A Doc's Life is a underground Medical Blog about some poor Singapore doctors. They are sibei sian and very buay song. Best practices not observed!
(Warning: Grammar is non existent in this blog. Those obsessively compulsive about good English please go no further and book an appointment to see your psychiatrist in Singapore.)

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Tip of a Cigarette

Ah Pek was admitted to the hospital after he complained of breathlessness associated with cough and fever for about 2 weeks. He has been smoking since he was in Primary Six when some friends introduced him to this brand called “555”. He has since upgraded to Malboro. (Perhaps in his heart, Ah Pek had always wanted to be a cowboy after watching some black & white film at a nearby community centre. Perhaps.)

Ah Pek went for a chest X-Ray during this admission. Apart from consolidation in his lungs, they also noticed this little nodule near the left apex. He was advised about the possibility of lung cancer. Ah Pek remembered that his father, who was also a smoker, died of lung cancer. He also remembered when he was in Secondary 2, his father coughed out blood after a huge argument with him about quitting school.

Ah Pek's children have been trying for years to get him to stop smoking. They even got his grandchildren to "hint" to grandpa that he should stop. But Ah Pek never listened to them.

That day, Ah Pek returned to the ward after his CT scan of the thorax and abdomen. He carefully took out 2 sticks of malboro hidden between his stack of underwear and fished out a lighter from his drawer. He told the nurse that he was going downstairs for coffee. He did not wait for their reply and left the ward anyway.

Ah Pek went to the ground floor, squatted near the staircase landing and lighted his cigarette. He did this yesterday, the day before and on the day after his admission. He was still having a fever then.

Ah Pek was oblivious that people were walking past him, looking at him. Here was a man in hospital attire smoking. Here was a man, coughing in between the puffs.

As Ah Pek turned to flick the cigarette ash away, he heard a very very loud thump, and he felt raindrops on his face, his arms.

They were not raindrops. They were reddish, pinkish. And some of it was not liquid. Something mushy. In front of Ah Pek was the body of a fat patient, a fat patient who used to be alive a couple of seconds ago. The body was lying face down, limbs distorted, bent at places where the limbs were not supposed to bend.

Ah Pek was still sitting there when the crowds started to come. The cigarette was still lighted with ash gathered on the tip. Tiny red droplets could be seen on the pale, whitish portion of the stick.

Ah Pek never smoked again.

And it was not lung cancer.


  1. Anonymous11:04 AM

    huh? what happened? the fat patient landed on Ah-Pek? Damn, high-rise falling objects.. Don't they have a place to die elsewhere?

  2. Dr Oz bloke11:38 AM

    Eh Dr Og,

    You should do a short film with that story.

    Might win you a prize. I'm just visualising the look on the ah pek with him holding the stained cigarette with a bit of tremor in his hands and quivering lips.

    And then the scren fades to black with the words on how he quit and it was NOT cancer.

    Would make a good short film for what it's worth :)

  3. Did think about that before...

    Throw a pig's carcass down and have the actual "blood/brain juice-flying-everywhere" scene.

  4. Dr Oz bloke11:53 AM

    Err....you're referring to actually throwing the pig's carcass? Then that's killer litter. Won't work in Singapore have to go abroad to film such scenes from cliffs or something. Last I knew Singapore go no cliffs one.

    Or use CGI lah :D

    Wah lau eh , doctors thinking of directing movie. Guess hang cheng bo ho hor?

  5. Pig's carcass? Remind me of the ex-stewardess who is on trial for throwing her ex lover's child down the block. They actually used pork to renact the whole scenario.

  6. Dr. BL Og is a man with many talents mah

  7. chimera1:21 PM

    Hmmm...nourishing piece of work you've got. It'd be very interesting to see Dr's composition or essays in his school days...and the comments from his teachers...Probably the teachers would have a good time reading them too.

  8. Ha... Dr. Og's teachers probably did not like my work too much.

  9. shock therapy works da best.

  10. australian med student9:10 PM

    hey i think if you make this into a film, the Health Promotion Board will definately use it for their anti-smoking campaigns.

  11. Ha!
    You are kidding... so next time when someone wants to jump... invite all those who wants to quit smoking there??

  12. australian med student bf12:30 PM

    dear dear

  13. australian med student bf12:30 PM

    dear dear

  14. australian med student bf12:30 PM

    dear dear

  15. australian med student1:44 PM

    Hey your computer hanged or what? dear so many times.........

  16. aust med student bf1:04 AM

    my comp got too excited when i think of u ... hahaha!