IM, WK 2-7: Inpatient

Oh hey there friends,

I’m back with a short 7-week update, lol.

I’m a little over halfway done with my internal medicine rotation and man have I learned so much in this short period of time. Trying to balance life with studying and rotations has been a challenge, especially in regards to keeping my sanity and mental stability but things eventually fell into place.

In the past 7 weeks, I’ve completed 2 weeks on the floors, 2 weeks in Nephrology, and 3 weeks in Ambulatory (outpatient medicine).

The 2 weeks on floors, I requested to be placed on the family medicine inpatient team because I’m really interested in family and thought it would be a great chance to show my face and get to know the residents in the program. Compared to the other “teams” on the floors for IM, the family medicine team took on a few more patients and was on call longer than the others, so I saw how overworked interns are in this aspect. I also noticed how robotic medicine has become due to the EMR. The residents wanted to check up on their patients more than just rounds, but their notes kept them busy way past sign-out. This is where medical students come in handy; since the residents had to work on paperwork, we would check up on the patients, contact the nurses, and collect blood for labs. I learned how the hospital functioned and where everything was mostly during these 2 weeks. I also really enjoyed working with the family med residents, felt like I belonged! I’m looking forward to my family medicine rotation in November when I get to work with them some more, but in the clinic!

After completing 2 weeks on the floors (AKA patients admitted in the hospital), I chose to do an elective in Nephrology. If I want to make myself seem like a studious individual, I’d say I chose Nephro because the kidneys aren’t my strongest system. But, if I’m being honest here (which I am), I chose this elective because it had the best hours and allowed me to catch up on all the studying I fell behind on during the floors lol. The attending expected me to be there from 11am-2pm (with a lunch break from 12-1:45), but I chose to come in around 9 to follow some of the patients with the residents so I could present. I actually enjoyed my time in Nephrology because the attending REALLY loved to teach. He would lecture us after our lunch on different topics but make it interactive, so we were engaged too. When I say we, I mean me, the 2 residents, and the 4thyear medical student that was also on the service. I walked out of Nephrology finally understanding how to calculate acid-base disorders, how to interpret lab values and the conditions/ concept of dialysis. Thus far, nephrology has been the most academically challenging and fulfilling- honestly worth my time.

Now I’m back on Ambulatory. I started off in the clinic when I first started rotations, and I’m back on until the end of this week. Coming back after completing inpatient services really showed me how much I LOVE the outpatient setting. Preventative medicine is something I’m extremely passionate about, and I feel the most fulfilled with the patients coming in for their primary care visit. The clinic has two aspects to it, the first being a med-student run clinic where we see the patients ourselves and present to the attending who has the final say. The second being a resident-run clinic where the medical students just shadow the residents. I obviously prefer the med student-run, but we have to do both every day. My favorite part of the clinic is being able to actually explain to the patients what is going on in their bodies so they can understand why compliance is so important- the hugs and kisses I get from them remind me why I chose this field every day. Also, knowing other languages have come in handy SO MUCH! I’ve had patients that I’ve spoken to in Punjabi and Hindi. Since I am able to communicate with them in their native language, it’s easier for me to convince them to take preventative measures (getting vaccinated, and lifestyle modifications). I’m working on learning some Spanish since we have a huge Spanish speaking population- let’s just say I have a loooooong way to go LOL. Also, working with AUC alumni is so much fun, we really look out for each other at this school, it’s no joke.

Outside of medicine, life has been chill. I’ve been getting time to relax and just enjoy life in New York… a part of me doesn’t want to leave this state-but that’s a story for some other day. Besides my indoor plants dying, life has been good. I see myself growing in different aspects every day. There have been bad days leaving me to cry in bathrooms to great days resulting in a random Amazon shopping frenzy. There have been days where I jump out of bed excited to get to work, and then those days where I just can’t do it anymore. Medicine truly is a challenging marathon that knocks you down every time you get back up, but it’s worth it.

So my first shelf is in about 4.5 weeks, I don’t know if I feel prepared or not, but I’ll just say that I’m not LOL.

Till next time…..

Stay Happy,

Preety 🙂

Paneer Tikka Masala – Med School Friendly

Time: 10 min Prep, 15 min cooking. Total: 25 minutes

 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 Tablespoon oil (Olive or Vegetable)
  • 1/2 Large Red Onion
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped Garlic
  • 2 Large Tomatoes
  • Paneer/ Tofu/ Chicken (Literally whatever you please)
  • 2 cups water
  • Tikka Masala Paste/ make your own paste (recipe below)

Directions: 

  • If cooking with Paneer, warm a bowl of hot water and allow the paneer to soak the water
    • If cooking with Tofu or Chicken, be sure to cook in oven or pan beforehand
  • Chop Onions and Tomatoes
  • In a large pot, add the oil and allow it sizzzllleeee
  • Once the oil is warm, add the onions and garlic until the onions are starting to turn a little brown
  • Add all the tomatoes, and cover the pot with lid
  • While the tomatoes are cooking, remove the paneer from the bowl of water and slice into cubes
  • Occasionally stir and crush the tomatoes until it creates a paste
  • Add the paneer, stir until all the paneer is covered in the paste
  • Add the tikka masala paste and 2 cups of water, stir
  • Cover the pot for about 10 minutes, occasionally stirring, until everything has mixed together and the curry looks nice and creamy
  • Serve with Garlic Naan, tortilla bread, or Rice!

 

Tikka Masala Paste ( make only if you don’t have pre-made)

  • Tomato Paste
  • 1.5 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 1.5 tablespoon of unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • ** For Vegans, use vegan butter and pureed tofu to replace the heavy cream**

 

Bon appetit!

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Med School Essentials

You’ve just been accepted into medical school, you celebrated, cried, laughed, and reminisced about your journey to gain that acceptance letter. Once you’ve finally taken in that you’re going to be a doctor, you have that “Oh Crap, what do I need for Med School” moment. We have all had it.

Professors provide an extensive list of textbooks, the school provides an extensive list of materials, and you’re looking at your bank account going ” Well, I’m too poor for school”.

Through my post-bac and my first year of medical school, I’ve accumulated a list of important supplies for medical school. If you have any questions, feel free to send me an e-mail!

Technology: 

  • Apple iPad Pro 
    • I have everything on my iPad from class notes to textbook PDFs. Especially during class, I can highlight and mark my notes when my professor does on my iPad without having to re-write my notes. I have a lot of classmates that learn better if they re-write their notes, and they also use their iPad. It eliminates the piles of paper you will accumulate in one semester, and your notes will be saved on all your devices.  I have the 10.5 inch because I already have a 13-inch laptop where my notes get synced to, but some prefer the 12 inch iPad.
    • NOTE: Other classmates have the Surface Pro or other laptops that are integrated with a touchscreen, they all love their own technology for it works best for them. Just be sure to have a stylus with whichever choice you make.
  • Apple Pencil
    • Necessary to write all over your notes on your iPad.
  • Laptop/ keyboard for the iPad
    • You will find yourself needing to type notes frequently, be sure to have a laptop or add a keyboard to your iPad.
  • Noise Canceling Headphones
    • I prefer Bose just because the material is lighter on my head and prevents me from getting headaches, but any brand you’re comfortable with works!
  • External Hardrive
    • DON’T BUY YOUR TEXTBOOKS! You can most likely get access to supplemental material from upperclassmen if you ask! This applies to literally every medical school, regardless of where you attend. I have everything on my hard drive, and if I happen to need something I’ll open it on my laptop and airdrop to my iPad.

Supplies:

  • Highlighters
    • I prefer Stabilo or Zebra Mildliners as my go-to highlighters. Sometimes I need to write out pathways on printer paper just to organize my thoughts and condense my notes, especially for biochem and immunology. Any brand of bright highlighters work, but the ones I’ve listed don’t smear which I find as a huge plus.
  • Colored Pens
    • Like the highlighters, I have my go-to brand- Muji colored pens and Stabilo fineliners. Again, if you have a brand that already works well for you buy more! Colored ink is a must in medical school, especially during pathways.
  • Planner
    • May it be Google Calendar or a physical planner, be sure to have some form of planning and organizing. In Medical School, it’s vital to plan ahead and stick to your schedule.
  • Adjustable Laptop Stand 
    • You will find yourself sitting  majority of the day studying, constantly looking down to your laptop is really bad for your neck. I recommend getting something that adjusts your laptop screen to eye level.
  • Water Bottle
    • If you don’t have time to eat, at least stay hydrated- LOL. That’s my motto in life! I have the Hydro Flask 40oz Waterbottle, which does a good job keeping my water cool for long periods of time.  A little on the pricey side, but I found it worth the money. Just for a reference, I got my 40oz Water Bottle for around $36.

Textbooks/ Supplemental 

* I use these to supplement my learning in these classes w/ class notes unless the exam was NBME.*

App’s

  • Goodnotes
    • my go-to to open PDFs of textbooks or notes
  • Osmosis Med
    • My school provides us with a premium subscription to this, so I use it to take my notes. It does a really good job of scanning my class notes and providing links from the internet prevalent to the material if I need extra help!
    • When it comes to studying for Step 1, I’m planning on using their step 1 custom schedule creator!
  • Essential Anatomy 5
    • Get this when you take Anatomy!
  • Firecracker
    • Pre-made flashcards and practice questions for every subject! I love it!! You can get a 60-day free trial through AMSA if you’re a member.
      • I have  Promo Code for AMSA if you’d like a discounted membership in order to take advantage of all their discounts– e-mail me for more information!
  • Forest
    • Plant tree’s during your dedicated study time and avoid distracting yourself!

Medical Supplies 

  • All the medical supplies on your school’s list you will need throughout your studies. As for the stethoscope, it doesn’t matter what kind you get or even the brand, as long as you’re clearly able to hear heart and lung sounds.

If you have any questions in regards to medical school or life in general, feel free to e-mail me using the form below!

Follow me on Instagram if you aren’t already @foodiewithscrubs!

Stay Smiling,

Preety 🙂

 

 

Why the Caribbean?

Hey Guys!

As many of you know, I am now a first year medical student and will be starting my first day September 6! I have been hesitant to talk about my medical school journey, where I’m going to school, and defending my decisions. I seem that it’s so easy for others to judge me incorrectly by looking at my decisions, rather than the story behind them.

It occurred to me this summer that there are few people that earn a seat in medical school the non-traditional route voicing their story on a social media platform. I found myself, at times, saddened and often deterred from my goals because others achieved something I worked so hard to get and didn’t.  The past year has been filled with ups and downs, emotionally and mentally. Thoughts constantly eating me inside “what will I do in my life”, “I don’t see myself doing any other profession”, or “Am I built for this career”.  A girl who was once so optimistic, goal- orientated, and professionally driven entered the storm of self-doubt. I’ve had 4 months off school, spent time with the people I love, and helped others grow out of their shell. In the past 4 months I found myself, that optimistic girl that’s out to change the world. I realized that I may not be the only individual in the world that has felt that way, so I decided to write this blog today as inspiration to someone that feels that they are stuck. Here is my story:

Becoming a physician has been a life-long dream, not because my parents forced it onto me, but for the lives I can change. As a child, one visit to the doctor’s office would make my fever or cold go away in a few days, it was magical! Obviously, growing older you learn that magic is called antibiotics- haha! I wanted to be that magician in a white coat that makes all pain and suffering go away with a smile and lollipop. In middle school and high school, I was your typical pre-med wannabe. Loaded up on AP courses, volunteered at health clinics, interned at family practices, national honors society, and competitive Bhangra performer (Punjabi folk dance)- perfect was never enough. In college, joining organizations, keeping up grades, having a social life, continuing dance, creating organizations, traveling abroad, researching and acing the MCAT all became a priority. Now, a practical individual would be like “impossible”, and it was. Making everything a priority made my performance horrible in every aspect. I decided to do a B.S in Psychology with a minor in Biology, if I could back I would change that- but that’s a different story. My resume was very strong but in the midst of making that my grades slipped and my MCAT score wasn’t competitive enough.

I took the MCAT a total of 3 times, the second being my best. I approached senior year of college knowing that my grades made getting accepted into medical school difficult, but not impossible. Therefore, I applied to a post-bac program associated with a medical school. My MCAT was on par, the extracurricular’s above par, but my GPA subpar, and I just had to meet the minimum GPA requirement for the post-bac program to be admitted into their medical school- I could easily do that, or so I thought.

To my surprise, the coursework in the program was actually first-year medical school courses, along with clinical based exam questions under a time limit. Expecting a program to help me transition into medical school, I fell into a trap of being in medical school but not actually a medical student. I barely passed my first course during the first semester, but I grew and learned how to study for medical courses and ACED that final exam to bring my grades up. The second semester was much easier for me because I knew how I learned best, that’s something I failed to understand the first semester- What works for others might not work for me.  For 8 months, all I did was study all day, every day, during every second, and it wasn’t enough. After receiving scores from the second-semester cumulative final, I learned I was 1 exam question, just 1 point, away from achieving the minimum GPA to enter the program. 1 point determined my future for me, 1 point.

I returned home depressed; sat on the couch all day watching Netflix, didn’t talk to anyone, and had a difficult time sleeping through the night. I kept thinking to myself what do I do now? Should I apply this cycle and wait a year to see if I’m accepted? Should I pick a new career where I wouldn’t be happy but could move on with life? Should I broaden my scope and try for the Caribbean schools with a good reputation in the US?

After a lot of researching, and self-reflection I decided to apply to Caribbean Medical Schools for several reasons, here are a few:

  1. I would get experience practicing medicine outside the US and be exposed to medical cases I probably would never see in the US
  2. I’ll learn about other cultures, as an aspiring family physician, I find it vital
  3. My clinical rotations will be in the US, so only 1.5 years on the island
  4. An MD is an MD at the end of the day

Will my path to residency be difficult compared to US graduates? Yes. Will I be able to fulfill my life goals and become the magician I’ve always wanted to be? Yes. Do I have any regrets so far, not at all. In fact, I feel blessed that I’m able to attend medical school in an environment where I won’t be snowed in all day, or won’t be able to enjoy nature, good food, or a different culture during my breaks. I’m excited about this new journey.  Where am I going you may be wondering? The American University of the Caribbean located in Sint Maarten, and yes I will go plane watching on Maho Beach!!

 

If you feel stranded or lost please, PLEASE, PLEASE, e-mail me. I would love to hear from you,  maybe lend a helping hand, and watch you succeed as well. My journey has taught me to never limit myself, never exclude possible situations, for life may have something else planned for you- so just go with the flow.

 

So there it is, that’s my story. Feel free to follow me on Instagram @foodiewithscrubs

 

Much Love,

Preety

Chickpea Tikka Masala

Ingredients: 

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 jalapeños, chopped (or any hot pepper of choice)
  • 2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste
  • 1.5 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • A pinch of cayenne powder
  • 1.5 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas (also known as Garbanzo beans)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Cilantro (optional)

Directions 

  1. In a large pot, warm the oil over medium heat
  2. Add the onion and salt, stir until onion turns golden brown
  3. Add the jalapeños/ hot pepper and ginger-garlic paste, cook until the smell of ginger-garlic subsides (about 2 minutes)
  4. Add the garam masala, cumin seeds, curry powder, paprika, and cayenne powder. Stir for 1 minute
  5. Add the crushed tomatoes and vegetable broth, stir and cook for 5 minutes
  6. Reduce the heat, add chickpeas and  coconut milk.  Cover the pot to allow steam to cook, stir occasionally for 5-7 minutes.
  7. Add 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice, stir
  8. Garnish with Cilantro (optional)
  9. Serve with rice, naan, or soft tortillas

 

Check out my Instagram page @foodiewithscrubs 

Enjoy,

Chef Preety 🙂

Vegan Matcha Pancakes

Ingredients 

  • Log Cabin All Natural Pancake Mix
  • Encha Organic Matcha- Culinary grade
  • Ground Cinnamon
  • Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  • Raw Coconut Nectar or Maple Syrup

Directions

  • Add 1/3 Cup of Log Cabin All Natural Pancake mix into a bowl
  • Add 2 teaspoons of Encha Organic Matcha- Culinary Grade into the same bowl
    • Mix the Matcha and Pancake Mix
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon, mix
  • Add Almond Milk until mixture becomes a thick liquid
  • Cook on stove top pan
  • Serve with Raw Coconut Nectar or Maple Syrup

I’m Alive!

Hello Beautiful People!

Yes, I’m Alive.

Shocking since you all haven’t heard from me in a LONG time. I apologize, yet again, for the past few months have been insanely busy and life changing! Speaking of which, I’M OFFICIALLY A MEDICAL STUDENT!

For those of you that have been following along since the beginning, I’ve switched up my blog several times, but I’ve never deterred from my ultimate goal- serving the underprivileged. I’m so excited to embark on this new journey and watch all my dreams come to life.

So with that being said, I have finally figured out what I would like the main focus of my blog to be- My Medical School Journey. I have learned a lot about myself this past year in regards to working in the healthcare field, especially one aspect that stood out the most, which is that success is 80% mental and 20% hard work. Therefore, I have decided to make my struggles vocal, provide resources and tips for coursework, easy, quick and affordable recipes, inspirational writing, and motivating reads so we can all come out of this stronger, together. This is not solely for those in medicine, or striving to be. Regardless of which path you have chosen, we all undergo the same challenges one way or another, so I hope this could be some help to you as well.

Since I’m currently on summer vacation, most of my posts will be on books I’m reading, resources I’ve used during my post-bac that I will be using in medical school, and (my personal favorite) Recipe’s! I will continue to have sporadic writings, but I’m usually very conscious of sharing those publicly.

If anyone has any questions or concerns, or just needs someone to talk to- I’m a message away or e-mail me at foodiewithscrubs@gmail.com.

I have also created an Instagram page, feel free to follow me @foodiewithscrubs .

Currently, I’m reading How Doctors Think by Dr. Jerome Groopman. An insightful read taking the reader into the mind of a physician, and how the patient- physician interactions ultimately can determine a diagnosis. I’m not done reading it, but I can say that this is a read for everyone that has ever been to the doctors office. Feel free to check it out!

Alrighty, that’s it for updates! I’ll be blogging atleast twice a week until September, hopefully you all can join me on my journey!

Till next time,

Preety 🙂

Week 1 Grocery List!

Alrighty, so last week was chaos for me, so actually being very cautious of my diet was a little difficult, but I did my best to incorporate a vegan meal whenever possible. I spent most of my time last week at the coffee shop, so I basically ate out ALOT! (Bad Preety, I know).

Well, since I currently reside in Pennsylvania, I do majority of my grocery shopping at Wegmans (I have fallen in love with Wegmans)! My favorite part is that I can make an account with them, and make my grocery list at home and the website will tell me the exact location it’ll be in the store and my estimated total, yay budgeting!

This week, I have decided to stick to black bean burritos, tortilla pizza, and tomato soup for my Lunch/ Dinner. For breakfast I stick to tea with a bagel and cream cheese!

Here is my grocery list for the week!

Breakfast

Thomas Thin Bagels

Daiya Strawberry Cream Cheeze

I’ll usually drink Chai tea or Green tea with my breakfast

Lunch

Black Beans

Organic Yucatan Guacamole

Tofutti sour cream

Chi-Chi’s whole wheat tortilla’s

GOYA Sugar Cane Juice

Dinner

Organic Marinara sauce

Whole Wheat Elbow Pasta

Imagine Organic Creamy Garden Tomato soup

Crushed Pineapple’s

GO Veggie dairy free Mozzarella cheese

My Total was—> $38.39

I was actually amazed when the cashier told me!!

Then, today, I decided to go on a mini adventure to some cute whole foods co-op store, and I hopped upon vegan cheesecake, I repeat, VEGAN CHEESECAKE! I haven’t had cheesecake in years!!! I also bought some vegan waffles, coconut nectar syrup, and vegan “greek” yogurt! My grand total here was $21.25.

All together, this week I spent $59.64 to feed myself, most of the items will last longer than a week, but I’m super excited to eat. Actually thinking of creating an Instagram to show off all my vegan creations! If you have any recipes, please do comment with the details, I’d love to try new things!

PS, I do eat my fruits and veggies, just didn’t have to restock on them much this week!

Recipes and pictures to follow for this week 🙂

Let’s do this,

Preety

When you fall, get right back up.

For the past few months, I’ve been living on my own because I currently attend a school out of state. I learned a lot about myself as an individual, and I have listed the top 10 things I’ve learned while living alone:

  1. I’m very dependent
  2. My mind is weak
  3. I’m lazy
  4. I don’t stick to my to-do list
  5. I’m an impulsive shopper
  6. I can’t balance my life
  7. I am more Type A than type B personality
  8. I underestimate myself
  9. Cooking and cleaning is my therapy
  10. Nature is the best way to connect to God

I always saw myself as the independent type, enjoy the company of others on my own time, but mostly enjoy me time and having my own space. Living alone for the past 4 months has really showed me a lot about myself, especially that I’m VERY dependent on my family and friends. I’ve felt alone and crazy a multitude of times and always needed someone to talk to. If  I stumbled upon some problems with my car or kitchen, I quickly called up my parents to ask for help. I’ve never face-timed so much than I did in the past 4 months. It’s really opened my eyes that once I thought I was an independent woman but in reality I needed to be surrounded by people I loved to remain sane and perform daily functions.

Building off of learning about my dependency, I also learned that i’m not as mentally strong as I thought I was. The past 4 months have really pushed me physically, mentally, and emotionally, and I learned that I struggle with maintaining a balance with all 3 of those, especially mentally. I NEVER KNEW I WAS PRONE TO ANXIETY! I let my life revolve around school, instead of making school just an aspect of my life. Before and after every exam, I would have butterflies in my stomach, constantly thinking about the exam and the questions, calculating my grades. It got to the point where all I could even think and talk about was school. Even though I have been working on it since I’ve realized the struggle, it’s not completely gone. Currently i’m awaiting my grades for my final exam, and occasionally the thoughts of the grades get me stiff and lost in numbers. It’s a challenge to constantly remind myself to just let things be, but it is something i’ve been actively  working on.

In regards to my emotional and physical fitness, I would like to say they go hand in hand. Since i’ve indulged my life in school, I’ve sacrificed my exercise, healthy eating, and obviously thinking before I act (sometimes). My emotions have remained somewhat intact, but the last time I tried exercising I was dragging myself across the floor reaching for my water bottle.

In all, I have lost my sense of self. I’ve always thought that I had the basics of life covered, and I can move forward to work on the small details. Obviously that isn’t the case. There have been times where I felt so low that I was convinced I was heading into a depression. If I didn’t have my friends, family, or culture to refer to, I don’t know where I would be today.

I never really knew how to define my personality, so I just left it as a balance between Type A and Type B. Man was I wrong. I needed things to organized in a certain way, had to have all my materials in a specific order and have everything planned out for the day in order to feel accomplished. I didn’t follow my time limits and completed the work regardless of how much sleep I was going to sacrifice. I became VERY particular about my work, if I didn’t have the proper pen or pencil, I went out and bought it. Sticky notes had to be a particular color for each subject, and I wouldn’t use another color if they ran out. I really feel like having that outlook set me back quite a bit with getting my work completed in a smart manner. I’ve been very far from relaxed until I came back home for the holidays and kept sleeping like I hadn’t slept in months.

Also, the city that I live in doesn’t have any temples. Going to a temple allows me to have my alone time with God, just time to disconnect and listen to the advice he has for me. Not having that easily accessible has been quite a difficulty, but I learned to work my way around it. Nature. If I truly believe God is in everything, resides in every object and living being, Nature was the best way to get my alone time with him. I would go to the nearby beach, and just watch the sunset while I listened to the waves. The world is one amazing creation with every fine detail worked out by the creator. I don’t know how he/she knew what to do, or how to make things work but they did it, flawlessly. I used my mornings and evenings to listen to and read scriptural hymns, which have helped guide me to a path of sanity and peace. I’m amazed at the impact my cultural and religious background has on every aspect of my life, it’s no joke that having a peaceful mind creates a peaceful life- have control of your mind and you will have control of your life. Nature, Yoga, and Meditation has helped me gain back my sense of self, reflect on my mind, and gain back the control I’ve had on my thoughts.

I touched up on details for some of the 10 things, but not all because most are quite self explanatory. The reason I went ahead and wrote this post was for 2 reasons, the first being that I can go back and reference a low point in my life and use it as a reference to how far i’ve progressed. Second being, offer some hope to anyone else feeling lost, frustrated, and losing their sense of self. There are things that I haven’t shared with anyone because I truly feel like sometimes they aren’t understanding what I’m mentally going through, or the struggle. My family and friends have encouraged me, provided me with practical thoughts, but sometimes all I needed was someone to just listen to me and not try to “fix” me.

I don’t think something is wrong with me, I am NOT defected, I just let my external stressors gain control of my mind, and take over my sanity. In the fast paced, overachieving society that we live in today, we are all at risk of losing our sense of self. I think most of us have, we just haven’t realized it. It’s extremely important to disconnect from everything in life, and just close your eyes and focus on a higher purpose. Listen to your breathing, listen to the rain falling. Stop doing everything, and use your senses to experience the wonders of this world, who knows- you may learn something about yourself that you never even knew.

As I use the last few weeks of 2016 and the beginning of 2017 to create a stronger, determined, and “bulletproof” version of myself, I urge my readers to do the same. What is something you want to achieve in the next year? Reflect on your life, not the materialism or physical aspects. Think of the days when you were a kid, what were some things you wanted to do when you became older? Did you do them? Reflect and learn about yourself, and work toward being the best version of you mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Become mindful of your thoughts, focus on a higher purpose, and I promise you that you’ll achieve any goal you set for yourself. It all starts with our mind.

Love, Laugh, and Breathe,

Preety

Mahi

The best friend I’ve always wanted.

I never thought I would learn the meaning of pure and selfless love from my dog. From the day we had brought her home from the breeder, she was a handful- a stubborn little rascal. Her personalty never changed, she knew who to listen to and who she could ignore. She understood who will give her the most food, and who would catch onto her sneaky tactics. She had a personality that fit in with the family, that is what made her so unique. Mahi, Mahi Mahal. That is what we named her, i’ve always told people she was named after the Mahi Mahi fish but in all honesty, I named her after one of my favorite characters from an Indian soap opera.

The loss of a pet is equivalent to losing a family member, the pain, the sorrow, the void it all seems to never go away. What’s worse is the feeling of losing your best friend, your baby. The first day Mahi came home, I was the one who slept on the laundry room hardwood floor only to wake up to a puffball that took over my pillow and blanket. From random car rides, study sessions, taco bell runs to hide and seek, snow ball fights, and cartoons, Mahi shared every moment with me for the past 7 years. She was there to eat coconuts and oranges with, and she was there when we just sat on the grass and thought about life. She always knew what to do in the situation.

You never really grasp onto how much that life meant to you until they are gone. I would always share stories about Mahi, and her stubborn attitude. Not letting me park the car in the garage by just sitting in front of the car like she’s in a protest that I didn’t take  her with me, or howling and whimpering louder and louder until she could run freely around the neighborhood with her other dog friends. She always knew how to get what she wanted.

If you made fun of her, or say something mean, she would give you the most dramatic attitude and ignore anything and everything that you say when you try to communicate with her. Once I made fun of how fat she had gotten, and she gave me the most evil look, didn’t even eat cheese from me (and that was her favorite treat). I spent at least an hour trying to get her attention before she finally caved it. Now that’s gone.

It’s hard entering home without someone to greet you with excitement and happiness every time. It’s hard having to readjust your daily routine because your dog is no longer a part of your life. We had to put down Mahi about a month ago due to serious health issues that greatly hindered her quality of life. I’ve always been against having to put a pet down, and I never thought I would have to make that decision and that too so soon. The morning we made the decision was when I walked in on Mahi laying in her own urine because she had lost all strength and feeling in her back and legs. We both knew it was time and shared a moment in my arms with tears and silence.

I’ll never forget those blue eyes and spoke to you, and the warm, loving soul that brought joy and unity within our family.  This blog comes with a very heavy heart. I know Mahi’s physical presence is gone from this Earth, but I continue to search for her soul, and I fail to find that connection with others. Mahi never let me feel alone during my bad days, and always accompanied during the good days, and now I have to learn to conquer  everyday without her, and that in itself has been the hardest challenge for me this month. School has been keeping me busy, especially since I have moved away from home, but there are several moments I keep to myself thinking how much Mahi would have enjoyed it or brings back a memory with her. I avoid sharing my sorrow with my friends and family because I don’t want to be seen as the girl that continues to weep, because i’m most certainly not. I don’t think i’ll ever be able to overcome this loss. Mahi wasn’t just my dog, she was my best friend, my baby, my sister, and companion. She was with me during the difficult high school drama, and challenging pre-med years of undergrad. She probably learned more science than I did during out study sessions. She was one of a kind, a quick learner, great cuddle-er, and hilarious yoga partner. I’m sure her soul is living up the life, and I hope i’ll be able to meet her again someday. Until then, i’ll continue to search for something to fulfill that void in my life because nothing can replace her, but I know she wouldn’t want me sad, and that too because of her.

Something i’ve learned from Mahi is what true love really feels like, it wasn’t a boy that taught me this, It was my dog. She taught how it feels to love something and how it feels to be loved without expectations or materialistic things. It was pure and real. I’ll always be forever grateful to her for that. Always.

As i conclude this post, I urge all pet owners to hold your friend a little close, tell them you love them, and spend time with them. There is that saying that your pet is just a part of your world, but for them you are their world. I didn’t understand how big of a part Mahi played in my life until I lost her, and I wish I could have spent more time with her throughout the years. I wish life didn’t throw such curveballs, but that’s the only way we can grow stronger and develop. Whatever you do, never take your pet for granted. From something as simple as a fish to as sophisticated as a horse. They have souls residing in them, just like we do, and they deserve the same love and happiness we all do. So please do that.

I hope Mahi lived the life she wanted, her short 7 years on this earth changed me in a way I can never put into words, but I hope i was able to help her grow and learn something beyond tricks during her time with me. I’ll always miss my white, fat, fluffball.

I hope you take time to think about what you have learned from your pet, and what you hope your pet can know from you. Take my experience as a lesson, the clock is ticking and we don’t realize it until it’s too late. I always wish for one more hug with Mahi, just one more.

3/18/09-8/31/16 ❤

Send your pets some love from me,

Preety.