All right. While I still don't have wireless, I convinced someone
to open the door to the study room/computer lab for me (and why do I
get a card that can theoretically be used to open doors if they don't
enable it to do so? Especially when going out with ICU or isolation
patients it would be nice to get in the building again without having
to knock on the door and shout until someone notices.)
But apart from that and the tiredness (about which I really shouldn't complain, after all I managed to get at least 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night) I'm more or less settled in.
The trip up here:
After an uneventful drive to IJmuiden near Amsterdam (and can I just mention that Dutch will drive me crazy one day. Being nearly able to tell what people are saying or what's written on signs but not really understand is too much for my brain.) I started what would become the Leitmotiv of the weekend: waiting.
Waiting until check-in started, waiting until boarding started, waiting until the last bus was on board, waiting until the ship finally started, waiting until it didn't seem absolutely ridiculous to go to bed. Which I decided was 7pm. This resulted in me being wide awake at 3am and waiting until it didn't seem ridiculously early to get up (5am). Waiting until breakfast. Waiting until we arrived in Newcastle. Waiting until we could leave the ship.
In between all this waiting I memorized the layout of the ship, took pictures, spooked the cleaning personnel by being awake and made an essential addition to my car: a little note on the windscreen with an arrow pointing to the left side.
The most that can be said about the drive up to Edinburgh is, that it was slow (because my speedometer is in km/h and the signs in mph - is the conversion rate 1.5?) but nice
After I finally found the youth hostel, I spend the afternoon just walking around. After I'd bought a map (and reserved a copy of HBP, I have my priorities) I gave in to the temptation and carried my notebook and everything else I didn't want to leave in the youth hostel up the highest place I could find. I can't help it, no matter what city I'm in, I simply love to get up to high places and have a look around.
The chaotic first week:
Apart from telling us the wrong week to arrive - and having some problems finding a place for us to sleep in - the week wasn't too bad. A bit boring. But not too bad.
I didn't want to do anything that I'd normally do as a tourist, because some friends might come up the last week I'm here and I'll get to visit the castle and do other stuff like that then.
So I just walked around in the mornings, downloaded my email and flist afterward and drove back to the clinic where I read and relaxed the rest of the day.
This could probably called pathetic, but I had fun.
And I took pictures. Like I always do.
Oh, and up on a mountain at 8:30 on a Sunday morning is a pretty bad time for my body to decide to have one of its once-every-five-years one-hour I'm-so-ill episodes. I've never had any problems with heights before, so I don't think the need to sit with my head between my knees for fifteen minutes, shivering and trying not to pass out, had anything to do with it. But I could have done without this expericene.
And the last week:
More or less by default - it just seems to be the usual combination with ICU - my Austrian flatmates and I ended up in the surgery/anaesthesia department. So much for my hope of not being connected with them. But at least I was walking around in a blue pyjama (anaesthesia) and they were dressed in green (surgery).
It was quite interesting to compare the differences in anaesthesia and pain management here and at home - and figuring out how much is due to some drugs not being available in one of the places.
I was amazed that I've seen about half of the surgeries they did
last week at the last clinic. And the others I at least knew about
the basic concept.
I'm not as ignorant as I thought. But maybe I only feel that way because I'm always explaining things to the Austrians.
One thing this whole thing does, it makes me ask myself questions
I really like to ignore. For example, what am I going to do after
I've finished? Or even: Shouldn't I study so I can actually finish
I'd really rather not think about that at all.
And now, back to blather about anything that comes to my mind.
For example this random observation:
I've never believed to have much of an inner clock. I'm generally good at waking up shortly before my alarm in the morning, but I've always thought that to be because my body was used to a certain amount of sleep. But at the moment I'm waking up an hour early every time I have to get up in the night for some ICU patient even though I've set my alarm for the right time.
This week, I've been told, I'm the only student here.
Please don't let there be any critical cases that need continuous monitoring or checking on every two hours. And let the normal round at 9 don't be too busy.
At the moment there's only one dog which needs to be checked at 12pm, 4am and 8am.
I think I can manage that. Somehow.
Oh, the intern just told me that she or the nurse will do the midnight treatments. But there are a lot of them, so my conscience might not let me sleep. Stupid work ethics.