LOS ANGELES is having so much fun right now

Because BTS is there. Borafication is happening!!

My only consolation is the many many pictures and videos ARMY posted on Instagram. I could feel the euphoria many miles away. It’s an international field trip! Looking forward to more media updates from fans in the many days to come. And please take care of yourselves LA!

Unhealthy MInds

We tend to think that once we come across someone who has mental health issues, it would be manageable. We would be one of the few who knows how to go about it because we have read about it online and asked for expert advice. We would be empathetic and non-judgemental. We would be supportive of that person. This is mostly true but here’s a secret. That is only possible if the person in question is properly diagnosed by the doctors. Otherwise, trust me, it is quite a challenge.

I have had the opportunity to witness two professional colleagues suffering from the same medical diagnosis. Each of them of course, presented with different symptoms. One sought medical help and is under treatment whereas the other, well, we’re still in the dark of whether there was a diagnosis in the first place or if treatment is ongoing or defaulted. Each of them managed their mental health issues differently and it is the latter colleague that got me questioning things about life.

The Brain

Putting it simply, mental health issues stem from a problem within the brain. It could result from a structural defect, a transmission glitch or a hormonal imbalance. It disrupts the function of the brain thus its manifestations externally. Since the brain is the command centre of our body, it would be very difficult to control it if it goes haywire. why am I saying this? Because the contrast in behaviour is so drastic whenever the sick part of the person takes over. With reference to a person with bipolar here.

On good days, this colleague is a team player. A friendly and great employee. However, on really bad days – this colleague ignores everything. Work, courtesy phone calls, even when the big bosses call. Interestingly, this colleague seems to have ‘no insight’ that when you go M.I.A, it puts the burden of tasks and responsibility to another person on an ad-hoc basis. I couldn’t find a better word to ‘no insight’ but what I am trying to say is that when these people reach their weakest point – they are stuck in that hole and no amount of high office power could summon them out from the darkness. Unless they are on therapy and have learned ways to cope with the early signs of the condition. Otherwise, one would have to just wait for the phase to dissolve.

It would be easier for other people around this person to work around the problems, if they had known about the mental health issue. It’s like we could together anticipate when the next phase will be and that contingency plans can be implemented if the colleague goes M.I.a again. Otherwise, it would be perceived as just another worker being lackadaisical and irresponsible.

It did however made me realize one thing – that we are replaceable at work. No matter how important we are at work. If one day you end up in an accident and land in ICU, there will always be someone who is able to cover up for you.

Bultaoreune 불타오르네

I am enjoying virtual popcorn at the moment as I watch the drama unfold in the vaccine WhatsApp group. There seems to be a disagreement in terms of how the booster doses should be implemented swiftly in preparation for the upcoming state election. Currently, the plan is to conduct it like a drive-through with all Klinik Kesihatan contributing manpower for the purpose.

All is well until a decision came up abruptly of wanting to open the centre on the weekends. Mind you, the existing workforce at all KK’s are already stretched to the maximum as centralized Covid Assessment Centres (CAC) and Rapid Response Team (RRT) are still ongoing on top of running routine clinical services at their respective clinics. The workforce will be further burdened by the provision of teams during state elections due to commence on the 20th. The way I see it, medical front liners are already fed up with all the ad-hoc instructions and what felt like an unnecessary burden of work to the current ones they have.

It came to a point where a young medical officer pointed out the occupational hazards linked to the drive-through operations at the airport if the weekend plan was allowed to continue. It was a valid concern on top of highlighting the strenuous shift systems some medical personnel had to go through. After all, with the current opening of 5 days a week, not everybody is taking the booster. We are not achieving much on the weekdays, so there is a concern of why we need to open on the weekends. I thought it was a tad courageous for this young man to stand up to an experienced doctor.

Hence, the title of my blog post today – FIRE 불타오르네

A successful organization needs to have 불타오르네. But not just any 불타오르네. We want a bonfire, a campfire and a candle. In my clinical facility, I would describe bonfires as the young, junior doctors. Full spirited and passionate about their duties. Eager to learn everything. Motivated to help everybody at all costs. Ready to fight, ready to sacrifice. Ready to make a scene for the sake of their patients and themselves.

Candles are the seasoned, experienced doctors who would say, they have seen it all. They are stable emotionally. They keep on burning but not with rage. They are cool-headed that some may mistake as being lackadaisical or simply not motivated. But they are there to keep the fire burning and light up other fires as needed. However, if the wick becomes shorter and is not replaced with a new one, the spirit of Hippocrates may just die off without a trace.

I would describe myself as a campfire. In other words, I have learned how big my fire should be depending on the purpose. If my purpose is to cook a meal, it should be bigger. If my purpose is to keep the campsite lit and protect the campers from wild beast – it shouldn’t be that fiery. It is about knowing where to channel your effort properly. This is because, with time, I discover that not all patients want your help. They just need that vote of confidence to proceed with their health decisions which may not be aligned with yours. Especially in cases of end of life care. It’s knowing which battles to fight, and which to just let it be.

Perhaps I forgot to mention one more fire. It’s not a good fire but somehow it’ll find a way to exist.


Look it up.

Awkward visit

My dad came over last weekend. Alone. Usually, it will be him and my mom. However now that mom has passed away, it is just him. The trip is an excuse for him to drive his car on the highway. Honestly, it was an awkward visit. I’ve never actually talked to my dad about stuff. You know that little stuff about school, movies, actors, anything.. I also rarely seek his advice for anything. Unlike some dads who are naturals at passing on wisdom or relating life stories. Come to think of it, I don’t do that with my mom either but I still love listening to her gossip. I am a wonderful listener like that.

Back then, when the parents come over, mom would usually bring over a bag of goodies. They can be leftover cakes or random vegetables. Or anything that she manages to buy from the shops or her little trips. Then, we’d be talking about activities and whatnot. She will talk and play with the kids. Now is that deafening silence as I don’t really know what to talk about. Even if I do, I don’t really want to talk about it. Thankfully, there are grandkids. At least, it’ll buffer the white noise.

I realize that the glue to the family is mom. Without her, everyone is living as their own. Minding their own problems and matters. Perhaps the visit would be less awkward if my sister came. She is the next glue to this family.


The more people you meet

The more stories you hear

The more books you read

The more drama you see

The more you understand WHY some people make decisions you thought were horrendous, ridiculous, selfish and completely absurd in the first place. The motives behind a murder, an organized crime, an obsession, an affair and other seemingly anti-social behaviour. Human behaviour is very complex. Never a clear black and white. Always a grey area.

You learn more about yourself and the values that you hold on to. You will begin to seek those who think on the same wavelength. You begin to distance yourself from people who don’t make you happy anymore and indulge in the pleasures lounging in your own mind. The world in the mind is better. Closing the eyes is better. Being numb is better. Maybe that is how neuroses start. Leading to psychosis. To hallucinations. To being bonkers and if uncontrolled … escalating to a person becoming a sinner.

The trigger to that sunken yet manic feeling can happen anytime. To anyone. I witnessed that ‘snap’ moment of insanity once before, at 17 years old. In my mother. My late mother. I would have thought that if problems were to happen in a marriage, it would be done by the decade and any marriage that supersedes that time frame is true love. I was wrong. Melinda and Bill Gates could testify to that. It seems that marriage could still be on the rocks and in ruins after 10 years. Bercerai di usia senja, I was told.

People do fall out of love.

What happened at 17 years old?

Mom packed her things in a suitcase, rode out in her car and was ready to leave the family. A lot of angry conversations took place between her and dad at the time via telephone. I was the middle person. Not the negotiator but the person who received the angry statements from both ends. Mom came back after a few hours though and said she just wanted to give dad a scare. Back then, I thought she was selfish to do what she did but now, I really really understand why. If I had known better back then, I would have told her to

just go. be happy. we, your kids will still love you. keep in touch wherever you are and whoever you’re with mom. just go and be happy.