Wednesday, July 01, 2009
The Dabo Singkep experience
I am practically rushing to pack for Sabah but I just have to blog this down. I don't want whatever is still fresh in my mind disappear and me missing the best time to write it all out !
I boarded flight Firefly to JB in the evening. Mutee was waiting for me in Senai as the plan was to stay at his place overnight. Of course, as transformers hardcore it was irresistable not to go and watch it ! Mutee booked the tickets and we straight away went to Tebrau mall after landing ! The movie was really full of action for that 2.5 hours and to those who say tak puas..i will reply ..biar betul !! JB looks cool at night and i guess having singapore as your rival really push you forward.
We woke up for Subuh and Mutee sent me to the ferry terminal in Stulang Laut. I met the USM OFMS delegation there. Old faces from Palembang like Dr Lah , Dr Noor Hayati , Kak Zah etc were there with their friendly nature! I met Dr Rowi as well , who is my mentor for anaesthesia in this trip. Prof Zainal and gang from UM joined us this time around . we waited for the Melaka enoturage to arrive before departig to Tanjung Pinang on our charted ferry ! Hehehe..best jugak naik boat. It took us 3 hours and the boat ride was plentiful. Sapa yg kecut perut susah jugak tu.. hehehe
Upon arrival , we were greeted with lunch by the local Belia and we went around for a bit. Tanjung Pinang is the main hub for the Riau islands. Imagine having 531 islands in the province .. wuuhhuuu... The people here speaks less indonesian and sounded a lot like Johoreans ! I guess if i look up my roots , most likely the family originates here!
We were celebrated by the Governor of KEPRI at his official residence for dinner. The garden banquet setting was impressive and I guess , we were here on an official mission and i guess they appreciate it a lot
We were up early to catch our boat to Pelabuhan Jaguh , Dabo Singkep. It took us 4 hours and my..my.. it ws a long journey! And as we were arriving to our destination ; we saw where one Pantun Melayu originated from. Pulau Pandan..was jauh ke tengah.. and Gunung Daik had 3 cabangs !! hehehehe.. It was true after all and the pantun did originate from this area!
After the long sea sickening trip , we had to endure another hour of 4 wheel ride to Dabo Singkep.. i went " mabuk" here and not in the ferry !!! ehehehe luckily i did not vomit as that would be very embarrasing!
We were celebrated in a grand fashion by the Dabo Singkep people! Memang betul2 mcm kampung melayu with their dance and silat before the opening ceremony started. It was past noon by this time and eveyone was hungry.We had to wait for another 2 hours for the official thingy before having lunch !! Hahahaha Semua memang muka kebulur !! MY room mate was Prof Zainal from UM OFMS and he is a cool bloke! I wish my Profs were like him and he really inspired me in this trip to be like him.. tabik spring Sir !!!
THe medical team screened the patients later that night. Most were previous patients from their previous trip in 2007 ; making the operating procedure this time more challenging with the limited backup and resources that we have ! Mak ai... We had a look at the OT and i was glad when they brought in their Drager machine from the main hospital in Tanjung Pinang for our use.. hehehe.. Otherwise , I'd be using Halothane which i don't mind using really !!
8 cases were listed and we started at 9am after everything is ready. It was a bit chaotic in the morning upon starting the first case but everything went into place as we went along. All our patients were below 12 years old making it paediatric posting for me ! Doing mostly palate surgery was challenging considering the limited backup resources. We can't even have blood ready and if we have to transfuse , it will be purely form thier family in situ !! Giller ape !! We were not familiar with the machine earlier and Prof Rowi ordered hand ventilation! It was a good practice after all training the hands to become sensitive and our minds alert.. hehehe We had few cases which bled immediately post extubation where one of them we had to reintubate.. hmmm.. heart stopping but good experience ! We finished at about 2 am.. and we thought that we will only have 3 patients the next day..
It would be too good to be true to have only 3 patients to do.. More patients turned up as they only arrive in Dabo Singkep the day before. Having the op free is a temptation not to resist by the poor because they can never afford in their lifetime to have this surgery done. At times, i guess as Malaysians we have to be very thankful that our helathcare system is still free and for us to use it wisely.
The list expanded and we went on till 3am ! We had a 7 year old who is obese , 40kg and we started this elective case after midnight ! Hahahaha.. Unfortunately there was a bit of complication as he bled a lot post op. I was called in to be ready for OT if needed at 5am.. but my boat off the island was at 7am! We were going of early because of our commitments. Otherwise , the plan was to return on the 1st of July! After assessing the patient with Dr Rowi , the boy is not too bad and Dr Rowi said he can handle the case himself.
AND i was rushing ! PAcked my bag and off to the port !
1 hour - 4 wheel ride to Pelabuhan Jaguh
4 hours - Ferry to Tanjung Pinang
3 hours - ferry to Stulang Laut
3 hours - JB to KL via Prof Zainal's CRV
And with all that... I still enjoyed the trip and hoping that more will come ! An eye opener and of course , more stories for me to tell my grandchildren !!
Perrgggh..and i was so tired with the travelling !! Luckily we went home early ahead of schedule