Archive for tag: health

What's the Big Deal with Sleep

Sleep is not as overrated as it seems! In college, I remember attempting to pull "all-nighters" consecutive days in a row just to get as much information packed into my brain as possible before big midterm or final exams. While my college roommates were able to do it with tons and tons of coffee, I admit that never worked for me because my body loves sleep too much. 

Entering NUHS for grad school, that trend just seemed to continue within the student population. It almost seemed like it was worse with the course load so high and the constant pressure there. I just couldn't do it myself. Don't get me wrong; I really wanted to on many days I was "cramming." However, coffee and energy drinks don't affect me like they do the general public, so sleep and I have become very good friends! :)

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I've noticed, though, that among my friends who would deprive themselves of sleep, their grades weren't much different than people around them who would sleep at least 4-5 hours (not the full recommended 8 hours). So I started to see that it really wasn't worth it. My envy began to fade very quickly for people who could utilize all the time a day gives us!

There are many studies out there linking inefficiency with lack of sleep. We learn in school (and it's common knowledge), that sleep is what our bodies need to restore and rest. Not only does lack of sleep include a high rate of inefficiency on the job but it also increases your chances of getting sick since your body hasn't had time to relax.

This week, I've been exhausted. Ryan was sick and then I got sick, so in order to heal, I stopped fighting my body and slept--a lot! I had busy days filled with full patient loads and studying for board exams coming up in one week, but I had to let my body recover so I slept a lot! And it was more than worth it.

So what's the point?

Don't come into this program thinking you'll get to sleep 8-12 hours a night. BUT also, don't come into this program thinking that it's OK to not sleep at all! Time management is key to get through any of the programs here especially if you decide to dual enroll; this also includes managing healthy times for you to relax, restore and sleep. It's one of the most important things you need to fit into your schedule! :)

Life is Good

Life is amazing! Being able to have the weekends to unwind from a stressful week is how I reboot myself.

Many of you have written me and have considered the dual programs. The most common question I always get is, "What's the hardest aspect of being dual enrolled?" And I continuously answer the same. The hardest part for me is preventing myself from being completely burned out.

I recently had my Cortisol levels tested, which measure how well your body handles stress. Well, my results show that I am completely burned out. My adrenals are having a hard time dealing with the continuous stress that I've put myself under. Makes sense right? So, how am I recuperating? I often ask myself what or how I can de-stress myself so that I don't fall apart.

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The picture above is my "medicine" so far. I love spending time with my family, and my nephew Xander brightens up my life and day! He is the light of all of our lives, and Ryan and I are so grateful to have him. I keep this picture as my desktop picture so that I can look at it anytime I am stressed out. His picture is also on my phone! :) I know, I know, I am officially obsessed!

20111004-orchard

My weekend was fun packed (as usual!) with family time since my brother is still in town from California. We visited Edwards Apple Orchard in Poplar Grove (it's our annual fall family tradition). My sister-in-law's sister's family also joined us from Minnesota. The weather was impeccable this weekend and I only wish that it could be that way the whole year!

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The next day we had the pleasure to visit the beautiful city of Chicago and see the famous "Bean."

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My nephew Xander at the bean.

I have found myself slowly draining every time I turn into campus and park my car. I have to take a deep breath before grabbing my white coat and the millions of bags that I carry. I say a quick little prayer that I will be able to endure more days until graduation. Recap: I've been on this campus for almost FIVE years…so my "visit" has been long overdue. Don't get me wrong; I am very grateful for the education that I have received. However, I am ready to be set free! (ha ha). So all in all, thank God for my family and friends.

What do I do to make sure I relax during the week? I love to cook so I come home and cook a full healthy meal for my husband and I, and I also watch about an hour of TV to unwind. I utilize my mornings to work out and read before clinic! It's a full day but I sleep at least 8 hours a night and make sure I eat regularly throughout the day with lean proteins and lots of veggies or fruit!

Blissor: My brother visiting from California! :)

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Time to Breathe

This week has been absolutely tiring! Not only did midterms start to kick in, but a horrible viral respiratory infection took hold of me as well. It started on Sunday and I actually had laryngitis (no voice!) up until Wednesday accompanied by an extremely sore and painful throat, spasmodic dry coughs, night sweats, and high fevers.

I took a couple hours off my clinic shift to be treated in the ND clinic by a couple of awesome colleagues of mine. They put together a very impressive and pretty aggressive treatment plan since the infection sounded like it was going deeper into my lungs every day. There were some doubts floating around from other colleagues about whether or not I would actually improve because with each passing day I was getting worse. A huge component of the progression was the fact that I was sleeping about 2-3 hours/day because I coughed throughout the whole night.

However, this weekend I had the chance to finally SLEEP in as long as I wanted. After some new additions to the treatment plan they put together, I slept about 12 hours and then another 10 hours the next day and woke up feeling brand new! I still had the coughing and sore throat but to a minimum! So after a week of torture on so many different levels, my body halted the viral infection on it's own without the accompaniment of antibiotics or anti-virals, which is amazing!

I am so passionate about this medicine that I delve into every day. I KNOW it works and I believe in it wholeheartedly--well, I think I do--then I encounter moments of doubt when applying the medicine to myself. In this case, I was very positive that the treatment plan implemented was going to work, but I know there was also a line of doubt that I continuously had running through my head. However, I was very against giving up before at least giving it about 5 days. Well, the treatment plan started Wednesday and the effects were seen about late Friday/early Saturday, so it kicked in a lot sooner that I expected!

I am still recuperating and taking it easy for at least a couple more days, but all in all, I feel like I can finally function and have returned back to the world! :) Not only am I excited to get back into functioning normally but also I miss my daily workouts! Crazy, huh? :)

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Well, I hope you all had an amazingly sunny weekend like I did minus the sickness! Oh, and I included a picture of my beautiful nephew because looking at his picture just makes my heart smile so I thought it could possibly do the same for you!

Blissor: My husband bought me a 60" kiddie pool that I fit perfectly in and laid out for a couple hours to soak up some vitamin D! 

Happy Birthday, America!

2011-07-06_FriendThis week has been quite bittersweet. Clinic was busier, which is a huge plus since the more patients we have, the more exposure we get to different conditions as well as treatment modalities. It continues to be mentally and physically challenging, which also makes it the best experience thus far.

Midterms have also commenced which always makes life very interesting. After already going through one program and having the midterms and finals, I have reached a point where I definitely feel like consistently giving up due purely to fatigue. In one of our classes, we had a chance to complete a complementary salivary cortisol panel and I realized that not only was I feeling tired because I was overwhelmed, but my adrenals are LITERALLY overwhelmed! And now I am currently battling laryngitis, so yes, no voice! Why am I telling you all this?

Well, even doctors get sick! I am 100% sure that you all know this, but when you are in this position, it is very different. As doctors (or future physicians) we are so concerned with all of our patients' health, family's health, etc., that we forget we also need treatments once in a while, too! So I took the initiative to become a patient and the results are amazing thus far. Definitely takes more effort and more time, but I am slowly becoming the healthier version of me! So as doctors, remember to take care of yourselves. Life comes and hits you in the face when you least expect it, and if you just keep ignoring your own needs, you will definitely burn out. Like me!

Among all the midterms and busy work, we took time to spend with family, which is so priceless. Recently some close friends have lost their parents at different times but to sudden circumstances, and it truly took my breath away finding out all the hurt that they were experiencing. As soon as I found out the unfortunate news, I called my mother right away to tell her how much I loved her and I turned to my husband to tell him how much I loved him. It shouldn't take death for us to all appreciate the people we have in our lives, so spending time with family over the holiday weekend meant more to me than ever.

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Blissor: All the times God has blessed me with time to spend with family and friends! Don't take those moments for granted! 

Mini Synopsis

Hey everyone! I can't believe that the trimester has commenced once again! Like the title says, I will give you a miniature synopsis of finals week, my break, AND my first week of school!

Finals Week

Finals week was not as packed and "exciting" as it has been in the past. When I was dual-enrolled in both DC and ND programs, I had anywhere from 10-16 finals in a span of 10 days, and YES that was CRAZY! However, since my course load was much lighter in the spring trimester, I had only a little over a handful of finals - and after receiving my grades, I am super happy! The hard work along with all the personal stress really paid off and I am glad that the trimester ended successfully!

Good and Bad of Break

However, when that ended, something else began. The flu! As soon as my official break began (the following Monday), I started to get the dreaded flu symptoms, which progressed and impeded on all my original plans! I was planning on preparing myself for clinic by basically studying old material, hanging out with family and friends, and working out. Well, all I got done was sleeping and some eating. It was miserable and after valiant efforts to prevent my husband from getting sick…it failed. He started getting symptoms a week after I did. My sickness lasted the entire two weeks of break and he was better after about a week.

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When I started to feel better though, we had the chance to enjoy the weather and went on a two-hour hike at Pilcher Forest Reserve in Joliet. It's an undiscovered beauty that's for sure! The picture above is a glimpse of what we saw and below is another one. For any of you nature people (which as an ND you should be!), you must visit this huge forest preserve! It's absolutely breathtaking.

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At the end of our reign of sickness, we had time to celebrate my best friend/cousin's birthday and going away party (she's moving to D.C. for the summer to work with Youth Works) and Mother's Day with my family, which was a fun way to end the tortuous break. I am so grateful and love my family so much!!

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ND Clinic Ahead

The day before classes started I compiled all the useful lecture notes I've saved through the years in an organized BIG binder that will help me through clinic. For all of you just joining in on my journey, I am entering the naturopathic clinic system and have one more year before obtaining my second (and last) doctorate! The classes that I have this trimester are absolutely amazing! All of them are very challenging and really provoke you to bring everything you've learned together.

Although I've graduated from the chiropractic program, I don't feel that will help me float on by. There are many new modalities and treatment options that I did not use in the DC clinic that are imperative in the ND clinic. This year will be an exciting, challenging, frustrating, and amazing year all together. I am ready! Be prepared for a little bit of everything as I blog my way through the last trimesters of my educational journey! :)

Blissor

My amazing and beautiful best friend/cousin graduated this past weekend with her SECOND master's degree and will be moving onto bigger and better things! I guess the "over-achiever" trait really runs in the family! :)

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