick and Moira. Thanks for the fun Johua!


A Royal Affair!

There was such a grand build up to Hari Raya or as it is known in the rest of the world as Eid-El- fitr. The shops were jam packed with shoppers buying table linen, crockery and cutlery. It is traditional for everyone to have a new outfit and the pantry to be stocked up. As Hari Raya, which translates into "days of celebration", fell on a Saturday and Sunday, Monday and Tuesday were public holidays as well. The city folk took good advantage of this situation and lost no time of heading off to family homes for this special time!

We had been invited together with our Malaysian Family to attend a luncheon or "Open House" at a real "palace" to celebrate this esteemed holiday. I confess I was extremely excited and just a little nervous! Do you bow, curtsy, kiss the hand? Do you dare to chat? What do you chat about? And of course the age old question, what to wear?

There is no way anyone like me can compete with the wonderful outfits worn by the Malaysian women and one wonders what the Royals will wear. I have a beautiful mustard yellow top given to me by my friend Cynthia when we visited the family in Bangalore. I had kept this for a special occasion and was dying to wear it. Just ours before setting off I show Moira my outfit and she laughs nervously. Evidently only members of the Royal family are permitted to wear yellow!! Back to the drawing board and out comes my good old faithful red top which was fine!

Even little Joshua was in traditional clothes and looked so cute!

We had to drive a way to get to the function and wherever we looked,the buildings and flags were decorated with the National flag. It all looked so festive. In Malaysia it is traditional to have an Open House to which friends, family and neighbors are invited. When a member of government holds an Open House it literally means it is Open to everyone.. There is no pomp and ceremony. You arrive, eat and leave. Some people bring gifts of flowers and biscuits but there are no expectations.

The tables were set with lovely fresh white linen and there were many dishes to feed the masses. We were ushered into the inner chambers and into a lovely banquet room, furnished beautifully. The room was carpeted with a magnificent blue carpet and had huge blue chandeliers. The entire Family had arrived from all corners of the world and the wife was such a gracious hostess. She chatted easily and described some of the newer dishes she had included on the menu. She loves cooking and has written several cook books!

Malaysian food is HOT! I was very cautious taking just a little of this and a little of that. One of the safer dishes is satay which also has a little chili in the peanut sauce. The array of deserts was amazing including lovely fruit cake minus the alcohol....(whispered to me by the Hostess.) my photos are few and not that detailed but we decided not to appear rude by snapping away during this esteemed time. It really was fun and the memories of this day will be with me for many reasons!!