On Gen Med I..

Wake up tired

Get to hospital way too early and tired

Go on 3 hour ward rounds getting progressively tired

Answer questions through the scrambled fog of tiredness in my brain and feel kinda good

Eat way too late and thus feel hungry and tired

Trudge up and down 5 floors of stairs to do ward jobs while still tired

Get home way too late to be motivated to study and do the things that need doing despite the tiredness

Fall asleep far too early 

And repeat.

Sighhhh. 

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Improvement 

You know how back in 4th year when consultants would ask me questions and I would “umm” for 5 minutes and say I dont know to things I actually do know? 

Well. I think I’m breaking the curse.

This past week on gen med I’ve been able to answer most questions posed to me! And correctly, I might add. And even ones with giant lists of answers, I can provide atleast 2. Where before, I’d draw a big fat blank. 

My consultant even told me that I’m doing really well.

I’m so glad I’m getting over that awful fear and mind blank that haunted me back then. 

Hopefully this means I’m becoming competent in some way. Huzzah! 

Hostile

Sometimes people make me ponder the word ‘maturity’

On my long shift at the hospital, I ran into a girl I knew from highschool. She is now a nurse at my hospital. 

6 years ago, I had a big group of friends in school whom I used to hang out with all the time. This girl, we’ll call her Betty, was in the same year as my group of friends, but not exactly part of the group. If you remember highschool, you know what I mean. 

Anyway. 6 years ago, when we were in our second last year of high school, she had organised a birthday party to which she invited only half of the people in my group of friends. She claimed to know us all but only invited some of us. I was invited, but my close friends were not. Of all the people invited, I knew her the least. I wasn’t entirely comfortable with the splitting of my group of friends because the friends who weren’t invited knew about it and told me how they felt a bit left out. So I told her very politely that I wouldn’t be able to make it. 

Since that one party, my entire group got permanently split up into the Betty squad, and those of us who didn’t make the cut. To this day that remains. I’m not bothered by it. I stopped caring about this situation 6 years ago. 

But yesterday when I ran into Betty, this happened. She seemed perfectly happy to see me and we smiled and hugged etc.

Me: hey! I didn’t know you were working here!

Betty: hey! Yes I live here now! Haha what are you doing here?

Me: oh I’m an intern here now so I guess I live here too haha! So I guess we’ll be seeing each other more now!

Betty: yeah! And maybe you’ll come to my party next time I invite you!  

We met in the hallway when we were both going somewhere so I said something like  “sounds good!” And walked away. What she said only registered 2 seconds later.

I was in complete shock. It made me wonder what kind of person would say something like that. 

That whole affair was 6 years ago. Actually it was high school so it’s basically a million years ago now. And I haven’t spoken to her about it at all. Every time I saw her after that, I had talked to her normally and she had done the same. As far as I can remember. 

What would cause someone to hold onto something so little for 6 years and bring it up to a person they haven’t seen in 6 years?? Did she expect me to stop and be like oh I’m so sorry. Let’s stand here and discuss that whole situation in the middle of hallway and clear the air.

What the heck?

It’s just so immature and sad and petty. This is in fact, Taylor Swift level pettiness to be honest. She’s clearly the kind of person who buries hatchets but keeps maps of where they are. 

It was ridiculous. What exactly does anyone have to gain by holding on to such minor grudges? Now I’m likely to avoid talking to her ever again. She made me feel glad I missed her party and didn’t join the Betty squad 

I just don’t understand continually harboring negative feelings towards someone. Especially not about something this small for this long. 

How mature is that? To say it in that passive aggressive way to someone who stopped to say hi to you. Someone who was genuinely happy to see a familiar face. Hostile much. And way way immature. 

She must have had extremely strong feelings about what I did. But even then. After a certain age, don’t issues like this become small in perspective? They certainly have become small in my perspective. What else is this person likely to hold grudges about? Omg remember that guy 10 years ago who took the last cookie at the shared lunch when I said I was hungry but didn’t want the sandwiches? He’s such a jerk. 

If I think really hard about my life, there’s only one person that comes to mind who I have negative feelings about. But that issue is still relatively recent and it was certainly not because they didn’t show up to my birthday party. And even So, if I saw that person somewhere, I would not bring up the issue – or anything for that matter. I’d avoid them as best as possible. Not smile and throw out a shady comment.

It’s just. Some people just don’t grow up. But then again, does anybody? I mean, I was bothered enough to rant about this on my blog which is supposed to be quite significant. Some might think that’s immature. But I don’t know. I find what she did/said so appalling. You just don’t deal with people that way. 

I suppose I’m grateful I won’t be doing that to anyone anytime soon. 

Admin Nightmares

Nothing says back to uni like a big admin stuff up.

I just cannot stand the admin people in universities. Medical universities in particular. They are the most frustrating people in the world.

Yesterday was my first day back at hospital. I showed up and had a little orientation meeting with one of the consultants, during which I and other gen med students were handed a pack of information about our run. Including the team we would be attached to.

I was assigned to the Black gen med team ( at Auckland hospital, the team names are colours. But even so, black shouldn’t really be a colour associated with healthcare. I don’t think they thought this through very much)

Anyway! I trotted up to the ward and asked the nurse where I could find the Black team (The first fail was that there were no contact details or names for any members of the Black team provided in my “information pack”).

The nurse looked at me and said “which one? We have 3 black teams”. I stared back in horror. My “pack” did not specify which black team, nor did it mention there was more than one. Useless. I told the nurse I didn’t know. She was kind enough to call the Black team that was currently on the ward to look after me.

The consultant asked me who I was meant to be with. I said I didn’t know. He then proceeded to call the consultant I had met with this morning to see if he would know. He apparently said that it  should have been printed as part of my “information pack”.

Oh for God’s sake.

After standing there awkwardly for a bit, the Black team consultant said he would take me on. And I spent the last two days with this team.

Today, I received an email from “admin” specifying that I should be attached to a registrar of another black team.

And this wasn’t just me. The other students also joined whoever was present at the time of their arrival to their respective wards and we were all collectively pissed off by this late email asking us to switch teams.

It cannot be that hard to have the tiniest bit of communication between the so-called “admin” department that are supposed to run the whole show, and the clinical teams. Like what is the problem?

And it’s not just my university. Admin people worldwide are crap at replying to emails, answering phone calls, and just generally getting things done that they are supposed to do.

I mean it’s not like anyone is asking them to move heaven and earth. We’re only asking what is part of their job description. Surely this isn’t mission impossible.

All the students on Gen med decided to ignore this admin person’s jumping team suggestion and to remain with our own chosen teams. It seemed so much less messy.

That’s how you do good administration to be honest.

Blech.

Well that’s my rant for the day. I shall talk about Gen med itself later on!

Accountability 

“I mean, I was just doing my job. I was getting paid. I didn’t do it to offend her or take her out. She had made a mistake.”

“Yeah I think people just have trouble with being held accountable for things. Like if you call them out on something they just jump on the defence and say you’re personalizing it. They just cant handle that responsibility.”

Back To Reality

I have returned!! And it’s the new year! Which means absolutely nothing to me because I lost 4 days in travel from Europe to NZ. But also, not much hoopla from anyone this year. Nothing much on social media. The sappy posts are missing!! What a shock! I guess people finally realised how unnecessary those posts were.

I am also yet to hear the word “resolution” uttered by anyone. This is great! The year seems to be off to a good start!

I’m very jetlagged. But I have to prepare for the start of uni the day after tomorrow. My first rotation of the year this time is Gen med. Back to the old grime. 

I’m very excited. No, really.

I guess the most significant thing about this year, is that it is in fact, the last year of my degree. After this year, another section of my life will have been completed, and the next one will (hopefully) start. I often feel like my life is broken up into stages. Mostly around my education. So in that respect, a big stage of my life is ending. 

Well actually not really. Because of the profession I’ve chosen, I’ll be studying for ever basically. So I guess it’s not particularly significant. I’ll just have a title attached to my name and a heck of a lot of responsibility.

Oh man. I hope I am ready when that happens. Because currently, I feel I am not.

I gotta make some fairly important decisions this year. About where I want to start working, whether I want to start looking into the PG thing straight away, where I should do that, whether I should take the exams that let me practice in other countries around the world, etc. Big stuff.

But we’ll see what happens. New Year new prospects? Ewww God no. Too cliche.

New Year. Hopefully new-ish things happen that I may handle. 

I hope everyone has a year that somewhat lives up to their expectations! 🙂

Also, I got back home and it’s pouring rain in Auckland right on schedule. Typical of a NZ summer. Oh God it’s good to be home. ^^

Venice Is Too Wet

On my last stop in Italy before returning home, I’ve become rather homesick. I’m tired of wearing several layers of clothing and still being too cold to enjoy things, tired of being herded like sheep in tour group after tour group, listening to hours of Italian history (as fascinating as it is), tired of using Google maps to go everywhere and Google translate to understand descriptions on menus at Italian restaurants. And I’m just tired of hotels.

My last stop is Venice. Which I have to say is the least exciting city in Italy that I’ve seen. Although, as I’ve said repeatedly, this maybe because I’m here in the winter and it’s been rainy and cloudy in a city that pretty much solidifies the proverb “water water all around but not a drop to drink”. Literally stepped out of the train station and saw this.


Water. Boats. No roads. No cars. Had to drag our suitcases to our hotel in the rain. Now. I adore rain. But something about the feeling of being eternally soggy in this city makes rain much less appealing.

I found that the tiny streets and alleyways smell a lot like mould. And there’s millions of these tiny streets so lots of potential to get lost with water dripping from Windows and awnings above your head. Not the best.

And I know that gondolas are the icon of Venice and are romanticized millions of times the world over, but personally, I got sick on them. They’re not as sturdy as you’d think. The person rowing the gondola (I’m sure he has a technical title, but I can’t remember what it is) is extremely talented at maneuvering this vessel through the small canals between the buildings and ducking under bridges, but the feeling of travelling through the canals and seeing the mould and barnacles on buildings is not as romantic as one would have hoped.

Gondola and Basilica

Got some nice pics though!

Nobody seems bothered by the rain, also. The tourguide kept going even though there was a considerable downpour and puddles in the old pathways we were walking on.

Eugh. The whole city gives off this grey mood.

But I have to say, the food in Venice is amazing. Every restaurant I’ve been to here has made perfect pasta and pizza. Absolutely perfect. And the little shops have pretty interesting merchandise of glass and crystals worth looking at.

Sorry if I dashed anyone’s fantasies about Venice. It’s just I don’t like things being overhyped. This is just my view though. And as I’ve said, it might be more pleasant in summer when everything is not grey and miserable.

I am counting the days till I return! One more to go!!! Then I shall be flying back home over 3 days. Yes. Unfortunately new years is a difficult time to get short transit periods on airlines. So I shall be in the air on new years! Sigh. But it’ll be okay! I’ll be coming home!

Buon Natale 

Merry Christmas to all!! And buon Natale is apparently merry Christmas in Italian! 

Yes I’m fluent in Italian now. 

No I’m kidding. I don’t even pretend to speak it. So. Sorry for my absence and lack of updates from Florence but it was an extremely tiring few days. The tuscany region including something called Cinque Terre is incredibly unexciting in winter. Nothing but nothing is open this close to Xmas. And that was immensely disappointing. Basically went on hikes where I froze to death and saw several things that looked the same repeatedly. 

Not the best time.

I am currently in Milan! Yes that’s right! The fashion capital of the world! Unfortunately, same problem. Everything closes by 7 and it’s freezing but NOT snowing.  My dreams of a white Christmas were dashed! But Milan is festive! The galleria and cathedral are lovely!

So! In order to get some white-ness into my holiday, we took a train to Zurich! It’s gotta be snowing there right?? Well…No. sadly. It was snowing in cities all the way to Zurich. But not exactly in it. That’s right. And it was Christmas eve. And it was a Sunday. Nearly everything was closed and the city was pretty dead. 

This was on the way to Zurich.

I did manage to have hot chocolate at this amazing place called Sprungli. It’s supposed to have the best hot chocolate in all of Switzerland apparently! Oh but they also had amazing chocolates in general. And the best macarons I’ve ever had in my life.

 

If you’re ever in Zurich, I definitely recommend this place! 

So it was a Merry Christmas after all!

Hope everyone else has a fabulous Natale wherever you are and whatever you do! :)) 

Findings In Rome

My last two days in Rome have been pretty great! Going on tours to all the different iconic places and learning all the stories behind them was so amazing. 

But also, there were some things I found in Rome that were particularly brilliant.

I went on a segway tour of Rome. This was without a doubt, the best way to tour anything. These gizmos are brilliant to move around a city where the traffic is ridiculous to drive in, the public transport is long and annoying And where walking is more dangerous than driving. After this segway tour, I began to question the act of walking to get places and see things. I plan to invest in one back home now. Very cool and very fun to ride.

In Rome, there is a street that is literally 2.3km of shops and boutiques. Definitely the busiest and most festive part of town. Lovely lights lining the road! Very cool.

The pyramid of Cestius! Apparently a lot of architecture in Rome was inspired by Egypt. But in particular, one of the kings in the early days was so taken with Egyptian architecture that he spent his own money to build a pyramid as his tomb when he died. I must say it was a rather queer sight in the middle of Rome. But quite interesting.

And you haven’t lived till you’ve had gelato in Italy. Handy tip from a Roman; if it’s genuine gelato, it’ll be served from buckets. Not trays like normal ice cream. The perfect gelato needs perfect preserving. It was amazing. Creamy and bursting with flavour. I actually had something called sour black cherry flavour and vanilla. Perfecto in every sense of the word. ^^

Finally, I had a huge tour of the colosseum. It really is a fantastic structure with such an interesting history.  Since it’s such an over-photographed monument, I’ll spare you from yet another picture of it. But something I found inside the ruins was this block. And the inscription on it brought out the med/pharm geek in me. xD for those who don’t know, Losec is the name under which the antacid omeprazole is sold. I am now convinced that the Romans suffered from GORD and during the shows at the colosseum, there was a stall with this block sign, selling Losec to people. Yep. I’m sure that’s what it was.

Overall, Rome was amazing! I am now off to Florence! Ciao! 

The Vatican

On my second day in Rome, the sun was out! It was a brilliant day and I had the chance to visit the Vatican.

It was so incredibly surreal to be standing inside and outside the St. Peter’s Basilica. The architecture and artwork in every part of that building was so humbling.

I’m not a particularly religious person. But once I was in the Sistine chapel, something about the energy and ambience there really filled me with faith and gratitude. Can’t really explain that feeling. But it was amazing.

Outside St Peter’s square, there was a big huge Christmas tree! Luckily I was there after dark to catch it being lit up. Very festive 

Got everything in view so that the tree could be appreciated properly. 

Lovely place, this.