Saturday, March 27, 2010

Old soul, young heart : A blog created during Earth Hour 2010

Before I forget : Happy Earth Hour 2010! Just a short reminder that we're all part of planet Earth and let's do our part in making this world a happier, greener place :-)

Getting on to the blogging business. Ever wonder how I come up with my blog titles? It's usually during the funniest hours of the day, you know, when I am climbing the stairs to my humble abode, or while waiting for the MRT or while brushing my teeth. Inspiration comes from the unlikeliest places. Btw, this typing in the dark is very interesting and amusing, not to mention, very cooling too hehehe

The past few years in medicine has aged my soul a lot. Of course I'd like to think that I've remained as cute, young-looking and young-at-heart as ever (Forever 21 perhaps? hahaha) but the crux of the story is that...we've truly seen a lot as we deal with all types of human beings throughout our practice.

Abandonment of the elderly, neglect of babies and children, abuse, betrayal, depravity, tragedy, downright misfortune, hunger, extreme obesity, demanding and needy people, humour, pure joy, hope, gratitude...we are indeed bystanders and witnesses to the most pivotal moment of many lives. This year marks a decade in medicine for me (since I've entered medical school) and yet I've not lost the passion for this vocation. In fact, I love my job more and more each day, as time goes by. I look forward to work each morning for I count it an honour and blessing to directly influence the health and wellbeing of many people.

Of course there are times where I regret making certain decisions but I choose to stand by my conscience and maintain that I've always tried my best. I recognize that my best might not be enough in certain situations. At times, I needed help from somebody and I'm glad I did. This gladdens and humbles my heart, knowing that patient care is of my utmost priority.

Therefore I thank God that amidst all the good and bad, He is there shining His light upon my life. As Good Friday and Easter Sunday approaches, I was blessed with sermons on forgiveness and redemption, based on the festivals of Atonement and Passover. Redemption and restoration came in joyful, enlightening waves as I became more and more patient in understanding that ground-breaking events in my life will definitely unfold in miraculous timing. Along the way, I cross my fingers and pray that my type A personality is being melted away as I develop hitherto unknown character traits (patience, fortitude, moderation and gentleness).

So, even as my soul ages because of external circumstances, I know that continuous inner healing, flowing from the fountain of everlasting peace, will replenish this young heart. Have a good (and dark) night :-)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Global Appreciation Week

Recently, I discovered that I was blessed with an inordinate amount of time on my own, bringing back flashbacks of my teenage days (it was not THAT long ago). The extrovert somehow became slightly introverted. So, what do I do in lieu of a social life in Singapore? I read, read and read. I think I might have gobbled up at least 5-6 books this month alone due to my insatiable hunger for good non-fiction and fiction books alike.

Although this post is mostly about my life last week, it is also interspersed with tales of my 3D adventure in Wonderland, a new good friend and intermittent indulgement in my comfort food (Japanese cuisine).

First stop: Germany. Now, many of us may not realize it but NUH seems to house a big number of German and Spanish students lately. Besides being tall, beautiful, polite and intelligent, the German girls are extremely nice and talented. So, being free and bored, I’ve decided to act as mini-tourist guide to my new friends occasionally. One of the highlight last week was watching Alice in Wonderland with AG, GL and a few nice Filipino nurses from NUH.

I love the show! The ensemble cast is awesome and the whole cinematography so well-designed. AG and I were late (ran all the way from City Hall to Marina Square squeezing past the throng of crowd heading towards the IT fair at Suntec) for about 10 mins on a day that I almost became agoraphobic. By gosh, the amount of people in this area is beyond description! The quiet, dark cinema is indeed a huge relief as we got lost in Wonderland. Tim Burton and Johnny Depp rock!

Next stop : Japan. Once show’s over, I was pretty ravenous. I am glad that AG is so super-keen on Jap food. We tried the Ministry of Food at Marina Square and I absolutely loved their many, many choices of set dinners. My set has salmon, unagi and tofu while AG ordered shabu shabu. D, R and G also enjoyed their set meals immensely.

In between waiting for food, we were again sucked into the whole of iPhone. Once fallen into the wonderful world of Singapore’s National Phone, most people seemed to be pretty hooked, including yours truly. I loved it when I could check my mail on the go, read free books and search for medical info anytime, anywhere. I love my little gadget J

Final stop: United States of America. The best part of the week was spending time 'dissecting' the mind of my favourite author. In case you wonder who was my role model while I was growing up, the person I quote the most would be : Dr Benjamin Carson, paediatric neurosurgeon at John Hopkins. When I was 15, I read his book : Think Big, followed by Gifted Hands a year after that. These two books changed my life completely and inspired me to become a surgeon. I went into medical student with two strong convictions in my heart: surgeon and missionary doctor.

A few weeks ago, I purchased Outlier by Malcolm Gladwell followed by Take the Risk by Benjamin Carson. From the first book, I realized that the greatest people are not only born at the right place, right time and in the right circumstances, but to add to that, greatness also comes with extremely hard work, talent and dedication. From the second book, I understood how determination, prayer and intelligent risk-taking come into play. Dr BC used the B/WA approach to life, even in the field of neurosurgery and this simple yet powerful technique fascinated me a lot.

Upon reaching the last chapter of this lovingly-crafted, honest, succinct and absorbing masterpiece, I was imbued with a sense of hope, empowerment and encouragement. I know God loves me so much and that I am here for a chronos time : to be a trailblazer, to open up a path for others in my situation/origin to follow.

We must be willing to take calculated risks after analyzing the best/worst outcomes of each decision. Currently, I no longer consider each challenge as a setback but instead with God with me, I’d turn it into victorious, learning opportunities. Therefore, I’ve decided to harness the adventurous, enthusiastic spirit in me and would not hesitate in embarking on the unbeaten trail. Oh, I can’t wait for the next step in this exciting journey towards fulfilling my vision!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Apple craze rages on

I've been back in Sing for 2 weeks and it has been non-stop action. There is just no lack of activity in this place. Seriously, aside from one good restful Sunday, I've been clocking in on average 5-6 hours of sleep per day. Panda-eye syndrome aside, my current mantra is : when things hit rock bottom, the only way is up so boing, boing, boing....

Most importantly, I've made my biggest splurge this year, just 3 months into 2010. It's not like I'm a shopaholic right (wink, wink)...been justifying to myself that my previous phone is more than 3 year-old and in short, I succumbed to 'peer pressure'...yup, I've gotten myself an iPhone 3GS from the Singtel roadshow in my hospital. More facebooking, msn-ing, twitter-ing and blogging huh?

I can tell u that these Apple apps are truly addictive. I don't know what they put into those tiny, cutesy software programs but once we downloaded a few of the adorable games, we just crave for more. At least I'm still way too busy thus I don't reali spend hours nursing my favourite gadget. Yet.

The funniest thing is that I keep on telling myself that I need to run/jog/swim again but this whole month of February has been.....uh...uninspiring (sports-wise). I keep on promising myself that I MUST run (tomorrow), that the weather is too hot (today) and the books I've hoarded are way too tempting, literally begging me to read them (right now). Heatwave or not, life goes on so I SHALL find a way to run. Soon. Yeah.