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Thursday, June 30, 2011

transforsmers, oh, transformers

So I just got back from watching Transformers 3, got back home at 30 minutes past 3am, and these 3 things describe what I felt post-Transformers - frustrated, annoyed, and annoyed..ok so that's two but with the gravity of three..

Im not sure how this entry is going to benefit the public at large, but im pretty sure it will do my sanity good..i need to ventilate my frustration somewhere hence this post..i've never written a movie review and this is never intended to be's simply a personal rambling of frustration and dissatisfaction towards a movie that I happen to like..

So here it goes..

I first got to know - and sort of fell in love with - the Transformers when I first watched T2..there was so much wisdom and soul in it that the robots appeared more humane than humankind..the plot, although simple, was dense enough to capture the essence of their battle and survival..

Nothing similar, however, can be said about anticipation of this movie following the pleasant feeling that I had with T2, T3 was unable to relief the 'kerinduan' that i had towards Optimus..he was so dear n near to my heart that i just wished i could have more of him in T3..

I must say that I already felt at loss in the first quarter of the movie because there were just so many issues and scenes crammed into such a short duration that it became some sort of a touch'n'go event..there were too many stories that they wanted to tell in the early part of the movie, probably to help people understand the history of the whole thing as they unveil the hidden secrets..but in the end it all became too rapidly shifting that it was difficult to follow..well at least it was for me..and because of this, it appeared superficial..and.empty.

The characters, especially Sentinel, were not explored through..they could at least do a bit more on elaborating Sentinel's character..he is supposed to be the main focus of the whole thing but that blondie overshadowed him i suppose..And as a result, I was unable to get in touch with the characters in the movie because there were just too many..i felt disconnected..

And then there's this blondie who is so damn annoying (in fact im trying very, very hard to refrain myself from using multiple harsh words to describe her God help me!). Having her role in that movie is an insult to the depth and wisdom that the movie is supposed to portray (at least this is how it appeals to me) and it makes the whole movie, um, a blondie - posh, beautiful (questionable though) but empty.

So what if she provided that 'enlightenment' to Megatron? Her presence and the priority that they put in her role is a grave mockery to the more commendable acts of heroism by the soldiers, autobots, and Sam. And she makes Sam look so weak and naive..I mean, fighting a war and risking your life for a girlfriend who seems to be flirting with her boss right smack in front of your face? Oh come on, it's not the end of the world if she ends up dying like the rest did! Frankly, i wished she did..i wished the she would just end up *splat!* under a Decepticon tanker or something, or get engulfed by that Shockwave..

Her role in the movie steals away the exquisiteness of Transformers..her presence in the movie is as disturbing as the presence of a domestic fly that is spoiling an exclusive's noisy, annoying, and such a's supposed to be small and insignificant but because it's always *bzzzzzzzt* butting in at every corner possible, it distracts, diverts, and shifts the guests' focus and attention from a more important and meaningful issues at stake..

Of course the fighting scenes were as superb as they can possibly be, and the 'flying' squad was amazing..Optimus still maintains being stylo-oh-so-macho! as he has always been, always excellent in his fights..if the fighting scenes were replaced with humans, it would've been gory, cold, and bloody..but because these were robots fighting, it somehow appeared sickeningly cool..

The movie is already strong as it is and able to stand on its own with all the robots-transforming-and-fighting scenes, it's a shame that they had to exploit the curves of a woman to hopefully spice things up..they could've added more soul to the story and excite me with a lot more words of wisdom from the Primes.

Oh crap I hate that blondie.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

when silence is golden

I came across this online article in TheStar Online, dated 15 Aprill 2011. Reading it made me feel angry, frustrated, and ashamed. These feelings are so intense that i need to ventilate my emotion by writing about it hence this post.

KUANTAN: Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob said the whole of the Gebeng industrial zone may as well be closed if the public continues to protest against the setting up of a rare earth refinery.

He said this was because every industry in Gebeng, the nation's chemical and petrochemical hub, produced some form of emission.

“If the people really feel strongly about it, then we can recommend for a total closure of Gebeng, and we shall see the reaction of the 20,000 people working there and that of their families,” he said yesterday.

He said the state government was drafting a way to ensure a more effective means of disseminating information about Lynas Corp - the owner of the rare earth refinery - to the public.

Adnan said armed with proper information, the public could then choose whether they want investment that could give them benefits or the opposition who wanted to be popular.

“If we want to be paranoid like them, we can argue that they are being instigated by a Lynas rival,” said Datuk Shahaniza Shamsuddin (BN - Kuala Sentul).

She said Australia and the United States were competing for the lion's share of the rare earth futures market since supply from China, the biggest producer of rare earth minerals now, would dry up by 2015.

Quoting from a report, Shahaniza said Lynas would produce one-third of the world's supply of rare earth minerals after two years of operation in Gebeng.

Several senior officers from the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) and Nuclear Malaysia were seen in the public gallery.

Among them were Nuclear Malaysia's waste and environmental technology division director Dr Muhamat Omar and AELB licensingdirector Hasmadi Hassan.

They also gave demonstrations on radiation reading to state assemblymen including the opposition during tea break.

When met later, Adnan said the state government planned to engage international experts in his road show on Lynas' operations.

The sitting resumes on Monday.

After reading this article, there can only be one conclusion that can be made about this sort of people - immature and unprofessional. Their mentality and way of thinking is so shallow and their way of responding to this issue (and many other issues i believe) is just so childish it makes me feel like killing myself for having leaders like this to (supposedly) move the country forward. Okay so maybe the suicide part is a bit exaggerated but seriously, i am that frustrated.


"We may as well close Gebeng." That's the english translation. Try imagining it being said in Bahasa Malaysia, "Kalau macam tu, kita tutup je la kawasan Gebeng tu."

So the situation is: Kalau kita takut sangat Lynas tu bukak kilang kat sini, takut radioaktif, tutup je la semua kilang yang ada kat Gebeng tu. Kata takut sangat kan? Kenapa tak suruh je kilang2 lain tu tutup je operasi dia?

So what are you trying to imply here? If we can't have one, then don't have all? How does your answer change anything in the management? Or are you even thinking at all? I find this stupid and silly answer being given time and again by those people whose knowledge and understanding is so poor that their answer serves merely as a diversion from the real issue at stake.

Yes, other various industries we can find in Gebeng (or anywhere else for that matter) do emit or produce harmful waste products. Nobody is even denying this fact. However, this should not be made as a baseline or comparison for future decisions, especially when even the current situation does not seem to paint a pretty picture. The country has outlined various rules and regulation that seem very appealing but how much is this being enforced? With all the pollution and contamination despite all the detailed protocols, is it safe to embark on yet another project for which its danger and harm is proven? Do we need more potential source of contamination and pollution when we already have many? Is it worth the risk?

If they (the leaders) are genuinely concerned about this issue, they should be asking these questions instead of jumping to an impulsive conclusion as being made by the abovementioned individuals. Oh well, perhaps it requires a higher degree of intelligence and wisdom to be able to direct one's thinking correctly, something which they probably do not possess as yet.


"If the people really feel strongly about it, then we can recommend for a total closure of Gebeng, and we shall see the reaction of the 20,000 people working there and that of their families,” he said yesterday.

This is another strategy that I find very unfair and cannot be used as a tool to make a decision especially one involving the lives of millions. People like to use sentiments that involve families. The like to provoke the people's emotion, which will then affect their judgment and future decision. When making important decisions, the mind should be clear and objective. Unfortunately, humans being humans, the clarity of mind is easily clouded by strong sense of emotion. When strong emotion comes into play, the decision being made is no longer objective.

Let us compare this to an analogy. Once upon a time, there was a very poor family who barely had anything to eat. The father and mother had poor educational and socioeconomic background and they never seemed to be able to secure a decent and stable job. With 7 mouths to feed, they would starve themselves, giving their portion of food to their children. One day, a man came with a sack filled with small packages of what seemed like white powders. The father was offered a job to deliver the sack to an anonymous person and for that he will be given a hefty amount of cash. One thing led to another and he is now one of the most successful drug pushers in the country.

We know drug abuse is harmful and drug trafficking is a serious offense that carries a death penalty. But at the same time, don't you see how the family has to struggle? Don't you feel sorry for the 7 children who do not have enough to eat? If the father does not sell drugs, how are they going to live? Tak kesian ke?

So, how would you decide? Would you decide based on the clear fact that drug trafficking is wrong as it causes harm, or would you instead consider the poverty that the family has to go through?

Being clear and objective, one would surely decide that drug trafficking is wrong and must be punished regardless of the circumstances at hand. If we start to become emotional, the drug business will turn into a legal industry because it is an "investment that could give them benefits". Oh, and not to mention the hundreds and thousands of job opportunities that it is able to provide. Perhaps the drug empire can even become one of the main stakeholders in the Malaysian share market.

Is this the right way to go?

Frankly, I am sick of seeing how the gov. makes decision based on how much $$ they can benefit from the decision that they are making. It is sickening how materialistic the gov. has become and it is damn sickening to see how much the worries of the people are being ignored, what more being responded to by people who, by right, should have their voice taken away by God because of the insurmountable stupidity that they demonstrate. In this case, silence is surely golden.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Didn't I tell you Allah is fair?

Alhamdulillah, Rayyan is now almost 9 months. He is actively crawling about, climbing up stairs, and cruising his way through, holding his grip firmly on table edges, chairs, walls, you name it. Life has been great since his arrival and inshaAllah more fun and adventure awaits in the future.

Rayyan is not an exclusively-breastfed child. He was fed with formula when he was 3 weeks plus. And because of this, I was given a free list of disapproved or unacceptable excuses for not breastfeeding a child.

He was around 3 months old when he had suppurative BCG lymphadenitis. I brought him to an A&E department of a government hospital (we always know gov. hospitals have this strict breastfeeding policy) and he was seen by the MO on-call, who happened to be a Middle Eastern chap. As a part of paediatrics history taking, inevitably I was asked on feeding.

Doc: "So, you're breastfeeding him?"

Me: "Yeah, well, not anymore. He's on formula."

He stopped writing and looked at me.

Doc: "How come you're not breastfeeding? You should know, shouldn't you?" (by then he had already known that I am a final year medical student. And oh please imagine a 'muka tak puas hati' while reading this sentence.)

Me: "Well, I had some problem initially. Couldn't really...."

...and the doc interrupted, "What problem? Mastitis? Abscess? Painful? You know that's still not a good excuse right? You can still breastfeed." (and now imagine a mocking face.)

Me: "Well, I..." and I went on, telling him about the underlying problem (which was none of those listed above), which to me is rather personal. But him being a doctor and I his patient, I suppose this piece of information is rather relevant. And after hearing my explanation, he took a deep breath and apologised to me, sincerely.

I did not really take this matter to heart because I understand how automatic it is for a healthcare worker to jump (and melatah) the moment a mother to an infant says "I am bottle-feeding my child." And I bet the primary example that will spontaneously appear in your head is Dr. Double A ;)

However, at the same time, I also felt as though my credibility as a mother is being questioned and put at stake, that no matter how good my parenting skill is, I am still not deemed an excellent mother simply because I have failed to breastfeed my child.

Perhaps one would think, being a medical student, wouldn't I know better? That the mother's milk is the most precious food a child can be fed?

Now let me ask you back. Wouldn't you think that I, knowing all the goodness and benefit of the mother's milk, would intentionally and without reasonable grounds forsake this noble part of motherhood?

I have always thought of how bad a mother can be when she doesn't breastfeed her child. Scientifically, it is proven to be the best and in the Quran ,it specifically mentions 'two years' when it comes to breastfeeding. Knowing this, the decision to finally feed formula milk to my son was an emotional one and it certainly wasn't an easy one. I had to fight with this innate feeling of wanting to fully breastfeed my child for I know the prospect of completing 6 months with success is very poor.

'Two years of breastfeeding' has become some sort of 'kata-kata keramat' for breastfeeding mothers. I acknowledge that this is what Islam recommends but is that just it? Somehow or rather, I felt that people have not been quoting this phrase completely. There must be something else that follows that phrase, something that makes it complete as I know with certainty that Islam is a holistic religion, applicable to all walks and phases of life. If Allah were to make a general rule that ALL mothers must breastfeed her children for two years, then certainly Allah would have made it equally possible for all. But no, there are women who have different phenotypes that do not permit them to successfully breastfeed, at least not at the first try. So for this group of people, I am sure Allah has something for them in store.

And so I took my 'textbook' i.e. Text, Translation, and Commentary of The Holy Qur'an by Abdullah Yusuf Ali. This is what I found:

Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 233:

The mothers shall give suck to their offspring for two whole years, if the father desires to complete the term. But he shall bear the cost of their food and clothing on equitable terms. No soul shall have a burden laid on it greater than it can bear. No mother shall be treated unfairly on account of her child. Nor father on account of his child, an heir shall be chargeable in the same way. If they both decide on weaning, by mutual consent, and after due consultation, there is no blame on them. If you decide on a foster-mother for your offspring, there is no blame on you, provided you pay (the mother) what you offered, on equitable terms. But fear Allah and know that Allah sees well what you do.

Now, can you see how incomplete the abovementioned phrase is? Can you appreciate that it is only, say, one-eighth of a full paragraph?

By quoting this verse, I mean to point out that:

1. Yes, it is best to nurse one's child for two full years (and I salute those who have succeeded in this).

2. ...but Allah will not burden one with something one is not capable of handling (which means different people are tested differently and Allah does not compare one's result to the other whose test is different).

3. ...and should one decide to wean her children earlier than the recommended two years and it is done with mutual consent and due consultation, IT IS OKAY!

So my message to all of you out there, when you have become a doctor/nurse/any healthcare personnel you may be, please do not unnecessarily label and stigmatise those who do not breastfeed their children. Yes it is our job to educate and persuade them, but at the end of the day, it is by their own free-will that they decide to go for it or otherwise.

If they say they have serious problems/issues that they are unable to breastfeed, then trust that they have spoken the truth and help accordingly. If they lied (e.g.: they say they have some real problem with breastfeeding but are actually worried about their breasts sagging), then be comforted by the fact that Allah knows all that they do. We can only know what people tell us but it is Allah who, at then end of the day, judges what is in people's heart.

Allah is Fair in all aspects of His Creation and He is Perfect in all aspects of His Commands. May we be forgiven for the imperfections of our conduct.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Doctor Donkey

"Perbandingan orang-orang (Yahudi) yang ditanggungjawab dan ditugaskan (mengetahui dan melaksanakan hukum) Kitab Taurat, kemudian mereka tidak menyempurnakan tanggungjawab dan tugas itu, samalah seperti keldai yang memikul bendela kitab-kitab besar (sedang ia tidak mengetahui kandungannya). buruk sungguh bandingan kaum yang mendustakan ayat-ayat keterangan Allah; dan (ingatlah), Allah tidak memberi hidayah petunjuk kepada kaum yang zalim." (Al-Jumu’ah : 5)

I was going through a blog this morning to search for some articles and I stumbled upon this particular translation in on of the blog's articles. Immediately I could see myself transforming into a donkey, bearing all this weight of tonnes of medical textbooks on my shoulders! If one were to have a look at my four-tier book rack, one would've been awed at just how numerous and thick the books are (and not to mention all the fancy medical names on them!).

And to think that I have been carrying the thick Davidson textbook of Internal Medicine for the past 2 weeks or so in my bright orange backpack with having only read SEVERAL pages (not even a full chapter) from the book, I certainly have become the donkey mentioned in the above surah. An obese donkey, in fact.

We carry thick medical textbooks.

We read those textbooks.

We probably understand most of the content.

But do we really practise what the books have taught us?

One would think, "Oh well we're still in the student phase. We'll get the hang of it once we become real doctors. How are we supposed to master it if we are not doing it everyday like when we become doctors later on?"

Hm I won't disagree because there is some truth in that.

But I have to say that there is a chance for us to practise/apply our knowledge while we're still students. In fact it is what we're supposed to do as students - to answer and ask questions in class or during teaching. It's not an option but a responsibility that comes together with the role of a student. It's not a noble voluntary act when a student answers correctly a question posed by a lecturer. And it certainly is not an attempt to self-humiliate when one answers a question wrongly. It's a responsibility carried out.

Our job now is not just to finish reading textbooks. It's our job to assimilate the knowledge that we have and express it in the verbal form. That is how we know that our thought process is leading us on the right track. And that is also how the lecturers know that we know. As a popular quote by Mr. F goes, "Whatever that is in your head, if it does not come out of your mouth, means you don't know."

I find that many of us (in fact most of us) know a lot of things. Sometimes I just envy how powerful the memory that some of us have and how diligent many of us are when it comes to studying. I often walk with pride when I see how full the library is and my fellow brothers and sisters striving hard in their studies.

Unfortunately, many are not willing (or are not courageous) enough to offer answers when the lecturers ask. Well at least most of the time all we do is whisper the answers to ourselves or to our friends, but never loudly and directly to the lecturer - all because we are too afraid lest we answer wrongly. Heck, even when we are confident that our answer is correct, we still hide behind our friends praying and hoping that we will not be picked by the lecturer.

Sometimes it frustrates me to see this happening so rampantly and despite us already becoming a final year student.

I have been called stupid.

I have been laughed at by an MO during ward round.

I have been laughed at by a very senior paediatrician in an auditorium filled with 12o medical students.

I have been smirked at by a melioidosis expert.

It's all because I gave wrong answers and sometimes even full-blown idiotic answers.

Did I feel embarrassed? Of course I did. In fact I cried. At home. Or least in my heart, sometimes.

But it's okay. At least I know what I dont know. One won't know what one doesn't know if one doesn't start to be asked questions and fails to answer them.

That did not deter me from answering questions. It used to kill my self-esteem and motivation, but now it no longer does. In fact it has made my skin thicker and thicker that I don't really care anymore if I make silly or stupid mistakes now. I'd rather be laughed at by my lecturers than be yelled and scolded by my boss once I've started working.

It's a part of a student's life to screw up because that is how we learn. But once we've become real practising doctors, it's our responsibility to not get screwed.

My point is, many of us put the focus on READING but neglects SPEAKING. When we don't make it a habit to speak our knowledge, it won't come out as easily at times when we need it the most. In fact, when we constantly rehearse our knowledge, the synapses become faster and the speed of our thinking becomes faster. And when we're so used to rehearsing something, it becomes natural once we practise it.

I was on-call the night before with a few friends, and already we felt at loss after clerking new cases, not knowing exactly how to go about if we were in that situation 6 months down the road. It has made me realise that if i don't utilise the remainding days that I have as a medical student, I'll end up being a doctor donkey.

I'm probably now a junior donkey.

Well I guess it's time to stop donkeying around and yee-hawing. I'd better start working on becoming a responsible human being again.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Of medicines and disturbed feeling

"ye????? knpa ada pihak x puas ati dgn produk muslim?? org kita juga yg buat.. halal 200%..!! xde bhn kimia langsung.. tp biler produk luar tu xpe..tmbhn pula dgn bhn kimia dan kandungan2nya itu.. tak pula pikir itu ade kesan sampingannye??"

I found the above statement while browsing through websites that post articles about products/reviews on companies selling alternative medications.

If I were somebody who did not know better and happened to read this fella's statement, I would've been equally emotional and angry at 'those people' who have the 'tendency' to 'condemn MUSLIM's products'. And I believe 'those people' in this context is the country's Health Ministry.

The above comment was a response following a statement by a Health Officer that bans the usage of a product because of its content (taken from Utusan Online):

19/05/2010 3:41pm

KUALA LUMPUR 19 Mei – Orang ramai yang mengalami masalah hidung tersumbat hari ini dinasihati supaya mengelak daripada membeli atau menggunakan produk tradisional ubat semburan hidung “357 Nasal Spray” yang dikeluarkan oleh syarikat Three Five Seven Sdn. Bhd.

Pengarah Kanan Perkhidmatan Farmasi Kementerian Kesihatan, Eisah A. Rahman berkata, ini kerana pendaftaran produk itu telah dibatalkan oleh Pihak Berkuasa Kawalan Dadah (PKBD) berikutan pengesanan racun berjadual, dexamethasone yang terkandung dalam produk tersebut.

“Ubat-ubatan yang mengandungi Dexamethasone hanya boleh dibekalkan dengan preskripsi doktor. Penggunaannya dalam perubatan tradisional tanpa pengawasan doktor boleh mengakibatkan kesan advers serius seperti tekanan darah tinggi, edema iaitu bengkak pada tisu lembut dan sindrom Cushingoid yang menyebabkan muka menjadi tembam dan berat badan meningkat,” katanya dalam satu kenyataan di sini hari ini.

Mengenai produk rawatan mata keluaran Syarikat Permata Hijrah, beliau berkata, produk itu telah dinotifikasikan sebagai produk kosmetik yang hanya untuk digunakan di bahagian muka sekitar luar mata untuk tujuan estetika dan bukan bermaksud untuk menyembuhkan penyakit mata. – Bernama

A blogger posted the above article in his blog, and somehow the name Permata Hijrah popped up thus the comment i pasted earlier.

It tears my heart to be reading such a comment. It hurts so bad because firstly, it shows how people are being misled by certain people who are selfish enough and whose main interest is to sell their products by shouting "PRODUK MUSLIM BERKUALITI" as their marketing strategy. Secondly, it gives a bad reputation to the 'modern medicine' field when people retaliate against modern medicine for supposedly condemning alternative medicine whereas they just don't know the whole picture!

And don't you just see the irony? These products claim to be 'safe from chemicals and guaranteed halal' and are able to cure all sorts of diseases. But when you run a chemical check, steroid is almost always on top of the list of content in their products. Steroid, my dears, is a drug used in the 'modern medicine' field. It's a wonder drug but highly toxic if misused/abused thus the need for controlled use. So tell me now. Which part of this "Produk Muslim" is chemical-free and where exactly is its independence from 'modern medicine'? And the fact that its uncontrolled use causes great harm to the consumer, can you dare say that it is halal?

As somebody once said, "Islamik pun tidak, saintifik pun tidak."

Dah la guna nama Islam, kondem pulak perubatan moden. Tapi tak Islamik pun dan guna jugak ubat moden. Tak faham, tak faham..

I do not intend to be skeptical about traditional/alternative medicine. In fact, I have been quite open in discussing about this issue. It is because of the attitude of these people that makes me feel frustrated.

People say modern medicines have got many side effects. I say, yes the drugs do have many side effects. It only means that the drugs are being properly tested and we are HONEST enough to admit that these side effects can occur. NEVER ONCE will modern medicine say that it can CURE ALL DISEASES 100%. And the fact the these side effects are documented, specific measures can be taken to monitor the onset of these side effects and proper measures can be taken to manage the side effects.

On the other hand, these alternative medicines claim to be able to cure all kinds of diseases and are supposedly free from side effects because they use only 'natural resources'.

Let me tell you something. Many of modern medicines are derivatives of plants, many of which are found in Asia. They took these plants, did research, refined its use, and documented its effects. Take the anti-cancer drugs Vincristine for example. It is derived from the plant periwinkle. And no, it's not some foreign flower. It can be found everywhere in Malaysia kat tepi-tepi parit dan tepi-tepi jalan. Google it up and you will go "Oooo bunga tu..."

With regards to side effects, I am pleased to announce that NOTHING in this world, no matter how natural it is, has got NO SIDE EFFECTS and TOXICITY. Oxygen, if given in a very high concentration can cause toxicity. Water. If you load a person with gallons of water, can cause side effects and toxicity. Yes, water and oxygen, the essence of life.

Nothing in this world, my dears, are free from side effects and toxicity.

Kindly be noted that this article, by no means, generally condemns ALL form of alternative medicine. I have no issue if the products are given a green light by the Health Ministry. At least registered products tend to be a bit more honest. But consumers need to also understand that these products are merely supplements.

I condemn those who are hypocrite and selfish. Those liars whose lies cause death of many people.

I've been in the hospital for only three years and already I see many cases of people who come to the hospital at the brink of death because of their refusal towards hospital-based treatment. I do not blame these people. They did not know better. I blame those liars who have made false claims and accusation, who adamantly influence people by their sweet talks despite being told that they are wrong.

I blame them.

And yes, I am a bit emotional as of now.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

change we must..

watched a morning talk show.. there was a slot with this Doctor in (prolly a regular in the show).. his knowledge is good and his answers were accurate..


fluent he was not.. it was a staccato-like speech, pausing after every word uttered.. could see that he had a hard time trying to translate the terms from english to BM while he was talking, hence the pauses.. and not to mention the poker face! ye la, you want to convey something but your brain is busy processing and translating the words, your facial expression will be affected too..

if i were a layperson, i would've thought that this doctor is not confident enough..

the problem is not in his knowledge, but his communication!

and unfortunately, many doctors don't communicate enough with patients.. inadequate time? that's a lame excuse.. with the influx of doctors, more can be done.. if a doctor in Sandakan (with very few HOs) can educate his patients enough, why not the rest of us?

we're putting all the blames on the patients when they are not compliant to treatments and follow-ups.. we accuse them of not being well-educated.. well guess what? if i were in their shoes, i would've have done the same thing, too.. heck, being a medical student and knowing so much, i still miss taking my medications and feel reluctant to go for follow-ups; let alone other people who don't know better!

wanting to educate a patient is one thing, KNOWING how to do it is another.. it's a skill, not a given.. many a times i see a healthcare worker 'educating' the patients but the info is so textbook, i could see the blankness in the patients' eyes.. but they angguk and say 'yes, sir' anyway because they are too afraid to 'question' the healthcare worker, whereas it is their absolute right to know and understand about their condition!

scare tactics work well in making the patients seal their mouths shut and not question the managements imposed on them.. im not saying doctors don't manage well.. they do.. but sometimes it's their method of 'persuading' the patients into accepting the management is what i do not agree with.. we're limiting the utilisation of their free-will, something special that Allah has given to us human beings.. most of the patients comply just because they want to get out of the hospital ASAP, so they just play along.. it's certainly not because they know that the treatment is the best for them.. even worse, some patients who cannot stand being deprived of the attention and emotional needs eventually put their signature onto the Discharge At Own Risk form so that they can go home and seek treatment from the bomohs instead.. don't blame the patients if they prefer a bomoh to a doctor..bomohs treat (read:layan) them better..

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

it's never too late to be what you might have been

a letter from Dr. Tawfique Chowdhury

As-salâmu 'alaikum wa rahmatullâhi wa barakâtuhu
My dear friends, students, patrons, supporters, brothers and sisters in faith. My deepest love and respects to you and your beloved ones on the advent of Ramadan. Like the other 1.5 billion Muslims on this earth, I am sure we cannot wait to start fasting daily and enjoying the blessings of prayer and the Quran in this month. Many positive feelings overtake us this month: excitement, happiness, anticipation of blessings and reward, joy upon meeting family and friends regularly and the delight of amazing delicacies on the iftar table!

However for many of us, it is the negative emotions that predominate at the start of this month: fear of yet another unsuccessful Ramadan, apprehension and guilt. We start this month of Ramadan feeling guilty for being away from Allah for so long; for not having read the Quran this year until now; of not having prayed any tahajjud prayer until now; of not having fasting throughout the year - except for now. This guilty feeling leads to a lot of negativity in our approach to this month and perhaps to the lack of optimism in retrying those special attempts we had made before to read the whole Quran or to pray taraweeh and tahajjud every night or some other good deed in Ramadan. In fact for so many of us, guilt takes us away from Allah and makes us feel inferior and sometimes cripples us to lesser levels of aspiration and success. "What can this poor slave of Allah achieve anyway, when he is so engrossed in sins having done so many evil deeds?" For many - the thought of what we have done in the past - cripples us to what we can do in the future.

However, I would like to ask you all to approach this Ramadan guilt free! Free of guilt of the past. Why worry about something you can't change? It is not the past that should worry us or bother us, rather what could happen in the future. The past is the past - we can't change the sins we have done in the past - so to constantly focus on that for the vast majority of us - is far more crippling for the future than anything else. The prophetic guidance is to regret the past sins and missed opportunities, whilst fearing the future possible sins and being weary of missing future opportunities.

It is as Ibnul-Qayyium said in AnNooniyyah: "By Allah, I don't fear my past sins, since I have sincerely repented to Allah and Allah loves to forgive.However, what I truly fear is that in the future this heart of mine will cease to rule by this Quran and this revelation."

Remember that Allah is AlWadud - the loving God - He is the one who loves you more than your own parents! Have you not heard how Sufyan atThawri said: "I would rather that Allah judges me on the Day of Judgement rather than my own parents, for indeed I know that Allah loves me more than my own parents!" [Reported in Hilyatul-Awliyaa] So overpowering is Allah's mercy that it has transcended His anger. So wide is His Mercy that the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam said: "If the disbeliever knew of the extent of the Mercy of Allah, then none would have despaired of entering His Paradise!" [Reported by Muslim] And plus, what past sins, when your sincere repentance with Allah's Mercy would have wiped it away and replaced it with equivalent good deeds: "Except those who repent, believe and do righteous deeds - they are the ones who Allah will turn their bad deeds into good deeds. And indeed Allah is most Forgiving most Merciful." [AlFurqan 25:70]

My friends, how do you dare to think that Allah does not love you when He says so clearly in the Quran: "Allah has not forgotten you, nor does he hate you!" [AdDuha 93:3] If He hated you, why did He keep you alive till another Ramadan? If He hated you, why does he provide for you even when you disobey Him? If He did not love you, why is He allowing you to taste the sweetness of loving Him this month by fasting and praying? If He didn't love you, why did He keep you upon Islam?

So come back to AlWadud - your loving Lord - the one who loves you more than anything else. He is waiting for you and is more happy with you remembering Him than you can imagine. If you come to Him today, He will rush to you. If you remember Him, He will remember you. If you talk about Him, He will talk about you to those with Him. If you say sorry O Allah, He will forgive you and turn them into good.

So start your Ramadan guilt free and enjoy a month of renewed emaan and focus on the good that you can do this month. Learn from the past, but focus on the future! It is truly as the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam said: "Verily actions are judged by their endings."

With all my love and prayer for your success in this month
PS Please forward to your friends and family
Your brother,
Dr. Tawfique Chowdhury
Director General
Mercy Mission World