Sunday, 15 October 2017

Doctoring in Adelaide

I was rostered for after-hour special RMO - who will attend MET/Code Blue and admitting subspecialties patients ie. Gastro/Renal/Respiratory etc.

0600 - Woke up, prayed and exercised. Showered, dressed and had oat for breakfast. 

0715 - Arrived at work, only 10 minutes away from my house. Looked at current inpatient list; 3 new patients then searched their case folders and read the admission notes. Looked up their recent echocardiogram, angiogram and morning blood test. 


# Blood test - either nurses or phlebotomists took them.
# OACIS - our software to look up patient discharge summaries/old blood results/tracking new results/ images i.e. CT/CXR.

0745 - Picked up MET and special RMO pagers.

0800 - Handover from a night RMO about any admission from the night and any issues raised from coronary care unit (CCU). 

0820 - Ward round started. Kicked off from CCU then other outliers dispersed around the hospital. Teaching round as well; questions shot at students and doctors. 

1040 - Finished ward round. Caffeine STAT - double shots small soy latte. Delegated jobs to intern and medical students. 

  1. Chase new blood results. 
  2. Medical consults - renal, rehabilitation and stroke. 
  3. Replaced/new IV cannulation - handball to students. 
  4. Liaise with allied health about discharge planning for complex cases. 
  5. Organised echocardiogram - to chase results. 
  6. Organised TOE and cardioversion - consented. 
  7. Running around the hospital for MET/Code Blues. 
  8. Doing cardiology admissions.
  9. Discharge summaries *boring*
Lunch - forgot to eat.

1230 - Journal club - registrar presented his recently published journal. 

1330 - Continued remaining jobs. Goofed around with other residents and nurses. 

1645 - Paper round with registrar; checking job list - completion and outcomes. 

1715 - MET call - met the special after-hour registrar who will work with me tonight. 

1800 - Admission for possible hepatorenal syndrome under GasLiv team. Attempted diagnostic ascitic tap to rule out SBP but no success. Needed ultrasound. Renal workup for acute kidney injury.

2100 - Finished work and handed over other cases to night RMO. 

2130 - Arrived home, showered and dinner. 

2200 - Netflix.

2300 - Slept.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

How long before I become a parent?

I was standing patiently at the end of the ED cubicle while waiting for the time to clock in at 12 am. It was the handover time, to hand over my patients to the next doctor who would be looking after them. Then, there I was joyfully walking back to my car and thinking of my dreamy bed. 

I was glad that I could go home; not worrying about any leftover workloads or crashing patients. Then things struck upon me, what about those parents who stayed for their kids for the entire day and had to go to work the next day?

My father once had to drive me to a hospital in the middle of the night when I had a really bad gastroenteritis. He stayed awoke the entire time; patiently holding the vomit bucket for me, cringing watching me being pricked into my collapsed veins and getting grumpy staring at the doctor who was probing his hands on my restless flattened abdomen looking for tenderness.

Then 3 hours passed by; 2 litres of sodium chloride finished running its course for hydration and I was refreshed and discharged. Yet I foolishly asked my dad to drive around first before heading home so I could feel the fresh cold air from the dawning sun. At the back of my mind, schooling was not possible and I loved that quiet drive. 

While I was tucked into bed with a warm head compress, my father had to dress up (and chin up) for work. My oblivious mind failed to notice my father who still had to go to work yet had to listen to his partially sick child for a purposeless drive last night. 

Looking back at it, I was deeply shamed by my father’s relentless sacrifice of his beauty sleep and still able to rock up to work, chairing meetings and signing contracts (that’s how I see my dad anyway). 

I applauded all my young friends who are parenting early. Lacking sleeps; late night and early morning will be a lifelong ritual and some of you probably cherish it more than the others. Will I selflessly put other people's needs before mine, I doubt that will ever happen (exception for my parents, obviously). 

If you start pondering when will I be a parent too, I am not even ready yet to be a LOVER!

p/s: My birthday is coming up xx

Sunday, 10 September 2017


The last few weeks had been difficult for me. I was under a lot of stress, I could not sleep properly and I kept on having fragmented sleep. The anxiety anticipating for tomorrow’s work had become more unbearable and I was nearly calling it quit. 

You may think I was professing but my eye bags will not lie. 

The peer-pressure was building on my shoulder on what I should pursue next; what program I should I enroll or what specialty I should think of? I was okay on my own pace before other people decided to tell me “you look like a physician/ you will not cut it as a surgeon”. 

Medicine is tiring. 

Especially when you do not have the ideal social support. Yet I should not complain more since people think practicing doctors in Australia have a greater quality of life compared to homegrown doctors in Malaysia. 

The grass is always greener on the other side. 

Yes, we may earn (more) money with the better working environment but I have been longing to go back. I know plenty of Malaysians doctor coming over here to work and they claimed it was their best decision so far which made me doubt my own conflicted thoughts. 

Hopefully, I am not the only one struggling with this. Living with people's expectations throughout my life is taking its toll on me. 

Anyway, hopefully it was not too late to wish Happy Independence Day for Malaysians!

Standing in front of my running wild thoughts.

Sunday, 27 August 2017


Looking back at my student’s years, I am grateful for what I have now.

I remembered (vividly) that I used to take 3 buses for nearly 2 hours to get to the hospital before the morning ward round. Right in the deep cold of morning mist at 0430 AM, I would leave the house and hailed the bus by myself. I switched buses at 2 interchange stations and I will arrive at the far northern hospital at 0715. The return trip would be the same, with an added extra half-hour from congested traffic.

People asked why I did not get a car; even a second and third hand would do. I was contemplating; there was this pride in me to have a good looking car rather than the old refurbished 1990’s Mitsubishi yet I know I did not have that much money. Adding up the maintenance cost and every fee that came along with a car which was too much for me and I did not want to bother my parents for extra money, so I decided to bear with buses for 6 years and it was all love-hate relationship.

Now that I can afford a car with miles and miles of road tripping, I was indeed grateful that I used to go through the hardships (and frustrations) bussing for hours. Dealing with smelly passengers (or even worse alcohol intoxicated); one of them had told off 3 Chinese girls to go back to their country to catch Pokemon - but this has been the highlight of my bussing trip.

Renting houses; since I came here I have stayed at 6 different places. My first rented house was this old wooden shack well-secluded behind this quiet alley. We were looking for a place closer to the city rather than 20 bus-stops away, it was affordable yet we missed the comfort and luxury like other Malaysians who were renting big houses in the suburb areas. Friends were teasing us; “The house was like the one in TV3’s Bersamamu, next time we should bring a packet of rice to visit you guys” etc.

Room 301 in Bradford Lodge

So we learned our lesson and we rented this beautiful house with a well-mowed lawn (but the landlord was dodgy - only requested rents to be paid in cash to evade tax). We hosted parties and gatherings with other Malaysians; the moments were definitely worth to reminisce. My last house was a random pick, as long as I had a place to stay. A house of 6, but only with 1 bathroom and a SINGLE toilet. You can imagine the queue in the morning, it was a painful waiting but where else would I have gone through that?

One of our gatherings

465 Regency Road Prospect

So now since I can afford a house for two (with my own bathroom and a jacuzzi), it is another blessing that I always take for granted. I came across this conversation with my sister last night and that is why I decided to share this;

“ Bad things happen so that you know what good things feel like.”