Tag Archives: Work

When Nurses (Try to) Diagnose

This week, my left foot and ankle swelled up. Naturally, I took a picture with my camera phone, which I do anytime I experience any observable physical symptoms. Hey, I like to document things! Why the eff else do you think I like blogging?!

I was showing a nurse I work with a picture I took of my swollen foot with my iPhone. To the top of my foot was a noticeably large red bump, which was quite evident in the picture.

Nurse: Oh wow, that’s a DVT! (i.e. “Deep Vein Thrombosis” or a blood clot occurring in the “deep veins” of the lower extremities)

Me: It’s not a DVT…

Nurse: No, that looks like a classic DVT!

Me: It’s not a DVT. (OK, sure I have two of the classic DVT symtoms… Foot pain and edema, but those symptoms could be many, many things. NOT A DVT!)

Nurse: Well, it could be a DVT. It could be one that formed in the foot. Rare, but it could happen.

Me: It’s not a DVT. DVT is “deep vein,” not superficial. It can’t occur in the foot. Why are you trying to diagnose me?! It’s quite obviously a running injury!

Excuse me, nurse… Do you have an “MD” behind your name? No? OK, then stop trying to diagnose me via iPhone picture!

There are plenty of times I’ve seen ailments in patients and known exactly what they are. Oh ya, that’s a stroke! Definitely pulmonary embolism. Classic atelectasis!

I get texts all the time from friends listing off their symptoms. 100% of the time, I’m not sure what their deal is. Friend says she has heartburn… Well, ok, that could be a million and one things from dehydration to peptic ulcer. Or, you know, it could be a symptom of first trimester pregnancy… Just sayin’!

But you can bet your bottom dollar I don’t try to diagnose them. And most of the time I tell them to go see a physician or a nurse practitioner who can properly diagnose. Because I am neither of those things… Yet.

My scope of practice is that of a nurse. I don’t try to play doctor, and I’m certainly not amused when someone else with the same credentials as I tries to diagnose me. #GTFO!

I believe medical students are taught something along the lines of “when you hear hoofbeats, look for horses, not zebras.” Meaning, consider the most common diagnosis FIRST. (Duh.) In my case, I’m a healthy young woman who runs long distances, has no history of heart disease, and has not recently embarked on any long duration flights (which can cause blood clot formation. That’s why they encourage you to get up out of your seat on long flights, people!).

On Wednesday, I saw a doctor who, after thorough examination, diagnosed me with a running-related ankle injury.

And low-and-behold, the physiotherapy he referred me for seems to be working quite well.

So, definitely not a DVT.

End of story.


The Hotel Life

A big part of my job involves traveling out-of-town for conferences and training. Even though I’m a certified homebody, there are things I enjoy (and things I don’t enjoy so much) about being away from home and living “the hotel life.”

Things I Don’t Like About Traveling for Work:

  • The Food

Conference food is the worst (next to BC Ferry food). It’s like a processed and refined heaven! Which is actually the opposite of heaven for my intestines which can barely tolerate anything I don’t carefully make myself at home. Although they (for the most part) are always very accomodating to my gluten intolerance, I almost always get served meat in place of whatever has gluten. So either I (a) starve, (b) risk some sort of a reaction to a potential gluten containing product, or (c) suck it up and eat meat. And (b) and (c) are not really options.

Actually, I haven’t starved yet… Thank goodness for Starbucks being just a minute away, and for lots of rice and potatoes! Gluten-free goodness!

  •  Hotel Rooms

Are boring. I worked-out twice yesterday just because I was bored out of my mind. If it weren’t for X Factor USA being on last night and tonight, I don’t know what I would’ve done with myself!

  • Sneaky Little Things in the Hotel Room

I arrive to my room. I’m parched from traveling, especially because I drank a whole tumbler of coffee on the road. Oh, but thank goodness there’s this giant bottle of water in the room!

Chug, chug, chug…

Oh. Shoot! That was a friggin’ pricey bottle of water!

Things I Like About Traveling for Work:

  • Being Out-of-the-Office

Sometimes it’s just nice to break the monotony of the usual work week. (Although my job is far from what you might consider “monotomous.”)

  • Ice Machine

Sure comes in handy when you’ve got a bum ankle and foot from running like I do at the moment! Why don’t I have one of these babies at home?!


Ways to Make Work Travels (Just A Bit) More Tolerable:

  • Take the Travel Day OFF WORK

As in, don’t go into the office. Avoid it if you can. I used to travel the morning of the conference, and well, how many people out there have driven into Vancouver from the Fraser Valley? It is a nightmare! Even when I would leave at 5:30 in the morning, I would stroll into the conference 3 hours later. Downtown Vancouver is, at the most, an hour away (in normal traffic conditions). Talk about STRESSFUL!

This was the first conference that I traveled to the day before. Let me just say, it was smooth sailing! No frantic packing (and forgetting a million things), no being stuck in heavy traffic, and no having to brave the 6 am deadlock on Highway 1. Win-win-win!

  • Drink Lots of Water

It actually helps to keep you awake (even in the most dry of presentations). Oh, and if you drink enough, you’ll have to take frequent pee breaks! 🙂

  • Work-Out

Walk on your nutrition breaks, hit up the hotel gym after the conference. Counteract the “culture of food” that seems to be the norm at most conferences with a lil’ bit of activity!


Tomorrow’s my last day in the city, and I’m looking forward to getting back home and finishing my packing… NOT. But I am looking forward to sleeping in my own bed!


If you have to travel for work, how do you tolerate being away from home?
Do you love it or loathe it?

November Goals – It’s Gonna Be OK

I swear I had more than three goals for this month, but somewhere amidst the chaos of the last nine days, I forgot what they were exactly…

And perhaps I should take it easy on myself this month, rather than expect greatness. I have to move out of an apartment I really, really like at the end of the month because it doesn’t make sense space-wise or financially to stay.

And I’m really struggling with my career. As much as I want to love what I do, I don’t.

I hate knowing I’m burdening my family and my friends with my distress over my job. I know my friends don’t always love their jobs either, but I certainly complain a lot more than all of them combined.

It did hit me the other day that I haven’t had a vacation in over a year. Perhaps not having had anytime to escape from work has not helped matters.

On that train of thought of escapism, I came up with this idea to move away. However; I quickly realized that moving is not necessarily the solution to dealing with my struggles right now. Going through a health scare with my dad really solidified that for me. Escaping is not the answer. If life takes me to another place, than great. But I need to know I’m moving to a new place for the right reasons, like a great new job (or a wealthy sugar daddy). I don’t want to move and have to struggle to find a job, friends, and a place to live in a brand new city all at once. So, I’m staying put where I am for now and just switching homes.

I know I’m going through some weird, mid-20’s crisis. I know it’s not the end of the world. I know I will come out of this and be a stronger, wiser, happier version of myself. For now, I feel that I need to step back and accept less. I need to focus on getting through this rough patch, and “downsizing” my life. Less is more. Focus on the little things that make me feel happy and fulfilled (i.e. eating healthy, running, saving money, soaking up the outdoors), and give up the things that leave me feeling empty inside (i.e. big condo to myself, spending my money on whatever my heart desires, eating to fill a “void” in my life).

In the end, everything will be OK. Right?


Three Goals for November:

(1) Stop being late! Start being on time to things. (Yes work, I’m talking at you…)

(2) Declutter. Get rid of some of my sh*t. (P.O.S. WalMart bookshelf, I’m talking about you…)

(3) Start food journaling again. (Mindless eating habits, I’m talking about you…)


Question: Have you ever gone through a “life crisis?” How did you snap out of it?

This Week, In Retrospect

Well, blogging obviously never happened this week…

Not because I had no desire to. I wanted to, but I’ve been absolutely swamped with work!

First off, I was told at the end of last week that my job role would be changing, and I’d be working out of not just one, but two offices now.

There was (and still is) major cleaning to be done at the new office.

I’m definitely the type of person who throws eveeeeeeeeeeeeerything away when I clean. I don’t have any qualms about holding onto things “just in case.” I prefer things around me to be highly organized… “Less is more!”

Errr, I think I had Booster Juice smoothies twice this week.

And fortunately had my roommate to cook me dinner… Yay!

Awesome mango curry!

On Thursday, I attended one of my college roommate’s wedding. It was a great little ceremony at one of the universities in the city, and it was nice to catch-up with a few people I went to school with that I never get to see anymore.

Unfortunately, with the frenzy of going straight from work to the wedding, I forgot to charge my camera, so it pooped out before the reception even began… Bummer!

One of my favourite parts of the wedding was the cake. The bride is gluten-free as well, so they had the cake made by Sweet Tooth Cakery, based out of Vancouver. It was out-of-this-world! Maybe it’s because I haven’t had cake since having to cut gluten out of my life, but I literally inhaled the piece.

… And obviously didn’t get a picture of it. 😉

Yesterday after work, I headed out to take some pictures with one of my good friends who’s working on her portfolio for her website. I got to watch her upload the 200+ shots, and they were amazing!! I’m so excited to share, but I’ve got to be patient and wait for the edits to be done.

I got to chill with this little guy while we went through all the pictures yesterday evening.

I also realized (while photoshooting) that playing “model” attracts a lot of attention from people. Most of the pictures were taken in secluded areas, but we pulled off at the side of the road for a set and also did a few in my neighbourhood, and got a lot of yelling and honking. Umm, ‘cuse me, we’re trying to work here!

Because I’m new to this whole blogging thing, do you find when you’re taking pictures for blogging purposes that it attracts attention from people?

Anyways, the sun is FINALLY shining, so I’m off to enjoy it. 🙂