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Nov. 26th, 2012

Life right now is strange. I spent the last one month in 2 different villages, working in hospitals and living a lifestyle so different from what I'm used to. All I had energy to think about was work, what to grab for lunch and dinner in between breaks and how many hours I could manage to sleep in a day.

Voices of the nurses talking to patients in Javanese I could barely understand would echo in my head while I tried to fall asleep, only to wake up fitfully again to check on all my patients to make sure every one was still fine. This past month and a half feels like a blur now that it's over, and the knowledge I have in my head now feels like it's been there forever. Its at the point where I no longer even remember the number of times I've assisted in delivering babies, and all that comes after. I guess for the past 6 weeks that was all I could focus on; pregnant patients, antenatal care, deliveries, ultrasonography, abortions and curetage, keeping track of my patients and their respective problems, but most of all keeping it all together with zero screw-ups.

It frightens me sometimes, how life seems to pass by in a blur. I remember how I felt at the beginning of this posting, counting the weeks I had to go, and suddenly I'm here at the end of 6 weeks, not even batting an eyelash at the prospect of aiding a delivery.

I've seen some things that frightened me, like the first time I saw a stillborn baby being delivered, how the fetus was macerated and looked nothing like a human; just last Saturday the patient I was examining had an incomplete abortion, the guilt I felt holding the bundle of blood and tissue in my hands, and how I could do nothing to help...

These things will probably stay with me forever.

I still haven't forgotten the first time it happened an I don't think I ever will.
To this day I still feel like I could have done something more, or said something to help prevent that woman's death. I still feel like following the orders we were given was not enough, that even though I was still a student, I should have known better.

But in the face of all this loss, I've learnt one thing: To let go

It's hard, it's painful. I feel guilty about it, but I've come to accept that Death is something that we can never cheat. Despite all the knowledge of healing and medicine humankind has accumulated over the centuries, once death decides it is someone's time, no effort we take can prevent it. We may be able to prolong the lifespan of a person, but ultimately in the end, all of us will die.

The most we can do is give our all to live on.

I will keep moving forward. I will keep walking on. For that is what it means to be human.

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Musings that drive me wild

Some days I wonder what my life would be like if I'd never met you.
Sometimes loving you hurts so much I wonder how it'd be like if I didn't have you to give all this love to; how it'd be like to love someone else who'd send me some love to keep for my own as well.
Sometimes I feel selfish and lonely.
And I feel like I hate you so much for making me like this.

Some nights I wonder how it'd be like if I'd have been able to choose a happier life; one with less tears and less pain, less fear and less loneliness.
Some days I wonder how far from the brink of sanity loving you has pushed me, how many delusions I have planted within my mind.
Sometimes I wonder where my breaking point lies.
Some days I wonder how truly lost I must have been to cling onto a voice with so much desperation; to hold on to a person with so much of me that when he's done there's nothing left over.
And I hate myself so much for letting you be so much, for letting you be my everything.

But I do know...

If I ever had a choice to choose a different life, I'd still choose you.
I'd still choose all this pain and desperation over any form of shallow happiness.
I'd still pick this obsession over any simple love story.
I'd still want my darkness so that I'd need you to be the light.

There's never been anything I've been as certain of as the feeling of gratitude and thanks I feel for being able to know you in this life. That we've been able to exist together in this same time is something I am proud of, for I'd be able to say I shared it with you. I'd want this every single time, this love and this obsession, this pull and this darkness. I'd pick this life a million times over no matter how many rebirths I have. I'd pick a life with your presence in it. Each time I look at something you've worked on it gives me a jolt of happiness, that I'm so lucky to be able to even share something you've helped give to this world; that it's special because it came from you.

Now it's coming to my eighth year of knowing you and having your voice bless my life. Indeed, you have taught me the meaning of true love, for never once have these feelings wavered, never once have they lost their faith in you.

I will not be able to say I will always love you, for I will not be in existence for ever. However I will say I will always have loved you, and for me, you will live on forever.

Thank you a million lifetimes over, for everything you have unconsciously become for me. Thank you for every smile, every word, every lyric, every note, and every breath you have given to this world. Thank you for everything you have done and will do. More than anything, thank you for everything you are in this very moment. Thank you for being.

You chased away my darkness and taught me to not fear it anymore. You taught me the meaning of strength, what it is to keep on going. You taught me to never give up. Most of all, you melted my stone cold heart and taught me how to feel hurt and pain.
You taught me how to love and be happy.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Thank you for everything 楽斗さん。

お誕生日おめでとうございます。

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Time's flying!

Oh gosh, I'm starting my clinical rotation on Monday!

My first posting is at the Psychiatry wards. I'm actually half internally groaning and half in disbelief that I've managed to make it this far without going completely bonkers, jumping in a random fountain and declaring that I am a kraken from the ocean! (crediting Juno for that line lol)

It's been a hard road, not just because this is a difficult course. I've lost many things along this way and changed in so many ways since I first stepped foot onto this island. It's also making me nervous that my competence may be the what saves or takes away another's life, and I'm only just feeling the gravity of this responsibility.

It's also weird because this year feels like it's been put on fast forward. It feels like I had just started on my thesis and electives, and now I already have my degree! Time feels like water to me right now, I'm trying to hold on to this moment as much as I possibly can but its slipping through my fingers, slippery as an eel.

2 more years and I'll be a full fledged doctor! What was once a childhood dream is slowly becoming more and more clear to me.

Ah well, at this point, all I can do is my best!

PS: can I also state that I have discovered the absolute cuteness that is Jang Geun-Suk during this past holiday solely spent watching Korean dramas? I am in love with his voice <3 He is entirely to blame for me now listening to upbeat Korean drama OSTs, because I can't get enough of his voice. Record more albums will you?

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Cancer

These past few weeks have been hard. I can't believe it's almost going to be a month in 5 days. Bit by bit it'll be a year, then two, then ten, and what's left of her will only remain in our minds and memories.

She was diagnosed at the end of last year, but she'd always seemed so strong. Like she'd take it by the neck and throttle it if it didn't leave her alone. Then came the frequent hospital visits, news that it'd spread, that chemo wasn't helping, frightening terms like Xeloda, liver biopsies, stage IV cancer, terms I'd only seen in my textbooks...

That day when she was first suspected of having liver mets and was huddled in pain was when I first felt the fear that we'd lose her. Now that I think of it, she probably felt it then too. I couldn't stand it when delirious with the pain, all she could think to worry about was me; I hated that all I could do was sit by and hold her hand while my tears silently fell.

Hospital visits were scary because I think I'd never get used to seeing people I know there. She seemed fine most of the time, but I could see how the disease had weakened her, there were good days and bad. On some days she could sit up, talk animatedly with us all while noting down her visitors, on others, it was all she could do to take a sip of he favorite lime juice.

The last time I saw her, I hugged and told her she'd be out of the hospital soon and back home. That she'd be okay. Indeed she was to leave the hospital, but not in the way I'd hoped.

I wasn't back home when it happened. Mommy told me, on that last day, she had told her she was so tired and wanted to rest. She hugged everyone there, and a few hours later, she was gone. I only knew at 8 the next morning, almost 5 hours later. It was one of the very rare times I'd heard tears in my father's voice. I spent the day crying.

I skipped graduation to see her one last time. I knew in my heart that she was already gone, that anything physical that remained wasn't her anymore, but it was all I had left. Mommy and popz's grief was evident even in the airport, when I saw them from afar it was like a cloud had enveloped them and blocked everything else out.

The service was alien to me. Full of strange people and harsh sunlight, it felt so unlike her, with her warmth and quiet strength. They'd done her up, arranged her favourite blue flowers around her, but it didn't look like her. It made me cry all the more because I knew rigor mortis had already set in, that she wasn't really there, that this was something I'd studied about death. She was gone.

The burial was in a quiet place, one I knew I'd never visit if I could help it. It was calm and peaceful there, with puppies guarding the fences. I remember tears silently dripping down my face as we laid more flowers and candles around her.

It was good to be surrounded by work and noise when it was all over, because I knew once it was quiet I'd break. Everyone was telling stories, and all I remember doing was cleaning her house while my cousins commented on the dark circles under my eyes.

That night, once I'd gone back home and taken a much needed hot shower, after watching an episode of New Girl on tv and the house was quiet, I listened to Dears~LLV. I remember crying all the tears I couldn't shed during the day.

But at the end of it, I had to wipe my tears and move on.

There were a few episodes like that in the following weeks, where I'd break down in the silence and wail, where I couldn't hold myself back from grieving, where the only thing I could do was give myself five minutes to wipe my eyes and get back up.

I wanted to remember her life, not the horrible disease that took it.

Of how strong she was through all that she'd faced; how there were so many of her patients thankful for her gentle care; how she was adored by her co-workers; how she'd never been bitter towards anyone regardless of how hard things were; how she took care of everyone around her; how she loved cake and that wind chime I never got to give her; how she'd always been a gentle caring soul...


I dreamt of her twice since then. Once when I was at Meg's, and once two days ago here in my room in Jogja.

In the first it was as if nothing had happened. When I saw her, she spoke to me normally, but at the back of my mind I felt as if there was something I'd forgotten. She looked beautiful, radiant in white, surrounded by warm sunshine. She looked happy.

In the second we'd all gathered to say goodbye. It was piercing in it's clarity, where she told us all that she's gone, that we had to move on, to a life without her in it. I felt as if I would not be seeing her for some time.

Death, they say, is but another journey. Still, it's always hard for those left behind. I'll always miss her, there will always be an empty spot where she should be standing.

All I hope for is that wherever she is right now, she is free from the pain. And that she's happy.

I'd like to dedicate this very lovely poem by Mary Elizabeth Frye to her memory.

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.


Rest in peace dear aunt.
You'll live on in my memory.
We love you.

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done with my thesis!

I absolutely suck, because of how lazy I've been at updating in LJ, but I guess that isn't surprising anymore..
Life's been absolutely crazy these past month, and it's mostly because of my thesis. The mistake of picking a neurology topic to do my thesis on I guess, when others chose public health and psychiatry etc. It came up to more than 50 pages in the end, full of facts that I cannot honestly remember typing and referencing.
I feel amazed that I actually accomplished such a huge thing all by myself, and the best part is that my results were actually significant. It's unlikely that it'll make any huge impact in the future where prognosis of hemorrhagic stroke and its association with mean arterial pressure is concerned, but who knows, right? I'd like to think that mine was a pilot study that inspired more research in this matter, maybe it'll really help to decrease the mortality rate of stroke in the future!
There were a few weeks in between, what with juggling between forensics and my research and all the exams, that I really thought I was going to go crazy. Now, sitting here and thinking of it, I am glad its over. Graduation's the only thing left before clinicals start.
But before that, holidays!
I can't wait to finally go home, the first time in more than 6 months. 2 more days to go!

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Things to bring from 2011...

Plenty of lessons I've learnt, and in no particular order of importance and from the top of my head, here they are. Hope I've caught them all!

1. Its okay to make mistakes. Forgive myself and move on.
2. Boys will unfortunately remain an essential but idiotic part of life. Any thing that may seem a good thing may not necessarily be such. Therefore I'm imposing a 2 week rule. Giving anyone who dares infringe on my life 2 weeks to impress, and if not then he's out. I am not going to do anything, because I've realized no boy will EVER be worth it.
3. I can survive being single, because guess what? We're alone when we sleep and dream and we seem to wake up perfectly fine. Crediting G and GACKTionary for that one.
4. Let idiots be idiots. Stay away and ignore and all will be well.
5. No matter what, I'll always have my family and I'll always have my guardian angels. I'll be able to go on. I will be okay.
6. Don't judge too fast! edit: I always judge too harshly, and then try to make up for it by being nice. Most of the time I end up being disappointed in the people around me because they all end up as selfish opportunists. I think being more observant is key, along with not forming any attachments or expectations for those who probably don't deserve it.
7. Opening up and admitting a need for help sometimes does not make one weak. Its why I have friends and my amazing family. edit: talking to mommy about everything makes it seem infinitely lighter and simple.
8. I'm holding on to my ideals of what I really want in life, as well as in love. I want to be happy, and if that includes never settling for anything, then so be it. I have been aiming for the stars all my life in this regard, and I see no reason not to change. If a guy can't ask me out to dinner to my face, then he's not going to be worth it.
9. In relation to number 8, I'm going to actively apply all the opinions of love and relationships I have that have been cultivated by G. May seem harsh but I don't care. One needs standards in life. This includes expecting flowers and lovely desserts and all that.
10. I'm going to have fun, screw the rules. This includes getting drunk, more tattoos, reckless actions, dirty dancing and all such fun and unhealthy activities. I only get one shot at this life and I want it all.
11. Going to see GACKT was the hugest and most difficult thing I've ever done so far. Now I can do anything because we've proven the impossible is actually possible. You just have to want it enough.
12. Its okay to fall into depressions, I just always have to make sure to climb back out somehow.
13. If its half-assed, I don't need it.

Here's to hoping these will help in 2012~




Someday

Someday I'll become stronger.

Someday I'll be the one to save you.

I promise, okay?

'cause you are my heaven :)




The oddities of time

Looking at what I wrote last month, it all seems so freaking silly. I'm so ridiculously happy now, and I want to hold on to this amazing feeling. All the small issues and problems I seemed to have had look so insignificant now.

I spent 3 amazing weeks in Norway that made me realize this world is a whole lot bigger than just the part we live in. There is so much more, we can be so much more...

Norway has always been a country I dreamed of visiting since I was 15 and researching MOON project while in school. The time I spent there feels like a dream on some days, but on others it feels more real than the scenery I see outside my window. It made me feel so close to what Bill said about things falling into place,because I think it was the first time I actually started believing in it. It felt so right, even though I was so far away from everything I've always known.
Being there taught me a lot of things, lessons I feel I have finally comprehended deep in my soul that need no explanation. I have grown so much; Scandinavia, its beauty and the time I spent there will always be a source of strength for me in the days to come.

I know I'll return again next year and I can't wait.

And of course, I'll always remember that one magical night in Stockholm. 7 years was definitely worth it and I would go through all the heartbreak and trouble, all the tears and anguish again without any regrets.

I'll never forget how he looked at me that night, and the way I felt then. The bright lights and his beautiful smile. It didn't matter to me that I was crying so much I had tears streaming down my cheeks and my lips were quivering. I felt this certainty in my heart.

" Everything will be okay. You can do it. You can do anything, because you'll have me and my voice as your strength"

I knew that the silly little things would never matter as much anymore. I knew that no matter what I'd be happy. Because I'll always have him and his voice. His songs to light up the dark.

I know no matter how far I stray and how much I lose myself in darkness, this one memory will save me. He will always save me.

Thank you, GACKT




Off with their heads!

Honestly? I don't even care about getting 2nd place. I am so happy we did this for soo many reasons.

We actually pulled off the whole Alice in Wonderland theme! We looked awesome!
Finally performed Bad Romance and Thriller.
I know Lady Gaga and MJ would have been so proud if they had watched us.
We WERE the best dance group on that stage that night. No one could beat our moves, and no one stunned the crowd the way we did.

But most of all, I'm glad, cuz I have had so much fun over these 3 weeks working this whole thing out, and I have made 3 awesome friends that I am so grateful to know. You guys rock!

PS: Kai Xin was awesome! Hands down she should have won. Judges are both deaf and blind.

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Craving Coral

Random title! Hee its the nail polish mommy bought me this last holidays.

Gaah I miss home! There's no place like it, especially if the alternative constitutes being stuck in Jogja. I had lots of fun the past week, and I don't wanna leave it behind!

We had soo much fun cooking and playing cards and even playing all those weird drinking games (LOL thanks to Kristine ahahah) I didn't want it to end! Coming to think about it, Kristine and I are kind of really alike, just that she's a bit quieter LOL I'm probably so noisy cuz it comes with being Indian xD We get along really well and I feel so comfortable around her :) I know I can tell her anything like how I tell Kero-cchi and Meg and Hotaru-chan and I know she won't mind.

and gaaah the two of them are so so cute together! I'm glad I could see them together cuz it gives me so much hope, that someday I'll have a love like that as well. I didn't think such things really existed till I saw them I guess. They're so awesomely happy together and I'm so happy for them. No one I know deserves this more than you two :D Goes to show that if it's meant to be, it WILL happen, no matter how odd the circumstances ;p

Thinking about all this has made me reconsider everything that is going on here right now as well. I know he's not going to be anything more, but I guess I'll let myself be a girl and have a crush on a cute boy for a while longer. It's not going to go anywhere since its so amazingly one-sided (as usual, and I'm starting to think I'm doing this on purpose) but I guess I can let myself be human for once. Its okay because I know it can't be anything more and so I know I won't end up feeling hurt.

For now tho, imma focus on being a bunny! :DD

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