Thursday, 1 November 2007

Appreciating life

I love this series called Grey’s Anatomy and I am sure there are plenty out there who’s with me. It is one which depicts the lives of surgeons and their daily antics in the hospital. With a right dosage of what I call ‘subtle humour’ and a heavy presence of the sex element, it has successfully romanticised the whole hospital scene. Despite the occasional death, it gives you a very good feel about disease and hospital. But is it really the case?

I spent half a day at the hospital yesterday and though it was not my first, it was the most torturing experience, mentally speaking. The CT scan that I went to was not for my arm, it was for my abdomen, where all my vital organs are. While waiting, I could see that the whole scene was just so different from the series.

There were no smiling nurses, there were no cheerful patients, there were no doctors walking around talking to patients and certainly, there were no hospital staff flirting with each other or the patients. I could only see grumpy looking hospital staff and most of the other people are worried looking patients. I saw a mother closed her eyes and prayed when her child was wheeled in for CT scan before me. I looked at her and smiled, but she looked away as though she didn’t see me.

I know tv series are often not reflective of reality but when I actually feel it first hand, it can be quite a gloomy experience. I am again reminded of how fragile and yet precious life is.

I would like to share with you a story in an episode of Grey’s Anatomy which I watched last week. Don’t worry, it’s not a spoiler…

A surgical intern accidentally delivered ‘the bad news’ to a wrong patient. This patient, who thought she was going to die, decided to check out from the hospital immediately. She came back 2 days later to see the surgical intern who gave her the wrong news and happily thank him because she said she can finally quit her job which she hates and dumped her boyfriend whom she never love. She has wanted to do that for so long and finally, she found a reason to do it… death or in her case, the thought of death.

The whole thing was acted with great humour and while we can laugh at it… isn’t it funny that we will only do the things that we wanted most when we know that we are going to die and while we are alive, we bite the bullet and take all the shit? No, the answer is that it’s not funny, but sad.

I know… I know… I can hear it over the screen…the silent thought in your mind or a silent whisper that goes “she has nothing to lose anymore”. That is true. But do you know what is the opposite of having nothing to lose? It’s when you have plenty to lose. And that is you and me, people who think we can live forever.

We do not have the luxury of ‘having nothing to lose’ but… we forget that the irony of it is that we have plenty to lose. The only difference is that we have not lost it… … … yet. Yes, life is short, but don’t make it shorter.

61 comments:

maegen said...

agreed~!! life is really really really shorter than what we think it is ~ all the best & god bless you too !!

MeLiSsA said...

spoken like a true wise man ;-)

Lin Peh said...

You strip telanjang liao and the nurse see liao ma face long long lor ! (They no laugh when they see your kkc you ma lucky lor..hehe) Hope everything OK with you. ;-)

_butt said...

exactly. it's like we're in this dark tunnel, and we won't know anything until a speeding train comes and hit us on the spot. the end.

kayatan said...

"There were no smiling nurses, there were no cheerful patients, there were no doctors walking around talking to patients and certainly, there were no hospital staff flirting with each other or the patients. I could only see grumpy looking hospital staff and most of the other people are worried looking patients"

It is very different here in the US. I work in the biggest trauma center's hospital in Florida.

Yesterday most of our docs were wearing Halloween hats and costumes,we were having a lot of funs with the mothers and children in labor and delivery floor. I often read a book of the psalm and pray for my patients under their consents.

Our docs and nurses are very human here, they joked a lot with the patients. My own cardiac surgeon and cardiologist are 2 of the most humorous guys I have met. My son ped. even call me in my cell phone to explain to me some of my queries.

rinnah said...

I wonder what I'd do if I were in her shoes? Probably the same thing.

Hope all is well with you. When are the results expected to be out?

Winn said...

i like ur life sentense...

i think ad agency should use that one liner for their festive community tvc...:)

PurpLe~MuShRooM said...

Hey Zewt... how are you? I hope all is well with you and I am sure you will be alright.

Take care dude!

littlepolaris said...

How's the CT scan result? =D I know memang uncomfortable wto do the scan, especially when u r lying inside, kenot move, kenot swallow, body itchy also kenot scratch ahaha. But CT scan is ok la, MRI scan takes much more longer. Even when I want to fart also must tahan =P.

Hospital in malaysia is running in a different system. And plus, if you knew what the medical students, HO and MO had to go through... I think at the end of the day, we just couldn't smile. If only malaysia is not like how it is, i think you will see the scene in Grey's anatomy.... and ooohhh minus the having sex in hospital and doctor left the underwear in the treatment room part =D.

Seok Thong said...

My 3 days experience in Selayang Hospital was quite OK. It's just after my operation, the nurses keep on mumbling that i should walk more and not just lay on the bed so that my wound will heal faster..I remember when i left the ward, all the nurses were very nice too..saying good byes and take cares to me...Hehe!

And i truly agree with your last sentence..

God bless

Anonymous said...

rightly so - life is short, make it sweet

angel said...

This has got to be one of your Top Ten, zewt!

BUT, I'll think again before quiting my job... yup, plenty to lose but not lost it yet. Choices, huh? :)

Hope u'll get a clean bill of health later today!

penny said...

I did the CT scan before(i feel is CT scan), just few minutes in the machine..luckily there is nothing in my brain(coz I always headache)

Rashikaps said...

Good luck for your scan results. Just read both Wednesday's post and this one.
Life is truly short, mate and yea we take our bodies for granted. I've experienced excruciating pain in my right hand and wrist because long hours spent in front of the computer working :/ Like you, I also realized the taking for granted bit then. :|

Twisted Heels said...

Norman Shales! That episode was pretty hilarious.

Hope your CT scans come back alright. One of my lecturers back in uni told the class life is short and death is sure. That became our quote of the month when we were doing our hospital placements.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. We should appreciate what we have, not what we had.

Anak Merdeka said...

Everyone always have something to lose in such a situation - well that something is ourselves because we do (unintentionally, but honestly!) tend to view ourselves as the centre of this universe, don't we?

I hope my opinion didn't depress you but perhaps offer a little insight into our common fear of the unknown.

Still, I hope today will bring you good news. Keep cool Zewt!

Jason Phoon said...

Perhaps Malaysians are just generally not friendly to each other. Furthermore, we're talking about the service culture here.

Also, don't compare real life with tv life ... ^__^

Huei said...

so true..but many realize it too late

it also happens when people loose somebody in their life..then only realize the so-many things they should've done for them

sodium chloride said...

Of late, I've been reflecting on how I'd live if I had only a year left. If it were drastically different from the way I'm living right now, then I've got to seriously do something about it, by His grace.

gina said...

Get well soon. And yes, I agree with Jason. Don't compare real life with tv! It's not real! Hahahha.

whisperingshout said...

Often the case with hospital, many work like robots.

Hope everything works out fine for you.

sharlydia said...

absolutely! Appreciating our lives and our love ones around us should be the most top priority...

sorry i have to delete the comment u left on my blog, but to answer ur question, YES i am. Pls keep this between u & me, will u?

F.O.N @ frostee said...

We take things for granted until something 'drastic' happens.

Well, I guess hospitals ain't that kinda place that one should go to be feel good. Mebbe it's different in some hospitals in the western world. But then there are some nice ones around particularly them private ones.

Elizebeth D.L. said...

Why you have your abdomen CT scan? Annual body check?

lynnwei said...

hehe....i watch Grey's Anatomy too! aha...haven started e new season yet...soon..

oi.....why did u have ur abdomen scanned? hhmm..which hospital were u in? maybe that day, eveyrone just had a bad day! it's great that u smile...aha....continue to smile and one day, someone will smile back!

lingzie said...

it is true that we tend to think we will live 'forever' and the years will pass before we even know it. we fool ourselves into thinking we have the luxury of time, and therefore put on hold a lot of things (we'll take that family holiday next year etc etc), or just simply get too caught up in everyday life. If we all truly cherished time and lived life remembering that we don't really have that much time, i think we would be happier. and the world would be a better place.
hope all is well with you zewt! waiting for the good news... :)

Angie Tan said...

Hmmmm.. Sometimes we tend to live life as though we can live forever and yet, when we worry, hold grudges or just work ourselves to bad health/death, we are reminded that life is so short.

You're right, life is short enough as it is, why make it shorter?

Anyway, pray that all is clear with your CT scan. Take care and God Bless!

me said...

let's just hope u won't forget the lesson learnt after u get the all-clear report.

i like yesterday's episode better. this mature woman with lung cancer came on to one of the dr. 'i'm going into the toilet and if there isn't anybody looking for me after 2 mins, i'll pull up my knickers and come back out' or something 2 that effect. u shld see how quickly he followed her into the toilet.

Mcmercedez said...

I do agree with you on this as Life is really short.. we have to cherish all we have with us now and we will not know what will happen to us tomorrow..

I've once been through this situation whereby I went into surgery to remove my tonsils.. It's really not like what you have seen on TV.. But for that moment when they put in the anesthetic, and you know you're about to doze off, I have a feeling of whether am I going to wake up or not.. But God bless, I recovered in 3 weeks..

So, it's really true that we have to love everything that we've got now..

zewt said...

maegen - thank you.

MeLiSsA - still learning to be wise actually.

Lin Peh - thanks man. well... nurse didnt see my kkc la.

_butt - it's good when it's the end... if it's not... then it's problem.

kayatan - wow.. i guess it is really like that in the states eh? i guess not with things here. but there is one nurse in the specialist clinic i went to who was very pleasant and positive.

rinnah - went for more test and hopefully they will call me about the results soon.

zewt said...

Winn - festive community tvc?

purple mushroom - thanks... will do.

littlepolaris - yeah, i guess so. malaysia is just too stressful medically speaking. CT scan all clear. now waiting for blood test result.

Seok Thong - guess it aint that bad everywhere eh? well, let's hope for a favourable result for me.

anon @ 12.07am - not too spicy though.

angel - top 10 kinda full :) thank you... still waiting for the good news call.

Anonymous said...

yesterday, what a glorious day it was...

have a round of golf with some buddies in the morning,

then dry bak kut teh in rawang for lunch,

head for a 2 hrs traditional thai massage

finally round it up with a few coldest beers & some succulent siew g in d'sara uptown

zewt said...

penny - good to know that. hopefully i am fine too.

rashikaps - indeed... we abuse our body thnking that it will forever be working properly. we must learn to take good care of it.

twisted heels - oh... you're a doc too i see...

anon @ 7.36am - well spoken man.

anak merdeka - still waiting for the good news. hopefully the nurse call and not the doc.

Jason Phoon - yeah... but one comment said... it's really like that in the States.

zewt said...

Huei - what if we lose ourselves? that could be tragic too.

sodium chloride - i am sure it will be drastically different. we always live as though we have many years ahead. leaving a lot of things to be done in the future. may He be merciful to us.

gina - thanks... i wont be anymore.

whisperinshout - hopefully... hopefully.

sharlydia - i see... what a small world. and small blogosphere.

F.O.N @ frostee - i was in a private one... but then again, i do agree they are somewhat better compared to govt hospitals.

zewt said...

Elizabeth DL - nope... something is not right. they are still testing. hopefully nothing serious.

lynnwei - i will certainly be smiling to those ppl. i had it scanned cos they found something in somewhere it doesnt belong.

lingzie - it's the curse of living i think... we always live as though we have never lived... i hope all of us will take care of our bodies better and live a good life.

Angie Tan - thanks... CT scan is clear. now is the blood test part.

me - oh yeah... i remember that episode... dr karev ran into the toilet with her.

mcmercedez - good to have you back... and i really hope i wont have to go through any of that. but you'll never know. Guess it all depends on God now.

anon @ 3.41pm - wow... life is good indeed huh. may you have it for the longest time. but dont forget to look after yourself along the way.

The Pisces Man said...

A nice piece of writing, mate...

If you were attended to by my wife, chances are you will smile too, just by looking at her face... Hahaa, just kidding...

The mother who looked away as though she didn't see you might have all these other things in her mind, that the fact that you smiled at her didn't register at all...

The Pisces Man said...

Btw, when I said you'd smile just by looking at my wife's face, I meant she has such a sweet face with fair complexion that will make you at ease, NOT that she has a funny look or anything like that... ;p

narrowband said...

I really think I do not know how to appreciate life... I'm taking a lot of things for granted and more often than not, it's difficult to change my habits.

I postpone and procrastinate and always play the 'wait-and-see' game. Sometimes it's difficult to do all the things that we so wish to do, while we still can....

jam said...

Ya you are rite, man! Life is short, we must treasure every moment. Start with no complaining, no blaming, no comparing among each other and let go whenever you can.

Jun said...

hey zewt, i'm sorry to hear of ur disappointing experience in the hosp. sure, u can't expect things to be like wat they're portrayed in tv, but i do think tht the unfriendly atmosphere in the hosp boils down to the msian culture (or the lack of it rather). hospitals whr i'm at, staff and patients are equally friendly. actually, even if u're out in the hosp, walking on the streets, sometimes a stranger will strike a conversation w u, or at least have the courtesy to return ur smile if they're not the ones who initiated it. it's just their way of life, u know, and i believe that once upon a time, msians used to be like tht too, but look wat's happening now?

many of my peers, like me, are finding it hard to assimilate back in msia whenever we go home for the hols. in aus, ppl are so friendly tht strangers have the ability to put u at ease, instead of evoking fear (which is wat i feel whenever i go home-- afraid).

when u do come to aus, u'll experience the vast contrast :)

btw will email u after this. just thought i'd check up on u thru ur blog first :)

Mummy said...

Yes, we can choose. Everything in our lives involves a conscious decision, apart from the day we are born and the day we die. Anything in between is up to us. But a decision without God will be quite empty.

Ehon said...

who doesn't love grey's anatomy?

the truth about life is ppl is spoilt with choices, and paralysed by luxuries. sad but true.

confessing7girl said...

hiiiiiiiiii zewt!! oh it has been a long time!! :D oh im sorry i absolutely love ur blog but i hv been so busy i dont hv time to read i know its kinda sad since i love to read!

on grey's anatomy... there was a time when i couldnt get to bed without having my daily dose... its more of a soap opera than a drama tv show! but that also means its more real!! closer to reality! i just thing the sexual side of the stories are too pronounced! in real life its not really like that!! we wished it were like that, because our lives would be more interesting!

i love the last picture... makes me see how much i hv been doing work and home and i hv the path of life a little forgotten! i know that ... but thanks for reminding me of that!! ;)

lynnx01 said...

I am a Grey's Anatomy fan too! :) And yes, we all know that real life is far different that scripted stuffs in tv.

kayatan said...

Yes, Zewt, quite similar of course take out the sex and romantic part. Of course I can be biased on my part cos I am part of the real life anatomy team :). Been in M. hospitals a lot cos of mom's terminal disease (SLE) so I knew what you have gone through there.
Take a day at a time, Zewt. Will be praying for you, regardless of outcome, trust HIM.

kayatan said...

Death is part of life. No one can escape. Appreciate what you have and make the most of it. I just helped delivered a death baby (hydro cephalic baby) yesterday. Yes, death is part of life when I am part of real life anatomy team but the best part of the job is when I see my 80% burnt patient walk out of our floor after 9months and go back to society, man I am dam proud of our team !

Johnny Ong said...

hope u get well soon.

as life is short - therefore i hav good news and bad news. good news is the future is in yr hands. bad news is the future is in yr hands.

hence, it's important to know yr purpose in life

oz said...

read your second post re your health worries ..

just wanna let you know that you are being thought of and hope you will get well soon..

zewt said...

The Pisces Man - hahaha... i get what you mean :)... well, good that you have such a sweet looking wife eh? i am still waiting for my blood test results.

narrowband - yeah... becos most of the things we wish to do either needs a lot of money or causes us not to get enough money... thus... we dont do it... hmmm... that sounds like a very good blog topic!

jam - but... we must still talk about improving this country :)

Jun - well, they say if you survive the malaysian medical internship, u can survive anywhere in the world... so i guess it's good and bad. i think ppl who has spent quite a number of years in aussie find it difficult to get into the malaysian way of life... you will find such difficulties i am sure.

Mummy - hey and welcome. Yeah, I truly have to thank God for everything. He is indeed GREAT!

Ehon - that is very brilliantly put my friend.

confessing7girl - hey there! good to hear from you again. yeah, i am also addicted to that series... and i think private practice didnt really live up to the mark. as for the reminder... no worries at all.

lynnx01 - yeah... but sometimes, we can be blinded by it.

kayatan - thank you so much for the prayers. I am very touched to have prayer friends not only in my physical life but also within the blogosphere. it is my dream to meet up with all of you one day.

Johnny Ong - that's very phylosophical man... you certainly made a point there.

oz - thanks oz... i truly appreciate that. testing times indeed.

l y n n w e i said...

what was the result of the scan? everything good?

jessbabe said...

love love love grey's anatomy...

curryegg said...

We will always precious life like how God precious us. Nice blog and I like the way you blog. Glad to bump into your blog from lynnx.. ^^

may said...

I pick home! and make sure my team goes home before me... really wan...

*tries to elongate life*

cbenc12 said...

i am one loyal fan of grey anatomy.. always feel sorry for o'malley~ :D

Seaqueen said...

So, that means all the $$ in d world from the fantastic jobs are not worth it.

Shopaholicfern said...

Zewt, i hope u're fine..
take care :-)

Anak Merdeka said...

Hey Zewt ... no new updates so far. I hope u are alright. R u??

zewt said...

l y n n w e i - will be blogging about it :)

jessbabe - many shares the same sentiment i am sure.

curryegg - hi there and welcome to AZAIG. yeah, God is indeed merciful to us. hope to see ya around more.

may - wah... you're a good team leader.

cbenc12 - have you watched season 4... he is turning into a real man!

seaqueen - it's the painful truth.

shopaholicfern - thanks, will do.

anak merdeka - coming right up.

may said...

nah... I just don't like it if someone's doing work for me but I get to go home. and work can always wait one more day. you'll never know when life won't.

zewt said...

may - indeed... that is so true. if only everyone believes in that.