Sunday 3rd December 2017

Hello everyone!

Another busy week! The surgeries are continuing at great pace – there have been nearly 25 each day, and in addition to these, there has been an Ophthalmic Technician Training Course happening during the week too. Although it has not impacted my work too much, all the participants came to look at how patients are prepared for surgery and they had time in theatre to observe what was happening – there were 10 in the group so it was very crowded! Our new surgeon Dr Frank is settling in well, he is from Switzerland and only has one more week left. Each week there seems to be a ‘theme’ to patients conditions – I appear to have a ‘run’ of wounds, diabetics (sometimes as many as 8 of the 22 patients are diabetic) – this week a couple of patients had ear problems and several others had quite low pulse rates (40 – 45 p/min). I have been kept busy with performing ECG’s on patients experiencing chest pain after climbing the gangway and palpitations post – op, not to mention the (almost) overdose of paracetamol at the end of the week!! Oh to have a rest!!!

Wednesdays inservice was a talk given by a surgeon from John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford on Paediatric Neurosurgery. Some of these types of surgeries have just now started onboard.

On Thursday evening we had a BBQ on the dock for both crew and day crew. It was good for everyone to come together, to chat, sing, pray and dance. The food was also very tasty!

We are getting into a regular routine with the Friday’s Celebration of Sight now. It is good to see the patients who had their surgery 6 weeks ago returning for their final appointment – some I particularly remember, some I do not – there are approx. 75 of them now each Friday.

Kevin has returned from his trip home to South Africa, so we went to Mass together today. The choir (named after St Francis Xavier) was celebrating their Silver Jubilee, so the congregation was invited after Mass to share some food together. We also got some cake too. I was invited up to say a few words – which caught me completely off guard – as neither of us were present at last weekend’s Mass we were unaware of the pending celebration!

A team spent yesterday decorating the ship in preparation for Christmas. There are many Christmas trees spread around the communal areas of the ship, together with garlands and lights. They look very good, but it still feels a bit early for me. I also cannot deal very well with the whole Christmas atmosphere when it’s 32C outside and I’m walking around in flip flops and wearing sunglasses!! Strange!!

That’s all this weeks news. Hope everyone is ok. Thank you for the replies to my emails.
Take care

Mel x