Day 1 of 2014

So the beginning of this year has been interesting to say the least. 1. The new beau asked me to be his girl… Of course I said yes :). 2. Met up with some cousins and my aunt. It was a blast. We laughed so hard. This year has so far gotten to a great start. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the 364 days will bring.

This entry was posted in Life.

Refresh

Hey guys, it’s been over a year since I last posted a decent post. I was just busy with life and enjoying being 26. So what has happened since I last posted? Well, take a seat and read on.

1. Angel broke up with me after dating for 5 months… by phone. I made him face me and we had a talk about why he was breaking up with me. I don’t hate him for his reasons even though I think they were dumb. I’m hoping one day we can just be friends.

2. I got accepted to USC’s MPH program in June. I never did celebrate with Angel but I did start my semester ready to do some learning. Can you believe it? I’m a Grad Student!

3. I’m still working full time as a Research Coordinator. I love my job so much. It never ceases to amaze me. I get to travel to different cities a few times a year and it’s all expenses paid.

4. I gained the weight back that I lost. I fell into a pretty deep depression after Angel broke up with me and I comforted myself with food. I gained about 25 lbs. But now I am back on track to lose weight.

5. I restarted Weight Watcher’s on April 1st. So far, it’s been pretty hard to avoid snacking. I am eating more fruits and veggies. I’m hoping to lose the weight I gained as well as an additional 10 lbs. It’s all about motivation.

6. I reconnected with an old friend and it’s been the best experience. Exactly what I needed. Brigitte and I have known each other since we were about 8 years old. We worked together for a few months and now she is doing physical therapy with kids. I think that’s pretty noble.

7. I am still friends with Angel’s sister, Paola. Sure, I may not agree on some decisions she has made but I am there to support her in whatever her next adventure may be. She is getting married in June and I can’t wait to see her and her daughter. The last time I saw them (along with the rest of Angel’s family) was back in November. It was awkward with Angel and I but I still get along fine with his family, especially his mom. She will always be a friend.

8. I am getting back into my old hobbies. I missed the Q*bee so much that I am definitely happy to start back up again.

9. Princess had a pretty rough January/February. She and I learned a great lesson: She needs to learn how to chew and I learned not to give her any ribs no matter how much she begs. She almost died on me and it was the scariest thing in my life. I spent every single penny I had to make her better. Now she is back to her old self.

10. I have been struggling with a pain on my right ankle. I’m not sure what it is exactly but the Orthopedist believes it may be insertional achilles tendonitis. It’s not fun at all. My foot is in constant pain. I’ve been going to physical therapy for about 2 months and although my ankle is getting stronger, it’s still in pain. I hope that we can finally tackle this problem and make my foot pain go away.

Well, that’s about it for now. If I remember anything that I forgot about the past year I will definitely update you.

This entry was posted in Life.

How I Met Angel

Well, hello there blog reader. February was an interesting month! And March is turning out to be one too. Well, let’s start with an update. One crazy February 13th afternoon, I met a guy at work. He called me on my cell while I was at Keck, telling me that my patient had arrived. CRAP! Was my first reaction. I told him to check the patient in and that I would be on my way. I got back to Radiology as fast as I could. I whizzed past him and his partner with a quick smile and went back to MRI to see if we had a space for the patient. We did. So I went back up to the front where they (him, his partner, and the patient) were waiting. I told them that we were ready to bring the patient back so that they could wait inside. Once they brought the patient in we had about an hour and a half to kill. I consented the patient for the study, and after that, we talked some more. I thought he was cute and we were talking a lot while my patient was waiting for his scan. He asked me for my number and surprisingly I agreed. I ran to my stuff, pulled out my business card (because I needed something to write my number on), and gave him my cell number. He said he would call me and I waited. On February 14th (oh Valentine’s Day) he called and asked me out on a date for Saturday, February 18th. I agreed and said that we would decide the place to meet. So we met up on Saturday in Pasadena at this place called Afloat Sushi (I picked the place). We had dinner and once dinner was over, we walked around, talked some more, and ended up at a bookstore (I’m such a nerd… lol). At the bookstore we talked about the kinds of books that we liked and which ones we haven’t read. So he picked out a book for me, and called it my “roses”. I also picked out a book for him to read. So we walked around some more and at one point he asked me about flowers. I started to tell him that I’ve never gotten flowers before from a guy. He immediately stopped, ran back to this lady we had walked past selling flowers, and bought me two roses. It was the cutest thing ever.

Well after that gesture, I knew he was a keeper. So we continued on our date, went to a Baskin Robbins to have some ice cream and continued to talk for a long time. We realized that it was late when we looked at the Baskin Robbins employees eyeing us like trying to tell us to leave haha. So we left the Baskin Robbins and he walked me to my brother’s car (my car was in the shop getting fixed at the time). I returned his jacket to him and when we said goodbye, I kissed him and took him by surprise. He really liked the kiss and so he kissed me when I got into the car. I didn’t want to leave at all It felt like I was on a cloud that night.

Fast forward a few days. So his sister and her fiance invited him to go to Disneyland and he asked me if I wanted to go. I said ok and so we planned on going on Saturday. On Thursday night I asked him if he wanted to go to the movies so I can see him before our Disneyland trip. So we went to go see The Secret World of Arriety. It was a good movie :). We had a great date with dinner and some more kissing haha. On Saturday, he came by my house and picked me up to go to Disneyland. This is when he met my dad. It was a little awkward but I knew it was a good thing they met. He also met my oldest sister. So we had a blast at Disneyland, full of fun and lots of PDA lol. His sister invited me to their house for the following weekend since she was throwing her daughter a birthday party. I agreed to go. I got to his house early, and we ended up going to breakfast and to the park. At the park, he asked me if I wanted to be his girlfriend. I said I guess since he was asking that my answer would be yes! :) I was super happy. So we went back to his house and hung out with his family. I really liked his family a lot. I went over to his house a few times after that and we planned a hiking trip. Here is a picture from the trip:

We had a fun time and he got to meet my other sister and my brother since they came along too. It was a pretty cool experience.

I am definitely liking where this relationship is going. He’s so kind, gentle, funny, sweet, and overall a great guy :)

This entry was posted in Life.

It’s been a while

It’s been more than six months since the last time I blogged. Wow, so much has happened. Well first, I turned 26. It’s interesting being this age. Definitely feeling older. Second, I lost 20 lbs on weight watchers. I was surprised how fast the program worked. Third, I’m applying to Grad school. I hope to get into the Masters in Public Health program.

Well, that’s my life right now.

We’ll see what else is new.

This entry was posted in Life.

Headaches

I’ve been getting tons of headaches for the past three months. It’s just so frustrating getting them so often. So my doctor followed up with me, I did a headache diary for two weeks, then she told me to come back in a month. I came back to a different doctor and she prescribed me some hardcore pain killers and Amitriptyline, an antidepressant. She is using it off-label because something in the med helps with headaches. I am really hoping that it works. I need relief from these headaches. Maybe even the antidepressants will help with my mood. I have been feeling down a lot lately so maybe this is my cure. Kill the headaches and kill the sad moods… Two birds with one stone. So here’s hoping.

This entry was posted in Life.

Something Unexpected

Theme: Something unexpected you experienced recently

I experienced something really unexpected last week. I couldn’t talk about it until now so here it is:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/boosting-good-cholesterol-useless-study-finds/2011/05/25/AGXnK0BH_story.html

Boosting ‘good’ cholesterol fails to prevent heart attacks in study

By Rob Stein, Thursday, May 26, 8:02 AM

Boosting “good” HDL cholesterol did not protect against heart attacks and strokes in an eagerly awaited study that was abruptly stopped when the surprising outcome became clear, officials said Thursday.

The federally funded study of more than 3,400 U.S. adults at high risk for heart attacks and strokes was halted 18 months early after researchers realized that the HDL-boosting drug niacin failed to cut the risk — as was hoped and suggested by many earlier, smaller studies, officials said. In fact, there was a hint that niacin might increase the risk for one type of stroke.

The findings are the latest blow to what had been one of the most promising hopes for reducing the toll from cardiovascular disease, which kills about 800,000 Americans each year, making it the leading cause of death in the United States.

“This sends us a bit back to the drawing board,” said Susan B. Shurin, acting director of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, which funded the $52.7 million study.

Other experts agreed.

“This is surprising, given some of the preliminary data,” said Ralph Sacco, president of the American Heart Association. “We are always looking for new, more effective ways to reduce cardiovascular risks. It’s disappointing.”

The researchers emphasized, however, that they were not ready to abandon the approach. Raising good cholesterol with another drug might be beneficial or higher levels might help other types of patients, such as those who are less stable than those in the study, they said.

“We don’t know if the same outcome would have occurred in a different population or with a different drug,” said Jeffrey Probstfield, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at the University of Washington in Seattle who helped lead the study.

The risk for heart attacks and strokes can be reduced by cutting “bad” LDL cholesterol, which can clog arteries. Researchers hoped that a new generation of drugs that boost HDL cholesterol, which is thought to clear LDL, would provide an important new tool. A large body of research had found that people with low HDL levels were more likely to have heart attacks and strokes.

Doubts about the HDL-boosting hypothesis began to emerge, however, when the HDL-raising drug fenofibrate failed in 2005 to cut heart attacks and strokes among diabetics. Another study the next year found that a different HDL-raising drug, torcetrapib, increased the risk. But researchers held out hope that niacin might be beneficial.

To put that strategy to the first rigorous test, researchers launched the AIM-HIGH study involving 3,414 people with a history of heart disease. All were taking the statin Zocor to keep their LDL levels low but remained at high risk because they had low HDL and high triglycerides.

The subjects took either a high-dose, extended-release prescription version of niacin known as Niaspan or a placebo. Some also took another cholesterol-lowering drug called Zetia. HDL levels rose and triglycerides dropped as expected among those taking niacin, which is also known as vitamin B3. But an independent panel of experts monitoring the experiment terminated it April 25, after just an average of 32 months of follow-up, when it concluded that those taking niacin were no less likely to have a heart attack or stroke.

“The lack of effect on cardiovascular events is unexpected and a striking contrast to the results of previous trials and observational studies,” Probstfield said.

Moreover, the analysis detected a small increase in “ischemic” strokes among participants taking niacin. Such strokes occur when blood flow to the brain is obstructed. There were 28 strokes among those taking niacin, compared with 12 among those taking a placebo.

It remains unclear whether the high stroke rate was a fluke or related to the drug, the researchers said. Nine of the strokes that occurred among those taking niacin occurred at least two months and up to four years after they stopped taking the drug.

Study participants were immediately informed about the findings so they could schedule a doctor’s examination within the next three months. They will continue to be followed for at least a year.

In a statement, Abbott Laboratories, which makes Niaspan, said it would be premature to conclude that the findings apply to all patients.

“The relevance of these results to patients outside the study population is currently unknown and it would be premature to extrapolate these results to a broader patient population at this time,” the company said.

In a statement posted on its Web site, the Food and Drug Administration said it was not recommending any changes in niacin use yet based on the study, but would analyze the data when it becomes available.

This means that a study I have been working on for almost 2 years was bust. The medication had no effect with helping to prevent coronary events. It actually increased the incidence of strokes. I still can’t believe that my baby will be done in about 18 months. Well, I guess now we learned that Niaspan was not beneficial to this specific group of patients. It might have to do with the fact that the population we had was too well controlled on their medication. The next couple of months are now gonna be intense.

This entry was posted in Life.

Practice

Theme: Write about something you need to practice more, be it a skill, a life lesson, however you want to interpret it.

Hmm… I think I need to practice the guitar more. I tried to learn about a year and a half ago from my uncle, but after that, I haven’t even touched the thing. I think if I start with a new guitar (the one I have used to belong to my best friend’s ex-husband) I will have more motivation to actually touch it. I want to be able to at least play a few songs. My only talent right now is singing so if I were to add guitar to the mix I think it would be an awesome outlet to everything.

The guitar has always fascinated me. I have always dreamed of being able to play the guitar and sing along to it. One day I will hopefully start the learning process again. I think I just need someone (or myself) to tell me to practice so I will become good. I think I also need a teacher willing to be patient with me.

This entry was posted in Life.

Challenge

For this week’s Q*bee challenge, we are supposed to answer the following question:

What’s the biggest challenge you’re currently facing?

It got me to thinking. I believe the biggest challenge I’m facing right now is studying for the GRE’s. I signed up for the test a few months ago so that I could finally take it and apply to graduate school. I still haven’t opened my study books. I just don’t have the motivation to do it. I think that I just need to find a balance, to get someone to push me to start studying. I really need to do well on this exam so that I can apply for the global health program that they offer at the college I work at. I need to take advantage and have them pay for part of my education while I work.

I hope that by overcoming this challenge I will get further in my educational goals.

This entry was posted in Life.

Adventure!

For the Q*bee Derby challenge we are supposed to blog about one of the most adventurous things I’ve ever done and how it changed me as a person.

Well, the most adventurous thing I can think of is going to college in another state. It was a completely different experience. I had never been away from home before this big move. I learned how to be independent, how to deal with being homesick, and how to have fun with friends. My friends in college really turned into more than just friends. They became a family. I didn’t have any family around for miles so I had to learn how to deal with this. I actually enjoyed being away because I got to do what I wanted, when I wanted. I learned how to have priorities (party or study? lol). All in all, I really believe that this big adventure in my life was the best thing that ever happened to me.

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Insight on Love

I honestly believe I’m just not good enough to date. Every single one of my attempts have been a failure. Every single time that I’ve said to a guy, “hey, I kinda like you, we should go on a date or something” has always ended with the friends line. “You’re a great friend” “You’re a good friend” “I don’t want to lose your friendship” “I’d rather be friends” or any variation of that. I’ve also gotten the “You are an amazing person but… [insert excuse here]“. There’s always a but… I understand that it’s just ways to let me down gently but it actually has done more damage than good. The first time I actually dated someone of course turned out to be a disaster. I haven’t dated anyone since.

I don’t think I’m actually over that. My heart feels like it’s been through a blender. It still hasn’t completely healed. I’m cynical about love, bitter about people finding love, and I’ve learned to not trust people as easily as I should. I think it’s made it harder to penetrate through my emotions to get to my gooey center. I just wish things were so much easier. I’ve been trying for months now to get over my disastrous dating attempt but I can’t. I still have strong feelings for him, even though he just wants to be friends. I think being friends with him is actually making it worse. Making it harder to get over it. But I don’t want to lose his friendship. I just wish we could take two steps back and never attempt to date. I think it would have been easier if he had never kissed me. It would be easier if I hadn’t let my guard down. Letting my guard down was my biggest mistake. Now it’s not so easy to rebuild my guard around him. I thought that we both wanted the same thing. I thought that he wanted a girlfriend. I was willing to be that girlfriend. I was willing to be an awesome girlfriend. Then he didn’t want to be in a relationship.  It kind of made me feel like it was my fault. That I screwed up. That I am the one to blame for everything ending.

I just feel like I’m not good enough. I’m not memorable. I’m not worth it. Of course, I have my friends telling me that I am good enough, that I am memorable, that I am worth it. I just don’t feel it. I even have people telling me that I’m sweet, I’m nice, I have a positive attitude. Yet I still feel like this isn’t good enough. My personality is not enough. I’m not enough.

 

This entry was posted in Life.