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
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.
The NFL is merely a tribute league for The Turkey Bowl. These,
and many other words were uttered by our fearless leader, President
Joseph Stiefel, in his Newt Rockne-esque speech leading up to the
Turkey Bowl last week. I wasn't sure whether we were going into war
or going to the fields.
President Stiefel gives the speech to end all
For those not familiar with the Turkey Bowl, it's National's
annual foray into the world of sports, celebrating all that is
football, camaraderie, and Thanksgiving. With flags and fanfare,
students, significant others, faculty, family, and friends clad in
shorts and T-shirts charged onto the gridiron, doing everything
that they could to avoid a pile up on the field. The Turkey Bowl
is, of course, a flag football event. And might I say, I saw some
pretty amazing acrobatics from players trying to avoid tackling.
Flips here, somersaults there -- it was quite impressive.
We had enough players for 4 teams. Forest even played. All
players, in fact, were welcomed with open arms. And of course, both
guys and girls play, which makes it even more interesting. And the
number of people on the sidelines cheering was phenomenal.
There were new rules this year. Some were pretty hilarious. I'll
leave names out of it, but one of my esteemed colleagues had a rule
named after her -- just to illustrate that tackling is absolutely
prohibited. And there's also the rule that if you've been hurt
before, you're excused from playing. Granted, all of the injuries
at The Turkey Bowl have been pretty minor: bruises, sprains, small
bones broken. Everyone is a GREAT sport.
The winning team
Our MVPs were Bryan Nicholas and Dr. Michelle Jourdan. I'll put
a plug in for both of them. I don't think I've ever seen Bryan
without a smile on his face. He's just an all-around good sport and
he plays hard. Dr. Jourdan is one of the most enthusiastic players
I've ever seen. The NFL's got nothin' on either of these two.
I'm keeping it short and sweet for this week. Hope everybody had
an amazing Thanksgiving!
I survived the weekend. I was wondering if I would. Although I'm
not entirely sure I'm still intact. As I've said before, there's
not really anything that can prepare you for boards. All of the
studying, reviewing, and cramming isn't going to make everything
magically retrievable in the head. There's always something that
slips through there. We hope that it's not too much, but in the
end, it's not the things that we remember that we worry about.
Now that boards are over and the waiting game has begun, I've
had a tiny bit of sleep and I'm now focusing on regrouping and
moving forward. Job hunting is in the definitive future, and with
that comes the prospect of moving. Moving brings with it a mixed
bag of reminiscing and looking forward. Today I pulled a box out of
my living room that had some old cords, digital cameras, and random
electrical stuff. I plugged in the cameras and found myself
reliving moments over the last couple of years and wondering what I
was thinking. For a while I was writing myself notes on the
chalkboard at the entrance to the house. I called them "Notes from
Now that, hopefully, Part IV boards are behind me, I'm working
on the next chapter. It's been no great shock to my classmates that
I hope to leave Florida. Preliminary job hunting has illuminated a
couple of options, but more need to come. My heart has been
elsewhere for a long time. Seeing these boards written years ago
reminds me. It's time to clear the muddle of my mind, free my
heart, and fly.
Have a Great Week Everyone! If I don't reach you before
Thanksgiving, have an AMAZING Turkey Day.
I HATE being injured. I REALLY hate it. Inevitably, the doctor
becomes the patient. And everything that you hear about doctors
being horrible patients -- is completely and utterly true. We're
non-compliant, cranky, and just generally difficult. And if you can
imagine the worst of the worst patients -- that would be me.
Why am I telling you this? Well, on Saturday, I hurt my back.
I've done it before, but this time seemed to be worse. There's
something extremely humbling about not being able to do all the
things you normally do: get in and out of a chair, put on pants,
walk. We don't think about it. They've become second nature; we
take them for granted. And even as (almost) doctors, even though
we've maybe felt the pain before, it's really easy to forget how it
I hobbled into the office Monday morning, and declared, "I need
to be seen by whomever is available as soon as possible." People
cleared their schedules. They juggled patients. People gave up
their treatment times to help me (Thanks, Dave). I sat and filled
out the same paperwork we give to patients. Where is the pain? Does
it radiate? What does it feel like? If you've ever been on the
filling out end of these papers, I'm sure you know what I mean when
I say -- trying to fit how you feel into a form or a diagram is
HARD. I still wrote in the margins.
When my time came, my intern took me back into the patient rooms
and I sat and experienced everything that our patients experience:
the waiting, the orthopedic tests (some confounding and some
painful), the range of motion, the poking and prodding. She drew up
a treatment plan, the doc looked it over, and she went to work.
I'll spare everyone the details, but after a few adjustments and
some soft tissue work, I was sent on my way, to do that to a
It never hurts to be reminded what it feels like. I'm doing
better -- getting a little bit better every day. I'm grateful that
there's a whole team of people here to take care of me, which is
helping me take care of everybody else.
Special thanks to Leslie, this week, for getting me back on my
Have a great one everyone! I'll be taking part IV boards this
weekend, along with many of my classmates. Good luck to
I find myself having the hardest time believing that school is
almost over. As I sit here contemplating what to write, my mind
wanders over things like jobs, moving, and what will happen next.
It's terrifying, and exciting. It also feels like the most daunting
prospect I've ever come across.
I'm starting to look at job postings. In some ways it seems
presumptuous. After all, it's about 6 months away. And at the same
time, I can't help but look. How early is too early to apply? Maybe
I should buy someone's practice. Is that really something that I
can accomplish? Maybe I should just work somewhere for a while
rather than try to make things move on my own. I just can't quite
wrap my head around all of this just yet. There are so many
decisions to make. Where do I begin?
Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
We've had nearly record high numbers of patients at the clinic
for the last couple of weeks. We were shy about 8 last week. Given
the number of cancelations and no-shows that we had, we would have
far surpassed the clinic's highest record. We're lucky to have all
of the SPC students and faculty, as well as the other NUHS students
and faculty as our patient base. It allows us to see a wide variety
of people with an even wider variety of conditions: from eczema to
complex neurological syndromes. Rarely a day goes by without
something unusual. My patients keep me guessing, and laughing. I
really appreciate the sense of humor in many of them. Even in the
midst of pain, they still find time for a smile. It makes my day go
that much easier.
Last week, Julia, Dr. Jourdan, and myself hosted an NUHS booth
at SPC's career day. We were tucked back in the back, but got a
chance to let a few people know about the school, what we do, and
what we offer to other students there. Most of the students at the
career fair were nurses. That didn't stop them from picking up
brochures about the school. We're thinking that maybe we'll end up
with a couple of new students from the day. We've already had a few
start as patients. It's great to get a chance to talk to people,
have them get excited about what we do, and then see them bring it
I guess that's what it's all about, right? Getting your foot in
the door? Maybe that brings me back to looking for a job. I've had
people come out of the woodwork in the strangest of places,
offering me information or connections. As much as I loathe the
concept of networking (yes, I mean that), having conversations with
people and finding out there's some type of mutual interest -- now
that's making a connection.
Hope everyone has a great week. I'll be working and studying for
Part IV boards. We're getting closer...
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