Functional Anxiety

Hopefully by now you have learned not to expect much in the way of blog posts during the school year. It’s a rough time and nearly all relationships, hobbies, and other activities suffer in the thick of it. I used to worry a lot about where the time went and fret over how little I had done in 3 hours or whatever. Now, I don’t have time for that. Anything that isn’t directly related to studying for my systems course- which right now is hematology- is immediately considered free time and I have promised myself to never regret how I spend my free time. If its free time and I want to sleep, I sleep. If I want to hold one of my babes, I try my hardest to get my sisters to let me hold them. Unfortunately sometimes OMM and DTP eat up my free time with their class requirement, and that is a quick way to get me really cranky. “Hell Week 2.0” I think is now over. I remember one distinct week in first year that just raked me over the coals. We had back-to-back tests, Anatomy and something else awful like Embryology or something. On top of that, I was sick. I’m sure there was more to it than that, but I have PTSD and can’t remember. This year’s worst week ever- just happened. I just had a lot going on; there were two tests and I had to do my first full history and physical on a standardized patient. This was all within 6 days but it didn’t fall on an exact calendar week...

Lion Scratches

When I was 15 my legs were itchy. I couldn’t sleep. I writhed in agony, with no rash or bumps or any other symptoms. I went to my pediatrician, urgent cares when I couldn’t stand it, and even the emergency room once. No one could figure it out. I had a whole cabinet full of lotions and creams to numb and soothe. Eventually I got a referral to a dermatologist with a 2 month wait before her next appointment. When I finally saw her, she told me about another over-the-counter lotion and sent me away to come back in 2 weeks. Still no relief. When I went back she found a few goosebump sized bumps on the back of my thigh and she squeezed them until I cried to see what would come out. The best she could figure was that it was some sort of keratosis. She prescribed Triamcinolone acetonide cream- basically what I now know to be the steroid cream of choice for itchy skin. She didn’t just give me the little toothpaste sized tube either. She gave me a 1 lb. tub with two refills on it. I was instructed to rub it all over my legs and butt at night and anytime after I showered. I followed the instructions; I got less itchy. And then it went away all together. I forgot all about the cream when I quit itching and then the itching would come back, so I used it again every night. The tubs of lotion lasted about six months and I used all of them, along with OTC CeraVe. With three tubs of...

Health

From time to time, while stuffing chips and cherry coke down my throat, I wonder how I am supposed to convince my patients that its easy to be healthy in the midst of their busy lives. Exhibit A. I sit down for most of my day. Standing up in lab makes me angry. I eat cookies and brownies and coffee full of cream and sugar and whatever else I can find to shove into my face. I don’t run most days. The healthiest things I eat are when I bring my lunch and thats usually microwave pasta or a turkey sandwich with yogurt and apples. And Lord knows I don’t get enough sleep. But eating healthy on a quick stop to Quiktrip is really hard. Their “naked” juices cost 4 bucks and I’m never really sure what all they put in it. So, today, instead of popping out out bed and studying anatomy like I should, I decided to try something. Ya’ll know I love my juice. It makes me feel good, lotsa vitamins and all. Its pretty filling and energizing too. But my dang juicer that I love so very much is a little high maintenance. You have to clean it right away because fruit beaten to a pulp rots pretty quickly and its really sticky. So I juiced everything all at once. Fresh pressed juice can be stored for up to 5 days in an airtight container. I made six bottles. All I have to do is shake it and its good to go.  So now I have delicious real juice all week and it took like 20...

10 Things Vol. 1

In an attempt to expedite some posts, (since I know I’ve been lagging lately) I’m starting a new series where I just list 10 random things of whatever I want to talk about. Ha! So here is my first installment. 1) Medical students like to complain a lot, but I don’t think it’s because we are negative people. We really are proud of what we are doing, but all we know how to talk about is school. If we said “we had three quizzes this week and it was awesome!” you would think we were insane. 2) Crazy professors don’t end in undergrad. If anything they get weirder. Seriously we’ve got some real nutjobs. 3) I spent well over $1000 this week on bills, club dues, running shoes, food, etc. Sorry not sorry. 4) My class is only 36% female. I was expecting closer to 50%. 5) I live at the school/at other people’s apts now. I have shower items, workout gear, a change of clothes, scrubs, and multiple stashes of food in various places up at school and at my friend Macy’s already. I take meals and coffee whenever/wherever I can get them, and don’t be surprised if you happen upon me in a break out room and I’m laying on the floor. I’M ONLY RESTING MY EYES FOR FIVE MINUTES. 6) Many of my classmates have started reading this blog and that makes me excited (and embarrassed!). Also I’m a little scared I’ll say something wrong! 7) My dog is not adjusting well to me being gone all day. He follows me everywhere and won’t leave the...

Three Easy Post-Run Drinks

Water of course. There is very little else that is quite as satisfying after a sweaty run. I’ve heard of water being best for you right after a run when the water is room temperature or just a little bit chilled. Ice water is sometimes too cold and can cause irregular heartbeat. I sometimes put a tablespoon of chia seeds in, wait a couple minutes, stir and then you’ve got fiber and omega-3s in it too! Chocolate milk is hailed as the perfect post-run drink, and its a favorite of mine too. Something about it having the right ratio of sugar, protein, and carbs for recovery. It’s even better if you drink it within 30 minutes. I use 2% milk and Carnation Instant Breakfast chocolate powder for the extra vitamins that Hershey’s syrup and Nesquik don’t have. Smoothies. I love smoothies (and juice!) after my runs. Something about the creaminess that chocolate milk with the fresh- or frozen- fruit. Vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber to boot. I love summer for the fresh fruit but this recipe can be used with frozen fruit in the winter, and it makes it extra cold and icy! Post-Run Smoothie 5 or 6 medium strawberries with the leaves cut off 1 large handful of blueberries 6 oz. cup light vanilla yogurt 1/2-3/4 cup of vanilla almond milk Blend it and drink! AND If you’re like me, you could drink all three after one run!  ...

Empathy vs. Sympathy

I saw this video a long time ago and I remember showing it to my roommate and we just sat silently after watching it. I’m glad I was able to find it again. Its quick and easy to understand but she covers some deep things in it that I mull over in my head quite often. I always get chills when she says “I know what its like down here and you’re not alone.” If only I was just able to convey that to people that I want to help. Its harder than it sounds. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Evwgu369Jw&w=560&h=315] My relevant story for today isn’t really any thing compared to the pain and suffering some people go through, but I’m going to tell it anyway because it is what has got me to some realizations about helping people pain- both physically as a future physician, and emotionally with family and friends. I had a bad sunburn recently. Mostly on my back. It was about two days old and I went running enough to soak my back and my shirt in sweat. It started itching in spots on my way home. Then it started burning. Then I took a warm shower. Then I got out and put some moisturizer on it. Through each of these steps it started burning worse, getting itchy all over. I’m not sure if I was done for from the moment I sweated salty chemicals onto raw skin or if I just kept making it worse, but by this time I was in a fit of excruciating pain and compulsive itching. Rolling on the floor, crying for my...