Monday, March 16, 2009

Holidaying and tweeting

So much for my resolution to post more on my blog!

I finished my elective back in Hanoi with O&G. It was certainly eye-opening (and eye-watering - brutal episiotomies!) but I found it quite frustrating and dull. Only one of the doctors spoke decent English, and he wasn't particularly interested in teaching or showing me around, so I often found myself at a loose end. And while I felt privileged to experience the miracle of childbirth (not first-hand, thank goodness), it got very boring with no-one explaining the finer points of the procedures.

A baby born via Caesarean

I witnessed an abortion that affected me more than I thought it would. The patient had rheumatic heart disease and was not expected to carry the baby to term, so the decision was made to abort the 15-week foetus. The patient had been given some sort of local or spinal anaesthetic before we arrived, but it was clear that she could feel the instruments and was in pain. She was not sedated. A 15-week foetus is about 10 cm long, so the doctors used the instruments to break it into pieces for easier extraction. At one point, a perfectly-formed foot was removed, about 8 mm long. That really got to me. It also bothered me that the doctors pointed out each part of the foetus as it was removed - in Vietnamese and English. The English was good for us because it helped us to learn, but I don't think the patient needed to hear the details. I wish she'd been sedated.

So with my elective finally complete, I made my way to Thailand for a long-awaited holiday! I spent a couple of days in Bangkok and crammed in some shopping and sightseeing, then headed south to Railay Beach, near Krabi. It was perfect - a sleepy resort peninsula only accessible by long-tail boat. It wasn't too packed with tourists, the beach was gorgeous, the sunsets were divine, and the food was delicious. I must admit I was feeling a bit of trepidation about spending a whole week at a beach resort by myself. It worked out well though, and I had a great time doing very little. I didn't realise how tightly wound I was until I started to unwind...

Transparent sea at Phra Nang Beach, on the same peninsula as Railay Beach

Sunset at Railay West Beach

Now I'm back in Sydney, with one more week off before I go back to uni. I start with Psychiatry, which I'll hopefully enjoy, considering I have a Psychology background.

Now to the blog. I'll continue to write here when I have something substantial to say (longer than 140 characters!) or photos to share. Otherwise, cast your eyes to the right and you'll see my Twitter feed. You're welcome to follow my tweets: @pathologic_kt