Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Conversations with my Granddaugther: Serendipity

Hello little one,

It is a joy watching you rediscover the world afresh every morning. The word that comes to Grampa’s mind in watching you is serendipity. It is a long word but it just means discovering or enjoying something good by chance or mistake. Serendipity happens not by searching but by being alive to the moment. From the moment you wake up you are full of energy and want to rush to play with your toys and stuff. Grampa cannot catch up with you anymore. And sometimes Grampa wonders if you have a spare battery hidden somewhere because your energy is boundless.

Each day is a day of discovery and of learning new things, enjoying new experiences, and new sensations through your senses. By playing through the day you are learning much. Through serendipity your learning of new things and new skills increase by leaps and bounds. Every moment brings new objective lesson to be included in your ever increasing knowledge of the world around you. 

Little one, you reminded Grampa that big people has made learning a chore; a legalistic way to acquire new skills and knowledge. They call it schooling or formal education. They force all the little children through it so these children can become productive members of society; which usually means they get good jobs and make a lot of money. Schooling tells the children what they should learn, when they should learn it and how they could remember what they were told. Basically schooling produces little clones of conformist worker drones for the factories. Schooling has become synonymous with learning. And this type of learning kills off serendipity. 

Learning, little one as you have so ably demonstrated, is play. We learn through playing. And everyone enjoys playing. It is fun and energizing. There is laughter and joy. And there is serendipity. And before you know it, everyone has learned something new. How Grampa wish that big people realizes that and return learning to playing. We really learn more about the world, values and character by playing than through memorizing huge chunks of textbooks for examinations (which we promptly forget after the examinations anyway). 

So play on, little one. You will realize one day that life is a big game. So do not take it too seriously, play it well, and have fun along the way. Who knows, serendipity may come along and brings you wisdom to finish this game well.


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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Unclean

The Unclean
There was a time when I was clean,
had family, friends, relatives and a man.
Sunshine, joy, happiness, life was serene,
vanished when my bleeding began but not end.
O God, Thou creator of worlds without end,
why do Thou decree that I suffer so?
By my body issue cause that my life rend,
did I offend Thee that Thou afflict such sorrow?
Thou decree that woman with menses be unclean,
temple ceremonially so but contaminable too.
But Thou did created woman to bleed in between,
weeping of a womb disappointment accrue.
My bleeding did not stop continually unclean I remain,
Social outcast fled family, friends, man I hold dear.
Seek physicians and priests my misfortune to unchain,
Not spared prayers, cash, effort that I become clear.
Twelve years of loneliness longing for a human touch,
O God, Thou compassionate merciful wherefore are Thou?
Twelve years of darkness only to Thee I clutch,
O Lord, Compassionate and Merciful One, heal Thou me now!
(Mark 5:24-34; Matthew 9:20-22; Luke 8:43-48)

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Travelnotes and Photogallery on Hierapolis


Hierapolis (modern Pamukkale), together with Colossae and Laodicea formed three major cities in the Lycus River Valley. The only mention of Hierapolis in the Bible was in Colossians 4:12-13.

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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Practicing Good Prescribing Habits

As busy medical professionals in a hospital, our work usually entails writing numerous prescriptions per day. It is important that we maintain good prescribing habits to ensure that our treatment modalities work, and for our patients’ safety. The General Medical Council in the UK in their latest 2013 Good practice in prescribing and managing medicines and devices notes,

Good medical practice says that you must recognise and work within the limits of your competence and that you must keep your knowledge and skills up to date. You must maintain and develop the knowledge and skills in pharmacology and therapeutics, as well as prescribing and medicines management, relevant to your role and prescribing practice…You should make use of electronic and other systems that can improve the safety of your prescribing, for example by highlighting interactions and allergies and by ensuring consistency and compatibility of medicines prescribed, supplied and administered.

Good prescription habits should involve:
1.      The right medications for the right conditions
2.      The right dosage
3.      The right duration of treatment
4.      Awareness of side effects of medications
5.      Awareness of drug interactions for the said medications
6.      Clear prescriptions and instructions to the Pharmacy department.
7.      Checking the prescriptions and confirming it by adding our signatures
8.      Ensuring patients take the medications appropriately
9.      Ensuring the staff in the wards give the medications as instructed.

These habits are not something new but what we have been doing. However we do need a reminder now and then to do a reappraisal as we are aware that habits tend to slack due to familiarity, busyness, and a tendency to take short cuts. The GMC (2013) further adds that “[y]ou should make sure that anyone to whom you delegate responsibility for dispensing medicines in your own practice is competent to do what you ask of them”. Not only is it our responsibility to prescribe but also to ensure that our patients receive our prescriptions appropriately and accurately. We need to check that our ward staff are doing that.


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The False Shalom

Wandering monkey mind,
fleeting flighty thoughts,
rapid shallow breathing,
racing stressed heartbeats,
ever restless moving body,
the ‘shalom’ of stress.

Mindfulness of the moment,
reflection of consciousness,
deep breaths of life,
slower drumbeats of mortality,
body still, relaxed at rest,
the shalom of eternity.

Why do we live with the false shalom?


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