Monthly Archives: March 2006

lamington fingers

Ah dear, a world without lamingtons. How sad!

Lamingtons are made by getting a piece of sponge cake (traditionally a day old) dunking it in a chocolate mixture, then rolling it in coconut. They can also include a filling of cream and/or jam. Lamingtons are bought either from bakeries or from “lamington drives” – an Australian fundraising institution whereby someone comes to your door and says “I am selling lamingtons for Rotary/church/brownies/young communists/brass band/football would you like to order some?” and you order a dozen and specify whether you would like ones with jam and/or cream in the middle then a few weeks later they arrive after a flock of little old ladies gathered in the church/rotary/Guide/young communist/brass band/football hall/club/rehearsal room/communist building and baked, dipped, filled and rolled their little hearts out and produced a lovely batch of fresh lamingtons.

Lamington fingers are to lamingtons what fish fingers are to fish (except for the breadcrumbs and “fish extender”)… just small rectangular lamingtons. They come in packs of about 18 at supermarkets. They are definitely not the same as “real” lamingtons but are still very tasty.

no blood today

There was really not much excitement today. My tutorial group (who are all at different hospitals to me) was… were?… was?… The people in my tutorial group were suitably jealous of my vampire impression yesterday.

Ah yes, crispy mint M&Ms. Saw them last week and have been thinking about them ever since. Luckily today was my day for bringing food to our tutorial so I assembled a feast of Top Taste lamington fingers (the only brand to consider when in the market for lamington fingers) and crispy Mint M&Ms. Man they are so good! So minty! And crispy! I think I’m in love! (That was a Grandpa Simpson quote in case anyone was wondering)


I went on blood rounds this morning and jabbed needles into more people than I can remember!! All were successful except my last three which needed a bit of extra manoevuring from the pathology nurse! The last three were all left arms and the first lots were all right arms. Maybe left arms are harder…

No-one had told me how long I was meant to be on blood rounds for and I was having a good time so I stayed for 2 hours, missing an hour of a tutorial on vital signs but that’s ok. I already know how to measure blood pressure (with my sphygmomanometer!!) and temperature and find pulses.

After that we all went on mad dashes to find “good” patients for our communications tutorials and bags them before the rest of the group got to them. It’s good to have a patient who is not too deaf, demented or deluded for the purposes of our tutorials because you then have to take the patient’s history in front of your tutorial group. We found some great and interesting patients and our tutor was most impressed 😀

Yeah did some other fun stuff and talked to some friendly staff (including one who thought we were having him on when we asked what a “Swedish nose” is as it was mentioned in someone’s chart. Apparently it’s nothing to do with the nose and is something to do with the metabolism of the porphyrin structure in haemoglobin) and generally had a good day.

But yes, hurrah for blood taking!!

another highly interesting fact

This morning I woke up and could see abnormally clearly. I realised that I had slept with my contact lenses in. And the horror stories that people had told me about how the lenses would fuse to my eyelids and require surgical extrication did not occur. The lenses slipped out very nicely. I let the poor dears have a little soak in solution while I ate my breakfast.

Although if they fused to my eyeballs permanently then maybe I could consider my vision fixed?!


I have been rostered as the first person to do the venepuncture mini-elective at the hospital tomorrow (mini-electives only start tomorrow). This involves following the pathology nurse around and getting to jab people with needles. How exciting!!

In other news, we didn’t get to pee in jars yesterday due to a “lack of resources” (ie. toilets) and had to make do with someone else’s urine. Ah well.


I have just downloaded the lab notes for this afternoon and apparently we will be examining our own urine under the microscope today. I don’t imagine there would be much to see in the average person’s urine. Last time I did urine testing at uni was in 3rd year pharmacy when we all had to take a strong diuretic (fluid tablet) then drink as much water as we could. Can’t think what we were testing for but I’m sure the supervisors had fun enforcing the rule that you were only allowed to relieve yourself at 45 minute intervals.

Miss Lisa, I had a dream about you last night! You wanted to “have coffee” this Wednesday at 5pm to discuss something of utmost importance and were very annoyed because I am busy this Wednesday. Sorry! At the time I couldn’t remember why I was busy on Wednesday but now that I’m awake I know that I’m hanging out in emergency again hoping for some more action 😀


Currently procrastinating my way through writing up lecture notes on… um… principles of molecular biology. The lecture appears to contain approximately a semester of information on stuff.

Tomorrow we get back the results of our nasal swab cultures from last week. Apparently 86 people in my year were carriers for staph. aureus and 8 of those were positive for a multi resistant strain! But if we infect ourselves from the lab at uni, they can treat us because they have a special med faculty strain of staph aureus with known antibiotic sensitivity. Hurrah!


My lunch bringing triumph ended today when I forgot to take lunch to work. But as I didn’t have time to eat lunch (or dinner), it didn’t really matter as I didn’t buy Pad Thai or fish and chips or any other tasty but not very good for me things.

Yeah. Saturdays at work are crazy. Today my achievement was to set up the network to share an internet connection between 5 computers. This is more complicated than it seems because if I do it the usual Windows way, it gives me scary messages about changing IP addresses and breaking stuff. So I don’t do it like that because breaking the network would get me into trouble. I downloaded a program called AnalogX Proxy and set up a proxy server on my broadband computer and then proxy connections on my other computers and all is well with the world. Then when my boss called I convinced him to ditch his second internet connection and use the money from that to upgrade the broadband connection to a faster speed and yes. I am pleased.


My hypochondriameter is working overtime today because the temperature that started my brush with death last week… or the week before… is still here. But I can’t go to a doctor with just a temperature!! That’s even worse than my sore finger when I got back from Vietnam. Ah well. I don’t think it’s bird flu. Maybe if it gets to the holidays (two more weeks) and I STILL have a temperature I will go to the doctor. A month of temperature is maybe significant. Or maybe when they say “any questions?” at the end of a lecture at uni I will put up my hand and say “well I have a temperature, could you tell me what’s wrong with me?”. Ah I love being a med student!

So yes, off to work tomorrow. Last time I worked on a Saturday we had every nut and their dog in Sydney pay us a visit. Hoping that tomorrow will have a bit more serenity.

And I would like some applause for my achievement. I have brought my lunch to uni or work every day for the last 3 weeks. That is impressive for someone who hasn’t packed her lunch since 1999.

where to start?

I am being extremely lax in my studies at the moment (except for the practical components 🙂 ) due to the horror that is “Foundation Block”. This is basically an introduction to everything. And as you have highly motivated and educated people in the course who want to know everything now, tutorials (which are pretty much student led/taught) can go into huge amounts of detail which I believe is beyond what is necessary at this point. Which just tends to make the weaker students freak out and those who like watching the Commonwealth Games sit in front of the tv instead of trying to learn how every aspect of the human body works.

Today in my tutorial I was grilled on the mechanisms of action of some medications. At this stage I am happy to explain in general terms what drugs do and how they do it but for people who have never studied pharmacology or even physiology, what help will it be for me to go into intricate detail on the workings of a drug that acts on a body system they haven’t studied via enzymes they’ve never heard of? And while I can tell them why aspirin has different effects at different doses and how these are mediated, I can’t remember off the top of my head the exact reason why a higher dose negates the lower dose effects! And even if I could, I would have to explain a whole new vocabulary of pharmacological terms before anyone even started to get it. Sometimes you just have to accept that something is so until you know enough to understand why.

I will be glad to finish Foundation Block in a couple of weeks and move on to an actual topic.