Friday, February 19, 2010

Thoughts upon entering mid-life

A close friend asked how I was doing. My email reply captures my thoughts upon entering mid-life.


Hi [Edit: TGC],

Yes, I am recovering and my appetite is back to 2 full meals a day and a light breakfast. Full recovery would take some time. Afterall there is another wave of paediatric cold and gastro-intestinal illnesses and children cough at my face daily. [Edit: Sometimes they even spit oral medication onto my face.] :-P Wearing a surgical mask at work (unfortunately discouraged by my ward manager and ADON) reduces the chance of me spreading my pathogens to the children, but it does not protect the wearer effectively. Thus, I am usually worse-off at the end of the shift, with or without surgical mask.

> Meant to contribute something on universal healthcare thread -
> we are struggling with that here due to moral hazards it brings. Maybe too late now.

I'm not sure how the moral issue of universal healthcare can be resolved. Think I need the exposure to the other healthcare, welfare and governance schemes.

Early this month, my uncle has just been diagnosed with stage 4 (final stage) lung cancer which has spread to the brain and bones. Although the life expectancy is only 3-6 months, the cost of care for this short period will be high because healthcare is "means tested". [Edit: That said, the TTSH team did a good job when breaking the life expectancy news to the family.] Both my uncle and his wife are retirees and their 2 daughters are still in tertiary education. [Edit: I think one would graduate soon but a fresh graduate's pay is unlikely to be high.] Unfortunately, they assumed that the standard government schemes of Medisave (CPF compulsory savings for medical expenses), Medishield (CPF basic hospitalization insurance) and Dependent Protection Scheme (CPF life/total-permanent-disability insurance) would be enough to minimize the out-of-pocket cash expenses, which is not the case. Thus, affordability is an issue.
[Addendum on 9-Mar-2011: This turned out to be a difficult period in my life. From events that followed, I learned of my mother's attempt to rip me off (yet again). The impact on my psyche is nonetheless significant, see my comment dated March 9, 2011 12:53 AM on StorytellERdoc's blog entry.]
Sometimes, I wonder about work and life. How long more can I stay fit for the job? Given the physically demanding nature of ward nursing and the daily close exposure to pathogens. I also wonder about the pros and cons of relocating. Moving to Canada means starting over again, almost from scratch. However, whenever I think of Singapore's stingy nanny approach to its citizens' healthcare and welfare, I feel compelled to relocate. As the Chinese saying goes, "birth, ageing, sickness and death" are events that everyone goes through. [Edit: “生老病死”是人生必經之路。]

Occasionally, I wonder what my life purpose is. Although only less than a year at work, I already don't quite feel that I am learning/growing as much as I wish at my current job. [Edit: I think it would be more precise to say that I do not feel that I am stretching myself and making the best use of my strengths and variety of interests.] Often, I feel too tired after work to pursue my personal interests and development. On some inspired moments, I dream that I would be doing research on the brain and psychology/ESP related studies. E.g. EEG and CT/MRI scans of the brain while the participant performs "ESP" tasks. I don't know if or how it will happen. Guess it's the same as years ago as a fresh graduate, I dreamt of a $50K/year salary and somehow it happened after a few years into my first career life. That said, my thoughts fluctuate between the idealism of hope (as per this paragraph) and the apathy of a recluse (preceding paragraph).

[Edit: snipped]

Best Regards


[Addendum on 24-Feb-2010] Online commentaries on migration.

Mr Wang Says So: Local & Foreigner - Little ironies in Singapore. Read the comments, they are interesting.

The Online Citizen, "Many Singaporeans want to migrate - Why?" by Leong Sze Hian

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