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7th November 2008
Bacon makes everything better
Had some : pumpkin/haricot bean soup
from the lovely New Covent Garden Food Co, thought it tasted a little bland, so added strips of bacon - instant success! ^^
Last time Andrew worked in the States I survived on a pitta bread/hommous diet (cooking for one is the most boring thing on the planet, I just can't be bothered - not to mention the one time I cooked for real this time, I ended up eating chilli for one week, 2 meals a day. It was some tasty chilli, but still - was pretty sick of it by the end of that!). This time I've subsisted on a bread/soup combo - well, at least it has given me incentive to try out quite a few of the different flavours made by NCG...
Have a bad cold again - my second in five weeks... not impressed, especially since I just stopped coughing from the last one! Been fine for 7 months, then I swapped to a new hospital - it seems the new bugs coupled with the fact that the A/C is on constantly in the dispensary (it's an old building - they had an ant problem, and if the place isn't kept cool/cold, they might come back...) has not done me any favours! Went to work yesterday, but only managed to do one ward before I admitted defeat and went back home.
Andrew said: "Well, you had a cold when I left, and you have one when I come back, it's almost like I wasn't gone at all."
Oh, and story from the tearoom: One of the techs, who takes care of her 3-year-old grandson a few days a week, had taken him on a shopping trip in town, and bought him a light sabre (saber?), which he was proudly swinging in the Jedi-style, accompanied by the sounds one expects. Anyways, they went to the bank (he opened the door by pushing the button with the saber), and as they are standing in line, he brandishes the sword and shouts at the top of his lungs: "I AM A SHITE IN KNIGHING ARMOUR!
" One of the tellers reply: "We don't get many of them in here..."
31st October 2008
Because there isn't enough cute in my life...
...so I've started playing the : HKO Founder's Beta
. Cuteness overload!
Pottering about, stunning
creatures (no killing! That wouldn't be cute!), gathering all sorts of things (you get exp for gathering stuff! I'm in heaven!), and apparently I'll be getting my very own farm in a bit as well...
14th October 2008
I've got study time and am supposed to use it to prepare a case presentation of a patient with Acute Coronary Syndrome. So obviously I'm posting to LJ instead... :
I'm not a complete slacker though - I've read most (and skimmed the rest) of the background reading material, started to do the presentation, and helped the module manager out in sorting access to the MCQs we all have to do (where did he get my mobile number though, where?! And how lucky is he that I even remembered where my mobile was in the first place... I think this was the first time in a long while I even made it to the phone before it was diverted to my answerphone service).
It's funny how attractive everything else suddenly seems when you have something you should
be doing - the dishes got done without my usual dawdling, the washer is on, and I'm even considering *gasp* sorting some paperwork for the course!
5th October 2008
Andrew left this morning to go to the USA to work again. He'll be back on November 8th, which is in 34 days (not that I'm keeping count or anything...). :
It's not too bad, yet... I think it'll hit me when I go to bed tonight - I don't like sleeping on my lonesome, especially not when you're used to having someone else around. It's usually at night I realise how quiet it is when you are on your own - it's amazing how many small noises another person makes!
2nd October 2008
I am not a tidy person
Today we got a letter from our letting agent telling us we need to clean our flat. :
I find this condescending and very upsetting. I am not a tidy person. In our bedroom, you will find clothes on the floor (mostly his), or draped over the bottom of the bedframe (mostly mine). You'll find our bedside table (and probably bits of the floor beneath it) littered with books.
You'll find DVDs, yarn, needles, works-in-progress and other bits and bobs around our living room, and yes, most of our mail can probably be found around our PCs where we've opened it.
There's dust. There's a packet of Jaffa cakes on the kitchen counter rather than put away in a kitchen cupboard.
Yes, there are still boxes with stuff in them in the second bedroom, stuff we haven't got a place for, nor really use, so yeah, we should probably go through it and chuck stuff out. There is also a huge wardrobe in there, filled with clothes, bed linen, yarn, towels etc etc, and two large bookcases crammed with books. This room the letting agents call "filled with junk" - excuse me, what gives them the right to label our possessions as junk? There's no garbage in there, or broken things, or any of the other things that I would label as "junk".
We haven't damaged the floors in any way - we even bought a floor protector for the office chairs we use in front of the computers. We haven't made any new holes in the walls, or scratched the walls or damaged them in any other way. We don't leave garbage in the flat - when the kitchen bin is empty, we take it out to the bin shed. We always pay the rent on time and we aren't damaging the property.
What right have they to impose their idea of "acceptable tidiness" on us? It makes me feel like I'm a bum, who hasn't washed in about a year (I took a shower yesterday, actually), and who wears stinky unwashed clothes (I'm not very fashionable, perhaps, but my motto is "whole and clean"), and who doesn't wash my hands when I've been to the toilet (eewww, the mere thought of not doing that makes me sick).
I've sent an email to the letting agents telling them we don't want them carrying out any inspections without us present in the future. If they have something to say, they can say it to our faces. We'll see how well that goes down, I guess.
7th September 2008
What we did this weekend...
First we went to London, : where Andrew made new friends.
However, he just had to say that one smartass comment, and [this
is what happened then!
Rest of that day was spent buying stuff (possibly yarn, I deny everything), and listening to a talk (which I enjoyed immensely, I'm not sure what the bf thought - he managed to get the one chair that a) was a bit wobbly and b) was placed underneath the one hole in the ceiling, and it was raining outside to begin with).
Today I've mostly been watching DVDs whilst finishing this
, however, it doesn't look very appealing like that, so I spent another hour blocking it out.
And yes, those are two of my toes. I also made bread, but that makes for boring photo material.
Oh yeah! I also finished a pair of socks
on the train down to London. The colourway makes me happy ^^
14th June 2008
He is coming home today! :
>>>End of Message<<<
7th June 2008
Called my grandma yesterday, because it was her 78th birthday. We were talking about this and that, and she asked me what I am knitting at the moment, so I told her, and then I reciprocated by asking what she's working on just now. :
She was quiet for just a second, and then she said in a kind of soft voice: "I don't knit anymore. One of my fingers hurt too much when I do it, so I just can't do it any more." I just didn't know what to say - grandma has always knitted. It was one of those moments, I guess, when it just kind of hits you that they are growing old. Intellectually, you know it, but emotionally, you just assume things will be like they've always been. I just can't imagine a world without them, and strange as it may sound, my world changed a bit hearing that my gran is now limited in what she can do. It may not seem like much - but my grandma has always been big on doing crafty things - she's always been sewing, knitting, weaving etc etc, it's such an integral part of what she is.
We're going to the north for a few days when we go to Sweden this summer. It'll mean a lot of travelling, since we'll be driving back with my parents, but I think it'll be worth it.
In other news, I went to Whitby with two of my friends from work today. The weather wasn't the best, but it wasn't raining, and it was reasonably warm. We had a lovely day at the sea front, ate some fish & chips, went along the streets of this little town, which apparently is the place where Bram Stoker wrote Dracula. This might have been common knowledge to everyone else, but it was news to me!
Oh, and Andrew will be home next week. :D
6th June 2008
Bits and bobs
I lifted a bag lying under a desk at work, and from under it scurried a spider. Being slightly (OK, quite) afraid of these kinds of disgusting critters, and being surprised to boot, I might have emitted a shriek. :
Which caused one of my colleagues at the next desk to yell an expletive best not repeated in polite company, because she thought I'd spotted a rat - which she
happens to be afraid of.
In the middle stands another colleague, looking bemused at our reactions, whilst the rest of the department piles in to see what was going on.
Ah well, at least the adrenaline rush woke me up - sorely needed after I was bleeped at 3.20am. I woke up, without my brain switched on, and wondered why the hell I was awake. Do I need the loo? Is it time to get up for work? What is that incessant beeping noise? ...oh.
@Ellmyruh: He told me he's going across to see you - hope you'll have fun! ^^ He's the scrawny, bald one. As my colleagues at work tend to say when I describe Andrew: "You make him sound so attractive!" Well. He is - but there's no denying he's also scrawny and bald! :P
To finish off - a little story my mum told me:
They were driving with my nieces and nephew in the car, when a bus cut in front of them, narrowly missing hitting them. Of course my mother was livid, but mindful of the children, I think she refrained from swearing too much, and only referred to what she would have liked to do to the bus driver as "showing him the finger". A couple of minutes of fuming "I should have showed him the finger!", Meja, my eldest niece at 5, pipes up from the backseat: "Don't worry, grandma, I showed him my foot!"
Well, that showed him!
30th May 2008
My mother phoned me yesterday. Apparently my 9-year-old nephew is under investigation for suspected ADHD (that sentence makes it sound as if he's a criminal or something... not quite sure how else to put it in English though). :
So she calls me and tells me this, and somehow she thinks I'll know everything about it and be able to tell her that it's alright and everything will be fine... except how could I? I don't know much about it, so I can definitely not tell her that everything is alright, and what I do know about the medications that are sometimes used is not exactly going to calm her, since a majority of them are controlled drugs - or, as they are called in Sweden - "narcotics". Yeah, that'll soothe her fears, alright.
*sigh* Sometimes it just sucks living in a different country from your family.
In cheerier news, my cousin is getting married, so Andrew & I will be doing another trip to Japan next year.
28th May 2008
17.17 - Shut down PC, tidy desk for the day. :
17.18 - Turn on bleep for on-call tonight.
17.19 - Bleep goes off. *sigh* Is it too much to ask for to at least get home and get some dinner? Now I'm stood here waiting for bloody transport coming to pick this stuff up and ferry it across to where it needs to go - I would try and go there myself, if I had a sense of direction. But I don't, and I don't fancy driving round and round with increasing desperation trying to find my way... so here I stand.
*Update* Taxi guy finally showed up... and I handed him the sealed bag to go to the Hospice.
He just looked at me and went: "So, what's the address?" Uhm... So I ask him to wait and I'll go check, go back into the pharmacy to get a phone and phone switchboard to ask them.
I get the directions, which apparently they had already told the taxi people when they phoned to book the car, and I go back out to tell the guy this. Except... he's gone. I go out to look for him, and there's not a taxi in sight, so he either a) suddenly had an epiphany on how to get there or b) took off to sell the goods on the black market.
If it was b) - could you let me know if you are offered some Slow-K* for what seems too cheap to be true? :P
*modified release preparation of potassium. Oh boy, will he be disappointed if he did try and flog it. :D
22nd May 2008
"A beloved child has many names"
...is a proverb in Sweden, not sure if there is an English equivalent. But it's what I thought of when I came across a list of names for cannabis, found during some research for a query from a Macmillan nurse regarding her patient's use of the substance and whether or not this may interact with his other medications. :
So I consulted Martindale, to check whether they had any information. And they do - well, at least in the name department, it truly boggles the mind:( ZOMG,Collapse )
I think some of my favourites are "The Shit That Killed Elvis" and "Assassin of Youth". ^^
2nd May 2008
...are strange beings. :
How does one explain dreaming about the Director of Pharmacy (that is, my boss), being in my flat, sneaking behind my back to eat slices of the pies I'm making (why am I even making pies? I don't like pies!), and then submerging the rest of the pies under water.
And why am I trying to salvage these pies by taking them out of the water, and draining them? And how on Earth do they end up fine after that? (only to be chucked back in the water by that sneaky Director!)
Oh, and I also made pepperoni pizza in my dream. Only, when I turned my back for a millisecond, that Director was there again, and HE ATE ALL THE PEPPERONI!! Seriously. I cannot look at the man the same way again at work >.
31st March 2008
Got an email from the parents in Japan... things are quite different over there, I must say. :
Don't know what the customs are where you live, but in Sweden a funeral doesn't take much longer than half a day or so - the ceremony itself maybe an hour or two, and then usually a gathering afterwards where they serve either coffee/cake or small snack type food.
In Japan they first have a wake, when you light incense and things like that, and you also view the body (again - not sure if that always happens back home... don't think it does). Then dad told me the ceremony itself will only be a small family/close relatives affair... "it'll only take two days and we've declined participation from Miwako's (my aunt) and Atsuo's (my aunt's husband) workplaces, and I've also declined participation from Sumitomo (the company my dad's company is an agent for)". I mean... that would never happen in Sweden - that you'd get representatives from the work places of the relations' of the departed. Possibly you'd get work colleagues that had personally known the deceased, but nothing else really.
I wonder how my mother will hold up - she didn't do too well at grandma's funeral... Japanese ceremonies usually consist of long periods sitting in seiza
, and she had to be excused. I don't blame her, it's hard to maintain over a longer period of time if you aren't used to it. Her email betrays her worries about my father, who in typical Japanese style is keeping up an unaffected front, but she says he is suddenly complaining about aches and pains in his neck and shoulders. Anyone else think "psychosomatic issues" here?
As for myself I'm not too bad... as long as I don't dwell on it, I'm ok. But every mention of it leaves me in tears, I think I'm fine, then someone asks something that means I have to explain or talk about it, and before I know it I'm crying again.
27th March 2008
My mother just phoned to tell me my paternal grandfather, min farfar, watashino ojiichan, has passed away. :
Two nights ago my dad phoned me to tell me ojiichan had been admitted to hospital. From being completely independent and living on his own, he collapsed, was kept sedated, went into acute renal failure, oxygen mask to breathe, catheterised... you name it.
Yesterday dad phoned to tell me they were only giving him hours to live. He survived the night.
Today, 23.42 Japanese time, he left us.
My parents leave for Japan tomorrow.
I'm so glad we met him in January, when he was still the way he's always been ever since I was born, and that my last memory of him is a happy one. You know it'll happen, but you still don't know it.
18th November 2007
I'm on-call this weekend, which is terribly bad timing. Got loads of things to do for my uni course and to prepare (read: Clean the flat) before my parents get here on Friday. :
To make matters worse, I have spent the last 25-30 mins just waiting for a ward to come pick up the medication they requested from me earlier - apparently the porters don't deliver on a Saturday, and the ward staff seems to either forget to come pick it up or whatever. Such a bloody waste of my time!
Ah well... I can always browse the internet whilst I twiddle my thumbs, and get the time back as time & and a half... so: 30 mins of internet surfing = 45 minutes of time in lieu... I'd rather have spent it at home, though!
10th November 2007
I saw some wool I liked for the cardi I plan on knitting for Andrew on the Woolfest we went to back in June, but didn't have enough cash to purchase it there and then. It is from a farm in Scotland, a woman selling yarn made from the fleece of her own sheep, undyed and unbleached. I hadn't got round to contacting her until this week, but on my enquiry she promptly posted off 18 balls of "black" Shetland wool (actually the yarn is dark brown, but I guess that is like the way our cat is a colour called "blue", when everyone can see he's gray). :
She doesn't know me. I have never bought anything from her before. Still, she trusted me to send off a cheque on receipt of the parcel. I like it that there's still people like that in the world (and yes, I sent the cheque off today, same day I received the yarn).
And it's lovely yarn... it's a good thing I don't have the required needle size I need, or I would be tempted to abandon dad's scarf to cast on!
1st November 2007
Why do they bother specialising?
As part of my diploma course I have to do case presentations, ie choose interesting patient, follow their care and my input in same, and then present results. We've got a certain number of conditions to choose from, and since I'm on a elderly/gastro-ward, I thought it might be suitable for me to choose one of the gastro conditions (dyspepsia (incl. GORD), peptic ulcer disease, inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome). :
What seemed like a logical decision has turned out to be a nightmare... I've got to have chosen a patient tomorrow latest, and on my ward There. Are. No. Patients. With. Any. Of. The. Conditions. I couldn't believe it! We had plenty of cancers of various kinds, some alcoholic liver diseases and one post-operative complications patient, but not a single peptic ulcer in sight! No worries, right? There are two other hospitals in the trust, and the biggest one just happens to have a ward dedicated to gastro patients. So I went there on my study leave today. They haven't got a single patient with any of the conditions either (there was a measly oesophagal ulcer, that's as close as it got). I don't know. It feels like the world is against me or something.
I think I'm going to have to rethink my strategy and go for something else... probably something cardiovascular - I'd like to see The World try and stop me from finding a patient suffering from either angina, heart failure or hypertension! Whether said patient will be interesting or not, though... *sigh*
25th October 2007
Sitting here trying to fill in the blanks in my "learning contract" for the two modules I'm currently taking as part of my post grad diploma course. Can't help but feel it's all hogwash. A waste of my time. An exercise in futility. If I by some miracle manage to fill it in and get it approved - what are the chances of me following it? Approx. zero. :
Give me something real to do! Screw this wishy-washy task! It is not how I roll.
15th October 2007
Snippet from the ward
Two nurses were discussing a patient on the ward today. The lady had a bite mark on her back, and one the nurses was explaining how this came about. It turned out the patient had bitten herself on the back, as it were. :
Apparently the patient in question was dissatisfied with the time it took for a nurse to respond to her call, so she had taken her dentures, dropped them down the back of her shift, and leaned back in the chair, then pointed at the nurse and shouted: "THIS IS WHAT YOU GET FOR NOT COMING TO ME FIRST!"
The mind boggles.
I then had another encounter with the gentleman that wanted to stab his son but loved the staff. He came up to me very eagerly and asked: "Do you have a slice of bread?" - this accompanied by him drawing a square in the air, in case I was in any doubt as to what shape of bread he required.
"No, I'm sorry, I'm just from pharmacy, I don't have any bread."
"I have only got salad
in there (pointing towards his room), they not give me bread!"
"Sorry, I don't have any bread either, in fact I don't have any food on me, I'm just a pharmacist."
At this point he looked at me sadly before continuing:
"I don't have any bread, only salad! Can you give me a slice of bread?"
This continued back and forth for a while with me trying to get him to go into his room while I went to get a nurse for him, and he complaining that he couldn't go in there since there was only salad and NO BREAD (yes, I got that little nugget of information a while ago, thank you), until finally a nurse spotted us and took pity on me and the breadless gentleman.
13th October 2007
Tales from the Cry... ehm, Hospital
Went up to my ward yesterday (a Gastro/Medical ward, btw, with all the accompanying lovely smells that crop up every now and then...). No new patients, so anticipated a quiet hour or so going over prescription charts. What greeted me, however, was a "gentleman" in one of the siderooms shouting his head off at the nurses. Now, this man is not British, and his English is limited, however, this does not extend to his vocabulary of swearwords ^^ :
Mind you, he wasn't abusive at the nurses - the subject of his vitriol was his son, who he was going to "fucking stab", since he wasn't taking care of his kitty well enough. This led me to wonder - could the kitty in question be the one Mrs P., another inpatient, was trying to feed a biscuit with cheese the other day. The little bugger resisted her beckonings, by the way, in big part because... it was a figment of her imagination.
Anyways, back to Mr C., the angry little man with, it seems, a less than cordial relationship with his son (no wonder, really - I read his notes, and I cannot believe anyone would stay out of touch with their parent long enough for him to deteriorate to the point he was at before he was admitted. Not to go into their much detail, but there were maggots involved). Confusion is a lovely thing; once the nurses had got him through his morning bath, and got his pajamas changed, he was filled with love and benevolence, professing his undying devotion to everyone and everything.
Crisis thus averted, I went down to the dispensary to cover, only to find out that I was the only pharmacist present. It's good exercise being the only one - you are constantly running from one end of the pharmacy to the other.( The evil pharmacist strikes again!Collapse )
31st August 2007
Today is my last day at work before my 2-week holiday! And it's only a half-day to boot, so in about 4 hrs I'll be free ^^ I cannot remember the last time I had all of two weeks off in a row (apart from when I was unemployed, but then I was depressed as well, so I don't count that... paid holidays are so much more... ehm, enjoyable!). :
Also, I haven't been home to visit since Christmas, and we only had a few days then, since I could only get about 4 days off from work, so I'm superexcited. :D We're spending a week in Stockholm (or rather less than that, actually, since my parents are taking us on a trip down south), and then a week with my grandparents up in the very north of Sweden. I haven't been in at least 3-4 years, have only seen my grandparents when they've been to Stockholm, and Andrew's never been to the north, so that's kind of exciting as well.
My usual hodge-podge packing style has been employed (ie find things I want to bring, and throw them in case any which way, resulting in either way too much being brought of one thing, and not enough of another), so I'm all set to go!
Oh, and in other news I've recently heard one of my favourite manga/animes/live actions is being made into a movie! I figured I've mentioned this everywhere else in the world, so why should LJ be the exception? :P Hana Yori Dango, summer 2008. I cannot wait! (yes, they keep telling me I'm 28, and I just cannot believe it :P)
28th August 2007
Actually not so bad...
At the end of last week and this week they've actually let me do some real work, answering some real queries and stuff like that, which has increased my enthusiasm for Medicines information considerably. :
The phone will kill me though. I was a wreck this morning trying to remember to write down all the information needed (and forgetting something more often than not), or starting to write down information just to realise the person on the other end only wanted to leave a message for someone else...
Wow! High adventure and drama in the world of the hospital! An auxilliary nurse holding her ward hostage to terror - putting notes on PCs saying they're broken (even when they are completely fine) to prevent doctors from using them, cornering poor pharmacy techs in small offices to complain about something that wasn't pharmacy related, calling in security because a porter ate a cookie left to the staff by a patient
, hiding someone else's digestive biscuits so that said porter wouldn't "steal" those too (poor woman who owned the disgestive biscuits had to spend her tea break looking for them)... aaah, what is life without a bit of everyday drama?
23rd August 2007
I'm spending the two weeks (well, more like a week and a Friday by now...) in MI, Medicines Information in the pharmacy department in one of the three hospitals in the trust I work for. Apparently they have to give me some MI time before they can put me on-call, and since I'm going on my first on-call in October, I guess they wanted it out of the way. :
It's so not me. Sitting in front of a computer all day might sound fun... in theory, and when the computer in question is your own, filled with yummy anime or J-dorama (current obsession: HYD Live Action), but working in front of one is so boring I could cry.
I enjoy the hospital pharmacist bits where I am out and about *doing* stuff on wards... this sitting about reading about things is too slow for me. Maybe it would be different if I was here for a longer period of time and actually allowed to do anything, but at the moment all I do is a) work through a MI training book, b) pretend to look busy whilst surfing the web and c) look at the clock and hoping for go-home time.
Ah well. In 8 days I am going home for two weeks. Can't wait.
15th August 2007
If you want it done, better do it yourself
So about a week ago I finally got confirmation from my manager that HR had authorised the moving expenses claim I submitted, oh, on May 4th. Every day since I've been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the cheque that'll save our dire finances, but to no avail. So today I decided to phone up HR myself, to find out what in the world is going on. :
The lady at HR kindly informed me that the form I'd filled in to apply to have my relocation expenses paid for, was in actual fact only a form to have a claim for removal expenses authorised. To actually get my money, I have to fill in yet another form and send it to payroll.
I should have guessed. British Bureaucracy Strikes Again. I swear, sometimes it feels like this country has a form to fill out for everything you could possibly do or think. Only in the UK can there be a form to fill out to authorise another form. Or has this "disease" spread further?
Anyways. Hopefully we'll have the £2000+ soonish, so we can start paying back money to our respective parents.
Also, this weekend we are off to London for the 3rd guild meet with our friends from WoW. Really looking forward to meeting the guys & girls again, it gives a whole new dimension to a game I'm mostly playing for the social aspect these days.