Sunday, December 14, 2008

Kuching Shopping Paradise

Yesterday, we started our journey at about 10 am and drove to Kg Serikin at the border of Indonesia. By the time we arrived at the area is was packed. The presence of the many tour buses at the small village road caused a jam of about two kilometres and it took us about half an hour to find a place to park.

The place is wonderful to find cheap Indonesian crafts and some local ones too. Practically anything can be found there; clothes, shoes, cowboy hats, household daily items, furniture, carpets, antiquities, jeweleries and even chandeliers.

We bought a lot of rattan crafts ( which is a fraction of what it costs in Kuching) and spent nearly two hours there. Lunch was at a local shack run by Indonesian migrants.

On the way back we stopped by Kg Duyoh. Here, the traders are mainly the local Ibans and we did another round of shopping. Here, stuff sold are mainly vegetables, fruits and local handicrafts (quality are way better). We had some local Iban delicacy - pulut stuffed in pitcher plants and steamed with peanuts and dried shrimps and it was so delicious. The local traders here were so friendly and helpful and did not mind me asking 1001 questions, I did have a lot of stuff to ask.

We started our journey back at about half past three. We passed by Pekan Bau and its Blue Lake and then headed back to Kuching. On the way back we dropped by Satok Market, a huge weekend bazaar. Again, so many stuff to buy. It is a combination of a wet market, 'pasar tani' and craft's bazaar. Amazing!

After spending nearly RM400 we headed back with a huge problem. How to carry all these stuff back?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Nature at its best

Photos taken in Kuching

Semenggoh Nature Reserve

Seduku and child
Originally uploaded by zzz_junkie

Spent the afternoon at Semenggoh Nature Reserve. The area is reserved for Orang Utan rehabilitation and as part of the effort to protect this species the facility allows the public to view the primates during feeing time.

There are 26 primates in the surroundings (including three infants), and they are free to come and go as they like. Therefore, sightings during the feeding times are not guaranteed. However, we were very lucky. Seven primates came and awed the crowd. In the photo is Seduku and her yet-to-be named infant.

I admire the dedication of the rangers and staffs in protecting the primates. The place is well kept, and the orang utans appeared healthy and happy. I must say, the Sarawak Forestry have done an excellent job. And it is not just at this centre, I have been to Bukit Lambir and Miri National Park and the same amount of dedication and passion were shown by the staffs there. And tomorrow I will be in Bako, I expect to be further impressed.

p.s. photos of this trip will be uploaded as they come in to my flicker

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Gender reassignment

I have always been at ease with speaking English. In fact, I think in English too and thus always have to translate my thoughts to Malay when I converse. Please don't get me wrong, my Malay is not bad, I can speak and relay my thoughts in Malay effectively, it is just that the nature of my flow of thoughts, it works better in English.

But my English is not perfect. Now and then my friends would tease me for my improper grammar; I have a lot of friends who do speak almost perfect English *sigh*. However, at work, I am Mr Brown (remember 'Mind Your Language'?). Being doctors, one have no choice but to speak in English. There are so many medical terms and jargons that are not 'translatable'. I must say that many doctors attempt their best in speaking English but sometimes we really do have to get to basics.

It is especially annoying when a person cannot differentiate between male and female. He or she. His or her. Boy or girl. Sometimes it feels like a lucky draw..."and today the lucky word that will be used is 'HE'!!!!". And if it is just during a conversation is not as bad (though my ears were cringing at each mistake).

The worse thing is even in the written notes these mistakes were made. Mind you, I work in an IT hospital, each time you open a patient's record, flashed at the top the patient's name, registration number, age and SEX. And they still can make such mistakes. I had fits of laughter a few times I did medical reports for patients. Either the patients were transvestites and thus confusing my medical officers or the doctors were blind and deaf (lets not state the obvious :))

Therefore beware, you may come to the hospital a full fledged hot blooded male, but due to a value added service offered by the ministry of health, you may come out a lady/lady boy.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


A friend of mine used to say “it’s easy for you to do ‘amal jariah’, everyday you go to work part of it is amal jariah”. (Note: amal jariah is a malay term equivalent to charity). Anyway, I do not see it that way, to me, each of us has a role in the universe and if we do our job right that we are doing ‘amal jariah’ in our own way.

Anyway, what I love about being a doctor is the people I get to meet. I know previously I had bitched about irritating patients and families but that itself is an experience. I get to learn about a lot of things I normally would not be exposed to. I listen and get humbled by other peoples experiences. Some may be good and some may be bad. But in the end, I learn. “Yang baik dijadikan tauladan, yang buruk dijadikan sempadan”.

As a specialist, the opportunity to listen to a patient’s thoughts is quite limited. With the bigger responsibility of supervising and monitoring the daily on-goings in the wards and hospital I haven’t had the luxury of sitting down and chit-chatting with each patient. It is usually my medical officers who would alert me to any personal problems that the patient may have. Well, it was during my housemanship and MOship that I learnt the art of listening, I guess my time has passed.

However, today the rare opportunity presented itself. It was in the Operating theatre when I saw one of my ward patients waiting for a minor surgery in the waiting area. He is an elderly Malay man in his late 60s, white hair, an unkempt beard, and a pair of sad beady eyes. His pressure apparently went sky high as he entered the OT (it has that effect on many people, especially with its 16 degrees temperature). Anyway, he looked a bit distressed and so I decided to talk to him and ask how he is doing.

“ I am exhausted” he said. The polished English blew me away. He must be fairly educated, I thought.

I examined him quickly and then proceeded to talk to him. “That’s fairly normal Uncle. You have heart failure and thus you find it a bit difficult to breathe. The oxygen will help you”.

He said “Heart failure…hmmmm… that is how my wife died. She had heart failure, She left me 10 years ago”.

Me “I am so sorry uncle”

“That’s why I am here alone.” He paused for a while. Then he said “ I am so disappointed”.

Me: “Why uncle? Is anything wrong?”

“I have many children but all of them have to work. *sigh* You know, when you are ill, you hope there would always be someone beside you to cheer you up; to give you inspiration but now……”. He then kept quiet.

I was at loss of what to say. I just held his hand and told him that we are going to try and make him better. Deep down I know, physically he may be ok but deep inside he is a crushed man.

Well, it got me thinking. As a human being we need company. At the end of the day, having someone beside you in your time of need is the best feeling of all. It give a person the sense of security, that someone will be there to catch you when you fall.

And at this point of my life if I hope that all that I have done in the past and all that I will do in the future will not keep my family and friends away from me in my time of need.

Ah.... what deep thoughts have my brief 5 minutes conversation provoked. And this is what I like the most about my job, there are always subtle reminders surrounding us to keep us grounded and human. But only if we stop and listen!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Krabi - An Outdoor Person's Haven

Four days in Krabi is definitely not sufficient to try all that Krabi has to offer. It is a wonderful place with a variety of outdoor activities mixed around the traditional things Thailand has to offer.

We stayed at the quiet (and cheaper) Krabi town, a port for those hoping to go the the nearby islands of Phi-Phi and Lanta. Accommodation can range from RM30 to RM 160 depending on what is expected. This is in comparison much cheaper than Aonang Beach and Railey Beach.

Caption: Traffic light at Krabi Town. Statue of a prehistoric man stands above the intersection holding the lights. Krabi is also an archaeological site dated from several eras.

Caption: The quiet river of Krabi Town

Krabi Town was very quiet and clean. A lot of relatively cheap food joint, but beware the drinks cost a bomb, RM 2 for iced tea....hmmmm more expensive than KL. When I said relative it is relative to Aonang, but when compared to other parts of Thailand the place may be a bit dear. Minimum price for a plate or bowl of noodle is 35 baht or about RM3.50. But then, my bench mark for the prices were from my trips to Phuket, Samui, Songkhla, Hatyai and even Krabi 4 years back. Prices may have increased everywhere.

And my favourite thing about eating in Krabi is forty percent of the locals are Muslims. That means I can eat a lot of things - the sweet kuihs were really delicious and my favorite 'kerabu betik' (can't seem to re-call the Thai name). Merman liked the beef spicy soup(plus whatever weird organs) especially after he discovered part of the testis inside it. Euwwwww..... but it tasted damn good, the soup I mean.

On day two, we went kayaking in the mangrove swamp at Bhor Tor.The swamp lies in between limestone caves and passages providing a real excitement. We paddled through darkened passages and emerge into a beautiful secret lagoon on the other side. I felt as if I was on Fantasy Island (hehehehe... that statement really reveals my age). After that we had lunch by the riverside, all you can eat. It was part of the package we took (whole morning of kayaking, lunch and an afternoon dip in one of the rivers) and as usual being me, I ended up eating as much as I can the tempura shrimp and the tomyam soup well till my tummy felt like bursting.

That evening we went for a free massage(courtesy of our trip organiser).

Day Three was spent by the beach in Aonang. It is not the most beautiful beach I have seen but is is OK. The Farangs seem to be enjoying the bloody hot sun (I suffered heatstroke, mind you)sunbathing, swimming, playing weird games by the beach. And there were so many open air massage huts at the beach.

Apart from walking together by the beach (so romantic...hahaha) we also went shopping. Everything is so bloody expensive but only here we get to shop for souvenirs. There were very few souvenir shop in Krabi Town.

Caption: Aonang Beach with Railey in the background

Anyway, our initial plan was to go to Railey Beach which is only accesible via Longtail Boats from Aonang but it was too hot when we arrived. And by the time it was a bit shady, we only had 45 min to catch the 15 minute ride, spend 10 minutes admiring the beach and another 15 minutes to get back. So in the end, scrapped that idea and we just stayed and lounged around Aonang.

There were so many things that we wanted to do but we didn't. We missed going diving but it was ridiculously expensive to dive in Krabi. 3400 baht for 2 dives. Way too expensive. And we missed island hopping, but once you are into diving it is absurd to just go snorkelling and halfway cursing ourselves on why we didn't dive :(.

We missed climbing the cliffs of Railey, a world renown area for rock-climbing. Out arms were aching from the previous day's kayaking and I don't think I can climb up even the easiest route. We missed exploring on our own the natural beauty Krabi district has to offer. Tried renting a Jeep but apparently that weekend all the Jeeps have been rented out. Wanted to see the Emerald waterfall, the numerous forest reserves but alas without a Jeep can't go off the beaten track. Well, renting a bike is cheaper (only 150 Bahts) but neither one of us can ride a bike; the last I rode a bike was in Form 6 - fifteen years ago! And plus the fact that the motorcycle accident rates in Thailand amongst tourist is so high.

But overall it was excellent. I had a good break and I had a wonderful time with my darling Merman. Next time we come we hope to bring an entourage so that we all have fun together. It is an exciting and beautiful place and I would love to come back soon.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dreaming of tomorrow

I can't work today. My mind is really not in the hospital, perhaps it is because we do not have surgeries today nor clinics. It is a free day except for some teaching and the weekly grand rounds. Time was passing by SO SLOWLY!!!

Anyway, tomorrow is a holi-holi-holiday for me. Yippie. We are going to Krabi.A nice place which I have passed through in one of my trips to Phi Phi many years ago. We have no idea where we are staying and what we are going to do. It is really go with the flow kind of trip.

Roughly, it is down to three activities; kayaking, rock climbing (oooh my aching legs) and diving. We will decide when we reach there.

Right now I have to pack and also get my 4 kids in the car. Sending them off to the babysitter.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Hasil pukul empat pagi

Slept at four this morning making the above bouquet (aka sirih junjung). Marina's best friend's wedding today and she asked my darling sis to help out with these two items. The tropical garden theme is for the male side and the 2nd the girl's side.

What do I have to do with all this? Well, when my sis 'menyanggup' doing creative stuff she will call me up to back her (actually, I yang kena buat - she sort of by-proxy agrees...hmmmm). But then Ain (Marina's friend) is a nice girl and so I do not really mind.

But damn.... am I sleepy this morning!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Elevators and Escalators Breed Fatties

If we calculate how much time we wait for the elevator we will be surprise at how much precious time is wasted. I am sure it will amount to a reasonable period of a person's life (provided the person stays or work in a building with an elevator). I am sure it would be a necessity if you stay or work at the 14th floor of a 16 storey building.

But waiting for the elevator to go just one floor up really irritates me. If the person is disabled, infirm, old, or simply frail looking I would not mind. This is what we call necessity. And if there is no staircase in sight what can we do, up the escalator we have to go. But then there are people who are generally health young adults and who are simply LAZY. The bloody staircase is just beside the lift. Hello, move that bum of yours and go up the stairs. Exercise!

And if the reason is 'tak larat' then why can't at least they go down the stairs. You do not need much energy for that. Physics taught us that, at a height we have potential energy which is is porpotional to our mass or weight. That will be converted into kinetic energyw as we go down the stairs, so duh, the heavier you are the easier for you to go down.

The Ministry of Health over the years has been campaigning for people to exercise and what better place to start then at the workplace. Yeah, bicycling is a good exercise but it is not feasible in our towns (looking at the horrendous traffic and psychotic road users), one would end up dead if they try to cycle to work.

So MOH should start slow and easy. Encourage the fatties (all those kerani(s) and pegawai tadbir(s)) to start using the stairs, all in all in a day's work they may only use it 2 times.....twice up and twice down (when they come for work, go and come back from lunch and yes, 'punch out' time). This is calculated for those righteous ones who don't take morning break and the 3pm tea. If they do, that then it is much better, more energy spent. Because by the end of the day they would have gone up and down the stairs FOUR times.

And to ensure that this 'Cara Hidup Sihat' is promoted, there should be a Lift Holiday enforced in government offices at least once a week. Perhaps we should have at least one lift operating for the people who REALLY need them, and only those with passes from doctors can use them.

And I am sure by the end of two months of the campaign we would have more healthier and dedicated government staffs. Healthier as they would have by then have a better working heart and leaner body. Dedicated as they would only want to go up and down their offices once a day.... and thus they would spend more time doing their work and not having break now and then.

Well, isn't this a good idea?

p.s. I thought of this when I was climbing 4 flight of stairs. This is my attempt to exorcise the demons that has possessed my thighs making them look bigger than they actually are.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

At Work...

At Work...
Originally uploaded by abdhakamabdah

Saw like his on one of my UM senior flickr. I wish I can take photos like this. I guess I must learn more about photography.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Nip and Tuck

Would you die if you have a few inches of cellulite?

It may be an indication that you have more fat in your arteries and blood stream but I reckon you won't die of it. You'll die of a heart attack or a massive stroke but hell no, you won't die due to a few inches of cellulite.

But A recent death got me thinking. This lady (may her soul rest in peace) passed away after 10 months in a coma following plastic surgery that included liposuction. Hmmm... by definition that is death caused secondarily by cellulite. Quite sad, I assume she wanted to look good and hence the surgery. Everyone have their priorities and to some looking good is a priority. But then, at what expense?

I have no reason to condemn plastic surgeons, beauticians or even the lay people themselves regarding taking the short cut into looking good. But does it make them feel better about themselves? When I watch Nip and Tuck I realised that to some people plastic surgery is an addiction, a never ending story. It is the inside of the person that is ill, the person cannot see anything that is good in themselves and thus have to change their exterior in hopes that it would make them feel better. It is such a sad situation.

I don't know about other people but I love the imperfections in me. All of them have their stories. My crooked lips was due to a huge cut when I fell off my bike in Standard Two. My front teeth cut my lips into two and I had to have 4 stitches to repair it.My upper lip was swollen like a elephant's trunk for the following two weeks. My brother had a huge time teasing me and so did my aunt. Her friends kept telling me to go for plastic surgery to correct the deformity, they were very persistant and even tried to scare me saying that my first kiss would then not be perfect. They were right, my first kiss wasn't perfect.... it was indeed very 'sloshy' and wet..... but then it was never because of my lips. Today, they are still crooked but I love them, they make me unique.

And when I grow old I hope I would grow old gracefully. Wrinkles of laughter around my eyes, my lips and my forehead would remind me of a happy and wonderful life I have lived. And they would then complement my unique crooked lips.

p.s. not all plastic surgeons only do beauty enhancing surgeries. Many undertake good commendable work like soft tissue reconstruction for trauma, cleft lip and palate surgeries to enhance people quality of life.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Found this cute budgie resting on our car the other day. It must have escaped from one of the nearby houses. I was able to approach near and it seemed unafraid hence the close-up photo. My brother said that people clip their wings to prevent them from flying far if they manage to escape (horrible, horrible people).

Later that evening it was no longer there. My guess is one of the stray cats had a lovely dinner...burp... The last words budgie said was " I tot I saw a puddy cat...i did..." burp.....

Monday, October 20, 2008

Shitty Kerajaan's Tasks (SKT)

How truthful should I be when doing my medical officers annual appraisals?

I hoped that the answer would be as truthful as I can. My impression was that appraisals were done to inform people of their performance (or rather lack of it) so they will continue to improve in their work.

Anyway, this Government SKT (sasaran Kerja Tahunan - direct translation Annual Work Target??? that sounds wierd...) is actually a scam. It is useless and pointless. Those who are ass kissers usually do well..

Anyway, back to me. I have SEVEN appraisals to do. I started to be righteous and gave the MO what they deserved which majority is AVERAGE atau Sederhana. In this scoring system that would earn them 5-6 points in each section. In the end they will get a total of 62 points. Well, average points for average performance, I thought it was that simple.

But then, I was told the 2nd rule in this game. All MOs must get 85 points and above. WTF? Apparently the Health Ministry gave out a letter stating that unless a doctor gets 85 points and above for three consecutive years he will not be eligible to join any postgraduate studies. Shitheads!!!

85 points means I have to give an average of 9 points for each criteria. Crap crap crap.... 9-10 for Excellent work performance, 7-8 for Good work performance. Some of them do work hard and so I have no qualms in closing one eye and giving such a high score. But some (actually only ONE) do not at all deserve an 85. I shouldn't elaborate why but what I can say is I HATE GIVING 85 points to this person.

But then eventually... I succumbed to the pressures and gave what people expect me to give. Well, boss did ask me to be a bit lenient ( A BIT is an understatement.

So I did the next best thing. I told the person the marks he actually deserved and my excessive pity points. I told him he sucked in his work and my expectations of my MOs. And lastly I told him next year I will follow to the letter the scoring system.

I reckon since I have only been here for FOUR months only I do not have a right to judge them for the whole year. But next year watch out guys, I HAVE NO MERCY!!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008


Kuala Lumpur 26 September 2007

Ketua balai polis Brickfields hari ini mengesahkan bahawa pihak beliau telah menerima aduan dari Pemuda UMNO bahagian Seputeh mengenai Wakil Rakyat Seputeh Teresa Kok, mengatakan bahawa dia (Kok) telah menghina Polis Diraja Malaysia (PDRM) dan telur-telur seMalaysia.

Pemuda UMNO itu diwakili oleh Timbalan Ketua Bahagian Alawi Dahalin telah menuduh Theresa menghina telur apabila beliau mengatakan makanan yang disediakan kepadanya sepanjang penahanannya di Kem Kamunting sebagai 'hanya layak untuk makanan anjing'.

Pihak polis mengambil serius terhadap tuduhan ini dan akan menjalankan siasatan sepenuhnya. Setakat ini, pihak polis telah dilihat menahan reman ibu-ibu ayam, bapa-bapa ayam dan anak-anak ayam yang berkeliaran di Lorong Haji Taib untuk membantu siasatan.

Dari siasatan yang dijalankan, didapati telur-telur ayam bergred rendah telah dihantar ke pasaraya-pasaraya TESCO, Giant dan Carrefour manakala yang bergred tinggi telah dihantar ke Kem Kamunting untuk santapan seorang kerabat diraja yang sedang bermastautin selama 2 tahun di kem tersebut.

"Kami akan pastikan bahawa bekalan telur Gred tinggi di Kem Kamunting mencukupi untuk tempoh dua tahun untuk menghindarkan lagi penuduhan yang tidak berasas ini"

Laporan dari BERNAMA

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Maxis oh maxis

I used to love being a Maxis phone user. When I started using Maxis in 1999 the customer care service was excellent. I used to call the 123 hotline if I had any problems with my number and the service was very prompt.

Well, they say things have to change and with Maxis Hotline it turned for the worse.

I sort of 'lost' my phone today. And being paranoid, i suspended my line. IT took me 4 phone calls to get through for my 1st encounter with the Hotline.

An hour after that, my medical officer came and returned my my phone. She saw it lying on my desk and fearing that someone may steal it (though I can't imagine anyone who wants to steal that less than RM100 Nokia phone) she took it for safe keeping.

That's when my nightmare began.

Using my love's phone (he has a hotlink number) I dialed 123. A lovely automated voice answered. Apparently, one cannot access the 123 hotline from a prepaid number and thus the voice instructed me to dial 1300820120

I complied and within two rings the phone was answered by a customer care consultant. I thought well, this is great! I am impressed! Very fast! The nice man heard my problems and nicely told me that the hotline is 'only for pre-paid customers' as he is from the Pre-Paid Department. So he advised me to call 1800821123.

Thinking, "yeah soon my woes would be over" I quickly dialled the said number. The Voive again answered "Thank you for calling Maxis.... if you wish me to talk in Bahasa Malaysia please press One....". Being a supporter of the Bahasa Kebangsaan I chose Option One. I was listening very hard for the subsequent options and after a while I got utterly confused. I kept coming to the end of the menu and there was no usual option of "talking to a customer care consultant". I thought that perhaps my Malay must really suck as i couldn't even decipher words that means "customer care consultant" in Malay and thus keep missing the option. Damn.

So I decided to switch to English.... and again the same thing. Double damn! I finally figured out that the Maxis Hotline must have a switchboard that automatically directs a prepaid number to the prepaid menu.

I was scratching my head. This was a huge problem. I am oncall tomorrow and I need my phone to be in working order. What to do? What to do? What to do?

I need to talk to a REAL person! Ah... try again lah the 1300 xxx xxx number, at least they have a LIVE REAL person. I again had to explain the bad luck that befell me and how i just couldn't get through their Maxis post paid counterpart. i must have sounded pathetic as he offered to call the other department and get them to call me back.

Ahhhhh...finally. And after missing two episodes of Teen Titans (dratts...) I managed to get my phone working again.Phew....

I MUST SAY, MAXIS CUSTOMER CARE HOTLINE SYSTEM SUCKS!!! The only consolation is they have pleasant and helpful customer care consultants. This is NOT the way to go Maxis!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


"Krrriiiingggggg" the sound shattered the silence in the bedroom. It was deafening. But my reflexes was slow, I was so tired. I stretched my legs and arms and dream that someone would just make the clock silent. Ah.....

Out of the sudden, my love jumped out of bed like a man possessed. He grabbed the clock, smashed it to the floor, and when back to bed without missing a beat.

He's sleepwalking again!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Ampang Wannabe : the shit continues

The writers and directors of Ampang Medikal just do not know their limits. They aim high but do not have the knowledge or even expertise to execute their objectives.

Episode 4 clearly exposes their weakness with blatant disregard for finesse.

The whole episode centered on a 10 year old child with leukaemia who supposedly was dying. And as her last wish she wanted to donate her organs to help others. Noble issues to highlight but execution was….. as my hubby said ‘reeks of rotten mango with a tinge of belacan’.

My first bone to pick was the choice of actress to portray the sick dying child. She did not doesn't even look as if she had underwent chemotherapy at all; and her hair was long and shiny; her cheeks pink and rosy and her skim smooth and radiant.She looked more like a normal HEALTHY bubbly girl. Hey producers, there is such things as special effects and make-up artiste.

Second, don’t the producers know that one of the excluding criteria of organ donation is active cancer?

Third, well this issue is an ongoing issue with this series. The show do not know the local medical environment and uses American terms in their dialogue. For example, Dr Wong was overheard saying “ saya perlu mengambil darah untuk ujian CBC’. CBC stands for complete blood count but in Malaysia we use the term FBC or Full Blood Count. It may be a small thing but it is clearly a lack of research on the writers part (As we know, they just plagiarize the whole thing from Grey’s Anatomy, thus the American term. I am sure they are too stingy to pay the local medical experts such as myself to run through the scripts and scenes)

Fourth, after the girl died, the camera was focusing on the child and her parents. Have some sense not to show the chest moving up and down with each silent breath she took. Oh us ever so stupid viewers might think that "It's a miracle, she's alive".

Lastly, again a recurrent issue. The set-up; I wonder, why in a critically ill patient, there was no vital signs monitoring, no sphygmomanometer, no cardiac monitoring, nothing. And the chest leads to monitor the heart activity again ended beneath the sheets. It must be a very state of the art hospital bed as all the wires appeared to be connected to the bed ;)

And that’s Episode Four for you. Crappy and unrealistic!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Spearfishing and diving

Recently, I read a post on the malaysianunderwater forum on an incident of spearfishing (click here) during one of the trips joined by some of its new members. I chuckled and smile. At least, the fella had enough sense to write it up.

Anyway, the idea of a forum was a good one. I met a few good friends through there and I also met numerous 'characters'. The most fun I had is listening to people who call themselves 'otai' or legends bragging about their diving quests.

Note: I think the word legend should never be mentioned unless the person is dead like Jacques Cousteau.

Back to the issue of spearfishing, hahaha... I must say it thrives within the community itself. Most comments relaying feelings of horror and aghast were genuine but some I feel were mocking the situation. I met a few people during one of the MUW famous 'teh-tarik' sessions and they were the ones very into the so-called sport. Shockingly (or perhaps not so shocking), according to them they usually go with others who were doing their fun-dives.

The trip organisers offer the sport as an itinerary to attract participants (plus I am sure they are the ones hard up to go for a hunt). However, it is so irresponsible when they also open the trip to other unwary divers just to get the numbers so that they can have have a cheaper trip. My personal opinion is that people spearfishing and diving should not be in the same boat or vicinity.

People may say I am just talking theoretically. Well, I have in person, seen a spear-gun bought by such person as he was happily showing his new toy to his fellow divers.

Hmmm... and people wonder why I never join such huge trips. I am not crazy!

Note: I respect that spearfishing is a sport and as any sport it is governed by rules to ensure the safety of the person, surrounding people and the environment. The problem with the sport in this country is that many disrespect the local laws and blatantly break break the rules

Sunday, September 07, 2008

My new addiction

I must admit although Ampang Medikal is a disgrace I am hooked into watching it. My Thursday's night is never the same again. I will never see a Malaysian hospital in the same light again and to think I work in one everyday.

May god have mercy for my soul.

Anyway, the damned show is utterly confusing. Before I move on, let us get the cast right. This information is taken from the press release in the Star.

There are FOUR house-officers : Dr Siti Alesyha (aka Meridith Grey), Dr Melissa (query if she's a crossover between Meredith and - I guess we will find out later), Dr Wong Sui Chen (aka Izzie) and Dr Rajesh (??? George or Karev)

And there are the specialists, Dr Jeffrey the paediatrician; Dr Maznah the cardiologist ; Dr Idris the surgeon and Dr Amir Shah Stephen the neurologist. I reckon the producers are confused too and used cardiologist/ cardiothoracic surgeon and neurologist versus neurosurgeon interchangably.

The storylines are weak so I have decided to dedicate my Thursday evenings to rectify JUST the technical blunders.

Top three highlights for Episode Three:

No 3. Melissa and Dr Amir (the neurologist cum neurosurgeon) confronted Nasha who had just delivered..."daripada pemeriksaan yang kami lakukan terhadap bayi encik kami dapati tanda-tanda yang konsisten dengan pengambilan dadah semsa mengandung"... and then Amir said" bayi encik perlu menjalani pembedahan cardiopulmonary bypass bagi meletakkan jantung dan paru-paru artificial untuk perjalanan darah". No other explanation, nothing!

I was totally perplexed by this scene. Dr Amir is a neurosurgeon NOT an obstetrician NOR a paediatrician OR EVEN a cardiothoracic surgeon. Then the other matter, withdrawal syndrome in an infant is mainly supportive treatment i.e. support the child till the drugs are out of his system... not surgery. Hmmmm.......

No 2. Mr Fernandez was intubated but there is no ventilators nor any vital sign monitors in the room. The tube just ends under the pillow.....arrghhhh. And to think this was said in the Star when asked about the medical setup.

".......... Azhar’s involvement in Ampang Medikal has sparked a new venture in his life: he recently set up a production house offering quality mock hospital equipment after realising there is a dire need for it in the local film industry.

“It is not easy to get permission to shoot in hospitals (Ampang Medikal managed to shoot some scenes in Assunta Hospital in Petaling Jaya but could do so only on weekends) and I realised that there is a need for such facilities,” the canny actor explains.

The production house – called, appropriately enough, Emergency Room – in Plaza Damas in Sri Hartamas, KL, even has a realistic-looking emergency room!...."

Duh, realistic, oh puhlease!

No 1. The patient Mr Fernandez is wheeled into the 'ER'. Dr Wong puts a BP cuff on his arm( yeah, they got this right) and then applied the stethoscope to the chest while reading the BP. She yells out to Dr Rajesh "tekanan darah tidak stabil, start CPR". The fella started CPR and then immediately Dr Wong shocked him, not once but twice. And hooray, Mr Fernandez was revived!

Comment: Dang! Who is their bloody technical advisor? First of all, you DO NOT put the stets on the chest when you are reading the pressure. Second, start CPR when the sign is low BP? CPR is only commenced when there is no pulse; there is 101 things to do for a low BP. And again, you do not shock a patient with low BP!!! I am appalled! Who ever is their technical advisor should be shot (or in this case, shocked) to death.

So there it is. That's my top three blunders for this week. Stay tuned for next week's highlights!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Parking Woes

Sometimes the Government wonders why are medical specialists are leaving the service. Many speculate it is mainly because of money. That may be true in some cases but there are many who left that wereare disatissfied j with the way they are treated by the government, by the administrators.

Last week, was a reminder of how little is the value of a medical specialist in a government hospital. A day prior to the long Merdeka holidays a memo was sent to the HOD of all departments in my hospital stating that only TWO parking lots will be allocated for the Department. And then on 2nd September, when all of us came back to work we were shocked, our previously alotted parking lots had been taken away. There are at least THREE specialists in each department.

And just imagine, we are talking about government officers (Pegawai Kerajaan Kumpulan A - i.e. Professionals) who had been working in the government for at least 8-9 years. And these people had to spend another 4 years doing their Masters to improve themselves to become SPECIALISTS.

Come on, what other perks can we expect. Our basic pay is a pittance, it is only plumped up by the specialist allowance; working hours are unpredicatable; and even our overtime stands at only RM 3.33 to RM6 per hour (RM50/day to RM 90/day). Our MOs get better pay!!!!

It some hospital, we do not even get a room or a desk. Might as well not study hard and become a pegawai tadbir and then sit at YOUR desk all day long doing not nothing but just something. And you may even get a parking spot if you are nice to the CC.

So a parking lot is a big deal. At least you do not have to scramble for a lot in the mornings and if you have to go out to the bank, you know it will be waiting for you when you get back. It is just a little bit of respect and dignity that we are asking for.

So administrators, before you go pointing fingers and accusing doctors of being money minded just think, what have you done to make our life bearable!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Ampang Wannabe

Malaysian are always good at stealing. They are good in making pirate CDs, DVDs, fake Loius Vuitton hand bags, Levis Jeans just to name a few. The quality is as good at the original. But then, their abilities do not extend to the silver screen. The latest rip-off performed by the Malaysian 'film director' or 'drama-producer' (note the inverted commas- it is intentional) is Ampang Medikal.

So-called the Malaysian medical drama of the year is Ampang Medikal. The hype was huge but when I saw the teasers I laughed. And last week I had the unfortunate opportunity to view the 2nd episode. I know I am not the first Malaysian doctor to comment on the series as it is so appalling.

The screen-writers, the director and producer never did any background work on the medical profession in Malaysia. They totally copied Grey's Anatomy from the concept, the story lines, the characters.... total plagiarism! Just look at the photo-shoot of the cast. Doesn't that look exactly like Grey's Anatomy? Who the hell run around in blue scrubs in Malaysia? Blue scrubs are meant for use only in ICU and the operating theatre. Any doctor (in Malaysia) knows that if you frolic around in the wards in your scrubs you definitely will get a shelling from the Sister or Matron.

And the background set-up of the story, these newly passed out doctors whom in Malaysia we call House officers (never ever called residents, duh producers get your terminology right) are placed placed in a private hospital to do their 'internship'. The interns are placed directly under the specialist and run around like dungus not knowing what to do. Questions, question,questions?

  1. Where are the medical officers?
  2. Since when in Malaysia can house-officers do their internship in private hospital? And since when interns can choose what rotation they want to do (Dr Siti moved to KL to do her internship under Dr Maznah a renown cardiologist...) Fact: here house-officers have to do compulsory five four-month rotations of Medical, Surgery, O&G, Paediatric and Orthopedics before they can get their full registration as a doctor!
  3. Since when does a specialist present during ward rounds to the interns, what does the intern do??? No one writes anything during rounds...uh...then how does anyone know what was ordered and what is the management of the patient. No wonder Dr Siti is so stupid, she doesn't even know her patient has stage 4 lung cancer and what that means.
  4. How come interns are not allowed to access patients' medical records? The way I see it, in this show they looked more like medical students, having to resort to seducing the nurse to view the medical records.
Anyway, listening to the medical jargon and how these doctors came to a diagnosis was hilarious. In once scene, Dr Idris were presenting the case of Mr Wong to his interns...."Mr Wong mengalami kesukaran bernafas, batuk berlanjutan......blah, blah, blah.... jangkitan jaundice dimata..blah, blah, blah". Jangkitan jaundice di mata? Holly crap apa menda tuh?

FYI dear producers. Jaundice is a symptom that presents with yellow staining of the skin and sclerae (the whites of the eyes) by abnormally high blood levels of the bile pigment. It is not an infection of the eyes. So 'memalukan'!

Another scene, a patient post coronary by-pass presented with shortness of breath. The cardiac monitoring showed only tachycardia (means elevated heart rate of more than 100 beats per minute) but Dr Siti deduced that patient had myocardial ischemia, and out of the sudden she also deduced that he had cardiac tamponade. Ah go figure, from a bimbo suddenly she's a genius, NOT!

Conclusion: Ampang Medikal is a rip-off hoping to ride on the popularity of Grey's Anatomy. It is an insult to the medical profession in Malaysia and it is an insult to the intelligence of the Malaysian public.

Friday, August 29, 2008


Politicians lie that is what they do. And they do it without blinking an eye. I have accepted this a part of the cycle of life especially in Malaysia. However, having a so-called leader making contradicting statements and actions is utterly ridiculous.

I was told that this is the ‘style’ of this leader i.e. announcing something in the press and the next day do something totally opposite to what he had just announced. Style? My foot, it just shows what a weakling, a wuss the person is. When you say something commit to it. It is such an embarrassment to the country who acts like a ‘lallang’.

The latest of his antics was the last weeks’ fuel price decrease. I am happy that the prices have gone down but Mr Leader was playing games with the nation the whole of last week. On last Thursday, the headlines readNo new fuel price announcements for now, says Abdullah”.

And then the following day,
“ PM announces reduced fuel prices”

Uh, duh? What bullshit, do you mean he suddenly got a revelation in the middle of the night that he should drop fuel prices? If that is the way he leads this country just to his whim and fancy then oh…boy are we in trouble. Or perhaps this is already pre-planned, I am sure it is definitely related to the Permatang Pauh by-elections, “Surprise people…. Fuel prices are now down…Vote for BN”.

Whatever you want to do it is your bloody right as the ‘esteemed’ leader but please don’t say one thing and do another immediately after. Someone has to teach our esteemed leader the words ‘No comments’ when asked issues he does not want to answer or reveal at that point in time.

At the end of the day you are what you are, a liar would always be a liar. It doesn't matter whether you are a garbage collector or the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Surprise... surprise

Yesterday, I sat for the IDMO final test. Prior to that, we had a session (final one) with Carl. He came to give out his best student prize which went to Azizan. The prize was his book and he gave it to the student who he thought did exceptionally well during the morning presentation (which was more like a torture session...hahaha). The presentations were in fact a way for him to make old dogs like us study. Anyone can be picked and hence the extra effort in studying at night. I did not do well in these sessions as I can't speak in front of crowds and I just cannot memorize and regugitate facts, that is a damn hard thing to do!
Anyway, after that was the exams. 50 MCQ questions in 90 minutes. We had to answer 35 correct to pass. I was lucky as majority of the questions was easy for me as I have dived for a long time. The physiology and physics parts were a breeze, again, the memorizing facts part was a bit of a problem. I did what I knew best, guess! And surprise,surprise when the results were announced...ah ha... I got 96% (or only 2 wrong). And with that I got the top student for the IDMO series 2008. Such a sweet surprise.
Yesterday afternoon we went to Sipadan. No, not diving but just a joyride. I went on the army boat the RHIB (?? don't know what it stands for) but it is an inflatable assault boat that can seat 12 passengers. There were 2 boats, the generals were on one and the lower ranking guys (plus us civillians) were on the other. Since no big shots were on our boat the army guys had a lot of fun showing off, and it was really like a rollercoaster ride.....I was holding so hard to the seats, afraid that I might just fly off and fall into the waters. The ride was about 45 minutes and we were in Sipadan by 3.30 pm. The army base there had a feast ready for us, and I had the most delicious 'cokodok sotong' ever. Some of the guys went swimming and snorkelling but I opted for walking round the island. Man, that was an opportunity I cannot resist. Since Sipadan was closed to the public on 1.1.2005 no one (except the army,of course) could roam around the island (the land part anyway). Only place divers could walk on was the 100 metres stretch at the Drop Off. And, I, a civillian was able to walk on the other areas (with the army escort, of course). Dream come true. Yeah, I realise that a beach is like any other beach but being able to walk freely on restricted areas was such a adrenaline rush (hehehe... I am exaggerating). But the view was really awesome.
On the way back we stopped at Kapalai and that brings back lovely memories. I think that was the last trip the whole gang went diving together- December 2006. Saliha, Kaz, Wanie, Inda, Azrin and I had so much fun then. The place looked the same and how I wished I was able to dive.
We finally got back to Semporna at about 6.40pm. Jean almost missed her ride to the airport and she sms'ed to say she reached Tawau with only 10 minutes to spare... hahaha... but I think the afternoon excursion was really worth it!

The whole course (academically and socially) was wonderful. I made a lot of new friends in the army, and even Major General Mat Zin is now my friend... And the most important thing is, now I have friends who take care of the decompression chambers.... (well, you have to forgive me, this is diving doctor thinking).
For now, good bye Semporna. It has been a wonderful two weeks!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Tomorrow is my IDMO test. 50 MCQs in 90 minutes. I hope I pass! Well, I am going back to mug in 30 minutes time.

On Saturday I will be in Tawau, change of scenery! My flight is on Monday and basically I have 2 free days to roam. I guess I will be exploring the town and also watch ASTRO then. :) I wish I can fly back earlier but it will cost me a bomb. Back earlier means I can go house hunting earlier. I am running out of time and it is making me stressed! I like to have things sorted so I can get on with work and other things. I need to move my stuff out of the apartment in Temerloh on the 2nd of August....

Nevermind, I should take a break and not worry about things.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Pulau Sebangkat

Yesterday, I dived at Pulau Sebangkat about 20 minutes from Semporna. We gathered at 8.30am at the dive shop and left about 9am. On the way, we stopped at Singamata a fish farm and a floating hotel to pickup more equipment. We had total of 13 divers including out 2 DMs. Apart from Dr Lee, his wife and Jean Li; we were joined by Major Gen Mat Zin (not sure if the spelling is correct), Col Khairuddin, Major Azizan and 2 other IDMO secretariat. The other two were a couple from China.


Arrived at the island and started our dive at 10.20 am. Took a long time to get people organised plus the boat was wee too small for a party of 13. It was a lovely place. Viz was only about 10m but then that is expected with such a short distance from the town. WE SAW PYGMY SEAHORSES!!!! 12 on a Gargonian seafan (there was supposed to be 13 but our DM was pissed off cos one went missing). I was in seventh heaven. Anyway, apart from that it was true muck diving- so many small stuff, nudibranches, shrimps, pipefishes not to forget many species of reef fishes.


Surface interval was spent at the shore. It was low tide and it was pleasant to snorkel, which I did. The whole area was covered with seagrass and I went seahorse hunting...hahahah... I didn't find one but I wished I did. The village kids we following me around posing for photos for my camera. They even caught fishes with their bare hands to please me....:)


2nd dive was at the same island but further east. Same macro stuff, and I was very very elated. Jean Li and I were soon left by the whole group but I had an absolute lovely time.


After that we went back to the Singamata Floating Hotel/Dive Centre and Fish Farm. Food was lousy- RM 5 for 'mee kuning with kobis and kicap'.. Several things appalled me. First, the place was advertised in Semporna as RM30 per night. Apparently that price is only for foreigners and for locals it is RM150 per night (uh duh.... discrimination in your own backyard...well, they are owned by Singaporeans!!!!). 2nd they have huge confined areas where fishes were kept. In the largest enclosure, they have two Napolean wrasses, a leapard shark, some reef sharks and loads of reef fishes. I feel so sad for the sharks and the wrasses..... they should be free. By the way, is it legal to keep these wildlife in such enclosures????


Well, after from that we did a jetty dive to the outside perimeter of the fish farm. Viz was about 5 metres but then a heaven for muck diving again. Loads of interesting things including a Peacock mantis shrimp, some nudibranches, anemone shrimps, different type of anemones and lastly a Spanish Dancer. It was a good dive, not as good at the first two but then, I am always happy when I am diving. For the pictorial report, wait for me to come back next week and log on to my Flickr.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sipadan ... Revisited

Today I dived in Sipadan... yup, last night they told us the permits were available. After dinner I prepared my camera and housing for the trip. No macro lense. I wish I had wide angle for this dive.
Anyway, I was at the shop 7.50am. As usual, the Malaysian crowd was fashionably late, and I assume the dive shop is so used to that because seemed like no one bothered. We finally left for Sipadan at about 8.30 am.
The 1st dive was at Coral Gardens. In the group was Jean-Li, Lt Col Rtd Dr Lee, his wife Melanie, and her sister Helen and Dr Carl Edmonds... yup, the authority, the pioneer in diving medicine. He and Dr Lee are our lecturers for the IDMO course. Carl would say that he is 'reaching 70 from the wrong direction' when asked his age. ,.... well, I am digressing but I am so awed being able to meet such a legend. And man, he still dives! But true to his lectures he dives very moderately nowadays... he believes aging makes diving more dangerous and one is more prone to get DCS and other problems if diving 'excessively' . Maximum he does is 2 dives a day!

Anyway, Sipadan was as previous.... turtles, black tip reef sharks, and also a lot of small stuffs, nudibranches, shrimps etc, if you care to look for them.... The 1st timers were awed... yeah big stuff usually mesmerized the newbies. But the corals was disappointing.... From my previous visits (2005, 2006) I feel that more corals have been destroyed and in hindsight, there were even not as many turtles and sharks!


Jean-Li was my buddy and she became a cam whore underwater... Posing near every turtle she saw... pretending to vomit into a barrel sponge, she looked so horrifying that I quickly took her photos, I was scared the underwater life would be traumatised...hahaha.... Well, it was fun and it reminded me of how it was when Saliha, Marina and I reacted when we came to Sipadan for the first time.
Anyway, tomorrow were are going to go Pygmy Hunting (Seahorse la!). I am so excited, I am preparing my macro lense. Fingers crossed, hope the photos will turn out ok.
*apparently tomorrow we are diving with one of the generals (there are a total of 20 of them) of the medical corp. Hmmmm.....

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Semporna.... The update

Today is my birthday and I am in Semporna. Many of you would be thinking "what the heck is she doing writing her blog when she should be out there diving?" .. Exactly my sentiments but then I caught a cold yesterday... and now I am recuperating.

Hopefully, tomorrow I will be better can can join the gang to Mabul. Today's plan was Pulau Sibuan. I have never been there so it is quite a dissapointment!

I have been here since last week. Merman joined me for the trip here last Saturday and we went diving on Sunday... Mabul and Kapalai. Apparently the permits for Sipadan is all out! He left on Monday and I started my two week dive medice course. It is called 'International Dive Medical Officer' (IDMO) Course. It teaches doctors about the not so well known field of diving medicine, illnesses related to it and also how to determine if a person is certified to dive. It is definately an eye-opener. We were never taught this in medical school. And what the intructors, the Dive Industry tell the public is definately skewed!

I have known this (logically) but a lot of people argue that it is not true. DIVING IS A DENGEROUS SPORT!!!! It has a mortality of about 17 percent in 100 000 per year. It doesn't mean I will stop diving but generally it tells us that we have to take precautions when diving and to promote safe diving. Reckless behaviour is not acceptable! Hahaha.... half of the divers I know are idiots, gung-ho asses who if I tell them this would go into an arguement on how I am wrong.

Well, that is not my mission. I am attending this course because I dive a lot and the ones I love also dive a lot. Not a lot of doctors have the knowledge and I plan to equip myself to keep my family, friends and myself safe.

I hope I can dive tomorrow.... I am off to bed now (it is 1 pm and outside is so damn hot!)

p.s. I will post photos of Semporna when I get back. The pc is full of viruses!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Darjah Dua Hijau

I was envious when Khamarul said he met up with his primary school friends a few weeks ago. I mean apart from Wee Aun and Normazura, I hardly met anyone lese since our last day in Standard Six. Of ya, Ros Azlin was with me and Normazura in Puteri Titiwangsa but I guess that is all.

Last week, someone 'found' me on Facebook. It helps that my name is unique...(c'mon guys, have you ever met another Lynn Azura??) and also the fact that I was the most comot girl (and still is) and a school bully despite my size..hehehe now you guys know why I am fierce..hahaha

Anyway, Wan Mohd Nizam aka Nizam Lope (have no idea why he calls himself that nowadays) was the one who 'found' me. I remembered him coz despite him being quiet, he stays in Setapak Garden plus his name reminds me of Terusan Wan Mohamad Saman... sejarah darjah 4 tuh....

After that I got renewed vigour to search for my old classmates. It was easy to find those who have unique names like me. In the end, I found Siew Jin Ee (daughter of Mrs Siew our English teacher in Standard 5), Yeoh Leng Sim, Chan Fatt Chian and Surinder Kaur. The Malay chaps and gals had so common names that any search reveals more than 500 hits...

Nizam scanned the photos above and I had a good laugh looking at my face. As usual I will be in a corner... I remembered at this time I had 'mangkuk' hair.... Mom cuts our hair by placing a huge bowl over our heads and follow the outline of the bowl...... Standard Two was a wonderful time... I was the head female bully.....(self appointed...), Normazura was my side-kick...well, we were best friends from kindergarten....I would whack anyone who tries to bully me and my friends... hey I may be small but I packed a few good punches and kicks and if all fails bite them!!!

The most memorable thing was playing Police and Thief every recess time.... the whole class would join in... day in day out..... the boys would be on one side and the girls the other.... I would be running up and down till the recess bell rings.... food was to us secondary. And with that amopunt of running and sweating, no wonder by the time I reach home I was so stinking mom would force me to have my bath immediately.

Ah those were the days.....

As for my friends, I am still searching for them. Hope we can meet up soon!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Movie buff...NOT!!!

Some people have told me that I am hopeless. Hopeless because I do not remember lines from movies, because I cannot re-call story-lines and perhaps because I don't really like soapy movies.

But then, there are some movies that I have watched several times; top on the list would be:

Alladin (yup the cartoon- must have watched it 20-30 times - I have actually memorized half of the sound track and my favorite is when a dejected Alladin sang "Riff raff street rat, I don't buy that, if only they look closer.. would they see a poor boy no siree... they'll find out there's so much more to me" ... ah so sad.... and at times inspiring....

2nd would be Waterboy ("and she showed me her boobies...and I like them too")....hahahah... imagine if you told that to your mom :)

3rd Fright Night (Welcome to fright night....for real..." I have no excuses for this's nice..

But then, these are not soapy movies.... Hmmm.... Soapy movies... I do watch them very occasionally, but I have to admit I love 2 movies the most.The first is Ever After (as I clearly adore Drew Berrymore and plus the fact that during my houseman's days my roommie would put this on almost every other day...(we alternated between Alladdin, Waterboy and this)

And the 2nd is a teenage flick called 10 Things I Hate About You. I liked Julia Stiles and the late Heath Ledger. And two most memorable bits for me would be the part where Patrick (played by Ledger) sang "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" at the football stadium in order to get Kat's (played by Stiles) attention... that is the most romantic version of that song in my books and the other memorable scene is at the end when Kat read out this poem (with reference to who else but Patrick)

I hate the way you talk to me,
and the way you cut your hair.
I hate the way you drive my car,
I hate it when you stare.

I hate your big dumb combat boots
and the way you read my mind.
I hate you so much it makes me sick,
it even makes me rhyme.

I hate the way you’re always right,
I hate it when you lie.
I hate it when you make me laugh,
even worse when you make me cry.

I hate it when you’re not around,
and the fact that you didn’t call.
But mostly I hate the way I don’t hate you,
not even close…
not even a little bit…
not even at all.

So uh duh.... who says I don' know about movies... I just don't have enough grey matter to waste storing movie lines.... I'd rather watch them again and again....

Friday, June 06, 2008

The seventh month of the year

July is going to be a busy month.

With my future uncertain, I may have to move to KL in July... when exactly I don't know, I hope end of the month.

I have a big thing lined up in July. Finally, after 3 years I am doing my Intenational Diving Medical Officer (IDMO) Course. Ever since I started diving I have been concerned and interested with diving medicine. People keep calling me for advice, plus with the amount of diving I do I need the in-depth knowledge of the field. After this, I will be qualified to certify a person fitness to dive, plus also handling of decompression chambers. Hahahaha.... double speciality - Ortho and diving (though this is only as a medical officer)

But that means 2 weeks in Semporna and which also means 2 weeks away from my Merman. And away from him during my birthday....*sad*

However, the plus thing is I may be able to squeeze in a few dives to Sipadan, Sibuan and Mantabuan ...yaaaayyyyy.... That means I have to get my strobe by the end of the month (therefore, I hope I get my backdated pay soon!!!!)

But then, the main thing is to complete the course!! *focus lynn....focus*

The Crystal Ball

For the past one month I have heard numerous rumours about my future in KKM. I have been told that I am going to be transferred to Klang Valley. Hmmmm, and this was even before I submitted my transfer letter. For the past 2 weeks, the rumours have gotten stronger, so far, my name have been mentioned to fill up posts in Hospital Kuala Lumpur, Hospital Ampang and lately, Hospital Klang. And I have been told that I will be there by 1st July. That is less than a month away.

These 'stories' were relayed to me by people who are working in those hospital, and unless there are three Lynn Azura's I'd reckon at least two are false.

Anyway, I hope I do not get HKL. I have worked there for nearly 5 years before this and I certainly know that it is not a good place to be for a junior specialist (I still consider myself junior as I am still learning the ropes). The place is horrendoes as since there are many specialists. People like me will end up not doing anything except paperwork or clearing up the 'uninteresting' cases. And I know definitely I will get bullied. I am not at all keen for HKL.

As for Ampang, it will be good as there should be a total of 3 of us. That's a good number for a small hospital and when you have only a few people you tend to cover each other better. So far, in Temerloh, my working relationship with boss and Su have been great. The cons are; I have no house-officer to 'bully', my medical officers are very junior (thus mean more work) and the traffic is horrendous.

Klang, is another madhouse but I would love to work there. Semi-emergency OT daily means I can really hone my surgical skills, and plus I have my 2 closest friends there.

But we will wait and see. Until I get the official letter lets put it all as hearsay.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Scramble My Brain

I used to be addicted to crossword puzzles. It just fasinates me. No... I am not those who enters competiton after competition... I just like to do it at my own pace. I get satisfaction by completing one.

I thought I have cured myself of that addiction. I have not done one in a year or two.... Perhaps it was because I was too busy studying for my finals that I do not have the extra grey matter to spare. Well, I thought I was cured!

But lately I have a new addiction.... WORD games... it started with Text Twirl, then Scrabulous and the latest, SCRAMBLE. So it seem, it is not the puzzle but it is the lure of words. Oh my god, I must be a nerd.

Everyday, after getting back from work, I would switch on my PC and immediately get on the Net and Facebook. Then I would play for hours the Live Games on Scramble. I do not have to eat, and I usually fall asleep at my PC. This is horrible. The level of addiction is unbelievable. I used to think I am strong but after each 3 minutes of game I would hang on to catch the next one. This game really has a strong pull.... I cannot resist.

Anyway, Merman is a wee bit upset (ah yes dear... I can hear it from your voice).. and so goodbye Scramble.... I am going to miss you.

p.s. this is my 1st attempt to break the addiction

Monday, May 26, 2008

My Gift To Merman - Underwater Love

This is my first post after my wedding and honeymoon. I had a great time at both events as things went quite well. Merman and I had things the way we wanted it and that included my 'hantaran' (wedding gifts).

*Dear Mike and Matt, in a Malay wedding the bride and groom usually exchange gifts which we call hantaran. They are usually put on trays and exchanged between the families just before the wedding rites.

Anyway, since it was my wedding I had a free hand to decide what to do. I cracked my head over it ever since Merman proposed and I accepted. I have to thank my sis for putting it through my head I can do whatever I like and since I am a underwater freak I should do an "Underwater Theme". After that I lulled over the idea but never could come up with anything solid.... I had sketches of ships, shells, treasures, diving tanks but could not put it in motion.

Meanwhile, my buddies and families had to eat cockles and clams I wanted the shells (Thank you Amir & Wanie, and also you Merman for without you guys I would not have my supply of shells). I also had a basket full of seashells which I collected since I was very young. You see, no live seaslugs were hurt in the making of the collection.

The idea only formed the last few days. By then I had all the basic stuff I would need, just to put them together. It was really fun and in the end I think the results were amazing.

As my grandmother puts it "It's unique and beautiful".

For more photos, please visit my flickr

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Safety First

Photo courtesy

Every week I see kids landing up in the hospital. Some with minor injuries and some with severe fatal ones. Some times they are unavoidable like injuries at the playground or while playing football etc, some times it can be lessen by teaching or making them to use safety appliances like helmets when riding a bicycle or rollerskating or using a child seat in the car.

Last week, a 3 year old child was thrown out of a car when the car fell into a ravine. Mom all strapped up with the seat belt came out unscathed but the child had severe head injuries and a cervical spine fracture. These were massive injuries. He was lucky that the spine fracture did not severed his cord which would have been fatal.

Anyway, on the road you will see daily defiance of child road safety. People letting their child stand through the sunroof, putting their heads out of the windows, riding with 3-4 pillion riders on a motorcycle are among what we see daily. If parents do not have common sense to disallow or prevent this acts how are we going to teach kids road safety. Using car seats and child helmets? Tough luck. The problem is, people think that things won't happen to them. "Oh, it is just in the housing area so no accidents would happen". Don't they know that majority of RTA involving children occurs in the residential areas?

So how mush is a car seat? prices ranged from RM100 plus (carrefour) to thousands. So if you cannot affort the more expensive ones at least should buy the cheaper alternative. It at least keep the child strapped to the seat ( and not become a pinball in the car). If one can afford it what is a thousand bucks compared to the assurance of you child's safety?

I hope in the very near future we can change the mentality of Malaysians in terms of road safety especially when involving children. I really hate hearing a child scream in pain when they are injured. I makes me so sad the whole day. A child should have a happy childhood, not suffer in pain. It is the adults responsibility to ensure this!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Kiss me out of the bearded barley....

I do not come from a kissy huggy family. We care a lot for each other but we do not have public displays of affection.

And that's why I feel awkward when people start hugging me. Hey, don't get me wrong, I like cute handsome hunks hugging me..... That I don't mind. What feels funny is when other people hug you such as when you meet your gal friends and it is time to say good bye. Apparently it's a fashion to hug and give three muaahhh on the right...muahhhh on the left and lastly muahh on the right... It must be an Arabic thingy, Malays are so besotted with the Arab culture nowadays.

A major awkward moment happened today. I was there standing in the ward talking to this 17 year old who fractured his spine. He was damn lucky that his spinal cord was not compromised and thus he will be able to walk after receiving treatment. Anyway, the parents wanted to take him to another hospital (yippiee less work for me) as they are not from within the vicinity. I arranged everything for the transfer and was about to go off. Grandma who was sitting and observing all the time got up, came straight at me and gave me a huge hug and started showering kisses on my cheeks. She was sobbing while thanking me of all that I have done (which is not much actually!!!) Mann, she was a huge lady! I felt so uncomfortable but I thought it wouldn't be appropriate to pry myself away at that moment...(ahhh... doctors are supposed to be understanding and emphatic) What was I supposed to do???

So I let her hug and kiss me... and manage to whisper a few comforting words. When I had the chance I peeked left and right, I was imagining people looking and sniggering away. Hmmm... surprisingly, the coast was clear. No one seem to bother. Is this normal???

For now I am traumatised.

p.s. Must blame my parents (hehehe...not really lah... I am happy we are not so kissy and huggy people... Just imagine if Mom came to school and started showering me with kisses...So embarrasing!!!!)

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Much ado about weddings

What is it with women and weddings???

When it comes to weddings I think I am abnormal, atypical, weird woman...but then I am actually a mermaid so what else can be said ... . When acquaintances tell me they are tying the knot, I would just go "ah, congratulations" and then walk away happy that someone has met his or her 'true' love and is on the way of being blissfully happy ever after!

But then I would not goo goo gaa gaa and start asking 101 questions. This is my list of irritable questions I get when I tell friends when I am getting hitched.

Who is the lucky guy?
Hello.... if you guys know the groom I would have said X-man and I are getting married. Even if I mention who also no one would know...duh!!!

What does he work as; where is he from..blah...blah..blah??
Hmmm.... if I say he's a farmer from Ulu Tembeling (and you sort of think that he's not right for me are you going to ask me to consider ditching him????)

So what is your theme colour? Oooh.... how would your pelamin look like??? Have you made your baju???
Crap.... if you ask me these questions then I was wrong. You obviously are not my friend and thus do not know that I HATE WEDDINGS!!!!!! (and thus should not be invited to the event)

Eh...did you invite so-and-so?? Why not la... He used to be your boss.

Another crap... It is my business who I invite...I do not need to justify to anybody!

You must be stressed and worried about your big day

Do I look stressed and worried?? Man, you really do not know me. To me what is important is the end results... And whatever happens, I am sure that I will be married to that certain why worry??

You must be excited.
Uh duh...must be an understatement. Do you want me to go on and on like Cheryl Samad hosting a talk show??? I should have said " Yeah, I am excited to the possibility of endless supply of free sex!"

Well, I am sure there are more to add on to the list as THE DAY comes nearer... For now, "STOP BUGGING ME!!!!"

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Merman or Neptune?

I don't know if anyone noticed or even if anyone still reads my blog but I have put a countdown just below the title (yup, it's official, my big day is in less than three weeks' time). The mermaid has finally mesmerized a merman.

With so much going on (plus work is absolutely crazy) I had no time to update this blog of mine. Actually I have so many things to blog a.k.a. complain about ever since merman and I decided to tie the knot. So much crap in getting hitched, no wonder some people just have sex!

And thus, there will be no lovey dovey story here. This blog is a reflection of my true nature, my outlet and hence the endless complaints. And where to start????

Anyway, after Meet The Parents and after the Parents' Showdown ( was a very cordial meeting) we had to decide on the Wedding itself. Both of us being very simple people decided to do away with all that was unnecessary and stick with what is required. Thank god both sets of parents were also very practical people and we had no resistance there. We laid out our game plan and everybody agreed.

So what's out?
No engagement
No kompang
No sanding
No 2nd reception (yup, both receptions will be at the same place and time)

And IN will be ....
The nikah or the wedding rites (how I wish we can do away with that)
The Reception (immediately after)
The Exchange of Gifts i.e. Hantaran in malay (my side will prepare 7 gifts and merman's five)

Next on the list was to decide on the colour. I love blue, that is my favorite colour but I realise that bright colours looks gorgeous during the day....and thus going with light yellow..or perhaps peach...or light orange or light green....gosh!!! Anyway, I sticked with yellow but in my mind, I don't mind if it turn up to be a myriad of colours... more cheery (it is a joyous occasion).

Mom and sis are arranging the bridal suite (as if I care how it turns out,but I am sure it will be wonderful), the catering and the venue preparation (which is in my parents' place). I meanwhile did the bunga telur (actually my colleague Su did it, I just helped), the bakul telur (did not want the ceramic stuff my sis got for her wedding) and my side's hantaran (still working on the concept till today :( ).

Paperwork, getting married is such a tedious process (that itself deserves a post on its own).

As of today, all is under control (or I hope so..heheheh). And so what if it is not. The only way that it's going to be a bad day is if the merman decides to chicken out (yes dear?).... If the end result is what is expected then it's going to be a wonder wonder wonderful...or wonderfools day!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Jinxed (Part Two)

Back to this week.

My calls usually are quiet. Quiet that I can sleep peacefully at night.

But on Friday The situation started to get out of hand by the evening. My phone was quiet (which is normal) but I had a really bad feeling. My two medical officers disappeared from my afternoon CME teaching, which is not usual. By the time I wanted to go back, I decided to take a peek at the Casulaty. OMG it was crazy, 3 victims in 3 different accidents, all in bad condition. One was attended by my team, another by the anaesthetist and the last one by the surgical and ENT teams. I joined in to stabilise Patient No One. Patient No Two was taken to ICU for stabilisation and was subsequently followed by Patient No Three. Anyway, all were stabilised but it was nearly 9pm. I was so tired, I went back and fell asleep almost immediately.

However I couldn't sleep well thinking that I will be called in for Patient No One once the anaesthetist deem him stable. Hmm... little that I know he would only stable after one day... Surgery only started after 7 pm last night... and finished at 11.... Dead tired!!!!!!

Today I thought...ah.. at least Patient One sorted... Little did I know that due to unforeseen complications, I had to go into OT at 5pm and came out at 7.30 pm... Ahhh... and before that I was all the time in the ICU reviewing the patient and talking to the family... it was such a mental stress that I had severe migraine.

All ended well, perhaps not that well but that is beyond my control. However, till now I still have the severe headche. Hopefully 2 Panadol would do the trick. And I am going to sleep now!

So Lesson For The Day: Do Not Ever Change Calls!! You will be CURSED!!!

Jinxed (Part One)


That is what this past few days have been. And I am sure the reason is clear. I broke the unwritten rule of no changing calls once the roster is printed.

I was supposed to be on-call last weekend but I swapped with Su as I wanted to attend to something in KL. I should have guessed by then. I had an unlucky weekend. I never believe in bad luck or jinx but that must have been a sign.

On the way back last week, as I passed through the Bentong stretch of the highway my car hit a huge steel block which immediately dented both rims over the right side and punctured my tyres. Two cars in front of me hit it at the side of the car (my guess, since they were able to continue with their journey after a brief stop) but I went smack unto it, the failing light didn't help as by the time I saw the shadow of the object I was too near.

Anyway, with two punctured tyres I was cursing. And also pissed. It was nearly 7.30 pm what luck would I have to get a workshop to change my tyres? Immediately the highway patrol came over (actually, they were there when the car hit the metal steel and according to them they noticed the metal bar but had not been able to extract it till I hit it.... hmmm, I do not know whether to believe them; my other hunch was that they were the ones who planted the object there... but then since I have no evidence I have to go with option ONE)... Anyway, the guys were kind enough to change my rear tyre and I requested them to tow my car to Genting Sempah (I was thinking of getting my mechanic to bring a spare there and change it for me). The guys were initially agreeable but later told me they found for me a tyre to borrow/rent.

And soon after, came a car full of guys with a spare 14 inch tyre. I was initially elated. But when I asked the head honcho what is the plan, he wanted me to drive to his workshop for him to 'repair' my rims and according to him my tyres may still be in good condition and after that I can continue with my journey... uh duh??? Looking at the impact and the effects on my rim I didn't think so... I managed to persuade him to lend me the tyre. Anyway, the guys looked sleazy and I am not that stupid to go with them. After exchanging numbers (Hmmm... they trusted me to come back with their tyre?) I headed back to KL....

The bad news didn't end there... (I had to spend RM 1K plus to change my rims...)

To be continued....

Friday, April 11, 2008

e-filing - mudah, tepat dan selamat

Again for 7th consecutive years I do not have to pay any income tax. Yippie!!!

I must say the e-filing system of the Inland Revenue Board or LHDN resolves any headaches I used to get when doing my annual tax return. I have for the past 6 years been doin it for my family members and doing it last year was a breeze. So this year I embarked on the same mission.

I hit a minor glitch last week. Tried to log in. I was such in a haste that I failed to read the words "Login kali Pertama" and "Login e-Borang". Should have chose option number two since I have done it last year. Instead I chose option one and got flabbergasted when they ask for my digital certificate number. Ah, so I thought that I had to go to the LHDN office to do so. Which I did today! After getting my 16 digit digital login ID, I being a natural complainer went and complained (unofficially) about the hassle doing it year in year out. The LHDN fella then gave me a lecture on the need to remember my own password for future tax return. Then I realised, "aiyoh, I never got to that page of password la"

Anyway, back within the comforts of my home, I logged in at 1247am today. Tried the new digital certificate number they gave me. Hmmm, oh shit, the system said the number given does not match my income tax file number. Then I decided, why don't I try the "login e-Borang" option. Filled in my IC number and my possible password. You see, I have only 3 possible passwords, and I succeeded on the 2nd attempt.

I did not have any receipts with me so I thought let's just try it out just to see what I have to pay without putting any other deductions. I only remembered the amount I paid my insurance (maximal allowable cuts for KWSP and personal insurance is RM6000 total) and thus mine was max; and I paid zakat about RM600 per year.

What I love about the programme (e-filing) is that I can do away with the calculator. Just fill in the blanks and the programme does the rest. And this year, without even putting any amount for medical expenses(Max allowable cut= RM5000), books (RM1000), Education fees (RM5000) it tells me that I do not have to pay a single cent.

It was so simple, it took me less than 5 minutes.Kudos to the LHDN, e-filing is truly the way to go.

Overdued - the Lankayan Report

-wrote this in January but did not seem to have published it,. So, better late then never-

The trip is one that I would not forget. First and foremost, it is one trip where I did not even see the sun, the skies were cloudy and grey all the time. Yeah I know, it is the monsoon season but then I have been in Sipadan and Kapalai in December and january where it drizzled on days but I did not expect no sun for 5 days straight. We did get a slight peek at the sun in the early hours of day four but then when it came for us to dive the sun did a peek-a-boo.

The surface were choppy all the time but it was good experience. I bobbed up and down, swallowed mouthfuls of salt water, and panicked for a few seconds on the surface. Visibility were alright as I have dived in 2 feet of poor viz before and here it was 5 to 8 metres.

But despite all that, I was amazed. If the viz and the weather had been better it would have turned out to be one of the best trips ever. I was amazed at the underwater treasures that greeted us. It was a macro heaven with numerous species of nudibranches, crabs, shrimps, seahorses and also full of pelagics. And to me unforgettable sights were watching the bottom during each descent, numerous blue spotted stingrays glide over the sandy bottom hurrying away afraid we might do a Steve Irwin on them, it looked like the runaway of the busiest airport in the world; and the highlight of the trip watching a leopard shark in action, swimming just above my head.

The sizes of the species were amazing, almost all of the nudibranches we saw were huge, and I mean huge, the size of a fist, I did not need to use my macro lense to see the details of their gills. Thehuge giant cuttlefishes were really huge and the lobsters size spanned about 2m from the tentacles to the tail.I guess the abundace of underwater life is a testament on how conservation work is successful. Lankayan is part of the Segud Islands Marine Conservation Area (SIMCA)with its research office in the resort itself.

Lastly, I made a few friends on this trip, our local divemasters and crew, fellow divers; Anne and Thomas, the honeymooners from Norway; Jans and Marie restaurant owners from Holland; Dita and Stephan from Indonesia/Switzerland.