Rebel Heart Tour in NYC!

I SAW MADONNA IN CONCERT AND IT WAS AMAZING.

I feel like that one sentence may be the best I can do to describe the experience. Continue reading “Rebel Heart Tour in NYC!”

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Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts #8

Link up with Christine here.

1. I’m listening to the audio of The Martian by Andy Weir and I actually really like it. I got it for my dad as a gift and he LOVED it. I can understand the problems that some people have with it but for me, it works great. Also, the narrator is so good. My favourite line so far: “Hell yeah I’m a botanist!”duct-tape-quote-from-the-martian-by-andy-weir2. Signups for Ninja Bookswap are now open! I participated in the Spring swap at the beginning of the year and the mini swap recently; and both were absolutely wonderful! This time around there is a regular swap but also a penpal swap. Check it out here. Continue reading “Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts #8”

How To Run A Clinic Without A Voice

When I was asked by Figure 1 which one piece of medical equipment I valued above all others, I said “my hearing”. We were taught from the very beginning that a good history was our first step to an accurate diagnosis, and I have always valued a physician who LISTENS: to their patients, their students, their allies, and their contemporaries.

Remember the game we always played? – “If you had to lose one sense, which would it be?”

I thought of my dad, who is blind: when he applied to do an honours degree in Psychology, his application was denied based on the fact that he would not be able to see his client’s faces (ridiculous, really. That was nearly 30 years ago). It had me thinking: what about a blind physician? We have many blind physiotherapists, but surely doctors must SEE… a quick Google search proved me wrong.

Blind doctor Albert A. Nast holding his ear to the back of a 3 month old instead of using a stethoscope.
Blind doctor Albert A. Nast holding his ear to the back of a 3 month old instead of using a stethoscope. Image: Time Life. Click for link.

Continue reading “How To Run A Clinic Without A Voice”

I Left My Voice In Cape Town

Here’s one way I didn’t expect my first day back at work to go:

“Go home! You’re going to make the patients sick!”

Which I suppose makes sense since in the Orthopaedics wards, very few of our patients are actually SICK. They’re mostly just broken. And if they become sick we can’t discharge them and that spells disaster given our already-high patient load.

So here I am, in bed, drugged up on flu meds.

My break in Cape Town was wonderful. I spent time with my little sister and with GeekBoy. We watched West Side Story and ate wonderful food. On two separate occasions I managed to catch up with friends (one from school, another who emigrated to Australia) whom I hadn’t seen in over FIVE YEARS. I also met up with the lovely Lily from Lily Does Medschool.

IMG_5702
Sister, GeekBoy and I at Vovo Telo (awesome bakery!)

Continue reading “I Left My Voice In Cape Town”

Don’t Miss West Side Story at the Artscape!

I’m on leave in Cape Town and it is wonderful! As part of my effort to squish as much fun into a week as possible, my sister and I watched West Side Story at the Artscape Opera House.

It. Was. AMAZING.

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Image via The Fugard Theatre. Click for site.

What I knew of The Fugard Theatre Company going in: they stage the well-known Rocky Horror Show in Cape Town regularly and do it well. Their home theatre is fairly small, so the Artscape was necessary for a production of this size. Continue reading “Don’t Miss West Side Story at the Artscape!”

Throwback: Roadtrip Through History

I wrote this post as a note on Facebook exactly five years ago, 6 July 2010. I’m often ashamed when I read my past writings, but this isn’t one of those times. I’ve left it exactly as is. I’m not sure how much sense it will make to people who are not familiar with South Africa, but I decided to share it here in any case. I’ve hyperlinked some things for comprehension’s sake.

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The extravagant price-increases as brought on by the hosting of the FIFA World Cup recently necessitated a 12-hour road-trip to Cape Town, as opposed to the usual 90-minute flight.

A cold and dark 05:00 morning progressed just as we progressed through the land of memories.

Memories of debating trips – so many debating trips.

Here we debated.

Here we lost.

Here we won.

Here I learnt that the line between conviction and contradiction truly is a fine one. Continue reading “Throwback: Roadtrip Through History”

My Booming Frontal Cortex

Unborn Ideas by Catrin Arno
Unborn Ideas by Catrin Arno

I remember it clearly. I was twelve years old and one day, without any precipitating events, I looked at the world as if with new eyes. I felt as if I had been living in a bubble, and suddenly the world was big and I wasn’t a child. Or I was, but I didn’t want to be.

It was my first experience with “growing up” and I can only postulate that as it was roundabout the time that I hit puberty, my frontal cortex was busy myelinating like crazy. I of course believed that my brain was fully developed and that old people who claimed it was still developing were, well, old – but what would a twelve year old know, right?

It wasn’t so rapid this time but I think I may be having a similar experience now. I have been trying to put it into words but having largely neglected any kind of writing besides the odd blog post, that hasn’t gone so well. It started with a feelings of disconnect and then intense reconnection; and a lot of confusion about my role in society as a doctor, a daughter, a sister, a partner, a citizen. Continue reading “My Booming Frontal Cortex”

Sometimes It’s Attitude

I hate platitudes. I hate when people say, “You can get through anything if you have the right attitude”. It negates the fact that sometimes, circumstances are atrocious. It puts the onus on people to grin and bear it, instead of on the system to change.

I’m not saying I’ve changed my mind, but I noticed something recently. I’ve met two community service doctors who were both placed in departments where they REALLY did not want to be. The nature of your community service year is that you get placed where you are needed and not necessarily where you want to be.

via @bunnybuddhism
via @bunnybuddhism

Continue reading “Sometimes It’s Attitude”

Hypothesis: South African Sights for South African Vision

While I was in beautiful Cape Town for my leave (wow, that was a long time ago), my sister and I mused about how we have access to this gorgeous country simply by virtue of being born here. “Just think,” she said, “people pay thousands of rands to see Table Mountain, and here we are, just walking around and seeing it as much as we want!” She was quite right, of course – at the same time, the MV Explorer was docked in Cape Town.

But for a long time, I’ve been thinking how not all who are born in our country have access to these attractions on a very basic level.

Virtually everywhere I have traveled, foreigners pay more than locals to see attractions. I saw this for the first time in China in 2011, where foreigners are very clearly divided from locals wishing to visit the Huanglong caves.

china foreigners Continue reading “Hypothesis: South African Sights for South African Vision”