Saturday, June 20, 2015

Almost thirty

I turned twenty nine few days ago.

It was just like any other day - but it felt rather surreal to have come so far. When I was young, I always envisioned myself in my twenties; definitely not in m thirties. Funny how everything I dreamt of never really came through - except maybe the renovation of my bedroom.

I built so many castles in the air. The reality is that, I am still a struggling doctor. Yes, I managed to graduate with a MBBS from London on a scholarship (which felt so surreal). I live in a decent house. I am able to live within my own means even though I do not earn a lot. I have yet to meet my spouse. Oh, and do not even get me started about my fertility!

However, at this age, I suppose it is all about counting the blessings. It would be a never-ending chase of money, career and relationships. At the end of the day, when everything is swept away, what do we have left?

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Am I allowed to rant!

It is supposed to be a beautiful Saturday. I woke up at 7am, made a berries smoothie and planned to go for a swim. But what propped up was a series of unfortunate events, little things that ticked me off. I just have to rant here, sorry about that.

Firstly, the car would not start. I have a second car which I use mostly during weekends and today, the car died on me. I had to get out and change another car.. Just to realise I left my pen drive in the car-that-would-not-start. Annoyed, I went to the aquatic centre. When I reached there, I came out and saw my car's tyre jamming into the curb. I had to spend 30 seconds to re park the car. I got slightly more annoyed by then.

The swim was uneventful, thank God. I did a quick ten-lap because at the back of my mind was that car which I had to settle at home. When I reached home, strangely you may say, the watering jug was in the middle of the porch! I could not park my car properly so I had to come down and get it off my way. By now, I became a little more irritated and agitated. I came out of the car and realised I left the house key in my car. Doubles wham! I got into the house and my colour pens fell off, leaving me to gather one by one into the slot. Triple wham?

I know these were just little glitches but when small things like these crop up, your level of irritation just escalates. I tried to fix the car, but to no avail. I gave up and decided to do the laundry. When I opened the washing machine cover, a cat jumped out and rushed out from the corner which scared me. I even wet-wiped the floor and the annoyance continued as I find lizard droppings everywhere. Which reminds me, I really need to destroy the lizard community in my home. Period.

After settling those, I made myself a cup of black filtered coffee. I sat down and faced my iPad, hoping to find something more entertaining. I had the fan switched on. All of a sudden, the fan slowed down.. And died. My spotify was still playing but I felt odd. I peeked into the study room.


That's what the epitome of my series of unfortunate events. My iPad's battery was draining out. There would not be wifi for me to be online.. The clothes were stacked in the machine!!

What could be worse? On a day which I was supposed to be chilling out..

So I came out to Starbucks to charge my iPad and get some internet. And also, to vent out.

End of story.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

So many things have happened

So many things have happened since my last post. I don't even know where to begin.

UK trip
It was an awesome albeit tiresome trip. It was good to catch up with friends, rather impromptu.

Not only that, to be able to watch musicals again was just great. My third Phantom of the Opera, second Wicked and Once starring Ronan Keating. Then there was great food - Duck and Waffle, The Breakfast Club, Kanada-Ya. Also managed to revisit some of my favourite places such as Borough Market, Monmouth Coffee and that Covent Garden tesco.

Failed screening test
Oh yes. A huge big fat failure in my face. I am really at the point I am wondering if I should even consider this path or go somewhere where I could actually manage. How ironic that this is probably the only thing I enjoyed in medical school yet ended flunking it.

He got married
Oh yes. Self explanatory. I don't know why I have been quite bothered with this, No matter how much I reiterate that I don't care. I guess I just feel rather rubbish because I have yet to prove to him that I am way better now than 5 years ago. Instead, I am here struggling with my career, finances and weight. It just feels unfair somewhat. So unfair.

Gawai and tuak
Okay. Out of idea what to write. 

Latest pic with the gang as below..

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The floodgates

I finally broke down today when I reached the car after twenty four hours of non stop working. I was devastated and broken. I was being dismissed at work by my superior who thought that I was not even fit to be on call because I was not performing well. I felt so crushed because despite the hardwork I presume I put in - of always getting to work earlier than everyone else, preparing the OT even before the house officers come, doing more pre-meds than my colleagues, going that extra mile and even reading up day before - she still thought I was very poor and got really disgusted at me.

I broke down because I was criticized by the decisions I even though I thought I was practising safe by informing if I was not sure or confident. I was being told off for not knowing what is urgent. I thought it was a little too harsh.

But then again, people may dismiss me saying I am just a plain spoilt brat. I was trained in a developed country (nevermind all the NHS crisis going on) in one of the oldest medical school. I did more weeks of anaesthetics than anyone else in medical school - a total a over 2.5 months. While my colleagues talk about NHS and its TPOT, I sat there thinking - hey, I was once involved in one of the TPOT initiatives. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I remembered how the Lead Consultant Anaesthetist console me about being confident in doing what I do.

All these, apparently, do not even apply in this setting. This, developing country setting with a strange mindset. I know people would totally hate me for making statements like this. They would be calling me stuck up and proud for nothing (that is why I am writing it here, duh, where no one reads). I reconsidered my decision so carefully about entering this department.

At the end of the day, I felt it was a passion rekindled. I was happy and excited for a moment. And then it came all these criticism and backlashes. People put me down. Some may call me sensitive but I can tell those subtle non-verbal cues and sarcastic comments certain superiors throw at me. I am, after all, trained in a setting where we read a lot into non-verbal and verbal communication.

Superiors do not allow me to do procedures such as insertion of epidural catheter. Then after that, they tell me off saying I am not enthusiastic enough to hunt for procedures to learn. I just politely pointed out that no one allowed me to do, then how am I suppose to even get the chance? At this point, I am doing most of them secretly with supervision of colleagues because I earnestly want to do but never given a fair chance.

I admit - I am as brilliant as you all who managed to garner the Masters programme and then pass it. I am not as sharp as what a typical doctor should be. I have always been a hard worker. I was responsible since young - I did my homework and revision and rested enough. I did well in school not because I was smart but because I was responsible and played my part. I remember finishing every single math work book I could find at home (my mother being a math teacher) and finally I overcame math by scoring 100% easily. I used to struggle to even finish an exam paper in the stipulated time. I put in effort and reaped the harvest. So you get the picture - I am not brilliant. I have very poor observational skills. I kept telling myself maybe I could learn epidurals by observing my colleagues doing, since I was not allowed to touch them - I still could not. I am just not a visual sort of person. My dexterity is even worse! I have very poor skills. I took ages to even learn how to tie a necktie. What more to say hand tie and anything else. I am clumsy and have poor touch sensory. But I always persevered. I always practised. When I was in paediatrics, I saw most of my colleagues being able to take bloods and cannulate tiny babies in the first few weeks. I, on the other hand, always volunteered to do the procedures but I never got them right. I always tried hard. I worked in NICU for 3 weeks and I never gave up. Before I completed paediatrics, I managed to easily cannulate even the most premature babies. I need time. I am slow but I always persevere and would manage it eventually. I just need time and opportunities.

However, those two are not exactly the things people are kind enough to offer at times. While people who are more junior than me are able to insert central lines and epidural catheters, I, who graduated housemanship more than two months now couldn't even do one independently. I know how people would smirk (even mentally even if they don't show) at me when I fumble and stumble.

I told myself - I am slow, but I am persevering. However, people view me as lazy and only love to sleep.

Today, I bit my lips hard and looked away trying to hold my tears back. When I got into my car, the tears could not be held any longer. They came down like floodgates being opened. I sobbed alone in the car. I was crushed.

Knowing how gossipy the culture is, no doubt by now everyone would have known my poor reputation. They would mark me and then get really cautious next time they work with me. I would be blamed for everything. I would not even get recognised even though I still continue to arrive earlier than anyone else. No one would care because at the end of the day, they just look at how smooth you talk and perform your procedures.

I told myself no more tears for my job. Today, I broke my own promise. And really, it is really sad to cry over something you genuinely loved.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A new ache

Today, I finally understand what a back pain is all about. I cannot actually believe that I, who have yet to turn 30, am already experiencing a gnawing ache in the back. It is simply too incredulous.

That said, I have just recovered from my mysterious illness. I still do not know what exactly happened. I craved to even understand the pathophysiology behind my illness. The sudden release of interleukins and inflammatory factors? I can only postulate.

I still do not feel fully myself. One illness after another. I am still being cautious and not fully working out. But tomorrow I must at least do something useful. Been hibernating too much. Way too much.

Oh, my new glasses are making me dizy. Still a bit undecided if I should bring it to the shop to get it rectified. But how and by what means?