Archive for tag: florida

Time Is Flying

Boy did last week fly by! I finished up my time at the VA, participated in the Loop the Lake Doggie Bones 5k, and wrote 3 papers (among other things). Actually, this whole trimester has flown by. I can't believe I'll only be writing with you all for a few more weeks.

The last month at the VA has been CRAZY! Our volume of patients was pretty high. In my last week, we saw 11 patients in just a few hours. I'm grateful for the experience there. I was definitely exposed to things that I likely would have never seen. I had the chance to use a multi-disciplinary EMR system that absolutely blew my mind. Imagine putting 20+ specialties into one system, having access to ALL films, bloodwork, lab reports, physician notes, and pharmaceuticals in one record. It was awesome! It allowed me to go through more records in a few minutes, than I could have in hours otherwise.

I had the chance to work with some pretty complex problems. Some of the patients had severe systemic metabolic problems. It was interesting (and sad) to see the "end result" of what happens when health isn't maintained. There were some good reminders for me there -- and definitely opportunities. Chiropractic and Functional Medicine are most definitely needed within that system. There's so much good we can do!


On Saturday, I joined Dr. Fava and Dr. Gambina at the Loop the Lake Doggie Bones 5k -- which was actually a cycling and running event, a walk, and a dog walk all in one day. We must have had 500 athletes there in one capacity or another (and it seemed like even more dogs). Seeing all the super high tech bikes made me want to ride again -- although I can't tell you when was the last time I rode. Dr. Fava and Dr. Gambina are extremely talented sports chiropractors, and I was able to observe some intense Graston work, as well as see some different stretching techniques. It was a good event. There weren't any crashes or major injuries, but we did have a few cramps and pulled muscles.

There's a triathlon this weekend that I'm hoping to attend at the same location. Several of the interns are going. We should be seeing quite a few patients. I can't wait! I'm finishing up the master's program at UWS. I have only 9 days left until the last of the final exams are finished. I honestly can't believe it's over. It's really gone so unbelievably fast. Last week I wrote 2 position papers and a research paper on Vitamin D and Metabolic Syndrome. I must have read 25 articles, and found teasers for at least a dozen more on peripheral topics like vitamin D's influence on autoimmune disorders (which will definitely be a topic of mine for the future). All of the papers were well received - as far as I know. I don't think that I have any more to write -- which also makes me a little sad. It looks like I'll have to publish in the future, just to get my writing "fix."

We have less than 6 weeks left in the trimester. It'll go by even faster. Everyone is making plans for graduation -- to travel to Lombard and walk the stage. It all seems so surreal, but it's really, finally happening.

See you all next week!!!!

Week in Review

I love it when I have amazing ideas for these blogs and then by the time I get to sit down and write them, they are *poof* gone. So, I'll just share some of the things that have happened in the last week.

Tri Mixer

Last Friday was my last Tri-Mixer. It was cold, but the turnout was pretty good. I got to speak with several of the first trimester students and some of the later tri students that I don't get to see very often. Spirits were bright. Everyone seemed excited about where they were in the stage of the program. It didn't really hit me until now that it was probably my last opportunity to see most of them. It's a little bit sad, and also exciting. There are definitely going to be some fantastic practitioners coming out of the program in the not too distant future.

We all met at "The Getaway," an outside venue on the water, bundled up under heaters to stay warm.

Tri Mixer at "The Getaway"

The lovely ladies in the picture above: Kimmie Brossard, Lexxi Roush,
Lauren Domanski, Courtney Bolen, Danielle Spratt, and Antoinette Stewart.

Disney Princesses 5K

On Saturday, several of my classmates volunteered for the Disney Princesses 5K in Orlando. I wish that I could have joined them -- it looked like they were extremely busy. I heard they saw over 500 injured runners! I was busy studying for a master's exam, which I took later Saturday night. I think I would have had more fun with them.

Above: Dr. Carlo Guadagno, Jessica Hipakka, Austin Shaw, Kevin Latona,
Felix Guzman, Antoinette Stewart, and Julia Harter.

NUHS interns

We've all been busy, busy, busy getting things done. There will be a lot more over the next few weeks - more events, more volunteers. We're getting the good work done...or something like that.

Have a great week, everyone!


I've waxed sentimental about this time of year before. There's something about the holidays. I've talked about my dad and our ventures hunting for that perfect tree. I've passed on random thoughts of sappiness here and there.

This season seems to be hitting me pretty hard. It's dawning on me that this is the last of so many things. It's the last blog of 2014, of my 9th Tri. This is the last Christmas where both of my boys will still be "boys," and maybe all of us will be together. It's probably the last Christmas that I'll be in Florida, and probably the last holiday season where I'll be around all of those that I've grown to love and be close with over the last 3 years. This is a pretty big deal.

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I always have the grandest ambitions around the holidays. I keep wanting to decorate the house from top to bottom, get the biggest tree, pull out all the stops - complete with candy and paper snowflakes. Truth be told, I started watching "Elf" a couple of weeks ago - in part to cheer me up, and otherwise to get me into the spirit of things. This morning I softly threatened to decorate the clinic office Elf-style. I'm almost always the last one to leave and it would be so easy for me to do. I think it'd be a blast. I'm not sure how others would take it though. It never hurts to have a little whimsy in our lives.

I have been a long-time fan of Christmas for just that reason. I'm not sure whether it was my dad that did it for me, or the idea of everything -- how we could all be just a little bit kinder, a little bit sweeter around the holidays, and it was totally OK. Even as a kid, I don't think it was about the presents for me, but rather about making things special. The presents had to be "just right" - something unique that we never had throughout the year, or a trinket or "need" dropped as a hint at a time that no one else could have possibly remembered. But I always kept track. That made things all that much more magical.

I used to go so far out of my way to decorate -- even when I was little. People close to me know I'm a bit goofy, but when I tell them about recreating my bedroom as a winter wonderland by covering huge portions of the floor with Styrofoam beanbag pellets, they often scratch their heads and walk away. Incidentally, my mom still finds those pellets on the floor, even though that carpet was traded out years ago, and she's probably vacuumed it over a thousand times.

Many other years, I've felt cheated by living here. I miss the cold and the snow. Yes, I just actually said that. I miss what it feels like to really be in the spirit. I've found the holidays kind of depressing. It's hard to be festive when Santa is on the beach in his speedo (yes, I know you didn't want that mental picture -- imagine how I felt). But as it's beginning to set in that this is the last year here, I keep wanting to make it special. It should be, after all.

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It's December. Time has passed; seasons are changing. And even though it doesn't necessarily feel that way, the changes just keep coming. I'm thinking we need to embrace them for what they are -- not what they could have been or what they will be -- but exactly as they are. We need to make the magic happen one more time while we still can - to tell those around us that we love them and show them just how special they really are.

So, with that in mind, dear blog readers -- thanks for joining me on my journey. May the joy and whimsy of this season -- however you choose to enjoy it -- fill your lives with hope and wonder.

Welcome Back Everyone

Photo of colored pencils"Don't you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address. On the other hand, this not knowing has its charms." -- You've Got Mail

I always loved this quote. It reminds me of growing up and going to get school supplies in the fall. Things were a WHOLE lot different then. The seasons changed; things got a little crisper, a little clearer, and somehow a bit calmer.

Welcome Back, Everyone!!!!

I must admit, the last 5+ weeks have absolutely flown by. I honestly don't know where the time went. Between break and the first two weeks of clinic, it just kind of vanished. *poof!* I learned something new over break: singular tasking. I know; you must be asking yourselves. "What is she talking about?" I am a notorious multi-tasker. It annoys people to no end how I'm always doing multiple things at once. But, I made a concerted effort, to simply sit and do one thing at a time over break. It was weird; I will admit. But it was also interesting. I tried to relax, focus on what I was doing (or not focus on what I was doing), and it almost became meditative for me -- no matter what task I was involved in. I'm hoping to do more of that in the future.

We're back in clinic and we've got a new classmate that's joined us from Lombard. (Your loss, Lombard -- Leslie is great!) And we've also been joined by a new crop of now 8th trimester students -- some of which started out in our original class, but have been 5-track students. It's good to be back together again. I'd forgotten what a good crew we were. Next week will be the first week that we're all seeing patients together, but during the preliminary workshops and orientation, I can tell that they're all going to be amazing!

Our students have separated into the two different clinics. For those that aren't familiar, we have two clinics in Florida -- a more student-based clinic at the Caruth Health Education Center, and a more public-based clinic in Pinellas Park. Our student-based clinic treats students, faculty, and staff for NUHS and St. Pete College. Our public-based clinic treats people from the public, but also some faculty from NUHS and students and faculty from St. Pete College. We're BUSY!!!!! It's been really odd having lost half of our classmates. It's a lot quieter when the 8th trimester students aren't in the office, but also, everyone that we've been around, every day for the last 2+ years (depending on when they joined us), isn't around any longer. It's been very different.

That having been said, I LOVE the crew that's I'm at the clinic with now. Everyone is fantastic. They work VERY hard, and we all seem to work very well together. Even though we've already been here for 4 months, it's still a period of adjustment, especially as we get more and more responsibility. I'm looking forward to seeing how things go.

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While we've been working in clinic, we've also been trying to study for boards. Most of us are taking Parts II, III, and Physiotherapy this coming weekend. It's a LOT to study. This is the first time that I've felt extremely unprepared for boards. I think it's because too much of a good thing is just too much. I've got more board study materials than I had for Part I -- probably triple the amount of materials. We were told that there is such a thing as over-studying for boards. I don't feel like I'm there yet; I have quite a ways to go. Here's hoping I make more headway before Friday. I'm pretty nervous.

But, we will go, and we will fill in bubbles and say prayers and hopefully things will work out.

As things get closer and more boxes are checked and things crossed out, I get more excited, and a little bit more scared. But it's all a great adventure.

Have a great week, everyone!

We Made It - Week 14

We made it! Well, almost. It's week 14 -- which means there's only one week left. This week and next week are finals. This week is mostly practical finals, but I have a few written as well. Acupuncture, the practical, was over the weekend. We also had the clinical entrance exam for physical therapeutics. We have to pass that exam, in order to progress to the clinic and treat (using those modalities). We were all pretty nervous -- because we're all anxious to get to clinic.

After next week, I'll be in Tri 8. Tri 8. (did you hear that sang angelically and see the beams of sunlight streaming down onto those two words?). They did. We've been talking about schedules and who will take what shift -- and how nervous some of us are. I'm not nervous -- at least that's what I'm telling everyone. I'm anxious to see what all we'll end up doing. What most people don't know is that any of the St Pete College and NUHS students can come to our clinic for free (and their immediate family too). We're really hoping that we see a lot of people -- that need all kinds of help. We do more than MSK -- just to let you know. I'm really hoping to get some functional medicine and nutrition patients as well.


So, after the "festivities" of the next 2 weeks, we have break. Break (did you hear the angels again?). This will be the first break that I've actually had since Fall of 2012 -- not because we didn't have a break, but because I was so busy. I worked, moved, studied for boards, worked -- and now, I finally get a break. I'm so excited! What will I do? I am going to a festival, the first weekend of break -- and I'm really looking forward to it. I haven't been to one here in about 4 years. I'll be volunteering as a Medic (only requires CPR certification), and I always have an amazing time. I also still have Master's work to do (which starts back this week), and random stuff around the house -- projects, prospects, and purpose. I'm trying to stay focused on finals and studying, but the allure of "free time" is haunting the back of my mind.

So, I figured you all needed to see something new around the area, so I went to Gulfport. I don't know why I haven't taken you all to Gulfport before -- it's only a hop, skip, and a jump from my house. While most people spend their nightlife in Ybor in Tampa or in Downtown St Pete, I tend to go to Gulfport. My favorite karaoke bar (O'Maddy's) is there -- where on random weekend nights I might be found singing Pink, Bonnie Raitt, or Evanescence. Really, Downtown Gulfport feels like a really small town right on the beach. There are some little shops, open air bars/restaurants, and a beach. It reminds me of the little beach towns in movies from the 50's and 60's.

Gulfport Casino

So, featured in the pictures today is the Gulfport Casino -- right at the center of Downtown Gulfport. Here's some history about it: Then And Now: The Gulfport Casino Ballroom. The Casino, as it stands now, was built in 1934 -- and architecturally it fits into the time -- beach-Craftsman era. They host all kinds of events there now -- including ballroom dancing. If you're in town -- before or after you come by the school, I recommend stopping by. And if you see me at karaoke, I might even sing you a song. I know that I'll be spending some time there over break. I'm really looking forward to it.

So, I'll see you guys after break. Good luck on finals. Enjoy the time. Next Tri means big, big things.