Let’s Dance

So I did. Back in June 2015, I went to Ghana (my first time in Africa), to join a medical volunteering expedition. On the fourth day of our trip, we went to a salsa bar, as a means to get to know the rest of the group. What you are about to see below was completely unplanned, without any practice and without a drink before hand. We both went with the flow, and I felt so free! I think it went well (aka I was still standing by the end of it ūüôā )

Stay Salsa, and have a good weekend!

Sitting on the Dock of the Bay

I came across an article in The Guardian yesterday, about a¬†really sweet love story¬†between an elderly homeless man and a lady. She gave him wrapped sandwiches to keep him alive, and now they are getting married. How they came together is remarkable ūüôā

After reading this story, I was reminded of an incident with a homeless man a few months ago. My boyfriend and I were walking down the high street after a meal out, where we came across a homeless man on the floor. I didn’t give him any money, but as I continued to walk ahead, I heard him say:

‘Thank you for your time’.

We were still walking ahead for at least a minute, whilst the whole time I thought to myself…How could he possibly thank me? I didn’t give him anything. I felt a pain in my heart and I told my boyfriend that we had to go back. We retraced our steps and found this stranger, chatted a bit (in particular, telling him to keep himself warm), gave him some loose change and left again. From then on, I’d decided to look twice at the people sleeping rough.

One of the things we want to do is open a community centre for homeless people. For so many reasons, people end up living on the streets, but nobody should be. They are probably more deserving than a lot of people we come across, who complain and are unappreciative of the things they have. These people are just sitting on the dock of the bay, watching the tide roll away.

I thought it would be useful to end today’s post with a hard hitting music video from Five Finger Death Punch. I won’t tell you anything more about it, except that I cry EVERYTIME I watch it.¬†

Workplace workforce

As I almost finish my 6 month rotation in stroke, I start to reflect upon my time there. It has definitely been a whirlwind experience…but needless to say I did learn a lot, on a clinical level and on a personal level.

One of the jobs junior doctors are required to do are discharge letters, where we write a summary of a patient’s admission, on the day we send them home. For some reason, everybody gets so worked up about them. One day when I walked onto the ward, not two seconds into washing my hands at the entrance, did the ward clerk ask me..

‘Has the eDAN been done?’ (aka electronic discharge summary)

I replied politely and informed her that I’ll do it today. The patient was going home in the afternoon, so I had time to do a ward round and see some sick patients I was alerted off overnight (which was MY priority).¬†After washing my hands, I join the ‘safety-bundle’ meeting with the nurses, where one of them asked me the same question. I just gave her the same answer (so that’s two people in 15 minutes). Halfway through the morning, after seeing the patients I wanted to review, I¬†wrote my letter. As I was about to make my way to let the nurse know that I’d done it, she came up to me to ask if it was done, to which I replied yes (that’s three people, and I thought that would be it).

After lunch, an¬†occupational therapist¬†asked me if the letter was done. I was somewhat baffled at this, because number one, I hadn’t realised that they are involved in the discharge letter, they don’t write them and they don’t sort out the medications. Number two-I already did it! And told someone that I did it! I was getting frustrated inside and I replied ‘yep’, and that was it. That was 4 people.¬†You would think that would be the end of it (well actually you would that would be it after I told the nurse before lunch) but believe it or not, I was approached by the discharge coordinator, asking if it had been done. Are you kidding me?? I felt myself about to lose my temper, at something so trivial. I think I said something along the lines of ‘it’s been done’, and I walked out of the office.

FIVE people came up to me, all demanding the same thing. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt, it’s that there’s no trust in the organisation. If working on this ward for 6 months hadn’t earned their trust, what did? The CEO of the cosmetics company¬†LUSH, ¬†Mark Constantine, came up with a wishlist for his employees, where they can request one thing from him. One employee asked if he could pay for their wedding in Italy…and he did.

You can trust your employees to work for you, recognise how hard they work and reward them. No I’m not requesting a wedding in Italy! But to have that level of trust in a company, or any sort of organisation is invaluable, yet at the same time you feel valued. That day I felt undervalued more so (which is unfortunately not uncommon for junior doctors). In my previous rotation, I was a victim of bullying…where for the first time I raised this sort of issue with senior colleagues. It’s all sorted out now (and according to my trainers, the department was genuinely terrified of me afterwards!). Following another similar incident in this rotation, I didn’t raise it until much later (because though it was really bad, when comparing¬†to the first incident, it wasn’t that¬†bad…if that makes any sense?!).

I’ve started to believe that if you can love yourself and cherish yourself, give yourself some sort of worth, you don’t allow people to treat you in any other way, except in a way that is loving and healthy. I realised that in the future, if I was to start some sort of organisation, I would only have people who I would want to be my bosses, work with me. We would keep the trust, because how else can you work in harmony?

Broken Strings

Why did I choose to blog? To express, to document and in this case…to bring me back to base. Its been a weird couple of days where things didn’t turn out right, and you start doubting yourself, thinking if you need more confidence in everything else.

As I sat on the floor with my back against the radiator (which felt particularly nice on a chilly day outside!), I went on the computer and typed in a movie soundtrack from the legendary Hans Zimmer, from the¬†film¬†Thelma and Louise.¬†Though I had only seen bits of it from so long ago, I kid you not I have it running on Now TV, right now! The song is played by one of my boyfriend’s heroes, guitarist Guthrie Govan. It’s a beautiful song, but watch what happens half way through, it’s every guitarist’s worst nightmare…

I believe that music maybe one of the best things that’s happened to humanity. It can connect people all around the world, and let them feel the same feelings. However, sometimes you can watch a clip more than once, and you feel something different each time you watch it. ¬†When I first watched this clip today, I cried a little, which I don’t usually. I don’t really know why I did, but the emotions I felt on this occasion were very different from the last time I watched it, yet all still very real to me. When I did watch it, ¬†I tried to compare it to the situation I was in. If he could pull through this mishap and come out shining more so towards the end, then maybe I can too?

New Year’s Resolutions

I thought it would be useful to document here a list of things I want to achieve this year. I feel that if I could write them down, I can work towards them. Here goes:

  1. Get fit (my boyfriend and I made a deal to lift weights together and stick to a diet of 1200 calories a day, something I have done once before. This is our¬†‘cutting phase’).
  2. Finally pass my driving test (yes, I failed before)
  3. Attempt the first GP exam
  4. Continue with the expedition
  5. Finish reading

Who do you choose to be?

What better way to answer the above, than by watching this movie clip from one of the best movie franchises. I watched the film Kung Fu Panda 2 over the Christmas holidays, and this is my favourite clip. It is as beautiful as it is hard hitting, about finding your inner peace, and accepting who you are. I shall say no more, because in all honesty, it’s here… Enjoy.