Friday, November 21, 2014

7QT #44 I missed you

I really really did miss you and miss my blog. Haven't had time to update as frequently lately. 

And will you look at this?
Someone actually cares.

Whoever you are anonymous. Thank you. I opened this up while at the hospital after my pediatric rounds this morning and it made me smile. Actually, probably made my day.  And it motivated me to get back to writing. Like I stated in the comment above, I have been randomly writing down my thoughts, reflections, revelations, and other fun things in this one particular blog post, which will probably end up super loooong, but it'll be interesting I promise. 

For now, let's just get my blog updated :-)
Lots of fun and "un-fun" things have been going on in this lady's life.
Ummm...where shall we start???

I just finished my APPE (Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience) Rotation #3 last Friday. 

This was an ambulatory care rotation at a Coumadin and Medication Therapy Management Clinic. More specifically, we saw patients that required monitoring and medication management for their warfarin (Coumadin) for various clotting conditions or for stroke prevention, and also for management of their blood pressure and diabetes medications. I even had two patients who were coming in to get counseled and managed for smoking cessation. (Hence, I have a lot of good educational materials about quitting smoking, if anybody is interested. I can also talk to you all day long about the nasty and scary effects smoking can have on your health and body).

'Twas fun while it lasted. 

The most intense patient happened on the very last day. Stay tuned for my APPE#3 post. 
Buy yes, as of Friday, I am now officially HALFWAY DONE with rotations. 

And here are some other bouts of excitement in my life shared through facebook status updates. I don't have much time to summarize it all (really need to read up on pediatric asthma because my preceptor will probably grill me about it later, and I only have 1 hour before I have to start working up patients before the NICU rounds), so this is a quick way to share it with you guys.

Yes, yes I did. I  started my APPE Rotation #4...which is a NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) and Pediatrics Rotation. OMG. BABIES!!! BABIES EVERYWHERE!!! SO CUTE. Most of them are very premature so they are just tiiiiiiiny and have little button noses. Everyday I walk into the NICU I want them all!

There are a lot of sad, sad things I have seen too (and it's only week 1) :-(

The other "un-fun" part is that this hospital is 37miles from my house and  I literally have to drive through the entire length of downtown Chicago to get there. I live in the Southwest suburbs and AIMMC is in North Chicago. So in the morning I have to leave the house at 5am in order to make my commute manageable. But in the afternoon, no matter what time I leave, the commute takes like 1hour 40 minutes. So I may just end up staying here super long, working on projects, and letting traffic pass. But that'll mean 13-14 hour days. We'll see how it goes. (But that may be a better and less frustrating option than stop-and-go traffic for almost 2 hours)

But again, I will expand upon my full experience soon, once the rotation is over (not until January since we have a 2 week Christmas break in between)



Still discerning my future. And RESIDENCY.

Just reading up about programs in the area, talking to current residents and clinical/hospital pharmacists, and polishing up that Curriculum Vitae.

I have come across some great Catholic hospitals that offer pharmacy residencies. I met the residency director of Franciscan St. Margaret (in Indiana) and the program sounded really good. Plus the hospital has a great mission and values.

This PGY-1 program sounded really good.

I'm still keeping in my good old Loyola, which was my first rotation (general medicine), and which really impressed me as well in its excellence in healthcare and its Catholic values and Catholic presence throughout the campus. (I wouldn't mind doing a residency in a hospital whose chapel is like a big, underground Catholic Church, which is what Loyola has, hehe)


The ASHP (American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists) Midyear Conference is in 2 weeks!

And I'M GOING!!!
Why? Because they have a 2 day long residency showcase. It's where I'll be able to go and talk to different residency program directors and current residents and to help me decide where to apply.
And guess where it's at???
Anaheim, California!
Yes...and right across from Disney World, too!
Got these lovely fashionable sunglasses in the mail. Well, at least it reminded me that there might be like a 70-80 degree difference in Cali as opposed to Chicago.

And some great Catholic pharmacists who put together a Catholic pharmacists interest group on facebook are organizing an official ASHP Midyear Catholic Mass! And ASHP actually added this to their official activities schedule on their website! Yay! Hopefully we have great attendance. I'm beyond excited because I'm actually going to be a lector! :-) :-) :-) (smiley face x 100)


Just for fun

That's all for now guys!
More updates coming soon :-)

Yours in Christ, 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

7 Quick Takes #43

Join Jen at for more Quick Takes


"Hi......I'm so adorable that my human cannot stop taking pictures of me, even while I sleep"

Well...when you sleep in hilarious positions like these...humans can't help but laugh and take pics!
Must be dreaming of partying and having her "paws up in the air"







(This pic was actually taken on the first day of fall...I just have not posted on here for sooo long)











"HealthCare Begins Here" Health Fair

I was in charge of promoting and administering immunizations last weekend at my store during our health fair. We also did blood pressure and blood glucose screenings.















 #4 Harvest time is over....


The Chicago weather lately can only point to the fact that cabin fever will probably start developing soon...No bueno.




We went to this Polish fest / picnic a few Sundays ago and they of course had lots and lots of delicious polish food but also offered horse carriage rides. 'Twas fun.















My latest baking adventures....










I've been obsessed lately with "Adoro Te Devote," especially the Latin version. I have never even been to a Latin mass and the only thing I know in Latin is how to say "Hail Mary"...and that's only because I love the famous Ave Maria song so much that I memorized it in Latin. But even though I don't speak Latin, "Adoro Te Devote" just speaks to me. I read it and I feel like I am really getting into the depths of this wonderful prayer. I especially love reciting it in front of the Blessed Sacrament during Eucharistic Adoration (which, by the way, I have been trying to attend every week, and I absolutely love and treasure that Holy Hour I spend in front of Him every week).

I'm also falling more and more in love with Latin and might consider learning it, at least in the context of my Catholic faith. I've been listening to some Gregorian chants lately and even all the songs/chants of the Latin mass. Saying prayers in Latin makes me feel so close to our beautiful, ancient Mother Church.

Here is a picture from my prayer book, with the Latin part on the left and English translation on the right.

And some of my art (if you could call it that) straight from my journal.



For latest updates on my pharmacy school rotations etc, read this: APPE #2 (2nd Pharmacy Rotation)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

APPE #2 (2nd Pharmacy Rotation)


I finally have time to sit down and blog!!!!


I have not written in over a month and I missed writing and reflecting and sharing on my blog a lot! I have been writing things in my journal here and there - because I think I would go nuts without some form of reflection in my life.

But now I get to catch least a bit. (Since I promised I would be taking you through the journey of my 4th year of pharmacy school aka experiential rotations by writing regular blog posts about them). I know I do have some readers that follow along for that part of the journey because they're either in pharmacy school or are considering pharmacy school. So here's an update about ROTATION block 2 of 6, which I just finished this past Friday. Of course I jumped right into my 3rd rotation and had my first day in clinic yesterday, learning all sorts of great, life-saving pearls. But I digress...

To make sure we're all on the same page, there are the 6 types of rotations we get as 4th year pharmacy students: a general medicine rotation, clinical specialty, community pharmacy, hospital, ambulatory care, and elective.

My 1st rotation block, which I described here and here, was my general medicine rotation. I was mostly working alongside internal medicine doctors on the 3rd general medical floor of Loyola University Medical Center.

This 2nd rotation block is my elective rotation.
And I elected an academia-focused rotation with one of our clinical pharmacists who is also a professor at our school of pharmacy. I spent most of my time on campus at Midwestern University, helping the professor revise lecture content, grade assignments, and facilitate laboratory sessions and workshops for the 1st-3rd year pharmacy students.

This rotation has also very much helped me to discern my interests and passions, and made it easier for me to discern my future career path (more about that coming up also). It really did confirm my interest in teaching students or at least precepting them on their experiential rotations. My "I want to be a teacher when I grow up" that I used to say all of my life came back to me. And came back strong. I love love love the position that my pharmacist preceptor has. He is employed by the university but spends 50% of his time doing clinical stuff at Rush hospital and 50% of his time teaching on campus. Sounds like a dream job to me. But again, more on that in another post...because that does deserve a whole another one, that's currently in the making :-)

So this rotation involved a lot of independent learning. We didn't really follow a strict schedule and did not have strict deadlines for projects. It was nice, but at the same time challenging, because I had to figure out a way to pace myself so I don't fall behind. It helped me to increase in the virtue of self-discipline. I had to work out a schedule and to-do list for everyday so that I could get my projects done in time, on top of grading papers, and facilitating lab.

The preceptor also gave me an opportunity to develop a lecture. This was counted as one of my projects. [Un]fortunately, I wasn't able to give an official lecture in front of a 200-person pharmacy class (I kind of wanted to have that experience to see if lecturing is for me), but I did give a short, 20 minute presentation in front of a small group of students. My lecture was about restarting warfarin (coumadin) in patients with a recent history of a GI bleed. My preceptor gave me some feedback on how to improve that lecture (the content and presentation) so that I could use that presentation at residency interviews and impress my Residency Director and Pharmacists that will be interviewing me. (And I'm actually giving this same presentation again this Friday at the coumadin clinic since my new amb care preceptor was excited about it and wanted to hear it).

1) Grading papers was an absolute blast! I loved writing comments and missing answers in red! But I was easy on them, even though some groups gave funky answers.
2) Being a lab facilitator was also a lot of fun! It was very cool to teach things to small groups of students at a time and to see the interest in their faces. I think I know what I'll be when I grow up!!! JK, I got some more discerning to do, of course...and still 4 rotations ahead of me.

But in all seriousness, this rotation and this type of work totally matches my studious, nerdy personality and perhaps God put me there for a reason. We shall see :)

This current rotation (my 3rd one), which just began yesterday, is my ambulatory care rotation. I am at an Advocate Medical Group site, which has a pharmacist-run anticoagulation and medication therapy management clinic. 2 of the 4 pharmacist that run the clinic are adjunct professors at my school of pharmacy as well, so they are very receptive to pharmacy students and they love to teach, so we generally learn a lot (one of the reasons why I chose rotation sites and preceptors who are MWU faculty, because I know they care about the students, they're up to date on all of the guidelines, and they have clearly laid out expectations and projects). But more on that later....

My 4th rotation, which begins in November, is a clinical specialty rotation with a cardiology focus. This will be at a major hospital that's located downtown Chicago, in the medical district - Rush UMC. I have already been there for a brief 3rd year critical care rotation and it was super fun.

(Update 10/16/14: Scratch that 4th rotation! It was cancelled and replaced with a clinical specialty rotation in NICU/Peds!!!! Did you hear that???? Oh Em Gee...IS GOD LISTENING TO MY PRAYERS OR SOMETHING???? He must be at least sneaking into my head ;-) Well, Thanks God. I WILL WORK FOR 6 WEEKS TO SAVE BABIES!!!!! = DREAM COME TRUE)

After that block, I get most of January and February off, which is perfect because that's when residency interviews happen (that's if I get any).

My last 2 blocks are my community pharmacy rotation, which is Jewel-Osco, and my hospital pharmacy rotation, which is a community hospital in Aurora, IL.

I will try to write at least one post about each rotation for those interested in hearing about them. If I have any super awesome experiences, I'll write more!

I'll also be writing about my continued struggle about determining whether to do a residency or not.

[Turns out the Residency Training chapter in the Introduction to Hospital and Health-System Pharmacy Practice textbook was written by 2 of our professors, one of which was my preceptor at Loyola during my last rotation. Ha, it's pretty cool to know someone that's somewhat famous in the pharmacy world]

Talk to you soon!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

7QT: Summer 2014 Updates #3


Just all of my nerdy glory...
on my first day of my teaching rotation

Not too much news around here other than....

I'm done with my 1st rotation (internal medicine) and onto my 2nd Advanced Placement Pharmacy Rotation. This one is my elective rotation, which I chose to be a teaching rotation right at my school of pharmacy. So I am assisting a very nice professor, who is a course director for the Institutional Pharmacy class that 2nd year pharmacy students have to take, and also a co-director for the Critical Care elective that 3rd year students can take. This is also the same professor that was my preceptor during my critical care rotation at Rush University Medical Center back in April/May. I'm pretty convinced He's the nicest preceptor/pharmacist/professor on Earth...but more about that rotation coming up in a separate post...since I promised you that I'll be giving you updates about each rotation (especially for those of you who are reading this blog for that purpose).



The other major [crappy] news is that my beloved husband went back to working nights. :'-(
Yes, yes he did. 3 months (June, July, August) passed by at lightning speed and now we're back on opposite shifts...and back to hanging out on weekends only. 

This time though, I am trying to be strong from the see things in a positive perspective...telling myself that this is the Will of God and that this time of loneliness for me will surely bear fruit... like it has in the past. And this is because when I'm lonely, I fill those gaps in my heart with God - He is the only one that can fill those gaps and satisfy the soul. And my faith and closeness to Him usually grows...even though sometimes I resist and despair in those times of loneliness. It's all for the greater good :-)



(and not to mention, September 1st was my 24th birthday...which we celebrated with a huge bonfire, lots of food, and delicious cake in Michigan with the whole family)



So with this huge boom of veggies in my garden...I've been cooking, pickling/jarring, making salsas, etc.

           Zucchini & Parmesan Fritters

Zucchini fritters / pancakes, maple glazed wings, and veggie fried rice

Maple syrup and Herb glazed chicken wings

#5 I started using Evernote as a tool to organize my life, documents, pharm school notes...

It's a free app and it syncs across all your devices (laptop-->phone-->tablet). 

So when I remember that I need something from the grocery store as I'm working on my laptop, I put it onto my grocery list in one of my notebooks in evernote, and it automatically shows up in my phone as I can access it when I'm at the grocery store.

I suggest you go on youtube...there are some pretty cool videos on how you can utilize Evernote to organize your life.

Yesterday I used it on my iPad to do an examination of conscience before confession. I'm also using it to keep track of my exercise, as you can see from the screenshot above. I made this cool weight loss document. I can share it with you if you like the set-up.

I'll let you know how that goes eventually. So far, I love it. But we'll see how long this excitement lasts :-)


#6 Just some silliness. Cause we all need silliness in our lives...

My brother let me cruise in his mustang and take it
to church on Sunday


#7 Saw my friends (acquaintances, actually) post this on facebook. 


This is someone, who I know, is a lapsed Catholic who doesn't go to church anymore. I figured out what her "feeling" or "this thing she's missing" is instantaneously, without even talking to her. The other girl in the comments is missing the same thing, too, she just doesn't know it.

I figured this out for myself once:

  Now I won't let Him go...


for more quick takes, visit

Friday, August 29, 2014

7QT: Summer 2014 Updates #2

Visit for more Quick Takes.

Just some quick photo updates of our Summer 2014 adventures, since my last update almost a month ago.

#1 Went to Michigan to visit my parents again...

Remember my black kittens that used to be teeny tiny? They are big and bad now! But still sweet and cuddly as before!

#2 We celebrated our first wedding anniversary

First, we went to mass.

The mass was celebrated for our intention and we also carried the gifts of bread and wine up to the altar to give to the priest. It made me feel like I was in I was literally carrying gifts and laying them at the throne of God. I teared up a few times during mass because I had such a profound internal experience. God was so close. So strongly present. Jesus made me feel soooo loved and so blessed in my life and my marriage.

It was truly awesome!
 We then went to Naperville Riverwalk park, where we went on our wedding day to take pictures.
We just walked around and relived the memories.

Then we went out for some foooood! We each got a margarita and had chicken, beef, and shrimp fajitas for dinner.....followed by some cruising in the mustang.


#3 Silliness with my kitty

After her bath...

Cuddling with mama....

Silly picture taken from underneath a glass table....because the view was just so funny. Her big belly and fur flattened. I love her back paws in this picture, too.

"Let's go cook dinner for hubby, but first let us take a selfie"

Who needs a shredder when your cat tears apart every paper that moves! And it was windy that day so she tore apart all the papers that moved due to the wind! It was hilarious how frustrated it made her!

#4  Had an absolutely amazing first Advanced Placement Pharmacy Rotation (APPE) at an absolutely amazing Catholic Hospital (Loyola University Medical Center)


Sneaked a quick picture of our feet while
discussing some medical literature after rounds.
 Last Thursday was my last day (yup, 6 weeks have flown by so faaaast!) I feel like I just started the rotation and it's already done. Loyola, I will miss you dearly. Great docs, great pharmacists, great residents, excellent patient care.

The last day made me feel so, so happy though. My preceptor gave me a one-on-one evaluation of my performance. There are some pharmacy preceptors that make students cry, I heard, but my preceptor gave me a great evaluation (gave me an A!) and excellent feedback. She also gave me great advice for the future and told me that she knows I would have no problem in getting a residency and that she'd be pleased to write me a good, strong letter of recommendation for residency. I haven't heard many good things / compliments about myself from anybody in a while...not my family, not my husband. So it felt great to hear that somebody appreciated my hard work and my talents and my dedication to patient care and to learning.


 #5 Explored Loyola's Catholicism.

Catholic New World Newspapers everywhere you sit

Loyola UMC sure isn't Catholic by name only. I've seen Catholicism everywhere across the institution.
It made me feel like I was at home...

It was sooo peaceful to see a beautiful crucifix hanging above every patient's bed, pictures and quotes of Saints all over the walls of the hospital as well as the school of medicine (of course Loyola is named after St. Ignatius of Loyola and their Stritch School of Medicine is named after Cardinal Stritch), and Catholics books and magazines laying around the waiting areas.

One day I got to the 7th floor much early, before rounds started, so I sat down in the waiting area to read an article which I was supposed to read for that afternoon. 

I look to my right: Catholic Newspaper. 
I look at the wall in front of me: a shelf of Catholic books, brochures, and reading materials. 
I look at the wall in front: "Our Father who art in Heaven" on an angel-shaped little sculpture. 

I was like: Hey God, I could do this everyday! Why don't you just give me a job here after school and I'll be in heaven!

The best thing I discovered though, was their Chapel. That chapel is huge, almost like a whole church stuck in the basement of a hospital. And this happened on the Feast of the Assumption. What a perfect coincidence? It so happened that our preceptor gave us 2 hours of free time between 11am and 1pm, so I went exploring and found this GEM. I walked around, took pictures, prayed...and right before leaving to go to lunch, I bumped into a young lady that helped to arrange the flowers at the altar. I asked her about whether they have masses here. She told my about the days and times that they have mass, and she said "in fact, there is mass today at noon for the assumption." Another coincidence? Nope, I know that God sent me there to that chapel, right at the perfect time to come across this lady, and at the perfect time to make it to mass and then back to my duties by 1pm.

I was so thankful to God all day and in such high spirits, because I knew that it was HIM, working in my life to make me a holier person. Plus, it felt so cool to see the attending doctor we rounded with on week 1 and 2 at mass, praying and singing. So, so cool. I just didn't want to leave Loyola, it was too much like my little Catholic haven.

And here is baby Jesus...people gave Him a lot of BLING.

This would definitely be a workplace that I don't dread going into day after day after day.

Consider that, Lord ;-)

#6 There are so many perfect things about this picture.....

rain/snow outside (better yet if it was a thunderstorm)
hot coffee/tea/chocolate
yoga pants
long socks
and a stack of books.  





Yesterday and today, I spilled my heart and soul to you my readers, and to God, in these here blog posts, so please go read them:

Baby? Residency? All of the above? [Part 1]

Baby? Residency? All of the Above? [Part 2]

Have a great weekend ya'll! Thanks for reading!