Wednesday, 7 September 2011

And so I live (for a while longer?)...

Thanks to 2 kind ladies who helped me on 6 Sept about 10pm. 
The following was typed after I came home that night. The end of it was typed the day after on 7 Sept.

My 2nd fainting spell this year. No idea why or what it means.

It was about 9~9.30pm tonight. Bro is sick with sore throat and his voice had gotten worse. Taking Fisherman's Friend made it worse. So I said to try Strepsils. He said Ok, but the fridge ran out (he said I ate the last packet).

So, remembering he would go to buy medicine for me when I was ill, I volunteered to go downstairs to the NTUC  to get it.

Was going to buy the blue one that has always been effective for me.

We just had dinner, I just took a bath, my hair was wet, I put on a sleeveless tank top and shorts, then went off.

It was just a short distance, so I was at the NTUC pretty fast. Looked into the aisles for sweets section but couldn't find. Then went to the cashier's counter where it was found--either the small packet of about 4, or a box of 2 sets.

I took the box, but while doing, felt a little unwell in my tummy. Gas built-up was pushing down and it hurt with crap that needed to be let out now. I had been constipated for just 2 days. Usually, it wouldn't cause this.

While standing in line behind someone at the counter, my head started to feel unwell, and I felt like throwing up. Is it my dinner unclean? Can't be...

I'll only feel like throwing up if I've been food poisoned. 

Thought to hurry at the cashier and get out. When the cashier asked if I needed a plastic bag, I just said in a weak voice "no". She asked if I had member card and I couldn't reply--just gave a small shake of my head. She took a while giving me back the change for $10 I gave her (she stared at the cash till of notes, looking like she was thinking how much to return or what notes to pick).

Got out of the store fast, feeling worse. Thought I just had to hurry back to crap in my own house.

But was not to be.

As I walked, I felt giddier and sicker. The wind was blowing and I felt cold, thinking why I came down in only a sleeveless tank. I never wore a tank to go downstairs before. Was always a Tee.

I was starting to perspire and breathe heavily. My tummy seemed to pile up down below, with a load wanting to be released. I felt really sick and giddy. Giddier as I walked as  fast as I could.

After crossing the road that I wasn't really aware of doing, or aware of any vehicles, I headed for a bench under a nearby void deck and sat there, hoping the fainting giddiness would pass. When it seemed a little rested, I tried getting up and knew it wasn't ready yet. But thought I might just be able to make it if I hurried.

Unable to. After just a few paces, I slumped into the next bench, breathing heavily and perspiring. Felt I needed to call for help.

Nobody walking by seemed to notice even though I tried calling out to a man in a white Bermudas who was walking and talking to woman. I think my voice was too soft, he didn't hear. I said, "Excuse me..." raising my left hand.

This felt really bad. After resting a little more, I got up, hoping to be able to go this time.

Hurriedly, I covered a few more steps, a further distance, thinking perhaps I might be able to make it home. As I slowed, walking up the slight slope leading up the route to home, I told my body: Please give me juice for a little more. Please. Just a little more.

Can't, even while I was trying to cover more ground. The thick concrete bannister of the pathway started spinning away. I'm fainting, will black out if I don't stop.

So I dropped down on the concrete ground by the side of the pathway and just sat there with my right leg straight and my left drawn up partway. Was just wearing sandals. My hands rested by my sides on the ground--heavy plump cloth wallet in my right hand, Strepsils in my left. Previously, I held both in my left.

By now, I was feeling immobile and very sick. Perspiring heavily and cold with the wind blowing. Breathing heavily. Perspiration evaporating with the wind.

If I blacked out here, nobody would know for a while since it was dark and few people were coming this way. But they could check my IC in my wallet and inform my bro even if I ended up in hospital. It has my name and address, if no phone number. I slightly regretted coming up this way (had thought slope was easier to walk up than the stairs).

If I died here... I still have things to do... unfinished... I should've posted my works online when I could, but there isn't time now...

(such is the brevity and unpredictability of life).
I really needed to crap at that moment. If I could do it in my shorts, I would. Body was telling me that if I crapped right now, I would immediately feel better, be able to walk. But how can I take a crap here and now? This was a public place. Can't it wait till I get home? Body said no. I could feel the crap just at the door, waiting for release.

I can't get home when I can't even get up to walk. Bro must be wondering why it was taking me so long.

I need to get my bro to come down...

To my left, the slope continued up to intersect a pathway perpendicular to the path I was on, where people came down a few steps to a straight slope down.

Raised my left hand and tried weakly waving to the few people going down that slope. They didn't see me. Dropped my hand.

Saw 2 women coming down the steps. Even from that distance and my giddiness, I could discern they looked like China people. Fair, long faced. Nevertheless, I raised a weak hand again and waved slowly for them to come over. China or not, I need help.

One of the women turned to glance in my direction, but seemed to think nothing of it and continued walking down their path with the other woman.

She probably thought I was a drunk or not waving to her because she seemed to look back to see who I was waving at. Yet she continued to walk away. Won't someone just come over and see what is the matter?

In the semi-darkness, I probably looked like someone or something to be avoided. The lighting was dim down the perpendicular stairs side. On my side, very dim light from somewhere.

I gave up, turned my head aside to my right and just closed my eyes. Thought the name of a 'god' who had disappointed, wondering why bother and if it was even heard. Heart was still beating heavily, still giddy, still breathing hard, perspiring in the cold wind. Really don't know what's going on. Never happened before outside like this. I was trying to rest.

Only once I blacked out in the toilet at home, at the start of this year due to food poisoning effects. Even that never happened before--I have never totally blacked out like that before.

This felt different. I only feel like throwing up if I've been poisoned by food. Tonight's dinner was actually overcooked and food preparation has always been clean. My bro and I have eaten my cooking countless times without problems. It can't be my dinner. Instead, it has always been outside food that has caused problems every time.

Eyes closed, no idea how or if I was going to get back home, I heard some sounds along my path--loud sandals slapping the concrete echoing loud and close. Raised hope. I turned my head to look but saw no one.

Then 2 young women came down my pathway, quietly walking down. I couldn't see their faces clearly. Both wearing black Tees. One was plumper and was walking first. I had the impression she was older, followed by a younger.

I raised my left hand, she was looking at me, and I said, "Can you call my brother?".

She paused. "What's the number?". Sounded sensible and mature. She took out a handphone from her black bag, I think or maybe she had a handphone in her hand. Her voice sounded Singaporean. Oh, thank goodness. Was a little comforting.

I tried mustering the number in my head. 640...I said, then closed my eyes to recall the rest of it. My tummy hurt, my heart hurt, everything was bad. No idea why my heart hurt as it beat.

She asked, "What's your name?".

My mind said 'Samantha' but thought this irrelevant and useless. I said in between breaths, "Just... tell him to come down...tell him I fainted".

"Is it only your brother?". she asked. I assumed she meant whether there was only my brother at home.


She started dialing and got through. I heard her say, "Your sister fainted...she asked you to come down.".

I corrected, "Fainting...".

Bro must have asked where. She looked around and asked the other girl in local Chinese, "What's this location?".

The other girl didn't know either. Neither did I. The pathway has no name. It's just a walkway.

She said, "It's between...Block 67 and uh...". She looked around.

Bro asked whether it's NTUC. The girl with the phone said, "At NTUC...".

I said, "No... just tell him to come down... the usual way. Along the way...".

Then was done. After a moment, I felt I should say, "Thanks.". She said, "It's Ok.".

I pointed to my left, at the intersection area perpendicular to this path, where he would be coming down, and said, "He'll appear there... intercept him there...".

She asked the younger girl to go there and wait. Meanwhile, she talked to me.

I said, "I went to buy him Strepsils... (turned my left wrist on the ground, showing her the box) then... suddenly... felt very giddy... can't continue....Don't know why."

Hearing my breathing, she asked, "Do you have trouble breathing?".

"No...I just...can't get up...feel very giddy... don't know why... I feel very cold...(thought occurred that if only she had a jacket and took it off to drape over me)... and...I need to go to the toilet...".

She said, "I think you better see a doctor...".

I was thinking: yeah, I should have it checked out right after getting home, but now, I just need to crap.

It seemed to take my bro quite long to get down. Was he taking time putting on his clothes at such a time?

It was just la few minutes (less than 5) but felt long.

The older girl called to the other one waiting at the intersection. The other one said, "Mei yo leh...". (don't have yet).

I kinda became not aware after a while...eyes closed, when I heard rushing sandals coming towards us. I turned my head to see him running. "What happened to you?" he called while running.

It was some relief seeing him at last. Can't recall my reply but I think I said, "Don't know why ...suddenly giddy...Your Strepsils".  Then showing him the box in my left hand. Asked him to keep it and my wallet.

I think he asked if I could get up, I said no...and he said, "Call an ambulance.".

I said no, just need to get back home.

He said again, "Call an ambulance." more pointedly, for the girl to make the call, I think, though the girl didn't.

I said I only needed to be helped back. Was thinking of my bro helping my arm on one side, while the girl could help me on the other side.

He thanked the girls and the older one said, "It's Ok.". Then they left. I didn't expect them to leave. But then I realized I had been holding them up. After all, my bro had come. If I were them, I probably would also leave since the family was here and will handle it.

"I need to dung.". I told bro. "I really need to dung now. If I can dung here, I will.".

"Go to the coffee shop. I'll help you.". He came over to my right and tried helping me up, one hand on my back, other hand on my right arm.

"I'll get up myself...".

He took away his hands and waited for me.

Felt an enormous task just to move. I turned to put my hands and knees on the ground, then pushed up from there. My glasses fell from my shorts to the ground. How did that get there? Didn't know it was there, or when. Must have taken them off to wipe the sweat off my face with my hand earlier. Hope it wasn't scratched. It's precious lens but did not really matter now.

I picked it up off the ground with a sound that I hoped didn't mean I scratched it against the concrete more, and handed it to bro. "Take my specs.".

Then I held onto the metal railing just behind me and clung on while I pulled myself up. Christ. I leaned my head against the rail, trying to get the giddiness to pass. What an effort.

A few seconds, then lifted my head and stood. Giddy... sick. Wondered if I was able to hold on till home.

I said no need coffee shop, just get home, use the toilet and I'll be fine. It's the toxins in the dung built-up causing poison (assuming).

It could be the Vitamin B pills and other 'clean up' pills (Vit E, Omega 3), that I took the past few days. After cleaning up the toxins in the body and piling them up in the bowels to be released, I was constipated. So the toxins stayed and poisoned me. That's what Body was telling me. Instinct.

Yesterday, I only took 1 Omega pill, 2 Vit E and 1 Vit B. Why was it affecting tonight when yesterday I was Ok?

We stood for a few minutes, wondering if I could proceed home or the coffee shop, when I insisted I really couldn't hold it in anymore. I really need to release now.

It so happened I was standing near where the path turned at an inward angle, forming a corner (a blind spot) where the flats around wouldn't be able to see. I said I really can't wait, pulled down enough of my shorts, and squatted there. Bro was standing to cover, but wasn't near enough. He then backed nearer, providing better coverage.

One woman actually walked up our path, but didn't even look back, or see me. It helped that my sleeveless tank top was dark brown, my shorts was navy blue and I was small enough to hide behind my bro who posed with his right elbow on the concrete bannister looking like he was waiting for someone or admiring something. It helped that it was dark. I don't think I could've done it in the day or so easily.

It's not that I want to. Not like I enjoy or intentionally doing it. I really have no choice. If I want to walk home, I have to do this. Sometimes, there have been human excrement lying along staircases and walkways, and I've always expressed incomprehension why it was done. Why couldn't the person at least do it in the grass or a nearby toilet? At least on the grass, it would do its natural job of fertilizing the soil. How can it even be done in public was always beyond me. How to do it when anyone might see and how the dung can even come out when it's open-air, public place, knowing it's wrong. It's just bizarre.

I assumed it was done on purpose, for the heck of it because it can be done. I always assumed it was malicious intention. Or perhaps, an elderly person who really couldn't hold it in (but still...). Think of the poor cleaner who has to clean up.

The dung came out fast and furious. Was noxious. Bro asked if tissue was needed. He then passed me the packet. I used 2 pieces, thinking can do proper cleaning when get back.

After it was done, I stood pulling up my shorts. "I'll continue when we go back." I told bro, then winced. "Better hurry, think I need to go again.".

Turned to look back and was surprised it didn't look as large a heap as I expected. Just white tissues visible. Sorry I had to do it there. Hope nobody needs to clean it up. If it rains...that would solve the problem.

Felt instantly better, improved. The giddiness was gone.  I took big steps and said to bro that now I can walk.

As we hurried back up the path, I confirmed with him that he had my glasses. He said yeah, in his pocket.

Just as we got to the lift, my bro went ahead to press the button. But I couldn't wait anymore. Needed to release another load now.

Went behind the lift where there is a row of grass and short shrubs. Well hidden from view because it's dark, especially if I squat near to the shrubs. I thought of the cat that liked hiding in these shrubs during the day and thought she'd be wise enough to avoid if she comes upon the dung.

Again pulled down just enough of my shorts, placed my butt near the shrubs where the load would fall onto the soil, with bro standing to my right.

"Someone is coming." said my bro and I could see a man going up the sheltered path on the right. The man didn't even look over.

Again, the load came out fast, wet, and cleared out. I looked to my left and realized that side is open. Bro was hiding me from the right. He can't hide me at the same time on the left.

Luckily nobody was passing by the void deck, otherwise, a person might see. The light of the void deck is white and brighter. It was easier to see someone in the shrubs. But my shorts was in such a way that it wasn't obvious in the darkness, and might look like I was just squatting if the person noticed me there. And usually, people don't really look anyway.

I asked bro for tissue. After it was done, I said I'll continue at home.

The lift was still waiting on the level.

We took it up.

Back home, bro said to leave the bathroom door open, in case I fainted. But I left it just a little ajar.

Oddly, while now at the the proper place, the dung wouldn't come even though my tummy felt sore and churned. Stood up and sat back, repeating a few times. And still the same.

Bro would check on me, to see if I was Ok. He said don't force it if it doesn't want to.

Finally, a stream of noxious water came out. And that was it. I guess it had cleared everything out in public...though the tummy still felt it needed further release. It was contracting like it needed to dung another load, but nothing came.

Sorry if it all sounds very gross. But that's the human body. This is how it is. Barring my reader's grossed-out-ness when reading it or what is thought of me, I have to post it for myself as a record. I'm more concerned whether I'll be fined for excreting in public places. If it's an offense, I guess my situation and that fact that I didn't do it on purpose cannot excuse it?

Now I understand why my bro's friend said it feels good to dung in nature, with nature as the big restroom. Uh... I didn't quite agree with it before this incident. But now I really understand. I think humans were meant to dung in open areas, in the squatting position.

According to a uterine book I read, the posture of seating on a toilet is wrong, not helpful for bowel movement. The natural way is squat. It seemed this was so, as I sat on the toilet at home and it wouldn't come.

Throughout last night, the tummy felt tender and not too good. Didn't catch any sleep. It kept feeling like wanting to release, but it was intermittent and nothing really wanted to come out.

This morning wasn't too good either. But after a small bowl of cooked oats and a little Japanese sprinkling of condiment on top, and a cup of warm sugared Chamomile tea, I felt better.

It feels like last night didn't happen...I can't quite believe it happened. I'm sure the dung is still there at the corner angle of the pathway to prove it. The other dung might have already melted into the soil where it was meant to, the natural way.

That day, bro and I went to IKEA intending to buy a swivel chair for my desk. But along the way, we dropped by at Anchorpoint for restrooms. Just as we exited the restrooms, turning beside an escalator to leave for IKEA, I asked if he wanted to check out Home Fix down in the basement.

He said Ok and while he browsed there, I was hungry and checked out Dessert Story. Ordered their handmade on-the-spot 'Chee Cheong Fun' with prawns inside. And a glutinous rice with chicken 'Lor Ma Gai'.

There was nobody in this Dessert Story outlet at the time, and usually I avoid eating places that are empty of customers. But previously at other times, I had seen some people eating here before, so I thought it was Ok. In the past, we used to eat at the Hougang outlet and I always felt they should sell snacks like 'Lor Mai Gai' and 'Siew Mai'.

Now this Anchorpoint outlet has these snacks, so I wondered if this was the same company. Confirmed by looking at their name card at the cashier counter. Yeah, the same.

While paying at the counter, I saw a woman making the 'Chee Cheong Fun' by scooping a ladle of white liquid from a container, then pouring it into a shallow metal tray. I guess that would be the 'Chee Cheong Fun' tray, guessing it warmed up beneath. Thinking that it was warm food, it should be Ok.

The 'Lor Mai Gai' was also warm when served and it tasted nice. Not oily.

When bro joined me, I ordered another 'Lor Mai Gai', 'Har Gow' and a yam dessert that wasn't quite warm.

He had flu before this, but recovered and had mild sore throat only. After eating, the sore throat got worse until the night, till he couldn't speak clearly.

He suspected the prawns in the 'Chee Cheong Fun' might have something to do with his sore throat worsening and my tummy upheaval. Some part of what we ordered wasn't cleanly prepared or kept.

Bacteria from the food complicated his sore throat. The fact that I felt like throwing up meant it was a food issue. As mentioned, I only feel like throwing up if I had eaten unclean or poorly prepared food.

Not saying it's definitely food poisoning at that outlet, but it's quite possible because of the rather sloppy way they prepare and keep their food. If not, why was the yam dessert not warm? The quality of the snacks was also poor.

At Hougang, everything is always very warm and well done. I've never had any problems eating at the Hougang outlet.

Bro also said my case could be the Omega 3 that I have been taking for the past 1 or 2 weeks. Online information says it thins blood and lowers blood pressure. That might explain my giddiness and fainting. At the start of this year, a doctor who treated my food poisoning at the time, tested I was severely anemic.

Thinning my blood would definitely make it worse. But...I only took a pill the day before the incident. I didn't take a single pill on 6 Sept. He said the effects of the Omega 3 could be cumulative.

Well, I think it's a combination of factors: I didn't release for 2 days. Those pills must have been accumulating the toxins in the body and depositing in the bowels for quick release. But lacking a release, the poisons went up to the head, causing head and heart problems. Then possibly the food at the outlet wasn't 100% clean.

After returning home, I drank some Mitsuya carbonated cider that I had been drinking from for a few days in the fridge since buying it. This was before cooking dinner.

Could be the gas in the cider stirred up the bowels, or the cider itself was unclean having been in the fridge for a few days already and I drink from the mouth of it.

Whatever it is... I really don't know. I just hope I live more time and that such incidents do not happen again. Also a good thing DNA test is not run on stray dung to find out who it is... (I don't think we are so free or so rich to send for lab for testing. Who's paying?).  One person always released a load on the stairwell of my block of flat and someone always urinates down the steps. These people never seem to be caught. No cameras are ever installed to nab them.

I used to tell my bro, why not install cameras, or DNA the dung and find out who it is? But practically, who's paying and what for? The cleaner cleans up the dung and the floors are washed about once a month. Nobody seems to complain (never heard of any because people take the lift, not the stairs).

When we returned, bro said the phone call gave him a heart attack. Said he'll die of a heart attack if it kept happening like that. Thinking of which... I wonder if maybe that's what I had--a heart attack. O.O He said he actually had a bad feeling when I went downstairs and didn't return for so long. I said I had a feeling I shouldn't go. He said he actually had a bad dream about me but didn't want to tell me.

Anyway, update: I went out this afternoon and went by the areas with my dung pats. The one on the soil has flattened out into a pat with flies and 2 pieces of tissues, one of which has some dung where it was wiped with.

The other pat has been completely cleaned away. Not a trace in that corner, as if nothing happened. Except for a few small loose leaves along that wall but not at the spot, it's totally clean.

On my way back, I glanced up at the flats around the sloping pathway. It wasn't block 67. The girl had been mistaken in the darkness.

Word of caution about taking Omega 3 pills: I didn't know it thins the blood and lowers blood pressure when I purchased $53 worth of it (90 pills) from Watsons Takashimaya at sale price. When I said I get a headache taking Vitamin B pills, she told me to just pop in 3 Omega 3 pills! The way she said it, it was as if she treated them like sweets. My goodness. I always thought these sales women know nuts. They are not doctors. Just because these are vitamins or health pills doesn't mean they are harmless.

At the moment 8.55pm:  I'm still feeling strange in my stomach. I already dunged again after returning home this evening (went to collect payment from Western Union outlet, then stopped over Giant to buy a few foodstuff to cook dinner). It was watery, seemed like diarrhea. But I think it was expelling today's intake, not yesterday's. Yesterday had no solids left except water.

Could be left over bacteria from toxins yesterday.