Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Thing About Nurses

I was scrolling and browsing through some of the Facebook posts from my friends when I bumped into this. It caught my attention as the headlines screamed out the insult hurled upon a senior nurse. As I clicked on the link and read the terse letter to the editor and subsequently the attached photo of the note written by an infuriated patient, I can't help but to pen a few words of my own into my personal blog. It after all strike a raw nerve into my deeper senses as I really adore my nurses a great deal. I can't imagine the reality of how much it would hurt a person so deeply especially after having served the medical sector for so many decades but to be called an idiot and a bitch, all for the fact that she failed to serve a snobbish high-and-mighty citizen who thinks awfully great of herself.

It is often said that serving in the healthcare industry is one that utilises a great deal of humanity. That one has to bow low enough to help mankind, nurture their wounds and assist them in their process of healing no matter how long or how challenging it may take. The late Robin Williams who portrayed Patch Adams in the unforgettable movie of the similar namesake said it brilliantly well.

Talk to your friends, Talk to wrong numbers, everyone. 
And cultivate friendships;
 With those amazing people in the back of the room; nurses that could teach you. 
They've been with people every day. 
They wade through blood and shit. 
 They have a wealth of knowledge, and so do the professors you respect, the ones who are not dead from the heart up. 
Share their compassion. 
Let that be contagious.

And I love that very quote. The fact that he stood up for his principle. The fact that he lavished his desire of serving humans towards the medical board packed with pronounced individuals who has far more experience and knowledge than he did. The fact that he highlighted the motley group of allied healthcare personnel (who are often forgotten by many) who helped to shape the very backbone of any particular hospital. Without the nurses, lives would not have been saved despite you having the best of doctors lined up for your personal choosing. Who would do the doctors' biddings? Who would run the intravenous line and the intravenous drips? Who would inject the drugs, titrate the dosages of the medications according to the instructions printed on the chart? Who would monitor your vital signs and plot them accurately all for the benefit of the doctors doing their rounds three to four times a day depending on how critical one is. And let's not forget about the washing part, one of which that I have the uttermost and sincerest respect for my staff of nurses. They do indeed wade through blood, vomit, saliva, urine, shit and phlegm all day long just to ensure that their patients right under their wings are thoroughly cared for. That their basic activities of daily living skills are managed for without even the instructions from the doctors. 

Nurses aren't there for all the beck and calls from those who think so highly of themselves. Let's get straight to the point. We aren't in the hotelier's business where you tip off the bellman for carrying your bags and serving you with in-house meals whenever and wherever you want them. Nurses have many other responsibilities to care for and it's a pity that there are still those out there who can't see through the weary facade of the nurses especially after a long day at work. They barrel through insufferable workload and bear with the pain and sufferings their patients have to endure with a smiling face just so to comfort them despite knowing for a fact that certain patients would not get any better. They have to endure the sarcasm thrown at them from their superiors, the doctors (at times; those who are truly ignorant if they attempt to find fault with their support staffs) and withstand the affront chucked right onto their faces by difficult patients. 

But at the end of the day, they still encourage themselves to come back and work for another day and then another, and then some. To toil the labor that many would have passed on for much more favourable work with lesser amount of stress. Not to even mention, some other form of occupation that would yield more benefits and wealth. But it is their calling is it not? And it is that very particular fact that they venture deep into their souls, ask themselves and their God as to what they can do for the Almighty to serve their fellow men and women. And so they undertake this particular gruesome task and heap upon themselves the burgeoning workload that no one would even consider, without a single word of complain. They hitch themselves up with a toothy smile everyday when in contact with their colleagues, their superiors, the doctors and even the patients and it is their very close proximity towards those who are ill that would eventually grant the sick the encouragement to get better... to fight the terrible illness that they are afflicted with and leave the hospital. 

If you've ever been admitted in the past. Try to look beyond the tired, exhausted face that comes into your room in the middle of the night where no one would even consider staying awake, and cherish the fact that they are as meticulous in their duty to ensure that you are well taken care of. Forgo the fact that your vital signs has to be taken at ungodly hours and consider for an instance if these things were neglected. A great deal of mishaps would have happened and a variety of problems would have cropped up. They work hard for a paltry pay, but what kept them going alone is something valuable for all of us to learn. We should never shun them for the deeds like the complainant of the memo above did. Try to think rationally and not lash out so immaturely at your whims and fancies. We are all trying our very best to dish out the very best of care for you and treatment/management is never one-sided. It requires a two-way communication and cooperation to get the ball rolling. 

Why can't we as patients be pleasant for a change? Nurses... you all are the true angels in my heart. I should know for I have been admitted for so many times I've lost count. 

The Last Juror, John Grisham

It wasn't one of his best. Not least the most thrilling to go with. Vapid throughout, the story wasn't compelling in its theme. There was the background protagonist narrating his new life in Ford County and his experiences as he takes over the only local newspaper editorials. Come around the decade between 1970-1980 there was a historic murder which grips the small county and made the front page making for a huge debate for the months and years to come. Grisham promises an exciting genre with potential drama that would unfold over time, but it just lulls into oblivion with how his protagonists so much as enjoys his weekly dining with one of the handpicked jurors by the court.

Of course, there are some interesting points to note, such as the hideous perpetrator who starts to take out the jurors one by one almost after nine years of waiting and this makes for an arduous task for the local law enforcements to cope. But as much as it quickly started, the story collapses on itself and comes to an end with not much of an elaboration. The key identity and the hidden agenda was superficially harboured on but there wasn't much depth in between due to the issue of patient confidentiality (the killer so happens to be a mental patient).

It makes for a long relaxing read but there's not much excitement in it. Not so much of a plot or an agenda. The narrative lulls on into tedium and somewhat conveys the message that the author can really write and expand so much as compared to the editor/protagonist; Willie Traynor. The voluminous backdrop of the novel could well pass off as an autobiography of Traynor himself, and nothing more.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Fire Engine Red to Smurfy Blue Shoes

Back in June 27th 2014, I decided that it's time to change my Asics Foundation for a newer pumps after spending about a year with it while in Sabah. The Asics Foundation, which was white all over with stripes of yellow has served me extremely well with 900 over kilometres and not to mention the fact that it accompanied me up and down Mount Kinabalu. The wear and tear was extreme especially after I used it for strenuous training prior to scaling the mountain and thus it would undoubtedly call for a replacement. Spending a few days during my birthday in Kuala Lumpur, I decided to pay Mid-Valley's Royal Sporting House a visit and decided to get a new pair - this time a Gel Kayano 20.

The pros:-
Good stability for both upper and lower soles
High arch support for my medial foot
Awesome cushioning with memory foam
Stable traction with wonderful flexibility
Depth of toe box is brilliantly designed to fit the forefoot well enough
Bright enough colours to attract attention (I just decided this should be in the pro)

The cons:-
Tighter toe box provides for a less roomy environs for toe splaying thus agitating my bunion
Pricey, this baby costs up to nearly RM 600 (USD 18 at that time) 
Bulky and heavy nonetheless, although negligible once you are used to it

But after six months of running with it and recording around 600 kilometres later, I discovered the true reality that it is indeed hurting my bunion though it does provide wonderful support for my flat feet. The less than roomy toe box constantly gives rise to pain over at the site of the bunions in view of constant friction and the forcible push from the pressure applied by the mesh. I couldn't perform well enough and I couldn't run more than 10 kilometres without feeling some discomfort. The ill-fitting orthotics left me stranded with patello-femoral syndrome and I had to rest in between most times during jogging sessions. It is then that I decided to push for something cheaper while providing for a much roomier toe box. 

Introducing Skechers GoRun Ride 3 - my temporary kicks while I get something with much better arch support, stability and long term endurance. 

The pros:- 
Cheap - this baby costs only RM 409
Wide toe box provides for a roomy area for my forefoot thus reducing (totally elimination for me) pain over at the site of bunion - this allows freedom for your toes to splay out comfortably
Awesome cushioning with memory foam support
Extremely lightweight
Bright enough colours to yearn attention (yet again I have to bring this up)

The cons:-
Poor arch support - considerably much lesser than Asics, you can feel the difference by wearing and comparing the both of these models listed above
Rapid wear and tear as the rubber soles aren't made to endure the usual harsh terrain other shoes are much more used to
Pain-free means you can run freely and this would need time to adapt as you would totally overestimate your usual speed and exhaust yourself much too fast
Dept of toe box is too superficial, could be improved a tad bit more and this would make it perfect!

I'm hoping that I could get my hands on a better shoe brand with roomy toe box coupled with wonderful medial arch support. This and a deeper forefoot area would be much welcomed for the condition of my feet. High arch support for my flat feet will take off pain suffered on my knees and a roomy toe box will eliminate all the pain from the bunions. I've narrowed my search to Mizuno Sayonara / Wave Rider and Saucony Kinvara or its' equivalent. Those will be the next shoes on my list that I will be shopping for. =)

Bruno Reincarnated

So what W Bruce Cameron wrote in his novels are true. Dogs do get reincarnated especially when their job on earth is not completed. This concept although not new to begin with has rarely been described in our furry little partners; not until Cameron incorporate it into his novels which made for a wonderful read. If you have yet to read them, here's the review in my blog to help you out.

My mom was taking my dad to get his dentures done when she passed by a house with this merry little blessed puppy who decided to prance up to my mother and greet her with utter joyfulness and happiness. Such occurrence would have been passed off as one who commonly faces this thing if you so happen to be a dog lover as dog lovers do carry a scent where dogs feel safe to be with them. But as the dog owner, this little girl pictured here came running after the puppy calling out his name - Bruno; a sense of recognition seems to become apparent. That this dog recognise my mom not just because she's a dog lover, but plainly because he is Bruno reincarnate/reborn himself. 

And why not? This cheeky little fellow looks just like Bruno when he's just a small peewee doggie-puppy - so full of life, so full of joy and so full of happiness that he just can't wait to share it with everyone that he meets along the way. Think of any way you would want it to be, but I'm satisfied and happy to just comprehend that Bruno is now reincarnated into a new body, a younger life filled with vivacity and energy; now to be loved and cared for by a totally different family who would soak up his love. Needless to say, I'm immersed in a deep sense of nostalgia. And the novels that I read off W. Bruce Cameron affirms the truth (so it seems) that puppies to get reincarnated and that they would seek out their previous owners if their work is not done yet in this very earthly world. =)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Runaway Jury, John Grisham

The downside of this novel is it’s lengthy plot that seems to drag on and on with no definitive ending. There aren’t any subtleties to its story-line and thus it pales on all end in terms of creating a much sought after legal thriller. You could pretty much define how the story would most probably end by a few wild guesses and with little characters to play on the drawing board, it’s not rocket science if you hit the nail head on. Not much of a surprise here though you do get pretty excited regardless as to the shoddy character Finch and a mastermind who goes by the name of Marlee. Grisham didn’t dish out his sophisticated weapons on this one on the cover of its cloak-and-dagger theme which I doubt would have made any startling difference to begin with.

I wouldn’t really recommend this to anyone. The story’s pretty dried up and there’s nothing stellar to show. Just one of those books by Grisham who decides to write a story about each legal characters. So much so that I’ve learnt a great deal about the client, the associate, the partner, the brethren (judges), the lobbyist and yes, now the jurors. It’s quite overwhelming as to how he is so capable to wind a story that fills up nearly 400 pages of a book and made it into a bestseller. A bottomless experience I believe.