Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Running travels

Sep 2011:  my 1st overseas race since returning to Singapore. PJ 10km. got 2nd behind the Malaysian National Marathon record holder. Enjoyed the trip up with my parents and Regina. Such a exhilirating race as I managed to stay with the pack for 3/4 of the race, making it race-able, as opposed to most of the races of my life where I am just running against the clock on my own.

March 2012: had a fun running holiday in Bintan with my friend, Michele. we had running sessions 2x/day for the 2 days we were there. through the hotel golf course doing fartleks!
 April 2012: my 1st overseas race of 2012. Visited Riz in Brunei and ran the stand chart 10km at the same time! Definietly learnt more about Brunei while I was there, ate lots of good local food. managed to come in 1st in the 10km race with a time of around 43min. Prize money paid for my airfare so that was a bonus!
 June 2012: went to Phuket with my siblings + Regina - Prissy. tried to snorkel at the islands the day before the race- wrong move as I ended up vomitting due to sea sickness. 10km race was good. Perfect weather, just after a shower. Flat course, through the villages. Led from 4km onwards so pretty happy. did 41min + for 10km! most of all, enjoyed time with my sibz and eating our fav dish- morning glory.
 June 2012: was reunited with Chara in KL for the KL 10km. ate non-stop before the race thanks to Gen's fantastic recommendation of food places. was pretty scared of the hills b4 the race and 1 week b4, ran up mt faber as part of training. Once again, God was good and provided perfect weather- just finished showering. course had some hills but not as bad as I thought. was always 100m behind the leader- Malaysian National record holder in the marathon. My mind even at 1 point was thinking of what to say to her when I caught up with her, something like "are there any more female competitors infornt of you?" But that never happened. Just remained perpetually 100m or more behind. towards the last 3km, when I started tiring, had a good downhill segment that gave me some energy. Then saw a guy infornt wearing Ruiyong's fav singlet colour. I challenged myself to keep up with him and that pushed me to sprint past him in the last 100m! Overall, happy with my 2nd place.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

first post as an MO

since I last updated, many things have once again come and past.
June- had an enriching holiday with Mum in Taiwan, where I could run everyday. Only to lose my fitness when I came back to work again:( the classic story we keep telling people is of how Mum was looking for a sewing kit in the hotel bedside drawer, only to find a condom. she was appalled. hahaa.
July- finished my first year of work. some say life gets better, others say depending on which posting u are in, u can still be the lowest lifeform plus with more responsibility. I am so used to "calling my MO" when in doubt. (esp in Paeds)
August- had a good break and more time to get fit again. was happy to see the sun everyday, walk about in the shopping centres in mid-day and spend more time on my bed! for the initial few weeks of my break, most of my day was spent lying supine on my bed, watching Friends online. heheee. had quiet time to think about life, about God and reflect on the past few years. Didnt help that when I thought of uni life, it made me sad again that my time in Australia is up.
Sep- start of work as a MO. People say its a steep learning curve. I find myself having a good motivation to read the books I bought. I am supposed to be tested seen before I can start calls. However, I just found out next week I am starting calls in ICU(intensive care unit). So I suppose my test is soon and thats why I am at home, trying to study.....
glad that thoughout the past year, I've had beautiful friends to go through the journey with.
run at Keppel Bay, Singapore

run at Taroko Gorge, Taiwan

Saturday, May 14, 2011

1st post in many many months

I can't believe its been so long here. Looking through the old posts, my last few months in Australia just makes me sad again:( a part of my life that I enjoyed, was really blessed to have seen so many things there.

its been a long and tough year as a HO, the lowest lifeform. trying to work in this system and with the local pple. So used to more polite colleagues who speak English that I can understand. I've made some new friends here, but just wish I could forever be in contact with my friends overseas. They played such a big part of my life there.

So there, i've done Ortho, Gen med and now in Paeds. I used to really enjoy paeds as a student. reading my previous post of my elective in Paeds, travelling with the outreach team, makes me think of Paeds in a positive light again. the cases I come across here and how its managed has been diff from Aust.

I dont know where to start.....the past year has been eventful.
- Grandma passed away, I saw my last entry abt here where i wrote that i knew she was very weak. I still miss u grandma. I wished I spent more time with u when u were younger to share the joys of your medical career with u. Like I said at your eulogy, when I have a hard day at work, i think how u, grandma overcame the odds and pushed through. That u had a harder life than me and u still survived. therefore, i can too....
- more birds have died, garden getting more full with bird burials
- getting used to these long working hours with calls
- going back for graduation and seeing Newcastle once again

basically, trying to survive. At times when Dad keeps calling me while I am at work to ask what time i am coming home for a meal, i hate it. Cos it just makes me feel so miserable of my sad life working late and then I might start crying. Yes, not used to this feeling that pple are waiting for u at home.

living by myself for the past few yrs made me not too reliant on anybody. I have taken away the feelings of homesickness from my head, yet after moving back home....i get showered with lots of attention and i didnt like it.

ok, so many random things here. But now I am at a cross road. not sure what to choose for my MO postings. Will pray about it.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

2 Aug 2010

Xi Wang, my pet budgie passed away around 1pm on Monday.

It all started in Feb 2010. he would try to fly in the cage but always end up dropping to the bottom of the cage. then he became so weak and sick, he was taken out of the main cage and was separated. The worst time I was told was when if you nudged him, he would overturn and couldnt get back up again.

But he was strong and fought on with his illness, nurse with some warmth of a lamp put next to his cage, he got a little better- enough to continue living till July. When I first saw him. I started hand feeding him honey water once a day, would take him out of his cage, wrap him in a towel and bring him to my room. He had enough energy then to wriggle out of the towel and climb out of the little basket I put him in. However, Xi wang still was too weak to turn back to his feet if he fell over.

I thought, enough was enough. I wanted to bring him to the vet to see what was wrong, and get the necessary meds. But, i was reminded how the vets we have gone to(some specialising in birds) have had 0% success rates. THe trend is that after they come back, they die soon after. even though meds have been given. So the rest of the family didnt want that to happen to Xi wang.

To me, i thought the vet might provide some answers at least.....

to be continued.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

its been 1/52

its been a week since starting work officially. doing ortho truama team now. Really blessed to have been paired up with another houseofficer with not too many patients last week. Everyday I am so tired by the end of the day. The only thing I am happy about is that sometimes, if i get home early, there is still light outside and its not cold(as opposed to winter in newcastle).

Last week, managaed a run after work by the singapore river. As I started along the part opp great world city, i thought of how in the previous years, I sometimes would run from home to the river and back for a 2 hour run. not able to do such runs now:( then going up abit further, passing zouk, thought of how 1 week ago, that was the start/finish line of a very eventful race where it ended up in the hosp I work at. Running through the pubs in clarke quay, i saw the pub where my classmates and I met up a few years back. That was memorable......then I ran up to the merlion. Remembered how a year back, I brought chara and her family there......ran on the bridge twds padang....my sisters and I were just there the week b4 running, and pence was stopped by a tourist asking for directions. P was busy doing up her hair cos she saw some army boys...(omg). running back twds great world city, i ran past the new central shopping centre. That was where dad took a pic of me and T when we were only a few years old.

Then ran past brewerkz, went there many times with my family, not anymore now:( the ex-chinese restaurant there was where the hc track team celebrated their triple win after my eventful 4x400m relay, where we won rj by 1 point and I was the last runner in that relay.

coming back to great world city, I grabbed my bag and cycled home. Eventful moments that have happened in my life over the past 20 years were re-visited in that run. Quite emotional but at least something to occupy my mind whilst running.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


ran today with my sisters along esplanade, on the newly constructed double helix bridge, past marina bay sands then back to esplanade via fullerton. it was half a photo-taking session, half a slow jog. prob the last run tog for a long time:(

Mon, i start work and i am so nervous i keep thinking tmw(sun) is mon! ahhh!

just finished putting up some bird posters and newcastle beach framed pics in my room. It now reminds me of aust.

walked with grandma outside today. realised how weak and frail she has become. She could only walk 100m

wondering if i shld get more budgies.....xi wang is still alive! so thats good cos i dont want any more deaths.

Friday, July 02, 2010

my superman

was clearing up my room and found some old receipts
batril 5% injection, batril oral liquid, marbocyl oral drops, repalyte, polyaid plus 50g, vitamin b12 injection at mt pleasant animal clinic dec 2002.
receipt said it was for CLARK.

that jolted my memory of my superman- clark kent. He was so strong till the day he died. My hero. He kept me going through those hard training sessions. Clark dearie, how could I have forgotten about you? You were a cute yellow budgie that became part of my life for a short period of time. WHY did u have to leave? i miss you so much, i wish i could tell u how much u mean to me. Clark and Clarissa had many many children, one of which is still around....Cornelious
and soon it will be xi wang's turn. xi wang currently cant fly and has been that way for the past few months.

Clark, Clarissa, Elvis, Presley, Pami and all my other birds that are no longer with me, i wish u are now free, free like wild birds in australia who have a happy life flying in a flock and playing with each other high up in the trees.

pics: xi wang

Sunday, June 27, 2010

random pics from the past month

june has gone by fast. Last month in Newcastle. had so many farewells and goodbyes and last of lots of things I started losing count. Memories are now kept in photo form in my good-old camera. here are some.Last run with my good med-running friend. Kiwi Andy. I used to be very formal and just call him Andrew, then called him Un-dy for some time. He humoured me by taking this posed shot with the camera resting on a tree trunk in the middle of Jesmond park.
This is Marcos's new pet dashund. his name believe it or not- Dash. just after a good long run with my running group(with Marcos) that morning down the fernleigh track(2hours plus walking through puddles), I met him again right after when I went to the broadmeadow farmers markets with his cute doggeey. I will miss his jokes during our run, bluffing me abt his many girlfriends/wives/children. haha.....
seen at the broadmeadow farmers markets. the things people spend on their dogs these days...
Was given this last year by Dr Geoff Cutfield(i think) he said only to open when u start work and u cant handle the stress. I was too curious and opened it....these were the contents! Chara has yet to open hers....she will be a good girl and open it when the time is right:)
Last bible study with my fav girls at Nicci's house. Yes, its winter and I am wearing shorts.
Running along my fav burwood beach
leading to burwood beach
my fav neighbours
my other fav neighbours. and sabre darling, the best dog in the world!
Last day of med school rounding up sheep on a farm in Molong, Orange.

Its a new beginning and will try to remember all the powerful prayers my newcastle friends have prayed for me during those hard times in a 36hour shift. I have so many things to give thanks for, it is indefinite.

Right now, what I want is that my sore shoulder recovers cos its been 3 weeks since the fall. swimming today was still not 100%

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

runs in newcastle

yesterday was a great run with chara. Our last run together at Nobby's. We ran all the way to the end of the breakwater, and reminiced on the time when we cycled there from uni, and a wave splashed over us. We then cycled home drenched. Then, we ran on the beach, and I remembered when it was my first summer holidays, came there with a bunch of international student friends, built sand castles and rode on a body board.

There was another time when it was winter, went to the beach with nic and his sister stephanie for a picnic. then went closer to the rocks and caught a fish with just our picnic plastic container.

Chara is leaving me in 5 hours. :(:(:(:(:(

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

acts of kindness

1. the librarian in orange introduced me to a fantastic gym when I was new in town

2. the librarian at this hosp now just passed me a box a tissues after hearing me sneeze

3. my friends this morn lent me an extra set of clothes to change into after the run we had today at the beach. was totally covered in mud

ok, back to study. library closes at 6pm, so only got 45min to go:( i wished it was opened till midnight

-Prove them wrong-

Monday, May 31, 2010

part 2

yes, after betting on a dog called "Lamington"( i love food so will bet on anything assoc with that), and won some $$, we headed home. I had a great time with my friends and learnt about betting at a pub.

Woke up on friday not as excited. Did the usual stuff like packing up, went for the tute. Afternoon was spent at a friend's sheep farm. This friend was someone I met once or twice from the swim squad at the gym. I say this because he doesnt know me that well, yet said yes to me when I asked if i could visit his sheep farm. Drove out to Molong, a 40min drive from orange and was welcomed by his wife who had been waiting for me. First greeting was by their pet pink galah at a cage outside and their sheepdogs. She apologised that she had to go into orange to pick up the children, and left me sitting in their house, on my own, waiting for my friend to come home. (He didnt have a mobile phone, so the wife didnt know where he was out on the property. He also did not know that I was coming)

I was so appreciative that this family was so trusting of me. A stranger, in their house left alone. I didnt mind no one was "entertaining" me. I entertained myself. Drove around the proprty, with 7500 sheep. climbed over some barbed wire fence(and got pricked in the mean time) to be with the sheep in the vast open land. As I apporached them for a photo, within 100m of coming close, I had 100 sheep faces looking at me. They watched me, and with the next step, all started running away together. This wasnt fun. So went back into the house, explored the children's bedroom. Was amused to see a poster on the wall saying "old macdoanld had a farm" and had pictures and names of different farm animals. In the office, pictures of prize-winning cows. Fat ones they were.

Soon, my friend came through the door. I explained my appearance and then he said, " I have to move some sheep now. Do you want to come?". YES! I thought he would take a UTE(utility vehicle/lorry), i would sit infront with him and sheep would be loaded up on the back. No, that wasn't how farmer move sheep. We went to the shed, he promptly showed me his motorbike and asked if I wanted to get on one by myself. I refused to be too adventurous and said I would just sit behind him. He started the engine and off we were, going slowly up and down the bumpy paddock. His dogs followed. I soon realised they werent just farm dogs that sat at home doing nothing. They were sheep dogs! with some basic commands, they ran out, held the sheep pack together while we were on a motorbike pushing the sheep from the back. Sometime then, I realised this sheep-rounding experience was one of the best memories I will take home from Orange and Australia. Not just sitting at the back of a bike rounding-up sheep. But also the warmth of my farmer swimming friend. Someone I barely knew, yet so giving and open. And of course, spending some time with SHEEP! On my drive home, I kept thinking to myself what would it be like if I became a farmer.

Got back to hospital, interviewed my last ever patient as a student, who happened to be Aboriginal. Something unique to this country, which I would remember as well.

I felt so blessed that the last day ended this day, to me I would say its like a fairy-tale ending:)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

my last day at uni (part 1)

So it was bound to come. People always start things, and with a start, there is an end. I only started feeling excited the nite before. According to our time table, fri was free. So effectively thurs was meant to be my last day.

Wed nite, i was pretty stoked. I couldnt fall aslp quickly, like I normally do. I had great plans to run and gym the next morn, which normally takes tons of motivation to even get out of bed in such freezing conditions. The next morn(thurs), I drove to the gym. But when i got there at 7am, things started sinking in. I felt scared of the future and of the unknown. It felt like i was about to dive into the deep end of a pool, not knowing how deep the water was. These feelings plus matching music playing in the car triggered an outpour of tears. I sat outside the gym, crying while texting my family of how I appreciated their support.

Gym was good as I did a short 30min run/walk after, heading towards dudley private hosp. stopped to admire the flock of pink galahs and some parakeets. I crept up as close as possible to observe them. Hosp was good, but then came the news. A tutorial has been re-scheduled to friday. darn! meaning thurs was not my last day of school.

Anyway, thurs night the 4 of us med students went into town. ate a banquet at the vegetarian restaurant, then khadijah and i went to the cinema to watch Letters to Juliet. The theatre of 100+ seats had 6 pple in total, incl us. we came out,and snuck back in to watch the 2nd half of J Lo's movie the backup plan. When the movie was done, went to find Ying and Chris at the union bank.thats where he started doing his awkward turtle hand sign! ahhhhhha. Went to orange hotel, had drinks then i bet on some racing dogs.....

to be cont

Thursday, May 27, 2010

an encounter

met this patient today who had an incredulous story.

He started drinking alcohol when he was just a child, joined the mafia then. Got into jail for 10 years....

when i asked him if he had killed or harmed someone.
he said that he didnt want to go into it. he said, "lets just say I made some people dissappear"

When he said that, I felt
1. scared, an errie feeling felt like it swept past me
2. excited that I met a real person that did things I have only seen on hollywood shows

I'd like to think the world is pure and full of nice people. I need to be more open minded, but at the same time not to get paranoid about all the "baddies" in this world.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Drove to Bathurst(40min out of Orange) today with Chris, Amanda and Khadijah. I attended this classical jazz concert at the cathedral, while the rest went exploring round this small town. Its meant to around the same size(or bigger) than Orange. 30 000 people.
the court house in Bathurst

the Gosling Creek guesthouse in Bloomfield. Really more like nurses quarters.
Had an interesting convo with 2 nurses tonite in the kitchen while i warmed up my supper(kangaroo meat with rice and ham).
We had talks about what rehab psych used to be like, which the nurse felt it did more for the patient. She said, back in those days, patients would grow their own vege garden, do more cleaning etc. Now, due to laws that protect them from hurting their backs and being seen as doing manual/slave labour, they just sit in the ward the whole day with maybe a few hours of organised activity a day. I agree, by going outside and doing something, you will recover quicker. But moving into the new hosp, they wont have the space. She said, demented patients need to space to walk around. They feel frustrated when they are kept in confined spaces. I have seen that for myself in hosp.....so I agree on that too.
Excited cos going to picnic tmw with a friend! hope the weather is good:)
Also loved google today. Its pac-man's 30th birthday and the google icon is a pac-man game! been playing with it....it actually works!
Back to dementia, I fear myself getting that when I am older. I see it in my grandmother and think its so heart-breaking. I am regretful that I did not talk to her and sit down to spare her at least 5min of my time when she did have her memory and so much wanted to talk to her grandchild. Why was life so busy then? Why did I always think that she would always be there another day to tell me her stories and it could wait for a day when I was free?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

3rd week in Orange/Bloomfield

this is outside the guesthouse where i stay, taken at 9am. Frost still hasnt melted
I was sick and down about so many things, then went shopping and found this mug! made me alot happier!

taken on the drive to orange from Newcastle, abt 500km drive. took me 8 hours, incl lunch break. this is coming out of sydney, at the blue mountains.
other med students tonite are out a a fancy restuarant eating drug-company sponsored dinner. While i am home doing assignment, then going for bible study....

Monday, May 10, 2010

the little things that make me happy

1. hospital grounds are beautiful. the other morning ran around and saw wild kangaroos....then started to chase them and they ran away:(
another tree on the hospital site
2. going to the farmers markets, seeing an asian stall. stall seller was taiwanese, i bought this red glutinous rice thing.....i miss this food.

3. getting a table for my table-less room. went to the salvation army over the weekend. got a 2nd hand table for $10, $20 for delivering to my accom.

4. eating hand-made dumpling soup by my friend, Ying on the nite i was sick.

5. going for my 1st swim training in orange this morn, only to find i was the only swimmer. was glad that I had all the attention from the coach

Thursday, May 06, 2010


This is running around lake canobalas, 20min drive from the hospital. temp today was max of 10 degrees.
love the autumn leaves.....

Sunday, May 02, 2010

When Ned went to Sabre's house to play

Sabre loves hanging out with ned

I love this pic the most!! the monkey makes a squeaky noise when u press the middle. sabre's fav toy

Sabre just fell to the ground and let Ned sniff him all over!

First, sabre sits for ned, next he drops to the ground(pic above). u here a loud thump when sabre lies down

sharing water

they chase each other, entertaining ping and I

more chasing in the backyard

ok, need to get my assignment done!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

ultimate procastination

need to do assignment due next week. BUT.....been procastinating
- woke up at 7.30am, didnt cycle. lay in bed watched house online
- ate brekkie, watched the news
- went to the shopping centre, Ping called
- went to Hazel's house for KFC lunch and Bomberman game
- drove back to Kotara for massage and a sushi roll
- Came back home, walked Ned and fed him
- out for dinner
AAAAHHHHH. 0 work done at the moment:(

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Don't look back

Pple often say "don't look back". but I did. Looked at my old posts here. Been having a cruisy life for the past year, talking to my sisters they cant understand why I seem to be having "fun" all the time. I read this post in 2007

"i said it in the car to my frens just now...." i want it to end"....not just the horrible things....i was thinking of everthing.i am mentally unstable. i have lost it all. Feel like i am just a time waster. Cant take it.exams weeks away but i am 110% stressed. I dont want it to end as a failure, though i know i am already one.less laughs today and in future. saw Yu Hao today. wanted to so badly skip everything and be him- a doctor. "

and there, been through alot in first few years of med school. This post reminded me how hard i was trying to float back then, the struggles of living overseas, how I wanted to be home again.....

and now....I am going to become like my med snr(Yu Hao)