The musings of a final year medical student

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Should've Known Better

Recently I've felt that my blog sounds too formal in my writing style; I would rather use this blog as a public journal, than an über polished and sterile collection of anecdotes. So here goes.

Last week was not a good week, purely because I was really ill. Without sounding like I'm over exaggerating, it was probably the most ill I've felt in my life. I took 3 days off uni and even then the 2 days I did go in felt like a real struggle. I spent 90% of the time sleeping. I had a combination of sore throat, cough, blocked nose, migraines and feeling nauseous all the time. Due to feeling ill, I've also not been drinking, which I think was well needed. My body's tolerance seemed to be getting worse and worse instead of strengthening as time goes by. My hangovers have slowly started getting worse, I get drunk quicker and feel sick quicker, too. 

A week later, and I'm not 100% back to normal, but still functioning. Unfortunately I missed a lot of lectures that I now have a test on tomorrow, and I still haven't gone over the slides or gone through my textbooks. I keep telling myself I will stop procrastinating and improve my organisational skills, but it hasn't happened yet. The bombardment of uni emails and changes make it all feel very overwhelming to me. It's very easy to forget that something is due in; no one is going to prod you and remind you about your own deadlines. Being organised is crucial. I would consider myself an organised person and I'm still really struggling to keep on top of it all! 

I'm now desperately procrastinating by writing this blogpost.

In other news, I'm now on a health and fitness kick. When I went to the nurse recently my weight was measured, and I've put on 4 kilos since coming to uni. It makes me feel sad and a bit embarrassed that I'm a wannabe doctor and yet I have taken appalling care of my own body. I am still a 'healthy' BMI, however I know I haven't been exercising enough, drinking far too much, smoking too much and eating mindlessly and unhealthily. And I feel crap for it. I'm certainly not the most unhealthy medical student, I've seen my mates do a lot worse, but that is no justification.

If there's one thing I've now learnt, it's that all the bits and bobs that people warn you about uni are totally true and you shouldn't take them lightly. I don't take many things very seriously, so all the things I was forewarned about I brushed off and quickly forgot about. How naïve of me. Now I feel I definitely need to reiterate what I have already been told to you, if you're about to go to uni:
- You will be sick at uni. Be sensible with your drinking because no one else is guaranteed  to look after you 
- Spend money wisely. Keep track of your expenditure so you don't mindlessly buy things that are expensive or a waste of money 
- You will put on weight at uni, particularly if you're catered like me
- You will get very ill at some point; you will feel like you're dying.

In terms of living at uni, I do love the new lifestyle. I really like the city I live in, even though I have to get a 20-30 minute bus into the centre every day. I have been at uni for 8 weeks and haven't gone home yet. My family are visiting me next weekend which will be nice. I don't intend on going home until the Xmas holidays because I feel it would be too stressful and emotional to make such a flying visit. It would take just under 4 hours on the train which is enough to put me off anyway. I have had some feelings of homsickness from time to time, particularly when I was ill. Now it feels as if home is my old life and being at uni is my new one. Going back home seems surreal, like going back in time. 

The medical course is going well and we have just finished a fortnight of endocrinology, which I find really interesting. Learning the pathways is tedious but I am still really enjoying the course. Today we learnt venepuncture for measuring blood glucose, using a prosthetic arm, which was great fun. Later on we had a communication session where we did a role play with an actress who came in to be the patient in said role play. I absolutely loved it! One of the things that I find best about medicine is getting to use scientific knowledge in a way that is very sociable and practical. Chatting to the patient made it all feel very real and like there was a purpose to all the science lectures we have. I was surprised how many of the students were dead nervous about performing in front of their peers as well as being recorded. I think it just highlights how self-deprecating some medical students can be, as well as the tendency to set ridiculously high standards for oneself. 

I'll post again in a weeks time with more ramblings.


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