Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Yemen Mukalla 3

The box with the buntings was missing. There seemed to be no one around to ask! The other passengers had left and we were the only ones waiting in the arrival hall.

A uniformed officer asked us what was wrong and I told him in my broken Arabic .

He asked us to wait and I saw him send two porters hack to the airplane

waiting for our missing box at Mukalla airport

They came back almost an hour later without the box.

I had some experience with lost baggage since Abang Long lost a bag when we landed in Dubai .

Dubai airport is a sharp contrast to Mukalla. In Dubai the workers and officers were super efficient and everybody knew their roles . There were even employees moving around with a T Shirt on which was written Ask Me! When we reported to a porter a bag was missing they immediately asked for the baggage tickets , noted the total weight and weighed the rest of the baggage. They noted the serial number of each bag to find out which bag was missing . The bag was returned to Abang Long the next night.

So now I told the officer I wanted to make a report on the missing bag and we checked the serial numbers on the bags that were there to find out the serial number of the missing box.

By then somebody who seemed to know what to do arrived on the scene.

His name was Lotfi.

I told him we were very late since we were supposed to be at the exhibition hall of the University of Hadhramaut.

Upon this explanation he seemed to brighten up and mentioned that some people from the University had come earlier on to the airport and he had some specific instructions for arrivals from Malaysia.

He wrote a report , asked me to identify the shape and color of the box and gave me a report which I placed in my sling bag after giving it a cursory glance.

We were all set to go and went looking for a taxi when Lotfi , came to us to tell us to wait. He said the officials from the University are sending us a car to take us to the University .

driving to Mukalla from the airport

I was getting a bit suspicious and did not think that anybody would send a car to get fetch us. Maybe they were thinking we were some other people.

I became even more apprehensive when the car arrived complete with an important looking official who greeted us . I am not a person who notices car makes but the car was a beige MPV . A man took our bags from us and soon we were off .

The important looking man called up Hotel Holiday Inn , asked for our passports and said something about a room booking.

He then said that we should check in first before going to the University.

Mas insisted that we go to the University first.

I took out the report that Lotfi made and the words VIP jumped out at me.

"Mas, Syifa , I think they think we are some kind of VIP s and I am sure we are not!"

I am pretty sure Mas and Syifa did not understand that I was beginning to suspect a case of mistaken identity.

There were two groups of Malaysians in Mukalla at that time. One group was part of Tun Dr Mahathir's entourage and another was from the International Islamic Fair and we belonged to the latter .

When we got to the exhibition hall, everybody was moving out because in Mukalla everything moves to a standstill between 1 pm to 4 pm , it was siesta time!

Hadhramaut University Exhibition Hall

It seems that the Yemeni Prime Minister had invited all the Malaysians from both groups to a banquet at Holiday Inn.

We therefore found ourselves in Holiday Inn and Mas checked at the counter to see if we were booked there because the travel agent did mention Holiday Inn as one of the possible hotels .

Without asking any further the reception clerk asked for our passports, made photocopies and somebody came over and signed for us.

When we were shown to the room , my heart began to sink. This could not be right , The room was far too luxurious and way beyond our pockets.

Holiday Inn Mukalla the hotel room that was not ours!

We placed our bags and went for the sumptuous feast . Our table was in front of the table with the Yemeni dignitaries and we saw the Prime Minister taking his lunch. He ate with his hands, did not appear to stand out from amongst his other ministers and I was awed to see how humble he was.

I dare not weigh myself after coming back from Yemen. I like Arab food , it always reminds me of my carefree student days and the two banquet lunches provided me with far too much calories for my own good! On top of which Yemenis seem to have the typical Arab custom of feeding their guests beyond dietary requirements!

By this time the growing suspicion of mistaken identity was growing stronger. We caught up with Fiona Abdullah the travel agent and discovered our group was booked at another hotel , the Arab Sea hotel and the group in Holiday Inn was from the Tun Dr Mahathir entourage.

Who was going to pay for our room? Fiona talked to Mohamed and that was the first time we set eyes on this young Yemeni man who seemed to know a few words of Malay.

"Tiada Masalaaaah", he had said . A favourite phrase he had. He asked Mas to wait until he confirmed a room before checking out but I insisted on leaving immediately , knowing full well a night's stay at this 5 star hotel would break my budget!

At the counter I talked to the man who signed for us and told him I think there had been some mistake and we were not supposed to stay at Holiday Inn. He was gracious and allowed us to leave apologising and saying that they did not know the identity of the people who were supposed to check in because nobody had given them any names!

Mohamed came to talk to us later to confirm he had booked a room for the three of us at Arab Sea hotel and I breathed a sigh of relief!


The IIF, Yemeni people, Women Bosses, Mohamed, Wadi Doan, lost passport and more....

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Yemen Mukalla 2

At the counter in the lobby of Funduk Mattar

" Salam ! Oda ashan talatah ila bukra subh, be kam ?"

Translation: A room for three people until tomorrow morning, how much ?

The reception clerk said $USD 195!

The mind boggles! Here in Aden , of which we had thus far seen grubby money , men in Yemeni cloth( like pelikat) and shirts , battered cars , bare square stone buildings looking rather antique , actually has hotel rooms that cost like they were in New York!

A bit of play acting is called for under this situation! With the sternest face I had , I questioned the price and discovered that he quoted a price for a suite.
After a lot of arguments back and forth he finally quoted $USD 50.

I still did not quite believe that this shabby hotel cost that much per night !
I asked to see printed rates , which he did not have .
He finally understood what I wanted and pointed to the monitor .
Syifa knew how to read Arabic , so she went behind the counter and read out the available rooms and the rates for each room.
We finally settled for a room with two single beds and an extra mattress for $US 47.
It was still rather steep but we did not have a choice and besides, that was the rate Syifa read out on the monitor screen!

$US47 /day and the bare essentials

The room was reasonably clean and free from dust . My nose is a superb dust detector ,(when dust is present I sneeze nonstop) so I can vouch for that! It was about 9 pm and we were still jet lagged and we planned to sleep early .
I went down with Syifa to a grocery store across the road to buy drinks and on the way out , a Yemeni youth asked if we were from Malaysia. He spoke good English and we found out he was studying in Sedaya College in KL !

I adjusted my Sony Ericson P9901 to show Yemeni time and made sure I set the alarm to activate for the Fajr prayers.

One of the blessings of this journey was my ability to fall deeply and soundly asleep at all the strange places we had to sleep in.

In no time at all, Mas was waking me up . She said it is Fajr now , get up and pray! I looked at my mobile phone and it indicated it was only 4.30 am local time . I sleepily told her it is too early but she insisted it was Fajr because she heard the Azan. I reluctantly got up made ablutions and prayed.

15 minutes after praying I heard the Azan and said to Mas , look here , that is the Azan and now is Fajr! So I prayed again. 15 minutes after this , I heard another Azan and this time I was totally confused! I can understand 2 Azans, one to wake people up and another at the onset of Fajr but 3 Azans? I listened carefully and concluded the third Azan was the iqamah .

Mas was insisting that her watch showed it was already 6 am and I insisted it was 5 am .We found out later that there was an hour time difference between Dubai and Aden and Mas had set her watch to Dubai time while I only adjusted my handphone in Aden.

Our breakfast that morning consisted of biscuits and milk that we had bought at the grocery. I drank my Muz Bi Laban which Syifa commented tasted like liquid Banana Cake . I guess it was nostalgia for my student days which made me buy the drink. I used to take fresh Banana Milk Shake at the juice shop in Egypt during my student years.

The journey back to the Airport which started the next morning was uneventful except that it seems I paid only $25 instead of $ 40 , thinking the $5 was a 20 dollar note , US money being of the same color for all denominations! I paid the rest in Yemeni Riyal. I therefore settled the rest of the bill, to the relief of the reception clerk .

The taxi we got this time was a shining new taxi and for that we had to pay Yemeni Riyal 1000 ...for the two minute ride to the airport! This is nearly RM 20!

The one hour plane ride was over in no time and we found ourselves in Mukalla airport , needless to say it was even smaller than the one in Aden.

The bags were out in no time and I was relieved to see my apple green bag . I had a nagging feeling that bags were easily lost by the very lax way baggage was handled. Afterall bags that should have been sent to Mukallah direct were taken out at Aden!

And then it happened.....the conveyor belt had stopped , and the box we were carrying with the buntings was missing!

We had a problem with this box earlier in Aden. Some people , maybe the customs people had torn it open to inspect the contents at which I gave them a hard glare and the same officer who had helped us earlier had said to leave us alone. They had then taped it up with a big cellophane tape that had the words, Resealed and an airport code SAH. Just maybe that made the box go elsewhere for the plane that brought us to Mukalla was going somewhere else after dropping some passengers at Riyan Mukallah airport .

Next : The wait for the bags, VIP treatment , Holiday Inn Mukallah, Banquet fit for Kings and more !

Monday, December 29, 2008

Yemen Mukalla 1

Mukalla Yemen

Where do I begin?

The lyrics of the song Love Story that I knew from long ago did not sound out of place as we were driven around Mukalla by Mohamed in his Toyota Hilux. The pleasant young man who seemed to be everywhere and who was indispensable to the Malaysians in Mukalla did not fail to catch my attention when we arrived at Holiday Inn Mukalla to have lunch as guests of the Prime Minister of Yemen .

The turn of events that made us end up with Mohamed in Mukalla would sound like a drama on TV.

It began when we boarded a plane to Aden from Dubai .

I was apprehensive as I boarded the plane to Aden from Dubai. I looked at Syifa Hana , the 15 year old daughter of my friend Dr Harlina. She looked excited with eyes shining and was totally oblivious of the anxiety I was experiencing. She did not know the Arab world and Dubai hardly counts ! I said to her, " You are not worried are you?"
I thought to myself , that is just as well that Mas and Syifa did not know what troubles they could be in for . Let me be the one who is ready for it and ready to deal with it , having studied in Egypt for seven years, some 30 years ago .

As we touched down in Aden , it felt to me like we had gone back in time . I was seeing Cairo or maybe Tanta 30 years ago. The airport was simple and bare , there were men and women , most of them in traditional clothes . The women in full burka .

There was some confusion as we went through immigration. The immigration officer told us to apply for a visa at another counter and a few seconds later another officer came and asked for our nationality. The minute he knew we were Malaysians he communicated to the immigration officer that we did not need a visa! If only I could give you a picture of the exchange . It was typically Arab , loud voices , a lot of gesticulations and we were done! He asked us for an address in Aden and with my broken Arabic I told him we were in transit and were to catch a flight to Mukalla in the morning and would be staying in a hotel." Funduk Mattar " he suggested. I brightened up immediately and agreed with his suggestion, " Aiywah quais, Funduk Mattar."
He had suggested we stay at the airport hotel and that was great news for us , that there was actually an airport hotel!

The first thing I saw as we left immigration and walked out of the arrival hall were our bags! We had asked that the bags be sent to Mukalla and yet there they were arranged higgledy piggledy by the side of the small baggage area.

I had to think fast . We did not have any place to stay overnight and staying at the bare airport with all the strange men around was out of the question.

I searched for currency exchange counter and found the only one there . I placed $USD 60 on the counter only to have 40 returned and was given Yemeni money to the equivalent of $USD20. I looked at the money incredulously. I have never seen such grubby worn out money since 30 years ago when I was studying in Egypt!

Armed with about 3900 Yemeni riyals , we asked for directions to the Funduk Mattar. It was within visual range and within walking distance , if only we did not have heavy luggage which included buntings for the Trade fair in Mukalla!

In the end we had to take a taxi for the two minute ride and were charged a whopping 600 riyals !Taxi with our bags loaded !

There was another little drama Arab style as I chided the taxi driver for overcharging because the porter at the hotel said it should have been only 200 riyals!
I saw his face turn red as he got ready to fight for his money.
I was not about to prolong the drama and I said in my most regal broken Arabic.
I keep my promise and we had a deal and I had agreed to pay 600 and I am paying it even though you have done us an injustice.
The man broke out in a smile and soon our bags were in the lobby of the hotel.

Another Arab drama was about to ensue....

to be continued.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Laboring to be fit

Ramadhan is special and for me this is the detox , cleansing and recuperate and regenerate month physically mentally emotionally spiritually.

Detox diet, toning exercise, contemplations, extra solat ....

Yes it is not easy , not easy at all but this post is a proof that it can bear fruit !

Detox diet from Maryam's Light of Healing Center while observing Ramadhan fast:
First week: No red meat ,no caffeine , minimal salt , loads of vegetables , no wheat , no sugar , minimal fat , loads of fresh fruit and uncooked vegetables ...
Believe it or not I almost manage to eat this without batting an eyelid over what the others were eating , fried food , tempting sweets , santan based food , coffee..oooh the smell of it .

First day : headache , sluggish , sleepy , inertia but a sweet temperament which I always get when I fast ..well not so sweet..I yelled when my staff told me they did not plan a break and I was to work non stop till 5 pm!

Now going onto 5th day , alert, body feels light , mind is clear and still holding on to this bland diet with a surprisingly good appetitte...there is no hunger involved at all !!

Exercise :
Boy it is tough , especially because these exercises are for core muscle strengthening , and indeed I need that . What with menopause beckoning me , and extra kilos of blubber ! I have been exercising regularly for more than two months now and the results are showing . I can bend my knees and keep in the bent position for some time without feeling any pain which I used to. My ankles are also stronger and I hardly get the stiffness I used to get .I can also walk for longer hours without feeling tired as proven when I did my walkabout in Perth !

Contemplations :

Yes these are my special meditations for this Ramadhan , phrases from the Quran towards selfrealization ...Among my favourites

Fa ayna ma tuwallu fa tamma wajhullah 2:115

Where so ever you turn there is the Divine face

I am slowly building up my extra solats , no shock treatment for me , I let my body find its own pace and build up as I strengthen physically.

Yesterday evening Maryam decided to get my stats , well is that not a bit late considering I was already on the detox. But , about three weeks ago I weighed ........ and now the scales show that I am 4.2 kgs lighter , what do you know ? Nah , I still do not have an hourglass figure and still look grandmotherly , what do you expect, the hormones ( more like lack of it ) are reshaping my body to menopausal figure ...

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Hefty removal for 750-year-old boab tree

This is not the 750 year old tree in King's Park..I do not have a picture of it now since my memory stick has become unreadable .

As we were driving along in Liz's rented car in King's Park , Perth Western Australia, Michelle who was driving started telling us about the Boab tree.

What struck me about the tree is its energy. Even as I write I can feel the majesty and peace of this tree, now in its new home in Perth.

When we stopped in front of the tree that night , it was cold and windy and with the lights of Perth shining like jewels from the look out point a few meters from the tree. The wind was blowing strongly and for once we felt chilly in the very mild end of winter Perth climate.

We went back in the daytime, this time with Kak Noorli , a longtime resident of Perth, formerly Ipoh mari...I wanted to upload some photos , but it is not meant to be. My memory stick has gone bust!

So what was I doing in Perth? Level 3 EFT workshop with Peter Graham. Liz and Kak Noorly were fellow participants. Liz stays in Broome and Kak Noorli is a psychiatric nurse in Perth.
Liz paid more in airfare to get to Perth than I did! Amazing isn't it? I was surprised myself when I booked the flight with Tiger air. The only drawback was having to go into Singapore. The checkpoints were a bit of a hassle , especially getting back , there was a long queue at 4 am ...unbelievable!

News article on the tree:

Hefty removal for 750-year-old boab tree
14th July 2008, 19:30 WST

The bottle-shaped boab tree is being transplanted from Warum, in the Kimberley region, to Perth's Kings Park

The removal of a 750-year-old boab tree from the WA Kimberley for its 3000km journey to Perth has been a more challenging process than expected.

In what is believed to be a world first, the giant boab tree left Warmun in the Kimberly yesterday and its hefty weight required a larger truck to safely transport it to its new home, Kings Park, by Saturday.

Weighing in at 36 tonnes – 22 more tonnes than first thought – the tree stretches 14m high and 8m wide, and it will be planted in Kings Park’s Botanic Garden and feature in the Kings Park Festival in September.

The tree’s root system was also more complicated and extensive than expected.

Since yesterday the tree has travelled along the Great Northern Highway and will pass through Fitzroy, Port Hedland, Cue and Muchea.

While the cost of moving such a massive tree would usually cost about $120,000, local companies including Main Roads and BGC Contracting donated their resources and time at no cost for the project.

After the boab tree has settled in its new home, Kings Park staff will collect its seeds and grow about 200 boabs to return to the Kimberley.

Project co-ordinator Patrick Courtney said when Kings Park found out the tree needed to be relocated because of works on Great Northern Highway, they welcomed the chance to secure it.

“It’s a real coup for Kings Park to have such a magnificent tree, particularly with its strong cultural and historical value,” he said.

“Mature trees rarely become available, so this will greatly enhance the 3000 native species already on show for the Australian public."


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

, “My conscientious self, consider your responsibility sacred.”

It is with a very heavy heart that I write today. I am writing about my country and what is happening to it.
When I opened the Malaysiakini website today , I found a stripped down version and the first news I read made my heart sink down to my feet as I had a deja vu feeling of a similar incident that happened in 1998 .Policemen in balaclava masks came to arrest a man who was seen as a threat to the then leadership. The current leadership seems to fear the same man and I think for a very good reason. This man has courage, wit , charisma and a will to right wrongs and work for the greatest good of the Rakyat.
This versus a government that has become bogged down with building personal gains and saving cronies' skins.
Anwar may have his faults , he has flaws like any other man, some small , some slightly bigger, I admit that . Then again so have all of us, we are not perfect .
What sets him apart is his courage in the face of danger, his firmness in his actions for the sake of justice and honor .
One can tell the manners and ethics of a person by how he conducts himself .
In last night's debate on the topic of oil prices against Shabery Cheek , Anwar did not even once react to taunts and slurs by his opponent in the debate.When asked why he wanted to take over the government he replied very gently,with a tinge of sadness that it would be good for the rakyat if the current government could consider his suggestions and do what it takes to bring down the oil prices before the people sink even deeper in a financial quagmire and the country plunges ever more into a disastrous downward spiral .

Did the government listen? Maybe they did understand the words but the blackness that surrounds them made them unable to respond , only to react with a wounding action that has torn open old wounds in the Rakyat's hearts , by arresting the very man who could probably turn this country around !

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

day out with aimi

this is me :D

this is my baby daughter, aimi :D


PS quite obviously my baby daughter was the one who updated my blog!

I went to CUCMS , for an interview , a job interview , except it did not have any tension to it ! Why? Because

1 It was a formality
2 I am an old hand
3 It matters to me at the same time I leave it to God
4.This job is not about making more money but about making a difference
5. I had worked out my conflicts earlier by prayers and meditation:
What are my conflicts : Leaving a comfortable, familiar environment for a more challenging and possibly less rewarding job monetarily....
Wondering whether this old body can take the challenge of a faster pace of life , more hectic , as if my life is not hectic enough already

Last week:

On top of working from Monday to Friday from 9-2 and sometimes doing evenings from 5.30 to 9.30....

Weekend: Motivation for inmates Penjara Kajang. Read Aimi's version of the trip here
Friday :RSS studio Old Klang Road Shooting for 3 episodes of second season Cahaya Permata 1 st season due on RTM 1 in August.
Saturday: Meeting and elected Chief Editor Suara MPHM , Malaysian Homeopathic Journal
Tuesday ( today ) Cyberjaya interview CUCMS
Wednesday : Tomorrow to Sydney for Healing Workshop and Spiritual retreat

Can it get more hectic?

Yes .......

Anybody want to be my driver ?

What Does Your Birth Date Mean?

Your Birthdate: October 10

Independent and dominant, you tend to be the alpha dog in most situations.

You're very confident, and hardly anything ever shakes you.

Mundane tasks tend to drain you - you prefer to be making great plans.

You are quite original. When people don't "get" you, it bothers you a lot.

Your strength: Your ability to gain respect

Your weakness: Caring too much what others think

Your power color: Orange-red

Your power symbol: Letter X

Your power month: October

Friday, May 09, 2008

Nose stud

The 20 year old sweet young thing came in with her Dragon Mum . Shel came in to have her nose stud removed. She could not do it alone.I think it was her mum who convinced her to remove the nose stud, entertaining her with nightmare tales of an infected nose stud hole.

The nose stud was very small from the outside and from the inside there was this long tiny rod which was screwed on by a tiny screw.

I wonder if it tickles or pokes into the flesh if she slept on her face..or maybe she never sleeps on her face or maybe she cannot bury her head into the pillow to have a good cry because it would make the pointy inside end dig into the flesh in the nose? I am sure she does not have an itchy nose after taking belacan though , because if she did it would be sheer torture not to be able to rub the nose!

My clinic assistant handled the case, and inadvertently screwed it on even tighter!
I muttered something about a pair of pliers to cut off the stud..
The patient was wailing , aaaaah you screwed it even tighter , she got up fuming ...
My clinic assistant talked to her in soothing dulcet tones..a good thing for I had something more sarcastic on the tip of my tongue.
So she sat down again and my clinic assistant unscrewed it the other way this time and finally the nose stud was off....


I did not know that her loud wails and shouts had been heard by my other patients until a patient asked about it later.......


Monday, May 05, 2008

Healing awareness

I have not written a title on this post !
I do not know what to call it yet because I do not know what is going to come out from these typing fingers .
I have been keeping pretty silent about my thoughts for a pretty long time and have not written much about what I have been up to .
Today was a full day. It is now nearly 10.30 pm and I just got back from my clinic .
I asked C , my clinic girl whether she noticed a difference in me. I have been asking this question of various people lately because I had been noticing a change in how I felt which would be reflected in how I acted. This is exactly what Dr Leonard Yong had said in his book Emotional Excellence in the Workplace.

How had this change been brought about?
I think it had a lot to do with how I felt about myself and how I felt in relation to people.
I see it as coming into alignment with my REAL self .

It had been a long time since I had the luxury of going for a full body massage and today , in between my clinic hours , I managed to get such a massage. My regular massage therapist asked me, " Who has been massaging you?"
I said " No one but you! Why do you ask?"
She said " Your body feels soft , with no tensions and not flabby soft either , it has tone and yet it is soft ."
Then she went on to say , " Last week I was in Kuala Lumpur and massaged a lady who was known for her spirituality and her diligence with her prayers . Her body felt the same as yours now ."
I knew she was comparing my body with what she usually found when she had not worked on my body for a long time. It would have knots of contracted tissue and would be sore in many places but not today , inspite of leading a totally hectic life for the past month!

I told her that the reason my body was not contracted and knotted and tense was because I had found alignment in the last one month . I had found what I really wanted to do , I had found my passion and my mission .

I had also found a homeopathic remedy that worked on a level of my psyche that was really deep .
I had related earlier about the pain I had felt in my heart and how it had gotten almost resolved during Maggie's workshop. That however was only part of what goes on within me .
After the heart pain got resolved, I began to notice my colon and intestines. They were in pain and in spasm and sometimes it was really bad . The only reason I did not take any painkillers was because I did not react to the pain and did not feel emotionally overwrought by the pain.
That is what awareness does , that and breathing my zikr all the time . I knew that this is the oldest illness that I had in my body. It had been there since I was 5 months old and had felt abandoned by my mum . There was something else to it than this and a few days ago while talking to my mum I understood what it was. My mum related to me the emotional turmoil she had been through while pregnant with me . While I listened to her I felt my body resonate with the emotions she was beginning to recall. I started to understand why I always tried too hard to impress and prove myself when just being who I am is more that enough most of the time and ...what did it matter anyway what kind of opinion people had of me as long as I was happy with myself ?

When I got back from KL , I instinctively knew what remedy I had to take. I took out my Clarkes, the book edition rather than the software one because I wanted to ponder over the remedy that had come unbidden to my mind. I would never have thought of this remedy except that I was able to accept at that point that I would allow myself to be guided by my instincts ,
Much of the pain I was experiencing was exactly what I read in Clarke's. As soon as I could , I took the remedy. The reaction was immediate. I could feel my body softening and relaxing and at night I could also feel where the remedy had lead my body to start to heal. My sinuses. ,my lungs, my stomach . colon and rectum all felt like they were being worked upon . The back of my throat felt raw , like I was about to catch a cold . This was in the middle of the night and when I woke up the next morning, my sinuses were clear, so too my lungs and my abdomen felt very much better.I repeated the dose more often than I usually would because it had felt as if the energy of the illness was very strong and it was consuming the remedy very fast .

And that brings me to this moment , at the end of a very long day, I still have a lot of energy and clarity of mind with a coolness and a sense of joyousness in my heart that makes me want to share this moment with someone dear ..yet I find myself in solitude in my bedroom with no one to share this moment except my blog!

I now remember that I have some work to do before I start my day tomorrow for I have an appointment tomorrow with the Vice Rector of KUIS .
And what is that about? Wouldn't you like to know!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

What does it take to be a good GP ?

This morning was very busy for me at my clinic. I had been away for a month except for weekends in the past month .

I think perhaps I should go away more often because it makes me relish the busy- ness.
If I were in a government clinic and earned my pay no matter how many patients I did or did not see, perhaps I would be less than happy to be having such a hectic time.

Anyway I am writing this because I needed to tell someone about a lady I saw.
She was about 5 months pregnant and she said she was having a liquid discharge , she had seen a OBGYN who said she was leaking her liquor and she put her on antibiotics AND DID NOT DO a Vaginal Examination.
I did a scan and saw almost no liquor. I looked for the foetal heart . It was beating regularly and strongly! I wanted to do a VE but the lady seemed scared and I had almost put away the VE set when the husband said there was a bluish stringy something that came out from the vagina. I did not see it. I put my hand in and felt it. So I did a speculum examination and found to my horror it was the umbilical cord of the baby. Two bluish cords that looked like the curtain ropes you could buy from the drapers.

I called up a OBGYN friend who asked me to send for an ambulance and ask for a Obstetric Flying Squad from Hospital Melaka.

I did phone , only to get a bored sounding nurse who was not too enthusiastic with my request and asked me to phone the A&E department .

I then tried to phone the Masjid Tanah health center and then the Alor Gajah Hospital and for some reason , no one answered the phone. So my staff called 999 and asked for an ambulance .

That worked!

An hour later a nurse came and half an hour after that the ambulance came . End of Drama in my clinic but not the end of the hectic time with patients.

A young man whom I had been treating for allergic rhinitis and asthma using Homeopathy had now brought his brother. He came all the way from Johor so I had not insisted he come back later because I do not like to mix seeing my CAM cases along with my regular cases. He had wanted his 13 year old brother to get homeopathic treatment for a condition that was there for a long time, perhaps since birth . He had to strain at urine.
I am glad I did not have the GP fatigue of taking for granted it had to be treated with medication.
I examined and found a pinhole meatus with hypospadius.

My question to myself and to you..How come he had not been seen earlier and the problem resolved via surgery ?

I put to you that what it takes to be able to help patients is an attitude :

Examine examine examine ......................

When in doubt over what to do , ask ........................or google .................................

No matter how fatigued and dulled your senses are because of work overload or....
sheer boredom over routine

This advise I give to myself .........for I must have been guilty of having missed cases like these two in the past .......

Hana and Aimi take note of what your Mum wrote and I am sure you two third generation future doctors in the family will remain conscientious no matter how big your workload and how hectic your day.....

ps click on the links to learn more ..the text in mauve

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Treating the pain of Trauma

I first met Maggie Phillips at a workshop organised by Nanyang Siang Pao foundation last year.
At the end of this workshop, I had deepened my experience of somatic healing, which for me was spiritual healing since I used breath, focused awareness and zikr which is a form of affirmation.
Integrating it with energy psychology , I had been able to help my clients deal with pain without resorting to drugs or surgery.

Today and yesterday , I again attended another workshop, this time with a much smaller group and while I was quite familiar with what she had taught, I volunteered as a subject for her to work on. I had in fact volunteered the last time as well but the bigger group and the short session did not have as much an impact on me as did this session.

I think I had very many clues as to what was a habitual problem with my energy . I tended not to be grounded . My healing teacher had pointed it out to me last year, an energy photo had shown the same , when doing healing I sometimes felt too hot, a sure sign I was collecting the energy and not sending it back to the Source. Maggie confirmed my bad habit of not grounding myself. At one point while I was talking she said, " I have to stop you right there, I am not connecting with you and the reason can only be you are not connected to your body."
I understood immediately. I was not connected to my body in a moment when anger took over my thoughts and emotions, when anger made me disconnect from God.
My intellect tried to rationalise and I told her, " How can I not get angry at those @%&*#!!
She then replied, the problem is that when you get angry you disconnect from yourself and when you do that, you disconect from the people you want to communicate to and also, you feel emotional pain which hurts you."
It took me another day before I could work through my anger, sadness and lack of acceptance of a lot of what was happening with me at this point in time.
A lot of it has to do with the work I am doing this month , preparing documents for a Bachelor of Science in Homeopathy for a local IPTS. It brought out a lot of my insecurities , being among academicians made me acutely aware of my lack of scholarship . I was what Maggie said : Dissociated in relation to this particular role , while I was whole and quite comfortable and functioning optimally as a therapist and homeopath.
Why should this be? Indeed I knew the answers but it took a session with Maggie to become aware of this.
On my way back to Seremban , I got caught in a traffic jam when I took a wrong turn and a journey that should have taken 90 minutes took me 4 hours! Even so, I was energised after unloading a whole lot of negative energy interactions within my body and was able to see a client who was waiting for me in Seremban ( I did expect to be back much earlier) .
I feel different within me and was not sure I had left off the anger and sadness and insecurity so I kept checking myself by recalling the people and incidences that upset me and finding myself unaffected in my body. Somatic healing focuses on how our body reacts to triggers and stressors. These stressors can become quite permanent when we hold our bodies the " ready for stress modes " by keeping negative thoughts and negative emotions in our emotions and thus , in our body. One of the ways my healing teacher would address a client when they say " I feel sad or I feel angry is " Where in your body do you feel this emotion"

I will have to keep working on my grounding and also on centering my 'wires ' so they do not swing into active sympathetic mode or active parasympathetic mode and what will help me is REMEMBERENCE...Zikrullah....

You can read more on Dr Maggie's work HERE

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Malaysians wake to a new dawn

Click on the images to know more
The rocket to the moon of the eye of JUSTICE!

Elections on the 8th March.
It was just another day for me except that I wore a yellow kebarung and chose a yellow t shirt for hubby. Bersih I said to him, we want Bersih and yellow is the Bersih color! To work in the morning, afternoon had a quick lunch and then to the polling station . Got home in the late afternoon and was pretty restless and unable to get any work done .

At 7.30 pm the election news started to come in . TV1 and TV 3 gave one sided biased reporting so hubby switched to Astro Awani which was much better. Still it was too slow so we went to the Malaysiakini website and watched the results come in ( they had 5 mirrors up and a stripped down version ) and before I went to bed at 3 am , 7 of my friends and acquaintences had become YB s- elected members of their constituents !!

Even up till now I have not managed to get down to writing my book again. I am still too excited and thirsty for whatever bits of information that will reveal to me the shape of things to come.
Yet, the rational part of me knows that only time will reveal the future and my seeking to understand and know the future is futile for the future is what the future will be. All I can do for now is to keep working as I have always been doing , right whatever wrongs within my capacity and within my circle of influence.

Today I feel hopeful for Malaysians and Malaysia .I never thought the day would come when Malaysians could without fear almost vote out a government that had been using sticks and threats to keep in power, not listening to the voice of the people , manipulating the press for their own purpose , repeating propaganda ad nauseum !

What I could hope for now is that these tactics they used, which has been proven to be inefective in keeping them in power will be cast aside now that they know it does not work.

You may be wondering why I am still so hopeful inspite of seeming so ordinary , going about my life as if nothing special had happened.

It is for this reason:

Malaysians from all walks of life, from all races , from all religions walked to the polling stations and voted for justice and truth.

They voted not along racial lines, they voted for voices of reason, they voted for the orpressed and the wronged . Muslims voted for a predominantly Chinese party, Chinese and Indians voted for an Islamist party for they knew, the common platform was justice and peace as well as a life worthy of our country's vast earnings which had not been reaching the Rakyat. Thus the impossible coalition is now possible: DAP PAS AND PKR have reached the mellowness and maturity to sit down and talk , communicate on common goals and common grounds.

The Rakyat has decided! I ask for Prayers that we are guided always by the principles of Justice and Truth and will always be guided by God in our decisions .

To quote a letter from Azly Rahman on Malaysiakini

Back to the Malaysian Revolution of 2008. It was like the storming of the Bastille in France. Malaysians saw the fall of the four states and the rise of a new 'cybernetic' fourth estate. The broadcast media of the old regime gave way to the new, subaltern media of the revolutionary forces. There was no need to storm and take over Angkasapuri.

Revolutionary ideals and notions of social justice were disseminated far fast, far, and wide through the Internet. Bloggers, columnists, members of MUD (Multiuser Domains), street artists, intellectuals, social activists, and the man and woman on the street were the revolutionary soldiers.

The hegemony of the ruling party has made many skeptical of the same miraculous win as in 2004. ‘Materials, machinery, and media’, as the eminent anthropologist turned politician Syed Husin Ali would say, 'are the foundation of authoritarianism and hegemony'.

I would add that the mind of Malaysians has quietly processed what constitutes truth and justice. Silently the revolution got underway; a revolution of the mind aided by digital communication technologies spearheaded by bloggers who evolved into ‘blogo-ticians’.

More from Malaysiakini:

2008 polls - interesting facts
Mar 10, 08 6:20pm
Barisan Nasional only gained about 51 percent of the popular vote from the 7.9 million ballots cast on Saturday.
However, it took 63 percent of the seats contested - or 140 of 222 seats in Parliament.
Interestingly, its peninsula-wide popular vote was only 49.79 percent, which effectively means that the opposition received the majority vote in this part of the country.
However, when converted to parliamentary seats, BN has 85 of the constituencies in the peninsula, while the opposition bagged 80.

Almost 40 percent of the BN's seats are in Sabah and Sarawak - 55 out of 140.
In 2004, BN won about 64 percent of the popular vote nationwide and 92 percent of the 219 parliamentary seats on offer then.
As the dust settles on the 12th general election, we highlight a number of quirky facts and figures.
Election trivia
· The youngest candidate was PKR’s Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, who is 26. He defeated Seri Setia incumbent Seripa Noli Syed Hussin.
· The oldest candidate was grandma Maimun Yusuf, 89, who contested in the Kuala Terengganu parliamentary seat. She lost her deposit.
· 56 also-rans from opposition parties and independent candidates lost their deposits after failing to secure one-eighth of the votes cast.
· The largest majority was won by DAP’s Teresa Kok against BN’s Carol Chew, by 36,492 votes in the Seputeh parliamentary seat in Kuala Lumpur.
· The smallest majority was just 14 votes for BN’s Hamdi Abu Bakar who beat Abu Bakar Haji Hussain of PAS in the Pengkalan Baharu state seat in Perak.
· Four pivotal players in the Lingam tape scandal also won: Loh Gwo Burne (who recorded the footage), Wee Choo Keong (lawyer who represented VK Lingam’s brother during the inquiry) and R Sivarasa and Sim Tze Tzin (listed as witnesses but eventually not called). All four are from PKR.
· There will be two ‘lone rangers’ in Parliament: Zulhasnan Rafique, the sole BN survivor in Kuala Lumpur’s 11 parliamentary seats - he took Setiawangsa; and DAP’s Chong Chieng Jen who won Bandar Kuching in Sarawak - the remaining 30 parliamentary seats went to BN.
· The biggest number of candidates was in the Sukau state seat, Sabah, where eight candidates ran, including five Independents.
Debutant politicians

Prominent blogger Jeff Ooi - whose campaign was done online and funds were raised through his website - won the Jelutong parliamentary seat in Penang for DAP.
Other bloggers are Tony Pua (DAP, Petaling Jaya Utara parliamentary seat), Elizabeth Wong (PKR, Bukit Lanjan state seat) and Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad (PKR, Seri Setia state seat).

Civil society activists who succeeded were Charles Santiago (DAP, water-privatisation issues), Edward Lee (DAP, local community), Elizabeth Wong and R Sivarasa (PKR, human rights).

Biggest blows

The losses in BN component parties will result in vacancies in various ministries, forcing a cabinet reshuffle.

· S Samy Vellu (Works Ministry)
· Shahrizat Abdul Jalil (Women, Family and Community Development Ministry)
· Zainuddin Maidin (Information Ministry)
· Abdul Aziz Shamsuddin (Rural and Territory Development Ministry)
Deputy ministers
· Chia Kwang Chye (Information Ministry)
· G Palanivel (Women, Family and Community Development)
· Tan Chai Ho (Home Ministry)
· V Veerasingam (Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry)
· S Sothinathan (Natural Resources and Environment Ministry)
· Donald Lim (Tourism Ministry)
· Fu Ah Kiow (Internal Security Ministry)
· M Kayveas (Prime Minister’s Department)
Parliamentary secretaries
· Chew Mei Fun (Women, Family and Community Development Ministry)
· P Komala Devi (Education Ministry)
· Lee Kah Choon (Health Ministry)
· Ng Lip Yong (Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry)
· S Vigneswaran (Youth and Sports Ministry)
· Rahman Ibrahim (Home Ministry)
· Dr Mohd Ruddin Ab Ghani (Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry)
· Yew Teong Look (Federal Territories Ministry)
The full team from the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry all lost in the polls.

All top MIC leaders were wiped out - president, deputy presidents, two vice-presidents, women's chief and youth chief (one of the three vice-presidents, KS Nijar, did not contest).

Post-election quotes

Anwar Ibrahim, PKR de facto leader, quoted in Star today

Some mentris besar in the past spent half-a-million ringgit to renovate their offices. Such things cannot be an example in this new administration.

Nurul Izzah Anwar, Lembah Pantai MP at a press conference yesterday

(On whether she will vacate the seat to force a by-election so that her father, Anwar Ibrahim, can re-enter politics after a five-year ban): I have already started working in my constituency. The question does not arise.

PPP president M Kayveas, quoted in Star today

Prior to the elections, Barisan Nasional had kept on telling people to show their dissatisfaction through the ballot box. Now they have really shown it.

And this from a loser:
Sungai Petani losing BN candidate Zainuddin Maidin,(click on this to hear him talk to Al Jazeera) quoted in Star today

It is not that they love PKR or PAS more that they voted against me.

The Chinese showed their resentment because of the economic backlash they often complained about. So, PAS and PKR should not be overly proud of their win (in Kedah).

The people may have to pay a price for their decision.
Some more firsts!
  • For the first time in the history of General Elections in Malaysia, an ISA detainee, M. Manoharan won the seat at DUN N.48 Kota Alam Shah with a thumping majority of 7,184 votes.
  • There were 17 candidates (opposition) who were current ISA detainee or ex-ISA detainee in the 12th General Elections. 14 out of 17 won the seats that they contested!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Self Esteem

Studies show that at least 85% or more of the world's people suffer from some degree of lacking self-esteem. Although one might think that such challenges are only characteristic of the poor, uneducated, or lower socio-economic members of society, people from all walks of life can suffer situational or more widespread challenges with their levels of self-esteem. Dr. Joe Rubino

A young lady I saw a few days ago could not study. She attributed it to boredom. As we talked , the impression I got was it was about self esteem and poor self image.

A gentlemanI met preferred to date girls well below his social status. As we talked I realised it was about self esteem. A great surprise to me since he was intelligent , refined and well educated.

What is this internal evaluation that we tend to skewer and why. Some answers are in Dr Joe's article which you can reach by clicking the link above and perhaps when I have the time I will expand this entry

Monday, February 04, 2008

Family shots

Ainayya and Nurul Hana
Futya Hanan and Grandma Suriya
Futya is Ainayya's little sister. At six months she can sit, crawl and climb.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Winning Mindset

This is a presentation I made for Pesta Minda Terengganu. Click on the image to see the presentation!