Future

So. Today was my oficial last day of this year at uni. We even had our orientation for the final year of med school. 

Man. Was it weird.

Because I’ll tell you why… Even though you didn’t ask.

For the first time in ages, all 244 of my classmates were in the same lecture theatre together. It was so packed that I couldn’t find a seat. And what was more, I still didn’t recognise all of them. It’s been 5 years and yet there are people in my year group that I do not know. And probably will never know. Because today was the last time we were all going to be in the same room together other than our graduation at the end of next year. Who knows what’ll happen by then. 

And my friends, well, the few med students I consider myself close-ish to, I wouldn’t be seeing as much of anymore. They are either at different hospitals altogether next year, or are on different rotations than me. Which means there’s very little time to meet up with them and discuss life. Today was the last day I would see them in a while. Of course, the ones I’m really close to, I would make an effort to keep in touch and catch up with. But then again, who knows what’ll happen.

What a melancholy thought.

And then, we had several lectures about the year after next year. First year house officers fresh out of medical school. Where are you going to go? What are you going to do??

This is where things got weird for me. By the middle of next year,  everyone has to apply to the hospitals they want to work at in their pgy1 year. Eugh. Too much pressure. Up until recently, I was an obsessive future planning person. I always had goals, lists, etc. But now, I don’t bother anymore. What’s the point of making plans that aren’t really going to work out? 

Well anyway. There are 20 hospitals across New Zealand that you may work at. Only 3 of them are in my home city of Auckland. So you’d think naturally, I’d want to pick one of them, right?

Well actually, no. 

I’ve been to all 3 hospitals in the last two years. And now. I want out.

I can’t really explain it. But events from the last 2 years have really made me think that I need to get out of Auckland. Auckland is home. It’s the only place in NZ that I feel attached to. And that is familiar. But the hospitals in Auckland have really made me want to forget all that other stuff and move on. 

I’m the kind of person that remembers things vividly. So a place where significant things took place, will always remind me of those things. It will invoke certain feelings. I’m not proud of that. I wish my mind wasn’t like that. But it is. 

Back in 4th year, I was in middlemore hospital. I’ve got to say that there isn’t a single part of that hospital that I have not cried or felt lonely in. Of course it may have been because it was a difficult year in general, but even so. I get the feeling it has this innate negative energy. 

This year I spent a lot of time at northshore hospital. I’ve never felt so scrutinised and judged so harshly in my life as I had been by people during my time at northshore. There are still people there I hope I never have to see again. 

And then there’s Auckland city hospital. I’ve not had any horrific experiences there as of yet. Which is why I’ve chosen to complete my final year at Auckland city hospital. But even so, it’s not a fantastic place to be. 

The environment you’re in can have a significant impact on your outlook and your mental well-being. Of course I am training to be a professional and I should learn to deal with such things and not run away from issues, but to be honest, no one should have to feel trapped in a place just because it’s in their job description. 

I also want to be by myself. If I continue to stay in Auckland, I will invariably be around the same people I have been around the past few years. And I just can’t tolerate working with people who once looked down on me or pitied me, etc. 

I know this may sound unbelievably childish, pathetic, etc. But I just think that everyone should have the chance to choose a comfortable environment to work in. Not that I think moving out of Auckland is going to solve all my problems and I’ll be happy etc. Because every place has its negativities. But atleast I know what it is I want to get away from. 

But hey. This is a whole year away. Who knows what’ll happen.

And here’s a picture of Mt. Taranaki. A mountain on the west coast of the North island. 

There’s no reason this picture is here other than to project feelings of calm as the rest of this post is pretty melancholy. And because I took it recently and I think it’s a nice photo. 

Advertisements

Sighh…..

You know what sometimes sucks more than being depressed yourself? Hearing that someone close to you is depressed/anxious/upset.

It’s the feeling of helplessness.

Like you know there’s realistically nothing you can do to help them except try to convince them that often, the things they’re upset about are not true or not worth being so upset about.

But it’s never that easy. You can’t ever ‘talk’ someone out of their blues.

You can support. And they’ll probably appreciate that.

But man. It sucks to watch them go through that.

Eugh. Must it be so difficult?

New Phone

And so it was with a heavy heart that I bid farewell to my lovely Sony Xperia Z

IMG-20171023-WA0002.jpeg

It was like losing a relative to renal failure. My beloved Sony had been my companion and confidant for 4 years now. Through highs and lows, it was there for me. Bringing me closer to others, finding things I needed, storing information I kept feeding it and never repeating it to anyone. Taking photos that were just good enough in quality that hid the blemishes on my own face and the faces of my friends. And just being there for me.

In its day, this phone was top notch. Sporting a world class screen and camera, with the reliable water-resistant technology that sets Sony apart from all the smartphone giants out there. Leading them, actually.

But sadly, like all things in life, it became outdated. No longer upgrading to the delightful dessert versions of Android 6,7 and 8. No longer holding its power for a full 24 hours, no longer opening apps in the blink of an eye for efficient browsing. It just kept freezing up. Was too slow to understand what I needed anymore.

And so I decided it was time. Time to move on. Time to retire my favourite piece of technology. I miss it deeply.

I had my heart set on getting the newest Sony phone. The Xperia XZ is the newest and best version of the Sony class. I just adore the hardware and features that come with a Sony phone. But others disagreed with me. They found the new model to be exactly the same design as all the Xperia phones. This was bigger, and clunkier, apparently. But it had everything I needed. I’m not a huge techy. I have very little requirements for my phone. I need it to communicate with others, (phone, messages, whatsapp, viber, email, etc.) and it needs to be indestructible (waterproof, shatterproof). Sony satisfied both of these. I have dropped my Sony lots of times (not proud, but kinda proud of my phone) and it has never shattered. Unlike the Samsung/ Apple phones out there.  I also don’t believe in spending huge amounts of money on phones. Sony is generally an average priced phone.

But unfortunately, the XZ is not hugely popular in NZ. They’re going out of style altogether actually. The whole design-being-the-same-in-every-model thing. So what I ended up getting was this.

20171024_100401.jpg

The Samsung Galaxy S8! The revolutionary phone that has just hit the market and is beating sales of even the newest Apple iPhone. The screen is bigger and edgier than ever before. The camera is the best it has ever been, it is now waterproof, it has a processor and RAM equivalent to some high-end laptops, AND! it comes with your own personal smart assistant Bixby who learns how you use your phone and follows voice commands to bring you almost anything you need on your phone!

It’s new, it’s big, and it’s now mine.

Okay I spent a lot on this phone. And to be completely honest, I will probably not be using every new fantastic feature Samsung has racked up in the battle against Apple. But it is pretty cool. Shiny, waterproof, fast, latest Android….. and Bixby is really cool. xD

And I better keep to this phone for the next 4-6 years atleast. That’s how much I spent on it.

It just gets harder and harder these days though. The intentionally hold some phones back from getting the new Android versions just so you’ll upgrade. That makes life really difficult for me. I tend to keep my phones for a long time. If my Sony hadn’t become outdated, I’d still keep it.

Plus the newer models are following the trend of removing the headphone jack. That. Is a crime in every way to me. I just cannot. I need my music. I need it while my phone charges. No exceptions.

Hopefully this trend stops soon.

In the meantime! I am typing this on my new S8 and it’s pretty good! The photos were also taken on this phone. Ooooh so much detail.

I do miss my Sony very much. But hopefully my new companion will be just as great.

Oh My Goodness People 

You know how you watch movies or TV shows about people doing things and you think Eugh how dramatic. People aren’t really like that. It’s not realistic at all.

But when you actually hear and see such things in real life of what people do, you can’t help think those movies and TV shows downplayed it at best. 

People can be shocking sometimes. 

Reminded me of what one of my consultants in Melbourne said.

“You just cannot make up the things people actually do”

And that is so true.

He also says “You try to help people and they just screw with you”

Also very true sometimes. 

Return Home

I am back in my little ol’ City of Sails! It’s so good to be back home after my selective. And omg the year has ended! I will give a complete recount of this year in another post as it’s quite a lot of information and I need time to phrase it correctly. (as mysterious as that sounds)

But anyway! I am so relieved to be back home! Melbourne was pleasant and gastro was great but there’s just no place like home apparently! And just yesterday I had my last progress test of the year! Whew what a relief! It was okay…. It seemed that it was deceptively easy. But I never have confidence in saying that. I have the worst luck with such things. Sometimes I think I did really well in a test and my marks are less than “really well”, and other times when I die inside walking out of a test, I find I did better than I thought, and even more decent compared to the rest of the class. Some kind of irony I suppose. But yeah. This test left me feeling a bit muddled. I couldn’t remember a lot of the questions I had just answered and I felt a weird sense of happiness. Although, that could just be because omg the year is over!! 😀

Well kind of. Now I only have my report to submit recounting my 6 week selective in Melbourne, and something called a “prescribing skills test”. Apparently it’s an online test our entire class group has to sit to master the art of prescription writing! It’s formative though but it has been hyped up unnecessarily as usual. Which makes me nervous. But oh well. I’ve got 2 weeks to worry about that. So I won’t!

People kept asking me what my plans were for the holidays and I only had one answer: “Honestly, I didn’t think I’d make it this far”. xD Truly. I have no plans. It’s been an intense year that didn’t leave me much time or energy to think about planning my last summer holidays of all time. Maybe I will figure it out in the next few days. I’m still in post-exam hibernation mode. Sleep is a must at this time.

But there is one thing I made sure to have ready for my holidays:

Dan Browns’ new novel has been released! What could be a better way to spend your summer holidays than go globe-trotting with Professor Robert Langdon?! I cannot think of anything! So excited to get reading!

Will review soon!

 

There Are Some Fantastic People Out There 

When the med student you’ve known for about 4 weeks offers to drive one hour from his house to pick you up and take you to the airport that is 40 mins away around 5am in the morning before turning back and getting stuck in morning traffic to get to the hospital in the opposite direction before consultant ward rounds begin, just so you wouldn’t be stranded taking the bus…. you just know the words “random act of kindness” have been taken to a new level.

How nice of him. I’m so grateful. I declined of course because I could never inconvenience someone like that. But it was lovely of him to offer!

Happy Birthday HD!

Today is quite a special day. I’ve mentioned HD a few times on this blog. HD is the man with the killer angle sense for photography (that I’m forever jealous of), the funny, yet deep and thoughtful quotes about life that have more than once made me think for a long time and appreciate enough to write about on this blog, and the astonishing personality. But more importantly, HD is the reason I started blogging and continue to do so. And for that, this entry will be dedicated to him on his birthday.

It’s quite rare to come across someone who is so unique in everything they do. I’ve never met someone quite so different. And it is even more rare to meet someone who is capable of surprising you the more you get to know them. Even though you’ve known them for a considerable amount of time.

To call HD talented, would be an understatement. Actually, it would be an insult. He’s more than just talented. I’ve talked about his heightened skills in photography. He just knows what would look good in a picture. The frame, the angle, etc. But aside from this, he’s an artist. He paints, draws, designs and creates with the same patience and care he does everything with. He could open an art gallery filled only with his abstract paintings. Don’t take my word for it, he once sold a painting he had done a while ago, online as a legitimate wall painting. Apparently the owner of the painting adores it and has hung it proudly on a wall of their house. HD- famous artist. But of course something has to be sold in a certain way. And I have no doubt that the description of the painting had some part in its sale.

Because, HD is a writer. This is another understatement. He is an amazing writer. I am a reader. I’ve read a lot of books in my time and from a lot of different authors. Since taking up blogging I’ve had the privilege of reading some great blogs on this website. People write in all different ways. Some will make you laugh, some will make you cry. They can be clever, thoughtful, deep, purposeful and convincing. But HDs’ writing, has spirit. The way he writes, you can literally feel the spirit. It’s soulful. It seems to have a realism and passion such that when you read his work, you relate to it on another level. If that makes sense. Again, don’t take my word for it. Aside from excelling in English writing in highschool, HD used to blog. This blog had a very large number of followers to the point where they actually became ‘fans’. Many of his ‘fans’ would write to him saying how inspirational his writing was and how grateful they were for his blog. I am one of his fans. I regret deeply that this blog is no longer active. I cannot explain how much. Great pieces of writing should be treasured. Everyone should have a chance to read it. His writing is what inspired me and this blog. I think all his readers would agree that he writes in a special way.

Oh and he also writes lyrics. Some people are just born with the ability to write poetry. HD is. Somehow, intuitively, he can put words, one after the other in a way that comes together to be a full song. With hidden meanings, catchy rhyming words, and a real feel to it.

Of the million things I am jealous of HD for, his musical talent is something I would kill for. He plays the guitar, does percussion and writes songs. Oh, and he can sing. He’ll tell you he can’t do any of these things. I can sing and play the guitar but I am a true beginner. I know what sounds good and what doesn’t. With HD, he has an ingrained sense for music. He can hear a song and recreate it on the guitar. This song could have been played on a theremin for all he cares. He would know when to play the guitar to it and make it sound good. What’s more, he can write lyrics and hear the music that would fit with it in his head. Then he would compose. Honestly, this is how great composers are made.

What goes along with this music, photography thing are his beyond amazing skills of making home videos. They’re mostly music videos and mock trailers starring one character. But I swear they’re as professional as any short film production company could have put together. Spot on editing, lighting, cinematography etc etc etc. And the clever little additions that tell a story of their own, are perfection.

Okay so I’ve gone on enough about his talents, but it would be unfair to leave it at that. HD oozes originality. Everything he does seems to have his signature. I’ve never known him to half-ass anything. He has the conviction to do even the smallest things right. Even if it’s just a picture of his notes, he’ll make sure the lighting is good, the letters are in focus, and the frame is such that nothing unintentional or unnecessary is captured. Nothing is too small to put effort and care into for HD. Others (including myself) might say it doesn’t matter. But HD never would. He would do everything to the best of his ability. The pride he has in his work is his signature. You’ll know something is done by HD when it’s completed to a high standard with sophistication, and has something unique. Something no one else thought of or noticed. That, is HDs’ work.

His life is a pretty good example of that. He surprises people everyday with his perseverance. HD was a top student in his first degree at uni. He had a promising career in his field. He was an extraordinary professional who was marveled at by colleagues and supervisors alike. He then chose to complete a second degree and is currently excelling at it. I’ve heard people talk for days about what a brilliant student he is and how they want to be just like him. He’s in a position where he could quit. He doesn’t need his second degree to go on and be successful in life. But he sticks with it. And for his level, he doesn’t need to put in effort to pass the stages of his second degree. He has enough knowledge and experience to pass. But he works hard, strives, and won’t settle for anything less than a high level of achievement. He will complete everything to a high standard. As though he loved all of it. He doesn’t always get the credit he deserves. And that saddens me greatly. But that never stops him from giving his best every time. He doesn’t give up. That quality, is rare. It’s motivational, really. With this quality, I just know he’s going to be so successful some day at whatever he ends up doing. 

HD is cool. He’s got style. When HD walks into a room, you can hear the base guitar from pumped up kicks playing in the background, and everything from his body language to his outfit demands respect. He can pull off everything from cool professional (people mistake him for a doctor all the time), to hipster, to even rockstar. Sometimes I wonder if he actually does these things intentionally. Apparently I’m not the only one who thinks so. I’ve heard others compliment his appearance and attire even in casual situations. I guess HD is just cool.

HD is somewhat of a rebel. Maybe that’s where his sense of style comes from. He’s not one to lie down and take anything. That’s another quality I take inspiration from. He’s met some pretty awful people in his life and when he was in a situation where a supervisor bullied him and had the power to ruin his career, HD did not bow down. Even if it kills him, he’ll never let them know. Not only did he stand up to the supervisor and refuse to carry out menial tasks given to him, he was also commended by the university for doing so without quitting, when other students before him had. He’s the kind of person who, when told his next registrar is not the nicest, he’d turn around and say “that’s alright. I can handle it”. He’s not a quitter. I admire that.

You can trust HD to give it to you straight. If it’s wrong, he’ll tell you. I said he’s met some awful people in his life. But that doesn’t stop him from persevering. He’ll go a long way for you. When you least expect it. Sometimes his honesty will shock you. But that’s exactly what you needed to hear. There are times when he’ll be so positive and so encouraging. It’s just what you need.

One of the best things about HD is the kid inside. The one that gets excited about sunsets, the one that still watches his favourite childhood cartoon to relax, the one that remembers every single dialogue from his favourite movie in perfect order including the pauses. That’s what makes HD, HD. And it’s a quality that should be treasured.

If HD read all this, he’d say none of it were true. I wish somehow he would realise that he’s a pretty spectacular human. And accept his great qualities and treasure them. I am so grateful that I had the chance to get to know HD.

And if you’ve read this far, thank you for doing so. I want to ask my readers to wish him a happy birthday. Not any specific way. Just as you’re reading this in your mind, wish it. I hope many good thoughts head his way.

I wish him a Happy Birthday.

 

Spelling Woes

Today I found out that for the last 4 years of med school, I have been spelling the word “pruritus” wrong.

I had been spelling it as “pruritis”

No one had corrected me. In 4 years.

Today I was corrected by my gastroenterology supervisor via email as part of a research project questionnaire I had put together. There were 2 other consultants on this email chain.

“Please note the correct spelling of pruritus” he had said.

Eughhhhhh how embarrassing.

Why did I never know this. I’ve read textbooks. Somehow my mind has accepted the wrong spelling.

Gah. I suck at spelling. It’s so sad. So sad and embarrassing.

Gastroenterology Review

This is probably a bit preemptive considering I’m only 4 weeks into this rotation in Melbourne. But this rotation has been different to the others I have had this year. So I think now would be a good time to talk about my thoughts on gastroenterology.

I had mentioned how it must have been fate that I got accepted into gastroenterology over radiology. I think that was definitely true. It’s been a good run thus far.

Well. Kinda. Here’s the thing. I’ve had consultants here in Melbourne that ignore me and don’t acknowledge my presence (like back home). I’ve had registrars and team members that don’t really teach and don’t really care where I am or what I’m doing (also like back home). Then I’ve had consultants who are absolutely lovely and who teach and take an interest in me and my learning (this is also like back home). So the run in itself has been the same as all other things I have experienced in the last couple of years.

But I’ve been excited to go to hospital. I’ve been excited to go to endoscopes, clinics, ward rounds and to do my own studying. I actually enjoy what doctors do on a daily basis in gastro. Gastroenterology is one of those specialisations which has a good balance between medical management and procedures. And that’s something which I think is great 

I find the pathophysiology interesting and exciting. I find the medical management of patients intriguing. And I find the procedural side of endoscopies challenging and satisfying. I haven’t bad this kind of experience on any other rotation so far. I can actually see myself becoming a gastroenterologist.

And I am so grateful for that.

Now this isn’t 100% obviously. I’ve got a long time to definitely decide. But I am so glad that atleast one run (funnily, the final run of the year) has piqued my interest and has allowed me to visualise what kind of medical professional I would like to be.

And within gastroenterology, there are sub specialties. Liver, IBD, Oncology, etc. I’m not too sure which one of these I’d like. But I find liver pathology more interesting than IBD. So maybe I will specialise in hepatology. But hard to say.

It’s just exciting to ponder these options. To have something to hang off these ideas and consider them seriously. I am so glad. After a lot of rotations where I found out what I don’t like, it’s been nice to have a run I really do like.

Future gastroenterologist Abracadabra? Perhaps!

 

In other news, Melbourne is a huuuge city. But it’s a lot like back home. I went to Great Ocean Road today which has these big rocks on the shoreline. Great roadtrip with my flatmates and I took some photos! The weather was basically not great and we were all freezing and wet, but it was a good day overall!

12 apostles 412 apostles 512 apostles 6