Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Book Review: Leaving Time


I saw this notice on the board at my condo lobby two nights ago.

That means I will be living in the Stone Age for 3hrs on the 20th.
Why did they have to pick THAT day?
The day that I get to spend my day at home, since I will only start work at 9 at night.

I thought of millions things I wanted to do but couldn't.
The thoughts of not having a rotating fan above my head, can't switch my TV on, my WiFi will be off, I can't charge my phone, if I watch movie on my Mac- before I could finish the movie, the battery might have died - they all almost suck the life out of me (this is clearly an exaggeration).

So I imagined bringing my Macbook to Dal Komm in IOI City Mall - so that I can sit there and have a cup of (overpriced) coffee and look cool - perhaps with my erphones on. But I was too lazy.
I also texted Shuhada, asking her out. She can't make it.
Heck I even considered going to the hospital and help Alia screen little babies.

Instead, I made one of the wisest decision I made this week.
I picked up this Leaving Time book I bought from Big Bad Wolf last week.
And walla~ 36hrs passed and I finished it.

I have so many things to write about.
This is my list:
1/ Big Bad Wolf book fair
2/ My 2 years as a house officer
3/ My extension - one of the many things that made me doubt my career choice at the moment
4/ Shopping and cosmetics - a trend I see nowadays
5/ Korean dramas
and a lot other things

But since I have just finished the book about an hour ago, it still very fresh within me I feel so manic now.
For the past 36hrs, I almost feel like I'm living in the world Judi Picoult describes.
I long to read and explore further, and finish the book - to know what happens to each and every characters.
If not for my night shift last night, I might have finished the book in less than 10hrs.

This is a story told from the perspective of 4 people - Alice, Jenna, Serenity and Virgil.
And it amazed me how Picoult managed to wrap the stories nicely with lots of academical facts about guess what - elephants.
Alice is a woman who took Neuroscience for her undergrad degree - and later on became a scientist studying elephants.
This is her story, and Jenna's and Serenity's and Virgil's - and how their fates intertwined with each other. How they see each other and the events that occur around them.
This book not only made me feel like wanting to be an elephant researcher, it made me long to go to Africa and touch those elephants.
It talks about how elephants interact very much the same way as we humans interact with each other.
And the science and debate behind it since we can't actually quantify emotions.

It astonished me the amount of work - researches and readings that were needed to produce this book.
If Malaysian community can produce these kinds of authors / books, we would be very blessed.
- I see most of our artworks now are plain imagination without any substantial effort put in it. Even CPR is portrayed so wrongly in our Malay dramas - enough to make me shudder in embarrassment just by watching it.

I can go on and on talking about this book.
But I dont want to give any spoilers here.
You should read the book, and you'll agree with me.
The amount of work put was enormous.

Btw, why did I write about this?
While I was going thru my previous blog posts, I stumbled upon this .
The post I wrote on The Lost Daughter book, by Diane Chamberlain - in June 2014.
Truthfully speaking, I can't really recall the storyline but since I wrote about it, I figure it must have been a good book. Hence I looked for other Chamberlain's book during the Big Bad Wolf book sale 2 weeks ago.

Therefore writing about this book now not only introduce this book to my readers (if I still have any) - it will also help to remind me in years to come that I was once captivated by this story - Leaving Time.
The ending totally blown me away and I literally had goosebumps while reading the last chapter.

I don't usually read a novel twice - but if I had gone out of fresh unread book supply, I shall remind myself that I might want to read this again.

-Because life is a test-

Monday, December 5, 2016

Growing Up

I’ve been married for 6 months now.

6 months!

And I’ve moved out of my mum’s house into a rented apartment with my husband (even saying “husband” out loud is still weird for me sometimes)

Busy With Work

So yea, since I started working 10 months ago, my life turned upside down.
I got so busy with my more-than-80 working hours every week, losing my social life; missing birthdays, weddings and gatherings (not yet funeral, though!)

I was very fortunate that my workplace is near to mum’s place and mum has a maid. So 6 months ago, my clothes and food were catered for.
I woke up to breakfast (or at least a packed breakfast) and came home to dinner, with my clothes ironed for me every day.
I need not do the laundry, my room was vacuumed every week and my off day (only once a week!) can be spent sleeping, without worrying about marketing, cooking or washing.

So you can imagine how worrying it was for me thinking about how life would be after the wedding, and the moving out.

6 months fast forward, I am still surviving, well.

I managed to do my laundry.
I cook once in a while.
I iron our clothes every week.
I managed to clean the toilet once a week or so.

My apartment is not full of stacked papers and files, unwashed dishes and piles of unwashed clothes hidden in corners or under the bed.

I don’t know how I did it.

Help Here and There

Lots of help from dear husband of course.
And of course, too, my mum and maid come by once a month for a few hours to help me with the ironing and floor mopping.
It may also be because I have become a bit more accustomed to this busy house officer life, so I was not as exhausted as when I first started working.

But hey, I still manage it, without going crazy or having a fight with dear husband.
Some supposedly modern feminists might say, why do I put the responsibility of taking care of the household on me?
Well, I was thinking about it too.
Islam has never said the woman of the house is responsible for the house chores.
But why do I feel that the duty is on me?
Well, I suppose it is because the society has drilled it upon us.

Thank God, Akmal is far from the male-chauvinist type.
He would be the one putting our groceries into the fridge while I change.
He would be the one folding the clothes while I iron our working attires.
And he would be the one choosing chickens to buy in supermarket :-D

Of course, there were still times when we forgot to throw our garbage in the kitchen, that when both of us got home exhausted from being on call, the smell of “fermented garbage” welcomed us. We swore to ourselves not to forget throwing the garbage, EVER AGAIN.
And the times where we were so tired to cook that we called pizza for dinner (I so hope restaurants start delivery services for nasi goreng, nasi lemak, and those sorts).

We are still learning, and growing up.

-Because life is a test-


Saturday, December 3, 2016

Owning Only One Car


Currently, Akmal and I are using only one car.
We are sharing his red Proton Saga.
I returned the Kelisa I've been using since my A-Level years to mum, and now my sister is using it for her class.

The plus point, I don't have to pay for a car loan.
The minus point (but can also be the plus point), we always have to take turns to use the car.

Say...I work a morning shift (until 5pm) but Akmal works long shift (until 10pm), which means I will drive the car home at 5pm and come back to the hospital to fetch Akmal at 10pm. If he finishes his work late (which is usually the case), I will need to wait until he finished his work.

The same goes if I work a long shift and he morning.

If we have two cars - one of each (I've always fancied a Honda Jazz :-D), I can go home at 5pm and perhaps cook dinner while waiting for dear husband to come home.

But, if we have two cars that means in the morning both of us have to drive off separately.
We wake up at the same time, go down the apartment at the same time but drives off separately and look for a parking space separately. Not only it takes the already limited parking spaces but that will also mean Akmal and I will have less time together.

The journeys to and fro work are the time where we update each other - considering the busy schedule we have as house officers*.
I can't imagine having to drive to work separately.

So maybe...I'll hold off my Honda Jazz for now.
I can't afford it yet, anyway

- Because life is a test -

*This post originally posted on 15th Dec 2015.
In a diff blog, when I lost access to this blog*

Friday, December 2, 2016

I am sorry I can't save your baby

Okay so now I am almost at the end of my 3rd posting; Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Obstetrics is when women pregnant more than 23 weeks are concerned, while Gynaecology deals with all women (physical) women-health problems, and if their pregnancy is less than 23 weeks old.

Get it?

You know in the movies and dramas where when a woman lost her pregnancy in an accident or something, the doctor will come up to her and say, "I am sorry we lost your baby" - in a solemn, empathic, guilty face?

I am very sorry to say it doesn't happen like that in real life.

Most women I met during my Gynaecology posting are women who have just had a miscarriage.
The foetus they carried just died - like that. Gone.

Most of the time, these women might be pregnant for 8 - 10 weeks (that is 2 months you know) and then they had a PV bleed and when we scanned, there is no foetal heart. The foetus died.
And we simply say, "The foetus doesn't make it" or in Malay, "Baby ni tak jadi"
And we take it scientifically - the sperm and ovum met, fertilised and divided. But the mitosis that happened may have gone wrong, the chromosomes that resulted is not compatible with life and the cells degenerate. That is the most common cause of miscarriages.

But to the woman, the thing that have died are not just cells.
The thing they carried in them were their babies - who they might have been very excited about. Who they might have imagined what gender could it be, how to call the babies, how should the babies call them - Mama? Papa? Daddy ummi abi?

To avoid having to deal with their emotions, I noticed that we tend to shut our emotions away from it. And by "we", I meant doctors.
What do I do if this woman in front of me broke into tears?
I have like 3 other women waiting outside the door, that might have had a miscarriage as well.
Can I afford to tackle this woman's tears? And all the women after this?

So I noticed that what "we" usually do is to say - "the baby doesn't make it"
And let the woman's family deal with her emotions - usually her husband is outside the door as well. We will call the husband in and explain.
We give them an appointment date - to rescan and the foetal heart is still absent, offer her a treatment - to remove the dead cells surgically or medically.

It's all so scientific.
There is no emotion.
But if i were to put emotions in dealing with all my patients - won't it be too tiring for me?
I will be sharing emotions with 20 sad women a day - everyday.

I am sorry your baby died, there is nothing I can do to save the baby, I know this is hard for you but you have to accept this, you can try again.

-Because life is a test-

*This was originally written on 8th Dec 2015. The time when I lost access to this blog, hence I created another blog.


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Weddings Here and There


A few years back, my phone gallery used to be full of outings or lecture slides that we were too lazy to copy on paper - but ended up not copying them pun at home.

Once I started working, my phone gallery became full of foot ulcer pics, scans and xray images.
You wont want to start scrolling through my gallery. My younger sister almost cried seeing the gory pictures.
Not to forget, the weekly timetables since sometime the timetable of the week was changed so many times we have many versions of it.

I am wiser now.
I've disable the auto-download feature on WhatsApp. That means I can choose not to download those gory pictures.
And I make it a point to delete those pictures every few months.
So I dont have that much of them now.

I went thru my phone galleries lately.
And I noticed there were so many wedding pictures.
My circle of friends is expanding.
People I know is getting engaged / married.
I used to go to my parent's friend's children's wedding.
Not anymore. I now go to my friend's wedding.

So these are the collection of weddings Akmal and I attended since our own wedding last April.

Of course, we shall start from my very own wedding.

11 April 2015

22 Nov 2015
Zawanah and Izzat's wedding.
They were both my seniors in my workplace.
People say they err got closer during Orthopaedics posting - which was my first posting.
And I was so clueless!

The house officers and little ones!

Syaira, me and Alia.

2 April 2016
Syahidah's wedding.
My 3 year housemate in Preston.
I don't know when she get to know this man, she was always very secretive 😒

Ibrizah and husband. She got married too in Singapore but I couldn' make it 😞

Well, as usual. Bobby @ Zulhilmi was Syahidah's photographer too

30 April 2016
Akmal's INTEC mate wedding
@ Perbadanan Putrajaya
- well I don't know much about this couple but I think they know each other from HACC - a club focusing on outdoor activities in INTEC.
I've never actually seen Akmal interacted with his peers for so his reunion was kinda new for me.

18 June 2016

Praba Shanmugam's wedding
Well she was my primary school mate! I've known her for more than half of my life.
This is one wedding that Akmal could not attend with me hence I brought Kak Ra instead.
This was my first Indian wedding and it was nice and I get to meet my favourite high school teacher! (well apart from my mum)

23 July 2016
Akmal's cousin's wedding
@ Johor

We actually made a one day journey back and forth Johor - Putrajaya on this day.
Akmal has so many cousins and many of them got engaged / married lately but due to our packed schedule, we always weren't able to make it.
Hence this time we really tried our best.

30 July 2016

Sharifah Farhana's wedding
Another school mate of mine.
I know her from Form 1 and I used to call her father "Shed", instead of "Sayyed"

27 Aug 2016
This was probably my most awaited wedding.
Alia and Faisal's wedding.

They are our colleagues in hospital.
They know each other from med school and were always being teased.
Their wedding was grand and nice and cosy, and tasty.
It was everything nice, except that it's far from my house and I was stuck in almost 2hrs traffic jam on my way there and then lost my way back from there.

Was there any other weddings that I missed?
Can't remember, it's 1am and I need to sleep.
Fortunately it's my off day tomorrow.

Good night!

-Because life is a test-