Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Why My Body was Aching?

Why?  What had happened?
I am sure someone is going to be laughing the hell out of him when he reads this post.  It aches everywhere.  Alright.  Where?  The  middle, upper and lower back but not my arms.  What had happened?  I guess I knew just as much.

Yesterday, I started my greatest  venture... ie. preparation for the hardest dish to make!  To me it was the hardest, may not be to you or some who are more expert in cooking.  It was 9:00a.m when I began collecting all the ingredients, arranging them in a colander, sharpening the knife, taking out the chopping board, taking out the dried chilies that I have just bought two day ago and  glancing at the vary recipe that was given to me at the wet market just the day before.  

I was holding some shallots at one of the stalls while talking to the Indian lady presumably its owner, when a gentle and fair skinned lady came wearing a smile in her face.  I caught a glance at her  returning her smile.  I saw her choosing some sizable shallots and putting them in the crinkled plastic bag.
"My children never liked these small ones.  They are harder to peel", said her turning to me.
"If you want a bigger one, take the big red onion", she continued with a little laughter. 

"I was going to try making Rendang Tok  this time but I dunno the exact recipe.  I have been looking on the internet and good grief!!! All kinds of recipes were there.  Some are so elaborate that I couldn't grasp if it was  for this very delicate dish.  While a few has so much metrics in them that I am not so sure how much the quantities are!", turning to her.

"Oh I am not an expert, but I could share my simple recipe with you, take a piece of paper and copy", ordered her. The Indian lady turned and looked for a ball pen and a piece of paper with her Cash Sales pad  and handed it to me.  I began writing the followings diligently so as not to miss any important ingredients from this lady chef.

"2 kgs. beef for rendang (the harder version)

10 stalks lemongrass
20 pieces red chillies
1  1/2 kgs. red onions
7 cloves garlic
2" galangal
2" ginger
2 kilos coconut milk
2 cups kerisek 
4 heaps Tablespoon Curry Powder
2 Tablespoon black pepper
1 piece Gula Melaka

And cook on a slow fire" ordered her firmly.

"Thank you mam for this recipe" holding out my hands to grace her.
"When are you going to start preparing it?" asked her seriously.
"Afterwards when I get home" said I obediently.
"No.  There won't be sufficient time to get it ready.  Definitely you won't get it done today if you start afterwards", firmly telling me.
"You better start tomorrow morning. It takes 8 hours to cook!"  she continued.
"Oh that long? Okay tomorrow I shall begin then", replied me.
"I have got packed coconut milk.  Could I use them?" I asked her another time.
"Oh NO!  We don't use such coconut milk.  Get the pure and fresh ones" replied her.
The Indian lady must have felt safe.  Her 4 boxes of coconut milk were already paid and safe in my bag.
"Oh I am xxxx and thanks again for this wonderful recipe", I continued.
"And I am xxxx", in her replies mentioning her name as Z.

I then left the stall, turning round to go to a Malay lady's stall.  I was looking for some items.  I bought some coconut milk...not little though, 2 kgs. mind you?

Coming home, I felt so tired.  Put everything away and took a rest.

Yesterday morning, I was so determined to try this dish myself.  You know why?  They sell it so expensively at the "Pasar Tani" ...

While cleaning the dried chillies, I was sneezing away.  The dust from them have found their ways into my nostrils.  I tried soaking them in tepid water, it did not go off either.  Never mind.  I have to clean them anyway.  Once done, cleaned, rid off the plentiful seeds, I boiled it on a slow fire.

Next, were the onions.  How many is 1 1/2 kgs?  I made a wild goose guess.  I must have taken more than 20 pieces.  They are small ones, not the usual big sized lot.  Peeling them was not a hassle.  Cutting them up ready to go into the blender.  Half the amount was thinly sliced.  I was not told to do it but I enjoy doing it especially when I have a very sharp knife.  I took out some 12 pieces lemongrass and slicing them up finely.  Cutting up the garlic in small pieces and shoving everything into the blender.  Once done, I heat up the big wok, turning the stove on and pouring out everything into it. Meanwhile, the beef was still frozen but not too hard now.  The chillies were now ready to go into the blender.  Great!  Then I shall have freshly prepared chillies which is not mixed with preservatives.  While waiting for the beef to completely thaw out, I prepared some jellies for the Iftar.  Not difficult at all.  Everything went into the pot, boiled and pour out into the dish, chill and done!  It was 10:00a.m when I noticed the beef was ready to join the rest of the ingredients in the big wok.  Start timing, shall I?

I took my note book, seated on a stool in the kitchen.  Going through the blogs, face book, and emails.  Once in a while, I took a peep into the wok and stir a bit.  After two hours, the amount of liquid went down a bit.  Counting the hours.  That was what I did.  No salt at this time.  The beef were still stiff.  By 5:00p.m I put salt, sugar and and and... I couldn't taste it.  never mind wait until I break my fast, then I shall taste it.  I took it off the stove by 5:30p.m. and got the rest of the dishes ready for breaking of fast.  WOW!  That was some achievement!!!!.

At Iftar, we tasted the "dish"!!! Wow!  HOT!  There was too much chillies in it????  Never mind, I shall "repair" it later.  Hahaha!

There were sugar added, salt required and another stir was done.  This time I shifted it into a non stick wok as the amount was much less now.  It also gave me the correct very dark color.  This is how it should look like.

By night time after the Terawih Prayer at the mosque, I came home beginning to feel IT!!!  There it was!  Aching on the back.  Hihihi, great cook!

Today, still feeling stiff on my back and shoulder.  I put some ointment and settle with it until now.  Today I have two washings ready to be dried, this posting to keep my memory jogging and of course the TV watching.

Some rendang cooking!!! By a beginner who is so anxious on doing it herself.  It was tough no doubt.  The stirring of such volume of mixture gave me this aching back.  But am still thankful, I did not get any aches  on my arms... Alhamdulillah syukur.  I shall keep them in the freezer until they are ready to use... THEY are for my lovely children... I LOVE YOU ...ALL my BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN... 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Spacecraft Sees Solar Storm Engulf Earth

August 18, 2011: For the first time, a spacecraft far from Earth has turned and watched a solar storm engulf our planet. The movie, released today during a NASA press conference, has galvanized solar physicists, who say it could lead to important advances in space weather forecasting.
“The movie sent chills down my spine,” says Craig DeForest of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado.  "It shows a CME swelling into an enormous wall of plasma and then washing over the tiny blue speck of Earth where we live.  I felt very small.”
CME Engulfs Earth (splash, 558px)
A wide-angle movie recorded by NASA's STEREO-A spacecraft shows a solar storm traveling all the way from the sun to Earth and engulfing our planet. A 17 MB Quicktime zoom adds perspective to the main 40 MB Quicktime movie.
CMEs are billion-ton clouds of solar plasma launched by the same explosions that spark solar flares.   When they sweep past our planet, they can cause auroras, radiation storms, and in extreme cases power outages.  Tracking these clouds and predicting their arrival is an important part of space weather forecasting.
“We have seen CMEs before, but never quite like this,” says  Lika Guhathakurta, program scientist for the STEREO mission at NASA headquarters.  “STEREO-A has given us a new view of solar storms.”
STEREO-A is one of two spacecraft launched in 2006 to observe solar activity from widely-spaced locations. At the time of the storm, STEREO-A was more than 65 million miles from Earth, giving it the “big picture” view other spacecraft in Earth orbit have been missing.
When CMEs first leave the sun, they are bright and easy to see. Visibility is quickly reduced, however, as the clouds expand into the void.  By the time a typical CME crosses the orbit of Venus, it is a billion times fainter than the surface of the full Moon, and more than a thousand times fainter than the Milky Way.  CMEs that reach Earth are almost as gossamer as vacuum itself and correspondingly transparent.
CME Engulfs Earth (signup)
“Pulling these faint clouds out of the confusion of starlight and interplanetary dust has been an enormous challenge,” says DeForest.
Indeed, it took almost three years for his team to learn how to do it. Footage of the storm released today was recorded back in December 2008, and they have been working on it ever since.  Now that the technique has been perfected, it can be applied on a regular basis without such a long delay.
Alysha Reinard of NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center explains the benefits for space weather forecasting:
“Until quite recently, spacecraft could see CMEs only when they were still quite close to the sun. By calculating a CME's speed during this brief period, we were able to estimate when it would reach Earth. After the first few hours, however, the CME would leave this field of view and after that we were 'in the dark' about its progress.”
“The ability to track a cloud continuously from the Sun to Earth is a big improvement,” she continues.  “In the past, our very best predictions of CME arrival times had uncertainties of plus or minus 4 hours,” she continues.  “The kind of movies we’ve seen today could significantly reduce the error bars.”
CME Engulfs Earth (zoom, 200px)
This 17 MB Quicktime zoom adds perspective to the main 40 MB Quicktime movie of the CME engulfing Earth.
The movies pinpoint not only the arrival time of the CME, but also its mass.  From the brightness of the cloud, researchers can calculate the gas density with impressive precision.  Their results for the Dec. 2008 event agreed with actual in situ measurements at the few percent level.  When this technique is applied to future storms, forecasters will be able to estimate its impact with greater confidence.
At the press conference, DeForest pointed out some of the movie’s highlights:   When the CME first left the sun, it was cavernous, with walls of magnetism encircling a cloud of low-density gas.   As the CME crossed the Sun-Earth divide, however, its shape changed.  The CME “snow-plowed” through the solar wind, scooping up material to form a towering wall of plasma. By the time the CME reached Earth, its forward wall was sagging inward under the weight of accumulated gas.  
The kind of magnetic transformations revealed by the movie deeply impressed Guhathakurta:  “I have always thought that in heliophysics understanding the magnetic field is equivalent to the ‘dark energy’ problem of astrophysics.  Often, we cannot see the magnetic field, yet it orchestrates almost everything.   These images from STEREO give us a real sense of what the underlying magnetic field is doing.”
All of the speakers at today’s press event stressed that the images go beyond the understanding of a single event.  The inner physics of CMEs have been laid bare for the first time—a development that will profoundly shape theoretical models and computer-generated forecasts of CMEs for many years to come.
“This is what the STEREO mission was launched to do,” concludes Guhathakurta, “and it is terrific to see it live up to that promise."

Author: Dr. Tony Phillips | Credit: Science@NASA
More Information

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I Have JUST Noticed

There are three blocks of apartment coming up.  They are built on  slopes of the hills behind our apartment.  The block nearest to ours consisting of 15 storeys in total.  Gradually it reduces as the contractors are trying to maintain similarity in height. At exactly 6:30a.m this morning the first heavy vehicle arrived.  Then all the happenings began.  The hustle and bustle of a busy built site.

Vaguely I tried to recall a few terms which I came across during a course with JKR some years back.  But one obvious remark came from the trainer was ...
"How come I see one lady arriving on a late late train?"... that was me.  Being the eldest in class, I knew the question, a joke or not, was directed to me.

Then came the reading of plans lay out.  The front elevation, side elevation, top and bottom.  Was there?  Introducing terms like mild steel, cement mix, ratio sand to pebbles, sizes of the beams, how much mix should be in the column, thickness of the wall, retention walls, roofs, flooring materials, fixtures and fittings, lightings,  and so many many more ........and at this point... I feel a little slighted as am writing this... WHY?

Because as I was packing and throwing things from the store room,  some time back in July, I came across books and notes related to the matter mentioned above.  I should have kept them in my new house and create a library for my generations to see what their grandmother was doing all along.  Suddenly I feel I am at a losing end now.  Well, it is too late to regret at this moment.  Those materials together with my annual reports, audited accounts, notes from courses, invoices, purchase orders, catalogs, pamphlets,  piles of files that I had kept since the beginning of time I started my business were collected by Alam Flora people to be sent to recycle centers.  I only keep the last five year's materials for ... I do not know what!

BUT I did not throw away any files from all those associations that I was involved in.  I keep them intact, even as far back as 1990's.  Among them I found files of Committee Members of University Women Association, Files of the Building Committee under UWA and a few of the related matters regarding the nursery we had run.  In particular and it is a must, I should still keep files from an organization belongs to the state where I come from.  This is an interesting organisation.  At one time when I hold office as its secretary, and in my pursuit to do my duties well,  I was kept eluded.  I dare not put away for good those files in case some smart Alec were to  emerge in future with some unbecoming "smart ideas"  and "investigate" cases.  I was aware of what went on but I was never revealed what went on behind me and the rest of the main committee.  Sounds mysterious ain't it?  Well aware!  In the event, I was "removed" together with the Prince "chairperson".

That led to the birth of a new association which I was the founder.  But working with all ladies was not all that easy either!  I left my name in it as one of its lifetime  members and as the person singing off at the end of its constitution.  I helped to prepare the constitution and went through until it was formally registered in 2006...

Working for political parties wasn't easy too.  People wanted my position as one of the leaders (not so prominent though). One occasion which was hard to forget and must not be forgotten was during one of the AGMs, one candidate who was so afraid that I could climb up the leadership ladder, asked me outright... and it was extremely daring and outrageous!

"Madam, could you please not participate in this election?  I have been wanting this position.  I hope you would agree" said her in the year 1996.  As she was blurting out those words, I notice there were two factions in the main hall. One was my supporters and the other might have been hers.  Trying not to do anything "against her will", I agreed and of course I did loose anything by doing so.  Disagreeing with her may have put me against the wall.  They all play "dangerous games"....

Anyway, I have left all those kind of volunteer work with such organizations...

Helping single mothers were my next task.  I tried to give them advise, helping in any ways I could, showing them ways to certain government departments to settle their woes, showing them who in the authority could sensibly help with their troubles and of course I get great satisfaction doing all these.

Some are "left behind mothers" with their kids being taken away by their "sleeping partners", some are broken-hearted mothers with spouses taking on another wife, while some are mothers who have "empty arms and disparity" in their lives with their children "leaving" homes.  Extremely pitiful.

My dream would be... my little day if am still healthy, I would like to share life with people in the old folks home...  I would like to share the little that I know, I want to keep them occupied with "useful" things to do... I just wonder what they may be????

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Mistakes and corrections...

When I reread my older postings I found too many spelling mistakes, words not correctly used/missing and much more. But I feel quite tired to edit them at this moment....  All but one, I, in particular had to edit because my gracious blogger visitor Hayatinor wanted to copy and post it to her doctor sons.  It was meant to be shared, reminded and hopefully it was of some use to them.

When I looked at the posting entitled "Taking My Last Look" , I felt deep in sadness and nostalgia for the roof had once sheltered me and my entire family for the past five years.  Those over grown plants that I left behind were still looking somewhat "sad" (in my thoughts) because I did not take them along.  I have absolutely no space for them huge bushes of haliconea (mind the spelling... I still couldn't find the correct spelling until today) in this new apartment, neither in the soon-to-be-new dwelling which would be ready for us to move in some time later in October or so.  

I am missing all them plants, the birds and the bees, the monkeys huge and little - there must be more new borns by now...  

am now more like a  builder...

There are two high rise apartment coming their way.  The sounds are so contrasting to the previous dwelling.  There, it was so quiet that (my exaggeration) even if I dropped a needle, I could hear it.  In this new place, as soon as it is 6:30a.m vehicles started to arrive.  A long truck laden with heavy building materials making a loud sound from its honk, waking up their entire "community".  One after another of the heavy machinery, started to turn on its engine.  The tractors making their way up to the top where there are sands to be mixed to give them builders, cements.
Smells from the smoke emitted from the vehicles were constantly blown into my apartment.  I could not complain.  I only tolerated it as though am their chief and very much part of them.  Hahahaha!

On the hills I could see lights like those in the pictures  from "the hills of Rome"... they appeared to be in stacks... like some luxurious seaside apartments which are fully lighted.  In the day time, they are entirely the reverse... they are merely shacks and huts belonging to them workers and builders whom have contributed much to our building industry.  For without them, nothing grows... especially the "forest of bricks" in this part of the world.  Not many local people would work as builders.  These are imported work force that come, live, raise their families and earn their living here.  We cannot complain much when our currencies were out-flowing to their homeland through the banking services.  They earn their livelihood here. 

The long-necks (Harith replaces the original name of cranes) are working non stop until late evening.  By noon, a heavily laden  truck with steels making its way up the hill.  This I noticed is daily delivered.  A few trips of sands by smaller lorries found their way up there too.  This scheduled deliveries seemed fixed.  Sometimes I am smiling to myself.  Am I their unpaid "chieftain?"... LOL!

The dust that comes into the house is surprisingly "not that much"...  the amount is still tolerable by me.  Then comes the "smell of the curry aroma".

"D, if I keep on smelling this curry day in day out, I think I would vomit in two weeks time", said I to D one day.  The curry isn't as strong as the Indian curry, neither too mild to notice.  You know what I mean?  It's in between, so to say.  Sometimes, during our sahur time, there's a fresh strong smell of burnt rice.  AHA!  There, my friend... also burning food in their pots???

From where I stand, my sliding door is only 7'x5' , I could only see: A hill with half its vegetation gone for good, still some parts are scantily covered with trees that were saved for the day, huts and shacks built on different heights of the hills, the terrain was clearly and carefully cleared to make ways for the heavy vehicles to climb up to deliver materials, dogs, chicken, people and plants. No goodly neighbors like in hospital beds are seen at all.  And not forgetting the almost completed 15 storey high rise apartment.  Is it 15?  Guess so.

That's it for the day... am off now.  See you in the next chapter of life...?????????? May be in the next page of my posting.

Monday, August 15, 2011

What am I famous FOR?

Waking up for sahur is not such a hard task.  Fist call is at 5:00a.m. with little Harith's firm voice,  "His recitation of Al Fatihah" on my mobile.  Second wake up call, at half past five.  Without fail, I must jump out of bed.  This means no solat sunat as time gets shorter to have my last meal.

Cleaning.  Not hard.  Walking towards the kitchen, alone.  Sometimes if my daughter wakes up at the same and making no noise, I would jump out of fright!  Most times, she only drinks for sahur.  I normally have my cereal with some extra milk.  With  variables, dates or bananas at times accompanying cereal to complete my ritual.  When Hafiz was around, we usually have something more elaborate.  With Di around, cereals or just dates and plain water alternate our menus. Hafiz is due to be home by this Friday.

"Mummy!!!!!!!  Did you warm up anything on the stove?"
"Good grief!"  I stumbled out of bed at 11:00a.m. after my second nap of the morning... second??? Yes, a second one.  I was dead exhausted with the Mid Valley Mega Mall walking, waiting for D to try out new outfits and that lasted for 4 hours.  

We ended up getting a new pair of black trousers.  By that time I was too tired to get my brown sugar from Carefour.  Never mind, still could get it from 99 Speed Mart in Sri Hartamas later. But as she was turning into the area, I couldn't see 99 SM... the jammed has already built up in the narrow lane.  Told her to ignore and go home instead.  By 4:00p.m we were already rushing out to send her back to her new dwelling, 10 minutes from Cyber Jaya and 40 kilometers away from home.

First, dispatching little tots to their parents along Jalan Puchong where they were parking themselves in the light shop with boxes and boxes to take home.  As we were leaving, it was 5:30p.m   and heavier showers took its turn.  We had to make a U-turn up the lane and tra la la.  Torrential falls had reduced the traffic to a snail crawl on both sides of the lane.  Not a single piece of soil was dry.  Before we maneuvered into  the apartment, there was this huge flood that almost drown a Proton Saga.

"We shall have our Iftar here and go home after Isha' prayer," came a suggestion and order from Za2.  Agreed.  Of course there was no way to go home, not in the flash flood.  We went round looking for restaurant to get more food to add to the packed ones from home.  We found it.  A Halal one indeed.  The flies, huge and small were busily making their landings on the food, both the sweet local dishes and curries.  Disgusting. We left without buying anything. Pasar Ramadhan was on the other end of the shopping area.  The rain was getting less heavy but not completely subsided.  I jumped over the drain.  We all jumped over.  Got some grilled chicken wings, masak lemak tempoyak with shredded petai and halved anchovies, popia, roti john, and a few more dishes......

After Isha' prayer and as planned, we left.  The journey took longer through the LDP to get home.  By then I was almost half asleep.

"I thought I already turned it off a couple of hours ago!!!!!!"  said I in disbelief...
"Yes, but you did not turn off the burner completely, it was on a slow fire.  How long do you think you have warmed it up?  Asked Za2.
"oooooooooo, two hours?  May be three?"  I wanted to laugh but it was not something to be of fun . 
"What if we had gone out? The apartment would surely have gone...."  She dare not continue.

I was thinking hard... what time did I actually light up the stove?  Surely it was before 9:00a.m... I was still very drowsy when I was welcomed with this strong smell of the fumes and burned Singgang Ikan Tenggiri...  The vision pot was not so  badly bruised.  There were still some fish untouched by the burns.  I slowly salvaged them and shoved into the fridge to give them some cooling effect.  Fans were turned on.

"I thought it came from the neighbors", said Za2.
"When did you discover it?" asked I.
"At 11:00." giving a short answer and disappeared into her bedroom.
"Honestly I cannot remember what time I started it but I was sure I have tuned it off" still defending myself. 
"Yes but it was not completely off.  Next time look at it properly!" warned Za2.

Until now, as am writing this post, I do not have any slightest idea as to what time I had put the burner on.  The dizzy spells overcame every single cells.

Early this morning, I tried to scrape the burned pot but it was not completely gone.  The black burned out onions, garlic, galanggal, asam keping and water all had turned out to be thick charcoal.  Luckily there was still plenty of water when I started warming it up...

Earlier, I already had my first encounter of burning chicken soup in a non stick pan.  It was not bad.  The pot was okay.  The blacked-burned out spices and all were easily taken out and they left  behind no marks or smells... Am I famous with this?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Great CONTRAST of invasion

WHEN I first began blogging, in the year 2007 up till a year later, it was so blissful and enjoyable.  WHY?  Bloggers were so pure, full of respects, honorable and sincere.  They left us well intended - friendly comments, while some coming by so quietly and leaving without any traces and as time passed, as creativity develops, more unwanted spams began invading us.  These I believed are from the "restless crops" that has nothing better to do.

I was quite lucky to get them only as early as 2010...  But this is not something enjoyable and welcoming.  So, I'd rather have nothing in my comment columns than getting such invasions and inventions... Some would leave links which are aimlessly unfamiliar... Goodness!  They have the time to go to each blog roll dated back few years beyond... just to leave such "links, advertisements, comments" which are unbecoming.  

But am glad to say the least, that am "noticed" by them although they are not welcome to advertise in my blog land.

No wonder, I have been reading anguish comments from my lovely but furious blogger friends  (of such invasion)!   Ladies, keep your head high, walking tall and lets ignore them.  ; - ))

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


THAT WAS THE ORDER of the day.  

EAT WHEN HUNGRY LIE DOWN WHEN TIRED......NOT from any doctors but myself.  Imagine all the doctors that came round my bed site before the surgery... they were lecturers in Medical School and qualified doctors working there for so many years and last but not least, the medical students to mention a few.

Just as soon as I left my bed side, I was seated on that wheel chair  that Diyanah "borrowed" from the nurse's counter, to take me down via the lift into the waiting area, no one had come round to say anything at all.  

"That's it?"  I asked Diyanah with the deepest apprehension and wondering in my thoughts.  No one is "discharging" me officially except for  Diyanah who had the liberty to go forward,  merely getting the prescriptions of pain killers and some panadols.  I saw she also had two sheets of printed papers with details of the charges for those two nights in the hospital.  

Is this some kind of new style of discharging patients from the wards?  Not even the nurses came round to say anything.  It was like leaving a place that you were not welcomed to.   Perhaps it' s the norm in this day of cyber and technologies.

(Now I have to take a short break... am feeling giddy)... should continue later. 

I N T E R M I S S I O N... FROM THE 14/July TO 7TH August... That's a long time indeed.

July the 25th:
I arrived early for my post surgery appointment... only to be told that the Doctor was going to be late and they needed to "search" for my folder.  With a smile, I nodded my head,  took a left turn and looking for a seat. There were rows of seats which were mostly unfilled as it was still too early.  Patiently, I sat down and read my book.  A few times I looked around to see the new additions in the queue.  Those patients who were luckier, have already left, they  probably went home.  Never mind, today I have the patience to sit and relax there.

Eleven o'clock? He was not anywhere to be seen.  I remember leaving home at 8:00a.m, reaching the hospital 10 minutes later.  A few more minutes was required, looking for parking space and that was it.

My number was 703.  I heard the number over the PA system.  The room number was 5.  He was there with my folder, bespectacled, fair complexion,  wearing a striped shirt, sitting quite relaxed and gave me a smiling face.  A solemn looking nurse in her mid 40's was standing in the corner doing nothing in particular. It's the rule now, any male doctors seeing a lady patient must be accompanied by a nurse.  Am not sure here, is it the doctor who needed a company or the patient that needed a chaperon.

"How are you?  I was the one performing the operation on you", he broke the silence.
"Alhamdulillah, am feeling much better", said I.
"Sorry the results of the surgery isn't ready yet but I wonder why they give you such an early appointment.  It should be three weeks after the surgery." (blaming anyone Doc?)

Just as he finished his last word, a nurse walked in with a fresh crisp white paper and handed it over to him.

"Oh have they got it ready?  But it's not on the computer yet.  Probably this is the unofficial one"...
Deep inside me I thought "Was I to know?  It' s you who should know".  Don't tell me it took this long to get it tested and to get it recorded in the system.

After explaining it was nothing serious,  (showing me the images from the scanning machine that I already seen two weeks back,) meaning nothing to worry about and it was merely benign... I took over the conversation!

"Alahamdulillah syukur how relieved I am now and thank you Doc."said I appreciatively.
"Doc, may I say my two cents thoughts?" quipped I.
"Yes, please Aunty", he said.

"You know the doctor who came to my bedside before the surgery did not tell me anything of the "after effects of the surgery."
"Oh which doctor?", asked he.
"The one wearing spects in dark striped shirt", said I.
"Oh, that must be a student doctor". (Oh really?)

"Before the surgery, I asked him: what's the effect of this surgery"
"Nothing" said he.  I was rather adamant.  Nothing? Could there be nothing? Is there such thing as nothing?

"Doc, at least have the liberty to take a note from other patients of their feed backs and jot down somewhere so that, when new patients ask, you have something to tell"... said I beginning to feel a little slighted.

TO BE CONTINUED later as am preparing to go out now... until then.

10th August.

 "Taking notes from other patients as precautions to the others... in case things crop up, they did not get agitated or panicky.  At least they know what to expect."  I continued, as though lecturing my children.
 "I would take note of your comments" said he. I then continued.
" You know, I was not even told that I could not take solids after the surgery.  I could not sit up straight in the car.  I could not this and that, this and that!  I was told nothing, absolutely nothing!" By then I  was already quite agitated.  Then continued with him listening with a "smile" on his face.

"As the car accelerated, I vomited all the food I had tucked in at lunch time.  I even vomited blood until three days after!  I got strange giddiness" at this point, he must be thinking I was some kind of nuts!  Granny nuts!  Oh yes!  He did ask me how come I got those streaks of blood in my vomits.  Was I to know?  He did not react or seemed alarm at all.  So, I put on my two cents thinking cap... 
"They were probably from my excessive vomiting".  
"Probably" said he, agreeing with me. (;-))

"Another thing Doc, it's about medication.  Last two months, I was prescribed with gastritis medicine for a whole month supply.  The doctor did not caution me of any after effects if there were to be.  After taking, came to the third week I was down with "torrential falls".  Until four days after, I was still consuming those tablets.  One day, I asked my eldest daughter if that particular medication has any side effects.  And she gave me a straight  forward answer of, YES.  So upon her suggestion, I stopped taking.  I was quite furious how on earth doctors of today taking things so lightly".

"And if I may doctor, may I just add few more words."  I stopped to see his reaction.
"Yes, please" he said smiling.

"After each Muslim patient has come out of sedatives, please give a reminder to the patient or the relatives accompanying.  Not to forget to pray.  Allah has given our lives back, so we have to  be very thankful.  That is a must.  Allah has ordered such that, in what ever position you are in, you must pray to Him unless you are out of your mind.  Get the water for ablution.  If the patient cannot get up, ask for assistance.  There are ways which we do not have to get wet.  If possible, get the position correct so that the face, faces the direction of Ka'bah.  Otherwise, just pray.  It is especially excellent after each surgery, after a GA.  Then you know if your memory comes back or not.  At least the first thing the patient does is remembering Allah and be thankful.  And at lest you have done your Islamic duty to your patients"... a lengthy one, I did not realize this until I write them here.

"Thank you for reminding Aunty, I shall do this", he said with a smile. AND after thanking him for his deeds, he discharged me.  Until a year to come, I should be back for another appointment.

Satisfied? Yes, at least I have done my duties here as one of Allah's subjects.

Late evening, after having my dinner in the Medical Hostel's cafe, I met my daughter's colleague and told her what I had said to Dr. M.  She was delighted to share the moment.  AND guess what?  Dr.M is a lecturer himself!!!!!  Well, at least I have done what I could as a Muslim. I hope and certainly hope that he would inform and remind his student doctors to be more alert, caring and more concerned of their patients and not just letting them go off after their surgery without any words!  We don't leave hotels or some homes, but we leave hospitals where all the healing hands are found and  where all the health experts are housed .

Just last Tuesday, the 9th August, Sally my good neighbor in the ward called me.  She was there in the hospital for her post-surgery appointment.   I was told, she had waited for her doctor (the same bespectacled in striped shirt)  for so long and got bored.  So she dialed my number.

"Aunty!!! (half shouting) You know I have been in pain all along and never recovered after the surgery!!!! I was not  even given any pain killers, nothing!  When I was leaving there was no doctors or nurses telling me anything!!!!!  No body had given me anything, not even any sheets of paper.  Not even a word!!!!!"  

She was extremely upset.  I could just imagine how outrageous she must have been.  We had the same bespectacled doctor in striped shirt as our Medical Officer making rounds whilst we were there. 
"Ayoo, aunty, am still very much in pain you know?  When I went home, I stopped by at the chemist and bought some antibiotics  myself.  No one has prescribed me anything.  Nothing!"  She went on complaining.
Pitied her.  So, I told her:

"After wards Sally, when you see him, tell him all these predicaments.  Tell him in his face!!!"  Said I, supporting her morally.  I wished I was there with her.  I wasn't so brief as I have written here... ;-))

So, wasn't I right?  These doctors think we are such super humans??? After cutting open, they take out something they wanted to test, leaving us the super duper humans medicineless and expect our super bodies to be self-healing!  Incredible!!!!!!!!  Indeed, an extremely incredible of modern medicine, young doctors, inexperienced ones!!

I then reminded my two daughters to be good Muslim doctors, to be alert of what is going on, take care of their patients and practice in good nature!  One already working in the same hospital as I am complaining now while the other, Insha Allah, I pray that she would get through her Medical School and graduate in three years to come.  By now she is already out there in the society attending to minor procedures as part of her community service.  I wish them well.  Ameen.

Reminders to my children who see patients in the course of their duties...
Before leaving home: "Recite Bismillahirrahmaanirrahiim.  Bismillahi tawakkaltu 'alAllah.  Lahaula wa lakuwwata illa billahil 'aliyyil 'aziim."  After finishing your work do not forget "Alhamdulillah"...
Upon seeing patient: "Assalamu'alaikum..."
Before taking their blood " Bismillahirrahmaanirrahiim"
Once done " Alhamdulillah"
If possible, try talking to the patient with religious reminders like:
"When you feel sick, do not forget to do Zikr, so selawat Ibrahimiah**, make a lot of du'a.  Always remember Allah.  If you forget Him one second, He would forget you one minute. Always redha towards His test and tribulations for they might be "to cleanse all your past sins", something to make you be nearer to Him and to always remember Him in your heart. FOR If you think you have Allah, then you shall have IT all."

TO all doctors out there, BE more human..... Wallahu'a'lam.  

May Allah forgive me if I have written something He does not like.  But this piece comes straight from the bottom most of my heart.  I hope to share what I feel, how feel and should have felt as a patient.

**is the selawat we recite in the second part of Tahyat.  This is the one  most recommend by our Prophet Rasulullah S.A.W**

(this post was edited today since I noticed (only now) that some words are missing, spellings are wrong and some additions are required to be shared)