Catch 22 – Research Projects

When you start investigating and looking into doing research, unfortunately you will affect the circumstances that you are in.

Research has not been my strong point or forte unfortunately… I just get overwhelmed, bored, and tired of doing research. Unfortunately, as part of my residency position, I will have to complete a research project. Coming up with a project hasn’t been that difficult, but implementation and designing. Holy shit. So hard..🥲🥲🥲it’s almost been a year, yet I still haven’t been able to even start my project yet. Getting ethics has been a major road block… there are so many hurdles to jump through even before I can even go through to ethics… As a resident, my project has to go through the Education committee before going to the Research Committee, and then finally after they all disseminate my Research Expression of Interest.. then can finally go to the Ethics Committee 🥲🥲🥲🥲🥲🥲 just too hard if you ask me.

It sucks now.. the waiting game before starting the Research.. but I suppose in a years time… maybe I will be pretty happy with where I have ended up? Perhaps I would have finished/close to finishing my research project..

WHO KNOWS

Am I going to make a difference in the world? Maybe not?

I love my project… yet I also hate it with passion. How I long to be a normal employee without all the additional responsibilities, research, and expectations… Yet, I know this is a stepping stone for something greater. Something better. Who knows

Day 2 Post Pfizer Covid Vaccine

It’s been about 36 hours after I received my first dose of the Pfizer Covid Vaccine. I have to say, I felt fine right after it.. no anaphylaxis, no pain, all was well. But progressively through out the day, the pain in my left arm (where I got it done), became more and more noticeable. Throughout the day, I began feeling more tired than usual and I was getting some difficulties breathing/coughing. I mean, I do have to say I have asthma and Hayfever, but I am not sure if it was due to the vaccine.. but I did notice this.

12 hours post vaccine I was noticing I was incredibly sleepy, tired, and fatigued, but at night I had RSVP’ed to badminton so I forced myself to go exercise, but the pain in my left arm was intense. I got home and couldn’t do much more, everything felt so hard and difficult to do.

I eventually got ready for bed, and that’s when I noticed the pain of my left arm, I could not sleep on my left side at all due to the pain

24 hours post vaccination, I woke up with a massive headache, almost like I was hungover or something… the whole body lethargic feeling was incredibly strong. I contemplated whether or not I should go to work, I was worried about falling asleep at the wheel or making mistakes at work. I decided i would call in sick and also let them know I had just received my first dose of the covid vaccine.

I was given an informational leaflet by the vaccination staff which had a QR code in which I could record side effects from the vaccine. I recorded exactly what I have just typed out above and also stated what treatments I have used to help with the symptoms.

After resting in bed for most of the day, I am feeling slightly better. I am taking 2x paracetamol regularly to help with the pain, body aches, and fevers. I am trying to keep very hydrated and to eat healthy.

Fingers crossed the worst is over! I have been told if my symptoms persist till tomorrow, I may need a covid swab to ensure I haven’t been exposed to the virus…

Freedom

Freedom again.. so we finished our five day lock down on Thursday as promised by our prime minister. The taste of freedom is both exhilarating and also feels foreign, almost wrong… going in and out of lockdowns makes you feel on the edge… when will the next one be? Do you enjoy your freedom now and pay the consequences later? What if you go to a hotspot accidentally?

The constant anxiety of not knowing is both scary and yet exciting times to be in.

I wish I could be part of the Covid Vaccination team… but I am not sure.. I am still undergoing my residency training now and I am not sure how it would work..

I am glad that a vaccine is out, I wonder how the world is going to look like once we are vaccinated. Is social distancing here to stay?

Melbourne lockdown #3

Yesterday afternoon, we were all told that at midnight the entire state of Victoria will be plunged back to a Stage Four lockdown for five days. This was in response to another leak of Coronavirus from someone in Hotel Quarantine.. if they know that these returned travellers are at a high risk of having Covid-19, why aren’t the rooms better ventilated? In this case, the returned traveller had asthma and was using a nebuliser to help him breathe… It was well known since the first lockdown that all nebulisers in hospital were strongly discouraged due to the risk of droplets of covid being spread. Instead, using the puffer was recommended to be used through a spacer instead.

Obviously, you do the obvious.. you go out and enjoy the last few hours of freedom. The freedom of not having to wear a mask outside, being able to dine in restaurants, being able to play badminton and going shopping… I did what I miss most, playing badminton with friends ☺️

It’s bittersweet and a little depressing to go from almost normal back to being in lockdown. I am just hoping and praying it will only be for five days and that we can go back to “normal”.

The rules that are in place until Midnight on Wednesday the 17th of Feb:

We can only leave work for four essential reasons:

1. Work/Study that can’t be done from home.

2. Caring for someone or getting medical attention.

3. Essential shopping for groceries/pharmacy/etc.

4. 2 hours of exercise a day.

Other rules come back, non-essential retail stores must be closed. Masks must be worn at all times except for strenuous exercise or if they have a medical condition.

We also cannot travel more than 5km to go shopping for groceries, unless the nearest shop is more than 5km away.

No visitors are allowed to your home, unless it’s your intimate partner.

All indoors/outdoor sports are not allowed, unless you are an professional.

I am not sure if there is a ‘curfew’ like last time, but there isn’t much to do anyways.

Also, there are no visitors allowed in Hospital or Nursing homes unless in special circumstances.

Fingers crossed Melbourne 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

Returning Home to Adelaide

Coming back to Adelaide for the first time since I left was weird… at times it felt like nothing had changed… but underneath the surface, when you looked a little closer, things has definitely changed.

Since I made the move to Melbourne in August, my friend had a baby, 2 of my friends separated from their partners, my sister finally moved into their new home, my dad was diagnosed with diabetes….my brother bought an ipad for $13!! Houses have been built, buildings have been knocked down, many shops have been forced to close, the covid-19 situation leaves its sting on each business. There are QR codes at each business so that people can check in.

My home hasn’t changed … it’s still as messy and full of hoarded stuff.. everytime I see it, I feel sad.. I feel like I want to clean it up, but it’s not really up to me to tell my parents they need to start throwing away…. for example, I tried washing my clothes this morning and the Washing Machine started shaking, vibrating, and stopped working completely… I had to HANDWASH every item and I know I did a shit job. Lol. Haven’t handwashed anything in forever. I dont even have a bucket to do that in Melbourne.. and of course we don’t have a dryer so some of my clothes are still wet 😅😅😅….

My pet turtle is hugeeee now!! Maybeeeee coz I haven’t seen her for so long!! But she looks hugeee! I am so sure my dad is feeeding her wayyy too much.

My little nephew is as cute as ever!! He has been growing taller and since he has started walkingc he has been losing his baby fat! No longer the chubby baby I once knew! He can saw random words on demand..i.e. the colour BLUE, the name EMMA (the yellow wiggle), and the numbers 8 and 9.

It’s weird feeling like a stranger in your own home, I feel like a guest, but then I also feel like I am not. Hard to explain.

Was this whirlwind last minute trip worth it? Definitely… I just hope there won’t be any last minute breakouts which mean I have to immediately self-isolate or quarantine when I head back to Melbourne… fingers and toes are crossed.

Now, let’s all enjoy that weird time between Christmas and New years.

Cheers to a better year in 2021 🥂

Life is like a box of setbacks

Each time I feel like I have finally taken a step forward, I make the same mistake and end up 10 steps back to where I started. With each set back, the pain grows, yet I am starting to feel numb inside…Making the same mistake again and again, it frustrates me that I haven’t learnt my lesson. I feel frustrated in myself. Angry. Sad. Why can’t they just cut me some slack? Why do I always feel like I get the harshest critics watching over me like a hawk with no mercy?

I sound like I am asking to be pitied and I guess in a way I am. I am pitiful in my plight to get it easy. Nothing was ever given to me on a plate. I’ve always had to work so, freaking hard for everything that I have ever put my hand to.

I don’t know why I am complaining, but I just want to let the world know how I felt..

I felt a bit down after work today after another set back on my 100 items competency…I had made it to 82 last Friday and I had my fingers and toes crossed that today would be THE DAY that I reached 100 items and get to be fully fledged as the pharmacist I already am and being able to focus on more important things I need to do. I wonder if my lack of concentration is due to my anxiety to finish this as soon as possible, the lack of iron, or the restless sleep I have.

One day, I hope I. will look back and say, ” I am glad you didn’t give up otherwise you wouldn’t be where you are now”.

Until then, I say to myself, “Just keep swimming”. (Said in Dory’s voice xD)

Self-fulfilling prophecies

Have you ever been a negative nelly and you believed something bad was going to happen, and when it did you announced. “I told you so!”

How much did our attitude to that problem, situation contribute to what happened?

If you always feel like your partner is going to chest on you, so you are suspicious of every female friend they hang out with…and you accuse him of flirting at every opportunity. Maybe your behaviour contributed to his decision to cheat. He was called a cheat, so might as well do it right?

I am not sure if I am making any sense at all.. I woke up around 5 and couldn’t fall back asleep… I was too cold. Most of the time, I am too hot when I sleep. Life is so hard.

P.S. todays cover photo is of some Frozen Taiyaki I found in my local Asian grocery store :0 $3 for 5 mini ones. A bargain 🤣🤣. I put two in the air fryer for about 5 minutes and it’s super crispy and DELICIOUS. Unhealthy probably but delicious. I am craving one now.. but its like 7am. Lol.

Anyways, in conclusion. We have to acknowledge that we have past preconceptions and assumptions about people and their behaviour. Because men and women are not all the same. Stereotyping people and situations doesn’t help. It should make you more alert, but sometimes the ending can be different. And hence I end thid somewhat sleep deprived chat here.

Stages of starting a new job

Night before first day: *Can’t sleep. Too excited/nervous/omfg. (Also can’t wait to start so you can start earning some $$ again )

First day. Wake up wayyyy tooo early. Sleep deprived. Wear a cake of make up and do your hair.. then you remembered you have to wear a mask.. and ruin face. Dress nicely in your freshly ironed clothes and clean polished shoes. Paid for expensive AF visitor parking for a short orientation. Get a mugshot of you taken as if you were a criminal on. your badge. Try to remember the names of all the people you met…then later realise u forgot to ask about how to use the staff carpark.

Week 2: You learnt from the first week that you don’t need to do makeup on your whole face. Just half will do. Clothes? They don’t need ironing right? They will become wrinkled anyways… you bond with the other newstarters.. only they seem to understand your pain and stress from being the “Noob” at work .;(.

Week 3: Let’s just do the eyebrows… everything else comes off anyways. They won’t notice if I wear the same thing twice in a week… right? At this stage you have made some friends, but also some enemies at work. Avoid those who hate in you and just remember it’s alright. You sort of know what you are doing.. kind of. You’ve made a bit of a routine at work. What snacks to get.. the free coffee and tomatoe soup. You got this :0

Week 4.. ? To be continued

It is okay to have burger rings for breakfast

…every now and then anyways.

Woke up feeling shi* this morning with a splitting headache… my mouth has been super dry lately and I suspect it had something to do with the Asthma Preventative Inhalers I take… I do rinse my mouth out after each use.. but I still managed to get something called Oral Thrush 😦 thus is basically a fungal infection of the mouth which causes your tongue and maybe the side of your cheeks to become white and patch.. and for me … it’s hard to swallow and in addition to that I have several mouth ulcers…

I don’t think I’ve been taking care of myself as well as I should… it’s hard. We are in the middle of a pandemic and in stage four lock down in Melbourne… I have to follow by the rules.. and that means only been able to eat and drink during designated break times… which often ai will skip if it is too busy. Stress sucks :(.

But anyways, I digress. So I was feeling shi* this morning and because I woke up several times in the night.. I slept in till about 11am? My mouth was super dry and I was always thirsty, even though I drank water! My appetite wasn’t there anymore… I just craved something soft and tasty. I looked in my cupboard.. and ALAS. The Burger Rings which I got on sale for $1 at Woolies.

Should I? It’s breakfast for goodness sake…. screw if. Imma adult now and if I want to have Burger rings for breakfast .. I am going to have it. For those who might not know, Burger Rings are these ring shaped (clearly) orange/brownish delicious snacks packed with Burger Flavour (whatever that is). They are sooo addictive and tasty. I demolished a whole bag 🤣🙃. Guilty pleasure. Yup. Did it hurt my ulcers? Yup. Was it good for me? Nope. Do you think I would do it again?. Yup. But everything in moderation and I don’t have any left anyways..

Anyways, I better sleep.. big day tomorrow ..training is over and the real Residency starts. Wish me luck and also please remind me to buy some oral anti fungal drops…!

P.S. cover photo is of the Japanese Curry I cooked today which I will eat for the next few days 🤣🤣🤣

Treating yourself Kindly

I find that I am the harshest critic upon myself… when faced with uncertainty, I often doubt myself.. my qualifications and my ability to get the job done.

Amongst other things, I am quick to compare myself to others and hence, usually feel bad for myself. 😔😔 But what for? Everyone is different, unique, and has their own journey. There isn’t any point comparing your journey to someone else’s. That’s what I SHOULD think.. but anyway, other people will do it, even if you don’t.

But you just gotta drown that thought out and don’t pay attention. Just do your best! That’s all you can do. 😊

Week five of our stage 4 lockdown… we are due for review on September 13th.! Fingers and toes crossed we will have some restrictions lifted ✌️✌️🤞🤞🤞

Episode Three of Working in Melbourne up!

I haven’t been very consistent with the naming of the podcast .. is it even a podcast? More like a lazy way to diary my life… my sad Iso-life.

Click here for Episode Three!

I promise to write a proper blog post soon! P.S. adulting achievement unlocked! Finally managed to make the skin on my salmon CRISPY!! 😍😍😍

Podcast Updated!

Super tired today.. but thought I would let you know I’ve updated my podcast!!! Yesterday night none the less.. may explain why I am exhausted today. Mondayitis. It’s a real thing.

https://anchor.fm/matoko-matsumoto/episodes/Working-in-Melbourne–Part-2-eisa4e

^ click above

Communal Laundry

So the thing about having a communal laundry means..you can’t just do your laundry whenever and wherever you want. You gotta lift all your clothes down to the washing machine.. and then load multiple loads coz it’s sooo small. You then set your timer so that you know when to come and take it out of the machine. But for some reason, it always takes longer so you are just waiting around.

I just want to whinge lol. But i am getting better.. its 2 pm and I am down to my last load! Woo hoo

The benefits and pains of wearing a facemasks

Since I have come to Melbourne I have been wearing a mask daily and have made a list of the unexpected perks and slightly irritations from wearing a mask.

Benefits:

Obviously to protect yourself and others from coronavirus …

Covers up pimples

Don’t need make up on bottom half of the face

Protection from the sun?

Don’t have to fake smile at people

Don’t have to talk to people if you don’t want

Can look happy or sad secretly

Can yawn whenever and people can’t tell discreetly

Could possibly eat things that smell bad and people won’t be able to tell

Less people smoking in public!

Makes some people look better

Not so good things about masks:

If you don’t have one on (because you want to drink water or eat a snack), you feel guilty and that people look at you weirdly.

I can’t snack as much as I would want.

As above, I’ve been drinking less water. 😦

No one can hear me when I talk and I can’t hear other people.

I can’t tell who is talking to me :(.

Can’t recognise people in general.

The mask plus the faceshield really fogs up the shield or any glasses I am wearing…

Face gets itchy ..

What I have learnt from wearing a mask for 3 weeks:

Feels so good to not wear a mask at home!

You really have to stare at people’s eyes to try tell if they are smiling or not…

It is fascinating to see how people look under their mask…so many people look so much better with their mask on..weirdly! Or maybe it’s because they only put eye make up on? ? ahahahha…

On a different note, I have to collect something from the post-office because I wasn’t home to collect the delivery…sadly their hours of operation are seriously cutting it close to the time I am able to collect it. FINGERS CROSSED I will be able to get it post work tomorrow.

Today was my first day at the hospital in whcih I will be at for the next six months…I am still feeling quite shy and cautious about all the differences that I may face while working at the hospital…however, there are quite a few pharmacists from overseas…I am assuming that would be more different?!

I hope tomorrow I will make more progress and be more confidence and be able to contribute more to the team…

Work Orientation

I was too tired yesterday to update sorry…spent most of the night trying to finish some online training before the live Webinar we had today starting at 7:30am 💤💤. My sleep pattern has been terrible lately!! If it’s not the traffic, it’s just myself waking up at like 1am .. after an epic dream and then go back to sleep 3am..*thinking shit is it time to get up?* .. oh still got three hours… then 5am.. same thing.. by the time my alarm goes off at 6:30am I am sooo tired.. i struggled majorly to get up. Luckily, today we were working from home the whole day!

However, on Monday we had to get to the Hospital for a 8am start. As I didn’t have a carpark permit yet, I parked in the visitors carpark… and made my way through to the front entrance of the hospital… when I went in there was a staff member asking if I was a patient, visitor, or a staff member and I said “Staff”.and she’s like where are you working?? And, for some reason, I felt like I was a fraud. Like I was faking being a staff member.. because I haven’t got my ID badge as of yet… anyways, eventually she pointed me towards the staff entrance, I was asked a few questions and the kind lady at the front asked me where i worked.. and I said, “actually I am not sure, it’s my first day 😂”. She was kind enough to direct me to the right way. I also forgot to mention, they had this infared (?) thermal scanning screen that allowed them and everyone else to see your temperature when you walked pass it.. interestingly, my temperature was quite low as usual..

Anyways, we put our bags away.. got a quick tour of the dispensary… and then went to get our ID badges taken. The security guards here did not take it with a normal camera. They used an existing security camera on the roof and told us to go against the wall (which I did not hear) and look up. I had no idea when he was taking the photo, but let’s just say they aren’t the best at taking photos. I think this is my WORST ID badge ever. LoL. I look sooo freaking ugly and chubby… 😆 coz I was wayyy too close to the camera.. As they wanted people to be socially distanced from one another while waiting to talk to security they had an X in the floor and I stood at the X instead if going back against the wall.. :(.

I am disappointed, but life goes on. The same caveat is, I finally got my parking permit.. which is added onto your swipe card. I am glad.. because for that two hour parking at the visitor’s carpark cost me $18..!!!😱😱😱… and also, apparently we will also get name tags!!!! I haven’t had one in agessssss.. since I worked in community pharmacy a longggg time ago.

Excited. Yes. Well anyways, after getting those horrible ID badges.. we were taken for a small tour of the hospital.. we were shown the staff tea break area…and how we have to sign in with a QR code for contact tracing purposes if a Covid breakout were to occur.. and then we also went next door to the childrens hospital and had a quick visit to the pharmacy there too. After that, we were to go home and continue our orientation online through an online general orientation.

And that folks is how I spent the last two days. I have to say, I am exhausted..and we haven’t even started work properly yet!! So, I will try enjoy it as much as I can!

Upon reflection, I think I had an interview here for a pharmacy placement once. I was so desperate as a student to get hospital experience , that I applied to do a four week placement (where you don’t get paid) in Melbourne and flew there to attend a face to face interview. The interview went fine, but unfortunately they said they would give first preference to students from Melbourne universities… fair enough.. I kinda knew, but wanted fo go anyways 😂. I remember at that time, I also stayed with the same aunt that I stayed with this time. It was meant to be. Maybe.