First Touch

As a part of all this writerish activity, I’m ploughing through a bucketload of emails I sent to family and friends while I was living in Singapore. Otherwise known as The Good Old Days.

Every second missive makes me sound INCREDIBLY FRUSTRATED. I fired off letters! I confronted heads of departments! I wrote lengthy reports on censorship to librarians! I burst into hot, angry tears when people told me I was fat (at least every 6 days, it must be said)! I even got haughty with sweet Mr Aw when three pairs of dacks and a bra were nicked off my clothesline! I was a TOTAL COW. It is any wonder I have any friends left over from that time at all!

I am so glad that period of my life is over.

Anyway, I found some pure gold in some letters to my sister, about my favourite medical drama, ‘First Touch’. In essentials, it was just like ER, except for the following:

1. Everyone spoke in broad Singlish
2. The storylines were surreal and hilarious
3. It was set in an obstetrics and gynaecology ward at a posh hospital
4. It was screened in a country with strict censorship codes

Thus, words like ‘vagina’, ‘lips’ and ‘surfing the crimson tide’ were rendered a potential minefield of trouble. There was one episode about a girl with no front-bum. And another about a drama teacher who had a ‘secret garden’ that was always locked, and her gardener couldn’t visit. Every episode was full of purest gold. I now bring to you, some highlights from the website:

(I actually had the secret shame for Edmund Chen, this guy) —>

First Touch Medical Center, a general hospital known for the high quality of its medical professionals and facilities devoted to child-bearing, child-birth and child-care. Doctors who spend almost all their waking hours devoted to bringing life into this world. Patients who struggle with the critical decisions that make huge differences to their lives. 

And in this highly-charged setting one of our country’s national obsession is played out – the need to reproduce ourselves.

At the centre of it all are the doctors. 

They are the ones that make a difference. This series is as much about them as it is about the patients. We see many problems and issues through their eyes – their struggles as they make life and death decisions everyday, and their exuberance and joy when they deliver a difficult birth.

Vasoo tries to cope with his wife having cervical cancer and gets into a fight over a ham chim pang.

Kelly accidentally slaps the tummy of Santa Claus in a shopping center and to her surprise, Santa’s water breaks – Santa is a woman!

Winnie treats a girl who goes for an illegal abortion and suffers from septic abortion. The point is driven home: If you want an abortion, do it right. Or you might kill yourself.

Kelly treats a couple who has an anencephalic baby – a baby with no brain. At the end of the episode, the couple finally bring themselves to look at the scan of their baby – with no brain.

A patient wants Charles to redo her episiotomy for free. She complains that Charles had not stitched her up nicely and now her husband is complaining that the picture down there, is not picture perfect.

Teck Meng treats Faridah’s grandmother for detrusor instability, a condition where the bladder is very sensitive and causes the woman to answer nature’s call often.

<—(Vernetta Lopez, the It girl)

Kelly treats an unusual couple who wants their delivery to be conducted according to a strict Birth Plan, which includes their choice of music and no drugs. The husband also wants to snip the cord, and the wife to deliver in the squatting position. But when the time comes, the husband gets so freaked by the blood eventually that he almost snips off his baby’s penis instead of the cord.

Michelle encounters her old school friend who comes in with a big-sized man, allegedly her boyfriend. She seeks treatment for some menses problems and Michelle later realizes that the guy is her pimp and her old school best friend is now a prostitute.

They’re not selling the DVD of this great show. I would so buy it.


7 thoughts on “First Touch

  1. HRH Boo,My Majesty hath laid an egg, but as yet We have no consort.Could these good doctors represented by HRH place inside it the necessary royal genes?My Majesty will admit to some tiny bit of ignorance on such mundane matters.

  2. Oh they could say ‘vagina’ – they just had to be verrry careful about saying it appropriately!!Treesh! What ho!!Wah lau was more for show like ‘Phua Chu Kang’ or ‘Under One Roof’ (I saw the latter being taped live, happy days)!!

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