Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New blog

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Irritable Mood Syndrome

I am getting quite irritable these days.. Perhaps it's the proximity to the final MBBS.. Perhaps..

I don't understand many things..

I don't understand why people can't be more tolerant of each other.. I don't understand why we can't be more understanding and give in to each other..

I don't understand why we enjoy gossiping and talking behind people's backs.. and making fun of people.. And I think laughing along is equally bad.. But do I have a choice?

Of course I think it can be quite fun.. to have a good laugh and all.. I used to dislike people too.. And do nasty things to them.. like putting twisted staples on their seats.. filling the blanks on their notes with wrong words.. calling people names.. all in good fun.. but at whose expense?
And you know what? Somehow the people I dislike always turn out to be rather harmless.. and they are quite nice people actually..

Ok I am rambling.. The point I want to make is that: We should be nicer to one another. Even to people we dislike. From a non-religious viewpoint, I think every person has his good points and bad points.. I haven't known a person who is utterly evil.. If you dislike someone to the core, it may just be that you haven't discovered his good points.. Like how I have come to regret calling some people names and making fun of them..

And it just takes a bit of imagination.. How would you feel if you were on the receiving end of such treatment? I would definitely feel miserable..

And even if one really hates someone to the core, it doesn't give him any right to badmouth him and call him names, does it?

If you are a Christian and reading this, then I would like to encourage you to work hard at removing gossip and slander from your life and be a good testimony to people around you.. The bible clearly warns us of how deceitful and evil the tongue can be..

James 3:5-12 Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. 7All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, 8but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. 10Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. 11Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

Ephesians 4:29-5:5 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
5:1 Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children 2and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. 3But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. 4Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

James 1:26 If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.

I guess the application is clear.. If we claim that we are Christians, then we have no excuse to gossip and say bad things. If we claim we have faith and yet continue to do evil and speak evil, our faith is worthless. Our faith has failed to produce good fruit.

I struggle a lot.. Am I supposed to judge others? Can I be angry with others? After all, I am not good myself.. Who am I to judge others and say that they are wrong? Perhaps I should leave the judging to God.. Sometimes I feel compelled to just laugh along.. I guess it's the easier way out.. The harder way is to state my stand like what I am doing here, and risk straining some relationships.. And to what effect? Will people change? Will it make a difference?

In conclusion, I just feel that we shouldn't say malicious things or call people names behind their backs.. I don't think I have the courage to confront people about this.. So blogging about it is the only way.. And I definitely don't think that I am any better.. Cos we are all sinners.. And in need of God's grace and mercy. I continue to pray for you who have not come to know Christ, to accept his gift of salvation, and begin a new life in Him. =)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Wake-Up Call

On another note, I was just thinking a lot about stuff these couple of days.. Yesterday I went to the Changi airport viewing gallery and spent some quiet time alone..
What led to this pensive mood was the quarrel with my mum two days ago.. It's a long story and it's not nice to wash dirty linen here.. But the thing is that I blew my top la.. I just lost it totally.. Yup good old soon wee can get angry.. I am not as nice as everyone thinks.. Ok I have to admit I think I have quite a good temper and I don't get angry easily.. Or at least I won't show my anger easily.. But I guess God is using this to show me that I am as sinful as anyone else, and not as good as I think I am.. I guess I was getting even proud of myself and judging others..
But through these 2 days of reflection, I think that I wasn't good at all.. God is showing me how sinful a person I am.. For one, on the outside, I look benign and holy-moly.. But on the inside, sinful thoughts run wild and there is a lot of buried anger and dissatisfaction.. I mean I find it easy to be a nice guy to outsiders, put on a smile, say nice things.. no vulgarities, no alcohol, no quarrels with anyone.. But at home, when there is no one to display my holiness to, at best I am indifferent to my family members or I spend a lot of time outside home and studying in school.. At worst, the anger and dissatisfaction will spill over like on Thursday..
I am also selfish, only thinking about myself and my own happiness..
I am judgmental, thinking I am a better person than so-and-so..
But I think the biggest problem is still indifference.. I just don't care.. And I guess that gives people the wrong impression that I am nice.. Cos I am indifferent.. I will just try my best not to step on other people's toes.. I don't care whether they are stepping on each others' toes..
In summary, I am not a good person.. But I am glad God is showing me how rotten I am, and how in need I am of his grace and mercy.. In the past few months, I have become so complacent that I hardly pray, and when I pray, it is half-hearted.. It is as if I no longer need God's help.. that I am good enough..
I think this is the kind of discipline God is talking about in Hebrews.. I am going through all these turmoil because of God's discipline.. and because He loves me..
So I am really thankful.. And I am thankful for what happened 2 days ago.. Cos it brought me closer to God.. And a realignment of my life and my plans..
Attending today's wedding also served as an encouragement to me.. Especially when I saw Kevin's sincere words to his mum and dad.. That really touched me and reminded me of how unfilial I have been..
And it reminded me of what a Christian relationship should be like.. that it is not about 2 people madly in love with each other in oblivion to the people around them.. but a good godly Christian relationship is always outward looking and always involving the people around them..
So all in all, it was a good wake-up call, to submit to God and to ask God for forgiveness..
Anyway, after the wedding, I prayed with S and I got a box of chocolates for my mum.. Wanted to write a card.. But in the end, I think I felt too embarrassed to do so.. But the chocolates did the trick.. Or rather, I think 3 words did the trick la -- "Dui bu qi".
I thank God for giving me the courage to say "I am sorry".. And to mean it.. sometimes, it's easy to say sorry without actually meaning it.. But I think this time round, I meant it from my heart.. I truly thank God for humbling me..
I do pray that this change of heart and behaviour won't be a spur-of-the-moment knee jerk reaction.. But I will really change the way I am.. Fellow brothers and sisters, do keep me in check and keep me in prayer.. =)

A joyous occasion

Today is Kevin and Carilyn's big day.. Congratulations to you two again!
It's such a joy to see people getting married.. And more so to see two fellow Christians getting hitched. And more so to be involved and helping out!
So I guess, barring my own wedding next time (Heh!), this must count as one of the more memorable weddings! For one, I was one of the brothers (xiong di) for the first time.. Thanks Kevin for asking! It definitely was fun.. Wearing blazer.. Sitting in an S-class Merc.. Going to Carilyn's place to do funny things like humming to the tune of Doraemon and making ourselves look silly.. And of course most memorable was that ice-cubed cricket thingy with wasabe that we were all supposed to eat.. That really sucks man.. But it was fun haha..
I have attended a few weddings this year.. And I guess one of the greatest things about Christian weddings is to see all the brothers and sisters working so hard to make sure everything goes on smoothly for the bride and groom. It really is the most beautiful manifestation of Christian love and fellowship. You know, now we even have a TYS (2 year series or maybe 1 year series) of emcee scripts passing around.. And some of us are seasoned wedding singers, musicians, emcees and planners! I find that really amazing.. =)
And I guess one thing that stands out from Christian weddings is that it is not only about 2 people getting married. But rather it is a display of God's work in their lives. And it is also about the people around them. The family. The fellow believers.
It is my prayer that Kevin and Carilyn will continue to encourage each other in Christ and continue to serve him as a couple! Cheers =)
Looking forward to the dinner tomorrow too...

Friday, November 16, 2007

How deep the Father's love

Decided to blog cos I can't set down to studying.. Ha feel excited..

Tomorrow's my church friends' wedding (as in both the bride and groom are from my church) and some way or another, the emcee role fell on me.. It wasn't meant to be me but the original emcee couldn't make it.. And I bravely bit the bullet and agreed to it haha..

It's my first time emceeing a wedding, and furthermore it's in mandarin! So exciting! Ha.. I feel excited.. As if I am getting married haha..

Yah I am still poring through my script, and hoping I won't screw up tomorrow. I definitely wouldn't want to draw unnecessary attention to myself.. So that's why I am not exactly in the studying mood..

Speaking about studying, the stress level is slowly but surely increasing.. I am counting down already.. And for all the medicine people out there, it's going to be double digit counting down soon.. I don't feel prepared at all..

But I am thankful to God that my surgery SIP has been manageable so far and we have had the opportunity to go around seeing cases and practising our examination techniques.. Though there is not much time to read up on what we have seen..

And my thumb drive had to crash that day.. All my typed out ortho notes are inside, and I haven't backed up my files.. Hard lesson learnt.. But I am still praying that I will be able to retrieve my files.. Though 2 computer shops have pronounced the "death sentence" on my files.. But a third opinion from Nic says that there might still be hope.. so I am keeping my fingers crossed.. and meanwhile, I am backing up my files on my home desktop, my laptop and my new thumb drive.. That's called once bitten, twice shy..

Just want to share this Christian song with you, one of the songs we will be singing at the wedding tomorrow.. It reminds me of who I am as a Christian and what Jesus has done for me.. That a sinner like me has done nothing to deserve God's mercy.. Yet He has freely poured out his love unto me.. I am grateful and satisfied.. I am also thankful that even at times when I was disobedient and drew away from Him, His love doesn't fail and He continues to draw near to me.. Thank you Lord..

How deep the Father's love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

Thursday, June 28, 2007


Supposed to be typing my ethics case write-up.. But sigh.. great inertia.. I hate write-ups.. Really quite meaningless at times.. and quite a chore that sticks at the back of your mind.. giving you stress and preventing you from doing more important things.. Sigh...

Forgot to apologise in the previous post about the infrequency of me blogging. The reason for not blogging is multifactorial. First, no time. Second, lazy. Third, my comp likes to crank up from time to time.. and it targets certain sites like my hotmail, msn and blogger.. Fourth, just don't feel like blogging..

But the reason why this blog was set up remains the same.. It is not so much for you to find out what is happening in my life. Cos it is not that interesting anyway.. It is not an outlet for me to whine, that was for my previous blog.. I want to let you know how God is working in my life.. from day to day, in my life goals, views etc.. in the hope that perhaps, someday, you might come to know God if you haven't.. And if you are a Christian, I hope you will be encouraged by how God has and is working in my life, and perhaps you can pray for me now and then..

I wonder how many people are still reading my blog.. I know the numbers have dwindled greatly cos I blog so infrequently.. but I will still blog now and then when I feel like it, even if there is just one soul out there reading it.. hopefully, this benefits the odd non-christian who is reading this.. and I really pray for you that you will be challenged and convicted enough to go on to find out more about God and Jesus by reading the bible..

I think if you are a non-Christian, the best way to use my blog is to go back to my earlier entries and read about why I became a Christian and stuff..

Ok I better start typing my write-up! =)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Final Year

Yup this is day 3 of year 5 medicine.. Happy or sad? Well.. I am ambivalent.. I don't want to be too enthusiastic and set a list of goals and targets lest I fail to meet them and become depressed.. Neither do I want to feel sad and wallow in self pity and complain about how tough year 5 will be... One step at a time.. See how things go.. After all, God is good.. I need not worry too much.. =)

Doing geriatrics at TTSH (Tan Tock Seng) now.. Geriatrics = old people.. Guess what's after 2 weeks of geriatrics? Paediatrics.. Babies and young children.. Haha.. Doing both extremes of age groups within a month.. how interesting.. How's geriatrics? Well.. not too exciting I must admit.. Everyone is just so frail and wrinkly and sickly here.. And everyone's problem list is so super long, you dunno where to start with.. Then of course, there's the language barrier (somehow, the Cantonese patients decided to admit themselves into the ward I am attached to..) And the memory problem.. Yesterday when I talked to my patient, she asked me which year of medicine I was in at least 4 times, and congratulated me for going to become a doctor the same number of times.. Ha.. And she claimed she stayed with her eldest daughter when her children said she lived alone.. Hmm..

What kind of problems do geriatrics patients have? Falls.. Incontinence (wetting of pants).. Cognitive impairment (confusion, dementia).. Instability.. and everything else that a normal adult suffers from.. But interestingly, old people do not present with the normal symptoms.. ie. they might not have chest pain during a heart attack but might instead have confusion..

I don't think I dislike geriatrics.. I think every field of medicine is important though some might not be that glamarous or exciting.. I don't mind doing geriatrics in future, just like I don't mind internal medicine, paeds, family med, emergency med or psychiatry.. Hmm..

Just some thoughts about yesterday's lecture on end of life care and how to allow patients to die with dignity and comfort.. 3 things in life are certain.. Taxes.. something which I can't remember and death.. Death is certain.. Whether or not you are good or bad.. Muslim, Christian or free-thinker.. No matter how far science can progress, and how great Man can claim to be, the fact that death will come one day humbles us.. The thought of it used to sadden me and frighten me.. I mean it is scary right.. one day you are alive with thoughts and feelings and heart beating and all and the next moment you are gone.. But if we are really gone just like that, I think our existence is really futile.. I mean what really is the point of me coming into this planet, living for 80 years and dying.. It just seems.. I dunno.. weird.. And how does Man, who thinks he is so great, live with it? By attaching some significance to it.. Accumulating wealth.. Doing good deeds.. Setting up a family.. Climbing up the social strata.. But then it all comes to naught finally right? In fact some lives end earlier and more unexpectedly than others like the 17 year-old triathlete who died 2 days ago.. If you sit down and think about it, you still end up with the same question: What is the meaning of it all?

You know where this is leading to.. You guys know me.. For an atheist who used to believe that life has no meaning and I am just born into this world to live it out and disappear into nothingness, Christianity has given new meaning and purpose.. I mean it is really comforting to know that you are made by someone up there who knows all things and made you for some purpose.. and that someone up there wants everyone to know him and love him and live the life the way he wants it to be.. I think if he wishes, he could have made us robots and made everyone submit to him.. but he made us with our own minds and able to make choices and he wants us to love him and submit to him willingly.. he wants us to make that choice and decision to love him and believe in him..

So now I know I am not some random existence.. I am made for a reason.. And how I live my life matters to the one who made me.. And I know where I will be going after I die.. And I know this life is not all that there is.. And I guess if you were to ask me what's the best manner to die, I would say it's to die knowing God and knowing that this life is not a futile and random existence.. And in fact if you believe in Jesus, then you cross over from death to eternal life and an eternal relationship with your maker..

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Another post..

Sorry.. for lack of a more creative title..

And so sorry for the lack of updates.. Not my fault acutally.. Was intending to blog a bit more during this electives period but my computer decided to go on strike.

Doing medicine electives now at Tan Tock Seng Hospital.. Electives has been good here. The tutors here are very nice and eager to teach.. Right from the senior consultants to the house officers.. The HOs here are very knowledgeable too and there's lots to learn from them. Actually during this medicine elective, I start to realise that I am going to be a real doctor soon.. Okay maybe not a full doctor cos a HO is basically just a clerk and odd job labourer.. But still there are more responsibilites.. Especially during night calls when it's just you and the medical officer. And patients might collapse on you any moment. And all these are going to happen in slightly less than a year's time.. if everything goes smoothly.. I feel so unprepared.

Also started thinking about what I want to do after I graduate.. I know I said before that I wanted to be a polyclinic doctor.. but nothing is cast in stone yet. Anyway for those of you who are still confused as to what the path is like for a medical student after graduation. Here's a little explanation. Cos I realised non medicine people have great difficulties understanding what I tell them.. so I always get questions like "are u working now?" and "what are u specialising in?"

As of now as medical students, we are not working and we have no pay.. From year 3 to year 5, we are attached to hospitals, rotating through all the departments including things like anesthesia, forensic pathology, obstetrics and gynecology and psychiatry. What do we do? We don't have patients under our care. We have tutors who will teach us about diseases, teach us how to take a proper history and examine the patients. They can bring us to see the patients in the clinics or wards and demonstrate some signs to us. Sometimes we approach patients at our own time and talk to them and examine them, with their permission of course. Then sometimes we are required to present the cases to our tutors.. "This is Mr so and so.. He is admitted yesterday for a right-sided blah blah.. During examination, I found a blah blah.. My provisional diagnosis is a yahdah yahdah.."

At the end of year 5, we will take the dreaded final MBBS. After which we become qualified doctors and ready to undergo the baptism of fire through one year of housemanship. I think in some countries, they call it internship. After that, we are promoted to the rank of medical officers/residents. Thereafter the rise through the ranks differs from person to person depending on what one wants to do and how good he/she is.. For guys who disrupted NS like myself, after one year of housemanship, we will be medical officers for either half a year or one year.. Then we will go back to the army to serve our remaining 2 years as army medical officers.. After which we will go back to serve out the remainder of our bond in the government hospitals..

Where does specialisation come in? During the time when we are medical officers, we can apply for specialty openings and specialist exams. So this is a supply and demand thing. Some specialties are hotter than others.. Some like internal medicine are not as popular and probably easier to get in, provided u pass your specialist exams.. So all these preparation for exams and taking of exams happen when we are medical officers in the hospitals.. If u pass the specialist exams and a hospital has an opening for that specialty and wants u, then u will become a junior specialist or what we call a registrar.. Normally by the time this happens, it would have been about 3 years already after housemanship.. This varies a great bit cos some people will take longer to pass exams.. Imagine driving test, it's something like that.. A registrar will then need to take higher exams after about 2, 3 years before becoming an associate consultant, then consultant then senior consultant..

So if u don't want to specialise? Actually there might be no such option.. Even if u decide to become a GP, in the past u can just leave the hospitals after finishing your bond and become a GP, but now u have to have a specialist degree in family medicine before u are qualified to be a GP..

Yup, that's what our career paths are like.. what I will be trapped in for the next 10 years or so.. Actually it's the same everywhere.. Just that in the medical profession, it's much more structured and there are really not many options, it's either National Health Group or Singhealth or the private sector..

What am I going to become? I only know I will most probably not be a surgeon, so that excludes surgery, orthopaedics, obs and gynae, ear nose throat (ENT).. =)