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