Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Down in the Dumps

I'm afraid I'm not the happiest, smiliest bean ever, so please bear with me while I have a little woe is me rant.  Or not.  Skip it if you like, but don't say I didn't warn you.  Results night I was walking down the stairs at home to answer the door when my ankle gave in and I slid down the rest of the stairs on it, landing in a small heap at the bottom.  Sadly nothing stronger than water passed my lips and I was having a quiet night in, not celebrating like a rock star falling off the table I was dancing on.  One of the good things about being from my University town, is that when my housemates were running around trying to decide who could drive my car (as none of them have one) or whether they should call an ambulance, whilst trying to fight me and RICE my ankle while I just wanted to cry and lop my foot off because it hurt too much and could they please stop touching it with the cold solid thing, I could call Mummy and Daddy bean to drive me to the Walk in Centre because I broke a bit of myself.  3 hours later I emerge with a PIL on foot and ankle injuries, a copy of my X-Ray (batted my eyelids sweetly at the Dr), a sprained ankle and a shiny pair of crutches.

It's been over a week now and I'm still on crutches.  People tend to fall into two categories, those that think I'm being lazy and for goodness sakes it's just a sprain, and those that have also badly sprained their ankle in the past and cheerfully tell me a sprain is worse than a break and is there anything they can do for me.  All I know is if I take 6 steps without crutches my ankle will ache for the rest of the day, or if I try flex my foot, like to do stairs, it aches, or if I rest it on something, it aches, and that it is still swollen.  Still.  Stupid ankle.  My lovely Mr came down and put it in a tubigrip for me this weekend, which is helping, although I nearly kicked him when he put it on it hurt that much.  It's helping so much I would be down to just one crutch except that last night I managed to put my hand on an electric hob on max and am sporting a rather painful burnt palm now.  Crutches are blooming hard work, especially because all the exercise I do normally is lower body not upper.  Everything aches.  It's laughable really; before I wasn't sleeping because I was a stressy-head over exam results.  I was really looking forward to a full nights sleep when the results came out and it turned out I didn't need to worry.  Now I can't sleep because my ankle has perfected this dull, nagging, persistent ache that pain killers aren't touching.  Argh!  I went back to the WIC at the weekend and they said to stay off it for another 2 weeks.  That means my Winter Ball on crutches, and my first week on SSU on the Respiratory Ward on crutches.  Brilliant, just perfect.  Should I mention this is all on top of the inner ear infection I already have that the GP said was viral and I just had to ride out?

Placement was pants, utter pants.  I had such a good placement last time and this was just awful.  It started badly when I asked my partner to give me a lift in because I can't drive at the moment, and they asked me to walk what would normally be 30 minutes to meet them so they could drive a really convoluted way, instead of the direct route which goes straight past my house.  I had explained why I needed the lift and when I told them the direct route they got really defensive and said since I was asking the favour I should be nicer to them.  They then were so paranoid that we would be late they arrived 10 minutes early to pick me up and we arrived 40 minutes early.  I was with 2 GPs.  One completely ignored me and didn't involve me at all.  The other was the nice one that I had last time only this time the questions he asked me I hadn't a clue about (diagnosing Paget's from the clues of bilateral hearing aids and hip pain, and spotting CREST) and he just made me feel like an idiot for not knowing them.  My attempt at taking blood didn't work as the patient's vein disappeared when he straightened his arm out, and only once I'd tried did the patient say "Ah yes, the hospital always has trouble taking my blood".  My ankle was killing me after that day as the GP was full of come over here and have a look at this boy's spots/man's cyst/lack of an inguinal hernia/letter that I'm holding in my hand/etc.

Finally, the forces have been in the spot light a lot recently, with Remembrance Sunday, Military Wives Choir and Frontline Medicine recently.  Being completely and utterly selfish and probably just a big bag of silly girly hormones again, but I'm finding it really hard to be supportive for Mr.  My heart bursts with pride and love for him, but I don't know as I'm ever going to be strong enough to be left behind, waiting for him to come home safe.  The first of his intake from Sandhurst was killed on tour recently and it's made it all hit home.  I keep beating myself up about it because as sad as I get and for all my doubt in my own strength, it's not about me, it's about him, and I shouldn't be so.... pathetic.  Hundreds of women do it, there's no reason why I shouldn't be able to.   I just don't want to have to try.  I was watching the choir programme and they were saying that they had chosen this life and so that's how they get through it, but I didn't chose this, I fell in love with a guy I met in a club.  I need to man up, stop dwelling on it and deal with things as and when they arise.  I need to take my own advice, that it's not about me, it's about Mr.  And maybe one day I will.

In happier news, I passed my clinical competencies in IM injections and musculoskeletal exams with excellents, and the GP passed me on cardiovascular exam competency.
Hopefully I'll be happier next time,

Friday, 11 November 2011


Results came out at 11.30 today.  I PASSED!!!  Not only did I pass, I did rather well, a bit of a closet clever clogs really :p  I got 41, which is up from my last score of 28.  I am in the top 5% of the year so I got my excellent and a bit of snooping through the exam reports tells me that I'm actually 6th in the whole year.  To say I am excited right now is an understatement.  I even passed the passmark for the 5th years.  I am shaking I'm so happy.  To have been so worried about it and to have it all turn out all right, and even better than all right is just fantastic.  I'm off to go bounce off some walls now :)  Thank you for your lovely comments yesterday, they really cheered me up.  Have a great weekend.  I'm up early tomorrow to go to a day of Podmedics lectures.  Now my only worry is maintaining that score!

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Fret, fret, fret

I should be excitedly telling you how I aced the AMK, or crying because I failed the AMK and am feeling pretty dismal.  I have dutifully waited the normal two weeks.  I am getting my insomnia and then sleep walking when I finally do drop off, as is usual when I'm fretting about something.  Results day should have been yesterday.  Tuesday we got an email saying that due to unforseen circumstances there was going to be an unavoidable delay in the release of the results, for another two weeks!  This bean is not amused.  I'm not sure I'll last that long on this little sleep.  It's all very well saying it's no use fretting, and why don't I try going to bed early but it's not that simple when you're this side of the fretting, and when it's not your results, or not your family you have to tell if you fail.  We then got an email from the Dean telling us of for a facebook group that had been discussing AMK questions and the rumour is that we've done better this time than we were supposed to, hence the delay as they try and work out how to moderate it.  This was the first time I'd heard about any such group and really just adds to the fretting, as it presumeably means that a whole load of people have done very much better than me and when the grade boundaries are set according to how everyone else did that really doesn't bode well for me.  I don't know how you picture the little bean in your head but she's pacing up and down right now and could probably do with a swift slap across the cheek and being told to calm down. 

Apart from that this case unit has been pretty massive - covering endocrine, diabetes, the eye and the leg in the space of two weeks.  I have done my usual shifts at the GP surgery and so having an inability to shut down and go to sleep means my productivity is up pretty high, as long as you don't mind your bean rocking a zombie look the rest of the time.  After this case unit there is a study week, so as long as the GP's don't claim me I should get a bit of a break then which will be nice. 

The new cat is now out from under the sofa.  She now lives under the table, but at least she's more accesible there.  She adores getting tickles but isn't comfortable enough yet to come and ask for them.  If you want to contort yourself to get to her and give her them that's fine, but if you don't that's ok too.  Hopefully we'll start giving her the run of the house soon as she's confined to the living room for now until she's less fraidy.  It is very therapeutic going over every day to tickle a cat though.  Should be prescribed. 

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Exams and Cats

The AMK went.  I'm not sure if I can say any more than that, just that I have done it.  The results are out next week, so I shall have to wait and see until then.  This was the first time we sat it on paper and not on a computer, and I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not.  On the computer the questions come up in blocks of 25 and once you complete a block you cannot return to it.  It's difficult to think of timings so I had a tendency to be very cautious.  On paper you have three hours to look through all the questions as many times as you like, so you can convince yourself you know more than you actually do.  Because of this I answered a lot more than I normally do, so I think it's either gone really well and it was a good paper, or it's gone really badly.  I'm tying myself in knots, I don't like it.

Yesterday I sat me first clinical competencies of the year in intramuscular injections and musculoskeletal exams.  I had spent the last month practising for the IM injections every Friday for an hour, so I was pretty confident.  It threw me a little because the vignette wasn't the one I was expecting, but I muddled through and did pretty well. I got all high excellents and one satisfactory because I didn't wash my hands after I gave the injection.  I was just too pleased to be finished without stabbing myself and that I remembered all the bits and did it in the time limit.  Hopefully that will come out as an excellent.  The MSK also went well.  She picked me up for not looking behind the patient to see how high up they could get their hands, but I didn't do that because it wasn't on their demonstration video so I didn't know I had to.  I got all low excellents for that, with high excellents for communication skills and introduction.  I'm not sure what else I could have improved upon. That one will probably moderate out as a satisfactory.

Another big thing that happened to me in my break between writing was that my cat died.  We'd had Amber since she was 8 weeks old and she died at the age of 13 at 7.45am on 1st October.  Her liver had started to kick out all the stored fat into the blood stream for some reason, making her blood really thick.  She was so poorly in the end we rushed her to the emergency vets who tried but couldn't save her.  She was the best, funniest, cleverest, stupidest, fluffiest, warmest, most loving cat in the world, with the biggest personality.  Whenever I was upset or ill she'd come and find me.  She wasn't terribly good at being a cat - couldn't really jump that well and was never very good at catching things but she knew how to play each member of the family to get exactly what she wanted.  Whether that was being carried to her food because she didn't want to walk, being taken and let out the front door because she didn't want to go out the back, sitting on what ever you were working on because you weren't paying attention to her, getting hugs and tickles when ever she wanted, or sitting on you because you were wearing something soft that she thought must be for her.  She was more than our cat, she was my sister and she is sorely missed.
 Our family was devastated getting that call from the vet.  We cried for weeks.  Without her the house just seemed so empty.  This weekend we went to the cat shelter and we got a new cat.  Nothing will ever replace Amber, but we've had cats in our house for as long as I can remember.  I was practically raised by them.  There's pictures of one of them, Shilling, sitting on my moses basket watching me sleep.  Apparently, if I woke up she would walk back and forth down the basket to rock it and send me back to sleep.  She didn't know what I was, but she knew I was to be cherished and protected.

Freya is our new cat and she is 2.  She is currently under the sofa.  She is very happy, not scared, will have tickles and food and wash and lick you and fall asleep flopped on your hand.  She just won't come out from under the sofa.  Except at night time, when she comes out and goes nuts.  Once she's sure everyone has gone to sleep she has quite a night of playing.  The first night the tail came off her catnip mouse.  The second night the mouse was annihilated into fluff and bits of fabric and scattered around the room.  The third night a ball of wool was unravelled and re-wrapped around every chair and table leg in the the room.  So, every day I go over, clean up whatever she's done and spend the next three hours lying down beside the sofa with my arm jammed in up to the shoulder tickling the cat to try and get her comfortable enough to come out.  She came from a multi-cat household with very little human interaction.  She's just finding out that ear tickles and tummy tickles are the best thing in the world.  If she would just come out from under the sofa....