12.28.2013

Halo.

Apa kabar?
Aku menanyakan kabar diriku yang terakhir kali menulis sebelum pos ini. Diriku yang saat itu, pastilah tidak sama dengan diriku yang sekarang, sedikit berbeda setidaknya. Aku percaya, sehari-hari melalui interaksi-interaksi kecil dengan lingkungannya atau pengaruh media massa, manusia pasti mengalami perubahan kecil dalam dirinya. Tak terkecuali diriku juga. Semoga menuju ke perubahan yang lebih baik.

Maafkan aku jika aku mulai menelantarkan blog ini, karena sejujurnya aku memiliki blog baru. Blog baru itu aku bagi dengan seseorang, entah akan berapa lama kita berdua akan merangkaikan kata-kata. Namun, kebebasan yang sesungguhnya tentu saja aku rasakan ketika menulis sendiri disini. Karena tempat ini telah menerima diriku apa adanya sekian lamanya, sejak aku hanya bisa mengeluh tentang kegiatan sekolah yang harus aku ikuti, berceloteh tentang masalah persahabatan,'percintaan' belaka, dan masalah yang kini terlihat lucu dan sepele, hingga urusan berkuliah dan pencaharian jati diri yang bermoral. Sungguh, aku bersyukur telah mencatat keluh kesah dan kisah-kisahku di blog ini sekian lamanya, sebagai bentuk refleksi diri.

Aku masih di tengah menapaki jalan menuju kesuksesan. Aku sudah pernah cerita, bukan, soal berbedanya persepsi orang mengenai kata 'sukses'? Baiklah, aku ceritakan persepsiku. Bagiku, sukses adalah ketika aku dapat memanfaatkan ilmu yang selama ini kupelajari, memberi manfaat itu kepada orang-orang yang benar-benar membutuhkannya dengan sukarela, dan aku yakin, banyak sekali yang membutuhkannya. Dan yang paling penting adalah, aku ingin kesuksesan itu tercapai dengan caraku sendiri. Tentu saja, yang aku maksud bukan 'end justify means', aku tetap melaksanakannya berdasarkan hukum agamaku, negaraku, dan moral yang berlaku (semoga Allah senantiasa mengingatkanku). Yang aku maksud adalah, aku ingin kesuksesan itu tercapai melalui passionku. Passion itu bahasa Indonesianya apa, ya? Sebentar, aku cari dulu di Google Translate. Sebenarnya aku tidak terlalu percaya dengan situs itu tetapi sepertinya sudah ada sifat ketergantungan yang sudah menjamur.

Baiklah, disini passion diartikan sebagai 'gairah', 'semangat', 'kegemaran', atau 'cinta birahi'. Oke, dengan penuh keyakinan, yang aku maksud tentu saja tidak ada hubungannya dengan istilah terakhir itu, walaupun tentu saja semua orang memilikinya tetapi tidak semua bisa mengontrolnya, menyalurkannya atau menyembunyikannya dengan baik *wink*. Aku ingin sukses yang aku definisikan melibatkan sesuatu yang aku gemari. Yang aku dengan sungguh-sungguh senang hati melakukannya, bukan karena aku berusaha mengikuti jejak orang yang sukses secara umum, atau memuaskan kemauan orang lain, termasuk orangtuaku. Tapi aku yakin, mereka akan turut bangga padaku. Mengapa? Karena sukses juga menurutku, tercapai hanya jika ia diraih menggunakan seluruh potensi yang ada dalam diriku. Dan mereka akan bangga, karena mereka termasuk orang-orang yang telah berkontribusi besar bukan main dalam menanamkan potensi-potensi itu. Setiap individu memiliki potensi yang berbeda, bukan? Itulah makanya, setiap dari kita akan sukses dengan caranya sendiri yang pasti unik dari yang lain! Jadi berhentilah berusaha menapaki jalan menuju kesuksesan dengan cara yang sama dengan orang lain, apalagi jika menurutmu hal itu menenangkan bagimu, karena kau pasti berpikir cara itu menjamin untuk meraih kesuksesan itu. Apalagi jika kau menapaki jalan itu hanya untuk meraih arti kesuksesan orang lain. Aku memang belum sukses, tapi aku sangat yakin, meraihnya butuh keberanian. Jadi, jika kau merasa kau belum berani, maka kau masih sangat jauh dari tujuanmu.

Sukses. Mengeluarkan segala potensi yang ada dalam diriku, sehingga menciptakan potensi-potensi baru. Lalu kupakai potensi-potensi baru itu menuju sukses yang baru. Dan begitulah siklusnya berjalan. Semua, tentu saja, kugunakan demi kebaikan orang-orang di sekitarku. Demi agamaku, negaraku. Semoga aku bermanfaat.

Aku masih jauh, sepertinya. Tapi untunglah aku menyadari itu.



11.27.2013

FREEDOM

Malam ini Karina sedang duduk di tempat tidur sambil memangku laptop, posisi yang sebenarnya sangat tidak dianjurkan bagi kaum lelaki karena panas yang ditransfer dari mesin yang diletakkan di atas pangkuan akan menjalar ke bagian tubuh terdekat, yang dalam kasus lelaki, adalah scrotum. Testis, sih, lebih tepatnya (karena scrotum merupakan kemasan luarnya testis).
Ya, terus kenapa? Testis gue tambah hot dong?
Secara harfiah, ya, tambah panas. Perlu diketahui bahwa testis Anda, wahai kaum lelaki, memerlukan suhu yang tidak panas (di bawah 37°C) untuk bisa memproduksi berjuta-juta sel unik yang merupakan calon-calon bibit unggul penerus generasi Anda, yaitu sperma. Itulah sebabnya posisi anatomis atau posisi normal testis anda terletak di luar tubuh, bukan bagian dari perut, paha, apalagi kepala. Karena jika testis adalah bagian dari internal organs (organ-organ dalam), yang suhunya mencapai 37°C (suhu tubuh manusia), maka testis akan memiliki suhu yang jauh dari derajat suhu optimalnya untuk bisa menjalankan fungsi jantannya.
Intinya jika Anda adalah pria yang tidak begitu tampan dan menginginkan anak suatu hari, sebaiknya sering-sering saja letakkan laptop di pangkuan Anda sehingga Anda tidak akan perlu melahirkan anak yang kemungkinan juga tidak begitu tampan, karena Anda tidak akan mampu. Kecuali Tuhan berkehendak lain, tentu saja.
Entah kenapa Karina menulis tentang itu, padahal sebenarnya ingin membicarakan hal lain. Ya sudah.
Sering sekali Karina ingin mencari arti dari kata ‘Kebebasan’. Apakah yang orang maksud ketika mereka mengklaim diri mereka bebas? Atau ketika mereka menuntut kebebasan, apakah sebenarnya yang mereka tuntut?
Kalau waktu kecil, mungkin makna yang Karina tangkap ketika mendengar seseorang berkata ‘Aku bebas’ adalah, oh, dia baru saja keluar dari penjara. Terus, saat menduduki bangku SMP dan mempelajari sejarah, Karina memandang orang-orang yang menuntut kebebasan adalah mereka yang berusaha keras ingin melepas dari status perbudakan, seperti yang terjadi pada orang-orang negro Afrika di Amerika. Dan juga Dobby, si peri yang berpenampilan aneh di Harry Potter yang diperbudak oleh Bapaknya Draco Malfoy (kebetulan juga aku mulai menggemari Harry Potter saat masih SMP, tapi sebenarnya ini off topic).
Lalu pas SMA, aku baru mengetahui tentang eksistensi signifikan sebuah buku yang bernama Kamus Besar Bahasa Indonesia (KBBI), dan disitulah aku membaca definisi dari kata ‘bebas’, yang berbunyi,
bebas /be·bas/ /bébas/ a 1 lepas sama sekali (tidak terhalang, terganggu, dsb sehingga dapat bergerak, berbicara, berbuat, dsb dng leluasa)2 lepas dr (kewajiban, tuntutan, perasaan takut, dsb); 3 tidak dikenakan (pajak, hukuman, dsb); tidak terikat atau terbatas oleh aturan dsb; 5 merdeka (tidak dijajah, diperintah, atau tidak dipengaruhi oleh negara lain atau kekuasaan asing); 6 tidak terdapat (didapati) lagi: negara kita belum bebas buta huruf; daerah ini sudah bebas cacar; 
(Sumber: Kamus Besar Bahasa Indonesia [http://kbbi.web.id/])
Lalu karena definisi itulah, Karina banyak bertingkah waktu SMA. Bahkan tidak jarang, Karina berselisih dengan Mama dan Baba, terkait kebebasan dalam memberi argumen pada sebuah masalah (yang ujung-ujungnya berakhir dengan melawan perkataan mereka), menentukan jam pulang sendiri, membuat berbagai keputusan tanpa terlebih dahulu membicarakannya dengan mereka, dan… masih panjang listnya dan jika semua terungkapkan, mungkin Anda akan illfeel dengan masa lalu Karina. Hahahaha.
Intinya, Karina sudah lama menapaki jalan dalam mencari tahu arti kebebasan itu. Mungkin dulu dan awal-awal kuliah aku dengan dangkalnya menganggap kebebasan yang sebenarnya adalah ketika diberikan izin untuk bersenang-senang melakukan apapun yang aku inginkan seperti berjalan-jalan tanpa dibatasi waktu dan tempat, atau nonton dan baca buku tanpa diinterupsi oleh kewajiban berupa pekerjaan rumah yang harus dituntaskan.
Kemudian baru aku sadari, dalam melakukan hal-hal tersebut, aku seolah-olah diperbudak oleh kemauanku sendiri. Intinya, aku masih diperbudak, masih dikuasai oleh suatu hal, meskipun hal itu adalah keinginanku sendiri. Nyambung tidak, sih? Agak menyeramkan sebenarnya, ketika kau fikir kau sebenarnya sudah bebas, tapi kau masih terjerat oleh sesuatu yang ternyata berasal dari dirimu sendiri, yaitu hasratmu. Dan keinginan yang tak tertahankan dalam memenuhi hasrat itu.
Selanjutnya, aku mencoba metode yang berlawanan, yaitu mengabaikan total keinginan-keinginan yang timbul dan bekerja keras memfokuskan diri melaksanakan kewajiban yang ada di depan mata. Tapi suatu saat, ketika tantangan sudah mencapai titik dimana aku sudah merasa gerah dan lelah sekali, dengan spontan aku memutuskan untuk keluar berjalan-jalan sendirian, tanpa arah (bukan ‘tak tentu arah’, hahahaha). 
Sejujurnya, aku masih tidak tahu apa sesungguhnya arti kebebasan itu. Mungkin usahaku saat ini, adalah memenuhi kewajiban dan keinginanku secara bergantian, tanpa ada yang mendominasi satu sama lain. Dengan begitu, tak ada di antara mereka yang akan menuntutku.
Hal yang terbaik adalah ketika kewajiban yang orang lakukan merupakan sesuatu yang memang mereka inginkan, contohnya mencintai profesi yang dimiliki. Mungkin, di pikiranku, orang-orang tersebutlah yang merupakan orang yang benar-benar bebas.

11.12.2013

Saya adalah perahu yang terombang-ambing di laut. Saya sudah diluncurkan ke laut namun saya dibiarkan terombang-ambing tanpa diarahkan. Saya hanya butuh satu orang yang berani mengarahkan saya, yang terombang-ambing. Dan nampaknya saya masih menunggu, karena saya belum dinaiki oleh si pemberani itu. Pemberani itu belum menemukan saya. Selama ini hanya beberapa yang menaiki perahu ini, namun karena ketidakyakinan yang mantap, nereka semua kembali ke daratan. Karena daratan memungkinkan mereka untuk berdiri kokoh, tidak ikutan terombang-ambing oleh arus laut, yang saat ini sedang saya rasakan.

10.31.2013

PASSIVE

Now. I still cannot figure out why I just decide to post something here when I am really supposed to do something else.

But, I tell you, I really wanna write something down. And the title of this post has given the whole idea.

Here we goes.

PASSIVE
I was woken up by the alarm.
I was dressed by my hands and instinct.
My dresses were made in Indonesia.
They were mostly given by mother.
The breakfast was made by the housekeeper.
But it was taken by my mouth.
Swallowed by my esophagus, and digested by my intestines.
The motorcycle was ridden by Pak Nanang.
And I was taken to the uni by it.
The elevator to the classroom was called by a stranger.
And no 'good morning' was uttered from him.
I was lifted up by the elevator.
I was headed to the class by my feet and curiosity.
We were taught by a lecturer.
Some of us were put to sleep.
We were intrigued not to ask questions by the monotonous delivery.
We were left with emptiness by his 94 slides.
The lunch were bought using Baba's money.
But it was cooked by Mas Bee from Kantin Prima.
It was a dish wished to be consumed by a hunger.
But I was too hungry to be realized by it.
I was taken home by exhaustion.
I was free to decide.
I was blinded by freedom.
Then I was lied down by denial and proscrastination.
I was hit by a sudden realization;
I was dissolved in stoicism.




10.11.2013

MOVIES OF LOVE & DECEIT THAT MAKES ME WRITE ABOUT LOVE & DECEIT

I'm now entering a module break and I'm having a quality time with myself. Soon, I will be having a quality time with Baba, who's arriving by any hour this dawn.

Besides being all productive on keeping my room neat and appreciating my sweet Grandma's effort in assistance, I took the opportunity of watching two movies. Two movies filmed under the setting of the old century. Two movies with themes of love and deceit, and gave tragic endings. Anna Karenina and The Great Gatsby. Both are derived from books written by great authors, and that is one of the main reasons why I picked them out, among other current top movies, one of which is 'The Insidious 2'.

Anna Karenina took her own life at the end. She was a beautiful married woman (to a reputable man who worked in the Ministry) and she fell in love with a young and rich man. They were both madly in love with each other and so they had an affair and she was looked down upon in society because she cheated on her husband (in those times, a wife having an affair was very much disdained by society, especially the upper crust). Anyways, when her husband finally let her do what she wanted, obviously she went to live with her lover. But because she was always publicly humiliated, the young man couldn't live with it because he was once an honorable gentleman. And so he left her for another younger woman, and Anna Karenina was so depressed by it and threw herself on the railway while a train was passing by. Tragic.

I like Gatsby a lot better. The description of love in this story is so utterly substantial. Gatsby, he made a lot of money and bought a big mansion in New York that attracted the whole people to attend it every weekend, in hope that the girl of his dreams (who was already married) would come by some time. It was... bewildering but, honestly, I think I'd do the same as what Gatsby did. Gatsby did all that it took to marry the woman, that doing so made him become an altered person. Gatsby died carrying the woman's sin, which he was so determined to keep it unexposed and let her live free of the price she had to pay for.

Well, one thing I absolutely learned was, if I cheat on my soulmate (ya Allah, naudzubillah, I promise I'll be the most loyal wife), I'm pretty sure I'd be cheated on as well by my lover, sooner or later.

I have never stopped pondering about what love is. And I haven't given up upon believing it (have I ever, I wonder?). And I know, I feel it. It's been there eversince I was born. From the moment the sperm from Baba and the egg from Mama achieved fertilization, the whole period Mama has been tolerating pain and nauseousness when I was only a zygote, barely as big as a cup of coffee (among other things, I don't know why I chose to compare my zygotic size with a cup of coffee), including when I was only an embryo (larger than 'venti of Starbucks Coffee'). The obstetrician who was there all along, whose job was to make sure the delivery of me went smoothly, was also in the circle of love.

I think it's beautiful when I see a room full of people, or a bunch of movie characters, fighting for love. It's also heart-rending, to let a person know that you're actually fighting for them. And how pathetic and regretful when they let go of or give up on it, for something that isn't as blissful and as long-lasting as love. Very pitiful.

I don't also understand why people cheat on their significant others. We typically think that it's okay if we do so and keep it buried under the sheets forever without them having to know about it ever. Everything would be fine, right? But there's a but. I think when two people share a special bond, they grow to trust each other. And the deepest trust lies in believing that the better half is being faithful all the time. And when we're unfaithful, despite them unsuspecting, little of us realize that we've just broken the deepest trust we shared with them.









10.08.2013


05:00 AM

I lie down.
Eyes closed.
I listen.
To.
The birds chirping.
The mosquitoes buzzing.
The machine of my laptop. As if it also respires.
The car which just passed by, thats' machine is even louder.

I changed my position.
My ear closer to the pillow.
I listen.
To.
All that I mentioned just now.
And my heartbeat.
My blood rushing in its' vessels.
Vital sign. Strong. In rhythm.
I feel drowsy.
Fajr. I haven't prayed.
I feel drowsy.
The birds chirping.
The mosquitoes buzzing.
The machine of my laptop. As if it also respires.
The car which just passed by, thats' machine is even louder.
My heartbeat.
My rushing blood.
The drowsiness. Its real.
How real everything sounds.
What is truly real?
I can't hear it.
Faith.
It has to be real.

I'm deaf.
And I have to pray.

10.06.2013

I'm lost. I've been trying to figure out what being successful means.
Sure, I'm studying medicine now.
Sure, I'm becoming a doctor.
Sure, I'll be treating my patients with good care.
Sure, I'll get at least a degree.
Sure, within every word of 'sure', the soul within whispers 'insyaAllah'.

I cannot find words to define it, nor even imagine it as a vague image in my mind.
Like every aspect of life, people are mostly influenced by the media and the social circle. I believe both are actual contributors in constructing an individual's idea of success. They give such strong impact that sometimes, we think their definitions of success are the onliest and absolute. We don't know what we want and we go for the things major people want because we think we might want the same thing. And I think it's sad that people have to go through a long journey of life only to discover that the accomplishments they have made, though maybe publicly prestigious, aren't truly their passion in life, aren't precisely what they were after for in the first place.

I think there's this tiny voice in our mind (or heart), that is innate and maybe a bit peculiar, but we keep on ignoring it only because we think we're limited by the 'realistic' capabilities designed by the community, we're restricted by our own perceptions of what we can reach, of what people normally score. Or maybe we don't heed it, because we're aware of how it is unlikely to award us financial sufficiency. Besides, isn't that what our society commonly perceive as what success is?

Perhaps success is knowing what you're aiming for from the beginning, and trusting that little voice that whispers different things in each of us, that frequently murmurs the different things we're passionate about in life. And with that, we compose our own song that isn't a mainstream, fabricate our own vision of success that isn't a stereotype of what people expect, and what we expect people would accept.

9.23.2013

Kepadamu, aku di masa depan,

Masa lalu memang terbayang dengan keceriaan dan kebahagiaan yang tulus. Tetapi jangan pernah berfikir, bahwa kau tak akan pernah bisa meraih perasaan itu kembali, hanya karena tantangan yang kau hadapi lebih berat, dan akan semakin berat. Hadapi, pelajari, resapi. Momen buruk, momen indah, setiap detik, menit, bulan, dan tahun akan berlalu begitu saja. Tidak ada yang kekal.

Embrace each and every moment.

9.22.2013

I feel so messed up right now. I feel a huge burden over me and I need to face it, but I can't find the strength I need to overcome it. In books and movies, at times like this, family and friends usually lift us up from the weight we bear. It's just that, family is on a different island, and friends.. well, they wouldn't understand because they're not confronting the same pressure. We all have problems, but the thing is, our problems differ from the level of intensity. And what normally sticks around in our mind is that we think we always have bigger problems than anyone.


9.13.2013

BEGINNING OF THE THIRD YEAR

I'm starting on the metabolic endocrine module. Last week during plenary, we discussed about obesity, particularly in this country. And the rate is quite high, I don't remember the exact prevalence rate but I'm sure to recall that it was above 50% of the population in Jakarta. It's kinda weird because I hardly see obese people, I mean, I can see much who are overweight, but obese? Hmm. Maybe I'm less observant.

Doctors are expected to treat and give therapies to obese patients. Not merely because, as most people may think, it is an aesthetic dilemma, but more importantly because it is one of the risk factors of degenerative diseases. People are highly likely to develop chronic illnesses when they are obese. And it isn't always because of someone's eating habit. Although, genetic aspect may also greatly contribute to the condition. But I'm referring to the diet-induced obesity.

Anyways, it's all weird to me, though. I don't see any point in treating obese patients when the only one in the society who's trying to abate obesity are the health community. It will be endless. There will always be obese people as long as there's junk food stopover in every corner of the street. Unless, if economists, distributors, government, all hand in hand stand against it; stop producing and distributing unhealthy food in the rack of the markets and set a strict regulation on food marketing. Well, if I had the authority and I ordered some people to just ban a certain food company that didn't meet the criteria for healthy food, I'd feel condemned as well, because it means workers in that company are gonna have to quit their job and struggle finding a new one. God, life is a struggle in Jakarta. Well, I guess the only way to eradicate obesity is by educating our people on which food is good and bad to consume. But would people really listen and end the trend of eating junkies? (there'll be no end to that, I guarantee). I guess it's only when each of us are aware that something is bringing us closer to death will then we respond to the wake up call. And eating this mac and cheese everyday doesn't seem to be so life-endangering, anyways.

9.03.2013

I was in a frustrated state of mind, watching Amira and Yusuf and sitting with my laptop, when Mama entered the room with a cheerful aura carrying an album. She opened it, her index finger pointed on an old picture of a sad baby, and asked Amira in a very child-like manner,

"Aloo! Liat deh fotonya. Ini foto siapa, kakak?"

Amira laughed and gave away her answer confidently: "Hihihihi itu adik syusup!"

In the midst of disgruntlement, I couldn't help but smile to her cute answer; for I did look like Little Yusuf in that photo.

Mama flicked through the photo album, commenting on every picture excitingly,

"Nih, enna pas belajar tengkurap."
"Ini lhoo, ada mainannya, ada bola, ada boneka, aduh lucunya."
"Ih ini Mama dan Baba lagi foto bermesraan terus enna ikut-ikutan."
"Ini ennanya lagi bilang mamam."

I smiled. But I was torn.

I couldn't help but wonder, if she regret having me. I probably filled her life with joy more when I was little compared to this moment. 

Oh Mama, after all this time I've disappointed you and keep breaking your heart.. Your love has never grown less. It's as same, as intense, as when you first gave birth to me.

8.24.2013

ME & MY UGLY THOUGHTS

I'm feeling so very dull right now. It feels like I'm living in a world full of apathy, madness, frustration and hopelessness.
At this time, somewhere in the world I'm living, a group of innocent children are dead for being deliberately exposed to toxic chemical bomb. And no one's doing anything about it. Its like, everyone is just too occupied with their lives to put an end to it. Or maybe they're working on it. But hell, if they are, they're kinda taking so long. I don't think this needs to be thoroughly discussed over tea or coffee while more lives are being taken mercilessly.
Meanwhile, just now I watched a show that was kinda like those lottery stuff. Except that they already chose some lady to stand on the stage, show her the car they were about to give her if she won, asked her some questions like, if she was so lucky tonight, who would be the first person to have a ride with her and stuff, and that took like half an hour or so. I can't believe how I stood with it for that long. Anyways, I think she was asked something and then she got the answer wrong because in the end she didn't win the goddamn Chevrolet. What a stupid show. I feel so ashamed to have watched it and to have it aired for the whole people in my country to see it. I don't find the tv shows of my country to be educational at all. I mean, if they want this country to be developed, people have to be interested in the fields that contribute to development of a country. And to raise that interest, the media should play a role by creating shows that promote those areas, to have this generation be introduced to science and technology and be caught by them in amazement so that when they gather in restaurants or coffee shops they engage in a conversation about how the ideas and perspective instead of fussing over people's lives to make themselves feel good about theirs. God I'm so bewildered by the these things but they're really happening.




8.08.2013

EID IN JAKARTA, TO PUT IT PLAINLY

This year, I'm celebrating the Eid in Jakarta, having it full team with Baba, Mama, my siblings, my grandma, my cousins and all. It's quite nice. With mom being here, my family is somehow united. She's kinda socially smart, she can just make people mingle despite the conflicts they have on one another. There isn't much silence anymore in the house, on the contrary, I often see them all chatting or busying themselves in the kitchen or tidying the house, or quarreling even. Especially with Amira and Yusuf around, who never fail to naturally entertain us with their cute gestures. Yusuf is surprisingly active, beyond my limited energy. But he's still lovely.

I'm rather grateful for having them over. I should be, anyways.

Anyhow, I have to say that i don't really find it pleasant to spend Ramadan in Jakarta. I just couldn't grasp the atmosphere. I mean, I didn't expect anyone would sing 'Wahawi ya wahawi' randomly in the streets or any of them selling Kunafa or 3ataef like it usually is in Cairo. I understand the cultural differences, though I really miss the sounds and smell of Cairo during Ramadan. I had my hopes that people would at least do a little self-introspection, to take a look at how they have currently been behaving to one another and stab people less in the heart and change their attitude or at the very least, minimize on being unkind. I mean, I know I myself am not a true expert at it but I'm resolving it by just shutting my mouth when I feel like I could no longer watch my tongue. It's just so disappointing to still witness angst, envy, malice, greed, deception, and all the sins of which the seven deadly ones (glutton is still tolerable, I reckon, of which we often experience and socially take place during Iftar) haven't taken into account, at a level that seems to be equally seen in months unholy as Ramadan. It's sad to see that Ramadan isn't really significant in this place, that Eid El-Fitr is the day where it is more important to have the ketupat and the cakes ready on the table for the guests and the house decorated, even if it means yelling to your grown-up kids to do it for you, than to sanctify the soul within and fix broken bonds between the souls alive and pray for the loving souls that are dead. If only people would just realize it that being angry doesn't have to be expressed in a monstrous way. And it's so baffling to see people auto-text/broadcast a chain of words of asking forgiveness from people whom they're partially aware they haven't caused much trouble or even socially interacted with and remain unsettled with the ones they've brought pain and pressure, especially when those people are family members or close relatives, people we unconsciously take for granted.

But all in all, I'm still grateful to have been given another chance to have experienced another Ramadan. I feel as though I performed better in the previous ones, but only the Al-Mighty knows how we've all performed on this year's. And so we can only hope and pray that He forgives us for all of our past sins, and may we all be blessed with a prolonged life to meet another of this holy month next year.

7.27.2013

I MET YOU

Hi.

I will try to write this post as honest, as genuine, as I could. Because sometimes I get biased, by random main characters' feelings written in novels, or lyrics made by Taylor Swift.

I've been meaning to write about what I'm about to write. But I had to wait, see for how long it will linger, dominating my mind. It's been months now... and it's still there, on my mind. But it's not dominating like it was; uncontrollably. I learned to let it take over me only when I allow it. Even though I haven't mastered it yet.

So, I met a guy. He's dark (not black, but dark). But that's not the only thing that makes him special.

We met in a place, but we weren't total strangers, because he knew who I was before I knew who he was. That's another story.

I'm already aware that I've fallen for him. Heck, he isn't even my type but this is happening in me. The feelings, they just come uninvited. I'm in a phase where I'm doubting whether I should let him know about it or not. Somehow, imagining admitting what I'm feeling to him make me feel fragile... in a way. But also happy. But that's not the point. I really don't know what the point is. I don't.. I'm tired of hoping. I'm tired of words being said as promises, confessions and imaginative plans and not see any of them really happening. I can now only believe in those words when they are proven through actions.

What is really difficult is, waiting for the actions to take place. I know patience is really necessary in this. It's better to know that they will happen in a certain moment, than knowing that it will never take place. Shiz, Karina, this is hoping already.

I've realized it. I'm serious with this guy. I have to tell my dad.

7.21.2013

Ethical Dilemma


“A girl with Down syndrome was diagnosed with renal failure and requiring kidney transplantation. Suitable kidney donor for the girl is her birth mother, but the mother quietly asked the doctor to tell her family the her kidney is not suitable because she did not want to donate one of her kidney to her daughter, saying what if one day her first daughter (who doesn’t suffer from Down syndrome) required a kidney. She did not want her family to know the truth so she asked the doctor to lie.”

If I were the doctor handling the case written above, I’d feel very disappointed in the mother of the patient and feel deeply concerned towards the young girl with the Down syndrome. It feels like wanting badly to instinctively deliver a moral message to the mother, yell to her telling what a terrible mother she is and force her to understand how crucial this matter is to her daughter’s life. Then again, if I think over it thoroughly, I do not really have the slightest idea about how it feels like to be in her shoes. And as a doctor, I know well that I must take professional actions and not be too involved emotionally, especially if doing so will bring no benefits for the patient, and to actually scold the mother is merely an action of defending my principles of life.

One of the ethical dilemmas obviously witnessed here is having to lie to the patient and the family of the patient. One of the reasons why physicians are obliged to tell the truth is to aid them in selecting the most fitting and effective therapy for their condition. Although the patient suffers from Down syndrome and is probably mentally disturbed and hence incapable of making a decision, must we determine this case as an exceptional one, lie to the patient’s face and her family that the mother’s kidney isn’t suitable to be transplanted and that they should find another kidney donator? To answer this, I had to look through another reasons of telling the truth, regardless of the patient’s mental status.

 Telling the truth is defined as “the practice and attitude of being open and forthright with patients”, and the patient in this case is the girl with the Down syndrome. Telling a lie to the patient signifies our belief that dishonesty is a better option for the sake of the patient’s condition; that telling the mother’s kidney isn’t appropriate for transplantation is better than telling otherwise. In this situation, telling the lie does not really benefit the patient, because it means that they would have to push more effort to find another person who is willing to donate their kidney and make sure that this another donator’s kidney is appropriate for transplantation or not. Lying, in this condition, delays the patient’s therapy.

Another important, yet, a simple reason on why the truth is worth telling is the respect owing to them as persons. Down syndrome patients may be mentally retarded, but they are still persons, and persons are entitled to know whatever that is going on with them. And if somehow, this patient is treated and continually receives psychological therapy that later improve her mental condition, she would demand the facts. Apart from being mentally disabled, as a person, she would have needed this information because she’s the one who needs a new kidney for the sake of the continuity of her life.

Another ethical issue involved in this case is discrimination. The mother of the patient declares that she disagrees to perform kidney transplantation considering her healthy daughter might need it one day. This reveals that the mother somehow prioritizes her other healthy daughter over the disabled one, and it indicates discrimination. By agreeing to lie, physician is viewed to agree, or at least, encourage the act of discrimination. And the act of this is prohibited by law, and is ethically improper. The fact that the mother seems to discriminate between her healthy and disabled children may imply that she probably wasn’t well-informed about her child’s condition.

Being the doctor handling this case, I would initially speak out my concerns to the mother by expressing my appreciation on how it must have been a major struggle for her to take care of her genetically-defected daughter, because in growing up a Down syndrome child requires deep patience and great effort. I later on clarify the benefits of donating her kidney to her daughter, in the hope of her compliance on how necessary it is to disclose it, for it may largely influence her daughter with the Down syndrome’s health condition and how it will affect her emotionally for now and possibly in her later years.

Indonesian law prohibits any form of deception and discrimination. This is clearly proven during when medical students themselves during the period where they are inducted in becoming a doctor are obligated to swear/make a promise/an oath to perform their jobs holding strongly to the values of honesty and non-discrimination.

Below is one of the promises being declared related to the values mentioned:


“Saya bersumpah/berjanji bahwa saya senantiasa akan menjalankan tugas dan wewenang saya ini dengan sungguh-sungguh saksama, obyektif, jujur, berani, adil, tidak membeda-bedakan jabatan, suku, agama, ras, jender, dan golongan tertentu dan akan melaksanakan kewajiban saya dengan sebaik-baiknya, serta bertanggung jawab sepenuhnya kepada Tuhan Yang Maha Esa, masyarakat, bangsa dan negara.”

***
I reckon the hardest task when being a doctor is facing such ethical dilemmas. I was once engaged in an intriguing conversation with a friend and he mentioned his thoughts about the most difficult thing about working as a psychologist is to stay neutral and even-handed after listening to a client's stories. I believe that even though it's difficult, it should still be accomplished. Under the circumstance written above, the mother of the patient obviously seems to defy the value of honesty, which means there are other values that she highly regards, higher than valuing the truth, even though I, the doctor, hold dearly to that moral standard. The truth is, people will always value different things. And that explains the difference between us all on earth, and is the reason why this world will never be monotonous. Tolerance is born when each of us respects the other one's value, and that should be included in doctors' job. 

Maybe, the way to get past through it is to explain the consequences related to the treatment and therapy if we choose to have it the patient's way (and, ideally, we always have it their way), with regards to the values they respect.

7.11.2013

I've never been as sleep-deprived as I am right now. I'm exhausted to the point of not even being able to describe my exhaustion.

7.08.2013

THE DAY I UPLOADED EMPATHY

It hurts to love, sometimes. But I guess, I'd just have to be courageous enough to open my heart, so to feel its' bliss.

6.10.2013

A TRUE LESSON

Today's Basic Clinical Skill (BCS) session has to be recorded somewhere... eternally. But nothing is eternal, except the life in the hereafter. So I'll just... write it down here, I guess.

The skill that we were trained for was examining respiratory function of a patient. It was our second session, so we were supposed to revise the materials which have been taught on the earlier session and be graded for it. BCS sessions in my uni are stereotyped to being hardly punctual, because the tutors (who happen to be doctors) almost always come late (or never come at all after two hours of waiting in vain and so it often ends to reschedule). With that experience, I somehow tend to make a late appearance, including on today's session.


*me rushing to the BCS class carrying my lab coat on one hand and a plastic bowl of Instant Ind*mie on the other, I was two minutes late because I forgot that I had a BCS session that day and so I didn't bring my lab coat (which was required for us to wear throughout the session) so I had to buy one (yes, I bought one) (what? I don't really own a decent lab coat, most of 'em have undergone a gradual shift of color*


I was really surprised to see that the tutor for that evening actually came on time. Frankly, I was hoping he'd be checking in late because I haven't reviewed the topics. Oh God, I felt that I was doomed.


I knocked and he let me in peacefully. There were supposed to be seven students in the class but it appeared that I wasn't the last one to be late. Minutes later, the rest had walked in and taken their seats. And the doctor (who had never stopped interacting during the whole waiting, mostly was asking about who, in our class, was from Malaysia) finally addressed to us all in a moderate tone but sounding not any less convincing,


"You know, you students are about to become doctors. You aren't supposed to be late. Ever. Just imagine if one day, your patient is already dealing with chest pain, dizziness, nausea, and all other grueling symptoms and has to endure long for you to be present, and yet you come to face him knowing that you're already late, in a very relaxed manner. That is very unethical."


He spoke not in a strict demeanor, but more like a person who strongly believes in his principles, and strongly believes that they are beneficent. Truthfully, I fell into immediate respect towards this tutor, who stood up for something which had to be corrected in us. Unlike other tutors who, let alone letting those acts go by, barely attend the session befittingly. I was pretty sure we were all aware of the emphasis of being on time. In fact, I was sure that most of the time we do know the good qualities that shape us into a better individual, but nevertheless, most of us tend to think that we'd be given another moment in life to shape ourselves better.



***

"Let's begin. This is your second session, correct? So, prior to this, you have been introduced to performing physical examination of the respiratory tract, then. Who was your tutor?"


Silence. *seven foreheads frowning, hopelessly trying to recall the name of the tutor*


"How can you not know your tutor's name? Do you recognize me or not?", he asked, his beholding eyes towards me. His latter question wasn't indicating that he wished to be acknowledged, even though I did sense that he wasn't just any doctor, or any person. It was purely an appropriate question.


"Um..", I hesitated. He did look familiar. I think. But I took too long to think. And I didn't know why others fell into deep silence as well.


"Okay. I want one of you to step out right now, and find out about my name," he decided, "Now."


I wasn't the one sitting closest to the door, but my reflex was bizarrely the fastest. I somehow felt ashamed of not knowing the name of the person who was assigned to provide me knowledge of skills that I needed to master, to save at least a single soul of a patient in my later professional years.


I headed briskly to the BCS administration office, which was located right next to my class so it was a brief journey, searched through the files like a mad investigator, then I found the suspect's name: Prof. dr. M****** R****. But that wasn't just it, I had to look up our previous tutor's name as well, out of curiosity.



***

"After examining the trachea of the patient, how do you report your findings?", asked Prof. M.


A friend of mine, gave attempt in answering, "We.. state that it's normal and –"


"Normal? What defines normality?", he interrupted.


"You can't say it is normal. Because all of us are created in variety, including our trachea. None of us is normal. But that doesn't mean we're abnormal; we just vary. So, what you have to do is just simply elucidate what you see, what you feel, trust your senses."


There is no tracheal deviation.

***

"Don't hesitate to give your answer. Don't be scared of being false. This is the only period where you can make mistakes. Once you've become a doctor, one mistake you do is responsible for risking the continuity of a person's life. Share, discuss, and remind each other of what is right."


***

"Learning is habit. So make a habit out of what you learn."


***

"Treat your patient exactly like how you want your doctors to treat you."

***

I trust that every incidence, no matter the magnitude (big or small), that happen in our daily life, contribute in changing, developing a part of ourselves into becoming who we are today.

6.07.2013

CARDIAC EMERGENCY

A BORING INTRO – if you’re reading this a day before the summative, skip it.
What you should be aware of is that, Cerebrovascular disease is held responsible for causing the death of major people worldwide and patients suffering from it couldn’t carry on living their lives normally because the symptoms are a drag and it disturbs their daily activities. Responding to that, health workers, researchers and medical students (YES! YOU!) study their ass off on determining preventive steps on at least having less people to die from this disease, and instead die peacefully without any painful symptoms. They begin with listing down the factors that may cause people to have higher chance of getting CVD, and when it turned out that some of these factors cannot be played with (such as age, family history, race, and sex), they just persuade people to quit smoking, control blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose levels, go on a safe diet, exercise more, and give up from studying medicine (in other means, avoid stress), all of which are considered as modifiable risk factors.

CARDIAC EMERGENCY – how can we tell its an emergency?

When can we really tell that we’re facing a cardiac emergency? According to AHA, whenever the heart is deprived of oxygen (ischemic), because the consequence is the inability of the heart to function, and that main function is to feed all parts of your body with oxygen (which is so friggin important!!) and the ultimate result is eventually organ dysfunction but the most fatal condition is when the brain couldn’t attain oxygen. So, in that case, when can we tell that a person’s heart is deprived of oxygen? The actually really truly most common obvious symptom is diaphoresis (basically means excessive sweating), which occur in 78% of patients who have their heart screaming, “Dude I need oxygen, like, right now”. The symptom that deserves the second rank for suspecting oxygen-deprived heart is chest pain (which arise in 64% of these patients). Complaints of chest pain are considered a serious indication for cardiac emergency, and for this reason, complaints of chest pain are always considered to be an AMI (Acute Myocardial Infarction, or we can say early signs of heart attack) – until proven otherwise (meaning that it may be a respiratory or other systemic problem). Other classical symptoms are nausea, pressure and heaviness on the chest, and weakness.


Difference between Myocardial Ischemia & Myocardial Infarction
I was personally very confused regarding the difference between those two and so I looked it up in a number of references, so if anyone is still as confused as I was, here I put down the explanation. Yes, you’re welcome. So, starting from the word “myocardial”, it refers to part of the heart that contains muscle tissue. While “ischemia” means deficient supply of blood to a body part (as the heart or brain) that is due to obstruction of the inflow of arterial blood (MerriamWebster), and “infarction” signifies as an area of necrosis in a tissue or organ resulting from obstruction of the local circulation by a thrombus or embolus (MerriamWebster too). We can say that this guys has a myocardial infarction if theres a part of his heart that is already dead, but in myocardial ischemia, death of a part of the heart has not yet occurred. Myocardial ischemia is an event that will sooner or later lead to myocardial infarction. So, when myocardial infarction occurs, myocardial ischemia has certainly come about, but if there’s myocardial ischemia, myocardial infarction may not be necessarily to have taken place (but it eventually will).



ANGINA PECTORIS – why does chest pain occur so frequently in myocardial ischemia?
Chest pain, or we can use the cool word, angina pectoris (Angina, in latin is “angere”, means "to choke or suffocate". And pectoris, also in latin “pectus”, means chest. Long time ago, people who suffer cardiac chest pain describe the pain as being strangled by someone, hence the term. Angina pectoris is also a name of a band, look it up!), usually occur in myocardial ischemia. Let’s just jump to the explanation of why it happens. So we do know that the muscle tissue in the heart undergoes metabolism to generate energy/ATP, and it requires oxygen to accomplish it (a metabolic process we’re already familiar with, named aerobic metabolism). But the thing is, in myocardial ischemia, the heart fails to fulfill the oxygen demand, which is needed by the tissue to undergo aerobic metabolism. Despite the inadequate blood flow that leads to the insufficient amount of oxygen, the heart muscle tissue cannot hang on false hope by waiting for enough oxygen to come by, it has to metabolize anyhow, and so it goes under a metabolic process called anaerobic metabolism, and at the mention of anaerobic metabolism, the thing that has to immediately come into your mind is “oh damn but the product of anaerobic metabolism is lactic acid and CO2!”. Due to the accumulation of those nasty bastards (lactic acid & CO2) in the muscle tissue of the heart, pain results.
When people exercise, automatically the heart must pump harder (which is conducted by the muscle tissue of the heart) because the rest of the body demands higher amount of oxygen to generate more movements. In that case, the current of blood flow must run more rapidly. But if the blood vessel is partially blocked (like in the case of atherosclerosis), blood flow is somehow slowed down and the consequence of this is that it cannot fulfill enough oxygen (ischemia) that is needed by the heart muscle in high amount to pump enough blood to the rest of the body, and since theres just not enough oxygen, the heart muscle tissue again undergoes anaerobic metabolism and so, pain results there on the chest, where under it lies the heart muscle tissue that is ischemic. This is an example of stable angina, where chest pain constantly occurs when one does an exercise/vigorous activity or after eating a heavy meal, but stops when one rests. This condition still has a better prognosis compared to unstable angina, where chest pain takes place randomly regardless of what the person is doing, and wouldn’t go away even if the person rests or takes meds. Imagine how frustrating that is. Oh, and, remember, there are three Es that contribute to chest pain: exercise, eating, and emotion (stress).

Emergency Steps – including steps for cardiac emergency
Whatever emergency situation you’re facing, there are certain constructive steps emergency workers follow routinely before jumping to treatment.
  1.  BSI (Body Substance Isolation – lindungi diri) & scene safety. Make sure to wear protective tools such as hand gloves, masker, etc, and remember to see if the victim/patient is in a safe area, where you also can conduct your treatment safely without any dangerous interruptions. See if the victim needs to be transported to a safer area or not.
  2.  Initial Assessment. This step is like, your very first (initial) impression upon seeing the victim/patient. See if he/she receives enough oxygen or if the airway is blocked or not. Basically, we check the ABC (Airway, Breathing and Circulation).
  3.  Focused Exam. This step is carried out with regards of two aspects: subjective and objective. Subjective data means that it can turn out not to be exactly correct, such as the patient’s age, sex (yes! You have to ask!), and chief complaint. We obtain those data by means of asking. Investigate the situation by reviewing SAMPLE (Signs & Symptoms, Allergy, Medication, Last meal, and Events that lead to the occurrence of accident/happened before the incident). For the Signs & Symptoms (for symptom of CHEST PAIN, remember to explore more by asking OPQRST (Onset (when did it start to occur), Provocation (does it come after doing an exercise/eating or during work? This is to identify whether it is stable/unstable angina), Quality (ask the patient regarding the pain with specific description such as ‘sharp’ or ‘blunt’ pain), Radiation/Regional (only on the chest area or radiating to the arm/jaw, also see if the victim can/cannot pinpoint exactly where the pain is), Severity (request the patient to evaluate the scale of pain from 1-19) and Time (how long it has been going)). Objective information are findings that are evidently true, such as the level of consciousness (evaluate it when you listen to their response as when you obtain the subjective findings), the color of their skin and its’ temperature, the pulse rate, the blood pressure (but at a positive complaint of chest pain, check both arms), the papillary reaction and their breathing pattern. Also, in this step, if you find any abnormalities of the objective findings, you have to dig in to it deeper. For example, if the person is breathing with so much effort, then you need to listen to their breath sound and administer oxygen. Or if there’s chest/abdominal pain, then you have to palpate it. At the findings of CHEST PAIN, recall that you’ll most probably find diaphoresis, shortness of breath (dyspnea), nausea and weakness.
  4. Detailed Exam. The conduction of this step is thoroughly done from head to toe. Check for DOTS (Deformity, Open wound, Tenderness, and Swelling) and for any findings of abnormality, do intervention (such as cleaning the wounds, and applying compression on the swollen areas).
  5. Assessment. The most probable diagnosis that you can think of after accomplishing the subjective and objective findings. This determines your plan of action and treatment for the victim. If you misdiagnose, then the treatment will produce no effect or even a worse effect. God, its so hard being a doctor…
  6. Plan. Do the treatment! But before that, make sure that the Airway, Breathing and Circulation are stable beforehand, those three must be constantly monitored. Besides the ABC, other vital statuses, such as temperature, must be maintained. After that, see if the patient is in a comfort position or not! If not, intervene or transport him/her to a more comfortable spot if necessary. If the victim/patient is suffering from chest pain, give medications to relieve the pain. According to American Heart Association (AHA), if a patient comes with chest pain, there’s this specific algorithm of medication you need to give to ease the pain, abbreviated as MONA or ANOM. Let’s use ANOM because we’re more familiar with that name ;) A stands for Aspirin (as an anti-platelete, to prevent platelete aggregation), N is for Nitroglycerin, O is Oxygen (remember that they commonly come with shortness of breath/dyspnea), and M is for Morphine (to alleviate excruciating pain).
There are various forms of emergency situations that take form due to condition of ischemic heart. Down here, we discuss some of those that are common to occur as a complication of myocardial ischemia.

Complications of Myocardial Ischemia – Cardiogenic Shock, Aortic Dissection, Aortic Aneurysm and Cardiac Tamponade
Cardiogenic Shock
Shock is a term to describe inadequate blood flow supplying the organs of the body. In cardiogenic shock, the hypoperfusion is caused by the heart not being able to pump enough blood (the cardiac output and stroke volume are low, and since cardiac output volume affects the blood pressure, then systemic blood pressure will drop). If it’s because myocardial infarction, then its due to the death of the myocardium (especially of the left ventricle) which result in decreased contractility (weak à not strong enough to pump blood to the rest of the body). The symptoms are obvious: anxious and restless (altered level of consciousness due to brain hypoxia), pallor (because of insufficient blood flow), tachycardia (since the heart couldn’t pump strong enough, it tries to compensate by beating faster), hypotension (due to dropped cardiac output).

Thoracic (Aortic) Dissection
Recall in the vessel of the aorta, the blood is pumped to travel to the rest of the body. But if there’s a tear/scratch like in the second vessel tunnel in the picture, the blood that is pumped upward goes to two directions: the normal direction and the space created by the destroyed wall of the vessel (and the blood remains there). This is what happens in aortic thoracic dissection: a separation of the aorta wall. If the blood that gets stuck in the dissected area of the vessel, it can grow larger and eventually block the normal vessel. OHO! And so the aortic vessel is blocked and the consequence is the inability to deliver blood to the body and… well the patient dies in due course. And that’s why its also an emergency condition. This condition feels very painful. Patients that have this usually complain of severe chest pain or sharp/ripping sensation in the aortic area (typically at the center of the chest).

Aortic Aneurysm
The aorta, as the largest artery and a bridge that picks up the blood from the heart to the rest of the body, is the most common artery to develop aneurysm. What exactly is an aneurysm? The blood vessel in the human body normally has a thick wall to maintain the pressure of the blood flow. But if a part of the wall is weakened, the pressure of the blood flow pushes it outwards and creates a bulge/balloon, and this is known as aneurysm.


Cardiac Tamponade
This abnormality actually has a cute term. Tamponade, comes from the word ‘tampon’ (or softex/pembalut). I honestly don’t know the relation but… Cardiac tamponade is when the space between the myocardium and pericardium is accumulated with fluid (the fluid can be blood). In a normal situation, there is fluid, but in a limited amount, only to allow the heart to move freely without generating friction. But if there’s too much fluid in there, the heart is compressed, like shown in the picture (the thick red space shows accumulation of the fluid). So the thicker the accumulation of the fluid, the less space the heart has to move and pump because its’ too narrow, and because of that, the heart has limited ability to function. So, I guess, you can relate cardiac tamponade with tampon by imagining someone put a tampon in the pericardial space. Cardiac tamponade is an emergency condition. So how do we know if we’re facing a patient with cardiac tamponade? The three principal features of tamponade (known as Beck’s triad) are hypotension, soft or absent heart sounds, and jugular venous distention with a prominent x descent but an absent y descent (I don’t…really understand the last feature).


5.27.2013

RELATE


I'm currently reading a novel. I haven't finished reading it, because I have a cardiovascular summative I exam coming tomorrow and I'm not done memorizing the names of the humans' blood vessels (not that I'm planning to have it done today).

It's such a nice book because... the writer is able to create a character that is honest, innocent and straightforward. And he only occasionally uses difficult vocabulary. I feel very guilty for actually downloading the pdf version instead of buying the real book, especially after reading some chapters and realize that I love it. I promise I'll buy the real book once I get over my cardiovascular summatives and get the chance to visit the bookstore (because I won't have time to do so anytime sooner, since mama and my siblings are currently visiting, which is great because I already miss them too much).

I'm saving some quotes from the book because they're the lines that caught my attention as I was reading. I did not understand them all, and that's the point of listing them down here.

***

"I feel ashamed, though, because that night, I had a weird dream. I was with Sam. And we were both
naked. And her legs were spread over the sides of the couch. And I woke up. And I had never felt that
good in my life. But I also felt bad because I saw her naked without her permission. I think that I should
tell Sam about this, and I really hope it does not prevent us from maybe making up inside jokes of our
own. It would be very nice to have a friend again. I would like that even more than a date."

***

"Charlie, we accept the love we think we deserve."

***

"I asked Patrick if he felt sad that he had to keep it a secret, and Patrick just said that he wasn't sad
because at least now, Brad doesn't have to get drunk or stoned to make love."

Chbosky Stephen. The Perks of Being A Wallflower. MTV Books (New York): 1999.

5.23.2013

Ya Allah.. Ya Sami' Addua'..

I'm aware I haven't been a good servant. But I have nowhere else to disgorge and unload my worldly issues... no one would understand (and I think it's better if it just stays that way) and You are the only one who knows, the good and bad, of my heart's sayings... Please ya Allah, don't let my heart be diseased spiritually and physiologically...

Ya Allah.. I know it's too selfish for me to ask for this.. for I haven't been a good servant. I beg you to provide me with strength and patience.. to take care of my little siblings while I have piles of academic assignments undone.. I don't want to complain, ya Allah because both taking care of my siblings and studying medicine are Your blessings and are the things I love to spend time doing in this temporary life.. please don't let me be ungrateful, please don't let me grumble on them only when I can no longer exert energy to accomplish them, or when they reveal challenges.. please give me strength, ya Allah.. to carry out my duties as a good daughter, responsible sister, supportive friend, hardworking medical apprentice, and as Your faithful servant..

4.13.2013

BORING IT IS, THEN

I have never been fond of unplanned weekends. Unless something happens spontaneously, I end up thinking about how boring my life is.

I know that isn't true at all. I define my life. If I think my life is boring, then it should be me... who has defined it, is the one who is incredibly boring. Perhaps I'm the one who needs to change. Which is unlikely to happen, since I'm originally a boring person. I'm astounded by the people around me who have been bearing with my tedious aura. I pity them for having their time wasted on hearing my monotonous and meaningless choices of words.

4.07.2013

ALICE LINDGREN

Mungkin aku gila. Ketertarikanku dalam membaca sebuah buku novel sudah melebihi daya ketertarikanku dalam berinteraksi dengan manusia-manusia nyata.

Mungkin karena aku tidak bisa menebak jalan pikiran dan tindakan orang-orang fiktif ini. Mereka selalu mengejutkanku, halaman demi halaman. Sedangkan di dunia nyata, tampaknya orang-orang bertindak sebagaimana dunia ingin mereka bertindak.

Atau mungkin aku sendiri yang tidak pandai bersosialisasi. Aku lebih merasa secure dengan tidak harus pandai bergaul karena mereka hanyalah karakter-karakter sebuah cerita fiktif. Mereka tidak perlu mengenal diriku. Tapi aku merasa beruntung mengenal mereka.

3.31.2013

01:28 AM

Me: "Ahmad gimana kabarnya?"
Ahmad: "Alhamdulilah deg-degan."
...just a short conversation with my little brother who's all thankful that his heart is still beating.

EAT, PRAY, LOVE

"To have issues with boundaries, one must have boundaries in the first place, right? But I disappear into the person I love. I am the permeable membrane. If I love you, you can have everything. You can have my time, my devotion, my ass, my money, my family, my dog, my dog’s money, my dog’s time—everything. If I love you, I will carry for you all your pain, I will assume for you all your debts (in every definition of the word), I will protect you from your own insecurity, I will project upon you all sorts of good qualities that you have never actually cultivated in yourself and I will buy Christmas presents for your entire family. I will give you the sun and the rain, and if they are not available, I will give you a sun check and a rain check. I will give you all this and more, until I get so exhausted and depleted that the only way I can recover my energy is by becoming infatuated with someone else."

3.26.2013

"STRANGERS: RELATIVES YOU HAVEN'T MET"

Selamat malam, layar iPadku yang berbungkus casing pink.

Kau sudah mengenal persis diriku seperti apa. Aku impulsif, ekspresif, dan aku menyukai jus belimbing. Oke, mungkin mengenai kesukaanku terhadap jus belimbing adalah berita baru bagimu. Tapi, intinya, kau sudah tau kan sekarang? Yang jelas kau sudah tahu, aku kadang terlalu menghayati perasaan yang aku alami ketika melalui kejadian-kejadian dalam hidupku, yang mungkin tidak begitu signifikan bagi orang-orang di sekitarku. Dan karena itu, aku selalu kembali kesini, bercerita.

Aku telah menemukan kembali rasa kebersamaan yang tulus, di tengah orang-orang yang sebelumnya tidak pernah kuduga bisa dekat denganku.

Mungkin pada hari-hari sebelumnya, aku berpikir kita memiliki tujuan yang sama, sehingga mau tak mau kita harus menyatu untuk mencapai tujuan itu. Tapi saat ini, jujur, aku berpikir sebaliknya: tak apa jika kita tidak dapat mencapai tujuan tersebut (dengan catatan: sudah berjamaah berusaha), asalkan kita tetap bersatu, bersama-sama.

Baiklah. Aku sudah terdengar lebay dan dramatis bak drama-drama yang didubbing itu.

Intinya, di luar dugaanku, aku sudah merasa nyaman dengan mereka. Mereka yang memiliki keunikan yang berbeda, namun memiliki atribut yang sama: tangguh, berani, dan mandiri. Mereka sudah melihat diriku dalam keadaan kusut dan kusam, mencium bau keringatku yang asam, mendengarkan diriku mengutuk dan mengungkapkan kata-kata kasar dengan suara yang menggelegar, menyaksikan aku, mahasiswa FKUI tingkat II, tidak mampu menjawab pertanyaan tentang apa yang dimaksud dengan airway positioning, bahkan memaklumi kemampuanku dalam berbahasa Indonesia, yang dinilai sangat lemah, sampai-sampai aku ditertawakan mereka karena tidak mengetahui makna kata 'janggal'.

Manusia makhluk sosial; hidup harus saling menyokong. Kesimpulannya, kita tidak dapat menjalani segala hal tanpa bantuan orang lain, maka itu kita harus meminta bantuan. Namun, yang diminta bantuan berarti harus ikhlas menolong, bukan? Aku baru sadar bahwa kita harus berani membuka hati, membantu dengan lapang dada dan ketulusan yang dalam. Hanya dengan itu, kita bisa merasakan indahnya berjuang bersama.

Terima kasih, ya Allah. Engkau telah menganugerahkan aku keluarga baru, di saat aku jauh dari keluargaku. Sungguh, Engkau Maha Pengasih, lagi Maha Penyayang.




3.24.2013

12.39

I know it's late, and I'm breaking the ground rule of not getting enough rest and I'm endangering my body's homeostasis. I need a moment to write this. An important transitional phase of my life.

I may not be able to completely reveal the change. It'll need work, patience, determination, action, and therefore, it requires time.

Time. Not a single, delayed second went by. Time still frequently amazes me. How fast it went, and how slow it took for me to realize the drastic changes.

There was an incident yesterday, that made me think of what I've learned as a medical student for the past 1.5 years in the uni. And to be honest, that incident only proved what a complete waste of 1.5 years I've spent for not being able to answer "What do you mean by airway positioning?". That very moment, I went through a plenty of emotions: curiosity, stress, confusion, shame, and ultimately, disappointment. Even the physical punishment for not being able to answer it couldn't relieve my disappointment, towards myself.

I'm starting to doubt whether I've chosen the write path. The future, visible in my eyes, seem to be very distant. Almost out of reach. Unless I make a significant change. Also, unless He has written so.

***

Today was Baba's birthday. I almost forgot. I called him and congratulated him, but his reply was.. that he also had forgotten his birthday. He's 51. And he says he's too old to remember. Sadness crept inside of me and I couldn't really pinpoint the reason. 

Probably, the fact that he's older applies to the cells in his body getting weaker to function, the point that he's a frequent smoker worsens the fact. He's healthy, but degenerative diseases may hit him at his current age. 

Another reason might be.. the reality that he forgot only depicts how he's giving his mind and energy entirely for work. Baba loves his job not because of what he does at the office, but because of the friends he has. Besides, his work is not always exciting for him, and I know that he deals with many stress and pressure because he carries major responsibilities and people rely on him. It's hard for me to accept that because I don't like seeing him all tired and exhausted, but at the same time, I respect his performance, driven by motivation sourced from endless family demands. A family that he loves and wants to satisfy.

Most probably, I just miss him. And I can't afford losing him. The one person who accepts me, just the way I am. Baba is always there. For both, my basic and selfish needs. 

Baba is human. And so, I understand that he has to return to Him one day. And so, I also understand how I cannot always depend on him. I can only pray, ya Allah, when the day comes, please please, I beg you.. ya Allah, please do not punish Baba, for the selfish, thoughtless and ill-mannered sins I've done. For he has carried out his job of being a good father, and with all his energy, he's still struggling for that.



3.17.2013

Hai...

Aku terlalu ceroboh, kartu ATMku hilang.
Aku terlalu ceroboh, membiarkan hati ini.. hhhh.
Intinya aku ceroboh.

Hari ini aku senang tapi bimbang. Karena kesenangan ini tidak akan berlangsung lama.

3.13.2013

SEBUAH CATATAN YANG HARUS KUBACA DI MASA DEPAN

Selamat siang menjelang sore.

Ingin rasanya mencatat segala sesuatu yang terjadi dalam hidupku saat ini karena semuanya hanya berlangsung untuk sementara dalam sekejap kedipan mata (yang berbulu lentik, cetar membahana). Tapi tampaknya terlalu banyak yang terjadi, dan semakin banyak kejadian yang berlangsung semakin banyak pula porsi waktu yang terpakai, dan karena semakin banyak porsi waktu dan tenaga yang terpakai dalam menyaksikan/melibatkan diri di kegiatan-kegiatan tersebut, waktu dan tenaga yang sekelumit tersisa pun kupakai untuk amunisasi diri. Wahai jiwaku yang dahulu dan di masa yang akan datang, ketahuilah bahwa diriku saat ini sangat lemah dan kebo. Semakin tua, semestinya semakin bisa menahan nafsu untuk terlelap, tetapi kenyataannya adalah sebaliknya. Aku tidak mengerti lagi dengan diriku sendiri (baca: "gw gak ngerti lagi sama diri gw").

Mama dan Baba berpesan, sebelum keberangkatanku ke tanah air untuk menjalani pendidikan perguruan tinggi, agar tidak terlalu aktif dalam berbagai kegiatan organisasi intrakampus maupun ekstrakampus, apalagi jika hal itu mengakibatkan urusan akademikku terbengkalai. Mereka bahkan sebelumnya tidak mendukung keinginanku untuk menjadi bagian sebuah badan intrakampus, meskipun dulu Baba berkesempatan mengetuai sebuah lembaga kemahasiswaan pada masa mudanya. Aku tahu mereka khawatir atas konsekuensi yang terjadi jika aku gagal mengatur waktuku sendiri dan konsekuensi tersebut hanya akan merepotkan mereka karena harus lebih menguras keringat untuk mencari rezeki demi kontinuitas statusku sebagai mahasiswa aktif dalam kampus yang prestisius ini. Meskipun sebenarnya, aku tahu itu bukan alasan utamanya. Mereka tidak hanya ingin aku lulus dan memperoleh ijazah begitu saja, mereka bermimpi melihatku lebih dari itu; bahwa investasi pendidikanku yang relatif tidak murah, tidak hanya menghasilkan sosok individu yang cerdas dan berilmu dalam diriku, namun juga hati yang berempati dan karakter berprinsip moral yang tinggi.

Mungkin mereka tidak mengatakannya kepadaku terang-terangan, tapi aku sudah dididik oleh mereka sehingga aku memandangnya seperti itu. Setidaknya, jika kelak aku diberkahi seorang buah hati, kemungkinan besar begitulah harapanku sebagai orangtua. InsyaAllah.

Dengan sedikit penyesalan karena tidak sepenuhnya mematuhi perkataan mereka, aku mengaku saat ini aku adalah pengurus dua badan intrakampus dan calon anggota tim bantuan medis kampusku. Sebelum bergabung, aku memang sudah menjalani kuliah seperti apa yang Mama dan Baba inginkan; aku menjadi mahasiswa kupu-kupu (mahasiswa yang indah nan anggun seperti kupu-kupu, ihiy), alias kuliah-pulang kuliah-pulang. Entah mengapa istilah itu masih terdengar sangat aneh di telingaku. Saat itu, aku juga memang sudah merasa terbebani dengan kegiatan akademik dan sempat terheran-heran oleh teman-temanku yang masih bisa mengemban kegiatan organisasi. Lalu karena aku manusia, aku pun berfikir, jika rutinitasku begini-begini saja, bagaimana bisa aku mengembangkan kepribadianku? Aku harus berinteraksi dengan sekitarku, berkenalan dengan orang-orang dengan persepsi kehidupan yang berbeda dan memperluas wawasanku. Aku juga mengaku, langkah tersebut susah untuk kuderapkan, karena sejujurnya aku takut. Aku takut berurusan dengan manusia yang kadang-kadang tak bisa kutebak, takut bertanggungjawab karena takut gagal, takut IPku jadi jelek, ya, intinya aku penakut. Tapi aku menyadari jika aku tak berani mengambil risiko, aku tetap akan menjadi penakut. Aku memang akan menjadi brilian karena selain ber-Tumblr ria aku akan belajar terus menerus seakan-akan kesurupuan arwahnya Galen.

Tetapi jika kubayangkan kelak diriku telah menjadi dokter (Amien), pekerjaanku akan selalu berhubungan dengan manusia, bukan benda mati. Jika memang aku pintar, akan kusebutkan 1001 pengobatan yang pasienku bebas memilih untuk penyembuhannya. Tapi apa yang bisa kulakukan jika dari 1001 pengobatan tidak ada yang cocok baginya, atau bertentangan dengan prinsip budaya atau agamanya, atau jika dia galau karena bingung memilih yang mana di antara 1001 pilihan itu? (Baiklah, 1001 pilihan obat itu overrated). Aku tidak akan tahu bagaimana mengakalinya dan meyakinkannya jika aku tidak bisa membaca jiwanya, tidak bisa mentolerir dirinya karena adanya perbedaan persepsi kehidupan dan keyakinan, dan tidak bisa memahaminya secara personal.

Kita memang hidup di zaman yang sudah berkembang. Jika kau ditinggal oleh pasangan yang semulanya kau kira, he's the one, tapi ternyata he's.. gone, lalu kau sakit kepala, kau tinggal ke apotek saja dan beli.... Apa sih obat pusing? *google dulu* ...bercanda, tentu saja aku tau. Aspirin, misalnya. Atau over-the-counter drugs yang lain. Teratasi kan sakit kepalamu? Kau bahkan bisa saja jatuh cinta dengan apoteker itu.

WHO, ilmuwan, peneliti, dokter, profesor, dan orang-orang brilian lainnya memang sudah banyak sekali berkontribusi kepada kemajuan yang pesat dalam bidang kesehatan. Tetapi meskipun begitu, tidak semua penyakit dapat ditanggulangi seperti kasus pusing itu. Bahkan, penyakit-penyakit seperti beberapa jenis kanker, AIDS, sirosis hati, Ebola, dan.. beberapa penyakit lainnya yang belum pernah kau dengar, dan tidak dapat aku eja, belum ditemukannya obat yang benar-benar bisa memulihkan pengidapnya. Sebenarnya, tak usah jauh-jauh memikirkan penyakit-penyakit itu. Ketika ada pasien yang sakit, dokter memang akan berusaha menyembuhkannya dengan seluruh ilmu dan tenaga yang dimilikinya, sesuai dengan sumpahnya. Namun usaha seorang dokter terbatas, dan hasil atau outcome itu tidak sepenuhnya berada dalam kendalinya; karena dokter, seperti pasiennya, hanya sebatas manusia. Dan manusia memiliki keterbatasan. Namun, jika dokter sudah tidak dapat mengobati, kewajiban yang harus dilaksanakannya sebagai manusia adalah menenangkan dan menentramkan pasiennya. Bukan dengan anastesi/obat sedatif, tetapi dengan kata-kata dan perbuatan yang menjunjung semangat untuk tetap berjuang dalam kehidupan, tetap berpegangan kepada harapan. Maka itulah dr. Edward Trudeau menyatakan, mengenai peran dokter sesungguhnya: "to cure sometimes, to relieve often, to comfort always."

Hal-hal yang mengeratkan hubungan kemanusiaan: empati, tanggungjawab, kepedulian, dan lain-lain, lebih baik jika kita tanamkan dalam diri kita sejak dini. Dan untuk menerapkannya, kenapa harus menunggu hingga waktunya berhadapan dengan pasien? Sudah semestinya kita mulai dengan diri kita sendiri, lalu keluarga, lalu teman, hingga masyarakat. Melibatkan diri dalam kegiatan organisasi memang memberi peluang untuk mempraktekkan hal-hal tersebut, tetapi kita harus senantiasa mengingat kewajiban kita: yaitu belajar (which is, sesuatu yang harusnya kulakukan saat ini). Dan kita tetap wajib melakukannya sepanjang hayat, seumur hidup.

Aku memang banyak bacot. Karena sejujurnya, aku belum bisa menerapkan yang telah kusebut dengan diriku sendiri karena kamarku masih berantakan dan aku butuh ke Ace Hardware, aku masih suka lupa/sengaja melewati makan malam/siang/sarapan (tetapi aku bersumpah, aku tidak pernah skip tiga-tiganya sekaligus), IPku saat ini menurun, aku masih sering mengecewakan orang-orang terdekat di sekitarku, dan... aku hanya akan mempermalukan diriku jika aku jabarkan seluruh kekuranganku.

Tetapi jika kau mendoakanku agar aku menjadi dokter, siapapun dirimu, aku berani berjanji akan berusaha menjalani profesiku dengan prinsip tugas dokter yang telah dikemukakan oleh dr. Trudeau. Karena aku tidak lagi takut untuk mengambil risiko; aku tidak takut membiarkan diriku berkembang.






1.27.2013

JAKARTA FLOOD

Selamat malam.

Sudah lama aku tidak bercerita dengan menggunakan bahasaku sendiri. Oleh karena itu, mungkin post ini akan sedikit kedengaran tidak nyambung, dan aku terlalu malas untuk melakukan penyuntingan.

Jakarta dilanda bencana banjir yang besar dan bertebar di berbagai daerah. Lebih dari sekitar 18 ribuan warga tercatat mengungsi. Posko-posko bantuan di berbagai lokasi pun didirikan dan media komunikasi diramaikan oleh ajakan organisasi non-profit & peduli masyarakat untuk orang-orang yang beruntung, yang tidak terkena bencana tersebut, agar maju menjadi relawan, atau setidaknya menyalurkan bantuan dalam bentuk biaya dan perlengkapan umum yang dibutuhkan.

Rumah nenekku yang kutinggali semasa aku berkuliah di Jakarta pun terkena banjir. Airnya bahkan menembus masuk ke dalam rumah. Pada saat itu terjadi, aku sedang berada di kampus karena mengikuti ujian remedial. Aku tidak tidur pada malam sebelumnya karena membekali otakku dengan materi yang akan ditanyakan pada remedial (meskipun aku sedikit mengeskpektasi ujian remedial itu mengandung soal yang sama dengan ujian sebelumnya, dan ternyata memang 80% dari soal-soalnya sama), dan memang sejak jam 2 dini pagi hingga aku berangkat ke kampus, hujan tidak pernah berhenti. Alhasil, saat aku berangkat, jalanan di depan rumah nenekku sudah dibanjiri air hujan sebatas mata kaki (mata kaki orang dewasa, maksudku), itupun hujan masih terus mengalir tanpa ampun. Aku pun bingung, aku naik apa ke kampus? Biasanya aku menumpangi mikrolet yang memang jalurnya melewati persis depan rumahku, lalu aku lanjut dengan menaiki angkot. Tapi tak pernah kulakukan hal tersebut dalam kondisi hujan dan banjir seperti ini. Baru kali ini aku dihadapi dengan kondisi cuaca ini. Pilihan lainnya adalah naik ojek. Tak mungkin juga. Aku akan basah kuyup setibaku di kampus. Melihat kebingungan di raut wajahku, Mbak Pur, pembantu nenek yang berasal dari Jawa Tengah dan sangat berbaik hati, memanggil bajaj untukku. Aku ingat sekali pemandangan suram yang kulintasi saat menuju kampus pada hari itu. Langit mendung, hujan deras tak henti, air hujan yang membanjiri ibu kota kejam itu seperti membentuk Sungai Amazon. Ya, aku seolah-olah mengendarai bajaj di tengah Sungai Amazon. Sialnya, bajaj itu macet di tengah perjalanan. Untung saja tukang bajajnya saat itu bertekad keras dan langsung berinisiatif memperbaiki mesinnya dengan seluruh tenaga maskulinnya. Dan tekadnya tidak sia-sia, meskipun telah memakan lebih dari 10 menit dan selama itu aku menggigit jari, memikirkan konsekuensi-konsekuensi mengerikan yang akan kuhadapi jika aku telat hadir remedial. Tukang bajaj itu pun aku beri ongkos lebih atas usahanya yang patut dihargai (ia sangat beruntung, karena biasanya aku pelit dalam memberi ongkos).

Setiba di kampus, aku melihat air juga membentuk kolam sebatas mata kaki sepanjang lorong menuju ruang ujian. Pada hari itu, ujianku mulai 2 jam lebih telat dari waktu yang sudah ditetapkan. Dan alhamdulilah, puji syukur kehadirat Allah yang Maha Pengampun, aku lulus.

Selesai remedial, aku dikabari tanteku yang juga menempati rumah nenekku melalui SMS bahwa rumah kena banjir dan airnya mencapai setinggi paha (paha orang dewasa, maksudku) dan aku dianjurkan untuk tidak pulang terlebih dahulu. Aku tercengang. Aku belum pernah melihat rumah nenekku berubah jadi kolam sedalam itu. Aku ingin pulang segera untuk menyaksikan dan mengabadikannya. Meskipun hal ini merugikan (tidak sepenuhnya, sih), tapi ibuku selalu berkata, kita harus menerima dengan lapang dada. Perjalanan pulang ke rumah pasti dihalangi banjir juga, menurut beberapa sumber saat itu. Jadi aku memutuskan untuk menahan hasrat untuk pulang, setidaknya tunggu air yang menerobos rumah surut.

Aku berdiri di tengah jembatan penyebrang dan melihat pemandangan jalanan yang basah dan suasana mendung Jakarta. Aku tahu, pemandangan jalanan yang tidak tampak depan mataku saat itu berada dalam kondisi yang lebih parah. Lalu, pelan-pelan.. perasaan tidak enak menyelimuti hatiku. Perasaan yang tak kusangka sedang ku rasakan. Aku sadar, aku turut sedih melihat Jakarta menangis. Aku tidak pernah merasa betah berada di Jakarta. Mudah ditebak, alasanku mungkin berupa alasan-alasan yang sudah sering diungkapkan oleh mereka yang sudah mengalami kehidupan di Jakarta. Hectic. Polusi. Macet. Padat. Berisik. Tidak Aman. Jerawatan. Dan seribu alasan lainnya. Aku sudah mengeluh berulang kali dengan berbagai orang yang cukup toleran dalam bertahan mendengar keluh kesahku. Yang tidak kusadari dan mungkin penyebab dari rasa sedih itu adalah.. aku sudah terlanjur jatuh cinta dengan kota ini. Aku sudah terbiasa dengan segala hal yang awalnya bikin aku muak. Tapi di tengah proses adaptasi tersebut, pada titik tertentu, aku telah memutuskan untuk memberikan senyum terbaikku setiap pagi dalam perjalanan ke kampus. Entah mengapa aku tiba-tiba berkepikiran seperti itu. Mungkin disebabkan oleh faktor agama, yang mendorong seorang Muslim agar selalu bersemangat mengejar ilmu, atau mungkin aku terlalu banyak membaca cerita inspiratif yang mengajak engkau untuk menghayati dan menghargai setiap momen yang sedang dilewati karena momen-momen tersebut tidak akan kembali. Mungkin juga dua-duanya. Yang jelas, aku sudah mencintai Jakarta. Aku menerima segala kelebihan dan kekurangannya.