Archive for March, 2007

Teachers

The best teachers I have found are the ones who know something (duh).  But not just information.  They know how to read people.  They can see the potential in a person and they can sense whether or not that person is reaching their potential.

First off, a person has to be honest with herself, admit she doesn’t know something, that she has something to learn and ask for help.  This is letting go of the ego, becoming vulnerable.  Next, the right teacher has to be present, teaching what needs to be taught, observing the student, where she is, what she is capable of, encouraging her and pushing her to her limits.  Tears of frustration come in essentially 2 forms from my experience: 1) identifying value in what the teacher is trying to teach and not being able to actually learn it versus 2) discovering the teacher is not teaching what was promised (false advertising) unless the teacher is simply unable to communicate by identifying where the student currently is in her education.

I have always been a fast learner.  I never suffered the frustration of not being able to do math (I actually love math and physics).  I did have difficulty gathering resources and compiling papers based on what other people had written.  Still, I find it fascinating when I actually find someone who has something to teach me and I don’t get it right away.  I’m not talking about people who think they’re clever and they want to make me squirm because I don’t catch on (I can be slow in social situations).  I’m talking about the people who sincerely what to teach me, they see my potential, they see I’m stuck somewhere and it is within their capabilities to un-stick me.  What a feeling!  Then!  To be on the other side is equally amazing.  To find someone at the right time in their life to give them a boost that I, myself, am capable of providing.  We can’t help everyone and not everyone can help us.  The blessing is when we have the opportunity to learn or to teach that make life a magical.

The word/concept that keeps coming to mind when I think of teachers is honesty/truth.  Our real teachers can sense if someone is not being completely honest.  At first, when someone called me out on my lack of honestly (even the tiniest lie),  I was completely shocked and offended.  Now, I’ve come to recognize my own honesty infractions and I LOVE it when people call me out on them.  It makes me laugh because here is a person who knows themselves and values life too much to put up with bologna.  I am haunted by the feeling I get when I know I haven’t been completely honest and it is the same feeling that arises when someone else is not being open and honest with me.  That central, nagging feeling that there is something wrong.  It may be tiny (they ate one of my cookies) or it could be the window into discovering a whole world previously unexplored, undiscussed, hidden.  Either way, I feel it and I value myself enough to recognize it and will try to do something about it.

There are very few people I feel compelled to push and only a few that I’ve allowed to push me. 😀

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Not gonna feel guilty!

My roommate is trying to make me feel guilty because she has 6 exams next week compared to my one and I’m going dancing in Boston tomorrow night!  Forget the guilt part!  I went through HELL last year.  What was that lesson Steve taught us?  To sympathize is to jump in the hole and empathize is to give them a ladder.  Well, I ain’t jumpin’ in and she ain’t climbin’ out!!

AND I might help table train medical doctors (MDs!!) at an Osteopathic workshop near Boston on Saturday!

AND the “Peaceful Warrior” movie is coming out this weekend based off the novel “Way of the Peaceful Warrior”.  AND I got free tickets!!  Who CARES about a flipping exam!  Life is good!   Actually, I do care about my exam, but I have to maintain perspective.  😛

AND I’m feeling some renewed energy about changing the world through Osteopathic Integration with a new website put together to guide students through the survey process, new connections I’ve made, possibly going to the AOA House of Delegates meeting in July AND the newest book on my shelf: Interface; Mechanisms of Spirit in Osteopath by R. Paul Lee, DO, which includes references to spirituality as well as the latest research in physics/energy research!!!  I can’t wait to read it.  Just need to learn about Ovarian cancer first.

Which reminds me of the extremely tragic movie “Wit” I saw last year that made me cry for hours because of the insensitive bastard of a doctor who was doing oncology research, cared only about the cancer and not one iota for the patient.  Cancer HAS to be related to emotional strains.  And what about physical distortions that cause alteration in gene expression?  HELLO!  Osteopathy!  Not everything can be explained by DNA mutations or hormonal dysregulation.  If I wrote these textbooks, I’d be embarrassed.  There are only so many times I can read “etiology unknown” before I go bananas.  Why aren’t these even suggested as a possibility?  Women who are single, nulliparity (no kids), obese, diabetic, and hypertensive have increased risk of endometrial cancer.  They probably didn’t control for women who dance regularly and laugh a lot, but still, sounds like these women are lacking in love. Conversely, those on oral contraceptives and/or IUDs (intrauterine devices- also contraceptives) have a decreased risk of cancer, probably because they’re gettin’ some lovin’.   Has this been looked into?  I’m probably just naive, but damn it!  At least it gives me HOPE!!

Maybe someday I’ll let go

“It has been said that bringing Osteopaths together is like ‘herding cats.’  Our profession was founded by a self-reliant individual who was a free spirit. Dr. Still not only encouraged integrative and independent thinking, he demanded it.”   http://www.interlinea.org

“Independent thinkers usually separated themselves and are generally not aligned with groups. However, Dr. Still asked that we not only become independent thinkers but also brothers and sisters.”   http://www.interlinea.org

I love my brothers and sisters of Osteopathy.  However, I still find myself alone whether my heart is breaking or laughing.  The subjectivity of our experiences is quite fascinating.  If someone tries to help or understand us, they can’t help us if we do not want to be helped.  Or, conversely, if we want to be helped, but no one helps us, it doesn’t really matter because they couldn’t have really helped us in the first place.  And, if we perceive that we’ve been helped or guided, it is simply because we were open to the experience.  How strangely and completely independent we are from one another and yet somehow we are connected.

The goal of Osteopathy is to find the health in the patient and let it express itself.  The Cranial guys say that we need to “watch” our patients and not impose ourselves apon their body.  I want to believe.  All these docs believe in it so strongly they come to our school to teach us or write books about it.  However, there have been many times that I wanted to just scream, “Bologne!!”  How can MY attention change a person’s physiology?

There are also times when I practically cry because of the beauty some doctors share simply because of the heart they put into their words and actions.  Video taping a workshop is pretty much useless because I can be all the way across a room and feel the changes occurring in the patients body, but on a video, I’d have to sense changes over time and space.

There is a gap between my disbelief/lack of confidence and emotional experiences of something real.

I wonder if there is a discrepancy between how men and women perceive the healing experience.  I’ve heard more women having issues with biodynamics than men.  I also heard that women, even those adept at meditation, always had a portion of brain activity happening during meditation.  Men are able to shut down their brains completely.  If, in order to be able to give proper attention to a patient, we must be completely open and empty, could the residual brain chatter explain why women have such a hard time giving in to their role as healing facilitators?  Or are women such natural healers that it is only their lack of confidence and being taught by men that are getting in the way of their potential?

Steve

My throat is sore and I don’t think it is because I’m getting sick, although that could very well happen.  My throat is raw from the emotional explosion that occurred last night.  I had to escape to the golf course so no one would hear me.  Although 2 deer came to keep me company after I calmed down and did some tai chi.

I met Steve (Dr. Paulus, DO) last night.  His website (www.interlinea.org) inspired me to contact him in January when we were learning about the cardiovascular system.  A family practice DO lectured us about hypertension (HTN).  He listed about 10 different alternative methods for supplementing treatment of HTN (exercise, diet, even acupuncture), but he did not mention Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT).  I was so distraught that my head almost exploded.  I managed to relieve the pressure by going on-line with my new computer and searched for “hypertension and Osteopathy”.

Within Steve’s website were some stories about his career path where he was a family practice (FP) doctor for 5 years.  He did OMT as well as all the standard FP stuff.  Not knowing how or why, general OMT managed to lower the doses of HTN medications for some of his HTN patients.  Then he was given grief about taking too much time with the patients, not prescribing enough medications, blah, blah, blah.  So he quit and took over a local, retiring DO’s practice.

Steve had other stories that captured my heart.  He was real, down-to-earth, yet open to discovering what it really means to be an Osteopath in the medical world.  He eventually opted out of medicine, but he never regretted the time he spent within it.  That, I think, was the most valuable and useful piece information he gave me.  He said you have to be an excellent allopathic physician first, then you can indulge in the Osteopathy.  That idea, coming from someone who had 4 books written by AT Still, the founder of Osteopathy, on his website in searchable .pdf format, helped me survive the process of learning cardiac pharmacology and pathology.

I actually met Steve during his workshop in the morning and he gave me a BIG hug.  Then, he invited me to work with him in the evening with a partner.  That was THE most powerful experience I’ve ever experienced.  He made me work really hard and he wasn’t taking any bologne.  He knew how to push me and he knew how to encourage me.  He told me twice that I was going to make a great Osteopath and I have great hands.  However, he knew there was something holding me back.  He asked me if I had any adverse experiences with treating people and I said no, sheepishly thinking to myself that I didn’t treat very often because I was scared.  Scared of what?  I’m not entirely sure.  I want to be able to help people SO badly that I inhbit the experience.  I’m trying to be real and genuine, but Osteopathy doesn’t let you do it half way.  You have to get past all the fears, search every nook and cranny for the issues that are holding you back and let them go.  I think I have come a considerable distance with this concept.  First with Dr. F and now with Steve.

It makes me well up with tears just thinking about him and my experience.  I never thought I would find a mentor.  My whole life I would “Do it my ownself” because I felt that the people who were trying to teach didn’t quite fit right.   No one could answer my questions satisfactorily.  I have learned that everyone I meet can teach me something, even if it is just patience.  There have been many people I really enjoyed being around, especially some doctors, but there was always a disconnect where they weren’t teaching what I was looking for.  Some people genuinely wanted to help, but they were on a different level than I was looking for.  Others I perceived to be ignorant to the fact that they had denied their own growth by day dreaming too much and not staying with reality.  They couldn’t communicate with me even though they tried and listened.

It feels so wonderful to have found some one who is so real, so caring, willing to push me to the next level of my learning.  I am incredibly grateful.

Tummy Ticklers

DSM-V is the new boy band, discovered by my friend E.  Their new release album will include hits such as “Down and Out”, “I’m Jesus, here to save to World”, “Everyone keeps talkin, but I ain’t listenin” and many, many more!!

Advice from a friend in regards to an upcoming meeting: “bring your starships, revolvers, fight club dvds, and existential lifesavers, because we might be launching into something ugly.”  It is totally delightful to think I’m a part of a mutiny, but it feels a little weird to be prepared to fight the organization that is supposed to be supporting our cause…  If they are really as off track as made to seem, then perhaps they deserve a good ass-whooping!

My Mom.  Need I say more?  Okay: nose-diving into the snow, playing spit, and lying on her balls.  Those are the highlights!

Socialism?

I went to counseling years ago for depression and they told me not to overwhelm myself with the woes of the world.  I should focus on me.  That’s not selfish, it’s self-love.  Well, by God, I’ve decided it IS selfish!  When you work for others, you work for yourself.  The selfishness of our society overwhelms me with disgust yet I’ve never figured out how to separate myself from society.  I’m just as guilty as the next person, except I’m aware of the guilt.

I’m afraid to travel for my own safety.  I’m also overwhelmed by the urge to fix everything.  What good can I do on a mission trip?  I’ve learned through classmates, friends, mentors, books and movies that I may make a small change while I am in another country, but more importantly, I could learn first hand about how other people live.  Discovering if what I believe is actually true.  Do those people without pristine living conditions have more pristine hearts and souls?  Sure, there are always going to be cheats and scoundrels.  Is it possible to find people who love life?  Are there people who live day to day with the courage to face dire conditions, and yet still manage to smile, the warmth of their soul radiating through rotten teeth?

I saw an elderly, French-Canadian gentleman come back to the post office today because he noticed the clerk failed to charge him for (I believe) 2 stamps!  That warmed my heart.  Surprises of human kindness, honesty and integrity can happen under my own nose.   What disheartens me are the ungracious, complaining, malicious people.

Of course, if we were all the same, life would be boring!!

Breathe

BIG SIGH!  The doll drums of Weds are behind me and Spring Break is just a few hours away!  I’m off to the White Mountains for the weekend.   Swing Dancing better NOT be canceled tonight due to snow.  Dancing was canceled 2 weeks ago and I just cannot go without my dancing!

Dig On

Some would say that “DO” stands for “Dig On” rather than “Doctor of Osteopathy” implying the roots of the profession lie in philosophy.  So, let’s dig on through my previous entry.

I am not happy, so why?  One of my favorite quotes: “Anguish is wanting life to be other than it is”.  Now, in order to achieve enlightenment, one must accept life as it is and recognize its transient nature.  So, we recognize this feeling of anguish as just another transient feeling that will dissipate.  Fine, it will be gone.  Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not the next day, but some day, I’ll look around and say “Where is that awful feeling that was keeping me such great company on Weds?”  (side note: I just realized I’ve been spelling “awful” wrong my entire life.  I thought it was “aweful”, which is kind of ironic because aweful would imply someone full of awe rather than feeling really yucky). On the flip side, “Was I honestly so happy last week that I danced and sang on the beach?”  What happened to that?  Oh yeah, happiness is also transitory.

Now for some digging: I am in my second year of medical school, achieving great feats of knowledge and skills, aiming to change the world.  What could I possibly be unhappy about, especially since I can see the world as transient and accept life as it is?  Well, responsibility is something I chose to take on and with it comes obligations to think ahead, plan, respond to crises, etc.  I’m so tired of this bologna (ahh!  I was spelling bologna, bologne!).  I want to just let it go, but this sense of responsibility filters up to the nucleus guiltuous in my cerebral cortex.  My guilt neurons must have been facilitated when I was young.  Maybe I need more cranial osteopathy to reduce the facilitation and allow me to just live my life without caring about other people.  Oh wait,  I want to be a doctor and HELP people.  Oh dear.

If someone achieves absolute enlightenment, is it time for them to die?  Theoretically, they have no more lessons to learn, right?  Is indifference to life the same as enlightenment?  Why is life such a pain?  We all die eventually.  Do you really think what we do here and now makes a difference in the greater cosmic world?  Do my states of depression cause more toxins to accumulate in the energetic atmosphere?  Do my times of complete joy and excitement cleanse the atmosphere?  Or do I absolutely not matter except as far as influencing people around me for better or for worse?

Heart Ache

My head is full, my body is tired and my heart is aching.  Spring Break is right around the corner, but I don’t think it will be much of a break.  I want to cry from feelings of being overwhelmed, inadequate and alone.  I want to run away.

Wouldn’t it be great to take the red pill and turn our world upside down?  We could down load software to help with any skill.  I already down loaded the mediocre software to pass medical school and run a club.  I hate being in charge of a club and dealing with people, I hate thinking about taking the boards, I hate learning how to make people live longer without living better, I hate society.  Then, I’ll turn around and love what I’m doing.  I love Osteopathy and I love the challenge of integrating it into the curriculum.  Today is the yin to go with that yang.

OA Wedgie

Ever have those people in your life that inevitably give you a headache when you interact with them?  Then, you go see your local Osteopath and he says your Occipitoatlantal (OA) joint is stuck.  The occiptal chondyles are directed in an anteriomedial direction.  Over-extension of the occiput on the atlas could cause the chondyles to become wedged in the cups of the atlas, causing an OA-wedgie!!   He he!  Next time someone is bothering you you could threaten them with an OA-wedgie and start laughing and they’ll think you’re completely loony, but at least YOU feel better!

Also, did you know they moved the capital of Alaska from Juneau to Anchorage?  Man!  That must have been a scene, watching all those those buildings heading down the Alaskan roads..or maybe they had to airlift them!  One capitol building coming down!  Look out below!!

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