Sunday, July 02, 2017

A fractured calcaneum.

Assalamualaikum wbt.

Dear oh dear apologies again for this long hiatus, busy with this thing called Life.

A lil update; I moved to another state earlier this year and my new jobscope involves putting people to sleep, making sure they wake up painlessly, and trying not to mess up while doing so.

Anyway this post is to tell y'all a story about my family and a fractured bone.

Late last April my dad fell while climbing a steep tembok and his weight got shifted to his right feet, the impact shattering his right calcaneum (which is basically your heel bone)

Image result for calcaneus fracture

(not his xray, but pretty much almost the same)

It was an open comminuted fracture, which means there was an open wound, and the fracture was in pieces (not a simple crack). Dad underwent surgery to fix it, plates and screws put in. Now at post-op almost 3 months, he is partially weight-bearing with the help of crutches and still on leave from his job.

Those who knew my dad would know that he is not the kind who can sit still even for a minute. What we were about to learn when dad fractured his heel is, that he not only broke his bone, he broke all our hearts. My dad is a marathon runner, he cycles more than 10km every week, he gardens everyday, he's in charge of weekly runs to the markets, God knows how much he roams around at work, and his life is always always constantly on the move. 

So you can imagine how difficult it is to see our beloved ever-active daddy confined to the living room with a swollen occasionally uncomfortable foot. My younger brother and I were both not staying close to home so it sucks even more.

These past few months made us realized things we took for granted; namely:

1) How important my dad is in our household. No one to take out the trash, no one to water the plants, no one to run errands, no one to vacuum our carpets and sweep the floors (my dad's a dust OCD) and a whole lot more chores done by dad that we didn't appreciate as much.

2) How important my mom is in our household. Seriously, next to a frustrated husband, my mom is the most awesome wife to have if you ever got sick. When my dad felt helpless with things he couldn't do, my mom fills that void perfectly. She drives my dad everywhere, she took out the trash, she went for groceries on her own, you name it.

3) How dry our bathroom can be. Coz dad was on crutches so it gets dangerous when the bathroom floor is wet and slippery, everyone makes it a point to wipe the floor clean after use. Also how dusty our treadmill can be (coz the one running on it was always Abah. luls)

4) Our family cat Obi is awesome. As if he knows my dad is not well, for the first few days my dad on MC, Obi would linger around the house, as if trying to keep my dad company even though we know he always roams around the neighbourhood when my parents are at work.

5) Priority lanes for wheelchair-bound patients at the pharmacy sometimes wasn't really a priority. One time my parents went for the doctor's appointment and reached the pharmacy to retrieve some meds, the lady said no need to queue coz dad's on a wheelchair. In the end, the wait lasted longer than those in the queue.

6) Taraweeh and Ramadhan this year were different coz my parents couldn't break fast at the mosque like they used to, plus it's easier for dad to taraweeh at home.

Urghh maybe this fracture is a blessing in disguise, for verily with every hardship comes ease. In a way we're fortunate that no other broken bone was involved when dad fell. Also I learned a lot watching how my parents complete each other in their own special way.

To anyone reading this, can you please send in a little prayer so my dad can get back on his feet and to his own active self, marathon-running and all? Thank youuuuu we love you abah! Hang in there!







Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Freshies.

Assalamualaikum


Today as I walked down the hospital corridor, I passed by a few souls, clearly a newcomer in this harsh world of doctoring. Sparkly white coat, nametag on point, stethoscope around the neck, and above all, a face that screams "help me", "why'd I choose these path", "should I quit" on top of a skinny and exhausted physique, always running, as if chasing time and the unforgiving amount of never-ending workload. Yes, that was me 2 years ago when I first started as a first poster.

Looking back, sometimes it still knocks me into disbelief that I've eventually made it through. I rarely cried, but I gave in at one point after 5 days of tagging, I came home and cried and cried and cried into my husband's arms. The trigger point was simple; it was a patient's relative who scolded me for changing his father's medication dose (he thought he was a smart-ass and that change was not indicated). The breakdown was an accumulative effect; as a fresh doctor I faced a lot of bullying and verbal abuse that week from my superiors but I didn't cry until that one particular trigger. Funny when I looked back, I don't think I'd cry over the same reason now than I did last time.

My dad had to send me daily inspirational quotes to keep motivating me, he's cute like that.

Another time I broke down was in my 2nd year of housemanship. That was merely work-related, when I was at home with my parents and I received a call from a colleague. She questioned me on an unclerked patient presumably because she thinks I was trying to play truant by leaving work early and because she felt burdened by the workload I "purposely" left for her. She called and over the phone yelled at me so unprofessionally, I wanted to fight back but my eyes just welled up with tears of anger.

Imagine you've been doing your job diligently just tryna get through the day unharmed then somebody came along and said this shitty thing about you. It hurts. That day I learned that not everybody can work without being calculative. I became calculative towards her thereafter hahaha kidding

Working temporarily in my current department has made me realized how numb I have become to verbal abuse and sarcasm. If previously my day would be ruined by one simple scolding, now I can refer a case and get a verbal tell-off and can totally shake it off minutes after (although I would recall the story back to my husband with the same amount of annoyance). I realized that in Malaysia, our interdepartmental relationship are no joke. MO from Department A will tell off MO Department B for missing one tiny detail in his/ her referral and MO A would make a big deal out of it. I mean, come on, get over your ego. You're not the only expert in your field. If I get a dengue medical MO to induce and maintain ventilation in GA patient can she do it so perfectly? Seriously get over yourself.

What I'm trying to say is it's okay to break down and cry. Some of the thoughts that stop me from quitting housemanship are; 1) I felt like I've wasted 7 years of grueling medical studies just to leave it hanging halfway incomplete 2) I don't know what else to do other than doctoring, seriously 3) Families, they took so much pride in my job that it feels like a huge letdown if I stopped halfway.

It's been harsh these days, with the contract basis employment. I have a feeling that those malignant superiors will use this contract thingy as an excuse to abuse fresh housemen even more but that's okay, let them be. It'll be tougher but tough times don't last, tough people do.


Random postcall ramblings as usual!
Till then xx

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Housemanship: been there done that!

Assalamualaikum. Well hello 2017!


It's been an awfully long while. My last published post was almost a year ago. Actually there were many sudden blogging urge in between, but all of them were either written halfway incomplete or I was just too busy + lazy + tired to proofread and publish.

Oh well, not much happened in between then and now, except for the fact that
I CROSSED THE HOUSEMANSHIP FINISHING LINE UNSCATHED! *cue fireworks*
Alhamdulillah.

You know what they say, what doesn't kill you make you stronger.

Throughout these two years, a lot of things changed and sacrifices made. For instance:

1) Family gatherings. When there is a family function, at first people will ask our parents, "Where are Ika and Ali?".Then the question evolved into "Are they both at work?". Finally no more questions were asked because our absence to any events is by default. When we miraculously find time to attend, people would be surprised by our presence that the first question would be, "Both of you off today?"

2) Friend's weddings. We got married right after graduation so essentially most of our friends attended coz they were all mostly still unemployed. When our friends got married, we missed out on theirs coz we were both either working or our leaves were not enough to cover the travels. I know, it's pretty messed up. Invitations came at first, then it came lesser and lesser coz people stop putting hopes on you turning up.

3) Vocabulary. Oh my poor vocab. I barely read any books and blog these days. My English-speaking abilities has now jumped into the Manglish bandwagon. It's either "I oso dono worr", "he memang like dat wan","uncle u chuan bo" or "aunty vallikida". I know, we blended in pretty well. I can speak minimal 2-word hokkien and tamil now.

4) Health. We both put on unhealthy weight because of all the untimely late-night dinner and junk food. Mostly coz we think we deserved it after starving ourselves while serving the public. Maybe MOship is the time to get back in shape. Seriously guys, my 53 year-old dad's baseline heart rate is 50-55 coz he runs marathon and I get breathless after one freaking flight of stairs, NYHA class 3 right here!

And the list goes on forever.

May this be the start to the return of my blogging saga!
Will write more soon. A bit of word constipation secondary to blogging hiatus.


Till then!

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Scars.

Assalamualaikum.

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

Trapped.

Assalamualaikum.


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

Werkk.

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. :)