Block one Week 5 (#6)

Monday

Today was our final Monday of Block 1. It does not seem like a whole 6 weeks has passed since I started Warwick and although looking back, it feels like it has gone quickly, it does feel like I have been here forever.

We had the legendary Jamie Roebuck for Kidney drugs first thing (another 10 am start) and although none of it made sense at first- I can now see some sense behind it all thanks to some not so snazzy drawing skills on my end. I think I just need to learn that it’s OK if I don’t know facts at the same rate as my course mates- as long as I can keep up in CBL cases and know it by summer, I will be OK.

We had our last CBL session for this block which meant the last time we will see our facilitator who we had become rather fond of, so it was a bittersweet moment !

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We had another one of the anatomy sessions in the afternoon, this time focusing on the bladder. I need to go over embryology (everyone’s favourite subject) but Michael and I managed to complete all the grid bar one square … Result!

I was contacted by someone from my old uni who is blind but wants to be a doctor. Although I never wanted to say this to anyone, I feared they would struggle. They would cope with the academic demands of the course but so much of what we do is visually demanding. Though adjustments can be made through the use of models, it may be tricky beyond the degree. I felt awful because I never want to say to anyone not to pursue their medic dream as it was done so many times to me and I still made it. However, I directed them to the BMA and they are looking to go to America to study. I hope they do get there, there are blind doctors in the USA who are successful so maybe they will find luck there.

In the evening we had Revue rehearsals and Tash and I decided to avoid work for an hour and instead belt out musical classics in an empty room using the excuse “its vocal warm up”. Tash had the brilliant idea that “Does anyone have a map” from “Dear Evan Hansen” described med school perfectly, and I could not agree more.

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Tuesday

Half day today! We had a guest lecturer from UHCW who talked about managing Renal Patients which was helpful as it put into context why we were learning the physiology that we were all struggling with. It is sad to think that the drugs we give patients are the reason that most of them have kidney problems and that most blood tests are not reviewed at the weekends and that these kidney patients are linked to the weekend death rate ( NCEPOD : Adding Insult to Injury June 2009)

After lectures finished I cycled the 4 mile round trip to the post room to pick up the purse that I had stupidly let my mother go home with that weekend. I have never been more grateful for my bike. Got back to the med school and managed to get some work done before heading to rehearsals.

I had planned to go up to Preston this afternoon as Chris Packham was giving a talk at UCLan. I really want to see him as I identified with a lot of his documentary “Asperger’s and Me”. Thankfully, I have a legend of a friend who still works there. She live messaged me the talk whilst I was trying to understand some renal physiology. Chris knows a guy who was not diagnosed until he was 50 years old. I can’t imagine going for that long without a diagnosis. However, this shows that it is so easy to hide the autistic traits health professionals look for. Only 14% of Aspergic adults are employed meaning employers are not recognising their potential. Companies in “Silicone Valley” are recognising the contribution that adults on the spectrum can give to global tech companies and often these employees go on to become the most successful people in the entire company. Adjustments are needed often though, anything from a quiet area of the office to a lone office with a door. The UK needs to look to America for their example, the implementations could be life changing for many capable autistic adults in the UK and for our economy.

I also ended up going to a Halloween gathering that evening and went as every medical students worse nightmare:

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Wednesday

I had an early meeting with my personal tutor today so I cycled up to the med school vowing to work the entire day. I wanted to chat to her about coping with some of the traits that seem to have popped their head up during this stressful time of the year (as if there isn’t a stressful part of year one). I’m finding that I have less tolerance of those around me just because I am exhausted with dealing with … well people however, I just need to get used to this new way of learning and of life, and then I will be fine.

I spend the rest of Wednesday looking purely at kidney drugs. I am struggling to get my head around Renal Phys/Pharm but I am making small progress which I guess is better than none.

I also met with my Randstad supporter today. As a disabled student I get support in the form of a specialist mentor meaning I can basically have a time out of medicine for a while just get a reality check of sorts. She is lovely and I do get on with her, though it did make me miss my two mentors back up in Preston that little more.

Thursday

Although I can see the logic behind these end of block review sessions, and they were amazing at highlighting my weaknesses, I did feel significantly worse coming out of this day. The sessions were incredible, I just wished I knew more at this point. However, I have a weekend and a new drive in me – maybe I can rescue myself yet.

We had an INCREDIBLE rehearsal for Revue that evening with our band. We nailed the two big songs… and that is all I can say… for now.

Friday

8am start at the hospital though a shout out to my flatmate Nadir for knocking on my door and acting as the alarm clock my phone had failed to do. I managed to get ready and make a coffee in 5 minutes flat – thank you to Thursday me for packing everything the night before.

We did clinical exams of the thyroid today and Matt, Aisling and I basically had fun playing with each other’s patella reflexes for half an hour. We did however, get some work done and it all seems pretty straight forward apart from having to learn the signs and symptoms – I can tell this is going to be the hardest part of clinical skills.

Anatomy sessions were another test of how little I know. I seem to be struggling with blood supply so this is something I am going to have to focus on this weekend. However, I did get most answers right on the other stations, so maybe all is not lost!

We also had a great discussion with our Prof about inguinal canals (I know, we really have run out of things to talk about) and the models did a good job at trying to demonstrate that the canal is merely a concept and not a physical tube running down the groin.

Managed to get a lift home today (thank you Jack!) so I managed to get changed out of hospital clothes before rehearsals tonight instead of running from main campus to gibbet hill from the bus stop. I’ve decided to hide up here for the rest of the evening to finish some notes and prep for this weekend, I need to make use of all the time I have.

Although I have been pretty dismal this week I have to say that it was just unfortunate that everything we were tested on, I haven’t actually covered yet so I suppose it’s reasonable that I don’t know what I am actually doing. The lectures we have are incredible resources and we are encouraged to contact lecturers to go over material we don’t understand as yet. I’m looking forward to going over all my knowledge this weekend so it becomes cemented for the beginning of Block Two ….. Blood, Heart and Lungs!!

Oh, I am also taking over the Medical Schools Instagram account this week so make sure you follow @Warwickmedicalschool on Instagram to follow me !!

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