Thursday, November 27, 2008


At work now. Not busy.
I have to write down this story. I am not sure if I should but I will. Yesterday at the end of my shift i examined a guy, way beyond 50 of age, complaining of chest pain. He came in wearing a cowboy hat with zebra printing, yellow in color, looked hideous on him. Noticing his large plastic bag which contained clothes I asked him where he was going. "From A to B, doctor". I asked what for, out of curiosity. Bluntly he answered "because i am looking for a woman, doctor. Each time i see a woman my penis got an erection." He said it out loud . Shocked by his answer I said "You are a dirty old man" straight to his face. Likewise he was speechless for a moment but managed to grin at me which surprised me. I expected him to punch my face or swear at me for calling him that way. He then continued the conversation about how much he liked sexually women from different ethnicities which disgusted me. I had to walk away from him to avoid further irreverent remark about women. Some of the nurse came to me right away to get confirmation of what they had heard. They all looked disgusted and in agreement with me for calling him that to his face. Thinking back I shouldn't have uttered that remark to him but I just couldn't help myself. At least the nurses they all were on my side. I have to be careful with my mouth next time.

This is the thing working in a&e where I get a chance to see different kind of people from different background which requires me to adopt different ways reacting to situation. Good communication is the key to get things done the way it should be done. Lack of it we could end up with unforgivable mistake. Sometime unforgettable situation.

I remember two days ago, I saw this guy with a swelling underneath his scrotum. After examining him I found out the severity of his condition which needed a review by the surgical team. So came in the surgical house officer. He put his glove on and told the patient he wanted to see the lump without telling the patient first how. Half naked, lying on the trolley he grabbed his thighs with his hand and pulled it up to his belly and spread it open like a woman trying to give birth. And there you go, looking at him exposing clearly a large lump between his balls and his asshole (we call anus), dark red color and bleeding. Not a good sight. The problem is, that was not the way to do it. The surgeon could have explained it better.

This reminds me the incident 3 years ago when I was a registrar in psychiatry. I was asked to do a rectal examination on a guy with an anal pain. Right the minute I said I wanted to examine his back passage, without waiting further instruction, he quickly pulled down his pants while standing, bent down, put his hands on each butt, spread it open and said "I am ready doctor". I immediately said "No, no, not that way. You have to lie down on the bed on your side curled like a baby and I will cover you except your butt then I put my finger with a jelly on it."

I still laugh every time the incident cross my mind. The same effect it had on me when a friend of mine, also a doctor told me he had to see a patient complaining that something stuck in his back passage. After an xray comfirming the location of the foreign body, the surgical team finally managed to extract the thing. Guess what, it was a vibrator and it was still vibrating when they took it out. Yes i said it right, it was a he. Don't asked me how the vibrator got in up there. Again, use your imagination, and please don't be judgemental. Accident happens!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Work? Nothing exciting. Same old story. Overcrowded. Understaffed. Same talk, no action. I am doing 8am to 4pm shift till Friday then 8-8 for the next 9 days. Sure. No problem. Bring it on. I think not, but I don’t want to think about it a lot. Just get on with the business.

On the way back I did a stupid thing, still laughing now when thinking about it. I refilled my car fuel tank when the fuel indicator started to blink. While doing the refuelling, I was thinking about getting a Chinese take away as I was so hungry. At the same time, I was thinking about the next project at work. In addition to that, I was thinking that I was still angry at my so-called friend for the event that happened yesterday. Too many things in my head, you know. By the time the price for the fuel on the pump hit $40, I decided I was not getting the Chinese food, decided on the topic of the work project and contemplating to forgive my friend. Put the pump back and drove off......

Well, that half of the story, the other half is this. By the time I got back, while parking my Opel Corsa, out of the blue, I remembered that I might have forgotten something. I checked my wallet, and there it was, confirming my suspicion. The $50 was still there. I had forgotten to pay the petrol. I cursed myself with every dirty word came across my mind. I ran upstairs. In the apartment, I tried to act cool. The first thing I did was to open my computer to Andrew’s annoyance. While he was having a conversation with me (I can’t remember what!) I was trying to figure out what was the best way to contact the premise. The problem was I couldn’t remember the name of the petrol station, and what road it was on. Eventually I told Andrew what happened. He laughed first at me, then suggested what we should do. While he was searching through the Google map to find out the name of the street where the shop was located, in my mind, I was thinking, I was screwed, dead pan!. They probably had called the gardai, and now the gardai were on their way to arrest me, the next thing I was deported home. Such a drama queen. Finally, I managed to call the petrol station apologised profusely for my absentmindedness. And she was (sound like someone east European) so nice and agreed that I pay them tomorrow. I left my name and phone no with her. OMG! What have I become? Demented and I am only 34......need to eat lots of antioxidant-containing food to slow down my brain disintegration....

Thursday, November 13, 2008

34 and counting.......


Finally, I had a proper sleep last night. Now I am feeling fresh and more alive. What a way to start my 34th year in life. Yes, I am 34 today. A big number? Not really, just a number. Deep inside I feel much younger.

Despite my reluctance to celebrate my birthday for the past few years, today I have decided to cherish it by visiting my past, pondering on the bad, the good, the failure, the success, the gain and the loss.

I have come a long way. Not so long ago, seems like yesterday, I was a little boy in a small village from the other side of world, undernourished with a tummy full of worms, underprivileged whose parents struggling to keep 9 children together, running around without shoes/slippers/shirts, looking after cows, goats, buffalos, living in a house lighted with oil lamps, using water from a well to clean myself, collecting woods in the forest for my mum to cook our meal, dug a hole each time I needed to do the business to empty my bowel, was chased by wild boars on the way to school which was 30 mins walking in the dark early morning, was so scared of the ghosts on the way back from reciting Quran at night.

Here I am today, in front of a computer browsing through the internet, sitting on a leather chair with my mobile phone HTC touch pro beside me, have a wallet containing bank cards, credit card, in a large apartment I co-own containing all the luxurious items that I never dreamt 20 years ago, have a great job, a wonderful companion, supportive friends, and have the opportunity to travel to many countries. Every so often I had to pinch myself, is this real, how this could happen. 34 years, so much has happened during that time. I was sent away by my family to have my education for free, lost my 2 brothers, one was murdered, the other from an illness when he was an infant, lost my mother from a tragic accident, received awards for my academic achievements, the self destruction, the redemption, and many more and I am only 34. I hope I have grown up to be a better person, older and wiser.

“A man is not old as long as he is seeking something” – Joan Rostand
“Age ... is a matter of feeling, not of years” – George William Curtis
“Life is a long lesson in humility.” -James M. Barrie
“Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.” - Soren Kierkegaard

The 'sleepy' beauty


So tired, So exhausted. I need some sleep desperately, but here I am in a London underground finding my way to Princes Royal Hospital, Bromley, an hour away from Heathrow Airport. I ended my 14 days working nonstop (except only for sleep) yesterday. Most of those days I only manage to sleep 3-6 hrs a day. Being a bad sleeper, that was definitely not enough particularly when I had to sleep during the day. The light, the noise was unbearable. It was a struggle to keep my eyes open, let alone to concentrate on whatever I was doing at work. Last night for example, I felt asleep while writing a patient's note. That is how bad it was. I woke up from the doze just before I hit my head on the table, and there I was trying to make sense of what I had written. For the first seconds I tried to figure out whether I couldn't read the note because of my sleepiness or because of my nonsensical writings, more like a scribble. It was the latter, so I had to reread and rewrite it as it was a legal document. That kept me a awake for a while.....well, not for long, about for 5 mins, and then I dozed off again.

The same problem I had to endure on the way back driving home from work. Few times I fell asleep, only to be awakened by something (my guardian angel probably if it really exists) before I hit something or someone. It was a painful effort to concentrate. I shook my head every so often, like someone who has tourette syndrome, controlling my breathing, breath in breath out, as oxygen deprivation can worsen sleepiness, scrolled down the car window albeit a freezing, cold wind coming in, turned up the radio volume to the max and sang along with my awful tone of voice....The tricks gave me a little help to reach home safely. Thanks God for that.

I got home yesterday at 1030, didn't go to bed till 12 midday, slept for 4 hrs, then got ready to travel to London, flight was delayed and I didn't get to the Ibis Hotel till eleven p.m., then I went frantic when I discovered there was no internet access and i didn't know the way to the hospital. As usual Andrew came to the rescue and texted me all the information I needed to get there on time. By the time all done, it was nearly 1 am, got up at 6am and here I am in a battle to keep myself awake and I still have 8 hrs of lecture to attend. Dont know how I am going to keep my head up for the lecture.

All I want to do now is to sleep, hoping someone will wake me up tomorrow with a kiss. Ah, well, aren't we all living in hope?