26 February 2007

Dirty Boots

I had a really interesting day yesterday with my new job. I got absolutely covered in mud (and I mean from head to toe) and fell over a couple of times, but still came home with a smile on my face.
I've just had to de-mud my boots, as they aren't fit for bringing into my flat, and I have a huge smelly bin liner full of mud and clothes that has to go in the wash.

I love fresh air and wandering around outside.

Maybe I do need a career change after all.

25 February 2007

0630 Sunday Morning

Q. So why was I up at this time this morning?
A. I have a new job.

You see as you may have noticed I've been experiencing some slight frustration lately. I decided to make my part time job as far removed from medical school as was humanly possible.

So today I start working at an outdoor adventure centre. I've done it before and I enjoyed it the last time. Being female helps gain employment in this field, as does being officially first aid trained and having basic people skills.

So today (and any other weekends they need me) I shall be running around in the mud and trees doing stuff that I enjoy and trying not to get too wet.

Merys will always be a tom boy, no matter how smartly she has to dress to see patients.

Mud is not just for facial treatment!

23 February 2007

Shit happens

Again, I know I've been bad and haven't posted for a few days but I've still been here.
In my usual style I spent this week breaking my back for other people and sorting out their problems, which I actually don't mind doing as it proves a useful distraction for me from my own bad vibes.

This week I hosted a party for some of my mates and baked a whole load of food especially for the occasion (domestic goddess that I am).

I also received a blogging related gift in the post this week. My very own Nurse Quacktitioner! So thankyou to Hospital Phoenix for the present, and she made me smile this week when I opened the envelope.

I'm still pretty cheesed off with being here and the course in general, but have resigned myself to either being here and (hopefully) becoming a doctor, or leaving here and kissing it all goodbye. It's as simple as that.

When I was at university before I didn't always relish the concept of going home to visit family, as it would occasionally lead to less than domestic bliss. Last night I actually cried when I realised that I was going to have to cancel my home trip because I'd been offered some paid work at my new job. I simply couldn't turn it down as I feared I'd made a bad impression at my training day, so therefore wasn't being offered work.

I never thought I'd be so upset to not be able to go home in all my life. However, I have some stuff arranged for Sunday now that should keep me really busy, so I need to stay here and get my head down with some work.

What's worrying me the most (and yes I am moaning) is that being here is affecting my mental health. And that thought terrifies me. I'm probably just stressing unnecessarily, but this place/course is taking me to whole new lows. I've always been a mildly turbulent person, and when I'm happy, I'm bouncing off the ceiling and cheesing everyone else off. Yet when I'm low I can normally cope with it. Except now. Today's fine because the weather's good and it's Friday, but from Monday to Thursday was spent with at least 10 minutes of crying per day mixed in with skipping lectures and spending time alone and sulking.

This just isn't like me. I never skip lectures (and don't especially sulk), but I'm severely lacking in enthusiasm here. I've even started drinking more than I normally do, and that's very unlike me. I've had 5 hangovers in the last 2 weeks (yet my conscience won't let me get hungover when I have a 'group' session or compulsory lab etc). I'm becoming my own worst enemy at the moment.

So if blogging gets a bit lighter, I trust you will all let me off.


19 February 2007

Still here...

Yup I'm still here - I just needed the weekend off.

Ironically I didn't do as I planned and stay in bed, rather I woke up very early on both days and started to come down with the mother of all colds.

Why is it that on the weekend I can't sleep in (when I would really want to), yet on weekdays I can't get up early and continue to sleep through the alarm clock (multiple times).

With regards to medical school, I just feel the need to re-evaluate my position here. I'm not entirely enjoying the course and it's not what I expected. I'm beginning to wonder if it wasn't all about the chase in the end.

I'm not angry, but I am disappointed in myself. I fought so hard to get here and I'm now not sure if I'm even going to make it, never mind stick it out.

Anyway, enough of the moaning - I have a PBHell assignment to do!

16 February 2007


I'm sorry, Merys is unable to take your message right now as she is currently festering in her pit and trying to ignore the world.

Please consider that Merys has had a shit week on so many levels, and is currently experiencing nausea and dizziness related to ear problems.

She is planning on sticking with medical school until Summer (except in unusual circumstances) and re-evaluating her career then.

12 February 2007

Thank God it's Monday....

It's a shame it's actually Monday today, because my body thinks it needs a Friday again. Seeing as how I didn't really use the last one (or the weekend succeeding it) effectively enough.

I did that thing again whereby I volunteer stupidly to do a lot of stuff for other people at the expense of my own rest and sanity.

I have now volunteered for an extra shift at work and spent all day Sunday outside in the rain with the idea of helping a friend out.

So I have thereby done no academic work all weekend and am entitled to take 2 days off.

Any objections?

11 February 2007

09 February 2007

LovetoLead - take 2

Used through teenage curiosity or closure following the death of a loved one, communication with the dead has long been a taboo subject, shamed by religion and associated with paranormal activities….but does it actually exist?

As a child I remember acquiring a book called the Young Ghosthunter’s Guide, which according to Amazon and Google no longer exists (ironic really…). I always thought the concept of promoting communicating with the dead to an adolescent was a slightly confusing idea, considering that communicating with each other was challenging enough.

I digress…

The book explained how the dead had not made a successful transition to where they were meant to go, and that through methods such as pendulum divining, dowsing and ‘white noise’ techniques, ghosts could be found and ‘communication’ could be attempted.

It explained the different types of ghost Рfrom grey ladies to poltergeists and other transient beings. I found it fascinating and terrifying in equal measures, and was suitably put off when my friends began experimenting with Ouija boards and s̩ances, and scaring themselves terribly while doing it.

Having had my tarot cards read, I was astounded at the amount of ‘true’ information the reader knew about me, claiming he was talking to a deceased relative over my shoulder. Was he genuinely communicating, or just very good at reading people? I suspect the latter.

Does communication with the dead actually exist, or is it our own imagination that allows us to believe it? Ouija boards depend on utmost trust in each other – and how easy is it to prove what is guiding the hands; spirit or nervous twitch?

When interpreting so called white noise, the identification of the voice depends on the interpretation of the user – with a large capacity for error.

The problem is that I’m a natural cynic. I guess that may be reflected by my career path within science rather than art; if something can’t be proven then I am more likely to doubt its existence.

Communicating with the dead? I don’t think so, but if it allows some closure for a grieving relative, is it really a bad thing, or just an unconventional placebo?

08 February 2007

please please please please please vote for me over at LovetoLead for my article as I currently lie in 2nd.

06 February 2007

My 2nd Blogiversary!

Today has a special significance for me.
It is in fact my 2nd blogiversary, and is therefore longer than most of my relationships.
I'm proud of myself for keeping this going for two years, and it will serve a useful reflective journal in years to come (provided I don't accidentally delete it!)
What would make things even better now would be a new laptop! And yes, this is a shameful promotion for you to all vote for me over at Love to Lead for my article. Call me a sour loser at the moment, but I'm upset the the two (at the time of posting) people beating me have set up a blog solely to win a laptop, and something seems a little amiss with the (currently) winning article. Just read it and trust me!
So I beg you all, please vote for me over at Love to Lead - it would make a wonderful blogiversary present this Friday, and go even better with the domain name I've treated myself too (more details when it goes live!)

04 February 2007


Vote for me on Love To Lead

Since I've been dieting, I have now lost a grand total of 7lbs, meaning that my BMI is now 26!
Woohoo - Go Me!

03 February 2007

Songs that get in your head (again)

Words cannot express how happy I am that Take That are back on the scene.
Now if only I could get this song out of my head....

On laptops and cycling

Firstly, allow me to justify my reasons for entering the writing competition over at love to lead.
As a medical student, I regularly have to do pieces of assessed work on different areas of medicine. Ethics is my vastly weak one, and entering this competition wouldn't do my ethical writing any harm. I feel quite proud of my piece of writing, and for me that's saying something.

Obviously, I do have a computer. I wouldn't be writing as regularly if I didn't....but if I say I bought it from Tiny before they ceased trading, would that give anyone a hint?

Current computer is struggling desperately, needs a lot of work and money spending on it (which I don't have) and currently won't even play when I try and put the new internal hard drive in (which I've been trying since October).

So basically, I think you should all vote for me (and link to it if you're feeling really nice!) every day until Friday to see if I can win a laptop!

And on the cycling note - the weather is so beautiful today that I'm actually going to go out on my bike for fun and head in the direction of the cycle shop and see if I can't get it fixed! Just don't ask how it got broken....

02 February 2007


Vote for me on Love To Lead

Should prospective parents be able to determine their child’s gender?

Ah, the ethics of medicine - this was what I signed up for!
With the days of sexual discrimination past (we hope), should gender really affect an individual throughout their life?
So the question is: what does gender determine?
Gender can determine career, may have an influence on paternal rights through custody of children and can pre-determine different diseases; but should we have a choice in it?
Take gender in medicine (no please, take it) - although it shouldn't still happen, women are still finding it difficult to become surgeons due to family commitments and potential prejudice. Figures from WIST (women in surgical training) highlight that while up to 70% of medical students at university are female, only 6% become surgeons.
Equally, it's unlikely for a male to work as a bra fitter due to gender (googling male bra fitter brought up some unusual links, so I can't help you out there I'm afraid).
In health, gender can have vast polar effects - men are far less likely to get breast cancer than women, and cannot get cervical cancer due to different anatomy. Equally, woman are unlikely to suffer such blatantly embarrassing effects through puberty as men, and are (obviously) not going to be susceptible to prostate and testicular cancer. It's a balance. Does the answer lie in hermaphroditic offspring?!
If you could choose for your child, which would you prefer to pre-determine them for through gender - breast cancer or prostate cancer? Would you want to be responsible for making that decision?
From a personal point of view - I know that I want a huge host of children, and that I would ideally like 1 boy and 5 girls. That doesn't mean I wouldn't be happy with 3 and 3 or 4 and 2. I would happily accept whatever I was given (although I may have to hurt 6 girls going through puberty!). I also would have to consider my own personal career plans. As a (potential) female hospital doctor will I have the time to raise a family, or will my career hit a wall due to my gender?
By chosing the gender of your child you would have to balance the potential effect of diseases and career prejudice (for example) for the rest of that child's life. Could you handle being responsible?
It's a balance, and a difficult decision, yet ultimately we should have the decision removed from us and let fate take its hand.
If we start with gender choice, where would we stop?
This post is an attempt to win a laptop at Lovetolead - please vote for me as I'm a poor student!
NB: the article is currently on the 'Yes' side, when it should actually be on the 'No' side - I'm hoping they will be able to change this for me!

OOh, new blogger!

I just found a new medical student blog!
Meet Dr Placebo who has a wonderful description of the medical school terms that I use quite frequently here.

I laughed out loud at the OSCE one, as we had ours just before Xmas. I will post an update on that one if I pass them...


Something very odd has happened.

I've documented quite extensively just how much I hate it here, the university and city in general.

...well. While sitting in the library up as high as I can get and looking out over the city and the campus, I experienced a moment of pure contentment. Obviously I asked my friend to check me for fever - alas no.

I'm either starting to settle here (at last) or I'm sickening for post New Year fresher's flu (it's doing the rounds again).

I suspect the latter, but I'll keep you informed.