Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Palliative care 1

On the oncology unit, talking to this elderly man with prostate ca and bilateral legs full of fluid(oedema). Not a nice time, as he became emotional more than once as we discussed his condition. Hearing about the puddle of fluid that burst out of his leg every morning from the swellings that had formed overnight.

As I was about to leave, I patted him on the back. "See you around then."

He looked me straight in the eye. Soberly, while pointing upwards, he said "I'll be up there soon, just so you know."

Silence for a while.

"Erm, I'm sure you'll be around a while yet..." I started to say.

"What do you mean?", he cut in. "They're transferring me to the medical ward on the 5th floor, aren't they?"

....sometimes, I really don't know where to hide my face....

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Just watched this programme on TV called Watchdog or something similar.. They do a good job of exposing scams and warning the public about potential cons. This segment they did a slot on mobile phone companies offering cashback, in particular a company called mobs (mobile solutions online).

Having friends who were on similar schemes and having been interested before, I leant back with a glass of mango cum orange juicy bits and watched as they exposed mobs' schemes.

Apparently what the whole cashback offer is based on the assumption that only around 1/3 of customers would claim their cash back(for those unfamiliar to the cashback scheme, its an offer where people get a mobile phone and pay a monthly tariff. They then receive a voucher from the company every 3 months and theoretically when they return this voucher, they will receive a certain percentage of their cash back). When more people claim their cash back than the company expects, they have to delay the returning of the cash.

Watchdog even interviewed a former employee who told viewers the numerous strategies the company told her to use to delay the customers. Excuses ranged from "the money's in your account already" to "our computers are undergoing a upgrade" to "cash will be deposited in the next 1 week".

Watching this, I found it interesting because I was actually considering signing up for it at one point. In a sad sort of way, it reinforced my underlying assumption (from past experiences) that everytime eveyrone approaches me for something, its definitely a scam, and I treat them appropriately. This extends to giving to charities and beggars on the street, based on the premise that most of them are part of a huge money making scheme.

How in the world it's supposed to reflect God's love is something I've not yet reconciled though, as there really ARE people in need out there.

Anyways, on a parting note, mobile online solutions are liquidating, so it seems those still waiting for their money back will not be getting it anytime soon.

Saturday, November 25, 2006


Biker chick stands beside kindly old grandma, stands beside tall lanky possibly basketball player stands beside petite college student. Lawyer beside doctor beside patient beside dock worker. Rough bouncer together with redneck, black, brown, tanned, fair. Conflicting stereotypes glaring along the row. Long haired standing beside tattooed and pierced standing beside Mr. Studious Spectacles. Racial polarities lose their magnetism as Indians stand with Malays with Chinese nearby and countries lose their borders with British standing by Africans holding hands with Jews and Russians.

In a time of worship, everyone's no different. When the focus is off us and onto someone far greater, we take our hands out of our pockets, stop brushing our hair and checking our reflection in the mirror, or worrying about how our breath smells like, because its no longer about who we are. No longer about what we've done, or what we could have done. What can anyone possibly do that can matter, when you're approaching your Maker?

Hands stretch forth, heads are bowed. Everyone's confronting Him in their own way. Worry, guilt, contentment, uncontained joy, quiet happiness, fear, apprehension all chasing each other. At some point though, when our faces have relaxed, our hands no longer clenched and our feet no longer tense in our shoes, we know we're there. At peace with Him, relaxing in His presence. We've accepted His presence and all it entails. It's then that the real worship starts; from this point on, He is truly the centre of our current existence.

Different people, from different lives and speaking different languages, all declaring

"Jesus I believe in You. Jesus I belong to You."

I've seen.

"How great is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you, which you bestow in the sight of men on those who take refuge in you." Ps 31:19

Sunday, November 19, 2006


The last 10 years of her life have not been kind to her. A rapid descent in fortunes, from being relatively well-off to having next to nothing. A father-in-law whom she loved and respected, a husband whom she adored, all gone. Dust to dust. And now, faced with a move to an alien country together with her mother-in-law, whose people would regard her as an outcast. But more than that, facing the prospect of dying childless, with no one to carry on her family name, to remember her by.

Her mother-in-law saw her consternation and urged her to stay behind. Why join in her bitterness? Why stay and continue to experience hardship one after another? Far better for her to stay back and try to look for another husband and rebuild her life.

"But Ruth replied, 'Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.' " Ruth 1:16

Amazing that even after 10 years of seeing how God dealt with her mother-in-law (Naomi), Ruth, who was not an Israelite, would say such a thing. Why associate herself so strongly with someone whose God seemed to bring nothing but misfortune? What caused her to stay on?

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Manc Weekend

Today was one of those days which come too few and far between. Met up Sam, Prakash, Bobby, Jessica, Nadeesh and Pooja plus all the Liverpudlians and Mancunians in Manchester. I finally got to taste the dim sum that everyone has been raving about since last year. 16 people at a table is a sight not many waiters have seen before apparently, cos they just kept coming and coming with fresh plates of food for us.

All the newcomers spent the afternoon visiting Old Trafford, home to the Man Utd team. Initially , I thought the stadium was smaller than I'd expected. Walking around the grounds though, it was larger than it looked. It was pretty interesting seeing where players would bathe, where the VIPs had their pre-game lunch and where the press conferences were held etc etc. The climactic big run onto the pitch, complete with cheering recorded from an actual game, was hampered by the fact that the pitch was, pitch dark, owing to the time. Not many have seen it at night though.

Tourism in Malaysia is definitely well publicised.

A Christmas present for the fans out there?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Never again

Four pairs of eyes.

Gazing at a sentence on a piece of paper about half the size of an A4. A consultant, his registrar and two medical students. The registrar speaks first. "She's your patient from before isn't she?" Consultant doesn't look too happy. It's hard, telling someone that she may be terminally ill.

Patient in the room, consultant explaining the results to her. Watching a woman suddenly break into tears is something I've not become used to seeing yet. Found myself wishing I was elsewhere, that I suddenly intruded in on a private moment that I had no right to witness. While I'm dwelling on things, the patient is being told she needs to stay for another test to determine extent of the disease.

Patient exits, and consultant makes the call for the test. It is then that he realises his mistake. Being slower than usual (afternoon post lunch syndrome), it takes me a while to get it. When I do get it, I feel even worse than before.

Four pairs of eyes..

Gazing at the test results, all failing to spot the unfamiliar name at the top of the page. The consultant throws the notes on the floor in anger. We've gone and told the patient she's had something she doesn't have. And someone else is in for some bad news.

There may be mistakes that I'll definitely make later on, but this is one which I hope will not happen again.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

And yet

Sometimes I forget I have plenty of what I need. And I want more. Which just makes me happy for a while before I start wanting more again. So, in an effort to help others get their 'more', I've started filling shoeboxes.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Memo To Self

DONT put potatoes in a rendang unless I want it super thick.


Free Game

For the med students out there, if you ever wanted to brush up on ECGs and have fun at the same time, go here.