Posts Tagged ‘God’

I’m coming to the end of my stint in Accident and Emergency, and although it’s been hectic, frantic, difficult, and I’ve not had much time at all to stop and think, let alone pray, I’ve actually felt quite close to God these last few days. I was working the nightshift over the weekend, and was aware that it was going to challenge me as, at the end of the day, our Friday night culture is pretty focussed on binge-drinking, and the ER is where they all end up, being assessed by people like me, with a white coat flapping round my knees, stethoscope poking out of a back pocket.

After a pretty labile week, I was dreading these shifts a great deal. I prayed on my way in that God would show me how to best use my hands, and be of use.On my way in, I found myself praying that whatever came through the door, God would show me how to use my hands and be of use. I prayed for strength to get through, and compassion to help treat my patients as well as possible. That prayer was answered. Although my head found certain things difficult, my hands never stopped helping.

My nights didn’t get off to the best start; within ten minutes, I’d been projectile vomited on by a woman I was trying to mop up a bit, leading to a change of scrubs and coat and derision from the nurses, and pretty much the minute I stepped back into the ER, I got covered in blood after trying to put a drip in someone on bloodthinners, as they jerked their arm halfway through. After changing once again (surgeon en route saying ‘weren’t you covered in a different bodily fluid like….ten minutes ago…are you going for some kind of record…?’), I managed to keep my white coat clean till morning, and the hours passed in a blur of seizures, overdoses, falls from heights, heart attacks, and of course, the angry, drunken, injured masses, bleeding on floors, shouting at staff, and dozing in corners. My hands were kept busy, though at times, my heart was heavy.

When I think of practising medicine, I think of doing it with my hands – percussing chests, feeling pulses, testing coordination. I think of my hands getting method-memory at how to position IV lines, feeling bellies, and test joint stability. Obviously, medicine is also about listening, and speaking, and hearing – but so often, it’s the palm on a shoulder that patients are comforted by. It’s the fingers that push pain meds through their line, that quiets them. It’s the hands that compress their chest, that keep them alive. It’s a practical profession.

These are the hands that stitched up bleeding heads, sampled a lot of blood gases, and put in more cannulas (drips) than I could count. These are the hands that held the hands of an old man whose wife lay dying. These are the hands that were squeezed in solidarity as a broken leg was straightened. These are the hands I use to learn my trade. These are the hands God gives me, to love my patients. These are my hands.

I have moments, sometimes, where I look at what I’m doing, and wonder if it’s been worth six years to get my basic medical degree, and at least another ten, before I am near the top of whatever training scheme I chose – I spent two hours peeling a dressing off an infected leg yesterday, which to be honest, is a job anyone with a strong stomach, could do.  Then, however, come the rare moments,  that remind me that I am exactly where I want to be, in both the good, speak-easy weeks, and the ones which challenge and threaten to break me down. It’s those rare but beautiful moments of true connection, of one hand on one shoulder, of one person comforting another, that make me love the path I have chosen more than anything. It’s those fleeting experiences where I can put all of my knowledge and training into practise, to help someone, whether it’s by explaining a bit about chemotherapy, or how a chest drain works, or just listening to their story, that remind me that being in medical school is the best gift I’ve ever been given. These are my hands. These are God’s, hands.

When I am working with my hands, my head is less busy and less chaotic; it focusses on the task, and blinds everything else out. Last week, with its triggers and tempers, I benefitted from being able to switch off, though as always, there’s only so long I can go before I start to crack a little. Now, I just need to get through my next exam on Friday, before I really collapse. By my calculation, this is then 29th exam I have sat since starting medical school and not including my year out to do a BSc. No wonder I’m tired….

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Mixed experiences

This post has two parts: a light-hearted part, and a pretty heavy part. Here goes.

I am working in my city’s accident/emergency department at the moment. It’s great, as I’m getting to do lots of skills (I am the ‘cannula monkey’, apparently), and see lots of things – but I also had a shock this week, on my first day, when I was called to the resus room over the tanoy, and then asked if I could start chest compressions on an elderly man whilst the team got stuff ready to shock him.

I’ve done CPR once before, as a very green 16 year old lifeguard, when to be honest, it was such a shock to have to drag someone out of the pool that we were all on autopilot. Then, it was a fifty year old man with an unexpected heart attack – it made sense to try. This time, however, was different. He was 87, with three previous strokes, and a previous heart attack. We stopped after about ten minutes of compressions from me, then a further stint using the automatic compressor (which is officially the most horrific thing I’ve ever seen), and I could hear his ribs breaking. He was brought in so quickly, and the ambulance staff left so quickly, that none of the doctors knew his name. He should have been allowed to die at home, peacefully, but instead, ended up bruised and naked, in the ER. He was allowed to die, at last, whilst we watched his heart trace finally flatline. I held his hand. Not the good death, we are supposed to aim for. CPR is actually much less effective than most people know. Only around 5% are brought back – and of those, many end up dying in ITU, or similar. I ‘m not saying it’s not a wonderful thing – for some patients, it’s a true miracle. However, for most, it’s futile, and barbaric.

This was the first of what I know will be so many deaths I will face as a doctor – but unlike my first successful cannula, or blood gas, or intubation, this is one first I did not look forward to, at all. Sometimes, I think that so much is wrong with how we approach these things – GP’s have targets for managing so many symptoms, yet don’t have to make sure that appropriate patients have DNAR orders. This man probably did not want the treatment we gave him; his wife certainly didn’t. I want to be a doctor who protects rights to a good death, as much as rights to a good life. I want to help my patients die where they want, surrounded by family. I don’t want them to end up cold and broken after a trainee cracks their ribs. I want better for them. As I was doing CPR, my eyes drifted to the clock on the wall, and it was midday – which is when, according to my church’s current project, we are all supposed to pray. And at first, all I wanted was for him to open his eyes and start breathing. All I wanted was a heartbeat. But then, I realised that I truly wanted what was best for him, and that is what I prayed for. I believe, that God delivered on that. I believe he heard me.

Since then, I’ve been a little shaken up; long hours, and particularly bad sleep at the moment make me short tempered and tearful. Counselling on Monday was harder than it’s been for quite a while. I’m a bit overstretched. I’m partly mourning, for a man I did not know.

On a lighter note……..

My other ‘first’ is that tomorrow I am going on an official, real-life, bonafide date. With a boy (or more specifically, a young man who teached maths at the same school the former conductor of my choir also teaches at). I know – who’d have thought, eh? We met at my conductor’s wedding celebration on Saturday, and after a lovely chat, agreed to meet again.

I have never done this before. ‘Terrified’ doesn’t quite cut it, to be honest. My only other ‘serious’ relationship started after I’d known the guy for eighteen months – we didn’t need to do the whole dating, sit down and talk about music and childhood nicknames thing. We knew each other. This, is so different, so strange. Part of me wonders if it’s a good idea – I’m still so wobbly, and have so many ups and downs, that even the scent of a relationship seems badly placed. But on the other hand, it’s nice to be asked – I’m not the sort of girl who turns heads and gets a lot of interest from lads. Most of the ones my age, are a bit intimidated by me. I’m a hopeless romantic, but also often wonder if I’ll ever find someone who matches me, challenges me, but will love me for all my discrepancies and hidden issues. I’m often not that convinced he exists. And being faced with a possibility, no matter how slim, no matter that this is informal and friendly – is a bit scary. I’m not sure how ‘good’ at dating I will be. I’m not sure how ‘good’ I want to be. Here goes.

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First of all, this is apparently my hundreth post – I never thought I’d have enough to say to fill that many! Thanks for sticking with me guys. Let’s see if I’m still writing when I get to the seventy-times-seventh post. I had some thoughts about what my centenary should be about – but then, what follows came up and I felt quite convicted by it, so here we go!

As you will know, I’m a student. I do many student things; I eat dodgy combinations of left-overs, walk three miles to get somewhere to save bus-fare and have a definite penchant for fancy-dress, preferably involving facepaint. My time here at medschool has been shaped mostly by the clubs and societies I’ve been in, lead, and founded, in addition to my studies. Last night was the annual society fundraiser at the union, where every club and society who have people going, are given some money. Now, I’m not a massive fan of clubbing, as so often, it’s dominated by people drinking enough to make me uncomfortable (let alone themselves), and stereotypically, lads who think that drinking five pints gives them a right to grope you (NB it doesn’t). This night is different however, because it’s held for the people with the greatest passion for what they do, the people who hold the fabric of the university together and make our student experience the terrific thing it is. Band geeks and history buffs don’t tend to attempt the drunken grope. They are too busy being dressed as tenor horns and Henry VIII.

I was there last night with my girls voice choir (complete with painted treble clefs on our faces) and have also gone in the past with my patient visiting group (dressed as an old person) and windband (dressed as a clarinet, using some imagination). Although everyone is dressed more than a little ludicrously, I actually love it – it’s about saying, this is what I do with my time, what I love. This is what I think is important. This is what I will encourage you to get involved with. This is my identity, my clan, my family.

I find it interesting when older people say things like ‘I still feel twenty-one’ – when what I think they really mean, is that they still feel passionate, they still feel alive. When you are actually twenty-one, you’re usually still finding your way and working out where you fit with things, and have not yet got the confidence and stability that comes with maturity. It’s actually quite painful, or was, and to some extent still is, for me. But often, we in our early adult lives, are also full of passion and excitement. We are the can-do generation, unladen with children and their ballet classes, mortgages, or elderly parents. We have the freedom to try to change things. We have the freedom to spend three days a week visiting patients in hospital, or to run a concert band. Our lack of ties, whilst sometimes isolating, is also the essence of our abilities. I know that when, or if, I have children, I will chose my son’s football matches over my choir practises, and my daughter’s piano lessons over whatever charity I’m involved with. And this is how I would want it to be – but is also means that now, before that phase, is my chance to make my mark and make a difference.

So often, churches talk about the apathy of the people and how we’ve lost the meaning of the message in between a culture of wanting, and the pull of consumerism. I hear preaching on getting off the treadmill and getting out of our bubble and getting in to our communities.  Last night however, all I could think was that I was in a room full of passionate people intent on making a difference somewhere, whether it’s in running the lacrosse team, raising funds for wells in Africa, reaching out to international students, or publishing the university newspaper. It’s always  inspiring, being in a room of people with conviction, big dreams, and action plans.

I had a ‘Christian first’ recently as I bought the new Tim Hughes album, my first foray into having Christian music on my ipod. The track I’ve posted is a good one for early mornings, but it’s also kind of flawed in labelling current Christians as ‘the freedom generation’; we’ve been the freedom generation since Cavalry. We’ve been free, since the man we follow and sing to and cry to, died on a cross. We are not the freedom generation. We’re a part of the freedom genealogy, the freedom family tree. It’s not about being a twentysomething with little to tie them down and no shackles from taxes and pension plans. It’s about following our hearts and keeping that conviction, that passion to change and better and fix, alive, as we go through the valleys and mountains of our years. I don’t want to lose my can-do spirit or my indefatiguable love of pushing boundaries. I want our freedom family tree to extend until it includes absolutely everyone. I don’t want change to be a task for one generation. I want it to be a task for one, enormous, family.

What are you passionate about?

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Life is pretty busy at the moment – I’m doing anaesthetics this week so working for as long as there’s operations going on, essentially, and trying to sort my job application at the same time. Anaesthetics isn’t for me – I’d rather be the surgeon doing the cutting than the anaesthetist enabling them to operate – but it is interesting. I intubated my first patient this week, and am enjoying getting to learn more and more practical skills – I feel like I’m finally really learning the ‘tools of the trade’. And I’m not going to lie – helping them put a tracheostomy tube in was pretty AWESOME. I’ve written before that I love medicine, but it’s things like this that really make me rejoice and thank God for guiding clever clogs through the centuries – we can keep someone alive. We can breathe for someone. When you need it, someone will literally breathe for you. That’s pretty amazing.

Counselling on Monday was pretty rough; she’d not had time to read back through everything so I didn’t get feedback, despite being a complete bag of nerves all week over it. So, I have another week to wait. Part of it is that although she’s pretty much duty-bound to do the whole unconditional positive approach or whatever, I don’t really believe it. I’m still, even now, as ever, set to this stance of incredible negativity, which only gets worse when I’m a bit emotional as I am at the moment. I’m half expecting her to tell me I’m a hopeless case and that I’ll never achieve that all elusive balance. I’m half expecting her to tell me I’m wasting everyone’s time and just need to get over myself.

I’m so tired at the moment, which is not that surprising as I’m doing long hospital days, followed by a few hours of studying, and then repeating ad infinitum, but I am just feeling so very drained. It’s tough with F and her pathway through possible depression at the moment, particularly as I’m the only student on my block and literally go all day without seeing any peers, and then come home to a fairly grim flat. I’m feeling a bit shut off at the moment. I’ve just got too much in my head at the moment. Between my job application (due in a week on Friday) and everything else, I’m just feeling stretched. I’m also feeling a lot more anxious than usual which is starting to worry me (ironically) – whether it’s just that I’ve had some pretty harsh clinical tutors recently who have really dinted my confidence is hard to say, but I’m not enjoying the whole racing heart, light-headed thing. I need to be working at the top of my game. Strangely, I’m very good in actual high stress situations – I can get cannulas in quickly and helped resuscitate someone today – it’s just there in the background, more of a confidence in the small things problem, as when I actually really need to step up, I can. I’m putting it down to a stressful few weeks, and am hoping that once my application is done, I’ll breathe easy again.

One thing I’ve thought about this last week is that my prayer journal has changed in the last while, for the better. Every Sunday, I write at the top of my notes things that I’ve done that week, and things I need to pray for in the coming week. For most of last year, there were big lists of bad things that were happening, and long lists of stuff I was worried or scared of, and not very many positives. Now, although I still worry about counselling and don’t enjoy the meetings at the med school I have to go to, finally the list is becoming more positive, more reflective of who I am. This week, a student going to Londond for next year asked if he could start a branch of my visiting programme down there, which is fantastic, and tonight is the AGM for the neurology interest group I chair, which has done a good job this last year. I’m advertising the medical school mentoring scheme, which is my new pet project, tomorrow to the second years, and have a wedding to go to on Saturday; all good things that remind me that although I lost a great deal last year, I am slowly regaining it back and am still the person I always was. It’s good to feel that the balance is finally tipping back to normal, even though I know I still have a few miles to go. These things keep me going. They keep me breathing.

I’ve written before that I struggle with keeping my ‘busy-ness at bay’ – but sometimes, I am so grateful for it, as it reminds me that I make a difference and make a change to how things are around me. I need that anchoring at times. It helps me focus on what I’m doing and why. When I spend a Sunday visiting one of my old folks in hospital, part of the joy is that I know their family is feeling that bit easier as they aren’t spending another day alone. They breathe easier. Similarly, my mentoring scheme will help younger students who are battling with academics and their own issues – it will help them breathe easier. This is all what I want to do – as a medic, I want to, obviously, ventilate with the best of them and get people through crippling illnesses. But as a Christian, my goal is more simple. I want to lighten loads and lend a hand and find solutions. I want the world to breathe a little easier. I want things to hurt a little less.

We all need help to breathe, sometimes.


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Things in my flat have been quite stressful recently. In the last few weeks it’s become increasingly clear that my flatmate F, who is one of my best friends, may be clinically depressed as opposed to just grumpy after a difficult internship. It’s been pretty hard, seeing her struggle and we finally had a big talk this week about what we’ll do about it. It’s been hard, these last few weeks; while my personal brand of depression just had me emotionally labile and dangerously introspective, F gets grumpier and angrier by the day. I kind of feel like I’m taking the blows for it. She’s my main ‘person’ – I don’t have family members I can phone after a hard day, really. When she’s off with me, I’m off with myself. Such is the nature of true friendship.

I guess this is where my ‘patient experience’ comes into its own. Most of our conversation revolved around her not wanting to go to the GP (to which I say, what do you have to lose? And – no one LIKES going to the doctors. It’s not a playground, after all), or wanting to wait a bit (to which I say, what do you gain from waiting? There’s a reason that they use a 2-week cut-off for treatment, as once you’ve been low for a fortnight, you’re unlikely to perk up without a boost from somewhere else. The drugs, if that’s the right option, take a few weeks to work – what do you gain from waiting?). I understand all of this – I understand not wanting to go, I understand wanting to just wait it out, to ‘man-up’. Depression isn’t about manning up, however, and thinking you can just get a stiffer upper lip and be fine, is an insult to anyone who’s ever been there. As Sylvia Plath wrote, I have seen the bottom and I know it. I’ve said before that I’m not sure I could last another year like this one. But neither could I bear to see F go through that either. It drove me crazy at times that neither of my flatmates really understood what having depression is like (the perennial, ‘can’t you just cheer up’ line was infuriating to the extreme), but now, I’m desperate that it stays that way. I don’t want her, to know what it’s like. I don’t want her to know what it is to feel disconnected and blank, to feel alone and beyond reach and under water. I don’t want her to hurt the way it made me hurt.

This has thrown me a bit; on the one hand, I’m glad I’m here to insist she gets help if she needs it, but I’m also worried, or a little bereft, that just as my own depression finally seemed to fade, it’s wormed its way back into my life in full force once again. Part of me is also, secretly, a little angry – I never had anyone pushing me to go and get help until I was so far gone that I gave even a seasoned GP a bit of a shock. I never had anyone who really knew how to manage someone with depression to make sure I was on track and who knew how to check in properly. Like the patient at the GP’s, once again I’m thinking about why it was that my own ‘journey’ took so long, why the drugs didn’t work despite all the praying and the crying and the changing. Was I less deserving of recovery? Was I in need of so great a lesson that it would take twelve months to learn? Am I less of a priority, more of a liability?

Ahh, depression, you are such an unwelcome visitor in my home! Like a stubborn houseguest that wreaks havoc with your thermostat settings and leaves trails of crumbs for the mice to follow, it turns our lives upside down. It permeates the air and dampens our spirits. It sands us down to fragments of what we were. This is no smoothing of rough edges or honing of souls; it just destroys. It moved in and now won’t let me move its feet from under the table. It’s made me feel quite emotional, these last few days – not quite wringing hands and yelling ‘WHY GOD, WHY?’ but also not desperately far from that. Although I know that this is not really something I am ‘in charge’ of, it still kind of feels like that. It just makes me feel a bit vulnerable. I know that life is all about the mountains and the canyons and the highs and the lows and whatever – but at the moment, I’d be willing to give up a few mountains, just to be on an even keel (or, by extension, a prairie) for a while. I’ve had a year now of feeling tied to depression, quite literally – tied down, tied out of, tied up – and this kind of makes me think it’s never going to stop. It’s always going to be stuck to my shadow. It’s always going to be under my roof. It’s one pernicious, unwelcome visitor.

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I’ve got counselling again on Monday. It kind of feels like it’s getting to crunchtime in a way. And there’s still some stuff I haven’t really talked about, because I don’t know how to. I don’t know how to begin. So I’m going to give it a trial run, here. I’ve also got to change my tack and course pretty quickly as it’s become clearer and clearer in the last few weeks that my flatmate needs a lot of attention at the moment, but more about that another time.

I think part of it is that I want to know what L (counsellor) thinks about me but at the same time, I’m terrified of this. I want to know if she thinks I’ll actually get over and through all this, or if I’m going to be one of those people who get caught in mental health services and diagnoses, and never leave. I don’t want to be walking with a label for the rest of my life. I want this year to be a blip on the radar, not the start of a whole lot of crazy. I’m scared to know what she says. I have to know what she says.

Sometimes I can’t decide if I’m incredibly self-centred, or incredibly other-centred. My first (disastrous) counsellor told me that I was so codependant I would never have a ‘normal’ relationship (yup, she said that). The blog however sometimes feels self-indulgent, and this last year has certainly made me re-evaluate how I often don’t value my own health and needs against those of others. I don’t know whether it’s better to run around after other people until I collapse, which is how the last few weeks have felt, or to stand and guard my heart and put myself first, as I’m learning, occasionally, to do. For some reason, I just can never seem to get the right balance. It’s as though I was born with a weight on one shoe, or something. I’m always off-kilter. I’m always left of the middle.

Despite the fact I’m seeing a church-based, Christian counsellor, and have a blog where I basically write about either depression or God, L and I never talk about faith. In many ways, I am a hushed sort of evangelist, a bit of a fraud. I’m pretty eloquent on paper, but tend to stumble if I try to speak about what I believe. My faith is so close to my core, and so close to the heart of my depression; I don’t know how to explain or describe how painful it was to feel so separated, both from God, and from everyone. I sort of think I need to cover this; if I’m going to grow in faith, if I’m ever going to have any sort of leading role in the church, I need to be ok at talking about it. Counselling sounds like an obvious place to sort that. And yet, I’m afraid. I don’t quite trust her, with that layer of myself. I’ve sort of realised recently that my ‘spiritual needs’ aren’t that well met; although I have some wonderful supporters on this blog (who probably don’t realise just how much their prayers mean to me), I don’t get much ‘in real life’; since my trust was spectacularly broken last year, it’s taken a while to trust the church again.

Last Sunday, I was praying with my head down and feeling pretty crowded out, when a women I didn’t know, who was just visiting for the evening, asked if she could pray for me. I’m afraid of prayer from others, sometimes; I’ve had too many experiences of people thinking they can say something hurtful just because they’ve put a ‘God-stamp’ on it. In the two years I’ve been at my church, no one has ever asked if they can pray for me. For most of those two years, I’ve also been too afraid, or depressed, to ask.

But last week, it reminded me so strongly of why it is that the Bible says that when there’s more than two of you together, He’s also there. It’s that kind of synergistic energy you suddenly feel when someone has a hand on your back and prays you back on track. It’s that kind of triangulation between you, another person and God, that helps you work out where you stand and where you’re going. It’s that need we all have for someone to ask for the things we can’t ask for ourselves. I think I need this. Faith, any faith, isn’t just a personal thing; it’s a remoulding, a remodelling of who you are. As it deepens, you start to tesselate with people on the same path; there’s a space for you, a space only, for you. And if you’re not slotting in, you’re just a shape on your own, outwith the big picture, not quite fitting into your surroundings.

I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed at the moment, between job applications, family stuff, flatmate stuff, placement stuff and God stuff – despite lots of attempts to find some peace and quiet, it’s just not really working at the moment; I’m going by the still waters but am not really feeling that restored. Hopefully this will pass. Love, char48.

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For better and for worse, I am a busy person. I’m also by nature a hole-filler in that when I see a gap somewhere I think needs filling, I have a tendency to start thinking I need to plug it myself. This trait has helped me achieve some of the things I’m proudest of, from medschool, to the student charity I founded, and the choir I organised and still sing with. At the moment, I’m liasing with the medschool to set up a tutoring scheme between first and second year students who are failing, and fourth and fifth years with a bit of extra time. I’m really excited to see if it works – having found out first hand that the medical school support system is a bit ropey, I want to help make it better. I’m not that great at walking away.

In the last few months, as I’ve started coming out of depression and started feeling like myself again, the consuming apathy of the last year has started to fade, and my drive to fit things in has gone up again. This has in part been amazing – I feel like myself again, I feel useful, I feel as though at the end of the day, I have something to show for it, something to say for it. I’m good, when I’ve got projects and tasks to do. One of the (brilliant) IgNoble prizes this year went to someone who showed that high achievers achiever highly because they ‘procrastinate from an important thing, with another important thing – not a waste of time’. This is ‘very me’.

I’m also aware though of a tendency to overdo things – I’ve always been the person rushing around at twice the speed of everyone else, or so it seems. When I’m struggling in one area, I focus on another part of my life to distract myself and sometimes end up overwhelmed. I’m trying to stay away from that. Sometimes it’s hard to chose what to give time to. I sometimes sort of forget that I’m supposed to believe as a Christian that the world is already saved and that I don’t need to save it myself. If I am focussed on being outward focussed, I have less space to worry about my own issues and upsets. I’m not saying it’s healthy, or that it always works, but it’s who I am.

I think at the moment, I’m going to need some real ‘me time’ to get me through the next few weeks. This is usually my favourite time of year, with the changing leaves and the crisp sunshine. It brings back memories of singing harvest songs as a child, of coming home in the twilight. There’s so much going on right now, from placement stuff, to job applications, and at the moment, some friction with one of my flatmates, that I need some slots of time just to be on my own and think, to be on my own and just to be still and know. I need my long walks by the river and over the hills. I need my stretches away from the noise of the world, just quiet, amongst the trees and the water. At the moment, I’m really feeling that need to be in the peace, just with God, just thinking and asking and listening. If I take on too much, I might lose that, and then, where will I be? I’m finding myself falling into reflection a lot at the moment (makes a change, I know) but I feel I need it. I still need to make sense of last year, I still need to bury some hatchets and throw out some dishwater. Somehow, in counselling, I find this hard to breach.

I guess what I’m aiming for here, is balance and a lesson in making good choices. I’m still deciding about the student leadership thing – not quite as clear a decision as it could be, and I’m already feeling pretty maxed out. I sometimes think us ‘busy bees’ get a raw deal from churches, who paint us with the same tar as followers of other ‘false idols’ – I understand what they mean, but I’d rather feel like I was giving all I could for Jesus, even if it wears me thin, than knowing I could do more. I’d rather be rushed, than be as slowed down as I was last year. I’d rather be working for change, than settling for acceptance of things we all need to change.

On another note, I got to practise sutreing today on REAL SKIN (cadavers are hard to come by)! It’s one of those things that makes me feel ‘properly medical’. I possibly enjoyed it a bit too much. So, reader, if you’re in the North of the UK and have any superficial wounds that need sewing up, I am your girl.

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