Whitsundays take 2!

Trip Start Aug 08, 2011
Trip End Jul 22, 2013

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Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Thursday, May 24, 2012

I've been a bit slack with the blog entries lately so some free WIFI and 2 hours sat waiting in an airport seemed the perfect opportunity to update you all. Although I am travel weary so apologies in advance for the inevitable spelling and grammer errors! At the moment I am halfway back to the Uk, sat in the airport at Hong Kong. I will be back for 2 weeks 4 days and so far they are beginning to look very hectic! Most importantly there is my friend Kim and Gareth's wedding next weekend which I am so excited about! Although I still have to find a dress 1st as I refuse to pay aussie prices. Australian clothes are ridiculously expensive and less well made unless you pay a LOT extra! So it will be an urgent shopping trip to Cardiff as soon as I get back. No hardship there then!!

So I've been in ICU a while now and am settling in. I was wary of my bosses to begin with as I'd heard a few horror stories but I actually really like them all. I think it's just that they don't suffer fools so you can't get away with bluffing! But as i tend to be upfront about just how little anatomy and physiology i have retained from my uni days, I just get laughed at and not shouted at! We've been really busy lately and have had some interesting patients such as a young guy who had a dental tooth extraction and 3 days later ended up being ventilated, dialysed and having open chest surgery for a pneumomediastinum and empyema secondary to a gas forming cellulitis! For the non medics out there basically that means he got a load of air and pus in places within the chest wall where they shouldn't be which led to respiratory and kidney failure. Very rare very interesting but also very sad. 

 The hours i've found pretty difficult. Especially when its busy. This week with a little overtime I exceeded 90 hours in 7 days, never got more than 5-6 hrs sleep and averaged 1-2 meals a day. Not the healthiest lifestyle! At the moment they have changed the rota so that i stay in ICU for another term but I am trying to swap back to ED. I would definately like to do more ICU as it is a massive learning curve but it would be nice to break it up a bit and have a term of being healthy again! I haven't been more than a few days without picking up a new virus since being in intensive care and as you can imagine the viruses we get there tend to be the nasty ones! It would also be nice to do ICU whilst my parents are visiting in october/november as i would be guaranteed 2 weeks off with them even without taking leave! 

I used one of my weeks off to go back to the Whitsundays with Rosie and Ashleigh -  a much needed break after a stressful few weeks here. It was just the tonic I needed and i came back feeling much better about things. We went on a different boat trip called the Summertime. It was smaller than The Solway Lass with just 9 guests, had a jacuzzi and the advantage of sea kayaks. Thats said because of its size it was also a lot more bumpy a ride and I did get a bit seasick! I really enjoyed both boats but I do have a real soft spot for the Solway, perhaps just as it was my 1st experience of the beautiful Whitsundays. Another difference with this trip is that i got the courage up to try diving. It was just an intro dive down to 5m but it gave me a flavour of what its like. I had a few problems equalising the pressure in my ears but probably just as I had a cold the previous week. I really enjoyed it and am considering getting my PADI license at some point. There is a great dive site near Byron which I havent been to yet. 

After the Whitsundays we all went back to our respective homes to do a week of nights and then met back up when the girls came to Byron for a few days. We were blessed with fantastic weather and had a whirldwind few days of showing them the sites. We also went horesriding in the Hinterland which was great, the views were spectacular. My horse was pretty challenging to say the least but it was good fun and he definately had character! He kept sauntering so that he would get the opportunity to stretch his legs and run to catch up with the other horses leaving me hanging on for dear life! But I felt I was pretty proficient at trotting by the end of the trip - perhaps because with my horse I had more opportunity to practise more than most!!!

Right I'd better go, tiredness is beginning to take over! I'm sure they'll be another update after my uk trip with a few piccies! I'll upload some pictures from the girls visit and Whitsundays take 2 as soon as I get a chance! 

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