snow in september? what is this strange place

So since I last wrote I had a minor panic attack. Our first snow was predicted and everyone was busy getting snow tires put on. I freaked out because a)I don’t have snow tires yet and b) it sounded like every place was booked. So of course I set out to my family’s favorite store and main conversation topic Costco. They of course had what I needed, but were too busy to put them on for me. Jason called around and found a place to put them on. By the time I got there they said they were too busy. I explained my situation and how I would be out of town for several weekends, and they managed to squeeze me in. So my relaxing Saturday turned into a stressful Saturday and I didn’t get home till 9 pm after all was said and done. The snow of course came, but did I need snow tires? Nope. I’m still happy I got them though because I was in Seattle last weekend and need to prepare for my trip to nome this weekend. It’s really weird to see snow in the middle of well I guess not even the middle but the beginning of fall. I felt tempted to pull out Christmas music.

Last weekend was my trip to visit Jason in Seattle. We got in late late on Friday, but of course he was perfect making sure everything was taken care of and getting me healthy food before we went to the hotel. The next day was a relaxing trip to the gym and grocery shopping. We were going to hike but it was raining, so we ended up going to the space needle and then a comedy show. Afterward we made our healthy pizza in the microwave because well cooking in a hotel isn’t the greatest. Sunday included a gym trip and planning my Christmas flight to Detroit. Which actually looks like it will be a flight to seattle then the next day to Detroit then a drive to Dayton Ohio where his sister lives then back to Detroit and then a flight to Reno for a fellowship interview for him and then a flight to seattle back to anchorage. Exhausted yet? I am. I’m actually really excited for it. This will be my first Christmas away from my family, but I’m just really thrilled to be spending it with my amazing boyfriend. (yes I am sure I am making you all sick by now). Saying goodbye was hard of course, but he’ll be here first week of November.

Now I am freaking out about my trip to  Nome and then the chartered flight to the rural village Stebbins. I hate not working out in the morning, and I won’t have access to a gym. My foot still isn’t 100% so trying to run would not be good, plus its too cold outside now. I am taking my resistance bands and jump rope thought. Maybe we can get some hikes in too. Then of course Jordan brought up the fact our flight home from Nome is the most canceled flight. Grrrrr I want to get home Thursday night! Say some prayers! I am also kind of curious and excited at the same time. I mean this is not an opportunity a lot of people have. Ray (our supervisor there) has to go to the elders to ask for permission for us to even come. It’s kind of a big deal I guess. I think I have everything I need for the trip, but I need to get a compression bag for my sleeping bag and maybe some ski goggles. I plan to spend the majority of this weekend preparing, but I may be going to a festival with Jordan and his wife and then Sarah will be in town for her birthday so hopefully I’ll catch up with her at some point.

Okay all! Cross your fingers for me! In two weeks I’ll be back to normal hopefully.

(sorry there are no photos. I’m too tired to figure out why my computer won’t let me upload them tonight)

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Jason was here!!!!!!!!!

Pavel and Jason infront of Portage glacier

Pavel and Jason infront of Portage glacier

me and Pavel on the Portage glacier tour

me and Pavel on the Portage glacier tour

me and Jason on the Portage glacier cruise

me and Jason on the Portage glacier cruise

me and pavel and snoqualme in front of the river from the glaciers

me and pavel and snoqualme in front of the river from the glaciers

jason Pavel and Snoqualme

jason Pavel and Snoqualme

Jason Pavel and Snoqualme on our hike through Kincaid

Jason Pavel and Snoqualme on our hike through Kincaid

me and Pavel in Kincaid

me and Pavel in Kincaid

Pavel and I in front of the beach at Kincaid

Pavel and I in front of the beach at Kincaid

the sunset from Flat Top

the sunset from Flat Top

sun set at Flat Top

sun set at Flat Top

Pavel and I in a house we found on our hike in Hatcher's Pass

Pavel and I in a house we found on our hike in Hatcher’s Pass

Pavel and Snoqualme at the end of our hike up to the lake at Hatcher's Pass

Pavel and Snoqualme at the end of our hike up to the lake at Hatcher’s Pass

me Pavel and Snoqualme at Summit Lake

me Pavel and Snoqualme at Summit Lake

the bull moose I saw on a hike with Jenn

the bull moose I saw on a hike with Jenn

the baby moose who had been abandoned by its mamma for mating season

the baby moose who had been abandoned by its mamma for mating season

sunset at the beach at Kincaid

sunset at the beach at Kincaid

sunset at the beach at Kincaid

sunset at the beach at Kincaid

It’s been so long since I posted but honestly I wasn’t going to sit down and write anything when Jason was here. His visit was fabulous. I’ve never been able to be in a relationship where I don’t need some space, but having him here for 11 days I never once needed a break. Maybe it’s because we are long distance, but even back in Michigan I never once felt like that.  He honestly goes above and beyond for me. His first night here he got in too late for us to do anything besides just be in awe that we were together. The following day we took it easy and went to the gym, but that night we went up to Hatcher’s Pass to try and hunt down the northern lights. Unfortunately the clouds had other plans. We ate dinner in the car, but we figured we would see nothing. Stupid us for giving up, the next day we heard the clouds opened up and people could see them for a bit. The day after that we went to Portage Glacier and took the cruise. It was so beautiful and Pavel was happy because Jason brought his transitional love object Snoqualme with him, so pavel had a play date. The water round there is soooooo blue from the glaciers. It’s breathtaking. We went to Alyeska from there and road the tram to the very top. It’s amazing to be up there. Then we came home and watched the hunger games together. Monday we went downtown and did the tourist stuff. Jason got me stuff to make my Kobuk’s tea (this locally made tea that’s fabulous!). Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I had to work, but Jason got up at 5 am and did the gym with me everyday and then dropped me up at work. He picked me up at lunchbreak and at the end of the day. Having him there was so amazing! Thursday he got the chance to Dr. Rust at the hospital about the Palliative Care fellowship here, and it sounds promising. Dr. Rust gave him multiple hours of his time and is looking forward to seeing his application. Then that night we had planned to climb Flat Top, but we accidentally did a hike instead. The city looked so pretty with all the lights though from that high up. Friday was supposed to be our trip to Denali, but the plane couldn’t take off because of weather. We ended up hiking at Kincaid, and then we went to actual Flat Top and watched the sunset. Perfect as always. Saturday we went back to Hatcher’s Pass and did a hike that was fun. We also found our way to summit lake at the very top, so that is going to be our next hike. We made our Cauliflower crust pizza together that night and watched Harry Potter. It was so hard to say goodbye on Sunday. I definitely cried. He is just so sweet to me. My condo was cleaned when I came home from work, he is always tuned into my emotions, and more than anything we always have fun doing whatever. I love him so much!

Since his visit we have plans for Seattle in two weeks for a weekend and then I go to Nome and the rural village Stebbins. I am very nervous, and I am trying to get all my winter gear together. We leave October 7th, and Jordan will be with me, which should make it a little more fun. I still need to come up with gifts for the elders and the children though. Any input would be helpful. Besides that work has been busy. My MOVE groups will start the week after I am back from Nome.

November will mean another visit from Jason, and we will try Denali again and then the thought is either North Pole or Juneau. It kind of depends on flight prices though. I am really kind of starting to build my life here. I have been going to argentine tango lessons and this week I am going to be trying a church group that sounds similar to my old one. I am kind of nervous and excited for that. I mean some church groups can be so judgmental. Also, Jenn and I get together often and she is a good person to hike with for sure. Other than that not much is happening. It’s cold here, there is snow on the mountaintops and I am trying to get good winter gear together. I hope all of you are enjoying fall!

sick as a dog and a stalker

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Time has flown. Sorry I’ve been absent friends. I got sick. So after my last post the guy I went hiking with that Saturday turned into somewhat of a stalker. He now shows up when I’m working out, and text constantly. My supervisors are concerned enough that they asked me to give them his contact info in case I don’t show up one day. Sooooooo since I was going to go to the shooting range with him, that never happened. I did go to Aleyeska ski resort though for the blueberry festival with Jenn and two of her friends. It was so awesome to see the glaciers and pick blueberries up in the mountains. It had been rainy all week, but it was gorgeous that day. Of course the drive out that way is amazing too. I always get a little shocked that I actually live HERE IN ALASKA!!!!!!!

The Monday after that though I got incredibly sick. I made myself keep going. I refuse to give up any of my sick days when they can be used later to see Jason. So I basically sat around last weekend recovering. I did stop by Jenn’s new place though, and she has a nice set up.

Work has been crazy busy but so much fun. I started with my palliative care rotation yesterday, so I get to participate in the interdisciplinary team meetings. It was awesome because one of the physicians has been in contact with Jason about him coming up here for fellowship. The guy new me from that, and seemed extremely excited Jason will be here soon and will be stopping by to visit. I also went on some home visits with Dr. Kam who is super sweet. The patients were in there 90s, but I felt like I was making a difference. Other than that there have been some kind of crazy warm hand offs from physicians wanting a therapist to talk to their patients when they show up for their visit with them. I am totally booked on my two clinic days where I provide individual hour sessions. Then I am starting a MOVE weight loss group. The Nome rotation sounds like it will be happening soon too. I am very excited and nervous for that.

In other exciting news this time next week I’ll be getting ready to pick up my amazing boyfriend from the airport. We are planning to do a glacier tour, hike flat top or baldy, take a helicopter ride to denali and so much more! I seriously can’t wait to see him. He sent me a care package this week and it made me happy, but also reminded me how perfect he is for me. I wouldn’t be making it through this drastic life change without him constantly checking on me and making me feel so special.

Going up the ski lift

Going up the ski lift

alyeska

alyeska

pavel and i on the ski lift

pavel and i on the ski lift

pavel and i on the ski lift

pavel and i on the ski lift

jenn and pavel on the ski lift

jenn and pavel on the ski lift

you can see one of the glaciers in the distance. At the restaurant on top you can see 7 of them

you can see one of the glaciers in the distance. At the restaurant on top you can see 7 of them

ski lift at alyeska

ski lift at alyeska

pavel after picking blueberries

pavel after picking blueberries

the blueberries pavel and i picked

the blueberries pavel and i picked

the gift jason sent

the gift jason sent

My first moose!

My weekend has been absolutely fabulous! I wasn’t so sure it would be. In fact I thought it was going to be down right boring! On Friday I decided it was time to visit the coastal trail that everyone talks about and to hunt down some wildlife given the fact I am the only one in my consortium who hasn’t seen some form of it. I was definitely not disappointed! The views are stunning, and the path goes through the forest. You feel like you are in a rain forest. There are huckle berries to pick too. Sure enough I not only ran into a moose, but a moose and her baby. I was able to get some pics because she seemed cautious but not dangerous or scared. As long as I stayed on my bike she was fine, and once she saw I had no intention of hurting her little one she went back to eating and ignored me as I rode by. The wind was crazy though because a storm was coming in and it even blew me off my bike. The rest of the night I spent relaxing and talking some to Jason.

Saturday I got the chance to go hiking with a friend here. He took me to Eagle River and we hiked to the top of a mountain there. It was sooooooo steep. More of a workout then my running. We got to the top and it was amazing! So quiet and peaceful. On one side you have the city, then you look to the right and these amazing mountains covered in green grass and flowers, then behind me there was a view of mountains with snow! Just spectacular. The way back down wasn’t much easier and I fell on my butt a few times, but really there are no words. Unfortunately I forgot to take Pavel along with me. I guess he was too busy training lately. He better be ready for the shooting range and blueberry picking this week!

I seriously can’t wait 25 days until I get to show Jason around. I hope he falls in love with it the way I have. Okay, time to get stuff together for work tomorrow. I’m booked with patients and it doesn’t look like they are gonna go easy on me.

view of anchorage from the coastal trail

view of anchorage from the coastal trail

view from the coastal trail

view from the coastal trail

my first moose!

my first moose!

view of anchorage from the mountain

view of anchorage from the mountain

top of the mountain

top of the mountain

me at the top

me at the top

top of the mountain

top of the mountain

I got to see him!!!!!!

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So it has been a little bit since I last posted. Work has literally been crazy. There isn’t a moment when I am at the clinic when I tend to have free time. My first week of having patients was this week, and I am pretty much booked. However, I did have some time to talk with my supervisor about what my elective will be and I’ve set myself up to do palliative care. I’ll get the chance to participate in the interdisciplinary team meetings as well as do home visits with one of the physicians. This is kind of Jason’s area of interest and since I have been helping him write a proposal for a research project in palliative care, it’s kind of been something I have gotten into. Also, I’ll be running diabetes group visits as well as starting a MOVE group for weight loss. I am loving every second of my time here so far!

 

This past weekend I got to go to Seattle to see Jason! It had almost been a full two months since I last saw him. I got in late Friday, and it was just amazing to be able to hold his hand and actually see his face. He really made the weekend perfect. On Saturday we woke up late and went to the gym, then we went grocery shopping and made some food. We went to all these national parks and the view was amazing. We made dinner when we got back and relaxed. I love how we can just enjoy every moment together. Sunday it was hard to say goodbye, but he will be in Alaska in 29 days now! Yay! It looks like he will be here for about 10 days, and I only have to work three of them due to labor day and a day off. I can’t wait to see him and we have some amazing plans like going to see the northern lights, going on a dinner cruise to see the whales, helicopter trip to denali, and going to walk on a glacier.

 

This weekend is going to be a little boring. The few people I know are out of town, and it is supposed to be rainy. I want to try and bike the coastal trail though. It’s supposed to be a fabulous view. I was invited to go to Homer, but I am going to have to work on my notes some, so it really isn’t feasible. Oh well.  Anyway, each day I am here I love it even more. We shall see how the winter goes!

bears and moose in the hospital oh my!

So there hasn’t been much happening since the camping trip really. I got kind of sick and took Saturday to rest some and relax. I did start exploring the trails behind my condo that night though. There are so many! Still haven’t seen a moose or a bear yet though. Sunday I went to a meetup group at the cemetery. Yes you read that right cemetery. It was really cool actually. They actresses and actors playing the parts of the people who are buried there. They had the first police chief, the only civil war vet, a story of a mining disaster, and so many more. It was really quite interesting.

Monday was the start of HR orientation for the hospital, and the same happened today. Yesterday was boring except for learning about some of the cool benefits we get through providence. Today was maybe more interesting. They talked about how in the past bears and moose have come into the hospital and that in order to coax them out we must get federal permission because it is their native habitat. We also got to hear the harpist that plays for the patients. She was amazing!

Tomorrow starts my work in the FMC, but mainly it will be more orientation this week. I can start calling and reviewing patient charts from transfers on Friday. Then next week it will be a full week of FMC, and then!!!!!! FRIDAY I FLY AND SEE JASON!!!!!!!!!! I can’t believe it has almost been two months since we said goodbye. I really wish he were here with me. AK would be so much more fun with him. Okay that’s all for now. Hopefully my life gets more exciting this weekend, and Pavel can go on some more adventures.

the actor playing the first police chief

the actor playing the first police chief

the civil war vet in the cemetary

the civil war vet in the cemetary

the actor talking about the mining disaster

the actor talking about the mining disaster

the actress playing a woman who was part native part Swedish

the actress playing a woman who was part native part Swedish

Jordan sent this to me

Jordan sent this to me

I wasn’t mauled by a bear!

So the big trip is over. Wow! That pretty much sums it up for me. I was terrified this entire week would leave me feeling sleepy and grumpy and hungry without my usual gym routine and my usual foods to eat. I can’t say that is really what happened though. I definitely left to meet people with a pretty negative attitude. When I got to the residency to meet the people from Anchorage who were all driving together, Dr. Dewane and Dr. Parett were very welcoming. I rode to the restaurant with Vang, Ginny, and Ginny’s husband. Then everyone slowly got in from their respective placements. There are five of us in Anchorage (3 at the FMC including me) 2 in Fairbanks, and 2 in Nome. The first night was kind of overwhelming, and I have to say it was the first night since I got to Texas that I cried about missing Jason. That first week after I said goodbye I was constantly randomly breaking into tears. Since then I miss him tons and might get choked up, but haven’t cried. It’s weird it would be the first night of camping that would cause this reaction, but I figure he is the person who manages to center me and make me see the big picture. I really kind of needed that at the moment. I went to bed a little sad, and woke up to rain. The first day was filled with paperwork, but I immediately seemed to bond with Jordan who will also be working at the FMC with me. We started talking and came up with the idea to have a prom when Jason comes up in the fall since neither Jordan nor Jason has been to prom. We’ve invited jenn and the other interns and even have a logo. It should be fun, and also a little silly of course.

The rain did let up, and I got a chance to walk with Hailey who will be the leader of our process group from Fairbanks. That was great, and then I jumped rope and did some abs. That immediately made me perk up. I found ways each day to get in some exercise from walking miles, to jumping jacks, and lunges. I stayed more alert that way. I also wasn’t eating very much. I ended up eating egg white omelets I made for myself almost every day. I initially loved them, but now I can’t eat another.

I have to say the week was surprisingly good. The other interns are amazing, and we seemed to bond. I was scared about that. I know I am a bit more quiet especially around new people and new situations. Eventually we just kind of bonded. It will be fun to see how we each grow over the year and hear about the different things going on at our different sites,

I did not see any bears or moose! I want to. I think everyone else has now. I am not sure I am cut out for long camping trips. It was okay the first day or two, but I really wanted my bed and shower and gym. The shower was kind of gross and it was cold. I also really hated waking up at night and having to walk to go to the restroom. Anyway, we got back today at 11. I have the weekend to relax some, and then it is HR orientation at 7:30 am Monday whooo fun, not. I have it again on Tuesday, and then I will finally be in the clinic on Wednesday.

Other than that there is not too much to say, Pavel has been nominated as our mascot this year. Jason and I will be seeing each other in thirteen days in Seattle. Then only three weeks and he will be with me in Anchorage. All I have to say is I am so excited to sleep in my nice big bed tonight!

pavel was ready to get home

pavel was ready to get home

meier lake at 11 pm

meier lake at 11 pm

Hailey Jackie and me the last night (yeah its after ten and still sunny)

Hailey Jackie and me the last night (yeah its after ten and still sunny)

camp fire bonding

camp fire bonding

Pavel roasting a marshmallow for his smore

Pavel roasting a marshmallow for his smore

pavel playing life guard at the lake

pavel playing life guard at the lake

pavel about to go for a swim

pavel about to go for a swim

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we are having prom when Jason comes up, Jordan made the logo for us

we are having prom when Jason comes up, Jordan made the logo for us