Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Shutdown Day Singapore 2008

Shutdown Day Singapore would be held this coming Saturday 3 May 08. Shutdown day is a global movement, an initative started off by a group in Facebook; a Singaporean engineer adopted the movement for Singapore and started the local observance for Singapore.

With 78% of Singapore being wired to the internet, it may be a challenge for Singaporeans to switch off their computers from their life for just one day. A majority of Singaporeans polled said that they could not fathom living a life without the computer and/or the internet.

With computer being a part and parcel of modern life, its time to off that computer of yours, and sit back, relax and savour the joys of face-to-face interactions with your community.

Join in, off your computer for a day this coming Saturday !

Monday, April 28, 2008

Panadol

Panadol, a common drug, one that is popular with the young and old and one that is convenient to purchase and use to provide relief for a host of illness like fever, flu, cough, etc.....

However of late, many people have questioned over the use of panadol for treating illness, citing safety concerns.

Below is an extract taken from Channel Newsasia forum :



TRY 100PLUS & WATER-NOT PANADOL One real story from a friend.... My husband was working in a hospital as an IT engineer, as the hospital is planning to set up a database of its patient. And he knows some of the doctors quite well. The doctors used to tell him that whenever they have a headache, they are not willing to take PANADOL (PARACETMOL). In fact, they will turn to Chinese Herbal Medicine or find other alternatives. This is because Panadol is toxic to the body, and it harms the liver. According to the doctor, Panadol will reside in the body for at least 5 years. And according to the doctor, there used to be an incident where an air stewardess consumes a lot of Panadol during her menstrual as she needs to stand all the time. She's now in her early 30's, and she needs to wash her kidney (DIALYSIS) every month. As said by the doctor that whenever we have a headache, that's because it is due to the electron/Ion imbalance in the brain. As an alternative solution to cope with this matter, they suggested that we buy 1 or 2 cans of isotonic drink ( eg.100PLUS), and mix it with drinking water according to a ratio of 1:1 or 1:2 (simply, it means one cup 100plus, one cup water.or 2 cups water). Me and my husband have tried this on several occa sions, and it seems to work well. Another method will be to submerge your feet in a basin of warm water so that it bring the blood pressure down from your throbbing head. As Panadol is a pain killer, the more Panadol you take, the lesser would be your threshold for pain (your endurance level for pain). We all will fall ill as we aged, for woman, we would need to go through childbirth. Imagine that we had spent our entire life popping quite a substantial amount of Panadol (Pain Killer) when you need to have a surgery or operation, you will need a much more amount of general anesthetic to numb your surgical pain than the average person who seldom or rarely takes Panadol . If you have a very high intake of Panadol throughout your life (Migraine, Menstrual cramps) it is very likely that normal general anesthetic will have no effects on you as your body is pumped full with Panadol and your body is so used to pain killer that you would need a much stronger pain killer, Morphine?? Value your life, THINK b4 you easily pop that familiar pill into your mouth again. Please send this to people you care about.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Camping

It is the time of the year when schools from the primary to the varsities are having their examinations.

At this time of the year, local libraries become transformed instantaneously to studying grounds of the students as they throng the National Libraries, the regional libraries and the community libraries for a quiet spot to concentrate on their revisions.

The student campers easily number to a hundred and not only were the reading tables and seats targeted by them, the sofas and other good seating spots were not spared either.

Users of the libraries hence could not find their legitimate seats easily with the strong ‘competition’ from the campers.

At the National Library, the students even occupy the exhibition galleries with their voluminous books and laptops and reluctantly leave only after repeated reminders from the librarians.

Indeed the local libraries are excelling studying corners, offering unparallel cooling and ventilation comforts in this hot and humid country, tranquillity and silence for concentration during study and water coolers for quenching of thirst. Another unrivalled perk is the fact many of these institutions are located near food centres offering yummy treats.

It is definitely no wrong for students to study in libraries; however the boundary would be crossed once the students hog the wrong corners of the libraries for their revision or when they disturb other library users with their group discussions.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Casino Regulatory Authority

Singapore would be opening its Integrated Resorts cum Casinos in just 2 to 3 years time, and a new statutory board, Casino Regulatory Authority, has been formed to regulate the casinos.

The addition of the new statutory board adds to the host of ministries, statutory boards and other organs of the Government. See

TODAY’s ritual

Since the circulation of the free daily TODAY, a ‘first-thing’ ritual Singaporeans partake in the mornings before work on weekdays and weekends is to queue up…….. for the free dailies.

The queues would normally be found at MRT stations throughout Singapore, and would commence as early as 7 am, long before the TODAY vendors starts the distribution of the papers at 730 am.

And the most interesting observation is that the queue would always be formed at the same location even before the vendor reports for duty.

When the vendor is late for his distribution work, even by 15 minutes, a majority of the long queue of readers would refuse to budge or disperse, rooted in their belief that the vendor would answer their call of TODAY.

Most of the time, their prayers are answered as the vendor arrived, apologizing to the masses and dishing out the dailies in a even faster pace.
Late distribution is however an unusual phenomenon, occurring once in a period of say 3 months.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Office Politics

There is no perfect work because there are no perfect people. In any work, there are both technical and human aspects of the work to be managed and tackled. Managing the technical parts of work is simple, the intricacies and challenges arise from managing the complex webs of human relationships.

Our colleagues come from different backgrounds, are conditioned differently from childhood and in different environments; all of us thus have different perspectives, bias, prejudices and opinions.

When people with diverse personalities from diverse backgrounds congregate in one common workplace to work together towards a common goal, some conflicts are inevitable in everyday work life.

Tolerance and understanding are keys to a successful work relationship with colleagues and bosses.

Overlay to the complexities of human relationships at work are what we call ‘office politics’; this phenomenon is part and parcel of everyday work life.

Because of office politics, misunderstandings between colleagues may arise, relationships drift further and some who play the game well become promoted to the next higher level.

Office politic players most often churn out and spread rumours and cultivate factions within the office.

Man is essentially an animal and the ‘survival of the fittest’ scene played out in the jungles of animals, find its stage in the offices too.

The scenes play out everyday, unstoppable but varying in degrees across different offices.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

11 minutes

In the parliamental seating yesterday, DPM Wong Kan Seng unveiled the investigation results by the Committee of Inquiry (COI) into the escape of Mas Selamat. At this point in writing, Mas Selmat could still not be found.

To cut a long investigation result short, Mas Selmat took 11 minutes to escape from the toilet where he pried open a window of opportunity.

Sick Buildings

I feel sick, and it is not the feeling one experiences when sick. The sickness that I am experiencing is the feeling of suffocation whenever I am in my office. No, I am not being strangled, nor am I being exposed to the toxic fumes or cigarette smoke. My sickness arises from the stagnant air flow inside the building; air which seems to be clean air.

Called it the sick building syndrome, there should be an increasing awareness among Singaporeans to focus on the air-conditioners used in homes and offices; especially when Singapore is an almost air-conditioned nation.

For air-conditioned homes, there shall be some fresh air intake into the homes else the owners would be practically breathing in recycled air. For companies using water-cooled chillers with cooling towers, there is a risk of the legionnaire disease which could nevertheless be prevented through proper design of the cooling towers.

Living in this hot and super humid country, Singaporeans love air-conditioners. There is really much to learn about air-conditioning, knowledge which could prove useful and valuable to Singaporeans as the misuse of air-conditioners would inevitably have an adverse effect on our health.

I have seen management of some shopping centres treat their air-handling unit (AHU) room as storerooms or dumping grounds, placing old and dirty disposables and furniture into these dumpling ground. While AHU rooms are normally spacious, these large and empty spaces act as spaces for fresh air intake into the air handling units. Imagine the quality (and the subsequent consequences) of the fresh air supplied into the building if dirty equipment or disposable fill up these spaces!

There should be some education on the use of air-conditioners from the basic installation to operation and maintenance. There is an article today on the free dailies reporting that an owner could not realise electrical savings though he has used branded air-conditioners which come with many energy saving ticks. Again, the lack of air-conditioner knowledge is evident here as energy saving air-conditioners work best at partial load: e.g. using only two out of the four air-conditioners installed at any time and not running the air-conditioners continuously 24 hours.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Republic Polytechnic

Nestled in the heart of Woodlands town is Republic Polytechnic (RP), Singapore’s newest polytechnic (just 6 years of operation since its inception in Tanglin Campus).

What set this polytechnic apart from its peers are its innovative teaching concept and its commitment to the community and the environment. RP is not only just an academic institution; it is also a cultural icon of the north, a social and community space as well as an environmental stalwart.

I have the good opportunity to visit this lovely institution and would like to share some of the interesting points:

a. Admiralty park is just next to RP and it is a lovely park which is frequented by the Woodlands residents.

b. Applied science and arts are some of the most popular faculties for this institution.

c. The staff’s telephone numbers start with the number ‘3’ and not ‘6’ as all the phone number of staff are configured in internet telephony. Laptops are compulsory for all students and teachers in this campus. The campus is wi-fi all throughout the premises and the public is welcome to tap on this free internet network for their laptops on the campuses. The campus is fenceless, no barriers to segregate from the public as the school management believes RP is part of the community, and hence the public could come in as and when they like, to tap on the free internet network, to use the libraries (but no borrowing of books) and to leverage on the heavily subsidized prices of premium coffee and restaurant food. The sports facilities and pool are open free to public.

d. There is no lecture conducted at RP, only tutorials based on RP’s problem-based teaching. Laptops, group discussions, online curriculum, project and homework are typical features of a RP student’s life.

e. The 1st and 3th level of all blocks in RP link together.

f. For every one minute that a student is late for, 0.5 point will be deducted from his or her Grade Point Average.

g. RP is spacious and large, akin to Changi Airport’s Terminal 3. There are lots of open space throughout the campus, to stimulate thinking among the students. There is an even an artificial water pond with a tear drop in the centre to represent the fact that all big achievements arise from a small spark of an idea.

h. The Republic Cultural Centre is the esplanade of Northern Singapore with its acoustic of the same quality and grade as that of our National Esplanade.


i. Paper can be scare in RP in a bid to save the environment and conserve the trees. Use of paper, (unless for necessary uses) is not encouraged in the campus.

j. There is an Adventure Learning Centre which is open to booking for the public and other bodies.

k. A bowl of lobster porridge cost a hefty $80 in one of the restaurants in the campus.

l. Community and corporate trainings are regularly held at the campus.

As you can see from the points mentioned above, RP is not a typical polytechnic, it is so much more: it is a dynamic landmark of Singapore.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Sleep

Sleep can be a luxury to many Singaporeans, including me.

I really need at least 7 hours of sleep, failing to do so, will render me tired the next day.

But fact be told, I could not have 7 hours of sleep due to work committments, and thus sleep is definitely a luxury to me.

To some, even few hours of sleep is okay for them.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Bus Bullies

Local public transportation has to cope with increasing demands as Singapore’s population continues to grow, in part due to the presence of the slightly more than a million foreigners in this small country.

Local buses are getting more and more crowded in the peak hours but what irks me most is the bus bullies witnessed everyday. These bullies are simply self-centred passengers inside the buses who stand and refuse to move to the rear. Hence a bus may not reach its full standing capacity when it could not pack in more passengers at the subsequent bus stops simply because it is deemed that there is no more space inside for the boarding passengers (when in actual fact, there is ample if the bus bullies were to just simply move to the rear).

Imagine if you were to wait for 20 minutes for your bus and yet are deprived of getting into one when it arrives simply because there are standing passengers in the bus who refuse to move to the rear to make space for you.

This is definitely a most horrible act of the bus bullies, who certainly have no right to deprive one of his boarding right and valuable time.

A good bus captain should not only drive carefully, be courteous towards passengers; he should also encourage passengers to move to the rear when the bus becomes crowded.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Mascara

I attended my colleague’s wake today.

Walking towards the coffin to take a final last look at my colleague, whose face has been lined up with thick mascara so much so that I could not really recall his usual face…….. I could not help but gasp at the impermance of life.

Just one week ago, my colleague was still around in my office, warm and friendly with all of us colleagues and with his trademark smile, now he has suddenly left us, his colleagues and his family. It was hard for all of our colleagues to accept the fact that he has indeed left as his memory will live forever in the hearts of us colleagues. It seemed to us that he has merely taken a short holiday and would be coming back soon.

A traffic accident, the exact causes of which may only be known by my colleague has claimed his life and changes the life of his family and hurts those closest to him. We read of traffic accidents regularly in the newspapers and how often we witness reckless drivers on the road each day…..I myself was almost killed on the day of Chinese New Year (read my earlier post).

My colleagues left a legacy to his family, friends and colleagues whose life he has touched and to whom he has given a new lease of life with his organs.

Our time on life is limited; let us value our time fruitfully during our lifetime. Physical body is merely the form, it is the legacy that we left behind, it is the lives that we make a difference to, that matters ultimately.

Teaching

Teaching is really a skill; some professionals such as Professors, who are very skilled and competent in a discipline may not be really possess the skills of teaching: presenting and putting points across, explaining to students to the point of their enlightment. Teaching is the translation of information into knowledge and application of knowledge of the recipients. It is a skill to be learnt.

Teaching teachers how to teach may be more critical than revamping curriculum regularly in our schools to meet the ever-changing demands of the world.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Legacy

(continued from 'Life and Death' posted on 6 Apr 08)

It has been almost a week and my colleague who has been fighting for his life in the Intensive Care Unit has shown no improvements. The night before, the doctor certified him as brain dead, and pulled the plug out from the life support machine after informing and discussing with his family. It was a grave decision, a considered decision for his family who he was the sole breadwinner. A small plug off symbolises the end of a precious life and many upcoming challenges for his family. With this, my colleague left all his loved ones; however he will live forever in the minds and hearts of everyone whose lives he has touched, and for whom his organs have given a new lease of life to (all Singaporeans come under the HOTA act). Therein, he has left a legacy.

Life is the most unpredictable, everyone of us shall cherish all our loved ones and makes the best use of our limited time on earth.

Life can be unforgiving at times and all of us may be caught up in the rat race in a bid to survive; it takes the passing on of someone close to us to serve as a sombre reminder that life is in fact big.

Lead a moral life, cherish your loved ones, lead life to the fullest and contribute to helping the community.

My hearts goes all out to my ex-colleague, I will always remember him as the diligent colleague, good father to his children and his ever-ready smiles will live on in the hearts of us colleagues.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

$200 K spent per day to fight Dengue

Today’s news reported that the government is spending $200,000 a day on its fight against the dengue scourge to stave off an epidemic should the current climb in dengue cases is to continue.

$200,000 per day will amount to $1 million in just five days. A large amount, some may point out; however this sum of money would be well-spent if it could avert a dengue epidemic that would cost many their lives.

The crux of the battle would be for those personnel combing the grounds to conduct their checks religiously and dutifully to wipe out all potential breeding grounds and breeding habitats; it is also critical that all Singaporeans can also cooperate by ensuring their premises are clean and free of stagnant water bodies.

Changi Airport Terminal 3


Changi Airport Terminal 3, besides being an excellent airport terminal, is also a good place to relax, shop and dine.

I find it most relaxing to spend an afternoon or more in this terminal. Amidst the serenity is cool piping soft music throughout the terminal. There is also an assortment of sights to capture: from the elegant air stewardesses, to the different groups of Singaporeans and tourists congregating at the terminal.

I like the vast, wide, quiet, superbly clean and spacious departure and arrival hall. There is no congestion seen at shopping malls to distract you from your enjoyment at the terminal.

To summarise what Terminal 3 has to offer:

Level 4: Viewing Gallery
Level 3: Shopping mall
Level 2: Departure Hall
Level 1: Arrival Hall
Basement 1: Carparks
Basement 2: Eateries and Shops
Basement 3: Carparks

The entrances to basement 2 are somewhat not as conspicuous; nevertheless, it does not detract from the excellent offerings of this terminal.

Olympic Torch Relay

The Olympic Games is supposed to be a mega game to celebrate the brotherliness of the world, to celebrate sports and promote camaraderie among the participating nations.

Yet, the China Olympics is mired in protests and demonstrations among its critics. The game is overshadowed and clouded by political agenda and issues relating to the Tibetan issue, China’s human rights, China’s environmental efforts, etc.

It is indeed a great pity! I do believe that China will still manage and hold a successful Olympics, come 08 Aug 08 !

Jurong reinvented: Jurong Lake District

The Singapore government is remaking the industrial Jurong estate into the next downtown, completed with hotels, shops, residential, commercial and recreational facilities, waterways and lush greenery. This masterplan will be implemented in 10 to 15 years’ time.

Borders

Singaporeans have been congregating in the many modern and hip bookstores the likes of Borders and Kinokuniya, spending an afternoon or so on weekdays and weekends enjoying free reads of the latest and crispiest books of different genres.

These stores are often located in shopping malls, and as such Singaporeans including me are able to combine shopping (or window shopping), eating together with reading all under one roof.

Blink

In life, some people make decisions at the blink of an eye, fast, decisive, guided by their gut feelings’ and often they do not regret over their decisions; their decisions are often proven to be ‘correct’ later. This is the power of ‘thinking without thinking’ according to Malcolm Gladwell’s popular book, “Blink”. It is the power of the trained mind to make split second decisions, the ability to think without thinking, or in other words using instinct.

How often a time have you meet a person for the first time, and in a moment of a blink, concludes his personality? This is first impression, which is normally formed by a person towards others in 3 seconds.

First impressions may not be accurate and often relates to persons. The power of blinking relates to decisions on matters. I found myself to posses the power of blinking at times; for example, I could still recall the times when I sat for examinations and answering some difficult questions, with a ‘blink’, I am able to deduce the correct answers at first sight. It was regretful that for some of these difficult questions, I gave the questions much more thought, deviated from the correct answers I chose with my ‘blink’ and got the answers wrong.

This is the power of a ‘blink’.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Edward De Bono : The Six Different Hats

According to Edward De Bono’s famous book, there are six different hats that we can wear in our daily brainstorming of ideas.

The six different hats are distinguished by their colours and a summary of their representations is made as follows:

a. Red: Emotion
b. Blue: Control
c. Green: Creativity
d. Yellow: Positive
e. Black: Sombre
f. White: Neutral

Life and Death

A colleague of mine was involved in a traffic accident just two days ago and he is currently fighting for his life in the intensive ward of a hospital.

It was indeed shocking and most unpredictable to all around him: his family, friends, relatives and colleagues.

A kind, hardworking, capable, friendly colleague and a proud father of many children with a ready smile, tears inevitably welled up in the eyes of all his loved ones as we see him lying on bed now, face and shoulders bloated and with injuries; tubes of oxygen and fluids making merciless inroads to his brain and body.

There was a heavy impact on his skull which made him unconscious till now despites the surgeries carried out. Readings indicating his brain pressure have not been positive till far.

Life is most unpredictable and accidents can and may happen to anyone. It may only be when accidents happen to people around us who we know of, that we are reminded of this sombre fact and of the fact to lead life to the fullest and to cherish our loved ones.

Man are but mere mortals who in the race of life pursue things that are not worthy of chasing; it may often takes a loss to cherish ordinary things and relationships that are the most invaluable in life.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Stray cats leading a good life in Singapore

Singaporeans are a fortunate lot to lead a comfortable living though they may lament on certain issues at times. I would like to share with readers that even stray animals, particularly cats, in Singapore may be leading a good life too!

I have been observing the activities of the top of a small hill near my house whenever I pass by there in the late evenings. Amidst the trees on top of the hill, there sits astride a dog which looks like a lion as it has grown so fat and it has colour of the latter. The calm and majestic pose it strikes while sitting on the top of the hill also make it seem ever more like a lion. I was shocked when I saw the dog at the very first time, thinking that I have seen a lion in Singapore (outside of the zoo)!

Slowly over time, I realised at this period of the day, there was always an old woman cycling from her home nearby and bringing food at the bottom of the hill for the dog to feast on. The woman looks like a normal person, no odd or insane behaviour spotted and I also hear her calling the lion her affectionate ‘boy boy’.

Yesterday, at one of the void decks in my blocks, I happened to chat up with a young lady who told me that she has been feeding stray cats in my estate for years now, together with her group of friends; and they have even forked our their own money to bring these cats for sterilization. And one of the more amazing things is that she lives outside my estate! She sought my advice whether there have been any cat problems in my estate, to which I said no; though I may be quite irritated at times by the constant mating calls and shrieks of the cats at some of the nights (yes, sterilization may be the way to go to curb an increasing cat population, and it is a more humane approach as compared to culling).

I also see residents near my block feeding cats at various times of the day, sometimes giving them good food (in human standards).

Recent news have also reported that NTU undergraduates have opened a [some sort of a] Cats Welfare Society of their own; rewarding their members with Cocurricular activity points for feeding of stray cats.

Animal lovers in Singapore may hence not be confined to those who own pets and treat them well. There is really a portion of Singapore animal lovers who are caring for strays without the hassle of keeping them at home.

And that explains the existing or increasing population of stray cats in Singapore…..

‘Ricing’ (Rising) cost

The topic of ‘Rice’ hogged the headlines of local news this week following its soaring price all over Asia, including Singapore.

Reasons for the increase in price boils down to these three main factors:

1) Higher fuel costs, with crude soaring above US $100 a barrel and threatening to stay that way, have been a major factor in the crisis, making fertilizer more expensive and increasing transport costs.
2) In Southeast Asia, disease, pests and an unparalleled 45-day cold snap that extended from China to Vietnam in January and February have also hurt harvests. Flooding in the Philippines and Vietnam has added to the growing crisis.
3) Medium-grade rice exported from Thailand, the world’s biggest rice exporter, reached $760 a metric ton, up from $360 a ton at the end of last year.

Singaporeans, including me are feeling the pinch when we witness our forking of extra few hard-earned dollars for the same kilogram of rice.

Some hawkers in Singapore may also be capitalising on this surge of rice price to increase the price of their rice dishes by a few cents. I patron regularly a food stall which sell reasonably-priced ‘chap chai ben’ but now for the same few dishes and the same amount of rice, the hawker charges me an additional 20 cents!

I asked the hawker why the price increases, he replied me that it was ‘a natural thing’ to do and he had ‘no choice’ but to increase his price following the surge in price of rice.

Well, he certainly has other alternatives, not all the hawkers in Singapore are increasing the prices of their rice dishes to defray the rising cost of rice. This hawker is certainly killing his business and disappointing his ‘loyal customer’ by his price-increase feat. I would think twice before buying food from him again in future.

How apt is the man’s lament ‘This rising, that rising’ in the recent ad by the retailer Courts.

Meanwhile, governments of rice importing countries, such as the Philippines and Indonesia, are expressing concern that rising prices could spark unrest.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Hair Loss

(Continued from blog article posted on 28 Mar 08)

In fact, the residue from the sebum regulator produced tiny sticky white residue on my hair once my hair dried to the extent that my colleagues thought my hair had dandruff. Anyway my hair was still very oily and coated with some dandruff too, despites applying the supposedly strong and beneficial shampoos that the top dermatologist prescribed. I confirmed this fact when I popped into one of the hair treatment centre at a shopping centre for curiosity and did a free consultation with the centre. The ‘scanner’ that the centre operators used magnified my scalp glands many times over, revealing the oily spots, it really look disgusting with such a hundred times over magnification of the sebaceous scalp glands. The operators said my scalp glands were choked with oil, and this may cause hair loss; but I did not want to take any chance with this centre and off I left.

I went for a second consultation with the dermatologist I saw previously. Again, the dermatologist said there was nothing wrong with my hair or with my scalp and the results from the ‘hair-pull’ test she carried out on me revealed no extraordinary hair loss. After hearing the story of the medical treatment I did and the drug nimigen I consumed, she suspected that it may be telogen effluvium caused by the medication, a condition which could only go away in times to come; though my oily scalp may be a contributing factor too. She told me that she could not do anything except to help me diagnose the cause of my hair loss via a scalp biopsy ($589) and a blood test ($169); all price stated without GST. Hearing the prices, I hesitated but in an urge to find out the real cause, I decided to take the plunge and carried out the scalp biopsy and the blood test.

I did the blood test first and the pain was nothing compared to the scalp biopsy I undergone later on. It was no joke, having a piece of your head scalp being removed surgically and the pain was terrible despite the application of anaesthetics prior to the treatment. After both the tests, the nurse rubbed a Bactroban cream on the part of my scalp which was operated on to kill the bacteria; after sewing this part of the scalp. There was still little pain that subsisted everytime I shampoo the sewn part of the scalp. I was told to come back two weeks later to remove the stitch and to obtain the results of the diagnosis. I was given the remaining of the Bactroban cream to apply daily on the affected scalp to ease the pain and kill the bacteria.

Two weeks later, I returned to the same clinic to remove the stitch and the dermatologist handed me the result; and the result indicated that it was telogen effluvium. The dermatologist said it was good news as this condition which may be due to the medication I took would finally subside after some time. I would be waiting for this to come soon.

But alas, days pass and then months, it was futile. Seeing tons and tons of hair on the bathroom sink and waking up everyday to witness the hundreds of hair strewn across my bed and on my bedroom floor did nothing to assuage me that my illness would go away.

The visits to the dermatologist have also drained me financially and in a desperate move, I decided to try out some off-the-counter hair loss products available at pharmacies.

I tried the Himalyan Hair Loss Cream (Herbal) for about one month but it was useless so I went to see the dermatologist again for the fourth and fifth time (that was in April and May last year), but again the dermatologist assessed and said there was nothing wrong with my hair, no male pattern loss or whatever. But indeed, my hair was getting thinner and thinner by the day. She prescribed me with stronger shampoos and sebum regulator which I used without seeing any improvements. It was at this time that I finally decided not to see the dermatologist again as there was simply no use at all! Hair continued to fall and fall.

From then on (Jun 07), I have ‘more or less accepted my fate’ and accepted my hair loss fact. I tried Kaminomoto Hair Growth Accelerator and a good shampoo called Melaleucca Shampoo recommended by my friend but it was really no use at all. The telogen effluvium which I was diagnosed with did not seem to be the hair illness that struck me as it simply did not stop within a short period. It was over one year and my hair still continued to fall like rain.

Over the whole of this hair loss ordeal, I carried out numerous researches on hair loss over the internet, which further equipped me with all knowledge concerning hair loss. I tried all I could, from observing what I consumed (less oil), watching my diet, exercising regularly and even cutting down on some coffee and tea. But it did not help in the loss.

I have also shared my findings with others on an internet discussion forum posting and the thread saw some 55,000 odd readers before it was finally removed by the administrator. With my knowledge learnt from the internet and my ordeal, I shared with some of these forumers; some of them even emailed me to ask questions. For hair loss, there is really no one fixed miracle panacea: what works for one may not work for others.

The hair loss did affect my life a bit: waking up in the morning and after shampooing, I counted the number of strands of hair that I lost and any fewer in count would make me slightly happier. I used to enjoy the wind but now I avoid being ‘confronted’ with a gust of wind for fear that the wind would blow off some of my hair. It does not help that Singapore can get breezy at times! And definitely, my self-esteem would suffer a bit of loss and it did not help that I am still without a girlfriend at my age! Hair loss would certainly dealt me a serious disadvantage in this ‘image-conscious’ society; though it may not be always true: I still do my fair share of admirers as some girls are not particular over looks.

Entering the MRT daily, I always observed young man at different stages of balding; sometimes I saw friends who I have not seen for some years completely bald! This shocked me and brought me to the reality that balding in Singapore is not just MY problem, it is OUR problem !


Is it due to stress in this fast-paced society of ours? Or is it due to the diet here that causes more young men and even women to bald? And the fact that the coffers of hair treatment centres are constantly ringing? From June since I stopped the treatment and sporadically choosing some over-the-counters, I left it to nature to heal this sticky problem; it was till December 07 that I learnt some fact from one of the forumers to my post and I changed course and undertook another attempt against hair loss ……………

(to be continued)

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