Wednesday, December 23, 2015

'Tis The Season

Super Cute Cookie Holiday Display that I helped some of the
docs from the GI Ward Decorate =)
Christmas Tree in the Sky Garden on the 35th floor of the Walkie-Talkie Building

Happy Holidays! 
Happy Hanukkah! Merry Christmas! Happy Kwanzaa! 

The end of the year is a time that many people celebrate with family and friends whether they are religious or not.  During the quiet moments many of us reflect on what went well, things we'd like to change, losses we've endured, and joys we've experienced.  We'll also make plans, resolutions, and set or re-visit goals for the coming year.  It's a time to close out and start fresh.

This has been a roller coaster of a year for me...I have: 
*Lived in 3 different countries & timezones (St. Maarten, USA, and United Kingdom).
*Had 8 different housemates.
*Endured some of the most challenging exams thus far.
*Had some epic adventures.
*Tried new foods.
*Learned new meanings of old words-think trainers, jumpers, pants, bins, subway, etc; they all mean something different tan what I was used to.
*Trained my brain to process a TON of different English accents. 
*Finally got the hang of looking to the RIGHT when I cross the street instead of left.  
*Reconnected with old friends & colleagues from the UK that I hadn't seen in 8 years.
*Been called doctor (by real patients!) more times than I can count.  I still find myself looking around for the doctor because it still hasn't clicked that they are actually talking to me and expecting a response, ha!  Although I'm not officially Doctor yet, I'm past the half way point.  According to the UK folks I'm in year 7 of 8, though I'm used to thinking of myself in year 3 of 4.  The majority of UK students go to school for 5 years TOTAL to become doctors (that includes their years in University, lucky ducks!).
*Seen patients & families at their worst and their best.
*Welcomed new additions to the family.
*Learned a lot about myself.  I've realized I can do anything I set my mind to.  I can not only endure situations I thought I would never get through, but come out victorious. *Learned to be more at peace with being alone while also being open enough to create lasting memories with people I've never really interacted with before.  
*Stayed in a hostel on more than one occasion--all I could think about was the movie Taken, yikes!
*Been reminded time and time again how wonderfully supportive and encouraging my family & friends are! 

I've been in the UK for 4 months now.  I've completed my Internal Medicine Rotation (Endocrinolgy, GI, Cardiology, and Acute Medicine) and I'm partially through my Surgical rotation.  I've seen some wild stuff!!!! Amputations, Abscess drainage, Laparotomies, Rectal Prolapse Repair, Reversal of Hartmans procedures, Brain tumor excision, Dermoid Cyst Removal, Vascular Surgery and more.  So far, surgery has been super cool and weird and gross and interesting and amazing and life saving!  I've worked with an awesome Anesthesiologist (and team) who has shown me many of the basics, let me intubate, reverse the anesthesia, and ventilate patients.  Ive spent time in A &E (the Emergency Department) where I have assisted with initial triage, assessment and management of patients brought in by ambulance or sent in for urgent care by their physician.  It's never a dull moment and I LOVE what I'm learning, experiencing and being exposed to on a daily basis.  

Everyone's journey is different and I'm so grateful that I'm finally pursuing what I've wanted to do for so long.  Many people don't believe me when I tell them I had so many doubts at different points in time over the years about medical school.  I wasn't sure I could make it.  Wasn't sure I had what it takes.  But look at God!  I'm here!  I'm doing well!  And I'm almost finished!  Well...not exactly, but I'm closer than I was before I started!  

The mind is so powerful.  We have to learn to be faithful, state your dreams and desires out loud, write them down, set short/medium/and long term achievable goals; tell people you trust who can hold you accountable to your goals, and then just step out and give it a go.  You may want to do something small or something huge.  If you want it, make it happen.  You know what I keep reminding myself??? YOU WILL NEVER BE SUCCESSFUL, IF YOU NEVER TAKE THE FIRST STEP!  And I can't even lie, many times the first step is the absolute hardest.  

A new year is upon us, its a perfect time to set new goals and start to Make S#IT Happen!

On to the more interesting stuff...
I've become obsessed with a number of things over here.
Like the insane flavors of crisps (potato chips).  Some seem cool but others seem very weird! Would you try roast turkey & stuffing or pigs in blanket flavored potato chips??? Check out some of the other funky combinations...

Cornish Sea Salt & West Country Cider Vinegar; Lightly Sea Salted; Mature Devonshire Cheddar & Caramelized Red Onion; Pigs in Blankets; Roast Turkey & Stuffing; Root Vegetable; Sea Salt & Balsamic; and Lightly Salted

I'm a weirdo when it comes to public restroom facilities. Some of things I've seen over here takes the cake.  I thought the signs in St. Maarten telling you not to put toilet paper in the toilets were strange (I disregarded that one every time!).  Some of the signs I find in the bathrooms here give me a chuckle and some of the restroom facilities make me feel like I'm in a medieval torture chamber or something. Oh! And you must not forget: There aren't always accessible public toilets--and if you find one, hopefully you have some spare change in your pocket because in many locations (like the train stations!!!!) they cost 30p per visit.  
I have no idea what happens if you don't have any money and you really gotta go!!!!

Why would someone need to
stand on the seat????


The nicest bathroom I've been in so far!

Have I weirded you out enough with the crazy crisps and medieval toilets???
At least the posts can only go up from here.  
Have a wonderful Holiday Season!!!!

Until next time..........

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