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CURRENTLY LOVING…| AUGUST

Heyyy lovely people!

I actually had two blog posts planned for this week but the way my week is set up… I decided to put this post up for y’all. I honestly did not read that much stuff online this month, but I hope you’ll the enjoy the few great things I found.

In August I finished 3 months of internal medicine and started Pediatrics (which I’m loving more than I expected!). I learned to make homemade ice cream and shared a recipe here. I also read ONE book, the 4th one from my summer reading list. I started reading Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84 which is intriguing so far! I spent a lot of hours preaching this month and honestly that really helps you focus on what’s important in life and quiets all the noise the world often provides.

August is also the month I moved house and being back to living on my own after having been a houseguest for the last few months means I get to meal plan and nest and other things. Here’s what I fed my mind with in August😉

Articles around the web

This BrainPickings article about what Barack Obama’s mother taught him about love. I love what he says about Michelle in his book:

What sustains our relationship is I’m extremely happy with her, and part of it has to do with the fact that she is at once completely familiar to me, so that I can be myself and she knows me very well and I trust her completely, but at the same time she is also a complete mystery to me in some ways

Here’s why kids give up on math. *insert math hating eye roll*

If you missed Chimamanda’s live chat on the guardian, catch up here. As usual, she has insightful advice about writing.

A man proposed to his girlfriend on the plane and surprised her with a wedding mid air!

Four couples in Oregon are trying to ease the burdens and costs of modern parenthood by sharing a home, a truck, and nightly dinners. This is…interesting and worth a read.

Alain de Bottom on what makes us good communicators.

What makes people good communicators is, in essence, an ability not to be fazed by the more problematic or offbeat aspects of their own characters

Strange things happen when you live alone. When you’re no longer required to eat dinner at a particular time, or to close the bathroom door to shower, your relationship to the space around you changes. All of a sudden it is things, rather than other people, that seem to direct your thoughts. Claire Louise- Bennett’s debut book Pond record a series of moments in the life of an English woman living alone on the west coast of Ireland. Enjoyed this interview of her in The Paris Review.

So, who’s really your friend? This BrainPickings article is my favorite this month and my next blog post is all about friendship.

What to do with your tomatoes; yes, even those ones going soft.

Would you have a family honeymoon? This post got me soo excited! I’d love to do something like this for my honeymoon.

7 signs you’re a people pleaser. This got me.

You wanna try meal prepping but don’t know how to? Or you’re trying to up your meal prep game but not sure how to? Katharine, first year surgery resident shows us how. Good stuff.

What are you mad about? sigh.

Who knew New Zealand was so gorgeous and with oh so friendly people? Love.

Liane Moriarty talks about about what she’s currently reading and her favorite, favorite books, here.

What is it about adult female sleepovers?

What to NEVER say to guests in your home. This is good, guys.

Really loved this post about a mother’s body.

Podcasts

I’m definitely overloaded with great podcasts and sometimes I take an embarrassingly long time to decide which episode to listen to first. These are absolute faves this month and if you haven’t listened to any, you really should.

Love Me: is my newest addition. It’s a peek into the relationships of the people around you. The first episode is so entrancing and is the story of a couple who when they met didn’t speak the other person’s language.The first few minutes include a mention of 13 untranslatable words that detail the complexity of love. I loveee this episode.

This episode of Radiolab about the girl who doesn’t exist is so fascinating!

In the ‘Seasons‘episode of the Robcast, Rob Bell speaks on the need to let go of seasons in our lives.

Hidden Brain did this episode in the spirit of Rio 2016 and discusses interesting human psychology reflected in faces of winners and losers the second they cross the finish line. It’s riveting!

This episode of Magic Lessons (Know the taste of failure) is so important in life.

Nik Nak did a new VoiceNotes episode about non musical sounds and people like the weirdest sounds, like knife going through yam and hands through raw beans. I’m all about the sound of water in motion and whirring fans.

The power of books and reading is clear in the latest episode of Criminal, in which a convict becomes an editor of the Merriam Webster encyclopedia after he discovers an error in the information. This convict who could barely read before he was arrested. It made my evening.

TV & The YouTube

Guyssss, literally the only show I watched this month is Parenthood. I’m currently on the third season and I cannot believe I never watched this before now. The Braverman clan is such a family. In every episode, there’s at least a single moment when I catch myself wishing my extended family was half as cool and we had a garden where we could dinner once every week. sigh.

This season of The Voice is shaping up nicely, going by this 17 year old’s rendition of Nina Simone’s ‘Feeling Good’.

How single girls discuss relationships. Too funny.

Throwback to Denice Frohman’s ‘Accents’ poem. I will never get over this.

Music

This song by Johnny Stimson played on one of the recent Pretty Little Liars episodes. Love it.

I’ve had Hailey Steinfield’s EP  ‘Haiz‘ on replay lately.

Personal

Pediatrics is turning out to be the most pleasant surprise, considering how unwilling I was to do this rotation so early on and how convinced I was that I’d hate it. Going to work everyday to see the cutest little humans makes every early morning perfectly OK to me. Kids are such a joy. It’s heartbreaking when things go south, but getting to tickle kids in clinic and chat about Elsa and Olaf and Dora the explorer really make my day. I guess all I’m saying is I love it.

I took some photos of kids at a beach picnic and I really like them❤ More on my instagram.

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I’ve been obsessed with interior decor lately and spend hours  time going from the house tours on Cup of Jo to apartment therapy to design sponge. Give me all the tiny apartments with natural light streaming innn.

JW broadcasting is really what I’ve got streaming 95% of the time.

My mum recently sent me a care package of Nigerian foodstuff and I got a bit emotional over crayfish. It was intense.

I’m looking forward to September (well, we’re already here); spending time with myself and living more intentionally, trying new recipes (and remembering to take pictures for you guys), finishing my Murakami book and doing more pediatrics. I’m most likely starting surgery at the end of September, sigh. More busy, busy, busy.

How was August for you? Congratulations to Cassie on starting her housejob! And Eziaha is publishing a book! Let me know how August was for you. I’ve already seen Kachi’s goals for September, but tell meee, what are you excited about this month?

Till soon, Afoma x

 

 

RECIPE| HOME MADE ICE CREAM

Hey there guyss!

Spent the first two weekends this month with a friend and we made ice cream together. It’s remarkably easy and if the temperatures where you live are anything like ours (in the Caribbean) right now, then you’ll be needing some ice cream this week. This is a safer (because you know all that’s in it), cheaper option. It’s also easy to make any flavor you want just by switching up the additions. Also there are different ways to make  ice cream and this is just one easy recipe. Enjoy!

Home made Cookies & Cream Ice cream

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 tins of evaporated milk
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 cup of (brown) sugar (also half a mug/13 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence (optional)
  • 35/36% heavy whipping cream
  • chocolate biscuits

skip the crushed cookies if you want plain vanilla. photo credit: candyshopvapes.com

Directions

  1. Separate egg whites from yolks (store egg whites in the fridge for use during the week)
  2. In a medium/large saucepan/pot, add egg yolks + 2 tins of milk + sugar and whisk until mixture combines.
  3. Place pan over medium heat cooker and heat for 10 mins. Stir throughout this time to prevent lumps from forming.
  4. When custard begins to froth lightly, turn off heat but continue stirring for a couple more minutes.
  5. Cool custard by placing pan in bowl of cold water.
  6. Whisk whipping cream in large bowl (preferably with electric hand mixer) until mixture thickens noticeably. Add vanilla essence here.
  7. When custard cools, combine with whipping cream and stir until completely mixed.
  8. Freeze for at least 24 hours. Add broken up cookie bits when ice cream is halfway frozen to prevent cookies sinking to the bottom.

Have you ever made ice cream? How do you make yours?

Have a lovely week!

Afoma x

 

MY TIPS FOR INTERNAL MEDICINE ROTATION

Hellooo there!

I’ve just completed my IM rotation and it’s been quite the experience. I personally love IM; the holistic approach to patient management, the time spent in outpatient clinic and the variety of opportunity it presents for learning. I enjoyed every single second of it, really. I have to say it is not an easy rotation. It is time consuming and there’s never enough time to complete all your studying. When there’s time, there’s no energy. Here are a few tips that I hope will make your life a bit easier:

-Get all your white coat stuff ready. Read this post for more of what to have in your white coat.

-Be interested. Don’t leave until there’s nothing else to be done and your intern clears you to leave. Offer to try procedures even though you’ve never done them before. Be present. Make the best of everything.

-Do your utmost to get along with your colleagues. You’re going to need them.

-Know your patients. Be interested in them. Listen to them. Do alll of the physical examination necessary. Practice your history taking any chance you get. This is the basis of medicine & diagnosis.

-Help out the interns in any way you can. Intern life is busy and exhausting.

-Ask for help whenever you need to. Better to always ask for help than make a mess you cannot even begin to fix.

-Start studying early! I cannot overstate this. I really felt the burn when I only started studying properly for shelf a month in advance because I really was only catching myself and adjusting toward the end of the first month and spent most of the second month being a baby girl. The last month sort of crept up on me. So start studying the first day. I studied everyday obviously but just stuff that my consultant asked me to. Then every other day I would read two pages of my Step Up to Medicine textbook. Don’t be like me, guys, you’ll never get anywhere like that.

-Study resources: I used all of these during my rotation. Step Up to Medicine is such a great book but may take a while to get through. I enjoyed using Case Files: Internal Medicine which is 60 cases with answers and in -depth explanations. The questions were easy but I think the best thing about it had to be the explanations afterward, complete with patient management and complications which is the brunt of shelf exam work. If you can get your hands on Uworld questions for CK. Practice as many as you can, just to get used to the system of questioning and for exposure. It’s a great way of finding out what’s high yield. Also, last but not least Emma Ramahi’s IM lectures and the accompanying flash cards are perfect for the week before exams. LIFESAVING. Best two hours ever spent.

High Yield

CHF
CAD
Arrhythmias
COPD

CVA
PE
Interstitial Lung Disease
HTN
CKD/ESRD
Anemia
Diabetes
Electrolyte Imbalance
Cirrhosis
Hepatic Encephalopathy
HIV
Pancreatitis

On the island we also saw a bunch of infectious diseases like Zika, Leptospirosis and HIV.

‘Typical’ * day in the IM life

5:30- Wake up/Morning worship/snooze

6:00- shower & get dressed

6:45- Breakfast

7:05- out the door

7:20- pre round/ do SOAP notes

8:00- Round with consultant/get pimped with questions

9:30- Brief teaching/ case presentation

10:00- ward jobs like venapunctures, IV sites, discharges/admissions.

11:30- escape for lunch

12:00- ask interns if there’s anything else left to do.

13:00- Go home

Time at home is mostly nap/TV/eat/study.

*There were days I stayed until 3/4pm but most days here are pretty short because smaller wards. Plus I got up later and later in the morning toward the end of the rotation after I mastered the art of getting dressed and making and eating breakfast in less than 45 mins.

It’s such a great rotation and I recommend starting off with IM just because it’s so close to class knowledge. Learn as much as you can and STUDY.

Enjoy!

 

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BOOK REVIEW| HOW TO BE A PERSON IN THE WORLD

Heather Havrilesky is the woman behind the Ask Polly columns on nymag where she gives advice to people on a variety of topics. Quotable advice is my favorite form of self help. I especially love Cheryl Strayed’s ‘Dear Sugar’ (the book, not podcast, even though the podcast is fantastic). Now, this book is different from Dear Sugar. Heather Havrilesky is no Cheryl Strayed, not in that she’s less in any way, but she’s really just different. I also find that the people who write to her occasionally have the most ridiculous “dilemmas” but she manages to weave some far reaching advice out of their situation.

Heather is sometimes tough love, sometimes comical but always insightful in these columns. She seems so attuned to human psychology and there were at least three columns that made me sit and examine my own life and relationships. At the end of some of these columns, I just clutched my ipad to my chest and took many deep breaths because she was speaking my lifeee.

My favorite quotes are from her advice on love and friendship (duh). She also gives great advice on creativity and making the best of situations. I think this is one of those books everyone should read.

“There is magic that comes from reaching out. I don’t believe in many things, but I believe in that, with all of my heart.”

“when we fixate on boys starting at a very young age, every pointless, empty interaction with a dude starts to seem powerful and electric.”

“By filling our heads with Shower Fresh–scented fantasy worlds, we not only start to expect too much but we also become easily bored with the real world and its very real magic”

“You have to train yourself to romanticize a life outside of men and create a tapestry that’s just as rich without a guy in it. That requires a kind of buoyant solitude that isn’t easy to achieve”

“You have to protect yourself from yourself, too. You can open your heart and tell the truth to your trusted friends. That’s good for you. But don’t tell yourself that you’re confident enough to share yourself with just anyone. Don’t open up to people who don’t understand and accept you yet. Wait until you feel completely comfortable.”

“Resist the urge to reveal every inch of yourself—or to invite people to your place—immediately. Let them get to know you gradually.”

“Listen closely when someone asserts his or her boundaries. Because that’s healthy behavior, even if it’s not to your taste at this point. Learn from them. Because most people avoid problems instead of asserting themselves. They clam up. They disappear. That’s the coward’s path, even if it’s a path a lot of us take”

“Painting someone as weak or pathetic for feeling hurt or overwhelmed or heartbroken is inexcusable. It’s antihuman. This world is filled with people who think feeling less, being indifferent, makes you strong. Don’t believe that. Be one of the smart, thoughtful people who stands up for sensitive people. When you stand up for sensitive, hurt people, you’re also standing up for vulnerability and authenticity and true love.”

“And in my experience, being LESS busy doesn’t lead to making more/better art. Sometimes it can cause your gears to grind to a halt completely.”

“The mid- to late twenties are often an apex of friendless desperation. To make matters worse, people feel very self-conscious about their friendlessness at that age, as if everything should’ve fallen into place a long time ago”

“in order to make very close friends in a natural, organic way, you have to cast a wide net and be accepting and give it time. You can’t use the aggressive, early twentysomething’s tactics, because it poisons the whole process to believe that you’re trying to hunt and trap the perfect BFF”

“honestly, I don’t know a better way to battle existential angst and fear than by seizing each day by the throat and forcing it into a shape that feels productive and healthy and on track. You do not sit around bemoaning the big picture, day in and day out.”

“It is possible to admit that life is a struggle and also embrace the fact that small things—like sons who call you and beloved dogs in framed pictures and birds that tell you to drink your tea—matter. They matter a lot.”

I thought it was easily a 4/5.

STYLE| THE COLOR OF KINDNESS

Hey guys,

How’s it going? Long time no style post. I’ve been trying to at least do one post a month but IM life was so stressful with all the early mornings. Hopefully I’ll leave home later with family medicine and squeeze in some tripod time. I don’t enjoy shooting with a tripod to be honest, but what can you do?

My host when I stayed in Barbados gifted me this necklace the day before our convention and she hadn’t even known it would match my dress so perfectly, but it did! Kindness is so important to me because we all need it. Of course, many a time we fail to be as kind and giving as we know we should be, but let’s not give up in giving a hand or shoulder to people who need either.

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Thrifted this dress while I was in the states and even though it’s two sizes larger,I adore it. I think coral is such a great color for my skin tone. Love it.

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Lately, I’ve received a lot of kindness and it is simultaneously humbling and inspiring, so I’m trying to be even more patient and loving and understanding because that’s the least I can give to the people I know. So take some time this week to do something kind for someone you know.

How was your weekend? Spent mine in another town visiting friends, preaching, getting some beach time and just taking time to breathe a little. Looking forward to catching up on a bit of life this week since I’ve completed my IM rotation (and shelf exam!).

Anything you’re excited for this week? Let me know!

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CURRENTLY LOVING…| JULY

Hello my darlings!

Thank you for all your kind words & tweets about my last post. You all mean so much. Thank you. Spent a lot of time this week reading all the stuff in my pocket app, because I just couldn’t get around to much of it earlier in the month. You guys, this month was both so fast and seemingly unending. I also watched a number of good movies this month. Okay, here we go:

Articles from around the web:

Here’s how children respond when parents have a favorite child.

LOVE this piece by Osemhen about men loving their wives through life’s changes, especially after marriage.

Michelle Marshall captures the diversity of redheads of color, and it’s stunning.

Perhaps you should try out slow parenting? Jo shares how slow paced time spent with kids changes things.

If you’re a salad fiend like I am, you’ll love these four tips for making restaurant quality salads at home.

Few articles have described loneliness as well as this BrainPickings article.

Cities can be lonely places, and in admitting this we see that loneliness doesn’t necessarily require physical solitude, but rather an absence or paucity of connection, closeness, kinship: an inability, for one reason or another, to find as much intimacy as is desired. 

Anyone who knows me knows how obsessed I am with the dynamics of interpersonal relationships and friendships. Nick Jonas and Demi Lovato’s Billboard interview is a glimpse into a sweet friendship.

Did you know that empathy is actually a choice?

24 simple ways to more mindfulness.

Love, Love the emails of Natalie Portman and Jonathan Safran Foer.

Trying to develop a green thumb? This NikNak post about herbs to grow at home is a good start.

Kachi interviewed Rayo and they spoke about mental illness and John Boyega. It’s such a great interview, guys.

How the camera adds all those pounds to your face (and probably why your selfie game is not 100).

11 women with their shit together– one of the best things I read this month. Read it.

This post about reducing drama in your circle/friendships is super helpful.

The actual best thing I read this month is this: Should I marry him?

Caroline’s adult (phone-free) summer camp experience makes me want to do one too!

Don’t call yourself a loser in your twenties. Heather Havrilesky is such a fave this month.

Until you meet the people who really understand what you’re made of, and what you have to offer, it can be really difficult. I think that a lot of people, when they’re really young, they take all of the mismatched energy in their lives, like [problems in relationships], …and they turn it in on themselves thinking, “I’m the only one who doesn’t fit.”

The good thing about accepting your flaws, accepting who you really are, accepting the emotions that drive you… and being led by these things, is that it leads you to the people who DO love someone who has the qualities and affinities and flaws that you have.

The path to lowkey fitfamming aka easy ways to incorporate exercise into your routine.

Ellen Pompeo embraces aging. Here’s why.

Excuse me, sir. Can I borrow your swagger?– Why bravado seems to come easier to men.

Podcasts

I started listening to Only Human this month and I LOVE it. So Much. It focuses on humans (with illnesses). It’s really changed my perspective about illness and how we deal as humans. Two of my favorite episodes at the moment (and great places to start listening) are Growing up ugly & The Prank Your Body Plays on Life.

I also started listening to a quirky podcast called Sawbones.Every Friday, they dig through the annals of medical history to uncover all the odd, weird, wrong, dumb and just gross ways we’ve tried to fix people over the years. This episode about the history of tea is my faveee. And so educational!

The latest episode of Dear Sugar Podcast is intense. And features Roxane Gay. The Sugars respond to a letter they received during the flurry of media attention on the Stanford rape case. The writer — who calls herself “Survivor, Lover, Feminist” — has just been told by her long-time partner and best friend that, when he was in high school, he got “black-out drunk” and raped a girl who was drunk and unconscious. “Survivor, Lover, Feminist” is, herself, a survivor of sexual assault. She asks the Sugars if rapists can truly be reformed and how she can justify loving one.

Liz Gilbert’s Magic Lessons podcast is back with a bang! Allll of the lessons are in the latest episode.

A lot of Invisibilia listeners have said they don’t like this season as much as the first, but I love it. Couldn’t even pick just one episode for the spotlight. So, listen to this episode about how clothes affect us and our abilities and this one about how responding to hostility with warmth switches things up.

On the Tube:

This acapella patty cake style performance of Adele’s Send my love started my month off just right🙂

I had to go back to Carvens Lissaint’s performance of his ‘Love Poem’ when I recommended it to a friend. It’s still as amazing as the first time I heard it❤ (poem starts at 3:41)

I mentioned the ‘Me Before You’ soundtrack last month, but now I’m obsessed with this particular song  by the X Ambassadors, off of it.

Hey medfolks, did you already know of the Marcus Gunn Jaw Winking reflex? Pretty amazing.

Then Mario and Zendaya performed ‘Let Me Love You’ and I felt incredibly old watching it, even though Mario looks and sounds exactly the same.

Movies 

I watched ‘Me Before You’, three times this month, once with friends. I love it so much. I think reading the book makes the movie even 3827x better because the actors really do a fantastic job.

I also watched Amelie this month. It’s such an odd film, but I couldn’t stop watching. And it’s French (WITH SUBTITLES, Will Trainor). If you’re open to odd, then try it and let me know what you think. I chuckle just thinking of it.

Watched ‘Love Actually’ for the first time this month. I knowww. Its a cute movie. Keira Knightley’s face makes everything perfect. And how charming is Hugh Grant in it?

Re-watched The Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants 2 & Eat Pray Love. Sigh. Always perfect.

Currently curating a list of re-watchable movies/life movies/great movies. Please send recs, thanks.

Favorite things

Traveled to Barbados at the beginning of the month for an inter-island convention ^_^

Attended the launch of a cancer support organization for the island held at French Verandah. Excited about Project Pink and the decor and location was gorgeous.

My cousin got her white coat! Made me a bit nostalgic for when I got mine :’)

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There are more updates in this post from last week😉

Only things on the table for August at the moment are an obstacle run on the 1st, exams and starting family medicine.

How was July for you? Any highlights? Tell meee. 

Afoma x

 

 

 

 

 

 

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LIFE| Updates

Hello!

I feel like I haven’t quite been present on here as much as I’d like. By present, I mean, wholly, heart and mind. This has mostly been because I’ve been busy and I’ve had sooo much happening in life lately. For a long time, I felt like I just could not catch a break. I’ve learned so much about drawing strength in times of trouble and letting other people help you. I’ve also definitely had my resilience refined and I’m learning to hope even when there doesn’t seem to be much of a reason to.

I eventually got my Step 1 results, two months late (for reasons I can’t even begin to go into right now) and I PASSED.

I was “on call” for the first time last Friday (basically at the hospital the whole day Friday and then slept over and rounded on my patients in the morning before I came home) and I thoroughly enjoyed it, probably because it was quite busy, with a good number of new admissions.

I’ve been on the internal medicine service for 11 WEEKS now and I have one more week which is technically just three days because Monday is a holiday here and Friday is my exit exam (which I am super stressed about).

I’ve been writing travel articles for the Guardian Life magazine for the last two months; so exciting!

I haven’t written fiction since the beginning of this year and I’m not sure how I feel about it, really. I’m afraid that I might not even care anymore. Or maybe that’s just the side effect of life this year?

I booked my first wedding photography gig for the end of the year and I’m super stoked!

I keep going back and forth about ways to improve this blog’s content. I want to write more personal pieces, but I don’t feel brave enough, really. I feel like a lot of my vulnerability has been chipped in recent times; I feel more guarded about sharing on my blog which is a bit sad, because that’s the whole point of the blog, isn’t it? I’m working on being braver though and putting out better content.

My next rotation is Family Medicine and I’m so excited to work in a department that starts off at 9am and is just more relaxed.

I’ve been itching to do something different creatively, but I haven’t decided. I’m open to interviews and collaborations or working creatively on any projects. So if you’re working on anything that you think I could help with, shoot me an email and let’s see.

I’ve also been grappling with a lot of questions about life, love, friendship and change. What happens when your idea of success and fulfillment begins to change? And what do you do when what you want in life starts to change? It’s a bit scary, really.

What have you been doing lately? Any adventures? Any new favorite things you’ve been doing?

My monthly faves will be up at the end of this weekend! Keep an eye out❤