Friday, March 30, 2007

Childhood ambition revisited

I have never always wanted to be a doctor.


Do you remember when in primary school, teachers keep this 'rekod pelajar' and at the back, you're supposed to write your top three ambitions? I can't remember mine. The earliest memory of ever having something near to one is after I got my SRP results. It was okay la, I think. I remember getting a P7 for something. Serioussss. It's something I'd rather forget, okay. I really wanted to go into the Arts Stream. I wanted to learn all about Literature and writing and touching people's lives with words. Corny, kan? Hehe.

But my teachers weren't having any of this nonsense. Not that it mattered anyway as I had already applied to an MRSM and have been wanting to get away from that school ever since I moved there from Sarawak after form 1.

I love writing - I guess it's just a natural progression from my love of reading. Ma said when I was younger I used to spend all my time browsing through our Encyclopedia Britannica. When I had gotten through the whole set, I would rummage through my mother's school stuff in the store and find her old school books complete with 'ayer' and 'enchik' spellings.

My first serious novel was Badai Semalam. I was 8 when I found it somewhere. From the moment Mazni walked out of her school compounds and went home to her sick mother, I was hooked. Zaki was the ultimate hero - his undying love for Mazni was an inspiration and heart felt. I didn't think Karim was a true baddie. I would like to think that he did really love Mazni but maybe he was just not ready to commit to a marriage.

But anyhow, I digress. So, even as I went off to MRSM Kuantan (the best 2 years of my life!), I still harboured hopes of getting into writing - authoring or journalism. I enjoyed languages and participated in the malay debate, worked with the newsletter team and wrote a script for the college drama.

After my results came out (which, surprisingly, isn't a gazillion A1s by the way! Even got two C3s tau...gasp, horror horror! Hehehe) I got an offer to do the MARA Engineering course and also applied for the JPA scholarship. Ma wasn't hearing anything about me pursuing my love of writing. She said, you study to be a doctor first, if you love writing, you'll find a way to do it later. So I concurred to the veto power that is my mother, :) and went off to UK to study medicine. The rest, they say, is history.

Moral of this post? Mothers are always right and me thinks SPM is getting easier...haha.


I love weekends.

Not because I get to sleep late. I'm not a late waker-upper anyway in the first place - even during my studying days, I'm up by no later half eight - yet somehow, it's something about knowing you don't have to be anywhere which makes me so chirpy. Weird, I know.

The kitchen has been in a total mess for nearly a month. What with being on call and away for courses, I just haven't had the time to roll up my sleeves and get to what needs to be done. The window sill is grimy with gunk, I can smell rat pee from behind my plate rack and fish bones and what nots are scattered behind the microwave. The floor is slippery from cooking oil spattered during frying and don't even get me started on the state of my refridgerators!

Three hours later, my kitchen top is shiny and lavender smelling, my sinks are rid of the slime starting to colonise the grout and best of all, the floor is mopped! I even took the trouble to wipe off the glue from the rat trap on the floor. Ayah (dad in law) has been having fun with the rat traps we bought in KL. He's been laying them around the house and checking up on them everyday for the latest catch. The small ones get stuck alright but the larges ones just struggle off and leave horrible glue trail (complete with fur) all over. Did you know cooking oil works wonders on these gluey stuff?

I'm on passive call for 48 hours starting 8 am Saturday. Which means I have to come in and do rounds two days in a row. I'm supposed to do OPD call as well on Monday but I think I just can't be bothered so I'm letting kak TJ have it. I got so pissed off with this particular senior MO. Forever taking leave and letting us struggle to cope with her ward. Kalau dia amik cuti, org lain cover, takpe. Tapi god forbid if someone else takes leave, she will act as if we left the whole hospital for her to manage!? Mentang2 la you so senior, you think you can bully us meh?

My last break was in January. I think it's time to go off on another break. We were talking about a road trip to the northern part of the peninsula this time. Once we get this done, it's Sabah and Sarawak next. Finally found my passport so I can now apply for a renewal.

India was a blast and a total dream come true. One of these days I should really scan all my stuff from the 2 month trip and relive it here. I'm now itchy for another trip abroad. Abg has never been out of the country so I would really love to go travelling with him.

I'd love to go back to London - maybe we could do that when sis Yanie goes off for her dental postgraduate thingy - but Australia looks kinda fun. The thing with the travelling bug is that, the planning and poring over details and researching about the place you're heading off to is part of the fun. Well, to me anyway.

A fellow blogger up north in Ireland is travelling to Austria. Nak ikuttttt! Ah, the anticipation and planning and sleepless nights as you await for THE day.......*sigh* only another avid traveller will understand.....

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Seriously, I'm so crap at thinking up titles for my posts lah.

Anyway, while jaunting along my regular haunts, specifically at Dr. M's, I discovered I've been added to the Doctor Blogroll at Malaysian Medical Resources. Waaaah, now more readers lah! I sneaked a few peeks at the other bloggers and some are pretty serious stuff.

Now I feel so malu - I write play-play only, can also ah?

Post call rant...

Seriously, oncall rosters are the worst pain in the neck sometimes. There are just way too many things that you have to consider, like, who has been on call during the final few days of the previous month, or who has been doing extra weekend calls and whose turn is it this month? Or who gets to do the much coveted OPD call and who gets the weekend passive calls? Urgh.

Once you get assigned with the task, you would need to call up all the other MOs and ask them for 'requests' - i.e. which days they prefer to do their calls and what nots. I've decided from next month, to do away with this chore and put a book in the casualty so that any MO can write down requests any time. The MO incharge of doing up the roster will then pick up this book and do up the roster based on the requests.

Then, on doing up this roster, ada lagi benda nak kena consider. For instance, preferably, do not put an MO on a passive call just before or right after his/her active call. Then, you're not supposed to put an MO on call (passive or otherwise) on too many weekends. Previously it wasn't much of a problem but since we decided that passive call MO has to come for rounds on the weekends, leceh la because you have to come in anyway.

Then, even after you've completed this complicated, headache inducing task and ON TIME some more, some will still be unhappy. Isy, tak grateful langsung....hehe.

Last night was rather quiet. Hari Sakit Perut Sedunia bersambung lagi. Had only 3 admissions and no referrals and that is seriously, NOTHING compared to what my hospital is known to be. Even the labour room was quiet. My labour room staff slept soundly from midnight onwards.

However, at around 5 am, one of my MAs informed me of a case of abdominal pain. He mentioned that the UPT (urine pregnancy test) was positive. So, bangun la MO ngantuk-mamai nie nak gi rule out ectopic pregnancy.

Turns out that my patient has indulged in some hanky panky with her fiance and has now gotten herself pregnant. She asked me to keep the truth from her grandmother but I told her, somehow or later, kena jugak beritau. I siap warning kat budak tu, you tak nak baby you, jangan buat benda tak elok pulak, baik bui (beri) ke saya. Initially I wanted to discharge her, but then she told me there was some bleeding, so kena la admit.

Later on, as I was pondering over my roster at the counter, masuk plak a male relative, probably wondering what's going on. When told that she has to be admitted, macam tak percaya la plak, sakit perut sikit pun kena masuk ward. Siap jeling2 kat I lagi.....Arrrgh, tension! Hehehe. Before I went off for my breakfast, I ckp kat fiesty grandmother, "Mokcik nok tau bakpo kena masuk wad, mokcik tanyo la cucu mokcik tuh...." Actually, ditujukan khas pada hanky panky girl tapi I think laser I kurang tepat la sebab apparently, sampai dah duduk atas katil dlm wad pun 'mokcik' masih tak puas hati kenapa cucu dia kena masuk wad.

Moral of the story, kalau nak hanky panky, pandai-pandai la protect yourself.

Hey, I'm not supporting free sex, okay...tapi regardless, every Tom, Dick, Harry and Jane is doing it. It's human nature to want something that is forbidden and tambah lagi portrayed as so pleasureable. Tapi, if you're too stupid to do something about preventing pregnancies, at least be responsible to your baby la. Sedap buat, pandai la tanggung.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Rant rant rant...

AF5 fans - ada rupa macam Aizat tak?
Warning, post nie merepek dan meraban. Don't say you haven't been warned.
Me, post call today. Abg went fishing somewhere last night and still haven't returned. He usually goes off on this little hobby of his whenever I'm on call on a weekend. Yg tak bestnya, they only leave for land (from whatever spot in the ocean they were on the whole night) at about noon so I'm left at home bored......and hungry. and did I mention bored?
I've exhausted all my usual cyberspace haunts, even found a blog that could possibly belong to a homeroom-mate of mine, but I'm not sure, and I don't want to embarass him by asking straight out in his comments page, kan.
Did I mention I was on call last night? On calls on days when people baru dpt gaji can be rather uneventful. Yesterday's was one of those. Having the second call come for rounds have left me bored in the morning because I usually turn up early to do discharges and rounds. I was sooo bored that I decided to do the postnatal discharges. There were only four so that didn't take much time pun, so I was left feeling bored again.
Admissions in the morning were mostly abdominal pains. Hari Sakit Perut Sedunia la katakan. Serious. I had about 4-5 abdominal pains throughout my shift, 2 of which were suspected appendicitis. I like appendicitis, mainly because I don't have to consult anyone before sending the patient. Boring la consult MO in the referral centre - most are nice tapi some sooo berlagak, tak padan dgn diri tu baru habis 5 posting. Takpe, kau keluar ke district hospital baru kau tau langit tinggi rendah....
There were two eye cases - one guy had the white bits of his eye so swollen, sampai melimpah2 keluar the eyelid. Scary. Nasib baik the Eye MO so baik one, tak kisah tgk case straightaway.
Then I had a pakcik who had an injury with a cow about two weeks ago. Came in with the left hand all swollen and smelly with this huge wound on the dorsal (that's the otherside to the palm) part. Ick.
Then, an MVA came in. Apparently skidded at one of the dangerous bends at the TM-PM road. I understand he's in pain and upset that some no-gooders decided to take advantage of his condition and run off with the things in his car - including the spare tyre! - and I quote 'menate sungguh manusio nih..'- tapi jangan la marah2 at my MA. Wife is this young thing of 22 (he's 42) - nampak macam takut2 je dgn husband dia.
I siap bawak bantal sendiri this on call. Cannot stand the 'keras macam batu' bantal hospital. Dah la masa dapat tidur sikit, dpt bantal keras, lagi la susah nak tidur. Thankfully, slept peacefully for 5 hours. Syukur. Woke up to review 2 cases at 5 and then bathed and cleaned up the room and did my postnatal clerkings.
It's now quarter to 2 and still no news from Abg. They'd better be BIG, HUGE fishes, okay???

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Sweet as honey

I lepak at's forum quite a lot. The gossip board is first class for stinging hot-fresh from the oven juicylicious scandals and what nots. Remember the 'pengacara berbikini' story in Pancaindera a month back? I saw the pic (sans blurred face) and others, more than a month before that. The joke is that whenever the gossip writer states 'dari kawan' or 'sumber-sumber yang dipercayai', she/he most likely had gotten it off forum

But anyhow, I digress, as usual. The other boards that I frequent are Family Discussion, Sewing and Knitting, Movies and TV etc etc. So, in Family Discussion (FD), one of the moderators brought this topic up; Madu or single mother/janda? and of course a barrage of responses came in. Some say, if the husband makes a real effort to be just to both (or more) wives, better become 'madu' than left to fend for ownself. Tapi, kalau husband and furthermore, younger wife ntah apa2 and only contribute towards the hair loss on your head, then, cerai lebih baik la.

Some only-wife and recently married forumers state that they can't see themselves sharing their, dari 'menderita', lebih baik bercerai. Some forumers are divorcees and I particularly like one who said after being divorced, she felt like a leper. Gone are all her female friends, who now think that all she wants to do now that she is a janda, is to ensnare all things male into her trap.

I don't know that many polygamous couples. Most are Abg's friends. I had a specialist once, whose husband is someone Abg knew from work and she's a 'bini tua', though I don't know why because my specialist is one of the nicest, lemah-lembutest person and not to forget, so lawa.

I'm not sure what my stand is, though. I find that I might have an opinion in the beginning, but it usually changes when I am faced with the situation. I know accepting that Abg might fall in love with someone else will be difficult. I can't stand imagining that he will fall asleep with someone else in his arms, or that someone else will cook and enjoy seeing him finish off the food.

Three years into marriage life, I admit things have become somewhat monotonous. Not having our own home is somewhat making it worse. Not having kids might have something to do with it too. Lately Abg has been having some minor changes in his day-to-day activities and maybe I'm paranoid; but it makes me jumpy. Sometimes, as we lay in bed, I look up to him and the insecurities come close to being blurted out but I don't want him to feel as if I don't trust him. But at least I know by feeling this way that I'm not taking my marriage for granted.

Maybe it's time for that second honeymoon....

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

MC oh MC....

MC or medical certificate is the one sore thing in my bottom half sometimes.

I dread Sundays and Thursdays because on these days, I notice the rapid depletion of my MC pages. Blame Sundays for the Sunday blues and people just can't be bothered to work on Thursdays anymore. Gaji nak, kerja asyik curik tulang.

The rationale is, if you're sick enough for an MC, theoretically, you shouldn't even be able to rise from bed. Tapi, people can still jump, hop and skip all the way downhill from my hospital, and they still demand one.

Take pakcik A, who works in a nearby estate. Came to see me at 10am for 'lenguh-lenguh badan' - belum apa2, mintak MC because, and I quote "rasa serba salah la pulak doktorrrrr" foot la serba salah....apa kerja kau habis pukul 10 stgh pagi ke?

Then there is teacher C, whose daughter had a teeny weeny burn on her calf after coming into contact with the exhaust of a motorbike. Requested for a 2-day MC....for a tiny burn? Logik sikit la teacher...When asked to see me, mula la keluar cerita that rupa2nya takde tiket bas untuk anak dia balik Penang on that Sunday. So, MC guna untuk cover sebab takde tiket bas, gitu? Firstly, takkan la tak cari tiket bas awal2.....and then, MC dua hari untuk luka seciput tu?

I've been told I'm among the most lenient when it comes to giving MCs. One particular MO tak layan pekerja2 estate nie mintak MC. She will give time slips, that's all. In fact, pekerja2 estate has known her so well that they will ask beforehand which MO they will be seeing, and refuse to see her. Banyak cekadak sungguh.

Today was an especially bad day at OPD. Somehow, people of TM has decided to turn up in massive droves at our OPD. A big portion of them, school kids with either demam (siap ada sound effect batuk and selsema hidung lagi as soon as they stepped into my room) or sakit perut. I figured, the 'mendung'ness of the skies has tricked their brains into oversleeping and now they needed an excuse for not turning for classes. Mana taknya, ada sorang mamat tu siap gel rambut pacak2 lagi nak dtg amik MC. Tell me how am I NOT supposed to be cynical??

Anyhow, at about one (with about 10 more people to see), comes in this young lady, siap pakai sweater (benda yang mandatory dipakai kalau nak mintak MC, kalau ada tissue kat tgn lagi bagus) berjalan masuk dgn penuh lemah longlai.

Patient: Doktor, saya dah demam lima hari. Saya dah jumpa doktor di Hospital Sungai Buloh dan dia pun tak tahu apa sakit saya. Mak saya suruh saya balik untuk berubat kampung. Jadi saya nak mintak MC.........

Me: (Membara ya amat dlm hati) *throws up my hands in the air in exasperation* - patient terus terkedu.
Me: Awak nie menyalahgunakan MC, tau tak?

Patient: Tapi saya sakit doktor....*sok sek sok sek* runny nose

Me: Pergi lah check darah and air kencing dulu...

Patient: Tapi saya tak larat doktor....

Me: Awak takde pilihan. Awak ingat saya boleh bagi MC tanpa justifikasi? Takde sebab, tiba2 keluar MC? MC nie sekrg isu sensitif, awak tau....bobebobebobe me going on and on......

I seriously don't know how/why/what some people are thinking. Minah nie tak fikir ke apa implikasi apa yang dia buat? She claims to be ill (aparently Hospital Sg Buloh pun dah bagi MC), YET she can travel from Selangor alllllll the way to Kelantan? Tell me, where is the logic in that? Tak fikir panjang sungguh. Siap ckp dia pregnant la bagai - so, what? Just because you're pregnant, I'm supposed to give you special treatment?

Org Kelantan pun satu, sakit sikit2 nak balik jumpa mak. Luka kudung jari pun sanggup travel from Kedah overnight nak jumpa mak...bawak jari luka berbalut dlm bas....yenadey.

Tapi segarang2 I, bab2 nak kesian kat org nie senang sgt. Garang tak serupa bikin. Last2, lepas dah letih membebel, melaser, bagi jugak la MC 3 hari. At least lepas dgr I membebel, she will think twice about doing something as silly as this....

Aaargh, this is why Suriana will never open a clinic......

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Between ego and guilt

I'm an egotistical driver.


Just now, there was a female driver (not that it mattered what sex the driver is) in front of me. Depan dia ada lori sebijik, bawak jerami ke apa tah. Approachingthe 'ghe-tak' (jambatan aa), I nak potong (bukan double line tau), dia pun ikut sama. So, the other lane dah clear, I pun tekan accelerator, nak potong la dia plak.

Makcik tak bagi, ok.....tapi, I didn't care, tekan lagik to the max. Depan tu sayup2 dah nampak lori sebijik and makcik nie still tak nak bagi I potong.

Nak masuk balik lane, dah more than halfway overtaken her so potong la jugak. A few moments later, I pandang rear view mirror, dia dah takde. Kalau simpang dia dah dekat, takkan la beria-ia tak nak kasi org potong la kan?

Now, I'm worried that she might have swerved over the 'ghe-tak' - possible tak? I'm actually thinking about driving over to take a look. When I told Abg, dia bleh gelak pulak. Apa, kelakar ke menyebabkan org eksiden?

Nak gi tgk ke tak? Nak gi tgk ke tak?

Monday, March 12, 2007

Me - the Jakun...

Q - Katak apa yang tak pernah tgk matahari?
A - Katak bawah tempurung!

and like a toad underneath a coconut shell I did feel when I went for my Effective Communication Skills in PJ Hilton recently.

The course was organised by NPC and there were about 16 participants - all from different walks of life. There was only one other doctor there and he was like the Head of Department! Yikes, but not the old and baldy type though - the young-ish and good looking-ish kind, haha.

I won't talk about what they were teaching and I must say the second speaker is more like a motivational speaker for Effective Customer Service rather than what they were supposed to convey. and As usual, chinese whispers was done, the one-way and two-way communication demo was done where you had to describe a picture with just words. I volunteered and at least one person got every diagram right!

There was a librarian from Bernama, a guy from the Fisheries Dept, two staff from a local plastic parts manufacturer, two people from another manufacturing company and a few from a local courier service....a serious eye opener and very refreshing.

The two things that I became a 'jakun' to were:

- the sumptuous, magnificient, way-too-much-food lunch buffet.

Seriously....there must be about 200 types of food there, ok. About 20 types of dessert (three flavours of icecream with 8 toppings to choose from, hot-from-the-grill-crepes with 5 fruits accompaniment, kuih melayu, Indian Gulab Jamun and milk candy, rice puddings, strawberries in syrup, chocolate cakes and cheesecakes), about 100+ hot dishes - Malay, Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Western, more than 10 meats from the grill station, tak termasuk the cold salad and what nots. My jaw was like, on the floor, with drool all over - well, maybe not like that lah. Tapi close though.....hehe.

and as I usually am in unfamiliar situations like these, I stand still, act in the knowing and observe. Plates? Under the table top - check. Should I get rice? What? With all these luxuries? Atkins diet la wehh.... Where is our assigned seatings? Oh, over there - check. Now back to food. A little bit of this and a little bit of that. Baru half of the food hall and plate already full. Finished everything and went for dessert, ignoring plates that were shoved aside with things left uneaten. I remember now why I avoid food buffets.

Five star hotels make me feel small (and that's not an easy thing to do!) - maybe it's the inferiority complex in me? Somehow, survived lunch, made conversation and didn't fall while walking to and fro the food hall.

- how other people were networking like mad.

Cards were whizzing all over - phone numbers exchanged. I was among the few who appeared unperturbed by all this. Sesungguhnya konsep networking is something so alien to me. Which is why I think I'd be happy being a hermit (as mentioned in my profile).

and then, when we had a five-min presentation to make, while I talked innocently about my trip to India, this guy actually spoke about his Internet-Investment thingy and how by 5 months, he has already made RM100,000 and anyone interested pls give a him a ring (number written on white board)....

Eye Opening, indeed.......

Come in pairs - part II

Two MVAs with the name of Asri, both with lip lacerations.

Two broken wrists.

Two fractured clavicles...

and two resuscitated babies.

Basically that summarises my on call yesterday.

Seriously, Sundays are the worst. Sundays are when people with eye injuries come for follow ups, or MVA cases with abrasion wounds come for medical leave. Casualty medical assistants (MAs) will give appointments (aka TCAs - To Come Again) on a Sunday for cases of fever or loss of appetite or lethargy. and Sundays become worst when three of your colleagues are away for leave or courses. J has gone to Genting for the Annual Anaesthesia Conference (Genting?! Best siot...), L has gone off somewhere for a course and apparently is planning to take the rest of the week off. Weiii, dah dah la amik cuti lain pun kerja gakk...and N is taking a well deserved break after all this time covering other wards.

OPD started really late. I thought I was assisting the Nephrologist at the Haemodialysis Unit but after waiting for more than hour, turned out that he forgot about his clinic. One MO went for the Renungan Pagi and the third MO was covering the female ward, Post/AnteNatal ward and labour room. So, obviously, clinic finished late.

At about 11, baby case number 1 arrived. Apparently had been having loose stools and vomiting for the past 5 days! Mother only brought child to a private clinic and even that morning, had gone to ANOTHER private clinic before being told to rush her baby to our casualty.

Seriously, he was a textbook case of severe dehydration - kalau nak tgk depressed anterior fontanelle and reduced skin turgor and dry oral mucosa, he was IT. Child was about 2 months old, a firstborn to a young mother - mother was understandably distraught beyond words.

Sedih tau bila kiddies pass away. Adults, you can easily accept, especially elderlies with bad premorbid condition or ex IVDUs who are 'well underway'....but kiddies? It's like the grief of the parents and grandparents wash over you in huge tidal waves.

Baby number 2 arrived about half five or six I think. Pale as sheet and in obvious respiratory distress. Mom was nonchalant about the condition of the kid, claiming the problems only started 'JUST NOW'......This is where my Dr House persona kicks in. Cannot come this pale only started just now? Called in my 2nd call, intubated the child and resuscitated her. BP managed to pick up but she looked ill. I'm still wondering if sepsis could have resulted in her Hb of 5.2. Stool watery but no blood, abdomen soft, no history of G6PD deficiency....

Only managed to grab dinner and bathe at 10pm, only to rush to casualty again for a case of UGIB (Upper GastroIntestinal Bleed), my long neglected post MI regular customer and ambulance-call SOB. Then Asri number 1 came in after allegedly skidding on his bike. Pecah habis bibir. Second Asri came in at half one, berlanggar lembu and also had a torn open upper lip. Dua-dua referred to Dental and ward nurses still managed to send him late to the Dental Clinic despite me writing in the BHT - DO NOT BE LATE....isy.

Today, there was hoohaa in the hospital as the new Pengarah has now come officially to take over. The Timbalan Pengarah Kesihatan Negeri was also there. So I don my white coat (specially reserved for occasions like these...hehe) and wait for the procession to come. Lama la plak duduk dlm bilik, TPK menanya makcik and her daughter about the complications of diabetes. I was silently rooting for them to know the answers, as if them getting the answers right is a reflection of me. Weirdo or what. Hooray for anak makcik who got the answers right! I could hear the new Pengarah saying something about why both fan and airconds are switched on at the same time...aiyak...and on the only day when I don't come in and switch off the fan plak tu.

Safe to say we are all waiting in anticipation (or in fear?) of the new Pengarah. Winds of change are approaching all right, whether bawak bau wangi sepoi2 bahasa or bawak tornado ala Katrina is what we would like to know....