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. 🙂


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! 🙂


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!


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


Post-surgery pondering …

This week is perfect for relaxing and recovering. I only have two quizzes, and I am off from rugby this week. I’m not sure if I just have more time to think or if the post-surgery pain meds are making me crazy, but I’ve had some life-changing thoughts this week that I thought I’d share.

Photo By  via http://public-domain.pictures/

Photo by Mike Morbeck, via http://public-domain.pictures/

My first realization this week, as the great Aaron Rodgers said, is “R-E-L-A-X.” Just relax. Classes are super hard and that’s to be expected, but being all worked up over everything is not going to help. It’s not worth it to go crazy or get depressed about getting an A versus a B. In my opinion, it will not make you a better chiropractor.

Also, skip a class or two. Whatever, it’s a class. If it’s worth saving your sanity, do it. I do not recommend being lazy and skipping just because. But if it’s for the greater good, then go for it. But, hey, what do I know? That’s just my opinion. 🙂

When I was a little kid, my parents used to let me have a “sick” day where they would take me to the craft store and buy me whatever I wanted. Then I’d spend the day with them and craft. How cool is that? Sometimes you just need those days to know what’s important. Accept that you can’t do it all and go with it. 🙂

My second realization is, “When it rains, it pours.” And guess what? Just grab your umbrella and keep going. I had a lot thrown at me the last couple weeks, and it sucked. And I felt like it just kept coming. But I’m here, and I survived! Chances are there are a lot of other people in the tri (and the world) going through worse things than me.

I was telling my sister about the Humans of New York posts recently about brick kilns in Pakistan, and all my problems seemed so irrelevant. Sometimes life will throw you a curve and you not only strike out, but it hits you in the face, your team loses the game, and you’re out for the season. EMBRACE IT. It could be worse and life doesn’t get any better dwelling on it. 🙂 Maybe I’m an optimist, maybe I’m loopy from my meds. Either way, I’m looking up.

Anyways, enough with the sappy stuff.

This week has also given me a lot of free time to look up craft projects and other leisurely activities! It’s been nice not being so busy, and I can finally get back to doing “normal” people things. I also have plenty of time to prep for my next round of exams. 🙂 Speaking of that, I’m going to go study for my Biochemistry 2 quiz now … wish me luck!




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!



Rugby Prom! That's me in the pink and looking good!

Rugby Prom! That’s me in the pink and looking good!

Homecoming, Homecoming, Homecoming … I don’t even know where to begin! Wednesday was the big BBQ to kind of kick off Homecoming. There were tons of food, the talent show, a water balloon toss, bags (or corn hole), snow cones, popcorn and tons of people just mingling in the West Hall Courtyard. It was the perfect way to end the short week and welcome in Homecoming.

Thursday, I attended a seminar put on by one of our very own professors, Dr. Lia Nightingale. Dr. Nightingale teaches classes like Biochemistry and Nutrition. Her presentation was on Diet and Cancer – it was very informative and super interesting! I remember thinking to myself, “I recognize some of these concepts.” I had just taken my pathology exam, and we were discussing some of them. It was really neat to see these concepts in “real world” situations. It can be really hard just strictly studying, so going to seminars is a nice way to apply all the book work to real life. Thursday night we also had a philosophy night and BBQ for the rugby team. It was so inspiring seeing alumni come back and share their knowledge with us. There were so many great tips, I almost couldn’t keep track of them all!

As for Friday, I kind of took the day off. There were of course seminars to attend, but none that peaked my interest. I also had to study for Gross 2 on Monday, Physiology 2 on Tuesday and Spinal Practical on Wednesday. So Friday was devoted to school, and it paid off big time!

Saturday, the rugby team attended the beginning session in support of the big rugby announcement! The rugby team has added 15 new scholarships for recruited students and has reached over $1 million. What an accomplishment for Palmer Rugby! Then, the Rugby team had Prom Rugby! It was great to see the men’s and women’s teams having fun and looking fashionable. 🙂 Also, I don’t want to brag or anything, but I was named 2015 Worst Dressed … pretty big deal. 😉 After the game, I went home, showered and napped.

Sunday was mostly a day of studying. I started the morning off by going to the Farmer’s Market with Jen and then went to the books. Thankfully, my boyfriend worked the whole weekend, so I was able to study undistracted and, plus, I didn’t feel bad for not spending time with him. 🙂

All in all, Homecoming weekend was a major success. If you’re looking to come to Palmer or are a current student looking to branch out, I highly recommend attending the next Homecoming!

Now, more studying and coffee. 🙂


Good news, bad news …

(Written pre-Homecoming)

Let’s play a little game: Good news, bad news.

Good news: I survived my Spinal exam! WAHOOOO!! Biggest relief know that I can handle this class. 🙂 Also, only two more days until break!

My poor car!

My poor car!

Bad news: After what seemed like the longest day of my life, someone reared-ended me in my BRAND NEW car. I’m pretty sure she forgot to stop at a red light and smashed right into me. I have to admit, I think Davenport drivers are worse than Minnesota drivers (and if you’re from the west side of Wisconsin, you know what I’m talking about). I have a nice little bruise, some nice pulled muscles in my back, and a nasty headache. But on the bright side, I am alive and thankfully attend the best school to help me heal. 🙂

Good news: Only one more day until Homecoming!

Bad news: Not really any bad news today, just very sore and tired.

Good news: Passed my Pathology exam!!!! And for the amount of work I put into it, I think it turned out pretty well! Also, I got adjusted today! Holy cow! I don’t think I have ever had such a huge physical response to an adjustment before. My ears and face were burning, and I felt super energized for about two hours and then crashed to a deep sleep.

Bad news: Insurance companies. I have never had to deal with an accident before and trying to get everything sorted out is a mess. The fact that I’m dealing with all of this during the busiest week just puts the icing on the cake.

Thursday through Sunday:
Good news: HOMECOMING!!!!! There can’t be any bad news with Homecoming! Homecoming is an amazing opportunity to reach out to alumni as well as prospective students. What an amazing weekend. 🙂

But you’ll have to read about that next time ….



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. 🙂



Alrighty, guys, time to talk about one of my favorite things: FOOD! Who doesn’t love food?! Unfortunately, in chiropractic school, eating food on a regular basis can be tricky.

For me, it’s even trickier because I’m mostly vegetarian. The only meat I will eat is if I kill it myself, which for me is venison. Not only do I have a dietary restraint, I also put coffee before food …sometimes. Okay fine, most of the time! If I’m running late in the morning I usually make a quick bagel and a cup of coffee to go, without packing a lunch or snacks for classes. This either causes me to run home during my hour break, buy something from the cafeteria, or go hungry.

And some days I don’t have a break, don’t have my wallet or–let’s face it–I don’t feel like running back. So it’s super important that I plan ahead in order to avoid food disasters. So I thought I would make a list of what I do, because maybe you’re struggling with this right now or want to know what a daily routine is like for chiropractic school. Well, here it is:

Sundays are grocery shopping days. My boyfriend, Joey, and I grocery shop together every Sunday. We shop together for two reasons: 1) It’s something for us to do together (time is precious, people!) and 2) We keep each other on track (so I don’t over spend and so he picks out the right product). We make a list and plan meals for the week, and we stick to it. When we get home, we wash the fruits and veggies before putting them away and then cook meals for the week. That doesn’t happen all the time, but when it does, it rocks.

Before I go to bed each night, I make a list of what I need to do in the morning before school and then set my alarm accordingly. I usually try to get a couple snacks together in the fridge or laid out on the counter. That way, if I’m in a hurry, I can just grab and go. Sometimes lunch stinks, and I bring a PB&J, but other times I’m able to pack leftovers and heat them up at a variety of different places on campus. I love bringing grapes, carrots and granola bars, too! Super easy to grab and go. I’m also addicted to cheese (Hey, I’m from Wisconsin, give me a break!), so I usually have a string cheese or three ….

So, moral of the story: Buy easy, healthy snacks to pack, meal prep, and plan out your day before you go to bed because sometimes school isn’t very fun and these just make life a little better 🙂