Fighting Giants

Sorry for being missing in action (if anyone ever still reads blogs over buzzfeed/9gag etc!). Have been really busy in residency training for the past month, working on average of 12 hours per day, not counting my hours doing on call duties, around 1-2 times per week.

Before starting my current rotation in internal medicine, I was told by my senior that I had an exceptionally malignant boss paired with a very “chur” (Cantonese slang for extremely busy) work schedule, which would last 3 months (July-Sept). She suggested that I take as much holidays as possible to evade the “chur”-ness when I could. I took her advice and couldn’t be more thankful for the break. As it turns out, the malignancy was an understatement, and the fact that I was very junior made the whole combination a lot worse than if I were a bit more accustomed to work as an MO.

But oh well, if that is the way things are planned, God has His well reasons and I am often reminded of James chapter one.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4 

I mainly spent the past 2 weeks catching up with sleep and long lost connections, attending church seminars, revising for MRCP part 1 (first part of the internal medicine specialty exam) and hopping onto the Pokemon Go bandwagon (a Dragonite just slipped out of my hands half an hour ago *sob sob*). I would balik kampung (go back home to Malaysia) if i could but parents are currently at my bro’s place in Seattle so. And they will come visit me end of September (thus earlier escape from my current crazy rotation!)

5 more weeks to go and I will be liberated from this madness. I really, really want it to end soon (and I simply can’t wait to get into A&E rotation from Jan- June next year!) But no doubt I have learned much even though I’ve only spent like 3-4 weeks working as an MO. More procedures, more management to learn, more time spent with patients and their families and a step closer to being a better doctor/person.

A bit of pep talk to myself: David managed to defeat Goliath not because of his size, nor his might. It was because he knew whom he was fighting for –God. and he knew God was with him every step of the way.

Tzehui are you willing to believe that too?

the theory of negativity

I  was chatting with Matthew on the phone and halfway through i paused and said, “Do you think I’m complaining too much?”

“Yeah,” He said. “You seem to have a lot of negative comments about work now.”

Which is absolutely true. My morale, spirits, emotions have all been going downhill since my 3rd rotation (surgery) and it has upped somewhat in my current and final housemanship rotation (obs and gyn) cause my colleagues are pretty awesome and sociable. We are also on the same page on not bringing on ourselves unnecessary workload but simply do what we’re told (albeit with some grumbling).

I realised I was happiest in my 2nd rotation (paediatrics). The workload was pretty heavy with many admissions (~20-30 per night) but very much enjoyable with nice colleagues, seniors and nurses (well, most of them anyways.) But the people I worked with in 3rd and 4th, were, mean for no obvious reason, to say the very least. Maybe that’s work life and maybe that’s workplace politics that exists anywhere.

I told Matthew, “This is probably what God meant when He said:

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God – Romans 3:23

Sin is apparent everywhere and in everyone. Not just in criminals, in rapists but more so in the little things we do/NOT do to other people. And it reminds me all the more why we need God. And how easily my emotions/thoughts are affected by my environment!

Am praying that I learn how to triumph with God’s strength and wisdom and not succumb to the hostility that I am thrown into.

And besides, I will be in a different environment come July when I become a MO😛

… some rantings before i run out of wifi.

sorry for the 4 month long hiatus again!

been wanting to update since forever but with no wifi in my hostel room, blog updates will have to wait until i can type comfortably on my laptop (like now) when I’m at my friend’s place.

Just an update (in case anyone is interested), I got a job offer to work in an intensive care unit of my first choice. Praise God! Really did not expect to get it especially with my average results. But residency training is probably going to be pretty stressful as I will be working in a teaching hospital (my alma mater!). Will undergo internal medicine training for the first 2.5 years, instead of the usual anaesthesia route.

As for housemanship life, am glad to say that I have survived 9 full months of housemanship (with more than a few scratches and tears, to say the least): 3 months of internal medicine, surgery, paediatrics each, and now with 2.5 months of obs and gyn left. It’s far from my favourite subject, and with everything so protocol-driven, work is pretty mundane. wished i could go back to reading the Bible and novels more, but work is still tiring nevertheless.

Another active problem (as we always write on progress notes) would be my moving problem. Expensive rental but convenient location to my future workplace. No furniture but then I will have the liberty to furnish however I want. But from apartment-shopping to furniture shopping, all of it is pretty tiring (though fun when I am not tired!)

I used to have a page on my blog titled “places to go in HK” but later removed it cause my classmate who read it said “and you tell people you have been living in HK for the past 5-6 years?” Seems that I have been under-travelled (if this word exists) but now i think i’m more equipped to provide more info who those looking for a more enriching holiday experience in HK! (but keep in mind that this is still a foreigner’s view of HK). I am still fully a Malaysian (and proud of it!)

Will move into my new place in May so hopefully there will be more updates then!

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the view otw back to Malaysia. whatever type of cloud formation this is, it takes my breath away. 

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Thai street food! 

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furniture shopping! (and using Matthew as a ruler when i didnt have one)

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Discovering an old school dimsum place while bringing sis and Kwang around during their short stay in HK!

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So long since i’ve hiked. at Dragonback

halfway through

i’ve been dying to write a post since forever but every time i slink onto bed, i can never seem to muster my extensor muscles to get up. Bed is just too comfy and Brain is just too tired to operate past working hours (what more during postcall!)

halfway through internship and it’s been quite of an experience. just to list out the things that i found amazing:

  1. you can survive perfectly well (albeit slightly dysfunctional) after >30 hours of no sleep and pure work. trust me, YOU WILL NOT DIE. (unless you happen to have 21340394098 co morbidities and something unfortunate happens to you for example a fall)
  2. not to mention surviving with the lack of food/water/going to the toilet!
  3. and also going to work sick. i coughed for 1.5 months consecutively during paediatrics rotation and sometimes the parents would ask if i needed some rest because i seemed to be in a state worse than their child’s!
  4. my newfound temper at even the slightest annoying thing; it gets honed and sharpened every time I receive orders to do unreasonable things, and the thing is I cannot say no because I am seriously at the bottom of the food chain. my temper got a bit worse tbh as I went after having compared and contrasted the differences in units, and grumble about the trivial tasks that I did not have to do in my previous rotation.
  5. despite how hellish i make it sound, housemanship is actually pretty fun. you have zero responsibilities, the liberty to manage patients especially during critical times, and you also get to explore different specialties!
  6. houseman life can be mundane, but i have had amazing, fun, helpful colleagues that make the hospital battlefield less hostile. so far my comrades have been awesome and irreplaceable:)
  7. i don’t have to study after work! muhahaha

after successfully (i think) adapting to the life of a houseman, a new source of stress has now emerged; job hunting.

I’ve heard my friends in Malaysia having difficulty finding specialist training post in earlier years of MO-ship but in HK that is not a problem as they face a major shortage of doctors. However competition is still tight for certain specialties/hospitals.

As i was asking one of my senior regarding his residency training, he ended the conversation with an important advice: the most important thing is not what you want to do, but what God wants you to do.

That has stuck to me till now.

Lord, may Your will be done.

It will be for the best, I know it.:)

 

…and it’s over? 

a busy, busy week of holidays jam packed with attachments, running errands and spending time with friends and family who came for my graduation. And I’m on call again today >< 
   
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
 
Due to lack of time I’m just going to upload part of the photos and then go prepare for work *cry 

Postcall photo update! 

Too tired to write anything postcall so let the pictures speak for themselves. Most of these were taken during my annual leave! 

   
    
This photo might require some explanation. Pseudo-Boo spotting outside Australian dairy Co! 

  

 
Ok time for complete bed rest!Nocte😉  

the long awaited annual leave

really looking forward to Tuesday because I will finally get my annual leave (till Sunday)! My last call was pretty awesome in which I probably have gotten the most amount of sleep I will ever get as a houseman: 8 hours of sleep in total within a single night. Woke up feeling not very post call-ish and very much contented:)

It’s probably not just me but growing up is not really that fun except seeing my bank account grow each month. Sometimes I’m just so bored in my room that I don’t even mind working extra hours in the ward because at least work is kind of meaningful but after work… I really don’t know what to do. Meeting up with friends doesn’t seem like a sustainable way to curb the loneliness that creeps in once I get back to my hostel (which is within hospital grounds). Not to dampen the spirits of those who would like to do medicine overseas (particularly Hong Kong), it’s just that I feel so lost now; career choices, go singapore/malaysia/stay in HK and get a PR. And it does NOT help that I’m not consistent with my prayers and daily devotion now with me scurrying to work (it’s easy to just go into coma during postcall) and just general fatigue (physically and mentally and spiritually)

I miss home. I miss my friends. I miss hk island. I miss having a good relationship with God and finding joy in it.

I’m doing two days worth of attachment in another hospital during my break but am going to be just chilling and hanging out with friends on other days. Hopefully it will be a break enough for me to find myself and find God again. But again He is always faithful.

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Just some meet ups and activities recently; went squid fishing with church fellowship people in Tseung Kwan O on Saturday night! But the yield was pretty low compared to going to Sai Kung probably but it was still kind of fun:) and I still can’t get enough of HK’s night lights. Really miss HK island.

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Cooking at Amanda’s place! We came up with this new recipe of kimchi + cheese + rice which was surprisingly yummy:)

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And I finally get to meet this girl after so long (and even though we go to church almost every weekend lol)

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And dear Judy as well! High street grill for the 2nd time but still great food (and company!)