it's been fun but this will be my LAST trimester writing to you
about my experiences. I can't believe how much time has flown by.
Sometimes I felt it didn't go fast enough but now I realize as I am
reaching the end, that it truly flies! I hope you all had a happy
holiday season with your loved ones wherever you are in the world!
Everyone else got a three-week break from school, however being
in 9th trimester during the winter left us with a
shorter break but still good enough! I spent a lot of time watching
movies, playing board games, playing and singing music, and most
importantly spending time with my loved ones. We got to spend a
long weekend in Michigan with my in-laws and it was amazing. Being
in the outdoors, breathing in fresh country air, and waking up to a
giant Christmas tree lifted our spirits enough to come back and
When I left you last, I was going into what we call "finals"
week. It was the last finals week I will EVER have to experience
and that idea alone is an accomplishment considering this is my
14th trimester at NUHS. I am all "finaled" out! :) The hardest part
of our finals week was not the exams since I actually only had ONE,
but was saying goodbye to some amazing friends and colleagues.
Dr. Julie Martin (our other ND clinician) has left to pursue her
passion of practicing and chasing that dream! She has truly been
the positive light in clinic for all of us with her warm smiles,
big hugs and listening ear. Tears were definitely shed when she
said her final goodbyes on graduation day. It was bittersweet for
all of us because we were so happy for her new journey in life but
so sad that she was no longer going to be with us every day in
Dr. Julie Martin and I at commencement.
The same day (graduation), we all had to say goodbye to our
friends/colleagues that we've grown so close to. We've all grown so
close together in different ways, built lifelong relationships and
enjoyed never-ending support for all thehard times. I definitely
learned something from each and every one of them and saying
goodbye was also very bittersweet.
A final goodbye party minus a couple of the
10th trimester interns.
Although I am very anxious for April 19 (my graduation date) to
come, the part that makes me most sad is saying goodbye to all my
colleagues that have turned into amazing friends. The thought of us
all going to different parts of the world and pursuing our dreams
is amazing but also again, bittersweet.
One of my struggles throughout 8th and
9th tri was forgetting to rejoice in all the
awesomeness of life that is within arms reach instead of focusing
on all the negativity that I encountered.
So as a part of my new year's resolution I started a blog
challenge: 1 blog a day for 2012. My website is: papermachedoll.blogspot.com, which just goes
through stories to uplift myself (and you)--and healthy recipes
Well, now back to reality. The trimester is going to end with a
big bang and I'm excited to share it with all of you!
"Healing--remembering who we were made to be despite all of our
life tragedies/trials, and allowing ourselves to feel unconditional
love, which consists of compassion, living without fear,
forgiveness, and a deep experience of peace that leaves you with
joy and stability." Dr. Anthony Godfrey.
NUHS and SCNM naturopathic students at "The
Opening night of "The Gathering" at the Canadian College of
Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, was amazing as
Dr. Godfrey eloquently discussed his interpretation of the "vis,"
the CORE of naturopathic medicine. It almost seemed as if Dr.
Godfrey was speaking directly to my heart as he made his address
during the opening of the conference.
Sidney and I with Dr. Godfrey.
"The Gathering" is an annual event hosted at different
naturopathic schools. It was originally created as an event FOR the
students. "Elders", experienced and successful NDs from across the
country/world, assemble to provide inspiration, wisdom, and hope.
The weekend was definitely packed with tons of sessions where the
elders had ample opportunity to penetrate into the hearts/minds of
everyone around them.
Dr. Paul Epstein and I.
Dr. Paul Epstein is a very well known ND who studies the
connection between the mind and body. He also happens to be the
classmate and very good friend of our amazing clinician, Dr. Julie
Martin! Dr. Epstein was able expand upon Dr. Godfrey's opening
message. It made me realize how powerful and strong our minds,
past, stresses, etc., have on our health--short- and long-term.
Throughout all the hustle and bustle of getting through classes
and studying for board exams, it is hard to focus on WHY we chose
this profession in the first place. Anyone and everyone who chose
the ND route but can only think with their mind and not their heart
will end up failing in practice. "The Gathering" was a place of
rejuvenation and revival for me, and I know that is exactly what it
was for my colleagues who are also in clinic. Through all the
botanicals, homeopathy, diet changes, etc. that we recommend to our
patients, we lose sight of the root and core of our medicine which
is the vis--the healing power of nature!
Dr. Louise Edwards and I.
On our campus, Dr. Louise Edwards is our Dr. Godfrey and Dr.
Epstein. She has been a beaming light and continues to carry the
torch for what defines us and green allopaths. She is such an
amazing person that has done so much for our new program; and after
"The Gathering," I have learned to really appreciate her more! When
you start the program, make sure to soak in as much goodness from
her as you can just like I have. She will be a constant reminder
for you of the physician you SHOULD be when you become a
Overall, I had the most unforgettable, inspiring, and
life-changing experience and it was worth the 9-1/2 hour drive,
getting through Toronto traffic, and the lack of sleep! :)
Blissor: "The Gathering." Thank you for changing my life!
This is a very hard blog for me to write. I sit here in awe of
the loss I feel in my heart. My heart dropped when I opened the
email from Dr. Strehl's wife informing us of his passing after a
long battle with cancer.
How ironic that the last week of his
life was NUHS' "Frank Strehl Appreciation Week." It almost seemed
too appropriate that he was able to SEE, WITNESS and FEEL the love
we had for him and the IMPACT he has had, not only in our small
NUHS community, but also in our profession. I did not know that my
video message to him during his appreciation week would be the last
words I spoke to him. My husband (who also had been previously been
taught by Dr. Strehl) and I both spent time praying for him, his
family, and that he would pull through...and after reading the
email that he lost his battle with his family by his side, we sat
Dr. Strehl was a pioneer for alternative health for our
profession. Not only did I have the opportunity (along with many
other students) to work by his side in Washington D.C. for the
National Chiropractic Legislative Conference (NCLC) lobbying for
chiropractic rights, but I also had the pleasure of sitting in his
class as he inspired so many students to go against the grain.
Dr. Strehl had a practice that focused primarily on women's
health. He was not the typical chiropractor that focused on
physical medicine. He actually rarely adjusted patients in his
practice, but provided women with a safer and natural alternative
to anything under the "women's health" umbrella. He was a true
PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN. He wasn't trying to be the ONE-STOP shop
that a lot of chiropractors are trying to achieve. He knew that he
could be the BEST by specializing and leaving the physical medicine
side of chiropractic to the people that really enjoyed it.
He formulated his own products that his patients used. He
dedicated all his energy into being an extraordinary example of
what a physician should be. He maintained a full-time practice but
at the same time, took time out of his schedule to come and give
NUHS students a little inspiration. He also was the Illinois
Delegate for the American Chiropractic Association and truly cared
about helping progress our profession. Chiropractors like him make
me feel PROUD to own the same title. His drive, passion and
determination to be the best went against the traditional
stereotype of a chiropractor and he dedicated his life to the REAL
issues of our profession in D.C.
Dr. Strehl is one of the reasons I began my naturopathic
journey. He was a DABCI (chiropractic internist), and he always
told me that if I wanted to do women's health in the future, I
needed to suck it up and go back to school (his exact words!). So
that's when I truly took ownership of my naturopathic journey and
since that conversation with him, I have always wanted to
specialize in women's health. He was an incredible man. (I was also
saddened to learn that a close friend of Dr. Strehl's, Dr.
Kessinger, who was a DC and an ND and taught in the DABCI program
with him, also lost his battle to cancer this week as well.
Our profession has a hole right now with him gone. I only hope
that we can continue the legacy and foundation that he has spent
his life building. With this being the third death NUHS has had to
experience recently, there is a huge void on campus, so I ask that
you keep us in your thoughts.
I've been at NUHS for almost 5 years and have never had to
experience such loss as we have experienced in the past two months.
Life is so short. I find myself not taking advantage of everything
God has blessed me with and this is a wake-up call for me. We
cannot be small minions in our profession and depend on the
shoulder of the giants (Dr. Strehl & Dr. Kessinger) to pave the
entire path for us. We need to take the torch and run with it…
hoping that we will make them smile down on us.
Dr. Strehl, you were such a pioneer for what is RIGHT in our
profession and in the world. Your work is not finished and I hope
we can make you proud by carrying your legacy forth. Thank you for
inspiring Ryan and I both to truly love the work we do...despite
all the hardships that come along with it. We miss you...
What a whirlwind of emotions this past week at National.
Out of all the years I've been here (which is a lot!), I don't
think our community here has ever had to experience such a hard
As you know, we lost Zandi suddenly and now recently lost a very
loved faculty member, Dr. Shellee Handley, as a result of injuries
following a motorcycle accident. She was such a positive person and
always had a smile on her face...just like Zandi. It was a shock to
our community here, especially after enduring such a hard time the
previous week. It was touching to attend Dr. Handley's memorial
service at NUHS and to see all the love that poured out from
faculty, staff, and students. She will be sorely missed and her
positive energy will forever resonate through campus.
Dr. Shellee Handley
One of the biggest benefits of attending National is my instant
support system. I get to be near my friends and family, which
reminds me of how amazing my life is through all the rough patches
I've experienced. On Saturday, my girlfriends got together to
celebrate one of my childhood friend's birthday. We surprised her
with a pottery day! We went to this place called "Glazed
Expressions" in Lincoln Park (Chicago) and painted pottery. We
brought tons of healthy and yummy food and had time to spend
together. We laughed and reminisced about everything! Martha
recently accepted a job offer to work for University of Akron in
Ohio and will be moving in two weeks! So it was really nice to
spend time with her before she moves on to her "grown up" job.
Making pottery with friends at Glazed Expressions in
My brother, Toby, who lives in California is actually in town
visiting for two weeks and we celebrated his birthday on Sunday!
All my colleagues at school always say, "Miravone...you are ALWAYS
busy with your family every weekend!" There are always
"get-togethers" with people from school but I have been turning
them down lately because of all my busy family events! But I love
The recent campus deaths have really kicked my butt into gear. I
stopped complaining about everything I complained about (well, I am
trying) and am trying to focus on the great and amazing things in
life. The sermon at my church on Sunday was about "Life after
Death," which is so crazy how appropriate it was for me during this
time. The pastor emphasized this question, "What legacy are you
going to leave?" And that has truly resonated through my life the
past two weeks. It's unfortunate that death has to happen for me to
realize the life I am living and how amazing it is...but at least
death is not in vain.
So all in all, my rough week ended with more memories made with
my loving family and friends. I am on a journey to make sure I
leave a legacy! Have a blessed week everyone and tell someone you
love them today! :)
Blissor: Well if you can't tell by the blog, my FAMILY and
What an amazing week it has been! I feel rejuvenated and having
lots of ME time has helped. A couple friends from school and I
(with our significant others) went camping in Northern Michigan for
three days and two nights. It was such a fun and relaxing
experience minus the bugs (which were not that bad actually). We
spent the nights around the campfire making yummy food like steaks,
vegetables, hot dogs, etc., and s'mores of course! We even made
small apple pies in these cast iron skillets!
We spent the day canoeing on Pine River (a level one/two river)
that was higher and faster because of the 30-minute storm we had.
Ryan and I finished the six-hour trip in five! We had fun but also
had a chance to relax together after all the obstacles we have
overcome as a couple lately. I can't believe we are close to our
one-year marriage mark! We canoed without tipping over once.
We definitely came close but made it out of all the trees and rocks
I always talk about how important it is to still have a life in
school, and I cannot emphasize it enough. Not only is there the
beautiful (and busy) city of Chicago to enjoy, but also all the
states around Illinois have beautiful places to visit, like
Michigan! Pine River has campgrounds in the entire area and it is
only about four and one-half or five hours away from Chicago. It
sounds like a long drive but it is so worth it. Getting away from
the busy city/suburbs of Chicago is very therapeutic. Do it!
(In the picture above, note the caution tape on my head, given us
"rookies" by the group we were with. I guess Pine River is a pretty
Clinic is going well. I've been keeping busy with a couple new
patients but doing outreach marketing is still very challenging.
I've been handing out my business cards and speaking with different
people that I know, but so far, I have not been lucky to get any
new patients. It's very frustrating and discouraging at times, but
having this glimpse into what private practice will be like is
I do not want to be that graduate that looks back and wishes
that I gained more knowledge of the business and marketing aspect
of clinic success. I am trying to soak up all the knowledge of all
the clinicians around me. I am so fortunate to be on Dr. Solecki's
shift because he has been so successful in his private practice and
has learned the dos and don'ts and is willing to share all! The
clinician you get for main clinic is VERY important! Choose
• ND Clinic Format
• Love Your Profession
• MD vs. ND
• CAM Day
• Working During School
• Q&A with Readers
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