Friday, June 3, 2011

Long And Winding Night

Good morning! It's going to be 6am soon. My sleeping problems somehow seems to take a different form each night. I have never been in such situation before and I am wondering when will it ever end. Yesterday, my problem was coughing. I have been coughing unusually more towards the night. As I lie down, I cough. First the phlegm were whitish but by 3am, it started turning red, with traces of fresh blood. I tried the camomile + honey remedy but it did not work. Later my mother applied the Chinese medicated "Wind" oil and it seems to get better for a while. So all these coughing kept me awake, I did not sleep at all last night. I was also munching the whole night.

My shoulders and neck area are turning stiffed. I feel weak at my feet and also pair of hands. I really don't know what I am going through now, whether things are turning for the worst or some form of healing reaction. But I do know not being able to sleep is really bad and I may have to resort to sleeping pills for short term relief. One possibility has to do with Sabah Snake Grass (SSG). The herbs are known to be cooling and the frequent spitting out of whitish phlegm in TCM could be diagnosed as the body not able to withstand the coolness of the herb. Perhaps my body constituency makes me not suitable to take this herb. I will have to check with my sister's friend in Johore who is also a TCM practitioner for some ideas. Earlier, I have been warned that people with lung tumors may experience nausea and in my case, possibly the problems that I am now facing. If this is just a healing reaction, then I must find ways to overcome the reactions because ultimately if it disturbs my sleep, then this remedy may also be doing me harm in the long run for the body will deteriorate overtime without adequate rests. Remember primum non nocere (first do no harm)?

I tried to sleep by sitting down but it also did not help due to the constant coughing. During the wee hours while watching the TV, a thought occurred to me. For the last 21 months, I have seen more late stage 4 cancer patients than in my last 50 years. I have no problems meeting and talking with such people. When we meet, we seems to connect very quickly as if we are connected online to part of a cancer network. There is no need to explain about a pain or feelings. When a patient recovers, I feel extremely happy and when a patients moves on, I feel sad on hearing the news but at the same time feel happy for the patient for he or she is finally free of the ravages of cancer. Is it normal to feel this way and being insensitive? Perhaps this is just a reflection of my own situation.


  1. Dear CT,my brother has the same problem,coughing so badly that he cannot sleep,and someone told him a simple tiger balm rub on the sole of the feet and then put on a pair of socks,it helps to relieve the cough and he was able to sleep,no harm in trying,keep strong and you can beat it.REGARDS AL MAL.

  2. Hi CT,

    Sorry to hear of your sleeping problem. Hope you will find a way to overcome it.

    Wonder whether you have any kombucha ibu to spare ? If not - I remembered reading at the comments by one of your blog visitors that he was willing to give away the kombucha ibu. Now I can't find the info on your blog.

    Thank you.


  3. Hi Chang,

    No healthy person can ever fully understand what a cancer patient has to go through. I included. Even a slight cough for one night would make me feel terrible as it disturbs my sleep.

    " For the last 21 months, I have seen more late stage 4 cancer patients than in my last 50 years." Is this figure a typo error? I remember reading somewhere that you are younger. You certainly look very young and handsome in your photos.

    About Tiger Balm, another viral email suggested Vicks. I think they are quite similar, menthol, which means your Kwan Loong can also be used. However this viral email is supposed to be a hoax. But no harm trying out. Nothing to lose. Actually the usual treatment is to rub some below the nostrils and on the throat and chest.

    I hope it's the SSG positive reaction. Otherwise, you may consider stopping temporarily on SSG, and see whether you can get more sleep without coughing.

    Take care.

  4. Dear Gan,

    You can contact Mike Lim at or call him at 016-2964238 to make arrangements to collect the Kombucha culture.

  5. Dear Chang,

    I am thinking of planting SSG and distribute free to those in need in Penang. Do you have any contact in Penang?

  6. Dear Justin,

    Sorry, I don't have any contact in Penang. I suppose you can find it in your neighborhood or from plant nurseries.

  7. Chang,

    It saddens me to read more and more of your sleepless nights. I can only pray for you as how ever much I imagine, I can never fathom what you go through.

    I can't help but speculate that you may be having too many things on your mind...the cure, the reactions, the many deaths of close friends, the unspoken worries, the uncried tears, the blog and the verious reactions of readers, the trying-so-hard to sleep routine, so many things... What seem natural to humans seem so difficult for you, my friend.

    Have you tried not trying to sleep? Perhaps like you say, going back to the basics...take a short break from this blog and just be by yourself...get the focus back.

    Readers can say all sorts of things but at the end its your choice, your life. Don't let them distract you and stir you the end of the day, they are, most of them, readers of leisure.

    You be good to yourself, Chang, take that much needed break from blogging...sometimes just thinking of what to write is already a headache by itself.

    I continue to pray for you.

  8. CT,

    I am not sure if you have watched these movies...from people of our generation.

    Fortunately, available on YouTube.

    You have a good laugh, sweet memories...and hopefully a good night sleep, failing which, you must view this...

  9. Hi CT,

    Thanks for Mike Lim's contact, much appreciate it.

    Best wishes,