What is the difference between the patient and their health care worker?

I think there’s a myth that health care professionals have it all together. But actually, we are just humans. We have our own struggles, we have our own doubts, we are not superior…. we are just the same. Just as you are our patient we are someone else’s patient.

Sometimes I wonder about the thin line that makes one a patient. One day I could be the health professional, the next day I am the one being treated. Is there a clear like when you start needing treatment and giving less care?

Do you give all of yourself away? Consumed by our jobs to care, that we literally have zero cares for ourself?

Deleting someone

Imagine, if we treated someone in real life the way we treated them online. If you didn’t like someone, you just ignore when they speak yo you. If you didn’t like someone and you blocked them from all you social media accounts, basically you just built some sort of fortress or wall around your house hold to prevent them coming close to you. If only the real world was so easy to avoid the people you want to avoid. It’s so much harder, but at the same time.. it hurts so much when someone you were close to, blocks you from everything. If that pain could be measured, it would be off the rockets.

We once were friends, what happened along the way that it had to come to this?

We clutch on to what helps us keep going… doing what we can to survive, to thrive, and to feel alive.

Just like the Pill

I’ve started thinking and have been reminded of the classic song by Pink, “Just like the Pill”, in particular the lyrics ,”instead of making me feel better, you are making me ill”. Something like that…I recently just started a new medication that’s supposed to help me feel better, but I’ve been feeling so sick the last few days. From the first day I took the medication, I started getting nauseous every time I ate. Honestly couldn’t stomach any food without wanting to puke… normally if I didn’t eat it would be fine. Snacks and fruit were still fine. It’s been day four… and today my body finally said. I don’t want any food… I am feeling under the weather, and I just feel like shit. Is this something that’s worth all of these side effects in order to try feel better? What are we willing to risk to feel better mentally but at the price of being physically unwell?

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..

People are so unreliable

I’ve pretty much all but given up relying on people. It seems like everyone is fickle, unreliable, and do not take responsibility for their actions. It’s been waves of disappointments on disappointments. I am just highly disappointed in so many people. It’s so frustrating for me, that my life is made harder by unreliable and inconsistent people. I really hate people honestly. At the end of the day I am still a person, so do I hate myself too? I should just become like them. Unreliable. Useless. And a liar. It is what it is I guess.

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?

Depression

Where the world is all colours of grey, black, lacking colour.

Everything is bleak, mundane, routine, and boring.

Everyone else seems to be happy, colourful, blissful, it hurts my eyes to see.

Socialising is too hard, requires too much effort , too much energy.

You feel like you are being swallowed up in darkness and you can see no way out. How did you even get yourself here?

You feel trapped and see no way out, you can’t find a way out :(.

You forgot how to smile, how to life, how to enjoy the small things.

How to Survive Winter in Melbourne

Living through my first Winter in Melbourne, I had to make some changes 🥶… especially since I came from Adelaide which is more often than not, hotter rather than cold.

1. Get a really thick and warm quilt cover or throw. You are gonna need it if you want to he able to sleep through the night in the cold!

2. Get an electric blanket to heat up your blankets 1-2 hours before sleeping! Get the ones that auto turn off, just incase you forget to switch it off. when I get in bed, its amazing! The bed is already warmed up for you! Really feels like a kotatsu if you know what that is!!!

3. Get a nice thermos to keep hot water near you at all times! Nothing warms you up like some hot water, why drink normal room temperature ever again?

4. Get loads and loads of super moisturising handcream!!! The freezing cold makes my hands even more dry and peel than ever…:(

5. Same goes with moisturising your whole hody especially after a shower… otherwise you’ll get itchy!

6. Invest in a small portable heating fan just for the shower to help you not die of hypothermia after getting out of the shower.

7. Make sure you have plenty of fluffy towels and spares! As your towels might dry in time before the next time you need them.

8. Have plenty of instant soups or teas available when you need to be warmed up.

This is just my list of things I do to keep warm during winter! Do you guys have your own?

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…

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?

A country bumpkin at heart

Can’t believe I am almost hitting one year since I moved to Melbourne! I am almost forgetting what my life was like back in Adelaide.. what did I do at night? Where did I go on weekends?

I went to the biggest shopping centre in Melbourne today, and it was super busy… sooo difficult to find a car park :(. I didn’t remember it being this hard to find a park last time! I can’t remember when I last went… but it took me a good 30 minutes to find a park… and I took photos of where I parked just incase I forgot.

I was in a rush because I thought that the shopping centre would close at 5pm, as it does back in my hometown. However, I have since learned that it does NOT close at 5pm, but rather at 8pm on weekends. Amazing. They have learnt the secret that humans love shopping until late… it sounded surreal to me! Literally, all stores except some grocery stores close at 5 pm in Adelaide…

It still feels like a dream living in Melbourne 😌😌

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.