Wednesday, 29 December 2010

some more H2O

2.5k of which 400m crawl-kick with kicking board, this time in 1h10mins. Included 1min of jumping up from bottom of pool (2m deep): this works my bounce-muscles and my entire frontal thigh is feeling really fatigued now. Plyometrics for increased running performance, right? Runners World says so. I copied the moves from my competitive swimmer days when that type of explosive power was needed to get me off the starting blocks fast, and to get away from the side of the pool ASAP. It's great fun to shoot up above the water (well, the bit of me above my upper thighs at least) anyway. I've also added tumble turns again, with the aim to do them fast with a strong push-off. I think I'm going to try to get to the pool once a week (for more balanced training), and I might have to cycle there. That would add up to 'real' triathlon training,although this:
might not be the appropriate cycle. ('They' say the swimming and the running is the hardest bit of the triathlon anyway. I might consider doing triathlons in the future, when I'm earning enough for a race bike to not be a stupid purchase)

Also, when it has been uncovered from underneath the snow, the new playground with it's tartan-like 'floor' across the street will provide a lovely place to...well...jump.

Tomorrow I'm going for a run again. I'm a bit ambivalent about pushing myself to run at the moment, I'm only now reaching the stage where my knee has a chance of actually fully recovering and while short runs may benefit the healing, overdoing it (or even doing a normal amount of running) may set it off again.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010


I once read that pets have a positive effect on people and even prolong life. It allows for an improved quality of life for the elderly. Stroking your pet boosts your oxytocin/serotonin levels, making you feel better. I can't remember the exact resources, but it was all very scientific.

When I was in a rough spot, someone suggested I should get a pet. She saw me with a dog. Dogs require lots of time, which I don't have. Instead, I opted for something smaller. Walking them is easy: just open the cage door.

Through the years, they've given me more than I could imagine.

One of them is on my lap right now, warming a bit of my lap with his warm body.
They're almost always ready for cuddles.
They're excited when I come home.
They're a fuzzy bunch full of character and made me laugh more than once.
They're willing to clean your hands if they think you haven't done a good enough job (or if your hand lotion smells yummy)
They give lots of cuddles and some kisses.
They've amazed me with their intelligence.

I need no scientific proof: pets can make you happy.

Monday, 27 December 2010


Hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas. I sure did, and I even made it home for Christmas despite previous chaos at Schiphol Airport. I even managed to make it to the airport in time to sit there for an hour before I could check in.

So Christmas festivities have passed and I am staring at an impasse of about 3 months before I start working. Mainly because I have to wait 2 months for my diploma and my father has interesting plans concerning me, March, PADI diving school and South Africa. In the meantime I intend to actually find an actual job for when I return, and to find a part time short term job for the meantime. Preferably once a week, preferably something health-care related, preferably something that pays OK. Just to allow me to earn a little bit of money. Plan also includes finally getting my driver's licence. (I had access to mostly free public transport for the past 6.5 years).

The weather and the streets around here look like this:

I have a basic rule. If I can't walk on it, I can't run on it. (and I most definitely can't cycle on it, but that's a different story). I slipped several times on my way to the supermarket today, luckily manage to 'prevent' falling. One of those times I showed some pretty interesting cross-legged techniques. Now THIS would be about the only situation I'd really want to run on a treadmill.

Treadmill running is still better than NO running.

I have no access to a treadmill.

I do have two sisters who are swimmers and have driving licences. I do have access to a community pool and my sisters compulsive commitment to their swimming.

So this morning I dug up my old blue goggles, my old dark-blue-with-bright-pink-trimming Adidas bathing suit and an old swim cap... and joined my sister in her pool parade. It was fairly quiet, and this pool had one line put in to mark a separate lane for fast swimmers. Normally Dutch pools -at least the ones I've been to- don't put in lanes. Maybe because they believe people should be free to swim wherever they want. (This typically leads to me not being able to swim at all). A fast lane is a good development. Unfortunately it was occupied by a rather normal-average swimmer who was slower than I am.

Regardless, I swam for 1h20m and managed to do 2500m. I'm not extremely proud of this performance. While I don't like to compare myself to my sisters when it comes to swimming... she did do 4250m in 1h25m. (But I beat her in Gran Turismo on the PS3)

The thing is, I had no access to the gym for months now and was shocked at how weak my upper body had become. Last time I went for a swim, I managed 3000m. That was at least 6 months ago. My arms got so tired after only 250m. I could feel the muscles in my back. I used to be a competitive swimmer in secondary school, and I still am faster than most amateur swimmers. Probably just because I have the technique and maybe partly because I am 24 and not 54.

Cross training. And yes, swimming works your quads. I can feel them.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Flying Home For Christmas


Flying home this evening, I'm still a bit upset about my flight being rescheduled. But, according to airport flight info, the original home-for-Christmas-Eve-dinner flight does not exist any more. I'm thrilled to get out of my crappy accomodation, thrilled to go back and see my family and my pets, thrilled that this means that officially I'll never be a med student again... and

a bit sad to leave England behind. I sort of like the place, you know.

Right. So my plane seems  to be leaving, my father is going to pick me up from the airport (as this seems to be more likely to succeed than me trying to ride the train home, as Dutch railways don't do well with European Winters. Now all I need is to get to the airport and keep my fingers crossed they don't weigh my hand luggage. (it's 13k, not 12 and not including my handbag). According to KLM I am allowed to take 23kg or 50lbs of check-in luggage (If they fuss, I'm going to fuss right back.) and I weighed my luggage at somewhere around 45lbs. I firmly believe they should not charge me for a few kg of overweight luggage because I myself am a bit of a lightweight and I don't think it's fair that the fat person next to me pays the same price for his ticket (and half of mine) as I pay for (the other half of) my seat.

Yes, I once spent an entire flight from Amsterdam to Johannesburg trying to squish a very fat arm and some side fat out of my seat. Not fair. For the record, that's 11+ hours.

Monday, 20 December 2010

That Magical 10K

So, instead of working on my -seemingly- endless reports, I've been obsessing about this whole 10k thing. Not unusual for me; I tend to obsess over things till I have a plan, and then the skies in my head are clear as crystal again.

It seems like the weather will be picking up, as in, I'm confident I'll get through January with no snow-outs.

That means I should be able to run 10k on the 13th of March. Just to finish it, I can work towards weird and wondrous times later on. Right?

Problem is, I can't find a schedule to work on. I would love one. I'm doing 2miles now, increasing distance every other run as my knee allows and improves. Meanwhile doing my strengthening exercises.

Basically that means I'll be close to 4k again before I leave, and near 5k just after New Years. From there I can increase my distance with 10% a week. That would mean that I'll be able to do 7.25k around the beginning of February. Time is on my side. I just want to finish. If it's under the hour, I'll be really happy.
Runner's World has a beginners 10k schedule which I should be able to start early Feb, ready to race 6w later. Right?

Happy Haircuts and Freezy Running

Over the last few days I had fun... and the uni network was having some unexpected downtime. I couldn't get online in 4 days.

I am happy to tell you that I passed both the OSCE and the computer exam. 

In the past days I went to 2 dinner parties and 1 High Tea. I'm going to miss the people here!

And today I had my hair cut. Still naturally blonde, but really shiny now. 2 inches off. Haircut is a haircut, but the lady asked me if it was a lot different in Holland. 
I'm sorry to disappoint her, but no. 

I can run 2 miles now, without my knee bothering. I know I should be doing run/walks, but I can't. If I walk for too long, I get an asthma attack. I had my first sub-zero temp run the other day, and it wasn't so bad! It was cool to see the frosty bits on the ground. 

Thursday, 16 December 2010


Today is OSCE day. And just for the record. Normally I am a serious student. More or less. But around here I've done less than I've actually done in my entire career as a medical student. Well, not counting first year because that was all about becoming a student. I agreed to do the end-of-block exams as a sort of motivator to do something, except that it didn't work so well. Hey, I'm on my elective. And I'm tired, I've worked 50hour weeks on my first job, followed by a 2-week break, followed by 70 hour weeks on my second job... followed by a move and my elective abroad. Brain malfunctioning. Brain not effectively capable of studying. Motivation absent.

So... those were 10 9-minute stations. The OSCE's I'm used to consist of your normal assessment, treatment etc, followed by an oral exam. Our finals were one massive OSCE. Now I had 9 minutes for something fairly superficial.

I just put in my worst suture in my entire suturing career. I've never had to suture wax before, the needle behaves differently. Your thread becomes all slippery and waxy. I've sutured heads, legs, fingers, vaginas... but no wax.

I've managed to mis-stab the radial pulse doing an ABG. It's a friggin plastic arm.

I forgot the name of a drug.

And about the asthma thing. Steroids. Ipatropium. Fuck, yes, I do actually know that.

Different policies in different countries mean different tests being ordered.

Question: What causes, other than DKA, cause metabolic acidosis.
Me, er, alcohol, renal failure, er
Massive ingestion of vinegar.

What? They didn't ask for common causes, and I HAVE actually seen a patient with metabolic acidosis due to vinegar ingestion. She was anorexic and vinegar made her shit.

Of course, now I can come up with all kinds of brilliant answers. And later on I have a multiple choice question exam. Can't be that hard for this unprepared lady can it?

I suppose the important advice for today still remains:
Do not overindulge in vinegar.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010


I am so happy about this. Really. I am.

Today I ran the 2.6K mini run without experiencing any pain. That means, next time, I can go a bit further, and maybe my dream of that first 10k race is achievable. I even went a bit faster today, but that may just be attributed to spending less time at the traffic light. I wasn't trying.

I'm not going to save the world of this.

I'm one of those people. I want to see other people happy, and I believe in treating people the way you wanted to be treated. That means, sometimes, giving people what you desperately wanted for yourself.

But I think I am more or less done with this personal campaign of mine. Haters will hate and stupid people will be stupid. A high IQ apparently does not protect against stupidity. Sadly, western society is screwed, and too many women who could have been great throw away themselves for the sakes of men.

See, here's the deal. This will probably be the only time ever I am going to write about this on here because it is my past and I don't believe in lingering in the past... especially if said past can always come back and in fact kill you.

I have a 10-year history of anorexia and bulimia, and I am as close to being fully recovered as anyone can ever be. But that, my dear people, is almost my entire secondary school career and almost my entire university career down the drain. Many former ED suffers go into ED counselling or some other form of anti-eating disorder thing. When I was ill, I thought it was because they didn't want to let go. Now I know it's because they really don't want others to go through it.

The problem is, Western society (continental less than American, British or South-African society) glorifies disordered eating. I have already written about this. Entire magazines devoted to teaching people 'self control' and 'how to burn more calories'. I am fully aware of the paradoxical obesity epidemic (or maybe the paradox is the other way round). I also have real respect for those who attempt - and manage- to turn around their unhealthy lifestyles using patience, common sense and actual healthy eating. I also have sympathy for those who suffer from very real eating disorders. My sympathy ends -and my campaigning begun- at those who have the full potential to be truly healthy, but continue to obsess about food and use ridiculous methods to attain unhealthy weight goals. Some of them call themselves 'pro-ana'; others  think this fasting thing of them is actually healthy. And they're stupid enough to think they won't have a problem or won't develop an eating disorder because they will never reach the weight limit for being anorexic. Newsflash: Most of the eating disordered people I know are not underweight. Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified is potentially lethal too.

I myself was not underweight for half of the time. That didn't mean that my metabolism didn't come to a screeching halt above my actual, natural set point weight when I was fasting. I didn't look the part, but I was very ill. Somehow I did manage to land myself in the 'really underweight' range. Now THAT was a shitload of fun. Nothing fit, I was too weak to carry my own groceries up the stairs, I passed out during dermatology operations.

I sometimes still miss the perceived 'good' things about my anorexia. I miss the kick, and I miss the false sense of safety it gave me. But I am going to have to deal with that. I did the whole thing in reverse order, starting with bulimia and finishing off with anorexia. The price was high:
- My growth stopped. Well before I ever became underweight. I had a catch-up growth spurt in the first set of treatment, but I never reached my full growth potential. I don't regret not being 5'11, but if I entered the first bout of recovery 2 years later, I would be standing a rather average 5'8 tall.
- I only started ovulating at age 19.
- Loneliness. I have few friends, I have no boyfriend or life partner and I have not had one whilst in my cocoon.
- I would have been earning nice money right now, instead of still trying to get that licence to practice
- I had one good year of secondary school, I missed out on all the fun in the rest.
- I missed out on almost my entire student life.
- Eating disorders are expensive
- and actually, I do not have to explain that 10 years of suffering is not worth it.
- I have no idea what the state of my skeleton is like. I don't know what long-term complications may still wait for me.
- Even to this day, I have stomach problems.

I am just very lucky I still managed to finish my studies. Most people don't get that far, especially those with a chronic (duration >7.5 years) eating disorder (of the anoretic type). A friend of mine died. Several others are still stuck in limbo. Living with pure bulimia or compulsive overeating may leave you, on average, in a more functional place, but it can't be much less of a hell. After my first bout of therapy, I went off to university. Around my second year, I re-entered therapy. In the end, I never got the help I needed. Simply because I had been given up. Was working  towards learning to live with the anorexia, and restoring as much of a normal life as possible.

But I did get better. I essentially did it all by myself, without the support I really needed. That bit still hurts, and maybe that's why I want to help other people not go into the valley of hollow cheeks. I'm wildly jealous of those 16-year-old anorexics who get admitted, get the full work up and still bitch on about how hard it is. Oh, and then write stories in magazines about it. I did not have support, I was sent to group therapy for people with personality disorders where I was completely out of place due to lack of personality disorder. I had a GP who would request bloods for me if I asked her to. The few people around me were tired of my anorexia, and did not support my fight any more. I didn't have nutritional support.

And since I've been talking to some people about it, I've been telling this story because I know that so many people would be so much happier if they were normal around food and if they could accept that maybe, like the lovely Venus, they're real women with real curves. I tell the truth, because I really wished somebody would tell me the truth and help me back then. Preferably before the shit hit the fan... but nobody was bothered.

It's my past, and it was born in a very unhappy place. I was not just the girl who wanted to fit in. I was not one of these wannarexic girls, neither was I wan of those who really just have a personality disorder but want sympathy for their eating disorders. I was the real deal, and I had idiotic followers who wanted to be like me (as thin as me)... there are 170 of them who started following my old blog while I was desperately trying to get better.

But essentially, all I wanted was to be happy, ordinarily happy. This song still breaks my heart.

And yet, there are so many people, people around me who feed into this monster. A bunch of hypocrites, who will scrutinize me for every biscuit I turn down (because I don't want to eat biscuits right after dinner)... meanwhile they're going on and on about their crazy diets, their fasts, how fat they are... I hate 'you're so skinny' comments, by the way. 1) I'm naturally skinny, when I'm eating healthily my body ends up there and stays there and 2) you have no idea what it took to get up to my natural weight after being really underweight for years. Many of these people hold habits that are not extremely different from mine as an anorexic. The main difference is maybe somewhere between 5 and 20 BMI points, really. And maybe the fact that I never held the delusion that I was being particularly healthy in not eating. And maybe the thought pattern behind it.

So I have decided to choose the selfish, less mature stance on this over the mature one where I want everybody to be happy in themselves, since all my best efforts have simply been disregarded, and people just WANT to keep on to whatever false hope they're clinging on to. I mean, in the end, every day they spend fasting, or on some crazy diet, will only make them fatter in the end and it will only bring them further away from their crazy BMI 18,5 goal weights... because we all know the only way to lose a vast amount of weight is to preserve muscle mass... and fasting or crazy diets kill muscle mass. And kills your mind, your satiety mechanism, your metabolism... all those things you need to successfully lose a vast amount of weight.

My new stand on this will be: Whichever way you turn it; I win, so suck it up and enjoy being fat forever. I win in your terms, because I'm thin. I win in my terms because I get to have a healthy diet (yes, actually eat and remain thin) and a strong mind and body which have conquered the most lethal psychiatric disorder. Now if you don't mind, I'll go on and kick ass in real life.

Or attempt to go to sleep.

I thought up that entire piece over my very nutritious and fairly all right tasting pasta with tuna and nice veggies.

Monday, 13 December 2010


My iPod nano has a pedometer. I find it rather amusing. Since my actual running is a bit stalled till my lateral collateral ligament is healed properly again, and I have no access to a gym (let alone one with a lovely pool)... I decided that I'm going to walk. It's not that cold, and I feel like I have time on my hands, and I can benefit from time outside in the daylight.

Now see, I know the UK health people like to advise us to aim for 10 000 steps a day, and as an overachiever I decided that that should be my bare minimum. I figured I'd get that easily, as they also recommend 30minutes of exercise a day and I normally get that without even trying, as I live in a country where this:

is my standard method of transportation. And apart from that, I do exercise.

I was slightly wrong in those assumptions. I decided to go for a walk and see how far 10 000 steps actually is.
It took me 2 hours to walk 10 790 steps (according to the iPod), and that's a total distance of about 8-9k, roughly estimated based on my runs in the city). Only stopping for a soya chai latte to go, and to take a few pics. In the process, iPod tells me, I have burned 411 calories. I'm a bit dissappointed. Sure, it's fine to look at all the pretty things (or ponder about how boring the city actually is), but I miss my kick. And I can burn about 400 calories in 40 minutes if I run. So this whole walking thing doesn't seem too efficient. Not that I'm all about the calories, but it does give you a rough overview of expenditure.

I would find it interesting to see how much you walk on a day, being a doctor. I know, technically it's a bit of a sedentary job, but not really. I only noticed the massive difference that those few steps and the getting up and sitting down and lifting obese peoples' legs or digging in their abdomen makes in terms of activity when I did my research-ship. That was a computer job most of the time. And it drove me crazy.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

So Now What.

I have an OSCE on Thursday. I have 5 days to study for it, including the scrap left of today. I've never had 5 days to study for anything. Wow. I don't even know how to go about having days to study. I mean, I took 1 day off to study for my finals. Everything else had to be crammed into a 50h work week.

I don't even know where to begin. Acute Medicine can be anything.


We all love MMSE's. Date of examination: 10/12/2010
Me: What year is it?
Flapping Dentures: I dwunnow
Me: What's today's date?
Flapping Dentures (suddenly articulating really well): It's November 30th, that's right, it's my birthday today!
Me: Well, happy birthday Sir.
(checking notes: D.O.B. 30-11-19ancient.)
Me: who's the Queen of England?
Flapping Dentures: ewiwiwew
(er. I'm going to take that as Elizabeth?)
and then he suddenly recalled seeing me earlier. Took me a while to understand when: I was standing at the desk writing my notes when he was brought in.


Christmas shopping time. The shopping centre was crazy busy. I managed to land my sister her gift in her size, then tried on a few blouses off the sale rack at H&M as I'm rocking professional attire these days. Came home with a very light dusty pink blouse with sleeves that are just a tiny bit too short. I don't mind that, hospital hygiene regulations require rolled up sleeves anyway. Then I decided to get myself a soy chai latte at the Muffin Break and go home to continue my gift hunt on a day on which all these people are working.

Muffin Break has the best soya chai lattes. And this particular one is franchised by the sweetest Indian couple.


Then I did my toning/ballet work out. I'm getting better at it, and either my entire abductor section is getting stronger or I'm getting more flexible.
I need to strengthen and stabilise my ankles and feet. I have hypermobile joints, essentially it comes down to me having to take good care of my body and to stay in the habit of doing strengthening exercises. Having a naturally flat muscle type does not exactly help with the quick muscle and stability building, but I suppose they should be enough to support my own body. It's not like they have to support 100kg or something. If only I knew how to easily improve ankle stability.

Last day,

Well this is a legendary day. Sort of. It is, unless in a flurry of keenness I decide to return to A&E right before Christmas, my last day in clinics as a medical student. Next time I lay my hands on a patient (an actual one), I will be the actual doctor.

Well, not counting the OSCE. Those are fake patients, and I am ever so much starting to regret agreeing to do it.

Of course, final day could not pass without a rectal. Patient claimed he had his prostate removed. Prostate was very much in situ.

Random visitor of random patient (not mine): 'You look too young to be a doctor, what are you? 26? 27?'
I am 24, thanks.

Running: same run as last time, this time with slightly less pain. Still stuck with those three laps though. The weather has picked up, and it was slightly warmer than the predicted 4 degrees. I took my jacket off, and it was a bit amusing to be running with my short sleeved T when some people were still wearing hats. I hate this knee injury, and I think I need to be focusing on strength training right now.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Medical Ward

Evenings on acute medical ward.
- Weirdly, tomorrow is my last day on the wards as a medical student. I am no longer afraid of the medical ward. I think.
- I am actually not certain if that nurse knew I was 'just a student'. I mean, sure, there is an enormous green STUDENT ID card on my chest...and I'm not normally the one to come to if a patient is in pain or needs transfer. Said nurse did not know me well enough to know that it's my last week.
- If the patient's actual doc needed 2-3 go's at cannulating him after I failed twice, I am not going to blame myself for not smoothly popping it in.
- I must have some sort of positive effect on patients if they still smile at me and show me their battle scars after above incident.
- I love it when a seemingly obvious thing turns out to be something freakishly interesting. Like an uncommon tumour in an uncommon place.
- Apparently I am more confident (and thus appear more competent...) than local final years students. Good, I suppose, because I don't have an FY1 to freak out in.

And in general:
- I'm still not sleeping properly. Laid wide awake until 5AM this morning. Getting up before noon becomes slightly more complicated. Just something, anything, sleep, please?
- Pancakes are healthy and yummy. If I make them, that is.

Doc B's tiny update.

Just... because.

1) I've finally (um, once again) won the battle with rolling veins when inserting cannulas. Really tiny victory really. But it was worth sticking mr Pale twice, since Green Cannula didn't like me and decided to get a knack into itself, sort of defying the purpose of venous access by occluding itself. Pink Cannula took a smooth journey into an equally rolling vein. Next up: the wigglys. Pink cannula was only used because the blonde doc was too lazy to go fetch a new green one.

2) My goal for tomorrow is to get up at 10:30. Quite a challenge if you're incapable of getting out of bed to begin with.

3)The aim is to work out a bit before late-day/evening shift, starting at 2pm. Quick run, predicted weather is 8 degrees C.

4) I actually attended a training on how to prescribe drugs in this NHS trust. Rum-tee-dum... I would have been happy with just an overview sheet. Considering my proximity to being an actual MD, I think I've had enough practice with writing prescriptions. But it was quite useful to learn that the lay out of a Controlled Drug prescription is slightly different than it is in Holland.

5) No more med student in T-14, as it has just become Friday. Ok, fair enough, and a 2 month holiday while I wait for my results to be uploaded and my diploma to be printed.

6) Pre-packed samies are not particularly delicious. They're functional.

7) Why does Blogger always show me random blogs of families I don't know or blogs written in languages I can't read?

The Skinny on being Skinny.

And I know millions of believers (especially women) will HATE me for this post. I don't care. The reason why they'll hate me is because I'm speaking the truth. I, on the other hand, hate that they believe in The Thin. I hate how they damage their health with irrational fasts, crazy diets and idiotic exercise routines.

I am 5'10 tall. I normally wear a UK size 8-10, and my setpoint BMI is 18,5-19. I'm naturally thin. I have been a lot thinner when I was ill, and it took me 6 months to get back to a normal weight. That was hard work! I'm also a blonde with a D-cup, so I guess that makes me an official Barbie. See? There I am!

A recent drastic change in my normally healthy eating patterns lead to a slight, but significant weight gain. Naturally thin people do also gain weight on a diet consisting of everything the Diet God forbid. It came down to about a kilo a month. I am confident that returning to a healthy eating and exercise pattern will return me to my body's own set point, even if it might take a while. It always does that. Plus, I only have to lose one dress size. If I didn't want to fit my own pants, I wouldn't even bother. But I have an amazing wardrobe.
healthy excercise Healthy Exercise To Keep Body Fit

I love being tall. Unless I'm trying to date; I find it a bit of a turn-off if the guy is shorter than I am. I love my body. Well, I would have been perfectly happy with a cup or what less, but still. I'm slim but curvy, and my light build is something that's pretty unique. Or should be, if the rest of womankind wasn't starving herself.

But the rest of womankind seems to think she's too fat. The rest of womankind aspire to have... wait for it... my body. Or the more sickly version of it, something like this Miss Australia.

That, my dear people, is pretty much what anorexia with make up looks like. I looked like that when I was sick. It wasn't very much fun. Nothing fit, and it hurt to sit down.

But if the rest of Womankind aspires to look like me, or even thinner, because they believe it will give them some, I don't know, happiness or magical solutions to whatever problems, I might as well tell them what it's REALLY like to live, er, the dream:

Because men will find me sexier if I'm skinny
Um, well, honey, see it's like this. Unless you're fat enough to grow baby elephants under your skin flaps, sexy is about self-confidence and how you present yourself. Sensual works better than slutty. And even if you ARE fat enough to grow those baby elephants, I'm sure you'll find a man who thinks that's just smoking hot. Actually, my fattest friend gets more booty than I do.

I will be more self-confident if I'm skinny
My favourite lie of the Thin Gods. I'm sorry love, but you'll still be you if you're skinny. Yes, it's true that losing weight can boost your self-confidence... but that's only skin deep! It has no real effect on your self-esteem, and if it's weak... it's still going to be weak when you're thin. I have actually felt self-conscious about how thin I am.

I will be more successful if I'm thin
Really? Explain to me how that works please. Because based on my bio stats I should be wildly successful if this were true. Unless you're one of those very few people who do earn a living with their looks, or unless you're a professional athlete (which makes it unlikely that you need to lose weight), chances are you're going to need either bulk or brain to be successful. But last time I checked, my physical appearance did not help me get through medical school. If anything, woman-sized A-cupped brunettes get taken more seriously. Or so I've read.  

I'll have more friends
I really hope friendship is still based on character!

Women will be jealous of me
Since we've covered 'guys will want me' I might as well cover 'girls will want to be me'. That's true, if you only count girls with bad body image. I've never heard any of my friends with bad body image tell me that they want to have my body. My sisters actually praised my newly acquired bum. But yes, insecure women with bad body image will be jealous of you. And it's annoying. So annoying that I've actually quit a previous blog because it was only read by desperate believers of the Skinny religion.

It's healthier to be thin. 
Can't argue with that.... no wait, actually I CAN. It's healthy to be thin only if you're naturally thin. It's healthy to be at the weight that's best for your body, and while I'm not really sure exactly how the WHO determined 18.5 and not 20 to be the new lower limit... I am pretty sure it's a fairly small group of the population who are supposed to fall into that lowest range. Please note that I'm only using BMI here as a rough indication, there are many other determinants of health in terms of body composition.
And trust me on this one. If you are currently obese, a BMI of 18,5 would probably be unhealthy for you. It's not a realistic goal. Realistic would be to get yourself out of the obese range, then out of the overweight range...and then to maintain and pluck the fruits of a newer, healthier life style.
Oh, and those fasts and fad diets and generally most of the things you desperately do to lose weight...actually are really unhealthy.

I'll be fitter if I'm thin
Only if you keep fit, regardless of your weight. Only if you don't do any drastic diets or long term fasts or whatever, because before you get even near your goal of my weight, you'll have eaten your own muscle mass. And then I'll be thinner AND yeah...then it's true that the thinner one is fitter but only because the one who had the muscle potential wasted it. So there.
Actually I'm not very strong. I'm stronger than I look, but I'll never have the explosive power to be a sprinter. My light build might benefit me on longer distances though.
But marathon training would make it really hard for me to stay at a healthy weight. I'll end up looking like that Aussie Miss again, and it wasn't really comfortable.

Thin is a sign of strength, fat is a sign of weakness
The strong control argument. But tell me, how strong and in control are you really if you're have so little control over yourself that you need to control your food intake? How strong are you really if you can't say no to the pressure to be unhealthily thin?
Is fat really a sign of weakness, or is it a sign of unhappiness?

Fasting for...
No, you're not strong if you're fasting. I've done it, it's a kick. A really easy kick, it's a lot harder to lastingly improve your eating habits. I am not going to discuss the possible health benefits of an occasional short fast. Because the fasters I've seen do it for weight loss only. I don't believe for one second that any good-willing God would want you to endanger your health by doing a complete fast for prolonged time. Even Ramadan allows eating.

Thin = beauty
Oh, really? And what if you're just an empty shell of your former self when you're thin? And what about all the gorgeous women who are not what you'd objectively call thin? What about gorgeous heart-felt smiles? Laughter? Clear skin? A beautiful personality shining through because you're not hungry all the time? The beauty of diversity?

and....Mums... what about her?

Last but not least: What does it feel like to be thin?
Well. Normal, to be honest. Being thin does not make me a better person. It does not make me a worse person either. It just makes me.. me. It does not make any drastic difference to who I am as a person. My body is just a part of who I am, and I still struggle with your everyday things. I have so much more to offer than a size 8-10 body. I am not perfect and my body is not perfect. Being thin does not prevent me from being a bit mad at myself if I can't get a cannula in. It does not keep me warm at night, or, at all in fact. Jeans still can look bad on me. I still wouldn't mind having a B or C cup rather than a D, and that bit of cellulite on my thighs does bother me. People still comment on my weight, and fat people don't think it's rude. It is rude.

I'm me, I have my own body, and I enjoy it.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

The Paracetamol Girls.

"In bay 22 we have a 24-year-old female who came in with an OD. She took an unknown amount of paracetamol, another unknown prescription drug and alcohol. Your patient."

I sometimes wonder why paracetamol is available OTC, as it's a cheap but horrible suicide. 'The Silent Killer', they call it. I don't know of any other potentially lethal OTC drugs that are that cheap.

She was a skinny, unkept girl, lying there. Tox screens had already been taken and the nurse was kind enough to put in a cannula. No results yet. She had taken a large amount of pills because she wanted to end it all. Then she fell asleep, and when she woke up she thought about her children and changed her mind about wanting do die. So she phoned the ambulance. No, she doesn't know what the other pills were, they were pink and prescription and not hers.
This she told me just as I was reaching her abdomen in my examination. Stretch marks and lots of excess skin. I asked her how many children she had. Two, but they weren't living with her. The eldest is in school. 

She has a prior history of depression and self harm and multiple suicide attempts and substance abuse. She's on benefits at the moment. She has lots of worries, and it all became too much for her. She didn't want to tell me about it. Fair enough, I'm not the psych intern any more, but I'm on A&E. 
My physical revealed only mild cerebellar symptoms, congruent with alcohol intoxication. My quickie psych assessment revealed symptoms of depression, an impulsive suicidal act and no further intent. She was ambivalent and just wanted to go home. 
Luckily for her, paracetamol levels were fairly low. She was admitted for psych evaluation in the morning (only a few hours away really). 

It's so easy to see suicide as something dramatic, romantic even. But the thing is, it's not. Tragic, yes. Ugly? Yes. Though I do love Emilie Autumn, and I do love this song. It leaves out all the ugly. Stupid? I'm not so sure about that. Doctors often get a bit annoyed by suicide attempt or self harm patients. Or by psychiatric patients in general, it really depends on the personality and life experience of the doctor.

Paracetamol overdose happens so often they've got a flowchart for it. Nice and colourful, with boxes to tick to help you deal with this patient. And not get sued. Check the dose, weigh the patient, check levels, start or don't start NAC. You have some time, but not forever. Admit, monitor, discharge. Install appropriate treatment in case of coma or any other problems.

Do you see the contrast?

There are many many girls like this one. In my half a year as a psych (s) intern, I've seen her past and her future. Early pregnancies, abuse, personality disorders, rocky relationships, children taken away from her, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, self harm, unfinished education, poor chances of sustainable income, benefits... and the cycle continues. I've seen them as mothers, I've seen them as children, I've seen them as patients. I've even seen this in a few people I called friends. I find it one of life's conundrums: how come those who can't deal with 'life' land themselves in hard to deal with situations all the time? Is it the Chaos Theory/ Butterfly Effect?

And then, when the situations which I'm likely to avoid myself get too much for them, paracetamol is available. Impulsively they choose a drug which may kill them, without doing the research and planning seen in those who fully thought their suicide through.

'Deal with it' is a lot easier said than done.

Monday, 6 December 2010

UK vs NL med student showdown.

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Have you guys met the blonde Phd yet? Yes, there is a PhD version of the Blonde one. See? Dr. Blondie lives on the interwebs as well and is every bit as fun and brilliant as I am. Except that her job is maybe less... gross? Brilliant Blondes United!
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Time till I never ever have to call myself a medical student again: 18 days.

Went to one of my last lectures as a student today. Radiology. Was interesting, if only because repetition sometimes is key to learning.
OF COURSE there was a few abdominal X-rays showing interesting but misplaced objects in the rectum or lower part of the sigmoid. You know, when patients 'fell on it'. At one image he asked us what this was. I replied 'a vibrator'. He seemed a bit disappointed that one of us knew the answer.
It's only because we have an incredibly brilliant radiologist (Simon Robben) at my faculty who managed to put several 'lost' vibrator radiographs next to each other and compared them in terms of 'durability', 'penetration strength' and 'removal cost'. Removal cost went up with a higher penetration strength.
And because there aren't that many rocket-shaped objects with small motors within a certain size range that you would find in a persons arse. It basically comes down to 'vibrator' or 'toy rocket'. The latter being less likely.
Also, the tip of the day was to make sure that, if you simply MUST insert a bottle into body cavities, you use a bottle with a screw-on cap rather than the click-on type.

I've joined the local final years students (year 5 in the UK) in their Acute Care block for my elective. Our final year is year 6, but that's also a sort of intern year. I was ok with being placed essentially a year lower because I'm stepping over from psych to medicine. I was a psych intern. And I was good at it. I still love psych, but it's just not the thing for me. I don't fully regret doing psych, but I've got a slight bit of catching up to do. With less than 3 weeks of my elective to go, I'm realising that med student clinical practice at year 5 level won't get me where I need to be. Instead of randomly clerking patients, I need to be studying.

One thing I've noticed here is that I'm trained completely differently.

UK medical school: 5-year programme, split up in phase 1 and 2, followed by foundation year 1 on a provisional GMC registration, after which you can fully register and continue with FY2. The 5-year programme is a combined Bachelors of Medicine and Bachelors of Surgery. You can only start specialist training after the foundation programme, regardless of your future career plans.
NL medical school: 6-year programme, now consisting of a 3-year BSc and a 3-year MSc. The BSc allows you to switch to any other health-related masters degree, should you discover that you don't want to be a doctor after all. Not all faculties follow the exact same programme. I'm a Maastricht University medical school graduate, bred on the (in)famous Problem Based Learning system. I could start specialist training next year if I landed myself a spot, else I'd have to do some locum jobs. When I started medical school, Maastricht University was ranked the nr 1 medical school in Holland. Now, not so much anymore I think.

Basically I think the main difference is that we're prepared for early specialisation, starting in final year of medical school. The UK students have a better general medical knowledge, while I'm a bit of a blank canvas doctor. They study to pass exams, I study to gather knowledge. I think I have a better framework, now I just have to hang in the right knowledge. To be honest, I think that's the easy part. And I can out-psych any of these medical students, and probably most of the junior doctors too. It does matter, because communication with your patient is important.

But really, if the Dutch system was so bad, the Dutch health care system would not rank higher than the UK's according to the WHO, or we wouldn't have less preventable deaths, or we wouldn't be higher in this... or we wouldn't be ranked nr 1 in the Euro Health Consumers Index (vs the UK's nr 14)...

Anyway. I think, in general, Dutch students have less knowledge, but do not make worse doctors. There's more to being a good doctor than knowing the exact text of your Oxford Handbook by heart. I also think the Dutch just have themselves to blame for their lack of knowledge (and I have them to blame, I just tried to fit in in a country where I will never fit in, but I didn't realise that then)... they don't have a competitive culture and it's not OK to be proud of your achievements. We are trained to use clinical judgement rather than flowcharts.

I can tell you that I really regret trying to fit in in secondary school and medical school. I would have done much better in a slightly more competitive culture... but I was already sticking out like a sore thumb.

So. Problem based learning, right?

Problem: not enough medical knowledge to my liking. Seem to have forgotten a lot.
Solution: insert nose in book.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Winter Blues

Right. So as far as I know, I don't suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). But last year I went through a serious dip during December, and this year seems to be no better. I'm tired, I'm not eating right and I can't find motivation to do anything useful. I think I just need a break. My mood-dip has nothing to do with the darkness.

It had nothing to do with the darkness last year either. It was purely the cold. Last winter was the coldest I've ever been through, and it took me a few weeks to adjust to it. Temperatures dropped from a lovely 10 degrees Celsius to -5 almost overnight. I've already mentioned that I'm a warm-weather child, and last December I seemed to sort of hibernate. Of course, the weather didn't get any better after December and I got used to it.

This year I'm not too bothered by the cold weather. I will refrain from riding bicycles, but all in all I'm managing. But I am tired. I need a break. It has been a hard year and I really need a break... and the most interesting thing is that I have plenty motivation to do fun stuff (contrary to last year), but I'm just really really really done with studying.

Not all blues that happen in winter are the Winter Blues.

I think I want to go home now. I miss a TV and I miss my pets.

I saw the Pregnant Adolescent being wheeled towards OB/GYNAE last night. Note to self: always remember discharge instructions. She must have gotten worse.

Run today: 2.64k according to Nike+; slightly shorter according to me because Nike loses it's accuracy when you're waiting for traffic lights. 
Weather: sunny, 1degree celcius
Knee pain score max: 2-2,5 towards the end. That means that right now this is my max distance for my knee. Bummer. 
I ran 3 laps around a park and then back to where I'm staying. Kept to 'granny pace' or what felt like it, turns out it was only about 30s/k slower than my normal pace. Was interesting to find chunks of ice on the path. 
Then I went on to do my combined ballet/strength workout, adding 5x15 crunches, 15R/15L pilates leg raises, 5 push-ups, 20 triceps raises and some stretching. 

Saturday, 4 December 2010


Maybe best to first explain a bit. Final year of medical school in NL is a sort of student-intern year, in which we're called 'semi-doctors' or 'senior med students'. Faculty policies allow you to start on that year with one regular placement still 'open', in my case that was the elective I am now doing in the UK. That means, in practice, that I've gone back one level on the medical ladder. And I was really pleased with moving up that ladder in the first place... and here is why:

Being a med student sucks. You come to hospital to learn, and sometimes you have to go in there even in the middle of the night. To learn medicine, you know. While in hospital, your actual learning is left to the whims of people who are (in this case) only slightly your senior. First three nights were all-right, really, and I rather enjoyed the third night. Because I did well and did things and actually learned some medicine. Then came last night.

As I went in, one of the male nurses warned me that A&E was 'all in your face'. I shrugged it off, busy A&E is just part of life, and back in NL I could make myself useful in a busy A&E. Having lost my status as 'semi doc' (really, not that much different than the UK FY1), I'm just a medical student. A year after I finished my last regular placement, I haven't fallen into the submissiveness that is expected from a med student. I wasn't prepared for the frustration that came.

Just before midnight I had seen my first patient. Adolescent with early-pregnancy bleeding, I couldn't find an immediate cause for the bleeding but it wasn't that severe and she showed no warning symptoms so in my head I had decided that she'd be safe to go home. BUT I couldn't find a doctor, they were ignoring me. (Then of course, I found the flow chart, and the flow-chart stated exactly what I had just figured out all by myself). Later on, the lady was sent home by a see-and-treat nurse. Who completely ignored the fact that I had seen the girl. A few bloods and a failed cannula later, I had seen a young fellow who came in with blackouts. This was after I was planning to see nr 3 on the 'to be seen' list and the nurse in charge told me to see someone lower down on the list. Blackout boy was nr 5 or 6. Blackouts are possibly seizures, but I don't have enough info to distinguish, but regardless, the patient needed a referral to neuro. Right. So I was standing there, completely useless, learning absolutely nothing. Waiting for Blackout boy to be seen by someone with a degree. Trying to at least see or do something that might teach me something, apart from more cannulas and bloods. At some point I was chatting with one of the nurses, and a pretty black female doc told us to 'mind the swearing' because we're professionals. I don't recall any profanities in the conversation. Still waiting, still doing bloods. Still feeling annoyed that the kind doctor whom I asked if he had any tips to keep rolling veins from rolling explained to me how to do bloods... that was NOT my question!... and then proceeded to watch me perform my tenth venapuncture of this set of shifts. At 3:30AM Pretty Black Female Doctor had taken Blackout Boy's notes in a moment when my eyes were off the stack of notes and proceeded to see him while I was standing RIGHT THERE at the desk. It's not even like the medical student assessment sheet could be filled in by any med student, I was the only one there. I can't even say that taking his history and examining him taught me anything. I already know how to do that.

I literally did a 180degree spin on the heels of my terrific boots and headed home. I decided I'd learn more medicine by watching Doctor Who DVDs. I'd definitely feel less useless.

If I were a super hero I'd like to be something like the Doctor. But a female one. Naturally. A heroine who uses wit and wisdom over brawl, one with a bit of mystery about her. I'd like her to have some sort of hidden pain; maybe something like the everlasting search for a place to call home. Not something typically girly like a lost lover. She'd be hot, besides, lots of men kick on the idea of a powerful woman. Sadly they rarely have the guts to actually go for her. Women could identify with her, the world needs more female superheroines. Superheroines isn't even a word, according to my spell checker. A lady who is truly in control. Why are these amazing characters always men? I don't want her to be teen-slutty like most female supers. Sensual, mysterious....powerful. 
I think the Doctor-concept would work really well with a female Doctor, to be honest. We'd just need something more sophisticated than a screwdriver maybe. 

Sadly, it would only sell to men because they'd like to fuck her. Now you tell me who the stronger sex really is. 

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

My First Time

As a fledgling doctor, there are many 'virginities' to be lost. Many bubbles to pop, many 'moments of wisdom' to be experienced.

Night shifts, or just 'nights' is one of them. I lost my night shift virginity last night.

It actually was not that bad. I was on paeds, then when there were no more babies who fell down stairs or who couldn't breathe properly, I moved on to 'majors'. Got the sleeping bit sorted out, and the food bit as I wasn't hungry at all. Am taking bananas and Horlicks with me tonight I think.

It didn't feel like the middle of the night for most of the night. But then, when the day shift came in and I went home, it was really weird to see all these fresh people starting their work day... to watch the sun come up and run into my house mate on hist way to gynae clinic... and then go to bed. It's almost surreal.

I did my leg/ab/core strengthening (ballet) exercises yesterday. You know the sore muscles you sometimes get when you wake up the next time after a new sort of exercise? It actually has nothing to do with sleep. It's quite interesting to feel your muscles get sorer as your night shift progresses. But then of course when I did wake up in the afternoon almost every movement I made with my lower body hurt. Shows you how much you really use your glutes/calves/lateral leg muscles. Also goes to show how much I really need to do these exercises.

Weather's still crappy and slippery. I saw a man running today, he looked like an elf, running so lightly. I wanted to shout to him how he does it... because I'm scared of the slippery ice. I did notice that he wasn't wearing normal running shoes, but rather trail shoes or something.

Not that it matters. I've put myself on a 2-week break, 4 days to go.

Monday, 29 November 2010

My First Race and the Winter

I am contemplating entering the The Hague City Pier City Run in 2011. No actually, I am going to enter it. It will be my first race. The thing is, I want to enter for the 10K race...
BUT the race is early in spring and depending on what the winter is like I might not manage to train properly for it. Last year we froze out. We still had sub-zero temperatures in March. 

See, the thing is, I don't do well with European winters. I grew up in a warmer climate, and when these European people complain of the heat I'm probably not even properly sweating yet. Living in Europe I think I got the shortest straw in this deal. Heat doesn't hurt. Cold does, ask anyone with Raynaud's*. Anyway. Last year I more or less completely quit running during the coldest three months of winter. One of the main reasons also was the fact that it had snowed properly and I really didn't feel safe running on lumpy ice. My previous temperature record for running is 3 degrees Celsius, and I plan to break that and beat the temperature demon this year. Provided I can run on road/grass/other normal undergrounds. Gloves work well for running with Raynaud's, the running itself provides increased body temperature and circulation. 

That... and I absolutely, with whole my body, heart and soul, HATE treadmills. 

Anyway. Back to the race. Maybe if I wait till January to enter. If it's a bad winter I can always 'just' enter the 5k, because that First Race is well overdue. Just to run a race, to experience it. 10K is a goal though. It would also allow me to fit in that special dress I want to wear to my graduation ceremony, a few days after the CPC run. The dress is a size 8(34), I've had it for ages... and sadly I've experienced some horizontal growth in the past 6 months, leading to a size 10(36).

Interesting fact: the first time I EVER ran a full 5k in training, I finished in 28:30. My goal at that time was to run 30mins, I estimated that I'd need something short of 5k and when I finished the 5k run I was quite pleased, but also a bit disappointed because up to that point I STILL hadn't run 30mins without stopping!

This summer I was going to run a 5k in Maastricht, the city where I studied. They have an annual event (Maastrichts Mooiste, the site isn't working though), sporting a 5K and a 15K race. My plan was to finish the 5K ahead of the masses of women who finish somewhere between 28 and 33mins. Extremely do-able, given above fact. 

But not so much if you bust your LCL three weeks before the race. It took me three months or more to recover from that injury. Yes, I now know that the most important rule of street dance is to Stay Low, it was a painful lesson. I actually considered running despite the injury, changed my 'expected finishing time' from 26:00 to 29:00 and cycled the route to see what it was like. Contrary to popular belief, not the entire Holland is flat, and the region around Maastricht is decidedly un-flat. The route goes up and down, and to add to the fun it's mostly in the city centre where those old-fashioned stone streets make a very hard, very irregular surface to run on. I didn't run in the end. I think I actually cried. 
I want to run the 15K race in 2011. 
The main challenge will be to find hills in the western part of Holland to train on. This is what West-Holland landscape looks like:

Hmm. I've made a deal with myself. If I start doing leg-strengthening exercises today or tomorrow, I can go for a short run the day after. Ligament is less damaged than the last time. 

*Raynaud's phenomenon: insufficient circulation in mainly the acra (hands and feet), causing a typical red-blue-white colouring of the fingers and toes when exposed to cold. White means there's literally no blood in the fingers, when this continues, it starts hurting. Don't think it's all fine once you're inside... the warming up process hurts even more and it feels like the very bones of your hands and feet are on fire. This phenomenon is often seen in smokers or people with scleroderma, but can also be idiopathic. 
Treatment consists of quitting smoking (unless, like me, you never started smoking) or surgery. 

Sunday, 28 November 2010

That Age Old Student Ailment

Best get started right away.

Ironically, I am only doing this because I am suffering from that Age Old Ailment suffered by many students. Procrastination. Not Hangover.

Symptoms include: an increase of all feelings of discomfort, feelings of boredom and sudden interest in activities of lesser importance. Side effects generally include: loss of sleep and mediocre jobs handed in, or missing deadlines.

Somehow I doubt actual graduation is a cure for this.

I have a long history with this ailment. I went through six years of secondary school and now six and a half years of medical school. (All right. Medical school only lasts six years, but I'm half a year behind because of Third Year. Let's just leave it at that.). I have actually worked myself halfway through a book called 'The Procrastination Workbook', only to leave it somewhere under my bed in order to continue on with more pressing matters. Procrastination has significantly decreased after I realised that the main culprit is my own perfectionism.

But here I am, NOT writing an essay on how to save Africa. Instead I am blogging, checking out those amazing LOLcats, trying to figure out how to tell my bank my address has changed, contemplating my future, and wondering when my throat will stop hurting and how to fix the Knee.

What does the salvation of Africa have to do with graduating medical school, you may wonder. See, I am not just an ordinary doc. I am international in my own right (proud owner of nationalities of two different continents!) and I have been doing an extra course in International Medicine. Since my broke ass can't afford to do half of my final year abroad, the compromise is an essay. The essay is due at the end of this month.

Might as well get cracking. Less than a month left in which I can call myself Medical Student. rumtumtum. I'm in England now, and flying back to go get my degree. This will be the last time I don't HAVE to get up when they ask if there's a doctor on board. But actually I probably would get up: I might be the best they have. It's only a one-hour flight... in the worst case I could provide basic life support for an hour.

I've already passed my finals.

I just don't know how.

Well Hello There

I am the currently graduating fresh new Doctor Avalanche. And I run. I always run. I use physical runs to outrun mental runs. Medical school, you know?

So they say before you start writing you should consider your target group. I've thought about that. Probably it will be something in the line of
-people who like running
-people who like medicine
-people who like Scrubs
-people who actually know me (hopefully not too many, I might feel embarrassed)
-old pervy freaks, to be blocked immediately.

I want to use this blog to amuse, bemuse and to track my running.

I won't be posting pictures of me, and I will not be informing you where I am precisely and where I am from exactly. Confidentiality.

I will, however, have many crazy stories to share. My life is the real life Scrubs. Not so much Grey's Anatomy, Grey's is too fake. I'm probably a bit of your real life  Dr Elliot Reid if I have to be a TV doc. But now I hate Wikipedia, because I actually have not seen season 8 Scrubs and now I know that she's going to marry J.D.

But yes, I am a tall, slim, blonde, blue-eyed newbie doc. Oh, and I'm a girl. FYI.

And I am currently at the very last end of my 6-year course to become an MD. And like Elliot in season 1, I feel stupid and I will probably end up studying lots... because I'm scared.

And as far as running goes....*insert expectation awakening music*...

I'm nursing an old lateral collateral ligament injury. Often found in runners and dancers but not so common in normal people. I happen to be both, or at least, was both. Let's just leave it at the following: street dance class intermediate level is not a good idea if you've never done street dance before. And after months of pain and very little running I was finally back to my old not-so-advanced form.
And now the knee is hurting again. I must have twisted it somewhere along the road, but I haven't the faintest idea when.

It's safe to say I've been a beginner runner for 1,5 years now. And I want to go to the more advanced level.