Saturday, May 30, 2015


Being perfectionist sucks and it is tearing me apart. My phone has not been resting for the past week as I am very worried if something goes wrong with the GMC fridge and I am called in the middle of the night. Even when I am not on duty, my phone keeps vibrating with latest updates although they are not pertaining to my department. Bleah.. I don't know how I am going to last for another 3 weeks at this rate. Looks like there will be no chance to rest for the upcoming 3 weeks.

I have to replace my colleague's tomorrow night shift and then do my own morning shift on Vesak Day!! I am not being nice or helpful. I am overworking myself because I need to accumulate enough time off to prepare for my exam on 10 June. I need to get the paper work ready which obviously they are not ready yet. Yes.. keep on pouring additional stress on me and causing more acne outbreak. The only 'good' thing about my acne is that it lets others know how stressed I am. So please, stop asking me to do more shit.

After close to 5 months, I start to see the result of my diet. I am finally hitting back the number 60. My aim is much lower than that and I am slowly relapsing with the excuse of 'treating myself' to celebrate the success so far. Uuurgh.. must keep my self restraint as once I lose it, I will just snowball to my back habits. I am still very happy to remain far from fast food. I had Burger King once with colleagues about 2 weeks ago. But since it was under forced circumstances -rather than being deliberate- I did not relapse yet. That was not the case for the junk food T_T Just 1 occasion to let loose a bit and I keep munching and munching. Sigh.. I just realised that ALL (yes, not almost all but ALL) my favourite potato chips contain either buttermilk or paprika extract which I am supposed to avoid. I am left with the original or salty flavours which I don't really like so I am better off without them. My current inner fight is with bubble tea but I know if I lose even once, I will lose throughout. Sucks..

Last week my casual shoes broke and I had to buy a new pair. I spent $99 on an Adidas pair of shoes which is my most expensive shoes. I think it is crazy. After spending such an amount, it will just set a new threshold for subsequent purchases. A part of me is hoping that it will be a reason for me to start running again. Haha.. now honestly, what's the chance? I could have waited for another few weeks and hoped for a good bargain during Great Singapore Sales but I could not be bothered and just get it since shoes are part of basic necessities. This unrestrained purchase made me wonder how I still managed not to get any iPod or any music player despite wanting one for so many years. Haha..

Anyway don't talk about money now. I feel very emo to know that my 1 year is up. In my second year, 15% of my salary will go to CPF and I don't know how much of housing allowance remains. My take home pay is about $500 less than previous months and that is A LOT! :'(

Monday, May 25, 2015

My baby called GMC

I consider this as my baby as it took 18 months for all the planning. I could have given birth to 2 babies in 18 months! Lol.. My sacrifice goes beyond that as this also caused my uncountable pimples and stress as well as a missed opportunity to travel to Japan with my extended  family. But I should not be complaining as it is my choice to be involved in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be involved in once-in-a-lifetime event. Nope, I am not doing this for resume. I think it is the most stupid reason to accept any arrow if the goal is resume because resume only has its use when someone wants to change job.

I am a perfectionist so I am proud to transform these empty office cupboards...
 into a mini-pharmacy...
 And finally the drugs arrived...
The dispensing counter
Yesterday was the first day of operation and there were 0 patient. Today was the second day and in total, I served 2 patients in 2 x 12 hours period. Well done! Haha.. I don't know how I am going to survive when I am back to my normal work with close to 700 patients per day.

For now I will just enjoy this time.. no matter how short-lived it is because I expect to be stressed again once GMC gets busier and I need to crack my head regarding replenishment of drugs. I still need to juggle my exam on the 10th of June as well. Sob T_T

Friday, May 22, 2015

Never ending stress

Stress drove me to do irrational things like watching Avengers Age of Ultron for the 3rd time... at Gold Class some more. Haha... Including the food, it set me back close to $60 but that is the cost of happiness... sanity... de-stress... whatever you want to call it. Surprisingly, I still enjoyed the movie as much as my first time watching it.

My runny nose is still not okay since last week. My plan to take MC on Wednesday and Thursday failed. I had to collect morphine on Wednesday and had to tidy up the place yesterday for the training today. Bleah.. Something interesting happened yesterday. My colleagues were all attending the training session for the data entry system while I was the only one doing my admin work in the office. One of the doctors-in-charge for this SEA Games medical centre was an ex-national bowler so she was featured for some interview. Of all people to be a fake athlete as her patient, they chose me!! Lol.. I was wearing my normal working attire and they said no athlete would wear that to come see doctor. Fiuh.. okay I thought I was saved. But no.. they even tried to find a clothe for me to change. Although there were so many real athletes, they said they could not get them as clearance would be required. So that is my debut as a model. Lol.. No idea where the pictures will appear but they promised only my back and side will be shown. I should not recognisable. Haha.. It was hilarious when we pretend to measure blood pressure because my arm was as skinny as a worm. There was no muscle whatsoever.

Up to 2 days ago, I was pretty happy to see improvement with my acne. I thought my new facial cleanser worked wonders for the first days. It seems that my stress level just shoots above the roof and negates all the improvement the cleanser did. Bleah... 

I thought I would have fewer things to worry after the exercise at the Games Medical Centre today but that was not the case. I will sound rude but the old farts were really driving me crazy. A lot of things that they said simply put across themselves as being lazy and irresponsible. They do not want to hold individual keys for the controlled drugs, they do not want to share the keys, they do not want transfer the keys among themselves, so what the fuck do they want? Imagine giving stupid ideas like putting the controlled drugs into a sealed emergency kit so that we know once the seal is broken, somebody has tampered with it. Does that solve the key issue? Jeez..

I could sense the reluctance when they were paired with a technician but they also could not manage alone. Basically they preferred a pharmacist partner to also cover their backside. Darn it! People in retail pharmacies run one man show if they can do it, we also can do it. I am pretty sure back in their younger days, everything was still very manual, so I don't understand why they find the lack of IT support to be a big deal! Gosh.. I thought I am being helpful by giving them freedom on how to run the place during their shift. Unfortunately, they seem uncomfortable with no guidelines to follow. Come on! It is your right to decide whether you want to dispense things in full, in partial, or even to refuse dispensing at all. I don't care if you want to round up, round down, don't round. What matters to me is giving the correct medicines and making sure stock level is healthy. So just do anything as long as the operation still can run.

I may come across as an asshole saying all the above. I prepare and set up the whole temporary pharmacy so of course I am more familiar. My pet peeve is not about being familiar or not. It is about how unhelpful they are and every suggestion raised is for them to evade responsibility. I know things are not perfect as of now but I really am more worried when I am not around as compared to when I have to be the one running the place.

Only God can sustain and save me for the coming weeks. I don't know how I am going to survive all the stress. I still have to study for my exam, have to prepare things for my workgroup meeting this coming Friday, and settle write ups for project submission. My God.... T_T

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Avengers Age of Ultron exhibition

I am feeling quite emo today. I wanted to take leave because my extended family was transiting here in the morning after their Japan trip ended. My leave was not granted :( I wanted to arrange the drug delivery yesterday and asked my fellow colleagues to help. I sort of got the hint when boss replied that delivery would be better today when the volunteers would be around. Haiz.. I was still hoping that I could settle everything early so that I could take time off but delivery came late. So yeah I basically missed the chance.

The result of my CPPP second presentation was announced today. I was quite disappointed because I thought I did better than my first presentation and I was expecting a better score. I got the same score. In fact, if I see the decimals, my score is even lower. Wew...

As a consolation, the Avengers exhibition, which was at Vivocity a few weeks ago, is not at Kallang Wave Mall. I went to see the exhibition at Vivocity and I was disappointed because it was not as grand as my expectation and there were too many people to take photos. There were less people this time around so I could take photos. Unfortunately I was too shy to ask the volunteers to help me take my solo pictures. Lol.. As a bonus, the Hulkbuster is also here! Woosh!
I prefer the arrangement at Vivocity: all in one straight line
Did not see him at Vivocity

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Sick and tired

Not enough rest.. stress.. physical work.. all of this finally took a toll on my body. I have been having runny nose and sore throat since 3 days ago and I was not getting better that I had to resort to take medicines. I did not have enough rest after my Batam trip and things worsened with doing morning shift for this week. Wew..

The Games Medical Centre for 28th SEA Games Singapore 2015 will operate from next Sunday onwards and the preparation is at the peak and most gruelling stage both physically and mentally. After the stress to see if all the things would arrive on time on either Monday or Tuesday, Wednesday was the day of final meeting and moving of the furnitures. Thursday was the day I got the drug bin labels ready and Friday was the day of IT setup and the deadline of the summary of information for my pharmacy team. Fridge just arrived on Friday and I have not checked if the temperature monitoring system is alright. IT set up also did not run smoothly and I have to go back to settle it next Monday. Next Tuesday will be the arrival of the drug stock and next Friday will be mock training for everyone. Rrraaah!! The only good thing I can think about to keep me going is that I can be away from clinic for many days.

My landlady said that this week was the last week she could borrow her friend's maid who was currently overseas. She moved my things to the other room without my permission. Gosh!! I was upset and angry as I was worried that any of my fragile collection would break. I have yet to check every box for any damage as I am very tired. No comment on my new room so far as I have yet to see daylight here. My major concern is if the sun shines to my display cabinet and will affect my toy collections. But imagine, after moving heavy furnitures on Wednesday, in the evening I had to move my own things to my new room. Haiz..

I have decided to do away with my acne medications. I have been using them for almost 2 years without any visible improvement. I am turning to my female colleagues for advice. I am desperate enough to even try products recommended by them such as this Naruko Tea Tree Purifying Clay Mask & Cleanser in 1. It costs me $16 per bottle and this is the most expensive facial cleanser I have ever tried. Previously I was using Acnes brand and since I bought them from Indonesia, it costs me only $2 or $3 per bottle. I have been using body soap as face soap since I was a child. That is what my mum told me. According to my colleagues, body soap should not be used as face soap. What the heck!! Of course the rebellious part of me argues that I had been doing this since birth but my acne only started to get worse in the past 2 years. But it seems that I am out of choice and have to follow their advice.

Just finished clinic team building event this evening and an archived photo of a zoom in of my face from 2012 was shown. Everyone was telling me that it was an evident of how bad my acne is now as compared to last time. Oh well.. I wish I knew what went wrong in the past 2+ years.. 

Sunday, May 10, 2015


I just came back from a weekend trip to Batam. It was my first time there and this is considered 'late' for someone who has been living in Singapore for more than a decade. After all, Batam is one of the few popular destinations (other than JB and Bintan) for a short getaway. I was not very excited for the trip because the only 'interesting' thing that people told me about Batam was: shopping and eating seafood. I am a fan of neither. Thus I was going more for an experience to know what Batam is like. I went with my colleagues and they settled everything so I only followed mindlessly. I did not expect too much because I did not want to be disappointed like when I went to Bintan last year.

Having no expectations clearly helped. Batam is actually quite well developed and much more developed than Bintan. The ferry terminal is top notch and it is surrounded by hotels and nice looking houses. First impression counts! Haha.. Our first destination was to eat seafood as it was almost dinner time. The notion about shopping was obvious from the number of shopping malls I saw on the way. Opposite the ferry terminal is already one of them! On the journey from the ferry terminal, there is a huge "WELCOME TO BATAM" signage atop a mountain which gave me the feel that it was inspired by the iconic Hollywood sign. I did not manage to snap a photo as I had not turned on my phone. Darn!

I am not familiar with geography of Batam but I felt happy and amazed to see mountains (perhaps hills??), foresty areas, and a large body of water (no idea if it is a lake, sea, or bay). It made me realise that I am quite a nature person as I get the excitement and peace that I don't get when I went to Europe. Signs of (uneven) development are apparent as well. Gorgeous mosques, government buildings, universities stand out against housing development projects which seem to be somehow abandoned with only large boards with names of the housing estates surrounded by empty plots of land.
Barelang Bridge
We ate at a seafood restaurant at Barelang. From the restaurant, the view of Barelang Bridge is amazing. I did not take a solo picture as my camera phone would not be good enough for a low light condition. The seafood dinner was kinda amazing. We spent a total of Rp 1.150.000,- for 8 people. I never spent or paid anything that much for a meal! Haha.. Only the crab was expensive at about Rp 495.000,-. The other dishes were very reasonable considering the portion sizes. Even fruit juices only cost Rp 15.000,-! The crab was tempting but I managed to avoid it because it was butter crab. A colleague did not eat clam so I ate her share while she ate my share of crab.

The next destination was Nagoya Hill Shopping Centre which is the biggest shopping mall at Batam. I have to admit that the design of the building is impressive. Unfortunately, the interior still feels like a shopping centre, rather than a mall. In case you are wondering, shopping centres are usually more cramped as they want to maximise the floor space for shops to the maximum. No wonder how cool they are from the outside, the feeling inside will never beat shopping malls. Shopping malls tend to have a "hollow" central area which makes them feel more spacious. The people from higher levels can see the ground level and vice versa. That is what I mean by "hollow" central area. In addition, shopping malls tend to have higher ceiling to add the spacious feel. My only shopping goal at Batam was fulfilled here: my diet cereal. Haha.. Initially I was upset that the price was more expensive than what I got from Jakarta. But at cashier, I got 25% discount. Ooops. So in the end I got it cheaper haha.. It cost me Rp 800.000,- ++ which is my most expensive grocery shopping ever!

We spent the night at BCC Hotel and Residence. As there were a lot of us, we chose service apartment instead of hotel rooms. The service apartment is really huge and great. The room service, however, was terribly slow. There were no hair dryers and by the time they sent the hair dryer, the girls' hair was dry already. We also asked for a bottle opener and by the time they came, we managed to open the bottles using our own improvised technique with various items like spoon, table, etc. The breakfast was not fantastic too. Although in my honest opinion, the breakfast was rather bad.

I tried Somersby Apple Cider for the first time. I am not a fan of alcoholic drinks but I am curious to try. The taste is pretty good because the alcohol does not feel that strong/drying. I hate the fact that it is carbonated, though. I only drank less than 1/3 of a bottle and I already started burping. We also gambled a bit -with real money! There is a reason why I don't gamble or I don't like to try my luck with 4Ds, Toto, etc. Haha.. My luck is bad. I only had 4 $1 coins, 1 50 cents, a few 20 cents, and 1 5 cents coins. I told myself that I would stop once I lost 1 $1 coin. Haha.. My luck sort of improved by the time I had the 50cents as a wager. Haha.. I only managed to break even.

After breakfast in the morning, I skipped the massage and the trip to wet market. I don't like the thought of strangers touching my body and wet market is something normal for me. Haha.. I wanted to sleep a bit more. Our last destination was Batam City Square Mall and the girls went for manicure pedicure. I went to Gramedia and I randomly bought comics. Haha.. I bought a 4-volume soccer comic and a one-shot comic about snow jumping or something like that. I have yet to read them but I am a sucker of sports stories. The cashier told me that it was a buy 3 get 1 free promotion. What!! Haha.. I don't have any other title to buy so never mind lo...

I am very pleased and satisfied with this trip. Haha.. I don't mind coming again to replenish my diet cereal. The best part is that the total cost for the transport (including ferry return trip) and accomodation is only $91. That is very cheap as compared to my trip to Bintan!!

I helped my colleagues with money in Batam. I guess there is an advantage of being an Indonesian who is used to see so many zeros in our currency. My colleagues have trouble differentiating the thousands (1000, 2000, 5000) and the ten of thousands (10000, 20000, 50000) notes. Hearing hundreds of thousands and even millions made them unable to count the zeros anymore. Haha... I guess if I can handle millions, I will have no problem travelling to other countries. Japan or Thailand usually have hundreds to thousands and even Korea has thousands to tens of thousands. They are all less than hundreds of thousands or millions!

This is random but I am glad that I don't snore when I sleep. Haha.. I actually asked my roommate if I snored last night.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

CPPP case presentation 2

I realised that I never made noise about my first case presentation for my CPPP (Clinical Pharmacist Preparatory Programme) which happened about a month ago. It went pretty badly and I was left tired after it that I could not be bothered to blog. Haha.. I still managed to pass although the last statement in the feedback was: "managed to just pass". Well a pass is a pass so I am still happy.

I just finished the second case presentation this afternoon and I am thankful to God. I feel confident that I did much better than the first one. My strategy to choose a shittier case for the first one and a better case for the second case worked! Haha.. I mean the examiners would expect that an improvement so might as well I chose something that I did badly first and then did something which I think I could managed better for the second case and hence an improvement. Lol.. Of course the biggest credit goes to God. The main reason that I did better today was many questions were predicted correctly by me and thus I was more or less prepared with the answers. For the first case, I missed on too many things and these were the things picked up by the examiners. I did not so obviously I was not prepared and thus I just shook head and smiled for most of the time.

Doing this kind of oral examination is really nerve-wrecking. "Smoking" answer is almost impossible unless you have a poker face. The moment I showed some hesitation with my answers, the examiners would rephrase the question in a way that made me wonder if my answer was correct.. even when my answer was correct in the first place. Same thing for application question when I had to think on the spot. Most of the times, there is no right or wrong answer. But the way the examiner asks, it sounds as if there is a correct answer. Actually the purpose to test my reasoning.

Of course things did not go as smoothly as expected. I nearly died from the first question today. I was asked about vaccinations! Jeez.. I put the vaccination slides just out of "formality". Guideline recommends it so I recommend it. Even when I managed to make up some answers "Erm... even for normal healthy people, these vaccinations are recommended, of course they are even more important for elderly people who are not as healthy as younger people. Elderly should avoid getting sick altogether", the follow-up questions on Hepatitis B vaccinations killed me. I had to give up somewhere because even if I could think and answer, eventually the question would end up with the treatment which I totally had no idea because I did not read that at all. The other memorable question today was the mechanism of action of Rivaroxaban. I was too nervous and I answered: direct anti factor Xa inhibitor. Obviously they knew I studied quite hard and get everything mixed up. Sensing something not right, I rephrased it to: anti factor Xa inhibitor. Hmm.. still does not make sense with an 'anti' and an 'inhibitor'. Final answer: anti factor Xa. Lol.

The ultimate challenge comes in 1 month time for the final exam: to clerk a case within 1 hour and then to present. I am already dying preparing for case presentations when I can specifically prepare to study those topics related to the case. For the final exam, I will need to literally know everything under the sun. God help me!!

The other good news is that the person who stole my money was finally evicted yesterday. Yay!! Life is much better now as I do not need to live in fear and having to lock my room everytime I leave my room. My landlord asks me to take over his room. I am quite reluctant because I am just lazy for a change. Bleah.. I need to think of a way to rearrange my items again. I don't know if that room is similar size, bigger, or smaller than my current one.

Friday, May 1, 2015

"Alternative" healing

As somebody working in healthcare, I tend to be skeptical to other methods of healing which have not been proven by large randomised controlled clinical trials etc. However, seeing is believing. And after western medicine is not able to cure my ailment, I have no choice but to explore the alternatives.

My younger sister suffers from psoriasis which remains uncontrolled after many doctors and many different medicines. From a relative, we come to know to Mr Antonius Porat. I would say he is Gifted (big G because it comes from God). Different foods for different people may have different effects. He will inform everyone their individual food to avoid/poisons. From my sister and my parents' recollection, it seems that his healing method is just as such. When I went home in December, my sister's skin was still pretty bad so I was not convince that this healing method works. But when I went home 2 weeks ago, my sister's skin improved tremendously. Seeing that, I decided to also go for one of the session. I am thankful that there was a session in Jakarta when I was home.

I had some reservations because I consider myself to eat very little already. In addition, it seems that the poisons are likely to be food that people usually eat a lot normally. For example, my mum gets egg and chocolate (well, she loves cakes so much!), my dad gets beef and some seafood (we know he loves these 2 types of meat much more than chicken or pork), my sister gets soda and ice (which she drinks almost everyday). For myself, my breakfast is always bread from supermarket and my dinner is replaced with cereal nowadays. Lunch is only my proper meal and I always rotate among the few stalls. I will have nothing to eat if milk or flour is one of my poisons. It is not that I like these food. I have no other choice but to eat them for survival. Lol  God is great and is merciful. He knows that I already eat very little and I eat to survive, my fears did not come true and my poisons are egg, butter, and chili.

Honestly, I was happy that I only had 3 poisons and I thought they would be easy to avoid because I don't think I have them very often. I was more worried if my poisons are potato chips, fast food, or bubble tea haha.. But I know they are not likely because I avoided them for 4 months but my face is still like shit.

Apparently, it is easier said than done! I don't like spicy food and I don't actively look for spicy food. But now I realise, I often buy Indonesian or Malay food. Although they are not spicy, they always have chili as a sauce (just to make the food look red) or even as decoration. Gosh!! Like that also can! I also often eat from the new Thai stall near my workplace which also serves spicy food. I have to rely on mixed rice food stalls now.

Similarly with egg. It is kind of easy to avoid the full eggs but there are too many food with "hidden" eggs. I like sushi and I almost bought a maki set last week when I realised that tamago is also egg T_T I eat ramen once in a month or in 2 months but I guess that has to go away soon. Quite wasted if I buy one and not to have the eggs.

Butter is almost always hidden but basically all cakes will be out for me. Those commercial biscuits also may have butter so I always read ingredients list nowadays.

The ultimate challenge is, however, even when I actively avoid those that I can see, sometimes there are hidden ones. For example, I ordered the stack of green vegetables and white bean sprout but when I started to eat, I saw some chili pieces inside!! Those mixed rice stalls also share tongs/spoons for different food. Even if I don't order chili or egg, the tongs/spoons have been previously used for other food containing chili or egg for other patrons.

Enough about food, let's go back about the healing. My parents and sister are not telling the full story. Avoiding personal poison is just one part of the healing. The other part of the healing is pertaining to lifestyle. When you shake hands with Mr Porat, he will be able to "see" if you have other problems in your life which may be contribute to your disease. For example, stress, having negative personalities, conflict at home or at work, etc. One thing that he emphasizes on is to always smile and be positive. Yes it sounds corny but this works on psychological aspect.

Spiritually, he will also remind people to follow their religions teaching, whatever their religions are. He will also be able to "see" if people seldom go to church/mosque/temple or if people go but actually cannot concentrate on the service or if people actually don't fast etc.

Lastly, the session itself is also a healing process. People may start to get skeptical here as often we imagine those healing sessions we see on TV: people crying and falling down etc. Mr Porat is a Catholic but his session is non-denominational. The session opens and ends with 1x Our Father, 1x Hail Mary, and 1x Glory Be. That's all. My parents and sister told me that the session opens and ends with 'prayers' so I was expecting it to be like those healing services on TV. At the start of the session, he mentioned that he was not the one doing the healing. The healing comes from God. Thus he advises people to remain throughout the session because once the session ends, the grace also ends or something like that. He does not want people to think that he is the healer and continuously look for him etc.

Apparently there were 2 children who were ever brought by their parents to one of his sessions. Subsequently when these children went to a Mass, they pointed at the statues of Jesus and Mother Mary and told their parents "Eh.. weren't these people also present at that session that we attended?". Aha!!

I am getting impatient but it has only been 2 weeks for me. I guess I just have to believe and obey. God is the true healer after all.