How was everybody's weekend? Long weekends are magical. They
never seem long enough, but at the same time get packed just enough
so there's some downtime. This was just such a weekend. Friday
night was out with friends. Saturday night was master's work and
recovering from Friday night.
Sunday morning, I got up EARLY, and with a number of my fellow
classmates, went and volunteered at the St. Pete Beach Classic. We
had a blast! The runners hit our water stand both coming and going
(since we were the first water stop). Some people were obviously
there to win. Others were just there for fun. With nearly every
person, I found myself diagnosing pathology: torticollis,
pronation, arthritis, and scoliosis. Blame it on the day job -- at
some point that's what happens. Of course, it was also obvious that
whatever was going on with these runners, none of it was stopping
anybody. Determination is the name of the game.
There were people running dressed up. One girl was wearing a
tutu (girl after my own heart). And my absolute favorite was Mr.
Incredible. I got to meet Mr. Incredible!!!!!!
Our whole crew was amazing. We never missed a beat with the
cheering and hand-offs. Runners were appreciative. For people who
came out alarmingly early and stood out in the cold (I needed
gloves!), we were all in great spirits. Andres had the best
water/Gatorade handoff ever with the "lunge and reach," and Yussef
was the world's fastest cup grabber -- rivaling a limber tennis
ball boy. I'm hoping that I get to work another volunteer event
with this crew.
This coming weekend in Tampa Bay is the Gasparilla Festival. Things always get a little
bit crazy. It's one of those events where you might decide to go,
just to say you went, but then never go again. Or maybe it's
something you'll be hooked on for your entire stay here. You never
know. But brace yourselves lads and lasses, we're about to be
invaded by pirates!
Batten down the hatches, kids!
Have a great week!
Well, 2014 didn't waste any time getting started. January
6th came and both of my programs started in full force.
I'm actually taking Clinical Nutrition in BOTH programs right now.
It's interesting to see how the different professors approach the
same topic. I'm definitely getting hit from all directions.
Towards the end of week one I decided to add the acupuncture
elective to my schedule. It's knowledge that I really want and feel
that I need. I've actually taken an introduction to acupuncture
through an undergraduate program, so I have a VERY basic knowledge,
but furthering that interests me tremendously. I'd originally
talked myself out of the elective, as I'm thinking about relocating
to Oregon (which doesn't allow acupuncture in the DC scope of
practice), but since I'm not absolutely sure where I'll end up, I
thought I'd go for it. I may be partly insane for this, of
(Image Source: www.servingsandiegocounty.com)
Break was both too long and too short. I worked an insane amount
and took too little time to relax--but that's pretty typical for
me. There has to be some way to keep me out of trouble, and that is
to stay busy. That being said, I always seem to have a shortage of
time. And like all insanely busy people (or people who make excuses
that they have no time), I'm always looking for ways to increase
the amount of time (the Universe will not respond to my requests
for 86 hour days), and have less stress. I decided to take a break
from social media for a week. It was AMAZING! Towards the middle of
that break, my computer fried the motherboard and I had no choice
but to avoid technology altogether. It's shown me that I have a lot
more time than I ever thought. I had no idea I was spending so much
time surfing the web, reading Facebook, or doing whatever. I've
been using that time to read, sleep, and do research. It's been
awesome. Even though I know I'll have to get a replacement computer
soon to keep up with my workload, I'm going to keep with the lack
of using it. It's not exactly a resolution, but it's not too far
In the back of everyone's mind right now are those resolutions.
I happened upon a few articles about why people don't keep New
Year's resolutions. Interestingly enough, it's not always for the
reasons that we'd think. Since most people choose a diet or
exercise change (that's #1), most commonly it's because they bite
off more than they can chew (pun intended)--giving themselves more
work than they can handle, and too little of a support system to
handle it. Well, that makes sense. But the number two reason why
people don't keep New Year's resolutions--*drum roll*--was because
they spend too much time talking about them! I was shocked.
According to this article, the human brain perceives talking the
same as doing. If I talk about exercising, my brain thinks that
I've done it--even though I actually haven't. So, while some level
of the brain has been pumping iron or eating only fish and veggies,
the rest of the body hasn't been doing anything. Problem not
solved. So, the moral of the story is, if you've made any
resolutions or decided to make some changes in your life--keep them
to yourself. If you do, they're more likely to stick.
I am willing to share one resolution with all of you. I resolve
to have a great 2014! It's going to be a BIG year.
Happy New Year Everybody! Have a great Tri!
I hope everyone had an amazing Thanksgiving!!!! I also want to
take a moment to wish a Happy Chanukah to my friends that celebrate
and also a Happy Holiday season!
This is my last blog of this year, and of this trimester. I wanted
to thank all of you for reading over the year and spending your
time with me.
I'm going to forego the tips and tricks for coping with finals --
we've been there, done that. I'm going to skip the recipes and
healthy living tips. Instead, I'm going to share a story.
This is the time of year when I get the most nostalgic. I have a
million wonderful memories of the holiday season. It's always been
my favorite time of year. As a kid, I would spend hours untangling
Christmas lights, decorating the house, and making random crafts
and cookies. I don't even remember how old I was when all of that
Christmas was always a really special time for my dad and I. We're
both still a lot like little kids, even now. My dad worked -- a
LOT. He worked both as an RN and a CRNA almost my entire childhood,
so he didn't have a lot of free time. We would often work in the
garden, run random errands, or do special projects on Saturday
mornings -- because that was one of the few times he didn't have to
work. Those Saturday morning memories have always been very special
I must have been maybe 8 or 10 years old the first time I remember
us going to get the tree. Since I grew up in Central Illinois, it
was often cold and snowy by the beginning of December. Like
clockwork, the decorating started the first weekend of the month --
before that was too soon, after was too late. The boxes were pulled
out of storage, having lain in wait the whole year for just this
event. I'd dump garland and lights all over the living room floor
and then carefully unpack each ornament. Each one always had a
story -- whether it was hand made or store bought.
(Image Source: stamp4fun.typepad.com)
It always seemed like the coldest day of the year when we would
go search for our tree. My dad and I would bundle up in whatever
big poufy coats we had, 4 pairs of socks, boots, and usually
overalls (at least for him). Sometimes we'd let the dog (Tubbs, the
wonder mutt) ride in the back of the pickup truck. I really don't
know how he didn't freeze -- it seemed so cold. I don't remember
what we'd talk about on the drive, but it must have been something
like piano recitals or Christmas programs at school.
We drove to a Christmas tree farm out in the middle of nowhere (I
think it was Meredosia, maybe Beardstown), pulling back into a
field dotted with trees and cactus. Tucked back down a long
driveway were a couple of barns, an old farmhouse like ours, and a
bunch of tractors. We'd check in with the owner and he'd send us on
our quest. We drove up and down the sandy roads (Christmas trees
grow best in the sand -- or so he'd tell me), looking for the
Sometimes we remembered the saw, and sometimes we didn't. One year
I remember cactus spines stuck in my socks, running nose, standing
opposite my dad around a HUGE Christmas tree trying to convince
ourselves that it wasn't too big. (It was -- but we got it anyway.
It left a sap mark on the ceiling that stayed there for about 5
years. It also fell over, and we ended up with a 3-foot tall
artificial tree at some point in the season. Incidentally -- it was
beautiful while it lasted). We'd crawl under the tree, make our
cut, and load it into the back of the pickup truck. The heat never
seemed to work all that well on those days, but it didn't matter.
We were triumphant.
The rest of the day was always a blur. There was usually a tree in
a bucket of water, my brother and my dad carrying it into the house
while I was on "needle patrol," and my mom was taking pictures of
us all with her camera. By the end of the day it would all be done.
I want to wish you all great skill and fortune on your final
exams, safe travels, and wonderful memories this holiday
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.
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].
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.
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.
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.
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.
So 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?
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
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.
• After the DC Degree
• Botanical Medicine
• 1 Year at National
• Marketing Project
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