Day 248 – Julia

We have a start date.  At long last, I’ve had the acknowledgement that I’m going to be permitted to formally return to my course. It will still be under some restrictions, but they have been reduced to a fairly reasonable level and others are making sure they stay that way.  There’s a defined “worst case scenario” endpoint too, and hopefully we won’t need to use that.  I am still really struggling to let go of the weight of the last 7 months of false starts and frustrating decisions, but now that the uncertainties are down to only about 3, I can make some progress on that hopefully.  For childhood-specific reasons I really struggle with perceived injustice anyway, so being treated like a 7-year-old for no justifiable reason has, it’s fair to say, been difficult.  It will continue to be difficult, as there will be between 1 and 3 people watching my every move and documenting things all the time.  It will make it very difficult for me, and for my patients, to relax and perform well.  But hopefully it will also make me a damned good clinician.  It will give me a lot of hours of 1:1 feedback, So, I’m trying to look at it as a system of being shadowed for my awesomeness rather than a system of someone poised with a pen and waiting to record my every sneeze.  I’m looking at this as a chance to silence critics

Oh, and A has been putting up with me in a legal capacity for 7 years now, which is pretty noteworthy. Give that girl a medal. 

Day 236 – Julia

Well, I was right not to be excited about funding approval. 

1. Whilst I am not grateful that they ignored my now-very-prescient concerns that they hadn’t confirmed they could provide a member of staff for the role they were creating, I am even more glad now that I was frank about my pessimism on Tuesday.

2. Put the dissertation aside and went outside for a bit. Going outside again now.

3. Remembered that I sometimes find nicotine useful in situations like these.

4. Refrained from doing anything violent or illegal.

Day 211 – Julia

Well, the needs assessor was just about as wonderful as any of us could have imagined, so fingers crossed.

Things started pretty diabolically.  24h after a conversation where I was definitely going to Venue A and 20 minutes after I’d been told by someone else to go to Venue B instead, the clinic director rang to yell at me for not showing up.  Turns out he’d moved the venue without remembering to tell me, so I was furious, in tears and 25 minutes late by the time I arrived in Venue C. The clinic director was furious too, but at least eventually admitted culpability for forgetting about our “go to venue A unless we tell you otherwise” plan.  At this point I hadn’t had a chance to meet the needs assessor and still didn’t know what was expected of me (except that my ability to continue my course was probably at stake) , so it was all a bit like an anxiety exam dream, only real.    Luckily the needs assessor was wonderful and beginning to get a sense of everyone’s frustration levels, so she whole-heartedly agreed that rather than me being thrown straight into what felt like an unknown exam, we could sit down with the door closed for 20 minutes first.  That chat was the most reassuring thing that has happened to me for months, and gave us a logical way forward for the next 2 hours and for the next 2 months. The needs assessor was able to request clarity in places I had failed, and mediate somewhat between us in terms of marrying my specific concerns with their specific concerns. I still respectfully disagree that we need to be on this page at all, but at least we all know where we are and what the plan for the next 2 months is. And I have some things in writing that reassure me greatly. 

So: not a complete fix, there’s no guarantee the proposed way forward will be accepted by any funding bodies, and I am still going to continue to request that other independent people look objectively at how we are defining risk. BUT, the justifications for and reassurances about the proposed system have finally been clarified, and we can agree on the next step at least. Whew.

This is long, a bit cryptic and a lot cumbersome – but I have quite a lot of coursework to catch up on now that I am not writing my own risk assessments for 10h/day, so I think I’ll go do that instead.