Category Archives: Life & You

Dreams Do Come True

dreamsThe time has finally come ladies and gentleman – I am officially starting my 3rd year of medical school tomorrow! :) I am incredibly excited and nervous that this day has finally arrived, viagra sale discount but I’m also in a state of bittersweet reflection.  I actually started this journey in 2009 and completed one full year before having to leave due to an unfortunate abusive relationship.  Afterwards, stuff I went home and I honestly never thought I’d be going back to medical school.  I thought my dream was lost for good, advice but the universe had other plans for me, thankfully – I was given another chance to start over, to pursue my passion.  And now, almost 5 years later, I can happily say that I’m half way through medical school.  Wow – time sure flies! :)

The journey has been tough, and most definitely emotionally exhausting at times, but I’m proud to have gone through it even with a few battle scars.  Sometimes we go throughout life wishing our obstacles could be easier or go by quicker – I’m guilty of thinking this too – but we also need to be reminded that everything has a time and a place.  It sounds tremendously cliche to say that, but I whole heartedly believe it’s true.  The universe has an amazing ability of granting us those silver linings when we need it the most.  Our dreams may not happen when we want them, but they will happen; just wait and see.

I’ll end this post with one of my favorite quotes:

shoot for the moonWhat are your dreams?

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Happy reading :)

A Patient’s Right to Die

assited 3Imagine…your doctor finished explaining that you have a terminal illness.  You have months to maybe over 1 year to live; a life possibly filled with pain and loss of functionality.  What do you do?  Where do you go from here?

This scenario happened to 29-year-old Brittnay Maynard who was diagnosed with a terminal brain cancer called Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM).  Brain tumors typically arise by themselves (de novo) or as a result of cancer elsewhere in the body (metastases).  In Brittnay’s case, cialis canada nurse hers arose de novo.  GBM is an extremely aggressive and most common form of adult brain cancer.  These types of tumors lie extensively within the center of the brain, cialis usa sovaldi making a “butterfly” formation which is quite difficult to operate.  The signs and symptoms of GBM usually present 3 months prior with extensive, consistent headaches, progressive motor weakness and/or loss, seizures, nausea/vomiting, and overall cognitive impairment.  The prognosis for GBM is quite bleak with older individuals dying sooner and an average survival length of 12 months; however, there are outliers who survive longer and completely but the statistics are low.  GBM is treated with a combination of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.  Anyone who’s had cancer or relatives with cancer knows the process is arduous, painful, and filled with uncertainty.  This is the odds Brittnay Maynard was faced with.

assisted 1Originally Mrs. Maynard decided to end her life via Oregon’s Right to Die Law on November 1st, but her plans have recently changed.  Regardless, her decision has sparked a debate that is highly controversial socially and in the medical field: physician – assisted suicide and euthanasia.

The difference in terminology between euthanasia and assisted suicide is slight.  Euthanasia is where the physician actively injects the patient with lethal medication and this is currently illegal in the US.  Physician – assisted suicide is where the physician only prescribes medication for the patient to take on their own; this is currently legal in Oregon, Washington, Montana, and Vermont.

As an aspiring physician, we’re taught to respect a patient’s autonomy in making their own decisions while making sure their treatments and life does not undergo unnecessary harm.  Hmmm…sometimes this places us in quite a pickle, don’t you think?  I personally support a patient’s right to die, whether it be by euthanasia or physician – assisted suicide.  I understand the legal, moral, ethical, religious debates surrounding this issue; it is not black and white.  There is a lot of murky waters surrounding this, and as a future physician, I think it would be my duty to help my patients in any way; after all, that is what I swear to in the Hippocratic Oath.  However, I do not support using these methods as an easy way to commit suicide for those who need psychiatric counseling or those who plainly want to commit suicide.  This should be used for those currently facing a terminal sentence with their illness, such as Huntingtons, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), severe dementia/Alzheimers, or brain cancers, and like Mrs. Maynard, they should be counseled prior to make sure they understand the implications of their decision.assisted 2

Many are criticizing young Mrs. Maynard for her choices and saying that she should fight, and maybe she should, but it’s ultimately her decision on the best way to conduct her life.  Instead of criticism, why don’t we show support and admire her courageousness for making such a difficult decision? We know her decision was not easy.  Thinking about death is never an easy concept to grasp and it’s downright scary.  She and her family are conducting themselves with such grace and certainty and I admire them.  I support your decision, Brittnay Maynard, whether it is today, tomorrow, or in the future.  :)

I would love to hear your thoughts. Happy reading :)

Am I Ugly?

pretty3“Am I ugly?” – 3 seemingly innocent words that pack a huge punch.  Millions of adolescent girls, cialis usa cure and boys, cialis are posting this question on YouTube, prescription looking for affirmation from the outside world.  I find this extremely disheartening.  I’d ask “how did this happen”, but this has been rapidly in the making.

I watched another of my beloved TedTalks (I know, I’m obsessed ;) ) where Meaghan Ramsey discusses the impact of low body image and confidence on our adolescents.  Meaghan Ramsey is global director of the Dove Self-Esteem Project, and I must say, I absolutely love the Dove commercials because they show women in their purest forms – as themselves.

Our children and adolescents are facing an insurmountable battle right now – the battle between self-acceptance v. societal approval.  Adolescence is naturally an awkward period in a youngsters life: their bodies are changing, they’re caught between childhood and adulthood, they’re constantly wondering, “where do I fit in?”.  Being a teenager is more complex than ever before mostly due to the development of social media.  I’m not condemning social media as being negative – it’s allowed the world to connect on an even greater scale, but it does have it’s pitfalls.  pretty2One of the major pitfalls is the lack of privacy and constant reliance on the visual.  Adolescents now are being “trained” to value themselves based upon the number of likes and the quality of comments and selfies that present on their news feeds.  They’re viewing their physique as being the sole identifier of who they are.

How do we help our children and adolescents regain their confidence?

How do we show them they are beautiful, inside and out?

I’m extremely passionate about this issue and I hope to contribute to the dialogue with my future adolescent patients.  I think we need to have an open conversation with our adolescents:

Ask them how they view themselves: What do they think are their best attributes outside the physical?  What are their weaknesses, their strengths, and how can we make them stronger?

Openly ask them what they don’t like about themselves physically: Why? Offer reassurance that the world is filled with many different shapes and sizes; there is no correct appearance.

pretty 1Our children are the next generation.  We want them to be confident, successful, and empowered.  Let’s start the dialogue and help them win this battle.

I challenge all the adolescents out there: Look in the mirror and say everything you love about yourself.  Think about how that makes you feel and keep those ideals with you as you venture through.

I would love to hear your thoughts. Happy reading :)

 

 

 

Time to Smell the Pumpkin Latte

autumn-danceMmmmm…the smell of pumpkin latte is all around us, cialis buy capsule and you know what that means –   Autumn is just around the corner. :) September 23rd marked the official first day of fall and with it comes months-long hibernation, health spandex pants, and thinking about our new years resolution.

Let’s not hibernate any further my dear readers! Let’s be daring and bold! Why wait to start something new when the time is now?

I challenge everyone to not enter fall-winter hibernation and get out there and try something new. :) If you feel you’re life is fraught with complacency and the same old routine, try taking up a new hobby, learn something new, or simply do something you haven’t done in awhile.  autumn 2

I feel that my own life has become so routine and cyclic.  I’m an extroverted person and thrive on activity and vitality – I felt that 2 years of endless studying has kinda made me numb because I wasn’t doing anything else.  So, I recently decided to reignite my passion for salsa dancing and started Crossfit classes, and let me tell you, I’ve never felt better. :) There’s no better satisfaction than knowing that you’re in charge of your own happiness and life path.  Let’s make that happen!

I would love to hear about your new adventures.  Happy reading :)

Let’s talk! about Mindfulness…

The proof is in the pudding! :) Try conquering your stressful life with mindful, cialis buy cialis relaxing techniques – sit in your room or chair, sovaldi close your eyes, generic inhale deeply through your nose/exhale slowly from your mouth, listen to the the rhythm of your breathing and heart. Do you notice anything different about your body? It’s amazing how your body slows down and centers itself – it’s an amazing machine that adjusts to many of lives situations. Be mindful, be present my dear readers!

I would love to hear your thoughts. Happy reading :)

It’s OK to Say NO

After college until now, viagra sales thumb I feel that I’ve grown a lot as an individual and see the world a little bit differently.  The most important lessons I learned during that time were 1) it’s never to late to ask for help, discount cialis and 2) it’s ok to say No sometimes – this brief posting will focus on the latter lesson.  A lot of times in my life I’ve been guilty of saying “Yes” when I really wanted to say “No”, but why did I do that?  My unconscious reasons were to not rock the boat, not appear selfish, or because it seemed to be “the right thing to do”.  I’ve realized there needs to be a balance to this conundrum – albeit, it may not be easy.  I think we need to set our own limitations and not allow ourselves to be ruled by others reactions.  It can be a lofty task to start, but like Momma G says “practice makes perfect, so with a little bit of practice, it will be perfect” :)

I would love to hear your thoughts.  Happy reading :)

We Are Not Crazy

anxiety-and-depressionLast week, discount cialis prostate the world lost its beloved funny-man, viagra canada thumb Robin Williams.  His untimely death brings to light an issue that I hold dear to my heart: societal and personal stigma against depression and anxiety (I’ll reserve talking about other mental illnesses/disorders for future postings). We’ve certainly had moments in our lives of feeling “depressed” or “anxious”.  Sometimes the spring in our step comes back fast, there and other times, that dark cloud seems to hang lower.  We think to ourselves, “I can shake this off.  I can handle my ‘problems'”, but what happens when we can’t?  What do you we do?

Depression and anxiety is a two-fold process:

1) Chemicals in your body, called neurotransmitters, become depleted (serotonin/norepinephrine/dopamine for depression and predominately gaba for anxiety).  This depletion results in the physiologic symptoms (nervousness, sleep changes, weight changes, heart palpitations, etc).

2) Our emotion and mental responses to the situation are dictated by how we’ve internalized previous childhood/adulthood experiences, whether they’re positive or negative.  Sometimes the mental tools we’ve used previously are not conducive to battle the present situation, and that perpetuates the anxiety/depression cycle.

 

Depression-support-groups_364x200Currently, there’s 2 ways of treatment for anxiety and depression: medication and psychological therapy.  These treatments invoke fear in some because “people will think I’m crazy!” and “there’s something wrong with me!”.  I’m here to tell you: “YOU’RE NOT CRAZY! YOU’RE NOT ALONE!”.  The medication helps your body find its natural rhythm again, so you can be back to your old self.  Like any medication, there are side effects, so consult your physician on starting, stopping, or changing.  Therapy has its own benefits as well.  Sometimes we just need an impartial ear to vent to.  Humans are social, expressive beings and this is a great avenue for just that.  These individuals are trained to help you gain insight and direction and their tools can be quite beneficial.

I put this posting in the “Life and You” section because in order to change society’s perception about anxiety and depression, we should start by changing our own.  We should realize that vulnerability is not negative.  That vulnerability makes us who we are as humans; we’re not made to be robots.  Depression and anxiety are natural processes in our daily lives.  It’s their prolonged existence that requires us to gather strength and energy to ask for help.  Don’t be afraid to admit when something is too great for you to handle.  It’s never to late to ask for help.

We are not crazy. We are not alone.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Happy reading. :)

Shine Bright Like a Diamond

Shine bright like a diamond 6We are unpolished diamonds.  We all have a unique color, cialis sales for sale sparkle, tadalafil illness and shine – complete with a little roughness around the edges.  That little roughness is our chance to renew and rejuvenate ourselves to be the best we can be.  For the last few years I’ve seen myself going through this renewal process.  At times it feels so slow, but it’s gradual and steady.  I see those patches of roughness becoming more refined and my own sparkle and shine are coming through.

I found this quote by Johann Von Goethe that I wanted to share:

“We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves; otherwise we harden.”

This quotation spoke to me recently because it highlights our continual emotional and spiritual evolution as individuals.  We shouldn’t make drastic changes to ourselves at the sake of someone’s convincing.  All we need is fine tuning to the canvas we already have.  This continual exploration allows us to be more open, responsive, and engaged with our surroundings.  I encourage everyone to choose one aspect of themselves to fine tune.  For me (and this may seem silly), I’ve chosen to practice smiling more in public.  I’m not a grumpy-pants sort of person, but I do naturally have a more “serious” look to my face.  Sometimes this initially overshadows my open, welcoming personality.  Without this self-exploration, we become stuck in our ways and definitely become grumpy-pants.

The process should start from within – no one can do it but us.

Let’s all shine bright like a diamond! (thank you Rhianna!)

I would love to hear your thoughts.  Happy reading :)

 

 

 

 

Testing 1, 2, 3…Can you hear me?!

hello-can-you-hear-meYou know when you’re trying to give someone advice and somehow sense they’re not listening? You begin talking more direct, viagra buy sick emphasize key points, buy cialis and eventually raise you voice, hoping that something will seep in.  Raise your hands if you’ve ever experienced that…keep them held high!

What are we doing wrong? Why aren’t people listening to our advice?!

Well, according to Julian Treasure, who is a sound consultant and Ted Talk contributor, we are doing something wrong.  We’re continually committing the “7 deadly sins” of communication:

1) Gossip

2) Judging

3) Negativity

4) Complaining

5) Excuses

6) Lying

7) Dogmatism

Without us realizing, we incorporate these into our daily lives and they become habitual.  There’s no specific mal-intent attached to these “sins”, but they prevent effective communication that could be helpful to those around us.

So how do we extinguish them from our verbal repertoire?  Mr. Treasure suggests practicing the acronym, “HAIL”:

Honesty – Speak in an open, direct, clear, yet respectful, manner.

Authenticity – Be true to yourself.

Integrity – Let your words of wisdom be reflected in your actions.

Love – Have a general openness, well-being, and non-judgement towards with person you’re speaking with.

With a little practice and patience, we’ll be smooth talkers in no time! :) ;)

Happy reading!

Watch Mr. Treasure’s Ted Talk: