Dec 9, 2017

Of Raw Rage that Galvanized Grief

There's a rage in every grief. It can be a small thing - the silent clench of hand, the murderous angry stare that aptly targeted to everything and everyone, or the slow, hot drops of tears as curses fly at the world and its unfairness. It can also be huge and eruptive - the wretched wails, the uncontrollable violence and mayhem, or the sheer explosive of raw anger at the misfortune that befall.

I've witnessed the latter kind of grieving anger today when one of the patients died, in the day of relative tranquility often found when working over the weekends. I have seen a lot of families with their relative succumbed to death in the hospital. It was never a pretty sight. It was a horrid affair, it is horrible to witness, and it sticks to mind too long when it should have been long forgotten.

Dec 8, 2017

Spotify Playlist 3: MEDICOLO

I have sent my logbook up to the committee right two weeks before my EOP. I have been chewed on by Ayahanda (He Who Must Not be Named) via Whatsapp after I explained to him that I still haven't completed the 12 departmental teachings required in Medical posting. I still need another two, one of which I just attended and another is my own presentation which will happen next week on the 15th. Both of which are on the dates before my EOP so will ya chill your tits out?

Luckily the other committee members are sympathetic, and Dr Z already signed the completion of training for me. Hooray. That makes it like 99.8% completion of the rotation in Medical for me. Just need to survive next week working in the dengue ward, present my topic and off I go into EOP off days and onto Surgical next. 

Cue in Makeba by Jain, a deeply pulsating song made popular by Levi's Circle advertisement I saw in the cinemas. It came late during the third month selection songs for my playlist; however, I like it immensely that I choose it as the song of the department. When fatigue catches up to me and I feel like all of this is too much, this song slowly defibrilate my all-time low mood and gradually put me back into rhythm. Like back into the groove. LOL. 

"Nobody can beat the Mama Africa 
You follow the beat that she’s gonna give you 
I need a smile you can love 
Make it go, the sufferation of a thousand more"

Dec 1, 2017

Of Raving Thirst to Written Tales

"Is my method of searching for new blogs to read wrong, 
or is there simply too few of us still blogging in their free time?"

Not exactly how I want to start my entry for tonight but that thought is generally what I come up with whenever the small list of blogs that I followed remained idle without updates. I understand that they are not compelled to update their blog regularly, even I sometimes leave my blogs with cobwebs for months, but what frustrates me is that I simply could not find any new interesting blogs to follow.

When I first started blogging during A level (it was in 2008), there was a number of colleagues who started to blog as well. It was a good time for me because I love reading interesting personal blogs, and all of us have different style of writing and presentations, which makes it way way more interesting. One or two garner a lot of followers due to their enticing way of story telling and others prefer theirs to be the secret garden of blooming thoughts. But over time they stopped blogging because of various reasons, leaving me alone in writing nonsensical stuff that almost no one read.

One of the aspects of blogging that I really like is the customization of the blog itself. Some bloggers don't even need to customize anything because their writings are that good and worth squinting our eyes out to blur the unattractiveness of the whole blog layout but it never hurt to appreciate some really beautifully designed blogs. But again, pretty blog without content does not hold much interest to me. 

What I want is their personal stories. Secrets that are best spilled to complete strangers. I want to read wild tales and sad woes in between every punctured sentences, in the disorganized paragraphs, and among incomplete stanzas of poetry. Give me the recollections of mistakes learned, the opportunity seized, the chances that are missed. Of the pain of being left, the sorrow of leaving, the joy of meeting - the full, undisguised spectrum of emotions that are too raw to be felt but sufficed to be understood in words. Of the littlest things that make us humans and the momentous ideas that pushes the very meaning of humanity forward. It all begins with an introduction from stringed pieces of words.

Write in the disjointed paragraphs if you want if that is the truest reflection of your current state of mind is. Be as vague as you can or as convoluted if you have to when you feel the right words are trapped in your mind. What we write defines how we want the world to see us and even how we want the world to see itself. Expressions that we want to convey can be easily presented in so many different ways and in so many forms. So please make a blog, people, and write good stuff in it regularly (and not in facebook), because I am starving for things to read.

TL;DR (huh!): Drop me your blog link in the comments so I can read them all.

Nov 21, 2017

A Checkpoint In Time

Inveritably, at one point in the future you will come and read this entry again, so that you will ascertain with a greater portion of certainty if your doubts are indeed, valid in the first place. Remember that at the time of this entry being written, there is so much that you don't know, so much that you are so unsure of, that begets me to establish a checkpoint for a later comparison.

And here you are, reading this again, as I am certain that you will, of which I am doing it right now, both at the time of writing this down and also in every instances that exists in the future. This entry is purely for us; you need to see whether your suspicions are true yourself, by comparing the future me (which is you, in case you lost all your memories) with the past me (currently at the time of writing).

This is maddeningly confusing, but you are a master at confusing yourself, so you'll be fine.

In a year or more, you will read this entry with a different tone. There will be different emotions generated from it. I suspect the weariness will still be here in a year's time. A sense of dread, too, if by my calculations is correct and you will be at the time where I think the end is approaching. More than that, I think I want you to read this entry again with a thought that you are better than the past you who is currently writing this down.

It's hard for me to put what I want to compare to in words here. I want you to be still be able to comprehend my unease here, my obscure in writing, more than words can tell. That my concern is about the future that begins with my chosen place of work, the particular lack of skills and knowledge that I get here.

There are so many things that I think I am lacking, so much that I do not know. It has been a year, and I think I am running out of time. I want you to acknowledge my concern now in every visit, in every lines of words read, in every thought that crosses your mind. I think I made a big mistake of choosing this hospital, that it didn't provide me enough skillset that I thought I would get coming from such a big hospital, or that maybe I didn't take the chances that it gives, however few that I could find.

I am thinking I am missing on all of these, that I am becoming quite a poor houseman, and it scares me. I am thinking I am not learning enough, not motivated enough, and you are the result of what I am going through. So many missed chances that it simply terrifies me into thinking that I will make huge blunders when I became a medical officer later in the future.

If you are still like me, not knowing shit from anything even after all these years, we are screwed. I see no motivation for an improvement, so I am very sorry that I can't see any way out of this. I am still emotionally wrecked and I am still very bitter about my life. I have so much hate and anger and there is this indescribable feeling of negativity that either will provoke me from time to time or drive me to tears out of nowhere. Are you still like that?

 I think so.

In a year's time, I want you to make another checkpoint entry. Compare where you are with the future you when you started to work as a medical officer. It's alright if it is still as confusing as this one. We are a bunch of confusing, twisted lump of insecurity and indecisiveness. I already feel down writing this down, and I very much hope that you will have better luck when writing yours down. The cumulative thoughts for this year, compiling the fast disappearing medical knowledge and the lack of more various skillset that I should be learning as a houseman, are yours to peruse and compare.

So do you feel better, a year from now on?

Nov 8, 2017

You'll be disappointed

I told you not to click it, didn't I?
Testing, testing, 1 2 3!

p/s: Yes, Twitter card works!

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood

I woke up at 5 o'clock in the morning to the sound of my blaring alarm from my phone. I slept with the lights on, in my crumpled up bed, half-naked (shirt off) with my phone in my hand. I was parched, and in a drowsiness too heavy I couldn't recall what did I do last night before falling asleep. The notifications on the top bar of my phone lined up one after another, but none of them are worthy to rouse me up to full attention.

I sighed. Grogginess aside, I felt disheartened at the sight of my room. Messy, as usual, and I don't have even an ounce of motivation to do the cleanup. The carpet needs major vacuuming to be done and I keep postponing to do it. My bags I used from the previous getaway are scattered on the floor. For someone who lives alone and only 60km from home, I keep a lot of bags with me. Seven, in total, which is like way too much. Maybe it reflects my state of mind, perhaps?

The discarded box of KFC delivery I chucked was on the far corner of room, waiting to be cleaned up. That was my dinner last night. Before that, my last meal was another dinner around the same time, which was McDonald's delivery. And before that was the McDonald's breakfast delivery. I take a lot of deliveries, which worries me a lot (you know, because of the calories and the cholesterol) but it is never strong enough to stop me from ordering the next one. 

I am right to be concerned about this sedentary lifestyle of mine (a quick search on Google enlightened me that it's not a sedimentary lifestyle, as in sedimentary rocks because you know, rocks don't do anything at all and that's what I aspire to become but it's sedentary, as in from French s├ędentaire or Latin sedentarius, from sedere which means ‘sit’).

Anyway, yes, it troubles me. More than that, it nudges me to contemplate the debate that I am having for quite some time now. I have been questioning myself for months about this direction of life of dear mine. It is nearing a year of me working as a houseman and I am still as clueless and, for a lack of better term, directionless, of where or what I should do in the not-so-far future that looms by.

I fall in the category of people who cannot, cannot afford to drop Medicine and pursue something else. Those who do are incredibly brave, or incredibly driven to do so, and that is not me. The same can be said to those who choose to stay; brave, driven, yet at the same time some of us who clueless or hate what we are doing do not have any courage to do anything about it.

And for that particular group of people, there's always a general consensus that there are two disciplines of practice that we houseman can pursue as a medical officer: clinical or non-clinical. What else is there anyway? People I have met keep saying they want to be a non-clinical doctor, but what exactly they want to do? Is it research? Is it administrative work? It's not good to just say what you want to be, but please elaborate on how you are going to do it because I don't know the clear path to non-clinical works.

I really don't know what to become. Being a clinical doctor is so exhausting and it's not something that I enthuse about. I did have an ambition to become a specialist in emergency medicine, but a quick reality checkup had changed my perception on becoming one. So much so that I am not remotely interested in becoming a specialist in any field that is clinical. I guess what I said earlier is right - you have to be driven at work to do this. No one who is not driven will try their damn best to be a specialist.

Over time, what I think I crave more and more is this simple thing - a more balanced work life. This is simply impossible to do in Medicine, hence the reason for my frustration. I want that two magic sentences: 9-to-5 and weekends off.  These are things that I never tasted in my miserable beginning year of working as a junior houseman. Nor anyone else. But that does not make me feel better.

Yeah, sure, I should have known this before I signing up the whole gig years ago. And it's not like I don't know about this working arrangement. It's just that I thought at that time that I can handle it. I still can handle it, but until when? Until I get used to it? Until I let go of my

Ah, never mind.

As I watched the people around me eating their breakfast (you guessed right, I'm in McDonald's right now), I keep wondering what kind of jobs they are doing (not the McDonald's staff, duh). The man in blue shirt tucked in jeans in front of me, what does he do for a living? The couple next to me, do they like their job? The one with the earphones on, watching tentatively over her phone, what time she starts her work and what time she clocks out?

And the reason I am still contemplating and remain clueless is the unmentioned hmm, should I call it blessing, even though it's just salary I'm talking about? Yes, the salary. For someone who just started working, it is quite a large sum. And working in government will guarantee you an annual salary rise (it's not much, but still wow) not to mention the once-promised premise of job security they can offer. All this time I never have to think twice before ordering my meals or buying expensive gadgets or going someplace remote for a quick getaway.

I have drowned myself in this expensive cesspool of lifestyle with no lifeline to pull myself out of this mess. Too much of comfort and luxury lifestyle that enforces my belief that I can't survive without the monthly salary that I am having and that other pursuits of happyness will not give me the same monetary advantages as the one I have right now.

But I can't live like this. This is eating me from inside. There must be more than... this. Whatever this it is. Life should be about waking up in the morning, have a walk or do some gardening, work until 5 pm, then off to resume your life, joining other people with their activities, free over the weekends to catch up with the rest of the world.

Life shouldn't be about wondering what to do your whole life. Life shouldn't be like a burning candle, forever flicking in wondering whether it burns bright enough as it burns its life away. Life should not be spent contemplating about the next step of the way as the road slowly displaying the divergent of the paths the thicker you go into the woods.