Monday, September 29, 2014

A small do for Kili team at Kak Shams

I have not finish my Kili posts on this blog and we had our second meet up yesterday. The first was a simple lunch at Kak Sham's restaurant sometime last week and yesterday was the big BBQ do! haha Either I'm too slow or the gatherings are done too fast! It was a great excuse for meet up so that we could all copy the pics we took during the trip. I have yet to go through the 23 Gigabytes worth of pictures and videos. Itwill be interesting!
The fun continues and Insha Allah, we will climb more mountains together.

P/S a bit cuak with my new job next week :P

Friday, September 26, 2014

Kilimanjaro Part 3: Machame gate - machame camp - shira camp

We woke up early that day. Me and Azad were room mates since Abu Dhabi. Thep acking was done quite simple and Enock inspected our stuff the night before. I never knew he importance of a carry mat until this trip! haha When everybody was ready, we were off from Moshi to Machame gate.
Machame gate is one of the few other routes people trek to Kilimanjaro. Deeno chose this route as it was the one he had used before. Seeing the programme i was a bit anxious and worried, as the demand to elevate in the number of days would predispose us to AMS. And AMS is bad! 
When we arrived at the Machame gate we saw a lot of locals waiting outside the gate. Apparently because of the ebola virus, the number of groups that cancelled their kilimanjaro trip was significant! Being peak season, it would be more than ten group at one time. There were few other groups as well but i guess our group was the biggest! 18 of us andthe ratio of guide;porter;trekker ratio is usually 3-1! And seeing our big entourage of people was amazing! Gila ramai! 
 What i reckon made this trek interesting is how we can experience different kind of forest as we ascend. Machame gate was about 1800m from sea level and being near to the equator, the rain forest is almost similar to ours in Malaysia. It was a familiar sight on the first day. The only difference would be the our weather's unpredictability of rain! Alhamdulillah we were dry but the first day work was far! Really far.. haha We started quite late as the assortment of guides and our stuffs took some time as it was near lunch time that we were off. In fact we took lunch before moving! 
We arrived at Machame camp (2834m) when it was dark. I could not really appreciate the landscape but what was obvious is the temperature! And what impressed me was the dinner tent we had! wahh.. the standard that they maintain is exactly like the expedition trips we see on TV. All our supplies were carried by the porters employed and they certainly prepared our dinner like kings. The table was complete and it starts of with soup before the main course and dinner. The chefs introduced themselves and certainly they know how to entertain us! What makes this trip good was the arrangement for halal meat for our meals.
 The vegetation for our trek to Shira(3749m) was bonsai like. Slowly the trees become shorter and we were more bare to the direct UV light. It was much steeper to Shira as compared to Machame. But the Machame way certainly took a bit sap of energy out of few  team members.I was walking with Azad and together we had one of our guides with us, Mtey. He was certainly knowledgable and friendly as he gave information about what to expect along the trek. He even introduced us to the vegetations of Kilimanjaro as we walk.
Arriving at Shira was a relief as we arrived late afternoon. It was cold and we had to wear our down jacket to be comfy. Abang Ayob went for the short walk looking at the famous shira caves. None of us had the energy to do so hahaha and we ended up in our tents til dinner time. I brought an SPO2 machine with me and it was interesting to look at the SpO2 levels of the participants. 90% looked good and i guess thats why Deeno chose us to try on this 6 days to the peak trip. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Kilimanjaro Part 2: Nairobi-Moshi

We arrived in Nairobi after an afternoon flight from Abu Dhabi. Honestly, i did not read anything much about Kenya. It'll be that common ignorant knowledge that we have about Africa that would define Kenya. The flight was 6 hours and i had enough time to watch 2 movies haha 
Jambo! Hello in Swahili!
The Jomo Kenyatta airport was not big but it was undergoing renovation to become a bigger one. Kenya has always been the favourite African spot for the British - having it as its colony sometime ago. Perhaps the influence of the British Empire lives in these 2 countries, Kenya and Tanzania just as how our country Malaysia is- Commonwealth banner.
 Enock, our guide waited for us at the airport to pick us up! This was my first time in Africa and of course it is different! I did not know what to expect but my first impression of their services at the immigration and airport was impressive! We were not taunt when we reached outside, a sign of the state of the country. Enock then brought us to our place of stay for the night which is at the outskirts of Nairobi. We witnessed the slump areas of Kenya and it is such a wonder to be born and bred in Malaysia.
It was nearly dark when we arrived, therefore limiting my possibility of going around the small town.Interestingly enough it was a muslim town as we could hear azan at dawn and dusk! The hotel that we were served halal food too.However, we were adviced to be careful if we want to go wandering around at night; thus why bother? Rest was more important as we will begin our mission to reach the roof of Africa soon enough.Interestingly, i thought it was a bummer when in our accommodation there was no airconditioner!! But i realized the people around the area wore jackets. Only later that i realize Nairobi is at least 1800m above sea level making the weather cooling and nice! No wonder the British were keen on Kenya as the weather is just perfect!

It was a wise choice to fly to Nairobi eventhough there is a direct flight to Tanzania. We were able to cross other countries and save money as well. The journey from Nairobi to Moshi- base town of Kilimanjaro took us 7 hours! Yup...that long to drive across Kenya to Tanzania! It was interesting landscape though.. to see Africa at its best being close enough to the equator. A lot of Kenyans were seen walking around..seriously.. you seethem walk everywhere! No wonder Kenya produce lots of long distance athletes! 
We arrived in Moshi near to late evening. Everybody was excited about upcoming trip coming morning. We stayed in a cozy hotel near the town and of course it was near enough to walk to.. near to Tanzanian standards lah.. haha it took us 15 minutes to arrive at the town centre as few of us were looking for souvenirs and Sim cards that should work during trekking. Abang Ayob was frustrated because he bought one during our lunch stop but at the moment the Sim card seemed to not work! hahaha

Don't talk cock

I googled this the other day and to my surprise, it is a recognized phrase! Apparently originated from Singapore ( where u expect Ah Beng English) and it means talking nonsense..


The power of knowledge on your fingertips ( only true if you have a smartphone with 3G connection at least)
Tak tau? google laah!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Another leap another adventure

Its official. I've handed in my resignation. 1 month notice. Wow.. I can/t believe i did that. Almost 10 years after i made the move from KKM to UiTM, now i am again making another move. So many memories, so many stories to share on this journey.
I never thought i would ever leave this institution. I have always had UiTM spirit in me, a vision of how great the faculty will be.
However, there are choices in one's life and this was the most difficult decision i have made in my life. Insha Allah, perhaps it will spur me towards getting myself nearer to the Almighty.
Thank you everyone for making my time in UiTM worthwhile. It was an experience of a lifetime.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Kilimanjaro trip part 1: road trip Abu Dhabi-Dubai

I am guilty for not posting this earlier. So many things were happening at the same time thus the tardiness. In fact, i have written at least 5 stories for Diagnosis2 that in a way this blog was neglected hahaha But not to worry, as i attempt to settle my Kili experience in this blog.
The Kilimanjaro trip was a long one - almost 2 weeks away. Hoever, i must say it was a trip where we did everything berbaloi2.. Why? because it had a road trip element, Climbing a mountain nearing 6000m and we ended it with a short African safari! Beat that! it was such a fulfilling trip that i don't think it will be ever possible to repeat it this way haha
We had a good deal with our flight as it was bought during MATTA fair. It costed us RM2500 with a 2 day transit in Abu Dhabi. Honestly, it never crossed my mind we would be doing something unrelated to mountain hiking the first 2 days. But it was worth it!

We arrived in Abu Dhabi after a 6 hours flight from KL. Deeno booked for us a hotel which was in the airport! It was damn convenient because of its location and the free wifi! Honestly in my mind, if we were to travel around by car i would put my hands down as i just wanted to rest at the hotel!
Of course, that idea died when we managed to get 3 cars for our travels. It reminded me a lot of the road trips i did a long time ago!Again, becoming the chief navigator is not an easy job for me. s there were 3 cars in our convoy and the roads can be really confusing in Abu Dhabi! (Well.. Mt Koszi trip tak kira pasal jalan dia straight je.. haha) And off we were in our cars using Waze to travel around. 
Abu Dhabi was hot ..too hot to be outdoors! We visited the Ferrari Park ( kat luar je lah) and went to its city centre. We visited the big Ziyad mosque which i thought was nonsense because the main gallery is not open to public for prayers on normal days!

We were off to Dubai the next day and visiting Al Burj was definitely the first itenerary.The highest building in the world. Dubai is a man made city and it is obvious what the government is trying to create a man made Shangrila. Desert? naah.. they can build big aquariums and have sharks roaming.. too hot? they can create a ski resort for patrons all over the world. And Al Burj itself, whatever is being displayed outside especially the fountains which moves with music is an exact copy of KLCC, but definitely the bigger version and much more grand! 

 It was indeed a short honeymoon as we had food which was certainly indulgence to us! And i guess with a mountain hiking trip lurking, the thought of not taking all that is good in food haunts us...therefore belasah la. hahaha 

And we were off to Nairobi on an afternoon flight. And the real adventure begins..

Monday, September 22, 2014


When Izzat asked me whether i would be keen to be involved with a major exercise by the Bomba, I was very excited. I have always ewanted to be part of this exercise, its full of action and simulation in full gear.
Ex-Storm is an exercise mainly organized by Bomba and Skuad Penyelamat Malaysia yearly. This year it was KLCC and everybody will be involved. ED trauma teams from the major hospitals in Lembah Kelang took part in this exercise as an adjunct being medical cover. Datuk Seri Abu was at his best organizing such a thing.
I was asked to offer my expertise in assessing one of the teams. I guess Izzat invited me in my capacity as an experience Simulation instruction. I have heard of this programme but never had the chance to be involved directly! It was indeed a dram come true for me.. haha
 We were all in Masjid Assyakirin KLCC by 10pm. After a lengthy briefing all teams were on standby. It was interesting as there were 6 scenarios on scene and all were equally challenging. Teams were supposed to be well equiped to be able to respond to a disaster if it was to happen.

I was assigned to team who were supposed to respond to a fire on the 83rd floor of KLCC. The other scenarios were collapsed KLCC parking, a bus which turned over and on fire in Jalan Ampang, LRT station under cyanide attack,Exciting isn't it? My job was to monitor the progress of the teams and ensuring that they do the right team. Of course in the mean time, letting them make the mistakes we commonly do during disaster chaos. Chaos is the word, where whatever plannning will go tangential and the dynamics of the scenario will test the teams to respond appropriately.
 Everything started at 12 midnight! And by the time the distress call was received, all teams fled to the scene. On our arrival, the fire brigade, plice and other agencies were already there! It was chaotic and mind you the whole area was closed to accommodate this exercise. I am sure everybody around the area would have thought there was something going on like terrorist attack etc

 The highlight of my day i guess when we had to walk down 40 floors down from floor 82! Hahaha gile penat and it was all hot and humid! Then to have our selfies on the skybridge at 330am in the morning! Don't think many civilians will have the chance to do that.. hahaha 
But the experience was worth it. It is full scale exercise involving all major rescue agencies. I cannot imagine if it was the real thing because from the word go, chaos ruled over logic and seeing the teams in action, it was heart warming to know everybody was cooperative, from being a charity body to the team that would refuse to treat who was none from their scene of accident! hahaha
The stand down was at 4 am and by 5am we were all done. At this time of the night, we were so hungry and dropped by a mamak to get our maggi goreng fix before arriving home at about 6am!
It was tiring but certainly an interesting experience for me. Thank you Izzat and thank you Datuk Abu for giving me the opportunity to help and train the trauma teams! 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Kilimanjaro song

Honestly, since coming back i could not erase this song of my mind. A fun song, with fun lyric that sticks in my hums wherever I am! It was the song before we trek off from Shira Camp and Baranco camp. The guides and porters were good fun people as we danced and clapped to the rhythm and followed the song! And both times, we continued with our Malaysian Rasa Sayang!
Those moments were certainly dear to this trip.. a memorable one to be remembered for life.

Jambo! Jambo bwana!
Habari gani? Mzuri sana!
Wageni, mwakaribishwa!
Kilimanjaro? Hakuna matata!
Tembea pole pole. Hakuna matata!
Utafika salama. Hakuna matata!
Kunywa maji mengi. Hakuna matata!
Kilimanjaro, Kilimanjaro,
Kilimanjaro, mlima mrefu sana.
Na Mawenzi, na Mawenzi,
Na Mawenzi, mlima mrefu sana.
Ewe nyoka, ewe nyoka!
Ewe nyoka, mbona waninzunguka.
Wanizunguka, wanizunguka
Wanizunguka wataka kunila nyama
Hello! Hello sir!
How are you? Very well!
Guests, you are welcome!
Kilimanjaro? No trouble!
Walk slowly, slowly. No trouble!
You’ll get there safe. No trouble!
Drink plenty of water. No trouble!
Kilimanjaro! Kilimanjaro!
Kilimanjaro, such a high mountain.
Also Mawenzi, also Mawenzi!
Also Mawenzi such a high mountain.
Like a snake, like a snake!
Like a snake you wrap around me
You wrap around me, you wrap around me
Trying to eat me like a piece of meat

And now the end is near..

After being away for almost a month, it is good to be back at work. I was away most of the time since mid ramadhan till Merdeka. Business was as usual in CTC UiTM as the cardiac list did went on with few high risk cases done during my absence. It is good to know that the service was not 100% crippled and things are done in its accordingness. I am happy to note that, knowing what you have built is going on strong. Alhamdulillah. Its about leaving your legacy, somewhere somehow and ensuring the seeds that you sow grow well. 
Coming back from my previous adventures, somehow the Pole Pole attitude is deeper embedded in me.haha not that i do things laid back but patience is an important attribute to have. We had an interesting case the other day when a patient who was treated for MI presented with a bad intestinal obstruction 10 days after the MI attack. He came to the hospital with an initial complaint of unmanagable abdominal pain and of course when the ECG became significant, it was thought as a red herring! He did have an MI which stunted his heart real bad, having failure symptoms with a heart ejection fraction of 15%!
And when the Intestinal obstruction became to clear to not be disregarded, it was confirmed by radiological finding besides the obviously faecal material which he vomited out.
The dilemma was the indication for surgical intervention. Having a bad injured  heart is definitely not good news for anaesthetists. There was a thought of perhaps he would have been better treated outside our centre but upon evaluation, NO ANAESTHETIST out there will accept the referral to induce GA in this patient! haha Honestly.. despite the clinical indication, none would take this as a transfer case :) Therefore me and my colleague thought since we are the experts in inducing patients such as this.. then we had to give him the chance. And the care for him post op should be ok since we have been training our ICU nurses for the past 1 year. This was a test!
The issue with this patient was not about whether we can do him, but the post op care where the heart may not be able to take the stress. Especially he was in a septic state. Me & Azman planned this case carefully to ensure that we have done our best to save him. The prognosis can be really bad and that was what we emphasized to the family when taking the consent.It was never for us to say no and for us to decide not. At the end of the day, it is god's will and Allah is most gracious, most merciful.
Honestly it was an exciting case for us to do! 
Alhamdulillah it went well, There was 2L of pus and slough collection and the surgeon managed to clean what needed to be clean. He was haemodynamically stable with the support that we have given.
Today.. i was pleased to know he is mobilizing and sitting down well on the chair. The heart still needs mending but he has escaped his trial of death.
All a day's work.. and at the moment, i have another interesting case going on. pure cardiac.. another blog entry it is.. :)

#Diagnosis2 in the oven

When the book #diagnosis was launched recently, I was happy for team that produced it. It was something i wished i had enough resources to do when i was at their age. Certainly one o the reasons why i started blogging then when it was a worldwide trend.
Hence when the team leader, anwar @dranwarfazal approached me asking whether i was interested to join them in the sequel for #diagnosis, I was overwhelmed! It was a week before i left for Kilimanjaro.
It was indeed an honour to join the team, Anwar, Aizzat and Azah! I would have never imagined being given the opportunity to join writing mainstream. #Diagnosis success is only growing at the moment. The true stories of what we doctors go through is being presented in a manner which is appealing to the masses. It was a reunion when i was told that Dr Ben ( Dr Frappucino- to those oldskool bloggers, you will remember him!) will be in the team as well.
Of course i do have my stories to share but i do hope that it is interesting enough for readers to understand what we goes through in our mind while doing our jobs. It'll be a compilation of stories based on true story but of course, spices of fiction here and there.It is good to know that despite my blog which did not really made it into the big scene, at least i did have a number of loyal readers! Thanks guys for reading my entries.. haha
We had a fruitful meet up last weekend and it was certainly overwhelming! I put my hats off to the team and listening to Anwar's vision is refreshing. The ideas and of course the future of all these concerted efforts we are engaging!
Insha Allah my friends.. My enthusiasm is at its optimum! Certainly a project that i really look forward to as it fulfills both my passion and mission.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Merdeka de Kilimanjaro 2014

It was another experience of a lifetime. Celebrating Merdeka on top of the highest peak in Africa this year. It was worth the trip. The toughest summit attempt in my lifetime ever and I did it Alhamdulillah. I am updating my blog to tell you guys what had happened and the entry will be ready soon enough. Its back to work today but I'm still in my Kilimanjaro blues :)