Photo #362: Salty and Sweet

February 24, 2013

We’ve decided that from now on, weekends will be cooking days – which will hopefully save us some time and trouble during the busy weekdays. Made a whole bunch of dishes today including baguette crisps. To top: roasted green grapes with walnuts, salt, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Yummy treat!

Photo #361: Didn’t Die – Win!

February 23, 2013

Growing up, I discovered I had an allergy to many fruits and over the years have learned which ones to stay away from. Unfortunately, I especially love the fruits I’m most allergic to. After over 10 years of not tasting fresh, ripe, juicy peaches, I decided enough was enough. Had one today and only had a mild reaction – woo hoo!

First Guest Author!

Hi all!

Sandra has been kind enough to let me write on her blog. Actually, she did over a month ago. I think this is her way of getting me to let her read my writing (nice trick). I was told I could write about anything, and that’s great, because my thoughts are as varied as my interests (golddiggers to geopolitics).

So thank you for letting me into your blog world and I look forward to sharing my view of the world with you guys!

Happy Lunar New Year!

Or as they say in Viet, “ChΓΊc mα»«ng nΔƒm mα»›i!”

I know, this post is a week late… but better late than never!

New year (Tet) was on February 10th this year but we didn’t do much to celebrate. Tet for me is mostly a celebration with the family, which means slight loneliness here in Australia. However, Mike and I did go out for a Chinese banquet dinner on Friday the 8th, which was quite yummy and also nice to just be out and relaxing πŸ™‚

On Sunday the 10th, we were back in Chinatown for Christine’s birthday lunch, which it also gave us the opportunity to check out the new year festivities. It was pretty crowded with performances on stage, restaurants full of patrons and many kiosks selling goods. Here are a few pictures!

Celebrating James & Kim’s Engagement

Last weekend, on February 9th, we were invited to the Toowong Bowls Club to share in the celebration of James and Kim’s engagement.

It was a gorgeous day and very lovely to see everyone, not mention our first time playing barefoot bowls!

Presents πŸ™‚

Touching speeches from the couple and their families

Family and friends mingling

Group picture ❀

So happy for Kim and James! πŸ˜€

Big Day Out 2013

Mike and I went to Big Day Out at the Gold Coast on January 20th, my first concert ever – woo hoo!

Big Day Out is an annual music festival that, as of 2013, is held in five Australian cities: Sydney, Gold Coast, Adelaide, Melbourne and Perth. It features seven or eight stages (depending on the venue) accommodating popular contemporary rock music, electronic music, mainstream international acts and local acts.

Tickets were a little pricey but definitely worth it for a full day of really good live music. We spent all day listening to great bands, many of which I’d never listened to before but now love!

Heading on the bus down to the Gold Coast

Got there quite early so lots of time to walk around and check out the venue

The 2 main stages

Multiple bands were playing at the time across the different stages throughout the entire day. This was the line up we chose to follow:

  • 11:30 – Jakarta Criers
  • 12:20 – The Medics
  • 13:20 – Delta Spirit
  • 14:25 – Gary Clark Jr
  • 15:50 – Band of Horses
  • 16:55 – Vampire Weekend
  • 18:00 – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  • 19:05 – The Killers
  • 20:30 – Red Hot Chili Peppers

Only took a few pictures of the acts, but enjoy!

The Medics

Gary Clark Jr

Vampire Weekend

Soooo much garbage. The only good thing is that most of it was recyclable

Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Red Hot Chili Peppers

My RHCP song: The Otherside!

Made it home safe and sound!

My favourites of the day? Definitely Gary Clark Jr and Vampire Weekend! Please check them out, guaranteed enjoyment! πŸ™‚

And man, was it hot. SO HOT. So hot and so dirty. Yes the music was good. But would I rush to another outdoor music festival? Nope! πŸ™‚

MIS: Chart Writing

As silly as this may sound, one of the most exciting things I’ve done on the wards is writing in patient charts. It gives me a satisfying sense of responsibility and makes me feel like a trusted member of the team. But that could just be me!

10 things I’ve learned regarding patient charts:

  1. The whole world would be happier if charts were electronic.
  2. Everyone on a multidisciplinary team has better handwriting than doctors – MUCH better.
  3. Sometimes, doctors really do have nice penmanship and you are so so grateful.
  4. You spend a lot of time looking for charts because another person on the team is using it. Refer to #1.
  5. You need to put a patient sticker on every piece of paper in their chart. Things fall out of plastic sleeves and papers get ripped all the time. Refer to #1.
  6. You are happy to see that the file you’re holding is “Volume 1” and not “Volume 7” because that means: the patient has not had lengthy hospital stays and you don’t have a ton of catch up reading to do.
  7. Forget white coats, charts are the dirtiest things around. They get carted around the hospital everywhere the patient goes, are constantly manhandled by innumerable hands, and never get cleaned… ever. Refer again to #1.
  8. It is always better to be more detailed than brief in your charting.
  9. Describing patients as “pleasantly confused” is a lot more common than you think, especially in geriatric wards – thanks to dementia. It sure took me a second the first time I read that description in a patient file.
  10. Unlike my seniors, I am not even close to mastering the art of reading through an entire patient chart in less than 5 minutes, while retaining everything I read. Got a loooong way to go.

I’m behind

Dear world,

I know, I’m very behind on posting my photo a day project and just blogging in general. I feel so poopy coming home every day but I promise to catch up soon!

Thank you for reading!

MIS: You look good today!

I had a chat the other day with a patient who’s been with us for over 2 weeks now. He’s had ups and downs since his surgery, compounded by the fact that he has severe interstitial lung disease.

He was looking better so I was happy to say, “You look good today!” He replied with, “Yea! But what you don’t see is that I’m a broken person on the inside.” Too much talking takes his breath away so he went quiet and started writing in his notebook. I let him write in peace and a few minutes later he handed me what he had written. A list of nearly 10 other medical issues (that we already knew of course) currently affecting him and his quality of life. A reminder that every patient’s story and definition of “doing better” is always more intricate than the current issue at hand.

This man is a palliative patient. He knows his condition is end-stage and will continually worsen over time, which made it even more heart touching to hear him say he was fighting to stay with his family and grand daughters. How much of an inspiration your loved ones can be…