A lot has happened since my last blog post in August.
Too much, so here’s a quick summary in bullet points (as usual)
02/07/18. I set up an instagram account for my brush lettering! It will serve as a safe space for me to keep track of my progress… with time, hopefully my account flourishes and my work gets acknowledged… some day, when my lettering skills have been honed and are much improved, I hope to sell my work.
19/08/18: Decided to take Holy Communion for the first time. This has been something that I have abstained from for the longest time… mainly because of teaching from the church of my childhood that we should abstain from the sacraments until we have “confirmed” our faith. For years I have let the bread and the wine pass by me… until I was challenged about it again by the pastor of my current church. Now, Christ Church doesn’t insist on people needing to attend catechism classes and publicly declaring their faith before we are encouraged to take communion… they teach that if you believe, you can and should receive. Recently, my pastor found that even after 9 years at CCL I have still not partaken in communion. He challenged me about it. He was clear that he did not want me to do anything that would sin against my conscience, but he also encouraged me to think about it more seriously. He wanted me to share in the joy and the commandment that is communion, even if I didn’t take it every time… he was keen that I partook in it. So after some deliberation, I realised that my hesitancy all boiled down to legalism. “I can’t do it because the other pastors said I shouldn’t.” But the bible doesn’t say no, does it? Jesus’ disciples did not wait for a catechism class before they took communion. Am I following the bible’s words? Or am I blindly following the “laws” set by men? I decided that there was no TRUE biblical reason why I should not take communion as a believing Christian so I took the plunge. I ate the bread and drank the wine. And it was good.
20/08/18. Received some of the worst news I have had in my lifetime. Bad day. Tears. Sorrow. Desperation. More about this some other time…
Since then I have tried fasting and praying for the first time in my life. I fasted for 20 hours once a week. It has been an interesting experience. The hunger reminded me each time that I had to pray. And the fasting reminded me that “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word…” It also kind of helped that fasting helps me to reduce my daily calorie intake… (though my weight didn’t really budge much- it has pretty much plateaued out, which is frustrating!)
12/09/18- 15/09/18. Went to the ESRA conference in Dublin. Killed SO MANY BIRDS with one stone. 1. Sat the EDRA part 1 (And passed!!! Woohoo. Scored 74.6%. Honestly, I didn’t think I would manage that at all as the exam was a lot harder than I had expected or prepared for, so I am very thankful!) 2. Attended the cadaver workshop and “all blocks in one go” US scanning workshop (They were so GOOD and useful. I learnt a lot of anatomy that I was unsure of/ didn’t learn in med school. Also, it felt so good to have experts who actually know what they are doing/ talking about teach me and answer my questions. I actually trust them when they tell me how to do infraclavicular blocks… versus at work, when I sometimes get the sense that some consultants are just “winging it” and don’t really know what they are talking about either… At these workshops, I was getting real experts who have sat the EDRA before and who practice thousands of blocks regularly hold my hand and say “hold the probe this way…” “look for the clavipectoral fascia…” The teaching was so good and well-worth the euros. Highly recommended!) 3. Did my first ORAL PRESENTATION at an INTERNATIONAL conference. Yep, another win for the CV! My free paper wasn’t nominated for competition, so I was pretty relaxed about it. There weren’t many people there (I think I presented to only about 15 people in a small room max), and there was no judging/ strict time-keeping. No difficult questions and the feedback on my work was really positive… so I was very pleased! 4. Visited the Republic of Ireland for the first time. Didn’t do a huge amount of sight-seeing as the conference was pretty much 8.30- 1700 or 1800 daily, but the couple of hours after “work” was pretty good (esp since the days are long in the summertime).
26/09/18. 25 weeker. 32 weeks corrected. Paracetamol OD. 5 times. milligrams confused with millilitres. Acetylcisteine. HDU. Apologies and duty of candour. 3 days terror. No sequelae. Now innovation for change. Let’s see how this goes. May be good for the CV and cons interview eventually as a “critical incident” to discuss. Department supportive. SRob texted the next day “Hi Just checking you are ok. No one thinks any worse of you. Personally I would appoint you tomorrow!” Made up that my favourite consultant thinks this way.
Positive feedback. Been receiving some really lovely feedback from consultants. Especially SRob. I personally really like him and respect him as he is really good at his job and attentive to minusci. He’s the block guru and as you know I am interested in regional anaesthesia. Also, he is open-minded and not quite as resistant to change and innovation as some other people can be. I didn’t think he liked me very much the first couple of times I was at AH. However, since I have returned as a fellow he has been dead nice to me. He commented that I have become a lot better than when I was last at AH as a registrar. He has also said that he was pleased with my attention to detail. He still nitpicks at my work and sometimes “big-brothers” my anaesthetic charts (i.e. he would go to recovery and check on the quality of my anaesthetic record keeping for patients I have just delivered to recovery)… but he tells me that it is simply because “good is not good enough” and we need to aim for “perfection.” When I was chatting to some people about maybe taking on another fellowship after AH, SRob commented “don’t put ideas in her head… we have a department to run!” (basically saying that he was expecting that I would apply and contribute as a consultant at AH). And then there was that text that I shared above. When I last worked with him in MRI, he basically left me to see and sort the patients while he went to sit in a separate office within the MRI suite (this never happens!)– to me, that said a lot about how much he trusted me. And then there was feedback from the MRI staff that “he really likes you, and he thinks you are good.” All really lovely feedback. Besides SRob, there is also RishDi… who sat me down and told me that “every one of the fellows who wants a substantive job here next year will most likely be able to get a job (if you don’t f*ck up in the meantime).” With one of the fellows going to work in RMCH, and the another being a pre-CCT fellow… my conclusion was that RishDi was basically telling Hobbo and I that we are liked and people want us in the department. Most recently, I also got a message from my Ed supervisor saying that “you have a glowing consultant’s feedback.” All this feedback is so important to me. I want to write them all down so that I will remember them and let them prop me up in times when self-doubt fills my mind yet again… (which it often does).