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November 30, 2023

Mediacorp Channel 8 - Let's Talk About Health - Thyroid

I went on Mediacorp TV to talk about my adventures with Thyroid disease. I had a good look at the behind the scenes production of a talk show. Seriously it takes hours just to take a small segment of the show. It's really a lot of work, sweat and NG to create a high quality talk show. Kudos to the production team. Enjoy the show!

July 26, 2023

2023 Update on Recovery From Graves Disease

My post surgical thyroid recovery... has been so successful that my specialist wanted to direct me to the polyclinic for my bi-annual checkup.

My surgical scar has faded with time and is almost non visible unless I imbibe on a tad too much fine Tuscany wine and that's where the scar becomes more prominent. 

I have been taking thyroid hormone replacement pills ever since the surgery with no major impact to my health. The initial stable dosage of Levothroxine Sodium Tablets I have been taking on a daily basis 125mg for 5 days and 100mg for 2 days. 2 years ago, The doctor adjusted the dosage down to 125mg for 4 days and 100 for 3 days, with the probably cause that my body probably do not need as much thyroxine as I get older.

The COVID lock down kinda of contributed to a new medical condition... a spike in my cholesterol level to an unhealthy level. The lack of exercise and my unhealthy snacking habits has caught up with me. I tried to use natural methods to control my cholesterol, doing the usual stuff: Good exercise, good food and regular fasting to burn those nasty fats from my blood vessels... It didn't seem to work. 

The doctor diagnosed that my high cholesterol level is probably attributed to hereditary genetic problems as my mum has been on cholesterol drugs since her 40s. My activity profile is that of a low risk profile: Not overweight, no drinking, no smoking and perhaps an indulgence of Ramen, Bak Chor Mee and late night Prata every now and than, and hence the most probable explanation is due to genetics.

The doctor advised me that it might be easier to manage my cholesterol level via drugs as a way to reprogram my body system. If the cholesterol level comes down after taking the medication, than dosage of the medication can be adjusted downwards over time. This makes sense to me and I started taking cholesterol management drugs and my cholesterol level has lowered to a manageable level.. Though I still need to work on lowering the bad cholesterol.

The Unfit Runners are all in their 40s now and we still regularly meet up for Sunday morning runs, though our runs are more routine now, without all that zest to travel to far flung places to run. 

Lastly, I will like to apologies to all our readers on the extended hiatus from writing. Quite a lot of things happened that kept me busy for days. My dad was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer just before my Grandma passed away and he passed away shortly afterwards. I wanted to write about our experience in seeking treatment for Dad but it was too painful to write at that point in time. Perhaps I will write about it sometime down the road. 

Anyway, shortly after my Dad died, I proposed to my girlfriend and spent the next few months busy preparing for my wedding shoot at Kyoto and the wedding proper in Mar 2020. Than, COVID happened...

We had to move our wedding dates 4 times! And we finally got lucky and got married in Q3 of 2021 on the fifth try. It was an infernal loop of organizing the wedding and uninviting our guests and getting refunds again and again with the repeated shutdown and opening up. Than we got busy trying to settle in while trying to get some renovation done during the COVID semi-lock down period. 

The unfit runners got back to our traveling, with our first post COVID trip to Italy earlier this year. We are all older and have less energy to wake up early in the morning to do a run, while still clocking in 10,000 steps in walking and visiting museums. These days, walking the entire day can send us slumping onto our beds at the end of the day. Having said that, we are happy that we are able to travel again and getting our groove back.

I think it's time to change the 30s of our Unfit Runner banners to "Fat, Sick, Lazy, Alcoholic 40+ Keeping Fit"!

April 17, 2019

Grandma Passed on... An Eulogy

Grandma just passed away moments ago.

She is at last free from this wretched disease call dementia and has moved on to a better place.
As a mother, she raised two successful sons as a widow through the post WWII years, making do with what little resources she has.
As a grandmother, she takes care of us while our parents are out there working hard, making sure that we grow up to be honorable, disciplined and strong of will.
Grandma has been part of my life for my entire life and I am sad that she is no longer around.
Ah Jia, you will be sorely missed but we know that you have gone on to a better place.

The Wake of Thion Mee Kiew will be held:
Date : 18th - 19th April 2019
Cremation will be held on 20th April 2019

May She Rest In Peace.

April 14, 2019

A Tale of Two Hospitalization

24 Mar 2019

It's a Sunday afternoon when Sis and family came to visit, with my nephew looking forward to play "pass the ball" with happy dementia grandma. However, grandma wasn't feeling well that day and came down with a fever in the morning. A dose of paracetamol did not do much to help to lower the temperature and we made the decision to send her straight to the hospital. While the family is going through the routine checklist to prepare grandma for hospitalization, I entertained the kids with Meeple Circus.

As I drove grandma to Changi hospital, I receive one after another call from my best mate, indicating that there is another emergency matter on his side too. After dropping off the family at the hospital accident and emergency department and parking the car, I called my best mate.

"Yo, mate, whazzup?"

"I am currently in the Changi hospital A&E. I have an open wound that is weeping water and I think I am running a fever. Can I check with you on the details of my insurance coverage?"

"Hey mate, I am just around the corner. Hang on and I will swing by to visit you in person."


After making sure that Dad has registered grandma for treatment at the A&E department, I walked round the corner and found my best mate sitting there with a swollen eye, and a scratch wound the size of a 50cents coin, sitting there, shivering.

"What happened to you?" I asked.

"Well, I had a slight skin eczema, scratched it and for some reason, it started to fester and weep water non-stop. This morning, I woke up with a fever and my entire leg swollen. Went to visit a neighbourhood doctor and I was immediately referred to the hospital. I still have a Taiwan trip with my wifey this friday. Think will be fine?"

I took a look at his wound. it has two lines of water flowing down to his ankle and I can imagine the colony of germs happily breeding at the open wound.

"Your wound does look infected. However, if you are running a fever, than the germs must be quite aggressive. Let see what the doctor says."

After checking the type of insurance my best mate has, I had him check into a private room ward.

Meanwhile, over at my grandma side, it seems that the geriatric ward at hospital is full on a Sunday afternoon and grandma will need to be warded at the observation area until Monday when other patients are discharged, freeing up more beds. Good thing that grandma is running a high fever and is semi-conscious, pretty much oblivion to the noise and movement that goes in and out of the observation ward.

This highlights the acute shortage of beds for elderly patients in the face of an onslaught of an aging population. The Singapore government has been aggressively building hospital in the past 10 years, starting with Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (659 beds) in the north, Ng Teng Fong Hospital (700 beds) in the west and Sengkang Hospital (1000 beds) in the north-eastern part of Singapore.

On the following day, best mate undergo a surgical procedure to remove the infected flesh from his leg and the end result is not pretty. Turns out that the infection was worse than expected and a huge portion of the infected flesh has to be gorge out. The wound is so big such that it has to be secured with a vacuum pump in order to keep the wound air tight and water proof to prevent further infection.

Morale of the story - Do not treat any open wound lightly or things may turn out worse than what you expect.

And do not scratch unless you want a big hole on yourself!

Scroll to the end of the article to see the open wound

or if you are sensitive to blood and gore, CLICK HERE TO LEAVE THE PAGE!


April 8, 2019

Dementia Transformed! An Angry Grandma turned Happy!

It has been two and a half years since my grandma had a stroke and the family has been through a lot since than. I stopped writing for a while because Unfit Runners have fallen into a routine running the same old Marina Bay route almost every week and I was occupied with taking care of my love ones who were falling prey to one disease or another. 

Let's continue where I left off...

If you recall from my earlier articles, grandma was an angry dementia patient. Swearing, yelling, biting and kicking family members were routine affairs and the family went through many trials to adapt to an angry dementia grandma who was totally unpredictable. The doctor assure us that this stage of the dementia will eventually come to pass and she will transit into a calm and happy dementia patient.

The time of transition came 22 months later...

It was in the Autumn of 2018 that grandma got admitted into Changi Hospital for a serious bout of lungs infection. She stayed for more than 2 weeks before being discharged and her behavior totally changed after she was discharged.

Firstly, she became too weak to venture upstairs anymore and we bought a new bed to be placed at the first floor. She was so weaken by the infection that she just kept sleeping... and sleeping till my sister was worried that there was something wrong her.

Where did the energetic and angry grandma go? Her behavior seemed to be abnormal as compared to the time before the hospitalization and we decided to send her in for more checks, but she was given a clean bill of health.

Over time, her health started to improve and she was able to perform normally again. However, we noticed a significant deterioration in her memory and she has lapsed into her younger. My dad now became her dad. I became her son and my niece became her grand daughter. It seems like she has also forgotten about how she was like before her stroke and that lost memory also removed her anger and depression of being sick and disabled.

She has became a happy dementia, glad to spend her time, eating, sleeping, watching television and during rare mornings when her sanity was restored, attempted to read the newspaper.

Her relationship with our helper also improved significantly as she now sees her as her close friend who takes the best care of her and stopped being angry at her for usurping her role as the head of kitchen and a waste of money. The only downside is that her bladder has weakened a lot and she always seems to forget about having to visit the toilet 5 minutes ago. My poor helper has to resort to sleep beside her in the living room, to prevent her from getting hurt during the frequent visits to the toilets in the middle of the night.

The family was glad to have grandma transformed into a happy dementia patient, though we were also sad as we understood that her dementia has progressed to the next stage. At least, she is at peace.

June 11, 2018

Trump & Kim Summit - A Sentosa Run

Yup, we are back!

SG Unfit Runners took a long hiatus because I was really too overloaded with life and I have to give up my blogging time to manage a dementia grandma, a start-up company that's constantly on fire and a new found love. With things becoming more stable, I am able to devote more time blogging about our various adventures around Singapore.

We have been continuing our weekly runs even though I have retired my pen for a year.

Thanks to the inspiration from the Trump & Kim Summit, we planned a run at Sentosa with every intention to take a photo at the front porch of the luxurious Capella hotel which the Trump Kim Summit is to be held.

First, we decided to flank in via the beach side, hoping to find a side door into Capella.

Surrounded by a high sloping ground and tall fences, we are unable to find a side entrance into Capella. The only possible entry is a small drainage system into the compound.

No willing to risk our neck getting hurt trying to scale a hill and a fence, we decided to loop around to the main road and see if we can make our way to the main door of the hotel.

 The road leading to the front door is heavily guarded by security officers with an ominous poster of a soldier welding a rifle. Dressed only in our running attire and an EZ link transport pass, I don't think we have the necessary documentations to get pass the securities. Besides, they aren't going to let a couple of sweating runners get close to the VVIPS. We entertained ourselves by spying on the various journalists that are milling around the area, capturing footage for the big meet.

The security around the waters around Sentosa island is equally tight with multiple security officers patrolling the waters to ensure no one tries to sneak past from under water.

Eventually, we get to meet the fake Trump & Kim at an event at Bugis Junction as part of a publicity stunt. Many people are queuing up to get their photos taken! The summit has really taken Singapore by storm!

If you are looking to check out the Trump and Kim summit via a lap around the compound, check out the route we have taken for reference. 

And don't provoke the security officers unnecessarily! 

Stay smart, stay safe!

January 16, 2018

August 22, 2017

May 14, 2017

An Accidental Biathlon

We are doing our usual Sunday run around Marina Bay and Big Boned Guy decided to head south towards Gardens by the Bay, while i decided to head north towards Clark Quay with 2 dratini in sight (Yes, there are still people playing Pokemon Go!). As soon as I reach the end of Clark Quay, I received a message from BBG, "Fluffy spotted at Gardens at the Bay!"

April 26, 2017

3 Reasons why Unfit Runners will never participate in a Triathlon

Triathlon... An activity that the Unfit Runners will definitely not participate. In fact, the term is quite alien to us that we have to google to look for more information on the effort involved in the run. A triathlon requires a participant to run 16km, cycle 65km and swim for 2km. While reading through the website of Singapore International Triathlon, 3 reasons came to my mind immediately why we will probably never participate in a triathlon in our entire lives.

Reason 1: Cannot Cycle


Two of our members have not picked up cycling. In this age of crowd sharing bike, you may be surprised that there are still many people who have not learned cycling yet. Lazy girl will only get on a bike with a double sharing option, with the poor front cyclist doing most of the work. Meanwhile, Big boned guy has challenges with any sports that require balancing and that includes bicycles, tricycles, unicycles, hoverboard, in-line skates.

Reason 2: Cannot Swim

While Singaporean guys have the privilege of learning how to swim via forced drowning during their national service days, the ladies don't have these privileges. Other than a casual dip in an onsen or spa, asking them to swim 2km is as good as trying to drown them. The best way to make Singapore a swimming literate country, it will be great to introduce a short national service stint for the ladies whereby swimming is taught to them.

Reason 3: Bad Knees

Since all of the unfit runners are in their late 30s going on to 40s, many of them are running into knee problems which are limiting the amount of distance they can run. As much as hard core runners will shout at us saying "It is mental!" or super-positive people start quoting motivation quotes from Tony Robbins, we have seen enough cases of our more hard core sporty friends go for knee surgeries and concluded that we like to keep our knees and forgo that shinny triathlon medal.

Now if you are not scared off by now and is still inspired to go ahead with this triathlon madness, check out the Singapore International Triathlon. Go ahead! I challenge you!

Meanwhile, do check out Durasafe Store, who is the sponsor for Singapore International Triathlon for their sporting equipment. Nope, we are not getting paid or gotten any sponsorship goods from Durasafe Store and we are just doing a friendly shout out. In any case, we like the wide variety of sporting goods available from lesser known international brands. Maybe, It's time to give other products a try other than the usual sporting brands.


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