Monday, December 31, 2012

Assalammualaikum!

I'm writing from Jugendgastehause Lichterfelde in Berlin. It is a youth hostel and we stayed in a double bed room. It cost us €25 per person per night, quite pricey but this is the cheapest we can get for this date, since we also made our reservation quite late.

We arrived from Munich at about 1.10 pm and made our way to the Brandenburg Tor. Since our hostel is far from the city centre (20 mins by train), we walked around Berlin with our backpacks. Imagine carrying 10kg on your back and walk miles. We were exhausted! But we got see many beautiful buildings.

Brandenburg Tor is a big gate, the only (maybe) remaining part of the Berlin wall. It was just a huge brick gate with statues on top. It is located next the Pariser Platz. That's another platz. Haih.. I noticed that many of the buildings in Germany (I think this applies to most European countries) have statues of men, women and creatures stuck on them, as a part of its architecture. Some of them looked beautiful but most of them were creepy, while some were even embarrassing. From there we took an S-bahn to Gendarmenmarkt. It was said to be the most beautiful place in Germany if not Europe but I doubt that. The buildings were beautiful, yes they were very. But to call it most beautiful, I think it is an exaggeration. But anyway, it started to rain when we reached Gendarmenmarkt so we were quite restricted in movements and had to take shelter.

There was a christmas market but it will cost us €1 to get in; that is the first market which we have to pay to get in. So we didn't. Instead we walked around it and took some pictures. There was supposed to be two cathedrals; the German Cathedral and the French Cathedral. But I can only see one building with a theatre house in the middle and two domes on each side. I am not sure which is the German and which is the French =.=" I think I was a lazy and tired tourist.

We then walked towards Unter den Linden, which is a few hundred years opera house but funnily, we did not know which one was it. We have been following the walking directions and by the time we almost reach there, suddenly there were many other beautiful buildings, which I do not know their names but we took pictures nevertheless. Until now, I do not know which building is which. I might have taken the picts of Unter den Linden unknowingly. I might have a look at the picts I took and compare them with the picts of the buildings in the internet, and match them.

From the on, we walked to Alexanderplatz, the biggest platz in Berlin. There was a Christmas market called "Weihnachtsmarkt auf dem alexanderplatz". Ok, I copy pasted the name from an online brochure. I cant find the effort to type them out. It's hard to spell something that you cant even pronounce. It was big and merry but London's Winter Wonderland was a lot bigger. But the price is cheaper here. A nutella and banana crepes cost €4 only while in London, a nutella only crepes would have cost at least £5!

From Gendarmenmarkt to Alexanderplatz, we walked about 1.5km, stopping in the middle for some pictures and rest, and crepes. By then, my shoulders were falling off. Our second last stop was a souvenir shop, which I did not buy anything from since I bought souvenirs for friends while walking that 1+ km, and I sort of regretted because the gifts in the shop was more beautiful, with more variety and not much different in price! Wasil bought a jacket for his friend's birthday and as soon as we reached the hostel, he tried it on and realised it was too big, even for him. His friend is a little bit smaller than he is. So he went out to change it in the city centre while I wait patiently in the room.

Next task: pack up for home tomorrow!
Next destination: Hamburg!
Assalammualaikum!

The much awaited day has finally arrived! The ski day!
I wanted to ski for a long time already.
At first I wanted to ski in Freiburg, that was where Hui Fong went last year but it was too far and I have only 5 days in Germany so, we looked for a ski resort that is nearer to Munich. And we found Brauneck-Lenggries Ski Resort. The journey to Lenggries is 1hr by train and there was a free shuttle bus from the train station to the resort.

I had no idea where to take the shuttle bus or even the timetable of the bus. But thankfully, almost everyone that got down our train at Lenggries rushed to a bus right in front of the train station. And I guessed that must be the shuttle bus and we were right.

It cost us €24 to rent the ski equipments and another €19 for a 2 hour ski lesson. We shared with another 3 chinese students. They can speak German well, they must be studying here. Thankfully Wasil can speak Chinese thus we were able to communicate and share the lesson fee. The more the people in the group, the cheaper it gets. If there were only Wasil and I, it would have cost us €25 per person for only an hour lesson.

I really think the ski lesson was beneficial. We learnt how to walk with our ski, how to turn while skiing and most importantly, how to brake. I fell down many times and being stingy, I did not buy neither rent a proper waterproof, skiing pants. So of course, my jeans were wet in no time. Surprising and frustratingly also, the sun was shining very bright and strongly that day. We were sweating and I had to take my outer jacket off. So did Wasil. It was funny to see two Asians struggling to ski, sweating, in tshirts.

Our instructor was a 16 year old boy, who started skiing at 4. He was very nice and supportive, wasn't showing off or anything. He did not look 16! Wasil was the one who chatted with him. After two hours, we can ski, brake and turn amateurly and fall professionally. After a lunch break, we resumed skiing. This time,we took of the ski, wore only the boots and climbed up the ski mountain. We have to pay to use the ski lift so of course, we didn't. The journey up the mountain was so tiring and long, since we had to carry our ski and sticks but the journey down the snow mountain was so fast I barely had time to breath! And I still cant brake gracefully. I didnt fall down but I'll lose control and will be shrieking by the time I reach the mountain foot, for I did not want to collide with other people. It was full of adrenaline! And then we climbed up again, each time higher than before. Wasil climbed up higher than I did, as expected.

There were many little kids around us, as little as 3,4,5 years old. They were learning how to ski, taught by their parents. These parents must be a ski maniac, they might have met each other during skiing and are now passing down the passion to their children. They were so cute and adorable! One of the dads carried his 3-4 yr old daughter on his shoulder up the mountain and he let her ski down with him guarding her. Just like a father teaching his daughter how to cycle. When she was going down too fast, she was still stable on her feet but I think she freaked out that she screamed, "Papa! Papa! Papa! Papa!" and her father grabbed her. And she laughed. Haha... It was so heartwarming.

After a whole day of skiing our muscles out, we took the 4.38pm shuttle back to Lenggries train station to return to Munich.
My whole body was aching but my mind was full of the flashbacks of ski, even while packing my bag for tomorrow we will be boarding an early train to Berlin.

And while trying to sleep that night, I can still feel the adrenaline of ski before dozing off.
Berlin, we are coming!
Assalammualaikum!

Day 2 and 3 of my trip were in Munich. We arrived from Bremen at about 2pm on the first day after an almost 6 hour express train! But we weren't able to get into our dorms yet as the check-in time was 3pm. Thankfully we can leave our luggages in the "gepackraum", which simply means luggage room :) And thankfully also our hostel is very near to the main rail station, the hauptbahnhof.

In Munich, there was a donner shop that sells Halal food, it had a halal sign in front. We were so glad to find that shop, since we were already starving from the lack of proper breakfast that morning. We then went to the famous BMW Welt! (ok well, it's not so famous. I wont know abt it if I did not see my friend's photo in front of it last year. But i certainly know BMW).
There were two parts of the building, one is BMW Welt while the other is BWM Museum. We hv to pay to go into the museum but not the welt. I dont know what "welt" means. From the look of it, it might mean showroom. I'll google translate it later :)

There were many many many BMW and Mini Cooper in the welt. We can get in some of them to pose for a picture. And there was a gift shop also! There were many many items sold, so rambang mata! I finally bought a fridge magnet for €3.90. I wanted to buy the car model, but I think that can be bought anywhere. And a shirt is definitely not worth it. OK, enough of BMW welt story, we then went to Marienplatz using the underground train, U-bahn.

I think "platz" means "square" since I saw Marienplatz, Alexanderplatz, Bebelplatz and many other platz(es). Next time I'm gonna call that square in Manchester as Piccadilyplatz now. And Tahrirplatz in Egypt. And Tmesplatz in Malaysia.

Marienplatz is the city centre, and the new town hall is there. The town hall is huge, and astonishing but ugly. It's such an old building, with many statues and creatures stuck on it. But it was so big I wanted to catch all of it in my hands, shrink it and bring it home to show everyone.

After a tiring walk, we went back to our hostel. I stayed in a 6 bed female only dorm while Wasil stayed in an 8 bed mixed dorm. The dorm was cosy but the plugpoint was far from my bed. There were 3 double deckers, and the girl in front of me was from Oslo, Norway. She was the only one I talked to in the dorm, the other girls came back late and were still sleeping when I go out in the morning. Interestingly, the Norwegian girl was surprised because I said Muslims cant take alcohol. She also asked if the rule is also applied to men. I sensed that she might have the idea that Muslim women are oppressed. And she said she cant imagine a life without alcohol etc etc. As I was going out of the dorm to take my shower with my head wrapped with towel, suddenly another question popped out, "So, can you wear makeups?"
And I chuckled at the question. This girl in front of me must think that it is very restricted to be a Muslim girl. You cant take alcohol, you cant have sex before marriage (I assume she knows that) and you cant wear makeups. So I said yes you can, but not too heavy. We can dress up to make us appear more confident and presentable but not to seduce or attract other people, or to show off our beauty.

And so, my first day in Munich ended.
I went to sleep excited and in anticipation of the ski the next day.

Sunday, December 30, 2012


Assalammualaikum!
At last....I've started to explore Europe. All these while I've heard stories of my friends going lots of diff places, places I've nvr set foot on. Places I long to go but the timing hasn't been right. Alhamdulillah, it is now.

My first destination was Bremen, German. I've nvr heard of this place before but RyanAir offers a cheap flight here, so I grabbed it. As long as I'm in German, I can make my way to other cities in German. In this 5 days 5 nights trip, I'll be visiting 4 cities in Germany; 2 are well known (Munich & Berlin), one is sort-of famous (Hamburg), and the other one (Bremen) is just because my flight stops there. After boxing on the 26th, I took a bus to London, flying from Stansted on 27th early morning. So yes, I spent the night sleeping on the airport floor, in front of the closed boarding gates with my brother. We found a secluded spot between a huge advertisement signboard and the wall, next to a boarding gate and slept there on the floor. There were many other people sleeping on the floor, females and males alike. But most of them didn't look for secluded spots, it seemed. They slept almost everywhere! Haha... After about 1.5 hrs of sleep, at abt 3am the security guard woke us up. The boarding gates are starting to open, and she advised us to start boarding and go thru the security first. Unfortunately, since we are not EU citizen, RyanAir wants us ti verify our passports at the desk first, eventho we've checked-in online and we had no luggage to drop. No wonder RyanAir was dubbed the most hated airline. At 3am, the desks are not opened yet and we had to wander aimlessly, sleepily and when the desks started to open up, a huge crowd appeared.
We spent only 3 minutes at the desk; the lady looked at us, looked at our passports and stamp our boarding passes. That's it! Why must they make us wait for them for that? EasyJet doesn't have that requirement.

But anyway, we boarded the plane safely and reached Bremen by 10am German time. It was only 11 minutes from the airport to the city centre by tram.
Bremen airport advertised itself as the airport nearest to the city, in the whole world. And Bremen called itself the city of trams. True enough, trams are seen everywhere; there were 10 lines altogether.

It's not so hard to find halal food here, Alhamdulillah. Though the men in the shop didn't know English, we simply asked "halal"? And they excitedly said yes yes! But of course, I did not ask blondies or red-haired, only dark haired men with brown eyes. Haha... So much for genetics.


We walked around Bremen, with the most famous place being Schnoor Viertel or Schnoor Quarter. It was a maze of rows, most of them are shops, built in the 15th and 16th century. When they said maze, they really meant maze. You can turn left or right and you'll end up on a different lane. It was very cute!
But since we were still tired from the travelling and lack of sleep the day before, we went back to hostel quite early.

After a whole day of walking all around Bremen, I slept from 5 to 8.30pm!
Early the next morning, we took an Intercity Express train to Munich.
I'll talk about Munich later k?

Bye!


-Because life is a test-

-AkMaR-
http://nur-akmar.blogspot.com


Friday, December 7, 2012

Assalammualaikum!

Instead of talking about my personal life, I'll write out the questions I got for my latest Family & Children (F&C) module OSCE.
With this, any juniors or medical students can refer to this post. I've had a hard time looking for past years!

In Univ of Manchester, we get 1 minute to prepare outside the station after reading the question and 8 minutes to complete the station. 2 minutes before the station ends, there will be an announcement.

Day 1 (Paediatrics)

1. You are a medical student in Community placement. This is a mother whose 10 y.o son has been complaining of headaches for the past 6 months. His son is not with her. Take appropriate history from her and present your differential diagnoses and investigations you would like to do to the examiner.

      - Son headache for 6 months, worse past 2 weeks.
      - Start to vomit
      - No photophobia but complains eyes hurt (should ask about vision)
      - Son becoming more clumsy (either unsteady on his feet or cant see properly, need to differentiate these)
      - Headache worse early morning
      - The mother was quite cross, and anxious about her son
      - Mother was afraid it's brain tumour


2. You are a medical student in Community placement. This is a 10 y.o boy complaining of abdominal pain. Perform an abdominal examination and give your differential diagnoses to the examiner. Do not take extensive history from this patient.

       - Normal abdo exam. Causes of acute abdo pain in children.

3. You are a medical student in Community placement. This is a mother who came in to get her son's blood test result. Her son complained of tiredness and have been found to eat soil. Explain to her the results and address any concerns she might have.

      - Result given was FBC. All normal except for MCV, Hb and ferritin. Diagnosis: Iron deficiency anaemia.
      - Mother was worried it is leukaemia because she read from magazine.
      - Mother wants to know why son eats soil. It has been reported as a manifestation of IDA in children (weird eh?)
      - Mother wants to know what treatment. Tablet / diet modification / dietitian referral.


4. You are a medical student in Neonatal placement. This is a young lady who have just had a premature labour. Explain to her the complication of premature labour and address any concerns she might have.

      - Gave birth yesterday. Spontaneous labour, no history of trauma
      - Be sympathetic (haha)
      - Worried because doctor and nurse took the baby away right after delivery
      - Wants to know what is happening to baby
      - Wants to see the baby. Yes, nurse can arrange.
      - Explain lung isn't mature yet. Need special equipments to help baby to breath.
      - Mum asked whether can breastfeed baby. Ans is can and if baby is on ventilator then can give expressed milk.
      - Mum asked if baby will get cerebral palsy (shocked me. For a while I thought we were supposed to explain cerebral palsy, not lung prematurity. But then mum directed me towards other stuff)


5. You are medical student in Community placement. This is a boy who had murmur few months ago (cant remember exactly). He came for a follow up. Examine him and look specifically if the murmur is still present.

      - Normal cardiology exam.
      - Boy very shy lah. Didn't want to take off his clothes.


6. You are a medical student in Community placement. The parents of a school girl are worried about her growth. Measure her height, weight and head circumference and calculate her mid-parental height using the formula (they'll give the formula). Plot these information on the given chart. She is unaccompanied by her parents. Do not take extensive history from this patient.

      - This is one crazy station. The measuring was easy but I've never seen the chart. Didn't know where to plot her mid parental height. They didn't use the WHO chart so....

7. You are a medical student in Community placement. A father came because his son has been very breathless and feverish. Take focussed history and prescribe paracetamol for his son.

      - Not really sure what this station wants us to do.
      - Father talked a lot so I didn't have much time to prescribe the PCM.
      - Essentially son is having acute asthmatic attack secondary to chest infection. Father didn't think it's an asthmatic attack because son is coughing out phlegm. Usually son has asthmatic attack wout the phlegm


8. You are a medical student in Paediatrics placement. This is a parent whose son has
just been diagnosed with diabetes type 1. Explain to him the diagnosis and the management plan and address any concerns he might have.

      - Boy is 10 y.o
      - History of tiredness, weight loss and vomitting
      - Wants to know if boy can continue football
      - His own brother (boy's uncle) has DM type 1 as well. Some of my friends said his brother died of DM, but he didn't tell me that. Maybe I didn't ask but he didn't look distressed or worried. So diff patient might tell diff thing.
      - Father wants to know if son cannot go into any specific career due to the DM. I said I'm not really sure but you cant be a pilot if you have diabetes. And father said boy wanted to be a pilot. Explain about hypoglycemia and the danger.


I'm tired now.
I'll write about Day 2 (Obs and Gynae) tomorrow insyaAllah.

Diclaimer: The sentences used are not the exact sentences in the exam. I can't rmember the sentences exactly (who can under such tension?!). And anyway, patients will usually direct you towards the diagnosis. If you did not ask him/her, he/she might ask you.

All the best!

-Because life is a test-


-AkMaR-
http://nur-akmar.blogspot.com

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Assalammualaikum!

It's that time of the semester again! The time period after my OSCE exam and before my semester break. I've just finished the disastrous Paediatrics and O&G OSCE abt 1.5 weeks ago and my winter break is coming in 1.5 weeks!

So while waiting for our exam results (which I really really fear of this time), the school made us do 3 weeks of SSC. My first SSC as I wrote about, one year ago was on Pathology. The second one was on Oncology. This time around, it is on Psychology.
But I don't really enjoy the topic I am doing. However, the best part is I have to go to the hospital only two days in a week! That means, I am quite free on other days of the week; I occupied myself with reading to complete my report.

And that's all I would like to tell about my 4th year SSC.

And yes, I changed my blog layout again.
It might not last long, this one..

'til I write again!

-Because life is a test-




-AkMaR-
http://nur-akmar.blogspot.com

Saturday, November 17, 2012


When they say a picture says a thousand words.

Oh how I hope I have an air force to deploy.


-Because life is a test-

-AkMaR-
http://nur-akmar.blogspot.com

Friday, November 16, 2012

But can we really not let them die?

What can we do to prevent them from being shelled?
It's not like we have an army to deploy to their rescue.
We have no white knights with shining armors.
We are not the world order.
We do not have the UN under our command.

Yesterday, the world sees Gaza being attacked, again.
The last huge massacre was 4 yrs ago in December 2008, for 22 days Gaza was shelled and bombed, children and babies die in their own homes. They were made orphans if not deformed.
That was the time I started being active in the blogging world.

Last night, I saw an event in facebook, an emergency demonstration for Gaza in Piccadilly Garden! I see that as a very good opportunity for me to show my solidarity. The Palestinians will not directly feel the effect of me being there, but being there with abt 100 ppl, will raise some awareness amongst the Mancunian (it's what u call Manchester people). The press might not be there, but restaurants around have customers. Customers are people. People get nosy. Add that with curiosity and internet, you get news. Soon enough, really nosy and curious people know more about Palestine and the inhumane attack. The more people know, the better.
Why?
The more money can be collected and channelled for the Palestinian cause.
More volunteers will be produced for the Palestinian cause.
More flotillas, aids and convoys can be deployed.
More healthy politicians and lawmakers can be trained.
If, more people know.

Anyway, today I got up feeling really motivated.
Exam is next week (see the ticker up there?), today was supposed to be my rest + study-to-the-max day.
But since I want to go the demo at 5, in Manchester, I need to set off from home at 3pm. I need to finish revising by 2.30pm.

I've called my brother, Wasil to come to the demo as well.
I've been feeling very steadfast the whole, determined to go. But guess what, once I got onto the bus from home, to go to Preston bus station, I started to waver; I started thinking why am I putting myself in such a difficult situation, spending 2 hours journey to go Manchester, when my exam is in 5 days time?
Why can't I just call Wasil and tell him how much I want to donate, and let him pay on my behalf first?

I kept telling myself, "Ni setan ni...ni setan yang make you feel this way ni...."

After much thoughts and reflections, I came to the conclusion that I am going there because I:

1. Think I have been very "dormant" and "distracted" for the past year.

2. Want to experience a Gaza demonstration in the UK.
In Malaysia, you'd see mostly Malays. I want to see if I'll see only Indian / Pakistani here or can I also see the whites and the black together with the browns and yellows.

3. Regarded myself almost like a journalist, so I am there with a mission and am going to write about it in my blog so that people who can't be here today can read how it was like.

The Demo Itself

I reached Piccadilly Garden at about 5.15pm.
By then, there were about 100 people there, with their Palestine scarves and flags, and banners and hailers.
And it felt lively. A lady was giving speech in front, I do not know who she was. She went Gaza before and she was telling what she saw there, what was happening and all.
And one thing I remember she said, "Remember those (Israelis) nuclear weapons...."




Her speech was then followed by a speech by Dr Thariq. I really can't hear neither understand much what he was saying, he had a very thick Arabic accent in his English that some times I almost convinced myself that he was speaking Arabic. But he is a Palestinian.


The next speaker was a school teacher. I think he is English.
I think he said he did not pay much attention to the conflicts in Gaza but after seeing horrible pictures of children and babies bombed to pieces, he was outraged.
And I think that was what brought him here. I liked his speech, it sounded so genuine.
He mentioned that he can't bear the thoughts of people bombing and shelling babies and he was also embarrassed of being the citizen of a country, the Great Britain who apologised for and supported the atrocities of Israel.

According to him too, Facebook brought down some of the heartbreaking pictures of babies and children being bombed, under the excuse that those pictures are not suitable to be displayed. And I liked what he said about that. He said if Palestinian children are forced to see those deaths, we have to see those images as well. And I second that. Why must we protect our minds from these images?


I went for my Maghrib and Isya after some time in Muslim Youth Foundation (MYF), a place I recently discovered :)


By the time I got back, they left the site they gathered previously and have started parading around Piccadilly Garden.
They were behind RICE Restaurant.
From there on, we walked around Piccadilly Garden cheering for the Palestinians. It's different from the cheers in Malaysia.

There were:

"1, 2, 3, 4 ..... Occupation no more!"
"5, 6, 7, 8 ..... Israel is a terrorist state!"
" .......(smthing smthing I can't catch) .... minions, We are all Palestinians!"



At about 6.45, the parade stopped and the organisers thanked everyone for coming and for their supports. The same gathering will be held tomorrow as well, at about 5pm too. I don't think I can come tomorrow :(
At about 7pm, the crowd started to disperse.




And after that the 3 of us went for our dinner :)

I think this is the only picture of me tonight.

The Police

Unlike in Malaysia, the police were not there anticipating violence.
I saw only two policemen tonight. In Malaysia, a demonstration like this will require at least 10 policemen.
I think this is something our country need to learn; facilitate the the demo and prevent violence rather than anticipate violence and act at the slightest hint of wildness.



And oh, we can HELP by:
1. Donating
2. Boycotting
3. Spreading the words and create awareness
4. Prayer. I like one of the sentence I found today on fb; "Tembak doa kita". Literally that meant "Shoot them with our prayer"
5. Study hard, be a useful person in the future.

Goodnight!

-Because life is a test-




-AkMaR-
http://nur-akmar.blogspot.com

Friday, November 9, 2012

Assalammualaikum!

I am almost finishing the first semester of my 4th year, Alhamdulillah.
I'll be having my O&G mock osce today, having had my Paeds mock osce last Wednesday.
To my surprise, I did a lot better in my "talking stations" than my examination stations. In each OSCE exam, we will be tested on our talking skills and examination skills. Talking skills will include taking a good story from the patient- the reason they came to us and also to explain to a patient abt a diagnosis or disease or test results or a procedure. Examination station is, at the name implies, will test us on our competency examining a body, and decide what might be wrong with this patient.

I've always disliked the talking stations. Most of them are fake. Students who know how to talk well,even without good proper knowledge can score better than a student who can't speak well but knows a lot more.

Anyway, I am not going to talk about my exams today.
I am going to talk about what I did lately.
Did you know, my younger brother has recently came to Manchester?
Yes, he did! He secured a place in Univ of Manchester, studying E&E Engineering, sponsored by Yayasan TM.
He arrived about 2 months ago, after raya.
Although we are in the same univ, I've seen him only 4-5 times, since I am studying not in Manchester but in Preston.

Last weekend, Diana Rizal, a dear old friend of mine came from Glasgow. We havent met for a year! On Saturday, I brought her to Manchester for a walk around. That girl is one museum freak. I can bear museums, unlike some people who find museums dead boring and have to be literally dragged into a museum. But I dont't go and look for a museum in a city I visit. I will only go if it is really interesting, like Tower of London. Not because the exhibits but bcos I want to see the inside of the castle.

So first we went to the Whitworth Art Gallery. And my my, having not even one artistic strand of hair on me, I cant relate or appreciate the drawings, and exhibits there. I am sure they are nice, expensive and appreciable. But they are just not for me. However, the best part was when a group of musicians started playing music. There were cello, violins, keyboard, drums and even flutes. It was such a freestyle performance, I felt so relaxed and I do not know why, warm at the same time.

After praying in my brother's hall, we proceeded to the famous Jazeera restaurant, and then to Manchester Museum. Too bad we didn't have enough time, I did not manage to have a proper look at the museum. And because there was a match btw Man Utd and Arsenal (which Man Utd won, heh) we cant visit OT.

So Diana, I am looking forward for your next visit, and we can spend more time in the museum :)

With that, bye!




-Because life is a test-

-AkMaR-
http://nur-akmar.blogspot.com

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Assalammualaikum.

I am 3 weeks into Obstetrics and Gynaecology posting and I am already dreading it.
I come home everyday with shivers down my spine, recalling how the surgery went and imagining how it will feel like being in the patient's shoes.
I don't hate Obs and Gynae, I am just not interested in it, at all.
In contrast with Paediatrics posting I have just finished with, the patients in Obs and Gynae are all very erm...how do I describe it, "not cute"?

Birth Suite
Thank God I kicked off my O&G posting with one week in the Birth Suite. And when I say suite, I meant SUITE. The Birth Suite is a Consultant-led unit where there are 12 en-suite rooms with bath tub in the toilet in each room and the privilege of getting an epidural anaesthesia to cope with childbirth pain in contrast with Birth Centre where the unit is wholly midwife-led and no epidural can be performed. Midwives are allowed to prescribe limited dosage of diamorphine though. So my first week in O&G was filled with cute babies popping out of their mothers, painfully. But I can't help to notice the "bloodiness" of O&G. I helped with the delivery of the placenta and my hands were literally full of blood. Even my white plastic apron were blood stained.

And I witnessed one emergency Caesarean section where the mother was wheeled off to the theatre within 40 minutes of her arrival and recognition of fetal distress (because we can't feel the baby's moving and heart rate was bad). And it was bloody as well.

Gynaecology Theatre
After the one Birth Suite week, I started going into theatres and wards and clinics. And my my my, I can't stand the Gynae theatre. Most of the procedures were either laparoscopy or hysterescopy. When any procedure ends with -copy, it means we are viewing the structure, and most of the time it is via a camera rather than the naked eye.
So the camera will either be put into the patient's abdomen or through the women's vagina, cervix and into the womb to visualise the inside of the womb.

Both camera procedure will need clamping of the cervix. Yes, clamping.
I do not know if there is any specific medical term for it but a clamp (imagine a clothes clip) will be put onto the cervix and the cervix will be pulled up so that the womb will be pulled down so that the surgeon will not puncture the womb when she cuts through the lower abdomen to insert her camera and instruments.

And the sorts of clamps and theatre instruments used in the procedure are just freakingly traumatic! Traumatic to the cervix and vagina, I'd say.
They were merciless and vicious. Maybe because the surgeons did it so many times that they are doing it in an autopilot mode.
The surgeon need to clean the vagina before she starts any procedure to ensure the area she's working on is fairly sterile to reduce the risk of infection. And guess what, she shoved the instrument that was wrapped with cotton pads into the vagina just like that, mercilessly. Patient is asleep, of course. Patients are all under general anaesthesia. They can't even breath on their own, what more feel the clamps and pliers and needles. I'm sure the patient would have kicked the surgeon flying across the room if she was awake and knew what the surgeon did.

I know my description sounded very grim and horrible and cruel and I do not know if all surgeons do that or it's just this one but I doubt other surgeons take their time to clean the vagina gently, or clamping the cervix gently (if it can ever be done) when there are many patient waiting outside to be wheeled into the theatre.

And I doubt male doctors are any gentler, the one my friend was with certainly wasn't. He sounded even more vicious!

Whenever I see the surgeons clamping and shoving things inside there (which is almost 5 times a day), the question that was burning inside me will always be "Doctor, would you want THAT to be done to you?"
I can almost bet with my life that none of them will willingly want that to be done on them.

And I hope, I truly truly hope that none of my friends, family members, wives of friends and myself will ever get any kind of Gynaecology diseases that will need us to undergo these procedures. These procedures are not done for nothing, they have to be done. But they are unbelievably terrifying. And even though I know that our body has a remarkable ability to repair itself, the cervix can even dilate and thin out and the vagina stretch enough to let a 3kg baby out, a clamp and camera for 30 minutes are almost nothing but still, it's just......cruel.

End
I hope I won't get into trouble by writing this. I am always afraid my writing will one day drive me into some kind of trouble, revealing unnecessary things and this time, it might make some potential patient scared to death of a procedure she's about to go through. I am sure the doctors do not explain or show the instruments going to be used when they asked for her consent. Because if the patient knew, she will never give her consent unless she's too desperate to get sorted out.

And yesterday, I saw a baby being crushed and vacuumed out of her/his mother's womb. I might talk more about that later. I need to rest, and keep my mind clear of the traumatic look of the cervix (I had the chance to examine the patient while the surgeon was suturing). Bloody!

-Because life is a test-

[Image Credit]


-AkMaR-
http://nur-akmar.blogspot.com
Assalammualaikum.
This post was actually written about two weeks ago but I didn't have the time to finish it up so here it comes!

I've finished my 7 week Paediatrics posting and are now in my second day of Obstetrics and Gynaecology posting.
In the past 7 weeks, I felt as if I was thrown into a deep, dark hole and the cliff I had to climb to see the sun was just unbelievably demanding. However, it did get better towards the end, perhaps because I acquired new clinical skills and had tremendously sharpened my survival instinct.

In Paediatrics, I became used to running to the bus stop to catch the shuttle bus to Burnley. Used to pacing up and down the ward corridors because there was no patient waiting to be seen. Became used to talk and chat with the senior house officers (SHOs) when I used to fear them last year.
Used to making a cup of coffee while studying the doctor's room because there was no patient.
But most of all, used to be in Paediatrics and I must say, I actually enjoyed and loved this placement!

And to be honest, being in Blackburn is not that bad after all.
The room is good, though small. And we do not have to pay the utility bills and I can switch the heater on 24 hours. BUT, I do not want to stay here permanently. 14 weeks is enough, thank you.

Being in Paediatrics, I've seen a lot of things. I think this is the first time I am truly acknowledged as a medical student. I am doing things junior doctors do, although I do it either under supervision or I'll have to tell a senior doctor what I did so that they can check if I did it correctly.

Assessment Unit
I enjoyed the time being in the Assessment Unit, where unwell children who came in referred by their GP or after being through A&E are assessed whether they need to be admitted or are okay to go home.
I will first see these children, take history and perform some examination before presenting the case to a Registrar (a very senior doctor) and tell him what I think is happening to the patient.
Best of all, I can write on the assessment sheet, devise my own management plan, print my name and sign it off (although no nurse will actually act on my management plan, because the Registrar will review the child later and write his OWN plan). But still, I feel like I am part of the team. And the nurses and doctors were so nice to us. The only person that's not so nice to us are the parents. Some parents are just so annoying and frustrating!

Neonatal Unit
I had one week in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in Burnley.
Here, I saw very small tiny babies, some are barely 500g!
And they have wires and tubes and needles attached to them, it's sad. I can't imagine what the parents especially the mother will feel seeing their babies in that condition. It must have been heart-breaking. These babies are mostly preterm. Term babies who are for some reasons can't breathe properly, can't get their blood pressures or temperatures maintained or any other problem will be sent into NICU.
One very sad baby that I saw was a cocaine intoxicated baby. I can't remember how many weeks was he but his mother was on heroine while pregnant and really could not be bothered about him. And she was a known sex worker. She did not attend most of her antenatal appointments and refused to see the social worker. She had two previous babies who she fed methadone to "help" them with their withdrawal symptoms and these babies have been taken away from her. This time around, this baby will also be taken away from her and sent to a foster home. They even put a warning not to let her visit the baby unsupervised.

The baby was so irritable and had severe tremor, he was obviously in withdrawal.
His cot had to covered by an opaque cloth so that he is in dark and his blankets wrapped around him and tucked underneath his mattress so that he is sort of "tied up" in the blanket. These measures are to reduce disturbances to him, and his cry was very different from other babies' cries.

It was so heartbreaking to see that innocent little human who suffered the aftermath of his irresponsible mother's action.
Few potential foster parents came to visit him but there have been some changes in plan so as for now, no one has agreed to take him in their care yet. And he was Hepatitis C positive.

I pity him, to the bottom of my heart. But I can't imagine myself adopting a baby like that. Perhaps it is because I believe nature and nurture come hand in hand. Even if I raise him perfectly, he might have the "not good" genetics and turned out bad. I know that's very cruel of me to think that way but I can't help but believe it. That is why our beloved Prophet's bloodline was so protected and they can trace his ancestors for more than 5 generations (I cant rmember exact number).

Perhaps I should end my rants here.
This post might be too long already.
Thank for reading and take care!

-Because life is a test-

[Image Credit]



-AkMaR-
http://nur-akmar.blogspot.com

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Assalammualaikum. Here comes the hangat post. I've been wondering if I should write this post in Bahasa so that some unwanted ppl will not be able to understand what I wrote. Who knows, I might get into trouble for expressing what I really feel.
So I've decided, let's do it the Malaysian style; a total rojak!

Okay, summer break is known to be the longest break any student can get, 3 whole months at least. This is the time where Malaysian students start to fill their fb albums with pics of them in various parts of the world. But that does not apply to medical students doing their clinical years, that is year 3 to year 5 and perhaps some other courses. We get only 5 weeks off. And the worst part is, my year 4 starts on the second day of Raya. Raya hari Ahad, if I want to go back to attend the first day of year 4, I would have to depart from Malaysia latest by Saturday, that is on the malam raya. Gler x? Sape nk tinggalkan family and terbang beribu batu sehari seblm raya weyh? Nangis2 kt KLIA instead of main bunga api "Yeay yeay, esok raya!". Ok, imaginasi je tu. My malam raya was full of rendang, ketupat and domestic cleaning, xde smell of fireworks langsung. But that's my point. I'm not going to spend £500+ on airfare and NOT BE ABLE to spend raya with family.

Well before year 3 ends, I wrote an email requesting for leave approval from the Dean. She turned it down. Tapi sebenarnye, saya dah beli tiket dah pun. Wahahaha.. Nakal gler. And then, I scored quite badly in my OSCE that I needed to see the Dean. Haish... Don't worry, I am doing good in OSCE now. So, during the meeting, again I verbally requested the leave. This is a different dean from last time. And he turned it down too. He said he tried to do his best to ask from the University but the University is strict and won't let us take our leaves. UK is a Christian country, and there are some religious festivals observed by the country, but not Eid. How ridiculous is that? I don't know how many Jewish are here, since I can't differentiate them from Christians but I can clearly see many many many Muslims around. Why not give a day or two off?
Malaysia dok gaduh nak Chinese Malay and Indian dapat treatment yang adil bagai...

But anyway, since he said the University does not allow it, although he would very much like to help us get the leave, I cant really say anything. To my surprise, my Malaysian friends from other teaching hospitals (but still under Univ of Manchester) got one week off, provided they replace the hours that they missed. Mind you, even non Muslim friend got a week off. So I was outraged. Then it all fall back to place, Preston is known to be a bit more strict with its students bcos it is a smaller hospital in a much smaller town. The other 3 hospitals are in Manchester thus they are very busy that they do not manage their students well. Words are, Preston has the lowest failure rates. Well, smething to be proud of but it comes with a big price. So if I said in my last post that Blackburn is even more efficient in managing the stdnts tmetable cmpared to Preston, imagine what it will be like in another hospital.

Kwn2 lain pun tau abt stdnts from other hospitals dapat cuti seminggu. So anyway, walsupun kitorg xde la discuss and plan btul2 but we roughly know sape balik bila, sape balik lmbt and sape blk awal etc.
And senior 5th year pun ckp yg diorg ponteng seminggu and diorg kna jumpa dekan, and talk like 10mins dgn dia. So, di saat sy beli tiket tu, sy dh ready to face whatever might come.

Then, 2 weeks before the term starts, I emailed the dean's secretary informing them of my one week absence. Masuk2 4th year kt Blackburn mmg la ssh, with no internet and missed the whole week and moving to a new house, and being ill (since I was still in Msia). I started to hate it here because they kept track of us and I felt they are keeping track of me even more so, treating me like a criminal, like an immature girl whose aim is just to identify any possible session that I can skip. Maybe it's my personal feeling, or it may be my guilt for missing one week, but I felt so bad about the place that I hated it. Things were so bad that I anticipated weekends and dreaded weekdays like nvr before.

2 weeks later, comes the appointment with the deanS. Mind you, yes the deanS. I'm meeting both the Academic and the Professional Conduct deans. Ridiculously, my appointment was set at 10 in the morning in Preston, and I have to travel from Blackburn. After the appt, I was supposed to return to Blackburn, and travel to Burnley for my GP posting. And later in the afternoon, travel back to Blackburn because a taxi provided by the school will be fetching us at 4.30pm to go to Preston for another compulsory briefing. What a "funny" arrangement! So I swapped my GP day with my ward day and decided to stay in Preston the whole day. And then.....the meeting came around. I'll talk abt the meeting later but, after the meeting I got a bit intimidated that I decided to return to Blackburn to attend the ward. Imagine the rush and travel and anxiety and exhaustion. A journey by public transports between Preston and Blackburn takes 1.5hrs on a good day. The earliest I'll be able to reach Blackburn will be 2pm and the taxi that's gonna fetch us will be at 4.30 so ineffect, I'll be spending less than 2.5 hrs in a quiet Paeds ward. A total waste of my time. I was even comparing myself to a local. Will a local British student follow the rule and come back to the quiet ward for 2 hrs? There is nothing much that we can do. The benefit we'll get is much less than the effor we're gonna hv to out in to travel back there. Since westerners are known to be more aware of their "rights", I am quite positive that they will not make the futile journey. But having just seen the deanS for absences in the morning, lowered my threshold.

The meeting with the deans itself was not smthing pleasent, tp blh la bangga jgk. Haha... I think I was very tenang and santai throughout. Sy dh ready utk kna marah. Diorg tnya knp sy x dtg, sy ckp sbb raya. Then diorg t ya how will this affect my professional life later. Most of the talk went about being a doctor is not equal to being a hairdresser. Will I be missing for a whole week when I started working later on. I said no, and when asked why, I told them that by that time I am resposnsible for people's lives. No one is going to die when medical students esp me do not turn up. But ppl may die if doctors do not turn up. Agree? So diorg marah. And they went on abt the difference btw a med school and any other school. Then diorg kata knp x minta kebenaran, then I said I did, and when they knew my request was turned down yet sy masih x dtg, lagi kna marah. Haha... Tp siyesly, marah la mcm mana pun, sy dh ready nk face. At last diorg kata they will send me down to Manchester for a meeeting with the people there. Takut la jgk but then, byk je lagi org lain yg kna hantar. Bukan sy sorg yg skip. Before I left the room, my last question to them was "So now I just have to wait for an appointment in Manchester?" - "YES"
But oh no, sy x gaduh ngn diorg or bt mcm x ckup di ajar. Sy tenang and santai and snyum je byk2... Btul ni.... :)

So, it is a lesson to me but, also a lesson to them.
First day of the term on 2nd day of Eid, with us students having to fly across the ocean for 13 hrs, mesti la u'll get bad attendance. Apparently 17 of us Msian stdnts were missing on the induction day. In a way, padan muka diorg. Degil sgt xnk bg some allowance for us. Klo lah diorg took this into account, these wont hv happened. Lenkali if the sem starts coincides with Eid again, sy maybe x skip 5 hari, most prob 3 hari je kot? Oh jahat...

But anyway, I am doing fine now. Doing lots of hours to make up my absences.
Xpe la, rasa la mcm doctor skit, weekends pun kna masuk keje, shift evening hari2 smpai 9pm.
Padan la muka sy....tp sy dpt raya! Anda bagaimana? :p

-Because life is a test-



-AkMaR-
http://nur-akmar.blogspot.com

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Assalammualaikum.

I've come to terms that all medical students will have to travel to a lot of places, not for a day or two but for a week at least, being posted to different places and hospitals and clinics etc. When I was in year 2, I had to travel to Damansara everyday for 3 weeks to do my electives. Later that year, I was sent to Hospital Orang Asli Gombak for 3 days. During early year 3, I had to go for selectives in a private clinic for a week.

Now in year 4 when I am in England, from Royal Preston Hospital I've been transferred to Royal Blackburn Hospital, for 3 months. Fortunately, I've been given a room to stay in, for free.

Blackburn and Preston is about 30 mins apart by car and 18mins by direct train.
Preston is in central Lancashire while Blackburn is in the east, that's like travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Semenyih in Selangor. And yes, the facilities are almost like that as well. Preston is a bigger town compared to Blackburn. So if I feel "a bit bored" in Preston, I feel "a lot bored" in Blackburn. Not only that, I am also occassionally sent to Burnley General Hospital, which is even smaller than Blackburn.
So yes, even though I study in England (everyone knows it), and I am a student of Univ of Manchester, I am rarely in Manchester. I think when I say "I am studying in England", people imagine London; the vibrant, noisy, busy city.
Truth is, I stay in a quiet decent town, 6 hours away from London, and are sent to even smaller towns. I sarcastically feel quite in a "Stone Age".

My tertiary educational life has been very funny and odd. When I started in INTEC, batchmates asked where did I go for my high school. I answered "SMK Cheras Jaya", and they went "Ohh... okay.. Where is that?". If my answer was Muar Science School, or MRSM Alor Gajah, or Sekolah Tunku Kurshiah, or any boarding school for that matter, I am sure they will give a totally different response, "Oouuhh...THAT school. My friend or cousin or whoever was also from there, do you know her?". When people ask me where do I go for college, they do not know INTEC. Had I answered Segi College, UM, UPM, Taylor's, I'll definitely get a different response.
Same goes for when people ask which medical school am I studying in. When I say IMU, most people do not know about it. UM, UPM, USM etc are more well known.
And now, when I say I study in Univ of Manchester, and they were like "Ooohh...that's good". But the moment I say I stay in Preston, one of their eyebrows will start to rise. NB: Most Malaysian students do not know where Preston is, or the fact that it even exist. They know Lancaster, Manchester, Leeds, and all the big cities which have universities named after them but not Preston. Hmmm..nevermind. I am pretty sure I will work in a hospital where people know EXACTLY where is it. Hospital Serdang, or Hospital Putrajaya, or Hospital Melaka, or Hospital Tunku Ampuan Rahimah etc.

Ok, back to Blackburn story.
In Preston, there were almost 90 of us in a year.
So the admin is not that efficient in managing us, unlike in Blackburn where there are only approx 20 of us, divided into 4 smaller groups. They manage us like crazy. They know exactly where we are, where we are supposed to be, what we are supposed to do and they informed the wards, the clinics and any other units about us being there so that people LOOK FOR us. Almost nothing can be done outside their radars. There is a good and a bad side for this. Good is, we become more hardworking because we know people are expecting us and we have our own logbooks to be signed off as proofs. The bad side is, we HAVE TO BE hardworking and cannot play truant because ppl are expecting us and they'll catch us in no time. *heavy sigh*

Not that I'm used to play truant but don't you think there are those times that you just find the session not-so-useful that you decided that u'll do more by staying at home? I demand you to AGREE WITH ME. So I felt very restricted here. Fortunately, there are not many of those not-so-useful sessions over here. We are kept busy by running around the units, chasing after shuttle buses between Burnley and Blackburn and consultants and foundation doctors that are ever ready to teach us.

The fact that I skipped the first week of my 4th year made matters worse. I think I shall write my encounter with the deans and the horrible experience in another post, since this is long enough.

Thank you for reading!

And oh, Blackburn Hospital does not have wifi connection. Needless to say, so thus the free hostel building.
So the first week of my stay here, I was completely detached from THE world. I didn't even have my smartphone with me because I sent it in for repair, what a bad timing. I felt so helpless, annoyed and cross. And the computers in the library take ages to load, I can even brew a cup of coffee by the time it finished loading. But things got a lot better now, I subscribed to an unlimited internet phone line, and I created a hotspot through my phone and I can connect my laptop to the internet :) *smiles*


-Because life is a test-





-AkMaR-
http://nur-akmar.blogspot.com

Friday, September 7, 2012

Assalammualaikum.

This is my first time coming BACK to the UK.
Someone asked me to compare the feelings of setting my foot in the UK for the first time and my arrival this time. It is totally totally different.
When I first arrive in the UK a year ago, I was excited and exhilirated but also nervous. When I saw the Msian High Commission officer waiting for us right after we stepped out of the airplane (she got a special permission), I was very relieved. At least there is someone that will help us go thru the procedures of going thru the immigration. Ppl say that that is the scariest part, if the UK Border does not allow u entrance, that's it. I wasnt really scared though, I was going in under the name of the Msian Govt, complete with a formal 3 piece suit.
The 13 hours of flight was not tiring, it was a little fun instead since they were many of us flying together (almost 20!) and I was sitting with my friends.

However, the 13 hrs flight this time was a lot more tiring. Perhaps it can be partly attributed to the fact that I left Msia with a heavy heart, and I was also feeling ill the whole journey.
This time also, I felt wiser.
I knew exactly where to head to; the connecting flight counter so that I can get my passport stamped and get the next boarding pass to Manchester.
I wasn't as excited. I was not wondering how will I cope with studies, how will the weather be, how will I cook and things like that. I knew all that. I'll be busy, that's a norm for 4th years. And the weather will be so unpredictable and varied that it can be 8C on one day and 20C on the next day. It will rain almost evry day, my shoes and socks will be wet and I will be longing for a good hot home-cooked soup.

Bad enough,I arrived home finding that I do not have a room because the girl who was supposed to vacate her room while summer did not. So she was still staying in the room, eventhough I paid for the rental. I had to crash my stuff into Kiew's room and slept in another room, since the owner of the room was still in Msia. However, everything was sorted very quickly, thank God. The girl finally got her long awaited new hse key and moved out.

2 days after my arrival, I had to pack my stuff to move to another hospital. I have been posted to Royal Blakburn Hospital for this semester. Blackburn is in east Lancashire while Preston is central. Thank God I am moving there with my clinical partner who is also my hsemate, Syahidah. Both of us got each a room in the staff accommodation, Alhamdulillah.

I will talk more about Blackburn in another post.


-Because life is a test-




-AkMaR-
http://nur-akmar.blogspot.com
o

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Assalammualaikum.
Below is the piece that I wrote in the plane while on my way back to UK from KL.
This is already my 2nd week here, and now only I get the opportunity to post this.
Imagine how busy/internet-deprived I was for the past 2 weeks! :(

There might be bits of typos here and there with some grammatical errors. Forgive me but I was writing on font size 6 on Word because I became so self-conscious, imagining the people next to me were trying to read my writing.

---------------------------------------------------------

Assalammualaikum.

Okay,let’s make it a tradition. To write on the airplane, whether going home to or away from Malaysia.
This time, I’m flying to London Heathrow form Kuala Lumpur, as the marking of the end of my summer break
Actually my class startsed5 days ago but I requested for an extended leave, and will have it to make it up during weekends. I have no problem with that.
Eid was on the 19th and my class starts on the 20th. If I were to join the class, I ave to leave Msia on the 18th. After paying £500+ for my airfare, I refused to miss Eid.
I flew one week b4 Eid last year.

The aeroplane I am on now is flying above Romania, travelled 9584km and has 1861km more to travel, in abt 2hrs 22mins time.
It is now 8.37pm in Malaysia that means 1.37pm in London, and I am expected to reach Heathrow at 3.59pm. Hmmm, nice. Earlier than what is said on the ticket. But it also mean I have to be stranded in London for a longer time because my flight to Manchester does not depart until 2200 tonight UK time.

My Summer Break

It was hectic. If I am asked to describe how I spent my 6 weeks in Malaysia, that will be my answer. But it was also worth it.
It started with me fell ill due to dehydration and change of weather. And then I rose to entertain my cousin and her parents for 10 days, almost all across Malaysia.
Then I fell ill again.
By then Raamadhan has started, and during the 2nd week of Ramadhan, I started baking kuih raya. One type in a day.
In the mean time, I ran errands for my mum, and siblings.

Then I helped in some family matters, but those are not to be complained about. I enjoyed it.

How I Ended My Summer Break

Surpirisingly, I got so ill that my mother contemplated asking me not to go back in the arranged date. She wanted me to return later, when I am better and was even willing to foot the bill. Of course, I did not take the offer. It was a crazy one. I was havng bad cough, cold and flu. Can’t sleep at night because I cant breathe and worse, vomited occasionally. I topk paracetamol as if they were sweets. But all along, there was no temperature. Went to the doctos, and was prescribed some antibiotics, steroid and anti histamine. The steroid, I cant figure out wy was I given the steroid. The doctor said it was to reduce my thorat inflammation but I’ve nvr known ppl are given steroid for sore throat. I thought strepsils or any other lozengeswill do. Perhaps the doctor wanted me to get better faster, since I’ll be flying off soon.

I brought the cough with me onto the plane. As soon as I lived my family, I walked alone thru all the airport security checkpoints and custom checks. By the time I board te plane, I was breathless and coughing badly. I can’t even talk properly when one of my friend called me on the phone to bid a final goodbye.

On the plane, I sat in the middle of a Caucasian lady and a Msian Chinese man. The chinese man saw and heard my terrible cough while I speak on the phone while waiting for other passengers to board. The next I thing I knew, he was already wearing a face mask. He must have gotten it from the air stewardess. I didn’t feel insulted, I respect his right for wanting to avoid me. But it was a funny sight, haha… He kept that face mask on him all the time. Isn’t he suffocated? I pity him, heh…

I got extremely nauseous and dizzy on the flight, aunable to sleep properly so I asked for paracetoamol. Then he told me about my obvious cold and said he didn’t want to get infected so he wore the mask. I chuckled and said it’s alright. And he still is. Sometimes he did not put it on properly, he used his hand to place it against his mouth but sometimes he put it properly with the band across his head.


-Because life is a test-


-AkMaR-
http://nur-akmar.blogspot.com

Monday, August 20, 2012

Assalammualaikum.

People say it's bad luck to talk about bad things on good days.
But what can be worse than finding out that your Macbook is not working on the 2nd day of Eid and the warranty expired less than a week back so it may cost you a fortune to get it repaired, and on top of that you are flying off to England in 3 days time, and you are sick that you wish you can just lie on the bed and rest and sleep. But you can't because you have a family event coming in 12 hrs time and you are only 50% ready and you are the organiser of the activities because you are the eldest grandchild and you are THE niece that came home after a year studying overseas and are going back there in 3 days time.

A paragraph that says it all?
Oh God, help me!

Well actually, I have to be grateful!
At least I have a Mac (eventho it cannot be switched on now) and I still have my family members and sight, hearing, senses and all.
Oh God, thank You!

I'll post a more optimistic post insyaAllah *wink*

Bye!

-Because life is a test-





-AkMaR-
http://nur-akmar.blogspot.com

Friday, August 10, 2012

Assalammualaikum.
Last night on Berita TV9 at 8pm, a Rohingya ulama told the press that the Burmese Rakhine threatened to destroy all Rohingya Muslims in this last 10 days of Ramadhan.

Hearing that make me shudder.

Despite not being able to trust fully the news agency in Malaysia, I see no political reasons why the issue of this Rohingya massacre conflict might be distorted by irresponsible parties.

Here in Malaysia, we are trying our utmost best to fully utilise the barakah (blessings) of Ramadhan; Quran recital, prayers and qiam and at the same time to control and train our nafs (desire). But in Burma, Muslims are trying their utmost best to stay alive, to protect their children from harm and danger, fathers fleeing with their families away from atrocities and sons shielding their mothers and sisters.


To make it worse, the Burmese government did not even acknowledge the Rohingyas as Burmese thus, offered no help nor protection. Gone were my respect to Aung San Suu Kyi. I thought she was a peace heroin, an icon of democracy and human rights, having won the Nobel peace prize and after watching the movie "The Lady" which told her story, I admired her and her fight.
But too bad, she did not impress me this time.

Frustratingly, I see no direct physical help from the Malaysian government.
Burma is one of the ASEAN countries and on top of that, Malaysia has been a host to many OIC conferences and I think it is right to help our fellow neighbour if not brethren.

OIC, with a membership of 57 countries across the world and is the second largest inter-govermental organisation after the UN (yes, I did some readings) did not deploy any troop to Burma to protect the Rohingyas . Shame on us.

If Burma is full of oil like Syria, the Americans would have "helped" to promote peace in the nation. Troops will be deployed, expatriates sent and condemnation publicised.

The UN is trying to help. But the world knows that the UN is just a puppet, an organisation of names and statuses without actual power.

Even Malaysian opposition parties pledged no help to the Rohingyas.
Opposition parties, which have been trying hard to attack the government, vowing to change the situations that the government has forgotten about, has been ignoring or has been getting money out of them, mentioned no word about offering help to promote peace in other neighbouring countries.

The whole world is talking about it, nation leaders expressing their "deep concern" about the matter.
But no direct action is done.
Shame, shame on us!
and shame on me. just by writing, I can save no lives *sobs*


No, this is not in Burma. From the source I took the picture from, it was said that this was in Syria. Don't your heart break seeing this picture?


-Because life is a test-

This picture might be too harsh on her, given the fact that she is not entirely responsible for the genocide but, as a peace promoter she should have a firm stand. And of course, she is now facing backlashes for her silence in the matter. Well, with great power comes great responsibility.


-AkMaR-
http://nur-akmar.blogspot.com

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Assalammualaikum.
I reached Malaysia on the 13th of July, that was a Friday.

I was in the plane for more than 13hrs in total, and since we are not allowed to bring bring in more than 100ml of liquids into the plane, I forgot to keep myself hydrated. The excitement of coming home was a big contributor as well, I suppressed all the thirst I had, and also the fact that I sat next to the window, which means furthest from the air stewardesses, and it'll trouble them (and the persons next to me!) if I always ask for water.

And since I did not inform my parents of my arrival, I had to take public transport home, strolling two big luggages and another laptop bag. By the time I got home I was so thirsty I drank almost 1l of water. Apparently it was too late.
That night, I started having sore throat and the next 2 days saw me lying on the floor, bed or carpet, wilted.

My relatives from Jakarta also arrived on the same weekend, on Saturday night. I was too wilted to meet them that night, I only joined them for breakfast. The next 7 days were hectic. I went for a day trip to Malacca, drove a 2-day trip to Penang, day trip to Genting Highlands, covered most of the shopping complexes in KL and in between, the fasting month started with me not fully recovered yet. Haha...
My relatives were here for 10days. Right after they went home, I fell ill again and laid on the bed most of the days, going out only for iftars with family.

With the fact that I do not have data plan on mobile, I barely able to go online since July 15th thus explained the absence from this blog =)
But I'm back now, insyaAllah.

I found my "Malaysia mind" rusted.
I used to drive everywhere in KL but since last week, I noticed that I can't remember most of the roads. I made countless futile U-turns and went for wrong turns almost half of the time. With my relatives, I drove blindly heading towards KL trying to remember which route to be taken. I was too embarrassed to call my dad in front of them, admitting I cant remember the road. Haha... Alhamdulillah, I managed to remember the road halfway there.

I can't remember where did my mother keep the toiletries stock. I thought it was on the shelves above the washing machine when my siblings pointed out it has long been shifted to the shelves under the TV *facepalm*.

And the shop lots in front of my housing area has developed! It wasn't there 11 months ago. Now the lots are full with shops. And there is already a Wong Solo restaurant branch opened in Kajang. I want to eat there!

But apart from that, nothing much changed. My mum kept saying that I am still the same, old me. My aunties said I "grew up". When asked whether did I grow up horizontally, or vertically, she said both.
And a friend of mum said "She looked different". I'm pretty sure that that means "She's a bit flesh-ier" =.="

And oh, dengan kereknya I always divide the prices by 5. RM25??? £5 only..
RM96? Waaahhh.. £20! Hahaha.. To guide me in buying stuff here. I plan to bring handbags and clothes back to UK. A simple, cheap, non-branded handbag costs at least £8 over there while the same kind of handbag cost only RM25 here. In addition, I prefer the designs here than over there! Times Square, I'm coming to you!

Okay, gotta start doing something else now!
Lots of things to do.
Hurm.... :( I have only less than a month left in Malaysia :(

-Because life is a test-




-AkMaR-
http://nur-akmar.blogspot.com

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Posted on Sunday, July 15th. More than 36hrs of being home :)


----------------------------------------------------------

I bent my spectacles.
That will be the first thing I want to say. *sigh*
Guess what, I am now writing this in the Malaysia Airlines flight from London to Kuala Lumpur and I’ve travelled 8, 491km for the past 9 hours. We are now 35,000ft from sea level, the pilot announced we will go until 37,000ft but there’s only 3hrs left. Will he? Think so.

And guess what, my family does not know of me coming home today. Hahahaha.. I told them my flight will be on Saturday the 14th thus I’ll reach KL on Sunday the 15th. Truth is, I depart from London on Thursday 12th July and will be reaching on Friday the 13th. Yes, I am that nasty. The only family member who know this is my sister and she’s unable to drive. So that’s the major drawback of this “brilliant” plan of mine. I would have to get my own transport home, carrying two heavy luggage. Sister, why u no able to drive? At least come and fetch me and I’ll drive us home! But anyway, my plan is such a typical plan of students studying overseas. No? I can’t wait to see the shock and surprised faces of my family when they see me coming down of a cab later this evening, and also the giggles of my sister.

Before sleep, I took of my specs and hanged it in front of me, on the pocket behind the front seat where all the travel magazines etc are put. I do not know what I did in sleep, I can’t find the specs when I got up. It was on the floor, bent. Thank God I can still wear it, and see clearly (or else I won’t be able to write this) but one can clearly notice the sloppiness of the glasses on my face. I’m sure. Haishh…

I took the flight to Manchester at 1540hrs yesterday and spent 6 hours loitering around Heathrow before our connecting flight at 2200hrs. The flight from Manchester to London was operated by BMI and man it was such a tiny plane. Really tiny. I wanted to laugh when I see it. There were only 3 rows in it. Oh, now I know. I think the interior is as big as an express bus, but way longer to the back. And so with such a small plane of course the journey wasn’t as smooth as this journey on MAS. It was bumpy most of the time and by the time I got down of it, I felt so nauseous and sick. And the fact that I did not have a proper lunch made it worse. And in Heathrow, there was no food! In the terminal, after passing through the custom, they were only WHSmith, Pret-a-Manger and Costa. The rest are restaurants. And you knew it too, only rich people eat in restaurants in an airport. The prices are crazy. £10.95 for a plate of fish and chips? No thanks. I can eat 5 sandwiches from WHSmith.

So I can’t wait to get onto MAS plane. I know they will serve food. And true enough, within 40 minutes of taking off and everything settled down, I got my delicious plate of Chicken Briyani. Nomnomnom. I was very tired and sleepy by the time I finish everything, I fell asleep in no time. And that was when I bent my glasses.

When the plane took off just now, I had millions of butterflies in my stomach and goosebumps too! You know the feeling when you’re on a roller coaster and the safety belt has been fasten around you, and the roller coaster is moving slowly up the slope? That feeling “Oh heck, I do not want to ride this anymoreee!!! Please get me off!! Stop the machine!!” because you know the roller coaster is going to speed downwards and turn and turn and turn eating your heart out, once it finished the slow and steady climb up? Well, I had that feeling when this plane was moving slowly on the airport track. Looking for it’s platform and then speed up faster than you can imagine, with the grasses being blown by the strong wind of the wings, then take off. That time, I felt so vulnerable. My whole life is not in my control, at all. There is nothing I can do if the plane malfunctioned. At least if we’re in a car, I can jump off it if the brake is not working (ok, too much of action movies). That was the time I felt very very dependent on Him, to take care of our journey, Not the pilot. It’s Him.

Anyway, I have about 2+ hrs more, the crews started to serve breakfast.

I’m in a flight, thus no internet thus am writing this in word document thus, do not know when can I post this,
If I can post it in KLIA, thank God.
If not, at home maybe?

_________________________________________

Posted on Sunday, July 15th. More than 36hrs of being home :)

-Because life is a test-






-AkMaR-
http://nur-akmar.blogspot.com

Thursday, July 12, 2012

No one can ever describe the feeling of going home after almost a year. No one.

I left Malaysia on 23rd August 2011, and I bought my ticket home in January to come back in July.
In the week that I bought the ticket, I can't wait to go home. I started thinking of what to buy, who to buy gifts for, where to buy, how to bring back and luggage allowance. I started thinking where would I want to go once I'm back in Malaysia, what dishes I want to eat, what do I want to buy and post here etc etc.

Then, the feeling sort of cool down. I became preoccupied with my studies thus even though "going back home" is in my head, it wasn't occupying much space.
Until July came.

I can't sleep well these past few days. I'm imagining how will my family react when they saw me. How will I grab them and not wanting to let them go. How I will open all my luggages full of gifts for them, the night of my arrival itself.
How I will see the smiles and laughters in them.

I'm excited and exhilarated.

But then again, I know that I will be coming here again.
Fatin left UK after graduating, and she is feeling sad for leaving Manchester, the place where she matures.
And seniors who have just graduated are posting how sad they feel about leaving the places they study in facebook.
I think I will feel the same thing once my studies here are over.
To feel sad to have to leave this place, my room, my house and the hospital.

But oh, cut that off.
I'm coming homeee!

I've always wanted to post this lyric,
I'm coming home
I'm coming home
Tell the world I'm coming home


Funny enough, a year ago my lyric was,
I believe I can fly
I believe I can touch the sky



-Because life is a test-





-AkMaR-
http://nur-akmar.blogspot.com

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Assalammualaikum.

We have to do two SSCs in year 3 and two more in year 4. SSC stands for Student Selected Component and it takes 4 weeks to complete.
Towards the end of semester, the choices for SSC will be released and students are to rank 8 of them.
I don't know how the selection is done but, after a few weeks the result of the matching will be out. Last semester I got my first choice, that is in Cellular Pathology. This time I got my second choice, that is in Oncology.
Syahidah, my housemate got my first choice; Pleural Diseases. That was her first choice as well.

Last semester during my Cellular Pathology SSC, I get to watch a post-mortem for the first time and even wrote about it. This time, I was too preoccupied with the project itself and some other matters, I always procrastinate writing about my project.

"Onco" means cancer. And "logos" as most of us know, means the study of. So Oncology means the study of cancer. Make sense?
But Oncology is such a huge and specialised topic, how am I supposed to do a 4 week project on it? Well, the name of my SSC is actually "An Introduction to Oncology".

The first day saw me following one of my supervisors (there were two of them), a Brain and Gynae Oncologist to his "planning" session. That is him looking through the scans and images of people's skull on the computer, looking for the tumour and marking its perimeter with various different colours. He was actually marking the sites on the head where the respective patient will get the radiotherapy at. The markings he planned on the scans in the computer will be interpreted by a radiotherapist and marked using some sort of a tattoo on the patient's scalp/face/skull. That will mark the site of highest radiotherapy radiation. It is like watching movies where people has the blueprint of a building with beautiful designs on the computer but this one, is a brain rather than a building.

Then he went to his ward round where I saw a lady who was recently diagnosed with cervical cancer that has spread into her pelvic cavity.
She has not come to terms with her cancer, and was expecting the doctor to cure her to her normal self, free of diseases and discomfort, while the doctor saw no other reason for her to continue being in the ward and has ordered for her discharge and to meet only as an outpatient. She refused to be discharged saying that she wants to get better before leaving the hospital. And she looked horrible, crying her heart out.
I felt so bad for her.
In a way, I was unsatisfied with the doctor's way of explaining the current situation to her, since he did not even mention the prognosis explicitly. I think he made the lady think that her cervical cancer is curable. But, the lady has been in the ward for almost a month and that was not the first time the doctor had to explain things to her and perhaps, he is sick and tired of it? Perhaps he explained to the patient before this that her cancer is incurable? Hmm..I don't know. But I always have a soft spot for any woman with any kind of female cancer; ovarian, uterine, cervical or breast.

I spent the next day in the clinic with my other supervisor; the one that will be marking me based on my report, attendance, attitude etc. This is the one I have to show my face to often. Haha..

She is a Breast and Upper GI Oncologist so she deals with Oesophageal, Stomach and Breast cancer.
The 2nd SSC day was another gloomy day in my medical school history. I saw about 10 people crying in a day, patients and their carers. A lady was newly diagnosed with oesophageal cancer, after she noticed difficulty in swallowing for a few months. She presented with a typical oesophageal cancer symptoms; subconsciously changing her diet from solid to semi-solid and softer food. The cancer has unfortunately infiltrated her lymph nodes and the doctor said surgeons might not be willing to "cut her tumour out", since the lymph nodes will be very hard to reach through a surgery and if the lymph nodes are left there untouched, the chance of the tumour to regrow is almost 100%. She thought her symptoms were just reflux. So now, the only option left is for her to go through the horrible chemotherapy and see if the tumour shrinks and lymph nodes become normal again. Thin chance.

Another lady cried because she couldn't stand seeing her 70+ y.o husband suffering due to the side effects of the chemo. "If I have to lose him, I will lose him. I understand that. But I can't see him sick. Please don't give anything that will make him sick..."
Such a sad day.
A very very sad day.


I once thought of becoming a specialist in Paediatric Oncology, that is dealing with kids with cancer. I think kids are easier to deal with since they are more genuine and sincere to us, unlike adults. But will I have the heart to see young kids succumb to their cancers?

Perhaps I should stop here, this post is getting too long.

Mood: MALAYSIA!!!

-Because life is a test-





-AkMaR-
http://nur-akmar.blogspot.com

Monday, July 9, 2012


"It is a once in a lifetime experience.
We should not miss it"


And that was the sentence that motivated me to chase the Olympic 2012 Torch Relay.
On Saturday, May 26th while Kiew and I were waiting for the bus to go home, one lady came and talk to us. She said later that week on Friday, there will be the Olympic Torch Relay in Chorley and asked if we are joining it. She was the one who said it's gonna be once in a lifetime thing.
True what she said, I do not know when will Malaysia get to be a host of the Olympics, if ever. And since I am in the country that is becoming the host this time, why would I want to miss being a part of it? However small it may be.

Well, not that Olympics is EVERYTHING, it is still just a sports event. But it is an international event. Superficially, it is a very nice and renowned event even though it may carry a nasty intention at its core. I do not know, but I don't like the one-eyed mascot.

But anyway, I found out that the Torch Relay that weekend is in Liverpool and I can't make it. The Torch will come to Blackpool on Friday 22nd June in the evening, Preston 23rd June early in the morning and make its way to Manchester later on the day.

Blackpool, Preston and Manchester.
Since I have a medical student conference on the Saturday, I can't make it to Preston nor Manchester Torch Relay.
Thus, I boarded a train with a friend on Friday to Blackpool.

Guess what, it rained the whole day.
THE WHOLE DAY.
NON-STOP.

My suede boots were soaked in water, my umbrella got severely damaged and I had to buy a new one, and it bent just 2 hours after that.
But it did not dampen my desire to watch the Torch.

The celebration event in front of the Blackpool Tower had to be cancelled but the Torch will continue. After waiting about 2 hours in front of Home Bargains, the Torch procession had finally make its appearance.

The Torch was carried by a lady in a wheelchair, in the rain.
Her arms must be aching from having to wheel at such a speed, in the rain.
The crowd cheered loudly when they saw her.






Too bad my camera wasn't able to capture the moment properly


See how bad the rain was? Fuh!


I like these kinds of celebration, where there are many people gathered to celebrate and cheer for something. It's like watching small kids running in their sports carnival and parents cheer for them from far.
My mother used to bring us to Merdeka celebrations in Dataran Merdeka where we tried our very best squeezing in between adults to get to the most front we can get so we will be able to get a good view of the procession with beautiful decorated cars.
But nowadays we rarely go to those processions anymore, everyone got busy with their lives and celebrations like that where we have to be in the middle in such a big crowd get more unappealing. But I sort of miss those times.

The procession here is nothing compared to Malaysia.
In Malaysia, the decoration is unbeatable. Here, they won by the loudness of music they put on and the staff who dance on the buses and vans.
It was pure entertainment, not so much on the effort.
Hmmm..but anyway, I can proudly say that

I WATCHED THE OLYMPIC 2012 TORCH RELAY!

despite being wet and soaked.

'til then,


-Because life is a test-

CHONG WEI GO GO GO!


-AkMaR-
http://nur-akmar.blogspot.com