31 December 2008

Christmas and New Year

Christmas and the promise of photographs sadly didn't really happen in Yorkshire this year.

I love my family to pieces but if my boyfriend had not have been with me this year, then the event would probably not have happened at all.

Tension was obvious throughout all of christmas with my parents, and hasn't really ceased yet.

Anyhow, that aside.

2008 has been a mixed bag of a year with family arguments, new relationships, new houses, new academic years, old housemates causing problems (I AM NEVER EVER BILL SHARING AGAIN UNLESS I CAN HELP IT)

Since September I have been a third year medical student, and would have loved it a whole lot more had I not become unwell at the beginning of October, something which has not really yet resolved. I've had to miss a lot of uni and paid work and my academic studies have suffered accordingly. Hopefully 2009 will bring an improvement.

But, for the time being, and before things go a tad mad, I am sitting on the private ward waiting to wish the patients a Happy New Year and head off on my break with a blanket and a pillow.

So I wish you all a safe and healthy night, and remember, hospital is not a place you want to be on New Year's Eve, or else you might end up coming across a grumpy Yorkshire auxiliary nurse with a stinking cold.

Look after yourselves and your loved ones, and think of me while I'm cleaning up diarrhoea, yet again...

24 December 2008

4 people, 3 rooms

Merys is in the dining room using a computer and doing university work that isn't due for months. She isn't doing this because of stunning academic efficiency, rather that it keeps her out of trouble.

Merys' mother is in the living room watching EastEnders.

Merys' father is watching something relating to logging trees in the kitchen in the cold with the dog for company. The dog is only there because he hopes Merys' father will give him a mince pie.

Merys' boyfriend has travelled up to stay with Merys and family for christmas, and is currently sitting in the living room with Merys' mother, and he is sat playing Age of Mythology - The Titans. I don't think Merys' mother knows he's doing this though.

Four grown adults sitting in three seperate rooms on Christmas Eve.

No amusing photographs from me today, just a realisation that spending this much time with my family isn't necessarily healthy for me.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

23 December 2008

Love and hate

I have a love and hate relationship with my parents and their internet setup.

My Acer laptop is hellishly unreliable. It will not work with the battery even attached and crashes all the time. If I can find enough work this year I will be saving up for a netbook (or potentially finding a mobile broadband contract that suits me...)


Consequently when I am at home I borrow my parents larger Acer Aspire 7110. I was incredibly distraught to find this time that it seems to have acquired several Trojans including the Gadcom.exe, as well as 221 pieces of adware. Therefore, it would not go on the internet.

I've spent approximately 9 hours trying to clean the bloody thing, and have eventually managed it, but have been left with this. I cannot get it to update the automatic updates. I even went into the major control menu thing* to try and reset the automatic updates, but to no avail.

For now I am stuck. But on the 29th (if not before, pending war) I will be back at Uni.

* Girl speak.

22 December 2008

Not my knickers

Simply because I can multitask, I can combine eating 'gathered earholes'*, ironing and watching ER season 5.

Because I'm simply amazing.

*I have no idea why my mother calls lemon curd tarts gathered earholes, but she does.

Climbing the walls

I've been home less than 24 hours.

Already I appear to be trying to get vertical on the building supports, if you get my drift.

I love my parents to pieces, but being an only child at the age of 25 and suddenly losing all independence is a complete pain in the arse.

I can't do anything, go anywhere or call anyone (because I have no phone signal) on my mobile.

Yorkshire is a wonderfully bleak place sometimes, and I love that, but I do wonder how the hell I would manage now if my parents didn't have broadband (they only got it less than 2 years ago, and when I first started uni broadband wasn't available in my village at all!).

I'm going to be taking a series of photos over my period at home to show you what I've been up to, so expect lots of crap pictures of the dog, wrapping paper and the tree, etc. I'm certainly no photographer...

Ho ho ho and all that jazz!

13 December 2008

Making hay while the snow falls

I look forward to holidays with a mixed feeling of dread and pleasure.

The dread because a little bit more of the academic year has passed, and I am aware of how much harder things are going to get. 

The pleasure because I get to take a break. Maybe.

Or perhaps I would get chance if I wasn't having to work so hard to make my hay.

Take the next week for example; I seem to have collected a fourth job somewhere down the line.  I mean I have 2 pretty much stable regular jobs and two less so. Two are more casual. They call, I agree if the terms are right. One of those is the outdoor adventure centre - business varies at this time of year along with my ability to run around in the cold when I have joints that get more painful with dodgy weather.

The other job I have only worked for once before. It paid disgustingly well. In fact I'm slightly ashamed to say I was on between £27 and £55 an hour for some very easy work. And before some smart arse comments on this, it was totally legitimate, legal and taxable at 22%! 

Two days ago they called me up again. Would I be interested in two full days of work for £95 per day from 9am-6pm. Conveniently I've finished uni by then and my two hospital shifts that week conveniently fit around it as well as my bar work.

Sadly I can't tell you exactly what my job entails, as A) I feel a little bit of a pillock doing it and B) it's a bit too obvious to give me away.

You'll just have to all trust me that I'm working insanely hard.

03 December 2008

You know you're tired when...

Perhaps this made more sense in my head, but that's what I wrote for the last patient history I took.

30 November 2008

Auditory stimulus

In the bar, my familiar sounds make me smile. Make me happy.

The sound of glasses clinking, beer bottles opening, pool balls being sunk, the strange click the door makes. You see where I'm coming from.

There is nothing in the bar that scares me. Makes my heart pump faster than I would like. It's my comfort zone.

The hospital is a different matter. My comfort zone at work there revolves around call bells, the word 'nurse' being called repeatedly, bleeps going off and telephones ringing, remaining unanswered.

My comfort zone does not include the crash bell. 

For the first few seconds of bleating, I'm always confused. Horrifically oblivious for a few seconds as to what that particular sound signifies.

I was talking to a porter the last time it invaded into my subconscious. For a second, confused by the intrusion. Then running following the stampede of nurses. 

Today my arms and shoulders burn from the effort I put in. Still feeling broken ribs against the heel of my right hand.

We are all trained for it, yet it still catches us unawares. Adrenaline pumping for a considerable amount of time after the event. A small part of me becoming detached each time. 

I wonder if I will lose my soul completely?

18 November 2008

Cleave me in two with an axe

I apologise once more for the long absence in posting.

Since the beginning of October I have been unwell, and despite trying desperately to 'soldier on' I've had to admit defeat (and some advice from the dean) and take a couple of days off uni to stay in bed.

I've been back and forth to the doctors like a yo-yo, and eventually have a neurology referral, as I've been suffering with severe headaches for ages now, with little break in between them.

My bed has become by friend, along with paracetamol.

So for the time being, I'm here in body, but not necessarily in spirit.

Back soon, hopefully

13 November 2008

disasterous


I really am a disaster zone.

I've managed to injure 4 fingers.
FOUR!

Not amused.

09 November 2008

Resits vs MTAS

The way I see it, this post could potentially lead to arguments. My facts may be wrong, but it's time for me to get back to where I started with this blog: writing about my course and medicine and less about my personal life.

------------------------------------------------------------

I've done two years of medical school so far and had a resit in each year.

Going to check the resit results always surprises me, as the people who are also waiting for results are never the people I expect to be there.  They aren't the students who repeatedly skip lectures, PBL, placement sessions.

They're the students who throw their heart and soul into medicine and extra curricular activities. The students who work hard voluntarily, who have families, who have jobs, who are on committees etc.

What worries me is that for me, I'm becoming involved in committees and voluntary work not just because I want to, but because I am aware that it could benefit my MTAS application at the end of medical school.

What worries me more, is that people are more concerned about applying to deaneries than actually getting the grades.

In the fifth year we are ranked into quartiles based on our academic progress through medical school.

As I understand it (and this could be wrong) our rankings count less than our supporting evidence on MTAS.*

Should it really be this way?

Comments welcomed...

*Please let me know if this is right.

07 November 2008

I'm sad

I've always been a huge reader of fiction. Scientific, medical, random fantasy. You name it and I'll probably read it.

I also have a bad habit of buying plentiful second hand books, and while one day browsing a charity shop I came across Coma.

Instantly hooked I've been a massive fan of Michael Crichton ever since.

Without Monkey Girl I would not have found out about this.

I am now incredibly sad.

Rest in peace. I shall treasure your work forever.

Starting over

I've had a small re-evaluate.

Contented as I am with love life and stuff, I've gained all the weight I lost with slimming world.

Curves are a wonderful thing, but my back and knees just weren't loving me as much anymore.

Weightwatchers has been duly started again, this time online. Fingers crossed for me guys!

Stone off by christmas day is my aim...

26 October 2008

A quarter of a century

Today is my 25th birthday.

Quarter of a century and I'm still at university not yet trained to do anything in particular.

Another 2.75 years and I will hopefully be a doctor, but for the time being I'm happy just being a 25 year old medical student.

:)

22 October 2008

The most wonderful place in the world

I'm in a place with smiles abundant. In fact I can't help but smile myself. Happy people everywhere, it's just so damn infectious... If only I could have a baby of my own right now!

18 October 2008

Finally relaxing

I've headed to Yorkshire for the weekend and for the first time in over a week I feel a lot better.

Ironically I had to miss some time from Uni. I mean I really did drag my ass in when I wasn't feeling quite right, but on a couple of days I literally couldn't do it!

My GP signed me off and told me adamantly to not go in. So I didn't. Consequently the medical school have asked me to see one of the senior advisors to discuss my recent absence.

Given the fact that I have been genuinely unwell and I've seen many many people in my medical school skip things that aren't compulsory and literally never turn up, I do feel a tad concerned.

I'm worried that my missing 3 and a half day is gonna come back and kick me in the arse.

For the time being, I'm spending my birthday money before my birthday (26th October) and chilling with the parents.

14 October 2008

Grinning and bearing it

For the last 7 days I have been unwell.

Nothing too serious, but two trips to the GP and 3 days off placement later and I'm still not feeling particular cheery.

I was ordered yesterday to take a clean 24 hours rest. So I started yesterday lunchtime and tonight I have a bar shift. Back to placement tomorrow for more grilling and playing 'follow a doc' and then some sport in the afternoon.

Problem is, I don't do 'ill' very well. I just can't slow down!

11 October 2008

Canoe

OK so I mentioned that I joined the canoe club.

I also mentioned that I'm shit scared of water, boats, drowning and falling out of boats etc.

So, you know, not one of my better ideas. But I had a theory....

... all fears are there to be conquered (except one, and that shall never be conquered cos it's just too scary).

Therefore, I trekked down to where I was supposed to meet, with my swimwear on under my clothes and a towel and some warm clothing.
Found the person holding a paddle in the middle of the students union building and followed them. What follows was something I am slightly embarrassed by, but yet stripping off in front of a load of other people of both genders is much less embarrassing when you have swimwear on already. And Jeez, apparently getting into a full length wetsuit is difficult whatever your gender.
So, wetsuit, kag, buoyancy aid helmet and boots on and I was ready to go.
And go we did. Slight lesson first on how to hold a paddle, and we were literally thrown into the water in the boats.
First important step, could I get out of my canoe if I went under....
Well, apparently yes I can. And even with a splash deck on too.
An hour later, cold, very wet and bedraggled I headed home to a hot shower.
Verdict: I love it, can't wait to go again!

06 October 2008

Question

If I have 3 cans of diet Pepsi unfinished and in different levels of fullness (i.e. mostly full) on my desk, does that make me an addict?!

05 October 2008

Dear Blog

Dear Blog,

it would appear I have abandoned you of late.

The problem is third year. I'm on placement and the hospital is swallowing my life. 

Between spending most of the week following a doctor around like a flock of sheep, some of us also spend our weekends there trying to earn money. 

Personally, I reckon I'm a one-person MRSA stash!

Anyway, dear blog, I thought I would tell you how 4 medical students single handedly made the whole nurse's station cackle. 

Picture the scene, 4 medical students standing on the ward waiting for unknown doctor to appear and do something (our timetable is very vague) when a random distinguished gentleman appears and starts barking questions at us. He seems to know his stuff, so we all presume he's our guy, but as he isn't wearing any ID, just a stethoscope, we're none the wiser to who he actually is.

So we follow him around for over an hour, none the wiser until I quickly spy my opportunity to ask a nurse. Sadly, nurse in question is sat with 3 others, and once they realise our predicament barely stop laughing to tell us that he's the top consultant.

As we ran after him around the corner I could feel their eyes on our backs as their shrieking laughter rang around the ward. Cheers guys.

Hope it gets better from here on it...

29 September 2008

WHY?!

I set myself the challenge of starting something new come the start of the academic year.

So why, for the love of all things holy did I decide to take up a sport involving water?!

(And no, not anything seedy before you comment you filthy minded bunch!)

I am shit scared of deep water. I hate it, I'm not an amazingly confident swimmer, and going underwater scares the crap out of me.

Yet I decided it would be fun to give myself a new challenge.

Yes ladies and gentlemen, I am now a paid up member of the canoeing club... and bricking it.

27 September 2008

Stress, headaches and financial gain

Blimey, third year has certainly started with a bang!

I feel totally bogged down already, and it's only the second week.
The work has built up, but financially, I feel more stable already.

As well as a bar pay rise, I discovered through chance that I'm due a payrise from the staff bank. Meaning I go from £6.22 an hour to £6.90 an hour plus antisocial allowances. And, they backdate it from June.

I also got a tax rebate, although I'm sure they've messed up somewhere. Apparently I earned £1800 from my old university bar job in the past academic year. Considering I haven't worked there since Summer 2006, I fail to see how they've worked this out. I mean, I don't mind being taxed on it if I've earned it in the first place you know?!

21 September 2008

A fresh start

The usual apologies for absences apply.

The new academic year has started with a bang, and things are going fine so far.

We've had the usual teething problems with the new start - lecturers forgetting to turn up for their relevant seminars and the students applying the usual 'if he's not here by quarter past we're doing a runner' rule*

Otherwise it's all cool. I like my PBL group, my GP surgery placement and my tutors.

On the plus side, I've also had a promotion in my bar job, and have been made a bar supervisor. It means more pay, more guaranteed hours and more CV enhancing skills.

Even better, it pays weekly.

On the whole, everything is going a lot better this year than this time last year. But I'm sure I will have just gone and jinxed that one now...

 

*Does this apply to other students at other universities too?

15 September 2008

New Year

So it has begun.

Third year. A place I was never sure I was meant to reach.

It actually seems more achievable now.

10 September 2008

Change

Oh yeah, and I passed the resit by the way. 

Third year here I come, rock on and all that malarkey.


08 September 2008

So you're going to university then?

Daunting and exciting isn't it!

I remember the feeling well. Parents taking me cross country to a strange and new place full of equally terrified looking people.

I'm going to impart some of my knowledge onto you lot, since I did fresher's week twice. Feel free to ignore it!

  • My admissions tutor the first time round imparted an amazing piece of knowledge onto me. He explained that the people you meet while drunk in fresher's week will be the people you want rid of in the second week. How right he was. Be careful how you choose your friends. You may well be haunted for 3 years.
  • DO NOT PACK YOUR ENTIRE HOME! Half of the fun of university is realising you've forgotten something and having to introduce yourself to someone else to ask to borrow their hairbrush/bottle opener*/tin opener**. A bottle of washiing up liquid and some biscuits are a good starting point for freshers week.
  • Your room in halls will look like a hole. Unless you're lucky, your room will resemble a prison cell. For the love of your own sanity, take some photographs and bluetac to make it look more friendly
  • Shared launderettes are fine for most things. If you're a girl and it's rugby team initiation time, your underwear may well go missing from the dryers. For this purpose I reccommend a bucket for the purpose of washing underwear and delicates by hand in your room. Nothing is worse than seeing a 6ft tall and wide boy in your best M&S bra on facebook from a night out.
  • Equally, a bucket is a much better place to puke than your bin. Your bin will leak by the morning, a bucket will not.
  • A glass of warm water thrown out a darkened window followed by the words 'shut up' is a very effective deterrent against drunken couples/gangs etc.
  • Enjoy yourself. Don't hole yourself up in your room and be antisocial. Life is for living. Live hard, play hard, work hard.
  • And remember, if you come in drunk at 4AM and you don't have lectures in the morning, some people do. Karma is a bitch and will come back and kick you in the arse.
* seriously, don't forget this one. You'll be stuffed.
**and if you've forgotten this one you may well starve.





You can study chemical terminology when taking the medical coding certification.

07 September 2008

A change is gonna come

Well, the resit results came out and it's all change.

Farewell to the old ways, and perhaps a chance to try something new.

03 September 2008

Indestructable

Or so I thought.

My poor Samsung phone has had numerous tragedies befall it. Least of all having a catheter bag emptied down my trousers while it was sat in the pocket (hence it was always inside a glove when at work).

It's survived being dropped, knocked and generally abused at the outdoor centre.

Sadly, it doesn't seem to like exploding cans of Sainsbury's diet pineapple and grapefruit canned drink.

Funnily enough, it now won't work.

Thankfully, I had insurance, but sadly there's a £50 excess. It's cheaper for a well known phone company to buy me out of my contract than claim on the insurance, as they told me today.

On the down side, if you had my number before, can you please text me yours again. I have lost all numbers but maintained my SIM card.

PS: apologies for the number of advert links that are appearing on the site, but needs must.
Do as you see fit with them, if you get my drift.

PPS: can anyone reccommend a decent mobile phone handset that I can use online well and on Vodafone?

27 August 2008

Arse it continued

Wow, I seem to have well and truly divided the audience (so to speak).

Under the current student loan system, post-graduates are required to pay three thousand pounds up front every year. For this, I get a LOAN of three thousand pounds each year. I get no more funding in any shape or form.

Anything outside of this has to be privately funded. Other students get more money because they are either:
  1. over 25
  2. independent
  3. parents themselves
  4. on their first degree
  5. children of less wealthy parents
  6. released by the forces
  7. in difficult circumstances

you get my drift right? Guess what, I fall into none of these categories.

Therefore, I need to find approximately 5 grand a year to survive. Hence why I work so hard on 4 jobs and study less than I should.

22 August 2008

Arse it

Now I have a proper problem. Rent comes out on 26th of the month, and I just got paid.

I'm £70 short. Oh, and plus the gas and electric bill from the old house of £80.

Seriously, does anyone fancy sponsoring my education?

I've been working my guts out like a nutter, and I have a sneaking suspicion that work hasn't paid me for the 3 days holiday I took in the middle of my exams.

Bugger, shit, arse.

Anyone want to feed and house me when the landlord evicts me??

19 August 2008

Postcard

I thought I'd share this with you. I'm not on holiday, instead I'm submerged in academic work for a coursework resubmission.

This however, I found last week at the cinema* while waiting to go in and see the film**

From me to you with love!




* funded by the boyfriend

** go and see You Don't Mess With The Zohan. I have never laughed so hard since Team America.

15 August 2008

Fatigue

I'm in the middle of my third nightshift in a row, and my body is starting to feel it now.

Usually I have no problem sleeping during the day time, and in a way I find it more relaxing than sleeping at night. Sadly, because I've been on 'stand by' for shifts (i.e. I've said I'm available but the staff bank hasn't yet found me a ward) then work has been more than willing to ring me up in the middle of my sleep and book me onto a shift.

I know I can't really moan about it, since if they didn't ring me then I wouldn't have a shift, but it's really draining me now.

I can't get back to sleep after they've called, and it's cutting my sleep hours down by approximately a third.

Tomorrow (or rather today) I look forward to not getting up at lunchtime after 4 hours sleep.

I have the joy of a day at the outdoor activities centre on saturday (since it pays cash up front) and more voluntary work on Saturday night.

Very soon I will be exhausted. I can feel it creeping up on me now.

Sorry if this post doesn't make a lot of sense, but I think my brain is slowly leaking out of my ears.

14 August 2008

A word of advice from me to you.

6 years ago today I got my A Level results.

I picked them up alone because my parents and I had argued the year before at AS results time.

I passed everyone stood outside the college drinking wine because they were going where they wanted to, while I knew deep down that I hadn't done enough to get my place at medical school.

Having opened the results envelope I sat and cried on some portakabin steps. My grades were nowhere near good enough to get into medical school, but I rang them anyway.

I'd been rejected without a second thought. No extenuating circumstances in my case, just sheer stupidity and rebellion in my sixth form years.

So I say this to everyone out there about to get their results:

I got CCCd at A2 level and I'm at medical school now with a degree and masters under my belt.

If you want it badly enough then don't let A Level results stop you.

Otherwise, I wish you all the best of luck tomorrow, and will no doubt be seeing some of you in September at fresher's week!

13 August 2008

Infection Control Strikes Again

Having been away for a couple of weeks, I return to work to find that the normal computer keyboards had been replaced by 'dirt free' keyboards that flash at you when they need cleaning.



Nice idea, but very open to abuse.



All you need to do is switch it off and rub your hand across it and it stops flashing at you.



Pressure sensors are all well and good, but gently massaging your keyboard isn't going to stop it from harbouring skanky stuff.



Take a look here; its actually surprisingly nice to use...

Wow!

I'm sorry, I feel like I deserted all (two) of you by just vanishing into the ether.

I went away and did something incredibly worthy.

I feel a much better person for it and am desperate to do it again next year.

Ironically, without this blog I would have never become involved in it.

I'm now back into night shift mode and working my little socks off after my 'holiday' to try and increase my bank balance from £1.82 to something a little more compatible with food shopping.

Equally, I'm trying to see just how little money I can actually spend in a week.

Last night I did a supermarket shop on £6.60 and was a walking advert for own brand food. Sure, it might not help my diet, but it will help my finances.

So therefore, I am going to keep a cost diary of all the money I spend on food and necessities for the immediate future to see if I can survive on pittance.

Wish me luck!

30 July 2008

*Takes a Bow*

I think I might be 38% a doctor.

I say this because I knew I had a resit of a piece of coursework to do from the beginning of the year.

However I passed last week's exams and everything else throughout the year.

Which means finances and resit allowing, I shall be starting the third year of medical school in September.

I thank you!

28 July 2008

And Thank You!

Dear guys and girls,

Thank you so much to all of you who have volunteered your spare computers to me.

I'm touched, it means a lot to me.

I managed to get another PC from a 'global supplier of personal computers' if you get my drift, but not without having multiple arguments with them about the definition of a multimedia PC*.

My boyfriend and I made a deal whereby he bought the computer and I pay him back whenever I can.

Had I not been so desperate I would have bought one online and used discount codes for NHS staff etc.

Sadly it was the day before my written papers and I was really really desperate.

 

 

*for the love of god, if the package you're selling is a multimedia one, as advertised by you, you need to include speakers. Especially if you don't have the advertised monitor which does, and the replacement doesn't.

Less fear more dread

So the exams are over and done with.

Results are out later in the week, although no-one seems entirely sure of the date.

The problem now is nightmares.

Not just normal bad dreams, but medical school and exam related. And strange.

For example, the most recent one had me failing my OSCE because I couldn't manage to eskimo roll in a kayak. Also, when I was scaring off the brown bears that were trying to eat him, I forgot that I had to throw a silver saucepan in the water instead of a steel one.

I've always had quite vivid dreams, but this just takes the biscuit.

Add to all of this the fact that I'm moving house before Thursday, and you get a strangely stressed Merys.

Oh, and next week I go on holiday. Not a paid holiday, but a voluntary one, where I am doing something very very noble.

I will probably come back more exhausted than I went!

Wish me luck (and less sleepless nights!)

21 July 2008

Whydoeseverythinggowrongallatonce!!!

I have an exam on Wednesday. I need my computer to revise and study.

Except, computer has decided that now is the time for it to meet its maker.

It's not been doing well lately, but it is 4 years old and has had everything that modern computer medicine can offer, including recently a new power supply, fan and memory.

Sadly it now won't boot. No reformat will work.

Equally, I have debts to the university still, a deposit to pay for my new house, and I'm going on a voluntary holiday to help disabled children (for which I have to find train fare to get there!)

Never rains but it pours....

And I have to go out and spend my rent money for my new house on a new computer, so I was wondering if any of you guys might be feeling generous at the end of the month......

I know, I know, I'm a scrounging student.

But please, feel the pity!

19 July 2008

Buzzy


Due to the fact that it's exam time still, today's post is courtesy of the following:

Coffee, coffee syrup, sugar, chocolate and the anatomy colouring book. Possibly the best anatomy book in the world!To say that I'm hyperactive is a slight understatement. But at least I'm being productive.

Good news on the knee front, I didn't need to go and get it drained, but it does still feel odd. I feel like I can't bear all my weight on it properly, which could make a night shift on MAU tomorrow slightly fun....


16 July 2008

Being a bad patient



Despite just having had a mahusive OSCE, and practicing some clinical skills to death, it's pretty hard to examine your own knee.

I'd finished the exam and gone straight to work at the outwood bound centre.

Some time between the OSCE and getting out of the shower and I've done something rather painful to my right knee.

No housemate to be seen to examine it for me, doesn't look too swollen but hurts like hell.

I decided it was probably wise to head up to the walk in centre, and as a result I am now groin to ankle in tubigrip with a badly swollen knee that 'might need to be aspirated'.

Or perhaps I can just manage on antiinflammatories for a day or two and hope for the best.

For the time being, I'm banned from cycling, strenuous exercise and putting too much weight on it.

The nurse even advised I try and find some crutches. Hmm, not likely.

The Fear

I have the fear.

I'm on my way to an exam.

I'm sat here drinking full fat coke washing down paracetamol and proplus since I didnt seem to sleep at all last night.

I hate exams

09 July 2008

Just lingering on........

Exams are here now and for the next week or so.

Therefore, I will obviously be trying to blog less and study more.

Therefore it obviously means I will be blogging more, studying less than I should and procrastinating far too much.

06 July 2008

Just to make me smile

When I'm feeling down (and believe me I'm south at the moment) I find this video on YouTube and it never fails to make me smile and sing along.

03 July 2008

Productivity

Isn't it strange how I've had the last day and a half off uni for study, yet did none.

Today I have seminars and I'm sat in the library.

It's very much a topsy turvy way of doing it, but I feel good.

I've got so much work done, even though I am scared to be sat around all the doctors at the hospital library (no distractions from main campus!).

Just wish the damn hayfever would stop now.

No really, just stop.

02 July 2008

Housemate


I'm not saying my housemate is anal, but this is the chalk board in our kitchen.

This is what happens when you live with eco warrier older men!

17 June 2008

Rising cost of living

How is it that the government and general opinion knows that the cost of living has increased by 3%, yet the student loan company hasn't increased the loan accordingly??

Students all over the UK must be struggling, because I damn well know I am.

Again, the cost of being a medical student is higher than on my previous course due to fitness to practice issues.

If we don't look the part we can't go on the wards. That means a decent haircut, smart shoes and clothes and a decent general appearance. Now I know there are ways and means, but even Primark has put it's prices up lately.

It's becoming harder and harder to afford to be a student as a post grad.

I still haven't managed to pay those fees off from September (as the university keep adding interest to them) and I'm getting seriously worried that I'm gonna get kicked out before the start of the new year. Add to that the whole paying a deposit on a new house, moving all my stuff around and having to pay for a resit makes the prospect of still being here in September quite a scary one.

 

Never mind, I'm sure things will work themselves out.

16 June 2008

Confuzzled

Tonight myself and the other half watched Cloverfield.

Now he's seen it before, and I'm a big chicken who hates scary things. It was an odd combination.

Anyway, besides hating things with multiple legs, I managed alright until the end.

Where my first response was:

"What the.....?"

15 June 2008

Too much abstract thought

You know that you've spent too much time being a medicine geek when you start discussing the anatomical features of Aliens and Predators while watching AVP.

Equally, when the discussion turns to:

"if you could be any alien in fiction which would you be?"


Me, I'd be a predator, I'd get dreadlocks and everything....

14 June 2008

Shock! Horror!

Sometimes I'm so well behaved that I even scare myself.

I'm having an amazingly well organised random day, so I'm sat in the city library getting on with coursework and exam preparation.

I'm sure this won't last long, cos it's definitely not normal for me....

(let's see how many times I blog/update facebook/check my emails while procrastinating today!)

11 June 2008

How come...

All my friends say their hayfever is much better this year than any other, yet I can barely open my eyes today.

My nose is like a temperamental snot volcano which just won't stop exploding at the smallest opportunity!

I've taken antihistamines but to no avail. GRRR

10 June 2008

To state the bleeding obvious.

Medicine sucks. It's emotionally difficult rather than academically challenging.
I know of very few 'happy' medics here, but maybe that's just us.

Everyone has the look of impending doom on their face at the moment. Possibly due to rapidly approaching deadlines.

Oddly, all I can seem to do at the moment is sleep. Sleep far too much.

Yesterday I missed a full day because I actually couldn't get out of bed. Maybe stress is manifesting itself physically, but my back and legs just weren't playing.

Not happy shoulders and neck today, but at least I left the pit.

My white hairs have started appearing from under the hair dye, and all I want to do is sleep for a hundred years.

Medicine sucks.

08 June 2008

FCUKed


When you spend £125 on a pair of glasses and then further money on special lens coatings on them as well, you expect them to be fine for a while at least.

I bought these ones, and they were lovely for 4 whole days, until the arm went on the right side.

OK, so I took them back.

Except that even though they replaced them, the second pair did the same thing. My glasses laid completely on the wonk on my face, and no amount of work in the opticians would fix them.

I had a bit of a fight on my hands, as they were convinced I'd been breaking them myself. I wish.

I'm never buying FCUK glasses again. Osiris here I come...

27 May 2008

one of those days

Yet again, another one of those days where I would have been better off staying in bed.

21 May 2008

Merys' tip of the week

Go and see Doomsday. Seriously, it's genius and damned entertaining!

Apparently it's similar to Mad Max, but since I haven't seen that, I wouldn't know!

17 May 2008

Adoptive mothers

You would think that having one mother would be enough for me... but no. I appear to have acquired a whole ward's worth of them on the medical assessment unit.

After a normal day at uni, I had received a phone call from the staff bank saying that MAU was desperate and I knew what I was doing on there, so was there any way I could do a few hours.

We compromised at 19.00 - 02.00 - a half night shift. Suits me, and it's better than nothing for them.

The night turned out beautifully. All my 10PM observations were done by 10.20PM, the patients all tucked up in bed.

Melissa and I decided to teach each other our local languages, which turned out to be interesting swapping Yorkshire for Filipino! I now know how to say 'mate' and 'idiot/stupid'. In turn, I taught her to say she was 'off to t'pub'.

At which point the shift was pretty much over, and I discovered that I seem to have acquired a few staff nurse friends who seem to mother the poor medical student.

When I cycled home just now I was under strict instructions to phone the ward and tell one of the staff nurses that I'd arrived home safely and hadn't been beaten up! Bless her, it's like having my own mother awake at this time of the day to check on me.

10 May 2008

Just another shift

Last night I finished a full day at uni and went to do a twilight shift at work. 19.00 hours to 02.00 hours.



This morning I was up at 08.30 to get some uni stuff sorted, and then back this afternoon at work for a 1400 hours start. This time though, I didn't know which ward I was to be working on, as I agreed to be the locum HCA. This kinda means that I'm at the beck and call of the staffing managers, and if they say jump, I do kartwheels.

The powers that be sent me onto an orthopaedic ward - could be worse. Familiar faces to work with, a generally nice team.... and the opportunity to soak myself in someone else's urine after the collection bottle used to empty the catheter bag appeared to have a hole in it.

I got absolutely soaked in cold wee, all the way down my tunic top and trousers. I had to rescue my mobile phone from my pocket as it too was covered... Not nice.

This did mean that I got to wear scrubs for the rest of the shift - however I broke a cardinal rule of nursing work. I had to take a shower in one of the patient's bathrooms... Nice

07 May 2008

Mad Dogs and English (wo)men

I'm so lucky to have today off Uni!

I've been sat outside in the sunshine for most of the morning, and it appears to be having a positive effect on my mood.

I'm chirpy, cheerful and have got all of the cleaning done so far.

I just can't sit out there any longer. It's too damn hot!

30 April 2008

My head hurts

I had one of those nights last night where I know I had a really good unexpectedly amazing night out, but I seem to have acquired a few UDIs (or unidentified drinking injuries).

At some point last night it appears I banged my head, bent my fingernail backwards on my right hand and developed some interesting bruising to my shins.

Unsurprisingly this morning my head hurt rather a lot. It wasn't that I drank a great deal, but in combination with antidepressants, it was bound to be a bad mix.

I never planned to go out last night, just kind of got dragged out, and judging by the facebook pictures that have been tagged, I was enjoying it a lot!

I'm going to go hide myself somewhere dark and take some paracetamol for the time being I think.

28 April 2008

How I love Etsy


To anyone who bought anything from my shop on Etsy (see right hand menubar for details) then thank you so much.

The above shopping was bought with the money from my Etsy sales to date, and I intend to make some more soon. If anyone has any requests, or would like to make a better offer on anything on Etsy, then please contact me!

25 April 2008

Smokin'!

Today I had a placement day, and for a couple of reasons I was on fire.

In the words of the other half, who is sat next to me now sniggering: 'booyakasha!'

I had a day in placement today and it just seemed like everything suddenly made sense. I'm not sure how I learnt it, but by god I knew my stuff.

On the downside, I really really wish I'd stopped having damn hot flushes today. I have never felt so close to having a faint without actually doing it!

But if the weather keeps on like it is, my tan should be interesting after a full weekend working in the woods! Wish me luck, it might yet rain...

24 April 2008

Just keep swimming

I had a review with my GP this week about the antidepressants and the dose I'm taking.

It's difficult, because although I'm a lot happier now than I was before easter, I have the worst headaches in the world almost every day.

GP says it's not a usual side effect, but if I want to go back down again on the dose, I can do.

And that's the problem. I feel so much mentally more stable now that I really don't want to decrease the dose again. At times I'm completely hyperactive, but I much prefer it to how I was before easter.

GP solution: eye test and some domperidone to make the paracetamol work more effectively when I do get a headache. If my vision prescription hasn't changed then I need to rethink the dose..

Dammit, just when everything was going so well, I had to start swimming upstream.

20 April 2008

Smile

I think I've got my mojo back.

I'm cheerful, happy and generally hyperactive. I've gotten more organised with everything, and my mood is sky high.

Tonight I'm on my way to a 12.5 hour night shift, since uni doesn't start until the afternoon tomorrow, and I'm really looking forward to it.

Let's hope it lasts this time.

16 April 2008

The OSCE Mantra

I will ignore the examiner when taking a history. He does not exist and I will not be put off by him.

I will act my little socks off. The school nativity play has nowt on me in exam mode.

I will not stammer, stutter or say 'erm'.

I will wash my hands at every station, and be bare below the elbow. This means my watch will be on my belt loops. Please do not laugh at me.

I will feel a tit with my stethoscope around my neck, but I will try and forget it is there.

This performance is sponsored by Diet Coke and ProPlus

13 April 2008

Message to Calavera

video This is what you need. You need a flip flap*. I recall you saying you were amazing at killing plants. Well guess what, me too. This is my new toy, and I bet I can't kill it.

It's solar powered and just sits there wiggling away happily as long as there's enough light for it to pick up.

I urge you go out and get one Cal. If you can kill that, I'd be astonished!



*I did not pay $49 dollars for mine.

08 April 2008

Back to the monotony

Sadly, the high mood that I'd experienced for the last 2 weeks appears to have vanished as soon as Uni starts again.

Back with the apathy and low moods and swinging temperament.

On the plus side, I don't have long left on my current rotation and I can start afresh.

Also, I'm decidedly lighter now than when I returned from christmas holidays (17.5lbs lighter to be precise!) which always helps to make me feel better!

04 April 2008

Another day another dollar

Mood is lifted, night shift 3 of 4 is nearly over.
It's really nice to be able to cycle home in daylight and cycle to work in the sunset.
Coursework deadlines and OSCEs are looming again, nerves strangely absent*.

Money is tight again, no surprise there then


*although I expect them to catch up with me in about 6 days time

02 April 2008

Taking the plunge

Well following all your advice, I took the plunge:

Http://merysj.etsy.com

31 March 2008

Urban Bling


Another bracelet I made while on a night shift. Sterling silver chain, tibetan silver charms and glass (I think) pearls.

Any reasonable offer accepted. Looking for a new home.

30 March 2008

Beating the black rottweiler

During the last week I had an appointment with my GP about how I was feeling since the last time I saw him. The last appointment had ended with my crying my eyes out hysterically about how much I had lost control lately following a couple of stressful incidents.

His suggestion was to perhaps double the dosage of fluoxetine and see what happened.

The change in me seemed to creep up and slap me in the face. I'm more organised, more together and laughing a lot more. It's great.....

... except I feel like I've let myself down. I never used to feel this bad when I lived in [old university city], yet this place seems to just ooze depression.

However, in a facebook message with a friend over the past few days, she put it rather nicely. To paraphrase:

Don't be silly, you just need more chemical than before to counteract the pea soup in your head!

And that at least made me laugh some more!

I'm not dead, it just feels like it.

I quite like nightshift work, except for the sleep issue.

Staff I work with seem to have massive problems sleeping during the daytime, and consequently get a severe lack of sleep before starting work at 7pm.

I appear to have the opposite problem, in that I seem to sleep much better during the day than I would otherwise do after a day shift.

Home at 0800 I hop in the shower, stick my uniform in the washing machine and head off to bed. If I remember to set the alarm I'll get up again at lunchtime to take the uniform out and stick it on the radiator and then go back to bed. Otherwise, I'll sleep solidly through.

I've had a few really interesting night shifts lately - apart from having to have my name added to a list of staff who closely nursed a gentleman with suspected TB (and no-one knew about it...). I just hope my BCG will protect me if it does turn out that way...

25 March 2008

A slight hitch

I have a minor concern about my nights this week...

The house next to us has recently been sold, and it seems like the builders are gutting it at the moment.

I arrived back home today to be greeted by the sounds of power tools and hammering.

Unless the builders are cute, the sleep could be a problem this week...

24 March 2008

Going back

Tomorrow morning I'm heading back dahn sarf. Not really looking forward to it. A whole run of night shifts this week (Tues, Weds, Thurs, voluntary stuff Fri, shift Sat and Sun) means that not only will I not eat properly, but I'll become an antisocial hermit too.

Sadly in the middle of all of this I have a GP appointment to discuss the fact that we've upped my antidepressant dose due to my having a massive crisis recently and being no longer able to cope with stuff.

Should be fun discussing that in the middle of when I should be sleeping. I might have to try and change the appointment time methinks.

Time to try and get some sleep, the pattern changes this week.

PS: thanks to all the people who suggested Etsy for selling my jewellery. I've seen it before but am scared that my stuff isn't good enough to sell on there. If anyone wants to buy that bracelet off me, make me an offer!

22 March 2008

Candycane

This is a bracelet and earrings set I made over a couple of hours. I need some way of selling jewellery I make, but short of eBay (which I haven't had a great deal of sucess with) I'm short of ideas.

If anyone is interested in buying any pieces (proceeds to my education fund) or knows how I can sell them, then please drop me a comment or an email.

21 March 2008

woolly head

Don’t get me wrong, I know where I am, but my head feels more than a little fuzzy.
Self inflicted entirely. All my own fault.

It goes as follows:

Saturday day: work at the outdoor activity centre. Get religiously picked up and dumped on the ground (albeit gently) by the boys. I’ll admit I instigated it by hitting one of them with a stick for sexist comments, but their reasoning on dumping me on the ground? I weigh a lot less now so it’s easier.

Nice.

Saturday evening: get home caked in mud and leaves. Face and ears covered in black smelly stuff (see above, also caused by boys…). Chase around the house in my underwear trying to get clothing into the washer before a housemate appears. Chatting frantically to other half while trying to removed clothing with one hand in the kitchen. Other half points out that my kitchen window is visible from the main round. I point out that I giveth not a toss. Fail to realise that the house is all mine at the moment and there were no housemates in to dodge. Feel like a pillock. Dance round the house while waiting for the hot water in the shower.

Cook home made beef burgers once showered and dry. Small glass of wine followed by bed for hour and a half. Manage not to fall asleep, which turns out to have been a big mistake.

21.11 leave the house on the bike (in a hoody and jeans. Take note, this is important later…) and cycle into work. Tonight a rave, oh joy.

Finish rave at 02.30 and head out to bike. Discover that the weather is bloody foul and my 6 minute cycle home turns into a 12 minute head wind/rain endurance event.

Get in, throw wet stuff on floor. By the time I’ve reached a horizontal position I’m already asleep.

Sunday: woken up repeatedly through the day by texts and phone calls. One day I really will switch the damn thing off.

Get up at around 13.00 and head for a shower. Spend all afternoon with the other half looking for jewellery making tools. Find some tools but fail to buy a new tool box.

Watch Casualty on iPlayer at his place (doesn’t work on my IP address for some reason) and fall asleep on the sofa under the duvet.

Poked into submission until I finally get up and head back to mine.

Sadly, have to go into work for a nightshift.

Sunday night: Leave house at 18.35 to start at 19.00. Ward from hell, staff quite strange, patients quite demanding. Get shouted at by a 94 year old lady; walk away laughing.

Sometime between then and 0730 this morning I had a 2 hour sleep break, made some more jewellery and did some academic work.

09.00 saw me meeting a lecturer about why I failed an exam. With regards to the exam it seems much clearer now. Shame that the rest of my head hasn’t caught up on the clarity thing.

Currently (14.21) sat at a random train station in the middle of the country listening to Kate Nash on my iPod and trying to stay awake. I don’t know how long it’s likely to last, as my eyes are starting to do funny things.

Have been awake(ish) now for 25.5 hours, and I won’t get to sleep for a while yet….

16 March 2008

And breathe....

I can't be arsed anymore. I'm so glad it's the Easter holidays, but is it worrying that I will be spending 2 out of 3 weeks working without a break?

I will however be spending 8 days in Yorkshire over Easter, which will be a welcome break I suppose. If I can cope without arguing...

13 March 2008

Inner geek


Not that my housemate and I are geeks... but this is the worktop in our spare room

11 March 2008

A chance to relax

Unlike a lot of my friends, I have a few close friends that I've made at this uni who aren't medics.

Mainly PhD students and part-time lecturers who I've met while working in the bar. I love it, I love the chance to breath and relax and do stupid stuff like play Munchkin, Ocean Trader and Killer Bunnies while drinking nice red wine and generally not feeling on edge.

I love being a medical student, but I don't think it should define my personality in a way it seems to do with some of my friends.

Sure, I'm training to be a doctor, but that doesn't mean I have to limit my friends to those in the same career path.

Sometimes you just need to take a step back and breath.

Tonight, I did that.

05 March 2008

And that was that.

I'm going to give up going on hiatus.

I might as well just hide for a couple of days rather than announcing it across the blogosphere.

The weekend came and went. Home to the parents, catch up on the local news.

Weight loss was pretty good this week. I'm now a whole 14.5lbs lighter than I was at the start, which is good.

Finances are still pretty screwed, but more shifts and less library fines should help with that one.

Personal problems seem to have resolved which is nice, and I think I'm going to keep blogging.

Essentially, apart from being as stressed as hell, I've never been better!

01 March 2008

Time out


Moody Merys
Originally uploaded by merysjones
I'm going to vanish off for a while. I shall be having a think about the future of the blog, as things are a tad tits up at the moment. Too much stress, not enough reward. Money is tight again, rent could be a challenge.

28 February 2008

RIP Boris

It is with deep regret that I am announcing the death of Boris.

Boris and I had gained a deep and meaninful relationship over the space of the last 18 months. The bonding was painful in many occasions, but I feel we acquired a mutual respect of each other.

I spent time and money on Boris, and the occasional tarty gadget to make him look cooler.

Sadly, Boris' time is up. The weird clicking noise he'd been making recently proved too costly to his health.

On the plus side, I bought a new* bike.

Does anyone know how the hell I broke a bottom bracket, chain and gear cog thingy in the space of 18 months? Apparently the chain (which is less than 12 months old) looks as though it's done in the region of 10,000 miles.

Ah well, at least I have a new toy to break bones with now?



*second hand

27 February 2008

Did the Earth move for you?

It says a lot that my housemate thought last night's earthquake was me shaking his bed.

Despite all of us having the day off today, we were all in the kitchen at 0830 discussing the events of early this morning.

I genuinely thought I was having some weird hallucination. I'm prone to sleepwalking and a tad night hallucinations, but when everything started shaking in my room I thought I'd gone bonkers.

Thankfully it wasn't just me.

22 February 2008

Unusual activities

At times of stress I am the most amazing procrastinator known to man.

Take last night for example. I had an hour turn around time between finishing uni and heading off to an extracurricular activity. During that time I managed to cook a meal, have a shower and….. spin some sheep fleece into yarn.

Yes I know, what the hell??!!

I have some unusual hobbies, and have always been very arts and craft orientated.

Consequently I’ve re-found an old habit that I haven’t touched for a long time. Therefore, my carpet in my room is all fluffy.

20 February 2008

Medical Truths

Quote from my lecturer yesterday:


"The hardest thing to do in any OSCE is make sure you have the right amount of alcohol gel on your hands. Too much and you're forever wiping it off."

Strange but true

14 February 2008

Well said Faith

While merrily reading my RSS subscriptions, I came across Faith's piece entitled Daily Hate Mail.

Damn straight Faith is all I can say. Yes, I do say to patients 'back in a minute' but that's usually because I'm holding a bedpan full of undesirables when they want me to rearrange their fruit on the table. No, really, I'm going to wash my hands first.

And I'm bitching here as an auxiliary nurse by the way, but this makes me really angry. I worked an MAU shift yesterday and didn't get a break in the entire shift. I spent the whole time running from patient to patient answering their needs.

While I was making sure that patients weren't sitting in their own excrement, my nurse colleague was simultaneously feeding 2 patients. THERE AREN'T ENOUGH STAFF. FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS HOLY!

13 February 2008

Weightloss

As you can probably see from the ticker above, my weight loss is going incredibly well.

I lost 3lbs this last week, although I suspect that that may in part be related to spending another day asleep in bed today, rather than attending a placement day.

I honestly have spent most of the last two days asleep, and feeling generally quite rough, although I suspect it may be psychological rather than physical illness.

I will admit now to having a binge tonight on McCoys crisps, wine and Jack Daniels.

I got some bad academic news today relating to a piece of coursework I did in January.

I really worked my arse off for it, putting in more effort than I have for any other piece of work so far at uni, yet I failed it. So as well as the stress of having a resubmission, my university will charge me an extortionate amount of money for the privilege of doing so. Marvellous, just marvellous. More money that I don't have.

11 February 2008

Mind over Matter

Today I was meant to be on placement. I woke up and knew it wasn't going to happen.
My head hurts, my shoulders, neck and back all hurt and I feel as though I could sleep for a thousand days.

I don't want to get out of bed tomorrow, and having spoken to the medical school have decided to do just that.

I'm just getting a tad confused. I think I'm overdoing it, but with a still extensive financial burden hanging over my head I need to work at the moment more than I need to do a placement day.

I do generally love placement days, but these ones have been both rough and useless.

A full day of lectures in a hospital hardly a clinical placement makes.

It might also be time to go and have a discussion with my GP again about dosages of fluoxetine...

10 February 2008

Belief

The last time I worked a shift in A&E was a Saturday night. Obviously I've heard the rumours, talked to the staff and guessed what I was in for.

Thankfully my shift was a 'twilight' - meaning that I would only work until 2AM.

Now, I've worked with diabetic patients having hypos before, but the lady I was looking after on this occasion was a whole other kettle of fish.

You see, this particular lady had been found by her nursing home having a fit on the floor of her room. It had been observed as lasting 6-8 minutes long, and upon the arrival of the ambulance crew her blood sugars were only 1.8.

OK fine, easy to treat.... unless (as the patient was convinced):
  • They really weren't the ambulance men. They were kidnapping her in a white van
  • This wasn't really the Greatwhatever Hospital, because she actually used to work there. Even though she admitted she'd never been in A&E
  • We really weren't nursing staff, despite us showing her our uniforms, badges and ID.
All very well and good, except that getting her to eat any food was impossible because, of course, we were all trying to poison her.

Poor lady, convinced that we were all an elaborate hoax to kidnap her.

Slightly frustrating to work with though, as she wouldn't believe a word you said!

06 February 2008

Bon Blogiversaire

While happily chatting away on MSN to a good blogging friend, I just realised that today marks my third blogiversary.

We we discussing how much my blog has helped me over the last few years, particularly in the last 12 months.

Quite simply, without this blog I would no longer be a medical student.

It's also helped me to pass an exam last year, as I was required to write a reflective piece based on personal feelings since starting medical school. I found that easier because I keep a diary of events.

I also love the support I get from people here. It's kind of like therapy, in a perverse way. While I wouldn't necessarily go out and seek the kind of support I receive here, it's nice in the way it's offered here in the comments.

I've made friends and met people that I would otherwise have had no chance to interact with.

In all, blogging is an amazing experience that I would honestly say I'm a better person for.
I'm nothing special, just a normal 24 year old who chooses to air her thoughts in a slightly more public environment than a locked book in a drawer.

So, as well as celebrating another weight loss this week, I may well be celebrating something more personal tonight.

Here's to blogging, and see you all in another 12 months I hope!

04 February 2008

Snigger

I love my housemates. Currently, the bloke housemate is in the shower listening to and singing along to the Radio 1 Live Lounge Album and in particular, Dirrtylicious by Keane.

I'm not sniggering at all, honest.

03 February 2008

Things that make you go ARGH!!

A large amount of things are pissing me off at the moment. Because I feel like venting, here goes:

  1. Pedestrians in cycle paths. When the road has a cycle path down it, or even a single cycle path separate from the road, then don't you dare bloody grumble when I ring my bell or say 'excuse me'. Don't even think about not getting out of the way, cos I may find my steering ability fails for a moment. It's a cycle path, that means it's for bicycles- try a footpath, you're less likely to get hit or sworn at.
  2. Cars that don't look when pulling out of side roads. OK, another bike related one, but I'm getting scared to cycle now because I've had some very near misses. It's not even like I wasn't wearing bright colours/had lights on the bike either!
  3. Not being able to get the limescaley watermarks off the glass shower screen. I know it's really anal, but when I clean the shower, it would be nice if I could get all the marks off.
  4. Having to do such long days at the moment. I'm tired, I'm grumpy and I don't want to play anymore.
  5. Stupid drunks. OK, I know this is a given, but still. If you come up to the bar, I won't serve you. I'm not being petty, you're too intoxicated. Please don't try to quote the law at me, I work here and I know the law surrounding this job. If you don't want to listen to me, then fair enough, but please don't call me a c**t to my face if you don't want to be thrown out and subsequently barred. Also, it's not a wise move to then tell everyone you're gonna boycott the bar until I get the sack. You gobbed off at my manager too, I don't think you'll be coming in for a while...

31 January 2008

Lack of motivation

I guess it's the time of year of short days and long nights (although I know that's getting better now) that makes me lose motivation for university these days.

I am so physically and mentally tired at the moment. I have hellishly long days at the moment, starting from 5.45AM until 6.30PM when I crawl home, usually to have to crawl back out to work again shortly afterwards.

Thankfully this will only go on for another 3 weeks, but roll on those 21 days. I'm not sure how much more I can cope with...

29 January 2008

Weight loss

Three Weeks, half a stone lighter

25 January 2008

Appraisals

Today I had one of my many medical school appraisals. It's a chance to talk candidly with a tutor about academic and professional performance to date.

I had a 15 minute interview with one of my tutors where we discussed how well I'd integrated within the group.

Now, this would have been fine, except I've been a tad brittle of late. My mood has been a tad unpredictable, and rather unsurprisingly I ended up crying my eyes out to a GP who isn't my doctor, nor to whom I am especially fond. It was a slightly surreal experience to be honest.

I am slightly worried about what he thinks of me now, but the bullish side of me couldn't care less.

These things happen. On the plus side, he thinks I'm doing well and will make a good doctor, so I guess I can't moan.

19 January 2008

Thank you for making me skint.

Dear The Trainline,

Thank you ever so much for blocking funds in my bank accounts. I accept that you haven't actually removed the money, but neither can I.

You see, when I tried to buy train tickets through your website three times, and you said my card had been declined by the bank, then that was what I was expecting to happen.

What I didn't expect was that you would block £121 of my money across 2 bank accounts and therefore make me unable to withdraw any cash.

I especially love your foreign call centre, and just how well all your staff speak English, and especially since you put me on hold for 11 minutes while I was paying for an 0870 call!

Therefore, when you do finally stop trying to take my money, I will be writing to you and seeking refund for my call costs.

Cheers for that.

Merys

Fiver

5lbs loss in first week.

That is all

14 January 2008

New year, new apathy

After PBL today I had a chat with my tutor. My choice, my decision.

I feel as though I'm swimming upstream with the whole concept of Problem Based Learning - or at least how my medical school has interpreted it.

Maybe I'm being just too hard on myself, but I feel as though I'm losing the plot with it sometimes. I feel like I'm missing some of the learning objectives. And don't even get me started on how we present work; that's just one flaming headache after another.

My tutor's advice: stick with it, plan what you want to write (one of my biggest failings..) and only use 2 texts maximum. Apparently using 5 or 6 plus the internet, as I had been doing makes for long and tedious work. No kidding there.

Hopefully it will all suddenly click this week. Otherwise it could be a very long 3 and a half years...

12 January 2008

Slim pickings

I think I like the idea of Slimming World. It's not bothering me too much so far, although the diet is a bit complicated at first.

Last night I cooked for my housemate B and myself. We had a vegetable lasagne followed by a bread, honey and apricot pudding with custard as syns.

Today, I was feeling a little, erm... windy.

Turns out B was too. Today the pair of us have been in different areas all day at uni and haven't seen each other. I got it right in the neck when he got home. Apparently he feels like he's lost weight today too!

At least tomorrow I'm working at the outdoor activity centre, and can fart my way through the forest!

The joys of working in the fresh air!

10 January 2008

New Year's Resolutions

As I promised myself I would lose weight, I've taken the first step and joined Slimmingworld. I was horrified at what I weighed, and vowed to lose more weight than ever before and have a target goal lower than ever.

I've started eating healthier, and I love the way the slimmingword diet seems to work, although the acid test is if I lose weight I guess....

I've added the ticker across the top to help me on my way

06 January 2008

A New Start

The new year's resolutions seem to have started quite well. I did a night shift last night, and during a quiet patch managed to get 1000 words of an essay written up in final copy. I've been good and done all the drafting with friends already.
However, I am being quite thick and doing a night shift tonight on MAU. I'm gonna get zero sleep and probably zero break.
The down side to this is that uni starts again tomorrow....
At least it doesn't start until 12 noon. So I might actually get a bit of sleep first!

04 January 2008

good pain, bad pain

What I'm about to do is gonna hurt. Really hurt.
You may remember I said I had a flesh tunnel. I still have it, and it currently hurts.
It hurts because I'm in the middle of doing my last and final stretch to 8mm. Sadly, nowhere have I found a 7mm stretch or tunnel. Which meant I had to stretch the already taut hole in my ear by 2mm at once. Which hurts.

Now I've got the wonderful job of cleaning it with contact lens solution before I put my final plastic retainer in (a UV reactive one!).

Yes I know, it's self inflicted pain, but that's what makes it good pain!

A little new year's cheer

Just before christmas I had an OSCE. Remember me mentioning those? Exams from hell. It's all about being a performer and knowing your lines and actions.
If you challenged me now I couldn't do the same examination I had to do in the exam, but at the time I was fine. It's performance pressure.

While certain parts of the OSCE went fine, there were a couple of stations that I came out of thinking 'oh bollocks'.

I also had a SSM to do before christmas too, and that went less than well. Actually having to write it was fine, and I knew my stuff. But being Viva'd on it I didn't do so well. Stuff that I knew before going in completely eluded me in the actual assessment.

However, the exam results came out yesterday and I passed them both! I don't know what my marks were yet, but I just know I passed. At least that might give me a kick up the arse to work harder this year and trust my skills a little more!

Now onto the dreaded resolutions:

  1. I. WILL. LOSE. WEIGHT! I've gained a lot of weight since splitting with my ex boyfriend, and I don't like it. As of next Tuesday I'm joining slimming world. I've printed off the first 7 day meal plan and ordered all my food from the supermarket. All is good. I'm aiming to lose at least 2 stones, and anything else is a bonus.
  2. I will study harder and spend less time volunteering. I mean, I love volunteering, but I just don't always get the time to do everything, and my priorities are all the wrong way round sometimes.
  3. I will start sport again. Cycling is fine, and I dread to think how much I would weigh if I didn't cycle everywhere, but I need to do something more active. I miss taekwon do, but sadly can't find a compatible club down here that I like or that I can get to. 20 miles is slightly too far to cycle...
  4. I will hopefully this year dig myself out of debt and get my ISA going again. Realistically I find this unlikely to happen... but one can dream.

Wow!

Well hello if you came from the Guardian Unlimited pages. What an honour that is for me, and I only discovered it because I read Kal's pages by RSS feed.

Anyway, I'm off to do some more studying on a rare day off, and I'll catch you again during the day at some point I guess!

02 January 2008

The age gap

I'm currently on a normal night shift on a normal ward.* I've already been moved wards once because the ward next to us was busier than us and they needed the help.



I'm currently sat watching a patient in his 70s with severe Alzheimer's disease and a fiesty temperament. Sadly, he doesn't take too kindly to being told what to do, or even asked nicely. He swears, punches and falls regularly. Consequently I have been tasked with keeping an eye on him, which he doesn't seem to like.


I find it frustrating to work in an environment where I can be kicked and punched and have to take it (and believe me when I say, some older people can really hit quite hard), yet equally I can't imagine how difficult and confusing it must be for this gentleman to not have a clue where he is or what's going on, and be asked to do things by a woman young enough to be his grandchild.

Sometimes I find I have compassion when I least expect it. I suppose that's a good thing at least.




*by normal, I mean not MAU or A&E

01 January 2008

Happy New Year - finally

So, instead of drinking myself into oblivion last night, I did the whole skint student thing and actually offered to cover a shift at the hospital. Let's face it, if I can barely afford to feed myself post-christmas, I certainly can't afford to drink myself rotten.

Looking back, hindsight is an amazing thing, and the medical assessment unit (which is where people from A&E often come) probably wasn't the best place to be for new year's eve. On the plus side, I saw a whole barrel load of new things last night.

I spent the actual midnight in radiology with a sick patient. He needed a chaperone and I got delegated. Turns out he had a massive pleural effusion which needed draining. Not only did the radiographer show me the xray and explain it to me, I then had to go help the doctor out (just by passing bits and bobs) when he tapped it. I really am such a geek sometimes. It helps that the patient was absolutely wonderful, when I explained my interest he was more than happy for me to ask questions of the doctor!

I also happened to see my first fit from start to finish. Don't get me wrong, I've seen lots of people fitting, but I've never seen how it starts. I was just heading down the ward from one patient towards the desk when my epileptic patient started to arch his back. It actually took me a minute for the penny to drop. Luckily instinct took over and I pulled him onto his side while simultaneously shouting for help and pulling the alarm. Who says women can't multitask?! This young gentleman had had a complete skinful and become totally paraletic. He'd had 3 or 4 fits in A&E, goodness knows how many before that, and another 2 while I was on the ward. What a way to end 2007 - stripped naked in your own urine being washed by a nurse while post-ictal. Happy New Year!

2007

Don't take this the wrong way, but I really cant be bothered to write a review of the year. I started, and then I got bored, tired and grumpy.

Needless to say it's been a rollercoaster year at medical school, culminating with my almost being kicked out due to fees problems. A problem which you guys all solved for me, and for which I am eternally grateful.

This year I've also had blogging visitors in the shape of Tom Reynolds (twice) and John Robertson (kinda twice). I've also been and visited and stayed with both Magwitch and Laura. According to Reynolds this makes me an ambulance service whore. Which is...erm... nice..

Otherwise, if you want to see what I've been up to, the best thing is to email me or read the archives.

Happy New Year everyone! See you after I sleep.