Sunday, August 27, 2006

Let It Be

Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be.
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.

And when the broken hearted people living in the world agree,
there will be an answer, let it be.
For though they may be parted there is still a chance that they will see,
there will be an answer. let it be.

Let it be, let it be, .....

And when the night is cloudy, there is still a light, that shines on me,
shine until tomorrow, let it be.
I wake up to the sound of music, mother Mary comes to me,
speaking words of wisdom, let it be.

Let it be, let it be, .....

oh God, i'm trying.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

a week at work

it's almost impossible to find any time these days to do anything at all, beyond coming home and going to sleep, waking up a few hours later and watching the day repeat itself.

everything's a blur, the days are morphing into one another, becoming virtually indistinguishable from each other. weekends, public holidays, family events all become hazy recollections of a few more hours of spare time that is used mostly in a daze of clouded thinking, sore feet, aching backs and a dehydrated thinning body that houses an aged soul.

the really good news is though, that i really like what i'm doing!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

ObGyn tagging

not that i'm out to steal the thunder of any of my seniors - but tagging is tough. working from 6.30am to frequently midnight every day for 2 weeks straight, that's pretty tough.

those in the past had it so much tougher - a shortage of house officers necessitating a tagging period of only 3 days perhaps, and then straight into the deep end of the pool. worse, after finishing 3 days of tagging, doing Every Other Day (EOD) calls, or worst, stretch calls - meaning being on call for 2 days straight and then getting a day off. and repeating the process again the next day.

i'm thinking that i'm really lucky to have had such a eased and easy entrance into my medical life - tagging represents an opportunity to learn and make mistakes and develop clinical judgement about what's an emergency, what's a semi-emergency, which cases that you need to inform the specialist, which cases that you can handle yourself.

i think i'm developing two separate parts of myself in these last 2 weeks. i'm developing judgement firstly, knowing what to do with most cases but separate from theoretical knowledge of the treatment and management of that case. admittedly judgement will improve through time, and i'm not saying that i'm making the right calls all the time.

secondly and very importantly too, i think i'm slowly developing patience. the workload is crazy, the cases can convert into an emergency within a few minutes, the pressure is super-high with two lives at stake. in spite of all this, every childbirth is a special experience for all mothers and families, and you owe it to them and to yourself to be patient with them, and to share a half-minute of chit-chat with them before you start doing your thing.

hypothetically, that means even that obese mother-to-be with thunderous legs that obstruct your movement and vision and is deathly afraid of pain and doesn't want to push and had to be encouraged by ALL the nurses and doctors, who were mortally afraid of operating.

but that's just hypothetically speaking of course. righto, off to dinner now, on time and hot!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

The Coming-of-Age

i seem to like waxing lyrical on sometimes the most mundane of human events, but today it's a little different.

i graduated yesterday August 12, with a degree in Medicine. romantically, i'm following in the footsteps of glorious and sometimes immortal men and women - some of the best people i know are in this profession - gallant, strong, generous, kind. there's a problem with that approach, because doctors can (and do) have a skewed idea of what their worth is in society. lots of people, even in the most undesirable of occupations (like roadsweeper or office boy) can be gallant, strong, generous and kind.

personally, this is the culmination of one of my father's dream for his children. it's not a status symbol, it's not a doctors-make-money thing, it's not a bragging rights kind of thing, it's not the straight-As-means-medicine belief.

it's just a simple i-can-send-my-son-to-medical-school and i-can-send-my-daughter-to-LSE belief. he wanted simple things for himself, and he worked hard and sacrificed so much so that his two children can have everything they needed to succeed in life. getting First Class in Accountancy from the #5 university in the world and finishing Medicine - those aren't our achievements, those are my mother's and father's achievements.

without them guiding us with their invisible hand, without their drive and determination, without their leadership, without their passion and commitment and sacrifice, we wouldn't be anywhere in this world - not in the poshest offices in London City or in the busiest wards in Taiping Hospital.

yesterday i didn't feel it. yesterday i felt very happy - i was amidst family members and friends. my mother, my sister, my cousins and their wives, my debaters, my classmate since primary school, my coursemates, my best friends for the last 5 years - they were all there.

there was no time for sorrow when your loved ones are so happy for you, with phone calls and messages and gifts and flowers and pictures and hugs and love and affection. thoughts of my father were always simmering under the surface, and the floodgates burst tonight.

i miss him, and i didn't want to take studio pictures and stuff with my robes, because i don't want to be reminded of his absence. incomplete pictures should be anathema.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The First Day

why is it that everything i type these days is in CAPS?? i think it might even be my feeling that these days, a lot of the things that i am doing, are worthy of caps.

but not today, maybe?? :-) i woke up to my dad's crisp blue pinstripe British India shirt that Wyn Nee had ironed for me the night before, while we were all asleep, and a blue tie that she had picked up in Paris and my mom had bought.

i had breakfast, a shower, dressed up and went to Ipoh to report for duty at the State Health Department. i was kept waiting for a while, and then finally finished with a briefing from some functionary.

the best thing that he said, in the midst of all the stuff about being caring and being the future and being a noble vocation, was this: Your remuneration begins today.

man, my heart leapt when i heard that sentence.... i may be going to suffer for many months after this, but at least i'm going to get paid for it!!

my basic pay is roughly RM70 a day - and for RM70 today, all i did was take a drive to Ipoh, listen to a few jokes, come back to Taiping to report and fill up paperwork and listen to a pretty inspiring speech from the Medical Superintendent, and then reject an offer for hostel accommodation.

haha, what a way to earn RM70 a day, i certainly won't mind a day or two of this, but i'm getting really itchy to get into the real business of medicine and people.

i should start in ObGyn properly in a few days time. there are so many horror stories circulating about it from everyone that i meet, and i'm certainly a little anxious, but excited about the whole thing.

phew - somehow i'm still knackered after the whole day of doing almost nothing. tomorrow's another day of doing almost nothing too, i suspect. no philosophy today... just an attempt to rest a little!