Neurosurgery Department: Day 1

Okay sorry if I disappeared for a while but I have had A LOT going on (mostly bad unfortunately) and I will update you in another post.  Anyways I applied for a work experience placement in like October and it started today so I will fill you in about what happened etc. Hope you all have been well <3

Okay so first things first, we had a mini induction where we were given a leaflet and we got our ID badges and met some of the other students who were also at that hospital for work experience. When I went up to my department, the doctor I was meant to shadow/follow was not there which sucked. I kept asking and staying around the doctor room with another student and eventually someone gave us someone to follow around which was great. He was an F2 doctor I think and he was only in that department as a cover which means we will probably not see him for the rest of the week which sucks because he was REALLY good at explaining and showing us things.

The first thing we did was take a blood test from a patient who had had their pituitary gland removed. The pituitary gland is a major endocrine gland which helps produce essential hormones by sending out hormones which act as messengers to different organs and glands which in turn produce essential hormones needed in the body. He explained it to us in a simple way. Say there is a senior manager, a manager and then the workers (or doctors in this case). The pituitary gland acts as the senior manager sending out instructions (messenger hormones e.g. thyroid stimulating hormone) to the manager,  the manager (organs or gland) then receives the message and in turn sends out the jobs/instructions to be completed by the doctor (produce a certain hormone e.g. thyroid hormone).

Anyway, the patient we were seeing had had a tumour growing on/next to their pituitary gland which had caused his sexual hormones to stop being produced and this was visible since he lost all his body hair and had a loss of erection. The tumour had been growing for 15 years and was only discovered a year ago when he felt very faint on a tube and had to go to hospital. The tumour was 2.6 cm which was massive seeing as the gland was about a pea size. The reason he had to have the pituitary gland removed despite it producing the rest of the hormones fine was because the tumour was putting pressure on his optical nerve which was starting to lead to a vision problem and could have eventually lead to blindness. Once the pituitary gland was removed, the patient had to undergo hormone therapy and the doctor we were shadowing was taking his blood test to make sure his hormone levels were okay.

There was one complication that was mentioned. The patient had previously had a pacemaker implanted because he had a blocked vessel and was at risk of a heart attack so even though he had not had a heart attack, he underwent open heart surgery to prevent one. This pacemaker was metal so it meant that he could not have a MRI scan and only had a CT scan. I was not sure what that meant but thought to mention it anyway.

Next we had a patient who had Pancytopenia which meant that she had a deficiency in red and white blood cells and platelets. The decrease in platelets meant that the body found it harder to clot and so there was random bleeding around the body and loss of blood as the blood would flow out. This meant she had to undergo blood infusion to make up for all the blood that was lost. The decrease in white blood cells meant her immune system was weakened and therefore she was more at risk of catching an infection, for this reason the doctors put her in isolation to prevent her catching anything from the other patients.

We then had 2 patients who were both having lumbar decompression surgery (discectomy operation) because of the cartilage wearing away (due to old age) which then for the first patient caused friction between the L4 and L5 vertebrate which was causing the leg pain. The second patient was caused by the L4 vertebra collapsing over the L5 vertebra and putting pressure on a nerve cord which was causing him intense pain in his left leg. Both patients were old and male and the doctor was taking their history and seeing if everything was okay before they underwent the operation in a couple weeks.

During both assessments, we learnt how to do a history. He did the history of the first patient and then showed us and explained how he wrote everything. First he asked the patient about the presenting complaint which in this case was his leg pain, then he asked the patient about his medical history if he had any medical conditions or surgeries prior and the patient had severe depression. Next the doctor asked and noted down the medication and drug history of the patient which were a few anti depressants. The doctor also asked about allergies which he stressed was very important (patient had none). Then the doctor asked about the patients social history which was basically asking his living in conditions, travel history, if he smoked/drank alcohol etc. Then the doctor listened to his chest to check his lungs and checked his abdomen to see if his stomach was okay.

The doctor then asked us to take a history for the second patient whilst he talked to him. Here is what I did:

Presenting complaint: Left leg in pain downwards, a sharp pain (9) and very intense which prevented him from being able to stand or walk.

Medical history: He had previously had hernia but had a keyhole surgery to fix that.

Medication: He had a couple medications but the patient gave the doctor a prescription list so we didn’t need to write it down.

Social history: The patient lived with his kids and wife, he did not drink or smoke, he was retired. He used to be very active but this leg pain prevents him from going about his normal daily activities. 

No allergies.

Italics means the doctor added it when I read my history. The doctor then explained to us that it is very important to ask about allergies. He told us a story about a German doctor who did not know English was told by his patient that he was allergic to Penicillin but either the doctor didn’t understand or forgot/dismissed. The patient was giving penicillin as a medication and ended up dying.

NKDA – No known allergies (no known drug allergies)

Patients are also assessed on NEWS score which stands for National Early Warning Score and is assessed on Repository rate, Oxygen rate, Temperature, Blood pressure and Heart rate. The lower the score the better and anything at 5 poses a high risk and 7 requires emergency help.

We even used a bleeper. Each doctor had a bleep number and you could use any telephone in the hospital to call that specific doctor as long as you knew their bleep number. We wrote down the doctor we were shawdowing’s bleep number before we went off to lunch and once we finished we “bleeped” him so we could meet him again to follow him around on which ever ward he was on. I swear that bleeper went off every few minutes for some of the doctors and you could see the annoyance on their face sometimes. I remember reading on a medical students blog how annoying it was and the mini struggles and I finally understood haha xD

Lastly we saw a patient who had a blockage in her upper leg but she had had it fixed and was nearly mobile and ready to go home.

We did spend a lot of time sitting down and waiting for something to happen whilst the doctor filled in paper work or ran around doing small things. Today showed me a great insight of what it is like in a day in the ward and I learnt A LOT of things. Apart from the stuff I mentioned, we also saw the doctors phoning up GPs and medical registrars and sorting out which patients were gonna be discharged and problems/complications or medication etc etc One patient who had been discharged from the hospital was given an overdose of paracetamol because the pain was intense and his wife had given the husband more than she was meant to and this could have caused liver damage so the doctor had to follow up on that and make sure he went to see his GP or even if he may have to go A&E.

Overall it was a very tiring and productive day where I learnt loads and did enjoy myself. It kind of made me excited again about medicine. Tomorrow I am going to try and attend a morning meeting where all the consultants and doctors kind of have a debrief which should interesting to watch and it may even mean I get to find my original doctor (the one that didnt turn up or was too busy) or find another person to shadow. The doctor we were with today said if we asked someone in that meeting if we could go the theatre and observe a surgery, we may get to scrub up and do watch which is exciting. But it also means I have to wake up at like 6am and since its 2:30am, I am gonna have to pump myself with caffeine o.o

I described a lot of what happened in this blog post and may edit it later on to add what experiences or things that I learnt and skills etc One thing I did learn today which I thought was useful was how to write a history. I also learnt what it is like in a ward, checking on patients, giving medications and making sure everything is running smoothly. I could also see how stressful it was when I was in the doctors room, one of the doctors was talking to colleague saying how she had so many patients to follow up she might not even have time to have lunch!

Anyway I needed to write all that so I wouldn’t forget since I have 4 more days to experience! I will write another post tomorrow about the second day of my work experience placement in the neurosurgery department :)


Going in for gold.

I have less than 2 months until my first AS exam and I am no where NEAR ready. I have made so many mistakes and I regret so many things especially since I KNEW what  I had to do to get 4 A’s from the BEGINNING yet I still did not do it. In fact I am on basically C’s with the odd B or D. I am really scared and everybody around me thinks I am unable to do it, obviously they don’t say that but they are thinking it. I complain constantly and each time I go home and I do the very thing that is going to cause more complaining – I don’t study how I should. I have wasted so much fucking time and I wish I could go back and change everything but I cannot. I have learnt my mistake and now its time to make it right. Nobody truly believes I can get 4 A’s at this stage, even my own dad (who basically only accepts straight A’s and pushes me to my limit) has said it would be unrealistic to expect to get 4 A’s. Everyone around me has acknowledged that it is way too late to get all A’s and that maybe a mixture of B’s and A’s is more realistic. BUT I BELIEVE I CAN DO IT!!

ill show u

I am making my timetable tonight and I am going to put an IMMENSE amount of work in (way more than the average), I am going to complete past paper after past paper, I am going to cover everything I should have covered and I am GOING IN FOR GOLD. I know this is not going to be easy because its not something most people do and there is a very small chance that I will actually succeed in my goal but I am going to push myself and zone out on EVERYTHING apart from studying. I will do hours of efficient work to make up for all the hours lost and I will not stop for a break until exams are over. I don’t even know if I will have time for homework but I do know that I will spend my every waking minute to achieve 4 A’s !! I know this will be difficult and there are even times now where I am thinking “is this worth it?” “do I really want to go into medicine anyway” “if nobody thinks i can then maybe i cant” “should i just give up” but then;

I will NOT give up!!

I will NOT give up!!

If I can successfully achieve this goal then I KNOW I can do ANYTHING! This is not simply revision this is HARD CORE INTENSE STUDYING AT GOLD STANDARDS AND NOT GIVING UP revision. I will stop complaining about things I am able to change, I will stick to my revision time table like there is not tomro, I will not get distracted, I will leave everything I have behind for a small time of 2 months and I WILL GET 4 A’s!!! Sigh I hope I can actually do this. So what am I waiting for? Tonight will be the start of my GOING FOR GOLD MARATHON and please do wish me good luck cause god knows I’ll need it!

I'm ready.

I’m ready.

I will update you guys on how revision is going and maybe post a few weekly goals but for now I am zoning out of real life and into hard core studying.


Liebster Award Part 4

Thank you Farah for nominating me! You know I love your blog ;) and thanks for reading mines xP Go check her out: :D

A little variation in logo's ;)

A little variation in logo’s ;)

And here are the rules

1. Put the Liebster Award logo on your blog.

2. Thank and tag the blog who nominated you.

3. Answer their questions and come up with 10 new ones for you nominees

4. Nominate 8 blogs with less than 200 followers, let them know you’ve nominated them and link them in your post.

5. No tag-back

Lets start answering those questions :D

[Not going to do the version with facts cause I really have no facts]

What is your favourite holiday or trip you have been on?

The last time I went to Kenya was pretty good. But I don’t go on many holidays/trips.

Sweets or chocolate?

Chocolates :D

If you were a student at Hogwarts, which house would you be sorted in to?

*Gulp* I haven’t watch all the movies and I have never read the books therefore I am very erm unfamiliar with this topic. AHH DONT KILL ME >.<

Do you miss anyone at the moment?

Yeah one of my closest friends. I miss our days of stalking and laughing at everything and anything, not to mention the crazy things we would come up with every lunch time:L (Juiceless) Check her out:)

Biggest pet peeve?

I answered this in my last post properly but bad hygiene basically xP

What has made you happy today?

This song:

Do you have a favourite song at the moment?

I have 3 excluding the one above. No sleep, Ride out and Roll out xD 2 of them being Wiz Khalifah’s old songs and another one being from Furious 7.

If you could be friends with any fictional character, who would you choose and why?

Nolan Ross from Revenge :D Cause he is frikkin awesome in every way, he is funny and his heart is unbelievably big and he is super smart (tech nerd) and what’s NOT to love about Nolan Ross?! Best friend material definitely;)

Are you an animal lover… or no?

“Lover” is a strong word. I like animals but I am not majority obsessed with them and I’m sure not a vegetarian;D

What is your favourite time of the year?

Autumn. Its full of so many golden and dying things and the colours are so beautiful and I love the weather (chilly but not tooo cold) and  I love Autumn clothes and I love Autumn drinks and I love the atmosphere and Its the start of a new year (new school year) and I just love Autumn so much :D

What is your guilty pleasure?

TV series of all kinds. I love sitting in front of my computer with a piece of cake and a spoon to dig in and watch Netflix :D Guilty pleasure was AHS but thats finished and I really cant afford to find a new one so yeah xP The thing with this question is my “guilty pleasure” is becoming my norm and its becoming something I no longer do once in a while hence its no longer really a “guilty pleasure”. This is bad. Reeal bad. :L

As I said before I will do the nominations when I get time so I wont be repeating the same bloggers :)


Liebster Award Part 3

Okay so I was nominated twice for this last time and I have been nominated twice for this again :D So I’m doing a Part 3 and a Part 4 where I thank the individual bloggers and answer their questions :D I can’t believe I have been nominated 4 times and I just love answering the questions and it makes me feel all happy knowing that people actually read my blog >.<


Okay moving on xD Thank you NB for nominating me! I LOVE your blog and its nice to know you have read my blog as well :D Now you guys Go check them out:

And here are the rules

1. Put the Liebster Award logo on your blog.

2. Thank and tag the blog who nominated you.

3. Answer their questions and come up with 10 new ones for you nominees

4. Nominate 8 blogs with less than 200 followers, let them know you’ve nominated them and link them in your post.

5. No tag-back

Lets start answering those questions :D

1. If you had one day off, what would you do?

If you mean I had to let go of all responsibilities/school/studies and that one day to myself? Damn I don’t even know where to begin… I would wake up super early and go exploring the more greener areas of London. Maybe go to a beach and eat fish and chips and ice cream cause boy do I miss those days! I would definitely go to the zoo or a theme park and just enjoy being a kid again >.<

2. What is your favorite comfort food?

Cake. Whenever I am feeling blue, I will specially go to my local Tesco/Sainsbury and buy a frozen chocolate cake so I can warm and eat whilst watching a comedy.

3. How much of life would you say you have ‘figure out’?

Not much of it to be honest. I have a sense of direction in the fact that I know where I am going with life but I haven’t yet “figured out” how to get there or the obstacles along the way or goal posts etc etc Pretty scary actually:L

4. Biggest pet peeve?

I think this is something that nobody can stand but for be its especially. I absolutely LOATHE bad personal hygiene. Those people who pick their noses on public transport or cough in your area. I have considered buying latex gloves and a medical mouth mask to use whilst I am on public transport because there are germs everywhere. Germs germs germs. Anything to do with germs that someone does irritates me to no end. I will go out of my way to give them some antibacterial hand gel, give them a tissue and show them the nearest bathroom to “freshen up”.

5. Hardest thing you’ve had to do?

Maintain self control with my TV series xD On a serious note, it was probably the time I had to move from my Mums house to my Dads house permanently.

6. Something you’ve done in the last year that you’ve regretted?

I regret not going out more and being more social when I could. Whilst now its all exams and hard work and no time to do anything :L I had so many opportunities to get out there but I just didn’t :L

7. What is your special hobby/talent?

Don’t have one, unless you want to count being able to finish an entire season in 2 days during the weekday/school day.

8. How do you deal with stress?

Badly. I think the best way to deal with it is to look at stress in a positive way. I posted a video in my last post which was very inspiring. Here;

9. Best place you’ve visited/travelled to?

I haven’t been to many places in all honesty so I’ll have to say a place where I have actually visited that was pretty cool. I have been to Kenya thrice and I enjoyed the Safari and overall experience but I would like to say there are better places which I have yet to explore :D

10. If you’re a medical student, how has your medical school experience been? If you’re a premed, when did you know you wanted to be a doctor?

I wanted to be a doctor the day I found out what a psychiatrist was. I have been interested in psychology since I was in year 7 so it was shortly after that time. Yes there is a background story to it but I’ll save that for another day ;)

I will do the nominating another time since (maybe a couple of days) I have done this award twice and don’t want to nominate the same people cause the rules and ish xD So look forward to that!


Smile, its good for the soul! (A more positive outlook!)

So this post is going to be about things that made me happy this week and how I have changed my outlook slightly on life in general.

Just looking at something in a different way or having that one positive thought can make your day great!

Just looking at something in a different way or having that one positive thought can make your day great!

I’ll start off my telling you about something that really made me smile this week (and sad at the same time). I was going into the London underground and there was a homeless man sitting outside with a cardboard sign that said “Smile! Its good for the soul” and I read it and I smiled and he smiled back and it was a really nice moment. I am one of those people who will stop to try and find change for a person who’s asking (or preferably buy them something to eat because u dont know what they are going to use it for) so for him making people smile just makes me feel that some of these people are genuine and its so sad that a lot of people just ignore them and treat them like aliens. I didn’t have any change on me which made me feel bad even though he wasn’t asking :L But yeah I have been thinking about that event a lot this week and it always makes me feel like we don’t appreciate what we have and that we should smile more because other people have it worst but still try to be happy!

Something else that made me smile/feel good was the fact that I was doing yoga daily. I would either wake up and start the day with it which put me in a good mood, or have a tiring day and come home and do yoga to relax myself for the evening and cure myself of any stress I had. It also helped me calm and sort my thoughts out a bit which is always good.

Another thing that made me feel good was doing the T25 cardio workout this week and last week on a Wednesday. Last week it was a bit difficult to do it so my full effort was not in it more like 56% but I felt really hyper and happy afterwards and like I could run a marathon xD Then this week I put 88% in with effort and I felt I improved and gained a lot more than from the last week one which made me feel really good about myself even though I wasn’t AS hyper. Had a long shower, did some yoga and then I went to a mentoring session at UCL.

The UCL thing was 2 hours and we were in groups of 20 which had 4 groups of 5. My group of 20 was Team Jade! I decided to just be confident that evening because nobody knew who I was and I was just gonna “fake it till I make it” and it WORKED!! I was able to speak to A LOT of people in my group and hold an actual conversation instead of me staying in a corner on my own and not really talking to anybody like I witnessed a few people do and I understood where they were coming from because that was me during school times. I loved being that little bit confident and meeting new people without being shy, I was actually one of the talkative people in my group of 5 which is a change because I’m normally the person who just sits and listens xP I really enjoyed coming off as a little confident as opposed to quiet and shy and I just WISH I had done what I did in there on the first day of sixth form. Because now at school, people just assume I’m this quiet and shy person and I do fit the role unless you decide to come get to know me a bit more and then I’m a crazy person like my friends at school have acknowledged. What I’m talking about “confidence” may be something you do on a daily basis but its something that I rarely do due to some form of social anxiety  so it did mean a lot. I also felt a bit more confident today as a result, I talked to people around me and spoke up a bit more in class which is always good. So thats something I’m improving on and thats making me feel better and it wasn’t even one of my goals!

Okay so overall this past week, I have had a lot of time to think and re-evaluate goals and reflect a bit more so that I notice more of the good things that have happened instead of dwelling on the bad like I have previously done with my complaining posts xD I may be doing another weekly goals part 2 on here but it will most likely be a) The same type of things I did last week b) Posted at the end of the week so I merge what I was planning to do and what I did do in one post!

Well did you?! If not go ahead, smile :)

Well did you?! If not go ahead, smile :)


Update on reaching weekly targets! (Spoiler: It didnt go too well)

I’d like to say I carried these weekly goal into this week as well as last so that’s what I’m evaluating. 2 Weeks of trying to follow those goals. Okay first off I made like ONE “home-made meal” and it was not nice so that ended pretty quickly. I’m gonna just start off with making sandwiches from Salami to Chicken and see how that goes first off. I did about 0 hours of Maths and Biology last week and up until now excluding homework HOWEVER this evening before I spent 2 hours reading up on all the blogs I’ve missed, I did complete half a Maths past paper which is good and I plan to complete all my homework tomro so I can have the weekend to actually study! Now with regards to the Chemistry exam that I had basically a week to revise for…

Its the weekend before the Chemistry mock and where am I? On my laptop on the internet on YouTube on TV series on Talking to friends and on failing life. I did that for the entire weekend, I kid you not. Its Sunday night and I realize “oh shit I have done NO revision for this Chemistry mock that I have tomro” (NOT AN EXAGGERATION) so I decide to just wake up at like 5am to do some revision until around 7ish. I overslept and had to rush out to school and made it just on time for my first lesson. So that happened. Then I had to spend all of lunch and all of my 40 minutes free period doing my Chemistry revision and then I sat the mock. So basically really rushed same day revision for a Chemistry test I knew about 2 weeks in advance. Can I also mention that this happened twice?! One for my Organic Chemistry test on the 12th and one for my Unit 1 Chemistry test on the 19th. Its like I didn’t even learn from my mistake… BOTH TIMES I DID THE EXACT SAME THING!

Moving on… I didn’t exactly finish my homework on the same day but I have recently been utilizing my free periods more for example today I completed majority of Maths homework which is due all the way on Tuesday! Also I spent all last Friday completing all my homework so I didn’t have to worry about it during the week and I had more time to revise for my Chem test. Even though we all know how that ended up:L In regards to TV shows, last week I was a mess and was just binging on shows and managed to finish Season 2 of AHS. Then I realized I had a problem. So I have stopped myself from starting Season 3 of AHS and I have literally watched nothing this week which I am actually pretty proud of. Actually tell a lie, I watched one episode of Revenge on Monday because it only comes out once a week! So that is a problem that I have now conquered, a huge cut down on TV series to once a week until the holidays are here, I have noticed a difference :D

I didn’t need to practice going to UCL (for a lecture) cause it wasn’t difficult to find, I actually ended up arriving like half an hour early and there were like no shops around so I just walked from one side of the street to the other with my headphones on. Reflection time ;P I also attended the UCL mentoring group session which was nice and I’ll elaborate a bit on my next post.

To end on a more happier note, there were a few more things that I am proud of these last 2 weeks. I can proudly say I have stuck to doing yoga daily in the last 11 days AND I attended fitness club twice in the last 2 weeks in which both times made me feel good :D I’ll also elaborate a bit more on my next post. So overall I have fully completed 3/10 targets and half completed another 3/10 so thats 6/10 which is pretty good for the first week I guess:D

These targets really did make a difference even if it was small to the way I kind of approached things in the last 2 weeks which is always good. I did a lot of reflection and realized what I am avoiding, what are the main obstacles for my targets and how I can improve for next week >.<

I cannot tell you how much I love this quote right now. Thanks "unknown" xD RT though its so true xP

I cannot tell you how much I love this quote right now. Thanks “unknown” xD RT though its so true xP