Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Medical: Vasovagal Syncope -- Girl Collapsed Before My Eyes!!!

Have you ever dealt with a fainted person?
This happened in early March, I was waiting outside a clinic for a doctor to check on my left ear (I had been having ear blockage for about 3 weeks and it was getting worse, with pain with every little pressure change and my hearing was down 80%) when a girl about 16 or so collapsed in a cross-shaped posture in front of me. The back of her head banged onto the floor and her mum couldn't get her up. All she could do was to sit on her daughter's lap, looking helplessly frightened as she hugged her daughter's powerless upper body.

Image from Oxford journals

Immediately I went over to drag her to the wall and away from the static crowd for a quick rest. She was at least as heavy as I am and her face as pale as sheet. Nurses at the clinic that I was waiting came out to check her up. Her mum said she just had her teeth scaled and stitches in her mouth removed, she also said she ate before the visit but the nurses gave her candies anyway. The nurses didn't inform the doctor. Maybe they would had the girl completely lost consciousness. The dentist came out soon after the girl collapsed and the mum asked him about the treatment her girl received. The dentist denied that there was anything to do with drugs or sedatives used and I believe so. He asked if the girl saw her own blood but the girl said no. After a few pats on her head telling her she will be okay, the dentist returned to his clinic and so did the nurses to theirs. The girl and the mum later moved to the sofas as they sat down and murmured among themselves.

I suggested her mum to get another adult to come in case she collapses again but her dad went on business trip and she had no relatives nearby, then I told her mum to give her a cup of water as she was sweating quite a bit, and make sure she get enough rest before leaving.

Running in my head were thought processes and questions of how this girl managed to collapse in free-fall style. There is a possibility that blood loss during dental scaling has weakened her, or that she might have had low blood pressure in the first place. She is a teenager, so blood loss during her period could be possible but that is something I cannot confirm. Blood loss is just one suspect. What I can confirm is that the teenage girl was taller than me and probably heavier than me, adding sudden sweating, complete loss of balance and consciousness, and regaining of consciousness after collapsing onto the floor, we get something called vasovagal syncope.

Definition from Wikipedia goes,

Vagus nerve
Image from Wikipedia

"A vagal episode or vasovagal response or vasovagal attack (also called neurocardiogenic syncope) is a malaise mediated by the vagus nerve. When it leads to syncope or "fainting", it is called a vasovagal syncope, which is the most common type of fainting. Vasovagal syncope is most commonly discovered in adolescents and in older adults."

I shared this incident with my uncle who happens to be an expert in emergency medicine, girls collapse often and vasovagal syncope is related to stress, pain, anxious, hunger and many others, may or may not due to amount of blood loss. I am not sure about her stress or pain level but she should be in good mood enough to get teeth scaling. People who feel very upset don't go to make their teeth look better, they will just cancel the appointment. Then again, even if it was because of pain and anxiety, nothing a doctor or I could do to help at that point.

After about 15 mins or so, the mother and the daughter decided to leave. I gave them a final reminder that they should both hold the handrails at the staircases when they leave the building and soon I was called to enter the room to see the doctor myself, who referred me to a specialist to have my earwax removed as he did not have the equipment to help me. I paid $360 in exchange for an eardrop and a referral letter, but that is another story.

murmur -- (vb)[I or T] to speak or say very quietly
vasovagal syncope -- (n)[U] please refer to definition in the passage

Vasovagal response @ Wikipedia

How to Deal With Fainting @  WikiHow

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Food: The Search For Great Hong Kong-style French Toast -- Part 5

Double-deckered Hong Kong-style French toast
Image from Locky's English Playground
So one day my wife, baby Muse and I went to this modern retro-Hong Kong cafe which I honestly considered nothing more than gimmick, sat down because we had had too much of Fairwood for tea and ordered Swiss wings and French toast.

Law Mark Kee @ Kornhill
Image from Locky's English Playground
Never expected anything from Law Mark Kee despite the constant full-houseness at dinner time and their good-selling signature breadloaf chicken rice on most tables, I just don't understand the attraction.

Awesome thickness
Image from Locky's English Playground
But when the toast arrived, I was shocked, not only by the size but by the gorgeous look. Never thought a tab of round butter would look so pretty on a square-shape toast. Makes me think wonder why no other cafe has ever done this before.  There was no sight of a syrup dispenser, just a plate with prefilled syrup. Not sure if this is the way I like it though.

Peanut buttery goodness
Image from Locky's English Playground
Once it was cut, there was my second shock. My cholesterol detector immediately signaled that siren in respond to that ample peanut butter filling! Way too much for one person to devour unless one is looking forward to his first atherosclerosis diagnosis confirmation, maybe so even for two.

Distinctive layers
Image from Locky's English Playground

But some will say,  it is the cholesterol that gives its flavour. I will have to agree with this point but for just this once. That look, those distinctive inter-ply of syrup, toast and peanut butter, possessed that magic of devilish forgiveness which made you forget all sins and guilt from breaking away your low-carb high fibre eating routine.

Look:            ★★★★★ 5/5
Taste:            ★★★★★ 5/5
Smell:            ★★★☆☆ 3/5
Textures:       ★★★★★ 5/5
Temperature: ★★★★★ 5/5
Overall:         ★★★★★ 23/25

Food: The Search For Great Hong Kong-style French Toast -- Part 1 @ Locky's English Playground

Food: The Search For Great Hong Kong-style French Toast -- Part 2 @ Locky's English Playground

Food: The Search For Great Hong Kong-style French Toast -- Part 3 @ Locky's English Playground

Food: The Search For Great Hong Kong-style French Toast -- Part 4 @ Locky's English Playground

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Auto & Opinion: Cleaning My Tesla Model S With Turtle Wax ICE!!!

3 bottles for HK$233 at Wing On Store sales
Image from Locky's English Playground
Few days ago, Wing On Store at Tai Koo Shing was on the last day of final sale, shoppers rushed to the store to grab their goodies at bargain price and down at the car care section, all men were stuffing bottles after bottles of their favourite car cleaner and wax into their arms. Likewise, I did some research and pocketed 3 bottles of Turtle Wax at a total of HK$233!! Each has received at least HK$12 discount.

My research involved watching a lot of YouTube videos reviews on car cleaners and waxes. Among them, Acc0rd79 did many videos on a number of brands and products over a long period of time, so it is trustworthy.

I picked Turtle Wax over Armor All (two of the major car care products in Hong Kong) was mainly also because of his review.

Wait, does that car in that bottle look like a modified Tesla Model S?
Image from Locky's English Playground
Wait, does that car in that bottle look similar to my car? Cool!!!

Cleaned to the rims!
Image from Locky's English Playground
On the same day, I actually did a cleaning test on two cars: my sis's BMW and my own Tesla Model S. I did hers in the early afternoon and mine in the late afternoon. So hers got to see some daylight after cleaning while mine was early evening when the cleaning-and-waxing was done. Since my car was overly filthy having driven at a drizzling night about 5 days ago, it took me a whole hour to get every little part cleane, even the rims. I must say I am impressed with the thickness and bubbliness of the liquid, I think the difference between my feeling and Acc0rd79's is that I used a small bucket and about 100ml of the Turtle Wax liquid. I managed to get the whole car body cleaned up with lots of extras for the rims, which I did not intend to wash them using Wash & Wax in the first place. The rims were the dirtiest part but the dirt came out so easily!! I didn't even need to use the Turtle Wax Wheel Cleaner I bought!

Cleaned from roof to rims!!
Image from Locky's English Playground
After the foam wash, I rinsed it with two buckets of water and my car was looking good. I couldn't see the shine that evening on that street so I really couldn't say if this product was making any difference from the Turtle Wax Car Wash 2-in-1 that I have been using before.

Shiny side mirrors
Image from Locky's English Playground
But once I returned to my car park with the indoor lighting, I can really see the difference, probably not so much from the photo above, but from the photo below.

Real shiny!
Image from Locky's English Playground
That shine really stood out this time! Just look at that windshield, frunk hood cover and that nosecone! No Photoshop or retouching whatsoever with these photos. Looks brand new amazing, doesn't it? With just HK$87.3 and I am getting this shine every time I wash and wax, I am more than happy and impressed!

But, how do I know which wax is the one for me? Well, it depends on your budget, time and energy really. Here's a nice video telling you the differences between different types of wax.

PS: Oh, do I need to say I don't get paid for writing this article? Well, here it is! Just like I don't get paid for all articles from day 1. I thought this is a well-known fact for those who follow my blog.

ICE Wash and Wax Turtle Wax Review and Test Results on my 2001 Honda Prelude @YouTube

What Wax Do I Use On My Car? Helpful Tips From Turtle Wax @ YouTube

Friday, 6 March 2015

Message: Troubles When Writing (Posting An Old Blog Entry Draft)

Dealing with writer's block
Image from
Do you ever look back how what happened in your past and see how you write? I was looking at my drafts of this blog and found this entry which I wrote dated 18th Jan 2012 before I was admitted to Master's Degree programme. It is funny now looking back at a time which made me feel uncertain about the future, I still feel that uncertainty now, just not about admission. Recently I have completed one 2000-word assignment in less than 5 days, and I was managed to do this because I know what I have to write and I am familiar with the topic. Here on this blog though, I am starting to have the writer's block I mentioned below. Academically, I am reading more, but  reading less about the world does make me less creative.

Anyway, I don't want to waste the following post so I insist on sharing it. Although it might not be relevant any more, it still serves as a nice timestamp.

If you have been keeping an eye on the time that I have been updating my blog, I haven't been keeping up with the schedules lately. This is due to the fact that I am actually writing something else.

When I write my blog, I can go on forever without stopping, and words come easily and quickly, straight from my head and my logic flows smooth like the flowing river, because I know very well that I am doing this not for myself, but for you guys. Like my student Godwin said in his email for me, I love what I do, I love to share. I know very well that I will write well. If you send me essays for corrections, I will know exactly how to make it sound better.

The story is completely different when I have to do something for myself, which I hate, I get writer's block. I can't seem to think of anything! The more I care about it, the least I can write. I guess many of you have had the same experience as well.

Apart from getting writer's block, another challenge is to think out of my own definition of "perfect".

Last year, I spent almost a year writing my personal statement. I spent month after month preparing, self-reflecting, researching, writing, cooling, rethinking, rewriting, modifying... making them look perfect for submission. When I pulled them out from the folder two weeks ago and read them again, they looked like trash!

This year, I only spent like a week to rewrite everything, which I think is a miracle, and I also think they look great (not perfect this time), but who knows, maybe after a year, they might too look like garbage? It is really difficult to break out from one's frame of thinking.

Then shouldn't I have spent more time on cooling them down, think them over and make more changes to them before submitting? I can't, because I am afraid that the seats for the courses may be filled before I even submit my forms. You see, they begin interviewing in December and they may even finish the interview before the submission deadline. I had to hurry. But excuses or not, I think that "chop-chop, submit quick" in my head got me to overlook my errors in the application form -- now I have 2 full-time job instead of one because I forgot to put an end date on my ex-full-time.

Nice going, Locky!

I double- and even triple-checked my form of course, but sometimes, even making 100-tuple checks is simply not enough to spot the error, ask the computer programmers and they will agree. What's worse, the admission board might even regard me as not giving a damn about the application and filter me out at once.

I started getting these dreams about me sitting on a chair in front of 3 interviewers with no face, who were asking me how I could possibly not take a blind bit of notice, and I had to explain why I made such stupid mistakes.

So silly, right? I might not even get an interview. But guess I have to plan early, for either full-time or part-time mode will greatly affect my monthly income and I need to know how to arrange my life then.

Master's degree classes are usually held in the evenings, which means I will need to relocate my working time to other days in order to keep my contract. If not, I will have to switch to part-time. And I suppose all of you will be comparing my salary with those Star Tutors on newspapers, well, the truth is, it will take about a hundred years for me to catch up with their annual salary.

Life is only going to get tougher no matter what, but I will boldly face it.

Just one final complaint, why is it that the Trinity CertTESOL teaching certificate which is widely recognised around world not being seriously considered in Hong Kong?

to keep an eye on sth/sb -- to watch or look after something or someone
logic flows smooth like running river -- (simile) meaning quick and smooth
writer's block -- (n)[U] a condition, primarily associated with writing, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work or experiences a creative slowdown
chop-chop --exclamation informal used to tell someone to hurry
overlook-- (vb)[T] to fail to notice or consider something
nice going -- (if sincere, means "good job"); (if sarcastic, means "bad job"), hereby the latter.
100-tuple -- (n) from n-tuple, means 100 times.
not give a damn about -- offensive used as a way of saying you do not care about something, especially the annoying things that someone else is doing or saying
not take a blind bit of notice -- UK informal  not to pay any attention


Writer's Block @Wikipedia