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Monday, March 31, 2014

Spring break!

Can't believe it's already come and gone!

Sooo, I've started my ER rotation. I had a lot of fun my first week and I start my second week tonight. I feel like I really lucked out being placed at this hospital for this rotation because they've given me a pretty sweet schedule. This week starts my night shift week. The variety of shifts (evenings, nights, and weekends) that we're required to do will keep things interesting, despite the fact that they may also be tiring. I'll report back on it all later.

So spring break! As always, it went by way too quickly. We started the first weekend of break in Georgia, for Adam's high school reunion. The reunion was held in a large pasture behind one of his classmate's houses and it was quite an interesting experience to say the least. :) For real though, it was fun seeing everyone I went to high school with, though many of them didn't remember me because their senior year I was only a wee little freshman.

Earlier in the day on Saturday, I met Lindsay in Athens and we went dress shopping! Of course I can't post any photos of her trying on dresses, but I can share this. :) 

It was such fun! And I was so proud of her for being opinionated enough to actually say no to some of the dresses. (For those of you who don't know Lindsay very well, she can't make a decision to save her life. Love you, Linds!) :)

Adam worked from home Monday through Wednesday, and then Wednesday evening we drove to South Carolina to meet David and Natalie. Adam and I stayed at their place Wednesday night, then Thursday morning we all drove to Charleston together and unpacked in our beach house. David and Nat were both so good about taking photos, but I only took a few. I FULLY expect them to post photos and share them on facebook so that I can share them here. :)
 View from our beach house. Natalie did a perfect job picking it out!

Ok so this plant is HUGE. Here's proof:

 It's a century plant, aka American aloe, aka agave plant.

This is the view from a little seafood shop where we picked up dinner one night. It's where the plant is as well.

 Lucy and Sadie cuddling one night :)

 The famous pineapple fountain

So then comes the beach photos...

Pretty Marley and all the crazy beach foam -- she's so much better at smiling for photos than Lucy. I ended up with more pictures of Lucy because she just didn't want to sit still!

Lucy kept getting foam all over her face. She did a great job of staying near us on the beach so we didn't even put her on a leash. She's loving the ocean more and more! I think they'll both be great Charleston dogs. :)

Candid group photos. These were literally taken seconds apart. Hilarious!
I just love this one!

Adam and his dog. :) Again, very candid, but I think the water is so pretty in this photo.

That concludes the photos I have from the trip. I promise to share the others soon! But one more quick thing... In one of my past posts, I mentioned that I worked a gala with Katie to raise money for their mission trip. I'll leave you with the photos from that event. Enjoy!

 It was really cold, and we couldn't keep from shaking while taking photos of each other! Thus, some of the photos came out blurry. Oh well. But we had a great time!
Some nice medical student boys took this photo for us.
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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Weekend Activities

HUGE NEWS! Lindsay Hale asked me to be her matron of honor! I'm so thrilled!! Yesterday morning she told me that she wanted to cook dinner for Adam and me so she made some delicious lasagna and came over to watch a movie with us. Before it started, she handed me a very sweet letter, and on the back she had written "Will you be my matron of honor?" !!! I'm totally looking forward to all the planning involved on my part. I just can't stand it! I'm so excited!

Hard to believe it, but I've finished my second rotation. Seven more to go! Five more end-of-rotation exams (because I have two electives where I don't have to take an exam). And I have less than 9 months left until school of OVER! Ba-da-ba-ba-baaa I'm lovin' it!
Even though I'm sooooo close to the finish line, I'm tired. Like on empty. Not from a lack of sleep, but from going and going and going and studying all. the. time. Never before has the "Q" word been an option for me, but for the first time ever in the past twenty months, I've considered quitting school and moving to the keys to live a care-free, bum life with Adam as a boat tour guide or something of the like. It'll be warm all year, I'll have a nice tan .... sounds pretty sweet, huh? ... Don't worry, Moms, I'm not quitting. Otherwise all this misery would be in vain, and I'd have stupid amounts of loans with no way of paying them back. So what I think I'll do is stay in school, graduate, get an awesome job in Charleston making ridiculous money, and I'll still be living at the beach. :)

A few Fridays ago, we went out to dinner for Mallory's birthday and had a fabulous time. KPS made a DELICIOUS strawberry shortcake (Pioneer Woman's recipe), no surprise there. I like to bake some but she takes it to a whole new level. We've decided to lovingly dub her 'The domesticator.'

Last weekend I worked a gala with Katie Stone to help raise money for their mission trip. It was so fun dressing up and seeing everyone that attended even more dressed up! And it was also super entertaining to watch everyone get tipsier and tipsier as the night went on. :) Katie and Mallory are editing photos, so I don't have any to share yet, but I'll post them as soon as I get them.

This past Friday we went out for yogurt to celebrate finishing our second rotation. I had gotten a cookie cake from the ladies at my OBGYN office so we ate that as well. Yuuum!

Yesterday Adam went to the golfing range with Chris (Katie's husband), and then we went to Lowe's and Walmart to gather materials for a little herb/vegetable garden. Here are the final products:
Tomato plants in the back left, basil on the right, and rosemary in the front. Adam also wants a jalapeño plant as well.

This morning we went out to one of the villages in Mountain Brook for brunch and then came back to the apartment to get ready for next week. Emergency medicine starts Monday! I'm excited to see how it goes. I've spent time in the ER before, but not to the level of involvement that I know I'll be here. Anyway, after one week in the ER, my spring break starts! We're heading to Ga (for the first time in two months) for Adam's high school reunion the first weekend, and then on Wednesday we're headed to Charleston for a vacation with David, Natalie, and their pup, Sadie! Natalie found us an a-m-a-z-i-n-g house right on the beach so it's going to be absolutely perfect -- a wonderful and relaxing break from reality. Looking forward to a great few weeks!

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Saturday, March 1, 2014

Happy, Happy, Happy!

Today is a happy day, for no particular reason. I'm just in an exceptionally good mood. I've been relying on God a lot lately, and I can tell that I'm much more at peace than I used to be. I'm beginning to understand just how important it is that Adam and I live in the "here and now" rather than wishing our lives away, and I really think we've done a great job of that lately. We really don't have much longer here in Birmingham, so we may as well enjoy it! He and I are both very content right now and I'm really glad about that.

I've done a pretty good job lately keeping up with my blog, but as I started thinking about it, there have been quite a few things that I haven't remembered to blog about. So let me do a quick little catch-up.

A few weeks ago, after we completed our first rotation, Katie Stone, Casey, Mallory, Lindsay and I all met for dinner and drinks to celebrate marking one off our list! We had SO much fun kickin' back a few, sharing stories of our past, and laughing WAY too loudly. I LOVED it. When PA school is all said and done and I'm reminiscing, the first few thoughts I'll have will certainly be those girls. We've all gotten each other through this hell and I love them all the more for it. They're the best.

As most of you know, another big snow storm hit us not too long after the first one. Lindsay and Sadie came over because we were all so excited about the snow! Thankfully we were safe and at home, so we were able to enjoy it without concern for being stuck. The power went out in our apartment but not in Lindsay's, which is strange. But anyway, we made the best of it. Here are a few pics of our adventures for that night. You've probably already seen them on facebook...
He's a very happy snowman.

Also the week before Valentine's Day, Rob and Jenny flew into town to spend some time with their family and friends, and Adam and I were lucky enough to have an entire evening with them! We met them at a BBQ restaurant not far from our place and then we came back to our apartment and played the crazy but hilarious game of Cards Against Humanity. It's always a guaranteed wonderful time with those two. Love that we got to see them! But we miss them already. :(

For Valentine's Day, Adam got me tulips for our patio planters so we planted those this past Sunday. He and I are both blown away with how quickly they've grown and multiplied! Can't wait for them to bloom! I can tell they're close.

That day we also went on a picnic with Lindsay, Casey, Cory and the dogs and we had such a fun time! It's been a while since we've hung out with Casey and Cory so it was so fun to see them! We can't wait to do it again very soon!

Today I'm meeting up with Katie Stone to go out for a walk with our dogs. The weather was reported to be much prettier, but at least it's not raining. It'll be wonderful just to be in Katie's company with their pup, Harper. :)
- - - - -
I haven't posted much about my clinical rotations lately, and that's something I really want to do, just to have something to look back on later. So my first rotation was in inpatient medicine, which means taking care of people who have been admitted to the hospital for conditions that need more thorough medical attention. I was constantly challenged in this rotation and I learned soooo much. I had phenomenal preceptors that kept me on my toes, constantly encouraging me to think "what else" or "what if." I can recognize that I grew a ton during those quick five weeks and I'm very thankful to have spent that much time with the two MDs that I was with.

Now, in my second rotation, I'm in OBGYN and I LOVE it. So, a couple of thoughts before I share my experiences... I've always had a very strong interest in maternal and child health, pregnancy, and breastfeeding so naturally it only makes sense that I would love this specialty. On the flip-side, I've known that PAs don't fit very well into the field, so I've prepared myself with the understanding that what I experience as a student during this rotation would be very different that what I would actually experience as a practicing PA. In most hospitals PAs can't deliver babies, which restricts the amount of help that a PA can provide for their supervising physician. We can't take their late night calls. We can't run to the hospital in their place to deliver a baby in the middle of a very busy business day. So since we can't make the hardest part of their job a lot easier, we're not really used and that's a shame because I really do love it.
I have absolutely loved prenatal visits during this rotation. I usually go in before my preceptor and measure the fundal height and find the baby's heart beat. It's so fun! Of course I've also loved helping mamas deliver babies and selfishly, I've loved first assisting in c-sections. No one loves to be cut open but it's so incredible bringing a baby into the world, regardless of how it's done. Thankfully I have two more weeks in this rotation and I'm excited about what else I'll get to do/see.
A friend, knowing that I love this stuff, asked me why I chose PA school instead of another similar course that would align better with my interests. I hadn't really thought much about that before her question, but my immediate response was that as much as I love mamas and babies, I love the idea of being a PA so much more. I have other interests in emergency medicine and dermatology and I tend to fall in love with whatever I do. I'm not even a little bit worried about being happy in my career choice, and I certainly don't regret my decision to come to PA school. Plus, (some would definitely argue against this) times are changing and we never know what the future holds ... PAs may deliver babies more globally one day -- it's certainly not unheard of everywhere. Who knows. I have seven more clinical sites, all different specialties, to rotate through and I plan to let my experiences guide me. So I'm very excited about this year and all that it has to offer!

Ok, I think I'm finished writing my book now. Later friends!

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