Friday, September 21, 2012

hello everyone..again

It's been a long time. Too long, in fact. I'm a lousy blogger indeed!

It was my '2 year working anniversary' three days ago. And unfortunately, I feel like a jaded public servant already.

Recap: I am currently working as a manufacturing pharmacist in Penang General Hospital (HPP). Remember in my last post I said the BF was transferred to HPP and I was sad? Yeah. By a twist of fate, I was also sent to the exact same hospital 6 months after he was. So yeah, we are kind of reunited.

Except for the fact that it has been too long since my last update, and he's no longer in HPP. He quit in view of bluer skies and greener pastures.

Working in HPP is a big challenge. I do not want to say too much about work here for fear of putting myself in trouble. But then, if I'm not going to talk about work, what exactly am I going to write? I really don't know.

Can't write about work. (Don't wanna get into trouble, can only talk bad hahaha)
Can't write about the BF. (if I say something good about him, it's not going to be of any use cos he never reads this. If I say bad things about him, well...what was it that they say about washing our laundry in public?)
Can't write about life. (I have no life! sigh)

Which is exactly why I have not posted here since more than a year ago.

For now, everything seems to be going well. And by that I mean no big problems are jumping out at me for the moment. But somehow, I feel...dissatisfied. Like, there's more to life than this. There's more to life than my current life. But if you don't know what you're missing, how are you going to go about searching for it?

I wish for a more innocent and caring workplace. (not gonna happen, can't do anything about it)
I wish for a more interesting life. (interesting like how? bungee jump?)
I wish for a more meaningful life. (and join the Peace Corps?)

Oh dear. I can't even write a proper blog now.

I want to go live in Switzerland!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


So today I was clerking my CP1 forms, and chatting to the patients as usual. Somehow I feel patients take to me very easily, I ask them for their previous medications and they can talk to me about everything under the sun! Which can be a bother sometimes when I'm trying to finish all the CP1s for all newly admitted patients, and I haven't really learnt the art of extricating myself from a conversation, and I feel like a rude person if I have to ask the person to stop talking.

But anyhow.

One patient I was interviewing was asking me if she could be discharged early, because she had a handicapped 44-year-old son at home and no one was looking after him when she was at the hospital. She said her husband was living in another house, and he wouldn't help out with the son when she was warded. She said he wouldn't even come to the hospital to visit her. Apparently he moved out soon after her son was born, and have been a 'long-distance' father ever since. She was worried that she may fall sick and no one will take care of the son (I remember her diagnosis was ACS) and she was even worrying about her son's fate after she passes away.

As she was talking, tears were falling from her eyes but I could see that she was trying to control them, as if trying to squeeze them back in to prevent them from falling in front of a stranger.

Looking at her, I realised that however much we may complain about our work and our life, there's always someone out there more unfortunate than us. Although we may think that our lives are not the best, we may still not realise that we are already very much blessed, compared to a major part of the population out there.

How many people can boast of a loving family, a healthy relationship with friends and coworkers, a good job that pays enough to cover our expenses and more, and a great life overall? Sure enough, there'll be people out there who earn more than us, careers that seem much more cushier and pays better than ours, families who never argue, and couples that always seem to be blissfully happy with each other. But how do we know that perhaps the executive out there who gets 10k per month will have to work 14 hours each day and deal with a whole lot more life-shortening stress, and perhaps get hypertension or diabetes much earlier than anyone? How do we know that the perfect girl next door who wears Chanel, slings a Coach from her elbow, and steps out in immaculate Jimmy Choos, is actually paying for her wardrobe through her teeth, and perhaps eats instant noodles for dinner every night? How do we know that the perfect husband and wife is in fact, screaming at each other in their soundproof 5th Avenue apartment and smashing their china at the wall every night?

Thing is, we don't know.

We say, 'I want to be happy', and we seek entertainment and pleasurable activities to give us a feeling of happiness. We shop for clothes and shoes and eat out at beautiful restaurants and buy gorgeous mansions because they make us feel 'happy'.

But what if happiness was just as simple as counting our blessings?

Instead of seeing our parents as traditional and restrictive, shouldn't we see the love that they're trying to give us by ensuring that we're safe all the time? Instead of bitching about work everyday, shouldn't we acknowledge that however shitty it may seem, it's a whole lot better than a lot more jobs out there and it pays the bills and covers our rent. Instead of complaining about how our partner does not compare to the 'perfect' boyfriend or husband who buys his wife Tiffany's every week, shouldn't we revel in the fact that our partner loves us unconditionally for who we are, and is probably saving up for a better future with us instead of frivolously frittering away his hard-earned money?

( that said, if my boyfriend were to buy me Tiffany's I would happily accept it. Bwahaha. =P )

But yeah, you get my point.

Or even sometimes, when everything seems to be going wrong and the sky is falling down, be happy for the fact that we were born normal, and were blessed to see this world in its glory...and besides, probably Chicken Little would warn us beforehand about the falling sky!

I love the fact that I have a great job that allows me to learn and work at the same time.
I love the fact that I have awesome parents who will always be there for me.
I love the fact that I have wonderful friends whom accept me for who I truly am.
I love the fact that I have a terrific boyfriend that I can share my life with.

Fact is,
I love my life.
And you probably should, too!

Saturday, February 19, 2011


I'm getting tired of always apologising for my absence here, so for once, I shall not do it. Besides, I'm sure many will have probably given up on reading this since my last post of four months ago, eh?

It's not that I have nothing to say though, I just didn't feel comfortable sharing some of those stuff here publicly. The last few months have been an emotional rollercoaster for me. It feels weird to have someone else responsible for my feelings and emotions, but then I guess that's what happens when you're in love.

And yes, I did just say that.

So as officially of yesterday, my best friend and my boyfriend will be working in the same hospital, a.k.a. Penang General Hospital!

Sometimes I feel as if God is laughing at me, at us for this great joke he has been playing on us. I can just imagine the skies shudder as he rolls over and over with laughter, his great big belly rumbling with every laugh. Oh, the cheekiness of it all!

For the uninitiated, my boyfriend (it still amazes me every time I say this, but still) used to be a senior PRP in my hospital, which is how we met. He just got his new posting yesterday, which sent him as an FRP to my best friend's hospital in penang, of ALL the possible hospitals in Malaysia. How's that for a great fat joke?

(Wenchin, if you're reading this, do remember to look after him for me ya. and to tell me if he bullies you. hah!)

Yesterday when he left for Penang in the morning, I bawled my eyes out in my car as I was driving to the hospital for work. I know, not the best idea for a half-assed driver like me. And I'm pretty sure I scared some of the motorists passing by me as they saw a girl crying in a swerving car as they too swerved to avoid me.

I'm kidding. My car didn't swerve, I'm not suicidal. But the bawling part is real though.

And today as I found a sweet little note in my iphone from him, written yesterday before he left, I started crying again. le sigh, I've turned into a crybaby. 都是你害的!


So now I have to get used to Manjung without him. We've been practically glued together for the most part of my time here, so I expect it will take some getting used to, but it's not impossible. I kind of welcome the idea of spending time alone. I really need to catch up on my research and clinical reading as I'll be starting my ward rounds in early April, and I can't just walk in there with nil clinical knowledge in my brain! And I'm SO backlogged in my research too, but there's still sufficient time though. As I said, God really knows how to play a joke, but with perfect timing too.

As for the rest of my life, it's pretty good actually. Working life is hectic but fulfilling, in some ways. I've completed DIS, TDM, chemo, ward supply, and am now in my second month in OPD. I've done a continuous week of oncall. (in my hospital, PRPs are supposed to do active and passive calls for one continuous week. How's that for a challenge?) TDM was relaxing, chemo was good, I think I may have a talent for it even! And yesterday I drove alone from manjung to Ipoh. My driving skills are now sufficiently good enough that I was able to feel comfortable throughout the entire journey. I'm so going to drive alone more in the future, penang is beckoning me!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

on work, again.

Dear all, I think I will soon be reduced to posting here once a month. Working life is not exactly the most exciting thing to write about, as most of my friends have already started working or will be starting soon, and I don't want you guys to have to go to work eight hours a day and come home and read about work again, do I?

But, besides work, I really have not much else to say. Sigh.

Yesterday was my first time working on a night shift in outpatient. I certainly didn't get off to a great start, as I was supposed to work from 5-10pm. I overslept (afternoon nap of course, not from the night before!) and woke up at 4.45pm. Jumped up from my bed and jumped into the car, literally, and rushed to the hospital but still ended up being five minutes late. I'd set my alarm at 4 for me to eat and bathe so I didn't get to do any of that. (Eww, I know!)

Working at night is boring. Period. There was only me and one pembantu farmasi so there wasn't much conversation possible, and the prescriptions kept flowing in though it was already night. And most of the prescriptions are the same: PCM, syrups, antibiotics, the works. It didn't help that I had a throbbing headache from waking up too abruptly (yeah, it happens to me) and a growling stomach. Not a good night indeed...

And! I will be having my oncall a few weeks later. For some reason we got scheduled for oncalls earlier than the more 'senior' prps, and I have only been attached to opd and drug info so far, so I had to learn everything latest by this week. And of course, practise my driving skills at night, and practise driving while I'm groggy (assuming that I'll get called in the middle of the night). One week of sleep deprivation certainly does not sound fun, but thankfully our hospital has so many prps that we'll probably get a week of oncall in 3 months perhaps, which is wonderful!

Working life is growing on me. But I find myself gradually losing my hopes and dreams the longer I work. I want to keep my dreams alive, no matter what. I don't intend to become a cog in the wheel, churning out the expected results eight hours a day, five days a week. But sometimes I really don't know what I really want.

Actually, I do. I just want to be happy, and to make a difference. I just haven't figured out how to do that.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

work, two weeks in.

Dear all, it's been two weeks since I started my career as a pharmacist. How fast time goes by, a blink of the eye and I've been working for two weeks. Two weeks! I remember how awful I felt the first day at work, I didn't know anyone and didn't know what was expected of me, and what I was supposed to do. I started off with labelling, and then filling, and dispensing. Now I rotate between all three, depending on the number of prescriptions flowing in and the people available at that time.

Dispensing is still a challenge for me, I still can't remember the dose, frequency and indications of so many medicines, and I have to dispense with a BNF by my side. I am still slower than most of the other pharmacists but then again, I still have so much to learn. I think it will take a whole lot more time for me to feel completely at ease when a patient comes up to the counter.

I admit I'm much happier now compared to my first day as I have made so many wonderful new friends, who actually make the effort to include me in their activities. My housemate (technically my senior) described me as outgoing and likes to go out (hey it kinda rhymes!), which I thought was the exact opposite of what I used to be. I mean, I have been a homebody for the longest time and I still don't quite know what to say to strangers. But I am trying my best and it certainly feels great to have an awesome bunch of colleagues who really make all the difference. Especially those that blurt 'Uncle your cincin very cantik!' or 'Auntie your blouse is so pretty!' in the middle of dispensing, and the conversations which leave us dissolving in laughter in the OPD.

Life is good so far. I hope it stays that way for this one year.

I just want to be happy. =)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

a new place, a new life

Dear all, I have been posted to Hospital Seri Manjung, in Sitiawan, a small town very near Lumut and about 1.5 hours from Ipoh. I have just got the news on Friday, by which then I immediately rushed to JKN to report, so I'll be starting work on Monday. I think there was too little time for me to digest the information that I'll be starting a whole new chapter of my life in a whole new place, so much so that when it finally sank in, it felt terrible. I thought I have learnt to mute my heart towards such things, I don't think I have felt much even when I knew I was to enter the national service, or before leaving home for Glasgow. I would like to think it is just another normal part of life, at which I'm supposed to work, earn money, support and take care of myself, without all the people that I've been used to. I will be there without my parents, my best mates, and all will be new to me in that place. I want to think I'll be alright, and I thought I was strong enough. But somehow I still feel scared sometimes at the prospect. I am scared of the unknown, and I think a new job, a new place, and new people to deal with would make enough unknowns to make anyone scared. Ever since a long time, this is the first where I don't quite know what to expect, and I don't really know what to do.

You know how people sometimes ask, what would you save if your house were on fire? Well, bizarre as it sounds, I feel like what I'm about to face is just that, though neither my house nor my future hospital is on fire, hah! I feel like I'm losing everything that I'm familiar with, and yet again, it scares the shit out of me. I feel like clutching at whatever is left of the life that I'm used to, no matter how trivial it may be. For me, that would be the company of my parents and friends, the 7pm and 8.30 drama series I'm used to watching on the tv, the familiar smell of home-cooked food, and my cozy little room at home. All I'm bringing to my new residence would be two suitcases and a purse. I want to claw and struggle against change, I want to resist the change, but yet I know I can't stay the same forever. I can't be under the protective wings of my parents forever, I can't be used to the comforting presence of my current, wonderful friends forever. Things change, life changes. I know I should embrace it, but so much change in one go still leaves me so fearful that sometimes I feel I may have chosen the wrong career. I mean, if I was about to start work at something I love, I would feel excited about it, and not feel the cloud of impending doom above my head that I can't seem to shake off, won't I? I really don't know.

As said (very beautifully) by a friend, what's the worse that can happen? I may make mistakes at work, I may still drive horribly but really, whatever comes, the only option is to deal with it, and make sure it won't happen again the next time. Thankfully I still have two high school friends who are working in the same hospital, one of them was my best friend back in high school, who's working as a houseman at the exact same hospital. I hope we'll be able to revive our friendship, and I really, really hope that I'll be able to make friends that are equally as awesome as my current besties.

Right now, I'm nervous, scared, and somewhat sad. But I want to enjoy my life, I want to be happy. I really hope that, in time, I will be just that, fingers crossed. Wish me luck!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

this is your life.

After spending a few years away from home, I came home to realize that there was a recurring theme in my family - we tend to force ourselves to do many things that we didn't like, just because we SHOULD. Perhaps it's a common concept in traditional Chinese families, who tend to put anything and everything above themselves. Work comes first, making money comes first, children comes first, a large house, the perfect picket get my flow. I never felt this way before when I stayed at home but after I came back from my studies, I realized that my life at home had been quite suppressed. We would deny ourselves the most minute of things, just to save money or 'because we shouldn't do it.' The most common examples in my home is that we tend to NOT turn on the fan if we could, for the sake of saving electricity and money. Not that bad, you think? Well, certainly not the best idea in the blistering heat of Malaysia. Another thing is that my family has this notion that everyone should do everything together. For example, they used to drag me to the pool and badminton court, when I really really hated swimming and badminton. But when I was young I never even thought of rebelling, and went along on those swimming trips and forced myself to swim. (Don't ask me why I hate swimming so much. I'm just born with it I think.) Years after, I wonder to myself why couldn't I have just refused to go along, and saved myself all of that. But to be fair to them, some good came out of their efforts, I grew to love badminton after playing with them for so many years.

Another common trend in Asian people is that we tend to do something because it fits us in the 'acceptable' mould, be it of a good husband or wife, a filial son or daughter, or a responsible employee. I think the main difference between western and asian people is that the westerners embrace their individualities. They encourage their students and children to pursue their passion in life, regardless of whether it will be a profitable career in the future. They encourage their young people to embrace differences in personalities and characteristics, likes and dislikes, beliefs and goals in life. No goal is too trivial, no passion is too silly. A very real-life example is that people who dress differently are wholly accepted in the west. No one bats an eye if you walk down the street with a mohawk, or wear fishnet stockings with thigh-high boots. Try that here in Malaysia and people will probably think you're crazy. And most parents in Asian families would encourage, and sometimes force their kids to study something 'socially acceptable', preferably professional courses. That would perhaps explain why our population is overflowing with doctors, engineers, accountants, lawyers, and dare I mention it, pharmacists! How many a budding artist has been fully encouraged to pursue their true passion in life? My bet is that most parents would coerce the little Picasso to brush up on their maths or science, instead of spending his time drawing. Sometimes I wonder if it is due to an innate fear of 'losing face' that make parents force their kids to have, what they think is, a proper career, and let the parents be proud when stating in front of the relatives that 'Oh, my son is a doctor *cue for parent to smile and swell*' instead of saying 'Uh, my son is a starving painter *cue to drop head and sad frown*.'

Does that not sound sad to us? We do things for people to accept us as one of their own, for fear that we would be ostracised for doing something we really love. Are we really doing the right thing when we heed our parents and relatives' advice to become a doctor 'because people will look up to you and you will make lots of money', and hate our job with a vengeance all the while we're at it? Are we?

What I am just saying that if we realize that something that we've believed wholeheartedly in for our whole life is not quite right, we should at least try to make a difference in our life by changing for the better. And what is 'better'? I guess it is whatever that makes us happy that counts.

Life is too short to waste on doing things that are useless, or make us unhappy, as long as we don't harm others in the process. Isn't it?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

something for all my friends...or maybe not ALL. =)

☆戴爱玲 对的人☆

你问在我心中 是否还苦恼
那次受伤 否决了爱的好
谢谢你的关照 我一切都好
一个人 不算困扰

爱要耐心等待 仔细寻找 感觉很重要
宁可空白了手 等候一次 真心的拥抱
我相信在这个世界上 一定会遇到
对的人出现 在眼角

那次流过的泪 让我学习到
如何祝福 如何转身不要
在眼泪体会到 与自己拥抱
爱不是一种需要 是一种对照
然后得到多少 并不计较
放手去爱 海阔天高

I have been loving this song for the longest time. It's incredibly inspiring to all the single people out there!

Friday, September 3, 2010

updates, I'm not dead!

Dear all, I'm sorry it has been months (longest hiatus ever!) since I posted. Mostly that stemmed from the fact that I've been doing very little besides rotting at home, and also partly because I just don't feel the urge to write about my boring, boring life without boring the rest of you. But anyway.

Yesterday was my mom's birthday, which translates to birthday cake and free calls to maxis numbers! *wide grin* My mobile is registered under her name so I made full use of the privilege and called all my old friends one by one according to alphabetical order. It was great fun! In fact I'm just so incredibly happy that I got to talk to them after years of not meeting each other. I found out I was just in time to contact one friend, who was about to leave for the UK to study masters. Phew! caught her just in time. I also chatted with a few friends still in medical school and inwardly congratulating myself for not choosing that profession...ahahah don't hate me doctors! But I digress. Another friend has been posted to Sabah for her PRP year together with four other BPharmers, but she seems to be having fun despite the underlying terror that has been going around our batch about the prospect of being sent there. (buhbye brendan, siva, chunwai, kamarul and perhaps guys are going to be missed sorely!)

Penang road trip was a success! I've posted the photos on FB so I won't be posting them here. Jason very kindly lent us his Batu Feringghi apartment (which was gorgeous, by the way) and Wenchin, Weiluen and Jeannette brought us around the island for those three days. Penang hawker food lives up to its name indeed but in the end I ended up with food poisoning, dang the seafood! But I'll definitely be going back for seconds once my stomach has become more resilient! And the last day was hilarious. Most of us putty princesses were tired and washed out by the heat at the end and begged the tour guides to bring us to the mall for the day. The guides smiled and we happily went back to our cars and guess what? They brought us to the youth park see monkeys! The joke was on us in the end, I even spotted S hitting W on the head in the car in front of us when we almost reached the place. Classic!

And right before penang we had our second convocation. It's weird is it not, to have two graduation ceremonies for one degree, but still... =) I went for the sole purpose to meet my friends and have a good time, less so for the convo, but I was still happy being able to finally wear the mortarboard! For some reason the universities in the UK doesn't seem to like the mortarboard and we couldn't figure out why it was so. Then someone came up with the briliant idea that with the characteristic strong winds in Glasgow all the mortarboards would be flying around in the air instead of staying put on our heads! It totally makes sense doesn't it? Oh and an old friend came over to attend my convo, which made me very happy as we'd not seen each other for, oh I don't know, years? I totally did not expect him to drop by so that was one of the best surprises I had for a long time. =)

Oh, and hello Mr. DC! Thanks for stopping by. *even wider grin*

Till then!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

graduation, and emo-ness.

Today, I have graduated.

I wish I could be one of those unbearably positive people who will say that leaving university is a fresh start to the rest of our lives, and they have high hopes for the future, and such. But I am not.

Instead, I feel an immense sadness. I am sad to leave the major part of my life behind, where I spent most, if not all, my time facing books and exams. I am sad to leave my dear, dear friends with whom I have built a strong bond in these past few years. Indeed I can say, the best friends of my life were made during university life. But then again, a lot of my life has yet to come so I cannot say that for sure…yet. I am also sad to leave the part of my life where I do not have to worry about money and putting food on the table. I feel a little terrified that the money I use in the future, will come from me and myself alone, and I will no longer be able to ask my parents for money should the whim to buy something new and shiny comes along. I will have to carve out portions of my salary and spend it with care, and will also have to scrimp and save a certain amount of money every month to prepare for rainy days (ie. angpau money for friends’ weddings!). I feel sad to leave this place, the place where I spent the busiest yet happiest year of my life. Strangely I feel sad to bid farewell to the gloomy weather in Glasgow, because I enjoyed it so much! Glasgow was a welcome relief from the eternally sunny days in Malaysia, and I feel sorry to leave it behind. I really don’t see myself coming back here for the foreseeable future, and I feel all the more reluctant to leave this country.

My parents flew in to attend my graduation, and they will be leaving tomorrow. I am really happy to see my parents, after six months of talking to them on skype. Not seeing them for an extended time made me even the more aware of the fact that they are not getting any younger as the years go by. I almost forgot how nice it feels to be fussed over by them, and to be able to fuss over them. I am so glad that they did not heed my advice to NOT come to my graduation, because I felt so happy that they are here to share the moment with me. My dad was forever the social butterfly, he was making his way around the crowd of parents and making friends along the way. The most I can summon myself to do is to nod and smile at strangers. I am not cut out to become a PR personnel after all.

Besides feeling sad, I also feel emptiness. An emptiness that stems from my indecisiveness as to where to head after graduating and what to do with the rest of my life. I do not intend to stop studying at this point but I am unsure where to proceed after this degree. Masters of Pharmacy is the obvious choice in our case, but I do not feel an inclination strong enough to sustain me through another two years of studying something that I feel for only half-heartedly. I thought about studying fashion or interior design, my original options in high school, but where would that lead me? Carving my way in the fashion world is no mean feat and I really do not think that I am well suited to that world of air-kisses and frivolity. Another obvious option`is, well, to get married and have kids and take care of them for the rest of my life but that doesn’t seem too appealing for now. I mean I know that will come sooner or later but it isn’t really a good plan to fall back on now is it?

Emoness aside, there is still cause for celebration!

Pic: the mob of paparazzi consisting of parents!

Pic: housemates!

Alright. Despite what I have just said, I really am happy that this day finally came, and it was made even better to be able to share it with my beloved family and friends. Amen. =)