Thursday, February 04, 2016



I'm supposed to be studying now but..

Today I was screamed at (rudely) in public.

Maybe because this time it truly wasn't my fault and I entirely could not digest the amount of anger she threw at my face after my one simple polite question. And the one who scolded me was not even from my side of profession, if you know what I mean.

Oh well, it wasn't the first. I've had much worse than that before. Maybe it's just hormonal. But as I walked back from the scene, walking along the hospital corridors, I felt like crying. That feeling when your tears just welled up and you're trying hard not to make it fall down your dehydrated cheeks, it sucks. Also I wouldn't want the public to see a young doctor in scrubs burst into emotional tears as she walked alone.

I silently cursed the person who screamed at me. I felt like punching her in the face. Then as I was fighting back tears, I prayed to God please just make this go away coz I have no time to dwell on my sadness. I was so busy running errands and doing extra-curricular HO jobs until by the end of the day, the anger and sadness just went away.

I prayed that whenever and wherever I would be in the future, that I would never become that person. And may God open her heart to humility and politeness. She just left a huge scar onto my dignity.

Monday, January 11, 2016



She was forced to cross a hanging wooden bridge, of which beneath is a stream of boiling lava. At one end a fierce-looking lion is roaring at her, she ran forward but was greeted instead by a fire-breathing dragon. She was trapped in between with nowhere to go.

Oh hi. That was me basically describing my job. A house officer- everything you do is always wrong. Even if you do the right thing people will always find another glitch/ mistake of yours to b'tch about.

My goodness. Look at how time flies, my last post was almost 9 months ago.

The past year has taught me a lot. Probably the year of which I had the most human interactions in my whole 25 years of life. Most importantly, I've learned about the kind of boss I won't choose to become, in the future.

Many recent events have made me wonder what put these people to act like they are now. Instilling fear to lower-ranks, pointing fingers to blame, making condescending remarks about other people.. The list goes on.

I'm grateful I was given a chance to discover the darkest side of a profession that the public eyes rarely see- through the ranks of a house officer.

Another great year to learn and grow inshaAllah. Bring it on!

Saturday, March 07, 2015


Assalamualaikum and hello world, it's been a while. :)
For the last 2-3months I have been on an emotional and physically draining rollercoaster ride.

Where do I even begin? At this point, I wouldn't say I love my job, nor do I loathe it. This daily routine of going to work was merely an act of responsibility. In the beginning, it was a spirit full of passion. The thought of finally putting 5 years of learning into practicality excites me.

And then things happened. I went through the horrific and infamous tagging period where I slaved from 6am-11pm straight. I worked for 16 hours without lunch or dinner (I lost 3kg in 2 weeks). I missed my prayers a number of times (which I'm not too proud to talk about). I drove to and from work without sunshine. I only spent time with my husband for about one-two hours before I go to sleep. I even postponed my morning nature calls and ended up constipated the whole tagging week.

On the first day of work/tagging, I was called slow and lembab by the specialist. Note that it was my freakin first day but anyway, who cares, you're expected to know eeevvveryyythinggg within your FIRST DAY anyway kan, which was totally normal and acceptable (mata ke atas tangan ke bahu). If let say things are not done the way your superiors want them to be, the golden question will be asked, "you jaga berapa patient eh?" And apparently whatever number you give them will always be replied with,"waaaa banyaknyaaa! Banyakkk oooo?" with a super cynical look followed by the 'during my time' chant.

And then you have this group of superdemanding patients and sadly Malaysia was not too famous for 'please' and 'thank yous'. You'll have relatives or patients who make faces while you tried super hard to get their bloods or put in lines. Makes your day even gloomier when you have these group of people to deal with.

I made some good friends at work, but it didn't stretch beyond Whatsapp groups and daily ward encounters. I've learned that meal times and prayer times are your own call, nobody will tell you to go have lunch or to pray on time, you simply have to run off whenever you got time (should've learned this during my tagging period- I was too scared to leave the ward thinking who'd look after my patients huhu). I've learned the drill of helping people only when they did the same too. I've learned that people can be selfish, and that nobody will fight for you or back you up when things go wrong. I've learned that if you help people too often, people will start taking advantages of you. I've learned to stay low and just make sure my job is done by the end of my shift and go home. I've learned that time is precious, and how much an off day means the world to me.

And above all, I've learned to not seek for other's appreciation and approval (people normally highlight tasks you haven't done instead of tasks you've actually accomplished) and to do things without seeking rewards, and that anything bad that happens in a day either to my patients or myself are also Allah's will.

Negativity aside, there are actually good days I'm thankful for. Fellow colleagues who brightened up your day with silly jokes, who greeted you at the hallway when you're down, days when you have ample time to spend with families, days when all the traffic lights on the way to the hospital are green and you get the best parking spot, days when you have loads of blood-taking to do and all patients have difficult veins but you succeeded with a single puncture on each of them, days when your MO who's on call with you surprisingly reminded you to eat dinner, days when you get to do your first peritoneal tap and it turned out good, days when you can sleep a good few hours while on-call coz there were no unstable patients, days when you have to request many scans from Radiology and a not-so-rude radiologist was in charge (seriously, radiologist are a special group of 'royal' people huhu)

On days like these it's super embarrassing if I didn't say alhamdulillah kan?

There's always a sliver lining. Let's just hope we see it often :)

Monday, December 01, 2014

Happy childhood.

People say you don't get to choose your family, they're God's gifts to you. If that's the case, I must be truly damn lucky and blessed to have a pair of parents who rock. Alhamdulillah.

I had/have a happy childhood. Not once have I ever recalled a period of sadness whenever I went down my own memory lane, coz it was filled with tonnes of happy memories.

My dad grew up without a father figure (grandpa died when dad was 7, grandma never remarried). To think that he was raised singlehandedly by his mom, it was amazing how he turned out to be a great dad. My mom grew up in a small wooden house with 6 younger brothers to care for, her childhood was probably filled with responsibility yet it was amazing how she was able to provide a fun and carefree childhood for each of us.

When these two married and became parents, it was an explosive boomboompow combination. Two great souls who became a team of wonderful parents; My mom and dad.

When I was a child we didn't really have much, we didn't have fancy toys or went on expensive trips abroad but somehow it always feels enough. School holidays are spent at the zoo, in a random museum or simply a fun trip to the theme park. Both of them would ALWAYS make sure our school holidays are fun and exciting. It was never dull with mama abah as parents. Evenings on the weekends are spent by the beach, while my brother and I rollerskated along the pavements, my parents would sit together reading magazines or eating homemade sandwiches. Mornings on weekends would normally be filled with dad's endless physical activities, he would take us hiking or cycling or swimming. 

They subtly cultivated our love for books since we were kids. If ever there were a space in our house that closely resembles 'luxury', it would definitely be our bookshelves, which were filled with books and reading materials, in fact I have a hugeeeee collection of Enid Blyton while my brother used to have a large set of Mr Midnight, thanks to them. Also it was my dad who mailed me my first Harry Potter book as a birthday present while I was in boarding school. Looking back, mama abah had indeed spent a massive amount of money to fund our book collection, what with all the hard-cover books we grabbed at the bookstore without even looking at the price. Amazingly, they did it without a single fuss, in fact with a large encouraging smile. Ahh parents.. :)

Every now and then they would make sure we have plenty of things to do outside school. They enrolled us into the community taekwondo classes, sent us to mengaji sessions, put us through swimming classes, and when swimming classes were over they would find another thing for us to indulge in. After we learned swimming they would take us to the nearby public pool every weekend for us to practice. And then they even placed us in an art class to learn how to paint. The art class was the one I remembered most coz I loveeee drawing and coloring as a kid. My younger sisters get to learn the piano and violin when they grew up. All thanks to our parents.

Looking back, it was never stressful growing up. Yes of course there will be a few scoldings or slight rotan here and there but that was definitely our fault most of the times haha. All extra classes they put us in were actually fun. Sometimes I wonder where they get all those fun parenting ideas. 

Having these two as parents somehow place an invisible pressure on me, as if there would be a high expectation on me when I became one myself. I pray that when my husband and I have our own 'mini us', we would make a great team and raise them the way our parents raised us, so that they are proud to say how awesome their parents were.

We are always grateful on a lot of things in life; our grades, our careers, our houses and cars. Sometimes we forget to be grateful on things that are with us along the way, and that is the blessings of having a pair of amazing parents. Alhamdulillah thank you Allah for giving me them. :)

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Of Graduation, Marriage, and Unemployment: Part 3

Assalamualaikumm and hello everyone

So this would most likely be my last update as an unemployed medical graduate. I'm serving the government starting 8th of December, and hello KKM we're still waiting for your love letters? (We haven't received the official letters with regard to our induction venues etc)

Unemployment's been fun, the only thing that sucks is the fact that we have too much time but too little moneyyh. Now that the real job is calling I feel even more lazier to slave my arse off for the government. Also we (the unemployed bunch) haven't been getting enough positive feedback from our fellow comrades who've just started HOship a few months ago. Depressed, starved, verbally abused, merely 2 days-off a month...ermm not exactly an ideal work environment, more like modern day slavery, thanks guys for your very motivating experience!I'm absolutely sure I'll jump into my whining mode soon.

So with regards to the process of applying for HOship yadayadayada, I won't blabber about it here coz there's plenty of blogs explaining all that jazz. Only thing is we recently found out that KKM only offers HO jobs once every two months now, and that also depends on hospital vacancies.

It's scary to think that the last time I ever studied a medical book religiously was in April (7-8months ago) while facing my finals. Although I flipped through a couple of medical books for work's sake, it's still kinda hard to put myself as an HO. Mind you right now it feels like being thrown into university right after UPSR, and I'm no genius. Blerghhh

Let's pray Dr. Ika won't hurt nobody while working, and that all patients and staff nurses are understanding and helpful, and that all my superiors are nice and considerate..oh come on a girl can dream right?

To those starting HOship same as me, good luck guys!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Of Graduation, Marriage and Unemployment: Part 2

Assalamualaikum and helloo.

I know it's a bit overly posey dividing these posts into parts but I sort of wanna group these things together for future reminiscence (puii).

So according to chronological order my wedding comes next, so unemployment can wait. teehee
I hope you can pretend the mushy-mushy parts in this post doesn't come from me thank you.

*cue romantic cheesy music*

Much to our friends' surprise, we got engaged last year on the 10th of August, 3rd of Syawal. It was a small intimate event only attended by close family and family friends of both sides. Since we're both still studying, what more in two different continents, we decided to keep it low and just go about our lives pretty much like we used to before. Plus it's sunat to keep your engagement to yourselves coz it's like a personal period to get to know each other better. Since we spent our engagement away from each other, it's easier to focus on our studies and ditch the overly sweet period people used to associate engagement to. So when people asked if our engagement is true, my then-fiance' did a pretty good job at denying/ avoiding. hahah

We both met in college (KMB) back in 2007 and we're both classmates and mentor-menteemates. I first saw him during our orientation period when we sat in circles with the rest of our classmates and introduced ourselves. I never liked him then, the way he spoke, the way he sat, it was all too overly poyo for me hihiks. Nothing happened during the first year of college, it never went beyond 'just friends', plus he had a special someone back then so whatevs pfftt. We managed a lot of class activities together, we went hiking, island-hopping in Langkawi, later on furthered our studies in Dublin and a lot more fun stuff as a group. We were both so lucky to have the chance to study abroad, nothing widens your horizon more than travelling to places you've never seen before, and we did just that.

2009 Tasik Dayang Bunting, Langkawi. (someone can't swim..guess who haha)

If people asked me who took the first move, it was him. If people wondered when did he propose, it's slightly complicated because he kinda did that on the last day of college (it wasn't the classic 'will you be my wife here's a diamond ring happy tears loud yes' kinda thing but he simply told me to wait after 5 years and a medical degree) and the rest is history. Of course there were ups and downs that were probably worth a novel but nevertheless it brought us to where we are today, and I couldn't have been happier.

It was an elaborate and complicated story to tell, we both saw each other grow up from mere 18-year-olds to the young adults we are today, flawed or not. We've just approached our 2-months milestone (yayy fireworks please!). Marriage opens up a lot more and I learnt a lot everyday as a wife and as a daughter-in-law to a whole new family. We're blessed to have a smooth-sailing journey towards marriage as both our parents are so so supportive and understanding.

Also when you get married you tend to learn a lot from your elders. I noticed I was being super observant when I saw how my cousin's wife treats her in-laws and how they laugh a lot and make jokes at each other like bestfriends, or when my aunt visited my dad's mom-in-law eventhough she's practically not a relative, and a lot more trivial things I wouldn't notice that much when I'm single. I think marriage brings you to adulthood more than anything can, and makes you value the ties your parents have with families and in-laws close and far.

Apart from the heavy responsibilities that come with marriage, it was still the happiest ride so far. Having someone you could trust and love and make fun of is both entertaining and therapeutic in nature, although he yawns when you talk too much hahah

Before I overdosed myself from too much mushiness or before my beloved suami texts me and jokes at my attempt of being romantic, I'll probably stop. Till then, xoxo lovelove muah

Monday, September 08, 2014

Of Graduation, Marriage and Unemployment : Part 1

Assalamualaikum and hello peeps.

Again it's been lightyears since my last update, I literally spent the last half an hour trying to figure out my password to this blog. But hey marriage and graduation are pretty good excuses don't you think. Hehe

Alhamdulillah all praises to Allah, 2014 has unexpectedly been one of the biggest years in my life, especially the last few months in particular. I graduated as a medical doctor on the 5th of June and was blessed with a husband approximately 2 months later (hi-5 girlfriend!). So these two big shiny things that changed my statuses warrant a few mentions in this blog hence this sudden phalangeal urge to dance on the keyboard again.


I love how the Irish managed their conferring ceremonies, it was never an elaborate affair for them which was quite the opposite in Malaysia.. My friend's dad who was a lecturer in a local Malaysian university was impressed by how efficient and straightforward the ceremony is. Unlike Malaysia, they don't hold rehearsals and it wasn't like a huge carnival where people sell flowers and graduation teddy bears and such. The ceremony itself was just announcement of names without arranging graduates according to their achievements. It was just a simple and intimate reception attended by families and friends of the graduates from our faculty, followed by a small reception with drinks and tidbits. Conferring for them wasn't a place to show off your achievements, it was merely an event of acknowledgement, much like putting a nice happy ending to our 5 years in  UCD.

We walked to UCD's O'Reilly Hall at 8am (can you imagine? Conferring starts at 11am okay semangat tu nampak) for pictures' sake. Pika and I grabbed our robes and ohmygod that feeling when you put it on, it was a kind of happiness beyond words. Like, "This is it guys, this is the robe I've been dreaming to wear since my first year."  I used to watch my seniors graduate thinking how happy I would be if I get to wear that robe, and there I was, vain and all.

Seeing my parents proud smiles were the highlights of the day. Mama and Abah flew miles and miles from home to see me graduate. They squeeze in what remained of their annual leave (coz they need to save some for their Hajj this month) and spent 10 days in the land I called my second home, together with Makngah Yan (Mama's sis) and Kak Noli (my cousin residing in Ireland). Man I reaalllyy need to find time to write about our awesome trip together.

 My backbones. (Mama really need to practice on her candid laugh pose)

Aaanyways, although my name was slightly mispronounced by our Dean (He said Zur Zulaikha instead of Nur Zulaikha lols), it was a happy 2 seconds on stage. My degree was in Latin which is quite a hassle because I had to pay another 60 euro for an English translation boooo.

Also graduating means I have to say goodbye to Dublin. No more heavy coats to warm myself outdoors, no more checklists of umbrellas, empty bottles (for hygienic toileting outdoors haha), heavily moisturing lip balms and hand creams, travel leapcard before leaving the house. No more checking the weather forecasts EVERYDAY because it kinda affects my choice of outfits. No more Yan telling me off for donning a skirt on a windy day. No more Pika saying I'm crazy for wearing just a blazer on a cold day. No more awesome Internet speed for smooth streaming and downloading. No more squinting through ingredients on packages at the supermarket to look for 'Suitable for Vegetarian' and non-alcoholic food. No more frequent 'Please' and 'Thank you'. No more sneaking clothes into fitting rooms to pray. No more free coffee and scones every evening from clinical conference leftovers. No more checking Dublinbus's Realtime app to make sure I have enough time to pin my scarf.

Ahh.. my 'no-mores' can go on forever. But ending a chapter in your life means starting a new one. I had no regrets, medical school by far is the witness to my growing up and  had definitely toughened me up a bit. It was in that moment that I realize it has come to an end. Friends who were by my side will soon partake their own journey as a doctor, and we won't be seeing each other as much as we used to. Probably even once or twice a year when someone gets married or have a baby sobs.

Pika's fake-laugh pose + Yan's batman attempt + Akem's retarded face (totally normal guys)

It's time to let go of my student status. Thank you to those who have been ardently praying for our success.

To build suspense I'll continue my marriage story and everything else I deemed important in my next post (padahal pemalas)

muah muah xoxo,
Wife and Doctor Ika