Monday, October 20, 2014

Asthma Self Management Workshop 2014

This workshop was held on Saturday, 18th October 2014 at the LSN Hall above my clinic.  There were 32 participants of which 25 were nurses.  The nurses were from Hospital Fatimah, PCSH, nursing homes, factories and government hospitals.  There were several pharmacists as well.  The 2 speakers were Dr Leong Oon Keong and Ms Leong Yee Leng RN.

From the feedback forms, we note that most participants attended the workshop in search of knowledge to improve themselves in the management of asthma.  There were several asthmatics in the crowd as well. 

Public attendance for the public forum was rather poor, partly because we only wanted asthmatics to attend and they had to pre-register.  We placed advertisements in the Star, Ipoh Echo and Malay Mail.  

The halal food served was well received.  Azmeera's mother made nasi lemak, fried mee hoon and tea for the morning break.  We had a choice of grilled or honey chicken for lunch.  The afternoon break consisted of 3 "kuehs". 

All participants were given printed handouts, goodie bags with sample inhalers, pencils and sweets to keep them awake.

Workshop activities included the handling of various inhalers (metered dose and dry powdered), peak flow meters with charting and spacers.

The post workshop evaluation test consisted of MCQ's projected onto the screen.  Participants who were the first to answer correctly were given mouse pads as prizes.

The organizers wish to thank the following sponsors:  Takeda, Boehringer Ingelheim and Novartis. We would also like to thank our 2 facilitators, the Yee sisters, and the committee members of the Perak Chest Society for making this workshop a resounding success.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Eulogy - Nora Chee Swee Ngoh

Good evening dear friends and relatives. 

First of all I would like to thank all of you who are gathered here today for this wake service.  Thank you for coming.  My mother is indeed very happy to know she has really very good friends who care for her.  She is now at home with our Lord who promises life after death.

Tonight we are celebrating Nora Chee Swee Ngoh’s life.  Our Lord Jesus Christ has truly blessed her abundantly, not only with a long life of 92 years on earth, but also with great gifts and talents to raise 4 children namely my 2 sisters Annette and Pamela, my brother William and myself. 

Our whole family became believers of Christ because of her.   She told me on many occasions that when she was young she had considered to become a nun.  After my paternal grandmother passed away she seized to opportunity to convince my father to place his trust on our Lord.  Earlier it was not possible because of great resistance from my paternal grandmother.  We attended the Canning Garden Methodist Church during its founding years.  I still remember some of the founding members like my uncle Mr. Leong Fon Nyean, Mr. Justice Havelock and Mr. Tye Chee Yin.  At that time the church was not as rich as it is now.  When the hat was passed around for donations, my parents readily contributed to the building fund and later the foldable metal chairs, bibles, hymnals and its first organ.  I thank my mother for bringing me to Christ and Rev. Richard Liew who baptised me on 25th December 1968.

My mother was born in Penang on 23/9/1922.  She was essentially a family woman, a housewife who exercised great responsibilities in raising her children.  Her methods were not always right but what you see today in us are the results of her upbringing.  She would prepare food for us and some of the best Penang foodstuff.  Being a good cook, surely, was one of the reasons why my father married her.  Her cooking was so good that at one point in time she was looking for a place to open up a hawker food centre along Gurney drive with her two sisters who were also excellent cooks. 

Her children’s education was another area which she took seriously.  She made sure we studied hard and played well.  She was responsible for organising the tuition classes and also chauffeured us to school.  I remembered her driving that little Austin Minor.  My first lesson on finance and accounting came from her.  She would give us our school allowances and a little notebook.  We had to tally the money received and spent.     When I was in University Malaya her words over the phone would definitely include "study hard".  She would ask about the hostel food or the mixed rice which I was taking in Section 17.  She always had our interests in mind.  Our education also included real life lessons.

She loved to travel and meet new friends.  She was always jovial and carried multiple bags full of jokes.  Sometimes even sexy jokes.  Many of the text messages and well wishes I received mentioned her laughter and hospitality as some of her great qualities to cherish and remember.  She loved to taste wine.  And if our pastor allowed we can bring in the bottles and she would be truly overjoyed.  She would organise birthday parties for my late father every year, a sort of expression of her deep love for him.  As children we too enjoyed the parties thoroughly. 

She believed wealth should be shared and her selflessness was reflected in her gifts to charities.  On the passing of my father about 10 years ago she had set aside a tidy sum of money as a trust fund for the education of the needy. 

My mother became ill from lung cancer on 15/6/10.  It became my instant nightmare.  As a chest physician I needed to make a number of recommendations and be involved in the management.  She had radiotherapy in Mt Miriam Hospital, Penang.  PET scan done on 29/10/10 showed residual tumour.  She decided against chemotherapy after due consideration and trusted on God’s providence for the rest of her life.  God had been graceful and merciful and she lived for another 4 years.  Mother developed depression towards the middle part of this year because she felt she was rather useless as she could not walk around.  Later she needed a wheel chair and then became bed bound.  A turn for the worst came about 4 weeks ago when she caught a viral infection.  She developed pneumonia as a complication and had recurrent asthma attacks which made her breathing difficult.
Certainly it had not been easy for all of us over the last 4 weeks especially when mother required assistance in bathing, Ryles tube feeding, oxygen, frequent oropharyngeal suction and 2 hourly turning.  However, God had been so merciful and gracious during this period of time.  He provided us with the strength and wisdom to continue treating her with satisfactory response.
Many prayers were answered.  We had our cell group members and members of the Social Concerns Committee praying for her.   She cherished their home visits and the Holy Communion administered by Pastor Thomas.  During this period of difficulty I learnt much about God’s healing power.  Healing can be emotional and spiritual besides physical.

I thank all family members who were truly committed to palliative care for her.  There were staggered visitations and effective communication of love and compassion.  My wife and two sons were extremely supportive and I am very proud of them.

By God's grace, my 2 maids were easily trained to clean, feed and nurse her.  There were no bed sores.  No oral or perineal infection. 

There is one gadget which I find interesting.  It is a web camera where I can monitor my mother from the clinic.

Mother you are now truly at home with our Lord.  Your sufferings are over.  I thank you for all the 58 years we have been together.  Thank you for bringing me up.  Thank you so very much.

I wish to thank you all once again for being present here tonight to show your love for my mother.  She loves you all too.

God bless you.

Dr. Leong Oon Keong

Dated: 10th October 2014