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

finally exploring AK!!!!

So Pavel has had an exciting few days in Anchorage so far. He didn’t get to go with me to my health screening though. That was an experience. My mom didn’t keep my shot records, so they had to take what seemed like all my blood so they can test it for what I’m immune for. Then they injected me with the TB test, and of course I started feeling nauseous and almost passed out. The nurse was amazing though, and she let me sit there and drink a few liters of water. I also had my drug test and TOBACCO test. Yes, the campus and staff must be tobacco free. Glad I was never a smoker. After that I thought I deserved a treat and took myself to the dimond mall. HAHAHAHa that is no mall! There was an old navy, an American eagle, a hot topic, and torrid, and a forever 21! I got very depressed.

The past couple of days I have spent some time with Jenn! I am so glad I already had a friend here. Two days ago we went to one of her coworkers places, and we got to meet some mushing dogs. Very cute, but kind of disturbing. They are kept on rope that is only a few feet long all year round. They get food twice a day during winter, but only once the rest of the year. They are super energetic though. Then we went to Palmer where we ate at a restaurant or rather Jenn’s coworker and her mom (she is visiting this week) ate and Jenn and I were picky as usual, but I did have some amazing tea. From there we went to Hatcher’s Pass which is absolutely breathtaking. It was in the 30s though when we got into the mountains, so I was freezing. I can’t wait to go back and try some of the hiking trails though.

Yesterday was the fourth, and Jenn’s boyfriend suggested we go downtown to a fair, but it turned out to be more for kids. This gave a chance to explore downtown though. I was freezing! It was raining, and already so cold and its only July! I am now freaking out about my camping orientation trip that starts Sunday and goes through Friday! I have been marathon shopping for warmer clothes. The good news is everyone here is super friendly and always willing to help. The bad news is most places aren’t carrying winter clothes right now. I was able to scramble to put together a few things, and then some people I have met here have helped me find cheaper sites to start ordering things from. That’s the other thing, things here are expensive!

Other than that there hasn’t been too much excitement. I probably won’t be posting till I get home from camping (especially since tomorrow night is another long distance date with Jason), but yes that will be an experience. One I hope doesn’t get me on the wrong foot with the internship. I just have three weeks till I meet Jason in Seattle. So excited to see him. I can’t believe how easy things are with him. (SHALL I CALL YOU OUT ON BLUSHING AGAIN JASON?) When we talk about the future it sounds so amazing especially since we will both be finishing our training so close in time. We figured out tonight we have talked every day for almost a full three months (and most days for multiple hours) How the heck do we still have more to say to each other? Okay it’s time for bed soon, but its still daylight. I won’t complain I’m sure I’ll miss it come winter.

Pavel visiting a mushing dog in Chugiak

Pavel visiting a mushing dog in Chugiak

Pavel sitting on a mushing dog house (where they sleep all year)

Pavel sitting on a mushing dog house (where they sleep all year)

Pavel drinking tea in Palmer at Red Turkey

Pavel drinking tea in Palmer at Red Turkey

pavel and i half way up Hatcher's Pass

pavel and i half way up Hatcher’s Pass

Jenn, Pavel and I at a lodge near the top of hatcher's pass

Jenn, Pavel and I at a lodge near the top of hatcher’s pass

Pavel and I at a creek towards the bottomg of hatcher's pass

Pavel and I at a creek towards the bottomg of hatcher’s pass

Pavel and i FREEZING in the middle of downtown

Pavel and i FREEZING in the middle of downtown

uh oh we were caught by a moose

uh oh we were caught by a moose

Pavel and I got attacked by a bear

Pavel and I got attacked by a bear

and so it begins

And so it begins. Actually I know I won’t finish writing this before it begins because it’s almost time for bed, so this is a two day blog for me. Tomorrow is hospital orientation. 7 am way to freaking early, but I will console myself with the fact it is 11 am in Michigan, not so bad right?

A lot has been happening here in Michigan. I finally got my condo signed on. I bought a bunch of furniture, and my mattresses will be delivered tomorrow. I had my internet/cable hooked up today. We are still in the hotel till Saturday night, and then my mom leaves on Sunday. I can’t say that I am too sad. I have come to realize I need to be able to have space to organize things the way I want and to make some mistakes. Anyway, she has helped a lot. Unfortunately they have started my grandpa on morphine. I don’t really know what that means, but she may try to make it back to Houston Saturday instead if need be. I hope my grandpa gets better. I know I won’t make it back there before the year is up, but I knew that when I saw him the day before I flew up here.

Jason and I have become even closer if possible (those who have seen us texting each other know what I mean). I couldn’t have gotten through this stress without him. I am maybe flying to Seattle to see him the end of July as long as I don’t work that weekend, and he is coming here the end of August through the beginning of September! Almost a full week and a half.  He also took Pavlov on some adventures before he shipped him my way, so I will be attaching those photos, but Pavlov was well fed and even did some work in the hospital before he had to catch his flight.

My mom and I also visited hill side which starts maybe 4 minutes out of anchorage. We drove to Whittier and the view is amazing. I’ll attach photos too. I can’t wait to get out and do more.

Oh and the exciting news is I ran today for the first time since my electric shock treatment for my foot. No pain so far! Keep your fingers crossed. I just saw an ad for mount marathon here in July. 26.2 miles up a mountain, think I should end my internship with a celebratory race next year? I do!

Now for day two updates. Actually this is not the day after. Hospital orientation left me exhausted. It was mainly for the residents so a complete waste of my time. I did find the fact we have a code for moose there funny. Other than that, boring!

After the orientation was over, my dad called, and my grandpa was dying. I called to try and talk, but they said he wasn’t awake or conscious. He passed away only minutes after. I won’t be able to make it home for the funeral, but I did get to see my grandpa right before I came up to AK. He was the same sweet mischievous man I know. He kept asking when I was leaving. That’s typical, but normally he also asks when I will be back. He didn’t do that. Instead he focused on Jason and where we might settle. I think he knew what was coming. I love that man so much! It won’t be the same without him.

Today I got the rest of my stuff moved in, and this will be my first night in my new place.

hillside

hillside

hillside

hillside

hillside

hillside

hillside

hillside

pavel getting a snack before he left

pavel getting a snack before he left

pavel

pavel

pavel visiting my old office

pavel visiting my old office

pavel helping jason at the hospital

pavel helping jason at the hospital

pavel shopping for snacks for the plane ride

pavel shopping for snacks for the plane ride

Adios Michigan, Hello Texas

So on Monday I left Michigan after 10 years of being there, and I made my way home to Texas to visit friends and family here. I can’t say leaving was very easy. This past year and especially the time from Feb. to now has been amazing. After I matched for my internship in Anchorage I was able to mend a friendship with my best friend Anna. It was almost like we never fought, although it was super sad to think of the events in her life that I missed like her wedding, and then due to this move I had to miss her dissertation defense. I’m glad we will be walking together, and that we did get to take advantage of living down the street from each other for a few months. I’ll miss her in AK. Then of course there is Jason. That’s my recent romance story. What to leave out and what to say since he just might read this? I’ll leave it at when we finally let ourselves try being an “us” it was fantastic. It seems super easy, and like I’ve told him, he brings out the best in me. Having said that it was a horrible feeling leaving him, and then not knowing when we will get a chance to visit each other or meet in a different city makes me a little sad. No sappy songs on the radio right now for me or I will cry for sure. of course there are countless others that were difficult to say goodbye to like my church group Lex. Every single person there is special to me (okay I lie, but for the most part). Anyway, I’m home in Houston, and I have 3 full more days here. I keep questioning my decision to do this, wondering if Jason and I will make it through the year, wondering how I will change during the next year, and then there are those moments when I wish I could go back and rank the Detroit internships higher so things could be kept as close to the same as possible. There is no going back though, as of Monday night I’m an Alaskan for a year. Now we get down to my plan though. Most of you who know me know I love the Red Wings, and well this year Jason and I started betting on games. We refused to bet on teams though, so instead we each had two players from each team that would score the most and one with the most penalties. Well Jason always seemed to get the first pick of the Red Wings and ended up with Pavel Datsyuk as one of his. This left me kind of having mixed feelings about him, but lets be honest, he is one of the best players the team has, so really I can’t hate the guy. (Plus there are no hard feelings since I mostly won all our bets) Anyway, Jason has decided it would be cool if I could take a life size picture of Pavel around with me for a year up there. I won’t have any professional sports there, and of course I will always love the Red Wings and hope to get back this year for some games.  I plan to post pics. of “Pavel” and me in AK .IMG_0619