A New Chapter- Mental Health

This was my first week in a Mental Health ward, this time as a clinical pharmacist. Honestly, don’t think I made as many interventions as I would have liked…I feel.. lost… in my old rotation , I got into a groove of checking for VTE prophylaxis, checking the antibiotics were appropriate, checking pain relief was appropriate, and that regular medication was started/stopped as appropriate…. then I go go mental health.. where bloods could be done monthly.. my longest stay patient has been there SIX years..😱😱😱 and I am unsure what my role is …. it’s very “What the consultant wants”… and reminds me of the old days where I would have a chat with the consultant regarding some questionable things 😅. Consultant isn’t always right…

I feel like I am surrounded by unknowns and that sort of builds up my anxiety of what I don’t know. The anxiety of being in another hospital and not knowing how they do things and their practices.. messes with my head 😭😭… it’s only week one, but everyday just feels that I am unproductive and everything takes a long time to get used to …😓😓😓 Planning go do some learning this weekend!

In addition to that, its so strange to be fully into mental health. In mg surgical rotation I got a small taste of mental health, but now it’s like really full on in your face mental health…😭😭 Another big learning curve is coming for me..

Reflecting on Growing up

Having moved out of my home town and into a new city for over a year now. I can’t even imagine my life back in Adelaide. So much has happened. So much has changed. So many ups and so many downs. What does the future bring? It’s all up in the air. What do you want to do? What so you want to go?

Do we even have a choice? Just gotta keep going and go with the flow. What are plans anyway? Covid is always here to disrupt them 😒

Green is my favourite colour

If you asked my friends and family what my favourite colour was… I suspect they would say.. Pink. Why? Because I own so many pink things. But, the thing many of these things were gifts from people thinking I liked pink and further spreading the rumours. So much so, I subconsciously started buying pink things.

But today, on my daily walk during lockdown. I looked at my green phone case and my green jacket, and the beautiful greenery around me… and I thought to myself. Green is beautiful, green is the colour for me. Green symbolises life. It also is the colour of matcha 😌..

Do you have a reason why you have a favourite colour?

First year Anniversary in Melbourne

I can’t believe one year in Melbourne has already passed soo quickly in a blink of an eye 😅😅… I spent half of the time in a lockdown, but honestly it hasn’t been too bad. So grateful for the good times I have had during my stay here, the people I have met, and the food I have eaten.

Cheers 🥂 to another year to go. 😌😌😌Where will I be in one years time?

Being a Pharmacy Resident

Someone asked me today, is it worth becoming a pharmacy resident? Well here are some pros and cons.

Pros:

1. Your contract is usually longer than everyone else’s. A residency is usually two years long, so your contract is basically the same.

2. It looks good on your resume that you completed some sort of “qualification” during this time. It can detail that you are sort of well rounded in the different areas of pharmacy, for example we all do a stint in operational pharmacy, surgical, medical, and an elective rotation.

3. You are appointed an “official preceptor” whom you can ask for help whenever you need in each rotation. Usually it’s the same person that id your Team Leader.

4. You get to be involved in a lot more things whether you like it or not, for example you are part of committees, take it in turn to look after quality boards, conduct presentations and can put your hand up for extra training as a resident.

Cons:

1. People might talk behind your back or judge you for getting one of those ‘coveted residency’ positions as they are far fewer than the normal advertised contracted roles.

2. You have to conduct a research project AND it is basically all in your own time as well. So week nights, lunch breaks, weekends, any free time basically. I absolutely detest research after doing my honours project 😰😰😰.

3. The support that you thought you would get wasn’t actually as good as you thought it would be unfortunately.

4. There are so many extra things you have to do as an resident… as mentioned earlier, not only do you have to present in each rotation, you also have to participate in the committees, do assessments during work, get people to do surveys about you… Basically, a lot more on your plate than the average worker.

I am almost mid way through my residency, and in summary… despite stressing so much my hair falls out, I really did get an opportunity to learn so much while doing this residency. My eyes have been open to so many types of medicines and procedures I haven’t heard about before. In my old hospital, I asked so many times if I could learn clinical pharmacy and they always gave me the same excuses, your contract isn’t long enough to train you up. Etc, etc.

And that’s why I stayed back twice this week until 8pm doing ‘residency’ stuff.. since we are in lock down anyways, it didn’t really matter… it’s almodt like I locked myself down haha…

2021 Bucket List weekly progress

1. I went to a trial class to learn the Japanese instrument the Koto. I honestly was inspired to learn after accidentally stumbling across the track ‘Tenkyuu’ from the anime ‘Kono oto omare”. You should listen if you haven’t! If you know me, I get easily moved by music, anime, and art… and it really spurs me on to try and do different things. It was only a 30 minute lesson and I was nervous as hell, so much technique and quick thinking is needed. However, the music sheets are easier to read than I imagined! We go off numbers (Japanese numbers) and there are still 4 beats ro a bar. I love how music and magic seem to go hand in hand… I am excited for my next lesson on Saturday, but I need to think how I will practice?? I don’t own a koto… and renting one.. where am I going to put it ?? My studio apartment is tinyyyyyy 🥲🥲🥲…anyways, other costs that are involved is the picks that you need to put on your right thumb, right index, and right middle finger. These need to fit onto your fingers properly to allow the clear sound… I have to say the sound of the koto is as beautiful as it is through my phone. I feel like, I am entranced by the sound that comes through. It’s different to when I play the guitar, and I am mostly strumming to sing…

2. Post koto lesson, I decided to also start on another goal in my bucket list for this year. Ot learn to play a new sport…not really new, but I haven’t played in ages, I classify it is new. TABLE TENNIS. I bought my own racket guys! It is a small start?!?! Now to find a social to join to play…I’ll keep you posted… it was $45 for the racket and the rubbers. So basically, I asked for a beginners racket, and they said there are ones where they already have the rubbers stuck on , but its mostly for kids. The better ones and more expensive ones are the ones you buy the blade (wooden part) by itself and then you buy the rubbers separately. The rubbers are coloured red and black, apparently they MuSt be different colours, I wasn’t sure exactly why..?!?!? Some rule from table tennis?!!? Anyways, the dude in the shop was like I will stick the rubbers for you and also stick something on the sides and provide a clear film that you have to stick on the rubbers after you clean it after playing. I always see my mum having the plastic stuck on her rubbers, I always thought she just didn’t want to throw away the plastic 🤣 who knew she did it to protect her rubbers?!?!

Josee, the Tiger, and the fish

Just watched this movie today, it was the first time I watched a movie in Melbourne! We were a bit late to the movie, so we missed the first part of the movie… but yes, I highly recommend watching. There aren’t enough anime that talk about disabilities in my opinion, and this movie does portray the unique perspective of a young woman who needs a wheelchair to mobilise.

It reminded me of my studies of disability studies and how there is such a big gap between “able-bodied” and people with a disability. It was a such a bittersweet story and I felt like I went through a whirlwind of emotions while watching.

Slow down

A patient of mine told me to, SLOW DOWN. My job gets repetitive after doing the classic antibiotic and pain killers talk for the 100th time during this rotation.

I haven’t realised that I have gone 100 miles per hour, until a person from a non-English speaking country told me to “SLOW DOWN”. And I stopped, I really do go TOO FAST. Maybe due to the workload, partly because I am an inpatient person. I always want to be fast, effective, and try to do everything. But, I realised, what is the point in doing all this? To achieve everything so soon… to work yourself into a sweat trying to bend your head over for someone who really doesn’t care?

My goal from now on, is to slow down, take a deep breath and ask myself, “Why am I rushing”? What for? Am I late? Then I should change my habits and start being early. Am I not going to get things done? Then maybe it’s time to ask for help or see what else can be streamlined, prioritised to be done later.

Life flies by, and then you realised you haven’t even stopped to smell the flower, enjoy the food, make some friendships. What happened to me that all I became was someone so focused on goals, achievements, and I slowly became someone without a soul, perhaps coming off rude, and a loner.

Bucket list for 2021

I have started reading a webtoon all about bucket lists…but I realised I never seem to keep track or remember what I put down…

So my list for the remainder of 2021 is to:

-Take classes to learn a new instrument! Recently I have taken an interest in the Japanese harp-like instrument, the koto…I have enquired about classes.

-Play a new sport! The only sports I play now is Badminton…and I guess when you are super comfortable with a sport, you might not want to try other sports.. well for me anyways. After asking my friends, I found out a colleague who plays table tennis and have contacts/places to play….

Work on my personality, in particular-to treat everyone like a friend. Not a close friend, but like a friend. A recent random encounter with a rude person, made me reflect on what kind of person I am and what others may perceive I am. But, like someone once said, you never know who you are being rude too.

Travel somewhere I’ve never been to before. This one, I kinda have done on my own to Phillip Island and hopefully I will make my way up to the snow this year??

Assertiveness. I am always saying yes, to the point I get angry and grumpy about it. I overthink too much about what others may think of me. I am going to practice saying no, and I’ll start with small steps and saying now to people wanting to steal my weekend shifts 😒😒😒…I need the money too!!!

Be a better friend to my existing friends. Being there for them, spending time to catch up with them, and overall just strengthening existing friendships. Both in Adelaide and Melbourne.

A decision on a house….!! By the end of this year …hoping to either.

1. Have a mortgage and living in a house/apartment in Melbourne / have saved up 100k by end of 2021 for a deposit

2. Investment property in Adelaide

3. Moved out to a bigger place that allows pets/own furniture

I think this is all that comes into mind at 11pm on a Weeknight. Have you made a bucketlist for yourself?

Working at Covid Vaccine Clinic

Today was my first shift at the covid vaccine clinic! My role was to support the people who were drawing up the doses from the multi dose vials for the Pfizer vaccine. I labelled up the syringes with their expiry dates which is calculated from when the syringe was taken out of the fridge. Each syringe can be kept out of the fridge for 6 hours at room temperature.

It was a bit mundane at times, but it helped having a nice team of people to chat to and having background music played by one of the pharmacy students.

It was really nice to do something different from my usual Monday to Friday job in the hospital where it is high stressed, fast moving, and stress+++. This job possibly could be done half a sleep, but it is still an important job to do.

They were very careful about exactly how many vials that were used and all vials and syringes had to be accounted for at the end of the day. It was amazing to see so many people turn up for vaccines, I reckon collectively we prepared and administered around 2000 covid vaccines today.

Today it was a day that nurses and pharmacists actually worked together to deliver another successful vaccine day.

An additional perk of working at the covid clinic was that they were well stocked with snacks, drinks, instant soups for us. There were single wrapped kitkats, biscuits, cheese, and I loved the little packs of fresh apple juice (just like the ones from the planes).

I am not sure when my next shift is, but I am looking forward to the free snacks 🤣and that i can do a job that doesn’t stress and age me too much, but still get good pay. 😌

Embrace Loneliness

I believe you have to embrace being alone. It’s so true how you can be around people, yet feel so alone and isolated.

And when you are alone, you can feel like no one in the world cares about you, if you suddenly disappeared without a trace. If something happened to you, no one would notice, because you are all alone.

Yet, the sounds of people talking too loudly about things you don’t care about, can make you wish for peace and quiet.

So in the moment, appreciate you are alone. You don’t have to make small talk, you don’t have to ask how their day was. Just relax knowing you can eat when you want, sleep when you want, go out and do something you want to on your own. No need to consult with anyone else or what they think. Life is freedom to do whatever you want.

Yet sometimes, society makes you feel bad for being alone. Life and society wasn’t designed for people who are alone. It’s like the loners are shunned in the world.

All the Reminders of the Memories

Now that you are gone, all I have left is fragments of moments in times that are embedded into my memory.

There are so many triggers to the reminiscing that takes place.. It can be a smell, a song, an image, a place.. everything reminds me of you

It’s like the world doesn’t want me to forget you, but I NEED to forget you. How can I move on when I am constantly living in the past?

I hope these feelings of sadness will not last.

Did the bed always feel so cold? Was food always so tasteless? Was life always this mundane?

You lighted up my bleak world with colour, flashing lights, and bells… but now it is quiet once again.

I can only move on when I make fresh memories, try new places, meet more people.

Does a place exist where nothing reminds me of you?

Winter Wonderings

Winter started off so wonderful, a new flame to provide warmth and shelter

Everything seemed bring and new

It was a first for everything and every moment was magical

But with every delicate flower that blossomed within that new budding love

…There was a risk for it to be crushed

It cannot withstand the howling wind, rain, and storms that it brought

With that the glimmer of warmth of winter was gone .. and once again…

The nights feel cold once again, and once again you realise you are truly, truly, all alone

Things I’ve done in Lockdown

During the lockdown, I saw other people start to bake, cook, or go on exercise hikes… for me I haven’t done much out of the ordinary…

1. I’ve continued working as usual, but put my hands up for some extra activities.

2. Got more unfit, but have been trying to get into home stretching and exercises.

3. Been studying up on Covid-19 and their vaccines as I have out my hand up to be interested in being involved with the vaccine preparation.

4. I’ve restarted posting in here.

When will this lockdown end? Who knows?

Shower thoughts #1

If you saw someone talking to themselves when no one is around, normally you would think they are a crazy, Psychotic, schizophrenic, delirious person.

However… thanks to the creation of podcasts, phones, and the internet.

Now you can talk to yourself all you want and no one will think you are crazy 🤪🤪😌😌.

Check out my podcast, link below.