Saturday, June 28, 2014

Psychiatry is Over!

Well here we are the end of June.

It seems like Summer is half over and yet we haven't really even had it yet. It's been chilly here, windy, and rainy. We did have a week of extreme hotness at the beginning of the month, but that seems long gone.

As far as classes are concerned I'm trudging through. We just finished psychiatry and while it was fun, I can't say it's really my cup of tea. It's hard to have any real grasp on a specialty though when you don't see too many patients. It's mostly understandable though because most people don't like talking about their most personal thoughts with five or six other people in the room. I still don't quite understand why they insist on splitting us up into such big groups. Our class should be in more than just two large groups so that we can have less people in a department at any given time.

 We did get to meet one manic patient however who after telling us how lovely we all were and kissing one of my fellow classmates proceeded to tell us to "fuck off" and to "go die" all within a 15 minute time period. We also met several guys who thought they were Jesus. I couldn't help but to wonder what would happen if you put them in the same room together???

As far as choosing a specialty though. I don't know if I could deal with that sort of thing every day, cheers to those who can.,9641.html
One of my teachers asked us the other day if we'd like to go into psychiatry. I said no and then tried to explain,  that in my opinion with normal medical problems you can generally treat them and they're fixable, and at least you can try to do something. Whereas with mental health you can't always help them and the problems aren't always treatable. She seemed to insinuate afterwards that I should be a surgeon, but my stance isn't really related fixing not fixing. Even with things like asthma and diabetes at least you can treat the problem and see a difference in most cases, with things like severe schizophrenia and bipolar you can't really see a difference even with the most powerful drugs and in this case the result is that the person is alive but their soul is lost. It's terrible to say but I'd rather have a patient die after extensive treatment for a general medical condition than loose them to a mental disorder if given the choice. Of course some might disagree.

Maybe part of my opinion comes from loosing my best friend to schizophrenia. I've seen first hand the destruction that mental disorders can have on families and friends. I've seen the end result of the delusions, the hallucinations, and the multiple hospitalizations. Mental disorders destroy the very essence of the human soul. It isn't something I would wish on anyone.

In the end my friend was left as a shadow of his former self, and then he was gone. No one in his family even reported him missing because most thought he'd just gone off the deep end again, many weren't even speaking with him any more, and the remaining few also suffered from the same disorder. (As it happens only family can report a person missing, his few remaining friends tried). They found his body almost 6 months after the last person saw him- just a mere mile from the house where he'd been staying. Stories like this are the sad reality of many severe mental diseases.

In other news: we start OB/Gyn next week. I'm kind of looking foreword to getting back in to a more clinical setting. But, if I'm honest this is a class that I have been dreading from the get go.

Let me explain. First off babies are terrifying. Second, we never talked about the 'birds and bees' in my house growing up, you just didn't do it. As an adult it has made talking about anything even close to the topic especially difficult. My fiends like to joke that I have a "Disney Filter" and that basically whenever they start talking about sex or periods the Lion King theme song replaces what they're saying in my head. It's really not that bad, but it's definitely something that creates anxiety and makes any sort of conversation on the subject uncomfortable on my part.

I know I'll have to get over it (you know being a doctor eventually and all), but I think it's safe for me to admit that the first few days will probably be kind of uncomfortable for me. I'll do my best and hide it in front of the patients, but inside I'll probably be an anxious mess.
Who knows in the end I might really end up enjoying it...    

Thursday, June 5, 2014


I'm going to go on vacation one day and just decide to stay there. I seriously considered it this weekend.

Day 1: I've been planning this trip for ages and like most of my vacations it had an ulterior motive. Namely run a marathon. But, I love running so it's okay. I technically had class on this day (Friday) but I decided to take the whole day off and my  flight left at noon, so it was well worth it. By the way it only takes around an hour or two to get from Poland to Stockholm!

So I got to Sweden and I had to take a bus into Stockholm. It ended up taking around 80 minutes from the airport that I landed at to central station. During which time it began raining. How unfortunate.

From Central Station I headed to the olympic stadium where the marathon packet pickup and start/finish was. I got all my stuff and had some sort of cold pasta dinner. The day before the race is never very exciting.

Due to the rain I decided to just go find my hotel which as per usual meant getting lost in the underground. I sorted myself out eventually and got where I needed to go. I have to say it was a good thing I got a travel card for the t-bahn otherwise I'd of been using tickets left and right trying to figure out where I was/where I should be during the course my trip.

My hotel... umm, it was nice. It was cheap, possibly the cheapest one in Stockholm which isn't saying much as it is one of the most expensive cities in the world. But, it was locating in a not so great area. There were these two long, dark tunnels near the t-bahn exit that went under the highway. They were very creepy. The hotel itself was nice though, I got upgraded as well because the overbooked so my room had a personal sauna (not that I ever used it...)

Day 2: I ate breakfast at the hotel and since the race didn't start until noon (pretty late by marathon standards) I had quite a bit of free time before heading to the start. When I got to the clothing drop off I decided I needed to go to the bathroom and did the ritual that every female marathoner has participated in - standing in line for 45 minutes while watching men just walk over to the nearest tree.

Luckily I made it to the start on time (unlike in the past few races...) and then the gun fired and we were off.

I don't have too much to say about the beginning of the race, it was pretty uneventful and my times were right on where I wanted them to be. I could have done without running over the giant bridge but whatever, the views were great, and it was perfect weather for a race.

And then at mile 20 I hit the wall and I hit it bad. All of a sudden everything that I had eaten that day decided that it no longer liked the idea of being inside of my stomach. I vomited every other mile for six miles, it was so bad that I couldn't run in fear that it would just start up again.
Obviously from a medical stand point puking this much during a marathon is not such a great thing so I kept trying to force liquids into myself, BAD idea.

I was on track to finish in four hours. Obviously that didn't happen.

Anyway, I made it to the finish line, got my medal. I was feeling pretty good about myself as I took the timing chip off my shoe and then another wave hit me again. I made it to the porta johns just in time, but forgot to lock the door. Some poor woman opened it while I was mid heave and I have never heard anyone scream so loud. Goodness lady, it's only partially digested food, and anyway at this point it was mostly liquid.

I slowly made my way back to the hotel. Luckily I only had two more episodes after that, once on the t-bahn (no worries I had a bag) and once on the walk from the t-bahn to the hotel. Remember those creepy tunnels, well while I was between them heaving up anything that was left (which admittedly wasn't much) a fight broke out in the tunnel I had just left. So I'm there puking my brains out and there's two guys trying to kill each other- you know just a normal day in the life.

I spent the remainder of the evening befriending the toilet and sleeping.

Day 3: I woke up feeling 100% better than I had the day before I was able to eat and drink for the first time since the race (though my stomach still wasn't impressed).  Unperturbed and defiant I decided that I was going to see the city dammit regardless of whether the rest of me was going to cooperate or not.

I headed downtown and found a book store to pick up the traditional Harry Potter book. By the way Swedish Harry Potter covers are AMAZING. If they didn't cost nearly $30 a piece I'd of bough all of the books!

Next I went to the old town and had a look around and decided to check out the Nobel Prize Museum. Honestly, I really wasn't impressed. They have a few neat things but for the price and time I could have went to the Vasa Boat museum and saw something that was actually interesting.

After all that I spent about an hour trying to figure out how to get a bus to Skansen which I probably could have walked to quicker. In the end I found it! Skansen is a park that's set up to look like what Swedish homes and businesses would have looked liked a few hundred years ago. They also had people in period costume and I got to see some folk dancing which was really neat. They even had kids dancing and it was so cute!

When they closed up and kicked me out around five o'clock I went back to the old town and found a place to eat (the only time I ate out- I made sandwiches the rest of the time). And then I bought a few post cards and a Pippi Longstocking doll for my niece.

Day 4: My flight didn't leave until the afternoon but since the bus ride was so long and it was a Monday I decided to catch the bus at 9:45 a.m. I got to the airport with time to kill and ended up sitting outside reviewing patho phys and drinking a latte.

After landing back in Poland I had to do the flight of the bumblebee to a class which started the same time I landed. Luckily, the airport isn't too far out of town!