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.