Subtle_Fortitude

…strength of mind can be stronger than you think

Archive for the ‘Life’s Like That’ Category

My Big Bang

Posted by nuruliman45 on February 28, 2012

It’s been almost a full year of not updating this blog of mine.  This place is just full of invisible cobwebs, aiya!

A kind of ‘big bang’ came to me today.

“SubhanALLAH.  Oh my goodness!  Cepatnya masa berlalu, rasa macam baruuuu je amek kereta tu… pejam celik pejam celik, dah setahun!”

You see, my car reached its first ‘birthday’ today.  Now, basically in Malaysia, if you own your own car (which you pay the installments on your own!), it means that you’ve moved to a next phase in life where you can be considered as an independent person.

It came to me that it’s been just a little over a year since I started working at the place I’m currently working at – UiTM Machang.  Yes, being a content young lecturer teaching English for diploma students. Now, something just drove me to post something after such  a long time of abandoning this ‘subtle_fortitude’ fortress of mine.  And, I could bet that it’s because having a year being passed makes you REALLY want to go through what you’ve actually been through in such a while before you move on to the next year.  Am I right?

Well, for the past year, I’ve learned SO MUCH.  ALLAH has taught me so many things, give me the opportunity to experience awesome new things, feel new feelings, get to know and be close with SO many wonderful people… all which I didn’t dream I would have known and felt before.

Something valuable that I can share today is that for the past half a year or so, ALLAH has given me the chance to feel a certain deep pain that I’ve never felt before.  If you ask me to describe it, I can’t actually describe what pain it is.  It’s a mix of in-denying self-confusion and the fight to do what’s right.  During my undergraduate years, problems were different.  They stayed complicated to merely a certain extent; not really complex.  But, as I started working, and staying again with my family, there have been so many things to consider.  ALLAH wants me to develop inner strength, and yes, gain subtle fortitude 🙂  What I went through would be another entry altogether.  So ‘ll stop here.

My ‘big bang’ thoughts today made me conclude that:

Maturity you cannot gain, without first experiencing pain.

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Christmas: Not as merry as EidulFitr!

Posted by nuruliman45 on December 27, 2010

“Jingle bells, jingle bells…”, my little 6-year old sister hummed the song.

I thought, mana pulak budak ni belajar lagu Krismas ni.  Memang tak boleh dibiarkan adik saya tu terus nyanyi lagu2 Krismas.  I immediately said to Atiqah, “Hey! ape nyanyi lagu-lagu Krismas nih!  Tak baik tau, Tiqah.”  She answered, “Why?  Krismas best laaa.”  Kesiannya adikku ini…

Then it hit me!

I realized that my two youngest little sisters, Atiqah and Hanis are little Disney freaks – they are totally immuned to Disney shows.  It’s every day Disney at home.  Sure, their English vocabulary is quite impressive.  But it seems, rupa-rupanya, ada elemen negatif jugak mereka ni dapat from watching Disney.  Aiya…

 

Christmas in the US

I grew up in US till I was 13, so I was practically used to the whole Christmas air of Decembers in the US.  Winter would always be synonym to Christmas.  More than a month before Christmas, stores would be filled with Christmas sales.  Everywhere I went, whether it was school, the grocery store, the library, malls, supermarkets, it was RED, GREEN, WHITE!!!  Candy canes…Santa Claus…fake snow(because my place didn’t snow)…stockings..reindeers…Christmas trees…you name it!

It was like this really jolly kind of air in my ex-hometown, Tucson… well, as it seemed.  All my friends at school were telling me of their planned vacations over the 2 week school holiday.  And then there were the stories of the expected presents they were to receive.  Not to forget, the presents they planned to get for their family and stuff.  Some also shared about the couriered gifts they got from grandparents who would send them for they wouldn’t be able to spend Christmas together.

It sounded splendid to me them.

After 10 years having spent Eidulfitr in Malaysia…I can see the HUGE difference between Christmas and Hari Raya.  You could simply get the message from little kids around you.  Listen to what little kids look forward to Hari Raya.

Yeah, sure, ada jugak la sebut…nak duit raya.  But, there’s more that they look forward to.  “Nak jumpa nenek.” “Nanti Raya nak balik kampung, boleh jumpa dengan _____, _____, dan _____”.  And also, kids know already, “Pagi raya nak ikut Mak pegi solat Raya.”

In Tucson, there is no special day off for Hari Raya.  Most Muslims would take their own day off for the first day of Hari Raya.  The main event for us Muslim residents of Tucson would be the mass gathering at either Reid Park or this other park I forgot the name of.  The Masjid in Tucson couldn’t fit the huge Muslim community in Tucson.  The morning would start with the Takbir, reminding all of the Greatness of ALLAH.  This would then lead to the prayer most encouraged to perform for Hari Raya.

Then, it was the part I most looked forward to: eating together with long-not-seen brothers and sisters.  It would be such colourful mornings – the beautiful new outfits of the Pakistanis and Bangladeshis.  Then, there were the elegant Mexicans and Arabs.  There were also the colourful dresses of the Sudans and Algerians.

 

Conclusion

Eidulfitr teaches the beauty of always remembering ALLAH and the beauty of brotherhood.  Presents and ‘duit raya’ is just an extra element added to the celebration of Eidulfitr.

Can’t wait for next year’s Merry Eidultfitr! 🙂

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SPSS!!!

Posted by nuruliman45 on November 9, 2010

For the past almost 2 months, my big endeavor: SPSS!!

Being in my last semester of my degree years (YEaH!!!), we TESLians have to complete an Academic Exercise (we all shorten it to ‘AE’).  We all see it as a miniature thesis.

My title:

English Language Classroom Anxiety:  A Comparative Study Among Special Programme and Regular Programme School Students

 

Going back to what I was saying… SPSS… I’d like to share with you my struggle with it.  3  reasons why it has been a BIG challenge for me:

1)  I am SO not good with numbers.

I am a visual type person, to understand anything, I need to be able to picture it.  Find it difficult to understand why everyone wants a mean and standard deviation for everything! LOL…(*thank you to Puan Wan Hartini & En. Norazman for helping me get cleared on that)

2)  My data was not going easy on me.

Life could be easier if my data was straight forward and gave out results the way most past research I read through did.  Unfortunately for me, it didn’t.  A lot of stuff came out insignificant and contradict one another and stuff…  leaving me to work out other methods in the SPSS to give me results I can use for my discussion.  ANOVA, paired Sample t-test, Reliability analysis, independent t-test??? AARGH…

My supervisor is one of those perfectionist kind of types, and wanted me to make sure my procedures absolutely follow the right statistical methods.  So a lot of SPSS studying went on throughout these 2 months!!  (did I mention my Hari Raya holiday was given a fair portion to SPSS??? – yup, early mornings/late nights SPSS, those other times would go to actual berhari raya)

3)  Have to juggle with all other heavy subjects.

I found out that in other universities, last semesters would go fully to last semester projects.  Even if there were any subjects, it would be ‘light’ ones.  Well, we juggled both.

So this past semester was all about heavy assignments + AE (SPSS!!)

Rajin betul UiTM ni….huhuhu

So, did I get anything from all this??

An absolute yes!

Sure, my other peers didn’t have to struggle with their SPSS as much as I did.  Perhaps their data was more cantik. Certain friends who started later than me were able to submit AE earlier than I could.

But, due to all I’ve learnt throughout the struggle – the unreliable reliability, contradicting data,  the hundreds of online SPSS tutorials, SPSS lecturer consultations, I feel I am much more prepared to face my future masters! (thank you Mdm Aida!)

This all taught me patience, perseverance, determination.  Yezza!

I like to remind myself:

“What doesn’t kill you just makes you stronger.

That’s the secret behind ALLAH’s trials.”

Thank you ALLAH! 🙂

 

One of the many tutorials I went through (very helpful):

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Istikharah?

Posted by nuruliman45 on March 9, 2010

One big theme for me today:  being confident with my istikharah prayer.

Decisions.  Decisions.  Decisions….

You think and you think ..and you think.  Where can it lead you???

NO WHERE!!

…unless… you seek the help of ALLAH in making your decision… 🙂

Sometimes, I think to myself, Oh ALLAH, how weak I am.  For such a small matter do I already get confused in deciding.  Indeed, my thinking is ever so limited.  I need your assistance.

so comes this du’a from my heart:

O Allah! I seek Your decision through Your knowledge and your facilitation through your power and I ask You of Your tremendous grace. For indeed, You are capable while I am not, and You know while I know not, and You are the Knower of the Unseen. O Allah! If you know this affair to be best for me in my religion, my livelihood, and in the final outcome (or: in my immediate life and my future one), then decree it for me and facilitate it for me and then bless me in it. And if You know this affair to be worse for me in my religion, my livelihood, and in the final outcome (or: in my immediate life and my future one), then turn it away from me and turn me away from it and decree for me what is good, wherever it may be, and then cause me to be contented with it.

Yup.  People say consistently perform your istikharah prayer , not only for decisions for marriage and travelling purposes, but for ALL everyday decisions also.

So after I did mine several times for several weeks, I sit and think. ..and think…and well…think..

But I then remembered…

Allah says: “It is possible that you dislike a thing that is good for you, and that you love a thing that is bad for you. But Allah knows, and you know not. ” [Sûrah al-Baqarah: 216]

Conclusion for today’s lesson:

To show that you’re confident with the answer you receive from ALLAH is that you’re ready to face the risks that come along with it.

Posted in Life's Like That | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

KB Mall Tragedy: A rescuer’s side of the story

Posted by nuruliman45 on December 9, 2009

I surprisingly got an unexpected comment to the recent entry I posted the other day.  Couldn’t help but share it with you all.

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KB Mall 6 Dis ‘09 : Before the Memory fades from my old temporal lobe and life returns the Usual.

The sales person handed me the change for my wife’s new Sony Ericcson. I quickly put the clamshell into my left pocket ….”Translate: Better not lose it if I needed my hands busy”. Made my way through the crowd less than 1 minute after the booommm. Went stupidly close to the upturned car to take pictures with my handphone (fortunately the car didn’t explode). Through my phone’s screen, I saw a figure lying in a nurse’s uniform in left lateral position 10 feet in front of Watson’s. Nobody was within 5 feet of her.

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I hurried to her left and squatted. Saw some movement of her head. Helped by a lady (later found out to be a seasoned clinic nurse) to turn her supine …. I tried maintaining relative immobility of her head. (later realized forgotten the proper way).

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The moment I touched her, the same old thought crossed the mind “You are my patient … Allah has intended it to be so for reasons only He knows”

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“So much blood from her mouth !!! What to do? In hospital simply suction then intubate” There’s obvious neck muscle movements but nothing else moves. “There must be a pulse coz she’s moving. But how to give her oxygen?”.
Tried opening her mouth. Crackling sensation accompanied . Her maxillary bone was fractured.

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Looking at her chest … she appeared the “normal figure” with uniform on. “Should I expose her?? Naah … better not. Can get beaten for indecent behaviour. This is Kelantan”. Tried to pull her tudung to clear the blood of her face and out her mouth. But her head was on her tudung … could’t do it without moving her head.

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“Ya Allah … the clock is ticking. I need to do something. Eeemm ..Why not try chest compression. If no cracking sensation and good recoil, her rib cage should be intact” Gave few short ones … felt okay. Then gave her the full blown 100/min in 30s … though may have overdone it to 150/min following my own adrenaline-rushed heart rate.

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“Kain!Kain !Kain!! (meaning cloth)” I blurted it out continuously.”Please la, someone hand me something to wipe out all this blood from her mouth”. (Surprised to hear myself later on youtube shouting “kain,kain”). Pop … a pair of white sport socks dropped onto my lap. Well ..better then nothing.

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Wiped the blood of her lips. Felt her maxillary bone fragments crackling again. No point asking anyone to do the jaw thrust. “Emmm .. my 7half-size-glove left hand may just stretch enough for my index finger and thumb to hold both her jaw angles”. Tried it. “Alhamdulillah, this may just work”. And the concavity of my left hand’s first web space held her fragmented maxilla good enough for her lip to move apart.

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“Direct mouth to mouth?…. Better not. I’d vomit if swallowed her blood. And again this is Kelantan”. “HIV,Hepatitis B,C ….no worry. All student nurses are screened. . I do their RMEs all the time.”
Placed the blood stained sock on her opened lip and gave her the first rescue breath. ‘No can do .”. The air just dissipated through the thick sport socks. No chest rise.

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“Kain .. kain …kain!!”. Again I blurted out. Pop … a white kain tudung dropped onto her face. “This is better..Surely I can breathe better thru it compared to the thick socks”.

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And so I gave her rescue breaths, realizing only 1 in every 2-3 breaths was followed by a chest rise. Continuously adjusting my left hand grip on her jaws and at the same time feeling her right carotid pulse with my left ring and little finger. Frequently reapplying and folding the kain tudung to breath thru to her until it became fully blood soaked. Occasionally having to spit out my blood stained saliva or wiping my face with my shirt … occasionally having to hold back the strong urge to vomit.

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On off pausing to see any spontaneous breathing. She was still trying to catch her own breathe … but to no avail.
Noticed few others coming to help me .. though didn’t have the time to look at their faces. A guy kneeled and whispered “LailahaillAllah” continuously to her right ear. Indeed, his voice was helping her in the most important way … much more than what my blood stained hands and lips could.

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Another came to try persuade me to turn her to the left lateral position. I resisted. “Should I tell everyone that I’m a doctor??…”. My low self esteem kicked into gear … so I didn’t and kept quiet. Some other guy who probably had some old school CPR training gave 5 chest compressions every time I paused from my rescue breaths. No point reminding him that it’s unnecessary when there’s patient movement and a pulse. Detrimental to her? Not too sure myself. Perhaps she could do with the adrenaline surge from his chest compressions. “Let him be, he’s trying his best to help. Just don’t stop to long from my rescue breaths or he’ll start pressing again”

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It felt like the longest wait for the ambulance. The constant recitation of “LailahaillAllah” kept reminding me that none of us has any power unless what Allah lends to us. None of us could do anything to change what He had decreed for the girl.

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”What more can I do ??? Primary and secondary survey perhaps, then cardiac monitoring. What about running intravenous fluids and packed cells?”. “Hey, is there an ultrasound machine on sale here in KB mall I can use for a FAST … my patient sure is turning pale!!” I would be kidding myself to have had such thoughts. Between my rescue breaths , feeling of helplessness ever grows.
The pool of her blood began seeping through my wet pants to my knees. She was bleeding … and it’s not from her mouth. “Clinically cervical injury with comminuted maxillary bone fracture”. Even a 1st year meds school student knows that diagnoses usually comes after “Severe Head Injury”, not before it.
As her pupils began to react sluggishly and dilate, her carotid pulse brady and weak .. I began to wonder whether I’m torturing her and delaying the inevitable. Should I have just watched her from the sideline from the beginning. A pakcik wearing a kopiah tapped my right shoulder and asked me to let her go. “What should I do??” Am I her doctor to pronounce her DIL (Death in line) in public.? Or am I just a bystander who should continue doing the basic until proper help arrives??

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“Thinking about it now .. I didn’t delay the inevitable. Allah has taken her the very second she was written to be .. in a place where no one would aspect to be in an MVA (motorvehicle accident). Looking back at it now … I was helping the other man as long as he can to remind her of Allah’s oneness LailahaillAllah. She barely moved, but I hope she was listening … and her heart accepting.
As she became very pale , I began giving chest compressions. Her blood pressure must be very low .. she’s gasping but I hardly felt her pulse. “Pushing blood to the brain” was how we crudely relate about chest compression at the casualty unit … sometimes joking about it.

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I could hear sirens wailing for minutes. As the guys on my left and right began stepping back out of my hindsight, I was left alone again with the dying girl. And as the paramedics placed their emergency bag on the floor, I requested an oropharyngeal airway. They obliged. Placed it in her mouth, and gave her 2 good rescue breaths. Requested the laryngoscope and an endotracheal tube ETT. Gave more rescue breaths and attempted intubation. The ETT without an introducer stylet wouldn’t bend upward thru her cords. Sure took a while for the paramedic to find the introducer.

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Post intubation, an honorable fellow doctor helped to ascertain air entry and cervical collar placement. Again the public lend in their hands for a perfect supine lift of her onto the stretcher.

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After a few words with the paramedic, I quickly made my way through the crowd as I’ve given the Sony Ericsson box to a bystander. I gave her one last look across my shoulder and realized I have forgotten one last important thing.

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I walked back to her …. took the fully blood stained kain tudung which had been the lifeline between me and her, and placed it onto her exposed neck and upper chest. She was a Muslim .. so let me leave her as one. That night I learned from TV3 news she passed away on the way to hospital.

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Al-Fatihah … may Allah accept her as a Muslim and a Mukmin. Amin.

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