The Clock is Ticking Louder

Quote of the Week:

If a man does his best, what else is there?”

–          General Patton


I like the quote above (although yes, I feel it should be ‘person’ rather than ‘man’) above as it sums up how I have been feeling this week – or rather what my thought process has been. You see I have found myself increasingly being aware of the ticking clock, the turning over of calendar days, and the rapid encroachment of August 1st and the hand in hand beginning of my duties as a junior doctor.

Now I still stand firmly next to Option B. In fact, I have written it on my bathroon mirror. It is kepy company by another statement on my bathroom mirror (it’s a big mirror don’t worry..) that read “Take Another Step”. There are up there for one reason and one reason only – to remind me to always strive to do a little better, work a little harder, be a better person and, in the context of this blog, be as good a doctor as I can…

But I am nervous.

This week has been filled with images of my first day, that first task I am not quite sure what to do and that “ohu sh*t” moment when I make a mistake. These events will invariably all happen and  they are ways in which I will grow and learn as a doctor but right now I wish they would vacate my head and let me enjoy the next 16 days. That’s the problem you see – I am now in a running gorilla warfare battle with my mind; On the one side I am feeling very relaxed (especially post holiday) and just happy to let my mind me consumed by what I’ll cook for dinner and what movie to watch. On the othr side I have the diligent, sensible side of me telling me to start doing so preparation work for starting work, to get focused and transition out of holiday mode. So, I reached a comprise today. With one week before I start work I will begin this transition. In the meantime however, I am a man of leisure with not a care in the world (or at least that’s what I tell myself).

So what else has happened this week? Well like everyone else I was basking in the weekend glow of a Lions Tour and a Murray victory . It left me inspired to think what could I achieve as well?…And then it arrives..the offer to join a crew for the Clipper Round The World Yacht Race for 11 months in 2015. If it was free of course I would take it up in a heartbeat…however the £50K price-tag for the experience is a little hard to digest at the moment. Sponsors, if you are out there – HELP! But 2015 too is a long way away. I could after all be married by then (that is if my new jaunt into online dating proves as successfull as it claims to be – 1 in 4 relationships now start on line. Really? Wow.) and that could be a game changer. Then again I may still be a single doctor who spends his weekend writing a blog…oh sh*t I hope not…

But for now, I hope that next week the clock gets a little quieter, the dates on the calender get a little blurrier and that I continue to live a blissful existence for the next seven days.

Point of Interest: SCORCHIO!

It is pretty hot isnt it? According to our reliable weather team it was 32 degrees celcius in London this weekend. To be fair, after going for an exhausting run this morning, I wouldnt be surprised if it is true!

The body is great at coping with heat…to a certain point. It promotes sweating, vasodilation of the peripheries to aid in convection of heat, and increased respiration to remove heat (although no, we don’t have the incredible tongue of our canine friends). It does however not particularly enjoy being stressed in that way. Our bodies instead prefer to exist within quite a fine set of thermo-parameters – between 36 and 37.5 degrees.

Of course these thermoregulatory (fancy for ‘how the body manages temperature changes’) are great but they are not withouth their side effects – the main one being dehydration and loss of electrolytes like salt. So when we don’t find that shade, rehydrate or find some way of artifically cooling down that’s when we open ourselves up to all sorts of heat related injuries like heat cramps, heat exhaustion or heatstroke (which can really knacker your organs and a true medical emergency).

The mercury is howevers till rising isnt it. Will 32 degrees soon be 40 degrees…then 50 degrees? How would we cope? In some countries like Australia, they are already experiencing this predicament. In fact I read that meteroligists have already had to increase the temperature scale to 54C! We need to find more ways of dealing with these extreme heatwaves – paying particular attention to the elderly, the very young, and the sick. Their bodies struggle even more than ours.

Now, if you are reading this and thinking, “Oh Nick, you’re over-reacting”, let me gently lay this fact down for you – one that I had to read twice because I didnt believe it the first time! Of all the natural disasters that occur – extreme temperatures are the most lethal and have a higher mortality rate that floods, earthquakes and tornadoes.

That is scary. However, the upshot is that we can all help each other by staying cool, drinking plenty, not over-exerting yourself and keep in light-weight, breathable clothes.

And on that note, I’m going to go and get a glas sof water and sit on my balcony in the shade!

Have a great week all,

Dr Nick


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