Friday, February 29, 2008

the first stone

apparently, the 1st stone had been cast.

the pain i endured is only exceeded by the grief i feel for this person - sadly, a born-again believer who possesses many virtues, which unfortunately, do not include being charitable or magnanimous. i pray this person takes counsel from James:

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 1:22

i also received this sms:
"For one must not love sometime only but always. And let not men's sin dishearten you - love a man even in his sin for that love is a likeness of the divine kind & is the summit of love on earth"

the wife sent it.

Monday, February 25, 2008

fall from grace

history has rich examples of people who has gone down the slippery slope - from a position of respect & esteem, only to plunge into the pit of depravity. from perfection to sin.

we all know about adam & eve, & king saul from biblical times.

currently, it's the ex-health minister & the judiciary, & in the last decade, an democrat ex-US president & a string of japanese ex-prime ministers.

but, yesterday, I fell from grace.

and i'm encouraged that no one has yet casted the 1st stone.

Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.
psalm 51:1, 2

**image :Michelangelo's Temptation and Fall from the Sistine Chapel Ceiling**

Thursday, February 21, 2008

gift of life

it's the 1st of 3 or 4 blood donation campaigns that the hospital organises annually in conjunction with the general hospital to boost up blood bank supplies. (note: private hospitals still get their stored blood from the govt hospitals)

i have been donating since i was a freshie at varsity & i consider this national service. in addition to fulfilling a social responsibility, there have been reports that blood donors may derive health benefits from this. (read here & here)

but recent stringent guidelines have prevented me (& many others) from giving since 2003 due to the fear of transmission of the so-called mad cow disease, a condition which gripped europe at its height in the 1990s. (read here & here).

unfortunately for me (& the wife & daughter) british beef is as juicy & tender as you can get anywhere. if i start writing crazy or bizarre, you'll know why.

but that shouldn't stop others from doing their bit for society. 60 pints of blood were collected today, so that's at least 60 people who'll benefit from this act of kindness - a gift of life.

PS. i forgot to mention that having donated 18 times, i now am entitled to FREE out-patient treatment & 2nd class ward admission for 2 whole years? ain't that grand or what??!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

an eye for an eye

as the nation welcomed The Rat, i know of 2 families who will not join in the festivities.

a 27-yr-old insurance agent was admitted in coma. apparently he had woken up that morning feeling faint, then had breakfast & suddenly lost consciousness. a brain scan revealed a massive blood clot, probably caused by a ruptured abnormal blood vessel, called an arterio-venous malformation, or AVM for short.

although surgery to remove the clot was successful, the initial damage caused by the clot had been substantial. he did not regain consciousness & was pronounced brain dead 10 days later.

in a surprising twist of event, his father consented for both his eyes to be donated for corneal transplant. that the deceased had an unquenchable thirst for life was undeniable - even after vital support had been withdrawn, his heart resiliently pumped on for a good 20 mins...

....before giving up..... if defiantly declaring that his time should not have ended at his prime.

i pray that through his eyes, the two recipients will see that kindness, goodness & mercy still abound in this depraved world.

the other family will mourn the passing of their 21-yr-old daughter, involved in a head-on collision on new year's eve with another car allegedly driven a drunken driver. the latter died at the scene of the accident but the girl was admitted to hospital with severe head & abdominal injuries. she underwent emergency surgery but succumbed 4 days later.

2 tragedies,

2 young lives snatched away,
not of their own doing,
but yet others gamble frivolously with theirs.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

why kids should help out at home

1st & foremost, they help lighten the load of their parents, esp if they don't have a live-in maid.

2nd, these chores, when done together, facilitate bonding between parents & the kids.

3rdly, the kids may just teach the parents a thing or two.

for instance, the boy was helping me wash the car today. while i'm using the sponge, he used a plastic watering can with a long spout.....for those hard-to-reach places.

i rest my case. (i hope the ABS still works!!).

Sons are a heritage from the LORD,
children a reward from him.
psalm 127:3

Friday, February 15, 2008

to err is human

i must have said or done something to alienate a colleague at work. this i heard from a 3rd person, in whom this colleague had confided.

why would he bring his woes to another person when he could have easily clarified the issue with me? esp. when i am such an easy person (ahem!) to talk to? after all, there aren't many rifts a few rounds of beer can't heal.

to cut a week-long story short, i did what i thought was the (morally? diplomatically?) right thing, given the uneasy circumstances, & extended apologies to the "aggrieved" party.

the prominent advocate of peace & non-violence, mahatma gandhi, once remarked:
"The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong."

i hope my aggrieved colleague is also a believer of peace & non-violence.

moreover, to forgive is divine.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

return to innocence

yesterday, i resigned from my current practice at a private hospital to rejoin what used to be called University Hospital but is now known by its upmarket honorific University Malaya Medical Centre.

when i turned up at my old department, it seemed like nothing has changed & the usual suspects were all there to welcome me home. yeah, i felt right at home here.

which should not be surprising because this is where it all started for me - 1st as a starry-eyed impressionable med student & then years later as a cynical med officer pursuing specialist training.

then i woke up.

it had been a dream alright, but could the scenario be more than just a subconscious & unspoken desire festering in the background?

perhaps, secretly petitioning for a return to innocence? only time will tell.....
Don't care what people say
Just follow your own way
Don't give up and use the chance
To return to innocence.

That's not the beginning of the end
That's the return to yourself
The return to innocence
(return to innocence by enigma)

Monday, February 11, 2008

growing old?

i like routine - because i generally dislike surprises. maybe i'm a control freak - i need to know what to expect & to take hold of the situation. that's why it's the same routine every lunar new year.

Eve : reunion dinner with parents, siblings & their families.

1st day : receive relatives in the morning & then visit friends in the afternoon.

2nd day : spend a day out with the family. last year it was at Berjaya Time Square - the kids just love the theme park. this year it was at the Animal Safari at A'Famosa. they've got quite a good program going.

besides the bird show...

and animal show..

the other top attractions are the safari ride around the zoo..

and the main cowboy show...

yes, it was a commendable local effort to entertain the masses & certainly worth a day out. the boy was riding high .....

on an elephant, that is....

& messing with the natives.

and then, suddenly i felt that the new year celebrations are over for me. is it that we are all getting on & these celebrations do not matter much anymore?

or, am i just missing out on something (big?) in this life??

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

are we (really) criminals?

read this from alex's blog, today's Star & malaysian medical resources.

again this shows life's irony.

people who kill mongolians & kidnap children (& soon, also lawyers & judges who holiday together) are running around free while doctors in private practice, some of whom are barely making a decent living - i know because some are my friends - are being penalised heavily on minor offences. is there any one in private practice who doesn't feel strongly that the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act 1998 is way too draconian (for lack of a better word)?

yes, there are black sheep among us - i know because some are my friends, too!! - & by all means, the ministry of health should go after them. for others who commit minor offences, they should be punished accordingly, but a RM120k fine & in lieu a 3-mth jail term? was anyone maimed, kidnapped or killed?

hopefully, the new minister of health will restore some common sense in the enforcement of the Act, or even revise it, if need be.

or have we gone too far down the slippery slope?

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

safe journey home

radio stations are doing their part in promoting safe driving esp. during this festive season. the statistics include an accident every 18 secs & a death every 11 mins. sometimes it's really not our fault - the other driver is either dozing off at the wheel, or texting on the handphone, or is just plain reckless. the recent death of 3 young passengers travelling on a bus (read here and here) is testament to human folly.

how about pulling off stunts?

recently, a 16-yr-old girl came to hospital to have her external fixators (metal bars used to stabilise complicated fractures) removed. i remember her well, because she was here last year to have them inserted, together with a couple of screws. she was a back-seat passenger who had sustained a fractured pelvis in an accident. apparently the teen-age driver has recently got his driving licence & while on the road, the front passenger (another teenage boy) decided to do a stunt - he suddenly pulled on the hand-brake. the car skidded & crashed onto a tree - the driver died on the spot, she broke her pelvis at several places & was bedridden for 6 mths. as if to show how ironic life is, the prankster got away unscathed, & perhaps even without remorse as the girl revealed he didn't even visit her in hospital.

we can't stop others from speeding like crazy or prevent bad weather during travel. on our part, we can make sure that we have enough rest before driving, ensure all passengers buckle-up (including those in the back seats), our vehicles remain road-worthy, & that traffic rules are adhered to.

we can't avoid reckless motorists (nor falling rocks & oil slicks) but we can pray for travel mercy & divine protection.

drop by to find out what we can do/contribute to prevent unnecessary road fatalities. isn't scary that as i wrote this post, 140 accidents have occurred, taking 4 lives with them?

safe journey home one & all! have a blessed lunar new year & happy holidays!