Sunday, November 22, 2009

Clinical Pharmacist

I always thought I wanted to be a clinical pharmacist. I don’t know why, perhaps I had the perception that being a clinical pharmacist is the epitome of being a pharmacist – walking in the midst of patients, sorting through their meds and data readings, solving their problems.  

Besides, being a clinical pharmacist is sort of the ‘glamour job’ in pharmacy here. There is this perception that only the best and brightest can be clinical pharmacist. There is this allure and veneration of white coated people strutting about confidently in wards. They are the one standing there thinking on their feet, standing toes to toes with doctors discussing about the care of patients. 

When I was interviewed back in February, the question asked was “Do you want to be a clinical pharmacist?”. When I  reported for duty in April, the same question was asked. What about in-patient supply? total parenteral nutrition? cytotoxic drug reconstitution? No one asked.

Well, I guess I would know whether I would really like being a clinical pharmacist or not tomorrow. I will be starting a four-week rotation in the cardio-thoracic ward. Armed with 4 years of knowledge and 7 months of experience, I am going to march right into the baptism of fire.

Anyway, some more pictures straight from Thirteen’s Cookbook. Enjoy!


Very healthy apple crumble made with oat crumbs!


Just eat it with ice cream. It tasted heavenly.


Self-made profiteroles filled with sinful cream and dusted with caster sugar.


Don’t you wish you are here?


And this was for dinner! 70% cooked Rib-eye steak with self-mashed potatoes and self-made creamy mushroom soup.

Damn I am getting fat.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sunday Cookbook


Another page of my cooking adventure:


Take some sticky honeyed dates,


Add in the usual suspects in baking: butter, flour, eggs and sugar, and beat them up..


This don’t look very promising..


But hey, my sticky date pudding came out just nice! Warm and fluffy in the inside, caramel and sticky on the outside.

Blissfully sweet. But tasted quite sinful too, to think I did it after writing about diabetes and a sweet death.

But then, something are worth dying for.

Anyone want a try? ^^

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Dying a sweet death

Today is World Diabetes Day.

15% of Malaysian aged 30 and above have diabetes.

Worse, 1/3 of them was unaware they have it.

You see, diabetes encroaches upon you silently.

Slowly and surely, it lets you drown in sweetness before you are even aware of it.

To put it simply, diabetes is a condition where there is too much  sugar in your blood vessels.


Too much of a sweet thing is not a good thing, as it slowly clogged up the blood vessel, impeding the transport of oxygen and nutrients to your body. All these leads to severe consequences with death as the end point.

Amongst the complications caused by diabetes include





As pharmacists, I believe we have a huge role to play in educating patients about diabetes.

Hence a few of us are embarking on a research project to educate and enlighten them about this disease.

We are going to make them aware of the disease, the consequences, and how to reduce the progression of the disease via a PowerPoint and video presentation. 

Hopefully, it will make a difference in their lives.

This is our call of duty. Who cares the idiotic government is mulling to cut down our allowance by RM650 per month. Even if  they have every intention to screw us and the patients, we still have a responsibility to make sure patients don’t suffer as a consequence .

Cut down your sugar. Order kurang manis.  Take care of your health. Exercise 150 minutes per week. Check your blood sugar level yearly. Diabetes is no sweet way to die.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

i injected myself with an insulin pen

The pharmacist reached the anticipated end of him long-winded speech. Hands were already in the ready-to-clap position, eager to bring the curtains down on a long day.

But he still had one final twist to the tale on his sleeves, one final rabbit to be pulled out from his hat.

“Now I’m going to give each and everyone of you an insulin pen. You will then proceed to inject yourself to see how it feels for the patient.”

Commotion broke out. The hall was abuzz with nervous and incredulous chatter. What? Poking a needle (albeit a 5mm one) into ourselves?

Pens were passed around. In our little group we were fiddling with the pen nervously.

Since I was the most senior PRP in my group, I wasn’t surprised when the group facilitator pointed a finger at me and intoned “You go first.

Putting a mask of nonchalant bravado, I put on the needle on the insulin pen and with one swift push poked the pen into my ample subcutaneous layer. All I felt was a tingling sensation not unlike a red ant’s sting.

It’s not painful at all,” I declared with a smile. And to prove my point, I proceeded to poke myself a few more times. “See? It’s okay.

Until I realised blood were tricking out of my tummy. “Eeek... blood.” 

I rolled up my eyes and fainted.


Injecting insulin. Been there, tried it. Really, it is not  painful.

That would be an appropriate and sensational ending. But alas, in a disappointing and normal end to the story, I just proceed to wipe out the blood and continue teaching the new PRPs how to use the pen.

Anyway that’s what we do as pharmacists. We don’t just give out medicines to you like mindless robots. Nor are we there to just pick out the careless mistakes of doctors. That will be demeaning to say the least. No, we are the crazy ones poking ourselves with insulin pen to experience how you feel poking yourselves everyday; munching through tablets to see how bitter it is, tasting the syrup to see how sweet it can be.

While we were dispensing, we think of ways to make it easier for you to remember taking the bagful of medicines,  coaxing you and praising you so that you feel taking the medicines are worthwhile, exaggerating our actions like clowns while demonstrating to you how to use your inhalers so that you will remember better.

Really, we do try our best to step into your shoes.


I understand this is how you see me if you have glaucoma.

We are here to make your live living with a disease better and more comfortable.  As long as you can get better, we will feel warm and fuzzy inside.