Sunday, July 31, 2005
Insomnia rambling #2
It could be the strange alignment of the constellation, mixed with the dampness in the air,
or it could be the instability of my uterine lining doubled with peaked oestroediol hormones doing tricks to my circadian rhythm, but I just couldn’t for the love of my life, SLEEP!
When one is on call and there is nothing coming through the door, one SLEEPS!
I thought about people I met during my holidays and one person worth mentioning is a guy called Jeremy. I'd rather if you think of Jeremy as a pseudoname, although it might be possible that it's just his real name, but of course you wouldn't know that because you weren't there.
Jeremy was probably in his mid 60s. A well mannered gentleman with laughter lines and wisdom transcribed on his face in an abstract pattern I couldn't begin to precisely illustrate.
He's probably watched me wasting my body water through my lacrimal glands for a while, my body constantly making involuntary spasm in a big number herts but small amplitude. I was beginning to feel faint what with all the consuming betrayed feeling chewing me inside out. Not to mention a tiring sports to take up on a tedious journey.He passed me a pocket sized tissue.
Whatever it was, he's not worth your tears.
I was stunned, but contrary to my usual reaction, took instant liking to his wits and words.
I don't know what it is about Jeremy but he doesn't have to milk stories, stories gravitate to him like moth to fire, and for everything that he consolidate after listening absorbingly, he gave me words of wisdom I'd have to pay if I go to see a shrink in capacity of parting with words of such calibre.
The more I challenged his deduction from my sorry story, the more I believed this stranger dressed simply in khaki corduroy and plain white Camel shirt.
He scribbled a name, on his card. DESERATA. At the back his Bali address, a healing centre in Ubud.
Google that he said. I let you remember this, avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
Like unduly overhanging fog blasted with rays of sunlight, my shoulders felt lighter and I felt my stomach making crescendo request for filling up.
Maybe I will write about Jeremy again but for now, I have done just what he asked me on MH004 a month ago:
Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly & clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and agressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain & bitter; for always there will be greater and lessor persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many people strive for high ideals; Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity & disenchantment it transcends time and space. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of Spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome disipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive God to be, and whatever your labours and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its shame, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Be Careful. Take Care. Strive to be Happy.
Saturday, July 30, 2005
Pretty Baby Doc
Just before I went to work last night, I left the girl in my living room curled up on my sofa with piles of books around her. I concluded she’ll have plenty of things to do what with the internet, the DVDs, the CDs, the books and the books and the books while I am out at work.
That reminds me, I’ll be needing a lot of boxes to accommodate those books when I soon move.
Earlier, I took her to ASDA, showed her around. I picked up a book (which I have just finished reading this evening), and threw it in the trolley.
You like reading huh? She winced at me.
As much as munching cherries I said and I smiled at her.
My friends been all excited about Da Vinci Code. They were going; have you read it, or have you got it. I don’t know what the excitement was all about.
I told her I have got a copy if she wants to have a look. Read even.
She only bought two things. Milk and microwavable lasagne. I offered to pay as she is yet to start working. These days 'baby' docs have to do what they call shadowing before they can be let loose in the world of needles, germs and body fluids. She very much obliged.
In the car, she said thank you and that it was very kind of me. Her smile was oh so innocent and as sweet as Mr. Kipling’s viennes swirls.
Now, do I
1) smile and said ‘my pleasure’, and continue manning the steering wheel.
2) watch carefully if her hands migrate over to my hemisphere
3) do emergency brake and proceed to snog her there and then.
I need to get out more. This bashings from continuous on calls is making my compass go bonkers and pointing south.
The Chat With The Prof
It was only a feint knock on the door but enough to startle the patient. He looked up from his semi reclining position and immediately beamed a wattful of smile. I don’t know why but I felt both the despair and relief at the same time. A feeling hard to put into words.
There was a premature silence following that. I struggled and possibly failed miserably at trying to avoid looking at the monitors, the tubes, the drains and the rest of the ritual when I visit all my ITU patients. In my best attempt, I said so they didn’t put that tube down your nose doctor? It came out croaky as if there was a lump in my throat.
No they haven’t because I have been a good boy. He did his smug face and I was totally comforted by his familiar smile. I giggled and coughed away.
I think you’ll like the card. I changed the subject while handing him the blue envelope.
It’s not rude is it Naj, he said while opening it. He reached for his glasses.
While quietly reading it, the crowfeet at the corner of his eyes gathered fast. He let out a flock of feathery chuckle. And a bashful sigh.
‘Do you know why hospitals serve so much soft food’?
So when you throw it out of the window you won’t hurt anyone.
I have read them a few times before signing it and still found it obligingly funny being read by him. I asked him how he’s hanging on without engaging in the pathology behind his laparotomy. His vibrant facial expression slightly ceased to moderately excited.
Well so far so good Naj. Thanks. He cunningly changed the subject about me moving to Scunnie soon, doing grown up jobs. He wished me luck and the rest of it. I was not really interested in talking about that particular subject as I am actually dreading the whole shebang to do with moving. Everybody is dreading this changeover and you can feel it everywhere. The ambience in late July is very much ‘Oh why things have to move on’.
I have grown to love this place so much and all the beautiful people I work with. All the surgeons, the ODAs, the porters, that Italian orthopaedic SHO, that Spanish Surgical SHO and the list goes on. Not one day or one night similar to the other. But they say all good things must come to an end and everything that says hello must say goodbye.
In my pigeonhole, the department squeezed a moderately wrapped going away present. A picture frame of a perfectly composed little harbour, against the sky so baby blue you want to paint your room that colour, and the reflections of the boat so clear, you wish it’s just what it is for the next ten years of your life.
I love this department to bits and in X years time I don’t want to forget any of them. Knowing me, X can be as low as one or even with decimal point.
I hate goodbyes I really do.
Friday, July 29, 2005
Doctor On The Table
Yesterday was a busy on call. The board was filling up fast with cases from all specialties. Two of them were laparotomies. Laparotomy is almost always is a big operation which, to a nearly 2 year old anaesthetist like me, alone, putting the whole show together with arterial line, CVP lines, thoracic epidural and all is still a big deal. Too many lines, too many numbers, too many points to scan during ‘cock pit’ drill.
A woman was rushed to theatre at 9:30 after stabbing herself in the neck. She missed the carotid and the tip of the kitchen knife ended just before the cord. I don’t know whether that is good for her or not, don't know to call that a good luck for her or not, but what we did was what we think was right in this society we live in. So she survived, probably now ruminating on the next move on how to successfully kill herself, yet again. Ok let’s be gentle, probably fighting ‘the voice’ which commanded her to take her own life.
I lugged myself into the coffee room later and checked on the board again. Sometimes, gynae cases get taken away from the emergency board to be done at the end of the normal elective lists. So I had just that in mind. Or anything really to reduce the number of cases. Patients vacuumed into an alien space ship through a scanning tentacle for whole body organectomy has once crossed my mind, never once yet happened.
My eyes stopped at that particular name with laparotomy against it. I was told earlier that I shouldn’t bother with that one because one of the consultants will be anaesthetising. Being busy with that suicidal woman, I was only just too happy. But that name…
I rushed out to see all the other patients on the wards. I had one nagging question to ask somebody in the know, to confirm my suspicion. A familiar face stopped me on the corridor, and he said I looked familiar before I could say anything. I looked at his badge and the harder I tried, the more I felt the decaying familiarity. Which was strange.
I just couldn’t figure out where I ‘d seen him before, and similarly the reply from him, so there we were standing, while shooting blind questions in hope that we both hit the same spot. No joy. He’s going to come over to ICU later on to see a patient. So I said jolly good will see him there. Maybe the penny will drop by then. Cecil Ebon…Cecil Ebon..Cecil Ebon…where and when..watch this space. What an annoying thing when that happens. Portsmouth maybe when I really had trouble matching my tops with my skirts or trousers to work. That always attracted attention. Once my SHO asked if my mum still dress me to work. He stopped teasing after my threat to tell the boss he smoked.
I whizzed around the ward to see if I can find 'the name'. The name, very familiar, the face very fresh in my mind, the feeling, let’s hope it’s not him. What’s missing from the name was the two letter DR. word at the front .
I pushed away any thoughts that it might be him but my reasoning started fussing about how this Dr. been off sick for a while, and how I haven’t had much grilling from him recently.
I zoomed back to theatre and paced up to theatre 7. Saw Pete, and he looked away. Very strange I thought. I approached him and I said ‘I know Pete, please tell me how he’s doing’. Pete stopped pretending busy, stacking the Propofol boxes already neatly stacked, and in defence he said ‘You’re not supposed to know’.
I confessed, ‘I didn’t know, but you’ve just told me just what I needed to know’. He smiled and elbowed me round my neck. ‘You cheeky devil Naj’.
I did my usual smug annoying face. ‘Tell me’ I insisted. “He’s doing good but it looked nasty. We don’t know till the histology comes back.”
I was speechless for a while and images of Dr. G smiling while watching me drenched in adrenaline stuttering my answers to his grilling question flashed one by one before my eyes. It was in mute. Just the exaggerated facial expressions vivid still. I felt deeply sorry.
I desperately wanting to be in there but I know how relatively useless I’d be and plus it is important that not too many people know.
I am on call again tonight and I hope he’s well enough to receive visitors. I know it’d be easy to just go in with my bluescrubs and look at his charts and reports on ITU, but when it’s your own teacher, colleague, boss, sifu, friend, and a father figure, I feel all of this is too overwhelming and the need for his permission is all too important for me. Also I still don’t know quite what to say when I see him there all wired up. Get well soon? Miss your grilling?
Going to ASDA to get some fresh flowers. I hope he’s not allergic to any of them.
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Deekay West Side - Halim Yazid
Started with Idlan sending me a link to a site on songs by Halim Yazid. This guy is currently a lecturer in one of the universities in Malaysia and sings dikir barat which I have translated here to Deekay West Side to give it an urban feel because we’re all urbanites yo!
The beauty of all the songs that he’s created made me wonder what it would be like if he does collaboration with Snoop Doggy Dog or Nelly. It’ll be a hit I think. We’ll leave Mariah Carey out for now. I don’t think Nik Aziz will be pleased with that.
The first time I heard of him and got sucked in especially with the Tupai song, was when my dad came over for my graduation in Southampton 4 years ago last week. It was my birthday as well and so his gift was the cassette by Halim Yazid. Not that he meant it as a birthday gift.
We listened to it on the way to Cornwall, which was a 6hr drive, to Penzance, to London, to Bath, to name it, anywhere, I had all the lyrics in my head by the end of the week.
He absolutely adored the guy and I think I know why.
Halim doesn’t write a typical dikir, a lot of his work touches anybody who understands the language because in between those perfectly rhyming verses he’s passing on advice and teachings from merely observing a small mammal like a tupai (squirrel) daily routine to a hard knock life of his own growing up in a rural area with everything in scarcity, money, food and transport, but still persevere with his education to get to where he is now. You learn about the man himself, his struggle through university with his father at home struggling to make ends meet, and you learn about life many little lessons, through his eyes.
What makes his stories particularly touching is because, Kelantan, being the least developed state in Malaysia back then and even is still now, has little resources. Most families struggle to obtain education. They have to bergadai bergolok (pawn everything that they have) just so their children can enter university in high hopes that they’ll change their own fate.
Halim’s generation which is also roughly my dad’s generation, if you imagine, is the generation now the fule behind the ruling of the country. The menteris, the chairmans, the CEOs, the managers, the many leaders in the many big organizations and big companies. If they are from Kelantan, they didn’t get to where they are now easy, but why is it that some of them tend to forget that?
Many return during Hari Raya with their BMWs and Mercedes whatever class their hearts desire to clog up our ancient roads. It was worse than LDP at 6pm on a rainy day that particular year. They left their big houses in TTDI or Damansara and brought back their big cars and big wives who adorn big necklaces and big handbags along with their children with big KL vocabulary. They complain endlessly about the state of the road, the state of the congestion and the state of how things don’t change much since the last time they’ve been back. What a lost and what a shame.
My question is, why don’t you come back to Kelantan, get the political dispute sorted, start pouring money in and bringing in investors into the bloody state? Save the complaining part for your big fat minging wives and get your ass moving. Easy for me to say I know but why not? If there's a will there's a way and it's about time.
If you are a Kelantanese, you will have no problem understanding this song. If you are from the west side ( orang kay ell la kan) you’ll find a ‘high’ standard of Bahasa Melayu and English translation included.
The rest of his work can be obtained as mp3 on
Kecek Dengan Anok (Talking to My Son) -click to listen
Anok ambo tanyo nok wak gapo peti sejuk
Anak saya tanya nak buat apa peti sejuk
My son asked me why do we need a fridge
Ambo kato gunno nok boh ike tok sey wi bughok
Saya kata berguna nak bubuh ikan tak bagi busuk
I said very useful to put the fish so it doesn’t go off
Jame oghe tuo paka sie belah perut
Zaman orang tua main siang belah perut
Long ago, they just slash the fish gut out
Bubuh dalam botol buat ngasse ike jeghuk
Lepas tu bubuh dalam botol buat mengasam ikan jeruk
Then stuff in bottles to make pickled fish
Dia tanyo pulok nok wak gappo beli blender
Dia tanya pulak nak buat apa beli blender
He then ask me what do we need a blender for
Mama nok wak akok tok nyusah kepok telor
Mama nak buat ‘akok’ tak nanti susah susah pukul telur
If mama wants to make akok (a special sweetcake) she won’t need to torture herself whisking the eggs
Kito lesung takdok gonni mudoh wak mesing laddo
Kita ni lesung pun tak ada, jadi benda ni mudah nak buat mesin lada
We don’t have pastel and mortar, so this is useful to blend chilies
Lumat cepat terlajok tok ngecik masok mato
Lumat extremely cepat tak percik masuk mata
Blends extremely quick and won’t get into your eyes
Bakpo ghumoh kito ado puyok leterik
Kenapa rumah kita ada periuk letrik
Why do we have an electric rice cooker
Lalu ambo kato dok die gak adik
Lalu saya kata diamlah anaku
So I said to my son, hush my son, listen carefully
Goni keno ado kito nok wak nanok nasik
Benda ni kenalah ada nak buat tanak nasi
This, we must have to cook the rice
Tinggal pun takpo nasik kito tok hangit
Tinggal pun taka pa nasi kita tak akan hangit
Even if we leave the cooker, the rice won’t get burnt
Bakpo gak papa ghumoh kito ado tv
Kenapa kan papa rumah kita ada tv
Why then papa our house has a tv
Gonni gunno besa sebak tu la papa beli
Benda ni gunanya besar sebab tulah papa beli
This thing has a big use, that’s why I bought it
Cerito ado gamba brito brito menteri
Cerita bergambar berita berita pasal menteri
The stories have pictures and also gives news about the leaders
Nanti adik besar baghu adik tau sdiri
Nanti anakku dah besar baru lah anaku tahu sendiri
When you grow up my son, you’ll understand you’ll realize it yourself.
Oghe sebelah ghumoh dio beli karaoke
Orang sebelah rumah beli karaoke
The Jones next door bought a karaoke set
Adik toksoh susoh bendo tu papa tokse
Anakku tak payah susah hati benda tu papa tak mau
My son, don’t despair papa has no desire for that
Bendo takdo pekdoh baik kitto toksoh mikkey
Benda yang tak ada faedah elok sahaja kita jangan fikir
Things of little benefit, let’s not waste our time thinking about it
Keh kito ado doh kaset2 hok papa dikkir
Kan kita dah ada kaset kaset dikir papa
All these cassettes with me in it singing , we shouldn’t need anything else
Maghi tughut papa kito gi beli computer
Jom ikut papa kita pergi beli computer
Let’s follow me to buy a computer I said
Nanti papa aja belah manno nok gunno
Nanti papa ajar macamana nak guna
I’ll teach you how to use it
Zaman mencapai internet corridor rayo
Zaman mencapai internet corridor raya
We are reaching the status multimedia super corridor
Bilo adik panda adik buleh jadi kayo
Bila anakku pandai boleh jadi kaya
When you grow up my son, you’ll attain wealth.
A few things that Idlan and I found out as well is that, bini Halim rajin buat akok (his wife can bake akok which is a kelantanese sweetcake quite complicated and tedious to make), and our generation is probably the last one to be able to appreciate dikir barat . My children will probably have Yorkshire accent and upon accidently playing Halim's cassete would probably shriek, “Mommy whats wif this man, he’s singing or wailing or wot, it’s a bit minging innit, me fink he should just sing it in english innit, bit bet’ah, whatchu fink mommy”... Oh No.
Like we said, boh dalam blender, pastu buat akok. (Blend and make akok). Let’s not go there.
Monday, July 25, 2005
Sorry You Were Out
This arrived on the Thursday 21st itself.
If it is a parcel from whom I thought it was from, I just wonder,
But knowing him, in his previous life he must be some kind of a honey. Sweet.
Incapable of even at gunpoint killing an ant. Maybe he would if it's a giant mutated one. I remember one time at Tesco many years ago, when we're young and carefree Mr. Sweetie Caller had a tenner extra given by the cashier.
I asked him, what do we do?
He didn’t wait he just returned it back.
Things like that makes him different to any men I have ever befriended.
I have been swamped by on calls and the Royal Mail isn’t really 24hr like Tesco or ASDA, so this card hasn’t been redeemed.
Head is still concussed, nose still bunged, throat still feels like being poked by millions of tiny 26 G needles. Maybe will pick up whatever it is later if I feel my life behind the wheels is safe enough, and why is it again that they have Kleenex for men? It’s actually better than the ones for non-men. What do children use then? Rhetorical questions buzzing about , must be the bugs hijacking some neural centres in my brain stem.
Chicken porridge anyone? Sniff..Sniff
Thank You Mr.Boss
Off work today. To my surprise, even after popping pills last night I woke up feeling absolutely plastered.
Managed to call the secretary for self certificate off work. There was a potential for extension I reckon, if my voice still sound like I smoke 40 a day at 40, on 20 types of inhalers, with bronchiectatic lungs, tomorrow.
I have just one diagnosis for this ill patch.
"Mental exhaustion induced somatic symptoms secondary to prolonged contact with germs and viruses infested place called hospital".
I am not kidding, just imagine every other day on call with continuous 3 day on call at weekends for 4 consecutive weekends. Even typing it feels exhaustive. I think I am a walking time bomb. Whoever is interested in biological warfare should hire me, give me a passport and I would enter the country and I would let off the bugs at a flick of a switch.
Something unexpected arrived in the post. 4 days late but it’s the thought that counts. Not heard anything from him for a while and I thought he’s forgotten about me. Thank you Boss.
Sunday, July 24, 2005
I have to write a few things though before they leave my pots of thoughts forever. I find this very easily achieved these days. Something some might agree as happening via a complicated passive process. No effort needed.
I have been on call 3 days in a row and I could easily say that the triple whammy weekend on call, Friday Saturday Sunday was probably the busiest on call ever. I take pride in talking about how well spaced this specialty is to my other doc friends, but tonight I think I should revisit those claims I made before.
While puffed out red in the face running to maternity, I was dreading having to put 3 epidurals which were requested probably about 2 hours earlier. For various reasons these women had to have them, big baby, OP presentation, slow progress which means high chance of the baby going to come out through the bikini line. But for various reasons they were refused as priorities, because, left right and centre angel of death were spreading his wings, strategically taking one after the other like lottery balls, so of course with my light saber I had to slay and slay and slay.
On my 3rd epidural lady, the girl, only 17 years old, said to me, ‘Dr Med (that’s probably the only bit registered in between the contractions when I introduced myself), thank you for coming anyway, I know you are up to your eyeballs’. She smiled and I thought how sweet coming from a really tiny girl with such big baby inside. It must have hurt all that 2 hours.
Felt a trickle of sweat running down the lordosis of my back.
Told her not to worry, I get paid for this, and plus I am really Batman’s girlfriend, and my job is to dry clean his wardrobe. This is just a hobby I said. Amazing how they just laugh at any stupid things that came out of my almost hallucinating slowly declining verbal ability. I was at the time thinking about lunch more than anything and it was 16:50 hr.
These women had to wait because the man who came yesterday with ‘dead’ legs and later went to theatre to have it sorted out, again losing his legs fast. White, cold and dead again. His bloods suddenly went really acid, enough to pickle onions for Christmas. His blood was slowly becoming not compatible with life. He stared at life passing by, chugging along to blow off the product of his dead legs. He was obviously struggling.
I have been looking after him since morning and God knows how many times he smiled at me as I was rushed off my feet shuttling between 6 other patients. I never stopped once to make small talk. He wasn’t top priority you see because he was getting better.
As he deteriorated at 7pm, in between heavy laborious breathing, which wasn’t a picturesque thing to see as I was so used to see him getting better, I spoke to the Consultant on call on the phone and the decision to put him back on the machine was made. So I had to put him back to sleep.
I know, and we all know that once a patient take a step back like that, it is almost like trying to climb over 2 mountains instead of one to get to the valley of lavish greens and meadows of marigold. It’s like an unwritten death sentence. I thought for a while and decided there was one thing human I had to do. It asked for his wife to come in.
I knew, he’d like that. I knew his wife would like that. It might be the last time his wife was ever going to see him ‘alive’. Being somebody who had been taught well by my predecessors, of course that’s not what I said to any of them. We were always told to be courteous and careful with people’s feelings when breaking bad news, which I always have a problem with. Not the way by how it’s delivered, but what to deliver.
As I towered over him with one hand ready to inject the hypnomidate, and the other holding the mask over his face, I let out a barking cough, and a nasty sniff. I have been like that all day, in fact since Friday and was contemplating whether to call in sick today, but I suppose it’s not like it’s my choice to come in or not. It’s more to die or not to die at work.
Hearing me hacking away, with his face covered with sweat, pale, clammy and cold, he said, ‘You sound worse than me’ and let out a weak smile. Broke my heart, him. Shit shit shit. I don’t know why but I felt obliged to give him hope, so I said, ‘We’ll take care of you’. Blantantly.
Only in the morning, when I took over from Dr. Suave, I thought I had my mind clear about deaths and living. The man I was looking after, for 2 days in bed 3, died overnight. Dr. Suave simply said ‘Fortunately Naj, he died in the night’.
Seeing me giving a strange look when he said ‘fortunately’, he said ‘Something has to kill the man Naj, he’s 80 and what good would we do if he stays on the machine with his waist down dying?’.
I certainly think the angel of death were doing locuming job this weekend. Maybe I even did brush shoulders with him. Maybe he disguised himself as a porter with a cap that covered half of his face. Maybe I even knocked him a bit while running to get to the cardiac arrest in A&E in the afternoon. What does he think of me?
I don’t think I am fit to go to work tomorrow. Maybe I should go but make myself look extra poorly so I get 2 days off, or maybe I shouldn’t take the tablets tonight so it gets worse. As I said, I should have just gone to sleep. I am hallucinating and this cough is leaving marks on my flatscreen.
p/s: My birthday was on the 21st and of course I was on call. Hhihihihihi *hysterical laughter verging into heightened euphoria akin to ketamine induced trance state*
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Man In White
He walked into the unit with his nose high up, with an Indian SHO tagging along answering to all his commands. Ordering things around, silenced all the ITU nurses, not even a hiss of air movement should reach his auditory.
Dr.McN the consultant, Koala, Deepa and I, were all standing around the bed with this whale sized lady lumped on the machine counting the minutes to which she would be pronounced dead. I was dying to handover and just leave! My eyes were not winning against the gravity. Plus there’s only so much one can do for somebody who is insisting on dying.
Being on call the night, me and my hair looked like we had a fight, my skin and my bluescrubs were equally crumpled, all having minds of their own by handover. Not another second I wished for people to see me in that state. Actually I’d marry anyone who thinks it’s a turn on.
I started glazing over the night events, how I’ve given all the bicarbonate we could possibly give, haemofilter her, given her the FFP, cryoprecipitate, and even glucose because she keeps dipping. I spilled the order of events to the team with mild expressive dysphasia and random nystagmus with intermittent surge of widening of the eyes to pick up momentum. Detailing everything and just punctuated in the end with what I thought was a bloody good hypothesis. Basically we’ve given this lady the best chance there was. The team nodded agreeingly. We should stop all treatment, let her go.
Honestly, we have a dead body already and this man in the white coat, (with no disrespect intended), just walked in like an angel of resurrection . What is he really trying to do? Going through the Chrohn’s history? For what? He thinks he’s God?
The man in white listened half heartedly to my tales of the night, interrupted rudely before beckoning us towards him,
Move over here please, so we can all have one history and one plan, not confusing bits and pieces, he retorted.
Arkhhh…how rude doc! I know you’ve got the most white hair, but didn’t you just walk in? What’s wrong with greeting us good morning and joining in? I know my slurred speech is less than flattering but don’t you think I’d be the best person to tell you what happened since I’ve been up all night cheating death?? Hers that is.
I could just see Dr, McN’s earlobes changing to the colour of the flower prints on the curtain round the beds. Fushcia? He instructed me to carry on and just as I started with the numbers, the man in the white again interrupted.
He commanded the Indian SHO instead, to pedantically go over the history and I could just see Dr.McN struggling to keep his mouth firmly shut. I was stopped in mid sentence and only just then realized my mouth was still opened. Any moment I thought he was going to blurt something which will just start a 3rd world war.
If you could find an arrogant, pedantic full of himself physician in this day and age, show me and I will show you worse. He is the pinnacle.
What a morning, and all I wanted to do was to crash in my bed.
All this walk over to me, no you walk over to me business, what was that all about? Bad case of egos banging into each other on a one way street? Arkhhh…sort your man ego out arkhhhhhhhh arkhhhhhhhhhh zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz..on call again tomorrow.
Sunday, July 17, 2005
Luke Warm Night
The nattering from her was really getting under my skin and the fact that it was repeated over and over again really sent me up the wall. And honest I say it was such a hot day and my Renault is not made for Malaysia or Saudi , I only had a fan blowing hot air.
Women do this all the time. Analysing, dissecting, mulling over and over again, doing a post mortem over the remnants of their broken hearts.
What does he mean by he’s not ready for a relationship?
Was I coming on too strongly?
Maybe I should have been harsh and more forward with my opinion to her. Imagining myself being a man, I would want my girl to be independent, smart, streetwise, confident, secure about her looks, in love with herself. It’s only when she’s all that and speak words of encouragement, satisfaction and gratification it’ll be easy for me to fall in love, in fact impossible not to love.
Wittiness and flair with language is another irresistible quality. I’d like my girl to be able to play the language of love with me, to tease me, to challenge the great philosophers in her own simple banal words. When we have dispute, it’s the way the words are stringed together that would make me let her have the last word because it doesn’t matter if I lose the argument, I win her heart.
And when she’s beautiful, with a cheeky smile, comes in a tight neat little package, glowing healthy skin from good eating habit and exercise, I’d be stupid not to fall straight away. They say diamonds are not made the size of a brick, so at anytime a petite woman will get a second look from me.
They are strange men, in that the harder it is to get the woman, the higher the price they are willing to pay just to see the woman smile, just to see her eyes sparkle like a pair of diamond studs.
Men are not complicated though. They don’t give mixed messages. The truth is he’s probably not into you. Regardless of what he’s looking for in a girl, even if he’s broken up with his ex-girlfriend yesterday, if you’re all that and above the ex, he won’t wait to fall in love, for falling in love is not something you can hold back. It just happens.
Bit like a woman given birth to a baby, does she stop and think whether to love the baby or not? Nope she’ll love and love too much, straight away, because that’s what she wanted.
Instead of making all that excuses for the men, women should just say, hmm he’s just not into me, move on.
But that’s not what I said to my damsel in distress. Instead, in between sipping my mocha frappucino, I said, maybe he’ll call in a few days time.
I remember aeons ago in another time frame, a certain anak datuk with charm and smile enough to send me to the land of eternal bliss. Was swept off my feet, my heart fluttered to paroxysmal sinus tachycardia, I was actually conscious of how I look, now that is abnormal.
We would talk for hours and hours and hours. He’d be in KL or Melbourne and would still ring and would fall asleep after talking for about 3 hours, until his phone card faced demise. Tired maybe from the jetlag and the time difference with UK. On asking why he didn’t just hang up, he’d say because I don’t want to stop listening to your voice.
Words were superfluous, and promises were just heaps like a million dollar cheque ready for cashing in. I was smothered, buttered, pampered with words.
He’d bring me to meet his adorable mother, and his respectable father. Would be out with me for almost every meal, even breakfast at 7 in the morning. 06:45 in front of the gate! I sensed no flaw, but, he never ever looked me straight in the eye.
Looking back, he lied about a lot of things. He just to this date doesn’t know that I know. And I wouldn’t want to start nattering about his wrongs because it makes no difference what so ever.
What favour would I do that to if I open a can of worms like that?
Few times he’d just ring and break down in tears without saying a word. He was close to me emotionally, probably sensing that I’d understand what turmoil he is in with his allegedly ex-girlfriend, but probably weary that I’d just disappear after knowing that much emotional garbage he’s still carrying with him and still being with the girl .
That is me not making an excuse, that is me understanding one’s emotion. He’s witty, charming and probably one of the few clever guys I’ve ever met, his smile would ease a uterine expansile contraction but when it comes to relationships, he’s just a piece of unfinished quilt. And also a piece of shit.
He asked too much from me, but maybe it’s what is expected of him.
A girl with a supermodel look, a name which starts with Tengku, plays violin, flawless skin and the list goes on. It’s just not this doctor. She’s just a simple girl with breakouts sometimes especially after nights on endless on calls. I can play the trombone but that is hardly angelic and demure. I can paint and hum a few tunes, but that would only be precious to those who can appreciate it.
Little that I know, he’s the biggest player that has ever ever roamed the surface of PJ land. So there you go, he was just not into me, and little I can do to make things go my way.
I brought it upon myself and people have that right to love or not to love. All I can say is I was just upset that I could let myself be in that perpetual infatuated and intoxicated state, blinded by anything and everything.
Remember though, falling in love is not a crime and hoping that something materialized out of that satisfying feeling is a right given to everybody which should never ever be mocked or patronized.
With that said, go on fall in love and get your heart broken once or twice, life is just too short.
The witty charming, agile and intelligent ones might send your hearts through a roller coster corkscrew ride but might send 0.5 mA current up and down your spine putting that blush on your cheeks. The blur, straight talking, by the books ones might be sitting by the pool full of naked women and not even glance at any tits but can you live with the routine and mundane?
I am not talking about a sentence to eternal missionary position, but you know what I mean. It's your choice.
Saturday, July 16, 2005
Hari Ini Panas
Beyonce pula bagai setuju dengan aku dari corong speaker base berderai, mau sahaja kalau boleh aku papar ke skrin besar dari corpus collosumku gerak geri badan munggil ghairah Beyonce tergedik gedik kepanasan macam cacing. Aku sumpit pandangan dan himpit mampan sampai tembus kaca dihadapan, telinga aku mula bingit, berdesing, aku paling benci perempuan merengek pasal lelaki, sebegitu.
Kenapa kau pandu laju sangat ? Kau dengar ke apa aku ceritakan? (Alih bahasa)
Aku hangguk secara auto. Aku tau sangat cue cue supaya jangan cari gaduh.
Dia suka aja.
Kalau ada lelaki macam kau aku dah lama paksa kau kawin dengan aku. Sayang kau perempuan.
Aku hampir tekan brek kecemasan. Pujian agungkah? Muka aku senang aja buat macam, tak ada perasaan. Kun fayakun, dah nak jadi jadilah. Pehal dia masih fikir aku berminat dengar cerita cerita seperti toyol beranak ikut umbilicus itu? Atau cerita beruk baling batu seremban bulat bulat tahi kambing gurun?
Senyap seketika dan aku secara exponesial mahu sahaja bertempik meledak letupan bergegar Krakatoa kegembiraan, dalam benak pundi hempedu hijau cirit meconium berkata halus ‘diam akhirnya perempuan ni’. Barisan barisan hym singers kulit hitam, gigi putih tulus, berjubah alim timbul melaung hallelujah bertubi tubi seperti wajib dibomoh pulih.
Oh tidak ..mana mungkin semudah itu, dia uraikan lagi kenapa lelaki pelesit itu tinggalkan dia, justifikasi kenapa dia salah anggap dengan bahasa badan lelaki itulah yang kononnya bersalah menggodanya dan langsung menipu sang perempuan supaya jatuh hati. Oh begitukah? Salah lelaki itukah sampai kau perempuan, mahu biarkan dia cop jari jemarinya atas kulit yang sudah terkedek kedek hampiri usia bunga Rafflesia?
Aku sebenarnya sudah bosan. Malam itu aku tiba di tempat seronok seronok kau terus merengek minta koktel yang paling mahal dalam menu. Bila aku enggan keluar cucuk bintang kau kira aku besar kepala kerana tuduhan kau, aku pakar kepala besar apa mau mungkin aku campur golongan terhutang badan dengan kepelbagaian lelaki seperti kamu orang. Kau sendiri panggil kumpulanmu loose women, tapi bila noun yang sama maksud dilemparkan kearahmu gara gara aksi ghairahmu, kau tunjuk jari tengah dengan muka mau cari gaduh. Mau aku sepak saja perempuan macam kamu. Biar sedar biar mati.
Walaupun rumahmu terkeluar arah dari jalan kebandar aku tetap punggah kamu, kenapa? Sebab aku tak suka dengar kau merengek bandingkan gaji aku dengan gaji kamu. Rengekan kau perempuan, buat aku mahu terjun bangunan KLCC. Adil kah dunia?
Sampai bila aku mesti batalkan niatku buat sukahatimakbapak aku nak pergi ASDA lepas merompak gedung coli, hanya sebab kau nak balik cepat.
Minum frappucino Starbucks tak pernah bayar, teksi Friday night tak pernah bayar. Lelaki mesti segak, mesti kaya. Mesti buka pintu, mesti berembun berhujan, cium tapak kaki.
Dan kau tanya aku kenapa lelaki itu tinggalkan kau? Diam! Diam! Diam!, aku nak dengar lagu baru Craig David.
Malam ni kerja jaga mayat bernyawa remote control. Konflik dalaman menebal, kerana aku berperasaan mahu bunuh orang. Boleh aku upah sahaja?
Text dialihbahasa sebaik mungkin untuk tidak menimbulkan jenayah bajubilikbedahbiru.
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
It Could Happen To Anybody #2
I rushed into the next theatre to find a young woman on the table. Tube in her throat, nose, left hand, right hand, and also out from between her legs. Surgeons rummaging through as they do normally.
Arterial systolic 60, pulse 140, adrenaline cassettes scattered opened about 6. All numbers were in the red on the monitor and she’s been through 6 cycles of cardiac arrest. We’re in debt with this lady.
She looked pale, dead and battered. Extremities blue from the vasoconstrictions. She had the hysterectomy earlier in the day on routine operation list, and that’s all I could gather from the scanty notes. Apparently, recovering well from the anaesthetics since been back on the ward B1.
Between then and her lying motionless on the table, she lost consciousness, lost her aiway control, warranting an anaesthetist intervention. That puzzled everybody.
Naturally I asked Kevin what happened. He was doing the air through the nasogastric tube test. The 3 surgeons anxiously waiting for the crafty diagnostic test,
a loud farting sound came out from the top, their eyes fenced on top of the masks showed excitement and they were right, the stomach had been perforated, popped.
Like a bunch of remotely controlled machines they immediately extended the hysterectomy incision up to the sternum and started stitching the hole.
Kevin backed off, staring into space and slowly sat down. He looked like he’s seen a ghost. I hurried to make sure he caught the chair on time. He buried his face in his hands.
Shit. That’s all I could hear him saying.
I felt my blood slowly draining. My throat choking, my tongue stuck to the roof of my palate, didn’t know what to say, where to begin. Could feel the mountain descending onto his shoulders, grey pregnant clouds homing onto view. Yes, big shit.
Due to the nature of the incident and potential lawsuit enveloping the whole event, it is not in my capacity to narrate exactly what happened. We could only learn from the mistakes. This I keep telling myself and those involved.
When we later took her to CT brain, she was already coning from the 40 minutes cardiac resuscitation, the brain had squashed itself through the base of the head and death is imminent.
That was the longest most uncomfortable silence ever. The humming from the doughnut of the CT scanner added beats to it.
Two things bothered me,
1) She’s so young and came in for a routine hysterectomy, what could possibly go wrong, people have their wombs out all the time. But things do happen. We sometimes forget a clause that comes with the statement ‘Being in a hospital’.
2) What would have happened had we not swapped? Would Kevin send Nick to get me to intubate the woman? Would the tube still get displaced into the oesophagus? Would I notice it and reinsert? Would I manage to tube her knowing now that she’s a nightmare intubation? Would I be that good? Better than him?
Should I count my lucky stars then? That's too selfish a thing to say. It’s awful what happened that night, awful, awful, awful and it’s every anaesthetist’s worst nightmare ever ever.
I just laid there supine staring at the ceiling for a good half hour before I could no longer fight my eyes at 5 in the morning.
All the time I kept thinking it could have been me, and not him. Woke up to an annoying phone call from an arrogant, selfish, simpleton who had no idea what a night I had but that is another matter and such a waste to blog about.
It Could Happen To Anybody
Kevin was on for the ITU and I was, for theatre. The shift started with a bit of a chaos as the boss had instructed the hospital switchboard to swap me for ITU and Kevin for the theatre emergency. We didn’t know why, at least I didn’t know then, but we went against the boss and we stuck to the initial plan. Rebels we are.
As we’ve decided to work as if we’re attached at the hips I stayed on ITU with Kevin. He sat me down by the workstation and put his glasses on. Opened his West physiology of respiratory system, we got stuck in. He’s the nasty examiner and I was the shaking like a leaf on a rickety dry twig at the mercy of a blaring storm viva candidate. The nurses passing by just rolled their eyes with some shaking their heads.
‘Don’t get carried away’, and a wink came from Lorraine with a tray full of dirty mugs.
On the third question of critical temperature and oxygen concentration at high altitude, I was bleeped from the orthopaedic team. It was Sharan, one of the 4 Malaysian docs working in this dire place. A 7 year old boy with busted suprachondylar fracture needed manipulation under anaesthetics.
The theatre felt more clinical than usual. Maybe they did the thorough cleaning earlier in the day. The boy was an absolute angel and was more interested in the shell chain round my stiffened neck than anything else. I bought that in Matahari, Bali.
Forgot to take it off before work and it dangled down as I put the needle in, I let him play with it.
He didn’t flinch. What a star. I promised to give him a visit next day on the ward with a book on Bali. Most children at that age wouldn’t be interested I thought. I wonder what sort of a man he would grow up to be with that shiny soft tufted copper hair a bit ruined by the rustled from the fall off his pushbike. Blue eyes, freckled to the bridge of the nose. And loving books? I let him call me Naj.
He grabbed Nick’s hand hard as he drifted off, probably feeling the inevitable loss of consciousness. Must be really terrifying. Nick squirmed silently and gave me a look. I hastened the injection. Once a man in his 30s shouted ‘Here we goooooooooooo!!!!’as I sent him to the world of pharmacological sleep. Bit like he was falling off a bridge doing a bungee jump. I thought that was funny.
It was sort of calm and uneventful, Sharan and I were exchanging ideas of where to go on Thursday night with Adleen the other Malaysian doc over the procedure. Bit of a struggle to round up the conversation as sounds muffled behind our surgical masks and she got interrupted now and again to tighten the traction by the Registrar.
Finally a night out as a group after a year of just saying hi-s and bye-s on the corridor. We owe it to ourselves really and it’s a bit pathetic not to get to know each other being from the same country and all. Sharan and I speak to each other a lot more often compared to the others as she bleeps me often to give me jobs. Once she rang to refer a patient and hung up without actually telling me the name of the patient. We get carried away easily. Sometimes I just say no to everything, when I know it’s her.
Is that the on call anaesthetist? No
That’s Naj isn’t it? No
I know it’s you Naj. No
It’s Sharan, got a patient for theatre. No
Giggles and a sighs. Laziness is sometimes a bit like limpets, very clingy.
My bleep went off and it wasn’t a cardiac arrest. More of a ‘Dr. Ahmad to ward B1 now!!!’ blaring out of the radio-bleep around my waist. That kind of summon can’t be right so I sent Nick to get Kevin from ITU double quick. ‘Yes boss’ from Nick always sets my mood right and gets my not so forthcoming smile lingering for a bit.
Nick came barging moments later, completely out of breath, puffing out barely audible sounds meaning we needed another theatre opened. I was going to be stuck with the orthopaedic team for the next hour. Things rolling fast around me. Scrub nurses left my theatre to help out, leaving me, Sharan, her Registrar and a nurse. We were abandoned.
10 minutes later the sound of a trolley screeched past our theatre and an odd bangs and thumps startled us. Heard Kevin’s voice in a different pitch than usual, demanding and a bit harsh. Oh No we thought.
5 minutes later the consultant anaesthetist on call stormed into our theatre not in his bluescrubs. Where is the woman? We all said SEVEN out loud.
At that point I really didn’t know what a nightmare a series of unfortunate events can all snowball into, starting from just one unfortunate event….
To be continued…
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Those Other People
That’s one aspect of blogging that keeps me wondering. The other one is, fair enough some people write in such disguise that nobody knows who they are. Ability inert to only certain people I suppose. I, me, I won’t be able to do that, there is so much to me to disguise so as to not make me sound not me. I won’t stand a chance of writing in a vague mysterious way.
Standing on the other side of the river bank I sometimes wonder though, whoelse reads my thoughts? Everybody that knows me? All ex boyfriends? And ex boyfriends’ new girlfriends? Nearly becoming boyfriends’ psycho ex-girlfriends? Psycho never were girlfriends?
Today, I was yet again on call and all the time I was buzzing with hives of thoughts. Raw, warm and thick. Bit like Sunday roast dinner sauce at Haileybury.
When it was all quiet, I thought about what people I know are doing, because good thoughts of my own, about things around me, left me all of a sudden such that my being at this particular time feels like being on the Circle Line to meet T-Rex in South Kensington on one of those exeats. Exciting and out of control.
She’s meeting that American guy we both met in Bangkok for a movie in KL. I love what the guy has between his shoulders. On the tour bus in Bangkok, we spent hours just talking about basic tenets of life. I learnt that such man exists.
He’s wandering in Borders, with his couple friends. I wonder what books he reads. Never told me he reads any particular author, never recited any particular lines from anywhere. A guy who reads is like a goldmine, and excavation of such minds gives me orgasm to the point of destruction. Having said that, a walking dictionary is NOT, I repeat not my ultimate desire. I wonder if a guy who corrects my grammar will turn me on.
That particular other he, is going to propose to that girl he knew for a week.
The other he, is now in a new relationship, probably still bitter about the end to it all. Still jamming the base, still keeping his good superstar looks, and supernatural voice. Still probably with the new hairstyle. Always liked him with a short spiky hair armouring his precious philosophical grey matter. So close yet so far.
That other she, found my blog and to you my married friend without any babies yet “Oiii…pergi study!!”
That other he, is cruising in his BMW thinking of where to go for next holiday, where to put the next RM 50K, where to shop for his 7 month old son’s shoes. Remember saying to him on our last phone conversation ‘Make sure you do your job’, I said, and he said ‘Boss, won’t let you down, I don’t even ask for the 6.7% and only done that to Sultan Johore PA, once’. He’s never been not charming.
That other she, is going to Cambridge for an SpR interview. Pillow talked for about 2 hours on Sunday. ‘You know what Mie, I can always rely on you for a pick me up words. Like Solero on a hot day. I am sooo confident now, bring on those suckers (has been translated carefully)!!!’. Aiyo girlfriend don’t be too gunho with those poor consultants on at least one heart medication. Heart attack them there how? We laughed off our worries with some fairytales only the two of us could comprehend. The time we slept at Algeciras ferry terminal because we were sent back from Tangier without possesion of a visa into Morocco, we thought we're going to meet two gorgeous, tall, tanned lonely planet backpacker guys stranded exactly like us and we would spend the whole night playing spinning the bottle and it's all 'truth' and no 'dares'. Nothing like that happened but we did get marriage proposals on the way from Fes to Rabat. Looks like she’s gotten over the guy from the Balkans.
Many other he-s and she-s are out there probably worth mentioning , but I can’t because they don’t reach my memory at the moment.
The paths crossed, memories emblemmed into pictures, songs and scents, fears shared, laughter cashed, gazes caught in a moment or two, warm touches, heartfelt passion waterfalled, floods of rage broke the dam as dispute paid a visit once or twice . Separately, one after the other, all at once. Whichever way, what is life when these, are just things you can think of and not feel.
Last night, I have been part of the vehicle delivering the blessing so that, that guy with thrombosed piles from lifting heavy objects today can finally sit like a normal human being. I am also in there somewhere when we all helped saving that woman from an oozing uterine artey after the hysterectomy which left for another hour or so would warrant her a tombstone or a slot in the crematorium.
Maybe she shouldn’t have had that thing which to some women is a definition of being a woman, out in the first place. Not the vagina, the other one. Have we been tampering with fate?
Monday, July 11, 2005
BUKU HARIAN ISTERI
Malam Minggu - Dia berkelakuan aneh. Sebelumnya kami berjanji bertemu di Cafe. Aku shopping seharian dengan kawan-kawan, sehingga mungkin dia kesal kerana aku agak lewat sampai di Cafe, tapi dia tak bercakap.
Dia tak bercakap langsung, jadi aku ajak dia pergi ketempat yang agak sunyi supaya kami dapat berbincang, dia setuju tapi tetap diam membisu. Aku tanya apa yang salah - dia jawab, "Tak ada". Aku tanyakan apakah kesalahan ku yang membuatnya kesal. Dia kata hal ini tak ada kaitannya dengan ku dan minta aku tak usah sibuk.
Dalam perjalanan pulang, ku katakan aku mencintainya, dia cuma tersenyum tipis dan tetap membisu. Aku tak dapat menjelaskan perangainya petang itu. Aku tak habis-habis berfikir kenapa dia tak menjawab, "aku cinta kamu juga".
Sesampainya dirumah, aku merasa kehilangan dia, dan seolah-olah dia tak menghendaki ku lagi. Dia hanya duduk dan nonton depan TV; dia terlihat jauh dan menghilang.....
Akhirnya aku putuskan untuk tidur. Lebih kurang 10 minit kemudian, dia masuk ke kamar. Aku tak tahan lagi, kuputuskan untuk menghadapinya dan menanyakan soal sebenarnya, tapi dia langsung tertidur. Aku mulai menangis sampai tertidur.
Aku tak tahu apa yang harus ku lakukan. Hidupku terasa bergoncang.....
BUKU HARIAN SUAMI
Hari ini REAL MADRID kalah. SIALLLLL…
Saturday, July 09, 2005
BluEScrubs Financial Times
This is not going to be easy. It might not even flow so easily to satiate your high taste for reading material. I might even hurt a few people by writing this but I feel that it’s my responsibility to part with little knowledge I have about financial independence. I write this because I care.
I am not an economist, neither am I a clone of Azizi Ali, or remotely related to Robert Kiyosaki, but one thing I know is you will struggle financially if you live in KL with a pay of RM1200 a month. It’s a fact.
(Sidetracking - The currency is Ringgit not Dollars, I get extremely confused when people talk in dollars when they refer to the money spent in Malaysia, is that just pure ignorance and arrogance = ignorarrogance or do they have wacky brains to convert to dollars as easy as cracking peanuts?)
If you’re in your mid 20s, with that kind of pay and a girlfriend, you will suffer horrendously, that is for sure. (If this is beginning to sound a bit personal, maybe it is)
Now you need a car, everybody needs a car. You tell me you need a car to go to work. You need the work to pay for the car. So we have a viscious cycle there.
You’re saying to me this is precipitated from you wanting an accommodation which is cheaper by RM100, but that equates to living further away from work, such that you need a car.
Now the minute you buy a car, the value goes down almost exponentially. At the end of each month, you’ll be at least RM200 worse off than before. Not to mention the fuel money you’ll incur for the distance at the price of paying a lower rent? Have you done your calculation properly?
Now if I were you, what I’d do is to be harsh on myself and pay myself some money instead of giving it all to other people. Say an X amount a month. They say 10% of your pay, but I'd say more, heck it's your money! Be strict and do this every month without fail. Put that in a separate account where you won’t touch it at all. After all it’s your money, why pay the blimming car loan people first?
Get to a value enough for a house downpayment. I don’t want to know how you do it but do it. It’s painful it’s not something you’d enjoy but this is what you have to do.
Once you have that, get a house near your work place where you wouldn’t need a car. Rent out the rest of the rooms, get house mates. Immediately you’ll ease the loan payment that you’d be paying. Aiyo missed out the getting the loan bit but you know the works, getting loan after the downpayment and all, provided you keep the job for loan purposes. I don't do editing, there are people getting paid to do that.
This way wouldn’t you be building equity already and getting paid for having a house, and walking to work! Isn’t it great? Great exercise too?! Ye laa I hear you say senang la you cakap macam tu, you get paid in pounds. Hello, siapa suruh malas belajar kecik kecik? Siapa suruh terjun alor time orang lain baca buku, siapa suruh pusing BMX time orang lain baca sifir? huh huh huh?
Ok lets not get carried away. It’s not easy I know. Loans are out there, but there are good loans and bad loans. Loans for big kenduri- bad, for a Tissot watch- bad, for a spanking brand new car- bad (but a lot of people take it). The only good loan I know is when a loan will actually be paid back on itself. A loan from a big sister for a house downpayment – negotiable, subject to an approval but better than for a brand new Kelisa. You only need to get from A to B for crying out loud.
This is a bit advance but I believe everybody needs to have a business. Your job is not your business. It’s your career maybe, something you are a slave to, something where you work for the money. But your business is where you make the money work for you. By this I mean looking after the money you’ve earned is your business.
Make buying your house a business. Make doing your financial planning your business, make making sure your money is not wasted unnecessarily your business, make investing it somewhere else your business. Make making more money your business. You will not make any more money unless you invest it and that is your business. Be an accountant, be a manager for your own business. But remember, buying a new car it’s not a business. Big NOT.
It sounds vague and a bit of a waffle but I can only give the scaffolding, it’s up to you to build the building whichever way you want it. Make financial independence a target in life or forever be a slave to money.
Doctors don’t get paid much everybody knows that unless you’ve reached a certain level of expertise and mind you that path is full of ‘onak duri’. Pain you know study sampai ke tua. But like Howard Hughes, you want to be buying TWA while flying a flight. Be one step ahead of other people. Do business while ‘enjoying’ your career. Hahahahah (serious now)
Unless you suddenly woke up with a voice like Frank Sinatra or the Lotto flashed your lucky numbers tomorrow, I am afraid, this is what you’re going to have to consider.
Talk cock lah you and talk big also, like bagus bagus je, you say to me. I dare you do it and see cock or not. Then if you want to thank me in 10 years time, I only want a hug. Thanks.
Not a lot of people know this but I have been yet again flatmate-less for about 4 months now. The quietness sometimes is just too loud I have to make as much noise as possible to not let it get to me. Even my medium size farting sounded deafening, but that is not my point.
I call it a flat because I don’t think we call them anything else here when it’s a tower block and you have to waddle up and down with your shopping from ASDA. Maybe the difference to an apartment is that apartments have lifts? Nicer paints? Too couldn’t-be-arsed to be educated on that matter but it is not Seri Maya or Armanee for sure.
Every now and then, they’ve decided that the two spare rooms I have in here can be used for locums to stay. They’ve agreed though that I will be in the know if that happens.
I was exhausted. Had my face in the pillow, didn’t bother to change the bluescrubs. Only put on a new pair just before leaving through theatre backdoor.
Was drifting away knowing not whether I was still in present, past or future.
A familiar sound of the door being unlocked startled me to get onto all fours and crawled and hobbled down my bed and again shuffling to the sides like a drunken crab to plaster my ear to the door.
My shorter haircut somehow got in the way of me breathing and I was very seduced to sneeze. My nostrils were extremely itchy. It was not easy.
There was definitely somebody in my flat.
I yohoooed and there was no reply. Again, still it was quiet, my heart beating fast and my whole body tranced into fright fight flight mode. My throat felt dry. I was thinking about the tennis racquet which was nowhere in sight, in the car boot maybe. Even tennis balls would be useful I thought. I snaked out of my room.
A head popped out of the loo ‘Helllooo!’ which for the love of all RotiBoy buns made me jump out of my skin and almost toppled from my ‘hungry tiger’ pose in bluescrubs. My head almost got decapitated from the small door opening.
She quickly apologized for making me jump and introduced herself. I got up from the floor.We cracked up.
She’s a little Indian doctor from Darlington, and has come for the interview for the next day and going to be staying for the night. Hmm I felt like a host all of a sudden and the whole responsibility that comes as a host very soon filled the air. Showed her the shower, the ironing board and the kitchen.
Roasted chicken drizzling in it’s own Mexican BBQ sauce barged into our olfactory endings . I put it in the oven just before ‘play dead’ on the bed. She complimented on the inviting smell. I quickly offered her dinner and she didn’t refuse. She looked like she needed it.
We chatted and cracked jokes about NHS. Her husband is also an anaesthetist and she spoke of him fondly. They have a 2 year old and she sounded proud of her boys.
I excused myself to go to ASDA as the fridge now looked a bit abandoned with just a thumb size lump of cheese and an iceberg lettuce wrapping left. She wanted to come along so we went. I was so surprised that we got on so well so quickly. Maybe because I haven’t had any human contact since deep sea diving in the bed since coming back from work.
We shopped and I learnt a little bit about her shopping habit. We returned home and she wanted to share the ice cream she bought on the way to here. It had a flake on.
I love chocolate flakes. It’s almost a clever way of having something so rich so lightly. Flakes, almost nothing wrong with having all 5 of them on one scoop of Haggen Daaz or B&J or any gelati near the Fontana de Trevi. I can tell she loved it too.
She asked me if I wanted the flake so I said ok. You know as to not offend her. She let me split it into halves and it broke one third to two third.
“Give me the bigger one. I haven’t had flakes for ages”.
She grabbed the bigger one from my left hand.
Errr, I smiled, ‘I am not big on flakes’. Was she what she said she was?
Semalam bukak yahoo msgr, ada offline msg dari Oli. Dia cakap dia nak pergi wee wee. Lepas tu dia cakap dia tak suka cakap sorang-sorang, dia tanya bila nak log in nih. So dia logout. Walaupun dia cakap dia hanya nak wee wee, tapi hmmm mungkin itu cara mau cakap rindunya dia dengan kakak dia pada umur 11 tahun.
Pagi tadi call Cik T. Cik T gelak. Macam satu pelukan erat, macam dia lega letupan tu tak sampai ke Grimsby. What are you like mother!
Lagi satu sebab kenapa dia gelak, dia kata dia sudah marah budak telekom yang otak mungkin sudah kecut akibat selalu kena marah. Cik T jarang marah, kalau dia marah dia mungkin boleh ditukar nama kepada tunggul sahaja, tunggul yang bergerak, kerana dia masih akan memasak, membasuh dan mengemas. Jelingannya sudah cukup buat rasa diri seperti dipaku kedinding. Exterminating bak kata orang putih. Baik musnahkan sahaja hajat hajat untuk seperti berpesta di hujung minggu atau ke tempat tempat seperti Pattaya atau Phuket.
Telefon rumah tak jalan lagi kata Cik T. Asyik sepi. Tak ada tone untuk beri dial. Setiap hari, macam fire drill hospital, cuma itu berlaku hari Rabu pukul sepuluh.
Dia call telekom. Budak tu cakap, (mungkin bukan budak tapi suara tidak mencapai tahap matang untuk melegakan pelanggan yang sedang bengang), kak, bukan sekarang phone dah ok ke. Sekarang kakak guna telefon rumah kan?
Cik T cakap, memang sekarang ok, tapi setiap hari time tengahari mesti bisu. Mesti ada benda tak kena mungkin wire kembang lepas tu panas, jadi laluan telefon ‘short’. Aiyo terrernya mak ku buat theory.
Budak tu cakap kalau macam tu time telefon buat hal baru telefon dia balik, dia akan pergi check out.
Cik T sudah berasap, dia kata kalau phone ni sudah tak menjadi, macamana nak telefon bagitahu phone tak menjadi? Betul juga cakap Cik T.
Cik T memang tak ada handphone, Oli tak perlu handphone. So tak ada siapa ada handphone. Budak itu tahu kah Cik T tak ada handphone. Cik T tahukah budak itu tidak tahu Cik T tak ada handphone. Budak itu tahukah Cik T mungkin fikir budak itu sengaja buat buat bodoh? Mereka tahukah mereka salah faham?
Budak itu betul atau Cik T kah yang betul.
Walaubagaimanapun rindu rumah weekend nih. *peluk Bubbles*
Thursday, July 07, 2005
Terror In London
“You heard me Naj, bombs went off in London” and left in a hurry to fetch the patient in reception like a guilty messenger.
You see my ODAs quite often than not turn up at work with alcohol level only just below the critical level so I didn’t pay much attention, most of the time.
For example, when I once said I needed to give the patient (male) a few puffs before transfer while squeezing the bag on the machine vigorously, they sniggered and called me a dirty little minx. That’s how tipsy they are, sometimes, wait, most times. I don’t even know what they mean by ‘giving puffs’, you know being innocent and all. I should pick my words better.
Anyway, it was only when I met ITU girls and Kevin in the pantry for coffee did I see it all on the TV. They were all glued to it and nobody said a word.
The one on the bus from Hackney to Marble Arch went off just outside BMA (British Medical Association) building which is a few blocks away from the Royal College of Anaesthetists. Walking wounded casualties gave clues to the magnitude of the blast. The spluttering of blood and soot from the explosion clearly seen on the buildings nearby.
Only 3 months ago I was sitting right opposite that spot in Tavistock Garden having my sandwich staring at Mahatma Gandhi’s solemn statue after my FRCA exam. Behind me was the BMA building. I glanced at the blue door and remember saying ‘So this is where BMA people hide’. I used the bus, I used the underground. Anybody would when they have to get around London.
What a tragedy for those suffering from 2nd degree burn, broken limbs, head and chest wounds and on ICU now. Even bigger tragedy for those lives lost.
Farah, Shemeen, Mona, Erisa, Aamton, Rania, Sujatha, all commute to hospitals in central London. You guys better return my calls soon or text.
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
On Call # 09
I was sitting in the coffee room waiting for the patient to arrive from B3 for today’s emergency laparotomy. Rereading the In Style magazine issue Nov 2004, drooling over some stuff, mulling over some things cleverly and not so cleverly written,. ‘How to make your man beg for more’. Ya right. Flip, flip.
It was way past dinner time but Debbie looked like she’s going to have her first meal for today.
We exchange monotonous hiyas, you know like..
U ‘aight Naj..
She said something about not seen me for ages and I told her about my holiday. I sounded like a travel agent for ‘Visit Bali 2005’.
She pushed and pat and scooped and smeared the big bowl of what looked like a very colourful yummy salad. A big portion enough to last her all week as well.
What’s wrong Debs, isn’t that nice? One of the other nurses asked her.
‘Oh God just look at this. He’s put in absolutely everything under the sun and it’s horrid’. She jeered while twirling the fork flicking some small pieces of mushroom.
Her expression was a clear resentment of that bowl of salad. She put it on one side and made a beeline for the toaster.
I looked at the salad and yes there was a lot there, and had probably everything in the vegetable isle at ASDA, but HE made it for her.
‘Your boyfriend made that Debs’? I asked. I needed confirmation.
‘Yeah, Andy’s made that, this morning, he said it should be good for me. He knows I hate salads. Urghhh. Men’.
Tongue in cheek, she made some toasts.
I don’t know why but I felt like I wanted to say sorry to Andy,
I felt like I wanted so much to have an ‘Andy’.
Not for ‘Andy’ to make salad for me but to say to my ‘Andy’, I’d never do that to you baby.
Oh well like I deserve any ‘Andy’ at the moment. On call yet again tomorrow.
Meeting the nurses in ICU nowadays makes me feel all the more mellowed. They’re like my mums, friends, and evil step sisters all wrapped up in a cheesed up tortilla. Hot spicy yummy obnoxiously sinful but wholesome. Bliss.
Helen heard about the letter I received to go to Scunnie for the Senior SHO post in August. I know that doesn’t make sense at all having a double senior in a title, but it’s there in black and white.
‘Why are they so horrible to you then? Can we make a petition for you not to leave?’ she almost sounded like a disappointed mother.
I shrugged my shoulders, dopey eyed and scoffed the cake she brought in. Corrrr she makes the best chocolate cake and she must be the best smelling mumsy nurse ever ever.
Dr. Mc the consultant walked past and everybody went quiet.
Did you see that? He looked 10 years younger! Has he had a facelift or something?. Somebody whispered through some rolled sheets of A4s.
Dr. Mc is ancient, should really be at home polishing zimmer frame by now but he still does some odd ENT lists now and again. His eyebrows grow horizontally forward and defy gravity. It gets even more livelier when Dr. Mc is furious. His hair, wisps and sparse. Miserable is his middle name and his belly is his trademark.
But…that was him in his body possibly of 10 years ago, tanned, trimmed (still with belly or course) his cheeks pinked up and sounding jolly?
What’s going on?
‘He’s shagging somebody. That’s what it is’, Barb said.
Yeahh…and they all agreed and went back to work knowing all too well.
Me: Really? (Bewildered with mouthful of cake)
Ok Really now, on call tomorrow, must hit the sack. Lights off.
Highs: Thoracic epidural went in less than 7 minutes.
Lows: Colecystectomy guy went into bronchospasm scared the shit out of me. Almost leaked.
Monday, July 04, 2005
I think BluE Scrubs is haunted. Yesterday's 5 questions post disappeared just
like that. Am I in somekind of a triangle?
Where is the blimming post? &*%^£"!$^&(*)(_)_ not funny. :(
Appreciating What Didn't Happen
At least not since coming home and passed out for 3 hours. I rarely sleep during the day unless my body clock been through some torture excursion like a 13 hr flight to the motherland. Woke up with a mothergrandfather of pins and needles. Felt like the whole legs been put through a circuit to earth an electric shaver. Don’t ask how I know that. I used to like poking holes when was a little girl.
It’s understandable I suppose if you’ve been on call from Friday, through the Saturday, and woke up on Sunday with what seemed like a hangover because I did for a while felt like I rule the world so that gave me the right to not go to work.
I did turn up in the end when they say the woman’s blood pressure was 76/41 (that’s very low) cue for strutting to the ward and putting up the fluid yourself. The nurse in charge (blessed the dainty soul of hers) said to me; yea I know it’s low but it’s Sunday and we’re understaffed. I can’t go around doing 2 readings for everybody.
Hello makcik, that is very low and you could at least do a repeat to make sure it’s a true reading if you’re not planning to call the docs on duty.
Aiyo why lah hah we have to go pick up the pieces like this? So how am I supposed to put this lady to sleep without any blood pressure? Anaesthetic induced cardiac arrest? That’d be fun. And I’ll be very popular.
Why do I digressed to Sunday? It’s Monday today and of course everything has to happen on Mondays. I walked into chaos as usual. The consultant called in sick so I had to do the punani list on my own.
The first lady didn’t have the notes available and she’s allergic to latex. Just what you want on your Monday morning with a consultant at home playing PS2 nursing his too-unwell-to-come-in-to-workitis, of course not faking symptoms of not feeling very well which really we know he’d come in had it been only him doing the list but because Naj is having a respite from continuous on calls by having a normal day today and more than willing to help out, he might just let Naj sort it out. *Breath* She’ll manage. Ok maybe he’s really not well. I am cranky and catching the cynical bug fast.
So this lady is a nightmare. She’s a proper latex allergy specimen. Any contact with latex her airway will close up, go blue, stop breathing, pressure crash and let's not be too imaginative. I really didn’t feel like I was up to it. Again, nightmare, nightmare.
It would have been different if something did happen, I might not write these in this manner. So head put back into the rail of reality and sensibility, I thank You that the list went as it should be, I thank You that you were there to look out for me when I was trusted with a life in my hand.
I despise the fact that the surgeons were taking things lightly by not having the notes on the ward on time, but it was a good panic. I didn’t like the way they pressed on, but it was a good practice. I didn’t like chaos in the morning, but one every now and then would do me good.
It was quiet, a day has passed, things get done like any other day, almost like nothing did happen at all, but the lady sure had her operation minus the anaphylactic shock she had last time she saw people in bluescrubs.
The responsibility was probably one of the biggest I had to carry. It didn’t happen the loudest, but it was still one of the greatest, for me.
I suppose this is what appreciating something that didn’t happen feels like.
Sunday, July 03, 2005
5 Questions (Rewritten).
I guess only heavenly creatures like Roddick and Federer will get people talking about what morning they have, whether they had a good night sleep, what they had for breakfast –orange juice with bits or without, what socks they’d wear; like that.
Was a good game though despite missing half of it to go for a trauma call. Another guy decided to go on his bike and race at Caldwell. Was brought in by a chopper. Broke his tibia and fibula so that was a bit nasty and wouldn’t get sorted with just a pull. The plating took 3 hrs. And I thought I shaved this morning.
Is life about watching reruns these days? Live8 rerun, men’s tennis final rerun. Nothing is ever going to be live for me it seems. Maybe a strip of my life could go on a rerun. Maybe I could edit some of the things that’s happened. Not much, just a few, so I won’t hurt so many fragile hearts, so many unselfish gestures, so many kind words..
Life I suppose is a drawing without an eraser. I am shattered, too tired and emotionally drained. I don’t know how long this emotional stringing is going to last. It is character deforming, and it’s frustrating . How could I have reduced myself to not only listen to such words but to justify what seemed like an unfair accusations. I thought we were going to swim together, sink together.
I am most upset that it’s over, but I am happy that it happened. Perhaps to some, we have to meet so many characters in the world to finally realize those ones that are really diamonds to us are the ones that have been there all along. I know there is no storyline to follow, no names, not even a plot to anchor a jigsaw. It doesn’t even feel real anymore. More like a tale in my head which will remain a big dough that will never become karipaps or doughnuts. I just pray that in time..oh well who am I to say this and that.
This I found in my inbox today and don’t you Your Bluntness just almost slapped me into reality.
5 golden rules for finding your life partner by Rabbi Dov Heller, M.A.
A relationship coach lays out his 5 golden rules for reviewing the prospects of long-term marital success.
When it comes to making the decision about choosing a life partner, no one wants to make a mistake.
Yet,with a divorce rate of close to 50 percent (in USA), it appears that many are making serious mistakes in their approach to finding Mr./Ms.Right!
If you ask most couples who are engaged why they're getting married, they'll say: "We're in love." I believe this is the #1 mistake people make when they date. Choosing a life partner should never be based on love.
Though this may sound not politically correct, there's a profound truth here. Love is not the basis for getting married. Rather, love is the result of a good marriage. When the other ingredients are right, then the love will come.
Let me say it again:You CANNOT build a lifetime relationship on love alone. You need a lot more. Here are 5 questions you must ask yourself if you're serious about finding & keeping a life partner.
QUESTION #1:Do we share a common life purpose? Why is this so important?Let me put it this way: If you're married for 20 or 30 years, that's a long time to live with someone. What do you plan to do with each other all that time? Travel, eat & jog together? You need to share something deeper & more meaningful. You need a common life purpose. Two things can happen in a marriage. You can grow together, or you can grow apart. 50 percent of the people out there are growing apart. To make a marriage work, you need to know what you want out of life - bottom line - & marry someone who wants the same thing.
QUESTION #2: Do I feel safe expressing my feelings & thoughts with this person?This question goes to the core of thequality of your relationship. Feeling safe means you can communicate openly with this person. The basis of having good communication is trust- i.e. trust that I won\'t get "punished" or hurt for expressing myhonest thoughts & feelings. A colleague of mine defines an abusive person as someone with whom you feel afraid to express your thoughts & feelings. Be honest with yourself on this one. Make sure you feelemotionally safe with the person you plan to marry.
QUESTION #3: Is he/she a mensch?A mensch is someone who is a refined & sensitive person.How can you test? Here are some suggestions. Do they work on personal growth on a regularbasis?Are they serious about improving themselves? A teacher of mine defines a good person as "someone who is always striving to be good & do the right thing."So ask about your significant other:What do they do with their time? Is this person materialistic? Usually amaterialistic person is not someone whose top priority is characterrefinement.There are essentially two types of people in theworld: People who are dedicated to personal growth & people who arededicated to seeking comfort. Someone whose goal in life is to be comfortable will put personal comfort ahead of doing the right thing.You need to know that before walking down the aisle.
QUESTION #4:How does he/she treat other people?The one mostimportant thing that makes any relationship work is the ability to give. By giving, we mean the ability to give another person pleasure. Ask: Is\r\nthis someone who enjoys giving pleasure to others or are they wrapped upin themselves & self-absorbed? To measure this, think about the following: How do they treat people whom they do not have to be nice to, such as waiters, bus boys, taxi drivers, etc. How do they treat parents & siblings? Do they have gratitude & appreciation?If they don't have gratitude for the people who have given them everything, you cannot expect that they'll have gratitude for you-who can't do nearly as much for them!Do they gossip & speak badly about others? Someone who gossips cannot be someone who loves others. You can be sure that someone who treats others poorly, will eventually treat you poorly as well.
QUESTION #5:Is there anything I'm hoping to change about this person after we're married?Too many people make the mistake of marrying someone with the intention of trying to "improve" them after they're married. As a colleague of mine puts it, "You can probably expect someone to change after marriage .. for the worse!" If you cannot fully accept this person the way they are now, then you are not ready to marry them.
In conclusion, dating doesn't have to be difficult & treacherous. The key is to try leading a little more with your head & less with your heart. It pays to be as objective as possible when you are dating, to be sure to ask questions that will help you get to the key issues. Falling in love is a great feeling, but when you wake up with a ring on your finger, you don't want to find yourself in trouble because you didn't do your homework.
Saturday, July 02, 2005
I Am Alive
Whole day today, I’ve been bugged left right and centre , non-stop, at a rate can only be described with one word, long word. No, there isn’t a word to describe it.
A slave to a matchbox size box called bleep, sleep deprived and verging into unconsented aneroxia nervosa. Look this way. Uhuh,Ya moi.
2 ladies were put to sleep in the morning and I was pleased that those were out of the way. All I wanted was to sit in the doctor’s mess and watch Live8.
I missed the opening. Was in theatre looking after that man having appendisectomy.
Missed Joss Stone, was in ICU reviewing that chap with record breaking attempt of thoracic epidural.
That was a hard one. I attempted 4 times and God knows what rate my sweat glands were producing sweat of cold variant. My heart sank, the exhaustion mounted, my knees weakened, giving up was never high on my list. It was all a bit orgasmic when the Touhy ceased resistance. Uh yeay, finally just as the consultant walked in.
Sorry boss, I didn’t know it was going to go in at last, would you like to say, go back to your car and say, go home? Thank you for coming at such short notice. Gulp.
When Madonna appeared it was that 33 year old deep sea diver in casualty needed resuscitation from pressure jet wound to his chest and arm. I want to see Madonna, I missed Madonna.
Err can you please resuscitate yourself?
Took the patient to theatre for debridement and of course Madonna wouldn’t wait for me. I knew she wouldn’t mind knowing Marge. Catch coffee later Marge, sorry I missed your beautiful performance. I had lives to save. Not that it’s that important.
I wanted to see Will Smith, missed, wanted to see Alicia Keys, missed. Black eyed peas- missed.
Bon Jovi? The Killers? Linkin' Park? Maroon5? Pffftt! Sorry boys. You know I love you all so very much.
I got home and Mariah Carey was waiting for me…oh girl you don’t have to. Being live on tv and all. I would hate wasting your time. But when you sang that HERO song, ( I know we fell out a long time ago but nobody ever ever has taken that special place of yours in my heart), today you snipped all those killer weeds covering my dilapidated memory lane.
If only you’re not too tacky and slutty all the time. Have a bit more clothes on. I’d be most proud to call you ‘the diva’. In Malaysia you can buy nice fabric cheaply at Kamdar. If ever your private jet passed that way.
Anyway hairs stood on end girl when you sang that, and with that new one We Belong Together, my heart flipped and flopped and twist and wept. You’ve got the most unique and crisp voice. I salute you. Me love you long time.
Urgh am knackered want to write more but too tired. Eyes heavy and god knows if I can make it to another on call tomorrow. This place is now a torture chamber. How do they live with themselves knowing I am suffering paying back my 5 week holiday? Answer: just like any other day.
Tomorrow is not yet today. Lights off.
Friday, July 01, 2005
Too Much Words
This Indian guy said (with thick Punjabi accent) we come to this world alone, leave also alone, you think it’s bloody crime if I think of myself first? bloody hell.
And I watched him without saying anything for good 5 seconds. Only quietly blanking any expression, blinking I think occasionally. I put away the book I was reading by the couch, and made tea, like people do when the air is setting an awkward stillness.
It was a movie and the Indian guy is a troubled owner of a strip club somewhere in the States and he just killed his choreographer. That aside, isn’t that just right though? Straight on the nail, blunt, a straight blow and eyeball to eyeball.
Sometimes if we mean what we say, the simplest words will express it just as well if not better. No beating round the bush, no messing about. Just look at the letter I received today from United Overseas Bank.
‘We reserve the absolute right to discharge you from handling this matter in the event that such position is not declared to us immediately, in which event, the Bank shall not be liable for any costs incurred by your firm in the preparation of the Bank’s security documents’.
Oh hell, what is that? I felt like crumpling the whole letter and set it on fire. - you might notice it’s easier to light a paper when it’s crumpled, and try make it wringed and long, bit like a cigarette. So, are these people not sure what they are trying to say in the first place or have they something to hide which only with diligent and meticulous reading between the lines would reveal the true meaning?
So in say 5 years time when I am even less law wise and in trouble, ask them why is so and so not given this and that, they’ll say, oh you see in this paragraph here it says blahblahblah, well what that means is miss (which by then I hope not to be anymore) you should have done this and that then, and so because you didn’t, now, you have to pay RM10,000 for the accumulating charges.
No it’s not funny. That’s not even English.
And the sad thing is this I always find true to formal letters percolating in Malaysia. I have never received a letter of such articulate degree here. Or maybe my English is slowly decomposing? Oh gosh there’s so much anger in me I need Brita filtered water. The closest I can get to getting purified.