Thursday, 29 December 2011

Driving Me Crazy

Compared to a lot of people my 20 minute either way commute is pretty short. In spite of the short length, I still have plenty time to get road rage. Lots of road rage. In an attempt to deal with my anger I thought I'd share some of the things that bug me most. If you are guilty of doing any of these things either stop it or stop driving!!

1. Joining the motorway at 20 mph. Do these people not realise how dangerous this is?! The slip road is there for a reason. Use it to build up some speed. This particularly pisses me off when it's someone in a car with a big engine. If my battered Rover 25 can do it your brand new Merc certainly can.

2. Middle lane only drivers... or middle lane only morons as I prefer to call them. You obviously do not understand how motorways work so please stay off of them.

3. People who go in the wrong lanes at big roundabouts. It's on the signs. If you have a driving licence and you can't understand the very clear and simple signs you don't deserve to breathe, let alone drive.

4. People who block the roads for emergency vehicles by freezing in awkward spots. Have some common sense. Are you really helping if you stop so you block the road?! No. So don't do it.

5. People who don't indicate. Indicators are not optional extras on cars, so why do people treat them as if they are?!

I feel quite a lot better after that rant. I should do it more often.

Dr Sunshine xXx

Monday, 26 December 2011

Christmas On Call

I survived my first weekend as the Surgical FY1 on call. Not only that it was also Christmas.

I was dreading the weekend. I'd been prewarned about the team I was working with. The reg is nice, very good in theatre, but expects you to be able to cope on the wards. A fair enough point when you think of how busy the reg is in theatre over a weekend and trying to make sure all the admissions get a senior review. The SHO is also notorious for being a bit of a theatre nut as he is a surgical CT2. In fact he pretty much will not do ward jobs as, in fact a direct quote was... "cannulas, bloods and TTOs are all house officer jobs, not for me to do...". Slightly bizarre since SHO is a senior HOUSE OFFICER, but again in all fairness the SHO is swamped in a&e and then has to assist in theatre.

It turned out to not be too bad. I did all the ward jobs I could. I was snowed under by TTOs and worked as a phlebotomist for most of the weekend, but it was OK. Granted I didn't see much of the reg or the SHO, but they were as busy as I was if not more, so I don't begrudge them that for 1 minute. They also bleeped me or popped their heads into the ward a few times a day so I could ask them any quesstions. All in all I actually felt quite supported.

Although rectal exams at 0845 on Christmas morning (and again twice on Christmas afternoon) and a having to look at a big bowl of melaena were not quite what I had envisioned my Christmas being before I knew that I was working, it was actually OK.

There were a few sad moments. I didn't like making people NBM just before Christmas dinner, I made 4 patients cry by telling them they couldn't go home for Christmas and we discussed making a patient DNAR with his family.

There were also funny moments. I had all the nurses on a ward come and help me sing happy birthday to an elderly gentleman who was having an emergency operation and was sad that he was in hospital on his birthday, we cured a patient with a flatus tube but accidentally sprayed liquid faeces EVERYWHERE and one patient made me cry laughing while she wore a sick bowl as a hat and was tap dancing in bed.

My consultant also bought us Xmas dinner from the canteen. Unfortuately for us the canteen was closing as we got down there so we got what was left of Christmas dinner...

Thankfully we had some mince pies and posh dates to wash the taste away!

The nicest part to my whole working weekend was the end. The SpR and SHO took me to the side and said thank you like always happens at the end of a shift. They then said that I was a really good house officer and that they wanted me to know that because it's so thankless. It made my weekend. I've spent the last 3 weeks wondering if I'm any good and worrying that all my seniors think I'm pants. Maybe I'm not that bad after all.

Dr Sunshine xXx

Friday, 16 December 2011


I haven't blogged in just over 2 weeks.

Surgery is busy and exhausting.

My first day I just wanted to cry as it was so different to paeds. Now I've done over a week of it I'm settling in better and think it's alright, but I still find it exhausting.

One of the toughest things about starting a new job is working out where everything is. I can be on any one of about 9 wards, none of which keep their equipment in the same places. For the first day even something as simple as taking blood took 4 times as long as it should have because I couldn't find anything!!

The other tough thing is getting to know all the new staff. I got on so well with the nurses, HCAs, pharmacists, physios, ward clerks and secretaries. The first few days of surgery were like an interprofessional hazing. Everyone was so harsh to all of us fy1s. I'm happy to say that now I feel like most of that has stopped. Nearly everyone knows me by name and is actually really lovely. I've learnt that a smile and good morning goes a long way, and saying thank you goes even further.

Turns out I'm working Christmas weekend. That means lots of sleep and chilling out this weekend to gear up for it. Where oh where is my social life?!

Dr Sunshine xXx

Thursday, 1 December 2011

First Day of Advent!

It's started! Yay!!

You can see whats happening with my advent calendar on it's own special page.

Along with the excitement of advent starting, I've had an eventful day.

I had lots of successful bloods and cannulae, I got all my paperwork done early and I remembered a brolly to walk from my car to the hospital without getting soaked. My reward for being so productive was an afternoon in NICU.

I find NICU a magical place. It's quite, full of teeny tiny babies in what look like little space pods with lots of tubes and glowing lights. It's also where the clever doctors are, busy interpretting the rows and rows of blood and blood gas results along with oxygen saturations, heart rates, respiratory rates, ventilator settings...

Unfortunately my reward wasn't quite as jolly as I'd hoped. The few hours I was in NICU with my reg coincided with the death of a baby who had their treatment withdrawn earlier in the day. The room was crowed with parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles all saying goodbye. It was such an emotional moment that I felt really intrusive just being in the same room as them. I'm finding it really hard to express the way I felt about it all, but sad would definitely be one of the words I would use. I've wanted to tell someone about it all evening, but I haven't known where to start. Luckly a few texts with a friend who is a paeds trainee have really helped. It's reassuring to be told that it's good to care and it's alright to be sad.

I could still do with a hug right now though!

Dr Sunshine xXx

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Almost Advent

I LOVE the run up to Christmas.

I love the songs, the joy, the socialising, the sparkle.. In fact I love it all so much that I dread Christmas Day because it means it will all be over.

After a thoroughly horrible day at work (a full ward and 3 DKAs...) I was thrilled to get home and realise that tomorrow is the start of advent. I popped on some Christmas tunes (Loving the Buble's new album) and had to really hold back from opening my advent calendar early.

I've never been a fan of chocolate advent calendars, I've always loved the ones with pictures... but this year I have better. A friend got me a Lego pirates advent calendar. Lego, Pirates and Christmas all together!! In my excitement I shall be tweeting (@LilDrSunshine) and taking pics of what I get in my calendar every day. You never know I may even blog about it.

I realise that recently I've not mentioned much about work. I have less than a week as the paediatric FY1 left... this is really sad. I'm planning to tweet a typical day/week as a paeds fy1 when I get a chance to sit back and take stock of it all.

Dr Sunshine xXx

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Home Sweet Home

I'm almost 1/3 of the way through my first year as a doctor. I think I've been incredibly lucky in that the team I work with (on the whole) are a lovely bunch and I've really enjoyed things so far. That's not to say that it hasn't been a steep learning curve. In fact at times I've just felt like hiding under my duvet or locking myself in a cupboard and screaming. Luckily those times have been relatively few and far between.

I wasn't sure if moving home for my FY1 year was a good idea or not. At first I decided it was an awful idea and by week 2 had decided I couldn't possibly stay at home. By week 3 I had settled in a bit, and was actually really glad to be home.

It's nice to spend time with my Dad and catch up with all my home-friends. In fact it's a welcome break from medicine, and the fact that if I was living at work I'd pretty much only hang out with work people. I'm also enjoying making some new traditions with my Dad.

Pub quiz on a Wednesday is my new favourite, especially since last week the quiz included a neonatology round. You'll all be relieved to know that we won, although I did have to think twice about where blood cells are made in a foetus.

My other fav thing to do at the moment is a weekend pub-lunch with my Dad in our new fav pub. The one with the open fire and classic FM. It's also the one with a mouthwatering open steak sandwich and scrummy meat pie. It's so nice to just sit, chill out, and discuss what we'll do with our millions when we win the lottery on the next weekend.

It's going to be strange to move away in 8 months, and I've just realised how soon that will be.

Dr Sunshine xXx

The Lurgy

I has it.

In fact I am so pathetically ill looking that I was sent home from work. I guess losing my voice would have made me pretty useless. Even though I am genuinely ill I feel so guilty for not being in work today. I also really don't want to miss my last full week on planet paeds.

Normal blogging service will resume when I feel less dead.

Dr Sunshine xXx

Monday, 21 November 2011

Continuing Professional Development

There are many things I could do to get me closer to my goal of being a paediatrician.

I could do a bit more on eportfolio. I could actually get stuck into my audit. I could revise some more for post graduate exams...

Do you know what I chose to do instead?

Watch Disney films.

I am justifying myself because by watching cartoons I can improve my rapport with children. This has got to be a good thing right? Anyway I've discovered a new second favourite Disney film. Tangled. It is AMAZING. It is everything you need in a good princess movie and more. I only put the DVD into my laptop so I watched it in small, but I'm hoping to convince a friend with a HUGE TV and surround sound to let me watch it there. I think the scene with all the paper lanterns will be breathtaking on a big TV.

I am so rock n roll!

Dr Sunshine xXx

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Accident Prone

People always laugh and joke that I'm a walking, clumsy, disaster zone. Granted I frequently walk into door frames and drop my iPhone on my face in bed, but next time someone says that to me I'm going to suggest that they spend a week on a paediatric ward.

Honestly, children seem to get themselves into all kinds of pickles.

Turn your back for 2 minutes and they will pour cups of hot tea over themselves, fall off balconies onto solid floors, trip down stairs, run into each other, fall off walls and impale themselves on bits of tree and that's without even starting on the accidental overdoses. Unfortunately for the medical profession calpol tastes amazing. Whats even more unfortunate is that "child proof" medicine bottles seem to be adult proof, but easy-pip for children to open. Disaster. I have seen kids who've drank or eaten paracetamol, antibiotics, hair dye (mmmm), immunosuppresants, morphine and all kinds of vitamins.

Luckily for all the children I've seen, they've been OK in the end, but I know that's not always the case.

I'm starting to think that if I marketed padded baby-cages and baby-helmets I'd not only have a thriving buisness but save the NHS a fortune.

Dr Sunshine xXx

Tuesday, 8 November 2011


Sometimes the stupidity of things I hear on a day to day basis makes me want to slam my head into the desk repeatedly, but sometimes, like in this case, it just really tickles me pink.

We had a phonecall from one of the a&e registrars...

Would we like to accept a young child who had taken an accidental overdose of his mothers sleeping tablets? On face value this seems reasonable enough. It's policy however that a&e properly clerk and examine a child before referring, so I asked for a little more information...

Obviously I wanted to know what the child had taken and how much.

I'm glad I asked before accepting the patient.

I was told they had eaten 10 "herbasnooze" (not the real name) tablets. Not really knowing what the reg was talking about I asked for a bit more info. He read the label out to me "100% natural homeopathic sleeping tablets".

I giggled.

Then I worried for a moment, although it says homeopathic who knows what was in the tablets. I asked the reg if he'd talked to toxbase. He had. They said every ingredient was completely harmless.

I was puzzled.

If toxbase have said that all the ingredients are harmless why was I being asked to accept this patient for observation? I asked the reg as much because we have a really busy ward.

His reply?

"Well I know they are homeopathic and toxbase weren't worried, but Mum said they made her really sleepy last night."

I almost wanted to say "...and some people feel homeopathic medicines cure cancer, but you don't see us giving them to our leukaemia children."

In fact he was so adament that the child should be observed, lest they get drowsy and lose their airway that I ended up having to get him to talk to my reg who honestly thought for the first 10 minutes that they were trying to wind her up.

I think its lovely that he cared so much about the patients, but honestly, homeopathic overdoses?

Part of me still just thinks a&e were bored and having a giggle.

Dr Sunshine xXx

Monday, 7 November 2011

Time Flies

I realised today that this time next month I'm going to be a surgical F1... ARGH!! Scary stuff. The scariest thing is that it means I have done 3 months of f1, which is a 1/4 of the year.

Do I think I know more than 3 months ago? Definitely. Do I think I have a lot left to learn? Infinitely more.

I'm quite scared that I'll die of exhaustion as a surgical f1, especially since I'm moving from an unbanded to a banded job. This does mean that I'm getting a pre-Christmas pay rise though. Woo!!

I think now that I've settled into working life I need to get myself a hobby, but I don't really know what. Apparently napping is not a hobby. I've really started to get back into cooking in the last 2 weeks, now that I have my appetite back. If only I could enjoy cleaning, ironing and exercise as much.

I also need to make the most of my annual leave. Someone I work with has just got back from a week in the Carribean. Lovely! I think that as I'm working so hard, I too should probably make the most of my holidays and not just sit in bed and vegitate. Hoping to perhaps go to Morroco in January. Can't wait!

Dr Sunshine xXx

Thursday, 3 November 2011


I've been working for 3 months now, and I'm sure you're all aware that 90% of the time I LOVE everything about my job. This week I've had an even bigger smile on my face. Loads of people have been saying thank you to me...

This morning was the last day for 2 of our medical students. They brought me a box of malteasers to say thank you for all the extra teaching I had done with them. It was the sweetest gesture ever. Even without the choccies they were such a pleasure to teach that it had been great having them around. I hope it's also given the other students a hint that chocolate makes me smile!

As if that wasn't enough I went for my usual mid afternoon gossip with the nurses at the nurses station & they pulled out a letter from a parent which mentioned me by name and said that by taking the time to explain things to them & their child, as well as being generally happy and lovely, I'd made their time in hospital much better then they could have expected.

I'm going to remember that every time I feel rushed and flustered when talking to patients and remember to take the time to help them understand what's happening. It's also a good reason to remember to always smile and be nice to people. All of this has certainly improved my mood since yesterday.

Dr Sunshine xXX

Monday, 31 October 2011

Je N'aime Pas L'e-portfolio.

Most medical educationalists will choke on their tea when they read this, but I don't care. I don't like e-portfolio. There I said it. I don't care how unpolitically correct it is to say that, or how much I should love the learning points it highlights. I simply detest it.

It would be a bit juvenile of me to just say that and not back it up. Although I pretty much only watch cartoons and enjoy being a giant child I think now is probably the time to grow up a little and justify what I say.

Basically I think e-portfolio is a good idea, but it will never work. I like the idea of logging experiences and charting progression but it's just so difficult. It's just seen as a hoop to jump through so people don't do it properly. For a start half the people I ask to do things for me are computer illiterate. This makes getting eportfolio sign ups such a drag. Then once you've found someone who isn't a complete technophobe, they're too busy to fill out forms.

I think it would work better if there was just a way for us to log the skills we've learnt and the cases we've seen. Surely as doctors we should be trusted not to lie about it? You'd also think that we could be trusted to gain verbal feedback.

Then there is reflection. I reflect a lot mentally. I also reflect a lot verbally. I even sometimes reflect on my blog. This all doesn't stop me feeling like a complete pleb when I know my educational supervisor will be reading back my reflections.

Anyway our e-portfolios are all being reviewed this week so I'm going to spend the better part of this week chasing things for people to put on my e-portfolio, as if we weren't all busy enough with bronchiolitis season, a million viral induced wheezes, a strangely large number of HSP patients and numerous kids with pyrexia of unknown origin. ARGH!

If you haven't already realised I'm a natural worrier, and I really let things like e-portfolio stress me out. Was the same with university log books. Blergh.

Dr Sunshine xXx

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Dear Arrogant Medical Student,

I am writing you this letter because you've really been doing a good job of not only upsetting a lot of junior doctors, but also lots of other people in the hospital. You're also making yourself out to be a right pillock. In the true spirit of constructive criticism I am going to offer you some dos and don'ts to help improve things...

Firstly the don'ts...

1. Do not tell an fy1 "I am practically the same as you, I just don't get paid". You are not. We have a year more experience. We passed finals. We have Dr in our credit cards. Although we have a lot to learn from others you can learn a lot from us.

2. Do not smart talk or back chat seniors either on ward rounds or in teaching. Consultants don't like cheeky, it's not cute it's just rude. You might not respect your seniors but we do, so you won't win points off us for it.

3. Do not under any circumstances be rude to the nurses. They know more than you do about hospital medicine. They will also make your life hell. Chances are they will be grumpy with us too because you have put them in a bad mood.

4. Don't tell me you're leaving the ward while we're insanely busy to have a nap. Help out.

5. Don't refuse to do any "boring" jobs and then expect to get teaching while we are über busy. A lot of medicine involves boring jobs so get used to them. Also learn about give and take. If you save us time by writing the blood results in the notes then we will have time to teach.

6. Don't refuse to clerk confused, difficult or stinky patients. Get used to it.

7. Don't run away without doing the jobs you said you would, without having told anyone first.

Now we have the don'ts out of the way there is a lot you can learn from the vast majority of lovely, nice, helpful medical students.

1. Do bake cake. Full drs and nurses are much less grumpy & frazzled.

2. Do offer to help with mundane tasks in exchange for teaching.

3. Do let us know if you can't do certain jobs. We do understand and will definitely help.

4. Smile and be nice to everyone. We work as a team, not only does it better pt care but it makes being at work much nicer.

I hope these tips have been useful and that you'll take this on board. I do feel that if you don't then by the end of next week someone may have locked you in a store cupboard and thrown away the key.

Love & hugs

Dr Sunshine & all her colleagues.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Hell on Earth

500 + screaming girls in a small hall for a dance show.

This was the hell I lived through on Sunday. I got up early, drove 40 miles and was forced to sit through around 10 hrs of middle class teenager grabbing their crotches in street dance and grinding against each other suggestively. Not my idea of cool. To make it worse there was no food and then the drinks vending machine broke. I actually thought that I was going to die in that hall.

Luckly I survived.

I managed to recover today as it was the start of half term. This meant that by lunchtime when we had discharged most of our patients we had more doctors than children. I got to spend my afternoon doing some studying and getting the paeds trainees to quiz me. I even wrote a reflective log for my ePortfolio. Going to have to try to do a few more of them. Turns out speciality training likes to read a print out of them. Argh!

Tomorrow I get the day off to do a course on acute care of adults. I think I've completely forgotten adult medicine so I'm really excited!

Dr Sunshine xXx

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Burning the Candle at Both Ends

I think on reading the title of this post most people will presume it's going to be a moan, but it really isn't. I know I haven't been blogging much, I'm always so busy, but I thought I could catch you guys up a bit on what I've been upto both in and out of work.

Work has been busy, insane and completely awesome. Every single day I see such a variety of ages, illnesses, interventions and people that I never have a moment to get bored. In those rare moments where things slow down some of the amazing registrars either teach me things, or I teach the medical students.

I'm developing a real love for teaching. We get assessed on our teaching and I was so flattered when the woman who assesses us said I have a natural talent for teaching and that my passion comes across. It's really something that I want to develop more and more.

On the subject of medical students, the current bunch we have are such a friendly lot. One of them cooked a bunch of f1s and some of the other students a roast on Sunday. It was delicious... as was the apple and orange blossom pie I baked for pudding. We then had a big bake off on the Tuesday. I made scrummy dark choc and marschino cherry brownies, but one of the students baked a carrot cake which really stole the show. On Thursday we also had a night of drinks and dancing with them.

It's quite tough finding a mixture of things to do. The temptation is to just always meet at the pub, but then a certain number of people who don't drink feel uncomfortable coming along. I think we've really hit the nail on the head with our bowling, baking and pictionary evenings... even if pictionary does bring out my fiercely competitive side.

This week I'm going to try to take it a bit easier so I can get a little more sleep though. I don't want to get to the stage where I'm napping on the pool table (again...)

As a slightly unrelated aside, good luck to everyone doing their FPAS questions. I remember how scary it was. In fact its scary enough to think that this time next year I'll be applying again, but this time for specialist training. Eek!

Dr Sunshine xXx

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

New Toy

My laptop has been slowly (and painfully) dying for some weeks now. As I am a doctor of people and not computers there hasn't been much I could do for it. As I did about 40hrs of locum work, at a pretty healthy pay rate, I decided that I could get a new computer...

Then I went into the apple store and madness took hold.

I now have a lovely new baby... My iPad2.

It does pretty much everything I could ever want. I can tweet, blog and watch channel 4 on demand in bed. Life is good.

I am having issues finding a case I want though. There is just so much choice and my decision making is pretty bad. I tried to go to buy a makeshift case in town today, but my town is so backwards that nowhere sold iPad accessories. Also nowhere had any aubergines. I think it should be renamed "bumpkinville". Seriously what kind of place doesn't have aubergines?!

On an unrelated note I have a Halloween party at the end of this month. Should I be a zombie or a pirate?!

Dr Sunshine xXX

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Teaching Nerves

Since starting work I have had a medical student. In fact I am on med students number 3, 4 and 5 at the moment, so as you can imagine I have done lots of informal teaching. Tomorrow I have to do my first formal med student teaching ever.

I'm a little nervous.

I think I would be less nervous if I was doing it to a lot, but I'm teaching 3 medical students basic paediatric resus (BLS, choking, recovery position...). I'm also possibly being observed doing it. As there are so few students it will be so obvious if any of them fall asleep.

I'm avoiding death-by-powerpoint by only using a couple of slides to illustrate points, but it's just after lunch so I'm fully expecting post-prandial slumps. I guess the good thing is that I can make them go through things on the resus dummies which should keep them awake.

Wish me luck!

Dr Sunshine xXx

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Getting Fit

You'd think with all the running around the hospital I do, that I'd have a certain level of fitness. I don't. I've never been very energetic or a big lover of exercise, but I do aknowledge the fact that when I used to force myself to do it regularly I felt a lot better than I do now. My bum also looked nicer.

I am quite a lazy person.

I told myself that this year I was going to change all that and join the gym. I have tried. Not only have I been going with a friend when she gets free passes, but I turned up on 3 different occasions to join the gym, but all 3 times the computer system was down. I saw this as a sign. Clearly someone, somewhere, didn't want me to join.

I came up with a new plan.

I've just ordered a cross-trainer online.

It's only a cheap £70 one, but it's got pretty good reviews. I've also decided that its less of a waste of money than playing £120 to join the gym and then £40 a month when I'll probably be too lazy to go. At least with this cross trainer I can do 15-20 mins every morning and evening without having to drag myself into the car and go all the way to the gym.

It also means I can watch Come Dine With Me while exercising. Win.

Dr Sunshine xXx

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Excuses, Excuses.

Sorry for being MIA.

Some of you may have thought that I had died of overwork. You weren't far off. I've worked yet another weekend with no days off in the weeks either side. Others may have thought I'd contracted some horrible mutated snuffles-virus from all the snuffly children I see. You were also not wrong. I seem to always have snuffles right now.

These weren't the reasons I haven't blogged.

The main reason is purely technical. My laptop is still having serious issues. Hopefully with enough locum shifts and some saving I can get something more reliable, and longer-lasting soon. On advice I'm thinking a macbook of some sort, so as soon as I'm allowed out of the hospital for longer than an evening at a time I'm going to go for a play in the apple store.

I also have a second reason for being a bit wary of blogging. I've been quite scared by all the weekend's drama in the Torygraph about doctor's on twitter/blogs and the things they say. I feel it was all taken out of context. In fact I call my midwife friends madwives to their faces... it's all banter, but I do worry that things I say will be taken out of context.

Anyway, an update on how things have been going at work.

In a word, good.

I'm still LOVING paediatrics and I'm still getting love-butterflies in my tummy when I talk about it to people. I've also had some tears with sad patients and I've had frustrations with other staff dumping their work on me so it's not perfect, but I'd rather tell you some of the awesome things about my job.

1. BUBBLES. I get to blow bubbles to amuse myself distract patients. I love bubbles.

2. CHILDREN. Some would say children are very far from awesome, but as I have the mental age of a child I love spending all day with them.

3. BABIES. They are so ickle and cute and I get to cuddle them and pretend it's part of my examination. In fact it is part of a good examination as it's nice to see how the baby handles.

4. PAEDIATRIC NURSES. All the nurses on my ward are beyond lovely. They are chatty, kind, helpful, experienced and have challenged me to keep up with them on a night out. I can't wait.

5. TRICKY BLOODS/CANNULAE. Again some would think that this is not so awesome but it's pretty satisfying when you get bloods or put a cannula in a tricky little vein. My personal best is getting bloods from a chubby 16 month old baby in 1 go. I want to try and get a cannula in a neonate before I finish this rotation. I reckon with all my recent experience that I'd probably just about manage it.

6. PLAYING. I like playing. Examinations are play. Talking to teddies and examining them is play. Taking inhalers is play. Play, play, play!

7. KIND CONSULTANTS. Even though they can be stern or firm about getting things done the right way, all my consultants are lovely. A large part of me feels this is not so much to do with how I'm treated, but it's from how I see them interact with children. It's so cute to see "scary" consultants laughing and smiling and playing with kiddies.

8. ACUTE CARE. It's scary but children deteriorate very quickly so whether its on a resus call to a&e or on the ward I get a fair amount of adrenaline pumping while dealing with sick kids. It's great to put skills to use and to work under pressure.

Tomorrow I'm doing (another) 12 hr day, having done my last 12 hr day on Sunday. We shall see if I am still so cheerful tomorrow night. Somehow I doubt it.

Dr Sunshine xXx

Monday, 5 September 2011

Long Week

So after having a long weekend off work, I am now having a loooooong week in work. By long week I mean 11 days in a row.

A nasty viral infection seems to be sweeping its way through the team. This means lots of people taking days off. This also means that there was no junior to cover the weekend on the ward with the registrar, so I got to do it. Although I'm now exhausted after spending 26 hrs of my weekend in the hospital, it was actually a good thing for a few reasons:

1. I learnt LOTS over the weekend. I clerked and reviewed so many patients that my history and examination skills were really brought up to scratch and the registrar was so helpful. He really encouraged me to formulate management plans and after being so heavily involved in the acute care of so many children I feel so much more confident in making a management plan.

2. I got some bits for ePortfolio done.

3. I will have some more pennies at the end of the month so I'll be able to afford the 3 new tyres my car needs.

I was lucky that although we saw a lot of patients we chose not to admit, the ward itself wasn't as busy as it could have been. I was also very glad that I was working with a very supportive registrar who is always there to answer any questions and was happy to review any patients I was unsure of.

One of the things I'm enjoying so much about the team I'm with now is that the consultants change weekly and the registrars rotate. Some people find it irritating but I find it really helpful to see different consultants management techniques and the decisions they make. I also like the changes of registrars as they all have different tips for practical skills and I need as many tips as I can get.

The only bad thing about working so many days in a row, especially after such a busy weekend is that along with being completely shattered I am really grumpy. Normally I have quite a high tolerance level for all of life's little niggles, but not today. My advice, don't mess with the Sunshine until this weekend when I've caught up on my rest.

Dr Sunshine xXx

Monday, 29 August 2011

Pay Day!

The 24th was my first ever pay day as a Doctor. Lots of my colleagues were moaning about how little we got paid, but to be honest I still find it a novelty to think that I'm getting paid at all. To make the occasion we went on a big Jnr Doctors dinner and then out for some drinkies the evening after. It was lovely.

I've since been enjoying my life as a solvent, independent woman.

I went out and bought a pair of lovely goldfish who now live in a big tank on my desk, where I can sit and talk to them and watch them flippering about. Very relaxing. I also bought an umbrella. Considering the weather recently I see this as a massive investment. No doubt I'll leave it at home/in my car and still get drenched though. In fact a big part of my hope that by buying an expensive umbrella the weather will magically improve.

In the week I'm going to do the most important thing I have to do with this months wages (except paying of a big chunk of my credit card bill), which is to take PapaSunshine out for dinner.

Less excitingly for him today, I am taking PapaSunshine to A&E. On my day off no less. He developed pitting oedema up to his knees overnight on the weekend when I wasn't home. I have now got myself into a flurry of worry (ooooh, rhymes) over it. I have a differential diagnosis of all kinds of sinister stuff going on in my head. Fingers crossed it will be something simple and harmless and A&E will laugh at me.

Dr Sunshine xXx

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Small World

One of the strangest things for me about starting my new job is that it is in the nearest hospital to the town I grew up in. This leaves me having a multiple "gosh, what a small world" events every day.

Not only are a good 50% of the patients from my home town, but it turns out half the hospital staff seem to be related to people either I or my Dad know socially.

At least once a day I'll write a discharge notification and realise the GP is a parent of one of my friends. I get major paranoia that I'll do a bad job, they'll recognise my name, and I'll be dinner-table talk. "Oooh, remember that girl you went to school with? She's a useless doctor!". Needless to say my discharge notifications are unusually detailed.

Today I found out one of the child protection people is the Mum of one of my friends and she was very excited to see me on the ward. She asked if it felt weird being a doctor, but the weirdest thing is definitely being treated like a grown up by people who have known me since I was little.

In other work-related news I've finally pin pointed the person in charge of the audit I'm helping with. Can't wait to get stuck in, even if it does look like quite a lot of work! Fingers crossed I'll get to present it, I'm really missing doing presentations since leaving uni. I must love the sound of my own voice.

Now I've done 1/4 of my time in paeds I'm really getting the fear about moving to surgery. All the surgical FY1s look somewhere between death and tears 90% of the time when I see them. Eek!!

First pay day tomorrow... very excited. I have a feeling once I see the pay doesn't cover my credit card bill, I'll be much less excited.

Dr Sunshine xXx

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Settling In

Now that I've been on the ward for 3 weeks (if you include shadowing), I'm really starting to feel like I know what I'm doing. A lot of being an FY1 is like being a medical secretary. I now know the right numbers to call to talk to different people about different tests, I know the clinicians who are the most helpful and I know where to find people when talking on the phone just doesn't work. I'm also getting rather familar with the fax machine to refer patients.

Every time I send or receive something with "Dr Sunshine" on it, I still can't really believe it. I feel a bit naughty for even writing it. In fact if it wasn't for people constantly reminding me to, I probably wouldn't half the time.

It also feels really weird to introduce myself as one of the doctors. I always stress that I'm one of the junior doctors on the team, but even that feels like misleading people. I guess as time goes on it will slowly sink in.

I've also now done 2 paediatric cannulas. Neither really count, one was a 13 yr old and the other an 11 yr old. I'm going to aim for an under 10 this week. To make life more difficult our cannulas have changed this week too. Fabulous. I also said I'd let my med student practice on me... eek!

Now that I'm getting to grips with day to day life on the ward I need to get stuck in to my e-portfolio. I've done one case based discussion, but I really should make the most of having a lot of supervision around and encourage the registrars to go through more with me.

Just as importantly I need to start learning how to balance work, social life and sleep... I need about 5 hrs more a day!

Dr Sunshine xXx

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Lack of Team Work

Before I get started on this rant I just want to point out that I love my job, and even when I'm ranty, tired and grotty it still gives me love butterflies... but still, everyone needs to rant.

Basically some of the new GP trainees on my ward are just not pulling their weight. I understand that these particular individuals either have no interest in paediatrics or hate hospital medicine, but that is no reason to dump on the FY1.

I got abandonned with the SHO on call bleep and the late shift on Monday with no notice because not one of them could cover for the person who couldn't come in (there are 6 of them) and swap a shift. The week before I did the same. Granted I either get paid or time off in lieu, but a bit of notice would be nice. So would a thank you.

In the case of 1 particular guy, he must be a magician. He manages to disappear for hours at a time, so I end up having to do most of his ward work. This is so frustrating. I've tried to say something about it before, but I think I was too subtle. If it happens next week I''m telling him I think it's unacceptable.

Just for a bit of balance some of the GP trainees are lovely and very useful. This fills me with a bit of faith for the profession.

On an unrelated but exciting note, tomorrow I'm doing my paediatric immeadiate lift support course. Hurrah! Very excited to learn about stablising sick children, especially with all the trips to a&e I've been taking with the reg, into resus, to see very sick kiddies.

On a less exciting note I scratched my car against a wall today. I had a coughing fit and hit the accelerator instead of the brake. Epic fail.

Dr Sunshine xXx

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Organisational Compulsive Disorder

It is very lucky that I am anal about being organised. I seem to have so much going on that being any other way would lead to disaster.

Between actual work, mess present stuff, 3 presentations I'm doing to the paeds dept, my audit, planning to sit post grad exams and teaching medical students I have decided to not only keep my iPhone diary up to date, but have invested in a wall chart planner thing. It is awesome. It comes with stickers and everything. Every time I look at it I get the urge to plan even more stuff to fill it up.

I think the hard thing for me to do will be remembering to organise a bit of chill out time for myself or I will completely burn out. Everything is so exciting at the moment that I'm just go go go. I planned a lie in this morning and work up naturally at 7.30... no mean feat considering I was clubbing last night.

I seem to have fallen into being a real doctor quite well this week. There is a surprising amount of admin stuff which is endlessly frustrating when it involves spending hours on the phone and running to different departments, but this is all made up for by the stuff I get to do on the wards.

This week I got to help manage an acutely unwell wheezy toddler with the registrar as well as helping to diagnose and treat a case of meningitis. I learnt never to take things at face value in paeds. Our meningitis child turned up with a completely blanching vesicular rash, whereas you'd usually associate meningococcal septicaemia with a non-blanching pur-puric rash. Without assessing the patient as a whole it would have been so easy to dismiss the case as something less severe.

All the registrars I've met have been awesome. They're so willing to teach me as I've made it clear that I am very interested in a career in paediatrics.

I feel like a big loser as I'm actually looking forward to work on Monday. All the other FY1s were looking at me like I was nuts when I was in the pub on Thursday night because I admitted that I love my job even more than I expected to. Apparently being an FY1 in med or surgery doesn't inspire quite the same amount of love.

Dr Sunshine xXx

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Black Wednesday

It is the day everyone in the medical world dreads, the day that all the completely fresh FY1s start work and all the other SHOs change jobs. A day of pure chaos. Black Wednesday.

Thankfully I survived, but only just.

In paeds I am unbanded, so technically should only work a 40 hr week, Monday-Friday, 8.30-16.30. Today I worked from 7.30 - 21.30.

The first hour was nothing to do with paeds, I just had some mess things to do. This was mainly mingling with the new SHOs to let them know about our event this Friday, and also finding where the secret stash of jam was as the hungry surgeons were getting cranky. Well they always seem pretty cranky, but they were even crankier than usual (if that's possible).

After that the morning was busy due to a lack of SHOs (induction for them), but not insane. I got to do a few ward referrals and I mastered my negotiation skills over imaging. I also gave my hands a work out writing in the notes. There was a paediatric crash call too, which I got to attend with the reg. I only labelled the blood bottles and wrote stuff down, but it felt pretty doctory.

About 2.30pm the secretary came onto the ward to find me. The afternoon SHO who was supposed to be on call, admitting patients from the assessment unit hadn't turned up. As the SHOs tend to have no paeds experience, when there is suitable registrar supervision it's seen as acceptable for the FY1 to cover the shift. I ended up covering the shift. It was insane.

We had 1 more crash call which took an hour. After that I clerked, examined and made management plans for 4 sick children, spoke to the registrar about them all and learnt loads. The down side to this has been that my brain feels like it's going to explode and I'm exhausted. I didn't drink or pee all day! I did do a mini-CEX though. Hurrah for getting ePortfolio bits started.

Now I'm home I just have to iron an outfit for tomorrow and then I can curl up in bed. It's mess night tomorrow and I'm already exhausted. At this rate I think I'll be out no later than 10pm tomorrow. Pathetic I know.

Dr Sunshine xXx

Sunday, 31 July 2011


This weekend has really felt like a little summer holiday.

On Friday I had drinks with some of my lovely friends and a bit of a boogie. Saturday I trundled up to London, popped into the shops to get a textbook I needed and otherwise spend the rest of the day and the evening with some very good company. On Sunday I met Madsadgirl for lunch and a bit of a catch up since I haven't seen her for a few weeks. I then spent the rest of the afternoon eating ice cream on the beach when I got home and strolling around in the sunshine. Bliss. To top it all off, PapaSunshine is taking me out for a curry once he gets home from the football in about an hour. Nom nom nom...

The best thing is that I'm actually looking forward to getting up and going to work tomorrow. Everyone keeps telling me it won't last, but it feels pretty fantastic to be finally getting up to go and do the job that I've worked so hard to get.

The hard work doesn't stop now.

As well as the obvious hard work involved in actually being a doctor, I really want to make the most of this year. This means 3 things; exams, ePortfolio and audits.

Apparently the ePortfolio is looked at when applying for specialist training posts. I didn't realise that at all. To be quite honest I'd expected to just do the bare minimum on it and scrape through, but that's not the case anymore. I'm actually going to take the advice of the outgoing FY1s and get on top of it from the first week. Lots of reflecting and making sure that while in paeds I get lots of DOPs. Not only will this generally look good, it should show that I have an active interest in paediatrics and help my application later. It also seems sensible to make the most of a rotation where there is always senior supervision about.

Audits and exams are a bit extra. We all have to do an audit, but now I've heard there is an audit prize, I want to do the BEST audit. I can't help but be encouraged by a bit of friendly competition, it's why I'm such a nightmare at pub quizzes. This year I think I will also try and do my MRCPCH part 1 (the paeds membership exam part 1). Talking to the SHOs and SpRs over lunch they said that now is the best time, while it's all still fresh in my mind from finals and doing this placement. It would be silly to not take their advice and have a go. I got my hands on the revision book this weekend. It's 1000 pages. I want to take the exam in June. Eek.

Off to ready myself for tomorrow and then go and eat my bodyweight in curry.

Diet starts tomorrow. I promise.

Dr Sunshine xXx

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Shadowing Week

I can't quite believe that I've survived the whole first week of being a doctor. I guess I shouldn't get too excited as this week has only been induction and shadowing, so next week will probably be much more taxing.

I'm looking forward to the next 4 months so much. Paediatrics seems amazing. All the senior doctors are very supportive and lovely. Everyone seems keen to get me involves and hopefully I'll learn lots and lots of skills. Already this week I've been talked through and shown how to take bloods off babies. It's my turn next!

The registrars and SHOs have been giving me advice on the best way to make my CV look good for an application to paeds and I'm definitely going to follow their advice, so it looks like I'll be sitting more exams in April. I also get to do a paediatric immeadiate life support course as part of the rotation, which has to be a good thing.

On the subject of exams I had a prescribing exam on Friday. I think it went OK, but we'll see. If we fail it we have extra prescribing tutorials which I guess is useful, even if I wasn't very impressed when I was told I was sitting ANOTHER exam. Blergh.

Excitingly I have been voted Mess President. This means organsing lots of socialising. On the less fun side it means making sure the actual mess runs properly (has tea, coffee and food as well as Sky Sports) and helping to organise the summer ball. I also get to represent the junior doctors at various committees, which is nice because I like a rant when I feel that things are injust.

Anyway I have a ton and a half of stuff to sort out this weekend, so I better go and get myself organised in time for starting work again on Monday.

Dr Sunshine xXx

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Checking In

This is just going to be a quick post as I am writing it on my phone. I'll be writing something much more substantial over the weekend when I have a laptop, but I will try my best now.

I survived my first day!!

I've also survived my second and third. Well truthfully it is all induction and shadowing so I'm not sure it counts as real survival just yet.

All the other junior doctors, without exception, are lovely. I could not have hoped for a better bunch of people to work with. The exceedingly friendly outgoing fy1s have organised a great social induction to help us to get to know each other. So far we've had an evening of food & nibbles in the common room of the flats, as well as a trip to a pub quiz. Impressively we came 2nd even though we missed the 1st round. It was all down to our knowledge of Kate & Wills trivia.

Although much of the last 3 days has been death by induction form filling, I have spent some time on the watergate I will be working. Again everyone is lovely and it seems like they'll let me get very involved as I'm keen to pursue paeds as a career. Shame I'll be fighting the uber keen student to clerk patients.

Anyway writing this on my phone is getting tiring so I'm off to eat spaghetti.

Dr Sunshine xXx

Sunday, 24 July 2011


As per usual, when you want time to drag it flies past. The last 5 weeks have sped along and just as the clouds recede and the sun comes out, it's time to start work.

I'll be living at the hospital for the next week, so I'm not sure how much of a chance I'll get to blog. Needless to say I'll be giving a big run down of the whole week over the weekend. I'm at the point now where although I'm scared, I'm also really excited. I've wanted to be a doctor for so long and now I finally am one.

I'm hoping this week will be a gentle start. All tomorrow is rubbishy paperwork and hospital induction. This is soul destroying but at least means I won't have the opportunity to scare myself by seeing patients. From Tuesday we shadow the current FY1s all morning and then we have afternoon sessions on other induction things and prescribing. We even have a prescribing test (boo... hiss...!). Most excitingly they have stuff planned for us in the evening. We all know I like a good drink, but I also hope we get to do other stuff. I know there's a bowling alley near the hospital so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

This afternoon I'm packing a bag for the week. I was trying on my smart clothes and it is very clear that I have yet to lose my revision weight. Lets just say certain clothing items are more than a little snug. Fingers crossed the FY1 diet will have sorted me out after a month or so. Once it's payday I'm also joining the gym.

Anyway enough of the procrastinating. I have a bag to pack and a hospital room to arrive in.

Dr Sunshine xXx

Saturday, 23 July 2011


Last night I had a horrible work-nightmare.

In this nightmare I was in a ward and all of a sudden a patient (who just happened to be on a cardiac monitor) went into VT and then VF. I couldn't do anything about it. All my limbs felt like lead and I lost my voice. I couldn't call the help, couldn't bleep the crash team and I couldn't move close to the patient to help. It was awful. I woke up with my heart racing.

It's so strange because I've been at a crash call before and was fine. It was a bit scary, but I didn't freeze like in my nightmare.

Here's to hoping that I don't freeze up in real life.

Dr Sunshine xXx

Friday, 22 July 2011

101 things in 1001 days

For those of you who haven't noticed the tab at the top of the page, go and have a look...

I tried this when I was writing my last blog and I failed spectacularly. I decided the secret to being able to complete my list of things is to have things which are definitely achievable. It took ages to make the list. "Why do it?" some of you are probably asking. Well 2 reasons; 1. I like making lists, 2. I have an awful habit of saying I want to do stuff and never actually doing it. This might make me try out more stuff.

I think in the last 3 weeks since I made the list I've done pretty well... I've managed to complete 9 things on the list. Hopefully this weekend should see me do another 1 or 2. Getting a headstart before I'm insanely busy with work is probably a good idea.

I've also been doing some research into how I can manage some of the more random bits on the list, for example, stroking a llama. In my mind I had visions of stealthily breaking into a llama farm in the dead of night to give one a cuddle. No need. There is a place just a couple of hours drive away that you can take the llamas for a walk (via a pub!!) and stroke them as much as you want. Awesome!

Hopefully once I get my first pay packet I'll be able to tackle more of the list. Fruit picking, going to the zoo and trying out rock climbing are all really high on my list. Until then I might get the gang together for a starry picnic and pinch someone's Harry Potter DVD collection.

Dr Sunshine xXx

Wednesday, 20 July 2011


The work nightmares have started. Only 5 sleeps until the first morning of induction, 4 sleeps until I meet all my colleagues at the hospital accommodation.

The hospital I'm working for is being really lovely. We all get free accommodation for shadowing/induction week and they've organised a whole program of nights out as well as our induction and shadowing during the days. This organisation definitely seems like a sign of good things to come.

Tomorrow I have even more paperworky bits to do. I have to scan in lots of important documents and fill out another form about something to do with ID cards, that I'm sure I've already filled. I'll get there on Monday and they'll have about 17 ID cards for me at this rate.

The whole nervousness about starting work has been made so much more real now that I not only have my rota, but I also have my ePortfolio log in details. I don't know why I was so scared when I first opened the file that contained my rota for the next 4 months. It's an unbanded job, I knew I wouldn't have to do weekends, nights, lates or long days... it was such a relief to have that in writing. Don't think my bank manager will be as pleased about it as I am though.

Do any doctors have any advice for my first week? Any must-have useful things I should take with me, or things I shouldn't forget?!

Dr Sunshine xXx

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Moving Home

It's finally done. I've moved all my stuff home so I guess that makes me one of those awful 20-somethings who moves back in with their parents.

It is such a mission fitting a whole flats worth of stuff into one bedroom. I'm going to be unpacking for weeks.

I ended up moving a week sooner than I planned to. Everything was such a rush. On Thursday a junior doc looked around the flat. Thursday night he said he wanted to move in on Sunday!! I have never packed so quickly. I also didn't think it was possible to get so much into such a little car.

Hopefully I'll still be up in London during the week, just overstaying my welcome with various friends.

On the drive back home from London, in the very packed car, I ended up being the first on the scene at a motorway accident. We were driving and noticed debris all over the road and saw a car stopped across the inside and middle lanes missing the entire front left hand side. No one else had stopped. I had a massive feeling of dread. Technically I'm now a doctor, even though I have no experience, that means I have to help. We pulled onto the hard shoulder and (after I checked I wasn't about to be run over), I ran to the car. I have never been so relieved when the driver got himself out of the car unharmed and said there were no passengers.

Amusingly 2 off duty policemen, an off duty nurse and and off duty fireman all stopped soon after that, much nicer than the 3 cars in front of us who just drove straight past the accident. Although it was an adrenaline rush I hope it never happens again. The man in the car was so lucky to get out unharmed. I've spent the time since wondering seriously what I would have done if this guy was hurt?! I guess I could have held his neck in line, or tried to minimize some bleeding. Really, out of a hospital, with no kit and no help, being a doctor is a scary idea.

To be honest, at the moment, even being a doctor in a hospital with all the equipment and help I can get seems like a scary idea.

Dr Sunshine xXx

Friday, 15 July 2011

Only Human

Yesterday guidelines were published for doctors and medical students using social media sites such as Facebook and twitter.

Obviously this matters to me as a blogger and a Twitter addict.

At first I thought it was common sense. Don't "friend" patients on Facebook and don't breech patient confidentiality. This is just an extension of normal day to day life. I wouldn't go down to the pub with a patient for a glass of wine and I certainly wouldn't start talking about Mrs Blogg's incontinence while having a coffee with my friends.

While blogging I've always managed to maintain confidentiality. This is because I mostly talk about myself. This is after all MY blog. I've never been one for writing patient life stories out. Even when I do talk about patients I never discuss a specific patient, but make up a patient to illustrate points I want to discuss about a variety of different people. Because of this I've always been pretty confident that I'm an ethical medical blogger... in fact I wouldn't even class myself as a medical blogger really. Just a blogger who happens to be a doctor.

The new guidance has me both worried and annoyed. 

Those of you who follow me on Twitter will know how I have previously felt about "the Twitter police", people who try to reign in everything that's said. I think it stifles creativity and freedom of speech.

The guidance suggests that doctors and med students should not be bringing the profession into disrepute on social media sites. This includes evidence of inebriation as an example. Last time I checked it was legal to have a few drinks and get tipsy. Does this mean when I blog or tweet about having one too many cosmopolitans, or having a stonking hangover I'm a bad doctor? 

Guess what everyone. Doctors are human.

Some drink, some smoke. Deal with it. In fact we even burp, fart and poop. Yes it's true. (In fact if truth be known I can't really burp properly, but I wish I could.)

I think it would do a lot for people writing the guidance to think about the fact that doctors are not some God-like beings. I'm pretty sure most members of the general public would be fine with knowing I have a drink or 4 on weekends when it won't affect my work. Very few would be bothered by the fact I swear when talking to my friends. Nearly all people would understand that I too get frustrated at work and with my colleagues.

In fact who would even believe that doctors weren't all grumpy, alcoholic, miserable gits who do nothing but swear. That's how they're mostly portrayed on TV.

What matters more to people is knowing that I'm well trained, I have a decent support network of more senior doctors to help with my decisions and that I genuinely care for my patients and have their best interests at heart.

BMA stop wasting time with trying to nanny us and make us all "perfect", instead spend your time making sure doctors are given the best tools to do the best for their patients. 

Dr Sunshine xXx   

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Packing Panic!

All hands to the deck. Unfortunately that's only 2 hands.

I hadn't found an tenant for my flat yet so was planning to just pack up over the next week and leave the place empty while I start work until they found someone. Then today a guy who is starting as an FY1 at the local hospital came and looked at the place and decided he wanted to move in. On Saturday. Yes, this Saturday.

The estate agent has talked him down until Sunday, but the flat still needs to be empty by tomorrow so it can be cleaned etc. I've sorted out for a gas guy to come and do the gas safety certificate, but I'm not entirely sure about the EPC. I originally thought the estate agents were doing it, but on second thoughts maybe they told me to do it?! Oops. Hopefully I'll be able to find out tomorrow and sort something out.

Anyway I shall be pulling an all nighter to try and pack up all my crap... I haven't even finished the bedroom and I've got 5 bags of rubbish to throw out. What a hoarder!

Dr Sunshine xXx

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Grouchy Day

Due to all the annoying things I've had to do, I've been really grouchy today.

I spend the first half hour of my day chatting to council tax people and the rest of the morning in the council offices trying to sort out parking permits. When I'd finally done that, I got on a bus to meet a friend, and a car drove into the bus. Luckily no one was hurt, but it made me 20 minutes late!

For the next few hours I forgot my grouchiness and saw Wicked for the 4th time. It was awesome, as always. It made me wonder if for the next fancy dress I go to, I could possibly find a flying monkey costume? That would be awesome.

During the show I got a call from the estate agent. Don't panic... my phone was on silent and I wasn't insane enough to answer it, I just had a missed called when I came out of the theatre. Tomorrow they want to show around a "new junior doctor who will be working at the local hospital". I've told them to call me first, I want to firstly tell them how excited I am, because I too am a new junior doctor, and I want to tell them to drop the rental price of the flat. 

My flat is in an ex-council flat. It's in a grotty block. It's in the crap part of town. It has 2 redeeming features; firstly it's a stones throw from a big hospital, secondly the kitchen is HUGE. It certainly isn't worth what they want for it. I'd be happy with £100pcm less than they are charging. I'm starting to panic. I move out in 9 days and there's no one to move in. 

9 days. I'm not even close to packed. I also need to do lots of little DIY things in the flat. Putting up smoke alarms properly (blu-tac isn't really good enough), fixing the toilet seat and screwing the bath panel back on. I also need to sort out the stuff like getting the boiler checked and getting the place professionally cleaned. Tonight, however, my panic is more immeadiate. I need to hide all the stuff I've been packing tidily away and make sure the flat is sparkling clean tomorrow. Unfortunately with my sore back and inherent laziness I'm finding it hard to get started. I tried to clean a window but fell off the window-ledge. I think this was a sign.

Maybe I need to make a to do list? Yes, that sounds like a great use of time...

Dr Sunshine xXx

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Paperwork Mountain

The bane of my life is currently paperwork and emails.

You would not believe how much stuff you have to fill out to start work as a doctor. Before even graduating I had to fill out General Medical Council and Medical Defense Union paperwork, as well as about 25 sheets of forms from my new job. Since last week I've been bombarded with more paperwork and emails to send to the new job. Frustratingly it seems like I'm filling out the same stuff over and over and over. Between occupational health, human resources, parking permits, security clearance, computer log ons and a whole load of other stuff I'm slowly losing the will to live.

As well as that I have to sort out my council tax dilemma. Trying to convince the local council to only charge me from August (when I move out... tee hee hee). I think this is only fair as my letter says I'm a student until July, and my student card specifies July 31st. Somehow I don't think they'll see things the same way. I also need to sort out all the utilities and find someone to rent the flat. So much to do in 2 weeks.

I better dash off now, I told myself I was going to pack the whole living room tonight. I've so far done nothing. Oops. I blame the champagne picnic this afternoon followed by Japanese food in SoHo.

Dr Sunshine xXx

Monday, 11 July 2011


I'm back!

I'm glad to tell you that I had a fabulous time while in Paris with PapaSunshine.

We set off on Thursday morning and hopped on the Eurostar, which put us in Paris just in time for some lunch. Our hotel was on the Grandes Boulevards, which seems to be where I always stay. PapaSunshine likes to joke that I must think that Paris is just one street. We spent Thursday afternoon chilling out and making the most of being able to have a good old chat. In the evening we met up with my Uncle, Aunt and Cousin for dinner. We went to what is quite a famous restaurant, but unfortunately the food was a little pants. On the plus side the wine and company were excellent enough to make up for it. Highlight of the evening had to be PapaSunshine secretly ordering me macarons (my favourite!!) for dessert while I'd vanished off to the loo. Pretty scrummy.

Friday was our "do everything" day. I'm lucky enough to have been to Paris many times, so this time I wanted to see things I hadn't seen before. We got up early. Trekked to Versailles. Neither PapaSunshine nor I had ever been before. It was lovely, but by lunchtime was really busy so we hopped back on the train. A DOUBLE DECKER train! This excited me far too much to be a normal reaction. In the afternoon we visited the tomb of Napoleon, which was pretty tourist-free surprisingly. Definitely worth going to see, and it surprised me that it was so quiet there.

In the evening we went to the ballet at the Palais Garnier. The Palais Garnier is the old opera house, and is where Phantom of the Opera was based. I've toured the inside before and it is breathtaking. One of those buildings you have to see to believe. We went to see a ballet based on the old film Les Enfants du Paradis. I almost died when PapaSunshine led me to our seats which were in the middle of the front row! The ballet was  beautiful, and one of the female lead dancers was an exceptionally fantastic dancer. I was mesmorised the entire time. A perfect evening was topped off with a steak and chips and a quiet drink before bed.

Saturday was spent handbag shopping and grabbing a last leisurely meal before hopping back on the Eurostar. I needed the whole of Sunday to recover from the trip, we certainly made the most of our time.

Just to gross people out one thing that was bad about Paris was the bug-bite I got. In the space of 24 hours it became huge, turned my leg red, sore and swollen and was oozing gunk. This was it 3 days later...

I just hope that like Spiderman I will now have superpowers.

Dr Sunshine xXx

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

À Bientôt

I'm off to Paris for a couple of nights from tomorrow morning. Very exciting.

Papa-Sunshine is taking me as a graduation present. The trip manages to kill 2 birds with 1 stone, as we can catch up with some family in Paris, but also enjoy ourselves. I'm bursting with excitement as my Dad has booked ticket to see the Ballet at the Palais Garnier... which is the opera house that the Phantom of the Opera story was based on. It's also one of the most beautiful buildings that I have ever seen. I was lucky enough to go on a tour while I was still at school, but I've never seen anything there before.

Being in Paris we'll also be able to get some good food, which is one of my favourite things about going to France. I guess it's because I've been brought up on French food, but there isn't much in my mind that beats it.

Today is being spent not only packing for Paris, but also packing another few bags of stuff to move home permanently. I'm really going to have to step up this moving stuff plan as even though I've had 3 trips home, it doesn't look like I've really moved anything at all. Clearly 6 years at uni has allowed me to accumulate far too much stuff.

I also need to pop to the post-office to send more eBayed bits and bobs. I'm really getting into eBaying my life away. I realise I'm not making much money from what I sell, but it's so much better than having it clogging up my room at home. I think when I get back from Paris I'll have another week of frantically eBaying stuff before I finally give up and either give the stuff to charity shops or take it home with me.

Dr Sunshine xXx

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

It's Cooking Time

Finally, after 2 weeks of mucking about, my cooker has been fitted!

I gave up with Curry's in the end. Their fitter came out yesterday, looked at the box the original fitter had said just needed screws, and said it needed a whole new terminal box so he couldn't fit it. I had a little temper tantrum and then decided to call a real electrician.

The real electrician was hot. I realise this has little impact on whether or not he can do his job properly, but it certainly made my day a little better. Lucky for me he wasn't just a pretty face (...and really nice arms), but he could also wire in an oven. He took one look at the terminal box and agreed that it just needed screws, then 20 mins later he'd fitted the entire oven. Hurrah! I was so happy I could have hugged him, but I held back and just handed over my credit card, which I'm sure he appreciated more than a cuddle.

The rest of the afternoon was spent cooking dinner and baking cookies in anticipation for the man coming over for dinner. He turned up with a bottle of Champagne, adding to my feeling of being spoiled rotten since graduation. We had a chill out in front of the TV and I even managed to get a relatively early night. In fact paired with my lie-in and the nap I had later on today I've probably had a weeks worth of sleep. Bliss.

Really need to get my act together and tidy the flat and pack for my couple of days in Paris with Papa-Sunshine. I really hope the weather is nice as I only have summer dresses.

Dr Sunshine xXx

Monday, 4 July 2011

Spoiled Rotten

Since finishing my exams I really have been spoiled. I'd feel guilty about it, but it really sweetens the fact that I worked so hard for the last 6 years and will now probably be working even harder for at least the next 40.

Yesterday was a particularly decadent day.

I woke up late, just in time to meet madsadgirl for lunch in our usual haunt. Not only did she surprise me with a lovely card and a cute little Boofle teddy, she also treated me to a bottle of bubbly over lunch. Now after the champagne overkill of results day I thought I'd never be able to look at another glass, but I'm glad I'd got over that by yesterday as it was a lovely treat. I managed a tipsy stumble home and a lovely afternoon nap before I started part 2 of my Sunday.

I was meeting the man once he finished work. He always teases me for being really indecisive, so (for once) I made a decision and suggested we go to the cinema. Unfortunately for him that was as far as my decision making went. We started by a little cocktail pre-cinema to get the evening started and then we toddled off to Leicester Square. After a stand-off in the queue we (ok... he), finally decided we were going to see the new X-Men film. I have a secret superhero obsession so this suited me to the ground. Thankfully I managed to only jump off my seat and gasp out loud about 6 times during the film so I wasn't too much of an embarrassment.

The film finished at around 11, so as you can imagine (even though we'd been nibbling on popcorn), the hunger pangs started to set in. One of the things I am going to miss most about London is the fact that you can go out for  a meal that late on a Sunday. We wandered into ChinaTown and I stuffed myself silly with all kinds of yummy.

We started the wander home, and then the man dragged me into what looked like a bizarre underground public toilet. Don't worry, this isn't going to get explicit... it was actually a really cool little bar I never knew exsisted, even though I've walked past it a million times. CellarDoor was a small but perfectly formed trendy little underground drinking hole. It was made even more exciting by the fact the loo doors are magic glass. Basically you walk in and think the loo doors are totally see-through, until you turn the lock and they become opaque. AMAZING. They also gave little bowls of warm popcorn out and the waitress wore fairy wings. Strange, but good! I'm gutted I didn't know about this place before and will most definitely be dragging people there whenever I'm visiting London.

What was even more amazing than the wonderful day I had was the fact that in the evening I managed to moderate my drinking and therefore slept like a baby and woke up without a hangover. Bliss.

Now I just need to make sure that the rest of my summer holidays are as lovely as Sunday was.

Dr Sunshine xXx

Saturday, 2 July 2011

The Oven Saga

Those of you who follow me on Twitter (@LilDrSunshine) will probably know bits and bobs about the drama surrounding having my new oven fitted. You will also know that today my head almost exploded with fury.

I've always found a good ranty blog post makes me feel better, so here I go explaining the whole debacle.

Last year my oven broke. It was irrepairable. The hob still worked though so like any good student I just made do. Now I'm planning to rent out my flat. That means I need a working oven. Off to Curry's I went, picked a nice electric oven & hob and paid for it to be delivered and installed. I also paid for the old one to be taken away. Simples right? NOT right!

As the old oven was electric but with a gas hob I phoned up to make sure that they'd still be able to remove it. "Yes" she said, "Of course". I felt silly for even doubting them.

Delivery day came. The man arrived. "Oh" he said, "I don't do gas".


I thought it was an honest mistake and let him call up and rebook a new date for the oven to be fitted. 2 days later. Well they never turned up. Yes, I got stood up by Curry's. In a mild rage I phoned up and rebooked... yes that's a 3rd day wasted. The same man who came the first time turned up. He still didn't do gas.

I phoned them again. Explained the situation in a surprisingly calm manner and was thankful for the grovelling and offer to come and set up the oven on a Saturday.

Today was that Saturday.

I got up early. I waited. They turned up just after lunch which was nice timing. This time the man did do gas... hurrah!

He pulled out the oven and then said "Bollocks!".

This was not a good sign.

He needed something called terminal screws (which apparently are just long screws), but they don't have any. He disconnected the old gas oven and took it away. This left me with an oven sitting in the middle of my kitchen and a huge grotty gap where the old oven was. He also bored me for 15 minutes ranting about how he hated his job, how disorganised they were. I didn't think that was too professional. Nor was the boasting about his £25 an hour wages.

I had to phone back Curry's. This time my rage was more than noticeable. I ranted for about 5 minutes until the lady on the other end of the phone burst out laughing. She laughed in my face!!! Well, not actually in my face, but down the phone. I was unimpressed, but it did make me giggle too. So now they're coming on Monday.

This wasn't the end of the catalog of disasters. I needed a shower. All of a sudden the hot water wouldn't work. The boiler wouldn't light! It took a panicked phone call to Papa Sunshine, and his common sense to fix the problem. The gas fitter had forgotten to turn my gas back on.

After that I went to a hardwear store to get some "terminal screws". According to them there is no such thing. I had to graphically describe what the oven-fitter was doing and how he described the screws before they sold me some long screws. I hope they're the right ones.

Then I got wedged in the gap between the fridge and oven. I seriously thought I might be stuck there until I lost some weight, but thankfully had a friend who helped me wriggle out.

If anything else goes wrong today I'm sure I'll lose my temper, so I better sit on the sofa with a good book and wait until bedtime. My problem of not being able to have a hot dinner is thankfully being solved by a lovely sofa-picnic. I'm having mango juice, tomato salad and parma ham.... mmmmm!

Fingers crossed nowt else will go wrong!

Dr Sunshine xXx

Friday, 1 July 2011


continued from The Student Doctor Diaries.

As I stepped off the stage (without falling over), I realised that I've finally done it. The last 6 years at medical school are over and I'm actually a Doctor. I've spent the last decade aiming towards this very moment. I have to tell you all, that it is a pretty fabulous feeling to achieve something you have been working so long and hard for.

Even being bustled out of the cathedral and shouted at by a man with a megaphone couldn't wipe the smile off my face. Man-with-a-megaphone managed to organise the whole year group onto a big stand to have our year photo taken. This was no easy job. It was so overwhelming to look out at all the hundreds of proud parents, relatives, friends and other students crowding the area. The excitement almost bubbled over when we were introduced to the film crew for next years junior doctors TV program who are following a student from my uni. This rapidly turned into horror when we realised it meant another 10 minutes of standing in our killer heels on a giant stand while the free wine was warming up at the reception.

After enjoying a glass of (not so chilled) rose with my classmates I spent the rest of the afternoon with the most important person there. The person who taught me that I can do anything I want to. The person who was there for me when I doubted myself. The person who put up with my exam-induced mini break downs. The person who dropped everything to be there for me whenever I needed a shoulder to cry on. The person who gave me the nickname Sunshine and the more recent name Dr Sunshine. The person who has single-handedly brought me up for the last 10 years. My Dad. He always tells me how proud my Mum would be of me, but I think she'd be equally as proud of him for doing such a fantastic job as a parent. I like to think that she was there with us today, smiling at the two of us.

Thanks Papa!!

Dr Sunshine xXx