•July 8, 2007 • 5 Comments

Ok, I know I said I wouldn’t write but I just have to.

30+ hours travelling

Leaving someone you adore across the other side of the world

Qantas losing ALL of your luggage and worldly possessions

Priceless, fucking priceless!


and so, the end is near…

•July 5, 2007 • 1 Comment

This will be my last post for a little while. Tomorrow I fly out of Dublin back to work in Australia for a while, where hopefully I will have some new/strange/amusing stories to tell from the world of Paediatric A&E (that’s kids to the non-medical). So, whilst I find somewhere to live I’ll be ‘off’ air’.

I will be back soon…

miss greeneyes

•July 4, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I’m leaving Dublin in two days. Miss GreenEyes and I have therefore been trying to spend as much time together as possible before I head the unfeasable distance back to Australia. It’s going to be horribly tough. There’s a few things about her that I feel I must share:

– Her eyes aren’t green. You can imagine my self-disgust when I only realised this a little while ago! They are actually ice-blue but go green(ish) when she is tired…

– At the end of the day her hair goes wavy and strands continually fall very appealingly across her face

– When she tans she develops a fine spray of freckles over her nose

– She says ‘Hmmm?’ at the end of many sentences

– She’s gorgeous…really

– Her hands shake much worse than mine (hence I’m not a surgeon…incidentally neither is she)

– She has lovely taste in clothing

– She has an Irish accent

– She intermittently annoys the hell out of me…

I don’t know what to do when I head back to Australia.

jt, fiddy cent and some histrionic fans

•July 2, 2007 • 1 Comment

It’s truly heading towards the sunset of my time in Ireland and soon I will be braving the horrible, long, cramped flight home – leaving behind Miss GreenEyes and everything else.

In order to get some cash before starting work in Australia again, I decided to work as a doctor at the Justin Timberlake (JT) concert (supported by 50 cent) for an obscene amount of money – I love concert promoters! Now, I’ll just stop here and say for the record that I probably wouldn’t have gone to this concert if I wasn’t getting paid…The choice, however, was easy. I could have been working at Joe Cocker. A crowd of (probably) fifty somethings sedately grooving away to his dulcit tones; versus 30,000 girls under thirty – hmmm. Of course, sadly, the majority were also younger than 18, but never mind.

Ireland turned on its best summer rain and the punters their best party dresses and stilletos whilst I donned my secret service radio earpiece, all access pass and stethoscope so I could wander between first-aid tents calming hyperventilating, tearful, drunk girls and look at twisted knees – ‘I was watching my ‘boyfriend’ on stage (JT) and fell off a wall!’ was the excuse of the night. Fortunately, it wasn’t a busy evening and the kind first-aid officers did most of the work of sitting people down, giving them water and paper bags to breathe into. The majority of them weren’t too sick as they would rush out of the first-aid tent wrapped in their warming space blankets to rejoin the throng when their favourite song started playing! Similarly, my fears that a very healthy JT would suffer a mid-performance cardiac arrest (probably due to a congenital heart defect or some such) was ill-founded and the closest we got to anyone famous was someone in the production team suffering from diarrhoea!

In all I saw three patients…three…Seven hours, a set by 50 Cent and Justin Timberlake’s entire show for three patients – brilliant!

should I just have the penicillin now then?

•June 25, 2007 • 6 Comments


I’ve just finished up at St Elsewhere’s in Dublin with mixed feelings. The work was good, the people even better, the patients often anecdote-worthy.

They called me from the short-stay unit in the emergency department to discharge a girl who had been waiting for Gynaecology review. She had come in with lower abdominal pain, which was probably consistent with a cyst or maybe even an infection ‘down below’. I wasn’t overly busy so I popped in to see her, answer any questions she might have and send her home…easy. Her chart showed the ultrasound, examination results from the Gynaecology team, nothing too serious that a course of antibiotics wouldn’t clear up.

When I went to her bedside the nurse had just taken out her drip, she was sitting there with an expectant look on her face, prescriptions in hand ready to get out the door.

‘Hi, I’m Ben, one of the A&E doctors. I understand you’ve been seen by the Gynae team. Everything sorted out then?’

‘Ummm, yes. But these are the same antibiotics the family planning service put me on.’

I grabbed the prescription with a frown undoubtedly creasing my forehead in a vain attempt at concern.

‘How long were you on them before?’

‘5 days.’

‘Oh, well you really should be on them for 10-14 days. I guess part of the problem is that…er…whatever was wrong was only partially treated. Hopefully these will ‘knock it on the head’ for you and you won’t have any further troubles.’

‘Oh cool, cool.’

‘Anything else I can help you with, any questions?’ (I really have to stop asking this!)

‘Will you marry me?’

‘Ummm, that’s lovely but generally I like to get to know people before I marry them…’

‘Ok, well I’ll take you out to dinner then.’

Sweat forming on my brow, probably beading on my upper lip too ‘It sounds lovely really, but my girlfriend probably wouldn’t appreciate it, but thank-you.’

I bade a hasty retreat.

Mental note to anyone, anywhere, thinking of hitting on your doctor, nurse.etc when you have presented to hospital with a sexually transmitted infection; just don’t.


•June 17, 2007 • 1 Comment

Sorry for the lack of posts. I have just returned from a brief weekend in London catching up with friends and the ex (sigh). Now heading off to Croatia for a week with Miss GreenEyes. Call it a bit of a last hurrah. Will write again soon…

last memory before you die

•June 7, 2007 • 3 Comments

It was a busy night in St Elsewhere’s, my last night shift at the hospital. It was always going to be, the first ‘business’ day after a bank holiday weekend. It was just madness.

During the night an emaciated man came in by ambulance, the reek of feet and urine followed him like the wavy smell lines from Pig Pen in Charlie Brown comics. He had called the ambulance himself complaining of being non-specifically unwell. When they arrived he was found in a house full of empty soft-drink bottles; not the greatest given that he was a diabetic. Aside from being a little bit dehydrated and having a high sugar, he was fine. Most of us presumed he was in a mild case of Diabetic Ketoacidosis. I’ll stop here for a second. Most medical people will say that there really isn’t such a thing as a mild case; there are degrees, but I digress. His pulse wasn’t too rapid, his breathing was at a normal rate and all his other vital signs were normal. As such, we bumped him up the triage list to be seen sooner, but given the sheer volume of patients in the dept. it would still be a while before we got to him.

He was parked opposite the nurses station on a monitor. Intermittently he would pretend to have a seizure, which would remit when we walked into his cubicle and told him to ‘stop it’. At some point during the night, just about all of our staff had walked in at one point and told him to stop being ridiculous and attention seeking!

As it turned out, it was a while before he was seen by one of the doctors. Bloods were taken, we checked the acidity of his blood (normal) and started him on an insulin drip (to replace the insulin which diabetics can’t produce on their own). After being seen by the doctor, he became increasingly obnoxious and demanding, which resulted in more stern words from us and veiled threats of calling the police to have him removed…Still his vital signs were normal. His blood tests came back…His electrolytes were all out of whack in a way that would be incompatible with life. His kidneys had failed. He had had some damage to his heart and his sugar level was the highest I have ever seen. He was promptly moved into our resuscitation area where we could more aggressively treat him. By this stage it was morning, the day staff were just coming on, torpor had set in from a night that had been literally non-stop over 12 hours.

‘Registrar to resus, registrar to resus.’

It’s a call over the loud-speaker in the dept. which usually means that the proverbial had hit the fan. It had.

Our man had suffered a cardiac arrest. The man we had been rude, abrupt and dismissive to had died. He was difficult to intubate as vomit was cascading out of his mouth with CPR. After 10mins we got him back…just…We tidied him up a bit, continued to aggressively attempt to correct everything that was wrong…he had another cardiac arrest…we got him back again…We sent him to the intensive care unit where he had a further cardiac arrest…

All night he had watched us walking past him, occasionally rudely telling him to ‘settle down’, ‘be quiet’ or just plainly ‘stop it’. All night his body had been slowly shutting down. All night it felt like we didn’t do much about it.