Tuesday, 1 January 2013


If hope is on one side of a coin endurance must be on the other.  Everyone must make his or her own journey through life, even alone. No matter how arduous or demanding sticking to the end is a known mark of character. No one knows for sure what is the end and Miranda must sail thru the doldrums that she's facing at her journey now - neither better nor worse. It is also our journey - for those of us who knew her enough to continue seeing thru her illness. Sometimes heart-breaking, if you know her former self. As for me she is still wife, although our marriage is all but gone. I still make one-way conversations with her daily. Hard part is not getting any feedback. But then steadfastness to continue living must be shared - the healthy or the happy owe it to the less fortunate. This post is not just about Miranda - it is also about us. In the end to be found standing, still. Despite our vicissitudes.

New Year's Day Noon: The maid's off today, so I have her all to myself. She looked cheerful, despite having only slept 4 hours. Maybe its the holiday spirit.

Friday 4 Jan 10am: Nothing to report except she's chugging along. Starting to strengthen her legs standing (with help). Pray that she can begin to say something meaningful from those sighs and utterances.

Monday 7 Jan 10am: One of the dangers bed-bound patients must watch is chest congestion and infection. She's having congestion lately and am thankful that she's learning to cough strongly. Even sneeze - but that's probably due to dog dander on my clothes. She's also due for her 6-monthly review.  When will she learn to swallow normally is my utmost concern. She's doing it but not fast enough for a meal and rid of the dreaded feeding tube which causes all those throat irritations.

Thursday 10 Jan 9pm: A week of fighting demons - one of self-doubts and depression and of chest congestion for her. Every physical disability (mine and hers) looms like mountains to climb. Have to dig deep inside.

Sunday 13 Jan 10am: Tried to encourage talk when she opened and closed her mouth at me. But no connection. The words failed. An indomitable spirit must stay afloat despite streams of endless obstacles. Like these days. Have to ride on wings of eagles (Isaiah 40: 31)

Tuesday 15 Jan 2pm: My wings drooped - seized by a sudden pang of nostalgia of long ago memories. This can be triggered by a lack of sleep. But Miranda rested well last night and does have a slight whimpering response to touch, although the eyes show little emotion.

 Then came Isaiah 45:5-10 today - "I am the Lord, there is none else...I the Lord do all things...salvation, righteousness..I created all things..."

Friday 18 Jan 9pm: I continue to interact closely as it is probably her only window to the outside world. Yesterday when I prayed her eyes seemed attentive throughout.

Wednesday 23 Jan 11am: Stable - better than getting worse. Progress painfully slow though. She's uttering more and eyes more engaging, although a sign of being comatose is her inability to track your eyes or hands. Now is the time to mentally interact more with her, unlike 6 months or a year ago, when there were many visitors but she wasn't ready.

Saturday 27 Jan 3pm: These 2 days her nystagmus was garish -  both eyes kept scanning in a wide arch from left to right as if uncontrollable. Maybe it can be a positive sign of the brain trying to wake up, but I'm more positive than my doctors dare to say. Then at 2pm her hand-phone which I inherited since her stroke reminded me of our anniversary dinner, an event she had booked for more than two years ago!

Tuesday 29 Jan 11am: Somehow she doesn't seem to look forward to my morning greetings as before. Her eyes glazed over instead of focusing. Must strengthen her will to live again. Maybe another day.

Friday Feb 1 11am: I hesitated to make this entry but I'm thrilled. Miranda turned her head and looked straight instead of locking left up to now. Thank God her nystagmus is not worse. Hoping that she continues to look straight or more right. If the mid-brain continues to recover it will be a huge step to consciousness. Her arms are still inactive and she needs to swallow better.

Tuesday Feb 5 11am: She continued her standing routine and I noticed she will look right standing. So important to stand as to give spinal feedback to the brain.

Lunar New Year 8pm: I had set up a disappointment for myself for being too optimistic. Her brain is taking its time to recover - she can see straighter but not able to track or turn to attention. But we must persist the more on her physiotherapy - standing on one leg and loosening her tone.  Now is the time to stimulate her brain as much as practicable. With no feedback, there's only that much one can say to her.

Tuesday Feb 12 9pm: Third day of Lunar NY and babies stimulated her most, by her looking at them. But her sleep cycle is off again. Also she still does not respond to cues, "If you can hear me blink your eyes twice" doesn't work. Her hearing is acute (body twitches at every sharp sound in the room), so it must be her understanding.

Valentine's Day 11am: What a busy week of visitors and it must have lifted her spirits. Her eyes continue to focus on them. But she developed a slight cough. Have to watch her lungs and throat.

Saturday Feb 16 3pm: So I stimulate her mind with anything. Sometime ago when Miranda got started well with BTI she was taking classic pop piano lessons. Running thru her class pieces I found this and when she heard it her mind was at peace. ["If We Hold On Together" from "The Land Before Time" (1988) Music by James Horner & Will Jennings Originally performed by Diana Ross
Played on Yamaha P-140]

Tuesday Feb 19 3pm: Little progress of cognition. Even her apparent "pleased to see me" look in the morning getting rarer. Endurance is such a passive thing. I think I've found a better word to replace the title of this post: Steadfastness.

One day this blog title must also be changed - to FallenPillar (restored). When will it be?

< End of Post >  Next - Thankfulness


  1. Hi Uncle Kian,

    Praying for Aunty Miranda and you constantly.
    Was listening to this msg by Paul Tripp on my way to work..and somehow felt lead by Him to share this with you.


    Eu Jin & Bee Leng

    1. Hi EuJin& BeeLeng, thanks for yr clip. I saw it just before a difficult 2 weeks trying to get enough rest. It was encouraging and sorry for taking so long to response.

  2. Dear Kian and Miranda, Prof Raj and I live in Moscow now...but we think fondly of Miranda and you...pleae give me your hand phone number I just got back from RU and please me visitxx