Wednesday, February 10, 2021

January 2021 in Review

Much love to all my readers!

Happy New Year! Yes, I realize this post is a bit late, but it's been hard to find the time to sit down and type. Right now, I'm currently in the middle of working a 12 hour shift, so I figure if I take a minute or two in between patients today, I can finally give everyone a full update on how the beginning of 2021 has been for me. (Yeah, that didn't happen. Started this post yesterday and finishing today)

Blessed to celebrate 34 years of life!

If you've been following my blog over the years, then you already know January is my favorite month. Why? Because it's my birthday month! I was immunized against COVID-19 (more on that below), and took a solo trip to Saint Lucia during my birthday weekend. It was my first time being on a plane since flying for residency interviews last year, and while I was a little hesitant to travel at first, everything worked out safely and perfectly! I received mandatory PCR testing before my trip, was tested again while on the island, and strict protocols were in place that included staying masked, frequent temperature checks, and excursions limited to 4 people or less. My resort was incredibly beautiful and I literally could have stayed in my room the entire time and not gotten bored. I also went whale watching for the first time (an incredible experience), enjoyed a nice sunset cruise, and had an amazing personalized birthday dinner at my resort. I took some amazing pictures (tripods are great!) and videos which are posted to my Instagram highlights if you'd like to share in all the birthday fun. I couldn't have asked for a better getaway and amazing kickoff to the year. The shot above is one I took in my room (it only had three walls). Views!

Fully vaccinated with new hair to match

As for the getting the vaccine, I received my first dose on December 23rd and my second and final dose on January 9th. I had no side effects from the first dose other than mild arm soreness. About 12 hours after the second dose, I did have the side effects of fever, alternating between hot and cold sensations, headaches, and a weird boost of energy, but all the side effects subsided within 24 hours after taking ibuprofen. I am extremely happy to have 95% immunity at this point. My profession puts me at higher risk, so it helps having some peace of mind that I will not suffer from some of the devastating effects I have seen from the virus. With that being said, I will continue to do my part to help end this pandemic by wearing my mask, practicing social distancing, and educating those around me.

Happy Work Vibes

As for work, everything is pretty much the same...just busy! Winter months in the urgent care setting are already an extremely hectic time and when you add on a pandemic, things can get a bit crazy. It is a blessing to have a job during a time when so many are without, so I can't complain though. Plus, I've adapted to the times, and I've definitely enjoyed the challenge and variety of going between physical patients to virtual patients to managing COVID testing. There's never a boring day and this girl likes to stay on the go!

Taking another leap of faith!

In terms of the residency application process, I'm happy to say that I will be participating in the match this year, and unless an opportunity outside of the match pops up, interview season has officially concluded for me. I even submitted my rank list while I was on vacation to hopefully bring in a little good luck. There are really no words to describe how stressful and painful this process has been over the years, but I truly miss surgery and being in the operating room. I am extremely anxious over what the news next month will be, but at the same time, I have faith knowing everything will work out no matter the outcome. At the start of this year's process, I wrote a few posts that I still plan to share once match season officially is over, but my plan to write up weekly updates kind of fell through with my busy schedule. With that being said, there won't be a lot of posts released, but I will still give everyone a good glimpse into the process.  

That's pretty much it for updates. As always, I wish everyone a great month ahead, and thank you for reading!

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Goodbye 2020!

It's the last day of 2020 and I'm currently reflecting over the past year. Even though this year has been full of grief and loss for so many, I can't help but count my many blessings. I was blessed to have a job this year doing what I love taking care of patients and I was thankful for the training that allowed me to help so many in the midst of a pandemic. Additionally, I celebrated in the achievement of publishing my first book, and I still found time to educate those in my community as both a mentor and by appearing as an on-air medical expert (my first television appearance!)

I also took the time to embrace the love and friendship from all those around me. With a year that brought so much sadness from people passing away due to a horrible pandemic, it is not lost upon me how much of a blessing it is that the people close to me in life are healthy and alive. While I didn't get to be around those closest to me as much as I wanted to for obvious reasons, I was thankful for the very few occasions when  got a chance to be around those closest to me and celebrate achievements and each other.

Lastly, I am blessed that despite her now being a teenager, I still have had the sweetest daughter ever! Although I'm still as busy as ever, she has remained understanding and an absolute joy to be around. I was thankful to watch her continue to grow into a beautiful young lady this year.

Right now, I am currently lounging around in my comfy PJs, had some delicious ramen takeout, and will be spending the evening watching NYE celebrations on TV while sipping on whiskey (I've already started which is why this post is so short) and playing scrabble. Wishing everyone reading this a very safe, healthy, and Happy New Year, and as always, thank you for reading my posts this year!

Thursday, December 17, 2020

It's My 7 Year Blogiversary!!!!

I seriously can't believe I have maintained this blog for seven years! Admittedly, I have not been as active on here over the past year, and many times I forget I have a blog, but I remain thankful to all of you who continue to follow along with me on this crazy journey. I enjoy reading your comments, receiving your encouraging emails, and even more so love when you reach out to me to let me know that reading my blog helped you make it into medical school or inspired you to continue to follow your dreams. Y'all are the real reason why I continue to keep this up, and I truly thank you for your support.

Usually I would show my thanks by doing my annual Starbucks drink giveaway, but since we're in the middle of a pandemic, I don't want to encourage anyone to go out. Plus, I honestly didn't remember it was my seven year blogging anniversary until a few hours ago or else I would've made the Kindle version of Atypical Premed free for everyone today (the free days all have to be done in advance). What I did manage to do today was exercise my right to vote by taking part in early voting for the Georgia senate runoff race, so I'll consider that a win :)

Over the past seven years, what this blog has taught me most is the importance of sharing your struggles and accomplishments. I know there are many who feel like they are alone on their paths, and blogging has given me the ability to connect with so many and show that their dreams are not invalid. Blogging has also given me the chance to have a written record of my journey which I am sure will bring me plenty of smiles one day when I take the time to read through all of my old posts. 

But anyway, just want to end with a huge THANK YOU!!!!! Maybe I'll get better with posting as frequently as I used to, and hopefully I'll continue to post for another seven years, but either way, I appreciate you all following along on the ride :)

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

It's My Daughter's 14th Birthday!!!!

When did the baby on the left become the young lady on the right?!?!

It's November 10th which means I am officially the mother of a 14-year-old! Yup, today is my daughter's birthday so what better reason to type up a quick post :) 

I started this blog about a month after her 7th birthday and received my acceptance to medical school about a week before her birthday. Soooo much has happened since that time! I still remember people telling me I would never make it through medical school or become a physician being a single mother, and I was determined to prove everyone wrong. Looks like I've accomplished all that and more, but it wouldn't have been possible if I didn't have such an amazing child. My daughter has been supportive through all the long hours spent studying, leadership roles taking up a lot of my time, and even through us having to live apart from when I moved to Philadelphia to start intern year. She has never once complained or made me feel like I wasn't being a good mother, and for that, I will forever be grateful. She is my entire world, and everything I do is with the intent to show her that all her goals and aspirations can become a reality. 

With that being said, I am big on birthday surprises, and I think this year was the best one yet! I not only pranked my daughter in the most epic way possible, but I ended up making her cry tears of happiness for the first time ever! 

The video is below, but here's a recap (copied from my Instagram caption) for those who don't want to watch the full 3 minute video: she's been bugging me for a bass guitar for months, so for her early 14th birthday celebration (a very small get together with only immediate family and the two friends she hangs out with all the time) I surprised her with a Disney princess ukulele instead. After seeing everyone's initial reactions, I acted like I was upset and said I was going to pee, only to return with both the bass guitar and amplifier she wanted. Her reaction was priceless! Cried in front of her friends and everything 😂⁣

⁣Why was the prank so successful? Our deal was that she was supposed to have straight A's, but she ended up getting a B a couple of days ago, so I told her she would now have to wait until Christmas. I'm also known for not giving what people think are the best gifts (I got her a period starter pack and math book as one of her Christmas gifts a couple of years ago and my family still won't let me live it down), and I'm also a bit cheap, so the ukulele wasn't exactly out of character for me. I also made sure to only tell my sister since the rest of my family can't hold water, which helped make it a surprise for everyone. Did y'all peep the look of horror on her friend's face after she realized what it was? My brother also looks like he's super disappointed 😂

Anyway, my daughter now has her bass guitar and couldn't be happier. As for me, I thankful to have raised such a smart, brilliant, sweet, and wonderful young lady. Can't wait to witness all that she will accomplish in both of our lifetimes 💕 

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Still Kicking! An Update

Still here!

I'm back! First, my extreme apologies for the huge lack of posts this year. I tell myself that no one actually reads my blog (which helps me be more open and personal with what I write about), and it doesn't actually matter if I post or not, but clearly that's not the case. My mentee passed along a "formal complaint" today that some of you have felt a bit ghosted by my lack of posts and updates, so I promised I would do a brief update.

A text from a friend today that pretty much sums up the 2021 residency season for me

For those who are wondering, I have not given up on my surgery goals. I have submitted my completed applications, and since the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) officially opened to programs at 9am EST this morning, I am officially back in the residency program waiting game. Unlike prior years, I will share my experience with the entire process on my blog BUT you will have to wait until after Match Day in March 2021 to read about it. I don't want anything written to interfere with my chances, so while I plan to write frequent dated posts throughout the process, I will not actually hit the publish button on them until everything is all said and done. I will continue to post about things outside of this application season, and I am always happy to take requests if there is a topic you'd like me to address. What I can tell you regarding this season is I have only applied to surgery programs, and I continue to remain positive and hopeful that everything will work out the way it should.

Post work glow :)

As for work updates, I am still enjoying my work as an urgent care physician. If it weren't for my love of surgery and the fact that I deeply miss being in the operating room, I would be completely happy with this lifestyle. I work an average of 3-4 days a week, pretty much get to pick my schedule, the attending physician level pay is a plus, and I usually have time monthly to take a quick getaway or have a staycation for a few days. Plus, working in the urgent care setting offers a ton of variety, I still get to perform small surgical procedures in addition to suturing, and I rarely have to type up notes at home.  


Me and my not so little one

For those of you who care about mommy updates, my daughter continues to do well. She is currently attending school in-person, remains an Honor Roll student, and in a little less than 3 weeks, she will be turning 14 years old...Can you believe it?!?! This blog has been around for half of her life! She still remains very supportive of my surgery goals and loves to speak things into existence by telling all friends about her "surgeon mommy" :) My daughter remains the biggest reason why I continue to push forward and I hope to continue to make her as proud as she makes me.

I voted! Have you?

Despite being in a pandemic, my life hasn't changed much, so I don't have too much in the way of updates. I continue to stay pretty busy with work (COVID testing and telemedicine services have added a new layer to what I do), and I'm always keeping myself occupied with new activities. My recent hobby has been testing out new vegan recipe ideas, so I hope those of you who follow me on Instagram haven't been rolling your eyes with all of the food posts in my stories, LOL. I've also been trying to make a better effort at promoting my BOOK since a few people recently were super surprised that I wrote one, so don't be surprised if you see a few shameless plugs in each of my posts. Other than that, the most important thing I will end with is I don't care if it's via absentee ballot, mail-in, early voting (like I did last week), or in-person on Election Day, please do not forget to exercise the right that so many fought for you to have. GO VOTE!!!!


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