Happy International Women’s Day 2017

Throwback to my days following Marie Curie’s footsteps, working at the same institution where she and her husband used to work and teach at in Paris. Where the laboratory where she made her two Nobel Prize winning discoveries, was only a few footsteps away from mine. The lab where I later became one of the few in the world to know how to successfully utilise a novel modern research technique.

Today is in honour of Marie Curie and all other strong female role models out there. Thank you for paving the way for other girls like me to have a chance in science and the world. Now, it’s our turn. Happy International Women’s Day everyone, only the sky’s the limit.

 

Hi, I like, do research and stuff. #gotmylabcoattoday

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No man is an island (Psychiatry in Växjö)

I’m now on my final week in psychiatry in Växjö, and so far it’s been amazing. This week is a bit special though, as now I’m in Children’s Psychiatry. Otherwise during the past three weeks I’ve been in Adult Psychiatry, rotating within Emergency Psychiatry, Psychosis, Geriatric Psychiatry, General Psychiatry and lastly what I call the Psychiatric Jail. I’ve seen a great array of cases, and I think if there’s something I’ll bring from my placement, that would be that no man is an island.

Psychiatry is all about relationships. Well, for the main part anyway except for perhaps the cases of schizophrenia, autism etc. Otherwise, it’s all about relationships.

Relationships with your family, with your partner and of course with yourself.

When I was in the Emergency Psychiatry clinic on Valentine’s day, we all of a sudden saw a rise of emergency bookings compared to the day before. 10 patients vs the 2 yesterday on a Monday. It’s just a regular Tuesday I thought, but nope. It’s Valentine’s Day. The next day, only one patient came to the clinic.

Patients came in with depression which started from their divorce and/or patients coming in with suicidal thoughts from failed relationships. I thought to myself, this must be because of the holiday. If you’re surrounded by things that will constantly remind you about love, loved ones and relationships, if you don’t feel loved, it’s not too surprising if you would do something crazy on Valentine’s day.

As humans, we have a strong sense of belonging. Sure, being strong and independent is a quality to be desired and to strive for, but being independent doesn’t mean one is alone. Being independent means you are in control of yourself and your surroundings. With surroundings, I don’t only mean the things around us, but also with whom we live our lives with. Because it is through these people we feel like we belong and we gain purpose. It is through these people we find a home. And a home is a place where we feel loved.

When I meet these patients in the clinic, it saddens me that they are deprived of a home where they feel like they belong, a place where they receive love. If these basic needs were met, I believe a majority of these patients wouldn’t be here in the first place. If they have a place where they feel love, it will be easier for them to have love within them for themselves. And with self-love comes our power as human beings. Without power, what are we then?

It’s true what they say, love makes the world go around. Love is the answer. I believe this is more true than ever in psychiatry. Sure, as doctors we can give medication to try and help their situations, but if they don’t have that love within, medication is only a band-aid. If they haven’t nurtured a love within, with the help of others’ love for them, then they definitely need it now. In the end, no man is an island.

…But then again, what the heck what do I know, I’m only a student ✌️️

Merry Christmas everyone!

After two weeks of FoF at Linköping (basically public health, social medicine, health psychology etc), I’m now home  in Stockholm celebrating the holidays with my family. It’s nice to be off for a while, but as you know, we students don’t really get a vacation since we’re studying… We have our final exams in January. 😦 But nevertheless, it’s nice to be home! So merry Christmas everyone from my family to yours! How are you celebrating your Christmas? 🙂

Self-development and forensic medicine in two weeks

So I’m currently on the plane to Tokyo, and thank God they’re offering wifi on this plane. Blog time!

These past two weeks, I’ve been with my T9 class (semester 9) for our theory weeks. This theory block is called Folkhälsa och Förhållningssätt (FoF), which basically is all the other parts of medicine which doesn’t involve any actual medicine like physiology and anatomy etc. These past two weeks, were devoted to self-development, forensic medicine and social medicine/public health.

The first week started with a three-day retreat at Vårdnäs, all paid for and provided by the medical school of course. Half of us in the class were divided into smaller groups with classmates who we don’t know at all. Together we learnt new leadership techniques and shared deep personal things with each other. Why is this necessary to become a doctor you might wonder? The explanation was this: patients entrust their deepest and most personal secrets to complete strangers, doctors, us, and the only way we can understand this if we do it ourselves. Then we know how patients feel when they visit doctors, and hopefully, with a better understanding of how they feel, we can in turn improve in our patient contact and as doctors. The first day basically began with a tough 30min presentation of ourselves to our group mates. Difficult, as we are not used to opening up to such personal things to strangers. However, who knew that would be an opening to something very special. 

The second day we learnt about the different leadership profiles. I turned out to be a “yellow” profile aka a motivator. I recommend you all to do that test too, and from there you can understand what kind of person I am with my profile. The rest of the days were based on building on what we know about our leadership profiles and each other. At the end of the three days, we went home having warm and fuzzy memories from our time there. We also most probably gained weight as they gave us delicious food five times a day. All worth it.

The following days after the retreat, all the lectures spoke about inequalities in health as well as forensic medicine. I didn’t think I would be so sensitive to these things, but really, after seeing images of murder and rape and hearing gruesome stories of real life crimes, unfortunately these images reappeared in my dreams. After the lecture series, we even had the opportunity to visit the morgue. This side of medicine I never prepared myself for, but this a reality that is very real for us doctors and everyone around us too. Which unfortunately I believe we will encounter in one form or another in the future. At least now I’m better prepared.

In summary, it’s been a tough two weeks, but very nourishing indeed. Tough personally and also tough as the lecture topics were hard to chew. I guess I can’t expect my last two weeks with my semester 9 class to be all fun and games. My next theory block will be with my semester 8 class on the same theme but until then, Orthopaedics in Guam here I come! 😁

Hello from the Emergency Department

Hi all!

Sorry for the hiatus, but I’m back now after a hectic past few weeks! I completely underestimated the stress of belonging to two classes and being a researcher at the same time. I’ve spent these past two theory weeks basically running back and forth between lectures and classes (internal medicine with semester 8 and orthopaedics with semester 9) and trying to progress with our research. Finally those hectic weeks are over and therefore – hello from the Emergency Department in Jönköping!

I’m on my next final day at the emergency department, and I must say, today has been the least busy day of the week. I define least busy by:

  • having lunch for longer than 15min at around noontime
  • not having to run as fast as I can together with my doctors across the hospital
  • not having to respond to a single cardiac arrest alarm
  • not having to respond to a single stroke alarm
  • only going to the emergency room of the emergency department once

On my first day at the emergency department, there were at least three emergency alarms we had to respond to (meaning a load of running) on top of the regular influx of patients, that we didn’t manage to eat lunch until 5pm. During my second day at the hospital, we were anticipating yet more alarms to go off around the hospital that my doctor was prepared with his scooter outside our room. I of course had to run alongside with him.

Today was a surprisingly calm day, so calm that I didn’t need to run. It was only then when I realised. As I stood in front of our only high-priority (code red) emergency patient of the day, I realised I wasn’t scared anymore. I was looking at an acutely ill and quickly deteriorating patient without being the slightest bit concerned. This has been everyday for us all at the emergency department. It was then I realised, I’ve really been blunted after these past few days. Or perhaps, my trust in the capabilities of medicine and the healthcare workers around to quickly save a life has increased. Perhaps it’s a combination of both.

So, what have I learnt after a few days in the Emergency Department? Saving lives is a very reasonable job description for doctors.

Final day in the medical emergency department tomorrow here we go! 😀

let the doctor do his work maam gif giphy south park emergency room doctors

I am now a T8/T9 student

I’m finally back in medical school! I have never had a more confusing introduction…

As how it turned out, this semester, I will be doing a part of T8 (termin 8 or semester 8) and a part of T9. Owing to this, I belong to two classes, namely my old class from last year and the class above. In addition to this, I’m a hired researcher for the university simultaneously. My introductory day last Monday went a little like this:

  • Roll call with T8 followed by introduction to the semester and presentation of important people
  • Department fika with my research group and meeting our new student in the group
  • Roll call with T9 followed by introduction to the semester and presentation of the SAME important people, hence same information
  • Lunch with T9 classmates
  • Orthopaedics teaching session with T9 classmates
  • Back to the lab

I have never had a more confusing first day. Where do I even belong?

The next day I was in lectures + practical session with my T8 class with a research meeting in between. The rest of the week I was in cardiology, which actually has been really good. I think now my schedule is finally stabilising at least!

So if you ask me what class I’m in, I don’t know. If you ask me if I’m working or if I’m a student, I don’t normally know how to reply either. I thought it was difficult being able to differentiate if I’m a Linköping medical student or a British medical student but well, now it got even more difficult.

But it’s okay. I like it this way 🙂

Confusing, but so far so good! Here’s to a good semester as a T8/T9/researcher! 😀

New apartment and my friends’ engagement

After so many months, my apartment is finally finished. Fully furnished, with a table and chairs even! I can finally eat on a table.

For the first time, I finally have a place in Linköping I can call mine. My home. In my past years in the UK, I have always lived in student accommodations, in dorms etc., but now I have my own apartment!

In my religion (I’m Catholic), when one gets a new house, it needs to be blessed as a part of a house warming. As my friend hadn’t gotten her apartment blessed since moving in, we decided to have a dual house blessing together. We only live a few minutes away from each other anyway. We invited our closest friends from church, as well as two priests from our parish. Believe it or not, but we were over ten people in my tiny apartment.

At the end of the house blessing, as we were singing, eating and being merry in general, I hear my friend joke about when my friend (who I had the dual house blessing with) and her boyfriend would get married. Then I hear my friend (the boyfriend) say: “Speaking of rings…” as he took out a ring from his pocket.

WHAT IS GOING ON I THOUGHT.

I thought he was joking. But then he bent down on one knee, and asked my friend to marry her. And she said yes.

As both my home and their love was celebrated and blessed in my apartment, I don’t think I could’ve had a more perfect house blessing.

Congratulations Emelie and Mikael, we love you!!! ❤ ❤ ❤

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The future newlyweds. ❤

TRAVEL VLOG: World Youth Day 2016 in Krakow

Indescribable but definitely unforgettable. Who knew I’d be missing the crammed trains with singing French youth, the long queues to eat and the long walks in the sun/rain with millions of other pilgrims from around the world. Exhausted physically and mentally, but it was worth every moment of it. Yes, I’m definitely still experiencing the “World Youth Day hangover.” I wish you all were with me to share the same experiences I had in Krakow, but I’m hoping that you all can get a glimpse at least through this video 🙂 

See you in Panama in 2019! 😀

Footage, background music and editing by me.

TRAVEL VLOG: Iceland 2016

I’ve realised that the best way for people to join me on my travels, is by showing how it really was for me there. What better way than through a video – so I have decided to start travel vlogging! Much easier to show than to describe through writing 🙂

This is a glimpse of our trip to Iceland July 18-22, 2016. Iceland, you have been amazing but we haven’t had enough of you. Until next time! For now, thank you for the adventure 🙂

Here are the places included in the video in order of appearance:
Harpa, Reykjavik harbour, the Sun voyager, Þufa, Perlan, Hallgrimskirkja, Fridheimar farm, Geysir, Gullfoss, Thingvellir national park (where we snorkeled in Silfra!), the Bridge Between Two Continents in Sandvik and last but not least, Blue Lagoon.

All footage taken by me or my mom/sister, edited in iMovie by me and background music produced in GrageBand by me. Cameras used: Nikon D3100, iPhone 6s, iCreation action camera and Nikon AW 110.

Well look at me – I’m 23!

Life is too short to not celebrate birthdays. Even such a meaningless number like 23. Or well, now I can get inside Ugglan, woo! 😛

I have the most beautiful friends ❤️ #toomuchwatermeloncocktail

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As I rarely am in Stockholm/Sweden during my birthday as it’s in the summer, I usually celebrate my birthday abroad. However as my sister is turning the big number 25 on the 21st, we decided to celebrate it properly. So I decided to only have a short stay in the Philippines so I can be there for my sister. As I’d be here for my birthday, why not celebrate it?

Last time I celebrated my birthday was when I turned 18 five years ago. It was about time.

I had planned a pub crawl around my favourite themed bars in Stockholm. A friend from St Andrews had come all the way from the UK to visit, and my two little sisters from Linköping had come to celebrate as well so I wanted to make the night out more interesting. Despite having planned everything with a pub crawl app and all, in the end we only managed to go to one bar… the Vampire Lounge. At least we managed to go out anyway – E for effort! We later ended the night at one of my favourite clubs Hornhuset and headed home.

After celebrating my birthday with my close friends, I felt blessed and grateful for the wonderful people I have around me. Friends who have stuck with me through the years and friends who I still maintain close with no matter the distance. I have definitely hit it big these past 23 years. I will cherish these friends I have, and hope to celebrate even more birthdays with them in the future.

Thank you life for being good to me, despite all the ups and downs. You have made one happy girl nevertheless! Until the next birthday ❤