About

The little world of Lucy 🌍🌱

Hey, I’m Lucy! Science graduate, fashion focused and an advocate for individuality and creativity.

Welcome to my blog - here you’ll find insights into the daily happenings of my erratic life, science stuff, writing and pretty much everything in between. Have a little look around!

Swipe left to read my blog posts and more - more content coming soon, watch this space...

Writing

Poetry & prose column 📖

I’m a huge lover of all things poetry, prose, reading and writing. Over the years I have slowly been improving my writing skills and have even had some pieces published in several magazines. So, I figured I would create a page specifically dedicated to this love of mine...

I’m currently working on a new set of poetry and prose to upload here, so watch this space!

Where these words came from

I remember how it had once tasted;
The sweet air
The stale fumes
The incomprehensible fly to the flame,
Wondering how he, too, fell for the light.

Ever since the smell of lifting fog met the eardrum
We knew it was too loud to leave,
And this was the moment the smoke hit the fan;
The grass, too pale to even be called that, had once been our playground,
Musty fingertips with dirt beneath the nails, our best friends.
Radio junkies turned drug gods
Paint turned clot
Family turned cigarette butt,
The pill and the curse
Pulling us back to land just before the fall.

Sundaes on Sundays were far and few
But this was the cherry on the cake;
The fire behind this writing of mine,
The wit and the will to this lightbulb moment,

So here I am,
The choked faucet still running
The bathroom floor still bubbling
Evanescent watercolour dripping from the walls
And me,
Rolling around on the page with these firecracker ribs and sandpaper throat,
Lying to the pen and the page
Making gold from the gone
As though it deserves to be this way.

I am here to convince myself
That although I come from a dark place,
I wear the sun better than Van Gogh flaunts his yellow painted lungs
And this is when I realise;
I am the poem and the poet,
The artist and the work of art
Simultaneously.

~ Lucy Childs

These lemon and lime wounds will not make me bitter

I can only apologise for my dry hands;
The way they clatter at the base of your chin
As I go to caress your lips,
But this is all I have ever learnt
And this is all I will ever know.

I, for one, wish I was the sound
Of a teaspoon on a champagne flute at your cousin’s wedding,
But my past is a landing strip made from a deck of cards
And this plane may just land sideways
At the hands of a bad suit.

I have lived life on a knife edge
And wondered why I cut my breath on second best
Too many times to count
But here we are,
Discussing the past as though it is more than just
A glass half empty
A tale half told,
But my heart was broken
Long before any boy was even given the chance
And this is where my roots lie;
But this is not the direction in which they will continue to grow.

They say childhood is all
Daisies in the ballroom,
That adulthood is all
Roses in the bedroom,
So here I am
Beating my heart into a passionfruit pulp
Trying to make it fit into the person I am becoming.
But a bathtub filled to the brim of self-love
Was all I ever really needed
And I bathe
And bathe
And bathe

Until I taste the moon.

~ Lucy Childs

Poetry ‘n’ prose

Magazine submissions 2019 ✍🏼

During my time at the University of Warwick, I got involved with the on-campus writing community, and have since been published in multiple magazines spanning campus and even reached regions including London, Bath, Amsterdam, Bournemouth and some parts of Australia. I am particularly intrigued by the work of various poets and prose writers, and took the opportunity to get my own work out there in the open.

Have a read of my submissions in Kamena magazine’s Spring edition, and Patchwork magazine’s “Roots” edition... enjoy!

Lab life

It’s haematology, honey 💉🩸

I can’t express how happy I am to finally be back working in a laboratory environment! My new job as a Medical Laboratory Technician in Blood Sciences (encompassing the disciplines Haematology, Biochemistry, Immunology, Coagulation and Blood Transfusion) will finally kickstart my long-awaited career in science.

Any updates/info about what I do and the diagnostic tests I run will be posted here - hopefully at least one person looking to embark on a similar career will find this somewhat interesting and/or useful. Feel free to ask me any questions!

Disclaimer: I am by no means a medical expert, nor is the information provided here authorised by a higher body. This is simply for personal educational purposes and is from my own experience thus far!

Swipe for more info on my job responsibilities, the diagnostic tests that are run, and how our work aids in a range of diagnoses...

My main responsibilities in the lab involve maintaining the analysers and equipment, running diagnostic tests, tracking patient samples into the hospital system and reporting abnormal samples for further testing. The tests we run produce data which are used to help diagnose, and monitor the progression of, a range of blood-related disorders. Some examples include:

- Diabetes Mellitus (Type 2 diabetes)
- Autoimmune disorders (ie. Lupus)
- Immunodeficiency disorders (ie. AIDS)
- Abnormal erythrocyte disorders (ie. Sickle Cell Anaemia)
- Infectious Mononucleosis (glandular fever)
- Malaria
- A range of cancers (lymphomas, leukaemias, multiple myeloma, etc)

In order to produce this data, various diagnostic tests are run, each performed by a range of techniques on different analysers. Some examples of these tests include:

HbA1c

This test is used to measure the average amount of glucose attachment to the haemoglobin within your red blood cells (or ‘erythrocytes’) over approximately a 3 month period. This time period is used because this is the typical lifespan of an erythrocyte. This test essentially gives an approximation of what your blood glucose levels are - the higher the value, the more at risk, or likelihood is, that you have Type 2 diabetes, which is predominantly diet-dependent.

ESR

ESR (Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate) is a measure of the rate at which a patient’s red blood cells (erythrocytes) will naturally settle to the bottom of a sample. This value is a non-specific indicator of a patient’s general bodily wellbeing and thus cannot be used as a lone measure in the diagnosis of disorders, due to its universal nature. For instance, ESR values can be largely influenced by various factors which would otherwise be considered normal bodily processes, including menstruation and pregnancy.

Despite its lacking sensitivity and specificity, a high ESR value is generally an effective indicator of inflammation, often presented in those with viral infections or autoimmune diseases such as Lupus.

Haemoglobinopathy evaluation (HBO) & High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC)

A Haemoglobinopathy examination is a group of specialised laboratory tests involved in the diagnosis of haemoglobinopathies (HBOs) - over 1000 different types of genetically inherited disorders whereby a patient’s haemoglobin proteins are either abnormal forms (variants), or have decreased production (thalassemia).

The test used to diagnose this group of genetic blood disorders is called High Pressure Liquid Chromatography, whereby components of the blood are separated across an electrically charged chromatographic column via a pressurised force. This allows for the individual blood compounds to be separated and purified according to their electrically charged amino acid profiles, for the identification of abnormal types, or decreased production of, specific haemoglobin proteins. HPLC can therefore be used to aid in the diagnosis of Alpha Thalassemia, Beta Thalassemia and Sickle Cell Anaemia, alongside the results of other diagnostic tests including a Full Blood Count (FBC) and peripheral blood smear.

Peripheral blood smears (FILM, UFIL, CFIL)

Bone marrow aspirates

- May-Grunwald Giemsa (MGG) stain
- Perl’s Prussian stain

CD4+ / HLA27

Infectious Mononucleosis (Glandular Fever)

Full Blood Count (FBC) / Complete Blood Count (CBC)

Prothrombin Time (PT)

Activated Partial Thromboplastin Time (APTT)

International Normalised Ratio (INR)

D-Dimers

Partial Thromboplastin Time (PTT)

Warfarin dosing

Heparin therapy

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