Friday, 4 December 2009

A short break and a presentation

Last weekend, we were supposed to go camping. I know, November isn't a traditional camping month, but we were going to have a big wood fire and sit around with a load of friends keeping warm by dint of conviviality, conversation and alcohol. But the forecast was for rain and more rain, most of the friends had forgotten that they'd agreed to come, and the ones who remembered didn't much want to sit in the rain and then sleep in a wet tent. So Mr A, Lola II and I were at a bit of a loose end.

Mr A and me eating sherbet fountainsWe decided to go to stay with Lola II, eat Japanese food, see a film (The Men Who Stare At Goats - Mr A and I liked the film; Lola II was less keen), eat a fried breakfast, go to the Science Museum and then eat more Japanese food before coming home. At the museum we split up so that Mr A could get his fill of Planes and Cars and Engines while we looked at Health, Medicine and Time. We met up at one of the caf├ęs, where we discovered Sherbet Fountains that still had wrappers made of paper! We felt obliged to sample them, simply for the sake of nostalgia.

Returning to our dilapidated country mansion on Sunday night (no, Alf has not yet told us when/if he will finish our bathroom and mend the hole in the ceiling), I look forward to the torment of the Ethics presentation, and do one more practice before the big day.

So, our presentation about the ethics of force feeding patients with anorexia nervosa. It's a pretty serious topic, and the literature describes how terrible life can be if you're living with a condition that doesn't let you eat, and makes you vomit, exercise, or eat laxatives if you do eat. You are totally cut off from most of the activities of daily living open to the rest of us, either because of fatigue, illness, self-consciousness about your emaciated appearance, or the fear that eating will be required.

The group comprised just four people in the end - one girl assigned to our group has actually now left the course. We decided to act out a case study, to try and bring a bit more engagement and interaction to the presentation, which was mostly just Powerpoint bullet points. It was a pretty ambitious idea, and it mostly worked, except that one of our group had a fit of giggles. I was pretty cross about that.

It is fairly typical of my attitude to some of the students at the moment: I wish they would grow up. I can't be too critical out loud - after all, I was much more irresponsible at their age - but I'm losing patience now. It's nearly the end of term, which always makes me very tired, so I just have to hang on for another week and I won't have to see them again until the end of January.

Coursework is nearly done - if I can just concentrate properly, it will probably take another two days. Yesterday we were given some more, but it doesn't need to be handed in until February, so I can do it over the holidays along with my revision. And one of the modules is now exclusively taught by my favourite lecturer in the world, who also happens to be my personal tutor as well, so Friday mornings are still a haven of bliss in a sea of pain.


aims said...

I saw this condition quite a bit on 'The Hall' and it was sad to watch. These people were attached to a nurse basically. They helped them eat - watching every single morsel go into their mouths and then they stayed with them - even in the bathroom - to ensure they kept it down. Drip lines everywhere giving them nutrition and just trying to teach them the value of themselves.

I could see how hard it was for everyone concerned once I 'came to'.

I wouldn't be giggling over anything as serious as this. No way.

aims said...

Oh! Meant to tell you.

I get a Celiac Newsletter on a regular basis. In it they are talking about this study they are doing in Australia for celiacs, chrone's disease, and IBS.

What they are doing is introducing hookworm and word out is that they are making 'progress'.

Now - I asked my new doctor about this and she said that where she comes from hookworm is a huge problem - South Africa.

She said she didn't think Canada would go for hookworm as a solution for any of these problems.

And they she told me how they thought it was going to work. Only problem was - since they eat the nutrients as well as the gluten - what nutrition does a celiac get from it when nutrients is always a problem for us anyway.

Just thought you might be interested.

I on the other hand said I'd go for it because I'd give anything not to have this in my life. And then - presto - size 2!!


Anonymous said...

Sherbert Fountains - I thought they's become extinct - now I want one!

Giggling students - a pain, It might have been nerves though (a charitable view), but still irritating.

As a mother of three daughters already worrying about 'fat' to their view thighs which are actually skinny. Anorexia is a real worry. I know it's not about thinness every time, but about control, but it's still a worry each time one of them says they don't want much tea because they're not hungary I get a twinge of anxiety which if I voiced it would probably send them into anorexia!

An interesting topic to be studying and about so much more than dieting.

Anonymous said...

Ahhh... sherbert fountains in paper. Fantastic. The plastic version is so unfulfilling and the liqorice tastes wrong.

Lola said...

Aims - I haven't done any research, but I too heard about the intestinal worms idea. I'm pretty sure it isn't necessarily curative, but more to do with prevention, because they found that in places that had parasitic worms, diseases that appear to have an autoimmune component like coeliac and Crohns are very rare. They think that the immune system is strengthened if threatened by parasites. There are obviously disadvatages to worms, like anaemia and loss of some nutrients as you say, but it sounds like that would be preferable to coeliac disease for you!