I'm Not Dead Yet!

Monday, February 3, 2014

This was my car when I left it this morning. I'm sure it's under much more snow at this point. Will it ever be clean again? Who knows.
Well, hello! Always good to start things off with a Monty Python reference. As you can tell, it's been quiet around Simply A headquarters. The last week and a half or so was absolute insanity. Since I last posted, here are some things that happened:

1. Cooper Interview! (1/24)
The interview was on Friday, and after somehow getting stupidly turned around on my way there (despite having been to the area multiple times), I finally got there about 3 minutes after I was supposed to. Fortunately, they were just having "breakfast" and listening to general remarks about the day. The rest of the day was filled with a tour, seeing two "standardized patients" as part of the interview process (one of mine had back pain and wanted me to lie about workman's comp, the other had migraines and said she lost her Vicodin prescription... sorry guys, I'm not helping you out, here), a personal interview (me + two interviewers), and talking to some students. There was also a lot of walking up and down flights of stairs with the extremely tall Dean, so it was quite a work out. I thought that the day went extremely well, and when they said we would hear about decisions the following Thursday, I was pretty stoked. Also fun, I found out that I got an interview invitation for Rowan School of Osteopathic Medicine (scheduled for 2/7), and I also scheduled my interview for Nova Southeastern University of Osteopathic Medicine (3/20). Yay more interviews?

2. Florida Trip (1/24 - 1/27)
As I had mentioned, my sweet grandma passed away on the 22nd, so following my interview, I flew to Florida. It was certainly nice to get out of the frozen north, but I wasn't exactly relishing the trip's purpose. Levi flew in on Saturday night around 11, which was not without complication. He was supposed to connect from Philadelphia to Detroit to Fort Lauderdale (because airlines are stupid) but of course it was snowing in Philly, so his flight was delayed and he would have missed his connection in Detroit and God knows when he would have been able to get out of there. Instead, my cousin David, his wife Selena, my dad, and I all searched flights for him that he could possibly get on and he managed to get a seat on a flight that was connecting through Atlanta. Bonus, it would somehow get him to Florida before his original flight would have, so that was good.

Saturday night was also a small circus because my step-mom and step-sister had gone to a wedding and my step-mom incoherently texted my dad at 10 pm to say that she had had a little too much to drink and needed to be rescued. My dad and I drove out there, picked her up,  and discovered that my step-sister was getting a ride home from someone else, at which point my dad drove my steo-mom back in his car and I drove my step-mom's car back to the house. It was the first time I had driven alone in Florida in... a really long, freaking, time, and of course, I had to go right past my old apartment, my old med school (Nova Southeastern University), and lots of my old haunts from when I had lived there. I don't know if my emotions were running high because of the events in general, or if I was especially in tune with them because I knew I would be interviewing at Nova in March, but as I drove around, I was filled with abject panic. It was horrible. I hadn't had a true panic attack in months, and without warning, I felt like I was going to die right there on University Drive in my step-mom's Sonata. (Spoiler alert: I did not.)

This, of course, brought up all kinds of worry and fear and confusion because I know that I don't want to move and would certainly not choose to go to Nova over a local program, but if Nova is the only place I get in, I couldn't in good conscience turn them down in favor of maybe getting in elsewhere in the next cycle. That would just be stupid. I want so badly to bigger than my past and what happened in 2008, but there is a deep-seated fear in my brain that I am not. I would love nothing more than to go back to the school and the place that almost broke me and succeed at what I set out to do in 2008. As my friend Megan said, "I mean, think how amazing it would feel to go back down there and just triumph the shit outta that last experience!" And that is the attitude that I would have to have if I went back down there. I just don't know if I could do it. Lots to think about. I am trying to take the position of, "Let's see how the interview at Rowan goes and if I get in there, I don't even have to interview at Nova..." but it's hard to not think about all of the what-ifs.

Anyway, the rest of my Florida trip was fine. The funeral service was lovely and a nice remembrance of my grandmother's life, and I got to meet a bunch of family members that I didn't even know existed, really. I also got to spend time with my cousin David and his wife Selena, who are lovely, and it was nice to have Levi in Florida with me for once. Of course, all of that niceness was marred by my feeling increasingly disgusting. On Saturday, I had a sore throat, Sunday I was coughing, and Monday I was exhausted, had body aches, and wanted to lie down and die. Instead, I got on a plane and flew back to Philadelphia. It was a joyous experience. (Lies, it was not.)

3. Flu! (1/26 - 1/31)
Despite having gotten the flu shot, I still got the flu.

Side note: This does NOT MEAN that you should NOT get a flu shot. People are dying of the flu. There are young, healthy, people in the ICU with flu-related complications, and there's also a particularly nasty strain of pneumonia going around that is also killing people, so... don't be those people. If you haven't gotten a flu shot, go get one.  No, you cannot get the flu from the flu shot. Go. Now. I'll wait.

I was in complete denial that I had the flu. It was just a cold! A really bad cold! A bad cold that looked suspiciously like influenza! I went to work on Tuesday and continued to feel as though I were slowly dying, and by Tuesday night, my fever had spiked, I felt like my joints were all trying to disarticulate themselves, and I spent the night tossing, turning, and laying on the freezing cold tile of our bathroom floor in an attempt to feel better. Wednesday, I obviously did not go to work and spent most of the day feverishly sleeping. This was fortunate, because our TV and internet chose that day to die. AWESOME. I went to the doctor on Wednesday, not because I thought she would give me Tamiflu or anything (it had been more than 72 hours since my symptoms started) but mainly because I am an immunosuppressed individual (thanks, RA and methotrexate!) and I knew that my rheumatologist would have a fit if I didn't get checked out by someone. I also know that lots of pneumonia is going around (and killing previously young, healthy, people) so I wanted to make sure that I didn't have any of that going on. The good news was that I was pneumonia-free; the bad news was that I definitely had the flu. I did get a prescription for phenergan with codeine for my cough though, so that was worth the appointment. Oh, the life of an autoimmune patient...

I also stayed home Thursday, but went to work on Friday (despite the fact that Ken and the rest of the world told me to stay home). I was useless at work and should have stayed home. Friday night, I canceled all of my plans and laid in bed. By Saturday, I was feeling mostly human and yesterday I was back to almost normal. I'm still sniffling and occasionally coughing, but I'm no longer taking cold and sinus meds or the cough syrup with codeine. Fun fact: You should really have someone non-diseased dose your cough meds. In my delirium, I took 20 ml of cough syrup instead of the 1-2 tsp. For your reference, 1-2 tsp is 5-10 mL. That night, as I was lying in bed falling asleep, I could not feel my limbs and briefly contemplated if I could die from taking too much codeine. (Answer: Yes, you can, but the amount of codeine in 5 mL is 10 mg, so I took 40 mg and that isn't enough to kill you. Still, I do not recommend doing that.) Basically, don't try to do volume conversions when you have the flu. The end.

4. Internet and TV Failure (1/29-1/31)
Of course, our TV and internet simultaneously decided to die. The living room TV service was fine, but the DVR is in the bedroom and I had no desire to move myself from the bed to the sofa, so I was without TV for sick day #1. We requested an appointment for Wednesday evening, but somehow, the Comcast guy never showed up (Probably because Comcast is the worst company in the history of the world) and we were told the earliest someone could come to our rescue was TUESDAY. As in TOMORROW. I know, not having TV and internet sounds like a not so terrible problem, but Ken does need the internet to do a lot of his stuff for work (like posting lesson plans and grades etc) so it was kind of urgent. After much wailing and gnashing of teeth and requesting to speak to supervisors, we got an appointment for Friday the 31st. Then on Thursday the 30th, the internet and TV both magically started working. Not trusting this fortuitous event, we kept the appointment. It's a good thing we did, because the Comcast guy came out on Friday and fixed all of our problems. Apparently, the signal was being split off of our upstairs neighbors (for no apparent reason) so now we have a new line and everything is swell. The best part was that we didn't lose anything on our DVR! (And you know, our internet works.) I still hate Comcast, though.

5. Med School Rejection (1/30)
While I was sitting at home with the flu, intermittantly not having TV or internet, I got an email on my phone that I was rejected from Cooper. SAD DAY. I was so bummed. I had really felt great about the interview and I had totally fallen in love with the program when I learned more about it. I also tend to have a good sense about interviews, and to just be so wrong was really jarring. I actually emailed the director of admissions to ask if they had any feedback on my interview and I got what was most likely a canned response about how they had a lot of applicants (5700 applicants, 300 interviewed, 72 spots) and my group of 26 students had "better matches to the school's mission" than I did. Whatever the hell that means. The weirdest part was that she wrote that the committee felt that it was "unfair" to put me on a wait-list so I could "continue making plans for the coming year". Um, no. That's not how wait-lists WORK. You put me on a wait-list, I can choose whether to WAIT to possibly be accepted or to continue making plans. No one just SITS on a wait-list not doing anything with their lives. They might as well have said, "Sorry, we just didn't like you," and it would have been approximately the same kind of response. So, I wallowed for two days, and then pulled myself out of the depths because I know that I have to be "on" for this upcoming interview on Friday. I am trying to go with the flow and believe in "the process" (whatever it is) and rely on the belief that this was not meant to be. Something else will work out. Right? (Someone tell me that I'm right.)


So, that's the update. The weekend itself wasn't bad. I rested a lot, we had our "super belated Christmas dinner" with my aunt and uncle in Maryland on Saturday, and on Sunday, I hung out with my friend Jenn while she waited for her laptop to stop being a jerk at the Apple store and then we had dinner at The Cheesecake Factory. Last night, I continued working on my shawl, which is coming along. I only have a few more repeats left on the lace edging pattern and then I have to figure out how to pick up all of the edge stitches to start the actual body of the shawl. I'm scared. Also, using a life line as I've gone along has been, well, life-saving. Basically, in the first row of every repeat (which is a non-lace row), I weave a piece of yarn through the stitches so if I make a mistake (which is likely) I only have to rip back to the start of that repeat. A serious improvement over the previous ripping out of the entire project. Here's what it looked like on the way back from FL:

Someday, this will grow up and be a shawl! I hope.
It's almost twice that length now, and I have a few more of those little lacy repeated bits to do. Then it's on to the next adventure! After this shawl, I've decided that I'm going to start my first sweater. For real. Anyone out there knit and want to recommend a sweater pattern? I have a bunch saved on Ravelry (find me here!) but I'm having a hard time picking one!

Also, yes, you can bring knitting needles on a plane. I have always been puzzled by this and have a slight panic attack every time I choose to travel with a knitting project, but it's been unfounded thus far. It is a little annoying to knit in a confined space like that, but it works out.

Today, I am at work and have been trying to get myself organized for the rest of the week. My attempts at having a full, productive day have been thwarted by the increasingly terrible weather, however, and I fear that I may be leaving shortly to avoid certain death on the highway. Really, I probably should have stayed home today, but last week was such a useless disaster between being away for the funeral and then having the flu that I felt bad also taking today off. As I've said many times before, I have an over-responsibility problem.

So here I sit. I am waiting for some information on whether there are samples that need to be processed today, but as soon as I ascertain that there aren't any, I will probably head home. My friend Victoria left work about an hour ago and texted me that the roads were absolutely horrible. Ken is home because school was canceled some time in the middle of the night. I was so confused this morning when my alarm went off at 6:30 and he was still in bed (because he usually leaves that time, sometimes earlier). So yeah, the morning was a confusing time for me, haha. 

So far, the most productive thing I've done today, aside from actual work emails, is that I booked my tickets to Florida for my interview in March. I had been procrastinating about buying them because I was really hoping that maybe I'd just get into Rowan SOM and be done with the whole mess, but after the weather today (it's snowing for what feels like the 93rd time this winter), I bought my tickets as a big "SCREW YOU" to winter. So there. I know I don't really want to move, but med school in Florida sounds amazing right about now.

Aside from our horrific weather, I am in the mindset of, "This week has to be better than next week, or at the very least, cannot possibly be worse," and so far, that seems to be working for me. I have a few goals, so I decided to link up with Weekly Wishes, hosted by Melyssa of The Nectar Collective!

The Nectar Collective

- Finish editing/creating data forms so I can start the IRB amendement
- Start IRB amendment
- Follow-up on scientific committee review of a proposal
- Start editing scientific review process and SOP
- Work on record abstraction and data entry

General goal: Be more productive and intentional with my time at work.

- Do homework that is due Thursday
- Read (if text book arrives)

General goal: Try to care about this class that I may or may not end up needing. Act like I need it... even if it ends up that I don't.
- Declutter the bedroom
- Reorganize dresser drawers (I seriously cannot find anything)
- Return Netflix DVD
- Finish MaddAddam and return library books
- Work on the shawl
- Go to the... gym? (Ha. Ha ha. We'll see.)
- Look up new crockpot recipes to try (anyone have any favorites?)

General goal: Be a better adult...? That's pretty vague, but it's always the overarching goal.

I also hope to get back into a more regular blogging schedule... like actually linking up every week for Weekly Wishes, getting my act together for the longer term Monthly Wishes, and actually posting on a somewhat regular basis about life, the universe, and everything. Hopefully, no one will die, I won't get the flu, and my entire life will not be derailed by untoward events. That should help, right?

If you're unfortunate enough to live where winter exists, stay warm, and if you live somewhere glorious where you aren't plagued by winter, send us some sunshine!

- A


  1. So glad you got some rest over the weekend!!! xoxo

    1. Me too! Thanks for stopping by! I perused your blog and I wish you and your husband lots of love during your journey!

  2. You didn't get in to that med school because there is something greater waiting for you! There always is! I wish you the best of luck this week!! Keep your head up :)

    1. Thanks for the encouragement, and of course, thank you for stopping by! I just popped over to your blog and I want to congratulate you on your recent engagement! Being engaged was so fun for my now-husband and I. I can't wait to read more about your planning and your adventures!

  3. Well I had to stalk your about section about and now I can see what you mean! You are definitely a girl after my own heart. I'm so sorry about your grandmother. Good luck with your goals this week!

    1. Right? It's like we were meant to be blog-friends. Good luck with your goals, too!

  4. We can have a knitting/dowton/office supplies shopping party next time to help you work on your "Work on Shawl" goal! Also, can you teach me how to knit? Also, I would be happy to taste test any crockpot recipes you'd like to try... as long as there is no gluten. Also, remember what I said about Cooper... mainly that it rhymes with Pooper and that you will get into a school better than that one and no matter what you will always be my Dr. :)


    1. Of course we can have a date, my Lof. And yes, I will totally teach you how to knit... if you teach me how to hand-letter and how to do fun things to my blog! All the learning! (Even though there's a war on.... man!)

  5. I'm sorry that you didn't get in to Cooper, but I'm sure you will get in somewhere else and it will be awesome. Cooper doesn't know what they're missing. Also, *hugs*. I'm sorry that being in those same places in Florida provoked so much anxiety for you.

    Ugh, the flu sounds terrible. I hope you're feeling better now! Your shawl is coming along beautifully, and I'm very proud of you! You will totally be able to do the picking up stitches bit, I promise.

    And this: http://www.skinnytaste.com/2013/02/crock-pot-sesame-honey-chicken.html is my favorite crock pot recipe. It is delicious and I make it all the time because I really enjoy it.

    1. Yeah, it was a rough week, but it will get better. It has to... right?

      I'm pretty proud of my shawl, but I definitely could not have gotten it started without you! I can't wait for our Skype/G+ (which is Google Plus, not Gram Positive, haha) date this weekend. :)

  6. These sound like some good goals. Good luck with them!

    1. Thanks! Also, thank you for stopping by and commenting! I popped over to your blog and I can't wait to read more about your life and your crafting adventures. Also, anyone who puts Anna Nalick, Erin McCarley, Vanessa Carlton, and Holly Brook on the same playlist is instantly "my people". PLUS you have a cat. Done and done. Hope to see you around here more!


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