Thursday, December 21, 2006


Dear people, the Monsoon is back, baring its fierce fangs. The howling strong winds would hurl the rain with great force, splashing it carelessly all over. And the mighty waves would fearlessly hit the sand banks making a great clamor. The non-stop pour has once again cause the small river behind my house to overflow the wet-land and turns it into a murky lake.

Tonight,on my way back, I had to make several turn-backs as many spots of my usual route were flooded causing me to take the Gebeng-Kuantan bypass instead which incidentally is in the upgrading process into 2 lanes on each side. Thus there were many colossal pot-holes and my car nearly ended up in one! Almost reaching home, I found that the narrow road near the small bridge was flooded too! The river, which opens to the sea, due to the high sea tide and heavy onslaught from the rain, couldn't contain the rushing water anymore and let it spill its brim helplessly. Whilst contemplating another detour, a motorist passing by told me that it was shallow and passable. Alhamdulillah.

Below are some similar excerpts from my last year's Monsoon entry:

The rain poured relentlessly, sometimes hard, loud and thrashing, sometimes soft, monotonous and drizzling, alternatingly. But never the sun shined a single minute, never! At times, the eeirie sounds of monsoon wind hit the rattling window, sounding so much like a human voice trying to scare little kids away. Even the sea-waves wanted a part in this monsoon 'play', culminating into a few feet high and hitting the beach with full vengeance, 'daboooosh!'

As I finished typing this entry, I was starting to feel relieved as the rain began quieting down, pelting its last drop when suddenly, a new thunderous shower began to fall again with shameless vigor!!

Although a bit late, the monsoon is, without doubt, here, once again!

Sunday, December 17, 2006


The MMA Pahang held their annual dinner tonight and I was invited by a physician who sponsored a whole table of ten. I was initially reluctant to go as ikelah is on call tonight and that means I had to attend the dinner alone. Going stag to a formal ado is such a pain. Essentially you'll be mingling with perfect strangers or people whom you only meet once a year! I tried coaxing a colleague to come along but alas she can't find a replacement for her night shift. Alhamdulillah I get to sit next to a fellow GP who is into aesthetic medicine and I got an insight of the compelling field she is practicing now. The food was ok. Though I can never understand Chinese course! You eat all the protein first and the carbohydrate last! Technically I think it's a healthy way to eat as you are forced to ruminate slowly on each dish. But I ended still feeling hungry as I had to leave early (my poor kids were waiting for me at the nearby mall) and didn't get to savor the rice.

As all formal functions in Malaysia (why aaah?), the dinner started almost an hour late waiting for the VIP guest. The event was emceed by two doctors who spoke quite eloquently I daresay. One of them is a guy who chose not to practice medicine right after housemanship. Instead, he made a tremendous 'jump' into the ICT world and started a successful internet business. I am forever at awe of such brave people who dare make great life-changes and follow their heart.

We were entertained by the state budaya dancers who danced gracefully a potpourri of local traditional dances. The person next to me queried, 'Why do the dancers smile continuously whilst they dance?" And I replied, "It's to show that they are enjoying the exercise!'. To which she responded, "Yes but it'll be otherwise if the dancers are doctors cause they'll be frowning away, hehe!"

After the third dish, roasted chicken, I made my move and excused myself from the table. Only after having left the place, did I realize that I should have left my invitation card with the guests at the table to collect the lucky draw prize if my number, 121, got lucky! Oh well...Sorry no pics of the dinner. Going alone to the function with no partner is an embarrassment enough. Bringing a camera and clicking away might worsen the uneasy scenario.

However I have some lovely pics taken by my son, Luqman at the recent wedding of ikelah's cousin. He managed to capture the heart rendering moments of the bride hugging her dad. It's as though she had crossed a border with a heavy heart and reluctantly, she had to leave her dad behind. For a good moment, both daughter and father were lost in their own oblivious 'space and time', not wanting to be separated. Obviously anyone can tell that the bride is close to her dad. I can't explain why but I never fail to shed tears each time immediately after the 'akad' is said successfully and the 'saksi' persons nod positively in agreement whilst everyone else sighs in relief. This time, my tears rolled even more when I quietly watched the tender hugging moment between daughter and father. And I believe my girls will be doing the same thing with ikelah when their time comes....

Friday, December 08, 2006

Of Zippers Bloopers and Fish Hooks Mishap

It's December, the clammy monsoon season in our part of the world. I was waiting for the typical torrential rain to pour , to set me in the right mood to write on the wet and gloomy weather, like last year (read here). But apparently, the weather is a bit fickle this year and so far, the heaviest rain only lasted a few brief hours, followed by a bright sun which was quick to nullify the rain effects to the weather. A real monsoon weather would mean continuous, relentless rain that would pour unapologetically for days on end, causing our homes to be damp and musty even on the inside! Well, at least you can save on the electric bills as you utilize less of the fans and air-cons.

As for now, I'd like to relate several cases I get at the clinic. Yesterday I finished late as I had to attend to a small boy who got his ***** stuck into his zippers! Blimey, he must have been in a damn great haste to have pulled up the zippers deep into his groin and not realizing it soon enough! So far, all similar cases that I got before were easily reversible. Usually I only had to disengage the zipper's teeth and once removed, I could easily slide the foreskin out the zipper's head. This time it was impossible to apply the simple maneuver as the zipper's head was embedded too deep into the foreskin causing excruciating pain each time I tried to peel it off. After giving some local anesthetic injection, I used a plier to cut the hinge at the zipper's head. If I could cut it off, the problem would be solved. Alas! It was not to be. The hinge that bridge the head together was stronger than I thought and refused to break off even when I applied a mighty force, using both hands and enhanced by gritting teeth! After several vain attempts, I suggested him brought to the hospital, as the child is better off sedated during the procedure and perhaps an emergency circumcision would be best for him.

Another similar accident that needs meticulous removal of the causative object would be the fish-hook injury. The most common part of the body to be pierced are the arms and hands but I have seen hooks sticking through the poor patient's eye-brow or lips!

Now, removing a fish-hook that has lodged into a body part can be a painstaking measure. Due to the unique shape of the hook, you can't simply pull it out. You see, a fishing hook has 2 ends, one bearing a sharp arrow-like figure and the other has an eyelet , where the fishing line is stringed to. If you crudely pull from the eyelet end and forcing the arrow-end through the flesh, it will cause a jagged severance of the soft-tissue and more bleeding will occur. Thus the best technique would be to make the embedded end free, which is usually the arrow head. After locating the head by palpating the affected tissue, make an incision till your blade touches it. Once you've exposed it, use a cutter to cut the hook into two. After removing both ends and cleansing the wound, the incision has to be sutured back.

The worst case scenario would be a combination of the above body-part (zippers blooper) and a fish-hook! In which case, I'd leave it to the surgeon to explore under sedation or GA.

A week ago, when the school hols began, many had chosen to bask on the shores of the east-coast. Unfortunately , it was also the season for the jelly-fishes to come ashore. Thus, I had several patients coming in with painful, excruciating swelling of the legs and hands after being stung by the 'harmless' looking creature. After giving first aid treatment and anti-histamine and steroid injections, I'd pack them off to the nearest hospital for observation as jelly-fish stings can be fatal. So, for those who are ruminating to enjoy the beach, be wary of these creatues.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Madams Are From Mars and Maids Are From Venus.

I have been maid-dependent for almost all of my married life. And Alhamdulillah unlike some unfortunate people, I have been bestowed with a 'lasting' maid that stayed with me for 15 years. She has helped me raised all my five kids and performed only mandatory house-chores. Meaning that she doesn't do cars like most maids whom I would see scrubbing their employer's cars in the wee hours of the morning. And she doesn't do the cats' poo either. But still she was there to help me with the necessary mundane nitty-gritty of running the house and family. I speak of her in the past-tense because as for now she is back with her sister's in Selangor and from there she'll be embarking on a return journey back to her hometown in Sumbar (Sumatera Barat).

It's not that I don't need her anymore to hold my fort. As a matter of fact with my current erratic working schedule, I need her presence more than ever. But there are various culminated reasons that had tipped the balance and which finally sort of forced me to 'let her go'. I know it was hard for her to leave us as she has become a part of our family. Thus I have set her options opened. Should she find that it is no longer feasible for her to adapt herself back to her previous lifestyle, she's always welcomed to stay back with us.

One of the main reasons for me to go without a domestic helping-hand temporarily is to train the young ones to be more independent of their 'ibu'. Yes, 'ibu' is the name we gave her. I hope that the coming few months, in the absence of ibu, will make my family and I, stronger and more capable of domestic ingenuities. I, especially wish that we will be more apt in time and chore management.

No doubt, managing a house is hard work but alhamdulillah I am slowly gaining momentum and retrieving back the familiarity of my own kitchen. You see, I had given ibu full liberty of managing the house-hold as I believe such a 'pact' promotes a better working condition for her. There's no denying that at times, due to the liberal amount of freedom I gave her in the house-hold, she occasionally crossed the boundary and 'stepped on my feet'. But usually I would just brush it off. Heck, if she works better in her prefered environment, let her be! Frankly, I am currently feeling a tad relieved without ibu around. It's almost like getting a new lease of freedom in my own house.

I hope I can emulate many working mothers who are also excellent house-keepers. We'll see how it goes. It's only a week since she left. So far the kitchen is still spick and span (in my own standard, that is) but the laundered clothes are piling up, waiting to be folded and kept away!

May I persevere! Insyallah!


(1) To Nusayba (23-24), I pray you'll go through your Hajj journey with great diligence, filled with humbling experience. May Allah swt bestow Hajj mabrur to you and your parents. Ameen.

(2) KKL's sister Mak-twain has started an online business here . I am in great awe of her ability to juggle her time doing her Phd, looking after her newborn twins and now doing an online business. Setting up a food-relating business like pastry-cake making has been my secret future plan of an endeavour. So Mak-twain, please consider a future liaison with me eh?

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