Thursday, 12 September 2013


Wrought iron lamp and stack of cannonballs
Munich Stadtmuseum, March 2013
It's been a while, peeps. It feels like I'm always starting with the same line: "It's been busy... I haven't had time..." like Garrison Keillor does when he says "It's been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon, Minnesota, my home town" and you know you'll be listening to something ordinary for a few minutes, in the mellow marshmallow voice that could make a shopping list sound interesting.

Anyway, it's been busy, and I haven't had time. Work, more work, and my MSc module is taking up a lot of spare time. Badminton is available two evenings a week now, which is good for my health and should be good for my waistline. Cycling was going well (three days a week and getting up that hill regularly one time out of three) except this week the garage door has broken, so I can't get the bike out at all.

RSB changing the wheel
Yesterday I had a flat tyre, which loomed over me all day alongside dark hatred of car mechanics. But in the end there were silver linings to this black cloud: firstly RSB showed considerable enthusiasm in the idea of helping me change the wheel, which turned out to be because he hadn't ever done it before, leading to the second silver lining - he did all the work while I just stood and directed operations. And the third benefit - when I mentioned my predicament, one of the doctors recommended a garage where there were friendly and helpful people, who I hope will not do as much damage to the old and venerable car as the last garage did. (She's still not right even after all the messing around with the brakes.) I left the wheel there and arranged to pick it up today.

When I went back to the garage today, it was the work of a few moments to replace the repaired wheel. It occurred to me that one of the other tyres looked a bit soft, and behold! when they checked it, it was in much the same state as the one that had just been fixed. So the spare wheel is now on a different corner of the car, and I will return to the garage again tomorrow, and with luck that will be all the garage visits for a while. Except that the car's really not right yet, so maybe there will be more.

So that's where some of the time went. Of course much of my time is spent actually doing work, and I had a more than usually successful clinic recently. I managed to work out why one patient had recently started having daily hypos (she was on a reducing dose of steroids) and I was very pleased with that, because it's something I might once have missed. I have also taken over the ante-natal clinic from RSB, so now I see a few women with Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes as well as all those with Gestational Diabetes.

Since attending the third and last training session on Care Planning I have been trying hard to follow through with my resolution to try not to give advice. It seemed to work very well indeed for a patient who wants to lose weight. In the 'not giving advice' endeavour I am inspired by Lola II who does a job in which it is absolutely forbidden to give advice no matter how much you want to, even if you know exactly what everyone should do. I think that would kill me.

Not all my consultations have gone so well. I had to deal with a couple who had been having an immense row immediately before I entered the room, and I'm not sure whether I handled it well or not. Sometimes I feel at the end of a consultation that I haven't contributed anything positive to a person's situation. And the DNAs keep (not) coming, and now that I am more established, I wonder if it was something I said.

I have nearly finished my induction - a recent mandatory training session on CPR was more enjoyable than I expected; I passed the online assessment for Consent procedures, and there's only Manual Handling left to do. I was asked to feed back my thoughts on induction, and I welcomed the opportunity to let off a bit of steam. When the induction process is completed just two weeks from the end of the original nine-month contract, it cannot be considered fit for purpose.

Outside work I am also struggling with time, as I am very behind with home admin because of being away all week. When I get back, Friday night is very much a rest night with Mr A, and then it's usually a trip to the famous veg shop on Saturday, sometimes a supermarket trip as well, house cleaning, laundry, and anything else that's going on. Two weeks ago there was the first Warwickshire Pride festival in the Pump Room Gardens; last weekend Lola II and Mr M visited so we could all go to the Leamington Food and Drink Festival. And I've submitted a job application.

Yes, after more than six months without any sort of vacancies for adult diabetes dietitians (there have been loads of paediatric diabetes vacancies due to a quirk of NHS funding), a job has been advertised, in the same Trust where I worked before but a different site. It is a permanent post - hooray - but only 20 hours a week. After a good deal of vacillation and discussion with Mr A and with previous, current and potential future employers, I decided to apply. And you know how much time that takes (perhaps you don't? It is A Lot Of Time). And there are two other part-time opportunities on the horizon, although they are both in the region where I work now, far from home.

There was also a night out with the Dietitians. Not a big one - we all meet after work, have a very early dinner and then it's all over by about 7pm, which suits me perfectly because I'm starting to feel the pressure of not enough silent time on my own. [Silent time on my own is all that keeps me sane.] I'm having some silent time on my own tonight, because today I have decided that it is more necessary than badminton. This is rare and unusual, but it is the right decision. I maintain my sanity, and you get a long and rambling blog post. We are all winners.

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