Friday, May 25, 2007

LAMENTS, LAMENTS, LAMENTS........

One of my crucial task is to discern what a patient really wants, their real intention of seeing me. Are they out to genuinely seek treatment from me or do they have some ulterior motives? Their body language,facial grimaces and vocal intonations, all contribute to aid me in my daily chore. But of course, a doctor must not have any pre-judged ideas about their patients!

One of my main difficulties is to explain to them when an antibiotic is necessary and when it's not. Some, who are overly 'informed' regards antibiotics as a definite no-no and refuse them even if it is very much indicated. When a bacterial infection is at an early stage and sensing that a patient is a staunch proponent of 'anti' anti-biotic, I'd skip prescribing them to safe time and energy getting into a futile debate.

Even more difficult is to convince those who think antibiotic is the treat-all medicine and request antibiotics for the slightest ailment or even worse, for a non infectious disease! I get frustrated when after telling these people that they or their kids suffer from viral infection and antibiotics won't help, they'd put on a face that says: "Don't tell me you're not giving me any antibiotics when that was my essential intention of seeing you?" So how do you tackle these people who won't take the word of a doctor?

Truth is, it's sometimes difficult to convince a patient regarding certain line of management. How many times have I encountered patients who would interrupt me whilst I am deep into explaining the crux of their treatment. Exasperated, I would usually lose interest to continue advising them.

Another distinctive impediment I face when treating patients , is their inability to relate intelligently their symptoms to me. Most of the time, they have limited words to express or describe their pain. Even when I suggest descriptive words like collicky (memulas), sharp (tajam) or boring (senak) for them to chose, they'd end up looking blank and persistently says 'sakitlah".

It's important for one to be able to describe their pain precisely and locate the exact site. One classic example is to differentiate a cardiac and a gastric pain. Both can originate at the same site i.e. epigastrium or centre of the chest. A learned person would be able to say whether the pain is a central crushing pain, associated with sweating and shortness of breath which is typically being described by an ischaemic heart sufferer. Or if he had acute gastritis, he would convey that the pain is sharp or burning in nature, which is accompanied by lots of belching, nausea and even vomiting. He would know that the discomfort is pertaining more to the abdomen than the chest.

Most annoying is when I get tangential answers to my direct questions. "How many days have you experienced those symptoms?" I would ask. "Two weeks ago, I had the same symptoms. They subsided and now they have recurred" Or "My kids also have them", they would answer nonchalantly. And these are not answers from foreign workers, mind you!

Patients have all the right to chose doctors who treat them but not vice versa! Doctors are deemed to treat everyone in need of their professional help, even when these people irritate them to their bone! At times, you see your name or your colleague's appear next to a patient's name, meaning they have requested to see a specific doctor. Once, a patient had to wait long as the doctor she had chosen to see was spending hours on another patient. Finally she gave up and requested to see me. So did I smirk at her? Of course not, hehe. I acted civil and brushed aside when she became apologetic towards me.

So perhaps it's best you prepare yourself (vocabulary-wise) the next time you see a doctor. And if you have a personal opinion against taking antibiotics, tell the doctor early thus sparing her the time form prescribing them.


Quotable quotes: A thought that came through whilst driving home from work, annoyed with the selfish attitude of many road-users : As long as there are reckless lorry drivers and careless motobikers, Ops Sikap should be renamed Ops Siakap

Monday, May 21, 2007

WHEN THE KNEADING GETS GOING .....


TIME: ONE HOT BALMY SUNDAY

PLACE: KKL/ OK'S STATE OF THE ART KITCHEN

KNEADING SURFACE: A MULTI-PURPOSE PENINSULA TABLE* THAT DOUBLES AS A DINING TABLE AS WELL!

CHEFS: KAK LONG, KKL AND TWO FURRY ASSISTANTS

SPECIAL GUESTS: PANG5 AND GANG

THANKS: TO KKL AND O-K FOR LETTING US USE THEIR LOVELY KITCHEN AND PREPARING US A SUMPTUOUS LUNCH. TO O-K AND IKELAH FOR THE GREAT PICS.

* Planning for an island or a peninsula table when budget permits.




THE MENU BOARD


THE CHEF AT WORK. NOTICE THOSE DEFT HANDS?




THE ONLY PLACE YOU GET PIZZA WITH LOADS AND LOADS OF TOPPINGS!



SWEDISH MEATBALLS








COOKED AND TESTED!





KKL'S BAKED PASTA!

2 VERY SATISFIED CUSTOMERS!!



Saturday, May 19, 2007

Innalillah wa inna lillahi rojiun

In a cracked voice, Azmi told me a dear friend of his has passed away this morning. Zailan was off and on admitted for multiple ailments. Most recently, he was admitted to CCU with cardiac failure. Azmi managed to talk to him 2 weeks ago and he sounded cheerful and positive. Thus we thought he would be fine.

In view of my hubby's health condition, he couldn't visit Zailan in KT as much as he wanted to. His sudden demise truly came as a shock to us.

At this very moment, in sadness, Azmi is frantically contacting friends. He hopes there is someone who can drive him to Kuala Pilah, where arwah will be buried this evening.

When close friends pass away, they take a part of you with them. Their deaths remind us of the inevitable.

May Allah swt place arwah Zailan amongst the best of people and may He bless him with eternal peace. Also, may his wife and children be patient and continue living their life with sabr. Ameen!

Thursday, May 17, 2007





Today, my eldest born turns 22.

As to all my other children, I fervently pray for your success in this life and the hereafter. That you'll achieve happiness in whatever you do. That Allah swt will constantly guide and bless you with His mercy. That despite the hardship you face in a foreign land, you'll always be patient and will finally be rewarded successfully. Ameen!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SARAH!
WE ALL LOVE YOU!

A dedication for you


Wednesday, May 09, 2007

GLORIOUS KUALA TAHAN

The clan minus ikelah (behind camera) waiting to get across

The road to Kuala Tahan was essentially horrendous. Almost for a third of the way, we had to endure through patches of bad road covered with pebbles. Thus the whole journey was mired with endless slowing down as you can't speed through the rough patches . However, someone pang5 who was driving in another car became impatient and started overtaking us, flooring his gas paddle and bulldozed through the bumpy path, leaving behind a cloud of dust! When asked later on why he decided to leave us behind, he told us he was getting sleepy with the slow drive. As the patches were scattered all over left and right, we had to swerve and weave, where possible. A tedious ride indeed. However, we knew what beautiful bounty lies ahead, thus we continued non the less.

This was my fourth visit to Kuala Tahan and once again, I have truly enjoyed the wonderful atmosphere exuded by the oldest tropical rain forest in the world. The fresh invigorating air, the luscious green trees and the unique fauna were all captivating. The trekking trips were tiring, of course, but the exercise was very much welcomed, leaving us in a state of endorphin high.

The restaurant at Mutiara Resort. No, we didn't eat here.


Over here, you could choose between luxurious, medium or low-cost accommodations. Mutiara Resort offers beautiful kampung style chalets with modern amenities. But the bungalows and chalets can reach a whooping rate of more than RM 800 per night! Stretched along the high banks of Kuala Tahan, the resort is strategically situated. It offers modern comfort enclosed within the peaceful but at the same time, wild, green jungle. Perfect retreat for those who pine for the quiet life in a forest but wish to maintain modern amenities at the same time.

The floating restaurant offering traditional malay 'cuisine'. Scattered at the background are the various chalets.

For those who fear of burning a colossal hole in their pockets, can settle for less expensive chalets which are scattered all over the main bank of Kuala Tahan. The rooms and toilets are acceptably clean albeit worn out furnitures but with cheap rates they suit fine for those who are most of the time outdoors. As for us, spending less on accommodation meant that we could divert our expenditure on more important activities like eating authentic kampung-style meals and long boat rides!

On arrival, after freshing up, we crossed the Tembeling River on a boat. The short trip across the narrow width of the river costs RM1 one way. Mind you, two years ago it was only 50 cents. After paying the entrance and camera fees, we headed to Lubok Simpun on foot. A trek that traversed through the forest, amidst big tropical trees with crawling roots, brought us to another river which was the Tahan River, smaller and cleaner. Huge trees canvas the whole area allowing sunlight to penetrate through in between their abundant foliage.

As the word Lubok suggests, this part of the river is marked with pockets of deep water which could be dangerous if one should suddenly slip into it. The place is however popular as it provides cool river water flowing endlessly through a carpet of smooth round rocks, amidst the tranquil fresh air of the surrounding forest. The continuous churning sounds of gushing water against the rocks impart a natural soothing music that can instantly lull you to sleep. After a good dose of the balmy atmosphere and water-dipping, we headed back when dusk began to approach. It did feel a tad eerie walking through a thick forest late in the evening. However, knowing that we had two tough males accompanying us was reassuring (yeah, tough males, eh?). We came across some pheasant birds which were initially oblivious of our presence, giving Red a good chance to capture their photos.

That night, we had a sumptuous gastronomical experience when we were served with several dishes of Patin: Patin Steam, Patin Asam Rong and Gulai Asam Patin. They consisted of Patin Buah and Lawang, all captured in the wild and not the usual Patin reared in cages called Patin Sangkar. Patin found in the wilderness are said to taste more delectable than those reared. Asam Rong is a traditional delicacy unique to people there. Asam rong can be made from either the seeds of the rubber tree or buah perah. These seeds are chopped and fermented and they lend the nutty and sour flavor to the gravy. We enjoyed the authentic feast so much that some even continued discussing about it in their rooms till they salivated profusely!

Ever flowing River Tahan with cascading canopies



Negotiating a rapid. The second boatmen sits in front with a long pole to steer away obstacles.

The next morning, we took a long boat ride to Lata Berkoh along the River Tahan. Gliding through the resplendent water way in the chilling morning breeze was a truly exuberant experience. Marked with canopies of tree branches bending obediently, from both water-banks, roofing the river, it appeared to be more enchanting than Tembeling river. It was awesome to watch how the boatman maneuver the boat each time they encountered shallow, stone-filled river beds. He seemed to know the route extremely well, memorizing every nooks and crevices thus only taking the deep ends and avoiding the shallow parts. The ride got very exciting each time we had to pass a rapid as the boat would tilt and jolt and water would splash into us. Whenever the boat appeared to overly slant to one side, I'd try to stable it by positioning my weight on the opposite side. (Pang5 took a photo of me with my hands splayed out in my bid to feel the splashing water against my hand. However he had in a mockery, interpreted that I was trying to stabilize the boat by doing a balancing act. Never listen to a person who is high on patin and asam rong! Their reasoning powers tend to be screwed up!)

Dipping in the cool water at Lata Berkoh

Lata Berkoh is an area of River Tahan with myriads of boulders of varying sizes scattered all over, thus making boat rides through it impossible. Reaching a certain point, the boat stopped and we had to continue the journey on foot via a jungle trek parallel to the river. Along the way, Mas discovered many species of interesting looking spiders and even gave the guys a small tutorial, much to Red's chagrin who was away in a different expedition up Bukit Teresek with Maman and Danial. Red was fooled into thinking that the journey up the hill would offer him abundant spiders but alas! Even worse, he was made to believe that there was a stall uphill selling sugar-cane drink to quench the anticipated thirst after climbing up for 2 hours. Needless to say, he was trembling in great thirst when it all ended!

It was truly a fruitful retreat filled with refreshing experience and the guys have decided on a more adventurous ado this coming July.

P.s. I was bitten by a large leech on my left calf and a pacat on my right. They captured the leech, thinking of concocting some medicine out of it but it died.

*I apologize for not leaving comments at your blogs but streamyx has been going bonkers in this part of the world!
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