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talk about bloggy neglect


so much for being a better poster in term time! Still I’m trying again now, lets not dwell on the past.


Term has started well for me I think, and despite the fact I have approximately half of the hours I had in second year, I seem to be at least equally as busy. This last week has been spent writing two essays, one which I detest, and one I think might be my second favourite essay ever.


The one I don’t like is all about exercise. I have to design an exercise programme session thing for post myocardial infarction (that’s heart attack to anyone who doesn’t want to sound ridiculously pretentious) patients living in a deprived area with a high ethnic minority population and traditionally low uptake of similar services.  It’s all about chair exercises and stuff as far as i can tell. and if it’s not then I guess i’ll get a pretty low mark.


The one I love is a case study about treating a man with cirrhosis of the liver from alcoholic liver disease. he has ascites (pretty much a massive collectyion of excess fluid in the abdomen) and potential hepatic encephalopathy (where you get all confused because of your liver going wrong) and oh it’s just so exciting (note, not sarcasm). luckily this is a fictitious man so it’s ok to be excited about his ill health.


unfortunately the one I dont like seems to be taking a lot longer to do than the one i do like. eugh…  Last week I finished the first of four weeks studying diseases of the renal system. I LOVE IT. for now, ask me again when i’m struggling with trying to find foods that are low in potassium and  phosphate and sodium and fluid and high in protein and energy.


I start a new module tomorrow, so I’m pretty excited to see how that goes. it’s something to do with ethics and stuff so that could be great fun/highly controversial in my class of people who seem to be either very christian or very not christian.


Now that’s you internet people up to speed with my academic life, i’m off to write a post about the diagnosis of the chin thing.


Writing on a train again


Here I am again. On the train, writing yet another blog post. Well actually I’m writing it as a Word document because the train doesn’t have wireless. It’s a start.


Train News:

I never understand when someone asks another person to move out of their reserved seat when there are plenty of unreserved seats everywhere else, especially not when it’s not a very good seat to begin with.


I’m trying desperately hard to not show the ticket man my ticket. I do have one I swear, but because I’ve got to come back in 9 days (and my ticket will still be valid then) I’m trying to make sure he doesn’t write on it and de-validate the ticket, it’ll save me about 18 pounds if I only have to buy a one way single. This would obviously make me very happy. He’s already been by once, so I put on my ear phones and started texting, he didn’t ask to see my ticket. But oh my, the guilt – I’m sure I looked guilty, luckily I look like the most harmless person ever (my friend calls me Sweet-and-innocent, not so much because I am but because I look like I should be).



Chin News:

The reason I am returning in just 9 days is because I’ve booked my MRI. For anyone who knows about the typical speed that the UK healthcare system operates, this is pretty fast, and tends to make people panic. They say “oh they must be worried to be seeing you so fast”, yeah, no. They aren’t worried it’s the health insurance thing. Is it wrong that I’m crazy excited to put my head inside a giant magnet? I’m also now on a shopping quest for a bra with no metal, because there’s no way I’m going anywhere bra-less (even if it is pretty much a giant smarties tube).



Other News:

Talking about things that are a little weird, I’m battling public transport 3 days after I passed my driving test. Oh the irony. Still, I cant afford to drive at the moment.  Not when insurance costs as much as the car itself (!). I can barely afford to do anything – which explains the awkward train ticket man moment.


Earlier this week I got my university timetable through the post, it’s some sort of miracle timetable this year. I get at least one day off a week each week until Christmas, sometimes I get 2 days off in 1 week. This is both unheard of for my course, and amazing. I’m not so enthusiastic about one of the modules I have to do, nutrition with exercise, they’d better not be planning on making actually exercise. Unless it can be swimming, I like to swim.


I’m a little freaked out that I’m going to be a third year. For most people this will be their final year, I am obviously very relieved that I am not one of them, because, that would mean I needed to be prepared and organised or whatever, and have a life plan that is a little more substantial than my ‘save the starving people’ plan. Which pretty much consists of ‘save the starving people’.


I also really need to write an  email that I was supposed to send about a week ago, well probably 2 weeks ago but I’m a slow email replier, so they probably won’t have been expecting it before last week. And I have to see them on Monday. Oops. Maybe I just won’t reply, it’s not an email I wanted to write anyway.


Anyway, now I’ve had a long ramble and many congratulations if you made it to the end, I think I’ll close it up here. Hopefully now I’m back to full time education, my updating will become a bit more regular.

So, now I can legally drive


I just passed my driving test. The test itself was a bit traumatic actually, but I don’t mind because I passed!

It started off quite well and I got stuck behind a  very new learner going about 20 miles an hour down hill so it was quite nice really because I got to go slowly and not get penalised for travelling at old lady/Issy speed. in fact the whole test was going brilliantly until i got asked to reverse around a corner into a side road. Of the four manouvers (bay parking, parrallel parking, turn in the road and reverse around a corner) it’s my least favourite. by miles. I just cant do it. I snaked about all over the road and even bumped the kerb a bit, but eventually got into an ok-ish position. At this point I pretty much failed (and my leg that was doing the clutch was shaking like crazy).


But I carried on with the test and then we had to drive on the dual carriage way (which is the only time I like to go fast) and then to my least favourite roundabout ever. Still thinking I failed at this point because of my terrible reversing and periodically starting shaking again. By the time we arrived back at the test centre I was already doing the maths, there’s £162 down the drain (£75 for 3 driving lessons I had this week, £25 for the use of the car during the test, and £62 for the test itself), But then the driving examiner – Neil, actually – said I had passed.

Well the conversation was more like this

“congratulations Issy you’ve passed”

“er… what…. Did I actually?”


“actually though…”

“you sound suprised”

“well I am. Are you sure?”

“what did you think you failed on”

“um the reversing….”

“Yes I would have liked that to have been neater, you snaked around a bit, and touched the kerb, and corrected but none of them was a serious fault so you passed”

“oh. thanks. [pause] And I’m never reversing around a corner ever again in my life.”

“just like my mother”.


Now Neil, I’m not going to hold a grudge because you are the person responsible for getting me my nice new driving licence (in pink), but do I look like I want to be compared to your mother?


Then I had to get my driving instructor to drive me home because I was a quivering wreck.



P.S. for anyone that remembers the pigeon story, it nearly happened on the test too!

The Weird Chin Thing Part 2: The ENT(C)*, Radiologist and ultrasound


(you can read the first part of my adventures with The Weird Chin Thing here)

I went to see the ear, nose and throat (and chin) specialist today. Because my dad gets health insurence through work, i can get treated at the private hospital rather than the NHS one. I have mixed feelings about this because I love the NHS and everything that it stands for (and the fact that it is paying for my degree) but I guess by getting the insurance to pay I’m saving the NHS lots of money.

Anyway the private hospital is very fancy, you get to wait for your appointment in armchairs and there is free tea and coffee and hot chocolate and every other hot drink imaginable in china cups with saucers. Very fancy (take note NHS).

I went off to see the ENT(C) consultant and he had a good prod of my chin, jaw, throat, neck, ears, head and mouth. I had to sit in a dentist style chair whilst he wore a on the head torch and poked his fingers as far under my tongue as they could possibly go. He declared it very strange before I even did the bending over thing. after that I became a bit of medical mystery. I feel like I should add at this point that he has a fairly fabulous collection of letters after his name, so it’s my chin and not his knowledge that is the problem here.

he sent me off to radiology to have an ultrasound (of my chin). I was sat in the waiting room for ages, and every time anyone came to update me about what was happening and mentioned the word ultrasound I kept adding “of my chin”. because seriously you guys, I don’t want anyone thinking I’m pregnant. Especially since I was the youngest person  in that waiting room by about 50 years.

They tried to make me wear one of those nasty hospital gowns, but I refused, because really, it’s my chin. Not covered by any clothing at all. I ended up having 2 ultrasounds. Because the radiologist wanted to show the ENT what in there. It’s a pretty weird sensation. the gel is sort of warmed I think and then they just wave this stick around your neck. I liked swallowing and watching the reaction on the screen at the same time.  then they made me do the leaning over thing (now colloquially known by all of them as The Party Trick), whilst they watched it some more and declared it very strange.

What was in there? Apparently nothing defining . it doesn’t look like a cyst (presumably – although i’m guessing here – because its not a fluid filled sack), its more like a non-heterogeneous collection of cells that swell with fluid from an undetermined source along with some calcifications. In short, nobody knows what’s hanging out in my chin,

My diagnosis of thyroglossal cyst no longer stands. It is an undiagnosed chin thing. Next step is for me to get an MRI whilst lying on my front so that its bigger and shows up more. The ENT(C) wants to remove it eventually but would like to know what he’s removing first.

*ENT(C) is my new name for ear nose and throat doctors because apparently they cover chins too.

Clinical: Done


Yep. I’m finished with clinical until February (yay). I powered through everything I had to achieve to get it done in one week instead of three, there’s only so much of getting up at 5.30 I can take. And hopefully I can go and see the ear, nose and throat (and chin) specialist in the two weeks I now have unexpectedly free. However fast I went through it, I had an absolutely fabulous week, I got to observe clinics, home visits, and wards, I even got to calculate requirements (this is important), and I wrote in medical notes!

I spent the last week being part sidekick, part calculator whiz, part survey-er, part dictation slave, totally loving it (except maybe when I had to be part secretary)

Now I’m spending my time sorting out all of the bits of paper I seem to have gathered since last year so that I can start year three without a giant pile of paper (this should be taken to mean paper explosion all over my floor).  It’s a daunting task.

Not at daunting at the fact that I only have five or so months until my next clinical, I really and truly need to start preparing now, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I was one of the last ones to begin, the vast majority of people in my class will have started last year (not kidding). Ah well, at least I’ve made one prompt sheet, only 30 zillion to go.


The Weird Chin Thing


Well hasn’t today been interesting. I’ve been sorting out my life before I start my placement on Monday. Today I went to the dentist for a check up (my teeth are fine), the supermarket and the GP.

When in the waiting room at the GPs office, I saw the father of a girl who was in my year at school. We were in a class together (on and off) for 9 years, and now she has such a different life to me. She stopped school at 16, and has 2 children. We were always going to be different (we were such different people) but I still find it strange. She’s a proper adult and I, thankfully, am not. It’s encounters like this which make me happy I am someone who is good at the educational system.

Now to the really interesting (to me) bit, the bit where I actually got into see the doctor. I had a pretty strange consultation. Essentially I have a really weird thing going on with my chin. It has this sort of squishy lump in it and when I bend over it gets really big. Now I’ve been putting off going to the doctor because I was afraid he’d say it’s a double chin which would be not only embarrassing, but also really disheartening. However, I think the time has come where I should see a doctor about it, that damn chin thing has now ruined far too many nice photos. Thankfully my fears of a double chin were not confirmed (phew).

First he felt all around my jaw, prodding it a bit, and asking me lots of questions. And was nearly done looking at my chin, and because this doctor has a reputation for being super speedy I decided to delay him by showing him my party trick (obviously I don’t really do this at parties, that would be weird). I bent over so it really swelled and he was super shocked. He shone a light through it. Apparently this enables him to confirm that it is actually filled with fluid and isn’t solid tissue (good news for me). Next he prodded it a bit and declared it strange.

It turns out my weird chin thing, really is a weird chin thing. It could be an type of thyroglossal cyst in an unusual place (made even more unusual because most present before the age of 10 – I’m more than twice that age!). You know you’ve got something weird when the doctor says “as you might have gathered this is a bit unusual” (uh yeah I have a disappearing golf ball hidden in my chin!), so now I have a referral to the ear nose and throat specialist. So now my weird chin thing which hasn’t been bothering me for the last 8 months is at the peak of my curiosity. I won’t even see the ENT for 6-9 weeks months, because, let’s face it, I’ll never get organised enough to book it any time soon.

Just so no one thinks I’m slacking


Apparently being on a summer break from university does not mean I am not a busy person. Here’s a snapshot of my life, today for example.

Today I picked over 122lbs of damsons. That’s nearly 9 stone, or 55kg, or 8 and a half buckets full. All from just one tree!

I’ve managed to give away five buckets, but what do I do with the other 50lbs I have left! Damson jam, damson chutney, damson crumble, damson pie. I guess I’ll be eating a lot of damsons in the next few days! I had to stop picking because we had a torrential rain shower.

Then I took my driving theory test… again. Because seriously people, I’m taking sooooo long learning to drive that the old one expired! I beat last times score of 49 out of 50, by one point, brining me up to the elusive 100% (if only I could get that score on something that actually mattered).  As a side note, I think I am finally improving with the driving, on Monday I managed what is now being called (only by me) The Extreme Hill Start of 2011, stopping for a tractor on a 20% incline, nuff said.

After the test I figured that since I had made the effort to get all the way into town, I might as well hit the shops. I snagged £137 worth of clothes for £26. Bargain. And then bought some hair clips that weren’t on sale, and half a birthday present.  Saving £111 makes me proud.

After my fruit picking, test taking and shopping, I came home, visited my friend who is leaving to start university tomorrow, cooked Chinese food, and wrote this. Now I’m off to write an email about a meringue…

And thats a pretty standard day at the moment. I’m still volunteering three days a week, I start my clinical in just over a week, so I’m running around like a … race car… trying to get everything sorted because I start lectures straight after the clinical is done, so that’s full time until December the 19th (unless by some miracle of epic proportions, I have a scheduled day off this year) .