Far be it from me –

Making Real Change Happen ISPS Liverpool Declaration 2107


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I said ma-mama we’re all crazy now

Waiting in the social area to pick up the last of my belongings,  I gaze distractedly at a pair of old socks that have been slung carelessly on top of a pile of books.    It’s 3pm and I’vejust been told I can go home, Section 1 revoked: my stay in hospital is almost over.   Clutching Ken’s arm, I carry a handful of Asda  bags for life, as I steer the suitcase on wheels down the corridor and down to the car park where we quickly pack everything into the boot climb in  the car and head for home, a 30 mile round trip, back indoors with a cup of tea by 4pm.   At 4.20pm the phone rings.   The deputy ward manager sounds frantic.  You’ve gone without your medication she shrills   No, I have some left from my 3 day weekend leave I counter,  and surely you’ve faxed my local pharmacy?   No, she says, you’ll have to drive back to hospital and pick them up.    Five minutes later comes another phone call, and in more measured tones she announces that I am not to worry,  the Crisis team will personally deliver the medication to my door the next day.      Starting to unpack the next morning I realise it is 11 a.m. and there is no sign of the Crisis team.   I have enough medication for one evening.   I make some phone calls.   To my GP first.  She can’t help because she has no paperwork from the hospital and needs to know what the prescription is.  Next  the hospital pharmacy.  They can’t help either, they’ve sent my prescription to the ward.   I’ll have to speak to the ward manager.   The advocacy service say they’ll  phone the ward and find out where my meds are.    Next I phone my local ASDA  pharmacy.   They can’t  help.  So back to square one I ring the deputy ward manager.   Haven’t the crisis team been she asks.  Five minutes later  I receive  a very terse phone call from someone called Will.  Brusquely he tells  me that the nature of his work means that he cannot give me a precise time of arrival, but he will be with me within the next two hours, and will bring with him some paperwork, that I can give to my GP at my convenience.

Cheered by this news I finish unpacking the suitcase.    The time is  almost up when there’s a knock at the door.   There peering at me is Will and a lady hovering behind him.   Come in, I beckon and I shout downstairs to Ken who heads  up to the kitchen to see who is here.  Will introduces me to Julie.    I offer Julie a chair but she declines, saying she has been driving.   Will looks me up and down and looks at the chair with the  back rest and asks if it is my chair.   No I say you can sit anywhere.  Ken sits down, Will sits down I sit  down.   And we all stare at each other.   Then comes a series of intrusive, disconnected and personal questions from Will.   He then says  he’s never me me before.    Stating the obvious maybe, but triggering a series of questions in my mind about the very nature of this Crisis team.   How do these meetings work, are  they assessing me?   Someone they’d never met?  Are they going to give me the correct medication if they have never me me before? I steer the conversation round to my medication and ask if I can please have the 7 day prescription so I can let the surgery know and organise it from there.   Did this prescription start in the hospital booms Will.   Yes, I falter.  Well you cannot stop it he says, accusingly   Excuse me?  I never said I was going to stop it, I say,  I said I’d discuss with my GP a timescale for tapering it off.   Julie says very little.   Ken says how tired he is.   I start to fidget and Will and Julie eventually get the message and say  they’ll get out of my hair, and they leave.    How dare these people visit me, offer opinions, quiz me, presume to judge me and act in such an egocentric way?  Six days later normal service has resumed; I am sitting in the safety of my trusted GP’s room.  She and I discuss my options;  she sorts out some appointments.  It is calm and measured.   I’m ok again, I’m back in the real world.    I don’t need the biomedical illness model, I need it like a pounding headache.    I need calm caring people surrounding me, I don’t need crazy.

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It isn’t too late, go get stuck in!

University of Sheffield Bloggers

First year of University is a lot like riding the Super Tram. At first you don’t really know how to navigate your way around those coloured lines on the map. You can only remember some of the stops as the trams speed around the city and you hop on and off, letting it take you to new and exciting places.

University life is a lot like this; you are given an outline of how your first year should be, you are offered all these thrilling experiences, but, in reality the amalgamation of course deadlines, term dates, lecture times and society meet times, it’s impossible to remember everything going on. In my first few weeks at University, I felt a bit lost. I was struggling to remember when and where I was meant to be.

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Sweden – an unexpected discovery

University of Sheffield Bloggers

One of the best things about doing a science-related PhD is that travelling abroad to attend international conferences is positively encouraged. These meetings are invaluable opportunities to gain experience in presenting work in front of academic audiences; network with colleagues from around the world; pick up new ideas for future experiments and to scout out future jobs. And of course, it’s a great excuse to visit somewhere new!

A VERY busy, bustling conference!

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Starting the long and windy road to becoming a Doctor – how to survive starting a PhD

University of Sheffield Bloggers

It is coming around to that time of year again when campus will be crawling with people; excited freshers starting their university experience, 2nd and 3rd year undergraduates back again for another jam-packed year, and let’s not forget, all those new and continuing postgraduates.

It can be just as daunting for a new PhD student as it is for a fresher. Moving to a new city, having to make new friends, starting a brand new course, it can all be very overwhelming, even if this is at least the second time of doing so. But with a few hints and tips, starting a PhD can be such an exciting time for any student.

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And the beat goes on

Spending ten days in hospital wasn´t easy for me and now  I have been discharged I´ve had two GP appointments in three days.    The arrhythmia  following my electrical injury on 31 July,  is not as easy to shake off as I thought.  On Monday my pulse was still too rapid.   Today my BP was normal.

Before I went into hospital I took only vitamins, minerals and  omega oils;   now I must take  a beta blocker and  an anti coagulant each morning and another anti coagulant at night.    It feels strange to be artificially slowed in my movements and thought processes    At best my heart rhythm will settle of its own accord.    At worst I’ll   need an invasive procedure to settle it.      I´m booked in for another ECG in October.

My next GP appointment is on 19th September – to be continued.










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