b3ta.com user Mrs Legless
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Here is me:

I am 35 year old doctor, living and working in Melbourne.
Legless is my significant other :)





   











:: how jedi are you? ::


Enough for now . . .

Anna




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» Karma

I HAVE A WINNER !!!!!!!!!
Prince set for 'secret hip replacement'

The Age Melbourne - February 26, 2008 - 10:17AM

Fingers crossed... pop star Prince reportedly requires hip replacement surgery.
Pop singer Prince - who released his first album in 1978 - is being forced to undergo the surgery at just 49-years-old after suffering excruciating pain as a result of years of blistering performances.

A source told Britain's News of the World newspaper: "For months Prince, who always puts on the most energetic shows, has been complaining of pain every time he moves.

"He is totally crushed because he knows he will never be the same again."

The surgery will involve removing the ball and socket of Prince's damaged hip and replacing it with a titanium joint.

What with all the fuss about the Purple Pain a few weeks ago, I thought B3ta should be the first to know . . .

I shouldn't giggle, but man - *that's* karma . . .
(Tue 26th Feb 2008, 8:01, More)

» Karma

This may get me in trouble . . .
Bugger it - it's still an apt story for this QOTW.

Mr Legless, as you all have previously read, was married once to a fat gold-digger with a penchant for infidelity (and I'm being diplamatic here).

She took everything in the divorce (funnily enough it was her screwing around that caused it), and made merry while my Legless had a miserable number of years post this.

Where's the karma you ask ??

Well, Joe's now here in Australia with me - we're happy (even if we both work more than the average bear), looking at buying a nice house to live in (given we already have an investment property), and planning a wedding later this year (whenever I can be arsed thinking about flowers, receptions and the long list of people my Mum will want there).

And what of the pig? I believe she's still in the village, still fat, still snotty, and still alone. So (here is where the trouble might be), here is my message to you, you waste of DNA:

Thank you.
Despite treating my Joe like the local bank, and making his life a misery, he still has someone who will happily walk to the end of the earth for him, who cherishes him, looks after and is looked after by him. You didn't break him, though by God you had a good shot at it. You won't be here when we start a family of little ones, or as we watch them grow into good people. You won't know what having a good circle of friends and family feels like. You have no idea what a stable home life built on trust and partnership feels like. There's only so much satisfaction to be gained from nights at the pub with your "gal pals" or from work (I believe you actually had to go and find a job now that your ill-gotten gains have run out - welcome to the real world).

Hurts, does it? Good - it might make up just a little for what you did to Joe.

When you're old(er), your daughter has left home, and you ponder what could have been in your life . . . remember you had a good man who you treated like dirt - and pray your little girl *doesn't* follow your appalling example and end up just as alone.
I don't need to curse you for what you did to Joe - you managed very well to induce divine retribution for the sorry human being you are.

So again, I thank you for being too self-centred, too weak and too stupid to know a good man when you see one.



Mrs Legless
(the *real* one who actually deserves the name)
(Sun 24th Feb 2008, 0:36, More)

» Doctors, Nurses, Dentists and Hospitals

Right - my turn . . .
I’ve read 8 or so pages of comments from those who love/loathe the public health system, and now it’s my turn to tell you all what gives me the shits . . . and some people will get a serve here – apologies if I offend.

I have been a doctor for 10 years, all of which have been in the public system. I chose a specialty that has taken a great deal of my life to complete, and thank God, I’m almost there.

Not all doctors are great people; not all nurses care about their patients; not all of us are shiny happy individuals after 10 hours’ sleep in 3 days, or no chance to stop for a meal in almost 16 hours (and no, that’s not bullshit – that’s my last week of work). You will have the dedicated, the incompetent, the apathetic – and they all work in the same place.

What I do daily is in a sense self-inflicted (I chose to follow this career path), but some things are not very helpful:

1. Rudeness – the few incidents I can remember being rude to a patient have all been when they are being unreasonable, dangerous, or when someone else tries to die and I have to leave the conversation about your dogs to fix it . . . now. I really don’t deal well with the following subgroups:
a) I’ve had problems with hospitals before and if you don’t treat me properly, I’m going to sue your ass (actual conversation). Lovely start to the consult – may result in you being seen last by my boss because we will document everything we say to you – twice, and refer you endlessly for further advice.
b) The “I know exactly what treatment I need and you will give it to me.” Feel free to show me case reports, but be ready for me to debunk them if I can show you a randomized study to contradict it; I don’t endorse homeopathy, chiropractic or naturopathy but feel free to discuss with me a trial of it if its what you want – I will disagree with you, but you’re mostly grown-ups, so you can decide some of your treatment for yourselves. Also, would you tell your hairdresser how to hold her scissors or a builder how to lay bricks? Probably not. The training for most of these jobs is long and borders on soul-destroying, and we’re not let loose on any of you unless we are safe.
c) Drunk and disorderly. Someone posted earlier about a metacarpal fracture not being treated because the doctor thought he was an idiot: let me give you some perspective: I call this particular fracture (base of 5th metacarpal) an “idiot fracture” because it usually comes from punching something hard, like a wall. To fix it requires surgery, and not fixing it removes the risks of open wounds and anaesthetics. The other upside to not fixing it means if the idiot does it again, I don’t have to fish out broken metal, as well as fix the fracture again. Drunk drivers and those who don’t know what a seatbelt is really, really, REALLY give me the shits. You damage yourselves and others, all without good reason. Many nights and Emergency lists are spent on you, because you think you’re invincible. Many families have received the “I’m sorry he passed away on the table” talk because that plastic strap you idiots have next to your seat wasn’t fastened firmly around you.
d) The “you sit around and do nothing” patients. I have been told (?7 years ago) by a rather angry young man that doctors sit around and drink coffee all day. The other variation on this is the “you guys are loaded” tune (usually trundled out by some of my family) and "your job is easy". I leave the house at about 5:30 am and return about 7:00 pm, provided I’m not on-call (on-call means no sleep at all for the night, and a theatre list the next morning). I have a mobile permanently turned on to receive calls from my bosses, juniors, and patients. Time not spent at work or sleeping is usually dedicated to studying. My last timesheet says (*quick glance*) I was rostered for work for 130 hours last fortnight (not including some extra hours where we come in early or leave late, but don’t claim it, because admin. didn’t think it was necessary). My job is not "easy".
I’m not bitter about my workload, but I am pissed when someone thinks it all a walk in the park. Oh – and a senior surgical registrar makes less an hour than the theatre technicians I work with.
e) “I won’t do what you tell me” – stop smoking because I have an open fracture and it will heal twice as fast without the fags? No – won’t stop smoking. Fast for an operation in six hours – nope, don’t feel like it . . . patient seen eating crisps 1 hour before start time. Please take this antibiotic for your infection – I didn’t finish my course – I forgot/got better/didn’t think it mattered. Keep this plaster on for six weeks then I’ll take it off when you’re back – patient hacks it off with an angle grinder at week 2. Arrghhhhh!!!!!! Some of the treatments we suggest for you are useful; some of the things we say will really happen if you don’t listen. Please, please follow advice, or tell me early if you plan to ignore it (there may be an alternative, or I might just read you the riot act and insist you do as I say).

2. Bastardisation from within the medical fraternity (notice the reference to the brotherhood of medicine, not sorority – God forbid women could form a group in surgery). We are our own worst enemies – we criticize, we pressure and openly humiliate our colleagues. We tell them it’s “character building” and to “toughen up.” We assess them for training by forcing them to do that “little extra time” (unpaid) ie: stand out from the crowd by staying behind hours to complete work someone else could/should do. Those that suck it up and don’t complain get the references. We have the gall to tell our colleagues that workplace laws state they have to go home after 86 hours in a fortnight, but we expect the dedicated ones will sign off their timesheets for the time, but stay at work – that’s dedication you see. If someone fucks up, we don’t always stick up for them – better to let them burn and save our own behinds (I’m glad to say this no longer happens much, but did when I started training).

I have worked in approximately 18 or so hospitals (at last count) in this time. We get rotated every 3-6 months (and it’s great fun to pack up your life in the boot of the car to move to the next place, usually in the weekend changeover between jobs). None as a whole has been particularly shonky, dangerous or guilty of providing bad service – but there are places where the attitudes stink, and I won’t work there again. I have seen bad doctors, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, admin. staff. I have also seen some great people doing wonderful work, quite often without being obliged to do so, and with little thanks.

Would I do this again, if I knew what I was signing up for 10 years ago? Probably. Would I suggest my children do this for a living? Maybe – depends on whether they have thick enough skin, and an endless capacity for punishment.

I always told myself I should choose a specialty where I wake up in the morning, and 99% of the time I’m glad to go to work. I’m quite lucky I still have that feeling (most) mornings.
(Sat 13th Mar 2010, 10:52, More)

» Have you ever seen a dead body?

Yes, a great many . . .
and the reactions many and varied.
As is posted on my profile, I'm a training surgeon (Orthopaedics). So, I've been a medical student (dead bodies and dissection - yes, formaldehyde STINKS), the brand new intern who does the night shift certifying those who have dies in their sleep, the resident/registrar who works in Emergency and watches those who come in trying very hard to die - some do, some don't. I now work at a major trauma hospital in Melbourne (gee, not many of those) and get to see just how close to dead people can get, and still be breathing. Death as a concept does not make me a quivering mess, nor has it turned me into a robot. I don't baulk at touching a dead body.
Also, as an adult of 32, I have lost 1 uncle, 3 grandparents (natural causes) and at least 3 colleagues (all suicides).

Credentials sorted, what perspective can I give you on death?

...

It's possibly one of the few events in life that inspires almost the entire spectrum of emotion (perhaps together with birth).
It is the great leveller - we all arrive naked and screaming into this world, and all we have on leaving is our family, friends and our past deeds to commemorate us.
It can be a violent, peaceful, humorous, relieving, tedious, welcome, feared, revered, abhorred, celebrated, catastrophic, overwhelming and unexpected event.

My stories of death and dead bodies? I will relate only two: both work-related - one which gave me nightmares for a very long time, and one which made me ashamed of myself. Deaths in my family have been mostly unexpected and in one case, I'm ashamed to say I didn't actually like one of my relatives. So, being a good girl and not speaking ill of the dead (see Mum? I do listen on occasion), here are two stories from Mrs Legless: newbie doctor.

Story the first:
Internship - country hospital, run by 5 interns who worked day/night shifts alternating. Trauma call one Friday - 4WD vs stationwagon. Seeing as I have a night off, I wander into Emergency to help with the work (we helped each other in that job).
I was given a brief rundown of the accident - high speed, drunk driver vs car with a family on holiday. Drunk driver - broken jaw; Father in other car - airlifted to Melbourne: bilateral amputations of his legs. Daughter - internal injuries: transferred to Children's Hospital. Mother and 16 year old son, deceased. Would you please go and certify the deceased in the morgue Anna? So - off I go.
Inside 2 plastic bags are two bodies - a young mother and her son. Both of them look like they could have been asleep (no external injuries - they died due to cervical spine injuries). Both look healthy, whole and are still dressed in their ordinary clothes. But they are dead. No pulse, no breathing, no response to sternal pressure. Had they been covered in blood, deformed in the limbs or trunk, perhaps with obvious trauma I might have felt less unnerved. As it was, I became an insomniac for about a month afterward - all I could see was this young Mum and her son: alive one minute travelling from NSW on holiday, dead the next - being stored in a freezer, like cargo. Thankfully I was excused from a court appearance (the drunk appealed against 2 manslaughter charges), but I slept with the lights on until I returned to Melbourne in June.

Story the Second:
I spent almost six months working in Emergency in an Eastern suburbs hospital, well known for its drug-seeking population. One full moon (ever notice nutters come to ED during a full moon?), one young girl was brought in - heroin OD, trying very, very hard to die. A senior and I get to work, making her breathe again, trying to find out what other shit she had in her veins, and giving her the right antidote for it. During a lull in proceedings, I glanced through her notes.
Personality disorder, anxiety. Multiple suicide attempts - more that 10. Self-harm. Six year old daughter, custody issues - apparently the little girl found her again this time.
Lovely, I think. Looks like she tried it out again tonight. "Pity she didn't do it properly - a bigger dose, and no one to call the ambulance" I say to my colleague. "Save us the trouble of having to bring back her sorry arse from the dead each time."

Stop.
Think about what you just said Anna.

Is this girl less of a human being than the wholesome family that was destroyed a few months ago?


Doctors - we don't deal with death any better that all of you . . . we can be just as empathetic, just as clueless, just helpless . . .
(Fri 29th Feb 2008, 10:59, More)

» God

This will make sense to only a small number of people . . .
given the demographic I belong to - ie: second generation Greek, Greek Orthodox (Catholic school educated), university educated (OK, it's a medical degree so I guess that *just* scrapes in :))
GOs aren't Catholic, but once shared a common origin (I could bore everyone to tears with the Schism between the churches in Rome and Constantinople but I won't). We have similar saints, similar rituals (dunno what this Confirmation thing is though - we get baptised and that's it) and for some, a similar superiority complex.
You'll find those of my parent's generation are all religious and well-versed in the rituals - they don't question the teachings of the Church and follow most rituals without question (the importance of this will be seen later). Often, their children grow to be part of one of two camps:
1. the "fuck you" I've been forced to believe this stuff ever since I was little, I'm not bothering anymore - usually a result of parents not explaining *why* they're fasting, going to church or staying up until midnight to wait for the resurrection.
2. the "I'm just like my Mummy and Daddy" and I'm going to take my children to church every Sunday, make sure they have communion, fast and celebrate *every* religious holiday (if you'd like to know how many we have - ask Legless - lots!!!)

So where am I sitting in this spectrum? I have a number of life experiences/facets of my personality that modify how I respond to my religion.
Do I believe in God? Yes, I do - however, I don't see Him as the Earth's babysitter - if he made us intelligent beings, then he *has* to sit back and leave us to our day-to-day lives.
Do I follow everything in the Bible? No - that's impossible for anyone - and I've read a fair amount of to know that following some teachings will automatically make you reject others. Remember what I said about being intelligent? This is what riles me about fundamentalists - following the word of God literally via the Bible isn't possible - He didn't directly write it, and it's not a cookbook - it's more of a guide on how to behave - because we are intelligent enough not to need a cookbook.

As an aside - aspect of the text are instructive - very much so, especially with respect to the laws handed down in the Old Testament - dietary laws, how the tribes of Israel should dress, keep animals, etc. These were to prevent society from collapsing - much like laws today.

Where was I? Oh yes, how can I be religious GO, yet not follow everything listed as *compulsory* in my religion?
Well, let's see - a short summary of GO beliefs/rituals and how I respond to them:
1. God exists - check
2. Creation - um, nope. Scientifically impossible
3. Attendance at church on Sunday - yes, I feel the need to - NOT because I want to feel righteous sitting in the front row for 3-4 hours (yes - you read that right - our services are hours long, chanted in Biblical Greek).
4. Communion and fasting - a period of restricted dietary intake (no animal products) before receiving wine/bread - yes, and my agreement with this is thanks to my parents: if you were to prepare to meet someone important, you'd wash, dress up in clean clothes etc. Now, if you believe communion is important, then in addition you'd want to prepare your insides as well. BTW - the restriction also includes drinking and smoking; you eat modestly (no bingeing on a loaf of bread to make up for no meat).
5. Women should dress modestly for church (skirt, no sleeveless tops, no trousers, head scarf, no make up) and should not touch the icons if menstruating - no. I dress modestly because it's my habit - I'm pretty sure God doesn't care how I turn up to church, nor does He (or anyone with any sense) believe menstruation is dirty. To those that want to dress up with a scarf - more power to you - I have no desire to stand out as being ultra religious amongst the groupies who turn up every week.
6. Women stand separately to men, and cannot partake actively in the service (no girls help as altarboys (!), no women allowed in the rear section where the communion is prepared) - no. It's a pity that in 2009, we still do this. It's a ritual, not a strict teaching, and it needs to change.
7. Services in Greek - fine with me, although I acknowledge understanding what's going on can be tricky for most people of my generation; I didn't formally learn biblical Greek, however I speak modern Greek quite well and I know the English translations of the average service, so that I can follow a service quite well. My brother isn't as comfortable with following what's going on - perhaps it's time for bilingual services.
8. Divorce - not endorsed, but remarriage allowed for - fine with me; Jesus associated with the less *upright* members of society - I don't think any Church should exclude anyone who is happy to participate.
9. Abortion/contraception - frowned upon, but not to the extent of the Catholics. Left to the conscience of the individual, and most surprisingly, believed to be a private matter between you and the Big Man. My views on abortion will fill many pages . . . suffice to say, let each decide their own (without outside pressure).

Geez, I ramble on a bit don't I?
Well, almost done - I have one more issue to comment on - how I view various religions I've been in contact with. Bear in mind, some of my perspective will be coloured by the personality of the individuals I've known.

Catholicism - a traditional religion trying very hard to be *hip* - and not being very comfortable with it. Six years of Catholic teaching has left me with the impression that despite watering down things like no meat on Fridays, and Latin masses, other beliefs (abortion, divorce) smack of the same intolerance I see in more fundmentalist groups.

Jehovah's Witnesses - essentially, a group of hypocrites. Unwilling to acknowledge the contradictions in the Bible, claiming to follow it literally, and censoring the parts they don't like. Also putting lives at risk into the bargain (yes, you bastards, I mean letting people die because of refusing transfusions)

Born Again Christians - meet this lot at Uni (Monash Christian Union for anyone who knew them in the 90s). Funny lot - I agree with an earlier post of how they come across as friendly and genuine until you mention you're not about to be converted, and to leave religious conversation out of everyday talk - then - whoosh! They're gone. A little advice: practice some of that tolerance you preach.

Muslims - having had contact with both the liberal and stricter side of Islam, I must admit I quite respect the principles of what they believe. The whole culture of abuse of women, though can fuck right off (and is not universally accepted by Muslims). Having your wife covered from head to toe in a burkha while you stroll along the street in shorts . . . still makes me feel upset.

Paganism - for those who believe in reverence for our Earth - good luck to you. I spent waaaaay too much time arguing the point with "trendy pagans" (I'm sure they were Catholic school graduates) about the origins of current religions being pagan, and how we ripped off holidays and saints from them. Great, now show me what you believe, instead of bitching about how awful other religions are.

I think that's enough rambling . . . normally, I don't like religious discussions much, as they are more an argument about the logic of the rituals, *not* the beliefs. But hey, if you read this far, you either found it interesting, or you're getting your flame-thrower ready :)
(Sun 22nd Mar 2009, 3:03, More)
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