Friday, October 25, 2013

7 Quick Takes #18

Hello again!


We already had our first snowfall of the year here in Chicago. It wasn't a lot but still, it was a little weird seeing snow in the middle of October...we don't usually get snow until next month. But anyways, despite the now cold, windy Chicago temps, my roses are still in full bloom!


I took these pics last Sunday. I think this one is kind of neat! I like how I caught the roses soaking up the rays of the morning sun. This was right before going to Sunday mass at 10:30am. Neat, huh?


The much dreaded lectures on contraception in my pharmacotherapeutics class ARE HERE. Yes, it was suffering for me to sit through like 5 hours of lectures on artificial contraception, emergency contraception, and YES, even the ABORTION pill. It raised my pressure not once, not twice...and made me want to just scream out loud objections to certain "facts" presented by the lecturer...but out of respect for the professor and for the fellow 205 third year pharmacy students, I stopped myself and just hyperventilated a bit. There were so many things wrong with the way they teach contraception, not even getting into the fact that EVERY.SINGLE.METHOD. of contraception was mentioned but not natural contraception, i.e. NFP. Not ONCE! Yes, I know this is pharmacy school and we learn about drugs, but for every other disease state we learned (like diabetes, high cholesterol etc), they always always tell us to counsel the patient on non-pharmacologic, natural methods to improve their disease state. With contraception, that was completely omitted.
I will write a post about all the crappy things they told us in that lecture and how I find them to be wrong and, for the sake of a better word, crappy.

So I don't rip my hair out while studying for my exam, I made my studying a little more humorous by writing funny comments on my lecture notes. Here's an example. More examples to come when I write a post on this.


 I've been reading Simcha Fisher's book "The Sinner's Guide to NFP" and it is very insightful and even more hilarious! Gotta love Simcha's incorporation of sarcasm and humor into Catholic teaching on sexual matters, which most people think is ridiculous and middle-ages. Go buy it! It's only $4.99 and if you don't have a kindle, you can get the kindle reading app on your phone or computer for free. The hardcopy will be available soon as well.


My husband went out of town for the weekend to help my parents fix up the house they bought not too long ago. I worked all Saturday, then Sunday I went to mass and then decided to surprise hubby with a nice treat. He loves rice krispy treats so I made him rice krispy treats! To make them more "halloween-ish," I put reese's pieces on them and melted chocolate! Needless to say, they were gone by the next day!


Our parish priest went to Czestochowa, Poland to bring back a replica of the painting of Our Lady of Czestochowa, aka The Black Madonna, aka Queen of Poland, for our church, painted by a local artist. He has been collecting donations for the past few months from our parishioners. The painting was a little over $4000. When he got back from the trip, he announced that the generosity of our parishioners far exceeded the needed amount, and he actually collected MORE THAN DOUBLE what was needed. So while he was there, he ordered golden crowns for our Lady and her infant Jesus. And guess what? He actually managed to go to Rome and get them personally blessed by Pope Francis, after his general audience on Wednesday Sept 25. Here are some pictures I took with my phone of our Sunday bulletin.

So the paining is now up in the church and we had a big celebration for welcoming Our Lady of Czestochowa into our parish. She will be getting crowned on May 13, 2014. I'm sure that will be a beautiful mass celebration as well.


This week was feast day of Blessed John Paul II, so here is 1 of my quick takes, dedicated to him. As you may already know, JPII is my personal hero and patron! I love him so, so much! I have read numerous books about him and by him and I am just amazed at what he has done in his how he has transformed the world. And he just follows me wherever I go. I swear. But more on that later. I wish I could go to Rome this April 27th. My heart is already there. Too bad I will be in school and on clinical rotations. Oh man, that makes me feel depressed. But who knows...maybe God will find a way?


Please, please, please go read my new post:
 Post-Marital Bliss, Trust, and Answered Prayers.

 I know all of you are amazing, faithful Catholics or else you wouldn't be blogging in the lovely Catholic world of bloggers ...but I poured my heart out in that post. And....maybe, just might learn a thing or two...or even be inspired by a thing or two or five? Just read it and let me know your thoughts :-)

And that's all!



  1. Hello Agnes! I enjoyed your 7QT!! I'm especially impressed with your trilingual abilities. Humor is often a great way to deal with the medical community's refusal to even discuss NFP. I also loved Simcha's book!! By the way, I love your name! St. Agnes is the patron saint of the novel I'm currently writing. May God bless you in your studies, Agnes!!

    1. Great! love St. Agnes...I ask for her intercession all the time! :-)

  2. Hi Agnes! I found your blog through Leila's. I have often considered going to pharmacy school, but I was wondering about things like contraception/morning after pills, etc -- are you required to prescribe them if you are a pharmacist anywhere besides a Catholic hospital? And if so, wouldn't you have to refuse and therefore risk your career?

    I am genuinely curious because this is a career path that interests me. Thanks!

    1. Hi Sonja! Great question.

      As pharmacists, we are not allowed to least not yet. Certain national pharmacy organizations are fighting to get prescribing rights for pharmacists...but right now, only doctors and nurse practitioners can prescribe. What we do, is we receive, fill, and dispense the prescriptions as well as counsel the patients on how to use the medications, what to watch out for etc etc. So, yes, we do dispense birth control to the general public, but we really have no control over what prescriptions come through our pharmacy. However, as far as the morning after pills (plan B) which we, Catholics, consider to be an abortifacient, thankfully there is a law that protects us pharmacists to be able to lawfully refuse selling this drug to people, as according to our faith. This was a huge victory for us pharmacists in Illinois. Read my blog post:

      So for me, whenever a patient came up to the window to ask for Plan B, I would not dispense it. Other pharmacists/technicians on duty would dispense it that is not in my control. However, about 2 months ago, (you have probably heard, since it was all over the news), the morning after PLAN B pill became "NO PRESCRIPTION, full over-the-counter status...for ANYONE...." which is absolutely terrible. The plus side for us Catholic pharmacists now is that we don't have to deal with these situations where young girls/boys come to the pharmacy counter asking for plan B and us having to refuse it or asking our coworkers to take care of it (which can sometimes create very uncomfortable situations). BUT, the negative side for our already screwed up society, is that now, ANY girl, even if she's 12, can just go to any store and buy the morning after pill without showing her there is not age limits, no restrictions...which in my opinion, just propagates the whole culture of death, sexual promiscuity with no consequences.

      I love working in a pharmacy and being able to help sick people get better. I love talking to people, helping them change to healthier lifestyles, and talking to them about practically everything. Pharmacists are the #2 most trusted health care professional in the US and the #1 most accessible health care professional. Our advice and counseling is free so hundreds of patients come up to the window to ask for advice in times of trouble and such. I love the profession and I can't wait to become a full-fledged pharmacist.

      Sonja, if you have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask! You can also message me if need be!

  3. Thanks, Agnes! I didn't mean to write prescribe -- I meant fill a prescription, sorry! :) So do you know if there is any moral issue then about giving contraception out (since many argue that it can be abortifacient (ex: causing miscarriage by not allowing an implantation to occur)? I realize your employer would force you, but what is the answer for a Catholic? For example, I know that Catholic bioethicists would say as a surgeon you couldn't perform a sex-change (or as a nurse assist) but the employer might make you -- it still doesn't make it okay, you have to refuse. I have no idea if this is true about contraception, but that has always made me hesitate. I have always meant to ask a bioethicist but have not done so. I just thought you would probably know a whole lot more than I would!

    Thanks so much for answering! Also I love that your sidebar says you're trilingual -- very cool!

    1. Those are all very good questions Sonja. I struggle with some of the same questions as well. Right now, I'm a pharmacy intern at a big chain retail pharmacy, and when you work at the retail level, birth control is ubiquitous... It's impossible to be a retail pharmacist without handling birth control in one way, shape, or form. I'm not sure what the official church teaching on this would be. I don't think there is an official stance in the church. I know there are many, many pharmacists that work at retail pharmacies (such as walgreens, walmart, osco) that are devout Catholics...I actually wonder how they deal with that issue myself. So, those same questions bug me too, Sonja, especially since there is not official guidance/teaching on it and also because I feel that this is the career that God is calling me to in life. Right now, my plan is to apply for a residency program right after school and actually become a clinical pharmacist with a specialty. I'm not sure what area I want to specialize in yet,but with a specialty, for example, in cardiology, I would only deal with in-clinic patients with heart disease and not have to deal with birth control. So for now, as my conscience is kind of torn apart on that issue too, my plan is to do a residency. But residency programs are hard to get into. So, all I can do is try and see what God's will is in all of this. If He wants me to be a hospital or a clinical or a research pharmacist, instead of just working retail for a big chain, then I believe He will get me into a residency. If His will is for me to stay where I'm at, then that's what I shall do. I'm basically still discerning what I want to do.

      So, unfortunately, I do not know whether there are straightforward answers to your questions Sonja. But I do want to let you know that there are hundreds and hundreds of opportunities in pharmacy practice that do not at all deal with dispensing birth control.

    2. Oh, and let me know if I can be of any further help! :-)

  4. Yes, I definitely know many other devout Catholics who are pharmacists, too, so you must be right that there are answers to this and ways around it. I really appreciate your thought out responses. It has helped me a lot! There are so many fascinating careers in the pharmacy field!

    I'll be adding you to my reader and following along.

    Best to you! :)

    1. Thanks so much! I'll be following along your story as well! I haven't read your blog yet but I can't wait to read your story! It sounds really, really interesting from your blogger profile description of it! Mom of quadruplets born at 28 weeks? WOW!!!! I bet I'll be learning from you! I'm freshly married and can't wait to start a family...been dreaming about babies lately haha :-)