Monday, September 19, 2011

The Path I Am On

I went for follow up today. My tympanic membrane is now intact, which means I can now swim and fly, but my high-frequency hearing lost and tinnitus is still there. At this point, it's most likely going to be permanent. But yeah, I'm past the grieving period over the lost, so it didn't sadden me much. It takes some time to get use to this slight disability. Sometimes people call my name from behind and I have no idea where the voice came from. Last week I was caught with wandering attention by a lecturer during clinics when in fact I was paying attention to my tinnitus which gets louder in closed and quiet clinics. Oh, don't let me start with the operating theatre, where people talk in whispers. I tried to assist a surgeon and end up passing over the scissors to another student just after 30 minutes because I cut when I am not supposed to and did not cut when I am supposed to. 'Cut (whispers)' 'Cut...cut, cut! CUT!' He goes, and hey ho cherio I go!

I also went to psychiatric ward round today. There was this young lady who got very depressed and tried to kill herself because her mental illness made her unable to work or earn money so she felt that she was useless and a burden to herself and her family. I guess one of the things that got me going on is seeing others that have illnesses worse than mine. I have the chance to see it every single day, and every time I see other people who have worse disability than me, I felt thankful and appreciative of what I still have. My dad asked me why I wasn't depressed after I've learned about my permanent disability. I asked him 'Should I be?'. He said most of his patients got depressed and traumatized after learning they had a similar disability as mine, and I should learn my lesson of not joining anymore stupid outdoor games. So being a faithful son, I followed his advice and went on being depressed the next week for 5 days. Yeah, it was an awesome experience but I don't think I want to do it again.

Living with tinnitus actually sucks. Imagine having a ringing sound in your head 24 hours for the rest of your life. There is no moment of silence for me. But to take it positive, I just imagine this ringing in my head is a call. A call which is a constant reminder for me to always work towards being a better person. So when I do nothing but sit around, I will start paying attention to the ringing sound...and that is where I am reminded to get up and do something productive. I have to keep myself busy doing something to distract myself from the sound. I'm just glad that when it didn't affect my relaxing ritual sitting in cafes because although coffee exaggerates tinnitus for awhile, hearing music on the headphone masks the ringing sound.

While my hearing loss might limit my career choice of specialization, unlike the young woman I saw this morning, at least I can still work in other specialties that doesn't need me to hear soft subtle sounds from the chest. Or being in operating theaters. Or quiet clinics. I've always wanted to be a physician and specialize in infectious disease. But being a physician involves a lot of precise hearing of the chest sounds. Maybe I'll just move on to something I have always been interested in, like hospital management, health care planning, health economics and stuff. Influence something big in the Ministry of Health, or maybe work for the World Health Organization in Geneva, save the world and things like that. You know, the big picture.

All in all, despite all the things that happened to me, I am quite happy with the way things are now. I can still study and carry out my responsibilities, I can still have fun with friends. I still hold on to my favorite phrase: 'life is too short to be miserable, are you who you want to be?'. By the way a psychiatrist sensed there was something wrong with me, called me up after clinics, found out my problems and suggested me to do my own personal CBT, which stands for 'Cognitive Behavior Therapy'. I told her ''It's okay doc, I don't need CBT, all need is CBTL: Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf'' ;)

Some coffee ritual I do at airports


gadees spek mata said...

be strong lutfi....think can handle it...(^_^)...cha'yo...cha'yo,,,,

Siti Syazwan said...

fighting! glad to hear yg abg lutfi doing well!

IRA said...

impressed with ur way of dealing with ur problem!!! if it was me, gosh guess i'll be depressed for the rest of my life. but then again, yeah ure right, life is too short to be miserable! :D

Anonymous said...

have u ever read "who moved my cheese?"..consider reading that book,it'll help,well,literally. :)

azreenChan said...

You wrote it beautifully.
You should consider being a freelance writer.

Anonymous said...

dont limit urself when things went on differently or not in accordance with wht u alrdy plan..just believe that Allah is the best planner n surely u will find happiness through out all of ur hardship....there are a lot of things that u shld be vry gratful n thnkful.... -nilai-

germaine said...

I love your spirit. Thats the way to go! :) No one is perfect and never forget that God always has a special plan for us in life. :)

Lutfi Fadil Lokman said...

Thanx for all of your suggestions and encouragements. Yes, I am grateful and thankful for what I still have, and also for being surrounded by supportive ppl like u guys!

mimiqt said...


Background music:


2. (my fav of all times)

To my mind, your optimism alone is possible to save the world . Those songs are possibly a tiny bit of spatter of it :)

Anonymous said...

you are a true role model. May God bless u bro! =))

fiLzah~p'ja said...

i admire ur optimism..lutfi..indeed, being miserable is not the answer for this, but it thought u to discover other things in life..
"Dialah yang memberi rahmat kepadamu dan para malaikat-Nya (memohonkan ampunan untukmu) agar Dia mengeluarkan kamu dari kegelapan kepada cahaya (yang terang). Dan Dia Maha Penyayang kpd org2 beriman"al-Ahzab:43
best of luck lutfi

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