Thursday, September 25, 2008

A rollercoaster ride....

This week, beginning from the weekend, has been a rollercoaster ride for me. Emotionally, it has been high, up to the sky, and down, beaten to the ground. Holiday, sickness, death, fighting an addiction, all within a space of five days. Some people might say, well, that is facts of life, just get on with it.....I am trying, and i am sure with the support of my friends including from FB, I will get through this.

It was a great holiday in Berlin. I had a great fun with my close friends. There were 10 of us: me, irish Andrew, Batch, Dan, english Ricky, Chris, australian Paul, belgian Darius, and canadian Jeff. I will tell more about the trip with pictures in my album.

Returning back from Berlin, I started to feel unwell. I have been feeling an extreme exhaustion for the past 4 days with pain and aches all over my body. It feels like I am carrying a block of concrete on my back or like I have just finished running a marathon. I can't do anything. Today is the worst. I lied in bed all day. Last night I couldn't sleep with stomach cramp. I felt so down. So many things I wanted to do today but the whole day was wasted trying to figure out what was wrong with me. I thought I had been having a flu but the feeling or symptoms like nothing I had before. Later this evening I found out actually I had been having side effects from the medication I had been taking for the past week. I am still not feeling right but I have decided to discontinue taking the tablet. I will tell you why I took this medication.Yes! tomorrow is the day of revelation! I hope you all ready!

After suffering from dementia for many years, my paternal grandmother passed away yesterday. I got the sad news from my younger sister, Midah, last night. Only yesterday she posted pictures of Atok (my grandma) which were taken 4 days ago. She looked so ill. As much as I am sad with her passing, at the same time I am relieved that she had been released from her suffering. For many years, her memory was fading away, for many months, she couldn't see, couldn't hear, for many weeks she had stopped eating. It was heartbreaking for my father, who was looking after her in her final years, to see her withering away. It has been hard for him. He, who previously buried 3 of his own children and a wife of 30 years, now has lost a mother and sister in the same year. This has reminded me of my own mortality....when and how, only God knows.

I promise I will reveal it all tomorrow!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Berlin! Berlin!

I haven't done much for the past 3 days. As i mentioned earlier, it takes 3 days to recover from 1 week night shift. Only today I started to go back to my normal day routine. I woke up early to drive back to Drogheda, not that I wanted to, I had to. Few weeks ago, unaware of the new parking rule in Drogheda I parked my car in front of the hospital, and at the end of my shift I found the fine ticket worth 40 euros, sticked on my car window. Great! Hence, I was where I was today to pay the fine, 5 days before they increase the amount of the fine. Damned you Drogheda Town Council!

Enthusiastic initially to take pictures of Drogheda I walked around with my Nikon 40 SLR after paying the damage. I found out that actually Drogheda was a boring town. The road lay out was horrible, and not much activities going on. So many old people around , not that I am ageist but I think it is pity that an old town with so much potential has been abandoned by young people. Yes, I was a bit disappointed not able to practise my skill in photography.

I was a bit pissed off yesterday. On Tuesday, I did an online order for a new HTC Touch Pro (a smartphone). The next day I got an email from them saying that they were not able to deliver the phone because I gave a different address from my credit card billing address for the delivery. I had to give my friend's address for the delivery because I would be in a different country when it arrives. Anyhow, I replied immediately, giving them the green light to sent the item to my current address, I called them as well as sending an email. The next day, through the tracking file, I found out that they wanted a proof of address. They could have told me on the phone when I called them. Pissed off, I called them again and cancelled the order. With my not-so-easily-give-up attitude, as I need a second phone right now, I went to city centre, and tried my luck to get a hold of Iphone 3G. I went to 3 different shops and they all said the same.......out of stock! Come back in 3 weeks time! Great! Thank you for your help! I was so pissed off, I ended up buying a nice pair of diesel jean and a diesel shirt. Felt so much after that.......Gosh! I have a problem here! Help!

I can't wait to go to Berlin with my friends. Few of them have been there since yesterday. The rest will be the in the same flight with me tomorrow morning. It is gonna be a good fun. I will be there for 3 nights 4 days. I will post pictures of Berlin...........Berlin, here I come..

Monday, September 15, 2008

Yeah! Yeah!

Finally! Finally! It's over, for now anyway. It is time for me to relax and do other things. I am getting bored talking about my job, as if I have no life apart from work. I am sure some people (if any), who read my diary, are also getting bored with my writings...always about work. Last night was my last night at work before my two weeks holiday. So, eventually I will get a chance to explore my other interests....well, not many, but enough to keep my life exciting.

But not too fast. I have to write about few more other interesting cases. Moreover, I wont be able to talk about my job for two weeks. Isn't that great! YEAH! YEAH!

Saturday night was the busiest night for the whole week. I had to call my senior to give me a hand as it was nearly out of control. Kids crying, people complaining, nurse demanding, patients keep coming, nearly drove me into rampage. I had to attend no less than 4 patients at any time. I was like a cockroach, running from one patient to another and another before going to complete my first task. Non-stop for 12 hrs straight. Even when I was taking my short break, I was still writing notes.

The worst hour was around 4 am, on my own, the only AE doctor, when 4 patients literally came in at the same time, all by different ambulances. All needed urgent attention. One was a heroin addict, so out of it, not able to give a proper history apart from telling me someone had bitten off his ear. Half of his one side ear went missing and it was bleeding heavily. The wound was heavily contaminated, that he required HIV and hepattitis screening , vaccination and antibiotics. He was referred to a plastic surgeon in a different hospital but few hours later he did a runner..with a bleeding ear, high and stupid! We never found him.

While I was attending the ejit, the department night manager, the lovely AD (that is her name) called me to examine another patient who had a neck injury. He was completely drunk. Apparently, he was assaulted by a group of people while trying to help his sister from being attacked by the same group of people. He was in a room, shouting at the attenders, his head was strapped with a neck collar to protect his spinal cord from further injury. During the spinal check, he did exactly what I asked him not to.'Dont move your neck', he moved his neck! 'Dont nod' he nodded! 'Don't shout' he shouted. So frustrating! We, me and the nurses were looking at each other like 'yeah, I know exactly what you are thinking'. Thanks God, xray showed no damage to the back bone. However, one of his eye lid was cut into half and it was bleeding. He actually was also punched right to his eye. I was not able to examine if there was any actual damage to the eye ball because of the wound on the eye lid. I had to give him intravenous morphine to relieve the pain. I can only imagine the excruciating pain he was suffering. He was later tranferred to a different hospital to be assessed by an eye surgeon.

While I was in the middle talking to him, an elderly lady arrived by an ambulance with severe pain on the shoulder. She had a dislocated shoulder. After confirming the dislocation with an xray I managed to put it back in .......not before high dose of morphine for the pain, and midazolam to sedate her. Apparently, she had a spontaneous dislocation while climbing up the stairs in her house. Poor old lady!

Before all of the above, I had just finished seeing a lady, mid 50's looked like 100. She was so skinny and weak, as a result of her condition. She would fall backward easily if you just blow her face, I am telling you. She, who was later put on assisted ventilation, had a respiratory (lung) failure.

Ok, that's enough. No more talking about work for the next two weeks. Hooray! Time to have a simple, sleep, relax and holiday! Berlin, here I come!

Friday, September 12, 2008


I know, i shouldn't be counting the days when my night shift gonna end. I don't wanna sound like I dont enjoy my job. I do, absolutely I do! But sometimes it can be too much when you have no more energy left to carry on. I am not there yet but i was at the brink of emotional collapse. Somehow, i managed to pull myself together to get through it. Hahahaha, I am talking like I am facing a life or death situation. Well, it was not that bad last night at work.

It was another crazy night. Total madness! I saw about 16 patients with various complaints in a space of 12 hrs. I felt like 'why am i doing this, why am i torturing myself'. I am sure there are so many jobs out there with more money and less hassle. Perhaps i love this job. You have to love a job like mine in order to keep going. Otherwise you will be suicidal.

Yes, I enjoy what I am doing. Despite the shortcomings, the stress, the horrible hours, the unpredictable cases, the ungrateful patients, the inappreciative employer, I know I can make a difference in somebody's life for the better, and that is fulfilling enough for me.

Sometimes I learn more about myself from the patients. For example, few days ago I saw a father in his mid 50's, dislocated and broke his shoulder, asking me so many questions, some stupid ones after learning his predicament. Normally, I can be easily annoyed with this kind of patient, as if they dont trust me. But with him, I was extremely patient after knowing his situation. Apparently, he was about to start his new job the next day as a truck driver which he had worked so hard to get the position. He had been umemployed for a while. He was looking forward to starting a new life and his daughter's wedding was in 6 weeks time. The wedding in Ireland is very expensive, the cheapest would be about 10000 euro around RM50000. Now he wouldn't be able to work for at least 6 weeks. Although he tried to hide his disappointment, from his eyes I can see the mixed sad emotions - anger, frustration, self blame. Looking at him makes me appreciate the life that I have. I have a good job, never have to worry about the bills, can afford good food, enjoy my exotic holidays and have somebody to share my life with.

I also met an elderly patient who came regularly to AE with different simple problems each time. He usually came in after 12 midnight. Basically there was nothing physically wrong with him but I soon found out why he was there. Recently his elderly sister, who was looking after him, had been sent to a nursing home for a long term care, so no one cook for him at night. So he came to AE for some food whenever he felt hungry in the middle of night (he had social service sent him food during the day). He is also a lonely old man....he is in his 80's.

Another patient, a lady in her 60's, also out of loneliness comes to my AE every single night, never fails, usually after 8. She has a nice house provided by the social service but she is scared to live on her own at night. She has refused to go to a nursing home. She comes in and sits at the corner of our waiting area with her blanket. Later she will sleep on the chair. Around 8 am the next morning, off she goes and the pattern repeats itself. Patients like this really put my life into perspective.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


3 gone 4 to go.....yes, I am talking about my night shift. I have just arrived home. Tired but not sleepy yet despite my 12 hours shift. While waiting for my brain to tell me to sleep, somehow I got some inspiration to write this. Today I got 2 emails from malaysia regarding the content I wrote in my blog. I am delighted with the emails which mean someone actually read my blog. So thanks mrmanager ( and al-razes ( for you comments. I promise you that the truth will come out. Please be patient....

It was fairly quiet night last night at work. So most of the time we, me and the nurses exchanged gossips and were bitching around....and some serious conversations as well.

One of the patients I saw last night was a young guy with an attitude, absolutely drunk, most likely a spoilt brat, came in with a thumb injury after being bitten by his partner. Apparently he had a row with his drunken partner who later hit him with a metal piece from a hoover before biting his thumb. Human bite, particularly on the hand, is a serious injury no matter how small the wound is. There are so many bugs in the in mouth that can cause serious infection, which if not treated properly the patient may lose the hand/finger. We have to consider HIV and hepatitis infection. This particular patient needs surgical exploration of the finger to determine if any ligament or nerve injury and he has only a very small cut on the thumb. He was also given immediate vaccination of hepatiritis and series of blood test including HIV test.

Although I do have sympathy for this boy but his attitude made me wanna slap his beautiful face. He was rude, loud, demanding and ungrateful. Despite the anger I had inside, of course, as a medical professional, I managed to contain myself from the outburst, instead, I smiled and kept smiling....which cooled me down. Don't underestimate the power of smile!