Sunday, September 24, 2017

a wedding dinner in 2017

My colleague's son is having his wedding dinner at an upmarket hotel.

For the 1st time ever, in addition to the menu, this was placed on the table...

Personally, I didn't think it was a good idea. It's as if the diners don't already have enough of surfing at home, at work or while waiting at the traffic lights. But then it's the sign of the times. Even if the free wifi is not provided, most will already have their own data plans anyway, but with this added service, it will certainly encourage more people to surf in between & during dishes.

So, if you don't mind, just hold the yam seng while I reply to my WhatsApp message.


Saturday, September 23, 2017

10 commandments of marriage

Commandment 1.
Marriages are made in heaven. But then again, so is thunder and lightning.

Commandment 2.
If you want your wife to listen and pay strict attention to every word you say, talk in your sleep.

Commandment 3.
Marriage is grand -- and divorce is at least 100 grand!

Commandment 4.
Married life is very frustrating. In the first year of marriage, the man speaks and the woman listens.
In the second year, the woman speaks and the man listens. In the third year, they both speak and the neighbors listen.

Commandment 5.
When a man opens the door of his car for his wife, you can be sure of one thing:
Either the car is new or the wife is.

Commandment 6.
Marriage is when a man and woman become as one;
The trouble starts when they try to decide which one.

Commandment 7.
Before marriage, a man will lie awake all night thinking about something you say.
After marriage, he will fall asleep before you finish.

Commandment 8.
Every man wants a wife who is beautiful, understanding, economical, and a good cook.
But the law allows only one wife.

Commandment 9.
Marriage and love are purely a matter of chemistry.
That is why sometimes they treat each other like toxic waste.

Commandment 10.
A man is incomplete until he is married.
After that, he is finished.

Bonus Commandment Story.
A long married couple came upon a wishing well. The wife leaned over, made a wish and threw in a penny. The husband decided to make a wish too. But he leaned over too much, fell into the well, and drowned. The wife was stunned for a moment, but then smiled, 'It really works!

** #8 is my personal favourite**

Friday, September 22, 2017

primum non nocere

that, in latin, means 1st, do no harm.

i've not always adhered to that principle - blame it on immaturity, anger, or just plain callousness. i recalled an incident very early in my training when the senior consultant of the department ( aka The Boss) hauled me into his office to give me a mouthful.

on that morning, i had a dispute with a consultant of another department over the management of a child. in anger, i walked out on the child, to whom i had just given some sedation. that consultant rightly complained to my Boss about what i just did (the argument & subsequent abandonment of the child) & that was just 1 of many reprimands for wrongdoing in my career. yeah, i was a serial offender - bad, bad doctor!

however, i learned valuable lessons that day....

1st, my patient becomes my responsibility, no matter what i had for breakfast, how miserable i felt or who i fought with. his well-being is my priority.

2nd, to err is human, to forgive is divine. my Boss censured me in the privacy of his office, thereby sparing me the humiliation of a public flogging. that, IMHO, constituted a pardon in itself, & till this day, i appreciated that magnanimous gesture. therefore, it was with much sadness when i read last year that he had passed away from cancer.

so, it's ok to be human - to resent, to antagonise, to show displeasure. were we not from the fallen beings of eden? paul has this valuable counsel:

"in your anger do not sin. do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold." ephesians 4 : 26,27

** this post is a saved draft from 2007. I don't remember why I didn't post it then, but here it is...a reminder to myself that it's OK to start badly but must finish strong **

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Trigger happy nurse

No, she didn't use firearms but was certainly quick to the draw.

These are 2 monitoring devices we use for patients in the ICU. One for arterial blood pressure, the other for central venous pressure. Sometimes we use one, sometimes the other and sometimes both, depending on the patient's condition.

This time, I just wanted one but the nurse without thinking, opened both sets. Why, I asked, and she replied she thought I normally use both. Of course, that's just an excuse for her own error, the cost of which the patient will unfortunately bear.

Some days, I do wish they'd stop thinking and listen more instead. I get it, 2 ears but 1 brain and 1 mouth...does that mean to listen more but think & talk less?

Whatever, there will still be an additional (but unnecessary) of RM124 plus GST to the patient's bill.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Double whammy

As if having an allergy is not enough, how about having an allergy to the medication used to treat the initial allergy??
40 year old woman admitted for nose surgery. In the OT, just before commencement, she developed an allergic reaction to the anti-vomiting injection. We treated the severe coughing and breathlessness with alternative medications, for fear of triggering another allergic reaction should the standard anti-allergic injection be used. The surgery was subsequently postponed for safety sake.
The allergic reaction subsided the next day & surgery proceeded with no further untoward incident, with administration of alternative anti-vomiting injection.
We really have no idea what we are allergic to until we develop it. Some  are mild, e.g. to prawns, while other maybe severe or even life-threatening, e.g. to peanuts. As doctors, we were taught how to treat it, but it is safest to avoid the offending food or medication, if we are aware of it. Patients should communicate these previous incidents to their doctors, too.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Good deed for the, nite.

Do you remember the last time you went beyond, maybe even far, far beyond, the call of duty, or in this case, for the sake of friendship, to do a favour for a friend?

My ex-classmate AT rarely calls me; the last time he did, he wanted to find out about schools in S'pore because my daughter went thru that path. This time, at 2am, he called me to ask for the contact of our other ex-classmate (TI) because the latter's son studied in UK. AT is currently in UK, hence the desperate 2am call, to send his son to the same university.

The tricky part is that I myself don't have TI's contact because we communicated only thru FB or Messenger. The truth is that, not being particularly close to AT, I could have just said I don't have TI's contact & go on to sleep (2am, remember?).

But I know I wouldn't be able to, with an unresolved issue in the backburner. Anyway, the happy ending is that I messaged TI, who should be asleep, to inform him that AT is trying to contact him & added AT's contact.

The next morning, I read TI's message that they have contacted each other. But not a word, least of all, one of thanks, from AT.

**if AT had thanked me profusely, or got me a token something from UK, I suppose I wouldn't consider this a good deed. Get it? Heh, heh**

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

26-year memory lane

I met up with an ex-colleague over the weekend after a lapse of 26 ( yes, TWENTY SIX !!) years. And we both concurred that we didn't change much physically, as we immediately recognised each other.

Initially, we feared we had lost much that we had in common before, besides being in the same discipline, but when we took that walk down that decade-old memory lane, the flood gates just opened.

Having pre-dinner drinks at his clubhouse, he ordered 2 glasses of Guinness draught, only to realise that I don't take stout. So, to accommodate me, he ordered a beer. When I asked him about the other glass of stout, he coolly said he'll polish that off as well.

Spoken like a true ex-pubcrawler. Four of us did one crawl back in 1990 during the World Cup Finals. Besides our interest in watching the game, one other thing we shared after that crawl was the drain we all peed into when we didn't feel bothered to look for a washroom.

And yes, we all became (respected??) medical specialists several years after that.
Woo hoo !!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A tale of 3 siblings.

T was my Best Bud in secondary school. We clicked because of our interest in chess and football. I then came to know his family very well.

T is the eldest of 3 siblings. We played chess in school & at our homes, talked and played football at other times. He supported Spurs while his younger brother J supported Liverpool, so we really had a good banter every time we met.

T is in banking in Canada, and I keep saying I will visit but haven't yet did, while J runs an entertainment outlet in our hometown in JB.

M is the little sister, now in Sydney, whom I had the hots for (and their parents didn't mind....woo hoo!!) and sure, many times I have wondered what could have been but that's a story for another post.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

An Act of Random Kindness

My Primary One class teacher, Pn RB, passed away last year. I've only  fond memories of her. You see, I was the proverbial teacher's pet & it helped that my parents were friends with her.
One particular incident endeared her to me in a life-long way. I was 1st in class in the mid-term tests but came in 3rd for the year-end exams. I bawled like a spoilt brat because of the high expectation and failure to maintain top position. However, later in the day, I was told that I was actually 1st because of a calculation error.

I knew that was not the case only years later. I was 7 and naive. I recalled the ink correction to the test marks & came to realise what Pn RB did for me, to make me look good. An undeserved act of random kindness.

I  did feel sorry for my classmates, FM & WW, both of whom remained my FB friends but don't read this blog. One of them should have been 1st & the other, 2nd.

I continued to study hard & work diligently & I write this for closure.
Thank you and rest in peace, Pn RB.

Old timer

This 60+ gentleman has been with the hospital since it started in 1990. He's an operating theatre assistant, preparing the room & helping the surgeons during surgeries. Very likeable chap & adept at his work.

Also very conscientious. Here he is preparing the OT table well over an hour before surgery is due to commence. I state this in contrast to the lackadaisical work attitude of the younger generation.

Preparing the OT is like a pre-flight check. Would you board a plane scheduled to take-off at 2pm when the crew only starts checking at 2pm? Which means the flight can't possibly take off at 2pm. As if there aren't enough delays already!!

That's why I appreciate this guy very much. In this case, indeed old is gold.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

what i learned at the football stadium

I was at the stadium to watch the Malaysia v Hong Kong AFC qualifying game, as I wanted to savour again the "live" experience of a competitive football match.

What a difference it was from watching in the comfort of home!! I never realised there was a section where local fans called ultras congregate and sing patriotic songs to the beat of drums...

...and no, I didn't hear them sing anything offensive to their opponents.

Speaking of patriotism, I am convinced sports is one unifying activity (food being the other) that transcends age, gender, race and religion. In unison, the crowd cheered when we scored the equalising goal & in one voice, boo-ed vociferously at the referee when he unfairly awarded an injury time penalty to the visitors. But just was served when HK missed the penalty. woo hoo!! unfortunately the stadium was less than a quarter filled, so the intense atmosphere was sadly missed.

Because it was windless, the air was a tad stale & reeking of cigarette smoke. I also missed the action replay like on television. I got distracted momentarily & completely missed the 1st goal.

Despite the unique experience at the stadium, I doubt if I would be back any time soon....

.....unless Barcelona or Real Madrid comes to town.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017


if Mr Oon had been stopped at a police check point in the wee hours of the nite, how would he explain the axe?
So glad that didn't happen. 

Instead, he was the right person at right place and time with an axe.

He deserves praise.


Monday, September 04, 2017

F1nale - another one bites the dust

I always feel sad when businesses close down, like the shuttered units at the mall, these being challenging times amid global economic slowdown. the Speedy video, aL-ikhsaN and gym equipment shops all closed within the last 3 months.

so also with the Malaysian F1 racing for the last time this month. this after the initial novelty of 1999 has worn off, plus the more attractive night race further south (alcohol on freeflow, city centre location, and entertainment by One Direction, Seal, Chainsmokers & Duran2), it's not surprising that something has to give.

with Proton, Bandar Malaysia, Forest City & Iskandar, amongst others, sold to foreign interests, the signs aren't good.

let's hope the F1nale is only restricted to motorsports racing.

Saturday, September 02, 2017

The chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

My orthopaedic colleague in another hospital is ranting.

Every time he sends patients to the Xray department, either
1) the queue is long,
2) the report takes ages to be issued

and worst of all....

3) the report is unreliable, inaccurate or inconclusive.

So, imagine you are the patient. You arrive at the clinic at 9am, see the doctor at 10am, go to the Xray department at 10.30am to see a long queue before you, get the Xray/scan done at 1pm, & wait for the report which is issued only at 4pm, and go back to the clinic only for the doctor to  tell you that the diagnosis remains uncertain.

And you may need another scan.

You spent the whole day & loads of cash only to return to square 1.

You are upset, the doctor is upset and the cycle repeats itself.

No wonder my colleague is ranting.