I’m Back! + REVIEWS: Big Lies in a Small Town, The Chain, Crown of Midnight

It has been awhile my friends!

I really missed writing in this blog. I would think of posts for the week then it would go by without me posting anything. Life and school would get in the way and in the blink of an eye it went on for about 3 months?

School Update

I am currently in the middle of finals right down (4 down, 3 to go!) and so it’s the fake illusion of having extra time since it’s a break from clinic. I was really upset back in October when I found out we don’t really have much time off for the holidays. I felt like I heard that they had more time last year. I don’t like to travel around the holidays anyway but it would have been nice to have a break since we have been going nonstop since May.

In September my class was applying to places to go for our externships next year. Externships are basically “month long interviews” at hospitals you are interested in going to for your residency. I was so excited that I got all of the places I want to go on the first try and they all picked my first choice month. I look forward to it but I know it will be a lot of work!

I am also working on a research paper for my school’s journal and a poster for a surgery conference!

I finished by surgery rotation back in September and started Ortho/Peds in October. A lot of people would complain about this rotation and I can definitely say that it’s tiring – especially Wednesdays when I am in clinic from 9am to 8pm. Other than that, there a lot my workshops which I really like – it makes me feel like we are learning more instead of being slaves in the clinic (lol). But with more workshops comes more practical exams (I heard they’re not too bad though!). One concern my profession has as a whole is that it’s becoming to surgery focused while forgetting about basic biomechanics and orthopedics. Being in this rotation really gave me an appreciation about how much you can help people by putting something in their shoe rather than cutting them with surgery. It made me realize that when I come out of residency, I want to be able to do everything instead of only doing surgery.

Review: Big Lies in a Small Town

Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Published: January 14, 2020

Synopsis: This book follows the lives of 2 women – Anna Dale (1940) and Morgan Christopher (2018). Anna Dale was chosen anonymously to paint a mural for the post office in Edenton, North Carolina. Being from New Jersey, she decides to visit the small town to learn about what matters to the people who live there in order to make the new mural design. The townspeople are sour because they were hoping an artist named Martin Drapple from their small town would win. Eventually they began to warm up to her an insisted that she stayed while she worked on the mural. Fast forward to 2018 and Morgan Christopher was in prison for a crime she didn’t commit. After being in prison for about a year she is visited by the daughter of her favorite artist saying that there’s an assignment that only Morgan can perform so she can get out of jail early. The job is to restore an old mural. Morgan has been through 3 years of art school but has never taken on a task so daunting. But since it’s her only chance to get out, she willingly accepts.

Review: I was shocked by how much I enjoyed this book. Before I read it, I was in kind of a “reading slump” – not super into the audiobooks I was working my way through and only giving 3 stars max to books I was reading. This book reminded me what a 5 star book felt like – wanting to constantly continue reading, always wondering what will come next, and finishing the story in about 2 days. This book had the perfect amount of mystery to keep you guessing what was going to happen next, was organized with whose POV you were reading, and the ending came together perfectly. This was my first Diane Chamberlain book and I definitely look forward to reading more!

Recommend: I would recommend this book to people who like historical fiction and mystery! But warning – there is some racism and sexual abuse.

Thank you Netgalley & St. Martin’s Press for the ARC!

Review: Crown of Midnight

Synopsis: This book picks up with Celaena doing her work as the King’s assassin. You find out shortly that she’s not so complacent – she has been “killing” people by telling them to run away and change identities while grabbing bodies that were already dead to bring to the king. While training and working for the king, Calaena and Chaol start to get closer. While working on the next assignment, something happens that changes Calaena’s world and outlook forever.

Review: I thought this book was better than the first book in the Throne of Glass series but I still wasn’t as impressed with it compared to ACOTAR. It looks like the 3rd book gets even better so maybe it’s just a slower start to the series to get the reader acquainted with everything? I definitely still look forward to continuing it (once my library book is ready…)

Recommended: For people who like ACOTAR and fantasy.

Review: The Chain

The Chain by Adrian McKinty
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Published: July 9, 2019

Synopsis: It’s not about the money, it’s about the chain. Rachel got a call that would change her and her daughter’s life forever – her daughter was kidnapped. In order to get her back, she needs to pay a ransom and kidnap another child to keep the “chain” going.

Review: I was intrigued with this book just from the synopsis. While reading it, I could easily imagine it as a horror movie. The first part of this book was really good at showing Rachel’s emotions and hardships she was dealing with to get her daughter back. In the second part of the book every other chapter was about the people who began the chain – their upbringing all the way to present. I thought it was an interesting way to let the reader see both sides of it. Thank you Orion Publishing Group & Netgalley for the ARC!

Recommended: For people who like movies like “Saw” or mystery/thriller books.

Moving Forward

I am going to do reviews like this from now on instead of having separate posts for each book.

I aim to post 2-3 times a week – my other posts being about traveling and whatever else I feel like talking about. I would see a lot of people only talking about books on their blog/instagram and having different accounts for different things and I’m not really into that. I tried to do that on instagram but how I see it is that this blog is mine and so you’ll get all the different pieces of me – whether that’s school, travel, cooking, reading, etc.

I missed everyone that takes the time to look at this blog. I hope you are as happy as I am to be back ❤️

Medical Monday 3: Grateful

I originally chose to go to podiatry school in NYC because of the diversity. I knew I would be able to experiment the treatment and management of unique pathologies I would not see elsewhere.

Along with the assortment of pathologies, came patients from all different backgrounds and cultures.

Last week I had 2 patients that made me realize how grateful I am everyday of all that I have been blessed with in life. Having the opportunity to meet, examine, and communicate with these patients made me feel like I can truly make a difference in someone’s day.

The first patient came with large ulcers on the top of both of their feet. The patient said that they had a variety of events in their life occur which led them unable to come to our clinic. The ulcers were present for a couple months and the patient was trying their best to keep them clean but they were not decreasing in size. The patient was very emotional – they expressed their fear of potentially losing their feet and how these ulcers prevented them from going on vacation to see family and from walking. I listened to the patient intently and praised them for coming to see us and reassured them that we will do our best to take care of them and to save their feet. I ended up seeing that patient again today in the hall and I smiled and said hello. I know life is hard for that patient now, but I am so happy that they are being persistent with their treatment.

The second patient was a bit harsh in the beginning. Sometimes you get patients that don’t really want to deal with students and just want to see the doctor and get out. I just started listening to the patient intently, letting them tell me their story and asking inquisitive questions when necessary. The patient was showing me pictures of their ulcers in different stages of healing. By fostering this connection with the patient, they allowed me to examine their feet before the doctor could come in to discuss surgery. When the doctor came and was asking about the patients living conditions, the patient said they were kicked out of their apartment for renovations and was currently living in a shelter. My heart sunk – this patient we thought was kind of being rude for not wanting to deal with the students was going through so much more than I could imagine. I was so thankful that I have an apartment that I share with someone I love and is a safe place to call home.

My goal as a doctor is to treat everyone with respect and care, no matter their background. My hope is to brighten their day at least a little bit, and allow them to release what is bothering them and perhaps make them smile and laugh.

Medical Monday 2: Excitement

After dreaming of becoming a doctor for years and enduring an endless amount of classes until you finally get to your 3rd year of medical school – where you are finally able to see patients.

You finally get to work and learn in a clinical setting. Mainly writing the notes and doing basic physical exams on patient you’re learning every step of the way.

Since we just started working in the clinic the 2nd week of July – it took awhile for doctors to have some trust in us.

Just as I was starting to feel bummed out a few weeks in from working hard but not really having the opportunity to do things – a doctor allowed me to perform a partial nail avulsion with phenolization.

I built up a rapport with the patient and we were getting along well so I knew she would be a good, calm first patient for me.

The doctor watched and guided me every step of the way and at the end she said I did great! I can’t even begin to explain how good that small praise made me feel.

Keep working toward what you know you want to do. It will feel tedious at time but you will get there and it’ll be so wonderful when you do.