Mei Xiang Black & White Fish Soup

There is a stall that I wanted to try but cannot make it because it opens on weekdays and closes early too. Some food bloggers suggested this fish soup stall at Jalan Berseh food court.

There is a queue before the stall starts selling at 11.30AM. These people would sit around the food stall, and form the queue. The queue moves quite fast after that.

I do not really like fried fish, however, this stall did not have any other option on the menu. It consisted of both fried fish and fresh sliced fish. It came with a bowl of rice. I was not impressed by the fish meat but they were fresh. The amount of fish was generous for a small bowl.

I liked the soup. It was flavourful yet not too strong. It has the unique taste of fish soup. It is definitely different from the standard fish soups out there. The colour of the soup was a little milky without adding milk. I did not recall they asked if I wanted to add milk. The soup went well with the white rice.

There were some vegetables too but they did not have beancurd, a slice of tomato or seaweeds in the soup. Some other stalls added these ingredients to the fish soup too.

Address: Berseh Food Centre Stall 44, 166 Jln Besar, Singapore 208877.

Classic Chee Cheung Fun

The classic old-school plain chee cheung fun can be one of the good choices for breakfast in Singapore. However, I did not always see it available everywhere. I would like to share these stalls that I found in the Singapore hawker centres that served decent chee cheung fun.

Background

A rice noodle roll is a Cantonese dish from Guangdong Province. The rice noodles themselves have little flavour. Usually, it serves with sweet sauce, soya sauce, and some chilli paste. Also, they will add vegetable oils to ensure the chee cheung food are not sticky.

It is different from the Hong Kong-styled chee cheung fun.

Hong Lim Food Centre

Address: 153 Traditional Cuisine #01-53, Hong Lim Food Centre, 531A Upper Cross St, Singapore 051531.

Bukit Timah Market and Food Centre

Address: #02-183 Chee Cheong Fun. Pork Dumpling. Yam Cake. Nonya Dumpling, Bukit Timah Market and Food Centre, 51 Upper Bukit Timah Rd, Singapore 588215.

Richton Cafe

It is a cafe located at one of the HDB blocks in Pasir Ris that serves chee cheung fun too. The cafe has plenty of Malays eating there. Although Google did not mention that it is a Halal cafe, I think they have the Halal sign, therefore, the Malays are visiting the cafe.

I visited the cafe during the morning time and ordered a plate of chee cheung fun with a cup of hot teh-c kosong (tea with evaporated milk without added sugar).

Address: 476A Pasir Ris Drive 6, #01-600, Singapore 511476.

Please share with me where I can have chee cheung fun in the other parts of Singapore.

May Pho Culture

I found this restaurant through an introduction from a Singapore food blogger. I wanted to try out how the Vietnamese food tasted so I dropped by the restaurant on one of my working days for lunch. It is located in Chinatown, Singapore. The Google reviews show it has 4.8 stars.

I went to the restaurant with a colleague, and we tried different kinds of noodles for the first time. I ordered the beef noodles and my colleague ordered the pork ribs noodles.

The broth tastes just like a home-cooked soup. It is full of flavours and it does not need to add extra sauce to make it better. The beef noodles are served with plenty of beef slices. If I am not mistaken the types of noodles used in both bowls of noodles are different.

Usually, Vietnamese shops love to provide a lot of different kinds of green vegetables. I did not really know how to eat them raw or go with the noodles. I hope I can learn it again next time when I visited this restaurant with a Vietnamese friend.

The restaurant is just behind the Hong Lim Food Court. There is another Vietnamese stall that I loved to eat. It is called Quan Co Ba 2. I will share it in another blog post in the future.

Address: Fook Hai Building, 150 South Bridge Rd, #01-16, Singapore 058727.

Reference

Quan Co Ba 2 (3.9 stars) at 153’s Cafe, 153 Tyrwhitt Rd, Singapore 207566.

The Days After Surgery

In my previous post, I mentioned that I took a bus to Our Tampines Hub, two stops from Changi Hospital for lunch. Before that, I asked the nurse if there is any food that I cannot eat after the surgery. The nurse said, no. I would like to share pictures of the food that I ate after the surgery and some of the events that happened during this one week of resting at home.

Yong Tau Foo

I ordered the yong tau foo without noodles. For additional noodles, it will cost another 50 cents. I was thinking I just needed a quick late lunch and went back home for a good rest. I targeted to focus on protein than carbs during this period.

Address: Jia Le Yong Tau Foo, 495 Tampines Ave 5, #01-32 Hawker Centre @ Our Tampines Hub, Singapore 529649.

I was too tired after my shower, and I went to sleep after I submitted my hospitalization leave. I slept for two hours and by the time I woke up, it was evening time. I settled down by ordering zi char at the hawker centre nearby.

Hong Kong Fried Noodles

I love eating Hong Kong fried noodles, so I ordered them from the zi char stall here. It was my first time trying the zi char stall here. There are many comments about this zi char stall but I did not think further. After trying it, personally, I would prefer the zi char stall called the Tong Garden Seafood at Tampines Street 43’s Everyday Come Eating House or the Jia Le Xian Zhu Chao at Tampines Street 45. However, I think it depends on the chef that cooks it.

Address: 419 Seafood, HDB 01-, 419 Tampines Street 41 (S)520419 Singapore 520419 Tampines Street 41, # 104, 520419.

After dinner, I took my antibiotic pill, showered, and made a phone call to my aunt to tell her all went well before I headed to sleep. I did not really drink a lot of water that day but my poo was dark in colour. I wondered for a while. It could be the body waste from my surgery.

Homemade Kaya Butter Toast

I bought a loaf of wholemeal bread, butter and a small bottle of kaya from the Fairprice supermarket to make my breakfast. I made it almost every morning. To make it looks like that is selling in the drink stall, I added an extra piece of butter in the middle of the bread. I did not toast my bread. I am unsure if this is still considered a healthy food because of the ingredients used to make kaya butter bread. I should reduce my sugar intake.

Homemade wanton soup

I am pretty good at making wanton soup and I made some too. I can have the wanton without adding noodles to the soup. Making wanton soup at home is quick and easy. Also, I need more protein for my recovery.

Making cold soba at home

On the second day, I took my antibiotic after my morning brunch. It caused me to feel sleepy and I took an afternoon nap. Occasionally, I felt pain around my wound and another part of my upper body. I maintained my carb intake and tried to focus on protein intake. However, I must remind myself about the sugary food.

Economic fried beehoon

Some articles say that I can eat eggs and some say cannot. I am unsure which one is true. An egg is a source of protein too, however, I think, the egg yolk might not be good for someone after surgery. Besides that, in Chinese belief, it is not good to take soy sauce or dark soy sauce after surgery because it would cause the wound darker. It is too late for me to undo what I have eaten. I added soy sauce when making wantons too. On the third day, I walked to the wet market, I wanted to have some walks and sun. Besides that, I wanted to buy fish for dinner. I had fried beehoon for breakfast which I think was a wrong choice because of the usage of dark soy sauce and sugar. On top of it, there were a fried egg and vegetarian goose. But, they were delicious food.

Address: Everyday Come Coffee Shop 天天來咖啡店, 477 Tampines Street 43, #01-190, Singapore 520477.

Salted bun

I think I did not follow much of what I should not eat after surgery. I ate a salted bun that I bought from the same coffee shop on the same morning. Although it is not deep fried or oily, I think I should not eat heaty food too. However, I loved this salted bun, and it is very nice compared to the salted buns from Eastlink food court at Tampines Interchange, U-taste at the Tampines Interchange and Dough Culture at Tampines Mall.

Address: Everyday Come Coffee Shop 天天來咖啡店, 477 Tampines Street 43, #01-190, Singapore 520477.

Home-brewed black coffee

I paired the salted bun with black coffee and ate with Hugo (the soft toy in the background). Hugo has been my breakfast-lunch-dinner buddy since day 2 because I was alone at home. I made my home-brewed black coffee using the coffee powder from Suzuki, a local brand in Singapore. I bought it from Fairprice supermarket.

Home-cooked yee mian with vegetables, egg and sliced gingers

An article mentioned that eating gingers have a variety of effects on the skin that may contribute to improved wound healing. So, I added some sliced gingers to my noodles. I cooked with egg and vegetables. I think I need to eat more leafy and green vegetables. Again, I grabbed Hugo to eat with me while watching some drama. It was quite boring at home alone and eating alone.

I still can feel slight discomfort on and off throughout the whole day. No major issues with my health, wound, or my diet. I still needed to take an afternoon nap after my lunch. I tried to do something different on the fourth day because I have been limiting my activities in the past few days.

Avocado with egg toast

Finishing the avocado that I bought some time ago with an egg. I made the toast using the air fryer. The egg white was not fully cooked but I do not think I should air-fry it longer than 10 minutes. Maybe, I need a bigger piece of bread so that the egg is right on top of the bread. The egg yolk was still rummy when I bite on it.

I took a shower to remove the waterproof plaster that covered my wound as per instructed by the nurse. I could do so on the fourth day. Nothing happened after the plaster was removed. I went out to explore another neighbourhood, Serangoon.

Char kway teow

Cheat day food. I am not supposed to eat char kway teow because it is oily and cooked with dark soy sauce. It came with prawns too. Some myths mentioned that having chicken and seafood slows down wound healing. I took two pieces of prawns with some eggs. The char kway teow is a bit spicy. I think it is best not to eat any spicy food for a week. I broke the rule. I did not encounter any bad experiences after eating the noodles. Days after that, I did have a little discomfort but I am unsure whether it is related. I did not feel pain in my wound area.

Address: NAN YANG DAO 南洋岛, Blk 262 Serangoon Central, #01-85, Singapore: 550262.

Three-layer coffee

Three-layer refers to the three layers of coffee, evaporated milk, and palm sugar syrup. The drink is usually served cold. The differences in density among these three ingredients give the appearance of three layers of colour. I shall avoid sugary sweets and sugary drinks.

Address: NAN YANG DAO 南洋岛, Blk 262 Serangoon Central, #01-85, Singapore: 550262.

Ice-cream

I am not sure if ice cream is allowed as the website that I used to check what I can eat after surgery mentioned that I can eat plain ice cream. What is plain ice cream? I think it may refer to vanilla ice cream. I have two more chocolate cones inside my freezer. I need to keep it for another time.

Address: 15-2 Jln Riang, Singapore 358987.

I failed my fourth day of recovery with plenty of carbs and food that I should not be eating. They did no good for my recovery. I skipped dinner on the fourth day. I ate something light before I took my medication and went to bed. It took me a while before I fell asleep too.

The fifth day was not pleasantly good, I did not have enough rest the night before. I dreamt a lot through the night and was unable to catch some quality sleep. After I woke up from my sleep, I went to check my emails and re-sent the leave application to my HR as an update. I did not go back to rest immediately. Instead, I planned to go out for lunch. I travelled out to the Bedok area and tried to have some slow walks around the area as part of my exercise. My working exercise did not affect my recovery at the moment.

Zhong Xing Ban Mian

A little disappointed with the ban mian that I ate at Bedok Interchange Food Center. I ordered the dry version which I should not have, yet the sauce was not up to the taste. Compared to the L32 Handmade Noodles, this stall needs to improve its sauce for the dry version. The soup was salty, it should go well for the soup version. I tried a little bit of the chilli paste for a taste. It needs improvement too. For the carbs portion, it was generous, and they served with plenty of anchovies, minced meat and a cooked egg. I would prefer the egg to be placed in the soup.

Address: Bedok Interchange Hawker Centre, 208B New Upper Changi Rd, #01-46, Singapore 462208.

Duke Bakery

I went to buy a loaf of bread from the Duke Bakery as I was around the area, so why not? I chose cranberry walnut bread. It would be my breakfast for the coming days because the wholemeal bread was going to finish.

Home-cooked chicken soup

With the remaining ingredients that I have, I cooked a bowl of chicken soup again without noodles. The shredded chicken from the chicken soup was then added with seasonings so that I could wrap it with my sandwiches. From the picture below, it looked dry and unappetizing. I cooked the shredded chicken with onion and parsley for quite a long before I off the stove, hence, the sauce dried up. Still, it went well with my plain sandwich.

On the sixth day, my medication would finish and I did not need to look for breakfast or brunch to eat before taking medication.

Initially, I planned to return to work on the sixth day so that I could work on the deployment work, however, due to a change arrangement, my DevOps team would not be in the office for me to work on it. Therefore, I dropped the plan to work in the office. I continued to work at home to clear up some of the emails and backlogs. Since I skipped breakfast, I decided to go out early to get my lunch and I could take my medication after that.

341 Beach Road Pho

I ordered the beef pho. Eating beef is a good source of protein that good for my after-surgery recovery. I added some lime juice into the soup, and of course, I tried the original taste too. The soup is tasty and mild. I prefer something stronger. Even adding the lime juice did not greatly enhance the flavour. Unlike another Vietnamese stall that I liked, this stall gave onions and beansprouts only. It did not have other greens that usually come with it. It is fine because I did not eat all the vegetables used in Vietnamese food. There were about 5-6 pieces of medium-sized beef with a generous amount of pho.

Address: Luk Lu Eating House, 341 Beach Rd, #01-06, Singapore 199567.

This eating place was quite crowded so I did not spend a lot of time finishing up my bowl of noodles and made a move to another place. I went to Golden Mile Food Centre for more options. I thought I wanted a second round before I went back but I decided just to take away a cup of coffee from this stall called Kopi More.

Kopi More

It was just for a try. I am not fancy about its way of preparing the coffee and the price for a cup of coffee from this stall is more expensive than other stalls in the same food centre. I waited patiently for my kopi-o-kosong, coffee without milk and sugar. My review is the coffee tasted like a double espresso without any sugar. It was really strong and I was not able to finish it immediately. I took it home as I have a meeting to attend.

Address: Golden Mile Food Centre #B1-49, 505 Beach Rd, 199583.

I attended the meeting with a few of my colleagues with a cup of strong coffee. I could stay awake while listening to my colleagues. I complained a lot after that. Then, another colleague asked me why I attended the meeting when I was still on hospitalization leave. My colleague told me to go rest and not to work. I listened to the advice.

Home-cooked fish and broccoli

Both are good sources of protein and vitamins that are good for my after-surgery recovery. I steamed the fish and broccoli.

On the seventh night, I dreamt a lot again but they were not really something important to remember. Lately, the dreams were about completing tasks or events. I did not sleep early too. I stayed alert even at 12AM.

Green Bean Soup

For dessert, I ate green bean soup. Green beans contain some of the vitamins that I needed after surgery such as vitamin B, iron and zinc.

Two more days before I resumed working, I intended to travel out to get my lunch instead of cooking at home. I chose to have a bowl of fish soup for my recovery. There is a stall that I wanted to try but cannot make it because it opens on weekdays and closes early too.

Mei Xiang Black & White Fish Soup

I do not really like fried fish, however, this stall did not have any other option on the menu. It consisted of both fried fish and fresh sliced fish. It came with a bowl of rice. I was not impressed by the fish meat. However, I liked the soup. It was flavourful yet not too strong. It went well with the white rice.

Address: Berseh Food Centre Stall 44, 166 Jln Besar, Singapore 208877.

After lunch, I went for a walk around this area, and I found there were two other food courts nearby that have some stalls with good ratings or reviews. I hope to try them one day and add my reviews to my blog. I was supposed to have dinner around the same place too but I was tired and sleepy after lunch.

I headed back home for a rest, and I took a nap. I did not know why recently I would feel sleepy in the afternoon. I needed a nap. I was hoping that on the day I back to the office, I would be able to skip napping and stay alert.

Having soup base food for this week seemed to be something that I looked forward to the most. I ordered the pig organ soup from the Cheng Mun Chee Kee Pig Organ Soup too for dinner.

Cheng Mun Chee Kee Pig Organ Soup

On this visit, I was able to order a side dish because a friend joined us for dinner. We ordered the minced meat with chestnut. I did not stay long at this stall because I wanted to drop some of the IT books at Hackerspace SG. Also, I needed to rest more and did not want to stay out late.

Address: Cheng Mun Chee Kee Pig Organ Soup 正文志记猪什汤大王 , 24 Foch Rd, Singapore.

So far, I have made chicken soup at home and eaten fish and pork soups at the food court. Next, I would try the beef and mutton soups too. If you have any good recommendations for Chinese-herbal-style beef or mutton soups in Singapore, especially on the east side, please leave me a comment. For the time being, I would prefer to avoid the Malay style of mutton soup.

On my last day of hospitalization leave, I cooked one pot of soup for lunch and dinner by having some different ingredients for lunch and dinner with the same soup. However, I put the same ingredients such as tofu and green vegetables for both.

For lunch

For dinner

Thank you for reading it until the end. That is all about my food and my days after the surgery.

Old Airport Road Lor Mee

It is a famous lor mee stall at the Old Airport Road Hawker Centre. It has a branch at 406 Tampines Street 41. The stall name is Xin Mei Xiang Zheng Zong Lor Mee. The Google reviews show it has 3.5 stars.

Lor Mee Background

Lor mee is a Hokkien noodle dish from Zhangzhou served in thick starchy gravy. The thick gravy is made of corn starch, spices, meat, seafood and eggs.

There was no queue when I placed my order. They offer the basic lor mee and add-on ingredients. I decided to add on some fried popcorn chicken. Other ingredients include a half-hard-boiled egg, some beansprouts, and shredded meat. The vinegar, parsley and minced garlic are must-have for lor mee. If you do not like vinegar, you can opt-out. It is the same goes for chilli paste.

The cashier asked me whether I wanted to mix the noodles, they have the yellow noodles and vermicelli (bee hoon). I opted for mixed noodles so that the vermicelli can absorb some of the sauces.

If I crave for lor mee, this stall definitely is my choice in Tampines. I guess there are not many lor mee stalls in Tampines too. The other famous lor mee is Ma Bo Lor Mee which has fewer add-on ingredients than Old Airport Road lor mee.

Address: 406 Tampines Street 41, #01-07, Singapore 520406 (Wu Fu Coffeeshop)

References

Other lor mee stalls in Tampines that I found from Google Maps.

  • Jue Shi Lor Mee (3.9 stars) at #01-45, Our Tampines Hub Kopitiam.
  • 137 Lor Mee Prawn Mee (3.8 stars) at 137A Tampines St. 11, #01-09, Singapore 522137.
  • Ma Bo Lor Mee (4.1 stars) at 216 Bedok North Street 1, #01-76, Singapore 460216.

Day Surgery

I did not plan to document my experience of my day surgery that happened on 25th August 2022 at Changi Hospital, Singapore. However, after I watched the Hong Kong drama, The White Big Duel, I feel I wanted to pen down my experience.

I was supposed to op earlier in June

It was not my first surgery in Singapore. The first time happened on 20th May 2022. I did a biopsy to determine the lump’s condition and status in my body. After the biopsy result, the doctor and I agreed to go for surgery to remove the lump from my body. My operation was set for 13th June 2022 but later it changed to 23rd June 2022.

However, I did not manage to go to the surgery before I was COVID-19 positive two weeks before that. The hospital sets a rule that any COVID-19 recovered patients have to wait for 6-8 weeks before allowing them to go for surgery.

Two months later

Days before my surgery, I applied for two days of medical leaves. I did not know how many days of absence the hospital would give me before that.

A day before the 25th August surgery, the nurse called me to inform some of the procedures before the surgery day. It included an ART-negative test to be done on 24th August after 6PM and started fasting after 12AM. I was allowed to drink plain water before 6AM on the 25th of August.

Dinner before fasting

I did not intend to eat a lot of food, however, I wanted to have some spicy food before my surgery because I would stop eating spicy and fried food for a while after the surgery. I made some wantons with chilli oils. I cooked the spicy ramyeon (Korean instant noodle) and ate it together with the wantons. Also, I made a cup of milo that I just bought from Fairprice supermarket before I went to sleep at 11PM.

This is the no added sugar milo that I bought from Fairprice. I tried it twice so far, and it is quite sugarless. However, a cup of good milo always comes with a lot of sweetness, and a strong cacao taste, and have to drink it with ice.

On 25th August, morning

I did not drink anything after I woke up in the morning on the 25th of August at 6.30AM. Then, I prepared myself to leave the house. Before leaving, I prayed to God for safe and smooth surgery. I asked God to be by my side throughout the whole process.

At the hospital, I queued and waited for my turn. When my name was called, I talked to a Malay nurse who held my profile in a file named #14. She walked through the surgery details with me including the total estimated cost and the need of using an anaesthetic during my surgery. She updated my residential address, asked if I recovered from COVID-19, and took a look at the ART-negative picture that I took yesterday. These are the normal procedures for every patient in the queue.

How do I go home later?

Additional, she asked me whether anyone is coming with me today or going to pick me up later after the surgery. I told her no, I was here alone. Then, she asked for an emergency contact detail, just in case they needed it. The nurse asked again about my arrangement to go home after surgery and asked if there were any need for them to arrange Grab’s service for me.

At this point in time, I felt a little scared and looked around. There were some patients with their family members, and there were a few of us without anyone. I started to think, that when I grow older I have to face it alone again. Then, I asked God, “how nice it would be if there is a companion coming with me? And God knows who I wanted to be with me at this moment”.

Waiting to be called

Next, an Indian nurse came out and called my name. She brought me into ward bed #14. It was a 6-bedded female ward. Patient’s family members are allowed to be in the ward but they cannot stay in the ward while waiting for the patient to complete the surgery. It is a simple hospital bed with a pillow and a blanket. The blanket looked like a big-sized towel. My photo did not show what the blanket looked like.

She guided me on how to change the surgery clothes and took my blood pressure (BP). My reading was normal and good. Regular blood pressure hovers around 120/80.

Next, another Malay nurse came and asked me whether I wanted to keep my mobile phone and wallet in a sealed envelope. There is a logbook that I have to sign. It is safer to keep it with them than to leave them in the drawer next to the bed. Other items such as my clothes and my bag were left inside the drawer.

No issues for me retrieving my properties after the surgery. I do not know about other hospitals or other wards in the same hospital and whether any cases of missing items.

Why do I need to check my blood pressure before the surgery?

I googled to find the answer. Higher blood pressure elevations confer an increased operative risk and must be carefully controlled before surgery.

One by one the patients next to me were being pushed to the operation theatre room. I was a little anxious because I was left alone sitting on the hospital bed. Then, a Chinese lady doctor came into my ward and talked to me. She was the anaesthetic doctor, she asked me a few questions, and re-sought my consent of using the drug during my surgery.

Around 9AM, I was given two paracetamol with codeine pills. The doctor needed me to take the pills before the surgery. I think it helped to reduce my pain after the surgery. I was pushed to the operating theatre room by the same Indian nurse. This moment, it was just the same as what I watched in the drama. No other nurses or doctors pushing together.

Inside the other room, there was a group of doctors and nurses outside the operating theatre room. Again, they repeated the questions that I was being asked in the ward. That included my name, my ID and what operation I was going to do. I was given a surgical cap (shower cap) to wear on my head. It was the same in the drama too.

It took me about another 10 minutes before a male anaesthetic doctor started placing a needle or tube for an intravenous (IV) injection. While the doctor was doing it on my left hand, another nurse was standing on my right side and asking me the same questions. Maybe, they wanted to divert my attention as the needle is quite a pain.

What is intravenous medication?

With IV administration, a thin plastic tube called an IV catheter is inserted into your vein. The catheter allows your healthcare professional to give you multiple safe doses of medication without needing to poke you with a needle each time.

Preparation

It seemed like there was a rush to prepare me for the operation theatre before the doctor arrived. I moved into the operation theatre after the anaesthetic doctor has done his part. At this point in time, I was still conscious. Inside the operation room, it looked about the same as what I saw in the drama too.

I wonder, why green colour is used in surgery?

Often, after staring at the reddish organs and body parts that surgeons are working with, the colours and objects start to blend together. Green provides a valuable contrast that helps surgeons distinguish between different shades of red and pink.

Everyone inside the operation theatre seemed busy. I moved from my hospital bed to the operation bed located at the centre of the room. At one point, I asked the nurse, what was the time, and she told me it was 9.12AM. I needed the time so that I knew the estimated time my surgery began.

The anaesthetic doctor got ready to inject the IV medications, however, another doctor told him to on-hold. My doctor wanted to come and see me before they put me to sleep. They put a warm blanket (it looked like a plastic blanket with warm air) underneath my blanket to keep me warm when I was in the operation theatre. The room was quite cold.

So Why Is It So Cold in the OR?

The real reason operating rooms are kept so cool is for the comfort of OR personnel, specifically the surgeon. When wearing a sterile gown for a length of time, especially while standing under warm OR lights, your surgeon can become quite hot. The room is often kept cool to keep the surgeon and the staff more comfortable. Special warming devices can be used to keep you warm during surgery.

How did I feel before I lost consciousness?

Shortly after my doctor dropped by to say hi to me, the anaesthetic doctor injected the medication. This part is slightly different from what I watched in the drama. Maybe, there are different methods to apply the medication.

My left hand started to feel cold and numb. The nurse removed my face mask. I was still conscious because the same doctor was trying to adjust the oxygen mask on my face. However, the size was too big for me, and the nurse was looking for a smaller size. After they changed it to a smaller mask and tried to place it over my mouth and nose, I started to feel sleepy. As I inhaled more oxygen, I lost consciousness.

This is what the oxygen mask looked like when I was in the operation theatre. I was not sure whether I was using it all the time during the surgery.

An hour later

When I woke up later in the operation theatre, I was without an oxygen mask, and I was on my hospital bed. I did not know when they moved me back to my own hospital bed. The nurse passed me my face mask that she took out from the plastic cover. I asked the nurse what was the time. It was 10.30AM. I did not feel pain when I woke up from my sleep.

Then, I was pushed out of the operation theatre to rest. I was too weak to open my eyes or stay alert. So, I continued to sleep for another 30 minutes before the nurse woke me up again. She pushed me back to my ward at 11.00AM. At this point in time, I felt a little discomfort around my wound and my left hand.

Breakfast and drink

The Indian nurse came and asked if I wanted to eat breakfast. I said, yes. The hospital provided small snacks such as pieces of bread. As for drinks, I can choose either coffee, tea, milo or plain water. I asked for a cup of coffee and plain water with some bread.

A closer view of the white bread with butter. I hoped it is butter, but it tasted like margarine. It was quite plain, anyway.

However, their black coffee was good. I asked for a second cup too. I wanted to have black coffee’s caffeine to help me during that period. So far, I did not experience unbearable pain while having my breakfast. I did not experience vomiting as how the patient next to me did.

The IV catheter was still attached to my left hand when I was eating my breakfast and I needed the nurse’s help to retrieve my personal belongings from the nurse. Also, I asked the nurse when I would be able to discharge. She told me that I would need to wait until 2PM or upon the doctor’s instruction.

I tried to check what was still hanging there. However, my hand was a little shaky and I was unable to take a clearer picture. Anyway, it dried up. A nurse came and removed the IV catheter. Some blood oozed out from the needle’s hole. I used the gauze pads given by the nurse to stop the bleeding meanwhile the same nurse attended to another patient. She came back with plaster after my bleeding stopped.

Plasmalyte 148, pH 7.4 infusion solution used in clinical medicine to provide water, electrolytes and calories to patients.

Another BP check

Halfway enjoying my breakfast, another Malay nurse came to measure my BP. My reading turned out to be quite low. The nurse asked me whether my BP was always low. I told her my reading was normal before the surgery. I think it is common to have low blood pressure shortly after surgery, and it would gradually increase to normal readings. The patient next to me was also the same.

The nurses reminded me to drink water and allowed me to go to the washroom on my own as long as I was not feeling giddy. The nurses even asked me whether I went to the washroom or not. I did not know why they asked this question, and why I must drink water.

Discharged around 2PM

Throughout the waiting period, I did not feel any pain and felt quite comfortable sitting on the bed. The time passed quite fast, and finally, a doctor came and checked my condition, and my wound. With the presence of a female nurse, the doctor checked my wound. The doctor applied some pressure on my wound and asked if I felt pain. Yes, I did and it was bearable. The nurse took my last BP reading before telling me that they would prepare to discharge me in short while.

Another nurse came with my discharge summary, the slip to get medication from the pharmacy, my hospitalization leave letter and my next appointment schedule. She explained to me how to take care of my wound, the bandage and what I should do in the next few days.

At the pharmacy, waited an hour

Then, I changed my clothes and headed to the pharmacy to collect my medication. I was quite surprised to see the waiting time, up to 40 minutes. It was crowded at that time, with almost no seats. So, I went out of the pharmacy and sat on the bench near the medical centre’s arrival hall.

It was time I started to feel a little pain, and I thought it would be good to check out whether my number has been called to collect the medication. One of them was a painkiller. I thought I might need it soon.

Wish someone picks me up

When I was sitting here, I wished that Mr Brown would come and pick me (Cony) up from the hospital and back home. Of course, I did not want Mr Brown to hold and drag me in that way la. Going home alone after surgery is a sad thing. I asked God, why?

After an hour of waiting, I collected my medication and decided to look for food. I need to eat something before taking the medication. However, I did not feel like having my lunch in the hospital so I went back home. While walking to the bus stop, I thanked God for being by my side and asked God to go home with me as I was alone. I tried to stay positive throughout the whole process or journey.

You may ask why I took a bus instead of calling Grab service. Although I felt the pain, I was fine to take a bus. It was just a few stops away from the hospital. On the way, I stopped by Our Tampines Hub for late lunch. It was 3.30PM when I sat down and ate my lunch. I did not take the painkiller because it has side effects, it would cause constipation. For that, I would need to drink a lot of water.

Submitted hospitalization leave

I sent an update to the manager about my leave and marked it on the calendar after I got home and showered. Then, I went to bed and took a nap. I woke up once a while in between my nap to drink water.

The pain started to kick in

At this point in time, my pain started to kick in more and I needed to adjust my sleeping position. I could not sleep well and I woke up to do other things. I did not plan to cook that night but I could not walk too far to get my dinner. So, I settled down by ordering zi char at the hawker centre below my block at 7.30PM. After that, I went back home and took my medication. I needed to finish 5-day antibiotics.

Sharing my experience

My aunt called me at night and I shared with her my experience. I tried to recall every single detail of the events just like what I am trying to do here. This just covered my day one – the surgery day. Hopefully, I will be sharing more of my recovery process in the next post.

Thankfully, my surgeries are fully covered by MediSave and the insurance plans that I bought in Singapore.

References

Cafe Hopping In Joo Chiat

It is just a little blog page that compiles some of the cafe hopping activities in Singapore. On this page, I share some of the cafes that I tried in the Joo Chiat area.

Choice Cuts Goods + Coffee

I visited the cafe sometime back in September 2020. It is a small cafe with, a limited seating area, and it is a takeaway concept. It is good enough to spend time with loved ones or friends while having a cup of drink or a piece of dessert. They are still operating at the same location till now.

Address: 446 Joo Chiat Rd, Singapore 427659.

Kōhī Roastery & Coffee Bar

I came across this cafe after watching a Youtube video that introduced Joo Chiat’s food. Then, I introduced this tiny hole cafe at Joo Chiat to a colleague in May 2022, and we visited the cafe twice so far.

I liked their hot Hojicha latte during my second visit to the cafe. I tried the normal cold flat white too on my first visit.

The stall is located at the corner of the back lane. I think it is hard to spot the cafe name from the road. There are two more cafes at the front of the same building on level one.

Address: 283 Joo Chiat Rd, Singapore 427535.

Good Intentions

It is not far from Choices Cuts Goods + Coffee. I liked the ambience in this cafe, especially because it has tables at level two. Although my view is not next to the windows, I am still able to see the view from afar. I ordered the normal flat white from their menu. It comes with a cup of ice water too. Good service!

Address: 45 East Coast Rd, Singapore 428765.

Forty Hands East Coast

It has 4.2 stars on Google rating, however, this cafe is closing soon on Sept 12, 2022. Both the East Coast and Tiong Bahru’s branches will be closed. It is famous for its fluffy red bean bun, and customers love to pair it with a coffee to watch the world go by.

I tried it once when my friend brought me to the cafe on one of the public holidays. We were lucky to get a table without waiting for long. The cafe was super crowded, so I believed it served the people from the neighbourhood well, especially since this area has plenty of cafes.

Address: 226 East Coast Rd, Singapore 428923.

References

Sam Kan Chong in Singapore

I think it is rare to find Sam Kan Chong (pork ball noodles) in Singapore. Mostly, the hawker stalls serve the minced meat bak chor mee here. Last month, I went to Chinatown Food Complex for lunch. The food court is big. I tried to walk to a different area of the food court, not too far from where my colleague was seated.

Then, I saw a picture that looked like the pork balls that I used to eat in Kuala Lumpur. I tried to search the stall name on Google and found it is really serving the KL-style pork balls noodle in Singapore.

I am delighted to find one here but I am not sure about its tastes. The stall runs by an uncle, and no queue at the time I made my order.

However, I still needed to wait for quite a while for him to prepare the noodles. He did not ask if I want to add chilli to my noodles. By default, the sauce does not have chilli; it is the same style as those in Kuala Lumpur.

By the photo itself, it looks authentic. The sauce is a savoury black sauce, and it goes well with my kway teow. It comes with 3 pieces of pork balls and sausages. From Google reviews, the pork balls are said to be imported from Kuala Lumpur on weekly basis.

Overall, it is delicious yet it is expensive too because it is a rare gem in Singapore. It would be good if the uncle can consider not using disposable bowls and chopsticks.

Address: 335 Smith St, #02-118, Chinatown Food Complex, Singapore.

Ho Seng Kee Wanton Mee

I bumped into Zermatt’s Youtube channel, and one of his videos was recommending a restaurant at City Square, Johor Bahru, Malaysia. It is located nearby Malaysian Immigration. So, I think there should be quite a lot of Singaporeans trying the food here.

I did a google search and found a few bloggers shared their views on this restaurant in the years 2017, and 2018. Google rating is 4.1 stars. The brand started since the year 1936.

At the first glance at its menu, it looks quite expensive for a bowl of noodles. However, I think I have to factor in the cosy environment; eating in an air-conditioned restaurant. Also, the noodles are made of 100% duck eggs and chicken eggs with wheat flour. It is the quality of the noodles that count. Next, the portion of the meat, I think it is generous too.

It comes with a customizable ordering app, and the serving is quite fast. It uses the robot to deliver the food to the table. The sauces seem to be quite similar to those that I can find in Singapore. I feel it lacks Malaysian authentic wanton mee taste if it is mixed with chilli and so on.

It is my opinion based on the Youtube above. Whether I will try it one day, I think it depends.

Address: Johor Bahru City Square, Lot J6-07, J6-07A, J6-08 & J6-08A, Level 6, No. 106, 108, Jalan Wong Ah Fook, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia.

Blanco Court Beef Noodles

Recently, I revisited the restaurant at Our Tampines Hub, Singapore for lunch before I headed out to the city. It has a new item on its menu when I visited the restaurant with my friend. It is spicy mala beef noodles in a dry version. It comes with a small bowl of soup.

I gave it a try without giving high hope that it would turn out great because I still preferred their traditional soup base or the thick gravy. I ordered the medium spicy level. It turned out just normal spiciness. For those who like spicy food, maybe, extra spicy is the better option.

Soup base

I hope I get the right photo of the soup base Blanco Court Beef Noodles, sliced beef, and its side dish. It has a generous serving of meat with pickled vegetables. I do not recall the name of the side dish, but, I think it should be you tiao with stuffed meat.

Google rating is 4.0 stars for the branch at Our Tampines Hub.

Address: Our Tampines Hub, #01-15, 5 Tampines Walk, Singapore 528523.

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