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!!!!
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.
Do you ever feel like there aren't enough hours in the day? Or
how you got to the end of the day when it all flew by so fast? This
is what it feels like, when I'm busy. The days when I have 3
patients in the clinic (which is the most I've had so far) seem to
fly. There's barely enough time to get all of the paperwork done:
chief complaint, history of present illness... I find that on those
days, it feels like maybe 2-3 hours have passed, and then the shift
is over. How did that happen?
There are a million things that I want to go over with patients.
I take LONG histories; really long ones. I ask questions that
nobody ever asks (and often have to spend time explaining why I'm
asking them). This piece of information is important for that. I
need to know that so I can tailor it for them so I can help them
get better. It never fails. Of course, it's hard to go through all
of that, feel like I haven't left something out, and still get
Of course, one of the great downsides to asking all of those
questions is having to write down all of those notes. I write books
in my patient files. In a way, I feel sorry for my clinician having
to read all of these notes, and then on the other hand, I like
A chalkboard used by Nobel Peace Prize winner Linus
Clinic is cooking along. I have a few regular patients, and new
patients coming in here and there. My favorites will always be
those with complex problems, especially functional ones. These
patients need so much more time. Their appointments seem to go by
even faster than the more simple ones. What changes can we make?
Are there things that can be changed? What are the parameters that
we're working with? So many questions, so little time to ask and
Research is ongoing. I'm trying to squeeze in articles when I
can, or when I have any free time. Right now I'm reading one about
xenobiotics and autoimmune disorders. Sometimes I think my head
will explode, or at least want to bang it into the wall when I
can't remember what a specific interleukin does (even though I've
looked it up 9,000 times already). Really I just love it, and can
see why people go into research full time. Although, the
application of it is exciting in and of itself. If only I could
know "everything." Of course we'd find new things to learn and
explore, and learn that things that we knew before were completely
and totally wrong, and have to learn them all over again -
differently. I guess that's why we're scientists.
The photo above is from one of Linus Pauling's chalkboards. If
you're not familiar with Linus Pauling, he was the only person to
be awarded two unshared Nobel Peace Prizes. He was a brilliant
chemist/biochemist and activist, and completely changed the way we
think about human biochemistry. He was a huge advocate of
"orthomolecular medicine" (which we now know as functional
medicine), vitamin therapies, and supplementation. I'm absolutely
fascinated by his work, and have had one of his books sitting on my
bookshelf for many months. If only I had the time to read it.
OK, Everybody, go learn something really cool (and then tell me
about it so I can learn too). But in case you're burnt out and
don't want to learn anything, enjoy some Moose yoga. I wish I could
stretch some of my patients out like that!
Have a Great Week, Everybody!!!!
I walked into the store this weekend and saw Christmas
decorations. Can you believe it? Christmas decorations?!?! I never
know whether I should be excited and festive or mortified at the
consumerism of having things out 3 months in advance. Seriously.
Who starts buying and decorating for Christmas 3 months before the
holiday? I guess it's just a reminder, though, that the end of the
trimester will be here before we know it. We're already looking at
midterms. My first one, in lab diagnosis, is this coming
Banyan Tree on Beach Drive in downtown St. Pete
I hear that the rest of the world is starting to cool off in
honor of the season--but here in Florida we're still averaging
upper 80s or lower 90s. It's. Been. Hot. I find I'm a little
envious of my friends and loved ones that are donning sweaters and
complaining about it being chilly. I haven't owned a sweater in
nearly 8 years. The closest to needing one has been dealing with
crazy air conditioning issues in the Annex. Sometimes it gets
downright chilly in there! We're threatening to bring teapots and
mittens. I can see it happening. It might start cooling off by the
end of October. For now, even though we're technically in Autumn,
it still feels like Summer--rain, heat, and all.
I'm getting into the Marketing project with planning my future
clinic. I spend a little bit of time every day, it seems, pondering
how things will be--how I want them. I know I need to do a lot more
research on my geographic regions and desired demographics, etc.
It's actually a pretty big project--but I think it will help me
tremendously when the time comes. I've even been working on putting
a logo together. I have no idea if that's what it will end up
as--but I think it's a good start.
I've started clearing the yard for a fall garden. I'm wondering
how long the growing season will be. I've never had a fall garden
before--having grown up in the Midwest. I will let all of you know
how that works out. If all works well, I could have fresh herbs and
veggies around Christmas. Maybe I'll decorate with them instead of
glitz and glitter from the store.
I'm still working on some pretty intense research topics. My
Pubmed list grows just about every day. Here is a listing of my
topics: oxytocin, C reactive protein, eicosanoids,
anti-inflammatory diet, food allergy, gluten, celiac, botanical,
functional medicine, vitamin D and asthma, stress, and naturopathic
medicine. There may be a couple of others--ones that I don't get
search returns on daily. There's amazing research that comes
through every day. Pieces of the puzzle come together. I'm learning
things about bloodwork that I never knew, how biochemistry is
affected by nearly everything, and what we can do (and what we're
doing and not doing) to fix it all. Fascinating.
Banyan Tree in Crescent Lake
One of the biggest I've ever seen (a little bit like the
"Tree of Life" from Disney)
Since I'm boycotting Christmas trees for at least another two
months, here are some Banyan tree pictures. Banyans are actually
fig trees and sometimes known as strangler figs. In some places
they're considered invasives. Here in this part of Florida, we've
got some Banyan trees that are OLD--REALLY, REALLY old. There are
several places around town where Banyan trees can be seen--there's
even a "Banyan Tree Motel"--although the only Banyan tree there is
on the sign. I've always found them to be majestic, spirited trees
that are absolutely beautiful.
Have a great week everybody!
Boy, last week sure went by fast! Unfortunately I missed the
tri-mixer. I'm guessing that my classmates carried on in my stead.
I was, instead, fighting with car issues. I'll spare you all the
details. Suffice it to say, the "Wonder Wagon" (my car) will be
seeing some time with the mechanic in the very near future.
Hopefully it's all fixable.
I wouldn't dare have taken pictures of this, but in Functional
Rehabilitation this last week, we had a guest "lecturer" come do a
yoga class with us! It was AWESOME! I used to do a fair amount of
yoga and stretching but have fallen out of practice with it. It was
good to learn some different poses. It's definitely something I'd
like to get back into. Of course a lot of our patients will likely
be yoga followers--so it's good to be familiar in that aspect.
The best part of the demonstration was trying "laughter yoga."
If you haven't tried this--I highly recommend it. The teacher
challenged us to laugh for one minute--stating that our bodies
don't know the difference between fake and real laughter. Now, I
disagree with this philosophically, but it was absolutely
hilarious. I have to call out my classmate Alid Perez. We all
started our "fake laugh," and I swear he burst into authentic
laughter. Within seconds I was crying because I was laughing so
hard. It was therapeutic in really amazing and odd ways. I'm
honestly thinking that I will try to find a laughter yoga group to
participate in. Here's a web article from The Body Knows Best about the benefits of
laughter yoga. If you're interested in finding a laughter yoga
group near you--try the Laughter Yoga website. Have a laugh! It might
make all the difference.
I've been doing some research on a variety of topics this week,
the latest of which is on oxytocin and its roles in social
conditioning. It's absolutely fascinating. Most of the research
stems from the links between oxytocin and bonding between mother
and child, but there's also research regarding partners and
long-term relationships. I had, jokingly, made comments about
relationships and oxytocin before. I had absolutely no idea there
was truth to it. So I'm eating it up with a spoon. I've even added
it to my Pubmed research returns. I'll probably have a million of
those before too long.
Now that I'm driving a car without AC (in Florida!), I want to
remind everybody how important it is to drink a lot of water. This
page, The Health Benefits of Water, isn't very
flashy, but has a lot of good factoids about water. The body is
over 70% water, the brain 75%. We lose 1/2-1 cup of water out of
the soles of our feet every day! That blows my chronic flip-flop
wearing mind! To contribute to my own dehydration, I went out to
Pass a Grille beach to take some pictures for you all. Enjoy and
have a great week!
• After the DC Degree
• Botanical Medicine
• 1 Year at National
• Marketing Project
• First Week in Student Clinic
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