The Paragon

This is the nickname coined by my husband for Professor Oh Moh CHAY, a respiratory specialist at the KK Hospital. It sounds very awe-inspiring, and indeed she is very impressive!

Paragon was recommended to us by Mamacita (Prof YC Giam), a skin specialist at the National Skin Center (and she’s mentioned in an earlier post ‘Post Mother’s Day Musings’ dated 15 May). It makes sense to have one excellent doctor recommending another. Like Mamacita, Paragon is very experienced and knowledgeable in her field, and that gives us a lot of assurance. Also like Mamacita, she looks like in her late 50’s, with a motherly demeanor, and speaks well sans the Dickinson vocabulary.

Paragon had seen Buddy’s admission report, that he had a viral infection that caused him to develop bronchiolitis. One of the first things she told us was not to assume he is asthmatic. In fact she feels it’s too early to be definitive, especially since there’re serious implications. It’s a relief to us since those doctors who saw Buddy at ER and during his hospitalization kept mentioning the “A” word, even Mother Hen.

Buddy’s breathing problem acts up whenever he has a viral infection, not because of allergic reactions, and that’a when he requires nebullizing. Paragon thinks that Buddy has a sensitive nose, and his lung airways react more aggressively to infection. (In fact my husband suffers from sinusitis and so does one of his brothers, who has it worse.) She told us this should be our explanation to any doctors when we have to bring him in for breathlessness.

Like Mamacita, who emphasizes the importance of keeping the face moisturized to prevent the eczema from worsening, Paragon believes we should keep Buddy’s nose well, and this way the chances of developing asthma later is greatly reduced. She prescribed Singulair, a fragile powdered medicine which helps to clear the airways. Buddy had previously taken this before but it took Paragon to explain clearly to us how to use this medicine. When taking with soft food like cereal, it should be at cool or room temperature and taken immediately because it’s sensitive to light and is destroyed by heat. Whenever Buddy is unwell, down with fever and runny nose, we should give him the medicine to prevent the respiratory tract from acting up. Paragon also assured us that it’s alright to continuously give him Zyrtec for runny nose, and that a patient had even taken it for 18 months straight.

We can see Paragon’s pretty good with babies and young children. Buddy hates being examined and has an aversion towards doctors. But Paragon has a wired toy in her office which captured Buddy’s attention. While my husband engaged Buddy in the toy, Paragon took the chance to listen to his lungs. He didn’t cry much during the examination and was more cooperative.

Paragon also prescribed a nose drop for Buddy which can be used daily unlike Illiardin. When I looked at the prescription she gave me I was surprised to find that it’s an eye drop. She then told us a trick of the trade, that eye drops can be used on the nose but not vice versa. Eye drops are sterile and since it’s safe for the eyes, it’s also safe for the nose. But once it’s used on the nose, it shouldn’t be used on the eyes as the nose is dirtier.

The same wired toy that captured Buddy’s attention at Thomson Pediatric Center

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