Saturday, April 19, 2014 - a New Blog!

After graduating at the end of last year, I need to do something constructive while waiting for my Chiropractic license so I decided to sign up for my third full marathon and will be tracking that progress on a website called

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Grain Brain - Notes Continued

Still reading and taking notes on a book called Grain Brain by David Perlmutter, MD.

Page 61 - " the heart of virtually every disorder and disease is inflammation."

After my five years at Logan, the concept of inflammation being an underlying cause of adverse physical situations has taken root in my mind.  I recall writing an email in which I stated my opinion that it isn't so much an elevated level of cholesterol which clogs up arteries but rather, I was looking at an underlying reason as to why the cholesterol and/or other fats would stick to the lining of the arteries to begin with.  In that we looked at inflammation of the arteries as in damage to the arteries and the body would be going about it's business to help protect the arteries with a buildup of plaque.  It's difficult to express these concepts since it has been a while since I've specifically studied these concepts.  All the more reason to keep reading and learning.

Page 62 - "Gluten sensitivity - with or without the presence of celiac - increases the production of inflammatory cytokines, and these inflammatory cytokines are pivotal players in neurodegenerative conditions.  Moreover, no organ is more susceptible to the deleterious effects of inflammation than the brain."

Here's something else that was on a page even before the Table of Contents:

"Your brain...
weighs three pounds and has one hundred thousand miles of blood vessels.
contains more connections than there are stars in the Milky Way.
is the fattest organ in your body.
could be suffering this very minute without your having a clue."

The post grad Internal Health Specialist (IHS) class I took also seems to verify and positively correspond to much of the writing in Dr. Perlmutter's book.  That class started to make clear the importance of fats in the diet for a variety of neurological maladies.

Another point this book made that I failed to jot down were people with blood sugar levels which tested in the normal range.  The book stated that even though blood sugar levels may be "normal" it also mentioned looking into the pancreas as to whether or not it was producing insulin at max capacity in order to maintain this level of normal.

Chapter 3:  Attention, Carboholics and Fat Phobics - Surprising Truths About Your Brain's Real Enemies and Lovers.

I particularly like the quote by George Bernard Shaw, "No diet will remove all the fat from your body because the brain is entirely fat.  Without a brain, you might look good, but all you could do is run for public office.

Strong words on page 72 - "Eating high-cholesterol foods has no impact on our actual cholesterol levels and the alleged correlation between higher cholesterol and higher cardiac risk is an absolute fallacy."

Page 77 - "...research in 2008 published in the journal Movement Disorders showed that people with the lowest LDL cholesterol (the so-called bad cholesterol) were at increased risk for Parkinson's disease by approximately 350 percent!"
Subsequent paragraphs indicate that it's not so much the LDL which is the problem but oxidized LDL's which seem to get that way more likely in the presence of sugar molecules that bind to the LDL and change it's shape.

There is a passage in the book by Dr. George Mann, a researcher with the Framingham Heart Study
"The diet heart hypothesis that suggest that a high intake of fat or cholesterol causes heart disease has been repeatedly shown to be wrong, and yet, for complicated reasons of pride, profit, and prejudice, the hypothesis continues to be exploited by scientist, fund-raising enterprise, food companies, and even governmental agencies.  The public is being deceived by the greatest health scam of the century." Ch3, citation #8
Another study from the medical journal the Lancet - 724 elderly individuals with an average age of 89 were followed for 10 years.  642 participants died however, each 39 point increase in total cholesterol corresponded to a 15% decrease in mortality risk.

On page 79, it's noted that patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) who had significantly higher cholesterol levels lived, on average, one year longer than patients with lower levels.

On page 80 - in 2010 the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition  did a retrospective evaluation of more than 340,000 subjects followed from periods of 5 to 23 years and concluded that "intake of saturated fat was not associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease, stroke or cardiovascular disease."
Actual risk for coronary heart disease was 19 percent lower in the group consuming the highest amount of saturated fat.

One thing that keeps coming to mind is a statistic I recall hearing in a research methods class that there was a good 20-25 year lag between research and being accepted by the mainstream.  So, the study from 2010 might make it's way into a standard protocol for physicians in 2030 or later.  However, there is huge money in statins so, it could take even longer.

What will I advise to my patients?  All of these studies mentioned in this book are referenced so it looks like I'll need to dig out all those studies - the actual studies if I am to relate this information to my patients.  I need to make sure everything is legitimate.

The book did acknowledge that trans-fats were bad and the word trans refers to the conformation of the molecule with the alternate form being a cis-fat.  I know I've written about this in previous blog entries.

I think we'll end this session of reading at page 105.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Posting as a Doctor

There are times when I have wondered about posting blog entries as a doctor.  I'm curious about any legal ramifications since I would imagine, posting as a doctor is different than posting as a student.  In many ways, I believe the argument could be made that I am and always will be a student of sorts.  Whatever the case may be, I know I still have plenty to learn.  One of the books I received for Christmas is one called Grain Brain by David Perlmutter, MD.  It is the first book I am reading post graduation which I believe may be beneficial to both myself and patients.  The tag line at the top of the cover of the book reads, "The Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar -- Your Brain's Silent Killers"  So far, I've read the entire introduction and the first 26 pages of the book and would like to keep some salient notes

At the beginning of the Introduction is a quote by Nei Jing, 2nd Century BC
"Maintaining order rather than correcting disorder is the ultimate principle of wisdom.  To cure disease after it has appeared is like digging a well when one feels thirsty, or forging weapons after the war has already begun."

On page 8, 3rd paragraph down we read;
"Beyond calories, fat,protein and micronutrients, we now understand that food is a powerful epigenetic modulator - meaning it can change our DNA for better or worse.  Indeed, beyond simply serving as a source of calories, protein and fat, food actually regulates the expression of many of our genes.  And we have only just begun to understand that the damaging consequences of wheat consumption from this perspective."

At the bottom of page 8 and top of page 9 a report from the "Archives of Internal Medicine revealed that postmenopausal women who were put on statin drugs to lower their cholesterol had a nearly 48 percent increased rise of developing diabetes compared to those who weren't given the drug.  This one example becomes even more critical when you consider that becoming diabetic doubles your risk for Alzheimer's disease."

Page 13 list the Authors website,

Page 23 - "The chief function of the body is to carry the brain around"  ~Thomas A. Edison

On page 33, the book cites two of the biggest myths that people continue to cling to
(1)  a low-fat, high-carb diet is good and
(2)  cholesterol is bad

Page 34 - The Framingham Heart Study is mentioned - started in 1948 and includes 5,209 men and women between the ages of 30 and 62.

Page 34 - Study from Boston University studying 789 men and 1,105 women and followed for 16 to 18 years and given cognitive test every 4-6 years.  Results - people with the highest cholesterol levels scored higher on cognitive test than those with lower levels.

I'll end today's reading at page 50.  A couple other books I got for Christmas that are closeby are Anti cancer - A New Way of Life by Dr David Servan-Schreiber, who is both an MD and PhD. and a book called The Lost Keys of Freemasonry by Manly P. Hall.

That second book on Freemasonry reminds me I had an opportunity to become a 3rd Degree Freemason a couple months back but skipped that ceremony in order to get an extra three adjustments in towards graduation.  Unfortunately, I was left off the original email sent out by the head of our clinics, Dr Wittmer which indicated only 40 of our adjustments could come from our secondary clinic so, it would have been very easy to have skipped the adjustments, obtained my 3rd degree and become a Master Mason and still max out the allotted adjustments.

I still have a hard time understanding why such simple and straightforward things are so hard for some people to understand.  With a secondary clinic, we were allowed to obtain 4 out of 10 or 40% of our new patients from the secondary clinic but were only allocated 20% of our adjustments.  Those numbers don't match and is a gross lack of parity.  I know Dr. Witmer tried to counter this obvious observation by stating that our "education" was to come from our primary clinic however, I only attended the secondary clinic on my days off so it never interfered with any education to begin with.

Back when my brother graduated from Logan in 1996 and even as far up as December of 2007, a semester before I started at Logan, students were allowed to treat patients at any clinic.  These days, the clinic mantra is "Quality over Quantity" which sounds nice with the alliteration and all but doesn't mean a hill of beans.  What should be a concern is experience which keeps getting limited by Logan administrators.

Throughout all of trimesters 8 and 9, a full 8 months, I had a total of 32 adjustments, 16 adjustments per trimester.  In 12 days at my secondary clinic, I had 40 adjustments.

In school we learn that it is illegal to abandon patients however, that is exactly the situation Logan's limitations but me in - once the 40 adjustment limit was hit, I still needed more adjustments to hit that magic 200 adjustment number for graduation so, most all current patients at the secondary clinic had to be abandoned so I could maximize time at a clinic where the adjustments still count.

It's hard to keep track of the number of patients and extra experience that could have been obtained in Logan's outpatient clinic system if not for the limitations.  One couple wanted to see me but didn't like the idea of making 110 miles round trip commutes to clinic and I can't say I blame them.  I talked to that couple since and they went to a locale chiropractor and racked up $1,200 in bills.  Well, Logan could have had a good portion of that money as income and I could have benefited from the experience.
Another mother & son had to be given up due to the similar reasons.  They didn't have a 110 mile commute but did live much closer to two other clinics and thought it was stupid to drive all the way out to St Peters, MO to see me when other clinics were so much closer.
I could have also seen a newborn as well as a 70 year old male patient with shoulder issues.

Honestly, I'm kind of lucky I had 16 adjustments per semester in Tri's 8 and 9.  One intern I talked with at St Peters only had 6 adjustments in Tri-8 and another intern down at my secondary clinic only had 5 adjustments in his first trimester.

I recall hearing about how our clinic (St Peters) had the highest patient retention rate, ie, patients who would show up for the most number of adjustments.  When I first heard that I thought maybe there was something special about the overall protocol at St Peters but, after talking with so many Alumni and even people still in the DC program what I believe to be closer to the truth about those numbers is that the interns at St Peters have the highest propensity for buying their patients.  I hardly fit in that category since I only had two active patients in the last semester, one handed down to me because the intern couldn't find anyone else to take them and a 2nd I procured on my own.

When I first entered outpatient clinic in the Summer of 2011 a rule change went into effect which no longer allowed interns to trade clinics.  Obtaining a clinic is done via lottery so, most people can end up at a clinic which best suits them but, if you're name is at the end of the lottery list then you can end up in a very unfavorable clinic mainly due to proximity of where you may live as a student.  I remember there were three of us in my class who owned their own homes and any of us could have been royally screwed given a bad clinic location.  The other two people both got drawn early in the drawings and picked the Montgomery clinic which was located at Logan so there was no extra driving involved for them.  I wasn't so lucky.  But, I realize now, the whole reason for not allowing interns to change clinics - well, the original reason was because some people were picking favorable clinics and could sell them, often for $1,000 or more to students who got screwed in the lottery system.  But, had the system which had been in place for over a decade before simply been maintained then there would have been no reason for anyone to have to switch clinics in the first place.  It's like Logan created their own problem.

It's hard not to think of the students and administration people I've talked with up at Northwestern who said their interns average 600 adjustments each.  It's hard to imagine.

On a plus side for Logan, I'd have to say their graduation ceremony would be pretty hard to beat and I do believe the quality of teaching as far as their regular classes are concerned are probably about as good as it gets.  They're still struggling and trying to find the right formula for their outpatient clinic which, is pretty evident since the rules for outpatient are constantly changing every trimester.

Monday, December 23, 2013

I Graduated! It took 2,050 Days! :)

My first day of class in the Accelerated Science Program (ASP) was on Monday, May 12, 2008 and the day I graduated was Saturday, December 21, 2013.  From that first day of class until the day I graduated was 2,050 days.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Eat What's Good For You

Eat What's Good For You

You are what you eat - so don't eat junk!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Week 1 - Summer 2013

I noted a 2 month 11 day gap in my last post and today I can note only a 1 month gap since my last post - gotta love progress!  :) 

I don't think i ever blogged about my Minor Surgery class but, it was pretty darn cool.  Had Dr. DeGeer as the teacher and he's always a blast to learn from. 

Currently, I'm taking the last required course for credit which is clinic.  A single 7 credit hour course.  beyond that I'm signed up for 5 different specialized techniques including Advanced Diversified, Graston, Gonstead, Cox & Thompson.

It's Week 1 of this Summer Trimester and I've been to school 3 times but only found one class.  I went to classroom G49 yesterday for a class but nobody was there.  I later found out the class was meeting in a room in the back corner of the library.  Today I went to another class but the room was locked and nobody was there. 
Not sure what's going on.  I haven't gotten any emails indicating any changes for this first week but, normally students do get a spsecial schedule.  Kind of par for the course lately at Logan.  Not sure what is going on.  I had a similar problem when trying to register for classes.  Students received an email indicating registration was starting on a Wednesday so, I was up at school the first day possible only to be told that the schedule hadn't been made up yet and I could not register. 
Today's class had a syllabus for a completely different class uploaded and that wasn't changed until after I'd already been to the book store and spent $56 on a very thin manual

5/18/2013 - Saturday -
I got to indulge in both Advanced Diversified and Thompson yesterday.  I thought Advanced Diversified might have been more about actual adjusting but it looks like it's more of a case management type of course which is not a bad thing.  Dr. Wittmer has a LOT of really interesting stories pertaining to chiropractic and a ton of experience in the field.
The Thompson Method seems pretty sharp and I'm a bit enamoured with the overlap in Thompson and Activator.  Heck, there's even overlap with SOT and what I learned in my IHS class.  I think it's a positive sign when independently originating techniques end up with the same signs.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Obamacare Trip - Ozarks - KC

2 months, 11 days since my last post.  I've had a lot of post ideas ruminate through my head but none have made it here.  The Obamacare Trip was rather interesting, and a lot of fun in many ways especially with a layover at my parents condo in the Ozarks.  The stuff you hear from people after they graduate is quite a bit different and, perhaps, even a tad enlightening than anything you would ever hear from people who are still fighting to get through the DC program.
I've learned there are students who actually have paid strangers to be patients to help meet the 10 new patient criteria.  That idea crossed my mind in the event that I won the lottery or something but it never occurred to me to actually do that from my own funds.
Something else I learned was that our past president was concerned about my blog from way back in ASP because I mentioned something about checking out Parker(?)  I don't even remember that.  It's what I was told anyway, who knows...    These days the school I think about is Northwestern where the interns don't have to find their own patients and end up averaging 600 adjustments each.  Of course, it's kind of late for that now.  I need to get to the school this morning before clinic and get registered for Tri-10 HCP (clinic) for this Summer.
I did manage another YouTube video showing an Interrupted Over and Over suture I learned from a Minor Surgery class that I was able to finish up this past weekend by completing a take home midterm/final which, ended up being 11 pages long ....they're never as easy as you might think.  I know this one certainly wasn't.  This past Sunday morning I was able to complete my research paper for Minor Surgery and send it in via email.  The immediate (same day) feedback I got from Dr. DeGeer was fantastic.  He said he really liked reading my paper and that nobody else had ever chosen my topic before.  I did the paper on Suture Considerations for Best Results.  I liked the paper and learned a lot from it.  He posted my final grade in his class that day and I got an A.  I think the only lagging grade I'll have this semester will be from my somewhat dismal Senior Research Project but, I did get it done and ended up with a C.  The remaining grades should all be either some sort of "in progress" designation, like with HCP, or an A.

Clinic has been OK and it's changed a lot since the last time I was there in 2011.  The Reports that we had to do back in Tri-8 which is what caused me to have to be in clinic 5 days a week have become extremely informal and are done amongst whatever fellow students happen to be around at the time.  Absolutely nothing like the much more formal reports we had to do in Tri-8 when clinician had to be present.

About the only jarring bit of news I've gotten from clinic is that they are supposedly wanting to do away with letting Interns go out and market.  I was told some of the Tri-10s who already had all the patients they needed were going out and having lunch on "their" dime. Their, meaning Logan, of course.  But, it really begs me to wonder whose dime they're talking about.  Logan doesn't pay us anything to be there, we pay them.  We pay them money to earn them money and after we've earned them enough, we might be able to graduate.  I only say earn them enough because it looks like the next changes coming up are to exclude First Responder patients as being able to count as new patients and the only difference with them is that they are treated for free.
Regarding the pending changes to marketing, the same clinician that told me about that also said that Logan has a way of making changes without regard to how those changes might adversely affect their students.  idk - i've harped on that garbage before.

The Ozarks were fun on a lot of levels.  Prior to the trip, I did have my first experience with a pawn shop type situation.  Actually, a local place called the Gold Exchange.  I had to make sure I had sufficient money for gas so I could get to Kansas City and back.  I had an old gold necklace that I used to wear in high school hanging from a trophy in my garage so, I took that in and literally within 60 seconds the piece was weighed, I was told I could get $160 bucks, took it and walked out the door!  :)
That was sweet :)

My favorite part of the trip was sharing a dozen oysters in a bar overlooking the lake with a beautiful girl at my side.  :)

I wouldn't mind replaying that scenario again.  That trip also had me checking out boats.  First boat rentals then boat purchases .....yeah - this coming from a guy who had to pawn a necklace for gas money.....

Which also reminds me that I'll be heading out tomorrow morning to try and secure work with a local grocery store that's starting their cashiers out at $13/hour.  I could really use that money because that $13 is about what I have to spend on gas every time I go to clinic.

It's going to get more expensive at the start of the next semester which starts on May 14th.    .... yeah - 5 years at Logan.  5 years and currently $241,741.96 worth of student loans later.....  ugh... ugh, ugh ugh....

anyway - I've got four specialized techniques I've signed up for which means I'll be back t the 184 mile driving days but, I had to do that before with 19 classes plus clinic 5 days a week and this time, it's only the four pass/fail classes.  I think I'll only have to drive the 184 miles on MOndays and just 120 miles on two other days....let me figure this out  (again...)

Mondays - 184 miles
Tuesdays - 84 miles
Wednesdays - 100 miles
Thursdays - 120 miles
Fridays - 84 miles

OK - that's infinitely better than the unreasonable garbage I had deal with back in Tri-8.
The four specialized techniques I'll be taking are Gonstead, Thompson, Cox & Graston.

oh hell.... Home Owners insurance is due next week ....  eeehhhhh..  hmmmm.  no idea.  I know that has to be paid or I'll be hearing from the bank... again.....

I've had this place for a while (my home) but, the last time I check (fairly recently) the housing values have dropped so much that I'm basically back down to the 20% equity I had when I first bought the place.  The owners of the two condos to my right have been willing to sell their place for some time now - one guy for 10 years but, maybe he's asking too much.  I could never afford to take a loss, I'd have no way of living anywhere else.  One day at a time I suppose.

Oysters anyone?  :)

oh yeah (my mind wondered....)   Probably the most interesting thing to me about that Obomacare conference is that there's one part of the bill called IHS ...I believe that stood for Indian Health Services.   I'd never heard of that portion of the bill before nor has anyone I've talked with since learning about it.  But, that one portion of the bill is 900 pages long!  Makes me wonder how long the entire bill is if such an innocuous portion of the bill is 900 pages.

White coat should be dry by now - off to school then clinic - today.... 120 miles.  however ...there is a Cardinals baseball game I can look forward to going to.
heck, while I'm thinking of it, i'm wondering if I can print off some piano sheet music at the school while I'm there.  I came across some amazing pieces last night and would love to play them.  I guess if Logan can pay for outside counseling they can afford the ink on three pieces of paper.  Right now, piano has been my best and most relaxing at home therapy.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Sallie Mae - Karate - SRP

I was a little miffed the other day when my Dad informed me that a Sallie Mae payment was due this month. I know after talking with the Logan financial aid department at the beginning of last semester that they would be informing my lenders that I wasn't going to be a full time student that semester but, apparently that same kind of administrative efficiency didn't exist when it comes to telling them I am full time again.  
I'm not exactly sure what's going on but, need to notify Sallie Mae myself that I am in school full time so those bills stop while I'm back in school.  I was miffed because it was a bit embarrassing at my age for a parent to have to inform me of my financial obligations.

Kind of bizarre ...the Financial Aid department had me retake a class I got an F in when it was already being passed just a couple weeks before until we had the registrars office changed that grade to an F so I could keep getting financial aid.  Just something that crossed my mind the other day.  Then, I tend to tell myself that God's delays aren't God's denials.  And, who knows what the big plan is here.

I did manage this nifty countdown clock to the date in December when I figured I'd be graduating.  That will be an awesome day.  I've been hitting the gym pretty regularly for the past few weeks to help myself achieve everything as well.  I'm in two different weight loss competitions now.  The first, is the Lose to Win competition sponsored by some local hospitals over in St. Louis which kicked off a couple weeks ago and the second is through Gold's gym and that started last Thursday.
Yesterday, I got up at 4:40 a.m. and took my first BodyPump class at 5:15 a.m.  It was a great workout and unlike anything I normally do and I believe I should get great results from it.  Last night, I finally got back into Karate.  I don't remember exactly when I started Karate but, I do remember my first belt promotion was around May 5th of 1982 and, the last time I was involved with Shorin-Ryu karate would have been in 2007, just before I started going back to school so it's GREAT to be back involved again with something that has been such a significant and important part of my life.  We went through a bunch of kata's last night.  A kata is similar to ...say, a dance.  There are different dances like the Tango, Foxtrot or Waltz and with karate you have different katas which are pre-arranged fighting steps but these are called things like Fukyuata Ich and Pinan Sandan or Naihanchi Nidan.  There are three Fukyuata katas, five Pinan katas and three Naihanchi katas  We went through all ten of those basic katas then got a bonus and was able to work through Ananku kata which is a black belt kata.  We finished up with some sparring (kumite) and then some prearranged sparring (yakasuko kumite)
The karate workout was much harder than the bodypump class at Gold's  :)

I was up again this morning at 4:40 a.m but had already decided last night not to hit the gym this morning.  I'm pretty sore and have severely injured myself before from overdoing it so ...hopefully learning from my past mistakes and want to take my journey from couch potato to supreme athlete a little judiciously.

My Senior Research Paper (SRP) is top priority.  I was told point blank that if it isn't done by Friday, February 22 at 12:30 p.m. that I would get an F.  I can't afford to mess with financial aid.  I already know I have to foot the bill for the Summer which will mostly be covered by selling my motorcycle but, it would be hard to work part time in the Fall while working clinic 6 days a week and make up the $16,000.00 I'll lose by not being able to get financial aid.