Thursday, April 29, 2004


4-12 today, this time in resus. On my way up to the ER from the basement carpark, I met a staff nurse and a health attendant, who cheerfully told me, "We're on standby for a mass casualty in Ayer Rajah!" before scooting off with a trolley patient.
My first reaction: a few silent expletives. :P Followed by quiet contemplation, then excited anticipation. By the time I'd changed up and stepped into resus, I was raring to go. Gimme those casualties!!! A few A&E registrars and consultants were clustered together at the far end of the room, talking to our department chief, AND the hospital CEO. Whoa, serious stuff.

Anyway, it's been 45 minutes, and so far the action is confined to NUH and SGH. So much for getting my hands dirty. ( But I'm glad, really. The fewer mortalities and morbidities, the better. )

This past week has been a continuous adrenaline rush. Horrible shifts, packing during every spare moment, little sleep -- I finally dozed off at 2am this morning, after unsuccessfully trying to rest after my 4-12 shift yesterday. Ended up watching a recording of "Sense And Sensibility" -- the updated version directed by Lee Ang, and starring Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, Kate Winslet and Alan Rickman. Spent the whole 2 hours marveling at just how handsome Rickman looked in period costumes, heh heh. :D Lovely film.

Today, I spent the later part of the morning unpacking and cleaning house. Not too tired though, and I'm hoping resus will stay REALLY quiet. Tomorrow is the last leg, people. Packing up the last items, a quick mop of the current place, then the big move on Labour Day. New place is fit and ready for occupation. Can't wait. :)

Latest movie updates!
Due for release in Singapore:

Van Helsing -- 7 May
Troy -- 24 May

Saw part of the trailer for Troy recently. Delish. Girls, eat your hearts out. :P

What A Difference A Year Makes

[ Substitute the word "year" for "day", and it's actually the title of a famous song. ]

My mom brought up the SARS epidemic today during a lunch conversation, and we talked about Singapore's battle with the disease in 2003. Though it happened merely a year ago, it sure doesn't feel like it. For me at least, it seems more like a distant memory -- slightly blurry, with scattered random images.

What stick out in my mind? The deaths of Hok Su and Alex; the Orange Valley resident whom I reviewed, and whose death cert I signed ( without knowing she had SARS ); the fear in my colleagues' eyes whenever the thermometer registered a fever, however slight; the space suits; the masks and gowns; an almost deserted Orchard Road during the peak of the epidemic...

Funny that China is seeing a minor resurgence of cases in the midst of the outbreak's first anniversary. It's contained, they claim. Well, let's hope so.


A certain scene in "Sense and Sensibility" got me pondering. In it, Marianne Dashwood ( Kate Winslet ) finds out the man she loves left her in the lurch in order to marry a lady who is much wealthier, even though it's Marianne he loves. Her sister, Eleanor ( Emma Thompson ) comforts her, saying that the gentleman did love her, but chose money over affection.
"Then he didn't love me enough ," Marianne replies somberly.

Is there such a thing as not loving someone enough, I wonder? I tend to believe that you either do or do NOT love a person. Is it still love if you count in increments / decrements? If there are limits? If you tell yourself that you won't fight for a future together if the conditions aren't just right? I'm not talking personality differences or intrinsic relationship problems here. My questions apply only to couples whose difficulties arise from external sources, be it financial, social status, familial, distance, etc. Call me a romantic. Call me hopelessly so. But I've seen it with my own eyes in this lifetime, and I know it exists. Real Love. What I would give to be able to experience it at least once. :)

I've run out of good Kevin Spacey quotes. Here's one from another terrific movie, Good Will Hunting.

Sean ( psychiatrist played by Robin Williams, in an Oscar-winning role ) [ to Will Hunting, the reluctant and emotionally distant genius, played by Matt Damon ]:
"So if I asked you about art, you'd probably give me the skinny on every art book ever written. Michelangelo, you know a lot about him. Life's work, political aspirations, him and the pope, sexual orientation, the whole works, right? But I'll bet you can't tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You've never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling; seen that. If I ask you about women, you'd probably give me a syllabus about your personal favorites. You may have even been laid a few times. But you can't tell me what it feels like to wake up next to a woman and feel truly happy. You're a tough kid. And if I ask you about war, you'd probably throw Shakespeare at me, right? "Once more unto the breach dear friends." But you've never been near one. You've never held your best friend's head in your lap, watch him gasp his last breath looking to you for help. I'd ask you about love, you'd probably quote me a sonnet. But you've never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable. Known someone that could level you with her eyes, feeling like God put an angel on earth just for you. Who could rescue you from the depths of hell. And you wouldn't know what it's like to be her angel, to have that love for her, be there forever, through anything, through cancer. And you wouldn't know about sleeping sitting up in the hospital room for two months, holding her hand, because the doctors could see in your eyes, that the terms "visiting hours" don't apply to you. You don't know about real loss, 'cause it only occurs when you've loved something more than you love yourself. And I doubt you've ever dared to love anybody that much ."

Think I'll watch my recording of "The O.C." after my shift tonight. :P

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