Blog Posts

Chocolate Love – Personal Poetry Collection

A little nugget from 11th grade me essentially saying, “no boyfriend, no problem. As long as you have chocolate, love is in the air.” X) I hope everyone had a good Valentine’s Day with either a loved one or some chocolate!

***

February 13, 2013

Chocolate Love

Sweet

Candy-

Chocolate-

How you comfort,

soothe, and distract. Will

you always be needed?

Isolated, confused, and

Cold. Worthless people compare

not. Only one thing can improve

anything: chocolate- the only love.

 

 

Note:

Photo Credit to Adonyi Gábor from PxHere

The Most Romantic Date I’ve Been On- Meeting Chance for the First Time (Part 1 of 2)

I met a guy. On the internet. Well, technically on a dating app. And technically I met three guys before him. But this post isn’t about those other guys. This post is about Chance. I gave him that pseudo name a couple days after we matched. It just felt right. He’s a year younger than me and while I haven’t done a ton of dating myself, I clearly remember wise women in my life telling me not to ever date younger men. “Guys mature slower than girls”, they said. “Only date younger guys if you want a boy not a man”, they said.

 

First Impressions

So, even though Chance is only a year younger than me, I was wary. He didn’t have much on his profile either. Just a few pictures of him in a cozy sweatshirt with his curly hair or him on a beach. His scant profile was generic with the typical interests cited: anime, movies, and one somewhat standout thing- that he is learning to play guitar. What can I say? He’s cute. I swiped. A few days later so did he. And like that we matched. I understand that’s not the most romantic story, but what would follow comes close.

He said “hey” (plus a happy emoji). Not something cheesy or a pick-up line. Just hey. That was red flag number one. Haha, just kidding, I remember thinking that was odd as it had not been my experience with the other guys. Either way, I forged on and we struck up a conversation. We talked about several different things. Not at all forced or overly formal like it had been with the other guys. I remember thinking he’s super chill. We eventually got to the topic of him learning to dance. To which, I replied I’d like him to teach me a few moves. He said he was just beginning and that I’d have to be the judge of his dance skills. I saw my chance and I took it!

Mind you, I’d been waiting for this guy to ask me out on a date for a couple days now. So, what did I do? He said I’d be the judge of his dance skills, so I slyly responded, “When’s judgement day?” That’s (sadly) one of the coolest moments of my life. X) And just like that, I had a date with Chance. That whole process was different too. I guess I did ask him out, but I assumed he’d take over from there. Nope! He gave me a range of days, I gave him a range of times then he asked if I had any place in mind. It’s kind of cool how we decided on the date together.

 

Date Part 1: The Café

Tuesday sometime after 5 pm at a random café I picked from Google maps. Those were the official date plans. I got out of my rotation early that day to procrastinate for our date. I ended up showering and getting dressed then dashing out the door, wet hair and all. I almost jogged to the café (which was about ten minutes away) where I waited in front of a big green bush until Chance arrived. He was about 15 minutes late. It was cute how we found each other. He sent me a text he was outside but couldn’t see me, but that he was wearing a blue shirt. I’d already told him I was wearing a black and white shirt. We both turned a corner in the tiny parking lot in front of the café and seemed to notice each other at the same time. That was cute.

Ah! Detail. We’d been messaging in English ever since we matched. So, I said hello in English when I met him. He responded in English with saucers for eyes. I smiled and laughed internally, deciding “Spanish. Definitely switch to Spanish”. X) With that, I began speaking to him in Spanish. I could see him breath again and knew that was the right choice.

I’d never been to this café before, so it was a tad awkward to go inside and try to order. He’d never been to this café either. Eventually though, we ordered a coffee and sat down to talk. It was the epitome of small talk. All polite and neat. Eventually we finished our drinks and I waited for him to make some excuse to leave.

Instead! He asked if any of the pastries/ baked goods had looked appetizing. He wanted to keep talking! ❤ Aw! I’m not a complete idiot, so I followed him to the counter to pick out something sweet. I got some corn bread and he got a slice of carrot cake. A few moments later as we sat nibbling our respective treats, he asked if I’d like a bite of carrot cake. Cute! I offered him some of my corn bread and we continued chatting. Eventually he asked if he was everything, I expected he’d be. I said, mostly. However, I expected him to be more extroverted. He seemed to be by via text, but here I was chatting incessantly to fill up space. Boring stuff about my internship mostly. :p

He said he’s usually shy around new people, but is a completely different person with his closest friends. I smiled. I’m the exact same way. I suppose many “shy” people are this way. There’s just has to be trust to be oneself. Cake was gone. What now? He answered that quickly. “Want to go for a walk or something?”, he asked. My heart sang. “Yes!”, I replied.

 

Date Part 2: The Drive

Once we got outside though, he paused and asked if I preferred to walk or drive around for a bit. I thought for a second then said that as long as I ended back in my neighborhood, I was good with either. He chose the drive, so I hopped in this red Mazda to parts unknown. I didn’t ask and he didn’t tell. Maybe dangerous, since I don’t really know this guy, but definitely exciting. Here, in his car, he started to ease into the moment and the conversation. From this point onward, my memory turns hazy. It feels like a dream.

He told me he’s clumsy. I bragged that I’m also super clumsy, but oddly I stumble at least three times a week, but never fall. “I’ve mastered the art of catching myself!”, I said proudly. He told me about someone robbing his car some time back. I shared I’ve only had my bike stolen before and that broke my heart, couldn’t imagine someone robbing my car (which is back in Texas). He verified that I’ll only be in Puerto Rico till the end of my internship in June. Five months. I’ll be here for another five months. I asked what his future plans are and he said after graduating this summer, he plans to stay in Puerto Rico for a few more months before probably moving to the United States (Miami, Florida).

 

Date Part 3: Old San Juan

When we stopped, we were in Old San Juan. Everyone I know says it’s a must visit. They quote the nightlife and the art and history. What they didn’t mention is how beautiful the architecture is. The streets are big and open. A giant plaza. Here we started walking (again, I have no idea where to) and talking about his photography. That’s a big thing that stood out to me: his appreciation of beauty. So genuine. We found a bench to sit and chat. It was peaceful. There were lights in the distance from ships and buildings. The bench we were sitting on was a few feet from the marina and on the other side was the path to what Chance referred to as “the castle”, a historical looking building.

After some time, we walk up that path and find another bench by the castle as we chat about tattoos (Chance has two; I fear permanence). There are other people here hanging out around the benches a little ways away from us. Two steps- no, not even! Chance goes around the left side of the bench and probably sat down the exact moment my ankle gave out and I fell shin first onto the gravely rocks surrounding the bench. Ouch! Haha, real life foreshadowing. I shouldn’t have bragged about my not falling skills.

Luckily though, as part of that conversation, I’d also mentioned how I hate it when people try to help me up if I do fall and how my first instinct is to hop up and pretend like nothing happened. I don’t like making it a big deal. And that’s exactly what I did. I was laughing so hard! I jumped up cackling and limped to the opposite side of the evil bench to sit next to Chance. He was laughing too, asking if I was okay between chuckles. I assured him I was perfectly fine. And that if I wasn’t, I would never admit it. X)

It hurt, guys. A lot. Later when I assessed the damage, turns out I earned a conglomeration of about four to five big, ugly, green bruises on my right shin, one deep brown bruise on my left shin, and even a tiny brown bruise on my inner forearm. What the heck? Who knows, but at the moment I just laughed it off, trying not to let my wincing let on how much pain I was in. Who decorates the last step around a bench with rocks?!

Who knows how, but the next memorable part of this section of the night, apart from him asking me to ask him questions (he said he liked seeing how flustered I’d get trying to think of something) was when he subtly bragged about his kissing skills. It was something like “people say I’m a good kisser, but I don’t know, that’s just what they say…”. Oh, I got the hint, guys.

 

Interlude: A Word on Affection and Promiscuity

Let me be real for a sec. I told you guys I’m not promiscuous. Uhh, yes and no? See, I like affection. Physical or otherwise. But I don’t often get physical affection. At home, yeah, my mom and dad (even my brother sometimes) would give out free hugs. My best friend greets me with a hug. I have a cuddly dog. Here? For seven months I’ve been on a literal island. No family. A different version of friends (all interns which means they are also my peers). None of which are huggy types. Least of all the one I spend most time with (my roommate Axyl). It’s not like I need hugs to survive, but I admit they do help immensely.

Mini rant over. My point being, I’m deficient in hugs and cuddles. I figured this whole dating thing could give me a version of that. Hand holding and maybe a kiss at the end of dates, I didn’t think it’d be something I’d be morally conflicted about. I figured it’s logical. I want affection. Here are people who are looking for some sort of romantic relationship, which last time I checked, usually involves physical contact to some degree. It’s a dating app, not a church group. People know what they are signing up for. I figured, a kiss is a kiss. It doesn’t have to mean anything. I don’t have to be attracted or want a relationship out of someone to kiss them. That’s what I wanted to believe.

But when Chance brought up the topic, hinting at an opportunity to prove my new life philosophy right, I changed my mind. I thought, “I don’t really know this guy. I can’t kiss him!”. I did want that connection. Kisses do mean something to me. I still feel bad I held the hand of the first guy I went on a date with a week prior to writing this post and not going on a second date with him. Gosh. Do I feel bad. But yes, so I care. I’m a hopeless romantic who craves the touch of another human. Nothing strange about that.

 

Date Part 4: Romantic Rain

So, I glazed over his comment and changed the subject. I think Chance got the hint, because he didn’t insist. A guy who understands subtle hints. That, I like. It means he truly understands how I think. Or that’s how I interpret it. At this point, it’d started to sprinkle, so the people around us started walking back to the safety of their cars or restaurants nearby. On the other hand, Chance and I, though I don’t remember the topic, were engrossed in conversation, so I only mildly noticed the little droplets from the sky. Soon though, those droplets turned into drop-lots! (….I’m sorry. I had to.) We looked at each other and agreed to start walking back down the path away from the castle.

And walk we did! I mentioned to him how he’s the first person I know that doesn’t exaggerate about the rain. He walked. Didn’t run or try to even cover his head from the sky water. He just walked, calmly and contently. Right by my side. 😊 It was beautiful.

The crystalline water dripping off his strong jawline and the curls in his hair shone a light on his attractiveness and made him the epitome of male beauty. Maybe I read too many romance books… And the night isn’t over yet! Maybe about halfway there. But I hardly expect anyone to make it through what I’ve already written, so, this calls for a part two! Now, I’m a lady, but you turn on the heat and water turns to steam. If you didn’t understand that… don’t worry about it. XD If you catch my drift, come back for part two to read about the exact boiling point. 😉 Okay, I’m done with the lame chemistry puns. (Ha! Chemistry!) Okay, okay, I’m seriously done!

Thanks for reading. Expect part two by next Friday, February 22nd!

Week of February 4th 2019- Food Service Week 4 (The Week I Met Chance)

Um, I’m distracted. Gosh. Why do I like to complicate my life? I guess it makes for the best stories. Let’s just say that date with Chance went…well. Very well…

 

Monday, February 4th- Working on that Finance Case Study

Gia and I spent the whole day at the rotation (from 8:30 am to 5pm minus an hour for lunch) in the freezing cold cafeteria working on that darn case study. We were told it was due today or tomorrow, but when the preceptor asked me when we would be presenting I said Tuesday or Wednesday and Gia agreed on Wednesday. Thank goodness! X) Yep. I don’t remember doing anything exciting at home this day.

 

Tuesday, February 5th- INFATUATION?? …or a kindred spirit? First Date with Chance

Today was a fun day at the rotation. Yesterday Gia and I discussed the fact that if we were going to be freezing in that cafeteria working on the case study all day again we might as well bring coffee, some type of pastry, and assorted snacks. Why suffer? So, it was like an all day picnic. Haha, it was fun.

You know what was more exciting? My date with Chance. It was a whole mini series. Oh goodness. I’m… swimming. My mind and tummy are swimming. Geez. This wasn’t supposed to happen. I planned to date different guys and not be exclusive. I’m only in Puerto Rico for another five months! And it’s not like Chance and I are exclusive after one date, but I wouldn’t mind if that were the end result. I wanted to date to have fun. Something carefree. But… Oh goodness, someone please slap me.

The whole thing, and these are his words, were “like a scene from a romantic comedy. It was a hundred times better than expected.” I can’t even begin writing about the date or him. Ahh!! I’m not used to being this giddy. I promise, I’ll write about him and the date, but it was beautiful. …he’s beautiful… Gosh, okay, moving on! Expect that post on Wednesday, February 13th. (No, I’m not waiting until February 14th! Now that would be cheesy!)

 

Wednesday, February 6th- Spontaneous Meetup with Amanda

Gia and I worked on that case study all morning. We presented at mid-day and were dismissed. Yep. This rotation should be four weeks long. Yep. -___-

When I got back to my apartment I called home for the first time in, maybe a month. Oops.. A lot of things have happened and I hate calling home when I’m not okay. My parents can always tell and I don’t like to make them worry. But…I’m suddenly in a good mood… May or may not have to do with the unbelievable date I had yesterday. Definitely did not mention that to my mother. Nor will I. They, my dad especially, would just say I’m supposed to be in Puerto Rico to study, not meet boys. :/

Well, just as I had started cooking some beans, a fellow intern, Amanda, called me to say she was in the area. I put the beans on hold and almost skipped down to the cafe she was at to unravel the story of last night. I’m still swooning… However, both she and Axyl (my two closest friends in this internship) told me to keep dating other people. To which I could only whine and say, “I don’t want to date other people. He’s different”. And they could only shake their heads with disappointment. Ugh. They weren’t there. They don’t know how we connected. *content sigh*

 

Thursday, February 7th- Preceptor Humiliating us in Front of her Employees

The preceptor was a jerk today. She called us into the kitchen and quizzed us on different employee’s names and positions. She did this to prove that Gia and I aren’t spending enough time in the kitchen. It was just a demeaning way of proving her point. We are only at this rotation for one more day. Too little too late anyway! Plus, we spent the whole day doing some paperwork she has to do for employee hours. The preceptor keeps mentioning that this is supposed to be our staff relief week. But… we don’t have staff relief in food service. She just wishes we did.

Either way, we left early-ish and I’ve been procrastinating all day. I took a quick nap while Axyl made potatoes. Other than that, I’ve been chatting with Chance. I have all my assignments for this rotation due tomorrow, so I haven’t had the opportunity to see him in person again. Gosh. I should be working on those assignments, but… he’s so much more interesting…

 

Friday, February 8th- Worker Safety Presentation and Anabelle movies

It was a lame day. Didn’t really do much except wait around until Gia and I had to present a topic to the kitchen workers at the hospital. It went well. I liked it. Presentations are fun. Depending on the topic, of course. Mine was worker safety, so it was stuff they already knew. Don’t wave knives around and don’t leave banana peels on the floor. It was a little bittersweet saying goodbye. We didn’t really spend too much time getting to know everyone in the kitchen, but four weeks is four weeks.

Afterwards I came home to a hungry Axyl who wanted to go buy snacks for our horror movie night. We went to this pharmacy nearby which is really more like a Dollar General type shop with lots of cheapish things. I bought a plate and a couple of bowls. They have polka dots and are green. Cute! :3

Back at home, Axyl and I watched the next two Annabelle movies, though I swear we’d already watched Annabelle Creation. So…I fell asleep in the middle of it.

 

Saturday, February 9th- Impromptu Lunch Date with Chance

Woke up around 11am. Gosh, I was tired. I had barely gotten a cheese stick and some peanuts for breakfast when I got a message from Chance. He asked me if I’d eaten yet. Now, I’m a little dense, but I’m no dummy. I coyly responded that I hadn’t and he offered to pick something up so we could have lunch together. Aww! So sweet. 🙂

When he arrived though, a little boom emanated from under the hood of his car and some white smoke started billowing out. He seemed pretty chill about it though. Just let it cool down before taking a look. We ate lunch on a bench close to my apartment. It was some chinese food (my favorite). Things seemed calmer than the first time. Both of us were a little shy, as if we were meeting for the first time again. The first date was like a dream. It was dark and romantic. Now it was 2pm and the bags under my eyes were on full display along with my greasy I-am-exhausted-hair.

Still, we exchanged stories on different scars we have and customer service horror stories. It was a nice break from thinking about the assignments I have to do. I’ve only met up with him twice now, but when I’m with him it’s like being in a different world. It’s calm and safe and as close to a dream as life can get. *sighh I think I have it bad…

Ah, and about his car. It’s at the mechanic now. I called Richard for help and he speculates Chance’s car may have blown a gasket. Real life plot twist, huh?

 

Sunday, February 10th- I Have Too Many Assignments Due on Monday

Well, I procrastinated most of yesterday, so today I woke up and started working on this darn menu. I’ve done the little corrections to assignments, now I just need to do the menu modifications for a week, two program proposals, and the case study report. Plus build the binder to turn all that in. I’m stressed. And that’s only what I have to do for this rotation from last week. Looks like I’m not sleeping tonight. I should make coffee.

>>>

Next week is supposed to be chill though. This is what’s coming up:

  • Gia and I start a new rotation (finally!). It’s a small community center we will go to for food service experience.
  • Axyl goes out of town for a rotation. I get the apartment to myself for about four days! Yay!
  • I have another date with Chance on Tuesday. It’ll be our third date. 🙂
  • You guys will get to read the whole story about our fairytale first date on Wednesday February 13th.

 

 

An Exchange – Personal Poetry Collection

This is a bit of a cop out, but…. I’d rather do this than not post anything. Soo, remember I have a myriad of hobbies? Welp, here’s the poem that started it all. I wrote it for English class during 11th grade.  I got a good grade on it which encouraged me to keep writing more poems. Not sure if that was a good thing or not, but it was definitely a thing. X)

The assignment was to write a poem about love. It could be made up or real. Mine was inspired by a kind friend. (Link to the briefest of mentions about AJ here.)

***

An Exchange

January, 2013

He cares for you and protects you from harm.

You care for him but can not protect him.

He stays by your side despite your alarm.

He risks himself to help you from the rim.

 

Useless, you stand by as he thinks of you.

Meanwhile you think of him, and decide: no.

The unfairness overwhelms you. You rue

the time you met him. You wish he would go.

 

You must not burden him. He matters more

than your silly problems. This you know well.

With this you withdraw. You become poor.

You yearn for his thoughts. You yearn for his smell.

 

Him without your problems and you without

his company, makes you think, makes you doubt.

 

 

Week of January 28th, 2019- Food Service Week 3 (I Got to Help with a Catering Event and Had My First Date from that Dating App I Joined)

Long post warning! I had to describe the whole date. I just had to! XD

Monday, January 28th– Time and Temperature Study

Woo hoo! We actually did something at the rotation today! This is the third week at this hospital for our food service rotation. …Is it bad that I’m excited we had something to do? Today we did a time and temperature study. Basically, Gia and I measured how hot or cold different food items were when the kitchen staff was making the food trays for patients. Then we took the temperatures again when they arrived at the room our fake patient was. Instead of throwing my tray away, I asked if I could eat it for lunch and discovered that just because something is safe to consume according to the time and temperature measurements Gia and I took, it’s not necessarily ideal. I’ll just say this: most things were the perfect temperature to enjoy, gelatin was cold, soup was warm, but others could have been better.

Gia had to leave early today. She had an appointment, so at mid-day she was gone, and I was left in the rotation. It was nice. I got all my work done for the day. Then I went to the kitchen to see if I could help in some way. They were pretty much done for the day though, so I just chatted with one of the cooks. It’s no one’s fault but my own, but the fact remains that I do better by myself. After the rotation, I got home, changed, and went exploring. Specifically, I went in search of a print shop so I wouldn’t have to rush the next morning. Usually I have no choice but to print in the morning since I take my work home with me, but since I’d finished at the rotation today, I figured why not?

Then I slept. Gosh, Axyl left the apartment to go play tennis and by the time he came back I was still sleeping. Even more tired than when I had fallen asleep! This internship… I hope I survive.

 

Tuesday, January 29th– Gia Made a New Friend

No rush in the morning. Not at all. I didn’t want to get up. Axyl woke me when he got home last night around 7 or 8pm, so I got up, ate toast, and stared at a blank computer screen until midnight when I went to sleep again. *Sigh* This internship is exhausting. I woke up about half an hour before I had to go. Axyl is so sweet. He can see how exhausted I am. He tries not to make too much noise in the morning or turn on the overhead light, so I won’t wake up. I thank him for being so considerate.

At the rotation, we haven’t really done much. I’m writing this at 1:45 pm. We were supposed to be back from lunch at 1:15 pm to do some inventory/accounting stuff so I’ve been sitting here waiting. Gia, however, seems to have befriended the intern from another internship. They got back from lunch not even five minutes ago.

At home I spent my time dreading working on assignments and procrastinating by talking to my matches from the dating app. It’s a bit strange. I have three matches at the moment. Only have a pending date with one, but they all seem like cool people. Who knows what will come of this? I’m just glad to have people to message with.

 

Wednesday, January 30th– They Fed Me till I Wanted to Puke! Helping with the Catering Event

Gia and her new friend seem happy. They went to lunch together while I stayed eating a sandwich in the office by myself. When the dietitian, who graciously shares her desk with us interns returned, I left to get a coffee so she could have her desk back. Our preceptor had left to buy some things for this special event the kitchen was in charge of catering for that night and wasn’t back by the time lunch was over. Gia and her friend weren’t back yet either, so I went to the kitchen and helped with the event preparation. That was super fun! I got to help one of the chefs make a chicken dip, decorative lime display, and mousse cups. In return, the kitchen staff gave me a taste of pretty much anything they could. Oof! I wish I hadn’t had that coffee. I was already full before they started feeding me.

After that I wandered back to the office and found the preceptor. We were about to go to the finance department to get some paperwork when the nice chef I’d been helping came in with another delicious sample. It was a “superfood” salad. Please don’t ask me about superfoods. There is no one food that solves all of a person’s health problems or prevents them. Diet variety is key. Moving on. But anyway, this salad was a grain and greens salad with chickpeas, pumpkin seeds, and other things in a balsamic dressing. It was so good! I felt like I was about to throw up though. I was so full! X)

Eventually the preceptor and I made it to the finance department. On the way back, she started reminiscing about her intern days, which was really sweet. It’s nice to be reminded that these dietitians that allow us to come into their workplace and try to teach us about their specialty went through the same thing. Nutrition internships are intense… Anyway, when we got back to the office Gia was back from helping her friend do an acceptability study. I helped the preceptor balance the invoices Gia and I need to work on  for this case study I suggested. (It’s about analyzing purchasing order errors. Like accounting. Kind of lame, but I thought it’d be interesting.) Still, the kitchen staff kept feeding me. Gia looked at me a bit jealous, but whatever.

 

Thursday, January 31st– Working on an Accounting Case Study

This morning I asked for my corrected menu assignment back. The preceptor had had it for about two weeks and still hadn’t gotten it back to me. She gave it back and I started working on it. Then she called me and Gia into her office and went over the pending assignments making a comment about how the time we have in the rotation should be used to work on group things not our individual assignments. Guess what Gia was doing all day yesterday while I was balancing invoices with the preceptor for our shared case study? She was working on her menu! Why? Because it was supposed to be a two-week menu and she somehow only turned in one week of it. How is that fair? Mhm ‘kay.

So Gia and I went through all of the invoices and extracted data. Before starting that, we went upstairs to buy some breakfast. So, by the time lunch came around neither of us were very hungry. Gia suggested just going to get some coffee, and I obliged. It was the cutest tiny coffee shop across the street. After drinking a cup of coffee Gia left and I bought some Doritos to make time. 30 minutes later I returned to the hospital where Gia and I kept going through invoices.

Back at home I got a new match on that dating app I joined. Let’s call him Chance. He’s a year younger than me. I don’t usually go for younger guys, but I’m all for benefit of the doubt.

 

Friday, February 1st– Renal Orientation and Amanda Chopped Off My Hair

I stayed up all night working on an important assignment. Gosh, that was some strong coffee! At 6:30 am I rode with some of my fellow interns (Sue, Amanda, and Axyl) to go to an orientation for our renal rotations. Renal is one of the few rotations that are individual. This means I don’t have to go with Gia for this one. This is good and bad. Good because being with one person for a year will drive anyone insane. Bad because- well this can also be good, but- no shared work. Everything will be up to me. Eh, I’ll survive. Renal is notorious for being the most difficult rotation though. That’s why they give all of the interns an orientation at once.

It was intense. Imagine four two-hour lectures back to back to back to back. Oh, and the topics are stats, anatomy, physiology, and medical nutrition therapy. All about kidneys. I took a ton of notes. Not just because notes are a good idea for long lectures, but more so I wouldn’t fall asleep!

After the orientation, Sue drove Axyl and me home. Amanda tagged along as she had promised to cut my hair and recently Axyl’s hair too. Axyl went first and he turned out okay. I told Amanda I wanted bangs and a trim but that I trusted her to decide how to do that. Welp. The trim part was lost in translation. I see her cutting my bangs, a little snippet to the side then a big snippet towards the back. Not in bang territory anymore. A big chunk of hair. I asked what she was doing and she replied she was giving me a new look. ….it was too late to salvage my long hair. A whole chunk was missing! So, I told her as much and she kept going.

I was growing out my hair. It was almost down to my hips. Maybe an inch or more to go. …Now it’s about an inch or two away from my shoulders. It looks great! But it wasn’t what I was expecting. I was in shock. Goodness. Oh well. It’s just hair. I told Amanda if I were another person she would have been in trouble. You have to make triple sure before you lob off a long-haired girl’s mane! That takes dedication! *sigh* Nothing left to do but embrace my new short look..

 

Saturday, February 2nd– First Date with a Match from the Dating App! …He Took Me to the Mall…. -_____-

Got a hot date! XD I need to write about my matches. It’ll probably be its own post. Haha, I sound like such a slut…. At least that’s what Axyl calls me. We get along a little too well now. X) The date was interesting… Let’s call this guy Jay. So, Jay was my first match on the dating app. He made me laugh right off the bat and seemed decent. He’s the geeky type who likes anime and video games, but from the conversation I’d had with him through the app, he still seemed capable of talking about other things. Which is important! That’s why I asked to meet up with him. He said yes and suggested going to the mall. -____- That was odd.

Okay, I know age is just a number, but I feel it necessary to say this guy is 29. And he suggested going to the mall. I still went. It was the most awkward thing at first. He didn’t seem to have a plan at all. I asked if we had an end destination or if he just wanted to walk around? He opted for walking. We ended up going inside a store where we stood awkwardly by the anime rack chatting. More like him talking about anime. I have nothing against anime. I like it. However! I haven’t watched many, so I can’t really have a good conversation about it.

Eventually we moved to a bench and just chatted there. That was the best part. The conversation started flowing and I started to relax. He complimented my hair and told me I looked pretty. Hee hee! At some point I remembered Axyl had asked me to text him sometime during the date to make sure Jay wasn’t some psycho. I did and that’s when we noticed we’d been talking for two and a half hours! I asked him what would happen then because I was hungry and he could come with or without me. He opted to come with and so I asked if we’d be going in his car since I got there by train to which he responded there was food at the mall. -____- When a girl says let’s get out of here…. Oh gosh. This boy needed a slap across the face.

So, we ate at the food court. He, the gentleman he is, gave me a coupon for free fries. That’s what I ate. I got anxious and didn’t order a sandwich. My explanation? “I like potatoes…. Not a lot! Just the normal amount! ….” *face palm* Why am I so awkward?! I joked that my friends had asked me if he was going to take me to the arcade since he’d suggested going to the mall. …so, we went to the arcade. I sucked at air hockey and pac man but completely crushed him at Mario Kart! So, it was okay. Then he suggested going to the bookstore. Alright. At this point I was ready to go. I gave him about ten more minutes before saying it was getting late and that I should be going.

He offered to drive me to the train stop and asked for my hand as we walked to his car. Holding hands was nice. He’d mentioned he liked to go slow on the whole physical thing. :/ I’m not anything close to a sexually liberated human being. But… a girl has needs. This boy just stood there awkwardly when we got to the train station as I said, “well, looks like this is goodbyeee….”. I was waiting for him to do something! Hug, kiss, a handshake even! Nothing! This boy just stood there!! So, I put my arms out for a hug. That was nice. Gosh. I don’t want to sleep with a ton of guys, but I am deficient in hugs. I just want some hugs! We agreed to hang out sometime and with that I went inside the train station.

 

Sunday, February 3rd– Errands with Axyl

Got up late. Axyl had told me to set an alarm early to go do laundry, but we both ended up waking up around 10am… oops. After laundry we tried going to Costco, but it seems that bus doesn’t run on weekends. Instead we went to a regular grocery store. Then I got irrationally sad and have been procrastinating since. Gosh, I have to finish a case study for tomorrow. :p

***

QUESTION TIME!

Hi. ^-^ I know I’m super busy all the time, but I want to hear from you guys! Maybe I’ll make it big one day and not have time to respond to comments but for now I do have the attention span to go through the one comment a month that I get. Take advantage of that, guys! (I mean maybe I won’t make it big ever, but hey! No need to be so pessimistic!)

If you have a follow up question about something I mentioned like “so what happened with your new match?” (hint, something is happening with him), or if you have a comment like “I can’t believe he asked you out to the mall!”, or even a similar experience like “ooh! This last time I went to get my hair cut the lady ended up making my hair green! And I didn’t even schedule a dye that day!!”. Anything! I’d love to hear from you guys. Okay, well anything as long as it isn’t mean/bullying. That’s not cool. Other than that, have at it! Let me know what you think! 🙂

I want to try something. I hope it inspires some comments. I’ll leave you guys a question at the end of each weekly post… until I am convinced it won’t work, I guess. I’m curious,

How would you have reacted if someone drastically cut your hair without you explicitly agreeing to it?

 

Coming Up Next Week:

  • Accounting case study due
  • Date with Chance
  • Last week in food service rotation

It’s not much, but I can’t predict the future. Other exciting things could happen. Come back next Monday to find out! 😀

 

 

Week of November 20th- Thanksgiving Week-Part 1

The moment has come. If you think my life is like a real-life soap opera, then get ready, because this week is probably the most eventful one I’ve had first hand. As you may or may not know, depending on if you read my weekly blogs, I got pretty busy/discouraged/whatever you want to call it/these are just excuses and I stopped writing for this blog in the middle of November last year. So, I started re-capping those weeks every Friday starting last Friday. The week before this, I had a good week. I was in my telemedicine rotation for my nutrition internship with my internship partner Gia and I got to express my creative side. That, plus the kind evaluation from the preceptor I had that week was just what I needed to get out of this long grasp of sadness I had been in.

A Word about Gia’s Experiences

That week wasn’t as helpful for Gia, though. She claims she isn’t a creative type (something I think she could be if she’d let herself, but these are digressions). For her, the whole week was just work and another evaluation. She’d been slowly getting more and more discouraged and just done with this internship and life in Puerto Rico. It was in the following week- Thanksgiving week- that she finally had enough.

She told me she was ready to go home and that she didn’t know if she wanted to be a dietitian and that it was too much financial strain to put her family through (the internship is 40 hour work weeks not including travel time or business trips out of town with no pay or transport and extra assignments and projects on top of that, so getting a job is difficult to say the least). She had told me this all before, but something was different. I could tell she was ready to do something about how she felt.

At first, I tried as I always did when someone came to me with similar concerns (trust me, she wasn’t the only person to express such thoughts to me). I asked her to remember why she had started, urged her not to give up halfway through. What I did not do was beg her to stay, and much less to stay for my sake. Since we are internship partners, we go to every rotation together (remember we are both not from Puerto Rico, so everywhere we go is new). We often get assignments that are meant for us to do together (essentially each of do half the work) and well, it’s a big commitment. But I didn’t guilt her into anything. In fact, after my initial attempt to urge her to see the bright side or the benefits of staying, I gave up on her.

I did. I wasn’t going to keep her around by force or guilt. She would just keep feeling awful the rest of the internship year, if she didn’t, on her own account, decide she wanted to stay. So, I gave up. I figured she’d go to the brink and stay… or not. But I was gambling that she’d stay.

The Fallout- Ambush Meeting with Gia and the Director of the Program

Welp, how did that go for me? Gia went to the director and they talked for HOURS. I was in the department of health, as were two other interns that day, since it was Thanksgiving week and that Tuesday and Wednesday were optional for us to work. It was Tuesday and I remember me and the two other interns were chatting in the morning while Gia went into her meeting with the director. Here in Puerto Rico everyone and their grandmother eats lunch at exactly 12 ‘o clock noon, so when the time came the three of us interns working in the office left to take our hour lunch break. We came back at 1pm and still no sign of Gia or the director. Some time after, maybe 20 to 30 minutes, and the director comes to where we interns are and asks if I’ll go with her for a minute. I say yes and follow her to a little balcony type area where I see a guilty looking Gia staring at the table in front of her avoiding my gaze.

The director invites me to sit and then does so herself. After which she says, that if I don’t want to be in this internship that’s fine, but I have to find a way to deal with those feelings because they are affecting my partner who does want to be here.

Yes. I wish I could say I’m making that up for dramatic effect, but it’s what actually happened. I felt like someone had punched me in the gut. I felt blindsided. I glanced at Gia. She was still staring at the table. I couldn’t speak. I don’t remember what happened immediately after; I was just so shocked. Throughout the course of this ambush (I don’t think meeting is the right word for what it was), the director told me at least four separate times that if I wanted to leave the internship or I decided it wasn’t the best option for me that there would be no hard feelings and that it was a perfectly valid option and that she would support me in whatever career choice I made. That it would not reflect badly on me.

Director Told Me I Had Disrespected Her. Twice.

She also told us interns at the orientation stage of the internship back in August that interns are significantly more likely to get kicked out of the program for disrespect than for turning in late assignments, academic struggles or anything else. Then she told me I had disrespected her twice already. WHAT?! I, a meek, quiet, would rather not say anything than say the wrong thing, (arguably) a generally nice person, had disrespected her?! Twice?! That was shock #2!

I asked how I had disrespected her. She told me the first was when I didn’t have an assignment that was due. If you read that blog (link here), you’ll know that that week I had my clinical case study, a clinical rotation, and had barely slept or ate. It was a horrible week. I could have turned in both assignments half done, but I made a choice and decided to focus on the case study that I had to present to the director and my fellow nine interns. So, I didn’t have the grant proposal to turn in that day.

The director had a strong suspicion that I wouldn’t have it, maybe that’s why she went around the room asking each intern to hold up their grant proposal and asking them if they had it. When it was my turn, I simply replied no. I wasn’t about to beg or make excuses, especially not in front of all the other interns. That was apparently disrespect #1. She said she took it as if I was challenging her authority by not turning in something she had assigned with the way I answered.

Disrespect #2

The second disrespect was when I didn’t know the right answer. This was a month or so after the first incident when another intern was presenting her case study. After her presentation, the director asked the audience of us interns a question. Something about the adverse effects of iron and patients with constipation. I’ll spoil it for you and tell you that the reason iron supplements aren’t recommended to patients with constipation is that iron can cause constipation, so that’d just make the original problem worse. Well, I didn’t know that at the time, so when the director got tired of waiting for someone to answer, she singled me out to answer the question. I did not know the answer. Also, before I used to use critical thinking and apply what I already knew to make educated guesses when I didn’t know something for sure. However, a preceptor had beaten that out of me.

She was my first clinical preceptor. Remember the last month, back in September when I stopped writing for this blog? It was that rotation that completely discouraged me about my chosen career. That preceptor told Gia that she and I had to stop guessing. That’s how she called it. So, I stopped thinking critically. By the time the director asked me that question about iron, I was so defeated and tired and done that I just said, “I don’t know.” That was disrespect #2.

Closing Remarks

The last memorable comment the director made was about my reaction when I found out I’d failed my case study. That case study I just told y’all I suffered for and didn’t even turn in my grant proposal because I was so focused on working on it? Yep, that’s the one. I presented in front of my nine peers and the director having slept maybe three hours in the past two days only to fail it. When I found out, I didn’t say a thing. I just got the information about what would happen (that I’d have to do another case study and present again) and said nothing. Gia cried. (She also failed hers.) When the director told me I did not have a normal reaction to failing my case study, I wanted to shout “What was I supposed to do? CRY? Like Gia?!”.

Gosh. Even just thinking about this again is getting me fired up. At the moment I felt ambushed. Here I was called into an unforeseen meeting with the director of my internship program and my internship partner being told that my depressive tendencies are dragging my partner down and that I need to learn how to manage that for her sake (not even for my sake!) Gosh. I need a break. I am too angry to write about this.

Alright, so it’s the next day and I see that this post is already over two pages long. You know what that means! SUSPENSE! I’m going to make this a two-part post. If you think this meeting is the exciting part of the week, you aren’t wrong, but something else happens that matches it in drama. Plus… the meeting isn’t over.

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.