Monday, June 27, 2011


i am enjoying ortho immensely :) apparently the place we're doing it at is like a chalet. the running joke is whoever said that has clearly never been to a chalet before

haha but jokes and 720am starts (meaning i have to wake up at 530 to get there) aside, the teaching is really good! you can tell that the doctors really love and are suited to their specialty, that they are intrigued by everything out of the normal and will research if they think there's more to what the eye can see. the tutorials are really thought-provoking (i think mindblown might be a better description) and make you think for yourself and work things out. i actually found myself discussing conditions knowledgeably this afternoon, whereas one week ago i didnt even know the common wrist fractures lol!

i know i said many times "aiya whatever its not like im going to be an ortho surgeon", along the lines of don't-have-to-be-so-onz but increasingly, i'm considering something along those lines, or at the very least, finding joy in learning the medicalization of low back pain, knee pain, how to fix patients after RTAs, etc. or i may go into a&e next time which requires some ortho knowledge also (to which extent who does what, i'll have to do both postings and night calls to find out). i don't know if it's just that i love clinical medicine too much or that ortho really calls to me, i guess i'll find out soon heh.

and reading waijia's blog as she starts out post-graduation as a new doctor is both inspiring and humbling. it makes me want to sacrifice leisure time to find out everything i can about medicine now, and so that when i finally get to that stage, i'll be able to do my duty. it seems like she's an awesome doctor, both in terms of head knowledge and people skills and that really answers my philosophical quandary before i entered medical school - is it better to know your stuff, or connect with the patient? the answer is really that you have to fight to make sure you never lose the humanity in you, and you have to do BOTH. (the studying like mad so you will pass... uh... that comes naturally as some kinda survival instinct. HAHA). the hard part is remaining a nice person under duress, i increasingly think.

so... reading about spondylolisthesis before i sleep. :) yay

ps, the downsides to this paean include SLEEPY, keep getting PWNZ by my lack of knowledge, prefer to be mousey and just tag along when i should just PRESENT PRESENT PRESENT but yknow i find it hard to insist on things (not the public speaking bit ahaha i'm fine with that) and i keep telling myself i can always present another time, or i dont need to impress people spectacularly here anyway, patients with signs are sometimes thin on the ground etc, AHH ALL EXCUSES i must be more onz!!.... i'll do it later =p

Monday, June 13, 2011

good day

first day of m3. it was really nice meeting up with everyone after 7 weeks! :):) sometimes it hits you how great timing can be

though m2 was pretty hard (through probably it could have been easier, if i wasnt just so freaked out about EVERYTHING, like ALL THE TIME), today reminded me why it had to be so. because if it wasn't, then m3 would have been like this m2. and it isn't meant to be that way.

it's difficult enough in the wards, in the words of the doctor who gave the hilarious intro talk today, being 'all mousey' behind consultants during the ward rounds, struggling to present cases etc "if they scold you, if they shun you, NEVER MIND!! TRY AGAIN THE NEXT DAY!!" zomg that guy was really hilarious.

speaking of timing, i remember, the day just before i got the call, i had a really awesome time with m, m and c. that was such a great day of fun and fellowship. i felt so incredibly loved and so lucky to have such awesome friends that day. i couldnt think of anything more perfect and happy. three people whom i loved muchly and who were the source of so much happiness, friendship, and, er, GOSSIP. HAHA. i couldnt think of a better goodbye that God could have given me, especially since it was gonna be goodbye forever.

also, and this i told him, i'm really glad that i made friends with w through it all. becos to this day, we are still friends. all i can say here is, thank God i made this friend.

a lot of people have said that i sound a lot happier now. we-ell, clearly they werent talking to me before the pros. but anyway, if i do, i doubt it's because of my natural optimistic personality (haha!) even though i try really hard to not depend on other people for happiness etc, a large part of today's happiness is DEFINITELY thanks to the people who have forged friendships with me, in a time where while i definitely TRIED to be interesting, i think i was also really stressed and sort of internally prickly and untrusting. but yet i managed to make connections, which all seems really unlikely. dear universe, thank you. i never imagined that even this, would work out.

here's to year 3, i hope it'll be awesome.


ps so, really, this is the end now, i guess the sunflowers have sunflowered or whatever. this morning when i woke up, i decided that i won't look back ever again. i guess it's pretty apt, cos after all, the year that just passed, wasnt entirely planned. but this - as nat said at the benches this afternoon - this is the real thing. no turning back this time, for REAL

pps: to the person who today, because no one else was on msn, sent me all the m1 anat notes, in really, uhm, great detail, even though my msn kept hanging, i am extremely grateful. and also for tolerating me during exam studying, haha, thank you.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

it's better if you don't understand


this has really been the best holiday ever. there hasnt really ever been a holiday where i didn't have a BIG PRESSING ISSUE to dwell over, there's never been a holiday where my main concern was to CHILL BEFORE THE ONSLAUGHT BEGINS. that said, i can see already that yr3 is going to be xiong.

but you know what, i've told myself a thousand times before

this is the day the Lord has made, literally, and i will never allow myself to forget that. this week is the happiest week ever because of how much i wanted it. i know, it sounds nuts. tell that to my past self, i'm not listening. :):)

on an unrelated note, i've realized that it's okay to be worried about what people think of you. cos trying to be un-worried cos you worry what people think of you being all worried about what people think about you... uhhh... that's just stupid.

on another note, i dreamt of L last night, thanks universe -_- that's not really what i meant when i said give me a happy and bouncy dream, nope.

anyway the point is, i've learnt that the greatest happiness lies in things that seem contradictory; in things you wouldn't expect to be good, but are. and now it is time for me to think about other things, like FISH. i dont waaant to philosophize about happiness anymore, i just AM. lol how zen

also i am happy when people like my pie, and WHERE did the expression as easy as pie come from. clearly from someone who ATE pie but didn't have to cook it

oh oh also i was meeting nand and rusy for lunch and NIC APPARATED FROM NOWHERE. OMG it was amazing. best surprise ever!! three of the loveliest people who for some reason still basically are the same as ever, ie, wonderful, funny, etc, basically, WITTY AND SPARKLING (nic clearly we have arrived heh)

Friday, June 10, 2011


i've been living in my own world for too long. i don't know, honestly, if there is such a thing as a 'real' world. i've been living under a shadow, an illusion. i dont know when it started and i dont know why i continued. i dont know when it stops being good and starts being bad. actually, i pretty much know. i just want to feel something, without living out the consequences. what's the fallout, anyway. because what scares me the most is the void when i feel nothing.

but sometimes, feeling is pretty scary too.

in the space of the night, everything shifts and changes. in so many nights, so much has changed. i don't even hope, anymore. really, the fight is just beginning

in my defence, i tried. i hoped for brownian motion to save me, but the universe doesn't move. that will stay, forever, like a brilliantly illuminated pinprick of hope, like one flower in a field of corn, waiting for the freeze to end

all this is just to say, that reading that one thing, somehow changed everything

everything that was so stubbornly clinging into the videos of the mind, not wanting to warp

but in reality, oh let's not talk about reality, that's too depressing. i clearly know the reality.

the mindset that changes

all i can say is that i think, i think this is not the beginning of the end, but the end of the beginning

and that i know where my strength comes from, my neverending strength


actually, i meant the whole get out of the country for a bit thing as a time for self reflection. but there just wasnt enough time what with rushing to catch trains and stuff

however there were so many fleeting thoughts and realizations, that are hitting home NOW. i think primarily it was like something washing clean my slate. you know even though i started over, i cannot imagine anyone having a less clean slate than i did

i started this year two with SO MUCH BAGGAGE. in fact, when i flew back to bring all my stuff with me, i LITERALLY arrived back in sg with all my heavy luggage with me. i don't know, upon thinking back, how it could have been any different really. and novelistically speaking, i know that i did a lot of things, and things happened to me, that showed i was going. its like subconsciously, i kind of knew it. i wish i REALLY knew it cos that would have sorted out a lot of confusion & angst. there were many days where i was like GOD, WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN, PLEASE TELL ME, SO I CAN DECIDE ON MY COURSES OF ACTION. i can act one way if the eventuality is this, and another way if it is that. it is just that uncertainty is, well, confusing

so yeah. i'm really glad that the trip sort of reset everything. and it shifted my focus from myself, to thinking actively about the wellbeing of others. i realised at one point that my happiness is greatest when others are happy. well, that's GOOD, isn't it. evolution! it's just been really long, since i've been happy enough to be selfless. do you realise that that's the highest level of happiness? when you are content enough to share the love. when you feel like things are so peachy, like your cup is overflowing with goodness that you need to spread it around cos you dont ever want it to go away. i guess i just really love travelling. HAHA. it's a good resetting of mindsets. usually all i can think about is how many lectures i need to finish revising, and how *blahblah endless viscious cycle of regrets, self-pitying, etc*. i think revising for exams just never makes me a good person LOL. or maybe endless gelato has the effect of happifying just about anyone.

clearly my travel philosophy pales in comparison to elizabeth gilbert's eat pray love, SIGH

but hey i could earn millions i'm sure. FEEL SAD? HAVE EXAMS COMING UP? EAT ITALIAN ICE-CREAM!! nah, i'd probably get sued for making people get fat, like how people sued mc donalds.

on the topic of food, i think food can be good & bring people together

like last night, smelling my cherry pie baking in the oven, was like smelling pure love. (well, actually, it was.)

some perfect days eating tricolored pasta, another perfect day with popiah (zomg i love popiah). but then again, it's also the people.

so anyway, i think it's fine that i have no real philosophy from this whole thing. what stands out is this - the unexamined life is WORTH LIVING. i go through life offering excuses and a litany of apologies like spring flowers. and the rain just laps it all up and the seas crumble my sandcastles. it DOESN'T MATTER. the ephemeral is the most beautiful. the scary highways i cross trying to view tuscan scenaries, the sunsets on the lake on a rainy day, being cold at a deserted railway at the prettiest spot on earth. finding friends who dont even speak the same language. the best things, are the most hard-earned ones. i found out reccently that if i had gotten PRECISELY what i wanted, it may not have been the best. remember when i said, our prayers are getting wiser? WE are getting wiser. i mean, even the getting of slightly less than i wanted was SO TREMENDOUSLY DIFFICULT, akin to crossing the silk road in winter (okay, conceivably that might be worse).

i don't think, that my happiness will be found tomorrow, or if ever. the moment, once lived, can never be perfectly re-created. but i read this somewhere (paraphrased): if you love, even if it breaks you, God will put you back together.
sometimes, when it's easy, it's too easy

then sometimes, it's too hard

i really can't decide

but whatever it is, i realize, i can do anything. the fact that everything is different, makes it okay, makes it possible

that said, today was a really happy day, the sort that make you realise your life thus far has been worthwhile. hearts to those who made today good

THAT said, there is something to be done that i didnt do perfectly guh but okay nothing is perfect

i just want to know, what is it you are meant to teach me, NOW. i don't want to wait months or a year or whatever, just let me know now, and be done with it. what you were meant to show me i thought i already knew, so why God, why did you bring it back again? i really dont want to lose my faith ever again, so please, just make all temptation stay far away

Monday, June 6, 2011

bella italia

you know it's going to be good, when you unexpectedly meet the person who showed you that every single chance encounter was for some greater good you couldnt see at the time. who awoke you to the beauty of your life and made you appreciate both the random brownian motion encounters and the people you see everyday

haha i didn't mean to let old philosophies be the start of this, but i think that for happiness to be, the past and present must co-exist. and no matter how reccent, yesterday IS today's history

italy was, as expected, AMAZING. i really love that place, more than france possibly. i can't really decide which bits i liked the best, but as this is the first time i did extended railway journeys, i think the coolest thing was meeting all these random people on the trains. first off, we met this italian woman who lived in the town of como, going to rome to visit her mum. then we met a university professor (reading a book on the secrets of rome lol) on his way to venice, who loved to wax lyrical about beautiful artworks in florentine churches, and the tuscan countryside (also my favourite topics hehh). then an assiduously church-going american family from houston on a graduation trip (the daughter was really lovely to talk to!!). then a really stuck-up milanese city-girl (oh well, can't have everything). and then a group of blur europeans who almost took the train to TIRANO instead of TURINO and almost fooled us, then in the end realized they were wrong and ran for their lives. or rather, for their train. and then a set of dodgy people on the way back from varenna (lake como) at nine pm. (which is honestly a little freaky when it's dark. lol).

and that's just the train rides. the hotel people are stories unto themselves. the mario bros in florence, for instance. the coolest encounter was possibly the milanese university student, who had a masters exam THE NEXT DAY but who was working at a hotel reception desk the night before?! anyway he was really awesome and kept helping us with the internet/ printing boarding passes etc. and i dont know, maybe he's a particularly friendly soul or something but it was really great, like chatting with an old friend. i'm sure if i met him somewhere else (like maybe not on my last night in italy) we'd be great friends. seriously, he was like playing hip-hop music for us (lol youtube is the great equalizer) and we were chatting about playing music to study, the evils of exams and how there's always too much to study and too little time HAHAHA i guess some things are universal. he also told us often at 5am he'd be playing music on the mac and studying as he does his job at the hotel reception. WHOA. respect. i'll remember this the next time FML thoughts come into my mind at 4am the night before an exam.

he doesn't like milan much though, it being a big city and all. i kind of agree, we had some of the best times in a small italian town where we have some friends and they took us around, gave us a homecooked italian lunch & drove us around the countryside & we went to see the farm of some other friends. (this by the way is an understatement, their hospitality was staggeringly good and puts me completely to shame. and ahh they're just sweet and lovely people!! one day, i realised, that i did absolutely nothing to warrant this kindness and i'm just benefiting from the goodness others before me have shown. HAHA. that aside, those people, l in particular, are honestly the kindest, nicest, purest people i have ever met in my entire life. i aspire to be like that :))

back to the friendly milanese student, i think that just exemplifies that this trip is not just about beautiful scenery (although: GORGEOUS) & the usual tacky touristy stuff, but getting to know how people live. that's by far the coolest bit of it. even the train rides, can be all out tourist city-hopping, or getting to know the people who regularly ride these trains as part of their daily lives. and communication. i totally feel for r & c now, and will translate more often LOL i promise! after hours of sitting there nodding as incomphrehensible, enthusiastic italian passes me by. after all that, i could actually speak rudimentary italian, out of sheer force/ osmosis.

THE ITALIAN ELECTIONS also resulted in getting stuck in a florentine train station for 6 hours, ie, NOT FUN. but hey, definitely an experience. and i think i've always wanted to see michaelangelo's david since i was sec 3, hahaha.

but the most important gift of all, came unexpectedly, as the best things do. i dont think i can write it here, but i'll always remember it. in summary, it's something to do with promises, perfection, and faith. and really, belief in oneself, and the inherent goodness in life that is often hard to see, but for some glorious moments, floated to the top of things. the fact that this came out of the mouth of someone i admire & who is so pure and lovely, even translated, makes it even lovelier & more believable. that prayers can be answered, i believe now wholeheartedly

it is true that i have been ungrateful for this miracle that really, i shouldnt have gotten. it is true that i forgot the tears i shed that led God to finally pity me and give it to me. but it is also true that there were so many beautiful things, i am forgetting in multitudes everyday, that really, i HAVE to forget in order to live. this showed me that, the good is not always behind me, but can be in front of me, too. and also, by the way, fear & isolation is perfectly justified. but that these things are over. i dont believe in free lunches, that scares me. penance, i can believe in. i have paid my penance a thousand times over, and i am the richer for it.

the people at the beginning and the end of this post, are different people. i never expected them to come into my life, nor may i ever chance upon them again. but they are just exemplars of goodness in life, of life well-lived, of kindness & friendship extended with no boundaries or hopes or expectations. so all i can say is, indeed, that day when i realized that every single thing has been meant to be, even if i didn't like it, and that it is for good, even in times i dont think it is, is truth in barrels :)


3 more days of AL! a much needed break cant decide if i shld just sleep. or do research. or study ecg. omg how how or do the mountain o...