Ok, I officially am the worst student blogger since the internets was invented.
I realise in my previous post, some three weeks ago, I promised to blog weekly. As you can see, that didn’t happen. I have a whole realm of excuses- and as one of them is impending examinations (that I am horrifically under-prepared for) I imagine I should be able to garner a small amount of sympathy- not least because I’ve managed to shoe horn some kick-ass alliteration into the title. BOO-YAH!
So- the last three weeks. When I last spoke to you I was limping around on some stolen re-distributed crutches- thankfully this is no longer the case, as my busted tendon has unbusted itself. This has unfortunately meant that that my other resolution of going for a run has been decimated, as I have a justifiable excuse for not going (i.e. it might happen again). I think part of the reason it’s healing up so nicely is because of the Xbox; I’d be lying if I said the Xbox hasn’t taken up a huge amount of my time, because it has. Seriously though- is this not the most awesome set up known to man (note the easily accessible sideboard and whiskey):
Definitely the best place in the world. Fact
Previously I explained to you the concept of shooting zombies in a game that has no benefit to my medical career- that is, of course, until such time as the dead begin rising from the grave, when I will become literally the coolest doctor in the country. I can picture it now- bedpan in one hand and shotgun in the other, with witty repartees including, but not limited to, “Time of death…yesterday *boom*;” and “*boom* Looks like the canteen won’t be running out of goulash” said in a suitably masculine Austrian accent.
God I’m awesome.
So- notwithstanding these facts, I have been desperately learning some neuroscience. The majority of this has been pouring over books and review articles, desperately attempting to learn somewhere in the region of 300 genes and molecules and God knows what else. There was, however, a small practical element to the Mental Health module- a field trip, if you will, to Broadmoor Special Hospital. I always thought it would factor into general knowledge, the background and the purpose of Broadmoor, but a surprising number of people I talk to have never heard of it. Essentially, Broadmoor is a hospital for people who suffer from mental illness and present a high risk to themselves or others in society- many have been tried (or found unfit to be tried) and convicted of the most serious crimes. But most importantly, it is a hospital and not a prison- despite it looking like one and the robust security procedures. These were so robust, in fact, that at one stage I wasn’t entirely sure I was going to leave (especially aving seen a colleague get caught in between some security doors at the entrance, which garnered a hilarious moment of panic on his part; it certainly was to watch). I probably shouldn’t give too much away in the public domain lest I inadvertently permit some kind of escape- but suffice to say a good proportion of the visit was waiting for doors and gates to be unlocked and locked again. Broadmoor also has, rather happily, the best staff canteen I’ve come across in the NHS, although the tone of fine dining was somewhat shattered by the double fork count and the potential activation of a “Kitchen Cutlery Security Procedure;” a rather ominous sounding process which I don’t think I’ve ever come across in lunchtime dining before. I’m considering implementing something similar in my kitchen- you never know when I might push one of my housemates over the edge and end up with a rogue spoon lodged somewhere rather unpleasant.
In the same way as any other patients I see, they are afforded complete confidentiality, so sadly I am again limited on what I can tell you. We did get a chance to meet a couple of patients with schizophrenia, a frequently severe mental health condition that can have devastating consequences, and it was a fascinating but sobering insight into the complications of mental health- especially the levels of self-harm, and harm to others, the condition brings about. Above all, it was striking how normal Broadmoor is; including a shop run by the patients not dissimilar form my local Tesco (and probably much more reasonably priced), a theatre, a workshop and craft store selling items better than most of the crap I’ve seen at local craft fayre’s having had to pay 20p for the “privilege” of walking round, all set to the dulcet warblings of Britney Spears echoing out from a TV (albeit encased in perspex) around the corner. It’s very easy for the media to sensationalize the goings on of what is in part an antiquate Victorian building from a time awhen the concept of straight-jackets and padded cells weren’t considered anathema, but behind the razor wire it’s just a hospital.
Now, I’m off to procrastinate desperately- and as I’ve begun a self inflicted ban on bringing righteous slaughter upon the undead, I am going to compile a list of reasons why “have you ever felt like a plastic bag” is the most ridiculous opening line to a song ever conceived. Good day.