Thursday, September 22, 2016

1st year, 2nd week venting

So I am 3/4 done with the 2nd week of graduate school at MGH IHP for Direct Entry Nursing. I am stressed out. Today I am not doing well. Yesterday I wasn't either. Yesterday I was depressed. Today I am frustrated.

I was accepted a week before the program started. I accepted on 9/6 and classes started 9/12. A lot of my classmates were accepted MONTHS ago. They had months to prep for this. To buy their books, get scrubs, get MGH IHP patches (for scrubs & lab coat), read everything, do their EHR training, find a place closer to school. I have not. I am trying to play catch-up but it's not easy.

In August I figured that I wasn't getting accepted so I moved on. TJ and I signed a lease for a new place on the Cape, closer to his work. This place is perfect for us: 2 bedroom, central air, newer appliances, just us, just us..oh, did I mention, JUST US?! Same rent price as where we are currently, though we pay separate for utilities. Perfect.

Then the unthinkable (but wonderful) happened; MGH IHP had a spot for me. Then the whirlwind happened. We went on vacation also, got engaged while we were there. I came back and started school. It has been chaos. The schedule is nuts. Driving from the Cape is crazy. I'm grateful because I am staying at a friend-of-a-friends in Winthrop, which cuts my commute time down immensely. That is only temporary though. But I have had several people offer their spare rooms/couches, which is awesome.

I am being grateful. I got the chance to go to my DREAM school. But damn if the Universe isn't making it HARD for me.

I cannot afford to move to Boston and have the place on the Cape. TJ and I agreed we were not giving it up, at least not for now.

AND the commuting is exacerbating the pain in my body. My back, hips, and legs are aching so bad. I keep having muscle cramps in my right calf.

But this is awesome. This is an amazing experience and I will kick it's ass. Eventually.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Waitlisted no more!

Dreams do come true, but with a price. Earlier this year I applied to Mass General Hospital Institute for Health Professions in Boston for a Direct Entry Masters of Nursing program. I also applied to Regis College for the same program. Sadly I was wait-listed to both of the programs. By the time August came around I had pretty much resigned myself to not going to grad school this year. So plan B was to retake a Pharmacology Calculations class at the local community college and apply for their Associates in Nursing which would allow me to sit for the NCLEX which is the RN test. And suddenly in early August I found myself with a new job as a medical assistant at a clinic in Hyannis. I didn't tell them about being waitlisted because I had resigned myself to not being called to go to graduate school.

And then last Friday happened. I was on my way home from work taking the backroads because Route 6 was a nightmare and I received a phone call from 617 number, which I knew was Boston, and I expected that it was Mass General Hospital calling me back regarding a question I had about genetic profiles. No, instead it was Brian calling from the admissions department at MGH IHP to let me know that they had a spot for me this semester starting on September 12th. We were coming up on the Labor Day weekend and he gave me until Tuesday to make the decision.

 I was completely flabbergasted and unprepared and spent the entire weekend freaking out. If your friends with me on Facebook or friends with me beyond that you know that I spent the entire weekend just losing my mind about the fact that my dream had come true. MGH ihp has been my dream school, their masters in nursing program has been my dream program for 4 years. Everything I have done in terms of school at the community college has been to get into one of these programs. This news completely changed my life.

Here I am now a couple of days away from starting the program and I am freaking out. This college does practically everything online. Because I got taken off the waitlist right before the beginning of the semester I have orientation that I have to do online ,plus orientation to my specific program and orientation to this learning environment we use which is similar to Blackboard online. Plus I have to get all my health information together and sign all the forms and go through all these modules and go through this checklist. Plus wait on financial aid before I can even buy the $900 books that I need. On top of that because I live on the Cape and I'm not moving to Boston, although we're moving to Yarmouth in a month, I have to figure out how and when I'm commuting, if I'm staying with friends during the times that I need to have early classes and late clinicals. They sure as hell don't make it easy for someone who just got taken off the waitlist. Needless to say I'm completely overwhelmed but I'm getting through it and I will get through it just like I'm going to get through this program! 😄 sure I might be stressed out and I might not have time for anybody else but my loved ones are very well aware of that and are very supportive of what I'm doing. Thank Goddess.

So if any of you have suggestions for anything that will help me along this path I would greatly appreciate it. Feel free to say hi or drop me some love mail.

Love love love
Kate

Monday, September 5, 2016

Some BIG news

Well hello there. Another long stretch of days have gone by, but this time I have NEWS, good news.

Friday I got THE call from my dream school. I have been accepted into the Direct Entry Master's of Nursing program at Mass General Hospital's Institute for Health Professionals. I will officially accept tomorrow and classes start the 12th. Holy crap.

Wow. My dreams are coming true. All the efforts I have put forth in the last 4 years are being acknowledged. Holy fucking wow.

I am still somewhat in shock. This weekend has been a whirlwind of emotions, decisions, and celebrations. Thank goddess today is a national holiday here, as I need all the time off I can get. Besides this big news, I am suffering through a fibro flare and back-pain flare. TS Hermine isn't helping with this pain but other things help.

Sadly this news means I will very likely not have time to update this blog. I will when I can. I don't yet know what my schedule will be. I am sadly resigning from both my jobs and will be spending less time with my loved ones, BUT this is a huge step in my career. I am thrilled and elated.

On that note, you can always keep in touch on Facebook , Instagram, or good ole' fashion email tildesk at gmail dot com. You can find some of my old stuff on Deviantart also.

Cheers friends!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Very late but here is the Post-GFAF Expo blog!

Hello again lovelies. Today is my day off and I actually have time to write a blog entry! I haev a new job, which is great. I have been working 3 jobs, which is not. And I am working on some health stuff. BUT...here you go. :)

So the Gluten Free & Allergen Friendly Expo was a few weeks ago in Worcester, MA, at the DCU Center. I went on Sunday as it was the easiest day to take off of work (I work 3 jobs, 6 days a week right now). This time I remembered to bring some of my blogger cards! The drive was nice, albeit hot (ac is broken in my car, $400 fix), and I listened to Twenty One Pilots the whole way. The DCU Center Exhibit hall was packed, like it was last year, though I heard Saturday was THE day to be there. It was still very busy with lots of people, which is great.

There were a few of the same vendors from last year, like Udi's, Sunbutter, glutino, Enjoy Life, and a few others. Then there were a bunch of new vendors, like BFree (maybe they were there last year), Bixby & Co candy, curate, Kevita, Nantucket Pasta Goddess, and many, many more! Here are a few of my favorites:

(in no numerical value order I swear)

1. Nantucket Pasta Goddess. Wowie! She makes authentic Italian gluten-free pasta, like ravioli, and she is local to me (I live on the Cape). She had samples of 3 raviolis: Butternut squash, Mushroom goat cheese, and Lemon ricotta. Oh my, these are heavenly! And Liliana is very nice. :) These are available ON-LINE and at some retailers, including one near me. I just need to remember to go!
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2. Peace of Mind Baking Co. makes fabulous gluten-free and vegan baked goods, such as whoopie pies (which were sold out), muffins, cookies, and pizza crust. Nancy and company are in North Conway, NH. I had 2 of their muffins and took their info to pass on back here on the Cape. The muffins were Pumpkin Chocolate chip and Banana Chocolate Chip, which were both delicious and SO much better than the most common gluten free muffins, made by a very popular company I won't name. If you are looking for great gluten-free and vegan muffins, see if you can get these.
Website
Facebook

3. Bfree Foods has a lot of products and they are all gluten-free, egg-free, and dairy free, including wraps, bagels, rolls, and loaves of bread. I took home samples of the Multi-grain wrap and the quinoa and Chia seed wrap. I love using the wraps for sandwiches or just a plain old quesadilla, which I had for lunch today. I have seen some of their products at my local grocery stores also.
Website
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4. Sin City Swiss Rolls. Holy cow. I haven't had a swiss roll in over 9 years. This guy happens to be from my home state of OH and he has the most delectable gluten-free swiss rolls. I had to buy a pack and they were AMAZING. They are on Facebook, but I couldn't find it. The email is sincityswissrolls@gmail.com. YOU NEED THESE!

So here are some pictures.
right side 
stoked! 

left side











Wednesday, July 13, 2016

My Etsy shop, post-colonoscopy and some odds & ends

Did you know that I have an Etsy shop? Well, I do! I make wampum shell pendants from locally collected wampum shells. Please check it out at https://www.etsy.com/shop/CapeCodDragonShells?ref=hdr_shop_menu. I added a few new pendants today. Please feel free to share all over the internet as well.

Otherwise, I am doing well. I'm recovering from my annual colonoscopy yesterday. Yes, I am young (33), but I have Lynch Syndrome, aka hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer/HNPCC. It's an inherited disorder associated with an increase in the risk of colorectal cancers, as well as cancers of the stomach, small intestine, gallbladder, liver, upper urinary tract, brain, skin, ovaries and endometrium, and throw some occasional colon polyps in the mix too. It's a whole barrel of fun (sarcasm font!) but it is easily dealt with by keeping on track with colonoscopies, upper endoscopies, PAP smears, endometrial biopsies, urine screenings, and a slew of lab tests. If you want to know more about Lynch Syndrome there are LOADS of websites, but I like this one overall: http://lynchcancers.com/. If you have a family history of colon cancer, please get tested. It can save your life!

So, I did the colonoscopy prep (Suprep) as usual and it sucked as it always does. I had lots of water, juice, popsicles, lollipops, hard candy, and tea w/o milk, even though I use dairy-free milks. I took a Udi's Gluten Free blueberry muffin with me JUST IN CASE the center did not have any AGAIN, which they didn't. SO glad i brought my own. Ridiculous. I went for my appointment, had a huge kerflufflle to deal with, but I did get the procedure done and I am a-okay this round. I came home, took a 4 hour nap, made some Rice Ramen and finished season 3 of Bitten on Netflix (on Syfy here).

In the evening I found myself CRAVING mashed potatoes, so TJ and I went to the store and got some, along with a nice organic, grass-fed steak. I approached the steak with caution as I had not cooked grass-fed beef at home. A Google search led me to one of my favorite blogs, Primally Inspired, and her easy-to-follow guide, found HERE. I made some pre-spiralized butternut squash noodles and it was all fantastic. The steak was perfect.
See? Tasty!

Today I slept in, made myself a yummy breakfast of gluten-free waffles, a hard-boiled egg, strawberries, and my favorite breakfast sausages.  (My favorite sausages are Applegate's GF Natural Chicken & Maple sausages, link is HERE.). I added some new items to my Etsy Shop (see the 1st paragraph of this blog post) and am now considering lunch with a bearded dragon on my lap.

The internet gave me some great new books to download, mostly freebies, which I have shared on Pinterest today: follow me on Pinterest.

Oh, the Rice Ramen I mentioned is made by Lotus Foods. I had Buckwheat Mushroom for the first time and it was just what I needed. Link for that is HERE.

Don't forget you can find me on Facebook Twitter, and Instagram.

Love, love, love, Kate