Nov 8, 2017

You'll be disappointed

I told you not to click it, didn't I?
Testing, testing, 1 2 3!

p/s: Yes, Twitter card works!

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood

I woke up at 5 o'clock in the morning to the sound of my blaring alarm from my phone. I slept with the lights on, in my crumpled up bed, half-naked (shirt off) with my phone in my hand. I was parched, and in a drowsiness too heavy I couldn't recall what did I do last night before falling asleep. The notifications on the top bar of my phone lined up one after another, but none of them are worthy to rouse me up to full attention.

I sighed. Grogginess aside, I felt disheartened at the sight of my room. Messy, as usual, and I don't have even an ounce of motivation to do the cleanup. The carpet needs major vacuuming to be done and I keep postponing to do it. My bags I used from the previous getaway are scattered on the floor. For someone who lives alone and only 60km from home, I keep a lot of bags with me. Seven, in total, which is like way too much. Maybe it reflects my state of mind, perhaps?

The discarded box of KFC delivery I chucked was on the far corner of room, waiting to be cleaned up. That was my dinner last night. Before that, my last meal was another dinner around the same time, which was McDonald's delivery. And before that was the McDonald's breakfast delivery. I take a lot of deliveries, which worries me a lot (you know, because of the calories and the cholesterol) but it is never strong enough to stop me from ordering the next one. 

I am right to be concerned about this sedentary lifestyle of mine (a quick search on Google enlightened me that it's not a sedimentary lifestyle, as in sedimentary rocks because you know, rocks don't do anything at all and that's what I aspire to become but it's sedentary, as in from French s├ędentaire or Latin sedentarius, from sedere which means ‘sit’).

Anyway, yes, it troubles me. More than that, it nudges me to contemplate the debate that I am having for quite some time now. I have been questioning myself for months about this direction of life of dear mine. It is nearing a year of me working as a houseman and I am still as clueless and, for a lack of better term, directionless, of where or what I should do in the not-so-far future that looms by.

I fall in the category of people who cannot, cannot afford to drop Medicine and pursue something else. Those who do are incredibly brave, or incredibly driven to do so, and that is not me. The same can be said to those who choose to stay; brave, driven, yet at the same time some of us who clueless or hate what we are doing do not have any courage to do anything about it.

And for that particular group of people, there's always a general consensus that there are two disciplines of practice that we houseman can pursue as a medical officer: clinical or non-clinical. What else is there anyway? People I have met keep saying they want to be a non-clinical doctor, but what exactly they want to do? Is it research? Is it administrative work? It's not good to just say what you want to be, but please elaborate on how you are going to do it because I don't know the clear path to non-clinical works.

I really don't know what to become. Being a clinical doctor is so exhausting and it's not something that I enthuse about. I did have an ambition to become a specialist in emergency medicine, but a quick reality checkup had changed my perception on becoming one. So much so that I am not remotely interested in becoming a specialist in any field that is clinical. I guess what I said earlier is right - you have to be driven at work to do this. No one who is not driven will try their damn best to be a specialist.

Over time, what I think I crave more and more is this simple thing - a more balanced work life. This is simply impossible to do in Medicine, hence the reason for my frustration. I want that two magic sentences: 9-to-5 and weekends off.  These are things that I never tasted in my miserable beginning year of working as a junior houseman. Nor anyone else. But that does not make me feel better.

Yeah, sure, I should have known this before I signing up the whole gig years ago. And it's not like I don't know about this working arrangement. It's just that I thought at that time that I can handle it. I still can handle it, but until when? Until I get used to it? Until I let go of my

Ah, never mind.

As I watched the people around me eating their breakfast (you guessed right, I'm in McDonald's right now), I keep wondering what kind of jobs they are doing (not the McDonald's staff, duh). The man in blue shirt tucked in jeans in front of me, what does he do for a living? The couple next to me, do they like their job? The one with the earphones on, watching tentatively over her phone, what time she starts her work and what time she clocks out?

And the reason I am still contemplating and remain clueless is the unmentioned hmm, should I call it blessing, even though it's just salary I'm talking about? Yes, the salary. For someone who just started working, it is quite a large sum. And working in government will guarantee you an annual salary rise (it's not much, but still wow) not to mention the once-promised premise of job security they can offer. All this time I never have to think twice before ordering my meals or buying expensive gadgets or going someplace remote for a quick getaway.

I have drowned myself in this expensive cesspool of lifestyle with no lifeline to pull myself out of this mess. Too much of comfort and luxury lifestyle that enforces my belief that I can't survive without the monthly salary that I am having and that other pursuits of happyness will not give me the same monetary advantages as the one I have right now.

But I can't live like this. This is eating me from inside. There must be more than... this. Whatever this it is. Life should be about waking up in the morning, have a walk or do some gardening, work until 5 pm, then off to resume your life, joining other people with their activities, free over the weekends to catch up with the rest of the world.

Life shouldn't be about wondering what to do your whole life. Life shouldn't be like a burning candle, forever flicking in wondering whether it burns bright enough as it burns its life away. Life should not be spent contemplating about the next step of the way as the road slowly displaying the divergent of the paths the thicker you go into the woods. 

Oct 27, 2017

The Man Who Asks Too Much

Sometimes it is unrealistic to be true to your profession. The four cardinal ethics of being a doctor that has been repeated over and over in my university days (and still stuck to my mind) are patient's autonomy, beneficence, non-malevolence, and justice. Briefly, it means that patients have their own rights, we must do good, do not harm, and be able to fairly decide which patients are more in need for the limited resources at your hands. But just by being ethical does not make you a doctor. It is only one of the many facets of the existence of being a doctor.

Oct 13, 2017


As I have a few more hours to kill before going to work later this evening, I want to talk about something hashtag #irritating that everyone will encounter when you are in this hospital. Well I am not naming my hospital, but maybe some of you know or don't know where I work, anyway let's just leave it as it is. That something #irritating is called,


You may laugh and pointed out how callous or petty my topic is but believe me, the lifts they have in this place can and will drive you all to nuts. As opposed to new hospital buildings which have more than one lift lobby, my hospital only have one main lift lobby with 5 + 1 lifts and a smaller lift lobby at the far back that is used for VIP or royalties. The far back one has two lifts and they are also connected to multiple floors of operation theatres. 

Now, to all visitors and staff alike, the lifts that we use are the ones in the main lift lobby. There are 3 lifts in a row facing two lifts opposite and another one lift to the side that is for sanitation materials and waste use. Let me draw a quick sketch of the plan of the lifts in the main lobby:

Okay just imagine this is it, alright? It's not accurate so don't bother pointing it out.

Now to begin with,

Ever since I started working here close to 11 months now, LIFT 4 has never been operational. There is always a stop sign in front of its doors saying close for maintenance. Or wait, there might have been in the past, now I don't even remember about that lift because I never use it.

Lift 5 is reserved only for patients, in the sense that the patients being transferred in wheelchairs and in bed. The transit is both ways, either from ED to the wards or from the wards to Radiology department for imaging or being sent to different floors such as ICU or to OTs. There are security guards stationed at every floor that keep track of the movement of that lift to ensure that the waiting time or the transit time of the transferring patient being kept at the minimum.

I have no quarrel with that lift. That lift is a good boy.

The remaining lifts are straight a-holes. 

Lift 3 can go between Ground floor up to the 6th floor. Now I am in Medical posting at the moment, which are in the 7th and 8th floors. Yes, I can always use that lift and take the stairs to my ward, and yes, it will keep me healthy, 

And the #irritating thing about that lift is that its bloody doors won't even shut off properly. Imagine being in my situation; you are late / tired / in a hurry / claustrophobic and the lift decided that as the doors almost close it opens the doors back 2 to 3 times. There is no one outside who is pushing the buttons and no one inside pressing the open door button but that damned lift still like to toy with my feelings and wastes a good 5 minutes just to close the bloody doors. What a dick.

The next #irritating lift is Lift 2. This one is an epic one because you can only press the buttons 7th and 8th floors. They used to put a plastic cover but they changed it to a freakin' metal cover with three square holes so people inside can only press G, 7, and 8. The idea is that this lift is meant for people who wish to go to Medical wards faster. That idea is a novelty and naive at the same time simply because it won't stop people from stopping that damned said lift from other floors! So what's supposed to be quick ride upstairs or downstairs can be equally exhausting and long if the lift stops at every floor to load and unload people.

Adjacent to it is the Lift 1 which is supposed for people to go from Ground floor to the 5th up to 8th floors. During the peak hours there will be a guard manning the lift from the inside who will stop people and ask which floor they are going. If the answer is less than 5, they will stop you and ask to use other lifts. In practice, this is also a dick move because like I explained earlier, have you seen the annoying bloody lift directly opposite like?

Apart from that, Lift 1 has this #irritating quirk which that in between the stops, it will sometimes reset all the buttons. All the lighted floors will disappear and if you are not quick enough, what's supposed to be a going up lift will suddenly become a going down lift when someone downstairs is calling for the lift. This, my friends, is enough to make anyone scream with frustration especially when you are from 8th floor going down to Ground floor and on the 1st floor it happened and now it goes back up to where you came from. #TrueStory bro.

Most of the times, Lift 6 comes to the rescue. But it has its own drawback as you will be sharing it with huge waste and sanitation bins. The floor sometimes is wet from the leaking bins, and sometimes it is as smelly as the darkest pit of Tartarus, and one time it lost all lighting and air ventilation for a week and hence the smell magnifies to a hundred-fold. I had to be in complete darkness with odors of garbage and human piss or whatever bodily fluid there are  but that lift is the only lift with no stupid quirk that #irritates me to no end.

Now that I let it off my chest with this rant of mine, I do feel lightened up. It is as if my spirit has lifted up!

Oct 9, 2017

The End

It's close to a month now but I am still feeling numb. I was left speechless; no, it wasn't just words that left me - a big chunk of me has died last month it changes me. I am not the same person anymore. I feel dead. 

Even now I don't know how to proceed with this. Everything hurts. Every waking moments ache. Every stray thoughts pierce deep and twisting and twisting the wound again and again. I can taste the bitterness of my heart at the tip of my tongue and spat it out I did to those misfortune to be nearby me. 

I now hate new things that in the past I can tolerate. I hate more people just because I can't be like what they are. The blue-themed social media pages I now view them daily in brilliant emerald of envy. With seething loathe of anger I just can't seem to wish them happiness from the bottomless of my stinking heart.

This is the cruelest moment of my life so far. A decade wasted with dreams and all my plans shattered and crushed to oblivion. It's like I have been slapped raw in the face with a Mjolnir. I will never make any plan after this. All those grand schemes of life, the little dreams of ambition and wishes - they are just a prelude to a tragic disasters waiting to happen.

It will take many more years to undo the damage I took. Memories will eventually fade but they must be so or else it will take a fatal toll on me. Traces that are uncountable, scattered throughout the places and throughout the time, painful as they are as reminder to things that happened but can't be, will take a lot of time to be less hurtful to me. 

In the very unlikely event that I do recover and stumbled upon another chance of happiness, I do wonder how it is even going to play out in the first place with the huge scar I carried in my heart. Will it be fixed, Kintsugi-like, or will it be as porous and as fragile as I very much feared it's gonna be? Does one able to receive happiness that can fill up the big grave the sadness has dug previously? Do I actually deserve a chance for a proper, happy love life?

Let it be reminded that on that fateful day I had lost all faith in love, and the sweetness of it, for I was forcibly arrived to one hateful conclusion of life is that love is never, and will always, never just about love.

Sep 5, 2017

Maybe It's Just Medical

There is a few things that I wanted to blog about, mainly about leaving my second posting Orthopaedics and another is about the daunting aspect of entering Medical posting. In between, there are things worth mentioning as well. But things happened during that time, and when it subsided many more things had pressed me to adjourn the writing.

And hence, a super-packed confusion hella of post today.

Thank you Orthopaedics for being nice to me. Not everything is nice in it, but overall better than my first posting. I feel disappointed towards my viva performance but after a while, knowing you passed out of pity and be graded more towards performance (and your lack of issues) as overall instead of knowledge is definitely better than not passing your viva and having to be extended for another two months. Even though you do feel shitty afterwards because it did not went as well as you hoped.

Entering Medical is a bit funny to me. People called us seniors because I'm the third poster already when in fact I feel as useless as a strata rock under the sun. It's not like I know any better. It's not like I can draw blood any faster. In fact, my venepuncture skills more or less is at where I came from - minuscule on average, lucky at best. There are tonnes more things I don't know. I don't even think I learnt much in my two previous postings.

So when junior housemen said things like, "Kau takpe, kau dah senior," "Ala, kau dah power, kau senior," I was like, "Tang mana aku powernya?" I'm still scared shitless when patients desat in the ward, I still don't know what to do when nurses came up to me to show that the patient's DXT is deranged, I still don't know what to do when patient's BP is dropping or sky-high. So far I'm not liking my latest week of working night shift here.

But I'm learning. That's all I have to do. I'm learning.

I have entered the third week in Medical now. The first week is the tagging week where I had to complete my taglog by simply listing up a number of procedures and asking MOs signature for each of the procedure. The second week I worked at night shift, where people who had already underwent Medical posting are green with envy looking at the number of houseman working at night - two, to be exact. I for one have no complaint about it. I certainly couldn't cope working alone at night at the moment, and the time when HO shortage to come is inevitable eventually. But for now, I take what I can.

I still couldn't adjust to the busy working condition in Medical. I wasted my post night sleeping due to fatigue. When I woke up, I still feel tired. Not to mention there's a tonne of things I want to read about but all the time I have left I either spent it sleeping or complaining about the need to sleep. Partly there's Orthopaedics to be blamed. The working condition in my previous posting was so chilled and relaxed it felt like a holiday compared to Medical here.

When I'm under a lot of stress and being overwhelmed with fatigue, that's when my health deteriorates. I do get sick easily and the frequency of me catching illness is so often I can predict when next I will fall ill and won't be able to get up to work like I normally do (for instance, today I don't feel so good). Anyway, when I do get sick, I still go to work - but I'll be covered with a face mask all day and my mind would get sluggish and I won't be responsive and cheerful. I'll be a walking zombie, ordering medication and checking more zombies in this place I called a hospital.