"I should be asleep." This is what I say to myself at hours like
this -- around O-dark-thirty when I'm still up working on
something. "I should be sawing logs or whatever people are supposed
to be doing at this hour... instead I'm here."
This last week has been a week for the record. I finished my
master's degree. I don't know how I did it -- but I did it. I
honestly don't know how I worked, had any part in my kids' lives,
was full-time here at National, and full-time at Western States.
But I did. And now it's over. I haven't quite come down from it all
just yet -- but the moment I realized I didn't have anything left
to do, my head kind of dropped. While most people would be
ecstatic, I was sullen. What do I do now? Now, granted -- I have
absolutely no shortage of things to do, read, study, learn, attend,
aspire to, whatever. But no one is making me -- but me.
On Friday of last week, I also sent in my paperwork for my
Oregon license. And all last week, when I wasn't studying for or
taking master's finals, I was working on the bridge course to be
able to sit for the licensing exam, which takes place the day after
graduation. In all of my "down" time, all I could think to myself
was -- what am I going to do now? Where am I going to go? What am I
going to do? I have to find a job. I have to move. I have to...
Sometimes we get so busy that all we do -- is do. And as those
old parts of my mind started to wander back in, you know, the parts
that think about stuff -- I started to get more and more scared.
This is it. Things are happening. Things are actually
Grey came back from Orlando, where he was competing in the FBLA
(Future Business Leaders of America) state competition (He won 5th
in his category -- which is kinda a big deal). He told me a story
that made me cry -- in the middle of the grocery store. He told me
about this guy -- Alex Sheen, who spoke at the FBLA ceremony with
thousands of high school kids from all over the state. Grey said
that there was barely a dry eye in the place. And I can see why.
Alex started the organization "because I said I would." Here's his
It made me think about what promises I might make at this point
in my life. I'm at such a point of transition -- finishing school,
Grey going to college, moving across the country, starting a new
In the quiet moments, at the clinic, we talk about what life
will be like when we're not around each other anymore. We've spent
nearly every day together for the last three and a half years. Even
when we still had breaks in between trimesters we would often text
or email each other, or sometimes hang out. I'd like to make a
promise to my close classmates that I won't lose touch and
completely disappear, as I'm apt to do.
Things are moving forward. Even though we might not all be in
the same place, I hope that we move forward together. After all,
we've been together so long that we're family.
Have a great week, everyone!
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
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!!!!
I can't believe it's already been a week since I last wrote.
Time at the VA is FLYING by. I'll only be there a couple more weeks
and then I'm back at the student clinic. Six weeks after that is
graduation. I'm having this great realization that graduation is
coming up on me like a freight train. Sometimes I feel like I'm
stuck down on the tracks, and sometimes I'm the one driving.
I'm working feverishly on finishing the master's work. That's
over in about a month. Just in case anyone was thinking about doing
this at the same time as getting your DC, be forewarned: it's a TON
of work -- especially the last quarter. This is not for the
faint-hearted. I honestly can't believe that I've done it. There
are times when I definitely feel like a masochist. It took me 6
quarters (a year and a half), but I'm almost done. Now to get all
of the papers and projects done; that will be a feat.
While I'm working at the VA, I'm finishing up all the paperwork,
volunteering, and other things needed. Last weekend I made a trip
to Sarasota to the American Youth Cup Series I. Apparently the park
where it was hosted, Nathan Benderson Park, is home to a world
class rowing event. In fact, the 2017 rowing championships are
being hosted there. It's a unique facility with a round lake. There
are a number of events coming up there -- including several
additional rowing events, a pentathlon, and a 5k. I'm hoping to
attend a few more of them.
It was a quiet day (no injuries); the weather was chilly and
windy (for Florida). Dr. Guadagno, Dr. Jake LaVere (a distinguished
recent National alumnus), Nick Herrild, and myself braved the
chills to be on hand in case anything should happen. When we
weren't watching the crew members running around or rowing, we were
sharing stories and business information. We had a pretty good time
talking about future business endeavors, practice models,
conferences, and plans.
Here's a wind-blown picture of the 4 of us.
As I continue my time at the VA, I'm seeing what it's like to be
in a completely different model of care. There are things that I've
learned that I know I will carry with me into my future practice,
and others that I know I won't. One thing I really appreciate, and
I touched on this last week, is the willingness to try something
new (or discharge from care) if things are or are not working.
People come in and they get better -- they stop coming in. People
come in and they don't get better -- they stop coming in. It's very
simple. It's ethical practice.
Well, I best stop writing here and get to some of my papers!
I hope that everyone here -- regardless of where you are in the
world, are staying safe and warm.
I'll see you all next week! Have a great one!!!
Week 4. What? How did that happen? Time is absolutely
I feel like one of those time warp photos - you know the ones
where someone stands still and everything passes them by 800 miles
an hour. Just like this.
I feel like I just can't get everything done fast enough -- that
the "to do" list keeps growing and growing, and as soon as I get
things checked off, a million are piled up in its place. And yet,
things keep getting checked off. We are now officially done filling
out college applications for Grey. I've ordered my application for
Oregon licensure. I'm nearly halfway done with this last quarter of
the master's program, and I start at the VA next week.
I spent the last week, besides doing everything else, reading
journal articles. I read 14 articles on various (potentially)
controversial topics in nutrition: dairy, egg, whole grain, and
meat consumption. It addressed cholesterol and eggs, lactose
intolerance, dairy allergy, whole grains and cancer, and several
other topics. But even after all of that, it was pro-ingestion.
These papers were FULL of statistics. Each one loaded with numbers
trying to support its case.
And then I looked at the lists of conflicts and references.
In Journal Club, we were taught to read everything with a
critical eye, to see the potential conflicts, and judge the studies
accordingly. For everyone that I talked to about these articles, my
only comment was -- "Statistics can manipulated to support
Always read with a critical eye. You never know what information
might be valuable, and what might be... 87.
Have an amazing week, Everyone. And if you come across some good
studies, feel free to send them my way.
It has rained, literally every day for over a week. It's Summer
time in Florida. I guess that's to be expected. Personally, I find
the rain a little bit depressing. BUT, the temperature has dropped
and that has been absolutely lovely. Autumn in Florida is always a
little touch and go. I say we have 2 seasons here: Summer, and not
quite Summer. While the leaves don't change, sometimes the
temperature does shift, and it eventually stops raining.
Sunrise in the middle of the showers - Coffee Pot
We're getting back into the swing of things after boards, and
settling into the tri. It's so weird not having classes. Part of me
feels like I must be skipping things, or somehow not showing up --
that I should be studying for a quiz or doing a project or
presentation -- but I don't have any to do. It's just bizarre.
Of course I still have work to do for the Master's program, but
that's a lot less involved than going to classes all day, every
day. Speaking of the Master's...I just finished finals for another
quarter there. I have only 2 left; 2 quarters left, and less than 2
trimesters left here. I honestly can't believe it. I'm not sure
whether I believed it would never happen, or that it just seemed so
far away that it was out of my realm of comprehension.
Our 10th trimester mentor, Jen, is making plans for graduation.
Yesterday we were talking about hotels and plane tickets and how
soon graduation is. It was a bit of a wake-up call.
A bunch of us have been doing some outreach with the clinic. SPC
has had a blood pressure initiative going. They're installing
automated blood pressure cuffs in many of their facilities. It's
helpful for people to keep track of their blood pressure. We've
been explaining normal ranges and what people can do to not only
keep track, but also to improve.
Julia, Dave, Ricky, Leslie, and Jen have gone, some twice, and
given a talk and been on hand to help. I'm excited. I get to go in
2 weeks. We'll see what happens. There's been some good
Everyone is talking about where we go from here. People are
making plans for shadowing, extra seminars, special licensure
requirements, etc. Events are taking place. It's really
Have a great week Everybody!
• After the DC Degree
• Botanical Medicine
• 1 Year at National
• Marketing Project
• First Week in Student Clinic
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