Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Strong Man Indeed

Yesterday, Chang decided to go to the hospital because of breathing difficulties. He was thinking that the problem could be due to a buildup of fluid in his lungs and that a thoracentesis or pleural tap  would help. A pleural tap is similar to an abdominal tap in that it helps drain the excess fluid out but instead of the abdomen, its from the lungs. However, the latest findings from the hospital is that his breathing difficulties are not being caused by fluid buildup but by tumours which have displaced his liver and pushed his diaphragm up.

He is still in the hospital for another day of observation. He has been given another 3 pints of blood since last evening when his red blood count dropped to 5.3. 

He is currently on 20 mg (or 10ml) liquid oral morphine five times a day and also wears a 25 mg morphine patch. His family helps him keep a record of the morphine he takes. Morphine has its side effects so he has been prescribed with laxatives and drugs to manage these side effects. Despite taking laxatives, he is still having quite bad constipation.

His taste buds have also been affected. Foods which used to taste so delicious to him before, taste radically different now, probably as a result of these drugs. For example, plain water tastes sour so he adds ice cubes. Carrot juice tastes like ginger root juice.  He is able to tolerate apple juice and lemon juice. His diet consists  mainly of vegetarian porridge, Enercal and foods he tries and finds palatable.

To say that it is a tough time is really an understatement but he has been very, very strong. I salute him and admire him immensely. I think many of us do.

(Updated by Chang's friend)


  1. If there is anything else we can do, ( donate blood etc) pls let us know...

  2. I don't know what to say. I'm thankful he's still around. Is he able to walk? I would like to visit if he allows visitor.

  3. Hello, thanks very much for the updates on Chang. Tough time is really an understatement, my mum went through pretty much the same thing. Maybe Chang can try Prosure instead of enercal. May his suffering be minimal.

  4. Our prayers are with Chang.