Monday, 3 February 2014

Testimony, Testimony, I'll Never Be The Same!

I recently heard an excellent sermon on the power of testimony. And then, not long afterwards, I was reading something and it made me realise, the Bible is basically a big book of testimonies about God and all that He has done for His people. And it changes people and leads them to Him. People ask if God is still relevant today. There are still testimonies about God happening all the time, all over the world, so we should be telling people them so they can change people and lead them to God! Here's mine...

The last month or so have been kinda hard for me! I don't feel like I've been myself, or even fully know who know who that is anymore. I've started drinking tea, and doing crazy stuff like tidying my room, at midnight, on Christmas Eve, and going for longs walks or a run. One minute I've been a bit hyper and weird and the next I've been grumpy and horrible to people or crying. (If you've been a victim of that, I'm sorry! I love y'all really and if I do it again, just throw chocolate at me and run away!)

I heard, before I started here at LST, that Bible College can make you go through a phase of "oh no! All this is crazy! I don't know who God is anymore"! And someone also said that doing counselling can make you go through a phase of "oh no! All this is crazy! I don't know who I am anymore"! I think I'm at that bit of the counselling course. The theology part, however, has made me want to get to know God better, which is good because at the moment I really need Him.

It's only the start of the forth week of this term and, looking back, I feel like there have been more lows than highs over the last three weeks, mainly to do with other stuff. Looking back I can also see that God has been with me the whole time and carried me through it all.

Yesterday I was having a rubbish day and felt kinda depressed for most of it. In the evening I just went to my room and cried. I feel like God is trying to deal with stuff in my life that I've tried to ignore for over fifteen years. (Please don't ask me about it. My counselling process group will find out when I tell my story, they can ask.) It's gonna be hard and scary and I just wanted to run away and not do this term. There's one person who, sometimes I feel like they know me better than I know myself, but they're up in Birmingham, so basically, it was just me.

I don't really remember praying while I was crying, I may have done. But then I found a book. I only read about two pages and didn't feel like reading much more but what I did read helped. It made me realise that I wasn't the only one to ever go through this.

This morning I woke up and did a Bible study. At church last week I picked up a copy of some notes and was going to start them on the 1st. However, being me, I lost it. Fortunately, it was online so the last couple of days I used that. Last night though, I found the notes. So I used them this morning. And that's when God showed me that He cares. He was there with me last night, through the tears and fear and depression and all that crap stuff.

Turns out, the Bible reading notes I picked up weren't the usual 'this is what you should be reading on this date' kind. It was an introduction to those notes. Day 1? "Get up, Get over it and Move on. 'You will forget the shame of your youth' Isaiah 54:4". It was exactly what I needed! And some Bible references in it took me back to times when God has spoken to me in the past. Like I said, I don't really remember if I prayed last night but this morning God showed me that He was there and that He loves and cares for me and that He's got me safe and knows what He is doing.
I still got stuff to work through, but His grace has found me just as I am, empty handed but alive in His hands! =)

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Christmas Update!

First of all, hello! Happy Christmas and Happy New Year! :-)

Second, I'm into my third week of holiday and have only just got round to writing this update! Sorry!

So last term at LST was pretty awesome! I don't know why I didn't go to Bible College sooner! I guess the moral of the story is, if God tells you to do something, just do it! Chances are He wants you to do something pretty epic and you're gonna love it more than what you're currently doing so why not?!

I've been told that I've changed since going to LST but today I got told that I'd just gone back to being my usual weird, happy self! Hurrah! :-)

I should probably tell you what I've been up to! I've been to lectures, two weekends away, pub, fun times with friends, paid work, gym (yes, you read that correctly!), I've even been to the library AND written an essay! Oh, and church! I'm a Bible College student, that's kinda why we're there! I also have a counsellor now!

One of the main things I've noticed is how God has been with me through it all! Even before I arrived!
In an earlier update I said about the money situation! Basically, Student Finance told me I could have a tuition fee loan then a week before I went, told me I couldn't! I could, however, have a maintenance loan from them but that wasn't enough to cover everything! During last term though they wrote to me and told me that the loan would be increased, and to higher than I was expecting!
I also sold my car and got a job, which all helps! The job is in a Bupa care home in Watford! I'll probably work there once a week and that'll give me money for expenses during the term! During the end of last term and over the holidays I have been working at least two nights a week at my old job in Birmingham! This has really helped towards my fees but when I go back to London in January I won't be doing that anymore! I was in lectures Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, travelled to Birmingham on Thursday and worked Thursday and Friday nights then travelled back on Saturday and was at church on Sunday! As well as it being quite tiring, I was also missing out on various activities at college and spending time with friends, who I'm sure will be pleased to know that I'll be around a lot more to annoy them! :-P

I'm looking forward to next term, except the three essays that are due in!
At church I'll be getting involved with a project that they run every week where they feed the homeless! That'll be a good chance to serve, as well as talk and pray with the people that come! I've been told that the number of people going along who are in need of a meal is increasing so prayer for that project and for everyone involved would be appreciated! We have another counselling weekend coming up! The last one was really tiring but was so good to get to know the people on my course better and pretend to be a counsellor so I'm looking forward to that!
We have the Spring Ball next term! It's probably the only time that people at LST will see me dressed as a girl! It's actually quite exciting!
I'm also trying to convince people to come and visit Birmingham! Apparently, not everyone knows it's a city, let alone the best one ever! I think the fact we have a chocolate factory has convinced people to come!
I'm hoping to get back into playing my saxophone too! I haven't played it properly for a while so that should be interesting!

After finishing last term and realising that the only photos I'd taken were of Sleeping Beauty in the car on the way back from the counselling weekend and of my roommate, Debbies, and my room after we put Christmas decorations up, I decided that one of my new years resolutions was to take more photos! Hopefully you'll being seeing more of my life at LST rather than have to rely on my blogs, which will be nice for you! :-)

A few prayer points for this term/rest of the year...
That it doesn't all become academic and my relationship with God will be my main priority!
That I can have good relationships with the friends I've made and the people that I'll meet in the future!
That I'll settle into the job at Bupa well because I haven't really worked there properly yet!
That I can get the three essays done and handed in on time (when you're a student everything else suddenly becomes important when you have an essay to do! I've even tidied my room during the holiday!)

Thank you all for your love and support during my adventure! If there's anything I can do or pray for you then do let me know! :-)

Saturday, 21 September 2013

My First Prayer Request

First of all, I'd like to say thank you to you all for your support and kind messages! It's nice to know I have so many good, supportive friends and I hope I can update you as much as possible during my time at Bible college! =)

With just over a week to go, I have my first major prayer request!

I had been hoping to fund the course with a loan from Student Finance. However, after lots of mixed messages from them I have just found out that I am unable to get a tuition fee loan for my first year, despite the fact that I have never had one before. Although, I can have one for years two and three. Fortunately, I am able to get a maintenance loan, which at the moment isn't enough but I have been told that I can get it changed, which will cover my tuition fees. This still means I'm short on money for other things.

I have worked out I will have enough money to pay for accommodation at the Bible college, which includes food! Hurrah! But the counselling course has extra costs which the regular theology course doesn't have. This includes an intensive training weekend away (Thursday - Sunday) each term and counselling sessions. Each weekend away costs £190 and the college recommends around 20 counselling sessions at £30 each. On top of this I will also have general living expenses.
I don't want you to feel like you have to but if you feel that you want to and are able to give anything towards any of these costs then please contact me directly.

If you are the praying type, please can you pray that I...
can get the maintenance loan amount changed and quickly and easily without too much hassle
can raise the money in order to pay for these extra expenses
can carry on with the course without being too worried or distracted about it

Thank you! =)


Friday, 13 September 2013

Bible College aka What I'm Doing Soon


This was my blog from when I was at uni before but now it's changed to this! Enjoy! =)

Some of you may know, and for those of you that don’t, I have been accepted at London School of Theology (formerly London Bible College) to study Theology and Counselling. I start this on Monday 30th September.

In my interview my new New Testament lecturer told me it would be a good idea to write update letters for people who may wish to support me in any way or are just interested in what I’m doing. I hope to keep it interesting and a little bit amusing because you don’t want to read some boring letter and I like to think that God has a sense of humour. Why else would He create this? 

I guess it would be a good idea to tell you why I’m going. In all honesty, I don’t really know! It’s something I believe God wants me to do. He tried to get me to go a few years ago but I went and did a course in Paramedic Science instead. That went a bit wrong and I was kicked off the course for failing some coursework. But it’s ok! God was with me all the time and just told me again to go to Bible College. I’ve learnt my lesson so this time I’m going.

It’s kind of like a modern day Jonah. God said do this so I did the opposite, it went wrong and I ended up back where I started, God said do this again so I did it. The good thing about God is that He’s nice to us so instead of punishing me He has given me another chance to get it right.

As I said, other than the fact that God obviously wants me to go, I don’t know why I’m going! I’ve always thought that you don’t need to go to Bible College and have opinions on fancy, long words to be a Christian. Which is true. When God told me to go to Bible College this year I thought, “Ok, I’ll go for a year, then try and get into the ambulance service.” I was planning on doing more work for a first aid company and hopefully doing the paramedic course part time with them and the Open University this September. Now, after lots of thought and prayer, I’m going to be more open to what God wants me to do, whether that is to leave after a year or to stay longer. Therefore, I also don’t really know what I’ll be doing when I leave. But hey, God’s got it all sorted so it’s not anything I need to be thinking about at this stage.


Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Hero Next Door!

This actually happened to me recently and it highlighted a few things in paramedic practice, both as a student and for qualified ambulance staff!

I would start by saying it was a normal day, but it wasn't! I was enjoying a rare mid-week lie in! I may be a uni student but I'm the kind that has to be in practically all day, everyday!

So anyway, I was in bed doing uni work when I heard a kerfuffle across the road! Some guy was shouting and seemed to be slightly distressed! I assumed it was normal, we get people shouting outside occasionally! It wasn't until he started shouting something about a fire that I thought 'ooh! Could be exciting!'

I looked out of the window to see plumes of grey smoke pouring out of the windows and doors of the house opposite! I also saw a lady in the window of the first floor, smoke behind her, desperate to get out! I immediately phoned the fire brigade and told them there was also a person trapped inside!

Meanwhile, I was toying with the idea of going out there! After all, I'm only a student and had no equipment so I didn't think there was much I could do!

After seeing the lady get helped down a ladder by a firefighter I eventually plucked up the courage/sense to go out there and help! I got dressed in record speed (can't treat a patient in my PJs, although I've never actually seen anything that says we can't!) and grabbed my jacket on the way out!

When I got outside I explained to a police officer that I was a student paramedic and went and found the patient! I went to the car I'd seen the lady get put into so she was somewhere safe! She was a bit hysterical and in shock (as you would be!) She was alone so I just sat next to her, put my hand on her back to help reassure her, asked her a few questions and talked! This seemed to calm her down a lot! I had nothing on me, I didn't do anything fancy or medical, just communicated with my patient! When the ambulance came I told them about my patient, they did a quick assessment and told me the next ambulance would treat her!

Next ambulance?! I thought there was only one patient! This is when I realised I had made an error! You see, the rule is, when you're first on scene you don't treat any patients, just have a look at how many and how injured they are (triage) I forgot to do that! Having seen most of the action unfold from my bedroom window, seeing one person trapped and the other occupant outside, I thought there would only be one patient! Especially when the other patient seemed most concerned about their dog "coming out like chicken!" Now I knew there wasn't just one! As the ambulance crew were dealing with him I stayed with my lady until the next ambulance crew came and took over!

Looking back, I realise there are things I should or could have done differently! As a student I'm still learning, but I'm not gonna forget the importance of triaging in a hurry!

This also made me think about two other things, helping while off duty and communication! As far as I know, there are no laws that say you have to stop and help! And there are lots of complaints made about health care professionals attitudes and communication! On this occasion I made the decision to go and help and to talk to my patient!
So, your turn, would you have done anything different? If so, why or why not?

Thursday, 6 January 2011


I've been asked a couple of times, and you may or may not be wondering, why 'parameduck'? I didn't just decide that because it sounds similar to paramedic and I like ducks (I'm not obsessed with them, but they are better after seeing an oven!) There is actually a reason!

I can't remember where I first heard the quote but someone once said “Be like a duck. Remain calm on the surface and paddle like hell underneath." Which is kinda what you're doing when you're paramedicing, only not in a duck pond while having bread thrown at you, hopefully!

So what I'm trying to say is, when you turn up on scene and people are there panicking, it's your job to appear chilled out and relaxed and not join in with the panicking ie. be calm on the surface! But underneath that cool, calm exterior you're 'paddling like hell' to change the situation and help the patient!

Thursday, 30 December 2010

My Placement According to Facebook

18th November:
"is a half naked student paramedic with nowhere to go! For placement! On Monday! Please pray!"

This was the Thursday before my placement was due to start! No trousers and nowhere to go! =S

19th November:

"And my placement is... *drum roll*"

Still nowhere...

20th November:

That's code for 'it would be nice to know where my placement is as I'm due to start in 2 days! Oh, and some trousers would be good too!'

21st November:
"starts her placement tomorrow! As a proper student! Breakfast and lunch shall become one and Jeremy Kyle shall become my friend! I hope my PPE protects against pressure sores!"

As you can tell, I decided to embrace student life and do nothing all day! Would still rather have been in an ambulance though!

22nd November:
"Well today is turning from rubbish to even worse!"

Wanted to be on placement, or at least know where I was going to be! Staying in bed all morning and not eating was a bad idea too! When your blood sugar drops, you drop!

23rd November:

"Woooo! May have some shifts this week! Yeh baby! =D"

As you can see, I got rather excited and happy about the possibility of having somewhere to go! =)

24th November:
"Woo! Got 3 shifts! =D start tomorrow morning! Watch out Oldbury!"

3 shifts! Was a start! Also meant I had to move back home to Birmingham that day!

25th November:
"Woo! First placement in an hour! I'm not a morning person so be good Yam Yams! Be good! And whose idea was it to start a shift in the middle of the night anyway?!"
"has had a well cool day on placement! =)"
"had blood coming from her lip! Think being in an ambulance with blues and twos afterward was a bit OTT though! It wasn't that much!"

There was one downside to starting my placement: mornings! Early mornings! What part of 'student' does the ambulance service not understand?!
And the blood from my lip was due to not being able to eat a sausage sandwich properly... I'm ok now though!

26th November:
"One word to describe today... Tangfastic! =D"
"loved it today! I wanna be a paramedic! =) And I got another good job! And I'm with an Incident Support Officer for the next 3 weeks! =)"

NHS staff like food such as sweets and cake! If you want a better service, Haribo will suffice! ;-)
Not saying you'll get a bad service if you don't! Just saying we like sweets!
Also, being with an ISO means you don't get sent to people with man-flu or who have stubbed their toe so it's usually a bit more exciting!

29th November:
"First day with the mentor I got for 3 weeks! Was cool! Had some interesting jobs and visits to the police station and control room!"

Said mentor was very nice and I enjoyed working with him during my placement! =)

30th November:
"Quote of the day: *while eating meal that cooks itself* "I'm a student, why have I not heard of these?""

The answer to that question was because they cost nearly £5 each! I did learn one valuable lesson that day, how to get a free meal from the HART team!

1st December:
"has been on placement with her mentor for 2 days and on both days a job we went to made the news! Let's see what trouble we cause tonight..."

It was only a local newspaper, who, by the way, didn't use a picture with me in it for one story, not that I'm upset by that! *sulk*
As far as I know, no more jobs we went to ended up in the paper!

2nd December:
"has survived her first night shift! Seen lots of police and firemen! =)"

Nights shifts aren't that bad! Preparing for them by doing not a lot and napping during the day was even better! And stuff still happened at night to keep us busy!

3rd December:
"Hold on to your hats people! We keep losing them!"

We both lost our hats during that shift! We found them again which was good, because it was a bit cold out!

6th December:
"An inanimate object at the ambulance station hit the back of my car and now it's a bit broken! =S"

I'm a woman driver, that accident couldn't possibly have been my fault!
Alright, in my defence, it was 3am! The inanimate object was fine by the way!

7th December:
"Oh no! Just realised fast is spelt with an S, not an R! No wonder I couldn't remember what the R meant in the FAST test t'other night!"

Same night I had my accident! Not a good time for me!

8th December:
"Why would you need an ambulance crew when they're about to get breakfast from McDonalds?! Twice!"

In the same morning! It's like Control knew... We did get our breakfast in the end though! The next day!

9th December:
"thinks she has a lot of grovelling and making up with her mentor to do! I've learnt my lesson though! I'm never, ever gonna do that ever again! Ever!"

Here's some advice for any noobs reading this... Never, ever say the Q word while on shift! Not even in your head! Don't even think it! Especially not 3 times in big letters on Twitter! No matter how much you want to do some work! Not everyone likes non-stop afternoons and finishing late...

10th December:
"had her PPE on t'other day, including helmet... and hurt her knee! I thought one of the Ps stood for protective! #fail"

PPE stands for Personal Protective Equipment! One thing they do not issue as part of that is knee pads! I still have a graze on my knee! =(

11th December:
"11.12.10 - the day I became scared of old ladies!"

Not all old people are nice all the time! Some can be quite scary!

14th December:
"I feel today I shall need more bandages than most of my patients! Knee is playing up and I appear to have injured my ankle at last nights gig!"
"has done the origami and tearing ECG paper without breaking the machine stuff on placement but can't find the bit in my book where someone signs them off! Any ideas?"

I think one patient ended up with more bandages than me! Also, I think it's wrong for paramedic lecturers to assume paramedic students know how to tear off paper from the ECG machine! It's hard for some people! Thank you to my mentor for providing that training! Which I passed! =)

16th December:
"is being a part timer today! Joining my mentor part way through his shift at 11ish then finish at 4!"
"Worst. Convertible. Ever!"

Was more like 12! And it was for a genuine reason! (the McDonalds on the way wasn't, but I was hungry!) Also, I did do some work!

17th December:
"has been up since 4 and the highlight of her day is finding out she is heading for a teething gel overdose! =S"
"did not OD on teething gel today! =)"

Couldn't sleep, hence "up since 4" and my tooth under my gum was hurting! Teething gel overdose is actually quite serious! You could end up in a coma apparently!

18th December:
"*memory of 1st gear deleted* *both hands on steering wheel* *panic face initiated* I love driving in the snow! =D just what I needed after today!"

I worked in a truck that day! Even had to try and push it in the snow! We had a bit of a rubbish end to the shift but the driving home in the snow was well fun and cheered me up lots!

20th December:
"has just finished her last shift! Sad times! =( It's been well fun!"

Placement was really good! I enjoyed it lots and didn't want it to finish!

21st December:
"is spending the day pretending to do uni work! I wanna go back on placement!"

If anyone wants a student to hang out with them during a shift then all you have to do is ask! ;-)

By the way, I never did get my trousers! Uni made me do a whole placement without them! But don't worry, you'll be pleased to hear that I did buy some!