31 May 2007

Sheer amazement

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

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

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

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

It scares me, it really does.

28 May 2007

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Roll on the Summer holidays.

25 May 2007

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

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

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

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

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

* Obviously not his real name.

20 May 2007

8 Things Meme

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


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

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

Maybe I'm just getting officially old...

15 May 2007

The end of an era

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

At last!

Dr Crippen will be pleased:

MTAS Online system abandoned

Life, the universe and everything

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

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

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

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

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

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

10 May 2007

busy busy busy

I never thought I would say this:

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

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

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

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

06 May 2007

The simple things

It's funny how small things please me sometimes.

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

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

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

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

Very liberating!

I am such a minger

02 May 2007

Lord of the rings...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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