There and Back Again

studying at coffee shop

Take a look at all these pictures and you’ll get a taste of my summer (or my study mess if you scroll down). Last week, I completed three days of testing for my naturopathic clinical science examinations. In order to practice medicine as a naturopathic doctor in the state of Washington, I must pass these exams. I hope I never have to take them again.

Nothing in my life compares to the experience of taking these exams. The night after the first day of testing was complete torture. All of the clinical cases from that day’s exam were coming to my mind, word for word. The questions from the case were crystal clear, as if I had been sitting right in front of the test while I lie in bed. And that’s when I realized all the questions I answered incorrectly. After rolling around in my imperfections for almost an hour, I hopped out of bed at 1am. I paced the hallway multiple times, trying to decide if I should just stay up and study, since I felt more awake than coffee on steroids. This whole process cycled for several more hours until I finally fell asleep around 3:30 am.

studying at a coffee shop

Unfortunately, I won’t know if I passed or not for another 6 weeks. Now, I wait and wait and wait and wait and wait and wait and wait and wait and wait. I might struggle with impatience.

kid studying late at night

Many times while I was studying, I’d catch myself in archerfriendly lala land. This is when I would fancy all the fresh ideas I have for archerfriendly. Here are some of the things I let myself wonder about:

  • new website design and layout
  • new about page that also includes a blurb about the Wendy’s Eating Husband
  • a professional photo of myself in place of the current one
  • three times a week posting
  • a monthly book review

It has been my goal for a long time to bump up my posting frequency to three times a week. I have so much to tell you! We’ll see how it pans out as I juggle being a doctor, a wife, and a mom. Writing in this space revives so much inside of me, and I write just as much for myself as I do for you.

Now that real life can resume, I am ecstatic to finally be able to take care of my body the way she longs to be loved. Although to many of you, especially my locals, it may seem like I got this health thing down pat. I don’t. During medical school, weeks and weeks would go by, and I wouldn’t be able to recall the last time I had 7-8 hours of sleep. When I did exercise, I was pushing my body over mountains when it had no gas to run. What my body deserves the most after years of brutality is some good ole TLC.

Here are my body’s rewards for getting me through medical school:

  • 7-8 hours of sleep a night, for real this time
  • green tea in place of regular reliance on coffee
  • resistance training with weights
  • moderate to vigorous exercise three times a week
  • a major scale back on dairy consumption (this kind of got out of control)
  • more vegetables with breakfast

iced tea while studying

While I was studying this summer, I allowed myself to sleep 8 hours a night (I say “allow” because it was tempting to study an additional two hours in exchange for 6 hours of sleep). I also gave my body regular aerobic exercise. With these two changes alone, I felt the best I have felt since high school. When you know what it’s like to feel really, really sick, and you later get to feel really, really good, it makes you want to keep giving to your body all the gifts it wants.

What have you been up to? Have you been beating your body up? How can you reward your body for all she’s brought you through? Have you been giving her a little TLC this summer?

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2 Responses

  1. Keya

    CONGRATULATIONS on finishing medical school! What an amazing accomplishment. This summer I have been intentionally giving myself a break. With the kids out of school and us moving to a new state I have allowed myself to take long walks outside (something I was not able to do for three years given our neighborhood), Eat local fresh produce, take as much yoga as I can fit into my schedule and sleep (even in the middle of the day) without feeling guilty. I know that when school starts everything will be busy busy again so I am really cherishing these last few weeks.


    Dr. Archer

    Hi Keya! Thanks so much for the congrats. And your break sounds amazing!


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