From 5/11/11(Mon) to 7/11/11(Wed), the SATA bus was parked at the staff car park of Tanah Merah MRT station. It was the last stop of a routine medical checkup for all SMRT staff. The bus had gone to two other MRT stations. Tanah Merah was the last station.
Yes it is the time of the year where all SMRT staff above 40 years old need to go for their annual health screening.
I am past 48 years. I have just completed my 8th annual health screening. So far so good except that my BMI should be 23 instead of 28. I was told that my ideal weight should be 70 kg. If I could go down to 65 kg would be better.
I weigh 81 kg standing at 1.7 m. I was advised to shed off at least 10 kg.
The problem is that nine out of ten of us are over weight. The middle aged Indian lady doctor inside the SATA bus does not look slim either – she is top heavy indeed. She seems to be like us – on the heavy side!
My blood pressure is 116/63. Not bad. My other tests such as ECG, blood test and chest X-ray are still pending. The final test results will be sent to us in sealed envelope.
I am more worried about my liver profile. Last year I scored three stars out of five possible stars. More stars or asterisks mean bad attributes.
On my days off, I used to drink nebuchadnezzar volume of beer. I have since cut down on alcohol intake. I have been drinking sparingly since then. Hope this time around, I will have fewer stars. The best is no star on my medical report card.
We usually aim for the stars in life especially in school examinations. But here I would rather not have any star!
It was only during the past few years that our company engaged SATA to do the mass health screening. I recall that I used to travel on my own time to Amara Hotel to the Raffles Medical group for my annual health screening. Now with SATA, it is more convenient at our work place.
Every year, it is the same routine. Those health care staff – young nubile Fillipinos will try to persuade us to opt for enhancement packages meaning we pay extra $80 or $100 for extra tests such as “cancer markers”. In Mac terms – upsize your meal orders!
Most of us declined. We are in a way “forced” to go through it. If you happen to be off duty on those available days or due to shift timing, then we have to come at our own time since the health screening is paid for by the company.
Many of us do not have faith or confidence in the health screening. How to conduct proper ECG with the trains constantly rumbling away above us with so much noise and vibrations around? If we refuse to go for the health screening, it will surely incur the wrath of management.
Even with the annual health checkup, we still cannot escape the clutches of fate or death if our time is up. Within recent memory, there are at least 3 of our colleagues – all Train Officers in their 40s – suddenly collapsed due to heart attack / failure or stroke. They never recovered. No second chance. The medical screening did not prevent it. Is it not an exercise in futility?
Last year, I was off duty. I had to make the trip here at my own time. I was fortunate this year. This time round, I was on stand by duty. No issue at all. It’s on company time and money.
I went through all the test stations. I had to queue up with the rest. They came from various departments, sections and MRT stations just like me waiting to be screened. I had to fast from 10pm last nite till this morning.
We were given two bars of specially formulated but tasteless chocolates after giving our blood sample. When it’s over, I headed for the coffeeshop for my favourite roti prata with egg and ginger added teh tarik!
It was so heavenly delicious!
Train Officer Ahmad b Shariff – 6/8/07; Train Officer Mohd Hasnul b Harun -5/2/10 and Train Officer Syed Muhibur – 12/8/11…
May the three of you rest in peace. We miss you all!