07/08/2017, RSCM

I have observed hydrocephalus in a neonate at my first visit ever to the Perinatology today.

Nobody remembers their first 28 days of their lives (aka the neonatal period). Yet, even when memory and immunology haven't fully developed, we already have primitive reflexes that act as our initial defense to anything that threats us; crying, arm grasping and feet kicking. It's like ever since we were first born into this world, we were determined to fight.

(I have drank my first cappuccino in 2 years without experiencing caffeine side effects)


05/08/2017, RSCM

Today I saw the distinctive feature of thalassemia's Cooley's face in a twelve year-old patient. Also for the first time, I felt like I was part of the pediatric resuscitation team trying to manage respiratory distress in a 7 months-old patient with Down syndrome.

I haven't always been that enthusiastic about night shifts, but the thing about children is that in the midst of the frustrating search for diagnosis and the eyes longing for sleep, they can still effortlessly make you smile. I also learned, that it is good to make peace with uncertainty and to not postpone an act just because of the everly unpredictable conclusion of whether I'm ready for something or not.


Tonight my tears fall down. A sign of waivering a white flag following a long inner battle between anger, frustration and confusion.

It is not that I'm ungrateful, dear God. I have abundant things to be grateful for at this moment. Yet, I am wondering, how can a place of comfort turn into a muted place? The only sounds produced are doubt and accusations.

I am so certain that we were happy, each of us, us together. I am certain I had felt free; being who I was and the words and emotions I expressed. They were all real.

Many times, I did think I'm the dead weight. Both of us sailed to the different poles frequently that it was him who always had to adjust the wheels. And while he does that, I tell the oceans to set their waves strong and big that they gave you an obstacle. And only when the sea has become calm again that you can sail to me.

But I think I have sent too much waves that you have become so distant. And now you have lost and given up on finding your way to me again.



I'm in Universitas Indonesia in Depok. It is raining and I'm listening to Endah N Rhesa's Blue Day. These bits are enough to remind me of those days when we spent our time together knowing each other. It feels long ago.

It feels deeply familiar. It feels comfortable.

The more I get to know you, the clearer I see things that made me feel attracted to you in the first place. But lately, I have noticed something utterly surprising.

I see you talking to an uber driver, a gojek driver, a cashier, friends of mine you have never met, complete strangers. I see you initiate and engage in conversations lightly.

And then, I see resemblance of my father in you. Just like that, everything feels like it makes sense.



Sometimes, I wish there's just somebody brave enough to pull me out of my evil zone with great determination.


Update on Emotions

As you can see, right now I've been caught up with my life as a medical student undergoing clinical rotation in Jakarta. I've left Newcastle 6 months ago, and it still aches to remember the day when my roommates helped me pack my suitcase until the next morning I really had to get to the airport. I still remember it rained that day, and I recall the mixed emotions I had between sadness on leaving the city and excitement on meeting my family in London (for only two days). But I was pretty sure the sadness weighed more, because I did not have the slightest interest to return to Jakarta (except to obligingly continue my studies and spend more time with Afdal). I was pretty much settled on living with the girls, it was comfortable, and I did not have to pretend anything. It is weird that in the midst of diversity and foreignness, I found true comfort and genuine acceptance.

Today, I can honestly say I haven't felt that emotional comfort for awhile. I meet Afdal or a few of my best friends once or twice a week during the weekends, and in those times I pretty much feel content. But the rest of the weekdays I spent at the hospital with a majority of people whom are just difficult to deal with just drains me emotionally. I don't even find studying an issue, nor the examiners. But meeting these people everyday and constantly going through conversations that just seem superficial (cause lots of the talks are just about digging into other people's lives) just sickens me. I just don't meet people with any sincerity or integrity at all, and I end up with people who get cranky when they're provided constructive criticism and go on bitching behind your back.

I've decided to write this in here, because writing has always provided me relief. I've also decided that it is better to keep this to myself, because opening up to people just invites offers of solutions. It's really hard to find somebody to just sit and listen to what you're saying and really just accept it without trying to fix things as if I need to be fixed. Emotions are real, they do not need to be mended nor forced to be looked at from different angles cause they're real just the way they are.

So, my plan right now is to just finish what I'm going through. Get my medical degree. Get USMLE. And finally, get out of here. :)