Wednesday, March 24, 2010

This is getting weird.....

As many of you know, I am in my psychiatric-mental health rotaiton right now. And I L-O-V-E it!!! However, I do find it to be a little emotionally draining at times. While at the same time, I feel quite fortunate for my situation because.....

I could take the worst, god-awful, horrible, miserable day of my life -- and there are patients in this unit that would DREAM to live that day (in comparison to the one their living). I'm not homeless. I have a great family. Stability exists in my life. I don't hear voices when I wake up in the morning, there are no trees in my house telling me to boil dog-feces on the stove (yes, I spoke with a patient who heard these voices), I dont have a substance-abuse addiction -- and overall I feel pretty darn good about life.

However....I have to share two creepy experiences that have happened in just 3 weeks of this rotation.

My first day on the unit; we were informed there is a woman in a "severe state of mania". We were told to watch out for her, she's very unstable. They also said "You'll know who she is when you see her!"

While standing with my 9 other classmates in the hallway, she picked ME out and stated, "Abigail, Abigail, Abigail...You are a spitting image of me when I was 14! Watch out, or you'll be here soon too!" (we wear nametags...)

All I could think was...."Why me? What is it about me that made her think this?"

However, I laughed it off. It was just random that she picked me out......

Two weeks later, we have a new "Acute/Manic/Severe/Psychotic" lady on the unit. We are warned prior to any interactions.

I was sitting on the couch conversing with her about life. This week I did NOT wear a name tag, folks. I asked, "What is your name?" She replied, "My name is Abby!!!" (in a very excited, manic, hyper voice). I said, "That makes two of us! My name is Abby too."

Later on, I was asking a question to my instructor about "Abby". She looked at my like I'm CRAZY (haha), and said "Um. There is no Abby on the unit. You're the only Abby around here, honey."

Yep. She just felt like an Abby today, I guess.

So I just have to come out and ask it:

Mom, Dad -- Is there something about the name Abby? Why am I running into so many psychotic people that associated and feel so "Abby-ish". This must be where the whole "Abby-Normal" thing came about? I don't know.

Just had to share it. Thought it was interesting! Maybe you can get a laugh out of it, I sure did!!

It's a good thing I found something to laugh about today!! For in addition to clinicals, many assignments, and other stressors in life right now -- the right side of my face decided to swell up today (mid-clinical). Good ole' allergies. I looked like the Michelin-Tire-Man. Real cute! I got put on some good meds, so things should pan out!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Ten On Tuesday

1. When you were a senior in high school, what career did you think you’d choose? Did you? Why or why not?

I thought I was going to be a Music Educator. I wanted to major in Music Education, and then go on to get my masters and be a professor for trombone specifically. Why did I change my mind? -- I do not know! I think when I really evaluated myself, I realized my biggest interest was in health/medicine/etc.
2. What one thing about the “real world” did you find most surprising once you were on your own?

The last 5 words of the question spells it out: "You were on your own.". It first hit me about 2 weeks after I moved to Tucson, and it was rough! For the first time in my life....I had no one to solve my problems for me, no one to cry to. It was a good learning experience.
3. Name 3 things you think your closest friends DON’T like about you.
-I am way to much of a hermit! For example: my spring break week? -- I did not speak face-to-face with a single person other than Ryan. I am way too content in my own little crab shell.
-I'm quite distanced. Hence why I have met very few people since I've moved to AZ. Once, again -- the crab shell.

Wow, anyone want to be friend??? (That made me sound quite horrid. I'm not that bad)

4. In order to sleep, do you need background noise or absolute quiet?
Me? No. I could sleep with no sound and I could sleep through a tornado.
But do I currently sleep with white noise? Yes. Thank you, husband. He has to have a fan or something making a slight noise in the background. So I've adjusted.

5. Why do you choose to reside in your current city? Yes, you have a choice.
Because I was a very bold little lady about 2 years ago. I was dating my husband, he asked me to move to Tucson with him, and I said yes. I'm glad I did it! I kinda like him ;)

And now, we're stuck here because I have a contract with a hospital and he just signed a contract with his job. But I'm pleasantly content here and have learned to like it here! If I didn't have my husband, however? -- I'd be one sad, lonely lady.
6. Are you close to your parents?
Extremely! They are my best friends. I've learned so much from them. I'm quite fortunate to have such a great relationship with my parents -- for not everyone in this world is blessed with that! And how comforting is it to know they'll love me no matter what! :)
7. What is your favorite fiction book? Poem? Blog?
Poem: "Where the Sidewalk Ends" - Shell Silverstein. The whole book. Here's one for your pleasure:
There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,

And there the grass grows soft and white,

And there the sun burns crimson bright,

And there the moon-bird rests from his flight

To cool in the peppermint wind.
Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black

And the dark street winds and bends.

Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow

We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,

And watch where the chalk-white arrows go

To the place where the sidewalk ends.
 Yes we'll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,

And we'll go where the chalk-white arrows go,

For the children, they mark, and the children, they know

The place where the sidewalk ends.

Favorite fiction book: I don't remember the last time I read a fiction book. It's been awhile! So we'll go with another children one "The BFG"
Favorite Blog- I can't pick one. Every blog I read I enjoy for different reasons!

8. Do you enjoy cooking or is it a chore?
I love cooking. It relaxes me, and is so fun! Especially when it tastes delicious

9. Be honest. What one thing would (the majority of) your blog readers be shocked to find out about you?
This is tough, for I am pretty "tell all" in my blogging. And most of my blog-readers are family......

I was on a "dance team" for 1 year of high school. It was called "Danceline".We wore these god-awful black and silver-sequinned uniforms. We'd put our hair in updo's and spray sparkley glitter in our hair. I'd prance around the gym floor for half-time shows of basketball games like an idiot. I joined the team purely because I wanted to be involved in everything.

I am so not a "dance-team girl"

10. If you were given your own national holiday, what would you require people to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner on the Day of You? Would there be a parade? Greeting cards?
Breakfast: Everyone would have to eat cereal with milk (or soy milk) and bananas (or berries if you need to limit your potassium for a kidney issue). And the cereal would need to be mildly soggy. I would mandate the cereal type...but I understand some need to avoid gluten, milk products etc....
Lunch: On Abby Day, one must eat a plate filled with tomatoes, fresh-sliced cucumbers, broccoli, carrots, jicama, bok choy, and peppers. You will have to find a friend/loved one to have a lemon eating contest with to see who will win the battle of lemons." (Wow, I am weird)
Dinner: It will be tradition to bake a squash on this holiday. Spaghetti, butternut, acorn - whatever you want. The feast will be celebrated over any seafood of choice (shimp, salmon, mahi-mahi, crab....mmmm)
Parade: Meh, I'm not a big parade lover. So no. No parades will occur on my national holiday. But family get-togethers will occur.
Greeting cards: Yes. Greeting cards are fun. I will make sure there are many singing greeting cards available for this holiday.

Monday, March 22, 2010

San Diego

Sometimes we just need a weekend getaway. I can't think of the last full day that Ryan & I truly had "together". It's been crazy. When we do seem to have a day together, a large chunk of it is spent studying.

But we took an escape this weekend.....

It was supposed to be in Puerto Penasco, Mexico. But some information we received caused to re-group and find a new destination: San Diego! (Details on the planning of our trip to come later....)

If I could....I would pack up my life and move to San Diego tomorrow.

It is the most pleasant city on earth, that I have experienced. So here I will break down our trip......

  • We hit the road at 6:30 am and were in San Diego by noon!
  • It was the most beautiful drive. Amazing how each our of the trip had a slight change in scenery!
  • Our first stop was the Ferry Landing of Coronado Island (the island we stayed on)
  • We walked the pier, admired the boats of the marina, and stopped for lunch at a great restaurant called Candela's. Ryan got the Duck Tacos and I got a Chicken-Avacado-Mango Salad.
  • We hit up some of the shops in area, and then headed to our hotel to check in.
  • We stayed on the North Island Naval Base, which is the same naval base that my Dad had basic training at way back when!! So it was kind of a neat destination! The hotel was wonderful and we had our own private beach.
  • We unpacked, played on the beach, and then headed back into Coronado for the evening. We hit up "Coronado Brewing Company" for dinner and some good brewery beer.
  • The day was ended with a nice, evening walk on the beach!
San Diego Bay


  • We woke early with excitement for the big day to come, so headed out to the beach to explore!

  • It was a calm, sunny morning with slight fog hanging in the air from the heavenly ocean-air. We saw tons of birds, seagulls, and sand-dollars. What started as a calm relaxing walk turned into a run - which then turned into a game to see who could win in pushing each-other in the ocean. (

    • FYI - this is not "surfing/swimming" season. The water is quite cold. People looked at us as though we are crazy for getting in!

The sand was very interesting on this beach. It almost created paintings. You cannot see by this picture, but it was all gold-speckled! So pretty!

I have never found such perfect sand dollars. They are everyone on this beach!

  • We then headed in and got ready for the day at Sea World. Being military -- we got in free! It's normally $69.00/person! 
  • We had a blast at Sea World. Something about marine animals is incredible. We kind of "powershopped through our day and hit the hot spots we wanted to see.

This was the Sea Lion show. It was hilarious!

Killer Whale

Of course, flamingos. I always say "Flamingos are the only animal I like." They're so beautiful, and pink!

  • To end our day at Sea World, we took the "Sky Ride" across the Bay. Definitely worth it. It was kind of like a ski lift--except over water! Very beautiful!

Coronado Bridge

  • We headed back to our hotel around 2:00 to freshen up and get ready for a night on the town!

  • Ryan & I rarely go out. And I have never experienced "night life". (I am a hermit) So what better a place to begin this, other than the Gas Lamp District of downtown San Diego?

  • We didn't bring the camera out, just to be safe (didn't want it getting stolen or lost)

  • We hit up some of the best seafood restaurants and bars of the area. Some of the food we enjoyed was oyester shooters, sushi, and Tuna tartare. I could live off this type of food! My new favorite appetizer is oyester shooters!

  • We ended our night at the Altitude Sky Lounge. It's a bar/lounge located at the 42nd floor of one of the buildings downtown. We were tired and ready to head home (It was 11....this is late for us!) But we had to check it out and get a night view of the city. Well worth our time!

  • Finding a taxi back to the Naval base was........interesting and a story in itself....

  • Needless to say, we made it back safely!

  • We always like to make our last day of every vacation one of relaxation. Because there's nothing worse than coming home for a vacation in need of a vacation :)

  • So we started our morning with a drive to the Ferry station of Coronado island, and took a long walk along the Pier.

  • It was a very surreal environment. None of the shops were open except for one coffee shop. The only movement around was a few fishermen, joggers, kayakers, and some of the coast guard/navy boats in the bay. It was so peaceful!

  • We then headed back to the hotel, packed the cooler with water and beer and headed out to the beach! We went straight for the water, and swam until we were bone-chilled with goosebumps.

    • AZ may have turned me into a "wimp". But the "wimp" goes away when I see water! :)

  • After a full day of frisbee, sand-castle building, swimming, and walks on the beach - we were ready for a night of good food and wine!

  • We headed into Coronado to a wine bar for evening Wine-Tasting. We tried 6 different wines and 1 desert wine. The experience was accompanied with live Jazz music. The bar was called WineStyles.

    • We both agreed our favorite wine was the Pinot Noir.

    • They have a realy neat deal where if you purchase a bottle - you can take it to one of their partnering restaurants, and they will cork it for you and serve it for free with your dinner!

  • We had dinner at the great restaurant called Chance Bistro. I had the "Catch of the Day" Mahi-mahi with Butternut Squash Risotto & Asparagus, and Ryan had the Wild Honey Grilled Salmon with risotto. Excellent food, romantic night, great wine!

  • We took our last walk along the beach, and then headed to the hotel for bed -- with a feeling of sadness for the end of our weekend-getaway to paradise!
It was an excellent trip! Definitely worth it and we came home feeling refreshed and motivated to hit the grindstone. We have realized we won't have a "life" until May 14. So we're glad we took advantage!