Finally sent in my 23andMe!

I FINALLY have turned in my 23andMe Kit! I have had the kit for MONTHS and forgotten about it every day. Terrible, I know. I’m not sure who is more excited for the results though, me or my brother and his friends. Somehow, they believe that my ancestry results will reflect theirs because we are all Sudanese! Totally inaccurate belief by the way lol

I have been waiting to write this post for so long! I can’t remember which day I sent it in exactly but I just got the email that they received my kit as so I am excited to know what my DNA is composed of!

Basically, 23andMe is a company that takes your DNA and breaks it down to analyze certain features about you. Our DNA is what makes us who we are. In fact, the “23” in the name is based on the fact that each and every one of us has 23 chromosomes that come from our mom and 23 chromosomes that come from our dads. Chromosomes are what contain our genetic make-up or DNA.

23andMe takes that DNA  and is able to determine where you came from based on where your ancestors came from. They are also able to tell you which type of diseases you are a carrier for or at risk of developing. Another feature that 23andMe offers is the opportunity for people to connect with relatives.

I’m not sure which of these features, I’m more excited for!

Anyways, let me tell you guys about when I first heard about 23andMe. I first heard about it back in 2010 or 2011 when I was sitting in one of medical anthropology classes. I don’t even remember what the topic was that made my professor talk about this but all I know is that afterwards, I went home and looked it up and had my eye on ordering a kit ever since.

I was heartbroken at the time because I couldn’t afford it being a college student and all, so I never bought it. Also, I think the price for the kit was much more expensive than it is now. I could be wrong though! I’ve always, always, ALWAYS had it in my mind to purchase a kit but I was never able to.

Then, one day, I was watching a YouTube video and the YouTuber talked about how if you are Sudanese and all 4 of your grandparents are Sudanese, you could contact them and get a free kit or something (this offer is expired now). She couldn’t have told me twice. I emailed them that second and fast forward to months later, I get my kit.

Lesson learned from this experience: Sometimes, years of patience gets you free things LOL

When the box came in the mail, I was too excited! Much to my surprise, there were only a few things in there. The box itself was really small (much smaller than I expected) and the kit basically contains a test tube that you spit in (for the DNA) and the bio-hazard and a little information packet with instructions.

I love how pretty this box is with all the colors by the way.

Here is what you will find inside:

This kit that I received is for the African Genetics Project which hopefully means I am going to get back a lot of data. This project seeks to gain better understanding of genetic similarities and differences between people in the different regions of Africa. I love that I can contribute to a research!!

When I got the kit, I opened the box carefully because you actually mail back that same box when you send in the sample. Before you spit in the tube, you have to register it online using the number on the test tube. Also, you have to wait 30 minutes after you eat before you spit in the test tube.

I think it’s better to just spit in the tube right after you wake up. I kept forgetting to do this, which is probably another reason it has taken me almost forever to send in my box!!

Below, you can see that I’ve already spit in the test tube and placed it in the bio-hazard bag and sealed it. The bag is really tiny. The picture makes it look big.

After I placed the test tube inside the bio-hazard bag, I then placed it inside of the box. To secure the test tube inside the box, you have to seal the box before mailing.

I believe the lab where your sample will go depends on where you live. For example, if you live in New York, it will probably go to some lab in NY. It doesn’t really make sense for your sample to travel all the way down to North Carolina to be analyzed….Unless, your sample really wanted to come down to NC for some Bojangles and sweet tea LOL

What I loved the most about this process was how easy and uncomplicated it was. The directions were so clear and so convenient. I’m a type of person who is always asking questions and I’m easily confused so for me to not ask any questions is miraculous!

23andMe is also great in that they send you emails with constant updates about what’s happening with your DNA and they will keep sending emails. It’s like they know I’m super excited to get my results! Stay tuned to read about my results!

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Midterm week = unproductive rest of the week

This week we had our intro to clinical medicine midterm! I’m not sure if it’s just me or everyone else is like this but whenever it’s an exam week, the rest of the week is sooo unproductive. My midterm was on Wednesday so that means Wednesday evening through Sunday have been quite unproductive!

I apologize in advance for the poor quality pics!

Monday:

Monday before the midterm was okay. It was kind of rainy and cloudy. We had a 4 hour lecture on the reproductive and renal systems. Then we went to our small group discussions about those same systems. I came home and studied a little. So, it was a pretty uneventful day lol

Tuesday:

Tuesday was freezing! I had virtual clinic in the morning, SOAP writing in the late morning, and clinical skills lab in the afternoon!

I had to change from dress clothes to scrubs before clinical skills. This got me thinking about how badly I need a bag to carry all of my stuff in! Any recommendations are appreciated! I’m wearing what’s now my favorite coat from Talbots!

Those are my Cherokee Scrubs that I love!

Tuesday evening was of course spent cramming because the exam was the  following morning!

Wednesday

I couldn’t believe how fast Wednesday came! This was the day of the midterm. Surprisingly, I was so calm before the exam. I’m normally freaking out on the days of exams but I realized that I’ve truly done my best with the chaotic schedule so I had to let God handle it at that point!!

It was still kind of chilly outside and cloudy so I definitely had to wear a sweater! After the exam, I ended up going to the mall with a few friends and getting matched for foundation at Sephora!! It was kinda cool! I don’t know much about make up so this was enlightening for me!

I also wen’t into bath and body works to stock up because they are having their semi-annual sale! If you don’t know, it’s still on until the end of June!

On Wednesday evening, I went out to eat at this Iraqi restaurant! The atmosphere was pretty chill and the food was good!

I came home, watched TV and fell asleep lol

Thursday

Thursday was a semi productive but I felt myself slipping toward the end! I studied for only a little bit and ended up cleaning my place / organizing. So I guess it was productive, just not productive with studying.

Friday

I did NOTHING! I watched Netflix all day long! This was my first ever Netflix binge lol I’ve never done that before but seriously it was the most relaxing day! I didn’t even feel guilty about being doing nothing and that’s the best part lol

Saturday

I came to campus to force myself to study and only ended up doing about 5 hours of studying! I went home and continued to relax lol

Sunday

I woke up determined to get some schoolwork done but I thought it might be better to go get groceries, plan my meals for the week, and cook! That way, I would have the rest of next week week to study. I ended up studying for about 4 hours and did the rest of that stuff!  I was proud that I planned my meals for the week and cooked a little bit.

The struggle was real after that midterm! I hope this coming week is much more productive! Stay tuned for another update!

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Back in the US! …..what now?

Basic sciences is OVER! I am officially done with all of the “book work” portion of med school jk, there are still some books involved…lots, and lots of books!

Not sure if I have explained before but with Caribbean Medical Schools, we study our basic sciences for two years overseas, on an island, and then come back to the United States to study for the USMLE and start clinical rotations!

I am beyond excited to be done with basic sciences but I definitely already miss the warm weather and beautiful views! I didn’t realize how much I would miss St. Kitts & Nevis but I definitely do. And to those who are still on the island and are coming back to the States, you will too, believe it or not!

The first few weeks of being back in the States and being in a new location was a little bit challenging because I’m technically starting over in a new place. The unfamiliarity can be scary at times but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

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I came only a few days before classes in hopes of exploring a little before classes began but unfortunately it was rainy and cold up here so I didn’t get to see much of the city ! Three weeks in and I still haven’t been able to see much 😦  Hopefully soon though!

Classes go by REALLY fast and so do the weeks. I can’t believe I’m already on the 4th week! The current schedule is composed of lectures, virtual clinic (a simulated clinic), clinical skills training, preceptorships, CPR and ACLS training. This schedule is for the first 8 weeks of the semester only, the following 6 weeks will be Kaplan Review Lectures that we have to attend in preparation for the USMLE.

At first, the semester seemed chaotic because it was completely different than the basic sciences schedule but then once I got the hang of the schedule, I’ve realized it isn’t that bad. As of now, there are no Saturday or Sunday classes except for when we have CPR or ACLS training which is just two Saturday’s. Once we start the Kaplan Review classes for the USMLE, I hear the schedule is pretty packed and we even have classes on weekends but not sure if this is just a rumor or the truth!

Other than that, I’m loving preceptorships which is essentially a clinical rotation, just much shorter. I’m in peds with the little ones and I can’t believe how much I have learned already from this experience. Fortunately, I have an amazing preceptor who is always teaching me new things. He’s really passionate about peds which makes it that much more fun! I’m amazed with how much I have learned in such little time! Sadly, this week will be last preceptorship 😦 I can’t wait until my peds rotation!

Midterms are just around the corner aka next week so this weekend will be spent intensely reviewing !

For any questions, shoot me an email or comment down below (:

To stay updated on what’s happening, make sure to subscribe to my blog via email! You can also follow me on Instagram!

Study schedule for the week downloadable

I have another free downloadable for you guys! I’m old fashioned so I still like to write out my schedule on pen and paper.

I print one of these out every week and fill it out. I also have my schedule on google calendar, but with the printable, I can hang it on my wall in front of my desk or stick in my binder along with my notes.

Study Schedule

You can download this planner for free here: Weekly Schedule

Let me know what you guys think about this one (:

 

Eid al Fitr 2k17

Eid Mubarak to all of my fellow Muslims out there! I know I am a few days late but I wish you all much success in all of your endeavors!

Okay, so for those of you that aren’t familiar with Eid Al Fitr. It is a Muslim holiday immediately following Ramadan (our holy month of fasting). Eid day starts off with prayer early in the morning. Prayer is usually done at a mosque or at an indoor area that can hold hundreds of people. After the prayer, we visit our families and friends starting with those who recently experienced a death or a difficult time. We spend time with them and try to make them forget about their difficult circumstance. I love this aspect because it is a completely selfless act!

Once we have done that, we spend time with those who are closest to us and eat lots of good food! Since I had to spend this Ramadan and Eid al Fitr away from home, I was fortunate enough to spend it with my Med School Muslim family. We prayed, ate, and laughed.

The earliest Eid memory I have was when I was really young, I was about 4 or 5 years old. My family and I were living in Sudan at that time and there was some Eid Carnival going on. All I know was that I really wanted to ride on a swing because I never rode one before. I drove my mom absolutely crazy during the day until she finally agreed to take me. I was determined to get on that swing and was quite persistent in my nagging lol when I finally got to the swing, I felt like my dream came true LOL

Here’s what I wore to the prayer and lunch for this Eid:

Me

Watch (Almost Exact , Similar), Shirt, Bag (Same style but different colors), Hijab (Similar), Dress