Sunday, September 25, 2016

A wedding, a goodbye

I became close to Sylvia during fourth and fifth form - as neighbours in class. We were prefects and Leo Club committee during those days.

Our 16 and 17 year old days were spent talking about boys (oh, is that a surprise!) - those whom we were interested in and those we were interested in us. We analysed the boys' behavioural patterns and made plenty of deductions with our limited knowledge and experience in the dating and relationship world. I remember having slumber party with other friends, having buffet at Cafe Rosita and also complaining how tight our jeans were. We were also the flower pinning girls for most official occasions in school - I would prefer holding the tray with flowers and make Sylvia pin the flowers on the pockets of VIPs.

Leo Club trip to KK

We drifted a part quite a bit post secondary school - there were rumours here and there and they strained our friendship quite a bit. However, wisdom and age proved that we were mature enough to recognise deception, lies and truth. We started contacting each other again few years later.
By then, our paths have taken such huge diversions. I went into medical school (and almost depression) whilst she gave birth to her firstborn. We continued keeping in touch sporadically throughout the years, reminiscing those carefree secondary school life where I was 10kilos lighter without half the effort I put in now. 

Last weekend I went to Brunei for my former housemate's wedding - a wedding which I have been waiting since I have known my housemate. He said he would probably get married before 30 and he was true to his word - he tied the knot a year short of hitting 30.

During the short weekend trip, I also intended to visit my old secondary school friend, Sylvia whom I last saw during CNY 2014. She went for double mastectomy earlier this year with mediastinal node excision where the doctors found the malignancy to spread to the pleura of her lungs. She had been undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy. She wrote a piece on her blog where she shared about her experience.

A coffee shop kind of meet up I envisioned turned out to be me visiting her at the Brunei Cancer Centre at Jerudong Park Medical Centre. The facility was impressive - I was told it was a country and polo club turned into a hospital. I saw horses along the driveway into the hospital.

I did not spend a very long time at the ward - as a doctor I know patients should get adequate rest and not to prolong visiting hours. We talked bits and pieces but did not divulge into those serious issues I intended to bring across - her poor prognosis, resuscitation status ecetra. I felt that for once I was not going to wear the facade of a medical practitioner. I just had to be a friend visiting a friend in the ward. 

My heart was heavy. I knew what the outcome was going to be like. I have seen enough to be able to tell the natural course of these kind of disease progression. I knew it was probably the last time I was going to see her, even though I reasoned with myself I could be entirely wrong. I even thought perhaps I should schedule another visit nearer to Christmas to see her.

Exactly one Saturday after my visit, she has left to be with the Lord. She was a brave, courageous woman who was not afraid of death.

Goodbye, Sylvia (last photo taken a week before she passed on)

CNY 2014

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The £3 duvet cover

He showed off his ikea haul of a £3 duvet cover. I was clearly smitten at such a good deal. Why didn't you get me a set, I asked. He argued back, how would he know I wanted.

We then walked around Battersea Park. I was still heavy hearted, not knowing how to voice out my actual reason of meeting up. We walked in silence, I took a photo of our shadows, the only proof we ever walked that park.

It was time for me to take the bus back to SW17. I still had not told him what I planned to - I did not know how to. He walked me to the bus stop and before I boarded the bus, he shoved a shopping bag into my hands.

It was the £3 duvet cover!

I told him I could get them myself at ikea in Croydon after all. He insisted.

That was the last time we spent time together.

He finally made the choice of leaving me, with a £3 duvet cover which I still use til this day.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Sleep, procrastination and avoidance

I sometimes cannot believe that I have turned into a sloth - procrastinating and avoiding altogether at all cost.

Most of my friends mock me for sleeping so much. I agree that I sleep more than an average thirty year old. However, most do not actually know that at one of my lowest points in life, I was having hypersomnolence as part of my coping mechanism for depression. Little have I realised that the excessive sleeping I have been doing nowadays is a reflection of what I am trying to cope with - the low points in life.

A few days ago, I saw that it was his birthday on facebook. I felt a little nostalgic when memories flashed by my mind. Did he make me a better person? Most people disagreed. I felt that even though I was made so little by him, the few years have made me realise how strong love could be and grow to be. It showed me a glimpse of sacrificial love, a type of love where everything you do is effortless yet so fulfilling - things that keep you going and smiling. A glimpse, I emphasise - because it was only just a glimpse. The big picture was not a pretty one.

So, I choose to sleep. Sleep can make me forget many things. Sleep can allow dreams to seep through and bring me away from reality. I sleep because being awake reminds me of ugly truths which destroy me.

Monday, June 13, 2016

A whirlwind of

I am sometimes quite amazed at how time can just fly by so swiftly. The last time I wrote here was a month and half ago. I had always wanted to rant out here - would be planning my blog posts mentally every day, yet I never executed them. This is the evidence of how reduced my screen (lap top) time has become. Blame it on the defects-filled laptop (ASUS from 2010 or something like that) which has a rubbish keyboard and bugs at every corner possible. Today, I somehow brilliantly thought of plugging in an external keyboard, saving my the pain of clicking on the missing keys on the on-screen keyboard.

That aside.

I have become a sluggish sloth and a fat woman. Sad, but true. Without proper monitoring, I have since crept up a couple of kilos on the scale, evidently showing on my swollen stricken face and flabby tummy.

It is actually rather discouraging because I am not convinced that I actually binge eat that much. Neither have I been neglecting my working out sessions. I try to comply to at least 30 minutes of functional or total body workouts almost every day. I do not know what I have been doing wrong - should I be starving myself or water intoxicate myself?

The latest news regarding the contestants of The Biggest Loser gaining all their weight back and finding it even harder to maintain or fighting the weight off kind of rings a bell in me. I truly believe that I have screwed my body so much that I would gain weight just with any calorie intake more than 500 a day. It is really tough and continues to remain one of my life-long unfinished battles.

Me at my fattest (in Bali this year)

Thought I was fat back then (nope, nowhere fatter than now)

(even this seems like the so-called 'ideal' size)

Oh well.

What can I say or lament. Every other thing seems like it is not going on as planned. Everything seems to falter and fall into wrong places. Situations, timings, circumstances... be it career, family or finances.

Having rambled so much on the negative side of things, I really should start to work harder rather than sit there and faff around. No use reminiscing the good old days when running 5km and falling in love could maintain you in a good shape without worrying about pub food. 

Before I leave in a sad note, I must share a couple of photos from Bali - a trip with my two other college roommates a decade ago. Beautiful cliff scenes and happening beach areas!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Getting out of the comfort zone

Today, my whole world changed.

It was just like any other weekend working day for me, albeit a freer type. I was doing my CME presentation in the computer room when the (almost) Head of Dept popped by and asked me the question that left me speechless.

She asked if I could go to *insert small town's name* for a year.

All of a sudden, I did not know how to react despite my multiple hypothetical questionings and scenarios I have been rehearsing in my mind since last year. I often wondered how would it feel like having to move once more. It was and always have been my greatest phobia having moved so many times to so many places.

It is only hours later it sank into me that all my premonitions before this finally have come through. I suddenly could not concentrate on my 'Managing The Difficult Airway In The Syndromic Child' preparation. I was practically dumbfounded.

Flashes of memories gushed through my mind. I am just about to build a life here. I just got used to the roads in this city. I have just started joining a small group where I felt belonged. I am just about to get used to hoovering and mopping the floor every 10 days in the detached house I live in.

Yet.. this verse just came to me

Jeremiah 29:11New International Version (NIV)

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.