Archive for tag: holidays

7th Trimester COMPLETE!

It's hard to believe that the fall trimester is almost over. With the holidays being so highly anticipated by students, it seems as though there is always something to look forward to that makes the time fly by.

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This past weekend, I spent the Thanksgiving holiday at my parent's home in Ohio. I did my best to follow my own Thanksgiving recommendations, but it's safe to say that I still ate my share of satisfying, home-cooked calories! Having the opportunity to study chiropractic medicine is a blessing in and of itself, but then when I think about all the friends I've met, memories I've made, and life lessons I've learned, life really does seem wonderful. Every day I am in this challenging program, I am reminded how much I have to be thankful for.

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Alright, so my weekend didn't stop there. I traveled to "old Columbus town" for the remainder of my trip home to spend time with college friends and watch the rivalry of the year, the Ohio State vs. Michigan football game. (This may be the point in my blogs where some people stop reading!) I have been and will always be a Buckeye alumnus and diehard fan, so this is commonly my favorite weekend of the year. I was able to catch up with friends from college that I hadn't seen since we graduated two and a half years ago, and I couldn't have asked for a better weekend revisiting college memories!

So now I'm back in Lombard, gearing up for 10 days of final exams, practicals, and papers. These are commonly everyone's least favorite two weeks of the trimester, when we find ourselves increasing our coffee intake and our eyes dry out from staring at endless notes. It's going to be a challenging period, but you just feel that much more accomplished by the end of it all. Wow, I'm going to graduate chiropractic school in just about one year!

My 4-week winter break is going to begin by moving to my new apartment in Lincoln Park, spending time in Ohio visiting friends and family, and taking a nice tropical vacation over New Year's! I'm really looking forward to a little R&R and a chance to unwind before the last year begins.

I wish everyone the happiest and safest of holidays! As always, I'd love to hear from you if you have any questions about NUHS and our programs. :) Take care and enjoy the new year!

A Guilt-Free Thanksgiving

I can't believe we've reached the end of November already. It seems like just yesterday we were beginning the fall term and watching the leaves change color. The weather here in Illinois sure has been brutal lately, but I am optimistic for safe and sunny driving conditions this upcoming Wednesday as I join the other 46.3 million Americans on the road home. (Good thing gas prices are low these days!)

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A couple friendly tips on how to stay healthy this Thursday:

  • Stick with the guidelines of the anti-inflammatory diet:
    • Fruits -- fresh cranberries, preferably with little sugar added
    • Veggies --green beans, a hearty salad of greens, and try mashed sweet potatoes instead! A friendly reminder that white potatoes and corn are not vegetables :(
    • Instead of stuffing made exclusively with starches, throw in some big chunks of carrots and celery to spruce things up
    • Red wine and stout beer are your allies! Skip out on the sugary cocktails
    • Real butter is a healthy fat, so don't feel guilty tossing a dollop on those 'taters!
  • Don't cut out all your favorite foods just because you're being healthy. Eat sensible portions of everything and just keep things in moderation. :)
  • Listen to your leptin! Trust your body when it's telling you it's full. Small and frequent meals are always best to keep your metabolism chugging along.
  • Just because Grandma made 4 different pies doesn't mean you have to eat a slice from all 4 in one sitting. Maybe just 3, hehe!

In the spirit of the holiday season, I hope everyone has a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving weekend with friends and family. We have so much to be thankful for!

TAC, Tumors, and Travels

Ah yes, another busy week has come and gone as a student in the chiropractic program!

I began Week 9 with a larger level of anxiety and a smaller amount of free time. In our Physical Diagnosis class, we were expected to perform our Head-to-Toe physical exam in the Training and Assessment Center (TAC) of the clinic. Although we had been practicing for weeks, nothing can fully prepare you for the nervousness that accompanies a 50-minute physical exam, memorized in a specific order and graded for accuracy. Since the exam was held in the TAC, we performed the practical on a standardized patient, and what you don't realize is that giving sufficient patient instructions throughout the exam are half of the battle! The Head-to-Toe exam consists of an examination of the head and neck, EENT exam, cardiac exam, pulmonary exam, abdominal exam, neurological exam, and a handful of other miscellaneous tests thrown in between. Whew, am I glad that practical is over, but I am proud to say I took away a tremendous amount of knowledge and practice.

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In Tri 6, the Imaging of Tumors course is the class that challenges many students. (It sure is tricky to differentiate 30 different types of skeletal tumors on black and white X-ray films!) Fortunately, I felt sufficiently prepared for both the practical and written portions of the midterm, so I was content with my performance and had a nice confidence boost to end the week. :)

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Thursday night, I took off for Bemidji, Minnesota, with my friend and classmate, Bethany. Having both grown up in the town and been a collegiate athlete at the Bemidji State University, I was excited to experience this scenic, friendly Minnesota city that she had so often talked about! We spent the 4th of July with her family on one of Minnesota's 10,000 lakes, and although the weather that day was not cooperating with the holiday festivities, we celebrated later that night by watching fireworks on the water. On Saturday, we made up for the previous storms by spending the day relaxing on the lake, jet-skiing, tubing, and most importantly, laughing. It was hard to say goodbye to her family and make the 10-hour drive home on Sunday afternoon, but the memories we made throughout the holiday weekend were worth it! My first trip to Bemidji was a terrific experience, and I look forward to (hopefully) going back to visit next summer!

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Back at National, we still have midterms and quizzes for the next couple weeks, but I can see the end of the trimester in sight! Summer sure flies by when you're having fun!

Week and Weekend Wrap Up

Classes are picking up and I'm beginning to find myself studying pretty regularly now. The first few weeks of the trimester, it's easy to occasionally glance at your notes and remember what the instructor was teaching. Now that we've compiled more material and midterms are upon us, I've been organizing my notes into binders and prioritizing my various classes, preparing for our first exams in a couple weeks.

2014-05-30_ohioPhysical and Lab Diagnosis (or as we like to say Phys DX) is the course I mentioned in my first blog, and it is definitely proving to be one of my favorite classes. This past week, we observed our instructor perform an ear lavage to dislodge and wash out any built up cerumen in the external ear canal. I can't imagine the noise of a water-pick blasting fluid in my ear for 30 seconds at a time, but believe it or not, it works! It appears to be a very effective way to increase hearing in people with conductive hearing loss due to "gunk" in your ear, and a lavage may actually be safer than the possibility of jamming a Q-tip into your tympanic membrane!

This week, we also completed our SECOND blood draw in phlebotomy lab, and I'm still alive! (With only minor bruising!) Now that our class has been taught the procedure, we're perfecting our needling techniques and still getting rid of the jitters that come with poking our classmates. :)

I must admit that the majority of my week was spent anticipating my trip back to Ohio for the long Memorial Day weekend. After class on Friday, I packed my bags and traveled to the Dayton area to visit some people very close to my heart. During my visit there, I slept under the stars watching a meteor shower, enjoyed a couple holiday cook-outs, and spent one whole afternoon canoeing down the river with friends. The weather was warm, the sun was bright, and the air was clean and fresh. It is weekends like these that make me so thankful for where I come from and the people I'm blessed to have still in my life back home.

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Another week has passed, this one ending with a remembrance of all the brave men and women who have served our country and preserved our freedom. We are so fortunate to stand here today, to have the right to follow our dreams and the opportunity to pursue our goals. I can't wait to someday change other people's lives through healing and do my small part in giving back to the world.