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Challenge of the Month: Social Media Ban

The rules: 

  1. No Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram or Twitter for a week.
  2. If you accidentally go on any of them, you must add a day to the week.
  3. You’re allowed to go on Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger, but only to reply to messages; you must not initiate conversations on them.

Anyone who knows me well will know that I am very attached to my phone. It has my schedules, alarms and to do lists, so I would be pretty lost without it. I am also quite active on social media – I am constantly refreshing newsfeeds and reading articles on my phone, so I knew this was a challenge that would be quite tough for me.

So how did it go? Well I got through the week but boy was it hard!

It made me realise just how much I rely on Twitter for news and updates on what’s going on in the world, because I felt so out of it during the week. I had major FOMO from not being able to go on Snapchat, and because Facebook is a big part of uni life, as most societies and clubs post news and information on their pages, I missed some important netball notifications because I didn’t see them.

Not being able to go on my phone as much made me get back into reading though, and I finished Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s The Thing Around Your Neck in that week, so it was productive. Less time on my phone also meant that I talked more while sat in groups, instead of splitting my attention between the conversation and my screen.

Not being able to see social media updates from my friends meant that I had to make an effort to call and text them to find out how they were/what was going on with them, as my ban made me realise that it’s all too easy to feel like we’re interacting enough with people by liking posts or watching stories, but it’s really not the same as a direct message or actually speaking to them.

So how do I move on from this? Well I’m back on social media, but I’m trying to spend less time on it, and I’ve made some new rules for myself:

  1. No social media before midday.
  2. No more than 10 minutes spent checking things when I do go on Facebook/Twitter/Snapchat/Instagram.
  3. Put phone away when sitting with people i.e. when in the kitchen with housemates.
  4. No social media after 10pm.

I’m determined to be more in the moment and less attached to my phone, so hopefully I can keep this up throughout 2018! 🙂

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New Year, Better Ankle

Guess who’s back on two feet again??

I am officially done with the wedged boot and boy does it feel good to have some independence back! I went to the gym for the first time since I ruptured my achilles (which was exactly 12 weeks and 2 days ago), and even though we only did upper body stuff, it felt good to do exercise again.

So what’s next?

I’m still using one crutch for stability when outdoors, because my fear of tripping on an uneven surface and rerupturing is real, but I’ve been slowly building up the distances I can walk.

I can cook with two hands and wear trousers again! Not going to lie, I may have cried a bit when I put on trousers for the first time in over two months…

I am to start physiotherapy in 3 weeks, but until then, slowly getting there! It does frustrate me when people can’t see how far I’ve come, and assume I’m still using a crutch justforlolz; if they could only Google how long achilles recovery takes, they’d stop with their insensitive questions. Sigh.

But on a more positive note, I’M WALKING. And I will never ever take it for granted again.

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Season’s Greetings

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I’ve been home for a week and it’s been so lovely to be back; I didn’t realise just how much last term’s stress drained me until I got home, but I’ve caught up on sleep and it has been brill. Abs (my mother) has been very fussy over me and my leg, so it’s been nice to be back under her watchful eye, and I’ve enjoyed having home cooked food again.

Reflecting on last term, I’m grateful to God for strength in getting through everything. From lectures to placement to OSCE, none of it would have been possible without help from people that God has put in my life, so I’m really blessed.

Special mention to Samirah for being my rock, to York Girl for pretty much becoming my personal chauffeur, and to Has for just being an all round great guy. In the wise words of Clarence Odbody, “No man is a failure who has friends,” and this has been my reality over the last few months.

From my family to yours, hope you’re having a great Christmas break filled with lots of food and relaxing and laughs! All the best for the new year 🙂

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Module 10 Placement: Weeks 3 & 4

Paeds OSCE is over, hallelujah!

Overall it wasn’t too bad but as always, I made silly mistakes, so it’s in God’s hands now! The OSCE was at the hospital I did my module 2 placement in, so it was good to see my PBL tutor from first year again. No matter what my results turn out to be, I’m just glad that I was allowed to do the OSCE on crutches; they even made adjustments to make things easier for me, so that was much appreciated.

So how were the final two weeks of placement?

Snow
The snow/ice definitely made getting around on crutches a bit trickier, but massive thanks to York Girl for being such a babe and driving me in, so nice!

I got to sit in and observe some great clinics – particular highlights were Gastro and Neonatal Outpatients, where one of the doctors said that I had the “makings of a great paediatrician” after I did some accurate developmental assessments; that really made my day!

Paediatric BLS was pretty fun; I got a lot of time to work out the logistics of getting down to the floor from my crutches to do compressions, and our tutor was very patient and understanding. BLS ended up being one of my smoothest stations in the OSCE, so hopefully the examiner thought so too.

I started neonatal week with a Baby Check Clinic, which involved head to toe assessments of new born babies, and it was the cutest morning of my life to date OMG. So. Many. Babies. It really was adorable and I almost couldn’t cope.

During a SCBU (Special Care Baby Unit) ward round, I learned so much about the complexities of balancing family dramas with social care intervention, and ofcourse, managing the patients’ conditions. So. Much. Drama. I was just in awe of the patience of the healthcare workers in dealing with it all, because boy oh boy, if I could write up some of the stuff I’ve heard…

Being on SCBU was quite something for me because The Keen One a.k.a. Kenny and I spent the first weeks on our lives in SCBU, as we were born quite early, so seeing little twins there made me think, “I was one of you!”

The neonatal unit was soooo cute though! (Yes, I know I’m massively overusing the word ‘cute’ but IT REALLY WAS). The ward gets quite a lot of knitted things given to them, so the extra toys are put out for anyone to take, as long as they give a donation. So ofcourse I had to get some:

Koala
Cute toy

During my neonatal nursing session, I got to feed and carry some of the babies, and it was just everything. They were so small and I got so broody and it was the best. I have no pictures of myself with the babies (professionalism and all that), so here I am with a bae(by):

Me and bae(by)

Placement ended with a mock OSCE that was really helpful, and made me feel less worried about the real thing, so again, praying I’ve done okay!

Overall, Module 10 was great – I enjoyed placement so much, and I was really blown away by everyone’s kindness. I’m positive that I want to do paeds in the future, so I’m glad that after years of wanting to get to 4th year to see if it was for me, it really lived up to my expectations. YAY 🙂

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That Time I Saw Hamilton on West End

In this week’s episode of The Perks of Being The Sister of a BNOC*, I got to see Hamilton in its first week at the Victoria Palace Theatre in London!Hamilton

Without a doubt, it is one of the best things I have ever seen. EVER. It was hilarious, it was heartbreaking, the choreography was slick, the harmonies were on point (I had goosebumps numerous times throughout the show), and even though I’ve listened to the original Broadway soundtrack so many times, the West End cast brought something new to the songs, and I enjoyed them even more.

A massive thank you the front of house staff at the theatre for being so nice and accommodating about me being on crutches – I was given help with getting to my seat, as well as assistance during the interval, when I got to use a private access bathroom. So great!

And ofcourse, massive props to The Keen One a.k.a. Kenny for hooking us up with the tickets in the first place. My sister is the best and I am so blessed to have her 🙂 Hamilton2

In other news, it’s my paediatrics OSCE tomorrow, so I will be posting soon about how it went and how much I enjoyed the last two weeks of placement. #prayforTai

(*BNOC = Big Name On Campus)

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Module 10 Placement: Week 2

Guess who’s now on 50% weight bearing??

I had the first of the wedges removed from my boot yesterday, so I can start to put a bit more weight on my healing leg, yay for progress!

Second week of paeds placement has seen me battling an awful cough and cold, which hasn’t been great, but lozenges and water have kept me going. I’ve mostly spent my time in various clinics, but I’m still enjoying it though, so I haven’t been put off quite yet.

Neuro clinic was particularly interesting because I saw 14 year old twins with Charcot Marie Tooth, so that was pretty cool. Their personalities reminded me a lot of The Keen One a.k.a Kenny and I, so getting to examine them was really fun.

Paediatric Physio was a bit of a bummer because a lot of the patients didn’t turn up for their appointments, but I got to sit in a Talipes Clinic and watch as they put a Ponseti method cast on the patient’s legs, so it wasn’t too bad.

If you’ve ever wanted to know what it’s like to do a paediatric simulation session with reduced mobility/on one leg, you’re in the right place because it’s actually not too bad! I was hopping all over the place (my balance has gotten quite good over the last few weeks), but doing an ABC assessment was okay. So I’m feeling a bit less stressed about being on crutches for the OSCE.

Prescribing will always be my Everest, but getting there slowly…

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Module 10 Placement: Week 1

I’ll start with the less cheerful stuff, because I might as well get it out of the way.

The lowest point of this week was crying in the doctors office. I was aching all over from hobbling from our clinical skills building to the ward for an impromptu ward round, which I was 20 minutes late to. I absolutely hate being late to things so that made me feel crap, I’d just had an IV drug session that didn’t go too well, and I was just so frustrated by my immobility, because I’d thought that having the cast off would give me more freedom. I’m still on crutches, so yeah, that sucked.

And now, on to the good things.

I LOVE PAEDS.

This is definitely what I want to do because I’m really enjoying it so far, and for the first time ever, I’ve wanted to stay longer in clinics. I just love how varied it is, because paediatrics covers such a wide age range, so I’ve seen different presentations and conditions on the ward and in clinics.

I just love kids so much! Paeds is definitely making me broody, but I’ve always enjoyed working with children. Having a younger brother and young cousins, as well as being a Sunday school teacher in the past, has given me a lot of experience with being around young children, so interacting with and examinining them comes a bit easier to me.

Being on crutches for the placement I’ve been looking forward to most sucks, yes, but I can start doing some toe touch weight bearing now, so less stress on my wrists on the crutches, yay!

I continue to be blown away by the thoughtfulness of people towards me; from York Girl’s car lifts (so blessed that we’re in the same group), to the patience and understanding of consultants when I arrive late, and the clinical skills staff putting out chairs with pillows on them for me in teaching sessions, everyone has been really kind.

Scrubs and Crutches

We’ve had quite a lot of teaching on Safeguarding Children and Non-Accidental Injury this week, which has been pretty heavy and harrowing, but ofcourse, very important.

Another low part of this week was getting told off and asked to leave theatre, as the Sister nurse said me being there on crutches was a health and safety hazard, and that it was wrong of me to come. I tried to explain to her that the medical school and surgeon I was following had okayed it, but she wouldn’t budge and kept telling me to leave.

As you can imagine, this made me quite upset, and I got teary again because I don’t take well to being shouted at unfairly. It was particularly frustrating because I’d arrived just before 7am to follow a patient through their journey before and after surgery, so I was missing him being put under anaesthetic.

I was found by the consultants in my teary state, and they got really annoyed at the Sister’s dismissal of me. So they called a meeting with her team and fought my corner, arguing that it was unfair for me to miss out on important teaching when I was in no one’s way in theatre. They took full responsibility for any repercussions that might come about from me being in there, and even provided a stool for me to sit on, so that I could be comfortable as I watched the procedure.

I was just speechless and blown away by kindness again, how nice of them, right?

I was super proud of myself for managing to fit into scrubs- my first time wearing trousers in over a month. Can you tell that these are extra extra large bottoms that I’m wearing to fit my boot??

Scrubs and Crutches 2

Overall week 1 of paeds has been quite eventful; can’t wait to see what next week will bring!