Archive for July 2008

The long slog

Everything willing, I will be in my fourth year of medicine very soon. Yesterday I went for a drink with a friend during a revision sesion at what used to be my local bar when I lived in halls. I don’t know if it was the vision of all the young prospective students walking by, or the summery sweetness of my Malibu and coke, but it made me think about times past, and the direction I’m heading in now.

I often feel very restricted in the course I’m doing, but I knew when I started that was the lifestyle I had chosen and that was to be expected. I made the decision to become a doctor on a serious level when I was 16-17 and I can’t comprehend now how anyone can make a decision like that at such a young age. I don’t think people in their late teens and early twenties are necessarily the best equipt people to start medical training, but that’s how doctors are prepared and cooked in our society and for the time being there’s little good to be done arguing otherwise.

In the 5 minutes of ‘worry time’ I allow myself each night, I worry about what’s going to happen if I fail and if I would want to carry on if I did. I honestly don’t know, and despite deep concentration, I can’t for the life of me think of anything else I’d be happier doing.

For the time being, I feel weary, weepy and fed up. The next 7 days are going to feel very short and very long.


Add comment July 25, 2008

Fat in a jug, please!

Aside from my subscription to Women’s Health magazine, I try to steer clear of women’s magazines. I wouldn’t call them magazines as such, more like insecurity and consumerism in 100 glossy pages (yes you are fat and your boyfriend wants to cheat on you). The geek in me always preferred the New Scientist, Economist and the student BMJ.

On the front of a glossy this week, I saw a front page picture of various celebrities, discussing the eternal struggle for them to keep their weight down in light of releasing numerous fitness DVDs. Their body mass goes up and down like a yoyo. 2 inches across from was the following, “The milkshake diet. We tried it, it works!”

Do you think the irony came and stabbed the editors between the eyes?

Add comment July 20, 2008

“I will burn for you, feel pain for you”

I was preparing a butterbean/runnerbean salad for supper to the sound of #1 Crush by Garbage. The song is particularly bittersweet for me as it marked a dark time in my life during my A levels where I had hit rock bottom. All my teachers thought I was a foregone conclusion. I remember my form tutor saying to me, “I don’t know what else to say. I am very sorry.” My politics teacher talked to me about the pressure young women put on themselves and that I’m only hurting myself by putting myself down, oblivious to the fact that in the height of summer I was wearing a long black cardigan hiding the bandages which in turn were hiding the fresh cuts on my arms.

I digress, I still absolutely love the song. I was preparing some garlic to add to a simple dressing and the knife slipped (not exactly what most prospective doctors would admit) and I cut my thumb just under my nail bed.

For a split second, I thought about what would happen if I dipped my thumb into the lemon-based dressing. After a momentary lapse, I realised that the thought didn’t appeal at all. Possibly an indicator that I’m ready to explore the small sadistic side rumbling in my psyche. Or (more likely) I didn’t want to ruin a perfectly good dressing.

Add comment July 14, 2008

Jumping through hoops

Feminists: look away now!

One symptom (or sign?) of looming exams that I suffer from is that I suddenly want to get back into the kitchen. During long revision sessions I procrastinate by thinking of new utensils I’d like to go and buy, recipes I’d like to try and ignoring the ‘instinct’ that’s telling me to abandon any career plans and go somewhere warm and comforting. Or perhaps being in biomedicine is the best thing for me, after all, “Let food be your medicine…”

So… on my list of the ‘post-exam kitchen retreat’ includes:

* buying beautiful glass containers for me to store whole grain items

* bulk cooking several recipes from ‘Indian cooking made easy’

* explore my family history and delve further into Sicilian cooking. I don’t know what my dad’s favourite dish was, the anniversary of his death is coming up so now will be a good time to start.

Sigh. It seems like the light at the end of a tunnel is a pin-prick. Not that I want it to go too quickly. I should go and do some surgical revision.

1 comment July 6, 2008


Friday morning, and I woke up in a blind panic. This used to happen frequently a few years ago when I had to deal with exam stress and anxiety, and it was a pretty horrible feeling to wake up to. The cause of my panic was centred around the OSCE that I’m soon to take, but somehow it must have been cluttering about in my subconscious before I woke up. I was also meeting my consultant to have my final forms signed off, so it wasn’t going to be the most stress-free day.

I considered taking some propranolol in the morning, I ususally keep my stash aside and take a couple of pills before my first exam, but I forgot to. A blessing in hindsight.

Went to the gym, and had a nice workout (didn’t feel nice at the time). Came home, cooked, sat down with some books and realised how totally and utterly chilled out I was feeling. My heard rate was normal, had no butterflies or feelings that adrenaline was rushing around my system. I was like a sponge and the gym squeezed out any tension, just like a light switch that had been flicked off. Twas an awesome feeling. Better than propranolol.

Add comment July 5, 2008

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