Happy New Year.
I am due to go to the pub in approximately twenty-seven minutes as I have had what I would call a somewhat despondent day; when one compounds this with the fact that my stocks of food are all but empty then the Wetherspoon’s beer and burger seems like the only sensible option.
So what’s been happening? Well, mes amis, I am back in the fold. I have left the warm, well-fed and laundered bosom of my family (I’ll leave you to figure out if that metaphor actually makes any sense) and have found myself back in Fulham. That’s not to say where I am currently sitting isn’t warm- in fact I think we may be one of the few student households that doesn’t scrimp on heating- it’s just that we actually pay for it. I think the last bill the energy company sent through was somewhere in the order of £700 for the quarter. Luckily, I rang up and was all like “lolz, u is succumb to my leet witz” and they cut the energy bill in half. Win. Nothing to do with giving them an accurate meter reading, of course; indeed the whole over-charging scenario obviously had nothing to do with not letting a patently under-deodorized man into my basement to look at my energy consumption. Obviously.
But I digress. So how have I been filling my days? I’m back in hospital, but thankfully a lot closer to home in one of the larger university hospitals than the district general I was at last term, which was in the back end of nowhere. This one actually has a Tesco in close proximity, instead of a four hour trek by horseback to ye olde market. Cashback.
What I do miss, however, is the sense of blind panic that came with the small, underfunded and underpainted smaller hospital. This new hospital has been a bit of an odd experience; the main way I spend my time is wandering around aimlessly, looking for patients to practice my decidedly dodgy examination skills or ask them generally inane questions surrounding the precise nature of their bowel habits whilst surrounded by artwork dangling from the atria ceiling, including but not limited huge paper-mache mackerels. That rather nicely brings me on to the reason why I am wandering a lot, and not following the team on ward rounds and annoying even more patients:
For those of you that aren’t familiar with the term, norovirus is the name of the pathogen which causes the rather pragmatically named “Winter Vomiting Disease.” Now I’m not a doctor, but even I can tell that such a disease doesn’t sound like a huge amount of fun. I won’t insult your vivid imaginations by going into the fine details of it, but it is a self-limiting illness which burns itself out after a few days of your making much better friends with a lavatory than you had ever imagined possible. The sad part is that once it gets into a hospital it spreads like wildfire- and there’s nothing worse for an already sick patient then being drained of the two least pleasant bodily fluids in a manner that could well be set to the 1812 Overture (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2W1Wi2U9sQ : You really want to be heading to the last minute- about 3:05 onwards- for the right music to that glorious mental image…) To stop said spread, wards get shut down to those only with a clinical need- and that does not include students. So I while away the time looking up rare eponymous syndromes and diseases, pouring over textbook after textbook and absolutely not raiding the free coffee and Nutella in the mess whilst playing pool. Absolutely not.
So if you do suddenly start leaking that which I shall euphemistically term “wastewater” profusely from one or more orifices, please don’t come and see me. As much as a few days in bed would do me no end of psychological good, norovirus is only a good excuse for wandering the corridors and avoiding work when the patients have it and you don’t.
And there, kids, is your life lesson for the day. Thankfully there’s a moderately priced lager (or seven) with my name on it. ‘Till next time.