WOW Have I procrastinated!
Ok so a little time has passed since my last post. Its not like I have had a lot to do either. Well there were those two weeks I spent in La Porte. I guess I could start there.
July 21st I got on a plane in LA (leaving an 8 months pregnant Erika behind along with a few tears) and headed to Indiana via Chicago for Dr. Gurrola's biggest 2 weeks of the year. As it was my plan at the time to go to work for the good doctor in October (more on that later) I knew I needed to be there to aid in patient recruitment, and to learn from him how it is he can live in such a financially depressed area and still get people to pay good money for his services.
Lets just say it was educational on many levels. Monday morning I was up early to go apartment shopping before the fair opened at 11am. (Oh did I mention that the first 6 days were spent in a booth at the La Porte County Fair?) I didn't have much luck with apartments as most of the places around town were either set apart for low income, the elderly, or people who feel they can survive in dingy smoky (heck) holes. Housing is a different world out there from the southern California market. Because homes are so cheap (a mortgage in most cases with no money down being less than rent) most people just buy. In our situation we worry about being able to unload a property in a years time when we plan on leaving. (I know most people laugh and say we will end up living out there, but those people obviously didn't get our last Christmas card or know of my dogged determination to live within a bike ride of the beach.) So it was with some frustration that I came home with only a few leads in the way of housing. All that however was swept quickly from my mind as the clock struck 11 and we got to work.
Now if you are like me and when I say this I mean you are about as unfamiliar with country living as you are with say Quantum or String Theory. (You know you heard about it, maybe seen it on TV, but you don't quite understand it and defiantly couldn't describe it to someone) Then you will understand my re-baptism into the world of the mid west. Granted I understand that the county fair is an anomaly where every crazed goof ball and half wit in a hundred mile radius shows up to mix and mingle with the regular folk. The scary thing is, that much like serial killers they blend in so well it may be 30 seconds into you spiel attempting to explain the inner workings of their spine before you tag them as such. From there its just a matter of how much of this do I need to repeat? On the most part however people were very friendly and excited to have someone tell them that they didn't have to go on living every day in pain. (one of my favorite parts of this job) That being said it was a tough week.
We worked from 11am to 10 or 10:30 pm (Dr Gurrola, Myself and two or three members of his office staff) doing spinal screening after spinal screening in a shirt and tie in an aluminum building with no A/C in the middle of an Indiana summer. But with all the sweat there was a reward (and I don't mean a mountain of fair food). I learned a lot about what it takes to be successful. You need to be able to talk to people on their level without distorting the truth, you need to show you really care about accomplishing the goal of the service you are providing, and most importantly I think, at times you need to drop your pride, roll up your sleeves, and go to work.
So many times people fail in chiropractic because they refuse to go out and talk to people about it. No matter how main stream we think we are, we are not at the point where Medical Doctors are where they can just hang a shingle, sign up with an HMO and have a steady flow of patients. In so many cases there are people out there who are prime candidates to be helped by chiropractic care that just don't view it as an option for one reason or another. Maybe its that very missionary spirit that has drawn me to it? Regardless I learned a great deal in those 6 days at the fair, and not just that if you eat elephant ears for breakfast lunch and dinner you may not wake up the next morning or that deep fried vegetables are not a push in the health department. There was so much more that was blog-able there from the tractor parades to the game of roulette they played with a live mouse, but it will have to wait for another day.
All in all we signed up 190 people for a new patient visit, and I got to process them all the next week. Needless to say I am surprised I don't glow in the dark or whistle when I walk from all the x rays i took. If you didn't catch that number it was 190! If he retains as many of those as regular patients as he has in the past few years that's about 100 new patients coming in from 1 hard week of work. But enough about that. After the two weeks was up I bid Indiana goodbye and flew home to the arms of my eagerly waiting wife. We were both glad to see each other and decided that we should never do that again. I will try to throw in a few pictures I took with my camera phone. Just know that there is so much more I would love to show you and so many wonderful mullets that went unphotographed because I don't cameras for eyes. Indiana was a great learning experience. I don't quite know if two people will fit in Dr. Gurrola's office, but it is still an option. Lots and lots of prayers to come on that subject.
So since then (Erika finished summer school two days before i got back) we have been laying low. As inexperienced parents we thought we might get a couple of days down in San Diego or something before the baby came, but in our last visit to the doctor we were informed that the large parasitic growth Erika had been carrying around for the last 8 1/2 months could come tearing out of her belly at any moment, and with that thought we decided to conserve our energy and not get too far from the hospital. This has given us ample time to pour through baby/ parenting/ birthing books and thoroughly destroy any confidence we had in raising a productive member of society (let alone one who makes enough money and still loves us enough to take care of us in our old age....you know like 45!)
Well that sort of does the job of catching up.........promise to be more vigilant in the future