The Tuberculator

here with me

Posted in remember the time by H on 26 December 2009

I dreamt of my grandfather yesterday. Hardly significant for anybody else, but of import to my family and I, seeing that he passed away on the 24th of October this year.

I want to write about that day in all its details, because I don’t want to forget it. I had accompanied my mother out for her health screening, with plans to visit my grandmother’s later that day, as we had been told that my grandfather was doing poorly. When we were just about done at the clinic, my father called me at about 1030hrs to tell me that my grandfather had passed.

In all honestly, his death was expected, in the way that one accepts that a beloved’s time is rapidly coming to a close; and my grandfather had been frail for a long while. But I had wished for more time with him. We just saw him the week before after all, and there was no change to the status quo, he had not been ill the past week. We were told that he had woken up that Saturday morning looking weaker than normal and had started wheezing. Fortunately, his last few moments were not spent in pain, and importantly, my grandmother and one of my uncles was by his side when he finally passed on. In other words, he had a good death. And yes, as distasteful as the issue might be, I firmly believe that there is such a thing as a good way to go and my grandfather was one of the blessed ones.

My grandfather had been blind and near-deaf. My last coherent conversation with him was actually in August 2008, the night before I left for New York again. I had kissed him goodbye, and he promised me that he’d pray for my safety and health. It was a difficult conversation both literally and figuratively – he barely caught what I told him, and I was in tears the whole time.

Friends had asked me why I didn’t aggressively pursue the option of getting my PhD after my Master’s. There were many factors involved, but high on my list of priorities was that I wanted to get back home to see my grandfather, unsure of how much time I had left with him. As it turned out, it wasn’t much at all. But at least I was already home in Singapore. It was sad to have my decision to return home vindicated this way. But it was the right one after all.

I saw my grandfather’s face in my dream. I don’t recall words being exchanged, but I distinctly recall him being joyous and happy.

Rest in peace, Tok Bah.


Of migraines

Posted in modern life is rubbish by H on 24 December 2009

So it’s Xmas Eve, and instead of being out and about, I’m at home, feeling sorry for myself because I’m down with migraine. And that annoys me mightily.

I’ve never considered myself particularly prone to headaches in general but something triggered my propensity to migraines back in November 2006. Personally, I blame my then-work environment, though there’s no scientific proof of course. But I cherish that particular theory.

I’ve gotten by with ergotamine, and only one or two attacks this year but this year, the severity of it has increased exponentially. I’ve gotten in total, at least 5 attacks over 4 months, starting from late September. And ergotamine doesn’t work anymore; I’m using sumatriptan now. It got bad enough that I’m seeing a neurologist for this, and the amount spent on my scan and medication is exorbitant. i.e. having migraine is not good for your bank account.

Having migraine makes me irrationally angry because of the lack of control over the symptoms. Colds and influenzas I can handle. Ditto gastritis or gastroenteritis; that’s easy. But migraine? Leaves me anxious, wondering if the attack will last a week or more (yes, I have gotten those) or worse, would I actually experience status migranosus. Fortunately, that has not happened, but it is not a happy experience, waiting for my brain circulation to settle down and stop misbehaving.

On that end, I’ve been trying to properly identify my triggers; alas, the biggest one that contributes significantly to my problem, is something that I can’t do anything about. So.

Here I am again, on Xmas Eve, huddled up in my room, feeling incredibly sorry for myself. Meh.

[ Poetry ] [ Mon Dernier Jour Avec Toi – Brian Wood ]

Posted in poetry by H on 13 April 2009

Still one of my favourite love poems. It’s very modern in its construction and captures the essence of a love affair in an urban environment perfectly.

Mon Dernier Jour Avec Toi
(My Last Night With You)
– Brian Wood


say hello, goodbye

Posted in happy days by H on 13 April 2009

So I submitted my thesis last Friday. A few points to clarify:

– it was late by 2 days

– my first draft was reviewed way too late for comfort. I tell myself it’s because I lost two days due to migraine. The appropriate response at this stage should be ‘O RLY’? Though the migraine truly did  happen.

In other words, I need to stop procrastinating.

– I was still calling a certain director one day before the final submission so I could confirm a few details.

– the final bound copy is still at the binder’s because there’s a problem with the cover.

I was sick of the entire process by the time things were done. I was rude, grumpy, brusque and antisocial for an entire month. I blew people off, I didn’t even talk to my family.

But it’s over now. I can finally sleep without thinking ‘thesis, thesis, thesis’ in my head. I had a great weekend off just slacking away and not using my brain.  I should be happy.  Make no mistake, I am tremendously pleased.

Oddly enough, I feel just a little bereft now. Like there’s nothing to do, though the long list of deadlines that await tells me otherwise. I poured a lot of my energy into that thesis and now, I lack focus.

Having said that, that feeling’s not going to last long once I sit down and really check what I still have to do. Given sufficient time for the pain to recede,  I’m sure I’ll be able to look back on this experience and laugh.