Broken beings, in a broken NHS.
Alexandra Elaine Adams | Setting Sights
by alexandra_adams
1y ago
Experiencing both sides of the hospital curtain; as a patient, and a medical student. Once a service that embodied health, it is now being sucked of life.  Our NHS is disappearing before our very eyes; are we being blind to its plain-sighted destruction, or have we just come so far down the road that we’re simply accepting of its fate, that there’s no way now of seeing past or through this? Beneath the deepening cracks, we are becoming more collectively an underworld of broken beings, trapped in the breaks and cuts of an even more broken healthcare system.  Sounds too drama ..read more
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Disability’s Biggest Side-Effect: Ableism
Alexandra Elaine Adams | Setting Sights
by alexandra_adams
2y ago
When people ask me, “What’s the biggest challenge you face as a deafblind medical student training to be a Doctor?” my answer is always, always the same: “It’s not my disabilities that is the biggest challenge, it’s the misconceptions, stereotypes, and ignorance of other people that is the most difficult”. Again, this was something that I touched upon in my latest television interview, on Channel 4’s ‘Steph’s Packed Lunch’, and how I am continuing in trying to try break down those old misassumptions when it comes to ability, and all things possible, not impossible.  With all the oth ..read more
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The Words I Thought I’d Never Say – ‘I’m Going Back To Medical School’
Alexandra Elaine Adams | Setting Sights
by alexandra_adams
2y ago
2 years and 2 months later, 17 months spent bedbound in hospital, too much blood, sweat and tears to even comprehend (even in the literal sense – through the 7 bouts of sepsis, multiple surgeries, intensive care admissions, the sleepless and suicidal nights of crying, genuinely believing I’d never make it back to where I was), I can finally say the words I never thought I’d ever be able to say again:  “I am going back to Medical School”.  The honest truth?  I’ve written, erased, and rewritten this blog post over and over again, trying to string out the right words to ..read more
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‘Peace of Mind’ – A Self-Care Staycation
Alexandra Elaine Adams | Setting Sights
by alexandra_adams
2y ago
Peaklets Shepherd’s Hut, West Firle, UK. Fitting to its name, January was, quite literally, blue.  In many ways, my mental health had hit its lowest point yet, without me even realising it.  I guess the tolls and burdens of the last two years had finally crept up on me, and whilst I was at least out of those hospital walls for the first time in nearly two years, I was also completely on my own, with nobody to help me justify my new surroundings, the anxious feelings, or resolve them, for that matter.  It may be of great surprise then, that I have been unable to se ..read more
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2021: Lessons from Loss – ‘Never Give Up’
Alexandra Elaine Adams | Setting Sights
by alexandra_adams
2y ago
A belated Christmas, and a gift to myself – a cushion reading ‘Never Give Up’ to wake up to each morning. Nothing is fully lost until you let go completely.  So, when the world is at its wit’s end, what do we have to lose?  There have been so many moments in which we’ve felt like giving up, where it’s felt like the day isn’t worth seizing, that the night isn’t worth seeing through.  We’ve all fallen to our knees and crumbled.  Every single one of us.  And 2020-2021 has been no exception.  This year has been so incredibly unkind and un ..read more
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One Pandemic, A Million Mind-Games
Alexandra Elaine Adams | Setting Sights
by alexandra_adams
2y ago
We say it’s “okay not to be okay”, but when is it not okay not to be ‘okay’?; was the conversation I recently had over text, with a friend and NHS colleague whilst I spent the nth time laying in the Intensive Care Unit this week.  I wondered who else I could possibly talk to, or not, and if I’d ever be heard in this journey.   In most aspects of life, we are supposed to practice what we preach.  That, we are expected to do, in the healthcare profession, when it’s our purpose to advise people, where patients, the vulnerable and sick, rely on us constantly, for us ..read more
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When Life is for Living
Alexandra Elaine Adams | Setting Sights
by alexandra_adams
2y ago
It’s only when we come face to face with mortality that we then realise, that at some point very soon, we all need to put our own lives into stark perspective… I was wheeling down one of the back corridors of the hospital, empty and hollow, the steel silver floors washed into the same silver ceilings, like a cold sea folded into a grey, motionless sky.  It was a Sunday, late at night, and I’d had another bad day.  I thus found myself pondering, head lost to thought in a helpless headspace, completely apart from all the distractions of my current reality, as I prayed to be ..read more
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The Young, Female Patient: Sexism, Treatment inequalities, and a Breakdown in Trust
Alexandra Elaine Adams | Setting Sights
by alexandra_adams
2y ago
Seated a few metres apart, the Doctor hunched over, head in his hands, before letting out another long and heavy sigh.  Again, there was silence… “How did you even get here?” he asked me, in some surprising sort of dismay.  I sat there in silence, pondering over what to say.  I could’ve told him that I was driven there, or that I’d dragged myself into a taxi after having collapsed out on the roadside. The last time it happened I was right outside the Emergency Department.  Upon opening the car door, I tumbled out onto the hot tarmac, before fitting ..read more
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“I can’t hear you”
Alexandra Elaine Adams | Setting Sights
by alexandra_adams
2y ago
I cannot hear.  I am deaf, and have been deaf my entire life. It is a strange concept to consider – what I’d change or what I’d ‘rather have’.  As a deafblind young person, with added physical disabilities too, in an ableist world, I have often been asked, if I had the choice, whether I’d prefer to have my hearing or vision ‘back’.  And I’ve always said, without doubt – hearing.  Yet, despite asking the question, this surprises most people. There is this perception, excuse the irony, that we are far worse off without vision for the world aroun ..read more
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Doctors can be Patients too…
Alexandra Elaine Adams | Setting Sights
by alexandra_adams
2y ago
~~ I was admitted to hospital back in the Summer of 2020, the intense claustrophobia of heat from that balmy early evening causing me to collapse onto the cool tarmac outside the hospital carpark.  9 months later and I am still in, although now a further 200 miles away, having recently been transferred to a more specialist hospital in London.  After the flurry of chaos and panic, once stabilised, I was asked by the team of doctors admitting me, the same old series of questions, the ‘History of Presenting Complaint’, that we’d ask all our patients upon their arrival to ..read more
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