Monday, 29 March 2010

Hardest Decision

So, I'm a week on, and nothing much has changed. I'm home for Easter and hating it. Family life is difficult and I don't fit back in anymore. To top it off, the boyfriend is in Australia so I can't even talk to him all that much because of the time difference (Time zones suck!!). I'm quite lonely here and all I want to do is sleep.

I'm having a real rethink about my life at the moment. I'm not really happy in medical school and I really don't know if it's the right thing for me. I always wanted to be a paramedic, but my school refused to send off the UCAS form with Paramedic Science on it, or write me a reference for a student paramedic position. My parents refused to support me in that career, and I knew that nursing and midwifery weren't for me, so I decided to just go for it and apply for medicine. I didn't think I'd get offers, let alone get the grades, but I did, even if it was by the skin of my teeth. 

Since then I've been struggling with everything at medical school, aside from the practical things. The science is way beyond what I can cope with without doing stupid amounts of work. I no longer have a social life and the stress is having an impact on my health. I love the practical stuff, and fast paced patient turnaround, but other than that, there is very little keeping me here. I haven't made many friends, I don't go out or even dance anymore (I used to be a dancer on the university Dancesport team) and I just don't see a reason why to carry on. I keep scraping through exams other than the practical ones and I'm just not enjoying much of it at all.

I'm thinking about leaving it all and going to be a paramedic. It's what I wanted to do in the first place and I think it's really where my heart's at but I just don't know. My parents would hate me for it, I don't think my boyfriend would really be all too happy about it and I just don't know. I can't decide. I've agonised over it, shed plenty of tears and lost a lot of sleep over it. It's a very difficult decision but one I will have to make soon enough.

Monday, 22 March 2010

It's A Strange World

Those of you who follow me on Twitter will know that I've recently spent 9 days in hospital. It was an interesting experience to say the least. It was very up and down and incredibly emotional. I cried a lot, I got angry a lot, and I learned who my friends are really and truly. Being ill enough to be in hospital teaches you a lot.

It's a very strange experience being a patient in your own hospital. On the first two wards I was on, I knew the majority of the staff, and even managed to have a catch up with a few of them, but suffice to say, it was very odd not being in control of anything. Even through the pain, I wanted to answer ringing call bells.  I wanted to help the other patients who  looked more ill than me. I wanted to help everyone, and be the one to answer the call bells instead of being the one pressing my buzzer. I got a real taste of how horrible and scary and disorientating and confusing and just how strange it is being a patient. This is something I'm going to remember in future. I don't think I could ever fully appreciate what it was like in the hospital as a patient before now.

Throughout the whole time, my best friend and my boyfriend (The Manchester Medic) were both very supportive. They even made my birthday fun, despite me being in hospital and in pain, and feeling generally terrible. I felt like a fraud to begin with, because everyone else just looked so much more ill than I thought I did. It was only on the second night did I realise how ill I actually was. I'd fought this illness for a month before admitting defeat and letting myself be admitted to hospital. Medical Students are well known for the phenomenon that is "Medstudentitis". We all think we have every disease we study. Something that comes from having too much knowledge I guess. Except, I'd refused to admit that I really was ill. I kept saying I was fine until the point where I just had to give in.

I learned a lot from being a patient, and this is something I'm going to share over the next few days and weeks.

And for those of you wondering about my health - I'm still in pain, I'm still exhausted and I'm still ill. Nobody knows what's wrong but it's definitely not an infection or anything urological. If you want to play guess the diagnosis, email me and I'll give you a run down of my history and symptoms. Would be interesting to know what differentials people come up with!! Let me know by leaving your differential diagnoses in the comments of this post.