Monday, December 31, 2012

Lessons Learned

2012 has been a big year. Undoubtedly a lot of things have happened in the world and to every one of us. Personally, I have survived most of intern year, my first ever bank loan, a relationship breakup, and the Apocalypse.

I now know what an intern does. An intern does everything. Writes all the notes on ward rounds, examines the patients, requests pathology and imaging, takes the bloods, places cannulae, chases up on results, placates the senior doctors, looks after the medical students, arranges family meetings, attends family meetings, writes medication charts, writes discharge summaries, arranges patient transfers, makes referrals, answers phones, and sometimes makes coffee runs.

I have learnt not to panic when nurses approach with a question.

I have learnt the importance of filling out a time-sheet.

I have learned that doctors can get loans very easily.
"So, is it Miss, Mrs, Ms ... ?"
"... Doctor"
"I'll put that right through"

I have learnt how much fun it is to own a sports car.

I have learnt that sometimes you need to stop investing in bad relationships.

And the world does not necessarily end when you run out of calendars.

Saturday, December 29, 2012


My grandmother: a portrait in landscape

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Heart

My window loves me

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas 2012

Christmas Candles

Midday Naps

Too many puddings

More food

Gaudy Decorations

We missed out on the Christmas crackers, but after several breakfast cocktails my grandmother was hilarious. Good times.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012

Ah, Christmas. A day to spend time with family, eat rich food, drink too much wine and listen to drunk grandma laugh uproariously at the Christmas cracker jokes. A day to wear silly hats, drape tinsel over the entire house, and take midday naps. For those unlucky enough to work, a day to make extra money. A time to watch terrible Christmas-themed movies and not feel bad about enjoying them. A day to play cheesy Christmas music whilst pretending not to enjoy it. A time to hang gaudy ornaments all over a tree that has somehow made its way into the house. A day to give gifts to the people you love, and also to the person you got at the work Kris Kringle. A day to relax, to reflect, and to enjoy life.

Merry Christmas.

Beach Trip

It hasn't been a year for beach trips. The town I'm working in is notoriously cold, it rains all the time, and it's a fair distance from the beach.

But a few weekends ago Sprite and I finally tired of sitting inside the cold house, and ventured out into the cold outdoors.

We went to the beach.

It was just as I'd expected. It was a 30 minute drive away, it was deserted, it was windy, and it was cold.

It was wonderful.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Teacup Chihuahua

So, my sister bought a teacup chihuahua. I never thought it would happen to our family. We have outdoor dogs that chase mice and bark at intruders, not handbag-sized dogs that sleep under the covers.

She called it 'Tetley', as in Tetley tea, teacup, teacup chihuahua ... yeah. Anyway, now she has turned into a crazy dog lady.

And, unlike most of the other animals we've had, this strange little dog loves my sister above all other things in this world.

But my sister is obsessed.

"Look at my dog, look at her sleeping, look how she's eating, look she's watching the TV, look at her run ..."

I cannot have a sensible conversation with her now that the dog is around.

"Take a picture of Tetley! Take a picture of Tetley sleeping! Take a picture, she's eating! Take a picture of Tetley sitting on the rocking horse! Take a picture of Tetley dressed up as Santa, sitting on the rocking horse!"

Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 21, 2012

New Guy

Meet the new guy!

It has come as a bit of a surprise - meeting him certainly wasn't something I'd planned for, or expected.

He's certainly not my usual type.

His pedigree is a bit of a mystery - nobody I know has met his parents, or any of his brothers or sisters. Come to think of it, I don't even know if he has any brothers or sisters.

I have no idea what he plans to do with his life, but I hear unofficially he is showing some promise as an athlete.

I only just met him today, but well ... I think we would be cute together.

Help me with a name?

The new guy

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

One is enough

"And did you get any of the chocolates I brought in last time?" asks a returning patient.

I don't remember, but I tell her I had one, thanks.

She looks me up and down and says, "one is probably enough. I like your figure the way it is"

Joke's on you, lady. I probably had two.


She came in with a GP letter, "please see this patient with a view to hospital admission and IV fluids". Sure. She looked too well for a hospital admission, but she'd had gastro for two days and a recent collapse, so I'd run a bag of fluids.

I explained as much to the patient and she looked up from her phone and replied, "good luck".


"Last time they had 28 tries at putting a cannula in, and they had to get the anaesthetist in and even he had trouble. I have really difficult veins".

Nice, thanks. I palpated a vein - felt ok.

"My veins are all shot on that arm, they're no good, he destroyed them" the patient informed me, before turning away to text on her phone.

And in went the cannula first try.

"That didn't even hurt!" she exclaimed, "Aren't phones amazing!"


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Full Sentences


I nod, thoughtfully, and make a mental note ...

"Able to yell in full sentences with no demonstrable shortness of breath. Does not require admission"

Not even puffed.

Saturday, December 1, 2012


So, I work in the Emergency Department now. I'd like to try and make it sound exciting and glamorous, as if we do nothing but save lives and look awesome in scrubs. I'd really like to do that.

And sometimes people come in who are genuinely ill, or injured, and we all get excited and work fast to patch them up and stabilise them. Nothing is more exciting than chest plain and bleeding wounds.

But I can't help but think that most people should have asked their Mum for advice first. Maybe before waiting for hours to see a doctor in the emergency department. Before I have to tell them to take paracetamol for their very mild headache, or to do nothing in particular for that small bruise on their leg. Before I have to spend hours filling out all the paperwork.

And let's be honest, nobody looks good in scrubs.