mind your manners


i came home today, pushed the button in the parking lot to get up to my apartment.
the doors opened to reveal three men and a full shopping cart of flattened cardboard.
i wasn't paying attention to where the elevator had come from.. downstairs in B2 or from the ground floor upstairs.
so the doors opened.
none of the three men moved.
they stood as one would stand in a bar, crowded over a skinny tall table with a bowl of peanuts atop.
so i asked "going up?"
no reply.
i proceeded to walk in.

"letting us out would be the polite thing to do" one of the men in a striped apron said.

"WELL NONE OF YOU WERE MOVING SO I ASSUMED YOU WERE GOING UP LIKE I ASKED" i replied, albeit in a normal tone of voice. the voice in my head on the other hand.. it was exacerbating a pre-existing headache that had refused to leave me alone all week.

frickin hell.

telling me about manners.
why don't you try some introspection and reply to a question like any other normal courteous person would.

*storms off*

so not the week to test my temper i tell you. so not.


what the fuck is wrong with everyone today

do you ever get the urge to shout from the rooftops at the top of your voice, preferably with a megaphone "what the fuck is wrong with everyone today?" i know that every so often, i do when i come across a shitty day. today was one of them.

being tired, cranky and starving with a hypoglycemia-induced headache is a great baseline state to start with i suppose. sorry for the lack of compassion. i find it hard to muster any for this one patient of ours whom created unnecessary stress by demanding to be discharged here and now this afternoon. this little idiot was a 19 year old diabetic who keeps coming back to hospital with diabetic ketoacidosis. this was her 6th admission since the start of 2009. it didn't help that we've linked her up with all the services she needed. it didn't help that we told her over and over and over and over and over again how serious it was, that one of these days.. she would end up dead with her poor compliance with her insulin regime. we told her it would be sad to see her in the obituaries for something so easily treatable if she would just bother to take care of herself. of course, i doubt that any of that has sunken in. the little shit lied that she had a follow-up appointment with the diabetic clinic last time she was in. we called up to confirm and they had no records of her. she lied again today, saying her boyfriend had arranged for her to meet her diabetic educator today after leaving hospital. lucky for all of us i was cynical. i called up her diabetic educator, explained the situation with the idiot teen in front of me and found out that no such arrangement had been made. surprise surprise! the little shit is standing in front of me, gesturing wildly and mouthing that her boyfriend lied to her (now why the hell would he lie about making a medical appointment for her?) and all the while, her face turned red as a beet. of course, i told the diabetic educator that the patient was standing in front of me, would she like to speak to her.

other minor incidents happened at work, all of which were nuisances. one of them involved a boss. the endocrinologist called up to consult with 3 of our patients slickly turfed them all off to either local doctors or pre-existing ones looking after them outside of hospital. that left me tracking them down through various hospital switchboards and the white pages all afternoon to come up with a fricking management plan for these people.

then there were the surgeons who decided that this dude needed to be transferred to another hospital without having the courtesy to tell our ICU team what the plans were, let alone figure the logistics of how we'd actually get the patient across at nearly 5pm when everyone's gone home, who the patient would be admitted under, and most importantly, if the other hospital had an empty bed for the guy once he arrived. on top of that, the procedure wasn't even booked and the ultrasound results weren't even available to confirm the diagnosis that would be treated by the proposed procedure. what a farce.

and then i come home and was accosted with idiots on the road left right and center. those that drove slower than a snail, and those that drove too fast for their own good in good going traffic. came back and opened my email to find more idiocracy. "Please be advised I have spoken to Automatic Fire and they have been in 98% of the apartments so they advised they do not need access in your apartment."

How the hell does one conduct a fire and safety inspection on a building and say "oh it's ok, we've inspected 98% of the building, therefore it must be 100% safe" Explain that one to me.

time for food, i'm out of brain juice.

on a final note, the only good news today was that my mom underwent her hysterectomy and all's well. they found osme sort of fibroid, i'm guessing from my dad's description, and a cyst that have been sent off for histopath but seems benign.

ok, food time. hungry amy = bitchy, cranky amy


i knew it was too good to be true

what an end to what started out as a bloody wonderful week. by the time i left work on tuesday, we had 5 patients in icu. one hadn't even arrived yet. it was about the same on wednesday when we effectively had 3 patients all day. one had gone off for investigations, another was post-op and didn't arrive til afterhours.

with days like that, anything more would be relatively shitty. by thurs afternoon though, it was starting to get a bit ridiculous. we started with a code blue/met call - the guy died after failing to respond to 10min of cpr. what a way to start. the day ended with 2 more codes, each within 5 minutes of each other. both ended up in icu, ready to greet me when i got to work this morning.

that wasn't all that greeted me. we had another code blue within 5 minutes of walking in - the guy's heart decided to go wonky and danced at bullet speed. in the meantime, all the respective teams had come and gone and before i knew it, i had to discharge half the ward today before even getting the chance to start our own icu rounds! of course, things must always go wrong on days when you least want them to... pharmacy couldn't find discharge medication scripts and we ended up writing outside prescriptions for everyone going home. ct scans were done with no results available. patients were getting antsy waiting (for goodness sakes, it was still before noon) and being bloody nuisances. this one guy kept talking over me, pointing at his room door and wanted me to ask the doctor when he could go home. after trying to ignore it a few times, all the while explaining he could go home in another hour or two, i gave up, looked him squarely in the eye and said quite flatly "i AM the doctor." (now will you shut up and listen) would be what was left unsaid. bloody people never listen. i always introduce myself with "hi i'm amy. i'm one of the doctors working in this unit" and most people respond with a hi to acknowledge they were listening. anyway...

the day's come and going.. sucks that i have no break to look forward to - i'll be at work =(
before i go, one last gripe to let loose. i'm pre-empting that i'll offend a few people but frankly.. it's just an opinion. take it or leave it, i say.

and the gripe starts like this...

i check my email to find a link to rsvp to a 130th birthday celebration of rgs, the secondary school i went to when i moved to singapore. i had lots of fond memories of my time there.. mostly of choir pracs and shows. in comparison to my time in junior college over there, i would've much preferred my time in secondary school. that being said, i was quite appalled.. with mild amusement at the program they had proposed. a birthday celebrating 130 years, and they get the current principle to say something, sing the school song, listen to a concert (which will likely be the usual gamut of song and dance with proportionate ethnic representation) and then bellow out some school cheers (what exactly would they be cheering for when most of the cheers are shouted in baritone voices at sporting events?). it all sounded very artificial and concocted. corniness aside, the clincher in my books would be the allocated 1.5 hours after all of that for "conversations and reminiscences" .. which mind you, is completely optional (so why allocate it in the first place when there was nothing else after this optional segment anyway?) did they not think, that with all the independence they've instilled in us through their innovative teaching, that we would have the brains to organize our own time to catch up with whoever we wanted to? seriously, if they had wanted to set aside time for catchups, they could've at least marketed it as the after-party rather than part of the proposed program for the night. and speaking of the program... it's a milestone and yes, they've invited old teachers and principals to attend the function but wouldn't it be a lot better to get them as guest speakers to share their thoughts on how far along the school has come and all that kind of catch-up, rather than fill up the bulk of the night with a concert of random acts?

*sigh* all i could think of when i was reading the program was .."how typically singaporean, to be so regimented that even free time and will needed to be allocated and spoonfed to a population of sheep." i mean no disrespect, but from random conversations here and there with singaporean friends, those with independent thought and free will have gotten the hell outta there as soon as they could, leaving the sheep behind to be sheparded by a group of communists at heart who mask their true motives behind slick propaganda and glib half-truths.

i'd much rather you let me vent and rant and get rid of all the steam that's built up over the past couple of days but if you must, go ahead... may the blasting begin.


the annual gripe

maybe for the first time since i've started this yearly tradition (which in a way is kind of hypocritical i suppose, seeing that the point is to be anti-valentines and i dedicate a post annually to it... but anyway, that's besides the point)...

so as i was rambling..

maybe for the first time, this won't be a gripe per se, but more of a sense of relief.
yes, there are the smattering of stories and pictures of valentines, but for once.. it crept up on me. the stores seemed to have skipped right over it and plonked lots of chocolate eggs and fuzzy bunnies on their shelves next to the little pile of red. for once, it seems that priorities have been straightened out and people were more concerned about the raging bushfires down in victoria, or the floods up in queensland on this valentines' day. w00t to the sensible! i've maintained again and again that seriously, holidays are only nice if you get the day off. you could hold a party every single day of the year if you truly wanted and come up with something to celebrate.. my many many unbirthdays (to you? to me!), anniversaries, other people's birthdays, the day this blog started, the day i first started biting my nails, the day i met you, the day i stopped biting my nails, blahblahblah.

so yeah, this year's gripe is much more muted and more of a sigh of relief that there's enough hope left to steer us away from eventual idiocracy. the origin of the fires on the other hand...

anyway, as usual.. today's like any other day on any other year. i skipped my surgical tutorials even though i had psyched myself up for them just last night. for 7.30am, it was such a calm, quiet morning with the faint twittering of birds to be heard outside. i had planned to stop by a nearby cafe and saunter to my tutorials with a coffee in hand and was drooling about breakfast, mentally going down the street to pick a cafe. i was about to walk out the door when i took one last peek outside, stopped in my tracks and said to myself, this is crazy! you've woken up at the crack of dawn on the one weekend where you didn't need to work after working overtime last weekend and this past thursday... to attend these tutorials that you haven't rsvped to, at a place you'll need to take 20 minutes to walk to and another 20 minutes to find, to sit for several hours in a room full of registrars you barely know who are sitting their exams this year, to listen to topics you haven't prepared for, in a class where you don't know the structure of, with two pieces of scratch paper to take down notes with... on a grey drizzly cold morning.. for what? out of interest.

the last bit did me in.

for those of you that do celebrate vday, hope you have a sweet one =)
meanwhile, it's back to my warm comfy bed for me!