First week at FMC

Last Sunday (June 10th) I left Grand Junction and made my way by two lane highways to Flagstaff, Arizona. I hate two lane highways, I don’t think I’ve ever had so much road rage as I did on the 440 mile, 6 hour drive. The speed limit was 65 mph and people thought that they should actually drive that speed, how ridiculous. Obviously I wasn’t about to do that the whole way so I had the fun time of passing people on the two lane road, cause that’s the most fun thing ever…I drove basically through the middle of the desert for hours and then finally made it to Flagstaff. I really couldn’t even tell that I was getting close to Flagstaff until I was actually in town. I stayed in a hotel for the first couple of days that I was in town because the people I was going to be staying with were out of town for a few more days. Checked in to my hotel and then stopped by the house where my other classmate that’s here is staying. The woman that he’s staying with is probably the nicest person ever, she is just so incredibly sweet. I went to stop by to chat and she gave me dinner and cookies, seriously such a nice lady. Monday morning I started my internship at the Flagstaff Medical Center and after wandering for a bit and having no idea where I was going I finally got everything figured out (with a lot of help and directions from a few people). I met my CI and she’s also very nice. She mainly works with ortho/joint patients so that’s what I’ll be doing most of the summer except for the days when I shadow with other PTs. For my first week I got to help out with some little things, writing notes, and even taking the lead a little more with some evals and treatments. Inpatient PT is so much different than outpatient and I really like it. It’s a little crazier and all over the place but I actually like it that way. FMC also does quite a bit with wound care so I got to see some of that my first day and I thought it was really cool. I’ve been interested in wound care for a while so I’m excited to get to see more of it while I’m here. I’m definitely still getting used to things but so far I really like working in acute care and I’m excited for the rest of the summer at FMC and in Flagstaff.skybridge

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Block 5

Only less than a week behind on this blog! Even that is an accomplishment for me right now, it’s hard to commit to getting anything done when I’m enjoying my two week break. Anywho, last Friday I finished block 5 which also means that I finished my 2nd year of PT school! For a while I really never thought that I would even make it this far. This block was crazy but it was actually one of my better semesters. I really tried to have a more positive attitude about things this year. I know that this is where I’m supposed to be and what I’m supposed to be doing and that I did not make it this far just to fail. Having that mentality for the semester really helped me a lot and I’m planning on holding on to that for my LAST year of school. Now I only have one year of school left and 6 and 1/2 months of it are spent on clinical internships. I know it’s all going to go so fast and I want everything to be finished but I also want to enjoy things along the way. I’m going to be in Flagstaff, Arizona this summer for an acute care internship and I’m actually kind of nervous. Super excited too though. There are so many things I want to do this summer and I’m really looking forward to everything that is in store for me!flagstaff

22

My last day of being 22! Pretty sure I’m not going to feel much different tomorrow. I can never decide if I feel like I should still be 18 or if I feel more like I’m 83, so just a little all over the place there. Compared to my friends that all graduated and got jobs and started doing fun things with their lives I feel super behind and I think “what have I been doing all this time? I’m already 23 and still in school?!” But then there’s the fact that I’m the youngest person in my class, which apparently everyone knows. The other day in class when no one wanted to volunteer our professor suggested “How about the youngest person in class?” to which everyone immediately replied “Clara!” thanks guys… Even though sometimes at this age I feel like I should have done more with my life by now or at least something other than school, I’m pretty happy with where things are headed. Just 6 weeks left of this block and then I’m only one year away from being done with  school, for real this time. I’ve been feeling pretty good about life lately and I’m looking forward to this next year and seeing where life takes me (cliche, right? It’s true and I just couldn’t help it). Almost done with 22!

Also in honor of my last day as a 22 year old here is a Taylor Swift song that I really don’t understand and find pretty annoying, but she says 22 a lot, so it fits.

Legs

I generally like my legs. They get me around, most of my favorite activities involve my legs, and they look pretty great in knee socks too. What I don’t like is when they wake me up in the middle of the night. There have been a couple of times in the past that I’ve woken up because I randomly got a cramp in one of my calf muscles (I don’t mean like a cow but as in my gastrocnemius and soleus muscles, this is what PT school has taught me). I’m usually a heavy sleeper so it’s obviously pretty painful if it wakes me up. Usually it hurts so I wake up and try to relax my leg and then it’s fine. Well the other night I woke up around 4am with a cramp  not in just one leg but in both. My legs had somehow gotten so tight that I was wide awake and felt like my legs were trying to detach themselves from the rest of my body. I have no idea how or why this happens but it has got to be one of the worst ways to wake up. Apparently I need to stretch more, guess it’s time to get back in to yoga!IMAG1335

On My Own

I have a pretty awesome family so I don’t mind living at home again. I definitely like living on my own though, even in my little studio apartment. I actually feel like an adult (sort of) and it turns out I am actually still capable of taking care of myself (honestly, I don’t mind being totally dependent on my mom to take care of me…haha). I totally miss having my running and biking buddies and bills are something I like to keep in my wallet, not something I like to owe but so far I’m surviving by myself.

Turns out I can still cook and I’m even pretty good at it

Fish and veggies with lemon, yum

Chicken, pasta, and an excessive amount of corn

Chicken and lots of veggies, noticing a trend yet?

And then there’s this

I’m pretty sure that the apartments that I’m in used to be a hotel. Besides the fact that there are some crazy old people living there with me it also has it’s perks, like a pool…

…and a hot tub

New lamp and chair to make it feel like home

Keeping me company

First Week

I was going to do a post on my first day of my internship but since I don’t have internet at my apartment I had to wait till today to come use the wifi at the libray. It sounded like a huge pain to get anything set up (they only have DSL anyway, so lame) I’m going to try to tough it out and survive using my phones 2G network and the library, it hasn’t even been a full week yet and I think it might kill me. Anyway, I started my first physical therapy internship at Fit Physical Therapy in Mesquite, Nevada this Monday.

First day!

I had stopped by the office when I was in town a couple of weeks ago so I wasn’t way too nervous about going in. My first day was a lot like other PT observations that I’ve done, basically just following my CI around and seeing what they were doing. The PT that I’m with actually works 2 and a half days here at the clinic in Mesquite and then the other 2 1/2 days we go to the clinic in Overton, which is an even smaller town about 30 minutes away. Both clinics are pretty relaxed, especially Overton because there’s just 1 PT and 1 tech. On Tuesday I was already starting to get a little bored just watching everything so I asked if I could maybe start doing some things. After that I’ve started working a little bit more with patients on their exercises and some soft tissue mobilization (this is what you call massage to get insurance to pay for it). So far I’ve gotten good feedback from people, only problem? I’m too gentle apparently. Even though I try I’m pretty sure I’m too small and obviously don’t have enough muscle to be very tough on people, guess I need to work out more! I’m working my way up to treating more patients and I even did my first eval on Friday. Made me kind of nervous and felt like I completely blanked as soon as I started but I still figured out what I needed to, gotta start somewhere! 1 week down, only 9 more weeks to go!

Pro by Friday (haha, not even close)

Nevada

I moved into my new apartment that I’ll be in for the next couple of months and so far (was only there for less then 24 hours) I really like it. I had been a little bit nervous about being in Mesquite for 10 weeks, I knew it would be weird to be out of my house and not see my family but I felt ok about it. I’ve moved before so I didn’t think it would be that big of a deal. But then I actually got to Mesquite and kind of freaked out. It was like it finally hit me that I was alone there. It’s a small town with lots of casinos and a lot of old people, so uh not really my scene. I already knew this but it finally set in when I was there. It helped after I got moved into my apartment though because it gave me a place to belong, something of my own. I got everything set up and I think I’m gonna like it there. It’s still crazy hot in Mesquite and my apartment has a pool so I definitely have plans of working on my tan while I’m there. I also stopped by the clinic that I’m going to be at and met most of the people there. It’s a super nice clinic and has a lot of cool equipment that I haven’t seen in most other places so I’m pretty excited to be there. Still super nervous about starting though cause I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing but you never know until you try, right? …Right?

Hardest workout I’ve ever done was carrying everything up the stairs to my apartment in the 90 degree heat. It hurt

Drove by KFC right after I got into town. I knew the chicken bowl was happening that night. It made me so happy. Making up for all the times I don’t eat fast food on this trip apparently

And here are some pictures of my apartment, it’s a studio so it’s pretty little but I like it. The only bad part is that it’s kinda like a hotel (it may have been at some point) so the window is along the walk way so you really can’t ever have the curtains open, who needs natural light anyway?

Kitchen/bedroom

Keeping it classy with the zebra

I brought lots of shoes and textbooks. I only like 1 of those things

Herbal Essences is the way to go

Not just another picture of myself I swear

Closest looks for empty, must have left too much at home

I also had to go get some food and a few things for the apartment so I went to what I’m pretty sure is the only real store in town, Walmart. Seriously there’s no Target, my heart broke a little bit when I found that out. I went shopping at like 8am so basically no one was there, which is really the only way to shop at Walmart. When I went to check out I noticed something very different. Most stores usually have things like candy and magazines at checkout. Not it Mesquite, they have alcohol, lots of alcohol

And yes I was buying hot pockets, you seriously think I’m cooking all the time?

I also found some new containers that I was really excited about. I guess nothing really special about them, I just really love storage containers, don’t really know why

They’re so bright it just makes me happy

Utah and Arizona

Last week I went out to Mesquite for a couple of days to get everything set up at my apartment so I wouldn’t have to try to do everything right before starting my clinical. It’s about 430 miles from Grand Junction to Mesquite and it took me about 6 hours. Almost the entire drive is in Utah with like 10 miles in Arizona. Everything looks the same, mountains, rocks, and dirt, that’s about it. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s beautiful, but after a couple of hours it’s not quite as impressive. The fact that I had already spent 14 hours driving that week and that I was doing the same drive 2 days in a row (GJ to Mesquite Thursday and then back on Friday) didn’t help. But I made it through and I did think it was kinda cool that I was in 4 different states in 1 day. Good thing I have the CR-V because it’s way more comfy and my music sounds great. Finally broke down and paid for Spotify mobile and it was definitely worth it. Even out in the desert I still had something to entertain me.

It’s hard to tell from this picture (my bad, I was driving at the time…by the way, never do that, totally unsafe) but I had left pretty early in the morning and the sun was still coming out. Since it’s basically the middle of no where you can see for a long ways. The sun along with the clouds made it so part of the landscape was in the light and part was still shaded. All I could think of was The Lion King and “everything the light touches…” Literally made me laugh out loud 

You can see from this picture that there was some construction going on. It was seriously everywhere. There are a couple of speed limit “test sections” in western Utah where the speed limit is 80mph, somehow these were almost completely under construction, I think they did that on purpose to rob me of the joy of driving extra fast without the risk of getting pulled over (well, a lower risk anyway)

Music Monday: “Family Ties” by Close to Home

In the hope of trying to keep myself on track with updating my blog on a regular basis I’m going to be trying out some different themes, I’ll still have my regular random blog posts of whatever is going on, but I’ll also have some posts that are mainly just pictures and will be denoted by [brackets] around the title (there have already been a couple of these). I’m also going to test out doing Music Mondays. I love music so I’ll be posting some of my favorite songs and since I usually choose songs I like based on how I can relate to them there will likely be some kind of story to go along with the song, such is the case today.

The song for this first Music Monday (from here on out known as MM) the song is “Family Ties” by Close to Home. A friend  of mine had told me about Close to Home a while ago when their new album was coming out and I pretty much haven’t been able to stop listening to it since then, absolutely one of my new favorite bands. Here it is (lyrics listed at the bottom of this post).

This song was kind of perfect for me today. Every time I’m back in Grand Junction it’s always a little weird. I absolutely love it here and this still feels like home but at the same time it’s not really where I belong anymore. I don’t live, work, or go to school here anymore. There are plenty of people here that I love and I love seeing them but being here is really just a break from everything else. As badly as I wish it was, my life just isn’t here now. When I’m here I kind of feel like I’m just a minor character playing a role in other peoples lives but really don’t have my own and it can put me in an odd mood. I thought running this morning would make me feel better but even that wasn’t good! By far my worst run in a long time; breathing was hard, couldn’t run for more than a half mile at a time, and I was going soo slow. This was one of those runs when I just started thinking “Why the @%&# am I doing this?” I was running Rustlers Loop and it was perfect out, good temperature, clear blue sky, and sunny. But it still felt awful. I started to get down on myself and once I start that I’m usually on a role; straight from “this run sucks” to “omg I hate my life.” Really it’s just totally silly and fortunately I realized that pretty fast. This song came on my ipod and I just thought, “ya know, I could just be lazy and not do anything at all, not keep running, not do tris, or climb. I could quit school, blah, blah blah. That could be the story of my life, but guess what, no one will ever want to read that crap.” Right around this time I was getting to the last 3/4 of a mile of the trail, which is my favorite part of the whole thing, lots of downhills and small ups and downs and it’s pretty fast. By this time I had gotten my act together I was finally ready to run. It was still hard and I sounded like what I imagine someone with black lung would sound like because  I was breathing so hard. And it still felt a little horrible,  but isn’t that always running? But in a way it still felt so good and I was so much happier by the end. Yes I could just be lazy and lame and never do anything with my life, but that would be so incredibily stupid and such a huge waste. Instead I’m gonna live my life like it’s a story to tell, and I want it to be a good one.

Lyrics

I’ll seize this moment and make it mine
Remember when we were younger and had nothing but time
And now I know there’s so much in my way
But it won’t keep me held down ’cause I’ve got something to say

We’re all just kids growing up too fast
Focused on the future but not forgetting the past

So I live my life like it’s a story to tell
Don’t try to stand in my way
‘Cause I can make a bet that you’ll fail
But I’ll push on and on
Till every doubt is gone
Nothing’s gonna stand in my way
I control my own fate

If you are not scared
Then you’re not taking a chance
The road ahead is paved by those who took the risk

We’re all just kids growing up too fast
Focused on the future but not forgetting the past

This will always be my family
This will always be my family

So I live my life like it’s a story to tell
Don’t try to stand in my way
‘Cause I can make a bet that you’ll fail
But I’ll push on and on
Till every doubt is gone
Nothing’s gonna stand in my way
I control my own fate

This will always be my family
You’ve been here for me since the beginning
This will always be my family
I’ll be there for you till the end

So I live my life like it’s a story to tell
Don’t try to stand in my way
‘Cause I can make a bet that you’ll fail
But I’ll push on and on
Till every doubt is gone
Nothing’s gonna stand in my way
I control my own fate

Don’t forget where you’ve come from

 

Colorado

My first stop in Colorado was Boulder to see my brother and my sister-in-law. After driving for 10 hours it was nice to have a chance to relax for a while, plus they had made some super tasty dinner. On Tuesday Tabitha had taken the day off from subbing so we could hang out for a while and went  shopping (my favorite!). Even found some new pants that I can wear during my clinical and that I actually like (seriously, business casual?). Me and Donny were going to go biking but it had been raining on and off for most of the afternoon. When it wasn’t raining though we had some time to go out to a great park and take some pictures. Most of my pictures are taken at arms length with my phone so I’d asked Donny and Tabitha if they could take some pictures for me since they’re the pros. As always they took some awesome pictures!

(More pictures at the end of this post)

Afterwards we went to dinner at Southern Sun and it was absolutely incredible! I couldn’t believe how good it was. Had the Junk Burger and it was by far the best burger I have ever had, no exagerration. It had bacon, cheese, sautéed onions and mushrooms, and this garlic mayo that was soo good (and I usually hate mayo).If you’re ever in Boulder this is definitely a great place to go.

Don’t try to take pictures after the food is at the table

We also went to Ripple which is a local fro yo place. I love fro yo and I feel like I always have a new favorite but this definitely tops all the others. They had Palisade peach yogurt and it was amazing. Some flavors can be a little bland but this one actually tasted like peach, it was awesome. They also hard warm peanut butter sauce (YUM) and warm brownies and cookies. It was so tasty and had some unique toppings and flavors that I haven’t seen at other places. After eating myself into a food coma we went back to the house and I convinced everyone to watch New Girl cause it’s hilarious. Had such a great time in Boulder and I love getting to spend some time with Donny and Tabitha since I don’t get to see them much. But then I was off again and on my way to Grand Junction for a day. On the way I stopped in Silverthorne and it was super nice out. It was a little bit cloudy but it was still nice to get out of the car and walk around for a while. Got to Junction and had time to see Brooke for a bit, have dinner and fro yo (noticing a trend?) with Steve, Roberta, and Treyce, and spend some time in the hot tub before I had to get to bed to I could get up and drive some more in the morning to head to Mesquite. When will the driving end?!

More pictures!!

I’d be a great model

Oh hey

Me and Tabitha, we reverse match

My and my brother! Matching grey shoes, skinny jeans, and similar color shirts, I think we would have been great as twins

Possibly my favorite

Getting serious

Getting significantly less serious

Thought I was going to trip