Ambulatory Rotation

Another month of pharmacy school has gone by, this one at a doctor’s office where I was able to work with an amazing team. Each day we had new people come in to ask questions about the meds, to find out how to get healthy again, to find out how to stay healthy… these people, patients, needed time to digest what their doctors have told them. They needed time spent face to face to go over their conditions and to know that someone was listening to them. We would often spend an hour or more talking with them, getting to know them, finding out their likes and their dislikes, finding out how we can help them take charge of their health. It was humbling.

They would look to us because we understood their conditions and because we understood their medicines. They would trust us when we told them they needed to change something because their kidneys were bad, or because if they stayed on it they’d mess up their hearts. We would help them understand how to take their blood thinners and how to measure their sugars. We did all of this and so much more.

One man came in with blood pressure to the roof and we put him directly with a doctor and recommended what would help right away. An hour later his blood pressure was back down and he understood a little better how dangerous that could be.

One lady came in and just happened to mention she felt like an elephant was sitting on her chest a few nights before, she was there to check her blood thinner. We sent her back for an ECG to make certain she would be OK to go home.

Another couple came in because his blood work didn’t look good, they were scared, they thought this must mean the end is coming quicker than they thought. We were able to give them comfort and reassurance that all he needed to do was change his diet some, drink more water, and have an evening walk every night. Simple things that every one can do to prevent the fears they had that day. His wife began to cry she was so relieved that this was something they could handle.

Another man came in to make certain he wasn’t bleeding internally because of his blood thinner. He had started it because of a blood clot of unknown origin. I see him sitting there and I wonder quietly like the rest why it happened and pray to myself it’s not an early sign of cancer.

Real people, real blood, real dreams, real lives. Dozens of them over the last month. And to think a pharmacist does nothing but count pills? Nonsense.

thank you for reading,

me

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Life is for living

Live dangerously. Take chances. Dream. We all come into this world the same way. We all leave it the same way too. We are born and we die. We know how it begins and we know how it ends, why not make the middle more interesting? That’s the living part.

I’m tired of living vicariously through others. I want my own adventures, my own chances to fail. I want to live for the sake of living. It’s interesting, coming to the end of my school career. I’ll be a licensed pharmacist by this time next year. So what am I going to do with it? Who am I going to be? How do I want my life to look in ten years? five? three?

It’s easier to know what I don’t want than to know what I want. I don’t want where I’m at. I don’t want to get up, go to work, wish I was off, go home, go to sleep, and get up and do it all over again. I can hear my ‘friends’ saying, “but that’s what growing up is all about”. I can hear them saying, “get over it.” But I don’t care what they say. I don’t want that and so I am not going to put up with that either. I can hear them again, “you’ll learn” and totally discounting me, thinking I’m naive and that I just don’t know anything.

But I do know. I do know a lot. I’m not a kid, I’m in my 40s. I’m not naive, I have an incredible grasp of life. Maybe that’s the problem? Because I have such a grasp of life and because I understand how amazingly fragile it is, maybe that’s why I refuse to let it slip away unnoticed. I refuse to give up or give in. Not ever, never again.

I will not let my life go unnoticed. I will not let the days slip by without recognizing the love and the pain around me. I write. I write to save my memories and to remember my dreams. So what do I want in the next few years? Freedom, peace, adventure, love. I know something others around me don’t realize. I know that people do live lives they love. I’ve met them and I want to be like them. I’m not saying I don’t love my life now, I’m saying that I am not content to let it be this way forever. I am content that today I will go to work to learn and that I will be challenged and tired. I am happy to do that today. Even tomorrow and so on for weeks, months, maybe even years. What I am not content to do is allow my work life to be my only life. I will play and I will live.

thank you for reading,

me

Random Thoughts This Morning

1 – Why do people find the bad in everything? It seems so much easier to find the pitfalls, the mistakes, the ‘it didn’t work’ parts… why can’t we start to see the great things? Why can’t we see the beauty? I posted on Facebook asking if any of my friends sail. I got a lot of positive comments such that they like to but no one really does. I had two who said they would love to go sailing with me but I’m not sure I’d be in the same stadium as them let alone, alone on a boat… then there’s the one comment “the happiest days for boat owners are the day they buy the boat and the day they sell it.” REally? Then why do people keep buying them? Why do people actually live on them sometimes? The downer really got to me. Burst my bubble some. I try hard not to do that to others, I’m sure that I do but I try not to.

2 – I have a friend who is thinking of leaving her marriage. How can I help her? She sounds so much like me but she’s so much earlier in it than I was. I don’t want her to destroy a marriage that could still work yet I don’t want her to stay in it if it will destroy her drive, her love of life. I can only tell her to trust her heart but I want to make everything better. I think often that marriage should be more of a time limited contract. If everyone thought, “if I don’t straighten up then she (or he) won’t renew” then maybe we’d behave better? Let’s say every 5 or 10 years you have to decide whether the other partner has kept his side of the deal. Has he supported her? Helped keep up the house? Has she helped him? I mean, it doesn’t really matter what the role is, so long as they are agreed upon. And a clause that says you can get out if you find you just aren’t compatible? Why would someone stay if they aren’t happy anyway? My ex was never happy, yet he didn’t want a divorce? That just didn’t make sense to me. If he hated me so much then why wouldn’t he leave? Oh well.

3 – So do I get a boat? I still want one. I still imagine the feel of the boat rocking under me day and night. I imagine waking with the sunrise, or with the storm. They both delight me. I imagine living wherever I want to live, leaving and coming as I please and taking my home with me. I imagine being able to still come to land when needed, working for 3 or 4 days a week and still being able to enjoy my home. I imagine I would be the black sheep of the family, because I prefer my own company to theirs. I imagine living a life of adventure, where I can love on others and I can still have my peace and privacy… I know there will be downers but they aren’t me.

4 – I spent the day outside yesterday, the weather was perfect. I laid on my blanket under a tree and studied and read and just rested my soul. It was wonderful. I so much prefer to be outside than inside no matter the weather. I have two weeks left to this rotation and then I have a month off. It’s beginning to feel as if I might actually make it, I might actually graduate in May. The questions remain what will I do then? I have a lot of the what, just looking for how. How can I convince my family that living on a boat is a good idea? How can I learn to sail without having a boat yet? (I will be spending a week on one in south Florida after graduation.) How can I be sure I’m doing the right thing? How do I get a job that will allow my random, crazy ideas? How can I live the life of my dreams? “Trust my heart, it sees things my brain refuses to see.” The more I trust myself, the more excited I become about living. I never knew how much more life was out there when I was in my dungeon!

And so we all begin another week, another day, another morning. May this week be filled with love and passion and dreams that come true.

thank you for reading,

me

Boat living? Can I do it?

Sailing. Am I really wanting to live on a sailboat? I mean, I’ll have to learn everything. Everything. I’ll have to downsize to almost nothing and learn how to sail and learn all the laws of the water and learn how to take care of myself on a boat… everything. Is this something I really want to do? I’m beginning to fall in love with the idea. The idea of leaving this damnable town, the idea of living wherever the hell I want to live. The idea of living with so much less enthralls me.

The question is not “can I do it?” The question is “do I want to, and if so how?” I have learned over the last several years that when I put my mind to something that it eventually comes into existence. So the possibility of living on my own sailboat is there for me. Other people are doing it and therefore I know that I can as well.

This past weekend I decided to take my kids to the marina about two hours away. It was a beautiful day and I wanted to see the boats and the water. I often go there to get away, to get my head to sit right when things at home start to build up. I’m always running away to the ocean. I wonder lately why it is I’ve never lived next to it when it’s the only thing that helps me to breathe? Why am I living in a landlocked town? Why am I not next to the water like I dream to be?

I took my kids. They weren’t thrilled about getting up early on a Saturday, and my daughter was furious about not being able to play with her girlfriend. They both got over themselves pretty quickly when we got there. I’d never taken them there before. It was beautiful. We had so much fun walking along the waterfront, spitting at the turtles to make them come closer, and dreaming about the boats. My daughter, the one who least wanted to be there, is now excited about the possibility of living on a boat. And so am I.

So what will it mean to live on a boat? Living a minimalist lifestyle is a lot cheaper than what we are living now. This could be counted as a pro for us. Oceanfront property every day of the year? Another positive. A small space to live in? I’ve always loved my smaller places and besides, I’m not a big person. The freedom? This one is big. My body yearns for freedom and has fought for the freedom I now have. The people? Those whom I’ve met are great.

But, the cons… the weather? I love the changes in weather, I’m addicted to watching it. I love rainstorms and sunny days. The question is “how will I love it if I’m on a boat?” There’s a good possibility I will love it just the same. Working… working is another possible con. If I park in the marina and not at a slip I’ll have to use a dingy to get to and from the shore for work. (I’m now thinking of opening up my own sea side pharmacy somehow.) This could prove interesting in poor weather. What about the cold? What about the heat?

The more I learn the less I know. Yet living on a boat is beginning to sound like a dream. A dream about to become real. I’ll keep you posted.

thanks for reading,

me

Silence – The Dark Side

I have a theory… silence kills. I’ve experienced it. Silence can be a very terrible thing. Silence keeps people from sharing their stories for fear of being chastised, punished, beaten, ostracized and made into villains. Silence? What keeps society from knowing how their neighbor is being beaten each night? What keeps friends from knowing that their best friend is being bullied? Or their best friend is beating his wife? Why is it that abuse is so quiet? Silence.

I wonder what would happen if people quit keeping secrets. I mean, what if you actually knew how much your coworkers were getting paid and they knew how much you were getting paid? The business would have to be more fair in its payment schedules. What if you knew what other students grades were and they knew what yours are? Would you work harder? Or would you work less? You would have a better idea on how the teacher graded. What if, instead of lying, what if a woman could tell you that her husband shoved her into the wall? What if you already knew that he was dangerous because when he was mean to his girlfriend she told the world? Would you be there still?

What would happen if men would treat women as human beings and not pieces of meat? What if women took pride in themselves and only accepted men who treated them well?

I’m trying to form this one thought that’s been bothering me for a long time. I feel like if there were a community discussion where women and men could speak freely about what is going on at home, that we would find out that abuse is rampant. I think we would be able to see the depths that this goes.

These are some statistics from 2015 in the USA, when I left my husband. I can guarantee you that each and every individual who was in an abusive situation felt alone, felt that they had no choice, and felt scared of telling others. Take a look. 1 in 3 women? If it’s not you then take a closer look at your friends. *this is from ncadv.org

  • 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men experience intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner sexual violence, and/or intimate partner stalking in their lifetime.1
  • 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men experience severe physical intimate partner violenceĀ in their lifetime.1
  • 1 in 7 women and 1 in 18 men have been stalked by an intimate partner during their lifetime to the point in which they felt very fearful or believed that they or someone close to them would be harmed or killed.1
  • On a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide.9
  • The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide by 500%.10
  • Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime.2
  • Women between the ages of 18-24 are most commonly abused by an intimate partner.2
  • 19% of domestic violence involves a weapon.2
  • Domestic victimization is correlated with a higher rate of depression and suicidal behavior.2
  • Only 34% of people who are injured by intimate partners receive medical care for their injuries.2

This is epidemic, it’s not sporadic. Women and men and children are scared for their lives, and they have the right to be. What doesn’t have to happen is the silence. What if we started asking questions? What if we started listening? What if we, the survivors and victims, had room to speak? What if we began screaming from the rooftops? What if we stood up in our churches and demanded they step in? What if we quit being silent?

Abuse continues because we put up with it. It continues because we allow our friends to be treated poorly. It continues because there are too few who are willing to speak up and when they do speak they are punished. Their friends don’t know what to say and so say nothing, or quit being with them. Their family refuses to believe them and so they do nothing, and instead question their truthfulness. Their co-workers blame them. Others think they are whining, and still others think they need to toughen up. What very few actually do is believe them and provide them with a way out. Even when a woman calls the police for help she will very often not press charges.

What can we do? What if we started a revolution? What if we always knew when a man hit a woman? What if we always knew when she is threatened? The reason this continues is because people get away with it. It continues because of the secrecy. What if victims were no longer blamed and no longer felt the need to be silent? What if a man knew, absolutely knew, that if he hurts his wife that the world would come crashing down his door? What if?

thanks for reading,

me

 

Being a mom…

My daughter turns 22 years old today. 22 years ago I gave birth to a tiny baby girl, 7 lbs 11 oz, not really that small, and too big for me. She had to be delivered by c-section. I would do a lot of self-hypnosis while I was pregnant and would talk to her while she was inside, but in my mind, not vocalizing much. When we found ourselves home, at first I didn’t know how to talk to her. I would think things toward her but she wasn’t inside anymore. How could I express my love to her with words alone? When I finally would speak aloud I sounded weird to myself. I didn’t really know what to say. Still, we grew used to it and we learned how to listen to each other.

Being a mother has been one of the greatest joys of my existence. Now, while she is sleeping again in my bed, just as she did when she was born, I wonder how can I help her through this particular time in her life. I’ve learned I cannot make her decisions for her, I can’t tell her what’s the best direction to go. I can only try to encourage her to trust her heart and to believe in herself as I have finally begun to do. I look back on my life and I can see that the times when I did trust myself and acted despite the status quo, despite what made the most sense. Those times when I listened to me worked out just fine. If I would have trusted myself more often it’s likely life now would look a lot different. God, I love my children. Having them all at home is wonderful. But, they aren’t supposed to stay here forever. They aren’t mine to keep.

How do I express my pride in who my daughter is becoming? How do I tell her that my heart aches when hers does? How do I acknowledge that I can’t fix everything? I can only hold her when she cries if she’ll let me. I can only encourage her to hold herself high and to believe in herself.

The life she grew up in, the emotionally devastating home? Oh how I wish I had taken them and left sooner. I wish I had known how closely they were watching. The damage done to their psyches, mine too. How do I help them to heal as I have healed and continue to heal? I want them to see themselves as I see them. I see them as miracles, gifts directly from God. I see them as amazing, intelligent human beings with hearts of gold. I see their potential to be anything they want to be. I see their struggles and yet I have to watch and wait as they work through things. I’m an action kind of person, I want to fix everything. But fixing things isn’t my job often times. My job is to love them and that I do well. Now to continue to teach them, but this time I shall change the curriculum to one of self-love and pride. The world will teach them enough about hate later. Let them learn to love themselves and then they will be able to love others better.

How is it the church which teaches about love forgets to teach the love of self? Jesus himself said we must love others as we love ourselves, meaning we are also supposed to love ourselves. Self love is not the same as selfishness and yet they’ve been equated too long. In our rush to be selfless we have turned into a world of depression and abuse. Might this have something to do with our upbringing? Might we learn to acknowledge the beauty in ourselves first? This is what I want to teach my babies. I want them to know it’s OK to love themselves and that a little bit of ‘selfishness’ is healthy. I want them to learn that depression isn’t something they have to live with. I want them to understand that it’s only a sign that things need to change. (This is not to say that those who are depressed are in any way wrong, but that the best way to treat something is to prevent it from occurring in the first place.)

How can I show them what love is? How can I show them to love themselves? I’m newly loving who I am. The power that comes with acknowledging that life begins inside me, love starts with me? That’s pretty awesome. Children are always watching, everything, all of the time, whether we know it or not. Show them love, show them they are worth loving. Show them this and show them how you love yourself as well. They will follow your lead so lead them well.

thanks for reading,

me

Marriage? Love?

What does a good marriage look like? Is it like the Cinderella story where they live ‘happily ever after’? One of the things I often wonder about is how I’ll know if I want to get married again. How will I know what a healthy relationship looks like? I mean, it’s not exactly like I’ve figured it out or anything. I can’t just say the opposite of what I’ve seen or lived through… maybe I can create it? But I don’t want to. I’m learning there are things I just don’t want to do and don’t even want to bother with lately. Like where is my passion, actually? Oh! I’m passionate. I am. I just don’t want a relationship. Is that wrong? Of course not. What I want is what I want and there’s nothing wrong with that. So what do I want if I don’t want a guy? Gosh… I want freedom, I want adventure, I want peace and time alone. I want to sit and relax and read or write and do whatever the hell I want to do. And if that means I want to be around other people then I can put myself somewhere there are lots of people. But live with another person? Go to sleep next to another person?? Makes me cringe… unless it’s my babies. I love my babies, I love snuggling my kids.

Just a few thoughts right now as life for some around me becomes even more complicated…

thanks for reading,

me