The Observatory Part Un

August 10, 2011

So, in a bid to find out more about the OT profession, I took a 1/2 day ‘shadow’ at 1 of the community hospitals in SG. The hospital caters to the elderly and has a nursing home attached to it. The OT who kindly showed me around specializes in Geriatrics.

I’ve learnt lots from him which I thought I’d jot down here – So for starters the hospital offers OT opportunities accross various care settings, ranging for the more mobile outpatient patients to those that require critical care, to those who are at the palliative stage.

Therapy extended include activities the patients can partake in with props and equipment to facilitate and strengthen muscle movement to enable them to lead a more active life. The OT plans these activities and has different ones each day, ranging from movies, gardening, morning exercise to cooking. It requires creativity, to see basic things in a different light in order to utilize them as tools to achieve the various therapeutic outcomes. I was shown items like macaroni and string, strength building weights and even a mahjong set which he swears that he has no problem getting the patients to play; which was rather amusing since most of them were reluctant about leaving their bed for any form of treatment.

Therapy is also extended to those patients who were permanently bedridden to prevent further detoriation. These patients, due to prolonged inactivity and the resultant poor blood circulation in the skin, are susceptible to the development of bed sores and other complications like muscle contracture so that their hands and feet become frozen in a claw-like state. Sounds painful? Certainly. It is heart wrenching to see some of the patients in the condition they were in. Nobody wants to fall sick, nobody wants to be left in a situation that they are warranted helpless such that even the most basic of functions like going to the bathroom is impossible to them.

So through my observations – these were the qualities that I feel a candidate should possess in order to do well in this field.

The OT profession is first and foremost, a very giving profession – they endeavour to make a difference, to make life better for others, to empower and enable the patients to return to the activities in their normal lives. Thus, one must really have the heart to give to love this job. This would see them through trying times and demonstrate empathy and sincere care when coaxing a grouchy patient, for example. They play the role of a coach, a cheerleader and a psychologist all rolled into one.

Secondly, he has extraordinary people skills. My OT friend who is working in Geriatics, can converse in Hokkien, Cantonese, Mandarin, English and a very slight smattering of Malay. Even while he was showing me around the wards he was making small talk to the paients, enquiring about their well being etc etc. There is collaborative work to be done, as the OT has weekly meetings and engages the various health professionals like the doctors, nurses, and the medical social worker to discuss the cases and activity plans.

Three, creativity as mentioned above. Incorporating therapy that befits the patient’s condition in an interesting manner, so that it appeals to them.

Next, physical strength is essential, but not debilitating if you lack it. My OT friend was in sports attire, he tells me that they are consistently on their feet and the physical transfer of patients from bed to wheelchair for example, requires strength. However, tere are techniques that will teach you how to move the patients and if 1 person can’t do it alone, 2 or 3 other persons could facilitate.

Finally, a note on the industry for opportunities and pay scale in Singapore. According to him, Singapore is still 10-15 years behind the more developed countries. OT is still not as valued here, as compared to physiotherapy which enables patients to regain function of their lower limbs i.e to walk. Progression is rather stagnant – you start as entry level, then to a senior OT, then to a department head, that is if you have the aptitude for it and make the cut. There are no bonuses to look forward to and pay is on the lower end of the scale. With the same amount of experience, he’d be earning double the amount he makes here, if he moved to Australia and practised there instead. In other words, it probably makes it tough to sustain your passion, since monetary rewards are insufficient to cater to various aspirations. He had seen many who were decent at the work, but leaving the industry, or the country, to pursue other opportunities.

I have never considered healthcare in such depth before, and now, I realize why the policy makers are worried. Singapore is facing the next silver tsunami with our greying population. Our health facilities, while world-class, may not be sufficient to cater to the volume once it hits us. Our healthcare workers are outsourced, because the educated locals shun the type of work. You know you’re in trouble when people start considering the facilities accross the causeway for their aged sick. Healthcare costs are rising. What more can be done?

That is the sad, inevitable path of life – birth, aging, sickness and death. And through it all, I’m thankful and grateful that I’m still in good health. And, moving forward, more eager to live a life worth living, to cherish every precious drop of youth and, contribute in whatever way I can.

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femur fracture

July 21, 2011

That’s what happened to my ah gong when he slipped and fell in the bathroom this morning. between 8am and 3pm – the time when my grandma panicked and called us. The maids looking after him did not raise the alarm which was why we only knew of the accident later that day.

I knew the pain was excruciating and honestly my grand-dad is 1 tough cookie -to bear the pain silently for the next few hours, which was why he only told popo so late. The family was mobilized & those who were available went to my grandma’s. We rallied to get him to the hospital quick & get an x-ray done.

My 3rd aunt took half day off work, cabbed down and made the arrangements. Being the nurse of the family, she bascially took charge, and, through her network very efficiently got the ambulance, scheduled the x-ray and the orthopaedic doctor. I am so glad and thankful that we have her around, truly the ‘unsung’ hero of the family!!

First challenge was getting him on the stretcher of the ambulance without injuring him further – this the ambulance guys did with panache, but thanks to the presence of both my 2nd & 5th uncles, smoothened the process with additional manpower.

2nd challenge was the lack of rooms – he only wanted a single bed one, so my aunt somehow managed to wrangle 1 from the paediatric ward.

Here, I’d really like to commend the hospital staff on their flexibility – although there was a miscomm initially and we experienced a slight delay admitting my ah gong into the room, they did well with their bedside manner and showed great care towards my granddad and the family, explaining clearly what the next steps were to us.

Here’s where it all fits, I am thinking about doing Occupational Therapy, and well, I am listening to you and hear your hint loud and clear really. I’ll definitely take steps to speak more to the nurses there and find out where I can do to snag a P. OT job shadowing stint.

I bascially, observed. and took this as a learning experience, with elderly in the family, it sometimes is tough. And a fall has large ramnifications due to the longer time it takes for them to heal, & the fact that complications may occur along the way. Also, with ah gong being ah gong, he was headstrong as usual. I’m glad to see his spirits up, actually. He was rather vocal about NOT wanting an operation. To me that’s a good sign, the ability to express your thoughts in a coherent manner. & he said that he was afraid – “Mai, wa kia…”

It’s heartbreaking to see him in pain. Please let him recover soon. I have full faith that he will be strong and get through this!!! ah gong, jia you, your sons, daughters, sons and daughters-in-law, grandchildren & greatgrandchildren will be by your side!

each step i make.

July 21, 2011

So, I’ve been reading “The Secret” lately, and find myself believing what’s written, that you can achieve your utmost desire as long as you think and believe in it.

I left my job at the bank, and while some of my colleagues and friends and family can’t fathom why or how since it was a great place to start & indeed, I am truly grateful having been given lots of opportunities to grow & learn.

Even I can’t describe why or how, but there is a force propelling me towards something else. I’ve taken a few days to mull over it, and well, there were times when I’m still procrastinating intrinsically. But at least I’ve narrowed it down to a few options and the next steps I need is just to bascially find. out. more. Network, ask questions, go out there and experience it.

that said. I am thankful. thank you (=

Paris, paris

November 22, 2009

Moi de`s que je suis loin de paname
J’ai les poumons tout essouffle’s
J’ai le coeur bouffe’s par plein de larmes
et le corps comme tout exile’

Le plus loin qu’sois aller c’est la Marne
C’e’tait pour suivre un petit beguin
Moi de`s qu’il n’ya plus de vacarme
J’m’ennuie l’silence ne m’vaut rien

Paris, Paris
T’es ma seule famille
Paris, Paris
Y’a qu’chez toi qu’mon coeur brille
Paris,
Si j’te revois pas de`s d’main
Paris, je vais mourir
De microbes chagrin

(Pont Musical)

Paris, Paris
tout l’temps
Tu m’entortilles
Paris, Paris
Je re^ve qu’tu m’de’shabilles
Paris,
Si j’te r’vois pas de`s d’main
Paris, je vais mourrir
De microbes chagrin

Ce qu’il fait bon a chaques terrasses
Boul’vard Nouvelle …..et Italiens
La` ou` nous les ptits mecs quand on passe
Nous boivent comme panache’s urbain

Dans ma petite chambre au 6e’me
J’attends qu’on vienne me dorloter
Dis Paris c’est toujours toi que j’aime
Mais qui va te remplacer

Paris, Paris
T’es ma seule famille
Paris, Paris

Y’a qu’chez toi qu’mon coeur brille
Paris,
Si j’te revois pas de`s d’main
Paris, je vais mourir
De microbes chagrin

Paris, Paris
tout l’temps
Tu m’entortilles
Paris, Paris
Je re^ve qu’tu m’de’shabille
Paris,
Si j’te r’vois pas de`s d’main
Paris, je vais mourir
De microbes chagrin

My favourite song from the film Faubourg 36, or Paris 36. Caught it on Saturday, and I’m just reminded of how I miss the place, and along with slight regrets that I didn’t take every opportunity I could to explore every nook and cranny of the city, rather than travelling out during the weekends.

these dreams, they’re made of paper butterfly wings

November 15, 2009

It struck me that I haven’t written in awhile. Life’s somewhat settled into a routine. Comfortable, safe, boring. Am recalling those times I felt so alive, and know that while I am a creature of comfort, I seek the occasional adventure. I love the heightened sensations of experiencing a different place for the first time. Instantly, I’m brought back to my memories of exchange, visiting, exploring, hungrily devouring the sights, sounds, the food of each new place. Or back on campus, making a life for myself and just running daily errands – doing the laundry, visiting the grocery, helping out in the kitchen, while 4-5 hungry bellies wait in anticipation as to what our resident chef could whip up. ah, that was what life can be, or should be if I’m not so spoilt here in sg.

I know I need to break free from this complacence, to step up to the mantle and want more out of myself, do the things I want to do, while I am still young and definitely capable of achieving much more. I guess starting’s always tough, but we all need to start somewhere, anyhow. Nevertheless, I’m grateful, to the opportunities I’ve been given, and the friends that I’ve made along the way.

less is more; more is less.

September 21, 2009

Am back from a weekend trip to Batam, to Turi Beach Resort, it was a good break. Loved the resort and its airy expanse. Your mood instantly lifts the moment you arrive at the lobby, taking in the view of the sea and sky greeting you and the lush greenery of the landscape. Over here, time moves languidly along with the still warm air. The resort staff greet you with warm smiles and attend to your requests agreeably in an unhurried manner, as though there is all the time in the world. Wait a minute, there IS all the time in the world, you’re a holiday, so what’s the rush?

My room in the newly constructed wing was perfect. It was as though we were living in our own executive apartment, with a spanking classy bathroom. It was comfortable, new, airy, and had a decent view of the sea and the emerald pool. Resort facilities aside, there were several downers, but mostly due to my own making. One major gripe I had about the place was the location, it was a good 45mins ride away from the town area, which was bad when there was only so much things you can do to entertain yourselves while staying in. Another thing I disliked about Turi was the lack good food which kind of sucks, considering the amount you pay for meals within the resort. The international cafe was slightly decent, the Japanese restaurant was passable, and the Indonesian cafe was urgh, which is weird considering that they should be better at local cuisine. Don’t order the coffee shaker – too sweet, not cold enough and tastes like coffee + water , nor the chicken satay – it was dry, and tasted like microwaved chicken on sticks, , nor the Es(iced) desserts – ice shavings were more like ice chunks, too much syrup.

Choosing the peak period long holiday Hari Raya weekend also meant we had to share the resort with tonnes of other holidaymakers, mostly Singaporean. This meant several things; 1) practically no sunbeds available by the poolside, 2) long waiting times for cabs out when you want them 3) the resort spa being fully booked by the time I wanted to book a slot.

It was worse venturing out to Nagoya area on Saturday, the day which we’d designated to be a “stay-in” , chill in resort day. I was fixated on getting a spa done because it was so much cheaper to do one in Batam, plus it was going to be my first time doing so. The resort spa was a tad pricey, so I persuaded the bf to accompany me out to the one(s) in Nagoya instead. One massage house offered free transport to and fro to the hotels, so we called them to pick us up from ours. They agreed and gave us a 1pm slot. I was in for a rude disappointment, however, the transport never appeared, and when we called, they kind of brushed us off saying they’d pick us up 1/2 an hour later and all the massage/spa therapists were FULLY BOOKED. Undaunted, we decided to cab out instead, as there was another spa/massage house in the same area.

I’d to end up waiting in a super busy reception area in the Spa to do a pedicure instead (so as to not a make a wasted trip) while tourists (mostly Singaporean, again) came in and out to crowd around the counter to book/demand/negotiate/pay for their packages. This was after I got rejected our earlier “appointment” massage place down the road which informed me that their earliest booking slot they could offer me was 9.00pm at night ! It was noisy, and not the most enjoyable of times for those seeking a zen-like spa ambience.

The bf, kudos to him, took the opportunity to scarf down 2 root beer floats and 2 servings of curly fries from A&W in the amt of time we spent out there. Well oh well, our return ferry trip to sg was almost screwed up too, we’d inform the hotel reception to change our ferry timing to an earlier one, which they agreed. Who knows when we reached the ferry terminal, the coordinator couldn’t find our records. stressed the poor guy out, but we caught the ferry anyway.

So there we have it the good and the bad. I’d loved to go back again, but with a caveat, no more peak period travelling for me.

the perfect weekend

July 27, 2009

Friday night date at La Cantina in Venezia of Changi Village Hotel. I’d been angling to try the food there for ages, and agreed that I’d treat the bf when my first pay came in. The Linguine Al Granchio (crabmeat linguine) was to. die. for. Super duper happy with the generous chunks of crabmeat in my pasta, I was grinning throughout the meal. Unfortunately though, the space in my tummy was limited and after the appetizer I was semi-full. I couldn’t finish the hefty portion and could only watch regretfully as the waiter cleared my plate away. ( SUCH A WASTE!) My mind was screaming, but I thought it might be unbecoming if I requested to take-away the remnants. Anyway, I’m very much poorer now and can prob only afford to have plain water for lunch for the rest of the month.

My money management skills are rather questionable right now. Although I’m not the type who spends uncontrollably on accessories or clothes, just meeting up with friends for dinner or drinks set me back by too much each time, something I find a struggle to sustain with the amount I earn as a trainee. urgh. So the plan is to embark on an austerity campaign and learn to turn down such invitations, and prob end up with well, no friends. RESTRAINT IS KEY.

Anyway, on to more delightful matters. A close sec school friend got married on saturday, and boy was she beautifully lovely on her big day. My friends and I were drooling over the wedding shots. Both her and her hubby make such a fine looking couple, to the extent that their wedding photos could be easily mistaken for professional commercials. I can so totally imagine them in an advertisement for De Beers/ lifestyle condominiums etc. As can be imagined, being the first of the flock to enter marriagehood, this wedding was the event of the year and widely anticipated amongst us. It was touching, to hear the pride in the groom’s voice when he introduced her as his wife, the teasing, before proceeding to drive her to tears with a hearfelt speech of his love for her. There was nary a dry eye amongst us bridesmaids, and yes, am truly happy that she found her Mr Right. Beautiful weddings always end on a wistful note, leaving people yearning for more. While it marks the new beginning for the next chapter that is to come in the lives of the new couple. For the attendees, questions like, who’ll be next for instance? Or will I ever find that someone, and be as happy as them? float in their minds.

Life moves in mysterious ways, and so it had to be, that our first class gathering of sorts took place 7 years after our classmate’s wedding. The rest of us girls adjourned to White Rabbit at dempsey. We were a rowdy raucous bunch, not much different from 7 years ago. It was good catching up, sharing the girly details of our lives.

Bangkok Eat-scapade 2

June 30, 2009

Dinner was in Siam Paragon at Fuji. We had such a huge spread and pretty much stuffed ourselves silly eating. Our expenditure amounted 400 plus baht per pax there. Heard from D that her friends would always visit this Japanese restaurant whenever they fly to Bangkok.

Drinks was in the night market area of Suan Lum.

The next evening, we went back to Sukhumvit Soi 11 and tried the Thai Restaurant, 11-Gallery It was a delightful experience, and dining there allows you to immerse. The decor and ambience had a nostalgic feel, with vintage knick knacks trinkets displayed. Waitresses wore the traditional thai cloth wrap. True to the theme, some of the dishes were served in stacks of tiffin carriers.

Bangkok Eat-scapade 1

June 22, 2009

Day 1
We check into our hotel, Baiyoke Boutique with the funky art decor. The room we were in was a sizzling hot pink, and boy did we feel warm in there. Its our first time in Bangkok, and we arrived with little prior research, no map and no Lonely Planet. So what did we do? Traipsed through the night market in Pratunam, that’s what, and found ourselves in a nearby 7-11 browsing through the tourist maps. Found one that we intended to purchase, only to realize that it was a SAMPLE, not for sale piece. Gah. Out came the phone camera and we noted 1 recommendation. Tapas Cafe in Sukhumvit Soi 11. Apparently Bangkok, as in Singapore, is a treasure trove of foreign cuisine and palettes, and at cheaper prices too. Hooray. =)

baiyoke boutique

After cabbing down to the place we found the Tapas Cafe tucked in the most charming alley,sharing the same area with several other establishments such as a backpacker’s hostel Suk 11, and Cheap Charlie’s selling beer at 70-80 baht a pop. If I ever backpack Bangkok, I would definitely want to stay here! Tapas turned out alright, as I wasn’t awfully hungry after the SIA inflight meal. They’ve happy hour promotions which I believe is doubly more worth it if you visit then.

Day 2

We visit PINKY TAILOR to make our shirts. Situated in Manhatun Plaza in Phloen Chit, it took us a sky train ride away. We get a firsthand taste of how inaccessible our hotel was. Its a good 15-20 min walk to the nearest BTS, not so good in blazing hot weather. Anyway, the place was pretty cool. There’s 3 storeys worth of fabric to choose from, and Mr Num, the tailor who attended to us was very chatty and polite. I decided to tailor a pink office shirt. Off we went to lunch, and this time I wanted to try authentic thai food so we asked them to recommend us somewhere to go. 2 words, “Taling Pling” at Central World. omg. It was SO. GOOD. We ordered 3 dishes, the pandan chicken, green curry, and stir-fried gourd leaves. Each dish was bursting flavour, and I totally enjoyed the green curry! My only reservation was I initially looking for something less upmarket, but hey, no complaints. We spent the equivalent of eating in a restaurant-cafe in sg, 650 baht for 2 persons which is abt 14 sgd each.

From bottom left 1. Pinky Tailor 2. Random Mall Shot 3. Bustling bangkok street 4. Me in Taling Pling 5. Pandan Chicken 6 Honey Ginger Freeze 7. Stir-fry Vege 8. Green Curry 9. River 10. Napkin 11. the bf in Taling Pling 12. in the street

From bottom left 1. Pinky Tailor 2. Random Mall Shot 3. Bustling bangkok street 4. Me in Taling Pling 5. Pandan Chicken 6 Honey Ginger Freeze 7. Stir-fry Vege 8. Green Curry 9. River 10. Napkin 11. the bf in Taling Pling 12. in the street

To be continued.

Redbull X-Fighters

May 19, 2009

As a result of winning the pitch for Red Bull during my PR strategy class, my team was invited to attend their motor-cross event as their VIP guests. I think their agreement to participate in our course paid off, in the sense that over the course of our project, the consumption of Red Bull spiked (within my class, at least). It was a good way to end with a bang to my final semester in university, and I thoroughly enjoyed working alongside my team-mates!

After a sushi-licious dinner at ichiban boshi we headed down to the Singapore Flyer where the event was held. I’ve never caught a motorcross event before so I was actually looking forward to it. I saw the crowd herding towards the area even before I had dinner, though later we found out it was due in part, to a Tiger Beer football match viewing held in proximity to the motor cross venue.

Red Bull Tent

As we were a tad late, we had to squish through the crowds before locating the VIP area, which had a superb view of the set-up and we were treated to an open bar with freeflow of *guess?* Red Bull drinks.

the "stage"

beneath the singapore flyer

beneath the singapore flyer

And well, these motorbiking daredevils wow-ed the crowd with their gravity defying stunts and tricks in the air. It was heart stopping to watch. It takes just a matter of seconds between the momment where they zip up the ramp on their bikes, become airborne *cue pose/stunt/handstand/backflip* before landing on the other ramp. I find it amazing how these guys live on andrenalin and the edge of life. Playing with their lives as they do, any wrong move could result in serious injury, let alone wrecking their careers.

kids are advised not to try this at home

kids are advised not to try this at home

bikeintheair

After that we slowly trooped to Butter Factory for their after-party and took many touristy pictures along the way. All in all a fun night, but I found out the hard way; that too many Red Bull mixers keeps sleep at bay for the entire night. What can I say folks, it gives you wings!

ANTM to be

ANTM to be


strolling down the boardwalk

strolling down the boardwalk


the team

the team


Pointing out spelling errors is what comms students do best

Pointing out spelling errors is what comms students do best

Credits to zm for his photo-graphy skills, mr oh who kindly gave me a lift home, and the nice guys for inviting us to the event. =)