Sweet Elements

Remember I said I had the list of things I wanted to blog about at some point?

I decided that the first thing I wanted to blog about was my allergic reaction (that is still ongoing).


I even titled it “The Allergen”.

It was slated to be my comeback post!

I was halfway through it, and then I just stopped and thought to myself:


Ya… but I was still about to publish it because I’ve already written half of it (I was getting to the exciting bit…) but I decided something else was more important.

If this were to be the only post you’ll ever read on this space, I hope this post will serve more purpose.

So here I go!

I tend to ramble a lot I apologise.

Okay, so the standard ritual behind every blog post (which typically comes on Saturday night):

I’ll think of the content. Start phrasing it in my head whenever I’m free – before sleeping, while I’m showering, while I’m sitting around doing nothing, while I’m sitting around doing something, while I’m webcasting lectures.. you get it. Then I’ll write the post.

I haven’t had much time to process this post though so it’s a little incoherent (as in real-life).

Warning: word vomit! 

While I was doing my social media hop around, I landed in Dayre – I love that microblogging platform, and I’ve been a silent reader for a really long time. For some reason, there are many doctors there who write about their lives, and it’s always exciting to read about their lives and stories from the wards.

I would share the post over here but the post doesn’t show up in browsers due to Dayre’s privacy policy… so I’ll just summarise (and quote bits of) the post here:
(Dr Jing’s story)

A 30-year-old gentleman had a flare of bad diarrhoea about a fortnight ago and came in with a funny numbness in his feet, the working diagnosis from a peripheral hospital was something called Guillain-Barré Syndrome (rare autoimmune disorder which can cause weakness and numbness in muscles, usually due to prior infection).

However, his findings were very inconsistent with the presumed diagnosis – acute kidney injury, abnormal liver scans (innumerable spots) and chest pains which he complained after lifting weights in the gym – he was bulking up for his wedding in four weeks.

After going through various scans and lab tests, Stage IV Colorectal Cancer was the diagnosis – it has metastasised from the bowels, to the kidneys and liver, and even the bones of his ribs (explaining the chest pain).

It’s a heavy story, isn’t it?

The thing is, it’s real life and it is happening right now to this gentleman (and his fiancé) and to so many other people across the world.

2 weeks of diarrhoea turning out to be something else…

Life really hits you in the most unpredictable ways. :-(

It has been a few days since I read this, but I’m still thinking about it and feeling upset and unfair for him.

But what purpose does this serve?

When life hits, you hit back harder.

Being a doctor has been my ambition from a young age.

I’m not going to go all-out personal-statementy on you, but this seems to be incredulous to many many people.

I’ve talked to a couple of friends about it, I’ve talked to adults about this, and some of them seem to think that “saving lives” isn’t a good-enough reason to sustain the passion for medicine. (…which begs the question what is?)

There are seniors (however old) who are extremely jaded, and even my family doctor tells me:

“Wah all these pimples… you’re too stressed, see la, told you not to be a doctor!”

Haha she’s so cute. She’s the seemingly cynical kind of doctor with tough love and only the best for her patients.

Everybody calls the Year 1 Medical Student the bright-eyed bushy-tailed one, and over the years, it has been predicted (and proven?) that the eyes will get a little less bright and the tail will get a little less bushy (hair loss as a result of stress!)…

What’s left could be a bald and dull potato, but I think what’s most important is what lies between the lungs (….. I mean the heart).

Yes I hear the crickets that was super corny yucks but still true to a certain extent.

Even though there are the doctors do not persuade (read: actively dissuade) others to join the field, you can bet that they are still dedicated to their patients and treat them with the love and respect they deserve.

(I love potatoes by the way. Especially when they’re fried and shoestring thin. But not my doctors.)

ANYWAY nonsense aside…

I’m on my second year into Medicine, and these two years have mostly been academic work – the foundations have to be firm (regretfully not so firm at this point for me I think), so it’s essential to know the pathophysiology behind everything, all the microorganisms in the world from bacteria to fungi to helminths (one of my favourites is Orientia Tsutsugamushi for its exotic name), corresponding drugs for all conditions (my least favourite is Hydrochlorothiazide because I now associate it with a terrifying encounter with a simulated patient) and not to forget basic anatomy (alongside many other things).

When I was little, I had a bad case of constipation.

This used to be embarrassing as heck for me to share, because EEYER CANNOT POOP!! MY FRIENDS WILL LAUGH AT ME!! 

But sharing this now for the greater good okay. And there are plenty of drugs for constipation that I now know exist.

It was a traumatising experience because my pain level shot up to 10 – I was in deeeeeeeeeeeep pain and I couldn’t even move or sit up.

Worried parents sent me to A&E.


Young-looking female doctor.

Dad sighs. Mum paces the floor.

Young girl presents with: Abdominal pain which localises near right lower quadrant, rebound tenderness, loss of appetite, inability to urinate/pass gas…

Diagnosis: Appendicitis

If the nine-year-old me knew what I knew today, I would have self-diagnosed appendicitis as well.

But nine-year-old me obviously didn’t, and my dad freaked out when the doctor said “WE GOTTA OPERATE AND REMOVE HER APPENDIX!!”, they ran a couple of tests and ya… (thankfully) anti-climatic: constipation.

I also made an uneventful recovery.

But I can’t say I didn’t bear a tiny grudge towards Ms Young Doctor over the years because she could have removed my adorable little appendix – though its function is questionable.



Moral of the story: be tolerant, forgiving, and poop when you have to

I feel like (read: know that) in the future I’d be the Ms Young Doctor in question but I will promise to work harder and become a good and reliable doc in the future, as much as possible.


I wanted to write this post in the first place because of the little story I shared above.

Medicine is really a combination of both art and science, and it definitely isn’t easy to have a good grasp of both.

In order to be a good doctor, you HAVE to know everything and you HAVE to have soft skills, e.g. breaking bad news and giving enough love to your patients.

But it’s way harder being a caretaker to a patient, especially to a patient you love deeply whose time is running out.

I remember going to the ICU department last year, and we came across a young gentleman who was admitted to the hospital after a car accident. He had a form of intra-cranial bleeding and was not fully conscious/responsive, and he was also unable to move his limbs. I remember his father being there (from work), just sitting there and watching him… and the thing is, this gentleman couldn’t be more than 2 or 3 years older than me. Life is so fragile. I cannot fully empathise with his father of course, but I can only imagine how nerve-wrecking and anxious and worried and upset and heartbroken he must be for his son, who could potentially lose basic functions like communicating and moving around on his own.

I think at the end of the day, I just want to drive across the following points:

  • Take good care of your health (and safety)
  • Treasure your loved ones
  • If anyone’s not feeling well, get them to check it out and not gungho-it-out

I think our (grand)parents are usually reluctant to go for health check-ups and it takes huge amounts of effort for them to see a doctor because they have the magical powers of knowing themselves best, and “nothing is wrong“… And I sure definitely hope so!!

But it’s still important to ensure everybody is in good health – encourage them to go for routine check-ups (mammogram and pap smears for ladies too)!!

While making sure your loved ones are healthy, it’s important to check yourself also.

Sleep a little more.

Eat a little better.

Relax a little longer.

Dont stress yourself out too much, everything is going okay.

Yes, even if finals is in 5 weeks.

/breathes in and out calmly/ 

I think you can give your loved ones a little hug tonight. Or tomorrow.

Or do something nice for them.

Or just tell them you love them.

But don’t neglect yourself either!

Love yourself and take care!!

Alright, thanks for reading this post up till here :-)

You’re a special one.

Stay hale and hearty!

Good night.

Also, I read the messages you guys left behind on the previous post….

Relationship advice?? Heh??

My mum’s answer to that was tell your parents”.


Okay so heres a little poll for the ones who reached this point.

I’m not expecting (m)any to vote but if you did and clicked “yes”, I’m sure they will appreciate it greatly :-) You’ve committed to this ah!!

Okay this post is really a little disorganised.


P.S. I won’t be sharing my posts on social media all the time, so if you miss me, just come back over the weekends! Hahaha.



I may be the only one excited to be back on this space, but I hope you know I’m happy to connect with you again.

If you’re an old reader:

I’ve missed you! Remember how I always used to say when you’re reading my blog, it’s just you and me in the world? It’s true. Look at us having a conversation. Even though you always don’t seem to respond, I appreciate your presence. And your poll replies – I’ve missed those too. Throwback to those days I made y’all vote between sweet and salted popcorn, or if you’d rather not have an elbow or a knee.

If you’re a new reader:

Hi! You’re probably confused right now. How do I introduce this space?

There’s nothing much to look back on right now because I have privated all 65 pages worth of my older posts.

The oldest one goes all the way back to November 2011.

But I’ve kept 4 posts on here:

a) My BBDC post –  I think this is probably the only reason why I am still getting traffic on this space. I hope it helped lots of people, because if I can get a driving license, so can you. You can laugh at me but you shouldn’t laugh at female drivers in general by the way!

b) My Struggling Student post – because I spent a lot of time writing that post. It’s pretty embarrassing but it’s pretty close to my heart… I feel things when I read that post!

c) My 20 moments post – there are only 10 moments on that post, but basically you’ll get to know me as a person after reading through that. Basically sums up my schooling life.

d) My OBS post – my moment of glory when Outward Bound Singapore shared this on their Facebook page! It’s still getting hits, so I figured some little ones will be over-excited and google OBS before their camp. Not sure how much of it is still the same, but yes, same logic: if I survived OBS, so can you. HAHAHA.

I’ve really missed writing on this space. Most of my other posts are nonsensical because all the images are gone (if you’ve been here long enough, you know why) and completely ridiculous. They are my kind of ridiculous, so I’ll keep them for my own reading pleasure. I think you probably have a few questions in your head.

Why did I stop?

I have no idea – but it’s probably because I got tired of posting every Saturday. I’ve exhausted my creative brain juices and my posts just became an open diary of my life. What I did that week, what I ate that week… and I’m someone who sticks to routines. My friends told me it’d be easy to kill me because I always “eat the same thing“. They’re still my friends. HAHAHAHA. But it got me thinking that I was sharing way too much of my life online, so I just stopped. The writing feels also stopped. Therefore my vocabulary is still comparable to that of a Secondary Three student (or worse).

Why am I back?

I have no idea. Since I stopped writing on this space consistently, I didn’t feel the need to check back, but when I did, sometimes I’d see a comment or two, and I’d reply them and go on my way.

I’ve been toying with the idea of writing again for a long time now, and I’m not saying I’ll be consistently updating this space, but at least I have gathered some more life stories to share.

I miss having things to look back on.

I find myself back here reading 10 pages worth of posts, before scurrying off because I really do have better things to do :-(

I’ve hopped across many different social media platforms to jot down bits and pieces of my life… but it’s not the same la.

Not to mention my cousin is still paying for my domain after so many years (thank you G, I really appreciate it!!) and it is such a waste to throw this away.

Also because my mum is my biggest fan, and she has been telling me to update this space again and again from time to time.

I have a whole list of stories I want to share! They’re currently in my iPhone notes. It’s a bit daunting to start writing again, but I shall not be ashamed of myself… ahaha.

This is my form of stress relief also hahaha school has been pretty hectic, but fulfilling nonetheless.

Anyway, if you’re interested to stay around, consider subscribing (it’s at the sidebar!) – I have nothing to benefit from that la but you’ll receive notifications when I post.

I can’t promise a weekly one, but I promise I’ll be back very soon.

Because I have a thing for writing close to exams, and my finals are coming in 6 weeks.

Ha ha ha.

In fact, CA2 just ended yesterday.


Anyway… theres not much in this post actually. Just a friendly “hello I’m back!” and you can look forward to the next few posts.

Some of them are pretty exciting if I can say so myself.

Sorry there isn’t anything substantial in this one, but I just wanted to formally introduce myself again. If you’re itching to read something, you can just scroll down!

Before I say good night…

I’ll leave this here! I’m curious to know what you guys would like to read about too :-)

We have a bit to catch up on!

(If you have anything… just fill this in. Your response will be visible to only me!)

Hahaha I know it’s incredibly odd to be blogging about this, but while I was going through the process, I knew I googled a lot of things (especially before my actual TP Test) so I decided I should write a post on this. 

To help other fellow Google-rs who want to find out more about this!! And once again, to entertain my friends who actually read this space… who are at various stages now, from unregistered to test-takers-to-be. :-) 

Actually I don’t really have much things to say, and that everything is pretty straightforward. I can’t be sure the information I write here is 100% accurate, but yes this is what an ignorant member of the public knows about what she has gone through! 

Learning to drive has been a huge part of my break so far, so yes, I find the need to jot all the little details down. I hope it’s either helpful for you, or entertaining la okay. Nice big headers to help you navigate to relevant sections.

General Summary:

- Learnt 3A (Auto) and passed my TP Test on first attempt *v* (I was really lucky)
– Spent ~$2.6k altogether from compulsory theory things (lessons, practices, evaluation) to practicals to TP test
– Cleared everything theory-related by Jan (only exception is FTT actual test in late Feb)
– Practical lessons took place from Mid-Feb to End-Apr (2 months plus)

1) The First Step 

Of course, the first thing you need to do if you wish to register as a school candidate will be to head down to the centre – people can argue all day about the pros and cons about learning in the school or as a private learner, and the reason why I opted to go as a school candidate is mainly because my sister strongly encouraged it (from her past experience) since I am completely diving into this without knowing what’s really going on.

I guess as a private candidate, the benefits are evident: flexible timings with your instructors (some friends of mine have instructors who impose rules of arranging maximum one lesson a week), not needing to take PRACTICES and EVALUATIONS before basic/final theory tests, not needing to attend FOUR  COMPULSORY THEORY LESSONS, and most importantly, the debatable “BECAUSE IT’S CHEAPER!!!!!!!” reason.

I wouldn’t know for sure if it’s cheaper – stats point out that private students have a higher chance of failing (but I don’t know where these stats are from…) and as such, the hefty test fees ($235.72) will have to be paid again and again and again, depending on how many times you fail. This number has apparently gone up to 10 before. But then again, I wouldn’t know…

ANYWAY I will stop spouting nonsense and I will urge you to consider going to the school to learn, unless you know of amazing private instructors who are lovely to hang out with, for 90-100 minutes a week.

This post is really about the school, so yes. I will stop blabbering.

I think the total fees paid for my driving license (WHICH CAME A FEW DAYS AGO!) came up to $2.6k, but I know this is pretty pricey and that some people have paid ~$1.8k or less. I think the crazy amount of revision lessons I booked may have contributed greatly to this amount. I didn’t want to fail my TP test at my first attempt, because failing it meant needing to pay another 400 bucks (test fees and 2 compulsory revision lessons – apparently you need not attend, but you need to pay, so… yeah) and I don’t want to waste anymore money la!!

2) Theory 

Okay, so the deal in BBDC is that you have to attend 4 theory lessons (they will scan your NRIC before and after the lesson, to ensure you’re REALLY there) and before you’re allowed to book for your actual Basic Theory Test (BTT) and Final Theory Test (FTT), you have to pass the evaluation of the test first. I don’t think practices are compulsory, but it’ll be good for you to attend at least one to attempt a few questions (the ones I found online werent nearly as good, because the questions from the practices ARE reused in both the evaluation and the actual test). Full marks for these tests are very attainable, but FTT was really tricky for me. I had a hard time understanding how the clutch worked okay because I was just guessing here and there.

I am actually pretty competitive and I made sure I scored full marks for both tests to boast to my sister and my mother. Who didn’t really care anyways. (I am kidding)

Theory is really a breeze, and I strongly recommend you to attend practice sessions for FTT (maybe BTT is too B) before going for evaluation. It’s really not easy peasy lemon squeeeeeeezy. But maybe its just me.

3) Practical 

This is probably the most exciting part!!!

When you pass your BTT, you can book for all your practical lessons. I took my BTT in End Jan, and the earliest CLUMP of slots I could book began in late March la okay. The thing about booking is that you can only book 3 lessons PER WEEK in advance. I didn’t know then, but I quickly found out. Anyway, I started picking up the try-sell slots from mid-Feb, which I strongly encourage everybody to do, to get things moving quickly. My friend then told me I could actually attend 3 + scramble to buy try-sell slots within the week – but I had no clue!!! 

I was very confused all the way from the beginning la I was really just knocking my way around.

When you book at one shot, you will usually get a FIXED group, without the surcharge. If you decide that you want to decide on that particular group in the future, and you book insufficient lessons, you will need to pay $3+ more for the group, or ~$6 for the SAME instructor. Therefore, I strongly urge you to book up to 30 lessons at one go, if possible. Or book THE MAXIMUM you can.

This sounds crazy right. But better safe than sorry, and the cancellation limit at BBDC’s portal is up to 1000 times, i.e. at the end of the day, you can just cancel the remaining slots you didn’t use, and get back whatever money those lessons are worth!!! Don’t worry about cancelling your slots 2 days before they’re due – they’ll be wiped out before you can blink. Because when you’re at the end of your journey, others are just beginning theirs. And they’re intense. HAHAHAHAHA.

My instructor group was G8035, and the instructors are really all incredibly lovely (at least those I met!) I would describe them all, but it’s a little creepy. If you ever decide to choose your own instructor group (they’re randomly allocated), then you can bet on them.

The thing about picking up try-sell slots (i.e. slots that other people cancelled less than 2 days before their lesson) is that you get their instructor group, so for the first five lessons or so, I was jumping about randomly. And I had this really scary man for my Stage 1 Review.

Ahh I have so many things to say!!!!!!

Anyway there will be five stages altogether, where you learn the basic stuff (Stage 1), the more advanced stuff like lane-changing/u-turn (Stage 2), the circuit stuff like parking/ramp/slope/crank courses (Stage 3), the test routes (Stage 4) and the final revision (Stage 5). There’s always a review lesson at the end of each stage for the instructor to evaluate your progress.

Evidently I was very, very terrible (hopefully better now) on the road at the beginning (it was my sixth lesson), and the aforementioned scary instructor had zero tolerance for my crap. I think he was having a bad day and meeting me shot his anger scale from a 10/10 to a 100/10, because I did silly things like stopping behind a yellow box to wait for the bus to leave. Emergency jamming because I was so bad at controlling the brakes. Not observing street signs properly and the speed limits. AIYA I really was a terrible driver that day (he made me so nervous too!) but he was really frightening and I prayed I would never ever get him again. And I didn’t. HAHAHAHAHA. He told me to run if I ever saw him again. It was really that bad. But I didn’t see him because he wasnt in my group to begin with!!

The first time I went for lesson I had no idea how anything worked and I was so surprised that the instructor knew exactly what lesson I was on (Lesson 1) and then I realised they update their iPads in real time la so obviously he knew. But I really was so clueless hahahaha. Okay not funny.

I cleared the curriculum in 22 lessons (including the one I forgot to bring my NRIC = cannot leave the circuit and it was Stage 2 wahh heart pain) but I booked another 8 revision lessons afterwards HAHAHA because I wanted to book my traffic police test a few weeks later (I knew I wasnt ready to take on the tester!!!) and yes.. I decided on 20 May. Because the 20th of each month is very special to me!

I wish I can give more credit to all the instructors who ever taught me – Mr Wee (the team leader WE DEVELOPED A BOND… hopefully not one-sided), Mr Toh (honestly my favourite because he was so bubbly and patient),Mr Yeo, Mr Yeow, Mr Ng, Mr Wee (another instructor!), Mr Tang… and more!! But these instructors are the ones I’ve gotten a few times over my 30 lessons hahahaha.

4) Actual TP Test

I cannot describe to you how nervous I was for my TP Test. I think most of it stems from the additional pressure I placed on myself – I must pass on my first attempt because I’ve wasted enough $!!

It was quite reassuring to hear from Mr Wee (the team leader) that I was “expected to pass” two lessons before my test (I thought that’d be the last time I saw him!!! But he was my warm-up instructor hahahah more on that later)… I think that is a great progress from that time the other Mr Wee told me “you should pass on your second or third attempt”, because he said I was too safe on the road and its easy to get penalised! My Stage 5 review didn’t go all that well……. and I really am not an amazing driver. How I perform is really dependent on how relaxed I feel with the instructor, and that really shouldn’t be the case.

My actual test day came on 20 May 2016 as mentioned, and I was so incredibly lucky. For many reasons.

#1 It didn’t rain, despite the fact that the weather forecasted predicted heavy thunderstorms, and that it has been raining like mad for the past few days.

#2 My instructor for warm-up was Mr Wee (I warmed up to him – he wasnt the most loving in the beginning hahaha!) and he was reassuring and reminded me patiently what I should do/look out for… and the route he brought me in the circuit during my warm-up was very similar to my actual test. Which makes me wonder if he actually knew…………….. (I don’t think so but I can’t be sure)

#3 The test route I took was Test Route 6, towards the CCK area, which has no U-turns (something I struggle with). It’s not about steering the wheel/making the turn itself, but more of lane-changing smoothly all the way to the left (and sometimes back to the right for a right-turn) in heavy fast traffic. And I think all the other routes have U-turns in them REALLY INSANE I don’t know how I managed to get such incredible luck.

#4 My tester didn’t test me on the emergency brake – previously, my instructors told me that my E-brake was a little too soft, but I perfected it during my warm-up session la because I asked Mr Wee to keep slamming the dashboard HAHAHAH but still I wasnt 100% confident – which is odd, because E-brake is very straightforward. It just involves slamming the brakes as hard as you can IMMEDIATELY after the instructor beats the poop out of the dashboard. But oh well!

Basically you have a warm-up session before your actual test, which lasts up to 30+ minutes. The test can start as soon as this session ends, or it can drag out to around half an hour later. For me, I booked Session 6 (I think?) – my warm up started at 12.55pm and my test began at 1.45pm or so. The test car was in terrific condition, so the brakes were amazing and it felt newer la.

During my warm-up, nothing went wrong except that I accidentally rolled slowly off the stop-line without completely stopping and made a right turn – which can give me an immediate failure in the actual test la. The day before, I mounted the kerb at the S-course which never happened before and I was terrified it would happen again. I really was a ball of nerves, and my sister asked if I was more nervous before my Uni admissions interview or driving test. My answer was the latter.

I think cars are very dangerous if a reckless driver happens to be in charge of the wheel, and we all know how they are capable of causing unfavourable scenarios, and I really wanted to be safe while competent at the same time.

But okay deep thoughts aside, while I was waiting in the room for my tester to call my name, I was surprisingly calm and all I can say is… being calm is really the way to ace the test!!

I didn’t exactly ace the test though, because I got 18 points (to pass, you have to get below 20 points)… and 12 came from the last five minutes when I was lane-changing to get back to the centre. I was too eager because I was close to the junction already and there was a taxi behind me la but okay in the end I got 12 points from lane-changing abruptly and causing another vehicle to take evasive action (not really… but okay).

I really have no good tips to offer, but I think its essential to score 0 points in the circuit – try to make sure everything is perfect inside, because road conditions are always unpredictable! And it’s really not difficult la to do well in the circuit as long as all the turning points are noted properly + don’t mount kerbs at all costs!! And really just take it easy and breathe – the worst that can happen is that all does not go well but that can be fixed!! I really know how nerve-wrecking it can be.

I wasnt expecting to pass, even though I really, really wanted to, but I am so thankful I ultimately did at my first attempt! They say a lot of it is based on luck – your tester’s mood, your test route, the weather, the time slot’s traffic conditions and roadworks, etc. but I think a large portion is how calm you are. The fact that you made it to booking a test already means you got the basics down la so just need to make sure you’re calm and steady, then the testers will be happy and will be willing to overlook tiny mistakes. And be polite!! And smile!!

Oh ya. About the time slot for tests, a lot of people have different sayings – an instructor told me a good time will be 9+, and another said 11-2 will be nice, and another just said dont book peak periods (first and last slot). I think session 5/6 are optimum time slots but I think just avoiding peak periods will be a good time!!

Anyway I was immensely happy I managed to pass my test that day (mum and sis came down at 2.20pm and was shocked to see my test car #146 back at the school and thought I failed, since my test supposedly started at 2pm HAHA) but yes! I still need loads and loads and loads of practice, especially when roads in the real world aren’t nearly as safe as those around BBDC.

If you’re still on the fence whether to join the school/be a private candidate, I really don’t know what advice to give because both have their perks, but I just want to say that I had a great experience with the school, and that I would go with the school if I had to – however, it also depends on how much time you have in your hands and if your schedule is flexible. I effectively cleared my practical lessons/test in 3 months! It could have been faster but being the noob I am, I had to book more practical lessons and a later test date HAHAHAHA.

Okay, that’s about all I want to say about BBDC!! I can’t say with conviction that learning driving in schools > learning in private, but BBDC was great for me from the start till the end!!

I know how confusing it can get before you embark on this journey, but yes I hope this gave you a clearer idea (at whichever stage you are at). 

Seey’all :-) 

P.S. Shoutout to mama and jiejie for sending me to BBDC and waiting there even, on good days. I love you 2 many many, even when you scream at me while I drive your cars around town.