0

That Time I Met Benjamin Zephaniah (And Other Adventures)

As an early birthday present, my Moroccan friend got us tickets to a Benjamin Zephaniah show, and it was amaaaaaaazing! He performed some poems from his vast anthology – highlights for me were Library-Ology and Talking Turkeys, which were quite funny, but The Death of Joy Gardner was the poem that moved me the most, as her story is a very sad one that really got to me. So read up about her when you get a chance, because I definitely learnt a lot from doing so.

He finished with Who’s Who, which was short and to the point, in response to a very brave 9 year old who put his hand to ask Benjamin what his favourite poem he’d written was. Super cute!

It was such a great, unexpected present, and I was so grateful, even though I’m still not very good at knowing what to say when people do nice things for me, but I really appreciated it. I had such a lovely time because daaaaang, Benjamin Zephaniah is WOKE.

Benjamin Zephaniah

In other news, I did Pimp My Barrow for the first time this year, and it was SO MUCH FUN. Pimp My Barrow is my uni’s annual fundraising event for The Big C (a local cancer charity), and it involves fancy dress and a wheelbarrow pub crawl around the city, and pretty much a big parTAY on campus.

I’ve never done it before, so this year I was determined to get involved! The Keen One a.k.a. Kenny came down with Starbucks Girl, and with Samirah and AD (my not-so-little brother), we went for a Black Panther Party theme:

PMB40

Shout out to AD for pretty much making the wheelbarrow singlehandedly, and he did it in one day too! Such an artist wow. His camera was also the MVP as well haha, portrait mode really is the one!

PMB35

PMB22

WAKANDA FOREVER.

Advertisements
0

A Much Needed Update: Placements and Snow Days

It’s been way too long since I last posted- placement and OSCE prep took up most of my time, then I came home for the Easter break and catching up on sleep became my main priority.

Anyway, how did the rest of placement go?

My week with oncology was more emotionally draining than I thought it would be- lowest point was actually getting teary in a very long breast cancer clinic, because a lot of the women had just been recently diagnosed. So their worry for not only themselves, but how it would impact their spouses and children really got to me. It was such a mum reaction that reminded me so much of my own mother, that I called her straight after the clinic to tell her to please check her breasts regularly for changes. Breast cancer really ain’t no joke.

As part of oncology, I also got to spend time with palliative care teams, which again was pretty sad, but I learnt a lot from the team about the importance of sensitivity when it comes to DNACPR (Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) conversations, as well as how the goal of care is make sure patients are as comfortable as possible when it comes to end of life.

The remaining three weeks of placement were spent back in psychiatry with the mental health liaison team, and going back to suicide risk assessments was very tough. The most difficult patients I spoke to were the teenagers with eating disorders, who had been brought in to hospital for feeding because they had refused to eat. It really broke my heart to hear the stories of how their issues with food began; kids can be so so mean to each other, and what the patients had gone through with their peers was just awful.

I was also really surprised by how easily the patients had accessed pro-anorexia websites and Instagram pages, as some of them mentioned how they had been encouraged by strangers online to skip meals and stop eating. So scary! The patients I spoke to were eventually referred to specialist centres for their eating disorders, as they had continued to refuse food in the hospital, so there was nothing further that could be done for them. So sad 😦

The only slightly positive thing I took from my brief time in child and adolescent psychiatry was that I definitely want to work with children and young people in the future – to be able to make even the slightest difference in the lives of such patients would be quite something.

The rest of my time in psych pretty much blurred into one, to be honest. I saw schizophrenic patients, patients admitted after overdoses, and a lot of patients with depression. I know now that psychiatry definitely isn’t for me, because I really struggled with how draining it is, and I have so much respect for health care professionals involved with mental health, as their strength and resilience is inspiring.

On a lighter note, we had not one, not two, but THREE snow days due to the ‘Beast From The East,’ so placement was cancelled for those days, yay! Unfortunately, due to still recovering from my achilles rupture, I had to stay indoors to avoid slipping on the ice, but my housemates were super cute and built a snowman with me so that I wouldn’t feel too left out:

(Yes, they’re quite pathetic looking snowmen but I’d never made one before so humour me please).

2

That Time I Ended Up In A Wheelchair

Why oh why is it that the things we love end up causing us the most pain?

Ahh, netball, the things you do to me.

Anyone who has been following this blog for a while will realise that this is not the first time I’ve been injured while playing netball- last time it was my ankle, and before that it was my knee.

So what have I done now? Ruptured my achilles… ouch.

Wheelchair lol

It happened during training- I made a turn to go and mark my player, then I heard a sound that I thought was a ball hitting the back of my ankle. It didn’t really hurt, as I remember feeling more annoyed because I thought someone had thrown a ball at me, and it only when I fell forwards while trying to look for the ball in question, that I realised that there was something wrong with my ankle.

I found it difficult to put weight on it and it felt a bit floppy, so I knew that there was something really wrong.

After two days of limping on it and pain with any attempts at weight bearing, I was finally seen in fracture clinic, where a positive Thompson test confirmed a ruptured achilles. I also had a ultrasound that was further proof that yepp, it’s mostly gone. (I cried).

So I’m currently on crutches and will be in cast for 4 weeks. After that, it’s a wedged boot for 6 weeks, and then I start physiotherapy to get me walking. I’ve been told that I won’t be back to full function till around March, so I’ve got a long journey ahead of me. I most likely won’t be playing netball again; well atleast not before the end of the academic year, as I wouldn’t want to risk re-rupture closer to exams.

Okay, enough negatives. Here are some reasons to be cheerful, despite how much this all sucks:

  1. I don’t need to have surgery. HALLELUJAH for that.
  2. My cast should hopefully be coming off the day before we start hospital placement.
  3. My hospital placement is really close to uni and my house, so I don’t have to worry about travelling far with reduced mobility.
  4. I may not be able to walk properly for a while, but this is only temporary.
  5. At least this happened now, and not closer to exams because just IMAGINE how stressful that would be.
  6. The university has provided me with a mobility scooter to get around campus, which has been both hilarious and fun.

And last but not least, I am so so SO blessed to have such good friends, who have really been a blessing. I have been overwhelmed by the kindness and concern people have shown me- I’ve cried so much in the last two weeks, but happy tears! From lifts, to food and chocolate, and many ‘Get Well’ messages, life on crutches has not been too bad at all, and for that, I’m very grateful.

(Special mention to Samirah for being my ‘Carer,’ as she has been so perceptive to my needs, and I’ve felt so much less alone with her by my side whilst navigating through campus and getting into lectures. To York Girl as well, who has taken on the majority of the burden of getting me to and from campus; you are a wonderful human being.)

I’ll be posting updates on how my recovery is going, but I’ll leave you with a video of me #cruisin’ in my mobility scooter. The Keen One a.k.a. Kenny finally won me over to Instagram, so you can follow all my adventures here.

0

First Month of 4th Year

I LOVE PAEDS.

This is the module I’ve been looking forward to most since foundation year, and so far it hasn’t disappointed. The last couple of weeks of lectures and primary care placement have been great, and I’m really hoping that secondary care doesn’t put me off.

By the end of this year, I’ll definitely know if paediatrics is for me because I’m the module rep for paeds, and I was also allocated paeds for audit as well, so YAY PAEDS.

What else have I been up to in the past month? An update:

Performed at the gala dinner for the UIMC (International Union of Railway Medical Services) Conference in York. Shoutout to York Girl and her family for their hospitality; I had such a great time! The Yorkshire pudding wrap was one of the best things I’ve ever had OMG.

20170929_11212220170928_130015York4

Nigerian Independence Day Celebrations 2017 were a lot of fun- Starbucks Girl, Bangledeshi Bae, and The Keen One a.k.a Kenny came down for the weekend! Having them here was so great; division of labour made all the cooking much easier, and it was the first time we’ve all been here together since 2015!

20170930_204141

I have so much more to post about because boy oh boy, it’s been quite the term so far. Stay tuned…

0

I Hate The Kidneys (And Other Epiphanies)

Okay, hate might be a bit of a strong word. But I’m definitely finding renal physiology challenging. VERY challenging. Some of this stems from how I didn’t do A Level Biology, so I feel a bit behind on some of the basic kidney physiology, and I’ve had to do some catching up.

It’s not been too bad though; KhanAcademy videos have been very helpful, and I’ll even admit that I started with GCSE Bitesize and A Level textbooks to get to grips with the very basics, so those have been quite useful too. 

Epiphany 2: When you start questioning whether or not you need more than 4 hours of sleep is when you know you really need to go to sleep.

The above is quite self explanatory to be honest. New lows for me this term.

Epiphany 3: I am very irritable on limited sleep.

This is linked to epiphany 2, and it’s not much of an epiphany because I already knew this, but my cranky levels have sky rocketed this semester. I think it’s because I’ve been sleeping even less than normal, and when I’m tired I find most things annoying. Seriously. From people breathing too loud, to the way they talk; the most irritating thing is when people ask me if I’m okay. The frustrating thing is that I know that I’m being unreasonable and ridiculous, which makes me annoyed with myself, and then the whole cycle starts again.

Epiphany 4: I don’t like being set up with people.

It makes me feel uncomfortable when people who don’t know me well talk about my love life (or lack of one), and there are few things that put me off someone more than when I feel like I’m being pressured. I’m very much a ‘let the chips fall as they may’ person. 

Epiphany 5: I have missed blogging.

I take breaks from here when life gets hectic, and I feel like there are too many people in my head for me to honestly convey my thoughts. I’m feeling better though, so here’s to more frequent updates in the future, she blogged optimistically. 

0

Module 8 Placement (Gastro) & End of Term

In the four years that have passed since I started this blog, I think this is the longest I’ve gone without an update.

To say this semester has been busy would definitely be an understatement, but I’m home now (YAY), and now have more free time (YAY again), so I can go back to blogging; I’ve really missed it.

A lot has happened in the last month, so I’ll start with some highlights from gastro secondary care placement:

Getting to scrub in and help out in theatre was really fun! It was useful to practise scrubbing in properly for the first time since first year, and the consultant we were with was very patient, such a nice man! The procedure was a panproctocolectomy (removal of the whole colon), and it was quite the procedure- so. much. blood.

I was absolutely grilled on CT interpretation during one of our sessions, and I never got to thank one of my colleagues, who sneakily whispered answers to me, saving me from embarrassment in front of everyone. The person probably didn’t think much of what they did, but it was much appreciated, and meant a lot.

We got to clerk patients from A&E when I stayed out of hours, and this put us on the spot because we had to present our findings to the consultant, and come up with management plans. I felt more junior doctor than medical student that evening, and it made me so excited to graduate and start doing it properly!

In a liver disease clinic, I watched the consultant give a fantastic explanation of Hepatitis C to a patient, and it was truly the best information giving I have ever seen. SO GOOD. The clinic also made me realise that I’d been quite judgmental about IV drug users in the past, so meeting an actual drug user completely shattered my misconceptions and prejudice.

I’m definitely not a natural at suturing- I struggled initially, and it took me a while to get the hang of it, but I’m think I’m there now… well, sort of.

Suturing

We received the results of our OSCE today, and I passed, HALLELUJAH. I’m just so relieved, because the OSCE was the toughest one I’ve had to date; suturing and ERCP interpretation were particularly not great, and not going to lie, there were definitely some tears afterwards, so I’m just grateful to God that overall it was okay.

What else have I been up to? Well the annual charity fashion show was last month too, and I modelled for New Look and the Nigerian Society, and it was so much fun!

New Look 2017Nigerian Society 2017

I’m also finally done with being a student caller for the year, and we managed to raise over £180,000 for various programs across the university, so I was honoured to a part of it all.

Boy am I glad the term is over though! With work and placement and volunteering and revision and well, socialising, ofcourse, it’s been very draining, so looking forward to relaxing over the next week at home 😀

0

Another List of Reasons To Be Cheerful

It seems like I’m always doing these around this time of year, but yet again, the November blues have arrived. Lately, I’ve been super busy with work, my job, volunteering, and sport and church commitments, which has made me tired, and when I’m tired, I’m cranky. So apologies to anyone I’ve been snappy with; it’s not you, it’s me.

With the US election results and news of the BMA giving up on fighting the junior doctor contract, my usually positive outlook on the future has taken a bit of a hit, so I’ve decided it’s time to remember that it’s not all doom and gloom. So without further ado, here are some reasons to be cheerful, Taiwo:

  1. You’re alive!
  2. You’re living with lovely people, and compared to how much house drama you had this time last year, be grateful that you’re with such great girls.
  3. You’re studying medicine. Don’t you know how many people would happily trade places with you? So appreciate how blessed you are, and give thanks to God.
  4. You’ve had good reports so far; try to have more confidence in yourself! Ofcourse, this is no excuse to become complacent, so keep working hard, and remember to always give the glory to God.
  5. Don’t worry about the future so much- focus on getting through Year 3 first. And if you start to think about what life will be like after graduation, never forget that you will have a secure job as a doctor, and that is something you shouldn’t take for granted.
  6. As fun as being a student caller has been, the job ends next week, so you’ll have some free time to catch up on work, prep for OSCE, and maybe even read for fun and/or watch more films, YAY.
  7. You’ll be home for Christmas, your favourite time of year, in a month. A MONTH.
  8. Finally, there is hope in the promise of the cross. As bad as things are/will get, never forget the hope you have in Christ. Light shines better in darkness, so remember John 1:3-5 whenever you feel down.