Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sunday, May 17, 2009

11 months on lock down...

i'm a month shy of my one-year loc-versary....funny how i used to think that a year was such a LONG time to wait.... i remember when i first started researching sisterlocks back in may '08...wondering how long it would take my hair to lock....wondering if i could stick with my locs long enough to see them mature....wondering if i'd get bored and go back to the days of perms and braids....wondering what i would do if i didn't like the end result....i fretted so much before having my locks installed. looking back, i only wish that i had locked my hair sooner.

much to my joy, i've never regretted my decision to get sisterlocked once. i was locked in june '08. my hair took to locs SO well - no slippage! no problems, no issues (except occasional dry scalp). my hair began locking 4-5 months into the process. my consultant used to say that i had "perfect locs" because of the density and texture of my hair (who knew how great nappy hair could be?!). i began diy retightening back in dec '08, using the nappylocs kit and youtube videos as a guide....never did take the SL class... yep, me and my hair have come a long way...

in time, i've realized...

* my hair always looks good, whether i style it or not, whether it's freshly tightened or not. even on a "bad hair day," a quick wash freshens my locs and sets 'em back on track.

* i love walking in the rain when it's warm outside (and watching everyone else take cover. yeah, umbrellas are optional)

* even though i have open ends and my center part is off-center, my SLs are perfectly imperfect and fit me to a "T"

* i can never wear a wig again (at least not while i still have my natural hair). i tried, but it's just not me anymore.

* i love the feel of my bf playing with my hair. (he was hesitant to play with my wigs & weaves for obvious reasons)

* i enjoy styling my hair more now than ever (i used to HATE combing my hair, hence the wigs and braids of past lives)

* diy is not as scary as i first thought it was. with practice and care, i've learned to minimize my use of hair scissors to, um, correct mistakes ;o)

* i think i'm ready to test a conditioner, but still cautious about ruining my hair

do you have any words of wisdom gained since you locked your hair?

friend's wedding

Monday, April 27, 2009

reflections from the ICU: a new grad perspective

feb 11, i passed the rn-nclex exam (state boards); feb 13, i began orientation at Mt Sinai Hospital, a "national model for urban healthcare" that serves the west side of Chicago. i started on the unit (CCU/MICU) on mar 2. i now have about 8 weeks of experience under my belt. though time management remains a HUGE issue for me (i know, i know, with time, i'll get better), i feel very comfortable in my specialty choice. i couldn't imagine working the floor, mostly because i enjoy concentrating on the total care of only 2 patients. the unit is always busy; and though my orientation time has been more focused on keeping up with the patient load than teaching, i feel like i'm learning something new everyday. my preceptor and i have a great relationship, but i work well with most anyone on the foor. some people are catty, but that goes with the territory. my biggest challenges now are being able take breaks or eat lunch, keep up with new orders (still using paper charts), AND finish all of my documentation by the end of shift. part of this will come from telling people "NO," meaning, i cannot help clean or turn patients at 5:30pm if i'm not caught up on my pt's meds, documentation, etc. my goal for the next week is to focus on being caught up by 4pm, so that i can ease into change of shift with no problem. the issue with this is that 4:30pm-6pm seems to be what i call "the witching hour". that time period when all hell breaks loose. when patients crash and codes are called. or a critical new admit comes up to the floor from the ER, crashing while we hook him up to the monitors. some days you can almost feel the tension in the air, you know that something's about to jump off. other days start off just fine, then tumble like an old person on a long flight of stars. overall, i welcome the challenge, but there are days when i leave work feeling like i just fought a heavyweight title match. and lost. but i haven't come home crying, nor am i ready to throw in the towel. rather, i look forward to putting on my cute scrubs and jumping into the day head first.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Sunday, February 8, 2009

winter update on weight loss

in july 2008, i decided to re-commit to my weight loss goals...then my fellowship kicked in...and nursing clinicals...and my masters research project....and as i approached november graduation, i realized that i had been back and forth with the same 5-10 lbs that i thought i moved past this in november, i decided to step up my game and go to a weight loss doctor to see how he could help that time, he told me that my BMI (41.6) qualified me for bariatric surgery. i was a bit depressed by the news, but i was ready to make a REAL change. even though i always knew i was way too heavy for my height, i've always been told that i carry it well. i NEVER considered myself a candidate for weight loss surgery, even though i know the criteria for bariatric surgery....either way, surgery was NOT an option for me. there are no guaranteed results without me taking control of my diet and exercise - the very things i needed to do to lose weight with or without surgery. for example, my uncle was successful with gastric bypass surgery 5-6 years ago...but my father had lap band surgery 2 years ago...and without changing his activity or eating habits much, he has not really seen any change in his weight in quite some time...

anyhoo, since november, i've lost approx. 25lbs! and my BMI has gone down to 37.4! mostly by paying attention to what i eat and by adding in more activity -- my fitness coach game on the wii has really helped me push myself ;o) now, i still have a ways to go, but i've surpassed my first 10% mark, and i feel great!!! and now family members and friends - even some of my most critical loved hater ones who are also obese - are starting to notice...('hate on me hater, now or later, 'cuz i'm gonna do me, you'll be mad, baby!!' sorry, had a jill scott moment) i'm working on getting under 200lbs (-10lbs) by march and am more focused than i have been in almost 10 years...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

56th Presidential Inauguration 2009

i was selected to participate in the inauguration back in may 2008, long before some supporters jumped on the obama bandwagon and fed into the frenzy of buying up *whatever* obama souvenirs they could (obama condoms included). i was a part of a group of some ~5,000 undergrad and grad students from the US and other parts of the world who partook in the University Presidential Inauguration Conference (there were some 15,000 students total being hosted at the conference, including the middle and high school students). while the conference left much to be desired (thousands of students are currently signing petitions and seeking compensation for monies spent due to false advertisement), i am so grateful that i had the opportunity to go to dc to witness this historic event.

i arrived in DC on jan 17th. one could feel the city trembling with excitement and anticipation as everyone prepared for unprecedented numbers of Americans flocking to the area. i stayed at the marriott wardman park hotel; students were also posted in 5 other area hotels. (one good thing about the conference is that i had a nice hotel room with my own bed. some students slept on cots, even though their costs were the same.) we had talks from Al Gore and Colin Powell, and a couple workshop lectures, but there really wasn't much else to the conference. the main event was witnessing the 56th inauguration of our 44th president.

we also had a "private" gala (i.e. no one was there except us) that resembled a dressy high school junior prom, but i still looked good ;o)

but even with all of the issues of the UPIC conference, nothing could replace the sheer excitement and pride i felt the morning of the inauguration...

...there were SO many people outside on that cold morning. it was FREEZING, but everyone was so thrilled and happy to be there. everyone was so hopeful and loving and peaceful...kinda like woodstock...but without the free love and happy weed, of course ;o)

words cannot express the awe and honor i felt walking in solidarity with a few million of my fellow Americans to witness the swearing in of our 44th President - selected by popular vote and loved by persons throughout the world - Barack Hussein Obama, II...

(no, i didn't know these ladies. but i was so touched by their determination to bring their ancestors with them to the inauguration that i had to take a photo....)

watching that video just brings me back to that very moment...amazing is the only way i could describe it. truly a moment in history i will never forget.