Thursday, July 29, 2004

Potent Kid Virus Part Deux

24 hours after the bug hit me, I'm still reeling from nausea, churning abdominal discomfort, an early morning fever ( 38.5 deg Celsius ), severe diffuse myalgia, and the occasional bout of diarrhoea ( sorry, I hope you didn't just eat :)). Which just goes to show that washing your hands after every patient doesn't guarantee adequate protection. Or maybe I shouldn't have taken a sweet from the container sitting on my consult room table -- the one that every kid sticks his/her hand into, drawn to it like a moth to a flame.

Luckily for me, I was on standby today, though 2 phone calls at around 9am almost gave me a heart attack ( good thing it turned out to be a fellow emergency medicine trainee arranging a tutorial, and not my department secretary telling me someone at work is on MC and I have to cover him/her, yikes! ).

I didn't have a very productive day, as you can tell. But many hours of sleep and vegetating have done wonders, and I'm all ready to face another busy day tomorrow. I hope...

The Democratic National Convention / John Edwards

If you have access to CNN, and are able to turn it on in the morning this week, you can catch live coverage of this very exciting event, which will culminate in John Kerry's nomination acceptance speech tomorrow ( about 10-11am local time ).

I had the opportunity to watch John Edwards today, and have to admit I haven't seen charisma of such gigantic proportions since the Bush / Clinton tussle 12 years ago. College classmates may remember how I once missed a Maths class in order to catch the election results on my Walkman. Since then, the US Presidential Race has been rather lacklustre, with the likes of Al Gore and George W. Bush taking centrestage. But this year... THIS YEAR... is different!

Although Kerry is the frontrunner, and Edwards the sidekick ( sort of ), I find the latter a lot more fascinating. A North Carolina native who hails from Raleigh ( Clay Aiken's hometown :)), he made a fortune from medical malpractice cases, representing children and raking in more than US$152 million in 63 lawsuits, of which he got a one-third share.

With very humble beginnings ( both his parents worked in mills, even having to take out a $50 loan once in order to pay a hospital bill ), Edwards worked hard in order to make a better life for himself, finally becoming the first in his family to go to college, earning a law degree and carving out an illustrious career as a hotshot trial attorney whose willingness to take on ruthless insurance companies coupled with a natural gift for oratory resulted in a meteoric rise in the legal arena, and subsequently, an almost unprecedented record soar through the Senate in 6 short years.

The love story is no less compelling. He met wife Elizabeth in university, pursuing her despite being 4 years her junior, then presenting her with an $11 ring for their wedding ( which she wears to this day ). Tragedy struck in 1996, when their 16-year-old son, Wade, was killed after bad weather overturned his car. The depression that followed was almost incapacitating, as the couple retreated from work, friends and family, and Elizabeth lay on the couch for months, watching TV with the sound turned off.

One day, however, they re-emerged from their coccoons, and the rest is history. One aspect of their lives I find especially heart-warming, though, is how they decided to have more children at a relatively late stage in their lives -- Elizabeth gave birth to Emma-Claire at age 48, and son Jack at 50. Seeing these two extremely cute tykes cavorting on-stage at this morning's DNC after their father's rousing speech brought a big smile to my face. :D

Unflattering things have been said about Edwards, thanks to a mud-slinging Bush campaign -- "ambulance chaser" being one of them. But I think his record speaks for itself, and details I admire include how this multi-millionaire still wears simple ( ie. cheap ) digital watches with his thousand-dollar suits, and how he celebrates wedding anniversaries at Wendy's ( a fast-food restaurant ). Elizabeth has been described very favourably as well, with one advisor saying "She has the smarts of Hillary Clinton and the charm of Tipper Gore." Another relates how she even once joined a strategy meeting at her home barefoot and dressed in overalls.

12 years ago, I had a gut feeling Clinton would sweep the votes -- which he did. This year, Kerry's win is all but guaranteed, due to widespread disillusion with Bush's many mistakes and attempted cover-ups. But Edwards, the man with "the golden tongue", had audiences riveted during his excellent speech today, rallying supporters with an unscripted, passionate delivery, relaying his slogan, "Hope Is On The Way", and getting thousands to join in the chant. I'd like to see if Kerry can stir up this sort of enthusiasm tomorrow.

Ben Affleck On The Campaign Trail

Here's something else I caught on CNN -- Ben's stint as a commentator on Larry King Live. In a word, it was, well, really sexy. Okay, that's two words. :P

Must be something about a good-looking guy talking politics in an intelligent manner. He held his own with the likes of King, Pat Kennedy, Al Sharpton and a host of CNN journalists. And I got a major kick out of hearing him say things like "acrimonious" and "oratory", heh heh.

SMA News July 2004

It's online, and features two interviews with the current and former Directors of Medical Services, as well as an eye-opening piece by Dr. Lee Chung Horn, a consultant endocrinologist I had the privilege of working with 5 years ago when I was a house officer at Changi General. Very very nice man, and a rocker no less! Cool. :)

The Apprentice

Nothing new to report actually. Just wanted to say how much I love its theme song, with the repetitive "money money money" lyrics and bluesy/rock riffs, superimposed on images of stock markets and private jets. Yowzah! :D

Time to go drink some black tea to try and calm my intestines down. Just started raining. Fantastic. :)

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