Wednesday, 30 March 2011


An ailing octogenarian gentleman conveyed a message to his elder brother, "Tell him I'm not leaving until he goes".

Elder brother who lived in a city 100 km away replied, "No, no, no... tell him not to hang around for me..."

His younger brother managed a laugh on being told the reply, even in his considerably weakened state.

Younger brother eventually succumbed to his illness

10 days later elder brother, who had suffered a stroke weeks before, breathed his last.

They were my uncles, Pak Man and Pak Lah. They had been very pious gentlemen, one had a brand of humour which can be considered legendary.

May Allah bless their souls and place them among the righteous, and to the families they left behind may Allah grant you patience in your time of grie

As my Mum remarked when informed of Pak Man's passing, this world is only temporary, we each will go when our time comes.

Mum was in hospital for a knee job when Pak Man left us.

They had been very chummy in-laws for as long as I can remember - often taking the mickey of one another.

Mum is also in her eighties - 84 this May

Even how impermanent the world, her independence and zest for life will be a hard act to follow should we, her children, ever reach her age.

Her left knee had been troubling her for the past few years and off late the injections of knee "lubrication" hadn't help much.

Despite our anxieties about her being under general anesthesia at her age, she was adamant about getting her ravaged knee replaced.

"It hurts very badly, it's not getting any better and you all do not feel the pain I am going through", Mum argued.

Last Friday, after getting good results for her blood tests, the surgery was performed by Dr Syed at Ampang Puteri Hospital.

The prognosis was excellent. She may be able to go home in 5 days.

Dr Syed marvelled at Mum's bone density being above average for her age.

She has been taking calcium supplements for the last five years actually, and has always been telling us to do so as well.

In fact her bones are dense enough that his surgical tool smoked when he was cutting through ker knee. He had to "soften" the bone with water! Also helped to cool the tool, I think.

He replaced the joint which had already fused together apparently, but retained her knee-cap and ligaments which are still in good condition.

On Monday, 3 days post-op, Mum was already on her feet walking in Physiotherapy with the aid of a u-frame and climbing up and down 3 steps as well. She had 2 sessions, morning and afternoon.

Yesterday (Tuesday) she ambled down the ward corridor with the frame to chat with a friend's 86 year old mother who was in for some geriatric aches and pains.

Being ambulatory has brought back her appetite and Mum is now clamouring for her own cooking. Hospital food "tak sedap"!

Alhamdulillah Mum will be discharged later today and I don't think anyone can stop her from cooking her favourite pindang fish herself when she gets home.

It won't be wrong to say this eighty-something is a living legend.

(I think I'll start on calcium supplementation pronto!)


Here is an informative link about Total Knee Replacement

An extract:

What is a total knee replacement?

A total knee replacement is a surgical procedure whereby the diseased knee joint is replaced with artificial material. The knee is a hinge joint which provides motion at the point where the thigh meets the lower leg. The thigh bone (or femur) abuts the large bone of the lower leg (tibia) at the knee joint. During a total knee replacement, the end of the femur bone is removed and replaced with a metal shell. The end of the lower leg bone (tibia) is also removed and replaced with a channeled plastic piece with a metal stem. Depending on the condition of the kneecap portion of the knee joint, a plastic "button" may also be added under the kneecap surface.

The posterior cruciate ligament is a tissue that normally stabilizes each side of the knee joint so that the lower leg cannot slide backward in relation to the thigh bone. In total knee replacement surgery, this ligament is either retained, sacrificed, or substituted by a polyethylene post. Each of these various designs of total knee replacement has its benefits and risks.


Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Zen,
TKR sounds so painful. Mama had an op for the shoulder many years ago and is still complaining! purrr...meow!

Wan Sharif said...

I have a friend in Ampang Puteri who can equally perform the task.. Dr A Wahab bin A Ghani..
Hopefully your mum rest herself well enough between her cooking session;)).

Zendra-Maria said...

Cats, my Mum says there is no more pain. Doc says she has to gradually re-train the muscles on the wonky leg pulak. Your poor Mama - did she use to play rugby?

Zendra-Maria said...

Ayoh Wang, from my observations at the doc's clinic, bones and joints seem to be problematic with Malaysians. The young ones see him for sport-related injuries while the older ones seem to complain of back and knee problems. 2 bone specialists in that hospital may not be enough judging from the long waiting time at their clinics.

My mum eats and sleeps well most days :)

Oldstock said...

Kak Zen, my wish for your mom to recover fully. And condolonces to the passing of your uncles...

Zendra-Maria said...

Thank you very much Oldstock, you're too kind :)

Let's see..... if you are old stock, shall we call eighty-somethings "classic" then?

masterwordsmith said...

Hope your mom is ok by now...My belated condolences to you...Take care and have a restful evening.

Ozz said...


It hurts our heart whenever our mums are not feeling well...may your mum gets well soon.

Zendra-Maria said...

Thanks Paula, thanks OZZ

Mum is fine now... she has done away with the frame but refused to use a tongkat.. she'd rather hold on to someone - more chic that way hehehe

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