Saturday, June 29, 2013

The bicycle "engine" needs attention too!

Cycling enthusiasts are known to spend a lot of money on making sure their steeds are in tip top shape and constantly upgrading parts. This to ensure they perform better and this pursuit has even become an obsession for some. I was very intrigued to see one enthusiast who had a really upmarket and rare Dahon folding bicycle recently. This Dahon is a limited edition one that was sparkling in its jet black paint and oozing with the latest gizmo and technology.

Pic fm Japanese Blog -

Just standing still, this bike was a work of art that demanded admiration and respect. Sadly, its owner like many of us, don't quite do justice to the bicycle with our modern city challenged physique and one pack, instead of 6 pack, abs.

As I get older, fighting the battle of the bulge has been a constant challenge. But more importantly, it is important to stay healthy so that we can enjoy cycling more. Hence, we need to pay attention to our "engines" and give them even better attention than our bicycles. This motivated me to go for a routine Health Screening. In Singapore, a comprehensive package can easily cost about US$800 but in Bangkok, the land of smiles, the same treatment can be had for less than half the price.

A quick research led me last Thursday walking into the Health Check clinic of St Louis Hospital in Bangkok. I opted for the Ultimate package that covered everything that is needed all for a very reasonable 9150Baht or US$310. There is a need to fast for 8 hours as a blood test is done. The program included X-Ray, Ultrasound examination of our internal organs, ECG, Stress Test, Urine analysis done by 3 specialist physicians including a radiologist, cardiologist and a GP.

St Louis started as a non profit hospital and is not an upmarket hospital like the more famous Bumrungrad Hospital which is well known for medical tourism and the prices reflect that too. I brought along my little friend Sol Sol to keep me company and he was sufficiently amused too.

Although I was afraid that my lack of Thai was going to be a problem, all the doctors and nurses spoke decent English and the service was very warm, friendly and professional. Hospitals are notorious for making their patients wait on end, but waits were minimal. It helped that I reported at 730am and there was always someone who guided me through one station after another. What really topped the cake was a 100B food voucher included. I was done at 10am and returned at 2pm for my results.

Medical results are something we will all ultimately fail as we get older and that is life. So it is with mild trepidation when I walked into the clinic to have the condition of my health explained. Dr Visannu, an elderly physician with a no nonsense demeanor, presented my findings one by one. I was relieved to know I was given the all clear except for slightly high cholesterol - in which he said, "Must avoid certain fatty foods and exercise more!" No need for any sort of medication for now. Nothing like a medical reason for me to put more miles on the saddle, so that is in effect, great news!

Life is short and we must not take it for granted. We owe it to our love ones and our bicycles to get our engines checked - for better life and for better performance.

He knows us inside and out,
    keeps in mind that we’re made of mud.

Men and women don’t live very long;

    like wildflowers they spring up and blossom,

But a storm snuffs them out just as quickly,

    leaving nothing to show they were here.

God’s love, though, is ever and always,

    eternally present to all who fear him

Psalm 104:14-17

Special thanks to my dear friend and uni classmate Prim for helping make all the necessary arrangements for me. Kup khoon krup Nong!

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