Have you ever stared at something so long that it looks
completely different? I do this with words. I think that's a new
level of zoning out. Sometimes when I do this, it completely
changes my perspective. Not all that often, mind you, but it does.
Lately, I've been getting hit with a lot, that's been altering my
I've been spending a lot of time in downtown St. Petersburg.
It's not as if I haven't lived here for 8+ years, and it's not as
if I haven't been downtown nearly a million times. Because of
friends living downtown, I'm seeing parts of it that I've never
seen before. I'm always amazed at what exists, right under my nose
-- but I just haven't taken the time to see it. So now, it's
starting to look completely different.
Like many downtowns across the country, ours has had its
moments. There were department stores downtown, factories, big
business. I've always wanted to research some of the buildings
downtown, especially the Studebaker Building, which I used to drive by
nearly every day when I lived on the other side of town. And then
there's the nation's first open-air post office, which, honestly --
these pictures don't do justice. The inside of the post office
reminds me of old time banks and Westerns -- loaded with
beautifully stained wood and remembrances of teller windows. Some
of these buildings have been standing for a long, long time --
constructed not long after the turn of the century, which for this
area is nearly ancient.
Also, like many downtowns, St. Pete seems to constantly undergo
some form of revival. New places move in; old ones move out. Things
get rebuilt or renovated, torn down, and new life comes in to
change the look and feel of it all. The more time I spend down
there, the more I like it. There are old bars and restaurants,
beautiful scenery, and the old stately architecture. I've posted
pictures of the banyan trees, the Dali and Mahaffey Theater, the
Pier, and a few of the marina as well. I'm running out of time to
explore here -- at least while I'm still at school. I've set a
loose goal for myself, of visiting every building between Beach
Drive and 34th street on Central Avenue. I wonder how close to that
I can get with this crazy schedule.
We're in Week 10, which means midterms are over here at
National, and I'm looking at finals for Western States. I can't
believe how quickly things have passed. I keep going back and forth
about jobs and locations and being excited about being out in
practice and clinic and a million other things. I was forwarded a
list of job openings all over the country, towards the end of last
week. I couldn't help but look -- thinking that it was all very
premature, and yet I'm being told that I SHOULD be looking right
now. I'm still thinking it might be a little presumptuous.
And of course, this week I have to turn in a sample business
plan. It's hard to anticipate things like that when you have no
idea where you'll be. Of course, I could go anywhere. The question
becomes where, and when, and how, and why. We've all talked about
setting up our own practices -- well, most of us have. Some, I
think, are planning on joining practices and others might just
associate for a short period of time. When I thought I had a clear
plan before, now I'm not so sure. Life sometimes gets in the way of
plans. John Lennon said something like, "Life is what happens when
you're busy making plans." For right now, I'm only making immediate
plans, with the rest in the background.
Maybe I just need a change in perspective.
OK, I realize it's midterms and probably not that happy of a
week, but remember--we're now over halfway done with this tri. At
the very least, we're checking off boxes and meeting milestones.
That alone, is an accomplishment.
Also for those that just received board scores back,
Congratulations. Just getting to this point is a HUGE
It's a big week down here for Tri 6. Those taking an elective
(not me) have 6 exams. The rest of us have 5. Three of those exams
are for different radiology courses--which are admittedly not my
forte. Sometimes all the radiopaque and radiolucent areas look like
blobs, swirls, and blurs, rather than tumors, cysts, and sclerosis.
I'll do what I can. Sometimes that's all we can do. Do what we can
and hope for the best. Maybe by the end of my education, I'll be
conditioned to be prepared for the amount of exams at midterms and
finals. Right now though, it's still a shock. I would much rather
have one exam a week. Wait. Let me think about that some more.
The master's program is going fairly well. There's a LOT of
work, but I'm learning a tremendous amount. One of the most
difficult tasks was trying to redesign and interpret the functional
medicine tree--which basically outlines all the factors involved in
considering a patient and their conditions. I ended up redrawing
the entire tree and turning it into more of a schematic, adding a
bunch of stuff in there. It's not pretty, but I'll include that
here for your perusal. Let me know what you think. I'm definitely
open to feedback. Did I leave anything out?
(Click image for full size version.)
That's it from me. Good luck with midterms and everything else
you have going on. We'll see you next week. You'll be fine.
Everything's gonna be fine.
I'm writing to you all from a newly formatted laptop--not a new
laptop, but a newly formatted one. I've spent a fair amount of the
last week working on my computer. Today I finally gave up, in
disgust, and recovered Windows. I'm still trying to get access to
all of my old files (now my external hard drive isn't working).
It's definitely Mercury in Retrograde!
Midterms are winding down. We have one more this week and then a
"mid-term" exam next week as well. This week should prove to be
interesting, given that we have the 4th off. I'm
sure there will be cookouts and beach trips and fireworks of some
Last week we had Botanical Medicine and Pharmacology. Boy, am I
glad those are over! I'm still in Love with Botanical Medicine. I
feel like I could never know too much. My hope is to do some more
research on constituents to make sure none of the toxic ones get
into my medicine. That's the thing with being your own pharmacist.
Even though it's amazing to be able to make your own medicine, it
comes with responsibility. Fortunately, for most herbs (not all--be
careful!), the toxicity is low and it either takes a whole lot of
herb to cause damage, or the toxic effects are minimal.
Saturday, Grey and I went to Downtown St. Pete for Pride! We
have a number of friends in the LGBT community. It's been a
tradition for the last 4 years for me to go, in support, and now
Grey has been going for the last 2 years. We missed the parade due
to rain, but we caught up with friends afterwards. I'm always
impressed at how things go during Pride. Everyone comes out, and
for the most part it's an extremely positive experience. I'm
thinking that next year maybe the school should have a booth at the
parade. I should probably talk to someone about that. There are a
lot of health care vendors and educational booths there. It would
be a great opportunity to expand our reach.
This week's picture is of my Mullein. Admittedly, I have been
running like a mad crazy woman, since I moved into my place and I
haven't planted anything else or set up my garden. I honestly have
no idea when I'll have time (maybe I should work on that this
weekend). But, the Mullein is flowering, and it's lovely. I'm
Have a great 4th of July, everyone. Enjoy
Independence and whatever that means for you!
I'm not sure I can ever top last week's blog. Special thanks to
my classmates for the inspiration. We're already talking about a
Midterms are upon us and we are in the throes of studying. While
many of us are pulling all-nighters (and some all-weekenders), I
feel like I need to remind everyone how important sleep is. I have
been suffering from insomnia--for weeks. I'm not one to spend a
whole lot of time sleeping, normally--but ever since my move, I've
been sleeping less and less. So, I thought I'd share some of my
tips for working on sleep. Here we go (see, I put you to sleep
Clear Your Space
This is the absolute most important tip I could give, and the
one I've benefited most from myself. Make sure there's as little in
the way as possible. Get rid of the clutter; get rid of the dirty
clothes (I know there's no time for laundry--it's midterms!); get
rid of anything in your space that isn't conducive to sleep. This
includes workout equipment, study materials, etc. Granted, if the
only space available is the bedroom, some concessions can be made.
Cover it up. It also helps to remove the TV, if at all
Set the Mood
Make it dark--REALLY dark. I had way too much light coming into
my space, so I acquired some light blocking curtains. I still see
daylight in the morning, but at least I don't feel like I'm looking
at the surface of the sun. Also, making sure the bed is the most
comfy place to sleep in the house is key. The only place I was
falling asleep, was the couch.
Set Up a Routine
Whatever it is, make a routine for going to bed. Brush the
teeth, wash the face, turn on some chill-out music--whatever works
to get calmed down. Try not to turn on the TV. Some people like to
work out in the evening. I can't work out and sleep within a few
hours of each other. If I'm going to go to the gym at night, it has
to be before 8pm. Working out helps with energy during the day and
also with sleep at night, but it's not a good idea right before
No snacking within a couple of hours of bed. It's bad for the
metabolism and having sugar spikes when it's time to calm down is a
no-go. Don't try to sleep within 2-3 hours of eating.
Last but not least, if sleep is still a real struggle, there are
some fantastic herbs that will help with sleeping. Some old
standbys are catnip, chamomile, and valerian. Other than the
chamomile (be careful those with ragweed allergies), I tend to
avoid Catnip and Valerian. I avoid Catnip because I have to fight
the cats for it, and Valerian because of the side
I made a nice herb/tonic with rhodiola (adaptogen for stress),
lemon balm (nervine, sedative), and white peony (nervine, calming
agent). It knocked me right out. It was just enough sedation and
calming for me to have two doses and then it reset my clock, and
now I'm sleeping better. I also didn't wake up with the "hangover"
that Valerian is apt to give.
Remember that sleep is extremely important for
memory--especially good sleep. We need those four phases of sleep
to be able to, not only replenish our bodies, but also our
So, until next week -- Happy Sleeping (and Studying).
What do you do when you haven't seen daylight for the last
several days and have to take lovely pictures for the blog? You
take them of your back "yard." If I look out my patio door, this is
what I see. Of course, I never look out my patio door. I never even
go out my patio door. But today, I did--so I could take some lovely
pictures for all of you.
It's time for midterms. It's REALLY time for midterms. Now is
the time, not only for studying, but also for making sure we take
care of ourselves. Different tris have different schedules. I know
I've mentioned some of our heinous exam schedules before. This
midterm schedule isn't too bad, but that doesn't mean it won't be
For the last, I don't know how many days, I've been studying and
working on E&M: Cervical notes. I'm already on my third pass of
them, and I still don't feel like I know anything. This is how it
goes when there's a HUGE amount of information on one exam. It's
easy to get discouraged. It's easy to get overwhelmed when it comes
to exam times. It's REALLY easy to neglect the Self and the
So, with that in mind, I offer this bit of advice for midterms
• After the DC Degree
• Botanical Medicine
• 1 Year at National
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• First Week in Student Clinic
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