Category Archives: The Working Class

Nursing — a vocational profession.

Yesterday, a patient who was recovering very slowly and feeling so sorry about herself said to me “I am sorry that you have to work harder because of me”. I replied, “Nurses can only say they have done their work well if they helped their patients to feel better. If I have done that even at a slightest measure today, I have done what I was paid to do.”
Notice the word that I used: “paid”. Although historically, nursing has been viewed as a vocation, nursing has evolved into a very important profession with a key role in the society. However, evidence shows that nurses’ pay is still relatively low especially when attributes such as critical thinking, quick decision-making and problem solving are taken into consideration. Many nurses who had completed post-graduate studies are not being paid at par with those who have similar educational level in other professions.
Being a lowly paid profession, one can argue that nursing is a profession but remains partly a vocation.

The missing poo

I wish there is an easy way to explain this but yesterday, we lost a very important poo. It is important because it will lead us to an information that will affect our team’s next plan of action. It could potentially result to a big movement.

Many may consider poo as a useless piece of s**t. There is truth in this–in principle, it is one of the body’s waste products. Nobody really looks back before getting rid of it in a flush! However, it is worth a person’s while to take some time to check the colour, consistency, appearance and odour of their poo. You read it right: although non-specific, poo appearances can spot a possible diagnosis.

Upon hearing the news, I went straight to the patient’s room. “I have great news, it was found and it was negative!”. He and his wife laughed crisply. He may be laughing because of one or all of these reasons or none at all:

  • He does not have to produce another poo sample
  • It was negative
  • He never gave as much attention about poo prior to this day
  • He had never met anyone so interested in his poo before.

Because the poo sample was found, test confirmed that we do not need to commence antibiotics. We did not have to isolate the patient. We did not have to investigate if his loose bowel movement that morning was due to the food that was served from the kitchen.

The poo in question has always been there in the laboratory.

Poo lost. Poo found.

The Much-Awaited Pause

Just in case you were wondering where I have been hiding for the past few days, here’s a short explanation.

As usual, work is always busy. The more I try to finish my tasks, the more I feel that there are still a lot of things to do.

Today is my first day in university. I enjoyed this day, met the lecturers (who cracked straight to business) and met some friendly classmates (who like me, are wondering how we would cope with this pressure that we have voluntarily enrolled in).

Last week, I went to Brussels for a work-related meeting and took this picture of the Grand Place.

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The Grand Place, Brussells (2006)

After the meeting, I went to see my parents, sis, bro-in-law and sweet smart nephew in Germany. More pics:

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Which way leads to Ben’s House?

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The Crystal World

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Can you see Auntie M and Ben’s reflections on the Blown Glass?

Tomorrow (I mean, several hours from now), I will be flying to Canada. I will attend a five-day cancer conference. A is coming to join me so we can have a good holiday after my conference.

Be Still


I’ve already mentioned a bit about the bumpy landing in Budapest. Most of the passengers were scared, cabin crew included, while the whole plane is experiencing so much turbulence for more than five minutes. My colleague and I were holding hands, we thought we were going to crash. The first song that came to mind was “Be still for the presence of the Lord, the Holy One is here…”. Perfect song! (or not?) I stopped and prayed, “Lord, why am I singing this song when in fact, it is not still at all?”. But God is a God of peace.

A week after that turbulent flight, I experienced another turbulence of life. A very dear and close person to me was diagnosed with colon cancer. This news was like a big stone that fell and crushed my heart.

At work, I deal with cancer patients everyday. I know the pain, the fear, the uncertainty. But when it happens to your own family all the pain, fear and uncertainty are indescribable.

After yet another week, a stronger turbulence came. She had surgery but it was discovered that the cancer was so extensive. Despite having a big chunk of the area resected, the prognosis was poor. One year maximum. This is heartbreaking.

Strength, hope, peace, joy – this is what our family needs now. I am glad we have God by our side.


While on the topic:

Latest research published by our team 

Long Weekend in Budapest

It was a bumpy landing…

We were welcomed with champagne drinks at the Fishermen’s Bastion. There was a violinist who added style in the air. Dinner was then served at the Budavari Fortuna Restaurant.

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Fishermen’s Bastion


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View of the Parliament from The Fishermen’s Bastion

Friday was a whole day meeting. In the evening, we discovered Budapest by cruise. It has splendid nocturnal views.

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The Chain Bridge

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St. Stephen’s Basilica

The following day, we climbed the Buda Hills and admired the panoramic view of the city. Buda and Pest separated by the River Danube…

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Buda Castle (View from the top of the Hill)

The day ended showery. The showers came just right after we watched England lost against Portugal in the Square near Vaci Utca. (This spoiled my weekend a bit, if only…)

Sunday (our last day). We enjoyed the thermal spa, swimming pool and an hour of relaxing massage at the Gellert Baths.

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Hotel Gellert Baths

…it was indeed a relaxing weekend. World cup forgotten.