Thursday, February 20, 2014

Diagnosis Wenckebach

I had a brief foray into illness this week.  I'd had palpitations for several days that I tried to ignore because I was doing night shifts.  A weird heart-jumping feeling that makes me want to hold onto my chest.

By Tuesday night they were really bothering me, so my friend Mel was going to do an ECG, but of course by the time we'd started another Medical Emergency Team call went off.  So we trundled off to the wards instead.

The next night I actually did get an ECG, revealing: DIAGNOSIS WENCKEBACH.  The arrhythmia with the JT soundtrack!!




I was a bit freaked out.  The nurse in charge saw my trace on the monitor and tried to send me home.  I went to ED to ask them to do some bloods.  They were like, "Sure, we'll take your bloods…whilst you are in a cubicle on cardiac monitoring until morning!"  I didn't want cardiac monitoring and a code blue went off.  So I walked moderately fast to the code, cos running gives me palpitations, and ran the code with a surreptitious hand on my chest.

After that it was a hectic night till morning.  I finally went down to ED, had bloods and an echo. Jason came to the hospital to be supportive. The cardiologist said I have a high grade Wenchebach (high grade!!), which is probably benign because I'm young and not collapsing.  A phenomena of young athletes!  Young athletes with high vagal tone!!  Too bad I'm not actually a young athlete.

Jason drove me home humming, "Diagnosis Wenckebach (AV type I mobitz)….My PR interval it elongates…."

And then the best part- Jason bought me gelati!! Perhaps I should get sick more often.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Make Hay While the Sun Shines

The roster gods have finally smiled upon me and I have had some weekends off this summer.  I know better than to waste them.

This weekend we went to Roseville, Blairgowrie with our friends.  Jason and I camped on the soccer pitch to stay away from crying babies and barking dogs.  Jenn asked me how I slept, I gleefully stretched and told her, "I had the sleep of a childless woman."

We swam in the beautiful rock hole and walked in the paths through the dunes.

We walked along the wild backbeach at Rye.

We ate pie at Johnny Ripe, on a hill overlooking their orchard.

Jason found nautical ephemera at the antique shop.

We swam at Rosebud, and lay on the beach reading.

We napped in our bedroom in the late afternoon sun.

And then we went to the Shadow Electric cinema at the convent and watched 'Hearts of Darkness'.  Hundreds of bats flew over the courtyard and then the movie started.

Yes this is how all the weekends should be.


Saturday, February 1, 2014

school for feminists

I went to a private, all-girls high school.  It was a great school, I had a fantastic education and lots of adventures.   But I still find myself reflecting on the strange lack of education about feminism.

The school's unofficial motto was, 'Girls can do anything!'  And they did: alumni regularly came back to speak about their experiences as banking executives, army officers, vets in Africa and activists. We went on compulsory hikes, played football in our compulsory PE classes and built solar-powered cars. It was quite a broad education- 18 months of our religious education was devoted to major world religions and we studied history and philosophy.

But there was no teaching on feminism, its history or current challenges.  We were taught that we could do anything.  We were not taught that some people would assume we couldn't do things because we were women.  Or that doing some things would be harder for us because we are women.  When I hit university, I was unprepared for sexism and had no working knowledge of feminism.  This felt like a strange hole in my education, a crucial blind-spot.

I'm not sure that my 'feminist education' would have been better at a co-ed high school, but at least I wouldn't have been shielded from the casual sexism I have to negotiate in adult life.