Week of March 8th 2019- Chronic Disease Prevention (Wow. This was Worse Than the Renal Rotation.)

Monday, March 8th- Waiting for the Pain and Getting Bananas Instead

Woah! I’m being responsible and writing for my daily blog post on a daily basis instead of at the end of the week or worse yet, more than a week later…. Wrong! I mean, it is Monday, March 8th as I write this, but the only reason I’m here is because I don’t want to work on other responsibilities of mine. Woo hoo! Welp, this week I’m in a rotation with a name something along the lines of prevention of chronic diseases. Really, it’s not that big of a deal. It’s just a super work heavy rotation. Ah, and it’s individual. Gia is at the food bank while I’m here. (I was at the food bank when she was here about a month ago. I’d much rather be at the food bank since that was all manual labor and no homework, but eh, I had my time.

People complain that this is the worst rotation. That the preceptors are super rude and crush any and all self esteem you may have. As of yet, it’s not that bad. Hopefully they’re just drama kings. Yes, the guys have been the most complain-y. Maybe us girls are just more used to constant criticism to our character and self worth. …that was a super stereotypical joke. That I do not apologize for because from my experience (I am female) it rings some truth. It doesn’t matter anyway. Suffering is relative. There is no greater or lesser suffering. It’s all just suffering.

Not much for me in this rotation yet. The director of my internship gifted me about 15 bananas. That one isn’t a joke. She just asked if I wanted to make banana bread and gave me a bag full of bananas! Not a bad day…

 

Tuesday, March 9th- Wow. That was quick.

So, it’s bad. I spent the day in the Department of Health working on assignments again. At this point it wasn’t so much the word she said, which weren’t rude, so much as the tone she chose to say those words in. I’ve never been a very self motivated person. So I arrived on Monday with the minimum amount of work done and the next day I arrived with a bit less than the minimum. I got home and procrastinated then set to work late and didn’t sleep much. Not much sleep=even less energy.

At this point I was sure the preceptor thought I was a lazy slacker, which… eh, partially true. Her tone just reinforced my negative thoughts and this was the fateful beginning of a downhill snowball week. :/ Gosh. I know if I thought better of myself and didn’t let my fragile self confidence snap at the ugly gaze of an uncaring stranger this week it wouldn’t have been bad. Maybe it is just me. Maybe it’s just in my head. Maybe there’s no such thing as depression. Or maybe there is, but that’s not my main problem. Maybe I’m just a “self indulgent little girl” and that’s the cause of my problems. That’s a quote from my favorite movie (Girl, Interrupted).

I don’t know what to think. The facts are these. I spent the day re-working and re-doing two powerpoint presentations I was responsible for presenting to high schoolers and middle schoolers the next day. I also turned in the radio skit I’d been slaving over the previous day. When I’m sad, stressed, self loathing, depressed, whatever you want to call it those feelings will manifest in different ways. I feel like they are inevitable. That I can’t fight them, so I don’t. But maybe I can… I don’t know. Two big ones now are that I’ll be extremely tired. I was falling asleep as I worked. Also, I hadn’t slept much, which didn’t help. Another is that I’ll work/move much slower than normal. I wonder if it is all in my head…

 

Wednesday, March 10th- Presentations at a High School and a Middle School

My dream is not to be a dietitian. I studied for that career path for my Bachelor’s degree and am currently in an internship to become a dietitian. But this isn’t my dream. My dream is to be a teacher. Specifically a high school teacher. When I tell people that’s my dream job they look at me like I’m crazy. They don’t understand that I want to teach high school because I feel like that’s a deciding time for people. That’s when a supportive teacher who believes in students could change lives. It’s when students are still kids in the sense that they are still growing up, but are close enough to adulthood that they don’t have to be babied. That’s the way I see it.

Under any other circumstances, I would have been stoked to present an educational topic to a library full of high schoolers. But not this day. This day I had to present a topic I didn’t even know anymore after so many revisions. I looked for so many sources and between working on this presentation and the other one and the radio outline plus my heavy feelings of self pity… well I couldn’t even explain the things on the slides well. Much less make them entertaining for an audience of blank faced Puerto Rican high schoolers. It was completely embarrassing and a waste of a morning assembly. But I was comforted by the fact that I’d likely never ever run into any of these island dwelling teens after I completed my internship and moved back to good ol’ Texas.

The dietitian supervising me gave a short presentation to make up the rest of the hour I was supposed to fill when my presentation ended too soon. For my presentation she chidingly told me to make it more engaging and take up the whole hour. This one had only been corrected once and honestly, I didn’t know it in much detail. It was about the different food groups. How was I supposed to talk about why you should eat your fruits and vegetables and stuff to middle schoolers for a whole hour?! I just nodded my head and jumped into it blind. It went a million times better than expected. The kids were interacting and (expect for the usual lulls in teenage attention spans) they paid attention. It was amazing! The first presentation broke my heart and began cracking at my dreams of being a teacher, but this presentation, it renewed my convictions.

 

Thursday, March 11th- Yesterday, I Spent the Afternoon in the Emergency Room (not the patient) and Today I was on the Radio.

Yes, so yesterday after the school presentations I was working on assignments at the Department of Health when the director got a call from Axyl. It was a medical issue and one that he should be in the emergency department for. The director dismissed me from the last hour of my day to go with him. If you guys have read my older weekly blogs, you’d know that most of us interns from abroad do not have family here in Puerto Rico. You would also know that Axyl had a falling out with a couple of other interns too, namely Robin and Karen. So…that left me. I’m the closest thing to family he has here and the director knows that. I met up with him then headed to an ER (emergency room) where we stayed until around midnight when they dismissed him, saying his abdominal pain wasn’t anything serious. Oh well. Good news, I guess.

At the rotation I was supposed to be on the radio in the morning and then do a supermarket tour in the afternoon. Well, I didn’t get to work on the supermarket outline of what I was going to say because other than being sad and unmotivated, I was in an ER the whole afternoon. I bumped into the dietitian I am with this week when I arrived at the Department of Health. She greeted me and asked how I was. I was visibly tired and replied “So-so, something happened.”, then proceeded to explained how I’d come to spend the previous day in the ER keeping my friend company. You know what this grown, insensitive woman’s reaction to that was? She asked me “but did you get to finish the assignments for today?”.

I’m not going to get into it here, but I know that dietitian and Axyl have bad blood. Regardless, that’s just cold. Okay, moving on. This is making me mad all over again. We went to another town to do the radio show with her and her (slightly nicer) dietitian co-worker. The radio bit was fun. It was probably the thing I was least nervous about this week and I’d be delighted to do another radio show someday (with different co-hosts, of course!). In the afternoon the heartless dietitian I’m with told me I was lucky she and her co-worker were free the next morning so that I could do the supermarket tour then. Of course, (“this is important!”, she said) I would get points off for it being late, so I’d have to do a great job tomorrow or the points wouldn’t add up and I would not be able to pass the rotation. It’s not the first time she “hinted” at my not passing the rotation, so eh, it didn’t faze me.

 

Friday, March 12th- Shopping Tour Disaster

As you may gather from the title of today. The tour didn’t go well. I didn’t dilly-dally. After the radio show it was as if all my self doubt was magically lifted. I didn’t feel the heavy pull of sadness and self loathing on my limbs. I felt light and able! I felt awake and up for the challenge! I read through material convinced that it’d be better if I knew the material than simply taking notes to read aloud. Seems I was wrong. But it doesn’t matter. Anyway I prepared for this, I know it would have been a disaster. I had notes for the first section. I supposedly had knowledge for the second.

I was her face. Both dietitians came, but it was my preceptor’s face that disturbed me. From the first fruit I discussed (a wretched pineapple [one cup of contains about 133% of the vitamin C you need in a day, by the way]) she had this concerned face. If it had been disgust or doubt maybe I could have pushed through, but it was concern. Like she was watching a train wreck and just couldn’t look away. It was awful. From then, I stumbled over my facts and promptly forgot what I’d studied and not written down convinced I’d remember. It felt like I was being dragged around the grocery store being poked and prodded for facts and knowledge nuggets I did not have. *sigh*

“Well, I failed this rotation.” Those were the first words I spoke to the director when I returned to the Department of Health after that pitiful supermarket tour. She told me not to worry about it, probably thinking it couldn’t have gone as bad as it did. I didn’t argue. I had had enough. I’ve been through so much criticism throughout this internship. From preceptors (dietitians that are supposed to take us under their wing and teach us, a new one each week), fellow interns, even the director of the program herself.

Preceptors have told me I have no initiative because I’m quiet. My internship partner has told me I’m a bad human being and a terrible partner. The director assured me three times in the course of 20 minutes that if I wanted to leave the program that she would understand and support my decision as if she were urging me to get out of her internship. Those things hurt, but I thrived. I proved them wrong. I’m still here. My partner has since told me I’m a good partner and thanked me for helping her in anything I can. The director has since had a change of heart after seeing my renewed spirit when I didn’t let her bully me out of her internship.

But this dietitian with her concerned face by the rack of pineapples broke me. I spent the afternoon holding back tears and gulping down the lump in my throat as I worked to finish the last few assignments for this nightmare rotation. I wonder if self confidence would have made as much of a difference as I suspect. Maybe. The mind is a powerful thing… but mine’s a weakling.

 

Saturday, March 13th- Brooding

Another Saturday that I spent laying in bed amongst my filth of granola bar wrappers, mounds of clean unfolded clothes and random papers piling up in the crevices.

 

Sunday, March 14th- Delayed Dad

My dad was supposed to arrive this afternoon. He’s coming to visit me for Easter. Why Easter? Well, we got the week off. No rotations! So I have time to show him around the island that has been my home for (almost!) the past year. However, the corrections for my assignments from hell week are due next Monday, so I have to work on that this coming week while he’s here. :/

Not sure how, but he missed his flight and instead of arriving around 3pm, he’d arrive at 3am on Monday. Surprise 12 hour change of plans. :/ It’s fine because that gave me time to laze around in the morning, pick up the key to the Airbnb we’ll be staying at until Wednesday, and clean. Yes. I finally cleaned! It’d been at least a month of stressful living in the mess of my creation. But I know the mess bothers Axyl, so before leaving for the week I made sure to clean everything. I tidied my bed area, dresser, mini fridge, and desk. The only thing I didn’t do (it was 2am by this point) was wash the remainder of my dishes. I’d swing by the next day to do so.

At 2am I left for the Airbnb and waited for my dad’s taxi from the airport to arrive. When it did at 3am, I began to excitedly plan out the week’s events before falling asleep, satisfied and at peace for the first time this week.

 

Coming up Next Week!

  • Easter week off!! Hooray!! My dad is here to keep me company. 🙂 I’m so glad to have him here. I want to show him everything, but he’s getting old and can’t keep up like he used to. Let’s see where all I can take him. 😀
  • Working on assignment corrections from this week’s hellish rotation. Ugh. :/
  • Maybe getting volunteer hours at the food bank with my dad? Maybe? heeheehee…. I’m too lazy for my own good…

My Experience with Self Harm (Don’t Worry, I’m a Wimp)

It Started Again with a Zit

I had this monstrous zit, almost on the tip of my nose, this past week. I’m talking massive, like the size of a reasonable thumbtack. A zit that my roommate kept bugging me to pop. I have a bit of a problem with picking, so I’d been restraining myself from doing that. Plus, I know every time I’ve popped a zit in my life, it’s gotten worse and taken longer to heal than when I’ve left it alone and let it go away on its own.

He kept bugging me about it. I popped it while he was asleep. Pus oozed out. Then blood. A lot of blood. I felt there had to be more pus. Why was there so much blood? I wanted all of it out. Like when I pick at an ingrown hair with a needle until I manage to get it out. I needed all the pus out of this enormous zit. So, I told myself not to, but I got out my pack of needles. And I start stabbing holes into this blemish then squeezing out more blood.

Eventually, some clear liquid comes out, but it’s still mostly blood. I keep picking with the needle, going around this slow forming blood clot and squeezing until only the tiniest drop of clear liquid is struggling to come out. It was oddly satisfying to pick at my face with the needle. Sometimes it hurt, but at the tip of this zit I couldn’t feel anything and managed to essentially pierce from one side of the zit to the other. I pulled up, but the skin I’d pierced was too thick to rip apart. I was slightly paranoid my roommate would wake up and find me with a needle to my nose, and the two bloody tissues smeared with blots of blood. He was sleeping naught two feet away from me, but he didn’t wake.

I’d Wanted to Cut, At First, but I’m More of a Picker

I’ve always thought myself a pansy for not being brave enough to cut myself. The two times I’ve tried it, I couldn’t commit. I was too scared. But, I like seeing the blood when I’ve picked at ingrown hairs on my legs in the past. Now this with my nose. I had another instance where I got something stuck in the palm of my hand. I think I fell on the sidewalk or something which pushed some rock or metal into the palm of my hand.

Thing was, there was this diminutive, pathetic bit of something lodged in my palm and I was extremely stressed with the stuff in my life. This was last fall, by the way. So, it was my first semester of my nutrition internship.  That was awful. One day, my roommate, seeing how stressed out of my mind I was, asked if he could do anything to help and what did I want? I wanted to borrow his thin, precise tweezers to get this stupid thing out of my palm. I did manage to get it out. Or I thought I did.

A few days later I went in again, with his tweezers (and then my needle when that didn’t work) to get some black stuff out of the same spot where I swore I’d already taken out the foreign object. Looking back, I’m almost certain that second thing I agonized about, and near surgically removed with my needle, was a blood clot. It just bothered me so much. I didn’t want a marred palm! Especially from something as stupid as falling! It was deep. I thought I might be giving myself a scar with how far I drove that needle into my skin. But I couldn’t stop.

I needed the stuff out of my hand! At one point it did hurt, but I needed it out. My vision was laser focused on that one point in my palm and everything else was blurry. The world didn’t seem real when I turned away from my hand after the job was done. It felt… amazing. Satisfying. I get that way when picking at my legs. I’ve never picked without a purpose. Ingrown hair, thing jammed into my hand or, now, giant zit on my face. But… it worries me that I’ve found a way to make myself bleed that doesn’t scare me.

 

“We all do things”

I’ve been tempted by self harm for years, but like I said, I’m too much of a pussy for that. Also, I don’t like the concept of scars. I don’t want to be reminded of how much I hate myself everytime I look at my skin. I don’t like marks or imperfections on my skin, as you guys can probably tell from the hand picking story. So, cutting just never added up for me.

But, as a character in my favorite book, Cut by Patricia McCormick, says, “we all do things”.  Yes, we all find a way to cope with our miserable existence. Some people cut, some people drink, some people work even harder.  I binge eat, sing, and recently, sleep. As calming as picking is, I don’t want it to become a thing. It doesn’t bother me, but I know it’s understandably gruesome. I don’t know what I’m saying anymore. I just wanted to vent about having a big zit on my nose. And it turned into a whole post. Gosh. I suck.

 

Note:

Wow. Okay. It’s a day later, but it feels like much more than that. Sorry if that upset anyone. I am not promoting self harm, just sharing my not so disapproving personal experiences on the topic. I understand self harm isn’t ideal or a good coping strategy. I’m very stressed at the moment and find it hard to make sense. I’m not taking the post down, because it’s more of my story as jumbled and nonsensical as it was written. Also, I’m having a really hard time writing for this blog and a post is a post. Yeahh, sorry again.

Week of March 11th 2019- Cardiovascular Hospital (Thoughts on Organ Transplants and Bingeing)

Man, keeping up with this blog is getting difficult. :< Here’s a recap of the week.

 

Monday, March 11th- First Day at the Cardiovascular Hospital

I was about 10 minutes late to my first day at the cardiovascular hospital. I never liked my clinical rotations. Working at a hospital is boring and depressing. People are sick/dying and most of them don’t care for a dietitian’s help. Most of them just ended up asking where I’m from because of my accent. It’s like, FOCUS! Geez! You are in a hospital. Let me help you! Gosh.

At this hospital since it’s specialized in heart diseases it was a bit easier. Pretty much every diet was low sodium and it was a lot easier to talk to people. Not a bad day.

 

Tuesday, March 12th- Different Dietitian’s Processes

The dietitian the previous day was very boom, boom, boom, trying to get through her patient list quickly. It’s crazy. They can get up to 30 new patients in a day and are responsible for evaluating all of them. Before this hospital I’d evaluated no more than 4 patients in a day. Here we did about 6 each just before noon. It was crazy but cool.

The second dietitian (the one that would evaluate Gia and I) was a bit different. She was fast, but took it a bit more calm. She’d take about 75% of the patients and give me the other 25% so that we’d finish at the same time and would then chat with me. It’s so weird. The clinical preceptors I’d had were not at all personable. Or maybe I wasn’t as open to it back then. Maybe! HA! I know I wasn’t.

 

Wednesday, March 13th- A Word on Organ Transplants

I saw more patients today. Blah. So I’ll tell y’all one more thing about yesterday. I got to see an outpatient evaluation at the heart transplant clinic. It was interesting to see. Apparently in Puerto Rico, people have to get evaluated in several areas before being put on a transplant list. This includes medical, psychological, nutrition, and social work check ups. I know the U.S. requires something similar, but I don’t know exactly how that goes. It’s unfortunate to get hung up in the process, but I think it’s important because it’s only more suffering and, I daresay a waste, to grant someone a transplant who can’t maintain/ benefit from it.

It’s harsh, but if a person gets a transplant but doesn’t have the physical capacity to heal from the surgery (medical), can’t afford to pay for the necessary medications to maintain it (social work), doesn’t stick to a healthy diet to keep the organ functioning properly (nutrition), or commits suicide (psychology), the transplant wasn’t worth it and the organ should have gone to someone who would have been able to maintain it. It’s tough, but true.

 

Thursday, March 14th- Free Day, Yay? Try not to Binge, Guys. It’s No Fun.

No rotation today! There was a meeting or something, so we didn’t have to come in. Haa… that was kind of awful. I’m so un-self motivated. I spent the whole day pacing my apartment and cooking. Which, of course, meant eating. Sometimes when I’m stressed I just want to eat. It helps distract me from whatever it is I’m stressing about. And, as an added boost, it punishes me afterward.

When I’m feeling particularly down I’ll eat until I feel like throwing up. I really hate throwing up, so I just have to sit with the uncomfortably full feeling until it passes. If the stress is bad enough, I’ll still feel the urge to keep eating. So I’ll be on the brink of throwing up and still eating. The suffering will feel right. Like I deserve to feel bad on top of all the stress. It’s messed up.

So I ate all day then ordered pizza and wings to eat late at night. My roommate got a job and is thus not in the apartment a lot so… now I have the liberty to do this stupid stuff again. Ugh. Gosh.

 

Friday, March 15th- Last Day at the Cardiovascular Hospital

Today I got to meet a couple of nursing students who came to the dietitian I was with to learn about the basics of a low sodium diet. It was fun. I wanted to take them by the arm and teach them everything I know. D: I want to be a professor so bad!

Ah, and since it was the last day all the rotation’s assignments were due today. I had a free day yesterday. What did I do? Wait until 1 am to start working on everything? Yes. Yes, that’s what my stupid face decided to do. -____- Gosh. So, today I took a nap as soon as I got back to my apartment. Didn’t do much before going to sleep for the night either.

 

Saturday, March 16th- Procrastinating as per usual

Still wasting my life away. That’s what I say when someone asks me what I’m doing and I’m procrastinating. Augh. Next week is the first of two weeks of my renal rotation. I’m not looking forward to it. It’s clinical and the most complex of them. Of course I woke up at a bright and early noon today. :/ Didn’t want to be awake. And I’ve been procrastinating today. Honestly, I’m just happy to have gotten this post written. I’ve had days where I can’t even motivate myself to write for my blog, so this is good.

The next two weeks are going to be incredibly trying, but I’ll try to keep up here.

 

Sunday, March 17th- Car Renal Madness

I thought the week was going to be over without any major events. HA. That couldn’t be my life. No, instead, Gia and I went to pick up our rental car for our out of town rotations to begin on Monday and were going to be charged almost double. We said, no thank you and looked for other options. We went down a street with several other car rental places and they all either said they didn’t have any more cars available for the day or they charged us more than $300 (for four days, mind you!!).

Ugh. It was a nightmare. We were supposed to pick up the car at 7pm. I didn’t get back to my apartment until 11pm. This was after getting lost on the highway for a long time, of course. It was so dark, and ugh. I’m just glad it’s over. I hope tomorrow goes much more smoothly.

 

Coming Up Next Week!

  • First week of renal rotation in a different city. Stressful!
  • Nutrition conference on Friday.
  • That’s it. That’s more than enough. I’m going to avoid as many people as possible.
  • Hope I survive.

Week of February 11th 2019- Non-Profit Food Service (Going to Chance’s House for the First Time and More Adventures in Dating)

It is Wednesday, February 20th as I write this. I’m sorry. This time it wasn’t that the week was so awful I didn’t want to think about it. I mean, yes and no. Well, just read on…

 

Monday, February 11th- First Day at the Non-Profit

First day at Community Center. Our rotation this week is at a little non-profit that provides a service to people in need. This includes ready-made food and health checks by nurses and dietitians. Only problem is that this week, Axyl is away for his rotation. I know I depend on people more than I should, but it didn’t become apparent how much I rely on Axyl until this week. Well, Axyl didn’t leave until Tuesday, which meant I made it to my rotation on time today. (Spoiler: I didn’t on Tuesday.)

It was pretty boring. The dietitian in charge of us just briefly explain the goals of the non-profit and made us input some numbers into her computer then sent us home early. That was good because I’d stayed up all night working on the food service binder that was due today. Gia and I stopped at a café after our rotation to finish putting together our binder before turning it in. That’s when I got a call from Axyl.

He didn’t have a ride to his out of town rotation and for some reason he wasn’t able to rent a car. So, I went with him to rent a car then we took a fun detour to Costco with me leading him every which way but to Costco. …I’m not the best co-pilot.

 

Tuesday, February 12th- First Movie Date with Chance

Another boring day. This time, the dietitian assigned me and Gia a ton of work then banished us upstairs to get it done and be out of her hair. From her super early dismissal yesterday, Gia and I already expected as much attention, so we brought snacks and started the work calmly.

After the rotation, Chance said he was going to cook for me before taking me out to a movie. He picked me up and drove me to his house where he began the laborious task of feeding a fellow human being. He made pasta. X) I love pasta though, so that was great. He served the alfredo pasta (sauce from a jar) with these cheese balls he heated up in an air fryer. It was nowhere near a five-star meal, but I saw the effort he put into it. It was really cute how he was flustered at trying to scoop the pasta out.

After that we wandered into his bedroom to eat and chat. Chatting turned to kissing and kissing, well, I’ll stop there. I’ll probably write a full out post about my opinions on intimacy. (No, it didn’t get that far, but it’s an important topic to discuss.) Eventually, Chance’s mom got home and I gave her a quick “hi” before she wandered away. I’m not sure what she has heard about me, but she didn’t seem too eager to speak to me. Chance’s brother, however, was much more enthusiastic. He smiled real big as he shook my hand. His eyes seemed to say, “so this is the girl who Chance was talking on and on about”.

I also got to say hello to Chance’s uncle before going to the movie theatre. There we watched the second Lego movie. It was nice and I got to cuddle Chance’s arm for most of it, so no complaints here. Aw, Chance lent me one of his sweatshirts to keep me warm. I accidentally took it home with me at the end of the night, and forgot the book he lent me, but no matter! It was a very memorable night.

 

Wednesday, February 13th- Random Stress and Chance to the Rescue with a Hug

Today I woke up at 8am. I go in at 8 am. -____- So, I was late to the non-profit. Gosh. We spent the whole time upstairs out of our preceptor’s sight and mind, so it wasn’t too bad. I told Chance I wanted to go home. He said, yeah, play hooky, but I said, “no, home to Texas.” I may have worried him a bit, because he was going to swing by to give me the book I forgot yesterday and to pick up his sweater I accidentally kept, but now he said he was also coming to give me a hug and talk if I needed to. Why is he so sweet??? It makes me want to cry happy tears…

So, we sat outside my apartment in this little area with benches and a couple trees. He hugged me and I tried to put on a brave face which he could see right through. He just hugged me tighter and told me to hang in there. I am so thankful for him.

 

Thursday, February 14th- Making Cookies with Chance

Wasn’t sure if I was going to see Chance today, since I’d already seen him the past two days, but he came over and finally got to come into my apartment. Before today, I’d made sure to wait for him outside in a public area and wait for him to drive off before walking into my apartment. However, since Axyl is away this week, I figured it a good day to invite him in. We made cookies together. Well… a monster cookie bread thing. Sooo, I used to live in a better apartment. It had a much nicer kitchen and a bigger oven. Now, in my crappier apartment, the cookie sheet doesn’t fit in my much smaller oven. Soo, we used a bread pan. Ha! The result was interesting since it had a crust on the outside, but the inside was still soft and gooey. I may do this again, on purpose. 😊

 

Friday, February 15th- Date with Joseph

Today, I went on a date with Joseph. Okay, let me explain! My two closest friends in this internship are Axyl and Amanda. Amanda recently has been invested in my dating adventures. I don’t want to blame it completely on her age, but she is older and more experienced than me, so she gives me a lot of good (though sometimes antiquated) advice. Either way, I like to listen to it, because I don’t know what I’m doing when it comes to dating. I’ve had one boyfriend and had gone on a date with only two different people before trying this dating app. Amanda and Axyl told me to keep dating. Sure, I like Chance, but they said I shouldn’t put other good guys on pause because of that.

I used to think that way too. Before I met Chance. Now, I don’t feel like meeting other guys. Not for romantic reasons at least. It’s a strange thing, but I don’t want affection from people that aren’t him. His hugs and kisses are all I crave. Having said that, I decided to still meet up with Joseph. I met him on that dating app before Chance and I figured it was fine as long as I didn’t lead him on or anything.

I suggested something causal like getting drinks, but we ended up having dinner. The conversation was good. It flowed and he didn’t seem nervous or anything. It was natural. After dinner we walked around Old San Juan. My heart kind of tugged when we passed places I’d seen first with Chance. A little guilt. :/ (I did tell Chance I was still dating other people, in case you are wondering.) At the end of the night, I was just certain of two things. One, that I must visit the Pigeon Park in Old San Juan. Apparently, there’s a guy who sells corn or something to feed the pigeons and it’s a whole thing there. Two, that I clicked with Joseph, but not romantically. He came off as too grown up. He has a starter company and goes to bed at 10pm. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with mature, responsible people, but gosh, he made me sound like a wild child. And trust me, I’m not!

 

Saturday, February 16th- Ehh, Don’t Remember

I really don’t know what I did today. I didn’t see Chance. I didn’t do homework. Must have just been a lazy day?

 

Sunday, February 17th- Date with Santiago

Do I have a problem? I woke up around 10 or 11am then just lazed around. I’m stressed and it feels like my head is full of static, which is not conducive to being productive. Eventually a guy matched with me on the dating app. I didn’t expect that. I haven’t been swiping since I met Chance, but he was one of the guys I had swiped yes on before. He asked me out after messaging not even ten minutes! I wasn’t doing anything, so I agreed. He gave me a place, I gave the time, and two hours after that we met up at a hippie type lot with different food trucks. It was cool.

Ah, maybe this doesn’t need to be said, but I feel like it’s an important detail. He’s American. From Seattle. He’s here for work and it was kind of nice to have a fellow American to talk to about the experience of moving out to Puerto Rico. I was going to say his charm ended there, but he did pay for my dinner. I felt kind of bad about that, since I am not looking for romance. I don’t know why I feel that I have to be into a guy to accept him paying for me. Honestly, I don’t think guys should be pushed by society to pay on the first date. But! That’s a topic for a full out post.

Anyway, after we ate, he suggested we walk for a bit. Since he doesn’t know the area and I did, I subtly led him to the train station, so I could leave once we got there. Instead we sat on a bench and chatted a bit more. During this time a guy came to ask for money. I told him I didn’t have any change (I only had a few coins and I don’t know, but ughhh, I’m not opposed to giving money to those who ask on the street, but I didn’t this time). Santiago does not speak Spanish, so he didn’t understand what was going on when the guy kept asking me. When I explained the situation, he just turned mean! He got this hard look on his face and practically snarled! He said, “No. Go Away.” in the sternest tone. That was extremely off putting.

Sometime after that he told me I was very pretty and asked to kiss me. I gave a small “I’m sorry” smile and shook my head no. He recovered from that well and continued talking. About five minutes later I said goodbye and got on the train home.

 

***

Sorry it took so long to write this. I’m stressed even though I shouldn’t be. The hard part comes soon but isn’t here yet. Oh well, I’m doing what I can. Next Monday’s blog (I do plan to post on time!!) will be about my time at the food bank. Manual labor 8 hours a day. It’s been interesting. The most manual labor I’d done before this was stocking candy and chips at a little store during my university days. Strangely though, I enjoy it. It’s nice to move and work instead of sitting and working. Things to look forward to in the next weekly blog:

  • Manual labor at the food bank
  • I am not making this up. One of the workers at the food bank hitting on me.
  • Another date with Chance. To the mall, a couple bars, and the beach. 😊
  • One more date with Chance. Brownies are planned!

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.

 

 

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.

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.

Do Anything

Note: Let’s try something, every time my mind yells a swear word I’ll write “frick” and every time I zone out I’ll mention it, both in italics. Other stuff in italics will be inner thoughts. Prepare to enter my mind. Sorry.

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Do anything. When I’m feeling extremely unmotivated, this is my only plea. Do anything. I’ve had days where I am so zoned out, it’s difficult to type “written by: Laura”. (That happened a week ago…) Frick. I’m zoning out now. I don’t know why other people annoy me so much. Zone out I feel inadequate. In comparison, I feel inadequate. Yeah, yeah, don’t compare. Moreover, my flaws are another’s dreams. Yeah! Well, same here! I don’t like me. What I do like, I feel like I can’t mention, because then people make faces and say I have a big ego. What I don’t like I can’t mention either, because then I’m told I’m exaggerating. That I don’t appreciate what I have. Frick.

When I’m in a bad place. Let’s say in a funk. (I don’t want to say depressed, because some people get uppity about the use of that word. Plus, I haven’t been to a psychologist since about half a year, so I don’t have a professional to confirm that.) Anyway, when I’m in a funk, Zone out, frick I –my mind zones out a lot and also does some not so nice things. The first is that it curses. I curse? In my head? I don’t know.

Example, Zone out if I zone out, the moment I realize I was doing something and zoned out, I’ll hear “F**K!” in my head. I don’t tell people about this or the other thing my brain does. So, often, people will think I’m exaggerating when I say I’m down, can’t concentrate, or anything negative. They’ll quote how smart I am or some accomplishment of mine. It could be grades, or how organized I seem, something along those lines

What they don’t understand, is that I have to be that “great”. I have to be super organized and a try-hard when I can, because I know how horrifying it is to sit in front of a blank computer screen with my mind just as blank. Frick *Remembering the last time this happened* I know how bad it gets, so when I am okay, I need to be better! To make up for what I know will come. Because my funks are a cycle. Zone out Or a roller coaster. Who knows?

Zone out Ummmmm But most people only see the “good” parts of me. They see when Zone out I work on assignments or give presentations (for context, I just graduated university in May and now I’m in an internship that also has a ton of assignments and grades). They don’t see when I get home from a business trip out of town and flee to the bathroom to quietly sob before wiping my eyes and pretending nothing happened.

They see me watching YouTube on the couch all afternoon for days in a row and call me lazy. They don’t know that it’s either that or stare into space. Sometimes I believe them. I think, why am I so lazy and unmotivated? Why don’t I just work on what I should? I tried this last week. In my defense, it does work sometimes. Sometimes, I don’t want to get to work on homework, but once I start, it’s okay. I get into a rhythm and I’m fine. Last week, I just succeed in getting progressively more self-loathing and blaming myself for not starting. Think: staring at a blank computer screen.

Do anything. That’s what I tell myself in those moments. Even if I should be working on an essay or a case study (*cough cough* me right now…), I allow myself to work on whatever I want or am motivated to. Doing anything, even if that anything is making a faux Christmas tree out of tissue paper (featured picture) or writing this blog post, is a million times better than last week when I started “working” at 3pm, and “worked” until 12pm because it took me that long to type up four paragraphs on lactation. Frick.

Blah. This building I’m in doesn’t have working air conditioning. An— Frick!! I was looking up the temperature where I am, but got distracted by my friend texting me. Twice. Frick. Frick! Stop it brain! Umm, so yes. It’s about 84 degrees outside, and hotter inside this non-air-conditioned building. And I’m cold.

You think my normal posts are long and rambly? Yeah, well, my mind is worse. What was I going to say? What am I doing? Yeah, do anything. That’s it. Zone out. Man! Um, so yes, do anything, guys. Doing something is better than nothing. Unless it’s harmful. Then try not to do that.

Thus, the second thing my mind does: it flashes scenes of me hurting myself. After seeing a flash like that usually I get uneasy. Other times, I feel desire. For the more gruesome ones, I tend to feel scared that one day my body will actually go through with something I’ll regret.

A common one is smashing my hand against a wall. I don’t know why. I know I’m not in the best place, but I don’t want to hurt myself. Well, maybe I do want to do that. <— Example of an intrusive thought that just popped into my head uninvited. Fine, yeah, I don’t love myself and I do want to hurt myself, but not severely! Not noticeably! That’s a good topic for other post: what I feel I deserve and how I punish myself.

I don’t want to publish this. Zone out. Zone out again. I’m afraid of getting put in an asylum for the mentally ill if I were to admit self-harm desires/behaviors. Frick. Plus, it seems personal. I’m sleepy. Don’t want to be awake. Video idea! You know how some people talk about all those things they do to stay positive and happy? How they say things like I get up and stretch, open the blinds, and feel the sun on my skin and appreciate the universe? Or some crap like that? (No hate. In my better days, it’s those hokey pokey things that really do help.) Well, what if someone made a video/tip sheet of the habits of sad people? My first one is: Daily morning ritual, wake up, realize you are now conscious, grumble, curse the world, declare you don’t want to be awake, and throw the covers over your head before falling asleep again. Do not wake before 1pm, if it can be avoided.

This post is getting out of hand. Bye.

 

Note: It’s a couple of days later and while I’m still terrified of posting this for the darker involuntary desires I mentioned, but I figure I don’t have enough people who read this blog for it to be a problem. I hope. I’m fine, guys. I don’t self harm or anything like that. I’m open to professional help. Not to being committed to a mental hospital. Got that? ‘Kay, now bye.