Archive for tag: life

It's Getting Closer

I still can't believe it. I am closer to graduation and it's getting very REAL.This upcoming week will be my last week at the inner city clinic I spoke about before, and then I have about 2 more weeks until my 2 weeks of observation off campus! Then when I get back, I will have about 4 days left of clinic before graduation week! It's so crazy!

I remember this similar feeling when I was graduating from the chiropractic program, but the feeling was halted by the sense that my graduation was only the mark of the beginning of the naturopathic program. While all my colleagues were putting their business plans into action, interviewing for associate positions, or packing up and moving back home, I was studying and preparing for my 11th trimester! It was still an exciting time considering it is still a HUGE accomplishment. However, it was bittersweet for me.

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Now I sit here, writing one of my last blogs ever, preparing for a new journey in my life, and feeling an amazing amount of joy and peace! It's still very stressful realizing that I am still at that place again--not completing a business plan or interviewing for any associate positions, but preparing a nursery, utilizing the summer to relax, and enjoying life without the pressures of school. I feel much better about it all than I thought.

You might hear over and over again about the "Numbers Game" in clinic. There are high expectations and huge requirements that are obligated for you to pass your clinic internship, and the naturopathic program has definitely trumped the chiropractic program in my opinion! I learned so much from both programs on many different levels, but because the naturopathic program is still relatively young at NUHS, there are different struggles that we face. The numbers were driving me crazy but definitely did not affect my ability to give my patients the best care possible. And our clinicians were right, if you treat your patients right, the numbers will take care of themselves.

As I am heading into my last couple weeks with patients on campus, I am feeling more comfortable than ever about my competency AND numbers. Although I won't be out in practice right away, I have been able to soak up the experience the best way I could. I struggled, I cried, I became frustrated on the verge of walking away--but looking back now, I can appreciate the obstacles I've had to overcome and above all else, I've had the best patients ever! :)

I only hope you will be able to soak up my experience no matter what school or program you choose! Take care of people and they will take care of you. :) Here's to my last weeks here at National!!

The Gathering

"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. 

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NUHS and SCNM naturopathic students at "The Gathering"

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.

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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.

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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!

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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 naturopath.

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!

Memories Made

 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 time emotionally.

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.

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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.

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Making pottery with friends at Glazed Expressions in Chicago.

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 it!

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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.

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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 FRIENDS! :)

Spring Cleaning

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Can you believe it? Time has been flying and I'm just trying to keep up! The fact that we've been packed with event after event including school and work has made this year fly by so quickly already. This past weekend we were supposed to visit friends all the way in Columbus, Ohio, but some plans didn't work out so we had the weekend at home. It was a blessing!

We were able to enjoy the amazing weather (rain and shine), run errands, and completely clean OUT our house! My husband and I have forgotten what it is like to have a normal weekend at home. We completely took apart our house to clean as much as we could and I ended up clearing out NINE paper grocery bags of clothes including things I've never worn!

My current journey to the "WHOLE better me" has been very emotional. It hasn't only been about saying NO to food temptations or working out 1-2 hours six days out of the week, but it has involved my own personal "spring cleaning"! I've been working on the emotional aspect of becoming healthier, which has been the hardest part. It is strange but my "spring cleaning" this weekend was therapeutic. As I was going through all my clothes, it was an amazing feeling to get rid of all the clothes that are too big and that I don't ever want to fit again.

I had the opportunity to spend time with two of my closest friends at Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg. We walked around the mall for almost four hours and had the opportunity to catch up. I have lost the desire to buy anything for myself until I've reached my "health" goal status. It was an awesome time to spend time with my friends and I even had the opportunity to talk to them about how they can improve their health too!

My whole point of this blog about MY health is to encourage you to take a look at the clothes in your closet. It's not about HOW you look or WHAT clothes you wear. I'm not trying to sound materialistic about clothing either. It's about how you FEEL when you wear the clothes. Do you feel healthy? Do you feel at your optimal health status? Take a deep look into what your "optimal" is. Clothes can hide more than what you look like but can end up masking what you feel about yourself. Are you at the best that you can be? For yourself? For your family? And lastly for your patients?

I am not only doing this for my family and myself… but I am doing this to be an example to my future patients. To be an inspiration. To be a motivation. What are you going to be to YOUR patients? Food for thought! Have a great week!

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Blissor: Our pets! We have two cats (Sampson & Delilah) and one dog (Oliver). They are our little children and we love them! It is always nice to come home from a stressful day to their happy faces!

CAM Day

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CAM Day was a huge success!! CAM stands for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, which represents all the degree programs offered at National. I am an executive board member with the Student American Chiropractic Association (SACA), and in past years, we've had SACA Day with vendors, raffles and speakers to honor chiropractic and give students a chance to take a break from classes. Well, since our school is more well-rounded in terms of offering so many different degrees that actually help with viewing health more holistically, we changed the name so that we can honor alternative medicine in general.

The team that I worked with also consisted of members from the AAAOM Club and the SUN, the naturopathic club. We worked on getting vendors such as biofreeze, chirotouch, Douglas Laboratories, Metagenics, etc. The administration also supported our efforts and gave excused absences to all the attendees after noon. We had Cynthia Vaughn come in to speak about National Health Reform and our profession in general. Cynthia Vaughn is a chiropractor from Texas, which was one of the moving components involved in getting chiropractic care in the VA hospitals!

It was an all day event that all the students responded extremely well to. We expected maybe 100 to 150 students, but we had over 300 students come to learn about multiple products, eat lunch with us, and listen to the speaker! We also had raffles that took place for the people that visited all the vendors. I was so proud of the team I worked with, and although the process was hard to juggle alongside school and life, it was well worth it!  

Getting Involved

This week, I want to discuss the topic of getting involved with school beyond playing the student role. There are many clubs to join that help with studying, adjusting techniques, community service, and help you join in a bigger cause for the profession like SUN, SACA, and the AAAOM club. SACA (Student American Chiropractic Association) helps with relaying the information that comes from the government into the school.

Viewing your place in your profession simply as just getting through school is very ignorant. Unfortunately, it's not that easy...even though getting through school is extremely difficult. You have to prepare yourself for the REAL world. All the simulated patients, practicing, having clinicians help you with diagnosing and treatments in clinic, etc. are only the beginning. But alternative medicine is something beyond the techniques that we use to treat our future patients. All the professions at our university suffer from scrutiny from the public and unfortunately from the government. Getting involved in clubs like SUN, SACA, and the AAAOM club brings those issues to light and you can take part in pushing your profession further. That is why I have been involved with SACA for more than two years now.

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The difference between getting involved in graduate school versus undergrad or even high school is that QUALITY trumps QUANTITY. Always be sure that the club you are joining is for a GREATER purpose! Do not join a specific club just to add it to your resume if you truly are not interested in it. It will waste your time and other people's time, and trust me, time is something you NEED. You know yourself more than anyone else so DO NOT compare your involvement with fellow students. What you can handle may be too much for someone or not that much for another person. The first mistake people make here at school is that they become overly ambitious and forget that they are a student! Your education should always take precedence over the clubs you choose to be a part of, so that's why you should only join the clubs that mean the most to you and in the end, will benefit you as a future doctor.

I hope this helps you decide how to manage and balance your life here at NUHS. It's really important to not spread yourself thin! It's even more important to know when to say NO. Have a great week and unpack those sweaters...the warm weather is gone! :(