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:
In case you're not familiar with the NUHS Florida site, we share
space with St. Petersburg College as part of the University
Partnership Program. This means that NUHS, along with Barry
University, FSU, USF, Case -- Bolton School of Nursing, Cleveland
State University, and a whole bunch of other schools share some
space with us. We don't often use the same classrooms, but we do
have shared hallways and things like that. As part of the
University Partnership Program, NUHS offers free exams and
chiropractic care to all of the University Partnership participants
(including SPC) and their immediate families. Check out
As part of SPC's health initiative,
they've started adding automated blood pressure cuffs to some of their campuses. There are 10 different
campuses in the area for SPC. In order to help us "get the word
out," SPC has invited us to give information to students at these
campuses, regarding blood pressure and cardiovascular health.
Last week, I had the great pleasure of spending a couple of
hours with Dr. Michelle Jourdan and Intern Roshaun Hardy. We must
have talked to a half dozen faculty members, including the provost
at that campus, and also at least a dozen students -- who didn't
know we were there.
There's something magical about seeing someone's face when you
say the words "free healthcare." Many of these students are local,
without health insurance, and have no idea that such a service
exists. I'm hoping we see more of them in the clinic. I think we'd
all be really happy if we were super busy -- but also that we're
providing such a needed service. It was a great session.
Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures to share with you
There will be more events to share, and more outreach. In fact,
we're participating in SPC's "All College Day" and their "Career
Day" coming up later this month. Should be great! We may even be
doing some presentations to let people know what we're all about.
Who knows? We may end up with some more students because of it!
Grey and I have been looking at colleges. For those that haven't
been following that story -- Grey graduates right after I do, and
has been looking at colleges. I think he has his list narrowed down
to about 6. We'll be writing applications here pretty soon. Some of
the deadlines are in November for next fall! I can't even wrap my
head around that. His front-runner is still the University of
Washington, but we've found a few others that seem to have good
programs he's interested in. We shall see what all pans out.
I'm reconnecting with people I've lost contact with and getting
anxious to start looking for jobs. Boards are in about a month --
which is also hard for me to believe. We're checking off boxes and
crossing things off the list. This might actually happen.
Have a Great Week, Everybody. Stay warm and dry, wherever you
You've got to have a sense of humor in the clinic, because if
you don't, things eventually start to get to you. Demanding staff,
clinicians, and other interns, not to mention patients, have us
running, pretty much the whole time we're there. Some days are
easier than others. We have 4 official treatment rooms, and
sometimes a 5th. When all of the interns are in the office, we have
9 interns (between 8th, 9th, and 10th Tri students). This place
gets packed! Add to that, patients booked every 45 minutes, 90
minutes, or 2 hours! In and out, back and forth, coat on, coat off.
Stethoscope and hands ready.
So lately, we've all been a little bit crazy...just a little.
Tension runs high, especially with the onslaught of paperwork
(praying for EMRs to be implemented soon) and also with frequent
meetings, new patients, and just general life.
I can honestly say, that a few of us have lost it -- and
rightfully so. When things get crazy, it has to come out somehow.
The last couple of days, some of us have been trying really hard,
just to keep it together. Today especially, we've been trying to
find some humor. And so, the idea of practical jokes has been
flying back and forth.
Funny things happen. Our "staff" laptop (that we run forms and
such on) has had migrating pictures on it. At first it was our
esteemed president and one of our co-interns at the Turkey Bowl.
Then it was our dean here at the Florida campus. Currently, it's a
picture of some Chinese take-out (pad tai, I think), following a
meeting about some especially smelly lunch food brought into the
clinic (we still don't know who did it). This week, the debacle has
been about towels. Are the towels in the right bag? Are they
separated from the other laundry? Have they been put away? Are they
folded properly? It got so out of hand that it's become a bit of a
joke among us interns. Today I threatened to go into the rooms and
fold them all into origami towel animals. This of course, may or
may not be funny to some people, but it sure did lighten the load
How'd you like to see one of these on your office visit?
The way I figure it, life is way too short to stress about stuff
like this. Maybe some people would find that a little glib, but too
many things happen that are far bigger than takeout boxes and the
proper handling of towels. I'm often heard saying, "There are days
when I can choose to laugh or to cry. Most days I prefer to laugh."
Today was one of those days.
So, with that in mind, dear Friends, have an amazing week! Do
something fun. Make light of something that's being taken too
seriously. Laughter is, most definitely, the best medicine.
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!!!!
• After the DC Degree
• Botanical Medicine
• 1 Year at National
• Marketing Project
• First Week in Student Clinic
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