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.
These are the weeks of dotting i's and crossing t's. How's
everybody doing? Things are moving quickly here. I can't believe
how fast it's going. 85 days. There are 85 days left in my
experience here at National. I honestly never thought I would make
Now marks the chaotic time of resumé preparing, job hunting,
extra courses, licensure exams, and everything else. In addition,
I'm working on a million different projects plus a comprehensive
exam for the master's. *Whew* There's no rest for the weary. The
deadlines keep coming. Appointments are made. Guidelines are
followed. But in a lot of ways, this is uncharted territory. Sure,
I've applied for jobs before -- but not like this. Corporate
America has a completely different way of doing things than
healthcare or small business. The learning curve here is pretty
We're getting back to basics in the clinic. As the 8th Trimester
students come in, we're acclimating to new people and helping them
get their feet wet. They're holding their own. History taking has
never been more important. Each person that handles a chart adds
more information. We've all been working together pretty well --
strengths complimenting strengths. It's nice to work as a team
rather than individuals all the time. Our patients can definitely
be served by a group of talented practitioners.
(Image source: caglecartoons.com)
Today I was given information for a case study. The patient in
my case study was taking 6 medications. Yes, you read that
right--6. It has become the standard that the average number of
medications an elder-person is taking is 3. Most are taking more.
Many are taking medications to combat their medications.
There's definitely something wrong with this. But it reminds me.
A patient was speaking with me during a treatment today. She was
asking me what my philosophy of medicine was. Patients sometimes
believe that we hate all conventional medicine, which may be true
for some practitioners. But anyone that's ever had an infection, or
required surgery, knows that without those tools, we're lacking.
There are alternatives to many things, but sometimes, surgical
procedures are the conservative approach. It's a lot to think
What is it that our patients are going through? What are they
taking (consuming) already? Where can we step in with THE BEST
approach to help our patients? These are really big questions.
Food for thought, perhaps? (That's a whole different topic).
Have a great week, everyone!
It seems like ages since we last "talked." How was your
Christmas? Did you have a Happy New Year? Hope everyone has made
great strides on their new year's resolutions (or didn't make
While everyone was away, I was hard at work here in the clinic
seeing patients and thinking about what's coming up next. Which
reminds me, we only have a handful or so of weeks left. I am
pulling things together, working hard on my master's, seeing as
many patients as I can, and focusing on getting as much exposure as
In a few short weeks, I'll be starting a rotation at the VA
hospital where I'll be helping to treat a number of our veterans.
Here at our clinic, we typically take our time with patients.
Depending on what type of visit, our appointments can be 90 minutes
long. However, at the VA, appointments are much shorter, and
instead of about 5 patient visits per day, each practitioner sees
about 20. That's going to be a big change. I'm anxious to work with
a wide variety of patients and deal with some of the unique
problems they're facing. It should be great experience!
We've welcomed our new interns to the clinic. Three fresh and
new interns are now working with us - one of which started
Trimester 1 with me, but took a different path. Several of the
interns in the other clinic started with me as well. It's good to
see them make it to this point! I'm really proud of all of them and
honored to call them my colleagues.
We're down to the wire on a lot of things around here. At my
house, we're almost done filling out college applications for Grey
- down to one that's due in about a week. We'll sit in wait on all
of them to see where he ends up. I have done some research and it
turns out the state licensing exam for Oregon is the day after
graduation. Yikes!!!!!!!!!! (Unless I want to wait until July -
which I don't). So, plans are being made to fly out of Chicago
right after the graduation ceremony and take the exam the next
morning. Grey and I have set a tentative date for moving: June 10.
This has brought a flurry of activity into the house: getting rid
of things, deadlines, prep-work, etc. There are times when I feel
completely overwhelmed, but I'm also REALLY excited. That having
been said, I kind of feel like this:
Have an AMAZING week Everyone. Back to work! It's going to be a
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.
Image source: www.elledecor.com
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.
Image source: www.mrwallpaper.com
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!
• After the DC Degree
• Botanical Medicine
• 1 Year at National
• Marketing Project
• First Week in Student Clinic
To read older blog posts, scroll to the bottom and click the "Older Posts" button.