Archive for May, 2010

I’m…gonna soak up the sun!

Posted in adventures in Liverpool, doctoring tales, gastronomical delights on May 31, 2010 by twotwoeight

You know how in Malaysia we try to avoid the sun whenever we can?  Well,I must confess, I have become a sun lover here.  Whenever I see a sliver of sunlight, I try to bask in it for as long as I can…hoping to soak up any bit of warmth it emanates.  Now I understand why tourists in Malaysia love the sun!

Went to the hospital today to do some short cases — saw some very interesting patients.  One thing that left us in amazement was the depth of understanding and level of knowledge of the disease parents had about their child’s illness.  It was humbling to talk to them, and I must admit I learned a lot from them.  Even the patient’s sister’s boyfriend can tell us about the past medical history!

We decided to walk to Byron’s, a delicatessen just outside the hospital for lunch.  They serve all day breakfast here…I’m sure PW must love to be here!  Kok Wai had the Grizzly breakfast…double of everything!

My lunch — a Texan melt (toasted ciabatta with marinated chicken, red onions and cheese) and a hot cup of coffee.

Actually, now that I’m here, my favourite meal of the day is breakfast.  I love waking up to the anticipation of having a nice hot cup of coffee, and a freshly toasted sandwich on the side, especially when it is chilly in the mornings.

Lunch is pretty standard — weekdays we eat in the hospital canteen, and weekends we eat in Broadgreen’s canteen.  This is what I had yesterday — minced beef pie with chips and mushroom.

Dinner, on the other hand is usually a myriad of instant food!

We have become self-appointed spokespersons for Iceland! I can now say with much conviction that no matter how inadequate one is in the kitchen, one can never die of hunger in UK.

This has sort of become my staple diet for the past few nights — bought a roast chicken from Tesco for 4 pounds, and it has lasted me 5 meals 🙂  Happy? You bet!

Leave you with a picture of the cutest no-entry barrier I have ever seen 😉



A visual tour of Alder Hey Children’s Hospital

Posted in adventures in Liverpool, doctoring tales, through the lens on May 30, 2010 by twotwoeight

This is a view from the Eaton Road entrance, which is where we come from, everyday.  The structures are mainly brick-red, and spread out around the area, with not many tall buildings in sight.

The Eaton Road entrance is also referred to as the Alvin and the Chipmunk entrance.  There is another entrance which is the Tin Man entrance, no prizes for guessing why ;).  Guess what? 2 days after we were there, Theodore was missing!!!

The first thing that greets you when you walk into Alder Hey is an unending corridor, which can be described as the backbone of the hospital.  From here, various branch off points lead you to different places — clinics, wards, dispensary, canteen, exits and so on.  They also have a very clever idea of colour-coding their numerous staircases, and I must say this eases giving directions.

I absolutely love the concierge area — it is done up in such a way that gives the whole place such a cheery feeling, and you can’t help but feel happy when you are standing there!

Guess what this is?  It’s the patients’ toilet!  Yup, there is a super high-tech looking bathtub as well as a smaller tub for bathing babies.  Impressive!

The one thing that leaves me in awe are the beautiful murals they have covering almost every inch of their walls.

They are so gorgeous, and every part of the corridor has a theme.

From animated characters…

to magical sceneries.

Same theme…different perspective.  Brilliant.

Of timeless classic fairytales…

and popular Disney characters.

I am indeed awestruck.

I know my hospital is doing the same thing now, and I can’t wait to see if it bears any resemblance to what I see here!

I’m a little apprehensive though, since HSS has mentioned that there are some anatomically incorrect animals already!  Well, I’m still hopeful! 😉


Thwarted plans.

Posted in adventures in Liverpool, penny for my thoughts on May 29, 2010 by twotwoeight

Planned to do some short cases in hospital and was all bundled up nice and warm only to step out of the flat realizing the drizzle was not quite the “light” drizzle we had expected.  With no umbrellas or windbreakers, we returned to the flat hoping the rain would let up soon. Sigh.

This is what I see when I look out the window from the lounge.  There is a Jewish cemetery just behind our flat…and a solitary blue chair at the entrance to the cemetery.  Hhmmm.

Show you abit more of the flat.  The top picture is the kitchen.  There is a microwave, an oven, a fridge and fairly well-equipped kitchen.  The washing machine is also here, but that is another story. Then that is my study area — already quite cluttered!  And the bottom right is the lounge area — where there is a TV and also ironing facilities.  The cleaning lady comes and clean the place once a week.

The infamous washing machine.  Boy, do I miss the “fuzzy-logic” mode on my machine!  Took us hours to try and figure this out.  As I’m typing, my clothes are still in the machine — hope that they come out undamaged!  My friend’s Italian neighbour who has been here a month, told us about his adventures with the machine — and he ended up with a mop. *crossing my fingers*

This is what I had to get done, in order to get clearance from occupational health.  Mantoux test is quite painful — the moment the bleb is created, the sting comes from the buildup of pressure underneath the skin.  Mine is a fairly mild reaction.  You should see my friend’s!  14mm!!!

And so, after proving we were fit as a fiddle, we were finally given this — which gives us access to almost everywhere.  Including borrowing books from the library — which has an excellent selection.  I’m going green with envy!

Oh yeah, you know how love is supposed to be mushy? I totally agree…I’ve fallen in love with mushy peas!!!  Which is apparently quite a standard part of meals here — see, I even have my own stash now 🙂

The machine has silenced itself.  Time to assess the damage.

It’s a little chilly…but I’m lovin’ it!

Posted in adventures in Liverpool, gastronomical delights, professional tourist in the making on May 27, 2010 by twotwoeight

Have been in Liverpool for 5 days now…and so far it’s been great!  Love the weather…although occasionally it chills you to the bones!  Am sitting in my room with the heater turned on and sipping a cup of hot coffee…and today we finally managed to get broadband connection in our flat!  What bliss 🙂

The place I’m staying in is called Stoneycroft House…it’s in Boadgreen Hospital, a cardiothoracic centre about 25 minutes walk away from Alder Hey Hospital.  Room is clean and comfortable…and my neighbour is a very interesting person.  Had a chat with him a couple of nights ago, and right then, I can feel that he is going to be someone who will make a difference in the world.

My first breakfast there — big breakfast from the hospital canteen.  Some strawberry snack from Tesco.  Instant coffee in UK is horrible…I miss my Nescafe 3-in-1 😦 Sausages and mash with peas on the side — something I had in a pub for lunch a couple of days ago ‘coz the pub offered free wi-fi!

Luckily I’m not a football fan…or I would go crazy there!  There’s a shop in town which has anything and everything related to LFC.  Haha…don’t you wish you were here, Joyce?? Ask Siew Nee to make that cake for you!! FYI, I have yet to see Anfield…

UK is the land of instant food.  My friend has become a die-hard fan of Iceland, which is a place that sells any kind of instant meal you can think of.  From Chinese to Italian to Indian to Vegetarian…just pop it into a microwave and voila!  There is even an array of dessert to make you fat!

PW, as a reward for your “Child labour, hand typed scenarios”, I’ve found your blue-nosed dog (forgot what’s his name) some friends 😉 You can start clearing some space for them, hehe.

Tell you more about the hospital soon…


A different perspective

Posted in doctoring tales, the box of chocolates known as life on May 11, 2010 by twotwoeight

During my last call, I had a chat with a patient’s mother.  This elderly mother has a 10 year old daughter admitted for multiple medical problems who is mentally challenged and requires her undivided attention.   She requested to be discharged prematurely, and that was the reason that I had the chat with her in the first place, to explain the risks to her and to find out the reason she wanted to be discharged so soon.  She told me that she needed to resume working, as she gets paid by the day, and not working means no income.  She works as a cook in a canteen, and her husband who is doing odd jobs also earns daily wages.  She then confided that she did not want her daughter to be hospitalized too long, as she had 2 previous mentally challenged children before this who had also died in the hospital, which to her, was the fault of the hospital.  And because of this, she fears each day that her daughter is being hospitalized.  She brings this 10 year old daughter with her to work, and lets her play with the other staff’s children while she works, and she cries each time she brings her back home and finds bruises and abrasions on her daughter’s body — she gets bullied by the other children because she is different from them.  I asked why she did not have a talk with the other parents and she said she didn’t dare make a fuss, for fear of losing her job.  She cried for awhile, then told me she will stay, for her daughter’s good.

I have been so obsessed over the upcoming exams that I have had a one-tracked mind and become so self-absorbed that it scares me.  For the longest time, it felt like I had the worst problems and the most stressful life.  Talking to her reminded me of how lucky I actually am and how trivial my worries are.  In fact, they pale in comparison.

So, even though I am freaking out now, and am sneezing my head off, and have never been more exhausted than I have ever been…I tell myself, I will be okay.