Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My Near-death Experience Part 2 - 48 hours post trauma

I walked away from the crash site after making sure that all my belongings were taken out and the tow truck safely pulled it out. making the police report was quick and the officers were being very kind to me as well.

i spent the rest of the day hobbling around the hospital as each step aggravated the glass cuts on the sole of both my feet. it wasn't a busy day and I couldn't get anyone to replace my work for it was a public holiday and too many people are out-station. Not only that, I know that the responsibility was on me to make sure that my patients are doing well and that I don't compromise my work standards and the patient care.

thus i was praying very hard for a good call and it was relatively good actually. i managed to rest and there wasn't much trouble in the wards. i was very touched by all the people calling and messaging me, asking about how i was doing and all the good messages on facebook.

the next morning i woke up to a very beautiful morning. the birds were singing so sweetly, the colours of nature so vibrant and the air felt so fresh and sweet. I resolve to be a much better daughter, sister, friend & doctor. Even with the bruises, cuts, minor sprains and PTSD flashbacks, I felt great about life. Thank you very very much for your prayer and good wishes.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My Near-death Experience Part 1

I thought I would lose my life yesterday in a car accident. I thought I wouldn’t be walking the face of earth and see the people I love and care about. Why?

Around 7.30 am on Monday morning, as I was driving back towards Diamond Cove, I over-steered on a bend on a slippery road (rained the whole night before) and before I knew what happened, I lost control of the car. My steering wheel started spinning on its own and my brakes didn't work.

This is the first time I experienced hydro-planing, the sensation of skidding and swerving without any control on puddles of water on an old, trunk road lined with a thin layer of water. I wasn’t going very fast by Malaysian standards but my little Myvi is probably too light for stability and thus I started spinning and the no matter how I tried to control the steering wheel, nothing seemed to work.

My mind went numb and I was in a shock. A few milliseconds later, my car hit the banks of the road and went into a ditch lined with soft grass. I thought the grass cushioned the impact and preserved me from further damage. I landed side-ways and was hanging in my seat with the left side of the car smashed in and all the side mirrors smashed.

My only thought at that time was that I must get out from the car. Trapped on all four sides, I tried the switches and the mirror actually rolled down. I switched off the engine and as passersby approached, they helped pulled me out of the wreckage.

I turned back and gasped at how my car looked. I could see the entire undercarriage as it landed partially on the roof. Some of the kind people helped to right the car so that I could take my things out as I called my friends for help. Some folks actually recognized me from the hospital as many people stopped by, some to offer good advice while others to take photographs of the incident and even of me shuddering by the roadside.

To be continued….

Sunday, December 28, 2008

My Utopia

The first word in my title : Dreams.

Dreams maketh the man and not the other way round. After an inspiring message from my senior pastor in the last Sunday service of 2008, I've moving towards a closure to the turbulent year of 2008. Coincidentally, my personal driving force seems to echo the ethos of Obama, the very Agent of Change. I believe that dreams drive a person on, insofar as changes to oneself and a nation urges us forward and gives us the practical and realistic impetus to act upon our lives.

I am a dreamer. I love to visualize and IMHO, without vision, would perish. Some people said that a planner might be too rigorous, too systematic in his or her life. I beg to differ..dreams offer a form of structure, a clear framework of the direction that we are taking. Of course we cannot have a tunnel-like vision but we should allow our dream to evolve, to take a broader and flexible shape as we mature in life. That's the beauty of the sermon that I heard today, the inspiration of today's blog entry.

I believe too that each of us can be an agent of change, hopefully for the better. Changes can sweep an individual, a community and even a nation. Changes move our spiritual, mental and physical inertia into fruitful energy. I detest inactivity unless the rest is purposeful. A purpose-driven life is one that brings about transformation all around our oikos (Greek for community).

The idea that each of us are destined for greater things and could be agents of change inspired me that we should not be contented to think of only what we can achieve today, but what we can achieve in the future. Tangible advancements in various civilizations shape the current world.Although individual heroes stood out throughout history, the mark of civilization is when the whole collective, united community reaches a golden era for that particular point in time.

That's why I visualize the the subsequent generations would define this current generation. Are we going to be the generation of selfish overachievers who grabs at every opportunity without a thought to the downtrodden, or a generation of magnanimous and noble people whereby in each heart resides a generous and tolerant spirit?

The greatest advantage of the information revolution is the way the current generation utilizes technology and information. This age of discovery heralds in many forms of excesses and crimes but if with the grace of God and people who could rise above mediocrity and self-absorption, I have great faith that we would leave a giant footprint in the history of mankind. We could help, inspire, motivate, encourage more inventions, good-will and love in an egalitarian society. Somehow grandiose aspirations but surely, something, somehow, somewhere, the goodness would reign again and hope prevails.

Lofty dreams ahead or realistic goals?

As 31st Dec draws nearer, most people will begin to think about their new year’s resolution. I have to admit that some of my previous 'wishful' resolutions revolved around falling in love properly, having cute kids, building a stable and successful career and becoming financially-free by 35 year-old. Very tame and soppy isn’t it?

Well, judging from what’s been happening year in and year out, I’ve decided to ditch all my previous resolutions out the window and revamped my entire wish list.

Here goes my proper resolution for 2009 (and what the heck, maybe the entire decade!). For the first time in my life, I could actually, possibly achieve some of it.

1. Run a half-marathon by mid-year without stopping and within decent time

2. Climb Mount Kilimanjaro within 2-3 years and then to Everest Base Camp

3. Become a surgeon (and probably a world-famous one not long after that)

4. Live as a missionary doctor in somewhere amazingly obscure

5. Stop procrastinating (and I am serious about it)

6. Take absolutely stunning photographs with my own dslr camera

7. Be less bossy AND definitely less of a perfectionist (hey, I’m still a nice person)

8. Travel around the world on a back-pack and my saxophone

9.Take good care of my parents and siblings (life-time goal actually)

10. Produce, write and sing/play on my own album (preferably jazz-themed)

So, all the best in your new year resolutions!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Getting into the Spirit..another community message from yours truly

It's the time of the year again. We know it's almost the end of the year when:

1. the lights and trees are all up
2. numerous malls and street decor with non-specific themes
3. the people all rushing to buy gifts for one another
4. massive queues near ATMs (to coincide with the year-end bonus)

Yeah, Christmas-time is here and we could really feel the atmosphere chilling down to tropical 'winter wonderlands'

Judging at how warm our country is, the closest we get to winter are the massive shopping malls and offices. After all, people dress up very warmly to work just because the air-cond are on full blast. One of my Christmas wish list is that we go back to environment conservation and work towards reducing the need of air-cond in buildings or cooling down buildings using renewable energy like solar power, etc, etc...

Another item on my wish list is the use of plastic bag in our community..or rather advocating the use of reusable bags like paper bags, rattan bags, cloth bags, etc in shopping. If each of us bring our own bags when we go shopping, i think we will go a long way in this aspect. After all, each plastic bag is very harmful to the environment and dangerous to marine creatures. So be nice to nature, bring your own bag out and say no when the salesperson hand you a plastic bag k?

Another amazing thing is the profusion of Christmas decor all over Malaysia and Singapore. I am not sure about other capital cities but this is quite confusing to a lot of people who don't celebrate Christmas. I know the decorations are really wonderful and they do bring about the atmosphere but how about the true meaning of Christmas? Anyway, I appreciate all the hard work and creativity that go about in setting up the scenes..they are truly ingenious work of art and I appreciate and applaud them. It's just that sometimes I wish a few scenes from the Bible are included in the Christmas decor so that we are reminded of the true Meaning.

If not, pretty soon, people will forget that Christmas is one of the holiest season in the calendar, commemorating the birth of our Saviour and reminding us that we are forgiven and beloved. It is a season of love, forgiveness, peace and good-will.

Anyway, God bless all of you in the special season and may love, forgiveness and peace prevails!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Island getaway 2

The moment I typed fish spa in google, I found that there are actually more blogsites with post on fish spa rather than the actual description of the spa itself. I wonder what makes people pay good money for animals to suck, erm, I mean nibble, erm, I mean, peck parts of their body in public. Lotsa people in Malaysia and Singapore seems to eagerly and joyously experience this thingy at least once.

So it came as a surprise to myself as I willingly surrendered one of the most ticklish part of my body to Dr Fish (not a colleague of mine), also known as Garra Rufa fish that hails from Turkey. I mean, if Dr Fish is a hot bloke from Turkey, I think I will be much more obliging to the 'mini-torture session' but I convinced myself that once I parted with the cash, I know I will go through it no matter what..die, die must try.

By the way, judging at how hairy these pair of legs were, they are definitely not mine. Anyway, the Kenko Fish Spa @ Gurney Plaza was a cool place with plenty of customers waiting to feed the fish. In the natural biological world, there are many for example, the female praying mantis apparently kill the male praying mantis during or before sex and so on. In Turkey, they discovered that the Garra Fura fish loves feeding on dead skin and so they become the new form of 'in' thing in the fickle world of beauty wor.

Firstly, we start with the warm up pool at the entrance. The fish here are smaller, thus milder in their feeding habits. They served as a warm-up tool for us in order to endure the 30 mins of tickling. After all, we want to indulge in the 'skin-smoothening' pool, i.e. the real deal asap.

Some people, like my lovely friend, here are more ticklish than others and she nearly died from laughters. Literally. In fact, she was laughing so much that she induced the three of us, not-so-ticklish people to laugh as well. I personally find that this place is pretty therapeutic to the emotional self as people destress a lot when they laugh..and releases a lot of happy endorphins into their bloodstream, thus feeling a rush of happy emotions.

Have someone forgotten the joke? You can see people happily chatting, drinking tea, reading newspapers and cheating (yes, PS, we can see you lifting your feet away from the pool)...

Then we graduated to the big-fish pool..the ones with the biggest fish that proves to be most efficient and exfoliative. This one PS gave a miss so that she didn't get diaphragmatic cramps. Yeah, apparently non-stop laughter can give u that. At least, Michelle, Sany and I managed to keep the laughters down and continued with the therapy.

Anyhow, this is how we began and ended the fish spa experience. Cleaning up the calves and feet. Hhhmm...I wonder if any of us will be up for a full-body experience eh? Definitely not PS!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Island getaway 1

Disclaimer : My life through my blog is not indicative of my actual 7-5 job (or 7-7 sometimes). Although it might seems to people that all I do is travel, haf fun and take pictures...I do work for a living and help save human lives. Thank you for your attention :-)

Anyway, on one clear weekend, three weird doctors decided that its time to escape to a nearby island and smell the sea breeze. Therefore, since i was supposed to go to the northern region for a conference, we decided to stop by Penang for a visit.

Happy civil servants who are so 'patriotic' decided to do our country a favour by doing a 'cuti-cuti Malaysia' and help drive the economy by doing what we do and eating! And so physical exertion at times.

We decided to combine the best of both worlds by climbing 5km up a steep hill (unsurprisingly called Penang Hill) for the best breakfast this side of Penang...David Brown's Strawberry Hill.

This seems to be a very posh, private place as the cable car was not opened yet (btw, it is just reopened recently so couch potatoes can zoom straight up to the hill) and we dined in peace, surrounded by water lilies, roses, begonias and not much of insects (strangely so)

we were the only ones taking breakfast that morning..but it was a very beautiful day. the birds were chirping and the flowers were blooming brightly.

i was busy admiring and capturing the flowers on my camera too while contemplating on the wonders of God..His amazing creations.

Anyway, we made it up in 1 piece other than the fact i was so hypoglycaemic that i took Vico powder like as if its power gel. and so painfully slow that i was hating myself. literally. aiseh. Also remember the fact that it was so early, I wore my most ah-mah shorts and ended up not very happy with myself. Nvm, lessons learnt.

at least we discovered that landslides happen everywhere in Malaysia, even in a forest reserve in Penang. darn, we are so bad at environment management. Al Gore, where art thou?

More tales coming up next on different adventures in Penang and then back in KL, my beloved hometown.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Cosmopolitan Adventure Part 2

Aaaaaargh..couldn’t stop the bloody alarm clock from ringing as I roused myself from my deep REM sleep and looked thunderously around at a unfamiliar surrounding. Oh God, why did I promise my friends that I will be at the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2008 as a Singinspirator?

You see, I was the designated 'number 1 supporter' for my 3 other friends running in the Singapore International Marathon due to my tardiness in signing up. Thus, I woke up darn early on a public holiday after playing with my extremely naughty nieces and nephews who were jumping around me (and on me....ouch u bet it hurts when a 2 year-old precocious little girl fling herself onto your tummy!) the entire night before. I took a bus to the MRT station grumpily as the whole nation seem to be headed to the Padang for the race....everyone seemed to be so fit, especially the running uncles and aunties.

The crowd was pretty humongous by the time I arrive. At least it was already daybreak, I hung around where all the good food were and collected my supporter’s kit. It was so cool right? I even saw this huge shoe which could probably fit 10 of me!

Anyhow, I waited in front of the finishing line to cheer my friends but unfortunately, I couldn’t catch any of them. It was so totally jam-packed with the human race. The funny deejay was busy commenting on the runners, some half-naked while others were very skimpily dressed. I thought I saw a girl in bikini and another with bunny ears. Hahaha…

Alls well that ends well as both my friends ran their personal best in the best-organized race of the year..making me a teeny weeny envious as I didn’t run. I quickly banished that feeling as was too busy snapping up pictures of cute runners with hot bods (wink, wink)...After the race, we walked around town and freshened up to go for another run of eating and drinking along the Orchard Rd area.

I had one of the best meals in the year 2008 (besides the cheap and delicious seafood meal at Hutan Melintang..that was awesome too) at the Waraku Jap restaurant with the Subang Jaya gang. It was superb as we chowed ravenously on high-quality Japanese food, which was my all-time favourite.

Not only that, found the coolest, most happening hip watering holes this side of the Causeway at Clarkes’ Quay and managed to finish my mug of cold beer at the microbrewery. I wished we went into Zouk or something like that, but we were all too tired from the day’s exertion. I could see that my triumphant running mates were almost asleep by the time we downed the beer. Well, I am sure that there is always another excuse to hang out at Clarkes’ Quay!

Coming up next, chronicles of the buns of steel discovered at Penang!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Cosmopolitan Adventure Part 1

Last weekend, I was having a great time in the city down of the most globalized city in the world. Singapore is quite fun to explore on foot and with a few extremely fun and hospitable friends around, we had a great time there.

PS and I traveled separately on different buses as we bought the tickets on separate occasions all thanks to my ‘superb’ organizational skills (or the lack of it!). It was clear all the way but the moment I crossed the straits…boom, lightning struck and rain started falling. Ah, what a wonderful start isn’t it? Darn…

After a long queue at the Immigation, we were off to drop my things and then met up with my dearest pal at the shrine to commercialism, Orchard Road. PS and I walked around in awe of the massive street d├ęcor while trying to locate our other friends, CS & WM (otherwise known collectively as the Running Guys).

The Running Guys were hanging around the same area waiting for the late girls (us) while people-watching. I think it was a fruitful season for them as many people (i.e. girls) were in minimal amount of clothing due to the hot weather (it stopped raining for a while but since when does a few drops of water comes in between girls and fashion?)

We spent the whole afternoon and evening alternating between filling our stomach with a lot of drinks and walking around the city centre. Of course we stopped by the Esplanade to view the beautiful roof and the marina bay area which was packed with cranes and construction set. Yup, the Merlion was surrounded by machinery in preparation for the upcoming casino in town, thus we weren’t that interested in staying along (other than the fact that we were totally famished again) Time for carbo-loading before the race!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Things we doctors find inside the human body

The human body contains many orifices. Certain ‘adventurous’ people do go off-tangent and occasionally they decide to insert various objects into their body parts. As I deal with the gut a lot, obviously we have to extract things stuck in the lower throat, oesophagus, rectum and the anus. Anything other than those areas, we have to wait and see..nature will expel a lot of objects as long as it can pass into a few constrictions in the gut.

We were chatting about the number of times we were called to remove things stuck and so far, a lot of notable patients came to mind. Over the past 2 years here, let me recall the few interesting incidents.

Patient number 1 came in with pain in his ass and previous history of schizophrenia. We brought him to the theatre and lo and behold, we found oranges, lemons and apples in his rectum. Now we know how he likes his fruits huh? Up his rear end!

Patient number 2 is a lady who came with bleeding from her urethra (urinary tract). We scanned and investigated her but could’t find anything wrong. After putting a scope up her urethra, guess what? We found the plastic cover of an eyeliner. Apparently, the patient ‘sat’ on her eyeliner cover and conveniently ‘forgot’ about it. All’s well that ends well as she left the hospital with no inanimate objects in her bladder!

The most recent event involved an elderly gentleman (in his seventies) who came with pain and bleeding from his anus. An X-ray showed a remarkably long and tubular object (around 25cm long) lodged in his rectum. I tried my best to stop laughing when we realized that it was a ‘toy’ stuffed up his rectum..yup, uncle went to Thailand and bought a dildo. Next thing he knows, he lose hold of the ‘slippery’ object while enjoying himself and the thing went in deeply into his rectum. When we asked why he inserted the dil— into his rectum, he said it helped him to pass motion.

As usual, Ms-aspiring surgeon was on-call and I tried to remove it in the OT but it was almost impossible as the did— slipped even deeper into the bowels the more we try to maneuver the long object out. It took us another day of waiting so that the bowel peristalsis pushed down the object and in the end, we managed to extract it with a lot effort, team-work and coordination.

In conclusion, a piece of friendly advice from the doctor : If you cannot resist inserting any foreign object into your body, do tie a strong string around it! The gesture is much appreciated :-P