This last week wrapped up my two-week rotation at the Salvation
Army clinic. It was an interesting experience with many patient
care challenges not seen at other clinics. The patients at
Salvation Army are part of a drug and alcohol rehabilitation
program. Along with musculoskeletal issues, many of the patients
also have associated chronic health issues like diabetes, heart
disease or liver disease.
Due to it being a holiday week, the clinic hours/days were less
than normal with a very light patient load. With it being such a
busy time of year, many patients were not able to keep their
appointments or had to reschedule.
Wednesday evening, Rob and I had to prepare a pumpkin cheesecake
to take home with us for Thanksgiving. We make the same cheesecake
every year, but when the time comes to make it we forget how long
the process actually takes. We started the preparation and baking
around 7 p.m. and didn't finish until close to midnight. There's
the prep, baking the crust, making the filling, baking the cake,
letting it cool, making the sour cream topping, and letting the
entire cheesecake set. But when all is said and done, the cake
turned out wonderful and tasted great!
Early Thursday morning we drove down to Indianapolis to spend
the holiday with family. We had a lovely day of cooking, catching
up, great food, wine, and lots of laughter. The quote of the day
came from Rob's nephew when he let us know what one website listed
as the most common topic brought up at Thanksgiving dinners.
Apparently the topic most brought up is sad stories about relatives
or family friends that most people either don't remember or have
never met. We all had a good laugh about that one.
This blog marks the last blog for this trimester. I hope I have
given some good insight into what life as a chiropractic intern is
like. I have enjoyed sharing my experiences with you and will have
lots more to share come spring 2014, my 10th and last trimester of
Have a safe and happy holiday season! Wishing you all the
It was a short school/clinic week, which was greatly needed.
Every trimester has a point where everything seems to pile up
whether its school, patients, work, or summer travel. This week
that point was reached, so having Thursday and Friday off for the
Homecoming celebration in Lombard was great.
On Wednesday, Student Clinic interns took a field trip to Standard
Process in Palmyra, Wisconsin; I'm pretty sure it was my first
field trip since high school. Standard Process is a supplement
company that prides itself on high quality products that are sold
through health care professionals. The trip includ0ed a tour of the
manufacturing facility, the certified organic farm, and several
lectures from employees and doctors on staff there.
Standard Process' mission statement includes a dedication to
My week concluded with a trip to Cincinnati, Ohio, to visit my
partner's family. We arrived Thursday evening and had a late dinner
of homemade lasagna and chocolate cake. My partner's mother
recently redid her kitchen, living room, and added a deck onto her
house. So, Friday consisted of lots of shopping for furniture,
décor, and paint colors to finish the project.
On Saturday, we went to downtown Cincinnati for dinner and
drinks, and I have to tell you, I was really impressed. The
downtown is really beautiful and consists of many different
"areas," each with their separate vibe. We spent most of the
evening in the "Banks" area, which is new development right along
the Ohio River. For the most part, it was a really relaxing weekend
with the majority of it being spent lounging on his mother's
beautiful new deck.
I'm at the point in the trimester where I've gotten into a
groove with school and work, which is good due to the fact that it
being summer, life gets crazy. I'm really comfortable with clinic
now mainly due to the excellent mentors on staff. I also had my
first exam of the trimester in the Radiology Management and Report
Writing class. Studying for the exam was extra productive because
it was a big review of a lot of concepts that will be covered on
board exams that I take in September.
This weekend my partner (Rob) and I traveled to my hometown,
Manitowoc, Wisconsin, for my little sister's wedding. We arrived
Friday evening and went out for dinner at the Courthouse Pub with
my best friend from high school, Emily. We received VIP treatment
at dinner due to the fact that Emily works there, which meant there
was no end to the food and drinks coming our way. After dinner,
Emily's father joined us for a night of what's called "bar
swooshing." Let me attempt to explain the concept; the night is a
little blurry. All the bars in Manitowoc have a front and back
entrance. So, one "bar swooshes" when they walk into a bar, check
out the crowd and see if they recognize any familiar faces; if they
do not, they promptly "swoosh" out the back entrance. Overall, it
was a really fun night. We ran into some other friends from high
school, and of course checked out several of the Manitowoc
My sister and I on her wedding day.
Saturday was my little sister's wedding day. It was a beautiful
ceremony at St. Andrew's Church, which is where I went to
elementary school. I may be a hopeless romantic, but the moment I
most enjoy at any wedding is watching the bride walk down the
aisle--a moment that I'm sure is filled with so much excitement,
emotion, and joy all rolled into one.
As soon as we finished with the litany of pictures required
post-ceremony, I gave Rob the official tour of my hometown. The
tour included a stop at the "big cow," which is literally a 20-foot
cow statue outside the Cedar Crest Ice Cream Parlor. We also had
stops at Lincoln High School, the Manitowoc submarine, and the
lighthouse. The last leg of the tour was lunch at Four Seasons
Family Restaurant, which is where my family and I would go to eat
in the summer after water skiing. Every leg of the tour had stories
and memories attached, which were really fun to share.
The night concluded with the reception at the Autumn Ridge Golf
Resort in Valders, Wisconsin. We arrived right on time, which
apparently meant slightly late and ended up sitting at one of the
children's tables. But let me tell you, the stories and things the
kids had to say were hysterical and dinner was pretty entertaining.
After dinner, my favorite part of the night started, cocktail
hour(s). Rob was quite the trooper throughout the night as he met
and mingled with the entire Backhaus clan. We both had a lot of fun
catching up with family and dancing to all the classic wedding
In Ethical Business Management class this week, we had a guest
speaker talk to us about clinical psychology. Dr. David M. Gursky
has his PhD in psychology and has over 20 years of experience in
the field. The main focus of the talk was being open to any kind of
pysch issues that our patients may have in the future, and knowing
what issues can be dealt with in the office, and which need to be
referred out for specialized care.
Patients tend to be more open with chiropractic or other
alternative medicine physicians because we focus on the entire
person, focus on the patient in their environment, and because of
the treatment setting. The treatment setting in most chiropractic
offices has patients gowned for physical examination/treatment,
requires physical contact, and induces physical relaxation, all of
which sets the stage for patient openness. Some issues that
patients might bring up with you include marital dysfunction,
anxiety, interpersonal issues, fears, stress, etc. Since well-being
is a combination of physical, mental and emotional health, it is
very important to help your patients with these psychological
issues as well as their musculoskeletal complaints, or refer them
to a counselor who can.
Again, during my downtime this week in class and clinic, I am
continuing my reading of Dr. Vasquez's textbook Migraine
Headaches, Hypothyroidism, and Fibromyalgia. I finished the
chapter on classification, diagnosis, and treatment of headaches. I
won't bore you with the hairy details on the types of headaches and
treatment, but there were some great treatments that Dr. Vasquez
Food triggers are the cause of many headaches, especially
migraines, and by pinpointing these triggers via a food/headache
diary you are able to remove them to remain headache-free. Some
common triggers include red wine, aged cheeses, sardines, sausage,
and foods containing monosodium glutamate (MSG). These triggers
contain tyramine, nitrites or other neuroexcitatory substances that
start the cascade toward a headache.
Another big cause of headaches is nutritional deficiencies that
are so common among Americans today. The standard American diet
(S.A.D.) is composed of red meat, sugary
foods, and refined
grains. The S.A.D. is severely lacking in a lot of the
nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that your body needs daily. Some
major things to supplement with to avoid headaches are magnesium,
CoQ10, fish oil, vitamin D, and riboflavin. Other treatment options
include myofascial trigger point work, chiropractic manipulative
therapy, acupuncture, and oxygen therapy.
My partner and I
This week marks the start of June, which is LGBT Pride Month.
Here's a little history of this important month: Lesbian,
Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month is currently celebrated
each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots in
Manhattan. The Stonewall riots were a tipping point for the Gay
Liberation Movement in the United States. In the United States, the
last Sunday in June was initially celebrated as "Gay Pride Day,"
but the actual day was flexible. In major cities across the nation
the "day" soon grew to encompass a month-long series of events.
Today, celebrations include pride parades, picnics, parties,
workshops, symposia, and concerts, which attract millions of
participants around the world. Memorials are held during this month
for those members of the community who have been lost to hate
crimes or HIV/AIDS. The purpose of the commemorative month is to
recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender
individuals have had on history locally, nationally and
internationally. My partner and I will be heading to Milwaukee,
Wisconsin, this weekend to join in this wonderful celebration with
close friends and family.
• First Patients and Jurisprudence Class
• Ideas for the Future
• Part IV Board Exams
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