Week of January 21st 2019-Food Service Week 2 (Mostly Ranting About Anxiety… Then Coping by Joining a Dating App)

Monday, January 21st- Learning to Make Menus and Exploring Puerto Rican Cuisine

Nothing fun today. Just went to the rotation where the preceptor told Gia and I we were “failing in even the most basic of things” in regards to the two week menu we turned in. So, she spent the morning explaining how to properly write a menu, the structure and whatnot and even the types of culturally appropriate foods in Puerto Rico. Man, I was wrong. There are a lot of different foods in Puerto Rico. I’m still not on the starchy vegetable bandwagon though! We got to try a few and one downright tasted like chalk! (Yautia, featured image above)

Tuesday, January 22nd- Anxiety Hurts Me and Those Around Me

My day was tainted by Gia snapping at me. I hate how I let my anxiety prevent me from doing so many things. I’ve gotten good at working around it. I enable my own anxiety by finding ways to work with it instead of defying it., but I’ve gotten too good at it to the point that it’s just natural to me. Today I didn’t want to get up to ask the preceptor a question. Gia had a question on her part of the partnered assignment due today. I dreaded it. So, I didn’t jump on that band wagon. Instead I was beginning to suggest a way to do the assignment without asking the preceptor. I was in the middle of telling Gia we could print it the way it was and if the preceptor said something still needed to be fixed, I would print the page with the changes.

I didn’t get through my sentence before Gia snapped at me, blaming me for not letting her ask the preceptor. It was my anxiety! Mine! didn’t want to ask the preceptor. Of course, I didn’t enthusiastically jump up and run with her to ask! I never prohibited her from asking!! I simply didn’t encourage it. Ugh. I hate myself. This topic has come up before. You’ll get to read about a big dramatic thing that happened when I post about Thanksgiving break from last year (I think that should be up by Friday). Basically, Gia has brought up me holding her back because I, in her words, “get annoyed” or otherwise make her feel bad for asking questions. get in my way of that. have anxiety. am not in control of it at the moment. I don’t mean for that to affect her. The effect it has on me already drives me crazy. Ugh. I hate myself.

So I bought ice cream, a little fast food strawberry pie and other random junk. I don’t have time to cope in a healthy way. Gosh. Don’t be like me. Please.

Wednesday, January 23rd- Sorry, Just Ranting about Anxiety. Feel Free to Skip

You know, I annoy myself. I do. I don’t like the person I am. At least other people can get away from me. They can snap at me or cast me out. Believe me, I can do that to myself too, but what I can’t do is get away from myself. Which stinks, because a lot of the time, I wish I could. Today, I apologized to Gia for suggesting some complicated, unnecessary way to complete the assignment yesterday without asking the preceptor because I was too anxious for that to even be an option for me.

I told her I am frustrated at myself and I hate that anxiety keeps me from doing even normal type things in my life. I told her it’s even worse when it affects other people and that I am not in control of it right now. That I know I’m always apologizing for the same things, but that I do genuinely feel bad every time and it’s not something I can fix over night, but that I would work on it to at least not affect any group work we have to do.

She didn’t respond well to it. She told me she’s sick of getting counted off for things that are my flaws not hers because I’m her partner. Specifically, she mentioned the Spanish language difficulty some of our preceptors have put on our evaluations. (I grew up speaking Spanish, but not reading or writing it like she did.) She also said it does bother her when I prevent her from doing things. (I did not! I didn’t want to ask, but I did not tell her not to go ask! But I guess that’s how she perceives it.) She concluded by saying that I’ll never understand her, and she’ll never understand me, but she wasn’t going to argue when I didn’t agree to something she wanted to do since that would avoid problems.

Really? And this isn’t a problem? Getting upset every other day and apologizing for it to be thrown back in my face? That’s better than just telling me, “hey, I understand you don’t want to go ask do you mind if I go ask?”? That would have been the end of it. But I didn’t say that. I just said softly and sincerely, “and you think this is better?”. She looked me straight on and said, “Yes.” in this hard, determined voice. I said, “okay.”.

Then I got home and was okay, until Axyl brought up my anxiety. He said I have to be more outgoing and ask questions and that he can’t understand why that’s so hard for me. That it would help the preceptors get to know me a bit and blah, blah, blah. I tried to explain, just as I’d tried to explain to Gia this morning how I understand intellectually that talking and asking questions is the solution. I see all the benefits it would bring versus being shy and quiet. However, emotionally it doesn’t even seem like an option. He stared at me with blank eyes and no understanding. That triggered me into a sad state, and I spent the next hour or so hiding out in the kitchen singing songs softly.

Thursday, January 24th- Last Time at my Old Apartment!

First day I didn’t have to go to a print shop before my food service rotation. That was nice. We actually had stuff to do today which was even better. The preceptor had a meeting this morning but left us to do some accounting invoices. I liked that. Instead of some other times where we kind of just waited around. I guess we could have gone to the kitchen and observed or something, but read above (Anxiety!). Yeah, I like accounting work. Later Gia and I scampered over to the nearby McDonald’s since the kitchen at the hospital is super cold and full. We bought a pie and sat inside. It was super awkward to eat my lunch there. A hot dog. Clearly not on the menu… XD haha!

Afterwards I walked back with Gia to my old apartment complex. There I got to meet Uuie’s dog (a fellow intern’s and one of Gia’s roommates). I also went to my old apartment to clean up the left over trash I’d left in my room when I moved out in a rush. I returned the keys to a terse Robin who didn’t even want to look at me and I knocked and knocked and knocked on Karen’s door to settle some money matter (to finish that topic and tell her I don’t even want her money anymore). She didn’t open the door. Even so, it felt SO GOOD to leave that apartment. I never have to go back!!!!

Friday, January 25th- Hiding in the Broom Closet Drinking Coffee with Gia XD

The preceptor was busy all morning. She was doing some paperwork until about 11:30 am. So, Gia and I hung out in the kitchen for the most part. We were given a cup of coffee by one of the kitchen workers, but we didn’t want to get told off by our preceptor for lollygagging, so what did we do? We (I’m completely serious about this) hid in the supply closet while we sipped our coffee. Ha! It was hilarious. We were giggling over our cups half the time. I wonder if the other interns get themselves into comic situations like we do.

Once the preceptor was finished, she assigned us more projects to do. One is to find a recipe and adapt it for 100+ people. Some sort of rice or pasta or starchy vegetable which Puerto Ricans group into what’s called “farinaceos”.  It’s a whole separate food group here which also includes bread. It’s like the U.S. carbohydrate food group but including starchy vegetables. Anyway, there’s that plus a proposal for a recycling program and a proposal for an outpatient clinic. We are just her little monkeys, aren’t we? All the work we do either helps her get ahead (like the accounting stuff we did the other day) or she uses to present to her bosses. Isn’t that convenient? I mean, if I have free labor (the internship doesn’t pay us interns), I’d use it too, but come on!

After lunch we went around the department and observed the preceptor give a meeting to her kitchen staff about areas to improve and what health inspectors look for. When it ended (two hours later!!), Gia and I got to help fill up cups of juice and package the snacks for that night. 🙂 That was fun! I’d work doing that. It’s calming to do a repetitive task. When I got home, I took a shower then chit chatted a bit with Axyl before he fell asleep. At 7pm! So I watched a movie and called it a day myself.

Saturday, January 26th- I Got on a Dating App…

What did I do Friday night after watching the movie? I decided my life isn’t busy enough, so I finally caved and got on a dating app. Epp! I’ve never been on one and I’m not what you would call a promiscuous person. So, I was pretty hesitant since as far as I know, most dating apps are known for hook up culture. (Maybe that’s not the case, but it’s what I’ve heard.) Well, I gave it a shot on a whim and after setting up my profile, promptly fell asleep. I woke up late. I know I have a ton of assignments to do, but ugh… it’s overwhelming.

I spent the day chatting with a match I got on the dating app and with Richard. Haha, I got Richard and Axyl to talk with each other. That was funny. They are my two best guy friends, so it was cool that they hit it off. Both are these super direct, I-Don’t-Care-If-It-Hurts-Your-Feelings-It’s-The-Truth kind of people.

As for the guy from the dating app, he was alright. Made me laugh right off the bat, but the conversation didn’t completely flow. By the end of the day, I asked to meet up with him. I have a date with him next Friday.

Sunday, January 27th- Someone Send me Motivation, Please

I don’t know what I’ve done all day. Procrastinate and stuff mainly. I’m not motivated and can’t find the energy to work without motivation. *sigh* I’m so tired.

 

Notes:
Photo Credit to Lovesx-70 on Flikr

Week of November 12th, 2018- Telemedicine (I got to make a balloon sculpture!)

It’s been a while since I had this rotation. But, since I promised, here’s what I remember. I think in every internship there’s talk about superiors. For us nutrition interns, we have preceptors which are dietitian nutritionists that supervise us during different rotations. For this rotation, our preceptor was quite infamous. We’d gone to an orientation for the company back in August where she said hardly two words. Instead, she sat stoically observing every single one of us in the room. It was intimidating.

Especially, since she had this sort of style to her. Sharp, slick, intensely red bob haircut, pressed, professional dress, and a stern expression that could only say, “I am a working professional, but whatever you do, don’t slack off and do not cross me.”

The ten of us interns were paired up in August in order to complete the 20+ rotations required to complete the internship and be eligible to take our licensure exam. By the time my internship partner, Gia, and I went to Telemedicine, only one pair had gone before us. That pair warned us that this preceptor was intimidating, yet super nice to your face, but would screw you over in the evaluation. (In order to pass the rotations interns must get at least an 80% in evaluations.) Yikes!

First day at Telemedicine

Well, our first day wasn’t bad. She was super nice and offered to help in anything she could, but I’d been warned, so I didn’t believe any of it. The first day we were also given a surprise photoshoot. Well, just one photo, but gosh, you could warn a girl! To make things worse, this photo would be used on the cover of a company newsletter (for an article we were assigned to write). Other than that, we spent most of the time smiling at all of the medical professionals (mostly nurses and social workers) who our preceptor introduced us to.

As a side note, Gia and I were both pretty discouraged and, I dare say, depressed. Remember that the rotation we’d had the week before had been Intensive Care Unit (ICU) where we were judged for being American and didn’t do so hot in our evaluations. (Read about that rotation here.) Well, we hardly said a word. Most of the week we spent it in silence. Quietly working on our assignments. We made a brochure, wrote a newsletter article, created a recipe for guacamole, analyzed the recipe’s nutritional content, blah blah, so much work.

One day, we also called patients over the phone to give them nutritional interventions. It wasn’t that bad. We had a script to follow and only had to break from that was when people told us what they usually eat in a day. After that, we’d say something along the lines of, “well I notice you tend to eat lots of fruits but what about vegetables” or “I notice you enjoy processed foods in your daily diet, remember that processed foods often have a lot of sodium added which can raise your blood pressure”. You know, stuff like that.

Food Taste Test! Guacamole!

The real exciting part of this week was the food taste testing! For this, Gia and I came up with a simple guacamole recipe. One day the preceptor took us to a little vegetable stand where we bought most of the ingredients and, since she had stressed decoration, to the dollar store and a party store. I went wild with that! I mean, I like nutrition enough, but…. Decorating and crafts and fun! I got a tablecloth, some tissue paper, and balloons! Ahh! I was excited.

On the day of the event we loaded things into our preceptor’s van and I will tell you, I have no idea how I got the measurements right, but the balloon columns I made fit perfectly! I loved the experience. It was a huge room crammed with people wearing headsets in front of computers. Hundreds of cubicles. Whenever people had a minute, they’d wander to our bright orange table (featured picture above) to get some chips and guacamole. Since Puerto Rican cuisine isn’t known for spicy foods, we made a bowl of guacamole without chili and a smaller bowl with. I enjoyed sneaking in more chili whenever the preceptor wasn’t looking to really give the brave people who asked for it a kick. Hee hee!

Too soon though, it was over, and we were packing up to leave. At the last moment though, the people who had come for a sample several times asked if they could have the guacamole we had left over if they brought us a bowl or container. They took all of it! Woo! That is what I call a successful taste testing!

Failed Home Visit

The next day, it was time to go do a patient home visit. Apart from phone health services, this company also offers home visits from nurses, therapists, social workers, and dietitians to patients with certain health problems like uncontrolled hypertension or diabetes. Our patient was disabled, so when we arrived at his home and found he was by himself (thus could not get up to open the locked door for us) we had to return to the company. I was a bit apprehensive since I’d never done a home visit and Gia and I were supposed to be the ones who would carry out the evaluation. Sooo, I didn’t mind too much when we lost that opportunity.

Scary Evaluation Time

The only thing left to do was our evaluations. The preceptor took us into a closed room one at a time. I was first. Nervous, since I’d heard she was a tough evaluator from the previous pair, I sat in front of her flame red hair and piercing eyes. But she was kind. She told me she hoped I’d speak more and interact with other health professionals more. She also commented on my subpar grammar (everything we turned in was in Spanish and most things I turned in in such a rush that the grammar would have been equally as bad in English…).

I felt at ease with her. I asked her what I could do to improve my professional appearance as about 90% of my preceptors before her had commented I needed improvement on that but hadn’t explained what specifically I needed to improve. She told me, my make up and hair was impeccable but that on the first day my uniform was wrinkled and that first impressions are important. Good, I told her. I explained that every week I felt like I put more and more junk on my face and as a person who usually never wears make up, I was desperate to find a stopping point. Alright, so foundation, eyeshadow, mascara, blush, and eyebrow powder was enough. Phew!

She admitted she wasn’t very into make up herself. But that that’s the culture here. She had also told us she was rather shy when she did her nutrition internship. She said she’d seen that excited spark of my personality when I talked about the decorations I planned and during the taste testing and that I should allow myself to be open and sociable like that more often. She gave me goals to work for and (I believe) honestly and wholeheartedly wished to see me grow from this internship. My heart was restored. It’d been so long since I felt someone, especially a preceptor had seen me and encouraged me. I needed a preceptor like her.

Hopes for the Future

I hope to visit her towards the end of the internship and show her how much I’ve grown. I want to make her proud. She was the first nudge to get me out of that depression I was in. The next was a shove directly from the director of my internship program. Come back next Friday to read about Thanksgiving break 2018.

That week wasn’t relaxing. It included meeting an eccentric Uber driver in a sports car, getting pulled into a meeting with my internship director where she told me I had disrespected her, and a makeshift Thanksgiving dinner with Gia and Karen. (The most fun part of the week being meeting the Uber driver, of course. 😉)

 

Health Doesn’t Just Come From Your Doctor: The Importance of a Team Approach to Health.

I’m easily triggered. Just because someone isn’t diagnosed doesn’t mean they aren’t struggling. Do you know how many people have medical diagnoses that either aren’t discovered until years after the onset or at all? It’s not uncommon. And often times medical diagnoses have physical symptoms. Can you imagine how difficult it is to go about life with constant or extreme pain, inflammation, fever, cough, whatever it may be, and all the doctors, specialists, and medical professionals tell you nothing is wrong, when you clearly know it is? How can everyone- professionals especially- doubt what you feel so strongly every day?!

Now imagine that same negation, doubt, and being brushed off but no physical symptoms. Or the ones you do have aren’t even considered. I’m talking about undiagnosed mental disorders. I’ve gone to the doctor. Other than being overweight and having a twinge of high LDL cholesterol, I’m fine. You know, the last time I went to the doctor, the nurse asked about any signs of depression or anxiety. It’s a complicated, but simple question. I mean, the whole concept of mental illnesses are things most lay people (in my experience at least) don’t seem to understand. It was nice to be asked. I replied, “yeah, some anxiety”. I was too anxious to mention my depressive tendencies.

 My Experiences at the Doctor’s

I’ve been going to therapists/ support groups on and off for the last four years now and I can say that it’s really helped me. However, all of that was when I was in university. It was either free or really cheap, super close to where I lived, and on my own account. I remember the doctor I went to a couple years ago didn’t say a word to me about mental illness. But she sure did waive the mood screening she supposedly did. Just because I wasn’t bawling my eyes out or trembling as I spoke, I’m ruled out for anxiety and depression, not to mention all the other known disorders? I didn’t know the DSM had changed their criteria!

Mental health isn’t that easy. You can’t just look at someone and know they are mentally okay. Sometimes you can. I would argue that when I went to the doctor this winter, I was a stereotypical depressed person. I looked tired even through most of what I did during the day was sleep, I hadn’t showered in several days. I know the doctor and everyone else could tell by my greasy hair that fell slick over one side of my face. Maybe I looked better than I remember feeling, but the not having showered thing was evident.

Despite that and the fact that the nurse seemed to have written down something about my anxiety comment, the doctor didn’t mention a word about mental health. I understand doctors are much more physiologically inclined, but health is multifaceted! You couldn’t run a hospital with just cardiologists. What would people with diabetes do? Or burn patients? How about a hospital filled with dentists? No! Each medical professional has a role.

Collaborating with other Medical Professionals as a Dietetic Intern

As you guys may know if you read my weekly blogs, I am doing a nutrition internship at the moment with the end goal to become a licensed dietitian. My first rotations were mostly clinical which meant I was evaluating patients at hospitals. One thing that I got harped at for? Not referring patients to other medical professionals. At first, I assumed, well they called a nutrition specialist so I should focus on the nutrition aspect. Makes sense, right?

Yeah, well it isn’t that simple. Some patients were sedated, others had a tube down their throat, and yet others just didn’t understand their disease. I couldn’t just waltz into their hospital rooms and focus solely on nutrition. Everything was entwined. From the patient’s medical diagnosis (doctor), their ability to move (physical and/or occupational therapists), ability to swallow (speech pathologist), will to live and eat (psychologists), any damage/ deformity that could alter nutrition intake or absorption (surgeons), to when blood sugar was checked (nurses) and how much family support/ financial stability they had (social workers), it is all intertwined. If I had a patient who was hungry but was in too much pain to eat, I couldn’t do my job. Or, more like, it wouldn’t matter if I did my job because the patient still wouldn’t eat. That was doctor territory. I wasn’t about to tell a doctor what to do.

The Intertwined World of Medicine

Health is a complicated thing. It even goes beyond medical professions to each individual. It includes, yeah, any diseases, dental caries, and so on, but also diet, physical activity, sleep, stress management, and emotional balance. I knew that when I was doing nutrition evaluations at hospitals, but I didn’t want to overstep my boundaries. I didn’t want to boss around professionals with more studies than me. But that wasn’t what I was supposed to be doing. This is what I mean when I say health is simple and complex.

I don’t have to know all the inner workings of the body or mind or even that patient’s life. All I have to know is that if I see something not quite right, it’s okay to consult someone. It’s okay to take a couple minutes of someone’s time if I believe it would help. I am not a dentist, but if I have a patient who can’t eat because their dentures don’t fit right, it is my responsibility to call one. Otherwise, I’m being negligent. It’s wrong to recognize a problem (worse if you also recognize a solution and even worse if it’s a relatively simple solution) and then do nothing about it.

A medical professional shouldn’t leave a patient to figure things out if they have already figured it out. The least they can do is mention the observed problem to a patient and suggest they seek help from a specialist. Better yet would be to call in a referral. That being said, it is all health care worker’s responsibilities to be observant and help where they can. I know every profession is busy with their own work, but if you see something that’s not quite right, no matter your line of work, say something!

If Only my Doctors Read my Blog…

I’m getting better at it. I wish my doctors were better at it. I know I need some sort of mental health specialist to get out of this rut I’m falling into again. I’ve never experienced such extreme symptoms as I am right now. Yet, my doctor didn’t mention a word about mental health. She asked if I’d gone to the dentist though, so I guess that’s some positive points there.

I don’t know if I am certifiably insane. I don’t blame my doctors for the fact that I haven’t gotten up the courage to set up an appointment with a psychologist. I’m not saying people’s health is solely a doctor’s responsibility. In the end, you are in responsible for your health. What I’m saying is doctors are the gatekeepers that connect most other health professionals and a quick referral can change someone’s life for the better in a matter of weeks versus the months or years it may take that person to figure it out on their own or, as is my case, build up the courage to do something for themselves.

Oh, well, I guess that’s what natural selection is about, right? Hooray for not knowing what, if anything, is wrong with my mind!! Maybe I’ll feel like making an appointment with a psychologist next year…

Week of January 14th 2019- Food Service Week 1 (I Moved out on a Thursday Night.)

Monday, January 14th- Our Preceptor Didn’t Answer our Phone Calls, so We Just Showed Up. She Kept Us Waiting for Three Hours

First day at food service! The hospital my internship partner and I are completing this rotation at is in a familiar neighborhood for me. When my dad and I stayed two or so nights back in May last year for the first meeting of my nutrition internship, we stayed at an Airbnb in that neighborhood. So, naturally, my dad thinks he’s super cool because he kind of knows where I’m rotating at.

I know I always repeat myself, but in case I have any new readers. I’m from Texas, but I took a crazy leap of faith or maybe just a crazy leap and applied to do my nutrition internship (in order to become a licensed dietitian) in Puerto Rico. I’ve been living here for the last 6 months (minus a two week winter break where I returned to my parents house in Texas to celebrate the holidays). For my internship we go to different locations to observe and participate in a dietitian’s work in each area. The dietitian we follow in each rotation is called our preceptor. For 98% of those rotations we go with an assigned partner. The same partner all year long. My partner’s (pseudo) name is Gia.

Alright, and we are back! This rotation was the first one where the preceptor did not even answer our phone calls or emails. Gia and I just showed up on the first day and hoped for the best. Well, we knocked on the office door in the diet department of the hospital and were told by someone in the office that she’d let our preceptor know and to wait in the dining room.

We waited until 11am. We didn’t even know if our preceptor had arrived. No word. We would periodically check, but kept being told she was still in a meeting. Once we finally were able to speak to her, she apologized and told us that isn’t typical; it was just an emergency meeting. Also, she apologized for not answering our email or calling us back. She’d been busy. So, really, I mostly sat around this day. I wrote the Telemedicine rotation post I’m going to publish on Friday from rotations last year that I fell behind on. So, I suppose it was semi-productive.

Tuesday, January 15th- Walking to the Rotation with Gia

Who knows? Seriously, I don’t remember. I guess we just sat around a lot again. Oh! You know what’s cool about this rotation? It’s only about 30 minutes away walking from my apartment. Since Gia lives in the same apartment complex, we walk together. It’s nice not having to rely on the train or busses for once. And, the route over there is through the bank/ business area so it’s pretty.

Wednesday, January 16th- Axyl moved out

I wrote a post explaining why I am not going to go into detail about the situation between my roommates. Axyl, Robin, and Karen are in a legal type situation and during an intervention meeting with the director of our internship program last Friday Robin (with Karen in agreement) told Axyl and me to get out. To move out of the apartment we shared. My first reaction was to exclaim, “What did I do?!”, since their beef was with Axyl, not me. Axyl, who shared a room with me, reacted by looking for apartments. There was no reasoning with them, so he did the best thing he could have done: removed himself from the situation.

Thursday, January 17th- I Moved Out.

The next day, I moved out. No more walking to the rotation with Gia. I struggled with how much to reveal, since I know Karen and Robin (and Gia) have access to my blog. I don’t doubt they are reading this very sentence. However, enough of my life here in Puerto Rico has been tainted by fear of what others think/ think they know about me. Whether that’s been my apartment-mates or even the preceptors or the director of the program, it’s enough. Yeah, ex-roomies (and Gia) I live with Axyl. I moved out and now share an apartment with Axyl. It’s not like you guys didn’t see that coming.

I packed my stuff on Wednesday night and rushed back to the apartment after my rotation today. I knew no one would be home as early as me, so I called Axyl to help me with my stuff. The apartment was on the third floor. Robin heard Axyl and got riled up. He said Axyl wasn’t stepping in the apartment and that the guard wasn’t even supposed to have allowed him to enter the complex. He left to alert the guard to kick him out. So, I proceeded to carry my stuff downstairs and tell Axyl what was going on. When Robin came back, he let me know he’d also told the guard I wouldn’t be allowed in after this month.

That’s fine. I’d had a short conversation with him moments before Axyl arrived about wanting to stay on decent terms with him and that if I forgot anything that I wanted to feel free to come back this month to get anything. He agreed. Didn’t seem like it when he came back from speaking with the guard, but I understand he was affected by knowing Axyl was there. Robin asked me if I was moving in with Axyl. I said no. He asked if I was going to live with Gia for a while. I said I would rather not say. However, now you know Robin, I am living with Axyl. I didn’t want to tell you at the time though. Really, I won’t ever tell you unless you bring up already knowing by reading this post. It’s not information you need to know. But like I said, this is my blog, so I’m taking that risk.

Just like I took all my stuff down two stories by myself as Robin watched.

Friday, January 18th- Friday Horror Movie Night! 😀

At the rotation Gia and I gave patients questionnaires and were assigned to make a powerpoint on the acceptability of the food at the hospital according to those surveys. Gia and I were also each assigned a topic and told to make a powerpoint presentation and education plan for it. I got safety rules in an industrial/ hospital kitchen. Oh, and a two week menu was given a due date for Monday. Gosh, the preceptor is cool and all, but she gives a lot of work. Ooh! Also we were assigned to summarize a sustainability article. Yeah.

At home! It felt so good to get home. I can’t explain how peaceful it feels. Axyl and I are really good friends. Anyone that isn’t automatically off put by me is a good friend, but one that seeks to understand me and DOES. That’s a gold star. So, yes, Axyl is one of those few gold stars. I feel fortunate to have clicked with someone as well as we have. Very helpful when moving not even two weeks after returning to Puerto Rico. Ha!

Now, Axyl had proposed a Friday movie night. For two reasons, to celebrate our move and because he’s a horror movie fanatic and I grew up with a religious mother who would not let me watch anything that would “invite spirits into our home”. She seriously told me I couldn’t watch a horror movie in her house unless I had some holy water. That’s my mom for ya!

Anyway, Axyl chose a horror movie. I overnarrated on how dumb it is to have blood or other gross things spewing into the protagonist’s mouth with her opening her mouth screaming like a banshee giving all that gross stuff prime access down her throat! That was the movie Drag Me to Hell (link to trailer on YouTube here). Then he put on another horror movie. I obliged him and stayed quiet during the whole thing. That made it that much more idiotic and uninteresting though. Also, since Axyl fell asleep by the time we got through half of it. That movie was called Evil Dead. (Link to YouTube trailer here)

The last movie we watched that night (yes, Axyl awoke by the end of the last one and had enough energy to put on one more) was Black Swan. (Link to trailer on YouTube here) Well, I essentially watched that one by myself, since Axyl dozed off again after a few minutes in. It was the best one of the night. It addresses the dilemma of perfection. I feel as if I need to watch it several times to be able to fully understand it. Best way to celebrate our new apartment!

Saturday, January 19th- No- Thing Day!

Lazy Day. Today was a complete lazy day. I don’t even remember what I did. Axyl and I had planned to run some errands, but when we decided they could wait until tomorrow, I took the day off. The most exciting thing that happened today was that I got back in contact with an old friend. If you guys are early readers of my blog you’ll know him as Richard from when I was in university. (Post involving him here)

Sunday, January 20th- First Errands in Our New Apartment

Errands! Axyl and I went grocery shopping today. It was cool to go out and explore our new area. After that, I started working on the survey assignment due tomorrow that I had to do with Gia. I did the data entry and she did the analysis. The best part of today was that I finally organized my stuff and am now happily unpacked! 😀

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It’s been an eventful week. Next week, I’m still going to be in the same food service rotation. I’ll be there for four weeks total. Other than that, I can’t wait for our next movie Friday! 😀 Things are better here. I’m glad I moved out.

Note:
Featured picture is of where I used to live.

Be Nice to One Another- Yes, I Wrote a Whole Post on That Because it Seems People Don’t Understand the Concept

I should write a book. Really. It’s the second week back and already there are numerous things I don’t dare write about for fear they will be used against me or people close to me. And I’m not talking about light teasing about my thoughts or even others being angry for what I write about them. I’m talking about legal action. As you know if you read last week’s blog (link here), serious accusations have been made amongst the people I live with. Now it’s not just hearsay (because that’s all I believe those accusations were). Now legal action has been taken. For that reason, I do not wish to write further about the topic.

Unfortunately, these events go beyond the parties involved. I don’t mean to be insensitive when I say it affects my life, but it does. Mostly because my blog is public, and therefore, I know all parties involved have access to it. I don’t feel free to write about anything to do with those people. At least not now. I don’t even understand how someone can be so conniving.

Regardless of the situation, I will continue to post weekly blogs on Mondays and other posts on Fridays. I just want you guys to know that a lot of serious stuff is happening and that probably won’t be written about. Geez! Can you guys remember something? Trying to hurt someone is bad as it is. But all action, good or bad, expands and spreads. You may think you’re hurting one person, but you may be hurting several.

As an example, I am hurt by this situation. I inherently wish everyone would get along and blah, blah, hippie sunshine beliefs I have. So, to see it get to this level, I’m hurt. I don’t want to call home to my family because I know they can sense my distress. That hurts my parents. Maybe that affects their work or their work relationships which have an impact on their finances or further on their emotional stability. Maybe that will distract them. Maybe medications could be forgotten leading to serious health problems. That’s just one path and not a super unlikely one.

You guys know how I am. I can make any situation the worst thing ever or the best. This one is difficult, but if I am able to make one of you guys understand that your actions matter and that it’s a noble thing in life to focus on making positive changes instead of negative ones, I will have succeeded. I urge you to talk things out if you’ve had a disagreement with someone. Don’t let those feelings harbor.

If you can’t bear to have a conversation with that person or maybe the other person isn’t ready to talk, it’s better to let those feelings go. To be the bigger person and say, “this is how I understand the situation… I recognize that I could have done better on X, Y, and Z, and I’m willing to work on it once you are ready but until then I hope we can be civil and mature”. It’s also okay to end that statement with, “but unfortunately I don’t feel willing to work past it and I think the best thing for both of us is to move on with no ill will”.

I once saw/was spoken to by about ten to fifteen people from my past in a week. All of these people were either acquaintances or close friends at some point in time. And I realized that I left all of those relationships well. I wasn’t scared to talk or see to any of them again. I was glad! It feels awful to want to avoid/ hide from someone. Just seeing them making you want to dive into the deepest ocean and not surface. I’d never experienced that before now. So, I urge you, prevent things from getting to that point, because it can get to it and you don’t deserve to feel that insecurity and emotional turmoil.

Yep, I just wrote a post on being nice to one another. Moral of this post: I think we should all get a month off work and our lives every year to go to some sort of kindergarten-esque bootcamp.

 

 

Note:
Featured image from naobim on Pixabay via CreativeCommons

Week of January 7th 2019- Hospice and Home Care (first week back in Puerto Rico)

And I’m back! Both to Puerto Rico and to my blog. Recap, I’m doing a nutrition internship in Puerto Rico until the end of June and we just got two weeks of winter break. I’ll be uploading weekly blog posts every Monday from now on and posts about old rotations and weeks that I missed last year on Fridays. Included in the Friday posts will be a post on what I did over winter break. Don’t hold your breath, as it mainly consisted of lounging around my parent’s house watching movies. I returned to Puerto Rico on Saturday, January 4th. From then till Monday, I stayed at my apartment here and didn’t do anything exciting. Now here’s the rest of the week:

 

Monday, January 7th- Seeing Axyl for the First Time Since Winter Break

Axyl came home! He’d told me he’d be arriving around 7am. Since today was a federal holiday I was still sleeping when he arrived. As our beds are three feet apart, I woke up when I heard him rustling something in his luggage. Now, I hadn’t seen him since before the break. Two weeks doesn’t sound like much, but I re-emphasize that we live in a 13 x 9 room and have been sharing this space for the last five and a half months. It was nice at first to have some time apart, but it was also very strange. It felt like what I imagine it feels to have a noticeable birthmark suddenly removed from your face. Something you are so used to suddenly gone!

Understandably, when I heard him in the room, I got awkward. Understandably for me at least… So, what did I do? I pretended to be asleep. Ha! It was so cringey! Tell me one person who is actually believable when they fake wake up. X) It was all in my head though. We started chatting about the break just like old times. I’m so grateful he’s the roommate I ended up with.

Tuesday, January 8th- First Day at Hospice and Home Care and Preceptor Insults Mexican Food. I Should Have Kept My Mouth Shut…

Early day today. I woke up at 6am to go to my Hospice and Home Care rotation. This one is about 30 minutes out. Not too bad, and since I try to avoid driving at all costs, Gia and I took an Uber. I should have gotten a car when Amanda offered to hook me up with someone who was selling a car for cheap. Ugh. Life choices. Fact remains that it was either renting a car or taking an Uber and renting a car was not worth it for the three days we would be at this rotation.

It was a basic boring orientation day where the preceptor was explaining how her company works and how documentation is done until (!) she insulted Mexican food. Look, even though I was born in Mexico, I was raised in Texas, so I can’t say I’m an expert on authentic Mexican food, but I grew up with my parents who were born and raised there and I can tell you the food is not boring, humdrum, or “all the same” as the preceptor said when she declared she didn’t like it! *Huff!*

It was lunch time and she, out of the blue, said, “I don’t like Mexican food. It’s all the same.” Gia was born and raised in Mexico. I’m second generation Mexican. It’s fine if you don’t like another culture’s cuisine, but I can think of a lot of different ways to say it more respectfully! So… I got upset. I told myself not to react, but… I let her word’s hang in the air for a second before I said, “Yeah, that’s what I think about the food here.” She didn’t like that! X) I’m going to fail this rotation, aren’t I?

Wednesday, January 9th- First Home Visit and Preceptor Brought Up the Food Thing Again…

The most interesting thing we did at the rotation today was go to a patient’s house to give them a nutrition evaluation. We hopped in the preceptor’s car and as we drove over there, I realized I’d never been inside a Puerto Rican home. Sure, I’ve lived here for six months and had visited numerous apartments when my fellow interns and I were searching for a place to live, but I’d never stepped inside a home. It looked like a poor Mexican home. That’s the only thing I could compare it to. Concrete walls, humid, and small.

On the way back to the Hospice and Home Care office, the preceptor brought up the food thing again. She asked us where we’d been eating because there is sooooo much variety in Puerto Rico. -_____- And since I was sitting in the front seat, I had to oblige her. I ended up asking her where she recommends we go out to eat to experience that variety she claims.

Now, real talk. Puerto Rican food isn’t terrible. I would not pick it if I had other choices, but some of it is very good. More than anything, I was annoyed at her commentary about Mexican food. (Also, reminder, I never said the food wasn’t good or that I didn’t like it like she had said about Mexican food. I said it was all the same. Which, I’m sure there is variety, but I’m not Puerto Rican and I don’t go out much, how would I know?)

Thursday, January 10th- Finding Peace on a Mountain Road During Another Home Visit

No more petty talk about food, fortunately. Today we went to visit two patients. One was in a city and had a very nice house similar to some middle class houses I’ve seen in Mexico City, Mexico. The second, though. It was up in a mountain. The featured picture is of a window at a restaurant near the house. I was at peace. For some time, traffic was stopped since workers were clearing a strip of highway where a small avalanche had thrown rocks and dirt onto the road. For about twenty minutes I looked at the weeds growing on the side of the highway and observed bees flitting from bright yellow flower to flower and ladybugs tiptoeing up a green stalk. At one point I spotted a graceful butterfly dancing with the wind.

I began to imagine a life for myself up on a mountain like that one. In my own little house. Just me and my keyboard clacking away. I’d be a writer in this fantasy, only making the trip down to the neighboring village when absolutely necessary. I’d have to learn how to plant my own food, but it would be worth it to fall asleep to the sounds of life and nature surrounding me instead of car horns and borderline noise violations from the apartment next door blaring reggaeton.

Friday, January 11th- Meeting with the Internship Director and Karen and Robin Accusing Axyl of Fraud

Group meeting today. Four presentations in total. For one of my peer’s presentations, I made a super improvised chicken noodle soup and strawberry pudding. Somehow it turned out okay. Even the director smiled at me and said it’d be good as she picked up a plate saying, “I’ve heard about your cooking skills”. Ahh! That was cool! But also… where did she hear about them from? Eep! Spies everywhere.

The eventful part of today, however was the second meeting. I didn’t know this was going to happen, but when the director went to dismiss us, she instructed me, Axyl, Karen, and Robin to stay. She said, she had a meeting at 3 o’ clock though, so what was this? The director started off by saying, that she didn’t really have a meeting at three. Or that she did, but that this was it. Basically, she was giving us an intervention. Remember that I’d mentioned an oppressive, everyone-hates-someone-else-in-this-apartment air since about October or September? Yeah, it’s worse than I thought.

In this meeting, Robin and Karen accused Axyl of fraud. They claimed he was overcharging for the electricity bill and that he had altered the bills. I was shocked. These are some strong accusations. I didn’t know what to think and I said as much. As Robin played recordings of phone calls with the electric company and Karen asked me sweetly if I’d paid Axyl then told me in a cold matter of fact voice, “Then, he stole from you too.”, I was disgusted. I told them, I was in utter shock, but that this was speculation. In order to settle this, I suggested we go down to the electric company, the four of us, and find out what was really going on. The director supported this idea and set a day next week for us to all go together.

Another thing that was brought up in this meeting was the fact that I haven’t been doing my share of the cleaning for the past few months. Because of this, Robin hadn’t talked to me for that many months. However, in this safe space, we were able to talk it out and come to an agreement. I apologized, he apologized. Yay! Forgiveness! But, to bring the point home (literally) I cleaned the entire apartment when I got home. Kitchen, floors, little bathroom, big bathroom. I cleaned it. It felt like penance. And after that when I was resting on the couch, Robin came up to me and, for the first time in months, spoke to me. It felt amazing. I don’t like people being mad at me. I suppose few people do..

Saturday, January 12th- Improvised Seafood Soup and Uncertainty with Gia

NOTHING. I did nothing! 🙂 Well, I made soup. I hadn’t called my dad since I got here, so I did that. But I was getting kind of hungry, so I rummaged around the freezer and pulled out this $3 seafood mix I’d recently bought. It was cheap, so I didn’t expect much. I grabbed some stuff from the pantry and began to experiment. My dad is an assistant at a cooking school, so I sent him some photos of the finished product. He was proud. 🙂seafood soup and toast

After my successful experiment, Gia invited me to go to the store with her to get some chips. We walked and chatted, but I just don’t feel the same way as I used to. I’m on edge when I talk to her and most of the things she says rub me the wrong way. It’s a combination of not having seen her over the whole winter break and some drama that happened between her and I last semester. You guys will get to read about that on January 25th when I write about the week of Thanksgiving from last semester.

Sunday, January 13th- Happy to be Working on this Blog Again

Woot! I survived until Sunday! Both the first time around and reliving this by writing it. I woke up around 7am, aware that I’d fallen asleep sometime before 8pm. Man, I am exhausted. Emotionally mostly, I’m sure. Today, I plan to pick up my side of the room a bit and work on internship assignments. There’s always something to do. I’m excited to be working on this blog again. I’ve drawn up a schedule of the weeks I need to catch you guys up on from last semester, the last of which would be what I did over winter break which will be posted on February 15th.

I am going to go back to posting on my usual days of Mondays for weekly blog posts like this one and Fridays for assorted material. Until February 15th, those Friday posts will each be about a week I didn’t write about last semester. Meaning you guys will be up to date (at last!), by February 15th. Yay! I’m excited and glad you are along for the ride!

***

Come back on Friday, January 18th for a post on my Telemedicine rotation from last semester where Gia and I made guacamole for a company of telephone health service providers and I made a balloon sculpture to go with it. 🙂

January 2019 Update- Re-prioritizing this Blog and Considering a YouTube Channel

I’m definitely going to be a YouTuber one day. Why do I say that? Because of what I’m about to type.

Sorry I’ve Been Gone

So, I’ve been away. …For a whiiillleee. Sorry about that. Well, mostly I’m sorry to myself. I know you guys have better things to do or, more specifically, read. But, yeah, sorry I made it seem like I had a semi-established blog then abandoning it. Um, things got tough and I shouldn’t have dropped this because of that.

Again, not because I think you guys depend on me or anything, but because writing is the way I cope. When I was going insane, I should have used this platform instead of seeing it as another thing on my to-do list. Maybe I’ll forget that when (really, if) I gain a large fanbase, but at least for now, this is still my little spot on the internet. It’s my place to express myself and not care or try to impress anyone. That’s liberating!

I’m so thankful that I have this opportunity. Mostly because I predict a future where the powers that be are going to regulate the internet so heavily that the optimistic scenario would be that they allow established entities online to remain but just won’t let new ones arise. …yep. And this is before the machines take over the world. ….moving on.

Future Blog Posts About Last Year’s Rotations

Anyway! Before that happens I want to get back up to date with y’all. I thought it’d be difficult to write about all the rotations I’ve gone through (context for new readers: I’m in a nutrition internship). Looking back on the ones I didn’t write about from last year, I see that every single one of them have very memorable moments and added something to my life (even if I didn’t want them to…). So, yes, I will be writing about those weeks and posting here in the future. Not sure when that will be, as I’m already drowning in stress and it’s only my third day back in Puerto Rico.

Here’s what you have to look forward to:

  • Telemedicine (withholding the actual company name for privacy reasons)
  • Agricultural Extension
  • Early Head Start
  • Pediatrics
  • And, of course, two weeks of winter break! 😀 (so sad it’s over… :<)

Potential YouTube Channel and Conflicts

In other news, I’ve wanted to start a YouTube channel for YEARS. I’ve been watching YouTube since 2007. Yeah. 12 years. I’m old. (I’m 23…I’VE BEEN WATCHING YOUTUBE FOR HALF MY LIFE!) SO, I love the platform. And like I said, I believe one day these freedoms to grab a camera and make a fool of yourself for the whole internet to see will be denied, soooo I want to get in on that! Plus, camera qualities on phones have skyrocketed which means the start up cost is super low and IJustWantToStartAYouTubeChannel!!! ….yeah. I think my tone would translate a lot better in video.

But! I’m not pretty. Hey, hey, hey! I’m not ugly either, but the blogging world doesn’t care. It doesn’t even bother. The vlogging world? Yeahh, I’m not sure I’m ready for that. Also, how am I going to develop a fanbase if I vlog my life? Am I that interesting? Maybe this year I can sell it as a sort of study abroad experience. But when I move back to Texas? Boring! Not that Texas is boring. Just… me in Texas is boring.

There I have my family, there’s free food and hugs. I don’t have to go outside for anything! And it’s amazing! Here, I’m forced to go out and hold my own. :/ But I guess that makes for a more exciting life. :p

Logistics and More Conflicts

I do plan to start a channel sometime this year. Should that be my New Year’s resolution? Ahhhh! I don’t want to make promises then not keep them! But I also don’t want to keep dreaming about something and do nothing to achieve it! Uhhhhh! SO, I’ll let y’all know if/when I start that. It won’t be this month. Earliest would probably be February but probably more like March. I get a tripod in the mail next week.

Other considerations are time. I want to get all of the updated posts up before starting a new project which is going to take a while. Also, the internship is busy. There’s always so much to do. I’m stressed. And! Not a small thing! I have very minimal video editing skills. Plus zero on-camera presence. …yep.

Now this post is long and rambly, just like I like it. (…not really, but that’s how they tend to turn out.) I’ll let y’all know about the YouTube thing and you can look forward to posts on those rotations I had last semester listed above. I am going to make this blog a priority again. Ironically, I hope to do this by laying off YouTube to spend my free time blogging. Let’s see how that goes.

My Next Post

I hate breaking promises, so here’s one for you: next post will be this Saturday, January 12th. It might be “hi, this counts as a post”, but hey! A post is a post! Thanks for sticking by me, friends. Take care, and come back for Saturday’s post. 🙂

Notes:

Oh! And Happy New Year everybody! 😀