30 January 2006

For accuracy's sake

I have decided to leave yesterday's post on the blog. There is no point in hiding from it; it happened and it is done. I still feel like shite about the whole thing, and I think only time will change that, but I am not going to mope around like a teenager. Hopefully with some more observing I will manage to obscure the memory slightly like some previous nasty cases I have been around for. For the time being, the only slightly positive thing I have is something to definitely talk about at both my paramedic degree interviews.
Sounds sick doesn't it?

Thank you for your kind comments.


29 January 2006

There is no suitable title for this post

It's been a strange weekend to tell the truth.

I wish I could summise exactly how I feel at the moment, but I don't think I would even know where to begin. I may reach a point by the end of the post where I manage to explain my feelings, but I'm writing this as the words roll out of my head, through my hands and onto the keyboard. This is not a planned post - just straight up.

As I mentioned before, I was observing this weekend with the ambulance service. Due to other observers being out this weekend also, I went out on the FRU with a paramedic and started the day with a maternataxi call. Everything was fine and dandy - the ambulance arrived at the same time we did, and we left the expectant mother in their capable hands.

A couple more jobs, several cups of tea and a snooze in a chair later, and we get called off station to a 'female not breathing'. Age unknown, no other details. In this particular vehicle the satellite navigation screen had been stolen by some unscrupulous chav, so I was flicking through the A-Z trying to find the address. Thankfully this didn't slow us down, as we both knew the general area.

Arrival at the scene meets us with a hysterical father crying and screaming. I've never seen a man cry this way, and I knew something was desperately wrong. Tom Reynolds has discussed this in depth on his blog, and upon hearing the way that man cried in anguish, I guess I knew that the patient was a child. I'm generally a pro-active observer, and will do as I'm told if it will help, so I grabbed the monitor from the back of the car and followed the paramedic into the house. Lying in the middle of the floor was a 9 week old baby undergoing CPR from her mother. I can only presume that mum was still on the phone with the emergency call taker.

At this point I was a cold callous heartless cow. It didn't occur to me that this was a baby, or someone's child - it was just a patient in cardiac arrest. This was where my feelings were different to those of the attending paramedic.

Thankfully the ambulance was immediately behind us, as it had also been on station and left just after we did. It was decided that the tactical abandonment of the FRU was required, and we all piled into the back of the ambulance. The parents followed in the car, and everything that could be done was done. Having to do chest compressions on a baby feels perverse because the body is so small when you stand over it.

I felt like such a spare part - especially as I was being asked to do things and I just didn't know what I was doing. I'm not yet medically trained, so I don't know what some things are, or where certain things are kept. I just felt like a complete arsehole.

At this point I think the realisation dawned on me that this wasn't going to be a happy ending. Cardiac output was regained at the hospital, but the outlook was bleak for this poor soul. I understand what is meant by an anguished scream, as you could tell when the parents had arrived at the hospital by the primal sound emitted through the doors of resus. I really felt for the family, but selfishly I just felt shit for not being able to help properly. I felt guilty that I may have hindered the paramedics by not knowing my stuff. I honestly still don't know how I feel.

In true Merys style I stayed in last night and polished off several bottles of magners. This did manage to hinder my getting up this morning, and I felt like something had crawled inside my mouth and died for most of the day.

This post hasn't made me feel any better - in fact I would say I feel especially shite now for talking about it. This post may not stay on the blog for long, depending on how I feel this time tomorrow. I have the feeling that this patient will haunt me forever, no matter whether I become a paramedic or a doctor.

I'm very tired and starting to lose momentum and balance, so I'm going to call it a day before I fall down. Off to bed for a long sleep I reckon - just in time to get up for another week of thrilling lectures this week. Not sure how much I will be able to concentrate on


27 January 2006

Will someone please remove the knives from my eyes?

I have gotten over the 'deep heat and contact lenses' issue now, but my eyes are killing me. I think I've just been burning the candle at both ends a little too much. Just sitting here in front of the computer screen is burning my eyes. I was going to put my contact lenses in this morning when I got up, but I took one look at my eyes in the mirror and the image that greeted me wasn't pleasant. They were a bit bloodshot to say the least, so I think that vanity can take a back seat today and I'll wear the specs.
Quite frankly I just feel like shite at the moment, and I have to be up early all this weekend, so I've got no choice about having a lie in. I've got the extreme pleasure of having to work tonight and be up for observing this weekend.
My mother keeps asking me if I'm OK at the moment, and keeps asking when I'm going to go out and have some fun - but frankly I don't have the time right now. I've got two interviews to prepare for, a martial arts grading to study/train for, my masters to do, 3 jobs to keep on top of, the gym to go to and all the volunteer stuff I do.
I suppose that answers the question about why I feel so tired at the moment.
Merys (needs eyedrops)

25 January 2006

Never again

Never ever ever will I gulp down a curry and go for a 'run'. I thought I was going to puke, and I'm amazed I didn't.

Also on the list of things I will never do again: use Deep Heat and put my contact lenses in afterwards. It didn't seem to matter that I had washed my hands thoroughly. It burns. It really burns. Try getting your eyes open long enough to get the contact lens back out again.

I really am a stupid tart sometimes. I lack rather a lot of common sense a lot of the time, just proving the fact that a degree does not make you intelligent.

Anyway, more observing with the ambulance coming up soon, so maybe I will have something cool to blog about. But until then, keep commenting because I'm bored.

Stupid Merys

23 January 2006

15 minute mile

Yup, that's how long on average it takes me to cover a mile 'jogging'. More accurately it takes me 45 minutes and 24 seconds to cover 3 miles. I really think I need to speed up a bit more - although I have taken to going out in the dark to hide my shame (not to mention my pasty white legs in shorts. Who needs reflective clothing when you can blind motorists with your skin alone!)

On the good side, ready for my paramedic interview I've started dropping the pounds. The scales reckon I've lost around 7lbs in 10 days, although I think they may be lying slightly!

If they aren't lying, then excellent. All I need is a good case of diarrhoea and vomitting a week before my interview and I will yet be a size 8!


22 January 2006


Since I've been out as an observer with the ambulance service, I've had quite a few 'firsts'.

I've seen my first dead body, seen my first freshly hatched baby (about 1 minute old by the time we arrived), done CPR on a real person for the first time, and seen my first case of 'compensationitis'.

The problem is, for the first real time in my life - I'm not hellbent and focused on a career as a doctor anymore. I feel as though I'm being torn in two different directions in my life, and I really don't know which way to go.

Any suggestions??

18 January 2006


I managed to get some more observing recently, and am due to do yet more - but something made me smile the last time.

I managed to get some observing on the FRU (fast response unit), and we got a call to a possible stroke. We pulled up outside the house and I hopped out of the car, donning my lovely orange observer's jacket as I went.

The patient's daughter came out to greet us, and she turned straight to me and said: "Ooh are you the lovely lady I spoke to on the phone - you sounded so posh and nicely spoken. Thank you for coming!" The paramedic and I looked at each other and laughed. Not least because I don't speak posh due to my strong accent!

It was sweet nevertheless. I don't think she realised that control is in a different place and has a different role, nevermind getting from control to the patient in 2 minutes (good eh??) would need a tardis and not an ambulance!

17 January 2006

New year, new diet

Well, in response to a comment made by one of the paramedic course admissions tutors, I need to shed some weight. She didn't tell me to lose weight because she's never met me of course - but the words she used were: "We like to see all our candidates being weight and height in proportion". Honestly I think I could blag it. I know i'm a tadge overweight, but I would consider myself still to be in proportion.

However, I don't want to give them an easy reason to reject me, and hence I am dieting again. Do you think that the contents of my shopping trolley at the supermarket may have given the game away slightly??

I even went for a co-ordinated stagger around the campus last night, but only once everyone had buggered off to town to get drunk!!


It's official. I'm an alcoholics wet dream. I have Guinness on my elbows and beer in my hair. I smell of a fruity combination of sambuca and lager, as well as stale cigarette smoke. I have glass shards in my hand that I can't get out, and broken glass in the soles of my work boots.
I have the expression of someone who has seen far too many drunks to care anymore, and I've had to put up with idiots all night. All in all I'm not a happy Merys. I'm a tired, grumpy asthmatic Merys who is fed up of twats smoking at the bar, despite large signs and my swearing repeatedly at them. I'm fed up with them rubbing it in by buying rounds of drinks on their debit cards, simply because they can since their student loan payment has gone in. I don't get a student loan because I am a post-grad. I'm fed up because my hours have been cut at work, without anyone telling me, but yet the bar is busier than ever and we're expected to work harder and be understaffed too.
Do you think I may be grouchy at all??

16 January 2006

A full and interesting week

Well, my apologies for not posting last week, but what with more observing on the ambulance station, working, being on call, salsa dancing, going to the gym and starting jogging - I didn't have a lot of spare time!

I've been granted another paramedic interview at university, so that makes two now, meaning that I need more exercise and even more work experience.

I intend to blog about my observing malarkey later (maybe when I get back in from work tonight), but for the time being I need to straighten my hair and put my face on for my adoring public!!

M xxx

12 January 2006

Observers Curse

I've just decided that it might be time to blog about the last time I went observing before Christmas. Since I managed to get an interview on a paramedic university course, I need more work experience to look better on the day. I kept reminding myself of this dedication when I set my alarm clock to 5.30 AM. This was a perfectly acceptable time of the day - had I not been working in the bar till stupid-O'clock the night before. I guess I got to bed around 2.30AM before getting up for 5.30. With my taxi booked and my lunch in my bag I trudged from my flat to arrive just before 7AM.

I was lucky to be paired with a cool crew, even if they did think my accent was particularly hilarious (yeah, so funny mate - no I don't live on Emmerdale Farm).
Observers curse didn't set in as much as the last time I went out. A fair few 'proper' jobs and what appeared like no timewasters. I was told that it wasn't busy though.
On the second day I was very lucky to go out on the car. Less jobs, more serious ones (at least in theory).
Does it sound strange that I was disappointed that there was no blood involved?

What did surprise me was how naive I felt on one of the jobs. I don't really want to go into detail, but none of the patients had been in an immediately life threatening condition (broken bones, slips and trips etc), yet it didn't hit me that one patient could actually die until a member of his family asked if he would be fine.
The answer was probably.
Only probably...
I guess it stopped me in my tracks. I feel so dumb for being enthusiastic and blasé about other people’s health and misfortunes. I was feeling so good about myself getting my work experience, and enjoying it – that I never considered that it could potentially be life and death.

I guess I have something to talk about at interview now.

09 January 2006


I thought that these incredibly blurry photos would illustrate a point.
a) I can barely snowboard and, b) my dad can barely use a camera!
The good thing about them though - you can't tell who I am because they're blurry and I'm wearing a helmet!

08 January 2006

Baby, it's cold outside.

I've just gotten back to my flat at uni to discover that the central heating hasn't come on, so it's sodding freezing here at the moment. My lectures start again with a vengeance, and I've only just found the stupid timetable that they gave us before Christmas, so I actually know where I'm going in the morning. It would appear that I have a medical statistics lecture - so that'll be something that I won't understand. In fact, it would be fair to say that I'll go in knowing nowt and come out knowing less.
It's been an interesting 3 week holiday. I have no exams to return to because I did coursework before Christmas - so I've had the *luxury* of working over the holidays and trying to earn some money. I've rewarded my hard work of chav hating by buying a new mobile phone to replace the old camera phone I had. When I'm at home I work as a leisure centre / social club manager, and I focus more on the social club side - so I manage the bar, cafe, parties, children's play area etc.
My Christmas work has mainly been chasing teenage girls out of the ladies toilets and threatening them with the police. The girls were of the Catherine Tate variety, and after they had squared up to me, I had to stop and laugh with the rest of the staff. I feel so old compared to them, and I was never that bad when I was a teenager. Then again, I didn't live in a tracksuit with a Burberry baseball cap on either, so I guess that would explain it.

I was lucky to receive a late Christmas present of some snowboarding lessons this year too, so I spent more time on the slopes at Xscape. Actually, that's a lie......I spent a lot of time on my arse, my knees, my back, and on one embarrassing attempt at snowboarding - on my nose. I did enjoy it though, even though my parents thought it was the funniest thing they'd ever seen! The worrying thing is, I've got to re-do my level 4 boarding lesson, but after that I'm deemed to be of recreational standard and my lessons are finished. Scared, me? Never.....

I will post some snowboarding pictures when I upload them on this machine. I actually have some of me standing up and moving downhill too!!

07 January 2006

6 months

My thoughts are still with the families of anyone involved in the London bombings. We will not be threatened by terrorists!

No more

This is just a quick post from my phone because it will be costing me a fortune. Normal service resumes when i return to uni tomorrow.