Friday, November 16, 2007

A take on life

Life is really too precious to fool around with.

That's what I had learnt after spending a whole week in Royal Melbourne Hospital.

On of my jobs in the research I'm assisting in is to look into patients' medical records and various other databases to piece together what really happened to them after taking a particularly expensive medication. Just like doing a jigsaw puzzle. Which is kinda tedious but fun in a way.

Every medical record had a story to tell. Most of them are sad stories but there are the occasional bright spots. There are some stories, especially on young adults and teenagers which made me feel really disturbed as this uneasy thought of 'it can happen to me, too' kept on resurfacing. They are relatively the same age as me, in the prime of life, when out of the blue, illness struck.

Like this story of a teenage girl who was found to have low white blood cell count when she was going to donate blood. Turned out she got Acute Leukamia. She died one year later. Or the story of a fresh University undergrad. It started inconspicuously enough, with symptoms such as tummy ache and low grade fever. It was cancer, and yes, she died.

It just makes me feel so vulnerable. It really hammer home the fact that life is fragile. It serves as another stark reminder that life is ver very precious. Hospital is also a place where you can get to feel how fortunate and lucky you are to be healthy and well. Eventhough it sounds cruel to the patients, you will appreciate life more when you realised that you are not on drips or in a wheelchair.

On a lighter note, last night I got the chance to attend Swish, which is the 4th Year graduation party in my college for free. There's just one of the perks of being a Student Ambassador (I'm going sailing next week..wee!). I just need to be there to welcome and chat to the sponsors of the event, and help out the staffs when they are short of people. Which in a way is beneficial to me too, coz I get to know more people. The event was really nice, it was an Egyptian themed night. There are sands and sphinx(s) and Egyptian ladies and of course nice drinks and finger food.

Welcome to Egypt..

Sands in front of the entrance. I thought some construction was going on initially. LOL

Lots of people mingling around..

One of the decor.. those are real flowers.

No pix of me coz I had to hijack someone's camera to take my pix.. can only put them up when i got them =)

Another note of interest:

Wherever I go, thirteen will be there.

This is my hospital access card.. it was made especially for me coz it is written there pharmacy student 13.. I always get 13 whatever I do. Lucky number =) Perhaps I should nickname myself thirteen..sounds nice as thats' how Dr House called one of his fellowship candidate. By the way, I just love that show.


youngyew said...

Yeah reading medical records are like reading the patient's unfortunate physical conditions. Whether it's self-inflicted or due to chance alone, chronic diseases are always something that ruin a big part of one's life.

To the busy doctors, all the diseases listed are simply terms that they deal with and process into symptoms, prognosis, indication, contraindication, precaution etc. It has lost quite a bit of human touch. Which is quite sad, but I guess to a certain extent unavoidable. :(

Aleckii said...

I know exactly what you mean. This week, my rotation is at an Oncological Hospital. Just this morning I was interviewing and trying to take down the details of a man's medical record, diagnosed with cancer. It's a really tough job and I think it really takes years and years of experience before you start getting used to it.