Brain Mush

As a continuation from my last post….

The second half of the week (last Thursday through Saturday) was our internship RD exam prep course through Breeding and Associates. We met on campus for 8 hours the first two days and then about 6 1/2 hours the very last day pretty much reviewing all our nutrition courses from the past 5 years!! I definitely think a lot of us went brain dead, and would have much rather hung out and talked then listen to the information, but I did think it was very beneficial  I have a lot of information to review before the exam, which I take in a little under 3 months!

On Thursday, it rained. all day. Coincidentally, we had our internship picture day, which was supposed to be outside. Instead, we had to take it inside. The location of the picture was fine, but outside would have been better. It was also “freezing”, both outside and inside out classroom. I actually ended up bring my Snuggie the next two days, because it was cold. After our class on Thursday, our director had all of us over to her home for a crawfish boil! I got to touch a live crawfish, and then eventually got down and dirty with them. Even though it was cold outside, I think all of us really enjoyed time to relax and kick back. I think we have been very blessed that we all get along with each other (for the most part), and I don’t know if all dietetic interns can speak to that. The night ended with a bonfire and s’mores before everyone heading their separate directions. Kelly and I brought Chrystal and Grey home with us and they were our house guests through Saturday. We really enjoyed having house guests!

Me and my crawfish, Theodore Roosevelt.

Me and my crawfish, Theodore Roosevelt.

Trying crawfish with Kara and Kelly!

Trying crawfish with Kara and Kelly!

Friday was another day. We managed to get some sunshine and warmer temperatures compared to the day before. After the class was over, I was able to indulge in some great sushi at Rawz Sushi with Gwen, Nate and Derrick. After dinner, I came back home and watched Sister Wives with my favorite girls while we ate Funfetti Brownies, made by yours truly!!

Saturday was the last day of a VERY long week. I was bummed I had to miss my cardio kick-boxing class, but I guess cardio kick-boxing won’t help me pass the RD exam, so maybe it was beneficial that I was there. After class was over, Chrystal stayed with us an extra night. While Kelly was at work, Chrystal and I had a girls night!! We spent about an hour and a half in TJ Maxx perusing the aisles and exploring. We then made our way over to the mall, where we visited Kelly at work, and wandered in and out of stores, making a few purchases along the way. Before heading home, we grabbed some Chinese food to go from the food court and rushed home to watch…yup, more Sister Wives.

I felt like overall, it was a good week. Time is of the essence right now, so I really enjoyed just hanging out with some of my best friends and enjoying each other’s company  During this time, I was in-between internship rotations, so I didn’t have any competency stuff to worry about, I just had to worry about learning, which was sort of a breath of fresh air. I am enjoying being at Glenwood right now, but more about that later.

So in the end, I’m a couple under dollars shorter, yet an extra 22 hours smarter…I hope everything pays off in the end!

XOXO, Danae

Countdown to Graduation: 28 days! (wow….)

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!

I ‘mustache’ you a question. Or shall I ‘shave’ it for later?

A lot of things happened this past week. The city of Monroe practically shut down due to “inclement weather“. University of Louisiana-Monroe closed for 2 days and Louisiana Tech closed down for 1 day. They were expected this huge ice storm, but all it did was rain.

My car’s engine light came on, so I had the wonderful joy of fitting taking my car into the Toyota dealer to have it operated on. Luckily, they had a courtesy car drive me and pick me up from work.

I have finally completed my last clinical rotation. On Wednesday I presented my clinical case study on Acute Myeloid Leukemia. AML is a type of leukemia that is fairly severe and is caused by a mutation in the white blood cells and develops mainly in the bone marrow. On Thursday I finished up my last day of my 2 week floor supervision. And Thursday was probably the easiest, funnest day I have had at St. Francis. In total, I got a total of 3 patients that I had to see. 2 of them had to be educated and one was just a follow up. The first education was easy, the follow up was easy, and the other patient I had to educate was at the in-hospital dialysis center. Around 11:15 am,  the three younger dietitians  Hannah, Jessica and Sarah took me out for my intern lunch. We went to Raw Sushi in Monroe. For 4 girls, we had hella food at the table. We each ordered an entree and a roll of sushi. Then we decided to get Orange Leaf, which is a popular (especially among the Monroe dietitians) frozen yogurt shop. I really enjoyed hanging out with the girls, laughing, talking wedding planning (Sarah just got engaged and is planning her August wedding), jamming in the car to the XM radio and embracing our young-ness! We took WAY longer than our allotted time for lunch. We didn’t get back to the office until 12:45 pm. WHOOPS! I tried one last time to educated my dialysis patient, but he was still gone. Then the dietitians went over my final evaluation with me. I got mostly fours (which is the best you can get)! And then I went home around 1:30 pm. Easiest day of work ever!

Friday we had class in Ruston. Good to see everyone since I haven’t seen them since we got back from Thanksgiving. Everyone loved my new haircut and thought I looked older. I appreciated the positive feedback! We had a short presentation on NG Tube placement by a nursing professor at Tech. The NG tube goes through the persons nose and exits into the stomach. It can be used to decompress the stomach, suction the stomach or short-term nutritional feedings.  This was our assistant…

He looks a little TOO happy to be getting an NG Tube.

He looks a little TOO happy to be getting an NG Tube.

After Ruston, our fellow intern and Alexandria resident, Chrystal came to stay at our humble abode in Monroe. Chrystal went to a Mardi Gras ball on Saturday and was looking for a dress. Kelly, Chrystal and I decided to make a fun time of it. We grabbed Starbucks, went to three dress shops in Monroe, went to Sam’s Club because Kelly’s car had a deflated tire, went to the mall and tried on Mardi Gras masks and did other shennanigans (like get mustaches..)

I mustache you, do Chrystal and I look good??

I mustache you, do Chrystal and I look good??

After the mall, Jon met the three of us at Olive Garden for wine samples and dinner!! Then we went back to the apartment, cracked open a bottle of wine and watched the movie “The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia“. This family makes Honey Boo Boo‘s family look normal. Kelly and Chrystal had already seen it, so I was the only newbie. We decided to make it into a drinking game…it’s that bad. If you have Netflix, hop on there and watch it…They are as redneck as redneck gets.

In the morning, I went to my cardio kickboxing class and then watched Clueless as I did Chrystal’s hair for her Mardi Gras ball. Apparently I am know as the “Hair Master” around here, so Chrystal didn’t want anyone doing her hair but me. haha We did an Audrey Hepburn inspired hairstyle. I have to say…I did a pretty good job. I am sure Chrystal rocked he do at the ball that night.

The rest of the night was pretty laid back. I have tomorrow off due to MLK Jr. Day, but I start at the Dialysis Center on Tuesday. Looking forward to a different atmosphere.

Hope everybody is doing well. Hang in there….January is almost over!!

Less than 4 months until my internship is complete!

XOXO, Danae

20 days until Mardi Gras in NOLA!

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

With it being the middle of December, holiday festivities are in full swing!! The holidays are a crazy time, but hey….it comes with the territory. I even wake up to frost on my windshield. I thought it was NEVER going to get cold down here, but it gets pretty chilly. These are the Decembers that I am used to.

Chelsey, a fellow dietetic intern who lives and does her rotations in Shreveport was doing a one week rotation in Monroe at P&S and Eat to Lose, so she was our house-guest for the week. It was so nice to have someone else in the house. Plus, she is in my graduate class, so we were able to bounce ideas off of each other for our homework. She brought some excitement to our little apartment in the ghetto. It was nice having  a visitor. I just hope we didn’t bore her 🙂

Thursday night was the Northeast Louisiana Dietetic Association Christmas Party. NLDA treated us to a dinner at Long Horn Steak House. I went, along with my roommate Kelly and Chelsey. It was nice to see the dietitians from Glenwood. I always enjoy seeing them and finding out how things are going. Long Horn fed us good. They brought us bread, then we got two hot appetizers. I got  a salad with my meal. The salad was a meal in itself. it was huge! THEN the meal came. I got this tuscan chicken which was covered in tomatoes, mushrooms and artichokes. If it wasn’t so dark in the restaurant, I would have taken a picture of it. I also got a sweet potato on the side. DELISH! So delish I had to take half of it home to eat later. Nothing like two free meals!

Then last night, the St. Francis Nutrition Support team had their Christmas party. It was all the dietitians, their husbands/boyfriends along with the nutrition managers in the St. Francis kitchen. The party was in Simsboro, which is about 15 minutes past Ruston. On the way to Simsboro, my check engine light came on, so I had to make a pit stop at the Toyota dealership in Ruston. Quite an adventure. The house where the party was was out in the middle of nowhere, no joke. It was beautiful though. It was good to eat good food, get to know the dietitians more, and the men they are always talking about! One of the dietitians husbands even jumped in the pool for a Starbucks gift card and coffee mug. It was a hilarious end to the evening.

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So, ABC Family always plays Christmas movies for the 25 days of Christmas. Elf was on the other day. It is one of my favorite Christmas movies. What is your favorite movie?? Let me know!

Hope everyone had a good week and is in the progress of having a good weekend. Only 10 days until Christmas!! Who has two thumbs and hasn’t started their holiday shopping….THIS GIRL!

XOXO, Danae

8 days until I’ll be home for Christmas {Break}!

23rd Birthday in NOLA!!

Here are some pictures from my 23rd birthday in New Orleans! One of my best friends, Greg, flew in New Orleans and spend my birthday weekend with me! We had a great time!

Le Pavillion: Where we stayed!

The Lobby

At La Bayou on Bourbon Street

Test Tube Shots @ Big Easy Daquiris

Puppy!

In the square! Catholic Church Behind Me

Birthday Surprise from the Hotel!! That cake was delish and champagne was yum!

Birthday Night on Bourbon Street

Cruise Ship!

Me at the rooftop pool! We had the whole deck to ourselves

Lattes and Beignets @ Cafe Du Monde

Hope everyone is having a great week so far!!

XOXO, Danae

Five’s a crowd

The past week has been a whirlwind of activities.

1) We finally got cable and internet at our apartment! However I spent the following three hours trying to set up the “wireless” internet (Mr. Comcast surprised me by telling me that our internet modem that we got was not wireless proof.) I hate technology.

2) No more than 24 hours after we got our cable installed, I broke the tv malfunctioned. After an hour talking to the Comcast people (AKA my bffs), a cable guy finally came to our apartment to fix the issue. Turns out our cable box was rusted on the inside and just pooped out. #notmyfault

3) My roommate Gwen’s family came to stay with us for a few days before they left on vacation. All five of us plus their little dog stayed in our three bedroom, furnitureless apartment. Safe to say it was close quarters, but it was an adventure. They left on Saturday and then it was me, myself and I.

4) I attempted to try out a new church (First United Methodist Church) on Sunday, however their website was wrong and I showed up for the service at the wrong time. However, just walking through the halls, I discovered that it was not my scene. I did not see anyone that was my age. Most people were either elderly individuals or families. I decided to go back to First Baptist West Monroe. I really do like it there and they have a lot of ways for me to get involved. I may have found my church for the next 10 months.

4) On Sunday evening, my grandparents from IL drove down to visit me as well as deliver my bed and other goodies from home. It was so wonderful seeing some friendly faces. They took me grocery shopping, clothes shopping as well as get furniture for my bedroom, like some drawers, hangers, mirrors, and etc. I also got to crash at their hotel. It was nice to sleep on a bed after eight days on the floor, even if they bed was a pull out couch.

Now that my grandparents have left to go visit my sister in Columbia, MO, I now have the rest of the week to relax, organize my room and start on my thesis review of literature go to Ruston and lay out by the pool. My roommate arrives back sometime Saturday, so I get my partner in crime back!

Ill get pictures up of my room once its completely organized.

XOXO, Danae