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!!!

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Illinois vs. Louisiana Showdown

With my internship coming to a close this coming Friday, I have done a lot of reminiscing about everything. Since moving to Louisiana for a year after being a Illinoisan for 22 years, I have now experienced a whole new culture. Illinois and Louisiana are two completely different states, so let’s do a little compare and contrast.

ILLINOIS

LOUISIANA

Deep Dish Pizza

Crawfish

Concealing your beer with a paper bag while drinking it

Drinking a daiquiri while driving

Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Dr. Pepper

“Which Coke you want?”

Starbucks on every corner

Fried chicken joint on every corner

#29 obese state (27.1% of people)

#2 obese state (33.4% of people)

Snowpocalypse

Hurricanes

2 Seasons: Winter and Construction

2 Seasons: Summer and Humid Summer

Ice cream trucks in the summer

Ice cream trucks every day

St. Patty’s Day in Chicago

Mardi Gras in NOLA

Fast and reckless driving

Slow and dumb driving

City Girls

Country Boys

The Dark Knight

Duck Dynasty

Lake houses

Camps

“The higher the heels, the closer to God”

“The higher the hair, the closer to God”

Safe to say Illinois and Louisiana are two completely different areas, but I now have an excuse to wear cowboy boots and say ya’ll.

XOXO, Danae

Countdown to Graduation: 3 days

Just another kick in the kidneys..

Wow!! I have been meaning to write this post since last Thursday, but I am just NOW getting the time to write it out. I have been keeping a list of things to write. I’ll be honest, it is a long list. But I will get through it as briefly and less boringly as possible.

This last Tuesday I started at Fresenius Medical Care Dialysis Center. I did not think I was going to hate dialysis (apart from the blood. I knew I was going to hate that), but I did not think I was going to like it has much as I do. Yes, Renal is very complex, but I love the RD that I am with and I love that she is always doing different things. She never does the same thing everyday. Because these patient are hooked up to machines 3 days a week for 4 hours a time, the RD needs to be creative with education and information. You can not just do handouts all the time. That gets annoying…and who needs all that paper!

I have been doing several things this week. The first thing is working on an event called Protein Day! High protein is important for those on dialysis. We encourage our patients to use the Isolate Whey Protein Powder to help increase protein intake. We made the patients different items that they can make with the protein power. We made two protein shakes: 1 with Almond Milk and the protein powder, and another one with raspberry sherbet, sugar-free Sprite and protein powder. We also made “ice cream sandwiches” which is Cool Whip mixed with protein powder, smushed between two graham crackers. The patients really enjoy these! I also put together goodie bags which include a scoopful of the protein powder, a high protein cookie, a Zone bar and a recipe card with three recipes. We executed our protein day today for the MWF patients, and on Thursday we will do it again for our TRS patients.

My second project has been putting together bulletin boards. I made a bulletin board related to a contest that is going on at the dialysis center, a bulletin board about heart disease and dialysis for a dialysis center in Columbia and a bulletin discussing New Years Resolutions for patients and employees.

Bulletin Board about Heart Disease

Bulletin Board about Heart Disease

My last project, which was my main 4 day project was a “Shop Smart” bulletin board for education patients on foods that they CAN have while being on a renal diet/dialysis. I spent 4-5 hours walking around Wal-Mart looking at food labels and finding new food ideas for patients. Then I put together a tri-fold post organized into different areas of the grocery store. I also looked at prices and levels of phosphorus, sodium and potassium. It was quite the event, but I was really pleased with how the poster turned out…and so was my preceptor.

Shop Smart Angle 1

Shop Smart Angle 1

Shop Smart Angle 2

Shop Smart Angle 2

Whew…

Today I worked on putting together monthly educational materials and recipes for the next year.

XOXO, Danae

12 days until Mardi Gras in NOLA!

P.S. With 3 months and 19 days left of this internship (but I am not counting…), I am definitely looking forward to going back home. I saw this video the other day and it really made me miss the Chi.

I am not wishing away my internship, but I will be excited when I can graduate from this program and start working!

Airlines: Screwing People Over Since Forever

Oh the woes of traveling by flight…

When it comes to flying home, I have been 9 for 9 (6 flights over Thanksgiving, 2 for traveling home for Christmas and 1 for working my way back to LA). I was almost 10 for 10, but United Airlines didn’t feel like giving me 100%.

I flew from Chicago to Houston with ease. When I got off the plane, I made sure that the flight to Monroe was on time…and it was. By the time I walked to the gate, the flight had been cancelled!! How can a plane break down in under 6 minutes??!!!

Credit to: CartoonStock

Credit to: CartoonStock

After talking with fellow flyers, arguing with the United ticket guy and calling my parents, it had come to the conclusion that the only way for me to get to Monroe the same day was to fly into Shreveport. The evening flight to Monroe was overbooked and the earliest they could get me into Monroe was 3 pm….THE NEXT DAY! Yeah…I am not using one of my three sick days because United Airlines can’t have a working plane.

The flight to Shreveport left at 3 pm, so I only had to wait in the Houston airport for 3 hours (Thank God for Starbucks and free WIFI). Thankfully, Jon (Kelly’s boyfriend, who was picking me up anyway at the Monroe Airport), graciously drove out to Shreveport to pick up stranded, little old me! We managed to make it home by 6 pm, giving me enough time to unpack, eat dinner, and enjoy what was left of my relaxing evening. I am just glad my luggage didn’t get lost.

I may be 9 for 10, flight-wise, but at least percentage-wise, I still get an A!

XOXO, Danae