29 December 2009

Christmas and New Year

Seasons greetings to one and all.

Christmas with my parents was a far more relaxed affair this year. It almost feels as though my parents respect me and my partner for being a couple (even if I can't have a white wedding because we're living in sin.... Ok then.) and me for being an adult. I'm only 26 for goodness sake...

Anyway I'm now back from Yorkshire and ready to do shifts again. This year I will yet again be working a new year's eve night but a bit different to all others before it. I will blog more as it approaches but it should be interesting nevertheless.

24 December 2009

Seasons Greetings

I'm home at last in Yorkshire with my partner and actually looking forward to festivities with the family.

Sadly I've been thinking of relatives passed away amd the associated Christmasses past. When I was but a first year medical student my grandmother fell over our front door step while I was helping her through, and we spent this night in accident and emergency with carolers and drunks. In March of the new year she died, for reasons that I still don't fully understand. The death certificate said pulmonary fibrosis, but I'm not so convinced...

Since then I always associate Christmas as being an odd time of year. I was close to both of my grandmothers: the remaining one taught me to be an independent woman who knew her own mind, while my much missed grandmother encouraged crafts, arts, cookery and creativity. They formed the basis of the woman I am today.

And so to the festive season.... for families, friends and loved ones. Value the ones who mean the world to you as you never know when the next Christmas may be your last.

*maudlin moment over*

Merry Christmas/ religious event of your choice

12 December 2009

Christmas Favourites

Despite all my love of Christmas Songs, this one is by far my favourite.

I was born and raised listening to Otis Redding, and I thank my father for his excellent taste in music. I'd like to share this with all of you... the best version of White Christmas you will ever hear.

Best listened to in the bath with a mug of hot chocolate

10 December 2009


Tips my boobs have received at work tonight...

08 December 2009


Dear First Years,

You have been at medical school for approximately one semester so far, and things may be feeling a bit shitty. Alternatively they might not be.

From my year we lost a few people after Christmas.

My advice to all of you is that it will get better. My school, like many others starts with an introduction to medicine. It's often not what you were expecting when you started medicine and can be a kick in the teeth but bear with it.

At least give medicine a fair try until the end of the first year...

Although, if you're enjoying it, then sweet, and stick with it!


25 November 2009


And with depression, joints, reflux and other stuff this is what keeps me smiling and reasonably pain free.

Happy days

First Theatre Experience

Last year I had my first proper 'med student' experience in theatre. I would love to say how amazing it was, but after my face hit the floor and I broke my glasses, all I can remember of the rest of the day is a headache.

So this is a quick note to say, don't worry about fainting in theatre, it happens to the best of us.

What I do remember of that day was the surgeon (after I woke up to him holding my feet in the air) allowing me to scrub in and telling me that he used to faint religiously every time he went near the anaesthetic room.

To this day I haven't fainted since, despite scrubbing in on some very gruesome surgeries, and I still don't know what brought about the face/floor episode. All I do know is that the dentist and optician weren't happy with me considering I chipped a tooth and broke my spectacles with one astonishing face vs floor...

12 November 2009

Random Bar Quotes 1

"do you have any beer that's warm?"

Now seriously, I know student unions have a bad reputation, but still....

10 November 2009

Egg Shells

I'm around physically but not emotionally at the moment.

The big black dog has come back for a visit, except this time I'm still on 40mg of fluoxetine. My gut feeling is that I don't know what to do. I've not felt this low since starting on medication anyway and I've been reasonably stable since.

I have described it like an egg shell. I have a tough and bolshy exterior but it's fragile. My shell is getting thinner and particularly weak in places. The gooey bit in the middle keeps coming out to play and I keep crying.

Generally this is bad. Except it's now worse because I'm clinical and doing long days.

I still want medicine as a career but am I right for it?

26 October 2009


So today I turned 26 and life is good. I feel particularly joint-achey this morning and I think it's my body's way of reminding me that I'm the wrong side of 25 now.

Anyhow I need to get a bike basket for the bike of doom. Does anyone know of any cheap lightweight baskets (preferably permanently fixed) that are available to buy online?


24 October 2009

Return from the abyss

Sorry about the absence of late. Hospital placement seems to have swallowed my life.

Anyhow, I've managed to regain a sneaky 5 minutes at work (now that I have finished all my course reading for the night) to catch you up on what I've been doing.

I've redeveloped my love of all things wool based, and am currently knitting socks, scarves, gloves, anything I can get my grubby clumsy hands on to be honest...

On Monday I turn the dreaded 26 years of age, and that means that I'm officially on the wrong side of 25. Not good times. I think I'm just going to keep telling people I'm 19 and see if anyone believes me. Someone must do, I got asked for ID 2 weeks ago for a bottle of wine at Sainsburys...

Anyway, if anyone hears anyone slagging me off around the interweb thingy, do feel free to let me know. It's funny how stuff from ex-friends and mentees has a way of getting back to me.

14 October 2009

Thought for the day

Why when I set this morning's alarm clock to Ace of Spades by Motorhead did I still manage to sleep in and be an hour late for lectures?

01 October 2009


I've been asked by the lovely folks over at Doc2doc to write some posts for them. So just to let you all know that I haven't abandoned you I'm inviting you all over.

You are all welcome to register at Doc2Doc, there is a section on the registration for speciality where you can type None (or hit * and it will give you a list to choose from).

Anyhow, term is going well and all is good. I feel marginally betrayed by someone I was close to but hay ho, these things happen.

People are apparently all shits.

Find the blog here

25 September 2009

15 days

15 days is how long it's been since I posted last. 15 during which time I've started back at uni and been thrown in at the deep end of the hospital (where I am a very very small fish). The hospital is madly crazy, yet it doesn't particularly bother me due to the two year of HCA work I've done there since starting uni.

We had a lecture three days ago in which the lecturer reminded us how important nurses were, and that if you were nice to them they would feed you when you helped them out/looked hungry/looked exhausted etc.

It must be a good sign that after I cannulated a patient last week one of the male staff nurses, who I've worked with as a HCA leant into me, and whispered sweetly into my ear 'carrot cake and tea round the back, help yourself'.

10 September 2009


Now I wasn't fortunate enough to see Derren Brown predict the lottery numbers last night but I heard he got them right.

Next time an email in advance wouldn't go amiss. I would settle for 5 numbers Derren... Just enough to clear up some debts.

Although that said I don't think I even have a pound spare until payday next Friday. But still, numbers in advance please...

07 September 2009


I am a fourth year. That is all.

26 August 2009


I'm heading back to the motherland for three days. Blogging may be more frequent and more ranty than normal.

Apologies in advance.

25 August 2009

Something you all should see - caution, very graphic

This is a video a friend sent me. I feel you all should see it (not with the kids mind) regarding the dangers of texting and driving.

21 August 2009

A minor slip up

I wasn't going to say anything about resits this year. I genuinely wasn't, but then I realised I'd twittered that I was in the library earlier, and realistically, unless I was a slightly sad individual I wouldn't be sat in the library on my summer break.

So yes, I have slipped up again this year and failed an exam. No surprises really, I failed something for the last two years so this shouldn't come as a massive surprise.

Sadly though it is yet again upsetting the cash flow balance, as I can't work as many shifts as I would like.

What surprised me was how much the depression came back with a bang when I got back from my 'break' of a week. Oddly enough, the first thing I did was start taking the fluoxetine again, but it wasn't a nice surprise...

However, I seem to have got better at managing a budget and have been making a lot of my own bread and cakes and stuff to avoid the supermarkets and make the most of my store cupboard*.

This year I aim to actually start making shopping lists and be a better 'domestic goddess' - pending getting back into medical school that is....

Wish me luck dudes and dudettes!

* I swear Narnia lives at the back of my store cupboard. I have never found so many packets of yeast, flour, pasta, sugar and chickpeas as in that cupboard last week**

** and yes, cleaning cupboards and kitchens is far more interesting than revision in the middle of summer.

15 August 2009

A brief guide to surviving A Level results day

Thursday 20th August 2009 is a day that many year 13 students (6th formers / college kids or whatever you're calling yourselves these days) will be dreading/looking forward to in equal measures.

It is the much anticipated A2 level results day, and for many people will decide their immediate future come September.

It's a day I remember all too well. I'd retaken half of my AS levels along with my A2 exams and I unfortunately hadn't got the grades I needed for my offer for medicine. I was honestly heartbroken, but deep down knew that I hadn't tried hard enough. Looking back however, it's a fork in the path that has changed my life for the better.

I'm going to give you my brief advice on surviving the day in question, and how to make the most of whatever happens.

Firstly, you may not want them there, but if a parent/guardian/loved one offers to come with you on the day, take them up on it. My parents were the last people I wanted around on the day, but I am really glad they insisted on driving me there and waiting in the car. It's good to have a shoulder to cry on or to celebrate with. Either way, they probably want to be there too.

Secondly, if the worst happens then don't panic. I know everyone will be saying this, but I didn't get the grades I needed and I've still managed (by hook or by crook) to get onto my desired degree pathway. Call the university that has made you an offer if you miss your grades. Even if you have missed them by a mile (as I did) they may make you an alternate offer for a related course, and this is how I ended up where I did and doing the course I did (my actual back up courses were BSc Chemistry at Hull and MChem at York). Let's face it, they know which courses will be suitable as a foundation to medicine, and they obviously liked you at interview.

Thirdly, don't rush into anything. Even if you say yes to a back up course you can still decline it until you sign the UCAS paperwork. Making rush decisions is what leads to many drop outs in freshers week and the weeks following it. Make sure the decision is yours, and not your parents or an over eager admissions tutor.

All of this aside, this period will probably be a very rushed, slightly daunting time for anyone waiting for results.

Fingers crossed that you won't need any of this advice, and the results you get will be the ones you need.

And if that is the case, consider your local A&E department when you go out drinking to celebrate (I worked one of the results nights in A&E and it was messy...).

Best of luck,

Merys xxx

14 August 2009

I really am never satisfied

I really hate public transport. After the sweat box of a train earlier I'm now freezing my toes off!

Give me a pushbike any day!

Hot and sticky

Right. I'm posting this from the train just to say that it doesn't matter what your profession your opinion is just as important as anyone else's when it comes to your medical records.

There should be no reason why any of you can't comment at doc2doc but you have to register for an account.

Anyway please send cool thoughts as I sit on the hottest train in the world...
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

12 August 2009

Spinal tap

What do I think of NHS spine, what do you think of NHS Spine?

Drop your comments over here at doc2doc cos I've decided to have a bit of a rant (what a surprise!)

11 August 2009

Ups and Downs

Since the last time I blogged I've had an exhausting time. Just doing my thing, you know.

I've been to do something very worthwhile while I nipped off for a while, something I would have never become involved in if it wasn't for blogging.

Anyway, it's back to the usual gring of night shifts and housework and reading and knitting.

Nothing very interesting in my life at the moment.

Just one big unnecessary stressbag who has restarted her antidepressants and isn't sure whether she will be heading back to uni in September.

Like I say, nothing much interesting happening here.

27 July 2009

Late spring cleaning

Over the next few weeks the blog will be changing slightly - a few minor html tweaks, some tidying and some 'under the hood' changes so to speak. You probably won't even notice!

I'm heading away at the end of the week for 10 days and my internet access is going to be very limited. If I can post I will do, but it will be via phone. Again, it all depends on signal. My Twitters will still probably be updated, so the best way to keep in touch is to Direct Message me through there.

Hope my sanity is intact when I return.

18 July 2009

Brain under stress

I'm trying to decide at the moment whether cramming insanely and learning small bits of everything is best, or whether to 'question spot' and learn detailed amounts about a small subject.

It's similar to being a doctor of a particular speciality.

Anyway, while I try and work out which of the two is the best, here's a thought I had earlier:

In a country where we educate people about the risks of the sun to skin, and increasing risks of skin cancer, why when I walk through any good general pharmacy/healthy type shop is sunscreen nearly £10 per bottle??

08 July 2009


If I try and cram any more medicine into my head right now I think my brain is about to trickle out of my ears.

It is coming to the end of the year and exams are looming rather quicker than I thought, yet I still feel a million miles away from knowing anything.

Right now I could use the assistance of Derren Brown to help me try and cram as many facts into my head as possible. Of course, if anyone knows him, send him my way.

Otherwise I'm just gonna have to revise like hell and hope there's no more brain leakage.

Wish me luck

07 July 2009

Blogging for benefit

I've been nagged by someone* to post on the doc2doc blog boards. If you've come from over there, then hi!

*who knows who they are

24 June 2009


I'm on placement at the moment. I'm so skint that I've just had to go get a free coffee from the staff kitchen where I do most of my shifts.

It's a bad time for me to need new glasses too. And a passport for elective. And a phone bill to pay...
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

16 June 2009

Jack Knife

While I will wholeheartedly admit to being ignorant of the news, Twitter keeps me up to date with enough to get by.

Today I heard for the first time about the NightJack case. I found out via Reynolds' twitter feed (which I download via the wonderful Ubertwitter) and did a little more reading this evening when I had chance.

Frankly I'm worried. Where does a newspaper get off in deciding to breach a blogger's anonymity? And why is blogging any different to writing under a pen-name or pseudonym? Michael Crichton, the sadly deceased creator of ER used to write under the pen name of John Lange. It's a common practice in writing. I just don't understand how a newspaper I used to enjoy reading thinks that it's acceptable to breach something so sacred?

It does also have implications for health field based bloggers in the UK, as there is every chance we could be outed also.

08 June 2009

Dinner of champions

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device


I'm laid in bed feeling like ming.

Please send diet friendly chocolate.
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

04 June 2009


Anyone who follows me on twitter will be aware that I often work on Friday nights. 

They will also know that recently I was being punched by a patient... fairly frequently.

Now a few slaps and pushes I can cope with. I'm made of fairly strong stuff and can usually hold my own.

But this wasn't an A&E shift on an alcohol fuelled friday evening.

This was a 70 year old man with advanced dementia. He also happened to have an impressive right hook.

The doctor had been reluctant to write him up for anything because every time he had passed us, the patient was sitting quietly while I was reading Angels and Demons. Sadly though, this was only for incredibly brief periods.

It was only when the doctor saw him slap me around the face and call me a f**king bitch that he reevaluated. 

My patient slept for the rest of the night. 

Does anyone want to re-evaluate their previous comments?

Just another day

This is partly a test and partly an apology.

Firstly I'm trying to post from my phone- something I haven't quite worked out yet.

Secondly it's an apology because I haven't posted for ages. I mean, I've still been here because I've been twittering fairly regularly. But a tweet just isn't a post is it?

I've been bogged down with study and elective planning and quite frankly I forgot to post.

There is a second part to the chemical restraint question that I will try and post later.

Until then, au revoir.
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

18 May 2009

Chemical restraints

So I want to pose you all a question. 

A colleague from the hospital recently messaged me on facebook to ask me my opinions on chemical restraint of patients in a medical environment? My answer was a bit mixed and muddled.

So I turn the same question to you:

Do you think sedative drugs should ever be given to patients as a form of 'calming' measure outside of mental health hospitals?

Should patients be written up for lorazepam or haloperidol simply because they wander around and disturb other patients?

Should they have medicines to help them stay in bed if they are confused?

What do you think??

14 May 2009

Third Year Strife

Well, this time next year I will be absolutely bricking it. Pending of course that I've found enough money to actually go on elective.

My elective has been booked and now I just need to book many many many hospital shifts and bar shifts to get as much money as is humanly possible before next year.

I've 'guestimated' that I'm going to need in the region of £4000 to cover flights, food, rent while I'm away, the elective itself and basic living allowances for 8 weeks work.

Essentially I'm bricking it. The last time I was on an aeroplane I was 11 years old and we flew from Leeds to Jersey. The 9 hour flight with 2 connection changes barely compares.

I've written to drug companies, medical companies and charities trying to plead my case. Otherwise I just have to work very very hard.

Basically, I'm very scared. And very excited.

05 May 2009

So i need some advice...

... and quite predictably some money, but that's another matter.

I'm trying to organise my elective. For those non-medics in the house, an elective is a period of study for medical students where you are strongly encouraged to go abroad for 8 weeks and experience healthcare in another country.

Now here comes the sticky part; I have never travelled alone, or in fact really ever. And therefore I'm nervous and scared. 

I know where I want to go, but I have absolutely no idea how to go about it and what I need to do. I also need to summon some money from somewhere to get a passport. 

So this is where you come in, if you feel helpful. Somehow I need to find in the region of £4000 before next summer to afford to go away, but I also need advice.

Has any medical student out there ever used an organised elective company such as Work the World, Medics Away or Adventure Alternative? Basically, I'm a tad nervous giving all my hard earned bottom wiping money to a random company based on no review, and was wondering if anyone knows of anyone who has used them in the past.

Please send kind thoughts my way, as my nerves are vanishing rapidly.

PS: if you are a company and would like to sponsor my elective, either personally or through advertising on the blog, please drop me an email on bloodystudents@hotmail.co.uk and I'm thanking you all in advance...

27 April 2009

Unwritten rules

For some reason that I don't understand, university libraries seem to be the coldest places on the planet.

It's really not good when you're trying to get pharmacological principles through your thick skull and all you can think of is how cold your fingers are.

I also feel a grade A prat as I brought my sunglasses in with me today for cycling. They look pretty redundant now...

14 April 2009


I'm going to explain a little about my family background. One half of my family is Celtic, and the other half Romany. My mother has thick, rich dark wavy hair, and olive tanned skin which goes a beautiful colour in the summer.

My father has curly hair and fair freckled skin.

Of course, I would be a hybrid of this. I got the thick dark hair which does exactly what it wants, but I also got the fair skin with freckled shoulders.

Consequently when I was working last week I was rather amused when a male Filipino nurse became curious as to whether I coloured my hair. (I do colour it from time to time, but only to cover impending white hairs - I colour it back to my natural colour and hence I never have roots).

When I explained that my hair was naturally this colour, he asked me the most impossible question I have ever heard; Was I mixed race?*

The other two staff started laughing, and I had to join in with them. My skin is so pale it's practically grey in winter, and he was so confused as to why my hair was the same colour as his.

This amused me all night, or at least until a patient on the ward asked me if my hair was naturally black...

*his expression, not mine.

08 April 2009

The breakfast of champions

The thing I love most about work is the home part. 

I get to cycle home, which is really refreshing no matter what the weather is, followed by a bowl of cereal, a game of guitar hero this morning and a beautiful glass of red wine.

It really is the breakfast of champions.

07 April 2009

Night shift syndrome

It's the easter holidays now, which can mean only one thing. With no OSCE looming after the vacation, and only one assignment and one piece of PBL to do, both of which are mostly done, it's time to work my little arse off at the hospital doing night shift after night shift.

I've also recommenced days at the outdoor pursuits centre, which raised some eyebrows as I think they thought I'd quit. Being unwell for nearly 6 months combined with very cold weather does not make for an amazingly good idea. 

Tonight is my first proper night shift on the ENT ward, and I'm not that fazed by it. I quite like the ward and the majority of the patients are independent and can get themselves out to the bathroom etc*

That being said, I'm quite looking forward to it. Tomorrow night may be completely different. I'm 'specialling' a patient who has falls from bed a lot, and I could spend a lot of my night fighting them. 

*expect a post later saying that all hell has let loose....

27 March 2009


I can't believe that March has been and gone, and this is only my third blogpost....

It's been a remarkably busy month with lots of assessment and stress. There's also been placement somewhere down the line and another bout of dubious health.

All in all, not an amazingly blogworthy month.

14 March 2009

Siamese banana

Siamese banana
Originally uploaded by merysjones
Nice freaky food I got from Sainsbury's.

Still, even deformed bananas need our love, and I did so by eating them quickly. I was rather peckish.

the all important question

no, not 'what is the meaning of life?'

but.. do I cut my own fringe?

My hair is getting quite a bit longer, and was previously quite short and has a fringe. I've been cursed with tons and tons of hair, which most people are jealous of, but its a bitch to manage. It's also neither curly nor straight.

My dilemma is this; I can't afford a haircut and I look like an old English sheepdog.

I've cut my fringe in the past with mixed results. It usually comes out OK, but I have this horrible feeling that something horrifically bad is gonna happen this time. I'm not sure why....

22 February 2009

Because I'm a good little girl.

I'm on my second nightshift in a row and my body is feeling it quite substantially.

Last night I was tired before I hit the ward. I'd been pulling late nights and early mornings to get coursework in, and doing a MAU shift wasn's the best choice in the world, but it was the only option available through the bank so I took it.

Tonight I'm on a more sedate ward. More leisurely and calm. I am avoiding the Q word as all hell will let loose if I so much as type it, let alone speak it.

So far I have started my PBL and am soon to do some reflective journally type stuff as well. I'm aiming to be productive tonight.

I'm also aiming to be up at around 3pm later today, but I'm not convinced that will happen. I have a new phone and keep sleeping through the alarms on it.

16 February 2009

Space and time

I started taking them again.

2 a day, just like before. Nothing different yet, but no chance to kick in really.

I was starting to lose determination to leave bed. Just like before.

The thing I haven't done is make a doctors appointment. I'm horribly sure I'll put it off until I need more tablets, and then I'll probably try and get away with a repeat prescription.

The other thing concerning me is my recent ill health. I'm still not 100% healthy. Around 68% if I'm truthful.  More healthy than not. More good days than not.

The problem is that I recently failed an exam when I wasn't well. The med school will probably want to speak to me about it. It's been suggested I take the year out and intercalate etc. 

I don't want to intercalate. It's giving up for me. It's the right decision for some people, but not for me. The failing of an exam had more circumstances around it than I can talk about here, but I really don't want to sit on the bench until September and start over. 

10 February 2009

Green and yellow, but definitely not blue.

Over christmas I made a rather subconscious decision to stop taking Fluoxetine. Not particularly wise given it was Christmas time, but as I say, it was subconscious.

I had them with me, I just didn't take them for no particular reason.

I've been managing fine from a drop of 40mg to 0mg, yet the last two weeks seem to have pushed me too far.

I'm starting to recognise where I was in the first year when I started them in the first place, and I'm not sure what to do.

Do I start taking them again or bear it out? Part of me wants to avoid my GP and the 'I told you so' face, not to mention I can't get an appointment for 12 days with my normal Prozac GP.

What would you do?

Merchant Bankers The Saga (it would appear)

Deary me. 

The aforementioned 'Falihax' has breached the Data Protection Act. 

Someone who isn't me, and is in fact my mother went into a branch this morning and was given information about one of my bank accounts.

She went to report a pass book missing that is for one of my accounts (without my permission, but hey-ho) and was told that someone had been making withdrawals against the book. 

My mother and myself do not have similar names. We are not of similar ages (my date of birth is written next to my name) and she did not have the passbook. 

It's nice to know that in the last two days I can make two complaints against the same bank for two entirely different reasons. 

I think I will be moving banks.


09 February 2009

Merchant Bankers

*CAUTION: STRONG VERY RANTY PERSONAL OPINION COMING UP - may not in fact make any grammatical sense whatsoever because I'm tired, financially f**cked again and upset.

I bank with a bank based in the North of England. Somewhere in West Yorkshire in fact. Not far from Leeds. Begins with a H... Uses an annoying man with glasses singing crap covers for their advertising campaigns. Recently got bailed out by another large high street bank... Get my gist?

I use their online banking system. A system which has recently shown my accounts to be all fine and in the black, yet I have been charged £35 for a failed payment for something. Now I'm no genius but I consider myself reasonably intelligent. If I've tried to make a payment for £23 and my bank balance is showing as above that, then why the f**k have you charged me £35?!

Despite them arguing that it's not an administrative error I'm still bloody puzzled. I tried arguing my case, they argued back.

Problem being, the payment has bounced (for which I will be charged seperately), the bank will charge me £35, which I can't afford so then I will probably get charged another £28.

The reason for all of this, the particular bank has still not sorted out my new student account because, and I quote the regional manager 'no-one is a student for more than 6 years and you can't have a student account even if you are a medical student'. It took customer services and a lot of crying to get an account sorted, and if that account had yet been activated then the charge would have only been £25. Would they reverse the charge, would they bollocks.

Irritatingly I'd been in and deposited £40 later in the day so hadn't ever gone overdrawn (the account wouldn't let me). Had this been Lloyds TSB I'd've been charged nothing (they charge £6 per day overdrawn unauthorised. I would've been overdrawn by 3 hours.)

Moral of this story. This bank does not support students.


I can't believe it....

I missed my blogiversary!!!

On 6th February 2005 I was in the final year of my Bachelor of Science degree in biomedical sciences.

My my how times have changed since then...

It's hard to believe that this blog is now 4 years old and I've developed a hell of a lot as a person in that time.

I've loved and lost friends and family members to old age, relocation and long distance relationships, as well as growing professionally as a medical student.

But roll on another year (I hope) and next time maybe I won't be so caught up in trying to organise an elective* that I might actually remember to blog it at the time.

*whatever. I'll be in personal hell with my elective this time next year. 

07 February 2009

Bar vs Hospital

I recently had a shift in the bar that can only be described as unadulterated hell.

To explain...

Text from manager at the end of the night: How was it, takings OK? Good to cash up?

Me: Takings excellent, cashing up fine, Loz and I ready to bitch slap some customers tho...

The bar had been busy, but nothing that Loz and I aren't able to cope with. The problem is the customers; kind of a crucial part of a bar I will admit.

I came across the attitude of 'I pay your wages so I'll do as I want', even if that did include bringing in and consuming their own alcohol into my licensed premises, as well as just being generally rude and ignorant.

What did make me pause for thought was whether doctors get this when they qualify? I know that ambulance service staff do, as I've witnessed it when I've been out observing, and to a lesser extent nurses get it to on the wards... but does the same happen with doctors?

I would be curious to hear thoughts and opinions.

04 February 2009

Doctor speak

They say throughout medical school that learning to speak like a doctor is hard. It's trying to talk in a manner which feels very alien at first - not dissimilar to learning a foreign language.

Instead of clotting we speak of coagulation, we can't speak of drugs to thin the blood, we call them anticoagulants. Not the eye, it's the globe in anatomical terms. 

The problem being it's really screwing up my sleep pattern. 

Well, I say my sleep pattern. I'm quite oblivious, but my other half is getting a bit fed up with being woken up by me muttering medical stuff in my sleep. Apparently it's drug names and syndromes at the moment. 

I have no idea if what I'm saying is true, medically correct or even makes sense, but it doesn't surprise me - after all, I have been here before...

02 February 2009

Update on previous post

I love love love my housemate.

Knock on the door and a cheery calling of my name. Turns out most of her lectures have been cancelled also.

Wonders if I fancy a lift in to our communal lecture this afternoon cos she can't be bothered to walk.

She is also in a similar state of attire to me... blue sleepwear!

The weather outside is frightful

I love the snow. It's so so very pretty.

I'm not a massive fan of trying to get to places in it though. Especially not when my mode of transport has two wheels and is pedalled by me.

My street is a quiet cul-de-sac and never gets gritted, so ice skating along my road is quite normal here. Needless to say I shall be walking for that bit.

It does make me laugh though, that the age old rule about an inch of snow and the country goes mad, things stop working etc.... yet i've had three lectures cancelled today so far.

29 January 2009


I vowed I would blog more as the new year started. 
Last year I blogged less than I have ever done since I started this blog, but in my defence I ended the last two months of the year feeling unwell.

The illness has followed me into the new year although I'm now better than I was in October and November.

Despite all of this, third year is the start of real clinical stuff, and I want to share this with you. So I promise I will make more of an effort from now on.


22 January 2009

What type of blog...

I followed on from Dr Anderson and decided to Typealyzer my blog. Actually, mine is quite apt for me, I'm not sure about my blog though....

The active and playful type. They are especially attuned to people and things around them and often full of energy, talking, joking and engaging in physical out-door activities. 

The Doers are happiest with action-filled work which craves their full attention and focus. They might be very impulsive and more keen on starting something new than following it through. They might have a problem with sitting still or remaining inactive for any period of time.

Let's put it like this. I am forever getting in trouble for not sitting still. I'm either all out doing several things at once, or I'm asleep. There is no middle ground. I'm also religious for starting something and not finishing something, so I'd say this is quite accurate.

My blog is probably the most spontaneous thing I ever did that I managed to sustain!

20 January 2009


Despite what many prospective medical students think, a hospital rotation isn’t quite what Grey’s, ER, House, Casualty or Scrubs* would have you believe.

A quick note – you will always be in someone’s way, no matter where you stand. You would think that having worked in a hospital for nearly two years I would know the best places to stand, but alas, even I still manage to get under someone’s feet.

My auxiliary uniform is my armour, and I lose my protection as soon as my Medical Student ID card goes on.

Expect to follow the consultant around like a lost lamb and get asked ‘who are you?’ a hell of a lot**

Oh, and if you ever get asked to do something for the first time, for which you have been trained (like take blood, cannulate, catheterise etc) then go for it. You don’t know until you try, and opportunities don’t come up all the time on good patients.

Placement is long and tiring, but it’s meant to be not only a learning experience but a preparation for work. If you’re not knackered when you finish it then it’s not going well.

My year is usually in it’s scruffiest clothing possible when placement finishes, so take the time to look smart and professional. Boobs, belly and bum does not a doctor make!

*Actually Scrubs is probably the closest.
** if my rotations here are anything to go by

09 January 2009

In the middle of our street

In July I moved out of my last student house to live with a different group of friends. 

As I have alluded to in a previous post, my last house didn't work out for a variety of reasons. I was the youngest in the house by quite a large margin, and while I got on very well with one housemate, my other housemate and I didn't quite always share such a good relationship.

For once I am not going to bitch. Call it 'turning over a new leaf''*

I miss my my male housemate, but I still see him around. In fact, when I moved into my new student house in July, he moved in around the corner, and he still occasionally tries to scare me into falling off my bike on the way into uni.**

My new student house is proving a good move. I'm living with a female medical student in my year who I've been friends with since the first year, her boyfriend who is studying for a masters degree, and a final year law student. 

The house is new, peaceful and lovely to live it, but it's the atmosphere that I love the most. I was a bit worried when I sat and thought about living with a couple, but since my partner is here visiting in the evenings quite a lot, then he's become part of the house too, and provides much needed male company for medic's boyfriend!

All in all, I'm hoping this year is more peaceful than last.

And I'm hoping I start to hear properly soon, as peace definitely won't last for long if I keep shouting 'pardon?' everytime anyone tries to speak to me!

* cos that's really gonna last long, but let's all enjoy it while it lasts!

** Because, as he well knows I cycle with headphones in listening to music loudly. It's cycle path all the way, so cars aren't a problem, but an ex housemate with a death wish grabbing my rucksack takes advantage of this fact fairly frequently.

Side effects

Since I started to feel unwell at the beginning of October I seem to have been tried on a whole host of weird and wonderful medications that have had me and my BNF making friends again.

The latest tablets are not just not working, but come with a whole startling array of side effects that are leading to fun and games.

I can't go to bed without TV or music on because I have tinnitus so loud it keeps me awake, my mouth is drier than Ghandi's sandals and I have a thirst I can't quench. It's like I've been out to a nightclub but without any of the enjoyment. I've got nausea and occasional pins and needles in my feet.

Add to this the blocked sinuses I've acquired on a seperate note, and I also can't hear out of one ear. I'm a whole barrel of laughs at the moment!

Looks like I just have to grit my teeth and bear it