Tuesday, April 26, 2011

something amiss

I'm not quite sure whether it's just panic catching up on me for having to hand up my oral surgery logbook today, 10.00am sharp (the lecturer initially gave us a later deadline), falling asleep at 8pm, or something more complicated is behind this restlessness.


I browsed through my friends' Facebook page. Quite a number of them have started working, earning their rightful pay, and having fun. Here comes the evil green envious monster. I feel so exhausted after not being able to sleep more than 4 hours for months already. Recreation? That doesn't feel familiar anymore. Last week, Yana, Jijah, Fiza, and I went to Wakaf Che Yeh. There aren't many places you can go to after 10.00pm here in Kelantan (of which I am very grateful). "Jom tengok barang-barang? Aku mahu beli selendang", I suggested to them. Barely five minutes later, all of us started to complain of sleepiness. We headed back and as if being drugged, all of us succumbed to the need of replenishing our energy. This didn't seem to end just there. "I need a break. I am so exhausted", I heard myself whispering slowly, literally, and tears began to run down my cheeks. Isn't this what I've been wanting since I filled the UPU form? Did I not promise myself I'd try my very best to get this degree in the shortest time possible? Didn't I forbid myself from having excessive entertainment since that period of failing so much previously?


I should be grateful. I have a stable support system. Yiying to help reminding me of stuff. Pang to wake me up when I stayed up too late to finish my work. Yueming to refer to whenever I'm in doubt and to teach me. Fiza to confide my personal conflicts to, the best listener I had ever met so far. Beh and Poisze, the responsible duo, always executing their jobs well. Kila to spend my rare lunch time with. What is amiss? There's something else, but I'm not quite sure what that is. It's puzzling.


I noticed myself being more forgetful nowadays. Not being able to remember a simple slide after reading it once felt... horrendous. Well, 'even geniuses are dumb if they don't study'. I should cut down on something but what is it?


Well, anyway, I really really really wish to graduate next year. Amin.

Monday, April 25, 2011

sorry, doc :(

For the first time ever, I sat for an exam at night. It felt weird.


It was a paper on orthodontics. We hadn't sat for any exam for months already. If I can peep into my cranial vault, I think I might find yellow and green nasty looking mold flourishing and anchoring well to the surface of my brain. We took advantage of the situation - attend clinics and study less than we did before. Our free time was mostly filled with anime, movies, and whatnot. "Things will take its toll eventually, Zahirah, stop doing this. Don't return to being your old self", my mind urged myself. Today marks my very first time of not being able to answer a paper on dentistry well. Alhamdulillah, there's OSCE which I usually enjoy answering. I felt so guilty especially towards our orthodontics lecturer, Dr Ali Rajih, who happened to be the examiner tonight. I never had any problem with a lecturer watching me answering my paper, but tonight, I was beyond embarrassed for not being able to answer so many questions that I automatically grabbed it and hold it to myself when he was taking a peek at my answers (especially when he bent forward and made that what-the-hell-did-you-write facial expression). He laughed. Later, he asked us to stay for awhile. "... one day, I might go back to my country, but I'll tell you one thing - THIS is your only chance to learn". I am so, so, so, so, so sorry for disappointing you, Dr Ali :( I promise I'll be more serious at this. But most of all, I feel sorry for myself for not studying well before this paper. If I had learned medicine so enthusiastically, this thing - this thing which shall be my bread and butter, insya Allah, deserves more attention. Way more than I gave medicine, albeit my interest in any other specialty because I am currently trying to get my DDS. I should work for what's nearest to me first. What was I thinking???

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

i feel blessed to have learned medicine

The same question that always bug the minds of students of doctor of dental surgery (DDS) of USM might most probably be, "Why on earth do we have to learn general medicine?", if not, "Why does a storage room looks more desirable than the hostel?".


About three months ago, I went to a village nearby to scout for potential candidates to treat. A lady, very humble and friendly invited me into her house and gladly accepted my offer. I had just finished constructing her partial denture. Before doing so, I had to extract one of her teeth so the way things go in USM, it's always about holistic approach in managing our patients. This means we're not supposed to look at the face and mouth alone, but the health of the whole body is a crucial element to be examined too. While examining her neck, I noted thyroid enlargement with associated bilateral upper cervical and submandibular lymph nodes enlargement. Each of them was about 2cm in diameter, mobile, smooth-surfaced, firm, and non-tender to palpation (percussion of manubrium was resonant). Although initially she claimed not to have any significant past medical history, I managed to find out that she has a thyroid disorder and was on follow-ups at a clinic nearby. She said it's just goiter and the medical officer in-charge said it's nothing to be worried about. Neither a benign nor malignant tumour, but with discovery of cervical lymphadenopathy, I personally didn't think it's a simple case of goiter. I pointed out to the master student in-charge but he said, "Proceed. It's nothing, I guess, since she's on follow-ups already". Through out the extraction process, I couldn't take my mind off that matter. I held the patients hand. It was abnormally warm. My hands are always warmer than my colleagues, but hers were warmer. I felt her pulse. It was nearly 90/minutes and she was not anxious about anything... and so she said. Those are the signs of deranged thyroid hormonal level.


After completing the extraction, I saw the master student again, and insisted on referring her to oral maxillofacial clinic. Alhamdulillah, my request was accepted. Months passed and along the construction of her denture, I learned that fine needle aspiration was done on her lymph nodes and thyroid gland. Today, I received the very news I had dreaded for months - the result came out and it was papillary carcinoma of the thyroid - in laymen term - thyroid cancer. Nonetheless, to every cloud, there's a silver lining. It was still in early stage. The lymph node turned out to be unaffected. Still, I have another task to complete albeit completing her denture already - to persuade her to undergo surgery to remove her thyroid. The thing about dealing with villagers is... they usually trust alternative medicine more than the modern ones. Obviously she chose the former and I hate to see her condition deteriorating simply because of having lack of knowledge in this field - at least not after she gave me two bags of serunding :P May Allah open her heart to accept this treatment.


I learned an important lesson myself - Alhamdulillah, the extraction was uncomplicated but if she had thyroid storm later, I might've quit the school, but Allah teaches us in amazing ways. So dear dental students of USM, don't feel all that bad for having to learn medicine. You'll encounter cases that'll amaze you so much you'll feel so grateful for having the knowledge - at least a basic one.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

the irresponsible simpletons

Please grant me strength to face and succeed in these tests You are giving me. I'm feeling worse day by day.

one thing

If there's one thing the previous disorder ripped off me... that'd be the ability to laugh sincerely.

Monday, April 11, 2011

tiba-tiba...

Saya pun terus pergi jogging tadi. Having the court all to myself - woohoo!

tiba-tiba...

... gua rasa macam nak jogging malam ni. 10pm nanti yaw! Sekarang bertungkus-lumus siapkan case reports dan wire bending lagi.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

you betcha


I'm speechless. Panas tidak sampai ke petang. I thought this weekend would be a relaxing one. That I'd finally be able to just laze around, reading Empress Orchid novel which Mel lent me while occasionally staring at the bright blue sky just above my head, after months of sacrificing my weekends for this and that. My room is located on the top floor and my bed faces towards the window. I hate lying on the bed except at night, right before I get to sleep. That's why I placed my pillows right beside the window. So I'd be uncomfortable to sleep during daytime. Logically thinking, it's easy to just place them on the other side of the bed, but frankly, I hate the idea of resting my head on a place where my feet usually lie.


Whoops, I had diverted from the main topic again. So anyway, it turned out that this weekend was not meant to be much of a relaxing one for me either. I was enchanted by the novel so much that I slept at 7.00am today. By afternoon, I was already wide awake and discontented. My coursemates and I were supposed to visit Staff Nurse Hasmi's house at 12.00 noon, but apparently I found out that it was postponed to 2.00pm late. Then, right after that, I headed straight to the university music room to practise a performance for medical students' graduation night with Hazwan, Yiying, Ziyad, and Mike. We finished quite late. Hungry from it, a few of us hunted for food. Somewhere in the middle, my tyre got punctured. I didn't notice it until the security officer pointed it out to me, most probably because I didn't have much time to drive anywhere lately.


Oh, hot dang. So I headed to the nearest fuel station, tried my luck to inflate the tyre helplessly, but I know that everything is futile. It's already night. No one in his right mind would want to open his workshop at this time. I couldn't bear looking at it, so I decided to change my tyre. That's when the adventure started. Trying my best to gather bits and pieces of the lesson I learned from a driving school on this matter, I took out my spare tyre and tried to take out the jack. It wasn't a smooth process. There was grease everywhere! "Heck! I deal with my patients' secretion everyday, this can't be hard, can it?", I said to myself. Well, not until I realised there wasn't any spanner in my car!!! I started cussing under my breath. Then my hero and heroines came. Ita, Ain Shafiyah, and Naim. The girls lent me their spanner and Naim came and helped lifting the jackscrew a little bit, but he let me do the rest. Gua baru ingat nak relax. "Kenalah belajar benda ni", he said. Oh well, I gotta learn it at some point anyway, HANDS-ON! All the theories made into practice, finally :) Something felt wet. Crap. My nail broke off and it was bleeding. I'm going to have difficulty in putting my gloves on later. "Ni yang aku rasa nak mencarut", the ungrateful me sputtered. "Haha, nanti tulis dalam blog", he replied. "HAH! HAHAHAHHAHAH! Kau baca!". "Hahaha, kantoi". So this goes to you, son. You betcha. Well anyway, now Along's car look ugly. I need to send the punctured tyre to a workshop soon.


Finally I went back, heaving two giant plastic bags containing a comforter and my clean laundry. I'm not going to lie. I send my laundry to a laundromat. With the sink filled with food debris these uncivilized people dumped (which frequently cause clogs) and iron-saturated water, no way. The washing machine downstairs? No way too, man. If my eczema don't start attacking me, I'd be glad to utilize all of them (except the sink), but unfortunately, that's not the case. Then later, I forgot that I left Mr Mikael and Mr Frontman (elec guitar and amplifier) in my car. Mr Mikael is so heavy I felt like carrying another me on my back. That's an exaggeration, alright. Once I finished bathing, I can't help but to let a soft sigh escape slowly. Today was an adventurous one.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

a good novel after so long

In most matters, I'm outspoken except for one thing. The very thing I become most cowardly I can be. The very thing I'd send prayers to Allah be taken away from me if it's uncertain.


Someone told me he wants to have our friendship back, but... personally, enough is enough. Too much back-stabbings, too painful to sustain, too troublesome to be bothered, and I don't think it's worth the risk once again. From one person, it exploded into some sort of chain reaction, all generating hatred in a group of people towards me, spreading fitnah about me. I'm not the best person you'd want to have as a friend, but I try my best in everything I do. I'm persistent in that way, but there's always a point when you have to put an end to something. When giving up is the best way out. No one gets away without being badmouthed about. I don't hope for so, but... yeah, I had my time with all those stuff and I'm happy to let those things go. I'm happier now, thanks to a few supportive friends :) And you know... the beauty of having many friends would be if you lose a few, you have so many more to rely on. Praises to Allah for lending me so many great and talented friends, way better than the ones I lost. Alhamdulillah. And I'd answer their questions with, "Things have became a history. Let it stay as a history".

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

this is stupid

I feel like punching something or someone into a pulp. Of all the people, the one who always answer with uncertainty, sometimes just stand there, silent, or just a silly laugh is somehow given a handicap. The one who always complain about every single thing. The one who badmouths her partner almost every single day. The one who talks the talk but is much more of an... empty can. So much noises, but almost zero output. What world am I living in? What's the point of questioning if you didn't intend on listening to our answers? Even if they're wrong, they're what we had understood. So correct us. Correct us, don't condemn us.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

"Sometimes I just can't shut the hell up, it's like I need to tell someone, anyone who'd listen, and that's where I seem to mess up"

That's a few lines from Jessie J's Nobody's Perfect. The title is the perfect description for the mess I was caught in today.


It gets tiring when you try so hard from day to day, second by second, chanting words of encouragement to yourself, trying desperately to make something good out of this little remaining fuel I still have. "We're just talking about how you're always so positive", Adrian said to me... but, that's just a facade I let everyone see. That's my way of ensuring myself this - you're going to be okay, Zahirah. It may be just an act, but silently I hope it'd eventually come true one day. Nonetheless, there's a price to pay for this - vulnerability. I'd become very anxious whenever I sense any threat to this principle of mine. And there are a few things/matters that may exert strong impact on this.


So today, I fell again. Not the hardest fall I had experienced, but enough to distract me for the whole day. Crossed a line I reminded myself not to. Said stupid but true things. Hurt two souls with guilt. I apologised, but I swear. It wasn't the sincerest apology - which I regret the most. Again, I tried to run away from these conflicts. "Things shall pass eventually, Zahirah. Look up and walk. Walk and never turn back", my mind tells me. And so I tried to make myself as busy as I could today. Today I completed an acrylic partial denture (trimmed, sandpapered, and polished), one base plate, and a special tray in an hour. I don't usually go at this pace, but I just couldn't bear giving an opportunity to myself to think about the things that took place today. But once I reach my room, ample of free time, everything barged back in. I cried, cried, and cried. What else can I do? I'd send prayers, asking for things I don't think I deserve. Nevertheless, Allah knows best.


Considering all my wrongdoings, I think I deserve well everything that has happened. Every single heart breaking events. I have myself to blame.


I watched Aaron Vujicic's video again and again. "And until there is some times in life, when you fall down. You feel like you don't have the strength to get back up. Do you think you have hope?... If I fail, I'll try again and again and again. But I just want you to know that it's not the end. It matters how you're gonna finish. Are you gonna finish strong? And you will find that strength to get back up", he said and then he stood again from recumbent position - without arms and legs. I want to be this strong or better - I want to be stronger than that. Oh Allah, grant me the strength and wisdom to become stronger.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

words aren't just words

If you choose to be oh-so-philosophical, choose to remember your words too. Words, they don't disappear just like that once you've written or said them. People don't forget easily. Hold to your words if they are right as you claim them to be. Don't say something for the sake of making yourself seem righteous or wise.


Nonetheless, even if you think they are right, you might want to think twice before saying or writing them down, because words - when used wisely may be among your sharpest weapons, but when used inappropriately, they may also backfire. Not everything that seem right IS right. Berpandukanlah pada beberapa panduan yang benar. Fikiran kita jika dibiar meliar sahaja tanpa kekangan, pasti akan sesat. Dan setiap perkara yang kita tulis itu kalaulah ia salah tetapi diikuti oleh orang lain pula... tidakkah besar bebanan itu atas bahu kita?