I hate being sick. I try to be as productive as I can in everyday life, and I particularly loathe losing an entire free day. On the eve of Halloween, through the fault of Gucci Chip on the Lisburn road or some other nefarious mechanism, I ended up with food poisoning/gastroenteritis, and I was out of action from Friday until Tuesday. I missed Halloween, and ended up having to fast for a day and cut back my diet to tiny meals. I love all aspects of preparing and eating food, and not having an appetite for five solid days was a form of hell for me. Even a short stretch of illness can put things into perspective, and make you rethink all of the things you take for granted in everyday life. Enough of all that guff, I’m over it now! My appetite is back to normal, and I started back to anaesthetics in Altnagelvin last Wednesday. And better yet, I got my application for an elective in the Jikei School of Medicine, Tokyo sent off!
Anything with drugs powerful enough to make you sleep is pretty intriguing in my book, and until fairly recently, anaesthetics was a relative mystery to me. Drugs go in, gas goes on, patient drifts off to the land of nod…or a variation on that order. Or dies, if you’re Michael Jackson and you are using propofol to sleep at night. Probably not the greatest strategy long term, particularly when you combine it with the tranquiliser lorazepam.
Anaesthetists are the masters of the airway, and know just about everything there is to know about physiology and pharmacology. This placement has been the most hands on experience I’ve had to date, getting to put in laryngeal mask airways and intravenous cannulas and generally helping out with the management of patients in theatre. It may be a potential career option if pathology doesn’t work out, though I can’t imagine myself knowing the amount they do about medicine, right down to the basic science and physics of it all. Tonight was my evening shift which was pretty uneventful, and thanks to a few difficult airways and anxious patients, I didn’t get to do much. Tomorrow is the Queen’s Academic Medicine Society Student Research Symposium, so I’m cracking open the old poster from the ISHG in September, hopefully to wow a few folks about the wonderful world of genetics.