Wednesday, 30 April 2008

More Non-Exam Related Rubbishness

Went to the doctors today and my blood tests were 100% normal... hurrah!! Unfortunately this leaves a big mystery as to why even more sore lymph nodes have come up and why my neck is now bulgy on one-side. Aparrently my blood tests should have shown if I had glandular fever... but the tests say no. So that kind of rules that out, although I could still have a viral infection hiding somewhere. Scarily the doctor is now wanting to rule out lymphoma and TB.

To rule these out she sent me for a chest xray. This went fine although I felt like a midget because they had to move the thing I pressed my chest against really low. The gown they gave me also touched the floor. Very attractive. It took me a good 5 minutes to decide how to tie it up too. Completely baffling. What was wrong with my plain easy to put on T-shirt?

Anyway the radiographer wouldn't let me see my chest afterwards. He was all secretive. I'm telling myself that it's just because thats what he's been told to do but my paranoid side along with the fact he was highly confused at me being an outpatient is making me worry something is wrong. Probably best not to think about it until I see the GP next week.

On the way home the TFL ticket inspectors made me cry. Apparently I hadn't touched out and back in at the tube station where the hospital was. I totally did. I even remember exclaiming to my flatmate "Ooooh. I've only paid 80p for this journey. I must have spent upto a travelcard today." Anyway according to their computer I got on the tube at my home stop, roamed the underground for an hour and a half, and then got back on the right train to go home. The man was really aggressive over it and started telling me off for being a liar and that I could go to court. I told him he could phone the hospital to double check I had actually been there for over half an hour, and there was no other way I could get off/on the tube at that stop without touching in and out. Eventually he made me cry and the whole crew of 4 inspectors who had been bulling me decided to "give me the benefit of the doubt". A mixture of this, feeling ill and the last few days of worry just all got far too much for me and I ran home from the station in tears and sat in bed crying all afternoon.

Unfortunately my flatmate had a hellish exam this afternoon. Fortunately she's brought haribo home to cheer herself up and is feeding me them too! Yum yum yum. It seems she has been a victim of the annoyingness of course supervisors writing exam papers not realising what the students have covered. Everyone in the group found the exam near impossible and couldn't recall covering most of the topics. I know how hard she worked for these exams so I'm really frustrated for her. Fingers crossed mine don't go the same way.

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Calmer and Feeling Better

I'm alot calmer today. I totally freaked out unnecessarily. The chances of there being anything more than a virus wrong with me are pretty slim. I think they're just being ultra precautious because if there was anything major wrong and they missed it, that would be very very very bad. I just hope that whatever they find out it is they can stop because the lumps are getting bigger. My neck is all swollen on one side and the lumps in front of my ear are getting hugely bigger too. Less noticably to look at, but much more to feel, the lumps on my lower neck/upper back are getting huge. It's now sore to shrug my shoulders or lie on my back. Moan moan moan...

I've managed to do some work today. Hurrah! Not as much as I would like however, I keep getting stuck on genetics lectures (not my forte) and it takes me ages to make revision notes from them. So in the spirit of procrastination I've made soup. Mmmmm. It's chickpea and chorizo soup.

On the subject of food, I went out for thai last night. I love thai food. I had a huge plate of pad thai. I always have a huge dilemma over what to choose. Everything on the menu is so tasty. I nearly always go for pad thai though because it's been my favourite food since I was about 8. I've thought about learning to cook it, but its a scary thought. I think I'd cry if I ruined it.

Fingers crossed the library will have power from tomorrow again. Hurrah! Then I can get my revision boots back on and not be distracted by lovely lovely food. Mmmmm.

Lily xXx

Monday, 28 April 2008

Very Worried

Today has been poo.

Got up early to go to the library. Still no power. This means there was only a tiny little library for everyone. So I tried to get cosy in the little library. It's dusty, and rubbish and boiling hot. I thought I was going to pass out.

Because I felt so rubbish and it's been going on for ages I decided to combat my fear of doctors (I know this is a strange fear since I want to be one), and go to the walk-in clinic at uni. After spending 20 minutes sitting in a room being coughed on by lots of grumpy looking students, I saw a nurse. She was so excited by my lymph nodes and general grottyness that she recommended I saw the doctor after repeatedly squishing them and telling me she'd never seen any so huge. I was proud in a way.

So I waited another 15 minutes to see the doctor. She seemed nice at first. This was until she started poking me. It hurt alot. I guess this is good as it meant she had a proper feel of all my lumps and bumps, but I didn't feel that way at the time. As she probed symptoms out of me she gradually started to look more and more worried. This meant she poked me all over (including my ankles). In fact I've never had such a thorough examination.

After this I got sent back to the dramatic nurse to get blood tests done. The doctor said "We'll just do a little test to check if it's a bacterial or viral infection that can be delt with easily". The nurse started getting out loads of blood tubes. She then started rabbiting on in an excited way that they only check this many things when they think something is serious wrong. She then mentioned leukaemia and how my symptoms are textbook. Great.

Now I'm really worried. They put my blood tests through as urgent so the results will be in Wednesday when I have another appointment. I realise the chances of it being anything serious are pretty slim, but now an evil seed of thought is germinating in my brain. I just couldn't concentrate on my work today. I just kept phasing out and getting myself in even more of a state.

Going to try and do some work tomorrow because I really don't want to fall behind. Unfortunately the library won't have power until later in the week and I struggle to concentrate at home. Too many distractions.

Lily xXx

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Friendly Happy People

Today I met the nicest uni security man ever. Usually the uni security men are either asleep or busy shouting at us for breathing too loudly as we walk through a doorway. Today however, this wasn't the case.

I was trying to swipe into the building which contains our library this morning (Yes, library revision session on a Saturday. I am SO dedicated.) but my card wouldn't work. The security man was outside about to have a cigarette and noticed my problem. Before I know it he was ushering me inside, sitting me on his little security chair and telling me how awful it is that they haven't activated all of our swipes for 24hr access. Not only did he tell me this but he also showed me all the shiny new security computers. After about 20 minutes of relationship advice from him to me, and his lavishing praise on me as a nice person I was in a fantastic mood. He also pointed something important out. I pay to go to uni. This means I shouldn't be so surprised when a security person offers to actually help. Amusingly he also has an obsession with my flatmate's tongue piercing.

Anyway now he knows me by name and shouts "Hello madame lily!" every time I walk past. Stopping for a 15 minute chat every time I go outside to stretch my legs and have something to eat probably doesn't help my productivity, but it certainly helps my mood. I hope Mr Friendly-Security-Man is there tomorrow.

Lily xXx

Friday, 25 April 2008

Beginning of the End

Woo Hoo!! Handed in my dissertation today! Now it feels like the beginning of the end of the year. I had a big urge to run around in circles and do a special dance... instead I went to the library to start revision. Oh what fun.

I might be considered a bit weird to admit to this, but I actually like revision. I would even say I like exams. I hate the pressure and the fact I have to pass them. I just like the quietness. I like sitting quietly in the library writing notes. I like sitting quietly in exams writing questions. I just wish i didn't need to know so much. I also wish exams were when it was raining. Not when the sun was shining brightly like it was today.

The other amazing thing about revision is the amount of people I see. I've been on a different campus this year, so can go months not seeing people. Today I've seen at least 10 people I haven't seen in weeks but really get along with.

What I don't get is those people who arrive at the library at 3 or 4 in the afternoon and leave the next morning. How do they do it? I enjoy my 9-5 at the library, I don't think I could focus for any longer. I certainly couldn't stay up all night and revise. I'd end up sleeping all the way through my exams.

Had one of my favourite foods today. Flagolet beans the way my Dad makes them. Basically you empty the can into a pan with some salt, pepper, butter, garlic and a chicken stock cube. Cook for a bit and add freshly chopped parsley. Yum.

Lily xXx

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Feeling Good.

It's amazing what a good night's sleep can do. I went to bed feeling awful, and I've woken up feeling pretty okay. Bit sore and achey, but I'm sure I'll survive. Confusingly my lymph node lumps are getting bigger though. I think I'm turning into elephant-girl.

Today I've managed to do loads, while not doing much at all. I caught up with all the emails I had to send and tidied up because the gas man was coming to give the flat a check over. Lucky I tidied up because my landlord turned up to say hello. Not so lucky that I was still in my PJs with my hair going in about 20 different directions.

I also managed a monster trip to tesco. My flatmate and I bought enough food to last us 2 if not 3 weeks. Tomorrow I'll be having a cooking evening after being at the library in the day so I can fill the freezer up with homemade ready meals. Yum yum yum. I also got some fish fingers. Mmmmmm, fish finger sandwiches.

On the subject of yummyness I get a free dinner tonight. For some bizzare reason the volunteering section of my uni has decided that they're hosting an evening of food and champagne for us little volunteers. Unfortunately no-one else in the group I volunteer with can come because of exams and dissertations, so I'm dragging my flatmate along. She has to pretend she's with the charity. Fingers crossed no-one asks her any questions.

Lily xXx

Wednesday, 23 April 2008


I have plague. I feel awful. The occipital lymph node on one side of my head is hugely swollen, and now the ones on the base of my neck and in front of my ear are huge too! I don't know whether or not I should bother with going to the doctors about it. I don't want to waste mine and the GP's time if I just need time and rest.

On the plus side i finished my dissertation (although I've done it without the extra sets of results as my supervisor is still ignoring me).

I'm going to bed to try and get better now. That is as soon as I've cleaned the flat a bit because our landlord is coming over tomorrow. Great.

Lily xXx

Monday, 21 April 2008

Drug Trafficing NHS Style

I have just had the most complicated, non-dissertation related, 2 hours of the whole year. My Dad has a hotel, and this afternoon a coach arrived from a retirement village "Up North". After unloading all the luggage it became clear that 7 cases had been left behind. Upsettingly this was due to a lack of communication in the group, a few people thought the cases they had left had been loaded on to the coach by someone else.

So we have 7 customers without luggage. As if not having all your clothes and toiletries isn't bad enough all 7 customers had their medication in their suitcases. I'm sure it doesn't take much imagination to visualise how upset these 6 ladies and 1 gentleman were.

As noone else in the building seems to have a heart I spent a few minutes getting everyone a cup of tea and calming them down a bit. Although not ideal as people's pensions don't give them much spending money, the clothing issue could be solved by a trip into town. This is only a 10 minute walk, and I was more than happy to drop off those who struggle with walking too far and to pick them up. What proved difficult is replacing the medication.

After some tears and panic I stupidly reassured these customers that I'd help them get their replacement medication sorted out. Easier said than done. The GPs in their home town were insistant they could take lists of their medication to a local GP and get emergency prescriptions. The local GPs said the pharmacy could do it from a fax from the home GPs. The pharmacist said he wouldn't give out anything from a fax and wanted everything signed by hand. Deadlock.

Trying to be smart I phoned a nurse I know at the local walk-in to see if they knew a doctor who would talk to the northern GP on the phone and sign the emergency prescriptions. As our walk-in is a nurse led service no doctors would be around until after 7pm. The northern GPs all close by 6pm.

So I talked to one of the northern GPs again and he agreed that under the emergency provision of medication act or some such legislation the pharmacy should just prescribe a short supply of the drugs with a fax. So I got him to phone the pharmacy. They still wouldn't budge.

After about half an hour of more calls backwards and forwards (wasting everybodies time), the pharmacy finally decided that as long as they could talk to the GP on the phone to confirm the fax was right they'd dispense the medication. Hurrah. This was until they saw how much medication was needed. One of the group is on 19 different tablets a day, the lowest number of tablets any one person in that group took was 6. So the pharmacy has decided again that it won't dispense the drugs.

I've just phoned the most helpful of the northern GPs again (it's his day off), and he's said he'll try and argue the case with the pharmacy. Meanwhile there are 7 upset and stressed out people sitting in the hotel lounge convinced they will die before they go home on Friday. Granted some of the drugs people are taking are probably not essential, and not having them for 4 days won't make a huge imapct on their overall health, but one person in particular suffers from bad angina and is petrified she won't be able to cope without her medication. Another told me she was on antibiotics for a kidney infection... surely 4 days without her medication will cause her harm.

When talking to the pharmacy/local GP about this apparently they told both people involved that they would just have to cope, and if they felt ill over their holiday they should just go to A&E. As if A&E isn't busy enough, and to make it worse the nearest A&E to us is a half hour drive away.

I'm starting to think I'd be better off doing a drug run Up North to pick up the missing cases... it would only by 6/7 hours either way....

I'm not quite sure what to make of this farce today. Yes it was the patients own faults for forgetting their medication, but it was a genuine mistake. I really hope it doesn't spoil their holiday too much.

Lily xXx

... just in case anyone is interested I still haven't been sent those results.

Still Dissertationing

This intercalated BSc has turned me boring. I've realised that all i think/talk about at the moment is my dissertation. What am I going to do at the end of the week when it's handed in? Then I'll only have revision to moan about.

Still haven't been sent those results. Annoying. However I have added an extra 1000 words to my introduction, so my dissertation is sitting at a much more respectable length. I never know how much is acceptable to write when given a maximum word limit. Am I supposed to write upto the maximum? As it is a maximum clearly the 10% either way of the limit doesn't apply, but maybe the minimum is 10% below. Or it could even be that I just stop writing when I feel I've said enough. Confused. My word-count is currently 8100, for 10000 word limit dissertation. Once I've bulked out my discussion a bit I should be at 9000, but I don't want to write loads and have to cut it all out if I get these results. I also don't want to be trying to write 1900 words tomorrow before I get the thing bound because my stupidvisor hasn't sent me the results.

I am also now faced with the dilemma of what colour cardboard to have on the back of my dissertation. Blue might be nice, I like blue alot. Red could be symbolic though, I took blood for my project thats red, and I've definitely been so angry I've been seeing red. A friend suggested brown because my project is vaguely related to the gut and poo is brown. Oh the choices.

I'm off to Argos to buy a stupidly cheap colour printer for my graphs now, as my superfast laser printer is just black and white. I've worked out that it's cheaper to buy a new colour printer than to buy the cartridges for the 9 year old printer covered in dust that I found in a cupboard last night. Madness.

Lily xXx

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Dissertation Blues

19th of April... That leaves 6 days until the 25th of April. My deadline. Clearly I don't want to be rushing about with anything to do with my dissertation except hand it in on the 25th, so realistically it needs to be ready on the 24th. By being ready on the 24th, it needs to be bound, so the writing needs to be done by the 23rd. I'd like a day to fiddle around and make sure things are worded perfectly and the lay out is spot on, so this brings me to the 22nd. So why, 3 days before i need this all to be done has my tutor gone AWOL?! He's not sent the results he insists I should add into my project and I can't get hold of him. Grrrr.

This dilemma leaves me in two minds.
1. Ignore him. Just finish off my dissertation as it is. Slight problem as he is one of the people marking the dissertations.

2. Wait until Monday (thats the 21st), probably manage to get the results by 5.30/6pm, sit up all night struggling to statistically analyse, present nicely and then discuss these results. Probably do badly as I'm rushing and drag the overall quality of the project down.

I think the most sensible thing at the moment is to spend today and tomorrow perfecting the dissertation as it is, and then IF i get the results on monday I have the option of pulling an all nighter to get them added in and explained in a half decent manner.

More and more I'm starting to feel like both the unlucky and stupid one doing my BSc. Everyone else seems to be coping fine with their write-ups, just happily getting on with it. No doubt helped by the actual feedback they've got, as opposed to the non-exsistant feedback I've had. I'm usually completely fine doing things independently, but for once I would really like one of my supervisors to be willing to look over what I've written, even if it's just quickly for 10 minutes and tell me whether or not I'm going in the right direction. It seems that compared to everyone else I'm going to be handing in what is more like a first draft, while they've had the opportunity to adjust their work with feedback.

"Talk to the head of your course about this!" all the people i tell say, "It's not fair, they should sort it out." Well I have been trying to talk to the head of my course... because he's my supervisor!!!

This is really getting me down.

Lily xXx

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Sick Day

That tummy ache I mentioned. It turned into a fully fledged tummy bug. Not only did I vomit all over the bathroom, all over myself and all over my favorite PJs, I also managed to throw up so violently I got a nose bleed. I was also convinced that I phoned my Dad from my bedroom to tell him how ill I was. When I saw him a few hours later I was really upset that he hadn't even bothered to check on me, in fact he didn't even ask if I was feeling better. Turns out I didn't call him, I just made it up in my fever-addled brain.

The family cure for stomach bugs is apparently tonic water. So I was forced to drink tonic water. Mixed in with a bit of vodka I'd have not complained but apparently it doesn't work with vodka. After years of drinking vodka and tonics it was only this morning i discovered what tonic tastes like. Bile. Yummy.

My tutor still hasn't sent me the results to put in my disseration which is due in on the 25th. I really hope he sends them today or tomorrow because I want it all finished by monday so I can have it bound. Not a happy bunny.

Lily xXx

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Wanted : 2000 Words.

Finally, this morning, I finished the first draft of my dissertation. It's not amazing, I think I'd probably struggle to get 50% if I handed it in as it is, but it's a nice start. While talking to everyone else writing their dissertations they all seem to have the opposite problem to me. Everyone seems to be well over the maximum word count, whereas I feel I need another 2000 words to make mine acceptable to hand in. Unfortunately I have no idea what to put in these 2000 words. I still have one set of results waiting to come back, so all in all that will probably account for anywhere between 500 - 700 words once I've slotted it in the discussion too. This still leaves me with 1000 words to come from nowhere. I presumed I'd be able to flesh out my introduction a little more, but I really can't think of much else to write without straying off topic.

I feel slightly better because someone who told me they were 2000 words over their limit, has now told me their limit is only 6,000 words, but others in my group who have a 10,000 word limit seem to be freaking out about writing too much.

I still have 10 days until the deadline, but ideally I'd like to have the whole thing done by the end of this week to give me time to get it spiral bound. I'd also like to get it done because it's now all i talk about. It's ruling my life completely.

I also have tummy ache. Perhaps having half an easter egg for breakfast and half for lunch wasn't the best cullinary idea I have ever had. It's not even as if I really like chocolate. I was just hungry and lazy. The only nice way to have chocolate is chocolate milk. Mmmmm... Maybe I'll have chocolate milk for dinner.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Busy Bee

What a busy weekend. Unfortunately not with my dissertation.

I ended up waitressing for a Gala dinner with a load of retired navy servicemen and women. Originally I dreaded the thought of going back to waitressing. I seem to have this scary tremor in my hands, which as you can imagine doesn't exactly help when it comes to food service. Anyway. I met some really nice people. All the customers were really chatty and lovely to me and I've noticed that what I've missed most whilst intercalating is talking to people. Obviously I talk to my friends, and I work behind a bar which involves a bit of banter, but I rarely get to have an actual conversation with someone I've never met before. On the rare GP and hospital visits in my first two years of medicine I adored being able to chat with people. Hopefully I'll still have some time for it next year.

I also won some bubble bath in a raffle they had at the gala dinner. Bonus! It's not just any bubble bath, its Marks and Spencer's Luxury Moisturising Bubble Bath. The perfect excuse to have an extra long bath with a book after I finished work. Total bliss.

My dissertation also got put on hold to spend most of this afternoon with an old friend. By that I mean a friend I've had a while, as opposed to a friend who is old. I feel so much happier now I had an afternoon of being laid back, that I'm confident I can approach the rest of my dissertation like a well oiled dissertation machine.

Unfortunately I have to waste the whole of tomorrow travelling back to London to put some samples in numerical order for my supervisor so he can measure something he is interested in, in the samples. I'm going to try and take my draft of my dissertation on the train with me and scribble down improvements but I get so travel sick. Probably I'll spend most of my train time trying to sleep so I don't vomit all over myself. The only cure for my travel sickness is to sing out loud. This doesn't go down well on crowded commuter trains.

Lily xXx

Friday, 11 April 2008

Spoke Too Soon

It seems that I jinxed myself by being mildly positive about my BSc. It turns out I have to do loads of really hard stuff for my results, involving the dreaded SPSS, when one of my supervisors told me not to bother. It also turns out I've got to measure more stuff in the lab and add it into the project but still get it written and spiral bound by the 25th of this month! And just when I thought it was all coming to an end... it has been suggested I come back in the summer and double my sample size so I can write a publishable paper. On the surface this seems quite nice... who wouldn't want a paper published? In reality it means I have to find healthy male volunteers who can spare 2 whole mornings!! I've found out this is near impossible. Something tells me that I am going to have many sleepless nights over the summer trying to think of devious yet ethically sound ways to convince people to volunteer for my project.

So today has been spent not doing by dissertation but trying to make SPSS work. I guess if i completely work my socks off tomorrow I can make sure the first draft is nice and finished (obviously minus all the other stuff I now have to do in the lab.). Unfortunately I seem to have a problem workng my socks off. Probably because I have been wearing flip flops and not socks at all for the last few days.

Lily xXx

Thursday, 10 April 2008

No Worries...

Hurrah! It is done. I survived! I have now officially done my last presentation of the academic year. I think it went OK. I was last so everyone was pretty much asleep when I started, and I had to shout above the sound of drilling in the other room but all in all it wasn't too bad. I only got asked 4 or 5 questions, which compared to other people's grillings was really nice. There are 3 possible reasons for this:

1. The examiners were brain dead after sitting through so many complicated presentations.
2. My presentation was so awful they didn't see the point in prolonging the pain by asking too many questions.
3. My presentation covered my project pretty well and didn't leave too many questions to ask (hoping its this reason!!).

All the questions were in my opinion really easy to answer (but that might just be because I sat up really late the night before reading everything to do with the assays I used so any question would be easy.) so i left with a big smile on my face. Unfortunately from about 2 minutes before my presentation I decided I was dying for a wee. So I spent the whole 20 minutes of my presentation/questions thinking more about my bladder than anything else. Thank goodness its worth only about 2% of my final grade. Curiously the second my presentation was over I didn't need a wee at all, clearly this BSc is sending me loco.

Rather than knuckling down and finishing my dissertation I decided to travel home after the presentation. So since I've been home, as much as I've told myself I'll do some work. I just haven't. So today I'm going to totally finish the first draft of my dissertation. And after I've finished my draft I am going to a High School Musical birthday party! Woo! Oh to be 9 years old again... Although I'm sure when I was 9 i never got a party with 55 friends invited. I don't think i ever had 55 friends all at one time in one place.

On a completely unrelated note I started reading a new book yesterday. It's called The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters. It's really weird, but so far its the good type of weird. I had crazy dreams last night. Not quite as crazy as my dream the other night where I had a whole herd of elephants. All my elephants wanted was a tin of chopped tomatoes for dinner. Unfortunately I had nothing but 2 bread rolls to feed all of them. It was quite Biblical.

Lily xXx

Monday, 7 April 2008


It may be that I'm suffering a permanent state of PMT or it may just be that I've always been cranky and only have started to realise it now... but everything seems to make me really angry.

Yesterday's angry moment was when a friend forwarded me a link. Happy to waste some time I clicked on this link and off I was taken to a pretty website. But wait. This website was selling essays and dissertations. Not even plagiarised ones, but hand written ones. In fact for the bargaintastic (note my sarcasm) price of £4000 I could have a 10000 word dissertation, guaranteed to get a 1st in only 2 weeks. This made me so angry. Clearly if the website is there it is because people are using this and cheating. I HATE cheats. People like me, and most other students, work so hard to try and get a reasonable grade and then some rich kids with loads of money to burn can basically just buy their degrees. What upset me even more was that the website proclaimed to be "against cheating" and said the essays and dissertations should only be used for "research". Rubbish. They know that people are buying these to hand in as their own, so they should at least be honest about this shady little operation. I hope they all get paper cuts from handling their oodles of dirty money, and then i hope the paper cuts get infected and their hands fall off. That'll teach 'em.

Today I had a less angry moment, but it was still pretty angry. I bought a salad from a mini-supermarket near uni. Opened up my salad, mindlessly poured the salad dressing on, and looked down. There was literally (and I'm not exaggerating) 1/4 of a lettuce in there, in one big chunk. Thus making it impossible to properly mix my salad. Needless to say I got lots of weird looks when trying to cut up my salad with the provided spork. Even with all that effort I still just had a huge mutilated chunk of lettuce. From now on I shall make my own... or live off tic tacs.

Tomorrow I have my project presentation. I watched some of my classmates do theirs today and now I'm filled with fear. Past presentations have proven that the examiners are out to grill us at question time, but today was beyond belief. To make life worse one of the examiners is one of my supervisors and he seems to get some perverse pleasure out of telling me to do things and then shouting at me in presentations because they're wrong. He also disagrees with everything that my other supervisor says. Oh tomorrow should be fun.

Lily xXx

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Crazy Changing Weather

Sorry everyone. My talking about how beautiful the weather is getting has clearly jinxed us all. I woke up this morning to find it had snowed so much that children were throwing snowballs at each other outside. In fact it's still snowing a little now. It must have been a fair bit of snow because in central London, usually within an hour or two of people being outside, everything turns to a horrible icy slush.

No playing in the snow for me today though. Not at all. I've made myself a rigorous timetable for the next few days, so by Friday morning I have a complete first draft of my dissertation. I think I am possibly being a little optimisitic when I think this will give my supervisors time to look at it, but at least it will give me the time to put it away for a few days and come back to it with a fresh mind.

A little bit scarily I have a presentation about the project on Tuesday. I'm not exactly a shy person, In fact Id say I pretty much love being the centre of attention. So I have no idea why I'm so nervous. Probably it's due to the total grilling I've had on my last two presentations. Not to mention the high quality of everyone else's. All I can really say about mine was "Drug X had absolutely no significant effect on A, B or C. Therefore Drug X does not cause its bad effects through A, B or C." It would be much easier if I was actually showing something as opposed to nothing. Amusingly someone I know did a project on some health risks from cannabis smoking, and their project showed that smoking cannabis was better for your health. Completely against all the other research. At least I dont have as tough a job explaining mine as she will.

Lily xXx

Friday, 4 April 2008

The Sun Has Got His Hat On

It's now 2 days in a row the sun has been out. In fact it was so nice I was able to walk along the southbank this afternoon in just a T-shirt and not feel the slightest bit chilly. I always feel that the true sign of when revision needs to start in earnest is when the sun is shining. A sure sign of when exams are over is when it starts to rain again. In fact, at the end of first year, as I went into my first exam the sun was blazing and as I left there was an almost tropical rain storm. Fingers crossed summer lasts a little longer than the exam period this year. Even if it doesn't last, looking for my flip flops is a fantastic procrastination technique.

Lily xXx

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Temper Tantrum

For the first time in months I lost my temper today. Quite frequently people come up to me and ask me about their medical problems, usually showing me crusty sores on their feet or moaning about their morning's bowel movements. Usually I don't mind listening and I'm willing to give some common sense advice which usually goes along the lines of "If it's bothering you go to see your GP." or "Since you've been throwing up all day make sure you drink lots of fluids" and other things that any normal non-medical person would recommend. I also always make a point of reminding people that I'm just a medical student, and I'm not that far into my studies, so I actually probably know nothing more about their problem than they do and certainly cannot give them proper medical advice.

Today some middle-aged grumpy woman who vaguely knows my dad came upto me in the chemist and asked me to explain the medication she'd been prescribed. I was totally honest with her and said I had absolutely no idea what these tablets were, or what they were for, but why didn't she take the opportunity of being in the chemist and ask the pharmacist. She then said, in the most accusitory tone, that it was clear that either I'm lying about being at medical school or that I'm incredibly stupid because surely after almost 3 years at uni I should know about the medication she is on. Needless to say I ended up snapping at her that as much as I enjoy reading the BNF and pharmacology textbooks constantly in my free time (or not!!) that she was right and I must just be stupid not to know everything by now. In fact I'm clearly so stupid that she shouldn't waste her valuable breath bothering to talk to me. Grrrr

As I am clearly thick, I'm going to spend the rest of this afternoon making pizzas from scratch for the football tonight instead of writing my dissertation. I hope my pizza dough works out, but maybe I was too stupid to read the recipe properly.

Lily xXx

Edit: The pizza bases stuck, clearly I am to stupid to even follow a simple recipe.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008


OK. I realise I've moaned a lot about my supervisor, but today in just 2 hours he was so useful that I'm starting to think that he might actually be secretely brilliant. He spent 2 hours this morning going through 6 of our project presentations and made amazingly useful comments. He also gave us loads of tips on answering questions and general presentation manner. It's never really occured to me that a scientist who presents well is like a politician, they make whatever information they have sound interesting and relevant, even if its not really showing anything new. I learnt an apt new saying today, "There are lies, damn lies and statistics". Very very very true.

I left Uni this morning feeling alot better about my project, so i decided to get some more of my write up done. 6 pages of results later, it just wouldn't save. Nooooo. I've finally learnt the hard way to press the save button every few minutes. I'm trying to look on the positive side, at least now I know I can do those 6 pages again without having to think as hard.

Only 23 days until the deadline... eek!

Lily xXx