Archive for tag: family

Happy Holidays

This last week wrapped up my two-week rotation at the Salvation Army clinic. It was an interesting experience with many patient care challenges not seen at other clinics. The patients at Salvation Army are part of a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program. Along with musculoskeletal issues, many of the patients also have associated chronic health issues like diabetes, heart disease or liver disease. 

Due to it being a holiday week, the clinic hours/days were less than normal with a very light patient load. With it being such a busy time of year, many patients were not able to keep their appointments or had to reschedule.


Wednesday evening, Rob and I had to prepare a pumpkin cheesecake to take home with us for Thanksgiving. We make the same cheesecake every year, but when the time comes to make it we forget how long the process actually takes. We started the preparation and baking around 7 p.m. and didn't finish until close to midnight. There's the prep, baking the crust, making the filling, baking the cake, letting it cool, making the sour cream topping, and letting the entire cheesecake set. But when all is said and done, the cake turned out wonderful and tasted great!

Early Thursday morning we drove down to Indianapolis to spend the holiday with family. We had a lovely day of cooking, catching up, great food, wine, and lots of laughter. The quote of the day came from Rob's nephew when he let us know what one website listed as the most common topic brought up at Thanksgiving dinners. Apparently the topic most brought up is sad stories about relatives or family friends that most people either don't remember or have never met. We all had a good laugh about that one.

This blog marks the last blog for this trimester. I hope I have given some good insight into what life as a chiropractic intern is like. I have enjoyed sharing my experiences with you and will have lots more to share come spring 2014, my 10th and last trimester of graduate school! 

Have a safe and happy holiday season! Wishing you all the best!

Field Trip

It was a short school/clinic week, which was greatly needed. Every trimester has a point where everything seems to pile up whether its school, patients, work, or summer travel. This week that point was reached, so having Thursday and Friday off for the Homecoming celebration in Lombard was great.


On Wednesday, Student Clinic interns took a field trip to Standard Process in Palmyra, Wisconsin; I'm pretty sure it was my first field trip since high school. Standard Process is a supplement company that prides itself on high quality products that are sold through health care professionals. The trip includ0ed a tour of the manufacturing facility, the certified organic farm, and several lectures from employees and doctors on staff there. 

Standard Process' mission statement includes a dedication to the:

  • Whole Person by fostering the physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual health of its customers and employees;
  • Whole Product by emphasizing the importance of concentrated whole foods and herbs in its product line;
  • Whole Process by ensuring the highest quality in every state of development from farming through shipping;
  • Whole Planet by utilizing environmentally safe farming, manufacturing, and business practices; and
  • Whole Posterity by preserving and strengthening the company for all future generations.


My week concluded with a trip to Cincinnati, Ohio, to visit my partner's family. We arrived Thursday evening and had a late dinner of homemade lasagna and chocolate cake. My partner's mother recently redid her kitchen, living room, and added a deck onto her house. So, Friday consisted of lots of shopping for furniture, décor, and paint colors to finish the project.

On Saturday, we went to downtown Cincinnati for dinner and drinks, and I have to tell you, I was really impressed. The downtown is really beautiful and consists of many different "areas," each with their separate vibe. We spent most of the evening in the "Banks" area, which is new development right along the Ohio River. For the most part, it was a really relaxing weekend with the majority of it being spent lounging on his mother's beautiful new deck.

Trip to Manitowoc

I'm at the point in the trimester where I've gotten into a groove with school and work, which is good due to the fact that it being summer, life gets crazy. I'm really comfortable with clinic now mainly due to the excellent mentors on staff. I also had my first exam of the trimester in the Radiology Management and Report Writing class. Studying for the exam was extra productive because it was a big review of a lot of concepts that will be covered on board exams that I take in September. 

This weekend my partner (Rob) and I traveled to my hometown, Manitowoc, Wisconsin, for my little sister's wedding. We arrived Friday evening and went out for dinner at the Courthouse Pub with my best friend from high school, Emily. We received VIP treatment at dinner due to the fact that Emily works there, which meant there was no end to the food and drinks coming our way. After dinner, Emily's father joined us for a night of what's called "bar swooshing." Let me attempt to explain the concept; the night is a little blurry. All the bars in Manitowoc have a front and back entrance. So, one "bar swooshes" when they walk into a bar, check out the crowd and see if they recognize any familiar faces; if they do not, they promptly "swoosh" out the back entrance. Overall, it was a really fun night. We ran into some other friends from high school, and of course checked out several of the Manitowoc bars. 

My sister and I on her wedding day.

Saturday was my little sister's wedding day. It was a beautiful ceremony at St. Andrew's Church, which is where I went to elementary school. I may be a hopeless romantic, but the moment I most enjoy at any wedding is watching the bride walk down the aisle--a moment that I'm sure is filled with so much excitement, emotion, and joy all rolled into one.  

As soon as we finished with the litany of pictures required post-ceremony, I gave Rob the official tour of my hometown. The tour included a stop at the "big cow," which is literally a 20-foot cow statue outside the Cedar Crest Ice Cream Parlor. We also had stops at Lincoln High School, the Manitowoc submarine, and the lighthouse. The last leg of the tour was lunch at Four Seasons Family Restaurant, which is where my family and I would go to eat in the summer after water skiing. Every leg of the tour had stories and memories attached, which were really fun to share. 

The night concluded with the reception at the Autumn Ridge Golf Resort in Valders, Wisconsin. We arrived right on time, which apparently meant slightly late and ended up sitting at one of the children's tables. But let me tell you, the stories and things the kids had to say were hysterical and dinner was pretty entertaining. After dinner, my favorite part of the night started, cocktail hour(s). Rob was quite the trooper throughout the night as he met and mingled with the entire Backhaus clan. We both had a lot of fun catching up with family and dancing to all the classic wedding music.

The Meaning Behind the Month of June

In Ethical Business Management class this week, we had a guest speaker talk to us about clinical psychology. Dr. David M. Gursky has his PhD in psychology and has over 20 years of experience in the field. The main focus of the talk was being open to any kind of pysch issues that our patients may have in the future, and knowing what issues can be dealt with in the office, and which need to be referred out for specialized care.

Patients tend to be more open with chiropractic or other alternative medicine physicians because we focus on the entire person, focus on the patient in their environment, and because of the treatment setting. The treatment setting in most chiropractic offices has patients gowned for physical examination/treatment, requires physical contact, and induces physical relaxation, all of which sets the stage for patient openness. Some issues that patients might bring up with you include marital dysfunction, anxiety, interpersonal issues, fears, stress, etc. Since well-being is a combination of physical, mental and emotional health, it is very important to help your patients with these psychological issues as well as their musculoskeletal complaints, or refer them to a counselor who can. 

Again, during my downtime this week in class and clinic, I am continuing my reading of Dr. Vasquez's textbook Migraine Headaches, Hypothyroidism, and Fibromyalgia. I finished the chapter on classification, diagnosis, and treatment of headaches. I won't bore you with the hairy details on the types of headaches and treatment, but there were some great treatments that Dr. Vasquez recommended.

Food triggers are the cause of many headaches, especially migraines, and by pinpointing these triggers via a food/headache diary you are able to remove them to remain headache-free. Some common triggers include red wine, aged cheeses, sardines, sausage, and foods containing monosodium glutamate (MSG). These triggers contain tyramine, nitrites or other neuroexcitatory substances that start the cascade toward a headache.

Another big cause of headaches is nutritional deficiencies that are so common among Americans today. The standard American diet (S.A.D.) is composed of red meat, sugary desserts, high-fat foods, and refined grains. The S.A.D. is severely lacking in a lot of the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that your body needs daily. Some major things to supplement with to avoid headaches are magnesium, CoQ10, fish oil, vitamin D, and riboflavin. Other treatment options include myofascial trigger point work, chiropractic manipulative therapy, acupuncture, and oxygen therapy.

My partner and I

This week marks the start of June, which is LGBT Pride Month. Here's a little history of this important month:  Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month is currently celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan. The Stonewall riots were a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. In the United States, the last Sunday in June was initially celebrated as "Gay Pride Day," but the actual day was flexible. In major cities across the nation the "day" soon grew to encompass a month-long series of events. Today, celebrations include pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, symposia, and concerts, which attract millions of participants around the world. Memorials are held during this month for those members of the community who have been lost to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS. The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals have had on history locally, nationally and internationally. My partner and I will be heading to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, this weekend to join in this wonderful celebration with close friends and family.