7.30am: Up and ready for my first day at work in a while. I’ve been off for the last week as study leave for my exams. I’m really excited by the prospect of a potential no spend day. I usually track my daily spending on an Excel sheet and celebrate no spend days. By ‘celebrate’ I mean numbering them and putting a smiley face behind the words ‘no spend day’ on my Excel sheet and doing a little dance on the inside haha. Since I started tracking my spending, my max number of no spend days in a single month has been 19. I started doing this because I find purchasing items can be emotionally draining, especially when they are big purchases. Therefore, if there’s something that I think I want (barring food or other necessities), I tend to hold off on purchasing it until I can buy it on a day where I know I’ll be spending money on other items as well. This way, I give myself time to rethink the purchase and I can also track my spending much better.
7.50am: Leave home and drive to work. I make it a point to live as close to work as possible so that it minimises petrol costs and general stress while driving. Throughout my GP training, I have been placed at different hospitals and clinics across the West Midlands. My last placement was 28 miles away from my current one. Because I aim to have a short commute, I have moved three times over the last two and a half years. My current commute is only 5.5 miles long, which I love.
8.05am: Arrive at work and look at my list. There are three patients on the home visit list but only one telephone call and it’s a patient I know well. I also have to fill out a death certificate and cremation form for one of my patients who has sadly passed. This involves a visit to the funeral home.
9am: Morning surgery starts. I review a few patients who I’ve met in the past. I’m happy to see that some of the steps I put in my management plans have helped them out. Later that morning, one of our receptionists lets me know that a patient gave me good reviews and wants me to stay on permanently. Hearing this brings a massive smile to my face.
12.30pm: All my home visits today are at a nursing home. Eat one banana before driving off. I know it’s thought of as a bad habit but I very rarely eat breakfast early. I just don’t feel hungry until later in the day so typically eat for the first time around 11am. I see the patients at the nursing home and then make my way to the funeral home. However, I realise I simply don’t have time to fit in seeing the deceased patient and return to work to eat before my afternoon clinic starts. So five minutes into the journey I turn around and head back to work.
1.25pm: I call the funeral home. It closes at 5pm so I decide it’s best to visit tomorrow morning before work as it’s closer to home than to my workplace. It can be frustrating for relatives to have to wait for the death certificate and cremation forms to be filled out, especially when they’re already going through such an emotional time, so I call the deceased’s next of kin to let them know I’ll fill out all the necessary forms on my end tomorrow.
1.40pm: Lunch is leftover salmon, peppers and green beans. Still feeling peckish after this so also have a chocolate chip protein bar.
2pm: Afternoon clinic. A mixture of dealing with acne, irritable bowel syndrome, suspected urinary tract infection and unintentional weight loss to name a few
5.15pm: Head home.
6pm: Over the phone, I catch up with one of my friends who’s part of my study group. Her exam is tomorrow and she’s not feeling very confident. I’m really, really hoping our chat and my pep talk have made her feel more optimistic about tomorrow. Fingers crossed!
6.45pm: A friend, R, has messaged saying that he will be in London this weekend. This is great news as so will I! We make plans to meet up on Sunday. So excited! I say he’s my friend, which is odd as I do see him that way despite the fact that we’ve never met in person. Our fathers are friends and when my father realised that his friend’s son was living in England and also studying medicine, they gave us each other’s numbers. We’ve been chatting occasionally for about a year, so it’s nice to finally be meeting him.
7.15pm: Drive to the gym, 9.5km done and dusted. I usually use my treadmill time to read through articles which I have tabbed throughout the week. Please prepare for this diary to become really meta because my reading for today consists of the last three Refinery29 UK Money Diaries. As per usual, the comments section is just as interesting as the actual diary but, oh my goodness, people can say some really awful things to the OP. The attacks on the characters of people who have decided to share a mere seven days of their lives are appalling. I’ve accepted how inevitable this negativity is so I’ve only got two words for whoever does the same to me: bring it!
9pm: Just as I’m about to leave the gym I see that Death in Paradise is about to start. I rush home to watch it in time. Get home to then realise that I can actually watch it from the beginning. Silly me! I find the storylines and acting cheesy at times but I absolutely love the show anyway. I think looking at bright colours with sun, sea and sand reminds me of home and automatically makes me feel happy (despite the murders).
11pm: Update my spreadsheet with my spending. Instead of making a budget, I simply save my goal amount on payday and write down my spending every couple of days so I don’t go over the remainder of my paycheque. I’m slightly anxious about upcoming massive expenses such as my visa renewal application, car insurance, MOT and medical membership fees. Whenever I feel anxious about upcoming costs I tend to deal with it by finding ways to earn extra money. Usually I do extra locum shifts as a psychiatry SHO (as I have done about 10 months of psychiatry rotations during my training). I stopped doing these shifts a few months ago as I used the time to study for my exams instead. I make a mental note to sign up for these again if I’ve passed my recent exams. I’ve also switched bank accounts in order to maximise switching incentives. I recently switched to HSBC to get £175 and I also encouraged four friends to switch to Nationwide and got £100 each time.