Monday, October 15, 2012


Yeah, I'm still alive, still working as a doctor.

Life has taken some interesting and brilliant turns, I'm specialising in my area of interest and things are just clicking along.

I generally don't find much to blog about any more, which is a shame, as I found a lot of value out of reflecting here.

Unfortunately due to the nature of blogging in Australia and the need to remain anonymity, it makes blogging very difficult, as continual self-censorship has to be one of the biggest enemies of writing that I can imagine. So while I might think of things to say, I really can't say them.

I'm leaving this blog here because it still has value for me to be able to look back on those times I went through being a medical student, but in the meantime I have much larger things to focus on.

I hope you are all well.


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and the best for the new year.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


You know that Summer has struck when you finish work while the sun is still shining, and feel a sense of disappointment, because at least when you leave the building just after the sun has set, you will melt a little less when you get home.

I appreciate the daylight hours a lot more when the days don't feel like you are living in a sauna.

Soon the people who live in the house behind ours will likely be jumping into their pool and yelling helpful things like, "Gee, isn't having a pool great!" while we swelter, pool-less, in our home.

One day I will do the sensible thing and move somewhere cooler. One day.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


My concern preceding the last rotation was entirely unwarranted - I just loved it and had a great time. I have a feeling that the next rotation will be similar.

It is funny, if I enjoy the work then I don't mind putting in a few extra hours here and there. Naturally there is a limit, but I would rather be in a job I liked and stay for an hour or so extra each day than be in a job where I felt miserable and bored. Of course, all things are a trade-off, and working in an excessively stressful environment with huge mountains of overtime would destroy any benefits of working in a field I loved, and I would rather be bored and go home on time.

So like all things, it is all about balance.

Anyway, I can't believe that we are now in the last rotation of internship. It has gone so quickly, and yet so much has happened. The first half of the year was probably one of the most challenging of my life, and the second half was more about learning how to enjoy work again.

I really don't know how much more I have to add to this blog, seeing as how it started out being about life in medical school, and now that internship is over, it feels like I don't have much more to say about work. I don't know if I'm ready to bow out just yet, so I'll pop in and post every now and again, but it feels as if life has somehow moved on.

The important part is, I'm happy. :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Worry and relaxation

I have just had several lovely weeks away from work. It has been such a blessing. I have been so blissfully relaxed. I'm happy, I'm dreaming about things apart from work, and I have had the energy to do non-essential cooking.

It has been a nourishing time, and a much-needed one.

Now I'm wondering how I can carry this feeling of peace and being chilled with me into the next rotation. I know that I probably won't, but I really, really want to try.

The last time I managed this was during my psychiatry rotation. I'm hoping to be able to obtain it again when I start to specialise in this area. I like to do things promptly and in an organised fashion, but it is far more relaxing for me to know that they do not need to be done right now and can probably wait a few hours or even a day or three.

I was quite relaxed during my emergency rotation, but found the style of work very tiring and thoughts of having missed things or having documented something incompletely often plagued me in my sleep. Bed block and ambulance ramping are nightmares.

You can tell that I'm worrying about it a bit already - after all, I have just written this post.

Monday, September 12, 2011

10 years ago (in Australia)

I'm not any good at poignant writing, I'm afraid. I wanted to give a glimpse from another country on that day, from another part of the planet. We will never be able to understand what it was like to be in the USA on that day.

Yesterday I walked to the park down the road from us to get some fresh air. There was a whole park full of birthday parties and children playing. All of them were younger than ten. None of them were on this earth when it happened. Life has gone on, and I don't want to look at those images any more, but I still find tears at the thought of those people who died on that day, and those who have lived ten years without them.

It will never be a symbol for me, just a giant mess of loss. The Bali bombings are the same. So many gaping holes in lives where there used to be people. Some of them stick with you more than others, but they all matter.

I am Australian. I have not yet been to the USA, although it is on the cards. I grew up immersed in the culture of the United States via television, and taught myself to read and spell from Sesame Street. Mulder and Scully were my teenage idols and Friends was a staple at my residential college. Parts of the country are so idealised in my imagination that it would almost be a shame to visit and have that picture brought back to reality.

Like so many of my generation, I feel very close in spirit to the country, her citizens and parts of our shared culture. Ten years ago, we watched and wept, too.

I was in my last months of my first university degree, getting ready to marry the man who is now my husband, in the middle of worrying about the wedding, job applications for the next year and my final exams.

Like the majority of the Australian population, I live on the eastern coast of our country. I was fast asleep when the twin towers were hit. Some of my family had been up watching the late news, but they hadn't contacted me - they are quite practical so I imagine they didn't the point. They knew I would hear soon enough.

The next morning, on our September 12, I turned on the tv as I got ready for uni. I walked across the room and saw the images of the planes and thought it was another promo for a Hollywood blockbuster. As I sat down to eat breakfast, I read the scrolling text and listened to the newsreaders and the reality began to sink in.

Passenger planes had hit the twin towers in the middle of New York, nobody knew how many people had been killed, nobody knew who had done it or why, and nobody knew who would be next. I felt sick, but all we were getting at that point in time were pictures of burning buildings and estimated numbers. I could hardly tell the news to my fiance- I just got him to watch the tv, too.

I still went to university that morning. I caught the ferry into the city, as usual. My route took me through an affluent part of town along the river, and the main stop was the financial district. Normally the ferry was packed with people in suits. That day there were only 4 people on board.

Two others were students and there was one businesswoman. I overheard her on her mobile phone. Most of her colleagues had stayed home because the head office of their company had been in the WTC and nobody knew if any of them had gotten out. Australia has huge ties financially with the USA. Many of the big financial businesses with offices in the city either had head offices in the WTC, or had very close contacts and partnerships with people there.

At uni, everybody was in a bit of a daze. Many of them were in denial, many were avoiding thinking about it, and some, like me, could not get it out of our heads. There were large TV screens in the business school on campus that were normally tuned to the market information. That day they were full of footage of planes repeatedly slamming into buildings, falling bodies, people weeping and crying in desperation, and speculation on numbers. My least favourite part (as always) was crass speculation about whether Australia would be next.

I tried hard not to weep, and mostly succeeded. Most of the crying came later. Sometimes it still does. I cry for those whose family members never made it home. For the sheer and utter cruelty of an act that would attack innocent people and kill them in the thousands, all because of some twisted ideology and misplaced rage.

In the months that followed, so many people wore shirts with the USA flag on them, or "I *heart* New York", even those who had never been to the USA and had no family connections. We all felt so powerless and sad.

One pointless death is a tragedy. I still have no words for the loss on the scale that was experienced that day. It rocked our sense of what was safe, of what was untouchable, of what twisted individuals would actually do in their depravity. It was followed in the years to come by multiple other international incidents.

One year, one month and one day later, they bombed Bali. Having known some of the victims who made it back, part of me shares the sense of rage that accompanies the loss. There is no justice in this world that could possibly be fitting for people who do these acts.

You go about your life, and everyday tragedies happen. God forbid they happen to us or anybody close, but they will and do happen. We all die, sooner or later. The sheer scale, intent and the fact of the occurrences on the 11th of September, 2001, is something that I don't think any of us will ever really get over.

We will never forget.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Life, recent

And now for something a little different, as pictures seem to say more about my life right now than words:

Some things make me too sad for words. But then, I don't have to speak. I can support the foundation that his parents have set up in his memory, trying to make sure that what happened to their son does not happen to other children.

Right now I still feel the sense of sadness and loss whenever I see his parents on the news or at a press conference. What I also feel is a rumbling sense of rage, that somebody stole this life, this future from him and his family, and that this criminal has presumably been kept hidden and protected by other criminals, leaving his family, friends and community in painful limbo for years.

The Australian media and social media have been told to be very careful about what is said in relation to the case, because a man has finally been charged after so long, and they do not want to risk any form of mistrial.

As his mother said, I hope that they can see Daniel buried with dignity soon.

On a lighter note:

At least somebody is enjoying the chives in my garden.

It is great noticing this creature AFTER I have just watered the plant. Really. At least he or she had the good sense to sit very still.

I hate it when they jump. It is so very random. One landed on my face once. Now they scare me. Out of all of the things in Australia, I probably hate locusts the most.