Monday, April 25, 2011

Seeking answers

We often ask questions in the hope of seeking a true, undeniable answer. All sorts of questions.
We ask, people replied.
Yet we said, "They are not answering my questions properly, stop beating around the bush!"

I, very often indeed, am the one saying that when people tries to answer my questions.
But, pause, is it real that they are not answering our questions? Or do we ALREADY have answers buried inside us? Instead of letting our minds free to accept any new ideas, we are merely searching for the answer that match what we had in our mind. Maybe, they had answered our questions. Just we don't realise it.

A random short post to satisfy impulse of wanting to blog. :p

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Of crossing a frozen lake

Will my plans work?
Will I be successful in 10 years time?
Will you still talk to me after a month?
Is he/she the one God has specially prepared for me?
Will I die tomorrow?
What lies in my future?
As full of fortuitous surprises as it can be, Life, as how we've known it (or maybe we don't), is filled with gazillions of uncertainties too. And by this, it is emphasized on the negative side.

I have always wanted to be involved in the business world. Wall street, stock markets, trading, business tactics, contracts, profits....and of course, alongside with the luxurious life it promises, comes the risks, the uncertainties. This is the part that made me that close to the business world, yet never had the chance to step into it until now. No, it's, never have the GUTS to even land on the surface that planet. Maybe, it's the fear of failure and losing everything you've got from the effort and hard work you've put in. Working like a mad dog, day and night for years, just to earn a considerably satisfying sum of money, reputation and achievements; yet, all can blown into scraps, within a matter of days, hours, minutes, milliseconds.

An inevitable fact of life - Hard work is not directly proportional to the results. There's always the unexplained and unforeseen parts ready to jump out and get you even when you thought your plans are perfect, crash-proof. But many times, we would rather just blindfold ourselves with an imaginary cloth - routines, relationships etc - clinging hard to a principle of "IF only I had work hard enough, then this would not have happened." The regrets, is it what we really deserve? Or are we just purely not in the luck?

More often than probably not, we go through our daily lives without knowing what are the consequences of our next step. Some might be very alert and fully anticipate in their next step, tip-toeing away while some just dont give a damn, barge, stomp, run...on the ice, either intentionally or unintentionally. The truth is, no one knows how thick the ice below our feet really is. It may had looked exactly the same from the surface. Flat, open space, welcoming(???) but who knows, some parts are as thick as 10 metres while some are as thin as a paper. The ending of that story is only unveiled the second you are in/on it. So, if you are careful enough, you may cross the lake successfully. You are certainly allowed to congratulate yourself for being alive until that point. If not, you'll just drop into the icy, cold water, being drown to death or suffer from hypothermia.

A man walks on the frozen River Thames, February 1947(PA Wire)

If only, if only.... we have the ability to foresee the future or perhaps, have a grasp on the tiniest bit of it, a peek, or maybe a rough sketch of it, maybe, we would have been more prepared. Just maybes, and perhaps...that's all i can say.

If you are somehow stranded in the middle of that lake, why not take a step of faith (well you can't actually leap right? That's just a moronic act of increasing your risk of dropping on a frozen lake), rather than standing at the same spot and wait for spring to come. Or maybe, just have a trustworthy person ever ready beside you, so when the unintentional accident happened, no fears... :)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Books

I had been blogging consistently for a few days now, I even came here even when I had nothing much to blog about. Enough with the dismaying results of mine, no point crying over spilled milk. I'll get over it, hopefully, soon enough and start studying as hard as could...22 days to AS trials. Hmph....

I've been in this book, Road less Travelled by M Scott Peck for a period of time now. Due to various unknown reasons, i just couldnt seem to read it in peace.......
half way through.

And the book i just bought few days ago because Popular had this book exhibition with sales. I find it quite interesting and worth a buy. so....
An interesting part:
Why do Chinese find it so hard to speak frankly about themselves?
.....As early as the 2nd millennium BC, a criminal's family was punished as harshly as the criminal himself. Over the next thousand years, this principle steadily tightened its grip on the judicial system....
(True. Perhaps that's the source of this chinese culture.)

Gotta go studdddyyyy..cram cram cram...........nom nom nom............

Friday, April 15, 2011

SDMC Hospital Attachment Day 5

Day 5: Laboratory

Today, disappointment. Pessimistic. No, when you are in my shoes, perhaps you would do the same thing too? Started off with a happy morning, my roomate, Felicia and I went to play badminton in the playground nearby. It has been a while since I last exercise and sweat properly. Sweating(through exercise) somehow makes me feel like stress is shedding away at the same time. Soothing... :) Though, i was quite amused at how awkward is it for Felicia trying to do cha-cha with the aunty doing line-dancings at the side while playing badminton with me...

Then, rush to college to do the interfaith dialogue registration thing. GOT SHOCK BY THE SUPER SUPER LOUSY RESULTS FOR TRIALS. Depressed. Sad. Wanted to cry. No tears. Even sad. So when i reach hospital, my brain is like totally blank. Then started complaining non-stop to Zi Xuan. (sorreh! i just need a way to express the disappointment)

Went for laboratory. It's most like a "museum-visit" rather than attachment. =.=" The person just brought us from lab to labs and told us what they do inside then move on to the next. Not going to go into details, they just said something about chromosomes, testing blood, urine, HIV virus, hepatitis antibodies, pre-natal test, FISH test, blood bank...I'm not very sure what is she talking, cause the person spoke in a very soft voice, almost in audible. =.=" I didnt bother to ask much questions too, though did ask a few, cause I was really not in the mood.

Spend 30 minutes writing report for these 5 days and my opinions on SDMC. In the difficulties faced and improvements needed to be made part, I wrote: We keep losing our way. Need more signboards.

BLAH! Tired. I need a rest. gonna start STUDYING. 23 days to AS Finals.
May God bless all of us with wisdom.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

SDMC Hospital Attachment Day 4

Day 4: Imaging

I have no idea what this department actually does before this. It has something to do with taking photos i guess. So, here we are again, this time, running all the way from our house to SDMC because we are seriously late. hehe. :p

There are a few types of imaging methods here at this department, but we are allowed to see X-Ray, CAT Scan and MRI only. Fair enough. I will not talk much about X-ray as I assume, it is a very common thing nowadays, and many people might have taken their xrays before. So, 3 of us are separated and brought to each scanners. I went to the 1 Tesla MRI machine first. Shall not go into details about what Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is... refer to This and This if you really wanna know more.

I also went to another 3 Tesla MRI Machine, counted as very high end one. According to the technician, there are only very few of these machines in Malaysia (maybe only 2), one in UMMC and SDMC is the first private hospital to have it. Woo... 3Tesla has a very very strong magnetic field. Earth's magnetic first is 0.5 tesla, so...i guess you can imagine how strong it is. So the patient change into hospital gown, remove all metals items on their body, lie on the patient table and being pushed into this donut-like cylindrical machine..it actually has a very modern and nice design..
Almost the same thing i guess...same brand what, Philips. (advertising uh-oh)
Then, patient is require to stay perfectly still while the recording process takes about 5 minutes each. Planes of recording maybe axial, coronal or transverse. Unless you have claustrophobia, this machine is actually the safest one compare to CT and X-Ray because it only uses radio waves, instead of X-rays. Apart from the noisy sound it makes, i dont think it will cause any discomfort unless you have allergies to the contrast (dyes) used to create the image. Fat suppression can be done so the images taken only show parts without fats. Abnormalities can be seen easily without the fats.


Patients can just wear the headphones, and while you are enjoying the latest Glee music or Katy Perry (That's what they had this afternoon haha), the image is being taken. But you have to be very still as i've said, can't even swallow your saliva, or else the image will be blurred and you have to go through it again and again. Do take note that this is a VERY EXPENSIVE procedure. More than a thousand ringgit for each scan. Oh ya, you can even set the ambient for the whole room. Europe, Asia, Australia outback, fantasy world, sky, underwater...you name it, they've got it. Set it and the lightings will change according to the music, with projections of images on the wall...wooo.... calming... :) It looked so cool and cute, so i just couldnt stop playing with the themes while the patient is inside and technicians busy editing the images. (heeheeee.. :D) The patient i was observing this afternoon actually moved a lot.... So, she had to repeat the whole process a few times... Which...annoyed the technician...and the patient herself sounded pretty impatient too from the intercom.

If you happen to stumbled into a MRI room with it's magnets on, you could be "suck"/ "pulled"VERY vigorously towards the machine even with a small pin on your body. That was what happened to a technician here before, one of them told me. It cost them about RM30,000 to repair the whole thing (demagnetize) and resume it. Expensive. Oh ya, before i forget, it can take very high resolutions photos, in both 2D and 3D. Perfect for internal soft organs but not very good on bones.

Next is the CT scan or CAT scan. Heard of this before, but dont know what it actually does. Refer to here for what a CAT scan is. This one is actually more harmful compared to MRI cause it uses X-Ray. though, it's fast. May cause a little bit of discomfort due to heat from the radiation and also allergies to the iodine-based contrast used.
This is how it looks like. Kinda similar to MRI but a smaller doughnut. I wasn't given a lot of explanation of this because actually i was assigned to MRI only, but decided to secretly run over here to check it out. Zi Xuan is here, happily playing around with the images taken. It was coloured and in 3D!! :) The images taken looks like something we always see in our bio text books.

All involve very complex computer softwares.

So, we ended earlier today. Then decided to complete what we chicken out that day. Today, we took the lift to basement level again, walked BRAVELY towards the mortuary and stood there for quite a while. There are 2 mortuaries, 1 for muslim and another for non-muslim. I dont know how they are inside... So we went up and requested to have visit there tomorrow. The person in charged went home, so her colleagues there said actually no students have ever requested to visit a mortuary before. They could consider that, but we'll have to ask again tomorrow. Though..the chances may be very low... No harm asking right? Though, there's a little voice in me fully anticipates in the what we may get to see tomorrow...

So, that's for today! :) I like Imaging Department most, so far. Their staffs are very friendly and relaxing bunch of people also. They have music on while working....This is the only part of the hospital where this is allowed. Their working environment is comfortable too.
Last day tomorrow. Woots!!! :D

SDMC Hospital Attachment Day 3

Day 3: Endoscopy - A journey through gastrointestinal track

Today is rather interesting compared to the last 2 days. We went to endoscopy department!!! Specifically, colonoscopy. What they do over here is basically just poke a endoscope into your digestive track either through your mouth, or from your anus. :) Ok, this just sounds really weird.

The endoscope is like a camera on a long soft tube, with light, can be controlled by remote control, have suction pump...that's about it from what i observed. (This is definitely not accurate, please google it if you are interested to know more.) So it started by giving sedatives to the patient, fitting a plastic thingy onto his/her mouth to keep it opened and put the endoscope in. It's very interesting actually, like you are actually travelling into the person's stomach. (And i realise how long our tongue is). If you enter through the mouth, first you'll pass through the oesophagus, then the stomach. If through anus, colon then small intestine. (Dont worry about seeing faeces, cause the patients fasted before doing endoscopy, so it's rather clean inside)

Cases...
1. An old woman with oesophagus reflux - narrowing of oesophagus. It may be due to inflammation or external pressure. Will cause food to be stuck there... Through the endoscope, the epithelial wall seems perfectly fine, so they suspect it could be due to expansion of lung or something. They did dilate it afterwards and did biopsy test to check if the hypothesis is true.

2. A mid-age man with inflammed oesophagus. The sight of it is rather disgusting. (sorry to say that) The wall is full of ulcers!! O.o With puss. The symptoms are feeling of chest burning and non-stop hiccuping. Same procedure, took samples of tissues and did biopsy test, wait for the result. though i find the way they use a wire with small clip (something like crocodile clip) in front to take samples are very "cute".

3. Ulcers in colon. This, we have to enter through the butt. It looks rather painful, i mean the way the endoscope was pushed into the anus. The ulcers are causing gastrointestinal bleeding...same procedure, but this time, the doctor did push the endoscope till it reach the small intestine. We saw the villi!!! :) Villi are actually very pretty...hahaha.... Studied this thing since secondary school and today, i finally get to see how it really looks like.

4. Food stuck in stomach. The doctor also dont know what happened to this guy. This patient, although being questioned again and again, claimed that he fasted. But it was very suspicious. Because there's no obstruction along the track, but the food is there. You know how gruesome that sight is?! It looks like..."rubbish" or some rotten stuff. Mash of blue, black, yellow stuff inside. It's very very shocking especially when you expect nothing and keep poking the camera in until when you enter the stomach, this scary huge mass of monster appear in front of you. The doctor actually mumbled some rude words and shouted YUCK when he found that.... Dont laugh, trust me, it's really very disgusting. So, the doctor can't continue with what he was supposed to do... blah...

5. Other cases...can't remember/can't understand.... only know they took samples for each of them to be tested.

Other random stuff I had learned today:
Helicobacter pylori is the microorganism that attacks the mucous layer of the digestive track.
Digestive track is covered by thick layer of mucous, (though i knew before this) IT LOOKED SHINNY. :D
A reminder for the future me (in case i succeeded in graduating from med school): DO NOT LOSE YOUR SENSE OF HUMOR!!!! A doctor who is very kind, friendly and caring seriously does make a difference when compared to an EXTREMELY serious and strict doctor. Yea, of course you have to be serious in your work but remember to smile at the same time. Dont make life miserable for the people around you. Dont simply scold nurses, they too work very hard.
Gastroesophagus reflux - backflow of gastric juice

That's about it..I missed the afternoon session, diagnosis. Went to EUCLID maths competition. Finally realise, I SUCK AT MATHS. :p

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

SDMC Hospital Attachment Day 1 & 2

So, here am I with NgZiXuan going for a hospital attachment again, partly to find some isi for personal statement which is pending to be hand in soon yet still not a single idea in my mind what to write; and partly, to spend our semester break WISELY instead of FB-ing the whole week away. Yeap, this is my first holiday away from home since i came over here last year. The original plan of touring around Malacca, Johor then down to Singapore was cancelled all because of this attachment. I shall not complain about it and pretend that all these are important for the sake of my future.
The duration for this attachment is same as last time, 5 days but a pretty short one, there's only like 2-3 hours per day in a department including A&E, Pharmacy, Endoscopy, Diagnosis, Imaging and Laboratory. Of course, the facilities available in this hospital are not to be compared with my last attachment's hospital, which is Miri General Hospital's (MGH). Bear in mind, SDMC is a private "wealthy" hospital, fully equipped with high-end machines and technologies, needless to say the proficiency of man-power available. Of course, your pocket would have to be loaded with cash or card even before the thought of stepping into their doors appear in your mind. Though, I believe the trade is fair. :)

Day 1: A&E
So, Day 1 (which is yesterday), 2 of us and another girl from PM19, Suet Yin, reported ourselves with Ms Ety. Being totally clueless, we were briefed about the itineraries. Given a booklet which is suppose to be signed by each department's head, letter of authorization and a "student attachment" tag. :) But what is different this time is, we get to wear our labcoats! :) hehehehe....this makes us looks more professional, but with empty heads... :( haha! I had borrowed my roomate's labcoat because mine looked seriously terrible. (with the yellow and black spots all around, hey, that shows I am actually doing something k!?)

So we went to A&E, surprisingly smaller than MGH's, but definitely have the ambient of a typical hospital (very clean-look and machine's beeping sound in the background). There's 2 section in this dept, 1 part is the normal emergency section which caters to the need of not-so-urgent cases like flu, fever, cough.... and another part is Resus room. This is where all those bloody or serious cases go. I'm not sure why, the A&E here seems pretty peaceful and quiet, not to say that I actually wish something would happen, but i'm not sure whether it is the money factor or monday is just another mundane, boring day... There were cases like spine injuries, "accidental" consumption of chlorox(bleach), myocardial infarction & heart attack (which are the common ones) and some, (i dont know what happened to them as we werent given any proper explanation) just came in with their hands pressing on the forehead, looking dizzy....
Most people rushed in in tears and pain. But there's a lady ( i recognised her by her Mercedes, let's just call her the Mers Lady) who was rushed in, but still smilling; when sent over to the operation theater, the smile hasn't fade. What a cheerful person :)

To be truthful, we've got nothing much to see, because it's a private hospital, customers' got their privacy and all those craps, so....we are not allowed to see much and of course, because we're only pre-u students, so..... Though i was considered the most lucky one among 3 of us - i get to see how they rescued a heart attack guy. (I felt bad for saying i'm lucky to be able to see :( )
The guy came in with heart pain so he went and lie in the resus room, suddenly, his whole body shakes and the heartbeat machine beaps like mad then he was unconscious. (apologies for the weird way of describing the whole situation, just a premed here.. :p) The doctors and nurses rushed over and start sticking some gel thing on his chest and did the "defibrillation" thingy to get him back. It was very nervous and tense moment, well just a few seconds. But within these few seconds, if the doctors werent there, or that guy hasn't report even when he had the heart pain, he might be still at home and when he fainted, no one could help him right? So, that few seconds is like the critical moment for the matter of life and death. fortunately, he woke up again. But he doesnt seem to know he fainted....only when the doctor told him, he knew about it... hmmm... I heard later, it was due to some blockage in heart vessels, they had to send him for operation as soon as possible. but definitely have to get his consent first (or something like that...) because it involved not only his safety but also, the huge amount of money.... O.o
That was like the most interesting part of Day 1.... hhmmm....not as interesting as MGH's A&E, which is like...mad and packed with patients.... O.O

Day 2: Pharmacy
Today's session is in the afternoon. Without much expectation (didnt visit pharmacy last attachment), we just "barge" into the pharmacy of South Tower. I can say, it looked very different from the other side of the counter. We, as customers, are always on the other side, paying money, listening to the instructions regarding prescription..yadi yada bla bla blah.... but actually, there's a lot of stuff that's behind the scene one... Many pharmacist and technicians working at the back, searching for drugs and send them here and there.... Believe me, when you see more than 1000++ types of drugs back there, you'll be dizzy...Plus, having about 10 people squeezed into a small space... blah!!! O.O All those drug names are like ALIEN LANGUAGE (pardon me!! ;P) can't understand many of them, but there was a few which is familiar enough la, like rifamycin, penicillin... The lady who briefed us said, she has been working in this small space for 5 years, yet she still cant remember where exactly is every single type of drugs located, and she didnt even know some of they existed! Saw some pharmacist compounding drugs, but the drugs are not synthesized there...they are supplied directly.. and then the "chargers"(prescription counter) are also busy as what we've seen usually with super long queues..... Mad place.... haha but still organised in its own way.

They have this machine, :p forgot the name, like a tube thing...which i think is very cool.
It's for sending tubes for drugs and notes from other floors directly to pharmacy and vice versa... so nurses dont have to run up and down anymore. :D I know my drawing's bad, but wait till you see my handwriting.. (luckily we can type to blog, not write.. )

Talking about doctor's handwriting, the technician with us today did complained about it. hahaha...she showed us a note by the doctor saying types of drugs to be prescribed. WHO KNOWS WHAT THE DOCTOR WROTE? It wasnt even recognizable as our latin alphabets!!! ...yes, it was really that bad.... So i asked her how she knows what is written, she replied, experience and non-stop reconfirmation. So the myth about how bad a doctor's handwriting is is true.
We were told about cytotoxic drugs reconstitution (CDR) which is used for chemotherapy, fyi, SDMC known for its oncology... :) Was very impressed by the "armors" they had to put on being going into the "clean room" to prepare the drugs...

It ended in an hour because the technician was rushing back home. So, zi xuan and I, being the usual curiosity-filled duo, with the desire to venture around deeply rooted in us.....decide to have a look around before going back.. We took the lift, went to the basement and went to the....mortuary.
It has always been a mystery to me how it will look like. But guess what... you are allowed to laugh for the following part
The mortuary was at the end of the basement, not a single living person was around. We decided to walk near the door. When we were like 5 m away from the doctor, i suddenly feel the chill rushing up my spine. I stopped, stared at the door, turn around and RUN AWAY!!!!! AHAHAHHAHA.....such a coward right?! hahaha....I have no idea why was i so scared too. Come to think of it, i still dont know why were we so afraid, it's just dead bodies!!! =.=" Shall blame it to the influence of GHOST MOVIES all around nowadays.... I hope no CCTV catches our stupid acts... haha.... Can not, must overcome this fear. I'll find a way......... ;)

Here's a link to my previous attachment's post, if any of you are wondering: Link

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Vanity in disguised

Recently, I had realize a trend among fb-ers, especially among girls. It's not wrong to take your own photo, show others your pretty and sunshine-ish smile, who knows it might just cheer someone's day up or maybe, your secret stalkers/admirers' ones up (well, free smile...free desktop wallpaper/whatever you name it) haha...
*the following part is not to offend anyone...*

Then...this idiotic trend came up - totally meaningless quotations below your pictures without any sense, but OBVIOUSLY, just to show your vanity.

You want to show you're vain, go ahead, please...why degrade those nice quotes?! What has it gotta do with your photos?!!?!?!
Ok let's see...A photo of a nice pretty young lady, with great smile who would have melt anyone's heart...
then then stupid quotes.. (garh..can't think of any suitable ones for example..cause if i put it here, it might just coincidentally be under someone's profile picture which i dont intend to offend)
Just something that's totally irrelevant..

Okays, it's your picture anyways, I would stop being a busybody/"fake" critics/grumbling now. You know how people with nothing to do and no life always does. And today's Christine Wong is a very good example of that. HAahaha

Happy Holidays CALians!!!
It's a busy holiday ahead of mee.....weee~~