4 time zones in a week and a half and 24 weeks left of internship!

4 different time zones in a week and a half and 24 weeks of internship left

So I’m back in Alaska, and all I have to say to you lower 48ers is ahahahahahahaha. Yes we are at a balmy 36 and while we may get a lot of snow here this week, this city is built to deal with it unlike the lower 48. Anyway, coming back was hard despite the warm spell we are having.

I took off for Seattle the Friday before Christmas and was terrified and pretty certain I wouldn’t be able to make it to Detroit the next day due to the ice storm Chicago and Detroit were supposed to get. Jason kept checking for me, and while there were some delays I finally arrived in Detroit 28 hours after taking off from Anchorage. Traveling is the one thing that sucks about being in Alaska.

The first day in Detroit I got to bond with our ‘daughter” alyeska (the dog I bought Jason for Christmas) and I got to go to Lex. It was amazing to see everyone there. I miss them soooooo much! It still feels like home to me. Jason and I hit up whole foods (another sucky thing about Alaska no whole foods) and we made dinner. I always love making dinner with him. On Monday Jason had to work. He also overslept. It was fun driving him around though and making sure he got fed. That night we went to the mall! A real mall!!!!!!!! Not one of the two shopping centers anchorage tries to pass off for a mall. I was good though and didn’t spend much at all.

Tuesday we began our journey to Dayton Ohio to spend Christmas with his family at his sister’s house. We brought Aly along. The only way to get that dog to sleep is long car rides. We listened to Christmas music and really the drive wasn’t that bad. We stayed at a hotel so when we got there we checked in and then it was off to meet the family. His sister made some amazing food, and really the entire family was so sweet and welcoming. His little niece is adorable too. She crawled into Aly’s carrying case. Jason was a little standoffish which tends to b his pattern when we are around people for the first time. I called him out on it and so did his family apparently lol. Christmas started with our workout and then he gave me one gift. It was a beautiful white gold necklace with diamonds in the shape of a snowflake. It’s gorgeous. Then we headed to his sister’s house. His dad and sister got me gifts, which was absolutely sweet of them. I didn’t expect them to do anything. Jason also gave me the rest of my gifts, a Datsyuk jersey, Freudian finger puppets, and gift certificates to Victoria Secret and LuLu Lemon. He did way too much!

The rest of the day we spent time talking with his family and playing with his niece. We also got a chance to facetime with my family too. It was really nice to just be with Jason. It felt like we were a family. His sister asked us a bunch of questions about our intentions and Jason got giggly like a schoolgirl. That mad me mad for a bit, but his dad ended up having a conversation with us and Jason voiced his thoughts on where we were headed. The next day we drove back to Detroit and got packed for our trip to Portland.

Portland was amazing. We both really liked it there, which is good since we will be spending July there when Jason does his away rotation in palliative care. We also got to finally see the hunger games and Jason participated in my tradition of bringing food to the theater. I started getting a little sick while I was there but we still managed a hike at Pitock mansion and explored downtown and the sky tram that runs from the hospital he will be at to the waterfront. It looks like a space station. Jason again amazed me by taking care of me when I woke up feeling terrible at 5 am. He got up made sure I was warm and asleep and then went to hunt down some meds. It was a relaxing time despite being sick. It made it extremely hard to come back. We also kind of decided we might want a Portland wedding.

Having that much time with him made me realize I can’t go through with my plan to stay in Alaska next year. I need to be with him. He is certain he can handle the 10months of me being there if I can’t find work. Then we will know where we are going for his fellowship and I can start looking for a postdoc there. I’ll just use the time to take care of him, study for the EPPP, maybe find part time work and plan the wedding. This is a different mind set for me. I’ve always been so OCD about making sure I am performing at my best school wise and moving through things quickly. I just realize we deserve the chance to be together.

The other good news is I may be back to running. Jason massaged my foot everyday and I started running last week. Nothing major just up to 1.3 miles the first week and this weekend I did 1.6 and 2.0, and I am still only sticking to speeds around 8.0 mph to 8.6, but it still feels great to run at all. I’m hoping the pain stays away. I just have to make myself ease back into it.

So this week is transcultural medicine for all the interns. No patients just learning a lot about healthcare in Alaska. It’ll be nice to have all the interns from Nome and Fairbanks in town. Only 24 weeks left of internship!!!!!!!

up by the hospital jason will be at with portland in background

up by the hospital jason will be at with portland in background

jason up near the hospital

jason up near the hospital

us and pavel at christmas

us and pavel at christmas

my necklace

my necklace

jason and his niece in her new car

jason and his niece in her new car

jason and his niece in her new car

jason and his niece in her new car

aly in the back of the car

aly in the back of the car

us with amelia

us with amelia

me opening presents

me opening presents

us in portland

us in portland

the sky tram

the sky tram

our fake engagement photo

our fake engagement photo

me in portland

me in portland

jason in front of a tree by the courthouse in portland

jason in front of a tree by the courthouse in portland

winter has arrived in alaska and a trip to the north pole, okay maybe just north pole, ak

So where to begin. Again it has been some time since my last update, and its winter here and Anchorage. Jason came in on the 2nd, and we had a fabulous time. My TV was possessed by a ghost so he helped me get a new one set up, and we fixed dinner and had frozen yogurt that night. I had to work Monday-Thursday, but we had fun making protein waffles (with my new waffle maker he brought me) and we did go down to the beach by Kincaid. Of course it wasn’t as great now that it is too cold to really enjoy it. Monday I had to lecture at UAA to PA students on difficult doctor-patient relationships. I had done the exact same topic a few days earlier for the residents, so it wasn’t too much prep, but I hate talking in front of people. Jason came and sat through it to give me support.

Luckily I had the opportunity to work the Saturday right before he came in, so I got an extra comp day. I was already off Monday and Tuesday but I was able to add Friday to that. Thursday night we did all the grocery shopping, and Friday we flew to Fairbanks. It’s amazing how he has adopted my habits. We got a later flight out so we could workout that morning without waking up too early. Then we packed some food, and we immediately went to the grocery store to get the rest once we arrived in Fairbanks. We had a pretty sweet hotel too. It was more like an apartment less like a hotel. We had a full kitchen and everything. Friday night we just ended up relaxing in the hotel since it was dark and cold and snowy.

Saturday we woke up semi early, got ourselves to the gym, and then we headed out towards Chena. It was snowy and cold, but it wasn’t too bad since I have learned to dress properly for the weather. We went on a dogsled tour. The woman who does it had tried to convince us to stay in a yurt at her place. How do I describe what a yurt is? Its this round one room thing, its kind of like a tent. No running water an you light a fire for heat. Yeah we were not staying there. I may be enjoying AK but I have standards and a flushing toilet is one (already had the pleasure of not having one in the village, don’t need a repeat). The dogs were amazing though. There was one particular one that wouldn’t let me walk away from him named Patch. Jason and I have decided we are going to have a dogsled team. Actually we are thinking with what this woman charges we could use that as a way to make all our money. Of course we are very much tied to our careers so maybe it will be more supplemental.

After the dogsled tour we headed to Chena hotsprings. It was dark by the time we got there since the sun started to set around 330 pm. We looked at the hotspring outdoor pool, but there were some creepy looking people there and no lights. Not to mention the fact Japanese fly there to try to conceive under the northern lights since they say that brings good luck to the family. We did go ahead and do the ice museum there though, and it was spectacular. They had a working xylophone made of ice, chairs, tables, glasses you could drink out of, and so much art. On the way back to Fairbanks the weather got really bad though. Jason took it slow and we finally got back though.

Sunday we were supposed to meet up with my intern friends, but they got snowed in. We went to North Pole though, and sat on Santa’s lap J I also got presents for my entire family for Christmas. Jason and I of course got matching shirts, and we also got to see reindeer. It was like Christmas on steroids. After that we were driving back and saw the oddest shop called the screaming weasel. Of course we had to stop. The woman who owns the shop was quite the talker, and the store just mainly had handmade things. We were going to try to go to the Fairbanks ice museum, but everything was closed due to bad weather. We ended up walking around pioneer park and then going back to the hotel to make our healthy Mexican food and plan future trips on facebook.

Monday we had to fly back to Anchorage, but we did workout and then we stopped by Hope counseling center to see one of my cohort and my supervisor there. It was awesome to see them since I hadn’t seen them in person since our camping trip in July. We have video conferencing every Friday, but it isn’t the same.

Finally we got back to the airport, but our flight was delayed. Somehow while we drank our coffee and tea in the airport we got on the discussion of when we will get married. Surprisingly this topic didn’t freak either of us out. We ended up spending the flight discussing details of our wedding and the wedding date. Now don’t get me wrong people we are not engaged yet, just have a plan. We got back to Anchorage and went and got frozen yogurt and made a cauliflower pizza crust pizza. Unfortunately he had to leave Tuesday night, and I am back at work. He is trying to figure out a plan to come up later this month or early December. Then I’ll be heading to Detroit December 20th, spending Christmas at his sister’s in Dayton Ohio and then we will fly to Portland to spend New Years.

In other news I have been invited to learn to skate ski with some of the attending physicians and I am really excited about this. I need to get my gear though. I guess that means this weekend I’ll be heading to REI. Anyway, I’m attaching photos. I hope all is well with everyone!

jason in the yurt

jason in the yurt

my new friend patch

my new friend patch

pavel on the sleigh

pavel on the sleigh

jason and me with the dog team

jason and me with the dog team

pavel and i at the ice museum

pavel and i at the ice museum

jason and i at santa's house

jason and i at santa’s house

pavel in the yurt

pavel in the yurt

pavel with another puppy

pavel with another puppy

patch and i dancing

patch and i dancing

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pavel and ice pumpkins

pavel and ice pumpkins

jason and me with santa

jason and me with santa

pavel and a reindeer

pavel and a reindeer

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