29 December 2007

Of men and buses.

Why oh why are men like bleeding buses.

I can't keep the one I wanted and now I appear to have 2 on the go at once. And no, I'm not cheating on anyone.

I have A, who I met through online dating, who is in fact lovely and who I am going dog walking with on New Year's Eve on the beach, and H, who I haven't yet met but who my housemate has set me up on a blind date with.

I'm not sure if I can remember how to do this whole dating thing anymore...

26 December 2007

The season of goodwill

As is usual when my family gets together for any period of time, arguments soon follow.
Thankfully at least my family has enough decorum to avoid physical war and the involvement of third party organisations.

It comes down to the usual type of stuff. My mother wants me to spend every waking hour of my time at home with her and my father. She fails to realise sometimes I do need some 'alone' time, and heaven forbid might actually want to see some of the rare friends I still have in this area.

Consequently I have been 'banned' from going to see friends because, and I quote: 'we don't see you enough as it is, and all you want to do is go out. Remember, this is our house.'

OK, fair enough, I hear what you're saying. But also, please bear in mind, it's very difficult having to go to bed at 10.30 every night when you aren't used to it. It's equally difficult to have to ask permission to go anywhere alone, never mind getting that permission refused for the reason 'because I said not'. That worked when I was 4, at 24 it's slightly harder to stomach.
The one I find the hardest is: you live under our roof and must follow our rules. Fair play, but do you follow mine when you come and stay with me?! I think not...

I love you mum, but I'm an adult. I make my own decisions, eat when I want to, go where I want and see who I want to see when I'm at uni. I appreciate that this is your house, but you aren't making the transition between home and uni any easier. In fact, you're making that wedge between the two of us even bigger. I feel like a small child again. You even ask me what I'm doing on facebook these days.* Jeez, is a little privacy too much to ask sometimes.

*My mother has said that she is going to join facebook. She doesn't understand that sometimes I need my own space, and if she does, I won't be able to add her as a friend because she won't approve of my current friends. It's a difficult situation, or am I just being a brat?

24 December 2007

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Cake
Originally uploaded by merysjones
It doesn't really feel like christmas, but I am assured that today is in fact Christmas Eve.

The highlight of my day today was icing the christmas cake, as you can see above.

I suppose if medicine doesn't work out, I can always retrain as a cake decorator!

So I guess all that is left to say, until I post next:

'Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!'

23 December 2007


Originally uploaded by merysjones
For a change this year I will not be working at the leisure centre. I love the place dearly but I didn't get a summer vacation due to hospital work all summer. I thought it would be nice this year to have the holidays off and chill - spend some time with the parents without having to worry about being called into work all the time.
For monetary reasons I will be heading back dahn sarf just before new year, ready to work a new year's eve night shift on the MAU, which I'm strangely looking forward to...
I'm in the middle of compiling my 'highlights' of the year at the moment, so in the event of my not posting again before the 25th, then I wish you all a very merry and enjoyable christmas!

22 December 2007


I was always impressed by the simultaneous intelligence and stupidity* our dog shows.

Take this for example.

I have just been out to the pet shop for the next door neighbour's cat's present (don't ask, my mother forgot to buy 'Thomas' something, so I got sent). While I was there I realised I'd missed our dog out, so picked him up a furry toy thing that makes noise (will probably only last about 30 minutes on christmas morning before it gets eaten).

When I came home I ran the bag straight upstairs where the dog is banned from, yet when I came downstairs he charged at me, sniffing, barking and licking. It's like he knows....


* eating 'popping' candy and then coming back for more, even though it made you sneeze. Or the classic 'being afraid of your new metal bowl' because you can see your face in the bottom of it when you try to eat.

20 December 2007

London in pictures

Not that Laura is a proper ambulance woman or anything.....

I ming

I had an amazing time in London, I really did. It was the first time Laura and I had met, and it was like having a big sister or friend for life. The fact that I may end up giving her gastroenteritis is another story.

Laura is right, I really am a big furry chicken when it comes to being jumped out on. I really don't like it and I don't see well in the dark. I guess it's caused by mean parents and a wendy house when I was a child*

Anyway I did enjoy the dungeon in the end, even if I did jump and scream a bit. My underwear was clean when I left, which is a minor miracle. And like Laura, I too fell in love with the Devil in Satan's Grotto. I thought I was going to have to go through the event on my own and have to leave Laura with him!

I did a lot of sightseeing, including Camden Market, Tower Bridge, Picadilly Circus, London Bridge, Westminster Bridge, Tower of London, Covent Garden and Leicester Square.

Sadly, as mentioned before I'm not very well.

After dragging Laura around London yesterday we had lunch at a well known chain of burger restaurants (not the royal variety...), the one that's attached to St Thomas' Hospital (I think) and then headed back to Laura's after meeting Faith and having a coffee.

Once back at Laura's lovely flat I promptly fell asleep sprawled across the sofa and Laura herself. Woke up at around 7PM and decided I didn't feel very well. Cue me spending the next 10 minutes redecorating the inside of the toilet bowl with regurgitated burger.

Consequently the next couple of hours trek home was less than fun. I do apologise to the woman sat next to me on the train if I've given it to you too.

Last night I took a wander down to the out of hours GP who said that gastroenteritis is doing the rounds in the area, and it probably wasn't food poisoning as I had suspected. Can I just say how much I love buccastem right now?

Sadly I have to travel back to Yorkshire tomorrow, so I intend on spending the rest of the day in bed and feeling sorry for myself.

A huge thankyou to Laura for putting me up/putting up with me, and I have some amazing photographs to post soon!

*I used to have a fabric tent wendy house when I was a child. It was my favourite game to play on the patio and make cakes etc. All was fine until one day my wendy house stood up and started walking towards me, courtesy of my father hiding inside it at the time. I don't think I have ever screamed so much in all my life. I never did play with it again....

The end of my London adventure

To be honest, although I really loved London and had a great time staying with Laura, I feel the end of the visit was a slight let down.

Apparently I have gastroenteritis. More on this tomorrow when I (hopefully) stop being sick everywhere

19 December 2007

My London Adventure - 3

Today if you want to find me in London, just follow the screams.

Laura and I are going to the London Dungeons, and I'm a really big chicken with a nervous disposition.

I have no problem with gore, blood, death etc.

However, I am not keen on being made jump. I scream like a girl and shake.

I have a feeling I will be getting slapped at some point today.

18 December 2007

My London Adventure - 2

Well, I successfully managed to navigate my way around London and I'm actually enjoying myself at the moment!

I'm currently sat on Laura's sofa using her laptop and listening to her bitch about Cliff Richard and cough like an emphysaemic with TB. Apparently Cliff Richard is like brussel sprouts - a part of christmas that no-one really likes.

Anyway, I have dragged Laura around London today, and we even did a tad of Z-list celebrity stalking.... best not to ask.

Lots of photos to follow when I get back to my own laptop.

17 December 2007

My London Adventure - 1

I'm still sat in my pyjamas at the computer and my taxi arrives in 20 minutes.
I should perhaps get a move on!

16 December 2007

oooh and one more thing!

My final piece of news that I forgot to mention is:

Merys is coming to London baby!

I'll be around Londonium from lunchtime Monday to nighttime Wednesday. Hopefully the lovely Laura will be Merys-sitting. I hope she knows what she's letting herself in for... I do tend to get a bit excited by the concept of large red buses and underground stations.

And before anyone snidely comments about how I will be affording it, I'm being all expenses paid by one of the companies I work for in return for participating in a project for them. They're paying for my hotel, oyster card (not that I know what one is!) and train fares. So there!

Woohoo, London Baby!

Workplace injuries

As you may have guessed by the presence of 2 posts in 24 hours, I am actually on a night shift on a stroke ward.

Not my favourite ward, but usually pretty safe to work on.

Except for the two injuries I've sustained tonight*
The first was caused by a tres confused lady who won't hold your hand but will cat scratch the living daylights out of your arms. Cue one 6cm minor scratch to my right forearm. Fair play, I'll keep my distance the next time.

Sadly, the next patient wasn't quite so sweet. Very very very very very confused gentleman who takes 4 staff to change and turn him. I have NEVER met a patient post stroke who is that strong! While I was trying to talk soothingly to him and hold his hand, he was trying to punch me in the face.

All of a sudden I felt the most sharp, searing pain which caused me to shout in alarm.
Man, that patient needs his fingernails trimming. Thankfully, the only thing wounded was my finger, which now has a sweet little lined bruise across the fleshy pad, and thankfully he didn't draw blood. Considering he was a 'gold digger'** I'm quite glad I had gloves on.

*aside from a bruised bottom caused by a patient nipping it
**unflattering nursing term for a patient who digs their fingers in their poo.

15 December 2007

Technological advances

Sometimes I feel really old. And I don't mean this in a condescending 'aren'tIwonderfullyyoungpleaseremindmethatIam' kind of way.

I can't help but think back to when I first started university in September 2002. I'm astonished at how much things have changed within this time frame of 5 years.

Take mobile phones for example. The highlight of mine in 2002 was that you could program it to play tunes. No colour screen, no camera (these just started to appear in 2002) no polyphonic or realtones. No MP3 player, radio or internet. Just bogstandard texts and phone calls.

My camera: a 35mm film non-zoom from Boots. I spent a fortune on developing photographs when I was in my first degree. I didn't acquire a digital camera until (I think) my 3rd year. Even then, it was a cheap £45 german non-branded thing from eBay. The plus side of having no digital camera is that photos of my undergrad rarely appear on facebook. Given that I had a perm and orange hair at the time, this really is a godsend.

My computer: I was given a handmedown laptop when I started uni. It didn't even have USB ports, so getting a printer to run on it was challenging. It served me well until I finally bought a desktop computer in my 3rd year.

Music: I religiously used a NetMD minidisc walkman throughout my first degree. It was my favourite and most expensive piece of kit. Worth more than the laptop, camera and phone combined. I still have it, and it gets a reprieve by being used as a dictophone.

It just makes me smile now that university students (including myself) have more kit than I could have ever dreamt of.

I now regularly carry around in my rucksack to uni a 30Gb iPod video, a Samsung G600 phone with a 5MP camera on it, and sometimes even my 5MP camera itself, as well as a laptop for taking notes in lectures.*

Sometimes I love the simplicity of university in 2002. Sometimes I wonder how the hell I coped....

* I am insured, but please don't mug me

11 December 2007

The morning after

I felt rather sorry for our lecturer this morning.
You see we had a whole year group lecture this morning on some biological principle or other.
Only 36 people were there at the start, with a few more staggering in within the first 20 minutes. The sensible souls had obviously decided to sack it off. I personally think the medical school were daft putting on a principle lecture the morning after exams, and just before christmas.
I certainly was there only in body, because due to being knackered I don't think I could even tell you what the subject was without looking at my timetable. It was clear from looking around that most people were in the same state.... (most looked worse than I did).

Surprisingly I didn't get drunk last night. I got bored quickly and was home by around 1am, pretty much sober, just shattered.

And why, for the love of all things holy, did I seem to spend more of the night chatting in the ladies loos than out dancing or drinking?? Maybe that's why I came home sober though...

10 December 2007

If you need me...

........I will be in the pub.

You see, we had an OSCE today, and despite lectures tomorrow will all be getting hammered tonight.

I'll be the one with the headache in the morning. Actually, that might not just be me....

05 December 2007

Trying new things

I just decided to try something new.
You see, if you had walked into our kitchen 10 minutes ago you would have found me on my hands and knees with my head in the oven. Nothing sinister I assure you, since our oven is electric rather than gas.
I thought it would be wise to break a student tradition and do some cleaning. Hence I have just cleaned the oven....and found it rather satisfying.

03 December 2007

What a difference a day makes.

It's odd isn't it. When I look at the post I made last night, I realise I was drunk. Full of false confidence and elation. Satisfied by the tiniest things.
Today I'd tired. Not just physically, but mentally.
I'm lacking in confidence in my abilities. OSCEs are looming and I don't know enough. Yet I can't concentrate. My priorities are all wrong.
I'm finding that what confidence I had to start with has vanished. I couldn't speak in front of the group in PBL today. Couldn't articulate my words to give my presentation. Had a screensaver moment.
I'm having funny dreams. No matter how much sleep I get, it's not enough. I really feel down. Don't want to be here anymore.
I'm hoping it's just pre-christmas blues. If not, I'm worried that I won't return after the holidays.

02 December 2007

Lightening the mood

Tonight I had one of those things.... a care free night.
I went out, alcohol was consumed. General politics and relationships were discussed. More alcohol was consumed.... and a tiny amount of inter gender wrestling ensued.
All good fun... except I now can't seem to locate my spectacles.
And I'm not drunk.... honest.
It's just nice to be completely carefree for a change. No worry about inadvertant flirting etc. Just good amusing fun and laughter.

01 December 2007

night shift 3

Never understimate the power of 90 minutes paid sleep.
Now feel worse than before.

night shift 2

Have just carried out last offices with a staff nurse to help them out.
Would have been fine had I not been left alone in the room with the 'patient' when the syringe driver on the table started to whir. May have jumped significantly

30 November 2007

Night shift 1

I thought I'd let you in on what I'm currently up to.
You see, I finished university for the day at 17.50 and started a nightshift at 19.00.

The time is now 23.48 and so far I have:
  • Cleaned urine off the floor twice
  • Changed 8 beds completely
  • Cleaned 4 patients up completely
  • Changed 9 pads
  • Persuaded 3 patients with dementia to return to bed
  • And drank 1 can of diet coke and 1 smoothie.

More as the night proceeds.

21 November 2007

Medical school eccentricities

A few things have come to mind lately that are odd about medical school compared with other university courses.

Do you mind if I ramble for a bit? Good, thought not.


Our PBL tutor was enquiring this week about what we thought of the assessment scheme at uni, with particular reference to OSCEs.
I had a slightly embarrassing issue last year with the final OSCE of the year. A GP from my practice (the student one) had been assessing me on a particular station. My PBL tutor came to speak to me during the coffee break and said that she was certain that the examiner hadn't recognised my face. Given that I'd been to see her for 'girls problems' 2 days previously, it wasn't my face I was worried about her remembering....

I find it really unsettling that a GP you can consult about the most intimate of things can then be marking your clinical performance. It's just wrong.


I'm now a fully registered student for this coming academic year, thanks in total to all of you lovely readers. Therefore, when my student loan did come through last week it's gone straight in my ISA until the university demands my fees.

My uni is odd. You try and offer them money but they won't take it until they invoice it. Therefore, the entire amount paid to date has gone into my telephone ISA. The theory is that I will probably forget it's there, until I need to pay the uni at last....


Yesterday I went for a parentally funded hairstyle change. The big thing about medicine that many students (who aren't on the course) forget, is that we get assessed on our external appearance, therefore it's advisable not to look like you've been dragged through a hedge backwards. For all I have some piercings, they're very well covered when I'm around patients.
Therefore, one of the big problems medical students here seem to have is finding suitable clothing for placement. In my case, it often involves Primark.


I've been cycling around and about for over a year now, and haven't fallen off recently - huzzah!
But at some point, I must tell you about the most painful accident I've had in the last 12 months....

19 November 2007

Reasons to love the NHS

Most hospitals (as far as I know) have a medical assessment unit (MAU). If you need to be admitted to hospital due to a medical problem (i.e. not surgical, physically traumatic or related to pregnancy) then you will likely end up on this ward after you've been seen in accident and emergency.

I work in our MAU a lot. They have staffing problems and a rapid turnover of what staff they do have. It's accepted that nurses and auxiliaries either love or hate it. I fall into the former category, although sometimes I wonder why.

This is an example of my latest shift there...

0625 cycle to work. My booked time is 06.45 - 1930.

0650. The wind is really strong when I was cycling in and I end up walking for some of the journey to avoid being blown off my bike. Consequently I'm late. However, the bank has confused the times and I'm actually 10 minutes early. Just enough time to run to the vending machine in (a very quiet) A&E. Chocolate and diet coke are breakfast.

0700 receive handover from the nightstaff. Every bed is full, and I'm helping 2 staff nurses look after 12 patients. Sounds easy, really isn't.

0725 handover done, meet my staff nurses for the day. One of them, E, is a nurse I've worked with many times before on this ward, and we get on really well. Time to start washing the patients. Slight problem. A lot of the patients are acutely unwell and can't really get out of bed, so need a blanket bath. Those that can get up either have a wash in a chair beside the bed (as do those on cardiac monitors) or fight each other for the small number of bathrooms. Beds are made.

0800 breakfast arrives. Due to infection control implications, beds can't be made while patients are eating food. Have just enough time to go and help the auxiliary on the other side of the ward with some of her beds and patients. She returns the favour while her patients are eating.

0830-1030 all my patients have had a wash, had breakfast and had their beds and clothing changed.

1030. Time to start doing the observations round. Blood pressure, pulse, respirations, temperature and oxygen saturation levels are done and documented for every patient. This gets interrupted a lot on this ward due to patients needing the commode.

1100 while helping a patient off a commode I can hear shouting and swearing coming from the bay next door. A patient has just come in from A&E and is 'kicking off' at nursing staff. I go and see if they need a hand behind the curtain. It's an interesting sight. All I can make out is a thrashing patient being restrained by nursing staff. Rather wrongly, I can hear him spitting in the face of one of the female staff nurses, and some of it hits me in the arm. It's not a pretty sight.
I give them a hand until security arrive and join the throng. Staff from A&E and MAU are arguing with each other about who this patient should really be with, and words are said. I beat a hasty retreat to get my lady with the commode sorted again.

1120. My ladyandthecommode's family are not pleased that I had to leave their mother sat on the side of the bed after taking her off the commode, and even less pleased that I had to leave the commode in situ (although covered over). I explain in broad terms that I needed to help the staff out, but they weren't very understanding. They complain about the patient in question swearing loudly and why did we allow people like that onto a ward with the elderly. Not really very much I can say.

Between 11.30 and 13.00 I manage to get the 10AM observations done, and then have to escort a patient to MRI.

1400. The next 2 hours are spent coaxing my patient into having an MRI and consequently having to go into the scanning room with her to hold her hand. I've got to say, it's the first time the underwires on my bra have moved like that! I feel proud, however that my patient manages to have the scan. She tells all the staff that she wouldn't have gone in without me, which makes me smile.

16.30 back to the ward and time to try and replace my cartilage stud, which had to come out during the MRI experience. Have to get E to repierce it for me.

1635 - get my first rest break of the day. Yes, you read that correctly. After a bar of chocolate and a can of diet coke all day, I get the first chance to eat at 16.35. We're meant to get an hour a day of rest. It doesn't happen on MAU.

1700. One of my patients has perforated her bowel. She is 90 years old and the prognosis isn't good without surgery. There is much to-and-fro about whether to operate or not. Eventually the decision is against surgery. She will probably die, and quite soon. She hugs and kisses myself and the staff nurse, saying how wonderfully we have cared for her. We both have a tear in our eye when we head back to the nurse station.

1800 - spitting patient needs a cannula removing from his arm. None of the nurses want to do it, so I offer. Security are hovering near my shoulder. I figure that if he does hit or spit at me, at least I've tried and learnt from the experience. Ironically, he lays there like a kitten and the cannula comes out without any problem.

1805 and time to start the Obs round again. Finish just in time to hand over to the night staff, dip 3 samples of urine and send 2 off for analysis.

1930 head outside and hope my bike is still locked up. Time to cycle off into the night to my second job, and do the hospital thing again at 0700 the next day.

16 November 2007

My perfect night in...

It's been a really long uni day today. It's been a really long uni week.
Hopefully I'm getting a friendly face to visit next week, but until then.

Tonight has been declared:


Ok, everybody clear now?

So if you see me online, feel free to disturb me. I probably won't be working very hard.


Update: I think I will always love Jason Donovan. My housemate seems less than impressed and has just booted me out of his room.

12 November 2007

Mum speak

I was just wondering if anyone can translate from mum-text speak into english.
I’m sat quietly in the library listening to Radio 1 while slyly texting my mum. She has this really annoying habit of abbreviating into text speak when there’s really no need. She rarely sends a message long enough to warrant abbreviation, and as a result I get really frustrated when I receive a message like this:

“ U wernt sn t ty wer u wnt r u doing t oni te”

Any ideas?

11 November 2007

two years, three months, twenty-five days.

Just after this blog started I began seeing a you. We met in an unconventional manner but it didn't matter because we hit it off straight away.

Things went well despite the distance, and I loved you more than I have ever loved anyone in my entire life.

So right this moment, I feel hurt, devastated and as if my world is about to end. I've cried so much I feel like throwing up at the moment. I'm not quite sure what will happen now. Things haven't been right between us since I moved down south for university.

I sat outside the student union crying after hanging up the telephone. I couldn't actually move for a while, and stood outside shivering with cold and tears. I'm not saying this to guilt trip you, in fact I'm guessing you've probably stopped reading the blog now.

I was upset by your text message. I didn't really understand it to be honest.

I couldn't even bring myself to drink, I couldn't face the inevitable hangover I would induce. I have enough of a headache from crying.

It's a good thing I'm not working at the hospital tomorrow. I'm not sure how I would have managed.

I still love you, no matter what. It's just a shame you don't feel the same way.

07 November 2007

Blimey Guys...

I want to say a huge massive thank you to all of you! Between all of you who have either donated, or sent messages of support, you have all reduced me to tears of joy.

Basically, I needed £1000 up front to the university to allow me to register as a 2nd year student and get my loan for this academic year. On top of this £1000 I owed them a further £1600. So courtesy of you wonderfully generous individuals, I have now raised £1700 in donations.

I'm more than happy to receive any further donations which will obviously go in the direction of my debt, but I am capable of working off the remaining £900 in installments to the university.

So what I'm saying is one huge thank you to each and every one of you. I really couldn't have done it without you, and I feel such a weight lifted off my shoulders because of your generosity.

I promise, I will pay the deed forward when I'm in a position to do so.

For now, I will leave the link to paypal as it is, but change the wording on it.

Thank you all so much.

31 October 2007

Seriously, I wouldn't ask if my career didn't depend on it....

This is sheer desperation. I mean it. I'm financially crippled, and unless I manage to magic up some cash at warp speed, there is a distinct chance I may get suspended from medical school.

The reasons are many, and often include my graduate status, the fact that I'm classed as dependent on my parents (but aren't), and the fact that the student loan company have pulled some of my funding from the last academic year.

So, as much as it pains me to do so... I'm asking for your help. I know I'm not a charity case, but I've come too far to give up now.

The access to learning fund has rejected me, along with my university hardship fund. The bank won't give me a career development loan, so basically I'm screwed.

My one last remaining nerve is about to give in, and I'm inclined to let it.

Please please please, can you even spare me £1??

29 October 2007

One of those 'ah balls!' moments...

Given my hellish weekend it was hardly surprising.

This morning I was due to be on placement from 08.00. Not especially unusual, we have the odd placement day here and there.

I appear to have a karmic alarm clock, which despite being set did not go off this morning. Consequently I woke up at 08.38 feeling like death warmed over. I have a pounding headache and feel generally shite. Therefore I have phoned in sick and declared today a duvet and sanctity day.

My wonderful housemates bought be a spa voucher for my birthday, so I have called ahead and I'm going to get a massage this afternoon. One hour fifteen minutes of pure relaxation (and probable sleep). I'm a bit wary about getting Nekked, but it will be worth it in the end.

Tonight, shock horror, I plan to have a night in (or at least a night not at work/society stuff).

I was hellishly grumpy last night after I discovered that someone on our society committee had been bitching about the organisation of things this year. In large, something which I mainly organise. Realistically, I don't have time to do this role anyway, so I shouldn't be bothered when someone stresses at me. However, the fact that this was done while I wasn't there has annoyed me. Due to the stressful nature of my life at the moment, I've become very efficient at time management. Organising stuff is becoming second nature, and when I slog my guts out for something I find it a very bitter pill to swallow.

Maybe I should just resign and let them sort themselves out. Goodness knows, I don't need the stress at the moment.

There's no wonder I've lost 7lbs in weight in the last 7 days is there....

28 October 2007

The long weekend.

Friday: 08.00 - 18.00 University. Day of lectures, seminars, special teaching sessions and meeting my mentor.

Friday 19.00 - Saturday 07.30 Hospital. Work a night shift on a medical ward. 1.5 hour sleep break but very little sleeping actually done. More ceiling staring to be honest.

Saturday 07.30 - 09.00. Shower, internet and attempt to sleep.

09.57 text message from a friend from a Uni society. Have I arranged something for today's event? Text back saying yes. Silently cursing.

10.07 phone call from another society member asking similar questions. Explain that I need sleep before [big society event] but still kept on phone for too long.

10.15 go back to sleep.

10.50 woken up by doorbell and housemates. Supermarket home delivery has arrived. Was planning on it arriving after 11 (as requested). Damn them for being prompt. Thank them for giving me a free energy saving lightbulb. Convient since our hall bulb had gone. Unpack shopping and abandon bed.

11.40 take phone call from yet another society member asking something. Answer affirmatively and agree that I will 'be there shortly after 12'.

12.20 arrive at society event. Set everything up and greet members.

13.00 - 16.00 hold huge event which goes well. Feeling annoyingly hyperactive.

16.15 cycle home in order to change clothes for bar shift. Change outfit 4 times before getting confirmation from my housemate.

17.05 arrive at work (late).

17.06 - 23.30 serve beer. Serve ++++ beer.

23.30 go to student union with friends. Alleged social night for society.

00.30 Give in and go home. Too tired after approx 42 hours without proper sleep.

somewhere in the middle forget to turn mobile phone clock back and alarm goes off an hour early. Hence not waking properly.

08.00 Sunday get up, put washing out and go on a society training day.

15.45 arrive home, cook.

19.30 go to student union to work.

22.30 come home, work quiet.

00.08 contemplate bed.

26 October 2007

Go shorty

...it's your birthday.

24 at last. Slightly scary that I will be a quarter of a century old in 12 months.

22 October 2007

Following on from Cal

Where Does Your Beauty Lie?


Your Beauty lies in Contradiction. Controversial, unpredictable, and never what anyone expects. You appearance and your personality are two opposite things. Even your appearance sends different signals to different people. To some you may look innocent and sweet, to others you look mysterious and intimidating at the same time. No one ever knows what to expect with you. You are a little bit of everything all mixed together. You can be watching the football game with the guys one minute and the next out shopping at the mall. You seem to be almost a different person every time you meet someone, but at the same time you know exactly who you are and there is always that one thing that makes you you. You enjoy keeping people guessing and people love how completely unpredictable you are.

Some Things That Represent You:

Element:Fire, Water Animal: Chameleon Color: Dark Tones, Light Tones Song: Everything by Alanis Morriesette Expression:Half-smile

Gemstone:Opal Mythological Creature: Gryphon, Half-breeds Planet: Mars Hair Color: Red Eye Color:Brown

Quote:"Appearances can be deceiving."

Take this quiz!


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20 October 2007

Breaking the leak

I've retreated home for the weekend. It's about time for the Rugby and I'm sat with a large glass of red wine in the sanctity of my parents' home.

I've spent today in Scarborough in the sun and spending early birthday money.

Best of luck to the English rugby team and Lewis Hamilton tomorrow

10 October 2007


I'm going on a brief sabbatical. I may be some time, I may be 2 days. I have no idea.
Things are proving just a little bit too stressful for me at the moment, and I'm finding it easier to bury my head in the sand and ignore them for a while.

Mind you, I guess working 2 jobs (one of them full time) while trying to be a full time medical student and doing a large amount of volunteer work will do that to you.

Also, I guess the impending doom of turning 24 might not be helping. Here's hoping October is a slow month....

01 October 2007


I'm tired and grumpy. I've worked 3 night shifts in a row and was back at uni in the early afternoon today.

In fact, I was so grotty today that I picked a fight with a little old lady. She started it to be fair. Going around hitting my bike because it's in your way won't get you very far. Perhaps saying 'excuse me' would?

Anyway, I digress.

I'm getting a little fazed by the whole 'auxiliary' thing. I'm getting frustrated by the physical aspect of it all.

My shoulders have been pulled, and are now regularly aching and spasming. I've been punched, kicked, spat at, scratched, had my hair and uniform pulled, and generally been abused. All of this by people over the age of 65.

I sometimes feel we're failing the patients. I feel rough and cruel, and almost inhuman with it all sometimes. I do things that the patients are confused about, mainly down to personal hygiene. But I feel I'm being a bully. I guess it all comes down to mental competence at the end of the day.

That, and I'm tired.

29 September 2007

Well, since this morning's post I have slept. I had to laugh when I read back the post I had written, since I actually fell asleep writing it.

This morning I was painfully tired. I don't think I've felt that shite in a very long time, and it showed by the daft things I've done since.

Least of all, colouring my auxiliary uniform a very mucky grey colour by washing it with a pair of new trousers on a very hot wash.

Therefore, instead of wearing my comfortable tunic and trousers combo for tonight, I'm being forced to wear 'the dress'.

I know you'll all probably say that a dress is fair play for nursing staff, but I really hate wearing it. I have to take a special interest in the rainforest level on my legs, and inevitably end up climbing on a bed at some point in the night to do a patient slide (PAT slide) and become very unladylike.

Plus, I'm a bit of a tom boy. I have a reputation to protect you know....

Anyway, Uni started again last week. Back into the cycle of PBL, lectures, seminars and all that jazz. As you may have guessed, we have the internet back in our house at last, and all is good. So if anyone is feeling bored, I will be around on both skype and msn rather a lot in the near future. Please feel free to add me and have a chat! skype: merysj and msn: bloodystudents@hotmail.co.uk

Incidentally, this is my 500th post since this blog started just over 2 and a half years ago....

Nightshift of doom

Because I'm a complete skint moron, I went to work at 12 hour shift after being at uni from 8.30AM until 6.00PM. Needless to say, by 07.00 this morning I was feeling suitably shattered.
My day couldn't have started much worse than my heading to pick up my rucksack and finding my iPod missing from its conteents.

I filed a security report, spoke to the nurse in charge and cried a bit. I then cycled home in silence, unlocked the house and found my beloved iPod video on the speaker dock in the kitchen.

Security did laugh when I told them. I didn't.

25 September 2007

A couple of things...

I think I sorted the background of the blog. I'm guessing that the previous skin template has been deleted or changed by the host, so I thought I'd have a change to mark the start of the second year.

The answer to this post was correctly (as anonymous said) things that had been thrown at me by a nutty old woman who I was special nursing for.

I finally get the internet this week, which is something I'm looking forward to, because goodness knows it's been a harsh summer without it.

And I did my first in hospital cardiac arrest last night, but I think that's a whole seperate post in itself...

24 September 2007

unless I'm very much mistaken...

has the background of the blog gone all funny? Or is that just my imagination?

13 September 2007

Milkshake, Biscuit, False teeth, Urine bottle.

What do all of the above have in common?
Answers in the comments section please.

12 September 2007


At last, a small ray of sunshine in a pissy time. (click for bigness)

09 September 2007


Having been sent home from work this week due to developing diarrhoea (charming, I know) I needed to make up my hours.
Upon consultation with the nurse bank desk, the only thing they had on offer was 'specialing' for a gentleman on the stroke ward during a night shift.
Having done a day of my auxiliary training on the same ward, the prospect didn't fill me with a vast amount of delight... but I am rather cash strapped at the moment, and can't afford to be choosy.
When I came on the ward, I covertly sent John a text message telling him about my night shift. John had found an A&E auxiliary nurse and asked her what 'specialing' was, and as she so succintly explained, its:
"1:1 nursing for people who can't be left, i.e. psyche patients"
So here I am, sat on the ward with a 61 year old gentleman who has had a series of strokes affecting his behaviour.
I'd been warned that he was quite strong and potentially very difficult - but I must be a calming influence, as he's slept all night.
During this time I've read around 400 pages of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, filled out a charitable trust application form for funding and slept for 90 minutes on two chairs pushed together. It's hardly been the most taxing night I've ever worked, and a very easy £114*.
It's also been a good opportunity for me to banish some fears I had.
The last time I was here was my first day auxiliary nursing in this trust, and it was while under the supervision of a clinical tutor.
I was apprehensive, inexperienced and slightly green around the gills.
We were given a patient so seriously affected by a stroke that they were unable to swallow, speak coherently, maintain continence or care for themself.
While I'm proud to say I did my best to care for the patient, I found the experience frustrating and difficult to cope with emotionally. I came away from the ward with mixed emotions and an inability to clear my thoughts.
That shift was in the middle of June, and it has taken extreme desperation to make me return.
I am glad that I did.
While I've been sat here reading I've still heard the usual wailings of the confused and troubled, but in the last two months I've learnt that this isn't solely confined to the stroke ward.
The gentlemen in this bay are engaging, intelligent and amusing. In fact they've been enquiring as to how my night shift has gone. In fact one gentleman has already walked across the ward to tell the 4 Phillipino nurses to stop 'chattering like magpies as patients are trying to sleep'. I'm not sure how I managed to stifle the laughter.
So on the whole, a peaceful night, and a great chance to get ahead on my study if these shifts arise during term time.
Fingers crossed I make it to term time....

*minus the 22% tax....

03 September 2007

Wanted (part 2)

A large shovel for digging me out of a very deep hole.
Alternatively, a very big hole for me to stick my head in.
I'll even settle for a sugar daddy, or mummy...

you see, I've got myself in a *tiny* amount of difficulty.

Anyone have a spare few hundred pounds? PayPal to bloodystudents@hotmail.co.uk, or see the donation tab on the right hand side under the links.

Believe me, I wouldn't ask if I wasn't desperate....

An open letter....

Dear Magwitch,

Thank you so much for letting me come out and observe with you on your first two night shifts.

Thank you for feeding me, and making me endless cups of tea, and letting me stay at your house. Thank you also for not being an axe murderer and burying me under your patio.

Thank you for teaching me stuff. Thank you for not yelling at me when I got annoying (and I'm damn sure I did...). And thanks for not laughing at me when I made really stupid mistakes.

You made me smile when you climbed over that wall, cos there was no way on God's green I was planning on following, and at least we made sure the fire brigade were busy for a while.

It was a great weekend for learning, although I'm afraid you haven't totally talked me out of the ambulance service yet.

I would talk about specific jobs I saw you do, but in all honesty I can't remember most of them. I don't think I've ever been so tired in all my life.

For the time being, here's an open offer to come and visit me at medical school, pending me actually being there for the next year....

Thanks again


30 August 2007

Random musings from a night shift

  • Why do elderly patients always know where to grab and exactly how hard to do it? Also, how can you see to grab my left breast in the dark? I can't see you grabbing me, so how are you so damned accurate??
  • Why is it that as soon as I grab a cup of coffee a call bell goes off, or a patient falls out of bed?
  • Why does the call bell make me feel guilty for not moving quicker?
  • How come, after quite a few A&E shifts (of days and nights) I still haven't seen someone with something inserted into an orifice?
  • Why is every Philipino nurse pregnant?
  • How come I always get wee splashed in my face?

29 August 2007


I'm just about to start my second night shift, which means I'm going to be a tad on the grumpy side in the morning.

Happily, I'm doing something interesting and blogworthy this weekend, so more news when I get back into a permanent internet area...

26 August 2007


Why do dads always have to make bad jokes?
I've been feeling pretty shitty all day today. Not a hangover, before you comment.

I've been having hot and cold spells, muscular and joint pain and generally feeling really run down.

My father, thinking he's being clever, suggested that maybe it was because I'd been sitting in front of the computer, and had 'caught a virus'. Oh how very amusing.

It means that I've either caught something from a patient while I've been at work, or stress has finally caught me up.

I had my resit recently, and unless I pass it, I'm out of medical school. So no stress there or owt. Anyway, it's in the lap of the gods now, and there's nowt I can do to change it. But I guess stressing won't help me. I suppose I could always be the most qualified auxiliary nurse in the hospital. That would be fun....

The worm has turned

Just to prove a point. This is my flesh tunnel. Not huge. Not gross. Not big enough to get pulled out.
And, it would appear the worm has turned. My mum has just offered to change my cartilage stud over to a sterling silver ring for me. I think I'm still reeling in shock.
But for the time being, I'm sat watching the Turkish Grand Prix, eating home made bramble sponge pudding.

24 August 2007

*yawn yawn*

I've just come off a 10 hour night shift in A&E, so please excuse me if my thoughts don't quite seem joined up.

I'm afraid it's a tad too late for the flesh tunnel Cal, it's already well on its way. Don't worry though, it's well covered.... I also don't intend for it to be a permanent fixture, and I don't intend to have anything like this , think something a tad smaller and more discrete.

At this particular moment in time I am pinching WiFi at the train station (again) while waiting to get home. My train is at noon, which means that the chances of me staying awake until then are decreasing rapidly.

I have some interesting stuff planned for the next week, but more will become clear if someone ever answers their emails (you know who you are...).

An interesting A&E night was had last night, whereby I was taught how to do ECGs. How long I will retain this information in my brain for remains to be seen, but I'm more than prepared to try again.

Otherwise I'm fine. I had my monthly check up for the anti-depressants yesterday, and it was a locum rather than my normal GP.

She asked me if I'd ever tried to commit suicide. I hope she knew I was joking when I said, given my biomedical sciences background and medical education, that I wouldn't try, I would succeed.

Maybe that's a topic I shouldn't be flippant about with the doctor. But having worked in A&E for around 10 shifts now, I see a lot of people who take overdoses of paracetamol and then call for help. This is my opinion, but that's not a suicide attempt. That's a call for help. And that's just not me.

I have my blog and my friends to vent my spleen on. And thankfully, the friends I have made through this blog have proven to be amazing. So you know who you all are. Hugs and Kisses to all of you.

OK, I really need to sleep now. I'm getting soft and soppy.

23 August 2007


So picture the scene. I'm standing making polite small talk with my parents, who are still sulking due to my 2 new piercings.

I'm waiting for a train to take me back to the Southern regions, but it appears to be delayed. By 65 minutes. That is a hell of a lot of small talk.

All is fine though, until my mother utters the immortal words:

'why can I see daylight through that earring?'

Balls balls balls.

21 August 2007

In the doghouse

Coming home hasn't gone so well. I'm hiding in the dining room as we speak.

You see, when I was at Download in June I had a piercing done. Nothing sensational, just another lobe piercing. Simple, right?

I recently had another one done through the cartilage at the top. Which would be well and good, if I'd actually got round to telling my parents.

Despite the fact that I'm almost 24 years old, my parents are still very against piercings and tattoos. And despite the fact that it is in fact my body, I'm being made to feel very deceitful.

Ho Hum, guess the tattoo will just have to wait a couple more years..

(and at least they haven't spotted the flesh tunnel I'm growing yet...)

I'm not saying I didn't enjoy V2007, but....

....it was a bit wet. And cold. And muddy.

And my tent is now sitting on the lawn at home trying to dry (and failing due to further rain...)

It's all good. I'm heading back to Yorkshire today for a dentist's appointment, so I shall have unbridled internet access (my parents finally caved and got WiFi!!!)

17 August 2007

*incomprehensible grunt*

I'm absolutely sodding knackered.
I've just finished a 10 hour shift in Accident and Emergency.
I've spent most of the night doing pregnancy tests and splashing my face with other people's wee (by accident I might add).
And at noon today, I shall be heading off to V festival in Staffordshire....
...... for reasons that I'm sure will feel a lot better after some sleep.

So if you see me, say Hi! I will probably be wearing a cowboy hat!

15 August 2007

Merys does golf

OK, so I should be studying at the moment (not all my exams went as well as my first OSCE...just don't ask!) , but at the weekend I decided to head off somewhere warm this weekend and have a day off.

So here, for your viewing pleasure is 'Merys does Golf'. Needless to say, I didn't win.
Don't say I never upload any pictures for you!
Anyway, night shift tonight and a ton of studying to do, so I best hit the books again!

14 August 2007

Nelly The Elephant

Ok, so maybe my sense of humour is a little twisted. The 'Nelly The Elephant' station in my OSCE relates to the CPR station (or basic life support).

Please see John's blog (and in particular this page for an explanation!)

My first OSCE

OSCEs scare me. It’s official. Yet there’s that little bit of bolshiness in me that actually thrives on the kick I get from doing stations. I’ve always been that sort of person that enjoys ticking boxes.

I guess that’s why I love martial arts; you have to perform on the grading exam, the tournament or whatever. If you don’t, you fail. Simple.

OSCEs are very similar. You get either 5 or 10 minutes per station to perform your little heart out and vomit back the text book you’ve been eating for the last month.

Let me explain something first…. First year OSCEs are meant to introduce you to the style of the exam. However, they are not mocks, and they do count.

8 stations, 1 rest break. Some stations were 5 minutes and a couple were 10 (sadly not the rest break….).
The theory is that each different station lies behind a curtain or a door. Pinned to the door or the wall near the curtain is your scenario and your instructions. 1 minute to read the instructions and 5/10 minutes to act your socks off and do as you’ve been learning.

I have never ever known an hour to go so fast in all of my life. It felt like one minute I was heading in, and the next I was leaving. If only lectures could go so fast.

With the exception of the Nelly The Elephant station (BLS) and the ‘talk to the consultant’ station, all of the rest of the patients were real.

The ‘talk to the consultant’ station was meant to be the biggest challenge, yet I managed to fluke it….Basically, you were given a piece of paper with a set of lab results and basic history from the patient and asked to interpret it according to what you’d learnt so far in medical school. I’m pretty sure this might have been harder had it not been something I’d studied intensively during my MSc in Human Health. I guess my luck will eventually fade.

Anyway, the most daunting hour of my year was over, and I oddly came out with a huge grin on my face!

Not quite as huge as the grin on my face when I got the results though….108/120 with full marks on 2 stations. Pass mark for the year was 85.

Go Merys

13 August 2007

Feeding time at the zoo

Sometimes I think it would be safer to work at a veterinarian's office or a zoo. At least then it isn't a suprise when the patients scratch, claw, scream/shout and swing at you, nor when they poo, wee, fart, spit or vomit on you.

Last night was a prime example of a seemingly normal night shift (for me anyway!) until it all went a bit wrong.

Between one horridly hallucinating 16 year old boy who had OD'd on goodness knows what and ended up being sat on by 3 security staff and being sedated (it took 2 lots of tablets, lorazepam and haloperidol in the end...) and several elderly patients with dementia, it turned out to be an incredibly noisy night shift.

I now have a splitting headache starting, and ended the shift by being told to F$#k off by a patient, it was a wonderful night....Typical medical assessment unit.

So now I am off to get a bus home and fall into bed... at least until 1.30PM when I apparently have a pain clinic appointment....

01 August 2007

One of those rare things

I have a day off. And I spent the majority of it in bed reading Harry Potter (as I still haven't had the chance to finish it yet!).
Later today I'm going to head into the shops and see if I can manage to make £10 get me a week's worth of groceries...

...then I'm back at work again tomorrow for a morning of plastic surgery outpatients.

Friday I have a day booked out with an ECP and am hoping to get some more interesting experience through that.. more after Friday.

New house is still minus the internet, so posts will be desperately sporadic I'm afraid!

28 July 2007

It was like a scene from a Benny Hill sketch....

Realistically, if I were a 93 year old gentleman unexpectedly hospitalised into a care of the elderly ward, there are worse things I could do than have 6 nurses trying to chase me back into bed several times in an afternoon.

I suppose I would also probably have the dirtiest laugh imaginable, be bright red in the face and be unable to speak properly from the excitement caused.

You see, as an auxillary nurse this kind of falls within my domain; catching and following escaping patients. I usually don’t mind, except when the 93 year old gentleman in question had had an MI earlier and didn’t realise due to his dementia.

By the end of the 6th attempt at returning him to bed, he was pale and sweaty and the nurses were flushed and panicked.

Thankfully nothing major had happened to him from a cardiac viewpoint, but he did manage to tire himself out enough to sleep during the night. I hope the shift change appreciated our efforts.

27 July 2007

To be a failure (part 2)

Ok, so I guess the title is a bit of a lie. There was a part 2, and it is written, but given that it's on the hard drive of my computer, which is in pieces it seems a little difficult to post. Frankly, it also seems a tad pointless. You get the gist. My mother and I were at war, but for the time being we appear to be experiencing peace talks.

It's because I decided to stay in my university area and not return home for the summer vacation. Realistically I had no choice.

Things have been very up and down this year, and due to stress and management issues I will not be continuing working as a halls warden for the university. Instead, I have moved into a house with two wonderful medical students in my year. My rent started immediately and I finished my training to be an auxillary nurse. So in all honesty, it seemed a tad daft to return to Yorkshire, work for £6 an hour at the leisure centre while paying rent on a house down here, and missing out on valuable clinical experience that pays a lot better!

So my mother and I fell out. She's experiencing what I believe is 'empty nest syndrome'. Hopefully, she's starting to come out of it a bit now, and accept that at nearly 24 years old, my home is where I make it, not necessarily where I was born.

Anyway, the shifts at the hospital are going well. I have plenty to blog about, but I have no internet in my new house yet (so apologies, but I have no idea when I will get them written).

I was hijacking next-door's wireless, but I think they may have clocked me....

Thanks for all your support!

Skint Merys

18 July 2007

To be a failure (part 1)

I promised I wouldn’t bring this up again, but someone else keeps stirring around in the brown stuff, so I guess I have to.

Apparently when my grandmother was ill, and before she died, I failed her. I was told tonight that I’m selfish and insolent, and I showed my true colours when she was ill. This was all from the same person who refused to let me visit her in hospital because she wasn’t the grandmother I knew. The same person who told me it wasn’t my fault, and that I wasn’t to know how ill she was. The same person who now isn’t speaking to me, and is sat in her bedroom sniffling and blowing her nose.

I’m sorry if I was selfish, and I’m sorry I didn’t go to see her. But I’ve already had this niggling away at the back of my mind since she died. Thank you mum, for your harsh and cutting words.

I love you, but I’m finding it very hard to speak to you right now.

16 July 2007

I'm still alive


I've just finished my last of 4 night shifts on MAU (medical assessment unit) and I'm pooped.

I do however have some interesting stories to tell, and as soon as I can get familiar with my bed again I will blog them.

Also, I've just moved house, so no internet at home yet.

30 June 2007

Shit Happens

Well, I was meant to be doing a morning shift (0700 - 1200) on the endocrinology and general medicine ward. However, while doing my magic stuff with a male urinal bottle, the nurse bank office tried to phone me on the ward.

Thinking the worst (CRB showing I was an axe wielding maniac etc) I agreed to call them back when I was less occupied.

Instead the conversation went as follows:

Me: Hello, it's Merys Jones on Ward 12, you called me?
Nurse Bank: Ah hello! We wondered what you were up to this afternoon...
Me: Erm.... not a lot. What did you have in mind?
NB: Don't suppose you want to do an afternoon shift as well on orthopaedic ward 16?
Me: Yeah, what times exactly?
NB: Really? Cool. You finish on 12 at 12 noon, so do you fancy doing a 1230 to 1930?
Me: Aye, OK. It's not like I've got anything better to do!

So hence I ended up in the hospital for 12.5 hours on Thursday. Ironically, they did exactly the same thing to me on Friday.

Therefore, I have managed to do 4 shifts in 2 days, and accrue 22.25 hours of work already.

However, I think the apathy is already setting in with regards to the call bell. It's one of those noises that drives through your skull and makes you want to cry.

3 more shifts starting Monday on a Care of the Elderly ward. I wonder how many times I can wipe bottoms during that....

28 June 2007


It's been over a year since I did a proper shift in a hospital as a HCA. I start again properly in 40 minutes. I'm a tad nervous to say the least, and seem to have lost the ability to type properly (this has taken far too long to write in logical sentences).

Wish me luck

27 June 2007


You know, sometimes I think I've got my priorities wrong.
During term time I was doing less than I'm doing in my 'holidays'.

I've decided not to return to Yorkshire for work this Summer, as I've started working for the auxillary nurse bank at the nearest hospital. The money's a bit better, the experience is more relevant and I've got a house to pay rental on.

Realistically, the decision was made for me.

Results are out this week, I've got a thousand and one things to do and not enough time to do it in. Apparently, trying to hold down 3 jobs isn't as easy as it seems.

I've also discovered that my Hepatitis B immunity is low, meaning I have to get another booster. Something which isn't filling me with great enthusiasm. I'm not the biggest lover of needles, and the last needle hurt a lot. I've also had 5 vaccinations of Hep B anyway, so I'm not quite sure what's going on. I have decided that I don't like the Occ Health department though, as they don't seem to quite know what's going on. Which is always fun.

25 June 2007


On Friday I outed myself. I confessed to two of my closest and dearest friends about this blog. To be honest, they both knew I had a blog, and Caroline reads Tom Reynolds, so I figured it was safest to confess before being found.

So, since they know ‘may’ read the blog, I promised I would write about them.

I had my final OSCE this week, and since the weather was good I met up with Frankie and Caroline in the park.

The exam hadn’t gone too brilliantly, and I don’t think swearing in one of my stations was the best thing I could have done. Why is it that your brain goes to toffee at the most inopportune moments? How many times have I practiced that particular station? How many other people have I gone through it with? Only to go and balls it up on my own! Never mind.

Anyhow, I phoned Frankie to see where she was, and to be told they were having a picnic in the park.

3 large glasses of wine later and I was fast asleep, face down in the sun dribbling on my own arm. I am truly a classy chick. Bless the ladies though, they decided they didn’t want me to get too burnt and covered me up and left me.

We then decided that the children’s park seemed like a plan, and bounced off in the direction of the swings (well, Caroline and Frankie went on the swings, I preferred the slide!).

A slow mooch back to university, a DVD and some chips, and my first year is over (pending passing everything!).

I can’t believe how fast it’s all gone, and I’m in extreme denial about possibly starting the second year.

I just have the small issues of resubmitting coursework and getting my results!

19 June 2007

2 OSCEs down

...and 2 passed to date! Results just came out! Just the one more to go.

On life in general

I've neglected this blog of late. In my defence, I've been in the middle of coursework, being ill and just being plain stressed with impending exams.

I have just the one exam left now, my final end of year HUGE OSCE. AKA the OSCE of DOOM.

Consequently, my procrastination has increased exponentially and my work done has decreased. I've even voluntarily done exercise (swimming and more cycling than normal) to avoid practicing.

I've started to feel a bit better now that the amoxycillin has kicked in, but it does limit my alcohol intake this week (with the end of the year being close....). However, I've agreed to be a 'social co-ordinator' of this week's activities, just to confirm that I can't be drinking alcohol. (There's always one sober person taking photograohs isn't there!)

I can't believe that after this week my first year is officially over. And pending passing everything, I will be one year closer to qualifying as a doctor.

It's really terrifying how fast the year has gone. It's been even more rapid than my MSc year, and I didn't think that was possible.

In the next couple of weeks I will reflect on the year gone past (academically). Hopefully, if anyone out there is coming to medical school this year, it may be of help. Then again, it may be boring as sin! Who knows.

Take care you lot and wish me luck!

15 June 2007


1 spare nerve. My last one seems to have migrated for better accommodation.

If I wasn't so tired/stressed/in pain I could be a very angry person at the moment.

As it is, I can't be arsed. Two exams down, two to go (pending passing them, that is).

On the plus side, it appears to have stopped raining here. Which is nice. Because being stuck in an exam hall when the sun is shining (and everyone else is outside frolicking) really improves my mood.

Lord knows what I'll do if I fail these exams. I'm not sure I could cope with the resits!

14 June 2007

OK, now's the time to panic

Right. Let's get things in order.

I have a 'chest infection' and some amoxycillin. Realistically, amoxycillin isn't going to help me by tomorrow's exam paper.

My muscles all hurt. My forearms, calves, shoulders, face and stomach. I appreciate that a few of those are caused by coughing, but some aren't.

My joints hurt. I'm gonna go with stress on this one.

I'm physically and mentally worn out. I went for a 30 minute power nap at 19.30 and woke up 10 minutes ago panicking.

Once I start coughing I can't stop, and am bringing stuff up that's a beautiful colour (the doctor praised my use of the word 'khaki', and said she'd never heard it described that way!).

My notes are all over the place, I can't revise, yet I need to.

I need to take some pain killers as I can't concentrate, yet I'm stuck with paracetamol, as anything else would add to the tiredness.

Oh, and I'm well and truly back on the diet coke.

How the hell am I going to sit 2 exams tomorrow?????

13 June 2007

*hate hate hate*

What started as an amazing week has gone somewhat downhill.

I knew that a weekend that amazing could only be followed by something truly appalling.

The exams are looming, I have a beautifully brewing chest infection (green/brown ick), my asthma's gone nuts and my peak flow is down a lot for me. Sadly, I have no hope in hell of getting to see the GP before my exams, not that I expect it would do anything.

Essentially, I should be studying, yet with something much more major happening this weekend (which isn't good...) I can't seem to motivate.

Sadly, all I seem to be doing is crying, wanting to chuck myself down a flight of stairs and wheezing. In nice stressful vicious cycles.

If I survive until the end of exams it will be a miracle.

11 June 2007

Bloody aeroplanes...

OK, why did no-one tell me that Donington Park is in the middle of the flight path for East Midlands Airport, and particularly the runway?

Obviously, it took me until Saturday night to realise that earplugs were evidently the only way I was going to get any sleep.

All in all, the festival was amazing, and something I will never forget (in fact, I intend to try and go again next year....)
I managed to see most of the bands I wanted to, got something pierced, only got hit by 4 plastic bottles during My Chemical Romance (and only 1 was full of some ominous brown liquid - hopefully coke...) and generally enjoyed the experience all weekend.

And now, I just feel like I should curl up and die somewhere for a very long time.

Sleep deprivation doesn't really suit me, and I feel like death.

And if I ever hear another painfully low aeroplane across a campsite, I may just swear...

08 June 2007

bring on the rain.

OSCEs finished for this week, SSM handed in, and today I'm heading off to spend 3 days in a muddy field at Download 2007.

At least I will get the full festival experience (might even come back with a tattoo....)

Catch you on the flipside, and I may even take some photos...

06 June 2007


Ok, maybe giving up diet coke wasn't one of my better ideas.
It's left me to turn excessively to coffee and flavoured syrups. This means I now have a caffeine AND sugar high.

04 June 2007

Going cold turkey

I'm about to do something very risky this week.
Given my current financial situation (ahem) I've decided to cut out unnecessary expenditures in my lifestyle.
Also, given my current addiction, it wouldn't be a bad thing.
You see, I may be a tad addicted to Diet Coke. OK, more than a tad....

...I drink on average 5 cans a day (often more if I have them in) and I'm getting a little worried that this might be a bit excessive.

So, once the current multipack runs out, that's it. No more until I get through exams and the festival this weekend.

I intend to limit myself only to coffee, tea, orange juice and milk. That's it. No carbonated beverages at all.

Lord only knows how I'll be by the time OSCE rolls around...

03 June 2007

The Joy Of Willpower

Last night was the last student night at the Union before our exams start, and was absolutely packed with medical students from my year.

I thank all the medical students at my Union for desperately trying to make me drink last night. Thankfully I have willpower, since I have an exam at 0900 today for one of my hobbies.

Time to attribute my lack of hangover to sheer determination.

...shame I didn't have the willpower to stay away from the Union full stop though really.

01 June 2007

seven days

In 7 days time I will have finished my 2nd OSCE of the year and submitted my SSM.

....I will also be packed and on my way to Download 2007!!

I promise I will take lots of pictures for you all!

31 May 2007

Sheer amazement

It terrifies me that people now accept that I'm training to be a doctor.
Take today for example...

Standing on the ward going to clerk a patient prior to observing their operation in the morning. All I have to do is mention I'm a medical student and I immediately get shown the notes and where the patient is.

It's like I'm immediately accepted into the realm of health care professionals and expected to know something.... when all I want to do is stand in a corner and watch someone else do it all.

Also, everyone seems to want to ask me questions (and oddly, I seem to know the answers...)

It scares me, it really does.

28 May 2007

And then you realise you've overdone it...

For some reason my body decided to rebel yesterday. It was rather odd....

Merrily charging around the forest with a team building day, doing outdoorsy stuff when I started feeling a tad unwell.

I know the weather wasn't amazing yesterday, but I was cold. Really cold. Shaking cold. This was especially odd since I was being really active and stomping around and helping people. Also, I was wearing 3 layers of clothing (vest top, polo shirt, hoodie) and an all weather waterproof coat. In fact I was wearing so many layers of clothing I was resembling the Michelin man.

I mooched back in the direction of the office to see the boss to say I wasn't feeling well (and to sneak a cup of tea). Next thing I started feeling dizzy as I was wandering inside, and ended up sat on the floor under the worktops.

Cue me spending the next 30 minutes curled up in a ball under the counter shaking with cold , having a minging headache, wanting to be alone in a dark place and feeling generally retched. By this time I'd also acquired a thinsulate wooly hat and a pair of gloves.

I think my body has just decided I've been overdoing it lately. I did spend all day Saturday on a training day, followed by bar work until late.

Ironically, all the way home in the car I was curled up asleep (obviously not driving!), yet when I got home I couldn't rest.

Tribute to my need to help other people I mooched back into my bar and sat and kept the barman company (playing chess, cards and checkers) until his shift finished at 10.30 last night (the bar was dead and he would have been bored stupid!).

I still feel a little like I've been through the wringer, but I really don't have time to slow down at the moment.

Exams are looming and I have an exam coming up for something I do in my spare time, as well as working every hour sent to try and study.

Roll on the Summer holidays.

25 May 2007

....and then I had a realisation....

Yesterday I had one of 'those' realisations. You know the ones where everything seems to make sense, and you realise that you're actually very satisfied to be doing what you're doing.
I discovered this while standing watching an operation in theatre.
I was having a look through the list with the scrub nurse and asked if I could go and see the next patient before they brought him down to theatre. They said that was fine (and I guess I was probably standing in the way again....) and I pootled off in the direction of the ward to go and find the elusive next patient.
I arrived on the ward (feeling very self conscious that I was still wearing scrubs...) and asked if it was OK to speak to the patient. At this point the staff nurse decided to warn me that our patient was 'a cantancerous git and hated doctors'. Wonderful, sounded like fun. I nearly backed out and decided to leave him in peace, but decided I needed the challenge.

Oddly, he was as nice as pie with me. Absolutely amazingly friendly. Told me off for calling him Mr Delaney* and insisted I called him George. He was unhappy that he had been kept waiting so long, but I pushed my luck and told him that it shouldn't be too long now.

As it happened, the ODP and I crossed paths as I returned to theatre and he went to collect him.

Nevertheless, I got a smile and a chat in the anaesthetic room. Made me happy.

* Obviously not his real name.

20 May 2007

8 Things Meme

JD tagged me with a meme, so I guess it's only fair I tell you 8 random things about myself, and then tag another 8 people to do the same:
  1. I buy glasses like handbags and currently have 4 pairs, as well as 3 pairs of coloured contact lenses and 1 pair of normal ones.
  2. I buy shoes and handbags like, erm... shoes and handbags and have an excessive amount of the former, most of which I don't wear.
  3. I'm very good at baking, but not amazing at cooking. My specialist skill is with chocolate cake.
  4. I have an unusual job.
  5. I like a wide range of music, everything from The Beatles through to Mr Scruff, Lemar, Motown, Soul and Rock. I go through phases, and currently it's rock music for me.
  6. I love this film, as it reminds me of my childhood. My parents recorded it from the TV when I was about 4, and I still have (and watch) it when I go home. Sadly, I was about 14 when I realised it wasn't actually real....
  7. I'm very artistic and handy with a paintbrush, pliers, clay, wire, pencils, crayons, sequins and fabric. In fact, I'm the housemate from hell, unless you need a pair of earrings in a hurry...
  8. I am a closet Kenny Rogers fan.... (if you don't know, then google. I'm too ashamed to link)
At which point I am going to stop talking, and instead Tag: Faith, Michael, Laura, Trainee Paramedic, Lola, Kal of TQ, SMM, and John.


Wow, I am getting so lax with posting at the moment. Problem is, I've been hellishly busy. We've been advised to spend as much time at the local teaching hospital to gain experience. No other years are there at the moment, so we've been encouraged to go and randomly find doctors/nurses and ask to clerk some patients.
It's been generally enjoyable, but thoroughly exhausting. I also seem to have turned into a 'twinset and pearls' person overnight - wearing comfortable shoes and pop-socks under my trousers (I swear to god, I hated those things last year, but now they seem normal because all the girls seem to be wearing them!)
I've also started to wander around permanently with a notepad and pen (although not my stethoscope yet - since I don't know how to use it!).

The placement's been enjoyable, and I aim to spend tomorrow afternoon there too. I am getting a tad irritable with my peers though. While I mentioned that I'm becoming a frump with my dress, some of my colleagues make me seem desperately conservative. Since when was cleavage and thigh on a chubby bird an attractive feature in a nightclub, never mind on a care of the elderly ward? It actually makes me angry, considering we were told what not to wear.

Maybe I'm just getting officially old...

15 May 2007

The end of an era

Note: This will be a potentially morbid post. Please stop reading now if you think this will annoy you. After this post the subject is officially closed. This post was written later in the day of the funeral, and has just been unearthed.

It’s been an interesting day, and certainly proof that you can’t pick your relations.
Today I have learnt that I’m getting to be very stuck up, and slightly snobby with regards to my family.

One of my cousins turned up to the funeral in a clingy, short and marginally transparent cheap black dress. I should now point out that the girl in question is a woman’s size 18-20 (UK) and is less than 5ft3 in height. I feel that the boundaries of taste and decency were crossed on that one, but I really shouldn’t be commenting – that’s just what she’s like.

Before the service we went to my grandmother’s old warden controlled bungalow, for the last time before the tenancy ceases this Friday, and the keys are handed back to the housing agency.

It seemed odd to walk into her empty house – a house where I spent many childhoods learning interesting things like baking, patchworking, embroidery and knitting. My parents never believed in child minders, and on the rare occasions I needed looking after, I went to either sets of grandparents. I think it did me a world of good, and taught me my ‘homely’ and ‘arty’ skills. Things that I can still do to this day.

The house was still largely filled with her possessions, although you could see faded marks across the walls where photographs had been removed by the family. The dresser also stood empty where willow pattern plates had been taken. It upsets me that the entirety of someone’s life gets divided up like playing cards. That something so very personal can be left to ‘who gets there first’.

From her home we walked through our tiny village behind the hearse, holding hands with my father as we walked in procession. From there I left my father to be with his sisters, while I kept my mother company.

The funeral service was wonderful, what little of it I managed to focus on. The reverend was a close friend of my immediate family and someone I deeply respect and admire. He did my grandmother justice and remembered her with dignity. And as a mark of her popularity and long existence within our area – the church was packed. Sadly, her passing marks the end of three generations in our village (and when I finally leave home, only one will remain).

With the end of the service came the burial, and something I would have preferred not to have seen. My mother hates seeing people placed in the ground, and couldn’t go near the graveside, so I went with my father to hold his hand. I hate seeing men cry, especially my father, so it was slightly upsetting to see his bloodshot and red eyes as we came out of the church.

A handful of soil and a prayer later and it was all over. No major family rows and no harsh words. The opal and amethyst ring wasn’t mentioned by any party, but I suspect the topic will be discussed in the next few weeks.

At last!

Dr Crippen will be pleased:

MTAS Online system abandoned

Life, the universe and everything

Aside from being excessively cheerful and productive at the moment, there's so much going on in my life that I'm managing to make work.

I've had so little spare time it's shocking, yet my work seems to be getting done and I'm thoroughly enjoying life in general.

It seems so wrong that before Easter I was so fed up I contemplated quitting.

In other news, I'm going to look at a house on Friday with some older friends (also medics), as I feel my time in halls is done.

It will be the first time I've lived in a house, and I'm really excited!

Otherwise, it's life as normal preparing for OSCEs and exams. Just normal medical school life really....

10 May 2007

busy busy busy

I never thought I would say this:

But I am really enjoying medical school at the moment. I have been for a few weeks actually...

It seems odd to think just how much I hated it before the Easter break, compared to how mellow and contented I am now.

Uni at the moment is centred around preparation for second year with regards to spending the odd day or two in hospital. Needless to say, I'm enjoying myself immensely, even if the concept of learning to clerk a patient scares the crap out of me....

Never mind, hospital day today so I'd best get polished and tidy and off on the bike!

06 May 2007

The simple things

It's funny how small things please me sometimes.

Apart from the fresh air, free food and free exercise, one of the best things about working outside in the mud is very rudimentary.

And I shall apologise now.... I'm no lady when it comes to this.....

....when you gotta fart you really gotta fart.

I'd had a curry on Saturday night and was feeling a tad gassy today. Nothing quite beats being able to wander into a forest while your customers are busy and just being able to be 'blokey' for a few seconds.

Very liberating!

I am such a minger

02 May 2007

Lord of the rings...

Isn't it amazing how much bitching and fighting goes on in the wake of a family death?

My father had gone round to deposit some of my grandmother's clothing from the hospital back at her house, when he found all the drawers had been pulled open and everything rooted through. The jewellery boxes had been strewn onto the bed and the contents had been searched through. My grandmother never had a lot of possessions, and didn't have a will, so it was curious to see what was being searched for.

The next time my father saw his sisters he enquired as to what they were looking for. A ring, amethyst and opal that had apparently been promised to someone on their part of the family.

My father asked why, and was told that amethyst was the particular birthstone and she had been promised it as a child.

Interesting then that when my cousin (who was disputing this ring) had been offered the ring as a teenager she had refused. Interesting that she wanted it now.

Interesting then that opal is my birthstone (for October) and as a 6 year old child an opal and amythyst gold ring was given to my mother to hand onto me in the future.

Oddly, I shall not be wearing it to the funeral. That would be rubbing salt into the wounds.

Maybe I'm being just as petty as them. I don't know. It just sickens me that the death of a loved one can result in a pissing contest between family members over a piece of jewellery. I don't even have the ring myself, it never fitted me and would need some adjustment first. To be honest, I'm not sure I would ever wear it, but it's the only thing I have, and the last thing I will part with.

30 April 2007

Winding down

I took Thursday and Friday off last week, and had a day trip to the beach on Saturday. Much needed chillout and rewind.

I have to return to Yorkshire tomorrow afternoon to face the family and the ensuing war, which should be a barrel of laughs...

When I come back I will return to normal blogging, starting with my recent appraisal and how my OSCE went....

26 April 2007

And then it all goes balls up.

Sadly last night I received some bad news. My grandmother died last night in hospital, and it wasn't particularly expected (well not to me anyway).

My poor father has fallen apart having lost his mother, and couldn't speak to me between choking back tears.

Hence today has been written off completely and I intend to crawl back into bed now.

I was meant to be on a placement day today, but I simply couldn't face it, so I've taken the day off.

Unfortunately I'm a selfish bitch, and can't help thinking that if I'd got off my arse when I was at home I could have gone around and seen her. We lived a mere 2 minutes walk from her, and now I can't see her anymore.

My last memory is of the family wedding I attended, looking after her and keeping her company when no-one else seemed to want to.

Unfortunately my mind is full of unanswered questions, and I feel selfish for wanting a post-mortem so that I can get some answers.

Worse still, from the environment I work and study in, in my mind I can't help but see her laid out, or in a fridge somewhere. Worried that her hair is a mess, or that someone hasn't held her hand or stroked her face. Worse still no-one was with her and no-one said goodbye.

Especially not me.

Sometimes it just really messes you up.

24 April 2007

So wrong, yet so catching

To reflect my amazing mood, I found this online and it made me smile....after I stopped cringing.

Spring Cleaning

I'm having a vastly productive period at the moment. As well as cleaning my flat from top to bottom (due to having a visitor today) I have also spring cleaned the sidebar.

It's with sadness I've removed some redundant links, but with joy that I add some new ones. Feel free to take a look.


22 April 2007

Mellow Yellow

Do you know, there is so much that I want to blog about right this second? Stuff that I want to scream from the rooftops, that I want to announce to the entire blogosphere....

...but I can't.

So you're just going to have to take my word for it that I'm smiling. On the inside and the outside at the moment.

The weather is good, work was fun yesterday in the great outdoors and I went to an amazing event last night.

The rest of the university has returned, and life is back pretty much as it was before Easter break - but minus the thunderclouds.

How long the good mood will last I do not know.

Just pray for sunshine....

20 April 2007

On Being a Proper Student

Being the lazy arse student I am, I have just had a takeaway pizza/burgers with my housemates.

What better way to feed myself on a Friday night before heading off to bed for a long day and an early start tomorrow morning.

Plus, I now have 2 slices of garlic bread pizza for breakfast.

Which is of course, the only acceptable way to live as a student.

The end is near

So, with resolve I had my last day at work on Wednesday and managed to survive the trains to get back Dahn Sarf.

New start, new leaf, new term.

Plus I had my first monthly check up after starting on fluoxetine. I went in smiling and chirpy and left smiling and chirpy. No tears, no depressive remarks, low on the sarcasm. Maybe things actually are starting to work - or maybe it's just because I've been at home for a month.....

I'm taking today off and declaring a duvet day, as I have a hellishly busy weekend ahead of me.
Starting with the mud rolling tomorrow..... Just pray the good weather holds out for the sake of my mood and my feet (I hate getting stuck in bogs at work....)

16 April 2007

Ickle Piggies

Well, my toes are now a beautiful shade of green and still hurting. The whole lateral side of my foot has gone blue/green too, which is nice.

I have strapped them together with some bandage I found in my first aid kit, and now they hurt even more.

Thank god for flip-flops and crocs, or I would have no shoes.

Mind you, I don't think dancing like a woman possessed on Saturday night, while hideously drunk has helped the issue, as they hurt like crazy on Sunday morning, which when combined with the dodgy head and stomach left me feeling like a wonderful example of health (self inflicted obviously).

I'm just wondering how rolling around in the mud on Saturday is going to bear up....

12 April 2007

Personally, I blame the children.

In my area of the leisure centre, one of my responsibilities is to the large children’s soft play area. You know the kind of place that’s swarming with the under 10's and very tired looking mothers? That’s part of my working environment.

We have play leaders who keep an eye on the area and help the littler ones play and get up to the big slides etc, and serve food and drinks to keep mum/dad and children happy.

All in all it’s my favourite area to work in, especially when there are no new arrivals to be booked in and no cleaning to do. It means I can just do what the kids do, and play!

What can I say, I’m just a big kid at heart, and I love taking the excuse to ‘see if the slides need polishing’ or ‘if the frame needs cleaning’.

So, shoes off and I’m in the area with the children, running and climbing with the best of them (just avoiding low roofs, because it is for kids after all….). All is good, down the slide a few times and swap back with the normal staff.

One of the things that keep me the busiest at work when we’re full, is the accident book. I’m one of my workplace’s recognised first aider’s, and usually the one they call if anything major has happened. Also, with having so many areas in one building where different things happen, the staff will keep me fairly busy with accidents in the workplace (which obviously have to be documented).

Yesterday I had a ‘first’. I had to put myself in the accident book. Much to the amusement of many of the staff, who all magically appeared to ‘check that I was alright’ (yeah right guys).

We had a large children’s group in our soft play area (35 children) and the staff were stood around doing nothing. So I did what all good managers do, and arranged a game of ‘tag’. Staff were on versus the children. Eventually I got roped in as well, and being the ‘team player’ I am, I decided to pelt into the structure (avoiding the children of course). Quite happily avoiding being ‘tagged’ I was running across a rope bridge when a part of me body became stuck under a rope... 3 of my toes.

How I managed to not fill the air with expletives I do not know. More importantly, how I managed to get back down the slide was impressive….

One ice pack and an accident book later and I have at least one broken toe (self diagnosed). I don’t see the point in going and getting them checked out, as I’ve broken them before. They’ve gone a delightful shape and colour and hurt like hell. I’m just so very glad that one of the pairs of shoes I still have at home are my crocs.

Bloody children. I blame them.