Sunday, November 11, 2007

At LaSt!!!

Well you will be pleased to know that I managed to get myself a short notice cancellation space on an ALS Wales!!

So I popped into the car and nipped down (4 1/2hrs drive) and booked myself into the hotel which was next to the hospital (very nice too I may add) and I hit the books, studied like a mad man and eventually it was my turn to do my assessments, now the nice course organiser left my pre-course assessment at the hotel reception for me and I had to complete that and take it with me on day one, I did this as the good student and sat and listened to the lectures and participated in the practical skill stations, of which there were a few!

It came to the afternoon of the second day far too quickly, this meant written and then practical assessments. So I went in with 11 other students and we sat the written multi-guess erm multiple choice paper and then it was out and straight into a practical assessment, then when you finished this you were asked to step outside and wait to see if you were successful in your practicals, if you were un-successful you were given the chance to re-sit one more attempt.....I was in the lucky few who did not need a re-sit so we had to just hang around waiting on the final results....



Congratulations, we are pleased to tell you that you have passed!!!!!!!

YIPEE! I was soooo excited, I am glad that is over with, only one more course this year.......why do I keep doing it to myself??? Why Why why????

Monday, October 15, 2007

Back to work.....for a rest

Well I have been on annual leave for the last 2 weeks and in that time I think I have had 1 full day to myself, I had planned to do my ALS course during this time, but it had to be cancelled because of a problem that no-one could have possibly considered. So this left me with lots of time to do nothing...Oh no I mentioned to the administrator at St. Andrew's Edinburgh HQ and she instantly smiles and I find myself on duties, attending meetings and planning for forthcoming events. Now I am not moaning I really enjoyed getting back to basics in regards to patient care...plasters, triangular bandages etc etc and also getting an insight into the running of the corps and seeing the pressures that we (corps members) put onto the office staff at times when we could probably get off our arses and do it ourselves (but it's in the office anyway so THEY should do it........) I have enjoyed my time off, but I will be glad to get back to work this evening for a rest!!!

Oh did I tell you I was on holiday again for 3weeks as from Sunday??

Yipee Amsterdam Here I Come!!!!!!

ALaS it's not to be

Well I was all ready for my ALS course and then I received the email...."Due to some unfortunate circumstances totally outwith our control we are having to cancel your course that you were looking forward to doing, yeah the one you have been studying for the last 3 months, yip that's the one that you were bricking yourself about.......We don't know when the next one is going to be but if you want you can wait a while a we will get back to you"

Well it didn't actually say that, but to me it did..... Oh well just got to find another one and see if I can be squeezed onto that one at short notice with little studying time!!!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

And it AlL Starts again!

Well here I am again, about to embark upon yet another course, I am about a week away from putting myself through another two days of sheer hell, all for the patient care I should add....

I have managed to secure myself a place on an ALS course, these are few a far between at the minute because of the influx on new Doctors, who are superior in their requirements to get a place on these type of courses. I have luckily managed to get a course in Glasgow, which will be much better than having to travel to Birmingham or Inverness like some of my friends for their courses.

I am looking forward to the course, it teaches Advanced Life Support, with the take being on In-Hospital Team based resuscitation, this is different from the lone responder, ALS skills that you are taught at Ambulance College, there is more emphasis placed on the roles and responsibilities and also working as a well rehearsed / oiled team, utilising the skills that others bring with them. I have been speaking with some colleagues who have done the course and they say that they found the chemistry aspect challenging, blood gases, results etc and also found it strange stepping back and "Running the resus" remotely.

I am obviously nervous about it, I like a challenge and hope that I will enjoy this as much as the PhEC course I did in July, I will keep you all updated.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Weekend of Fun!!

We this is my first chance in ages to actually sit down and blog, I have been busy working, with some interesting calls and I will blog these later. But I have had a full on weekend of partying.

It started on Friday with a friends wedding, I met up with some friends first of all in a local pub, then we went to the Gold Club, where the ceramony and reception were being held. I was expecting to see Kal there as he told me he would be going, but I later found out he was working. The night went well, the Bride and Groom were nervous, the Bride looked lovely. It was great to see so many old faces, some which I had not seen for a couple of years, so it was good to get together and catch up, the alcohol and music helped and by the end of the night I was grinding and dancing my ass off with GB on the dance floor to the B52's and numerous other good tunes.

Saturday saw a more relaxed day, then working for St. Andrew's on the Saturday night at the Corn Exchange, covering some gala dinner until the wee small hours of Sunday.....

Sunday saw me up bright and early to start teaching / instructing on a course which ran until 4pm. Getting home I rest and chill for a while, grab a bite to eat and head for the shower, make myself presentable for the next on-slaught of party time..... ERASURE CONCERT!!!!

I meet up with some friends in the Doctors pub, then we head along to the Chesser bar to catch up with some other friends, some drinking takes place and then onto the Corn Exchange. Now I have been to this place the night before on duty at the gala dinner, I have been here many times on duty, but I have never been there as a patron during a concert..(have been here for Christmas nights out) It was great, the music was fantastic, the drinks were flowing, the dance floor was jumping and the atmosphere was increadible....

as you can see from the video!!

And now I have to behave and go back to work and be the professional that I am supposed to be.....Booooooh

Monday, July 16, 2007

Oh PhEC!!!

Well it has been ages since I have updated you all on what I have been doing. I am sorry that I am such a poor blogger at the minute, but what with work, volunteering and studying I have not had much time to sit down and blog.

As you will be aware, I have been studying for some courses I recently completed, here goes with the update on them:

Minor injuries, this was a fantastic course which covered various aspects of primary care in relation to the management of patients with minor injuries, we covered management of soft tissue injuries (strains, sprains etc) along with wound management (burns and opthalmic inuries were also discussed in detail, with some very interesting pictures to re inforce the topics!) there were also some great sessions on wound closure either using medical glues or old fashioned sutures, along with the assessment of the wound and the decission on how to close them.

Pre Hospital Emergency Care (PhEC) Course, well to say that you hit the ground running is a bit of an understatement, I spent 2 1/2 days cramming information from the excellent faculty staff into my already full brain, they had a great mix on the faculty, coming from General Practice, In Hospital A&E / Critical Care, Nursing, Fire and medical responders who all had so much information to share. I was in a syndicate of 5, which was made up from a GP who was also a Senior Medical Officer in the armed forces, an A&E Dr from Edinburgh who I knew (but didn't know was coming on the course) a Cruise Liner Nursing Sister and a Medical Student, we worked well as a team and there was a good skills mix, which allowed us to support each other with different ideas and previous experiences. On the final day after we had gone through our multiple choice exams and our OSCE we were eventually given our results......"I am glad to say Mr SMM that you have passed all the necessary criteria and therefore you have achieved your PhEC Certificate.....oh by the way you got a Merit :) Well Done" I got a Merit......well you could have knocked me over with a feather, I was so surprised, I was not surprised I passed, but to gain a merit status

Whilst I was in London on my PhEC course I thought that I would try and arrange a ride along with the London Ambulance Service (Since I have a great friend who works for them I contacted her and asked if this would be ok) I was afforded the opportunity to spend two shifts with her, working from two different stations over the two days. I was impressed with some of their kit that they have available to them, although they do predominantly the same work as us in Scotland, there are subtile differences. I think I bumped into Random whilst I was in A&E, but I didn't get a chance to speak to him. I got several strange looks (uniform differencies) and the accent confused some folk (since 2 out of the 3 on the Ambulance had a strong Scottish accent!) I thouroughly enjoyed my time with the LAS and would like to thank everyone who made me feel welcome.

So what else? well in between studying and working I have also been on duty with St. Andrew's First Aid, I have covered some interesting events, the Moon Walk, Royal Highland Show, Blondie and Pink concerts, these have been fun, but it is difficult because St. Andrew's do not recognise any advanced skills and therefore as a Paramedic, I am expected to work as a First Aider, now this can at times be difficult especially when you are out on patrol with a British Red Cross first aider who is also an Ambulance Technician, you can imagine the looks that you get when the event Ambulance Crew turn up and see you both dealing with a patient but only as a first aider......

So this is my only day off this week and I am sitting in a coffee shop with a massive mug of Latte and enjoying the quietness of life, no rushing around between work, teaching First Responders, Covering first aid duties / events and studying for courses.......

I will try and keep up to date, but hey it's me!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Courses courses courses.....

Yeah as you may have guessed I am enrolling onto some courses over the next coming months. I have completed a neonatal resuscitation course and that gave me the "learning" bug again, so I looked on the limited web pages for NHS courses and I have found myself enrolling in the following to keep me busy:

  1. Critical Care study day, 1 day course at St. Johns Hospital, which covered the care of the critically injured patient, from the time they arrive in hospital to their discharge (some aspects were not relevant to my role, but still interesting).
  2. Managing the Critical ill child, another 1 day study course at St. Johns Hospital, I always feel very aware of my limited paediatric knowledge, hence the course!
  3. Pre Hospital Emergency Care (PHEC) Course, this is a 3 day course run by BASICS Education in London.
  4. Advanced Life Support (ALS) Course, this is a two 1/2 day course run in Glasgow, which covers further aspects of "Advanced" life support skills that I have already learnt as a Paramedic.
  5. Minor Injuries Course, this course covers, strangely as it says minor injuries, the assessment and treatment including suturing and wound glue to name but a few of the skills.

I also have plans to learn Polish and want to learn BSL, Kal has a basic knowledge so I may have to call him and ask for s few lessons... On the subject of Kal, we are still friends, I think I am getting used to the idea of not having him around as much as before, I was chatting to one of his friends yesterday and it sounds like he is doing well, I am trying hard not to call / text him so that I am not being a stalker.

I hope that these courses will provide me with the chance to blog about the content, the style of teaching and mostly the assessments, which to be perfectly honest about I am shitting myself.

I am really looking forward to the challenges of the courses and want to enjoy them, maybe this will push me further into academia and encourage me to continue towards my Diploma in Immediate Medical Care!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Observers curse


I have had observers out with me in the past, they range from first aiders to student nurses and even Kal when he was in Ambulance school! There is a common curse which follows observers, they come out and get nothing of interest. This seems to always be the case, the last two observers have had very little action, one got to see me deal with a particularly nasty scald and the other got all fairly minor run of the mill stuff. I have had a member of EMDC staff out and they managed to clock up a few jobs, but in their own word "no trauma again!" apparently each time they have been out they never get trauma and the most blood they have seen is when a patient is cannulated!

I have been asked to take out some more EMDC staff in the near future, maybe they will be more lucky than their colleagues and get something interesting.......but I doubt it!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Strange Scottish Whether

It was a strange shift, nothing to taxing for me and my colleague, however the whether made for interesting driving. as I was driving through to work it was a warm sunny evening, the type of night you enjoy walking along the beech or sitting outside with friends in a beer garden. I however was not going to taste beer or any alcohol except for the strong heavy smell coming from my patients who had consumed some light refreshments earlier in the evening, which mixed with the excessive tablets they had taken caused their loved ones concern enough to dial 999.

Over the 20 miles I travel to work I manage to listen to some music, think about various things and get myself ready to face the public, I think about what is in store for me tonight, what vehicle I might be on, who I'm working with and generally life. I also think I should be out with friends getting drunk in the sunshine.

After checking our vehicle and having a cuppa we settle down and wait. We get a couple of jobs in the area, we chat en route and both enjoy the heat, however, the whether feels different, muggy, heavy air, like a storm is brewing. We switch roles halfway through our shift, I now drive and as we are pulling into the A&E to collect a patient to transfer to The Royal the rain starts spitting. The patient is loaded, his friends are waiting in their cars to follow us through, the 25 mile journey passing my house, to the hospital. Once on the motorway the rain is now heavier, the need to have the wiper blades running constantly to keep the windscreen clear, the as we are entering the city limits and coming onto the bypass the skies, which only 3 hours ago were clear and filled with warm sunshine are now totally black and the rain is pouring torrentially, massive down pouring, causing mini rivers to develop on the carriageway, flooding down the hills to meet you, wipers on full speed and just managing to cope. We arrive at the Royal and it is cooler, freshly bathed air blows around the ambulance bay, the rain has passed, it has washed away the stale smell of vomit and alcohol from the air, it is fresh now, almost tropical as the heat builds up again, but with the dampness still in the air. I love our whether, so many surprises around the next bend, maybe we'll get snow next!!!!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Time passes

Well it's been a fortnight since Kal and I broke up, I've seen him a few times since, some were more difficult than others, there have been moments of silence, moments of pain and lots of tears either alone or with others. It is still difficult not seeing him, but I think it is getting easier, I still think about him, waken in the morning with thoughts of him, but it doesn't hurt as much as it has not hearing from him, not receiving the "Good morning / night" text messages which were our way of communicating when we were on different shifts and had not see each other for a few days.

I know that it will get easier, people keep telling me that, wit time I'm sure it will.

I was around at Kal's earlier this week collecting some stuff, that was a difficult time for me it mad things feel so final, so much so that when I said goodbye to Kal and he said "yeah see you" I just wanted to die, the pain was so immense, it felt so impersonal, I know he didn't mean to be, because I could feel his pain as well when we hugged, but it still hurt. I've been reading his blog, I was surprised he blogged about the break up, he is not normally one to discuss his personal feelings, I know he will have struggled with his emotions before he blogged his thoughts and feelings. Kal is good at hiding his thoughts and feelings, but inside I know he'll be struggling and hurting, he has had longer to come to terms with the break up, longer to become accustomed to single life, but he's also had to cope with these mix of feelings and emotions whilst still trying to be my boyfriend.

I hope he is well as I don't want to seem to be bothering him and bombarding him with text messages, I want to stay in contact and be friends, but I don't want to be "chasing" him either to the point that we fall out and fight or make him feel uncomfortable or pissed off when I contact him, so I'm going to let him contact me, give him his space, his time, his choice!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Birthday Cheer?

Well it was Kal's birthday yesterday, I arranged to meet up with him after he had finished at a work related meeting. We met up in one of our regular coffee shops and sat, I didn't really say much and neither did he, it was difficult, we both finished our coffee and he walked me to the car to collect his birthday card and gifts, they were gifts that I had bought when we were together, I had changed the card obviously as he is no longer my boyfriend so the original one was inappropriate. During our strained conversation I found out that he was going for a meal with his flat mate and one of his friends (that hurt, because I had been obviously as his boyfriend planning to take him to a rather exclusive place for a romantic meal) then on for drinks, which I was invited along to afterwards.

I thought about going, it tore me apart not going, but it also would have torn me up more if I'd have been drunk, I might have said or worse still done something totally inappropriate and felt guilty afterwards, I text Kal to apologise for my absence and wished him all the best, I think in my heart I did the right thing, I think we both might have hurt more if we had met up for drinks, I hope I'm not wrong and I've distanced him from me, that was not my intention at all.

Happy (belated) Birthday Kal x

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Coffee & Cake

Well I arranged to meet up with Kal, I know you will probably think it's too soon and a stupid thing to do, but it was something that had to be done.

We met in neutral territory, somewhere we both feel completely familiar with. We sat in silence, picking at threads of conversation, trying to be strong, but I could see the pain in his eyes and felt the pain as he stroked my back and brushed against my leg with his knee. I also felt a closeness to him, knowing the pain he is feeling, because I'm feeling it as well.

We had settled into conversation by the second round of drinks, I still hurt and feel like crying, but I haven't so far so that must be good. He looks good as well, but also looks like he needs a massive hug, I just wanted to shove the table out the way and hold him tight in my arms, he needs to cry, he looks like he's bottling it all up and I know what he's like, he'll become more withdrawn!

We walked out to our cars and both stood there not knowing what to do, in the past we would kiss, now though....

We both at the same time walked forward and hugged, a tight, secure hold, not caring who was watching and disapproving, we both needed it! It will get easier is what I keep hearing, I hope so, I want him back as my best friend, I know deep down it's over, but that's not to say we need to be enemies, we may have to work together after all!

Friday, April 13, 2007

My questions


That is one of the questions that keeps going round in my head, How did I not see all this coming, there were as far as I can see no signs whatsoever of Kal wanting to finish with me! I loved being around him, feeling him touching me, holding me, yeah sure we had our differences, but doesn't everyone? We were talking not so long ago about summer holidays, planning on taking our parents away for a weekend, was it all lies, was he really ever in love with me?


That is another question I can't answer, why so suddenly did he stop being in love with me, why didn't we talk, did he try and tell me but I missed the signals?

I know he has been thinking about it for a while, he told me when we split, but surely I should have picked up on something, was I so self absorbed on making sure we had fun, making sure I looked out for him that I totally misunderstood him and his responses to me? Was I such a shit boyfriend, lover, partner?

I was speaking to a colleague today and she, like so many other colleagues said she was so surprised because we seemed so close, so good, so well suited to each other. I know what she means, I have had long term relationships before, but I've never been so totally and utterly devastated by breaking up, it doesn't feel like anything I've experienced in a break-up, more like when I heard about the death of a very good childhood friend, I am totally at a loss.

My station manager was good, today was the first time I've seen him since Kal broke up with me, he was spot on in his reactions, he knew just how much to say and more importantly what not to say.

I have just called Kal, I know I shouldn't have, I was hoping it would just be his voice mail, but he picked up, he was back from his day's away, working nights but on a break, we spoke, I felt guilty, I feel worse now than I did before I called and yes I know I shouldn't have, Kal I know you'll read this, I'm sorry for being short and a bit shity towards you, it was probably not a good idea, but I had to hear your voice, to know you were safe, I still care deeply about you, I still love you,

I'm sitting at my thinking spot, you know where Kal, totally alone, listening to F1 and the song that is playing sums up my feelings right now, 'Lost without you', I don't know who the female is, maybe Delta Goodrum?, but that's how I feel!

Plea e call me, if you want to and can face speaking. X

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Still hurting

Well it's been 3 day's since I've had contact from Kal, he is having time to himself. I know that he's ok because he's blogging, so I'm happy that he is doing ok, but I still miss him.

I have had lots of hugs, kind words and cups of tea offered from friends and colleagues, this is nice, it's good to see that people I've known for years are rallying around to offer support, however, it would still be nice to hear from Kal just a text or a blog comment or even a phone call so that I can get to tell him I care, I still want to be friends, I want to be there for him, especially with his Birthday coming soon, it will be difficult for me, but I want him to know I still care a lot for him,

I can't just turn off the feelings, compassion and love I had for him over the last two and a half years! Somewhere in my heart I still love him x

I still think about him first thing every morning and last thing at night.

Monday, April 09, 2007

thoughts and feelings

I lie here, sun streaming through the cracks of the blinds, the world going about it's business, people laughing, people celebrating Easter with their loved ones. Time passes slowly, I know I have been watching the clock tick through every minute for the last two hours, like a bug struggling to get free from treacle, I feel safe here, under the duvet, knowing I cannot get upset if I don't think about it, but I do think about it, I always used to think about Kal, first though when I woke and my last as I slipped into sleep. I was lying the other day, slipping off and could see the happy times, his face, I could feel his breath on me, I so long to feel that again, to know everything will be fine but it's not going to happen. I was jolted awake by my guardian angel, who knew there was more it wasn't the right time to sleep I needed to be awake, to be strong to be alive and get out there and face the world. I have to force myself to shower, to shave to put on that brave face because things will get better, people do care, but I care too, I care about hurting, I care about upsetting those who care for me, I care about getting on with life and having to go through the anguish of breaking the news of the break-up. I was asked last night by a lovely colleague if I 'felt better' as I had been off sick and I burst into tears and ran off to hide, I managed to tell her what was wrong, but I felt such a fool not being able to talk. Kal always said I needed to talk more about my feelings, I was a good listener, I still am, but I'm shit at letting go of my thoughts and feelings, maybe if I'd spoke more.......maybe

Sunday, April 08, 2007

And now it hurts

I can now sit a write this, it has been 72hrs of complete a utter agony, I have been totally devastated with what has happened. As you may know I have been going out with Kal for the last 2 1/2yrs and over that period we have had some amazing times, however on Thursday evening we met up and the news was broken, he still loves and cares for me, but not enough to be in love with me, as you might guess this was a total shock to me, yes we have fought and had disagreements but nothing that we haven't fixed. I have spent many many hours agonising and wondering why, what, how and still not came to any conclusions. I met with Kal yesterday and had another long painful, but honest talk, we both said things that hurt, I've done things over the last 48hrs that upset Kal, caused him anguish and pain, it wasn't as blackmail or punishment just not thinking and being so self absorbed with the pain I was feeling I couldn't see the pain other's felt for and with me. I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has text me since they found out, I would also like to say to Kal "friends, no matter when it is, if you need me call" I wish him all the luck in the world, hope he finds happiness one day and I hope he doesn't feel half the pain I've gone through, but if he is hurt, upset, worried or just needs to cry, drink tea or have a hug I'll be there, cup, hankies and arms ready. I love you Kal, as a friend and still somewhere in my heart as a lover x

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Long time coming

Life is strange, people drift into and out of life, some at the blink of an eye. Life deals some people a bad hand, knocking them time and time again.

When people are exposed to situations they react differently, screams and shouts, tears and quietness, laughter and loudness. There are so many reactions and combinations that you never know what's coming. As health care professionals we have the challenging task of dealing with emotions, either over the phone or face to face, we know what's happening to that loved one, we have done what we can....flip that around, we now become the family member, the friend, the partner, how do we react, how should we react?

The mind is wonderful, we store images, memories, thoughts and feelings all pushing to come forward, but we keep them hidden, under control, because we don't like showing our emotions. Unfortunately there are occasions when you cannot control them, something triggers a flood of emotions, usually a build up of smaller issues then BANG the tears, the crying, the screaming.

People are somewhat different in what they want from other's, the person who wants held, but is too frightened to ask, the person who needs to talk but thinks no-one will listen, the lover who needs love, the child who needs attention, but sits alone in the busy school yard, the noisy person too shy to speak to you! All these and more are common, combine these traits with the emotions which are locked away and there is undoubtedly a ticking bomb that is waiting to go off. Think about your friends, family, loved one's, when did you last sit and really listen, when did you hold them tight, when did you last tell them 'I'm here if you want to talk', when did you last say 'I love you, you're special or even hey how are you?'

Take the time to say it, either face to face, over the phone or in a note, email or letter, because you never know what's around the corner, will you get that second chance?