Graduation Glory

“You are educated. Your certification is in your degree. You may think of it as the ticket to the good life. Let me ask you to think of an alternative. Think of it as your ticket to change the world.” -Tom Brokaw

Wow! Can’t believe I am an intern graduate with the whole world ahead of me. Graduation was such a great time to hang out with some of my closet friends, although it was very hard to leave many of them…I wish we could have had an extra week or so to just hang out…without the graduate classes, homework or internship competencies!! Is it depressing that I am already looking forward to a reunion?!

Anyway, here are some pictures from the momentous occasion!

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XOXO, Danae

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Over the Biggest Hurdle. Almost to the Finish Line.

As you are reading this, I have graduated from my dietetic internship at Louisiana Tech University.

WOW. Can’t believe I typed that sentence.

The past 11 months have been such an intense time, yet it has been one of my best years, both educationally and personally.

I’ll be the first to admit that when I found out I was coming to Louisiana for my internship…for a year….I was nervous. I had lived in Illinois my whole life and I was moving to a new area where I didn’t know a single soul — no family, no friends, nothing. That first week 6 weeks I was in Louisiana was a weird and stressful time. I was in new place, I was meeting new people, I was getting acclimated to LA summer and graduate school, plus getting ready to be a dietetic intern. There was a lot of change happening.

Over time though, things have eased up. I learned (and am learning) something new about the field of dietetics and myself every day. I thought I knew myself pretty well after my undergraduate experience, but I feel this has been one of my biggest growth years. I am pretty much a professional now. During the past year, I have gotten to work with some amazing dietitians, ones that will do anything to help me succeed and be an excellent dietitian. I have developed my skills to help me be the professional that I want to be. I have strengthened my strengths as well as worked hard to strengthen my weaknesses (because yes, even I am not perfect! haha).

I have been so blessed to have an great internship experience. I have made lifelong friends, who I will miss seeing on a regular basis, but am so excited to see where they go from here. Even though I am so excited to move back to Chi-city, I think I will miss Louisiana, because of all the memories. And the winters. Definitely going to miss the Louisiana winters..

I plan on up keeping this blog until I get a job and pass the RD exam. I enjoy having an outlet. I have found I enjoy writing and blogging, so I hope this can lead to something in the future. Maybe like a food blog! Only the future will tell.

Thanks to all my family and friends for your love and support during this exciting  yet tumultuous year. And thanks to all who have read my blog and kept up with my journey.

XOXO, Danae

Days to Graduation: 0….its finally here!!!

Life’s a Picnic

So, currently I am in my second and final management rotation. The BIG project that normally gets completed during your second management rotation is your theme day. This is when you combine all your skills you have developed and you plan, execute and evaluate a themed meal. I planned my theme day in about a weeks time. It was a lot to get done, but I would rather than then wait to the last minute. April 24th was the day!

My theme day was Springtime Picnic themed, so I decided to have BBQ Chicken, Garlic Bread, Pasta Salad and Apple Cobbler as my menu. Here is all I had to do:

  • Develop and standardize recipes (I had to make about 120 servings).
  • Determine ingredients I needed to purchase.
  • Ordered my food items from my food distributor.
  • Develop a production schedule (What needs to happen when).
  • Determine cost per meal and selling price for the meal.
  • Receive the food from the delivery truck.
  • Prepare the food.
  • Decorate the cafeteria.
  • Develop an meal evaluation tool.
  • Advertise the meal.
  • Serve the meal.
  • Make sure everything runs smoothly on the day of and make sure we don’t run out of food.

Overall it went very very well. It was a long day to say the least (I got there at 6 am!) I am so lucky that I have a great and helpful staff. The cafeteria cook helped me with my chicken.

All my chicken!

All my chicken!

The day before my theme day, I made my pasta salad, so all I needed to do with that was scoop it into little cups for service. The cobblers were really easy to put together, as was the garlic bread. My goal for this theme day was to put together a great meal, but also make it relatively easy and simple. I didn’t want anything super high stress or technical. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

The day went smoothly except for one little hiccup…

My 2nd Degree Burn

My 2nd Degree Burn

I almost dropped a large sheet pan with two cobbler on it. Instead of letting the pan drop, I jerked the pan towards me and it slid onto the underside of my wrist. It hurt, but at least my cobblers weren’t ruined. The executive chef at the hospital assisted me in pouring some salt on my wrist. This helps draw out the moisture to prevent a blister from forming. I slide a glove over it to protect myself, but I ended up working the rest of the morning with only one arm. You do what you got to do though!

The cafeteria was very very busy during lunchtime, which is unusual for Glenwood. There is usually a steady stream of people, but there was an extra amount of people that day. It was awesome!

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After the day was over, lots of the cafeteria workers told me my theme day was one of the most well planned and smoothest theme days that had seen. I thought that was a huge compliment. They also loved my decorations!!

Overall, I thought it was a successful day, and now I get to spend my last two weeks writing up my evaluations about my theme day and doing whatever my preceptor needs. It’s all downhill from here!

XOXO, Danae

20 Days Until Graduation!

“Better Performance Through Nutrition”

Monday was a busy but fun day.

First I was at my internship. I am in the middle of planning my Theme Day for Glenwood (more on that  later), so I had a long day of prep work and organization before the actual day (April 24th).

After work I got to give a presentation to the men (and woman) of the Monroe Fire Department. For my graduate class, which is about work-site wellness, a group of us instilled a nutrition education program with the fire department. I do not remember if I talked about this earlier but a few weeks back we actually got a tour of the of the firehouse and got to sit in the firetruck and learn about all the bells in whistles. The guys even let me try on their suit and jog around in it to see how heavy it was.

Yep...this happened.

Yep…this happened.

We kind of a got a feel for the lifestyle of a fireman and then found out what some things they wanted to know more about. We decided to do a nutrition presentation centered around the work the firemen do and what they put their body through daily, hence our program title “Better Performance through Nutrition”. The four of us each talked about a particular aspect and then made a corresponding handout/recipes that correlated with our section, so that way they could keep copies of them and give them out to others who maybe couldn’t come to our presentation.

The first section talking about what a diet actually is and how the lifestyle of a fireman affects their diet and vice versa. It is so important that these individuals eat a well balanced diet because they do put their body through so much. Also, with inhaling smoke and sometimes being forced to eat food out on the road when going from job to job, it is important that they eat the right stuff so they are not putting themselves at risk for heart disease, obesity and cancer.  They have enough stuff going against them, they don’t need their diet to be one of them. We emphaized that these individuals stay on a heart healthy diet, which is low in saturated fat and sodium and high in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and mono and polyunsaturated fats

The second portion was a break down of the five main food groups. What items make up the various food groups were discussed, as were the nutrients food in those food groups, what counts as a proper serving and what that serving looks like in real life terms. (Like 3 ounces of fish is about the size of a deck of cards or 1 1/2 ounces of cheese is about 3 dice). The Paleo Diet was also touched upon, because not only is it a fairly popular diet right now, but lots of the firemen have been know to be on it. As said in the presentation, the Paleo Diet is great because it encourages high fruits and vegetable intake, but a negative is that you are often consuming higher levels of saturated fat, which can lead to high cholesterol and heart disease.

The third part of the presentation touched on the importance of hydration and how being hydrated can help them function. One fireman told me that during the summer months in Louisiana, the can literally pour sweat out of their boots. This is all water that they need to be replenishing. For the normal male and female, we need about 3 liters and 2 liters, respectively. We determined that for these firemen, for ever hour of exercise (or firefighting  they do, they need to basically double what they drink. So on a slow day where maybe they just work out for an hour, they now have to drink 6 liters. But, throw in a 2 hour time span where they are actively fighting fire on top of that, you can see how easily they can get dehydrated and how important it is that they drink water and/or sports drinks.I can barely get the two liters I need to get by (I get my water through coffee…ha).

I wrapped this whole bad boy up with applying all of the techniques and information that was talked about prior to an actual lifestyle and how they can use this knowledge when cooking food or grocery shopping (Read this previous post, where I talked about similar things)I gave a list on what some of the heart healthiest foods are (yogurt, nuts, green tea, salmon, wine (score!), pomegranates and bananas…just to name a few). I then went into healthier ways of cooking. For some reason, people in the south think the only way to cook something is to throw it in a deep fryer?! Weird. I discussed omega 3-fatty acids and the benefits to them, as well as where they could be found. I informed them of what good oils and bad oils are and a nice little trick to remember. The more liquid a fat is at room temperature, the healthier it is for you. So, your Crisco Tub of Lard hydrogenated shortening oil (yuck!) is way worse for you than your spreadable margarine, but your canola oil is going to be better than your spreadable margarine. Think Crisco –>Stick Butter –> Spreadable tube Margarine –> Canola/Olive Oil. To wrap up, I talked about salt, alternatives to salt (Remember this?!) and hydration. Drinks like coffee, soda and alcohol are fine in moderation, but you need to make sure you drink water with them, because they can dehydrate you. Make sure you replenish! Your urine will be the easiest way to tell. You want the color of water or lemonade, not apple juice.

Overall I thought it went very well. Some of the guys were even taking notes and asking questions. They seemed very receptive of the information and where very thankful for the talk. But really, the pleasure was all mine. Not only am I know halfway done with my end of the class project, but I got to stand in front of a room full of firemen. FULL. OF. FIREMEN! pretty much a girls dream (one of many). It was a good time, and definitely a different experience. I learned a new side of firemen. Who knew that there was more to it than sliding down poles and cruising in a red truck?!

XOXO, Danae

24 days until Graduation

Healthy Eaters of Louisiana Unite!

Well, Louisiana might not be full of healthy eaters, but I would like to think the dietitians that attended the annual Louisiana Dietetic Association meeting are. This past Tuesday and Wednesday, I was in Lafayette for the LDA Conference “Responding to the Challenge“.

The Monday before the conference, Gwen, Nate and I drove to Alexandria and stayed with Derrick. We had great bonding time as we drove an hour and a half back and forth. During the conference, I really enjoyed meeting new people, hanging out with my fellow interns and seeing some old faces, like fellow student dietitians from Diabetes Camp. Since the conference was in Lafayette, the dietetic interns from University of Louisiana @ Lafayette were there, so it was fun to see how they have been since July.

On the first day, there were two seminars that I really enjoyed. The first one was Mary Lee Chin, MS, RD, a dietitian that talked about sustainability. The presenter talked about the impact that environmental concerns and food sourcing trends have on how the public purchase foods and what foods they purchase, especially with fresh produce and meat products, like beef and chicken. She told us the truth about claims and benefits of local organic foods versus modern and conventional foods and how they are each different in the way nutrition gets to the consumers and the sustainability of each. She also gave a comparison about foods from the local, regional and national realm and their impact on the economy and nutrient composition. She made sustainability sounds interesting, and she was a very good speaker.

In-between some of the talks, we made two trips to Starbucks within probably 3 hours. haha We needed some caffeine.

The second lady that I liked was Molly Kimball, RD, CSSD, a dietitian in the New Orleans area. She is a part of this awesome project where she has gone to local restaurants in NOLA and gotten their executive chefs to give her recipes of their dishes  where she then does the nutritional analysis of them. Then they work together to develop either healthier options of the of the dishes, or even develop a whole new “Eat Fit” menu listing. I think this would be a cool thing to bring to Chicago. I believe that while Chicago people love their deep dish pizza and steak, they are also fairly active and enjoy eating healthy. Many restaurants I think would want to be a part of something like this. We learned about the criteria she uses to designate healthy menu items and gave us some strategies are working with local restaurant owners. This is something I could see myself doing. Nutrition AND eating out — sounds like a dream job!

After the conclusion of the first day, the four of us went to this Mexican restaurant called El Pasado. The food was good, except at the time we ate dinner, there was very little patrons in the restaurant, yet our service was somewhat slow.

On the second day, there was really only one speaker I enjoyed. She was a dietitian, Heidi Greenwaldt, MS, RD, LD, CNSC, that worked at a large hospital in Minnesota that has their dietitians placing tubes for tube feedings. In most hospitals, the nurses are the ones that place the tubes. At this hospital, the dietitians place the majority of tubes, and they are doing them well. In 2012, there were 454 tubes placed, and 414 of those were placed by dietitians. They get trained and have all the proper certifications. At first, I was scared about the idea of RDs placing tubes, but I feel that it is good that we learn how to do this as a profession. Because we care SO much about feeding patients, I think it is great if we could just place feeding tubes ourselves. That way we wouldn’t have to bug the doctors or the nurses. I thought it was interesting.

On the last day of the conference there was a business meeting where recipients of all of the various scholarships were recognized. I actually won a scholarship that was given by the Louisiana Dietetic Association. I was one of the recipients for a $500 dollar Graduate Studies Scholarship. My roommate Kelly was the other winner! I even got to meet the President of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Ethan Bergman, PhD, RD, CD, FADA (who is from Seattle! Snaps for Ethan!) and the president of the Louisiana Dietetic Association, Bridgett Scott, MS, RD, LDN. And THEN, I won one of the raffle prizes, which was a Diabetes Education book. Granted, it was written in 2003, so it’s a little dated, but maybe it is a sign that I really am supposed to be a CDE (certified diabetes educator). It was exciting and I felt so important! I got a picture with the two of them, plus we also got a group picture with them at the end.

Here is the Crew at LDA (minus one..or two)

Here is the Crew at LDA (minus one..or two)

It was an exhausting couple of days, but it got me excited for this next chapter in my life. This is only the first half of my busy week. I will soon tell you about the second half.

XOXO, Danae

Hot for Teacher

This past Monday I taught a 100-level class at LA Tech on eating disorders and fad diets. The class contained 21 students, all from different grade levels as well as different majors.

I had the opportunity to teach this class because of a competency requirement. I had to complete a community education requirement, so this counted for that.

My zebralicious number I wore to teach my class.

My outfit I wore to teach.

I think everybody gets a little nervous when they are about to get up and talk to a group of people. I mean..public speaking is the number one fear in most people. I got a little bit nervous before hand, but I actually felt comfortable doing this presentation. I think my only complaint (at least from me) was that I talk fast. It is not even because I get nervous..I just talk fast. People may say its because I am from the north, where everything is fast paced, but I know I talk fast normally. However, this time around, I did a pretty good job. I feel like when I talk to a group of people I don’t know, I don’t get nervous, but when I talk to those I do know, I get nervous. It is like I don’t want them to think less of me after giving my talk. You would think I would be more nervous in front of people I didn’t know, because I would want them to have a good first impression of me. I don’t know…..maybe I’m backwards. I did get “talk fast” written on my evaluation form though….guess I just can’t shake it.

The talk discussed fad diets, like the Macrobiotic Diet, the Baby Food Diet, the Cabbage Diet, the raw food diet, the master  cleanse and much more!! I also had an activity that went along with this subject matter. Check out Everyday Diets for a huge compiled list of diets.

Weight in the eyes of an anorexic

Weight in the eyes of an anorexic

I then led into eating disorders, who is affected by them and described different eating disorders, like anorexia, bulimia and binge-eating. Signs were also talked about for each disorder. An activity where they had to spot signs of an eating disorder in three scenarios. I left the students with basic healthy weight management tips and guidelines for weight loss. Overall, I thought the class was successful and I really enjoyed the added experience.

I haven’t written of teaching as a career path, but I think it would be cool to teach college in the future. The possibilities for my career are endless.

XOXO, Danae

3 more days until the end of the quarter, then “Spring Break!”

Beads, Bums & Bars: My Mardi Gras Experience

What: Mardi Gras

Where: Bourbon Street in New Orleans, LA

When: February 9th-February 12th

Who: Myself, Gwen, Nate, Derrick, Gwen’s 2 college friends (Morgan & Leanne) and 6 other people

Why: When living in Louisiana, do as the New Orleanians do.

Wow. Mardi Gras. What an experience.  I think the easiest way to talk about my days in New Orleans is to break it up by day. So HERE WE GO…

Saturday

Music blaring and coffee in hand, I drove to A-town (AKA Alexandria) to Derrick’s apartment. From there he and I made the 3 1/2 hour drive to NOLA. After a failed attempt to use my ‘Mardi Gras Jam City’ playlist, we spent the tripping talking about life and trying to find a decent radio station. We only stopped once to get gas and get Starbucks, but due to poor city planning, we got back on the highway before making it to Starbucks. We hit major traffic getting into the New Orleans, but at least we got to  drive past the Super Dome (BEYONCE WAS HERE!)

Superdome!

We get into the city and we literally drive right up to a FREE and OPEN street parking spot that is a block from our hotel. Maybe this is a sign for a good weekend! Derrick and I are both starving, so we walk around and find a good place to eat. The streets are filled with Elephant Ear stands, Domino pizza carts and places to get frozen drinks. We feel like our luck is running out..We start wandering onto some of the side streets, turn a corner and what do we see? A man on the sidewalk, comatose. People were checking to see if he had a pulse. I don’t think he was breathing. We end up eating at Sergio’s, which was actually on Bobby Flay’s Throwdown where they tried to see who had the best Muffaletta. Even though Bobby Flay lost, we still got Shrimp Po-Boys and Bud Lights. We walk outside to a Mardi Gras Parade (one of many). We had a good time catching beads and watching the floats. A nice family even gave Derrick and I some jello shots.

We finally get into our hotel room and meet up with the rest of our group, as well as meet the other people we are staying in the room with. We had an awesome view of the street and parades from our hotel room. After spending some time in the room <drinking>, we made our way downstairs to a parade that was going on. Our group then tried to hang out Bourbon Street, but due to the immense crowds and craziness, we just hung out on canal street then got waffles at IHOP. We were up so late, we got to watch them clean the trash and beads from the street!! Crazy how much there was!

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Sunday

The next morning, Derrick and I got up and went to breakfast at The Ruby Slipper, which is near the Warehouse District. Since there was a 45 minute wait, we went and took a walk down by the Riverwalk. We walked down past the casino and took pictures in front of a lobster.

Crawfish Riverwalk

We made our way back to the restaurant and ate!! It was so good!! We both had peach bellinis then Derrick had shrimp & grits and I had a omelet with cheese, mushrooms and spinach with a side of grits. I was pleasantly surprised about the grits. They would have been better with cheese. The omelet was also really good. very fluffy, but filling.

The Ruby Slipper-Danae

Yum Yum Breakfast!

After breakfast, we met up with the rest of the group at the hotel and ran around. We spent sometime in Harrah’s. Leanne made 3 dollars, but the rest of us came out empty handed. We made our way back to Bourbon Street where I not only did we get Hand Grenades (a drink that we have no idea what is in it) at Tropical Isle, but I also got my picture taken with THE hand grenade. Although it was kind of groping me through is costume (that’s why I’m laughing). We went to a gay bar where I ran into guys that went to ULM and live currently in Chicago. Love running into people from home, even when I have no idea who they are. We also went to Pat O’ Brian’s to get their famous Hurricanes. The most exciting thing that happened that night was we went to Channing Tatum’s bar on Bourbon Street, Saints & Sinners. It looks pretty cute for having the name ‘Sinners’ in it. We even got on the balcony and through bead at people. A guy told us to come back the next night because they were taking pictures for the website…The night ended with seeing yet MORE passed out drunks and waffles at IHOP.

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Monday

On Monday it rained off and on all day! Leanne lost one of her contacts, so her, Gwen, Morgan and Nate ran to a local eye doctor. While they were gone, Derrick and I walked around in the rain trying to find coffee. After being “shooed” from a Starbucks, we wandered into a PJ’s coffee for some rain coverage and caffeine. While the coffee was bad, the company was good. We were hungry for lunch, but wanted to wait for the rest our group to eat lunch. We wandered into this little dive place and had some chicken gumbo. The work staff was…intense….but the food was good. When all met up again at Mother’s…a New Orleans must. The line was out the door, but we were entertained by the Commissioner of Tailgating himself, Mr. Joe Cahn. While we had no idea if his stories were true, we googled him and his story checked out. We even got a picture with him! He even does things for the Travel Channel. Check out his website here! We also walked down by the waterfront because there was the ZuLu music festival going on. We listened to this band at an outside cafe, we walked into an art gallery. Later that night, we thought we were going to go back to Saints & Sinners, but we looked rough after all the rain, so we decided to skip it. We also wandered to find this place called Mona Lisa Pizza. They ended up being closed, so that was a fail. We ended up eating at an overpriced pizza place. While bar hopping, we met up with 2 of Nate’s friends and went for a late night snack at Cafe Du Monde for beignets. Safe to say I was not being a dietitian this weekend…Also, we saw Nick Cannon on a parade float!! Pretty cool!

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Tuesday

Tuesday was our last night there. It rained off and on, but that didn’t stop us from spending our last day in NOLA outside on the streets. We tried to find place to eat lunch and went to Domenica’s inside The Roosevelt Hotel. I got this roasted eggplant pizza. SO GOOD!! After going back to the hotel and hanging out with people, we all went our separate ways. On our way out of town, Derrick and I got detoured due to the parade that was ongoing, but still managed to get on the highway. We went a different way then when we came. We actually went through Hammond, LA which is where the movie “The Lucky One” takes place.  We got Starbucks to tide us over until we got to Lafayette where we got the food we had been longing for since Saturday….JIMMY JOHNS! It was so good. By the time we got back to Alexandria, it was 8pm, then I still had a long (and lonely) drive back to Monroe. It was the first time I had been alone since the start of Mardi Gras. It felt soo go to be back in my own bed and unpack. Felt good to be clean again!

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Wednesday

Wednesday I was sore and tired. After sleeping the morning away, I awoke and joined Gwen, Nate, Morgan and Leanne to the Bierdharn Coke Museum and Gardens in Monroe. We got a history about the Biedharns, who moved to Monroe and bottled Coca-Cola. We even got cokes for a nickle in a glass bottle!! After the tour of the museum, we got a tour of Emmy-Lou Bierdharn’s home. She was the daughter of the man who started bottled Cokes in Monroe. She was a very wealthy woman and loved having nice things. She had a career as an opera singer in Europe but moved back to Monroe due to the war. I got to play on her grand piano!! (see picture below) We also walked around in the outside garden. If I was living in Monroe for the rest of my life, I would get married in this garden. It was gorgeous. Apparently they have concerts here in the spring and summer. I’m sure it is really pretty during that time.

I also planned on writing this blog entry, but that obviously, that did not happen. I could barely do my homework. I used Wednesday as a R&R day, and by R&R I mean rest and recover!

Overall, the weekend was great! Nobody got sick, nobody got hurt, nobody fought (at least with each other) and nobody got lost, raped or killed (except for that one guy that got shot on Bourbon)! Pretty successful for us! This time last week I was in New Orleans and a week later, I’m still recovering. Next week is a new week!

XOXO, Danae

P.S. I know I wrote a lot, but that is mainly for me, so I remember what I did!! 1000 brownie points for you if you actually read this whole thing!

Playing House

So, I spent this week working (and and living) in Shreveport. Shreveport is about a 90 minute drive west of Monroe. I wanted to spend some time working at a larger hospital and working with more critical care patients, like burns (which is what I originally came here for) and ICU patients. I worked at LSU Health, which is also a teaching hospital hooked up with Louisiana State University-Shreveport. And you know what teaching hospital means….cute med students!! I felt like I was in an episode of Grey’s Anatomy…except for all the hookin’ up in on-call rooms (at least, not that I saw..) I got to work with this awesome dietitian Karla who let me follow her around and work with some of her patients. She has the ICU floors (Neuro, Medical, Burn) as well as the surgical floors. Working at a Level 1 Trauma hospital, you get some pretty interesting cases. Below I have listed out some interesting things I ran into during my time.

1. A lady who was 5’5” and had a BMI of 136!!! For those of you who do not know the BMI equation, this means she was 816 pounds. We figuring it out. If you put the weights of the 4 dietitians plus myself and the other intern, Rhiannon, together on my body, it would be how much this lady weighed. We went to go and see her and it was truly pitiful. This lady couldn’t even move her head…This was the highest BMI I have ever seen.

2. A lady had schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and was pregnant. Enough said on that one.

3. I had a 20 year old female whose parents found her unconscious due to diabetic ketoacidosis. Upon ER admission, her glucose levels were over 1,000 mg/dL. (Normal is between 70 and 110).

4. A man got into an argument with his wife, so he drove his truck into the house and set all her stuff on fire, and himself in the process. He has 2nd degree burns on his body. At some point he thought this was a good idea. The po-po are coming to get him when he gets discharged.

5. High school girl who was at a bonfire when someone threw gasoline on the fire and it blew back into her. About 30% of her body is covered in 2nd degree burns and another 19% of her body has 3rd degree burns. She is the sweetest girl ever and was so brave amidst everything. It sucks when bad things happen to good people.

6.  Middle aged man (who has a history of PTSD and depression) wanted to burn his house down. He soaked a ball of clothes in gasoline. When he tried to light the clothes on fire, a fire ball shot out and burned about 34% of his body. He has 2nd and 3rd degree burns on his legs, buttocks, hands and arms.

Side note: For incidences #5 and #6, I got to watch these two patients at hydrotherapy, which is basically when they shower or get their burns washed. I got to dress up in the gown, face mask, gloves and hair cap. I could tell the young girl was in pain when getting washed down, but she was so brave. She was laughing as the nurses tried to keep her in good spirits. Seems like taking off the bandages is just as painful as getting the wounds washed. The older man was definitely a complainer and he was yelling and cussing up a storm. I am sure it is very painful but maybe next time don’t try and burn your house down with gasoline soaked clothes…It was interesting to see the comparison between the young girl and the older gentleman. 

With the young girl, I got to watch her work with the physical therapist. She got out of bed and walked down the hall and came back, all while smiling, laughing and chit-chatting. She is an incredible girl. She has come a long way, and I was there only 4 days!

7.  There was a schizophrenic who put garlic in her who-ha to keep away the witches. I wonder if that is bad for her lady parts.

8. A young girl had an abscess on her brain because they think oral herpes spread to her brain.

9. A 56 year old woman fell from her porch about 3 feet, and sadly was put on a ventilator and has become paralyzed.

10. A young gentleman who has been involved in crime and drugs was admitted due to a gunshot wound to the face. Apparently drugs were involved. His family was very demanding.

If this is all from 4 days of working, I can only imagine what other stuff these dietitians have seen. Karla has been here for almost 10 years, so she has seen some stuff. 

Shout out to Grey and Katelyn for letting me crash at their pad this week! I enjoyed playing house with them and being their pseudo third roommate while their other roommate is out of town. I loved not living in the ghetto and not having upstairs neighbors for 5 days.

Tomorrow I am going to New Orleans to celebrate Mardi Gras with my friends. This will be a s*** show. Details later.

XOXO, Danae

1 day until Mardi Gras in NOLA!

Laissez les bons temps rouler

or “Let the Good Times Roll”

This phrase is a cajun saying often said around Mardi Gras time, which kicked off this weekend! It has been quite the eventful weekend so far.

First, Friday started off with my last day at the Dialysis center. I really enjoyed my time there and the dietitian I worked with was awesome! I learned a lot from her and am really sad I only go to spend 2 weeks there.

I also had to take a pre-RD exam. It was 100 questions modeled after sample RD exam questions. I did not have time to study for the exam due to competency stuff as well as school stuff. The test went well, but if I had studied, I felt like I would have known more. This test is not for a grade, for which I am thankful. I should get my psuedo-grade back soon!

Last night was the Krewe of Janus Mardi Gras Parade in Monroe-West Monroe. People were starting to camp out in the early afternoon with their campers and grills and RVs. There were a lot of rednecks. Kelly, Jon and I went to the parade at 6pm. We didn’t see any of the floats until about 7:45pm. Once the parade started, it was crazy. Beads were flying, kids were running into the street and yelling and music was blaring. The floats were really cool and all lit up. There were also local marching bands and dance teams. There were even some Confederate there shooting off their gun. Then the night ended with a robbery at Walmart with about 10 cop cars. We witnessed it all. The Monroe police were busy last night. Overall, we had a great time. I got over 40 strands of beads…and didn’t even have to flash anybody! haha Below are pictures…

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And today of course is Super Bowl Sunday!! We are making tons of food and our friends from Shreveport and Alexandria are coming over to watch it with us! My roommate Kelly and I love entertaining and are having too much from cooking and getting ready for all of our friends to come over! Should be a fun time trying to squeeze everyone in into our tiny apartment.

After the party, I am driving over to Shreveport to spend 4 days at LSU Medical Center. I am excited for the switch-up!

XOXO, Danae

6 days until Mardi Gras in NOLA!

P.S. Have you checked out my recipe on College Lifestyles.com? Here’s the link –> http://collegelifestyles.org/2013/01/quick-easy-super-bowl-vegetarian-chili/

Also, changed my background. It isn’t the colors of Mardi Gras, but I though it looked New Orleans-ish.