Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Day in the Theatre

Two years ago, or in fact one year ago, whenever people say "theatre", the first thing that comes to my mind will be the theatre where plays are performed.
Where people pay (sometimes hugely) to watch actors and actresses onstage, projecting their voices out as loud and as clear as they can so that the whole floor will be able to hear them.

Now, whenever people mention theatre, I will think of operating theatre, where people get operated on.

I've been in the theatre quite a few times, and as usual got excited by the prospect of watching real life anatomy. Since IMU is a very clean university, we didn't get to dissect any cadaver for our Anatomy classes, unlike our friends who were trained in India.

But today, for the first time in my life I actually get to assist a surgery!
It might sound little to some but, for me it's a huge step. Not into the surgical world though, I am not interested in becoming a surgeon.
A huge step in becoming a junior doctor.

The first surgery was laparoscopic cholecystectomy. That is removing the gall bladder, but not by cutting open the abdomen but only by piercing a few holes on the abdominal wall; a key-hole surgery it is called.
4 main holes were bore on the abdominal wall, two are for the surgeon to put in their instruments to maneuver the structures in the abdomen, one to clamp and fix the gall bladder while the last, biggest hole is to put the camera in.
My task, even though was one of the simplest, was to hold the camera-stick and maneuver the lens so that the surgeon can have a good view of what she's doing inside there.

It was a 90-min procedure and required me to stand still, leaning my hip on the patient's bed while keeping my hand steady, moving when needed keeping the "workspace" of the surgeon at the centre of the monitor.

No wonder people say surgeon's hands are very delicate yet strong. My hand were tired halfway through the surgery and I had to support one hand with the other alternately.

The next surgery, the surgery me and clinical partner actually went for; a gastrectomy (removal of the stomach) came next. It started at 1pm, but we forgot to have our lunch before the surgery. So start 1pm till 4.30pm, we had to maintain on our feet, watch the surgery (my partner gets to assist, I was just observing), prepare for any pop quiz from the surgeon, in hunger.

The surgery was intended to be a key-hole surgery as well. But as soon as they put the camera in, they realised the stomach cancer this patient has is very big. The initial plan was to remove part of the stomach. Now, seeing the extent of the cancer, they decided to cut the abdomen open, and remove the whole stomach.

At 4.30pm, when everything was over we thanked the surgeons and made way to the changing room.
By the time we walk out of the hospital, it was already 5pm and I was hypoglycaemic, almost unable to walk straight.
Booths, and then common room for some time on our own, with croissant hoyeah!

p/s: When I was in Form 2, my English teacher asked what I wanted to be when I grow up. I said I wanted to be an operator. She frowned and asked again. I said "Yes, an operator. To operate people"
Then only both of us realised that I meant surgeon. Oh My English! Such an embarrassment.

-Because life is a test-

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Bersih 3.0

It has been a month since I wrote here, and I have just finished my final theory paper for 3rd year 3 days ago.
I am only left with an OSCE exam which is coming in 4 weeks' time.
After that, hasta la vista it's SSC for 4 weeks and Malaysia I come!

My last SSC was in Pathology where I get to watch post-mortems and produce my own microscopic slides. This time around, my SSC will be in Oncology, not sure what to expect but I think it'll involve me seeing a lot of cancer patients having their chemotherapy. I hope it will not involve memorising all the anti-cancer drugs, and the mutated genes involved in the pathogenesis of cancer.

Many many things have happened since I last wrote here.
And one of the biggest will be of course, Bersih 3.0.


Held on April the 28th, tens of thousands of Malaysians gather to show their support in asking for electoral reform.
Not only in Malaysia but the massive gathering was also held in 22 countries worldwide (according to
Of course, the UK wasn't left out. It's not difficult to find Malaysians here, we may be few but we exist.
Try walking in Manchester city at any time of the day during a university term time, you will definitely see Malaysians walking around. Students, mostly. I've nvr been to Al Jazeera without bumping into fellow Malaysians there.

FB invitations were sent out, students were invited to join the BERSIH sit and protest gathering.
I told my dad about it, and he warned "No way you are going there. I don't want you to get into trouble"
OK. I wasn't keen on the idea of spending £7 on the train ticket anyway.

Do I support the cause?
Yes, of course. A fairer electoral committee, who will in their right minds object to it?
But I don't like the way it was done. Or rather, I'm afraid of what will happen during the gathering day.
Do you know how difficult it is to control 2500 high school students in a school assembly?
Only when one student start reciting the do'a onstage will the noises start to disappear (good thing we are taught to respect prayers even if some of us do not understand what was recited).
Only then can the teacher-on-duty start the assembly.

Imagine gathering 10,000 people under the hot sun. 15 thousand, 20 000? How do we make sure there will be no one that is immature enough to wreak havoc?
After school Sports Day, students will be gathered in the field for the award-giving ceremony.
2,500 students, from Peralihan Satu to Form 5.
Only one naughty student is needed to throw his empty water bottle (the bottle always comes from the boys' area) to the center of the field, then suddenly everything will turn into a battlefield, even if the first water bottle did not hit anyone. Empty, half and full water bottles will start to fly on the air, from one side to the other side of the assembly area. Girls start to scream around, duck themselves, covering their heads. Then, the class lines disappear. Everyone runs around. The discipline teacher will then have to grab the mic from the teacher-on-duty and start his deep, thunder-like scream "SENYAP!". Then, the situation got controlled.
This is a true story, I did not go to Mont Kiara International School where all the posh people are, I went to normal daily school where students of various classes of society, intelligence and discipline are.

Without proper planning, there are bound to misconduct on the day.
What more when the society has been angered by some mini assembly by some proclaimed Mahasiswa prior to the BERSIH rally. Mahasiswas who, after getting loans refused to pay them back. I'd better not dwell on that.
And Anti-Lynas rally, where the government still refused to listen to the plea of their people, not to endanger our lives. All these, add up to the emotions of people.
Not only people hoping for a fairer election join BERSIH, but even anti-Govt people will also join the rally.
And to make matters worse, I am sure many people join despite not having a clear idea of what they really are marching for.
How many of the marchers know what exactly do Ambiga and A. Samad Said demanded for?
What kind of electoral reform do they want?
Most people came knowing they want to have a better life, and that's it.

I am not sure how extensive and strategic was the BERSIH committee plans on that day, especially in safety measurements. They do, advise people on what to do should they get sprayed and all. But, do they have their own safety-police? i.e placing someone (or sometwo, somethree or somefour) to be in charge of the safety for every 400m radius. If there is any havoc in their area, control it. Remove the causal factor, and minimise "collateral damage". If there were people in charge of that safety, then the incident where marchers attacking the police car at the traffic light, causing the car to skid and hit other people might not have happened. It should have been controlled when it first started when the immature, out-of-their-minds civilians started harassing the police car.

What else do I want to say about BERSIH?
Some people say it has been politicised.
Some businesspeople were claimed to blame Ambiga for making them lose their businesses on that particular day.
Suddenly videos of the veteran army practicing rubbish exercise in front of Ambiga's hse, which in my opinion degraded the dignity of the army went viral in Facebook.
Worst of all, unbelievably dirty, degrading and humiliating remarks were made upon our policemen.
True, not all policemen are good, loving, responsible, and heroic like what Hong Kong, Bollywood and Hollywood movies depict. But not all policemen are corrupted, stupid and violent.
They are fathers, brothers, husbands, sons to someone too. Someone is waiting for them to come home too.
Imagine having a policeman as your father, he went out because he needed to be on duty during BERSIH day. The next thing you know, he is in the hospital after almost being beaten to death by angry protesters, who are also fellow Malaysians.

Angry? Sad? Proud?
Feel like punching Ambiga who started all this gathering thing?
Or Anwar who initiated demonstration in Malaysia (remember the REFORMASI demonstration in 1998?)
Or Najib who has been flying everywhere with his pink lips, trying to capture everyone's hearts while his wife were allegedly flying everywhere too, shopping using her own childhood savings?
Or do you feel like jumping into the world of politics, to set things right?

"You can hate your government, but love your country"

-Because life is a test-

(Reading the synopsis of this movie this morning gave me the shivers. He is a real HERO)