Monday, November 8, 2010

Big dreams, little one...

So I'm not supposed to tell anyone yet, but since none of you actually know who I am, I figured it'd be okay to spill the beans here:

I'm going to be an aunt!!

My sister just found out she's pregnant :-D I've just made room in my heart for some big-time love! In my collective culture, a new baby in the family is everyone's child and responsibility. So my sister having a kid, is like me having a kid. Wow! Totally unprepared for this but gosh, I'm so excited!! She's only 6 weeks, so plenty of time to start planning all the fantabulous things we're going to get up to.

Little one, you don't know it yet, but Aunt Purple Steth has some big dreams for you. You're going to be awesome, I just know it!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

She's a real person

I hope I never become jaded. I hope I always remember that patients are real people and not a disease embodied. It sounds a bit obvious - but those in medicine will be able to relate. You spend the first couple of years of med school reading and learning about a multitude of diseases and pathologies. Some of these are essential knowledge; others are vague differentials you push to the back of your mind because you know you'll never see a case like that. The so called "you'll only find it in a text-book" cases.

Today I saw a lady who had a transverse myelitis and radiculopathy due to a Coxsackie B virus. My clinical partners and I took a group history and exam; I thought she had Guillain–Barré syndrome - she was almost paralysed from the umbilicus downwards. It's pretty scary shit actually, and something you probably won't even read about in a text book it's that uncommon. As we were coming to the end of our examination, I looked up at her and thought to myself, "oh my, she's a real person..".

It's this crazy weird moment that hits you. I've had it happen to me before. On the one hand, it leaves you feeling so inadequate and unworthy of the privilege bestowed upon you by this person sharing their misfortune; on the other hand it leaves you with this fierce desire to repay them, to be useful, to have an answer or something that you can offer them. It doesn't happen with everyone; I guess the mental struggle involved would be somewhat counter-productive - you can't invest too much. But it's a nice reminder that crops up every now and then. Medicine is about real people.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Things are pretty good at the moment :-)

Dear Blog,

I'm sorry I abandoned you. I have so much to say and yet time - as it always and forever will be - is against me. I've finished O&G, general surgery, paeds and am now on the home-stretch with 4 weeks left of general medicine.

O&G was amazing, but very tiring! I have so much admiration for the registrars who continue to pull through restlessly, day and night. It's an incredibly rewarding speciality and I wish I had the energy to pursue it, but I honestly think that the long hours and exhausting on-call roster would get the better of me. The other thing - more than ever, I've renewed my resolve to work in medical aid work (I'm counting down the years until I'm capable of being able to stand on my own and contribute productively in the field)- and I have a feeling that gaining a fellowship in O&G from here would equip me with more skills that what I would need in a developing world setting. Seems a bit redundant being able to perform IVF and high-tech laparoscopic gynae surgery when what I essentially need to know is how to deliver a baby safely and do an emergency hysterectomy (as a last option to resolve PPH). So I've reset my aspirations and have rechanneled my plans towards becoming an Emergency Physician with a Dip of O&G. I'll write more about it later on, as things progress, and especially during/after my ED term next year, but for now, I'm excited once again. Excited about being in medicine and where it's going to take me. Hip hip hooray!

The other thing I'll mention is how much I enjoyed Paeds! Absolutely loved it and the characters along the way. The Paeds registrar in particular was so enthusiastic and inspiring; her work-ethic really came through and she went out of her way to make sure we (the students) were included in the team.

So 4 weeks left (then 1 week of stuvac and 1 week of exams). I can't believe how quickly this year has flown by! I'm on the homestretch folks! In 6 months I'll be applying for a job; then 6 months after that I will be on my final elective rotation, a few weeks off from finishing. I hope it's come through in this post, but if it hasn't I'll spell it out: I'm really happy, I feel at peace. I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel and feel less like an aimless wanderer than I did when I first started almost 3 years ago. I've learnt a thing or two along the way, and I have a sense of direction of where I'd like to go with this knowledge. If you're reading this and you're still at the beginning of the journey: keep at it. It's seemingly long and endless, but oneday you will reach a point where you can not only look back and marvel and how far you've come; but also look ahead and feel that the road ahead isn't as daunting as it seemed when you first started and that there's no where else you'd rather be than where you are at that point.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

In Condé Nast, we (would like to) trust

I'm going overseas from December-January for a combined holiday/elective placement. I'll be spending December in the homeland (Jordan) and January in the UK. Most of my time in the UK will be spent in Manchester where I will undertake a placement in emergency medicine at a BTH (this will be in addition to a placement in O&G in Jordan). I then plan on spending a week in London, for obvious reasons (can't go the UK and skip London, especially if you've never been there before!). So far, I've organised the placements; arranged accommodation in Manchester and Jordan (I'm really just going to be alternating between the hospital accommodation and my uncle's place on weekends for Manny; as for Jordan, well, it's the "homeland" with all that that entails :-P); I've booked my plane tickets and now just have to organise accommodation in London. Which brings me to the topic of this post.

I want to do London properly. Not on a shoestring. I've heard it's such a grand old city with lots to see and do; so even though I've only got a week there, I want to get the most out of it... and I want to do it in style. My backpacking days are over - I'm going to be earning a half-decent income in less than 18 months' time so I think the time has come to stop worrying about putting aside what meager income I'm making from my casual job + youth allowance for "a rainy day", and start spending some of it. In my quest, I've had to exchange my trusted Lonely Planet advisers to Condé Nast Traveller gurus. Oh to be a Condé Nast Traveller reporter! Forget Runway Magazine, this would surely be the job that a million girls (and guys) would die for! I've spent a bit of my free time over the last couple of days perusing the "Where to Stay in London" section on the website. Some of the places look so amazing, I honestly just wish that money wasn't a limiting factor and that I could stay wherever I liked. I'm determined to have a nice classy experience but cannot by any means justify (or afford) the $500+/night tariff on most of these places. So now I'm in a bit frumpy mood because I'm stuck in the middle - neither here nor there - annoyed with myself for trying to be pretentious beyond my financials means, but also at these hotels for being so ambitious in their room rates. Moments like these I really feel for people with Bipolar Disorder. Urgh! Anyway, will reach a happy medium soon I hope, and then update.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Chance Encounter ("Paradoxically" Part II)

The more people you encounter as part of your routine ongoings in medicine, the more people you forget (inevitably, due to statistical likelihoods and all..). Every now and then you meet someone memorable and sometimes find yourself thinking, "I wonder what happened to..?". This is particularly the case, I think, in emergency medicine where the duration of a patient encounter will total a few hours, if that, and then the patient is transferred to someone elses' care, discharged home or (as the case has been for several of my patients), taken from us by the Almighty upstairs. So, this afternoon at the dentist's, I was presented with a chance encounter of the fateful type - I was reunited with the wife of the gentleman who died of a cardiac event a few months ago while I was doing a night shift in ED.. the one whom I had informed of her husband's passing on that tragic night. She recognised me before I had even noticed her standing there, and then when I looked up and saw her looking at me, all she had to say was, "my husband.." for that night to come rushing back. It wasn't an unhappy encounter and not completely awkward like you would expect it to be, but there was certainly an air of unease as we exchanged our greetings and how do you dos. I found it hard to tailor my body language appropriately to the situation - should I smile? should I sigh? should I just nod curtly to everything she says? How on earth does one converse to a deceased patient's family members, many weeks post-mortem? She talked about his death and how the hurt hadn't eased one bit - certainly her affect and tone were as sorrowful as that night, and the painful self-imposed guilt was still there: "if only we'd gotten him to the doctor sooner, if only...". We also talked about the coroner's insistence on an autopsy despite the family's wishes for an immediate burial and other smatterings of small chat, as you do. She cried, I listened and offered her the untested advice that it will get better one day. So then we went our seperate ways, wished each other well and hoped for another chance encounter. A small step towards closure that is often missed in this profession, a little poetic too, don't you think?

Friday, June 25, 2010


There's something about patients' handbags which remind me that before me is a person, and not just a body. You can put all sorts of things that signify life and existence in this world in a handbag: keys, wallet, tissues, mobile phone, diary, random hard-boiled candies wrapped in clear cellophane... you get the point. A few weeks ago, a dear old lady in Ward C passed away. Her handbag was always at the foot of the bed. After the arrest call and proceedings, as the people in the room started to clear away, I noticed that her handbag was still there by the foot of the bed. And then I couldn't help but wander about how her family would feel taking it back home without her. It made me feel quite sad at her passing, even though I'd only seen her a few times during ward rounds. She was a person, with a handbag full of worldly things that are of no use to her in the next journey. And by then, neither are we...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Saturday morning, 3.30am, overnight shift in ED. I had just gone into the on-call room for a shut-eye when one of the interns popped in to let me know that the ambos were bringing in a middle-aged male in cardiac arrest. There was six of us in ED: an ED physician, 2 interns, 2 nurses and myself. Did I want to see it? "Hell yeah!" I thought, this is the only medicine worth seeing as far as some med students are concerned. Things are somewhat different on the other side now, you'll see what I mean.

He looked his age, but a little worse for wear. He'd been intubated by the ambos; and had defib pads on his bare chest. I stood back to watch as the scene unfolded, wanting and unwanting to be involved... it's a hard feeling to describe. A few minutes in, one of the interns told me to grab a pair of gloves and get ready to take over chest compressions. "Wha..? Err, okay.." I took over after from the start of a new cycle - and in that instant, I crossed the line; I became involved, in more ways than I wished to be, as events would later unfold. I'd done CPR before - on a 90 something year old already half-dead, dying old man in Fiji, just because protocol dictated we do so. At the time, I appreciated the practice, felt kind of sorry that I broke his rib cage, and was secretly grateful when they called it. This was so different, so much more intense, so much more involved... I'll keep coming back to that word. It was an intensely highly-sensory experience: I could smell the patient's sweat; hear the ventilator beep, puff and whirrr; feel the crunch beneath my hands as we'd surely broken his ribs; and see his empty eyes staring up at me. If anything, the eyes gave it away - he wasn't going to make it, even I knew that. In hindsight, I wish I didn't have that initial hunch that he'd already left us - I wonder if I would've compressed harder and more wilfully on his chest if it weren't the case? I wonder if that would have made a difference? Several rounds of compressions, a bolus of atropine or adrenaline, stop and re-assess, rotate through and do it all again... we gave him a fair go. Initially because it seemed he was gasping for air though the ETT, and then when that had stopped, for closure. And then we called it, just like that. Machines turned off, ventilator detached. Time of death: 04:05.

We stood back for a few moments to quietly reflect on what had happened and pray to whatever we believed in that he was is a better place now. Then one of the nurses looked up at me and said, "he's from a Middle-Eastern Muslim background, I think the family would really appreciate if you're there when Noel (the ED physician) tells them." It wasn't a suggestion, they all nodded in agreement and it was decided. Nothing in the world can prepare you for delivering the information we were about to. Nothing at all. We lead them into the family room - his wife, kids, brother and sister in law. Typical Arab-style, the extended family were all in the waiting room. Noel started to ask a few questions about how our patient came to be: straight-out-of-a-text-book heart attack presentation - so classical, it was heartbreaking. His wife recognised he was having a heart attack and urged him to go to the hospital. Shit! If only... ? Or maybe it wouldn't have made a difference... ? Who knows... ? Noel asked a few more questions, before finally putting it out there that, "we tried very hard..". The message passed over them. Noel looked at me and I said in a faint voice in Arabic, "God has taken his soul, may He have mercy on it".

The rest is of inconsequence. Life happens when you least expect it and people react in ways that they know how best to. The outcome is the same, no matter who delivered it, but I hope that being there in this sensitive moment made the situation a little bit easier for them. For me, suddenly, everything else in the ED that night seemed so trivial...

To be honest, I hated being the bearer of bad news to this family - worst feeling as far as the future doctor in me was concerned; more so than losing the patient I think. This family could have been mine, easily; the situation was so eerily close to home after what had happened with my mum last year. I was involved in a way I haven't been in a very long time, or ever even, with a patient and their family. But there's a lesson to be learnt in everything we do here. In the past few months before this happened, I'd noticed myself becoming increasingly blase about the people around me as patients and my role as a carer. A lot of the time I haven't even bothered asking the patient's name and I guess I've pushed this concern to the side thinking, "detachment in medicine can only be good", or they say so anyway. And then this. I won't deny that I've felt quite sad for the last few days, but now that the dust is starting to settle, I feel refreshingly at peace with the idea that I've at least felt something towards someone who I was looking after. It's paradoxical, I know. Guess I just didn't realise how much I missed it...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A rough patch on the greener grass

Half-way through my GP-rotation and the honeymoon period is definitely behind me. I never expected my GP-rotation to be so exhausting. This is really due to my main GP supervisor, who is mean! Today I cracked it. Today she made me cry. I'm too exhausted to write about in great lengths; she is simply just so exhausting! I wrote to the clinical supervisor/mentor of my home-base hospital asking for help:

Dear Mentor,

I hope you're well. I'm half-way through my GP rotation and wanted to raise a concern I had with one of my mentors. I have several GP supervisors that I work with in the practice - all of them are really wonderful and I love working with and learning from them. My main mentor, Dr X, however, is really quite harsh and strict. Her feedback is extremely helpful - don't get me wrong - she gives great advice about what you need to know to fill gaps in your knowledge; but her approach and mannerisms are quite destructive. If she asks a question and you don't know the answer, she pulverises you in front of the patient and makes you feel like a failure. I don't know if I'm just a little soft in that regard, but some of my experiences with her have been extremely stressful and quite frankly, just downright hurtful. I've been too scared to say anything to her about it because, all things standing, I think she means well and it's certainly not personal. On the contrary, I have thanked her for her feedback and am doing my best to remedy these gaps in my knowledge. But I still feel really upset about her demeaning approach and I'm not sure what to do. I know we're half-way through and if I can disregard any of my personal response to her approach, there is a lot to be gained from the wisdom she is offering. I was wondering if you can offer me any advice on how to approach this situation? I really want to learn from her; but at the same time I don't want to go home crying every night.

Thanks for you support,

Miss Purple Stethoscope

She replied straight away and told me she'd call me tomorrow to have a chat about it. Very, very grateful for her support; but still feeling stressed-out that this chat will come after a day spent with Dr X and God knows what sort of damage she'll have done to me by then. Thinking of having a mental health day tomorrow, but also feel deep down that it will be like admitting defeat. I know it seems excessive, but I've been tipped over the edge. And I'm a fairly tolerant person... if that's saying anything...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


... is a happy place, with candy-cane and fairy-floss; oh, and no ward rounds or running around a hospital trying to find people: the patients come to you - fancy that?! ... bliss!


*Snap out of day-dream for a bit*: I just found out this morning that one of the students doing the John Flynn Program has been placed in the Cocos Keeling and Christmas Islands! OmG! Extremely jealous!! I do love my rural community of Mudgee very much, but c'mon - outback NSW vs Islands in the middle of the Indian Ocean?! Hmmm, at least I now know it's a rural area of need that I can (and will!) venture to in working off my rural bondage.

OK, back to daydreaming...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Dear FMH,

I miss you everyday.

Come up to meet you, tell you I'm sorry
You don't know how lovely you are.
I had to find you, tell you I need you,
Tell you I set you apart.

Tell me your secrets and ask me your questions,
Oh lets go back to the start.
Running in circles, Comin' in tails
Heads on a science apart.

Nobody said it was easy,
It's such a shame for us to part.
Nobody said it was easy,
No one ever said it would be this hard.

Oh take me back to the start.

~ Coldplay, "The Scientist"

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Learning how to be a doctor, one step at a time

Saturday night; interim weekend between two rotations. I've just finished the first of my two Surgical blocks (plastics and ortho) - the next one (gen surg) I will do later this year - and am about to start my General Practice block next week. Surgery was pretty awesome, plastics more so than ortho. Despite the early morning starts, the day went quickly as there was lots to do and we normally didn't stay past 5pm (though the surgeries would go past 10pm most nights). There was a pre-med student from the USA doing an "internship" in orthopedics during our time there and she was such as eager beaver, coming in very early and staying late every day; which made us look a bit bad, but hey, it's not as cut-throat here so we don't really feel the need to exert ourselves to excel. My supervisors in both plastics and ortho gave me really positive feedback in my competency assessment form; I feel quite accomplished that after 2 years of getting mediocre marks, my hard work is finally getting some recognition! On a personal level, I feel like I achieved what I set out to do in this rotation in the way of practising my hx and ex skills as well as some basic procedures, particular to a surgical context. I now feel more confident with a lot of bread and butter presentations/skills that I will no doubt encounter again in internship and beyond. Small steps, long way to go.. but I'm getting there, I'm learning how to be a doctor and look after people. Damn it feels good!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Some reflections on psych and surgery

Wow, I haven't posted on here in ages. It saddens me to think that I'm losing the ability to reflect constructively. I don't want to write about my trivialities just for the sake of it; so I guess I could also put my absence down to not having anything to reflect about. But here's a thought or two anyway, to fill the silence, if anything. So, of late, I finished my psych rotation and have started on surgery.

Psych was interesting, I learnt a lot, especially from my mentor who helped me see things with a bit more clarity, in a compassionate and pragmatic light, when all I could see before me was a damaged-beyond-repair, dysfunctional individual. It takes a very special group of people to be able to care about others in that way; and of that, I am quite envious. One of the things I didn't like about the psych rotation though was a particularly territorial (and often just downright rude) RMO - she didn't want students doing anything and would even tell us off for writing on hospital paper/progress notes! I hope her attitude damages her reputation when it comes time to apply for a training program. And that's all I have to say about that.

After psych I went back to my secondary home-base hospital to start on my surgery rotation. I did three weeks of plastic surgery there - which was everything I could have wished for in a rotation. The team I was attached to were amazing clinicians and teachers; and the RMO was just wonderful (*so* different to the psych RMO bitch). She was happy for us to get right in there and help out as vital members of the team. I got lots of practice in doing speedy histories and examinations when a plastics consult was called for in ED; interpreting hand x-rays (most of the cases where hand injuries); ward management of plastics patients; scrubbing and suturing; removing K-wires; as well as the usual cannulas, bloods and plaster casts. It was actually quite a refreshing change to go from the long-winded and twisted complexities of a psych patient to the straight-forward flow-chart style management of a plastics patient. Plus I loved being back in my home-base hospital: everyone is so friendly and there's this lovely feeling of comradery among all the staff. I have to say, these experiences are definitely steering my preferences towards internship at a smaller hospital in a couple of years (still too early to think about that though, so I shan't get ahead of myself).

Now I'm back in BTH to do two weeks of orthopaedics surgery (currently in my first week). It's been okay; I feel depressed about leaving my lovely plastics team, but that's not to say that I'm not getting along with the orthopods either. The consultants are very friendly and welcoming (one of them bought us coffee this morning before rounds) and are very happy for us to scrub in on their surgeries and attend their clinics. I scrubbed in on a total knee replacement today, which was tres cool and neat! I guess I don't really have a sensible explanation as to why I think it's "okay" rather than "great"; maybe it's just a relative thing, like, it's "okay" relative to plastics. The teaching has been pretty good though, especially from one of the registrars who (despite my annoyance at him calling me random names like "Billy" and "Med student no. 2" instead of my own name - wtf?!!) is kind enough to explain every process of whatever operation we're doing and talk to us about the presenting disease process. Anyway, I'm glad there's a long weekend coming up, I need sleep!! Will update again soon, tootle-pip!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Mentally Exhausted

Having just completed the first week of my psychiatry block, I thought I ought to take a minute or two to reflect on the week's past events and experiences. On the first day of my rotation, I was assigned to work in the ED and PECC Unit (Psychiatric Emergency Care Centre) with the psych team at a big tertiary hospital (BTH) in a somewhat notorious area of Sydney. The other members of my group were allocated mentors in the actual psych ward to follow around/work with - I assume there will be a swap-over at the half-way mark so that we may experience both settings. In brief, the experience has been more exciting and yet more exhausting than I could have ever imagined.

My shift is from 2pm-9pm everyday - partly so my time wouldn't coincide with other students' from other years/med schools, and partly because that was the busiest period in the day for the ED psych team. My team look after people who present to psych voluntarily or are brought in involuntarily.

The voluntary patients form the minority of presentations. These are generally cooperative patients - mainly middle-aged business men and women, or young overseas travellers - who are facing acute psychiatric crises (anxiety, panic attacks, adjustment disorders, suicidal ideations) that they want immediate help with then and there. Once they're cleared medically by the ED doctors (all patients have to be cleared medically before being been by psych) the psych team has a chat to them (read: talk for over an hour sometimes) about what's been happening now and in the past; determine their level of "risk"; before deciding whether to keep them in for observation in the PECC Unit overnight or referring them to the hospital psych outpatient service.

Now, in mentioning that the BTH that I'm working in was in a notorious part of Sydney, I really meant notorious for the involuntary pscyh patient presentations. In NSW (and possibly Australia-wide), a person can be scheduled for involuntary detainment/assessment/treatment by a mental health team under different sections of the law. What that basically means is that if a person is deemed to be (acutely) "Mentally Disordered" or "Mentally Ill" and are at imminent risk of harm (to themselves, their reputation, others, or by others) - the police, ambulance, community, or medical practitioner can bring them into/make them stay in hospital for a period of time until further action for their management is decided, against their will (of course the finer points of this are many, I'm just trying to be brief). This is actually a big deal, because there aren't many areas of the law here that restrict a person's freedom in this way and I guess if you haven't really thought about it in much detail, it's quite confronting to see how this arrangement takes place with some of the less-cooperative patients. Mind you, most of these patients are floridly psychotic and have very little insight about what's going on. But a couple of the patients we saw were presenting with first episodes of pscyhosis so the signs were very subtle, and would probably not be given any consideration in a different setting, e.g. laughing or smiling inappropriately during the interview. It's hard to put these signs forward to a patient that there might be something not quite right going on. Understandably, these patients denied having any abnormality, but were lucid and somewhat insightful enough to be upset by an involuntary schedule.

Despite all the prep-talks we were given about not getting emotionally-involved or upset by the stories around us, it's really hard not to feel anything, especially with the younger patients who are brought in with first episode psychoses. As my supervisor said, "the worst part is the process of going crazy.. once you're there, you don't have enough insight to realise what's going on". It's quite sad, I think.

Everything aside, the experience has been very eye-opening and fulfilling. Hoping to share more thoughts with you later..

Saturday, January 23, 2010

My clinical year ahead...

Happy belated New Year to everyone! Haven't got any resolutions for this year - I just want some peace and quiet (haha I sound like Oscar the Grouch!)...

So, as everyone who has been through med school is aware, I finally start my clinical placements this year! Woot! My placements will be in a variety of settings but my home base where the majority of my rotations will take place is a busy secondary hospital in one of Sydney's (many!) multicultural communities. It was my first preference hospital, as I come from a similar part of the world as the predominant ethnic group in that community (and speak the same language --> no need for an interpreter!). The other settings that I'll be working in is a specialist children's hospital for paediatrics; a mental health institute and a psych ward in a tertiary hospital for psychiatry; the same tertiary hospital for orthopedic surgery; and a medical centre in an affluent area of Sydney for my GP placement. We got sent our rosters and groups last week - I will be working with two very lovely guys, one of whom I am good friends with, the other I don't know all that well but he sent me an email when he found out that we were in the same group, saying that he was looking forward to working with me this year. As for placements, my roster is as follows (each rotation is 5 weeks long):

- Psychiatry
- Surgery 1
- General Practice
- Medicine 1
- O&G
- Surgery 2
- Paediatrics
- Medicine 2

So, I'm starting with Psych... This is one of the rotations I'm looking forward to, even though I haven't really considered it, as a career. I borrowed two books from the library yesterday to try and start answering questions for the psych short-cases that we will go through on our back-to-base theory days (which will be every Monday). I borrowed Psychiatry At a Glance as I am a big fan of the At a Glance series, particularly Medicine At a Glance and Medical Pharmacology At a Glance; and also borrowed General Practice Psychiatry, which is our core textbook for the rotation but I don't plan on purchasing it as it is quite expensive (> $100) and there are about five copies in the library (plus a couple of copies in our clinical school library).

Apart from doing some readings for Pysch before I start uni (on Friday!), I'm going to spend what's left of my holidays just relaxing, catching up with people and cleaning my room. I have work tomorrow and on Tuesday (public holiday = double pay!); I've got a Dentist's appointment on Monday to get braces because I am vain and don't like my crooked teeth; I'm finally going to go watch Avatar on Wednesday, at the Imax, with one of my best friends who has returned from overseas; and yeah, just get ready to do it all again.

Before I get going, it's been one year since I started this blog! I know it's not exciting, but I started it to vent about life and the world around me at a time when it felt like no one was listening. Things are a bit different now, but I won't forget the favour that you have done for me dear readers, you who have read and listened - thank you!

Post Script. I've decided to change my blog name to Miss Purple Stethoscope, because:
a) My name isn't really Sascha Fierce (my first name isn't even Sascha :-/), I just chose it as a random name for my blog because I'd watched an episode of Oprah the day before starting my blog and Beyonce was talking about her new album I am... Sasha Fierce and I thought it sounded cool and trendy and would therefore make my blog (and me) look/sound cool and trendy.
b) I love my purple stethoscope, it goes with all my clinical/hospital clothes! and
c) A new year should bring exciting new changes with it, like a new name, for example :-D

Friday, January 22, 2010

2009 : A Series of Unfortunate Events - The Ending...

You're not going to believe this, but I will tell you what happened anyway. I was *so* looking forward to today - the day of my final exam for 2nd year Med, the day I can finally put the dramas of 2009 behind me and finally start my 2010 like everyone else has. I had grand plans for the upcoming week to make up for my missed holiday time. I'm not asking for much, I've come to appreciate the small things that are easy to take for granted - some peace of mind, wellness in health for myself and those around me, a bit of free head space to enjoy life without worry. I really just want a week of mental rejuvination before going at it again. But alas, life has happened again when I have least expected it.

This afternoon my dad got hit by a truck as he was crossing the street to return to work from his lunch break. He is alive and well. But OH MY GOD imagine the shock of my life when I turned on my mobile phone after finishing my exam, to get that dreaded phone call from St Vincent's Hospital. Oh my dear dear God.

Tonight is my last night of 2009, as far as my warped schedule is concerned. Tonight I will give it to them, to do what they like to me and my family in my final hours of 2009. I refuse to start my 2010 this way, so tonight I give you my final vent for my 2009. Stay tuned tomorrow for my 2010 agenda...

Monday, January 18, 2010

Catching up

This week, I sit my deferred exams. One on Wednesday, one on Friday. I'm scared. I don't want to fail. Presently, I have no other skills or useful qualifications that I can fall back on and I don't have it in me to repeat 2nd year. Okay, need to make myself feel better. If I fail, I am going to leave this God-forsaken degree and either:

1. Do a Masters of International Public Health and dedicate my time advocating for the implementation of public health programs that will save many more lives than I would have as a doctor anyway;

2. Do a BTeach and become a science teacher (children are the future, teach them well, watch them grow, blah, blah..); or

3. Become a pastry chef apprentice and eventually open up a cafe/bakery/cupcakery.

Feeling a bit better.