is it me you’re looking for?

So the last entry here was… melodramatic? Perhaps. It’s not often I use an ellipsis to title things these days except perhaps as an expression of “i am lost for words.”

I was lost then. In some ways, I still am now, but at least I’m being semi-verbose around the issues. Ah, life.

This evening had a surprising event contained within. I was sitting in front of the gas heater in Merrigang, watching my eyes in the mirrored glass, and found myself telling that reflection, “I just wish I wasn’t alive right now.” That was a slightly disconcerting moment – I assure the gentle reader that I am in no sense suicidal, so please do not immediately leap for the telephone, but there was just an incredible detachment there, as if it didn’t matter.

The weekend however has been full of ‘stuff that matters’. I was part of the production crew and cast for MedRevue, which was a hell of a lot of fun – as I told Miles, I love theatre and I hate theatre, the hate being the five minutes before and five seconds after I walk onto the stage, the love being everything else ever about it. The show was fantastic, the cast were really amazing – we have some wonderful talent. True, there were a few moments where I was ready to tear my hair out from stress, but (for you, Jessie), a friend called ScarfGirl was perfectly placed with a few words, a smile and a hug that just made the stress melt.

A pity that… ah. No. Not tonight – to continue:

Right up until open, of course, but when the audience burst into laughter we had them. The second night was tougher, but the show was tight and once a seductive parody of an Irish neurologist swaggered onto the stage I knew we had them for the second time, and we were golden. Afterwards, we broke down the pieces and went to my absolute favourite of venues, being a bar, where I had a single drink (of the non-alcoholic type), chatted in the corner with a few people, and then left reeking of cigarette smoke.

Interestingly, I was shadowed most of the evening there by my poetry swapping Miss Butterfly friend. I’m not sure what’s going on there at this point.

Anyway, went home, had a few hours sleep – I’m close to nine hours in three days now, hoorah – and then attended a gathering of my mother’s family today, catching up with cousins, including some second/third cousins I haven’t seen since I was, oh, not old enough to recall. That was… the easiest difficult thing. Actually, I met (again) my mother’s cousin, Phoebe, and it was an interesting moment. I walked through my grandmother’s kitchen door (between the kitchen and the dining room and she just stood up, her face went a little pale, and she just mouthed “oh my God, that’s Ben.”

I didn’t have a beard the last time and I would have been in my primary school years – sure, there’s some resemblance, but no, more the fact that she was best friends with my mother I think. All in the eyes, I told her later, and she said that, the carriage, the slightly twisted/curved lip-smile, and just a certain indefinable something – a je ne sais quoi, perhaps.

I suppose that’s part of the contemplatory part of the evening, there. I love my family dearly, and I don’t see them often, especially the extended extendeds, and that, I think, is something I shall have to rectify in the future. I am a trifle uncomfortable with it all, I must admit – there are certain subjects I avoid and don’t discuss often, although I’m getting a few digital (scanned) photos in the next few days from cousin Phoebe, which is something I didn’t really think I’d want, so… that will be interesting. Possibly difficult to deal with, but as yet, I am unsure.

Lord. Lady troubles, death, family and theatre. I was going to talk medicine as well, but I don’t know that I can tonight. I need to go and read some fiction and then just fall to sleeps, I think. It will be nice, I can sleep in tomorrow without any issues due to the magic of schedule-free day (although I pay for it with a Fuck-you Tuesday!), and I should be receiving my new computer in the mail tomorrow… yay for new technology!

I wrote another letter to Jessica this evening. It was hard. I tried to write a poem. It was impossible. Too many issues with ‘X-Girls’ to pick one, too many fragments, too many memories, uncertainties, and just too much damn feeling.


No more ghosts.



moments in stasis

Warning: the following text has been read and classified as containing some contemplation, some complaint, some pointless narcissism, and some introspective involvement. Parental guidance shouldn’t be a concern.

Today is the third day of the sixth rotation of the second phase of the third (fourth) year of my third university degree – and I’m sitting at home at eleven a.m. starting a blog post and feeling generally wretched. Oddly enough this is an unexpected sensation and is due to what I assume is viral gastroenteritis – mostly because I was a) exposed to it last week in the final part of Geriatricaggedon: Aged Care Extravaganza! (the ward is currently still locked down); b) felt a little odd over the weekend, possibly due to the previous exposure, and c) was working with Karla on the ward for the day yesterday and she was feeling rather off herself.

In the grand scheme of things, it’s a small blip, but an irritating one. As a point of fact, this is the second day this week I have effectively done no ‘hospital’ work – Monday was orientation and we had no team, so I got a haircut and then spent the day doing some GIT PathMaps at the medical school; yesterday was… frustrating, exasperating, timeful and interesting (if you’re ever studying medicine, I cannot recommend Prof. Tait’s tutorials highly enough!), and today, well, I got to the hospital at seven in order to prepare for my case presentation today (of the deaf non-English speaking guy who can’t read, therefore… gah!) and then spent a good half an hour hiding in a Men’s Room, only emerging at 7.15 to tell Meghan who had shown up for a pre-work coffee, that I was probably not the ideal Morning Coffee Partner today. Then I called Karla, told her that she’d infected me, and left the hospital at around 7.50

It’s a little irritating too, as I was supposed to be going on a Pain Round with the anaesthetists (and Liz M.) this morning, which basically involves visiting a lot of patients and discussing pain management in terms of the pharmacology, which is something I have both gained some decent experience in via Pall. Care, and yet am highly interested in. So I’ll need to reschedule that.

My new rotation, started this week, is a surgical one, hence the ‘get up at godawful hours’ nature of it all. It’s a combined rotation of the Urology and Ear/Nose/Throat teams (which seem oddly unrelated), and at this point I am unsure which team I will tag with in preference over the other. The Urology team has the benefit of an apparently amazing teaching consultant and its own (ish) ward, but has a bit of a jerk Reg, and is not exactly interesting. The ENT team apparently has amazing consultants and Regs, but has no ward and seems to spend a bit of time outside of TWH – as, truthfully, so does the Urology team. It appears this rotation is a bit of a ‘choose your own adventure!’ in that there are maybe two days of decent time to spend in the hospital, not counting teaching Thursdays, as Fridays are almost all uni days, and Mondays are either ENT private rooms or Urology surgery at Figtree Private hospital.

It really doesn’t help that I (and a lot of my colleagues) are feeling rather burned out at the start of the rotation. I am at this point planning to simply turn up for the bare minimum I can get away with to get a sign-off at the end and just slowly ramp up the outside study plan – it’s sad, I still love what I do, but I really, really need to have either a change or a break, and neither of those will happen properly until June/July, so… ‘suck it up’ as the saying goes.

If I can though, I’d prefer to go with the Nice Team™ so I’m likely to split my week and make it Monday ENT, Tuesday urology, and Wednesday ENT/whatever. We’ll see. That, plus a Thursday of teaching and a Friday of lectures (and a practise exam in a few weeks) won’t exactly give me the ‘recommended hours’ but at this point, screw it – and if I can count Thursdays, well, the numbers are probably good enough.

Another difficulty, at this point, is the Study Schedule. I have a nicely mapped out plan (which has both lapsed and… done well to differing degrees. I left myself a week or two (I think two) at the end to act as catchall, and I’ve started to add things into the “catchall basket” at this point (in week 5/15) so… at least it’s working, ish, but the motivation is hard to maintain and I fibrillate from panic to zen during almost each session – am I doing enough, am I doing the right thing, and so on. I think the plan is okay, I went over it with Kyle (my academic mentor) and it seems okay, but I just fear that it may all prove a shitstorm of cramming at the end. I have, however, just found a pair of absolutely awesome review books to get from the UK that should make both the catchall and else weeks easier, and one of them was written by my Professor of Medicine and is apparently amazing so… there may be hope there.

In other news, my surgeon has decided to wait and see for a few weeks and then if things aren’t going well vis-a-vis the hernia, he will chop into me and do some fixin’. That’s my words not his thankfully, but I suspect it will be happening, as I am still needing analgesia fairly regularly and it’s just driving me up the wall.

Otherwise, I’m having coffee with a delightful young lady this Saturday, have to write/invent a fake OSCE scenario (case for practise/revision) for tomorrow afternoon (I’m thinking prostatitis?), I’m just starting off the second season of my GuiltyTVShow (oh Dawson!), and I’ve found out that, assuming all goes well with the upcoming exams (see above) I’ll be living in the Bowral Mansion for six months this year after all.

More to come, I think. Time will out.