Wednesday, 26 December 2012

I think it's time for this.

I'm barely focusing on revision. When I do it, I do it. I get it done and I'm happy doing it. But I'm not really motivated. It's not laziness or apathy. It's just not my focus.

I feel fragmented. I've felt out of touch for so long, like I'm in a waking dream. And it's insular and safe.

I feel like I'm in a bubble and everything in it is safe and slow and measured. It's fragile and naive but it's static and just outside it is something that isn't. Something that's going to hurt. I'm waiting for it to hit me actually and I suspect it dances to the tune 'life goes on'.

I made mistakes this semester, personal ones, that have fragmented my life into pieces. Falling apart doesn't even begin to describe how the last three months have been for me. I worked so hard to get into medical school, sleepless nights, scary nights, lonely ones where I couldn't imagine a life where I was not a doctor. I built my life around it and made it the centre of my universe, suffered for it and earned it. So when I say that I lost all interest in it on and off for three months solid I want it clear what that means, how bad it was, how badly I needed help.

I wanted to leave. I wrote up course withdrawal letters and deleted them. I told next to no-one. I stopped talking altogether. It wasn't the course, the course is fine. Excellent even, brilliant, amazing, one of the best in the country. It's tough but it's wonderful as a course. I want it clear that it wasn't medicine, it was my life.

A number of things contributed to the events of the last few months. Being completely away from family who were depressed by their own problems as well as the imminent war in Syria (have now lost an uncle leaving behind his widow and six children, lost a ten-year-old cousin; another three uncles injured, one of whom is in a coma and the other two shot in the chest and arm), away from friends, somewhat burned out from three years of biomed, somewhere new, somewhere relatively lonely and scary for me, accommodation miles away from the university, bad and barely-there diet that I couldn't find a way to control, things that happened whilst I was on holiday in Syria, meeting someone wonderful and involving them in the biggest mistake of my life, the daily schedule, the bitter cold, the feeling of inadequacy, of stupidity and redundancy.

I have been depressed for over three months now. Unfortunately I'm the type of person to self-punish. It's stupid and accomplishes nothing but I did it anyway. After the mistakes I made I became ill. I refused to go see anyone for help, I refused medication, refused rest and sympathy. My immune system was in shreds, I wasn't sleeping. The nightmares didn't let me rest for more than a couple of hours. The sleep paralysis came back; I was having hypnogogia episodes up to three times a week. When I woke up there would be a terrible pain, like something had been ripped out of you from your throat down to your gut and where it was was an empty pit with boiling walls. I would run every excuse in my head to not go into university. I'd look through the lectures and tell myself I knew it from biomed. I'd ignore calls, texts, e-mails and facebook messages from family and friends. I wouldn't eat, I didn't care what it did to me, I ended a very short term relationship - if you can call it that - in Syria.

Worst of all was the feeling of rejection and abandonment. My mother couldn't forgive me for or help me with what had happened; in fact she made things worse, unbearable. During and after every phone conversation with her I felt like my heart was going to stop beating, like my muscles would collapse and I'd suffocate to death from emotional exhaustion. My friends often found me like that, having a panic attack. Countless times I wondered that it would hurt less if I just stood in the middle of the road and waited. I felt like I had turned my back on my faith and in turn my God had rejected me, like my faith didn't want me, like I wasn't good enough.
I'd beg not to be left alone. It was pathetic and I said so when I was finally made to see how bad things were and to go see my personal tutor and student services.

Naturally little work was done. I functioned well at university but pretty soon everyone on the course noticed things weren't ok, everyone was talking. I was lost.

Week after week I'd cycle through depression and something vaguely resembling normalcy. By the end I'd tried everything; cutting myself off, being around people, avoiding people, talking to family, talking to friends, talking to student support, asking to move groups, begging for respite from my mother's inability to cope whilst begging her to help me feel like half a human being again. The things I said, the thoughts I had, they felt and sounded like complete break down.

It's over now of course. I've done what I can. My father helped me, gave me peace again and forgiveness despite my going against everything he's ever taught me. My mother was never very good in a crisis.

The saddest thing is the wonderful person involved in my mistake, the person I have to ignore my feelings for and vice versa. He stayed with me and he is still with me, with more understanding and integrity than anyone I've ever met save my father.
If you ever read this, if you ever see this, I want to thank you. I want you to know that without you I would not be recovering so quickly. The things you did for me no one would have expected you to do and anyone would have understood had you walked away at any point. Thank you for not leaving when I or anyone else tried to make you, thank you for being more human than anyone I've ever met. And you're right, we'll be the greatest friends we can be, as close as we can and it's not second best, just another way to be with someone.

Sometimes you know what lessons you learned from your mistakes, sometimes they leave scars or memories you wish you could un-sully. For me it has been all of the above. What I did did not come from a bad place, it wasn't rebellion or malice. It was love. Irrational and naive - stupid, even. But it was love.

I'm idealistic enough to be sorry that that's not enough and old enough to understand why.

Thank you, to anyone who read this.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Compartmentalising - A summary of Leicester Medical School

I suppose I'm trying to break up all the events of this semester at medical school into little pieces so that they make sense to anyone who didn't live them. I wonder sometimes whether I'm writing for myself or the people who read my posts and find my writing becoming less personal and more people-pleasing to ensure no one is bored to tears by someone else's foreign experiences. But if I did that, if I wrote purely with readers in mind, I'd get a job as a writer instead of as a future doctor with a cathartic repository for a blog.

So, this is my space and I don't know why I'm apologetic about it. 

Last time I mentioned that this semester has been difficult. I'd start by talking about the academic side and then the personal side but they're so heavily interwoven I'm not sure how to separate the two. I'll have a stab at it and talk about the university for now, at least that way I'll feel less guilty about more personal, less relateable posts. 

Leicester is an excellent medical school. Our medics committee is second to none giving medics separate clubs and events to fit in with our timetables. The med student events are the envy of Leicester let alone the university - the locals join in during introweek :)
Leicester Medic's Pyjama Pub Crawl:
Leicester Medic's Introweek:

The teaching and integration of clinical and pre-clinical years is seamless. OSCE training starts early in semester one with regular practise sessions at Leicester Royal Infirmary for history taking and consultation, the dissection room for taking BP etc and assignation to one surgical and one general practice patient whom we visit either in their home or the hospital. 
The older years offer excellent peer-peer help, organising clubs and support groups for anyone who needs it. We have medic family revision sessions, there's a real sense of community. The competitiveness is palpable but non-threatening so far. 
Pastoral care is phenomenal, from personal experience, with lecturers and other qualified doctors giving their time to offer anything from academic assistance to a patient, kindly ear - this on top of your personal tutor who acts as first port of call for any concerns. There's a welcome lack of elitism, most fellow medics are down to earth and almost everyone is exceedingly friendly. 
We're given booklets containing pretty much everything that needs to be covered for each unit with learning objectives so we get used to structured, ordered learning very quickly. The emphasis on integration is heavy ensuring you always know or at least ask why you're learning something. Spoon-feeding is there but you're expected to look at the information synoptically, putting it all together during group work sessions. 
And there's no learn-it-for-the-exam-forget-it-later - we have end of semester exams called ESA1 and ESA2. If you attain a satisfactory in both of these you are exempt from the end of year exam called the Year 1 Exam (previously known as The Qualifier), get less than satisfactory in any one of them and you have to take the Year 1 AND redo the OSCE. A satisfactory in LMS is 70%.

I laughed nervously too when I first heard this but, apparently, it really does sound a hell of a lot worse than  it really is (I'll let you know after my ESA1 in January). Its also justifiable - a doctor with at least 50% of the knowledge or a doctor with at least 70%?

To top it off, most of our professors have a very different approach to teaching than I experienced in biomed. Some are very personal with us and you are treated as though you were a fully qualified FY from day one. Some are amazing orators taking you from fits of laughter to sobriety within an hour several times. One thing you will never forget as a first year (and will be grateful for for probably the rest of your medical career): Dr. Hsu and his Health and Disease in Populations unit - statistics would never be half as funny and exciting while still managing to teach you sobering cautionary tales without his lectures.  

And the societies! We have a Quidditch team which has to be seen to be believed. There's also the Assassin club where you're given a student target to assassinate and you have to find out who they are and get to them before they get to you - this involves pretend-stabbing them in the back with a plastic spoon/spork/knife or anything you have handy. Its much cooler and less loserish than it sounds. I promise.
There's the AstRoSoc too who meet for sightings at the on-campus observatory. They build rockets too - I've missed out on all the fun because I'm usually all funned out after a long day. Plus there's The National Space Centre which I'm going to attempt to inhabit at some point.
Medics' Badminton, Hockey, Rugby for men and women, Football, Cricket, Tennis, Wilderness Expeditions, Running, Walking, Bridge. Book clubs at each hall, pub quizzes every Sunday, events at the O2 Academy every day, different medic society meetings, conferences and training events - literally lost count of all the things you can do.

I'm clearly trying to sell it.

No but really, its a great med school, you'd be fair to call bias of course but I fell in love with the place on sight. 

You've heard that medicine is tough, long, harsh, demanding, unrelenting and it is. Having a host of things to keep you sane and a dedicated support network makes you feel like you have a much better chance of taking the hits as they come. 

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Defeated but certainly not dead

So the fact I haven't posted in centuries eats away at me every time I come back to this page, start an entry and then abort before finishing the first sentence. Its not because there's nothing to say, its because I have had no sodding clue how to get anything out let alone everything.

Tonight is my last night in Leicester for this semester. My entire life for the last three months has been battered into suitcases and thrown into bags with all the vim and vigour of an inmate on death row.

I'm tired and I'm sad. This semester has been exhausting, draining and painful - and that wasn't even the work.

This is going to end up being a very, very, very, very long post so I'm going to preface with a TL;DR for those of us with lives and write the rest in detail over the next few days for those of us who can be bothered/have time/like drama and are already making the popcorn.

- Started medicine at Leicester Medical School. The course is excellent. A lot of stuff from my BSc which I've forgotten embarrassing amounts of
- Went to my graduation in late November at The O2 in London (finally) - got presented with Tallow Chandlers Duncan Knight Scholarship Award officially (woohoo)
- Made horrendous mistakes and learnt that one of the saddest things in life is wanting something and understanding and accepting every reason why you can't have it because the alternative is insanity and possibly belated self-abortion. Also that the demands of culture, faith and family are there for a reason no matter how punishing and unreasonable they seem.
- Been horribly ill for two months: am currently on doxycycline, ventolin, coamoxiclav, paracetamol and sudafed at ridiculous dosages just to sleep/function. Chest X-ray results get back to me next week.
- Having sleep paralysis. Again.
- Buying a house in Leicester for next year
- Revising for my ESA 1 exam in January over Christmas as have not been able to function consistently over term - thanking my lucky stars that its mostly revision from BSc or at least follows a similar format
- Had a star named after me in constellation M93, have chosen to believe its a Blue Giant :)
- Have cried so hard, regularly and long the skin on my face dried out and went red and sore for weeks. Have been grateful for any and all the support I got from everyone.
******************************END OF TL;DR**********************************

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Belated Gloating

Thank you to Grumpy who reminded me that I haven't actually danced with the glee of a small, superfluously-bearded dwarf around a bonfire of all my essays and research from the last three years- a rite of passage many graduates practice at least in spirit.

Usually I recoil from gloating like a cat from water (with all the grace of) but DAMN IT MAYBE I DESERVE ONE GLOAT EVERY DECADE!


Technically I don't graduate until November BUT GOOD NEWS, I got a first class *happy dance*.

What amazed me even more was getting a first in applied immunology. That module was mean - I still rock back and forth in corners at the mention of flow cytometry.

Of course I'm going to merrily ignore the fact I failed one of my exams (damn it haematology, why lymphoma and slide preparation? Why? Of all the questions that could have come up...). I'd excuse myself by referring you to an older post about my fainting spells the day before the exam but then I'd have to endure more cackles of loserishness from my friends who read this. Luckily I don't have to retake as the university just decided to discount it, that and I still passed the whole module.

Ok the smug is wearing off and I'm going to be honest now.

I was miffed about my research project big time. I wanted very badly to get very good at it all but I honestly don't think I knew what I was doing most of the time and felt like a special kind of imbecile as I seal-clapped my way through the whole process. I got 66% overall for it which is not really ok considering I was told my supervisor usually gave out 70% and above. Meh.

So clearly research is not for me and I'm being a bad loser about it. Hopefully med will give me a chance to redeem myself because I reaaaaaally do want to do some research.

More specifically research into space medicine. The avenues available for it are practically non-existent in the UK - save for a few masters courses I've been looking into - but Dr. Kevin Fong and a collection of doctors have been advocating for the government to pull their finger out and at least consider participating in the preparation for space exploration.

So far so generally ignored.

Still, not giving up. I think everyone needs a dream that seems utterly unrealistic. To quote corny motivational posters 'Aim for the moon - even if you miss you might have landed before the place where the Earth's and the Moon's gravitational fields cancel and therefore thank your ill-stocked fuel tank for the Earth's pull dragging your whimpering self back down to reality that you may rethink your situation and proceed in a less ass-backwards direction'...or something.

TL;DR - Weeeyyy I got a 1st Class!!

Friday, 6 July 2012

Other Blog...?

So I had originally created this blog to meet all my ranting needs but I'm seriously wondering whether its a good idea to divert some of the more personal posts to another blog. Mostly I worry about boring my poor three subscribers to tears with rampant emotional rants of extreme woe.

So I've set up a blog: where I will be bemoaning the general state of affairs merrily train-crashing into the (not so) dramatic ups and downs of my life. I dunno, maybe someone will read it and go 'ah, yes, yes, she understand me' and I'll have done a service to the world. Or, most likely, it'll disappear into the limbo that is the interwebs, never to be seen again.

Oh god I'm banking on the latter.

Anyway, if you want to be generally blogged into a coma, do follow the link and leave a comment or two equally bemoaning your state of affairs. I might decide to just move everything back into this blog...meh.

See you over a pot of tea and tirades.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

I'm ashamed to say I gave in...

...and read Fifty Shades of Grey after being pestered and bullied. What follows is a highly scathing review - so if you enjoyed that book (christ are you high) look away now.

I'm sick of this shit. No seriously, I am. You know I grew up genuinely believing I was stupid or of sub-par intellect - and heaven knows I still believe this - but now I have found a whole menagerie of morons that quite happily occupy a far lower intellectual niche than me. This isn't a fanfare as I climb upon my pedestal of intellectual gravitas, no. What follows is one of my upcoming myriad rants about the state of the world. I'm not going to claim specialist knowledge, I'll write what I know and research and - hell - if you find yourself agreeing, fucking cool.


I'm going to judge the bilge I read by my standards of reading material - because frankly I have read less repetitive London weather forecasts.

I'd like to start by saying that I, not unlike many, many people with functional sex hormones, read and have read erotica or at least a story line with some adult content. Sometimes you need a low-brow break from medical physiology, metabolism and molecular genetics.

I'm not going to mince words, I got insurmountably bored barely halfway through and skimmed through the rest. I'm glad I didn't pay for it.

It was so badly written my brain refused to follow it. There was NO PATTERN to anything that happened save for the inevitable sex that permeated the pages as though someone had decided to spray them with a potent distillate of Linden tree oil. Let that settle in your olfactory memory for a retch-inducing minute.

The exchanges between the characters was banal. They raped Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles. Thank you, fucking Twilight-number-two and may I add screw you. Screw you for stealing my much-loved Greek mythology and forcing it to participate in the utter shite you pass off as a story line. It seems all these fire-fodder knew how to do was take previously respectable literature and mash it into their gratuitous pornography to give their plot some kind of sophisticated edge.
Is that what you were aiming for E.L. James? Because you missed like a heavily inebriated frat boy standing two meters from a urinal.

Now it has been made known that this crap was originally a Twilight fan fiction and much acclaimed (by morons lacking all or most of their cerebrum).

I'm going to set the record straight about fan fiction. Most of it is cesspool runoff and if its based on anything approaching Twilight and doesn't involve the horrific deaths of every character then it can only be likened to that stain left behind on the side of the porcelain bowl after you've had one too many curries.
There are gems out there but you have to wade through torrents of shit to find them. But they exist and I have found them.

Not in this case.

The Twilight-mirroring got to a point where I literally felt my eyes glazing over with boredom - something that hasn't happened since having Meyer's monstrosities foisted on me at the peak of their hype. You know I genuinely thought the world had moved past that foray into Derpville. I was going to trust humanity again to recommend books and I was going to give it the benefit of the doubt and read them. I'm sad to say the world disappointed me for the last time - I will forever look on all hyped-up, mainstream books with a jaundiced eye and a sneer of prophetic disdain. This isn't me turning into some literary hipster. This is me giving the fuck up after giving society one too many sodding chances to not disappoint me.

To this day I hang my head in shame for finishing the whole Meyer set - my saving grace may have been in skim-reading from the second book to the fourth and hurling at appropriate times. Apparently there was some retard 'war' and the werewolf guy with an aversion to shirts and frankly concerning febrility discovered his love for minors. Seriously minor minors.
You know what I would have done with Twilight? Made it into a fucking epic story about werewolves possessing thermally stable enzymes and the government's fixation with hunting them down for research purposes.  And as for the vampires, hunting them down and hacking their heads off to stick their fangs into snake-poison collection jars to be used as biological weapons. Also using their flesh as a new fucking alloy since its fucking metal. Tell me which you would read.


Anyway, this boredom rapidly escalated to exasperated sighs as the two most irritating words - 'oh my' - were repeated so many times I had to imagine Austin Powers saying them in the style of 'oh behave' to refrain from destroying my laptop screen. As you can imagine this detracted indefinitely from the 'sexiness'.

Then I descended to incredulous laughter at some of the scenarios. Whatever sexual practices people favour, they're welcome to them - but I like things equal, me. Power plays are sexyawesome but when they take place between HEALTHY adults. Not sexually repressed (my foot, she never masturbated but she was born without a gag reflex) university graduates and CEO's with cigarette burns adorning their 'Adonis-like' chests. And that's another thing that bothered me. Every other sodding line read like Twishite, with its repulsively adoring and constantly awestruck heroine reminding us once again that she had gone to wikipedia and looked up what the medulla oblongata was and what it generally did and about how she'd defied billions of years of evolution of the autonomic nervous system and learned how to voluntarily send specific information to her reptilian brain to induce breathing. Wow.

And christ, the menstruation-bath-sex-scene? What the actual fuck (Japan)? Who in hell finds forcibly removing a tampon and flinging it into the nearby lavatory, ordering you to hold on to the sink and commencing penetrative sex a turn on and without issue? SERIOUSLY?! Menstrual intercourse? Women of the world, you enjoyed this?!

NO. It's NOT sexy. It's fucking vile. And I judge you. You're repulsive. That shudder you felt as you read that scene was not your sexual enlightenment and expansion of your mind - it was your cerebrum telling you you've gone too fucking far. Back the fuck up. 

Now for some character analysis. You will notice there are only two characters in this book. No, no, the other random people that show up are not characters since they don't seem to do anything but exist to facilitate gratuitous porn between the two freaks. Frankly they don't even do that job very well.

Anastasia's best friend is probably the only one I didn't mind, probably because she wasn't a complete derpina with the constitution and personality of dishwater. Saying that, I would probably still experiment on her in real life.

Creepy desperate engineer guy, with the name with an accented e that I can't be bothered to type so he's going to be called creepy desperate engineer guy - was just that. And apparently he was Mexican. And apparently all Mexicans end all their sentences with 'Ah dios mio'. And apparently they all ride donkeys to work and swig Corona with their sombrero-wearing buddies in the heat of the Mexican sun.
Basically he was spurned love-interest #1. And I didn't care. I hoped he had his dreams driven over and tire-marked. Repeatedly. For his stupid fucking taste in women and his affront to Mexicans everywhere.

And the other Bella-posse-esque guys who served only to waft their inferior masculinity beneath the vengeful glare of Edw- Christian Gray, attempting to assert claim over the 'ordinary but not' Anastasia - ugh,'ve been male-harem-ed, pick up what's left of your testicles and leave.

Anastasia read like an infinitely much more annoying version of Bella but this is probably because I've not recently had to sit through the mind-numbing tripe that is Twilight.

She was boring, predictable and if I had to read about her inner fucking goddess and her fucking holy pompoms one more time I was going to scream. What the shit was that? Who the shit actually talks and/or even thinks like that?!

I dare you to read it without being so terminally gayed out you jumped out of the nearest window:

'My inner goddess is down on bended knee with her hands clasped in supplication begging me.'
my inner goddess is swaying and writhing to some primal carnal rhythm.'
'My inner goddess is doing the dance of the seven veils.'
My inner goddess is clapping her hands with glee like a small child.'
My inner goddess is jumping up and down, clapping her hands like a five year old.'
'My inner goddess fist-pumps the air above her chaise lounge.'


As I read on I questioned life. I questioned how and why something like this could ever be allowed to exist. I also went through several antacids.

Genuinely, by the end I had developed an astonishingly vehement disdain for every single tit in that book and their trite traits.

And my butt, she'd never touched herself. Please.

Christian serves one function and one function only. Aside from the fucking atrocious manner of speech and his wince-making written signature of 'laters, baby'. I'm sorry - what? What are you, a chav from Hackney? Laters? Tit.

He is Edward Cullen pervified to the power of 1000000. Cradle-snatchers everywhere felt it was morally ambiguous to have wet dreams about a guy technically the same age as their children - I don't care how old he really is, he acts like a 17-year-old twat. So came the invention of a 27-year-old manwhore who could facillitate their lonely, frustrated relationship with double D batteries.
Its not so much the perviness I disliked, its him. Personally I have limits (no pun intended) to what is acceptable kinkiness and this was sick enough without the frankly hilarious mention of coprophilia and urination that apparently were too far for the Marquis De Why.
I don't care how good looking the protagonist monotonously reminds us he is, his personality sucked ass. Neither do I care about the childhood abuse - seriously. I wish the crackwhore vagina he plopped out of had choked him on his way out.
The author developed no sympathy in me for him, by the end I hoped he conveniently got syphilis just so I could actually feel something for him.

And unfortunately he wasn't sexy and by the end the most three dimensional thing about him was his penis. Sorry dude, you might do it for dishwater but I like slightly less fucked to the nth degree fictional men.

Now, a public service announcement:


Frankly I don't know what part was more lunch-dislodging. I threw my hands up at the menstruation/bath thing and took to reading every 20th page or so from then on. It was pretty much more of the same.
May the next installment of tripe bequeath everyone in it with venereal disease.

I have no more words. I'm sorry, universe. On behalf of the whole female population and all guys who enjoyed this book, I'm so fucking sorry. All I can say is we'll keep trying to move on and hopefully natural selection will cholrinate the gene pool and prevent the breeding of the shameful excuses crawling around on this beautiful, intelligent planet.

Excerpts and piss-takes:

An apt review:

The only way I will ever listen to this bilge:

P.S. Is anyone else not oblivious to the 'Ana' and 'Mia' references? Anorexia and bulimia? Really?

Friday, 11 May 2012


Oh bliss! Oh bliss and heaven! ITS FUCKING OVER!!!!

Last exam of my whole horrible, agonizingly, needlessly, pointlessly, tortuously drawn out degree DONE.


TO THE WINDOW \(^-^\) TO THE WALL (/^-^)/

Ye HADES you cannot imagine how happy I am. I mean thanks and all, degree, what with the getting me a place at medical school and the bringing into realisation all my dreams and hopes and fantasies and random thought-dawdlings predominantly occurring during less delectable bodily functions etc etc but YE GODS am I going to shake what genes and some bad food choices gave me as I walk in the opposite direction of biomedical science.

Never again, Western Blots, will you rape my eyes and ears with your monochromatic gels and moulding forensics lecturers. No, no, table top centrifuge, the only thing you're spinning down is the logarithmic density gradient to the fucks I give. What's that, HeLa cell line? I left you to overgrow and kill each other as you fight for survival in the cramped, apocalyptic wasteland of the cell incubation flask? Well maybe you shouldn't have been such a whiny bitch to transfect.

As of today (until October lolz) I am a free woman. I'm going to whore out London and Buckinghamshire and think about happy things like Korean food, penguins as awkward silence-fillers, the hilarity of sitting backwards to the direction a train is moving in and arriving arse-first in a new place, the incessant barbecues my parents insist on when the sun peeps from yonder clouds, turning 21 this month and the 'screw-you' finger to everyone who thinks that's going to come with an epiphany, my mounting love for XBL's much (much, much, nerdgasmically much) anticipated I'll think of more.

Right, first thing I'm doing - XBOX TIME! Oh Bioshock - IT HAS BEEN TOO LONG!!

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Several weeks ago I firmed Leicester for medicine and haven't looked back.

Tomorrow I will have my final exam heralding my final year of being a biomedical student. After 11:30 tomorrow, I will walk away from the haematology and transfusion sciences paper and forget every last pointless thing I forced myself to learn throughout these last three years.

Honestly I'm exhausted. Had a bit of an incident yesterday - vasovagal syncope, terrible timing as I was in the shower at the time. This not being my first time, I forced myself to stay conscious to get to my room where I blacked out on the floor (after failed attempt to elevate my legs) and came round on my back with my fingers stiff and everything slurred, weak, tingling and phosphined like Christmas in my cornea.

Good heavens it was terrifying.

The chest pain, fatigue and dizziness is still there and I'm ashamed to say I had to get help. My friend was treated to a fine rendition of 'last dying hours' over the phone and came rushing to my house armed with cake. Poor girl, she must have been horrified to find a towel-clad me on the floor looking like a victim of ritualistic exsanguination.

Ah me. Cake, tea, water, omelette, miso soup and faffing over the revision I should be doing later and I was fretting over the exam I had to do the following afternoon. I honestly have no idea how I made it into university or how I managed to sit the exam no less know what I was talking about.

Suffice it to say it was not an experience I have any interest in repeating. Generally I'd not been eating, sleeping or drinking enough and the shower was very hot so I felt like I was suffocating which are all risk-factors of vasovagal syncope. But I've had all of the above and never had the attack due to those symptoms alone.

The only common denominator was stress, so I've decided to better organise my life to avoid unnecessary stress and unnecessary dependence on people. There's such an embarrassment around the fact you could have prevented things by simply doing a little exercise so that you feel ok eating, drinking enough, sleeping reasonable hours and beginning revision back when you should have and not two weeks before your third-year exams.

Fingers crossed for tomorrow!

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Offer from Leciester and Feeding the Inner Nerd

So now that the pace of university life is picking up for my third and final year of biomed, exams are in a few weeks weeks and I've been awake for three days running, I've sorted out my priorities and started watching Dragonball.

God I miss 90's TV...

Still on a happy since getting a place at East Anglia and now have an offer from Leciester too. Both, mercifully, want a 2:1 -  which means I can afford to completely fail one of my modules and get two 50% grades for the other two this semester and still get the grade. Of course I'm aiming for about 65% in each overall - but I'm choosing to fluff one so I can do reaaaally well on the other two and all that donkey-work for the last two years' worth of firsts won't be wasted :)

So now comes the painful decision-making. Leicester or UEA? I'm looking over the pros and cons of PBL vs Integrated and poring over every tiny detail about both unis. But what it comes down to is that I'm kind of used to a somewhat traditional approach to medicine - but it bothers me that I might not grow as a medic if I choose Leicester's intergrated approach (VERY structured and clear which I'm comfortable with but no real clinical work until about 2 1/2 years in) as oppsed to UEA's extreme PBL-ness and their very, very early clinical practice. I'm just worried that I might miss important basic science, never mind I've already done a degree in it. And I'm worried about a lack of structure and clear objectives.

But then I'm thinking 'what if PBL makes me a better leader, a better communicator and team player?' then again 'what if PBL turns out to be disastrous for me. I mean it all sounded perfectly feasible and I applied for it as a challenge and bcause I usually enjoy research and teaching. But what if I screw it up or it doesn't sit right with me or I get a horrible PBL group like one of the poor first years I spoke to on my visit day?'

Le sigh. I just don't know :(