Archive for August, 2008

Work Fatigue

It’s inevitable in any field. There just comes a time when one feels a little down for no particular reason. So what? One can’t expect others to pat one’s head and say… “Oh… poor baby…”

The answer is obviously far, far removed from wallowing in self-pity. Sometimes the best solution is to work through it. To gird up one’s loins and say, “Let’s go!”, to push through the initial barrier and overcome inertia.

That said, J. would like to point out that this refers only to the normal-ish, mild sort of “down-ness”. If one enters an extended period of depressive mood or starts encountering further psychiatric abnormalities, it would be advisable to seek some aid, even if not a full psychiatric consult. There is a societal stigma attached to psychiatric illnesses, but rather than allow that to dictate the course of one’s life, one should do what needs to be done and work towards changing the perception of society (Herculean task it may be).

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Taipei Trip Day 0: Arriving in Taipei

This is not your typical travel thingamajig. The purpose of this short trip was to visit relatives and just relax instead of going about the usual Taiwanese tourist attractions or shopping. There was, however, a great deal of eating. At the time of this writing, the conversion rate is S$1 to NT$22.29.

The flight on EVA Air was fairly comfortable, and J. took the opportunity to watch Kung Fu Panda for the first time on their in-flight entertainment system. Seats on that flight were in a decently spaced 2-4-2 configuration and the seat next to J.’s was empty. Hooray.

Touching down in Taipei, it was a surprise to see that in August, the temperature displayed in the airport (台灣桃園國際機場) was 38 degrees Celsius at about 6pm. That’s right, July and August are the blisteringly hot months in Taipei, tourist beware. He then took the EVA coach (NT$135) that, after reaching Taipei, had to fight its way through evening traffic to reach Zhongxiao-Fuxing MRT Station at the new Sogo. From there, he took the MRT and then changed to a bus to reach home.

Ah, homecooked food. There’s nothing quite like it. The fragrance of the rice, the taste of the vegetables, the crisp chewiness of the tempura. Mm-mm. It’s well worth the flight money.

The Brevity of Life

[Post-dated Entry]

The hospital grapevine is an amazing thing. News spreads like wildfire. So it came to J.’s notice from pathology folks some time back that a junior (name unknown) had suddenly passed on. And that struck a nerve like no patient he’s ever had did. Here was an apparently hale and healthy man/woman who had out of the blue crossed the border between life and death, cause unknown. While he can detach himself from the elderly patient with ischaemic heart disease passing on, this is another matter entirely.

The news had come because supposedly CG-mates/friends of said person, J. quotes, “boycotted” the posting because they didn’t wish to see the body of a good friend undergo the knife. That’s a very reasonable thing to do, and J. didn’t think the use of the word “boycotted” was appropriate at all. After all, an autopsy consists of elegance in brutality, with the search for truth being advanced at the cost of the human body.

Anyhow, J. doubts that the autopsy (it being a coroner’s case) will throw up much answers. Was it Brugada Syndrome?

And it was only recently that J. finally realised who fate’s victim was. A cheerful, warm-hearted man. J. can only imagine the terrible time his family and close friends have gone through.

To said person, wish you were still here.

Unfavourable Movie Review – The X-files: I Want To Believe

J.’s not an X-files buff, and in his youth always seemed to find a reason to do something else when the X-Files came on. To temper his natural cynicism, he went to watch the new X-Files movie The X-Files: I Want To Believe with a couple of friends who loved The X-Files series.

And all three concurred: this movie’s not that good. At all! They felt that it sullied their memories of The X-Files series. J. saw this movie and thought, “Gee, it’s a good thing I’ve never watched the series. If it’s like this, I don’t want to.” To make things worse, this was the first movie he’s watched in months. Months! He hasn’t watched Hellboy, The Mummy, The Dark Knight, or any of a bunch of other possibly better movies! And he spent 2 hours on this show. Damn.

This movie is offensively stupid on multiple points. Being medical personnel, J. and friends’ve seen fairly gross stuff. J.’s had his finger up a man’s ass, scooping out impacted faeces. To them, the gross-out factor wasn’t quite there. The plot and the characters are otherwise nothing short of annoying.

Spoilers ahead! If you’d rather not, why not go to the 32% (as of 6/8/08) Rotten Tomatoes Review?

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Subconscious Analysis of Malaysia-Bashing In Singaporean Healthcare Workers

Some Singaporeans like to metaphorically bash the government of the neighbouring government and its policies. Some Singaporeans might even jokingly extend it to the mostly fine denizens of said nation.

It is therefore important to analyse the root cause of such dislike. Perhaps we might find that these people’s fathers didn’t cuddle them enough when they were children. Mayhaps they have some odd paraphilias that manifest as xenophobia.

It seems, however, that this has more to do with an issue of disappointment.

On paper, it appears that Malaysia has the upper hand. Natural resources, with more people and more land. People said that in 50 years Malaysia will overtake Singapoe in every aspect. Some people bought into the hype. For now, though they temporarily call Singapore home, they kept alive a faint glimmer of hope that Malaysia would be a viable long-term option.

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How To Be A Rubbish House Officer

(Disclaimer: Any similarities of names/behaviour to actual characters, real or imagined, is purely coincidental}

These might sound like obvious facts to the hardworking batch of YLL SoM year 5 students, the first bunch of whom have finished their student internship program with the MBBS looming in the background (though still a very far away background), but indeed, are important facts to be rehashed over and over again ad nausem.

A few days back there was a thank you lunch to the good staff of the department and one cheerfully friendly consultant sat with the house officers to give them an informal talk on life as a house officer in his day. He reassured us that it takes a special quality of house officer (i.e. really the pits, rock bottom, completely useless, irresponsible with deep character flaws) to fail housemanship. Unfortunately for him, during his time as a houseman, there was one such character he was working with.

So here we go. References to any potential fellow HOs in the department is once again purely coincidental.

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