he said, she said

she's never had a boyfriend before, he said.
don't don't don't don't don't hurt her, she said.
he knew better than to do that.

a few weeks, a few months pass..

i need to tell you something, he told her.
a thousand thoughts flew threw her mind.
i crossed the line. she was the one i crossed it with, he said.
a niggly feeling grew into hurt, a heavy feeling refused to stop crushing her heart.


tee & kay

christmas greetings to you! my prezzie this year is...

tee and kay. jap kids. tee is 6 and kay is 8. tee is 32kg and kay is 25kg. uber cute. more of their visit later ~ all be revealed once i hit ozzie shores =)

(yes, they really look like that. really!)


singapore fling

  • a sense of familiarity mixed with a tingle of exotic flavor.
  • dilute the concoction with a generous helping of muggy humid stifling hot hot hot weather
  • a dash of improptu
  • a pinch of excitement
  • a fully charged digicam and phone
  • five helpings of reminiscence

swirl and enjoy and then imbibe with gusto!

a whirlwind of a trip, i must say! much much gratitude to those that i managed to meet up with ~ thank you for taking the time out to keep me company =)


auld lang syne

in another 6 hours, i'll be on my sleepy way towards sydney on a door to door airport shuttle bus.
in another 12 hours, i'll be getting ready to check in at the singapore airlines counter
in another 15 hours, i'll be boarding the plane bound for singapore
in another 24 hours, i'll be touching down at changi airport

and thus ends my time in australia for 2005 and heralds the entrance into a totally different world where shorts, a t-shirt and flip flops are disdainly stared at and immaculate grooming is a given. a world where girls doll up in short skirts and tiny tops, don on the mascara and paint on a mask of natural looking gunk just to go out and meet their girl friends. a world where prepubescent guys hang around certain shopping centers to oogle at equally prepubescent girls in ghastly matronly garbs afterschool.

the only saving grace in this new world would be old friends. ones that will sit and reminisce the goofy and the sad alike. ones that will stay back that extra hour just to walk around town with me the night before i left the country. ones that will insult me with the best of intentions. ones that make sure i know i'm loved.

i haven't seen some of these people for 5 years or more. to suddenly be thrust into their presence again is quite unnerving. it's like meeting a blind date. will we click like old times or am i just being daft by living in the past? will i even be able to recognize some of them? what will they think of me? what will i think of them?

in 2 more days, i'll find out =)
in 5 more days, everything will be all over and i'll enter yet another new world.. one where formalities dictate. one where i have to play the role of the demure little girl. not that they don't already know that's far from the truth. they've seen my explosive bouts of tantrums. one's even threatened to throw me out of the house... twice. welcome home, amy.. welcome home.

i'm not back yet and it's already started.
she calls using skype. i hear his voice in the background.
are your tickets and passport packed? are you sure? you better recheck. (yes they're packed. THEY'RE PACKED.)
*sigh* you're not a kid anymore you know (no shit. you were the one who started the nagging anyway)
what are u going to bring on the plane? (my backpack.)
when are u leaving? can you make it in time? (...)
do you need a wake up call? are you sure? (yes. dammit, im not a kid)
is your room cleaned? oh, almost eh.. well ok. (...)
ehh buy some eucalyptus lotion when you get to the airport. (what if i can't find any.. doh)
what will you be wearing on the plane - pants or a long skirt? (JEANS. geez. why do u ask? as if it matters)
what. the. fuck?!

...happy christmas and a merry new year to you too. whatta way to end the year... i didn't mean for my last post of the year to turn into a gripe-fest but *shrug* that's how things turned out.

assume i won't be blogging whilst in taiwan, not under that roof...
cheers ~

here's a sneak peek at my yeti army *beams*
happy holidays everyone. be safe, be good and for those so inclined, mebbe just a tad naughty. santa's lenient *winks*


winding down

or winding up. hmm...
it's been a whirlwind of a two weeks since exams finished. my 6th sense may be coming back! i felt better about my pediatrics paper and i thought i could scrape through my o&g paper but the OSCE stations left a very very bitter taste and a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. results were released a few days ago and whaddya know! gut feelings are back in action... i passed my pediatrics paper. that was a huge relief. i seriously thought i failed both subjects. i didn't pass my o&g paper but oddly enough, i was really nonchalant.

maybe because i was expecting it. i met with the prof this morning to go over my paper. he was extremely nice but oh-so-stern. i didn't even feel the urge to fight for my pass this time around. i was just happy to hear that i passed my writtens. that was a miracle in itself, i must say. to be told that i wasn't the worst one in the bunch further boosted my ego irrespective of the fact that i failed the subject. *scratches head*

glum was what i expected my mood to be. i suppose that even the grey rainy skies today couldn't dampen my spirits. after all, i know that i passed the writtens. 8/12 and 7/10 for them ok..! and it's not like i didn't pass my OSCEs... i just didn't do well enough for the prof to pick me as his intern. each station was graded as 0, 1 or 2. 0 is an outright fail of course. 2 is a better pass than 1 but both were technically passes... in everyone else's books but the prof's. me with my exam nerves (i can't believe i said herpes instead of HPV throughout one station. didn't even realize til he told me today) and bad exam karma managed to get a 1 for all of the 6 stations. the prof didn't like that very much so i'm gonna hafta redo the whole thing again next year. perfect. i lose my 3 month holiday but at least it doesn't postpone my graduation! wheee ~

to top it all off, i checked my snail mail today and i beamed all the way home.for all you patch adams fans, here's his pagey. i got the chance to see the real deal last year when he stopped over in gosford to give a small talk. his hair's half blue.. like he dyed it with blueberry koolaid! hee =) we got a sneak peek at this video and i was hooked. this was what came in the mail ~ i got your package em!! thank you sooooo much =) i'm ready for my bawl-fest soon too hehe. saving it for the 'rents ~ might also prove a nice distraction for when i go back next week, just so my dad doesn't harp on what's happened this semester, academically.

guess what else came in the mail today?

it was so cute i wanted a copy for myself but but but tis the season for giving so this adorable book's going to hopefully bring some smiles to C & S and their new baby boy when i go visit them in a few days =)

other goodies include this trio of herbs in a can.. i ordered it months ago for myself and yet again, in accordance with the spirit of giving, it's gonna go to S as her x'mas prezzie this year. didn't mean for it to turn out that way but i think she'd enjoy them more than i would.. at least they'd have a better chance of surviving under her care than under mine. must i remind you that you're looking at someone who manages to kill cacti and bamboo alike.

and last but not least, the sweetheart cup & saucer set i got for my mom arrived. she's a heart freak.. arghh. stars for me any day! hearts are so... cliche >.< but but i hafta admit that these cups look pretty cute all filled up, no?

as for myself, i went and bought abernathy's surgical secrets and lange's surgery on call. how sad. even the guy at the bookstore took a jab at me, asking if this was meant to be holiday reading... hmph. i'm just really excited about starting the new semester next year, that's all. excited might not be the right word.. i just want to finish asap and get my degree so i can figure out the rest of my life in peace.

despite my suitcase starting to fill up, there's still lots more prezzies to scout around for, lots more ideas to snatch. winding down and winding up.... nah, i'm just getting started! =)


the other side of the pacific

lotsa lotsa lotsa bdaes!! *throws confetti in the air*

happy belated bdaes to both buzzy and fe's little bro, E and happy bdae to em and pooj & ram! bdae toasts all around =)

was visiting em's bloggie and well. hmm. boys.. *tears hair out* boys are evil, did anyone ever tell you that? *huggies for fellow spinsters* hee! found her link about asian american women and that age old dilemma of going out with another asian guy or a white guy interesting.

What is the advantage we are thought to enjoy? That we scorn our own men and are, therefore, desperately seeking white men which in turn makes us eager to please and therefore appealing to white men. How unspeakably vile is that? What self-respecting woman of any race would want to live with that kind of image?
- nadine park brookston

well actually, more than interesting. i don't know if it's something inherent or if there's something in every asian kid's upbringing that encourages this, but i hafta admit that when i dream of a prince charming with a blurry face, i've always instinctively assumed that he would be asian. i wish someone could translate it properly in chinese so that my mom could read it. just to say "seeee?!" and tell her to hang up her own preconceived prejudices... not that i'd go for a white guy now anyway tho. i don't know, it's not that i have anything against non-asians... i just haven't met any that's swept me off my feet. and then there's the language barrier with my parents and certain cultural barriers that are bound to arise. there's always gonna be some sorta hitch with anyone, but i guess it's just some inborn assumption on my part that there's bound to be more with a non-asian. that being said...

wanted to marry an Asian man, but I wasn't willing to transform myself from an American into someone of an alien nationality.

that being also said, i haven't met many asians that have swept me off my feet either.

On those occasions when I spotted an attractive Asian man and worked up the nerve to strike up a conversation, he typically showed conditional interest, then drifted away. That happened again and again.

d'oh! amen to that! that woman strikes more than a measly little chord in this heart!

i'm glad to see that fishie is doing pretty well in that department tho. it's about time dude!! no more swimming alone for u! *beams* hee (sorry, i came across the fish smiley and just absolutely had to force it in the paragraph somewhere. it's so cutee!)
i hope you don't see the ending either =)


connecting, with strings

so many connections started happening after exams ended. they were horrible, i might add. especially the obs/gyn paper. 5+ hours of exams without a break - no food, no water (i thought i'd be tough and ditch my choc nibblies. bad idea!) in freezing rooms and colder examiners... only to finish and have someone decide to drain all the swimming pools up there in the sky. cold, tired, hungry and feeling very sick. what a way to exams. i guess i had it pretty good tho. my friend was so strung up she puked that morning and went thru all i did with only 3 hours of intermittent sleep. poor girlie =(

i've scribbled out a bunch of random musings and thoughts. apologies if i lose you halfway...

connection #1: PSANZ is the conference that i might be speaking at assuming the abstract gets accepted (now he tells me it's not an auto-acceptance thing after he got me all excited!), tho the webby's last year's program. one's never contented with what one has eh.. last year's webby looks a lot classier than this year's webby but i guess neither help. i'm just as confused about the whole point of the conference as before. lotsa doctors to meet, hopefully lotsa pediatricians who are interested in students' wellfare and such so i can bug them about my future plans and specialization.

connection #2: friends mean the world to be and although some may argue that i pick them up like m&ms scattered on the floor, just remember that not all m&ms are created equal =P when i was a kid, i used to love the green ones. they'd always be the last to go.. the brown ones would be gobbled up first. nowadays, it's the blue ones that are the last to go. sometimes, i feel gloomy and bask in the presence of the red, orange and yellow m&ms to cheer up and it becomes their turn to be the last to go. to be able to go back and save one green m&m for last isn't a bad feeling. neither is revisiting that odd speckled one in the shrek edition. to remember the feelings from days of yore and reconnect again ~ mmmhmm. absolutely delicious =)

connection #3: new friends! think of them like umm... jolly ranchers! a different variety of candy, but candy nevertheless. they come in lotsa interesting colors and flavors and they start to grow on you. especially if you find something in common with them. to be able to connect with someone, who in essence is a complete stranger, isn't such a bad feeling either =)

connection #4: the misconnection. the one that had its microwave signals disrupted by the thunderstorm as it travelled back to its base receiver miles away. this one isn't so good and i'm working on enhancing the signal but man, is it hard. familiarity breeds contempt they say. how i wish it wasn't true. i tell myself that he's trying really hard because he cares, so i shouldn't blow my top and be rude. it's awfully hard to and i feel miserable for snapping.. right after i curtly reply my daddy on the phone. bleah. i need a daddy-relationship counsellor =(


another couple of strings around my finger to add to the others...

string #8: no matter how mad you get, never resort to violence and slap your colleague. especially not with a bloody glove in the middle of surgery. it might not be a good idea to retaliate either.. aiyaiyai people!

string #9: just because someone is a doctor doesn't make them automatically right. same goes for teachers. learn to question, learn to believe in yourself yet learn to keep that ego the same size. hard stuff! all the more i do respect those consultants who manage to acheive sucha balance.

string #10: work on remembering people's names. it makes a world of difference and the patients like you a whole lot better when u know that they aren't auntie may from the other side of town. it also gets you brownie points in examinations where you have demented examiners.. trust me, i just met one on tuesday.


and moving on...

Fig. 1. grouchy grouchy amy in the midst of exams. DND.
no, not dungeons and dragons you nerds. do not disturb!
(lu, remember that attitude photo we tried to take in sec school? this one's for you hehe!)

as an aside.. i was insanely calm earlier this morning. not sure why. just miserable and wanted my finals to be over. took out my digicam and tried to say hello to a baby kookooburra outside my window but he looked at me funny.
i got grumpier. bah humbug.

on a good note, pediatrics paper's over. one more left. wheee! ooh yeah, green contacts, green contacts! wheee!

on a bad note, i'm not sure i want to mentally re-evaluate how well i did for that paper. just the thought of doing so is causing my tummy to churn. out of the first 10 questions, i managed to only fill in a measly three at first go.

back to bloody pregnant women, literally...


bobbing for hearts

ever tried bobbing for apples? it's all fun as you wait there, lining up for your turn as you laugh and goad the people in front of you along. and then you suddenly find yourself facing that tub of water. so many apples! you think to yourself. surely it can't be that hard. let me show them how to bob you tell yourself. *wiggles jaws* aiming for a random apple, you open ur mouth as big as u can with all your teeth bared. ur whole field of vision flashes red, with sparkles in various corners as the water splashes all over you and you find yourself in an underwater world.. chortling because water went up your nose. u straighten up, stare back at that tub of apples happily bobbing along as if oblivious to their impending doom... and u doggedly go back for more water going up your nose.

the past week's been like that. ups and downs, like those apples. stuff that made my heart sink as it tried to take a bite, only to let go and send my heart bobbing back up to the surface. and then down again it'd go.. sometimes, it'd be a slight tap. the heart'll wobble and float still.. other times, it's a jarring shove that sends the heart right down to the bottom of the tub, only to make me catch my breath again as the heart surges back to the surface to get ready for the next dunking.

today, i had one of those surges. one that didn't take my breath away and hurt as the heart came up for air. this one was a happy bob. sorta like doing a cannonball and coming up exhilarated. came home to find a little email happily bobbing in my inbox that informed me of two things ~ i'm getting offered the chance to present the paper at a conference in april next year and assuming that it goes well, i'm assuming that i'm going to have a paper published in my name (among others of course!) by next year hopefully in some journal. *legs turn to jelly* i was so speechless.. i didnt expect my supervisor to offer me the chance to present it. all i did was collate his data for him. now he wants me to write it up and present! i'm so honored, stoked and um.. half thinking it's all a dream at the same time.

tis a great motivational boost to bury my nose in my books. how bad would it look now if i didn't pass my pediatrics exam? "hi this is amy. she's one of my students in 4th yr last year. she's currently redoing 4th year again but hey, she's gonna be presenting this paper to u all. please welcome her with a round of applause" uh, no thanks.

*buries nose in books again... and recoils in horror at the oily blotches i've previously made* hee


im so screwed...

no, im not talking about exams. that's ... well, we'll see what can be salvaged between now and monday. divine interventions, multiple ones, would be nice hehe. *pokes gerby* now would be a good time to introduce me to that dude of yours =P

im so screwed because.. imishoooo. i don't know why but imishooo =(


in other news, conjunctivitis!! yep, i've got it *sigh*
went to see the doc for some antibiotics this weekend. very very impatient amy = bad bad patient. i was preempting all the doc's questions before she asked. i was inwardly giggling hysterically as i recognized the ever-so-familiar "so, can you tell me what's wrong?" opening line.

i launched into a case presentation of myself, sans the "24yo female presented with..." hehe. i told her about pain, discharge, associated symptoms, vision loss and all that other stuff. she was quite miffed but frankly, so was i. with each consult taking 10mins, i didn't see how i could still be in the waiting room 50mins later when there were only 2 other patients before me.

the doc broke out into a huge grin at the end of the consultation when she finally couldn't take it anymore and asked "so.. are u studying at the uni?"
*nodnod with a smile*
"so... what are you studying?"
*big grin with a sheepish smile* medicine.
"i thought so"
*more goofy grins all around* hehe

one thing i'm faulting her for is for not telling me how disgusting those antibiotic drops taste!! 2 drops in each eye, 3x a day. yarrite. that lasted for the first 24hrs ... i told you i'm my worst patient. the drops trickle down all those caverns in one's head and end up at the back of my throat, leaving me with the foulest taste. it's a cross between something acidic ala those sour/super lemon candies and pesticide. not that i've tasted pesticide..

i've tried chocs (thank you A! i finished the whole box already.. and i only opened them on sunday. argh.), i've tried water. i've tried anything edible to get rid of that taste.. brushed my teeth, brushed my mouth, regurgitated phlegm... nothin works! my eyes aren't getting any better either.. half the problem would be the drops not actually staying in my eyes i bet.

anyway, hopefully it'll sort itself out soon.. or else the invigilators might get another class of resident evils like dkxeon did =) *swishes devil tail* hehehe


the wrong side of bed

lately, it seems like i've copped another round of this so-called pms that isn't. i feel strangled, cornered and suffocated. worse the mr giraffey (who is keeping baby D company *beams*)

suffocating with thoughts of blood and screaming kids swirling in my head at the end of each day... that's what going through the multitudes of "scenarios" in obs/gyn and pediatrics can do to you. they all start out with "a 28 year old lady presents with bleeding..." or "you are an intern at ED and gets called to see a 18-month old baby boy who's just arrived, screaming..."

bloody hell, i want to scream too...
my state of mind, the state of my room.. it's worse than that mess that i was back at P's sleepover. if you were here, you'd be giving me worse looks than N was giving me.

at this point in time, i'm sitting here mechanically reading things that aren't registering. i'm mindlessly scribbling things that aren't legible. i'm seeing things that aren't there. i'm not seeing things that are there.

i can't wait til the exams are over. i'm oversaturated with useless bits of random nonsense. i'm undersaturated with knowledge that will prevent me from killing future patients. despite knowing that we all statistically will kill 1.7 people in our first year out, having that piece of knowledge isn't very reassuring.

will someone please live the next two weeks for me... please?


dry spell

in terms of blogging, in terms of creativity, in terms of mapling, in terms of socializing... heck, in terms of life in general i say.. i've hit a dry spell! exam stress is beginning to seep through the glass ceiling floating over my head. obviously, it wasn't as glassy as i thought it to be if it's permeable. that in itself is not a bad thing, no? nobody wants to walk around with something floating over their heads... some people can barely tolerate having hair up there!

i do sincerely apologize for the lack of blog strolls i've failed to go on lately... the pace i'm feeling is much too fast to allow strolls anymore. it'll wind down once the exams are over. speaking of exams... we had one today. unplanned, outta the blue. in-your-face. nggaarrgh!

it's been one of those days today. woke up late, promptly dismissed my plans of seeing a patient before class (so that i could present that patient to the tutor at the aforementioned class) and ran so late i left without picking up A. i was up to the nearest traffic light when i realized that i was missing my passenger and had to call her up and apologize. d'oh! cleared that up, found parking at the furthest possible spot in the furthest possible lot and headed straight up to gum gallery for the session. ran into that certain registrar that i have a soft spot for *grins* but ARGHHhh it's so wrong. *bangs head against the wall* it's so Grey's Anatomy-ish. i would like to be friends with the guy... i think there's potential. it's not like we can't carry a conversation or have nothing in common. we stood around for more than an hour just chatting after one of the clinics... bleah. but but everytime i see him, he's around with consultants or in some conversation with someone else higher up the ladder of hierarchy. the last thing i need is to have rumors floating around, especially after that one about the phantom doctor boyfriend of mine... or even just the teasing. i already get that from L about him. she's dying to pass him my number as it is... actually, she's been dying to set me up with any asian doctor that says hi to her for the past year. very sweet of her, but geez woman, i'm not that desperate! eeeesh!

anyway, i'm digressing. all 3 of us showed up for class and the tutor sprung an assessment on us. we had to do our practice long case.. the one that didn't count where we could redo as many times as we wanted until we passed but was graded on with a criteria marking sheet and had pass to pass the course. that one. good news is that i passed.. we all did. not bad for something so impromptu, i must say! hehe =) bad news is that i now have a confidence boost meaning that i feel justified enough with passing to take it easy with the studying. this would also explain why i'm here typing up this latest blog entry rather than bury my head in foul-smelling thick volumes of wonderful obs/gyn books with lovely gory pictures of bloody cervixes and such.

two more weeks, i tell myself... just two more weeks. =)


all hallows eve cometh

and the tradition lives on *grins* hehe.. for the uninitiated, i've established a tradition ever since i came here to carve pumpkins every halloween and give 'em out to friends to adopt =) half a decade and counting! blame my inner child for this -.-

'tis always a challenge over here in oz.. no pumpkin patches to scour for the perfect pumpkin over here! i even had to make do with apples one particular year due to the lack of pumpkins! ...and then there was mr. eggplant another year. this year, we've got mr. zucchini screaming his head off... keep an eye out for him. he's pretty traumatized by the rest of the butternuts towering over him, especially mr skelly! he's my fav... the tallest one of them all. the one that looks sagely, if you could call a pumpkin that...

here's this year's group of pumpkins with a hawaiian thrown in and the honorary other veggie...

*flicks lights off*

Happy Halloween!


a fortnight and a day

'tis been that long since i've had the urge to write.. even now, i don't have much of any sorta inspiration to wax lyrical here but i thought it'd be nice to pay this old haunt of mine a visit. you might blame the geekette in me seeking refuge in a virtual world...

my NGRARGGH!!!! weeks have come and gone... much calmer for some reason. bought myself a mini herb garden thingamajig and i'm hoping i don't kill it with my "green thumbs" before harvesting 'em yummy leaves. now that i've also done my presentation on the menstrual cycle and pms, i can safely say that none of my NGRARGGHness has anything to do with hormonal changes hee =) lol, shuey... constipation isn't one of the reasons either!

speaking of constipation.. eesh. childbirth. birthing stool. natural births. EEEeeesh. as much as a natural process it may be, it's a really uncomfy thought to push poo out along with your baby. especially when one doesn't realize one's got poo dangling from one's behind. squatting there in front of the birthing stool, waiting for the baby's head to push through.. all i could do was keep myself from grabbing some tissue and help the lady urm... wipe. twasn't the greatest sight in the world and i guess it helped that being on call at the delivery suite all week meant erratic meal times.. or none at all.

now that it's all over and the fat lady's warming up her voice, 'tis my cue to get my act together too. be warned about upcoming antisocial depressive and mebbe a bit more NGRARGGH!!!!ish behavior... i'm sure you're all used to the erratic quirkiness already so i won't bother warning you about that bit. exams are in less than a month, let's hope things go well for everyone's sake hee. amy throwing hissy fits isn't the best side to see...


my new favorite word


it's the perfect word for everything that's been happening these past few weeks. thanks ceekay, for enlightening me =P


stabbing at a parody

this would make a lot more sense if you sang it to the tune of Colors of the Wind from Disney's Pocahontas... now guess who this is directed to? *grins*

You think you own whatever room you room in
The dorms are just another place to stay
But I've been here for more years than you have been
And I know every nook and cranny here

You think the only people who still live here
Are your girlfriend, her sister and her boy
But if you walk the footsteps of your neighbor
You'll learn things you never knew you never knew.

Have you ever heard a banshee wail til half past one
Or asked your neighbor why she always calls?
Can you learn to think of other people's feelings?
Can you place yourself in other people's shoes?
Can you place yourself in other people's shoes?

Come have a listen through my concrete room walls
Come have a feel of shaking concrete ground
Come have a taste of being rudely woken
With loud thuds, and some screaming and a yell.

The RAs and the Manager can't help me
All they do is to tell me to be nice
They ask me to talk to you like an adult
But alas, I think I need to dumb it down

How dense can a full grown man be?
Can you understand English or plain NO?

Though it seems like you're just selfish and you plain don't care
For whether you are being quite the jerk
We need to pray for your poor girlfriend so she'll wake up
We need to steer her far from bastards like yourself
We need to steer us all from bastards like yourself


roadblocks and babies

it must've been the lack of food or the odd hour, but seeing a stuck bus at the hospital entrance brought out the best guffaws in both of us. L and I were sick of this "not doing work" business so we forced ourselves to go back to the hospital at 6pm last night and see a patient or two.. or just one. we also tried this thing called studying but i managed to only devour a page and half. all we wanted to do was go home and sleep... until we encounted the stuck bus. (substitute bus with pig, a big blue one and that's the gist of the scenario). on hindsight, it wasn't hilarious at all. -.-

being the grouch that i recently am, i sniggered at the traffic piling up in the other direction because the bus was effectively a roadblock in its awkward angle, sprawled across the two lanes of the road and half of the intersection. "they got rid of the roundabout to ease traffic and look what's happened now? LOL" i devilishly laughed. i know. i think i become mean when i get grouchy and i'm sure i wouldn't be laughing at all if i was part of that traffic piling up. i wasn't though, was i? *grins*

besides the bus-block, i've been encountering mental blocks and writers' blocks and even baby corduroy blocks (for C's new little baby boy)! Ooo, writers' block vanished, whee ~

guess what, guess what??
my lady had her baby last friday! a wee little baby boy, he was. a wee little stubborn baby boy, mind you, but still very cute and chubby. *gurgles* he decided to come out without turning from his posterior position, leaving him with a squashed nose as a reminder of his stubborness. both his parents found it hilarious and kept playing with the lopsided nose lol. baby D couldn't care less and slept away his first daylight hours of his life, only deciding to wake up once the sun went down from being famished. oh, he'd also sneak a peek at you with one sleepy eye opened whenever he farted or pooped (which was quite often actually) and maaaaaan was he a big pooper. at least we know he's got no bowel obstruction!

so there we go... i've witnessed both caesarean sections and a natural birth without an epidural. i don't see how one is better than the other. i wish storks really brought your babies to your doorstep, preferably in a wicker baby basket but a cloth bundle will do just fine too!


it's just not my thing

you know how everyone has their thing, the one that makes them cringe and recoil in utter shock, horror or disgust? some med students have a thing with seeing blood... others have a thing with needles and faint on sight of one. now, i pride myself in not being squeamish about a lot of things although i can't stand girly girls.. the ones with squeaky high pitched sugar-coated voices who giggle demurely. the type most guys my age seem to fancy actually. anyway... i guess you could say that's one of my pet peeves. i've just discovered another one tonight that usurps the girly girl peeve by a million leaps and bounds.

there is no way in hell i'm going be an obstetrician or a gynecologist. people tell you to never say never, but trust me when i tell you that i mean never. i went for my pelvic examination session today. i came home after 3+ hours of it feeling very sick in the pit of my stomach. i have no problem with the actual procedure, but it's very confronting when you don't know what the hell you're feeling for and the person who's been explaining things to you grabs ur hand as she guides your fingers into her vagina. why couldn't this have been explained with a dummy torso before we had to do the exam on real people?!

i would've preferred to know exactly what i was doing, what position to place my fingers and where to place them.. and how to and all the stuff they were teaching us today as we basically shoved the speculum and later, our fingers, into these ladies and wiggled around telling them "i can't find it" or "i can't see anything"

t.r.a.u.m.a.t.i.z.e.d. and scarred for life. the only thing i got out of that session was a huge amount of respect for those women who volunteered to teach us and let us poke and prod them. respect, a LOT of respect. that aside, there's no way am i gonna be a gp unless someone else in the practice is avaliable to do pelvic exams. no way am i gonna get pap smears done, even if im acting like a stubborn cow. hey, i'm a taurus... welcome to my stubborn bullish world.


what the hell is wrong

it's like that episode of 4400 where one of the returnees ups everyone's testosterone levels in the NTAC compound. i've been feeling decidedly grouchy for the past week and it's definitely not pms. it's prolly the stress. i'm excited and there's so many interesting things to learn, yet i know that the weeks are slipping by all too fast and there's nothing i can do to stop it. thus, i stress. in my viscious cycle of stressing, i turn to non-activity... and then i get even more stressed as i realize that even more time has slipped by. grr

what set it off today wasn't the 90min pathology lecture on congenital deformities. think of the alien fetuses on sci-fi shows. i didn't really need 73 powerpoint slides of that. pink, shiny gooey and grossly abnormal "creatures" as the lecturer put it. i was ready to puke.. i was feeling so frustrated and sick. what added to it was the media i saw that was staked outside the hospital entrance pissed me off. LEAVE THE FRIGGING BALI VICTIMS ALONE for goodness sakes. my gawd.. they're just being transferred here to newcastle to be closer to their families. yes, i know you need to go to where the news is but what's the big deal about the injured people being transferred to another hospital?! if they were staked out at the wards to interview them, then mebbe it wouldn't seem so much like vultures descending on lambs... but to stake out the frickin' main entrance of the hospital just so they can get a shot of the people arriving... what good does that do?! what kind of news is that?! one line in the newspaper can tell you that: Victims of the Bali bombings have been transferred to the John Hunter Hospital today from [insert wherever they were transferred from].

i dunno.. i wish i had more time. i wish i had more time for me. i think i've turned cynical and jaded. what's so interesting about staying back to watch the doctors triage the injured ppl? it's all textbook for goodness sakes. "oh, but it'd be cool to see what they do with the burns victims" my friend clarifies as she justifies her youthful enthusiasm. "well, you determine what the burn degree is and treat accordingly. give them fluids if they need it, make sure they're not in shock and heal up their burn sites with grafts or bandages. why do you need to stand around watching the docs work... it's not like you've never been in the emergency dept before and there's way more uncertainty there, if anything." i grumble in my head. i think i shot her one of my death stares by accident out of sheer frustration at that eager fresh attitude where every. fricking. thing. is interesting.. even watching the nurse change someone's bedpan.

what the hell is wrong with everyone?! what the hell is wrong with me?!
*fumes* i think imma implode if this keeps up =(


a flurry of non-activity

after 2 weeks of reproductive medicine, the only thing i would be interested in seeing more of would prolly be a certain goofy registrar *winks* really though, it was a sort of initiation by fire to be thrown into the clinics and operating theaters from day 1. to see women hop onto the examination table and basically spread their legs. it sounds awful when you put it that way i suppose, but it is as awful as it sounds in reality ~ for the student that is.

i mean, sure... you get to see pap smears being done and the occassional examination when people get rashes and other things but that's not the same as having to see all sorts of natural variances in well.. butt bits patient after patient for hours on end. it kinda goes against every private line and boundary i've drawn for myself over the years with some influence from society.

it's not the week in the operating theaters, nor is it delivery week (where you're basically at the delivery suite from like 7am til however long you can last through the day for a whole week) that takes the cake in this rotation. apparently, i should be looking foward to the pelvic examination session i'll be expected to attend in a few weeks' time. no, im not getting anything poked or prodded.. that's what i'll be doing to some unfortunate lady who volunteered for the session.

i know that there's 2 ways to look at this and i chose to be incredulous rather than commend them for aiding our learning. there's a bunch of ladies, as the department calls them (that makes it all the more... wrong! ladies are y'know.. prim and proper!) that routinely volunteer their pelvis and its contents every rotation so that all four groups of 15-odd students can learn to do a pelvic examination in little groups every week through the year. a noble cause indeed...

why?!?! oh dear gawd, why on earth...!?! i scream... why would anyone want to sit there from 5 - 7pm once a week with no undies on so that random medical students can poke their finger(s) up one's vagina and "have a feel" of one's cervix?! i guess that's where professionalism on both our parts kick in, but it sure doesn't help to have the instructor talk to you about the examination and explain the principles and techniques for an hour... and then basically "get her gear off" as Chards put it in his very aussie twang so you can "have a feel" of her bits. she apparently instructs you as you're doing it.. "a little to the right... nono, push it in more. yes that feels good" and comments on other ladies' while they're having their pelvic exams done. "do see that? it's a frowny cervix" she enlightens the traumatized students as she acts as the tour guide to her 17-yr old daughter's cervix (now what do you see wrong about the last statement...). yes, this obviously became a family affair somewhere along the way if she's getting her teenage daughter to be one of the ladies having to be examined. i wonder how good the pay is....

there are plenty more stories that are much much worse, stemming from the 2 groups of us that have had the session but i'll spare you the cringing and the mental trauma. let's just say that to have this conversation over a farewell dinner last nite with a couple bottles of wine was not the best conversation... or was it? hmmm.. anyway, it's just so so so wrong.. o.0

can't you detect the sarcasm when i tell you i can't wait for my session? joy oh joy!


for the greater good

it really is the luck of the draw if you believe in karma and reincarnation i suppose. it makes all the difference in the world to be born as a lab rat or as a human, yet even as a human, you still need a bit of luck to have it a bit better than the next person.

'twas the conversation with L, Nuls and Abs over coffee at the Lotus a few weekends ago. (it's locate at The Junction. modern, hip interior with open kitchen concept serving up scrumptious brekkie spread with plenty of vegetarian choices and mouthwateringly large portions. would lay off on the milkshakes tho ~ their supershake still can't rival that of McDonalds' if that means anything) anyway, we were musing at little twists of fate. how L's mom narrowly missed out on getting an education had her father listened to his older brothers challenging his decision to send a girl to school. why how absurd! they exclaimed. wasting money sending her to get educated. had her mom been deprieved of her education, L wouldn't have been sitting here that day enjoying a glorious morning of laughs with us. we're not sure she would've even have been born.

yeah, yeah.. a ton and a half of what ifs...
tis not really the point though. i digress, but hey.. what else is new?

i've ploughed through a year's worth of journal articles from Pediatric Research in the hopes of materializing an idea of Dr I's... who knows. he was hoping to present it at some international conference in november if things get done on time =) despite having an interesting research topic, the trawling of articles has now become a tad tedious and maybe even monotonous. it's also depressing to realize that all these animals are born just so they can die. to die for the greater good that's supposed to be mankind.

phrases such as "blood samples were obtained by decapitation, within the first 24 h after birth in nonfasting condition" and "1-day old newborn rabbits were killed and the lungs were recovered" leave a queasy feeling at the bottom of my tummy. i don't know if that's worse.. to kill off these little baby animals as soon as their born or to modify them with "permanent ligation of the right carotid artery with subsequent exposure to an episode of hypoxia... thereby producing a cerbral infarct" ~ in plain english, they had a major artery in their neck cut, then was suffocated by breathing in air that was 92% nitrogen to make their blood vessels in their brains bleed and produce a stroke.

after the scanning of my mere 250+ articles, i now kinda understand why people would have such strong feelings against animal testing now... let alone animal research. i just wish there was some other way to obtain the answers... =(


another helping of strings around my finger

more "notes to self" to add to the previous list. but before that... here are some totally unrelated gookiness...
this is for firefox fans ~ a series of firefox-themed wallpapers brought to my attention by dkxeon. i like =) for those who lean towards books rather than electronic animals, but are at a loss at what to read next... well, enter the name of a book that you've enjoyed and they will suggest other books you may like. should you suddenly feel like Lady Macbeth, you may want to invest in this ring la spice from the spiffy people at iluren.com. if you do like electronic animals, maybe you might want to settle for some pixel blocks and make your own. all this too geeky for you? =) chill out with some caffeinated lip balm! well.. actually, you might get more pumped up than usual with it but it'll put you in the perfect mood to test drive pergeot's moovie or 20cup. rest assured that although they have odd names, we are talking about cars here! if you prefer to sit down after all that excitement, the scooterdesk may be perfect for cooling down as you catch up on all the backlogged work you need to do with the help of your ringpen in your office-in-a-bucket.

and now, for some strings:
  • string #5 ~ respect the nurses. just because you're a doctor doesn't mean you're superior (although some doctors with overinflated egos may beg to differ). in the words of one of the ED nurses as she imparted her wisdom to my friend... "you guys should respect nurses you know. ["of course! everyone deserves respect no matter who they may be!" interjects my friend] we may not know as much as you guys, but we sure as hell know enough to make life hell for you if you don't." wise words indeed. duly noted!
  • string #6 ~ along the same vein, never call some "just a [insert profession]"... it doesn't go down very well with the recipient of the message, no matter how frustrated you may be. the poor, misunderstood and short-tempered dr. acidophilus was mistakenly thought to be a lazy wanker by the midwife on duty. she mouthed "wanker" over his shoulder at me, so there was no mistake about what she thought about him. all he wanted to do was give me experience by letting me handle the morning antenatal clinics by myself. i loved the idea and couldn't wait to be calling patients into my own room with my own desk and nobody to look over my shoulder! the midwife was concerned about my mental health and thought it wasn't fair to push me, "just a student", into such a situation. she stood her ground, dr acidophilus stood his. he got frustrated and spat out to the midwife that "I'M the doctor here. YOU are just the midwife. go away! no, go. away. now. ...go. away." with a wave of his hand. oooooooh boy..
  • string #7 ~ do not get swayed, learn to stand your ground. it doesn't always mean that one needs to be an arrogant prick but sometimes, you have no choice. like how dr acidophilus was to the midwife. anyone else can tell you their opinion, but once you make a decision, you need to be held responsible for that decision. if things go wrong, your head rolls... not that of the midwife who nagged you into changing your mind. that passing intern's head stays put even though you listened to him at the time. you can't tell people "but the nurse told me so!" and expect to be freed from bearing the responsibility of an unwise decision... so stand your ground. if it's shaky, at least stand on the ground you most likely will believe in.


four days into the obs/gyn rotation and i feel like i've obtained enough "moments" to last me a lifetime or two. i'm being lazy by compiling a list of things again, but you gotta believe me when i tell you i'm pooped. obstetrics and gynecology... i love and hate you all at once =(

List of Things Done and Gone
  • my social life has been more happening this week than any other week ~ i managed to go out and meet an old friend over a bowl, yes bowl of white hot chocolate. mmmm!
  • in terms of academia, i've clocked more hours per day, well even per week, than the private obstetrician when she's in the operating theaters. i worry for my legs, especially varicose veins and my back is killing me. kinda sad to realize that i'm not cut out to be the surgeon i wanted to be =(
  • on the upside, i almost fulfilled that little bit of gossip going around about my doctor boyfriend. almost is the imperative word here. obviously, i have a soft spot for strays ~ this registrar just moved up to newcastle for 2 months, didn't know anyone and was willing the previous surgical team to hurry up with his "aiyaaaaahh!"-ing about having to do the last caesarean outside the OTs as we waited for the xraying to finish. we didn't stay in the OT cuz well.. i don't exactly fancy having my gonads fried...
  • also on the upside, i saw my first 2 babies being delivered for the first time. gross i tell you.. they come out with a layer of white moldy fungusish stuff covering them and look absolutely hideous until they're wiped and swaddled. a face even a mother couldn't love, i tell you! i'm having second thoughts about having kids after seeing the pain and surgery involved... i'm petrified. i also saw my first hysterectomy and got the chance to assist, zapping a blood vessel close with the diothermy and exercising my muscles by retracting the bladder. i even saw my first set of ovaries, one of which was cystic and decided to burst halfway through the surgery when the doctor accidentally brushed it. *squirt* it went. a stream of straw*colored clear fluid shot across the room. it got stuff about a foot away... mighty impressive, i must say!
  • more happy news ~ my "survival kit" that A customized and put together arrived yesterday. wow.. flabbergasted!! it was so pretty with all those mini milo bars sprinkled all over the box and the instructions were jaw-dropping. i wasn't expecting anything near what i got at all! i still don't know why i got sent a survival kit, nor think that i deserved some of the stuff in there but i really appreciated the spontaneity of the whole thing and i'm glad to hear that A had a lotta fun putting it together =)
  • in other news, i somehow gave myself a huge bruise on my knee and i only noticed it today ~ 'twas the first decent bruise in several years really. it's as big as a flattened mothball-sized piece of play*doh! go me!
List of Things to be Done
  • catch up on sleep
  • remember to eat
  • send car to the bodyworks shop to be fixed under warrantee
  • sleep
  • drink more water
  • catch up on paperwork
  • catch up on emails
  • catch up on sleep
  • try not to polish off my stash of cookies, chocolate and nutella
  • have i mentioned that i needed some sleep?


i don't like it...

in the words of the brave little 4 year old boy who sat there quietly on his mommy's lap, processing and assessing his feelings towards that needle going into his right arm as he was getting his immunization shots... "i don't like it...!"

today.. well yesterday actually... i didn't like it much. i don't like it at all...

a culmination of a lot of things tainted an otherwise very nice mooncake festival day.
  • having my didi ("little brother" in chinese) breaking the news a few days ago that his mom passed away suddenly ~ he sounded distracted, prolly distraught and said he'd call the next day. he didn't call, i don't want to call.. i'm not sure it's a good idea but at the same time, i'm worried about him
  • hearing about a good friend of mine finding out her dad being diagnosed with cancer and then speaking to her on the phone today ~ not only did it leave me in shock, i was also left with this big gaping hole in my heart. a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. i really wanted to help in some way, but i didn't know how. i've never heard her sound this way and it kinda tore me up inside after putting the phone down
  • learning that another friend's sister lost her boyfriend to an accident prior to talking to my friend about her dad ~ to hear how helpless he felt at not being able to comfort his sister, to hear of all the stuff he had to go through during the years i've known him and not have a clue about it... i wish i had known back then so he would've had one more person to lean on at the time
  • having a ghost from the past message me on msn to wish me a happy mooncake day today ~ that pretty much set the tone for the rest of the day.
  • to grapple with the reality that my mom now has a computer and has my msn... and is signing on and off every few minutes after complaining that her cousin "turned her internet off" and now she can't "turn it back on" ~ well obviously, she figured out how to "turn it back on" with all that signing in and out. she also spent the whole night trying to start video conferencing with me, except she kept cancelling it and telling me she can't "get in" so don't bother waiting up for her, i can turn off my computer now. or that she sent me an email... a blank email mind you, but her first email nonetheless. tech saavy parents aren't part of my vocabulary, so you'll understand why it's a very disconcerting feeling.
  • to know that today is the last day of my one week break and that my 8 - 5 day starts tomorrow, in less than 6 hours actually... that i haven't even touched my pediatrics material and that the only thing i've read for obs/gyn is that the uterus is normally 7.5cm tall by 5cm wide. (OUCH! can u imagine a baby in a 7.5x5 enclosure.. man, that thing must stretch a lot. *looks down at tummy* owie...)
and so, i'm left with a bitter aftertaste to an otherwise good non-mooncake day...


an abundance of mothers

i think i have a knack of picking up surrogate mothers...

3 god-mothers to date, 2 sets of friends' parents that have taken me into their fold, 1 extremely doting aunt (the kind that gives you your own cordless curling iron when you turn 8, your own phone/cassette player/radio thing when you turn 9 and a puppy when you turn 10 among other things) and today, i picked up another surrogate family at my GP placement.

i don't know what possessed Dr. MM to invite me over to her house for dinner after spending just 4 hours with her on our first meeting this morning, but invite me she did. i thought i adored Dr. R at my last placement but MM is slowly climbing up my personal ladder of idols next to Dr. R. (well, for lack of a better word. i don't exactly feel strongly enough to idolize anyone) small world it is, to find out that Dr. R used to be part of this clinic that i went to this morning before going solo. surely it couldn't be due to the fact that the two GPs i've gushed about were both newcastle graduates... that 150 year old clinic must have some secret recipe for producing such awesome doctors.

MM made it her personal crusade to make sure i'll be introduced to all the little towns and retreats the "locals" visit around the newcastle area before i graduated. she also sent out my dinner invite before knowing my life story in a nutshell. i don't know whether to be slightly well.. not offended, but i feel a little like an orphan or a stray puppy. she insisted that i have to go to dinner at her place, to act as a surrogate family for me and to take her seriously when she says not to hesitate if i should need any sort of help or support from her. she emphasized seriously three times. sigh.

what is it with motherly instincts and kids out in the world alone? the last time i had a dinner invite from one of them (as opposed to one of us, or one of my friends) was from two of my junior college teachers upon learning that i was home alone for that week as my mom gallivanted around taiwan. you should've seen the horrified looks they each sported on separate occasions, as if they were ready to call the SPCA.

how much is that doggy... originally uploaded by thoughtwax.

oh don't get me wrong... i'm very flattered that they would even consider inviting me to their home for dinner. i don't know about you, but i think it's a rather personal thing to allow what technically constitutes as a stranger into your private life so to me, those invitations are an honor in a way. i just don't like the bit where i feel like that doggy in the window..


classic amy moment #1

i booked my hotel rooms in sg! i was so excited i blurted it to my girliefriends.. i got even more excited when one of them said she could stay over. a few minutes later, another one said she could too. slumber party's in the making!! there was one last friend to contact. i haven't seen her online for the past 2 years. i believed she still had her icq account so i sent this msg off to her:

i dunno if u still use icq but here goes.. i hope you get this message. i'll be in sg from dec ** - ** and i'm staying at the *** hotel. hope you'll be free during that time. lu is gonna stay over on the ** and i've asked liz, but no reply yet. it'd be great if u could come too.. then we can have a sleepover! =)

it was only after sending the msg that i decided to check her user info to search for an email address. this is what greeted me:

ICQ Number: 129-***-***
Name: ali baba
NickName: *e*n
Address: Singapore
Gender: Male
Birth Date: 9/20/1939
Age: 65

going by that info, we're gonna get a 65 year old ah pek coming to join us for the slumber party. i hope it's just S being a dork... i really should stop assuming things!


word of the day

should anyone need educating on the meaning of late, please travel back in time and spend today with me. keeping to the spirit of today's theme, by the time this entry is blogged, it'll be tomorrow. yay!

it was one of those days where i wish i had a rewind button just so i can go through it the way i had meant to the first time around. i woke up late this morning, meaning i had to run out to the foyer in my pjs, messy hair and morning breath to grab printerless L's flashdrive and print out her assignments for her. meant i couldn't go hand in my assignments with her as planned. ah well, i used the time to get ready for the expedition to sydney that was meant to commence mid-morning. at the sound of the bell that was the phone, i jumped and was raring to go. heart sank to hear the words "i've been naughty" ~ L had been sleeping for the past few hours. we'd be running late. i had a 1pm lunch appt in sydney and at the time, i thought i could make it with half an hour to spare. one hour later with no L in sight at the parking lot to pick me up, i had to shove lunch into the dinner slot.

it literally turned my plans upside down. i had planned to meet up with B for lunch and do shopping afterwards. what ended up happening was me, trudging up and down george street in various modes of transportation with 4 boxes of krispy kreme donuts. we all ended up meeting B for the first time after half a dozen phone calls and telephone tag. we met over coffee, or lack of because with my luck today, all the coffee places in the area had already closed by the time we met. gawd, what an awful way to hold a first meeting. i swear i'm usually not this disorganized!! i hope his box of krispy kremes make up for some of the bad first impressions =( dunkin' donuts indeed...

apparently, i wasn't the only one running late all day. the two other people the shuttle bus had to pick up on the way up to newcastle were on two different flights that were both nearly an hour late. meant my pickup time was nearly an hour late. meant i got home nearer to 11 than the 7pm slot i had planned.

ahh i'm at least alive and well, but very late. please.. i've learnt what the word late means and i've learnt it well. please don't arrange for anymore follow-up sessions! and so, with these misadventures, i begin my one week holiday!


alternate realities

besides having conversations about nothing as a kid, i often challenged people with the notion that life as we know it might actually be the proverbial hell people are so afraid to end up at when they pass away. for that matter, how do you know that we're not living in the afterlife and that this is death, that when we die, we actually go to that other place in the land of the living? how can we be so sure that the earth, the solar system and heck, the milky way aren't inside some giant's stomach... or in the eyeball of a squid for that matter? that the universe as we know it is actually the black void in some orifice of some other giant being, that we aren't the very bacteria that we study?

parallel lives, parallel realities..

watching one of the 4400 episodes sparked it off. it was a neat concept but i was bursting with frustration because i was just as confused as the main dude who was stuck in his alternate universe. i had to drag it out of A to tell me what happened so that i could finish watching the episode in peace. i promised to give back her pastry brush for the info, but i didn't keep up my end of the bargain *grins* instead, i got some scrumptious cinnamon sticks & accompanying frosting + apple cinnamon swirled toast for my lack of cooperation... how good was that?! =)

· ¤ · ¤ · ¤ ·

i grew up visiting M's house in san marino every weekend ever since i was like 6 or 7. our parents would yak, i'd sit there and read my ramona quimby or latest nancy drew from the library if M and his brother and sister weren't around. if they were, i was shoved into their care.. these strange grown up people that weren't quite proper grownups because they weren't as old as my parents, but were much older than me.

best bonding moment was when all 4 of us were plopped on their parents' bed watching some tennis final. they were rooting for agassi. A asked me how old i thought she was. i shrugged and avoided answering "old" just so she wouldn't get upset. they forced it out of me in the end.

"old!" they sniggered. "how old is old to you?"

i stared at the tv, trying to figure out which white-clad dude was agassi.

"c'mon! we won't get mad!" they egged.

i stared at the tv, trying to figure out why they all liked agassi. hey forgive me, i was 7...

in the end, i told them that i thought anyone above twenty was old. they burst out laughing and i only remember someone telling me they were 16. i heaved a great sigh of relief. at least i didn't insult anyone by calling them old.. 16 was still younger than 20 so they must still be young.

10 years later, M and R were taking me out for coffee when i visited them in taipei although it was a tad forced. R snuck off, claiming he couldn't find a parking spot and left M with me. or me with M. A had quit med school after one year and was now a blossoming director based in japan. tack on another 6 odd years.. A now has a taiwanese movie starring Lin Yi Chen and Anita Yuen under her belt, M is a chief psychiatrist at a taipei hospital and R is the head of the emergency dept at another hospital. you could say they're a bunch of overachievers =)

now comes the weird part..

their mom apparently blurted out her true plans during my last visit back to taiwan early this year. she wasn't drunk. she meant every word she said and repeated everything to another set of friends the following day. in her exact words, "do you mind if i make amy my daughter? if i can't have her as my daughter-in-law, then by god i'm having her as my god-daughter."

*hears a pin drop in the room as the awkward moment lingers. my dad slurps his noodles to break the silence*

he's a freaking 9 years older than me!! he's supposed to be like an older brother!! eeeeeeeeewwww!

tonight, my mom calls. this random phone call from my mom sparked off more of that parallel universe stuff.. she was calling from M's wedding dinner reception. i could hear my dad in the background. the call seemed misplaced as she asked if i wanted to speak to M. "what for??" streaked across my mind.. i forgot it's friday today. i forgot she said she'd call today. i forgot i was supposed to be out partying today. i forgot i had to finish my case report today. *sigh* for my mom to drag M away from his duties as the groom on his wedding night just so she can pass the phone to some kid-sister figure of his whom his mother tried to set him up with, so she can congratulate him... i couldn't do it. it was too weird. his poor wife. i hope his mother doesn't think she's me. it got me thinking tho.. what if things went according to his mother's twisted plan. she had been planning this ever since i was visiting their house in cali as a kid!!!

what if though... what if.
what if i never left cali.
what if i went to cate and boarded there to finish high school.
what if i still had jimmy.
what if i had found that letter i wrote in 6th grade to a certain somebody.
what if i had given that letter to that certain somebody.

a million and one what ifs that i'll never ever know the endings to. i guess the bottom line is that life is what you make of it. for me, it meant having fun at the pediatric dinner last nite with L and L. L and I were drunk with laughter. the other L on the other hand was hilariously but quite decidedly drunk. after all.. all roads lead to the same point, don't they?


all done!

just got back from my pediatric long case ~ it could've been better, well.. i could've done better but med school just breeds mediocrity so i'm just glad it's over and done with. just pass me dammit! is the slogan nowadays... a far cry from the amy of yore. the stereotyped asian whose heart sank and felt truly ashamed for getting a 98% instead of a 100%. funny how i was just as happy with a 99% but not those 98%s...

i can't believe how fast that hour whizzed by... "hi, my name is amy. i'm a 4th yr med student and i was wondering if it's ok with you to have a chat and then examine the birthday girl afterwards?" before i knew it, it was time to go. "one last thing... i just need to get your head circumference so i'm just gonna wrap this silly piece of paper around your head and give you a temporary princess crown ok?" then i was off to skye's office to sit there in silence for 20 minutes, furiously scribbling down what i'd present to murray and ian whilst almost forgetting to plot the growth parameters against the charts. then came the presentation and the questions. those who're interested can read more about the birthday girl below.

i can't believe how fast these 8 weeks have whizzed by... "hi, my name is murray and i'll be your course coordinator for pediatrics." before i knew it, it was time for the pediatric dinner. "one last thing... how did you think you went? we always like to ask students how they think they did before we tell them if they've passed or not." then i was off to bara to sit here in silence to type up my long case, blog and then face those awful assignments that are due by 5pm friday afternoon. but not before preparing to go out for a catch-up dinner with nuls and abs and a few others. not before getting ready for the rotational pediatric dinner tomorrow night with our tutors and such. not before making a hella lot of little trinkets out of that shrinky dink stuff i just got in the mail.. wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee! ~

yearly ritual

here's my long case on Tee as we'll call her. poor little girlie had to celebrate her 6th bdae at the hospital. apparently, she celebrated her 5th bdae at the hospital with a broken collarbone last year. ian joked that we should book her in for the same time next year at this rate, hee.


I saw Tee, a 6 year old little girl with pneumonia who presented to ED 2 days ago on the advice of her GP and has since been admitted to the wards.

She's had a slew of symptoms since last Tuesday, about a week ago, that included fevers, vomitting, diarrhea, abdo pain, cough, sore throat, coryzal symptoms and hallucinations. I'll go through each in more detail..

Her coryzal symptoms started late Monday night with what her mom described as "the sniffles." By Tuesday, she was having fevers in the high 39s to 40 degrees and this lasted through the rest of the week despite being given panadol and panamax. Tee also hallucinated Tuesday night, mistaking bead curtains for the plaits of a little girl and she got agitated, whining that the little girl shouldn't be allowed into bed with her. This was prolly attributed to her high temperatures. She's had 2 episodes of vomitting since admission, bringing up thick clear phlegm. no blood, particles or food and there was no pattern to the vomitting; she didn't vomit after every meal or anything like that. Tee's had 1 - 2 bouts of diarrhea but her bowel motions have since returned to normal. Her abdo pain was her major complaint. It started out generalized but localized into left hip pain 4 days ago. A day later, it had become left shoulder pain. pain so bad it caused Tee to scream herself to exhaustion everytime she had an "attack" of the pain. Throughout all this, Tee has had a dry persistent cough and a sore throat that developed a few days after the initial fever. She has seen 3 different GPs throughout the week and was prescribed antibiotics by the 2nd GP, who suspected pleuricy. The first GP thought it was a viral self-limiting illness and the 3rd GP sent her to ED when her mother wanted a referral for an xray of Tee's shoulder.

Tee's been more tired and listless than usual. She's sleeping 3 - 4x during the day but is also sleeping through the night unless she's woken up by the pain along her left side. Her appetite's been less than usual, eating only jello and light snacks. She's well hydrated with her choice of water, juice and sprite with her mother making sure she's sipping one of them everytime she checks on her.

Besides breaking her collarbone last year at this time, Tee's had no other relevant surgical history. According to mom, she's had bowel problems since she was born and had to be on parachoc. Nowadays, she gets abdominal pains about once a month and these are relieved by a dose of parachoc. Tee's been also seeing a counsellor at the Wallsend branch of Kaleidescope regarding separation issues ~ she had trouble adjusting to the seperation of her parents about 12 months ago and refused to leave her mother, becoming clingy. Her mother didn't elaborate, stating that she didn't want to talk about this in front of Tee so I didn't pursue this any further.

The pregnancy was uneventful. Her mother was involved in a motorbike accident when she was 5 weeks pregnant and was given oral painkillers and IV morphine for a few days. No other medications were taken during the rest of the pregnancy and no complications such as gestational diabetes or pre-eclampsia developed. Tee was 10 days overdue and had to be induced. Forceps had to be used to aid in her delivery but she was well. Her mother didn't know her Apgar scores but remembers that Tee passed her baby check. (i forgot to ask for birth weight even though i had scribbled it down and circled the thing). Tee's not normally on any sort of medication, has no known allergies and her vaccinations are up to date. She's currently on IV penicillin and oral antibiotics 3x a day while in hospital.

Tee's now attending first grade and is near the top of her class. She gets along fine with her classmates and there haven't been any reports of disruptive or abnormal behavior. At home, she lives with her mom and younger sister who's 4. She sees her dad during the weekends.

On physical examination.. well when I first saw Tee, she was a well.. well-perfused looking girl who was sitting up in bed playing with all her birthday presents. She was obviously better from what her mom had described her to be last week because I saw her get up several times to answer phone calls bearing birthday wishes throughout the interview. Her vitals... they were all normal. BP was 96/68, pulse was 96bpm, last recorded temp on charts was 36.2 degrees, resp rate was 20. Her hydration status was normal ~ no signs of dehydration like sunken eyes and her capillary refill was less than 2 seconds. Her height and weight were both between the 50th and 75th percentiles, showing normal and symmetrical growth. Her head circumference fell just below the 50th percentile for her age but that's also considered normal.

I started out by looking at her hands ~ no clubbing that would indicate some sort of chronic disease, palmar creases normal, weren't pale so she's not anemic. capillary refill was normal as I've said. Then I moved up to her head. Eyes were fine ~ red and pupillary reflexes present. Then I looked in her ears ~ no signs of inflammation seen to suggest otitis media. She also hadn't complained of sore ears so OM is unlikely. Her nose was fine.. no deviated septum or anatomical abnormalities. When I looked in her mouth, I could see whitish stuff on her tonsils but couldn't get a good look because she was trouble keeping her mouth open and tongue out and was also coughing. Her parotids and lymph nodes weren't swollen, she had no tracheal tug, accessory mm use or other signs of respiratory distress when I looked. Her trachea was midline, chest was normal ~ no structural abnormalities. When I percussed, I could elicit an area of consolidation on her lower left lobe at the back. On ausculatation, I heard bronchial breath sounds at her upper left lobe in front. Air entry seemed to be decreased on her lower left lobe when compared to the right lobe. No vocal fremitus or resonance could be elicited.

Next, I had a quick look at her abdomen. It was soft, non-tender and wasn't distended...

by this point, murray had to cut me off and tell me to summarize cuz we were running out of time. so in summary, I saw Tee, a 6 year old little girl with pneumonia being treated with IV penicillin and oral antibiotics who is now on the mend.


the banshee saga

it's funny how things often come a full circle...

it started with a 7-month long saga of incessant noise problems coupled with complaints on my part about a particularly heavy family of elephants living in the room next to me. i've since dubbed the couple the banshee and the vampiress. the guy looks like your typical ah beng, except he hails from hong kong rather than singapore. the girl is as pale as your pressed and starched lab coat, complete with long stingy wispy black hair. all she really needs is that blood red lipstick to complete the look and it'll be halloween all year round next door. i think the girl would literally sizzle and shrivel up if sunlight touched her. anyway, after much angst that culminated into a series of complaints by those of us living directly next to them, above them and one up, one over on top of them two nights in a row, they've stopped gaming with the friggin sound turned loud enough to imitate slow rolling thunder. headphones people, headphones!!

other than reverting back to the original stomping problem, they've shut up. maybe the threat of meeting with the head of college worked.. or not. time seems to work differently over here.. it's as if the air's too thick of muddleheadedness at times ~ too thick for even time to travel through and hence, time seems to sometimes slow down as it tries to fight its way through the tangle of madness. things basically never get done efficiently. people get fired for being too efficient over here, literally. people learn to underachieve and it dulls even the best of us down after being submersed in such an environment after a length of time. (icantwaittoleavethisplace!)

anyway, i found it slightly cheeky of fate to have the banshee and the vampiress see me in my flustered glory, bag on shoulder with bits and pieces hanging out, one strap off my shoulder as i struggled to replace the house phone in the foyer with one hand and grappled with my mail and three shopping bags full of soda and toilet paper in the other. you'll have to excuse me when i tell you that these are really nice people, deep down inside those rolls of callous selfish behavior. i tend to be a horrible judge of human character. i only got 11 out of 20 right when i tried to tell a fake smile from a real one.

as i sauntered through the foyer door, appearing to struggle much more than i really needed to... i grinned inwardly. what irony it is, to hold the door open for the same girl that complained about you for the past 7 months and wrote you into the dorm's blacklist. the same one that hopefully made your life hell with all those phone calls imploring you to "please turn it down just a little?" because you certainly made life hell for her, to make sure that she was fully through the doorway before shutting the door quietly behind her and catching up to your girlfriend. thank goodness for my anonymous status.

sigh of relief's not there for long tho... the banshee's gone, the elephant's back.