Monday, 30 August 2010

Hayfever Attacks

Today has been a hayfever hell day for me. I have sneezed so much that I'm quite surprised that my brain hasn't come out of my nose, or my eyeballs popped out of their sockets.

Not only have I spent all morning looking like I've been crying, I almost did cry when I spent the whole of my lunch in a lovely beer garden sneezing so much that I could hardly eat. Thankfully I made up for it with apple crumble after dinner... nom noms!

I'm now trying to pack for elective (yes, I know I'm leaving it last minute), and I seem to be disturbing dust on everything so the sneezing has started again.

At this rate they won't let me on the plane as they'll think that I'm highly contagious.

It still hasn't hit me that I only have 2 sleeps until I'm off to the South Pacific... that is if I ever actually manage to pack a bag!!

I'm sure that once I go the next year will be a whirlwind.

Less than a week after getting back FY1 applications open. It's also back to uni and off to another placement. 8 weeks of actually working with an FY1 as a real part of the team. Then it'll be Christmas, when I'm guessing I should probably start revising for finals as rumour has it that cramming is a bad move.

It's strange to think that in less than a year, if I pass all my exams, I'll be working as a doctor. It's also more than a little scary!

Lily xXx

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Welcome to England

I was interrupted from deciding between a kitkat or a bag of crispies at the petrol station by the sound of our radio... "emergency call in your car for you".

All thoughts of snacks were forgotten as we bundled back into the carbulance.

"Patient shot with pellet gun"

Can't be too bad can it? Oh well, it says red call.... off we go.

About 6.5 minutes later we turn into the road.

2 police cars, 3 police vans, numerous teenagers locked in the back of one. All seems a bit much for what we presumed was a drunken accident with a pellet gun. No time to ask right now, we just make our way to the patient.

The patient is sitting on the side of the road. He doesn't speak more than a few words of English, nor do his friends. He's clearly distressed, in pain and struggling for breath. His friend is on the phone to someone from home howling inconsolably the shock and panic in his eyes.

They were playing a game of cards after work. They're only in England for a few days. Shame their overriding memory of English people will be the chavs who hid in the bushes with an air rifle trying to shoot them in the heads, succeeding in shooting one of them in the right hand side of his chest.

We took one look at the patient. He had a big pellet wound to the right of his sternal edge at around nipple height. No exit wound. You could feel the surgical emphysema, but otherwise, apart from breathless, the patient seemed stable.

We couldn't very well tie him to the roof of our car and take him into the hospital so we called for a truck. The nearest one was 20 mins away on lights. Bugger. Even with him being stable now we didn't fancy sitting there for 20 minutes with a pellet rattling around somewhere in his lung, next to his heart.

We had an idea. We were only 3 minutes away from a hospital and there was a pretty police van. That would do!

After a little sweet talking the police let us pile in to the van. I felt sorry for them, they looked nothing but panicked as we fiddled with O2 canisters and cut the patient free of his clothes. I think they were glad to be rid of us after the 3 minutes.

When we got to hospital and handed over the patient in one piece I realised something. My curse of the observer had gone and instead I'd got the drama I'd be hoping for. Should be careful what I wish for.

Lily xXx

Monday, 23 August 2010

First Placement Over :-(

The first part of my elective is done.

I'll probably never get to ride in an ambulance as an observer again, and I'm very much hoping I won't have to ride in one as a patient either. Not that I don't think they're wonderful. They are. But still... I'd rather not get ill/injured.

I'm going to really miss it.

Everyone was so friendly and lovely to me. The banter was great. The patients were partially interesting, partially horrifying, partially frustrating... but all part of a great learning experience.

What I won't miss however is sitting around for 3 hours with no jobs, going to take a bite into a sandwich... getting a job before I've even sunk my teeth in and then not stopping until 45 minutes after we were supposed to be at home.

I've learnt some valuable things I'll never forget.

1. Listen to paramedics doing handovers. They met the patient before anyone in the hospital.

2. Coffee is not a luxury, it is like petrol for people. For this reason nice ambulance people should be given cups of coffee at every opportunity.

3. Paramedics have loooooong shifts, have to sit in a van with smelly patients and deal with grumpy and abusive people. I should be thankful I'm not locked in a van with all of my patients.

4. "Foxtrot Oscar" ... my favourite technical term of the placement.

Now this placement is done I'm finally getting excited about part 2 of my elective which is a week away from now. I spent a small fortune (well a large fortune to me), on suntan lotion and mozzie repellent. Tomorrow I'm driving back to London to sort out all the bits and bobs I need from my flat. Soooooo exciting.

I always forget to pack something obscure yet important though. Any tips about what to pack for a beachy elective in the South Pacific?!

Lily xXx

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Good Luck!

Just a quick post to wish everyone picking up their A-level results today good luck.

Congratulations if you got the grades you wanted. If you didn't try not to get too down, there's a silver lining to every cloud and you'd be amazed at the opportunities life throws your way.

It seems like only a few months ago that I was picking up my results and in fact it was 5 years ago. I remember the nerves, staying up all night refreshing UCAS track and crying when my results came in. I even asked those sitting around me if "accepted" meant that I'd got in.

If you got your results today go out and celebrate. Have a nice lunch, perhaps dinner, maybe even a few drinks with your friends. I'll be toasting you all this evening with a big glass of vino!

Lily xXx

Monday, 16 August 2010

Car Problems

I think my car is cursed... or maybe just broken beyond repair.

I've already spent over £200 having the silencer-thingie on my exhaust changed because it was about to drop off, the break disks and pads changed because the whole car shook when breaking and the dashboard light fixed...

The dashboard light is broken again. That means when driving at night I have no idea what speed I'm going or if I have any petrol. It also makes the inside of the car all dark and scary. The air vents have also started spluttering like I have a squirrel with bronchitis hiding in them. This wouldn't surprise me.

Looks like I'll be spending more pennies getting to the root of this dashboard light problem.

Ho hum!

Lily xXx

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Time Management

Even though I'm doing a lot fewer hours than I do while I'm at uni, I've somehow got worse at managing my time.

I never know what day, date or time it is. I keep leaving chores and important things to do until the last minute... I'm turning into a scatterbrain.

I have no idea where the time is going. I certainly don't think I'm socialising more than normal. The only thing I can think of is that I'm being repeatedly kidnapped by aliens and thus losing hours out of each day.

Lily xXx

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Day or Night or Night or Day?

Working nights confuses me.

Staying up doesn't seem to be much of a problem, but later knowing what day of the week it is or time of the day really seems to puzzle me. Even my usually chronologically perfect tummy is getting confused. Is it lunch? breakfast? snack time?

This week I have a bizarre night shift, day off, day shift, day off and night shift timetable. I think I'm just going to have to live off Cadbury's chocolate mini-rolls until my tummy knows what meal it's expecting.

Next week, my last week of placement with the lovely ambulance people, seems like it's going to be spent mostly in control. From the day I've already spent in control I have a lot of respect for the people who work there.

Then I'll be frantically preparing myself for Samoa, and I'll hopefully get a chance to write a couple of posts about some of the jobs I've been on and the things I've seen over the last month.

Lily xXx

Monday, 9 August 2010

Packing and Choosing

I've always been a light packer. Going above my luggage allowance has never been a worry for me. That is before I had to pack for a whole month away.

I just don't know what to take. I keep trying to make lists, but it just seems never ending.

Because I am both a worrier and a catastrophiser I'll have to pack a first aid kit and small pharmacy worth of drugs. Then because I am hoping to make the most of the beaches and waterfalls I need to decide how many bikini's I need. How many pairs of linen trousers or smart skirts for the hospital? What shoes should I take for in the hospital? ARGH!

At this rate I'm going to take a bikini, some flip flops, a sarong and my steth. Done.

Lily xXx

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Scary Month

Some might think October is the scariest month being that it's the month of Halloween, for others it might be September when the new school year and all it's uncertainties begin.

For many many people it's August. The scariest month of all.

Scary for GCSE results, scary for A-level results and scary for FY1 doctors who are starting their first jobs as doctors this week.

Good luck to everyone who's feeling the nerves this August for whatever reason. I hope all of you waiting for exam results do amazingly, and I hope that those starting work in hospitals this week don't get too nervous. You know you can do it!

Lily xXx

Monday, 2 August 2010


It's hard to know what to write about at the moment. I don't want to tell all about this part of my elective just yet as I fancy writing up the highlights once it's all done, rather than dribs and drabs as they happen.

Without giving too much away I can say that I'm really enjoying myself. Even the shockingly early mornings and 12 hour shifts aren't dampening my mood.

What has dampened my mood however is the injury I accidentally gave myself on Saturday night. I was helping my Dad cook and realised that the bits he was frying were burning. I picked up a pair of tongs to turn the food over and before I even got the tongs close a huge splat of burning oil jumped out of the pan and bit me.

I now have huge blobs of deep partial thickness burns all up my arm. It looks horrible and the night it happened was so painful I spent a lot of the evening in tears. Thankfully the burns are pretty numb now. Fingers crossed they won't scar too much... I wonder if bio-oil would help?!

Lily xXx