First week back from break …

My first Palmer winter break is in the books. We’re going to play a little game: Expectation vs. Reality.

My expectation of break was to spend all my days with my family, binge watching Netflix, binge eating delicious homemade food, dining at my favorite places back home, sleeping in as late as possible, and enjoying the holidays. Maybe even showering more than twice … hehehe.

Expectations are pretty low here; but then there was the reality. The reality of break is that everyone from home wants to see you or do something, there’s a lot of traveling, early mornings and late nights, catching up on all the things you needed to do before break (but couldn’t get to), and the school work and studying. Don’t get me wrong, break was amazing, but it was a little different than I pictured. I did have a couple days to myself where my expectations came true, but for the most part I was very busy. It’s good to be busy though, keeps you from being lazy and makes you feel loved. 🙂

The first week back from break was filled with a couple quizzes and a PNS exam. If you remember my last PNS was not so good due to the Packers amazing win over the Lions, but this exam I prepared for. I knew I needed to do well and I did J Dr. Torgerud’s CNS and PNS classes are pretty tough, especially if neuro just doesn’t click for you. For me, I like the basics and I appreciate CNS/PNS but I could never specialize in advanced neuro cases. Not my thing. But anyways, after this exam on Thursday I was able to relax and prepare for next week’s exam.

My boyfriend Joey’s birthday was on Wednesday, and because I had PNS on Thursday, I wasn’t able to celebrate with him.

My family at the hockey game

My family at the hockey game

NOTE TO FAMILY MEMBERS OF A CHIRO STUDENT: Chiro school always wins. Always. We try our best, but most times school is already pulling us in every direction. But it’s only temporary. 🙂 But that being said, Joey and I celebrated the weekend after his birthday in Madison, Wis. We love Madison. 🙂 We lived there before Palmer, and Joey went to school there, so to say we miss it would be an understatement. We met his whole family down there on Saturday, went to our favorite restaurants, and also went to a Wisconsin men’s hockey game. It was a lot of fun! And I was glad Joey was able to celebrate his birthday properly, even if it was a little later. 🙂

But all good things come to an end, and we had to return to Iowa. I also had a test Monday morning, and the Pack played on Sunday. So I watched the game and then studied. Priorities people!!! Hehe.

But after the Immunology exam on Monday, I also had a Subluxation practical. Both went just okay. Need to do better next time, but not a big deal.

Now to prepare to take seven exams in less than two weeks … and it’s not even finals!

Callie

Rugby Banquet surprise!

My award!

My award!

The week of the Rugby Banquet was a little difficult. I had three exams! Not even “easy” ones. We had Systems Pathology on Tuesday, Organ Histology on Wednesday, and also our Subluxation midterm. Woof. It was a lot of studying, but it paid off! I did well on all three exams. 🙂

To top off the busy week, I also had the Rugby Banquet on Friday. I completely forgot when it was, so I had no dress to wear. So Friday afternoon was spent shopping in search of a cheap dress that would fit the occasion. Finally after power walking the entire mall TWICE I found it … in the first store I shopped in. Grrr. Don’t you hate when that happens? Oh well, at least it was a good deal. 🙂

The banquet was in Vickie Anne Palmer Hall at 7 p.m. It was so nice! We had amazing food and tons of desserts. Yum! We also took plenty of pictures and had an award ceremony. Some of the awards were for all sorts of things — most dedicated, most flexible, most improved, rookie of the year, etc. It was great! Everyone on our team deserves an award for the amount of time, effort and skill it takes to play this sport while attending Palmer to become chiropractors. I love being a part of this team and am just happy to be surrounded by these lovely ladies. 🙂

And I got an award! You can imagine my surprise when I was awarded the Most Improved Player 2015. To say I was shocked would be an understatement. Long story short, I don’t do well being put on the spot. I just do my part like everyone else and don’t expect to recognized for that. I usually like to plan out these kinds of things, so when I’m put on stage unexpectedly, I almost freeze.  Depending on the situation, I like to be behind the woodwork and unnoticed. Rugby is one of those situations, hehe. I think it’s because I’m so new I feel out of place and like, ‘Why should I be up here? Why me?’ But it was a great feeling as well! I can’t believe everyone thought I improved. 🙂 I put in a lot of hard work so it was nice to be recognized.

After the banquet, there was an after party, but I was so exhausted from the week that I just went home and went to bed. 🙂 It was nice to go home and just relax with nothing to do. The rest of the weekend was also dedicated to recuperating and football. GO PACK GO!

More soon!

Callie

Throwback Thursday – thinking back on Thanksgiving break

Thanksgiving week was a short one at Palmer. We had classes until Wednesday, and then we were all headed off to break! Thankfully (hehehehe), we only had one exam this week- Immunology! Overall, it wasn’t too bad.

Joey had to work on Thanksgiving, so we weren’t able to go home on Thanksgiving, but Palmer had a free Thanksgiving dinner for students who couldn’t go home. It was great! The food was amazing and it was really nice to have something to do on Thanksgiving.

I also went out and planned some Black Friday shopping. I told you how I built that faux fireplace with my dad, right? Well, I found some electric logs (with a heater) on sale. WAHOO! Now I have a real fireplace. 🙂 It looks great, and I love that it actually gives off some heat now. I also started to decorate the apartment for Christmas. It’s my favorite time of year. 🙂

Then finally on Friday afternoon we were able to go home. I brought my friend from the rugby team, Debbie, home with us, too! She is from California, and I didn’t want her to miss out on this! So we brought her home and put her to work. 🙂 Little did she know she would be stuffing the turkey and helping to put up the Christmas tree. But she loved it, and I’m glad I was able to show her a Midwestern Thanksgiving. 🙂

Before we knew it, it was already Sunday and we had to drive back to Davenport. Debbie and I also had to study for a Microbiology test. Thankfully, we got home around 5 p.m., so we still had some time to unwind from the drive and study for a bit.

On a completely different note, the rugby team went to New York City to compete in a 7’s tournament – where the team plays 15-minute games with seven people. I wasn’t able to go because I’m still out with my broken finger, but that worked out perfectly so I could spend time with family. 🙂 But the girls did great! They met a couple different celebrities and explored the city! They also took home the plate in the tournament! Wahoo! Go Palmer! Now we are on a little break over the winter until our next tournament in Las Vegas.

What am I going to do with all this “free time” now?? Maybe I’ll start a new series on Netflix … hehehe

Callie

Just another week at Palmer …

Learning more about spinal anatomy

Learning more about spinal anatomy

Last week nothing too special happened. We had a Physiology 2 exam on Monday and a Pathology quiz on Tuesday. Overall it was a pretty good week!

Rugby conditioning was decent and practice was pretty fun. We worked on team aspects and also specific roles for backs and forwards. Our game in the Twin Cities was our first real “team effort,” and so we knew we needed to bring that together. Well, that’s exactly what we did, and it turned out pretty well for our game on Saturday at home. But you’ll have to read the next one for those details. 🙂 Hehe.

On Wednesday I went to a speaker at a local chiropractic office. The speaker just happened to be my Spinal Anatomy professor, Mr. Chip Morter. It was great to see him outside of class and to learn more about his personal philosophy on chiropractic. He specifically talked about adaptation. Our bodies adapt to the stressors around them; whether it be physically or emotionally. We can apply this philosophy to our adjustments, to understanding our patients, and even to understand the basis of chiropractic. If a person is in pain, their body will adjust to that pain. And guess what that probably caused? A misalignment of the spine and possible abnormal bone growth. And guess what that person needs? A chiropractor! It’s amazing how simple it is. 🙂

I also went to another speaker during club hour on Friday. This speaker was for the Pediatrics Club, and we looked at several pediatric elbow X-rays. Let me tell you, those X-rays are ridiculous! I’ve never spent time looking at pediatric X-rays, and I swear I thought they all had broken arms. I completely forgot to apply my Gross Anatomy 1 knowledge this early in the morning! Children are still growing, so not all the bones have ossified, causing the X-rays to look different than adult X-rays. It was really neat to look at these and get a jump start on some radiology.

I also learned that 80 percent of medial epicondyle fractures occur in boys; I just happened to be in the 20 percent of girls who have broken theirs. 🙂 And I broke both at the same time, so I wonder what the odds would be there?! Hehe.

The rest of Friday, I just binge watched Netflix. Sometimes you just need those days. Yes, I said days. Plural. Multiple days. I’m currently in the middle of season six of “Grey’s Anatomy,” so it’s semi-useful information. 🙂

I also tried to mentally prepare for the game on Saturday. We played Wisconsin (a nationally ranked team), and it was super important to be prepared for that. I’m still pretty new to rugby, so usually I just try to figure what the heck is going on during the game. But things actually clicked for me this week at practice, so I wanted to be at the top of my game. You’ll have to wait for the next one to see how we did. 🙂

Callie

Back in the thick of things …

This week started out with a biochemistry exam, a palpation practical, and then spinal. Overall, the exams went well! I know that I could have put more time in and would definitely have seen a better grade, but I still did well, and that’s the best I can do. 🙂 Unfortunately, I get migraines when I’m sleep-deprived, not eating right and have pushed my stress level to the limit.

Since being at Palmer, I have only had two migraines, and one just happened over the weekend. This is incredible to me! I used to get migraines all the time while working and doing my undergrad. I believe this is the universe saying, “You are where you are supposed to be and doing what you are supposed to be doing.” It’s also telling me to take a little better care of myself. 😉 So I took the weekend to lightly study and rest. But, thankfully, that hardest test is done and I focus on next week’s exam: Physiology 2.

This week I also attended a couple presentations! It was a great way to get out of the books and see the light at the end of the tunnel. The first presentation I went to was by a Palmer grad, who also happened to be a former rugby player. And, as if it couldn’t get better, she happens to practice in Madison, Wis. She also brought free food. 🙂 She talked about how to open a practice or where to go after graduation. I didn’t realize that some graduates really struggle finding a job or even a stable practicing mentor. But I’m glad I’m learning these things now instead of 5 months after graduation and jobless (but that won’t happen to me 🙂 ).

She also spoke about what the focus of our practices should be. We really need to be focusing on the whole spectrum of chiropractic: wellness, nutrition, environment, meditation, etc. Basically, fixing the subluxation is great, but if you don’t help your patient in the other aspects of their lives, then you aren’t changing much. And isn’t that the whole point? I loved it and truly enjoyed going J

The second speaker was extremely inspiring. He was super motivated and enthusiastic, and anyone in the room could tell you he was passionate about his job. That’s the chiropractor I want to be. Shoot, that’s the kind of person I want to be. 🙂 He runs a pediatric, cash-only practice in Chicago and shared some great tips. Plus, his philosophy was incredible. He talked about how to stay true to chiropractic. Adjusting is great, but chiropractors truly need to understand the science behind an adjustment as well as the environmental factors, such as the patient’s nutrition, daily activities, exercise, etc. To be a great chiropractor, we have to do some “non-chiropractic” things. I can’t even do him justice, but basically I left feeling super pumped and excited to learn. 🙂

Now I’m hoping to have a fun and relaxing weekend … and a do little studying. 🙂

P.S. Women’s Rugby has started up again! GO PALMER! 🙂

Callie

The start of a good week …

This week marked the beginning of Round 2 for exams! It also means we only have five more weeks of this trimester! 🙂 Where did the time go?! Thankfully this round of exams is more spread out than the last. We had Pathology and Gross Anatomy 2 over this last week, then Biochemistry, Palpation and Spinal next week, followed by Physiology 2 and Gross Anatomy 2 again. Another helpful thing is that it was also National Boards weekend. The upper trimester students were busy studying and taking exams, so we are able to enjoy an extra two days off! But, of course, I filled those days with studying. 😉

This week was also my first full week back at rugby practice! I started going to conditioning sessions last week, but my elbow was still pretty sore and would swell up. So it was a huge relief coming back to practice pain-free this week! I think I’m also getting the hang of rugby more and more each day! I was a basketball player in high school, so I’m starting to make the connections from the court to the pitch. Our first game is Sept. 19, so stay tuned for updates on that. 🙂

If those two things weren’t big enough for this week, it’s also the opening game for the Packers! GO PACK GO! Being a Wisconsinite in Iowa is the weirdest feeling ever. I have to bring the Packer culture to Davenport. I’m okay with that. 🙂 I don’t have cable, though, so I have to go somewhere to watch Packers (or Badger) games. I went to Jen’s house this week for the game! It was great, I brought over vegetarian chili, and we had homemade guacamole. It was the perfect way to kick off the Packer’s season. 🙂

But now I have to get back in school mode and study for my exams!

-Callie

Watch out world, CallieCat is on the loose!

(written before Labor Day)

I have thoroughly enjoyed my ‘easy’ week and a half here at Palmer!

It's my nephew Lane!

It’s my nephew Lane!

I mentioned in my last blog that I was looking up craft projects, and it just so happens that I have been quite crafty over the past week! Crafting or sewing is like therapy to me. Sometimes it’s challenging, and I have to think. Other times it’s easy and quick, but either way it takes my mind off bigger problems.

I have sort of adopted the name CallieCat when I get crafty. There’s a long story behind it, but I don’t want to bore you. 🙂

Anyways, I have an ADORABLE nephew who is always in need of my sewing skills: from blankie fixes, to quiet books, to my project this week: a nap mat!

Lane's homemade mat rolled up.

Lane’s homemade mat rolled up.

Lane (my nephew) started a new daycare this week, and he needs a nap mat for nap time. So instead of purchasing an expensive one online, my sister asked me to custom-make him a mat. Perfect timing! And I don’t want to brag or anything, but it turned out great, and I added in so many thoughtful details. He is going to love it! 🙂

It was like a little ‘high’ paging through the different weekly ads at fabric stores trying to find the best deals and planning the perfect nap mat! I could envision it before I even started, which is a good sign that the project is going to be a success. 🙂 I am still in awe of how fun this was to make and how it turned out! But he hasn’t received it yet, so I’m not sure if he will love it or not.

This coming weekend is Labor Day weekend, so we have Monday off, giving me a nice long weekend. Joey and I thought about going home for the weekend, but we thought maybe a trip to Madison, Wis., would be better; and my family agreed! So we will be spending Saturday in Madison with them, and Lane can get his mat. 🙂

Lane's mat unrolled.

Lane’s mat unrolled.

Joey and I moved from Madison to Davenport, so we are kind of having withdrawals from it! There’s something about Madison that just feels right. But having a day trip still leaves me plenty of time to prepare for the upcoming week and exams! It’s kind of sad, but I’m actually looking forward to getting my things organized … weird I know.

Hopefully I will have an update for you if the mat is acceptable for my nephews standards. The print isn’t cats, so I don’t know if it will pass … 😉 hehehe

-Callie

Welcome to H. E. Double Hockey Sticks …

Goodie basket from my friends. Like I said before, I really do have the best friends here at Palmer. :)

Goodie basket from my friends. Like I said before, I really do have the best friends here at Palmer. 🙂

As you know, a lot has happened recently! So not only am I dealing with my accident, but I also have my three exams and surgery on Friday! Thankfully I studied enough for Gross over the weekend, so that exam went well! I was only one question away from an A, so if I work just a little harder, my next exam should be better. 🙂

Then I started studying for Physiology 2 on Monday night. I have taken a Neurophysiology course in undergrad, so the material for me was somewhat familiar. I also went to open lab on Monday and Tuesday night in order to stay on top of what I need to know about the cadavers for the Spinal Practical. After the Physiology exam, I went straight to studying Spinal. I also had rugby practice, so I went to that at 6 p.m.

It’s the weirdest feeling studying for Spinal practicals. You know what you know, and you know what you don’t know. But somehow during the practical it all blends, and suddenly you forget all the tricks and tips you have for distinguishing between different vertebrae. So the bone part of the practical was a total blur. I know I knew a lot, but it feels like it all happened so quickly, so I can’t remember anything. Then we went right into the cadaver portion. That for me was better, but there were definitely a couple muscles shown in odd ways that threw me off. But, overall I think it was decent considering the week. 🙂

Picture of elbow. Calcified bone bodies in capsule. Removing those to reduce pain and swelling with activity.

Picture of elbow. Calcified bone bodies in capsule. Removing those to reduce pain and swelling with activity.

After 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, I felt like I had just survived some sort of major trauma. Somehow I was chosen to survive. You may think that sounds over-the-top, but I swear to you it’s not! Once you have “suffered’” that kind of torture, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about!

As I mentioned in an earlier blog, my friends here at Palmer are truly the best. Three of us had our practical on Wednesday, so we decided to drink wine and eat copious amounts of pizza. It was the perfect way to end the longest week of our lives.

Thursday was a normal day to me. I was exhausted, but, hey, I had nothing to complain about! All my exams were done, and it was the last day of the week for me! My boyfriend and I were driving home Thursday night to prepare for my surgery. My surgery was in Rochester, Minn., at Mayo Clinic, which is about an hour and 15 minutes from my house. I came home from classes, and I deep cleaned the house and did some homework assignments. Joey didn’t get off of work until 10:30 p.m., so by the time he got home and packed, it was midnight. We drove straight to my house and then, as soon as we got there, we left for Rochester.

Overall, surgery went well! I just had some little bony pieces removed. And the funny part is I didn’t want to wake up from surgery. I think I was making up sleep for the previous week. 🙂

I’m looking forward to a relaxing week next week, hopefully!

Callie

First round of exams …

(Written pre-Homecoming)

CAUTION: Tests may be closer than they appear. AHHH! The first round of exams are upon us in second trimester. We ended this week with a Biochem 2 exam. I’m drawing structures in my mind and thinking, “Stimulate, inhibit, location … oh, shoot, what else?” Woof. Hopefully I’ll get good results from that exam soon!

Next on the agenda is Spinal. Hundreds of “quizzie” questions are waiting for me to memorize screaming, “Memorize me, breathe me, and live me!” So. Many. Questions. Then I have one day in between to recuperate, and then it’s General Pathology 1. Only 60 pages of reading for that. 🙂

It’s super important to get ahead on exams right away to coast through the trimester. It’s a lot harder to dig yourself out of a hole the entire trimester, instead of having a little leeway.

After that first half of exams, we have Homecoming! There are lots of cool speakers and presentations, free food and fun rugby events. If I survive the first round of exams, I’ll let you know how Homecoming goes. 🙂 Hehe

After Homecoming is the next half of the first round of exams. Monday is Gross Anatomy 2, Tuesday is Physiology 2 and Wednesday is Spinal Lab Practical. Honestly, I can’t even think about this round yet. It’s too far away, and I have too much information to cram into my head before that.

Thankfully this week is also a little break from rugby! We only have one day of conditioning this week, but have rugby events almost every day. I’m just happy I don’t have to run outside. 🙂 Considering I am feeling a little rushed with this round of exams, I am not eating the greatest or sleeping the most. So this rugby conditioning break is the perfect way for my body to catch a break.

I’m off to consume copious amounts of coffee and study! Ahh, the things I do for my future patients. 😉 Wish me luck and send me motivational/sympathy vibes. 🙂

Callie