Wednesday, July 28, 2010

excellent service at Watsons

i usually get over-the-counter medication & vitamin supplement from Guardian, but occasionally i go to Watsons because they have a discount section where items with short expiry dates are sold at between 30 - 70% less.

today i purchased a bottle of chewable vitamins whose expiry date is 20 Sept, at 70% discount. while making payment, the guy at the counter reminded me of the expiry date & even advised that i keep the bottle away from sunlight &, after opening, to store in the fridge, to prolong its shelf life.

how informative, customer-friendly & RARE is this?? it made my day & just goes to show that it doesn't take much to make a customer happy.

if we were in a restaurant or hotel, i would have given him a tip!

PS. those in the pharmaceutical industry can confrim that those pills are effective up to 6 months after their stated expiry date.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

of doctors & teachers

it's a well-known fact that doctors in private practice earn more than their counterparts in government hospitals. much more.

hence, the mass exodus into private service once the 3-year compulsory "national service" is fulfilled. of late, the govt has instituted many measures to stem this outflow, like improving the pay structure, introducing additional clinical allowances (which are largely tax-exempt), expanding post-graduate opportunities & hastening promotions. the coup de grace has got to be the establishment of private wings in certain hospitals, eg. UMMC, HUKM, where specialists are allowed to practise (& charge at private rates) after their regular office hours.

naturally, those who are bent on private practice will leave anyway but the recent measures has succeeded in convincing the fence-sitters to reconsider. i mean, specialists who are 3 years post-grad can expect to take home RM10k -12k a month. that's not too bad for a 30-plus-yr-old.

similarly, teachers supplement their income by giving tuition, which is really big business these days. i know of tuition centres that have classrooms of 80 students where the teachers use microphones & powerpoint. on top of their regular classes in school, they also do administrative work, conduct co-curricular activities & attend in-service courses. no wonder the constant complaints of being overworked!!

from august 1, the graduate teachers can engage in politics. (read here) wait a minute! i thought they said they were overburdened?? presumably some weren't. so, headmasters can soon expect absenteeism not only amongst the students, but the teachers as well. after all, politicking does take up time & effort.

personally, i don't think the standard of education will drop much after this, not because it's (reputed to be) already at rock bottom level, but rather i believe the really good & dedicated teachers will stay true to their cause & remain in the classrooms.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

the other volvo

we all know about volvo cars - the swedish brand reknown for its (previously) boxy exterior & impeccable safety features. volvo is latin for "i roll", implying a circular movement or the rotation of wheels.

volvulus is a surgical condition in which a loop of bowel twists upon itself, causing a life-threatening obstruction. this usually present with acute abdominal pain with distension & constipation. a 55-year-old had just that this week. she looked like she has a twin pregnancy, such was the degree of abdominal distension, & she was obviously in distress over it.

the pre-op xray was confirmatory of the diagnosis - the Xs delineates the twisted & distended loop of bowel.

on opening the abdomen, the offending loop virtually popped out of the incision. the bowel distension was a result of trapped gas.

a small puncture (left) was deliberately made to release the gas. 

the bowel subsequently deflated, like a leaking balloon. the loop of bowel was carefully untwisted & the operation concluded. the patient recovered completely.

it could have been worse had there been an obstruction of blood supply to the affected bowel, causing gangrene, rupturesepsis. a delay of one day would have resulted in a totally devastating outcome.

no one knows for sure why volvulus occurs & it's certainly nothing we can do to prevent it. it just happens & it's important to realise that persisitent abdominal pain requires immediate medical attention.

given the choice, i'd rather have volvo the car.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


went to see the movie with the boy last weekend. instead of just killing a couple of hours, i'm beginning to realise that these so-called kiddie (animated) movies, as much fun as they are, actually inculcate good moral values within its plot & encouraging us to be & do better. the message i got from this movie is that, no matter how mean or despicable one is & can be, there's always a glimmer of hope that, under unusual circumstances, some good can actually come out of that person.

looking back to some movies i've watched with the kids, these are some lessons i think that could be taught & learned:

Kung Fu Panda : don't make fun of fat, clumsy people - they may yet be the hero you are looking for!

Shrek Forever After : even though you know you are married to your one True Love, you really don't appreciate her till you lose her.

& my favourite cartoon movie....

UP : the epitome of true love, sprouting out of shyness between 2 kids, blooming throughout adulthood & culminating in realising their dream, even after one has passed on.

yeah, i know - i get all mushy inside with True Love movies (i like Grease & Notting Hill, too!), but after watching Despicable Me, even if i'm not that despicable, i think i want to be a SuperDad.

PS. Bee Movie & Wall-E both not only left no impression, they also left me clueless!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

what the World Cup Final means to me.

it means the guys from English College (renamed Maktab Sultan Abu Bakar but we never got used to it) in JB are getting together.

i missed out on the football match which was held on friday. at the last reunion, we had it on a saturday but this time the field was to be used for a prior event. however, that didn't lessen the delight i enjoyed in the company of the guys.

we drank & sang.......

we ate...

& then we ate some more.....

i think guys in general just love hanging out together....

the FIFA World Cup Final is just an excuse.


Friday, July 09, 2010


the last time we met was in 2007 (read here) & we agreed to meet henceforth every 4 years at the FIFA world cup Final weekend.

this is the THE weekend & the motley crew has arrived in KL with some late-comers, like myself, joining in tomorrow.

we were near 50s then but now, we are all over 50. balding with beer bellies & probably over the hill physically but definitely still young at heart.

how much have we REALLY changed since?

i await in eager anticipation.

Friday, July 02, 2010

sin of the father

my other colleague is stressed out.

in addition to clinic work & operating on patients, he has to catch a flight to kota kinabalu tonite. his daughter has been accepted into universiti malaysia sabah & he will accompany her to KK as orientation week starts on monday. so, he alternated between his clinic & the OT, trying to cover as much ground within the day.

as he talked about his flight plans, he related that he was supposed to be sent to sabah during his compulsory service but he managed to wrangle out of it. he then joked that his daughter now has to pay for his sin as he broke into a hearty laugh.

only that he didn't realise that he has unwittingly quoted part of the 2nd commandment:

"You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.  You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand {generations} of those who love me and keep my commandments. " exodus 20:4 - 6 NIV

i didn't have the heart to tell him the punishment may be passed down the next 2 generations.

but he must be relieved that ragging is now banned.