Lemon's Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
Lemon
Posts: 233
Joined: Sat May 30, 2015 2:29 am

Re: Lemon's Journal

Post by Lemon »

Nice update things are all going well

Work

Job is great. Even more grateful patients wanting to thank me in writting :D
But I am starting to get bored of the rotation as the learning curve is flattening. Final month I am not working many days though thanks to a combination of annual leave, study leave, and time in lieu so March should be good.

Life

Going well. Partner occasionally would complain about me making us tour a few supermarkets as I know various ones have different things at significant discount (he goes along with it but points out if it was up to just him he would just go to the nearby posh store only). So I suggested we comparison shop the Shiny posh shop with my method and if the difference is minor we can consider just going there. He agreed. The difference was 50% more expensive. So he was sold on my method and grudgingly accepted it was worth it :mrgreen:
I mean he isn't a bad saver by any stretch, certainly compared to our age group. Maybe one day he will get ERE but he loves his work to much at present to consider alternatives.

Weather being unseasonably good has meant more impromptu bike rides.
Lots planned with friends further away but having looked at the community thread I always feel I could be doing more here!

Fitness

Came to the conclusion SS was not the problem. Me not doing the program was the problem. I wasn't eating enough. Add in sleep deprivation from regular nights and lots of cycling I was doomed to early stagnation. So increasing calorie intake and have seen some results already. Deadlift is at just over 2x bodyweight for my work set which has been satisfying. Other exercises are slightly less impressive. Hopefully they get better.

Expenses

Groceries £63.32
Eating Out £4.50
Travel £50.00
Phone £7.50
Gym £29.95
Amazon £48.00
Dental £30.00

Total Saving Rate 69% so Not too bad but not the best month either. Not much to cut here more than half of travel was an annual railcard.

Internet
Getting better and this time has been generally transmuted in to reading which is preferable

Finances

I have looked at my income for the year and I am in to the higher rate tax bracket, just. So I am going to have to open up a SIPP this year one year earlier than expected which is a good problem to have. But, it means I will have to do self assessment probably doubling the time it takes to do my taxes which is rather annoying.

Finally hit £100k! Hurrah!
It has been a long time coming thanks to Mr Market. Feels good.
Last edited by Lemon on Sun May 31, 2020 12:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

Chris
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Re: Crazylemon's Journal

Post by Chris »

Crazylemon wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 1:25 pm
So I suggested we comparison shop the Shiny posh shop with my method and if the difference is minor we can consider just going there. He agreed. The difference was 50% more expensive. So he was sold on my method and grudgingly accepted it was worth it
It's good to have a partner who is persuaded by data! Grudgingly or not.

Lemon
Posts: 233
Joined: Sat May 30, 2015 2:29 am

Re: Lemon's Journal

Post by Lemon »

@Chris yes it is. Although in this case it doesn't stop the complaining just changed the nature to wishing this wasn't so. Half win.

I can't complain because there have been other big wins in getting him to do a bike commute. The more emotional and less analytic arguments that align with desires seem to be more effective. So improved fitness/actually enjoying the commute were more effective than cost savings for this one (which are currently somewhat non existent due to purchasing a very shiny new bike which needs to now pay for itself in reduced fares).

Same with de-cluttering and buying less stuff. I have tried to get him to read Marie Kondo for ages - but no luck for 'fear of agreeing'. I put on the show and that sparked within a week moved to get rid of a lot of unused clothes etc.
Last edited by Lemon on Sun May 31, 2020 12:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

Lemon
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Re: Lemon's Journal

Post by Lemon »

@bigato

I think it is more a shorthand for being worried I would expect him to agree with it regardless of actually doing so. Or maybe that it might precipitate more tidying which is probably his most hated household chore. I doubt it is to be taken completely literally.
Last edited by Lemon on Sun May 31, 2020 12:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

Lemon
Posts: 233
Joined: Sat May 30, 2015 2:29 am

Re: Lemon's Journal

Post by Lemon »

Been rather a longer time than I had planned in updating.

Work

Back in hospital for work so more hours which are also of higher intensity and less sociable. Hopefully for one more year only. Generally unsatisfying and feeling how I did a couple of years ago. Funny how an understaffed system doing work you don't particularly enjoy can do that. Shame because I have just had 4 months of rewarding work in primary care and have now returned to feeling like an overworked cog with no autonomy. I just have to endure to get to the end of the treadmill.

Having to prepare for an exam in the next couple of months doesn’t help either and means more time spent on work related activities.

Life

Brother’s diagnosis has been sadly confirmed as terminal. This has obviously altered priorities and so a lot more time has been spent with family and in the now.
I have also thus dropped the saving rate from 80-60% to about 60-50% for most months mainly spent of travel and events. Which I am completely fine with especially as I don’t think I am at a point where I would want to quit outright but just reduce hours after training (I can drop to 60% time post training and have the same pay as my final year of training, even fewer hours if I locum rather than take a substantive post). This gives additional security over relying on paper assets while also being something I like doing provided sufficient independence/ autonomy. My only concern is that the NHS seems to be heading down the route of further and further rationing by protocol that it might have to look at private practice. Which leaves a slightly bitter taste in my mouth.

Fitness

Feel like I am mainly treading water/making slow improvement but I am content with this for now.

Finances

143k ex work pension. Well past the point of FU money
Last edited by Lemon on Sun May 31, 2020 12:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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jennypenny
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Location: Stepford USA

Re: Crazylemon's Journal

Post by jennypenny »

I'm so sorry about your brother, Crazylemon.

EMJ
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Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2010 6:37 pm

Re: Crazylemon's Journal

Post by EMJ »

So sorry to hear about your brother.

Lemon
Posts: 233
Joined: Sat May 30, 2015 2:29 am

Re: Lemon's Journal

Post by Lemon »

So I have debated posting in the COVID thread multiple times but this felt it was more personal. Also in a difficult position given my work and how fast things seem to spread online.

Currently I am off isolating as per advice (despite being pretty sure I don't have COVID). Once I get back I will be in the middle of this situation.

It seems our healthcare system is if nothing else being more coordinated than the US. We have preparation and escalation plans in process. Although in bad case scenarios which don't seem all that unlikely the system is still going to be passed stretched.

Skills I have are going to be in ultra high demand and I am going to be working in what will probably be the worst conditions I ever experience (baring future pandemics etc.). My priority is going to have to be keeping going as it will be how I am most useful to society. Longer term goals other than those that allow me to remain an effective doctor or become more effective are going to need to be on the back burner. The web of goals is going to have to be shrunk.

So work, mental, and physical health are going to be the priority. As a result I am going to try and limit my time reading about COVID as I am going to be living it all day every day at work. Knowing how bad the trajectory isn't going to help me day to day and is just going to cause stress. Knowing more about how to treat it will be useful (and there are some things that might be useful). I am going to have to dump as much routine house stuff on my partner as possible to preserve bandwidth. Which he understands but I am not sure yet comprehends.

Obviously my brother situation makes this even more stressful.
All I can do is try and do the best I can.
Last edited by Lemon on Sun May 31, 2020 12:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

ertyu
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Re: Crazylemon's Journal

Post by ertyu »

Stay strong. Sending well-wishes, for whatever those are worth.

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jennypenny
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Location: Stepford USA

Re: Crazylemon's Journal

Post by jennypenny »

Thinking of you Crazylemon. One day at a time ...

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Egg
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Re: Crazylemon's Journal

Post by Egg »

Thanks for your efforts crazylemon. If anything good comes out of COVID-19, then perhaps it is the realisation that it is important to fund certain public services more fully. The NHS has been a source of national pride for a while, I think, but the current experience is cementing my own layman's admiration for all of your work.

Lemon
Posts: 233
Joined: Sat May 30, 2015 2:29 am

Re: Lemon's Journal

Post by Lemon »

Thanks for the kind words all.

So I got redeployed to the much expanded intensive care unit. About as far from primary care as you can get. The nights have been very busy and some very good doctors I know are struggling with the 'do what is possible/your best' aspect of care in a very strained system. You can't talk to relatives about their dying relative face to face, they can't visit or see them either really as the risks are too high. That aspect is one of the most difficult parts.

There are some bits of equipment we have got short on but nothing that there hasn't been a decent work around for. PPE is one thing we really haven't had much issue with despite the news. I also have my own stock form home thanks to a concerned friend overseas sending it to me which was very sweet. The public have also been very understanding and supportive generally which helps.
Polices on best practice seem to change more than once a week as we learn more about how best to manage things.

I now have COVID symptom. I had long ago made peace with getting it being pretty much an inevitability. Just a mild persistent cough. I feel fine not feverish but reduced exercise tolerance for vigorous exercise and intermittent coughing fits. Annoying but if this is the worst it gets a very mild case. But I am not at the point in the cycle where decompensation can happen. I haven't been tested. I am waiting on a response form work on if I can get tested so if negative I can get back sooner as I feel bad leaving people short even though I know coming in an spreading it to a tonne of healthcare workers would be more damaging to operational efficiency. I know that logically but not emotionally.
Last edited by Lemon on Sun May 31, 2020 12:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Egg
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Re: Crazylemon's Journal

Post by Egg »

Crazylemon wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 6:44 am
I now have COVID symptom.
Hope you're doing well. Let us know that you (hopefully) popped out the other side of this fine and healthy.

Lemon
Posts: 233
Joined: Sat May 30, 2015 2:29 am

Re: Lemon's Journal

Post by Lemon »

@Egg

Yes I have am now much better and back at work. Things are very much under control here. Our overflow ITU has patients but none that are level 3 (very sick and/or intubated) although that is likely to change.

At home I am doing ok. Partner has been buying more stuff to pretty up the flat which I have just gone with because we are spending all our time there and he doesn’t even get to escape for work because he is working purely from home. But things are going well and certainly not driving each other mad any more than usual.

Some friends are having a difficult time at work and not being able to meet up with them in person to off support is tough, videolink just is not the same.
Last edited by Lemon on Sun May 31, 2020 12:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Egg
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Re: Crazylemon's Journal

Post by Egg »

Crazylemon wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 3:59 pm
@Egg

Yes I have am now much better and back at work...

Some friends are having a difficult time at work and not being able to meet up with them in person to off support is tough, videolink just is not the same.
Glad to hear you recovered (and encouraging to hear things anecdotally under control too).

COVID-19 seems to have been a bit of a revenge of the introverts. I love working from home - been doing it plenty for a while now, and don't feel any massive need to go out and about. Quite happy hanging out with the family. Some (generally extrovert) colleagues are already going mad. I confess to some uncharitable shadenfreude, just because I've always thoughts standard ways of working were geared towards extroverts, but I see you're a lot more empathetic about the discomfort of others. I could probably stand to learn something there...

Lemon
Posts: 233
Joined: Sat May 30, 2015 2:29 am

Re: Lemon's Journal

Post by Lemon »

Work

Stepped down from the Overflow ITU a couple of weeks ago. The day that closed was a good day. Currently the hospital is not as busy as normal. There is no elective surgery work going on so we are only having to deal with emergency cases for my department, roughly halving our normal inpatient load. For a while it was even less than that but now fear of COVID is starting to fall and people are appropriately presenting again with conditions that need treating where they were suffering at home scared. This was a big issue and concern that it could cause a huge number of deaths. For the first time ever we had ads saying if you are sick the NHS is there for you and come to A&E (normally the exact opposite of 'only if it is and emergency come' is the main message).

Because all rotations in April have been held it means I am still in my old job which isn't what I want to be doing and isn't the most useful for furthering my GP skills. But it should be done by August and hopefully we will rotate and I can start my final training year in my first choice practice.

Cycling

Replaced the chainring/crankset, bracket, brake pads, and cables. This felt really good and while I did have to buy some tools the most expensive one needed (torque wrench) I was able to borrow indefinitely form my parents for free. Then I went on a lovely long bike ride and snapped the rear axle. On removing this discovered the wheel bearings were also screwed. It would have been nice for this to have waited a little bit after replacing everything else.
This meant having to commute on my partners 1980s monstrous road bike. Far form my first choice. But it is doing the job. The wheel I had on order has finally arrived so fitting that is the next job.

I had started to learn more about fixing bikes at a local community group and did a basic maintenance course with my partner (mainly for him as he is way less confident with repairs). Realising bike repair is generally easier than adults as you can just 'transplant' broken parts which is a little harder and risky to do with humans. Hopefully post COVID I can do a bit more complex repair stuff with them and get to the point of more instinctively being able to diagnose problems. I would like to volunteer there too at some point too if possible. That would be a win on several fronts of helping others, becoming more skilled, and getting access to a larger array of bike tools.

This episode has also made me think 'maybe I should get another bike'. Not exactly ERE. While I like my bike it wasn't high end as was bought for reliability which is has done well on for 6 years. But as my primary mode of transport having it out of action has been quite annoying. I also wouldn't want to take it on super long distances which given cycling holidays is something I would want to try is an issue. This year would also be the last year I cold use the salary sacrifice scheme and so get a 40% discount at a higher rate payer. Very tempting. Not that anywhere has any bikes at the moment.

Fitness

Frustrating can't go to the gym had to switch to running and home workouts. It is better than nothing but not the same. Have been able to improve though and upper abs are starting to show which as a former fat ass is quite exciting.

Life

COVID hasn't affected day to day living for me or my partner in any major way other than not being able to meet up with friends and the aforementioned gym issues. Those are both annoying and sad but compared to some people we have been pretty unaffected. Ok at work I have been affected but even that wasn't that bad because I was mentally prepared for much worse.
Spending more on cooking fancier foods because this gives partner something to do and makes him happy and the extra cost is minor and largely counteracted by eating out having dropped to zero. It is also making us better cooks.
We have also used the time to clear out a load of stuff. This has included selling stuff and I was surprised and happy at how much I managed to sell some things such as a really old laptop for. Prior to this I would have given away/ditched things as a lazy easy option. But this has got me on to wanting to start selling more of the stuff I have at my parents house that I never use once the lockdown is over. Not point in it sitting somewhere collecting dust when it can be used and much better than chucking it.

Finances

Up to £175k which is nice, back to net positive for the year. Half my money is currently in cash and I don't really see any incentive to change this at present.
With how interest rates have fallen and being a higher rate taxpayer now I live in the insane world where premium bonds look like the best easy access safe place for yield given ISAs are already being maxed with shares. This is madness but we seem to be living in a mad world.

Lemon
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Joined: Sat May 30, 2015 2:29 am

Re: Lemon's Journal

Post by Lemon »

Had an antibody test through work which was unsurprisingly positive. So my symptoms were almost certainly mild COVID. While this doesn't guarantee ongoing immunity it is pretty reassuring.

I also managed through my own stupidity/carelessness to give myself a head injury. Cue lots of swearing, blood and then getting my partner to video the wound so I could decide to go to A&E or not to get it glued/stitched. Decided not to and explained to my partner how to do a hair tie to close it and if I got any certain symptoms to take me to A&E. This didn't go down particularly well with him and I probably should have thought more about that and gone to A&E to get checked for that reason. Doctors sometimes make bad patients.
I am fine now and it is healing fine.

Assets continue to go up with my savings rate at 68% post tax (I don't include my NHS pension contribution which would bring it to 72%) Nothing I can really change to improve this other than change housing which wouldn't work with my partner. Transport costs are nearly zero and food while could be slightly more frugal would impact relationship harmony in a way that would be highly undesirable with minimal savings anyway. Most of the rest of it is head taxes, bills are almost totally the fixed rate component rather than additional usage.

I would using back of packet guesstimate be at a 4% SWR in less than 3 years anyway and being 'done' by 32 is pretty good. That ignores the fact I get a pay rise in August and then an even larger one the year after that assuming I complete training on time. While 4% is very far from certainly safe that is not including any state pension or NHS pension so is already very conservative and would only be a point of essentially being able to ignore the finance side totally and completely switch focus to other things which I was trying to do pre lockdown anyway but that has kinda put a dent in this.

Interestingly COVID has really changed the Market for GPs, the bottom has fallen out of it for locums as there is no demand. Everything has switched to telephone and video for now and people are staying away. How much things return to 'normal' remains to be seen. As does the fact we are almost certainly building up chronic disease which is just not being managed as well all referrals being down even for suspected cancer. It is making me thing that Locuming initially might not be as good a bet as it once was and taking a part time salaried role might be best and try and get paid to do a diploma or other further study at the same time.

Lemon
Posts: 233
Joined: Sat May 30, 2015 2:29 am

Re: Lemon's Journal

Post by Lemon »

Work

Back in primary care where I want to be. Very different with COVID and not in a way that makes it more enjoyable. I miss the patient contact given most things are now dealt with over the phone.

My main worry about work is how much of my focus it takes up. I guess that is partly inevitable when other than sleep it is the largest time sink. But it bleeds in to conversations with my other medical friends. We all do it. Any sort of meet-up will general result in an hour at least of medical shop talk. Which we all enjoy or at least need to vent and decompress, but again permits work to encroach in to another aspect of life.
I do at least on the whole enjoy work. Yes, I wish I could do it more my own way and there are aspects I dislike but, this should be more alterable once I fully qualify. We will see. I do enjoy it enough that I don’t think I will fully stop work when I hit FI because work gives me access to experiences you just can’t get access to on the open market. But definitely reduced hours not full time which should help with reducing its omnipresence. Engineering more of the bits I like and less of the bits I don’t is going to be the challenge.

Fitness & Health

Partner decided we should try having a personal trainer which I agreed to. He, of course, picked the most attractive one at the gym :lol: . We had felt progress had plateaued and while we could have researched and worked this out ourselves, we hadn’t been, it was something that seems forever on the back burner. The being pushed definitely helps me as I have a tendency to stop while there is still fuel in the tank. Early days but I think it is going to work out a worthwhile if not exactly cheap investment. Much as outsourcing when I could theoretically DIY instinctively causes angst.

Nutrition wise I have just simplified to vaguely government guidelines and avoiding ultra processed food. Which feels a bit like index investing. The low processed route works well with the fact both of us enjoy cooking. A deeper look in to nutrition is always on the cards but I never seem to have the time and inclination simultaneously.

Life

Now starting to reemerge in terms of socialising from COVID which is an exercise in risk management. Having already had it and working in an environment that puts you more at risk than being out in about somewhat messes with your risk profile compared to the general public. Not that I am about to go around licking doorhandles!

This whole thing has made me reassess how strong of an introvert I am. Because hosting and meeting up has been energising in addition to being enjoyable of late which isn’t exactly classical introvert. Maybe this is just the alteration from the more rigorous lockdown. But even then I was still meeting work friends daily so in that sense I didn’t have total isolation other have had.

I worry that I am trying to over optimise and extract at this point and that I need to take a step back and give myself permission to allow things to wander and see where they lead. Much of the other stuff I wanted to try out has been forcibly arrested by COVID which is quite a bummer. Only so many aspects of a community or travel you can build online, although still room for improvement on that. I worry this relative lack of optionality leading me down this optimisation and extraction path.

Feeling a bit lost in where I am heading to. Work I kinda know but even that still feels different. Having had until recently the intense purpose of fighting a plague to return to relative mundanity everything just feels a bit pointless. I thought it was going to be fixed with the job change in August but it hasn’t, not fully. Who knows how long this might take to adjust to.

Internet time wasting is creeping up which isn’t restorative, isn’t productive and isn’t even really all that enjoyable. Resetting the limiting software is going to be the way to go with that one I think.

Finances

Numbers continue to go up SWR ~ 6.2% (excluding pension) But saving money really feels like the least important part of what I do these days in terms of progress.

Lemon
Posts: 233
Joined: Sat May 30, 2015 2:29 am

Re: Lemon's Journal

Post by Lemon »

Interesting development. Partner has always been wedded to London 'because job'. But, he has been working for home 95%+ of the time for the last 6 months now and doesn't want to go back to the office. In addition he has enjoyed the small amount of food we can grow on the balcony as vastly superior to the supermarket equivalent. Plus spending time rurally with my parents...he is now thinking maybe leaving London would be a good idea.

I am obviously encouraging this as housing is vastly cheaper in 'not London' and we could buy property with land for the same price as a one bed where we are now. I just hope work stays remote for him. My slow campaign over years seems to have suddenly started to bear fruit after the terrain shift of COVID. We can't make any sudden moves anyway as I am tied until at least August but given the UK property market seems to being able to go cuckoo bananas yet again I don't really see that as a bad thing. I don't see how it can stay up once the job losses really hit.

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