Saturday, 14 November 2009

just one week

Sitting tucked up on the sofa tea cup in hand, laptop on knee and the x factor on the tv. Rockin' saturday nights I'm telling you. But it's my weekend off, it's my time and I love it.

The week started off badly. Well, to be honest the monday after a weekend on is always going to be rubbish. I'm knackered, my feet are knackered and well, as Mr S said I'm" just cream crackered dear." I mixed up2 warfarin prescriptions at 5 to 6 in the evening, I was chasing after blood chits at 6.25 and I got away at 6.31pm. I ran down the road, realised I had nothing to feed my dinner guest. I dived into the coop and at 6.50pm I had an assemblence of tea rammed into my mary poppins bag. At 7.02pm I carrerred into my street to discover dear friend abanndonned outside my front door. Apologies to all. Only to discover I'd come home attached to my bloomin bleep. Get me away from that thing. So the kettle's on and I'm on the phone to switchboard frantically transferring bleeps as it's the overnight one too And I breathe. I breathe again pour a couple of glasses of wine and relax. Now I understand alcoholics. Then a good gossip, a just about passable meal and more good gossip, things are looking up. Even tuesday was looking almost possible. I even avoided sending my cv in reply to the local chippers advert for a part time counter assistant. Perhaps life in hospital for me could go on.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

aliens and chinese visa shennanigans

A few weeks back I booked up flights to Shanghai and in my excitement (and then a stretch of work, where in nothingelse gets a look in for 4 weeks) I bypassed the thought of visas. In my infinite wisdom, I thought passports in date=sorted. Until my father dropped visas into conversation yesterday. WHAT VISA? I might have screamed down the phone.....I NEED A VISA? Yes that's a Dad I don't know if you do need one or not...oh, so you're sure I need a visa...but I go in 5 days...where do I get a visa from in 5 DAYS people??

And so I remained calm (I wish) and frantically googled "visas for china emergency" and other such things till I got this emergency number for the embassy in London. A totally cool, calm and collected lady answered, listened to my spiel in blind panic and then assured me there's a consulate in Edinburgh who can issue visas in a couple of days.....WOW, thank the lord. Profuse thanks followed. Then I discover it's blooming Chinese national holidays till today (how rude).

So that's how I landed up on the train down to Edinburgh at 6am this morning. And how I saw the most beautiful sun rise along the coast. And got to the Chinese Consulate just before 9am. Phew. Five minutes later I'd handed it in and was out on the street again wtha ticket to collect it tomorrow. Here's hoping all is sorted and they don't decide I've got some unkown criminal record/infectious disease/goverment spy personna and give the passport back with the visa tucked inside tomorrow as per the deal.

Who knew this travelling lark was quite so stressful.

Just to add a little excitement for me, E bookers phoned and told me that there was a significant change to my flight details and could I call then immediately. Give it up people, I mean come on, I just want to go on holiday for a couple of weeks, not a blooming space mission to Mars. As it turns out it's just a few hours different from before but they sure know how to get you tachycardic in seconds.

But I guess, at least I have the chance, the freedom to travel. I'm not having to put everything on the line to cross borders in order to avoid conflict, ethnic cleansing, famine......I guess I take my passport and my rights for granted. That's a lot more than some people may ever get.

And tomorrow, I'll find out if the Chinese want me in their country or not. I am, after all according to their embassy site an "alien" entering- see their "law of the control of entry and exit of aliens". I hear they welcome foreingers with open arms.

Monday, 28 September 2009

just a rubbish day

Today was one of those days where it felt like I was always chasing my tail. Everything I touched seemed to break and everything took an age to do. I blame this all on the fact that I never had my essential morning cuppa. Well, I'd like to but I guess some days will always be crappy. It got to 9pm and I was still behind. Blood results to chase, phlebotomy forms to print, a couple of patients to see.

But in amongst all the rubbish, I thought I'd make the effort to think about the better parts. Mr D's family profuse thanks for his care, talking to Mrs M about her husband's palliative care, laughing with Mr J over the silly ECG machine printing out strange patterns, getting an arterial blood gas on a very scared patient, stubborn Mr W laughing with me for once.

And usually it's these tiniest moments throughout the day which keep me going. Otherwise it wouldn't be worth it. Here's to a better start to tomorrow....

Saturday, 26 September 2009

sunny days

I love the sun and today was sunny, even warm enough to just wear a t-shirt outside. Exciting stuff for this part of the world in September. And even better I am off and can be outside enjoying this weather. So I had a good run this morning before having lunch with one of the other girls who work in the hospital. We had a good gossip about, well, you guessed it the hospital. Getting out gripes is most definitely therapeutic. Then it was time for shopping! As usual I found plenty of things I don't need and failed miserably on the perfect-black-trouser hunt which is, by the way, is getting a bit desperate. As it stands I have 2 pairs. One passable baggy, the other jogging bottom-esque baggy. Comfy but not really workie clothes. Darn it. Ideally I'd be well up for scrubs. Equalling much less hassle each morning as I ponder the dimishing clean clothes pile and try to avert gaze from the ever growing laundry heap. One can wish. Till then it's pink tops and dodgy black trousers. Someone has to keep up the femine side on the ward I tell ya.

Friday, 25 September 2009

day 12 of 12

And it's the weekend! A weekend all to myself, no hospital butting in. It feels sort of strange. Like I'm at a loose end. I'm sat here thinking through to-do-lists, running through the patient's on the ward, going over conversations with relatives in my head. The tv's on in the background and I'm typing but I'm in another place. Still at the hospital and still with the patients. Is this what all consuming is? Cos I'm pretty much sucked right in. And now I need to get out. Leave work at work and be at home at home. Relax.

And a hug would be great!

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

to write or not so right?

I come home each evening with lots of little tit bits, little stories...sometimes bigger angsts and I think, I should write all these odds and ends down before a new day starts and a new lot of tit bits take over. But the trouble is I'm knackered. The whole damm time. Well, I guess at work I just keep going. But as I walk home I think of a cup of tea, the tv and bed. I know, how sad is that but I spend my whole day with people: asking me for things, chasing me about things, mad at me for things out of my control and sometimes I just need an hour of peace, of letting go, of drifting off.....

So the stories and tit bits I want to remember are forgotten as the day ends and my body collapses into bed. And before I know it, it's time to do this whole chibang again. The madness, the patients, the relatives, the friends, the nurses, the doctors. And somtimes, just sometimes, I manage to remeber to go to the toilet during the day. Sometimes, I also wonder about renal failure.

Nobody told me that when I applied to medical

Friday, 28 August 2009


And it's working, finally, the internet. I feel like I'm reconnected with my life. Bank, email, training, work suddenly becomes much easier when you're not trying to do everything five minutes before the library closes. Or in zero time when you get to the door and it's just closed for the night. Work takes up a pretty big chunk of time. Internet training modules seem to take up an even bigger chunk: who doesn't want to do 5 quizzes on healthcare associated infection, learn about the ins and outs of fire safety, death certification and more interestingly admittedly prescribing and pharmacy. That was my day off. The day before was altogether better, it was pay day. Gulp, I realised it's time to budget, save, find out what an ISA is, think about what to do with an overdraft I was always so happy to extend just a few months ago. Responsibility. I mean who wants it really?

I've back home too. Not to live with my parents. But it's good to be back. That's the very red front door and after scouring round plenty of pretty dire shoe boxes expecting hefty rents, this place hit the nail on the head. Nice on the inside and ok pricewise too. I've even discovered the sofa is super comfy for post-nights slumber. Sssh, don't tell anyone, I dig out a cosy blanket and curl up on the sofa with the chunky pillow and turn on whatever day time delight is on the tv and promptly fall pretty much unconcious for the rest of the day. I always seem to be slightly confused on wakening in the evening to the same episode of Friends that was on that morning, before stumbling up from the couch to fall into shower and start the day again just as it seems the rest of the world are going out on the town or going to bed....then I'm in the hospital again....

Friday, 26 June 2009

footloose and fancy free

5 years ago I had a couple of months left in Malawi, the country I was calling home during my year out. I had lived there for 10 months by this time and was pretty much settled into life there. I left a young wee peely waly 17 year old and was already a rather browner, fatter 18 year old version of the same self that had left Scotland the year before. I'm not sure what I expected during the fashionable, if a little common, "gap year."
-did I want to discover my true self? (not really, not my sort of thing.)
-did I want to be someoneelse? (yes I was desperate to not be me.)
-did I want to see the world? (apparently not as I spent much of the year in one place in one country, a wee road trip to South Africa aside.)
-did I want to save the world? (yes, I had a vague notion this was entirely possible)

But even now I'm not sure quite what made me so sure I wanted to take this rite of passage getting on with life. I just knew I really really wanted to. I decided that nothing less than 12months away would suffice so Project Trust it was. None of this namby pamby 3 month business. I wanted the real deal and nothing less. I can't remember even properly asking my parents if I could go; I had sort of decided it all already in my head: I would go for the selection week and take it from there. I could then spend the next 9 months or so fundraising before leaving for year out country (now known as Malawi-Project Trust don't tell you where you go until after the selection week) when I finished my last year of school.

The letter with my assigned country and project arrived and I had to go and find Malawi on the map. And then it was time to start raising the £3500. Car boot sales, car washes, guess the teddy's birthday, bag packing, name we were onto it. And I was amazed by everyones genorosity and words of encouragement. But I don't think I ever knew just how hard this year would be. I wasn't going to suddenly grow into this confident, skinny, go getting girl who could speak to anyone and have any man she wished. Oh how I wanted just that to happen.

I went on the training week, met the girl who I'd be spending this year with as we'd be working on the same project and packed my rucksacks ready to fly away the next morning. I said my goodbyes. Not so emotional. A quick hug, words to take care and have fun and that was me. Off to Heathrow where I'd meet the rest of the Malawi group and where we'd board South African Airways Johannesburg flight before connecting to Blantyre in Malawi. I desperately wanted to tell the businessman next to me I was going to Africa for A YEAR, A WHOLE YEAR, BY MYSELF but instead I buried my head in Shopaholic Goes Abroad and lost myself in Becky Bloomwood's perfect life.

I'd not been so sure of my project partner for the year when we met on training-she was everything I wanted to be and I was intimidated to say the least. So we muddled by, both afraid to say what we were all thinking: would we get on and survive the year or would one of us crack and leave? We were in the air, we were gone.
Listening to: James Morrison - The Pieces Don't Fit Anymore
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, 21 June 2009

mornings as they should be

I'm a sucker for Sophie Kinsella's books, an avid fan of becky bloomwood of Shopaholic fame and I've just finished this one curled up in bed on a Sunday morning with the sun streaming through my window. Bliss. Well, bliss apart from deciding in my infinite wisdom it would be a great idea to go and cheer on my moon walking friend ( Now this 26.2 mile extravaganza was scheduled to swing near my flat so I thought why not, she's walking the marathon, least I can do is drag myself up and walk half a mile. Plan. Not so much, misjudged all the timings, got up at 3.30am, got to the top of the road only to discover that they'd all long since past and they were clearing away the road closure cones. Ah ha, mobile phones have been invented so I ring moonwalker and she does indeed confirm they are now on the other side of the city. So I made my back home dodging all the party animals (read: ever so slightly tipsy souls teetering back home after a hard night). As I stumbled through the door and into bed, I caught a glimpse of the sun just starting to creep up and that glorious glowing sky that comes with it. I guess I should thank my lucky stars, it's not every day a taste of an African morning is on your doorstep. After all the naturey ponderings, I decided, in my substantially better wisdom this time, it was time to go back to bed. And so I started reading Kinsella's latest number (as seen above) and promptly scoffed it much like a good old bar of Dairy Milk (minus the calories...score)

Saturday, 20 June 2009


So today I started flat hunting and flab busting. Both evoke something along the lines of blargh eugh and eugh again for good measure from me but I will try and stay optimistic. I could do with finding a decent one bedroomed flat for a decent price and I could certainly do with loosing at least a stone. I predict the flat hunt might go more smoothly. Off to prepare some goodies for my moonwalker friend-26.2 miles over night-quite a challenge but all in aid of a good cause.

Friday, 19 June 2009

and so it really is.....

I passed my finals and I'm now a doctor! It still hasn't quite sunk in. Now for the world of work....ahhhh!

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

getting it together

Last night was bad. Well not all bad. I did watch Alfie, not that great a film but filled in an hour or so. But then, I did also cry, a lot. Something which I haven't done for a long time and you know what, it was kinda cathartic. It did sort of wake me up and realise I need to get myself together. Whether these exams go well or not, I need to find a way to cope with the downs as well as the ups. I need to cope with change, with responsibility, with LIFE. I guess there's no time like the present, huh. And, I can't let myself go back into those dark spots where there seems to be no way out. Or if I do, (which is the more realistic side of the bargain) I need to learn how to get out preferably the speedier the better.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009


I'm frustrated, bored, fed up, knackered.....I could go on but I'm just not a happy chappette. I can't drum up any enthuiasm for anything. I just want to curl up in bed. Why? I have no idea. The next few months fill me with dread. I think I'm going to come down with a fatal illness. I think the worst in everything-people around me, places around me, anything = disaster. I guess I like a neat explanation for everything in life. I like straight lines, sharp edges, organisation. I guess you just can't get that. You'd think I'd have that worked it out by now. But it seems it's just the beginning. I need to do some soul, soul searching what a yuppy concept but I think it might just do me some good. As Elizabeth Gilbert discovered in the Love part of her Eat, Pray, Love journey, balance is something worth going for. And right now I feel all off kilter. Right off balance.

Monday, 15 June 2009

lazy days

It's almost 3pm and I've just got dressed. In the name of the flat maintainence company coming to fix the smoke alarms. Otherwise I was quite happy puddling in my pyjamas. Trouble is the less I have to do the less I do, till I'm, virtually, to all intents and purposes, a bum. I did sort out BT stuff today for moving, deal with dreaded bank stuff and well, darn it I thought I had done at least 3 productive things. Well, after these people come I'll go do a third. It's not like there aren't things to be done. Job Forms, pre registration, occupational health checks, disclosure stuff....gah, too much like real life so maybe tomorrow.

So at least the maintence people won't think I'm a bum....I'm dressed and the flat is spick and span after yesterday's rather late spring clean.
Listening to: Feeder - Tumble and Fall
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, 14 June 2009

quiet days

I felt housewifey today. After watching Mama Mia and eating chocolate cookies at 8am this morning (if only I could sleep past 6am life would be easy) I felt energetic enough to tear apart the kitchen and get stuck into some cleaning. Surfaces, floors, you name it's washed. Then the hall, my room, the bathroom and bliss, desperate housewives in a spick and span flat. Nothing better. Then it was off for a shop and an attempt to didge the thunder and rain. What's with the tropical weather.....I have no idea but it makes me feel like I could almost be back in Malawi...mmhmm!

Planning a wee cycle trip I think to fill in the next few days trying to avoid this gruelling wait for results.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

there might be more to life....

Well, sometimes I wonder but today I had a wee snippet of what life after exams and results might be like. A good med school friend and her friend (up visiting) came round for lunch. A barbecue was planned but gah, the weather failed us. So the oven had to suffice. Not a problem. No revision to be thinking of just a good ol' catch up gossip. Then I baked. Something which I haven't done for almost a year but something which is precious to me. In between, I've been reading Eat, Love, Pray. If only I could find my spiritual side. Yes, I'm still looking but it's a real good read.

the wait

I think this next week is going to feel like an eternity. Next friday we find out our final results. I do know that I don't have resits for the clinical and the viva but the sipps exams have no resits so we don't find out till friday whether we passed them. So I have a week in a sort of limbo. Lots of good books and some quiet time I think will be the order of the day! I'm just trying not to think too much of the papers.....
Listening to: Taio Cruz - I Can Be
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, 11 June 2009

the viva

Up bright and early this morning for the viva. Stomach was churning big time this morning. Worse than the sipps and the clinical (ok maybe the same as the clinical but ya know) I'm not sure how it went really. I feel a lot of waffle was had by all (by ME) but the half hour seemed to fly by. SO tomorrow I'll find out whether I have resits next week, then a week tomorrow we find out the whole chiiibang....more stomach churining? Oh yes I think so.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

the viva prep

Nutrition, psychological aspects of medicine, communication, personal development, public health, disbility, pain, pharmacology, ethical issues, the lifecycle, evidence based medicine.....

All the topics which could come up tomorrow. Oh how much I hope the verbal diarrhoea doesn't start....reflection and thoughtfulness is apparently the key. Would Scrubs count as valid revision then? I wish.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

the second sipp

And there goes another 2 hours of exams. Or 5 years of work reduced to 4 hours. It was tough (again) and I really don't know how it went. Next up it's the viva on thursday then on friday, I'll hear whether I need to resit the clinical and/or the viva. Sadly there is no resit for these sipp exams which makes it all the more nerve wracking. If I don't make it, it means another 6 months of study. Just now, I'm not sure I can take that. Back to the books.
Listening to: Matchbox 20 - Bright Lights
via FoxyTunes ----------------

Monday, 8 June 2009

the first sipp

I guess that makes me half way through these exams. There's another of these 2 hour extravaganzas tomorrow and I really don't know...tough questions and my answers are just not good enough. The viva needs some work too so my frazzled brain is sticking to looking at stuff for that just now. Same thing tomorrow....gah.
Listening to: The Killers - Mr. Brightside
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, 7 June 2009

revision days

days slip one into another, weekends lose their meaning, mornings start a little earlier, nights stretch a little later and so it goes on reading, websites, practice questions, cups of tea, chocolate digestives.....but nothing over these five years has yet stopped those stomach churning nail biting nerves and afterwards I somehow manage to see it through those fateful rose tinted glasses-"it wasn't that bad after all." Well, it is- it's stressful-hair pulling gut wrenching days before exams and I just want to put it down here in writing. Something like labour pain I guess.....I just hope the result is as fabulous as a new born bundle.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

the sipp and the viva

This coming week brings these two delights: a safety in practice and prescribing exam (well, 2 of these) and a portfolio viva. Then friday we find out whether it's resit time.....then a week on friday find out final results. Ever so slightly frazzled....

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

the clinical

so today was the day. clinical exam and now I just don't know. back to the books for next monday, tuesday and thursday. some things just keep going. loving the killers....."are we human or are we dancers"..... well, i'd argue we could be both...hmm, now for bed.
Listening to: The Killers - Human
via FoxyTunes

Monday, 1 June 2009

counting down the hours

less than 12 hours to go eeek til clinical. surrounded by a mass of odd bits of paper with bits of wisdom scribbled all over. pity my memory doesn't extend that far.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

5 days

It all feels impossible. Everytime I mention it, it sounds silly but it does-how will I ever know enough. Seems like never but with 5 days to go I guess that's not good enough. Exams 99% of thoughts. Sleep 1% Food 1%. That's how it goes. Gah. Well, here's my best shot.....

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

one week

One week today and I'll have sat the clinical exam. Doesn't bear thinking about. I'm sat here with teary eyes jumping from one thing to the other not quite sure if I know anything. In the back of my head, fleeting thoughts of different careers go by....almost like having a plan B. Maybe I should just scream and scream and it'll all go away. No?

Listening to: Timbaland - Apologize
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, 24 May 2009

sunny sundays and yes, deja vu too

Sun's shining and I'm inside. Oo, deja vu...yes I think so. Summer just creeping in = exams! For the 5th year now and for 3 years at school, ouch. Buit nothing for it to keep the head in the books, got too much to lose now. Boy do the stakes feel high.

Listening to: Beyoncé - Deja Vu
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Would you lie here with me?

Just working away. Sometimes I let myself have a sneaky dream about life after finals but somehow that feels like a jinx. But sometimes it's what keeps me going. Time's slipping away and the exams edge closer. Sometimes I feel like I know nothing. Sometimes I'm just too tired to even think about what I know. Sometimes the whole thing seems impossible. Nothing else for it but back to the books....

Listening to: Snow Patrol - Chasing Cars
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, 14 May 2009

flying by

Time is flying by like carzy just now and there's always too many things to squeeze into the day. Writing my portfolio report and will be very glad to get it finished. I feel like it's taking valuable revision time away but alas needs must. Onward ho.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

3 weeks

3 weeks today I will have sat the clinical part of my finals. What a thought. Gah. Makes my stomach churn with just the mention of it.... GP just now and it's going alog. My mind's half there and half with finals. Off to write my case report up. Hopefully a bit speedier than my usual efforts.
Sometimes I want to scream to let it all out there......deep breaths

Saturday, 2 May 2009

About to pop!

Sometimes I just feel I'm either going to explode or implode. The tension just gets all a bit too much. It seems impossible just too high a mountain to climb but the worst bit is what do I do if I don't get over this next hurdle, then what I ask myself.... I guess I'm scared but with that comes a strange low. I'm back to seeing the negative things everywhere the obese man, the down-and-out, the lacoholic, the drug addict, and I loose the plot. And I just want it to be over-what's the point in this life? I get my myself down. Is this some strange coping mechanism or is it depression? I hate apportitioning labels but I guess with a label it perhaps seems more legitimate. Or am I just medicalising something natural we all feel at some point? Whatever it is I hope it passes. Nothing looks good anymore and I'm fed up.

Friday, 1 May 2009

4 weeks (and still counting)

Started GP block this week, my last one before finals. So the pressure's on. Another 3 weeks of gp then 1 week preparation for practice then whabang finals begin. I go from totally freaked out to totally blaazae....within hours every day. Only thing I can liken it too is preganancy....

Off to have a revision session with obs/gyn placement buddy. But my brain is dead, frazzled, caaput. I think it's time to run....

Friday, 24 April 2009

5 weeks

As it says above I guess. 5 weeks till the start of the FINALS. Sometimes it feels possible, just. Other times it seems totally not. Geriatrics block ended this week and I was blessed with a great tutor who gave some well thought, useful feedback (usually a rarity). This weekend I'm off to a revision course, just the surgery part-I did the medicine day back in late March. I'm hoping this will be just as useful. An added bonus is it's down in London so I guess it's a wee break. Strangely enough I'm looking forward to the train journeys the most. And I will try to do some work and not just stare out the window listening to music, one of favourite pastimes...Then onto GP on Monday for the last 4 weeks. Anyway, am off to try and crank the revision up a notch. Hmm.

Listening to: Beyoncé - Halo
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, 12 April 2009


As I bottle down and study I'm realising I'm just not a very efficient person. I get through things but in a muddled sort of way. Staring into space, flicking through old magazines, puddling on the internet.....I'm beginning to wonder if a concrete box would serve me better as a study space. Oh no that's right I could still stare into space.....right, heads down. Stop the puddling. Anyway, in a couple of hours the number one ladies detective agency is on.

easter time

Easter Sunday but no change to schedule here. Too much stuff to get through but am enjoying the sun streaming in the window. Still the usual-sometimes things seem under control other times things seem to be a slipping and a sliding away from me at break neck speed. Might go get myself a wee egg later...mmm, hats off to the inventor of mini eggs:)

Friday, 10 April 2009

back and forth

So eager I was to make my exitback home, I forgot to email myself my essay from the hospital computer and forgot all my washing (=no clean clothes for next week). So that meant a trip on the train back to the hospital then back home again then to teaching hospital to do some of afore mentioned essay. Slow progress as usual but time for some revision now. Oh the balance. Missing lunch tomorrow with the famdamily but 1. got a whole pile of work to do 2.mum will comment on weight so on all accounts better off catching up on work. That said, it's time to get my act together and try and shed a few pounds easier said than done.

Listening to: Beyoncé - Ave Maria
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, 9 April 2009

swallowed up

So as the weeks are disappearing, it's a bit of a treadmill, teaching, histories, examinations, case reports, presentations..... Now I've a long weekend off. Somehow I'm finding it tough to just slow down and schedule a break. Still 7 weeks to go but being away from a desk or a hospital somehow is tinted with guilt. Can't keep up like this for 7 weeks otherwise I'll be burned out before I'm anywhere close. Oh, to get that balance. So off to hit some neuro square on the head then maybe a bit of, I can't wait for this to be done.
Listening to: Katy Perry - Hot 'n' Cold
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, 5 April 2009

8 weeks to go here on the finals front so things are hotting up. well, I'm sat here surrounded by piles of notes, a variety of revision books, textbooks and altogether a bit of a mess. As I was procrastinating fiddling away on the computer, I came across a blog which I hadn't read in a couple of months, Babycatcher. It is written by a midwife who worked in Malawi for several years (now in Ghana) and she recounts beautiful stories of her work. At times they are joyful, at times harrowing beyond belief but always inspiring. So as I was grouching and grumbling here I was reminded of the work that is out there to be done and the amazing opportunity I've been blessed with to study. So in other words, it reminds me to suck it up and get on with it. Still, studying doen't always come easy...No 1 Ladies Detective Agency is on at 9pm so another couple of hours then break time! woo hoo!

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Spent today at the hospice as part of the introduction to geriatrics this week. We had some palliative care last year too and it pops up, not surprisingly, in general medicine, general practice and surgery too with talk about "do not resussitate"forms etc. Somewhat weirdly I guess I find it quite a fascinating topic but somewhat less weirdly, for a 23 year old, I guess I find I get work myself down thinking about disease, people and ultimatley death no matter how much peaceful, serene deaths are talked about. Medicine is a lot to deal with, your own mortality is pretty much whacked in your face most days and yet you're just starting life so to speak in your early twenties. A Reverend spoke to us at the end of the day about his role as part of the hospice team and talked animatedly about bringing people to a peace before they pass whether they are athetists, devout christians or muslims. Perhaps, we should take something from this and be this frank and open everyday but I guess it wouldn't be life...... the one thing it does, a day talking of dying and death, is put finals in perspective. But that's no excuse for the lack of studying here. I wonder what I'll be thinking on my death bed. What will I regret? What will I be thinking? These years on earth seem short so I guess I should enjoy, make the most of it and get going.....

Listening to: The Saturdays - Just Can't Get Enough (Radio Mix)
via FoxyTunes

Monday, 30 March 2009

springing forwards

and it's the start of my favourite part of the year and the nights are stretching with the clocks having jumped forward into spring. it's 8pm and it's just dusky with the birds chirping. bring on the warmth and the summer sun!

Thursday, 26 March 2009

After the nasty start to yesterday, I dragged myself to the gym in the evening before babysitting and felt a hundred times better. There's a lesson for me. It's amazing what a good run can do for the soul.

I also spoke to my flatmate who is away in Tanzania at the moment and heard lots about how she's settling in which was great.

Then it's off up north tomorrow to visit an old friend.

And would you believe that's 2 weeks worth of holiday gone....just like that....

And all this time I've been thinking lots about someone, someone who I thought lots about when I was on placement on my elective, someone who would stir up those butterflies in my stomach when he popped into the paeds ward, someone who made me lost for words when he said hi, someone who had a cracking smile which made me melt when I saw him walking towards me, someone who I never wanted to say bye too, someone who I've been praying for.....sometimes, I don't know how it could work between us, a pretty whacking great continent in the way, but sometimes he seems so perfect I wish so hard that it will, somehow, work in the end......god willing.

Oh and lastly, I found this sweet site, for a bit of thoughtfulness...

Now for some work......

Listening to: Goldfrapp - A&E (Single Version)
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

getting back on track

I had a really good few days, out running, eating well, revising at least a little each day then a bit of a crash this morning. need to pick myself up and run...literally.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

not so much to post about these days. babysat last night. trying to study work as usual. nothing exciting and still dreaming.
Listening to: Gabriella Cilmi - Sweet About Me
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

I woke up a bit too early this morning but not in vain. As I looked out the window to find this....the beginnings of the sunrise.....teaching me to appreciate what's on my doorstep. Needless to say I went back to sleep. I'm on holiday, come on!

Listening to: R.E.M. - Nightswimming
via FoxyTunes

Monday, 16 March 2009

a good chatter solves a multitude of things

Over the past couple of days I've spent most of the time myself and I guess wound myself into a bit of a downward spiral about things. And as some nasty thoughts went through my head tonight my phone rang and it was a good friend calling for one of our good catch up's. And low and behold an hour or so later I felt much better! Every month or so I guess we have a good natter and there's a lot to be thankful for there. I'm not a great socialite but I have some great close friends who, altthough live in various places up and down the country, still keep in touch and there's nothing a like a good old catch up. Now I just need to keep my head above water, otherwise I can't keep on like this, not when it's so close to the finish line. Sometimes, I think running a marathon would be easier than this.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Friday the 13th was Red Nose Day (Comic Relief). It brings back memories of dressing up as the flinstones, wearing pyjamas and baking red cupcakes at school to raise money and of course we would get home from school and if I was round at a friend's house we would beg to stay up late to watch the live tv show. The idea is to raise money for projects here and in Africa through fun and games so throughout the tv show they have short videos where celebrities go and investigate an aspect of health, education or sport which the money raised would be helping. Aged 7 these clips made a huge frog jump in my throat and shed a few tears and I wished so hard I could do something to help. This year, they focused on lives lost to malaria in Uganda and being not a million miles from Malawi, the images were all to familar, a convulsing child, a comatose one, a delirious one...the quinine lines running, the blood transfusions, the tiny cannulae. So now I had seen it first hand, I guess my childhood dreams had kinda come true. But I wish it was as simple as my childhood determination. The more I see Malawi the more complicated things become. The more it seems problems lie at a much higher politial level. Is that apathetic of me? Just reality I guess. But it still doesn't stop me from yearning to pass my finals and practice medicine in Malawi. What do the French call it again...? Something like, la maladie afrique......

Listening to: Kings of Leon - Use Somebody
via FoxyTunes

Friday, 13 March 2009

Medicine block exam yesterday so a shock to the system. Need to learn more drugs-interactions, side effects, contraindications etc.....doesn't make for an exciting next few weeks til finals. but as someone kindly, pointed out it's only another 2 moths away so a bit of hard graft is definitely in order. Just wiaitng for a lecture on, funnily enough, pharmacology then it's the weekend and the start of a 2 week break before the next block! Now I'm off to hunt down some good old grey's anatomy dvds...thta's neuro revision...right?

Monday, 9 March 2009

So I'm in the hospital where normally anything fun on the internet is blocked but every so often something seems to happen and voila you can hack into facebook, blogger, holiday sites etc etc. Oh, boy does it feel good. I feel like I'm 14 again in It core skill class looking up ryan air flights dreaming of getaways. yes, i hear you say, she needs to get a life. Being stuck in a wee district general hospital for 7 and a bit weeks makes you appreciate the small mercies. (it also means you get a heck of alot more work done). so on that note i should go study. (and maybe just maybe google some cheap flights...i mean whats the harm.) I am so very much looking forward to finishing....

Sunday, 8 March 2009

And so it doesn't seem to lie much though. This is the view from the kitchen and my bedroom out towards Arthur's Seat a hill, I'm ashamed to say I've only been up two or three times in 5 years. Anyway it's pretty!

Listening to: Enrique Iglesias - Do You Know? (The Ping Pong Song)
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, 7 March 2009


5 years ago I'd never heard of this word before. It wasn't till I started university and landed in a flat with an english literature student that the world of procratination, olives (courtesy of greek flatmate) and mulitple boyfriends (courtesy of the nocturnal glaswegian business studies student). Four and a half years on I appear to have perfected the art of procrastination, developed a taste for olives but never mulitple boyfriends (one is apparently too hard.)

So my top three procrastination activities after many years of experience appear to be:
(1) The internet: email, blogs, facebook......
(2) Cleaning (am thinking minor ocd perhaps)
(3) staring into space...

you'd think I'd have gotten more imaginative by this point....

and maybe, just maybe, being a medic n all that I would have learned to incorporate exercise into procrastination alas I have not. So now it is lent, I'm thinking that might be my "resolution", not so much giving something up but adding something good into my life. Hmm so we'll see. Can old dog's learn new tricks??

Listening to: Gwen Stefani - Hollaback Girl
via FoxyTunes

loosing it (yes, well actually lost it)

I've lost my stethescope, of all blinking things.....bloody hell. It appears my brain is not in gear much more than I think. My eptic 24 hours with 2 hours sleep on tues/wed was obviously not conducive to my propensity to loose things ( inlcuding my own head-lucky it's just hanging on in there.)

Listening to: Arctic Monkeys - I Bet You Look Good On the Dancefloor
via FoxyTunes

and the show goes on

Saturdays are rapidly becoming the same...get up work, have lunch, watch scrubs, work.....puddle. Sometimes I think Scrubs just nails things right on the head. Not real but hey, they get those emotions bang on (at least from what I've gathered so far in this medicine lark). Anyway, back to real life medicine....doh.

Listening to: The Fray - How to Save a Life
via FoxyTunes

Friday, 6 March 2009

just try

So up and down that's how it goes. Sometimes I feel like I've hit rock bottom then I find I'm still drowning somwhere deeper down than I thought possible. This week I've amazed myself twice over: one, that I stayed up for a whole night shift then most of the day afterwards to make the most of teaching; two, that I felt more rubbish than ever. And I don't know why but I do know that I need to pull myself together.

I know where I'll be working (well, assuming finals are passed) and I feel happy with the job. But sometimes it seems like there's an impossibly high mountain to climb.....

Ok, so, regroup, plan and get down to work. Another 10 weeks and finals will be beginning...nothing like that to make your stomach churn.

I'll try.....

Listening to: Nelly Furtado - Try
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, 28 February 2009

looking up

This week was good. Assessment-tick. Portfolio-tick. But need to get stuck in with the old revision. General Medicine exam is a bit tricky to revise for....just about anything and everything you can think of. Two great people from my elective have had their babies so I got to go present hunting for gorgeous little girl dresses so send as presents! Am on my own in the flat tonight so am going to get a dvd and curl up on the sofa without falling asleep fingers crossed and without that mouse for company I hope. Tuesday is jobs d-day. I found out where I'll be for the next two years. Strange but exciting. And still doesn't feel quite real....
Listening to: The Weepies - World Spins Madly On
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, 22 February 2009


I thought I was doing well this morning-what with the run n all but alas I confuse myself: I felt like an addict (or at least what I imagine an addict would think like). I needed chocolate/crisps something bad. So I didn't just have a wee square of the bad stuff. Oh no that'd be far too normal. I had half a tub of jaffa cakes, a carmel square thing and 2 wagon wheels....what a pig. I sometimes can't believe myself. This time I'll really hope it's over. I'm fed up with me right now. After this blip (sounds better than a down hill spiral) this week better go better. I'd like to lose about 7kgs to be comfy and healthy again and I'm slowly realising there's no reason why I should use eating as a way to cope with medicine. It's not worth it for sure. but somehow I manage to forget that.

back to diabetes (I think my waist-hip ratio might be a worrying indicator of type 2 diabetes) anyhoo...
Listening to: The Script - The Man Who Can't Be Moved
via FoxyTunes

thyroids, adrenals, pancreas' (-es?)

Managed to go for a run this morning and the sun's shining. woo hoo. now it's time for some work but am feeling better about the humungus pile of stuff I still have to get through. made a wee plan yesterday which always feels good and which I always never stick to. These next few months seem to be doomed to be emotional rollercoaster material so I need to keep the old head just above water and get through the crap. phew. reminder of the day: stick to the simple things-keep breathing.

ps. took the plunge and stood on the scales (clothes off ofcourse who knows how many extra pounds that would add) and we weigh in at 61.6kgs. so here goes to healthy eating, healhty exercise and happy brains.

Listening to: The Saturdays - Keep Her
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Listening to an ice cream van jingle into the distance. Wishing I was 6 again.....ho hum.

Listening to: Tinchy Stryder - Take Me Back (Radio Edit) [feat. Taio Cruz]
via FoxyTunes

death's door

In Malawi, I experienced my fair share of death. Little kids with raging fevers, severe anaemia, cerebral malaira, meningitis. It hit me hard. It was accepted all too readily by families, medical practitioners, doctors. Back home, death hits home in a different way. Usually, elderly patients, with heart failure, a pneumonia that was just too much on top of a multitude of other morbidities or a metastatic cancer. But still I find it all too consuming.

Then, there's the gastrointestinal ward. Many patients are chronic alcoholics some known for years others just starting out. One women, mid 30's, going on 60, well known, with decompensated liver failure has been admitted to HDU twice in a matter of weeks but both times has pulled through and is now sitting up on the edge of her bed wondering why her legs are wobbly and her hands have got the shakes. After each previous admission she has gone back to the bottle. Who knows if this time will be different?

Just along the corridor a young man in his late 20's has been admitted again, decompensated liver failure too but this man is not an alcoholic, he has cancer, a nasty rare liver tumour which has spread and is taking over his lungs too. As he is noticably weaker by the day, I can't help think what a pile of cards to be dealt. But he speaks of how much he's been able to do while the cancer was in remission, finish his degree, get a job, buy a house, a nice car and how he is glad to have been given that chance. But what can you say as he prepares for his oncology appointment to find out the results of the lastest scan and says, "I'd just like to know how long I've got, I mean, is it weeks or months or days, I'd just like an estimate." Somehow, he asks this, not pitifully but just as if he'd like to know whether Scotland will win the six nations. Sometimes certain patients just strike a cord and powerless to do anything, I say bye and thank him for speaking to me.

Everyone deserves the best care possible but some people will always seem more deserving than others. Who knows whats in store?
Listening to: Kings of Leon - Use Somebody
via FoxyTunes

Lost in Translation

I'm sitting trying to get my head in the books. Exams are looming, end of block and finals. And after the disastrous week there's a good whole lot of stuff to be done. Somehow, I feel disociated from it all and as I was debating whether or not to watch Lost in Translation (I've started it about 3 or 4 times over the past few weeks and never finished it) this morning before studying, I realised I feel like I'm lost in translation. Scraping around with all these books, piles of bits of paper with supposedly never-to-be-forgotten facts from tutorials, printed notes, course booklets and I am lost, completely lost. I know I have work to do but where do I start. It seems impossible but I need to get my head round to the idea, it's not, IF I do the work. Medicine has often been compared to running a marathon (both are completely bonkers ideas, medicine and marathons) and now I think I'm beginning to understand the metaphor. I thought first year would be the hardest-all new and alien. But my goodness, it's beginning to feel like a test of my endurance these last few months and now there's even more at stake. I'm so close yet so bloody far. And now, what's worse, after years of indesicion (numerous thoughts of packing the whole thing in) I think I really do want to be able to practice medicine. Soppy as it sounds, after my elective, I realised that it was what I wanted to do and that for all the life changing nonsense banded about, my elective definitely made me think about future careers. It gave me a big wake up shove to: get on with girl, stop all the deep and meaningful crap. But now, I'm drifitng back into the negatives, the what ifs. So, yes, this morning I feel lost in translation but maybe I just need to think of the bigger picture, the end result not so far away now. I guess for marathons it's all about the mentality.

Friday, 20 February 2009

genius, yes pure genius

just discovered "genius" on itunes. pick a song and it creates a playlist based on that song. quite excited. might even get me out of bed to go running tomorrow. who knows.
Listening to: Azure Ray - Sleep
via FoxyTunes

sometimes it just feels such a phaff

This week just dragged from start to finish. Monday morning I forgot my bankcard and couldn't pay for my train ticket at the station so had no choice but to jump on the bus back to the flat, grab my card, and jump on bus number 3 of the day back to the station and it was only 7.15am. Missed the train (unsurprisingly) and waited 40 mins for the next one, missing first part of the morning and spending an extortionate amount on a (much needed) cuppa at the station while waiting. Then came Tuesday, set off the fire alarm in the accomodation at the hospital and 2 fire engines arrived with a lecture on evacuating the building on hearing the alarm (fellow student burned chicken so thought there was no need to all get out) from a (not even hot) fireman. I know they have the public's best interest at heart and I certainly have no leg to stand but... Ipod ran out of battery and no charger in sight. Wednesday got all nervous before my assesment when it went fine and got all hacked off about the amount of paperwork we have to do, log books, assessment forms, portfolios... Thursday motivation at an all time low and am feeling like I have cabin fever and just want to escape small town. My dad kindly pointed out I could of course leave small town anytime I wanted but that's not the point I said. Friday: got no 3 of 3 assessment forms signed off. plus point. motivation in my boots to go and see any patients so curled up with a cuppa and a good book til fellow students ready to go home too. minus point. So, this weekend needs some serious work if we're to get through this ordeal unscathed. Sometimes there's light at the end of the tunnel, sometimes it's a black hole with no escape.
Listening to: Snow Patrol - Chasing Cars
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, 15 February 2009

25 random facts

tagged on facebook.....excellent waste of time.
1. I love the tune that goes with lloyds tsb adverts: it has a strange way of making me smile whenever I hear it.
2. I fall asleep to coldplay.
3. I love travelling on the train staring out the window plugged into my ipod daydreaming but usually an old granny/granda/bored mother/child decides they'd like to talk to me instead.
4. Everyone says I look like a kid-I can still pay child fare on the bus, well, in Aberdeen, anyway.
5. A boots lady there asked for id me when I was buying aspirin.
6. My favourite film is amelie, I think I'd like to be her in another life.
7.But I'm a complete sucker for any film with a happy ending....
8.I dream of being swept off my feet one day
9. But it's more likely, I trip over my own feet.
10. I'd love a big family but the thought of childbirth freaks me out so I think a general anaesthetic is the way to go. Stuff going natural.
11. I hate being cold. I love sitting reading with the sun on my back. (I think I should emigrate.)
12. I spent a year in Malawi now half of Scotland has been there. What can I say? I'm just a trend setter.
13. I now have a long and complicated relationship with Malawi. So beautiful but so screwed up. Don't get me talking politics. You'll most certainly regret it.
14. I was an au pair for 2 french kids and was a wreck by the end of the summer. Who said it was an easy way to learn french?
15. I love the idea of running. In reality, it's never quite so glamorous.
16. I'm a closet cleaning freak. And love nothing more than a clear out. Certain people may think I've no sentimentality. I say it's more an issue of practicality.
17. I dream of publishing a novel and living an idyllic, wrtier's life in the south of france in an old chateau. In reality, I'd never have the patience, talent or money to do any of these things.
18. I have a soft spot for chocolate chip cookies (but they have to be soft and squidgy in the middle).
19. And for Will Smith too (with stuble) but 7 pounds was a bit too emotional for me. Rugby players don't float my baot but tennis players do.
20. Mangoes are my favourite fruit and was in heaven when I went back to Malawi for my elective in mango season.
21.I love paediatrics but dealing with sick children is the hardest thing I've done.
22. I have an irrational fear of the police even though they brought me back my bike seat after some drunk stole it. A perfectly good use of police time.
23. I am incapable of making decisions (well fast anyway) so I usually miss the boat completely or drive others nuts while I'm thinking.
24. I hate photographs of myself....I always look a bit spaced out with my eyes half shut. But am now beginning to think that must just be how I am.
25.I have spent an hour doing this list while watching scrubs, eating chocolate biscuits and thinking I should be doing work.

the first day

weight: too heavy

studying: going too slowly

chocolate: see weight and you can guess

exercise: dug out bike. making strange noises.

Off again on placement tomorrow. I'm half way through this one so 4 more weeks stuck in the back of beyond then 2 weeks off (or studying, of course, studying) those finals are creeping up a bit too quickly for my liking, consequently I'm in denial. I try to remind myself I always feel better when I run but dragging myself out there in the cold and snow (darn, it's all melted now..another excuse?) is always close to impossible. But this week I aim to get out for a short wee run every day..ok, every 2nd day. Ok, ok, if I manage once this week I'll be happy.

Lunch today with S, we're both single though she's got way more guys in her life than I do, just things aren't working out for her. But I like hearing about all her PR things and various dramas.

The rest of theday was a non starter. I'm slowly realising I'm rubbish on my own. I think too much (usually in a downward spiral).

Early start for the train tomorrow. Will walk to station as part of fresh start. No excuses.

just another...

Almost 5 years ago, someone told me she thought I was like bridget jones, yes, the bridget jones who kept that diary. Yep, Bridget would also be the over weight, rather ditzy, 30 something with a dodgy taste in men too. I still tell myself she meant well. So, 5 years on, as another Valentine's Day passed with no Mr Darcy whisking me off into the sunset, just me falling asleep on the sofa watching Notting Hill with only the trespassing mouse for company, I figure it's time to do something.

So here's my diary, hopefully, not too much a la bridget....