Archive for tag: life

A LOOOOO–NG Weekend!

Did everybody enjoy the long weekend? Wow! What a weekend?!?

First, I need to say thank all the powers of the Universe for days off. I've been sneezing my fool head off ever since, but I spent most of the day cleaning. Having a clean house is Zen. I can now sit in the middle of my living room in the lotus position holding my fingers together. I won't (because I don't have time), but the important thing is -- I CAN.

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(Image source: http://blogs.studentlife.utoronto.ca/lifeatuoft/)

I spent some time out in the world this weekend, when I wasn't cleaning or studying. We get so sheltered, living in academia, that we forget how different it is. I came across a lot of stigma about chiropractic. Education helps fix that. Sometimes people just have to be exposed to what we're doing, what we're learning and practicing, and the basis for our practices in order to step beyond the conditioning they've received. Some won't. And that's OK. We'll love them anyway.

I received a big reminder about how difficult it is to practice "lifestyle medicine." We spend a lot of our time talking about changes that have to be made to the diet or lifestyle. I honestly don't know how many times a week that I tell someone something like, "Well, that could be fixed with removing XYZ from the diet." Here's the thing though: People don't want to remove XYZ from their diet. We're all familiar with people who continue to eat fast food or candy or soda and their effects on the body. We're also familiar with how many of those people end up injecting insulin or taking metformin. People do not respond well to change. The prevailing opinion is that it's easier to either accept the condition they have (and the symptom management) rather than to prevent or cure the issue by making change.

I'm honestly not sure where this mentality comes from. Perhaps it's the American adage that a pill fixes everything. I have a hard time believing that people are that *bad word alert* lazy (sorry). For some that I've talked to, they can't believe that making a change to their diet or activity levels will make them feel better, or that they've tried everything and nothing has worked. After all, they're dealing with complex health issues like autoimmune disorders, diabetes, and heart disease. Some will listen to reason and participate in education and others won't. Age doesn't seem to have a bearing on this -- people of all ages fall into this grouping. Perhaps I'd be the best physician ever, if I could figure out what would get through to people that have this block. But for right now, I'm struggling with the acceptance (which really sounds like defeat) that people have of their dysfunctions, and the lack of willingness to do anything about it. On compliance with lifestyle recommendations -- what do you think?

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Since stress management is a big part of lifestyle, here is a sunset picture I took on Monday. Remember. Zen.

As a self-reported "lifestyle change queen", I'm all too ready to make changes in my own life with the goal of feeling better. Dr S. tells us, as students, that we need to try things in order to be able to recommend them to our patients (speaking of dietary changes). Given that one of my own issues is Celiac disease, a change in lifestyle was the ONLY option for becoming healthy. I can't even begin to express how drastically my life changed in response to that.

Some changes are harder to make. Cutting down my rice consumption has been one of them. I'm down to only 2-3 servings per week at this point. But others are so much easier. For me, it comes down to the information, and hope. How will I feel once this change has been made? What are the possibilities? What information can I find that supports this decision?

Is there a change that you need to make? What's stopping you? What if you felt a million times better, increased the quality and quantity of your life, and it only took a short period of adjustment?

Maybe these are the questions we should be asking our (future) patients.

Have an amazing week, everyone.

Week 5

Happy Week 5 Everybody! This week is the first exam week. I'm a little scared (not really -- but maybe I should be). I have 4 this week (3 here at NUHS and 1 at UWS). From Botanical Medicine II to Evidence Based Nutrition, there's a lot of material to cover -- and I have a lot of work to do. 

Last Friday was our Tri Mixer. We had Trivia -- Chiro style, food, and all kinds of crazy fun. I was told that the "Five Sphincters" Trivia team was the winner. I'm not sure how the other teams fared. But I know we were all having fun. It was good to get to meet/see some of the younger Tris. I'd met some of the new students at Club Day or previous mixers, but since we're all so separated, it's rare that we get to see each other. There's a good crew of people coming up. I'm excited.

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So, last night was the Super Bowl. I didn't watch it and I don't know who won. This morning on my Facebook news feed are random people posting random statements about the game, ads, different players, etc. Lots of people are talking about the commercials (I didn't watch) and how much they cost. It's my understanding that a 30-second ad costs approximately $4 million.

Here are some things that we could do with $4 million, instead of buying a Super Bowl ad:

  • Fund NIH Alzheimer's research for 1 month (NIH spends $480 million/year on Alzheimer's research)
  • Run a free clinic for 4+ months
  • Fully fund 12 medical students' educational careers ($325,000/student)
  • Buy 66 modest homes ($60,000/house)
  • Fund all Medicare breast cancer screening for 1 month ($410 million/year)
  • Clothe, feed, house, and educate 16 children (cost to raise a child $241,000)

Rather than getting a pizza, or watching something cute for a few seconds, we could buy people well-being, cancer prevention, health, and basic security. I realize that this is a bit of commentary, and may not be popular, but I feel like we needed a little bit of perspective. We support businesses with our money and our attention.

Let's go make a difference this week.

Have a great one, everybody!!!

Thanksgiving Week

I can't believe this week is Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving everybody! A few of my classmates are heading out of town, up North, over the river and through the woods, but most of us are staying somewhat local. Those that are going up North are getting ready to be bundled up. I understand there are record lows -- especially up in the Northeast. We're actually expecting a brisk temperature of 66ºF on Thanksgiving. Everyone will have their parkas and snowboots on.

Turkey Bowl

Friday night was Turkey Bowl. If you've never heard of the infamous NUHS Turkey Bowl, here's where you'll become indoctrinated in this time-honored tradition. Students, alumni, faculty members, and significant others launch themselves onto the football field to non-violently duke it out to compete for (starting this year) the Stiefel Cup [named for the president of NUHS and former dean of the College of Professional Studies - Florida].

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This year, the victors were from Tri 1 and Tri 6 (including our own Antoinette Stewart and Lauren Domanski) and our MVPs were Dr. Chris Arick and Danielle Spratt. It's my understanding that no severe injuries were met and no one went to the hospital -- so it was a good game.  

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We had a HUGE turnout of people! A lot of the faculty came out -- including some professors that I haven't seen in a really long time. I saw new students that I'd never seen before. I met spouses and kids that I didn't know existed. It was just a really great "family" environment. There was really amazing food provided and the people that weren't playing just hung out. It was really cool and made me wish that I'd gone last year. The funniest thing was to see our professors and Assistant Dean (Dr. Daniel Strauss) don shorts and T-shirts and blend in with all of the "kids." We really couldn't tell the difference between them.

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Impending Finals

So, this is the last week before finals start. Next week is practical week and the following week has all the written exams. I'm not looking forward to either -- but I'll be really glad to move on. I've already taken the Marketing final, the final practical for Rehab, and the Phlebotomy written final is this week. I'm checking off boxes and crossing things off my list (and trying not to go crazy).

Well, that's it from me. I hope everyone has an amazing holiday -- that you have just as much dinner as you want, just enough family dysfunction to seem OK, and just enough tryptophan to have a really good nap. And of course, in true medical student style -- dissect the turkey -- don't carve it.

Marketing Presentation

The marketing presentation is over. I'm really glad. I was sweating it big-time. I put a lot of work into it -- the design and layout of the logo, the tagline, all the wording for the sample brochure -- all of it. Even though it made last week's schedule pretty intense with all of the other activities, now it's done and I can watch my classmates do theirs (and enjoy them), and also focus on other things.

GreyforestlogoSo the plan for my future practice is to be both multi-disciplinary and integrated -- where the practitioners not only work together, but complement each other in abilities to provide a larger scope of practice. The basic premise is that in order to take care of the whole person, we have to approach the whole person. So we'll have everything integrated into the practice from seminars, movement classes, and functional medicine to counseling, acupuncture, and herbal medicine. My idea is to have five practitioners to start with: Chiropractic, Naturopathic, Acupuncture, Massage, and Behavioral Medicine. I'd like to also have an herbal compounding pharmacy on site -- in addition to a number of nutraceuticals available.

 

I've also entertained some ways to expand down the road. The addition of hyperbarics, a medicinal and natural foods café, and inpatient care seem more than logical. I realize that they're big and potentially lofty ambitions, BUT I think with the right team of practitioners, we can definitely do it. Anybody want to help?

Upcoming Week

This week I have a few things due: notes from my head-to-toe practical; my community resources listing and BETS research (I'm working on Alzheimer's and choline -- or hoping to); and on Friday I have my functional rehab practical. I'm so glad I'm going early with that one as well. That REALLY frees up my week 14. There's nothing like having a little bit of extra time to study for things or work.

Master's Program

The Master's is going well. This last week it was tough to get everything done because of the exams, presentation, and practical. I was scrambling to get it all done by midnight on Sunday (all of my Master's work is due by midnight Sunday). As it was, I was falling asleep finishing the last assignment. It could have gone better, but that's what happens when you're falling asleep answering questions. The topics for last week were mostly gut immunity -- which I find fascinating. I'd really like to figure out all of the possible permutations of gut disruption -- beyond gluten and casein, microbes, etc. Did you know that 70% of the immune system is located in the gut? Even inhalants are partially mediated in the gut. If you're really interested in learning more about this -- try the Textbook for Functional Medicine -- chapter 28. While some of the physiology is a little tedious, putting the pieces together is pretty fascinating.

Well, that's all from me. I've registered for next tri -- except for electives. I'm trying to decide whether to take acupuncture or not. The jury is still out.

Have a great week everybody. Good luck with studying, projects, and whatever else is going on. This Friday we have the Turkey Bowl. Can't wait.

It's November!

It's November! What? Did the time change work for you? I ended up staying up even later.

This week is the calm before the next storm. We have one more, big round of exams and projects due next week--including the Marketing project. This is the culmination of all of my mind-ramblings of the last couple of months, and the chance to pull some pie-in-the-sky ideas into my project.

Last week we had a speaker in Marketing that had been on the show "Shark Tank." Unfortunately, I took pictures for everyone else and not myself. He spoke about what it was like to start up a business, some of the struggles associated with it, and some of his experiences since his business started. I'll go ahead and give a shout out to him (and his brothers) who own Nardo's Naturals. They make natural skin care products and they're centered here in St. Pete.

The geek botanical person in me was intrigued by some of the ingredients they use in their products--lots of essential oils and coconut oil. You absolutely cannot lose with those. And of course it just reminded me how much I want to include natural products in my future clinic--which brings me back to the Marketing project.

When the speaker last week asked us what we wanted our future practice to be like, I opened my mouth and said something like: "I want a multi-disciplinary practice with Functional Medicine, Chiropractic, Naturopathic, Acupuncture, Physical and Massage Therapy, Well-being classes, and an Herbal and Compounding Pharmacy." I think his eyes nearly fell out of his head. Big ambitions, I suppose. I'm not sure what will be more difficult, setting up the practice, or finding the right people to work with me. Either way, these plans will be coming together in paper, brochure, website, and business card form--in the next 10 days. Boy, I sure have my work cut out for me. I don't have anything finalized, except the ideas, which have been floating around in my head for quite a while. When I get it all done, I'll share it with you guys. I have no idea where all it will go.

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I hope everybody had a Happy and Safe Halloween. On Wednesday of last week, MoPal (Motion Palpation) hosted a Halloween potluck. We had some great costumes. My tri's very own Lexxi (dressed as Ms. Pacman) and Dave (dressed as Walter White from "Breaking Bad") stole the show and won best costumes. This is where the pictures for this week hail from. It was nice to see so many people get together and be festive.

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I, for one, am glad that most of the candy is gone. No more temptation. I have a small handful left. I'll feed it to the kids and make them run around the neighborhood about 80 times--and then brush their teeth. We have a few weeks to behave ourselves before Thanksgiving--which really should be renamed to something that involves "gluttonous intake of food and falling asleep on the couch." It looks, though, like we might actually have a Fall/Winter here this year. The temperature has been erratic and sometimes cold and sometimes hot--but it's more acting like it's trying on the cold for size. Layer. That's my recommendation. Today I'm wearing flip-flops and a sweater. Go figure. That's Florida.

Have an amazing week everyone. May your feet be warm, and your sleep be plentiful. Remember to take a little bit of time out for yourself this week. It's important.