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Saturday, May 24, 2008

What would it be...?

Alhamdulillah...my essay got submitted for the MSC Synapse Magazine! Yippee!!

What Would It Be…?

Life is short. Once upon a time you were born, and in a blink’s eye, you’re almost a quarter century old. You think that the fun is about to begin – truth is, you’re nearly approaching the deadliest days of your life.

When I was eight, I dreamt of becoming a lecturer. Daddy’s influence, I’d say, because he’d have occasional outstations that’d keep him tuck comfy in the aircrafts passenger seat, and we’d all be sending him off with envy. And of course, the hopes that daddy would bring back humps of souvenirs and goodies – well who didn’t like surprises?

Three years flew, and I turned eleven. My ambition? A stewardess. They get to work in the air (isn’t that cool?), travel abroad, like, every week, and their jobs are pretty much simple – well, it depends on how much stars they owe the airline. Haha. But I scratched that off – think I couldn’t handle being away from home that long a period.

The days of high school came, and I became love-struck with chemistry. Perhaps, why not, a biochemist? Jiggle with all the chemicals in the world. Yikes.

Apparently, high school ended, and I was all determined to become a pharmacist. Yup, a pharmacist. However, when scribbling the JPA form, dad – well, he didn’t frown, but the smile he gave wasn’t his usual smile. Said that he yearned so long to become a doctor, but hadn’t the chance, and had high hopes that his daughter would make up for his dream. Truth is, at that moment, I nearly thought I had no guts to become one.

* * *

I thought that medicine was a subject for typical geek nerds. Thought that it meant all work, no play, no fun. Thought that it meant maximum boredom. Thought that anatomy and histology would take forever to be memorized, and that biochemistry would make me go nuts. But here I am, 22 years old, being a 4th year student, in CSMU. And, like, I’ve passed half way through my med school years.

It’d take me two more who-knows-what-will-happen years before I hit internship, and the thought of it already sends adrenaline gushes down my sympathetic trunk. Ouch. Imagine all the on-calls, the harsh rebukes, the reprimands, the urghhhh God knows what’ll happen. The days that’d be filled with books revised all night long before the next day begins, and you just can’t predict how many ‘emergency surprises’ would come rolling in per day. You’d care less on how you look, your appetite would shrink to its lowest, and one just couldn’t fuss more on what movies to catch up. Yup, a tiring, exhausting day they’d be indeed.

Come to think about it, that’s what life mingles about. You can never be too happy at all times, and so does it go for misery. What you get tomorrow, depends on how you struggle for it, today.

Four years back, being a freshie, I pinned dermatology as the field of desire if ever I thought of specializing into one. A month ago, I was thinking of neurology. And just, a week back, general practice hit my mind.

Having said that, God willing, given a decade more to live, I’d try give my best shot to become the coolest doctor ever – regardless of all the hassles one may have to face in the world. And, of course, a family of my own would seem nice too. J


ps: welcome to the world, Akmal Harris!! Kak Ecah's newborn baby...and I had the chance to lay him on my lap 6 hours after the labour..the motherly feeling..indescribable!! :P

pps: am now in exam mode for 2 weeks..doakan sayer ^_^

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Jelajah Benua: A Day at the farm


Two days ago we eventually had our last program of the semester: Jelajah Benua (JB). It was held in Bakhchisarai, with the aim of helping the Tartar Muslims in need. Donations consisted of food, money, medication and clothing; and of course the most vital of all: our Al-Qur'an.

The one thing that made me love this year's JB was because, I actually got to do some farm stuff. Haha. Talking about being a country kid. Couldn't believe I actually had the chance to do them!!

Climb up - hee - ho~

Look at the scenery behind. Subhanallah..lawa kan??

With Mrs Roestam (ps: they do have three daughters, aged 12,16 and 19. The youngest goes to school, and the other two work. The 2nd and 3rd were there, but they refuse being captured on cam. Mrs Roestam sells bread,and knits clothes for a living.

Mr Roestam in action. He has retired, and has been suffering from back pain. Yet he insists to manage the crop. Says "I can't just let my wife do all the working" .

Their comfy little sweet home

Now comes the food.

First there was breakfast. We had homemade coffee and tea (the coffee seeeriously tasted like our kg's kopi hitam tu..), homemade bread, kefir and jam, some wafers, choc biscuits and sweets.

Next came in lunch. She cooked 'butter-plov(rice) porridge that had some meat and chicken in it, and baked us a huge super-duper yummylicious mouth-watering tempting oh-I-can-describe-you-no-more bread~

The gigantic bread

Yer..yer..saye makan makcik!!Hehe

At the kitchen where she cooks the food..it was somewhat like a basement.

The bread I told you about

Butter-rice plov porridge cooking in action

Next she took us to their farm!! They planted their own crops, and had their own cows from where they get milk, had their own chicken, sheep, goat and cows. The goats and sheep were afraid of us at first!! Kelakar jek~

Haha...gotcha!!! Bulu dier sangat lembut...cam teddy bear~

Chicks in my hands!! Sangat chomeyl~

And next - look what we got to do!! Hehe..perah susu lembu!!

It seems easy - wait till their in your hands. Yikes!!

Sipping milk fresh from the cows...breast? erk~(seeeriously sgt sedappp tak terhingga~~)

I do intend to go visit them again..and perhaps do some serious farming!! Hehe..just wait till the exams are done, and you may spot me in country-kid mode. Yippee!!

ps: If you notice at the side bar, I have linked in a new website bawang goreng. It's a very nice site, with lotsa tips regarding relationship to be exact. Good for newly-weds, newly-wed becomers and hubby wifeys. The bonus point is, at nearly every article there'd be hadith, Qur'an aayahs and related stories from Rasulullah S.A.W's sirah. Though I must say, I wouldn't recommend kids to browse the site - because some articles might render them clueless *wink*wink* (erm sesetgh post tu mungkin cm blue..tp saye rase kite semue dah besar, and mostly pembace blog nie pun medic students kan..jadik silerla open-minded yek!! Jgn pikir bukan2 pulak psl saye kang..hukhuk. Lagipun utk mase depan korg jugak :D )

Prodigy Potluck (oh, it's food again...)

We were supposed to hold this a year back; however lots of activities trailed in, and all were just too busy. So we squashed in the event last Friday; it was Ukraine's Victory Day, hence holiday.

Lunch, your highness, is served...

Agar-agar buah sirap-susu

Mashed potatoes

Mini doughnuts

Ayam bakaq


Banana cake topped with moist choc n strawberries

Choc-n-cinnamon bread pudding

Non-KFC's coleslaw

The sengal-yet-sporty board members..hehe

We also had fried rice; however the picture went missing.

Guess which one did I make? *wink*wink*

Haaaa...cepatla aper lagik...jemputla makan!!! *grinning_wide*

XOXO for my mum ;)

And so, the BEST MUM of the universe award goes to...


Hehehe..my very own mum :)

The ever most beautiful, sporty, caring, kind, lovable; all those good deeds you can ever think of, you have it all mama. You complete my world.

And this song goes for you; Everyday I love you :)

Mum when I was around 5. Sorry for the blurry image. Guess which one's me? Hehe

Mama's pic of raya 2006..comel macam anak die (erk terbalik kot? :P)

Would like to share with everyone this beautiful story; an excerpt from the 'My Story' section of Reader's Digest. A good read for future docs too. [credit to matpeet]

Two Mothers, One Message

'Each taught me the meaning of life in her own way ' written by Maria Zulfiqar, RD april 2007

Every time somebody asked me about my future ambition when I was growing up in Pakistan, I always replied, “I want to become a doctor.” The white coat and stethoscope attracted me so much – I would play with my toy doctor’s kit for hours and hours.

My sister Maryam and I would often pretend that she was terminally ill and the only option left was an operation. The best part of it was my declaration to our mother, in the most melodramatic tone I could muster, that Maryam had not survived. My mother always told me very gently that a doctor’s first priority should be to save her patient’s life, no matter what. “The rest lies in God’s hands,” she said.

When I was 18, my childhood dream took a step closer to reality when I was accepted into King Edward Medical University in Lahore. My mother’s words about a doctor’s duty rang in my ears on my first day at the college.

Clinical interaction with patients didn’t begin until the third year, and when it was my batch’s turn for the ward visit, I was almost hysterical with excitement. Beds were allotted to individual students. I walked over to my bed and encountered a very strange sight: a woman covered with a metal case on which a light cloth was placed. She was moaning with pain. I soon realised that she was a burns victim.

It was the first time I saw someone who was critically ill. I tried talking to her but she was barely conscious. Her mother, a grey-haired woman with a wrinkled face and a determined gaze, was standing by the bed. She told me a little about her daughter. Her name was Aisha*. She was 22 years old. Her husband was a shopkeeper and she had two children – a two-year-old daughter and an infant son.

When I asked about the cause of the burns, the mother broke down. Covering her face with her hands to hide her tears, she told me that Aisha’s husband had set her on fire. At that moment, Aisha, who was nearly comatose, raised her hand and grabbed her mother’s shirt. “I told you, he put the fire out,” she said weakly. “I was cooking – it was an accident.”

“Why are you defending him?” the mother replied. “He is the one who did this to you. He should be punished for what he has done. You just tell me the truth!”
Her cries drew the attention of other patients in the ward. I tried to comfort her by telling her what was being done to save her daughter. It made no difference. Sobbing, she slowly moved towards the corner and collapsed on the floor.

I looked at Aisha’s chart – it said she had suffered burns to 83 per cent of her body. Oh God! I thought. At 30 per cent, burns are regarded as life threatening. She was up against almost three times that! Still, I tried to console Aisha’s mother. “The senior doctors are trying their level best to save your daughter’s life. Please don’t lose hope. If you cry, what will Aisha think? She needs you more than ever now.”

With a heavy heart, I left the mother and daughter and returned to my classes. That night, I couldn’t sleep. How will I face the mother if Aisha dies? I kept thinking. I considered Aisha to be my responsibility even though I was just a third-year student. I should have told the mother the truth, I thought. I shouldn’t have given her false hope.
The next day, Aisha’s bed was empty. I asked the senior doctor what had happened. “She died last night,” he replied. “Couldn’t do much for her.”

His easy tone shocked me. “How did you tell her relatives?” I hesitantly asked.
He eyed me with curiosity. “I just told them she was dead. What do you think I could have said?”
I was taken aback by his “professional” attitude, which lacked the slightest touch of humanity. A mother who had lost her daughter to a violent and painful death had learned about it in such a cold-blooded manner. I left early that day and cried my heart out. When I was a child, telling my mother about the make-believe death of my sister was easy. Now I shuddered at the thought of what I would have done if I had been the one to tell Aisha’s mother.

A few days later, I ran into Aisha’s mother, who had come to the hospital to pick up some paperwork. She looked at me and smiled gently. Then, placing her hand on my head, she kissed my forehead and prayed for my long life. “You doctors did whatever you could,” she said. “The rest was His will.”

That was nearly three years ago, but her words are still fresh in my mind. I have just finished my final year of medical school and I haven’t seen another case as horrific as Aisha’s. But I am not afraid anymore. Aisha’s mother equipped me with something I already knew but didn’t understand. My own mother had told me the same thing again and again, but it was lying dormant within me.

I will always be thankful to Aisha’s mother for telling me the meaning of life: that we should do everything we can; the rest lies in God’s hands.