Sunday, 24 June 2012

Radiology FAQ and the bear story

This is an interesting website that educates patients. If you have queries about x-ray and things related to radiology, you can ask at the website. The answers are real good for educational purposes. 

Radiology FAQ at Radiology Malaysia website:

I covered some medical developments as part of my professorial talk, and the camera pill was one which I talked about. I was really excited about the camera pill. The thought of swallowing a camera pill gives a wormy feeling. I also talked about the camera pill in class and the students were amazed that such a device exists, but not in Malaysia.

If you are the type that stands or lay down frequently for radiodiagnostic imaging and the whole stuff that they have and do in radiology today, I think the camera pill will be a hit and patients may even want to pay for it rather than have to strip into the open-back gowns for all the radiology procedures. 

I have been to radiology dept as early as age 11-12 years, in and out, in and out, in and out, ... countless times. I didn't mind the discomfort but I particularly enjoyed the old Indian radiographer who interpreted all my x-ray films. Mind you I was just a child, and he took a lot of pain and courage to tell me what I had. I still remember him back in 1969, except that I don't have his name. He was old when I met him in the x-ray dept - they were all men there, no women. He was a kind man, and I can still remember him holding up the x-ray film for me and pointing to the structures, and telling what was what and what was wrong. He said it was wrong (against the rule) if he told me what I had but I insisted that he tell me and so he did. He was very patient and answered everything despite my not knowing which was bone or what was on the x-ray films. Then he broke down and cried. I asked him why. Imagine as child begging a sad old man not to cry. He said: awak tak tau awak apa sakit, kalau saya sakit macam awak, lama saya sudah minta mati!' I was taken aback. Why did this old man feel so bad when it was me whose x-ray films he was looking at. He really cried and had to leave the room. He left. I then turned to ask the other younger 'cheeky' Malay men. I think the old Indian man must have understood the extent of what I had and its impact on my life and future. But I was just a child and I could never understand his concerns and worries for me. I never saw him after that. Maybe he refused to see me anymore because I asked him too many questions. I never saw him again but I certainly miss his kindness in explaining things to me.

I remember being at GH Penang in 1976 for my ME for a scholarship I was applying for to go overseas. That time if I am correct, there wasn't an x-ray facility at GH Penang. I had to go to a private x-ray facility somewhere quite far. I can't recall where but the Indian boy performing the x-ray was very good. He didn't say much and did a good job. I didn't have to do any repeat x-ray. I then took my x-ray film to GH Penang. I remember the waiting area at GH Penang was filled with patients - many Indian ladies in sari, one in particular was moaning in great pain. it was very heart-breaking watching her moaning or was it crying in pain? I can't tell which is which but she was definitely in great pain. I was with my mother - I would never go to any hospital without her. It was like she was my shield and go-between me and the doctor. She spoke and answered doctors' questions on my behalf. I had a mouth that would not open when a doctor asked me anything. I usually appeared mute to doctors. Back to the Indian lady, I asked my mother why she was moaning so badly with her mouth agape and saliva drooling. My mother said the Indian lady probably had oral cancer - she had lots of white blisters even on her lips. I asked her oral cancer from what? She said makan sireh. I rebut and said nenek lain pun makan.... and they don't get to this very advanced condition and excruciating pain. I couldn't ask anymore nor finish my question .... I could see a tiny drop of tear at the edge of my mother's eye nearest to me. I stopped asking. Enough was enough. But the part that I didn't get to ask and get a complete explanation, became a research question for almost my entire adult life. Why did the poor lady kunyah sireh? Didn't she know it will give her oral cancer? Why didn't anyone tell the poor lady... I had so many questions in my head ... a good thing I never became a doctor and have to treat a poor lady like that - I would end up crying like her! She must have passed on, if she had survived she probably would be 120 I guess. She certainly died. Poor thing!

I grow sireh emas in my backyard, on a tree trunk that is a leftover of my pokok belimbing besi - it wouldn't grow on any other batang pokok except this particular one. It's grown wildly that I can't even walk past it to get to the wall that separates my compound from my neighbour's. I can't even see my neighbour when she washes clothes outside her house - the sireh emas vine blocks my view. Usually I can just stand at my kitchen door and talk (loudly) to my neighbour and we can talk for 1 hour! And we stop when it is masak nasi time before the hungry Y-species come home for lunch.

When I started teaching at USM in Penang in June 1982, some places were recycling their x-ray films for smthg I don't remember. In the 1980s, a lot of things were recycled. Nowadays we are very unmotivated to recycle. I am refraining from using the dirty word 'lazy'. We are not lazy but just not motivated enough to do any amount of recycling. What happened to boleh spirit in all of us? Did laziness come to replace or displace boleh buat one? We musn't be l**y.

In 2009, I underwent a lot of radiology procedures, and also the following year. You might be wondering why. Didn't I tell you that my brother's brown teddy bear lost both its black button-eyes? Where do you think the eyes went? We were just kids - I was probably 3/4/5 and my brother +2 years older than me. One day he received a big brown teddy bear for being a good boy. He showed his teddy bear but I had none. I was intrigued that this teddy bear had eyes .... so .... (you can guess what happened). One day after the 'eyes meal' my brother discovered that his teddy was missing eyes!!! LOL. Who could be having 2 extra little black eyes? Me! Hahaha.... telan everything! That's the funny part. The serious part is I still buy teddy bears, big and small and in-between. I must be the oldest lady with the largest collection of teddy bears to date, but they all still have eyes! LOL. Next time you do window shopping and see teddy bears, remember this story - it will make you smile.

Please visit the Radiology website and read the FAQs.

This is about the loveliest of my many teddy bears and one of my favourites. This one sits in my office and I sit on it. I put it away when students come to see me in my office. I bought 3 of these, one for my husband who wanted it for his clinic where he sees pediatric patients. Each teddy bear costs RM39 at KLIA (18 Oct 2010). This photo was taken 3 days after my birthday, after I got back to office. That is how far I travel to get this beautiful bear. I think for people who are lifelong patients, a bear is all that they must have. With each passing year, the number of bears increase but life draws to almost an end. I used to collect donkeys but I switched to bears because people were teasing me. Never mind.