Tuesday, November 13, 2007

pleasant surprises leave me gushing...

with all the hype about censorship on blogs, it's a real blessing that im so self centred that i blog only about myself! hehe

well, it's tuesday... today my weekend starts...
i've been stressing quite badly over my OSCEs, it was at the end of a 6 week surgical rotation and while last term we had a long case, for me, osces are waaaaay worse. im not a showperson, i can't feign confidence in something i dont know. put me on a stage like a school's perhimpunan or such, and it wont be a problem, im not required to know stuff, thats why it's so bad. the long case allows me to go over it many many times, and even pose questions like "eh bang, liver abang besar tak? doktor kata abang kuning tak?' with a huge smile on my face! hehe but a lot of good that did last time.
back to my point... OSCEs allow us 5 mins to make an impression of knowing our stuff, to pick out sign(s). no matter how much u can read about how to measure the liver span, or how to approach a patient, it wont help. the scary vascular station had mr kevin who impressed a lot upon me, and it's like being part of his gang, having a eurasian mother. thankfully, his was our last ward teaching and that made his much talked about station so do-able! the end was so rewarding!

so i thought i could rest easy, after stressing out all the pimples on my face... alas it was not to be. i've been having very severe abdominal distension postprandial, it lasts for about an hour and it hurts so badly, i can only lie prone. or supine. it makes it hard to me to eat anything other than yoghurt or fruits. even then it still distends. and hey, that diet hasnt made me lose weight. to the contrary actually. hehe but it worried my mother to the point of nagging me almost every hour and she succeeded in getting ME worried. so there went my weekend.

on the way back to penang, my bus broke down and we were left stranded for 3 hrs!

then yesterday i approached another surgeon whom i really admire, mr tan in the endoscopic room and he decided to scope me immediately.so i was left to be processed, but no one seemed to know what to do, so i sat around doing nothing for an hour. then when i finally plucked up the courage and pasted on an extra layer of extra thick skin, i get my history taken and consent form. mr prem whom i've always been very openly frightened of came and insisted on scoping me himself, immediately. and he was pleasantly surprisingly kind. so kind, it was the kind of treatment i expected in a private hospital. he actually went "all right sarah, dont worry, you're doing fine girl..." mr tan came over to see what was wrong. and i've been diagnosed with oesophagitis and gastritis. hehe he warned me off coffee (i dont even drink coffee!), drugs (yeah right!), alcohol... hehe perhaps the fact that i have gastritis gives them the illusion that im properly stressed out the way a medical student ought to be. when in reality i think it's the chili padi i like to eat with whatever i cook, the super spicy thai food... i dont think i deserve to be afforded 'stress induced gastritis'. hehe but im on medication, and mr prem said it shud resolve in no less than 8 weeks.
im just hoping for a normal stomach by christmas!

i've counted down to christmas already. planning what gifts to get those dearest to me...

well, as i was saying, now that my OSCEs and my distension are settled, im finally breathing a sigh of relief... thank God He brought me through it all with more strength than i ever deemed myself capable of!

Monday, September 17, 2007

home is where the heart is

The expression has been circulating for ages, and it’s cropped up pretty frequently especially the countless times I’ve missed home when I was in Dublin…
One would think being in penang would, if not cure, at least half the longing to be home. After all I get to go back forthnightly, if not, every three weeks. That’s way better than making it home once a year.
But maybe it’s because I’ve completed my overseas stint that I bounded myself to when I signed away 17 years of my life (2 yrs A levels + 5 yrs med school + 10 years government service). Now that im in penang, I thought I’d be even closer to home. I used to cry every time I left home, at the airport, but one could explain it away and say airports are highly strung places, or they release tear gas or whatever, but now, there are certain times I still cry when leaving home.

Proof 1
Last June, my darling sister came back from India, and the whole family planned a weekend trip to Singapore as coincidentally my mother needed to be there for something. I ‘fasted’ from going home for 3 weeks I think, cause I needed to skip a Friday, to reach KL in time to make our drive to Singapore. I had so so much fun… I usually need to make trips home to recharge and not sink into depression here. At the end of the trip, my parents dropped me off at the airport and I flew to penang. So I never stepped foot at home. But being with my family was more than enough to recharge me, fill me with love, and save Penang ppl from the horrible mood swings of sarah-jane…

Proof 2
The earthquakes and their 30 odd aftershocks seem to be a mighty big manifestion, an explosive tip of the iceberg. The environmental changes are way more vast, could be as a result of the earthquake or just something that occurred concurrently… Either way, it’s poured for many days here in Penang. The traffic jams have been massive. The drive back from college that would normally take 2 mins took 20 mins on the past two Fridays I wished I was home.. so as a result, I was unable to make it back, it’s a super long story, I bought the tickets and all, but let’s just say I dowan to think about it now. Saturday morning I awoke no longer deprived of sleep, but still so depressed… my mother called me and asked how I was, I was on the verge of tears, and I did actually cry in frustration when my mom hung up.
Then I went to my car at 12 to head out to get some groceries cause I had finished all my food in the fridge, thinking I was headed home… then my mom called and asked what I’d say if they told me they were on their way to Penang… I doubt there was a single soul happier than me on earth at that moment. I became like a restless hamster, contained in my room, but oh so so excited. I planned our dinner that night, made the necessary bookings and researched hotels.
My parents arrived and whilst daddy took care of my car, mummy and I headed to sunway hotel to check in. it was a great hotel, we had club privileges and the magical journey didn’t end till the next day. We went to church, a nice dinner, and while there was a slight automobile mishap, we retired that night, tired but I was sooooooo elated. The hotel gave me two mattresses for my extra bed. Mummy and daddy had an oversized-as-advertised king size bed. Only the channels on the hotel tv left anything to be desired. The breakfast the next day was set in an exclusive room that triggered memories of irish bed and breakfasts. It was soooo magical.
My darling brother fell sick and I got to talk to him, and mummy had to rush back to another child that needed her! (I think mummy should be a full time mother again.. we need her too much).
They deposited me at my place around lunch time, and whilst I was longing to go with them, tearing a bit too, Dan needing mummy kept me from whining too much..
I then chatted with my darling sister for a few hours…
At the end of the day, my pms disappeared, I was recharged!
Which only serves to emphasise my point that home wasn’t wangsa melawati, it’s where my heart is. And each family member holds a piece… and it’s theirs for keeps…

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

ah the glamorous...

migraines are a real pain...
i was struck down by pain of the most intensce variety.
Site: whole head with the point of greatest intensity in the centre
Radiation: nowhere really
character: throbbing
onset:came on suddenly at around 3 pm
periodicity: it grew in intensity, intermittent intensity, but never fully goes away
duration: it never went away
severity: for me, it rated a 15 on a decadent scale! at one point, i was paralysed with pain, daring not to move, actually being unable to but then i've never experience colic or labour
aggravating:nothing really
relieving factors: i attempted to bust the pain with 2 ibuprofen, one ponstan, one antihistamine (to induce slumber), charcoal pills, traditional chinese medicine, topical minyak angin, mint lavender oil, and a cold eye patch
associated symptoms: nausea, and loss of appetite

it went away at around midnight but the grogginess kicked in and i slept. right up till 11am.
not really sure if it's migraine, i didnt eat anything out of the ordinary... but could be premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and PMS... im wrung so tight it's gonna be impossible for relief to come...

this holiday has been amazing... my mother and grandmother took on a mission at the start of my holidays to fatten me up and while i am feeling a bit bloated and i dont want to be fat again, it'shard not to relish their efforts. so the sacrificial lamb has been fattened, to be offered to PMC and it's "supremely noble" higher power of medicine. hehe but i've eaten all i wanted to eat, and many many times too!
besides that, i've read books to while time away... i forgot just how magical it is. and to do it on a clear conscience, it's difficult to read on school days, i feel guilty for reading something other than my notes, and i dont wanna read my notes, so i watch my series, after all, we dont have videos to watch.. well except the protocol videos... hehe
and shopped!! that's pretty self explanatory...

one thing i have yet to do, is meet up with friends... im sooooo sorry! it's just the timing's not right, and i have to fit into my friends' busy career-driven schedules that don't allow for much free time, and there's always something... last night i felt the worst. im really pitying my friends for having such a friend like me!

current obsession: criminal minds

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

i kinda miss ireland...

:-) it's been ages since i've updated and actually it isnt because i have nothing to say, or nothing's been happening, it's just i know how boring posts are without photos, so since i havent snapped any photos, or even if i did, it's not with me, i've refrained from blogging. no posts is better than a boring post ya? hehe
today im posting. partly cause i DO have a photo, and also because i realised i do miss ireland. when i came back for good, i told myself i was so happy to have that part of my life over and done with, that i'd treasure the memories but i doubt i'd long for it. that is until my mom started gushing about how she loves dublin though my mummy was there in the heart of winter, when it's the most horrible! for me at least. it hardly snows properly, and by the time it does snow, it's march! and it's so gloomy, the sun doesn't rise till 10 and by 4 it sets! it's gloomy, miserable but i miss it.
and summer just before exams, it's the most horrible time to study. i usually wait till the sun sets, so im not sleepy and i have the silent company of the night... makes me feel more noble! hehe but in ireland it's 10 before the sun sets! by 5.30 the sun is up! so u can imagine just how much studying i do actually get done. but i miss it all the same. the serenity. how everywhere i wanted to go to, was accessible by foot! life was simpler... greener... more beautiful...

but gosh, by no means do i wanna sacrifice my life now for it! hehe im home and while i mostly do housework and feed my brother (my mom works really long hours and there's just too much unnecessary hsework that'd just totally tire my mom more than she needs)... and i read.. hehe it's been years since i've had the chance to sit down with good novels and just read. and read and read... the holiday after i returned from dublin was spent obsessing with figuring out what i'd need in penang. this holiday im free!! oh not to forget, i've been watching Criminal Minds Season 2. im just so in love with Dr Spencer Reid. oh and Agent Aaron Hotchner is mighty cute too, in a brooding kinda way. oh, now i know why i have pimples popping up everywhere! it's the adolescent hormones spiking!

results were out yesterday. no warning, no postponement, just "click here to access your results". hehe no time to panic, no time to pray fervently, to bargain with God. hehe and im really happy with my results. i used to be happy with my results in RCSI but i also thought they just wanted to pass everyone of us, if possible so they wont be stuck with any backlog students, in transition, cause you see, we were kinda stuck in between two systems, the traditional system with accumulative 1st and 2nd professional exams at the end of 1.5 yrs and 3rd year and the new sem-for-sem exam where nothing is expected to be retained longer than that semester.
but in PMC, i dont think they need to pass us. they're not trying to impress anyone with excellent performances, or any board of finance-pool. truly. there's proof to back my conviction, in my mind la! hehe
but bottomline is, im very happy. really... so happy that it's cancelling out my PMS!

so... that's it i guess. hehe

Saturday, February 24, 2007

6 weird things

lorraine tagged me and since she's been so good at updating, i'll layan u ya girl? :-)
i hope the weird things come to me as i type.

Each player of this game starts off by giving 6 weird things about themselves. People who get tagged need to write in a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state the rules clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. After you do that, leave them each a comment letting them know you tagged them and to read your blog.

1. i used to have the compulsion to translate anything and everything the ppl around me say to Malay when i was in Std 1.

2. i was kinda kicked out of kindergarten for talking too much

3. my sister and i were given the option of choosing between ballet and taekwondo, and she chose TKD, so thats how i ended up my awfully broad shoulders stocky built and lack of grace!

4. i like things in as close to its original nature e.g. vanilla ice cream, cadbury milk chocolate, one specific brand for each stuff. but surprisingly, not sushi

5. girls often picture weddings etc but i've never done so, and wouldn't know where to start if given the task! hey, i dont even have a fav flower!

6. i lose my explosive temper very easily, but it subsides VERY fast, and most of the time, i wont remember why i fought with ppl, or why, if they hurt me. gosh, my memory must be very very bad.

6 ppl i tag
1. my brother
2. henrietta albela
3. lionel tessenshon
4. sabrina salleh
5. cynthia lye
6. karen looi
(i think this promises to be very interesting...:-))

Monday, February 05, 2007


i was just abt to liken myself to Cinderella, but then there's no way i can compare to her beauty that caught the eye of the prince. and she has her happy ending too...

the landlady came to inspect our apartment yesterday and wow, i thought i had already slaved over the kitchen and the bathroom, cleaning to make it presentable. little did i know that she plans to collect damage compensation for any and everything thing that isn't in pristine condition, exactly the way we got it. and when we moved in, we had new everything! from a laser beam cooking top, to a whole new bathroom. and while i understand she wants to ensure her property's in tip top condition, but is it really reasonable to expect the oven and stove and bathroom to be per brand new? how can one live in a place and have everything restore in MINT condition? sigh...
so armed with a bleach spray, i went around my room wiping all surfaces, then i scrubbed. and scrubbed. and scrubbed.
the stove top (which is the latest technology so it's a flat top, like really FLAT and smooth), and the oven. :-) the stove's 98% clean, and im happy! :-) but the oven has me beat.
kinda felt like sandpapering our woodwork in ERT back in school days...

and Cinderella could sing and she really didnt seem to be putting any energy or elbow work into scrubbing la...

Sunday, February 04, 2007

stephen's green...

as u can see, first lay san and i went around stephen's green to take photos cause thats what we did when we first arrived. though the latter was with limy poileng and nal. :-) but we had fun. encountered characters who just cant take photos la. one lady had the camera held close to her face, so the display screen was facing us, with her eye magnified! but i did approach this good looking guy, who took a good photo of us! hehe even laysan agreed he was a 'good choice', not so much for his photography skills as himself. hehe in the end we were setting the timer and resorting to snapping photos for each other!
met up with thanesh at the dome. really appreciate his meeting up with us, esp since he was scheduled to fly off 3 hrs after that! gonna miss that guy.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

battle of emotions...

i wish i could blog more. thing is, either i blog about everything, and all the time, or only abt the odd interesting event, occasionally...

in less than two weeks, i'm headed back. for good. no more cosy little apartment, no more short sunday masses, no more tea at Dome, no more Moore street, no more Stephen's Green.
but i'm crazy excited to be headed home, the place i've missed for most of the past two months.
and frankly, im sooooooo exhausted to having to responsible over every little detail of my life. ever since my exam ended, i've had sleepless nights wondering about settling my apartment, getting my return ticket, closing bank accounts, getting my shopping done, packing and hoping i dont exceed the weight limit, and trying to squeeze re-experiencing everything i feel im going to miss here in dublin. i'm a huge worry-wort, i never knew it was this bad. money becomes so precious when i have to count and keep track of everything. it's at times like this that i wish i had a boyfriend who could and would handle everything for me! (this comment would probably be my downfall and would lead to my failure to ever avail of a boyfriend! hehe so next time i whine abt being single, refer me to this post k?

i had lunch with Sze-Ann and Cynthia today(really going to miss them both.they've really been indispensable support esp during exams. save for my mummy's voice, seniors who truly understand what im experiencing cause they've been thru it themselves, and in combo with prayers, is the perfect remedy for panic attacks!).
met up with Naren and Shanthiny before they left for their hols. Have only managed one outing with Kenneth. Supposed to meet up with PoiLeng, Thanesh, Lorraine,Sharon,Nabil&Tika, JunMay WanJean DarVin co when they get back from their hols too. there's so little time, and so many ppl im gonna regret not meeting up with if i dont.

i dreamt of school today. i rmbr counting my lucky stars every morning. seeing my friends in school used to motivate me to go to school, and it really made waking up so much easier! it amazed me how almost all the ppl who make up my entire universe could be found in one location. we were all contained in this small area. how easy things were. everyone was there. then during SPM. when the exams commenced, i used to pause in awe and amazement that at that exact moment, thousands of ppl my age all over malaysia were all sitting at desks, about to start the exact same exam! it made the battle less menacing knowing we were all united in that fight.

NOW, everyone's scattered everywhere, like there was an explosion and the wind blast blew everyone everywhere, some burrowed into the smallest and most isolated nooks and cranies in the world. it's like my heart has been torn to pieces and the pieces traced my ppl who have crossed paths with me in my life.
i so wanted to visit London one last time, see my best friend. cause the next time i return, i'd probably be an old hag, wishing i visited London in my prime so i can wear nice boots and take nice pictures by the famous landmarks. instead my wrinkly face would so spoil photos of London!

Gracie's grand ball's coming up. she's gonna wear an Irish import dress! courtesy of her sister who loves her so mch that she sacrificed her very very very nice dress and walked all the way to the post office to post it k... hehe
Ganesh texted and he's in Australia. i added Shen-Han's blog to my links (btw shen-han, it makes me feel sooooooo tiny to see my name amongst the Cambridge greats la... hehe )and Jarod secured a job at Maxis.(congrats, dear. really am proud of u)
going to spring clean my apartment now, the landlady's coming tmrw.
in relation to it, though probably not apparent, i really wanna read Law, that way even the mere existence of such a qualification would intimidate and deter ppl from conning me!

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

says izwan

So the flightplan will be as follows:

1. Date: 14 Feb 2007 (WED)

2. Dublin-London (EI 176) at 5.30pm

3. London-Kuala Lumpur (MH 1) at 10.00pm

Monday, January 29, 2007



Q: I've heard that cardiovascular
exercise can prolong life; is this

A: Your heart is only good for so many
beats, and that's it... don't waste
them on exercise. Everything wears out
eventually. Speeding up your heart
will not make you live longer; that's
like saying you can extend the life of
your car by driving it faster. Want to
live longer? Take a nap.


Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat
more fruits and vegetables?

A: You must grasp logistical
efficiencies. What does a cow eat? Hay
and corn. And what are these?
Vegetables. So a steak is nothing more
than an efficient mechanism of
delivering vegetables to your system.
Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef is also
a good source of field grass (green
leafy vegetable). And a pork chop can
give you 100% of your recommended
daily allowance of vegetable products.


Q: How can I calculate my body/fat

A: Well, if you have a body and you
have fat, your ratio is one to one. If
you have two bodies, your ratio is two
to one, etc.


Q: What are some of the advantages of
participating in a regular exercise

A: Can't think of a single one, sorry.
My philosophy is: No Pain...Good!


Q: Aren't fried foods bad for you?

fried these days in vegetable oil. In
fact, they're permeated in it. How
could getting more vegetables be bad
for you?


Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from
getting a little soft around the

A: Definitely not! When you exercise a
muscle, it gets bigger. You should
only be doing sit-ups if you want a
bigger stomach.


Q: Is chocolate bad for me?

A: Are you crazy? HELLO ..... Cocoa
beans! Another vegetable!!! It's the
best feel-good food around!


Q: Is swimming good for your figure?

A: If swimming is good for your
figure, explain whales to me.


Q: Is getting in-shape important for
my lifestyle?

A: Hey! 'Round' is a shape!


Well, I hope this has cleared up any
misconceptions you may have had about
food and diets.

And remember: "Life should NOT be a
journey to the grave with the
intention of arriving safely in an
attractive and well preserved body,
but rather to skid in sideways -
Chardonnay in one hand - chocolate in
the other - body thoroughly used up,
totally worn out, and screaming "WOO
HOO, What a Ride!"

Friday, January 26, 2007

sometimes, perfect days do happen...

RCSI's Intermediate Cycle end of semester assessment has just vortex-ed one month of my life, and one of my 22 christmas-es and new years. it really took a toll on me,
physically (i was so exhausted day in day out, and pimples popped out reminding me of the vast spread of my pores!),
mentally (my mind was tax-ed to the point that very often during the day, i'd just blank out, like my mind's way of rebelling!),
emotionally (when i manage to complete what i set out to do, i'd be the happiest person in my circumstances, but when i'm pressed for time, i'd take on a personality so bitter that no one in their right mind would wanna be in the company of!)
No matter what i studied, everything just seemed so foreign when i read thru it again. i think my brain really just might be shrinking. before the exams, i freaked out countless times (i cried definitely more than 10 times), everything just felt so overwhelming. I was desperate. We had one written paper on thursday night, then another one on friday morning and yet another on friday afternoon. i think i slept two hours on wed night and only one on thursday night! not that it helped, cause my brain just shuts down after a lack of sleep.
then when my OSCE came, the nights leading up to it, i felt so dejected, like nothing i did could better prepare me, i felt doomed to flunk it, that nothing was gonna make a difference anyway. i was angry. frustrated...
my OSCE turned out kinda ok actually. wanted to document what happened, so bear with me k...it's a 9+1 station thing, 4.5 mins per station, and we prep ourselves for half a minute between stations.
history taking was ok, the kind lady told me i shud have asked more closed questions regarding associated symptoms for the guy's raised intracranial pressure. discussion with dr nick mouwad went quite well, though he has everyone gushing about how kind he is... left me standing outside the station cause he dismissed me early. i hope thats a good sign!
micro was... er... haha well i think i guessed the correct species though.
clinicals with Dr Barry was about sensation of the lower limb, including vibration and proprioception. i always forget to ask about pain, but hopefully it wasnt necessary this time. also exited the station early, ended up standing outside again! (either they decided early on that im hopeless or it could be a good sign... hehe will update when i get my results!)
oh communication skills was a very interesting station. it started and progressed quite fine i think, the lady was very friendly and helpful.. UNTIL... hehe she asked if there was an alternative to injecting herself as she wasnt comfortable with it, i very nicely and spontaneously quipped "oh sure, there are tablet!" hehe it wasnt till the next station that i realised i just gave her wrong information! and the examiner was Dr Alice Stantion, the very same lady i fumbled and was dazzled by the hot simulated patient at my last OSCE! hehe
the next clinical station the examiner was another newly qualified doctor. he came half a minute late, and usually we're only expected to know how to demonstrate the physical exam, but he asked me to test the trigeminal nerve. so i did, then he asked for the facial nerve, and he asked which 3 muscles i was testing with each test. then when the buzzer went, he asked me to very quickly just run thru the motions of Rinne's and Weber's test and what kinda lesion would be tested. wow, that 4 mins extracted so much information and i was quite happy it came out spontaneously, and even happier it was correct! hehe was rewarded with a very good from the super strict examiner (though quite a lot of examiners like to make us feel better by giving positive responses, till we dissect it in our heads after that and realise what blunders we made!)
pathology pots was quite interesting. hehe i got a specimen of a dissected breast, that was ok. but the mammogram and the slide of the oestrogen receptor test really caught me offguard. i got the correct answers, but need prompting so not wholly satisfied.
but the good thing is, for something i was so sure i was gonna screw up, i was quite happy :-)
then i was a zombie the rest of the day. but yesterday....
yesterday was probably the closest i could ever get to having a perfect day! i had a bunch of backlogged chores so...
i got up at 10 and yakked with my mom. then i headed to JPA to collect my Garda claim.
then yakked with En Jamal for about an hour.
then i headed to Reads to buy some magazines for Dan and for myself.
then i went to the bank, where i completed two chores, i banked in my Garda claim and paid my electricity bill! and hey, JPA had just banked in our allowance. i was elated!
i got home, then headed out to donate blood, though it was rejected cause i went to the malarial zone of malaysia for the summer. hehe
returned mercer library books, national library books.
and since i had downloaded my project paper for safekeeping and reference the night before, i finished 70% of my chores!
when i got back, my letters for reference from Dr Alice McGarvey were waiting for me.
oh the day could not have gotten any better!

Desmond was supposed to search for a replacement for our lease but he figured it was more trouble than it was worth.
So it kept me up the whole night, restless with worry, as it meant foregoing our deposit though i was fully prepared for it, but it WAS a lot of my Daddy's money... so i took matters into my own hands.
got up to sort through my stuff and pack them off for shipping. thats done. :-)
so now im blogging...
have a farewell for us in the beautiful, grand Board Room later. so will update with photos later!
im blogging again!! :-)