Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Dementia & Language

Now that I am in an aged care facility for my rotation, I am unfazed by elderly people with dementia who have lost the ability to speak intelligibly. Yes, in their mind they might think they are speaking fluently but in actual fact, their words are incomprehensible.

Today, one the of OT students talked about a difficult case. He had to do a mental assessment (much like a quiz, really) on this little old lady with dementia. This lady was bilingual in both Spanish and English - with the latter being her second language. As her dementia progresses, she begins to lose the ability to speak in English. When I first heard about this, I had no reaction whatsoever. But now that I am in my room and begin to reflect on my day, I start to realise that this is absolutely fascinating!

If I were to develop dementia (touch wood), which language will I 'lose' first? I was practically brought up in a bilingual environment - with Mimmy speaking in Hokkien and Daddy in English. Then I went on to pick up Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese around the age of 6, then Malay at the age of 7. Will I start to 'lose' Malay first just because I learnt it when I was much older? But, I was more proficient in Malay than Mandarin Chinese or Cantonese.

Questions... questions...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Placement at Rowethorpe

I think I may actually enjoy this more than the Armadale one, probably because I am not doing anything pharmacy-related. Hahaha.

It has been relaxing. There are new things to look at, with the physiotherapy and occupational therapy students around. There are always chances to learn and observe new things, simply because I am not stuck in a pharmacy whole day. And that the residents with dementia - even though overwhelming at first - begin to make an impression on me, as I start to remember their faces and names. I hope to become more confident in interacting with them for the next few weeks. I was too afraid before, because I didn't know how to talk to anyone. I am still awkward, I guess but I want to improve. And that is a start.

PS: I really wanted to make a new blog about my experiences in Rowethorpe but I haven't got the time to truly reflect on it. Maybe this weekend would be the best time? Let's see how things go.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Year of Goodbyes

Goodbye to my Ah Kong. I am going to miss the sight of you sitting in your favourite chair, in your simple white singlet and blue shorts. I will never ever receive another pink paper angpow again. 

Goodbye to Beng Yi Poh. You were one of my favourite relatives, even though we were so distantly related that I am not sure if I can even call you a 'relative'. I am going to miss the sight of you manning that stationery shop, where I get all my school supplies from since I was a little kid. 

I haven't got the chance to bid a proper farewell.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

New addition to the family!

Nope, my parents are not pregnant!

But my eldest sister is getting married! Registration will take place sometime in November. Yes, my sister is being so mean to my brother and I, as we will miss out on that since we are still in uni. She better include us in the actual wedding ceremony!

I expected my future brother-in-law to come to our house to formally ask my parents for their blessings. But that didn't happen. I guess I was way too influenced by Japanese dramas. The fact is that my sister didn't even relay this news to us herself; we got to know from Mimmy. So, I am feeling strangely dissatisfied because my expectations weren't met. But as long as the couple is happy, I am happy.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Black shoes

The kind people use for work.
The ones that make 'clip-clop-clip-clop' sound when we walk in them.
The ones we bought for work, hoping that they wouldn't hurt our feet so much; they did but eventually the discomfort goes away.
The ones that remind us that we are now adults.

I am starting to like my own black shoes. I hope to grow more comfortable into them. My spirit may be dented at times, but these shoes will help me get through rough days. And those clip-clop sounds they make are so wonderful, because they remind me that I am still alive and still struggling.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

I don't know how to write for my weekly assignments. Hmmm... I hope I can wing it and ace it somehow. Curtin mentor, please be nice to me.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Some cheer needed

Back to Perth again. Placements and assignments await... ugh. Five more months to home... double ugh.

The silver lining is that I am going to graduate end of this year! Yes! Have faith, dear me!
I already have plans forming in my head on how to spend my year-end holidays... whether they will come to fruition or not, it remains a mystery.

Some of the crazy plans in mind:

  • shave my head bald. hahaha...
  • jump on a plane to Japan to see Spyair's Budokan live! (I can only wish... because I can't speak Japanese, no one wants to go with me, and money is always an issue for me. I am stingy, I know.)

Friday, July 6, 2012

Dear Phone

Please hang in there a little longer. I know now you only work on 'speaker' mode and that is a cause of worry for me. What's next? I think. Because more importantly, I have an oral assessment by phone in 7 weeks time. Just continue as you are for at least 9 weeks. Please. I beg you.

Monday, July 2, 2012


As I pop the earphones on and press 'Play', those undulating sounds are carried from the computer to the wires, to my ears, to my brain. 

Like magic. 

And then, I could feel what it makes me feel. It is like seeing a movie, but living it and breathing it. I am the actor, the narrator, the props but not the director. Someone, somewhere - probably half a world away - swishes his wands and I will follow his lead. I will be among the crowd in the city, seeing the things he wants me to see. I will feel alone, just as he intends me to feel. And I am his puppet. For that brief three minutes, I am him and yet, I am me. 

Those sounds and beats and rhythms are like invisible friends. They morph and transform as I see fit. In cold dark rainy days, they are the soothing voice of a mother singing lullaby to her child who is afraid of the storm;  they are the blankets that comfort and warm. In happier days, the invisible things become sunlight and rainbows, flowers and meadows - things that make my heart glow and my body light. 

The sounds are my lifeline. They make me feel alive. For music is life itself.