Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Get me a cup of empathy please

Sometimes I wish I had more empathy for some of my patients. But I guess in saying that, I am wishing to be less of a human because by having all these different feelings and emotions is what makes us human in the first place.

On the other hand, it is amazing how one person is able to tolerate pain compared to the next person. How is it that this female patient can endure the discomfort of childbirth and yet be near to tears when told that the K-wires and external fixator has to come out.

Being told that kids as young as 12 didn't bat an eyelid when they had their K-wires out didn't help either, I guess - as the gaze she placed on me could have easily killed - and believe me that I regretted it the moment the last word fell off my mouth. However sissy or childlike she may be, there is no reason for me to be so harsh.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Me mad

Someone I know recently went to seek advice from an 'ustaz' - and I am putting inverted commas here because after hearing about what happened, I am seriously doubting his capabilities and whether he really deserves that title.

I think when one is faced by someone in problem, the job of a good listener is to never take sides. Or if you HAVE to, then take the side of the person in front of you. But only if you really have to - otherwise, just be neutral.

Now, I admit that I do not know the whole story but come on la ustaz - please do not be so old fashioned and blame the decay of a marriage solely on the wife. I felt so enraged by what this so called ustaz had said, I felt like flying back to KL and confronting this idiot.

So a wife has to accept everything the husband presents to her with a smile -tell that to a wife who had been presented with a kick to the groin and been slapped till she is deaf in one ear - in fact, I will even get her to say 'Bagi la lagi' [More please] just for good measure.

Everything that a husband does is good - tell that to my staff nurse who went to get her salary and found her account nearly empty, courtesy of her husband.

A husband can never do wrong - tell that to the many wives who are lied to every single day and have no shame in living off his wife's earnings.

Seriously lah!

It is this old fashioned mentality that is giving the Muslims a bad reputation and YOU, an ustaz of all people!

You keep saying 'zaman Nabi' and how wives should emulate the Prophet's wives - but you forget (or simply too self engrossed in your own delusions) that our men nowadays are no where near as great as the Prophet (p.b.u.h).

Perempuan tak pandai masak kena kutuk - Lelaki tak pandai imamkan solat jemaah takde sape ckp apa-apa.

Kalau lelaki tolong jemur kain kena cop Queen Control.

Rumah kotor, kata bini tak buat kerja - Lelaki duduk saja kat rumah sebab malas nak kerja, takde sape komen.

Life is unfair - I can accept that but having people like this be leaders surely doesn't help.

Abg - I love you very much and you are the best.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Our Penang highlight - or NOT

I think at times I can be quite easy to please. Yes some of my friends will laugh and say that those times are rare but sometimes the simplest of things can make me happy.


But when I am not, rest assured I can be very vocal about letting people know my displeasure. My staff nurses can vouch for that, I think.

Anywho, last month I brought my 3 nieces and nephew to Penang. Their parents are away for the pilgrimage and we had a long weekend. Having kids with you requires a lot of planning to make sure they are entertained so I thought I'd bring them to the Toy Museum.

We were in and out by 10 minutes and I didn't know whether I should be angry and demand my money back or laugh at the sheer ridiculousity of it.

So, I decided to write a review on Trip Advisor, a travellers' website. I was frank and voiced out some of my concerns like the obviously uneven floors, some had holes covered with carpets which tripped the kids on a few occasions. There was only one small entrance (which doubles as the exit) - can't imagine trying to escape in case of a fire. Remember, you are thinking of families with small kids coming to a place like this.

Yes, I might have been swayed by the fact that I may be slightly old fashioned that I don't regard stiff figurines to be toys - but hey, a review is a review. It is MY personal opinion based on how I felt after going through an experience. As I pointed out to the owner, (who emailed me in a huff and called me biased) - even James Cameron the great director will NEVER make a film that will please EVERYONE.

I felt I needed people to know the other side of it - I thought the owner should improve the way the so called toys are displayed (a lot of things were placed on the bottom-most rack where basically no one could see them), fix the uneven floors and ensure enough clearing space for strollers/prams and certainly do something about the inappropriate decor.

Whenever the Toy Museum is mentioned, we'd just crack up and laugh. For RM52 (which was what we paid for 4 adults and 2 kids) - we could have had a jolly good meal of pasembur and cendol.

Ah well.

My pet peeve

I have a confession to make.

Ignorant spelling mistake and lazy fact-checking in printed publications irritate the hell out of me.

How can one misspell Harry POTTER? The boy who lived!

Time and time again I see people - educated people - refer to the movie or book as Harry PoRter and don't tell me it is a typo because how can you get the other 'T' right and not the first one? The book only sold gazillions of copies worldwide and the movie has generated millions!

**** I stand corrected - a reader has pointed out a fact in this article which I am now retracting - the irony of it, talking about lazy-fact checking and here I am doing the same! Thank you, whoever you are****

Last year, the same newspaper ran an article on fashion and the writer who thought it would be chic to spatter her page with English words, wrote about fashion CHEEK. Berguling aku.

People! For once use your smartphones to be smart lah and not just for showing off. In these times and age, it takes just a millisecond to check your facts or confirm the correct spelling of words.

Just last night I read about someone who had a FRANCE kiss.

Arrrgggh!!! *pulling hair out*

Friday, December 03, 2010

Good or bad?

Last night I was in OT around midnight debriding a wound on a patient's ankle. He was using one of those portable grasscutter and the metal blade broke off and hit his leg.

He sustained an open fracture and some muscle cut.

Now, I love being in the OT. Even at 12 midnight - but it is something else when my nurse keeps going somewhere else in her mind (Eh, I have been working for the past 16 hours, you just got in three hours ago, ok) and the drill bit was so dull it took me one minute to drill a hole in the bone - urgh. Everything that could go wrong, went wrong - and to top it all off, a HUGE fly decided he would come a visiting and landed on my operating site!

Seriously lah!

My hospital started to have houseperson (trying to be PC here) about a year ago - and some are good and vice versa and I was remarking to my colleague that after about 20 or so of them, how one barely remembers some of them.

and of course, there are the memorable ones and funny ones and really knowledgeable ones that they sometimes put us MOs to shame.

I am not really sure how I should be with my housemen - I've worked in the district for so long without having them that I have gotten used to doing things myself. I am, though, extremely happy with having them around when a two-week abscess or one-month, foul smelling foot comes in at ridiculous hours (and by that I mean, 12 midnight on a weekend).

Sometimes I am torn between letting them close up an incision because that is the part I love best about operating - seeing the two edges of skin come together, signifying, (I hope) a job well done - but I realise that if I don't let them do it, then how are they to learn?

I would get so exasperated when I tell them, these are the things that the specialist loves to ask and explain to them how to tell when the closed manipulative reduction is acceptable and yet, get a blank look when the same question comes up the next day.

but then, I tell myself that I was worse when I was in their shoes. I hated going to the clinic and hate having to change quickly into OT scrubs when my tummy is growling for food and I hated Grand Ward Rounds that I wanted to take an EL each week - so I think about that and I cut them some slack.

I envy the fact that their housemanship has become easier due to the fact that there are so many of them (I used to be in charge of a ward with just one or two other housemen - and now, about 4 or 5 of them share a CUBICLE!) yet I tend to worry because they end up being so underexposed. A big part of being a good doctor is experience: you can't really counsel a patient properly if you haven't gone through and seen what a procedure entails. What you see in a book is never the same with what you see in life. We used to do everything and saw everything and I was talking to a houseman who has never seen an operation to excise a ganglion, despite being in the 6th posting and have been in Ortho for the past 2-3 months!

I worry sometimes, you know. and I think a lot of people should be too.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Multitasking with LIFE

It is hard having a blog that is read by people you know. Once in a while I would like to really let go and just rant, but there are feelings to be careful of. One thinks that one is being frank but despite rating honesty so highly on the moral pedestal, I observe that people don't appreciate it when it is thrown in one's face.

But anyway, it is raining here. It has been rather sunny the past couple of days but today, the heavens opened. I don't like rainy seasons - the house smells musty and my cats tend to die in rapid succession one after the other. My cat cages are looking rather empty after losing 6 kittens to viral infections.

The house is in a mess. We had returned after about 6 days away - Abg had gone for a course and I took a few days break just in time to pick Ma up at the airport. She had gone Down Under to visit a sister of mine.

I've been rearranging, dusting, vacuuming, sweeping and wiping and throwing junk away but it hasn't looked any better. I keep making plans in my head as I review my cases at the clinic or while making ward rounds or cutting out slough on a diabetic ulcer : must throw away this and must iron this basket of clothes and must mop this part of the house - and I do try to keep to my plan but then I see another portion of the house which needs tending to and the list just grows.

and I find that when I focus on one part of my life - I tend to neglect another part - and believe me, it is not intentional. I have all the good intentions to keep up with my parents and grandparents and other extended family AND at the same time try to read up on work stuff AND find out the best places to get bathroom accessories and looking at colour palettes for the house AND find time to get my cats vaccinated but sometimes it is just overwhelming!

and this with NO KIDS!

Is life this hard? - or am I just a really bad time manager?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Goodbye Pinky Nose

So, after three days of fighting for her life, little pinky nose has succumbed to her internal injuries. I knew the condition is bad, yet I still had a sliver of hope as I called up the vet.

Little kid which I picked up from the covered way near the OT is also not doing well. He has always had an infected callousity on the dorsum of his paw due to him dragging it, which looked healing but two days ago started to look lethargic. Maybe he contracted a viral infection and was just too undernourished to fight the infection.

My heart is as grey as the clouds in KB today....

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Get well soon Pinky Nose.

She has the pinkest nose I have ever seen on a kitten. Her colouring was the usual - black with spots of black/grey - and she used to be so small that I doubted that she would survive, but she did and she runs like the wind especially when chasing bits of feather or a dried leaf.

Abg was on his way to his biweekly badminton outing when he strode in and said, "I think little pinky nose has been in an accident'.

True enough, little pinky nose was lying on the cage floor, growling when I picked her up, her left hindleg lay limp. I knew instantly how ill she is because pinky nose is no longer pink. She was breathing heavily and she looked at me with her round eyes as I started to cry.

I put her in a carrier and wrapped cloth around her to keep her warm and woke up a few times throughout the night to check on her. Fearing she would go into shock, I forced her to drink water.

The next day, all my earlier plans abandoned, our first priority was to see Dr Palani at Jalan Dusun Muda.

He confirmed that pinky nose has a broken femur, and she now has a distended bladder. I hope pinky nose hasn't got a fractured pelvis as well because that would be bad.

I've left pinky nose at the vet - hoping for the best. I immediately know a trip to Cheras is now inevitable.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Some parents are morons

A few weekends ago, I was attending a course in Kuantan. After the course finished, we had the evening to ourselves before returning to Kelantan the next day and we decided to watch a movie.

Having heard good reviews about The Other Guys, we decided we could do with some laughs and bought tickets. This movie was rated PG13 - i.e. suitable for kids aged 13 but with parental guidance (I think).

About half an hour into the show, a toddler in the back rows started whining. Slowly at first but persistantly louder and climaxed with a top of the voice wail about 20 mins later. I was getting agitated, sitting about 8 rows in front of the silly parents - I wonder what the patrons sitting right in front of them were thinking?

A few minutes later, said toddler and a fellow kid was running up and down the aisle laughing and giggling, and proceeded to do so till the end of the show. At one time, they even went into the row in front of the one I was sitting at and approached the elderly couple who was sitting there.

Okay, call me uptight for being childless - but seriously??

Does having kids make you a moron? (and when I say YOU, I meant the parent who brought the said kids in this post, kang ada yang terasa lagi pulak)

I for one, did not pay to have the side attraction of hearing kids running up and down while I watch Mark Wahlberg being hit on the face with a wooden gun.

Come on! You may want to watch Rain decapitate fellow ninjas but does that make it right for a 5 year old?

I've seen parents bring in 6 month old babies into the cinema - wah, your kids got tympanic membranes made of steel meh?

Seriously lah....!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Why oh why... people LIKE their own status update? If you don't like it, you wouldn't put it up, would you?

...can't people get off their big arses and throw rubbish into the bin which is only a few steps away? It infuriates me when ppl leave boxed drinks, rice wrappers, melted ice in plastic bags and what nots at the most prominent places! How ppl have absolutely no conscience at unwrapping sweets and just letting it fall to the ground when the bin is right in front of them! Or throw things out their car windows! Stoooopiddd!! it that the worst diabetic feet always turn up in septicaemic shock?

...that I always find it hard to wake up for work yet can be up wide eyed at half five in the morning during the weekends? I ranting on a postcall day?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

This is it...

They have been copied, certified and signed. References have been sought and all it needs is to be posted to the correct addresses.

I am still having second thoughts - mainly because I have become so comfortable here. Didn't I say I have been too content? This contentment is leaving me in a rut; a comfy rut, I must say but a rut nevertheless.

I am cutting it thin a bit - the dateline is three days away so I am not taking any chances and will be couriering them away first thing on Sunday.

Do I want to do this? I think I do. It has been a while since I challenged myself in a big way. I know I can - and I know I am better than some other candidates out there. If nothing else, I hope my maturity and experience will be counted. Well, it definitely won't be for my good looks or killer body, hahaha.

So, with my fingers and toes crossed, here goes nothing.

Friday, October 15, 2010

I guess we can never tell

I had a case at the clinic yesterday which is now troubling me.

Basically this man presented at the casualty with a fractured neck of femur following a history of trivial injury. He came at 10pm, THREE WEEKS after the fall. Later on I was informed that he had been walking with crutches for the past 6 months prior to that after allegedly hearing a crack from the joint.

Now, I was the one who saw him at the A&E. He was brought in by his daughter who claims to be a GP in one of the East Coast states. Since the patient is now pain-free, I offered to allow him home and gave him a date at the clinic.

So, he came and was informed that the lesion on his bone looked suspicious. Sans daughter, he refused everything and was discharged.

Imagine my surprise when another daughter who is apparently a nurse, came to the clinic and requested to be seen by my specialist, about 3 months later. Maybe 'surprise' isn't the word I would use. Amused? Puzzled? Perplexed?

In ward, we proceeded to work him up for more sinister causes. He continued to be uncooperative, only hesitantly agreeing for invasive procedures after being coaxed by his daughters.

Anyway, the CT scan showed multiple metastases but the primary hasn't been identified yet. I spoke to the children, who brought a family friend who openly displayed his DR (I mean, couldn't he just introduced himsef?) without the father present. I explained that he is now unsuitable for any surgical intervention on his femur and the more important issue now is to find out the cause.

Though I silently thought, with the advanced stage that he is, is it even worth finding out where it came from?

I spoke to the pakcik and he looked in relatively good spirits. Before he left, he said something that left me pondering. He said, "Doctor, I hope that we could leave the past behind us. I am now open to all your treatment choices and will give my full cooperation"

His statement continues to play in my mind and I wonder what brought that on.

and I wonder if it is now too late?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I am turning into the crazy cat lady

There must be something wrong with me that I like cats more than I like humans. Is it the control freak in me? It must be. With cats, I decide when they get out and when they get back in. After all, it is for your own good - I am the one crying my eyes out when one of you turn into roadkill pancake.

Humans lie and are manipulative and are driven by greed and a whole lot of other bad things. Cats just know that they are hungry and thirsty. Settle that and they will leave you alone.

However, all things cat aside, sometimes I wish I can be the me that I used to be about 8 years ago. The sweet, unassuming me. Who was always nice to patients and nurses. Who regarded all patients the same regardless of everything. How on earth did I become so judgemental and jaded?

Is the world really as bad as I think it to be?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My Silver Lining

Been feeling crap today but there is always a silver lining somewhere.

Giler is one of my earliest strays. We were buying fish at the small roadside stall in Pulai Chondong when I saw three kittens playing at the nearby bus stop. I waded through the long weeds and saw three gorgeous kittens chasing each other. One was black and white, then there was a tabby and another had white and marbled fur.

Giler masa kecik.

Giler is, as the name suggests - just insane. Whenever we would pick him up, he would nuzzle at your face and elbow and neck. He isn't friendly with the other cats and would almost always pick fights with Fizzy but as with all my kids, we love them all anyway.

So anyhow, Giler has been missing since about a month now. During the time when we had about 11 kittens, some of the adult cats were let out to roam so the cages can be used for the nursing mothers. When he didn't return, I thought the worst.

So imagine my reaction when Abg opened the door and said, Guess who came home today? - and it was Giler! and of course the nuzzling frenzy started almost immediately as I took him in my arms.

Lepas nie kena duduk dlm sangkar sebulan, ok!

This is an update of Tuah. Here he is right after we returned from Cheras. Practically a bag of bones.

and this is Tuah today! Look at how much his body has filled out.

Makan banyak-banyak biar jadi gemuk lagi tau.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Weekend sob fest

I am a sucker for sad sappy stories. Actually, no - I am a sucker for any emotional story. I cried when the Jamaican bobsled team won in Cool Runnings. I cried when Tristan's father who suffered from a stroke wrote 'Am Happy' on his small blackboard when his son returned in The Legends of the Fall. I cry at every episode of Grey's Anatomy in the sixth season.

Last night, I had the ultimate waterworks party. It wasn't merely a snivel or a sob here and there. I was practically bawling my eyes out. All because of a dog.

I remember seeing his statue in a picture Ma took when she was on her honeymoon. His loyalty was awe inspiring. You wonder at the bond between this dog and his master for it to wait every day for nine years after his master died.

The fact that the Akita they had playing the lead in the movie was so gorgeous didn't help (with the crying) either.

I wonder if any of my cats would do this for me?


Probably not.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Saya suka kucing - Anda bagaimana?

Sedang merayau-rayau di alam siber, tiba-tiba terjumpa ini.

dari kucing terbiar dot com

Gambar anak2nya yang berkaki empat melompat-lompat di kawasan berumput hijau dan berpokok rendang buat saya cemburu. Saya juga mengidamkan sebegitu tapi sayang, anak-anak saya hanya dpt duduk di dalam sangkar dan dilepaskan petang apabila tuan mereka pulang dari kerja. Tetapi tidak bermakna anak-anak saya kurang kasih sayang. Makan minum terjaga rapi, bila sakit dibawa ke klinik.

Baru-baru ini saya bawa pulang seekor lagi anak kucing berwarna putih, bertelinga koko. Macam Che'Put masa dia masih anak dara. Sekarang Che'Put dah jadi ibu pada lima anak dan tak mungkin lagi beranak. Che'Put boleh hidup bahagia makan tidur main saja.

Saya dan Abg nak ke Kamdar bila tiba-tiba anak mengiau sambil terkedek-kedek berlari ke arah saya. Saya kutip dia dan saya pandang Abg. Abg kata "Takde tempat dah nak letak...." - tapi saya degil, lantas anak diletak di tempat duduk belakang kereta.

Saya beri nama dia Kamdar.

Anyway - Papa Meow memang seorang pencinta haiwan yang berdedikasi. Saya tabik beliau. Di dalam salah satu post di blognya, dia kata, dia selalu berdoa tidak berjumpa anak kucing terbiar apabila keluar berjalan-jalan. Saya juga selalu berfikir begitu. Sebab kalau sudah jumpa, kalau tidak dibawa balik, akan teringat-ingat sampai ke dalam mimpi. Selamatkah dia? Makankah dia? Ataupun sudah mati dilanggar keretakah dia? Isy. Susah macam nie.

Mungkin orang akan kata, dari kau belanja ribu-ribu untuk anak kucing, baik kau derma kat anak yatim. Tetapi itulah kuasa dan ketentuan Allah. DIA jadikan kita berbeza-beza pendapat serta haluan supaya akan ada juga segelintir yang mengambil berat tentang makhlukNYA yang berkaki empat.

Tuah sibuk berlari-lari di ruang TV. Saya panggil dia tetapi dia lebih seronok bermain dengan lipas yang baru ditangkapnya. Tuah semakin gemuk dan sudah pandai membuli anak-anak yang lebih kecil dari dia.

Hidup ini indah.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A musing

After a relatively heavy oncall, I woke up extra early, woke Abg up so that he could drive me to work and have breakfast together.

I was enjoying the aroma of freshly cooked rice and 'gulai ayam' when I saw something on my chicken which I initially thought was a fleck of spice or fried onion. Out of habit I flicked it unto the side of the plate and noticed that it had curiously insect-like legs. I looked at it closer and yes, I had a side order of mini cockroach.

I was thankful I hadn't shoved it into my mouth with the previous spoonful of rice but what do I do now? Even if I called the stall owner and showed it to her, she'd only replace it with the same gravy little roach had been cooking in. I then told myself, all those desperately hungry people in Pakistan would be killing each other for the plate of rice that I had in front of me right now. and afterall, you'd think the big pot of 'gulai' which had been boiling would probably have neutralized any toxins that the insect had.



What would one do in a situation like this?

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Choices choices

Having had to live at the FIL's house since getting married, I thought it was hightime we got our own home. Actually, 'hightime' was maybe about 2 years ago but nevertheless the dream home is now well underway and already I am imagining what and where and how of it all.

At the moment we've been scurrying around looking at kitchen cabinets and what it entails. Tiles or solid surface or granite? and solid wood or MDF or pine or 3G glass? I've been to a few shops and have asked hundreds of questions and still nowhere near to making a decision. and that's just the kitchen - there is also the bathrooms and the tiles and the walls. It's enough to make you tear your hair out.

This was about a month or so ago.

and this taken last week.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Right Decision

This is Tuah [malay for lucky] and this is his story.

I found him lying by the side of my car at the hospital's car park. There had been an increase in the number of stray cats being abandoned at the hospital, I think even the Radicare has given up.

He was unusually quiet on the way home, just sitting there on the passenger seat, unfazed by the moving scenes as the car drove past.

He was skinny, with white patches on his chest and paws and had a kinky tail. The moment anyone would come close, he would be rubbing his head against your hands, attempting to purr but somehow falling short.

I noticed how indrawn his tummy was but attributed it to his undernourished state. His breathing looked strange - it was as if he was fighting to get the air in. Sometimes even his nostrils would flare. He looked hungry but would only eat a mouthful each time.

The local vet had said he had a respiratory infection and had given tablets for a flu. I tried giving it to him but failed miserably - on hindsight, it was probably a good thing.

So the little orange kitten made a 450km journey from Kelantan all the way to Cheras to see Dr Lum. Xrays showed that most of his intestines had been pushed into his lung cavity, thus causing him difficulty in breathing. He would need surgery but he might be too small to wake up from the anaesthesia.

I debated with myself and Abg - is it fair to let him go through the pain of an operation knowing there is a risk that he may not survive it? But if we were to refuse the op, would he be in a lot of pain in his final days? The vet had suggested a euthanasia injection but I couldn't even consider it. We may think we dominate this world but who are we really to decide when this kitten dies?

I almost called to cancel the operation but I felt uneasy. I knew money wouldn't be a problem though I am sure other people would call me insane behind my back. So I surfed the net and got other pet lovers' experiences and sought advice from another cat lover - she offered me encouragement and support no matter what I decided; her cat had once been in this situation so she was the ideal person to seek advice from. I thank you again from the bottom of my heart.

Tuah is now about one week post op and is doing miraculously well. He has a huge scar on his now fat belly but he is still very beautiful to us. Whenever we would keep him in the carrier, since we didn't want him jumping around and bursting his sutures, he would just sit there quietly, only mewing softly whenever he saw us walking near. I would let him on my bed and he would rub his head against my hands and my face. Before, I never saw him sleep because he would get breathless whenever his head is laid down but now he can. I would watch him sleep - his breathing now no longer laboured - and seeing him well gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside.

He purrs now - loudly and continuously - is he saying thank you, I wonder?

I am glad it was the right decision.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Nonsensical ramblings

I wanted to write about my latest cat - Tuah - I've even got the story all written up but phone cables have been mercilessly ripped off their poles in my kampung and TM sees no urgency in replacing the lines. Mentang2 la takde VIP duduk kat sini. Cuba buat kat Damansara macam tu.....

Anyway, this means that my internet adventures have been limited to office hours - I've gotten myself one of those wireless broadband thingy and am now trying to use up my allocation before the end of the month.

I'm oncall. My first one of the fasting month. It's pretty quiet now; there is a case of a dead baby being found in a septic tank or something, I'm not much into details. The smell wafted quickly throughout the emergency room and stuck itself to your clothes and someone even vomited.

What desperation is it that drives us to do such cruelty? Was it fear that threw their sense of decency out the window? To think that one can get rid of it and expect to live a guiltless life?

I wonder about these things - even when my kittens have become too many for my cages and depleting my kibbles far too quickly than I would have liked, I still do not have the heart to throw them away. I keep thinking about how hungry or how cold they would be, how lost they would feel without their mother and it breaks my heart.

So, how can one do this to something that have been surviving in you for the past nine months? It puzzles me completely.

Maybe deep down I'm just a sentimental old fart.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Punch in the stomach

My patient died.

When I was doing my medical rotation, I used to have a blase attitude towards death - RVD cases were dying left right and centre in the medical wards, it was weird not to have to sign burial permits when I was oncall.

I've not had a patient die for a long time now; working in the district usually means that you ship off all your risky cases for the tertiary centre to manage. BID (brought in dead) cases are usually uncomplicated and straightforward.

Perhaps it was because I sat up all night taking care of this case - even telling my houseman to get some sleep because it would be stupid for both of us to be awake and if I left her to take care of the patient and something bad happened, it'd be on me anyway, and I wouldn't be able to sleep from worrying anyway, so I might as well be the one up.

Perhaps it was because I had gotten irritated because he kept asking for water (must have been the hypovolaemia) and we kept telling him that he can't. He was making jokes about how the blood transfusion was going poorly because we refused him his drink.


I keep replaying that night over and over and over in my mind trying to find where it is that I have gone wrong. Anything I could have done that could have prevented this. Yes, I have been told by my boss that injuries that he had, meant a very poor survival rate and that I shouldn't feel bad but I feel bad anyway.

Damn. One would think that one would get used to death after working for some time but once in a while it sure does hit you right in the stomach.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Exhaustion is...

...not sleeping the entire night baby sitting a case of crushed pelvis, pushing in 18 bags of blood products and being shouted at because he wanted to drink despite being told repeatedly why he can't.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Postcall one liner

Even after all these years, despite having receding hairlines and protruding bellies, they still slobber and drool after her, whom, unfairly, have remained as beautiful as she did back then.

Wishful thinking...

We have become such a selfish, self centred, materialistic, lazy society.

We think that just because some poor Majlis Bandaran worker is paid a salary to pick up our rubbish, that we are entitled to throw them anywhere we want.

Just outside the residential area I am renting, where I spend the night when I'm oncall (no oncall room for MOs that we have to resort to renting a place so we can rest and wash up - ridiculous) - there is this huge district council bin that they've placed so that people can put in their rubbish. This bin is then picked up by the lorry which replaces that bin with an empty one.

Everytime I pass by, despite the bin not even being half full, there would be a mound of rubbish on the ground for chickens and cats and dogs to rip apart and spread the foul smelling goodness around.

Why why why? Are you people so lazy to spend an extra ounce of effort to lift up your flabby biceps to get the rubbish INTO the bin rather than just laying them on the ground? Do you think that the Majlis Bandaran workers take extra pleasure in spending extra time to rake the rubbish off the ground after it has been scattered around by the animals?

In the compound of my hospital, there is a small but charming fish pond full of fat 'ikan keli's and a few kois and a couple of tortoises. Every morning when I pass by it on the way to the wards, there will definitely be at least one 'air kotak' floating calmly across the murky water.

By the seats of the covered way towards the wards, numerous plastic bags with now melted ice cubes, plastic cups covered with ants, orange peels and what nots. Once, I even came across a half eaten 'nasi bungkus'! This is despite having a bin just a couple of strides away.

I have had people throw out their car windows, a container of water (thank god I had my car windows wound up), rambutan and duku skins, a whole bagful of peanut shells.

Seriously lah! In a state where there is a majority of malays - you people are shameful and an embarrasment to the Islamic teaching! Does the Prophet (p.b.u.h) not teach us to be kind and considerate and above all be clean?

IKEA used to encourage customers of their cafes to clean up and place trays at the collecting area, so that they can minimise the cleaning staff, and reduce cost and keep their prices competitive. But noooo, Malaysians just had to be kiasu as usual and act high and mighty - I pay for the food what? Why should I clean up after myself? - so now even the cafe in IKEA is now filled with Bangladeshi workers when before there was none.

I still clean up my table and occasionally dump my tray of rubbish into the bin when I eat at fast food restaurants. I get weird stares but growing up looking like a chinese but in fact being a Malay has made me used to that. After eating at a restaurant, we'd always gather the bones and peels in one plate and stack them up so that the workers don't have to. In fact, we've even converted our spouses to do the same.

Tak patah tangannya pun kalau tolong kemas meja. Takkan patah kaki pun kalau pergi buang sampah kat tong sampah.

Once, I was in a Jusco store while on my holiday and I was reading the customers' comments that they like putting up around. One ignorant customer was moaning on how he/she had to carry all their groceries because she/he happened to be shopping on a No Plastic Bag Day. Jusco diplomatically said that this is their contribution in reducing the use of plastic bags and should a customer need so, plastic bags can be bought for a minimal fee. I say, GOOD FOR YOU JUSCO! - and don't you dare change your principles for the sake of a bunch of silly, selfish people. I brought my own bag and refused a bag from Watson's and they looked at me like I was mad (no such thing as No Plastic Bag Day here - unfortunately).

Can we change this old fashioned mentality of ours? It may take time but a sliver of me is still hoping for the best. For every stupid person who cuts the queue or throws rubbish out their car windows, perhaps there is one person who will teach their kids to line up patiently and clean up their mess after a picnic at the park. And that kid will hopefully teach their kids and so on that one day, perhaps we won't need so many Bangladeshi workers to stack up our plates after we've eaten our meatballs.

Perhaps. Perhaps.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Can you help them?

I don't listen to this particular radio station very much. They used to be quite good but things have gone south since about 2-3 years ago. Abg listens to it occasionally - don't ask me why - and would tell me things that he heard there.

So anyway, for some bizarre reason, the geniuses there have come up with a segment called "Can you help me?" - where they would call up people set up by friends, pretend to be some Western native and start a conversation in English.

Somehow, seeing people messing up the language, struggling to find the right words and putting a sensible sentence is something to be laughed about nowadays. The sound of the DJs laughing hysterically at someone's lack of grasp of the grammar is downright annoying and it puzzles me that anyone would find this particular segment funny. This time you people are really scraping the bottom of the barrel. and to think that this comes from the so called number 1 presenter in Malaysia?

Seriously lah - it is about time you people come up with a genuinely funny idea. Till then, give me JJ and Ean anytime.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The curse of the mobile

I was having my post call nap when I was woken by the shrill ring of my phone. I clambered out of bed, reached for it and looked at the display. It's the hospital.


Why is it that staff at the hospital think that just because I am reachable by dialling 10 numbers, that I would take the call?

Do you think I have nothing better to do?

Like for one instance, during a weekend when I unwisely picked up a call from the hospital, thinking that it MIGHT just be something important - and the nurse only wanted to ask me if she should remove the stitches on the patient's leg!

When I started to 'membebel', telling her off for disturbing me for something so trivial (after all, some patients turn up at the clinic with stitches STILL intact weeks after they were due to be removed - but that's another blog entry) - couldn't she have just asked the MO oncall? - she actually sounded 'merajuk' - as if I should be thankful for her!

So, now it's about an hour since the call came in and I am contemplating whether I should call the operator up and ask who tried to contact me in my post call daze. After all - it COULD be important.

On the other hand, it could be something silly and by not returning the call, I would be saving myself one telling off - I don't like telling my nurses off, despite what my reputation is amongst the nursing staff, you know.

Hmm - seriously lah....

Duit, do it...

My Abg teases me and say I love money more than I love him. I would deny it vehemently yet in a little corner of my heart, sometimes I think that is true.

Every week, I would log on to my internet banking account and check my account balance. Oncall allowance usually comes in about 2 weeks into the month, usually in with the medical report fees. Salary is usually 2 weeks after.

Al Hamdulillah, I've never found myself crossing off days on the calender waiting for the next pay day - but come salary day, I'd be jumping off the bed, switch on the PC and log on to my account. Seeing the increment in the balance would put me in a good mood the whole day. It's not much, but I know it allows me to spend things without wondering if I'd be able to survive till next pay. On top of that, it allows me to spend on my family without having to worry about credit card debts etc. Like getting a car with a driver while holidaying in Indonesia instead of relying on public transport. Or getting in Borobudur 'legally' - i.e. paying the tourist fees instead of trying to pass yourself off as a local - after all, they own it.

The secret - mainly because I've not much temptations over here. Shopping is limited to groceries and stuff for my furkids. Secondly, I personally think paying the 'zakat' helps increases your 'rezeki'.

But it is only money, I know. Money doesn't buy happiness but it sure does make life better.

and No, Abg, I do love you more than I love my bank account.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Somewhere, something

I've decided to go somewhere in life.

For the past 8 years, I've lived a life of a goal-less MO. I like what I do and despite being so exhausted at the end of some calls, I always find myself waking up and looking forward to go to work. I want to see what broken bones there are and how I can fix it. I want to see feet with abscesses and drain the pus away and make the patients feel better. Though I still do not enjoy telling patients that they need toes cut off, I actually savour the moment when the dead digits have been cut away, thus leaving the rest of the foot to heal.

I guess part of it is because I have a great colleague and an equally great boss and being in a small (albeit with specialist facilities) hospital means that I can at least still spend most lunch hours actually having lunch.

I remember watching my colleague plating a femur by himself for the first time and thinking, I want to do that too one day. I recall the day I had to do it on my own, how I was having palpitations and had to rely on my two MAs for traction before I could reduce the fracture site. Now everything comes automatically - skin, fascia, muscle, bone, screws, drain and skin again - that it feels like assembling a machine on a production line. I used to think 'Oh no not another femur, damn you silly teens and your motobikes!' but now it's 'Bring it on, I'll just fix you and throw you back into the water again'

I guess I'm kinda tired of coming home and living each day as I did the day before. Having holidays break up the routine a little bit but I'm getting itchy. I want a challenge! So, I have decided to do something with my life this year. Whether or not I will get the opportunity, I do not know but at least a few years on, I can't say that I haven't tried.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Who is the parent here?

Last weekend, a couple of scrawny 13 year olds was admitted to ward after sustaining a broken thigh bone each after getting involved in an accident.

One of them underwent an operating procedure to plate his thigh bone and was discharged this morning.

The other, who suffered an open fracture (meaning that there is a wound that communicates the environment with the insides of his thigh and the bone), underwent wound debridement and application of skeletal traction.

This morning, my boss was doing rounds and we were informed that the father wishes to bring his son home to see a traditional healer.

When asked why, the father said, "Because my son doesn't want to". He had no questions about what the chances are for healing or any risks of developing deformity - he is refusing the op because his scrawny 13 year old kid, who had no business riding a motorbike in the first place, doesn't want it.

No wonder I am living in a world where teens no longer have any respect for the elderlies.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


....I just want to grab Abg and my cats and live in a cave....

Friday, May 07, 2010

Cynical me

A baby was brought to our casualty one midnight - she was found lying on someone's porch. About a week later, another baby was admitted to our peadiatric ward after her stupid mother tried to flush her down the toilet.


How can I face the worst of human nature and still 'bersangka baik'? Can someone sprinkle some fairy dust and make the world better, please?

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Heaven is.....

...sitting in an airconditioned room watching your cat chase a piece of lint.

How do you say "I'm sorry but we are letting your mother die" in any other way but that?

We had a patient who was admitted since about one month ago. She had been bed bound for the past 3 months and had developed massive ulcers over her buttocks. Any doctor would know, 'bed bound' - isn't a good thing to hear when it comes to actively resuscitating your patients.

We dressed her wounds, and at one point she seemed better. But she succumbed late last night, passing quietly in her sleep.

She started to deteriorate earlier that morning - and I knew what we were going to say to her isn't what I would want to hear from a doctor who is treating a member of my family.

You may lace it any way you want, but I know what I will understand is that you are giving up on that patient. You are saying that this patient's life isn't worth saving just because she is old, and she has gazillions of things wrong with her.

I find myself saying this to the patient's daughter, and I am reminded of how unfair life can be.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A query

I can understand a medical officer with a stay-at-home-wife and three kids doing locum, but why does a couple who are both doctors, would want to do that?

I don't mean to sound judgemental - but two doctors would easily make 8-10k (and even more depending on the number of oncalls) per month - what do you possibly need the extra money for?

Some people say when you are young is the time to work hard - but why would anyone spend 4 hours at a clinic with strangers when you can spend 2 hours with your kids? and when you are old, you'd be too exhausted to enjoy your money anyway.

Am I being simplistic? Should I be putting myself in other peoples' shoes more? I guess it's easy for me to talk since I only take care of cats and have yet to be in the position of crossing out days on the calender waiting for the next pay day. (Al Hamdulillah)

But I think people nowadays have their priorities at the wrong places. We strive to get houses in popular areas at the expense of spending most of the weekends working. We pay through our noses for a more luxurious car at the expense of sending kids to babysitters so that both husband and wife can work.

But at what cost?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A worthwhile call...

One radius, one ulna and one femur.

Albeit the plate on the radius was a little skewed and the blood was spattering everywhere during the K-nailing of the femur and I am almost sure I dissected the wrong plane when exposing the radius but I got them done.

Mine and mine only.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


I had a really difficult op this morning. It was a femur fracture and I actually took three hours to do it! Seriously lah, I was a huffing and a puffing and almost literally squeezing brain matter out to figure out how I should go about it. The fact that Boss and partner was away on a visiting clinic didn't help either.

The only thing I don't like about doing ops by myself is that I don't have anyone I can wring ideas out of. The fracture was extra difficult because it had a big fragment in between the fracture sites and the fracture itself was rather high up. So basically I don't have that much space to manoeuvre (can never spell this word) my implant - and the fracture line was almost three quarters of the length of the bone! Tension la.

However, it was only when I've scrubbed out and sitting in the pantry when the idea hit me - of course by that time, what's the use lah!


I want my holiday to come now......

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Who says white men can't dance?

...and if they do, then they obviously haven't seen Jakob Karr dance.

I don't know whether I like the coreography or the soundtrack better. Quirky, twisted, dark - just the way I like it....

Friday, April 16, 2010


I reckon not many things can be more exhausting than coming into work at 8 am and doing your usual job till about half 4 and then continuing work till the next day. I can get so cranky postcall that I can spend the whole day speaking in sign language to Abg, that is if I'm not snoring my head off in bed.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Jom Heboh and of being non-judgemental

Look, what big paws I have!

Aci tak kali nie nak buat entry bahasa melayu? Aci kottt....

There is a Jom Heboh event in KB this weekend. People have been talking about it since about 2-3 weeks ago, like it's the best thing since sliced bread. Mana-mana aku pergi org kata, "Jom Heboh nak mai Kelantan..pergi ke?" (of course la diorg tak ckp macam nie, tapi dalam loghat Kelantan diorg la).

So, of course, they just had to have it in the worst place in KB ever, in the stadium which is a shout's away (sepelaung jauhnya) from the hospital.

Serious, tak leh nak bayang macamana district hospital nak hantar kes. Macamana panicked first time father-to-be nak hantar bini nak bersalin kat labour room yang dlm 10 langkah dari stadium. Macamana org nak gi melawat saudara mara yang sakit. Korang nie tak leh ke considerate sikit.

Orang Kelantan pun satu - nak kata jakun, marah pulak. Tapi benda macam Jom Heboh pun nak heran. Best sangat ke queue carik parking and then berjalan dalam panas nak gi tgk org jual kopi Power Root dengan biskut Munchies? Dengar-dengarnya, nak keluar dari area Jom Heboh tu ambik masa berjam-jam stuck dalam traffic.

Of course, allergic-to-crowds me had absolutely no wish to be even 10km in proximity of it, tambah-tambah pulak postcall today. Even the green cases at the A&E were considerably less than usual - campur kes orang dah dapat gaji pulak tu.

Esok letih nak dengar cerita orang yang dengar cerita orang yang pergi pulak. Orang tu tak pergi, tapi dia dengar cerita dari orang yang tak pergi jugak, tapi orang tu dengar cerita dari orang yang pergi - betapa teruknya jam di KB hari tu.


Anyway - just contemplating yesterday's call - I really think that the one thing that I find hardest to do is to be non judgemental.

When you see two scrawny 13 year-olds with wounds and bruises after falling off a motorbike - how irresponsible their parents are. When you see a case of a young malay male who fell off his bike at 3 am, that they must be rempits. When you see a 17 year-old unmarried girl coming to labour room - that how morally loose she is.

I personally find it hard to accept things as they are - two boys with wounds for dressing, or a fracture to be splinted or a baby to be delivered. How uncomplicated would life be if we could accept things without making our own assumptions.

But that is how we are, I guess. Or, that is how I am - my sisters think that I tend to think bad of people (bersangka buruk) - I suppose it's because I often see bad things - or perhaps I have become too jaded to see the good in people.

Yesterday morning there was a police case where they had brought in a young girl and a young man whose car skidded as they were trying to get away from being nabbed. Apparently the accident happened at about 6 am and someone had written down in the red medicolegal card that the reason policemen gave chase was that they were acting suspiciously in the car.

Immediately I made an assumption about what happened.

The girl ended up with a dislocated hip and had to endure the excruciating pain for 5 hours before I saw her and suspected the injury. She told me that she had just completed her assignment and was getting a ride home with her (male) friend from childhood - 'Dia kawan saya dari kecik lagi'. The reason he sped away from the police was because he didn't have a valid driving license.

So, as I was clerking her case - I thought WHAT IF what she said was the truth? That the boy is her closest friend from young and their relationship is more of a brother-sister type and that he is just doing her a favour by picking her up in a car despite not having a valid driving license. She could be lying to me but I would have been a better person to assume good rather than bad.

But of course, benda yang baik susah nak buat.....

Friday, March 19, 2010

Truth be told.....

...sometimes I think I have become too old to be a doctor.

Denny summarising how I usually feel postcall period.


It was a really bad call last night. Clinic was unsatisfying due to the fact that due to the absence of the boss, I couldn't really decide on whether I should get the procedure arranged or whether the patient needed further work up. It was pretty quiet in the afternoon, which should have warned me that a rocky night lies ahead of me.

So I ended up with an intra abdominal injury, a guy who broke almost all the fingers in his hand and both bones of his forearm, another who basically smashed his shin bone, a guy whose bone of the big toe peeped out of his wound and the icing on the cake, a 'mat lalok' who broke basically half of his jaw.

It was at 3 am this morning when I was contemplating that perhaps I should take a different pathway to what I am doing now. Maybe I should give being a KK (Klinik Kesihatan) MO another try (urgh, I take that back - nggak mungkin walau seribu tahun lagi [no way, not in a thousand years]) - working office hours and having passive call can be rather attractive. I had just spent 5 minutes trying to elicit cervical tenderness in the almost unresponsive mat lalok and the xray was actually taunting me. I was exhausted to the bone, my throat had a bitter taste and I can barely keep my eyes open.

It is at times like these that I contemplate, 'Surely there is more to life than this!' - but as it has all the times before, the statement is thrown into the void that is the dark of the night - unanswered as it has been before.

Because I know, despite feeling that way at 3 am this morning, I will still wake up excited about getting to work. I love looking at an xray and figuring out ways I can make it better. I love the thrill of working out where I should place my incision, which plane I should be dissecting on and how I choose to close my incision. Despite having staples, time permitting, I would always prefer suturing my wounds. All these run through my head as I scrub myself clean.

So I persevere with being awake at 3 am when I have been working since 8 am the previous day because there is always hope that my next call will be a cool one. and even if it turns out to be equally 'jonah' - I hope to still have a sliver of hope and sense of humour to laugh it off and say, "Tis life!".

Friday, March 12, 2010

Clam Up, Zip It, Pipe Down

The reason I don't talk very much in the company of strangers is that I've learnt that people don't necessarily understand what you are really trying to say.

People hear but whether or not they get the real message depends not only on the words you are uttering but on the expression on your face, the volume of your voice and the speed you are saying it.

The other reason being that I've noticed people sometimes ask questions without really wanting to know the answer. Some call it being friendly or being sociable. It's called small talk.

Now me, I'm really bad at small talk. When I call people up, I don't spend 3 minutes asking how you are, how was the drive to work and all that rubbish. Unless THAT's the reason I'm calling you. So people think I am unfriendly or unsociable.

People can be rather fickle. They say they celebrate honesty. HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY, they say - yet when it smacks them in the face, and God forbid it if it was something that they don't want to hear - they call people who say it to them TACTLESS or BLUNT or INSENSITIVE.

When I was a houseman, I was called an idiot a few times. But I took it with a smile and brushed it away because I knew that I was an idiot back then. Afterall, I'd rather be called an idiot than irresponsible. The only time I cried after I was told off by a specialist was when she called me to her room asking for an explanation to why the discharge summary isn't ready. I remember that I had already completed it and I insisted that I did. She didn't believe me and told me to rewrite the discharge summary by asking for the history of the patient.

It turned out that I HAD completed it and they later found it somewhere beneath the paperwork. I actually went to see her and showed her the completed discharge summary, proving that I was not making excuses.

But I digress - so we humans are fickle and are almost always ruled by our emotions - which I guess is what makes us humans in the first place.

So I've learnt to never volunteer an opinion unless it warrants me to do so or when I am in the midst of people I really trust. The latter being that I hoped that these people will accept that regardless of what ZINGS may have flown from my mouth that I don't really say it with malice but more of letting of steam.

Monday, March 08, 2010

A rant of a disillusioned person...

I've started a few blog posts only to stop midway and scrap everything. How do I write something that won't show how disillusioned and bitter I am about how I find life and human nature is?

Optimists must be either deaf and blind because they sure aren't reading the papers or listening to the news. Kids as young as 11 have allegedly been found to force an 8 year-old to perform sexual acts. Babies are being dumped like yesterday's newspapers. We see a 3 year-old kid being kicked like a football and we do nothing - no one cared enough to get to know this family and now the kid is dead, suddenly EVERYONE has an opinion on who should have been blamed.

Sometimes I wish I am more oblivious to the goings on in this world.

Just digressing a little bit - I was on my way back after escorting a case of possible head injury and have not had dinner so we stopped by a roadside stall for a bite to eat. It was nearing midnight and the other tables were mostly young folks. However, the table nearest to us had a 2 year old kid with them and I was thinking, should a kid that young still be awake at this time of the day?

The case I escorted was a 12 year-old girl who was riding a motorbike with a friend. It was near Maghrib already and apparently was going out to buy a book. She fell off her vehicle and never regained full consciousness. We intubated her and sent her to HUSM for a CT scan. I told the mother that there is a reason licences are only allowed to people of a certain age - but as I left the mother in the waiting room near the Red Zone - I think I had again let my emotions get the best of me. I am sure she is already regretting letting her daughter on that motorbike that evening.

In the last week, we had a 13 year-old who came to us with his foot torn off at the ankle. I spent three hours reducing both bones of his ankle and another three fixing his loose joints and putting a skin graft on the wound. Everytime we had to inspect his wounds he was whimpering like a baby. I bet he felt like a hero riding on his motorbike before the accident.

In that same week, a 14 year-old was admitted for breaking his thigh bone - also due to an accident while he was riding his motocycle.

I know being a doctor means that I shouldn't be judgmental but being impartial is the most difficult aspect of my job. Most times I just want to shake some senses into parents who allow their young kids on motorbikes. I especially hate it when they claim to not realise when their child have creeped out without them knowing. Come on!

In the ward at the moment, there is a 17 year old boy who is basically a vegetable. He had been involved in a motor vehicle accident and suffered a traumatic brain injury. He is now on a breathing tube on his neck and takes feedings via a tube from his nose into his stomach. When I received a request for a medical report involving a boy whom we intubated for poor GCS and had sent to HUSM, only did I remember that this was the same boy who was knocked down after going to buy breakfasts for his family.

His bed is covered with personal items from home. Often I would find a soft toy in the clutches of his motionless hands. Here is a boy who's just waiting to explore what life has to offer and he is now bed bound for the rest of his life. Instead of being able to take care of his parents, he has to rely on them still for the most basic of human functions.

I guess we never consider that such a thing can happen to us until it does happen.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


...this is what I feel like doing.

I think I am turning into a demophobe.

Main Entry: demophobe
Part of Speech: n
Definition: a hater of people, esp. in crowds
Etymology: Greek demos 'people'

But sometimes, I really can't stand people. Which, I guess, explains the cats.


Wanna hear something tragic?

Coming back from work - transporting cows - only to have your eye injured after being involved in a car crash with a - COW.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


...and as of one minute ago, highest bid of RM135......

Friday, February 12, 2010

Weekend pondering

I wonder what changes people. Especially in matters of principles and religion.

What, for example, would change a demure conservative kampung girl into a wine-drinking, pissed-at-the-pub type. NOT that I know anyone like that. It is, an example, like I mentioned.

What drives a person, to do or decide to do something that has been instilled into him/her as wrong?

Stealing is wrong. Killing is wrong. - so you know you won't do it.

Is it any different with drinking or sleeping around? Surely the principle is the same.

Was it hard the first time you took that glass of wine in your hand and drank it, I wonder? For surely you have been raised a good Muslim - if not by your parents, then you were taught by your teachers.

Was it the pressure of friends, or were you simply curious or were you ashamed of being labelled a prude for not drinking? Maybe if you didn't join in the fun, bosses would pass you over for the promotion or project you were eyeing.

It is a hard thing to do to be a good Muslim nowadays.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Do you remember....

...when your parents start to appear a little bit smaller than how you used to imagine them to be?

My parents were always the people I looked up to when I was growing up. I remember being so proud when Ma would come to school to pick us up because I have always thought that she is way prettier than all the other mothers.

I remember how strongly Pa would grip my hand in his while we were crossing the road. I remember how strong he looked when he would sit by his desk at work and we would be in the pantry eating 'biskut kapalterbang'.

They appeared so sure and so tall and so big.

I went home recently and gave my mum a hug. She looked so sad and so frail, that I was sure I could hold her in the both of my hands.

I wondered then how it is that I could not see how fragile my Ma has become....

Saturday, February 06, 2010

My bimboish moment...

We had just checked out of the hotel room where we spent the night courtesy of Abg's membership and Abg had gone to check us out and had told me to go to the car.

I got into the elevator and pressed B1 and a teenage boy got in and pressed 7 but the light didn't go on.

"You kena ada card kalau nak naik ke bilik" says I.

"Oh, kena slot mana?"

So I proceeded to show him and the lift door opened and I stepped out. With a reassuring, "Alright?" I strode purposefully towards the car park.

I turned left where I was sure Abg parked his car last night, stopping to admire a double digit plated, blue Mitsubishi Evo. Walked a little bit more and still couldn't find it.

'Must be in the other direction then' and so I walked.

Still no car.

I walked again in the opposite direction. 'Abg must have parked a bit further than I originally thought' - but no car.

A moment of panic rushed through me, 'Abg's car have been stolen!'

As I walked towards the elevators, it struck me - I should have gone one floor down in B2 where Abg REALLY parked his car.


Bimboish moment over.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Love is.....

...coming back from work and finding your husband bent over a tray of roasted peanuts, shelling them individually (because you've never done it before and don't know the way to do it) because he knew you wanted to make 'kuah kacang' and you won't have time to start from scratch....

...stopping by your wife's 'oncall house' with two cendols, rojak perut and rojak buah because you know it will make her day...

...removing the prawns' shells before cooking meehun because you know your wife finds it cumbersome to do it while eating... fried eggs with soya sauce and cili padi when your wife is too tired to cook post call...

...not minding ironing her clothes or when there are three whole baskets of laundry waiting to be folded because you know your wife is doing EOD calls...

....all the little things you do that you think I don't remember or think is significant enough..

Happy 6th Anniversary Abg.

Monday, January 11, 2010

On a more cheery note

Dedicated to a colleague who is so excited at seeing S/B preceeding his name for the first time ever. I know you will see how funny this clip is.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Egotistical me

How ironic it is, I was thinking this morning while I was having toast in the OT's pantry, that the brand name of the sweet prune 'asam' sitting on the microwave was EGO.

Because that was what I was called by a patient's relative in a heated discussion that ended up with me slamming the ward's door.

In fact, I slammed it with such rage that my colleague had difficulty opening the door when he was called to resuscitate a patient.

Sometimes I think I'm such a hypocrite. One moment I am a supporter of confrontation and laying it all out, yet sometimes when faced with such situation, all rationale goes out the window and I blame everything under the sun but the person I see in the mirror.

What I decided to do later that night was an easy decision to make, because I knew it was the right thing but in all honest truth, was one of the hardest thing I had to do. Even as I approached the patient's bed and reached out to tap her on her shoulder, I was in half a mind to turn away and run.

But I am glad I didn't because that would've made me a coward, one who zings people yet can't take the truth when it hit her on her face and I didn't want to be that person. My parents did not raise me to be that person and I would've woken up this morning ashamed of myself.

Yes it was painful and I was humbled - perhaps he was right, that I am an egotistical human.

Friday, January 08, 2010


Kudos to the Selangor govt for taking this initiative. I've always believed that Malaysians tend to use more plastic bags than it is good for the environment.

Of course IKEA started their Save the Environment campaign much earlier by charging for their bags and TESCO gave incentives in the form of points when customers reused bags when grocery shopping.

It is sad though that we need incentives in the money form before actually getting off our butts to do something about it. I've always heard people saying, "Ah, if you're the only one who does it, what difference will it make?" - maybe not but at least I will have a clear conscience.

My shopping trolley - bag from Popular, Molnlycke, Toko Tiga Bandung, Marks and Spencer (good for the wet stuff) and GSK.

But I do have to gloat that I've been reusing bags for quite some time. All those drug companies are just giving away good sturdy bags at conferences and symposiums. Why not put them to good use?

If you had magic powers.....

......don't you ever wonder what you would do?

I would make it so that rubbish that get thrown out of windows of cars fly back into the vehicle and preferably get stuck on the face of the person who threw it in the first place.

I would magically drain out the air from all the tyres of cars who stupidly park right at a junction, or even facing a junction.

I would make disappear cars who double park and obstruct the flow of traffic.

I would make a sign appear on the windshield, for people who don't signal before deciding to decelerate - which says, "Bagi signal la moron!" Similar to slowpokes who decide they just can't be bothered to drive on the left hand lane - "Ikut kiri kalau bawak macam siput!"

Whether or not I add an expletive will depend on my mood that day.

If you had magic powers, what would you do?