Monday, July 28, 2008

Land of Oz

Was in the land of the Wizard of Aust last week. No, no, no, not for pleasure, more for pressure. Work. I went alone to join an ENT specialist and a Nuclear Technologist (I am the only one whose name is without ‘dr’ in the front or ‘ist’ at the back) for a visit to a bone and tissue bank.

It was such an adventure for me.

At any entry point in any country, I would always be picked for random sampling. Always. If you look closely, right on my forehead there's a sign that says, 'SAMPLE ME'. In Australia, it was the same. Twice I was stopped, my bags opened up, swabs taken from me, body-searched, the whole jingbang. At Sydney, the breast pump I carried was examined, lifted to the light, shaken and stirred. Eyes narrowed, ‘You are asthmatic?’ he asked. Hmmm... My nose must have seemed to him larger than life for him to think that it would fit in into the pump. At Brisbane, a policewoman stopped me demanding to know why I was travelling without my parents, being under 18 and all. Mwahaha… Being mistaken as someone under 18 is nice, even the hassles that come with it gets tolerable. Only thing is that, I look under-18 only from behind and under very bad light, from side views may be. Frontal exposure, you’ll see that I look like a mom of an 18-year old.

Visiting the bank itself was an entirely new experience for me. I was given a tour of a morgue before i was taken to the bank. They allowed me in the room when they process the bones. But I had to don on this many layers of gown, and then I had to scrub to be cleaner that I ever have been my entire life. (Disclaimer: Not that i am usually dirty, mind you.)

Btw, the picture below is elongated a teenie bit to make me look thinner than i really am.

As the lady was sawing off a femur, a piece went flying with bits of flesh smack onto my chest. There must be this horrified look on my face when she asked me to kick the thing back to her. I couldn’t bring myself to kick it and I didn’t want to fling it to her either. The ENT specialist saved the day when she helped pick it off from me for me. I couldn’t help but think that it wasn’t just flesh and bone, it was flesh and bone from someone who used to be alive. The whole complete bones from his leg and Achilles too will help to better life for many others. That’s such a generous selfless gift from him and I am not sure whether I would have the guts to pledge to be a bone/eye/organ/skin donor myself. This Dorothy doesnt have the courage, no she doesnt.

To the bone owner, al-Fatihah, whoever he was.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Whoaaa!!If I were you I would have fainted right there and then.

I am so scared of blood and open wound. My kids laughed at me when I told them I used to want to be a doctor.

Seghiauuuu u!



3:41 AM  
Blogger Lys said...

Kak Ood,

So lucky!! Wish I was there..

7:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ood..... asthmatic?!?!?! ahhahahahaha ROTFLMAO

I would have been totally appalled. That reminded me about the time I had to travel two weeks after going back to work after maternity. I had a cooler bag and breast pump. Luckily it was NOT an overseas trip (the 1000ml liquid restriction would have applied) and how was I to explain EBM??? ehhehe but the moment I was airborne, with the craft air pressure, I was totally engorged.... so by the time my flight landed EBM quantity had doubled ehhehehe

oppsss too much info.

Its good to know that deposited parts are well taken care off.... (read sarcastically). There should be more respect for the dead and in this case, donor's parts.


12:54 AM  
Blogger JoKontan said...

Madam Ooody..

I dun geddit. There's something missing here laa.

Why's the ENT specialist there ? Somebody cut someone femur kaan..

Mebbe the DDDR (DoktorDiDalamRumah)can help.

Still considering Oz for penyambungan pembelajaran ?

1:22 AM  
Blogger OOD said...

hehe... alah...takleh tengok darah, alahhhh manjanya! You must be cute! Heheh.

back in school dulu, i had a friend who fainted everytime she saw blood. Then she became of age, menstruation. O-mak, everymonth tumbang dalam bilikair, how?

wish you were down under or wish you were in the bone bank? for the latter, it was quite an experience, i must say.

i pulled up the blanket all the way up to my chin and pumped - manually. Then i gave my bottle to the stewardess to keep in the fridge. As for the bottles of milk collected in aust, i actually had them checked in.
As for my asthmatic pump, let's just say, i was glad HE didnt try it on. Hehehe... DIE!

Bro Jo,
the ENT Specialist is sort of doing charity work, she champions the project. She doesnt get money from it, just extra work. SO she's the one in charge of our national tissue bank, the scandalous part is she's not from MOHealth, she's from MOHigherEd. You would think such bank would be under MOH kan?

We are making plans to go Oz, waiting for uni letters now. Year end maybe, God willing. Then you and maam can come honeymung at our place.

5:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


U actually managed to pump at your seat??? wow.... during my 2 hour flight (local) I went to the loo to pump. That was the ONLY time EVER I pumped in the loo. There were two business men seated with me, I do not think my pumping would have gone unannoticed.

But good thing that U did not encounter much trouble except at the point of entry.


11:33 PM  
Blogger OOD said...

i got lucky, i was given the business seat. The blankie was big, plus the seat gave a certain degree of privacy too. Remember MH is after all Malaysian Hospitality - Mas's tagline kan..
The loo is a bit cramped, dont u agree?

11:15 PM  

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