I survived the weekend. I was wondering if I would. Although I'm
not entirely sure I'm still intact. As I've said before, there's
not really anything that can prepare you for boards. All of the
studying, reviewing, and cramming isn't going to make everything
magically retrievable in the head. There's always something that
slips through there. We hope that it's not too much, but in the
end, it's not the things that we remember that we worry about.
Now that boards are over and the waiting game has begun, I've
had a tiny bit of sleep and I'm now focusing on regrouping and
moving forward. Job hunting is in the definitive future, and with
that comes the prospect of moving. Moving brings with it a mixed
bag of reminiscing and looking forward. Today I pulled a box out of
my living room that had some old cords, digital cameras, and random
electrical stuff. I plugged in the cameras and found myself
reliving moments over the last couple of years and wondering what I
was thinking. For a while I was writing myself notes on the
chalkboard at the entrance to the house. I called them "Notes from
Now that, hopefully, Part IV boards are behind me, I'm working
on the next chapter. It's been no great shock to my classmates that
I hope to leave Florida. Preliminary job hunting has illuminated a
couple of options, but more need to come. My heart has been
elsewhere for a long time. Seeing these boards written years ago
reminds me. It's time to clear the muddle of my mind, free my
heart, and fly.
Have a Great Week Everyone! If I don't reach you before
Thanksgiving, have an AMAZING Turkey Day.
I HATE being injured. I REALLY hate it. Inevitably, the doctor
becomes the patient. And everything that you hear about doctors
being horrible patients -- is completely and utterly true. We're
non-compliant, cranky, and just generally difficult. And if you can
imagine the worst of the worst patients -- that would be me.
Why am I telling you this? Well, on Saturday, I hurt my back.
I've done it before, but this time seemed to be worse. There's
something extremely humbling about not being able to do all the
things you normally do: get in and out of a chair, put on pants,
walk. We don't think about it. They've become second nature; we
take them for granted. And even as (almost) doctors, even though
we've maybe felt the pain before, it's really easy to forget how it
I hobbled into the office Monday morning, and declared, "I need
to be seen by whomever is available as soon as possible." People
cleared their schedules. They juggled patients. People gave up
their treatment times to help me (Thanks, Dave). I sat and filled
out the same paperwork we give to patients. Where is the pain? Does
it radiate? What does it feel like? If you've ever been on the
filling out end of these papers, I'm sure you know what I mean when
I say -- trying to fit how you feel into a form or a diagram is
HARD. I still wrote in the margins.
When my time came, my intern took me back into the patient rooms
and I sat and experienced everything that our patients experience:
the waiting, the orthopedic tests (some confounding and some
painful), the range of motion, the poking and prodding. She drew up
a treatment plan, the doc looked it over, and she went to work.
I'll spare everyone the details, but after a few adjustments and
some soft tissue work, I was sent on my way, to do that to a
It never hurts to be reminded what it feels like. I'm doing
better -- getting a little bit better every day. I'm grateful that
there's a whole team of people here to take care of me, which is
helping me take care of everybody else.
Special thanks to Leslie, this week, for getting me back on my
Have a great one everyone! I'll be taking part IV boards this
weekend, along with many of my classmates. Good luck to
I find myself having the hardest time believing that school is
almost over. As I sit here contemplating what to write, my mind
wanders over things like jobs, moving, and what will happen next.
It's terrifying, and exciting. It also feels like the most daunting
prospect I've ever come across.
I'm starting to look at job postings. In some ways it seems
presumptuous. After all, it's about 6 months away. And at the same
time, I can't help but look. How early is too early to apply? Maybe
I should buy someone's practice. Is that really something that I
can accomplish? Maybe I should just work somewhere for a while
rather than try to make things move on my own. I just can't quite
wrap my head around all of this just yet. There are so many
decisions to make. Where do I begin?
Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
We've had nearly record high numbers of patients at the clinic
for the last couple of weeks. We were shy about 8 last week. Given
the number of cancelations and no-shows that we had, we would have
far surpassed the clinic's highest record. We're lucky to have all
of the SPC students and faculty, as well as the other NUHS students
and faculty as our patient base. It allows us to see a wide variety
of people with an even wider variety of conditions: from eczema to
complex neurological syndromes. Rarely a day goes by without
something unusual. My patients keep me guessing, and laughing. I
really appreciate the sense of humor in many of them. Even in the
midst of pain, they still find time for a smile. It makes my day go
that much easier.
Last week, Julia, Dr. Jourdan, and myself hosted an NUHS booth
at SPC's career day. We were tucked back in the back, but got a
chance to let a few people know about the school, what we do, and
what we offer to other students there. Most of the students at the
career fair were nurses. That didn't stop them from picking up
brochures about the school. We're thinking that maybe we'll end up
with a couple of new students from the day. We've already had a few
start as patients. It's great to get a chance to talk to people,
have them get excited about what we do, and then see them bring it
I guess that's what it's all about, right? Getting your foot in
the door? Maybe that brings me back to looking for a job. I've had
people come out of the woodwork in the strangest of places,
offering me information or connections. As much as I loathe the
concept of networking (yes, I mean that), having conversations with
people and finding out there's some type of mutual interest -- now
that's making a connection.
Hope everyone has a great week. I'll be working and studying for
Part IV boards. We're getting closer...
It's hard to describe that feeling of waiting for board scores.
If you are lucky, the days and weeks following a board exam are
busy enough to distract from what feels like impending doom. The
day gets put on the calendar and slowly approaches. The night
before, there's this nagging feeling like something big is
happening tomorrow. And then there's the sinking feeling, when I
realize what it is. The nausea sets in, and maybe a headache. Time
ticks so extremely slowly. It's like Christmas Eve, and you're 6
years old, but waiting for the zombie apocalypse. Morning comes. 8
am rolls around. Scores are in. Sitting in clinic seeing patients,
I try not to think about what's waiting for me. Others have already
checked. They passed! Congrats to them. I want to throw up.
I'm sure that they're smarter than I am. They must be; they
passed. I don't know what my scores are. I'm too chicken to check.
Patients roll through the clinic and I am trying not to think about
it. Good thing I have complicated patients. "Thanks for the
challenges and the distractions," I keep thinking to myself. Oh no.
I remember what I have to do when I get home. The day is over. And
even though I've stayed late to try to distract myself and get all
of my paperwork done, I don't want to go home. I don't want to see
my scores. It's the end of the world.
I make the drive, get home, and Grey meets me at the door. "I
have to do something," I say. He's telling me about his day. I sit
down and open my computer: NBCE in the Google window. And then I
wait. All that stress to a final moment I click on the link:
September 2014 scores. Click. One eye open, the other looking
through fingers, squinting, scared -- Grey is still talking to me,
trying to distract me. I can't look. I open my eyes. No stars. NO
STARS!!!! There are NO STARS!!!! I passed. (Stars mean that a score
isn't passing. If there's a star there, then the score is too low.)
All of that stress for absolutely nothing. The scores are fine. OK,
now I can go on with my life. Done. *Whew*
Now that all of that's done...
Last week, I had the great pleasure of participating in "All
College Day" for SPC. At All College Day, all of the SPC campuses
and staff come together for workshops and seminars. It also gives
all of the University Partnership Program participants and
affiliates a chance to come out, remind people that we're still
here, do some demonstrations, and hopefully bring some new patients
to the clinic. There were two sessions, a morning and afternoon.
Julia, Daniele, Brian, and Manuel held down the fort in the
morning, and Theresa, Antoinette, and I kept things under control
in the afternoon. Of course, Dr. Harrison accompanied us throughout
the day. It was a great day!
Many of the staff weren't aware that the clinic was available
for them. I've said this before, but I always love the response I
get from people when they hear "free healthcare." We were using the
G4 Massager and giving free massages, and also performing postural
screening and giving evaluations. It was a TON of fun. It's nice to
get out of the office every once in a while and do some outreach.
But also amazing to reach some new people, and see them come into
the clinic shortly thereafter. It's also great to see some of our
patients out running around in their natural environments.
Lots of incredible things coming up in the next few weeks; I'm
on to the next great adventure. Part IV Boards.
Have a Great One, Everybody!!!!!
This last week has been a swirling vortex of chaos. Problems
arise. Complications erupt. Solutions are concocted. Time passes.
Sometimes things are solved and sometimes they aren't. Life is
complex. And it's fragile.
When I was pregnant with Grey, I was a member of a
moms' group. All of our kids were due in April of 1997. Now, we had
some extremely premature kids born in December of 1996, and others
born in May of 1997 (like Grey), totally unwilling to come out into
the world. Through the years, our group has seen health problems,
additional children being born, family member's deaths, pregnancy
losses, divorces, etc. But this week, we're seeing our first "April
One of the boys, it seems, as teenagers are apt to do, decided
to try a combination of substances, and it induced a heart attack,
respiratory failure, and subsequently brain death. He's been in a
hypothermia-induced coma for the last few days, waiting to see if
he would recover. Things have gotten worse. This boy was a swimmer,
a lifeguard, and a senior in high school. From everything I know
about him, he was gregarious and good in school, much loved by
friends and family -- and now his parents are having to decide
whether to donate his organs or not.
As a parent, this is your worst nightmare. We spend the early
years trying to compensate between lack of sleep, juggling
obligations, and trying to keep the kids alive. There's a mentality
that happens after a while, especially once they've passed
toddlerhood, that gives perhaps a false sense of security.
Especially if the kids are prone to being sick or have some type of
chronic condition, if they've made it to the teenage years, it's
easy to feel like you've made it. This situation is just another
example of how that's really not true.
As a healthcare practitioner, it's still a tough situation.
Granted, most of us aren't going to be in the position of making
life or death decisions or counseling people on organ harvesting,
but it's not unheard of that chiropractic physicians become trusted
advisors and friends. It's easy to refer someone to a counselor or
therapist. It's harder to sit and hold their hand as they deal with
some of the worst grief of their lives. At some point we realize
that there's nothing that we can say or do to make the pain go
away. We simply must be present and with our patients, our family,
or our friends for support.
Grey and Forest and I have talked about what's happened. It's
probably affected me more, as a parent, than it ever will the boys
-- since they weren't close to the boy. It reminds me how fragile
life is, how it can all fall away because of one decision, and how
lucky we all are to have each other.
Hold each other close, Everyone.
For more information on Grief Counseling, please see:
• After the DC Degree
• Botanical Medicine
• 1 Year at National
• Marketing Project
• First Week in Student Clinic
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