Sep 23, 2009

Ramadhan and me | 1

Post call today. Worst call ever yesterday. Ever. Ever.

I might as well be walking around with a noose.


As an MD in the hospy, unlike in the health sides, public holidays may not be public holiday per se. We gotta stay back and do on call, so that my Muslim colleagues can take their Raya break.

I could say that it was a blessing that I had only one Chinese colleague in my department. Therefore, I could take a longer stretch of break during the festive season. It is good as that will be the once a year time when my dearest will get to go back to her hometown. What makes her happy, makes me happy twice. Perhaps thrice.


I did not make it seem so obvious, but I kind of like her place very much. Small suburban place. Lotsa green. Pretty layback. It is just like those relaxing beach place, minus the roaring sea and the sandy beach. A good place to sit back and do nothing.

I guess lots would have agree, a bit of ‘nothing’ once a while, or once in a blue moon is such a wonderful thing.

Just ask yourself, when is the last time you have yourself the perfect ‘nothing’. Sort of like a retreat.

Yeah, I know it is 5 months away. But, a man, you know, gotta think ahead sometimes.

As a Malaysian for more than 20years, I thought I knew all about the Malay and Muslim tradition, culture and practice – all the songkoks, masjids, Al-Quran, 5 prayers per day, no alcohol, ketupats, khalwats, pahalas, dosas, polygamy if mampu (now, I heard it’s polygamy if nak mampus), quota system, infidel, and so on and so forth.

During my primary school times, my best vivid memory of Ramadhan is when the headmaster announced this piece of instruction during the morning assembly.

“Now, students… Listen up. This is Ramadhan month, when all Muslims schoolmates fasting. So, if you’re eating or drinking, make sure you’re not within sights of your Muslim schoolmates.”

And so for years after that, I learn to go into hidings whenever I am having my meals. Since that time till now, I was programmed that way every Ramadhan.

I kept discovering more and more, especially when I am treating patients who were Muslims.

Do correct me if I am wrong. I didn’t have this information from ulamas or top religious leaders, but from layperson Muslims.

During my uni years, the only thing that crossed the path of Islam and OBGY was about the miscarriages or abortions as makruh. I bet makruh does contain a large definition and meaning, but in simple term, my friend told me it was something that is not dosa (sin) but still it is not encouraged to do it.

Something about dosa, correct me if I am wrong. Muslims believe that the soul is within the body and when one dies, the soul will leave the body and back to Allah (The one and only God). With every dosas being committed, there will be a nail strongly hammered onto the body through the soul. Therefore the process of the soul leaving the body, the excruciating pain will equal to the tearing of the soul at each dosa nail site.

In the month of Ramadhan, the fasting month, the Muslim patients presented to us with several challenges. These challenges to some medical practitioner may seems like a difficulty or a meddlesome affair, but being religious, and sticking to it in a good way (good way meaning saying no to abusing severed cow head) can be pretty spiritually and mentally awesome. Needless to say, the mind precedes all thing and forerunner of all things. First lesson in Dhammapada. (Yes, this is a little bit of Buddhism)

The basis of challenges is that the Muslims will be fasting from sahur, around five thirty a.m. until they buka puasa (or break fast, not breakfast) around seven thirty p.m.

Funny Food

During sahur and buka puasa, it would be the feasting time.

During the fasting hours, there will be no eating, no drinking, no intercourse and no smoking. I totally dig the no smoking thingy. Not only it is good for their health, it is environmentally friendly.

The main challenge over the antenatal clinic would be to monitor the blood sugar profile (BSP) for the diabetics mothers, even the gestational ones, who may in the spirit of Ramadhan, commit themselves to binge eating during the 2 main meals of sahur and buka puasa. In the usual case, the four readings of BSP is capillary blood glucose taken 7am fasted whole night, and at 11am, 5pm and 10pm fasted 2 hours prior. The four readings, my centre accepts 5/6/6/7 mmol/L, but during Ramadhan, practicing fasting, we’ll have to give leeway, and accepts 7/6/5/7 mmol/L based on the heavier meals at both ends of the day.

Blood taking or taking any injections are considered breaking the fasting practice.

Getting rid of swine flu

Therefore, we advise our diabetic mothers to inject the twice daily subcutaneous insulin, once before sahur. And the other dose after eating/drink a bit during buka puasa and continues with the main meal.

However, there are always exemptions from the fasting practice. If one is unhealthy, and deprivation of medicinal injections or delayed diagnostic blood investigations may lead to deterioration of health, one will be exempted from practice.

Exemption from practice means you got to ‘pay back’ later.

to be continued...

1 comment:

pilocarpine said...

some correction from my fren, julia

1)buka puasa or iftar is NOT feasting... the current trend u see now is definitely not the islamic way of celebrating ramadhan.. the most important is to break fast as soon as maghrib arrives, then go for the maghrib prayers then continue with a little bit more eating then off to isyak prayers then tarawikh prayers (special prayers during the holy ... Read Moremonth of ramadhan).. i can't/shall not comment on those buffet buka puasa.. but Prophet Muhammad did teach all muslims not to overindulge in food as well as not to overspend or membazir..
2) blood taking or taking injections e.g. s/c insulin DOES NOT break fast (membatalkan puasa).. those muslims who think that way are not well versed in the rule of puasa and its "rukhsah" <-- situations in which fasting is not allowed/discouraged if it impairs health/conditions which does not batal puasa...
3) puasa is considered batal if: receiving IV drips.. it is NOT batal if:blood taking/insulin injection/inhaler & neb use/