Friday, December 31, 2004
The Whiff of A Place I Learnt to Love
A friend from Belfast buzzed me on the yahoo messenger, after my reluctant waking up from my much needed slumber to recharge.
He's recently visited Barcelona, a place dear to my heart, the place the scent I can still smell, the warmth during the winter month I can still feel.
His description of the city brought back such a sense of longing to be there again, soon I have promised myself, before the winter sulks away. Most people say Paris is the most romantic city, but for me a cross between Barcelona and Venice would be the place instead.
There, I knew nothing but to love, I had nothing but love, I was never shy to smile because I truly was in love. Again, I want to remember, recapture, before cynical me totally miss the idea of being in love.
Dygta feat. Ira
Cintamu yang kurasa
Walau tak terucap s'makin dalam
Cintamu t'lah terukir
Di batas cintaku selamanya
Tak pernah ku mencoba
Lepaskan cintamu walau sesaat
Sejujurnya diriku terlalu sayang padamu
Kuingin s'lalu dalam cintamu
Yang 'kan memisahkan selamanya
Cintamu yang terlintas
Terbias matamu s'lama ini
Adakah di hatimu
Terbesit satu harapan untukku
'Tuk berjanji selamanya 'kan selalu milikku
This song was on, over and over again earlier. It catalysed my brewed compassion for a loveable soul, but in a completely dampened, inhibited way. Almost the right kind of wrong.
The song lullabied me to the state of natural anaesthesia, I always believed that sounds and lights should cease to the minimum when I sleep. I woke up, still on the sofa, curled up (with a cramp in my left arm), surprised that I did break the rules.
Then I remembered again , the love I had to let go, and the New Year's eve shift I have to endure tonight. Bollocks!
Chocolate, Life and The New Year.
When I opened the box, with much suspense and anticipation of the eclectic mixture I would have the pleasure of choosing, I almost let out a sigh to find the top layer of the box was already missing. What a let down from a box of chocolate.
Since the time I watched the Forrest Gump movie, I have always bear the saying like an axiom, at the back of my mind.
"Life is like a box of chocolate, you never know what you are going to get",- or how much you are going to get.
Will you get something already opened, bruised, battered blue black and melting everywhere with the chocolate orange sticking to the sides? Such that handling it becomes tedious, sticky and time consuming?
Will you be ok with a box with the top layer already missing? Although the bottom layer is exactly the same as the bottom, the sheer luxury and orgasmic feeling of peeling the top cover revealing nicely formed velvety chocolate lumps with swirles and neat edges, imbued epicurianistic taste as it all melted in your mouth for the first time; had been raped.
As I sat here, pondering upon the remaining of a rollercoster ride of two-oh-oh-four, I am tempted to say "I give up", because I don't know anymore. Life had demanded a lot out of me and, although I am proud to say that am still in an equilibrium, I fear for my lack of obsession with life. I pray that I never face the last straw.
Somehow this doesn't go hand in hand with what I had planned for myself and my career. I have to persevere and feel the happiness, even if it only exists as a spark plug. Only then the happiness might just caught up with the people I am in touch with.
Maybe then it'll be apparent that eventhough I use the excuse I DON'T HAVE ENOUGH TIME liberally, time is the one thing that if I could buy, I would, if that's what it takes to keep those I love close to me.
Without those that know you or at least know your name, then to the world you are nobody, nada, zilch, and when you feel like there is nothing vouching your very existance, then that is to me a one way ticket to the loony bins. Loneliness is not what you are, it's what you feel. We create loneliness and it's a very avid binder to insanity.
13 hours from now, it'll be next year and some people will be out partying hard, hugging and pecking on the cheeks and lips as the clock strikes midnight, joyous and ecstatic over the arrival of 2005 displacing 2004 into ephemerality. Some will be at work, fretting with cold sweats, high on adrenaline keeping a life or two going.
With the old resolutions refined and fine tuned for perfection, I am only going to do one thing different. I am going to choose my box of chocolate carefully and cushion my heart with lots and lots of bubble wrap. I would keep it close, tender and warm.
Wound heals with time and although there's only one way forward for a heart after a massive infarction, which is to slowly sag and fail, I am sure my compassion will negate facts of pathopsycology.
I will love again and I will learn, and 2005 will be a sanatorium for the wounded.
In the wrapper of the two Baci perugina's chocolate balls with hazelnut in the middle mixed with melted chocolate, two strips of golden paper fell out.
No solo me gusta que me amen, sino que me digan que me aman.-George Elliot
What a spiritual manna from heaven. HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Thursday, December 30, 2004
A Vertical Displacement of Ignorance
One minute was not enough.
Three minutes, was just as the same as the former.
I just felt compelled to keep the silence for as long as possible. I decided not to write anything to begin with. So I didn't for a few days. I however, got myself into a perpetual urges of wanting to write so that I don't feel abandoned half way across the globe.
I typed, deleted and retyped but then deleted again. I couldn't begin to put in words how heavy, drugged and inflated it felt being flashed those devastating pictures of bodies, families in hysteria, man splinting a body of another man, another body to safety.
In just a day, civilization was swept away, into nothingness. Loved ones leached away. Neither ostentatious not understated. Just demise and debris prevailed. I felt a pressing tamponade of remorse. I wanted to be there, to work when it really matters, to help.
That boxing day, the very day tsunami ran amok, I was having fun. We had fun. Baldie, Linda and Raj came to visit me in the humble land of Grim. I didn't know how I did it, but somehow my lack of enthusiasm at inviting them over must have fuelled them to see what this place had to offer.
Yes, of course I mentioned the new cinema by the seaside. Cleethorpe seaside.
It was a gorgeous, most lovely day for a walk along the beach. All the four of us started walking in a row akin to that ceremonious intro of the TV series Young Riders, could just hear the theme song and us being cut and pasted, pantomimed in a slow motion.
Exploring the sandy beach in our thick coats, wooly hats , gloves and scarves, we forked into 2 different conversations; very understandably. Boys being boys, girls alike.
Raj didn't believe in wearing gloves, after that day he's probably in a possession of a pair by now. The bitter cold had no mercy.
Baldie and Raj went ahead leaving us girls catch up on our girl talk. We talked about relationships and such, future, if it is sooner rather than later, how grown up we have become, cars, apartments, possessions, heart and soul matters.
We stopped and looked at the sky. A thick pregnant cloud shrouding the coast. The horizon looked fuzzy, an impending heavy pour approaching very fast. The air was still.
"I love the moment just before a storm and the after rain smell".
Linda disintergrated the statuesque posture, molded from the troposphere we found ourselves in.
A glimpse of light pierced through the badly soiled cumulus nimbus, flirtingly hitting our faces. I winced and laughed at her. She does have this fixation with storms and drizzly weather. She does.
We used to go for a run after the rain back in med school. That's the time we found that we could best let our hair down, stop and smell daffodils, and run and run away and leave the worries behind as well. If that didn't work we got home and had Haagen Daaz. Buy one get one free from Iceland.
I looked down and saw a head, a carcass. I tugged Linda's sleeve and her gaze reciprocated and almost instantaneously she shouted and frantically backed herself off the oscillating demarcation between the sand and the sea. I calmed her.
I poked the carcass and I was relieved to learn that it was a fish head. At least what remained of once a big fish with goggled eyes. I laughed at her again. Silly girl I thought.
We met up with the boys just underneath the Pier amongst the many moulding stilts. All of a sudden a lightning jarred into the circle we partially formed and like the synchronized swimming rehearsal, we ducked down and Linda shrieked.
A loud fierce, sully and revengeful thunder overtook and altogether swallowed her shriek and mine by then at the same time. It had a rather mournful, tenor and remorse composition to it. Almost sorry that it had taken us by surprised. We ran towards the car.
We found a café called "Blue Wave Café" and decided to stop there for a bite to eat. The café had a good ambient to it. The light was low, and the heat greeted us, most idyllic.
We gathered around a table for four and had our scones, teas and coffees. Amidst the never ending stories, everybody trying to talk over each other, one trying to win the audience with a funnier story than the other in between laughable laughter, I was, in silent thankful that they decided to visit.
A bizarre SMS from Dear Friend reached my Samsung E800 inbox.
"8.9 earthquake tsunami in Asia hit indon, Thai, msia, india, s.lanka,maldives. thousnds died, 21 in penang, 7 in kedah. Phuket ruind, maldives submergd"
Hhmmmm strange joke I thought. I dismissed it and kept aloof.
I went to bed that night ignorant, like Oedipus before he wandered blind away from Thebes, ignorant that the woman he slept with was his mother.
I too did not know the sea I had enjoyed earlier in the day, tragicomically was part of the conspiracy. Connected to the many miles away from the epicenter of the earthquake off Indonesian coast.
It had without hesitation, consumed lives of models, actresses, fishermen, fishermen's wives, daughters, hawkers, and backpackers.
It toppled buildings, swamped shacks and huts, washed away cars, trucks and pushbikes. It wrecked boats, yachts and many many coastal resorts.
114,000 lives on the death counter, and still going. I didn't know, I am sorry.
Sunday, December 26, 2004
This Christmas #3
"What does Santa take for upset tummy?" Mr.Piles broke the tension. (not the true surgeon's name but very much represent what he does for a living : looking up the asses for piles)
Mr.Piles is a very respectable surgeon old enough to be my grandad. He is usually very serious and a nononsense type at work.
"Elk-a Sektzer!!!", he offered the answer almost instantaneously. Somebody must have shouted 'what??'.
I looked at the nurses around the station hoping that somebody would laugh, anybody.
"Oh well it could have been worse, couldn't it?", He said rhetorically.
Then we bursted out laughing.
I mean bless him for trying.
That's all I could remember from the on call, everything else merged into a blanket of a heavy fog. A lot of needles and babies, a lot of coffee and but not much substantial food consumed. So knackered.
Friday, December 24, 2004
This Christmas #2
I only had two bleeps from the secretary to say that the operating list for next week had been changed, yet again. But for now, no cases booked, no tummy needed poking, no legs needed chopping no head needed drilling.
Each of the time when the bleep went off, my heart sank a little and I felt guilty a little. The former, because I just couldn’t be asked anymore. I feel heavy, restless, burnt out, therefore laziness emerged as a wrapper to these symptoms.
A wrap of laziness is probably something I would use instead of just lazy, because laziness itself carries an enormous amount of accusation, generalization, and unreliability. Therefore standing on it’s own, seems like such a bad word. Almost sinful to utter when one is getting paid to be on the wait.
The latter, was because I know I just shouldn’t feel like that.
The last time I paid a visit to the wards, which was yesterday, I was amazed at the effort made to emboss the spirit, on anything and everything. Spirit of good will. The wards were adorned with the auspicious paraphernalia of Christmas. Assorted colours of lights were crowned on the mini Christmas trees, amongst the glittering ornaments and condiments, and the gangways and corridors were cobwebbed with inaugurated deco.
Nurses pottering about with their blinking reindeer and Santa hats, gleefully smiling unaware that there is a small chance that there might be somebody walking around them, not feeling as jolly as they are.
I have nothing against Christmas and the whole opportunity given birth by it, but I was not entirely sure why I was so discontent. The way I look at it is, whatever my action, the nidus is what I feel. It starts with the feel of it. If you feel it, then the mind will form reasoning and weigh the good with the bad.
Depending on the memories, the experience, the grudges, love and hatred your mind is set at, you will take upon necessary body posture, tone of voice facial expression and your bodily execution of movements. The festive mood did by the end of my visit seep through and I felt the willing need to unscrooge myself.
I left the ward humming the tune trala la la laa laaa la la la laaaaaaa. Of course with the right minims and crotchets.
In the theatre of vagina and such (gynae list), I had the pleasure of having a supervisor, my delightful Dr.Bramwell. I was not prepared to be quizzed let alone grilled by him on the subject of physics. I really thought that when I left Hertford, donkeys years ago where I did my A-levels, I never had to learn the Boyle’s the Charles and the Avogadro numbers ever again. I was so wrong.
I have done the gynae list on my own and this I should have looked at as a teaching session, to consolidate what I already know. Somehow, that idea needed a bit of whacking in and it didn’t seem to want to precipitate down, even after a session of sitting on the toilet seat staring vacously at the lock.
The question still is engraved in my mind next to the memory of my many conversations with cab drivers I’ve ever met in my life.
“So, how much is the weight of air in this room Dr. Ahmad?
*Gulp* Should I know the answer?
I was embarrassed to feel myself needing to swallow. I thought this swallowing business
only happens in Charlie Chaplin movie or Mickey Mouse cartoon when the characters found themselves in a bit of a state. The painstaking task of getting to some reasonable number required me to tap into the deep buried memory of what the molecular weight of oxygen and nitrogen were.
16 and 14 sprung to mind but, which one for which was another story altogether. At some point he mentioned the word thick, but I wasn’t sure if he meant it. I was neither mad nor humiliated. Just frustrated.
For the whole afternoon, I was tortured mercilessly.
I went home without any song in my head. Only growling of an angry stomach.
The answer to Bramwell’s question:
Take the room as having the dimension of 8m width, 10m length and 4m height. From this you get volume of the room which is 320 cubic meter.
Now calculating the molecular weight of air composition, 20% oxygen 16x2x20%. Added to 80% nitrogen 14x2x80%. These equate to about 30 g. Now using Avogadro constant as 25 litres for one mole ( to make life easy), we can now calculate how many mole the air there is in the above room.
As 1000 litre equals one cubic meter, and calculating mole this is 1000 litre divide by 25litres which equals 40 moles of air in a cubic meter space. If from calculation above we know that a mole of air is 30g then 40 moles equals 1200 g weight of air. That’s heavy for a cubic meter of air!!!!!! For a room of 320 cubic meter it’s a shocking 384,000 g, which is 384 kilos!!!! Now if this is accelerated with a certain speed, imagine the momentum it could create. No wonder it can topple a truck.
I know it’s sad, but at least there’s an, answer.
Thursday, December 23, 2004
This Christmas #1
It does mean that I don't have to obsessively scrub the bathtub everytime I have had a bath and help her mobilise herself around because she struggles with her plaster of Paris cast and her crutches (very accident prone this woman). However her being here defines my existence and the thought of coming home to an empty flat alone is enough to bereft me of sanity.
I suppose the conclusion is, this is bad.
For many years now, I have not failed to work on Christmas day and this year, I have failed miserably again to break the tradition. So there you go, a season to be jolly and I am working Christmas eve and Christmas day. Jolly chemorley!!
A friend from the Isle of Wight rang the night before last for a get together over Boxing Day in Leeds, with a few others from our med school. I can't believe it's been 2 years since I last saw them.
There will be a lot of catching up to do, anecdotes to air, souls to slag off, and damage to be done depending on what we are going to vacously prey on. Not forgettting gossips gossips gossips and more gossips.
I am counting the days and still counting my blessings.
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
Penis For A Change.
For my sins, I had the pleasure of anaesthetising the patients for the orthopaedic list in the morning. The first chap on the list, was cheeky and had a lot to say, probably because he'd been in and out of hospitals so many a time before.
However, I had the final say in saying that he was not to be put to sleep for his hip replacement, because his lungs were, how do I say it correctly, a bit knackered round the gills? I mean just by looking at his skin I could tell that this delightful chap was at least on a pack a day of cigarettes.
His hair was languid, skin flaked and pasty, I even thought he was seventy but no, he was sixty years of age. His middle and index finger were heavily yellow stained, evident of avid holder of the worldly celebrated white sticks with stubs. And that halithosis, man!
Exercise tolerance wise? He could probably do a slow steady stroll to the nearest newsagent which is probably about 2 blocks away to get the morning paper and the cigarettes before making his way back again. Possibly stopping in between to have lots and lots of a breather, but that's about it.
Bottom line was though, he still needed a new hip because the NHS had been kind enough to let him have a new hip to enable him to have that stroll to that newsagent, because failure to do so will result in him spiral down to the depression abyss and this will cost the country a whole load of money to treat his depression. *Tongue in the cheek*
Alternative to putting him to sleep and rendering him on the machine because of his knackered lungs, I chose to stick a spinal needle in him and make his legs 'go away' so that the ortho boys can get in there and jiggle it about.
I must say though of all types of surgeons, the sight of orthopods at work will win the 'scrumptious surgeons at work award' anytime, I mean the sheer force you need to get the acetabulum clonked back into position is just diabolical and sinful to watch.
The boys finished magically materialized a new hip for this chap and I wheeled him into the recovery area where he misbehaved ardously and I was sure I had all areas of my scalp scratched trying to get to the bottom of the problems.
1. His blood pressure was in the boots and not only that, it remained in the boots despite all efforts.
2. He started wimpering and metamorphysized into a creepy howl many moments later, holding to his groinal area.
I was at my wits end fretting, and trying to look cool.
I knew the effect of the spinal might have worn off, so that's the answer to him having the pain. By this time the recovery nurses were running around like mad ostriches, wailing and panicking. To this moment I am still wondering about the need for the drama.
It's been a while since I examined anybody's body properly, but one gentle palpation confirmed that he had a bladder the size of a football and 'hard'!! No wonder he's barking mad.
Inability to wee is one of the recognized complications of spinal anaesthesia.
"So what now doc?", asked the nurse with the moustache.
"You could stick a catheter in and out" I said with my whipper-snapper attitude.
"I don't do male catheterization", she tepidly enlightened me on the general situation between nurses and catheters.
It transpired later that this bunch of nurses 'will not' touch any penises period. So, I had to do it myself despite the fact that my afternoon list was starting in 10 minutes time and I had not had lunch. I winced at the thought.
I explained to the chap what was going to happen. He was at the end of his tether by then, and agreeable to anything suggested so long it didn't involve emasculation.
The 'insertion of the catheter' involves grabbing hold of the shaft of the penis and with a clever geometrical arrangement of your five fingers, scaffolding the thing to imitate the state of a 'Big Ben'.
Needless to say, the procedure is best attempted when this state is preemptively and naturally constructed. Of course the optimum condition will result in some frowning and pouting.
The procedure is then completed with shoving a pencil size tube, made of stiff rubber, coated with PTFE (god knows what it stands for). A normal man would normally curse at this stage but the responses in the past had been eclectic probably due to the fact that the agonizing pain from not able to wee greatly surpasses that of being shoved a tube up the willy.
So I did the above, with great elan, bearing in mind I have not done this for ages. I thought I heard him saying,
"AHHhhhhhhhhhhh...thank you darling" with the most satisfying sigh one could ever imagined. A big grin plastered on his face on top of his exhilirating half shut eyes. His wonky half missing nicotine stained teeth did a revolting tarantella dance.
"That was beautiful", another quirky remark. What started seemingly gratifying now turned into a pervetish comment.
I dropped the lump of meat where it rightly belonged and beckoned one of the nurses to sort out the extension to the catheter.
I went away for solitude and I was sure the blood pressure would have corrected itself by then.
I Forgive You, Always...
I received a most disturbing phone call tonight. I never thought that he would call ever, but he did.
The fact that sometime tonight, this soul, whose voice I much long to hear, was out there with many other things to do, and amongst the many things that troubled him, had chosen to ring me instead.
This is a guy whom I had known for a long long time. I grew to learn his likes and dislikes. His once perfect almost angelic face, had grown rough, bitter and sullen possibly from the constant battle with melancholy.
His expression could have only been of somebody grieve-ridden over many many winter years, denied of even a flicker of rays of joyful sunlight. Pale and tortured the last time I saw him. I didn't know what went on in his mind then, as he wouldn't let me in and I was made to believe that any purposeful conversation with him would jeopardize the wellbeing of both me and him. So I stayed well away, any vital conversation was kept to bare minimum. It tortured me and I cried inside.
I was surprised to hear a jovial singy-songy tone of voice which I instantly recognized as being his. Although this put an instant smile on my face, I was very quick to ring a bell of curiosity as to why he had called at 4:00 am Malaysia time and why he sounded too happy.
I was touched by the fact that he put an effort into making sure that he was calling at an appropriate time on my part of the world, giving little regards to what the the time he had to call on his part. This is the bit in what's left of old him that I would always remember.
We talked about petty things, and events we've missed since we last saw each other. It seemed surreal, given the fact that on my last trip he wouldn't even talk to me, look at me, eat with me, laugh at my jokes, ask me if I was fine. His participation in my life at that point was far from forthcoming. I almost didn't exist in his world. He didn't send me off at the airport, because he refused point blank.
I was beginning to catch up with his contagiously elated mood bridging into ecstatic hocus pocus. We joked about certain things which happened and I was relieved that he was capable of thinking that it was funny. I didn't want to spoil things by reminding him and me for that matter, of his past but recent behaviour. I want him to be like this for as long as possible.
Just as things beginning to warm up and ooze sense of familiarity and coziness again, he suddenly asked me about a man in a sporty gear who recently paid a visit to his house. He asked if I knew the man. I was very confused and I said I couldn't have possibly, because I haven't been home. He started talking about this man and an association to a Malay College Kuala Kangsar, a subject dear to his heart and I got even more puzzled.
He made no regards for me wallowing through a cobweb of utter confusion. He changed the subject to an intense craving for nasi kerabu and that I should stop by on the way from the airport to get him this.
I was in my mid sentence to reason with him, that I was nowhere near going home yet when his idea suddenly jumped to the subject of his watch, which I bought him for his birthday last year. Oh no make him stop.
He started confabulating about this watch having a dual time frame so that's exactly how he knew what time it was in UK. I know that this was a complete bull. My curiosity grew underneath me and surfaced to meet the other focal of sheer fear for losing his train of thoughts and lose him altogether.
An upheaval heat of confusion was reaching it's boiling point and I was terrified that it would blow completely out of proportion and it would be beyond redemption. I know his birthday is coming soon which might justify why the topic of the watch, but the pressure of speech that came with his flight of ideas hit me in the head just as I was reaching my state of fear of an impending doom.
I listened on and I could hear him laughing and giggling as he went on and on talking about absolutely everything under the sun, hopscotching from this to that and the other. At this point making no sense to me whatso ever. I was jittery.
He was still exactly the same person I left there in the room staring at the floor, apopleptic with no interest, no qualms, no fear, no remorse. Only this time he pendulumed to the exact opposite and was ecstatic instead. Possibly at the thought of him conquering all my feelings, all my words and phrases, rendering me lost for words, instead of somber and mournful him.
I hated him then, and I felt the same feeling creeping onto me again and I was frightened all over again.
My heart began to race as I formed tactical solution to avoid talking to him much longer. It'll be detrimental for both of us to carry on talking as I know I would lose my nicely earthed circuit anytime soon. I got in there almost effortlessly and noncontrivingly.
He paused, all giggles halted, all joy faded abruptio, and there was a most uncomfortable, longest, pregnant silence.
I made him promised that he would take his medication without fail and that he would resume his studies only when he feels ready. He asked me if I would call him whenever I am free in the next couple of days.
He told me he missed me and the line went dead, before I could say ditto.
I cupped my face and I slowly succumbed to the gravity pulling my weighted head forward and down. The tug of war between joy and sorrow cut me deep to the core. It's joy in one hand at not only of his ability to feel what missing is like but also his guts to let me know this, but it's grief on the other because I know, that he never asked to be different and he was trying desperately not to be.
He is just not well and he will never be.
My body was shaken, I found myself straining a choking laughter, but at the same time, tears escaped my lacrimal duct.
Lesson re learnt for the hundreth time: Think twice before calling somebody a schizo or a spazzer, he/she is always somebody's brother or sister and the list goes on.
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
What's In Your Socks?
I was so chuffed to see a Boots giftcard which amounts to £50 in my pigeonhole today. Courtesy of all the most good looking, head turning, eye popping, mouth drooling , delightful delightful bunch of consultant anaesthetists.
Imagine the bantering and bumfing during the bunfight to finally arise to this idea of giving us all trainees such genious, special and not to mention expensive gift for Christmas. (£50 is hell lot of monies for one person!!!)
Dr. A: Shall we get them woolie hats (In sticky Zimbabwe accent)
Dr.S: Ah, I think they better off wiz eeyyyy books, or something laik dettt eh. (In heavy Arabic accent)
Dr. M: Oh come on, books will be too dificult they all must have all the books by now. (frowning)
Dr. G: I think best thing is to give them money. (looking left and right)
Dr. TM: ZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzz
Dr.G : Looked at Dr.TM *Yawwnnnnnnn*
Dr. MQ: Hmmm...how much though. Not £50 surely, I don't even get my wife that sort of gift. (snigger and cough cough)
Dr. B: Oh Nonsense! Let's just get them some civilized vouchers of some sort. There's bound to be some somewhere. And they can do whatever they like. Jolly good!(in his most undeniably perfect Queen's English)
All together: Yeaaaa! Yeaaaaa! Good one Dr B.
I am still perplexed as to why they 'd chosen Boots gift card? Do we smell?? The mind boggles.
Now what to get them.
Monday, December 20, 2004
I Only Need a Quick Bite
I go to work to get paid to have money to buy food (amongst other things). Today, I went to work, because I have been paid, and I do have money to buy food, but when I went to work with the money I have, to buy food, my work that I do didn't let me use my money, to go and buy food.
When that happens I always feel let down by the system. Anaesthetists see patients much much earlier than the surgeons for pre-anaesthetic checks, so you do start earlier and you are expected to stay with the patients throughout the entire surgery, be it removal of a gargantuan mole or burrhole for subdural haemorrhage evacuation. (Not good if you have a tempremental bladder I tell you).
When the surgery eventually does finish you are still stuck with the patient until the grogginess abates and full orientation and coordination resumes to what it was before.(The patient's and of course, mine as well). Surgeons on the other hand, more often than not, would have buggered off and done sod all for the patient's care by this time.
You then end up running into your lunch time and breaks whenever there is a problem post operatively. (with much auspiciousness that the goodwill you'd done would gain you some covetous extra time to make up for the lost).
Do they comprehend the politics here? No.
That's why I reminded them in my most 'diplomatic' way today and to my delight, it turned out to be a much welcomed reminder. It does make you 'popular', when you speak up, especially when you are tiny and look about 16, but who is there to look after you if it's not yourself? How do you get time if you don't make time for yourself, even for an apple?
Well at least they've stopped calling me Dr. Ahmad now and started addressing me, by my first name, which I found just as well earned only better as it figurates me more.
Sunday, December 19, 2004
I Went to Asda and I Brought Back Miss Worry
At some point I wish to live close to people that matter to me,
So maybe I 'll live in the lovely Kuala Lumpur aka kayell (american accent best suited this one) aka KL aka kolumpo aka kollo luppow (after a dollop of budu - you would never look down at budu nomore), maybe work in the lovely newly built hi-tech Selayang Medical Centre (check out those Aestiva machines!) ,
Now my mind negates my wish and does what it does best:
Put the exchange rate aside, look at your paycheck:
Would you find a 4 pint semi-skimmed fresh milk for RM 0.89?
Would you get a carton of 2 pint fresh juice for RM 0.75?
Would you get a top shelf filler magazine for RM1.90?
Would you get books like:
A Short History of Nearly Everything -Bill Bryson for RM3.88?
Olivia Joules and the overactive imagination- Helen Fielding for RM3.43?
Do you get books at all in supermarkets?
In UK those are the exact figures in pounds sterling.
"Kita hendaklah memupuk masyarakat membaca dikalangan muda mudi" , inculcating healthy reading habits in youngsters, I hear someone says, so why is it that after hours of contemplating whether to get that book or nasi ayam, one chooses the latter?
It defies logic that 2 most important organs that needing feeding most, need to undergo contending moments like this. Isn't one is no more important than the other?
Some economical calculus stunts may explain this phenomena rather laconicly , but will it be eased anytime soon or at all?
"I live in Kuala Lumpur and I am not materialistic".
I say , really?
I worry for my unborn children. ( 3 is the maximum number, then we negotiate the possibility of clipping those vas deferens, no sayang tak sakit pun, trust me I'm a doctor).
Been And Gone
My tranquil Sunday morning in bed had been molested by a rather strange sound. Very low and near but I was sure that this military sound could only be a deafening one had I not had the double glazed window shut.
I scrambled to the shyness of daylight peeping through the slit of the two arms of the curtains. Phoaahhhh!! Never do that again. That was an instant blindness by self infliction. Remember never to do that again.
My mind was taken over by an object which looked like a dragonfly landing the green virginal openspace, like those in the movies. Only it didn't have a man waiting on that bit of the helipad, with a sleek pair of suits, sunglasses, stiff upperlip, armed with some gun on one hand and a damsel in distress in the other, for ransom lah. (The damsel must be wearing the least comfortable clothes which clings to the body creating the most unnecessary sillouette and of course high heels).
I live within the vicinity of the hospital where I work and this helipad is probably about 100 yards from my window. I was stood there watching with an Oral-B hard tootbrush in one hand and a shrivelled ikan-kering looking tub of 'Aquafresh' on the other. Somehow I felt an urge to join the growing mass there. 2 ambulances careened into the helipad soonafter, and 2 bodies were ushered out in stretches.
Damn. Why do these always happened when I am not on call?
I then lost interest very quickly and I was sure that it could only be either some wacko wino coming back in the wee hours of Sunday having had a bottle too many, crashed into some tree causing unnecessary distress to the cows and sheep, in some remote village of Yorkshire where no help via the usual land network system could penetrate, or somebody attempted to kill themselves but later found themselves still alive, got scared, therefore rang 999, just so that they get better before they try again.
I am puzzled as to why in the woods (so people can't get to them, but why carry mobile phones?) , why on Saturday nights (maybe it's when they should be out partying) and also why not do it properly?.
Holy macaroni. As I am typing this, another helicoptre is landing. Oh not. Sorry. Got well excited there. Maybe just another one of those choppers doing a patrol to see if any of the motorways are gridlocked.
The weather has been absolutely dire past couple of days. It's almost absurd to leave the house.I think I'd develop a kyphotic or even scoliotic back before reaching 40 from bearing those winter coats. So, that's my excuse for being an absolute sluggard, donning nothing but my most fashionable pagoda shirt and wooly socks most of the time, lounging about as if there's 48 hours in a day and my purpose in life is to blog and read blogs.
Last night a few friends from work came over and brought the film Showgirls and also a bottle of Malibu-rum. I have never seen this one before, so I got lured in. I am a firm believer of watching films as it comes, like the movie comes to make me watch it, you know rather than go and make effort to watch it.
This movie here, I would then remember it as a movie I watched in this flat, with this bunch of mentally opressed alcoholic doctors , feeling exactly like this and that because of this and that at that particular time.It would create linkages between the synapses of my rather declining number of neurocytes, hence emblemming some sort of memory in what's left of my brain.
On the other hand, the films I went out to watch as soon as it came out (because I got sucked in by advertisements), lost it's character and essence because the setting was pretty much the same everytime.
You go out, buy the tix, buy poppycorn/nachos (or smuggle KFC chicken wings into TGV-Midvalley) and fizzy drinks and then you watch and then go home, you might talk about it for a bit and you go yea yea I agree or nay nay, you're joking, don't agree, and all memories of it seemed to get washed away after a while.
I don't want to think that this is a premature senile dementia of Pick's syndrome variants setting in when I am not even 30 yet, but I have a nasty feeling that there is a small possibility that it might just be that.
Don't the people/person that you go with make any contribution to remembering the watching of the movie you've watched? No. It's a bit like going to the airports to get back to UK. Done it so many times, it has lost it's novelty. And because of it, my mind had been programmed such that I don't remember what happened at any airports very well anymore.
I never liked aiports anyway so that doesn't help. It's always associated with goodbyes and that very word I think should be called something else, something less tragic like chickens, or cheese or pies or cherries.
"I hate saying cheeses, it makes me sad". You can't feel sad even if you try very hard.
What makes it worse is when time spent during your short holiday, with the ones you love most, regretably ended up, getting on each other's nerve which snowballed to shouting and physical contendings much later. At the time it made complete sense. Geram tau, kecik kecik dah pandai menjawab.
For example, during the busiest time in the year, in any muslim household, there would be dishes to be prepared for buka puasa and cakes and cookies and whole load of other things to do to make all the savoury dishes, you would expect everybody to help out, yes?
Now there's a mother, a big sister and a little sister. If the big sister says put the hundredth- time- you've- read-book down and come gentel this biskut I think that should be treated as a non-repeating request, yes, and a rather valid one, yes, considering the next day was going to be raya already.
So if the big sister found herself making a neat nasty little knead at the little sister's little thigh to get her ass going, after repeated summons, then I think it's a completely justified act. But of course there'd be a volcanic eruptions-like scenes and an inevitable drama ensued afterwards which would result in door slammings and threats of going on hunger strikes.
Parting at airports after those kind of dramas which I am sure all sisters go through every now and then are so hard and painful. There's always a feeling of something stuck in the gullet as you look at her which later made more sense to just copy what she did:
Adik: Sorry kak I was being selfish.
Kakak: No lah dik, I am sorry, I was being pedantic.
Adik: NO no I am sorry kak, I was wrong I was lazy I am so sorry.
Kakak: No I am sorry I was too harsh, you baca buku only I went cubit you what for.
Adik: No kak I am sorry, I know you didn't mean it .
Kakak: No lah dik, no I am so sorry , sakit lagi tak..so sorry *sniff*
Adik upon seeing kakak's eyes going red
Adik: Sorryyyy (face now changing the weather setting) *Uwaaaaaaaaaaa *
Kakak: No I am sorryyy *Uwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa*
Hurmmmm..good thing I didn't go home for raya this year.
Saturday, December 18, 2004
Football Jersey In the Post
A humble adidas logo and the national flag to balance the minimalist look.
This yellow football jersey arrived in the post on Monday. Yellow always manage to wake up my tactile senses. Maybe because of the generosity of the pigments they must have used to attain such diffusion throughout the fabric.It feels rich, almost velvety. I find that only yellow does this to me.
But, more often than not it's a bit in your face innit, annoying, needy, gally, very very selfish colour. If you've ever mixed yellow with blue in equal amount on a pallete, you will know that what you get is yellowish green leaves, never dark green ones. Selfish I tell you.
I would never buy or borrow a yellow garment/clothes. I might entertain the thought of bleaching one though.I don't kill clothes.
But this arrived from Malaysia by proxy and it's the official colour and make for the official jerseys. I would model it in vain but, my camera wouldn't and couldn't work the timer. I actually lost confidence in the timer button. It's got mind of it's own. Suffice to say that it fits me well. Sorry lorr.
I am sure you have a good reason to splat the number 10 on it. My guess is to denote 'perfect ten'ism in the would be wearer?
May I thank you Mr.Lemang for your extravagant display of fond thoughts, and may your quest for spreading love through wearing football jersey will be as enjoyable as I am receiving in it!!
P/s: will wear this in the summer riding my pushbike through The People's Park in lovely Grimsby while singing 'The Hills are Alive'.
Do You Really Think So?
At first, I went beserk. I shouted, I kicked, huffed and puffed and cried bitterly as the final resort. In my mind I was livid but confused. How dare you, how dare you, I say. Furious at your monstrous ability to puppet me into thinking that I would do such thing.
The sudden upheaval of exhausting dissent on my part had later, thrown me clapped out on the sofa with the telly blaring Top of The Pop countdown. This is probably just about the only program I'd watch on Friday night, even so, complete anhedonia prevailed on my part.
Joss Stone new single hummed away from my Labtec speaker, merged with the amplified cheered from the maddening-crowd in the telly to become, bright and brighter interspersation of whiteness.
Loud but muted to allow each crescendo of my inhalation to pierce through the bottle neck in my auditory canal. Do you truly believe that I am a liar? Does it not hurt you to say that?
Have you found the button to my insecurities and weaknesses? You seemed to know when and how hard to push. You seemed very caring, attentive and thoughtful. Anything but agressive.
Your tone of voice never reached half of my pitch but, somehow I felt a tinge of force. Coercing me into submission. It's all up in the air. I can't use a finger to point at anything objective as an evidence to validate my feelings. Alas. It's all gut feeling.
While a sweeping gut feeling greeted me, whispering to me that you might be a ruthless conniver, my head told me that you must be feeling wounded and hurtful underneath. I hate to think that I am callous and insensitive.
I don't want to even suspect that you are harbouring on any malevolent intentions. I want to give you the benefit of the doubt. Why oh why do you think I lied? I 'm confused, can you not see?
Without any other bigger group of muscles apart from the reciprocal medial and lateral rectuses I glanced at the clock and I knew I wasn't going to use the remainder of my quarks of energy to clamber into the car and drive to Chicago Rock Cafe.
I have no interest to join any sort of hullabaloo assocciated with Christmas at this point. One of the important tenets of being me had been doubted. I feel dejected. I am in no shape to party. They can sod off for all I care. Oh I am sorry.
Happy Birthday Sarjan Nadiah
Happy Birthday Sarjan Nadiah!!
I know this is a belated birthday wish. Just so that you know I didn't forget your birthday.
Remember when I had a go at cutting your hair and you just cried beyond console? I kept asking you why and I blew my top off because you gave me a silent treatment? I am so sorry. Can I have a go at guessing again?
I don't think it's the hair because I think it was quite a good job don't you think?
Ok lorrr, I don't think I will ever get it right, knowing you, but I want you to know that you are my most favourite baby sister and you will always be. (It does help that I only have you as a sister). Ok no pouting please.
Also I am proud that the school posted you to Bangkok for that visit. I kept missing you at home when I called to ask you what Bangkok was like. Did they think you budak Siam? I have not seen you shoot any burglars yet but I am sure your skill of handling firearms will become handy as you approach my age, but go easy on worshipping the sun will you, because your tan is getting generous, Cik Tam as Musang call it.
Did any of the three stooges send you birthday wishes? I know that Musang , Monyet and BokBong also love you dearly. They just have a funny way of showing it.
I have a new book for you which I think you will like. That should stop you from reading those Harry Potter books front to back, back to front and middle to back and middle to front.
You study smart and well now, I can't believe in 2 years time you'd be fretting over what to do at uni. Happy Birthday again adik.
P/s: Just feel free to use my room if you are bringing any friends home, just make it look like you haven't touched any of my things.
Thursday, December 16, 2004
When Is The Right Time To Be A Dragonfly?
I have been reading some real blogs, by that I mean blogs which deals with feelings, desires, apprehensions, informations and so on. Very adult, very focused on life itself. I write weird because I am scared. I fear that if I write absolutely everything, there will be nothing else left to write about.
I feel like there would be a burrhole made on my skull and my thoughts would be douched out and materialized into little things, bonbon-like, people can play batu seremban with or congkak with, whenever I have the urge to write anything personal. My mind to me, is like a Pandora's box, therefore it's not a risk I am willing to take.
Maybe it's not fear, maybe it's the very fact that I am crap at writing. True, but the very way of one's writing is the very art that one and one alone can appreciate. If others can tune into the right hertz, then they are either as weird as I am or that I am not that weird afterall.
Can people tell from the style of one's writing if there is a hidden message and it's not all what it seems? Mr. Penyu , you are just not artistic enough.
For example, if I write about dragonfly, would it interest anybody? Maybe to my 10 year old brother who is now back at home losing his sleep over the greatest joy of maybe just maybe our house will get hit by the tengkujuh flood.
I have been mesmerized by the ephemerality of being a dragonfly. It looks nothing like a human being. It has four legs and 2 pairs of wings. Big pair of eyes and skinny matchstick body.However, the configuration of it's lifespan, the difference of it to us was what stopped myself spooning my dinner a while ago.
The lifespan of a dragonfly is not long. Not something, somebody would be overly excited about. I was intrigued though by the fact that the dragonfly that you see in the garden, only lives for 10 days. In that ten days it has to eat tonnes and tonnes to make itself tinted with brilliant blue glistens. It's only when it becomes blue that it is attractive enough, therefore increasing it's chance to engage in the act of copulation. This is a very important milestone in a life of a dragonfly.
Around this time, it also has to mark it's territory for the eggs to be laid by the female dragonfly which would have been successfully impregnated, and hatched into larvae. There will be a lot of air fight and spitfire volleyed in the air with other dragonflies, in the a battle to secure it's territory.
Upon winning, the dragonfly is now the emperor of it's kingdom. Returning to the ground maybe on day 8 or 9, the emperor, with weather-beaten face, jaded, ropy, with skewed, broken wings returns to the ground, not to mend itself but to wither and die. It's job is done.
The bigger chunk of a dragonfly's life is spent underwater as a nymph. It's sole purpose of living is to satiate itself, only this is almost nonsensical, for a nymph's appetite is beyond imagination.
It's driven around by a propeller on it's rear end which also aids the nymph to create pressure, big enough in the thorax to project out it's mouth which lurches out at will, mercilessly snatching the pests into it's mouth. Pests ranges from mosquitoes to gnats and even snails.
Nymph is a nymph for 2 years. If life as a nymph is the better one out of the two then it is justifiable for the lifespan to be divided in such a way. Although it is during life as a dragonfly that the reproduction process takes place, it is also more tedious, with more responsibilities , full of trials and trubulations. It's only fair that all that happen during the 10 days of it's life.
The nymph metamorphyses into a dragonfly at exactly the time when it is physiologically feasible to do so. The exoskeleton becomes no longer permissive for the oxygen tension in the water to be utilized. A bigger tension is needed, maybe 21%. Hence the nymph crawls out into the open space full of air and eased itself out of it's case. No thinking needed, they just go with the flow.
The dragonfly and the nymph are already programmed to be what they are suppose to be at whichever time. Physiologically I am too. But I have much smaller eyes to the brain ratio compared to the dragonfly. I therefore can choose the time and place for myself to do my metamorphysis.
How clever, but how detrimental is to me that I am allowed to choose when and where, only time will tell. Does a nymph know that the second it becomes a dragonfly, it is also the very second that it's escalating towards it's demise? Can I put off my metamorphysis for as long as I want?
I find Attenborough's voice very sexy.
I Do Watch Telly
"Missy! It's time for the surprise!!"
So the chinese friend rushed out , almost breaking into small little skips, disappearing into the next room. Missy in the living room started chewing on a twig of pretzels. Missy offered them to chinese friend's father. He was about to pick one up and advanced it to his mouth when he was forced to look at Missy.
Missy, with all her might, was clasping to her her throat and just about managed to squawk some distressing sounds, very much like a cat with a hairball stuck in the windpipe. Missy had pretzel stuck in her throat! The chinese friend's father rose up to his feet, turned Missy around and started to do a Heimlich maneouvre. Definitely looked like him shagging Missy doggy style of course.
He must have practiced it so many times to perfect the Heimlich that the pretzel flung out after just three thrusts. Missy took some long hard breaths, relieved that she's still alive. Still embracing in doggy style, a conversation took place:
Missy: Oh God, thank you, thank you. Where did you learn to do that?
Chinese friend's father: Oh Bangkok
Chinese friend walked in rejoining them both, with a big box adorned with a big red ribbon.
'Happy Birthday dadd...'....?????
She difinitely didn't see that coming.
I think it's funny, talk about 'it's not what it looks like' aye?
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
When was the last time, your emotions took control of your entire conduct of being?
Last night mine did.
The handover took about 3 seconds from Kevin. Evidently he 's not had much to do during the day, I thought, jolly good, this might just continue throughout the night. I was so wrong.
In the Unit, all babies seemed to have got themselves into , either some weird and wonderful tangle with the umbilical cords or some mishap with the sac, which warranted them to be conjured out of their cocoons by means of C-sections.
Urghh, very vaginal I thought initially.
After few pokings and stabbings in the back of their respective mothers, 3 babies were brought into the welcoming, wonderful planet called earth. It was probably 3 am in the morning, and I felt very detached, very tired, dry and the last thing I wanted to do was to fake that I was overjoyed. Maybe a slight relief that everything was going according to plan, but overjoyed would be pushing it a bit.
I was almost laughing and crying at the same time when they told me that another woman needed to go to theatre, and she's carrying twins!
She had a good back and my job was made easy. I was pleased but completely shattered. Couldn't keep my eyes opened.
The husband came in with this lady and sat at the head end. I did not see a single minute that went by without his hand clutched tightly to hers, intertwined, weaved in with a few tender kisses and when deemed necessary he gently stroked her hair. Right on cue.
Love definitely infused that bit of the theatre. I definitely felt it. His eyes never left hers, as if it's a betrayal to not do that and he was not the kind that does that. I could just tell. She, on the other hand, was completely at ease.
A loud deafening debut cry came from behind the 'bluepeter' blind. The surgeons muttered something that must have meant 'the first one is out'. Both of them were tembling, his body crouched low to her face, embracing , shuddering together, reclusing into their own world. The world of joy.
They were both sobbing uncontrollably possibly captivated by the sounds of the newborn son showing off his lungs, rendered them almost paralysed, unwanting to be united with him yet, scared maybe that they are not ready for this, not good enough for something so beautiful?
There was only a thin green blind separating them from their son. Zillion kisses were planted on her forehead. No doubt he was grateful. No doubt she was ecstatic.Her heart rate jumped from 65 to 122 within 3 seconds.
The son was followed by a much louder cry, almost apologetic cry from another little soul, a baby girl. At this point both were completely helpless. I have never seen a man , with such robust built and composure minutes ago, broke down in tears, shameless. Helpless that he couldn't do anything to console the cries but proud that he was there hanging on to the very person that mattered to him.
I wiped my welled up eyes with the sleeves of my bluescrubs. I remembered then, the reason why I am still the way I am.
Definitely broody, definitely yearning to see a man crying. (Not that anybody needs any kicking in the gonads.)
Monday, December 13, 2004
Not Another Monday Like This
Today, I am glad the mistake I did was a lesson well learnt. Nobody came to any harm in the end, mum and baby were both jolly joy joy , but my confidence has definitely been scarred. I am on a rebound.
Everyone makes mistakes I say, I am no exception. Breathing in and out through different nostrils was what I did to get a grip with the incident, but this needs to be done in a rather controlled way, to avoid impending wooziness afterwards.
Also they say, share your mistakes with others, because this should be healthy for you. So share I shall:
a) Never ignore a pregnant woman going "urghhhh I don't feel so well", even if she calls you a bitch nanosecond before.
b)Never trust anybody to do anything, go check it yourself, after all, if anything happens your career is at stake, and of course all fingers will come to your direction and you've only your own fingers.
c)Stick to your gun, your first instinct is more often than not is the right answer.
d)Never accept second best, if I want an apple I will get an apple, don't you go "alah nevermind pear also can", get me an apple or I..(...haven't thought about how to finish it)
e)Take no crap from nobody, in my anaesthetic room I say when and how, my number one priority is the one on the trolley.
I never did a Monday as bad as this and I am not being prissy.
A Weekend of Not Much
In my mind, I was hoping for a rather chilled, energising, full of positive speed reading and more reading, as if reading Parbrook on saturday afternoon is the most wonderful thing in the world, with possibly a hint of excitement over the veg section at ASDA 10 minutes before closing time on Sunday.
10 minutes according to my randomised non controlled trial of a shopping for one study involving one subject with very low power of study, is the mean time needed should a single professional woman desire to go shopping and come out only with the stuff she needs and needs only, minus the things she wants. Honestly, a visit to ASDA on an empty stomach with the whole afternoon to yourself can do a substantial amount of damage to the little black Elle purse.
Little that I know it was going to be somewhat tad bit contrary to the former belief.
When Dear Friend arrived on Saturday with a suggestion for an outing at the flick, I didn't know that he meant 3 in a row. I was amazed at my newfound ability to watch The Incredibles, which was absolutely hillarious, rectus- abdominis- clenching, serratus-anterior-jiggling, levator palpabrae paralysing session through and through. Kahkahkahkahkah...to say the least. (Don't be deterred by the goobledegook, they are harmless really).
Followed by the provoking Phantom of the Opera. Like Dear Friend said earlier, Joe Schumacher has succesfully delivered a musical through a film, which is normally difficult to strike a balance , without being too over the top.
I did however reliquish consciousness momentarily , when Christine Daee did the Oh- I want you so much but I am oh- so confused because the phantom is oh- so dark and mysterious and I am oh- so drawn to the phantom but I am oh-so scared, save me save me (ZZZzzzzzzzz) , on that roof top with absolutely no clue that the phantom was hiding behind the pillar while she displayed the embodiment of the above confusion vs desire and mind vs emotion.
Just to bring ourselves back to 21st century, we found ourselves watching the Manchurian Candidate. Well, what can I say, I always get overexcited about films which bring together manipulation of human bodies with the perishing of morality to bring about a feel of awe for the level of intelligence the Americans (could potentially) have. Period. These 3 doses of well selected films should see me well through some difficult weeks ahead.
Dear Friend was lucky to have found himself a patch of visible carpet after much pushing and stacking piles of books and paperwork to squeeze himself into his sleeping bag in the living room and to rest his head for the night. I too detest that blue sofa which so far had not done much justice to either comfort or space in this rather deceivingly spacious room.
In the night, after I have done my ritual of 2 chapter per night of Tony hawks-Round Ireland With A Fridge, I was hoping Dear Friend would find comfort on the floor. Little that I know about his little adventour in the little world of my living room as I went into a slumber.
Allegedly, Dear Friend found himself brushing his teeth in the living room. Yes, legs and other organs below the waistline do funny odyssey of it's own course when one's mouth is full of flourided bubbles. I shall be diplomatic and say that he was snooping for a Nokia phone charger, when, lo and behold he found one stuck onto one of the sockets on my 'Surgemaster'. As he was bending over to have a closer look at the charger, some funny cosmic rearrangement of the solar system has, at that particular time, caused, his ability to contain the ever lavishly flourishing bubbles he's produced in his mouth to go into a spasm, due to vigorous act of brushing and lack of ability for the designer of my flat to design a sink in my living room for Dear Friend to spit into.
A splat fell to the ground and somehow, the carpet was saved, but not my baby blue cute little socks, well the left side one at least. In sheer terror Dear Friend confessed that panick strickened, he rushed to the bathroom and performed the initial contingency act of covering the evidence. So he washed it. Very thoughtfully.
Now he wanted to dry it. Much to his dismay, the heater had seized to retain it's ability to either convect, conduct or radiate any heat as it's functioning on a rather strictly controlled timer which was located in a building in one of the rooms which, to get to it, you have to make yourself tiny and imagine that you are doing a i-can-smell-the-carrot scuttling through a rabbit hole.
So being a man that he is, Dear Friend adamantly stuck to his idea of heat and put on the stove and left my baby blue cute little left sock on the stove metal. You may guess what happened after that. Yes , the baby blue left sock was later found to have changed colour to baby blue with rather fascinating hues of yellow and amber bridging into rusty brown which had adopted rather marvellous pattern of a swivel. Bless your little heart Dear Friend.
His rather incomprehensible act of discordant may have been brought about by my obsession for new sets of socks earlier in the day when we had the pleasure of gaining a parking space near the infamous Freshney Place.(We'd be lucky to get a parking space in there). My feet had over the years manage to practice poke-a-hole game to perfection so much so that buying socks is almost like buying a bottle of shampoo. Having said that this baby blue socks did not even have a premature hole or even a holism.
We abandoned the idea of catching mid morning latte/mocha at Starbucks as we came to realize that our friend The Goddess is turning 24 on Monday and urgent brainstorming was needed to arise to an agreement as to what to get her for her birthday. After some head shakings and noddings later we found something that I was delighted to name it a genious discovery.
We found a poncho for her. Now this poncho mallarkey is very in at the mo. You would see one in 3 female gender roaming the surface of Grimsby donning it with much sophistication. This one is not an ordinary one, firstly it's from Tie Rack, secondly it's lambswool so The Goddess will feel warm in it, thirdly, as The Goddess is always modest when it comes to adorning self, this is going to be perfect when she wants to glam up a tight top with a pair of faded jeans. Very sheek, little effort but a big whallop of impact.
Above all that , it's listed under the united colours of safety -black with meticulously handsewn sequins which was quite an elaboration at the front but as it 's been ramified into a corner with the reticularing extensions of shoots from the main flower bed carressing the midrif as it sits to sculpt the waistline, this I still think is still understated. Oh so excited. Please love it as much as I do.
As far as the weekend is concerned, we all know it's never long enough, but it's what you make of it that matters and as for when a favour/gift/offering is given in any shape or form, little did I realize how much contentment it could bring to the giver when the got given passes it on.
Happy Birthday The Goddess.
Thursday, December 09, 2004
You Have Been Vodooed?
My hair, still damp with some premature, nearly naturally drying strands doing rebellious act of getting themselves in an early frizz fiasco. They were the least I worry about, for then, I had 20 minutes to see 4 patients before the surgeon started to give 'special of the day' tuttings and sighings.
I was greeted by Dave who was already in his bluescrubs. Ah yesss...Dave. Decided to come to work today have we? My nonplussed expression forced him to say something.
"Hey Naj, you look like you've been through a wind tunnel."
I became conscious of my frizz and ran my palm with a bit of pressure as to flatten it.
"Yes, G' morning to you too."
I didn't have any wit at my disposal to say anything remotely jovial, let alone funny.
For some reason, he still sounded like an atonement gesture is still awaiting off him. This is the guy who, upon not his, but other people's lack of ability to carry out their job properly resulted in me doing a 24 hr on call. Good one Dave.
I mean if you say you are ill, then you are, there's not much you can do about it, but whose resposibility is it that people who matter, know that you are not coming to work? Although I still think that, death and insanity are the only two things that are permissable to stop you from coming to work. Any work.
It turned out that he's turned up much earlier and seen all the patients. Nice one. I was very pleased I even flashed a smile (at 08:50 in the morning).
I thought I'd ask him if he was feeling any better, without giving away signs that I was genuinely intrigued to know what he really came down with.
He scurried me along into a corner and and on a serious note asked me,
"You are a wicked witch, aren'tchu Naj", looking rather serious at me.
"And I like fat arms and fat legs to make my wicked magic potions?", tacitly I replied at the same time, looking at his watch.
'No really, you know when you called that night? Literally, minutes before you called, I was feeling a bit guilty because I was already feeling better, but then they kept saying I couldn't come in. There I was with my beer , me feet up and watching telly. No, honestly I felt reaaalllyy guilty'.
He could probably pass for a santa with that belly. Honestly, does he know that H2O still exists?
I just blinked, tongue in the cheek, not an inch fazed.
"Uh-huh", I managed to say, still attempting to flattened my hair , which by then had already grown into a great whopping mulberry bush. My agreement to his statement I thought was not very affable.
"And, about 5 minutes after you hung up, I was voilently sick and ended up throwing up the whoooolllee night."
"Oh noo", I said naturally, on cue. I sounded so British at the time, you can't be more British than that. So British I felt sick myself.
"You were sticking needles in my belly on a voodoo doll weren't you?" he buffooningly asked me.
So the whole morning I spent explaining that I am not a witch, none of my family members are, we are not from Thailand or Indonesia for that matter, and we don't do voodoo even if we think a vodoo is something somebody quite rightly deserves. I mean where did he get the word santau from anyway?
Saturday, December 04, 2004
He was 57
I got called to do a pre-anaesthetic check on a chap whom I will call Mr. Malcolm X. I was told that he's 57 years old. Fair enough, off I went, and there he was, in the far right corner of a four bedder bay.
Grossly cacexic in built, all bones with his gown hanging off him ill-fittingly. His face , definitely generous with bony prominences, sunken but with permeable boyishness, and a newly acquired mediterranean tan. Teeth somewhat still all his, white and been kept impeccably well.
His torso was however a different postcode to his thigh which were slim and possibly slightly wasted. Not trying to be funny but it looked like he had swallowed a goat. He didn't look right.
You know how you form a first impression within the first 15 seconds? A word jumped at me. Cancer? A second word: Death?, and a few more lymphating through:
He is not going to survive, he's not going to make it, he's going to die, just tell the family, what's the point of doing this, If I put this chap to sleep he is not going to see another Sunday.
His blood result numbers were all over the place. Nothing was normal. He was not peeing as much as you and me and it's not a good colour. He was also fighting for breaths which for somebody who'd never smoked was slightly odd. Always be careful of people who 'can't get enough air in'.
After some questions and answers, I looked at him and I braved a smile. He had a grave look in his weary eyes. I was worried if he could see through my eyes and read what exactly my thoughts were. I usually look hard into one's eyes as I speak, to gain trust, but ,I found Mr. Malcolm X too trusting.
I explained to him about epidural as he's going to have a laparotomy. I was amazed to find that he was completely on the ball about it all. Very good for his age. I had completely forgotten the fact that he was 57. Not 87. Illnesses always age people and this one is unstoppable, whatever it is.
This so called illness, according to him started about 2 weeks prior to him being admitted. He was in Spain then, on a holiday with his missus. A bit of diarrhoea and a bit of constipation. He is now hoping that we are finally going to do something about it. He's obviously didn't think much of it.
I spoke to the boss as this is going to be a major operation and we needed to do a 'full monty' -the full work up of sticking lines in the neck, in the wrist, not to mention back of the hand and on the back itself. He agreed to come in and give me a hand.
In the anaesthetic room, just before the last drop of Thiopentone made it's way into his vein to later denature the conscious reticular network, Mr. Malcolm X managed to say,
"Please take out whatever that needs taking out" ,
...and effortlessly closed his eyes. The boss, Deb, our assistant and me stood there through a deafening silence while exchanging uneasy glances . That, rendered me temporary incapability to multitask. Deb wasn't pleased. This language I instantly acquired is probably the most easy one to pick up but definitely the hardest one to master.
Mr. R the surgeon, went through the layers of Malcolm X abdomen. Mr. Malcolm X seemed to have settled on the machine. I glazed through the techicolour screen of the monitor, against a backdrop of the ventilator bellow doing hypnotising up and down excursions. I started the record keeping task.
Name: Mr. Malcolm X
Surgeon: Mr R
Every now and the I'd stop and look at Mr.R to see any signs of him arriving at any definitive findings. Tik tok . Tik tok. 25 minutes into the operation. He had his right hand in the incision he made, his thumb and index finger were eagerly feeling the barely visible omentum.
It's not obvious from his pair of eyes (the only bit on his face visible) what his thoughts were. At that point in time, his eyebrows synchronizing pilates, I found, were one the most fascinating findings apart from the maddening sounds of the diathermy zipzapping intermittently causing blips of ventricular tachycardia on my monitor.
He was aware that I was as curious as he was as to how big the 'goat' was. He instructed me to come closer and have a look. The omentum (the layer that covers the bowels) ,were riddled with hard lumps. The colon was caked and cobbled with a pale looking 'mass'. The cancer was absolutely everywhere. Rockhard, attempt to remove this would be futile.
'I am going to start closing, ' Mr R muffled under his mask.
I noticed myself blinking at 2 million hertz in half disbelief hearing that. My heart sank at the thought of Mr. Malcolm X last words before he drifted off to sleep. Quietly I felt most sorry. What needed to be taken out was the whole content of his abdomen, which with our genetic make up, will not be compatible with life.
We obviously finished earlier than what we have set out for.
We wheeled him into a cubicle on the intensive care unit. His arrival had broken every single protocol for admission into the unit but , as the family was told earlier that he was going to be in there post operatively , we did what we thought was best for everybody.
I found myself not as eager to see the missus and the daughter who were already waiting, by the door. As we settled Mr Malcolm X in the room, Mr R the surgeon dashed in. I made way for him and closed the door behind me stealthily. I sauntered aimlessly, effacing away to avoid getting tangled in the emotional newsbreaking. Funny enough, I felt somehow magneted to stay and share the pain. So I did.
My ears picked up an almost choking, contagious barely orchestrated outburst of cry , definitely from the wife and the daughter. I felt a drenching pain of remorse, but in a way relieved that the floodgate had been opened. May he rest rest in peace.
My dad has turned 57 recently. I have not spoken to him for a while. How have you spoken to yours?
Thursday, December 02, 2004
Kenapa? Sebab baru hari lepas dia sendiri tidak tahu bagaimana mahu menyebut 'subarachnoid haemorrhage'. (Jangan anda cuba, saya tidak mahu bertanggungjawab jika lidah anda tersimpul). Tapi seorang doktor patutnya berupaya menyebutnya tanpa banyak berhempas pulas. Bukanlah sebegitu pandai bukan??
Tidak pernah seorang doktor lain yang saya anggap rakan sekerja memberikan taik kerbau sebegitu kepada saya selama ini. Jika saya ingin berikan dia keuntungan dari keraguan, saya boleh berdebat dengan mengatakan, dia datang dari Africa selatan.
Mungkin bagi mereka sesiapa sahaja yang berkulit dengan biarpun hanya sedikit kekuningan adalah lepas saringan untuk dipercakap kebawah begitu. (Dia ini berkulit putih seperti yang anda mungkin telah syaki)
Ini adalah lagi satu cubaan untuk mengasap keluarkan kemarahan pada simamat diatas. Saya yakin dia tidak membaca blog ini akan tetapi isterinya, ialah salah seorang misi misi unit rawatan rapi dan juga berkawan baik dengan Sarah. Dia mungkin membaca.(Dan saya masih lagi tidak berjaya masuk ke bilik kepala misi dimana sejarah layaran web masih di komputer peribadinya , memberikan mereka, kemasukan yang senang ke blog ini). Saya mesti berhati hati.
Apa dia telah lakukan? Bukan apa yang dia lakukan, lebih kepada apa yang dia tidak mahu lakukan. Atas semua itu, cara dia mengatakan apa yang tidak dia mahu lakukan... Begitu biadap. Jika ada senapang gajah pada tepat saat itu, sudah pasti saya unting dibahagian permata keluarganya dan letupkan supaya mandul.
Saya pada hari ini adalah bukan doktor Unit rawatan rapi, saya telah ditugaskan untuk membiuskan pesakit pesakit untuk pembedahan. Saya bernasib baik McNeil, boss yang paling saya suka, bekerja dengan saya. Kami tiduri perempuan yang lehernya begitu besar kerana kelenjar thyroidnya telah membesar luar kawalan sehingga pernafasan pendek.
Apabila sudah habis pembedahan perempuan itu, kami pindah ke unit rawatan rapi kerana dia perlukan perhatian satu kepada satu dengan misi. Selepas menyerah tangan kepada Shaun Hollingworth, boss menghilangkan diri.
Saya seperti manusia normal, badutkan diri dengan senyum kepada Shaun. Dia seperti lubang buntut berkata:
"It's your patient , you stick the arterial line in"
Walau perkataan ajaib pun dia tidak sebutkan!!!!
Dia berjalan pergi tinggalkan saya mulut luas terbuka.Saya pandang misi 3 orang yang juga mata dan mulut luas terbuka.
"How rude!!!", mereka seperti pasukan nasyid berteriak semua pada sekali.
Kebuk wasap kimia Miss Limerick sekali lagi timbul dikepala saya sebaik sahaja kemarahan membangun dengan secara graf parabola. Mereka berfikir juga, adakah saya sedikit lagi mahu meletup kerana mereka lihat muka saya merah seperti udang galah. Lebih lebih lagi cuping telinga saya.
Perjanjian adalah sebegini. Jika (sebagai contoh) saya bekerja di unit rawatan rapi, sesiapa sahaja diterima semasa saya bertugas, pesakit itu adalah tanggungjawab saya. Jadi sayalah akan tikam lehernya, tikam tangannya, cucuk mana mana lubang lubang yang patut supaya pesakit itu mendapat perhatian.
Jadi kalau saya mengangkat perlakuan begitu kenapa dia tidak boleh buat yang sama? Aci bukan? Satu penjelasan sahaja yang saya boleh saya katakan, mamat ini adalah pemalas dan apa taik yang dia bagi saya mesti bagi taik kembali. Bagaimanalah dia tidur diwaktu malam???
Dia kembali disisi katil pesakit apabila saya mula mahu cucuk tangan pesakit tadi. Seseorang mesti lakukan tugas ini, jadi saya buatlah walaupun bukan kerja saya. Saya rasa dia mula berasa bersalah.
"It's ok I'll do it, you go,"
Memang saya betul. Dia berasa bersalah. Tapi mungkin perkataan maaf itu hanya untuk perempuan.
Apakah guna menyuruh saya buatkan kerja ini, untuk kamu hanya mahu kembali selepas itu,untuk berkata, tidak mengapa saya akan lakukannya. Bahagian mana yang kamu tidak faham?
Dia mula memulakan perbualan berunsur perubatan dengan menanyakan akibat akibat yang mungkin berlaku jika tengkuk perempuan itu tetiba membengkak sepanjang malam secara sindiran. Misi mula berlegar legar dikawasan katil untuk meyaksikan drama walaupun kelihatan seperti tidak berminat.
Dia ada perut mahu tanyakan saya soalan berunsur mahu panggang saya hidup hidup begitu. Saya rasa geram kerana dimukanya itu adalah pembayang untuk menyakitkan hati saya lagi. Dia memang letakkan hidungnya tinggi. Saya tidak menjawab. Besar pula mulut dia ini.
Dia bertanya lagi soalan. Saya senyap lagi. Tangan saya mula menggelatar, saya memang tahu apa usaha untuk tikam vena atau arteri pada waktu itu dibuktikan hanya sia sia.
"Look I didn't think you are stupid, alright", bunyinya bagus, tapi mukanya bukan seperti bersalah, malah meneruskan perbualan satu hala dengan membilang apa sebab dia tidak suka kepada saya.
Tangan saya memegang jarum pada masa itu dan saya hanya kata,
"Look just leave ok, I am not talking to you",
Dia beraksi kanak kanak dan berkata
"How long? Till Christmas? New year?"
Saya rasa seperti ada belon mengembang didalam dada saya dan sikit lagi mahu meletup. Jika saya berada diluar dalam cuaca ini dibulan December ini pasti dia akan saksikan asap yang berkepol kepol keluar dari dua lubang hidung saya.
Taik betul. Saya tidak mahu dia lihat saya menangis. Saya tidak mahu dia berjaya buat saya menangis. Saya hanya mampu suruh dia berambus dengan suara seperti ada gula gula Hacks terlekat dibelakang lidah. Dia buat seperti disuruh.
Kepala Misi hampiri saya ketika mata saya bertelaga. Muka kepala misi juga pecah pecah dan membiak menjadi banyak. Saya tidak dapat pegang diri dan sedikit lagi mahu jatuhkan satu titik. Dia berkata;
"Mungkin dia tidak mendapatnya semalam", dan kambingkan dirinya dengan menyeringai menunjukkan gigi. Misi lain juga setuju dia mungkin telah bangun dari katil dari tepi yang lain pagi ini.
Saya rasa lega sedikit. Boss kembali setelah tukar bluescrubnya. Dia mungkin nampak muka panjang saya dan menyiasat.
"Why are you doing this?", dia bertanya keliaran ketika saya masih lagi berhempas pulas memasukkan jarum untuk arterial.
Saya jumpa diri saya seperti budak perempuan darjah lima mengadu kepada guru besar. Pada masa itu, tentulah saya fikir itu yang terbaik. Tapi sekarang setelah ribut taufan reda, saya rasa seperti bersalah kerana menyebabkan mamat itu dipanggil ke bilik boss.
Saya diarahkan balik dan buat teh( mereka suka suruh buat teh jika ada keadaan tegang seperti ini), Shaun pula mungkin mendapat bahagian yang aci untuk perlakuannya yang kasar. Tak tahulah saya jika mendapat pukulan dengan tali pinggang. Dia mungkin balas balik kepada saya esok kerana saya mengadu.
Bagaimanakah saya akan tempuh esok dan hari hari lain?
Puteri Gunung Ledang has now been made into a movie which costs millions. Best cinematography ever made by the Malaysian film industry. It is worth watching and don't worry it is subtittled.