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?

 

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Ups and Downs of My First Week Back in Boston

Remember that cocktail of emotions that I was feeling right before leaving for Boston?

Well it has heightened, for better and for worse. I am filled with so much gratitude and joy seeing my friends and preparing for another year of learning, but for a few days I was also losing sleep over emotions like excitement, nervousness, anxiety, and fear. I know that’s normal for starting a new year of school, but it’s oddly intense. And I’m not even a freshman!

At first, I was just so excited to see everyone that I had to sorta numb my feelings or else I might have exploded with joy.

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But for whatever reason, I was going through a phase where my sympathetic nervous system was just ON. My heart was beating uncomfortably quickly for a few days for no good reason, my stomach felt tight, and I was breathing from my chest more than from my belly (a sign that my body is stressed).

I didn’t know what was up, but prayer, movement, music, being with good friends, and big deeeeeep belly breaths from my diaphragm all helped. Also, I’m thinking back to my own tips on how I deal with anxious feelings.

(Talk about a way to make my parents feel GREAT.)

The real medicine this time around, however, was letting go of hypersensitivity to what others thought of me. I have no idea why, but I became so preoccupied with trying to impress people (who I know and love from last year). However, as soon as I remembered that I have one person— God— in my audience, I started feeling better.

In the words of Tori Kelly: “Take it or leave it, babe, I’m not gonna change. If you don’t understand I don’t need you anyway.” <— please listen.

Now that that’s off my chest. Hello, lovely folks ♥

Despite my very minor heart palpitations, this weekend was pretty darn awesome.

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dorm breakfast feat. the breakfast trifecta

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bodyweight exercises in the great outdoors of Boston

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dorm snacks

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monster chicken, tomato, lettuce, avocado, sundried tomato, pesto pita wrap = lunch and dinner

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some steep ($5…) pistachio and nocciola gelato for the Feast of St. Anthony celebration in North End

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first dining hall meal! classic breakfast that I scarfed down because I had attend a meeting

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first dining hall dessert! they did not fail with this delicious carrot cake

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second dining hall dessert the night after — vegan apple cider oatmeal cookie mousse parfait — pretty luxurious and delicious

Lots of food. Some humans were involved too.

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It was also a productive weekend, getting lots of tasks done before classes actually start.

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including getting a head start on human physiology reading #nerd#geek#lame#sayittomyface

I genuinely hope each of you is doing well and that you have a wonderful week ahead! Today is my last Monday off before the grind begins woooooo.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
— James 1:2-4

So tell me:

Do you ever find yourself breathing from your chest more than usual?

Do you ever feel unusually sensitive to how others might perceive you?

What is your favorite kind of cake? Carrot cake all the way (WITH raisins).

What did you do this weekend? 

Fourth of July in Boston

Coming you today fresh out of one of the best weekends ever!

Fireworks were exploding for Fourth of July, and my heart was exploding with joy from being with people I love so much.

Here’s why this weekend was “one for the books,” in the words of Rachel.

-Overnight oats for the super early train ride into the city.

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-Smooth and safe bus rides to and from Boston.

-Lunch back at the ol’ Boston University.

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-Rachel finding me standing while eating this lunch (four hours on a bus = butt in pain). First words out of her mouth: “You are NOT standing right now.”

-Giving and receiving big hugs from my friends again.

-Praying with my friends. Having friends in faith is inspiration taken to a whole new level.

-A three hour walk around Boston with Rachel just because we had so much to talk about. Love that chick.

-Making pizza balls on the floor of Rachel’s apartment because… #collegestudentlife. The pizza balls were messy and uneven in size/shape, but they were delicious. Two girls, one package of pizza dough, God knows how much cheese, all gone.

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-Talking with my friends into the wee hours of the morning.

-Being woken up by sunshine and birds (not ideal at 7 AM, but still a beautiful thing).

-Banana oatmeal with pb made in my friends’ apartment for breakfast.

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looks like a smaller portion than it actually was, mostly because my spoonful of peanut butter was HUGE

-Spending an absolutely gorgeous day at the beach with some of my favorite people.

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-Climbing rocks and playing frisbee on the beach.

-Eating a sandwich on the beach (it’s true, Jen— tastes better on the beach!).

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-TORI KELLY CONCERT (with Jeff Leblanc as the opener). She sounds even better live. We got on line kinda late after getting back from the beach, so we could only get a spot in the back (it was general admission).

There was a guy who was at least 6 feet tall right in front me at first, but he realized I was strugglin’ behind him, so he courteously asked if I wanted to switch spots with him. Forever grateful for little acts of kindness like that! Also, the venue is pretty small, so she still seemed so close.

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-Not worrying about specific eating times/what exactly/how much I’m eating, and just going with the flow. I snacked my way through dinner between the beach and the concert. Then I had a second dinner with Ben and Rachel after the concert at 11 PM.

-A fabulous Fourth of July: sleeping in, brunch (I ate huevos rancheros for the first time— amazing), watching Black Hawk Down (very violent, cried a bit), a cute apartment dinner, ice cream (PB cookies and cream from J.P. Licks, oh my goodness), and fireworks over the Charles River.

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aptmt dinner collage

-Cheesy bread to finish off the day.

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-Saying goodbye to my friends. WAIT, I’m not being mean. Of course it broke my heart, but my sadness in saying goodbye reminded me that it is a wonderful gift from God to have such incredible friends who I seriously trust with my life.

-Eating this classic lunch upon arriving back home. Avocado toast with sunny eggs and sriracha + leaves salad.

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-Fun things in the mail: new books and snail mail from my friend Emma! I ♥ pen pals.

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-USA Women’s Soccer Team winning the World Cup!

-My parents’ anniversary today! My bro and I are blessed to have parents who display such love and sacrifice for one another and for their children.

-Jury duty today. Not my activity of choice, but hey, might as well continue the proud-to-be-American theme, right?

Wishing you all an awesome Monday! Eat something doughy and cheesy.

So tell me:

American friends, what did you do for the Fourth?

Non-Americans, what did you do this weekend?

Have you ever been summoned for jury duty?

The Best Things I Did This Weekend

I am currently staring at all the food I need to put away in the fridge and procrastinating doing so by blogging.

What is all this food I’m staring at? See below. 🙂

The Best Things I Did This Weekend:

1. Celebrating Fathers’ Day!

There are no words that can justly describe how much Pop means to me. Such a humble, hard working, charitable man. Thank you for everything, Pop!

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We BBQ’d to celebrate and followed typical protocol— I chop, marinate, and skewer; Dad grills. We make a good team.

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breakfast for Pop: egg white omelet with cheese, greens, red bell peppers, and avocado + turkey bacon + cinnamon apple FlapJacked pancakes

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breakfast for me (unpictured: two or three more spoonfuls of almond butter)

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THE BEST ROASTED SWEET POTATOES EVER

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pork souvlaki

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Moroccan chicken kebabs

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grilled vegetables

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pita with chicken, tomatoes, and homemade cucumber mint yogurt sauce

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When Dad and I grill, we eat super casually. We’ll just graze and try whatever is ready out of the oven or off the grill, as a BBQ should be IMO. It’s like an all night buffet.

2. Logging off of Facebook and Instagram for a majority of the weekend (Friday and Saturday at least).

I dare you to try this. Logging off of social media and not worrying about notifications or checking news feeds did wonders for my focus and breathing. Yes, I was still on Instagram and FB, especially yesterday, but even taking a couple days off helped me realize how much time and energy I spent on social media. I’m going to make this a regular thing.

3. This breakfast.

I rarely have the same breakfast two mornings in a row, but this was a repeat on Friday and Saturday because it was basically 90% prepared and tasted 100% delicious.

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a hefty piece of this banana bread oatmeal bake (that I baked earlier this week) with sunflower seed butter + Greek yogurt with chia, cinnamon, nutmeg, banana, and pb

4. One handed handstand against the wall!

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I’ve tried this in the past and failed, but on Friday night I just went for it again and surprised myself! I did it a few times and called it a day, don’t worry 😉

5. Amanda’s banana muffins.

These babies made their way to the top of some ice cream…

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…and some chia pudding…

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…and into my belly.

6. Surprising mom at the airport during her layover.

It’s a long story as to why she was traveling, but long story short: We got to see her for the first time in about a month at the airport! She was so happy to see us, and we were so happy to see her!

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airport Qdoba doing me good

7. Listening to Tori Kelly’s new album on iTunes radio.

I need to white-girl-fan-girl here, because I CANNOT EVEN handle how amazing it is. I advise you to go listen (on iTunes Radio First Play, but the album drops tomorrow!).

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no one sings or does curly hair quite like her

8. Bareburger with Pop.

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The “SoCal”: turkey burger with sprouts, guacamole, pickled red onions, and a beauteous amount of aged cheddar on a multigrain bun

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vegan carrot cake which rocked our worlds

 9. Eating more than Pop on Saturday.

This is real life. I ate quite a bit more than my dad on Saturday, and I didn’t even try! Granted, we have two opposite goals for our bodies (and…different bodies), but I’m pretty darn impressed with myself!

10. Going to church.

Always the highlight.

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Woo that’s a lot of happenings! Wait, more than half of these are about food. I act surprised, but I guess I shouldn’t be…

Hope you all have a marvelous Monday!

So tell me:

The top three best things you did this weekend!

Do you like repeating breakfast or changing it up?

Did you cook/bake anything amazing this weekend?

I Should Probably Feel More Stressed For Finals

Thinking-Out-Loud

It has been way too long since I’ve joined Amanda’s party!

1) Firstly, thank you all for your words of wisdom and support on Monday’s post. You’re the peanut butter to my banana.  That could be taken very wrongly. *Getting my head out of the gutter.* You’re the peanut butter to my jelly— let’s just stick with the classic 🙂

2) It’s officially finals week (after my one linguistics class today).

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stress relief a la BU

It’s concerning me that I don’t quite feel the stress and pressure of my three exams coming up next week, especially since I have both organic chemistry and anatomy on Tuesday. I NEED TO BE FREAKING OUT. Fear needs to do its evolutionary job and get me to study like a madwoman.

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Don’t worry, mom and pop, I’m studying.

3) “Girls just wanna have fun” was definitely the theme of this past weekend. The Catholic Women’s Group had an epic sleepover on Friday night…

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zebra onesie wins all the awards

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yoga mat doubling as sleeping bag base

…and then I went to my roommate’s fashion show! I’ve already showed you her model status, but it was so fun seeing her WERK in person.

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4) Remember when I told you I joined the Catholic Center intramural softball team just because they needed more girls to play? Well, our team made it all the way to the championship game! We didn’t win it, but I’m thoroughly impressed with the team’s undefeated streak up until that point.

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Not that I did anything. I played catcher or far {farrrrrr} right field. Everyone else picked up my slack very well. I thought I hated baseball/softball, but I had— dare I say— fun!

5) In other exciting news, the coolest Asian-Persian-Australian (aka The Big Man’s World) is now in NYC, and I’m so stoked for him!!! Great NYC Food Tour Part 3 {see part 1 + part 2} is in the works.

6) Speaking of other bloggers, the Blend Retreat is in just a couple weeks! As soon as finals are over, I’ll be all about Colorado and Blend.

7) It’s still chilly here in Boston, but the trees are blooming! I feel compelled to take a picture every time I pass by trees that are blooming, even though I’ve already taken half a dozen of the same four trees.

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8) Tori Kelly’s new song is so dang groovy and the lyrics are perfect.

You’ll see me hangin’ with my fam, but that don’t mean I’m living in a bubble. You’ll find me at church, but that don’t me I can’t cause trouble.

9) I need to go to bed, so I’m going to stop typing right here. I hope you all have a wonderful day. Listen to music that makes you wanna dance. And then DANCE.

So tell me:

What is one thing that pleasantly surprised you this past week?

What song are you currently loving?