It's Baby Time

Yes, everyone! It is true! We are happy to announce that we are expecting and "Baby Dorough" will be making his/her debut in September of this year! We are so excited and have been overwhelmed with the outpouring of love we have received when we made the big announcement this weekend.

2012-03-06_mirasign

Are we scared? Nervous? Uneasy? Definitely! Words cannot express the love we already have for our little one, but we are definitely fully aware of the changes and sacrifices that we will and have already been conscious of making.

Being a professional woman with a career in mind can be difficult to imagine a life with a family and keeping that happy medium. In our medical field, it can definitely be challenging to commit fully to marketing yourself and building a patient base from the ground up while trying to raise a child, manage a household, and to be a good wife, I realize all of that. This is a surreal experience and we are just going with the "flow" at this point.

Life is definitely not 100% expected and there's always a twist and turn somewhere. Ryan and I have been so blessed to have unlimited amounts of support to get us through those twists and turns and this time it is no different. Expecting to have two incomes to live off of after I graduated gave us security. Now with a little one coming, it all changes whereas the bills won't! So we are in a position of uncertainty and question, but nonetheless, we are ready and very excited to take on this new level of maturity and raise another human being! 

2012-03-06_mirakiss

Now you all might be wondering where this leaves my career? Well, I am asking myself that same question. I have always felt a great and deep purpose for naturopathic medicine and that has not changed one bit. However, this does change the immediate future in terms of my "career goals." My purpose has shifted and is geared more towards being an amazing mother and wife while my husband will be our main source of financial support. Does that scare us? Financially--Yes. Emotionally--Not at all.

Me as a naturopath won't change. My passion will remain a stronghold that will motivate me to fully cultivate it into a reality one day. Might not be by May like I had planned, but it will happen, I promise you that!

So wish us good health and luck as we venture into this amazing and unforgettable journey. I'll be sure to keep you updated while I can. Only 6 more weeks until I am officially free! :)

Double Time

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 ago!

2012-02-28_chet
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.

Miravone -Foursome
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!

2012-02-28_john
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!

Work and Play

There's no way I can fit in work without any play! This week has been a huge blessing.

Valentine's Day is one of my favorite holidays since I've met Ryan! It's just an excuse to go eat a fancy dinner and watch a romantic movie. Everyday is Valentine's Day for us but we always get to pick a place that's more expensive than we would normally eat at and just enjoy the day!

2012-02-21_mira2

Well my cousin, Rosie, is probably the biggest fan of this "Hallmark holiday" and always throws a big get together every year! Her theme this year was "Red Carpet" and it was so much fun to dance the night away and spend time with friends and family. I also got to spend the day in the city with my two best friends Maria and Rosie, which is long overdue. Eating "good eats," walking and window-shopping, and catching up was definitely what we all needed!

2012-02-21_mira1My cousin Rosie and I at her Red Carpet party.

Well, when I came home, I realized I had a lot of work to do. I had to work on my Grand Rounds presentation, which consisted of sifting through tons of research articles, ten or so books, and surfing the internet for more resources. It is not anywhere close to being done but I will be spending my day off (President's Day) working on it all day! It definitely has been a learning experience since I picked such a difficult topic but I am excited to share it with my colleagues next week! The title of my presentation is "Dream catching: reaching your inner healer." I will let you know how it goes!

Then on top of the Grand Rounds topic, I got an email from Dr. Solecki concerning my case study report I worked on with him on a patient about a year ago. It has been published and accepted for poster presentation at the Sports Symposium but now it is being reviewed for another presentation in Portland, Oregon! However, that means I have more corrections to make, which I will be working on today, as well.

It's so important in our profession to not only graduate, pass board exams, and get licensed but to contribute! Many things that "Complementary and Alternative Medicine" practitioners use as modalities do not always get published so sometimes modalities we choose to use, we know work, but the public can be skeptical. Case studies are the place to start. It's an isolated event that can examine the success of a treatment you have done with a patient that may have been more complex but it can encourage more research on it or can encourage other practitioners to try your treatment modalities. It's exciting that Dr. Solecki and I have been accepted by multiple presentations, and I can't wait until I put more effort in the case study to get it published into a medical journal.  

Well hope you all enjoyed time with your loved ones during this LOVE week but remember, Valentine's Day is everyday! 

Counting Down

It seems surreal that this time next year, I will NOT be enrolled in school. It's exciting but scary at the same time. I have applied for over 30 potential jobs over the course of the past seven months and have been on about 10 interviews (phone and in-person). I have yet to accept a job offer although I've been offered positions, but after discussion with my husband, they are not "suitable" for me.

2012-02-14_inlaws
Having lunch with Ryan's parents and celebrating their 33rd Wedding Anniversary!

It's a struggle. I know some alumni in amazing associateships. Others have ventured out and set up their own practices. Others have found themselves in unhappy and unpleasant associate positions, and others are still searching. The big RED negative number [student loan debt] you get when you go through your exit counseling only freaks you out more…whoa! It puts a lot of things in perspective for you…especially for me. My husband and I both saw those big red numbers, and in about 9 weeks, I will see yet another red number.

So, reality hits.

Living as a student seems difficult based on the "salary" we are forced to be comfortable with since there really is no time to work outside of school, ESPECIALLY if you are dual-enrolled like me. But it almost seems easier to be a student living in the comfort of classroom hours, working under clinicians, and getting a nice "refund" check every trimester. I picked up my last refund check; I am on the way out in my last weeks at NUHS; and the future is there with open arms.

I really admire my husband for all the hard work he puts into his associateship. He's very happy and being treated very well, but he also works very hard! His days are long and packed with patients while managing the entire clinic on his own. As I sit and think about his experiences, it makes me nervous when I have those of my own. Especially now, almost two doctorates later, I feel like I have a lot more to prove than ever.

Just giving you a glimpse into the reality of it all. Choosing the school you want to accomplish these degrees is the easy part…getting through more than 14 trimesters is difficult but do-able...the story after all that is the tough part!

2012-02-14_friends
Ryan and I visiting with one of my best friends from college visiting from Ohio!

Thank goodness I have the support that I do! Seeing family and friends from out-of-town always lifts my spirits and motivates me to continue to seek a bright future for myself. The first step--the degree(s). After that, it's really all in your hands and what you make of it!

Super Bowl

Congratulations to the Giants for winning the Super Bowl! It was an exciting game, but to be honest, the half time show was the MOST exciting with all the celebrity debuts! :)

The best part of Super Bowl has to be the food. My girl cousins and I use this big football event as an excuse to just go crazy on lots of food while all the "boys" go crazy over the actual game. It was just a nice time to spend with family, have fun and memorable conversations, and take a break from everything else going on in life.

2012-02-07-superbowl
My aunt with all the amazing food she made for her Super Bowl party!

This week is going to be tough. I have the NPLEX (Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Exam) exams on Tuesday that are all day and then resume back at clinic. It seems like the "fun" never seems to end. If studying for board exams wasn't enough, I have a full clinic schedule mixed in with preparation for my Grand Rounds presentation.

Grand Rounds is a presentation that we are required to do in front of our colleagues and any faculty or staff interested in topics we have researched. We are required to do one in 9th Tri and one in 10th Tri. Last trimester, my presentation was on Botanicals during Pregnancy, which turned out to be great. This time around, I've been so focused on studying for board exams, that I still have to pick my topic plus start all the grueling research!

People ask me all the time, "Aren't you ready to be done already?!" I can't seem to answer that question fast enough! To all my readers, YES, I AM READY! It has been a long but quick 5 years that I've spent at NUHS getting my bachelor's, chiropractic and soon my naturopathic degree. Some of the professors joke all the time that I should just round everything out and do the AOM program but I have to happily decline!

This journey (if you choose to take it) of dual-enrolled degrees is not easy. It's not impossible either. But take time to enjoy a Super Bowl here and there, treat your body well to stay as healthy as possible--and always make time for your friends and family. I can't say that enough!

Wish me luck on Tuesday! :)