Saturday, December 14, 2013

Halfway Through

Hi thereeee,

I think I'll skip the whole "it's been so long since I've blogged" cliche and just get to some little updates that I thought I'd share about. As of today, my winter holiday has started. *Yeay!* I was juuuust done with my final winter paper today & I can finally function like a normal person. So done with those sleepless nights for now ;)

InshaAllah, next week, I'll be travelling to two countries in Europe. I don't plan on disclosing the name of the countries yet, let alone the specific places. Let me know if you can guess where I'll be going this time :)

Alhamdulillah, as of now, I'm halfway through third year and I can officially conclude that it has been by far, the most interesting and challenging phase that I've ever been through in med school. I can honestly say that it's really different compared to the first two years of med school. This is the year where I began to be exposed to more and more clinical skills that I never thought I could have learnt and performed. 

I have always been amazed by how medical practitioners draw blood from people's veins, and how they set up IV drips for patients. I'm proud to say that I can do those things already... but on dummies, for now. Hahaha. I have always wanted to witness a surgery live (and believe me, I witnessed tonnes; from colonoscopies to gynaecology exploratory surgeries, to even a random cataract surgery!). I even had the chance to intubate (to place a tube into a person's body part, esp trachea for ventilation into) a REAL patient in the surgery room, TWICE. And the list keeps going on.

Any medical student probably realises that history taking and performing examinations are probably the two most important skills in a clinical setting. History taking in medicine is basically gathering information about a patient's complaint and the rest of the patient's data in a systematic manner. In the first two years in med school, I can almost guarantee you that most of us learn by somewhat memorizing the steps included for the skills rather than actually understanding why a question is asked or why a particular examination is performed.  It felt impossible to take a history from a patient without occasionally getting lost in the middle of going through the "SOCRATES" elements of pain assessment. To me personally, listening to a patient's heart beat was merely an act of putting the stethoscope on one's chest and pretending that I actually heard the heart beat :p 

However, progressing into third year,  I find that after multiple times of being "forced" by fellow consultants into taking a systematic history of patients in less than 6 minutes, a med student's skills can only get better and better. I honestly reckon that the "pressure" element present in the real hospital setting is a painful yet effective way of really learning. Listening to heart sounds isn't just a show anymore. I'm learning to listen to murmurs and different variations of heart sounds and timings. I never thought I would actually get to digest these intricate details but I'm actually learning and I'm so grateful for that. It's no wonder that studying medicine takes a long time. There's a lot to learn and there will always be something new to learn every day :)

Okay, so that's all that I feel like sharing in my blog tonight. I just feel that it's good to keep an account of my milestones so that I could go back to it and see how far I've gone from that point onwards. Also, I bet I made millions of grammatical errors in this post so I hope I didn't infuriate any grammar nazis out there lol.

Anyway, I just thought I'd point out that I'm on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook more often than I am on my blog, so if you have any inquiries, you can reach me at one of those platforms for a prompt reply :)

Monday, April 29, 2013

Of Clarity and Scrutiny

So many unnecessary musings, so many unnecessary rants. I admit, I wasn't at my best this past week. For some reason, I was just going through this seemingly endless emotional roller coaster. What I did to make myself "feel better" was by channeling my thoughts on Twitter; day and night. I have to say, there are times when my tweets would turn out pleasant and rather prudent, but more often than not, they can just be utterly nugatory. For a week, I battled with my emotions by envisaging them in the form of tweets. You know how people keep telling you not to let your feelings bottle up? I indeed live by this principal, and sadly, I find solace through tweeting. 

What I would often do before a tweet is I'd stare into the screen for a couple of minutes and slowly plot my emotional tweets. When I think I'm pleased with my draft, I'd hit the "tweet" button. All is well until I flip through my tweets the next day. An immense sense of regret seeps in. Most of the time, I can see how subtly degrading a few of them really are. I don't want people to respond to some rubbish tweets make. I don't want people to silently "accept" negativity through my tweets. I don't want to portray myself as a weak and shallow person. This has all got to change. 

I'm thinking of giving myself at least one week away from tweeting so that I could begin learning about how to adapt to more proper ways of handling my problems. This has got me thinking of the a number of measures we could take when we happen to be down in the dumps. The best thing we can do is speak to God. He's always there for us and He heals us through mysterious ways. Interact with our family and friends. Engage in activities that can give us a boost of endorphins (exercising, eating chocolate, laughing). Take a few moments to think of the sufferings that people in war-zones face. They are losing their families, their homes. Compare all of that to what we're going through. Admit it, most of the time, the reason(s) to our sadness is/are pretty minor. And if we still wish to use Twitter, we just need to bear in mind that we should use it wisely (and positively). It's commendable to favourite/ retweet inspiring tweets, not tweets that makes us think that it's okay to be negative. Well technically, it's alright to actually let ourselves get soaked up with our sadness for a little while, but we just have to know when it needs to stop. By handling our negative emotions properly, not only we'll feel better sooner, but we'll look just so much better :)

As I will be moving to a new house (a new environment) this coming May, I thought that I might as well start freshening things up a little. I did some housekeeping on my Twitter account in which I deleted some of my tweets that I don't prefer to see. I basically left what I thought was acceptable, at least in my eyes. I hope that once I start tweeting again, I'll just be tweeting about relevant stuff. Twitter can be either good or bad for us. It all boils down to how we handle them :)

P/s: I have my finals coming up pretty soon. Do pray for me :) Thank you :)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Barcelona Class Trip (Part 3: Camp Nou and Playa de la Barceloneta)

Assalamualaikum :D

To me, the third day was the most epic day in the history of my travels. I actually step foot on Camp Nou, the home of FC Barcelona (one day after watching my first Barcelona match on tv hahahahaha)! Seeing a majestic stadium live in front of my eyes was just spellbinding. Thinking of the fact that Messi and Beckham were just there the night before is just crazy. After spending hours at the stadium, we relaxed the beach where we spent the rest of our day :)