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Scruffy (aka Carmel)
20 July 2007 @ 04:12 pm
I've had a pretty mediocre week. I spent the first half of it it getting over my nasty cold.  My parents, who seem to be alternating between being madly happy and trying to kill each other, have spent the week trying to kill each other.  The nasty tax department took more money than I think is fair, so our tax return was tiny.  Which will make things hard while we try to buy all the things we need for Squishy.  And I've been trying to work out when the best time for Mr Scruffy to move away will be.

But this afternoon, everything changed...

I got a package in the mail!  I *love* getting packages, And this was a particularly wonderful package.  It came from the_kaytinator as part of her "package a week" campaign.  First, a fluffy lavender scarf.  This is a surprisingly insightful gift, because BrisVegas is currently in the grip of it's coldest weather ever, and I don't actually own a scarf.  Huzzah!  It is soft, fluffy and extraordinarily scarf-like!  Deeper inspection of the package revealed something even more wonderful...  A soft, cuddly pink pig for Squishy!  At this point, I suspect that Pumpkin Cat thought I had lost my mind, because I began to squee uncontrollably trying to dance with him.  This is actually the first toy anybody has bought Squishy, and I think it's wonderful!

And, this is the beginning of a wonderful weekend HarryPotter-a-thoning.  I'm seeing the moofie tonight, and I'm getting my book (and cool Hedwig toy) tomorrow morning. 

So, suddenly I feel on top of the world!  I have  a wonderful new scarf, and an adorable toy to bring Squishy home to!  So, without even knowing it, you've managed to turn everything around for me Kayt.  Thank you!

I'm feeling: ecstaticecstatic
Scruffy (aka Carmel)
I got my exam results yesterday.

I passed!  Yay!  I actually did really well in some sections, which made me quite happy.  I did not so well in other sections, but over all I passed.  :)  They threw us some curve balls in the exam, and whilst I didn't handle them all, I did much better than I thought...  And better than most people, apparently!

*happy dance*

On the other hand, I  have a cold.  It's not pretty.  Sniffles, coughs and stuffed-upedness, and I can't take anything for it, except lots of lemon and  honey and bed rest. 


On the third hand, we went to a baby expo on the weekend.  I've never seen so many babies and children and pregnant women in one place before.  We bought a pram, which is very exciting - it's very sexy and stylish.  What's more, it was super cheap!  Huzzah for saving $200!!!  Did you know that the top of the range pram costs $1650?  That's not a typo.  It's over One And A Half Thousand Dollars.  Apparently it's what all the Hollywood Mums are using.  Well, that's nice, but it's not what the Scruffy's are using.  We opted for a $600 pram reduced to $400.  Even so, I would never have thought that a pram would be so expensive.  In fact, everything for babies is expensive!  We also bought a few other bits and pieces, so our nursery has gone from being an empty room a few months ago, to a clutter "storage" room now...  There really is a lot still to do!


On the forth hand, Mr Scruffy came home from work last night with some possibly bad news, or possibly good news.  His boss has asked him to go to Canada to work with a lab over there (Mr Scruffy works in Prostate Cancer research).  This is awesome for him, and will be a fantastic boost to his career.  However, his boss wants him to go next year, for FOUR MONTHS!  FOUR MONTHS!!!   Leaving me here, on my own with a new born Squishy for four month.  FOUR MONTHS!!!  Continuing to study med with a new born was always going to be a real challenge, but doing it on my own for four month seems like someone asking me to climb Mount Everest with one hand tied behind my back.  I'm lucky that Mum is nearby, and Little Mother Meg is just around the corner to help out...  But...  How on Earth am I going to cope? 

Next year, we start our rotations - 5 eight-week blocks, with a week off in between each.  I have arranged with the Med School to start with my GP rotation, because it's the most flexible with the least amount of contact time - perfect for me and ~8 week old Squishy, and then gradually increasing my work load throughout the year until I finish on my Rural rotation, where I will be in the country for 8 weeks.  That will be in November, when Squishy is about a year old.  So, now, on top of this, we need to sort out when Mr Scruffy will be heading away - at the beginning of the year, when I will have more time off uni, but Squishy will be so small, or later in the year when Squishy is a bit older, but I have less time off uni... 


So.  Life is like a little roller coaster.  Can I get off this ride yet?
I'm feeling: weirdweird
Scruffy (aka Carmel)
05 July 2007 @ 08:45 pm
 So, it turns out that the class average for our exam is a fail...  Which means means more than half of us failed.

I don't know what my grade is yet - the Med School is still trying to sort out what they are going to do. 

I'm feeling: nervousnervous
Scruffy (aka Carmel)
26 June 2007 @ 10:17 am
I'm sorry that it's taken me so long to get these up - Mr Scruffy fixed the scanner on Friday night, but then commandeered the computer for the whole weekend... 

I hope these don't hurt anyone's download restrictions :)

We have been thinking of names....  In my family, the first born daughter in every generation has the middle name "Ruth" in a tradition dating back over 125 years - there is a beautiful gold bracelet that goes with it.  So, her middle name is Ruth.  This has posed a few problems with the selection of names, because our surname starts with the letter S.   We had a few really lovely names picked out - Ailsa, Alison, Ailie...  and then we realised that her initials would be ARS...  arse.  I just can't can't do that to my little girl!  We've got a list now of around half a dozen or so names - mostly traditional Irish names (my family is Irish).

And, to top off the single most exciting week of my pregnancy -- I felt her move for the first time on Sunday night!!!  It is the most incredible feeling, and really hard to describe.  It's a bit like little bubble popping inside my tummy, and a little like having one of those soft stress balls bouncing around inside me.  It was utterly amazing, and it actually kind of tickles.  This week, Squishy is busy growing the nerves in her ears that will allow her to hear things.  In the beginning it will just be vibrations (like my heart beat and the rumble of my voice and snores), but soon she'll also be picking up the noises from the outside world!  I think there is something really romantic about the idea that at the same time I become aware of her swimming around inside me, she's also becoming aware of me!
I'm feeling: lovedloving
Scruffy (aka Carmel)
22 June 2007 @ 05:23 pm
We're having a little girl!!!!!!!!

*happy dance*

We had been suspecting it was a girl, and now we know, it's very exciting.

So, we were scanned by the wonderful and amazing Dr G (who was my supervisor over summer).  He looked very closely at every aspect of our baby, and found nothing wrong.  She is small, but she's all in proportion, and looks to be growing normally.  Except for her abdominal circumference -  our little Squishy has a fat tummy (kind of like her mum, I guess)!  So, all in all, Dr G says not to worry about the fact that she's small, because everything is progressing well.  Her brain is a good size, her heart is functioning perfectly and she has all the right vessels in all the right places.  Her kidneys and bladder are working, her feet are in the right orientation, and she has nice flow in the cord.  Her eyes even have lenses! 

The only thing that Dr G found was a bright spot in her heart (called an "echogenic focus").  This is a "soft marker"  for chromosomal anomalies, but only when seen in conjunction with other soft markers, which basically means that on it's own, it's pretty much just a quirk (around 1:20 babies have this).  In fact, it was so subtle that Dr G only found it because he was really looking for these kinds of things - he wanted to make sure he didn't miss anything.  One of the reasons I wanted Dr G to do my scan was because I knew I could trust him to find anything, and and he'd tell me everything he saw.  So, I came away feeling supremely happy - my little baby girl is small and perfectly healthy. 

I have some pictures, but I can't seem to get the scanner to work.  So, when Mr Scruffy gets home from work, I will make him fix it, so that I can bombard my flist with picspam :)

I'm feeling: giddygiddy
Scruffy (aka Carmel)
16 June 2007 @ 10:02 am
My exam is over, and it was as random, odd and confusing as I expected.  I am not sure how they were testing our ability to be good doctors, but there must some kind of method to their madness.  The awful part was knowing that I probably could have done this exam two weeks ago and not done any worse than I did after the two weeks of study.  However, I was not alone in this, which made me feel better.

The exam was at 8am, on the coldest morning this year in BrisVegas.  Yay.  However, the little heater I have growing in my belly actually helped to keep me quite warm, and the lovely supervisors got me a more comfortable chair when I asked for one!  They also let me eat my nuts and an apple during the exam!!  I was really glad about that - because there is no way I could have managed three hours without eating something. 

So, I'm on holidays now, and my list of chores is so long I'll probably need 3 weeks, not one, to get them all done.  Number one is to find a day car centre for Squishy for next year.  We are having our morphology scan on Friday - this is the big one where we will be looking at Squishy to make sure everything is in it's rightful place.  I'm really excited about it...  We'll also be able to find out if Squishy is a boy or a girl, if we want too. 

Actually, one thing has been worrying me, about Squishy.  I'm nearly 18 weeks, and I'm not really showing.  Granted, pre-pregnancy I was at the higher end of BMI scale (obese, not to put too fine a point on it)...  I saw Little Mother Meg during the week, and she (who is also at the higher end of the BMI scale) commented that when she was 16 or 17 weeks pregnant, she was obviously showing.  I've not put on a single kilo during my pregnancy, which I am really proud of, but it does worry me that my baby is, well, really small.

Mr Scruffy keeps telling me not to worry about it - I'm very short, I'm being careful about my weight and I'm eating healthy and doing lots of yoga.  Little Mother Meg and is very tall, and her baby is HUGE (I mean it - she's actually off the chart for length-for-age...  She's 8 weeks old and around 65cm long, 5.5kg).  Mr Scruffy just hugs me and says that our baby is small, and there is nothing wrong with that.  He's right of course, but my brain keeps on thinking about the things that can happen that can stop a baby growing in utero .   Which is partly why I am looking forward to this scan - they are going to happily say "your baby is fine, just small, which is okay, because you are short, and your husband is hardly a giant!  stop comparing yourself to all the other women and stop imagining scary things...".  In the meantime though, I'm going to imagine.... 

Finally, a story from Scruffy-Brother.  He is currently doing his surgical rotation, and was called in by the urologists to do a minor procedure.  A gentleman need a foreign object removed from his bladder...  A cotton bud.  Apparently the patient had inserted the cotton bud entirely into his urethra, and then used a second object (unknown) to push it all the way up into the bladder...  Yes, it must have hurt a lot.  Scruffy-Brother's job was to removed the cotton bud the same way it went in (under anaesthetic!).  When asked if there were any other foreign objects that the surgical team needed to know about, the patient responded "I'm not sure"....

The mind fairly boggles....

And on that note - I'm off for a walk around the park with Mr Scruffy!
I'm feeling: awakeawake
Scruffy (aka Carmel)
10 June 2007 @ 08:48 am
I've reached the point where I feel I'm learning the same stuff, over and over and over, and yet it's not really sinking in.  At the same time, though, I feel like there is this whole other sphere of knowledge that I'm actually also meant to be trying to learn, and somehow...  I'm just not - it's like it's so huge, it's not even on my radar.

This exam accounts for 25% of my final grade for year 2, so it's not like it's do-or-die.  On the other hand, these are marks that i feel I really could use at the end of the year!  I left my study group this morning with the sinking feeling that the neurons in my brain had reached the point where they were trying to synapse with my skull.  And have I mentioned that hate, HATE multiple choice questions?  About a fifth of our exam is multichoice, and I have never been able to get the hang of it.  There is no scope to justify your answers - so, if your interpretation of the vaguely worded question isn't precisely what the examiner was thinking, you're stuffed. 

If the exam was merely (and I say merely in scoffing tone of voice) going to examine us on our understanding of medicine, I think I'd be okay - I know enough to be able to be able to demonstrate that I do in fact understand things.  What is disturbing is that they also expect us to memorise all the crazy lists they give us  - "On the 12th slide of my third lecture, i had a list of the risk factors associated with melanoma - please recite that list".  Now, I can easily tell you about these risk factors.  But, I might say "fair complexion" - covering skin, eyes and hair colour.  Unfortunately, the list they want us to regurgitate may have separated these things - and if I don't separate them the say way, then I won't get the marks.  And THAT is what freaks me out.  It's not that I don't know this stuff - it's that I don't know it the way they want me to know it....

Which means, I should be getting back to it. 
I'm feeling: cynicalcynical
Scruffy (aka Carmel)
04 June 2007 @ 09:37 pm
...  You log onto your LJ and see an ad for 'Free Grandma Quotes'

(It was actually an ad for 'Free Gardener Quotes')
I'm feeling: sillysilly
Scruffy (aka Carmel)
04 June 2007 @ 02:58 pm
A long, long time ago, Mr Scruffy and I met through a mutual friend.  It was my 19th birthday, and she asked if she could bring a friend to festivities.  I'm the kind of person who thinks that birthday parties are more fun when people turn up, so I agreed.  When he arrived, I was struck not by the fact that he was tall, and quite possibly the handsomest man I'd ever seen, but by the fact that he had brought me a birthday gift.  This struck me as a sign of a very nice person - to be dragged to a birthday party for someone he didn't know, and still bring a gift for them!

The gift was a small crystal prism - one of those dangly little pieces you can get at the markets on weekends.  At the time, I remember thinking it was beautiful, and the prism hung in my bedroom window.  Mr Scruffy and I drifted out of touch for a while, the sort of acquaintance you smile at in hallways or wave at in passing.  Years after this birthday, we ran into each other at a very boring seminar - the first time in about a year we'd seen each other, and by some strange cosmic force, I had that small crystal prism in pocket at the time.  This struck me as some kind of omen...  I was right, of course :p

When we first moved in together, he unpacked the box with the prism in it, and was surprised that I still had it.  We hung it in the kitchen, and it has hung in the kitchen of every home we have ever had.  Just now, I walked into the kitchen to find it awash with tiny little rainbows, and every time the breeze blew, they danced. It looked so pretty :)

I really do love Mr Scruffy.
I'm feeling: lovedloved
Scruffy (aka Carmel)
31 May 2007 @ 05:37 pm
So things have been a bit weird of late...

Firstly, the entire world of med-bloggers had a series of small MIs regarding the "outting" of some people to their collegues, triggering a domino-effect of fear. 

Then, the the deleting-of-communities-and-blogs of the past 48 hrs, triggering mass panic amongst all kinds of ordianary people, and the strange silence from LJ regarding it.

However, in the world of Scruffy, there are but two things to be interested in:

1.  My exam is on the 15th of June
2.  My baby has a heart beat and it beats at around 150 beats per min. 

My exam requires that I understand the pathophysiology of all aspects of the following:
The skin, the immune system, the haematological system, the cardiac system, the vascular system, the respiratory system and the gastrointestinal system.  So, like, most of medicine :p

But did I mention that I heard Squishy's heart beat?  How cool is that?
I'm feeling: geekygeeky