Archive for tag: family

Senioritis

Boy, do I have a BIG case of Senioritis! We've talked about motivation before, about how to stay motivated, studying for midterms, etc. But this is a whole new level of short-timer's syndrome. Surely you all know what I mean. It's -- day before vacation, Friday afternoon, last week of school -- syndrome. The unfortunate thing is, I don't think I'm classified as a senior yet. 

Last week, Forest (age 14) and I were talking about school. It seems that we're both lacking in motivation (except I seem to hide it a little bit better). During this conversation he said to me, "Mom, I've had senioritis since the 5th grade" -- to which I laughed. He's in 9th grade now. But I know exactly what he means. Being in 7th Tri provides just a bit of a tease regarding being done (writing business plans, talking about practices, etc.). The fact that we keep talking about clinic is a pretty big deal. We've already started talking about schedules. It's coming quick. I can't wait. As far as Forest and his senioritis, he's got a good bit longer to go than I do. It'll probably be a bit more of a struggle for him than for me. Until then, we'll have to keep tabs on our goofing off and not doing schoolwork.

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(Image source: http://lawrencecentral.highschoolmedia.org)

One thing that people don't really talk about outside of school (at least it seems that way) is variation. When you get to cadaver lab, you'll see how vastly different things are from body to body. Sometimes an artery is on the medial side of the muscle -- sometimes the lateral. Maybe there's a split in the vein and maybe there isn't. I happen to know that none of my nerves in my head and face are in the "right" spot. I have a condition known as a Chiari malformation. I tell everyone that my brain is too big for my skull -- which is actually true (but still funny). But the fact that the junction where most of the cranial nerves exit is lower in the head has made for interesting positioning as far as the rest of them. My dentists are always (not) amused if I need work done. And we figured out that regarding acupuncture of the head (on Saturday), it's not necessarily a good idea for me.

So, regardless of the condition or the modality, it's important to remember that not all people are wired the same, have the same sensitivities, or respond to therapies the same way. There is no "one size fits all" approach. The idea of "protocols" is a trap that we can fall into -- but we have to keep in mind, that our patients are individuals with unique bodies and unique needs.

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Dave and Ricky

In Modalities this morning, we were experimenting with TENS units. Since it didn't happen last week, I wasn't going to include it in this week's post, but the reactions were priceless. Ricky and Dave decided to "exercise" (or maybe it was exorcise, LOL) the digitorum profundus.

Have a great week, everybody!!!!

Holiday Memories

I hope everyone had an amazing Thanksgiving!!!! I also want to take a moment to wish a Happy Chanukah to my friends that celebrate and also a Happy Holiday season!

This is my last blog of this year, and of this trimester. I wanted to thank all of you for reading over the year and spending your time with me.

I'm going to forego the tips and tricks for coping with finals -- we've been there, done that. I'm going to skip the recipes and healthy living tips. Instead, I'm going to share a story. ­

This is the time of year when I get the most nostalgic. I have a million wonderful memories of the holiday season. It's always been my favorite time of year. As a kid, I would spend hours untangling Christmas lights, decorating the house, and making random crafts and cookies. I don't even remember how old I was when all of that started.

Christmas was always a really special time for my dad and I. We're both still a lot like little kids, even now. My dad worked -- a LOT. He worked both as an RN and a CRNA almost my entire childhood, so he didn't have a lot of free time. We would often work in the garden, run random errands, or do special projects on Saturday mornings -- because that was one of the few times he didn't have to work. Those Saturday morning memories have always been very special to me.

I must have been maybe 8 or 10 years old the first time I remember us going to get the tree. Since I grew up in Central Illinois, it was often cold and snowy by the beginning of December. Like clockwork, the decorating started the first weekend of the month -- before that was too soon, after was too late. The boxes were pulled out of storage, having lain in wait the whole year for just this event. I'd dump garland and lights all over the living room floor and then carefully unpack each ornament. Each one always had a story -- whether it was hand made or store bought.

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(Image Source: stamp4fun.typepad.com)

It always seemed like the coldest day of the year when we would go search for our tree. My dad and I would bundle up in whatever big poufy coats we had, 4 pairs of socks, boots, and usually overalls (at least for him). Sometimes we'd let the dog (Tubbs, the wonder mutt) ride in the back of the pickup truck. I really don't know how he didn't freeze -- it seemed so cold. I don't remember what we'd talk about on the drive, but it must have been something like piano recitals or Christmas programs at school.

We drove to a Christmas tree farm out in the middle of nowhere (I think it was Meredosia, maybe Beardstown), pulling back into a field dotted with trees and cactus. Tucked back down a long driveway were a couple of barns, an old farmhouse like ours, and a bunch of tractors. We'd check in with the owner and he'd send us on our quest. We drove up and down the sandy roads (Christmas trees grow best in the sand -- or so he'd tell me), looking for the perfect tree.

Sometimes we remembered the saw, and sometimes we didn't. One year I remember cactus spines stuck in my socks, running nose, standing opposite my dad around a HUGE Christmas tree trying to convince ourselves that it wasn't too big. (It was -- but we got it anyway. It left a sap mark on the ceiling that stayed there for about 5 years. It also fell over, and we ended up with a 3-foot tall artificial tree at some point in the season. Incidentally -- it was beautiful while it lasted). We'd crawl under the tree, make our cut, and load it into the back of the pickup truck. The heat never seemed to work all that well on those days, but it didn't matter. We were triumphant.

The rest of the day was always a blur. There was usually a tree in a bucket of water, my brother and my dad carrying it into the house while I was on "needle patrol," and my mom was taking pictures of us all with her camera. By the end of the day it would all be done. Beautiful.

I want to wish you all great skill and fortune on your final exams, safe travels, and wonderful memories this holiday season.

Time Is Flying

The last week has been a total blur. Time is speeding up and things are going faster. It's one of those times in the tri when I look back and go--it's week what?--and also look forward and groan. Coming up we have the start of exams (first one is this coming Friday), midterms, and signing up/studying for boards. We have until July 2nd to sign up. I received a notification email this last week about it. That reminds me--I need to do something about that.

On the homefront, I'm slowly getting things settled in the house--still unpacking boxes and looking for things, but I've finally got all my books unpacked. I've been looking for one specific book on preparing herbal remedies for a few weeks. I've promised to share it with Dr. Martin. We've talked about hydrosols (which are a bit like essential oils but easier to make). It's a great book and I highly recommend it. The title is The Medicine Maker's Handbook by James Green. He also has an excellent book called The Male Herbal. If you're interested in working with herbs and men's health, it's a must-have.

My library has grown a bit over the last couple of years. I've acquired books that the school library was getting rid of, along with a few purchased on a whim (never a good idea) and I'm thinking it's time to do some culling. Perhaps one of life's lessons I've learned is to only keep in your life what you use/love. Books definitely fall into this category. There's still SO much to learn/know, not just about medicinals, but everything else. One can never know too much (although I've figured out when it comes to test questions, this is debatable). I'm still looking for resources on Ayurvedic and Native American medicine, as well as all of my other interests.

The boys' last day of school is Wednesday. They're thrilled to be done and trying to plan their whole summer with video games and hanging out with friends. Instead, they'll be visiting family members around the country for the majority of the summer. I'm thankful that they're older and able to run things at home while I'm at school, but I'm sure there will be ferrying about to random events over the remaining 10 weeks. It just so happens that our next break is right when they go back, so no family vacation for us, unfortunately. They enjoy the time to decompress, just like I do, when there's time off. It's officially summer.

I'm already planning for next weekend to be a quiet one spent studying and working around the house. It's time to make more progress on the garden and to get unpacked once and for all. It's hard to imagine it's been almost a month since I've moved in. I still catch myself driving towards my old place--old habits die hard. I've not figured out a solid routine yet. I've been dreaming of the garden and which medicinals and foods to grow.

Saturday night, I had the great joy of hearing, and seeing, George Clinton at Ferg's in downtown St Pete. I didn't take any pictures - the crowd was a wee bit rowdy. But it was a great show. I always expect small, live venues to be awful, but it was amazing. He's still just as talented as he was "back in the day." So, in closing for this week, here's a bit of George Clinton for everybody. Brace yourselves--this is just a wee bit funky.

Have a great week!