Saturday, December 15, 2007

Refections of me...

People used me all the time
And I don’t know why
I just let them

You know, about 3 weeks back, I had this conversation with a friend, and a few others, about motives. She said that, everyone has motives. When someone is suddenly nice to you, there is a reason. They probably need your help for something. Which at the moment, I refused to believe. But the thing that puzzled me most is when she said that, I did not have motives. Which I am not sure whether it is a good or bad thing. It made me sound handicapped… you know, when everyone seemed to have it except you… ‘People take advantage on people like you’, she said. Even I would take advantage of you, she added. OUCH!

And for the rest of the week, I spent my time, analysing the people around me, their motives and all, and it made me feel really bad, used… Why are people using me? I hate being smart suddenly… I tried to convince myself that I use people too… when I need help, I find my friends,.. isn’t that using people too?

And being a Libran, I am indecisive. I have no stand, so I would easily be convinced to follow other people’s wishes,… which sometimes, I really don’t mind, but other times, I carry out reluctantly… which again, is as if I am not really sincere… which made me feel bad after that…. My friend said Libran is an excuse, which may be true, perhaps, it is just my nature to be indecisive, and I wonder is it possible to change one’s character…

I do not mind being used, but it really hurts when one is being used and not appreciated… it make you feel discarded. Like an unrecycleble product. Dumped. Disposed.

So I vowed to change, to learnt to have motives, to learnt to say ‘no’, and to reject other people wishes. I learnt to say ‘I don’t want to go out because I don’t feel like it’ instead of creating a hundred and one excuses and ended up either following the flow or filled with guilt. Yes, that’s my second problem.

1. I do not have motives.
2. I feel guilty easily

And I have this really unusual super defence mechanism. When someone does something bad, or said something bad, I choose to innocently believe that they are good, and I would create like a million excuses for them…. Maybe he said that because he had a bad day, I am sure he did not mean it. Maybe she did not know about it, she would not do it if she knew…. Blah, blah, blah…. RATIONALISATION….. I hate my defence mechanism when it overworks itself…. When a friend did something or said something bad, I would feel sad and disappointed for a moment, and then the defence mechanism would start ticking into action…. Treat others the way you wished to be treated… is that really so?

People tells me secrets, I do not know why… do you people really thing I am trust worthy? And when they tell me secrets, they always make me promise not to tell anyone else… and I do not know why I kept the promise….. which you may think is a good thing, but hey, sometimes, it made me feel like exploding,… like my cerebral can no longer contain the juicy information, eager to burst out from its capsule, to free itself from the bars… thanks to curiosity,.. which now, I resist from asking further, which may expose me to another secret which need to be kept….

Another thing, I complain, like A LOT… I have this weird mechanism to voluntarily offer to help others and regretted after that.. (gee, that make me sound so insincere) sometimes, it just happens spontaneously, I could not control it…. Why the hell did I do that? Because it is the right thing to do? Is there a ‘right thing’ anyway? It is good to help others, but it is really bad to complain about it after that… so, suck it up and just do the job!! Sigh…

Another friend of mine, he described me as ‘water’. Yes, like liquid. He said that I follow the shape of any glass or cup that contained me… I was very lucky because I grew up in a good environment, which a nice family, and nice friends and people around me. I get influenced easily, maybe too easily,.. and if my friends around me are bad, I’ll probably be a bad egg too! I was in Korea for only a week, and look what it has already done to me!! If my parents know my drinking habit, they would probably kill me!! No, I do not drink a lot, maybe like only once a month,.. but I am starting to like drinking, and I find myself in the alcohol section most of the time, checking out the drinks and the prices, which I think, is already bad enough…. I like Heineken, I loved volka! And So Ju cocktail,… And like the time when Aland had this coffee-alcohol drink, whatever you call that, I was like, God, I have to taste that…. sigh… save me man! This is so wrong for a medical student, who by the way is suppose to be advising patients against alcohol!! And I hate salesgirls, salesman, promoters, and the likes…. I can buy a dress just because the salesgirl compliments me, and later just leave it hanging in the cupboard……..yeah, I am a compulsive shopaholic.. Perhaps impulsive too.. I should have known better, but why I keep repeating mistakes?

This reflection list goes on… the more I think, the more depressed I get…. My friend, Chian Ling said, I like you better the way you are, hehe… so well,… maybe I should continue being indecisive, *nyek*

I should not blog about this,.. it is bad for my future career.. but heck! Who reads such a long blogs anyway, unless you have all the time it the world, which you probably had, now that you have already reached the end… oh well… This is MY BLOG, I should have the freedom to write whatever I like! Without being pressured to pacify my readers, it’s not like I get paid or anything… Blogs are suppose to be inspirational, but at this point, i cannot be bothered!! And there is always the delete button! *nyek*

Thanks for reading anyway, and I suppose if I insisted that this is all crap and fiction, you would not believe me anyway… (and the ‘thank you’, by the way, was just me being polite, haha!)

New Year Resolutions

1. Learn to have motives?
2. Do not feel guilty easily
3. Learn to say ‘no’
4. Complain less
5..Be more decisive
6. Do not get influenced easily
7. Stop procrastinating, be organized!
8. Waste less
9. Think positive
10.Study harder?
11.Worry less
12.Adopt a healthy lifestyle
13.Compliance to meds
14.Stop believing in horoscope
15.Stop my net-addiction and caffeine-addiction
16.Stop being obsessed which chocolates
17.WAKE UP!!
18.Start reading the newspaper and other reading materials besides my medical text books and fiction
19.Be generous with encouragements and compliments
20.Be happy =)

(Written on December 15, 2007 at 11:29 AM)

Friday, December 14, 2007

COAMS #40 - Semenyih blues.........

Dear all,

I am typing from my hostel room, in Semenyih… I haven’t figure out who to address this letter to, I am, well, just typing… 3 weeks here, I have lived such a boring meaningless life. Meaningless, perhaps because I do not really enjoy what I am doing, research. And perhaps, I do not like this place either. And maybe because I have to share my room with 10 other people, being stripped off the luxury of having a single room which I had since 10 years old.

Perhaps I should elaborate more on what I do here. And why I hate what I am doing here. For the first week, I had the room lights waking me up as early as 5am, with my friends performing their prayers, while I tried to steal extra sleep under my covers. Not to forget people chattering at the background, when I decide to sleep early. Eventually, I got used to sleeping with the lights on, sharing a common bathroom, and sharing the same speed of fan.

I am allergic to the kampong.

And I mean it quite literally.

You see, our research area is in Kampong Kuala Pajam, which is at the border of Selangor and Negeri Sembilan. My home is just a 40minutes drive away. Many times, I have the urge to just drive myself home and forget everything. Anyway, back to the kampong. Like I have said, I am allergic to the kampong. I would end up with red rashes at my limbs. I am not sure whether it is the grass, the sand, or just the air. Allergens seemed to be everywhere. Avoiding grassy areas did not help much.

And guess what? The villages in Kampung Kuala Pajam does not have the luxury of the Town Council (Majlis Perbandaran) workers coming to empty their rubbish bins. In fact, they had to burn all their rubbish! And I seriously mean ALL, yes, the smoky-open-burning thingy…. Which I hate it, a lot! My lungs practically rejected it by giving me an asthmatic attack! Oh well..

Anyway, I am still recovering from the sun-burn from the beach 2 weeks back and the sun in semenyih which somehow seemed to be much hotter than other parts of Malaysia. Perhaps also recovering from even more things. The scorching sun cut through my skin, dehydrating it as I resist from scratching my skin. I did as many as 3 face masks that week, my friends thought I was obsessed.

I guess what made me hate this place most is because I believe this place made me sick. Well, it could all be a co-incident, the upper respiratory tract infection, my wisdom teeth growing and the intense menstrual pain, all hitting me at a go. It’s like the whole world is going on a strike against me. I have been abusing antibiotics and pain killers for the past week.

I am back to the hospital. And I realise how much I missed the hospital. Not so much of the clerking and educational part, I simply missed the smell of HUKM, the clean walls, the people… oh well….

p/s: My posting mates turned out to be pretty fun people,... but semenyih, the place is just not for me............

(Written on December 14, 2007 at 06:29 AM)

LINK: i found another old post of mine, on another Kampong experience in Kedah, back in 2006... surprisingly, my opinions of the kampong was totally different from this!! perhaps, it's the shorter duration, or perhaps it was 1st time syndrome... click to read it here..

Sunday, December 9, 2007

COAMS #39 - The first delivery conducted

OS FULLY!!! Dr Yuli shouted while I stared at my index and middle fingers, still trying to figure out whether they were 10 cm apart.

The mother had been suffering over 8 hours of intense labour pain, with contractions pain as often as 5 in every 10 minutes. Imagine having terrible menstrual pain, once every 2 minutes, and multiply the intensity 10 times. Or perhaps a toothache or an awful stomach ache, intensity multiplied 20 times. Labour pain has long been agreed upon to be the worst pain on Earth. Women admired for the strength to endure it.

Bringing water, readjusting the bed, offering the extra pillow, holding the mother’s hand and reassuring her- these had been the medical student’s role here at the labour room in HUKM. Ermmm.., I would not want to leave you with the impression that we have limited ‘function’. I mean, apart from that, students also set the IV line, apply the CTG monitors, run the pitocin, fill up partographs, catheterize patients, etc… but patients often remembers the former.

The calm labour room quickly evolved to a battlefield, as if getting ready for a war. The mother shouting in pain, and everyone else moving swiftly, taking their positions. I grabbed the apron and put on the sterile gloves. People around me were dressed, prepared, and readied. The delivery set opened, sterile drape spread out. She was in lithotomy position, hips and knees bend, both hands grabbing her respective legs. The suction device heard at the background, readied to welcome the baby. I tried to calm the patient, tried harder to calm myself.

The baby’s head appeared at the vaginal opening, as the mother pushed with all her might. ‘TERAN!!’ we shouted in unison, the doctor, the midwives, the students, all very supportive, like a cheerleading team at a ball game. The mother working very hard, doing a very good job, probably she had learnt very much from her previous experiences.

I held the baby’s head while Dr Yuli said, ‘It’s exactly what I taught you in class, stay calm, you can do it’. I was numbed. My hands moved automatically, very obedient to her verbal instructions. The baby squeezed through the passage faster than I expected. A series of pictures flashed through my head. The tension eased, the baby slid out. I clamped the umbilical cord and cut it. The baby cried. I let out a sigh of relief. I was stunned.

The world is a beautiful world.

‘Show it to the mother’ a voice instructed, breaking my thoughts.
Right. I held the baby in front of the mother.
‘Lelaki atau perempuan?’ Dr Yuli asked the mother on my behalf.
‘Perempuan’ she answered, almost breathless.
‘Congratulations!’ I said excitedly.
‘Thank you everyone’, she replied with a smile.

The midwife cleaned the baby and wrapped her in warm sheets.

‘Your first time?’ the Doctor asked.
Yes, I replied. I wondered when she started realizing it.
Congratulations, she said. Thanks Doctor, I replied.

Blood was taken. Lower abdomen massaged, placental delivered and checked. My heart sang happily, as I cleaned up the mess, helped the mother to change and tried to make her as comfortable as possible.

It was a full term 2.54kg baby girl delivered via spontaneous vertex delivery after 12 minutes in second stage. Baby’s Apgar scores were 9/10. Placental and membranes were completely delivered and they weight 600mg. Cord pH was 7.306. Estimated blood loss was 200cc.

I conducted my first delivery that day.

Her name was Aifa Amira.
I brought life to Earth.

Correction: God created life. The parents bought life to Earth. The team and I merely facilitate. But it felt so good. Delivery of a child is a magical experience. And I was glad Dr Yuli was so nice, and even more glad that it was a successful delivery.

I called my mum that day and shared with her my experience. I never felt so thankful and appreciative of the pain she went through. She agreed with the rest of the world that labour pain was the worst pain on Earth. She added that I was a very stubborn baby, (still very stubborn now). They had to forcep me out. Okay, let’s not imagine how I might have looked during the first few days of my life.

And if you are wondering whether I will ever put myself through that extreme labour pain,…. Considering my low threshold for pain – N-E-V-E-R!! Well,…….. there’s always epidural… many thanks to the genius who created such great pain relief drugs!!

CTG = cardiotocograph, a electronic device to monitor fetal well being by measuring the fetal’s heart rate and maternal’s uterine contractions, plotted against time.
Pitocin= a drug used to stimulate the contraction of smooth muscle of the uterus during labour
Apgar score = A scoring scheme to assess the general physical condition of a newborn infant based on a rating of 0, 1, or 2 for five criteria: heart rate, respiration, muscle tone, skin color, and response to stimuli.
Lelaki = Boy (in Malay Language)
Perempuan= Girl (in Malay Language)

(Written on December 09, 2007 at 02:12 PM)

Sunday, September 2, 2007

COAMS #38 - My first post-mortem forensic experience...

The Professor made us went down, One by one, we stood in a line, ‘warm’ he said, smiling at me, as if reading the fear written all over my face, as he took my hand and held it longer against it. I guess pretending to touch it didn’t work, and I totally lacked the enthusiasm my coursemates had, and the fear, I wasn’t faking it. I was so obsessed and compulsive, I washed my hands over 10 times that day…

The Professor took a knife and made an incision across the scalp. Then, he pulled the skin outwards and downwards, until the skin of the forehead touches the nose, like peeling a coconut husk. The mini electronic saw made an eerie ‘eeeeee…’ sound as it cut through the skull. The skull pulled apart, the brain removed. ‘No hemorrhages’ my friend whispered, but I was so shocked to actually rationalize anything, anything…

My friend, reading my fear, warned me, this part is even worse, she said, ‘the chest would open like a pod, and every internal organ removed’…The Professor, ignoring my fear, continue his carpentry work through the ribcage. I appreciated the emotional preparation, but somehow, I was still stunned.

Come on, you have seen numerous of cadavers(corpse) before at anatomy dissection, my inner voice tried to rationalize,.. ‘but this is fresh, it’s less than 4 hours!’ another voice argued.. and I wondered whether they were just thoughts or hallucinations…

‘Pop’, the chest cracked open and the mini saw stopped. In silence, he went through the intestines, as if searching for something. He tied one end of the gut, and later extract the whole gastrointestinal tract, from the tongue all the way to the colon, the lungs, the heart, the liver as well.

Then, they moved to another table. The brain was inspected and weight. Then the cerebellum divorced from the cerebrum. He sliced through the cerebellum. ‘Ouch!’ I shouted inside me… Although I understood well that the central nervous system has no nocicepters (pain receptors), and on top of that, it is already dead, I just couldn’t help feeling the pain… Then he sliced the cerebrum(forebrain), 1.5-2.0cm apart, sharply, skillfully and steadily,… spreading each out for signs of stroke, hemorrhages or infections. ‘Clean’, he said. At this point, I have a sense of déjà vu, as if this was a scene from a horror movie,.. I was already peeping through the narrow slits of my eyes.

Later, he started weighting the other organs, one by one, slicing them, analyzing them, like as if it’s the most interesting thing to do in the world – The tongue, the lung, the heart, the liver, etc..

He commented, ‘You should get used to the smell, no covering your nose and mouth with your hands’. He looked up at me, followed by another 30 pairs of eyes (of which belonged to my coursemates). I swallowed a gulp, it regurgitated back. It wasn’t just the smell, this, this was entirely gross… yet, I could tell no one… I cannot imagine me being on the table, and I vowed never to let it happen, and was already making plans to clearly state it in my will… I guess I was shallow, despite my profession background. But hey, I bet you would have thought the same back then if you were in my shoes.

Then, they sew up the body, halfway up the chest, shoved everything back into the body, including the brain and sew it tight. The head was filled with cotton and sutured.

And I, I could not eat any meat that day.


I stared down from above. A group of curious students looked at me, with cruel glances and disapproving expressions. I was not sure whether this should be done, I am not capable of stopping them anyway; I just had to get through with it.

The doctor recorded the bruise marks on my body, the cigarette marks and the multiple old scars from the slashing of my father’s belt.

I was hurt before. And so, I fled to Malaysia for employment, or rather, for new hopes, for a better future. My new employee was very nice to me. Despite not having any blood relationship, they treated me like a relative. I taught their children to read, played, and raised them as if they were my siblings… Here, I found home.

Then one day, my chest hurt so much, I could not breathe… and that was the last thing I could remember.

I feel guilty having my employees now being suspected for abusing me, for my death. How can I tell them, they were kinder to me than my very own flesh and blood? Would anyone believe it?

The doctor sliced through me. Funny, I felt no pain at all. Yet, I felt like I have lost something. That is me, or rather, that was me… Seeing this only restrengthen the fact that I can never return to it. So, that’s it, that’s the end.

As he sliced through the heart, he nods affirmatively, as if he found eureka. ‘Fibrosis- the scar tissue’, he explained to the students, ‘Look, the left ventricular wall is much thicker than the right, left ventricular hypertrophy’. The students nodded in unison while I understood nothing at all. ‘Here, another strip of fibrose tissue’ he continued speaking Latin and pointed to some grayish-white section of my heart. ‘The cardiac enzyme stain confirmed it. She had a heart attack’

I had a heart attack.

Finally, that answered everything. I died from a heart attack, like my mother, which left me to my cruel abusive father. My employees were free of charges.

And I, I was free too…

(Note: all identities are confidential)

Written on September 02, 2007 at 12:51 PM

AMSC SEOUL 2007 - Cancer In Asia : Incident, Suffering and Prevention


My last conference of medical school was at AMSC SEOUL 2007… It’s sad having to say goodbye and not having to say ‘See you in next EAMSC, Thailand’ or ‘see you next summer in Japan’… I totally understood why Ryan attended so many conference, even after graduation, but considering my final year schedule,.. I knew pretty well that it is not possible…

Nevertheless, AMSC Seoul 2007 was certainly an unforgettable experience. Group 5 was the most happening group, still is… With our really nice GMs – the Pretty Vivian Park Young Jean, Cute Kate Choi Ye Ra, Cool June Park Jong Jun, Beautiful Kathy Kwon Su Hyon, Nice Robin Kim Seung Bin, Talented Edwin Shin Jung Hyun and the awesome members, Adorable Mary Toumura Misato, Wonderfully Happening Angela Chang Chih Hui, Sleeping Beauty Joanne Chan Pui Kwan, Magical Hamilton Chan Ho, Funny Xiang Salim, Crazy Yoshi Muto Yoshinori, Friendly Yessica Stefanie, Always-smiling Ooi(Ayui) Singsumpun Nontouch, Sweet Nic Thongdeethae Areeya, Stylish Ava Lee Sou Wing, Adventuress Daniel Su Chiung Jui, Musical Damarkusuma Arditya and of course my good-old-buddy-Aland Shum Koin Lon… Group 5 ROCKS!! ^_^

PreConference: Upon arrival at the airport, I met Hyerim. She cut her hair, but she’s still as sweet as ever… so nice meeting old friends again.. We checked in at Olympic ‘Parketel’.. The weather was great,.. summer felt cooling, unlike Malaysia. I went to Lotte World that day… it was AWESOME!! The rides were so scary, even watching it alone was scary.. I wished we had more time there… Visited
DeokDuGung Palace the next day...

DAY 1: Welcoming Party- To think that AMSC Korea 2007 welcoming party was at a pub,.. we had too much expectations… free flow of alcohol? You wished!! There were free flow of soft drinks and we had lotsa fun playing games…. And modifying games… ;)

DAY 2: Paper Presentation, Opening dinner.
Paper Presentation- With this year’s theme, Cancer in Asia, Incident, Suffering and Prevention, it’s really interesting to learnt about how each fellow countries struggle through in overcoming leading cancers in their country… This year’s paper presentation past unusually quick… I guess being in 4th year, I could follow the presentation and discussion easily… but i'll cut the academic-related-part off the blog so not to bore you ^_^

Opening dinner- Hmm.. delicious!! Performance by Arcadia was cool!! And the musical performance was impressive…. I never knew music instruments can be played in such a way…

DAY 3:Poster Presentation, Cultural Experience, Bimbimbap, Clubbing
Poster Presentation - it’s fun hopping around and looking at each country’s poster.. I still remember clearly of Hong Kong’s colon…

Cultural Experience- The organizing committee arranged this session so well, we got to play most of the Korean games… hopping on seesaw(Nolttwigi) was scary, I thought, nearly got off balance, played Yut-nori(with enormous dice), Kulrongshoe(hoop rolling), T’uho (arrow throwing), P’aengi Ch’igi (spinning top), Chegi ch’agi(kicking shuttlecock, similar to sepak takraw)… we drew Tal (Korean mask), Takbon (tapping patterns on paper with an ink pad), and making Deok(Korean rice cakes) the traditional way!! I thought Poong-mool, Sah-mool-nori Percussion best! I enjoyed playing the Jang-gu very much!!

Bimbimbap party in the rain… - Honestly, I was a little kimchi-phobia,.. but bimbimbap is a must experience,.. the rice design was rather impressive…

Clubbing- yeay! The Korean style!!

DAY 4: Hospital Visit, The Blue House, City Tour, Insadong
Hospital Visit- Interesting to visit and learn about Korean’s paperfree hospital...
Seoul National University Hospital, one of the most distinguished hospitals of the country!

The Blue House – Thanks to Kathy, we got to visit the President’s house!! It’s a very calm, serine’s place… but we could only take limited pictures though… national security… it’s okay,.. coz we even had souvenirs! From the President!! Yeay!!!

Insadong – Beautiful street famous for its many street performance and souvenirs…

DAY 5:Lecture at Seoul University, GyeongBokGung, Cheong Gek Chung River, Seoul Towel

GyeongBokGung- A Magnificent Palace!!

Cheong Gek Chung River- cooling river…

Seoul Towel – yeah, the one from My Girl,.. couldn’t find Lee Dong Wouk there though… ^_^

DAY 6:Closing Ceremony, Take off to Soong Woo resort…, AMSA Exhibition, AMSA Quiz

DAY 7: Rafting, Sauna, Cultural Night
Rafting was FUN!!

Cultural Night, was like always, the best event of the conference!!

PostConference: NamDaeMun, SinChon

Last minute shopping and good food…

Words are getting restricted towards the end, as i get sleepier... be continue...


I do crazy things in Korea

… I can’t believe I ran on stage and sang with an awful sore trout in front of over 300 audiences… WHAT WAS I THINKING?? And the weirdest thing was I actually got shortlisted, C-R-A-Z-Y!! My group people, especially Angela shouted like mad,.. May Luu and Queck was yelling down there too.. CheeYong commented, ‘Don’t do anything stupid again, you made me shout like mad!!’ and I was sorry for the other girl who obviously sang better, but I was just fishing votes from The Malaysians, the Indonesians and my group people… Aland managed to get thru while forgetting his lyrics despite having his cellphone playing the song on one hand, haha! poor Ricky… I still blame Aland for bursting my adrenaline and preventing me from chicken-ing-out,.. people think I was brave, I thought I was just stupid and crazy… arGhhh… thank God no picture was taken and I shall repress it for the rest of my life!!

The Sauna experience with Vivian, Kate, Kathy and Mary was another CRAZY one I find it hard to repress,.. but I shall not elaborate further on it…

Reuniting with old friends, way back from AMSC Kuala Lumpur 2005,.. friends from AMSC Hong Kong 2006, EAMSC Taiwan 2007 (Group 9 yeah!) all the way to AMSC Seoul 2007… it has been one HELL of an experience, I shall not exchange for any other…

(written on September 02, 2007 at 11:45 AM)

Thursday, June 28, 2007

COAMS #37- so sick of being sick

it's been a week already,.. i suspect that i am resistant to the antibiotic prescribed... or perhaps there's just too much allergens... i suppose i am allergic to classes altogether... and i mean it quite literally... every morning, i have to attend ENT classes in this air-conditioned room with thick curtains infested with God knows how many zillions of dust mites and dirt... not to forget the tick carpets... the dark environment... my condition never recovers... having nasal congestion can be very torturing... BELIEVE me... especially when it start blocking your nose bilaterally, and you have to breathe through your mouth, your throut gets dry.. you get sore throut... URTI(upper respiratory tract infection) only worsen the condition... the the mucus start moving into your airway... the allergic reaction worsen.. the next thing you know, YOU CANNOT BREATHE!! terrible, terrible,terrible... cocaine spray and ventolin nebuliser only gives temporary relief... (just in case you were wondering, no, that does not make me a cocaine addict) Mr Megat adviced exercise to stimulate adrenalines,... is there any easier way? siGh.......... maybe when i get better...

i am so sick of being sick... the world keeps on spinning without sympathy... i feel terrible,.. physically and emotionally... and i start suspecting i might have Munchausen syndrome (falling sick to gain attention).. then again, this may not be the kind of attention one would like to seek... you have your coursemates subconsciously taking a 'FULL HISTORY' of you... impressive nodding their heads when you happen to be a VERY TYPICAL HYPERSENSITIVE TYPE 1... siGh...

sometimes, i just wished to escape... it's hard even to fish the 3 magic words [GET-WELL-SOON...]... really, instead, i have people around me 'taking history' and asking what medications i am taking... i suspect the 3 magic words doesn't exist in the chinese and malay dictionary... hmm... [semoga cepat sembuh]... sounds weird isn't it? xi wang ni hau yi dian? haha, yup, my chinese sucks...

oh well.. got to continue eating porridge.... why being sick have to eat porridge? i wonder whether who create the condept, whether it really works... all i know is i can't risk it cause i'm losing my voice, (correction: i lost my voice) and i am having shortcase (oral clinical) exams soon... i don't think my examiner will postpone the exam for me or excuse me for being sick... and hey, i don't know sign language, neither does he... siGh...

(Written on June 28, 2007 at 06:10 AM)

p/s: Later on, in Family Medicine Posting in 4th year(8th Sem), i learnt that:
1. URTI, in my case, is viral in origin,... so it's only normal that it last over a week
2. Viral URTI is self-limiting and does not requires antibiotic... it only needs adequate rest and symptomatic relief
3. i was abusing antibiotics
4. No wonder my body is more and more resistant to antibiotics!!

Monday, June 25, 2007

COAMS #36 - falling SICK... feeling SICK....

i hate falling sick, terrible running nose with post-nasal-drip, blocked nose with the ENT lecturer taking you as a good example of 'hyponasal' speech and hypertrophic inferior turbenates, and having temporary relief from the nebuliser and DAMN i wished i could just buy my own nebuliser and keep it in my room... the air is getting tense... i suspect the world's air concentration is depleting its source,.. either i am very sensitive or it's just me... and worst of all not having to take my medication because of the sedative effect when i have a case presentation tomorrow, tons of procrasinated homework and an exam coming up in one and a half week time....

learning points:

1. i hope people do not have to fall sick
2. if there is no sick people, there will be no need for doctors
3. if there is no need to for doctors, i will not be trapped here with assignments, case-write-ups and exams despite being sick
4. there's how much my life can suck sometimes...
5.because, noone is immune to disease
6. therefore, there will always be sick people
7. and therefore, i will always be trapped here with assignments, case-write-ups and exams despite being sick
8. and HELL, my life SUCKS

(Written on June 25, 2007 at 06:07 AM)

Saturday, June 9, 2007

COAMS #35 - A World without light, colors, dimensions... Are we too blind to care for the blind?

( pic: the picture on the right is the mould while the picture on the left is the embossed tactile diagram of the inner structure of a car. This is found in the form 4 physic textbook)
What is a world without light? An empty world without colors? A world without dimensions?

Last week, I visited the MAB, Malaysia Association of the Blind at Jalan Tun Sambanthan.

It is amazing how much the visually disabled can do. Braille is not an easy language to be learnt. I tried closing my eyes and reading with my fingers, and hell, it was tough… The dotted characters seemed the same, more like tiny sands. Kar Yuen, the 6-year-old kid I met there, was able to tactilely read all the alphabets and numbers as fast as I read with my eyes. Braille is based on only 6 dots, yet it is possible to emboss characters A-Z, 0-9, in codes to be read by touch. Reading Braille is difficult let alone typing it. The Brailler (a Braille typewriter) has only 9 keys. Nevertheless, I had my name embossed in Braille ^_^ (just in case you were wondering, no, I did not typed it, too challenging for me, hehe..)

What impressed me most is that MAB transcribes text print to Braille. Text from novels, to Reader Digest and even school textbooks! An average Reader Digest book, after transcription, would be 3 books thick, each about the size of a box file! With that, the blind or low vision students are able to attend school, both primary and secondary school, together with other ordinary students. Yes, they would be able to sit for UPSR, PMR, SPM, etc… Diagrams (as above) are embossed so that they too can learn. Embossing diagrams is a very tedious task. Reading it is equally difficult. Yet, these special people have a great sense of touch and imaginations, putting together the puzzles into a picture. Really, really impressive.

And there was this guy playing Pachabel Canon in D. He had a diploma in piano. And to think that passing piano exams was a struggle even for people with good vision. Well, at least I struggled, and hell, I don’t even have a diploma! And there was this girl who passed her SPM with flying colors and was awarded ‘Anugerah pelajar istimewa cemerlang’ by the Melacca government. She aspires to be a teacher however her application to a teaching school has been rejected. The world today is too blind to see how much these less fortunate people need our support.

Lastly, I suppose we should count our blessings… (yeah, all of you who are lucky enough to be able to read this)… sometimes, we don’t realize how lucky we are, having one of the God’s greatest gifts. Ophthalmology is a very important branch of medicine, aiming to prevent visual loss and blindness. MAB on the other hand, helps people to cope with visual loss. Education and rehabilation is important...

Can we make a difference? Certainly! It can be as simple as helping a blind people to cross the street or to find a shop. Let him hold your arm and walk slightly in front of them, not behind. If you are helping a blind into a car, tell him which way it is facing, and place his hand on the car roof over the open door. If you are eating with a blind, take the courtesy to tell them what food is served. Debone the fish, if any and never fill up drinks up to the brim to avoid spillage. If you are working, you may pledge to donate a portion of your monthly salary or even provide employment to the blind. Don’t be surprised that the blind is capable to use the computer. They have ‘talking computers’ and manage with hotkeys. They use windows and other special software. Visit for more information.

(Written on June 09, 2007 at 09:05 AM)

Friday, June 1, 2007

COAMS #34 - Opthalmology

The fundus, it is perhaps, the most beautiful thing i've ever seen on earth. I think i am falling in love with it, almost.

I can’t believe I am actually enjoying my ophthalmology posting!!  Maybe it is because it’s not exam week yet, and basically the lecturers at this department are very very nice… The fundoscope, is a very amazing tool. You can tell so much just by looking at the fundus, it’s like looking into another world, peeking into one’s secret chamber. (ps: a fundoscope is a mobile hand tool used to view the eye structure, basically looking at the retina for signs of bleeding, leakage, occlusion etc) I have to admit had that the first few days was a struggled, where I could only see the vessels, a glimpse of the optic disc and nothing more… it was depressing at first… I strained my eyes so much that the patient commented that I looked as if I was more in pain that she was, haha! When I first saw the optic disc,i was so excited i was like 'yeay!'.., silly me.. Ophthalmology is fun, really, when you start appreciating more and more findings.. but I shall not elaborate on them here as i do not want to bore you off with terms… I think I am starting to like this posting, I hope I will… ^_^

(Written on June 01, 2007 at 10:35 AM)

Sunday, May 27, 2007

COAMS #33 - The End of the Beginning

Now, this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is perhaps, the end of the beginning... (Winston Churchill)

I had the ended this year’s orthopedics-surgery posting, starting my ophthalmology posting this week. And last week was a HELL of a week for me… not only that I was suffering from pre-exam-syndrome and pre-menstrual-syndrome; the EXAM was indeed DAMN tough!! When facing this kind of situation, I often wonder, have I not studied ‘hard enough’. Is there a ‘hard enough’ level of study? How do I put myself in a scale of 1-10? Any cures for brain freeze during exam? Very often I realized I know the answer AFTER exam, which is KILLING me, I just want to bang my head against the wall… then again, you can’t misdiagnose a patient and regret 10 years later that you actually know the diagnosis but couldn’t think of it at the point in time. Oh god, I hate the feeling,..

I decided to work harder this sem, or at least smarter, perhaps change the way I study. Yeah, no more last-minute… you’ll never know when you might get menstrual pain on the day before exam,.. and it’s really unfair that only XX gets it, and not even all XX-es…

Trust me Boon Lee, I am trying very hard to think positive… I tried following your advice, to start my day with the [I am happy today because…]… but it’s just too exhausting to fill in the blank. []... and the thoughts of having to pull myself out of bed at 7am,.. it sucks man, totally… *siGh *… guess I must really find the book – the secret. Need all the motivation I can get…

Goals provide the energy source that powers our lives. One of the best ways we can get the most from the energy we have is to focus on it. That is what goals can do for us; concentrate our energy –Denis Waitley

I really envy people who are certain of what they want, knows how to achieve it and goes all out to make it a reality!! Therefore, i shall try to make my own set of goals, it quite simple, really...

My goal : To worry about grades and not worry about passing/failing
Ever since I entered medical school, all I worried is whether I’ll pass or fail an exam. I don’t understand why I allow myself to be contented with merely passing an exam with average results. Well, it shouldn’t work that way, should it? Not that I want to be kiasu and score a string of A’s but somehow, it’s too exhausting worrying whether you’ll pass or fail after EVERY exam… it’s not that I am paranoid, but I suppose, if one have studied enough, they will be certain that they passed, and it’s just the grades that matters, and it does matters… and this sem, I will make it matter!!

As for patients, it’s not fair trying to treat them with the ‘borderline’ knowledge you have right? Perhaps, if you had been more knowledgeable or skillful, you could have diagnose his problems earlier and offer the best management earlier and giving him a better life. He is not ‘just a patient’… so, got to study for patients and not merely for exams…

Like suk teng used to say: WORK HARD, play hard!!!

(Written on May 27, 2007 at 10:12 PM)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

COAMS #32 - 0313

it's 0313am... i have 5 hours and 17 mins more for orthosurgery exam,.. my head is heavy, still have a stacked of notes in the TO-READ box, my Apley demanding for attention,.. yet i have neither the mood or energy... the facts kept bouncing away, i can feel short intervals of being conscious but not aware... BLANK... so SIEN...

drank 3 cups of coffee, can't sleep, can't read... trapped...

realised last-minute-study is not my cup of tea... vowed to work harder next posting... *siGh*... will i ever learn?

(May 24, 2007 at 12:06 PM)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Confessions of a Medical Student #31

i tried downloading Apley's orthopeadics into my cerebrum,.. but it's currantly it is infected with an highly-resistant virus which deletes the files... - tell that to my examiner!! ...siGh... suffering from memory loss... it's not that you can cram everything within such short period of time,.. orthopeadics, urology, plasticsurg, peadiatricsurg, neurosurgery... almost impossible... but the lecturers enjoyed torturing us and forcing us to perform the impossible,.. only to disappoint themselves... oh boy, i hate exams,.. and the load you are 'suppose to know' or at least pretend you do... and save them all in accessable folders in your hard disc... you really think i am robotically capable of that? gee.. i need to get an external hard drive...

(May 20, 2007 at 02:34 AM)

Friday, May 18, 2007


The apple hanged on the tree
In the Garden on Eve
It looked sweet, I thought…
I could not resist
I dreamt of it day and night
If only I could reach.
I waited for the day
A gush of wind would come
And gravity would play its role
Sunsets replaced sunrise,
The day never arrive.
One fine day,
The wind finally came
Then I realized
The apple wears a mask

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

COAMS #30 - Craniotomy-Phobia

I was at the operation theater today to witness a neurosurgery on clipping of a Berry’s aneurysm at the branch of the left internal carotid artery. In layman’s term- simply clipping a dilatation of an artery in the brain to prevent it from rupturing and causing complications. And I MUST confess that it was THE MOST GROSS-EST thing on earth! (in my opinion) All my other friends were like excited and enthusiastic while I was desperately peeping from the corner of one eye… Imagine having part of the skull removed and seeing the bleeding pulsating brain… it was kind of scary, at first.. I can’t help feeling pain for the patient despite the fact that I am well aware that the brain tissue has NO pain fibers,.. oh well… well, it looks okay in the books and movies but to actually witness with your naked eyes, it’s well, a different thing all together… I’ll grow out of it, I hope…

p/s: craniotomy = making a hole in the cranium (skull bone) to access the brain.

(April 17, 2007 at 10:46 PM)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Once upon a time, life was so busy, hectic, in need of space. Now,when the space is here, it is so intense, it enguffs the soul, it suffocates... What remained is emptiness and emptiness alone. The map has lost its printings, the arrow bent indecisively, the signages fades away, and you can't find the ending nor the starting point. I doubt there is any. Do you still call it day when the sun has lost her shine? the lion lost his mane, the fire burns endlessly. Your life history is nothing but a blank sheet of paper.They said everything happens for a reason,.. is there a reason called 'no reason at all'? They said everything can be explained, rationalized. Sometimes, it's easier to think that it's meant to be, God's will... Not knowing priorities, not having a plan, avoiding decisions don't help, procrastination worsen things. I will learn to let go, to say 'no', to carry on...

(March 21, 2007 at 05:03 AM)

Monday, February 5, 2007

TAIWAN touched my heart!

( February 05, 2007 at 02:53 AM)
so much had happened in Taiwan that i don't know where to start... Taiwan is great!! i can't believe i'll have to leave tomorrow... time flies~ i am blogging from Hotel International... a youth hostel which is quite good despite being cheap, they actually had free internet excess...

Guess what? i went ROCK-MOUTAIN-CLIMBING in Hua Lian and was SO COOL~~~ the scenery is breath-taking... and i really can't believe wat i had achieved!! Taroko Gorge is like the most amazing place in the world... thanks to David, our local tour guide to take us to places written [danger, no entry]... it's probably the most advanturest thing i have ever done!! on top of that, i went with im sing, 2 really fun indonesian guys and 2 really cute korean guys... haha... show you the pics later... ^_^

the hot spring in Taiwan is something you MUST try... it makes you feel ALIVE again!! and guess what? they actually had like green tea hot spring, ginsing, mud, lavender, etc... i loved the shower thingy best,.. it's like a back massage... i wanted to stay forever in the hot spring but my GM was like constantly asking me to get out of the pool... haha... and i was bargaining for another 5 mins, 3 mins, etc.. i happened to be one of those 'stubborn' delegates... haha

EAMSC 07 was a wondeful experience... each time i attend a conference, it's something new altogether again... AMSC KL being the finance committee cum GM, AMSC Hong Kong being the delegate, EAMSC being an EC and involved in paper... it had been really fun altogether... with 'country meetings' and crazy group members... oh well... had a lot of fun...

i'll like to write more but im sing kept asking me to get ready, will be going to yang ming shan later ( a hill famous for its scenery...)...

--to be continue...

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

COAMS #29 - Electives & me...

(January 17, 2007 at 07:31 AM)

I have not been blogging for nearly a month now. Have not been writing. I made a point not to post complains but I end up posting nothing.(again!) Gee… I can be quite a difficult person, living a life full of complains,.. I can blame not just ANYONE, but practically ANYTHING… however ridiculous… and I am indeed in need of the ‘writing therapy3’ again, the need to expel ones’ lungs, shout till ones’ vocal cords sore and well, complain endlessly… (no, it’s not PMS1 or PES2)

Currently, I am having my elective posting in Seremban General hospital. Elective posting is great,(so far so good), and it’s not irritating me now- no complains. But I wonder whether writing therapy helps when you write about unrelated issues…(issues other that what’s bothering me) let me try and experiment here… Besides, I should blog a bit about elective posting or it will seem as if I either hate my posting too much; or I am too busy to blog (which I am not); or I have no internet access (which is not true as I online practically everyday). Well, it’s neither of the above. And I have no reason to ignore the existence of this chapter of my life.

The beginning of posting was tough, I mean being the ONLY elective posting student here. I was haunted with questions like – why the HELL did I choose to post here? What am I suppose to do? Where should I go? – kind of L-O-S-T and sure enough I went thru the 5 stages: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression…

Let’s pretend I am in HUKM, and I meet an elective posting student, say from IMU who stays in Cheras and chose to do her elective here alone. Well, the first thing I would think of is the person is either extremely attached to home/something/someone; or is an anti-social freak; or an insane-stressed-out-medical-student-with-no-life…, which doesn’t fit me entirely! (I am not an AS4, am I?)

I was attached to a very nice HO5, Dr Shima during my medical posting. Yeah, she’s nice but very ‘unmotivating’ though…

[Don’t have to come so early to hospital…]
[relax and enjoy your elective posting…]
[actually, there’s not much activity in the afternoon. I did my elective in this hospital too, I usually go back after lunch]
[what? You are here on a public holiday?]
[Dr Najib: I was practically absent during the whole of my posting, ha-ha!]
~as usual, it was hangat-hangat tahi ayam6 at first, then my semangat7 level gradually fell like a downhill slope

I basically take blood, observe procedures and follow ward rounds, ‘chat’ with patients, attend CME, seminars, hang out at the HO rooms and observe the politics etc… I meet Yen Wei, a pharmacist in my ward who is very nice and hanged out with her gang.

I got my evaluation form signed on the 2nd week and I am basically FREE to do ANYTHING!! (am I smart or am I smart?) Yeay! I made myself less guilty by convincing myself that elective posting is actually a holiday in disguise.. only that the university need to pacify passionate people who cannot survive a month of break without going to the hospital… (which is a silly theory) (okay, maybe I’m just hopelessly lazy)

When I entered surgical posting, I met the IMU students and Suni8. (remember Sunihaliza Sulaiman from KGV last time?) So, I tag along them, and she kinda smuggled me into a couple of their classes. Then, all the sudden, things started to make sense and the semangat rises again. Her coursemates are really fun, cool, very friendly and welcoming. And I get to discuss stuffs other than demographical data9. Finally!!

My semangat level was kinda fluctuating,.. there are days where it’s too busy for lunch , and other days where I just don’t bother… Today I saw 4 surgeries at OT10 which is entirely insane! (insane, not referring to the surgery, but me standing till I think I might have varicose veins11 and exopthalmus) Then, saw a quite painful MMG(mammogram) and then went to the wards. oh yes, Charjini, an elective student studying in Melbourne joined Seremban GH yesterday, which kind of explains my sudden peak of semangat, coz she memang very semangat, and I get influenced easily, haha!

The OT today is very interesting. Let me share with you one of them. There was this 3 days old baby with imperforated anus12. The poor little baby was attached to so many tubes and wires. It pained me to see him, he looked like a machine, some sort of a robot… When the surgeon performed the surgery, he incidently found out that the baby has NO colon! NO transverse colon, NO ceacum, NO sigmoid colon, NO descending colon!! There were just loops of small intestine, a blind ascending colon and a blind rectum. Wow! The small intestine ends at the terminal ileum. A stoma was made. Can you believe a 3 day old baby have to live with a stoma15 for the rest of his life? It’s so sad, really… Later that afternoon, I see him in the wards where he was sleeping quite peacefully… I wonder how is he going to face school life, will he be isolated or labeled a ‘freak’? Adults can understand, but small kids, do they?

Wow! This has been a long blog. I haven’t explain how I gained acceptance though… Well, I realized that if I have not been in Seremban, and have been posting with my friends somewhere else, say with May Luu in Sabah16, there would be a lot of things I couldn’t do… okay, maybe not a lot of things, basically just one – AMSA/EAMSC13 stuffs- paper report, contacting other delegates, making sure things are in order, monitoring the progress of poster, cultural, etc, getting the namecards done, arranging stuffs, online meetings, finance work, etc… work, work, work… well, everything happens for some reason… I wonder where the commitment and dedication comes from… sometimes, I wonder, if I could just channel this semangat into passion towards medicine, I might actually be a much better medical student…. And I learnt that one doesn’t appreciate what other people do for them until they actually experienced it (the hard work) themselves…

Besides, being in Seremban, at least I get to catch Johann Strauss14 New Year’s Concert conducted by John Georgiadis which is really amazingly, marvelously breathtaking, and worth everything… don’t you agree, ze? And guess what? We’ve got Premier seats for just RM10!! *wink *

I should really mark the full-stop. I suppose those who are reading this has line has very high tolerance to boredom. So, I guess, my ability to write ‘fai wa’ (crap in Chinese) is still there. Well, some things never change, do they?

1. PMS= Pre-Menstrual Syndrome
2. PES=Pre-Exam Syndrome
3. ‘writing therapy’= writing used to be a therapy for me, it helps me think, the way swimming and listening to music helps… sleeping, however, don’t help me think, but simply helps me to temporary forget and unacknowledged the problem, ignoring it…
4. AS=Anti-Social (not Aortic Stenosis)
5. HO= House Officer / Houseman / the lowest rannking medical staff in the hospital (excluding medical students)
6. hangat-hangat tahi ayam = a Malay proverb meaning strongly motivated only at the begining
7. semangat = spirit, in this context referring to strong self-motivation, commitment, dedication
8. Suni = Sunihaliza Sulaiman, my high school friend who is now doing her surgical posting in IMU 6th semester. Very nice friend.
9. demographical data = Name, Age, School, etc
10. OT = Operating Theather
11. Varicose Veins = Dilatation of superficial veins, one reason is due to long standing hours and valves defect.
12. Exopthalmus= Eyes appearing as if ‘popping’ out.
13. Imperforated anus = a condition where the gut and bowel opening is not patent causing the patient to lose the ability to evacuate feces.
14. AMSA = Asian Medical Student Association
EAMSC= East-Asian Medical Student Conference
15. Johann Strauss = a classical composer. Pizzicato Polka(Josef & Johann Strauss) is my favorite where all the strings are plucked!-really cute! Im Krapfenwaldl Polka, Furiouso Polka and Gipsy Baron Overture are great too! Other famous dance pieces are Radetzky March, Emperor Waltz and Blue Danube.
16. Stoma = an opening of the intestine to the abdominal wall. In most simple terms, you see shit coming out to your abdomen wall/skin instead of the usual normal route via anus.
17. Sabah = A state in East Malaysia, part of Borneo Island.

Author's Note

Dear friends and readers, Thank you for dropping by and leaving comments/ shoutouts. More importantly, thank you for being there... please accept my apology that, lately, i may be busy with work and not have time to reply youir messages/comments, but rest assured, each and everyone is read, and highly appreciated :) have a nice day! ^^

of love

Today, i heard a story which was not a story of falling...
of living in the dark end of winter turmoil..
instead, it was a love story..
of a couple who did not live happily ever after...
but they live, loving each other..