Archive for June, 2008

Amidst the mists of Maine

100% humidity here in Maine this evening with temperatures in the 50-60’s.  The pleasant mist rests on my face, clothes and hair without drenching rivulets pouring from my brow.  The colors are more vivid and the smells are superb!  I disturbed a great blue heron from a pond next to the road in the front yard of a neighbor’s house!


Happy Birthday Osteopathy!! I love Maine!

June 22nd 1874 Dr. ST Still flung the banner of Osteoapthy.  Of course, this was in Macon, MO where he was actually run out of town by a minister who had received a letter from Dr. Still’s own brother saying he was a quack and a devil worshipper, or something of the kind.  Funny thing is that once Dr. Still was successful and started the American School of Osteopathy, that same brother asked to be a student of his!

I wanted to write an entry yesterday about how much I love my Maine swing friends.  Friday was the last Grange dance of the year because the guy who runs it is a school music teacher and works on Peak’s Island during the summer.  I’ll be leaving for my big 4th year medical school adventure in August and won’t be back in ME until next spring!  I’ve been dancing at the grange for about 4 or 5 years, starting around while I was still an undergrad at UNH, then grad student and now medical student.  It’s been my constant source of social engagement and I’ve found some wonderful friends.  I’m going to miss it desperately, but I’ll always be grateful for the feelings of connectedness I felt.  Next June there should be a dance the night before I graduate!  That will be a great party.

Where I’m at

I recent;y sent this message as a synopsis of who I am and where I’m at on my Path.

I’m a science geek fascinated by the deeper spiritual world.  I have a BS in biochemistry, MS in Animal Sciences and less than 1year away from my DO.  If I was to ever go back to school (God forbid), I’d pursue a PhD in physics, hence the nerdiness.  Since I was a teenager I’ve been fascinated with alternative medicine and when I learned about DO’s- where MD meets alternative, I knew I’d found my path.  Now I’m walking the line between allopathic medicine and knowing there is more to the human body and healing than the medical world will ever understand.  My greatest strengths include my memory, analytical mind, openness to knew ideas and making connections between different fields of thought.  My downfall is putting my energy into the anger I feel towards the close-mindedness of allopathic medicine (pharmaceutical corruption, insurance circuses and attention to nitty-gritty detail-genetics, without looking at the whole person) as well as DOs who refuse to speak any language other than “DO-speak”.  I’m trying to redirect my energy towards more positive avenues such as developing my palpation and manipulation skills and trying to honestly achieve an inner peace within myself, which is very difficult.

I get frustrated with people who claim to have “inner peace” but don’t live a life of peace.  I used to think I had inner peace, but now I realize I have moments of peace amidst a raging storm that very few people actually see.  I can have outward composure when I writhing with furry, crumpling with sadness or twisted with anxiety, but this in an outward peace, not an inner peace.  My goal is to be calm, collected, compassionate, open, aware and helpful to people.  I feel by acknowledging the fact I do not have inner peace currently brings me closer to achieving the real thing…eventually.

Breast Cancer and OMT

I have to do a project during my FP rotation. I’m considering doing OMT and breast cancer because in my reading, Dr. Still and Dr. Hildreth both reported having good success treating some breast cancer issues. And the reason Osteopathy was legalized so early in North Dakota was because a politician’s wife (who had breast cancer) was treated with OMT. I can’t seem to find any research on this topic other than lymphatic techniques for lymphedema s/p mastectomy. Is there any research out there?

New connections

I just received a new connection to a DO in New York, NY! The Medicine Lodge Clinic, Inc: Integrating Traditional Healing and Osteopathic Medicine. I might spend some time down there just before my COMLEX PE exam in August. And it might be possible to live with a woman at a Sufi Center in Albany, NY during my ER rotation in Pittsfield, MA (The Berkshires). As a birthday present to myself I signed up for a yoga retreat at the Kirpalu Yoga Center, which also happens to be in the Berkshires. I think this is going to be a good year.

It’s all down hill from here!

I hit the big 3-0 today and hate birthdays more than ever.  Although, I must admit it was nice to have a friend with my b-day in her PDA AND she’s discrete enough not to tell anyone else.  We went out to dinner at Margarita’s and watched someone ELSE get totally embarrassed by the staff singing to them while we hung out at our table and I quietly thanked God that it wasn’t me they were singing to.  I just don’t get the big deal of birthdays.  I like the cultures where the birthday boy or girl GIVES presents to their friends because they are grateful to have people to celebrate with.  Why should we celebrate a day we had no control over?  If anything, it should be mother’s day for all she had to go through to give birth to you!


I started this blog as a tool to record my thoughts and feelings while traversing osteopathic medical school.  A blog is unique because people have access to it through the internet as opposed to the privacy of a journal.  I like this aspect of blogging because I feel little more connected to people by composing my thoughts more thoroughly than I would if I was writing for myself.  However, it has created a good deal of misunderstanding between me and some of my readers.  Even when I think I’ve fully explained an issue, it gets twisted around.  This is SO frustrating because I think I’m being clear and I take pride in my deliberate thought construction.

Much of my life I’ve been angry, confused and depressed.  Occasionally, I look to others for help through counseling, but I honestly don’t think it has help.  Maybe I’m too stubborn and judgmental to be helped, maybe counseling is ineffective, maybe the source of my feelings is buried so deep inside that no one has any idea how to help me.  I put up an excellent front of competency, laughter and accomplishment.  I would rather make the counselors feel better than have them help me.  I even pointed this out to my last counselor while he was smiling with the “progress” I had made.  I told him I was angry and frustrated because I thought it would was best to be completely honest and he hardly recognized my feelings.  Maybe I should have yelled and had a tantrum.  I haven’t returned.  Is that a sign of my stubbornness or his ineffectiveness?  Was I getting somewhere and cut myself off from real progress?  Am I hopeless?  Patients who are in denial can only be helped to a limited extent.  Am I in denial?  What am I missing?

Funny, when it comes to helping patients I have all the forgiveness in my heart for their faults and struggles, but I constantly challenge, doubt and judge people who are supposed to be my teachers.  I feel like they have to prove themselves to me.  When I did this on my surgery rotation, the surgeon said I was automatically going fail (jokingly) because I showed-up another surgeon.  I was exasperated because we become stronger by challenging each other.

family practice

First day on family practice and it went very well.  I was shadowing the whole, but the 2 women I shadowed had amazing rapport with their patients, very thoughtful.  AND, we constantly hear about diabetes, obesity, etc in family practice and it can be discouraging, but the first patient of the day was a 37yo F diagnosed about 1yr ago with NIDDM and has been on metformin for 6mo.  Much to our pleasure, she has been actively losing weight by walking regularly and changing her diet to include a lot of veggies.  Nothing new, but effective.  It was a great way to start off my family practice rotation.

Also, I was hardly anxious, which would be expected at the end of my 3rd year, but still nice to notice for myself.  Interviewing patients and coming up with a plan is not too difficult.  I realize the trickiest part is keeping everything straight: which patients are having which issues, what labs do they need, etc.

“Leave” the sun where it is!

It amazes me that a tree full of leaves can receive a gentle, constant breeze and only one leaf, aligned perfectly with no inhibition of motion, moves significantly while the rest of the leaves stand still.

Talk about “Hands of Light”!!