Archive for January 2009

“Freedom is deciding whose slave you want to be”

I am still having issues with the fact that I qualify as a doctor next year. For so long the prospect of qualification was a blip on the horizon and life as a student drowned away any potential musings on the subject. Except now, it’s real and I’m constantly thinking about deaneries, paying off debt and if it’s what I really want to do.

I have danced with the idea of going to law school, essentially a year of rote learning – could I even deal with that after medical finals? I have thought about doing courses in journalism, or teaching scuba diving somewhere in the pretty pacific. All these ideas have given me some degree of comfort about the uncertainty of what I want to do. Except something happened. Obs/gynae happened, and as I predicted; I am absolutely loving it. This is despite the looks of horror I am getting from staff members as if I’m suggesting I like to self-flagellate before breakfast each morning. If I had hated obs & gynae, it would have secured my decision to eventually leave medicine, but on the contrary, it has made me think – horror of horrors – that I would enjoy being a doctor, and a hospital doctor at that.

I had assumed that once I got to the stage of qualifying, I would feel less constricted by my career choice, but as it seems now, the handcuffs are getting tighter. B often tells me to close my eyes and think of what I’d enjoy doing the most, but my subconscious distracts me with food and fond memories of previous sexual encounters.


To curb my anxieties, I have been collecting discounted cookbooks from a bookshop in Lambeth North. As the flatmate says, “You can never have too many cookbooks.” I am determined to eat more seasonal fruit and veg and I am trying to make the most of the autumn/winter harvest. The tiny greengrocers on the high road is in abundance of Jerusalem artichokes, blood oranges and salsify. I made a rather delicious soup with some Jerusalem artichokes and white truffle oil, which I sat down and consumed while watching some dismal cooking on Masterchef ensue.

Hat tip to a certain cheese sandwich; B got me the Decadent Cookbook for our anniversary. As well as recipes there are some very interesting stories and information on cooking techniques e.g. how to prepare a dog for slaughter – not sure how the RSPCA would feel about that one. (For the interested, a dog should be tied up for 24 hours, and beaten with small sticks to get the adipose tissue moving.)


Another hat-tip, but I am immensely enjoying “Family,” a web series sit-com about a MFM triad based in Seattle. The clips are short and I’m finding them highly entertaining.


1 comment January 28, 2009

Planet 2009

About a week ago I was on a bus with a Chinese friend of mine talking about all the unethical food we’ve eaten and we got onto the subject of the Chinese New Year. Last year was the year of the rat (my ‘sign’) which is never a good year once it hits your own sign according to her mother. I didn’t think 2008 was too bad, but there were a couple of rough patches of self-doubt.

I never make resolutions, but I like to have an idea of what sort of ‘theme’ I want for the year. 2008 was about stability, 2007 was fitness and so on. This works well for me and given the circumstances, I have decided that for 2009, I’d like to push some boundaries. This will work well for fitness and when I go travelling. It might also explain why the windows open in addition to this one include crockery (I’m collecting Denby White) and a swinger’s website.

1 comment January 11, 2009


The great thing about having had a brief flirtation with anxiety in the past is that going to medical school catapults you into really having to deal with it and ensure it doesn’t rear its ugly head again (especially in front of a patient – which hasn’t yet happened *sigh of relief*). Most people who are secure enough to admit it will state that the first clinical year is a steep learning curve; you’re in a hospital environment rather than the comfort of the lecture theatre, every few weeks you have to get used to new consultants and staff members on the ward. Years ago, I would have walked backwards through hot coals* in order to avoid using the telephone – so the first few times I had to walk up to a patient aka a perfect stranger in their hospital bed and ask if I could take their history and examine them, I was boiling a few eggs inside. 

Despite this, I’m doing ok. Year 3 came and went at lightning speed, and I’m already a third of the way through Year 4. Come the end of August, I start my final year. Again, I think I’m dealing with this, my subconscious on the other hand feels like a Lolcat on repeat: “WTF, WTF, WTF!”

For as long as I can remember having exams, I would always dream that my teeth were falling out. These dreams would become more frequent as exams or results came closer. The premise was pretty constant: I would be running my tongue over my teeth, and as soon as I got to an incisor on the left hand side, it would move akin to a child moving a loose tooth with their tongue. After that, it was a mixed bag. Sometimes I would lose all my teeth, sometimes I would force the tooth back into my gums and pretend it was fine, only to find it loose again on chewing food. On one occasion I went to a dentist, but refused to be examined by them due to their lack of anaesthetic (and clean instruments). Two months ago I had a dream that I pulled out an adult tooth, leaving a patch of gum. Three nights ago I flicked my tongue over that area and the tender gap remained.

A quick consultation with Dr Internet and there are about 20 explainations for the tooth-loss dream sequence. If I was to take it seriously and pick what seems to fit me best; my take on it is that I have worries about change and transition. And with the breakneck speed that my final 2 years seem to be going at, I suppose I have to get used to the sweet relief of waking up to find the pearly whites all intact.


* I think I do want to walk on hot coals, but my motivations are different.

Add comment January 10, 2009

“Accrington stanley? Who are they?!”

I don’t live on copious amounts of milk, but I have decided it’s probably a good idea to self-wean off cow’s breastmilk. Reasons for this are two-fold:

1) I get very bloated and gassy when drinking it

2) I have weird fetishy images in my head regarding people dressed in rubber, odd trance music and cows udders.

I’m not a huge fan of soy milk, so I ventured out and bought some hazelnut milk, and almond milk (the latter at the bottom of my cupboard for now). I quite enjoyed the hazelnut milk, it’s very sweet and the texture was smooth. Bit of an odd aftertaste, but I’m hooked for now. Even better, B tried the milk and didn’t like it, which is good for me as I’ll actually have milk to drink from now on, and it won’t be drunk straight from the pack 🙂


I’m avoiding the gym this January as I cannot face the crowds of resolutionaries. I know it keeps my gym membership fee low, but it’s too much to bear. I have decided to try the 100-push-up challenge, as my medical school are sending me to what feels like Zone 25 for the first 4 weeks of Obs/Gynae anyway, and it’ll give me something to do besides work.

Add comment January 6, 2009

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