Curious incident

My dear readers, I am terribly sorry for the belated post.  I have no idea what happened the last couple of days.  It’s a complete blank!

Let me think.  The last thing I remember…we stopped in Roswell, New Mexico for a bite to eat and met this lovely gentleman…a fellow roadtripper, I believe…

curious gentleman

Don’t recall a thing after that.  How curious!


I went with some friends to a fusion power plant tour at Culham Science Centre to see some particle colliders last Wednesday and feel I must express the experience in verse.


tubes and spirals of magnetic ghost traces and flashing brilliance of

plasma burning

shooting electrons from a pea gun in

frozen Helium pellets

tubes and spirals of metal feeding electrons in, neutrons out

metal diamond signs

with bold, stern letters

tritium caution tape

eager robot hands work as we watch

in yellow hard hats.

I have never wanted caution tape so badly in my life!!


statistically accurate day

This morning I walked to Dulwich Leisure Centre, where I partook in a lovely beginner’s yoga class.  On the way back I ‘discovered’ a newly renovated street and peered inside posh little vintage shops, making a mental note to come back when the butcher was open.  I browsed a quirky artsy book-store.   Thumbing through the ironic postcards and vegetarian cookbooks, it occurred to me.

I’m having a 30-something female, white, ‘urban’, leftist stereotype day.

At first I felt a little let down by my own predictability.  But then, I thought, what the heck, let’s rock the demographic.  I met a friend for cappuccino, then made some organic chicken soup for dinner.

Now, to finish strong – herbal tea and The Daily Show or Colbert Report!

Ward Rounds for Dummies

I’ve changed posts at the hospital, and the powers that be decide to level up my experience by throwing in a few ward rounds during my induction week.

“I’m going for my first ward round tomorrow,” I tell a couple of the nurses.  “Any advice?”

“Are you now, love?”  One of them grins.  “Bare below the elbows.  You can wear your wedding ring but nothing else.  And closed toed shoes.”

Next morning, 9:00am, I’m ‘bare below the elbows’ and anxious.  The ward is a foreign country.  Everything comes at you from all sides.  Metal carts with sharp things, medicine things.  Patients in beds or chairs, talking, wheezing, groaning, wandering down the hall.  No matter where you stand, you’re having to move aside for a wheely bed or chair, or busy person opening a drawer.  All of my senses have trouble adjusting – sharp and antiseptic mingles with human scents.  The room is alive with beeps and hums, voices, and rustling of fabric curtains.

The junior doctors and nurses are huddled around the palliative care consultant, who is reading from a patient’s file.  I introduce myself, stand awkwardly and strain to hear above discordant blend of sounds.  At some point the consultant looks up briskly, “Right, let’s go see her.”

They go to the bed first, get permission for me to observe – it’s clear I’m the outsider.  I’m the only one without a crisply pressed uniform or white lab coat.  I’m carrying a notebook, like a prop.  I crowd inside the rippling wall of blue fabric and mimic what the others do.  If they kneel by the bed, I kneel.  They write notes, I write notes.  Mostly I try not to reflect the patient’s pain back to them on my face.  The patients don’t look at me much, anyway.  They tell their stories, hurts, and fears to the doctor or nurse.

The Ward Round is not round at all – we zigzag around the ward, then duck into another ward, then back to the first.  The blue curtain is pulled around us, a new patient, diagnosis, story, symptoms, medicine adjustments.  Over and over, for several hours.

Over the week you get the hang of the process, but then every consultant has a different style.  The palliative care consultant kneels at the bed, holds the patient’s hand, asks probing questions in a gentle voice.  Another consultant flies by the beds, talking non-stop to a hive of junior doctors and nurses.  He puts a firm hand on the patient’s shoulder, talks clearly but succinctly, gets the facts.  Medical decisions are made, discussed, retracted, rehashed, and reset in minutes.

At night the faces, symptoms, diseases go through my head.  Sickle cell anaemia, wide frightened eyes, dementia, confusion, yellow jaundiced skin, exhaustion, breast cancer, hypoxic brain injury, skin pocked with needle scars.   Relatives crying, standing at the bed stiffly, making jokes, holding their loved one’s head up for water.

I don’t know how they do it, these medical folks – on their feet for hours, facing all of this pain and chaos, making some sense and order out of it.  Wake up and do it all over again.

The Ward Round is not for sissies.  You gotta be ready.

And wear comfortable shoes.

blogging whilst highm

To get the full effect of the experinemt, i’m just gonna leave all the typing slips in here. 

Now, it is true that Ia m blogging whilst high.  But before you call the fuzz, it is a presecription medicatin for a back smpam spasm. ok? now the drusg here for back sutff are SLIGHTLY more interesting than back at home. Thye gave me flexiril at home, which didn’t help much and made me sleepy. I did not live like Valium.  when i toke it, the wall talked to me. you know what a walls ays sasys says when it talk s to you?

“\I am a wall. I am talking to you.” 

I rolled over, back to said wall, fell back asleep and vowed never to take Valium again.

and then there’s percaset. dont’ know how to spell tha.t.  It made me grumpy and co hanfused and sleepy. 

But here, here they have a drug i can say is a gret  great experience for the injured.  it is diazepram.  in my med sec job i have typed that perr prescription drung d name a lot and now i am on it! it is great. they the only thing is it wan  it b it makes  you want to go roller skating. 

which is unfortunate becase 

A. I don’t own roller skates at this time.

B. I have a back sm spam spasm and should not enagage in vigorous a exper  exercise. 


so in sum, U.K. wins on drugs. 

(I’m gonna regret posting this later, aren’t i?) tee hee!