19 May 2012

The day I decided to start blogging again.

After not blogging for 6 months, graduating from PA school, and getting married, there's not really an easy way to start blogging again.

I've missed too much.

But as crazy things keep happening to me and I have no creative outlet for, or way of remembering my semi-daily ridiculousness, I've decided to try to bi-weekly blog again.

And I'm considering changing the name of my blog.  It's not just my life anymore.  And it's not like I'm writing for everyone else.  Its for me.
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the quintessential "me in the bathroom mirror" photo
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I keep introducing myself at work as "Hi, I'm Shannon, I'm a new PA, how are you?"

Or, more commonly: "Hola, Me llamo Shannon.  Soy una PA nueva. Como est├ín?

Because less than half of my patients speak English.  

I'm not quite sure the name "PA" translates to Spanish because people keep calling me "doctora."  And then later in our conversation they'll say "wait, are you new?  I've never seen you before."  

Which is almost always followed by the question:  "How do you like it here?"

What do they expect me to say?

I hate it here?  The snotty nosed children keep getting me sick?  I love driving straight into the ghetto where I get to park my car behind a barbed-wire fence and speak a language I've never formally learned just because you can't speak English?

I'm not sure mothers of sick children would really understand sarcasm.  

Or maybe I just can't say half those words because they're not currently in my Spanish vocabulary yet.

But really, I do love my job.  I love getting to educate people on things as simple as diet and exercise and teeth brushing or as mildly complicated as fever and diarrhea and colic. 

And the fact that it's forcing me to learn a new language is such a huge perk.  I remember when I started, I had about 8 words in my vocabulary.  Now I know words like xoplo (murmur) and chupon (pacifier) and one of my favorites: laganas (eye bugger/crusts.  Seriously, half the times I sit down to chart I wish I could use the word laganas in my charts.  There's not an English word that describes eye discharge so well.)

I haven't really learned how to type in Spanish yet (I'm pretty sure most, if not all, of the words I just wrote need accents on them) but I don't know how to do that yet.  I'll just add it to the list.

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That's my new name.  On my spiffy white coat!
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There are a lot of overweight kids at work.  Kids that don't even fit on the growth charts.  

So I get to do a lot of diet education.  Our goal isn't really to help kids lose weight, just to give them basic instructions on how to stop gaining 20 lbs a month, and then if they continue to gain weight we refer them to a nutritionist.

So, I usually draw out what a plate should look like based on the new "food pyramid," which is now a plate.  You can find more information at www.choosemyplate.gov

And I never really knew the word for plate, I just kinda drew it on the table and everyone just understood what I meant.  But one time I asked this mom, who kinda spoke some English and Spanish, what plate was.  In my head, I kept wanting to call plate "platano" but I know thats the word for banana, so it couldn't also be the word for plate.

Surely.

But she assured me that the word platano (which auto-correct keeps turning into platoon, can anyone tell me how to turn that off?) was fine to use and let me keep talking about how half the plate should be at least half vegetables (which is vegetales or verduras?  I'm still a bit confused.  I usually just use both words and hope people know what I mean)

So, my next kid I had to draw nutrition advice for, I used the word platano with confidence.  I can now say "your plate should look like this."

But then the mom in the room quickly corrected me IN ENGLISH that the correct word is plato.

Thanks. 

You can tell my Spanish is terrible.  

And you speak English.  

Why am I using Spanish?!

She told me I was doing a good job, that she preferred Spanish, and that platano is banana, plato is plate.   Awesome.  I just got my Spanish corrected in English, and then proceeded to continue my exam in Spanish.

Yes, this is my life.

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The sign they put on my office door because some moms couldn't control their children and keep them out of my office...
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A lot of times I do yucky things at work.  One of my least favorite things is testing kids for strep throat.  They're always facing me with their mouthes wide open and I'm terrified one of these days one of them is going to actually throw up on me and not just gag.

Actually, I don't mind it as much when they sit there with their mouthes open, it's when there's a six year old brat who won't open her mouth without kicking and screaming that I hate my job.  There's nothing quite like being kicked by a kid after shoving a stick down their mouth.

Or being out-muscled by a 2 year old as you're trying to clean out her ears with a curette (fancy ear-cleaning-device).

But as I re-sheathed by ear-cleaning-device I thought about how great my job really is.

Who else gets to play with kids all day and get paid for it?  

Ok, so maybe teachers and day-care workers, but I only have to put up with their wining for 15 minutes maximum, and then I get to let their parents take them home.

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One of my rooms
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It feels like every day I learn something new.  Like just the other day, I was wondering what the check box in the education section of our electronic charts that said "Counseled patient to stay away from wheat/barley" meant when I was going through patient education for diarrhea.   I always educate patients on the BRAT diet (or in Spanish the PAMP diet: platanos, aroz blanca, manzanas, y pan tostada) and I've never thought about telling them not to eat wheat toast. 

Looks like I'm out of PA school, but I have a lot to learn...

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1 comment:

  1. It's good to hear you're doing well! I'm glad! Sounds like you are learning a lot, I wish we could practice learning spanish together because mine is so rusty.

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