March 30, 2015

I Wasn't Prepared

March 30, 2015
*though only slightly related, cue the Eisley song*

March 11-13 my classmates and I headed to Anniston, Alabama to become FEMA trained. 
It was a brief "vacation" from my usual practicum and class routine.

I was not prepared. 

To be completely honest with y'all, I did not want to go. I was not shy about voicing my opinion either, everyone knew I didn't want to go. I did not want to spend 3 days in Anniston and all I could think of was "WHY do I have to go to the middle of nowhere and become trained in something I will never have to deal with?"

Y'all, I was not prepared.

Though there was a charter bus that drove from campus to the Center for Disaster Preparedness in Anniston, one of my good friends decided he would drive and I rode there with him. Pulling up to this place, I was slightly concerned. This former military base has high fences with angled, dagger tips. All I could think of was "I'm literally entering federal prison."

Not actually where I was, but this is the death fence.
Upon arrival, our identification was verified and we were directed to the lobby building. On the way to the lobby, we passed the lounge (aka BAR!). We then sat through orientation, checked into our dorm rooms and went to the cafeteria, where we ate some unexpectedly delicious food

To say we looked and felt out of place was a complete and utter understatement. The people we saw were mostly firefighters, police officers, military men and women, or public health workers about to leave for Ebola-ridden nations. 

While in the cafeteria, one of my friends text me describing some guy she saw at the lounge and told me to be on the lookout for a tall, black man with strong shoulders and a short haircut in a NYFD shirt.

Keeping that in mind and eager to see who in the world she was talking about, I joined a few friends for a quick trip to Target to get snacks and wine and as soon as we got back, I went to the lounge.

I was not prepared.

Beer, wine and men who look and act like they haven't seen the female gender in years.
To me, that means free drinks and interesting conversations.
And that's just what I got.

My friends and I conversed with several men from all over the country who made us laugh for hours out on the lounge's porch. Most of the time was spent with a group of police officers from New York. We played a not-so-sober Head's Up:

As the night continued and the lounge closed (at 9:30 mind you), everyone joined us on the porch.  The games got louder, we got a little less sober and a little more rowdy, and somehow I ended up standing on the picnic table with a girl friend of mine.

I also met the NYFD man my friend had text me about earlier and spent a good deal of time talking to him and his "brother" Mexico. 

I was having fun and I was not prepared for this.

On our first real day of work, I got up at 5:45 AM and met my classmates for breakfast. We then hopped on the bus to head to class and there, we learned some interesting things about mass casualty events, bombs and a a few other things I can't mention. At the end of class, we headed back to the dorms for dinner and that night, we again made our way back to the lounge.

Drinks on drinks from Mexico (thanks Mexico). 
I made the police officers from the night before make me "walk the line" if that tells you anything about my state of being that night. I played an ambulance arcade game, listened to terrible karaoke and took pictures I vaguely remember taking. 

The second day of real work came way too early, but it was a pretty awesome day of Hazmat suits, triaging patients, learning about mass casualty events and bombs.

At the end of the day we graduated from our training program and headed back home to Atlanta.

To this day, Mexico and I still text (which is funny because he is the "brother" of the guy my friend text me about) and I made some amazing last semester memories.

I was not prepared, and
I had a great time.

March 27, 2015

Farewell Party

March 27, 2015
For those who don't know, I get strep throat fairly often.
As in "3 or 4 times a year" often.

Well after having strep in October, November, January and February, 
I decided enough was enough and scheduled a tonsillectomy.
To say I was over being sick every month is an understatement.

Funniest little story:
In February, I was heading to work one night stressing out about when I would have time to get my tonsils out since I had so much due, and to do, in this final semester. I distinctly remember calling my mom and telling her, "I might just have to wait until the summer, because I don't have time to take off."
Well, when I got off work in the morning, my throat was on fire and since it was Saturday, my only option was to head to the ER. 

Strep throat.

I feel as though God literally laughed at me and said "oh you thought you would wait, huh?"

Needless to say, my surgery date is now less than 2 weeks away on April 6th.

To be honest, I'm not sure who (my mother or I) is more excited for the surgery because she's gotten more pictures of the back of my throat than I care to admit.

You would think I could stay healthy until then, but guess what I got this week.
Strep *insert side eye*

It's as if my tonsils know they're leaving and decided to throw a goodbye party, which BY THE WAY is so not cool.

Thankfully the pain is over and the real pain will began once I wake up after surgery. 
Fingers crossed that I'll never have strep again.

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