Monday, June 21, 2010

Amusement in the Pharmacy

So during one of my few breaks from coding today, I was treated to a sight at which I couldn't help but laugh:

One of our schizophrenic patients was in our first counseling room, while I attempted to locate another one of her scripts. A new patient came to the window and struck up conversation. I'm not too clear on the details leading up to it, but all of a sudden I hear him joking "and you know how the voices just tell you to do that."

Yeah, just step on over into the next room, there's someone in there who can tell you ALL about those voices.

Updates and Stories Soon!

I'm getting fairly busy finishing up my last week of rotations up here. Currently I'm trying to both learn and implement some VBA programming in Excel to make our list of pain contracts easier to work with and keep up to date. After Saturday I have a full "month off." Quotes because I have more planned during that month than any of my preceptors have had for me, but it's all about getting out and enjoying life while you're still able!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Mt Rainier

This past weekend the weather forecast looked spectacular, so we decided to head back west to see Mt Rainier, and hopefully Mt St Helens, as well. As luck would have it, the weather was even more spectacular than originally forecast, and we were greeted to perfectly clear skies in the morning. Off to the park!

Our hotel was a mere minutes from the entrance to Mt Rainier National Park, and we wasted no time in getting to the gate. Boy were we surprised when we also learned it was free entry day! Score! From the east end of the park, we drove the winding road to Paradise, stopping at most of the vistas along the way for some stunning photographs of this huge mountain. We crossed paths with a few animal species, as well, including a fox with her pup, a sneaky chipmunk, and a grouse.

We spoke to the rangers about a few day hikes we can do, some without gear, and some with snowshoes, after we found out that we could rent them from the gift shop. Yes, we went snowshoeing in June. First stop was up the slope behind the lodge. Boy, did that ever show me how out of shape pharmacy school has made me. I would get maybe 75 steps in before I was winded. Granted this was up a steep slope, with snowshoes on, but just last March I hiked to the very top of Yosemite Falls (3.6 miles one way, with 2700ft elevation gain) with seemingly less effort than this, carrying a 30lb pack, along with snowshoes (which we used). There's some real insight to be had from getting winded that quickly, with no pack. I have to start working out more, concentrating on cardio, and shaping up my eating habits. I can't conquer mountains if I get beat on the first hill. Ultimately, we ended up hiking for slightly over a mile, and even with that short distance, we had gained enough elevation to see over the nearby peaks, all the way to Mt St Helens. We also came back with a nice sunburn. Being raised in Florida, sunscreen is a necessity, but only during the summer months. We overlooked that tiny detail about reflection, and how it can really do you in. Oops.

We took it easy the rest of the day, completing some of the easier hikes, while still taking in some great sights. I wasn't too fond of turning back on a short, 1.5 mile hike, but my body was not cooperating with me. Back to the hotel and dinner around 5pm, a full day, complete with amazing scenes, and slight disappointments.

Sunday absolutely SUCKED. When we awoke, we were greeted with nothing but gray skies and rain. No way we can view mountains when the ceiling is at a mere 5,000 ft or so. Back to Spokane! We finished the day with a short visit to Cat Tales, an independent big cat zoo, that was interesting, albeit small.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Updates from across the country

I feel fortunate that my rotations worked out *almost* how I wanted them to. Unfortunately, I could not squeeze into anything along the lines of cardiology, surgery, trauma, or anything interesting like that. And I was a bit frightened about the prospects of having a full month of infectious disease, after antibiotics seemed like a blur. However, I was able to snag a two month gig up in Spokane, Washington, miles and miles away from home and everything familiar. May and June are hot and humid in Florida, and our highest elevation is barely considered a hill up here.

I have always been interested in adventures, and have many things I'd like to accomplish during my time, but coming completely across the country for two months, with weekends open to explore, has really given me the drive to actually start working on these experiences. There are indeed a lot of them.

So far I've been here a month, and have already found myself traversing the entire state. I'm staying with another classmate, and we've been traveling each and every weekend to all kinds of places, both big and small. Here's a sample of what we've seen so far (more detailed updates to come):

Week 1: Spokane: We stayed around town for a Pow Wow and introduction to Native American culture. We're working with Indian Health Services on the Spokane Indian Reservation, so this was an ideal opportunity to get to know the customs and history of our patient base. Boy was it exciting.

Week 2: Seattle: We were still unfamiliar with the Pacific Northwest and all it has to offer, so we decided to make it easy the first week and come out to the city. We stuck to touristy things: the zoo, aquarium, and museum of flight. The last one rekindled my desire to take to the skies, which hopefully I can pursue after I get the funds. Living on loans doesn't permit too many expensive hobbies.

Week 3: Hood River/Portland: We decided to adventure a little bit this week and found a place that offered some pretty intense whitewater rafting on a tributary of the Columbia River. Boy is it gorgeous out there, and a quick drive around Portland just sweetened the deal.

Week 4: Vancouver: A long weekend means a longer trip, which means we can drive farther. We ended up spending the weekend touring the city, visiting Olympic sights, gorging ourselves at a food festival, and going whale watching.

So far we've hit on some great spots, with excellent pictures to come of it. I'll get around to more detailed updates in the coming days, as well as some photos that capture the essence of why I do this.


What on earth is going on here?

Right now I am a pharmacy student in my last year of school, on rotations, and absolutely loving the adventures I am taking. I have recently renewed my enthusiasm for many things outdoors after breaking out of the classroom, and want a way to share that with the world, as well as some of the interesting goings-on in the world of pharmacy. Join me in my journey from student, to adventurer, to real-world pharmacist. I promise you won't be disappointed.