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?