Pride and Pretentiousness, do you know one?

We all know someone pretentious, usually in the form of a “hip” University student, whose sustenance is the WiFi in Starbucks, writing a blog about bloggers who blog about blogging, enjoyed over a steaming cup of extra foam-non-dairy-split-shot-sugar-free-caramel-swirl-minus-the-caramel-touch-of-hazelnut-put-it-in-a-venti-cup coffee, which they neglect as they harp loudly to their equally pretentious friends about utilitarianism and Zeitgeist.

You know who I’m talking about, they look like they’ve stolen their Grandad’s unwanted clothes, and wear big framed glasses with no lenses so they can better see just how inferior anyone with a differing opinion to theirs is. They preach about the environment and Fairtrade then light up a Mayfair and puff about how corrupt the Government is man, it’s all a conspiracy dude, that’s why they’re an Anarchist, who also happens to like hybrid genre music like crunk-house-dub-classical, and is the only vegan so strict they think lentil soup is morally wrong.

Oh, and their parents are totally bang out of order because they won’t let them get the new Apple Wafer-thin Craptop, so just to show them up they’re going to have that massive “off-the-rails” house-party and show off their mad-DJ skills mixing vinyls from the 70’s with electro, alcohol is totally last century they’re T-Total now, but crystal meth is just fine.

 

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Not looking good

Strange how sometimes I can detach easily, and switch between subjective/objective when necessary.

Today I’m finding it difficult though. Hormonal? Possibly. But mainly it’s surprise; Mr Anonymous seemed so happy and well last week, but today he’s been shaking loads, too weak to even speak, and the other Carer has told me it’s time to mentally detach a bit, which is code for ‘he may be near death’s door’. I can’t accept that right now, even though it happens to us all, and it’s part of the job. I imagine it must be worse for Doctors, especially because patients can die on the table and leave the Doctor feeling responsible, even when there really was nothing they could do.

I think absolutely everything can be taken as a learning experience.

Living with a terminal illness

I am humbled.

Image by squishband via Flickr

I’ve been meaning to write about this for a while. Mr Anonymous has an inoperable tumour in the right hemisphere of his brain, which means the left side of his body is mostly paralysed. His condition is neurologically complex, to the extent that he could die either any minute, or live for a few more years. Either way, it’s terminal, and the suspense is what depresses him most.

I’ve come to understand how his mind state can differ drastically from one day to the next, because of the conflicting emotions. Sometimes he begs me to pray for him to die, to get it over and done with. Other times he pleads, stating that he is not ready to die yet, and asks what is on the other side; would his wife and children be there. He asks me this despite his Atheist standpoint because, let’s all be honest please, in the face of death you never know how you will feel.

Being bedbound makes him feel useless, so I bring him round poetry and stories sometimes, and this cool device one wears on their hand to exercise it (his functional right hand). I love that he remembers my name, Ruth, even when he forgets some of the other Carers names. I feel we have a genuine friendship, he even agreed to be my guardian angel, which made me laugh because he says: “Guardian angels are the ones who move people up lists and grant wishes, because they seem so serene and wise that no one notices what they’re getting away with.”

It makes me sad that he has deteriorated in the time I’ve known him; he was able to walk slightly, now we use the electric hoist to move him. I feel sorry for his wife because she is going through the same hell that he is, she doesn’t rest enough, is never truly at ease but is always affectionate and polite despite her pain.

“There’s always one happy day, even when the rest are bleak and numbered.” – He said this to me this evening when we put him to bed. He said this is the happiest day he has had since being diagnosed, and that seeing us Carers visit is what makes his day everyday. Well, he made my day just by smiling so freely.

This is why I want to be a Doctor, to see that same smile on the faces of patients and go to sleep at night knowing I have truly helped another person. Being a Carer is helping others of course, but being a Doctor would mean so much more than just making someone comfortable; I could actually help cure them, find a solution, connect with them and their families in such a way that would minimise the pain, even if I am only in their acquaintance briefly. I know I am capable of this, and Mr Anonymous has reminded me of this regularly, he always says he can see me being a marvelous Doctor. I hope he is right, that I can make it someday. And I wish him and his family well, they deserve to be happy.

Call an ambulance

Apologies to people I am subscribed to, and those in my blogroll, I simply haven’t had any time to read as much or comment lately, let alone write any lengthy posts for my own blog.

What’s my excuse? As well as the huge dissertation article, separate project, double modules at university, commuting to London, and continuous research in my “spare time”, I also work as a carer. The timetable has filled up this week, I’m no longer under mentoring.

Ms Anonymous, a new care receiver I met today, seemed well and able, apart from having a poor memory (I had to remind her each time she asked what time lunch was, and that she had already had breakfast). But, as I and another girl (who does not work for the same care branch as I) were preparing lunch, we heard an almighty crash. We ran to Ms Anonymous’ bedroom to find her crumpled on the floor. She had tried getting out of bed unassisted, and tripped on her Zimmer frame.

We had to call an ambulance fast, because she said she thinks she had broken her leg. We couldn’t take risks, especially seeing as she had a hip replacement recently, and was hospitalized a long time with an infection also. I made sure we kept her still, but comfortable with pillows, and called her son as well.

The ambulance arrived to pick her up, and I hope she will be alright once out of hospital. That’s all I will write for now, it’s important to keep track of these things. Am heading out later for an evening appointment with a different care receiver, hopefully they are faring well, it’s a shame when bad things happen.

A young male cat

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On a brighter note, I saw a very cute cat today who kept me company when I was waiting out in the cold.

Sketch of a girl

I’m practicing drawing on the iPad with Sketchbook Pro, my doodles are for an animation project that I’m working on. It’s designed to look flawed, makeshift, sketchy and a bit messy, which is good because I don’t have the patience to meticulously mimic reality, I just quickly scrawl it.

I got official permission from the musician behind Banquet of Illusions, to use his music in my animation piece. Go check the music out at last.fm, Sami Artturi Kauppinen offers free downloads for some of the tracks.

Bruising, Forensics

Severe bruises caused by car accident

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Last night I was wondering about bruises. You know sometimes you bash yourself but the bruise doesn’t show up until the next day? Well, with post-mortem examinations, is it possible that there are some cases whereby the person has been bruised but it just didn’t show up before their death?

And if so, would a bruise still be able to show up after death? The problem is, there would be no blood flow to raise to the bruise to the surface of the skin. Maybe bruises show up on people more quickly as they die, because there are usually lots of ways to tell if the bruise is post-mortem or before death. I would have to ask a forensic pathologist.

Here are some interesting little articles:

http://www.legalserviceindia.com/medicolegal/bruise.htm < Medico-Legal Significance of Bruising

http://netk.net.au/Articles/Bruising.asp < Medical reports, bruising caused post-mortem

Medical Education Online

 

Image representing LiveJournal as depicted in ...

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One more old snippet from my LiveJournal:

  • Apr. 5th, 2010 at 8:06 PM

Interesting medical essays HTML:

Effects of Internet Use on Health and Depression: A Longitudinal Study:

http://www.jmir.org/2010/1/e6/HTML

Learning in a Virtual World: Experience With Using Second Life for Medical Education:

http://www.jmir.org/2010/1/e1/HTML

Aloe can help survival during severe blood loss?

Heart diagram with labels in English. Blue com...

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Just found one of my older LiveJournal posts, it was just a DRAFT of thoughts:

Jan. 16th, 2010 at 6:41 PM

Aloe can help survival during severe blood loss?
www.nationalreviewofmedicine.com/issue/2004_09_15/clinical11_16.html

I initially searched into this mainly because I was wondering whether panic/increased heart rate sped up blood flow (and therefore blood loss), (and therefore one’s demise), OR, does the quickened blood flow aid the situation, seeing as the heart’s natural response to blood loss is to speed up and release adrenaline as a reaction to lower available oxygen and/or volume of blood itself. Does speeding up of heart rate and blood flow enable the remaining oxygen to be distributed in a way that attempts to simulate the regular amounts.

It is mentioned that aloe increases circulation, and the rats that were injected with it during severe blood loss lived longer than rats that were injected with regular saline. However, the improved circulatory function does pose the risk of obstructing coagulation. Therefore aloe could be useful to prolong a patient’s life, whilst further treatment/aid/procedures are taken to stem the blood flow, or a transfusion is made.

So, is the natural rush of adrenaline, which is automatic in the situation of severe blood loss, helpful? Or is it an inevitable symptom, induced by hemorrhagic shock, which essentially speeds up one’s demise?

Heightened heart rate and blood flow BUT lower blood pressure.

Heightened
blood flow but lower oxygen and blood volume.

If the heart slowed dramatically rather than speeding dramatically once heavy blood loss is induced, the lowered blood pressure would have an intensified impact…therefore it could be theorised that the over-compensation the heart makes in speeding faster is an attempt to normalise the body and pump oxygen to the parts that need it most.

HOWEVER, with wounds, such as those on major arteries, like the jugular, the heavier blood flow would result in a quicker death.

(Original post can be seen here: LiveJournal)

Social networking makes you a liar?


Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

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Social networking devices, such as Twitter and Facebook, are a daily part of people’s routines, which makes me wonder: how does it affect your honesty? Integrating your Facebook, blog, Twitter account, with all of your other social networking profiles (which we are all encouraged to do), means that we are more easily traceable across the Internet.

So, if someone turns down an invite to that “really cool block party” tonight because they’re “poorly in bed”, then later tweets about what a good time they are having somewhere else, the person who invited them to that block party immediately knows it was a lie. If you tell your boss you’re sick, forget you have them on your friends list, then you update your Facebook status about what a great time you’re having at Thorpe Park, you are immediately busted. Because of this, the ease of obtaining information, anyone with common sense knows either to hide their lies, or elaborate on the truth.

Even I have been caught out before, and I like to think I’m a bit savvier than that. I was never stupid enough to bad-mouth my previous boss anywhere on the Internet, or anything on parr with that. Mine was simple, I wasn’t answering someone’s calls or texts, but was active online, this lead them to realise I wasn’t too busy, or asleep, it meant I just didn’t want to contact them. But technically I never lied to them, I just ignored. Is that really so bad? Just because I want to reply to a few things online, doesn’t mean I want to answer a phone call right now.

I think it’s perfectly acceptable to tell someone truthfully that I’ve been too busy to do a certain thing, but also don’t care if they Internet stalk me and find out I’m not too busy to send a quick tweet or reply to a comment on Facebook. I mean, who do people think they are, the cyber police? I try to always be honest, so if I belatedly reply to an email, I don’t excuse it with “I’ve been too busy” (unless that’s the truth), usually it’s just a case of wanting to be in the right mind-state or focus to reply adequately rather than rushing it before my daily film/TV fix. I could try hard to please everybody, reply with super-quick insincere paragraphs, but that would be false.

I realise this post makes me sound arrogant, in reality I don’t receive tonnes of phone calls, or have “fans” monitoring my online activity to see if I haven’t replied in 0.02 seconds, but I think we all know a couple of people who get touchy about your online whereabouts, and how it relates to their own ego. My point is that, despite the Internet creating the need to sometimes lie and say we’re just too busy, rather than “I don’t want to talk to you right now”, it also forces us to avoid blatant lies that would get us in trouble.

I just think we shouldn’t have to lie, it should be acceptable to be in the mood to tweet or update, but be too busy/not in the mood to reply to a certain email, answer a phone call, or update something else at that same time.

That leaves me with a couple of questions: 1) Has anyone ever queried you about your online activity versus the real world? 2) Have you ever been caught out in an online lie? 3) When you make excuses to people, are they genuine? 4) To what extent are you honest online?

£92.40 for charity in just one day

This baby is one month old.

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Well, I counted up all the coins and notes I collected on Monday, plus some of my own donation fund, and it adds up to £92.40. Which is absolutely amazing for one day of fundraising on my own. There was another £25 people already donated online, which means I’ve exceeded the £100 target.

Here is why I’m doing it:

Harlequin-type ichthyosis is the most severe form of congenital ichthyosis. Swelling to the eyes, ears, and other appendages, mean that the babies born with this skin disease have difficulty seeing, breathing, or even moving.

The texture of the skin means it cannot bend where soft skin usually can, it’s cracked texture is agonising and means the babies are prone not only to infection from the bleeding exposed cracks, but from hypothermia also.

Medication such as Isotrex, which improves their quality of life, are essential. But with your help, further treatments can be found, and you will be contributing to the life-time care that Harlequin sufferers require.

Please click here for more info: http://www.justgiving.com/RNoakes

Censoring the Internet? Now?

The eye for the final series of Celebrity Big ...

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China have been slated internationally for their harsh censorship of the Internet; blocking sites for hours at a time, and some completely, when it suits their political or “ethical” agendas. Google has been at the epicenter of these disputes, with the US company defending against China’s over zealous censorship. But this time the US are responsible. The Senate proposes a law which forces Internet service providers to block certain websites. “Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA)”

Due to the vague nature of the law, pertaining copyrighted material, and insinuating that the list can be added to at authorities’ discretion, even sites such as Youtube could be targeted. This stinks of bad karma, seeing as Youtube recently won a court case against Viacom. This means that Youtube can operate, under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), providing they remove any copyrighted material they are informed of, and regulate accordingly. Fair is fair.

Copyright isn’t the real issue here though, I am not arguing the ethics of crediting owners, or intellectual property theft. My point is that blocking whole sites, just because a few people misuse them, is complete censorship, Internet Tyranny, as oppose to appropriate regulation.

Are we all going to be subject to Green Dam censorship software? Is Big Brother watching our every move? Is censorship going too far, and will it spread like an epidemic?

All these questions are things we will eventually need to consider, literally or not. I remain cynical about the motives of complete censorship, and doubt that ethics are the main factor, rather political reasons. I agree more with justifiable regulation that does not breach our personal freedoms. Read more and help out using the link below.

Sign the online petition please, it only takes a few seconds: http://demandprogress.org/blacklist/coica

I’m back!

Tasmanian Devil (Looney Tunes)

Image via Wikipedia

Well, kind of. Been very busy since passing my Medical Exam. Did more training in my Care Giver healthcare job, so now have certification in Health & Safety, First Aid, and Movement & Handling, among other things. Which is pretty cool.

I’m still very busy, as there’s much to sort out. But as of today I’ll be replying to comments you guys have left, catching up on reading my blog roll people, and generally embracing WordPress again.

Stay tuned, looney tuned! :)

I killed your partner, so The Tournament begins

After watching The Tournament(2009) I am left mostly unaffected. But the film wasn’t trying to be emotionally powerful, so I suppose this near impartiality is acceptable.

It’s what you expect an average gun-slinging assassin movie to be; without any of the awesomeness the Kill Bill movies had, but with a prompt pacing, vendettas, and a slight twist. Despite being predictable, and not exceeding any expectations, it was nicely cast, acceptably made, and there were no drastic errors.

DON’T watch if you’re looking for something stylistically new, emotionally/intellectually engaging, or rivetting enough to hold you on the edge of your seat.

DO watch if you appreciate guns, lots of them, and explosions. Also if you’re familiar with The Vampire Diaries, you would be pleased to know that Ian Somerhalder plays an assassin called Miles Slade. I do genuinely think he’s a really good actor, and of course Kelly Hu and Robert Carlyle are great.

Erm dude, where’s your skin? Cabin Fever 2 and American Movie

American Movie

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Cabin Fever 2 was just what I expected; boring, amateur, and dragged on too long. That having been said, the animation/cartoon snippets in the title sequence and at the end were very good. I also liked the gore, and enjoy seeing bratty High School teens die (who doesn’t?).

The best part by far was Mark Borchardt as Herman the cab driver. At first I thought I was going mad imagining that it was him, but no it’s definitely Borchardt from American Movie (you have to see it if you haven’t already, truly one of the most hilarious films).

In Cabin Fever 2 he just basically plays himself, he is such a character in reality. “Dude” being the most heavily used word in his vocabulary. He belongs in way more movies, don’t you think?

To hell with the devil…make life your own

I always had the view that you should make life your own, rather than just fantasising about the life you don’t have. Contradictory, for I am a serial escapist, and enjoy nothing more than fantasising about what life could be…depending what TV series I am watching, book I’m reading, or music I’m listening to.

I’ve never wanted to be anybody else, I just mean the essence of that greener grass, the life of adventure you see in fiction, the one you want because you can’t have it. But you see my view was always that you CAN have that (within reason), you just have to MAKE it happen. If you want a life like in Sons of Anarchy, go and get a motorbike and join a gang. If you want to be like Dr House, go to medical school and get started.

OF COURSE nothing is this simple; you’d have to be very delusional or naive to believe this, BUT (within reason, like I said) you can steer your life in certain directions you might not have thought you could. Sometimes this simply involves not complying with every social norm, ignoring something rather than actively seeking something.

I’m not seeking anything right now, to hell with it all, and to hell with the devil…

This song also played on the Ca$h soundtrack, a very brilliant and underrated film which you all need to see.