Monday, December 31, 2012

Day 4 - Berlin


I'm writing from Jugendgastehause Lichterfelde in Berlin. It is a youth hostel and we stayed in a double bed room. It cost us €25 per person per night, quite pricey but this is the cheapest we can get for this date, since we also made our reservation quite late.

We arrived from Munich at about 1.10 pm and made our way to the Brandenburg Tor. Since our hostel is far from the city centre (20 mins by train), we walked around Berlin with our backpacks. Imagine carrying 10kg on your back and walk miles. We were exhausted! But we got see many beautiful buildings.

Brandenburg Tor is a big gate, the only (maybe) remaining part of the Berlin wall. It was just a huge brick gate with statues on top. It is located next the Pariser Platz. That's another platz. Haih.. I noticed that many of the buildings in Germany (I think this applies to most European countries) have statues of men, women and creatures stuck on them, as a part of its architecture. Some of them looked beautiful but most of them were creepy, while some were even embarrassing. From there we took an S-bahn to Gendarmenmarkt. It was said to be the most beautiful place in Germany if not Europe but I doubt that. The buildings were beautiful, yes they were very. But to call it most beautiful, I think it is an exaggeration. But anyway, it started to rain when we reached Gendarmenmarkt so we were quite restricted in movements and had to take shelter.

There was a christmas market but it will cost us €1 to get in; that is the first market which we have to pay to get in. So we didn't. Instead we walked around it and took some pictures. There was supposed to be two cathedrals; the German Cathedral and the French Cathedral. But I can only see one building with a theatre house in the middle and two domes on each side. I am not sure which is the German and which is the French =.=" I think I was a lazy and tired tourist.

We then walked towards Unter den Linden, which is a few hundred years opera house but funnily, we did not know which one was it. We have been following the walking directions and by the time we almost reach there, suddenly there were many other beautiful buildings, which I do not know their names but we took pictures nevertheless. Until now, I do not know which building is which. I might have taken the picts of Unter den Linden unknowingly. I might have a look at the picts I took and compare them with the picts of the buildings in the internet, and match them.

From the on, we walked to Alexanderplatz, the biggest platz in Berlin. There was a Christmas market called "Weihnachtsmarkt auf dem alexanderplatz". Ok, I copy pasted the name from an online brochure. I cant find the effort to type them out. It's hard to spell something that you cant even pronounce. It was big and merry but London's Winter Wonderland was a lot bigger. But the price is cheaper here. A nutella and banana crepes cost €4 only while in London, a nutella only crepes would have cost at least £5!

From Gendarmenmarkt to Alexanderplatz, we walked about 1.5km, stopping in the middle for some pictures and rest, and crepes. By then, my shoulders were falling off. Our second last stop was a souvenir shop, which I did not buy anything from since I bought souvenirs for friends while walking that 1+ km, and I sort of regretted because the gifts in the shop was more beautiful, with more variety and not much different in price! Wasil bought a jacket for his friend's birthday and as soon as we reached the hostel, he tried it on and realised it was too big, even for him. His friend is a little bit smaller than he is. So he went out to change it in the city centre while I wait patiently in the room.

Next task: pack up for home tomorrow!
Next destination: Hamburg!

2 Days in Munich - Day 2


The much awaited day has finally arrived! The ski day!
I wanted to ski for a long time already.
At first I wanted to ski in Freiburg, that was where Hui Fong went last year but it was too far and I have only 5 days in Germany so, we looked for a ski resort that is nearer to Munich. And we found Brauneck-Lenggries Ski Resort. The journey to Lenggries is 1hr by train and there was a free shuttle bus from the train station to the resort.

I had no idea where to take the shuttle bus or even the timetable of the bus. But thankfully, almost everyone that got down our train at Lenggries rushed to a bus right in front of the train station. And I guessed that must be the shuttle bus and we were right.

It cost us €24 to rent the ski equipments and another €19 for a 2 hour ski lesson. We shared with another 3 chinese students. They can speak German well, they must be studying here. Thankfully Wasil can speak Chinese thus we were able to communicate and share the lesson fee. The more the people in the group, the cheaper it gets. If there were only Wasil and I, it would have cost us €25 per person for only an hour lesson.

I really think the ski lesson was beneficial. We learnt how to walk with our ski, how to turn while skiing and most importantly, how to brake. I fell down many times and being stingy, I did not buy neither rent a proper waterproof, skiing pants. So of course, my jeans were wet in no time. Surprising and frustratingly also, the sun was shining very bright and strongly that day. We were sweating and I had to take my outer jacket off. So did Wasil. It was funny to see two Asians struggling to ski, sweating, in tshirts.

Our instructor was a 16 year old boy, who started skiing at 4. He was very nice and supportive, wasn't showing off or anything. He did not look 16! Wasil was the one who chatted with him. After two hours, we can ski, brake and turn amateurly and fall professionally. After a lunch break, we resumed skiing. This time,we took of the ski, wore only the boots and climbed up the ski mountain. We have to pay to use the ski lift so of course, we didn't. The journey up the mountain was so tiring and long, since we had to carry our ski and sticks but the journey down the snow mountain was so fast I barely had time to breath! And I still cant brake gracefully. I didnt fall down but I'll lose control and will be shrieking by the time I reach the mountain foot, for I did not want to collide with other people. It was full of adrenaline! And then we climbed up again, each time higher than before. Wasil climbed up higher than I did, as expected.

There were many little kids around us, as little as 3,4,5 years old. They were learning how to ski, taught by their parents. These parents must be a ski maniac, they might have met each other during skiing and are now passing down the passion to their children. They were so cute and adorable! One of the dads carried his 3-4 yr old daughter on his shoulder up the mountain and he let her ski down with him guarding her. Just like a father teaching his daughter how to cycle. When she was going down too fast, she was still stable on her feet but I think she freaked out that she screamed, "Papa! Papa! Papa! Papa!" and her father grabbed her. And she laughed. Haha... It was so heartwarming.

After a whole day of skiing our muscles out, we took the 4.38pm shuttle back to Lenggries train station to return to Munich.
My whole body was aching but my mind was full of the flashbacks of ski, even while packing my bag for tomorrow we will be boarding an early train to Berlin.

And while trying to sleep that night, I can still feel the adrenaline of ski before dozing off.
Berlin, we are coming!

2 Days in Munich - Day 1


Day 2 and 3 of my trip were in Munich. We arrived from Bremen at about 2pm on the first day after an almost 6-hour express train! But we weren't able to get into our dorms yet as the check-in time was 3pm. Thankfully we can leave our luggage in the "gepackraum", which simply means luggage room :) And thankfully also our hostel is very near to the main rail station, the hauptbahnhof.

In Munich, there was a donner shop that sells Halal food, it had a halal sign in front. We were so glad to find that shop, since we were already starving from the lack of proper breakfast that morning. We then went to the famous BMW Welt! (ok well, it's not so famous. I wont know abt it if I did not see my friend's photo in front of it last year. But i certainly know BMW).
There were two parts of the building, one is BMW Welt while the other is BWM Museum. We hv to pay to go into the museum but not the welt. I dont know what "welt" means. From the look of it, it might mean showroom. I'll google translate it later :)

There were many many many BMW and Mini Cooper in the welt. We can get in some of them to pose for a picture. And there was a gift shop also! There were many many items sold, so rambang mata! I finally bought a fridge magnet for €3.90. I wanted to buy the car model, but I think that can be bought anywhere. And a shirt is definitely not worth it. OK, enough of BMW welt story, we then went to Marienplatz using the underground train, U-bahn.

I think "platz" means "square" since I saw Marienplatz, Alexanderplatz, Bebelplatz and many other platz(es). Next time I'm gonna call that square in Manchester as Piccadilyplatz now. And Tahrirplatz in Egypt. And Tmesplatz in Malaysia.

Marienplatz is the city centre, and the new town hall is there. The town hall is huge, and astonishing but ugly. It's such an old building, with many statues and creatures stuck on it. But it was so big I wanted to catch all of it in my hands, shrink it and bring it home to show everyone.

After a tiring walk, we went back to our hostel. I stayed in a 6 bed female only dorm while Wasil stayed in an 8 bed mixed dorm. The dorm was cosy but the plugpoint was far from my bed. There were 3 double deckers, and the girl in front of me was from Oslo, Norway. She was the only one I talked to in the dorm, the other girls came back late and were still sleeping when I go out in the morning. Interestingly, the Norwegian girl was surprised because I said Muslims cant take alcohol. She also asked if the rule is also applied to men. I sensed that she might have the idea that Muslim women are oppressed. And she said she cant imagine a life without alcohol etc etc. As I was going out of the dorm to take my shower with my head wrapped with towel, suddenly another question popped out, "So, can you wear makeups?"
And I chuckled at the question. This girl in front of me must think that it is very restricted to be a Muslim girl. You cant take alcohol, you cant have sex before marriage (I assume she knows that) and you cant wear makeups. So I said yes you can, but not too heavy. We can dress up to make us appear more confident and presentable but not to seduce or attract other people, or to show off our beauty.

And so, my first day in Munich ended.
I went to sleep excited and in anticipation of the ski the next day.
Sunday, December 30, 2012

Love from German

At last....I've started to explore Europe. All these while I've heard stories of my friends going lots of diff places, places I've nvr set foot on. Places I long to go but the timing hasn't been right. Alhamdulillah, it is now.

My first destination was Bremen, German. I've nvr heard of this place before but RyanAir offers a cheap flight here, so I grabbed it. As long as I'm in German, I can make my way to other cities in German. In this 5 days 5 nights trip, I'll be visiting 4 cities in Germany; 2 are well known (Munich & Berlin), one is sort-of famous (Hamburg), and the other one (Bremen) is just because my flight stops there. After boxing on the 26th, I took a bus to London, flying from Stansted on 27th early morning. So yes, I spent the night sleeping on the airport floor, in front of the closed boarding gates with my brother. We found a secluded spot between a huge advertisement signboard and the wall, next to a boarding gate and slept there on the floor. There were many other people sleeping on the floor, females and males alike. But most of them didn't look for secluded spots, it seemed. They slept almost everywhere! Haha... After about 1.5 hrs of sleep, at abt 3am the security guard woke us up. The boarding gates are starting to open, and she advised us to start boarding and go thru the security first. Unfortunately, since we are not EU citizen, RyanAir wants us ti verify our passports at the desk first, eventho we've checked-in online and we had no luggage to drop. No wonder RyanAir was dubbed the most hated airline. At 3am, the desks are not opened yet and we had to wander aimlessly, sleepily and when the desks started to open up, a huge crowd appeared.
We spent only 3 minutes at the desk; the lady looked at us, looked at our passports and stamp our boarding passes. That's it! Why must they make us wait for them for that? EasyJet doesn't have that requirement.

But anyway, we boarded the plane safely and reached Bremen by 10am German time. It was only 11 minutes from the airport to the city centre by tram.
Bremen airport advertised itself as the airport nearest to the city, in the whole world. And Bremen called itself the city of trams. True enough, trams are seen everywhere; there were 10 lines altogether.

It's not so hard to find halal food here, Alhamdulillah. Though the men in the shop didn't know English, we simply asked "halal"? And they excitedly said yes yes! But of course, I did not ask blondies or red-haired, only dark haired men with brown eyes. Haha... So much for genetics.

We walked around Bremen, with the most famous place being Schnoor Viertel or Schnoor Quarter. It was a maze of rows, most of them are shops, built in the 15th and 16th century. When they said maze, they really meant maze. You can turn left or right and you'll end up on a different lane. It was very cute!
But since we were still tired from the travelling and lack of sleep the day before, we went back to hostel quite early.

After a whole day of walking all around Bremen, I slept from 5 to 8.30pm!
Early the next morning, we took an Intercity Express train to Munich.
I'll talk about Munich later k?


-Because life is a test-


Friday, December 7, 2012

F&C OSCE Nov 2012 (part 1 of 2)


Instead of talking about my personal life, I'll write out the questions I got for my latest Family & Children (F&C) module OSCE.
With this, any juniors or medical students can refer to this post. I've had a hard time looking for past years!

In Univ of Manchester, we get 1 minute to prepare outside the station after reading the question and 8 minutes to complete the station. 2 minutes before the station ends, there will be an announcement.

Day 1 (Paediatrics)

1. You are a medical student in Community placement. This is a mother whose 10 y.o son has been complaining of headaches for the past 6 months. His son is not with her. Take appropriate history from her and present your differential diagnoses and investigations you would like to do to the examiner.

      - Son headache for 6 months, worse past 2 weeks.
      - Start to vomit
      - No photophobia but complains eyes hurt (should ask about vision)
      - Son becoming more clumsy (either unsteady on his feet or cant see properly, need to differentiate these)
      - Headache worse early morning
      - The mother was quite cross, and anxious about her son
      - Mother was afraid it's brain tumour

2. You are a medical student in Community placement. This is a 10 y.o boy complaining of abdominal pain. Perform an abdominal examination and give your differential diagnoses to the examiner. Do not take extensive history from this patient.

       - Normal abdo exam. Causes of acute abdo pain in children.

3. You are a medical student in Community placement. This is a mother who came in to get her son's blood test result. Her son complained of tiredness and have been found to eat soil. Explain to her the results and address any concerns she might have.

      - Result given was FBC. All normal except for MCV, Hb and ferritin. Diagnosis: Iron deficiency anaemia.
      - Mother was worried it is leukaemia because she read from magazine.
      - Mother wants to know why son eats soil. It has been reported as a manifestation of IDA in children (weird eh?)
      - Mother wants to know what treatment. Tablet / diet modification / dietitian referral.

4. You are a medical student in Neonatal placement. This is a young lady who have just had a premature labour. Explain to her the complication of premature labour and address any concerns she might have.

      - Gave birth yesterday. Spontaneous labour, no history of trauma
      - Be sympathetic (haha)
      - Worried because doctor and nurse took the baby away right after delivery
      - Wants to know what is happening to baby
      - Wants to see the baby. Yes, nurse can arrange.
      - Explain lung isn't mature yet. Need special equipments to help baby to breath.
      - Mum asked whether can breastfeed baby. Ans is can and if baby is on ventilator then can give expressed milk.
      - Mum asked if baby will get cerebral palsy (shocked me. For a while I thought we were supposed to explain cerebral palsy, not lung prematurity. But then mum directed me towards other stuff)

5. You are medical student in Community placement. This is a boy who had murmur few months ago (cant remember exactly). He came for a follow up. Examine him and look specifically if the murmur is still present.

      - Normal cardiology exam.
      - Boy very shy lah. Didn't want to take off his clothes.

6. You are a medical student in Community placement. The parents of a school girl are worried about her growth. Measure her height, weight and head circumference and calculate her mid-parental height using the formula (they'll give the formula). Plot these information on the given chart. She is unaccompanied by her parents. Do not take extensive history from this patient.

      - This is one crazy station. The measuring was easy but I've never seen the chart. Didn't know where to plot her mid parental height. They didn't use the WHO chart so....

7. You are a medical student in Community placement. A father came because his son has been very breathless and feverish. Take focussed history and prescribe paracetamol for his son.

      - Not really sure what this station wants us to do.
      - Father talked a lot so I didn't have much time to prescribe the PCM.
      - Essentially son is having acute asthmatic attack secondary to chest infection. Father didn't think it's an asthmatic attack because son is coughing out phlegm. Usually son has asthmatic attack wout the phlegm

8. You are a medical student in Paediatrics placement. This is a parent whose son has
just been diagnosed with diabetes type 1. Explain to him the diagnosis and the management plan and address any concerns he might have.

      - Boy is 10 y.o
      - History of tiredness, weight loss and vomitting
      - Wants to know if boy can continue football
      - His own brother (boy's uncle) has DM type 1 as well. Some of my friends said his brother died of DM, but he didn't tell me that. Maybe I didn't ask but he didn't look distressed or worried. So diff patient might tell diff thing.
      - Father wants to know if son cannot go into any specific career due to the DM. I said I'm not really sure but you cant be a pilot if you have diabetes. And father said boy wanted to be a pilot. Explain about hypoglycemia and the danger.

I'm tired now.
I'll write about Day 2 (Obs and Gynae) tomorrow insyaAllah.

Diclaimer: The sentences used are not the exact sentences in the exam. I can't rmember the sentences exactly (who can under such tension?!). And anyway, patients will usually direct you towards the diagnosis. If you did not ask him/her, he/she might ask you.

All the best!

-Because life is a test-

Thursday, December 6, 2012

SSC 4th Year


It's that time of the semester again! The time period after my OSCE exam and before my semester break. I've just finished the disastrous Paediatrics and O&G OSCE abt 1.5 weeks ago and my winter break is coming in 1.5 weeks!

So while waiting for our exam results (which I really really fear of this time), the school made us do 3 weeks of SSC. My first SSC as I wrote about, one year ago was on Pathology. The second one was on Oncology. This time around, it is on Psychology.
But I don't really enjoy the topic I am doing. However, the best part is I have to go to the hospital only two days in a week! That means, I am quite free on other days of the week; I occupied myself with reading to complete my report.

And that's all I would like to tell about my 4th year SSC.

And yes, I changed my blog layout again.
It might not last long, this one..

'til I write again!

-Because life is a test-