I have been diagnosed with progressive supranuclear palsy

It is a rather nasty brain disease which starts with a Parkinson’s-like illness that slows physical movements, impairs fast eye movements and balance, resulting in a tendency to fall. This is followed by difficulty swallowing, choking aspiration, pneumonia and death – for the fortunate.

Further progression of the disease will lead to dementia with prominent behavioural changes such as disinhibition and impulsivity.

My immediate reaction to the news was “忍”(ren), or endure in Chinese, of which the traditional character has a knife above a heart. I have been practicing “忍” since I was in Chinese school, recognising that life has many unpleasant, unavoidable situations.

It would be nice if this entire episode turns out to be a nightmare and that I will wake up. But it is getting increasingly real and inescapable every day. My movements are slow and hesitant and I have difficulty getting up from my futon (yes, I upgraded from sleeping on
two exercise mats, one on top of the other, to a comfortable futon on top of the exercise mats).

The futon was what my brother Hsien Yang’s kids would use when they had friends sleep over. It gives more cushioning than just exercise mats and the surface is made of woven bamboo strips, making it cool and easy to slide on.

But it cannot compare to Zee.dog, the mattress my Shiba Inu puppy sleeps on. I watch with envy as he sleeps like a king, lying flat on his back with his belly exposed – a sign my dog trainer interprets as being totally relax and confident enough to expose his vulnerable abdomen. I had googled Zee.dog bed and was informed that “your pet dog spends 80 per cent of its life sleeping. The Zeebed was designed to be the world’s most comfortable dog bed.”8 Even my helper knew about the brand. She said her previous employer’s dog slept on just such a bed.

The next question is “Why me?” but I did not ask it because the obvious answer was “Why not?”. I have had it good for too long.

I was born into a middle class family with sensible parents that did not want their children brought up as rich and privileged. My father was Prime Minister of Singapore and we could have stayed in a huge bungalow in the Istana grounds. But he did not want us growing up with the wrong idea of our importance and entitlement. He did not like the idea that if we threw a ball, a butler would run to get it. So we lived in our old pre-war home at Oxley Road.

We played with the butler’s children as equals and watched their little television set in their sitting room as their equals. This relationship was maintained through the years and even now, if we happen to cross paths, we greet each other as childhood friends and on first name basis. Over the years I have seen Flora and Stella when their children were admitted to the hospital, usually for asthmatic attacks. John and Aloysius, I have not seen for a long time.

I enjoyed school — both academically and socially — I even represented Raffles Institution in athletics and swimming. After my “A” level exams, I did well enough to earn a President’s scholarship and was admitted to medical school. Again I did well academically and topped my cohort.

My first taste of failure was at the MRCP (Membership of the Royal Colleges of Physicians) exams. A day after the results were announced, almost all Singapore doctors knew I failed and cheered. That was an important lesson in resilience. I took the exams again and passed it this time.

I chose to specialise in paediatrics because I had initially wanted to do veterinary medicine but was dissuaded by my parents. The challenges of paediatrics and veterinary medicine is similar — in the two, doctors deal with with patients who cannot convey their problems clearly and concisely, and in both, patients may be uncooperative without deliberately being nasty. I then chose to subspecialise in paediatric neurology and was awarded a Health Ministry scholarship for 3 years, training at Massachusetts General Hospital a famous hospital in Boston.

On my return, I served my 13-year bond. Unfortunately, I was not really wanted at the paediatric department and was transferred to the neurology department at Tan Tock Seng Hospital. I was the only paediatric neurologist amongst a group of adultneurologists.

As epilepsy is the only neurological condition that was treatable at that time, I delved into paediatric epilepsy, which has a wider range of manifestation than adult epilepsy and I became competent as a paediatric and adult epileptologist. I was subsequently given another Health Ministry scholarship and spent one year at the Toronto Hospital for sick children and a few months at the Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic. Each scholarship came with a bond and I served a total of between 15 and 17 years.

All in all, I enjoyed my years as a neurologist and epileptologist.

 

* Facebook post by Dr Lee Wei Ling.

 
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30 Responses to “I have been diagnosed with progressive supranuclear palsy”

  • Waiting for LKY house:

    Ho Ching is likely waiting for LWL to vacate LKY house at Oxley Road so her family can use it.

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  • Protect Alien People:

    Why you? Why not your ah kor? The one who has caused so much suffering to the people should be the one to suffer from this illness. An illness like this will surely end his political career sooner which in turn will put an end to singaporeans’ sufferings. Why not him? Why you? Sad!

    Will that evil sis-in-law who gave you the monkey with a middle finger be rejoicing? The evil couple can’t wait for you to get out of the Oxley Road house. Can’t help but wonder if they’ve put a curse on you.

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  • oxygen:

    VERY SAD and feeling sorry for her. Wishing her comfortable each and every day.

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  • Live well:

    Sad to hear that.Pray that you will be able to cope well with the illness.
    Hope they will find better way to manage this illness and reduce the effect.
    All the best.

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  • Any Chance ?:

    Very sad and disappointed to hear you getting the disease.

    Is there any chance for you to spread this disease to your Kor Kor and his farking evil wife so that we can say bye bye to them ?

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  • God doesnt play favours:

    sins of the father..
    several of the familee are already stricken.

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  • The young one:

    Your father was sensible but only to his immediate family.

    Others he bullied like a drugs lord, jailing many without trial.

    Your father had feet of clay.

    Where’s he today? Forgotten and reviled by many.

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  • we didnt watch pap parade too:

    Waiting for LKY house:
    Ho Ching is likely waiting for LWL to vacate LKY house at Oxley Road so her family can use it.

    very true.

    well said.

    Agree.

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  • we didnt watch pap parade too:

    Protect Alien People:
    Why you? Why not your ah kor? The one who has caused so much suffering to the people should be the one to suffer from this illness. An illness like this will surely end his political career sooner which in turn will put an end to singaporeans’ sufferings. Why not him? Why you? Sad!

    Will that evil sis-in-law who gave you the monkey with a middle finger be rejoicing? The evil couple can’t wait for you to get out of the Oxley Road house. Can’t help but wonder if they’ve put a curse on you.

    so true.

    why not ah kor and ah kor wife.

    at least if ah kor and ah kor wife, we can celebrate.

    you see, all the time we curse all the pap folks. as long as we can curse, we curse all pap males Lj drop and all pap females CB smell.

    because NOT a single pap is honest. there is none honest. No, not one in pap is honest.

    so we take the opportunity to curse pap any time we can. may all pap males Lj drop and all pap females CB smell. may all their male children be Grab driver Grab food delivers hotel gardeners factory security guards. may all their female children be maids in Msia Indonsia Thailand and may all of them be prostitutes forever in Msia Indonsia Thailand and no escape.

    back to important issue. yes. it is far better to have ah kor and ah kor wife kenna.

    BUT we still believe heaven has eyes. if everyone wakes up 1st thing is to curse the ah kor and the ah kor wife and all the pap Ljs and all the pap CBs, yes curse them all, sure as sunrise shall happen. after all, these evil thieves no road run.

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  • Dont know what to say:

    Really dont know what to say.
    Wishing you all the best in inspite of all.

    Maybe in whatever way you could, do more of good deeds to accumulate merits. It is sad to see Lee family disintegrated.

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  • Foreigners help SG punch above:

    Dear Mod,
    Did you get permission for LWL to re-post her post ?

    LWL had lead a very privileged lives. Did she help other people (the hardworking people, not the lazy one)

    It is unethical of you to make use of LWL condition to garner support for LWL fight against my master PM Lee.

    GE2024.PAP.Guarantee.Win.Again
    Majullah $PAP$ $PAP$ Huat$ Huat$ Huat$
    Lazy Singaporeans must be Cheaper, Better, Faster

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  • Billy ma:

    Nobody knows what tomorrow brings.
    In fact, for some tomorrow never comes.

    Ho ching is so arrogant that she thinks she can actually lives forever.

    For all his assumed greatness, lky goes to his permanent sleep the way he 1st arrive.
    Death is the great equaliser.

    Dust to dust, ashes to ashes.

    No exception. None.

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  • Ivan "exposed" PAP hypocrisy:

    Tharman is a wimp:
    Tharman explains appearance of Ivan Lim on livestream after elections. He said it was to thank Ivan for his campaign work for the PAP team for Jurong GRC (headed by Tharman).

    Why did Tharman not defend Ivan when he was “attacked” after his candidacy was announced. Tharman’s win in GE2020 was a “done deal” considering he won with around 70% of the votes in GE2015 AND his opponents for GE2020 was a bunch of new faces from a new party (Red Dot United). Tharman’s won again this year with 70+% of the votes.

    Tharman needs to answer two questions:

    (1) why he agreed to have Ivan be part of his team in Jurong GRC, and,

    (2) why did he not defend Ivan when was criticized during the campaign?

    PAP’s treatment of Ivan Lim show PAP’s hypocrisy. It talks about “solidarity”, etc. during difficult times then turns around and abandons its chosen candidate after he was criticized. What a joke!

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  • 陈大婶:

    六,七年。。。。。。。漫长的路

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  • TUMASIK Patriot:

    Ling, it is sad to KNOW your condition and I sincerely empathise with you on how to Face it Honestly and with no FEAR!!! and accept it as FATE!!!

    I will pray that you will LIVE well till the end and though as an atheist you may NOT believe in prayers I will STORM heaven to have your name right up there for it is NO fault of yours to be in the condition you are in

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  • MarBowling:

    The news that health of Dr Lee WL is getting from bad to worse will hasten Mai Hum’s game plan to have the house GAZETTED and “DO WHATEVER I WANT”!

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  • she's still luckier than most:

    i wish her well .
    at least she’s wealthy and will be able to afford the best healthcare /homecare till the end.
    which is more than i can say for 80% of ordinary sgs…some even commiting suicide or dying alone at home cuz cant afford medical care…medishield n medisave? they will tell u “no cannot use” for this or that!
    i know cuz my family has been thro this hell..

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  • Sad:

    Sad situation.
    Hope you will cope well with the illness and live well inspite of the illness.
    Hope some day they will find a better way to manage this illness.
    All the best.
    And to the rest…be kind to our fellow man.
    We are our brothers keeper.
    Pandemic has taught us we are all vulnerable…look out for one another.
    Today we have more than 20 Millions cases and many deaths worldwide already…

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  • car lite is for pap folks only:

    should have made a stand during GE2020 like Mr Lee Hsien Yang.

    after all, as soon as drop dead, 38 oxy road shall be playground of ah kor and ah kor wife and their children.

    BTW being chauffeured around in school days was the privilege of very few people in Singapore then.

    life during early 1970s was very hard. S$3 a day as a labourer. sending a child to school cost S$0.20 per day for the better off. most walk to school. nasi lemak was S$0.10 per packet.

    ten years later, when HDB was being built fast and furious, we received S$12 per day as a labourer. 4 times more than the S$3. but things started to cost more. going to school was S$2, no longer S$0.20, a ten times increase. at S$12 a day, it was still hardship.

    so your life, after all, has been comfortable comparatively.

    only sad fact is those who grew up during that period, 61% of them to be exact, hasn’t really been wise after 50 years.

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  • Pioneer:

    It is sad and shocked to hear this breaking news ! Did her eldest sibling say something about it ? Howver, we, Singaporeans, can only pray and wish her well.

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  • what hv you done for humanity?:

    we support all OPPO.

    as long as not pap, we support.

    even tan kin lian type or goh meng seng type, as long as not pap, and no WP or PSP in 3 corner fight, we support.

    after having said that, we also say we hv not done anything since GE2015 for humanity. zero kosong zilch.

    but we still want to ask, in your privileged position in life since birth, what hv you done for humanity?

    just saying you are a doctor does not cut ice, since Msian puthu who elaked NSF NSR said the same thing and we ourselves hv many doctors in our clan too.

    so what hv you done for humanity in your privileged position all these years?

    did you ever once ask your papa to stop being nice to family only and jail all others by FIXING them in jail without trial?

    have you ever tried, like your younger brother Mr Lee Hsien Loong, to make a point about WP PSP being the better political parties to join?

    have you done a single good deed in Aljunied or Hougang such as picking up rubbish can or such?

    even so, with the short life ahead of you, do repent and make your remaining days count, such as publicly joining WP PSP or declaring your papa has been wrong in only taking care of own family and in producing an evil clown to take over.

    still hv time. make good use of it. as long as middle of the road, then, no medicine can help since no different from cotton sheep no different from pap ah kor and pap ah kor wife.

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  • xoxo:

    WISH YOU ‘REN’ N STRENGTH IN YOUR SUFFERING.
    May the HEAVENS LIGHTEN IT.

    BLESS YOU.

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  • We all go through the Portal:

    “There will be no one like us when we are gone, but then there is no one like anyone else, ever. When people die, they cannot be replaced. They leave holes that cannot be filled, for it is the fate—the genetic and neural fate—of every human being to be a unique individual, to find his own path, to live his own life, to die his own death. I cannot pretend I am without fear. But my predominant feeling is one of Gratitude. I have loved and been loved; I have been given much and I have given something in return; I have read and traveled and thought and written. I have had an intercourse with the world, the special intercourse of writers and readers. Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.”

    - Prof. Oliver Sacks

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  • Favour for Singapore:

    Dear Dr. Lee, while you still can, please post on your FB the names of your relatives (by blood and marriage) who hold high posts in ministries, stat boards, GLCs, Temasek, GIC, commissions and NGOs. Thank you.

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  • Brother keeper:

    We are our brother keeper.
    Be kind to one another.Support one another.
    Empathizes with those who suffer though no fault of them.
    Wish them well to many who are suffering because of the Pandemic.
    Hope they will get support during this difficult time.

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  • Cotton From Sheep:

    I am sorry for Dr Lee. Why is it that good people always have to suffer?

    On a related note, since Dr Lee is also badly sick, she should consider to help out TRE techie by making a donation since she can better understand how it is to be badly ill.

    One cannot take the billions when we leave, why not do a good deed and be remembered?

    Just a suggestion.

    I will pray for Dr Lee and TRE techie’s speedy recovery.

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  • Deamer:

    If I were wei ling with billions, and since I cannot carry the money to my grave, I would have made a hefty donation to all the alternative sites to enable them to continue operating for many years to come since wei ling appears to be hating the establishment as much as most singaproeans.

    However, bear in mind that hsien yang has said that he and his sister do not need the social media to help them, so why should they?

    One must also bear in mind that both wei ling and hsien yang are still the offsprings of lee kuan yew, so the characteristic that all family members of Lee have is that money is not an issue but there must be something in return for them to even consider throwing it away.

    Many millionaires throw millions away to this and that cause ONLY if they can get newspaper coverage and if they see a beggar on the street, they won’t even part with a dollar simply because there are no reporters around!

    Even if wei ling miraculously decides to donate to Andrew, rest assured that there will be reporters around blowing the news on every msm main page.

    Without such publicity, she would rather flush the money down the toilet. Its a sad fact that I believe I am not wrong.

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  • do some good:

    ms lwl should speak out more .. maybe to halt her pm bro messing up our country even more.
    she and her bros lived a privileged life as children of the world known LKY, sg’s late ex pm, for many decades.
    so shouldnt it be payback time now?
    its not a must, but it’ll sure do some good, mayb a lot of good for sgs?

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  • Coronaman:

    Maybe what Ms Lee should do now Is to keep her trap ship.
    My take is she is a spoilt little rich girl who hid behind her father .he is no longer there to shield her .
    I am sorry about yr medical condition.
    But I feel you have not done the Lee household proud .
    You should have known better than to wash yr dirty linen in public .

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  • Coronaman:

    Worth saying it twice

    Maybe what Ms Lee should do now Is to keep her trap ship.
    My take is she is a spoilt little rich girl who hid behind her father .he is no longer there to shield her .
    I am sorry about yr medical condition.
    But I feel you have not done the Lee household proud .
    You should have known better than to wash yr dirty linen in public .

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