Ten Things of Thankful #17

Welcome one, welcome all to this week’s special (for me) – THE ‘EMPLOYED’ VERSION!

Y’all may or may not remember that way back in the mists of time (July) I had an interview for a job I really wanted, and I got offered the position! Read all about that magical day right here, then come on back.

So – as you can tell, there was MUCH excitement.

And then a wait.


Such. A. Long. Wait!

I had a birthday (boy was it good knowing that employment was on the way!) and then we had a fairly sparsish summer as I tried to do a few odd jobs and bits and pieces for people here and there to earn a little.

And finally, this Monday gone, my job BEGAN!

And oh WOW is it ever awesome!

My ‘Congratulations on your new job’ card from WonderAunty

The Commute – By bicycle, because I live too close (3.5k) to qualify for a parking permit, so each morning I get to cycle through the centre of the city’s largest green space, and down a load of cycle routes to get there. So far the weather has been kind, and it only takes me 15-20 minutes, which is great.

The Location – Smack dab in the centre of the city, making it easy to drive out to all the clinics around the county that we run

The Team – There are ten of us now, with me and the other new guy, and they are, to a person, lovely, funny, friendly, welcoming, professional, awesome people. I’ve already been invited to the Christmas Dinner, and they’ve been so encouraging of me as I have begun to take on the challenges of the role.

The Role – is SUPER! Diabetic Retinopather (trainee). I’m learning (fast) how to run the clinics. At some point I’ll learn how to grade the images we take at the clinics.

The Routine – Up at 6.30am, get my squats (for the challenge, yo!) done for the day as I make a cup of tea and sort out lunch, then jump onto the laptop for as many minutes as I can manage before rushing through ‘bathroom’ and ‘getting dressed’ in the last ten minutes before I need to leave. 7.30 (or 7.40 or 7.45 depending how alluring the Blogosphere proved to be) fetch bike and cycle to work either quickly, fast, or hell-for-leather. 8.00 arrive and wish I’d left more time, as am hot and stickyish. Get into office and help check the bag for the morning (it contains the eye drops and laptop) then pick up the patient list and off out with my supervisor for the day, to fetch the van and be driven (though I’ll soon be driving) to the clinic. 9.00 set up the clinic ready for the first patient at 9.20. See patients til’ about 3.30, then pack up the van and return to base, downloading all the images and ensuring the bag is topped up for the morning. Home by 4.45 at the latest. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand relax.

And then be in bed by midnight, which rather gets in the way of catching up with all my Americans. Which is the only sucky bit.

The Method – Send skivvy (me) to fetch patient from waiting room at whichever doctor’s surgery we’re at. Bring them back to the van and get them on. Take their details and perform a simple sight test, to check the visual acuity of each eye. Administer eye drops to dilate their pupils. Leave to rise for ten minutes then bring them through to the back of the van, sit them in the chair and enter the results of the sight test on their patient profile. Kick the recalcitrant table into order and slide it over to them, adjusting the chin rest so their eyes are in the right position. Take the lens cap off the camera, align their pupil in the sights and roll the entire thing around on a moving platform with a joystick to try to centre these annoying little dots (which have been the bane of my life this week) as they stare at a flashing light straight ahead, which gives you the macular shot. Then ping the light to the left (for the right eye) and take the nasal shot. Then rinse and repeat for the other eye. Then tell them that they’ll get the results in a couple of weeks. Do this about 33 times before knocking-off time.


The Hours – 37.5 per week, over 5 days. Beautiful.

The Pay – more than any other full-time job I’ve had *punches the air*

The Interactions – SO. Much. Fun!

Me: Could you confirm your date of birth for me please?
Little Old Man: 17th August 1838
Me: Wow! You’re looking amazing for your age? Were you just seeing if I was awake?
Little Old Man: Yes…

Me: I’m just going to put some drops in your eyes now.
Little Old Lady: Oh, when I go up the eye hospital, they call me ‘Blinky’.
Me: That’s not very nice, is it!
Little Old Lady: They’re very friendly up there – they mean it nicely
Me: Okay. Well as long as you don’t mind. I’ll just put these drops in, shall I?
Me: *tries several times to put drops in*
Little Old Lady: *keeps squeezing eyes shut every time I go near her*
Me: I see what they mean. Now don’t make me get the Big Dropper, will you – it’s just a spray bottle so I can spray you in the face with the chemicals…
Little Old Lady: Oh, but I’d still blink, and you’d miss again.

Me: I’m just going to put the drops in your eyes now – they might sting a bit
Man: *YELPS loudly*
Me: Sorry – it should wear off pretty quickly
Man: Have YOU ever tried these drops? You definitely should as part of your training – when you say they ‘sting a bit’, you clearly have no idea what you’re on about!
Me: Oh, are they quite vicious then?
Man: YES!
Me: Well you’re just lucky then, that we’re not dentists – we don’t actually enjoy causing you pain – not as much as a dentist would, anyway…

Me: If you could just put your chin on the chin-rest for me
Man: Get the job of your dreams then, did you?
Me: Pardon?
Man: Well, it’s not much of a job, is it? Doing this…
Me: I can’t help it; I just love staring into people’s eyes too much.
Man: Oh dear!

At the end of week one, I can safely say I LOVE my job. Which leads me neatly on to my Tenth Thing (the astute amongst you will notice there were only nine up there)

Energy – the job has tired me out, but left me with sufficient energy that today I was able to go running with SusieQ, and jogged, NON-STOP for FIVE MILES.

I truly didn’t know I had it in me.


Later, when I’d settled down to indulge in the internet, I read a post which first made me laugh, then made my heart hurt, then made me really angry.

It’s here, and really you absolutely should go and read the whole thing – I’ll wait, I promise.

No, really, go and read it. It’s important.

Dyanne is an amazing writer (and TToT Co-Host – YAY!), who has documented her fight against breast cancer from the very beginning. Her blog is one of only two I have read from beginning to end. Every. Single. Word. Because it’s amazing, awe-inspriring, heartbreaking, compelling stuff.

My gorgeous, warrior friend

And the overriding message is this: Cancer sucks – but it doesn’t *have* to beat you.

Dyanne’s a sparkly person – this run fits nicely-
I’ll look like this (I hope) on the night

So I thought to myself about what I could do, because I was SO DAMN ANGRY that my lovely friend has had to go through so much shit, and has to see other people turning into wrecks because of this disease.

And I remembered that my friend had told me about a late-night, fairy-light-and-glow-stick-bedecked Race For Life, held locally, in aid of Cancer Research UK. So I went and signed straight up – if I can run five miles, I can run 5k and try to support this. Because any contribution which helps ANYONE start fighting back against cancer in a meaningful way, is SO worth making.

BUT (here’s the rub)

The race is in 21 days.

I said I’d accept a fundraising target of £500.

Guys – I really, really need you!

PLEASE SPONSOR ME – for me, for Dyanne, and to help BEAT CANCER WITH A £@%&ING BIG STICK – come and show your support

Ten Things of Thankful
Ten Things of Thankful
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73 thoughts on “Ten Things of Thankful #17

  1. I just stopped by and just wanted to say that I admire your passion! I had a quick question about your blog and was hoping you could email me back when you get the chance -emilywalsh688 (at) gmail.com- Thanks : )



  2. You were away though, weren't you? I figured you wouldn't have time – it's okay to have Real Things to do instead 🙂 (yaknow, SOMETIMES – not all the time, or we'd miss you too much)

    I'm glad to have the job. I hope that my love for it isn't just novelty, but the other team members who've been there for years are all saying they still really enjoy it, so I have high hopes 😀


  3. 10k is very impressive Alexa – that's awesome. Well done you 🙂

    I hope that if this run goes well, I'll sign up for more. I think there's a prostate cancer one in December sometime. Might go for that next.

    And thank you 🙂 The job's good.


  4. It is HUGE thing to say one LOVES their job! I'm so happy for you. Sounds like it suits you perfectly! 🙂

    I'm SOOOOO behind on “10 Things” … I sure hated to miss it. I even attempted to get a post in yesterday, but… ack! not.enough.time! I may still try to squeeze something in though today or tomorrow. I'm not making any promises though. 🙂 Or maybe I'll just to 20 Things next week…. … nah…. 😉 lol


  5. OJ Simpson – famous football player – tried to outrun the police in a white Bronco. Whole thing was recorded by helicopters. The entire country sat and watched live for what seemed like days for him to finally get stopped. The trial became the obsession for the US. Not one of our most shining moments.


  6. Congratulations first off on a job, and second one that you actually like! I hope it stays that way! Secondly, good for you for running AND for doing a 5K to raise funds for such an important cause. We are actually participating in a 10K for breast cancer this weekend too! Big hugs Lizzi! xoxo Alexa B


  7. It's a great, awesome job, and I hope to enjoy it for a long time yet to come.

    I remember you saying you're adopted. Can't imagine what it must be like to find out you've got that in your family medical history. Scary stuff 😦 Make sure you get yourself checked regularly or do whatever you need to do to ensure you're safe :/

    I'll certainly let you know how I'm doing, but no need for extra hours at work just yet – we all give to our different things in our different ways. Your support anyways is really helpful n encouraging 🙂

    VICTIMS! Oi! :p I'm not that bad! I'm a NICE person-who'll-make-yer-eyes-sting 😉


  8. I love that you're doing so amazingly well at the new job. Huge loves. And Dyanne rocks. Totally rocks. I think I told you this but one biological aunt (just found out last year as if you recall, I'm adopted) has had double mastectomy, another one a partial and my bio grandmother died of it. Yikes. Good on you for getting there with the fundraising. I'm going to wait, as I've recently given my quota for this time away (as in um tapped) but let me know if you're not close and I'll find a way to squeeze in a few extra hours at work to give what I don't pay the babysitter during those times. Because this is A GREAT CAUSE> and love that you are you, and so wonderful.
    Again. Back to the job. LOVED the convos you're having with your victims, I mean patients, and love love love that you're so happy in it. YAY you. I'm super excited for you.


  9. I have a rain set, but am loath to use it, as then you end up rainy on the outside and hot and sticky in the middle and probably just as damp but now smelling of plastic *sigh*

    Really not looking forward to commuting through winter!

    Outrun the Sun sounds fun, but LONG! I hope you wouldn't have to just keep going all night! I'm really looking forward to this run now. Gonna put in some more hours training between now and then, and should have it down pat on the night itself. Also REALLY looking forward to getting dressed up in fairy lights and glow sticks for the run – that's gonna be AMAZING!

    But yes, stewardship – in all seriousness. A wonderful thing to be able to do, and so simply, really!


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