Tuesday, April 21, 2009


An up and down day - in between attending and assisting in flexible cystoscopy clinic, I managed to lose a USB drive, and post a letter minus the stamps.

And at the eleventh hour, when dinner was in the oven and I was wandering bleary-eyed around the house, Ai Wei's frantic tones via Jack's mobile informed me that I was within 15 minutes of missing the farewell tour of Riverdance.

Having seen them already on DVD, I had some idea of what to expect, but the dancing, the music, the showmanship generally was a sight to behold. Everything seemed so meticulous, from crowd pleasers such as Trading Taps, to wildly crazy dances like Morning in Macedonia, to choral performances and instrumentals; to my untrained eye, not a foot looked out of place.

Sitting back during the intermission we wondered aloud how one of the dancers could twirl on tiptoes while in a squat, and almost immediately get back up and perform without losing her balance.

The musicians were excellent, especially the fiddler, who played immunerable solos and generally kept us entertained for the better part of two hours! Must be something, to be part of such a spirited band.

We were lucky to have got such high seats - AiWei's work, and as they are apparently going to end their run of shows sometime in 2010, about 10 years after they first started (an offspring of a Eurovision performance, I just learned!) so if anyone is still wondering; they're very much worth a watch!

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Song of the night:

At the foot of the cross

What made the most sense:

'I lay all my burdens down, at the foot of the cross.'

Thursday, April 09, 2009

I wish I may, I wish I might

Got through today, which I'd been dreading for some time now...

Talked about urinary retention in front of the FY1s at the RLUH, which was strangely more nerve-wrecking for me than I thought it would be-I think its getting up to talk in front of people I'm not that close with that makes me nervous.

As expected, ended up talking fast, and trying to cover too much in too little time. Every time I prepare something similar(which isn't all that often anyway), I seem to picture having a lot more time, and prepare a lot more than I actually need to, with the result of having too little time to say all that I want to say. (I'm sure there's a more efficient way of writing all that out as well!)

Was followed by Jack, who did an amazing presentation on COPD. Amazing because he held everyone's attention via a gameshow aka Who Wants To Be A Millionaire style, and amazing because he included plenty of important points for house officers faced with patients with COPD. Enjoyed revising the FEV1 cutoff points for mild-moderate and severe COPD which I'd totally forgotten after doing the respiratory job.

The rest of the day was particularly busy, but mostly enjoyable - ended the day with an unexpected invite to a drug rep presentation at Mayur, an excuse for urology consultants and registrars to mingle and enjoy free food and drink. Vinny and I felt a bit out of place amongst all the big names and timidly asked for a couple of glasses of coke, while around us, Johnny walker Black Labels were being consumed by the glassful.

To mask the event in a show of actually learning something, the registrars had a couple of talks on recent advances in PSA monitoring, and it was pretty heartening to watch senior doctors argue over the definition of a screening test, and how a receiver operating characteristic curve should be interpreted and what 'area under the curve' actually meant. Kind of reminded me of a long ago evening in Barrow 4th year med school where HP, Ed and I sat down to discuss statistics for exams. Much like then, everyone came to the conclusion that no one really fully understood matters:-)

Dinner was good - and while I kick myself now for not indulging in lassi, it was a good, if brief, night out. If only I wasn't working tmrw.

Happy Good Friday!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Holding my attention

Popped into theatre today for only the second time in my Urology rotation - watched a cystoscopy - basically a camera going into the bladder via the urethra, looking for cancer. The fluffy specks, fronds that swayed in the clear irrigation fluid pumped into the bladder were actually worrying - muscle invasive tumour. A 5-year survival rate of 50%.

Back on the ward, a patient became abusive and took a swing at me as I was examining his chest to detect the crackles and creps of aspiration pneumonia to determine if he should continue on IV antibiotics. The staff wonder: how do we assess the mental capacity of a patient whose family are not immediately contactable? A mini-mental score and a call to the Mental Health Liaison team are in order; plus I shouldn't feel too special about the whole thing; he has taken swings at all manner of staff from SHOs to junior nurses.

Jack and Gil are watching Hospital - a reality programme about NHS and dealing with different patients - too much work for me, I'm glad to come home to Heroes, to a nice cup of hot Milo with condensed milk(!) to the latest book waiting to be read, not to more work:-)

Saw tonight on the Apple trailers site that one of my first books growing up, is being made into a movie. Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, to me, was a tale about a troubled child who went to the land of the Wild Things to escape his ominous life at home. Seems that the movie is going along those lines - will be interesting to see how it pans out.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

I like weekends

It's nice to wake up at the ungodly hour of 9am, without being jolted out of sleep by the alarm and knowing that, if I chose, I could go on sleeping and no one would be harmed in the least (not that they would anyway).

So had a relatively lazy Saturday where I finally dragged myself out of the house to the Liverpool Empire to catch the Witches of Eastwick. It was surprisingly good, and provided plenty of entertaining moments, though we did wonder about the subject matter and there being plenty of kids around - colorful language and sexual innuendo abounded - parents would have a lot of explaining to do.

The story, for those too lazy to follow the links, revolves around 3 women living in a town small enough that everyone knows who's seeing who, and the conjuring up of a devilishly handsome man that proceeds to charm the lady-folk of the town, with both creepy and hilarious effects.

Here's hoping Riverdance will at least be as good when we watch them in April!

Saturday night saw us at Jody's where a number of Malaysian medics had been invited. It was nice to kick back and chat, if a little too medical-oriented:-) (what an amazing phenomenon that when medics gather, the conversation always turns back to work) and considering his house wasn't too far from ours, we stumbled home at 1am without too much difficulty.

Have decided in bits what to talk about on Thursday (benign prostatic hyperplasia management) and am a little miffed at finding out I am working the next couple of bank holidays.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Things are getting exciting

Grand Nationals this weekend...the nursing staff are talking about going to the races, everyone's worried that the rain will spoil things and recounting hilarious past experiences where people spent ridiculous amounts on a bottle of wine.

Will be watching Witches of Eastwick - of which I know nothing about as of now with Jack, my long suffering housemate with whom I've been out together on more occasions than I care to remember. Gil bailed out leaving the two of us to scrounge around for someone else to share the evening with.

Am feeling a little pleased at having survived today after covering 6 different consultants worth of patients. SHOs who are willing to pitch in are a Godsend.

And Easter is coming up. Wonder if I'm working then?