This going to sound strange, but I might have a slight obsession with Uniform Advantage. At least, I did when I was a CNA. I would go to buy a set of scrubs for my job and end up getting lost in there. Ooh how much is this? Do these come in other colors? Oh my gosh, these pants are SO comfortable. I have to buy them now. I don’t need to eat this week- I’m just going to splurge on 20 pairs of scrubs (okay, I’m not THAT crazy).
One essential piece, at least for me: compression socks. I wear the 15-20mmHg knee-high socks, personally. Also, the socks come in fun colors and designs, and different pressures.
Compression socks were game changers for me: my legs were pretty much pain-free at the end of an 8 hour CNA shift when I wore these! Now, I wear them during clinical rotations. The ones in the pictures above are all from Uniform Advantage’s website, but compression socks can also be found at any drug store, Walmart, Target, or Amazon, to name some options.
Cystic fibrosis has stolen so much. I Just want to take back something for myself, so I’m subtracting one foot . -paraphrased from Five Feet Apart.
Cystic fibrosis is a rare disease, and one that a lot of people, including me, might not know a lot about. Five Feet Apart brought CF out on the big screen, where it could now be on the radar of youth and adults alike. The movie brings much-needed CF awareness. If the movie (or book) causes someone to look up CF, or to reach out to help as a result; or if someone with CF feels validated and affirmed by the story; then you know what, the movie has done its job. As they say in psychology, awareness is the first step to change, and I think that applies here as well.
Cole Sprouse, the male lead, articulated the goal of the movie well: “to gain awareness, to start a discussion so that people with CF can feel heard and connected to others, and finally, to raise money for a cure.” (Apparently they are close to finding one!)
19 years ago, not a lot was known about my chronic illness, UC. And now people have raised a lot of money for research, support groups are all around the country, and there’s an awareness of it. This makes me feel included in the conversation. Meeting others with the disease helps me feel validated. But if there’s one thing I hate, it’s people feeling sorry for me, or telling me how hard my life is….
I’ve lived longer with the illness than without it, and it’s not fun by any means, but it’s kind of weird when people get dramatic. It’s like, it has been 19 years and I have learned to cope. That’s it. It’s a fact. I’m not going to go everyday feeling bad about it. So if I’ve come to terms and am moving along, that means I’m fine. I’m dealing.
Cole Sprouse said not to cast this dark cloud over these patients. It’s all they know, and frankly, I feel like it’s insulting to be more dramatic than the person with the illness. People need support, but they want to be treated like people, not as a sick person.
I was cut more slack because of my colitis, and I don’t necessarily agree with that. If it’s something unrelated, I’d rather people treat me like everyone else. This main actor, is incredibly astute and wise, and he has the ability to articulate it with an impressive vocabulary. And thank goodness, because he has a platform to advocate for change, through acting, and that’s such a beautiful thing. ❤️
Nursing school was about to start. That means the gel nails needed to come off. But my nails were not presentable: they were rough looking and feeling. You want to present yourself as clean and polished, which helps build rapport with your patients.
Last minute, I went to CVS and found this nail buffer. It files your nails, removes ridges, smooths, and finally, gives them a nice, shiny finish. And viola! This worked so well that on my first day, you couldn’t even tell I had removed my gel nails just days prior.
You can find these at the drugstore or any beauty supply store, depending on which you like best. Also, they vary between 3 -sided and 4-sided. Mine cost $3.99. So if you’re a nursing student, or just plain busy, and loved getting a manicure back in the day when you had a life, this is a great alternative! 🙂
I still remember the day my dad helped me make this tile. I placed my three year old hand in green paint. My dad helped steady my hand so I wouldn’t make a big mess, I think. I probably didn’t do any of the writing but the thoughts were my own. Probably. I know for a fact I didn’t know how to spell my last name. I didn’t learn how to spell ‘Suarez’ until we were given small dog tag necklaces with our full names on them. I just remember thinking, I have to learn how to spell my first AND last name? Are you for real? And wait, there’s an accent too?! It would be no small feat. I was in class with my little tags, and I felt embarrassed because I thought I was behind. But I persevered and repeated the letters in my mind until they stuck. And now I can spell my middle name too.
I was older than three. But goals can seem so unattainable until they’re achieved. Looking back, the fear that I would never spell my last name was so silly. But for a five or six year old, it was a real concern!
Oh yeah, the tile. You can’t really see it because the pink paint has faded over the years, but 26 years ago, we came up with: I love (my hometown) and my daddy. And every so often I will go visit my tile in the kiddie park, which displays many other kids’ tiles who also grew up in our town. The nostalgia of it gets me every time. A lot has changed about the park and Main Street: updates, new shops, and new restaurants. Our beloved Ruby’s Diner is no longer at the end of the pier, which makes me sad. My peers have long since moved on from our small town, but here I am, where it’s familiar yet different, and I am an adult, no longer a toddler building sandcastles, or the 11 year old surfing, or even the 17 year old, saying ✌🏼and excited to move to Northern CA. So this is what it’s like to grow up.
What are some of your favorite childhood memories?
He made me a promise; He gave me a ring. I had my doubts about eternity, and was it even for me? And I wouldn’t wear it because if He were good, I wouldn’t have had to deal with this; I wouldn’t have had to experience that; I was misunderstood.
But then he would say, “you might not have what you want, but you have me. And I’m seeing your life in light of eternity.”
My mind racing, I feel like with every mistake, I’m losing pieces. I’m falling apart. Don’t tell me to “wait.”
I’m operating as an echo of who I used to be- when I felt whole, before I forgot what it meant to be free.
But little did I know, He’s been picking up the pieces along the way, and collecting them, placing them somewhere safe.
And then all at once, He shows me the fragments I left behind, through a tiny hole where something shined. It was all of the missing pieces he had saved for me, shown through reflected glass.
And he’d turn the device, and I’d see what He had always had in mind. A beautiful creation where all of these multicolored pieces collide. And all of the darkness is made light.
And every time I ruminated and cried out,”what did I do to deserve this mess?” I hadn’t stopped to notice every cry had been heard. All of the prayers, every hardship that never made sense, were being turned into magnificence,
Because where I thought he was holding back, I found out he was storing away, to create a whole picture of my life one day.
And a love so deep, a culmination so marvelous, nothing was lost but fully redeemed, transformed with purpose, kaleidoscope promises.
The weather’s nice and sunny; your commute to work includes the fresh flowers in bloom from spring; birds are chirping, maybe there’s a cool breeze.
What songs make you happy?
So here’s my happy playlist, lately, when I need a study break and take a moment to de-stress or when I’m on my commute. Funny enough, it’s an album called, Happiness Begins, by the Jonas Brothers.
Used to Be
Every Single Time*
Don’t Throw it Away
Happy When I’m Sad
YOUNGER ME REALLY LIKED THE JONAS BROTHERS: I was obsessed- their music made me feel like a kid raiding a candy store. So great. The brothers actually explain their squeaky clean persona in the documentary and that their portrayed image wasn’t even who THEY were. Come to find out they were regular humans all along. What?! OMG. I, LIKE, CAN’T EVEN.
Since they have grown up, I think their music has evolved into a style that adults can enjoy as well. I really like the authenticity of their documentary- they are given a human side in which they deal with issues, just like the rest of us. And this ingenuity makes them likable. You get a sense of them as normal people now that they’ve let they’ve let their guards down.
VERIZON WIRELESS CONCERT: I went with friends; I waited outside in line for way too many hours, turning into a popscicle, to attend one of their mini- concerts and meet and greets when I was a teen. (If only I had put that much effort into my school work…) By “mini,” the only mini thing about the whole thing was the stage and location. The crowd was not mini. There were so many screaming girls squishing me and my big marshmallow puffer jacket, and I was overheating.. I was in real life Lord of the Flies. And I could see it now: Christiepasses out from attending claustrophobia- inducing concert. She was a real die-hard fan.
MEET AND GREET: Whereas Nick was my favorite as a teen; as an adult, I love Kevin- because he seems really sweet. Years back at that Verizon concert, we went to the meet and greet. The other two guys were signing posters, CDs, and such, and I was very shy, so I didn’t initiate conversation. But I remember that Kevin made eye contact, shook my hand, and genuinely said, “How did you like the show? Thank you so much for coming out.” And I thought, wow, this guy’s REALLY NICE. (I’m sure the other two are great as well; I was just impressed with his authentic kindness. Aww I feel special, I thought. And I’m just a fan- you’re the celebrity! I did get a signed poster from the three brothers!)
Note to self: make better eye contact with people- it makes them feel valued and heard.
RECENTLY: Joe Jonas seems to have matured a lot, and from what I saw on the documentary, there were moments where he was portrayed as very sensitive and caring- not afraid to be vulnerable. He cried after discussing the breakup of the band, and I just wanted to give him a hug. He’s now married to Sophie Turner from Game of Thrones, and he said she inspired him to be a better man and a better brother. Aww. 😢 So sweet. Joe also seems really happy, and that’s infectious! He was always the funny one. And at the Billboard Music Awards, Kevin looked like he was having a blast. I hope for a bright future for these guys.
I used to be afraid to be alone, terrified. Thoughts spiraling, fears left unchecked. But what was maybe even scarier was really letting people in. If there’s one thing I want to be remembered for, it’s for being a person who loved fiercely, who held nothing back. Someone who didn’t let fear guide her, but instead, love. Perfect love casts out all fear. (1 John 4:18).
So, now as an adult, I have to ask myself, why am I stuck down on the ground when I am now ready to fly? Fear’s grip is tightly holding on, while my true self is underwater yet making its way to the surface.
So, maybe you’re on your way; maybe you’re in progress; or you might be living out your message right now.
Your life is your message. What do you want that message to be?
My stepdad is a guitar player; I sing. So we thought we’d record a song together. As I expect instant perfection, I was not accustomed to repeating the song over and over and over…. There would be a mistake, and we’d re-record. And I was getting impatient. And then, my friend’s advice came in: have grace on yourself and others. If I stopped being frustrated with myself, I could learn a lot from my stepdad rather than argue or complain. He knows a lot about music that I don’t know. Just listen, Christie.You don’t always have to be right. And obviously I’m not.
We’re at where we’re at and that’s that.(That sounded like a cross between a Dr. Seuss book and one of the tautological tweets on Trump’s twitter feed on which he tweets tweets. See what I did there?)