the future Dr. Zeidan

I can’t believe it has been so long since I updated. It seems so much has happened and I am sure I will forget something. I came to Detroit for commencement. It was fun, and also very wonderful to see my family and Jason. While I was there I also had a job interview that went well. It was really hard to go back to internship after that. I was basically just counting the days till I graduated. A few weeks after I was back I had some bad news. My dad was needing emergency triple bypass surgery. He madit through it, and is recovering well. He isn’t allowed to drive still, but he is able to go back to work. He rides with his friend who lives close. I was also offered the job at blue water counseling. I have accepted it, but I am waiting on my temporary limited license to come through before I can start.

Anyway, both Jason and my mom made it to Alaska to help me move out and to be there for my internship graduation. While I was very very very excited to be done with internship it was very hard to leave Alaska and also say goodbye to my internship cohort. Many of them are like siblings to me now. We got a chance to take my mom up to Hatchers Pass after graduation, and we explored the mine. On the way down there was this beautiful rainbow. It seemed like a movie set. That weekend we also got to go to Mt. McKinley. We did a flight tour with a glacier landing. It was amazing. I highly suspected Jason was going to propose, but he didn’t. He had always promised it would be before I moved in with him, but the next day he left. This left me feeling confused.

I flew back to Michigan 2 days later, and my cat and aly have been introduced. It hasn’t gone so well. Aly is terrified of Sonata, but Sonata doesn’t realize it. They can occasionally be in the same room. I have also seen a few friends, but for the most part I have been lazy or studying for the EPPP since getting your PhD isn’t enough. Yes that’s right I need another 2000 hours of supervised practice and to pass the EPPP before I will be fully licensed.

Last week I was really tired, and Jason came home and was like lets go for a hike. I refused and he looked kind of upset. He then suggested the mall. I eventually agreed to get dressed and go. He kept trying to get me to look at pictures of Alaska we had taken, but I kept saying I’d look in the car. He texted one to me and was being pushy about me looking. I kept saying in the car. He finally was like can I show you then. It was a picture we had taken at Mt McKinely and he had put Shannon will you marry me on a sign in the picture. Apparently he was having someone write it out on the hike we were going to take, but I screwed things up. Anyway, I am so excited and happy. We are planning an October 2015 wedding here in Michigan. In August our families are supposed to meet. There will be a blessing of the ring. This is something that I traditional for Jordanian weddings, and it is important to his father. Anyway, that’s it for now. Lots going on. I’ll try to update more frequently.

 

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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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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

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