Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Filling in forms is not my forte

I've been trying to write a post about the stupid foundation programme applications for days now. But I cannot condense my myriad feelings enough to catch hold of them and pin them down.

And writing the answers to the stupid (insert expletive of choice) application form is sucking my brain out of my ears.

Fun fun fun time for us poor British final years.

(pssst want to know more about what I'm waffling on about? here's the official site

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


I am enjoying medicine.

OK, so I am not enjoying all the poo and vomit on my ward, nor am I enjoying trying to cram for my damn exams.

But the being a house officer bit, yeah, that’s okay. I like being useful – I like taking bloods, writing in patient notes on the ward round, finding obs charts and being trusted to interpret them, filling out radiology requests, clerking patients in pre-op clinics, chasing results, and most of all being part of a team that cares about and knows each and every patient.

So maybe it’s more than ok. Maybe it feels like the best job in the world, the only job I’ve ever seriously wanted. Maybe all of a sudden I’m excited about next year, ready to jump in and go for it! Maybe I’ve remembered that I want to be a doctor. And it’s an amazing, exhilarating and brilliant feeling. I don’t feel as though I’m going to fall flat on my face and never be able to do it – on the contrary, I think I’ll make a good job of being a foundation doctor. I’m still depressed about getting through this final year of my medical degree, the exams, the cramming, the fact learning; but I know now that this is what I want.


It’s about time.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Please don't ever let me down again

It shouldn't be allowed
Please don't ever make me frown again
You have shown me how
Please don't try to be my friend again
Because I don't want you, I don't want you now
I don't want you now

~kt tunstall

Monday, October 15, 2007

The reason I'm awake at 1am reading up on dyspepsia

Saw KT Tunstall at the Birmingham Academy tonight. She is the coolest person ever in the whole world. Unfortunately this means the reading I need to do for my 9am teaching must be done now. The joys of dyspepsia... And I have to leave the house at 7.20am to get to my 8am ward round.

Currently considering: maybe Radiology won't be such a brilliant career choice; I missed all the bloods I was supposed to do today and had to ask my SHO...

Still here

Thank goodness for the weekend is all I can say!

I survived last week, but now the next stretches in front of me with a million things to do, and none of them seem aimed at getting me through surgery...!

On the upside, I had some very good radiology teaching on Friday, and have decided that perhaps I should embrace my rather extreme excitment about imaging and go into radiology. I am the girl that LOVES plain film radiographs. And CTs. And MRI. And especially echocardiograms. Probably a goo idea if I don't get started on them... I think the main tipping point was my huge joy in demonstrating my grasp of Rigler's sign my fellow students, who were unmoved. I may need help.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Tits Up

I am such a mess this week...

It started last week, with end-of-holiday-back-to-hospital blues. Then there was the new block terror of not being able to get everything in. Followed the stress of not having quite finished my elective write-up due in tomorrow at 5pm. With the added discomfort of my odd uncomfortable and achy left arm kicking in every night to prevent me sleeping. Oh, and the job applications are up and its horrendous. Finally, to cap it all off, today I bumped into Tom for the first time since... well, the first time since he broke my heart.

That was horrendous. I'm based at the one of two hospital sites for surgery, and we travelled to the other this lunchtime for grand round (weekly big hospital meeting with presentations and free lunch!). As the speaker was about to start, in walked the medicine students, based at that site, with Tom in their midst. I didn't know he was placed there, and I was completely unprepared. Unprepared to see him, and unprepared for my stupid reaction. I couldn't believe how far it threw me. I thought I was almost back to normal, but seems not. Then I saw him again this evening, at a meeting in Medschool and neither of us knew what to do. I miss him terribly as a friend but quite clearly I cannot be friends with him right now. He just wants to be as far away as possible from me, he made that abundantly clear. He did admit he missed our friendship, but he doesn't want any mess or guilt, and knows the only way is to cut communication.

For my part, I just want to be free of him.

All in all its been a shitty week. I really want something good to happen, and soon. I'm a walking train wreck right now - liable to burst into tears, snappy and agressive, not coping with the workload.

Thank goodness I can take tomorrow as a study day, finish my essay in my pjs then have a nice stroll to Medschool to print and hand in. And maybe claw back a little sanity. I hope, I hope...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Let's go round again!

I started my surgery block on Monday. I’m attached to an Upper GI ward in the big tertiary care teaching hospital in Birmingham. Which basically means all our patients have transferred from other hospitals and are really sick, with multiple problems. Ileostomies, colostomies, re-anastomoses, gastrectomies, oesophagectomies, multiple abdominal fistulae, Budd Chiari syndrome with TIPS, oh yes, we have them all. So do some of the patients… The team is pretty cool though, even if the consultant surgeons are very old school and relish grilling the medical students and then the house officers and then even the registrars on the ward round.

However, I’ve hit a definite wall, and I just don’t want to go on. This is a tough double block, surgery for 6 weeks, then another 6 week block called AGENDA – 1 week of GUM, ENT, Neuro and Dermatology, plus 2 weeks in the Emergency department. There is so much to learn in such a short time, I have no idea how I’m going to fit it all in. The work and then the dreaded surgery OSCE are looming terrifyingly large and close in front of me.

(Apparently all we need to know is in this book, which is an inch thick and cost £43. That’s a lot of cash for a lot of pages to get through in 6 weeks…)

On a brighter note, my Nan had her hysterectomy yesterday and all went well. Fingers crossed…

And on an extremely good note, I passed my Obs and Gynae and Paeds finals. Woop!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Random Thoughts

1) Why does salt come first in salt and pepper? Who made it so, and why does pepper and salt sound so, well, wrong? Poor poor pepper, doomed always to be second...

2) What is the point of stick insects? You can't play with them, you can'tcuddle them, you can't teach them clever tricks. They don't guard your house from strangers, they don't catch vermin. You can't even just watch them, becuase they don't do ANYTHING.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Spam up!

I'm at home this week, and it is tres bon to be here. Clothes being washed, meals being cooked, elective projects to write up... sigh. That's tomorrow's job. Lovely.

Tonight I went to see Spamalot, with Rachel my old housemate. It was fantastic - haven't giggled so much in weeks! Dear Rachel was the person who really introduced me to Monty Python, as she has ALL of their stuff on DVD. The Holy Grail is her fave, but mine is definitely the Life of Brian.

Very bizarre, veryBritish humour. You have to love it.