When I am on leave (as I am now), it gives me a chance to indulge in a favourite dish of mine: Sambal Udang Petai ! Why do I eat it only when I am on leave (meaning I won’t be seeing any patients)? Because the beans (petai) stink to high heavens! And deliciously so too!
I first learnt to eat these repulsive legumes when I was a house officer in KL. I was kinda ‘adopted’ by the attendant there and she would fix me all kinds of malay delicacies daily like petai, tempoyak, tempeh, cincalok, budu, etc etc; all very
toxic exotic indeed. And since then I was hooked!
To eat it on a working day would be a big no no since the bean gives off a very unpleasant smell in the breath (it also taints the other body secretions as well…you know, organic waste products). It wouldn’t do to exhale these ‘toxic’ fumes upon my patients who are already ill right?
And so I had a good helping or two the other day and the smell still lingers. I hope it clears by Monday!
Which reminds me of my Myanmarese Aneasthesia Consultant back in the district hospital where I once worked as an anaesthesia MO. He has a habit of eating these beans on a regular basis! And he loved to use the MO call room’s toilet for his needs. Suffice to say, he almost single handedly suffocated the entire anaesthesia department. We had to change the lock and kept the key to prevent him from using our toilet!
Fri, 300307 @ 0931; eeewww, I hate my breath!
Update: To put this conversation into context, Ryan’s answer to the first question a few months ago would be “I DON’T like you!”.
Me: “I like you.”
Ryan: “I like you too.”
Me: “You are mine!”
Ryan: “You are mine too! Mummy is mine and cheh-cheh (sister) is mine also.”
Thurs, 290307 @ 1943; finished only 2 out of 3 major chore today. Sigh.
Spent the entire morning working on my income tax return (and yes, I am still on leave). It’s an annual pain in the gluteal region. Anyway, I am happy to say that it’s done (finally) and once again, my employer has OVER deducted from my salary for my income tax payment. Sigh.
Psst…I suspect they are secretly trying to starve me and my family to death!!! A bit like arsenic poisoning.
I don’t think I am going to file for a refund. From the horror stories I heard and read, it will probably take months of hassle before I see the money and by that time it would be due for the next income tax.
If Jesus didn’t love tax-collectors so much, I’d hate these fellas.
Thurs, 290307 @ 1021.
I suggested a particular design to solve LM’s toilet woes. I was surprised by these pics sent to me by a friend a few days ago. It seems that my design has already been invented by some one else! Darn! I should have sought patent rights when I first thought about it!
Apparently in India, there are toilets that look like this: (!!!)
Well, if I have my way, I would replace pictures of all them bollywood lasses with the following: Carmen Elektra, Paris Hilton, Eva Longoria (just voted sexiest on planet earth!! woohoo!!), Nicole Kidman, Tyra Banks, Beyonce Knowles, Shakira, J.Lo (as you can see, I have a leaning towards exotic latinas!), etc etc, not necessary in that order.
Unfortunately in other parts of the world, the toilets look like this: (!!!!!!!!)
I lost my appetite already. Aack! Puke!
Wed, 280307 @ 0800; it’s community project day today. ;-P
I find retail therapy (aka Shopping-la) the best way to shoo away any shitty feelings and that’s what we did… at a local DVD shop (Psst… I can’t tell you the location as there aren’t that many left!!!) and boy did we shop!
1. 300 (will buy the red cape, leather stuff, metal helmet and work on the abs after I watch the movie)
3. Pan’s Labyrinth
4. Turistas (yes that slash slash kill kill movie with fabric-allergic-thespians. Ooo la la! Drool)
5. Miami Vice (wife’s choice, not sure if it’s for Colin Farrel or Jamie Foxx)
6. Brother Bear 2 (you gotta take care of the kid’s needs right?)
7. Some Barbie movie (the girl wanted it and got it after pouting better than Angelina Jolie)
8. Jumanji (yeah, old movie but scared the daylights out of me when I first saw it)
The shitty feeling is gone, but now replaced by a tinge of guilt (read Fibrate’s take on Pirates). I swear I will stop buying these DVDs as soon as I get hold of Indiana Jones Part 4. Ok?!
Sheesh, I feel worst than Capt Jack Sparrow now. Ugh…
Tues, 270307 @ 1559; went for solar therapy (sun tanning and swimming la) followed by physiotherapy. Aww, so blissful!
“I am very disappointed at the way d case was managed. Nobody from med saw the case until 1530hrs [from the time we last saw d patient at 11am] pt is ill with lOw bp and grossly anemic. Blood transfusion ordered, inotropes ordered, despite that started only after 3 pm! Bp, then has drop further. when I call the ward at 3.30 pm the ward staff said no one has review case since 11 am, except the surgeon whom I had personally informed at 1145hrs. I am sure we don’t want our love ones to be treated this way? If we had done our best and pt still mati, then I do not feel guilty.”
That was the sms I received from the consultant at 5.30 pm on Sunday when I was on call. The shitty feeling, however, started long before that.
The bottomline was: We fouled up.
I could blame a lot of people. I could point fingers. The houseman who was lackadaisical in her attitude, who did not carry out the orders made earlier or check on the patient who was slowly bleeding away developing a massive retroperitoneal hematoma and going into shock. The MO who was equally apathetic and has attitudes lethargicus maximus who did not review the patient at all despite being asked to do so. The nurses who did not even seem to be aware that there in their ward was a seriously ill patient.
But what good will that do? Shifting the blame is counter-productive (I vowed never to do that after suffering some blame-shifting from specialists/consultants from my HO days)
So, what was I to do?
I replied her sms.
“I understand how you feel. I feel the same way. I was shocked to find that what we ordered this morning was not given when I called while having lunch. And this was after I personally spoke to the MO about the patient. Anyway, I bear responsibility as specialist on call. My sincere apologies. I am deeply disappointed as well.”
Sigh. I still feel crappy. Lesson learnt. Be more vigilant next time especially when working with less than ideal team mates.
Tues, 270307 @ 0800; on leave but have tons of stuff to do. Feeling shitty doesn’t help.
Finally a study has confirmed what all of us suspect or know anyway: That’s it’s really quite okay to have the cell phones ringing in the presence of ‘sensitive’ electronic medical equipments! You can read about it here: Cell Phones in Hospitals
I wonder how long will it take before the directive for the prohibition of cell phones in the hospital to be withdrawn. Currently we have many self-appointed cell-phone-free-in-hospital-environment sanctifiers barking at people whose handphones happen to go off in the ward. It’s plain rude.
And more importantly, I wonder if there will be a study to see if cell phones are safe in a flying plane. Hmm… but it wouldn’t do to have people testing it for real and see if the plane actually crashes, right?!!!!
Anyhow, I ditched my tie a long time ago after studies in UK showed that the ties worn by doctors are significant contributors to the spread of infection. You can read about it here. I go about un-tie-d (geddit?) these days, except if I have to attend a formal meeting. I don’t care to wear a bow. It reminds me of a clown some how.
But there are unhappy rumblings from some defenders of all-doctors-must-wear-ties. Some immaculately tied-up people thought too loudly to themselves, a while ago that other doctors are not adhering to the dress code.
Mon, 260307 @ 0735; post-call and what a bad call it was.
I received this in an email from a friend:
This is a strictly mathematical viewpoint…it goes like this:
What makes 100%? What does it mean to give MORE than 100%? Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%? We have all been to those meetings where someone wants you to
give over 100%. How about achieving 103%? What makes up 100% in life?
Here’s a little mathematical formula that might help you answer these questions:
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
is represented as:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.
8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98%
11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5 = 96%
1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5 = 100%
2+21+12+12+19+8+9+20 = 103%
AND, look how far shoe polishing will take you.
19+8+15+5+16+15+12+9+19+8+9+14+7 = 156%
So, one can conclude with mathematical certainty that while Hard work! and Knowledge will get you close, and Attitude will get you there, it’s the Bullshit and Shoe Polishing that will put you over the top.
Some times, while waiting for the traffic light to turn green, when I decide to look away from my steering view and the car(s) in front of me, I am pleasantly surprised by the beauty that greets me. Having a camera phone comes in handy in those times. Here are some awesome sights I saw.
This one was taken at the traffic light junction near my place. It was about 6.30 pm then and the silhouette of the tree against the orange sky illuminated by the dying minutes of the setting sun reminds me of an African safari somehow.
This one was taken at the traffic junction just before the turning to the hospital where I work in. It was about 7.10 am then and the sight of the white of dawn interspersed with the grey of night was beautiful to behold. I felt peace that day.
The rainy season is upon us again. This one was taken at another traffic light junction near my house. It was about 7 pm then and it was pouring cats and dogs. Massive cumulus nimbus clouds were moving across the sky, camouflaging the distant mountains (where, incidentally, Gunung Angsi is located).
Fri, 230307 @ 0740; so grateful the week is coming to an end. Oh wait, I am on call on Sunday! Ugh!
I took this pic while I was in KL for a course last week. I think the photo speaks for itself though I have a slight personal issue with the ‘shorter than you think part’ which I feel is a gross underestimate. Heh heh! ;-P
Thurs, 220307 @ 0753; post call and have 1 ward round to do, 3 meetings to attend and 2 classes to take! AArrgh!!!