Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Apply, Apply, Apply

So much for posting every day this month! Oh well....

We see a lot of patients in clinical with lower gastrointestinal disorders and diseases. I saw a women today who had had her colon removed, and as a result had a bag attached the to the outside of her body to house her poop. Most people who are unfortunate enough to need an external colon, keep it hidden under their clothes. Not this lady. It was just hanging out there, for the entire world to see. Not only was it clearly visible (and full!) she decided it would be a good idea to show it to us, in fine detail. Not only that, but she has a jug that she empties it into throughout the day, which was also full, and which she also felt the need to show us. Since her colon is gone, the poop doesn't actually solidify, so she handed us a jug of chunky brown liquid to look at. One would think that a normal person doesn't just leave a jug of fecal matter on their bedside table, but I guess she wanted to really drive home the fact that her food was going right through her, leaving her hungry all the time. Needless to say, we kept the meeting short and high tailed it out of there as soon as we could assure her that we would have the kitchen send her extra snacks several times throughout the day.

This little exchange made me really appreciate nurses. The longer I spend in the hospital the more I realize how much crap nurses deal with (literally!). We see gross stuff like that occasionally but nurses deal with it regularly. In fact, I'm sure that we make the nurses deal with even MORE poop and vomit as were prescribe patients various supplemental beverages that are frequently not tolerated by patients. It's not uncommon for the supplemental beverage to rush back out of a patient, from one or both ends. Although last week was nurses appreciation week, I am offering my belated appreciation to all you nurses out there now.

My first official meeting for Kenya is tomorrow, but I've met with the internship coordinator and the professor who is going with us already to sort out some details. I am no longer doing my June food service internship rotation because I'd actually only be available for less than half of it because of meetings and leaving for Kenya etc. Since I'm doing 5 weeks of placement in Kenya, I'll actually still end up being one week ahead of the other interns by the end of the summer. The great news??! I am now flying home to Mississauga on June 7th and will get to be home for a full week followed by 3 days in Ottawa, followed by another few days at home before I go. This will allow me to see all the people back home that I was sad I'd be missing all summer. I'll be home in less than 3 weeks and am unbelievably pumped! I'll probably even get to go for a spin or two in my boat...assuming I can still balance it after not being in it for so long! I am crossing my fingers that I can catch a war canoe practice at some point but I'm sure it's doubtful since I'm home for such a short time.

This past year has been very stressful and a lot of hard work but somehow I've managed to get everything I've wanted! I feel so spoiled! I've been trying to figure out what I have changed in order for everything to fall into place so nicely for me. Sure the whole having to retire from paddling thing wasn't exactly ideal and really really sucked, but then I ended up getting into the internship program which would have forced me to retire regardless. I've received scholarships for the first time in my life, I became an Academic All Canadian for the first time and I've been granted the opportunity to work with Farmers Helping Farmers doing exactly what I've dreamed about doing since high school in my all time favorite place ever. I can't think of a single thing I could want right now. Looking back, the only difference I can find that I've made is that I've just applied for more things. In high school, I just assumed I wouldn't have a chance at winning awards or making teams etc, so I didn't bother applying. But I have learned to just apply for everything, regardless of how outside your chance is of getting whatever it is you are applying for. So my advice of the day: apply. Even if you have a less than 1% chance of being accepted or winning, at least you just got extra practice writing an application letter, which will make your next one better, and increase your chances of getting the next thing you apply for.

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