Friday, April 29, 2011

New chapter

The official letters are finally here so I can finally stop clicking the mohe website to check and recheck to see if IT's seriously true.

They weigh a tonne, and consists of documents I have not filled in for myself since I joined the JPA A-Level programme about 15 years ago. My god, has it been already 15 years? Still rasa macam budak form 5.

Sometimes I am struck by self doubt and it almost makes me want to change my mind. It is a hard thing to leave one's comfort zone, I think. So hard that I have to turn to Abg and ask, "Betul ke nak buat benda nie?" [Do I really want to do this?]

Am I regretting leaving it till this late? Most of my friends are already specialists and even have already subspecialised. Others who have decided to not pursue their studies are already comfortably set where they are.

No - I sincerely believe that things will fall into their own places regardless -so there is no use getting your panties in a twist just because your friend is now a big shot specialist or that your friend who started work a few months later than you did finally got confirmed and you didn't. Ada-ada la tu rezeki masing-masing.

I am just happy that I have chosen to do this in something that I enjoy. I may not be excellent at it and procedures I did will still need revision occasionally but I love what I do. I did not choose this because it doesn't require you to be oncall or that it is looked upon as EASY or because you happen to be doing this in your 6th housemanship training - but I really like doing it.

I am scared about moving to a new place - one would think after all that training during school years that I would have gotten myself used to moving about - but am also excited about the new start and a new journey.

Here's to an exciting new undertaking!

Thursday, April 14, 2011


I've never had dreams where we had a life with kids in it.

I am tempted to let that statement just lie there, or maybe throw it out into the darkness of this Subuh morning.

People say dreams are manifestations of your wants and hopes. I've had multiple dreams where I had gone back to school - sometimes back to my MRSM times and sometimes back to med school - and looks like I am sort of doing that this year.

But never a dream with kids. Well, at least not in the ones that I remember anyway.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

The tale of Spicy

People say, you don't actually choose your pet; they choose you.

That's certainly the case with Tuah. I was walking to my car and he was just sitting there. At that time I had about 15 cats already with me and certainly did not need one more. I found that when there are too many, I tended to neglect some of them so I've always liked to keep them below a certain number. Though, God willing, one day I hope to be able to bring home as many as I liked.

Without even thinking about it, I scooped him up - he was scruffy and thin and nowhere near 'cute' - but he had sad sad eyes which looked up at me and my heart melted.

When the vet said he needed an operation, I knew what I had to do. It didn't matter how much it cost - we (Abg and I) have always thought that our cats brought us Allah's blessings in their own way. We just wanted Tuah to be well.

Tuah in the first few days after the operation

Now, Tuah is healthy and playful and I hope, happy. He has the softest fur and the most cheeky personality. Come feeding time, when we'd put kibbles in their food bowl, Tuah would paw individual kibbles OUT of the bowl onto the floor before eating it. It makes for very slow eating and also some degree of wastefulness as some of it will fall through the rubber mat - but he can be interesting to watch.

I met Spicy one Friday morning on the way to breakfast. We had gone to pick up Fizzy from the vet - he had been having an upper respiratory infection and had been sneezing blood - and wanted to eat first while waiting for the vet to open. She was sitting there, her right front leg bent at an awkward angle, the bone protruding from the wound.

She looked up at me mewing softly and I said to her, if you are still here after I've had my breakfast, I will bring you home and she was. Dr Palani was amused but understanding and named her Spicy, after the mamak stall where he had found her.

Three weeks on, Spicy is now home. Her front right leg had been amputated near the shoulder to prevent her from getting chronic ulcers on her stump. Her fur is dirty and she barely has teeth to chew her food with and is always coughing. One wonders what her life was like before we took her.

But Spicy has the sweetest manner - all she wants you to do is stroke her head and scratch her chin. If we're eating, no matter how delicious it might have smelled to her, she would wait patiently by the table, pleading with her sad eyes. She may have only three legs but boy, can those legs hop when she thinks we're going to feed her. Sometimes she looks like a kangaroo more than a cat.

I think Spicy will be just fine.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Another post call musing

The thing I love most about my job is that, you never know what is going to happen.

Yes, I come into work, expecting to see another case of mat rempit wannabe with a few broken bones, or a makcik with severe OA of the knees and clinics will usually consist of advising patients to take care of their casts and to not weight bear etc etc.

But, it is the things in between that can make my day so interesting. Like the pakcik who brought us huge durians from his orchard, or the makcik with the diabetic foot who brought a gunnyfull of buah salak or the sweet little kid who says bye-bye with that toothless cheeky smile.

Also, there is this patient who cried when her operation did not yield the result she wanted or the parents who wanted surgical corection for the deformed elbow due to a neglected fracture.

Something happened during last night's call which made me wonder about the difference in expectations of us medical providers and the patients (+relatives). What the relatives perceive as fine or stable or improving may not be the same as doctors. Though he or she may look OK, but I am sure the MO must have noted the persistant CO2 buildup or the increasing respiratory distress which has been left unnoticed by the people around the patient.

To what extent does an MO have to update a patient's condition to the relatives, especially when the case suddenly deteriorates and the MO only has a split second to decide whether or not to aggressively resuscitate?

Does one wait and explain EVERYTHING to the relatives while the patient is gasping and getting bluer by the second, and with that, wasting precious time?

I would like to think that the words came out due to the stress and concern; perhaps that patient's son may be a reasonable and even considerate person had the situation been different but when one knows that one has done one's best, being told that a relative is highly dissatisfied with you can be so demoralising.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

The next stage

I would like to think that all the good things (and there have been maaaaany) that happen to me is a reward. Maybe it is because of the prayers of the strays that I keep bringing home. Maybe it is the prayers of my mother.

Sometimes, good things happen when you least expect it. Don't you think so?

So, am I up for the challenge?