Saturday, December 31, 2011

I think almost everyone is writing about the new year.
It is now 12.14pm in UK which means it is 8.14pm in Malaysia.
In 3+ hrs time, Malaysians will be entering 2012 while I will still be in 2011.
And starting tomorrow, I have to start writing 2012 at the end of dates, instead of 2011.
And if anyone were to ask how old am I, I could not say 21 anymore *sigh*

How should I wrap my 2011?
Did I wrap my 2010? (Checking blog archive)
Oh, I did! I even titled it "Wrapping Up 2010" XD
Should I do the same with my 2011?

2011 witnessed me turning 21 (obviously).
I learnt that every year, there will be ups and downs so, there is no real purpose in me dwelling over the ups and downs of 2011.
Let me just highlight some of the events in 2011! :D

1) IKEA with Family
I started my 1st January 2011 with an outing to IKEA with family.
Comparatively, my 1st January 2010 was also with family, to Sunway Pyramid.
But my 1st January of 2012 will be here in Preston, thousands miles from family :(

IKEA with family; 01.01.11

2) Gombak Orang Asli Hospital Posting
In 2010, I went to Kuala Kubu Baru for my posting while in 2011, I went to Gombak Hospital for my it. This picture was taken by Tay.
Gombak Posting; taken on January 13th 2011

3) Malaysian Chinese Muslim Assc (MACMA) Selangor Youth Camp!
For the third year, I've been involved with organising a youth camp for a local, state level MACMA Youth Camp. This year around the camping was held in Hulu Langat and I brought 3 other IMU friends with me :)

MACMA Selangor Youth Camp; taken on 20th March 2011

4) Viva Palestina Malaysia Launching, January 22nd 2011
Thanks to Mr Allan, I managed to get two free seats to the grand launching ceremony of Viva Palestina Malaysia (VPM) in Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur.

Youngest brother and me; January 22nd 2011

5) GAZA, WE CARE! 7th to 10th March 2011
This was my first and only big participation in ECA in IMU.
Together with an unbeatable team, we organised a pro-humanitarian campaign in IMU.

I will never be able to forget the challenges faced pre- , during, and post- this campaign.

Gaza, We Care! Opening Ceremony; March 7th 2011.

Gaza, We Care! Exhibits in IMU Atrium

6) My Surprise Birthday Party!

Well, this really was a surprise for me.
My brother quietly contacted almost all my friends to come and celebrate my birthday, which was held 4 days in advance (my birthday fell in the middle of the week).

With family; March 26 2011

7) IMU Ball April 2nd 2011

On April 2nd 2011, an IMU Ball was held in JWW Marriott Hotel, Bukit Bintang, KL.
With Dr Srikumar and Prof John Paul Judson and wife

8) Kenduri Rumah, July 2nd 2011

As to show gratitude for me being able to continue my studies in the UK, my brother managing to secure scholarship by Yayasan TM and some other reasons, my parents held a "kenduri" at home, inviting fellow neighbours and friend for a small feast.

Beloved mum, surrounded by her Marhaban friends.

9) Wall Climbing, July 19th 2011

In July 2011, I learnt how to climb a wall (this sounded so wrong).
And I hope I can go again when I got back to Malaysia :D

Me! July 17th 2011 at Putrajaya Challenge Park

10) Broga Hill, July 31st 2011
It was on the last day of Sya'ban that I went to Broga Hill with my two brothers and maid.
It was the last day of pre-Ramadhan.

My two knights

11) JPA Pre-departure Briefing, Putrajaya 02.08.11
The last day for me meeting my fellow JPA friends who all will be scattered throughout UK and Eire.

Hui Fong and Akmar; 02 Aug 2011

12) Ah Kiew's and August's Birthdays Celebration, Times Square
3rd August 2011

All girls; 03 Aug 2011

13) Bought a Macbook! Aug 19th, 2011
Yep yep...
No real picture for this one, but I spent RM 3369 to buy a Macbook Pro in Switch, Mines.

14) Me LEAVING MALAYSIA!!! 23rd August 2011

How else should I express this feeling?
I left Malaysia!!!!
This was the last day I get to see my family, and it was in KLIA.

15) Bowling in Preston, 22nd October 2011

Exactly two months after leaving Malaysia.

16) Dublin, 17th to 21st August 2011

And I flew to Dublin to meet dearest Ain!

In Howth, a fishing district. 18.12.2011

With Ain. In front of University College Dublin (obviously) 20.12.11

17) Muslim Students Winter Gathering (PMS) @Windermere, Lake District
21st to 24th December 2011

This is an annual gathering, which has been held since 1975 to gather Malaysian Muslim students all over UK during winter.

With new friends.

18) Boxing Day, Arndale Manchester 26 Dec 2011

19) London Trip! 27th to 29th Dec 2011

I ended my 2011 with a memorable 3 days 2 nights trip to London.
I may write about it in a different post, some other day.

What I can say about it is, I loved it!

With Leonardo DiCaprio! Heh... @Madame Tussauds, 28th Dec 2011.

Exhausted after being captured by Hulk :D @Madame Tussauds 28th Dec 2011

Big Ben! 29th Dec 2011

And let's welcome 2012, insyaAllah!

A year from now, let's see how will I wrap 2012 (if I am still given the opportunity to live, and to write :) )

-Because life is a test-

I think almost everyone is writing about the new year.
It is now 12.14pm in UK which means it is 8.14pm in Malaysia.
In 3+ hrs time, Malaysians will be entering 2012 while I will still be in 2011.
And starting tomorrow, I have to start writing 2012 at the end of dates, instead of 2011.
And if anyone were to ask how old am I, I could not say 21 anymore *sigh*

How should I wrap my 2011?
Did I wrap my 2010? (Checking blog archive)
Oh, I did! I even titled it "Wrapping Up 2010" XD
Should I do the same with my 2011?

2011 witnessed me turning 21 (obviously).
I learnt that every year, there will be ups and downs so, there is no real purpose in me dwelling over the ups and downs of 2011.
Let me just highlight some of the events in 2011! :D

I started my 1st January 2011 with an outing to IKEA with family.
Comparatively, my 1st January 2010 was also with family, to Sunway Pyramid.
But my 1st January of 2012 will be here in Preston, thousands miles from family :(

IKEA with family; 01.01.11

In 2010, I went to Kuala Kubu Baru for my posting while in 2011, I went to Gombak Hospital for my electives. This picture was taken by Tay.
Gombak Posting; taken on January 13th 2011

-Because life is a test- -AkMaR-

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Assalammualaikum! Today is Christmas holiday. And I am stucked in Fatin's hse with Ain (introduction: Fatin and Ain were my two housemates in INTEC).

I came back from our Muslim stdnts winter gathering in Lake District yesterday. The gathering was held for 4 days. And after the gathering, I went back Preston for only about 3 hrs and rushed to Manchester, catching the last train to Manchester on Christmas eve. The last train is 8.40pm! And public buses in Preston stopped operating after 7pm. And taxis doubled their fare. When I reached Manchester at 9+, there was no bus and taxis will be very expensive thus I walked with Ain to Rusholme, with our two big luggages. By the time I reached Fatin's hse, I cant feel my feet.

And today, all shops are closed and no bus operates. Ohhhh!! I feel soooo(i dunno how to describe it better) congested, cramped, stucked, trapped and locked in.
This is so different from festive holiday in Malaysia. In Malaysia, ppl work during holidays and they'll be paid a lot. Myb the worker's rights here hv gotten too strong that no one work during Christmas. Fatin even told me if I were to lie down on the middle of the road today, no car will run over me.

I cant wait to go out for lunch! At least Muslim restaurants in Rusholme are still open (i hope!)

Ok, what day is tomorrow?
It is boxing day!
Boxing day is the day right after Christmas; the 26th of Dec that is.
On that day, a crazy sale is supposed to be on.
Prices should drop by at least half.
And ppl will queue from dawn just to be the first to get into the shop when it opens and grab the things they want. Ppl fight for designer brands like they fight for their life, almost. That is what I heard frm friends. But ppl say those brands that customers queue for are brands like Gucci, LV etc. I have no intention to buy such brands at all. So this year I'm not going to queue at dawn.

I just want to see how boxing day is. I want to see how busy the shops are, how tired the salesgirls will be, and how "ferrocious" customers will turn into.
Of course, I do plan to buy some things, I've even made a list!
InsyaAllah, I'll hv two more boxing days. I am due to graduate mid 2014.
Maybe during one of these two coming boxing days, I will be one of the people lining up in front of a shop, waiting for its door to open *grin grin*
Not so much on the shopping itself, but more to the experience and thrill.

-Because life is a test-


Sunday, December 18, 2011


I am now comfortably on Ain's friend's bed in Dublin, Ireland (i still do not know what this place is called but it is near to Univ College of Dublin).
Read my previous post? The post where I said I have no clue whether or not Ain is gonna turn up in the airportto fetch me, as I was unable to contact her for the past two days. Before I switched my phone off on the plane, I managed to leave a msg via fb to Ain's hsemate, saying I boarded the plane and 30mins after landing, if I do not see her, I'll find my own way to get to her hse. Haha...

This is not my first time travellng alone, I went Indonesia on my own last year but this is my first flight travel frm UK. I am not sure if I shd be afraid but I wasn't. When I reached the immigration in Dublin, I got very mad with the officer. I had to queue at the non-EU lane, fair enough but I felt the treatment was vry horrible. At first there were only two officers on duty thus the kine got very long. And worse, I dunno if it is just my imagination but I thinka both the officers had the preformed idea that all of us are coming into Ireland towork, illegally and it is their responsibility to catch us and prevent us frm doing so. The few ppl before me were treated vry roughly, after stamping their passports the officer threw their passport back to them which I found vry rude and I hate it. I even told myself if I had to go to that officer to get my passport stamped and if he threw it to me, I'm not gonna keep quite. I made a silent promise to myself to tell him that he has got no manners, and he ought to be more polite to tourists,who are gonna spend in his country. The other officer had I think denied entry to this African woman and she started crying, begging to the officer.

Soon after, two more officers came and two new counters were opened. I was called by the newly came officer; and I waited to see what kind of treatment will he give me. Thank God he smiled and said hello. Seeing my UK stdnt visa, he let me off with no further questioning apart from what course am I studying (I'm sure that's just for a chat) and how long will I be in Ireland. And as I was leaving, he said "Now, take care young lady"
That, really was a good treatment, and I reminded myself to only get angry with the two snobbish immigration officers, not the whole lot of them.

And by the time I walked out of the door, it was already almost an hour after my landing time. And as I was looking around, hoping hard, I saw her in her blue hijab.
Ain was waiting for me!
And the rest, is history.

I'd better go refresh myself now.
p/s: Am typing this using an iPad and it feels weird but hi-tech.

-Because life is a test-


Saturday, December 17, 2011

I'm writing this as I am in the queue to get my bag scanned in Manchester Airport. I'm flying off to Dublin in less than an hour to visit dear Ain. But guess what? I hv no clue where she is now, or even if she's gonna fetch me frm Dublin airport later. We hvnt discuss anything bcos she had been busy with her exam which ended only ystrday.

Anyway, I got her address frm a friend and if she doesn't turn up 30mins aft my arrival, I'm gonna take a coach and knock on her door!

Since I'm travelling economically, I didn't pay for any luggage thus I can only bring ,ONE luggage. I've squeezed my handbag into this 10 y.o luggage of mine. And since I'm going for a camping right after this Dublin trip, and I don't wish to wear this "posh" new jacket ofmine to the camping, I had to bring another cheap, waterproof jacket. And since the 2nd jacket cant fit into my luggage, I had to wear two layers! And it was so hot that I almost passed out. Thank God, after the luggage scan, I can take one layer off and hold the spare one.

K now I'm queuing to get into the plane.

Bye! and -Because life is a test- -AkMaR-

Today, I had a very hectic start.
Ibrizah knocked on my door, and called me. I mumbled in sleepy reply, then she said "Akmar, it's 6.51am already"
And I jumped out of the bed.
I have to go out of house by 7.35am, and I have less than an hour for shower and breakfast!
Cut the story short, I went out of house at 7.45am and planned to take the 7.53am bus to hospital. I looked at my phone weather apps, and it recorded 0˚C with snow shower. I was delighted! So it's gonna snow today!

Not long after, from far I can see the bus coming so I started running towards the bus stop. I ran with all my heart and I can see a lot of people queueing up to get on the bus. I was partly relieved because then the bus will stop for a longer time and I can catch up with it. But I was also frustrated because my legs are getting tired and my chest tight.

Then, as I reached the bump of the bus, and I've actually TOUCHED it, breathlessly, the bus drove off.
I was so tired and frustrated that I almost collapse (exaggerated).

So I had to take the next bus and as soon as I got off it, I ran into the hospital because I have to catch the 8.15am shuttle to Chorley. As I was entering the main entrance of the hospital, I felt some drizzles on my head and I was positive that was snow. I grinned but had to continue running to the another entrance; where the shuttle is.
And my friends who were already waiting there confirmed it was SNOW!
So yea, my first snow experience was on Dec 16th 2011 in Royal Preston Hospital :D

On my way to Chorley in the shuttle, I was amazed by the snow shower and the scenery it created.
The grasses and roofs were covered in white and looked just like how pictures looked like.
I didn't manage to snap any snow picture today :(
But insyaAllah I will, when it snows again.

As for now, I gotta continue packing my bag as I'll be leaving for Dublin tomorrow!

'till then,

-Because life is a test-


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Who has heard of Matluthfi?
That famous vlogger?
Hahah... I got to know about him few years back, and have been following his vlog for quite some time now.
His vlogs are usually hilarious and entertaining.
And he made a special appearance in this video made in response to the controversial "Lagi Hudud Pas" video publicised some time back.

Hudud; it has always been a subject of debate among many Malaysians; Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
A lot of people has sadly, acquired distorted information about this Hudud law; the law of Allah.
I am not an expert in this matter, but what I strongly believe is, Hudud is made for a reason.
For a reason that we might or might not have discovered.

Anyway, enjoy this video!

To include Matuthfi in this video is I think a very wise move.
He caught the attention of youngsters and so, many young people will watch this and gain from it.
Frankly, I watched only half of the "Lagi Hudud Pas" video, because it was boring and for me, unreasonably too critical of Nik Aziz.

disclaimer: I am NOT in any way, inclining to any political parties in Malaysia.

-Because life is a test-


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Assalammualaikum =]

Winter break is coming in 5 days timeee!!
Time flies, doesn't it? Oh wait, I think time does not fly, it rockets instead =.="
I can still remember my first day in UK, waiting anxiously in the airport lounge for my connecting flight from Heathrow to Manchester, and the exhilaration walking from Rusholme to Waterloo Place on that very same day. And suddenly now, my first break is here.

There are 4 people in my house, and none of us are travelling together this winter break. Kiew's going German, Syahidah's going Spain, Ibrizah's going London while I am going to Dublin!
Dublin, Lake District, Manchester and possibly London! What a plan for only 2 weeks of break eh?
Since I've started my clinical years, I get only 2 weeks of holiday while my non-Medical friends get a month! And my summer break next year is only 5 weeks, compared to 3 months for non-Medical students. Frustrating aint it?

I've been following ward rounds with different consultants almost every day now. And I find almost all the consultants (esp Asians) like to ask questions, and I quite like it. I liked the fact that I am almost constantly being tested. But one thing I dislike is when they shove me an ECG to interpret. Duh! I hate ECGs, I can rarely read them appropriately. So many leads (12 of them!) to observe and the tension of having all eyes fixed at you, waiting for you to give a reasonable, fairly accurate interpretation with a probable diagnosis made me wish that I can instantly shrink and disappear into thin air. And people must not try to look for me after that.

And after every ward rounds, I have this burning desire to sit on my study table and mug up my books. But when I get home and finally got myself on the chair, my eyelids started rebelling. They just refused to keep themselves opened. I tried coffee, from one cup a day I'm now taking two cups a day! But coffee doesn't really help me, perhaps my coffees were too diluted?
I shall brew a stronger coffee tomorrow, heh...

It's 12.22am now, and I shall sleep.
I've even reduced my sleeping hours from 8 to 6 hours only.
I shall get up at 6.30am tomorrow.

'till then,

-Because life is a test-


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Today...I saw a woman who was admitted due to multiple drug overdose.
She took a lethal dose of the drugs she was on which included carbamazepine, verapamil and furosemide. These drugs, when combined in a large dose, will lead to severe hypotension and dizziness.

When the consultant ask why did she do that, her response was,
"Because I do not want to live anymore. I wanted to end everything. I feel like I don't matter to my children anymore"

On further questioning, we found out that she has two children; a son and a daughter. And both are staying far from her.
The consultant asked if she regretted doing what she did, she said she was sorry it didn't work out.
It broke my heart.

I see too many old ladies and men being what I consider neglected by their own children. I am not sure if this is the culture over here but, elderly parents do not stay with their children and grandchildren. They live on their own, or in a nursing home.
It is considered normal for a 89 year old lady to stay on her own and it is abnormal and suspicion arises if an elderly parent stay with his/her child; they might be economically unstable - need to investigate further, patient may need social support etc.

I wouldn't want my mother or father to stay on her/his own at 70. In fact, I don't want them to stay on their own at all. Not because I do not trust them in taking care of themselves but, living alone is not pleasant, at all.

Sending parents to nursing homes is rampant here. That stimulates the growth and makes nursing homes better than they ever are in Malaysia, but what are the effects on society?
UK population is growing old, now I understand what it means. I've never seen so many old people walking around when I was in Malaysia.
These old people looked very independent and, active.
But sometimes, they looked too independent, I wonder where are their children; busy working?
A 90 y.o lady came into a cardiology clinic, because she fainted while trying to run to catch a bus.
And her daughter was worried of her heart.
I'd say the daughter had too much expectation of her mother. 90 y.o, running to catch a bus?
What do u expect? Of course blood circulation to her brain will be reduced.
Her heart is unable to work like it did 70 years ago.
She might even faint if she's to get up of her bed too fast.
*benefit of the doubt: she might have underlying heart problem*

One of our pbl case; an old lady stays with her son and his wife and a grandchildren.
The first thing my pbl mates talked about was how congested that house will be.
I was surprised; 4 in a house, CONGESTED?
There were 8 people in my house before I leave Malaysia.
And never once I felt suffocated.
Then only the tutor explained that it is very rare to have a granny to stay with her son, usually grannies stay on their own.
I accidentally said, "And that's better for them?"
And the room went momentarily quiet.

Okay, I've written enough for today.
Just felt like expressing how pitiful I felt to the woman who tried to commit suicide because she felt neglected by her children. That, did not justify her attempt however. It is still wrong to commit suicide, but there are other factors to be taken into consideration before blaming everything on that frail heart of the old lady.

-Because life is a test-


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Assalammualaikum wrt wbt.
I've just finished my enjoyable, fascinating, adventurous 4 weeks GP placement!
Even though I had to travel more than 10 miles a day to the GP (GP means General Practitioner; basically a doctor who works in a clinic), I loved it.
Not only because the doctors and healthcare assistants were nice and helpful, but also because I get to travel and walk around.

I said before that I want to write about the primary care in England and how does it differ from the primary care in Malaysia (primary care means the first level of care patients get; the first person patients go to eg clinics). I am not sure if this is gonna be an interesting post for my regular readers but it might be of interest for those who want to know more about the healthcare system here, through my eyes and thoughts.

Medical Certificate (or better known as "MC" in Malaysia)

One stark difference that striked me was the procedure of giving out MCs. In Malaysia, we need to produce MC to our employers/teachers/univ admin for even one day of sick leave. And that includes sick leave due to a terrible flu; because only an MC can "certify" our illness.

Here however, employees/students can self-certify their sick leaves for up to 5 consecutive days, if I'm not mistaken, or was it 7 days? But anyway, this means that if we're down with flu we can just call the company/office up and inform that we cant make it to work/class, without having to show any MC.

Which system is better?
I'm not sure but I think the answer depends heavily upon the reason of the system. Having to produce MC for even one day of viral fever makes doctors' work unbelievably more. They had to attend to even the slightest tiniest self-limiting fever; which could have been easily treated by paracetamols, plenty of fluids and a good rest. But bcos the employers WANT TO SEE the MC, these poor workers had to get out of their comfortable beds to a clinic for Drs to see them and "certify" their illness.

Drs here do not have to attend to these illnesses and that changed the whole statistics of "most common illnesses presented to a GP".

Duringn my 4 days of GP attachment in Malaysia, I see mostly cough, cold, flu, fever and diarrhoea.
So I do agree that GPs in Malaysia have more work to do, bcos they see a lot more patients in a day. But imagine the 5 day self-certify illness is implemented in Malaysia, I think there will be quite a considerable number of workers/students that will use illness as an excuse to not attend work/class. I am not sure if the people here abuse that self-certification, I do not have any statistics to comment on it, but I have to admit that even the number of prescribed sick-leave days are frightening. Patients came in with depression and guess what, they were prescribed a 4-6 week sick leave!
How abused, or un-abused is the sick leave? I don't know.

Personal GP

In Malaysia, we rarely go to one GP in particular, especially if we are used to a government clinic. Yes, we may go to a certain clinic, but we rarely ever get the same GP attending to us on every visit.

But here, we have to register ourselves with a surgery (they call clinic as surgery here), and u'll get a "Usual GP". U might not get that particular GP on ur visits but still, u most likely will. So every time we are down with non-self-treatable illness, we HAVE TO go to that particular GP. Other GP will not accept u unless it is a very emergency case (but might as well go to A&E dept for that).
This is good in the sense that the surgery knows ur whole medical history; in which month did u come in with pneumonia, which month did u come in with syncope etc where as in Malaysia, people tend to go to private clinics if they want to get a fast treatment; and even then, people don't usually go to the same clinic. I myself went to quite a few clinics in my area, depending on which clinic has the least number of patients waiting for a consultation. That means, my medical history were split into at least 3 different private clinics and a government clinic back in Malaysia. Not good for documentation isn't it?

But the drawback is when you are not yet registered (which should not happen to British).
When I first got here, I was down with something that really required treatment (well actually I could have self-treat myself but the drug dispensing regulation here is tighter than Malaysia that I can't buy those medication over the counter). And because I have not registered myself (the registration itself takes 3-4 weeks) with any practice (a clinic), I could not go to a surgery for treatment. I then had to resort to A&E. Funny isn't it? I went into the A&E Dept in the hospital I am based in, wearing the scrubs all medical students are wearing. At first the staff thought I was there for a posting.

Ok sorry, I really think I gtg now.
I'll continue writing when I have the time.

-Because life is a test-