Thursday, September 01, 2011


"If you never say your name out loud to anyone,
They can never ever call you by it"

Better (2006) by Regina Spektor

Sleep comes effortlessly to me these days after I joined the labour pool. I used to think of myself as a habitual insomniac, but all it took to cure me all along was simply a day of honest hard work. Yesterday, I woke up at 7:00PM from a work-induced coma, wasting my half holiday in one those little slices of death. The alarm clock on my cellphone had been mysteriously switched off by whatever agent that animates me whilst I hovered in the limbo between sleep and death - I have no memory of performing the act at all.

I did a twin of what we call in the biz as EOD calls, or "every-other-day calls". It meant that I was on-call both on Sunday and Tuesday, totaling 64 hours in 4 days. What more, in my stuporous post-call state, I initially assented to taking a third call today but ultimately managed to backpedal in time to escape it. I am, however, on-call tomorrow again.

I need a recess, not necessarily from work but from people. The nature of my job requires me to treat with other human beings on an almost constant basis and I'm feeling an ache of longing for a bit of me-alone-time. The other ache I'm feeling comes from the constraints - the limits, if you will - of my life. I ask myself often: is this all there is to it? The answer is no, but only if I dare. In the 25 nascent years of my life, I already boast a lengthy string of bad life decisions, and I suffer daily under their sovereignty. I heard of a story of a house officer working in my hospital who recently did a disappearing act but he was eventually tracked down and admitted for a bit of shrinking. I've been following his blog for awhile now, not knowing he was the Notorious Vanishing Houseman but realised today that the two are one of the same. Why, I even unwittingly spoke to him in the Malaysian Atheists, Freethinkers, and Agnostics page a couple of weeks ago.

They think he's nuts. Does it make me nuts too if I think that what he did made perfect sense to me?

Last month, a 24-week-old child was born, only to die almost immediately after. It's as if the sole purpose of its mayfly life is to mock everything we do in the medical profession. I must never forget that haunting look of impotence etched on the face of every doctor in that room that day.

k0k s3n w4i


McGarmott said...

24-month old child?

Liz said...

My question exactly. How is that possible? @.@

The life of a doctor is tough. In fact, tough is the understatement of the year. Still, I hope that your initial passion and motivation, added with the satisfaction of helping people in your day-to-day work, will eventually pull you through. All the best :)

k0k s3n w4i said...

McGarmott and Liz: it's week, not month. typo

Liz: i was never particularly passionate or motivated to be a doctor. i am intensely interested in very particular facets of my job, but i won't get to engage in them until after my housemanship 2 years later.

nicoletta said...

I hope this career path / job thing makes you rich. Otherwise, it sounds terrible. Which facets of medicine interest you?

fevrier said...

hello darling! how you holdin' up?

k0k s3n w4i said...

nicoletta: if i wanted to be rich, i'd have taken the tuition money i sunk on my education and invested it. the "talking-to-patients-till-they-feel-better" part interests me most. i like psychiatry and psychology.

beve: swimmingly. treading water. how about you?

Andrew Jaden said...

Hmmm. The guy you're talking about, what exactly happened to him?