The Great and Small Things I Learned {Summer Clinical #2}

Sometimes I forget I have a blog.

But I lounged around yesterday for about an hour just scrolling through blogs that I follow on my Feedly like I used to during my high school leisure days… ahhhh. It was lovely, and I remembered that I like to blog too HAHA.

I’ve given a glimpse of how this summer has been in STL. Now that I am back home in New York / Boston, the reflective mindset has started to settle a bit. Ergo, it is time for another edition of “Great and Small Things I Learned.”

How to even begin summarizing the oodles of things I learned in the hospital!?

I worked with a physical therapist on the medicine floor of Barnes Jewish Hospital. This means we saw patients who have pretty much any and every comorbidity under the sun and who were admitted for a reason that is not primarily neurological, cardiopulmonary, or orthopedic. For example, I saw a lot of patients admitted for falls, sepsis, altered mental status, acute kidney injuries, hypoglycemia, hypertensive emergencies, acute onset of weakness from metabolic causes… etc… I guess.

Communication

50% of patients wanted nothing to do with physical therapy. De-escalating situations with  patients who had altered mental status or who were agitated at the time was a big skill to learn, but by the end of the clinical, almost no amount of sass or yelling could faze me.

Empathy and Listening

Requirements in the healthcare field. In the first few weeks of clinical, it was easy to be stressed and preoccupied over my performance as a student PT, so I had to remind myself that this job is about the patient in front of me, and the patient is hurting, often in more ways than one. Listening and motivational interviewing are always helpful.

Integrity, Honesty and Moving Forward

I made plenty of mistakes during clinical, but some were bigger than others. Thankfully, none of the mistakes resulted in anyone’s injury, but I learned some valuable lessons the hard way, that’s for sure. I had to practice integrity and timely honesty about my mistakes, and furthermore, I had to move forward and continue in confidence after all was said and done. My clinical instructor (who was amazing!) counseled me that letting my mistakes get to my head does not serve anyone well.

Neuromuscular Connection

The trendy/granola term for this is “mind-muscle connection,” I think. THINKING about what I want my muscles to do and how fast I want them to it during a workout has helped with increasing strength. There’s literature about it out there… I’m not going to go find it right now. But intentionality in life is important, and working out ain’t an exception! As Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson would say, “FOCUS!!!”

To “Just Be”

Moving onto matters outside of the hospital, I am grateful to say that I made several great friends through the young adult group at the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica. So many people took me (and Janice) under their wings and welcomed us into their community with love and generosity that were just astounding. People cooked for us, drove us around, invited us to watch the sunrise with them on a hill in the park, took us grocery/thrift store shopping, helped me babysit my cousins, toured us through the art museum, swing danced with us, prayed with and for us…

In so many of these great times, my friend Maria would call it “just being” — putting the phone down (even though I’d still snap a photo or two for posterity/the blog, ya know) and soaking in the moment, whatever it is, however mundane it may be. To “just be” with pals in fellowship and faith through the everyday and not-so-everyday things, and to do it all joyfully.

My heart misses all of our friends back there. They were so f r e e. Free and secure in their love for Christ which showed so evidently and made me want to love God more.

They made St. Louis home away from home. So did Janice, my roomie! She’d tuck me in almost every night (upon her offer) LOL. We shared a lot of ups and downs together this summer, and I am grateful for her being a dear friend through it all.

Don’t Give Up on Prayer

It can be hard to maintain a consistent prayer life with a 9-5 (or in my case, a 7-4:30) job, not so much because I don’t have time, but because brain energy is limitedddd at the end of the day. Prayer takes mental energy and attention that admittedly I don’t want to give when I get home from a long day of work + going to the gym. And I failed many days and did not prioritize prayer, but I learned to fight the good fight and never give up on it. Start anew the next day. Whether you meditate, pray, do some reading for personal development, do it, man. Probably in the morning before you’re wiped out from the day. Which means you (I) have to sleep early, which is difficult at times… But God is worthy of our love, the best we can give.

I could go on for ages and pages about my time in STL, but these are enough words for now. Thank you for reading along if you’ve made it this far.

At home now, I am doing at least 20x less work/activity and I am at least 20x MORE tired. I love being with the fam though ♥︎

Off to a camping trip with Boston friends this weekend!

P.S. Tori Kelly’s new album is FIRE.

So tell me:

What are some things you’ve learned this summer?

What are your plans this weekend?

 

Advertisements

Never a Dull Moment

Merry Christmas!!! Happy New Year!!! I am so late in posting this!!!

I hope you all have had a joyful and peaceful Christmas, New Year, and holiday season. I am very grateful for all the blessings that God has brought about this semester and this Christmas, as He always does.

Second year of PT school is off to a fine start! This past semester was lighter in terms of work load, and that might be a reason why I enjoyed it more than others, but was also very genuinely interested in our first neurological systems course, especially since we had the privilege of working with patients every week who had actually had a stroke in their past.

IMG_5356

Of course, Christmas was a joyous and heartwarming celebration of our Savior’s birth! I spent lots of quality time with Madre, Pop, Ben, and Ben’s girlfriend, as well as my aunt, uncle, cousins, and John! We’ve been eating so. much. of Madre’s killer food. My arteries need a break from all of her delicious meats and all of the buttery Christmas cookies (still), but I am not that mad about the cause of the predicament.

Here’s a hodgepodge of snapshots from the latter half of the semester + Christmas! Blessed times, man. And selfies forever.

MOLDIV-001 2

On Christmas Eve, I meditated on His name “Emmanuel,” meaning “God with us,” and felt much gratitude for Our Creator becoming so close to us, becoming LIKE us in humanity, to be with us through every emotion and trial in this here earthly life. What Love.

Last Saturday, we drove down to Florida to stay at my parents’ vacation home for the week, and it’s been a lovely, relaxing time in this balmy Southern climate! One highlight was visiting the NASA Kennedy Space Center, which made me both awe-inspired and terrified of outer space. I wonder how people can get rockets to the moon while I can hardly get myself out of bed in the morning. Other highlights have included lots more food, my friend’s cat dressed in a sushi costume, learning how to play Settlers of Catan, and being able to walk in the Florida sunshine. My mother also gifted me a new iPhone X, so pic quality has improved!

Another collage to display the Florida fun:

MOLDIV-001 3.jpg

So…last year. This year. New Year. That kind of ~soft~ stuff.

There truly was never a dull moment in 2018. It was one of the most emotionally difficult years of my life. If I could guess the number of days that I cried (for better or for worse) in 2018, I’d estimate 300/365 days of the year. I’ve cried and seen others cry enough this year that at one point, a drop of water rolling down the side of my WATER BOTTLE provoked sadness in me because of its mimicry of a tear rolling down someone’s cheek. HAHAHA #melodramatic.

But you bet your bottom dollar those tears came with a lot of growth. I learned…

…how to communicate better, in a way that is both loving and straightforward/sometimes brutally honest. 

…how to better make decisions for myself.

…to allow myself to be uncomfortable and to not push away the feelings of loneliness or brokenheartedness, no matter how major or minor those feelings are, because the Lord makes Himself KNOWN in those feelings.

…forgiveness.

…to care a little less about what other people think.

…to be very comfortable in my own body through its ups and downs, ins and outs, gains and losses.

…God works legit miracles in my own life and the lives of my loved ones.

…a heck of a lot about physical therapy.

…the beauty of a man and a woman laying down their lives for one another in marriage (@Rachel and Austin).

…gratitude truly is the will of the God (1 Thessalonians 5:18), and it always brings a lot of light and clarity to life.

Although some of the non-dull moments of 2018 were quite difficult and painful, there were many moments that made my heart SOAR with joy. Instagram has some evidence of  the latter:

View this post on Instagram

hearts that are His #retreat #totustuus

A post shared by Alison (@alison_grooves) on

In 2019, I’d like there to be “never a dull moment” as well. Even in the monotony of work and life, it’s impossible for there to be a dull moment when there is so much that can be extracted from the moment — so many things for which to be grateful, so many ways to remain in His humble and simple love.

Hopefully the non-dull moments are more joyful than not, but whatever the weather, I am HERE FOR IT. Because God is good all the time.

Have a fabulous weekend! We are hittin’ the road back to NY already tomorrow!

So tell me:

What were some of the never-dull moments of 2018 for you?

What did you do for Christmas/the holidays/New Year?

What are you excited for in 2019?

 

 

Virtual Breakfast Date

virtual breakfast date

…I would squeal that we get to chat over my FAVORITE MEAL OF THE DAY!

DSC_3214

overnight oats in an almost empty pb jar + granola on top for crunch

…I might yawn and say, “excuse me,” because I woke up at 6am (which is E A R L Y for this night owl) to work out with my dear friend Elayne.

Elayne: “Oh my gosh are you limping!?”

Me: “No I just can’t walk this early in the morning.”

IMG_0133

‘Twas so worth the sleepy sweat fest.

3 sets each:

  • 10 DB overhead burpees (10#)
  • 15 side plank hip dips (each side)
  • 20 KB swings (25#)

1 min. burpees

  • 10 renegade rows to plank jump
  • 20 alternating single leg v-ups
  • 20 overhead tricep extensions

1 min. burpees

  • 10 bird dogs
  • 10 plank kick throughs (each side)
  • 10 tabletop sit throughs

1 min. burpees

…I would ask you if you saw the solar eclipse, even though you’re probably 120% done with that convo. Madre and I saw it from home in New York, where we had 76% coverage. My brother’s girlfriend kindly gave us the special eclipse glasses for optimal viewing!

DSC_3211

AND for optimal photo-taking. (Hundred percent accidentally looked directly at the sun for a millisecond.)

IMG_0095

I was so stoked to get this shot of the eclipse right around peak time for us!

DSC_3212

…I would tell you about this weird breakfast I had at home, made with whatever we had on hand. I warmed up some frozen bananas, mashed them, mixed it with some brown rice Madre had just cooked, and topped it with cinnamon raisin peanut butter. IDK. It was delicious though! Rice-pudding-like.

IMG_0089

…I would surprise you by saying that I bought running shoes (more accurately, Madre gifted me new running shoes – thank you ma!). I’m not currently planning on running any races or anything, but a pair of comfy Asics were on sale at TJMaxx, so I just went for it. I do run occasionally, so it’ll be nice to have proper running shoes.

I ran a couple miles in them on solar eclipse day, and then I played around with these pistol burpee handstand ma-jiggies:

…I would excitedly tell you that my family and I ate a fantastic Italian dinner as we got to meet my brother’s new significant other 🙂 So much love for them.

IMG_0106

burrata to share as a starter (SO CREAMY AND DREAMY)

IMG_0107

salad that came with my pasta

IMG_0108

rich and delicious lobster ravioli with artichokes and roasted red peppers

IMG_0110

amaretto cake (and unpictured profiteroles) to share for dessert

…I would say that I love my brother. We only had an hour to really hang out and catch up with each other before I had to leave for Boston, but it was great QT. Grateful for this goon!

IMG_0111

are the feelings mutual? *shrug*

…I would tell you that I had homemade baklava with homemade skyr (Icelandic yogurt) for breakfast before driving to Boston. Ben’s girlfriend made a huge batch for all of us!! So sweet (literally and figuratively) of her. It was perfect.

IMG_0116

…I would remark at this gymnastics/stretching mat that Madre bought for me as a surprise. My room is a mini PT clinic.

DSC_3213

…I would proudly say that I finally picked a good pineapple. The last time I bought a pineapple, I had to drown it in honey and microwave it because it was THAT bad.

IMG_0123

…I would talk about how grateful I am for Rachel. It’s been so good living with her again, because now we can have girl chat with a glass of wine (or sangria) on the couch at the end of the day. That might change once classes start for me, but for now it’s delightful.

IMG_0124

proud of this working woman

…I would show you last night’s tasty dinner. I made Budget Bytes’ glazed pork chops, (← so easy and good!) roasted broccoli, and a random cheese quesadilla on the side (ended up dipping it in ketchup #sorry).

IMG_0130

…I would say that God has reminded recently to not be anxious about saying “yes” just to the big things He asks me to do, but to more importantly say “yes” to the very little and mundane things He asks me to do in daily life. If I cannot do His will in little things, there is no way I can do His will in big things. Loving in the littlest ways is sometimes the HARDEST.

IMG_0105

…I would squeal once again that I’m going to my friend’s wedding tomorrow! I LOVE WEDDINGS. AND I LOVE MY FRIENDS.

…I would ask you:

What did you eat for breakfast today?

What are some things you want to share? Happy, sad, cool, “aha” moments?

What are your favorite little ways to spend time with loved ones?

Plans for the weekend?

Gentler Moves and Grooves

Yesterday was a very blue Tuesday!

Not because it was a sad day, but because the color blue popped up a lot.

DSC_3200

Breakfast was the last of my Fage Greek yogurt (the BEST – thanks, Madre!) with blueberries, purple corn flakes (blue enough), cinnamon, and almond butter.

On the other end of the day, I met up with my friend from study abroad, Cristen! She and I (along with Megan) experienced so much of the great green Ireland and Edinburgh, Scotland together. And she loves peanut butter + banana as much as I do!

We discovered on our abroad adventures that we live pretty close to each other, so we finally met up for some ice cream at The Blue Pig.

IMG_8834

Isn’t it adorable!? I got the roasted banana with salted caramel + fluffernutter (basically vanilla with large chunks of peanut butter), and both were very tasty. It wasn’t the creamiest ice cream, but the flavor was on point.

IMG_8836

Cristen was the best part of the night! I love catching up with this one.

IMG_8837

I actually had second dessert when I got home because I still needed something to fill the tank. Mini muffins with a glass o’ milk to the rescue!

DSC_3203

My aunt made these, and they are BOMB. Perfect amount of sweetness and great texture.

I ate these while geeking out with Ben over the solar eclipse that’s coming across the United States this August 21st. We found this video in our research, which is equal parts hilarious and incredible.

Other foods of the day included salads and half a bagel with Kerrygold butter. Memories of Ireland…

DSC_3202

nothing like toast with quality buttah

Madre even had the idea to make egg-in-a-hole with a bagel, so I made it for her as a midnight snack. It looked scrumptious!

DSC_3205.jpg

Her dreams came true and she loved it.

Besides eating, I moved and grooved a bit yesterday. I mentioned in my last post that I likely have a minor labral tear, but there are still many movements that feel good/are not painful. I definitely want to keep some good range of motion in that hip joint, so I’m exercising but being verrrrry conservative and immediately stopping anything that doesn’t feel nice. Like walking. Walking doesn’t feel nice, so I’m not doing that as much (Boston will be hard when I get back there!).

The goal is to not need surgery 😀

Here’s what I did:

(Superset = three sets back to back. Also, my hair has a mind of its own.)

This workout was all about pain-free movement, not about speed or reps. It was still fun though!

Back to Boston today!

So tell me:

Did you eat anything/go anywhere blue yesterday?

Will you be in the path of the total solar eclipse on August 21st!? We will not be, unfortunately, but if you will be, PLEASE FILM IT. The chance of a lifetime. I love space things (← obviously not an expert though).

Your opinions on buttered toast.

Have you ever needed to modify workouts due to injuries?

 

 

I Ate a Whole Humble Pie This Week!

Not just a slice. Like, God pie’d me in the face with the whole humble pie.

I’ve been home for only five days, and I feel like I have learned many humbling lessons. Let’s just say: If you ask God to humble you and teach you how to love others more deeply, He WILL. Not always in the way you expect/prefer, but He will.

Without boring you too much with all lessons I learned, I will share just one slice of this humble pie, which is my hip pain that I’ve been complaining about this past week. After consulting two physical therapists, we have concluded that it is very likely that I have a labral tear, which means I will not be able to run the Spartan Race in two weeks. I’m kinda crushed, but I am thankful for loving friends and family and the ability to still walk and move.

Time to get reacquainted with lots of yoga and Pilates!

Humble pie isn’t the only thing I ate at home (thankfully). There have been two birthday celebrations and much-needed family/friend time!

Thursday

Back in Boston, my day started with green banana silver dollar pancakes. Because I had time…

IMG_8790

…or so I thought. Until I left way too late for the bus station FOR NO GOOD REASON AT ALL and ended up having to run for the bus. I felt like such a dummy for leaving so late and almost missing my bus. I am often late to things, but this really woke me up. #humbled.

Thanks be to God, I juuuuuuuust made the bus and arrived to New York that night. My family welcomed me back with a belated birthday dinner at my favorite Japanese restaurant!

IMG_8793

fantastic fried calamari to start

IMG_8792

salad that came with my sushi dinner

IMG_8795

eel avocado, yellowtail, and tuna — all my favorites!

IMG_8796

“Ichiro Sushi Sandwich” — spicy tuna, lobster salad, crab, egg, avocado wrapped in soy paper

IMG_8794

Ben and Pop’s sushi and sashimi for two!

IMG_8791

celebrating 21 with a shiso leaf mojito — very tasty!

IMG_8798

We left full to the brim with sushi, so my dessert was a scrumptious mini pistachio muffin (made by my aunt) from our fridge.

IMG_8797

Friday

I started the day with Lori and Michelle’s great 18 minute plank workout, followed by a hearty breakfast.

DSC_3092

steel cut banana oats with cinnamon raisin pb + two eggs with veggies and sriracha

Madre and I went to get our nails done and then to shop at Trader Joe’s. It was a lovely mother-daughter date 🙂

DSC_3093

afternoon snack plate

We tag-teamed dinner — I made the brussels sprouts and she made the salmon (plus the leftover rice).

DSC_3096

Classic and so satisfying!

Saturday

Breakfast was small because there was a giant feast ahead!

DSC_3097

greek yogurt with bananas, cinnamon, and almond butter

Moves and grooves of the day included 45 minutes of YouTube yoga before we all got dressed up and headed to the Big Apple for Pop’s grand 50th birthday celebration! He wanted to go all out for his half-century on this planet, so we started with an uber fancy late lunch at Jean-Georges, a Michelin Star restaurant located in Columbus Circle. Ooooooooo la laaaaa.

DSC_3113DSC_3110DSC_3114DSC_3099

’twas such a gorgeous day!

After we took some photos outside, we stepped into the restaurant for our 2:15pm reservation.

DSC_3119IMG_8815

Pop wanted to do the spring tasting menu, which the waiter requested the whole table do. The birthday boy had spoken, so we went with the fixed spring tasting menu. It did not disappoint!

Bread basket: I went with a slice of the Swedish rye (smeared with butter), which was very textured and flavorful!

DSC_3120

Amuse bouche: sesame-crusted asparagus with yuzu sabayon + beet-cured salmon sashimi with chili pepper over sunflower seeds and yogurt + warm herbal tea. Everything on the plate was delicious on its own, and the herbal tea was more like broth, but very good!

DSC_3121

Course one: softly poached organic egg, caviar, whipped yogurt, herbs + buttered brioche stick for stirring and dipping. This was my favorite dish of the whole meal! That buttered bread stick with the soft egg and perfectly salty caviar — so unique and incredible.

DSC_3124DSC_3125

Course two: Madai sashimi, pastel radishes, nasturtium vinaigrette. This was very zesty and similar to ceviche. Refreshing and pretty to look at!

DSC_3128

Course three: warm green asparagus, sautéed sorel mushrooms, sherry vinaigrette. These were some of the best vegetables ever. Those mushrooms were so flavorful and meaty!

DSC_3129

Course four: slowly cooked bass, crunchy oat tuile, herbal lime dressing. Melt-in-your-mouth fish with great tangy dressing and some sort of pea puree. The crunchy oat tuile was so fun too!

DSC_3131

Course five: rack of lamb crusted with herbs, fresh chickpea puree, carrots, and aleppo pepper sauce. The best lamb I’ve ever eaten. The aleppo pepper sauce went so well with the meat, and everything on the plate just WORKED.

DSC_3132DSC_3134

Course six: strawberry gelée, frozen basil and vanilla morsels, crunchy tapioca pearls, strawberries. Insanely interesting. It was like the most sophisticated version of strawberry jello with dip ‘n’ dots you could ever imagine. I wouldn’t choose this dessert myself, but it was fun to eat and pretty tasty!

DSC_3135DSC_3136

Bonus dessert: Pop’s surprise chocolate birthday cake with raspberry filling

DSC_3139DSC_3138DSC_3140

Bonus dessert part two: homemade vanilla bean marshmallows, orange liqueur jelly, lemon curd-filled chocolates, basil chocolates, sesame caramels, chocolate liqueur-filled chocolate balls. They cut the marshmallows table side, which was the coolest. And all the chocolates minus the orange jellies were so interesting in a good way!

DSC_3144DSC_3143DSC_3141

he totally made his arm/hand positions perfect for my photo

DSC_3145DSC_3146

Utterly STUFFED. The food at Jean-Georges was ridiculously creative and well done, and the service was top-notch. Thank you, Madre and Pop, for letting us join in on this spectacular food experience!

After our long lunch, we gave Pop his cards…

DSC_3151DSC_3152DSC_3150

love how my aunt gave him a KIND bar in his card haha

 …and then walked over to Mass at St. Paul the Apostle Church, which is beautiful.

DSC_3163DSC_3165

Following Mass, we had another appointment at Minskoff Theater for the Broadway musical, The Lion King! We had heard rave reviews about it basically since we moved to New York, and this weekend was finally our time to see it.

IMG_8809DSC_3170

The show is really unlike any other Broadway musical I’ve ever watched. The characters are pulled off with ingenious costumes, humor and fantastic visual effects. And the singing and dancing is marvelous!

IMG_8812IMG_8810IMG_8814

Highly recommend 🙂 Such a heartwarming classic brought to life in an imaginative way.

Ben and I had a (literal) midnight snack at home and then we all hit the hay. What a wonderful day.

Sunday

Pop’s official 50th birthday! I slept in and then started on lunch for the fam. I needed a little snack though, so I ate some leftover salmon on a bed of spinach to hold me over.

DSC_3178

I grilled up some pancakes, roasted chicken drumsticks, and made Pop a chopped salad. Madre fried some plantains and helped me clean up a lot. What a team.

DSC_3189DSC_3187DSC_3190DSC_3188DSC_3186DSC_3191

After digesting, I laid low before doing a strength workout in the basement:

4 rounds:

  • 20 bentover rows (15# KBs)
  • 20 thrusters (36#)
  • 20 weighted setups (15#)
  • 20 donkey kicks each leg

(Walking and running hurt, but squats don’t hurt at all.)

Later that night, I met my high school dance friend, Susie, in the city for dinner! We met up at Cava, which is basically a Mediterranean version of Chipotle, except much better IMO. They give you so many toppings!!

IMG_8818

Susie recommended their juices, so we both got the strawberry mint lime. We tasted a bunch of them before deciding, and they were all so good!

IMG_8817

In my bowl: superfood greens, brown rice, harissa, eggplant feta dip, tzatziki, grilled beef meatballs, radishes, cucumber tomato salad, cauliflower quinoa tabouli, pita chips, and lemon herb tahini.

IMG_8820

RIGHT!? So much goodness! The company was the best part of the night though. It was so great catching up with Susie!

Monday

First thing in the morning, I dropped off Ben at the train station and then headed to the hospital I worked at last summer for one of my physical therapist friends to do a quick evaluation of my hip. She (along with my PT aunt) said that I probably have a labral tear. *sigh*

Head up, Alison!

I went back home for breakfast and a nap. I have been SO tired this week at home.

DSC_3192

greek yogurt, cinnamon, berries, chia seeds, purple corn flakes (!!), leftover pancake quarter, almond butter

The rest of my day involved Mass, some computer work and organization for school, and this Blogilates workout. I still want to move my joints and keep my muscles strong, but workouts are definitely very low impact and careful now.

At night, my high school friends Sam and Michael came over to hang out, which was so fun! We ordered pizza, and Madre (being the hospitable gem she is) fried up some egg rolls and TWO different kinds of pork.

DSC_3193

margherita

DSC_3194

veggie

DSC_3198

fried noms

And now it’s 1am and I should sleep, because next week I will be an 8-5 working human.

I hope you all have a lovely week! Prayers especially for all those in England and Europe in general ♥︎

So tell me: 

Which food in this post would you want to try!?

Two fun things you did this weekend.

What is your favorite musical?

Have you been humbled recently?