Posts filed under Health

Caffeine can be dangerous!

Filed in Food & Drink, General, HealthTags: , , ,

This article (referred by this article) claims that caffeine is not dangerous for people with heart arrhythmias. People (including teenagers) have died from drinking too much caffeine; their hearts stopped beating; and I know for a fact that some people are very sensitive to caffeine.

There's a very careful selection of words used in the review; "most patients", "caffeine in moderate doses", "well tolerated"; words that some call 'fat' words, allowing for a large range of interpretation.

The review concludes that "there is therefore no reason to restrict ingestion of caffeine".

Curious that one of the reviewers of the data was a paid consultant for Red Bull.

I wouldn't want to be the reviewers' lawyer.

P.S. Caffeinated drinks include coffee, many softdrinks, energy drinks, chocolate and tea; and yes, that includes Chinese tea.

Resurrection. Part 2: General Symptoms.

Filed in General, HealthTags: ,

I can remember several experiences over the last ten years that were brought about by my ailment. I can remember them vividly because they were quite severe, and I'll describe some of them for you in the next chapter of this series. In today's chapter however, I'll quickly describe some of the general symptoms I've experienced.

Fatigue was a big problem. I felt tired for most of the day on most days. Even if I slept for an extra two or three hours during the day, I would still feel tired. One result of the perpetual fatigue was that I was almost always passive rather than pro-active. This was probably why I was able to continue my work at TVB, because they'd call me up to go to work and I'd go. It was that simple. On the other hand, trying to actively prepare for engagements, or walk out the door to exercise, or even prepare breakfast was extremely hard to do.

Watching tv became a big part of my life because watching tv is the easiest passive activity on Earth. Procrastination also became a way of life because I didn't have the energy to actively work on those tasks that were most urgent. This didn't mean that I didn't get any work done, but it did mean that the most urgent work was normally left until the last minute.

My body also suffered. Over the years, injury and illness became more common. Before the programming incident, I was rarely ill. During the last three or four years however, I found myself mildly ill for many months at a time. Healing was also a problem such that running or weight lifting did not lead to healthier larger muscles as it should have, and led to injuries instead. Looking back, I suspect that this was also an ingredient in my vocal problems; even though I trained, my vocal cords were not able to build strength as they would normally do.

My moods were unpredictable. There were times when my body felt as if it had hoarded large quantities of adrenaline, so much so that I wanted to explode. This unfortunately and regrettably led to uncontrollable, unnecessary and unreasonable rage, most of it in the privacy of our home. I remember raging uncontrollably and knowing in my mind at that very moment that the rage was completely unjustified but unable to stop regardless. There was a period of time when it was very very difficult for my family to be with me. Happily, those days are far behind us now although they'll never be forgotten.

Next time, I'll describe some of the individual experiences I remember. I think you'll find them intriguing. And then in a later chapter, I'll tell you what I think the ailment is.

Take care all.

Resurrection. Part 1: The Beginning.

Filed in General, HealthTags: , ,

Almost 10 years ago, I succumbed to a debilitating physical/physiological problem that nobody could diagnose or treat correctly.

At the time, I was writing software to aid database developers who worked with the FileMaker database system. I spent day after day working on it for months. Many programmers will tell you that it's difficult to pull yourself away from a project once you get involved, and I often spent 12 to 15 hours a day working on the software. Most nights, I slept only 3 or 4 hours, and not very soundly because one ear was kept open while I slept to listen for fights and incidents involving a village puppy I'd befriended earlier in the year.

After 3 or 4 months of this schedule, my body gave up and I lost the ability to do anything conscientiously. It was a hard time for my family. I saw a doctor and was promptly prescribed anti-depression medication because my ailment was not understood and therefore deemed to be psychosomatic in nature. People around me and at TVB were telling me to buck up, get back in the game, stop moping, pull yourself together, etc. They simply didn't understand, and that's the biggest problem with this ailment; nobody understands it except those who have experienced it personally.

The symptoms are terrible and life changing. You feel exhausted and fatigued all day every day. You are unable to do anything that your responsibilities dictate should be done. Hormonal rage becomes an unpredictable part of daily life. And for me, stage nerves transformed into stage terror. This was perhaps the most serious symptom for me because where I once loved performing on stage, I was now in fear of it, or rather in fear of the terror that I would probably experience on the stage. It was extremely debilitating (and life threatening) and there were many occasions when I considered giving up performing because I felt so tired, and more importantly to avoid the fear and the terror.

A mystery to me, I was still able to function at TVB although it was very strenuous trying to maintain the energy in my characters while on set. I distinctly remember my role as Marco Polo, thinking at the time that Marco Polo would probably have been an extraordinary man with unlimited energy, intelligence and curiosity, and then using every ounce of my limited energy to try and portray that in the character. It was hard.

The last 10 years have been very difficult, but my family and I survived and it's almost over.

In August this year, I flew to L.A. to begin recording my album. While in L.A., I was suddenly besieged by multiple sources of significant stress; health, financial, responsibility. Where most healthy people would be able to continue with their lives, my body's reaction was instead pronounced. The muscles in my upper body, shoulders and neck all responded by tensing up as hard as possible. This included the muscles in my throat, and I was no longer able to sing. I saw a wonderful ENT specialist in L.A., and extended my stay by two weeks in the hope that I'd recover and be able to record my songs, but I didn't recover and the recording had to be postponed indefinitely.

Since then, I've reflected and analysed these past years since the programming period 10 years ago, and I've realised that my body in its current condition is unable to handle stress. If I'm to turn my life around, accomplish worthy goals and fulfil my dreams, I will need to cure my body and make it strong again.

Fortunately, I may have discovered the true nature of my ailment, and that makes it possible to repair my body. The healing has started and the future is beginning to look bright!

More later.

Going away?

Filed in Entertainment Ind., General, Health, Travel, WorkTags: ,

I might be going overseas for three months. I'm waiting for confirmation. I hope it happens but it's out of my control. The departure date though, if confirmed, is January 1 which doesn't give me much time to prepare. It's not the packing that I'm concerned with. It's making sure that everything at home is in working order, that our pet supplies are sufficient and that we have enough medicine for them, that our computers and my MacBook Pro are running well, that I have all the computer programs that I might need while away, that my camera and lenses are in great condition, that the rest of our family know how to do the things that I'm normally responsible for like changing the water filter, that… You get the idea.

One of the things that I had to do in preparation for this trip was get inoculations. Surprisingly, the Hong Kong government has a great service for people planning to travel. The Travel Health Service keeps current information about diseases in various parts of the world, and can supply travelers with the medicine and inoculations they might need for that particular trip. You need to make an appointment, but it's quick and easy. My appointment was yesterday and when I arrived at the Kowloon office, I was surprised to find it very quiet. Apparently, most people either don't know about the service or they balk at the basic consultation fee of HK$310.

The doctor asked me about where I was going, explained the diseases currently in effect for that region and then prescribed the medicine for me. All up, I received tablets for one disease and inoculations for three others; I have two sore shoulders today! They also gave me a booklet with a record of the inoculations I received. The total cost was just HK$780; very reasonable.

Let's see if any of you can guess where I might be going. The tablets were for Malaria. The inoculations were for Tetanus, Typhoid Fever and Hepatitis A. Two other diseases that might exist in my target region but for which no inoculations exist are Cholera and Dengue Fever.

I'll reveal the secret destination if and when it's confirmed ;-)

Throat cramps?

Filed in Dogs of our Lives, General, HealthTags: ,

Batty had x-rays a couple of weeks ago and hip dysplasia was not evident. He's on muscle relaxants until we can work out what his problem really is, but even with muscle relaxants, he still has difficulty sitting or lying down. When the vet comes back from holidays in his homeland Scotland, we'll look at other possibilities. Who knows? Maybe he really does have spline problems. We'll see.

My health is also being investigated. With my voice easily affected by two or three songs and feeling strained most of the day, I decided to get a professional opinion. When attending Kan's 莫鎮賢 official re-debut at Olympic City, I ran into Anders Nelsson (also a little interesting history about Anders here) and he recommended that I see an old school buddy of his; an ear, nose and throat specialist. At the doctor's clinic, I described the tightness around my throat, the raspiness after singing only two or three songs and the severe cramps I've experienced at the top of my throat over the last several months. He was surprised by the cramps and said that he'd never heard of these cramps in his thirty years of practice, and simply recommended that I find myself a good singing teacher. He was a very nice doctor but somehow I think his knowledge might be out of date. He did however say that my vocol chords were fine after looking at them through a mirror in my throat.

That evening, I related the doctor's findings and his surprise at my cramping experience to a good friend, a practising doctor who is a genius in so many ways. As soon as I described my cramps, he responded with one of the medical terms for the condition: Laryngeal Spasms. That night, I researched laryngeal spasms on the internet and came across a condition that nearly perfectly explains my symptons; Spasmodic Laryngeal Dystonia, also known as Spasmodic Dysphonia.

Armed with this revelation, I downloaded a list of Speech Pathologists in Hong Kong to get further help. The question was which one should I visit. Everything is a gamble. Will the doctor understand my condition? Spasmodic Dysphonia wasn't understood until only recently. For many years, people with severe Spasmodic Dysphonia were referred to psychiatrists instead of speech pathologists. From the list, I first chose only those doctors whose title explicitly included Speech Pathology. Then, being an Australian, I chose only those doctors who had studied in Australia. That narrowed the list down to just four or five. Choosing someone with a clinic convenient for me narrowed it down to just two. I chose one of those, someone who by chance has the same name as a famous actress from the early days of Hong Kong theatre.

My first examination appointment is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon. With any luck, the doctor will understand the condition and be able to teach me the exercises and precautions necessary to recover fully. The tightness in my laryngeal muscles is affecting my singing, and it's generally uncomfortable for much of the day. It's also causing tension in my jaw and more than a little teeth grinding. Correcting the problem is very important to me, and now is the perfect time while I am relatively free of work obligations. It would also be an excellent opportunity to learn the correct way to speak. I generally begin to lose my voice after chatting for anything more than forty minutes or so.

Update (December 1, 2007)

I didn't have Spasmodic Dysphonia, just severe strain. I'm feeling much much better now. More water, more sleep, less coke, less coffee and some steam. What a difference! Now it's time to begin vocal training again, pretty much from scratch. My chords will require time to build up their strength again.

Thank you all for caring ;-)

Break a Leg Toe!

Filed in General, Health, Life, MemoirsTags: , , , ,

In show business, people wish each other 'break a leg' meaning that they wish success for the person they're talking to. Perhaps, I've unwittingly taken this good luck wish to a whole new level.

A week ago while walking with a few of our kids, I was walking rather lazily and stubbed one of my small toes on a tree root sticking out of the ground. It hurt but I didn't think much of it. After all, who among us has never stubbed their toe? I continued the walk and an hour or so later returned home.

I did what any experienced person would do with an injury. I iced my toes two or three times, ten minutes each time. This flushes the blood out of the injured area carrying debris with it and allows new healthy blood to enter in its place.

Before going to bed that night, I was aware of swelling in my foot and hoped that it would go away after a night's rest.

It didn't, at least, not completely. When I woke up, my toe and foot were still mildly swollen. Since my wife had to visit our family doctor to examine an arm injury, I decided to go with her.

xray of broken toe

The red circles on these two xrays indicate the position of the break just above the head of the fourth phalange (toe bone).

Our doctor looked at my toe and promptly reported that one of the phalanges (i.e., toe bones) was probably cracked. An xray would be needed to confirm it. We went upstairs to another medical clinic and took the xrays. When we returned and showed our doctor, he was noticeably stunned. The phalange was not cracked. It was broken!

I was lucky though. The bone broke and then reconnected itself. I won't need a surgery or a screw to connect the pieces. I'll just need rest and time.

So now I have to keep my walking to a bare minimum for the next four weeks and I have a new walking stick to help keep the weight off my right foot when I'm walking. And I'm not allowed to wear shoes. I can wear my Birkenstock sandals but not closed shoes. I'm not sure how I'm going to work around this when filming my current TVB series but we'll see. For a further four weeks, I'll be able to walk but will have to take care nonetheless.

But I believe that the broken toe has a purpose. My wife and I originally planned to go to Finland or Africa for the last two weeks of December, but that's not going to be possible now. I believe that something important is going to happen in those two weeks that would not be possible if we had left Hong Kong. We'll just have to wait and see.

In the future, I'll try not to be so literal when people bid me 'break a leg'. Oh. Wait a minute. I've already done that. I broke my right thema femur back in 1977 while trying to rescue one of our cats (I think it was Jacob) off the roof of our house.

1977. In the Gympie Memorial Hospital with a broken leg.

Just for you, I've scanned a newspaper photograph taken while I was in the Gympie Memorial Hospital recovering from a broken thema. Cute, don't you think?

For a 750x550 version, click here.

I was in hospital for 11 weeks and enjoyed most of my time there; watching horror movies on TV at night, playing with the nurses including one great male nurse, drawing, painting and more.

I developed a serious crush for the nurse on the right. She was wonderful. A few years after leaving the hospital, I accidentally came upon her again at her home while walking house to house for a Scouts Bob-a-Job fund raiser. That was a happy day and also the last time I saw her. I pray she is well.

In any case, for the time being, just call me Dr House. Believe it or not, Dr House and I have many similarities. We are both injured on the right side and walk with canes with very similar gaits. We both share the name Greg/Gregory. We've both studied medicine, and of course, we're both good looking ;-)

Bob-a-Job. A Scout fund raiser where scouts go from door to door asking to perform any chores available in return for any remuneration the other party was willing to pay. Historically 'bob' was slang for an English shilling. (here is another good read about Bob-a-Job.)

In my days as a scout, the chores I performed included cleaning shoes, mowing lawns, and painting houses, walls, etc.

In some countries, Bob-a-Job is now known as Job Week, and in some countries, it has been cancelled completely because of fears of abuse; people unfairly paying little for difficult chores. The world as we know it continues to degenerate.

Man on fire!

Filed in Current Affairs, Health, Hong KongTags: , , ,

True story.

It was supposed to be a straight forward operation, a small one, a simple one. Cut a small hole above the bronchial airway, pull the large oxygen breathing tube out from the mouth and push the new smaller tube in through the hole.

My brother-in-law Joe had a stroke almost two weeks ago. A blood vessel in his brain had developed an aneurism and while walking the streets of Macau, it burst, streaming blood into his brain. He knew immediately that something was wrong and asked a nearby policeman for help. He was transported to a hospital and treated. He had lost consciousness well before getting to the hospital and his situation was serious.

Fast-forward a week. Joe has been transferred to the Prince of Wales hospital in Sha Tin and is resting and recuperating in the crowded and understaffed Neural ward on the third floor. He can open his eyes but cannot move any of his muscles. He has a long way to go before he'll be normal again. His mouth is perpetually open because his jaw muscles don't respond to commands. Consequently, he breaths through his mouth but cannot moisten it or control where the saliva and nasal fluids go allowing some of it to run down the trachea and build up in the lungs. According to the attending doctor, this may have been one of the causes of the secondary pneumonia infection noted a few days later.

The pneumonia produced massive amounts of phlegm in his lungs and without motor movement or coughing capabilities, the phlegm would remain in his lungs, significantly impeding his ability to breath. Without help, he would die, possibly of suffocation. An air tube was inserted down his throat to assist with his breathing but leaving the tube there long term would probably damage his throat. The doctors therefore decided to cut a small hole through his chest into his trachea and insert a small tube. For the immediate future, this would be a safer and more convenient solution to his breathing problems.

The procedure is relatively simple. Cut a small hole through to the trachea. Pull the large tube out through the mouth. Push the small tube in through the hole. To make sure that the patient doesn't suffer from a lack of oxygen during the procedure, almost-pure oxygen is fed to the patient through the large tube just moments prior to the operation. The extra supply of oxygen is supposed to keep the patient going while the tubes are being exchanged.

The procedure took place yesterday in an operation room. During the operation, instead of using a traditional scalpel, the doctor used an 'electric scalpel'. For reasons not yet explained to us, the 'electric scalpel' released sparks during the operation which ignited oxygen coming out of the hole. Joe was literally on fire; for approximately ten seconds. The fire was reportedly quickly put out with water (water??). Once the damage had been surveyed and evaluated, the tube procedure was completed and Joe was once again able to breath.

The fire was real. According to the doctor, it was an accident and it was the first such known incident in Hong Kong although according to the doctor, web searches revealed twenty or more similar cases overseas. The fire produced heat and smoke, and some of it may have entered Joe's bronchi, scorching the bronchial epithelial layers. Best case scenario; the bronchi will recover without further complications. Worse case scenario; the epithelial layers swell and result in thickened bronchial walls and narrower wind ways possibly leading to further serious long term complications.

The fire was an accident. We believe that. The question though is one of negligence. In my (admittedly inexperienced) mind, I can only see two possible reasons for the fire. First, the electric scalpel used was faulty, leading to the sparks that ignited the oxygen. Second, the procedure was flawed. With oxygen pumping through it, the larger tube was pulled up above where the hole was to be cut before the cut was made and oxygen was still pumping through the tube while the hole was being cut. This lead to direct contact between the almost pure oxygen and the electric knife hence the fire.

In either case, negligence is the cause of the accident; lack of maintenance and equipment inspection in the first case, and incorrect procedure in the second case.

If we were in the U.S.A., we'd be suing the hospital. Here in Hong Kong, suing is much more complicated. That said, it's far more important at the moment to keep an eye on Joe and make sure that his road to recovery is not hampered again. Hopefully, the nurses and doctors will pay more attention to his case.

In the end though, the real criminals here are the Hong Kong Government and the Hospital Authority. While happily advancing funds to large corporate contracts for extravagant projects, and while the Hospital Authority management staff joyfully award themselves high salaries and large unsubstantiated bonuses, they continue to cut financing to the hospitals. Public hospitals in Hong Kong are now overcrowded. Even the Intensive Care Unit looked like a refugee zone with beds camped hither and thither in the hallways and in the walking areas between beds. The staff are overworked, understaffed and underpaid. This can benefit no-one.

Similar situations are building in the public school system, situations which have recently led to multiple suicides in the teacher population.

Funding and expenditure need to be controlled but there's a limit to how much you can save on staffing costs and the lives of the people have to be considered. If the government doesn't work soon to remedy the situation in a sensible realistic way, the consequences will be dire; for everyone (except the rich which not surprisingly includes those same government officials and hospital authority management staff. Maybe the middle-class citizens should be the ones making the life-and-death decisions instead of the rich.)

Corneal Damage

Filed in HealthTags: , , ,

Last week, I had to make a small repair to one of the hanging cupboards in our kitchen. The people who built the cupboard for the previous owner used ordinary #8 screws to affix the cupboard to the contrete ceiling. With three screws along the back of the cupboard and one or two screws on one side of the cupboard all giving excellent vertical sheer support to the cupboard, the builders must have thought that a couple of normal screws into the ceiling to stop the cupboard from slipping outwards from the back wall would be sufficient.

Well the screws worked for a couple of years but finally gave in to the weight of the cupboard and its contents a few weeks ago. We noticed the cupboard slowly creeping away from the wall and down from the ceiling and knew something would have to be done to avoid a disaster: plates and containers all over the floor, a broken microwave oven and perhaps somebody seriously hurt if they were under the cupboard when it fell.

cupboard before fix

The cupboard before the fix. Notice how it's falling away from the wall.

The fix was easy enough: a couple of quarter-inch expansion bolts designed specifically for concrete. I've done a lot of home repair work in my years including water, electricity, masonary and carpentary. I have to thank my dad for my small abilities in these areas. When I was young, he often required me to accompany him as he built and fixed things around our farm. I was never allowed to hold the circular saw but I guess using the electric drill occasionally was enough to give me a feel for electric tools. Some of the tools I'm comfortable with include electric drills, sanders, circular saws, routers (mine is two and a half horsepower), jigsaws and 'rock cutters'. I'm not the only one in the family with these abilities. My first sister is probably more skilled than I am. While I once upon a time renovated a flat in Tai Po and built every piece of furniture within it, my sister has renovated a whole house in Australia and done an excellent job. She's very talented with her hands. Her specialty is lead/stain-glass windows and doors. And just in case you're interested, my younger sister is also talented. She's incredible with cooking, baking, sewing (including bras and wedding dresses) and handicrafts. I think she received many of these talents from my mum who used to sew all of our clothes. To top it all off, my sister's currently back at university at the tender age of 37 getting a degree in education. She's going to be a teacher.

cupboard after fix

Now that's much better, back exactly where it was when it was originally built.

Back to the main topic here: So the cure for the falling cupboard was to insert two expansion bolts up through the cupboard into the ceiling, all without taking the cupboard down. This required leveraging the cupboard back in place with a strategically placed length of wood and then drilling through the top of the wooden cupboard into the ceiling. It was while doing this simple chore that it happened. I wasn't wearing safety goggles because the only goggles I have are too scratched to see through. Since I was in a confined space looking up at wood and concrete falling down toward me while watching the drillbit carefully so that the holes wouldn't be too deep for the bolts, my eyes were making direct contact with far too much debris.

After finishing the work, I was very aware of something in my eye. Blinking hurt. I looked into our bathroom mirror and couldn't see anything at first. Then I saw something directly over the iris of my eye. I tried to gently move it with my finger tip but it wouldn't budge so I assumed that it was in fact part of my iris pattern. I also assumed that there was probably a small particle of concrete beneath my eyelid.

I put up with the discomfort for two days believing and hoping that tears and blinking would eventually remove the concrete. One night while filming at TVB, the discomfort was bad enough that I tried using a tissue to remove the supposed particle from beneath my eyelid. It didn't work and instead left a small piece of tissue beneath my eyelid. Not good! Fortunately, with some eye drops and a blunt rounded toothpick, I was able to get the tissue out. The discomfort remained though.

My eye continued to tear and water during that night of sleep. I occasionally woke to find spots on my pillow soaked with tear fluid. The next morning, my eyelid was swollen and I knew it was time to visit my doctor.

Incidentally, I have one of our dogs to thank for getting me to the doctor. If Dallas; our first dog; hadn't been barking at two other dogs in front of the kitchen while trying to defend his place in line for possible tidbits, I wouldn't have woken up with enough time to realise the seriousness of the situation and visit the doctor.

Driving to the doctor's clinic was very challenging. The sun was relatively bright and my eye hurt quite badly while I was driving. The only way to reduce the pain was to reduce the incoming light by partially covering my eye with the fingers of one hand while I drove with the other hand. Because my fingers were spread, I was still able to see with both eyes but without the pain.

My doctor; the one who studied one year ahead of me at the University of New South Wales; asked me to lay down and then took a look at my eye. When he couldn't find anything beneath the eyelid, he took a closer look at the middle of my eye and was surprised to find a speck of foreign substance embedded in the cornea over the iris. It turns out that the object I had first observed in the bathroom mirror was really there afterall. By this time though, it had been whittled down by my continual blinking from a small splinter to just a small speck of wood embedded deeper into my cornea. That of course explains the pain I experienced while driving. The wood would have irritated and hampered the cornea while my eye was trying to adjust to the bright sunlight.

The wood had to be taken out of course but how? The eye would have to be absolutely still while the wood was pulled out and that would be very difficult. My doctor gave me two choices. Either book an ophthalmologist and do the operation in a hospital for an estimated cost of around HK$20,000 or lie perfectly still while my doctor took it out. I chose the latter.

Before he had examined my eye, he had applied a local anaesthetic to my eye. I concentrated on this fact knowing there would be no pain during the procedure while I stared at a single point on the ceiling, conscious of the doctor's blurred hand and long needle being directed towards the centre of my eye.

It was over in less than ten seconds; probably five; and the doctor showed me the speck of wood. It's hard to believe that such a small speck could cause such incredible discomfort and if left alone would have eventually lead to infection and blindness.

I began swimming at our local beach a few weeks ago. I swim out to the far side of the shark nets and then swim laps from one side to the other and back again. I was getting used to the distance (approx 640m) and could feel my body strengthening. It was great. I haven't been swimming this week though. My doctor said that my eye would need to be protected from dust and dirt for approximately one week while the cornea healed. The sea water here is so cloudy and mucky (and polluted?) that I can only see one meter ahead of me while swimming. It would most probably lead to infection if it entered my eye so swimming was definitely out of the question this week.

Tomorrow or Monday, I'll be heading back to the doctor for a follow-up examination. He'll apply a special solution that will cover my eye with a coloured film allowing him to see clearly whether the damage has completely healed. I'm pretty confident that everything will be ok. I have never felt pain in the eye since the extraction procedure and it generally feels pretty normal except for some irritation caused by the antibacterial eye drops I have to apply every few hours and some dryness caused by the generally dry air we're experiencing as we enter Autumn here in Hong Kong.

my right eye
Sometime soon, I'll be making a visit to Sheung Wan 上灣. A friend of mine has informed me that there's a shop there specialising in safety equipment. The shop's name is easy to remember because it sounds like one of the local triad organisations, 新儀安全設備有限公司. Hopefully, they'll have a good selection of high quality scratch-resistant safety goggles and I'll be able to avoid a future replay of this incident.

By the way, my eyes are green which you will rarely see in the TVB series because the lights are too high up to illuminate the irises of Caucasian actors whose eyes are usually set deeper than those of Asian actors.

Update (Tues, November 15, 2005)

I saw the doctor yesterday. He applied an orange-yellow liquid to my eye and found that everything is fine. The hole has healed although there's a slight cloud which will need another three to four weeks to heal completely. For two hours after seeing the doctor, I walked around with a yellow band around my eye, looking as if I'd been hit in the face by someone. My wife thought it was funny.

Incidentally, my wife and her sister saw the doctor too. It would appear that everyone in our household has been affected by the bug that made our helper sick. I had slight diarrhoea for a few days last week but recovered fairly quickly. All I have left is a slight cough. My wife and her sister are still suffering though, and so is our helper. Hopefully, they'll all be better by next week. That's what happens when families live together. When a bug pops up, everyone shares it. It's just the way things are.