alt-shift-work

sorry for the half-year hiatus. guess time flies and unfortunately fast food culture has made it difficult for people (me included) to have the attention span to read posts that last more than 5 seconds.

but i just decided to post something up anyway just to keep the blog going.

just finished my 1st week in the A&E department. though i have gained a teensy bit of experience spending 1 year in the medical dept and 3 months in the ICU, it’s refreshing and daunting to know that there is still much to learn, especially out of the familiarities of the disease spectrum that i usually see.

Just within the 1st week of AED, I reduced a dislocated shoulder, did FAST scans to look for free fluid in the abdomen (which could indicate a serious diagnosis for patients presenting with abdominal pain), did a bunch of pelvic ultrasounds for the women in early pregnancy to rule out miscarriage, and many many more.

The only down side is the erratic work schedules. I’ve been though on-call previously in the medical dept where we could possibly be working for 36 hours straight, and the maximum work hour for an AED shift is 10 hours. But at least on usual days in the medical dept, i would get to work in the morning and then get off work around evening. Now on certain shifts, i go to work at 2pm or 4pm and then get off work at 12am-1am. Which is a really weird time. because by the time i get home and sleep, it will be late, and i will wake up late the next morning and be minimally productive. And then get to work again. And also it’s a definite no-no for people who want to have a social life. When I have 3-4 PM shifts in a row, it’s literally me just getting to work and then getting back to my bed and repeating the same cycle for 3-4 days. without seeing anyone other than my colleagues.

am looking forward to my next vacation next month – Japan! It’ll be my second road trip, but Matthew will be the only one driving, so i’m thinking of getting refresher driving courses in HK just to make sure i can be a safe and reliable backup driver.

Talking about drivers, today we watched a movie – A Taxi Driver – which is a korean historical action drama featured in the 1980s, about a taxi driver (the unlikely hero) who unintentionally putting himself in danger to get a German reporter into the heat of a revolution which was largely under-reported by the Korean government.

Maybe next time i’ll talk about my recent Cambodia/New Zealand trip if anyone else out there is interested for some sharing of itinerary. ūüôā

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CNY in Hong Kong

This is the 2nd year in a row that I’ve been unable to head back to Malaysia and spend CNY¬†with my family.

Streets are empty, shops are closed, and facebook is full of family gathering pictures which make me feel really bad for not being able to spend time with the fam back at home (because my leave is only for the first 2 days of CNY; then I am due for work tomorrow). Largely because I only took leave in March to go on holiday with my friends and i couldn’t take so many leaves because there are just so many weeks of holidays in a year. Plus it’s extremely difficult to get leave in my dept now due to manpower shortage. sad but true :/

Terribly sorry for the inconsistencies in my blogging timing due to work and other preoccupations. I really want to go back to regular writing though. Somehow it’s very therapeutic and allows me to sit back and reflect.

Let me put it in point form because I seriously don’t know where to start.

  • Hit hard on the face – by a wedding bouquet in Mikesee’s wedding – which signifies i’m next in line to get married i’m slowly, insidiously but surely entering a different phase in life. more responsibilities, more bills to pay, a more practical future plan to figure out, parents ageing, friends getting married etc etc.
  • Got closer with Matthew’s family; including the bro and his girlfriend. We went camping together (which is another awesome story! though i felt really uncomfortable without bathing for one day @@), took grad pics together and had dinner together for festivities like Winter Solstice (ŚÜ¨Ťá≥) and Chinese New Year. They are a truly awesome bunch! ‚̧
  • Am actively working out more via playing tennis and running, mainly to lose weight because I have two bridesmaids’ duty to carry out in May ’16 and Jan 17′. need to lose my flabby arms and tummy that i¬†gained since working. it has been harder to control my diet due to long working hours and night food is tempting during a long and tiring¬†call!
  • Am going to Nepal in March with Matthew plus some A level mates! needless to say I’m super excited. Have been doing research on what action camera to get (DJI osmo?); am even tempted to get a drone. But they are wayy too expensive. So we will most likely end up renting one.
  • Thankfully work has not been too hard on me recently. I’m back to doing general ward this quartile; but it’s much much easier 2nd time round with me knowing the general flow of things, and with a much more easygoing boss. though i must say working as an MO is so much more different than a HO because now when i go back i’ll think about my patients and did i miss anything and could i have done better or should i have done this or that…
  • I’ve not been that consistent spiritually lately; work has bogged down my spirits and I don’t attend church as often as I would like; I don’t pray often and I don’t allow time for bible reading daily. So am truly thankful to have a few days off to reconnect with God and get my priorities straight.

A slideshow of photos to illustrate some of the points above.

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By the way am working on a page for hiking trails in HK. because there are really awesome view of HK that I NEEEDDD to share! ‚̧

Winding down

After an intense few weeks back at work, it’s finally time¬†for me to wind down and have BOTH days of the weekend off to just chill.

Just completed my MRCP (internal medicine specialty exam) Part 1 last Monday. It’s unlikely that I will score very well but am just simply keeping my fingers crossed that my marks will be enough for me to scrape through, and not pay another HKD 8,000 to resit! I will most likely take Part 2 early next year when I get into my half-year emergency medicine rotation. Am more than looking forward to get out of my medical rotation to finally enjoy some shift work where I can end work on time! Also, my malignant boss is currently on leave so am finally also enjoying some time off some intense “high EE” moments at work.

Photo updates:

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Discovered a wonderful dessert place just 2 mins walk away from my place in kennedy town – Summer Ice! (Ś§Źťõ™)¬†

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Purple sweet potato milk drink – heavenly!

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A nice catchup with fellow Malaysians working in HK. The excuse was to meet up for Hari Merdeka (Malaysia’s Independence Day) where we had nostalgic Malaysian food in Cafe Malacca (Sheung Wan).. Yums ūüėõ

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New toy – Amazon Kindle! I’ve been wanting to get one since forever but was always worried that I would miss the feeling of holding a good book in hand, but eventually got it anyway. By the way this is Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur : an amazing collection of poems. Totally resonated with her writings!¬†

 

 

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A timely bible verse shared with me by Carmen. When I was having a tough time at work. ‚̧¬†

Alright need to do some journal seeking for a presentation to come in 2 weeks’ time. Till then!

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 ūüėõ

… 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 ūüôā
  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. ūüôā