I can’t help this.

I’m rather sad that 2012 is over, for some funny reason that I don’t even know, while I’m rather excited that my 4 months rotation in nephrology (argghhh!!) is going to be over soon. Very soon, indeed. Hey, that’s a third of the year!

I learnt a lot, did quite a lot, changed a bit here and there (mentally, physically too – yeay!), travelled to quite a number of places, did a few new things that I feel so happy to continue doing them, and discovered a lot too.

I ended 2011 with a huge fight with my previous boss, which has led me to a series of events that changed a whole lot of things in my life. At that particular time, I was rather frustrated that someone I’ve worked with for so long did NOT appreciate how much hard work I’ve put in for the patients, and expected us to do even more things. No, he’s never happy and I was not happy with that. Having gone through quite a sleepless weekend taking care of our own patients, he expected us to take care of the surgical patients that THOSE people are supposed to care about. So unfair, that’s what I thought.

So I naturally shut myself in the doctor’s room, crying, while him and Nick went off to do rounds in the first class ward. I called Dato Razak and told him I don’t want to be here in Selayang Hospital anymore. I just wanted to leave and go somewhere else. “Could you possibly help me get into General Medicine in HKL?” I asked, amidst my tears. He tried to stop me from doing anything irrational, saying that it’s going to be busy and all, but I said, just ask Dato Jeya (the head of department of General Medicine in HKL) and see what he says. Days went by and obviously Dato Jeya said “sure.” Then only I applied for transfer.

After Christmas and New Year holidays, things practically came back to almost normal. We had two new additions to the team, one medical officer and one Geriatrics trainee. So there were four of us who can take turns to do calls. We were happy that our quality of life changed (although we still leave work at 6-7pm).

Then I managed to bring my mom and sister to visit Kuala Selangor, go to Malacca town. Then went to Malacca again with Syasya. Then to Bukit Tinggi, Pahang with Syasya and Farah. All those during weekend and/or public holiday breaks. Farah and I went to recordings of Suhaib Webb’s Reflection (a superb TV show in TV Al Hijrah), it was really great, but sadly we didn’t get to watch even one of it.

Syasya was such a great addition to my life. She’s a physician, having passed all her exams. She’s single, she loves to travel and could spend for that hobby. We started planning for this and that, and obviously, some worked out and some did not.

In between all those, I went to Singapore for my 3rd sitting of MRCP part 2. Since there were a few of us in the department, I got to extend my stay in Singapore for another day or two so that I could explore, as a tourist. I spent one whole day on my feet, walking around Singapore, visited old mosques, Little India, China town, shopping, taking photographs. I almost went to one of the museums but it rained quite heavily that afternoon so I went straight to Orchard Road to shop a little. That evening I met up with Rathi and we had a good time walking around Marina Bay looking at the exhibits of the Light Festival. Really nice. Syasya was supposed to join me in Singapore but in the end had to cancel the plan because something else came up.

Another chance for travel came by when I, well, failed that exam. I was very frustrated when I got the result (more than I ever did when I failed all this while), so Jaspal let me off in the afternoon for me to cool off. I went to Ikea with Syasya.

We decided to go for a holiday.

It was early may. In the midst of planning for that holiday, I had another surprise. I came to work one morning and saw a letter on the laptop in the doctor’s room. My heart skipped a beat. I was to register with the Director’s Office in Hospital Kuala Lumpur on 1st June. That’s two weeks after my holidays. Dr Richard couldn’t believe that I was finally leaving. Dr Nick and Elizabeth told me all the horror stories of HKL. Jaspal had mixed feelings. Sure she’s going to miss me but at the same time she thinks that it’s great that I’m moving on somewhere away from Selayang, in which I’ve been for 6 years.

Let’s talk about Terengganu first. It was such an amazing, relaxing holiday. Syasya and I had a great drive eastward even before dawn, seeing the mist lifting, the birds flying out and jumping across the road, the sun rising. Managed to stop by in Kemaman Hospital and give a surprise visit to Ihab. Drove up to Kuala Terengganu just in time for our boat ride to Redang. We spent our days in the sun and in the sea, and our nights in bed (separate beds, ok). Truly refreshing. We went crazy shopping near Pasar Payang, and drove down to Kijal for a night’s stay before going back to KL. I met Ihab once more in Kemaman’s popular old coffee shop right opposite the hospital, this time it’s actually planned. He still felt like he owed me another cup of cofee (an expensive one), but then he’s too busy to buy another one because he’s living in his dreams…hehe.. (I told you, right, that the age 30 is amazing?)

My team back in Palliative Care Unit in Hospital Selayang held an amazing farewell party for me. There were balloons and ribbons and drawings on the white board, and great food and even greater presents. It was sad to leave a place I was so comfortable in but then I guess to progress in life, we have to move.

So my HKL days began in June 2012.

I landed in female ward 24 with an amazing clinician as my consultant, and an even more amazing specialist of the ward (who’s only 3 years older than I am but she thought I’m like 5-6 years younger than her – haha!), really cool registrars, and nice colleagues too. I wasn’t the last addition to the list of ward MOs when another guy was sent to our ward; Syazwan is a masters student who did his housemanship in HKL.

Obviously I felt very inadequate as I wasn’t in touch with that much acute medicine for so long. Yes, we did some medicine in Palliative Care but of course there’s a whole lot of things to learn. I was thankful that I sat for all those exams, even if I failed them repeatedly. Well, maybe failing those exams is a blessing because at least I know that I have to learn a lot.  Thankfully my ward specialist was really cool and she continued on teaching me things even when I went into nephrology rotation in September. Syazwan and I looked up to her to no end; we really love her for what she has taught us all along.

While I was there, I did manage to visit Terengganu again, this time over one weekend, with my mom and little sister. Farah and I also went to Being ME convention (for Muslim sisters) in KL, listening to a series of lectures by people like Yasmin Mogahed, Taufiq Chowdury, Raya Stockhard and a sister named Miriam. Amazing Muslims, they are.

Towards Eidul Fitr my life sort of turned a little different. I can’t really explain them in words but basically two things happened at the same time and I felt like such a loser. One thing is entirely my fault, another is nobody’s fault, it’s just that things happened that way and I can’t really do anything about it even if I wanted to.

It doesn’t help that I started a new, busy and stressful rotation named nephrology. Well, in a way it helps that I was so busy to even remember all the small things that I got frustrated about. However at the same time I felt so all alone and bored, it made me wonder why was I so bummed about things. Then I realise that I’ve never been, at any time in my working career, without someone whom I can depend on and ask for help whenever I needed it.

You see, going back to 2006, I have always had someone whom I can ask if I’m not sure about things. Work-wise, I had Hafidz who would always help me no matter where I was. He’d have the answers if I ask and will freely give me advice whenever I need them. Then when I was in Palliative Medicine, Dr Richard is always happy to discuss things and clear up any uncertainties, even when I’ve worked for so long with him, even when I was supposed to know all those things. He’d help me anyway, for the sake of the patients. In General Medicine I had Dr Aza as my specialist, Foo and See as such helpful registrars, Syazwan would help me out whenever he can with what he knows.

I felt rather lonely in nephrology. It’s not that my bosses aren’t nice, most of them were. The consultants did not even scold me when something very shockingly bad happened to one patient (Syazwan listened to the story with wide eyes), it’s not entirely my fault although the series of events started in my hands. However the nights and mornings in the ward felt rather scary and I worry about the patients a lot. Somehow my worries at times don’t reach the patients and misjudgments happened.

Within that four months, I did manage to enjoy myself (when I’m not at work, obviously). We had numerous durian parties at home, many of the most important people in my life came over to enjoy the fruit of grandpa’s labour, although three of my good friends didn’t manage to come. My dear cousin Sarah got engaged early November during a cool, drizzly day. My birthday shopping was a blast and I had a few books for birthday present, bought some nice stuff for myself too.

Within the second half of the year, I was introduced to the gym, meusli, and to the mosque. The gym visits helped me with my stamina at work, I don’t think I could have survived that heavy duty work in nephrology without it. It changed the way my body burn my food, I ate a lot more than I did before (and I managed to lose some weight too! Yeay!), changed my posture and made rest more meaningful. A lot of times, a short nap at night during on call is enough to last me to the morning (but what happens the next day is another story..hehe).

In the mean time I was so sad that I sort of lost someone in my life (although actually you can’t lose what you never had), I was scared of what would happen if I lost someone whom I love even thousands of times more than that. Those feelings crept into my dreams and my days too.

So our dear sister Yasmin Mogahed has introduced me (and the rest of the people who listened to her lectures or read her articles) to a life without attachments. Being slaves of nobody but Allah. Focusing to only one goal, which is hoping for blessing and recognition from Allah SWT and no one else. Having this world in our hands but not in our hearts. How to accept loss and failures without crushing ourselves.

All that by putting our hearts only at one place, on One Hand, that is Allah’s. For only when our hearts are focused on worshipping Him, we’d be at peace with that happens in this life.

I begin 2013 with a few big plans that I hope I could get days off for. Of course Allah has plans for all of us, if some of those plans don’t work out then maybe His plans are better. It’s amazing how much surprises He has in store for us, and I hope to be happy and thankful no matter what happens in the future.

Have a great year ahead, everyone.