M203 Diary

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Some of us are born poets. Others are just born…

Something flies before me. Six legs. Two wings. Buzzing.
With a flick of my wrist, I snuff the life out of a living being.
I hate insects… uh… -ing.
They’re annoying.

The above piece of abysmal literature, which took me all of 12 minutes to write, underlines today’s topic of discussion. With all the Parasitology studies I’ve been doing, this was bound to happen. It’s amazing how close we are to extreme discomfort/death than we actually realize. Then again, living in a tropical paradise like Malaysia, we’re practically asking for it anyway.

So it’s rarely of any consequence to us when we, say, set fire to them with cigarette butts. They’re little and we’re big. Too bad for them, right? Actually, if you think about it, they were here first, proliferating in stagnant 13th century water. Then Parameswara came by and built condos. As he sought to develop Malacca into a central port-of-the-world thingy, whole insect populations were brutally massacred in the process. After all, good insects are dead insects. It’s really no wonder they’re pissed. Anopheles mosquitoes carry infectious protozoans just to spite us.

What really is the implication of Mr. Para’s slaying of lesser mortals? It actually draws a parallel with reality. I can’t really be more specific without risking my post turning into a political manifesto. However, in a more indirect manner, it goes to show that we really have little respect for other living creatures, unless they are empowered in some way that may threaten our immediate or future existence OR they live towards our benefit. We squish daddy-long-legs (without remorse for its daddy or its long-legged progeny) because their long legs don’t match urban wallpaper.

Obviously I stand by Mr. Para, a powerful historical figure, and his decision to persecute little, hexapod crawlies. Any that decidedly stray into my Zone of Peace, Freedom and… Necessitated Removal of Insects (ZOPFANROI) are immediately repelled by the mechanical action of my index finger. This zone constitutes anywhere within an arms length (literally) and my field of view. Generally more fatalities occur when I’m wearing glasses.

Also, I kill ants. I kill a LOT of ants. And I dismiss it as a tragic loss to antkind for a good part of 0.211 femtoseconds, before I continue with my daily routines. Things get a little bit complicated when I locate the source of the ant problem but, as both they and I have come to learn, the side with Shelltox ® always wins. Always. This is justified by my killscore, which is on average raised a hundred fold.

Should the offending insects be diversified, dangerous, or otherwise upon demise release icky fluids that I’d rather not get on my hands, I employ other simple weapons in my array of peacekeeping tools. These can be subdivided into three categories, namely direct (blunt object), indirect (Toxic in high concentrations, like cologne), and specific (e.g. anteater).

Lets hear you say, “don’t do unto insects what you wouldn’t want to have done to you…” Yeah. Maybe. If you were a Tibetan monk. As if you could care less.

Word of the day: hypocrite


Thursday, September 23, 2004

testing... testing...

Did you know that IMU has an announcement system for the whole building? Well, I didn't know either, until Tuesday during Prof. Paul Chen's lecture:

*knock* *knock* *knock knock knock*
PC: There's a ghost in the walls.
*knock* *knock*
Lady's voice: Attention please. Due to a serious fault, the electricity supply will be cut off immediately. *cheers from all the students* The affected areas are: 1st floor:- SAD, ...etc... ...etc... 3rd floor:-MMS, labs. *groans from students because Auditorium wasn't mentioned*
PC: Okay, let's get on with the lecture.

But that wasn't the end of it.

PC: Viral haemorrhagic disease... Denggi... mosquitoes...
Lady's voice: *in a harried way* Testing... testing... testing... *students start laughing* (repeat for at least 15 times)

Then she repeats the announcement she gave before. Halfway through, she seems to have lost her grasp of English grammar and pronunciation and she breaks off, only to restart her announcement again. *more groans and laughs from the students*

When she finishes, PC tries to get on with his lecture which is seriously running behind time, but then she is determined to get her message across.

Lady's voice: Your attention please. Due to a serious fault, the electricity supply will be cut off immediately...

Finally she finishes.

PC: So it wasn't a ghost in the wall after all. Someone should go and ask her to stop... or I'll personally go down there and make her stop.

After a few minutes of PC resuming his lecture:
*knock* *knock*

A few seconds of expectant pause fill the Audi, but the high-pitched voice of the lady seeking our attention doesn't come. A few sighs of relief, and faces, especially that of PC, showing relief too. And the lecture goes on...

So now you know - IMU has an announcement system for the whole building.


Pics Pics Pics!

Ok, so you've read about Sheena's account of the venesection CSU session and if you had gone to Rantings, you would have seen mine too! Here are the pics...

Sheena's big bruise

My spots

And for comparison, Elena's arm BEFORE her venesection CSU. I'll go take an "after" and post it up.


Monday, September 20, 2004

Venesection: A brief history

Venesection \Ve`ne*sec"tion\, n. [NL. venaesectio; L. vena vein
+ sectio section.] (Med.)
The act or operation of opening a vein for letting blood;
bloodletting; phlebotomy.

The following translation from Old English is advice given by Ambroise Paré in a 1634 text:
But blood is let by opening a vein for five respects:
the first to lessen the abundance of blood, as in plethoric bodies, and those troubled with plentitude.
The second is for diversion, or revulsion, as when a vein of the right arm is opened to stay the bleeding of the left nostril. (Huh?)
The third is to allure or draw down, as when the vein is opened in the ankle to draw down the menstrual flow in women. (Double huh?)
The fourth is for alteration or introduction of another quality, as when in sharp fevers we open a vein to breathe out that blood which is heated in vessels, and cooling the residue which remains behind. (Thank God for Panadol!)
The fifth is to prevent imminent disease, as in the spring and autumn we draw blood by opening a vein in such as are subject to spitting of blood, quinsy, pleurisy, falling sickness, apoplexy, madness, gout, or in such as are wounded, for to prevent the inflammation which is to be feared. (Still doesn't beat Ernie's idea of prophylaxis.)
Before bloodletting, if there be any excrement in the guts, they shall be evacuated by a gentle clyster, or suppository, lest the mesenteric veins should thence draw unto them any impurity.

Rapid bleeding by venesection with the patient standing was advised. It was surmised that the early onset of faintness and softness of pulse was beneficial. Slow bleeding with the patient supine led to more blood loss before the soft pulse and faintness developed, which was thought to be undesirable. Blood losses averaged 16 to 30 oz. Sufficient bleeding had occurred when the fever subsided, the pulse had become soft, or suppuration had developed.

I wonder if people in future would have the same opinion of the way we're treating things like cancers these days. But I digress.

The word venesection is now, in the modern day, defined as the practice of removing or "letting" blood for diagnostic, rather than therapeutic reasons. This is now the only form of medicinal bloodletting that is generally practiced.

After that hefty introduction, it should be a no-brainer to guess what we did for CSU today: Blood-taking.

The introductory briefing was quite amusing, with the chap in the blood-taking video saying, "I don't know of anyone who's been pricked by a syringe. Needle, yes, but not a syringe," and Sr. Teoh chucking syringe after syringe into the sharps bin to demonstrate proper disposal of sharps. After the dunno-how-manyth syringe was chucked into the bin - just because Sr. Teoh had "used it" by waving it around in the air - Richard was heard to sigh, "There goes another one."

But, what Richard said was a walk in the park compared to what other people were heard to say, all while we were taking each other's blood.
Hence, I bring you the list of things you DON'T want to hear during blood-taking:

1) I've done it twice before; I didn't manage to get it the 1st time, but he let me do it again the 2nd time.
2) I didn't manage to draw any blood. I guess I'll have to do it again.
3) Should I use the big needle or the small needle?
4) Where exactly are you planning to prick?
Err... I dunno. Somewhere over there?
5) Which is the more painful vein again?
6) Wait, where's the gauze?
7) Oh, no! It moved!
8) You gotta go really deep to make sure you don't miss the vein.
9) I already had a lot of trouble taking blood from the model hand. I hope it's easier to take blood from you. I think it should be easier with the real thing. (Yeah, right!)
Or the all-time favourite:
10) I have no professional training.

I was the unfortunate victim of statement #1. My beloved said to me, "Don't worry. I've experience. I won't hurt you." Being a firm believer in the importance of affirming & lending support to each other, I agreed to let him draw my blood.

I've since learnt that mutual trust only goes so far in a relationship. Bloodletting ain't covered.

OK, never mind the fact that I've a phobia of needles, (Dating from the age of 5 when the nurse, aka. my mum had to chase me around the clinic, and drag me out from behind the door where I had hidden myself in vain in order to give me my immunisation jab. Needless to say, my mum was NOT happy) and that I was tense, and that it hurt when he slid the needle into my vein & pulled the plunger on the syringe, the best bit was when he went, "Where's the gauze?" Statement #6.

In his rush, he pulled the needle out without loosening the cuff. Before my very eyes, blood started leaking out of my veins, and the crook of my elbow distended with blood. I was terrified.

On a side note, the blood came pouring out so quickly, I can't help but wonder if my blood is unusually fluid... hmm, better check my haematocrit level.

Somewhere amidst the commotion that erupted, Dr. Swee Jen appeared on the scene. "Press this on her hand for 5 minutes." She kept rubbing my back and telling me, "Don't worry. You'll just get a little bruise."

She did ease my trauma somewhat, but I was still pretty shaken. And yes, I cried. Hey, you don't exactly see your arm ballooning with blood everyday.

After a bit, my coagulation pathways finally kicked in, and he stuck a plaster on the crook of my elbow. To give credit to him, he apologised profusely (and bought me lunch)... I was all set to forgive him when he remarked, "Well, at least I've left my mark on you."

Yeah, like the way a cowboy brands his cow! Why can't you get me jewellery or matching T-shirts like any other guy?

Thanks to my unusual display of foresight, I'd opted to have my left hand pricked, so I was still able to take blood from other people since my right hand was still intact. I sat down opposite him, and picked up the needle.

"Er, Sushintha. You mind drawing my blood instead? I don't like the killer look she has on her face."

I drew his blood, anyway, and thanks to Dr. Zuria's tutoring, and of course, my inborn expertise, I managed to draw his blood with considerably less fuss.


4 hours later, my hand still aches. Good thing the futsal match has been postponed to next week, 'cos I don't think I'll do too good with this haematoma.
Sigh. The things we do for love.

Word of the day: Bloodbath.


Sunday, September 19, 2004

For Christ Sake...

Today I saw 'The Passion of the Christ' at Sunway Pyramid with some other guys. Let’s hear some testimony from them:

-Vic says: Good depiction by the movie!
-Jer says: Really followed it well, almost exactly!
-Ph says: I damn hungry, why the movie so long, wan?
-Ph also says: Next time don’t buy the ticket so close to lunch time lar
-Ph adds: Where are we going for lunch?

At this point, a senior who was with us suggests “Chicken Buffet”. Ph’s eyes light up like a Christmas tree.

For good measure, I never found myself too caught by the movie. In fact, there were times I wished Jesus could have WALKED FASTER. I know he’s supposed to be suffering from all the pain and punishment, but his trek to the hilltop whilst carrying his cross just drags on and on and on and on and on and on… Well, he does trip over or flashback to better times at intervals, but this does little more than drag it just that much more… before moving on and on and on and on and on… again.

Also for the record, only Vic and Jer are Christian. That isn’t to say those not of the faith should avoid watching the show. I’m also not saying that they won’t like it. However, there is that restriction to non-Muslims thingy. So much for that, eh Zakiy?

Having said that, I’m not even sure every Christian would enjoy it in the first place (except maybe the Lady of Pain, and immensely as such hehehe). What we have in 'The Passion of the Christ' is a truly graphic representation of the greatest story ever told. Because believe me when I say that this movie is unnecessarily bloody. Unnecessary because there are more ways to convey emotion than sheer and absolute brutality. Fittingly, we’re doing hematology; there has to be a learning outcome or a bad omen here somewhere…

Also important to note is that you cannot watch this movie with your eyes closed, and I can tell you that is what you may find yourself doing, especially when you reach this part:

*Beat* *Spank* *Bitch Slap*
*Lacerate* *Bruise* *Abrade*

Yes, it’s all in Latin (I think). Thankfully, there are subtitles to supplement the audio. Then there’s the video…

Overall, the movie wasn’t bad. It’s just that so many other things eclipsed its good points, like the fact that it was free (thx Vic and his church for the free ticket). In addition, I learned that you should not take Ph out for a movie you suspect may disinterest him, unless you also buy/bring food, girls or a powerful sedative. In that order.

Word of the day: Cryptography :)


Thursday, September 16, 2004

Guilty as Charged...

The reason I was recruited into this blog is because they needed someone and I was available as I did not have a blog to myself back then. But now things changed. With respi and hema being thrown at me relentlessly, and the Blog Undertaker patrolling round, and my friends insisting that I update my blog frequently, it is tough finding time to blog here.

Or maybe I'm just finding excuses... hehehe...

Anyways, glad that this blog is in good hands. KenJay, ya the best!


Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Feeling Guilty

The last time I posted in Diary was almost a month ago, and even that was a tiny, short post. Ask me why I'm feeling guilty? Well, I've been neglecting this blog while posting in my own "As YP Rants On..." almost everyday. *sheepish grin* My only excuse? Well, life's been really busy, don't you think?

With PBLs bright and early in the morning on Tuesdays and Fridays, CSUs on Mondays and Community Clinic visits every few weeks, I guess all of us are pretty busy with school. Oh, how can I forget! There are also the oh-so-interesting 3 lectures late in the afternoons from Mondays to Thursdays and the countless extra CSU practice sessions we kiasu ones arrange for ourselves. Now, it seems as if "pretty busy" is an understatement.

Let's compare this with life a year ago. 2 lectures from 10.30am to 12.45pm daily, PBL once a week. Hands up, those who miss Sem 1 days. *both hands up*

As if this busy busy life isn't enough for me, I go along and get myself involved in IVF, NHSD and of late, AMSC'05. Sometimes, I feel like slapping myself for my lack of common sense when it comes to getting myself involved in stuff. *whack*


“If you put con and insult together, you get consult!”

The word of the day is elective. Not surprisingly, some of us still have no clue as to what we’re gonna be doing after we pass sem 3. Not surprisingly, some of us still have no clue as to what we’re gonna be doing after we fail sem 3. Whilst I am able to commit my response to the latter to irreversible suicide, I am still at a loss for the former. As is those of the batch who AREN’T DOING DISSECTION, I’m sure.

Among ideas that popped into my head today, the very most prominent was psychology. Why? Because today is Sept 14th! That means it’s Ivan Petrovich Pavlov’s birthday! You know, the Father of Modern Canine Torture Techniques! I mean, can you imagine what would have happened if the poor dog had tinnitus? It’d be salivating all the way to doggy heaven…

Anyway, Pavlov managed to survive injunctions from the SPCA and ended up an otherwise very famous man for his contribution to psychology. For the people who don’t know what psychology is, let me break it down for you:

[Psycho] = Established lunatic who lures travelers into his motel before he kills them
[-logy] = derived from logos, and means “science”

Put it back together and you have “The science of people like Norman Bates”. And you know how they say; it takes one to know one? Just ask our resident IMU PSYCHO… logist… Clinical psychologists deal with the more emotional aspects of people’s problems. They probably also charge per therapy session, per hour, per member, per level of sanity. You may not realize it, but only sane people visit a therapist.

Yet, its not like it’s totally unjustified for them to demand exorbitance, because the kind of patients they have to treat at times can be ridiculously stupefying. In truth, I admire how they can resist the temptation to test new, potentially lethal drugs on complete morons, who might come in complaining “My boyfriend thinks I’m fat” or “Every time I talk to girls I feel all warm and fuzzy down under”.

Lets take a look at a more descriptive example: (For the sake of simplicity, lets call the patient Justin Timberlake bin Abdul Bakari Nistelrooy Ileum)

[PSYCHO]: k, so… what’s your problem macha?
[JTbABNI]: All my life I’ve been obsessed with the number 8. You know lar… those Chinese ar… say what… prosperity and all… Some more my birthday, when you know? 8/8/1968! You know where’s my house? SS8! Number also 8. Jalan also 8/8. Children also 8. Even my car number plate also 8888… Oh, and I even have an 8-inch…
[PSYCHO]: *ahem* that’s great. You know, I’ve got these new pills in. Maybe you should try them. No one else has, so they’re uh… bound to work.
[JTbABNI]: Great! I’ll take 8 boxes! How much?
[PSYCHO]: That'll be… RM… 8888…
[JTbABNI]: … If you'll follow me back to my motel, I'll see that you get… paid…

At the moment, I doubt I could go through with such insufferable embarrassment/danger to actually take it up as an elective. Then again, everything in life is subject to change. Like your underwear. Like my mind. At the very least perhaps, it might grant me an insight as to why some of us are so damn indecisive.


Monday, September 06, 2004

Echoes #2: In the Heat of the Moment

Another orientation, and we're another semester older…

Orientation M2/04 BBQ Nite,
Basketball Court, IMU Perimeter, Saturday, September 4th, 2004

[YP]: Serve the seniors!
[Dan]: Serve the seniors! And no more sausages please!
[Small S]: Call more girls come here to bring lar
[Sh]: Serve the seniors! And, by special request, send girls only…

Elevator, IMU Guardpost

[CHa]: I only slept two hours… Stupid telematch…
[Big S]: I only slept three hours… But you still beat me…
[Me]: (I… slept… ten… hours…)

Dance Floor, IMU Atrium

[YS/YW/Sh]: (Dance! Dance! Dance!)
[Someone]: MORE R&B
*Star Wars Intro Song*
[Crowd]: OI!
*Darth Vader’s Imperial Theme*

Boat Race, IMU Car Park Exit, Below Food Avenue

[Crowd]: Jenson! Jenson! Jenson!
[Me/Stv/Prs]: Prof M! Prof M! Prof M!

(Later, somebody trips over a chain and bites the dust, in a more literal sense)

[FAG]: Ya! Saya tengok dia lari! Lagi pakai high heel!
[Stv]: Macam mana jatuh? Macam Titanic ke? *raises his arms*
[FAG]: Ah, ya ya! MacamTitanic!

(Nota Bene: FAG = Food Avenue Guy)

For those of you who weren’t there, you missed a party that never really surpassed mediocrity. There was (FREE) food, dancing, a few high tolerance drinkers and a lot of wet people. And there was a lot more to do after that. Though, regardless of what people said about the sausages, the rice and the noodles, the fact remains that free food is good food. Cooked by your puppets? Icing on the end of orientation cake…

Music: Don’t know what the Star Wars Intro sounds like? (Copy the Shortcut. You’ll need Windows Media Player.)