Monday, February 15, 2010

i have moved!

i have kept this blog for over 6 years now. it was initially hosted on diary-x, which died a painful death in 2005. i scrambled to save my posts, but only recovered 40% of them. blogspot came to the rescue and i've called this place "home" for the last 5 years.

it is with a heavy heart that i move to i've intended to move for a long, long time but, as i told a friend today, procrastination won.

well, it's time i've won a battle against procrastination.

moving is gonna be difficult, mainly because i put alot of effort into editing this layout. i learnt html because of it, i learnt how to photoshop because of it and it's just comfortable. it represents who i am - meticulous but simple. i like the colours. the mural on the wall in my room was inspired by the swirls on this page.

anyway yes, i shall be blogging on wordpress soon. there are lots of things to do before it can be considered fully operational and it'll take me awhile to get it to look and feel the way i want it to.

after all, this took 5 years.

see you over there at!

lishun at 11:48 PM


Sunday, January 17, 2010

one month

so my blog has kinda fallen silent.

i've been composing 2-3 posts a week for a long time, and not updating for a week seems rather odd. it's not that i have nothing to blog about - i am a self-centered, self-glorifying blogger...of COURSE i have something to blog about! - but it's just that i'd rather use my brain to study or spend whatever spare time i have in between just resting. and watching trash videos on youtube.

my finals are up in 2 weeks and i am unsettled by how calm i am. i keep waiting for the panic attacks but they have stayed away so far and i'm not sure if that's a good thing.

anyway, what i'm trying to say is...i am taking a hiatus from this blog for the next 4 weeks. no one's prolly gonna miss me, but heck.

see you after chinese new year. wish me luck!

lishun at 9:03 PM


Monday, January 11, 2010

the math

the math is pretty simple.

each operating theater has, at minimum, an anaesthesiologist, a surgeon, his/her assistant, and a scrub nurse. however, in my hospital, there will usually be another medical officer, a house officer, a student nurse, a medical assistant/student medical assistant, plus minus 2 or 3 medical students. that comes up at least 10 people at any one time in an operating room.

at least. i personally have never been in a surgery where there were only 10 people present. the average number comes up to about 15.

if ideal conditions govern that less than 10 people should be there, who should leave? hierarchy states that the dispensable ones should go first, which means bye bye medical students.

is it any wonder then that when there was found to be a rising number of surgical site infections (which must have been confirmed through an audit or something...surely those figures aren't baseless), the fingers would immediately be pointed at us? is it any wonder then that the OT sisters, who rule the sterile floors, are displeased at our presence and want us to either take turns or just bugger off altogether?

so we slink off away from the OT, tails between our legs, and when our lecturers question our lack of initiative in finding out what goes on in surgeries, we timidly answer that the women in pink caps have informed us that we have contributed to our patients' suffering. who can argue with that?

but no. our lecturers want us to be there anyway. they scold us for being lazy/timid. some of them chatise the sisters for making us leave, therefore further straining the already strained relationship the university has with the hospital.

and there we are, medical students, soon-to-be doctors, caught in the middle of the crossfire - not learning anything and getting scolded for it, wanting to learn something and getting scolded for it too.

i feel terribly childish for ranting about this. after all, we're 20-somethings who should be mature enough to come to a compromise...and we have! we go to the OT as early as we can and inform our friends to come for the next surgery so we wouldn't anger the sisters but will still be able to observe some procedures. we take turns. we patiently endure whatever scoldings we receive. we act as mood rings, sensitive to the temperament of the women in pink caps and our lecturers too, sounding the alarm when necessary.

we do whatever we can to ease the situation. to make the math work out. to ease the tension between hospital and university staff. not more than 2 of us in any one room, but always someone there.

but it still isn't enough.

i felt terrible today. the first thing to greet my friend and i this morning as we entered the recovery room was the cloudy face of a pink-capped sister who spent some time reminding us of our contribution to wound contamination. she had perfectly valid points and we tried frantically to come up with a compromise so that we'd still be able to see anaesthesia being administered to patients. we told our friends that there were 3 of us here already and that the sisters aren't too happy this morning, so maybe we should take turns and they should come a little later in the morning.

who knew that our lecturer came and swept through the rooms, looking for us, and expressed her displeasure that only half of us were present this morning?

so everyone else came and as a few of us joined in to see how an emergency surgery is dealt with, we got a second dose of the surgical site infection talk, this time coupled with a hurt look that accompanied a short comment on how we complain to our lecturers about not being allowed into the OT.

my friends and i decided that enough was enough and we left once the patient's legs went numb and the surgeon made the first incision. we've done what we could. we've attended one-and-a-half surgeries from induction to recovery. we've seen our daily quota. no one should say we weren't considerate towards the patients, the sisters' feelings, that we didn't respect the workings of an operating theatre or that we didn't take our posting seriously.

no one should...but i'd bet on my life that someone will.

lishun at 11:15 AM


Wednesday, January 06, 2010


"You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca,' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell.

"Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.

"Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. I tell you the truth, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny."
- matthew 5:21-26

when my mind fills with sarcastic replies, biting comments and hurtful-on-purpose words to say to you, i think about Jesus extending murder to simply thinking hateful thoughts about someone.

while i'm thankful for the reminder from the Holy Spirit and the stern warning that comes with it, i know there is no way for me to do what Jesus said without His grace. it's just so much easier to be spiteful and spit poisonous words and later stand back to watch my brother (or sister) limp off with a broken spirit, fooling myself into believing that it was a lesson he or she had to learn anyway.

it's so much easier to give in and let bitterness win the battle. at this very moment, it is gaining ground. but no, it will not advance any further!

there is much to repent for, much to surrender. yet in the midst of passion, it is still far easier to commit murder in my heart than to reconcile with the one who has caused a simmering rage in me.

Lord, i repent, i repent! please help me! i need You! =(

lishun at 5:15 PM


Monday, January 04, 2010

another 25

the thing about being someone who keeps pretty much everything to herself is that little cryptic emotional outbursts are all i need to express myself. it doesn't matter if you don't know who i'm talking about. it doesn't even matter if i don't know who i'm talking about a year from now. there is a simple pleasure in knowing something right now that might not matter in the days to come, a deep sorrow that no one will comprehend because i don't spell it out or discuss it explicitly.

so i can tell you that i am tired of waiting, but you won't know who or what i am waiting for. i am used to waiting. i wait for people that i give lifts to, even though that is wrong in the order of the universe. i wait for music to load, for video to stream. i wait for a word or a sign from God. i wait at the bus stop, in my living room, at the ice cream parlour. so when i say that i am tired of waiting, you can give an educated guess as to what or who i am waiting for, but you won't know for sure because i am satisfied with just blogging about it here in a sentence: i don't wanna be the one who waits anymore.

perhaps one day my tongue will acquire the skill of saying what's on my mind and i will no longer resort to short, cryptic blogposts to release the grip my feelings have on my heart. i will look for help from the right people, the right channels. they will tell me how and when to stop waiting. one day.

my mother once told me that she only stopped expecting people to read her mind or understand her coded messages when she crossed the half-century line. i didn't believe her then, but now i do. it'll take another 25 for me to get there too.

lishun at 9:39 PM


Friday, January 01, 2010

que sera

i spent much of the last year wondering what kind of doctor i'll be.

almost every other post in 2009 was about me doubting my competence, my attitude, my interest in medicine.

in a way it's a good thing because it means i am coming to terms with the prospect of finally becoming a doctor in the next 8 months. sure, it's a little premature to say so now, what with 2 major professional exams that i have yet to pass coming up, but it's mind-blowing to even consider that in 8 months' time, i will fulfill a (supposedly) childhood dream.

yet the dream is now not just to listen to tiny beating hearts in a neonatal intensive care unit, but to also implement changes and improve the morale of my colleagues.

that, unfortunately, will not happen if i become jaded in my 2 years as an intern, or in the subsequent years of studying for exams, failing them and burning thousands of ringgit at each attempt, watching my peers gain promotions while i remain an unhappy medical officer in a God-forsaken district hospital, and eventually turn into one of the same grumpy, unmotivated doctors i encounter (and complain about) at times in the hospital.

so i guess it's only fair that much of the past year was spent wondering about my future career. it's only fair for me to worry more about who i'm going to be as a doctor than about passing my exams because in just 8 short months, i will be released from the comforts of medical school and be left to fend for myself with no one but God to rely on.

2009 was akin to the short run a glider takes before jumping off the cliff. the next 8 months will be the lift-off. in 2010, God will be the wind i glide on. exciting times lie ahead.

happy new year, everyone.

lishun at 9:12 AM


Monday, December 28, 2009

till 2020

"i am driving eighty-five in the kind of morning
that lasts all afternoon
just stuck inside the gloom
four more exits to my apartment
but i am tempted to keep the car and drive
and leave it all behind
'cause i wonder sometimes about the outcome
of this still verdictless life
am i living it right?"
- from "why georgia" by john mayer

the drive back to seremban this morning was especially torturous.

as i told a friend on thursday night, it's been a long time since i've had a long weekend with nothing to do - no reports, no (immediate) exams to study for, no study groups that stretch till 11pm. nothing. even he could see the spring in my step as we headed out for a quick catch-up session and i was still grinning by the time i reached home at midnight.

christmas passed rather peacefully, in contrast to previous years which were accented with screaming matches over the dining table or unpleasant exchanges at breakfast. there were no tears. instead, i went for a pleasant christmas service, had a pleasant christmas lunch out, drank overpriced coffee at tea, took a walk with my parents and went to bed after a couple of episodes of "american dad!".

boxing day was spent with my sister and cousin in the wonderful company of sherlock and john, some not-very-good sushi and it ended with me lost in the pages of misery, the first full-length stephen king horror classic i've read since...goodness knows when. it reminded me of why i stuck to rereads of "the green mile". thank God i didn't get nightmares!

sunday saw me doing some last-minute birthday present shopping, taking pleasure in making my signature magazine ad gift wrapping. i shared a roti tissue with some friends met through the magic of social networking before heading out for a dinner with the maternal side of the family. it was good to see my cousins from singapore and watch my niece delight herself in the company of (finally!) kids her age, but we had to make an early exit because of the long drive back to seremban that awaited me in the morning.

which brings me to this morning, and the desperate desire to turn off and stop on the emergency lane to either cry my eyes out or hyperventilate into a paper bag to mourn the loss of a weekend that i will never reclaim. there was another part of me that wanted to keep driving past the port dickson exit, onwards to melaka or johor bahru or maybe even singapore.

just anywhere but here.

yeah it's one of those emo moments that are horribly self-indulgent and stupid, but this need to escape drives me through each week, each weekend, each rotation, exam. ironically, it's driving me towards a career that has no escape. not for the next 10 years, at least.

looks like i'm stuck in the car till 2020.

lishun at 5:22 PM