Fireproof was a great film. It's great to see a well made, thoughtful Christian film bringing into life messages of marriage and families in a way that's relevant for both Christian and non Christians, young adults and married couples. I'll include some of my favourite quotes from the film.

For better or worse

Nearing the end of uni life, and with some of our friends starting families already, we're at that stage in life when we start thinking about life partners and marriage. Hollywood movies and songs often give skewed views of love. Songs casually throw around the words "永远" (forever). Surely you know Taylor Swift's "Love Story" - ah the happy ending of a marriage proposal.

 "The sad part about it is, when most people promise for better or for worse, they really only mean for the better."

Difficulties and commitment

"Fireproof doesn't mean the fire will never come. It means when the fire comes that you will be able to withstand it."

Weddings are such happy occasions. But watching Fireproof made me sigh at how difficult marriage is - familiar breeding ungratefulness, the alluring attention of third parties (or colleagues in the hospital...), the stresses and pressures of work and everyday life. But if we stop to think, we see much of this in our own families, in families around us. Do we really understand what marriage is about? If parents aren't great examples, if we don't listen to the life stories and counsel of older generations, how are we to understand the magnititude of a lifelong committment? How will we learn how to stay married when times are difficult? There is no perfect man - he will disappoint, fall, sin, hurt, at some stage. If informed consent is needed for medical procedures, it should be required for marriage too. Like the comical analogy my friend gave about people baptising without understanding what's happening:

"Its like grabbing a bunch of people and randomly marrying them, and shortly after saying oh sorry. Or not even saying just knowing that it meant nothing."

The 40 days love dare

Oh how different is the world of dating! My classmates were discussing how statistics show many married couples have sex less than once a week, but how dating couples were having sex "all the time". Ironic that the gift meant for marriage is often seen as more exciting outside marriage. It's incredible the amount of energy young couples take to spend together, how much thought goes into buying presents for dates, how many words are spent on declaring their love for one another.Yet it's too much energy for more long term couples to even speak kindly to each other. And is it a wonder that the couple in the film felt the "feeling" was gone after those years of marriage. Sparks come and go, but with good communication, some thoughtfulness, much patience and forgiveness (need God for this) I'm guessing it's possible to "fall in love" many times with the man or woman you marry.

"When a man is trying to win the heart of a woman, he studies her. He learns her likes, dislikes, habits and hobbies. But after he wins her heart and marries her he often stops learning about her. lf the amount he studied her before marriage was equal to a high school degree, he should continue to learn until he gains a college degree, a master's degree and ultimately, a doctorate degree."

Hospital heirarchies

Now is a good time write these observations, before we're so familiar with how hospital heirarchy works that we stop questioning it.

Nurses and allied health: last time I briefly mentioned an incident where I was mistaken for a doctor. That time the nurse came around to take routine blood glucose, and said to another nurse "oh, the doctor is in there, we'll come back later". I probably said they can take the blood first, but they insisted on coming back after I finish (which took maybe another half an hour). It seems that it's normal for nurses to "give way" to doctors, and we often see this during daily rounds. That's okay, I guess nurses are always with their patients, and doctors only have limited time with each patient.

But that doesn't mean doctors should see themselves as more important, or somehow "higher" in comparison. Doctors diagnose and investigate, making much of the decisions in patient care. But nurses are the ones monitoring patients, doing much of the physical work of taking care of patients in the hospital. The physiotherapists help the patients to move about and breath better, which so many of these elderly patients need. Social workers are called in for many patients too - otherwise, how can you responsibly discharge a patient when he can't cope with daily tasks of preparing meals, shopping, showering himself at home? There's many others - pharmicists, speech therapists. I admire the work they do.

Picture of the consultant: Consultants have distinct characteristics. Often male. Perhaps with a moustache and glasses, perhaps balding, middle aged (like they're all our parent's age), tall (height seems to help you have the "look"). With a solemn look and limited facial expressions. In a suit, because as my classmate pointed out, the higher up you are, the less you need to do messy procedures. They walk and talk relatively slowly (vs the junior medical staff that are always in a rush from one side of the hospital to another). During a ward round, the other staff on the team are always careful and respectful around them, and the eyes of the staff are always on them. They are the only doctors who are actually addressed as Dr so and so amongst other doctors. The only time junior doctors introduce themselves not by their first name, but as Dr, is when they are on the phone to non medical staff  (eg. the receptionist at the GP clinic).

The medical student: The radiologist in Singapore made a good point about distinguishing medical students from graduates by the way they walk around in clusters. And it seems as a student the more features you share with these consultants the more pro you look. For example, a graduate student who looks older, with a bit of height, a touch of facial hair seems to commands more respect than the youthful face of an undergraduate.

Oh and there are no white coats in many of our hospitals. So the identifying factor of a doctor or medical student is their lack of uniform (nurses often have uniforms) and the stethescope around their neck (which actually seems to be used more often than I expected).

Isn't it interesting, now we can make a more educated guess of who is who even at a new hospital where we don't know anyone...

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