Sweet summer

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So. I’m obviously a little behind on my blogging. It’s been only about 3 months since I last posted. In that time, I finished my first year of pharmacy school, started interning (yay patient counseling!), and have spent numerous ninety-degree days at the water park with the kids. That first week after finals felt so amazing to be able to jump in the car on some spontaneous mission without having my iPad or some textbook in my lap to study for an exam. Ah… It was like a mini-vacation just taking a trip to the grocery store. I’d be lying to say that I didn’t still carry around my massive book of non-prescription drugs though for a little light reading.

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I also thought I would be clever and plant some foxglove flowers in one of my old pots that have been untouched for years, and name them Digi, or something equally as corny (since the heart failure medication, digoxin, is made from the foxglove plant). However, after being dumped on the sidewalk for the second time this week by my 3 year old, my seedlings are no longer salvageable. It’s funny how those pots will sit for years untouched and growing mold, but as soon as I plant something in one, it becomes the target for every foot, hand, and swinging door in a hundred mile radius.

I start my retail rotation at Walgreens in a little less than a month; that’ll be interesting. Hopefully My husband can go back to working nights, or we’ll have to find someway to afford childcare for those three weeks before classes start again. It makes me nervous not having solid plans by now. I’m probably driving him crazy with my questioning. I had to blend in those pesky white hairs with some highlights last week.

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Beautiful Morning

After the past (crazy) week, the average number of hours I’ve slept is 5.  Last night I got almost 9 hours! It felt GREAT! It’s 8:00AM and almost 60 degrees out already (in April), which isn’t THAT impressive considering we had 80 degree days in March this year, but it puts me in a good mood.  I’m about to head to campus where my fellow lab students and I will practice giving eachother intramuscular and subcutaneous injections.  I hope they’re nice to me.

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The light at the end of the tunnel

Right now, on a Wednesday night, I am reading my favorite childhood book (The Berenstain Bears and The Spooky Old Tree) to my daughter, eating dinner (and trying to convince my 3 year old to eat more than just the sauce on her plate), and procrastinating tackling my infinitely growing to-do list.  This is a typical night for me.  I would like to get some studying done for Biochemistry and Biotechnology tonight, as there are two exams coming up early next week, and I work this Saturday, then have Easter plans for Sunday, but I will probably try to accomplish some reading and writing assignments first.  This past week has been crazy.  Last Friday I spent all night documenting my patient interviews from earlier that week (total of 7 pages single spaced), while my husband worked the night shift and my friends were out having fun (poor, lame me).  Over the weekend, I had an early Easter at my mom’s house, then had my sister and her family over for the night (my reward for working my butt off Friday night).  On Monday, I turned in my Drug Delivery and Pharmaceutical Calculations homework, then tackled my Biochemistry problem set.  Yesterday I typed up my 3 page Curriculum Vitae (a detailed, health career oriented form of a resume), and typed a paper reflecting on the diabetes book I read for lab.  This morning I began reading the enormous amount of literature for my first immunization module.  I have yet to write a paper summarizing my mentorship at Fairview Compounding Pharmacy this semester, and two (pretend) letters to “my patient” and his physician summarizing our appointment from last week.  I also have a lot more immunization readings and presentations to get through next week, in addition to some quizzes for Drug Delivery and immunizations/lab.  The end of the semester is in sight; I am excited and scared at the same time.  With the end of the semester comes finals (fortunately only one of which is cumulative), new responsibilities and privileges (intern status at work!), and the infamous second year looming over my head (eep!).  On the other hand, summer brings sunshine and beaches, and significantly more freetime.  Let’s hope I can use my time a little more wisely during this break.

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Be The Match

I volunteered at the “Be the Match” bone marrow registry drive last week where we provided information about becoming a donor and recruited 315 potential donors!  Some may be surprised to learn that peripheral blood stem cell donation (PBSC), which is used most frequently, does not involve surgery.  Visit http://marrow.org/Home.aspx to get the facts you need to Save a Life.

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Studying habits

Since becoming a pharmacy student, I’ve found that I learn and study differently than I did during my undergrad. No longer is it about memorizing facts and details to ace a test (which would be nearly impossible with the masses of information flying at me from all directions), but to understand the big picture and to have the ability to solve problems on the spot. For example, I wouldn’t memorize that the specific potential side effects of a particular drug are increased blood pressure and heart rate, anxiety, nervousness, and heart attack; I WOULD, however, remember that it is an “alpha-adrenergic agonist” which stimulates the sympathetic nervous system (“fight or flight”-like response) which could lead to these types of side effects. This type of studying has its ups and downs. On the good side, I can study and understand a larger amount of information in a shorter period of time with greater retention. On the bad side, specifics (especially unusual ones) can sometimes be missed or forgotten; likewise, some professors still seem to promote straight memorization (which means having to accept less than favorable scores when a specific word doesn’t come to mind during an exam).

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Minnesota winter

Last night while preparing for today’s lectures, I was sitting on the couch with my daughter sending stuff to my wireless printer when the furnace made an odd noise and shut off. I went to check what the problem was, but there didn’t appear to be one as there wasn’t a warning light blinking, and the flame was still on. So, I took my laptop upstairs and watched a parenteral nutrition lecture in bed with my daughter before going to sleep (totally cute by the way, she was paying attention and repeating some of the points!). Around midnight, I woke up to my husband telling me that the furnace was broken, and he was afraid the pipes were going to freeze. He told me that to get it fixed the next day would cost $500, but he could order a part on Amazon for $100. I told him to do the latter with expedited shipping, and he went to Walmart in the middle of the night to buy some space heaters in the mean time (best hubby ever!). So when I woke up this morning, the bedroom was around 65 degrees (still cold, but better than freezing), and there was a nice (fake) fire in the living room, but the rest of the house was frigid. I made some hot oatmeal, downed a cup of hot coffee, then started my car ten minutes before I had to leave. I knew it was going to be cold today, so my wool socks, extra leggings, triple wrapped scarf, fleece lined hat, and mittens were definitely a plus. I wasn’t, however, expecting to see -9 on my car thermometer when I finally drove to the Burnsville Transit Station. My furnace really picked a poor time to die.

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Ballerina troubles

This morning I wrestled with my screaming 3 year old to get her dressed in pink pants and a pretty little white sweater. You would think that pink pants would more than suffice for a little girly-girl, but not mine. She requires skirts, particularly large skirts that “shake”. This Saturday at her first dance class, she told one of the girls that her wrap skirt was not big enough, as she sported a gigantic pink shaky tutu. I think we may have a problem. It has gotten so bad that I have had to remove all of the skirts (except the jean ones, which she refuses to wear because of their lack in shakiness) from her dresser and place them on a shelf in her closet. After I discovered her wearing 5 skirts (not the maximum she’s worn by the way) in the middle of the night, I had to move them to my closet. This morning (after the 20 minute pants ordeal), I showed her some pictures of Princess Jasmine, and explained that not all princesses wear dresses, and that she is beautiful no matter what she wears. She then told me in a sassy voice, “Tangled wears a dress!” I guess you can’t reason with a three year old.

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