Saturday, October 30, 2010

The precious 36 hours

Around this time last week, I was at my utmost glee of the highest dose of ecstasy – I was home (finally after 390 days).

Although I only spent approximately 36 hours to breathe the darling air of Malaysia, I am so thankful to be blessed with a chance to escape from here, from the nerve-racking life of a doctor-in-the-making, working in wretched. It was the most pleasing 36 hours following the 9360 dreadful ones.

That Friday afternoon, amid the hefty feeling of leaving the ophthalmology department (I ought to blog about the wonderful one month later), I hurried back home to start packing and dash to the airport. I finally got the jumpy feeling that has long been abandoned

"I'm going home" as I thought to myself.

Disembarking Malaysia right on time. As usual, I had quite a long chat with papa as he drove along the way home. Right after I reached home, I jumped on the bed where mama was still awake, reading – I had been waiting for that moment to hug and kiss her. Still snugging myself in her bed, we had a long chat about my never-ending-story.

Home sweet home…

my house itself is never failed to surprise me – especially the Unify 5Mbps internet speed! Ya Allah, memang I jadi jakun macam katak keluar dari bawah tempurung sekejap. LAJUUU babe! Tengok video takdenye nak buffering2, takyah nak tunggu2 terus siap, nak kelip mata sekejap pon tak sempat. Agaknya kalau tambah lagi skit speed internet tu memang kena surfing sambil pakai helmet. The gist took me hours til I finally got off my bed (as I was surfing the internet from my iPhone and lying on the bed) to bathe and get ready to sleep. To almost dawn, after a reviving hot shower, in an air-conditioned room, contentedly tuck my head on double goose-feathers pillows, and neatly wrapped my wear off body in a comforter beside my drooling sister Nawal, I bid good night to my lucky self.

The morning I woke up early, so I could catch more time to spend with my love ones. I got a little confused of what to wear that morning since I parted with my wardrobe for more than a year already. I picked up a long sleeveless rainbow-combination dress – where the hell did this dress came from?

"tu Along punya, dia bagi sebab dia dah tanak" said mama.

Okay, pakai baju ni! Then I followed mama and papa to Carrefour for some groceries. Holy brilliant! Standing ovation applause to the Carrefour management for their effort to save the environment, they don't provide plastic bags, instead used cardboard boxes, but mama bought her own huge shopping bags. After Carrefour, papa dropped us at the SS15 wet market. Ok bagus, masuk pasar pagi2 pakai dress warna warni, sungguh ceria! Nasib baik I ingat lagi cakap Melayu... walaupun masa dekat Carrefour ada tersasul cakap Indon dengan abang India yang timbang tomato, pastu buat2 bodoh and terus cabut bersama tomato.

"Pakcik, daun kesom ada?"

"Tapai ni berapa ringgit makcik?"

Baking with mom
Potato pie
Mama's signature mihun singapore
After pasar, we went for breakfast at the warung in SS19. I had both roti telur and nasi lemak, and teh ais. Yay, happy hajat untuk makan roti canai termakbul. Right then, mama ordered the pakcik to make me 20 pieces of roti canai segera to bring back to Indon. Yay, happy lagi!

Anak-anak papa + cucu papa + Ilman
Ice-cream make over (Bil, Naufal & Nawal)
At home, I spent the whole afternoon in the kitchen with mama. Preparing so much food (which at first I had no idea why she wanted to cook so many kinds of food), she first made a potato pie with minced chicken and macaroni, then her signature mee hoon Singapore, I must say that mama is truly Singapore-born, she made the World's most luscious mee hoon Singapore ever, ever, like EVER! And then we bake muffins too! Yeah, mama loves baking – cakes, cookies, pastries, you name it!
Najat, Bil, Adam
The evening, we went to Along's house. I was so excited about meeting my darling nephew Aaron Adam for the first time. He is the cutest thing on Earth! I never imagined Angah could produce that kinda adorable thing out of her tummy! Oh yea, without any idea, they actually held an October-fest at Along's – no wonder mama cooked so much. I was so not looking forward for it as I was supposed to have a more important date with a more important person that night. It didn't surprise me people! However, the party was cool, I got to meet half of the family members at the short of time, especially Mak and the aunties.

After party, I insist to meet Zhafri, eventhough it was already almost midnight. Don't you guys know that Zhafri is the 4th person in my MUST-meet people, after Mama, Papa and Adam? I even told papa that I want to meet him that night that I didn't even want to go to Along's in the first place. Thank God I have the coolest parents on Earth, they still allowed me to go out that night, and Abang Dd my brother-in-law being so kind to drop me to Zhaf on his way home. Yayyy sangat sangat sangat happy x 1000! *smiling ear-to-ear* (senyum je sebab kalau melompat-lompat kegumbiraan nanti mama marah sebab gatal sangat).
Mi Ciccino
Finally, meeting my Ciccino after 8 months of only virtually dating. He is cuter, he grows cuter by time! His smile is the miles longer than the Nile River. Okay cukup memuji kekasih sendiri, nanti dia kembang pula. One of (another) contentment was that I finally got to meet The Yan's. I've been hearing a lot about Yan (the best friend) and his wife Nurul and their adorable daughter Mia from Zhaf. Although it was only for a brief of time, I'm still glad.
Najat, Bil, Adam & Nawal
Fast forward to the next morning, I sipped the hot tea at home for breakfast. Rumah I memang best, air teh pon sedap! Semacam je rasa, macam lychee ke? Peach ke? Wangi macam rose, apa2 pun, home is next to heaven. I woke up to one happy family – since Adam slept over our house that night, I ran down into his room to catch his bucuk smell in the morning, meanwhile mama was busy cooking asam pedas, while papa was busy updating my laptop, the kids were doing their own stuff upstairs, and Wawa was nerd-ly studying (get a life!).

Zhafri pick me up to the airport after lunch. He dropped me at Mak's for a while so I could bid goodbye to my cute grandma and Mak Su. At the airport, we got some chocolates and a couple of coffee before I depart back to Indonesia.
See you again darling :'(
So, that's quite a bit of last weekends. Malaysia, home, family and Zhafri, in 36 hours *hearts*


Friday, October 29, 2010

Old folks

As typically a girl can be, I put my favourite things in a list – pink, furry, glittery, rainbow combination, blings, butterflies, jewelries, hair accessories, shoes, soft toys, beanie babies, babies, perfumes, and… old folks.

I have a thing for old men, some attraction, something about them that fascinate me. I realized that old men are charming in their own way, cute and adorable. Just like babies – delicate, sensitive, feeble, helpless, and they speak of deceasing IQ that constantly sniggers me. It's just that old men come with precious experiences and loads of wrinkles, which babies have none. I mean, old folks, not necessarily men, but women as well.

Last week, upon meeting Mak (my grandmother) I realized that she grew cuter by time. Her subtle smile puts her wrinkles into finer lines which blunder for a pair of tiny dimples below the corner of her eyes. Her cheeks are still firm slightly above the cheek bones when she grins, and when she speaks, her soft voice makes everyone heeds to hear. Just like how parents are excited to hear their baby's first word.
Mak and I (October 2010)
Old men however never fail to make a reminiscent of how arwah atok was like. Especially when the old men walk with their little grandchildren, always envy me! I cannot recall any of my childhood memory without the picture of atok in it. Arwah atok was never out of my sight and was always around me for my entire life since I was born, til his decease when I was 15 – then was the greatest flood of tears I've ever had in my entire life.

Well, back to the old folks story. I first realized that I had 'old folks' in my list of favourite things perhaps during my clinical attachment in HKL years back. Since I was a tagging student and nothing much I to do in the hospital, I prefer to sit by old patients as they always have a lot of stories to tell. Yes, the 'grandmother story', but I find their stories motivating, encouraging and full of first-hand experienced (some are saddening though). Having some old folks around make me feel ease or some how comfortable. Even their smell is soothing, just like how babies smell like.

There was a time when I came across thinking of becoming a geriatrician, or perhaps a physiotherapist where I can work with most geriatric patients. If I knew I would love to toil with old people, I would have had accepted the offer for physiotherapy course in UiTM years back before I went into medical school – wait, no, I wouldn't!
Anyways, I have cancelled the plan. I just don't see myself that persevering to endure my patience to that limit (maybe someday I'd just help around at the Rumah Orang Tua like that…). Then I came back to stick to my childhood dreams once again which was to become a pediatrician.

And then again… Since last 2 months, I have put that childhood dream of mine as just a dream, because I don't think I want to become a pediatrician anymore.

I am so firmed that I already told mama about it! Well, as how papa always describe me as

"kalau dia nak, dia tak kesah orang susah ke senang, dia nakkk jugak",

but this time Bil dah tak nak, for once I can cancel my dreams just like how I cancelled my dream of marrying Taylor Hanson – boo me loser! (at least I move on). Ok, apa dah merepek sampai cerita tok kaduk zaman Taylor Hanson plak nih? (!@#*$*^

I was supposed to write on my experience during my Pediatric Department posting here… but since it was too sucky, maybe next time!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Surgery comes to an end...

Bismillahi rahmanirahim…
Ok, let’s get started. No, I’m not going to write something like ‘it’s be ages since I last blogged *cry out loud*’, yes for crying out loud, it is obvious! So, no, not going to mention that on my epilogue this time.

There are redundant of events and matters occurrence during my last few months of blog-less. Too many to write, too many to tell, too hurt to remember, too sorry to be forgotten, too little to be kept and what matters is I was too busy to blog.

To start from where I stopped. Sounds like a real devastation to have failed my surgery pre-test uh? It was a big deal, but seems like almost 80% of those who have gone through the surgery department didn’t absolutely pass every exam, and consequently have to repeat at least one division. I’m not alone! Haha. Conversely, surgery department is the best major department (I must say). Am I into surgery? Yes, maybe.
First day - DONE
14 days - DONE
The best part of my surgery posting was the 2 weeks of internship. Everyone would have imagined of nightmares and themselves turning into zombies whenever they heard the word ‘internship’. It wasn’t that bad people, it was great indeed, trust me! Who said interns don’t get enough sleep? How much is ‘enough’ when you’re dealing with patients in their battle of life? Who said interns don’t get to bathe? I bathed twice a day and I even get to go to the saloon during my 8-hour hiatus. Now, let me tell you what me as a surgery intern got during my 2 weeks of being refugee in the hospital…

1.    1.  When the A & E (accident & emergency) is flooded with traumatic patients, the hall is horde with trolleys/beds that left the doctors with no space to run, so we literally had a little but quick brain game – to map out our way to avoid ‘cross-roads’ or stump upon vomits or blood on the floor.

2.     2. After inserting catheters into countless of urethras, I am now good at holding penises to semi-erection and distinguishing vaginas and urethras by locating the clitoris first.

3.     3.Inserting NGT (naso-gastro-tube) is no more a big deal. After getting the patient’s consent and prepared with all the procedure, all we have to tell the patient is

“Pas dirasak no sela ne nang tenggorokan, di-lek pak ngih? di-lek! Di lek pak! Di lek!” (agaknya kalau patient tu mat salleh, kita kena ajar dia pakai English and it’ll sound something like “when you feel the tube is already at your throat, just swallow okay sir? Swallow! Swallow sir!”)

and keep on pushing the tube through his nose into his throat until his stomach, and at the same time to encourage him to swallow

“di lek pak! Di lek! Ayo, di lek! Ya pinter, di lek lagi, ayo pak!” (again, if patient tu mat salleh, kita akan bagi dia semangat untuk menelan “swallow! Come on sir, swallow! Yes good, swallow again, come on sir!”)
Raw piece.
In progress.
4.    4.   Hecting / suturing / sewing is however my all time favourite! My first procedure was on a patient’s foot where he got skinned in a bizarre stellar shape. It was like connecting puzzle pieces and sew them back into a piece. The resident came to checked out my work and said

“dasar cewek! Hecting-nya rapi puol!” (“Typical girl, very neat suture”)

and of course I take that as a compliment. And that actually permitted me to start sewing on more delicate skins e.g face.

5.      5. Since we have orthopedics in our hospital, and the residents are not so affable to the interns or probably they are more independent, interns don’t get the chance for casting (you know, putting the bulky white cement on broken arms or legs…)

6.     6. I encounter bloods and broken bones with a straight face. I never thought I would react as such. It is no “Whoaaa” or ‘Aaaa!! Whattha?!” anymore

7.      7. I especially got irritated when they don't prepare the right size of glove. My hands are big I know... I need extra latex to cover them up.
I did a few lipoma excisions. (read my glove size)
 8. Besides smokers, rempits and reckless drivers are next in my hate list! Idiots! You guys should have thought of the people in the hospital who are trying to get some rest at night. We prefer to be served coffee rather than your bloody heads.

The next best thing about surgery are the residents and angelic nurses (at the ICU). Although some are snob, but most of them are helpful, friendly, approachable and just nice. I find myself still talking and never missed to say hi whenever we bump into each other along the aisle in the hospital or at the A & E or at the cafeteria or just anywhere. They ethically make good human relation.

Observing surgical procedures are one of my favourite part too. Awesomeness!
Surgeon-come-carpenter during cranioplasty

However, this is the part which is most probably will hold me back from becoming a surgeon. First, I don’t like to put on the green scrubs, so not sexy! Second, I don’t like the hectic working hour because I don’t think I’d like to wake up in the middle of the night to cut off someone’s scrotum to untwist the twisted duct at their testicles. Thirdly, I don’t like the unsociable cold life in the operation theater.

Thus, there was a bit on my surgery posting. Two months is too short, but I just had enough. After all, I rate this posting 7 ½  out of 10. The 2 ½ points were taken by my frustration of failing the inhumane pre-test results, and the ridiculous ‘absen malam’.
Sila sengetkan kepala anda
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