Monday, January 31, 2005


Here I am, like Mike Tyson on the last round, blue black and battered, eyes bewildered but half opened, kilojoules in the muscle mitochondria just enough to throw another punch, hobbling , shuffling and clambering up after a good whack in my face- enough to warrant a prolonged silence. Skewed mouth guard back in the oral cavity. I am blogging again.

I have been sent away from work today, which was good. If only it happens before I actually started working, and not after I have finished the whole morning's list.

I wasn't exactly 100% to start with, but I was determined to make it to work. I was suppose to be working with Dr.D, and I was late the last time I worked with him. He wasn't impressed. So this is like a make up session. I got there nice and early, armed with a box of Kleenex.

In fact, I was very very early my flatmate was worried. I told her I have a cold so I am going to work early. I replayed that in my head and when it didn't make sense I turned to her, see if it made sense to her. She looked at me nonplussed and attempted to say something, but I think it was too early for her to not speak Polish. Not then.

My eyes were watery and itchy. Each time the operating lights sphered into my view I would get this strong gravitation to absorb the showers of lights and my mouth would gape and my nose wriggled and my eyes, watery as it is, started to slit up, and my face screwed almost like when I first tasted the 'mempelam putik' (young sour green mango) Zura and I 'borrowed' from the school 'Taman Science' back when I was 8.

We were going to plant the seeds back under the tree, but because the seeds were as green and as soft as the flesh, Zura sliced them all up and we ate them all. I was scared that in the night the mempelam tree will snake out of our ears and noses, but Zura said it'd only happen to boys. Zura was taller and bigger. I nodded with trust and savoured the forbidden fruit. Zura now has 4 kids and married to somebody from the same village.

Lights do that to me. I find that some people think I am half alien when I explain the phenomena. Even Cik T. Try it, if you feel like sneezing and it's doesn't quite 'come' then look at a source for lights and stare. Don't blink. If it's still not coming lift your tongue a bit, open your mouth a bit. Scratch your top palate and wait. It will come.

I finished seeing all the patients and the white of Dr.D's eyes were no where to be seen. I started without him.

Zusss zassss kreeoookkk plop kreeeeeeeek clunk.tssssssssss..bag bag bag

Ok patient was ready to cook on the table. He was a very very nice, articulate man ( I like that in a man) and he makes spears for a living. I am not sure how many people these days need spears in their daily chores/routine but I am sure he's making a decent dough because his slippers were from Pringles.

Next patient, and another next patient.

All quick quick simple needles and inject and gas and bag bag,
needles inject and gas and bag bag.

In between, I coughed and sneezed and the Kleenex box felt lighter. The pit of my stomach hurt, like how love hurts only that was a bit higher up and lacrimal gland conjuring.

Dr.D never showed up...until..

I was baby sitting the last patient, chirpy Dr.D barged in all happy happy smiley. An entrance you would normally see at a play when one gets a curtain call and reciprocated with a salvo of thundering claps.

It was the same time the fumes of burning flesh made by the diathermy belly-danced it's way into my upper respiratory tract and I barked and fitted agonizing coughs, felt my gut was going to herniate through my ears, brain through my eyes, and I thought I was going to pass out.

I caught the lights trying to simmer my cough, but instead of less noise, I started sneezing and each time, this noise of wailing 'ayam belanda' ( bush turkey) came out from my windpipe. I swear it'd be a hard job trying to reproduce the sound but in the frantic attempt to stop it, it got Kate the assistant laughing, so hard she had to wipe the tears. Kate's very miserable in the morning. You'd be lucky if she speaks to you.

Dr.D : Ahhh on the last patient then. Well done !well done, You deserve a good lunch.

Double door closed behind him. He was gone again. My dominoed sneezing seized fire just as well. Kate looked at me and I frowned at her. What??? Is that it?? Did he not see a display of near death pandemonium?

Caught by Dr.T just outside the changing room at lunch time. How long was he standing there? Did he hear me do a tinkle? How did he know I was in there?

Told me that he heard I wasn't well and told me off for coming to work in the first place. I, according to him was a walking petri dish full of viruses and bacteria. Whatt???

Can't please anybody. AAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaachooomm! *Sniff*

Friday, January 28, 2005

The Anonymosity Revealed.

For the past few months BluEScrubs.blogspot has been a newfound playground to me.

I can choose to swing when I am happy and gay, I can seesaw myself to the infinite oblivion, I can chuckle at the sight of others like me, ataxically balance themselves after coming off an ordeal like a steep slide, grin at the girl with red hair doing a backflip, and or sometimes sombre down with the chubby boy sitting at the corner of the bench with his Snickers, waiting for somebody to come and say ‘Do you want to play with me?’

It’s nowhere near some of the insertblognamehere.blogspots I have thoroughly enjoyed reading, where information of all sorts obtainable as they’ve been created for mass consumption, beautifully written, professionally editted. Rich in a rasa-sekali-tentu-nak-lagi way. BluEScrubs is for me and to a certain extent, you.

You, whom I owe the glimpse of smile to because of your comments, because of the trouble you took to comment and because we share the same thing in common, we like to blog and read blogs.

As we may or may have not noticed, this has appeared in the last entry’s comment box:

u better watch out u c*nt because one of these days no one is going to help you when you fall! no one in this world is as evil as u!!! and God will punish the evils ones on earth even before hell.Anonymous 01.26.05 - 9:15 am #

In utter shock and confusing state of mind, I fended it off. Shoved it off to the back of my mind. I genuinely thought that somebody was having me on, but the word CUNT (sorry, am just reiterating) really made me think hard and been niggling me to think otherwise, eversince.

I am most upset because now, my playground has been stripped off it’s essence. My wit, my passion, my gloating, my pain, my sincerity, my mischief. You have performed an unspeakable intrusive act, you raided my space, you supressed my agility with my words, you have practically raped my blog.

For whole 2 days!!

Curiosity got the better of me. Two questions naturally sprung to mind.

What have I done ?
Who have I upset?

What have I done is a very difficult one to crack because it would mean doing a post mortem of every single waking hour that I've lived because, they say to errr is human, and I am not an android. Unless even in my sleep I am capable still of being evil as depicted by the comment. It will still take a while.We shall leave that one alone.

Who have I upset? To start with, blatantly, the very person who’s written it . At least I hope so, because if this is just the tip of the iceberg then I am very sad. It must hurt so badly to actually hurdle all the don't-do-it guts that one has, to bring just about all the energy that one has, to go on and write such words of disgust.

I put my Nancy Drew hat and gloves on and done a bit of work. What we know so far is this Anonymous person is angry and thinks I am evil. You have my attention now, at least you should be happy, and so I can’t be that evil.

Maybe I am, is that why you couldn’t bring yourself to print your name and contact just in case I come knocking on your door with great big needles. The truth in the evilness in me is still very subjective.

The result of my snooping around is fruitful.

The rapist is the Anonymous, spelt correctly.
Provider : Energis Communications ltd, Watford, UK
IP address: (

More snooping about:

Certainty: 84
Latitude: 51.5170
Longitude: -.1050
CIA Map Reference: Europe
Currency: GBP
Population: 59 647 790
Time zone: +00:00

So this person is in London at the time of the assault.

Distance to Nearby City in km
London 0
Wimbledon 13
Barking 14
Ilford 14
Enfield 16
Barnet 16
Bexley 17
Harrow 19
Sutton 19
Heston 20

((((((((((((Our Anonymous is in London.)))))))))))))) on dolby digital.

I have been snowed-under by presentations this week, but my mind has been on this case, and it's quite tiring. I don't know why I care so much. Maybe it's inert in me, maybe it's vital to fulfill and meet the job description.

Endless nights working with the East Lincolnshire Police force has proven to be quite helpful, but they still owe me a helicopter ride.

If our Anonymous in London is a friend I have been too proud to contact, I am sorry. If I have insulted you with my posts in this blog, I am sorry. If you are a blind date I’ve stood up I am sorry. If you are a somebody I didn’t talk to at a social gathering I am sorry. If you are a guy I’ve rejected, I hope you get a life. There is a reason why they created the word 'jodoh' and 'reject', and there's a reason why it's not one word.

But, if you are a friend and you think I have hurt you (it must be pretty bad, I am nowhere near something with 2 skin folds called majora and minora with 2 caving ugly holes and a prominence with a fat budle of nerve endings crowned the clitoris) please call me. I’ll make time to talk. You must have cared because you care to swear, and I do too because this whole bloody post is about you.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Insignificant Moments

These are the insignificant moments when I thought about it and it's affiliations and meehoon soup.

Sat 8:30 faffing about trying to get the duvet back up onto the bed.

Sun 18:40 scooping the last drop of honey out of the jar.

Mon 12:00 girl with visible roots and chubby ankles next door dropped her keys and struggling with her shopping at the door.

Mon 03:00 got bleeped to go and stick a venflon in a chubby, podgy arm, so podgy I thought.. (nevermind I was very groggy)

Mon 10:00 yahoo messenger kept getting disconnected.

Tue 16:30 found self staring at Barbie doll bank branch manager, with scary nails flicking her blonde hair out of her steroscopic vision.

Tue 18:40 fumbling for spare change for the carpark ticket machine, stupid coppers.

Wed 10:00 Scoffing toast with marmite and bit own tongue. auhhhh..*pain*

Wed 11:00 Neil poked my acromioclavicular and grinned. When asked he said 'to get your attention, haven't seen you for a while'.

The insignificant moment did not include the hours I was asleep.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005


Been out to spend the whole of what remained of my day off in town, courtesy of last night's on call. Alone.

Paid a visit to Barclay's. Very empty apart from their people finishing off today's business. Saw the branch manager. She had a lovely Barbie face, blonde and acryllic nails with daisy diamante patterns. She can't be depressed. This paragraph, previously about why the visit when you can do things online these days, been deleted and retyped with this.

Thought hard and decided, at least I know at some point somebody, somewhere had benefitted from my imponderable act. No need for prolonged bitterness. Made me smile but at the same time various other feelings barged in trying to occupy the space as well. I didn't let them.

Noticed that people do get this winter blues so badly in this part of UK. Forlorn faces everywhere as queued for the parking. I suppose if you are a bit on the pedantic side, frustration threshold is tad bit on the lower side, therefore making these people more prone to being depressed. Hasn't caught up with me, told self. Possibly has and am in denial.

Past a few mirrors in Mark's and Spencer when picking up the milk. Did look like could do with a bit of sunshine. Yellowish and pasty is a combination worse than white and pasty.

Couldn't resist walking into Ottakar. Wish this shop is a walkable distance from the flat. Could stay in there and forever be in another side of life where things popped up and popped out, clearly labelled, with instructions and hazard warnings everywhere. Smell of fresh coffee and scones lingering, as I entered. Ultimate paperback indulgement, a cheap sojourn to just about anywhere, for just about any reason. Idyllic setting for troubled hearts.

Not a worry in the world. No people to questions , no big guys to answer to. No logbook to fill in, no bluescrubs to wear.

Had better get moving though the parking in Freshney Place is a rip off.

Everywhere around town, the marketing people pivot the decor around the arriving Valentine's Day. I think is a bit premature. I got sucked in nevertheless. Picked up a little book of love. Felt a bit numb and in pieces. Thought about how that little book could make some people smile. The magic of words aye.

Could do with a walk by the beach.

Did I mention it's bitterly cold?

Monday, January 24, 2005

Curious Incident Not With A Dog.

Loud banging on the door.

Scurried over to open the door. Tall Royal mail guy smiled. I smiled back.

"Any of your mum or dad's in?" Royal guy scanning my 'what-I-went-to-bed-with'. Still smiling.
Made a dash and hid behind the door quickly. Head still visible. I stopped smiling.

", why?" Do I look like I need to be staying with my mum and dad?

"I need for somebody to sign this".

A 15' x 15' x 15' brown box by his feet. Looked heavy. Maggie's name on it. That's it, her surname is Klopotz. Sounds like an exotic starter, dipped in honey piece of scrumptious wild African banana. Hmmmm. I need coffee.

"I can sign it". I said. Attempted to reach with half body tucked behind the door.

"Better if you let your parents do".

Hok eiiiiiiiiiiiiiihhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!

Do I explain or just let him be? He was tall lanky, ginger haired. Royal mail cap and sling bag. His nails are not exactly a sight one want to see at 7 in the morning. His face full of spots. Red ones, angry ones, volcanic ones, flat ones, shiny ones, crusted ones, healed ones. Can't be older than me.

"Can I just sign it?" Do I look like a blimming 12 year old??

"Urghh..ok then I suppose". He's got goosebumps. Must be cold out there today.


Cheers, thanks, he said.
Thank you, I said.
Ta, he said.

You need glasses mate and I don't live with my parents.

It's Not Easy #2

Went to the nearest phone and rang Azima.

This time last year Azima and I were flatmates. She was a flatmate who would never refuse a day out, always complimenting on my incorrigible cooking, always too happy to go to the gym with me and rang me in Malaysia when I went home for a holiday just for a chat and to catch up. How many people do that?

She is a British Born Pakistani and simply beautiful in a big big Bollywood way. I'd say she's absolutely gorgeous. Very demure, softly spoken and would make a man fly off to the moon and orbit a few times before coming back down again, with happiness. I was meeting her for dinner.

Sorub approached again and asked if I was going home straight away. Not a lot of luck again mate. Felt very guilty for abandoning him after promising that I'd give him a lift and now this. It's not like I was avoiding him. I gave up explaining. Hoped he was fine and find the bus journey a pleasant one. Buses go slower on the Humberbridge because of the wind and gale lately, so he would be able to see the beautiful coast.

We met up in the cafeteria as she was on call. Her hug was tighter than usual. I saw tears.

She started telling me how things have changed since I left. Another girl called Charlotte is now staying in my room. My previous room.

It's not like Azima to say something plain about a person. She would find at least one good point about a person and glorify it to make up for the shortcomings in the person. Because we're all human, she always says. She didn't have much opinion about Charlotte so I knew she doesn't like her.

When I was there, there were 2 boys in the same flat. Imran and Haris. They, fortunately were muslims as well. Haris, a married man with beautiful eyes. Very funny budding opthalmologist and a loving 24 yr old husband. Sometimes his wife Saima came to visit and we all got fed extremely well by her, she cooks well, no doubt.

They gave me a pot plant for my new flat as a farewell gift and this plant has superseded all other plants in my care in terms of lifespan.

We could just see that Imran and Azima were a perfect match. Imran is a cross between Dr. Ross and Dr. Carter from ER, with a big pakistani nose and thick sticky but sexy Scottish accent. He is a perfect gentleman, firm but horribly horribly sweet. They are both doctors, both are muslims and from respectable families. A matchmake of the year.

Haris and I thought that they were just going to hit it off, move out to a house, leave us all to have lots and lots of babies.

That wasn't what happened. Imran got married last month to a pakistani girl from Pakistan itself. I couldn't comprehend. He left 2 weeks ago for Pakistan to fetch his bride, and there I was trying to patch the disaster I caused over a plate runny, bland pasta bake and a cappucino.

It 's her 26th birthday that day and I wished I could make it nicer for her. The fact that she had to be on call didn't help. It felt like old times only this time one of us was crying.

It's Not Easy #1

On Friday, I had an FRCA mock exam at Hull Royal Infirmary, the hospital I previously worked in. It was still there.

The exam was an OSCE type which only gives you 5 minutes at each station to do what you have to do or if all bullshitting fail, there's always a 'staring' stunt to employ.

Staring stunt is an act of intense staring at for example a bulky metal plug end which has half a dozen nozzles and valves attached to two tubes. No writing, no scratching, no tweaking. Just stare and blink. Could easily be a very enticing prop from Starwars. At least that's what crossed my mind when I got to that station.

At one station somebody I know was a mock examiner. He was an SpR and I used to do many painful on calls with him. He's bald by choice, with goatee and recently married. Bad, bad halitosis at 3 in the morning. I am probably one of the many women who would know that. He went to Canada to do a research last year and came back with a blonde and a ring. Nice one mate.

"Hello , have a seat".

It's me , Naj. Smile lah. He didn't smile back at me. So serious. Yes I know it's mock exam, you could at least do a mock smile. I am pissing myself. I hate OSCE.

"Tell me what this piece of equipment is and what it does". Stern and commandingly serious. He's got a few more wrinkles since the last time I saw him.

Is he kidding me. Of course everybody knows it's the blood pressure machine. Even Oli would know.

"It's a sphygmomanometer? and measures blood pressure?" I answered formally with are- you- kidding- me tinge to it and a squirt of disbelief that it was that easy. Why do I have to twist the tone to make it sound like I am asking back a question?

The that easy became less easy, then even more less easy, then not easy then not easy at all, going to answerable, difficult, then bloody difficult then just, crap I have lost my will to live.

You thought it's going to be that easy eh you little mischievous think- you- are- so- smart Malaysian doctor, well you are so wrong, muahahahahahahha. That's what I saw written all over his face. Only then he smiled a bit. Twat!

Got to another station and saw Sorub on the one after. He's a colleague whom I have promised to give a lift to this exam. Oh no. How did he get there? I avoided eye contact and after 3 minutes he looked like he's done his question and looked around. No! don't look left don't..don't.

I had to look at him and meet his gaze and fake a surprised face. Frantic hand gestures on display from my end, trying to apologize and explain why I didn't answer my phone with vigorous 'mouthing' of 'I am so so so sorry, how did you get here? I tried calling you and you weren't and I was err'.

An announcement came from the 'timer' station:

'May I remind you that candidates are not allowed to confer with each other. Failure to comply will result in sudden termination of the OSCE for the candidates involved. Thank you'.

Hmmm let me just look at my answers again. Sorub did exactly that as well.

There was about 18 stations altogether and by the time I got to the Sim man which is a dummy programmable to do just about everything, I was completely mentally exhausted. Time gone by so quickly as well and in this case even when you're not having fun. It was impossible to drive back home straightaway.

The Massacre

Either way, it was my fault.

I left the internet on for 12 hours and never thought the morning I left for work was the last time I was ever going to see my RCAlogbookV6 again. A year's worth of work was condensed, consolidated, amalgamated in there ready for the college to see. I had 673 cases all nicely logged in, with time, cases and all problems encountered. Ready to be churned and legoed into various reports. It's an evidence that I have been trained to be entrusted with someone's life.

I went home to see the PC hung. Ctr-Alt-del helped to shut down and the Win 2000 restarted. A small DOS window appeared which had:

blablablablabla window blablabla do you want to blabla (Y/N)?

And with half a brain the size of mutated chickpea I clicked YES. The window started displaying one file after another scrolled up the screen labelled- deleted.

Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...stop stop stop. It was too late. The deleting massacre went on for a good 2 minutes. Scrolling up with vengeance and deleting as it went along. Take me instead!!! Take me. Take me. I could only watch. I was paralysed.

When it completely restarted, I was only half puzzled as to why the desktop looked a bit empty. All the mp3 which were lurking about disorganizely before, seemed to have either organized itself or vanished??? I knew then the files had been deleted.

I was in denial, and because I am in England I went to the kitchen to have a cuppa. Cleared my head. Whether or not that's what people do when they accidently, stupidly deleted their own files, I wasn't sure.

I came to my senses and it materialized that I had the most important program in there. The logbook!!!!! In no time I discovered that the program was empty. It then dawned on me that I should properly mourn. It felt dark and future seemed bleak, because I never did any back up files.

It could be a worm or a virus. We don't know but the prognosis is unfavourable. I still believe it's my stupidity. Whichever one it was, I only have myself to blame.

Thursday, January 20, 2005


I thanked the pleasant audience for the concentration and undivided attention. Everybody was in their best attire, none showed any signs of boredom. Wide awake, tuned in, plastered to the powerpoint and the tale I was telling.

Now finished, a round of civilised applause caught up with my deafening palpitations. The clapping became louder. Dr A stood up clapping away with most earnesty. I smiled with great elan. Dr G rose, clapping vigorously. Dr M did a high pitch whistle superimposing his clappings, I beamed with delight. Suddenly everybody was standing , and still clapping away.

I also rose from my seat and bowed. I felt huge but yet humblingly puny. My smart suit was creased but so was every other face in the seminar room, with joy and pride.

The standing ovation continues unabated. Suddenly bridged into what sounded like the Queen song 'We are the champion'. I stood in awe. Most flattered. Dr S hopped onto the seminar horse- shoe table and started jamming his imaginary guitar, no worries in the world, carefree. Dr D scrambled up and picked up a microphone and soon turned into a nightclub singer.

Dr Mc hobbled up and upon adjusting his belt heavily under tension started doing a cabaret steps. He was suddenly in pink sequinned bra and thong, doing a can can dance. Everybody started singing and dancing.

"Now twinkling toes, are twirly silken stocking are swirling lazy flimsy things and petticoats are whirling come, watch us do our can can, nothing more enchanting come along and watch us do our can can!!"

Just like that the whole seminar room was filled with ballons, ribbons and confetti, all cascading down in colours filtered with glitters. Brilliant shine bathing everybody in glittery pink bras and thongs. Music stopped and I was imbued with engorging varicosities of smugness.


So it was not like that.

Anaesthetists are boring lot. I hate to imagine becoming one of these when I grow up. Too late now, I have bought the ticket, now I have to ride my ride and sink when there's no more road to plough through.

The day was not quite like what I envisaged. First, the mood killer phone call. I was just about to leave the flat when Dr. D blatantly tricked me into doing something I wasn't prepared mentally to do.

"Adek maniss, you pegi itu maternity ada pompuan mau branak hokkayy. We've changed the pawns slightly this morning because one of the Kings are off sick".


I was planning a rather chilled morning in the intensive care unit, slowly sipping coffee before the morning ward round. Bollocks.

Dr. D is an Indian-Malaysian murtad. He is married to an English bird and now living happily with the gorgoeus children, of teh tarik variants. No doubt, pretty and damn smart asses. At any opportunity he will try and speak malay with me and he would failed miserably apart from when he called me 'muka bontot' when I just about had enough on a 'bad all day'. Bad hair was included. It got me ticked off rather nicely, he had to apologize aferwards.

At the door, just as I was about to leave. Phone rang again.

"Adek, no need to go to , come to ICU and we go round and see who should 'go'. (to be let to die)".

Yes, he is no nonsense , don't-mess-with-my-doctors, see one do one type of guy. I like that bit about him. He will back any of us trainees if we ever get ourselves into trouble. I've seen that happened. This is so true that I don't mind the fact that in operating theatre I found him always scratching 'there', with no sense of sensibility, alter autisticity. He is after all a male. M.A.L.E

On the round, Mr Bed 3 was battling along on the breathing support machine.

Dr.D: So why is he still on the machine.

Naj: He's got crappy chest and it grew MRSA. Spanish type.

I could get away with that sort of reply. He is cool like that.This patient was trasferred from Madrid, holiday cut short ,having caught a nasty chest infection. He turned to Nurse M and dug out more stories about Mr. Bed 6.

Nurse M is sweet, potty and earlier in the week had adopted me, when I told her my mum and dad are 13 hr flight journey away. She wears her hair white, opera type make up, smells gorgeous day and night. She is retiring next year. Her nose hairs are however, slightly on the 'overgrown' side.

Dr. D: Nurse M, was there much when you do suction down the tube?

Nurse M: I have sucked hard, but there wasn't much coming out.

Dr. D: Are you sure?

Nurse M: Yes, I sucked really really hard and yup, nothing. (Carried on writing in her nursing notes, completely unfazed.)

Dr.D: *Throwing a muted fit of contagious laughs*

Naj: Hmmm...Moving along then.

After the presentation, we both returned to Mr Bed 6 to put a monitoring wire into his heart and up into his lungs. Knowing what goes on in his balding head, I couldn't help but having double take to everything he said.

1. First you have to make sure it's stiff, otherwise it won't go in easily (nasogastric tube)
2.This one is bigger than the ones you're used to, so you have to push really really hard and sometimes it's ok if the skin tears a bit. (PA catheter)
3. If you put this in the groin area, you may have to shave, but it's ok in the neck area. (on vascath)
4.Once it's in, position is everything, but whatever you do don't take it out. If you see that it's going flat, that means it's not wedging properly, then take it out. (on pulmonary wedge pressure)
5. When you 've finished, make sure you get rid of everything in the kit, you don't want anybody to get hurt. (on disposing the sharps)

I need a dip in the Ganges and get reincarnated as a tweety bird, or the Sleeping Buddha.



Tomorrow, I will have a reason to put on something else other than bluescrubs to work. Something nice, smart and presentable. It gives me a smidgen of rush.

Tomorrow I will stand in front of the department, telling them my version of what had gone wrong, what we could have done better, what we would do in future in the event of similar circumstances recurring. I will enlighten and shine lights into the thirsty minds of these doctors and tell them why Mr so and so died, why we let him die rather.

Tomorrow I will have my powerpoint slides ready, I will smile, I will remember to breath in pleasant rythms, (none of those shallow, whoozy inducing pantings I used to do) and I will remember to greet good morning to everyone.

Tomorrow I will loook at everybody when I speak. Not just at Dave, Deepa or Kevin. Tomorrow I hope they turn up, I need that nod that 'yes Naj, I agree' look we all give each other for moral support.

Tomorrow I will remember to not eat baked beans for breakfast, because god forbid I do another letwind stunt. The distance might make it safe for the 'silent' category, but deemed catastrophic for the 'explosive' catagory. Very not demure and professional. I dread not been able to trust myself with these things. These tubes and orifices have minds of their own.

But for now which is already tomorrow by the time this is put up, I shall sleep my constipating anxiety away.

Bollockslah. I hate presentations. Why did I say yes?

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Confession #1

My weekend in London was supercallyfregelisticexpialydocious. (no you cannot correct my spelling)

I watched Cristian Slater being naked and later dead, at the Gielgud Theatre on Saturday with the Codger (where a full review of the play One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest can be found), being fed sinful food by the Goddess everyday, ate loads and laughed loads. I think my laughter lines are making it's debut.
I also discover that I could potentially downed 8 Californian rolls even after vehemently saying 'I am soo full' at the Japanese Centre in Picadilly.


I want to take blogging to a whole new level.

I want to confess. I picked up my car at Doncaster train station after a 2 hr journey from London on Monday. It was left there for sodding 3 days. It had to be done.

The charge for a day parking at Doncaster train station was £4. The fickle minded girl and the deep rooted Malay in me couldn't comprehend or justify the upfront payment for the parking for the next 2 days. What if the next 2 days never come? So , I paid £4 and £4 only.

I approached my car anticipating mummification by stickers and clamps and chains and flyers to say that I have to pay the remaining of the fee totalling to a whopping £8!!!. Which is quite a lot.

I walked past the car and glanced once. None on the windscreen.

Turned 180 walked back , past the frosted looking Renault Megane again. No sticker.

Cut across to the back, scratching my head giving the look of just viewing this hideous looking blue car which had not seen any soap and water for god forsaken how many months now but not really looking AT the car. And no sticker and no clamps. Biar benar. A bit like finding the NHS paying £100 extra in the paycheck. Only that never happened. Again, biar benar.

Didn't waste time looking left or right. Beeped the car open. Jumped in. Wanted to screech out of the parking area, as quickly as possible.

Car wouldn't start. *gulp*

Tried again and again. Felt warm all over. Took jacket off, gloves off. Scarf felt strangulating and incarcerating the mission impossible. A gentle tap at the window. Felt a trickle down the leg.

Oh no not you. Smiled blissfuly at the parking attendant.

"Problem miss?", peering in.

"It does this sometimes, hehehhehe". Smile and more smiles.

Proceeded to, this time with bold bismillah audible to his ears and mine and a weetabix-fuelled stamp to the accelerator and clutch, gear in 1.

Car throttled to full Glasgow coma of 15. Hurrrahhh!!

Parking attendant was a very very yummy man but I was very very eager to get away before you my yummy yummy friend discover that I have not paid the £8.

That was not wrong, was it?

Shall wait for the penalty letter in full remorse. If never arrived shall be very happy. Twiddle twiddle.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

I am Constipated

I am constipated.

I don't mean it in a glib way. This is not a euphemism, no pun intended. A verbatim recited by many patients in gastroenterology clinics, but when I say this, I really mean that I am constipated.

I have not been for 3 days and I feel 'toxic'.Usual drill is 2-3 times a day. Yes, I don't keep them for very long. Now, bloated, headache and itchy, in some place specific. Those symptoms are typical of 'nothing's wrong with you' syndrome. So no, I am not worried.

What I am really worried about is the fact that I had caused a shocking wave of olfactory insult to the whole carriage E on the train from London King's Cross to Doncaster earlier today.

Lady with a thick pair of glasses, runny nose and thick wooly jumper across me rubbed her nose and gave me the 'don't worry I don't think it's you' look. I returned the favour by burrowing my face in the new hardback courtesy of the WHSmith and showing her the title of the book. She herself had a book in her hand, so that makes us invincible to the 'unsociable urges'. Noh?


The man with tweed jacket and laptop that made annoying grunting sounds coughed a few times and a few more. He must have been affected the worst. He must know it was me.

The Chinese boy diagonal to me had his eyes shut all the time with his spiky gelled hair and teflon jacket the only two matters about him which looked awake and stiff. His iPod plugged securely to his ears. He opened his eyes, bewildered and looked around for a few seconds before sitting back and shutting his eyes again. Must have been most perplexed by the most disgusting smell. 'Who could possibly let out a bomb this lethal?'.

I had my eyebrows furrowed 'pretending' to be interested in the advert that says 'who nose the best cure for blocked nose', plastered just above where the boy was sitting. A green nose dripping with gunk ,nicely depicting how non desirable it is to have blocked nose, for viewing pleasure of daily commuters. Hmmm.

I don't think he knew it was me. I looked far too harmless. Plus, it was only because his ears were deafened, making his smelling senses heightened, otherwise he wouldn't have even blinked to the 'deadly whiff' emitted from an unknown location.

The good thing is my tract is patent because gas evacuation is still taking place. It must have been the combination of that 'mocha' I had, just before boarding the train and the cheese and mushroom pasty from The West Cornwall.

So the plan is, to resist all the temptation at work tonight. This is what I have to put up with; Roses chocolate, Boasters hazelnut choc chip cookies, jammy dodgers, custard creams, bourbons and jelly babies. These bunged-up culprits.

Pretend to be interested in the keychain for the drug cupboard and surreptitiously 'borrow' a few picolax or lactulose.

I shall wait to see the result of this weapon of mass gastrointestinal tract cleansing.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Damage Done To My Bank Balance

The picture caught my eyes the minute I stepped into the gallery. It was love at first sight. I was mesmerized.

The lines were smudged, skillfully, nonchalantly whisked to carve a perfect silhouette of a perfectly formed body. The pivotal point of the sketch varied as I bled my gaze through the rich canvas. Top to bottom at a very naked, very bareback painting.

The head was turned to the right, exposing the nape and base of the neck. Whilst stripped to the microscopic bareness, the supple skin, inhibited the luxurious spinous process protuberances nestling underneath.

Although drawn from the back, I could see the evidence of an exaggerated arch at the lumbar, most definitely would have defined an offering of the perfectly formed succulent mammary glands. Festooned with what would have been the most perfectly formed nipples.

The hair, blown away, covering the corner of the eye, forcing the gaze to be made modest, demurred, but very aware that the whole curvature of her body, being under intense exposure were also under arduous scrutiny.

What excited me was the scoliotic bend to the right, balancing the two cheeks of the gluteus at the base with the two blades of the raunchy, arrogant shoulders at the top. What I noticed present was the two dimples just above the cheeks, which if joined, forming the most uniquely articulated Tuffier's line ever imagined.

I could just feel the orgasmic freedom of tracing a little triangle, precisely and harmoniously formed, when dropping the end of the line to the forgiving fold of her butt crack. I had to buy it!!!!


That's one of the things I am guilty of buying today. I don't do boxing day shopping although I quite like the idea of having a lot of nice things in life at a cheaper price. People tend to forget about the difference between wanting and needing when the word SALES infiltrate the display windows. Today I just couldn't escape.

I am going to blame Rachael. She's a Filipino nurse, who is very passionate, pretty, prim and proper but normal to say the least. A single mother who loves handbags, shoes, make ups, perfumes and trendy clothes. I thought she was joking when she said she's turning 35 this year until I saw Rick, her son who is 12 this year. So she can't be 21 ,can she?

Had the Malay custom of prefixing the name with something to show respect like Kak, Makcik or Aunty been exercised fully at the first meeting with Rick, I would have had to take five before I could introduce myself.

1) Hi Rick I am Makcik Naj (But my brother Oli is only 10)

2) Hi Rick I am Kak Naj your mum's friend from work. ( No, I sound like I am in denial)

I didn't have a problem really, because even Rachael had trouble trying to convince him to call her mum. My mind does this from time to time. Possibly an attempt to mentally prepare self for imminent embarassing scenarios. Something I have a habit of finding myself in.

After arguing about how absurdly disproportionate my feet are to my body size, we settled at Starbucks for lunch.

I am not sure how, but the conversation became contaminated by the much loved subject. 'MEN'. Being a single mum, Rachael had a lot to say when it comes to this volatile subspecies of homosapiens. She had been mulling over the idea of getting married again ,for a long time. In between she's seen men head over heals for her, cry for her, and also cheated on her.

She let out a sigh, 'Really Naj, you're very young, do whatever you want now, go out, meet people, go places and for Godsake whatever you do, don't have a Ricky'.

I chuckled at this, with a washed out feeling of disagreement. I want a Ricky!!! Damn you woman.

This woman is exotic. Her skin is still supple, almost flawless. The brows were symmetrically trimmed to perfection, her teeth glistened and her hair, not a strand out of place. I don't mind looking like that at that age.

I had noticed this even before today's day out. Those nights working in ICU had given us the right sort of setting to get acquainted. We gel and clicked instantly.

I quickly cashed in this idea of her age defying skin, and started prying into her beauty regime before the conversation reverted back to 'MEN' and the staring eyes of the people at the Starbucks became something which didn't just happen in my mind.

The next thing I know, I :

1) bought a full facial care by Clinique
2) am a new owner of pair of heels by Bertie
3) gawked at a lingerie I have an evidence of having bought it
4) said yes to tomorrow's 3 o'clock hair appointment at Binn's hair salon

None of which would have happened , had I been out on my own. Rachael stood there looking very pleased and proud of her protege, while I paid for the two books by Yann Martel and another by Sophie Kinsella. (The very reason why I went out today), apart from to change the 'screw' light bulb I bought by mistake to a 'bayonet' one. I mean could I be more dim?

The 'bareback' painting though, was the reason why I am still smiling.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Sleeping On The Job?

I am back on call again, first night of a couple I have to do this week.

Outside the window, the wind is gushing carelessly bending anything remotely abiding by the Hooke's law. The grass changed between light and dark shades of green, with each unpredictable blow. Under the not so generous spherical knobby street lights dotted around the complex, shadows can play ruthless tricks on untrained eyes.

It's about time the grass gets some snip snip. A creepy crawly creature could easily glide itself around, peeking booing in between. Hate those reptiles.

I am not going to jinx tonight's on call by saying anything, about how the on call is going. Especially not with the weather outside, walloping anything and everything. Not that it's going to have any bearing on the workload of one's on call but I'd like to think that at least outside, it's not as chaotic as the inside.

Let's just say that the battery for my bleep is 'duracell-ic' at the rate it's going at the moment. I plan for that to last till morning.

A while ago a yahoo messenger kerchinged-popped open:

A: Hiiiiii, what are u doing?

Naj: On call

A: so what do you do when u are on call?

Naj: epidural, spinal, tell the midwives to stand still and speak slowly, remind them to breath, refrain self from 'losing it' with screaming pregnant women acting like a moving targets, answer referrals to ICU, interrogate medical registrars, reject referrals, forced to accept referrals, annoy the sleeping consultants , stick needles in neck, arms, legs, throats, nostrils, sinuses, gullets, stomachs, jump on fast-becoming-cadaveric bodies, electricute dead people, and make house officers cry.
Oh and kill as few people as possible.

A: lol

Naj: ???( but i'll do an lol anyway) least some still think it's funny).

A: *gone quiet*...( and soon logged out)

Let's see if I can just slowly, slowly, put my head on the pillow and slowly slowly close my eyes. Please don't go off, please.


Monday, January 10, 2005

No, You Did Not, Did You?

Dr. Watson is a family man and a good teacher. He was one of the registrars who bothered to grill me, took trouble to find out what I don't know. Sometimes till I begged him to stop, because intertwined in those good intentions, he could really worked me up. I was very pleased that I saw him again last night at his dad's 60th birthday do.

To mingle is to mix something with something else, to blend something with something else. Now, in a social context, how far do you want this mixing and blending to go.

To the point where you become comfortable with the people you mingle with or to the point the conversation runs dry and suddenly the weather becomes the 'hot' topic again? Either way it's the most fertile set up to exercise one's creativity to come up with the most clever silence-breaker questions.

So, is your wife here today Dr. R? I said

I was never married Naj, he said.

*Naj eats boots*...exactly..and the other one as well.


It was at a very posh VIP lounge of Mr. Chew's Palace in Hull. The crowd was eclectic ranging from the ODAs(operating department assistants) to senior house officers to registrars and consultants.

I had tsunami topic running all night, because it kept people talking. Apart from helping with the mingling pallaver, I was genuinely engulfed in the topic itself and very much intrigued to see what these consultants thought of it.

I found that some thought Aceh is part of Japan and some other thought Sri Lanka and Indonesia is one country. That is without alcohol. And these people first taught me how to put homosapiens to sleep a year ago?

Superb venue, nice menu (not much to comment if you can't eat half of the food), 19 year old DJ who had a bitter taste in jazz, he later got bullied into playing some nicer floor fillers by yours truly. He avoided eye contact with me after that.

The faces became familiar again, and conversations liquidified over good music and wholesome food. I was very comfortable 'mingling' so much so, that being 80% attended by those of Indian background, I acquired a bindi in between my eyebrows, had a swing to my accent, gained ability to do Punjabi dance and answered to anybody calling me Nachmala and I was told I come from Manipur.


It was not easy to refuse a help from a 40 something year old Polish flatmate to dress me to a party. She was right about a lot of things and let me borrow her matching chains. To be exact, she put it on and said to not take it off, so I suppose I didn't have much choice. Many strict orders were muttered, but I only remembered one, 'never touch your hair'. I failed miserably to comply with any of the rest.

I liked the idea of 'mingling' a dress and a pair of boots that she came up with. It toned down the girly wurly pinkish frilly-ness of the dress with a more roughened, worn out, earthy colour of the boots. Probably not the best way (I was later told), but a way nonetheless, to get that dress off the price tag.

She gave a thumbs up so I went with it. She did the hair, I didn't object. She slapped on some glittery stuff, I didn't flinch.

The make up though was a complete barmy with capital B. What a disaster! They looked like I've just come out of a punched up!!! Was she or was she not trying to make me look 40!!

At a Shell gas station, I rushed to the WC and washed it off and what happened? It won't come off and the white and blue bit naturally became ashy battered colour. Aiyoooooo. Much much worse.

In the end it was just an au natural pink, with a touch of soreness from the vigorous rubbing. So the lesson there is never let anyone with a surname you can't pronounce dress you to a party. Just don't.

Today's Prayer.

I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be learning through all this, but I'll try to be a willing student.

I feel as if I'm failing this test. My faith isn't strong enough.My hope isn't great enough. And it's been a long time since I've seen any joy.

But I'm hoping this test is more about your ability to help me than my ability to pass it.

Give me clarity of vision to see what's going on.
Give me an alert mind to understand your ways.
Give me a heart big enough to embrace both pain and encouragement.

And please keep teaching me, because right now I'm feeling pretty dumb.
I rest in your grace.
I trust in your power.
I long for your wisdom.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

The Turtle That Got Away

I was walking by the beach. I was indifferent. Knew not what I was looking for, albeit a visit never failed to calm my nerves.

I saw a hat. I approached. I stopped and reassessed. It's no hat at all. It's a shell. I flipped it over and it was actually heavy. The shell was not vacant. I left it well alone and backed off further up the sand and waited.

Not before long, a head came out. Ugly, riddled with wrinkles and most adorable. One of the hind leg had a splinter. I wrapped it warm, close to my chest. Took it home.

The wound was nursed, healed and I was pleased.

It wasn't easy. It was demanding.

It didn't like to be alone, always wanted to play. Always nestling, always smelling my skin. I fed it carrot it wanted brocolli, I gave the brocolli it wanted it steamed, I steamed it and it wanted the one in my tom yam. O penyu you are something else, but I would never abandon you.

Last night, it hid away, I called and I beckoned to me, to eat and play, it kept the distance. I was scared that it might be mistaken for a pile of rubbish and got thrown away by the cleaners. I called with hope, again and again.

It came out, it wanted the beach. So I took the angel to the beach. Saw it played and teased, and fake drowning. I smiled and was happy.

It went very far into the sea and I shouted and scolded. I threatened and I lashed out. I didn't care, I just wanted my angel to stay close to me.

I must have scared it away it wriggled and scuttled to the sea. I thought that it was a joke so I waited. The sun was setting and my angel never returned. I called out one more time, and all I could hear was my own desperate yoddle.

I knew then, that I had to let it go.

I am sorry...

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Changity Chang Shoo Bop

I watched Grease documentary last night. John Travolta is now Mr. Podgy and Olivia is Mrs. Stretchy. She looked like she just had a blow from a wind tunnel. Funny how..

I can till remember the sweats pawned, quads cramped as I cycled up and down the hilly road to the Mayflower theatre just to get those cheap student tickets for me and my energetically challenged housemates.

The tickets had to be purchased on that particular day before certain time, so I frantically paddled after being volunteered by my 'beloved' friends. We all had a fantastic night in the end. The show was stormingly colourful, vibrant and explosive with choruses from my favourite tracks. £18 well spent.

We go together like ramma lamma lamma ka dinga da dinga dong
Remembered forever as shoo-bop sha whada whadda yippidy boom da boom
Chang chang changity chang shoo bop
that's the way it should be
Waooo Yeah!!!!!

That's what I had in my groggy head when I yanked open the curtains this morning. Owhhh me head!

Amazingly, I felt like I had enough sleep albeit my job induced crepuscular behaviour past couple of days and needless to say the next few days as well. I sprung to my feet and did my yoga ritual.

Somehow it felt a little bit stale from religiously repeating the same coordinates over and over again. Nevertheless, I felt good, rejuvenated, unhassled, unwound, -simply fantastic.

I am still puzzled as to why between then and now, as rightly predicted by Mystic Meg on her horrorspock, my mood had pendulumed to completely the opposite.

A crescendo inclination to bark at a certain lackadaisical creature which roam this planet earth with no regards to the livings or the deads, was carefully contained to start with . Alas, went kappow in the end despite all measures. I have allowed certain energy ruined my morning. So not cool. Bitch.

Anger aside. Maggie, my Polish flatmate is now back from her extended Christmas leave. She looked absolutely refreshed. She must have missed those bedroom lambada with Mr. Maggie hence exercised them to her heart content. I guessed, by the glow she had.

She was not happy though. Her suitcase had done a mysterious sojourn of it's own and decided to hop on another flight. So she returned, with face forlorned, anxious because she had some books in there which had helped her to become what she is today.

She just had to have the books. I am guessing it's a collection of cardiology books but it could also be some copies of the bible. She didn't say which but she was most upset.

Maggie has a very thick accent. The way she arranged her words and dropped scattered puns throughout her sentences, make me anticipate her face to lit up everytime she finished a sentence as though saying 'You agree, yaaahh?'

And I always say Yaaah ,and only later ask her what she meant if the subsequent conversation didn't quite make sense.

I guess, when a language is not our mother tongue, we always try to compensate the lack of fluency by facial expressions, sound effects and hand gestures. Sometimes, some, overdo it resulting in an afternoon mopping the floor from pasta sauce spillage when an attempt to imitate a lousy stewardess went horribly wrong. I can only sympathize.

It means now I have to obsessively scrub the bathtub after each bath and put away pots and pans from the strainer. She's particular like that. Hope the suitcase will do the knock on the door, first thing tomorrow morning.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Thoughts On Pain

Pain comes in all sorts of form. Some acute, a bit like hit and run , and some chronic, trawling your emotions behind mercilessly on top of it's agonizing perpetual existence.

Sometimes, it prisons one's social life within the confinement of a frustration fortress. It changes one's attitude and perception about life.

I know of a few types. We only write about what we know and experienced they say, the others being not yet experienced by me, do exist but I pray that I never experience those. Now I will write, and it's on the ones I know of.

Yesterday I anesthetized a 78 year old man. It's almost always true that when an operation involves looking into somebody's abdomen at that age, the result it always undesirable.

That is only my conclusion, filed away neatly next to 'a man who loves alcohol and drugs'. Sometimes these conclusions fire away a certain reaction out of me, but sometimes all that it needs was a gargantuan transformer to augment a desirable, hypocritical attitude. I hate myself sometimes for my lack of ability to speak my mind.

The 78 year old man underwent the sigmoid colectomy, that is to my mum, taking the end bit of the bowels which contains faeces/turd/pooh/shit. It was a hell of an operation.

The consultant who was there to start with, who was my only hope of finishing on the dot, had to leave to attend to a 15 year old who apparently had trauma to his head and chest, in casualty. What I was left with was his snail, sluggy, _____ (insert any other slow moving creatures), assistant, a registrar (this is what you call a deputy boss in the medical hierachy), who will be finishing the operation.

Must he talk so much while doing the anastomosis (the bit where you join the two ends of the bowels together) ??? All in all he took blimming 6 hours to finish. A record breaking time for a simple sigmoid colectomy.

When I woke the patient up, which didn't just involve tapping his shoulder and whisper 'hello suh, wakie wakie', (no, not like that at all),
he woke up in agony. He was wailing, shouting, wriggling down the bed and I felt like I have let him down.

With everything else, unless you are fairy godmother, it takes a while for things to take effect after you have done something about. While waiting for my top up of epidural to kick in, he grabbed me (I didn't know he could be that strong), and bawled,

"Kill me..kill me please, oh shit I am shitting myself. Oh shit, shit I'm going to die".

"You're not going to do that yet sir, we won't let you, not on our shift", a laconic reply from the head scrub nurse, while she's clearing her tools covered with pooh and blood.

"Ermm he's having a do alright there doc", said Debbie,my assistant after hoicking up the blanket.

And not before long, the whole theatre was soaked with the most gagging, face screwing smell ever. I felt like throwing up.

The clock was showing 2 hours past my home time, but I couldn't leave this man in his cyclical suicidal ruminations. The epidural kicked in after 10 minutes worth of pooh smelling and wailings of the name of God in vain. He, bless him, gone quiet in a pile of pooh.

I couldn't help but noticing how an acute pain, which under this circumstances is a very good example of , must have been in the magnitude of breaking any pain chart. Must have been so unbearable that the only thing that he could say was kill me and that he wants to die.

How true that when we are hurt, the bit in the brain that gets switched on is the thoughts quadratically equating to the total relinquish of resuming life itself.

It is so subtle, unlike when you cover a candle with a glass, the fire flickered for a few salsa twist and poofed, vanished. In the latter you can see that the action of depriving oxygen, exterminate the life of a flicker of fire, in the former, it's all happening inside, not obvious to many.

When a physical component to the pain is apparent and one goes through the process of diagnosing and treating the pain, the pain more often than not, will get arrested. Emotional pain however, goes undiagnosed in our daily lives, but it's around us. We sometimes see the warnings of it.

"I feel like going to sleep and never wake up".

"Life is so unbearable, I just want to die"

"X left me and thinks I'm a slut, he never knew the truth. Maybe a handful of panadol will make him realize, when I am no longer around"

These are just examples, but there's a point in there somewhere.
Emotional pain is the worse to tackle, so I suppose understanding the matter is paramount.

Once somebody let out a cry for help, mentioning the word death and lack of zest in life because of some sort of pain, do help. It's chronic, it's not funny.

If you are part of the cause for the pain, stop whatever you're doing, trim your ego and make the pain ease.

Secondly if you have compassion, let the other person know that he/she is worth it, worth loving, worth being around with, and it'll be absurd to see him/her gone.

Thirdly, if you have passion, make love to the person, because making love is an art, a single way of displaying love in the most tailored, unjudging, most natural way and most easy to comprehend by a slowly wilting heart.

If all fail the suicidal person must have a real chemical imbalance with his/her neurotransmitters, so a visit to the shrink is prescribed. Now don't say I don't care about people in pain.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005


Just do it!

When Will I See You Again?

3 weeks ago last year, I had the pleasure of attending the much overdued gathering. A debut after an auld lang syne.

This week a second gathering will materialized in a form of a picnic and I am going to miss it.

It was 10 years ago that for some of us, the farewell that we bid to each other really meant that we were not going to see each other again.

It wasn't until last year that somebody stumbled upon yahoo group and started the domino effect of recruiting, beckoning those who call themselves thoroughbreds to rekindle the spirit through the wonderful world wide web.

So we communicated, we planned and soon it was time to meet up after a long long time.

I arrived late, very late because I actually went for a hair appointment. To be honest, being in the job that I am in, hair appointment exists only as one of the things to do but never actually transpired as something I would religiously do, it's just virtually impossible.

So in all fairness I was good to have managed to turn up to one.

I sat in the chair in one of the Taipan's salons, flipping through some dog-eared magazines. In the end the chinese guy told me to stop explaining what I wanted because apparently I contradicted myself so much I gave him headache and my English was weird.

He promised me he'll make me beautiful. How dodgy was that. However, a girl left her seat and strutted towards the counter with a fabulously bouncy, healthy looking , nicely chopped hair, and he did that. He can' be that bad I thought.

My ride dropped me off at the venue said on the invitation. From the outside the white building looked toned down and subdued.

Lights were ample in technicolour arrangement around the roof of what looked like a 1950's British bungalow. A dampened noise of all sorts came from the inside. My stomach paused in mid peristalsis. It knotted and splinted my breath and I felt the need to take a deep one.

I entered the front door which was colossal, adorned with fancy decos. To be honest I was so anxious that I can't recall the details to date, but the door was the only gravitation I felt ,defying the eye steering Petronas twin Tower in the background, towering the roof of the building I was about to enter.

We know the majestic towers would steal the thunder of anything dare stand next to it, but my vision was tunneled and fixed to the door. It was magic, the noise became louder and louder as I walked faster and faster.

As I entered, a few Indian men stood around the atrium of the entrance with glasses in their hands.

'Elloooww adekkk, you mau join kami ??'

Eh, salah tempat ke ni?

Pooh pooh pooh!! I frantically fished for my mobile phone for rescue. Then logic kicked in. I looked to the left and there it says 'TKC 10th year reunion'. I let out a sigh.

I made an agonizing entrance and prayed that nobody would see me so I could sneak in, stealthily, and just ease my way into the crowd, camouflage and blend in.

I would pick up a drink and adopt an attitude of somebody who had warmed the seat and probably half bored already. Alas. The entrance actually led into a mini stage and there I was, spotted by everybody, absolutely everybody, no chance.

A loud shriek came from the crowd on the right. I hopped off the dais and hugged and kissed and sobbed and frantically salamed everybody.

I felt a displacement of previously inflated anxiety by a comfort amongst the 'us' feeling. This 'us' feeling was there with me for 5 years, untarnished, unshaken, only grew stronger each year until in the final year, the goodbyes we uttered to each other was an absolutely shattering, robbing feeling a 17 year old girl could have ever felt.

The party was gorgeous, the company was even more so. I saw aggregations formed, as the night sailed through. I could see the same groups forming again.

I guess, this will always remain a phenomena only chaos theory would dare explain. I too found my 'group' and we talked and talked to our hearts content. I never felt more belonged.

I saw some faces changed, into more softened, glowed and attended features.

I saw some speech toned and fine tuned to a more demure level.

I saw curves and accentuations on the appropriate places enhancing the figures of these women I never noticed before, underneath those nicely starched pinafores and white kurungs.

Everybody changed and none were for the worse. I was proud.

" gorgeous you sekarang, got freckles freckles, hair also nice", was probably what I had to bear all night. I don't do compliments.

"Wahhhh, so big this bump, when are you due?", was my reply. Very inappropriately put acrossed, but they knew some things never changed with me.

Always clumsy with words but I always get away with it, because I meant well, at least I think so.

Little that they know, this was not what I was like normally, the brownish spots were from the avid sun worshipping sessions and the hair was a 2 hour jobby, it's not always like this you know, but it was so nice to get credits for my effort.

I left that night feeling much relieved , joyous and content that I delayed the flight to be with the girls again. We laughed, joked, sang songs from Mrs Ho music classes, and of course reminiscing about all sorts of things.

On my ride home, my heart sank thinking about how badly it was to get my ass cooked in the 13-hour-flight back to reality. Cold and unfriendly. It yawned abyss.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Back To School For The Big Guy

Today's entry in this blog reminded me of something. It's the first week back to school for kids in Malaysia. I rang home to see if my 10 year old brother, Oli is all prepared to tackle the new year. He is now in standard 5, that makes him 11 years old. How time flies.

He is a proper pengawas now, a species at school much hated by the certain other species. He now has proper responsibilities, standing by the school gate jotting the names of the late comers, supervising a class when a teacher didn't turn up, looking after the school coop where everybody goes to get the essentials. If you look after coop, that's it, the whole school knows you.

Why I say proper pengawas? 2 years ago, he was already made to wear slightly different clothes to others, white trousers instead of blue, maroon striped tie and black shoes instead of white. He was forced to be behave differently to others. More serious, more alert and more forthcoming. It made him mature a lot quicker than he should, but he was only 9. That is not proper.

He might've scored the highest marks for his subjects, but he still wet the bed, he still wondered into half-finished bungalows around where we live and hid himself in the cement mixer. Yes we know you are small, big guy, and yes we know you thought it's funny, but you might come out minced for all we know. My dad went ballistic, my bother as much anticipated, wet himself.

I knew he wanted to join the silat club at school, but he had broken his tibia after doing a stunt with his pushbike, so he's been refrained from that or any other martial activities. He doesn't cry normally if hurt, but that day Mum said his eyes welled up and his snout was red and also watery, he sniffed and winced. Mum was sure it was broken, and she was right.

Most children cry when the word hospital is mentioned. Not him. He described the experience as wonderful. The nurses loved him because he kept them entertained and never complained of pain. Needles to him was something he had to have so he had to just grit his teeth.

In contrast to me, he adores nurses. Sometimes when things don't work out to his liking at home, he threats a trip to the hospital. Nurses treat him better, apparently. When asked how he's going to get himself admitted, he said he was going eat gone off food and get diarrhoea like last time.

Departing at the airport last May, I kissed him as usual. He looked left and right, slightly more aware, conscious of his surrounding. Is it not cool for big sis to kiss goodbye anymore? Mum said he has been acting funny since we let the 'Dr. Mudin' chop his foreskin. So I kissed him more. He became grumpy.

Part of me want him to stay as he is, but part of me enjoy the imminent metamorphosis. Last time I checked, he wanted to grow up and become a bus conductor, because a bus conductor gets a lot of money. Money to him then, were big coins and small coins. He preferred the big coins.

I hope he's given that subject an overhaul and come up with something better. I have a strange feeling that it's a Grand Theft master for now.

Bless his little heart.

Study well, study smart. Play well, play hard big guy.

Note To Self #1

I guess everybody has their own list of 'criteria for husband/wife material'. It might be in a form that's clearly written on the wall, in a little pink book or these days, on a blog.

I too have one, but under no circumstances that this is going to be revealed, to anybody, by anybody. It's for me to know and me alone.

The manifestation of the inclination towards somebody based on the list of criteria is however, a bit like trying to hide an elephant, so it's not as classified as one might think.

Precipitated from the recent deadly disaster which had scraped and wringed the lives off the innocent coastal areas, I have added two more criteria to my list.

11. Must know how to swim AND a bonus if has LIFESAVER cert.

I believe this is justifiable. Why? Because the globe is made up of land and vast amount of water. Ponds, lakes, dams, rivers and seas. If one found oneself stranded in a jungle, provided one's legs had not been bitten by a hungry spotty or striped carnivorous animal, one has a very high chance of being found, and be safe.

However , if one found oneself plonked into any gutters full of water and ability to swim was never a skill one's proud of, (unless one has an extraordinary ability to miraculously swim like a duckling upon contact with water), one will not survive very long once the 5-6 liters capacity of carrying oxygen in one's lung is hijacked by a pretentiously safe H20.

12. Must know how to do basic CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation)

This is not rocket science, not something created to scare people. It's a simple straight forward skill anybody can learn, you simply can't fail learning it because it makes sense and extremely ABC type thing, literally.

Let's say, a dad found his 3 year old daughter drowned in a bathtub, or his nice pool in a posh Damansara Perdana aparment. I doubt that any ambulance can get there within 3 minutes, and within that 3 minutes whether or not you do something to the 3 year old makes a huge difference.

Possibly the difference between life and death, between fully recovered, talking, playing, singing and kicking balls in the garden again and disabled, brain injured, can't feed self, can't clothe self can't exist independently, or even worst still, dead.

As I am typing this, BBC news 24 is showing clusters of people in scattered areas of shelter in Banda Aceh. A group of people were found to have been living on coconuts, any coconuts. Life had been reduced to absolute basic. Feeding on coconut juice and coconut flesh for 6 days before they were found.

A mum was holding a 2 year old, drowsy, dehydrated, suffering from typhoid and cholera.Clean water was a major problem. They now only had each other. Everyone else had died.

A man in Sri Lanka was doing well, continuing his life with whatever remaining. He had lost everybody in his family to the Tsunami. However when he saw the Aid arrived by the helicopter to his village he broke down and wept inconsolably.

Everywhere, I saw suffering.

Allah, please ease the suffering of these people and I pray hard that the help we've all contributed reach them quickly. Ameen.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

I Survived 2004, Bloody Start To 2005

Most people probably kept themselves vigil to the early hours of last night, to celebrate the dawning of the new year. Given the choice I would've given it a miss, my sleep is far too precious, it'll be hard to do on-call with eyes shut.

I was up, at work, to witness the solidarity displayed at 23:56, where people across Britain observed the 2 minute silence to reflect upon the catastrophic disaster caused by the Tsunami. My heart goes out to those still battling with hunger, dehydration, infection of all sorts on top of sorrow and grief for the lost ones.

Sarah, the chief nurse in the Intensive Care Unit started prepping a table right in the middle of the unit and almost like magic, the table was laden with an array of finger food, quiches, mini pizzas, egg balls, salad and bottles of bubbly. Non alcoholic one of course. We tucked in.

We all thought so far so good, everybody in the unit were behaving rather well, allowing us to absorb the atmosphere radiated from the 15 inch telly which Sarah dragged out from the store. We watched the London Eye and Big Ben ceremoniously worshipped as the count down began.

In the background a few premature flicker and sparkle of fireworks made it's debut on the clear London's toposphere.

At the struck of midnight, a loud beeping went off and everybody was startled. On the cardiac monitor lady in bed 2 went into ventricular tachycardia. Paper plates and paper cups flung in all directions. 5 pairs of bluescrubs scurried over and within seconds we were ready to shock her, when she reverted back to normal rythm. A bit like missing the ice cream van or runaway bandits whichever one is suitable, we just stood there staring at the monitor staring back at us.

A few investigations and results were obtained later and I started her on amiodarone. I've always wanted to name my pet amiodarone, but I can't have dogs, cats don't like me and I have a tendency to poison fish unintentionally. I was fuelled on adrenaline for the first few minutes but very soon I started looking for my paper plate again, it still had a piece of fish finger on it with a bit of cheese and chive dip.

Moments later, like it was a date, I was summoned to go over to maternity to stick an epidural for a C-section for a stuck baby. I was very obliging, in my mind I was already embarking on my new year resolution, which is to love more, so no grunts, just do it.

When the baby's head grimaced out of the bikini cut, my heart felt an inviting warmth and definitely more relaxed. I was happy for the couple but of course they couldn't see that. On the outside I sure looked like a couldn't-care-less-and -don't-wanna-be-here anaesthetist. It'll be good if I did care.

I was finishing off doing squiggles on the treatment chart so that this lady can have diamorphine and codeine right down to paracetamol for later on, when the bleep went off again on air speaker phone this time. I could feel the vibration of the woman's voice emmitted out from my lower flank area. It was the strangest but addictable sensation ever. I felt like going: do it again, do it again.

Bugger! It's a trauma call. I dropped everything, did a Flo-Jo to the accident and emergency.

I thought I was going to need CPR when I got there, I was reminded about how unfit I was.

It was like a scene out of ER only everybody spoke in a heavy Yorkshire accent, contaminated by a few Indian accent. I wasn't going to say much. Us anaesthetist, we work in silence most of the time, (when things go to plan that is).

The guy must have been about 25 and had a stabbing wound in his chest and on his abdomen. He looked blue grey, panting away, clearly had a hunger for air like there wasn't enough in the room, eyes glaring like he'd just seen a ghost and at the same time kicking screaming, trying to jump off the trolley. 5 people were pinning him down and he was in no condition to leave.

I got to the head end and almost like a cue for disaster to happen he fell limp and relinquish previous unnecessary fighting against us. He clearly had a pneumothorax on the right chest. His blood pressure was slipping away, he's looking more and more grave.

Oh Pooh pooh pooh I thought. I couldn't stick any tube down his throat as the chest drain was not yet in place. The surgical registrar was on the case and he was huffing and puffing away, in a bit of a struggle. A big gush of blood suddenly just poured out of the chest tube and sprayed everything in it's way. Soaking his trousers, shoes and of course his hands. Within seconds I was standing in a pool of blood and my pink clogs turned red. Crimson red, spotty in some areas.

We're in! So I got the guy tubed in and within minutes the guy was on the machine.

The monitor was alarming and his blood pressure was in the boots.

Blood's coming out but is it going in???

In one corner, 2 nurses were looking at the packets of blood, chatting away like they've not met for ages and the packets of blood were some kind of a keepsake from childhood years. Completely in their own world.

One of them caught my glance (finally) and said,

"Do you want the blood now or later?"

Eh hello, nak buat tapai ke simpan simpan for later? Blantantly!!!

I heard myself saying something, which sure did the trick. Very quickly 2 units of blood were up and running. I still can't remember what I said though.

I discovered that I could really use my vocal cords when needs be and it gets things done at double the speed.

Needless to say this guy underwent a 6 hour operation in theatre to sort out the stabbing wounds. All in all he exhausted the supply of blood of the entire hospital, not to mention other blood products which go together with massive blood transfusions menu.

The battle we fought for this guy I thought was almost like a remake of a scene already done before. We were just different names, doing the same things at a different time. We had no more blood to give and he was continually bleeding. He was not clotting and the amount of squeezing juices he was on was unbelievable. He was as good as dead.

At 9 in the morning as the sun greeted the new day, new year, he was still on the theatre table, battling his life. I don't think he will be very impressed with whoever decided to stab him. That is if he gets to see 2005. That whoever must have really meant it.

It was time for me to go home, I felt old and dead. Stuff love I want my bed.

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