Friday night blog post…let’s catch up!

Namaste & good evening everyone,

 

It’s Friday night and I’m typing away while sipping on some ayurvedic tea…it has been a while since I posted something. Let me make you some of your favourite tea, or do you prefer wine? Let’s catch up…

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-> I love being married. It is so wonderful to wake up in the morning, or come home from work and see a loving caring handsome face. To have a travel buddy, work out buddy, motivational buddy or a lazy buddy to snuggle up with all-in-one at home with me! 

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-> Recently we went to the International Buddhist Temple in Richmond, Vancouver. The Temple was serene and a great place to walk around in peace or meditate. We could light incense sticks and pray. Stay away from the restaurant though, read the reviews on Tripadvisor and you’ll see why. Here are some pics…

-> I have fallen behind on my CaRMS applications, not good! I have about another month more before residency applications go out and I have yet to update my personal statement (I have so much more to write about this year). I have approached my letter writers and they have given the OK. I am slowly editing my CaRMS online application. I completed my CASPer exam the other day, which seriously is a pain in the bum. :/ Every year we have to take this exam for 4-5 programs in Canada that I want to apply to…..ughh…anyway.

-> I tell you that the breast cancer research project that I have been working on at Simon Fraser University is going well. I am now recruiting subjects into the study and we are giving the breast cancer screening device/ultra sound a final test to work out any software bugs. Next week will be busy at the University working on this, looking forward to working with some subjects soon!

-> My breakfast habits have become so horrible. About 3-4 days a week, I run out the door with a mug of soy milk coffee and 2 vegan fig bars. From 8 am to about 3 pm, I run around like a headless chicken, sipping on some water in between and then come home and collapse on the couch because I am so hungry. Why do I do this to myself? When I am busy running from patient to patient, or at the university testing out the device for research I push hunger to the back burner –  but my stomach growling gets REALLY loud. I regret it once I am home and realize, why don’t I just take the time (even ten minutes) to eat something. My brain would function better, I wouldn’t be cloudy brained and I wouldn’t be exhausted at the end of the day when I want to get some studying done. :/

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-> Speaking of food, check out these spice containers from Ikea! SO CUTE right? We bought the labels separately. You can see how we arrange all our spices, lentils, rice etc. in jars.

You can get the spice jars here

-> We also LOVE our Instantpot and our Bread machine! Some food pics…that fresh bread loaf was made with whole wheat flour, turmeric, spices, coriander….and the instantpot had channa masala in it!

-> Pro tip, if you have a very soft bed and it’s hurting your back, stick a stiff flat cardboard box just below your mattress topper. When we moved into this new place we had the soft mattress problem. The flat cardboard box has done wonders for our back!

That’s about it for tonight, tell me what you have been up to! If you haven’t already, follow me on Instagram and Twitter!

Have a wonderful night and it was wonderful catching up! 🙂

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The Pier at Sunset

Namaste,

Hubby & I went to White Rock Pier this evening. It had a wonderful vacation feel 🙂 It was absolutely lovely holding hands and watching the sun set.

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We will be back again soon as this is not far from where we stay. Next time coffee/gelato date 🙂

Stawamus Chief Hike – Second Peak

Namaste everyone!

This past Saturday Hubby & I decided to go for a hike. We finalized our plans on driving up to the Sea to Sky Summit Trail and hiking up to where the gondola was, having a bite to eat and then taking the gondola down to where we parked our car. It looked like fun and doable, not too demanding and wouldn’t take the whole Saturday. We planned to leave by 7 am, but of course we ended up sleeping in and woke up at 7:30 am. We had some oatmeal and coffee. I packed some PB and jelly sandwiches, bananas, fig bars and water bottles.

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Mmmmm…coffee…

Eventually, by 9 am we were out the door.

It was a beautiful sunny day, not too hot and it took us a little over an hour to drive from Surrey to the Sea to Sky gondola parking. We parked our car just across from where people took the gondola up as it was free parking, the only restriction we read online was that parking was only for three hours. (we parked for over three hours and thankfully we didn’t get a ticket!)

Off we started on our climb….

Start: Sea to Summit Basecamp

Our first sign. This looks like fun!

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I could tell this was not a joke. The steps and rocks were steep. I was not physically fit enough to continue on without having to take a breath every one minute or so. Thankfully Hubby was patient and waited alongside me until I caught my breath and then we pushed onwards…

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We stopped at a lookout point. It was very beautiful!

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….and then on we went to find that gondola! Where oh where….? Wait…then we came across this map! We were actually on the wrong path! This whole time we had been on the Stawamus Chief Trail!

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Well, there was no turning back now! Just as we were deciding whether to go to First or Second Peak, one of the hikers who was returning from her climb suggested the Second as it had more beautiful views….so off we went!

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As we went higher and higher, there were fewer and fewer stairs and more rocks to climb. At this point, I believe we had been climbing for over 2.5 hours. I was getting really tired and felt like quitting. Hubby would keep reminding me ‘it’s all in the mind, we can do this, we are almost there!’

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It got more challenging. We used metal chains to keep us from slipping off the rocks/tree roots. The interesting part was that everyone had a different way to maneuver through these depending on their flexibility, their height and foot size!

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As we kept going and going, thoughts of….how the HECK are we going to make it back… popped up in my head. Ok climb…climb..

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We were ALMOST there but then I developed a thigh cramp. We were pooped out! We rested a bit and I massage my legs. Enjoyed the view and kept climbing, carefully as to not slip on these rocks…

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Finally, after over 4 hours of uphill climbing we reached the Second Peak! I wanted to cry!

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Peace to the world!

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You can see First Peak here with people on it.

We rested our feet, sat down and ate our lunch enjoying the scenery. A chipmunk came out of nowhere near our feet, but before I could grab my camera the little cutie disappeared.

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After resting for about twenty minutes I realized I did not have a personal helicopter to call to pick us up and we had to head down. We needed enough sunlight to help us back to our car….so off we went…

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The ladder was a tricky one…

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Exhausted….the climb down was definitely difficult with low energy. My legs were shaking and my knees were sore. I ate a banana and drank water… almost there…almost there…

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Then….we finally saw the bloody gondola….. hehehe

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We wobbled over to the car and there was no ticket (happy!!). Went to the bathroom, washed our faces and decided to drive back to Surrey, grab some Thai food and head home….what an adventure this was!

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My thoughts…

  • It took us 4 hours to climb up, a little over 2 hours to climb down.
  • I have been on many beginner hikes, this was definitely an intermediate hike!
  • It is doable, it is NOT a race but a journey! Take your time, pace yourself, and don’t compare yourself to other hikers. There were so many people I saw pass by me initially and as I was still climbing my way up, they were on their way back down! Did I feel bad? Yes, slightly…but I let the thought go…this is MY journey. I take longer than others but I WILL eventually meet my goal.
  • MANY a time it really is mental strength > physical strength!
  • Stretch before, stretch during and stretch after!
  • Take snacks, food, fruit, and water, you will be thankful!
  • Wear proper shoes and clothing
  • I had knee pain so I wore a knee sleeve and took Tylenol. This tremendously helped me and the knee pain was not so noticeable.
  • If you are hiking with someone/group, be there to motivate each other. I think this really strengthens your relationship 🙂

I was extremely sore the morning after, my Hubby not so much! Respect your body. Take a day to recuperate especially if a beginner/intermediate hike was a first time experience.

Hope this was enjoyable! I can see myself going on challenging hikes like these in the near future. It challenges me and keeps me working towards living a healthy and fit life!

Happy Monday everyone!

 

 

My weekend in pictures.

Namaste, here is my weekend in pictures….<3

Now that Hubby is here with me, I get hot frothy delicious coffee while studying….

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Flowers in bloom and drenched in rain water…

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We walk/run in beautiful nearby parks. The photos below are from Bear Creek Park, not too far away from where we live…we finally had rain after so many months of dry hot weather. The park is so green now!

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We are moving to a new location in Vancouver next month, and this will be our view from the house. Happy times, I pray it will forever stay this way 🙂

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Sunny days and rainy days 🙂 whale spotting!

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Happy Sunday!

Happy weekend!

Namaste and Happy weekend folks!

It’s been a while since I wrote a post with random thoughts, so here goes!

First on the agenda —> my Hubby is moving over to Vancouver tomorrow! YAHOOO! Over 5 and a half years of long distance and let me tell you, it feels absolutely great to say this. Yes, it feels very surreal. I truly want to cry. I am trying really hard not to start bawling as I type this. I’ll grab some wine before picking him up at the airport tomorrow night and then we’re just going to come home and relax together. Happy married life to us!!! 🙂

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–> Ever had those days when everything just felt weird? So Thursday was a late start at the clinic. As I was getting ready to work, I got this gut feeling that it was maybe going to be a strange day. I don’t know if it’s maybe that I set myself up for this and approached my day with a different thought process/attitude but it DID, in fact, turn out to be weird. People at work were stressed, running around and openly stated that today was just one of those days. Several patients snapped as me as soon as I walked through the door to see them! It was very strange, they definitely did not want to talk to me, the trainee. Usually, I have a wonderful experience with patients, but that specific day there were THREE of them. What was up with that?? So, I kept calm. Took a deep breath and just let it be. I chose respect and patience. I refused to absorb any negative energy coming my way. I survived the day. 

–> My best friend’s Indian baby shower was absolutely beautiful. 🙂 I was the main photographer for the event so it was absolutely awesome to literally be IN the middle of the happenings! I don’t have any pictures to share of their baby shower because it’s personal but here is one of my bangles! I was to wear an orange saree that day but thankfully I took a salwar along and wore that instead because I was running around taking photos!

There was a part of the ceremony where the mother-to-be has bangles put on her wrists by all the ladies who attend the ceremony. What I DIDN’T know is that she will have another woman sitting next to her who will be blessed by the ladies to have a baby in the near future….guess who that other person/woman was….ME! I was definitely not ready for this but it was such a sweet gesture for my best friend to ask me. So I sat down and the ladies blessed me as well 🙂 The red bangles you see there near my hand were the “baby blessing” bangles! haha 😉

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–> The CaRMS residency application portal will open up next week. Yikes! I feel nervous and I don’t know what to expect this year…but you know what, I realized that worrying is not going to solve my issues. Instead, I will continue to do what I am doing and hope for the best.

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Good night everyone 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend. Sending happy vibes your way!

Review on Sunmay facial cleansing brush.

Happy Thursday everyone!

I cannot believe that the Fall season is just a month away! Crazy much?? Time certainly flies, doesn’t it? I long for these months to slow down and stick around longer but I also look forward to new adventures in the future!

I had a day off of work today and have started to pack some Indian clothes for my trip this weekend.

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Will be wearing one of the sarees from my wedding. 

I am super excited as I am flying to Chicago for my best friend’s South Indian baby shower, also known as valaikappu and seemantham. During this ‘baby shower’ we sit with the beautiful expecting mother, sing songs and place lots of colourful bangles around her wrists. Then later, the mother and father-to-be, the guests and the priest chant prayers and bless the baby.

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Source: http://www.srivenkateshwaramarriagehall.com/seemandham.html

It will be the first baby to be born amongst our friendship circle of four of us best friends who met in highschool, so it is pretty exciting 🙂 

So recently I noted my facial skin was looking dull and dry. Using a facial scrub cream and moisturizing it just wasn’t helping. I looked into buying a facial brush online and almost bought the facial cleaning brushes with the bristles but came across a dermatologist review. The dermatologist stated that buying the facial brush with the bristles would be harder to clean, so there would be an increased growth of bacteria on the bristles. I would be using the same brush with bacteria growth over and over again on my face and then I would have to look into buying a new brush replacement (not economical). (Kind of similar to a toothbrush… that reminds me I need to change my toothbrush, yuck!!)

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The Foreo facial brush, on the other hand, was a facial cleansing brush made out of silicone, easy to clean and does a great job of gently cleansing my face. The problem…it was over $150!!! I was NOT going to spend that amount of money. Instead I found a dupe called Sunmay (see link) on amazon.ca for just over $30 CAD. It came with the facial brush, cute box, USB charger, a soft carry case, and instructions.

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I charged the Sunmay facial brush for just over an hour, it has been about a little over two weeks now and I haven’t had to charge it since. I use it about 3-4x/week, just before sleeping. I love it because:

  • My face felt smooth
  • the pointy end of the cleanser reached the corners between my nose and cheeks where I am more prone to blackheads
  • the + and – increases and decreases the speed of vibration respectively
  • easy to clean with soap and water or alcohol spray/wipes
  • one side (seen below) is a facial scrub and the other side (seen in the last pic) is a massager!

I use it with my Alba Botanica facial cleanser which does an excellent job but is a bit drying on the skin. After washing my face I spray on my Radha Organics rose water (see link) and then use the Aura Cacia Sweet Almond Oil.

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Completely make up free, I was pretty happy with the results!

This side (seen below) is a face massager to use with anti-aging serum/gels. As you can tell I have three I like to use. I do not know if these three are effective for wrinkle prevention because I may only see results after long-term use. I am not very good about using these anti-aging serums frequently. I am definitely non-compliant 😉 Anyway, but it is pretty cool I have this option!

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Overall I am very happy with the products! If you use any of these products I have mentioned above (gels, creams, cleansers etc.) let me know what you think?

Have a wonderful week & weekend everyone!

** I was not financially compensated for purchasing the products above. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

Adventures as a Medical Simulation Specialist – Part 3

Here’s Part 1 & Part 2

Namaste and Happy Friday everyone!

I ended my previous post with my adventures as a medical mission volunteer in India and working in critical care research!

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Along with my research position, I also worked as a medical simulation specialist for about two years! This was pretty exciting because I was involved in:

  • medical education
  • writing patient scenarios (easy, medium or hard)
  • networking with various healthcare professionals
  • running medical simulation sessions using high-fidelity manikins
  • coordinated all the major (& minor) education events in the simulation lab

What is a medical simulator you ask?

They are high-tech manikins that have heart beats, pupils that dilate and constrict to light, eyelids that blink, imitate breathing by moving its chest up and down, speak, bleed or sweat and even have seizures! These manikins have vital signs that can be changed according to what patient scenario is to be run! You can intubate them, perform surgeries, deliver babies, perform CPR and even shock them!

Health care professionals use these manikins to practice their knowledge and skills on. Better to make mistakes and perfect skills on manikins that have a restart button!

Our sim centre had several adult manikins, baby manikins, pediatric manikins and even a BIRTHING manikin – this was pretty cool! We also had an ultrasound simulator to practice ultrasound skills & learn to read the images.

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I’m seen here with my friend who was the medical simulation specialist before I joined. She matched into family medicine residency and is a practicing doc now! 🙂

I would control these manikins from behind a one-way mirror using a laptop that was wirelessly connected to the manikin! So I would be able to see the participants but they would not see me and what I will do next. I also had a mic that would allow me to pretend to be the patient and answer relevant questions – it was a lot of fun 🙂 I can make the scenario as hard as I want it to be or go easy on them 🙂

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Most memorable days?

I LOVED coordinating and running education days! Queens University family medicine was affiliated with our hospital, so a major chunk of their education session was in our sim lab. Emergency department would hold ED education days in the sim lab. Pediatric Advanced Life Support courses (PALS). Advanced Cardiac Life Support courses (ACLS)…and the list goes on.

Here are some pictures from a few education days: https://www.lakeridgehealth.on.ca/en/trainingandresearch/Events.asp

These education days consisted of planning and coordination that starts MONTHS in advance. I, the education department head and all the team members would have frequent meetings discussing:

  • what scenarios we were going to run (and work on those scenarios)
  • what skills stations are we running
  • what props/simulators are needed
  • if there was not a prop or simulator already in the sim lab that could meet the expectation of the educator, I would have to create one! I’ve made some pretty cool ones – pericardiocentesis models, chest tube insertion models, central line insertion models etc.
  • I would ensure all the rooms are booked, all equipment is ready to go, all people have been informed etc.

ON the day of – I would show up extra early make sure everything is PERFECT, and so far all of our education days have run pretty smoothly, if I can say so myself 🙂 There have been a couple of glitches with our simulators of course…can not expect technology to be perfect…but after some thinking it would be up and working again.

The adrenaline rush I would have at the beginning of the day…and by the end of the day when I see everyone’s smiling faces, knowing they had a wonderful experience I know I did my job well 🙂

After about two years though, I loved what I was doing but I was getting too comfortable. My GOAL was to match into a residency program and I needed to get back to clinical medicine. The knowledge and experience from clinical research & medical simulation education traveled with me as I left Ontario and moved to British Columbia!

It was 7 months ago, I took a deep breath, prayed I was making the right decision, booked a one-way ticket and left my family and friends in Toronto, my Hubby in Pittsburgh…and it was hello Vancouver! 

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Till next time! 🙂 Hope you enjoyed this post!