Block 1 Week 4 (#5)

Monday

We had another Monday anatomy session today which I discovered were a new addition for our year and I am happy that they are there. It serves brilliantly to go over things without the pressure the surgical training centre so I get a lot from the sessions. I also managed to get through most of the Anatomy Jephoardy game with Michael and managed to nearly complete the entire table. We also discovered that if you just took both of our answers and found the median , we actually got most of them correct – so two med students are better than one ? 😅

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My cupcakes went down amazingly well !

Revue rehearsals started today! We had our read through in the evening and the script is brilliant! I’m really excited to get started! We ended up in the dirty duck after with a pint and burger – how I am used to finishing rehearsals from my undergraduate degree!

Tuesday

Tuesday was our first community day. Essentially, these are opportunities for us to find out about care in the community and how patients manage long-term conditions at home. This week, however, we were going to just scout out the area and complete final training before November. We are in Stratford Upon Avon which is a beautiful place but proved to be a problem when it came to reporting deprivation… Because there was hardly any….which is great… Just not for our presentation 😂

We also had a wander around town and had lunch in the Dirty Duck (Stratford style) as a group which was nice to do as a way to unwind after our early morning.

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We had started revue rehearsals in the evening and although I nearly forgot to go (I was in my PJ’s at my desk doing work), it was great to get back to performing again!

Wednesday

This is the first Wednesday I have managed to enjoy. From being carted between NHS services to hospital teaching, I have never quite managed to have a day off. I had an early lie in (8 am wake up instead of 7 am whoop whoop) and headed to the library. The library on the main campus is huge and my favourite spot is the 5th floor. However, today my head was not working and it took me two hours to do 10 slides, though I did catch up on my emails.

I decided to go to the food market to have a bit of a break. However, this meant losing my seat in the library which was surprising at UCLan’s library was only busy in Jan and Summer exams so I guess Warwick students work harder than UCLan? That or the first years are really keen.

Headed back to my room and managed to drag myself through the rest of the lecture before admitting defeat in the evening.

Thursday

CBL today and I ended up scribing which I had been looking forward to doing. However, the case was hard and there is a mixture of elements such as polypharmacy, hypertension, kidney problems and arthritis. So we found it hard to know where to even start but we had a successful session, we just all need to go over our renal physiology.

Some more rehearsals in the evening before heading to my medic parents for tea. They were lovely to re-arrange it when I was in the hospital so I was really looking forward to the evening. I had an amazing time and the food was incredible! I also loved reminiscing about Preston with their housemate who comes from Preston and we both agreed that the the grottiest place was the best night out. They also had a bumblebee door mat in their house which confirmed that I had been placed into the right family ….

Like mother , like daughter my medic mum is also a blogger so please go and check her site out ! You can find her at The GradMed Journey

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Headed home and quickly filled out my clinical skills book ready for Friday.

Friday

At the bus stop, early again today whilst the rest of my year get a lie in because I have an early meeting. I am grateful to my lecturer as he is talking about how to manage the symptoms of Asperger’s in OSCE’s.

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Im bringing a blanket for the bus in future …

I also had my flu and Hep B jab done and the Help B was a real stinger. 1ml of fluid injected into your arm is not the nicest feeling, but I got a sticker and a free pen out of it…. Not to mention immunity to flu and Hep B ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

At lunch, Matt and I headed to the university hospital library to fill in our anatomy booklets and were treated to watching the Air Ambulance fly off. Matt wants to go into trauma medicine so it was a euphoric end of the week for him!

Anatomy went well with the models again and I thought back to my first week when touching the surface anatomy model was my worst nightmare and now I’m happy to try and palate to find deeper structures such as the 12th rib…. So you could say I ended this week on a high 🙂

Maybe I’ll actually get through med school one day 🙂

We finished off the week by playing cards against humanity again, with a particular stella one relating to the wildlife around Warwick. Our international flatmates seem to excel at this game despite not knowing half of the references… Im calling beginners luck ..,.

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We also had a game of uno of which became really tense even though it was getting on for midnight and we had all been up since five that day …..

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Saturday

I could hardly sleep last night as I knew my parents were coming to visit with the second love of my life … my dog. I was also re-united with my guitar, ukulele and bike so I was one pretty happy student. I have begun to grow sick of walking so having my bike up is going to be life changing. We caught up in my room and then went for a pub dinner in a pub near campus. Mum also went home with my purse which lead to a panic call on Sunday for her to post it back to campus.

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Sunday

I was grateful for the turning back of the clocks this week as I had a pretty rough night with both jab arms hurting again and we had our first anatomy day of the year. Nadir (my flatmate) and I walked up to the Med School for a 9am start. The anatomy days are run by the upper years and consist of short 20 min teaching sessions going over key points of the block. I found this useful and particularly enjoyed the pizza break. If you ever want to see the human equivalent of vultures , put a pizza in front of Med Students.

We were also taught by two Ollies from the year above who were unfortunately landed with the topic of “Inguinal Canals”, something we hadn’t covered yet. However, the session still was useful and I can guarantee that without it, I would have been 100% lost in Mondays lecture on it. The outfit co-ordination by the two Ollies was great too (not sure if planned). Ollie also has a blog/youtube channel and I recommend having a gander as this is what got me through my interviews and that agonising wait for decisions..

Overall, I did come out feel a bit worse off as I know less than I thought , but now I can focus on these areas and nail them before block two.

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Finally, we arrived home and I spent the evening watching Nadir go crazy over F1 whilst I made a kahoot for my CBL the next day.

Fini

Update : Nadir has nagged me to make sure I mention that Hamilton won the Championship in this race – though if you live round Tocil , you would have heard the celebrations 😂

Further Update : Nadir has reminded me it was his 5th Championship Title …. If my knowledge of Medicine was as good as Nadirs knowledge of F1 then I would be a consultant by now……

Block One Week Three (#4)

Monday

Dragged myself out of bed today with the rain hammering down outside. Just about managed to stay awake during the first couple of lectures as I am pretty sure the meds are not helping my concentration despite having interesting content being taught. We also did some clinical skills on the Sunday evening as I had missed my session due to being in the hospital. Shout out to my flatmate Laura for helping with that one.

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It took us half an hour to figure this out….

CBL was interesting but I didn’t feel quite as in the loop as normal due to missing session one. The patient had Ulcerative Colitis and we were treated to some endoscopy images right after lunch. I enjoy Monday afternoons as we have anatomy teaching in which there are three different stations in which you circulate between. I really enjoy this as its nice to have a change of scenery and the activities change very half hour. We have a “hands-on” station where we carry out labelling and puzzle anatomy pieces and then move to do a game of anatomy Jeopardy and then finally a seminar with the Prof of Anatomy. I find anatomy hard and sometimes the blobs just all look the same but it is my favourite topic at med school by far. Today we covered some nervous system anatomy so I was particularly happy.

A bit of a bonus with the vending machine which appears to love taking med students money here as it decided not to release my flapjack but, with some “gentle” persuasion, I not only gained my flapjack but also a digestive biscuit thing…. bonus!

Another session of peer support tonight which I am looking forward to. I have also come to the realisation that my TO DO list does not have to be completed in one day. I tried to get through 10 things yesterday and only did about three but as long as I get things checked off each day, I will be happy.

Tuesday

Bit of a rough day today. It had started out by being nearly attacked by geese in the morning on the walk in, should have taken it as a sign and gone home. I had got to the end of the day and hit a bit of a low point. It didn’t help the fact that the antibiotics are currently zapping all my energy so I just ended up staring at a computer for an hour to kill time before the revue auditions.

The revue is an annual variety performance put on by WMS students where we raise money for charity, this year being street doctors. I got to do a bit of acting and singing again which had been something I was missing so I left the med school on a slightly happier note than I had entered it on.

Called my mum to wish her a happy birthday and ended up forcing myself into the library to do some work and ended up staying till 11:30pm. Great for the work, bad for my sleep.
Wednesday

I had been looking forward to my lie in today as I was exhausted from the week before but Warwick decided that a 7:30am fire drill was what we needed in life, so I found myself outside in my baggy PJ’s wishing I was back in bed.

I had decided to head back to bed after which was a bit of a mistake as I ended up wasting my morning and did no work before hospital training. This proved to be a fun afternoon of learning basic clinical skills such as hand washing and CPR with a few videos thrown in. One to mention is the UHCW hand washing hop which I don’t think I will ever forget for as long as I live …. which I suppose is a good thing really.

Thursday

I had been looking forward to this day all week. In the evening we had the infamous “Doctors and Nurses” social in which the whole medical school and some F1’s dress up and regret the next morning 😀

The men dress up as nurses and the girls as doctors, I decided to give myself the evening off and a group of us headed to Tescos to get some last minute costumes for the boys. Safe to say it was the strangest clothes shopping trip I had ever been on. –

I may have drunk a tad too much …. a lot too much but it was one of the best evenings I have had in ages.


Friday

Somehow I had managed to find myself on the 6:20am bus to the hospital to make it for my 8am lecture and I have to hand it to my year, there were more people there than I was expecting. We looked at the human tissue act and how it impacts organ donation and education donation which was a really interesting topic and I am glad I had got myself there…. even if I have had only 1 hour and 45 minutes sleep.

Clinical skills were slightly different today as we practised taking histories from a “patient”. I had already met the actor in a different context at WMS which I can’t go too much into due to application procedures but I was having some severe PTSD 🙂

I was nervous but apparently, I had done a good job and my eye contact was good, so I am quite proud of myself and I am looking forward to practising more with the actors in the future.

Went for my occupational health after and I’ve had to delay my jabs by a week to make sure my ear has fully healed and the infection cleared.

Anatomy was interesting as always and I found that I had the confidence to palpate our model today so progress has been made. We got chatting to the consultant at the end and he was talking us about murder techniques in china where they poke a small rod into someone’s spleen making it look like they had just bumped into them. The victim would die 4 hours later and the murderer could disappear without a trace. So cheerful way to end the day!

The air ambulance had landed at the hospital during our time there

Heading back on the bus now and treating myself to an easy evening as I’m not quite recovered from last night 😅

Block one, Week Two (#3)

Monday

Today was pretty average. I think we were all slightly relieved about having fewer lectures this week meaning we had breathing room. I also managed to pay attention to all three of my morning lectures which is something I am (sadly) proud of. I had to wrestle with the scanner at lunch as I had handwritten my CBL notes which were annoyingly just a recap of the morning’s lecture on gastric acid secretion drugs.

CBL proved to be as great as ever despite the lack of cupcakes on my end due to my abysmal cooking skills…

We managed to finish half an hour early and began discussing how we all felt about how the course was going. It turns out we all had the same worries (not being able to give a correct answer in the lecture when everyone else was chanting away).

Rory and Rogan decided the skeleton needed fixing, the head was half off to be fair.

We had anatomy in the afternoon so we were slightly dreading it. However, we all managed to get through it and I think I know more than I’m letting myself have credit for…… Just need to get my head around peritoneum layers and the folds and sacs they form as well as surface anatomy – the favourite topic of my anatomy professor.

We also had an amazingly helpful seminar with him in which he cleared up how the midgut (intestines) end up back inside your body during development with the aid of a Henry hoover nozzle.

I lastly had a peer group support session which is run by two people from the upper year. It was incredible and I enjoyed learning from my peers and getting to go over material that hadn’t quite stuck. I’m looking forward to more of them in the future.

Tuesday

Not the best start to the day. I have been up half the night with the mother of all earaches, should have got it sorted the weekend but I had too much work to do. I ended up completely sleeping through my alarm and missed my first lecture of the day, so I was not in the best mood.

Eventually got to lecture two of the day about liver pathology which was interesting and the lecturer was great. However, I wasn’t too focused as I still had this pain drilling into my skull. We had an introduction to community placement in the afternoon and thankfully we have a lot of drivers in our group so I can be rescued from campus to Stratford which is our base.

Not sure how I feel about the Virgin Care logo here…..

Went to the walk-in clinic in the evening and two and a half hours later, I emerged with some antibiotics 🙌🙌 I got back to the flat and tried to do some work but the pain was too much and I ended up crashing at 8 pm – as I said, not a great day.

Wednesday

I have never been more grateful for a day off. Managed to have a bit of a sleep in but the pain was still shocking so I’ve spent the day sitting in a GP clinic as the pain has spread so I just wanted to get it checked. I also got some stronger painkillers so I’m hoping that I can get some sleep tonight.

The plan is to go home after seeing the doctor and try and get some work done huddled up in bed – hopefully, I will be well enough to go to the hospital on Friday.

Update – got sent to A&E after seeing the GP (a Warwick grad) and I saw an ENT consultant who inserted a swap into my ear to allow the antibiotics to get to the inner ear, and was treated to some more oral antibiotics.

I had taken some co-codamol on the bus home eliminating my last dose of paracetamol for the day. I had gone home and got straight into bed only to be awoken 2 hours later with splitting ear pain.

Long story short, I am sitting in A&E after being prescribed more painkillers, IV antibiotics and some fluid with mum and grandad who had driven up from kent to take me to A&E. The A&E doc was a Warwick grad too!!

Look after both your physical and mental health kids

Thursday

Long story short – UHCW is my home for the next 24-48 hours… Gutted to be missing Friday teaching…..

Sat next to a lovely lady who I got talking to and then she proceeded to mention that I was a medical student to everyone who walked into the ward 😅

Friday

Been waking up all night due to having obs done and receiving meds. However, it’s the best nights sleep I have had in ages.

The doctor came at 8 and after 1min consultation, announced I can go home. I panicked because I couldn’t go back to the pain I had experienced but, they have been giving me oral drugs and the pain has been kept back to a minimum meaning I can get on with work. I still have a few twinges but nothing like it was and my canal is less swollen meaning I can hear better now too!

Currently disobeying my mother by getting the bus home but I enjoy the ride so I don’t mind. I am worried about my ward buddy though as they came back in so much pain but I had to leave. I’m hoping they get better soon, they really did break my heart.

The NHS is incredible though and I can’t thank every health professional who saw me enough. The nurses are superheroes and kept me calm even when I was in so much pain.

 

That’s it for this week now. I have a weird weekend as it’s my dads 50th so I’m popping back for a day and then the catch-up work begins… Can I have some more painkillers for the amount of work I am going to have to do?

Block 1 Week 1 (#1)

Monday

Monday brought the first day of our “official” medical teaching. We were prepared for a day of intensive lectures and rightly so. I quickly learned that my concentration span has decreased significantly since ending my neuroscience degree so it was hard to keep up. However, the thought of my shepherd’s pie in my bag for lunch did keep me going and it turned out to be one of the best lunches I had ever had. (I was pretty hungry).

In the afternoon we had a guest lecturer who was a senior dietician from UHCW. She explained the different ways we measure body composition and the effects of malnutrition on the body with some graphic images displaying what could happen when we become severely under malnourished. Our group session for the day looked at analysing our own bodies. This proved to be somewhat frustrating as I realised I had lost no weight over the summer….. bummer. However, we tried out an ulnar measurement which involved measuring the ulnar bone and consulting a chart. This was surprisingly accurate coming in within a centimetre of my actual height!

In the evening me and my flatmate headed over to netball (after trecking across campus to find the correct court). I really enjoyed playing sport again and it was nice to see half the year group there ( even if maybe it was brought on by the results of the day’s body measurements). It was easy to spot the competitive ones amongst us and it will be interesting to see if this ends up applying to our medical education.
Tuesday

Today I have really felt the effects of freshers flu, and judging by the coughing in the lecture hall, so have the rest of my cohort. Our first lecture was on metabolism covering glycolysis, Krebs cycle etc. There were a few panicked eyes (including my own) but a second year put our minds to rest with what details we had to learn. We then had a couple of lectures on ethics, teaching and nutrition from another guest lecturer. Our first SDL session was semi-successful. We needed to review the final lecture of the day on the anatomy of the abdomen. Matt and I found a comfy spot on some bean bags in the common room and tried not to fall asleep. There has been a lot to learn in the past couple of days and I’m struggling to keep up to date with the lectures (normally being behind one each day) and I am pretty sure I am overcomplicating things. However, I am hoping this all sorts itself out over the next week. The best way I can describe it is like riding a bike for the first time, you know what needs doing but you are wobbly and slow. Let’s just hope I can avoid falling off.

Something productive did actually come out of the session as I decided that instead of going over the slides, it’s going to be better to watch a video on the topic beforehand. It’s hard to know what to focus on and what not to just from the lecture slides. The lecture was enjoyable and I decided that I like studying anatomy (at the moment) because of the logical reasoning behind the names and the fact you can break the body down into “building blocks” as such. My brain was in top gear mode and I still found it hard to keep up but that’s nothing that a quick revision session can’t fix. I also decided that the anatomy lecturer is great because so far he is the only one I can hear well and don’t have to be stuck at the front of the lecture hall to hear what’s going on as I have some hearing problems…

I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s afternoon off meaning I can catch up with anki and have some breathing room to iron out any topics I am struggling with. I am also wondering how WMS are managing to keep the first and second years apart, I do not see any of them around the building and this is becoming a mystery that I want to solve (for some reason).

My flatmate also received his stethoscope yesterday so we had a very dramatic unboxing ceremony.

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UPDATE: Apparently the second years were with us for lunch the other day, I just am apparently blind as well as deaf.
Wednesday

Thankfully we have a half day today and science-based lectures. I enjoy the SocPop ones and the Value, Laws and Ethics but I find it’s easier for my exhausted brain to wander off during these. Again, anatomy was like being in an F1 car (shout out to my F1 mad flatmate) without the brakes on. I am becoming jealous of the guys who hold a degree in anatomy but I am pretty sure come block three my neuroscience degree will hold up…… I hope.

I’m using the afternoon to try and catch up a bit. I’m finding it hard to motivate myself as my brain is screaming to run away from all this but weirdly, I am finding myself wanting to study? Laura and I decided to try the bio grid to do some work and I do like it but again, I’m struggling to zone into my work.

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Diet Coke, the caffeine source for champions…. or students sick of the taste of coffee.

I had a disability appointment at 3pm on the opposite side of campus so I decided to hire one of Warwick’s “Boris bikes” and leg it over to university house. I have to say going down the Gibbet Hill path on a bike is exhilarating and I would 100% recommend it, even if it’s just because you are bored.

The disability team were lovely and I was able to put in place the adjustments that I had in my last degree and they made me realise that maybe the mentor that I am entitled too is a good idea to get so I will get onto that tomorrow. I then also had to pop over to UniTemps as I am going to write blogs for WMS and get paid “whoopee” before FINALLY heading back home. I had so much to do, I was a day and a bit behind on lectures so I have basically been working since 5 and it’s now 11:30pm. I am pretty sure I am doing something wrong here but I suppose we will figure it out as time goes on. My flatmate is also quite ill at this current time so I am hoping I do not catch what he has got as my mild cold has slowed me down enough as it is.

I’ve now managed to catch up with all of Tuesday’s lectures with just the three we had today left which is a smaller task ignoring the fact I have a further three to do tomorrow. I also want to go to the Neuro Soc film night but I don’t know if I am going to be able to as I need to get my anatomy done by Friday ready for the specimens. I am just so glad I get weekends for anki.
Thursday

Half an hour lie in today! Our year is split in two for CBL and it’s just my luck I was in the 9:30am slot. So I left the flat, whilst all my flatmates were still sleeping. Fun.

Our CBL case was brilliant and again my group nailed it. I planned to bring in cakes but with the fresher’s flu, I figured that perhaps my germs were best kept to myself.

We also had the tea and empathy society at lunch run by my medic uncle . It was nice to chat to the second years about what was the best way to get through second year. Apparently, I should get used to never being caught up…..

There was a neuroscience society event in the evening so I decided to wait around in the MTC ( Medical Teaching Building) to go to it, especially as I was missing studying the brain. We watched a film called “My beautiful broken brain” about a woman who had experienced a stroke. It looked at her recovery and how the TCDS treatment she had been receiving had caused epileptic fits leading to regression. After we had a short Q and A with Associate Professor Damon Hoad about neuro-rehabilitation. Although interesting, my passion for neurosurgery and radiology remains strong.

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Free popcorn !

I eventually got home at 8:40pm and spent the next 3 hours with my flatmates working our way through our anatomy workbooks for the hospital the next day…

Friday

My alarm went off at 4:45. Not fun. However, the breakfast wraps we made last week were a success.

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6:20am antics at the bus stop

Hospital teaching started at 8 so we were on a bus by 6:20 of which I had a nap. After the lecture on embryology, we had some clinical skills sessions. I was once again reunited with Dr Gill (who we had last week) and the two hours just flew by. Dr Gill had mentioned he had Aspergers so I was keen to talk to him about how to handle OSCEs. He was lovely and told me how to handle the whole eye contact thing and I felt brave enough to “come out” to my coursemates about it. So, now I have set myself tasks to become better at maintaining eye contact so I can improve by next week.

The afternoon consisted with of anatomy lectures with the plastinated specimens. These were incredible things and I could have sat and stared at them all day. Basically, these are real humans who have donated their bodies to science. The samples are dissected and the fats and proteins replaced by plastics. The detail is beautiful and I wanted to spend more time identifying features. We also had surface anatomy which did not go as well. After the stress of the morning’s clinical skills by “aspie meter” was nearing 0. We had to palpate human models which meant touching them to feel the muscles below and I wanted to scream and run away. I was ok when it came to drawing on them but this problem with physical touch is something I seriously need to address. I want to be a good doctor and I need to touch my patients to do this.

I got on the bus at the end of the day exhausted but still reflecting on the day’s lessons. I had also seen the CNS in the specimens and what more does a neuro need to be content?

This weekend will be going over the lectures that I neglected to catch up on due to anatomy and re-charging for next week. I am really enjoying the challenge that medicine creates and even though I feel I am not learning much, I know that compared to this time last week, I am miles ahead of where I was. I guess that is just how I need to look at it.

Abbie