The dice are cast

Yesterday I put my application for the surgical training program in the post off to Melbourne.

It’s something of a relief to have it done and posted, but still daunting because I’ve done everything I cancontrol, and the rest is now all in the hands of the gods (or at least the administrators for the College of surgeons).

I have to wait until mid july for an interview and then the interminable wait to hear whether my application has been successful begins.

What can I say? If you see me walking funny for the next month it will be because I’m crossing my fingers, toes, legs and anything else I can think of to superstitiously aid my application.

The sun… It burns!!

Today I started my Medicine rotation.

Now as you will all be well aware, I have about as much love of internal medicine as I do for being locked in a tank full of scorpions while having my eyes poked out with forks.

Ever since I lost 8 weeks of my life to my Medicine rotation during medical school, where I didn’t feel I was actively taught anything, was left with the distinct feeling that my consultant personally disliked me, and was almost failed* (a fact unrelated to the consultant’s dislike of me) I have disliked medicine. Other people find it intellectually fascinating, but I can’t help feel that the interesting academic side of medicine has relatively little relationship to the depressing reality of the clinical work (but that’s probably just my surgeon mentality coming out).
So by and large I have not been looking forward to having to do 10 weeks of medicine as part of my internship, but so far I haven’t found it that bad.

Because the physicians generally don’t work as long hours as the surgeons do (and it’s probably best if you dont ask my opinion of why that may be) , I am finally finding myself with time to do the other things I have been meaning to do now that finance isn’t such a constraint, such as going to the optometrist, getting my car cleaned and serviced, and getting medical and dental checkups (I don’t even want to think about how long it has been since I last went to the dentist for something non-urgent).

I am also discovering something about the world that I had forgotten about. When I leave the hospital in the afternoon there is this big yellow think in the sky. I can’t recall what it is called, but it feels pleasant and warm. I know I must have seen it somewhere before, but I can’t put my finger on where, or how long ago…

*Two of the three patient’s I was asked to examine had conditions I had never seen before, and had not recieved any teaching on during my medical term. In my mind the exam hardly fulfilled the stated assment aim of gauging my understanding of diagnosis and management of common medical conditions. I still assert that the main reason that they passed me in the end was that it would just be too much hassle for them to go through the paperwork to actually fail me. While ultimately my other terms (GP, ED) proved that my diagnostic and management abilities were actually not that bad.

Everyone loves ortho

In recent correspondences I have been constantly amused how much everyone I talk to seems to have loved their orthopaedics terms.

I had a really great time, and have continued to enjoy the orthopaedic stuff that has poped up in my job since then, but it seems I’m not alone.

Both friends and other intern acquaintences I have talked to have been reporting their enjoyment of it too.

I’m not sure whether Ortho is something I want to do as a career, but if I do lean that way, I hope this doesn’t mean that there will be a lot of competition to get onto the program.

Foolish things to do with cordial

A few weeks back I did something rather stupid.

I was drinking a glass of cordial and put it down on my desk as I was playing on my computer.

Jack being his usual rumbunctious self jumped up onto the desk, and started sniffing my cordial with a view to drinking it (he likes human drinks, but thankfully hasn’t figured out how to get into the grog cupboard yet).

Simone trying to be helpful shifted the drink closer to me so that I could stop Jack from drinking it, and somewhere in the subsequent confusion Jack moved, I reacted, and the cordial spilled onto my computer’s keyboard.

Now in the past I had heard stories about people drying their keyboards and continuing without any problems, but that didn’t seem to work.

Then I recalled some-one who swore that they had washed their keyboard and hung it out to dry, and had it back working the next day. Obviously they didn’t have a laptop keyboard, because that didn’t work either.

In the end I just had to bite the bullet and buy a replacement keyboard.

Turned out to be the most expensive cup of cordial I’ve ever had.

Anyway, for everyone’s amusement, here is a pretty picture of my keyboard in the bathroom sink. Kids, don’t try this without asking your parents first.


My dirty little secret

I think it is fair to say that I have always had a fairly strong aversion to four wheel drive vehicles, and so when Simone had a little accident in her Alfa and the insurance company gave her a Nissan X-Trail as a replacement car, I was a little uneasy.

I have always thought they were too big, too spectacularly environmentally unfreindly in their gas guzzling tendancies, and generally unnecessary (how many soccer mums with 4 wheel drives ever put them into 4 wheel drive mode?). Generally I maintained the view that the kinds of people who had them (in the city at least) were trying to compensate for something (kids, your parents will explain what I mean by this in about a decade..).

So when I was forced to drive one, I discovered that while my above assertions may not be inaccurate, they aren’t the whole story, and there may in fact be something to be said for (particularly recreational) four wheel drives, and those things can generally be summed up in one word: Features.
I loved the Fully electric chairs. I loved the sun roof (although it meant I had to wear my hat so I didn’t get a burned head). I loved the cruise control (it made the drive when we visited Simone’s parents on the Sunshine coast seem soooo easy..). I loved the wide angle side mirrors.

In short I rather enjoyed myself, and felt rather naughty and hipocritical about it all.

So I suppose all I have to do is find a “normal” car which has these features in it, and then I can go back to taking the moral high ground against all the people trying to intimidate me in their 4×4 polution-mobiles.

Jumping Jack flash

It seems that Jack has (finally) realised that he is capable of jumping up onto the kitchen bench.

It has always somewhat amused me that while Jack has grown into quite a large cat he has, up until now, seemed to operated on the assumption that he simply wasn’t capable of jumping as high as the bench, so he simply didn’t try.

Then last night he was chasing a moth around the house and it flew above the bench and without thinking Jack followed it up. Then he kind of paused on the bench, looked back at the floor, and you could almost hear him think “Whoa… I never knew I could do that. That was cool.. and this could be useful.. hmmm”.

Then this afternoon when I got home Jack had obviously been practicing all day, because he made sure I was watching, and sauntered slowly over to the kitchen, paused, and jumped up onto the bench, as if to say “Aren’t I clever. Look what I can do”.

And he is clever, but perhaps we shouldn’t be encouraging him to be clever in the area of jumping onto benches.

Unpleasant epiphany

I caught the train out to the airport the other day, at about end of school time in the afternoon, and came to a disconcerting realisation: There were high school students everywhere, and they were so small and young, and I could remember being that young myself, but now… oh crap, I’m probably twice their age. Stoopid adulthood sneaking up on me again.

A better cat trap

When I was a chhild I had a book entitled “My cat likes to hide in boxes”. According to the book, the cat from france likes to sing and dance, but my cat likes to hide in boxes.

Now in reality, the cat from spain flies an aeroplane, and my cat (Jack) likes to jump into our laundry hamper whenever we leave the top up. The amusing thing about this is that he always does it in a fashion that causes the lid to drop shut, thus trapping himself inside. The hamper itself is a pretty light and airy wicker affair (a feature which is aided by Jack’s pre-existing love of using it as a scratching post), so Jack doesn’t seem terribly concerned by getting trapped it in, he just can’t manage to extricate himself.

Although I can’t be sure of what it might be yet, I’m sure there will come a time when my newly discovered “Better Cat Trap” will come in useful (perhaps when we need to take him to the vet), but in the interim it will just have to remain a source of sporadic amusement.