Tuesday, 28 June 2011

New Job

As the title suggests this post was intended to be about my new job. I am now a Medical High Dependency Nurse(sort of semi-specialising in respiratory high care). I love my new job I am encouraged to think about my patients. I am now equipped with training(and the beginings of experience) that allow me to assess, analyse and intervene with highly unstable patients. This is much more my environment. The move was made largely thanks to my wifes constant nagging(I was miserable and disinclined to do anything about it) but also something Sage said that went along the lines of "ask yourself two questions, why are you miserable and is the cause likely to change" the answer to both was no so I moved.

Due to the highly sensitive nature of most of my cases at the moment I dont really feel comfortable posting about them(maybe later). Fortunately I have other material. Last night (27/06/11) a new series aired on channel four. Sirens is a dark comedy based loosely around the works of Brian Kellet(Tom Reynolds). I admit at times the combination of dry wit and blunt please the masses comedy grated on my nerves a bit however I found it very entertaining, worryingly accurate of the mind-set of most healthcare workers and carrying an interesting and important message.

Without giving too much away, three ambulance techs go through a particularly traumatic call-out, this episode follows them through the post-trauma reaction. Adrenaline had flooded their systems creating a euphoric high, they then become very restless and then they experience an adrenal crash. This is summed up in the title of the episode "Up, Horny, Down". The EMT most directly linked to the traumatic event declares he can defy his biology and control this reaction. He spends the next twenty-four hours trying not to given in to these adrenal responses. As it turns out his efforts are just another defence mechanism, allowing him to distract himself.

This hit home rather. On a day to day basis most healthcare assistants, nurses, doctors, emergency medical technicians and paramedics see and do things that the human body is instinctively progamed to avoid. Yet time after time we throw ourselves towards these situations. All healthcare professionals are more than well acquainted with the "Up, Horny, Down". In addition to this it doesnt take long for any new healthcare professional to discover their own defence mechanisms that allow them to move on following a traumatic event and deal with the adrenal response. Mostly this does involve learning how to distract yourself.

The constant exposure to this sequence of events is incredibly unhealthy and against every biological urge. We just keep dealing with it and there are surprisingly few mental health issues related to healthcare work(except the slightly higher than average alcoholism rate). I cant help wondering that long term effect this system will have on me, my wife and my friends.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Married! The Finale

So far I had gotten through the ceremony and my speech without slipping up. I was fully aware that my only three duties that day were the ceremony, the speech and the first dance.

The latter was causing me come concern. I had been receiving dance lessons in order to respectably pull off my first dance. I am not exaggerating when I say I am completely unable to dance, its never been a requirment in any training or education I have received, added to this while all my peers were informally learning to dance by going to nightclubs I always opted for a nice warm pub.

The DJ called for myself and my wife to take to the floor for our first dance. Lonestar - Amazed started and we started our.....routine. It was going perfectly and I was rather proud of myself for not placing my size fourteens on either my wifes dress or her tiny feet. We were about thirty seconds from the end of the song. I was nearly done! ....then disaster struck, the audio cut out. The DJ was terribly embarressed but promised to sort it out swiftly. At which point five of my friends sprung into action - A sound engineer, an electronics engineer, a network engineer, a functioning genius and most importantly a pub landlord who had his own mixing desk in the boot of his car. Within five minutes we were set back up. We restarted our first dance and completed it well. So I managed to get two first dances. This situation didnt bother me, everything elese was going so smoothly that this just added a little character to the evening. Myself and my wife then took our own mothers to the dance floor and everyone else joined us. Halfway through the first song one of my best men did something that really impressed me, He cut in for a dance with my mother. Good Man!

The rest of the evening passed without event, the hog roast was stunning, the DJ sang various incredible tributes to the ratpack and then did the rounds performing magic tricks. I wasnt expecting magic! The night ended with a few songs tailored for my enjoyment - Kansas, Boston, etc

All in all it was a perfect day. We got to celebrate the most important day of our lives with those we love, ate well and got to party well afterwards. We liked the hotel so much I ended up booking hte honeymoon suite for another night and spending the following day in the spa.

|The day after we set off for the lake district where we spent a week doing absolutely nothing and loving every second of it. Now we are just waiting for the official honeymoon in september......

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Married part Two

Waking up the morning of my wedding I had a bath(with bubbles) and prepared a cereal breakfast for my best man(still my guest, rules of hospitality always apply!). Unsurprisingly I had no appetite. We donned our suits and he, having trouble with his cravatte offered me assistance with mine "they are tricky buggers to put on, let me sort yours out".

Later that day, just before the ceremony I had my chat with the registrars, during which I explained that I was legally and physically fit to marry under the laws of the united kingdom. One question that amused me as all anachronisms do - "are you free born and a citizen of the United Kingdom?". Fortunately in this day and age I was not born a slave......strange question!

Shortly after this I was stood in the hall, the majority of my guests sat before me and my best men stood beside me. At this point I should stress that the temperature when leaving my house was twenty-eight degrees, that was at half past nine, it was now midday, as people piled into the small room the temperature steadily climbed to what was apparently my melting point. On occasion a guest would arrive late, the music would stop as the door opened, when realising it wasn't my bride the music restarted. After the fifth time this happened my nerves were shot. Eventually the bridal party arrived at the door, headed by our reluctant page boy.

When I caught sight of my near-wife I became breathless, as she walked towards me and stopped beside me I became aware of the registrar saying something. I still have no idea what it was, my entire universe was focused on how incredible the woman beside me looked. I know it sounds cliche and because of the cliche I thought I was equipped to deal with the situation.....I wasnt.

Before the ceremony formally started my best men took their seats and a very dear friend stood. She was shaking uncontrollably in front of seventy odd people. However her voice rang out beautifully as she delivered our chosen reading. Shakespeares sonnet 116,  I know its well used but I like it and the friend delivering it has a voice of pure fragile beauty perfectly suited for this one task.

"Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved."

She delivered this not just in pure, clean, crystal clear english. But also in perfect Iambic pentameter. No small feat when suffering severe stage fright. 

The rest of the ceremony took place with ....minimal tears. Once it was all done we all retreated to the lawn for photos. At which point my wife told me that my cravatt was the wrong way around(thank you best man). A small point which NO-ONE else picked up on but which she is clearly never going to let me forget. A great number of photographs were taken in various places. Bubbles were used in the place of confettii as we were in the New Forest and it seems they get a bit shirty about people throwing loads of paper around. We then formed a recieving line and greeted all of our guests into the hall for the wedding breakfast(a massive lunch). My brain was struggling to keep up with the ettiquette as person after person appeared in front of me (do I know this person well enough to hug? is a handshake appropriate.....AHHHH!). After more hugs, kisses and handshakes than I care to remember we were introduced to the room as "Ladies and Gentlemen, please be upstanding for the new Mr and Mrs ******". We were then walked into the room and to our seats via the long route. Orders for the starters were taken and these incredible little plates were placed in front of us, I chose the salmon....it was a good choice. When main course food was ready we were taken up by the staff, they asked us what we wanted and collected it on a plate, and carried it with us back to our seats(I could get used to this). At this point we were all fairly well plied with wine and it was obvious in the room it was having good effect as a social lubricant. The guests then went up for food, surprisingly for both families not one person complained about the food(it was that good). After a number of speaches(my best mans going down in infamy). We exited the room and everyone was given time to relax before the reception. I took this time to investigate my room and have a shower. As it turns out my room was bigger than my house and I got a little lost inside it. The shower was much needed. I got back into my suit and found myself at the bar with a double straight GlenMorangie(my favourite whiskey).

I sedately socialised with friends and family and greated friends as they arrived for the reception. 

This is a good place to end part two. 

Lessons from this part - Never trust another man to dress you. Your best mans speech will almost always beat yours, In extreme times of dire need your family may behave themselves.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Married! part One

Breaking News: I have fallen from the noble bacheolar ranks.

After years of planning, saving and a surprising amount of stress I got myself married on June 4th at Careys Manor in Brockenhurst. For those who dont know the manor its a very large manor house/four star hotel in the middle of the new forest.

The night before the wedding my wife stayed at the hotel and enjoyed their spa facilities. I stayed at home with my best man and enjoyed a bottle of wine with some friends. Whilst my wife was being pampered I was recieving regular phone calls from people we entrusted with small but vital tasks. Things like taking my MP3player and speakers and switching the music from Einaudi which was playing whilst people were milling around to Jason Maraz which my wife chose to walk down the aisle to. This small task just involved pressing a button and I had previously felt bad that this was the only task I had given one of my closest friends. However this friend has a gift for overcomplicating things and had decided my speakers were too weedy for the task so he had acquired some very large "monitors"(to my lack of knowledge they are little more than just speakers) with a mixing desk, ripped my music and attached all this to a laptop. I get a phone call at 2200 the night before I am to get married saying he cant get this system working and appears to have lost the music I gave him in the first place. Some people just have a gift for overcomplicating the simplest of tasks. I strongly suspect this issue would not have arisen had this friend not fallen under the influence of another, an electronics engineer of our aquaintence. Fortunately My friend from glasgow had just arrived(following a ten hour drive down) and he was staying in a B&B near Careys Manor. We threw my stereo and a second mp3player in the back of his car. At which point friend A called back saying he "thinks" he's sorted it. We left my kit in the back of the scottsmans car anyway.

I have to confess with slight shame and embaressment myself and my best man were unsure of how to put cufflinks on.....we had to consult youtube. This was his suggestion and it was a good one, This is why I chose him as best man. He didnt have all the answers but he knew where to get them.

The night before the wedding was hot, very hot and stuffy. I probably wouldnt have slept through my nerves anyway, however I could definitely have been more comfortable, I dont do a good job tolorating the heat at the best of times. Its funny though, my nerves were entirely focused on administration. People have been hasing me for about a year now "are you nervous". I have been with the new Mrs Asklepius for five years, known her for a lot longer, I had no nerves about marrying her, frankly if I was to have any doubts I would have felt them years ago. However given the sheer number of people we were relying on for this enormous organisational feat I was worried about it all falling apart.

As it turns out things couldnt have gone more smoothly. From the second I arrived the Manors wedding facilitator sat me down at the bar with a complimentary pint of guinness(which I've just realised I didnt drink). She told me to relax and mingle with my emerging guests and she would fetch me when the registrars arrived for my pre-wedding chat.

This is probably the best place to end part one of my wedding day.

The lessons to be learned from this section - Always have a backup plan no matter how much you trust the person performing the small vital tasks. At no point on your wedding morning will you be sat still long enough to enjoy a pint, If in doubt.....youtube will probably have the answer.

I'm really back this time.

After many false starts I decided to leave this blog until I had more time and some new experiences to tell you all about. The last few months have probably been the most active of my life. I have(I hope correctly) set my next five posts up to time release so this blog should be increasingly active. I also have drafts for at least ten more based on notes I have been making for the last three months.

A little indicator of what has been going on in my life - I am now married! I have a new job, I have discovered various new ales and my reading list is finally getting smaller after years of books being added at a greater rate than I can read.

Hopefully at least some of this will provide passable reading to anyone still keeping an eye on this blog.