Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lo Siento...

For those of you who never took Spanish, the title means I'm sorry.  Why?  Because I didn't blog about my awesome day yesterday.  To be brief and get you pumped for when I do really blog yesterday I went t-shirt hunting (Jenn you will be really happy and so will Phillip!!! Sorry everyone else), then had hi-tea at the Orangery in Kennsington Gardens (basically in Hyde Park), then went to see MUMFORD AND SONS in Hyde Park with Emma.  Ahhh such a good day. Then I had to rush home to pack because in 45 minutes Katie and I are heading out to roam around Scotland for 6 days.  With that said, I don't know how our internet access will be.  I am bringing my computer and will still type up a blog post and whenever I get internet I will post :) Well on the that note, I am out...Cheers yall!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Park Hoppin'

No work today, so what did I do?  Duh, went to a park...but not just one, but FIVE parks!

I had planned to get up at a decent time, go for a run, run some errands, then hit up some parks.  However, since I stayed up late last night climbing out on roofs and what not, I over slept and didn't get up until 11.  Whoops!  Oh well.  I decided to head out right away and try to go to every park in London, but first I had to run by Zara to return some clothes, so I didn't get to my first park until around 1pm. 

The first park on my list was Regent's Park.  I had never been here so that is why it was first.  When I got off the tube I didn't know really which way to go, so I winged it and started walking. At one point I decided to cross the street since a bunch of others were.  Then I saw this gate that was open and the people around me looked like they were going to a park and they went in it and there were people coming out, so naturally this must be the park.  Once I got in the gated area I notice that it is really small and then I looked over and saw the park across the street.  I realized I had walked into a gated garden.  Pretty much every residental area has a private garden that you have to have a code or key to get in.  Well about that time I walked up to another gate, but it is closed and  I had no clue how the handle works.  The Brits have really weird doors, handles, and locks so I just assumed it was another weird one.  Oh well, I started to walk back to where I came in.  Also there was another girl doing the same thing I am and we start chatting and both realize that we are both Americans and spending our day at the park.  We walked to the next gate and yep, it is closed as well.  Neither of us had any clue on how to get out and at that time a few other people had walked up and yep, they didn't know how to open it either.  Great, I am locked in a park.  So I start thinking to myself, I could totally climb this fence and I start making a plan.  At the same time, Katelyn (the American) has walked away to ask some other people.  Luckily she found this man who had a key. He laughs at us and asks how in the world we got in to this private garden.  Well lesson learned, don't walk into random open doors.  Such a funny experience, but I did make a friend!

Once we were free, Katelyn and I both headed towards the park.  We just walked around for awhile taking in the sights and got to know each other.  She is a first grade teacher from Denver, Colorado who is spending her summer vacation traveling around.  She had been on a cruise with her family and then stayed in London and was just going to go whereever she felt like it for the next 3 weeks.  She didn't have much plans yet except to go to Prague on Saturday. 
 Regent's Park!!

 Hey I know you, didn't we get locked in  garden one time in London and then walk miles around parks in London? 
yep!  What a fun day and random adventures! 

At one point when we were walking Emma called and she had just gotten out of class.  Her school is in Regent Park so we were real close.  It took awhile to figure out exactly where I was in the park, but finally we found each other. The three of us decided to go get some coffee so we headed out of the park.  As we were leaving we ran into a few of Emma's classmates who early today had been making fun of Americans who wear nike shorts when they are not working out....and what did I have on today...you guessed right, nike shorts!  How ironic!  Those crazy girls don't realize how popular nike shorts are and how comfortable they are and they aren't the nicest people any ways ha!

After we grabbed coffee, Katelyn and I headed to Westminister to begin our major park hoppin'.  We walked to the front of St. James Park, then walked by Buckingham Palace, through Green park, then headed towards Hyde Park and Kennsington Gardens.  After this we walked through Notting Hill into Holland Park to meet up with Katie at Giraffe, one of Katie and I's favorite resturants.  In total it took us alittle under 1.5 hours to walk all of that, which is about 5 miles.  It was awesome!!  Also it was so fun that Katelyn wanted to stick around with me all day and then have dinner with Katie and I. 
 Me in my new house in St. James Park!
Actually this is a house built for the ducks, kinda like the Peabody in Memphis!
 I loved making a new friend and hanging out all day!

That's Buckingham Palace from St. James Park (my new favorite park!)

After dinner we all headed back to Westminister because Katie and I went to help Courtney, one of the SC girls with a presentation she has to do tomorrow, and Katelyn was about to take a bus to Oxford and had to pick up her stuff at a hotel near St. Thomas.  Now Katie and I are back at the house chatting it up with all of the people who have traveled the last week and to say good bye because they leave to go back to America tomorrow.  So sad!
 Katie and I heading home after hanging out with Courtney (SC girl)

Isn't this beautiful!!! It almost doesn't look real, but it is!

Well now Katie and I are gonna go watch the Bachelorette :) Peace out and Cheers Yall!!

Almost Forgot

How could I forget...

On Monday night when I walked in from work I had a wonderful surprise waiting on me...a package from my mamma!!! I guess I was so excited about it I forgot to blog about it.  It had tons of crystal light packets,goldfish, special K granola bars, and some make-up that I had run out of.  The greatest thing about it is that you can not get any of these treats in the UK.  They are missing out not having crystal light and goldfish in their life!

Thank you Mama! Love you! Now I am off to explore every single park in the city...wahoo!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Freedom!

Rotation One? Check!

Yes ma’am, my working days in the UK are over as of today.  The morning went as usual with doing some medicine reconciliations, calling GPs, and talking to patients.  However, I did have my final evaluation with Anna at 11…I passed with flying colors!!! I know you were worried.  Actually there was a point in the first week that Katie and I were seriously worried that we would fail and I am so thankful that is not the case. 
At lunch to celebrate I bought lunch instead of bringing mine and I bought these gummy aliens that are so good! I need to buy some to bring back with me!! After lunch life got really exciting because Katie and I got to go to the Labor and Delivery wards for a few hours with Jane, the “gynae” pharmacist.  It was so interesting to see all the bits and pieces.  Jane was so nice and told us all about how things work on those wards and answered any questions.  After that we headed back to our normal wards to find out that the work was pretty much done for the day, except as a team Katie and I did counsel a patient on Warfarin.  But besides that we were done!!! I can’t believe it! It really hasn't set in, but maybe that is because no one made a big deal about it since we are going bowling with the team next week.  The only person who seemed to care was Lisa the secretary who almost cried that we were leaving.  That part was sad, but overall I loved my experience, but I will be happy to get back to a norm.


Here are some pictures we took to remember our last day at work...



To celebrate our being done, Katie and I walked around the Westminster area for a while then hopped on and off buses to go back to our neck of the woods.  We never take the bus to work, but we thought we would change it up today.  When we got back to our neighborhood, we got Nando’s take away (to-go) then headed home to have a movie night since it was kind of gross outside.  We watched The Queen to get us pumped for Scotland.  By the time it was over, we weren’t ready to head to bed so duh, we watched another movie, Sabrina.

As we were heading up the stairs, the adventurous and exploratory Katy got an idea.  On the floor that Katie and I’s room, there is a window that leads out to the roof of the second floor (or the main floor above the basement).  Since there are few of us in the house, Katie, Ben, and I ventured out onto the roof.  It was so neat! We stayed out here for a good while telling Ben funny stories of patients we had interacted with over the past month.  I think sometime this week I will do a blog post just about some of my patients. After a while of being on the roof, our interest was sparked to find the door to the main roof.  We found it, but to our dismay the door was bolted down.  Bummer!  Maybe we can find some keys later this week to try again!

Oh speaking of roofs, I need to tell you about our crazy neighbors.  Since none of the houses/flats have A/C everyone keeps their windows open and all of our flats are so close to each other, you are constantly hearing your neighbors but last night was the best yet.  So if you are looking out my window you can almost look straight into our neighbor’s window.  At night there is a different color light shining and some nights the lights are constantly changing.  For example, last night they had a purple light on that was shining through and the day before that it was blue.  Also these neighbors love to have parties and play techno music.  Honestly it doesn’t bother me because they are quite entertaining.  Yes, Katie and I like to check on them time to time to see what color light is shining and if they are having another party.  Well last night at our 11pm they turned up the techno and were having a jolly ole time. Then all of a sudden we hear this lady with a French accent yell at them to turn the music down and then a bank.  Come to find out our next door neighbor was really irritated and yelled at then slammed her window shut.  Katie and I just laughed, but it worked because they turned it off, or at least low enough that you couldn’t hear it.

Well on that note, I am off to bed. Cheers Yall!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Heat Wave!

Today was the hottest day of the year in London, a wopping 86!  Now if this were in Alabama or Tennessee in late June...this would be a pleasant surprise.  However, this is London we are talking about and there is no air conditioning and people walk everywhere and you are always around alot of people and some people haven't figured out deoterant....so that means it is hot and smelly!  Blah!  But I survived it all and honestly it wasn't that bad.  The Brits however, thought it was brutal.  Well some of them, that was a huge generalization.
Knowing that the ward I work on doesn't have air conditioning, I was dreading going in today.  But actually it wasn't near as bad as I had expected.  I did wear light clothes and that helped a ton!!! Today went by fairly quickly because we were so busy with new patients.  There were several points today that I was so glad that I was almost done, but then at other points I was sad that I am almost done.  The worst part about month long rotations is that by the point you begin the get the hang of it, it is done to move on to your next one. 

After work Katie and I went over to King's Cross Station to reserve a seat on all of the trains we would be using to travel to and from Scotland this weekend.  I can't wait and being at the station just made me get that much more excited!!! Then we headed back to the house to eat dinner and I am doing laundry.  What a fun Monday ha! 

Cheers yall!!!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Going Solo

Today was a first for me, taking a day trip all by myself.  I was a bit nervous at first, but it was fabulous even though I would have loved company.  The one bad thing about taking a day trip by yourself is who is going to take your picture.  I got creative and would notice if groups were taking pictures and would offer my services to take their groups picture.  Then to return the thanks I would ask them to take mine.  It was a great plan and always worked! 

To start my adventurous day, I met up with Jessica (Kristin’s friend from college) to have coffee at Paul, that French bakery near the house.  Once it again it was delish!  Then we both parted ways for the day.  I headed to Paddington station to catch a train to Bath.  The ride was beautiful and the perfect amount of time to finish my book, The Help.  Which by the way everyone needs to read this gem! 

Once in Bath I headed towards the Roman Bathes to tour them.  They were so neat and so cool to think that hundreds and hundreds of years ago people like Julius Caesar would have been chilling out and relaxing in these hot water bathes. 




After hitting up the Bathes, I went into the Abbey for a quick tour.  Of course I came the one day they weren’t giving the tour to go up to the very top of the steeple, but besides that it was real pretty and fun to see.  Also it was free so you can’t beat that! 


Now it was time to check out the parks, but first I had to find something quick to eat.  I ended up going to Pret a Manger and grabbing a sandwich and a water that I could just take with me and eat at a park.  On my way to the park I walked along the river and got to see the Putney Bridge which is constructed to look like the bridges in Florence, Italy.  Hopefully one day I can go see the real thing, but for now this works just fine! 


Then I headed up some steep inclines to get to the “circus.”  The circus is a circle of buildings that are constructed in a circle.  In the middle of it is a roundabout for the cars and at the very center a small grassy area.  This is where I ate my lunch.  It was so lovely sitting in the shade and my sandwich hit the spot! 


After I ate I walked to the Royal Crescent which is kind of similar to the circus except that the buildings are just in the shape of a crescent.  Back in the day these were flats that the rich and famous would rent out in the summer when they would go on Holiday.  Bath used to be quite bustling city for wealthy.  People came here for the bathes and for fashion, since this used to be one the fashion capitols of the world.  Now it is just a beautiful city primarily full of tourists, like myself!  The crescent is also located atop a hill that overlooks the city and a large park, Victoria Park.  It was spectacular and I just love how English people flock to the parks on sunny days.  I guess when you don’t have sun all the time you have to enjoy it while you have it.  While up at the Crescent, I toured one of the Georgian styled flats that was furnished as it would have been back in the 1700s.  It was fun to see.  Then I went to chill in the park for a bit and I called my parents too!


Since I was across the city, opposite the train station, and it was 3:30, I thought it would be a good time to start moseying back.  As I walked I would pop in and out of stores and window shop.  Once I made it back to the Putney bridge, I noticed a cute coffee shop within the bridge, so naturally I had to stop!  It had a fantastic view!! I ended up making friends with this girl from California who is traveling Europe for 7 weeks on her summer break from being a high school biology teacher.  We became friends because I asked her if I could sit with her at her table since she had prime location to look out at the water.  It was the perfect way to end the day, an iced coffee, a good view, and a new friend!  Then it was time to head on home.
 So glad I asked the California girl if I could sit with her!

My view from the coffee shop within the bridge!
As I was getting on the train I turned around and saw one of the pharmacist I had worked with this past week.  What a small world that we would both take a day trip, catch the same train, and be on the same coach!!! I sat by this cute lady from London and we chatted most of the 90 minute ride home, even though I was exhausted and struggling to stay awake.  It is amazing how walking in the sun all day will wear you out! 

Later after I had gotten back to the Daniel house and eaten dinner, I met up with Jessica (Kristin’s friend from UGA) and we went for a run in Hyde Park.  It was fabulous!! We ended up running 2 miles and walking 2.5 miles for a total of 56 minutes.  She had this neat garmin watch that told us how far and in what time.  We enjoyed our run so much that tomorrow night we are going to go again!!! I can’t wait and hopefully I will not be too sore from tonight.  Since getting back from my run, Katie and I have been booking hotels for next week.  All we had left to book was a one night in Edinburgh, Scotland and then the two nights when we will be back in London before our flight.  Finally, mission accomplished!!! (and we didn’t break the bank which I thought was going to happen…PTL!!!)  Well friends, it is that time of night, so Cheers yall!!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Here comes the sun...

What a fabulous day.  First off I slept until 11!!!  Normally being in London I would never let myself sleep that late, but I needed that.  It was so nice!  To start my day off I met up with Emma at 12:30 (funny that I am starting my day at noon ha!).  We headed to the Borough Market which is the market that is jam packed with foods from basically every ethnicity.  It is such a fun atmosphere which delicious food.  Today on the menu we each got a falafel from an Armenian cart.  It may have been one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten.  Afterwards we each got a scoop of honeycomb goat’s milk ice cream.  Then we walked around some more before heading to our next destination, Hampstead. 

 At the market!
Oh and that drink I have in my hand is heavenly...proseco and pimms I think?

 Pretty flowers at the market!

Emma grabbed my camera and said pose and this is what happend...
As we were getting on the tube to cross the city I notice that one of the pharmacists Katie and I work with is on it.  CRAZY!  With being in such a huge city and with all the possibilities of transportation it was so crazy to run into someone I know.

Once we got to Hampstead Emma showed me all around since this is the area of town she had lived in when she had first come to London.  It is precious and so calm unlike the majority of London.  I would love to live in this area however I would have to make bank to do so because this is quite the affluent area.  Actually I have heard several famous live and have lived here, like Ringo Starr!  Back in the day this is where the artists used to live including James Orwell, author of 1984 and Animal Farm, and John Keats, a famous poet.  Also Hampstead is where Parliament Hill lives within the massive park.  It is beautiful and overlooks the city.  Fortunately it was so sunny so it made the experience so lovely!
 I just really like this house and thought I would share!

 This is Keats house and I was seeing if he was home so he could read me some poetry. 
He never answered?

 Being the British version of Home Improvements Wilson at Keats house

 Parliament  Hill

After walking every square inch of Hampstead we decided to head over to Chelsea so I could go hit up a sale at Zara, one of my new favorite stores.  I bought two pairs of pants and a shirt.  I am pumped to wear them!!!  Then we were off to find somewhere to eat for dinner.  Originally we had wanted to me adventurous and try Lebanese food, however everywhere we checked was pretty pricey and neither of us wanted to pay that much.  So we decided to hit up a French cafĂ© in Parsons Green, the area Emma lives in.  Also my new friend Jessica came to meet up with us for dinner.  Actually Jessica is Kristin Mardis’s friend from college that happens to be staying down the street from me as she is in town to research for her thesis for her art graduate school.  The three of us had a lovely time getting to know each other.  I had an awesome salad that hit the spot.  I feel like I have primarily eaten bread while over here so it was nice for a change.  After dinner we walked across the street to the local pub to get a cider at the White Horse.  I really could get used to this culture and getting ciders at pubs.  It is so fun! We sat around for an hour or so before we all parted ways and Jessica and I caught to tube back to our flats. 
I would have to say today was success and I can’t wait for tomorrow because it supposed to be sunny and in the 80s!!!! Wahoo and I am finally going to Bath to explore!  Well cheers yall!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Life on a rollercoaster

Thursday started out great!  Before I headed to work, Hannah (one of the Samford girls at the Daniel House) and I went to Paul, a French pastry shop nearby for breakfast.  I had a large latte and a nutella donut.  It was amazing!! I was pretty tired so that caffeine hit the spot and nutella on anything is the best thing ever.  I will for sure be going back before I ship out!

So at work we got to change it up a bit and go to Evangelina, the Children's Hospital connected to St. Thomas.  I loved every minute of it!  The first hour or so we went to an orthopedic floor just to observe.  The best part though was talking to the pharmacist, Amy whom we had met earlier this week after work when we had gone for drinks, and the technician.   They were very interested in what we had to say and they were so informative and easy to talk to.  Normally in the work environment the pharmacists and other staff are strictly business so there is little time for small talk or get to know questions. It was so refreshing and I learned alot from them both pharmacy and life related.

After our hour there we headed to the PICU with Sian (pronounced like Shawn).  The names over here are pretty interesting however I am sure they think the same about some of our names.  Good thing Katy is a universal name and that helps us fit in!  So in the PICU, Katie and I literally just followed Sian around the ward.  I was so focused though, even though we weren’t doing anything and just walking around and observing.  I guess I like kids way better than adults when it comes to ICU settings.  When we went to the adult ICU I was counting down the minutes until I could leave, but here I was trying to figure out if I could stay longer or come another day.  Even though it is hard seeing some of the situations, I feel like I am making a bigger impact and I just love the kids.  Maybe this is a sign I should be a pediatric pharmacist?  Hmmmm…to bad that is a very competitive route to head down and I don’t have superior grades.  Oh well, the Lord has some place with my name written on it and it will work out in the end, just wish He would give me some direction now.  Story of my life and I am not very patient ha!

Here is where my day first takes a dip.  Remember how my debit card was cut off thanks to my little friend down in Mexico who likes to spend other peoples money, well without my debit card life is real difficult to get cash while in a foreign country.  So during my lunch break I went to the bank in the hospital who the day before had told me to bring my passport and they would look into it. I did just that and had my passport in had when I tried to use my credit card to get some cash.  Come to find out, the Brits our very particular with their cards.  After a good 20 minutes of waiting the teller comes back to tell me she can’t help me because I had put on my card “see id” instead of signing my name.  To me and most American’s that is a safe way to go to decrease the chance of someone else using your card, but to the Brits that increases fraudulent activity.  Dumb policy!  To say the least I let it get the best of me and I had a bit of a teary lunch break from that point.  I called my bank back home and tried to see what other options I had and all they said was sorry, we can’t change their policies.  Seriously!  You would think that someone would have the heart to help out the stranded American in a foreign country, but no!  Ok so you know how when you start to cry it is really hard to stop, even though you know you are being a tad bit dramatic and no the world is not ending, but it sure seems like it…that was me!  After lunch I went to ask Anna (our preceptor) is she knew of any way I could get some cash by using my credit card.  I almost made it without tearing up, but nope the waterworks picked back up.  Unfortunately all of the higher up pharmacists were in the office and got to see me.  Oh great!  Anna, being the fire pistol she is, say you don’t worry about this and I am gonna figure out a way to fix this!  Wooohooo Anna! 

Now it is a little after 2pm (our lunches go from 1-2pm) and Katie and I are under the belief that we have a meeting at 3pm.  Thus we have one hour to prepare some more and get ready to be superstars as we discuss a few patient cases in a group of various medical professions to help develop a better medical community.  Little to our surprise, Vicky, the pharmacist who had arranged this comes running up to us to tell us we are late and that it started at 2pm.  WHAT!?!  Great here I am emotionally drained and frustrated and now late and not prepared.  This was just the cherry on top.  However the meeting went so well.  Katie and I did a great job in the discussion and it was very laid back.  We even heard via another pharmacist that the team leaders of the meeting had bragged on how knowledgeable, well spoken, and well prepared we were.  PTL! (Praise the Lord)  What a pleasant surprise!  Also when we came back to the clinical office, Anna told us we could go ahead and leave so that we could try a few banks she had called around too.  Thank you Jesus!!! So yea, we got to leave at 4:15 compared to our normal 5:30.

After being coached on how to use the bus system (yea we normally just stick to the tube or walking), Katie and I set off to get me some cash! We headed to a BarClays in Picadilly Circus first.  Once we got there a lady told us she couldn’t help us but that there was a Western Union around the corner.  So after some information and a phone call to my mom, money was wired to me.  I have the best parents EVER!  My mom had been working in the yard and after I called she rushed over to Kroger (where Western Union) is to send me some money.  Thank you Mama!!

Since Katie and I had to wait a while before it was going to be sent, we decided to use our time wisely and we went to M&M World.  Seriously, it is a 4 story building dedicated to London and M&Ms.  It is so neat.  We didn’t get to spend too much time here but here are a few pictures I managed to take…

 This machine decided what color M&M you were.  I got the Mega Mix which was a tie-dyed one.  Also it said that I see the good in everything and like it that way.  Very fitting I thought!  Katie's was black and it said you must be thinking those nasty thoughts hahahahaha! I laughed so hard and especially at her reaction.  Look at the picture below!

There was a gallery of M&Ms as historical and famous people.
Look it's Sherlock Holmes!
Is that the Beatles or the M&Ms walking down Abbey Lane?

After being wowed by the M&Ms, Katie headed home and I headed back to Western Union.  However when I got there, the man’s system had crashed.  Yikes!  He then gave me bad directions to the next closest which I never found but I did know of one near the Daniel House.   So I eventually gave up and to the one near home and it was a success!!! Wahooo! To celebrate the end of a crazy day, Katie and I met up with the South Carolina girls at Nandos for a delicious dinner.  Yum!

Now time to get out of the past and chat about today… today was my last Friday at work.  Can you believe it is almost over because I sure can’t!  When Katie and I walked in, the hospital was eerily quiet and calm.  Then as I am walking to the ward with Deanna I made the mistake to vocalize my observation and thus cursed us.  On the ward things were soooooooo hectic.  There were crazy patients who kept standing in the halls yelling doctor, there were people running around everywhere, and you could never find the drug chart you needed.  I will take the blame because I am the idiot who said the “Q” word.  However, the business of the day did make it pass by quickly and before we knew it, it was time to leave!

Also today as we walked to work and were crossing the bridge, I noticed a scuba diver in the Thames River.  Immediately my first thought is oh no, one of my crazy patients who had thought about jumping off the bridge actually did it.  Of course Katie and I had to stop and look, but we never could figure out what was actually going on.  Then at lunch we noticed they were all still out there, so duh we went to investigate.  We also notice tons of cameras and we see an ambulance that says emergency dive team.  Eventually we asked someone near us and come to find out they would later in the day be shooting a commercial for Colgate toothpaste and no one was hurt.  Haha we felt dumb and I guess the river has a lot of plague in it too so it makes an ideal Australian toothpaste commercial location.  Oh and yea I forgot to mention it was an Australian commercial.   After work they were still there and Katie and I did stick around for a while to try to see them shooting, but they were still setting up.  I don’t really understand why it would take so long. Oh well here is a picture I took….

After being gawkers, Katie and I went back to the house and are now about to have a chill night to save money and to rest after another busy and exhausting week.  Well everyone your Friday and sorry for the long blog, ok I am not really that sorry.  Cheers Yall!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

As Gilly would say... Sorry!

Today was jam packed with stories and adventures however I am so exhausted and it is getting late here/  So to give this blog the time it needs I will have to add some suspense to your lives because it will be at least tomorrow before I can get to it :) Cheers yall!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

One month in...

Can you believe it, in one week I will have survived my first clinical rotation!?! I am in disbelief!  Well today marked the one month point for Katie and I's time in London.  Man time has flown.  It feels like yesterday that we were trapped in the Miami airport waiting for our plane to be fixed to head over here.

At work today I was on the Elderly Care Wards.  In the morning I shadowed a pharmacist who mostly works on the stroke ward.  It was very interesting and it also showed me how weak I am in that section of medicine.  I need to study up.  Actually that is on the agenda for tonight because tomorrow Katie and I have to go to a discussion meeting our two patient cases which both involve stroke.  The group is excited for us to come so we have share our American knowledge...only problem is my knowledge is lacking.  This should be an interesting meeting.  Wish us luck! Oh but yes, I just followed Vicky around all morning and she is really great at talking through everything, so I felt like I was learning but at the same time it was overwhelming that I zoned out alot. :) Come on, you all know you do the same thing!

After lunch we had to go to a team meeting where they discussed a few points with everyone on the medicine pharmacy team.  They do this every other Wednesday just to get a chance for the whole team to meet.  Afterwards I headed up to another ward by myself to just on patients discharging and needing a pharmacist to get together their medications.  I think I did well with the two I worked on.  Of course the pharmacist had to check them before they went out, but I did all the hard part on my own at least.  Also I helped a doctor to an audit on the patients recieving antibiotics while admitted to the hospital.  All I had to do was go look at each patients chart and make a check by their name if they were one an antibiotic.  Easy Smeashy!

Then at 4:30, just as we do every Wednesday afternoon, the team met up for a teaching session.  This is where someone either on the team or from another section of the hospital comes and talks about some topic to teach us.  Today was all about trachiotomies and how that relates to pharmacy.  It was pretty interesting however I had to work really hard to not fall alseep.  Whenever I sit for too long my eyelids get so heavy.  Hope no one noticed!!

By the end of the meeting it was 5:30 and time to head home.  Tonight was a community dinner at the Daniel House in which the house mom made a traditional English meal, "Bangers and Mash."  Basically we had sausage and mash potatoes along with some veggies.  I opted for the vegetarian version and it was quite delish!  Tonight is also the last night for a few of the crew and then the rest of the crew (minus a few) leave Friday morning.  I am sad that so many of them are leaving!  It is going to be sooooo quiet in the house.

Now I am chilling in my room and researching hotels to stay in while in Edinburgh, Scotland.  Katie and I may go this weekend.  So tonight is devoted to making sure we can do it.  If our tour works out and there is a train leaving at a good time, Anna our preceptor is allowing us to leave before lunch on Friday and not come in until after lunch on Monday so we can go.  We just have to work one day later to make up the time, which is no big deal :)  I hope it works because the tour will be amazing and show us a huge chunk of Scotland!!

Well I am off to re-learn about stroke and look at hotels.  Cheers yall!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hello

Sorry folks for another skipped day of blogging.  This time it was not my fault.  The Daniel House's internet was out last night so I wasn't able to blog.  Also I was wiped out,so to be honest I probably would not have blogged anyways.  At least I was honest!

Lets go back in time to Monday...it was definitely a Monday.  It was one of those days I really missed being in America.  It is funny how somedays I never want to leave London and others I can't wait to hop on a plane home.  I was just tired of being the odd ball out and tired of being passed around because they didn't know what to do with me or were to busy to tell me what to do.  Honestly the morning was fine because I was on my normal ward and knew how everything ran, but that afternoon was rough.  Another ward on the opposite end of the hospital was short staffed and they needed help and no one could help, except me, the intern.  The only issue was that I have NEVER been to that part of the hospital, so it was all new to me.  I mean for the most part you do the same things but I didn't know my way around and the pharmacist I was there to help was uber busy and didn't have the time to explain, show, or teach me anything.  I just felt like I was in the way and not a help at all.  AND it did not help that I was exhausted from our amazing, but tiring day trip the day before.  Oh well, I made it through and today was quite lovely!

Today I got to go to the general medicine wards of the hospital with Rachel, a pharmacist that I really enjoyed working with!  This ward is where many of the patients from the admission wards that I normally work on are moved to after it is established they need multiple days of care and monitoring.  The admission wards are only meant to be stayed on for a few days and then you get moved to either specialized floors, general medicine wards, or elderly care wards.  Rachel was great at letting me help out, but yet also talking through what she was doing.  Even though there were moments of standing around being bored, I learned alot from the wide variety of patients we dealt with.  My favorite moment of the day was counseling a patient on his new warfarin  medication.  I think I did a smashing job!!

To top off the day, as Katie and I were about to leave Rachel invited us to grab drinks with a group of the girls who work there.  Finally, we have been invited to join in!  Of course we said yes.  So we all headed across the street to this cute bar and all ordered a martini.  Everyone else got one and highly recommended it, so do as the Romans...I got one too!  It was delish and since it was happy hours it wasn't to expensive (I just can't think about it in US dollars : / )  We met several other pharmacists who don't work on our wards along with just getting to know the other ones on a non-working level.  It was brilliant!

After hanging around for a bit, Katie and I headed back to the hospital to meet up with one of the South Carolina girls, Courtney, to go grab dinner at our new favorite restaurant, Giraffe.  This is the same place Katie and I ate at last Friday and we loved it so much that we are already going to it again.  This time they were having a cheap deal on burgers, so to follow my cheap-skate ways I went with the special and got the "giraffe burger."  After dinner and chatting a bit, we all headed to a gelato place because Katie had a hankering for ice cream.  I am so glad she did because this place was AMAZING!  I got a mix of two flavors that were delightful!!

Now Katie and I are back at the house trying to sort out some travel plans for Scotland.  We have booked our lodging for when we are in St. Andrews.  We are staying at a cute bed and breakfast/hotel in the center of town.  It looks great and is highly recommended so I am pumped!!!  Unfortunately the main tour we wanted to do at the first of our trip is already booked up so we are trying to figure that out.  Sad!  We are on the hunt and I am sure we will figure it all out.  Well cheers yall and happy Tuesday!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sunny Days...

What a fantabulous day!  Since today was going to be pretty, Katie and I made the most of it by hitting up Canterbury, Dover, and Folkeston (not originally planned).  As usual we barely caught our train; I mean we made it with one minute to spare.  This has for some reason become habit for us, but it sure does make it a fun and exhilarating experience. 

Our first stop was Canterbury, home of Geoffrey Chaucer and the literary hit, Canterbury Tales.  When we first arrived we walked through the west gate which was so neat because you could see how this would have been a legit gate back in the day with a mote/river running beside it.  It was still pretty early, around 9:45, so the town was just starting to come to life.  So first off we headed towards Canterbury Cathedral and just took a few pictures instead of paying to go in.  Actually we got this German man to take our picture and it was so funny.  He kept saying ok over and over again and took several pictures trying to get us in the perfect spot to get the light and the cathedral in the picture.  We really didn’t know what he was saying half the time, but he got a good picture and that is all we cared about!  Next thing we headed to the Canterbury Tales Experience.  Here you get an audio headset that has clips from Canterbury Tales that you listen to as you go on the pilgrimage with Geoffrey Chaucer.  I thought it was really fun, but that was really only because it brought back the days of high school English/Literature.  If you had never read Canterbury Tales, you probably would be bored and maybe a little creeped out, since it was kind of odd.  But overall it was a great experience.
At this point in the morning, Katie and I felt like we had spent enough time in Canterbury, so we stopped in a bakery to get a snack and then headed to the other train station where we could catch the train to Dover.  To our surprise the trains weren’t running today, so we had to take a bus.  This ended up being a better option because we got to see more of the country side and a good view of the White Cliffs of Dover as we drove in.  They are so neat to see!  I think I especially loved seeing them because it was on the coast and I really like water J
  Part of the West Gate of Canterbury
 Another part of the West Gate
 In front of Canterbury Castle
Canterbury Tales

When the bus dropped us off at the train station, we immediately headed to the ticket office to check when the trains/buses would be leaving so we could make sure we got back on time.  To our luck, the ticket man was so nice and drew on a map places that we should try out while in Dover and then he chatted about Forest Gump when we said we were from Alabama.  I know I am not technically from Alabama, but it is easier to tell people when we don’t have time to explain.  For the most part, people are very nice in Dover.  Yay for nice people!
 About to go to Dover!
 The view from the top of the Double Decker bus front seat
White Cliffs!!

So with our new map, we headed into Dover!  We walked around a bit and really didn’t know exactly where we were but finally we ended up in the market square and decided to grab lunch.  We went to the fish and chips place the ticket man had suggested.  It was pretty good, but since it wasn’t a sit down restaurant, the fish had been sitting out for a little while, so it wasn’t the freshest it could have been.  But it was still good and we enjoyed it.  After lunch we hiked up this MASSIVE hill towards Dover Castle. 

 Ready to attack this hill, and it was way steeper than it looks...i promise!

Dover Castle is the coolest castle ever!  It has so much history from various time periods and it sits on top of the white cliffs overlooking the English Channel, thus has a gorgeous view!  It was breath taking!  Also if you happen to come on a clear day, which wasn’t our case, you can see France since it is only 17 miles across the channel.  When we first got into the castle we toured the underground hospital that was used during World War II.  I guess being the pharmacy nerd that I am, I loved it!  It was so neat to see and they had everything set up exactly how it would have been back in the 40s when they used it.   Our tour guide also told all about what went on and even shared about a particular pilot that had to be treated after being fired at.  Very cool!
After our hospital tour, we headed to one of the lookouts which took us up on a big platform.  I don’t know if this is normal, but it was SO WINDY!!! I am talking 40ish mph winds that could knock you over if you weren’t trying to stand up against it.  However, it have a spectacular view of the city and ocean!! 

Next we headed up to the medieval and Roman side of the castle King Henry the 2nd’s had built around the 1100s.  The best part was going through the castle tower.  They had, once again, set up everything to show what it probably looked like back in good ole Henry’s day.  Also in the castle tower, you could walk this huge spiral stair case and look out and get another great view of the land.  Near the tower there was another building that had been built by the Romans back around B.C – A.D era, so I don’t really know what you would call that except a really, really, really long time ago!

After hiking around this part of the castle, we headed over to more of the World War II tunnels to finish off our tour.  This was one of the best parts.  It was a tunnel that had been used as a naval and army command post.  They showed us lots of videos and told stories of what it was like to work and live down in the tunnels.  It was so interesting!!  I HIGHLY recommend!!! I wish I could show you pictures, but they wouldn’t let you take any pictures.  Boo!  While we were down in the tunnels, it was FREEZING.  So afterwards I got a pot of tea and Katie got a hot chocolate.  Yum!  Then it was time to trek back to the train station to grab our bus to Folkeston to grab our train.

So as we pull into Folkeston, we stop at this random spot that you cannot see the train station.  For point two, Katie and I panic that we have taken the wrong bus, but then this American couple for some reason knew that it was just around the corner.  Whew that was close!  So as we are walking towards the train station I see a carnival happening in a near by park.  Duh, I want to go explore and somehow I convinced Katie to go ride one ride.  Best. Idea. Ever!  So we head over to the park and pick a ride that the ticket lady says spins around and then bumps you around.  We just go with it, buy our ticket, and try it out.  It is just the two of us on it, so it looks kind of funny.  As it starts to go around and around, the lady says Here We Go! And then it starts bumping us all around.  I have never laughed so hard. It was such a shock to feel like you were about to be thrown out of this ride with no seat belt that for some reason was hilarious.  We were quite the site.  I noticed at one point a family just standing and staring at us.  I am glad we were able to make them laugh ha! I would have laughed at us too!


After our adventure at the carnival we head back over to the train station to find out we missed our train by 10 minutes…whoops that was totally my fault.  The next train came in 45 minutes, so we moised around and then chatted with the train conductor for a good while.  He was a funny ole chap that loved hearing our accents.  He became our buddy until the train arrived!

Once back in London we were famished so we headed to one our favs, Nando’s to get take away (take out).  Now I am staying up way to late to write this and I will definitely regret this tomorrow, but oh well!  It was totally my fault because I said in my new friend, Anna Margaret’s room chatting for way longer than planned.  Well enjoy and Cheers yall!