Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Highland Games, Brunei 2008.

It was a good Saturday yesterday. With the sun shinning bright and sunny, the weather was perfect for outdoor events like the Highland Games 2008. Organised by many parties and of course in inclusion of the Scottish Community in Brunei. Through history, the Highland games was to find the strongest, fastest and bravest man in the community. But today, and especially yesterday, it was more of a family get together event, and creating a good camaraderie between communities in Brunei and Scotland, and also good relationship between Bruneians and the expatriates in Brunei.

With loads of booths set up selling different kinds of interesting items and articles, it attracted so many visitors, and on overall making the even a major success. Congratulations I must say to the organising committee. As announced, hopefully the highland games will be an official highland game outside Scotland, where in Asia, only in Indonesia that so far has been registered an official one. They proposed Brunei will be the next one.

So, what Highland games without the sounds of bagpipes, kilt wearing, tossing, dance performances and other games. So with that I leave you to some pictures below. Enjoy!! Too bad, I was only able to cover the tug of war as I had to leave early. way before the "highland games" itself started.

Bagpipes by the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (again, a good example of collaboration between the two forces).

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The Scotts team for Tug of War. They made a very interesting entry to the field, escorted by bagpipes. Too bad, their tug of war performance wasn't as good as the entry. They lost.

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Speaking of gender equality here, women did not wanna miss the fun too.

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Me at the event, where else would you find Sani, not other than food booths!

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Mr Heinz from the UK, did not want to miss the event. Perhaps a good energy souce for the participants! Beans on toast anyone?

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Last but not least.... who won? I wonder....

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Proceed to Next Level.

Yes yes, I got my final Year 2 results. Alhamdulillah. It's not something I expected, rather, it is more than I expected. Really grateful and the hardwork has finally paid off. My heart kept on skipping a beat today as I was anticipating my results. At home, I couldn't stop checking the studentweb (StudentCentral) over and over again, but no avail. Suddenly, I was just checking out of random... KABOOM! It was there!!!!!!!

My final results, I got A,B,B,C,C,C which makes me a 2-1. I got B for the hardest of all, Biomechanics. Like I said, maybe because I have started to grasp the understanding, and slowly, I have gained interest which I will probably pursue for my postgrad Insya Allah. And the A is for Pharmacology. If you readers remembered, the poster presentation, yes... for that one I got an A!! ehehhe I am happy because, the results are more than I expected, and overall I managed to prove the authorities that I deserve the scholarship =D That was my biggest anxiety, to live up to the authorities expectations.

Anyways, good luck to all my fellow colleagues and friends!!! Do tell me the good news!

So now.... Year 3 it is!!! Woo hoo

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Car to the dentist?

Had an early day today as the little one didn't go to school. He was having a slight fever, but active as ever. Took the opportunity to take my car for alignment as I need the car to be in good condition before I start my daily commuting between Bandar and KB everyday again. Had been struggling to keep the car on the lane as the car kept on pulling to the left, and that can be dangerous as well as not good for the tyres lifespan. After the alignment, it was alright... ehhe Here's some shots I took whilst waiting.

Don't you think they look like those braces for orthodontics?

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To end, I'll leave you to this picture of sunset I shot this afternoon.

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p/s: I will be reporting for duty this Monday at RIPAS Hospital Medical Education Centre. So if you happened to see me, do not hesitate to say hi!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Spending the days outside.

The weather has been great so far. So hot but tolerable, and resulted in my skin tan already. The thing with me is that, I don't turn that bronze tan. Being a typical Asian skin, but perhaps due to my oriental mix, instead of turning dark, I turned awfully grey!!

Yesterday, I was online and suddenly Alan@Seng came up online and asked what I was up to. He invited me over to his place and spend some time at his family's vegetable farm. Took my mum along and we spent few hours at the farm with his family. They were harvesting the water spinach (KangKong) and Spring onions.

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Look at these little baby kangkongs.

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Ripe local oranges. Haven't had these for ages!

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And of course, the price to pay.... mosquito bites!!

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The sunset

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And in the end, to quench the thirst after long day in the sun, a shot of Frappa.

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

First week of my summer break in Brunei.

Departed Eastbourne around 3am, and Shahin drove me straight to Heathrow. Had awful coffee breakfast at Heathrow, but that simply made my eye wide opened as I didnt get to sleep for more than 24 hours as a preparation for the time change.

Arrived safely in the morning of Saturday. Landed safely without any problems throughout the flight. The flight wasn't really bad and it was light that I had both seats to myself. It felt so quick, maybe because I was overly excited to go home. I didn't get to watch the movies as I slept throughout the flight except on meal times. The crew were friendly too.

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On arrival, saw my little Joshua outside the arrival hall. He gave me a HUGE hug and a big kiss. That alone has already made my Brunei trip this time a pleasant one. He couldn't stop saying "I miss you usu, I love you usu". Bless!!!

Just look at him now, how he has grown up so quickly!

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So today is my first week in Brunei. I've arranged my placement for this July and I'm still waiting for the call from the Medical Education Centre at the hospital. Had a good chat with my ex-nursing friends and staffs at the hospital yesterday.

Brunei hasn't changed much except for few road widening, and new layout especially in the capital. The heat is bearable so far and loving it to the bits!! Been reunited with the foods and of course my lil car!!! hhehehe

Just look at the beach scenery here. Something I really missed whilst I was away.

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My lil baby!!! Hehhehe

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And my reunion with char kway teow

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p/s: thanks to the newly introduced wireless internet connection. Thinking that I won't be staying long here, buying the modem and subscribing the internet wouldn't be worthwhile. So I thought I might just upgrade my phone simcard to a 3G, and connect to the laptop for internet connection. Indeed, made the right decision. It's very fast (broadband connection), cheap and reliable. heheh

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

First and the last?

I was packing my stuffs, and at the same time clearing my room. Went downstairs, chucked the rubbish out to the main bin. *BOOM* slams the door. I swore at that moment as I didn't have the keys with me. I normally have the keys with me regardless if it is just going down for a cuppa. Top it off, I didn't have my phone with me. Hence, I couldn't recall anyone's phone number including the landlord.

Tried knocking, door bell, banging the door, etc. You name it, all done but failed. As I live in town, all passerby looked at me with suspicion. I even tried slipping in a card to unlock the door. But there was still hope, as I saw the first floor's window is up. Worse comes to worst, that could have been a resort. So I waited patiently, not moving anywhere hoping any housemates to return. My mind started thinking about the negativities. What if AD has gone off to London? What if the two girls had gone to Germany??? What do I do? I'm flying off tomorrow!!!! On the brighter note, I had my wallet with me. Suddenly, the rain came down pouring. That's when I started to move, and it was freezing cold. Moving away gave me the idea that I should go to one of my friends' house. Elizabeth or Therese? Well thinking that Elizabeth lives near the hospital and she's normally at home. Another problem? Which one is her house?

Finally got to her house hoping someone was in. Luck was on my side, she was in. Happily she opened the door for me offering me a cuppa thinking I was there to visit. I explained to her, and she immediately called Therese to ask for AD's (my hope / housemate). Therese didn't have AD's number, then Elizabeth decided to call the university's registry for phone number. Due to the privacy protection, she couldn't give us the number but she could call. Whilst waiting, I thought I might give the Leaf hospital a visit to see if AD was in. Elizabeth was also kind enough to offer me coat, but I said it's fine. As I walked up the hill, I saw the glimpse of Wendy's car. THERE's HOPE!!!

Checked every corridor of the department, no one. Last, the treatment areas. I met Wendy, she was so happy to see me. Suddenly this bitch (year 3) in authoritative manner saying "should be in clinical dress in clinic!" WTF!!! "Is AD here?" was my first question. "Yes" she replied. GOSH I WAS OVERJOYED!!!!!! Got the keys, and went back to Elizabeth's house to tell her. And now I'm here blogging this fresh, and I am still wet!!!!!

Something to ponder:
As I walked across town, I passed few homeless people and made me think, Gosh, how could they manage as I couldn't even manage without a phone and house key for few hours. Where as they got none!!!

I think it's a good "cobaan". Hehhe Alhamdulillah, everything is fine, and Insya Allah, all will be running smoothly albeit it's Friday 13th tomorrow!!!

And by the way, waiting outside the house for a long time wasn't the first time. It happened on the first day I arrived here when the landlord gave me the wrong key! And now, it happened again on my last day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

One step, two step, HOME!!

This is probably my last homecooked lunch this academic year before I announce my kitchen officially close. I was in a rush in town today, but not knowing why. Maybe because I was already so used to the hectic lifestyle in time constraints. Whilst I was browsing the aisles of M&S, I realised, why should I rush when there is nothing to rush about. Only then I started to calm down.

So here's my lunch of baked lightly dusted white fish fillets, with chips and gravy, with sausages. I need to clear off the foods in my fridge and cabinets.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Sunny day Brighton.

Couldn't find few stuffs here in Eastbourne, so I thought of making a trip to Brighton to get them and I was pretty sure that I could rely on Brighton. Contemplating between London and Brighton, but since I am much more familiar with Brighton, so what the heck. Plus I still have one bus pass that Shahin gave me last two weeks as he had 2 left that he used to go to work. He didn't need it anymore, so he gave it to me. So I had used them wisely then! lol

It was nice and sunny, and even sunnier in Brighton. The bus was full and they even do special service "via Beachy Head" which is a norm on Sundays only. Got off Brighton, got my first coffee shot from Starbucks whilst deciding where I should go. I was walking aimlessly in the crowd of moving people and having the lists running through my head. Suddenly I remembered the whole purpose me being there, looking for my sis's Chanel stuff which I couldn't find in Eastbourne. Then, to Woolworths, Robert Dyas, Zara (twice), Aldo, TOPMAN, oh well... every corner I would say. Brighton is just huge come to think of it. Everywhere I walked, I discovered new interesting looking alley, which I decided to skip.

At 1.30, I thought I had everything I needed. Looking for this Chinese grocer, and it's no longer there. Wasted my energy up that hill!! argh! Then popped into M&S and got myself lunch. Left M&S and there, the bus to Eastbourne waiting. Then I decided to eat my lunch on the bus then, plus it was quite empty. But traffic was horrible. Worst than it was coming in.

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So here's me with my "posh" lunch, overlooking magnificent views of the Sussex Downs and nice warm sunny weather... Bless!

Sandwich for main, and the Honduras King Prawns with Dip as starter.

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For the "Champagne", it's Peach and Grape of 2008! =)

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The scenery

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Sunday, June 08, 2008

My baby's heart is arrested!

Well, who is Sani without his camera? Remember that time on last winter when the lens of my old Nikon went kaput? When I frantically impulsively bought this new camera that instant! Perhaps, everyone knows Sani with his camera wherever he goes.

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Today, I was busy drenching my bank account on shopping. I bought myself new pairs of sandals, spring jacket (which I need for next year or when I come back during the fall season) to replace my lost GAP jacket, but still doesn't feel the same, some work clothes, and few other stuffs as well. Plus, my warm wears are all faded and worn out. Even the Zara is now has got holes, and the rubber bands are all loose which I still wear them.

My Jacket

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And can't help myself but to get this cute little thing. Now you can get in kids size in what ever the adults wear! So, I am sure someone will be looking cute this summer!! If the uncle's cool, the lil nephew has to look extremely cool as well!!

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I thought, why not take some pictures of what I have bought today. That's when the "memory card error" kept on flashing. I've tried re-formating from the camera and the laptop, it didn't work fully. Shots were still possible, but images were unidentified. Tried scanning it, and found virus detected in it. Cleaned and quarantined the virus, it didn't help at all. Instead, the memory card is now arrested!!!! Immediately I looked out for new memory card, but will it worth it? Remembering I still have the old memory card (256MB), but obviously, won't be able to take much photos as I previously could. Perhaps, some patience will be alright where I can buy it back home, and hopefully at a cheaper price.

So there goes, my baby's heart is arrested!!!!!!!! Goodbye.... Now I can only take 300+ pictures on "alright-ish" resolution.

So how do you like my brand new sandals?? Pretty suave eh!?!?

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Saturday, June 07, 2008

End of Year 2 mini gathering.

We meant to have a get together event on the weekend of our last term. However due to many unforeseen circumstances, we had to change the plan. Cos initially, we wanted to go karting. But obviously that is impossible with Shahin's whiplash injury. Instead, we opted for a low key get together. The usual me, Emily, Shahin, Therese and this time Hannah joined us. We had dinner at Cosmo and then watch the picture before everyone said goodbye. =)

At Cosmo

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Everyone being silly in the car!!

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End of Year 2.

Alhamdulillah and I am glad that year 2 is over now. Reflecting the journey, it was certainly not a path to return back to due to the challenges that everyone in my group including myself had to overcome. The term ended with my poster presentation on Diabetes. In important times like the presentation, time is certainly priceless. 10 minutes went by in a blink of an eye, but I managed to present it well, controlling my nerves, and that deserved a pat on my shoulder. Everyone did well. Everyone should be thankful to Megan for standing up to gather us altogether and discuss how we should "Act" during the presentation where we would prepare questions and as if it was a "pop" question during the presentation. Hence, we all came prepared and it was excellent! Everything was well organised, and the environment was certainly very conducive. Having said that, we certainly couldn't avoid the questions from the lecturer.

I prepared my question on how Diabetes may affect joints? Well, I had this idea whilst I was treating a patient in the consultant room (another proud moment I had) where Diabetes was discussed. It was Mr McInnes who introduced me to "the positive prayer sign", to see any joint stiffness in the joints resulted from process of glycation / glycosylation. The same principle to HbA1C which is the glycosylation of haemoglobin. In joints, it affects the joints cartilage. The second factor is where neuropathy occurs in the foot of diabetics, it disrupts the pain perception, hence, predispose the bone to weakness causing it vulnerable to breaking. Once broken in neuropathic condition, one would just continue weight bearing, progressing deformities and alteration of anatomical position such as declination of talus. This results in the rocking shape of the foot, predisposing / exacerbating ulcerations = neuropathic ulcers. Poor nourishment to the musculoskeletal structures may also predispose this breaking vulnerability. Such would be due to AV Shunting, causing haemostasis and hyperaemia which reduces oxygen level, and inreases the CO2 level = poor nourishment to tissues.

Whaha, well the above is kind of a synopsis on how I answered the lecturer's question!! Hence, me being happy.

After the presentation, we had a BBQ gathering arranged by Angie and Martin. I was knocked out to sleep after the presentation, and unable to make it. Many dropped me calls and texts where I was. Feeling guilty, I thought I would have to make it regardless if it means coming late. Angie called as I replied the text and I swooshed my way to Martin's crib on a taxi that instant. Weather was brilliant, and most made their way home already. There were few left and we had a good chat, reflecting our journey from Year 1 to 2. It was good indeed, and certainly deserves a "facebook moment". Well it used to be known as "KODAK moment" ahaha

So now I can look forward to go home!!!!

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Sunday, June 01, 2008

Finally the Poster is Done!!!

Yeap, it's done!! Did it in 3 days, and didn't think I could manage it at first! Next, is to prepare the script and rehearse. Hehhe

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Chippy shops in price war.

Kebab and chips are part of the British diet, hence the ubiquitous chippy shops. Eastbourne is no exception to this mushrooming of new chippy shops. As a result prices competition to attract more customers and mostly students like myself. Chips and kebab are common foods especially late night after clubbing or after tons of pints in the belly.

I was craving for this kebab, and contemplating between chinese takeaway. Staying around takeway shops simply made decision making a difficult one. I initially wanted to cook, but my housemates have cleaned the house as in major transformation for the landlord to check, I thought I better not dirty the kitchen with grease etc. So, kebab it is. Here's the kebab!!

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Exam Forthnight.

It's the final week of the semester. Had my written exam that I had been worrying about. It went well I must say. All the hard work simply paid off I reckon. Perhaps right now, I'd like to think that way. Only result time will tell. Battling against limited time was the toughest thing to do. Thank God, I managed to scribble and quicken up towards the last question. I probably had good time management as I kept on looking at the time. I was already 10mins over with the first question, so I knew I had to attempt other questions quicker. I couldn't afford to jeopardise other questions that carry 20-30 marks each!

The questions were pretty much expected but not entirely. In terms of my preparation, yes I could attempt the questions. Again the problem was, directing the specific questions. The questions were mostly on assessments and the pathology itself rather than management. Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction and lesser toe deformities definitely came out. Was I comfortable? Well not entirely. I probably had the knowledge but, have I answered the question correctly? That's a big big question!!

Clinical exam is another hurdled I've had so far, and a poster presentation yet to be done. The clinical exam wasn't difficult as I had thought. Perhaps it all falls into what kind of patients and sort of problems you get. My patient was thankfully a very cooperative 82 year old man. On top of that, I was meant to be examined by an examiner who scares anyone in my group or any cohort for that matter. However, my prayers were granted on the right time! Instead, I had the examiner who I had wished for. How? Well, the reason was the rest of the group that I was with didn't turn up. One had an accident and 2 called sick. What a miracle? I'm not sure to call that a coincident? So rather than wasting resources, the examiner thought of me joining the rest of the group which made 6 of us altogether, and having different patients.

One of my colleagues had a difficult patient. Not only she was hard to manage, she also had to be referred to A&E that instant! ahhaa As for myself, I wouldn't call my patient an easy one. I had difficult time in my own way as well. The patients were meant to "act" to some point and they were instructed prior to the exam such as taking their medication list. I thought I was being lucky for being a nurse at the same time as I have prior knowledge in hand. This patient, did not have any clue to what specific condition he had as well as vaguely remembered the medications that he was taking. So I had to give him some prompts like, could you explain to me what was the problem to your lung? And i asked if it was asthma, COPD, etc until he agreed with joy when I mentioned the word "emphysema". It went on like that to other problems as well. I guess that really challenged my ability in thorough history taking. If only the examiners were there to witness. I carried on with other assessments and testings, it went well. I thought that was my very best clinical experience ever. I felt so clever!! ahahah Never I had done a thorough history and clinical assessment to a patient like that before. It was even evident in the notes as I ran out of space to write.

Oh, funny thing was, his phone kept on ringing form his wife until one point he said "could you stop calling me, I'm at the hospital and I'm with the doctor sitting infront of me now!" Hahhahah I thought... Dr? ahha I did enjoy myself throughout the session I must say. Convincing words of assurance from the examiners and other lecturers boost my self-esteem further. Excellent, great and "it went well" were all fed into my ears.

Now, I'm preparing for my poster presentation which I had underestimated the challenge. I thought it was an easy task. Diabetes, how could I have underestimated it!!! Silly Sani, if it was easy, it won't be as an option at Postgraduate level! But yes, thankfully it's a very interesting subject. By doing this also, it stimulates my learning towards the subject even more and this is one of the most significant condition in clinic. Brunei medical scene is no exception to see diabetics, infact, the biggest slice of the pie! The more I read around, the more information overload I tend to get. Like the saying of my colleague, Dr Liz - "we are in a condition of intellectual bulimia". Intellectual bulimic indeed is a good way to describe it. Ingesting as much information as we could, but somehow lost untraced!

To feed my brains, I need glucose. That is something I picked up regarding the link between glucose and brain activity. Hence, my supply of sugar in addition to my stash (which I haven't touched much).

Here's such a comforting dessert I had today prior to working on my poster - marble cake with vanilla ice cream!

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And here's my crowd of books, which are mostly pharmacology and pathology.

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