spring time mania

So much has been going on here in Anchorage. I have already sent a total of thirty boxes to Jason. It takes about a month for them to get to Rochester, and with him coming here for my internship graduation I need all the boxes to be gone the first week of June. The people here are so incredibly nice. I make a new friend every time I go to the post office.

 

My Alaska Psychiatric Institute Rotation is complete. It was a bit overwhelming. More because it was so short and they tried to fit everything in. I really loved working with the adolescents though. It is so amazing to hear what a teenager’s life is like in the villages compared to what my life was like as a teenager. At times I find it frustrating, but then I remember it’s what they know and I am making a judgment and most likely if I had grown up in a village I would do different things and enjoy much different things. There is also a Baptist Priest coming to anchorage soon to protest outside the native center because he is calling the natives heathens. It’s so upsetting. I can honestly say that my experience with anyone from a Native Alaskan background has been a positive one once they get to know me and I get to know them. Many of them are religious now, and they went through so many horrible events. I know many of my patients and colleagues plan to go protest against the priest and I am seriously considering it too.

 

Spring is here in anchorage though, and the sunlight is increasing drastically. It is now well after ten before it gets dark, and when I wake up at 5 am it is lightish. We gain about 5-7 minutes of sunlight a day. I am having some trouble falling asleep now. The mornings are great though. There is still snow on the mountains but for the most part the snow and ice ha melted in the valley.

 

As the internship year comes to a close I am no longer taking on new patients and instead working on transfer summaries for my patients to go to the new students coming in. It’s sad too. I mean I’ve worked with some of them all year long. I wish the best for them all. In more personal news Jason is also spending this time interviewing for his fellowship. His Alaska interview will be May 9th and I am keeping my fingers crossed for that one. He has some good options though. They interview early for palliative care, so he won’t actually start until the summer of 2015. The places he has gone though have talked with him about helping me to find a job in the area if he chooses to come there. That is kind of awesome.

 

This week has also been kind of special for Jason and me. It was our first year anniversary. He sent me flowers and a stuffed animal. They were supposed to be delivered to my home, but ended up having to be delivered to work since the company doesn’t deliver after 3 PM. We also got to see each other after nine weeks. We went to Seattle and it was so amazing to see him after so long. I love traveling with him too. We always get a hotel with a full kitchen and do our grocery shopping and cook together. We also go to the gym every morning. I can run again! I am taking it slow, but I did three days back to back in Seattle. Plus we went on an amazing hike on a mountain to Bridal Falls. It was supposed to be easy, but we were jumping over streams and climbing up rocks. I was pretty sore after that. We also did some shopping, and I got some Kate Spade shoes for commencement. They are hot pink which I fitting since I defended my dissertation in a hot pink suit. Anyway just two weeks till I leave to go back for commencement. I am hoping the redwings are still in the playoffs, but they aren’t doing so hot. It would be great to go to a game though. Oh and I know what else is new. I have red hair again! Anyway, I hope all of you are doing fabulous and I look forward to seeing my Michigander friends in two weeks!!!!!april_red april_32 april_31 april_30 april_29 april_28 april_27 april_23 april_24 april_20 april_15 april_12 april_8 april_7 april_3

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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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