One of the things I wanted my blog to be is truthful. I may appear this happy, pocket rocket but it’s hard. Especially when your brain does not exactly work the default way. So , this week was hard. Really hard. Feel free to skip, but I want to show how Med School really is, and that is what I shall do 🙂
Only had one thing to do today ! My CLO in vascular access which I was really looking forward to. However, I managed to make it to the hospital a full 40 minutes early as I thought we started at 8:00 and not 8:30.
I eventually arrived and there was only one case for the morning so it would be a quickish morning. I quickly discovered though that this was going to be a complicated case so they had planned to be there for a while. I was to watch a PICC line being inserted for the use of chemotherapy treatment. It was an interesting part of the morning as I got to see ultrasound being used to establish what veins to use (veins collapse when you push the scanner into the skin whereas arteries retain their shape) and an ECG machine (to see if the line is in the correct place). I was really enjoying the procedure until about an hour in. I began to feel nauseous, shaky and faint for no reason. I thought it would be a good idea to step out of the room rather than throw up on the patient (professionalism first and always) so I escaped to the theatre break room. I did feel a bit ashamed. I had done orthopaedic surgery without a problem practically wanting to jump in and help out but this small procedure shook me. The room was rather small and did get quite warm and because I couldn’t actually see the procedure, my mind was left to wander. Which considering Im not exactly having a good mental health month, probably wasn’t the best thing for me to do on a Monday morning. I ended up bumping into Sam and we sat laughing for half an hour whilst he was on a break which did make me feel better.
I was due to go onto the Neurosurgical Ward after but I decided to head home. I was still a bit shaken by this turn so I was not feeling in the best of conditions. We had revue rehearsal so I decided to try to sleep it off before heading to the med school. I kinda got myself into a slump that afternoon. I could barely see past the fog that had entered my brain so I was thankful to have something to do in the evening.
Not the best start of the day, ended up sobbing my heart out mid-panic attack in the office of our dept head of the MBChB programme (to Warwick’s credit, they managed to find a staff member when I went into the support office completely dishevelled and Kate volunteered). I’ve lost my love of Medicine and I find myself dreading hospital days, not really wanting to go into Med School and just completely numb to everything. There’s been a multitude of factors contributing to this. I decided to try and tackle the ones at the med school. I’m terrified of the upcoming transition weeks, it’s a dramatic change and it’s been a heavy burden to carry for 8 weeks, the year didn’t exactly get off to a smooth start and I feel completely alone. I have also been in near constant pain for the past 4 weeks and with everything else. I am exhausted. I don’t like this sudden change in the way I am feeling so I want to get on top of things now. Kate was lovely and I felt listened to, within 20 minutes I was laughing (though it may have been more manic laughter than happy) and ready to get on with the day. I felt listened to and now have a bit of a better prospect on the upcoming changes.
I made it to CBL but I was looking forward to the SSC2 lecture. I do find it confusing why we are being told this when we haven’t even finished SSC1 yet but hey ho. I was listening to the talk and thinking about the recent tweet that’s been making it’s rounds on twitter. IT’s by an orthopaedic surgeon and talks about Med Students like we are vermin in hospitals:
My lecturer talked about “on-topic” projects are more likely to get published and I had a lightbulb moment. 2 minutes after talking with the lecturer, BAM, I may have my SSC2 project already. I just need to find a time to talk more with my lecturer. It is going to involve medical students so I need to really start sorting ethics now, ethics can be a nightmare.
Lecture started at 10am today (whoop). We had a three-hour seminar on cystic fibrosis and I really enjoyed it. I did feel slightly cheated as the year before us had patients in with cystic fibrosis and got to see some physio used but hey ho. The lecturer we did have though was incredible and it was obvious he really did know his stuff. He also touched upon the recent advancement in Cystic Fibrosis treatment and it was good to know how this drug worked. I also found out there are 4 different types of cystic fibrosis and that this drug only works on types 3-4 where the channel affected , actually gets to the cell membranes surface.
In the afternoon we had a workshop on genetics and genetic frequency. Maths is not my strong point and it appears not my tutors point either. The whole room was sat there looking confused so we skipped the maths, went to the writing and began discussing the upcoming election. We solved how to manage through it by creating a drinking game (non-alcoholic of course in case the GMC is reading though if you let that othopod tweet slide this is nothing). I also had a call from the Nurse who I saw the other day when I was feeling rock bottom to check up on me. It was the nicest thing someone has done for me in a while and we chatted about my medication and she booked me into a GP clinic so I could get it changed. This small call meant the world and I hope one day to have the time to do something like that myself.
We then had CBL which I just managed to keep my eyes open for. This was followed by a revue full cast rehearsal in the evening which I waddled though due to the searing pain in my abdomen which was then followed by an hour of dance. Normally, our lecture theatre is freezing, like subantarctic) except today, when we didn’t need the heating, it was a sauna and we were all sweaty messes by the end of it. It will be worth it in the end though !!!
Made it in for my 9am (round of applause please) and managed to get through 4 back to back lectures (abdominal imaging, Epigenetics and Paediatric Genetic conditions) Paediatric Genetic conditions was one of the best lecturers I have ever sat through. It was to the point and the lecturer was so relaxed and made a few jokes along the way that kept us engaged so an hour felt like 15 minutes. The last lecture however, was informing us about our upcoming GP days. I am really looking forward to these despite not wanting to go into GP. We have to run our own student led consultations three times a day meaning that essentially we are doctors for 20 minutes. I can see now why they say you feel like a doctor in second year (first years it does get better!). I am worried about where I’ll be placed due to transport restrictions so although one of my lecturers has said I can come and annoy them for the first block, Nuneaton is a bit of a stretch by public transport !
We then finally got to meet my CPT (clinical personal tutor) who is a surgeon at George Elliot. I was excited inside as surgery but I was a bit nervous as I know I’ll need a lot of support this year with the changes so I do feel a bit nervous rocking up and being like “Help, I can’t see the wood for the trees”. However, he is lovely and told us his entire schedule, and said we can rock up and observe anytime we like so I am excited to basically be a permanent fly on the wall for his surgery.
We then went straight back into a lecture on refusal of consent in child patients with a lecturer who we had last year so it was nice to see a familiar face. However, there was a bit of an accidental joke made due to an unfortunate pause:
“Some of you may be parents of children with illnesses, some of you may have siblings who need higher levels of care, and some of you may have been children yourselves……[pause]
We all cracked up and missed the “…..who have had illnesses needing special care” part of the sentence so I don’t think our lecturer was too impressed with us. However, I feel we made it up in our ethics workshop looking at cases where it was parents V hospital about life support. Essentially, we were looking at the ethics and law behind cases like Charlie Guard. Is it ethical to keep a child on ventilation which can be painful when there is no chance of recovery as they have a deteriorating illness. There are cases to be made both sides and we debated the ethics of “right to life”, “right to exercise parental consent and responsibility” and on the doctors side “to do no harm” and to “act in the child’s best interest”. This made me sad as there is an ethics day at GOSH coming up which would be amazing to go to but I can’t afford the trip to London twice in one month (https://courses.gosh.org/bioethics2019 – if you want to go). I really do enjoy ethics, I think I can see myself sitting on the ethics committee at which ever hospital I end up at.
At half four I thought I was finished for the day and was happily skipping out the door when I remembered I had a society meeting. Damn it. It was useful however, and the team seem to like my booklet for the first years so in the end, I’m happy I went.
Day off ! I had a meeting up at the Med School about widening participation. The WP person at WMS contacted me and Ollie (PostGradMedic) about what we were doing. Essentially this was about Ollies project (MedSchoolForAll) so I was kinda awkwardly sat there for most of it as I only help out on the day ( but they have chosen me as a speaker this year so I am ridiculously excited) but I somehow ended up at the meeting. It was interesting to see the behind the scenes of this project, but listening to everything Ollie does, I did feel a bit like I was wasting my time here. I am hoping I can be a bit more active over this year now I actually have time to breath and I start to get my head health under control. However, something I have been sat on for a while is how to increase the presence of disability in med schools. I get a lot of messages about teachers telling people they shouldn’t apply for Med Schools because of their disability. One thing that really annoys me is teachers telling people on the Autistic Spectrum that they shouldn’t apply. There is no reason why people on the spectrum can’t be good doctors. Sure, we may just have to work harder with communication skills and getting used to this non-scheduled work but it is possible. In fact, in specialities such as radiology where being able to spot small details is a desirable trait, Aspie are perfect ! However, running an event for disabled people I think would be a bit odd so I was wondering how else to go about it. Turns out Amanda can help me out there so watch this space.
I was meant to have a driving lesson after but it got cancelled so I did some admin and chores before treating myself to season three of Atypical. I have been waiting so long for this to come out and I couldn’t just watch one episode. They have now included a character called Abbie so I got a bit over excited.