Friday, 17 November 2017


Today was my last day of Paediatrics placement. On my way home, tears started welling up in my eyes, threatening a full blown sob fest, but I somewhat managed to keep it in and not embarrass myself in public. Haih, Paeds was soooo much fun I genuinely, thoroughly enjoyed it.

A consultant cut apples just before our tutorial sesh. Apples, guys!!!

One of the SHOs gave out Halloween chocolates at the end of a handover meeting, and insisted that I, a meagre medical student who contributes zero percent to the team, get chocolates too.

A little girl on the ward offered me a pink plastic cup filled with imaginary tea, and wouldn't take No for an answer. So I played along.

I was impressed when a registrar recognised all the characters of Peppa Pig, and am convinced that a solid knowledge of cartoons is part of the prerequisites to apply for the Paediatrics training.

The consultant at A&E took the time to actually sit down and explain things thoroughly to me and listen to my case presentation and give me constructive feedback.

"Oh heyyy I recognise you! You're one of the students. Come on in," a consultant's reply to my reintroduction to join her clinic. We'd had one teaching with her the week before, but in between that teaching and the morning I knocked on her door to join her clinic, she must have seen dozens of other faces. So I didn't expect nor did I hope that she'd remember me as one of the medical students, but she did, and I found that really thoughtful.

Registrars allowed me to document the ward round, making me feel like I'm useful & needed, which I appreciate very much because it inspires a sense of belonging to the team.

Everyone's been going "Do Paeds! Please do Paeds!" at me but not in the irksome in your face kind of way, but more like inviting me to join their happy corner of the hospital, if that makes any sense..?

Observed a chubby baby having a lumbar puncture and cannulation back to back. He cried of course, all babies cry when subjected to such pain, but most babies would stop at some point because of exhaustion. But this baby, he cried throughout. It broke my heart. Afterwards the SHOs looked me and asked, "How'd you find that?". When I struggled to answer, they looked at each other and said, "Must've been traumatising. Uh-oh, we're trying to get her to go into Paeds but now we've pushed her away!!" haha.

The changing room has the BEST lighting.

A conversation about allergies and skin prick tests somehow steered into a consultant telling me the story of her cat proudly presenting her a mouse.

A tearful little boy wouldn't let me do an ENT examination on him. Kicked me, pushed me, screamed at me. When I said, "I'm just trying to help you get better," to cajole him into cooperating with me, he yelled "No I don't wanna get better!" and buried his face in his mum's chest and continued crying. A consultant came to rescue, managed to get a split second view of his throat while he was screaming before deducing the boy's got tonsilitis. After explaining to mum what the diagnosis entails, I said "Bye" to the boy and he gave me the most adooooooorable "Bye-Bye" ever, tears running nose streaming and all. Brb melting into a puddle.

"What do you reckon?" they'd always ask me, as though my opinion is of some value, not mere meaningless noise on the sidelines.

Child developmental milestones are a pain to memorise, but a consultant cheekily suggested that "The best way to remember a child's development is to have one of your own," hahaha. Not a terrible idea to be honest, except my exam's next week and I don't think I can produce one just in time before the exam.

I came back from a half day at a community clinic with pages worth of children's scribbles in my notebook. Might seem pointless, but says a lot about their fine motor control, social development (they came to me, a stranger with a pen & paper that they've never met in their entire lives, and trusted me enough to scribble on my notebook), and hand-eye coordination.

I'm also sorta, kinda nursing this huge crush on this doctor........

..... but I didn't get to see him at all on my last day, which made me even sadder about finishing the placement because I feel like I left the hospital without a proper closure :( Lol over gils but still.

Haih. Cheers to one of the best placements I've ever experienced. 

Now can everyone please put your hands together and pray that I pass my upcoming exam with flying colours. Amin and thank you! Hehe.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Snot & Shmol

'Tis the season for dazzling Christmas lights and Mariah Carey's All I Want For Christmas Is You on endless loop

for sneeze and snot.

I've been having runny and congested nose for more than a week now. Can't breathe comfortably through my nose so I'm forced to breathe through my mouth instead, and that's so annoying because it's noisy as heck. Makes me feel like a fish too, which reminds me of my number one faaaavourite song from Phineas and Ferb :

Eh wait no, that's actually number two, number one is this :

It's likely to just be a viral infection that's self limiting (meaning it'll run its course and resolve on its own, no treatment needed) since it's getting ridiculously colder now. Winter is definitely on its way. My hands are freezing!!! Really wanna wear my gloves but I can't, at least not yet, because no one else is seen wearing gloves yet and I don't want to be the only one, y'know? I don't want to be perceived as weak for being the first one to surrender to the cold. This kind of thing is kinda like a seasonal norm, like how it's only socially acceptable to walk around & chill at mamak in telekungs during Ramadan in Malaysia because it's a well recognised post-moreh ritual.

My point is what time is it, Brits? No it's not tea o'clock you absolute nutter it's time to wear your gloves!!! Please come on Brits let's all start wearing gloves!!

But after a dose of encouragement by the ever supportive Amal, today, I decided to put my persetankan je policy in place & my gloves on & my foot out the front door with a cheery smile on my face.

Got my gloves on!

Walking to the tube station, I noticed a little boy with gloves on. Wah. Does this mean the social ban on gloves has been lifted and people are finally putting their denial of summer's departure behind them?? YASSS.

I continued pacing to the tube station, oh a girl with gloves!

A bespectacled boy with gloves!

Hey! Another girl!

And another.

So many people wearing gloves today?? You know how in Maths if it feels too easy, you're doing it wrong? It felt like that by that point. There was definitely something amiss, so I tried to work out the pattern of all these glove-wearing people.

And then it clicked. I put two and two together. A lightbulb went off. Light was shed on the truth.

The ones wearing gloves were all

Kids. School kids.

Without a moment's hesitation, I took my gloves off and shoved them into my bag before I could be seen by another non-glove-wearing adult. Adults don't wear gloves, not yet. I'm an adult, of course. Never mind the fact that I'm shmol and have a greater total surface area to volume ratio thus have a higher rate of heat loss, pfsh, I'm an adult.

Yesterday I sat at the Children's Outpatients lounge area (I'm doing Paediatrics now by the way, SO MUCH FUN I'll write about it in a different blog post) waiting for my consultant to come & start the clinic. Then a nurse saw me and asked, in a shrill voice full of worry, "Who are you here with?? Why are you alone?"


.......she thought I was a child/patient who's come in without a guardian/parent.......

Mate, I'm an adult!!!

Can't wait to be 40 so people will think I'm 25 haha. 

Friday, 10 November 2017

11. Stars

We adore stars because their twinkling beauty adorns the otherwise the blank black sky. But that's because they're light years away from us. While travelling, the light from the stars gets hit by turbulence of the atmosphere left right and centre, causing the light to kink this way and that. As a result, the brightness of the star fluctuates, hence the twinkle. So the twinkle that we see is the effect of, like the stars on rapidly alternating minimum and maximum brightness.

We don't see the stars for their raw, unfiltered existence.

Should we get up close and personal, we'll see them for their mere mass of burning gases (helium and hydrogen, I think? Hwa I miss Physics!) beings, and we'll probably die from third degree burns the way our eyes do when we check our phones first thing in the morning.

We look up and sigh in awe at the sight of stars on the sky, and then we look down on our screens and idolise the stars and their perfectly curated lives documented on social media. We envy the brightness-adjusted selfies they selected to upload, but we don't get to see the other 57 shots that didn't make the cut, and we definitely do not see their driver's license photo - it's a universal rule, no one looks good in their driver's license.

We do not see their temper, or breakdowns, or well-concealed blemishes. It's like only getting to access to the abstract of a dissertation/article, because the full PDF version will hurt your wallet. You feel me?

Some things (and people) are only meant to be admired from afar, because in close proximity, they drain us more than they replenish us, stunt our betterment more than stimulate it, pain us more than heal us. Yet we still find ourselves gravitating towards them. They're so far yet we chase after them. I mean, we could love oxygen. It's all around us, enabling us to breathe, allowing our cells to function, ensuring our survival. We can literally die without oxygen ok.

But we don't have half as much affection for oxygen as we do for celestial things in outer space.


Probably because we can't see oxygen.

We humans are highly visual creatures, we like seeing pretty things. Like stars.

Sometimes we're the oxygen in someone's world, sometimes we're the star in someone else's and we'd have not a single clue.

Speaking of stars, I went stargazing the other day!! I knowwww.


In London?!

Yeah riiiiight, was my recoil internal reaction to Izzy's question of whether or not I was down for a public stargazing event at Regent's Park on a random Wednesday evening. I mean, my cynicism was warranted - the visibility of stars is inversely proportional to the level of light pollution, and for a metropolis like London, with its strife use of artificial light, umm there's definitely no shortage of light pollution here.

But I replied Yes to Izzy anyway.

I had low expectations about what the night might bring. Whether it's a gorgeous star studded black canvas or patches of clouds obscuring the view, I'd be fine either way (but preferably the former, of course haha) because I'd get to spend time with Izzy.

London took me by surprise! It wasn't, like, completely bathed in starlight, but there were some stars alright. Some clouds here and there, but we could still see stars.

That's right.

Stars. In London. Central London, at that.

We actually went stargazing in London. Well stargazing more like asking ourselves "Is that a star? Or an aeroplane?!" half of the time because of all nights, did all members of London Pilot Association Thingy decided to fly out on that particular night just to troll us?! Because mate,

Please bear in mind that my astrophotography skills are pretty much non-existent, and I don't know how else to edit to make the stars pop without ruining the photos. So I apologise for the low quality photos :(

Ugh hate the noise, but fav!!

Izzy and her hot choc

Fav!! Izzy ft cenonet little stars

Lol don't mind the couple making out at the back