Saturday, June 12, 2010

mildura madness

So I've finally managed to get a second together on my hands to write again... Understandably so much has happened as well. I had been in the mountains going through all my stuff in preparation for my move to England when I randomly got a call late Friday afternoon 2 weeks ago from the agent I had been speaking with regarding the job in Geelong. I Hadn't heard from him in a couple of weeks so had assumed I wasnt getting the job and subsequently went out on a wing and bought myself a ticket to england.

He was calling me about a locum position in Mildura to start the next week for 3 weeks. I was keen straight away, and we organised to have a chat with the client on the monday (last one in May). It was pretty much assumed from the beginning that I would get the job, and they flew me down on thursday the 3rd and I started pretty much straight away. My flight down as always was never without drama's! I was staying at my friend Phillipa's house in Sydney and she took me to the airport. It was a miserable rainy day, with my flight at 6am we got up at 5am. However we ended up being a bit later than anticipated and were pretty much rushing the entire way to the airport. I was just praying that I'd get there before 5.30 when baggage checking closed!!! I think I made it with about 2 minutes to spare and after about a 20 minute delay waiting on the tarmac in sydney, flew and arrived in Melbourne safe and sound.

I was meant to only have a 30minute layover in Melbourne before flying over to Mildura, but there was major MAJOR fog happening in Melbourne which delayed flights all over the country from being able to land so the planes were all delayed and stuck in their original places. Instead of getting to Mildura at 9.40 like I was meant to, I got there at 12:30. But it was all okay! I went straight to work from there and had a massive full on handover from the locum dietitian who was leaving. Then on Friday I was all alone by myself.

So I've been working a Mildura Base Hospital. Its been great getting back into clinical work again and this role has some extensive experience that its providing. The one dietitian does inpatients, outpatients and covers ICU, paediatrics, rehab, renal, general surgical and medical and whatever else comes along. Before I left, my Dad was saying "what do they need a dietitian for 3 weeks for? Surely they can survive for 3 weeks??". I'm here to tell you that there is no way this hospital could survive that long (nor should any other hospital be allowed to) without a dietitian. My handover waiting list had over 30 outpatients waiting to be seen, plus the 20-30 people on the wards that either needed reviews or hadn't been assesed yet but had been referred. On top of this I think my first day I got 10 new referrals!! So in summary it has been a bit insane there, but very enjoyable and great experience.

Right this very moment I am actually back in NSW heading up to the mountains on the train having just flown in for the long weekend. It's my sisters 18th and engagment party so have headed up for that.

But my other exciting news is that I have been accepted into the University of Westminster for September this year! Very happy about that. I was surprised at how quickly the application went through though as I only submitted it last weekend! So from September I'll be studying in London for the Master of Science in International Public Health & Nutrition. Should be good!

In terms of working in England, I am still sorting out some final details for that. The only thing I need to do now is get a BCG injection. I cannot BELIEVE how insanely difficult that is here in Australia!!! I think the UK is almost the only place in the world now that requires its health care workers to have the vaccine. The rest of the world I guess realises the limitations that it poses. Such a pain!! I've been calling, chasing Doctors and clinics all over the countryside trying to figure out who will give them. One doctor hadn't been asked for 20 years, another not in at least 10 years for one! Seems as though travel clinics in Sydney are the only place you can get it done (hopefully).
When I was on the plane the other day flying down to mildura, I was reading the newspaper and came across an article or viewpoint that was interesting, about the perspectives and beliefs of many people in our society these days. It was asking for opinions about whether it was possible to "survive" on anything less than an income of AUD$100,000 per year. Oh wait, I've just found it (I ripped it out, it struck out so much to me) - "Struggling to survive on $100,000 a year. It said that about half of Sydney's households lived on less than that with 20% of all households living under or around the poverty line. I thought that was a bit of a joke. poverty line?? I mean, obviously they haven't been to a real country where there is actual real poverty. I'm sure that most (I won't say all as there probably are people honestly and truly living in poverty) of these people are still extremely comfortable if they were to be compared to people living in the villages of africa, laos or cambodia. That is poverty. When kids are running around in clothes they have worn for years with holes in them, covered in dirt, when they might get one meal day of almost negligible substance.

The majority of people published who provided their opinion were in agreement that you need more than 100,000 to "survive". One response however I thought was worthy of mention:
"I don't agree that you need that much money. I am a teacher who decided to work four days a week so I could enjoy life (much more important). I have six children and we are coping well. It depends on what you think is important. We give our children what is needed and we are managing fine. For the rest, as the saying goes "God will provide". "

Good on you, whoever you are!! I agree with everything he says -though I'm obviously not married with six kids thankfully :) . But, more seriously, I think as a society we are becoming too greedy, wanting more, wanting the brand names, what we have is never enough, coveting what others have, trying to build our heavens here on earth instead of in heaven. I'm just as guilty of this. For example, I am completely, totally incapable of going to a supermarket and coming back with anything less than 10 items or so. I plan to get say milk and bread and i end up with all these other things that I probably dont' really need. Greedy.

As I'm preparing to move to the UK I've been asked by many people if I can afford it. Probably not would be the best answer as I don't really have any money or anything to my name that is really worth that much money. But, it seems to me that this is the path God wants me on, and like that guy said "God will provide". Yeah, times may be tough and I very much doubt that i'm going to have things that I may want or get to do things that I might want to do, but I know that God will never abandon me, and ultimately every situation, trial or test that I go through will never be more than I can bear. He knows my limits and I'm open to him challenging me, testing my comfort levels and building my strength and character.

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