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! :)
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 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.
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!
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!
The next day we had the pleasure to visit the beautiful city of
Chicago and see the famous "Bean."
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
Blissor: My brother visiting from California! :)
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? :)
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
This 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.
Blissor: All the times God has blessed me with time to spend
with family and friends! Don't take those moments for
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 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.
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.
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!!
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! :)
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! :)
• ND Clinic Format
• Love Your Profession
• MD vs. ND
• CAM Day
• Working During School
• Q&A with Readers
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