You will notice there is a subtitle to this blog: the good, the bad, and the ugly. That's how I will break down this post and by the end you'll know why.
I went to DC for the National Chiropractic Legislative Conference (NCLC) with the Students of the American Chiropractic Association (SACA). I joined SACA when I began school and knew all along they would be attending the NCLC this year. It is something they do every year and it is a really amazing experience. Every term leading up to NCLC is spent fundraising for the trip. It's an expensive endeavor, however, we were able to earn enough cash to get 25 students to DC and each only had to pay $150. That's a pretty sweet deal for round trip flights and 4 nights in the Capital Double Tree.
Anyway, while in DC we had meetings with leaders of the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) and a few leaders from capital hill. Then we spent hours in the offices of our respective Senators and Congressmen. Many of them weren't in their offices so we spoke to their assistance. Most of our visits were spent talking about the National Health Care Reform and how chiropractic should be a part of it. We talked about allowing patients to be able to choose whether they wanted to attend a chiropractor as part of their individual health care. We also spent time talking about veterans of the military, especially how most of their complains are centered around low back pain. Chiropractic needs to be a more important part of their care as well. Most of the people we talked to were on board with what we were pushing and even had many chiropractic experiences of their own. It was awesome to hear feedback that was so pro chiropractic.
While not lobbying on the hill it was sight seeing time. I posted a few pictures of the places I visited. I forgot my camera the first time I went out and so I had a girl for my class take some pictures. She was supposed to email me them but she never did, so you'll have to do with the ones I have. Let's just say, Washington DC was Good!
While in DC you can either walk, get a taxi, or ride the metro. Taxis can get expensive and the metro only goes to certain stops so you are walking a lot. I don't mind walking to see the sites. My best friend and I walked everywhere in Europe; it's just what you have to do. This time was a bit different and I'll tell you why. I have been trying to get into better shape, and in so doing, I have been attending the gym with one of my classmates. I left for DC Tuesday night and had done a crazy calf and leg work out the day before. I have a tendency to get really sore two days following a workout of a muscle group that hasn't been worked in a while. Let's just say this was no exception. Let me also say, I have never felt this kind of muscle soreness in my entire life. On Wednesday my left calf felt is was in a constant contraction or a never ending cramp. It didn't matter what I did, I could not stretch it out. We were in meetings all day so I didn't have to walk too much except for the morning. Sitting in meetings you would think would be nice because I wouldn't be on my feet. Not exactly! For some reason everyone decided to give every speaker a standing ovation when they came up to speak...AND...when they were finished speaking. Are you serious? (That's what I should have titled this post.) Every time I stood up it would stretch the calf and become excruciatingly painful. By the time it got to the 5th speaker or so I stayed seated and tried to hide behind the wall of standing students clapping away so I wouldn't show any disrespect. Thursday was another story...a worse story. It was lobbying day which meant walking back and forth from the building where the Senators are to the buildings where all the Congressman are. And I should add this is no small distance, more so when you have a leg that doesn't want to work properly. Let's just say, it was Bad!
Getting home from DC was not good or bad. It's funny how weather in one part of the country can totally effect the flights in a whole different part of the country. I was flying back to Portland through JFK in New York. Sunday morning it starting snowing like the dickens not in DC, not in New York, but in Atlanta of all places. I thought Atlanta was warm year round...apparently not. I flew out of DC at about 3 pm Eastern time and was to be home at 10 pm Pacific time. I got to JFK with no problems. 20 minutes before we were to board our flight to Portland an announcement came saying our flight crew for that flight was stuck in Atlanta. Again, are you serious? Our flight would be delayed 2 hours.
Two hours later, again when we were about to board the snow started in New York. Oh yeah, are you serious? It seemed we had our crew so they were going to board anyway. Then began the real hell. The boarding took so long and the snow was coming so hard that the plane had to be de-iced before taking off. So we proceeded to the de-icing station. And we waited. Then, a Jet Blue plane in line in front of us had it's steering apparatus freeze up so it couldn't go forward and planes already can't go backwards. So a maintenance crew had to come out and solve that problem. And we waited. Finally, after 2 hours of waiting to get de-iced it was finally our turn and after another 40 minutes or so we were taxiing and eventually in the air. The flight was pretty uneventful but we were not scheduled to get into Portland until 3 am...well after our initial 10 pm arrival.
All while this was occurring T was at home constantly receiving updates from me about when I was to arrive and when to pick me up. Not only was that happening but she was also coming down with something. By the time I got in she had a full blown case of stomach flu. Holy crap, are you serious? When she got in the car, to come pick me up, she had to stop short and throw up right outside the car door. And as soon as we got home again she had to go straight to the toilet and spew again. Let's just say, that night was Ugly!
So there's the story hope it was as entertaining for you as it was eventful for us.