Monthly Archives: December 2012

Put up the start of a few advertisements
to sell some of my and my brother’s stuff
In preparation for the move

Some moron called me at 2am
And I thought it was from the hospital.

In my haziness
I still managed to lecture him about calling at a more appropriate time
Shockingly he still had the cheek to explain he does night shifts hence the call.

What’s more surprising?
He did not sound drunk.
Second surprising fact?
It’s not even the eve of new year to be behaving in such a nonsensical manner.

I ended the call,
Switched the phone to silent.
He didn’t call back.

People are mad these days.


I can hear my parents pottering in my living room,
As they blitz around
Doing their last minute packing.
My immediate and extended families are returning to the Homeland today.

It has been a wonderful time over Christmas, my birthday and my mother’s birthday.
There was a day I came home from work
And got really excited because I knew my parents were home.
Just the fact that there’s someone home to greet you after work is a blessing.
But I knew this was a fleeting luxury
And had the familiar dampening of excitement
Lest I get used to it
And be very sad and disappointed when they all leave.

I really dislike this inter-continental lifestyle.
On one hand,
The work-life balance is much better in the Workland.
On the other,
My family and childhood friends are in the Homeland.
This constant struggle to bridge the chasm
To plug the holes
And grit my teeth
And forget the emptiness
Can be very painful.

It makes me a colder person
With a harder exterior.

One of those shifts where I leave with a bitter aftertaste.
Hectic night.
Two of us holding down the emergency department,
No time for rest.
I had my dinner at 4.30am.

And I was drawing the short straw of the shift,
Always picking up the more complex patients.
Elderly patients with vague ailments who cannot be sent home because they ain’t safe home alone.
And I was seated by the phone,
So I was fielding and managing calls and patients from the wards.
It was insane.

To make matters worse,
I was rostered on at 10pm.
When I rocked up at that time,
Everyone was accusing me of being late,
That I should have been there at 8pm.
I double checked the locum letter and it definitely stated that I start at 10pm.
I sharply corrected the Director of ED when he implored that I was late.
I could have done it more respectfully,
But my reputation was at stake,
And in this line of work,
Reputation is everything.

Then the morning staff came.
Granted they were already starting on a bad note,
Given the emergency was chocker blocked with geriatric patients all waiting for a medical bed on the ward.
Medical beds that did not exist.
There were no free cubicles to see patients in the waiting room,
And a STEMI was on its way.
Plus they were two doctors down,
Shifts they could not fill despite a going rate of $85/hour.

But being unappreciated and insinuating I have not sorted out the patients is not acceptable.
They wanted to send some of the older patients home.
I begged to differ and have spoken to the medical team who had accepted them.
They wanted their beds cleared at all cost.
I wanted the patient to be properly worked up.
I suppose as emergency physicians they have to ensure the more urgency patients have slots.
As a physician trainee I do not see it that way.

And I’m fully aware of my temper and my tolerance.
I don’t know how to rein myself back.
They are ED consultants,
I’m a mere resident.
But I certainly do not hold back when I feel I have been wronged.
I don’t know many feet I have stepped on.
Hopefully they don’t take it personally.

Starting to develop the habit of sleeping late…again.
Funny how these habits creep up on you so insidiously.
I only realized that I have a sleep debt
When I felt I really needed coffee to get me going today.
I don’t usually drink coffee!

On other stuff
I’m over the moon with soccer.
Had my first pre-season soccer friendly yesterday.
It was fun fun fun!!

I suspect I will be playing central midfield or defensive midfield next year.
I noticed how much I drifted between the strikers and the defenders
Patrolling the strip of land
That I affectionately termed No Man’s Land
Between the forwards and the backs.
It is a natural tendency i suppose.

I also like the coach,
He seems approachable
And he seems to know what he’s doing.
But I will stop short of saying he’s fantastic
In case I shoot myself in the foot.

Impromptu Futsal match today.
We thrashed our opponents 12-2.
I’m liking how the lull in soccer is starting to subside
And we are building up in anticipation of the new season.

Was contemplating playing for two teams in two different leagues next year
But now I’m really wondering if my joints can hold up
And if my body can take such physical pressures…

I feel like I’m writing my hopes for the new year.
Analyzing myself in significant events,
The different aspects of my life.
I guess it ain’t matter,
Since it’s my birthday. 😀

2 weeks go I went for pre-season training.
I played as stopper and had a great time defending.
The strikers were astounded,
And called me a human shield.
I took all the balls and deflected them left right and centre,
One of the coaches actually checked to make I was ok and not being bullied.
(That, by the way, is refreshing.
The last three years, I have only met selfish coaches.)

There was a guy there.
I have never seen him before.
He complimented me on a few occasions for good defending.
There was also the vice-president of the club,
Who made a comment and asked if I decided to come back into soccer.
He was also remarking about my defending skills.
Fortunately I was having too much fun to behave awkwardly with compliments.
I do not take compliments very well.

At the end of the session,
The person whom I thought was our coach,
Told me he was the juniors coach,
And was actually being the caretaker of the senior womens teams till a coach has been found.
He asked me if I have actually played with another club before.
It then dawned on me that these people either thought I was a beginner or had retired.

At the end of it all,
He asked if I could be available for a pre-season friendly next week.
And then introduced me to the foreign guy,
You guessed it.
He is the new coach,
And I managed to impress him enough during the pseudo-try out.
Holy shit!!!!!
Had I known there was a try-out,
I would have hightailed it out of there.

And I found out he used to coach the army womens team.
For some unexpected reason,
(I hope I’m that grasping at thin straws here for I am well-known for being overly optimistic.)
I felt better.
If he could handle female army recruits,
We should get on a little better.
In my experience,
Army recruits have attitude and cheek
Because they are independent and intelligent.
Men who are not intimidated by them are a rarity.
God knows how I managed to unwittingly turn all my previous coaches against me
Because I so much as gave a strange look at their poor coaching techniques.

I hope the pre-season friendly would be good.
I’m all pumped
And definitely gonna work my ass off to make sure it ain’t warming the bench.

My only worry is that my work schedule would muck things up
And make me skip too many training sessions and matches
To deprive me of a regular spot on the team.

Only two things can circumvent that.
Divine intervention.
And to be good enough such that the team wants me on in order to progress up the league.

So many things happened over the past few weeks.

I haven’t had time to properly reflect over those events.

I finally made the official decision to change clubs.
It was a series of small transiting steps.
I had a challenging year.
To my surprise,
My close friends in soccer acknowledged that.
I guess I was in denial that it was so obvious.
And I am very touched when they said they were proud of me,
Of finally making the decision of taking care of myself and putting my self-interests first.
Ad telling me I am one of their favorites on the team.
I guess I have been battling this uphill struggle for so long,
That i felt I was Public Enemy No 1.

When I shed tears on the way home from a committee meeting in August this year,
I guess deep down I knew it was time to go.
I have been broken.
I could not mend a broken club that was dragging me along its wake.
And I dreaded meetings,
Jeopardized precious friendships
And was consumed with an intense hatred whenever I so much as glimpsed the culprits responsible for these.
I was terribly unhappy.

The league ended.
Pre-season soon started.
I scouted around.
Commenced training with a new club.
Played regular socials with ransoms,
And realized how refreshing and fun it was,
To just play without any yelling, negativities, or bitching behind people’s backs.
I became happier,
Less grouchy
And definitely stopped snapping at people around me.

Then someone asked me which club I played for.
After a moment’s hesitation,
I told him I was from the new club.
It felt strange to have a different name roll off my tongue when I have been in my old club for the past three years.
It was incredibly bitter sweet.

I told my good mates in soccer.
My biggest fear was losing them because I have moved to another club.
I had a heap of reassurances,
Thank God.

If they knew how important they are to me.
One of the driving factors to return to the Workland,
Was because I felt I was not ready to leave my soccer mates.
Too many loose ends.

Anyway my constant agitation of the situation in my old club has not been in vain.
New policies and procedures have been put in place.
We may have a female coach,
I will definitely join them for a workout when I can.

So that’s a heap off my shoulders.
To leave a club I founded with good friends on a pleasant note.
To have the support of my soccer mates
And the privilege to return whenever I want.

I asked myself
Would I prefer to retain ownership of the club and sacrifice all the significant precious friendships in the process,
Or would I rather leave the club with the friendships I care for, still intact?
And i realized the question was a no-brainer,
The club can cease to exist anytime,
But my friendships are lifelong.

So I’m glad i made the honest choice with myself,
Of having the courage to let things go.
I’m looking towards the future.
I’m nervous
I’m full of hope.
I’m excited.
And that’s what counts. 🙂