Friday, October 23, 2009

Sucker for a lost cause

Another of my little strays died today.


As bitter and jaded as I can be, I'm just a sucker for abandoned cats. Everytime they die due to some illness, I tell Abg that that will be the last time. Abg will just look at me with a little twinkle in his eye for he knows that the next time I come across a mange covered scruffy little thing at the hospital's walkway or at the canteen, it will be riding in my silver Kenari home.

Two weeks ago I came across a small kitty near the lab. It was about half six and I had just finished operating on some limb. She came running to me as I called to her. She was as ugly as anything - thin, bloated worm-infested tummy and covered in scabs of mange. I put her on the front passenger seat and there she sat quietly as I drove home.

I applied the mange medication that I always have ready at home, gave her a bowl of kibbles and placed a hot water bottle to keep her warm in the cage.

In the course of the next few days, most of her scabs fell off and she looked much much better. Once I let her play in the house and she spent an hour pawing at a piece of string hanging from the ironing board.

As we were leaving for a holiday, I left her for boarding at the clinic nearby.

When I went to get her, she just looked ill. Foam was dripping from her lips and she resembled nothing like the kitten I left a week before. The vet assistant actually had the nerve to reassure me, saying it was a natural reaction to a deworming medication.

She died the next morning.

So I cried a few tears and apologised, as I always do with all the kittens I couldn't save. and I vowed to never take in another stray for it to break my heart again.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Aksi kucing terlampau

I always tell Fizzy (yes, I talk to my cats) that he is one of the luckiest cats around. To think if we hadn't stopped at the Pasar Ramadhan three Rayas ago - it was drizzling and usually we'd avoid places like that during bad weather - we wouldn't have found him huddled up under a car which had just driven away from a parking space we were eyeing.

Now he is an extremely fat cat who likes to sleep in between our legs. Anytime he catches us sleeping in the prone position, he would immediately plop himself there and make himself comfy till we push him away.

All he does is eat, sleep, walk around the house like he's the boss and then eat and sleep some more. He sleeps on our bed at night, unless Abg's sister is back for the holidays and then she drags him to sleep with her instead.

With our other sweetheart, Bubu who is no longer with us.

Tidur lagi.

Tidur jugak, tapi posisi tutup muka.

Nie tak tau posisi apa - posisi peluk kaki kot.

Fizzy accompanying me FaceBooking.

Did I not tell you he loves to sleep?

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Kitty update

It's been a while since I last wrote about my furkids. Sometimes work can be overwhelming that I start to neglect everything. I can't remember the last time I ironed Abg's shirts, in fact sometimes, he does the ironing for me. I am spoilt.


Anyway, a staff nurse at the labour room offered two of her kittens to me about 2 weeks before Ramadhan. I was hesitant at first. I've always made it a point to not take in kittens who already have homes, but on the other hand, I was pretty chuffed that she would consider giving her kittens to me. I know I wouldn't be able to give away any of my cats - regardless of how anti social, or untoilet trained they are and even if I had to, I would ensure their future owners would adore and love my cats as much if not more than I do.

So, Qisty and Betty joined our already mad household.

Qisty - the tortie

Betty - the black spot is not a grease stain by the way.

Betty fell very ill during the week after Raya. She was moping and refusing to eat, and whenever she was resting, her third eyelid would cover almost half of her eyes. We took her to the vet and I made sure she was drinking and kept feeding her high calorie gels. I put her indoors, in a box with hot water bottles to keep her warm. Every night I would say to Abg, "I don't think Betty will make it to the next morning" and every morning she would still be alive.

Muka budak sakit.

Tak larat sangat dah nie.

After the 4th day, I opened my bedroom door and Betty just ran right in! and now, about a week after, she's been running all over the place. Still a bit thin but at least she's eating. She is now very attached to us and would never leave our sides for long.

Qisty on the other hand, runs away like lightning when we approach her. We have to resort to bribing her with freshly boiled fish in order to get her into her cage.

Anyway, apparently my 'anak-anak dara' - Nafas, Malisa, Mini Me and Cinta - has been seen socialising with the stray tomcat. Me thinks its time for a visit to the vet soon.

Of being non-judgemental....

I haven't forgotten to blog, really. It's just that the hospital has blocked certain sites on the server including the blogspots.

Thoughts usually come to me during the lull in between dawn and the end of the oncall period. I like to ponder upon the patients I saw and how I was with them. Not having an internet connection for me to put my thoughts in cyberspace has been such a damper.

I have to admit, I am not the friendliest doctor. I used to be, when I just joined the hoolabaloo about 7 years ago, all naive and innocent; sometimes I wonder whether it was really that bad that I have become so jaded and disillusioned by it all.

I had a patient last week, who had a history of heart problem. She had been followed up at the Physician's Clinic and had been advised for bypass grafting but she had refused.

She was brought into our casualty at 5 am severely distraught, literally screaming for every breath. Apparently she had had two days of on and off chest pains and had persevered at home. Fifteen minutes later she flatlined. Her son adamantly ordered us to stop our resuscitation efforts.

Later, her daughter approached us and told us that they had gone to the KK and no one responded. I wasn't really sure what she wanted to tell us actually. Was she implying that if someone at the KK had seen and attended to her, that maybe her mother could be saved? I told her I couldn't comment but she has to understand, by refusing the operation, her mother was simply a walking time bomb. The daughter did not look appeased, I have to say. I never had the magic way with words.

When I was working in the OPD, I met many patients who had been admitted time and time again for chest pains and was advised for angios and further work up of their heart problem. They would smile at me and say, "Takpe la doktor, berasa segar lagi nie.." and I would say, "No, it is when you are well that you should get everything checked out. When you are grabbing your chest and could not even lie still for an ECG, you are basically leaving your life to chance."

Yet, they would smile again and say thank you after I have written their monthly medications. Thank you for what I wonder. For letting you leave my room and wait for the next attack of chest pains?

In a way, I have a lot of respect for MOs who are in charge of OPDs - those who are really committed towards making sure that their patients are thoroughly educated and making an informed choice. How do you cope with stressing the same thing over and over again and still have your patients come in with hay wire blood pressures and blood sugars? At least when I plate a femur, I can see the proof in the check x-ray post operatively.

HTM's Ortho team have been pretty washed out the past week. We expected it to be bad, but not this bad. Broken femurs (thigh bones) have been wheeled in almost daily and my boss have resorted to doing them 2-3 days post trauma rather than have the patients on traction as we normally would. I can still feel the ache in my arms after reducing the fracture of this 80+kg man a few days ago.

Yesterday, a scrawny kid of 12 was riding his motorbike and collided with a jeep. He broke his femur rather badly and sustained a HUGE wound over his shin with his broken shin bone peeping nicely under all that mess. He was whining as I was changing his blood-soaked bandages; saying how I was rough and pulled his leg too hard. You can safely assume that I had many things to say at the tip of my tongue, all with complaint-letter-to-Pengarah inducing potential. I was rather proud when I left his bedside in silence. I honestly think one of the hardest things about being a doctor is to not be judgemental.

Never mind that another kid who broke his wrist last week was riding a motorbike and ran through a red light. I bluntly told him to run though another red light and get hit by a trailer next time; I attempted to soften my sentence with my sarcastic smile but it was lost on both kid and his mother.

Ho hum.

I'm sure there was a point of this blog entry but it seems to have gotten lost somewhere. Perhaps I will make better sense in my next entry, whenever that will be.