The next three weeks are going to seem like the longest three
weeks of my life. In addition to the long days I spend in clinic in
Lombard, I will also be going to the Salvation Army clinic in the
city from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. After treating patients under Dr.
Charles Kuehner at that clinic, I will head directly back into the
suburbs to treat my patients there until 7:00 p.m. This makes for
super long days including all the traffic and traveling. Please
keep me in your thoughts as I try to get through the long days and
short sleep schedules while trying to maintain my sanity!
The population that gets treated at Salvation Army is an amazing
group of individuals. They are all either suffering from drug
abuse, alcohol abuse or both, with a variety of lifestyle factors
that have led to chronic and severe diseases. Yet they have taken
it upon themselves to go for change, even after everything they
have been through in their lives. Salvation Army is like a refuge
for them to get back on their feet. They get jobs to help out the
community (ex., working the warehouse of the Salvation Army thrift
stores), they get rehab programs, complimentary alternative medical
care (from us!), along with room and board for a period of time to
help them through rehab.
I went through a two-week rotation already as a chiropractic
intern, however, it is a completely different experience as a
naturopathic intern. We help support the chiropractic treatment
plans along with addressing nutritional goals and nutrient
depletions, and we help encourage the patient to maintain an
alcohol and drug free lifestyle. I've only been there one day so
far, and I absolutely love it. It calls for early mornings with
tons of traffic for me, however, it is a great experience for the
patient and for me. It will be a long three weeks, but I know in
the end, I will be more grateful for the experience.
This weekend, I got the chance to meet up for coffee with Chet,
a college friend who was in town. It was awesome to catch up since
we haven't seen each other since my wedding, which was 2-1/2 years
My friend Chet and I
I also had the privilege to share in the celebration of two of
my colleagues as they celebrated opening their brand new
chiropractic clinics! In the picture below are Ryan and I with
David Kim, whom I graduated with, and Lesley Wong, who I worked
with heavily in SACA.
David Kim, Ryan, Lesley Wong, and myself
You might recognize the next picture, too! It's a past fellow
blogger, John Cress, who has just recently opened up his new clinic
in Arlington Heights!
John Cress and myself
It was such a joy to see all the success around me and made me
even more excited when Ryan and I got to bask in all that!
Have a good week everyone!
The BEST Birthday Gift!
Meet my nephew Alex(Xander) Sacdyphoud!! He was born June 24th
at 11:49pm - just a day and 11 minutes before MY birthday! I have
to say…he is the best birthday present ever! He is so adorable and
looks just like a doll!! I already love him so much and Ryan is
super excited to be an uncle! His full name is Alexander but we're
going to call him Xander.
Despite having a rough patch last week, this week was easier to
endure. Looking forward to my birthday weekend really helped me get
through what felt like a long week. Dr. Solecki took all of the
interns on his shift to work out at X-Sport together and it felt
amazing to work out all the frustrations I had from the previous
week. I love being apart of his shift. I've been able to be
extremely challenged but also have built great relationships with
my fellow colleagues. (The photo below shows Dr. Solecki conducting
an in-service with all the interns about different soft tissue
Bidding Bye to Rotation
My last week at Salvation Army was especially difficult due to
the crazy amount of traffic that I had to deal with, but having the
experience has really taught me on many different levels how to
have compassion for others. It seems straightforward that we are in
the medical field so we should have compassion right? Well, it will
surprise you how easy or difficult it can be to treat the extremes
of patient personalities, backgrounds and situations. I feel very
blessed to be able to experience all I did at Salvation Army and I
know that through that rotation, I can truly be more sympathetic,
patient and most importantly, grateful.
My birthday weekend was amazing! Friday, Ryan and I went to
visit my baby nephew. Saturday, my amazing husband had a whole day
full of surprises for me. First, the day started off at Brookfield
Zoo! He surprised me with a brand new SLR Canon Rebel T1i
camera!!!! It is definitely an upgrade from my little digital
camera. (I just need to figure out how to use it!) Here is a
picture from my new camera.
After the zoo and tons of picture taking, we headed to see
"Little Shop of Horrors," the musical in downtown Chicago. I was
apart of the musical in high school so it was so much fun!! I loved
it! I recommend going to small theaters. It was such an intimate
setting and they were so talented. We went to a Moroccan restaurant
for dinner and headed home. It was an amazing day.
The next day, my best friends planned a beach day for me! The
weather got sunny just in time and we were able to relax and soak
up the sun! I couldn't have asked for a better birthday. I'm
just excited to get back to Rockford for the 4th of July weekend to
see my nephew!!
Overall, Clinic Tip of The Week: Find support in fellow
colleagues! I had a very tough week last week, and I leaned on
people in my shift to help me move around patients, etc. You need
it! The program is impossible to get through alone.
This week started off bright and early at 5:30am through long
stop-and-go traffic with hard-to-find parking to finally end up in
the bustling city of Chicago! That explains the start of my
Salvation Army rotation. Three other interns and I are
participating in our two-week Salvation Rotation from 7am to 11am,
Monday through Friday.
We were all very nervous because we did not know what to expect.
Walking into the facility, we were introduced to a very different
world than our usual shift at the Lombard clinic. The patients were
all participants of either a drug or alcohol rehabilitation
program, so the focus was more towards addressing ailments due to
the cumulative effects of their lifestyles. Although
musculoskeletal problems were part of their complaints, it was the
least of their concerns.
Overall, it was a very interesting experience and I have one
more week to go. All the care at the facility is free of charge so
the patients are continuously in and out as an obligation of their
Salvation Army is an option for main clinic for 9th and 10th
trimesters, but the amount of people accepted there is small.
Another option is the Caruth Health Center at the St. Petersburg
campus in Florida, which also accepts a small number of people.
Both options are available so stay open-minded about what rotation
you want! There are VA hospitals in Illinois and Maryland (to my
knowledge) that usually accept only one person per trimester, but
it is worth the try!
This week was one of the hardest weeks I've had to endure so
far. Personal reasons made it excruciatingly difficult, however
Ryan and I planned an impromptu trip to Michigan to get away from
everything! It was a well-needed weekend get-away. We had the
chance to relax by the river, walk around downtown East Grand
Rapids during their art festival, and enjoy 80º weather! No rain
The sunlight, family and nature were definitely what I needed to
partially rejuvenate from my rough week. Being back home now and
knowing that I have to return to reality makes me wish I could
repeat the weekend over and over again, but the show must go
My Clinic Tip: When tragedies hit, find a sanctuary. No matter
what is happening in clinic, you have to take care of YOU.
On Saturday, Ryan and I had the honor of attending the wedding
of Yesenia, the assistant registrar here at NUHS. We became close
to her when I got a job in the Registrar's office when I first
started the program. They have all been so supportive of me in the
program with words of advice, encouragement and love. It is an
awesome feeling to have built those relationships at school.
Yesenia, Keith, the Registrar, and Erika, the academic records
specialist in the Registrar's office also came to our wedding last
Challenging Clinic Week
Clinic this week was very challenging for different reasons. I
started the week feeling motivated but started to feel very
exhausted towards the end. There wasn't really anything that was
different to trigger my exhaustion, but boy was I ready for the
weekend to start!
I learned patience this week interacting with fellow interns,
patients, clinicians, and people in general! I think there were
certain events that triggered me to tap into my small supply of
patience. I learned A LOT, though. This is how the REAL world
will be. I got a small glimpse into how to discharge a patient,
take over a patient from an unsatisfied experience with a previous
intern, work with different opinions and thoughts, refer a patient
to their primary care physician to rule out multiple myeloma, and
then come home to my husband after a long day of all of the
In school, we are presented with hypothetical situation after
hypothetical situation and until you actually face the "real"
thing, it's hard to predict how to handle it. Well, this week, I
got a little bit of everything. And after all that, I am very
grateful (and tired). The highlights of my week were also the
lowlights but coming home to my very supportive and loving (and
VERY patient) husband was all I needed to reboot to get ready for
the next day.
My clinic tip of the week is quite simple: BREATHE. So far, I
have had weeks with no patients to a day packed with patients. It
has varied and my patience has been tested. Every time I felt like
I needed a break, I took one. Walking outside to breathe and
reflect for a couple minutes saved my sanity, so do not be afraid
to do it.
This week, I get the chance to do a two-week morning rotation at
one of the Salvation Army clinics. The clinic is set up to provide
free care for people who are trying to get their life back on track
after a life of drugs, alcohol, and bad life decisions. We give the
required physical exams they need in order to keep the jobs that
are trying to keep them off of the streets. We also give them
treatment and try to positively affect their lives as much as
I am looking forward to being pushed and tested now in a very
different way. Everyone tells you Tri 9 through 10 is when you can
take a break, but not for me. This is a learning experience and I'm
soaking it all up while I can!
Have a great week everyone!!
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