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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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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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Naive or Simple

I realised a weird pattern of behaviors or I rather said a paradoxical behaviors. As we get older in age, our thoughts get more complicated. Back to the time when we were still a kid, our view may be as simple as 123 or abc. To quote an example, a smile on the face of others.
Children: This person is so friendly :D!
Adult: A sudden smile? Nothing comes without strings attached! What is his/her up to???

Well, not to say a little bit of thinking is not doing any good at time, but sometime too much of thinking will place a lot of burden in your mind that you are unable to be analytical. Thus, appropriate thinking is wise, too much of thinking become suspicious.

Some would say children are so naive, I would rather said they are simple. The beauty of simplicity is what we should learn to appreciate and apply in our daily life. I feel apologetic towards my cerebrum as I placed a hectic, unnecessary task for her everyday.

I heard a meaningful true story yesterday, about a 8-year-old boy who has acquired lower limb malformation which rendered him unable to ambulate himself. He had to rely on his mother to carry him to school everyday! They live in poverty. There were once one of the volunteer asked him what does he want the most? He said, “Please give me horse so I can ride to school everyday and my mother won’t have to carry me around” Such a simple, direct yet soul-touching response. He is not naive in fact. He is a bright child who is portraying the beauty of simplicity. We are once as simple as the boy. Sadly, how many of us still remained the same as how we used to be? I doubt myself in this.

We refuse to open up our mind and speak from the bottom of our heart. I value people who are able to speak truthfully. I am still learning to be simple, to stay away from complicated events and thoughts, to be able to speak up my feeling to the person I care.

I will be able to achieve it! Have faith!

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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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Move Forward

I read one article recently. It’s quite meaningful and straight forward about life. I would like to share it out so that everyone get the chance to read 😀 By the way its in chinese language.

如果你也有放不下的人,進來讀讀吧,相信你會學會
       一個苦者找到一個和尚傾訴他的心事。
  他說:“我放不下一些事,放不下一些人。”
  和尚說:“沒有什麼東西是放不下的。”  
  他說:“這些事和人我就偏偏放不下。”
  和尚讓他拿著一個茶杯,然後就往裏面倒熱水,一直倒到水溢出來。
       苦者被燙到馬上鬆開了手。
  和尚說:“這個世界上沒有什麼事是放不下的,痛了,你自然就會放下。”

       你可能覺得難過 ,

  因為無論你對他怎麼好 他都不領情
  他不是看不到 他只是裝作看不到
  或者他根本不想看到
  你覺得自己很喜歡他
  甚至覺得再沒有一個人可以像你那麼喜歡他
  你用盡全力對他好
  把他看的比自己還重要
  有什麼事情第一個就想到他
  聯繫不到他的時候 你擔心他擔心的快瘋了
  然而你有沒有想過
  這並不在你的責任範圍
  而且很有可能他是在躲著你
  他受不了你對他那麼好

      不要一直發短信給他 ,
    不要一直找他
  你也許只是想找他說說話
  你覺得那很正常 不算苛求
  但是也許他並不這麼想
  記住 你的想法不代表他的想法
  你是真的不求回報的在喜歡他嗎
  你捫心自問一下
  你確定不用他回報什麼嗎
  那為什麼你會難過
  若是真的一無所求
  你又怎麼會覺得難過呢
  所以 別覺得你那麼愛他是偉大的
  也許她根本不在乎你怎麼為他付出
  有時候你給他的愛或許是種負擔
  這種負擔只會讓他更加想遠離你
  因為他不想虧欠你
  別事事為他擔心為他張羅
  你覺得他沒有你不行
  你覺得別人做不到你那麼完善
  但是你要清楚
  你不是他要的那個人
  你做的再完善也敵不過人家不做
  那個位置本來就不是你的
  你何必硬要擠上去呢
  你說道理你都懂 只是你做不好
  喜歡他不是你的錯
  想關心他不是你的錯
  控制不住自己不是你的錯
  但是那是你的方式
  人家不一定就能接受你這種所謂無私的愛
  所以如果你喜歡他 他不喜歡你
  那麼就請你默默的
  別試圖讓他知道
  就算你會難過 甚至難過的流淚
  就請你默默的
  就算是逼自己也好
  一定要忍著
      
       傻孩子.

  忘了吧.所有你留戀的.你回憶的.你擁有過的.
  那些.都已是記憶.
  缺失並不可怕.
  可怕的.是無法面對.

  傻孩子.
  你無法輕易忘記放棄.是因為你付出過.
  付出了.她就會像柱子一樣紮根在心.
  不要刻意去逃避.刻意忘記.那只會讓你更痛苦.
  繞開這個柱子.尋找未來的幸福生活吧.
  那裏.有你的理想.
  傻孩子.
  開始新的習慣吧.
  習慣.每天一個人生活.
  習慣.一個人過生日.一個人行走.
  習慣.走過熟悉的路.面對熟悉的景.
  你逃不掉.逃不掉的.
  那麼.就勇敢面對.現實.
  現實是.一切.畫上了句點.

  傻孩子.
  勇敢看著鏡子中的自己吧.
  這個悲傷軟弱滿面憔悴的自己.
  這也是你.成長中的你.
  這個你.正在逐漸死去.
  新的你.即將重生.
  找尋你的路.你的未來.
  你知道的.所有的浩劫.都是成長的祭奠.
  做最好的自己.即使.一個人.

  傻孩子.
  好.好.盡情發泄吧.
  剝開自己的心.用文字.用聲音.用所有能發泄的方式.
  泄完了.就要振作.
  看吧.你失去的.其實微不足道.
  還有那麼多人關心著你.以不同的方式.
  所以.你並不孤獨.
  正是這樣的失去.讓你看清現在所擁有的幸福.

  傻孩子.
  別哭.別再哭.
  不值得.真的.不值得了.
  把過去塵封吧.別委屈.別不甘心.別不接受.
  開始新的旅程吧.去遇見新的風景.新的際遇.
  做你該做的事吧.有很多事.等待著你完成呢.
  
  傻孩子.
  生活褪去了曾有的顏色.暫時寧靜.
  別沉淪在這片寧靜裏.那會毀掉你.
  你要明白.雖然殘忍.但這個決定.足夠正確.
  現在的生活.不是你想要的.
  為了你的理想.你必須學會適時放棄.
  給對方最好的關懷.就是.變的更好.更強大.更幸福.
  現在我對你很好、很好、很好,你不需要、你無所謂、你不在乎,你不珍惜。。。。
  當某天,你被傷害,想起我。那時的我再也做不到像現在這樣一如既往、不顧一切的對你好了。。。
  因為那時的我,已經將你放低。。。。
 
  原來,放低一個人,最後是被對方逼出來的。。。。

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