Thursday 10 September 2015

My first weekend working......on nights

Hello all!
I have just worked my first weekend, and I was on nights!!

So how was it?
Well compared to my last lot of nights it was a breeze. I can safely say that now I've finished, nothing worse than  jinxing yourself with the q word on a shift!!

It wasn't all easy, I had a few sick people to deal with and yes some people died which is heart wrenching, especially when dealing with families.

But the beauty of nights is the camaraderie and team work. I've shared some highs and lows with some incredible nurses and support staff over the weekend. I literally couldn't have done it workout them. They plied me with biscuits, great company and essential advice. I even got bleeped in the morning by one nurse I know just because she wanted me to come up and day hi! I feel like I've made it!!!

I'm writing this G&T in hand sitting by the pool in 30°c heat. Cheeky holiday to Lanzarote has made everything better. However lovely it is I'm really struggling to switch off and relax. I need my knitting!!! I wake up at night stressing over work or patients. Jeremy hunt doesn't know what he's talking about when he says we lack vocation.

Social life wise i would say its fairly non existent.
The last weekend I've barely even passed my housemates in the corridor. To say medicine is turning out to be an antisocial job is a bit of an understatement. I only know my housemates are still alive from the whiteboard of locations in the hall.
Hopefully when I'm back from hols and on my 12day stint I see more of them!

Sewing wise I'm in desperate need of something special for a forest birthday. Might have to make another dressing gown just to keep me busy. I'm lacking inspiration. Also any party props for a bunny themed first birthday that I can sew? I scouring pinterest!

Either way, happy Thursday!!!
Almost the weekend!
Think of all those holding up the nhs this weekend!!


Monday 31 August 2015

My first post as Doctor!

So it's started. And I'm afraid as a consequence I've not done much sewing.

So what's it really like being a doctor?
terrifying? fulfilling? heartbreaking? stressful? frustrating? Thought provoking?
All of those.
And more!

My first day was a shocker but I have to say that no one died on my shift and I survived. I might have had a wee cry when a nurse hugged me. You know what is like. You're fine until someone hugs you!

Since then I've learnt so much each day. I've had to do things I never thought I could. Consoled the dying. Broken heartbreaking news to relatives. Stuck endless needles into people, often without success. Confirmed death. I've had to ask for help so many times I can't keep count. I've stared blankly at my seniors when they've asked me questions. I've felt incredibly proud when I've done something right. It's been a mixed bag for sure.

What do I enjoy the most? Not the challenge. Not the science. It's the human contact. I love talking to my patients and colleagues. I love trying to make the worst period of someone's life just a teeny but better. I've not got a clue if I've succeeded. I hope I have.

Either way, if you're in a UK hospital any time soon, look out for us baby faced new doctors and tell us how we are doing, good or bad. We are just starting out and feedback is only ever useful. We can  nip any bad habits in the bud!! We're new so please forgive us if we aren't up to scratch yet!

This is a pic of me post nights, yes I look a little bit mental, but in fairness it was 4am!

On the topic of good doctoring, it is two years since Dr.Kate Granger started the #hellomyname is campaign. If you haven't heard of it, it's a campaign where medical professionals try to introduce themselves properly to patients who see a crazy amount of staff everyday! I know from my few experiences in hospital that it is both disorientating and scary spending time on a ward and the simplest things make a huge difference. I try and remember this when I'm called to see a patient at 3am and introduce myself, explain why I'm there and generally try and orientate the patient to the situation. I try to remember what I would feel like being examined and jabbed with needles in the early hours.

Anyway, just a short update to let you know I'm still here and struggling through the first month of doctoring!

I've got a few days off now so I'll be hopefully sewing a few treats! I'll let you know!

Medic and sewing love
#hellomynameis charlotte and I'm a junior doctor


Wednesday 22 July 2015

slight rant on feminism and sexism

It's crazy.
I write so many blog posts in my head, then the moment passes before I put pen to paper....or in this case, finger to iPad. So here is a car journey crafted piece en route to Strasburg.

Currently I'm investigating my feminist side. I've always thought of my self as one, but been positively terrified and put off by the scary, hairy armpitted, ladies telling me to cut my hair short and stop wearing dresses. If you too are in this boat, help is at hand!!! I have discovered 'hot feminist' by polly vernon. A modern, no 'pissing about' take on feminism, which is at the end of the day, standing up for sex equality. Not man bashing.

Mum used to describe me as a 'token bloke' because I often sided with men. I don't buy into this man hating and need to set aside all that is womanly to qualify as a proper femist.
Much of what Polly describes rings true with my own encounters with feminism, both good and bad. I too, love a good wolf whistle from a construction site, regularly check out women (and often tell them just how blooming fab they look) and I'm shallow.

I don't feel that in order to promote womanlyness we need to crush men. After all I bloody love men.

I love my brother. He is my no.1 in the world and fashion stylist. He can be brutal but always honest. I love my dad. For always being there with sound advise, for being such a bloody good doctor, for making the best Turkey curry at Christmas, and for taking the blame when I scraped the car......among other things. Some of the most important people in my life are men. Men rock! But people don't rock because they do or don't have that Y chromosome. They rock because of who they are and how they are, irrespective of what resides in their pants.

I do of course have very negative experiences of men, and of blatant sexism. One that bothers me at the moment, probably because I'm considering career paths, is my experience of surgery. I love being in theatre. I don't know why but I just do. I think, although I can't be certain, that if I hadn't had such a shit time in theatres over the last few years, that I would be going into a surgical specialty.
So what happened? I was constantly humiliated by surgeons, told I wasn't good enough, shamed, criticised, sworn at and shouted at. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not adverse to criticism if it is constructive or warranted. I'm not ok with being told I can't be a surgeon because I am a woman with small hands. It's nothing new and certainly nothing personal and I am not particularly sensitive. (In fact I have been described as 'spunky' by a consultant before. Shortly before being advised to change career and become an escort as I'd 'make more money'. I'm sure he didn't offer the same advise to my male placement partner.) that aside, how can I be expected to learn, progress and flourish in my career when constantly being put down and criticised. To not receive acknowledgement where it's due. No. That's not for me.
Realising I loved theatre but hated surgeons (generalising I know), I migrated to the much more friendly, coffee providing, question answering, education providing ANAESTHETISTS. They are more of the nicest branches of doctor you'll ever meet (in general).

One of my friends B recently declared she would be horrified if a man didn't pay for everything on a first date. I felt a bit put out by it. I mean, why should he have to? Why not just go halves?!!!! By all means I like a free dinner.....who doesn't? But to shun a perfectly good bloke on the basis of how the bill is settled baffled me. I can't really jump onto my high horse about it though because I do like it when men hold doors open for me, but I enjoy it just as much when a women holds it for me.....isn't it just polite? On a more sexist note though, I do like men to take the bins out. Not because I'm not capable of it, I most certainly am and this year my house has solely relied on the ladies of the house for this as we have had a rather useless specimen of the male race residing with us. But!! I would rather do all the washing up or clean the loo or pull the hair out of the shower drain than have to deal with the bins.

Feminism aside, I'm not often happy with myself. For various reasons. Polly discusses this at length and I agree with her. We just need to love ourselves a bit more and stop being so terribly judgemental in the toxically negative way. On a loo stop mid France, I sauntered into the petrol station (checking myself out in the glass on the way) and I loved it. I know my waist is no longer the slinky 24inches it used to be, but it's still small compared to my voluptuous bottom, billowing things and cracking rack. All the moaning of wanting to be thinner, the bitching with girl friends as to how much we hate our bodies. It's often a lot of bull shit we need to cut out. Yes my thighs rub together so much when I walk that jeans only last a year before a cheeky hole wears away over the thigh area. Yes in summer or hot countries I need to either wear long shorts, trousers, or invest in a good chaffing product because if I don't I'm left with crippling red sores on my inner eh?!
I do love curves. I love having larger than average boobs. Even if I struggle to find a sexy bra that doesn't cost the earth or hurt. I love my eyelashes and eye colour.
Overall when I stop, really look, and appreciate. It's not all that bad.
So why don't we all say it a bit more? I agree with polly on this one. We all feel the need to hate ourselves more than everyone else. We don't take compliments. We feel guilty when we check ourselves out.
Note to self. Stop! For the most part, most of the time, we look cracking!
I'm determined to stop self hating.

Monday 1 June 2015


Gosh I am so sorry!
Its been a crazy year!
Time has flown by and I only realised when I was sewing a gift for family that I realised I havent been updating the blog!

So what on earth have I been up to?

I finished the quilt from one of my last blog posts for one of my best friends baby. I also made her a very cute little stocking for her first christmas. 

Over christmas I knocked up a few Liberty bow ties and pocket squares:

Then I was on a GP placement which was great. I was in a very friendly practice and staying in a gorgeous farmhouse B&B. I also found the most amazing fabric shop there! Totally incredible! From this aladdins cave of a shop I picked some nautical fabric to make my godmother's new baby a quilt. 

After GP block we had an incredible opportunity to go on elective. I chose to go with an outstanding charity called 'FLOATING DOCTORS' based in Bocas del Toro province, Panama. It provides much needed healthcare to rural indigenous communities and also helps run a local old peoples home. I had the best time, met the most fabulous people and even extended my stay by a week because I was having too much fun. Dont think because I had such a fabulous time that I wasn't working hard. Days were long but the teamwork was incredible and it was very rewarding work. For example, one lady I treated had walked for three days to attend one of our clinics. If that wasn't amazing enough add in the fact that she was 8 months pregnant! I cant imagine a woman here walking for 3 hours whilst 8 months pregnant, let alone for 3 days!

One of the more permanent volunteers and I do a home visit at one of the communities.

Me on one of our days off - we went on a catamaran snorkelling tour

Here is a map of all the communities that floating doctors reaches!

 Me wearing scrubs that have 'dientes' or teeth sewn onto them. A local woman made these scrubs for me. Dientes are considered a sign of beauty there and some women even file their teeth into sharp triangular points!!

I really had the best time with this lot and miss them already! After my time with them I went travelling across cantral america. Up from Panama, through costa rica to nicaragua, honduras, guatemala and belize. Probably need to do a whole seperate blog post on this because it was an insane 3 months!

Back from travelling I got myself a job!! As a real DOCTOR!!! Starting in august i will be Dr.Sutures! Exciting eh!
And im another year older! wooohooo! 24! Had a gorgeous dinner with friends then a cracking raclette evening and walk with girl friends, then spent the bank hol with family. PERFECTION!!!


Sewing-wise ive not been up to much post-elective except for making this cute dinky little dressing gown. Its from a pattern from Dana at Dana Made It. It was my first item of clothing and it was incredibly easy! Brilliant pattern and very easy to understand instructions! Cant wait to make more!


Anyhow! Here's a little bit to be going on with! Appologies its rushed and a little garbled! I'll do one on elective and the summer before work soon!!

Take care!

Char.....aka Dr.Sutures.....eeeeeek!