Hostility- Part one

Sunday, November 16, 2008

After finishing the dreadful exam, bidding farewell to each and every one, for once in my life, I woke up in the morning without a slightest clue on what am I going to do for the rest of the day. Some people might find It enjoyable and relaxing, but for me, It irritates me. Sedentary lifestyle is definitely not my cup of tea. I gaze towards the ceiling, looking at It blankly, enjoying the moment of silence. A list of my favourite tunes were playing repeatedly in my mind, trying to welcome the start of a new day.

I did not sleep well the night before. I was tossing myself restlessly on the bed trying to convince myself that I need to have adequate amount of sleep to function the next day. I was curious. Thoughts were exerted into my mind continuously just like how sodium ions get diffused into the cell due to the difference in the concentration gradient.

" What kind of patients will I see tomorrow?"
" I haven't got my Hep immunisation, would it be dangerous for me?"
" How could I possibly communicate with them as I don't even speak their language?"

Questions are raised, but not answered.

Few weeks before the exam, I was planning on how I could fully utilise my holidays. I contacted Dr Kelvin and asked for an attachment with him but unfortunately I was rejected due to the strict policies adhered by the private health care sector in which they do not encourage medical students to wander around the hallways of the hospital as we, medical students are considered as a legal liability. I put myself in his shoe and thanked him for his attention.

My wish to make full use of my 3 months break was fulfilled when I contacted Dr Caroline, the doctor in charge of ACTS( A call to serve) and she was glad that I would actually volunteer my service to them, a non profitable organisation that provides health care to the refugees that are currently residing around KL.

Dear Calvin, thank you for interest in our work. We treat all refugees at this clinic, mainly they are from Myanmar, some from Somalia, Sri Lanka Nepal etc. So you can see that language is a big problem. But you will be very welcome to come, see & satay a while if it suits you. We are very informal here, you won't have to register, just let us know when you want to be here. We have an average of 40 - 60 patients a day, from common colds to great big wounds, some HIV +ve & TB. You can talk to the patients, do some clerking, even examine them, except treat of course. They will be happy to share their stories with you. Your stay can be as long as you want or as short.So feel free to come on board. We also run mobile clinics in Cameron Highlands some weekends, this is where they stay in the rough & the cold.Hope this is of some help to you.
kind regards

When I knew that I could examine and clerk patients, I was in cloud nine. As a first year, we are not given privileges to examine real patients. I was honoured. I knew this is an excellent chance for me to widen my horizon. I replied her with a big warm thank you.

I stopped my thoughts from wandering by forcing myself out of bed. As usual, I will spend a few minutes looking out the window, admiring how beautiful the sky is. To me, the sky is like a cold vast expanse which envelopes the earth like a blanket. Utterly beautiful.

I reached the clinic way before the appointed time. Around 9. I stroll along the sideways around the vicinity of the clinic to make myself familiar with that area. Bricksfield is like a mini version of India, the buildings are old, traffic is hectic, people rushing here and there running their errands. The concrete floor is still wet as It rained during the wee hours of the morning. A group of women carrying their babies were gathering just below the clinic which is located at the second floor of an old shop house. One of them was breastfeeding. Yes, she pulled up her shirt and started feeding her baby, just like that, sitting on the sideway, ignoring the people that walk pass them. I overheard their conversation and I am fairly sure that they are not locals. " Guess they are waiting to see the doctor" I supposed.

After getting myself familiarised with the surroundings, I decided to meet Dr Carol up. I walked up the stairs, disgusted by the rubbish that ware scattered along the staircase. It was fairly dark and It sends a chill down my spine. I walked up the stairs and reached the clinic. The clinic acked. Like what you normally see when you open a can of sardin. More than 40 patients consist of the young as well as the old was sitting on the bench, waiting patiently for the doctor to arrive, hoping to get rid of whatever disease that is bothering them. I was greeted by one of the staff there, his name is Allen, a citizen of myanmar currently working with ACTS. He talks humbly and introduced me to the rest of the staffs. The one thing that I observed from these refugees is that they are very modest. They way they talk and address you makes you feel that you belong there. They were more than happy to find out that I will be spending my holidays with them as they are obviously understaffed.

I was then greeted by peter who told me that Dr Carol could not make It today but still he introduced me to the another doctor in charged, Dr John Loh, a graduate from Taiwan. I sat into the consult room and started building rapport with him hoping that he will somehow teach me something that I wouldnt get to learn in text books.


yingxuan said...

glad to hear that you spend your holiday wisely...
how i wish i could get attachment
all the best =)

Winni3 said...

your life is wonderful.. =) envy
btw, take care in the hostility yea
don't make ur mum dad worried about u lol. see u around again smday! =)

Yong Chuan said...

Ying Xuan
: thanks for the wishes, all the best to you too. Try finding one then, I think its wise to make use of the long holiday well instead of rotting at home doing nothing =). Consider working?

: I know, thanks. Will see you around when I am back in Penang