Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Happy New Year!!

Just a quick post while I get ready to go out. I hope everyone who reads this blog has a fantastic New Years Eve and an amazing New Year.

I'm off now to indulge in a delicious 4 course dinner with my sister, her husband and daughter who I haven't seen in months and then off to party with the rest of my family and friends. Lots of fun, laughter and champagne shall be had.

Lily xXx

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Medicine and Literature: Part 1

Earlier in the hols I promised a post or two on Medicine and Literature, a topic I've been luck enough to have the chance to study this year at uni. I'm going to stray away from the stuff I've looked into most because I'm writing an essay on it and would hate to get shouted at for plagerising my own blog, so I'll talk about something a bit different.

I'm not going to go into anything in huge amounts of detail. Basically I think it would be nice to let you guys know about some authors you may have not heard of before, and if you like the look of it then you can hunt some of their stuff out yourself.

I'm going to start today with Mikhail Bulgakov. He was born in 1891 in Kiev which was then still part of the Russian Empire. What struck me most about Bulgakov was how similar his writing is to the many blogs I read today. The Master and Margarita is his most famous book, but the most relevant to doctors and medical students today is probably his collection of short stories based around a recently graduated doctor just starting work in a rural hospital. This collection is called A Country Doctor's Notebook.

This is based on true life as Bulgakov graduated as a doctor and practiced for a short time before he quit to persue his true passion, literature.

To sum up the short stories they all revolve around a junior doctor and his development during his first year of work. Like many blog posts he talks about his fear, how he doesn't feel he's learnt enough at medical school and how tiring it is to be a doctor. Also like many blogs he recounts all the stories with a good dose of humour when it's appropriate. Reading the stories I had to smile to myself because it's reassuring to know that even over 100 years ago medical graduates still had the same fears and insecurities as they do today.

Lily xXx

Monday, 29 December 2008

My 2008

I've shamelessly stolen this idea from Unprotected Text. Here's a quick little summary of the last 12 months, and what's happened to me.

A slow and tedious start to 2008. This is when the real work on my intercalated BSc research project started. I learnt what a nightmare it is to try and get ethical approval and that I don't very much like filling out 57 page forms. I also resolved not to get so drunk that I forget chunks of the previous evening ever again. Amazingly I managed to stick to this.

More BSc, more research project. Yuk yuk yuk... This was my first Valentines Day that I've had a boyf. He didn't even send me a card :( Thankfully I still got a mystery rose from someone else and a nice day out for one of my best friend's 30th birthdays. The boyf semi-made up for Vals day when I saw him the weekend after by trying very hard to cook me some pasta... this soothed the wound somewhat.

Most of March was spent panicing about my research project. I couldn't get enough volunteers. Someone left the freezer open with all of my samples in it. My project supervisors were nowhere to be seen. I also broke up with the rubbish boyf in March. Retrospectively this may have been the highlight of the month.

A whole month of panicing about writing up my dissertation/project report. My supervisors were still MIA at this point. Unbelieveably it did actually get done. Unfortunately this left little time for anything else. I did have a nice Easter weekend at a sports festival though... Mmmmm snakebite and black.

Exams. Yuk. On the plus side I also had Backstreet Boys, my flatmates 21st and my 21st. My 21st was generally amazing. Some friends decorated part of a bar for me and we had two amazing nights out. I also met the new boyf... possibly my best ever birthday present.

Lots of lazy summer days and a few bar shifts. Unfortunately I had my project viva in June, but I've chosen to block that out of my memory. If I'm right I also got my new flat keys in June, or maybe it was beginning of July, but still... Yay.

Officially started dating the boyfriend. I also started decorating the flat. This has yet to be finished.

More summer lazing around and a few more shifts. If only all of life was this laid back.

Back to uni for a fortnights "Idiots Guide to Medicine". This was practically 3 weeks of running us through histories and examinations over and over until we were suitably panicing about actually starting clinics.

Clinics started and it wasn't that scary at all. Within a few weeks when I'd got to grips with examining and the basics of the rotation I was in, it was amazingly enjoyable. In fact getting up at 6am has never been quite so nice. Although there were and still are tough bits actually starting clinics has reconfirmed that medicine is the right career for me.

More clinics and yet more understanding of the subjects we're studying. I realised it wasn't all rubbish when older students said the second that you start clinics the information from the first few years just clicks and it all suddenly seems much easier to remember.

Unfortunately the rotation I started on came to an end. I enjoyed it so much that I think I could have gladly done another 3 months. This month the boyf and I also decided we're moving in together... with his working washing machine. Hurrah!

Fingers crossed the next 12 months will keep getting better, that my flat will end up decorated and that I'll enjoy the clinical rotations I have ahead.

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Never Ending Christmas

Okay. A lot of you are going to hate me for moaning about this, but it's my blog so moan I shall. Does Christmas never end?! As soon as the actual Xmas Day stuff is done then its mad panic about the sales for a few days, then mad panic about New Year.

Everyone needs to chill out. No need for barging into people in the shops. No need for tears and tantrums about where everyone will go for New Year.

I guess this is especially true for me as my family Christmas dinner (although the only family members going are my Dad and I, the other 22 are all friends) is today, because we've been working until now. It just seems so high pressured.

Yesterday I had a bit of a weird moment in my Dad's bar where a girl working there, who I get on fairly well with, asked me about my Mum. Both my Dad and I are pretty private people and don't feel the need to broadcast our family history to everyone at work (I know the whole blog thing goes against that, but it's different!). People know it's just him and I and thats that. Since I was asked I decided to just tell the truth. It's no big secret. This person almost cried when I told them and now I know for the rest of the festive period I'll be getting pity and the dreaded "I admire you because you're so strong" talk. It makes me want to scream that I'm not, and that I cry myself to sleep sometimes and get down a lot of the time. Not one to make a scene I won't but it puts a bit of a cloud over my head.

Anyway, I've yet to do any work this Christmas Holiday, which is a little off putting. I have loads to to in London tomorrow, so I guess Tuesday and Wednesday are going to be working days, then if my hangover isn't too bad I can do some work on Thursday too.

On Friday I'm going to Disneyland Paris. Wooooo! No work will get done but I'm going to find Stitch and give him a big cuddle!!

Lily xXx

Friday, 26 December 2008

Christmas Celebrations

I realise I'm a day late, but Merry Christmas everyone! I hope everyone reading this had a lovely day yesterday.

Sorry that I haven't posted for the last couple of days, but I've been a fair bit busier than I anticipated. Only I could underestimate the business of Christmas. I did manage to get my Christmas shopping done for everyone I was seeing on Christmas Day, now I just have to get stuff for those im seeing at New Year.

Apart from the shopping I'm not quite sure what I was busy doing. I guess I helped my Dad at work a little and tried to catch up with some of my friends but the time just seem to fly by.

Christmas Day was a huge success. I usually just work with my Dad, but this year I went to the Boyfriend's house. I get really grumpy and miserable at Christmas because selfishly it makes me really sad seeing everyone with their huge families when mine has got pretty small over the last few years. This year I didn't get too much like that. In fact I had a really nice day. Got up early and the boyfriend and I had breakfast with my Dad and we swapped presents. I got a SatNav... so no more getting lost for me. I saved up this year and got my Dad a digital SLR because he's been generally amazing and really helped me out financially. Then I spent the whole day at the boyfriend's Mum's house with all of his family. I was so nervous even though I go around there loads but I had no reason to be, it was lovely. Then in the evening we went back to my Dad's to watch Shrek the Halls and Cool Runnings. The perfect end to a lovely day.

Now I have to really knuckle down and get some work done before New Year. Lots of practicing examinations and reading up on stuff for my next rotation. If only the holidays were really a fortnight off and not a fortnight of working hard away from uni. *sigh*.

Lily xXx

Monday, 22 December 2008

I Love Big Pants

Those of you who've stumbled across my blog before or read kind of regularly will remember me telling a story about a friend of mine wearing big pants over her tights on a night out to keep them up and being found out. I'd link to the post but laziness prevents me.

Anyway this friend was reading my blog last night and discovered the post. Shock! Horror! I think she was less than impressed. So I thought I better give a quick apology and remind her that I only wrote it because I love the memories of all our nights out, I love her and most of all I love big pants!

Lily xXx

Sunday, 21 December 2008

New Flatmate

I'm so so so so so so happy. The boyfriend and I have been toying with the idea of living with each other for the past few weeks. From my flat it takes us roughly the same amount of time to commute to and from work and we generally get on amazingly. So last night we decided it. We talked to my Dad who owns the flat I'm living in and asked what he'd think if the boyf moved in with me. Surprisingly he was cool with it. So Yay.

What makes this double Yay is the fact that the boyf has a working washing machine to bring to my flat. Unfortunately the door to my washing machine completely comes off and it's only a matter of time before the whole thing implodes or explodes. Hurrah for washing machines!

Just to burst my happy little bubble, I do have loads of work to do this Christmas. As it's probably not going to be that interesting and I won't have much to blog about I think I might do a few posts about Medicine and Literature. The stuff I've been covering for my SSM. There are some really interesting books and poetry that I'd never read before this SSM that really make me look at medicine in a new light. Fingers crossed you'll all think the same and be as interested in it as I am. However, I'm far too tired to start today so it's something to look forward to for another day.

Lily xXx

Friday, 19 December 2008

End of Term

I did it. I survived my first rotation. Granted I don't have the exam until January so I can't say I've passed it, but at least I've got to the end and got all of my sign ups.

It's been a scary 3 months really. There was all the uncertainty of what to expect. Having to talk to real patients who are actually sick in hospital. Actually having to do stuff. It's surprising how nervous I got taking blood of a patient for the first time. Such a minor and relatively easy proceedure and yet inside I was still shaking. I think I was probably shaking a bit on the outside too.

It's amazing how many patients are willing to help. By letting us take a history or examine them the patient is getting nothing out of it. In fact for some patients it can be pretty tiring, but still they let us practice on them. It makes me so happy whenever I thank someone and they say "don't worry, you have to learn somehow and I'm more than happy to help.". It's such a nice gesture and I hope that they realise how thankful myself and most other medical students are.

Lily xXx

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Feeling Woozy

Today has been a bit crap.

Not only do I still have my presentation to do (85% done now though thank goodness), I also feel rotten.

It all started this morning when I felt very faint on ward rounds. It wasn't anything particularly gory, so thank goodness noone is taking the mickey but I felt so silly. Whenever I'm on my period I become very light headed and have the tendency to faint if I'm in a warm place and now I'm on clinics it's becoming a pain in the bum.

I also bumped my head so not only do I have that post-faint headache, but I also have a big bruise. To make it worse, the faint woozy feeling usually goes quite fast, today it didn't at all. In fact almost 12 hours later I still keep feeling really woozy.

Anyway, I must get back to this presentation as I have a nice warm bed with a lovely cuddly young man in it that I'm hoping to be able to snuggle up next to at some point before either me or him have to get up in the morning.

On the plus side I think I have a lie-in until 8am tomorrow. Luxury!

Lily xXx

Tuesday, 16 December 2008


Along with forgetfulness this is the other defining feature of my personality. Strange thing for a medical student you might think, but not me. I'm fairly book clever, and when it comes to common sense in medicine I'm also alright, but in general life I'm pretty stupid.

Example 1. I've just been cooking dinner. I love cooking and I'm pretty good at it if I say so myself. I needed to finely chop some chilli, not a problem. Chop chop chop. Lovely chilli. Anyway. Chilli goes in the pot and I wander off. I notice that my nose is a little sore (I have a cold at the moment), so decide to put some moisturiser on it. Without washing my chilli fingers. My nose has now been burning for a good 10 minutes.

Example 2. Thursday I have a huge presentation. I've lost sleep worrying about it. Have I actually used my spare time to do it? No. Am I leaving it until tomorrow night? Probably. Do I have a revision session that means I won't get home until 9pm? Oh, yeah... bummer.

Example 3. I tuck my teddy bear into bed so he doesn't get cold when I go out during the day in winter.

Reading that back to myself my daftness is kind of embarassing. Oh well.

Lily xXx

Sunday, 14 December 2008


I seem to be forgetting a lot of stuff lately. Most importantly today I forgot to put air in my tyres and forgot to buy milk. Thankfully neither have ended in disaster. We'll see what my mood is like in the morning however, when I realise that I can't have cereal or tea. Disaster!

At some time before Thursday I need to make a 10 minute presentation for my SSM. It's literature based, so is miles away from anything science-related and I'm a bit stumped at what to do. I also have to make handouts for the rest of the group. Handouts?! We've never had to make handouts for a sciency presentation and usually that's the kind of thing that people actually have to know.

Should be winding down for the end of term this week thankfully. In fact it may even only be 4 days long. Hurrah! I have to admit that once Thursday is out of the way and I have my presentation done I'm going to feel very relieved. A whole rotation done. Well done me.

Now all I have to think about is my 5000 word essay and my practical exams when I get back. My friends and family are going to love me when they spend all Xmas lying down pretending to be patients while I examine them.

Lily xXx

Friday, 12 December 2008

Weekend Plans

It seems that yesterday I started an itchy toe epidemic. Sorry guys!! Mine's not at itchy today. It was a little itchy this morning but now it's not noticably itchy at all.

I had an evening in A & E tonight, but got told I could leave early because only being a 3rd year there wasn't much I could actually do and after half a shift I'd seen pretty much everything I was going to see. This means I got home a couple of hours earlier than I anticipated which is good. I can do the washing up, get a decent nights sleep and get up earlyish tomorrow. I get the fun of filling my morning with a visit to the council. Hurrah!

I've got a party to go to tomorrow night and really don't know what to wear. Recently I've felt like a big fat frump even though I don't think I've put on any weight. I'm on the lower side of a size 10, so I can't really complain about being fat but then again I'm pretty short so noone would describe me as slim. I usually am pretty confident with the way I look, but at the moment I've felt so self concious. I think what I need is a night out wearing something that I feel really confident in. I've been saving up for a Christmas outfit, so tomorrow may be the time to go and get something classy, cool and sexy.

Lily xXx

Thursday, 11 December 2008


My big toe is itchy. It doesn't look like it's got anything nasty on it, it's just started iching today, Rather a lot in fact. It's amazing how something as benign as an itch can really really bother me. It's not as if it's painful. Just itchy.

Thankfully my other half is here to distract me from my itching and keep me company. Distressingly it takes him less time to commute to work by car from my flat in London to the seaside than it takes me to commute from my flat in London, to my hospital placement also in London. Life is cruel.

Lily xXx

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Hello Baby!

I saw this in the Metro this morning and it made me smile. A little over the top perhaps, but very very cute! Maybe even an overload of cuteness.

Hello Kitty maternity hospital

Lily xXx

Two Pairs Are Better Than One

Today was a really festive day for some reason, filled with Christmas party gossip and memories of years gone past. For this very reason I spent most of the day crying with laughter. I thought I'd share some of the stories with you. Apologies in advance if they end up as "you had to be there" stories.

The funniest story was back in first year... so a long time ago now. We were at the yearly Christmas party held in the tiniest of the universities nightclubs. So tiny and rubbish that it's now actually closed. Although it was small and pretty tatty every night I spent there was always amazing. Anyway, we were a little tipsy and all having a boogy. For some bizarre reason some junior doctors from the hospital across the road were there and in her drunk haze one of my then flatmates thought she'd found her McDreamy. So for the next hour or so there was lots of dancing and bit by bit they got closer. Next thing they were dancing together and before we know it he was examining her tonsils (... with his tongue!) and having a grope. Being the well behaved girls we are we staggered home (sans gentlemen) and collapsed in bed. The next morning we dragged ourselves into the kitchen for a morning gossip about the night before. My flatmate was going on about how mortified she was by her behavior. We were all a bit confused... surely she'd only had a bit of a snog? Oh no, that wasn't what she was mortified by. She had a pair of huge knickers on over her tights to keep them up and being drunk she'd forgotten and apparently at one point he had his hand up her skirt and must of noticed. So embarassing. Very funny though, and a lesson in why you should get men to keep their hands to themselves.

The rest of the day was taken up with gossip about the Christmas party. Being students we weren't invited, but we're pretty chummy with someone who was. As expected everyone was apparently trollied. No shocks there. The shocking story is that the really serious hard working female registrar ended up all over the equally as serious and dull male registrar and they went home together. No wonder we couldn't find them for teaching yesterday!

The person we talked to was also very confused about all these stand offish, usually strict surgeons running around cuddling each other. Madness. I think we should have been their. Us medical students need to be shown some love!

There were more stories but I'm so exhausted I can't remember them at all.

Lily xXx

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Frosty Weekend

This weekend was sooo cold, but so enjoyable. Both Saturday and Sunday were freezing cold, but the weather was otherwise beautiful. The sun was out, the air was crisp... a perfect day to walk along the seafront. So both today and yesterday I walked out along the seafront and enjoyed the most perfect winter days. Then, in the perfect ending to a perfect day, there was the most beautiful sunset. The sky went from a dark blue, to a deep blue, to a dusky orange on the horizon. If only I'd have had a camera.

As lovely as the weekend was I did bugger all work. This is a bad bad bad bad thing. 2 weeks of term left and loads and loads to do. Next week I have a presentation which I've hardly even thought about. Eek! I've also got things happening nearly every evening after uni this week as revision sessions happen and committees I'm on wrap up for xmas. Major stressfulness. I also have one night less with the boyf this weekend as I have a night in A and E on Friday. At least the weekend after I'll have broken up for Xmas.

Lily xXx

Thursday, 4 December 2008


I survived today. In fact I'd go as far as saying the whole day went pretty well. Not only did I feel a lot healthier than I did yesterday I also didn't burst into tears talking about that story. Tonight I even managed to cook dinner, whereas last night I sat crying into my bowl of cereal. Self pity is not a good thing.

The question of whether or not I'll survive tomorrow is a completely different story. I have the dreaded GP placement in the afternoon. As lovely as my GP tutor is I find the whole thing terribly boring. He criticises the 10-15 minute histories we take in the hospital and insists we spend at least half an hour. Although this is a nice opportunity to chat it goes against everything we've been taught. We're encouraged to allow the patients we see to wander off on to tangents...

Here is a little example to show you what I mean...

Me : "So can you tell me a little about the pain you say you had?"
Patient: "Well... I was on holiday in the Algarve, got a really good deal on teletext in fact, you should have seen the quality of the curtains in the hotel room I stayed in. So we were planning on a few days at the beach and a day looking at a museum but then one morning I got a really bad pain in my chest."

The GP loves this. He encourages us not to ask the when's and wheres of pain, or pretty much details of any symptoms but tells us just to use tactful silence to let them eventually tell us their problems. And in all fairness, a lot of the time, after half an hour, with only a few questions I do get a pretty complete history.

Now this is great as it makes the patients feel listened to. In the real world will we have the chance to do this? No. It also doesn't suit all patients. Take me for example. Whenever a doctor has said "What do you think the problem could be?", I've looked at them like they're insane. I'm not a doctor (yet). If I knew I'd go in there and ask for the right medication. As I'm always pretty busy when I go to the doctor I also like it when they ask everything they need to know, I tell them and I get my medication.

I realise that there is a time and place for longer history taking. However I don't think that a couple of weeks before we have an exam which includes a 6 minute history is the right time and place. At least it's a good practice for our mental health attachments which include much longer histories.

Lily xXx

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Poor Timing

Tomorrow would be my Mum's 61st birthday. Obviously I find this time of year difficult. Although it's been 8 years since she died I still get really upset about it. I know that by now I shouldn't be so volatile about the whole thing, but I am.

The last two nights I've had awful nightmares. Monday night I kept dreaming that my Mum had died and she was going to be buried hundreds of miles away. It was so realistic that every time I woke up I was actually crying out loud. Disturbingly every time I went back to sleep I had pretty much the same dream. Last night I had similar dreams but in these ones I was trying to console my Dad who was also really upset.

Part of my uni course involves looking at stories related to medicine and talking about them in front of groups of people. Tomorrow I have been asked to discuss a story that is all about someone who has lost someone close to them and can't find anyone to listen to them talk about it. I'm lucky enough to have many people to talk to but I still think that I'm going to find this really difficult. Thankfully it is a relatively small group of people, but regardless, I don't want to start crying in front of everyone and I'm worried that I will.

Lily xXx

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

New Word

Today I heard a really great phrase I'd never heard before from my clinical partner.


It's what she calls it when you go to look something up on Wikipedia and end up spending ages following more and more links. Like a safari through wikipedia.

I love it.

Lily xXx

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Weekend Weirdness

Another really busy weekend for me. I really need to learn how to relax over a weekend rather than burn myself out even more.

Saturday night I babysat for my boyf's sister again. What a nightmare. The baby is now 3 and a half months old and is totally adorable. Unfortunately she had a horrible cold and was so sniffly that she kept coughing and spluttering so I ended up staying awake pretty much all night worrying as I could hear her snuffling. Amuzingly she also puked all over the boyfriend's chest. Ew.

Apart from staying up all night worrying about the baby I had other things on my mind. Some very unexpected text messages. One was a picture message. A picture from one of my ex's of his penis. Not what I wanted to see. Needless to say I was sitting next to the boyf when I opened it as I have nothing to hide from him and if he wasn't so believing of me something like that could get me in trouble. Needless to say I was not happy. My most recent ex text me out of the blue too. He's the guy I broke up with in March (there's a post about it). I haven't heard from him since and he seemed to want to talk about all his problems. I told him all about the fact I have an amazing boyf at the moment and that I'd listen to him if he had problems, but that I didn't want him to get the wrong idea. Very very weird that they both text me within half an hour of each other. Especially since they live on opposite sides of the country.

Lily xXx

Thursday, 27 November 2008

The Ball

Last night was the night of the ball I've been helping to organise for a charity I'm on a committee of. Many many things went wrong during the organisation (we were holding it in conjuction with a different organisation who buggered up on a lot of things).

The only annoying part of the evening was the raffle. We had some amazing prizes and to boost ticket sales all the committee who were there bought tickets. As the draw happened one by one we all won. It seemed totally fixed. Between us we took the cheapest prizes, or in my case I decided not to choose a prize. It seemed awful to be taking one of the prizes when I'd already been given a present for helping to organise the ball.

The food at the ball was amazing. If I could find the cable for my camera then I'd upload some photos. There was a goats cheese and tomato tart for starters, sirlion of beef with delicious green beans and potato gratin and then the most amazing dessert I've ever eaten. To put this dessert into perspective you have to understand that I don't have that much of a sweet tooth, so I rarely enjoy desserts. This was a chocolate torte that was perfect. Lovely sponge on the bottom and the most chocolately truffle layer on top. It was heaven. It was also served with a touch of vanilla cream and was so perfectly presented. That alone was worth the (rather extortionate) price of the tickets.

The night also gave me an opportunity to introduce the other half to some more of my uni friends, and it went very well. Overall it was a brilliant night. Best of all is that we managed to raise about £700 for the charity we held the ball in aid of. A miracle when you think that less than a fortnight ago we thought that we would have to cancel the ball.

Lily xXx

Monday, 24 November 2008

Medicine's Mysteries Part 1

Strictly this counts as a surgical mystery, but that ruined my alliteration...

All the time we're told about surgeons and varicose veins. The better a surgeon the more varicose veins he has, because he's spent longer on his/her feet in surgery.

Surely surgeons should wear support stockings? But they don't... why?!

Out Damn Spot!

I think my body is permanently against me. Over the summer I really wasn't feeling well and my skin became all spotty and horrid. Over the last 2 months I've been feeling so much better and my skin has got so much clearer. Almost totally clear in fact. This could be partially due to the fact I'm back on the pill I used to be on that always makes me feel great, and partially because I'm generally a lot healthier. Or at least that was the case.

The past 2 days I've started to get a cold and been feeling generally rubbish, so what happens when I look in the mirror?! Spots!! Not just 1, not just 2 but lots. Grrrr. As if that isn't bad enough in itself on Wednesday I'm going to a ball. So that means there'll be lots of photos and in all of them I'll be all spotty. Double Grrrr.

On the plus side I saw the coca-cola advert 3 times today. That means it's officially the festive season so I can start eating mince pies... Mmmmm. Yummy!

Lily xXx

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Lazy Sunday

After last night's printing panic, where word would not do what I wanted, I'm having a calm and relaxed Sunday. I ended up staying awake past midnight feeding paper into the printer in 4 different ways so that I could get what I wanted printed how I wanted (probably more due to me not understanding word than anything else). I then had to do lots of cutting and numbering before I'd finished my errand and could go to sleep. Lucky for me the boyf helped out a lot and I got to calm down with a glass of beer after almost throwing the printer across the room in a temper tantrum.

Why is it always that I have so much uni work and house work to do on a Sunday. In all fairness I haven't done any work all weekend but I know that I should do an hour or two before bed tonight. That wouldn't be so bad if my flat didn't look like a bomb had hit it. For some reason I always get it into a right mess whenever I'm not on my own.

We also got no painting done yesterday. Instead we got up late and spent ages in town. This was my fault. I had to get my niece a present for her 8th birthday and spent ages choosing. In the end I settled for a funky dungaree dress with hippy flowers embroidered on it, a stripy and glittery hat/scarf and a kit with all the bits to make lots of girly hair accessories. I then spent over an hour trying to find shoes to go with my ball dress. As I only spent £20 on a ball dress I had a budget of upto £30 to get shoes I could wear to the ball and out partying. They had to have pretty high heels as I'm so short but also had to be comfortable. In the end I found some gorgeous black stiletto platforms that add a good 4" to my height, thus stopping my dress dragging in puddles. Hurrah! As a bonus they were only £25 and I'm sure I'll get lots of wear out of them. By Thursday morning I should have a pretty good idea whether or not they're comfortable too, but just wearing them in my flat for an hour they felt really comfortable.

Anyway I'm going to watch a film and then try and get a little productive, tidying my flat and doing some work. Or maybe I'll just watch 2 films, or even 3 films....

Lily xXx

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Word Woes

Word clearly hates me. I've spent ages working out how to get something to print in a particular way and I've now given up. Instead I shall spend the next hour rotating bits of paper so that I can get stuff to print the way I want. Grrrrrr....

It seems everytime I touch something to do with technology it goes wrong. It's as if I'm jinxed. :(

Fingers crossed I won't get confused when rotating these bits of (very expensive!!!) paper, or I'll ruin everything!

Lily xXx

My Week At Medical School - Friday

The more observant among you will notice that it is in fact Saturday today, not Friday. Needless to say I was very tired last night and had my lovely boyf to snuggle up to so I completely forgot about writing the last instalment of my week at med school.

Anyway, lets pretend it's still Friday....

7.30: Get up. A little earlier than I would normally considering the train I have to get, but it means I can have a vague attempt at tidying a bit before the boy arrives. I fail miserably at the whole tidying thing because I get distracted by yesterdays metro which is still in my bag. I love sudoku.

9.10: Get on the train and actually get a seat. This is total amazingness, especially as I'm wearing heels as opposed to my hush puppies.

9.40: Have the usual gossip about the night before over a cup of tea. Not much to say today as I just kept falling asleep last night. Ironically every time I woke up there was an advert on telly about people with narclepsy.

10.03: Get onto the wards and stalk the very busy SHO during her ward round. Sensing our need to actually do something useful she sent us off to get lots of bloods. Unfortunately these were off people who seemingly had no blood. Thank goodness for the elective student who managed after multiple attempts to get some blood out of these people. Worryingly they were covered in huge bruises where she'd taken blood before.

12.15: Skived off for lunch. I had a rather yummy stew thing. It even had carrots in. Unfortunately it was probably cat and carrot stew or something as it didn't really resemble or taste like anything I'd ever had before. Oh well. Cheap and tasty so I can't complain.

13.30 On the train again to go to a more central train station to get to my GP placement.

14.30: Very almost left my bag with lots of work in it at a coffee shop in the train station. Thankfully I rescued it. However I did get a lecture from the coffee shop lady. Although I only left it for about 60 seconds she insisted on lecturing me about how she wasn't a left luggage facility and that she should charge me £3 like they do. Now, realistically... I'd left it for a minute, I came running back in all flustered and was so thankful that she found it. Was the lecture really neccessary? No.

15.45: Arrived at my GP placement. I saw frolicing dear along the way to the surgery from the train station. That's how far from London we were!!

The GP was really dull. He didn't seem to know anything about any of the stuff we've been learning at hospital. Now I can understand him not having specialist knowledge but I'd think that he should at least be able to explain something like atrial fibrillation. I was not impressed. He then gave us a lecture about taking our time with histories. He recommended half an hour. If we did that in the hospital we'd be shot or the patients would die of old age before we'd finished.

He didn't even know what murmur he was listening for when he rolled the patient on to their left. I was stunned. Surely if you're going to demonstrate something you'd at least want to look up why you did certain things so you could tell the students.

However he did seem like a really nice man, and with both patients we saw he really listened to them which obviously is very important. So not all bad.

18.30: Finished at the GP in the middle of nowhere and trekked back to the train station. Between changing trains and waiting around for connecting trains the journey took me almost exactly 2 hours. I did get the chance for a gossip on the phone while I waited. My niece has broken her nose. Apparently they can't do anything about it for 10 days?! Any tips on how to help relieve the pain and help it to set straight?

20.30: Lovely boyfriend picked me up from the train station and off home I went to cook dinner and have cuddles. Perfect end to a long and busy day!

Lily xXx

Thursday, 20 November 2008

My Week At Medical School - Thursday

9.00: Hurray! A proper lie-in. Finally get up at 9 and still have lots of time to get ready. This is pretty much the case every Thursday of this rotation which is nice.

11.00: Arrive at uni for my special study module seminar. As I've picked a non-scientific topic, which interests me greatly, this seminar is no great chore. In fact I really look forward to this. Even the fact that it take a couple of hours a week preparation doesn't put me off at all.

13.00: Grab a coffee and a nibble for lunch. Catch up on all the gossip with my clinical partner who was in the hospital this morning. It's amazing how much can happen in the few hours that I'm not there.

13.30: Off to an ENT outpatients clinic. These have an awful reputation. A couple of weeks ago the ENT doctors actually made two of my friends cry. I was so nervous when I arrived and convinced I'd hate it. The second I walked into the outpatients department I felt at home. The receoptionist was lovely, the nurse was so helpful and really friendly and most importantly the doctor I was sitting with wasn't a complete monster. In fact he was one of the nicest people I've had teach me since I started at uni. We didn't see that many patients but those we did he really involved me in the consultation and let me examine everyone. He then also went through lots of sign up skills he didn't have to because we had the extra time. Now I only have 7 sign-up skills left to get, which is less than 2 a week. I think that might be manageable. I have this huge fear about getting to the last week and having to cram everything in. Hopefully tomorrow I may be able to get another sign off as I have a GP placement in the afternoon/evening.

16.15: Finished outpatients because it was quiet. Tottered home nice and early. Walked from the train station as opposed to getting the bus because I had the time to kill.

17.00: Got home and chilled out. I even managed to cook some yummy tuna pasta. Before I realised what happened I had fallen asleep on the sofa though, so I haven't tidied up at all, even though the boyfriend is coming to stay tomorrow. Thankfully he loves me even though I'm incredibly untidy. I'll just have to try and shove everything under my bed.

Lily xXx

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

My Week At Medical School - Wednesday.

7.55: Alarm goes off. I feel rather nice that I'm waking up when the sun has already risen. Have breakfast and get ready with a smile on my face.

8.40: Leave to catch the train. Half way to the trains station my shoes start rubbing. I haven't worn them for about a year and I was sure they were comfy. Comfortable shoes are vital for a good day at uni. Sore shoes always cause me to get grumpy. Nothing worse than spoiling the fun of seeing patients with achey feet.

9.30: Get to uni early because of erratic train times so have a cup of tea and a chat with some uni chums.

10.00: Off for teaching on one of the wards. We get to see and examine 3 really friendly and helpful patients. It's amazing how much everyone's examination teachnique has improved since we started a couple of months ago. I remember thinking I'd never feel confident doing it and now I completely don't mind examining a patient with other people watching because I'm starting to think that I know what I'm doing. All the steps of the examination also mean a lot more to me now that I've seen most of the signs on patients and thought through them more. My teaching group gets a round of applause from the nurses on the nursing station because unbeknown to us they were spying on us and noticed that every one of us washed our hands before and after each patient. Go us!

11.30: My last case presentation of the year... hurrah! We got started late because of a meeting in the room. Kindly the people having a meeting left us a box of mini flapjacks and mini chocolate cornflake cakes to make up for having to start late. Yum yum yum. Had a bit of an internal panic when my titles weren't animating right in powerpoint but it went well overall and I got a nice high mark. Presentations are another example of how my confidence has soared since starting clinics at the end of September. At first I was really nervous at presenting and now I don't get nervous in the slightest.

13.00: Grab some food and head off for a big trek between two campuses.

14.00: Had an hours practice session at taking blood from plastic arms. Although I've got a lot of practice on real people coming up it's vital to know how to take blood from plastic arms for my practical exams (OSCEs). We also need practice at just using vaccutainers with a needle as opposed to taking blood using a vaccutainer attached to a butterfly, because although as a rule butterflies are used on patients, just the ordinary vaccutainers are used in exams.

15.00: A demonstration from an FY2 on respiratory examinations. Very useful as she graduated from my uni so knows what they look for in OSCEs. Also useful as I haven't had much of a chance to practice. Almost forgot my nice stethascope in a pile of not so nice ones.

16:00: A different FY2 showed us all cardiac exams. By this time I was getting a little tired, so probably didn't pay as much attention as I should have. I'm not too worried about this because I've now done probably near 50 cardiac examinations and feel pretty confident with them. Granted I need to practice more before exams, but I think I just need more practice as opposed to more instruction.

16.40: Got to leave at a reasonable time. Hobble to catch the train and then hobble home.

17.10: Get home and have a cup of tea. Read the paper curled up on the sofa. Think a little about what I'd like for dinner.

17.40: Cook a lovely dinner of garlicy chicken and mushrooms with pasta and spinach. I feel really good today because I've had a little more time to myself. I even do the washing up without a grumble.

18.40: Chill out in front of the TV. I know I have some work to do for my special study module tomorrow but I'm not in too much of a panic. I really need to unwind so I'll probably try and get it done while watching a bit of telly over the evening. Thankfully it shoudn't need too much brain power.

Lily xXx

Tuesday, 18 November 2008


It's official. I'm allergic to presentations. I've been beavering away at it bit by bit (trying not to distract myself by watching youtube videos of Il Divo...) and I'm almost finished. I'm as far as my last slide. Anyway... I was looking up information about how a certain antibiotic works and realised I was scratching my belly. When I looked down IT was covered in hives... as is one leg.

I haven't had hives for ages and ages but I can't think of anything I've eaten or been near today that could have set it off. It must be the hard work. It clearly has to stop as of now.

Lily xXx

My Week At Medical School - Tuesday

6.35: Alarm goes off. Stumble out of bed.

6.36: Stub toe on the door frame. Swear loudly enough to wake up the whole block of flats and stumble into the shower. Get dressed and have breakfast as per usual.

7.18: Set off for the train station 3 minutes later than normal because I couldn't find my headphones. This disproportionately annoys me but strangely I make it to the train station 2 minutes earlier than I usually would. Clearly the stubbed toe didn't disable me.

8.15: Take my headphones out and realise ink from a pen which exploded in my bag is all over one. I know have a nice blue ear canal. Lets hope noone gets out the auriscopes today.

8.30: Lecture begins on time today. It's a surprisingly interesting lecture with loads of cool 3D echo pictures. Even more excitingly the lecturer only talks for half an hour rather than adding loads of technical mumbo jumbo we have no hope of understanding. Unfortunately lecturer number duo doesn't turn up.

9.03: Frantically scramble to the ward with the nice registrar who likes teaching in an attempt to beat any other students.

9.04: Drat. The other students beat us.

9.06: When all else fails go for a coffee to cheer up. During the coffee we chat mindless rubbish and make a new game plan for the morning. We almost go into cardiac arrest when we realise this has taken 45 mins.

10.00: Sit in the library and try to do a little more of my presentation. Unfortunately for me the library is one of the social hubs of the hospital and I end up having a good old natter to lots of people I haven't seen in ages.

12.00: Mmmmm... hummus for lunch again. Shame the bread is a bit stale.

13.00: A really informative and interesting teaching session from one of the surgical registrars. I also managed to answer a lot of the questions correctly. It's reassuring to think that deep down I'm actually starting to learn stuff.

15:00: With only a few minutes to stretch our legs, we then have another teaching session but this time with one of our consultants. He's surprisingly nice and not scary although the further we get into the rotation the more annoyed he gets when we look blankly at him. Yet again I manage to answer a fair few questions as do the others in the group so we don't look completely stupid. I'm sure I see a small smile of satisfaction on his face that we're finally absorbing the things it's taken him weeks to teach us.

16:46: Wait for the train. It's late. I'm unimpressed.

17.20: Pop to Starbucks to kill time before a 6pm meeting. Do some of the work for my special study module while sipping a gingerbread latte. It's completely not science based which is a nice change but it's been at least 5 years since I've done anything similar.

18.00: Meeting for the charity committee I'm on. Basically it's a major freak out because an event which another group were holding on our behalf has fallen through and we may have to let a lot of people down. We spend ages brainstorming ways to make the best of the situation we're in. Fingers crossed we've kind of got it sorted but my stress levels are way way way high. I've also agreed to make 250 posh raffle tickets for the 26th. Eek.

19.45: Get home. Have some pasta and jump in the shower afterwards. I always find a hot steamy shower helps me when I'm feeling really stressed out.

20.30: Crack on with my presentation for tomorrow. Things are a lot more complicated then they first seemed so I'm trying to keep it as simple as I can. I've still got a fair bit to do later on tonight but I'd guess that I'm well over half way now and I'm pretty confident about the subject which is what matters most.

The rest of this evening will be taken up by finishing my presentation (hopefully it won't take more than an hour), calling the boyf for a chat because I miss him and reading whoever's updated their blogs.

As you can tell this has been a pretty hard working boring day overall. Thankfully all the teaching I had today was really interesting as otherwise days without much patient contact can get pretty dull.

Lily xXx

Monday, 17 November 2008

My Week At Medical School - Monday.

Since I put my email address up I've had a couple of emails asking me what it's actually like being a medical student and the kind of things I get up to. Rather than trying to sum it all up in a post, as I think I'd fail miserably at getting everything across properly, I've decided to actually write a little factual diary of what I get upto this week...


6.35 : My alarm goes on. It's still dark outside and actually freezing. I jump out of bed and run into the shower to try and warm up. I load up on a big bowl of bran flakes. As a random aside I put sugar on all my cereal... is that weird? I don't know anyone else who does.

7.15 : I trudge off to get the train to go to the hospital.

8.05 : At the hospital. 25 minutes early, but the stupid trains mean that I'm either 25 minutes early or 2 late. The latter is not an option. Pour a cup of coffee down my throat in a feeble attempt to wake up.

8.30 : 2 hours of lectures. I die a little inside. This morning we have two particularly dry lecturers who both seem to zoom through their topics too fast to make notes. Thankfully one of the topics has been covered by my firm head pretty well. I spend most of the lecture rubbing my nose in a frantic effort to stop it actually freezing off my face. All that keeps me concious is period pains... woe is me.

10.30 : Now we get to the good stuff. Actual "doing stuff" in the hospital. This morning I spend 20 minutes trying to track down a registrar to make sure someone is teaching my group this afternoon. Seems like wasted time but it's better to spend 20 minutes organising the teaching than leaving it too late and getting none at all.

10.50 : Down to one of the wards to have a look and see if any interesting patients have turned up. Use the computer system to look at patient notes for a patient I'm presenting at a Grand Round later in the week. Fortunately it's good news... my patient was refusing treatment, but changed his mind this weekend and is now on the mend. Hurrah!

11.50 : Quick dash to get an overpriced cappucino. I like mixing sweetner in the froth so I have really sweet froth and really bitter coffee. Mmmmm. I also nibble on a nutrigrain bar... it's been ages since breakfast and I always seem to be hungry.

12.00 : Possibly the highlight of my week (and this is not sarcasm), radiology teaching. The registrar is amazing and explains things so well. Is it geeky that I spent the whole session actually having to sit on my hands and bite my lip shut so I didn't scream out all the answers when it wasn't my turn? I love it. We saw some amazing things today that I hope I'll never forget. Who knew that one of the pre-antibiotic treatments for TB was putting little ball things in the lung?! Well... probably lots of you, but I didn't. Great little fact.

13.15 : Mmmmm... Hummus, bread, sugarsnap peas and cherry tomatos. A lunch fit for kings, or even medical students.

14.00 : More teaching. Another really nice reg but a little more random. Learnt lots about emergency diagnosis and treatment of a patient who presents with shortness of breath. Hopefully I'll remember it. Chances are I won't. Unfortunately this reg was insanely busy so had to cut their teaching session short.

15.30 : On the train home. Resisting the urge to have a nap.

16.15 : Get in the front door. Do the most important task of the evening. Put the kettle on. Have a cup of tea. Mmmm. Tea.

16.17 : Procrastinate a bit. Make sure the electricity and gas people use my actual meter readings as unlike the woman who lived here before I don't have all my lights on all the time and run the heating at 35 degrees. Daft lady.

16.40 : Try to start the powerpoint for my presentation on Wednesday. Do all the easy bits and give up.

17.30 : Do some work I have to do based on a clinical scenario. Totally underestimate the amount of time I need. They usually take about half an hour. This was mammoth... about the size of 4 normal ones. Needless to say it took ages but I'm pleased I've done it a week in advance. Not the most interesting of topics but it's helped me revise lots of stuff from preclinical years which is really important.

19.10 : Cook some lovely pasta with pancetta, blue cheese, mushroom and spinach sauce. Is it just me or does time actually slow down while your waiting for pasta to cook? It took ages. I almost died of starvation.

20.10 : Sit down and write my blog.

I still have a fair bit of work to do tonight. I'll probably do another half hour at least on my presentation and had originally hoped to get some reading done too, but I'm not sure that'll be possible. I guess this is karma for not really doing any work in the first few weeks. Fingers crossed I'll get to go to bed by 11 or I'll fall asleep on my laptop.

Lily xXx

Catty Consultants

I finally feel truely part of the team within the hospital. My chums and I have been witness to some proper inter-consultant bitchyness, much to our amusement. There we were thinking all the consultants are sophisticated and professional. Not so.

When one of our consultants (who, to be totally honest is very very arrogant, but in a funny cool way) asked another consultant if he could use a seminar room, none of us were taken aback by the usual sarcastic witty banter. What happened next was enough to shock me into almost choking on a cup of tea...

as the funny arrogant consultant stuck his head out of the door to see if any other rooms were free the other consultant stuck his two fingers up and mouthed "F*** off, W*****" (it's not usually my style to star things out, but I'm still in so much shock I can't get the words out).

Glad to see it's not only us with our improfessional, petty grudges.

Lily xXx

Sunday, 16 November 2008


The craziest thing has happened. I've spent this Sunday in London at my flat. The Boyf spent Sunday afternoon at the seaside which is home. He bumped into my Dad so they went for a beer. They then went off for a cosy curry just the two of them.


My Dad usually HATES my boyfriends. This one clearly has my Dad's approval. I don't know whether to be really pleased or really really scared.


P.S I want a curry too.... I hope my Dad takes me and not just his new BFF next time!

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Another Grumble...

As always I have another grumble to make. This time my grumble is about people who presume that because I'm a student, I must do nothing all day.


"You students... do nothing all day and complain you're tired"

"Getting up late, drinking every night, loads of random sex... Don't pretend it's hard work!"

"Just you wait until you're part of the real world, then like me you'll know what stress and work are all about" (this is usually from someone I know who either works part time in a bar or does a fairly unstressful 9-5 admin job in an office).

I'm fed up of this misconception. The next person who says anything along these lines will face my wrath (and that's surprisingly scary for someone this short)!

I now only get up when it's dark. Usually about 6am. I also get home when it's dark. Around 6pm or for the last few days 8pm. As well as having 12 hours out of the house at uni I'm also expected to do work at home. This means I either work late or I have to give up my weekends. I also have the added emotional stress of seeing things which are upsetting. After seeing 2 or 3 patients who have terminal cancer the last thing I feel like doing is going out and having fun. It takes time to wind down.

As for the drinking and sex... Well no. Just no. Midweek drinking is out of the question as there is no way I could get up at 6am with a hangover and even on the weekends im knackered. The most I'll usually drink on the weekend is a glass of wine or bottle of beer with dinner. Also where did the random sex thing come from? As if I'd have the energy for that. My boyfriend is lucky if he gets a cuddle and a kiss on the cheek half the time.

Maybe I'm just a totally boring student, but everyone I've talked to on clinics seems pretty much the same. Excess and partying are saved for rare occasions (birthdays... and even then not everyones) and we all do seriously long days.

Just to clear this up I actually enjoy university, and because I enjoy it I don't mind the long days and the extra work, what I'm moaning about is the fact that people constantly have a go at me for being a "lazy student".

I'm not. So they can bugger off!

On a related note I was eavesdropping on some 1st year students in the hospital. Yes. I know eavesdropping is rude, but so am I. Anyway back to the point. One student said he was interested in the intercalated BSc in Medical Ethics and Law. This caught my attention as even though I didn't do this BSc I did think about it, it's interesting stuff. One of his colleagues asked him why he wanted to do this BSc. His reply was "Well.... I'm interested in law. Thinking I might do a law conversion..."

Whoa. What? You're a 1st year!! It's not even the end of the 1st term! What on earth are you doing on my ward?!

He went on to explain that he didn't think he really wanted to be a doctor but he was interested in how the human body works so he decided to do the course. Then he went even further and said that although he fancied being a lawyer that he thinks medicine pays better and is more secure as a job, so it's his back up. I was horrified. I hate to think that he's taken the place of someone who actually wants to be a doctor. Grrrr.

Lily xXx

Monday, 10 November 2008

Rain, Rain Go Away...

I hate this weather.

Last night I drove back from the seaside where I'd been visiting my lovely boyf. I'm surprised I made it back alive. I can't have driven at more than 55mph at any point and yet it was still the scariest thing ever. Not only was there so much rain that visibility was virtually 0, but the wind meant that I spent the whole time just trying frantically to keep my car from being slammed in to another car, the barrier or a lorry. I was exhausted when I got back to my flat and curled up to go to sleep pretty early as I had a stupidly early start this morning.

So this morning off I went in the rain again. Luckly I left so early that it was easier to get a bus than the train because the trains were buggered. So much so that when moving between hospitals today I very almost didn't make it back to a teaching session. I had to get a random bus I'd never got before and hope for the best. As if this hadn't annoyed me enough I got totally soaked on the way home. So much so that my waterproof coat leaked (clearly Primarni isn't quite as amazing as I first thought). Thinking my day couldn't get any damper I got in to my flat, changed in to warm dry clothes and went to have a cup of tea in the living room.

Drip, drip, drip...

The window frame was leaking. Not just a little leak but a huge armchair soaking, floor puddling leak. It's still going now, albeit a little slower. The only silver lining to practically drowning in my flat is that the chances are with this much water around I won't burn to death as the battery in my fire alarm died today.

Lily xXx

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Trying to Relax

Sorry about the lack of posts so far this week. I've been making the most of having a less busy than usual week. In fact Friday I'm even planning to have a duvet day, before my much busier timetable starts on Monday. Unfortunately my duvet day will involve doing a fair bit of work, but at least it means that I can have a lie in and maybe do my work with my duvet. That counts as a duvet day right?!

Excitingly tomorrow after uni I'm going to see the ex flatmate and her lovely other half who I haven't seen for ages. Then after that I'm going to see my lovely half who I haven't seen since Sunday, and that is far too long! Maybe I'll make tomorrow even better by having some curly fries in the pub. I love curly fries.

I'm enjoying the fact I can chill out this week. Now there are doctors on the wards who'll help us learn the skills for sign ups and sign us off I'm not as stressed out. I learnt blood taking on my clinical partner earlier in the week and it went amazingly. Now that I've had a go on a healthy person my confidence is much higher when it comes to patients. If I tried to take blood from a patient and couldn't manage it I wouldn't feel like a total failure. It shocks me that our medical school doesn't really advocate practicing on each other. Health and safety or something. Madness!

Lily xXx

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Success At Last!

Today has been so productive that I feel like doing a little happy dance. I got loads of sign-ups in my log book because we finally found a doctor who is really keen to teach us. Although she's a very busy registrar this doctor took an hour and a half out of her morning this morning to observe histories and examinations and to explain drugs charts to us. She's also coming in early on Monday to assist us practicing taking blood on each other. Yay.

It's such a relief to have finally found someone who's taken us all under her wing. We have an amazing radiology teacher too, which is something a lot of other groups are lacking. Everything will finally fall into place if we can find someone to teach us one aspect of our rotation that has been totally neglected as the doctor timetabled to teach us was double booked. Unfortunately we've gone 5 weeks without this important teaching, fingers crossed it'll be sorted next week.

I'm also feeling pretty impressed that this is my 100th post. 100! That's a pretty big number. When I started blogging earlier in the year I wasn't convinced I'd stick with it. I have an awful habit of being really into something for a week or two and then forgetting all about it, but luckly that hasn't happened with the blog. I love writing it as much as I did when I started. Fingers crossed my attention span will let me write another 100 posts!

Lily xXx

Monday, 27 October 2008

Paperwork Mountain

My next placement at uni happens to be in a hospital outside of London. The amount of paperwork I need to fill out is completely insane. Do they not realise I completely lack any sense of motivation when it comes to doing work I have to do, let alone filling out loads of forms about my immunisations, accomodation, car, special study modules etc?

Thankfully my placement isn't until January. Unfortunately with the amount of stuff to fill in it could take me that long. Surely the uni has all this on a big computer it can just forward to this other hospital?! Argh!!

Lily xXx

The Big Read

Shamelessly stolen from Dragonfly

1) Bold: I have read.

2) Underline: Books I love.

3) Reprint this list in your own blog so we can try and track down these people who’ve read 6 and force books upon them ;-)

1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

2. The Lord of The Rings - JRR Tolkien

3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte

4. Harry Potter Series - JK Rowling

5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

6. The Bible

7 . Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

8. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell

9. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman

10. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens

11. Little Women - Louisa May Alcott

12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy

13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller

14 . The Complete works of Shakespeare

15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier

16. The Hobbit–J.R.R. Tolkien

17. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks

18. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger

19. The Time Traveler’s Wife

20. Middlemarch - George Eliot

21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell

22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald

23. Bleak House - Charles Dickens

24. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy

25. The Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy - Douglas Adams

26. Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh

27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

28. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck

29. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll

30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame

31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy

32. David Copperfield– Charles Dickens

33. Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis

34 . Emma - Jane Austen

35. Persuasion - Jane Auster

36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis

37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres

39. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden

40. Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne

41. Animal Farm - George Orwell

42. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown

43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving

45. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins

46. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery

47. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy

48. The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood

49. Lord of the Flies - William Golding

50. Atonement - Ian McEwan

51. Life of Pi - Yann Martel

52. Dune - Frank Herbert

53. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons

54. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen

55. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth

56. The Shadow of the Wind- Carlos Ruiz Zafon

57. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens

59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon

60. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

61. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck

62. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov

63. The Secret History - Donna Tartt

64. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold

65. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas

66. On The Road - Jack Kerouac

67. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy

68. Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding

69. Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie

70. Moby Dick – Herman Melville

71. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens

72. Dracula - Bram Stoker

73. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett

74. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson

75. Ulysses - James Joyce

76. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath.

77. Swallows and Amazons

78. Germinal - Emile Zola

79. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray

80. Possession - AS Byatt

81. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell

83. The Color Purple - Alice Walker

84. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro

85. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert

86. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry

87. Charlotte's Web - EB White

88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom

89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

90. The Far Away Tree Collection - Enid Blyton (My absolute favourite when I was little. The whole reason I learnt to read was so I could have more than a chapter at bedtime.)

91. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad

92. The Little Prince - Antoine de St. Exupery (Even better if you can read it in French)

93. The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks

94. Watership Down– Richard Adams

95. A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole

96. A Town like Alice–Nevil Shute

97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas

98. Hamlet- William Shakespeare

99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl

100. Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

Mini Rant: Why do the makers of this meme think those who read the Bible should be forced to read other books?! Clearly a lot of people who read/have read the Bible do read other books. Labelling those who believe in God as stupid and naive is real pet hate as me. I always feel like thumping people who gasp in horror and say "I thought you'd know better, you're a medical student. Surely you understand it's all rubbish...". Not very Christian I know, but seriously one day someone who says that to me will probably get their head bitten off.

Lily xXx

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Chilled Out Weekends = Happy Lily

Now I'm doing long days at uni I'm being a bit of a rebel. I'm taking the weekends pretty much off. From Friday evening through until Sunday evening I don't even think about uni. The old me would have really worried about this and tried to do lots of little bits of work and been permanently stressed. The new me is really liking this. I've realised how much good it does me to switch off for a couple of days. I now actually feel rejuvinated after the weekend.

However, I am worrying that overall I'm not doing enough work. I just really don't know what to do. I don't seem to be absorbing anything by reading books, and to be fair most textbooks are far too dull to read for anymore than an hour without dying inside. I have my second Student Grand Round presentation coming up in the not too distant future so that should keep me feeling like I'm doing some work for the beginning of the week, but after that's done I'll slow to a halt again.

My biggest dilemma this week is what to dress up as for halloween?! Any suggestions would be much appriciated!

Lily xXx

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Lunchtime Etiquette

Since properly starting clinics in the beginning of October my medical student friends and I have been subjected to a crash course in hospital etiquette. Noone bar consultants sit in the front row in meetings/presentations, you always offer your computer to a doctor if they stand near the one you're working on and you refer to everyone more senior than you by their surname even if they have been introduced by first name. All these were pretty easy and obvious to pick up but the other day my firm of medical students encountered a little social awkwardness.

We had teaching with an SpR (or whatever they're called now) when we'd usually have lunch. It goes without saying we were starving. Being on the wards seems to leave us all insatiably hungry. Probably due to the fact that when you have breakfast at 6.30am it's a pretty long time until 12.30 for lunch. Anyway, thats off the point. Basically we were sitting in the Reg Room, where all the registrars in our speciality hang out and they kept coming in with plates filled high with drug company free lunch goodies. We looked wistfully at their food and sat there nursing our rumbling stomachs.

The most senior of our reg's came in the room with stacks of goodies and sat down to have a chat with us. The poor guy had been on nights, but was still working during the day too. He definitely deserved his free sandwich. So the reg sits down and looks at the 4 of us then looks back at his food, and says "Looks like I have just enough Pringles for one each, help yourselves guys!". Not quite sure what to do we all sat their and politely shaked our heads and said "No thanks." About 30 seconds later all our stomachs continue rumbling. "Banana guys?" he says waving a banana in our faces (how wrong does that sounds?!). Yet again we all turned it down. Confused he picked up a kit-kat and tantilizingly presented it to us, "You guys have got to want one of these right?" and yet again we all smiled sweetly and declined. He clearly thinks that we're insane. Students turning down free food?! Madness?! Did we do the right thing? Should we have taken his food and let him go hungry? Did we come across as even more rude by saying no? Are we actually completely stupid? I think the resounding answer is yes.

Lily xXx

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Random Googles Part 4

The most frequently searched topic linking to my blog is still DFS sofa allergies. You people really need to talk to DFS. I'm pleased to say that I seem to be totally fine with my lovely DFS sofa. Still... I'm refraining from licking the sofa just in case...

Worryingly someone has searched "I hate my firm and med students". I'd like to clarify that my firm are a pretty decent bunch and the majority of med students I know are lovely. As with any rule there are exceptions, but the all the nice students make up for the not so nice ones.

I suggest that if anyone hates their firm they either try harder to get on with people or see if they can be moved of firms. If you hate all medical students then maybe you shouldn't be one. If you're a doctor searching that and hate your firm, thats unfortunate. If you also hate medical students thats probably an occupational hazzard. I know we can be a pretty annoying bunch but deep down we're totally loveable. A bit like furby's. Annoying on the surface but deep down everyone wants one to nurture. At least I'd like to keep believing that.

Lily xXx

Who Chose Medicine?!

The medical students on my firm and I adopted a visiting elective student over the past fortnight. He's a really friendly guy from a big medical school in Pakistan. Obviously, as none of us have any experience of medical education outside of the UK or in fact our medical school, we were all very interested to ask all about medical school in Pakistan. In turn our elective student was really curious about medical education in the UK. Lots of questions were asked both ways, but the most eye opening question was asked the other day over a tea break. Totally unpromted this guy asked "So, who chose medicine? You or your parents?!"

The unanimous answer to this from us was "Well we did." without a second thought. This elective student was quite surprised by this as his parents had told him to study medicine, and many of his colleagues at university were in the same position. It took a lot of reasoning to convince him that for the vast majority of british medical students this wasn't the case.

Our first point was that medical school applications rely on interviews in the UK. To get through the interview you have to show a passion for wanting to study medicine and genuine motivation. He very rightly pointed out that it's quite easy to fake this. If you're that content on fulfilling your parents wishes then clearly faking enthusiasm and giving the standard "I want to help people..." response isn't the hardest thing in the world. Nor is obtaining sufficient work experience. We also tried to use the arguement that teenagers in this country are not as likely to care what their parents think. Clearly this isn't true at all. Although I had no problem telling my Dad that my career choices had nothing to do with him not everyone as the same relationship with their parents.

Since this conversation I'm left wondering more and more who's actually at medical school because they want to be. It's so taboo to suggest that it wasn't your idea to go to medical school how many people would admit to it? Surely not everyone who was pressurised into the course would hate it, I'm sure many would end up enjoying it. It does leave me thinking hard about quite how many people I see every day and work with on the wards don't actually want to be there. Even just a month of clinics has shown me that as much as I'm enjoying medicine it's not all roses. I can imagine that getting up at 6am to be in the hospital to clerk patients, wait around for doctors and be grilled over our lacking medical knowledge is an awful experience for those who don't want to be there.

This has also reminded me about the first time my Dad and I had a proper talk about what career I wanted to pursue. I'd already known that I wanted to become a doctor long before the conversation with my Dad but it was a bit tricky. Since about the age of 12 my Dad had tried to get me interested in architecture (not his career, but something that interested him). I had absolutely no interest. I tried to look keen about it, but it really isn't me. I'm neither artistic nor good as physics/maths. After years of being coerced into considering architecture my Dad accepted that it just wasn't the career for me. After this came more years of "She'll make an amazing lawyer... she's so eloquent and loves arguing." Now who wouldn't love to just argue in court all day? Unfortunately law requires lots of things that completely don't interest me, like learning laws for example. I think that probably ruled that out. So I left everyone wondering what I was planning.

One day talking about A-level choices I decided to come out with it. "Papa, I think I want to be a doctor." He didn't look impressed. Most people would be confused by this. Clearly a doctor is a well respected job, most people think it pays well and has a relatively high amount of job security. Why wasn't my Dad jumping up and down with excitement?!

"But it was doctors that killed your mother."

My Dad has a firm belief that the whole reason my Mum died was entirely due to NHS incompetance. Granted she had been going to the GP 3 months before hospital admission and was in hospital another 3 months before she was diagnosed with heavily metasasized terminal cancer. Obviously if the GP would have not dismissed her as having a viral chest infection/flu repeatedly for 3 months then maybe the cancer could have been caught earlier. Somehow I doubt that things were this simple if it took 3 months of on and off hospital admission for anyone to notice that she had cancer. Maybe even if things would have been picked up then nothing would have changed. It certainly doesn't mean that every doctor involved in my Mum's care was useless. Or does it?

I've managed to accept that doctors are only human. But I think this is one of the main reasons I want to become a doctor. To try and stop this happening to other people and to try and reassure myself that doctors aren't incompetant. Unfortunately I'm not always so well reassured (but that's a topic for another post).

Now that I've been studying for a few years, although my Dad still firmly believes that the NHS killed his wife, he's really supportive. In fact he's so supportive that it's verging on hilarious. Not only does he do the typical parent thing of introducing me as "My daughter Lily who studies medicine..." to everyone he meets if I'm there or not, he's taking the boasting to another level. On the phone in a casual conversation I mentioned I'd got a clinical skill signed off that day in my log-book. I explained to him that this meant that I was good enough at the skill for a clinincian to watch me do it and think I'd got the hang of it. Next weekend when I was at home loads of random family friends were congratulating me on it. A little OTT but very amusing. I'm sure it'll soon wear thin when he realises I have about 20 for every rotation.

Although my Dad wasn't keen for me to study medicine, now that I am he's very keen for me to be a surgeon. I think this is from some deep rooted lay-person belief that surgeons are the best and cleverest doctors. I sincerely doubt I'll ever be a surgeon for many reasons, I hate anatomy, I want a family, I like talking to patients and I have a strange obesssion with hormones and babies, to name just a fraction of my many reasons. However I do think surgery is pretty cool and exciting, so if I've been in theatre and I'm chatting to my Dad on the phone after I guess I seem pretty animated talking about it. This is more due to the fact that it's easier to get my Dad to understand what happens in a heart bypass and to tell him about how cool it was seeing a beating heart in someone's chest than it would be explaining how interesting it was seeing a certain ECG of an arrhythmia and how it was being controlled using sotalol which in fact interests me much more.

I think I'm going to have to keep convincing him that surgery isn't the only option for a successful medical student, and to be honest even if deep down he still think's I'd be better off being a surgeon I'm lucky that I can be pretty certain that he'll support me whatever choice I make. A small part of me will always be worried that I've disappointed him though, which I guess is why many people follow their parent's dreams instead of their own.

Lily xXx

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Mystery of the Missing House Officers

Anna gave some amazing advice in my comments for getting the most out of clinics. On the back of this advice myself and a couple of colleagues set off to become super-dooper 3rd years.

Those on a different rotation found this advice amazing. Practically the Holy Grail of studenty tips. They found an amazing FY1 willing to help them learn how to take blood, observe their history sign offs, explain things they didn't understand and help them put together Grand Round presentations. However I came across a little problem. The department I'm with has no FY1s, it also has no FY2s... in fact it only has registrars. Confused I asked why. Specialist nurses I was told. Fantastic I thought. I'll just go and see if a specialist nurse can help. Unfortunately lack of house officers means that the specialist nurses are extremely busy. Too busy to babysit medical students. The registrars are also far too busy to babysit us. Drat.

I've spent today trying to find ways to overcome this.

1. I found some technicians who are willing to show me how to do some tests.
2. Admin at uni say they are organising a course with phlebotomy. Clearly this will be of much value.
3. I am going to try and nab an FY1 from someone else's department that is vaguely similar to mine. This does not mean actual kidnap. I just want to borrow them.

Needless to say I feel like I've wasted today trying to organise things but not getting anything done. I'm also getting worried about the lack of work I'm doing at home. Any tips on studying once in clinical years? I just can't seem to get motivated.

I'm also starting to think about my elective now. More accurately I'm starting to panic, I realise I have almost 2 years to go but it's such an expensive thing. I should probably start trying to budget for it so I know how much to save.

So much to do so little time and even less motivation.

Lily xXx

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Presentation Panic

Argh. I have my first Grand Round presentation tomorrow and I haven't even finished the powerpoint yet!

Thankfully this is just a trial run, but having never seen a Grand Round presentation before I'm not quite sure what I'm doing. To make it worse I really don't have much of a clue about the patient I'm presenting. It's hard to present a case in the second week of clinics when we know so little.

The procrastination is not entirely my fault. I had a really long day today. By the time I'd got in and had dinner it was already 9pm. Then my phone started ringing. I had a nice girly catch up with a girly mate. As soon as I put the phone down from that I had a chat with my Dad and then after that I had a nice long talk with the boyfriend. Excitingly he may come down tomorrow evening which would be totally amazing. Even more excitingly my placement after Xmas is much much closer to him, so seeing him in the week will be even more possible.

I really need to get more proactive in clinics. Although I'm the most vocal member of my group, as a group we don't seem to get much done. I'd really like to find a junior doctor to watch them do examinations and get them to teach me blood taking, but the wards I'm on seem to scare all the junior doctors away. Tomorrow afternoon and Thursday afternoon I shall be going on a doctor hunt...

Lily xXx

Saturday, 4 October 2008

First Week Survived

Against the odds I survived the first week of clinics. More importantly I loved the first week of clinics. We've been warned so much that this year is the time that even some of the most dedicated medical students go out onto the wards for the first time and realise that perhaps medicine isn't the career for them. Because of this, in the back of my mind, I've been worrying that even though I loved the first 2 years of medicine, that maybe I'd completely hate the actual being in hospitals and putting my knowledge to use. So far this totally isn't the case.

My firm heads are both really approachable and helpful. They've also already given us some amazing teaching. I've probably learnt as much in this week with these two consultants as I learnt in a whole month of lectures in 1st or 2nd year.

I also got to see a double coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), findly known as a "cabbage". I found it totally amazing that this surgeon was precise enough to be able to bypass the coronary arteries with little bits of radial and mammary artery. There is no way my sewing could ever get up to that standard.

The only bad thing about clinics is early mornings. Who knew there was a 6am?! I've got into a Grannyish cycle of being in bed by 10. I was so confused this morning where I allowed myself to have a lie in. My body was almost trying to drag itself into the shower and out of the front door by 6.45.

I need to teach myself everything about ECGs before Monday so that I don't look completely stupid, so I should probably go and try and do some work. Or maybe sleep. Sleep would be nice. Really really nice... Mmmmm sleep.

Lily xXx

Sunday, 28 September 2008


Being a sensible girl I put some thought into what I could do to prepare for my first week on clinics, beginning on Monday. There are many things I could have done to prepare. Bought new pens, read up on certain aspects of physiology and pharmacology, I could have even practiced exanation technique on my teddy bears. Instead I went out two nights in a row and got hammered. Really clever. I'm currently fighting off a huge hangover which is only being held back by the fact that I'm still drunk!

On the plus side I have had an amazing weekend. I set things straight with the evil ex of my current without breaking her legs. I had a fab girly night out. I also had a fab night out with the boyf. I even managed to squeeze some underwear shopping into my weekend. Result!

Those who are in the least bit interested about the stage of decoration my flat is at (so that would only be my Dad who doesn't even read this), I still haven't finished decorating. I haven't done any decorating what so ever this week just past. Oh well. I'm getting fond of the half decorated, slightly scatty look that my living room has. On a partially related note BT still hasn't sorted out my phone line. Grrrrr. Fingers crossed that will be done by tomorrow so maybe I can get broadband by 2023. Idiots.

Anyway I am going to die in a corner before attempting to sober up so I can actually drive to London this evening.

Lily xXx

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Start of a New Academic Year

So, I've survived week 1. Even more impressively I've survived week 1 without an internet connection (thanks BT).

This has been a week of learning examination techniques, which at first seemed a little scary but I think I'm getting it all in hand now. The difference in the quality of teaching is amazing. It seems that now we're in 3rd year clinicians are actually interested in teaching us how to do things rather than half heartedly showing us. Even more amazing than the doctors teaching us are the patient educators. What a brilliant idea. Basiacally patients take their own time to come and show us how to examine them. This is great for knowing how hard to push things and prod things and it allows us to find out what bothers the patients most when they're being examined. I'm really looking forward to another week of learning with their help.

Worryingly my stethoscope seems to have escaped. I'm sure I moved it to London with me but I can't find it in my flat. It also isn't at home. Hmmmm. Me thinks I'll need to have a proper dig for it. Fingers crossed I find it because I really don't want to have to buy another one.

The boyfriend is in Vegas at the moment and I miss him loads. His phone bill is going to be huge from phoning me at random times (like 7am on a Sunday morning!!!). I'm upset because he doesn't seem to be enjoying it. He's fallen out with the friend he's gone with. She has never met me and when told about me started to slag me off which is a little harsh, he didn't take it very well. She's also spent the whole holiday so far thinking the world revolves around her. He's thinking of flying home early. It would be amazing to see him, but I just wish he was having a better time so he'd stay out there and get the holiday he deserves.

On a slight tangent my best friends from home are holding a joint birthday party with the boyfriend's psycho-ex. So basically I won't be welcome. Neither of my friends realise this, but with all the trouble she's caused it's obvious she hates me. It would be cruel of me to go to her birthday and ruin it for her. I also wouldn't go without the boyfriend. This is because I only see him on weekends and I enjoy going out with him. Obviously dragging him along would make me a total bitch. Grrr. I'm so upset about it that I've even had a little cry. I just can't fathom how my friends could be friends with someone who's actively tried to ruin the best relationship I've ever been in. I really really want to go and celebrate two of my best friend's birthdays, but I can't if she's there. Unlike her I'd feel awful if I went and upset her on her birthday. Double grrrrr. I guess I'll just have to see if I can meet up with the two friends some other time.

Lily xXx

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Random Googles 3

Over the last week people googling this site have tended to follow a pattern. Lots of people googling about first day as med students or life as med students. Clearly it's almost the start of a new term. If you've found this blog because you're starting medical school in the near future and were feeling worried or just interested... good luck! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

I seem to have alot more people coming to this site wondering about an allergy to DFS sofa's. This has started to get me worried. After a day in my flat I break out in hives. Maybe there is a problem with DFS sofas?! Argh!

Concerningly someone searched "masturbating with sandwich bags" and found my blog.
(I said LOL the other say when something was funny. Should I be worried?)

Lily xXx

Complete Disorganisation

I start uni again on Monday. I have so much to do but can't bring myself to actually do it. I have yet to move most of my stuff to London, haven't finished decorating, haven't bought the type of paper I like to write on and just generally am all over the place.

Thankfully the weekend after I start uni I have totally nothing planned so I can retrospectively organise myself and see if some friends will come over and help me put on the last coat of paint. Hurrah.

Strangely, now that I have a timetable so know what I'm doing, I'm not really bothered that I'm so disorganised. I think this is because the first fortnight is mainly lectures and small group sessions on clinical examination. It means I have a fair amount of spare time to get stuff done then.

I am planning a trip to London tomorrow to move most of my stuff up. We'll see if this actually happens because I'd planned on doing it today but never got around to it.

Seriously looking forward to student loan day on Monday. I'm hoping I have enough money left in my account to put £30 of petrol in the car so I can get to London and back tomorrow and then back to London on Sunday with a bit of driving around town inbetween. This also means I can do my last Ikea trip at some point and get my kitchen table and chairs.

Looking back to last week everything seems to have sorted itself out a bit. Madsadgirl's comment really helped. It made me see that I'm not a total freak with the nightmares and that other people go through the same thing. I also managed to sort things out with the boy. We had a big chat about what was bothering us both and I had a good old cry about everything I'd been bottling up. In fact I don't think I've ever cried like that in front of anyone. I hate people feeling sorry for me. It'll be nice to go back to uni with my head in the right place for once.

Lily xXx

Friday, 5 September 2008

Mindless Self Pity and Miserable Drivel

The comments left on my last post have really knocked some sense into me. I think I'm just making excuses as to why I shouldn't do this diploma because I'm a coward. It's scary going somewhere new, scary meeting new people and scary thinking that I may not be clever enough to pass it once I start it. So as of today no more excuses. I need to stop being such a 'fraidy cat so I've applied, and if the diploma people want me, then I'm going to say yes.

*** Self-Pity Warning***

I'm in a bit of a funny mood today. I had two awful nightmares last night. The first nightmare was incredibly graphic. I dreamt I was in a big house with my closest friends and family and we all got shot. To make it worse I left one of my friends, shot in the stomach and bleeding to death while I ran away out of the window. Now I realise this was only a dream but I still feel really guilty. I woke up after this and considered getting up and going home as I was at the boyfriends (long story behind this which will become clear in a moment.) but decided that splashing some cold water on my face and calming down was probably best. The boyfriend woke up while I was calming myself down elsewhere in the flat so was there for a bit of a cuddle to make me feel better when I got back into bed. Usually this solves my nightmares completely and I sleep well after that. Unfortunately last night this wasn't the case. Almost immediately I had another nightmare. My least favourite type of nightmare. It's always pretty much the same. I'm doing something mundane and ordinary with my mum. Then I realise that I'm with my mum, she's not dead, but she'd just gone away or was ill and came back. This usually carries on with her being ill again and me having absolutely no control over her dying again no matter how hard I try. It's impossible to find words to describe how heart wrenchingly devastating this type of nightmare is. The only solace is that it means I get to see my mum again, even if it is only in a dream.

After these nightmares I had a complete crushing sense of misery. I could hardly breathe. I kept waking myself up gasping for breath and then struggled to get back to sleep because it felt like I had a brick in my chest where my heart should be.

Added to all of this is the feeling of guilt I have. As if the boyfriend doesn't have enough on his plate without me going all miserable and weird. Because of me he had practically no sleep the night before a big meeting at work. He's going through a much tougher time than I am at the moment and I really should be there for him. I'm trying. I managed to not completely lose my temper with him when he hurt my feelings yesterday because I know he's going through a tough time. His Grandma passed away two days ago, and I'm struggling to know what to say. It's hard being there for someone who is quite guarded with their feelings. It's hard to try to think of someone else and not be so self centred about the way I feel. It's hard to know what is allowing someone a bit of slack because they're upset and what is letting someone get away with too much. It's hard feeling that I don't have anyone here I can talk to about it.

Lily xXx