Monday, December 28, 2009

All I want for Christmas is...

to finish my mandatory work-related health screening.

Scratch that. Christmas is over but my health screening is not. I just went back twice today for the 3rd and 4rd instalment of my health screening. And I'm still not done yet, there's another appointment in the 3rd week of January 2010.

All I want for Chinese New Year is to finish my health screening.

One amazing advantage of being a child of 2 doctors is that I never once had to go for health screening before this. As the biological offspring of 2 MBBS, I was lulled into a false sense of security that should there be anything even remotely wrong with me, either one of my parents would have immediately detected it. By osmosis, perhaps. Even my dad, whom I last had a decent conversation with when I was 11 and didn't actually speak a single word to from the time I was 13 till the day I picked him up from the airport at the ripe old age of 26.

Now that I understand how truly intrusive a proper health screening can be, I realise how terribly wrong I was. Which is quite tragic since I routinely comforted myself with this very thought when faced with the horrifying disadvantages of being a child of 2 doctors, first and foremost being that I get to enjoy every new vaccine that hits the market before any one of my friends (oh how different my life would have been if my parents had been movie producers instead). Also, contrary to popular belief, I did not get MCs on tap or a free-flow of medical certificates as and when I deemed fit, in fact, I never got ANY medical certificates when I asked for them except for this one time when I was pretty much too ill to get out of bed and my mother finally, grudgingly, passed me a medical certificate for one day's sick leave.

Finally, I don't believe anyone reading this has ever woken up from a deep sleep, feeling a strange pain, only to find their mother extracting a crapload of blood in a syring from their right arm.

But anyway. Back to the health screening. I have to say I almost ran out of the room when the doctor put on a rubber glove, pulled it snug on her hand and grabbed a tube of gel. It was like every bad cliche come horribly, horribly true. And that was not the end of it. I went through a series of eye tests, including something truly unexpected (and by unexpected, I mean unpleasant) bearing the relatively benign description of "ocular pressure test". A gust of air and a scream, is what I call it. Next eye, please.

Throughout the battery of eye tests, the doctor kept shaking his head and telling me, there's nothing wrong with your eyes, there's nothing wrong with your eyes. I wondered what was so bad about that. Finally, he shook his head one last time and proclaimed with some reluctance that my eyes were perfectly fine. Then he stared at me, as though he was seeing me for the first time, and asked what kind of company I worked for. A law firm, says I. Why do you ask? Well, said he, this test that you have just completed is for pilots.


You know what the problem with a blog is?

It starts off as a place you can write stuff in, stuff that you can't write down in a diary because someone could find it. Then after a while, it becomes a place that transcends my normal everyday life, where I can talk about stuff that perhaps doesn't really matter but it matters to me in a relatively insignificant way, but important enough that I want to write about it. It's also a place to vent about the small stuff, if I need to vent.

But I can't talk about the big stuff. The stuff that keeps me awake at night. Because that's conduct unbecoming of a solicitor. Because I am bound by rules of confidentiality and propriety.

So I talk about what matters to me, a little. What bothers me, a little. Stuff that bothers me a lot is what I know to keep to myself. Even when I think so much about it that I can't sleep properly for weeks, and sometimes, oftentimes, it bleeds into my dreams and I wake up utterly exhausted, and put on my game face for another day.

Perhaps this time next year I will be far more settled in my mind, or maybe I would have lived with my fears long enough to have learned to ignore them.


At 1:38 AM, Blogger mr.udders said...

Have you thought about writing a book?

At 9:52 AM, Blogger mariposa said...

Yes! Yes! Book! Book!

At 10:32 AM, Blogger DilettanteP said...

That's not the way to live, with work dominating your thoughts and plaguing your sleep. Reminds me of myself in the past... hack the corporate world shackles!

Maybe time to move on from being a lawyer to maybe say, an author (as kindly suggested by your fans) or a photographer?;)

At 11:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i would definitely buy your book smoot!

At 10:09 PM, Blogger amaranth said...

The perils of being in the corporate jungle.
Yes I would buy your book too :D

At 4:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 7:44 AM, Blogger expat@large said...

I find it completely tragic about your father not talking to you... Despite what you say later this is NOT a small thing. Izzy's parent's are the same - non-communicators. Is this a Singapore thing? Is this an essential part of the development of the Singapore psyche?

And the last incredibly insightful and accurate part about blogging, I do be stealing it and putting it MY novel. It's called research.

At 4:47 PM, Blogger knobby said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 4:47 PM, Blogger knobby said...

yes, it's true that the big stuff always stays inside. or at most, you share it with individual friends, not on a blog. i know what you mean. if you ever need to talk to one (more) of those individual friends, you know who to call :)

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