Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Infamous Block 4

Hello all!  I am really making a point to post very often because I know there is a lot I can answer questions for on this side of the program opposed to answering questions when I am gone.  So blocks are finished and everyone is just getting ready and planning for home.  I probably should've packed yesterday but I decided to catch up on some television shows.  Plus I went out for dinner to celebrate the fact that it is my last normal block.  I guess this is the part where I should be sad. Someone cue the tears.  Okay, I will stop laughing now.

So my block exams went fairly well I must say.  You can tell that I wasn't distracted by Walden courses and I truly studied a lot this block.  Since this block is only 7 class days, I really have to make this count!  And yes, you read correctly.  SEVEN days!  And we have 13 days until White Coat ceremony.  And I guess you can say I am a little excited.

So what have I been up to?  Nothing much.  Just studying like crazy.  Since there is no real method of standardized testing in medical school other than the Step 1, our school has implemented NBME exams everywhere.  Most classes have at two like my class has.  NBME stands for National Board of Medical Exams and they just hold onto old USMLE exams.  It's a company like the PSAT.  They hold on to old questions and sell them to people for them to simulate a real exam.  I would say it is a good business because a lot of people use it.

Lunch from a restaurant at Shoal Bay
So with 3 class days left, what do I have to do to pass and move on with my life?  Two presentations, two quizzes, 4 exams, a research paper and Carnival.  I included the last one as a joke but I think you get the point that I have a lot of stuff to do.  Monday, we actually don't have school because it is August Monday also known as the first day of Carnival.  There is a parade and a beach party to go with that.  I really should study so let's see!

My group from my
Pathology poster presentation
In the past few days, I have presented a poster with some lovely classmates and I must say that we BEAST moded that presentation and it is reflected in our grade.  Also, this week we were to turn in research papers to our mentors of our research assignments that some students had the luxury of working on for the last three semesters.  My group has had to make a lot of revisions but I think we still did a great job.  And I have rewarded myself greatly this week!  Mostly because my exam grades were favorable and I am so close to getting out of this place.  Here's a few pictures to showcase how my week has been!
 I can only say that this week, I was blessed.  I was blessed enough to be around great people and have great grades.  As for a progress report on my brother, this week he has decided that he would move his leg in places to make it appear as if he would like to make a run for it.  Sorry little bro but you gotta stay put just a little while longer.  And of course there are some side jokes that come along with that as well.

Dinner with a highly regarded professor
Again, I appreciate all of the people who have helped me on my journey this far.  It has been a long road.  I have met a lot of great new friends and lost contact with a few but our relationships should surpass that.  I would think here would be a good point to ask if I have arranged anything so far for the future move to Chicago.  I signed a lease from here for an apartment in Chicago.  I know it is risky but I didn't want to risk not having a place at all because the area I am moving to is college town.  I think it was a great choice being that all utilities are included.  And I am still arranging what furniture and items that I am taking with me.

Since I only have a few weekends left, I am attempting to live.  For once in my life, I am having the opportunity to live.  I have always been a cautious person about spending and I must say that I think that I have done fairly well.  I really have not increased my debt as bad as I could have but I decided for my last few weeks, that I won't say no as much.  I just wanted to say that I experienced Anguilla versus just lived here.  I think all of my audience would like to hear that I did that as well.

Enjoying Shoal Bay
So what now?   I have almost learned all of medicine.  There is almost nothing else the teachers can teach me.  So now, it is time to put the absorbed information the teachers here have given me and study to take the Step 1!

Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.  There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.
Proverbs 16:24-25, ESV

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

And the Countdown Continues

We have 25 days in counting until our White Coat Ceremony and what am I doing for the occasion?  Currently, I am studying.  Hahaha.  I have been trying to enjoy myself and study at the same time.  One could say that's not hard at all but it can be.  I want to say I did something while I lived here ya know.  So what have I done in the past week?

Thursday, I went to dinner with some lovely friends and we enjoyed Japanese cuisine for dinner.  I will also remind people that anywhere you go out to eat in Anguilla is usually at least $20 for one person to eat.  This time, I was happy to report it was a lot of food and I left full which is unusual.  This was called the Bento Box. I won't give any names of the restaurant but one could figure them out once they get here.  But this place had very good food.  It may have earned a spot to stop by at when my family gets here.

Friday, I was very studious and stayed at school to "study."  I was practicing questions for my upcoming pathology exam this week.  Yes,  I study that far in advance.  I have to make my audience, family and friends proud of me!
Saturday morning I decided to have breakfast out.  Why?  I don't know. Maybe to make myself feel better.  I will say this bagel with egg and cheese made me feel a lot better.  I usually get a slice of lemon cake to go with it because it is so moist and delicious as well.  And this restaurant is also easy to guess.  I think others would enjoy their prices as well because they are more affordable maybe because it's breakfast.  And of course, afterwards, I went to school to study my life away.

 Late Saturday night, I decided that I would wake up on Sunday to watch the sunrise.  Yea, I guess I rolled over when I heard my alarm go off at 4:30.  The sun rises here at about 5:45 but I wanted to be really early so I knew I would catch it. But either way, I woke up at 6 am mad at myself but I still wanted a little bit of adventure before I started my weekly chore of meal prepping for the week.  So I decided to drive over to Island Harbor which is about 20 minutes from my apartment and enjoy a croissant from my favorite bakery.  I actually have a picture of their croissants in one of my first post from the island before the ant infestation that I had.  Let's just say, I ate the croissant and then realized that I had no proof for the world to see that I had them.  I would just give you the menu and the schedule so that it is made known of the times that they are open.  While I was over that way, I decided to take a few pictures of the boats and scenery.  I would say it's beautiful.
Island Harbor, Anguilla

And then on Monday, I learned how to perform a pelvic exam for females and conduct a male exam.  Let's just say it was an interesting morning learning about catheter placement, pap smears and checking for inguinal hernias.  This day was very special being that it was our last lab session for the semester because next block is full of Carnival.  It's that time of year again in case you forgot.  Maybe this time I will go observe some things and take a few pictures as well.

My first pap smear with a manikin
And last but not least, today, Tuesday.  We now have 25 days until we receive our precious white coats.  And I will say that the feeling is becoming bitter sweet.  We finished class early so my friends and I decided to go and eat at another restaurant.  Did I mention that we were trying to experience as much as possible before we leave?  This restaurant is pretty affordable.  Most of the dishes are less than $15 and it happens to be close to school.  The only downfall is there isn't a view and they are slow.  But that is anywhere on the island honestly.  I think it is just that the sense of urgency that we have in the US isn't here which is a good thing.  Gives a more relaxed feeling.

Well that's my story of this weekend.  Next week, I will try to update you guys on my adventures of the weekend because I only have 3 weekends left before I am officially finished with the island.

I would also add that my brother is doing well.  He is still receiving treatment in the rehab facility.  He is supposed to be getting moved to long term care facility soon but a facility hasn't been chosen as of yet.  If he goes to a long term care facility, he most likely won't receive the rehab that he receives now so I set up a Go Fund Me page to raise money for that.  If you would like to donate or share the fundraiser, it would be greatly appreciated.  The link is here RC's Go Fund Me.

I also forgot to mention that James and I were kind of featured in the newspaper the Anguillian for teaching the CPR course for the community members.  You can view that article here.

The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.
-Lamentations 3:25, KJV

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

So Close I Can Smell the USA

Hello again.  The journey is going nice and swell.  I have been studying a bunch as usual.  I am starting to get excited about returning home to my family but I am also trying to get my last bit of experience of the island as well.  Before I am released to go study for USMLE Step 1, I have these last exams to pass and receive my white coat.  It's only 32 days away but who is really counting.

As a small update, my brother is doing well.  His recovery is very slow but progressing.  All prayers are welcomed in his recovery and we (his family) greatly appreciates it.  In case you missed it, he suffered from a traumatic brain injury after being involved in a motorcycle accident on May 19, 2016.  He had diffuse swelling throughout the brain but mostly in the area of the basal ganglia.  He is currently in rehab for his injuries.

So what has been going on with me?  I have been trying many different restaurants to decide where to take family when they get to the island.  I also have been attempting to sell my car which I have not been successful at.  I don't understand how I am a good saleswoman for bartending but not a good car saleswoman.  That story is for another time.

 I would also like to add that in addition to the Anguilla CPR project that James and I founded, taught a lovely group of women Heartsaver CPR about two weeks ago.  We taught about 20 women and had an additional instructor from another class and were very proud to have accomplished the goal of the project before we left.  It was a very rewarding feeling and experience.

It was also a pleasure to be apart of the first ever ACLS class to be held on campus.  It was nice to combine 3 of our basic science classes into a certification as well.  Seven other students besides me were certified in skills.  We actually did well being that we were never experienced to a situation as such before.  I will link a video soon after the second class completes their certification.

Also in the last few weeks, the school hosted a health fair where locals can come to school and be screened for diseases and students can practice basic skills.  It was very fun to get the opportunity to use some of the skills I learned.  Because I am involved in a research study involving glaucoma prevalance for Anguillians, I was able to use various opthamalogy equipment to briefly check eyes without dilating them.  I would say that I am very good at utilizing the panopthamalscope and would love it if someone would like to gift it for graduating but I am not going to dwell on it.

Some friends and I did go out to this restaurant that is notorious for having celebrities but of course we didn't see anyone when we went.  The following week, some people met Charlamagne Tha God, a radio personality and I noticed on social media that Tia Mowry was also here.  Seems as if they come to not be bothered huh?  Plus it helps that Anguillians don't care about fame so it would be easy to come here and have an actual vacation.

We have a calendar on the board and the amount of things we have to complete before we leave is becoming endless.  I haven't discussed the classes for this semester.  Well most of our classes consist of pathology.  Hehehe.  Just kidding.  Our classes this semester include Physical Diagnosis, Pathology II, Epidemiology, Clinical Correlations of Basic Sciences IV and Research in Health and Medicine III.  Physical Diagnosis is interesting because we now have to learn how to regurgitate all of the information we have compiled into our brain plus the stuff we also forgot about and learn how to report it to physicians and conduct an assessment to identify the problem in the first place.  I mostly like how it ties everything we've learned together.  The other subjects are self explanatory of what they teach.

I would also mention that our class had a date auction to raise money for our white coat ceremony.  I didn't participate in it but I did bake a cake that lasted about 4 hours.  I still can't believe it was consumed that fast.  I also would like to add that I baked another one for the church bonfire and that was devoured in about 20 minutes.  So I guess if med school doesn't work out, I could be a great baker especially being that I was offered a job at the grocery store here.  Today we got to try on our white coats which put everything into perspective.  It's getting really close to our time being up on the island here!!!

As for the excitement of getting off the island is a constant right now.  I am currently trying to continue experience the island so that I won't say I missed anything while I was here.  But there will always be something I missed.  I would love to ride horses and spend a day riding 4-wheelers around the island but I think I will have to skip that this time unfortunately.  I can say that I will remember my time here and think of it as an awakening to experience something I would've never experienced otherwise.

So to go along with the path ahead, I will keep you posted on the more tortuous activities the faculty decides to put us through before letting us off the island.

Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.
-Psalm 25:4-5, KJV