Friday, July 11, 2008

Wanderlust reactivated

My German is limited but I have one favourite word derived from the strong Teutonic language. 'Wanderlust' : A strong impulse to travel. An irresistible urge to see new places. I have been struck with this feeling over and over again in various stages in my life.

From my sojourns in England, Scotland, Ireland, Holland, Germany, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Italy to Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia, I've yet to see and experience enough of this wonderful planet.

Of course, my financial state has a big say on where I want to spread my wings. With the current global oil prices, I have resorted to domestic travels on many occassions and I would say that our beloved land is wonderful on her own accord too.

The furthest I could go was in the Land below the Winds and I would say that it was a blessed and amazing trip. There is so much more to explore in Sabah, especially since I am a diver. Everyone has heard of the amazing Sipadan, Layang-layang and Mataking islands and I have yet to explore these idyllic splendours.

There is also a recent obsession with physical activity. As I am not getting younger with each passing year, I figure that I need to be more active as I add more years to the calendar. My sudden interests in running, rollerblading and hiking surprised myself even. Being a normally sport-reticent girl, I could not believe my tiny frame could do all those things (sometimes all at once). So it proves that if I could do it, so can anyone else!!

My next competitive run will be at the Shape 2008 at end August and I really look forward to a better timing. I choose to believe that since Olympics 2008 will be held in China, as part of the Chinese diaspora, I would like to activate my life and reach some form of physical peak before I start to deteriorate and gain more cellulite!!

Recently, I appeared in the mainstream newspaper..all for a good reason of course. My blog was happily featured in the Malay Mail. Of course I was elated and so many people teased me about my sudden 'fame'. I have this serious delusion that I will be getting like 100 hits per day and will soon start to gain a giant cyberspace audience. However, I was brought sharply down to earth again when my hits plummeted to a dismally low figure the very next week. So it was the perfect proof of the saying 'pride goes before a fall'. Taught me a humble lesson not to have 'great expectations'.

With my Dickensian aspirations gone, I was also humbled by a few breaking down gadgets. For the past few weeks, found out that my computer has totally misbehaved. I couldn't check certain mails or upload any blogs at home. Today I manage to do this because I came back to KL and am using someone else's computer. I felt that it's because I began to use NOD32 as AVG is no longer free. Anyone experiencing the same prob with certain antiviruses?

Personal note...time to tell stories from my encounters with patients again. There was this old Malay auntie who is in her late sixties. Initially, she was admitted to the medical ward for sepsis..which is widespread infection involving the blood. Everyone felt very sorry for her as there was no relatives or friends with her. She is totally visually-impaired and very thin. She couldn't fully communicate with us as her speech is slurred from a stroke 2 years ago. She was like a toddler, fully dependent on her carers and yet obviously, her carers have deserted her.

The first time I saw her, she was groaning in pain as I moved her to see the gluteal abscess (large boil in her buttocks) which may need some operation. I suspected something was terribly wrong as her left thigh was deformed. There seem to be 2 segments to her thigh and it struck me that it could be a fracture of the femur that was neglected.

As her abscess grew larger but her medical condition improved slightly, my team decided to take over the management and transferred her to my ward. There we found that the reason she was crying so much was because of a non-union fracture of femur therefore her thigh was swinging about each time we moved her for dressing and so on. We have to create a stoma (diversion of faeces to the abdomen wall by putting the colon outside it) so that faecal material doesn't contaminate her buttock wound and many bedsores.

Her condition was further complicated with a lice infestation (while in ward) and severe anemia due to GI bleeding and low albumin due to poor nutrition. After intensive feeding via IV lines (parenteral nutrition), she improved and we discharged her back to nursing home last week.

Guess what? Today she came back as she vomited blood in the nursing home and her wound became all dirty. She was still unable to walk due to the non-healing fracture and she was in sepsis again. Why do I want to share this story? Sometimes I wonder with so much of technology and affluence in the society, what happened to filial piety and love? Where are her children and family members? Why are we neglecting our fellow citizens and fight other people's 'war'?

As I write this entry and ponder upon life, I guess sometimes I am also guilty of neglecting and ignoring people that need me, especially the older folks. So this is in tribute for all those old aunties and uncles in the nursing homes and geriatric wards and especially for geriatricians who care for them. You, the 'warga emas', are indeed admirable, lovely people and we from the younger generation should learn to appreciate and care for you. Old is indeed gold :-)

1 comment:

me said...

Lynette Loo- wat toking you...getting older it seems

you could have travelled the world in 80 days and i'm sure we won't be able to stop you from telling us your stories for the next 80 days without taking abreak! you've got so much of evergy in you- that's y u r known as the cilipadi right!