“All is quiet on New Year’s Day”

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(A head-nod to Bono before he went all Walmart on us.)  Except that it’s not New Year’s Day yet.  But that’s okay, it’s close enough; I’m just as reflective today as I’ll be tomorrow.  The difference is, I’ll likely have more time this morning.

As I look back on my growing little blog, I notice that this New Year seems different than those of the recent past.  Relatively speaking, I haven’t done jack shit this year.  In many areas of my life, I’m right where I was last year.  And maybe in some important areas, I’ve made monumental progress to which I’m just not giving proper recognition.

Behold the Facebook meme that was 2012 – the Year In Review, a la Kitty…

1. “We’ll Grow Into It” – Last year at this time, we were in our modest little starter office, a 1200-sq ft space with no storage, save for four pairs of little cabinets.  I literally didn’t have a place on my desk to work, because it held too many books for which I didn’t have any more bookshelf space because I couldn’t fit any more bookcases in my cramped little room because of my chiropractic table and my big whiteboard.

Meanwhile, the office surroundings were so humble that coupled with my young face and my poor acting skills (I tried to come across as more experienced than I was, as all young doctors do), it was hard to get people to commit to the level of care they needed.

Solution: hijack the office down the hall and convince your landlord to let you out of your current lease and into a new one for an office twice the size.  So that’s what we did.  Now, we have room for pretty much everything.  Yes, it’s a little big, but we’ve always figured the extra rooms would come in handy.  They have, just not in a lasting arrangement yet.  (We’ve seen a third DC, a licensed acupuncturist, and a weekday therapist come and go.  Well, the therapist hasn’t technically left, but we haven’t needed her in months, which is a less-than-encouraging sign.)  Slow and steady growth is fine, but we’re hoping for a miracle, that we can put more emphasis on the “steady” and not so much the “slow”.

2. Even if our office hasn’t grown (in patient traffic), it certainly has grown up.  Gone are the drama queens and attention whores trying to relive their adolescent years on my timeclock.  Gone are the careless dyslexics whose mistakes cost me more time than they saved me and the Kardashian-obsessed toddlers whose nasty (or fake-sweet) attitudes cost me more patients than they attracted.  We finally have someone we can trust and feel comfortable with.  I’m hoping against all hope that she sticks around.

3. “You Better Work” – I did finish my CCN nutrition modules.  I also stumbled across some powerful lab interpretation resources.  And we’ve decided to save for the IFM training, since it’ll be in a familiar town this year, where I have lots of family and friends to stay with and see.

Last year at this time, I had just started ordering larger lab tests, and I had relatively small informational resources with which to interpret them, and for most of 2012, that’s where things stayed.  I have the feeling 2013 will bring more career-oriented gifts.  God I hope so.  It’s been a rough road.

4. Drumroll, please, for my favorite part of the year: I no longer have a uterus.  Raise the roof!  Last year at this time, I had an appointment scheduled with my self-chosen family doctor because I needed a referral to a good surgeon.  Three to four months afterward, I began hormone injections to shrink the fibroid tumors and four and a half months after that, I found myself in the operating room at the hands of an excellent surgeon, in what was probably the best surgeon-to-patient match ever.

With the help of some angels, namely one who came to stay with me for the first few weeks afterward, I made a miraculous recovery.  Gone are my periods, the hemorrhaging, the hassle, the laundry, the fatigue, and the anemia.  Gone are the baby bump, the difficulty sitting on the floor, the tough time getting up off the couch, the constant trips to the bathroom, the difficulty starting the urine stream, the dribbling when I laugh/cough/sneeze, etc.

Other health issues still plague me, like my now-lab-high Bilirubin (what?), my allergies (ugh!), some bacterial infections, some suspected heavy metals, some gut issues, and why my belly still has a little pouch.

But now I can shift my efforts toward dental work–filling removal, abscess elimination, etc.  With the help of some of those new resources, I’m slowly nailing more mysteries down.  And although I’ve spent much of the year sleeping on the couch, said sleep is slowly getting more stable and easier to come by.

5.  By this time last year, I had (almost) stopped apologizing (unless I had actually done something wrong; however, asking to be paid properly for your hard work and Cadillac services is hardly wrong).  But the defense mechanism was still alive and well.

Throughout this year, I’ve made an honest effort to soften that defense mechanism and not come off so stiff, unbending, and rant-y, shifting more in favor of warmth, humor, cuteness (like squee pictures posted to Facebook), and positivity.  I’ve adopted a much more open, nonjudgmental, live-and-let-live (as long as others don’t have to pay for your mistakes) philosophy.

Despite that, this year was still very much a Year of Lost Friends Despite Good Intentions.  I lost no less than five or six during election week alone, and ironically, they were hard-core right-wing, who profess to be all nice, decent, old-fashioned, polite, etc.

6.  Also last year around this time, we were planning for our trip to Calgary.  My sister will have gotten married and Calgary was to be the main wedding after-party spot, as well as a chance to see the Stampede’s 100th Anniversary blow-out.  It was a great time, but it went by too fast, as all vacations tend to do.

I ate my last donut ever, saw our operation from the inside for the last time, and saw our last free concert as an insider.  It was bittersweet, fun and sad at the same time.  Unexpectedly, I went through a grieving process afterward.

7.  Oh yeah, and I started therapy.

So where does that leave things?  As my therapist says, hit the “Total” button.  What do you get?  The result is a year that appeared uneventful but actually had lots of meat and fat to it.  Maybe it’s not so insignificant after all.  Maybe it wasn’t a particularly pivotal year (as most of the recent years have been), but that doesn’t mean it was unimportant, and it doesn’t mean nothing happened.  Maybe this is a sign of years to come?

So now what?  Oh let me count the goals…

1. Take my CCN test.  Already.
2. Obtain an AR-15.  Maybe.
3. Attend the IFM training.  Definitely.
4. Plug away at shoring up dental issues.
5. Work out, get strong, get enough sun.
6. Begin to wean off Whole Foods – buy meat and produce from local sources, and find DIY recipes for their yummier packaged foods.  Learn to use a dehydrator.
7. Cultivate a better professional style of dress.
8. To grow the practice – of course.

Soundtrack for 2012 coming soon!  (In a separate post.)

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