Monday, December 30, 2013

Lesson from 2013


2013 was indeed, a crazy year for me. My life changed exactly 180 degrees and thank God I survived and my huge thanks to my friends and family for their help through out the journey.
  1. You need a plan to succeed.
  3. Failure to stay adherent to your plan will lead to failure.
  4. Your family and friends will always be there for you.
  5. It's okay to make mistakes. As long as you learn from them.
  6. Before you forgive others, you first have to forgive YOURSELF.
  7. Documentation is key! Have a journal, record progress - use pen and paper for better results.
  8. Stickers are good for motivation.
  9. All wounds heal with time. Give enough time, and seek treatment!
  10. You should not wash mushroom - just brush and wipe them.
  11. A dollar spent on charity while you're alive is much much much better than a million dollar after you die. 
  12. Do not waste your precious time on books you don't enjoy reading.
  13. I should have more date night with myself - preferably once a week - I tried this and I was soooooo in love with the idea. It felt so great and I crave for more! Take a relaxing shower, wear your favorite PJs, lit some candles and cuddle up with a book and some tea or hot chocolate. Watch a movie, if you wish. No phones, no facebook, no twitter.
  14. Putting off checking on facebook and twitter early in the morning improves my produvity.
  15. I am a lot happier on days I don't use twitter. True story!
  16. Finishing any major medical textbook is possible - as long as you have a plan. - To be tested in 2014
  17. I shall make a list for everything I learn in 2014 so I will not forget.

Above all things, I learnt that the only true love and devotion that will not disappoint you is the one you have towards God and for people whom you love because of HIM. All else will fail you. 

Again, my sincerest thanks to my friends and family, especially the CSIs for being there for me this year... picking me up when I broke into pieces.. Happy New Year!

p.s : what did you learn?

Friday, December 20, 2013

10 days to new year challenge

This coming 10 days, let's try :
  1. Stop complaining / whining. Verbally, on twitter & facebook.
  2. Write gratitude list for things we're grateful for - every night.
  3. No negative talk. No fat talk. Replace with positive affirmations.
  4. Work on this two things : daily prayer & quran recitation
  5. Smile more & give more hugs to people around us.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

For Medical students : 10 antibiotics a year

"How many antibiotics are there that you know? I bet in your practice you will only use less than 100 antibiotics. So if you memorize 10 antibiotics a year - is that too much? 10 antibiotics a year? Imagine how many you would have mastered today?"

That was how my brain translated what Dr.W preached in our lecture regarding antibiotics usage in paediatric department. 10 antibiotics a year equals to 1 antibiotic a month, and by the time you reached 6th year you would have at least 60 antibiotics at the tip of your finger. He totally blew my mind.

Now, why didn't anyone tells us about this calculation back in our 2nd year while we're taking general pharmacology? Had there been anyone who told us this mind-blowing fact in our 4th year, we could have up the number to 2 antibiotics a month which is still very do-able.. and this man is telling us this in our 3rd week of our 3rd rotation for our final year with so many things to catch up with. Even if I do 1 antibiotic a week, starting today, still I will only have 23 antibiotics well-read about by my final exam. 

Unfortunately we will not achieve anything by dwelling in our regrets - so in which ever year you're in today, start doing your calculation, right away after you finish reading this - not only for the antibiotics, but all the other drugs as well.  

Most antibiotics have the same adverse effects GI upset, so focus more on the special / unique side effects, and contraindications. Of course you will also need to know which microorganisms it covers, and what kind of preparation we use for which kind of infection.

Yes you will not have time to memorize all antibiotics there are in 1-2 weeks study leave but you CAN read and memorize about 1 antibiotic a month! 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

bus ride with the clowns

the next day me and Qutaybah took off as early as 9.00 am to Amman. I only found out later that another arrangement has been made in Irbid for us to be with the clowns. However, it was a good thing that I went with Mr. Q (as all the clowns call him) that I get to be with them in the bus, because clowns in action and clowns in real life is two different story.


I noticed this from the previous day when Steve has multiple notepads in hand and he wrote down the ideas, and questions he needs clarifying. He owns a smartphone, a tablet and a macbook he carries around with him but he still wrote with pen and paper. And on the next day, Lars were asking around if anyone has a notebook with them as he needs it as his journal. "You're just like your father, aren't you, everything must be hand-written!". In the bus, Tyehimba "from the capital of the capital" sat next to me. Just as we took off and our fellow clowns begin to sing, he opens his notebook and start asking me for phrases to use with the kids. "I'm gonna write this in my journal, learning arabic phrases with Atiqah". He jots down the phrases, and if he's not asking me question, he would be writing about his encounter on that particular day.


"Knat T and Valeria"

doing our opening song

Chris dancing to a local song

Clay Mazing and his rope

We then arrived at the stadium in Zarqa'. I thought it was the Syrian kids we're clowning for, turns out they are just local kids. Well who cares, they seems to be needing some TLC too.[ CorrectionI was informed later that these kids are from Palestinian refugees family].I went from clown to clown helping them to interact with limited arabic I have. When it was time to perform Zuhr prayer, Patch asked me if it's okay for him to join the men to perform the prayer. I was okay with the idea, and told him to lower his pants and checked with a local if it's okay for them. He was hesitant at first, but then he told Patch yea he can join them.

as I go through my phone gallery I noticed someone took Yahou's picture as he learnt how to pray as well

After an hour and a half in the stadium we packed to leave. Some kids begged for us to stay longer or come again tomorrow, or next eid. Some went home frustrated as we ran out of baloons. We had to go because we reached "the peak". Before the excitement wears off the clowns have to leave, and as we leave, kids waved at us, we waved back, saying I love you.. Some of us goes with their newly found vocabulary of "ana behebbek". A kid actually sends us off with a middle finger. LOL.


Before we got off the bus in Zarqa', Tyehimba told me the story of his clown character, Knat T, after Nat Turner - he told me the story, but you are gonna have to do the search yourself. He has a degree in Ethnic study, a master in something else and planning to do a PhD. Only on our way back to Irbid I found out that he is 50 something (he stopped counting his age when he was 30) years old. Explains everything he has to say about everything. He opened our eyes that dreadlocks should be called locks instead, and how his locks formed by itself without having him to pay someone a dime to get his hair done.

As we took off from the stadium, he said children will be children no matter where they are. Lars lost his hair to an adult who ran off with it. Clay and Yahou got shot with toy guns. I asked Tyehimba if he was shot, he told me "Yea, those kids pulled out some guns and tell me 'Hey you give me money' and I was like, 'You give me money?' acting like I don't get what they are trying to do, then I just told them off that's not nice man, that's not nice. I know it's a toy gun but very realistic looking, I mean if we're in the alley, you wouldn't question it." In a conversation later, he added that if he have the language and not in his clown suit, he would have had a serious talk with those kids explaining what they did was wrong.

"I'm gonna write my encounter with these kids in my journal. I wonder to what extend 'my people' has to do to influence these kids to be like this." I told Tyehimba we have kids behaving like this in my country too, I think it's because of the gangster movies we have. I felt amazed that Tyehimba thinks "his people" have anything to do with this. In our country, sadly, I don't think the film-makers would feel a tiny sense of regret when they see kids talking in this manner, behaving like a gangster and what not.

We stoped for lunch and clown will forever be clowns, start entertaining people in the restaurant, dancing to the arabic music. Patch took out his huge underpants and later had me explaining to the ladies what are we doing there. I myself have no idea what to tell them, and thank God they seems cool with it.


During lunch, I talked to Yahou and learnt that he's only a year older than me. He has a degree in Psychology and master in clowning. I was surprised when he told me he started clowning before he went to college, and it was the clowning money that paid for his education. I guess if you take anything seriously, you will get something out of it. He has his own clowning company based in Canada and he's enjoying everything as he's doing something that he loves so much.


We then arrived in Irbid and waited for a group of kids to be entertained. We line danced and Patch played the underwear games with the volunteers. I went upstairs and saw 3 sister who are secluding themselves from the others. Fungus and his wife Miss Skete were there, I am so lucky to see how they deal with the girls. To see Salma, who was initially crying to go home, starting to hold the toys Miss Skete gave her, and finally ends up with us downstairs painting and strumming Valeria's guitar. I saw Salma's sister drawing Syrian flag, my heart was touched that this girl must have missed her home so much. 

After the painting session, the kids were brought outside and given pack of food. I heard a few boys plotting to hide their food and 'stealing' some plain water we have in the boxes. I asked them if they have eaten and they told me they are not going to eat it, they want to hide it and take it with them. It breaks my heart that this kids are feeling that way, it hurts me so bad that these kids look just like my nephews and I couldn't bear the thought of my nephews having to be in this state of deprivation.

Social networking and smartphones

One thing I noticed no one was really attached to their smartphones in this trip. I kept mine in the bag most of the time. I noticed everyone around me that day are so lively actually TALKING to each other, sharing their stories of countries they've been in, philosophy, and what not. Some are playing puppets and props with each other, or singing.. The only time smartphones are in use is just to take pictures. No one was checking their facebook, twitter or email (well probably because they don't have the internet connections!) but I then learnt that they are not heavy social networker (is this even a word?) anyway. Being with them makes the virtual networking so meaningless, I wish to communicate more with people around me after this.

Saying our goodbyes

We had to say our goodbyes as I can no longer be with them after that. I have exams I needed to study for. I wish I could have come along with them every day, but I guess these are all the memories I could cherish for the moment. As we say our goodbyes, I am amazed by the love these group have in them. I nearly cried when Vanina tells me "I love you", and we've only been together for few hours! We waved goodbyes and I watched the bus took off and I say my thanks to Qutayba for everything.

This is one of the best gift God has given me, the opportunity to learn from these people. I am still figuring out how do I bring this back to my country, or in my medical practice. How do I clown during my rotations? Or am I gonna do it as an extracurricular activity? I don't know just yet, but I'ma work on it. These clowns had touched so many heart, including mine as well. For the time being, I'll keep my clown nose within reach.

Friday, October 18, 2013

an evening with the clowns

It was the day after Eid, I went to Amman to attend this meeting with Patch Adams before we actually join him and his team to visit the Syrian refugee camps in Jordan. I nearly gave up on attending this meeting after not being able to find a company to go with me. Long story shot, I managed to get someone to go with who turns out to be the person in charge of the visiting programs, and I ended up having lunch with speakers for the transgenerational trauma and the founder of the Common Bond Institute and I was like, uhmm this is just crazy, but then it gets crazier!

I then left the discussion (I was there simply because I don't have anywhere else to be, and I recalled Qutaybah told me, "If you come earlier to a meeting, you will have better chance at meeting new people", yea, tested and proven!) and headed to one of the meeting rooms for volunteers who are going to join Patch's team to visit the camps.

There I was, with a bunch of medical students and 3-4 clowns, sitting in a circle, just like an AA meeting. 
Few minutes later, we did a nose transplant, and I got my first clown nose. What hit me during the session is that this crowd is no where near being judgmental. There's no way you would feel bad about yourself when you're among these amazing people. They are so humble and supportive. Ginevra, from Italy proposed that we introduced ourselves and do some opening gestures and picked a clown name. Everybody did it, the sillier the better and I wasn't a bit self-conscious or worry of what others might think of me. We were all there to be silly.

We are living in this stressful judgmental world where we think too much of what people think off us. We fear making fool out of ourselves. But when I look at the clowns, who purposely make a fool out of themselves, just to make other people happy. How is that not honorable? 

Then a larger group of clowns arrived, and Patch as well. He took a chair, and sat next to me. I was about to pinch myself to see if this is really happening. Then we talked about why are we there and the other clowns were to tell us what are they doing / bringing with them. I can hear in their sentences, the sense of humility, of how small they think their contributions are. 

There's Guillaume who studied Psychology to be a clown, and did his masters in Clowing. There's Merry Jerry who have 5 earned degrees, writes books and what not. And then there's Carl, a Yale-trained psychiatrist, journalist,Clay and Valeria who does music, more authors, artist, and etc. I wonder what makes them do this. What makes them do clowning.

When I listened to their stories, I was inspired to clown too. We were told to unscrew our head and put it aside to clown. To use our heart and not our head. When it was my turn, I told the group that when I first came, it was merely for the experience. But now that I've heard so much from you clowns, I wanted to be one too. I met unhappy kids in my life on daily-basis, those on the streets and in the hospital. I want to make them happy. 

I ended my day asking, was it really the sad people who needed the clowns to be happy, or was it the clowns who are in need to entertain and carve a smile on a sad face? 

..and I realized the next day, I was the one who needed both the clowns, and the kids, to remind me of the greater things in life other than all I've been thinking and focusing about. To find the best of myself and to realize the worst of myself. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

My Chocolate Factory Dream

When I was in 5th grade (fancy way to say darjah 5 kan!) we were asked to write a karangan bahasa melayu entitled "Jika saya seorang jutawan". Being such a chocolate lover, I wrote, "Jika saya seorang jutawan, saya akan membina sebuah kilang coklat.

Of course the karangan goes on and on about wanting to help the needy., but the only thing that I could think of - wow... my own chocolate factory? sweet...! I can eat all I want, I don't have to put aside my pocket money and wait until Friday to buy that chocolate bar I love so much. Life was easy those days. Today, if I were to eat a piece of cake or a bar of chocolate, my brain would go on autopilot thinking how much calories is that, and how much I will have to work out to burn those calories.

Life was a lot happier those days. When failing only means to try again until you get what you want. What happened along the way that we fear failing so much we stopped going after our dreams. Even worse, there are dreams we suppressed so deep we even forgot what we dreamed about as a kids. I've wanted to be a secret agent, the prime minister, a sharp shooter, an author, to have my own talk show and etc.. etc.. etc..

When I was in high school, every Friday I will look forward to read this column on NST written by young writers. I wanted to be featured in those column too. I have totally forgot about this dream. I wonder what was I so afraid of that I stopped trying? I wanted to be a good public speaker, but I stopped working on that too. The same thing happens to all the dreams I've had. The only dream I'm still working on is my dream of being a doctor - and I'm still not doing my best for that either. So what really went wrong, I wonder. Until I watch this inspiring speech on youtube today, that it's never too late, and that it was our fear of failure that keeps us away from our dreams.

So, what's next? It hit me yesterday as I was flipping through the book I'm currently reading by Regina Brett, God Never Blinks - that all I have to do is to do the next right thing to do.

If I want to write a book, start with a paragraph.
If I want to be a good public speaker, start preparing a good speech.
If I want to open a chocolate factory or a kiosk even, okay actually I don't want this anymore.

Here I am 24 years old, gathering every pieces of dreams I have had, and sorting them out, of which one I would like to work on first, and doing the next right thing I should do. How about you? What are your dreams? Are you still working on them? Are you stuck just like me? Remember, when in doubt, do the next right thing to do. :-)

Sunday, September 8, 2013

annoying medical students

So I have been on both sides of the equation. I was, at few times been the source of the history , and most of the times the one who asks a whole bunch of questions that sometimes sounds ridiculous and silly to people.I have also heard family members complaining of medical students who keep asking over and over same questions, in multiple occasions in a day. 

I have accompanied my grandfather in 
the hospital having to hand over the list of his medications which occupies half an A4 sized paper when written with a size 12 font. I have also heard patients who could not recall what medications they are taking, and telling me it's the white tablets, blue pills and god-knows-what kind of description.

Ask any doctors in the world, they would all agree that the most important part of managing a patient, is to have an accurate history of the patient. But in time of distress - your kids are having sky-high temperature, vomiting and crying all night long, I doubt giving an accurate history would be easy. The same thing applies when you are in severe pain, or your parents are grasping for air unable to breathe, I doubt you would be able to recall the list of medications, or previous surgery and hospitalization they have had. Not to mention, I have seen the elderly who went to the clinics on their own without any child accompanying them, unable to give an accurate history to the attending physician.

Some hospitals have a good and established medical records system that past medical history can be accessed readily, but this is not always the case.

I suggest it's time, everyone should get everything recorded on paper, or on your smartphone for that matter. Just so you could give an accurate history, and if medical students come and bother you, you can just hand them the details. If you have 15 minutes for facebook, you have 15 minutes to write down all the following details regarding yourself, your parents, and your kids.

1. List of medications : Name and the dosages
2. Any previous reaction / allergy to drugs / food.
3. Previous surgery - when, complications
4. Previous admission to the hospital - reasons, and length of stay
5. Any medical conditions : diabetes, hypertension, etc.

For your kids, we would also be interested to know :

1. Method of delivery, any complication
2. His milestones
3. how long was he breastfed, when do you first introduce food to him, what kind of food, any allergy, or adverse reaction from food.
4. any problem during pregnancy - fever, infection, gestational diabetes, any medications you took during pregnancy.
5. any problem during his first month of life

These things may not seem very important to you today, but if , (God forbids) you / your family members require medical attention, these details are of huge importance. So, start writing, and free some space in your mind now that you know, your past medical history is good to go.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Dari Bismillah ke Alhamdulillah 'Assalamah!

Antara kelebihan duduk di Timur Tengah bagi saya adalah menikmati budaya doa yang sangat subur dalam kalangan masyarakat Arab. Saban hari usai saya mengambil riwayat pesakit, saya ucapkan "Salamtak!" pada pesakit, dan berjela-jela pula balasan doa dari pesakit, keluarga, penjaga kepada saya dan rakan-rakan. Selalu saja saya kebuntuan ingin membalas kembali doa-doa tersebut.

Hari ini antara perbualan saya dengan rakan ialah bagaimana agaknya suasana bila di Malaysia. Pernah sebelum ini saya mendengar kata-kata nasihat yang berbunyi, "Doktor yang pulang dari Timur Tengah perlu ada nilai tambah... Sebelum memulakan sesuatu prosedur, bacalah bismillah..." Eh? Setakat itu sajakah nilai tambah Islami pada seorang doktor kelulusan timur tengah? Pernah juga saya dengar pengalaman ahli keluarga yang "sejuk perut", "sejuk hati" bila dengar doktor yang meniti di bibirnya bismillah, alhamdulillah dan inshaAllah.

Persoalannya bila pulang nanti, mampukah saya masih mengucapkan doa-doa semudah "Salamtak" dan "Allah Yashfiik" pada pesakit-pesakit? Ataupun saya akan jadi ragu-ragu bimbang ada yang mengira saya sesat kerana ungkapan-ungkapan ini tidak biasa kita dengar? Ataupun saya hanya doakan dalam bahasa melayu saja "Semoga Allah sembuhkan Tuan/Puan"? Ataupun adakah saya akan melupakan amalan murni budaya doa dan menjadi seorang doktor yang mahal senyuman?

Saya belum berpeluang turun ke lapangan. Barangkali rakan-rakan serta senior-senior yang sudah berpeluang berkhidmat lebih tahu situasinya bagaimana.

Dari Bismillah, InshaAllah ke Alhamdulillah 'Assalamah.

Indahnya doa dalam kehidupan masyarakat Arab, sebelum surgery doktor dalam menjelaskan pelan rawatan disertakan dengan InshaAllah, memulakan prosedur dengan Bismillah, dan sebaik selesai dengan Alhamdulillah 'Assalamah (atau Alhamdulillah Alas-salamah). Begitu juga perjalanan menaiki teksi. Masuk kenderaan dengan bismillah dan assalamualaikum, nyatakan destinasi diiringi insha-Allah, dan disudahi dengan Alhamdulillah 'Assalamah sebaik tiba ke destinasi.

Saya tahu saya akan rindu. Pada pesakit-pesakit dan keluarga mereka yang mendoakan kejayaan kami. Kadangkala saya iri hati mendengar pesakit mendoakan doktor yang merawat mereka, "Allah yujzikal kheir ya duktuur, Allah yusaa'adik, Allah yu'tikal alfu kheir". (Semoga Allah mengganjari doktor dengan kebaikan, Semoga Allah membantumu, Semoga Allah memberikan beribu-ribu lemon kebaikan padamu doktor). 

Muaz dan doa masuk ke tandas!

Satu hari, anak buah saya yang sulung, Muaz menduga saya tentang doa masuk ke tandas. 
Muaz : Maksu, maksu tahu ke doa masuk tandas? Cuba maksu baca muaz dengar.
Saya : Tahu. (saya bacakan doanya)
Muaz : Dulu sebelum muaz pergi sekolah maksu tak tahu ke maksu tak ingat? 
Saya : Ha? maksu ingat je...
Muaz : Kenapa maksu tak bagitahu Muaz pun doa masuk tandas?

Saya diam sendiri. Sudah jadi kebiasaan kita menyuruh anak kecil membaca doa sebelum makan, tapi banyak aktiviti-aktiviti lain kita lupa ataupun boleh jadi kita malas nak mengajar, sebab kita sendiri pun tak mengamalkan doa-doa tersebut.

Mendoakan orang lain

Saya terfikir, boleh jadi sebab kita ada misconception tentang doa, yang menjadikan kita jauh dengan doa. Kita sangka doa perlu dalam keadaan menghadap kiblat, mengangkat kedua tangan, dimulakan dengan pujian terhadap Allah dan selawat keatas Rasul, dan disusuli dengan doa. Tapi hakikatnya, doa lebih mudah dari yang kita sangka. Apabila melihat orang dalam keadaan susah, dan terdetik dalam hati kita, "Ya Allah, bantulah hambaMu itu." itu pun dikira doa. Yang penting, datang dari hati yang ikhlas dan bersungguh dalam doa.

Dalam satu riwayat  daripada Abu Darda’ RA, Rasulullah SAW bersabda maksudnya : “Doa seorang muslim kepada saudara muslimnya secara ghaib (tanpa pengetahuan saudaranya) adalah mustajab (diterima), di sisi kepalanya malaikat yang diutus Allah setiap kali dia mendoakan saudara muslimnya dengan doa yang baik, dan berkatalah malaikat itu, amin!, engkau juga beroleh manfaat yang sama.” (Riwayat Muslim).

Selain berbalas doa dalam urusan seharian, ada juga berdoa secara tanpa pengetahuan orang lain. Hadith ini saya rasa memotivasikan kita untuk mendoakan orang lain dan dalam masa yang sama menyelesaikan masalah iri hati dengan kelebihan orang lain. Masakan kita mahu berasa sedih atas kebahagiaan orang lain, sedangkan dari satu sudut tidak mustahil kebahagiaan orang lain itu adalah antara doa kita yang dimakbulkan Tuhan.

Semoga kita semua menjadi hamba-hamba yang melazimi doa dalam kehidupan seharian dan melazimi doa untuk orang lain di sekeliling kita. :-)

Thursday, August 29, 2013

kita dan alquran


Alhamdulillah, setelah 8 bulan balik semula ke onebonez ni. Entah kenapa ada benda lebih selesa ditulis di sini berbanding di blog .. agaknya sebab itu blog weight loss kot, jadi soal hati dan perasaan lagi best sembang dekat onebonez ni..

Rindu nak menulis. Lama tak menulis dari hati.

Alhamdulillah, sekarang sudah berada dalam tahun akhir pengajian.. Berbaki 3 rotation lagi sebelum saya pulang ke Malaysia untuk elektif, lepas tu final exam, lepas tu balik berkhidmat, inshaAllah.. 

Alhamdulillah, I am happy, indulging myself with books lately. Banyak buku best-best nak dibaca. Bila banyak membaca, banyak berfikir, banyak lah nak berceloteh nye kan. Ada la orang pesan baru-baru ni supaya mencipta ruang dan peluang nak sampaikan kebaikan.. So, jom lah harini I nak cakap pasal kita dan al-quran.

Adalah satu artikel menyentuh hati I terbaca few weeks ago. Berkenaan relationship kita dengan Al-Quran.  Really got me into re-evaluate my relationship with alquran.. Kita (saya) kadang-kadang nak mengaji pun masih culas, jangan cerita bab tadabbur ayat atau baca tafsir... Tapi, bila difikir-fikir balik, mungkin sebab tak tadabbur tu yang jadi malas tu kot..?

Recently, I was introduced to this book, Khawather Quraniyyah. Which was, best sangat :-) 

Klik untuk download english version yang halal. Part One Part Two Part Three

I've always loved self-help books. Tapi I rasa, it's time I go back to the ultimate self-help book of all. The one that has everything, for every emotional state you're in. I hope and pray that, you and I can have better relationship with Quran after this, inshaAllah..