Monday, April 27, 2009

Busy Yet Happy

It's been quite a few days since I last wrote here. Have been busy when it's time to be busy and lazy when it's time to be lazy :P

Anyway, it was supposed to be a long weekend for us here (public hols today, Anzac day - the day where they commemorate the ppl who died in the war) but I had to go into hospital on saturday so it kinda became like a normal weekend for me.

Before I get too ahead of myself, let me give a summary of the week.

Watched a laparascopic cholecystectomy, a parotidectomy, had a suture workshop (I need more practice!! I wonder if I will get the chance to do?), multiple tutorials, ward rounds, went on my 1st on call, clerked someone with an acute abdomen, took blood from an inpatient, learning how to function like a junior doctor and probably other minor things that I'd forgotten.

But suffice to say, surgery rotation is certainly a busy one. But I'm certainly learning and enjoying being busy. :P

Anyway, so yeah that was the week. And my saturday was supposed to look like this. Liver transplant at 4am and ward round with resident at 8am. [the resident called me and said the consultant specifically ask a med student to help with the ward round. HELP? Us?? I reckon it's because the rest of the team will be in theatre. but still what can I do to help? carry files? lol.]

But here is how it turned out instead. News of cancelled liver transplant received b4 sleep.

And suddenly got a text and call at 9 smtg in the morning saying the liver transplant is going to happen soon. Tried my best to rush to hospital but alas I forgot it was a public holiday and the bus only comes every hour. Wasted half an hour waiting at the bus stop with Debbi. (I invited her to go see see also ma haha) In the end, she drove us there. thks :)

When we arrived, the surgery was already well and underway, couldn't get to see much coz there were 3 surgeons, 1 assistant and my grpmate already scrubbed in around the patient. Lucky for me, after sometime, another consultant approached me and asked whether would I like to scrub in to assist when the donor organ arrives.

I must admit, in my mind, I though: "Err I thought it comes in a box right? Need to do what woh?"

And boy was I wrong. Apparently, the surgeons who harvest the organ really just simply chop out the organ and then send it. And the surgeon here hvta clean up the fat, diaphragm etc and ligate unncessary vessels before putting it in the patient.

And that was where I come in. I hvta help by holding out the important vessels while the surgeon works his magic. And being so close up with the liver means I got to see lots of anatomy. And he quizzed me on the vessels too, which I must admit, I failed terribly. :P Well its not that easy to see when it's all a pile of gunk floating in the basin.

But it was a really cool experience. Being able to hold the vessels and touch the liver (which feels very firm btw). And this time, I felt like I was really helping. Really doing something as part of the team. It was awesome!

And that was the medical stuff for the week. Lucky I get 2 days to relax and recharge. really need it. And tomorrow it starts again, but the funny thing, I'm happy being busy for once!

Maybe I'm slowly adapting to life here or maybe it's just a turn of things for the better.

And notice that I finally used the word "happy" since I got here. :)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Today my groupmates and I were discussing the mnemonic for the branches of the facial nerve. And they mentioned the one the surgeon mentioned yesterday during the parotidectomy yesterday.

Branches of Facial Nerve are: Temporal, Zygomatic, Buccal, Mandibular and Cervical.

And they were saying something like: "Three Zheppers Bit My Cat..."

And I asked: "What are zheppers?" My mind was thinking of something vaguely like zippers. *inserts face with a question mark above it*

And guess what it was? You won't believe it. Zebras!!!

Who the hell pronounce zebras not like Zeee-bras but Zhe-pers??

Go figure! hahaha. Am still trying to figure out the aussie tongue :P

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Nature's Walk

Quite often, the walk back home during the evening helps me clear my head from the clutter of the day.

Looking at the rapidly darkening sky with the sun setting in the distance, its few rays glowing yellow. Taking a few deep breaths, breathing that fresh air. And the trees which looked so luscious yet mysterious at the same time. Trodding on the ground, which feels so solid under my feet aching over the day's burden of walking/standing on it.

And drinking in that wide openess of the land. I felt free somehow, as if anything could come true if I will it hard enough.

It is during these walks when I'm the most clear-headed about what I want in life. It is during these walks that I realise the hunger inside me for these dreams to come true one day, the sooner the better.

If only I could keep this feeling of freedom inside me... and never let it slip away - the power of believing in your dreams.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

First Week In Surgery

Hi guys, I'm back after what I can only describe as an intense week. I was having mixed feelings when I started surgery.

But now after one week, I'm enjoying myself. The hours are long, the work tough but I'm learning. My consultants have organized quite a lot of teaching sessions for us and we are probably gonna work through the whole "Lecture Notes for General Surgery" book in the 8 weeks we are here. Which is gonna be amazing coz this will probably be the first time I read an entire textbook. lol.

We are expected to be around for quite an amount of hours. Ward rounds (can be twice a day), on calls, meetings etc.

Can you believe it, in the 2nd day of our posting, I already got to scrub in and assist the surgeon for an exploratory inguinal canal operation? Nah, didn't do much coz I know practically nil abt surgery, only held the opening open with retractors and cut sutures for the surgeon. *Note to self: must rmb to leave some suture left when cutting it. Not the time to be neat haha*

And!! I also got to do a catheter on another patient pre-op. so funny la the surgeon ask me whether I wanna do a catheter onot and I said "Errr.." coz felt abit hesitant as never did on real patient before yet. Then he said: "that means yes!" lol.

But it was great. :D I finally got over my fear of doing a catheter. I made some silly mistakes (they are very big on being aseptic here! my gosh) but hey, I'm sure next time I'll do better. Can't wait to practice more! Next hurdle to cross would be a cannula. woah, tat would be scary. o.O

Luckily, this time my group mates seem to be really nice ppl. So I'm happy. And the girl stays very close to me so she gives me lifts home when its late and there are no more buses. thank you! :)

Well, that would be about all for now. I sense a difficult week ahead so its good I'm all rested this weekend hehe.

I'll try update more on my experiences coz I'm sure my frenz like to read abt them. Let's hope Time is kind to me. Oh ya, and I have the mental and physical capacity left to blog. :P

PS: Btw some of the messages you guys gave are hilarious! I really LOL at some of them.. loving it :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Break And A New Start

The long easter weekend just whooshed past like that. In a flash. Well, fun times always fly. =)

Anyway, here's a summary of what I did in the past 4 days.

Went to the beach on friday morning.

look at the waves! beautiful and strong ^^

Then 4 of us imu peeps went to Caversham Wildlife Park on saturday morning.

Although it was supposedly a "wild life" park but a big part of it was kinda like a zoo. But at least there were some open enclosures that let us get close to the animals!

check out this cute koala bear!

they sleep 20 hrs/day so mostly is just sleep and stone haha..

Then I went to a uni mate's 21st birthday party that night.

Tried this alcohol drink called Mai Tai. Pretty good for something that sounded like some cheap drink back home haha.. Was a cocktail of pineapple and orange juice with some liquor I dunno lar. And damnit, I'm allergic to alcohol again!

And for sunday dinner, we had a cookout at our place. And guess what we cooked up? (pun :P)

msian all time favourite - nasi lemak!! yummy indeed~

And last but not least, I went to meet a primary school friend for dimsum on monday morning. Food wasn't all that great (I definitely had better at a much cheaper price too in msia, I miss good msian food T_T) but the company was great. Lots of jokes and laughter. :)

So! That was how I spent most of my 4 days of break. Pretty packed, huh?

Now it's time to come back to reality. Just started surgery today and looks like it's gonna be a busy busy 8 weeks ahead!

I heard teaching for my team is good though (and quite a lot of things seems to be organized for us!) but I will hvta buck up to meet their higher standards too. o.O

So expect more nerdy times ahead!

PS: For more pics of said events, check out my facebook, thks.

PPS: Oh and we learnt how to scrub in today! Rather fun! Hope we get to observe many interesting cases and assist if possible. ^v^

Friday, April 10, 2009

In Between

I'm up early on a friday morning which is a public holiday here (good friday) coz we are waiting to go to the beach. But the others haven't reply yet!

Are we going or not ah..? Or else I wanna go back to my comfy bed liao...


Yeah I haven't been updating the whole week not becoz I was busy. Coz this week is Campus Week and it's filled to the brim with boring mind-killing lectures. Seriously, I just stone through most of them, then wake up occasionally to copy something. lol.

I can't believe I will say this but I miss the lectures in imu!! *shocked face* lol.

Have a long weekend ahead, my new rotation Surgery starts next tuesday! Apparently heard the consultants on my team are quite strict but at least the teaching is good. hmm looks like I better buck up.

Okla, update more later. Tats.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Labour Of Love: Part II

Hi guys, time for part 2 of my cooking series! Are you excited?

I'm definitely improving, well at least on the time spent part. Taste? I'm biased so I can't judge but I think I'm not bad for an amateur lah. hehe :P

Okay without further ado, here are they!

Stir fried vege with sausages

and one of my favourite dishes in the world, sesame oil chicken!

I liked it so much that I cooked it 3 times ade since being here. lol. Well it reminds me of my mother's cooking, cannot meh? A little slice of home. :)

Next up is a repeat performance.

Spaghetti Boulognaisse with melted cheese on top

and an extra omelette I made

And I had a craving for sushi the other day. But sushi here is too damn expensive to enjoy it to my heart's content. So DIY!

Looks nice, doesn't it? alas, I bought the wrong vinegar, so tasted a lil weird.

But no worries, I bought the correct one already! (well hope it is)

As usual stir fried vege and chicken with worchestire sauce (spelling?)

and new star of the day is Ginger Onion Fish!!

I made this long ago with Kee, so decided to try it again. Success! Yummy indeed! :D

And last but not least, also a favourite since Bukit Jalil days.

Fried noodles!

I liked maggi goreng alot but didn't buy the paste coz not worth it.

But fried noodles are yummy on their own too!

So that's it for today's cooking session. What do you guys think? ^^

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Lost Then Found

I was supposed to blog abt this sometime ago but in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, I forgot until now.

Anyway, a few weeks back, by an unusual stroke of luck (from someone who is usually not that nice to me), I managed to get into a spot for phlebotomy. Oh phlebotomy? that's just a cool ass name for taking blood. :P

Well, unlike in Malaysia, where doctors are the ones that take blood samples from patients, here they have people specially trained for it. They are called phlebotomists and they do outpatients' clinics as well as inpatients.

And for this year, we have this logbook where we have to do a set number of phlebotomies, catherizations, injections and cannulations. And for phlebotomy, we have to contact said department and arrange a time with them as they can only take 2 students at a time.

So actually at that time they were fully booked up until april but I managed to get a spot!

And yesh, I managed to take 6 successful blood samples (out of 7!! sry lar 1 fail jor) and only needed a little instruction on the position of the needle with 2. Isn't that fabulous??

That day was one of the best days I had so far in medical school here.

I need more of those sort of days. Where I feel the burning passion reminding me of why I chose this line of work in the first place.

Coz it's so easy to get lost in clinical school.

To be truthful, I haven't been myself the past few weeks.

I was lost.

I can't exactly pinpoint the reason but I can somehow trace it back to an incident that happened sometime ago. But I shall refrain from telling tales.

Anyhow, in those weeks, I felt I was just like a mindless robot, going through the works everyday, without any of the enthusiam that I had earlier. I was just wandering around in circles, without any destination in mind. And god knows how we need a goal to keep us going on in medical school.

But it's good that I realised it earlier on. It's still not too late...

Time to get down to what I came here to do in the first place.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Post MSK

Msk exam is over!! Whee...

It wasn't easy but it wasn't totally difficult either. Do-able would be a good description. But I realised there were quite a few of red herrings included inside.

For eg. patient comes in with blah blah typical features of osteoarthritis. Then suddenly mention that patient got erythematous rash on face. Haha want to trick ppl to definitely say she has SLE lar!

Anyway, some of the pictures included inside are very blur!! Even though enlarged ade cannot see clearly lah. These sort of pics especially xrays, must print wan, cannot photocopy!

Weirdly, the examiner told us that the exam was not timed. Which means we can take as long as we like. So funny right? And the most zha dou thing was about 10 ppl received questions papers with the even pages missing. -_- And I was one of the 'lucky' ppl. haha. We had to wait for the examiner to go photocopy more.. And she just left us alone like that, trusting us to be honest.

A few ppl started discussing the questions.. until a girl couldn't tahan anymore and directly just shoot them by saying "it's not very fair, you know, discussing the answers. yes you three there!" *points at them* o.O wah.. that's very blunt. No worries, I didnt cheat at all. I believe one's pride is really important, especially when one is kinda like representing one's country in a way.

Anyway, my point in saying all this is that I feel that this exam has lost part of its worth somehow. The fact that it's not being timed and no supervision. I shouldn't have stress out so much abt it. lol.

Oh well, talk so much, I'm also not sure how my results will be too haha. wish me luck k.

Now, I need a bath, some rest before dinner. Finally gonna have a karaoke session later! I miss it!! woots.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Sweet Surrender

This is just a temporary interventional post. while I bide time to mug for exams =/

They say chocs in Aus are really nice, especially Tim Tam.. So I decided to try this one out.

black forest flavour! sweet surrender series

they have many flavours and I plan to slowly try one by one hehe

you will see a very round zzzyun the next time you see her! =(

pretty good but I was expecting more awesomeness.

Maybe some other flavour eh? hmm...