Monday, December 29, 2008

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Dinner @18 Guelph Street!

Prepping after coming back from work.

Watching wedding photos..guess whose?

Fellow countrymen in a far off land..

Food - onion soup worked!

As well as roast pork!

Cheese board...we get more posh every year!

And christmas pud with brandy sauce - props to esther!

everyone gets a slice...notice the crackers!

Gift exchange...and our first proper tree in years!

Relaxing with a glass of mulled wine, basking in the aftermath of a satisfying night..

Happy Christmas!!

Hey all, wherever you are, all over the world, have a happy Christmas and a great run-up to the New Year!

Just went on, and if you have an account, they are offering GBP3 worth of MP3 downloads, only available on the 25th and the 26th of Dec, so have fun picking out your tunes!

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Just finished probably the most tiring set of nights so far since I started.

Something that's stayed with me this week, both as a reminder and as something to push me:

'You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.' Isa 26:3

steadfast (NIV)
stayed on thee (KJV)
set on you (Message)
(both its inclination and character) is stayed on you (Amplified Bible)
fixed on you (NLT)

perfect peace (NIV)
completely whole (Message)
guard him and keep in constant and perfect peace (Amplified Bible)

As I get stuck into working life my worry is just that, that I'll get stuck into it to the exclusion of everything else. Isa 26:3 for me, is a good reminder to get a life!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

So, yesterday...

IN hospital every Friday, there's this massive meeting which EVERYONE in hospital gets tom come to, usually for the hot coffee/croissants to start with, then later adjourning to the lecture hall for a presentation on a research topic.

This Friday just gone however, the hall was packed. Standing room only. What groundbreaking medical event, what life-changing, revolutionary drug/treatment/procedure, indeed what mind-blowing gloopy wonder was being presented? You'd have thought the cure for AIDS, or the common cold was being revealed on stage.

In fact, the hall was super crowded because a doctor apparently was amusing himself watching Youtube, and thought it would be a good idea to show some nurses what he was watching. And as a result, the Royal Liverpool University Hospital invites:

Amateur Transplants

to perform an hour of Christmas comedy, right before the hospital descends into its usual Friday chaos.

I got there late, somehow forgetting this was happening, as as such had to squeeze myself into the 'standing room only' spot right at the back of the hall, from which I couldnt even see the stage, much less the performing duo.

For the uninitiated, Amateur Transplants are a couple of practising doctors (at least, i think they are practising!) Dr Adam Kay, and Dr Suman Biswas who do comedy routines, incorporating a lot of music via keyboards, which makes them rather special, if not entirely unique counting their profession.

They have plenty of Youtube videos, so feel free to check them out! Having heard some of them online before, i was still in laughing along with the rest at the Anaesthetist's Hymn, Finals Fantasy, Take A Look At Me Nan and tons of short bits marrying pop song parodies and medical tidbits that medics (and some non-medics!) would identify with!

At the end (by which time I'd gotten barely a 5 second peep at the stage), the crowd got up to disperse, and being right at the back, I was one of the first out. While looking around for a friend whom I was standing beside earlier, I realised that Adam and Suman had actually sneaked out ahead of everyone to cool off..Feeling suddenly tongue tied, all I could manage was a 'wow, well done!' to which they replied 'yup, that wasn't too bad was it?' before remembering I had a ward round to catch up with and rushing off.

It was only later I'd realised....

I should have grabbed a photo while I had the chance!

Still all in all, a good start to a Friday!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Wondering about a Christmas Party..

but I need to work work work...sigh.

To be a student for the christmas holidays!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat..

Not that anyone eats them anyway..

Was browsing through youtube a while ago and came across (actually, was searching for them in a fit of nostalgia) some cartoons that were part of my Christmas viewing whenever they were showed on Malaysian tv.

This one because of the toy cars/soldiers..

Another classic..

Happy December!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Because I rarely transfer photos,

After packing Christmas shoeboxes

Guitar Hero @ 18 Guelph St.

Matthew St. Music Festival 08

Steamboat dinner

Foundation Year 1 karaoke night

Our church hosting a praise and worship evening

The latest additions to my desktop

One of the last dinners before people started leaving - wonder how Tai Bo's doing now...

Monday, November 17, 2008

daily l IFe

Saw a kid while at the checkout counter at Tescos a couple of days ago - he was no older than 4/5 I think, and he was holding an imaginary mobile phone to his ear.

What interested me was that he was yelling someone's name very loudly into his 'phone', then proceeded to spout obscenities all the while yelling into his hands. His mum stood beside him just waiting for her turn to be served.


Have had an unexpected couple of days off this week, which is good. Funnily enough I don't seem to be doing things that I'd like to be doing (spending more time wandering the wastes of Fallout 3 or overseeing naval battles in Red Alert 3 or catching up on my reading), but am caught up with other stuff, sleep being a major part.


Did shoeboxes for the Christmas Child thingy again this year. Was fun intro-ing the project to the students and seeing ppl get excited packing boxes for kids. Discussing this with another yearmate of mine over Mexican Sunday lunch, it seems we sorely lack awareness of what's going on around the world, and as long as everything's peachy in our little corner of the world, we're content.

On that note, if anyone wants to contribute to our Water Buffalo Fund, let me know:-)


Christmas IS fast approaching...this year being my first one working through it, didn't really strike me until after going through the streets on Sat, and on planning for Christmas over dinner last night. Was talking with pastor about how Christmas was like back home, prepping for carolling 23/24Dec till all hours of the morning, with hot porridge to follow, and a early 25th morning wake-up call for the Christmas service in church..

This year, it'll be at a friend's house, a barn dance from which I need to go home early cos am in to work the next day, and work during New Year's too. Oh well, looking forward to coming home in Feb if all goes according to plan.


'Worship is the preoccupation of the heart, not of its needs or blessings, but of God himself.'

Obviously in a Christian context:-) still I thought it was so apt as I tend to consider the first two parts a lot more nowadays.


Planning a night out for the doctors I've worked with is harder than I thought it would be. I need to set a date, then let everyone know, then pull it off.


Thursday, October 09, 2008

Waking up

Was in the middle of a ward round this morning, we'd just exited the bay, and I'd gone to get a drug chart for the next patient when the bell went off.

Too often, this happens, everyone rushes to the scene and more often than not, its a patient who's pressed the button by accident or is normally more than a little confused. I began to realise something was up about 5 seconds later, when no one walked back complaining about how the alarm seems to go off for nothing.

My registrar had already started doing chest compressions, so I took his place while he directed the collection of nurses and house officers who began to pile up at the foot of the patient's bed. Chest compressions on a real patient, I'd never realised before how much they differ from the dummy we train on at the clinical skills centre. The chest wall being much more compliant, and not as rigid as a dummy's as well as hearing that give as one presses down..that all makes sense now.

While I was busy counting to 30, IV lines had been set, and gel paddles were placed on the patient. By then, not only the ward doctors were there but the cardiac arrest team had also come up from the ground floor.

Left the patient (someone else took over the compressions) to continue the ward round as my registrar said there were too many doctors about. Only my second cardiac arrest call as a doctor.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Chronicles of a Confused Doctor 5

I had an interesting conversation with one of my patients today.

Someone whom we had had in the ward for what seemed like forever, who was there before I started working, known by name to the staff, most of whom were eagerly awaiting his departure (finally!). I think every ward has a similar story to tell.

ANyway, I stopped by to see how he was doing, figuring it would take maybe a couple of minutes to confirm he was still medically fit for discharge (have to love that blanket term!) and that everything was in order for him to leave the next day.

'I'm feeling a bit depressed today doctor' - not what I was expecting to hear.

He then started telling me about his early days, when he was an infantryman, serving in the battle of Dunkirk, covering the retreat against the Germans. One theatre of war to led to another as he related stories of campaigns in Africa, New Zealand in a wistful manner.

I didn't mind so much, actually, partly because I'm a sucker for war stories, no matter how far-fetched they seem. Also because it seemed like this chap was so keen to relive his past before the end. He knew he wasn't going to be around forever, he said, as he related somewhat proudly that he had 7 great-grandchildren.

'I just wish someone would tell me what was going on. You know, for someone who always used to be in control and fending for himself...I guess I'm just not used to being moved around without knowing whats going on.'

Sunday, August 31, 2008

1st question of the study:

Share a high point in your spiritual experience:

Anytime that a group of people gather together to pray for a common topic/person. Amplified if everyone prays simultaneously, and different people raise their voices to encourage/bless/rebuke. When everyone is not aware of one another, as much as they are aware of the presence of God in our midst. When that prayer is to support, affirm, and when we can sense that God is speaking, through someone, a verse, a spoken truth.

1st question of the study:

Describe your ideal vacation:

Would involve a beach with clear water. Somewhere secluded, with not too many people around. Mountains as a backdrop, and plenty of pools dotted amongst smooth rocks. The sand would be fine, minus all the debris left by other visitors, and would extend a fair way into the sea. Inland, a open area ideal for games, and a hiking trail or two, preferably with a waterfall at the end.

Weather should be mild, not too much sun, but warm enough to be able to lie on the beach comfortably, with the odd trade wind coming up out of the sea. Not too much wind though, otherwise frisbee would be out of the question.

Company would be nice, friends that I can have a laugh with, who are not too bothered about DOING stuff, but rather just sitting back and chatting. And preferably friends who share a love for food, of which there should be plenty, at the right times. Barbecues, buffets and the odd packed picnic or two would be nice.

Sounds a lot like Tioman doesn't it? Anyone still have photos from then?

What's Up?

Surfing through news sites, I'm amazed at how much is going on around the world. Whether its the oncoming Hurricane Gustav, Anwar's election and his plans to take over the world..starting with Malaysia, Zimbabwe, giant clams (the next horror movie tie-in?), I feel like I'm missing out on the big picture sometimes.

I was particularly caught up reading the story of the hurricane about to hit New Orleans, and how a general evacuation order had been issued, yet not everyone decided to go. Apart from it being like a scene from a movie, I wonder how those deciding to stay are feeling right now. Desperate for different reasons, to stay behind is not an easy choice to make when roads are filled with people going in the opposite direction.

Could draw an obvious parallel between them and life in general, but don't particularly feel like it just now.

Was encouraged hearing stories from the youth in church about their love for one another and how easy it is for them to serve one another - something we can learn from, especially in the workplace!

Listening to testimonies over the weekend from the youth retreat, it occurred to me:

I've met lots of people who've said they'd believe in God if He would just show some proof of Himself,

'if He's so great why doesn't He (insert miracle/sign) or why does He allow (insert disaster/tragedy) to happen?'

Everyone seems to expect God to prove Himself, leaves the onus on Him, that way, if we do end up going to hell, its all going to be His fault.

From what I've heard over the weekend, God DOES reveal Himself, to those who are REALLY SEARCHING for Him.

Whether its wondering 'where is God in my life', or determining in his heart to go to church 'to find out if God is really who people say He is', or 'because I study sociology, asking questions about the Bible and making myself doubt'.

In some ways, its like looking at 2 pictures:

a kid who says 'can i have ice-cream' and then goes off and plays with his toy train set.

a kid who's looking for his chocolate/ice-cream fix, who goes around and begs,cries,pleads,cajoles 'why can't I have ice-cream?' 'when can i eat?'

I'd definitely find the 2nd kid more irritating, but there's no doubting the desire he's showing.

All roads lead to God.

Listening to the testimonies, I wouldn't say that statement is wrong, its more of our attitude, our desire, our sincerity as we walk our respective roads.

Just thinking..

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I Shouldn't Be Putting This On I Suppose....


I got paid!!!

For the first time in my life, I earned something!


Monday, August 25, 2008

Lord, keep him safe.

When someone goes missing, one fears the worst. And I only just heard the news.

Yet hope never really fades.

Spare a moment to keep Yi Jien in prayer, guys.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Chronicles of a Confused Doctor 4

My first death yesterday of a patient under my team. Followed by my first death certificate filling-in today. Didn't get to certify death however, though I actually went through the process with another house officer.

Came out to find that a registrar had already certified death a couple of hours earlier. Think the nurse who got me to do it just wanted me to learn.

On call tmrw from 9am to 10pm on Sat and Sun. So no real weekend for me. Plus the distinct horror cum excitement at holding the crash bleep on one of the two days. Going to have to read the Advanced Life Support Guidelines tonight to jog my memory of when to give adrenaline, and when to not shock the patient.

Here's hoping my worst fear tomorrow is worrying my pants will fall down due to the 2 bleeps I'll be carrying.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Chronicles of a Confused Doctor 3

Two days and I've missed a post already!

Got up a little more confident on my 2nd day, went in and got stuff ready for a registrar ward round. Morning went fairly well, had my first consultant ward round close to lunch, which didn't really count, as we only saw 5 patients.

1 of whom was pretty interesting; she was nice to talk to, and pretty healthy in herself, but was suspected to have a fairly ominous inflammation of the blood vessels.

Went for teaching late, we need to fill in forms to say that we can ask patients for consent. It seems as if our life will be filling in plenty of forms from now on.

Afternoon saw me getting interrupted with doing ward jobs by a relative of a patient who wanted me to see him because he was worried. Its a sad indication of how jaded I am that I was immediately thinking of how this would all be a case of reassuring the patient and his relatives that all was well, and that the worst thing that could happen was that I'd finish later than usual.

It turned out to be a suspicious sounding account of chest pain, that led to more and more tests and resulted in me handing the patient over to the house officer on call for nights. Just goes to show, I guess.

Friday was by comparison the most free day I'd had. Highlight was getting all my bloods and cannulas in without a hitch. And also that we chipped in to help one another finish on time (well, an hour later, but still...) and being able to head to the pub across the road for a well earned drink and a gabble about the 3 days of work.

'This feels like the first weekend I've earned in 4 years'

A good lie in tmrw...sounds just what I need:-)

Thanks for your prayers, and to the various people in UK starting their first week, well done for surviving!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Chronicles of a Confused Doctor 2

Woke up feeling nothing like wanting to start work. Bed was warm, it was raining outside, etc.

Arrived and was asked to prescribe morphine to a patient. Blur. Patient was left off it due to worries that it would suppress his respiration. Compromised by prescribing another painkiller and promised to come back.

Arrived in time to start a ward round with a ST doc who happened to be Malaysian. Both of us being new to the ward, the round took longer than usual, the most irritating thing being that my network password refused to work.

Finished nearly at 1pm, did a couple of blood gases, missed the first and wasn't too convinced by my 2nd attempt, but the machine read it, so wasn't too put out. Took off for 45mins and missed my 2nd ward round which I was convinced would start later.

Came in halfway, the consultant was pretty good about it. Had a ton of ward jobs to complete after that, mostly mundane stuff like drug prescriptions for pts to go home with.

Most exciting point of the day was being bleeped for a patient whose potassium levels had gone up for apparently no reason. Took and sent off a repeat blood test and promised I would review the ECG results. Was pretty certain that the Twaves looked higher especially when comparing to prev ECGs but the reg wasn't convinced.

When the results came back, the levels were even higher than what had been before. Technically I knew what to do, but wasn't convinced about writing stuff down, so had to bleep the reg and confirm treatment to bring potassium levels down. Found the hospital formulary to be a great help.

Drug round time came around, and because 3 of us house officers on the ward had been busy doing other jobs, and had not rewritten drug cards, the medicine round by the nurses ground to a halt while the 3 of us sat in a corner and frantically rewrote the cards.

Ended up going back a couple of hours later than usual. Chances are tmrw will be even more hectic.

To do:
- sort out network password
- Read up on pulmonary function test requesting and indications (what have i been doing for the last 5 years??)


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Chronicles of a Confused Doctor 1

So tmrw is the day we'll be let loose on the wards.

Have decided to try to keep a day by day account of sorts, no telling how regular I'll be with the posts though.

Had a talk about our portfolios today; never realised how much there is to do apart from managing patients. Where we are going to find the time to do audits, present cases at rounds, write up papers I don't really know.

Weird: The night before, we went out to meet the doctors from whom we'd be taking over the wards from. Excused myself to the loo, where I proceeded to do number 1 to the strains of Star Wars: A New Hope. Seriously, who pipes in a movie to their toilets?

Anyway, more on the first day after it happens. And if anyone can spare a prayer for me, I'll be grateful:-)

Monday, August 04, 2008

The Eagle Has Landed

Now, at the end, only is it clear.

I am going to be a doctor, for real.

Accepting the fact took a while.

I'd still much rather :
- be more prepared
- have another week of lying in

But in the end, I;m still looking forward to Wednesday.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Induction week

'Whats that test you do for ppl you suspect have an MI? Some cardiac enzyme....not amylase...?'

'Yup, like that Ventouse family.' 'You mean Von Trapp family?'

'What would you like to do for this patient?'................'I'd like to investigate him.'

'Hi, I'm Jonathan. Oh, you're doing medicine too? Brilliant! Er, are you up for swopping on calls?'

And meeting a whole group of people whom I've never met before, there must be at least 60 of us Foundation Year 1 doctors starting in the Royal Liverpool University Hospital this August, a period of time known as the F1 phenomenon, where patient admissions drop, and mortality rates go up. Fun fun fun.

AT least I'm not on call first week.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Just wondering

With the start of work, comes responsibility, trepidation, and the slight regret of not being able to sleep til 10am every morning.

WII is fun to play, but for some reason I'm not very good at it. Don't think I'd like one for myself though - still prefer PC.

The Dark Knight was as good as the reviews painted it. Heath Ledger was unpredictably scary as the Joker, and while the last 45 mins went by too fast to really make sense to me, it was thrilling enough not to matter.

Prince Caspian was not as good for me, simply because of how much it deviated from the book. Having said that, it did keep me entertained for the duration, and was definitely more action-packed and climactic than the first one.

Whenever I hear a line in a movie that echoes the book word-for-word, shivers run up my spine. I think that's because those are the books I wanted the most to be brought to life. And that what I'm seeing onscreen will from that point on BE what I imagine the book to look like.

I need to pass my driver's license soon. GBP100 is way too much to throw away.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Madrid 08

The inside of the bull-ring
The botanical gardens

A long overdue post about our trip to Madrid in...sometime near Easter!

Ai Lee (also a doctor now) joined us from Msia, together with Jack and HP, the 4 of us set out to see the sights of Madrid with Lonely Planet as our guide. Besides Madrid, we explored the towns of Segovia (known for its castle, upon which the iconic Disneyland Sleepy Beauty castle was modeled) and Toledo (a old walled city apparently home to previous kings of Spain).

Above one of the castles in Segovia.
Countryside view from the castleAqueduct in Segovia built without cement

Madrid itself was ok. Like any other large city, it had a certain fammiliar feel. Its divided into various districts, and has many squares dotted around the city. If you've watched the film Vantage Point, you;d have seen one such square.
Plaza Mayor

The food was interesting in that we had tapas for nearly every meal (when we weren't having paella). They are small-ish dishes that accompany drinks, and range from baby eels to ham to blue cheese to roast pork. It didn't help that many of the places we went to seemed to have inhabitants that spoke mainly spanish, leaving us to guess at which dishes to order. Having sangria constantly kept us in a good mood however.

Museo de Jamon - Museum of Ham
Baby eels
Sangria with lots of fruits in
Bits of ham - they keep these for years at a time before serving
Cocido - a peasant sort of stew

The flamenco dancing and the bull-ring were interesting, but what kept us going back for a few nights was the churros con chocolate. Looking and tasting a lot like yau char kueh, you dipped it in chocolate that came piping hot in bowls and ate it before the crispyness disappeared. Nice stuff. Together with coffee ice -cream (thats ice cream with hot coffee poured over) which is served in every establishment including McD's, that kept us going throughout the day.

Where we had...
These bad boys ! Churros
Flamenco at Cardamomo
Las Ventas - the largest bull-ring in Spain

The rest of the time was spent wandering around gardens and parks, and avoiding unsavoury characters by pretending to be couples out on a holiday.

Our trip ended with us getting detained at Liverpool airport for fear we were terrorists, but other than that, the journey was uneventful. Barcelona seems to be a must-visit still.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Sunday, May 11, 2008

It doesn't get said often enough..

Thanks for the last 25 years, ma.
See you in June!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

I think they call this a plug

Its been a busy week, but finally, Bank Holiday weekend is here!

While on my morning surfing rounds, I stopped by some blogs that I'd not visited in a while , and this is what I've found.

3 friends have started off their own company...behold...


Had a look at their site, I think its pretty cool, and that the reasoning behind it is pretty sound - I mean, clothing being a great platform for making a statement, not to mention that t-shirts are a staple in hot Malaysia.

Plus, these guys are a testament of taking what they believe in into the marketplace, and being another influence in the mainstream media.

Have a look, especially if you're back home:-)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Today was good

For myself, to start off the week, Isa 40:28-31 was a good reminder. Embodied in the form of the song 'Everlasting God' which we sang today, the lyrics speak for themselves.

Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord....

The chorus is particularly uplifting:

You are the everlasting God
The everlasting God
You do not faint
You won't grow weary
You're the defender of the weak
You comfort those in need
You lift us up on wings like eagles.

Its a much-used passage, but it rings true time and again. Something to hold on to on busy nights on call, or while waking up to the prospect of another day at work.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Happy holidays

I've always said that one of the nicest feelings one can get is when you wake up and realise its the beginning of the holidays.

Having said that, its early, and we're off to Madrid for a much-awaited break.

Had a good dinner with Ai Lee and the rest in Philharmonic last night. From now on, its tapas all the way! With the odd churros y chocolate thrown in!

In the meantime, because its not likely to stay forever on my hard drive, here's a photo of Jack practising his endoscopy skillz.
Random is good.

Here's hoping Madrid's weather will be kind to us.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


This is a nice big picture of the Mount of Olives. Where Jesus spent a lot of time with His Father.

Its relevant for a couple of reasons. I gave a talk to the youth in church on Sunday about 'Learning To Be A Leader' and this picture was involved. To those of you who answered my leadership survey questions, many thanks! A number of them responded to the call to increase their sphere of influence and to be open to leading in various areas in the future. All by God's grace of course, as the powerpoint kept failing on me, and my words were rough at the best of times.

The picture is also relevant as I'm considering getting a camera to replace my 3 year old Pentax Optio which was stolen last summer while I was back in Malaysia. I've been relying on my Samsung 2mp camera phone to provide quick shots, but lately I've realised I'm not as keen to take photos as before. Which may be a good thing, but it means less things remembered. So I'm considering a new digital compact.

If I had the cash, the Ixus 860IS would be great, but since I don't, I'm looking at the Panasonic Lumix FX-35 or FX-30. Both not top of the range or the newest, but they have enough megapixels (8 i think) to keep me happy, plus the draw of the 28mm lens for more panoramic shots is very tempting. Also looking at the Ricoh Caplio R7, which also has the above features, is cheap, but apparently is pretty noisy (and not talking picture noise here) in operation. All of the above can be had for around GBP150 which translates to about RM1k, and I realise its probably a lot cheaper in Msia, but hey, I can't be buying stuff and shipping them overseas forever.

Anyone with any experience of using the above cameras? Would be glad to hear from you and also from anyone with more suggestions of cameras around that price range.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


Some new research has come to light recently...being a soon-to-be doctor, I heartily urge all interested people to read this article from the British Medical Journal.

Being slightly tech-conscious, I know a techie wonder when I see one. Anyone looking for a new laptop, consider this Airbook from Logitech.

WoW fans, check out this ad for the latest expansion!

An update to the Starcraft 2 new unit roster: the Tauren Marine!

Finally, if you're still interested, here's a link to the history behind it all...

Saturday, March 29, 2008


Just had the busiest Easter of my life. Started off with a plan to act out the much-copied skit based on Lifehouse's Everything. This eventually evolved over a month, into a mini-musical with two main characters who sang and mimed rather than acted their way through a storyline that involved the obligatory non-Christian finally realising the meaning of Easter.

We tried our best to stay away from stereotypes; the non-Christian being involved in classic 'bad' behaviour eg drinking, illicit sex, drugs, the lot. The Christian, on the other hand, would typically be a 'good person' and hold a whopping great Bible.

Didn't really work the way we wanted it the end, we settled for a typical picture of a uni student's life (henceforth A)- studying, messing about on his laptop, playing sports, going out pubbing at night, hanging out with a close-knit group of friends, one of whom recently had become a Christian (B).

Songs used were Switchfoot's This Is Your Life (in which A challenges B as to whether she wants to spend the rest of her life trusting blindly in an invisible God) and If Only, written ages ago by Jin for a youth musical back home.

Btw, Jin, everyone who heard the song thought it was very well written.

It was fun, working with a group of 6 to make this work, something which I haven't done in a while.

Easter weekend saw me preparing also to lead on Sunday morning, which was a combined service. A first time for everything, including leading congregations of English and Chinese people into worship, and singing hymns, something I'm very grateful for my Methodist background and all those hours in front of the piano with just Joel on the drums back home!

Easter weekend was completed on Monday, which saw us catching the first day of the North England Easter Conference in Wales, which our church was in charge of organizing. True to form, our preparations for 'teambuilding games' were last minute, but thankfully still worked.

Its hard, I suppose, not to bond, while thinking of integrating movie quotes such as 'You jump, I jump' or 'Luke, I'm your fatherrr' with the Prodigal Son story, or the Jonah story. Considering NEEC this year had people of all ages mixing around in groups, it was great to see them participating equally in everything that went on.

This weekend, just passed my theory driving test, and have taken the rest of the day off. It's like being in the eye of a hurricane, as I'm looking at my list of things to do, and I've crossed off less than half of them.

Btw, my rotations which I've received for my first year as a doctor: Respiratory(most of which I've forgotten), Clinical Pharmacology (sounds scary), Urology and Colorectal Surgery.

*UPDATE: just a bit of fun - Wey Chung uploaded some of the NEEC group parable-cum-movie quotes-sessions up on his blog, if you don't mind a long streaming time:-)

Thursday, March 27, 2008


This is it...the movie that scared me when I was still in shorts, that stopped me frequenting beaches, and is probably the reason why I'm such a rubbish swimmer...

Saturday, March 22, 2008


Siew Lee, this was supposed to be a 'revenge tag'?


1) What is your favourite movie?
Lord Of The Rings, definitely.The only movie which I was genuinely eager to seemore than once. Helps that I like the book too.

2) Who is your favourite singer?
Don't know many. It used to be Michael W Smith butI think I don't really have a fav one now. Listen to whoever that sounds vaguely interesting.

3) Which song gets you grooving in the morning?
Cornflakes gets me up, coffee keeps me awake. Anything else makes me grumpy.

4) What is your favourite fruit?
Mandarin oranges. Pears when they're just getting soft and sweet. And this fruit which I always eat when I'm back home. I'm not actually sure what its called; its red-purplish and knobbly on the outside, but inside its small seeds surrounded by sweet white flesh which is great just taken out chilled from the fridge.

5) Who is your best friend (excluding your family)?
I can't think of any at the moment, sadly. Which doesn't mean I'm an antisocial monster, just means I have good friends in a number of places and at different times of my life.

6) Name one activity you would like to indulge in, in your free time.
Sleep sounds really good, especially this past week. only? Right now, it'd be relaxing with a good movie in front of my laptop.

7) When was the last time you laughed so hard till your sides hurt?
Must have been one of the random conversations we had when all of us housemates in Liverpool are together in one room. We tend to have better and more witty conversations then...maybe its because we dont gather together as much as we used to.

8.) Do you recall your last dream?
Not the specifics. It wasn't a pleasant dream I recall, and involved death and dying(not me but someone else) in a weird sort of way. Was quite glad when I woke up.

9) What is your all-time favourite hobby?
Reading. Though I haven't done much of it recently.

10) When was your last holiday without the children?
When I get children I'll tell you. My last holiday was probably Christmas back home in Malaysia. Next one: Madrid!

Sunday, March 09, 2008


This week I submitted my choices for programmes that I would like to do during my 1st year as a doctor.

A decision I had to make was whether to choose the more traditional general medical/surgical rotations or whether to plump for the infectious diseases/paeds/upper GI rotation. My big worry was that I wouldn't have enough general medical experience had I gone down that road, however I was curious enough to consider it seriously as I had always had a sneaking interest in ID.

Speaking to various docs, and hearing from different people, I decided against it eventually, and decided on rotations that I hoped would give the widest range of experience. Diabetes, geriatric medicine and haematology were the only ones I ruled out.

Time will tell which rotations I finally end up with.

I also did for the first time, a formal hour's teaching with 2nd year med students.

I really think the guys/girls whom i had knew way more than I knew back then. How many 2nd years would know to test stroke patients for Factor 5 Leiden? It became more of a interactive discussion session on stroke (which was the topic I was given), and I brought them to see a patient so they could practice their exam skills. I hope I didn't go wrong anywhere, but I think it was fair to say they were checking on me all the girl had her text book open most of the time:-)

Easter is fast approaching ....what with the outreach, and NEEC and my theory driving test after, I'll be the busiest I've been for the whole year.

Looking forward to a holiday in Spain for my next reflection week...time to start saving!

We officially graduate on Friday 4th of July!

So I'll be able to make it for grad ball on the 28th of June, then down to London to welcome the Parents!

Things are falling into place...


"Where your treasure is, there your heart is also...not the other way around"

Monday, March 03, 2008


Have been looking for this video by John Reuben for a while.

A busy week ahead, where I have to learn Microsoft Excel, read up for a teaching session on Wed, get a speaker for student fellowship next Friday, hear from various fellowship leaders (hopefully) re NEEC '08 all while juggling my rotation work and an audit on mortality rates post-endoscopy, which is why I'm learning Excel in the first place.

Joseph tmrw - I'm expecting great things!

"The best way to kill wisdom is to keep talking."

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Ate a large pizza for lunch and I'm still full.

My room is feeling cold, but i'm sure its not just me.


I have a list of things to buy once i start working, not sure how much thought was put into it:
- food processor
- desktop computer
- keyboard (not the computer kind)

I'm sure there was more, but these are all i can think of for now.

Alternatively, I could spend my money on:
- paying council taxes, bills
- getting insane amounts of insurance
- registering with every other medical organization
- setting aside for exams/courses

What I really should be spending money on, in light of the future:
- Stocks and bonds
- Swiss bank account
- anywhere that'll beat the current inflation rate should i leave the country in future as i probably will have to do in light of the crazy regulations they keep putting up every now and again.

I really do need some form of economic accountability - that definitely needs sorting out.


Programme choices are here at last, along with a note for accomodation as a foundation year 1 doctor. GBP 352 a month....wonder what that includes. works out to about GBP 90 a week....sigh. Still, I'd be near the hospital.


Want to go watch the All-England Badminton Championships but cash flow dictates I should focus on things nearer my heart.


I was at a friend of a friend's memorial service yesterday. Held in a Catholic church, close to a 100 medical students of all years attended. It was a first for me: seeing yearmates in a church setting, and seeing how death and remembering those that had passed on brought people together albeit briefly.

A quartet sang 'Run' by Snowpatrol. Slideshows of his time spent in the hockey team, on stage and as a hospital partner were shown. I wonder if anyone else was struck by a sense of their own mortality that night.


No disclaimer needed I trust.

Opportunities abound, they just need grabbing.

"For a self-proclaimed dreamer, you are incredibly inward-looking and hard to wake."

Thursday, February 28, 2008


We had an earthquake recently, which received minimum coverage.

Was listening to music when I felt the house shake. Not too much, but the fluid level in my alarm clock was moving, so it wasn't me suddenly developing resting tremors. Brought me back to the time I thought I was shaking my legs a little too violently, back in Vista Komanwel. This time around, I thought it was a lorry passing by our house, which is by the main road. Maybe I just like normalizing events.

Have just started a gastroenterology rotation at the Royal Liverpool Hospital, where I'll be working come August.

Proof that patients say all sorts while you do stuff to them:
- Had a conversation about ferrets today, discussing the relative merits of having one as a pet.
- Discussed my career path options, and why I chose medicine in the first place.
- Had people compliment me on my Liverpool accent.
- Another discussion on my views of marriage.

Other thoughts taking up brain space include:

NEEC '08, which I should really have paid more attention to before this. Ernest from church is doing his level best to organize things and I've finally decided to get on board. Trying to contact fellowship leaders from different churches, though a tad late, but hopefully things will get moving soon.

Easter outreach, in which I've had tons of time to think, but am afraid to act on my thoughts. Every single thing I thought of, I'm afraid to do, as it seems so ambitious. We're set on doing a short skit and a song so far, though.

I find myself questioning why I do things now. Something I should have started doing a lot earlier in life.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

David and Goliath

This is old news by now, with Novak Djokovic winning the Aussie Open 2008 but I'm amazed every time an underdog (though in this case, Djokovic is no one's canine) snatches a win away from the jaws of the mighty Guy-Who-Wins-Every-Match (Federer in this case).

Brilliant serves under pressure, brave shotmaking into the corners, and unforced errors are the name of the game here. Not particularly the best tiebreaker I've watched, but considering the result, I'm happy.

One more for the underdogs!

Though I have to say, I'm happy to see Federer is every inch the sportsman people claim him to be.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Will's Lullaby

Joshua Radin - Everything's Gonna Be Alright.

For Dr Tan Cher Han, who reads this space to go to sleep:-)

Monday, February 04, 2008

Church, Crime, Culture, Comedy

A rather jagged month. Hospital is still consuming days, where I'm becoming increasingly integrated into the role of a doctor, so much so its scary. I get plucked out of ward rounds to write discharge letters, to prescribe fluids and to answer calls from departments I never knew existed. Needless to say, most of the time I'm pretty clueless. Having witnessed my total inadequacy, I'll be very surprised if anyone in the Acute Medical Unit welcomes me with open arms should I get to work in the Royal.

Speaking of which, most of us around UK in our final year know where we're going to work come August 08. Except us applying into Merseyside. Should know any day now I guess. Not sure exactly how many of us got what we wanted/expected/thought we deserved, but in the words of Ed, life's like that.

Liverpool is the capital of culture this year. Not of England, or UK, but of Europe. Meaning it encapsulates the grandeur of Paris, Rome, Berlin, and just about every other superstar city in Europe in terms of culture.To that end, weird stuff seems to be happening. Like as I was walking to town last Saturday, this parade was happening, and everyone I talked to had no idea what it was about.

Watched a stand-up comedy as part of a friend's bday-going out-getting pissed routine. The comedians were very much like what one would see in youtube, only they focussed on Liverpool culture, sex, Liverpool people, and the Liverpool accent. Had a pretty good time, all things considered. The atmosphere was pretty intimate, with people clustered around small tables facing a small stage, and a bar at the rear end of the room. Good crowd interaction was the order of the day, with the noisy people getting singled out by the host of the evening. Jack's interested now, so we might have another comedy evening out sometime soon.

Walking back from the event, I passed by a couple wearing hoodies. Unwittingly caught a whiff of their conversation which consisted of the guy saying "....where's the rest of your five hundred?" Pausing for a minute to look back, the girl seemed pretty much at ease, not tense at all. Was wondering whether to stop and observe further, but decided against it. Afterwards was running through possible scenarios - she could have been mugged, or she could have been buying drugs from him, or.... Upon discussion with other people much much later on, I concluded that in future, should the same situation occur, I will:

1. Stand at a respectful distance
2. Pretend to be talking into my mobile phone
3. Yell or call the necessary authorities if necessary (which i could do with the mobile anyway)

Ken Lee, a John Moore's graduate in mechanical engineering, flew back to Malaysia for a holiday and to celebrate CNY before planning to come back and work. We sent him off with a (of all things) dim sum brunch at MeiMei's, incidentally the first time we'd eaten there as a group in weeks.

Read Max Lucado's 3:16 over the weekend, when I really should have been doing my report on pulmonary embolism. I havent read any of his books in a long, long while. He always writes great stuff, starting with his page of dedications, in which he never fails to mention his family, particularly his wife, in the most affectionate terms. The book itself dissected John 3:16 (yes, from the bible) word by word, devoting a whole chapter to each. There was a particularly good chapter on Hell, which according to him, does not get mentioned often enough nowadays, compared to when Jesus was around (apparently 13% of his ministry comprised talking about hell at some point).

If anyone is in Liverpool, has a thirst for reading, and has access to a Wesley Owen outlet, they have this great book called Spread The Word, which consists of chapters taken from books by various authors. Its meant to be a taster for the different books, in the hope you'll be attracted to buy them at discounted rates. And its free. Max's 3:16 is in there too. Not sure if this is available in all Wesley Owen stores around UK, but its around till April 08 at least.

Wow, that took long. I'll leave the 'church' bit for a later post then.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Things I must do

Catch up with more people, the world over.

Buy a international calling card.

Love others not only by obligation, or in words.

Developing an intimate r'ship with God.

Plan my written driving test date.

Finish reading the Advanced Life Support book before the assessment date.

Watch Joshua's cd on the PDA Christian.

Set a date for planning the rest of the term with the student fellowship.

Start jamming sessions on Sat mornings.

Some things only get done when I write them out, flesh them out as it were. Gosh, its true, I AM more task-oriented than I thought.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

wednesday night

sOMETIMES I wonder if I'm cut out for a medical life. I know, I'm a final year and any doubts should have disappeared by now. Plus, the money's alright. And I'm saving lives. What more could anyone want?

I don't know.

Seeing how different people handle their working environment, I wonder how and where I'd stand.

In the short space of time I've been working at the Royal, I've observed doctors who come to work with a nice comment for everyone, even the grumpy patients and the gawky med students. I've seen docs who just get the job done, keeping their heads down. I've observed docs complaining about the system, bitching about other docs behind their backs, and generally raining on everyone else's parade.

I've been in ward rounds where the juniors gather to hear the disastrous medicolegal ramifications of another doc's mistakes, in other rounds where consultants complain the juniors are not working as hard as they used to 'in their day', and in yet other rounds where the consultants hardly say a word.

Working at what I enjoy, dealing with grateful patients, cleverly diagnosing what is wrong based on clear clinical signs/symptoms and initiating treatment quickly; that was what I saw medicine to be when I signed up.

Working late, dealing with patients who refuse to keep to the point, who are unhappy/agitated, and whose clinical signs don't match up and with treatment that doesn't go according to plan, that's what I see.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not depressed, neither am I disillusioned.

I'm just wondering what kind of person I'll turn out to be down the road.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Back In Liverpool

I just had a guy spit faecal vomit over me as I was helping my SHO put in a nasogastric tube. Granted, he had dementia, and therefore he was allowed to act like that. But all over my black animal tie! It's making a stronger case for me not to wear ties to work now.

I came into Acute Medical Unit rotation expecting it to be similar to A&E which I finished before Christmas. I'm now finding it to be very ward-based, at least, my half of the unit seems so anyway. Morning ward rounds for the past week has seen me play the role of a house officer, with a single SHO to boss me around. The learning curve has been steep, and I've made mistakes I've been dreading as a medical student already (identification mistakes, ordering bloods for the wrong patients, communicating things I shouldn't have). I'd be feeling really bad now if not for my SHO, who is really supportive and helpful (not in the least in taking his share of the blame!).

Learned the importance of making lists, and reading up patient notes before rounds and having the results to hand. Basic ward-medicine, not what I expected from this rotation at all! I've not clerked in new patients since the start of the week at all, which I should really get around to doing next week.

A retreat for the students is being planned for the end of January. All the way in West Yorkshire, the theme is on Renewal, with the verse being John 10:10. Great things are going to happen.

In the near future: driving tests, ALS assessments (finally!) and a possible holiday!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

What I've Been up to 4

Christmas time at home, my first in 2 years, was good.

Back in Sitiawan, MYF Musical 2008 was coming around, and to my surprise, involved what seemed like everyone, from the adults to the Sunday School kids.

Met up with some of the IMU bunch at the Curve, not having been there before.

ECF's Christmas outreach was a great idea, and even with all that done, they still had time to pull off 'Conversations With Catherine', a talk show on how God came through for 3 different groups of people.

Met up with more IMU people after that.

Back in Sitiawan, Christmas dinner with family. Some changes this year, but helping out at the Hotel brought back memories of younger and happier days.

Went for a friend's wedding, a rarity for me, being so far away most of the time. Was good catching up with ACS people at supper, after church, and at the dinner.

Back to the grindstone again...still jetlagging. Sigh.