Friday, December 23, 2005

the christmas of a disheartened doctor

it has been five extremely busy days. work has been punishing as always with insufferable late finishes.

the big plus was that my good old bro-seph from Vancouver has been in town so we have been schmoozing around london all week. it has also been quite heavy from a beer perspective and i have had to tolerate his insistence on drinking Newcastle Brown Ale which, for those uninitiated, tastes like tepid hard water. i on the other hand much prefer the gaseous slip of monsieur kronenberg.

but i have been trying to condense the best and worst of London into a few evenings and i certainly have a had an absolute ball. we were privvy to a performance by the worst singer-songwriter in the world at the 12 Bar on Denmark Street. there are photos and video footage which i shall endeavour to post.

needless to say i am shattered by 2am bedtimes and 6.30am wake ups, in addition to the sheer amount of crap at work such as the inability of a handover to be completed at 5.30pm, not because of sick patients but because people are too busy getting cups of tea, discussing their plans for the holidays etc.

ah yes holidays.

as mentioned before i am NOT going to be seeing any loved ones this year (excuse me, for the THIRD year in a row) but instead am getting ready to go into the hospital. it would of course be impossible to organise a rota where the holiday period shifts are equally divided amongst staff so that everyone gets at least one day off. no much easier to completely screw one doctor over (well two - the poor bastard who has to do the day shifts over xmas). so today after waving off my friend and then snatching a few hours with my special ladyfriend before also waving her off, i have been twiddling my thumbs at home. she has kindly left me loads of presents to open on christmas day and made a hamper for me to take in on christmas eve (she is the best!) but it's no way the same.

this christmas eve, santa will do his on call (1 in 365) whizz through london whilst i shall be on the ward trying to make the best of it. and then i shall return home on christmas morning (though i am not sure how because there is no public transport and hmmm of course the hospital has organised transport for its workers not) to my cold flat, maybe eat my turkey dinner for one or perhaps forgo it in favour of sleep. then, whilst families in the rest of england sits bloated in front of the telly, i shall begin my trudge again into work.

i love medicine. everyday i work as hard as possible and try to do the best for the patients even when my motivation levels are below zero.

but, i really did not sign up for this continual soul whipping.

anyway (this is sincere) wherever you are and whatever you are doing, have a great christmas everyone.

[i am listening to one of my favourite songs in the world: one of these things first by nick drake]

Saturday, December 17, 2005

saturday sun

it is very exciting this weekend. the weather is gorgeous, i am not working, chelsea play arsenal and tomorrow...

... the canadians arrive.

[i am listening to the decemberists]

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

what are the chances of that happening

today i have mostly been wiping my fucking nose and tolerating that boring into your eyes feeling when you get the 'flu. i also got the short straw again by having to do all the frigging central lines too (big drip lines that go into big veins either deep in your neck or charming groin) and then two people decided to have cardiac arrests simultaneously (they are both ok by the way) so lots of running around. so once more i left late (not that i have a problem staying late for sick people) and what's that? oh hello there hospital management. oh really? you've done the audit and i'm working less hours than ever before? well i guess i can't disagree with your study. of course it's fine to cut my take home pay by £500 a month. no, thank you.

i was gagging for a pint but cannot do anything without having to wipe my nose every two seconds and so all hopes of beer have disappeared out the window.

i really cannot wait for christmas when incidentally i am on nights (23rd Dec to 29th Dec.)

"what did you get for christmas?"
"four new admissions."
"what did santa bring you this year?"
"nothing. santa does not bring anything for naughty boys who stay up all night."

you could not fucking make this up. you really could not.

ps. absolutely categorically NO photos. the whole point of this blog is that i remain arrogant behind a shallow veneer of anonymity (despite now having 3 mates on here)

[i am listening to ben folds, songs for silverman]

Sunday, December 11, 2005

and my apartment smells of rich mahogany

the herculean trial that was the membership of the royal college of wankers exam Part 2 is thankfully over until the imminent resit and loss of a further £290 (yes £290 - $600 for the Canadians - i know you're reading this.) i can only hope that the tossers at the college had a bloody good piss-up the night before the exams. i can only imagine the scene in the smoking room (i don't even know if they have one but i bet they do):

"i say sebastian we certainly have excelled ourselves this year!"
"ha ha! you're absolutely right charles! i think it is sheer genius that three times a year we continually set the most esoteric of questions, make sure that anyone who does not sit the exam hits a career brick wall
and manage to make them pay us for the privilege!"
"ha ha! we're great we are! more champers?"

"is brucellosis rare? by the way what time do the whores get here?"
" very soon i hope. i'll get the lube! thank you junior doctors! i'm going to put this on my weblog tomorrow. ha ha!"

i did suggest that after the exam we partake in a wicker man style burning of the college but opted for the pub instead. (vegas was of course present, on a quick sojourn from the north - his blog will be darker than ever this week as the poor fella is on nights again.)

i was also pleased to hear that the american department of homeland security managed to kill someone who did not possess a bomb/was not a terrorist. a close shave. will this be another jean charles de menezes? or will it be swept under the carpet with all that illegal war/torture/insane foreign policy nonsense?
[NB. i haven't actually caught the full story on what happened there although given that it's not on any of the american news websites at the moment i imagine my gut feelings are correct. i did however read an interesting piece on paris hilton's lawn display at her home on whore island]

back to school tomorrow and that is not depressing at all.

RIP Richard Pryor

[I am listening to Bittersweet Bundle of Misery by Graham Coxon]

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Your exam question for the evening

you are called to review a 26 year old doctor in London. he is currently at a career crossroads of sorts partly due to the fact that the profession he is working in is dying a slow painful death under the weight of beaureaucracy, and, that life satisfaction is at an all time low because of the vast amount of time invested without reward in said profession. tonight he is attempting to review a series of topics for his postgraduate examination tomorrow. however fatigue is clearly setting in and you note his heavy eyelids of exhaustion as he thumbs through yet another book of practice questions. you note no rashes and he has no pets but has travelled to western canada earlier this year.

what will be the MOST appropriate way to manage this patient? (select best response from five)

A. sit down with the patient and explain to him that everyone has doubts about their direction in life at some point. this is most likely a transitory period and if in a few months he still feels this way then perhaps some time out to rejuvenate and reflect may be very beneficial. as for the exam, it is not the be all and end all and also can be sat again if necessary.

B. slap him about and kick him in the nads because he's an annoying fuck and deserves a good kicking.

C. nod sagely while he drones on with his "nah nah nah but what is the point if medical training is being sacrificed for meeting government targets nah nah nah" and see if there's anything worth nicking from his flat. hmm... 20 GB 4th gen ipod in corner... doesn't appear to work though...

D. pick up his immaculately compiled revision notes, rip them up then taking a dump on the shreds whilst saying "how do you like that bitch? how do you like that?"

E. intravenous antibiotics and urgent per rectum examination

5 minutes allocated. answers tomorrow.

[I am listening to Hope by R.E.M - formerly Leonard Cohen]

Little things

i'm about to make my way in to tackle the beast. delightful.

at least the bus stops outside my house.

and at least the imperial war museum looks radiant in the winter sun.

[I am listening to young pilgrims by the shins whilst doing some cramming]

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Some people are wankers

i've had some troubling news. i was informed by a good friend that one of our old registrars (senior doctor) committed suicide. we'd both worked with him when we were doing surgery in our first year fresh out of med school. he was a great doctor with the driest sense of humour ever and a glowing career. we always knew he was pretty eccentric and did suffer from depression but obviously something changed over the past year or so. i don't know what and probably never will.

I won't go into the background too much. there's a slightly disparaging article from the local press here about the coroner's report. what's worse, however, is this (scroll down to nov 29th): a frivoulous piece of shit that actually makes light of the fact that he committed suicide.

i'm never one to be PC. but, to belittle and poke fun someone who obviously had severe mental health problems and then TOOK THEIR OWN LIFE is a pretty cheap shot.

needless to say my mate and i have written pretty terse emails to the author of the article. i might post my email on here later.

let me know if you think i'm overreacting. i don't think i am.

on a somewhat brighter note, another good friend has also joined blogdom. you can see his site here, also continuing the white on black colour theme that is slowly becoming the watermark of disillusioned medical blogs. go see the confessions of a venial sinner.

[i am listening to arethra franklin, say a little prayer for you]