Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Finishing Second Year of Med School and Being M.I.A

Hey reader, how's it going?

I haven't made a blog post in MONTHS, shit, almost a year. Let me try to play catch - up and just mention a few things that have happened since then.

( Let me just say, I think it's pretty amazing, first of all, that I'm writing from my couch, in St. Lucia. I'm with my favourite people and I am blessed. Okay, carrying on...)

In 2016, I also came back to St. Lucia for summer vaca and had a really good time! I spent a lot of time with my family, both immediate and extended, and also spent time with my boyfriend. Upon returning to Taiwan in September, and the months following, I fell, into a deep depression and I was so anxious ALL OF THE TIME. At the time, I had no idea what was happening to me and I didn't know why. Oh, and by the way, I've contemplated many times if I wanted to write about this, but it's nothing to be embarrassed about, because MANY people go through things like this.

Anyways, that first semester after I went back to school, I hit rock bottom. I was sad very often, felt guilty about everything, cried a lot, was homesick I think everyday, and was having anxiety attacks as well. I think I nearly lost myself. I felt numb a lot of the time too - meaning that I didn't feel happy, sad, excited, nothing. I felt like I was just existing. I felt insecure, I had no appetite, I lost weight. These feelings didn't happen EVERY DAY but they happened pretty often, and all I wanted to do was go back home. I often asked myself why I came all the way over there, when everyone I loved wasn't? I thought the school year would never end, and I'd feel like this forever. Oh, and a I couldn't even enjoy my favorite shows. I couldn't enjoy a lot of things I usually did. Needless to say, I felt black and white and of course was MIA from the blog.

Fast forward to January, I decided to see a psychiatrist, because I was at my wits end. I couldn't go through my second semester like this. I was skeptical about seeing him, but now I'm glad I did. He prescribed medication, and I was hesitant to agree to take them. I think at that point, I hadn't accepted that what I was going through, was depression. Plus, this is one of those things you think will never happen to you, but it does, so you just feel so weird. Anyways, with time, I began to cry less, I was able to wake up and show up to class everyday, I re-joined my band as a singer, I continued exercising and taking part in different school activities. Gradually I stopped feeling numb, and my emotions were coming back. I practiced a little bit of yoga, meditation, mindfulness, and gratefulness.

Fast forward again to now, I'm feeling like myself again, and that is a priceless feeling. I am able to smile with meaning, laugh until I cry, make stupid jokes, cry at sappy movies. I gained my weight back, and now I really don't mind my cellulite and love handles anymore! Ha! I am still taking the medication, but should be tapering down later this year. I had a lot of encouragement throughout that period of time from my sister, aunts, friends.

Of course, I thank God for his protection and guidance in all of this.

In saying all of this, the one thing, if any, you take away from this post, is to love yourself first. I had to re - learn how to do that, and it's still a learning process, but I love myself now more than ever, and I am so proud of myself for overcoming this, and finishing my second year!

If you think that you're going through anxiety or depression, please talk to someone, even a professional. Whether it's free or costs money, I believe it's worth it! Look into mindfulness, meditation, and gratefulness. Take time for yourself. Dance. Sing. Eat nice food. Sleep. Watch the sun rise/set. Spend time with the people you love, especially if they're physically close to you. Tell people you love them. Appreciate the fact that you have feelings, you can feel happy, sad, excited, disapointed. You can laugh.

In a month I return to Taiwan to receive my white coat, and begin my third school year! Can you believe it?!  Pretty soon I'll be called Dr. Henry! That's pretty cool if you ask me. To see your childhood dream actually happening is a wonderful experience, despite everything. Again, I am blessed, and favored. Thank God.

Thanks for reading if you've made it this far lol, and remember to take care of yourself. ♥ I may not know you, but I love you, and you're important and valuable. There's no one else like you on this earth. Go forth and conquer!!!

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

I've Finished my First Year of Medical School!! (Plus Summer Vaca)

Guys. GUYS. I have officially finished my first YEAR as a medical student... um.. wut?! I mean, granted that I finished way back in June (it's now August), but I did it! I am so proud to have accomplished this, for not only myself, but of course my support system back home.

Now, you may be wondering, "June?! What are you going to be doing until September rolls around?"

Well, surprise, surprise... I'm back in the Caribbean! Hearing everyone talk about going home for the summer made me feel super jealous, so I worked really hard to save up the monayyy, also with some assistance, and got my ass out of Taiwan and to St. Lucia!

Airport in Taiwan

China to New York!

Somewhere between China and New York
Over New York!

On the way to St. Lucia ☺

Y'all. Jet lag is real.

Imagine travelling back in time, cause that's basically what I did. From Taiwan being 12 hours ahead, back to caribbean. I lost all my bearings within the first week (lol). By 5pm each day I was already tired AF, but forced myself to make it to at least 9pm so I can at least get night time sleep. I also avoided taking naps during the day.

I spent the month of July home (I'm currently in Trinidad visiting bae) and my gosh. It was just one of those summers you remember for the rest of your life. I feel so BLESSED to have been born in my family. In summary, I got closer to my little sister, which is truly a blessing (we were always kinda not - too close), AND I got to spend her birthday with her. I got to go out more than I usually do when I'm home, which was a nice change.

My Family:
Big sis, Mom, Me, Little Sis, Dad
Location: Anse La Raye, St. Lucia

At a Cricket game lol (I'm not much of a fan but it was awesome)

Another Cricket Game

To put the icing on the mushy lovey dovey cake, 2 of my cousins who live on the island of Martinique came down 4 days earlier than they told us. Guys. Tears. At that point, I think I hadn't seen them for (maybe) over 2 years? I can't recall exactly, but it had been a while. I just lost it. Even writing about it makes me tear up :'). From that night onwards, I hadn't slept early at all!! I think the earliest may have been 3am? Oh my gosh, so much laughter, so much love. My heart was so full. Still is. Thank God for my family.

Playing twister!

The day I left St. Lucia (The airport is literally across the street)

I think this is it for now, until the next hundred years when I post again LOL (sigh). Thanks for reading, whoever you are. Remember to love and appreciate the people in your life. ♥

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Bad and Great Times

Okay, so if I've ever thought I'd hated being cold, then now I KNOW FOR SURE. Y'all. Sigh. I had the pleasure of experiencing Taiwan's coldest winter in over 60 years! Normally, temperatures go down to 10 degreees celcius in winter here, but we had it down to 5 degrees where I live, which is Kaohsiung. And you wanna know the best part? I DON'T HAVE A HEATER IN MY ROOM! To some people who are used to winter weather, bare with me. I am from an island in the Caribbean, which does not experience winter. Sooo clearly I'm not built for this.

Let me tell you, I had on three layers of everything, and two blankets, ALL DAY ERRDAY. On the coldest weekend, I only left my room once, and I had to cause I was running out of food. And as soon as I stepped outside, I could no longer feel my lips. Swear to God. But it has gotten a lot better now, since I'm currently wearing a spaghetti strap vest lol.

Since we're on the topic of bad experiences... Y'all... I felt the worse earthquake that I've ever felt. It occured around 4am on the 10th of February, 2016. I was just browsing youtube, as one does at 4am, and suddenly felt some weird movement! I jumped off my bed and ran to my doorframe, shouting to my roommate to wake up and she did lol. I think she was confused as to what was going on. But I was so scared cause of the length of the earthquake.

Needless to say, I did not sleep that night until about 7am when the sun came out lol. I was scurrrd! Later that day, I found out that the most damage of this earthquake occurred in Tainan, a city not too far from where I live. Oh, and it's magnitude was 6.4!

Anyways, on a lighter, more positive note, a few of my friends and I decided to visit Chencing lake, one of the attractions in Taiwan. You can find out about it here. It's basically a lake surrounded be beautiful forestry and is very scenic. There is also an aquarium and lots of places to have picnics. A perfect outing on a warm day. While there, I noticed there were a lot of families and small children, which is always great fun. Love the family-ness here! (Yes I just said that). Here are some pics I took with my phone (zenfone selfie). 

Entrance to Chencing Lake

Oh, one more thing! I celebrated my 23rd birthday on Jan 15th!! My first in Taiwan! There was a small party for myself and one of my friends, who's also a Jan born :) Thankful for the Love ♥!

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Happy New Year!!!! Updates!

Hey, hi, hello people of the internet! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

As per usual, I'm here with my once in a blue moon blog post lol. But hey, I ain't mad.  These past few months have been something else. I'm almost to the end of my first semester in medical school, and I can say so far that it hasn't been as horrible as I'd imagined! However, the volume of work that one has to cover over a short space of time is quite the challenge. My spirits were almost crushed this week, as I did not score well in one of my block exams as I thought I did, but that's okay. I prayed about it and asked God to guide me for the next exams.

On to the topic of being homesick. To be honest, it hasn't been that bad either, but of course I have to give credit to skype and whatsapp, faceboook and other social media, for without them I would be a wreck. No, seriously. Keeping my relationship has been pretty good so far, even with a 12 hour difference! And keeping in touch with family remains a constant thing.

As for traveling around in Taiwan, I've been around a few places, mostly on school trips and dinners. I decided to also step outside my comfort zone and sing with a band on stage lol! Of course, with my fellow international students ☺By no means am I Beyonce or anywhere near Beyonce level LOL!
Anywho, here are a few photos that sorta, kinda, (not really) summarizes these past months!

Persormance at the I-Shou Main Campus

What is Asia without noodles? :p

My sliding door these past mornings. Peep the GOT reference ^_^

Flower Festival


Chinese Art of Writing


New Years Eve!

Oh! ANNNNDDD what are the odds that my cousin from FRANCE came to vacation in Taiwan with his girlfriend?! So, naturally we HAD to meet up!

This is basically what I've been up to, and of course, staying busy with the studies. 
Once again, a HAPPPY and successful 2016 to all! ♥

Thursday, 22 October 2015

How I Got a Full Scholarship to Medical School

Hi there! Ni hao! (Trying out my Chinese hehe)
To any Caribbean people reading, I'm going to explain how I ended up in Taiwan, in med school, and not paying a cent.

So let's rewind back to 2013 when my cousin, who actually received the scholarship and went to Taipei (Taiwan) told me all about it. Of course I was ecstatic to know that there is an option for me to finally fulfill my dream of becoming a medical doctor.

Fast forward to 2015 and it's my year of graduation from Undergrad! (Man, time flies huh?) I had finished my degree in December of 2014, so I was waiting on graduation in May of 2015. This provided the perfect time for me to apply for this scholarship as I was back in my home island (St. Lucia) and I could have dome all the running around myself. The scholarship was offered by the Government of Taiwan, and is called the ICDF (International Cooperation and Development Fund) Scholarship. The deadline of submission /admission for 2015 candidates was the ending of February into beginning of march.

ICDF Scholarship info here.

With my HORRIBLE memory, here are the things I remember doing at this time:

•Fill out the scholarship application and write an essay saying why I need the scholarship and how it will benefit my country

•Fill out an online application to the actual University

•Submit 2 or three passport photos along with the scholarship application

• Do a chest x-ray and get some blood tests done

•Wait for a response

(N.B for those applying, just go ahead and get about 20 passport photos done to save yourself the hassle.. you'll need a lot of those)

Fast forward some more, in the month of June/July and I got a confirmation email from the University saying that I got accepted to study my post graduate in medicine! You guys, I was feeling all the feels within a space of one minute! Excited, nervous, scared, happy, sad, everything! Within this same week, I got confirmation from my Taiwanese embassy (who represent ICDF) that I had been successful with acquiring FULL SCHOLARSHIP to study at my selected school. Of course, I had everyone's whatsapp blowing up because I was telling them the good news. Well mainly family, as I still had a lot of paper work still left to be done.

The next step from that point was applying for my United States Visa, as we would have been transiting through New York, then to Taiwan. Since I had been in Trinidad at this time, (I stayed there after graduation in May). Since Trinidad has a U.S embassy, I went ahead and applied, getting through within 2 weeks with a Transit visa.

The sad time came for me to leave Trinidad (and my boyfriend) to go back home and handle some more things for the scholarship.

First thing I did when I got back home was to go pick up the medical form from my Taiwanese embassy and get it filled by a doctor. I already had chest x-ray results from before so I had to do over some blood tests and get a physical done. In addition, I had to fill out some application forms for the Taiwanese visa, which, like the U.S visa was going to be stamped on my passport. Of course I had to submit one or two passport photos with each document.

If I can remember correctly, that was all I had to do. And at this point I was going up and down to town, doctor, embassy, health center, lol everywhere. Oh and yes, I did pay for all the tests and stuff.

Fast Forward even more to the end of August and I was packed and ready to go! Among all St. Lucians going to my school, there were 5 of us.
Time to leave! this is my family.. Surprisingly, I didn't cry... thought I would lol

The 5 St. Lucians (in this particular school) There are more St. Lucians in other schools

Oh, I should mention, not all Caribbean Islands are eligible for these scholarships, so please check with your government or their website. There is also the MOFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) Scholarship.

Thanks for reading! Catch you later! ♥

Sunday, 4 October 2015

I'm Back! Graduating College and Getting into Med School!

Hey, anyone still reading :\

I haven't posted in AGES oh my goodness! So much has happened since February (shame face)!!
Well First off, I finally GRADUATED FROM UNIVERSITY!!! This was one of the most proudest times of my life y'all! I am one of few in my family, and the first in my household to graduate uni, and I couldn't be happier to not only represent myself in my accomplishments, but my lovely family as well. It was a pity my little sister couldn't have made it to Grad.

Family and Boyfriend :)

Big Sis aka BAE ♥

All Grad Photo Creds: My brother in law Carson Smith

And in other awesome news, I AM NOW IN MEDICAL SCHOOL as we speak! I still find it hard to believe sometimes, but yes, I am a medical student :D eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!

And you wouldn't even begin to guess where I am.......... Taiwan! Yessir! I applied for a scholarship and got through. It's 100% paid for! I feel so blessed :').

From St. Lucia, it took approx 23 flying hours to get here. The time zone is 12 hours ahead so that was some getting used to lol. I feel like I'm typing all over the place but I guess I will explain in more detail next post. I do hope I'll continue blogging and not take SUCH LONG BREAKS in between.

Plane to Taipei

Orientation for International Students

Anywho, thanks for reading, whoever you are :) 

Future Dr. Henry xxx