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Choices

I will start this post by telling a short story. I wonder any of you came across this story before. There is this sibling of two, A and B, personalities are of the exact opposite to each other, A being positive and B being negative minded. During their childhood period. Their father tried to alter their personality. He bought a bunch of new toys and gave it to B. On the other hand, he brought A to a stable which was piled up with faeces. 2 hours later, he saw B was hugging his new toys and crying endlessly. Surprisingly A was happily digging the faeces in searching for something. So this father asked B why is he crying instead of playing with his new bunch of toys. 
“If I play with it, they might get old, they might spoil and I wouldn’t have anything left” said B

“What about you A? Why are you so happy playing in this setting” father asked. 

“I’m trying to search for a pony beneath those faeces” A giggled in reply. 

From that day onward, he stopped in trying to alter their personality. Subsequently, as they grew up, A is is the cheerful person and B is still being the negative minded one. B will always be staring at his half filled cup of drinks, grieving at how soon the cup will be empty while A is always grateful for the half full of cup that he has. In the end, B lives in sorrows and A live with content. 

In real life, in fact there is only two choices to be made, to be positive or to be negative. Every event will always has two side of it, just like the above mentioned story. A cup of empty glass or a cup of half full glass, it depends on how you view it as. If you choose to be B, the cup will never be replenish because all you could ever think of is how soon it will come to an end. If you choose to be A, the cup always stand a chance to be replenish, even with a better drink perhaps. 

When I look around recently, there are few people and incidents who reminded me of this story as well as my past. There are so many challenges which I encountered along the way. I swear at certain point I was behaving almost like B. It’s a vicious cycle, that when you encounter a difficulty, you couldn’t get what you want so easily, you started to sway away from being positive and then you trap yourself in denial phase of the Kübler Ross grief cycle. Subsequently you shape yourself in a way that you stop trying and get engulfed by fear. In the end you live by seeking empathy from people. 

The truth is, you can never lead a life without facing some challenges. It’s only rainy days which will make you appreciate the sunny days, it’s only down part of the life which pushes you to achieve the seemingly impossible task. Life is not always about the down part of it, be grateful with what you have. 

I really consider myself as one of the luckiest person in the world, for having constant motivation from family and friends around. If it wouldn’t for them, I will still be digging endlessly. I always believe what lies in front and ahead is the best arrangement that I could ever have. Well it comes with tears and sorrows, but towards the end, I know it will be fruitful. 

Start making the choices in your life. I wish you all the best 🙂 

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Judgemental

This time around, I do not have any short stories to share, but this post is going to be rather emotional. I find it very hard for one not to be judgemental. We always start to think from our own perspective. I am one of that kind, although I’m not proud of it, yes, I’m still practicing it, irony.  Yesterday, I passed by bed 28 in male ward. It felt so weird because the middle age gentleman who was admitted there for months is no longer in it. He had gone towards a better place. This gentleman is in his terminal stage of illness. Nostalgic, because all you can see is a transition of alive person walking towards his end of life. I can still recalled he walks in for his elective surgery, I was setting up the intravenous cananulla for him, all he talked about was his glorious day. He asked, what do you think about my surgery? It’s going to be a successful one isn’t it? Well, I’m skeptical about it but I remained silence, all I could afford to give is reassurance. I apologize because I will not mentioned much in details regarding his illness and his operation. So this gentleman underwent his surgery and unfortunately he had to deal with the complications. Amazingly, he pull it through but he lost one of his lower limb. Days in intensive care unit, finally he was back to ward. Well, life is not a bed of roses for him. And again, he had to face with wound breakdowns and bouts of infection. All I could see is another Kübler Ross grief cycle right in front of my eyes. Not everyone can handle the devastation of losing a limb well, especially for a male chauvinist like him. I had to say, he has strong determination to live because he never call for a suicide, never heave any sigh of sadness. We can only paid him a few visits, trying our best to cheer him up. It was until one week ago, he was literally drowning with the fast accumulation of fluids in lung due to his cancer. The last I went to see him, he was already frail and fragile, a shell without a soul. Subsequently, he passed away few days later at home.  That few months of his life, it was all in misery. We thought the surgery would buy him some time, a better quality of life and yet it was proven not. I was frustrated, it reminded me of the lady I saw during my gyne oncology posting, purely heart wrenching. Has he not decided for the surgery in such a strong determination, he will not put himself in such misery, but then again, I know he won’t give up if there’s any chance of buying him some time. Sometimes what we think is good for a person might not turn out to be one. Because we are all judgemental. This episode might cause an enormous sufferings to him but it did brought him closer to his family.  We always take things for granted. We thought we have so little that we forgot what we have is too much to be remembered and appreciate. We thought things that we have will always be there, ought to be there, the truth is nothing last forever. We will not appreciate until we lost it. It’s the ugly side of human nature.  May he rest in peace, may he found himself in a land with no sorrows but only happiness.

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Magical Touch

Its been quite some time since the last update from this blog. Well, I’m just being lazy. Keeping is so much easier than to type it out.

Being in this new posting for nearly 2 months, perhaps these recent 1 week makes me feel alive and touched. Her magical touch. I used to think about just to sail through this posting because it felt so much different as compared to the previous one. For now, apart from the new experiences, knowledges, I’ve started to ease away the numbness towards life and death.

From antenatal ward to gynae oncology ward, that transition from happiness in receiving newborns to sadness and despair from knowing your patient will eventually pass away or succumb to her illness. I’ve been taking care of her for the past few days. She came in with a grossly distended abdomen. It’s cancer. Cancer is eating away her day by day that you could see her maxillary bone so well. That cachexic appearance is like a reminder, the clock is ticking and it might be nearing the end or the beginning of more sufferings. She has advance carcinoma complicated with ascites (accumulation of fluid in the abdomen), Knowing it is a malignant ascites, she will be facing with a tough everyday life.

It’s like a balloon, when you keep pumping in the air, it’s getting so much distended until it outweigh its capacity, then it will give away. This is exactly what is happening to her. Stretching and stretching of peritoneum, nerves, causing her so much pain that despite daily tapping of the fluid, she stills experience that excruciating pain. We always assess her pain score, quantitatively measuring her pain, but we may never know the intensity and quality of the pain. Pain can be never be described so easily. Quality of her sleep deeply affected. She can only sit or stand in order to sleep. Can you imagine the long whole night, with the intense degree of pain, you can’t sleep?

I got exceptionally angry towards the surgeon who operated her at the first place in private setting. Being a doctor is not a money-earning industry, its to do no harm to your fellow human beings, to cure, care and comfort them. Her operation was not even an optimum surgery, leaving behinds all the tumour deposits leading to malignant ascites. So much of anger towards the surgeon. Ethical? Hipprocrates oath? Has she thought about it? Did she place herself in the patient’s and their family members’ shoes? Dealing with cancer is not about handling the patient, but her family members as well. Her mistakes, ignorance, taking a huge cost at the expense of this lovely patient, as well as causing a lost to the respective family members.

It’s not good for being too attached to patient, but somehow she touches my heart, probably because I’ve seen 2 of my relatives suffering and succumb to terminal illness. She never complaint of pain unless it’s so unbearable. The day when I tried to do a peritoneal tapping for her, I remember vividly that she was grabbing my hands so tight and begging for her life to be taken away. Living is so much suffering to her, she said. Standing there, I couldn’t do anything but only pat. I felt so much pain inside. Visual analogue scale for pain score, 8 over 10. Seeing her wriggling with pain, and there’s nothing I can do as a medical practitioner. It’s not professional to tears in front of your patient, but I’m sorry that I could not hold it back. I got so annoyed seeing pain experts kept pressing her on pain score.

Depression is a side effect from dying, dying from a terminal illness. Towards the end, religion is the only way I could resort to for comfort. I was once told that, towards the end of a suffering, that’s when miracles happen, just like dawn comes after the darkest. I pray so much that she can be release from this suffering. I shall end this post with a poem.

Wings of a jet plane provide steady flight
I pray you remain steady and strong through this fight

Butterflies have wings to fly playfully free
And free from this monster is what I pray you’ll soon be

Birds spread their wings as they may leave their nest
We’re spreading our prayers that you’ll always be Blessed

At the end of this, rainbows and colourful sky waiting for you

 

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26th of July

Day 118 – The counting end : )

~ Dedicated to me, my surrounding loves one

Everyone has their own milestone in life. Each and every step is customized and mark the end of a beginning. Day 118, I’ve accomplished a task, which I never thought I will. It mark the beginning of a new prospect of life. Finally, I am able to heave a sigh of relief. Breathing had never been so light as feather as the one I’m taking in right now. How long since I’m able to do this?:)

For some of us, we always choose to erase voluntarily certain memories, certain posts, certain footsteps we left behind. It certainly does not necessarily implies timid, weakness because each and everyone has their own way of handling a difficult situation. Should we judge? Should we cast a different look on them? No,we respect the differences. I choose to keep instead of erasing, it does not mean I’m strong, but I would like to have a good laugh at myself  when I’m ahead of myself in future. Well, for sure, I’ve been having a good laugh yesterday looking at my old posts. Hah! I’ve grown up. Reminiscing the past, reading the old posts, made me realised how far I’ve come from. 

For the past few months, I’ve been told to move on, to search, to let it go. The truth is, I’ve always been leading a life, with decision and plans made out of the courtesy of others. Indeed, it sounds ridiculous. Why would someone live a life of others? At least I thought I care enough to include them in the decision making process. In the end, its just left with tiredness and an empty hollow shell of mine. I truly understand why my surroundings loves one are telling and advising on the same thing. I apologize if it took me sometime to made up my mind, because for once in my life, I want to made the decision out on my own, I need the time to tidy up the messy thoughts, I need to buy myself some time to endure the process as never will I, be going through the same process again. 

Guess it is so much easy to lead your own life rather than others 🙂 Day 118, I’ve decided to untied the string to which that heavy stone was tied towards my ankle. There will be no strings left attached to. No sorrows, and no regrets, not to mention angers or hatred. If there’s only a word to describe, “renaissance” will be just nice 🙂 The magic which lies beneath every mistake, no doubt is learning. The whole world could easily pointing out to you the flaws and morals behind every story yet you will not be able to appreciate it if you do not learn it by heart. 

Thank you to the past, it definitely shaped me up to be a better person. Well I wouldn’t say I’m not prone to making any mistakes or weakness, not the strongest one on earth 🙂 at least I know where I’m heading to.

Truly appreciate for what had taken place, for peoples who have stand by me. I wouldn’t have made it if its not for them. I would not brag about people telling me, you appears to be beautiful nowadays. Beautiful, to be honest, I do not emphasized on it, after all it will fade away as time goes by. Beautiful, to me, is to be able to live just the way you are. I get to made the decision, I get to wear my own face without any make up on it, I get to laugh and smile just the way I am. Never will I be rushing towards anything again. There’s always a reason, that precious virtue behind that old saying, patience is golden.

To age with grace, To handle difficulties with grace 🙂

I try my best to contribute at the expense of my own. If only I could afford to, I will do it. I’m sorry if I do not explain much nowadays. For those who mind, don’t matter and those who matter, don’t mind 🙂

Dive for Dreams

Dive for dreams
or a slogan may topple you
(trees are their roots
and wind is wind)

Trust your heart
if the seas catch fire
(and live by love
though the stars walk backward)

Honour the past
but welcome the future
(and dance your death
away at this wedding)

Never mind a world
with its villains or heroes
(for god likes girls
and tomorrow and the earth)

 

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Grateful

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I remembered I used to see a slogan hanging in one of my favourite specialist’s consultation room

“I complained I had no shoes, until I met someone who had no feet”

It takes one unfortunate event to remind another fortunate event; We wouldn’t realise how much we have until we see someone who barely have anything at all. Everyday life is a lesson to be learned, but how many of us will notice these little changes in life? How many of us will constantly remind ourselves of how grateful we are? To be honest, I don’t think I am at times.

Working in the Nephrology ward, stir up this long-lost slogan which was once cast in my mind. These young and adorable children made me realise how much I have and how much time I’ve wasted recently onto things which were barely significant.

Nephrology ward is the place where children suffering from kidney injury would be. Do you know how it feels to carry around a bulging, swelling over your wrist or forearm? This is what we called as arterio-venous fistula (AVF) which is used for hemodialysis purpose. It certainly does not appear to be pleasant-looking. As time goes by, it will have pigmented patches over it as a result of countless needle insertion on it. Three times in a week, they head to dialysis center, and for each session, they have to spend 4 hours for a session to be complete. Not until you are in their shoes, you won’t realise how tired it is at the end of the session. They will sleep for hours each time every session end. The child will not be growing appropriately in term of their body built, they will remain small in size. At times, owing to the progression of the disease, they will have the sallow complexion, lemonish-yellow skin appearance which no other powerful powder could camouflage it.

As they grow up, when they start to understand about their disease, living with chronic kidney injury, it will be a turmoil of emotion for them. We always emphasize on the quality of life, and yet how much this is going to apply on them? Forgive me, I don’t have the faith to even convince them when they ask me, or am I too shallow to understand it?

Living with chronic kidney injury, after all is not an easy task. You are living by the edge. Any rise in urea, any further deterioration of the function of kidney, or any superimposed infection could drive you one step closer to death. I used to station in a dialysis center  to write articles for their magazine.  Its a NGO-govern dialysis center for the poor. They live in poverty and at the same time, they live with chronic kidney injury which rendered them permanently on dialysis. Living with it does not imply they don’t need to work for a living. There’s one grumpy old man, who will always sitting at one corner and stare into the space. No matter how many attempts on talking to him, you can hardly get any response. Do not blame him, the truth is he has only himself, after all his family members left him behind after he was diagnosed with chronic kidney injury. Sometime, I wonder why God seem to give the hardest challenge to the unfortunate people while the fortunate ones are not even trying hard to appreciate what they already have. This is life, isn’t it?

8 days in Nephrology ward is truly an unforgettable experience. In the midst of rushing through everyday life, they made me stop and stare, to feel and to understand life instead of merely walking over it. I’m grateful for what I have and I should appreciate it. What happen in the past will remain in the past. I’m glad when I realised how far I’ve come from. No sadness, no sorrows, but only grateful. For the coming future, I know what I ought to do. Time made us stronger only if we allow it to 🙂 It’s all about time and strength.

 

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Days of volunteering

Today marked the third day of my volunteering work in Tzu Chi as a photographer and writer (yeah, apparently now I can be a so-called photographer). This volunteering work took place at a dialysis center in Penang. Everyday, I was assigned to a patient with the aim to elicit and share their stories.

A year spent at hospital definitely take a toll on me. Literally, I undergone metamorphosis, which is from an emotional person towards becoming a numb-hearted person. I used to sob after seeing ill patient at the hospital. Now, it took hours perhaps? or it could be a totally-no-feeling-at-all person. Thus, when I landed myself at the dialysis center, the urge to write each and every story of them gradually weakened because I doubt my ability in eliciting and sharing their stories! Well, luckily I have a guardian of angel! Haha!

Allow me to express my feelings in Chinese words (I’m sorry if some of you might not be able to understand):

当慈济志工的这三天来,我充分地体会了许多人生的道理。在尝试拍下人人真,善,美的同时,我恍然意识到,其实人间还是充满着温情。因为社会非凡的进步,人们为了力争上游而违背了做人的道理,我原是觉得大家都是出于攻与利的状态。非常不喜欢这种想法!可是,很感恩的是,这三天来让我改变了这个想法。

聆听肾友细述他们的经历时,常会听到他们曾经自问为何上天偏偏选择了贫穷的人们来受尽病痛的苦难。其实,当时的我也不解所思。然而再仔细聆听了师姑 (guardian of angel XD)的解说后,我渐渐地了解生命的真理。生生灭灭,凡事都是有因与果。种下了什么因,就会得到什么样的果。虽然很无奈地被病痛给盯上,但是换个角度来想,既然已经不能改变事实,为何不尝试改变自己的心态来积极地面对疾病?不应该觉得懊恼而一直转牛角尖,这样最终会困在一个圈圈里头。改变心态是很艰难,可是它不是一件不可能的事。其中一位肾友的乐观深深地打动了我。

“信善要及时,孝顺要及时” 我对当义工的意念是想借由自己的一双手,在自己的能力范围内帮助需要帮助的人。很常听到师姑说,一切皆是空。起初是很不明白其中的道理。但是,渐渐的我了解了在我们生活中的一切,其实原本是来自于没有的起点。意味着不要太过于执着一样事物,因为万物皆是空。把握当下,就是用心了!

Thank You for every experience! 感恩!

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Something like this

I never want to talk about this. However, today, at this moment, I wanted to capture my own thoughts and feelings and put it into words. A rush of adrenaline? Perhaps, it is.

The truth is I am afraid of being alone at time. It is quite ironical as all the while I’ve been trying my best to portray as the opposite. Not most of the time though 😀 Sometime a little bit of time being alone is good for yourself as you can think better. One thing I can be sure of is I am dealing with this feeling way better than how I used to be. I guess this is something that I should be grateful for, aha!

If I tell you I am alright after all its been 2 years long, I might be way too confident about myself. Haha! The scar was healed but sometime it will seer with a little bit of pain undeniably. There is no perfect way of making the scar disappear unless you erase ones memory. Thus, it depends on how we are going to handle the scar in future, whether to cry along with it or to reminisce how far you’ve come from and how strong you have grown into. This part of memory hurts at time because true efforts were being poured once upon a time. Those days with tears and sadness is something that will remind me of how far I’ve come from and it certainly mark the journey of becoming a better, mature person.

Today after the event, as funny as it may sound like, I felt like a 剩女! Well to my surprise, neither that I felt pathetic nor frustrated with this particular thought. I used to get very frustrated and impatient because I fear of being ended up alone in the end. There are even friends who told me not to be so choosy and just get along with the one who is just in front of me. Haha! That’s really not my principle 😀

I used to think that the ending matter the most. For now, I realised that, the process of waiting is something which I should value the most (of course, ending still matters). I am holding on to my faith that one day I will definitely meet the destined-one. This person should be someone who is mature and caring, 细心.

For this very moment, I want to be grateful for the fact that I am no longer rushing and hoping this process of waiting to be hasten up. I want to be grateful for the fact that I understand that this feeling which was once casted by me, hoping that it will work, is no longer the same, for I know from the bottom of my heart that, it’s not something that was meant to be 😀

Thank You!

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