Starbucks Dining Hall

Day 16

Starbucks seems to be the local School Dining Hall. Chips and cheese included. After a Barista asked them relatively politely to leave the girls sat down again. A group of girls, likely 2nd years, are bad news when they start to jeer each other along. They’re loud, rude and a bit of a nuisance by disturbing the relaxing atmosphere.

They returned 10 minutes later. They’d obviously finished their delightful main course and now each grasping 1L bottles of Lucazade for desert and pinging elastic bands at a group of 4 geeky boys in the back. Their afternoon teachers are going to be psyched to have this bunch of caffeinated and carb-overloaded giggling girls in their class.

You’ve no idea how hard it was to suppress my inner teacher.

Medical WAG
I recently wrote about my experience being the partner of an Anaesthetist. This morning joe came home after a week of nights, exhausted as he tumbled onto bed fully dressed, eyes closing. I had to wake him up to get him into his pyjamas. I missed him last night. At the start of the week, it’s exciting to have the house to myself. I usually read, take a bath, paint my nails and watch a film. It’s a strange feeling because I think I stay up late because I want to be surrounded by his things. By Thursday night, I just want him home. I’m wearing his pyjamas, cuddling his childhood toy and I miss sleepy conversation, so I climb next to him in the middle of the day (his night time) just to get my cuddle fix. Is that sad? Too much information? Or, cute?

Day 16
I’m booked in for Body Pump tonight and you have my word that I will go!… I won’t be sleeping through it! Combining running and blogging for my resolution has made me make a commitment to get out there and it’s a huge motivator! Its a huge motivator not to take lazy days… I had good intentions yesterday!)! But I still think it’s important to know when it’s important to rest (lack of sleep, pain, dizziness) and recognise when I am just feeling lazy (I’ll go get to go to the sauna afterwards and have a Kinder Bueno). Jen pretty much summarises it in her blog.

Ps. Treadmill
I’m really missing the treadmill! I was reading 21 fantastic reasons why it’s the best here. Turns out, I’m not the only one who takes a sneak peak at the treadmill next to me to see who’ running faster…! I fell a little less guilty now… Let the treadmill races begin!

I’m enjoying tender no to my hair after the gym so my hair is still sitting quite nicely today. Wavy and shimmering red in the sun!


Working Out is Fun!

Day 13

As Joe would endearingly say, I’m a problem. I picked up our Baedeker travel guide for our upcoming trip to Israel, but came out with more books than just that. I’m desperate to flick through its pages and start planning our journey between Jerusalem, Haifa and Tel Aviv, but, as Joe’s on Nights, he’s currently sleeping next door and I don’t want to take a peak before he does.

Day 13
I have to succumb to cross training because my shattered splints have shattered any idea of running right now. So today’s ‘run’ was a 30 minute cheesy, disco-style spin class, disco lights included, which was followed by abs. It was a good workout, but I think I’ll stick to my spin list because I’ve tailored it to sprint work to balance the muscle workout from Body Pump.

Gym Bunnies
January is a busy time for fitness fanatics, new and old alike. I’ve never seen so many ‘celebrity’ fitness DVDs in the supermarket aisles. One guy who takes this to the extreme is Shaun T’s Intense Max Workout. But the irony is that offers exist purely in the crisps, chocolates, fizzy drinks aisles. Um, sure if you wiggle and wobble around your living room once a week, you’ll burn off the weight you want… And you can pick the dvd up when you buy your Buy One Get On Free crisps!

I don’t think anyone is fooled. So I admire anyone who signs up to the gym as their 2015 resolution. It might compromise my enjoyment of the (now super packed) gym, but I secretly say to myself that the girl who runs next to me is looking at me and thinking that she looks forward to when she can match my pace. After all, I still do that! Particularly in Body Pump.

I saw a report on our genes and the impact they have on our eating habits, which, being a Vegetarian, I think is very important. I’m always banging on about healthy choices to Joe because, in my opinion, his diet is somewhat wanting during the intense and high-stress time in his life. The BBC has a test that first calculates your BMI then asks you 12 questions to determine what kind of eater you are: Constant Crave, Feaster or Emotional Eater. The test determines percentages and offers recipes for your ‘type’. I’m 48% craver. No surprise there!

And I’m sure there are plenty of people who say their genes are against them when they want to loose weight, but I just don’t believe that! Rather than blaming the parents for not being able to bust their butt at the gym, just go do it, even if you have to work a little harder.

So, my humble advice to everyone who is anyone, and that includes all weights and sizes… have fun when you workout and it won’t feel like work!

I got that from Popsugar Fitness. A feed I love to follow because it’s fun, uplifting and has plenty of printable strength and cardio workouts and yummy recipes! Check it out!

Untameable Hair
Frizzy in the cold!

The Nuer Didn’t Have Shin Splints


True to form, after a weekend filled with Joe studying, he’s on Night Shift until Friday morning in the Intensive Care Unit negates a whopping 13 hour shift of making decisions that will keep patients alive. He’s manage to text once already, a quick hello to check in with me after the gym, saying that tonight will be busy.

I received a long awaited parcel in the post recently; The Nuer by E. E. Evans Pritchard. I first ‘met’ the Nuer during my undergraduate degree in Social Anthropology at the University of St. Andrews and I’ve been dying to get my inquisitive hands on the ethnography. I’m suspicious that it’s no longer being published, but it’s a must for any SocAnth student, and my copy has come from J. Evans of UCL. VERY exciting. I’ve no idea who he (she) is, but I love the idea of a book having a life history. Who loved it before I do? Did they carry it everywhere, was it studied, read in the morning and at night?

The Nuer fascinate me in particular because of the interconnection between ecology and their culture is fascinating (they were cattle pastoralists, influence high sneaked into their labels for humans!) and then they were somewhat more resistant to British dominance than other people’s. The British needed Evans Pritchard to help them understand and thus gain control over this reluctant group, and his ethnography reads explicitly for that purpose.

Day 12
I had a great Body Pump tonight! True to my promise, I promised myself to cross train and so pushed myself hard with the weights tonight. It was a different instructor than usual, which was a pity because I really like Monday night’s instructor!!

But I broke my promise. Knowing Joe wouldn’t be waiting for me at home, I thought I’d give the treadmill a try. Silly, I know. I think I shattered my shins. I was going to stop at 10 minutes, but I was distracted by the football on the telly, so decided I’d stop at 15 minutes, but by then, I thought I might as well keep going. I did refrain from bumping up the speed every few minutes, so totalled a 3.54km run in 20 minutes.

Untameable Hair
Wanting to keep the silky smoothness from yesterday’s date, I didn’t wash it until after the gym. Rather it’s been tied up all day! Not bad.

Medic WAG

Day 11

I sit in Starbucks and tap to you using beetroot-stained fingernails. Joe and I have been on a date today! For Christmas, his present from me was ’12 Dates of Christmas’, a box of 12 sealed envelopes, each named a month of the year corresponding to an appropriate date. On the first of every month, joe has a new card, a new date to open, and we plan when in the month we can go on it.

Today was reminiscent of our 2nd date; a trip to Aberdeen Museum and a trip to The Coffee House (best cake in town). On that date, joe hadn’t even moved to Aberdeen and I was a jittery and nervous wreck because here I was, a humble teacher in training explaining to an A&E doctor why certain paintings are sublime, surreal or terrible and walking him through the Scottish Art hall and my favourite paintings in the collection. I got butterflies when he asked me to explain Instagram to him and when he wrote a postcard to me, pictured with my favourite painting.

Our date that day had lasted hours. We couldn’t stop talking to each other. Today though, it was almost a speed date! We’ve eaten, pointed at our favourite paintings, huffed at the terrible modern exhibition and now, in starbucks, Joe is back to studying and I’m going to I’ll touch on how I experience being a Doctor’s partner.

Medic WAG
We met online. Joe was charming, sensitive and inquisitive, and even online I thought he was truly wonderful. We sent long emails then met quickly. I felt to intimidated and remember phoning my mum and explaining Joe is an Anaesthetist (the airways guy) and works in A&E. I felt so inadequate. Yes, I had two degrees, interest in cycling, running, art and theatre, but Joe is a doctor! We met fairly quickly, kissed on our first date and we were pretty besotted by each other already! I fell in love with him for so many reasons: his extensive general knowledge, passion, ambition, his attention to detail and the way he asks questions about someone’s interests to really get to know them, his charisma, particularly in social groups and he tells great stories. Plus, he’s a vegetarian! What a bonus!

But whilst our first year was full of adventures, camping and holidays, Joe working in the hospital is difficult for both of us. Joe comes home after a 12 or 13 hour shift where he’s had to constantly make life saving and life changing decision, depending if he’s in surgery or Intensive Care Unit and he’s tired. After that, Joe comes home exhausted because the hospital is understaffed and has to study for a few hours before he can even think about relaxing before bed to start all over again tomorrow. This article summarises the kind of shift Joe has regularly.

It is lonely living with Joe. He can do this for 4 nights at a time or over the weekend and be expected to stay overtime if he’s needed for no extra pay. And I get upset because we’ve had to cancel going to the cinema or the dinner I made for him will be cold, again. Our relationship fits around work and study. Joe’s exam is on January 27th, so his free time is spent with his nose in all kinds of medicine books. Most doctors know what medicine does what, but anaesthetists are old fashioned and expect their doctors to know the why and how. Our relationship comes last at the moment.

He gets his rota of 6 weeks at a time, which means that even planning in advance is pretty non existent. I’ve signed us up for a run on Saturday 6 June but Joe has had remind me that he might be at Job Interviews that weekend. Of course, he might not. He might be on nights, weekend or the small possibility of actually being off! I say I’m okay with that, but, honestly I’m not. I have to go to family functions alone because of the irregular shift pattern and Aberdeen Royal Infirmary’s under-staffed department who rarely grant their doctors study leave, never mind time off for personal events.

So our lives are restricted by Joe’s job. Depending on how he does in his exam at the end of the month, we could be moving somewhere good, bad or not get a progressive job for next year. He’ll be ranked with all the other ITU Anaesthetists and the highest will get the most desirable jobs in the best location. We will have to move to somewhere with a teaching hospital – Dundee? Glasgow? Aberdeen? Edinburgh is out because Joe isn’t competitive enough (he’s not done as many projects and attended as many conferences as others). Or will we move to England? The system is different there and the NHS is plastered over the news, and not because it’s revelling in good light. But Aberdeen is a bad place to be. The doctors don’t get time off to study nor do they get teaching, both of which they are entitled to do.

Support Network
It’s vital that partners of doctors have a strong support base around them. People often expect me to have a lavish lifestyle, attending balls, regular holidays but they don’t recognise the loneliness. Yes we’ve been to Vietnam, Madrid and Brighton last year and are going to Israel, but that is because Joe needs time off because work is stressful. To help, I ask about work. I get all the gruesome details because it’s important to me that Joe knows I understand work can be difficult. I have a friend whose boyfriend works with Joe so we can share how we’re feeling at particularly difficult times, such as not spending Christmas together.

Doctor Joe
But it’s not all bad. I can watch 24 Hours in A&E now without getting grossed out and I now know what is happening to my body when I feel asthmatic, why I swear and shake before being sick and all these doctor questions that you’d never waste your Doctor’s time with! When I was beginning to move in, I fell off the pavement as I tried to pack my car and cut my knee through tights. It was so sore and my lip was quivering as I drove the 10 minutes to his house. I had to peel off and unstick my tights from the wound. It was worse than I thought… There was flappy skin and a stone in it! I cried as I sat on the toilet and Joe cleaned my knee.

But for anything more serious, I get the old cracker, “Go to your Doctor” and no I don’t get prescriptions. It is a matter of professionalism.

As I mentioned yesterday, I’m wary of shin splints returning, so will be cross training for at least the next week. I went to Body Pump this morning. An hour of sweat dripping off my elbows and down my back as I pumped relatively heavy weights at high intensity intervals. I love Pump! I love squats! It’s the Les Mills 92nd release (I’m not sure how often each release lasts for) so new music and new choreography meant the instructor was a little off her usual high energy, powerful thighs and pumping lots of weights.

Untameable Hair
Admittedly, my hair is sitting nicely today because I wanted to look good for Joe. He’s a very kind man because he says he likes my hair “big” (frizzy – think of Loki’s ears!).