Thursday, February 28, 2008
Today was our final MIFA meals on wheels run! It was a nice day so there were lots of people out! We saw some hilarious kitties, some bizarre graffiti, some crazy hairdos, and some really sad houses. Also some very nice people. Helen, the main lady, reminds me of Ellen Degeneres. She cracks me up. A firecracker. She said someone actually sent her my blog somehow because it had to do with MIFA, so um yeah. Interesting. It's neat the way the routes work - I am directionally challenged but it's really easy to follow these MIFA routes, very organized.
Anyway, I don't have any particularly touching stories of enlightenment, but the smiles of the people we visited were radiant.
And Helen rocks. So go to MIFA in Memphis and volunteer.
Oh by the way, I have to officially journal this for school, so I guess I'll have a longer entry later....and I do plan to occasionally volunteer there just randomly, so I guess this isn't the last you'll hear of MIFA.
La la la....working on random OT stuff...I need some PICTURES!!! All you OT students or OTs out there, send me something to post. Please, I beg of you.
PS: I keep thinking of Amy Winehouse's song Rehab... I know it has to do with substance abuse but it seems applicable to normal rehab too...lol "They try to make me go to Rehab and I say noo nooo nooo"
PS2: I have to tell y'all about the hilarious kitties. So we were waiting for a woman to answer the door, and standing on her porch. We could hear cats talking. I glanced around the side and there were two cats that looked vaguely Siamese. One of them was thin and stand-offish, crouching there like a loaf of bread. Let's call her Allison. The other kitty (let's call her Karen) was scruffier and intent on getting Allison's attention. But Allison would have none of it. Karen was a scaredy-cat and would like, go RAWR! and tentatively pounce in front of Allison, but was too scared to really do it, so it was all ineffectual. Karen did this like five times. Then Allison got tired of it and walked away (you could tell the kitties were familiar with each other). I was like hey Allison, that's our friendship - you're mean and I want your attention but I'm scared of you, so I just try to mess with you but get freaked out and back off at the last minute. She was like, yep. Then, a few minutes later, meal transaction completed, we drove off. As we glanced back, we saw the two cats in the middle of um, an X-rated act. We were both like "Never mind. That's not our friendship." AHAHAHAHAHAHAAHH
This has been on Youtube a while, and we got a neat comment "Hi I'm an OT student doing level II FW. I might borrow this idea for my setting (inclusive preschool for kids age 3-5). I shared this video with my supervisor too and she thinks this is a cool idea. Thanks for the post!"
I am about to go pick up OTS Allison for us to do our final MIFA (meals on wheels run), although I may go do it every once in a while with someone just for fun. What did I do productive last night, you ask? Well........that would be a big fat NOTHING. I ended up writing my first little song for my Special Care babies...I always sing to them but always have to make up my own words to lullabies since um, I don't know any of them by heart. I am always like "Mamma's gonna buy you a mockingbird pie....but if you dont like it....she'll make you cry.....and then you'll get a diamond ring....and ummmm....yeah you like to sing....and if you don't like it....she'll buy you some dough...ummm"....
So here is my own lullaby, woot woot!! I have a recording of my (not so good) voice singing it....but haha, none of you shall ever hear it. :)
hush little baby
dont you cry
I am here
with you I lie
I love you baby
love you baby
I love you.
feel my heartbeat
feel my love
feel my arms
around you snug
Look into my eyes
Wipe your eyes of cries
Look at me
You are safe with me
I love you baby
love you baby
I love you.
hush little baby
dont you cry
I am here
with you I lie
Ok now I better run!!! Augh leaving the warmth of my blanket!! Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
I was browsing through OTS MOT 1 Shari's Facebook pictures while pretending dishes don't exist, and came across this awesome picture of OTS MOT Cassie and Hillary with the following caption....
No, its the pinki that wont bend!!! AHHHHH!! Dang that Flexor Digitorum Superficialis tendon sheath!!!
I would just like to say, AHAHAHAHAHA
Ok that's it, I promise to stop posting tonight and go be productive.
This morning OTS Julie brought up that she and her best friend OTS Anna were talking the other day and Anna seriously asked her about someone's "meaningful occupations", even though it was completely not school-related. Then I brought up that I was talking to my landlord about his mother, who he just moved into a retirement community, and I was like, how is her functional mobility? And then Julie said one time she abbreviated an address and said Tx for Texas, and then later looked at it and was like "Treatment? huh?" And then Kerri said she was reading something the other day and was like OMG THIS IS SO OT-related.
We're being OT brain-washed! Yay!
Excuse me while I go pursue the meaningful occupation of watching TV, while ignoring the meaningless occupation of doing my dishes.
As that Alexander kid would say, this was a no good very bad horrible no good day or whatever. :O The good news is, I did find time for a long nap. The bad news is, I found time for a long nap and now I'm gonna be up all night long.
Today we learned about cardiac rehabilitation in the morning, then had a research meeting, and then had article presentations in the afternoon. And I got to have a chocolate chip cookie from Subway, sinfully delicious.
I need to do my FAFSA and work on my Well Elderly project and Tai Chi paper and Competency Checklists for COTAs and blah blah blah, but who are we kidding! This has not been a good day so I think I should eat grapes with a palm frond and watch mindless TV! Or at least read some snarky websites! Maybe tomorrow I'll be more OT-minded again.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Karen Dobyns (self):
List of positive and negative attributes.
- thinks quickly
- overwhelms others in group meetings with irrelevant chat
- has good ideas for implementation within assignment
- often has a negative attitude toward workload
- has an encouraging and supportive attitude towards others
- often takes the easiest assignments for herself
- recognizes when to ask for help
Karen works well in a group. She is quick to throw out her ideas, which are typically helpful to the assignment. However, she tends to overwhelm and distract her group members because she enjoys chatting and humor, which makes it hard for her group members to catch up. It is recommended that she keep her irrelevant chat to a minimum, and that she also wait to throw out ideas until others have contributed. Karen is encouraging and supportive towards the workload of others and is always concerned with the perception of fairness among team members. This helps keep resentment from brewing. However, she often takes what she perceives as the part that is easiest for her to do, if nobody objects. This prevents her from truly challenging herself as she is then not forced to work on her weak areas. It is recommended that she try to take on the group work that is outside of her comfort zone, in order to widen her scope of expertise. Karen is a knowledgeable member of the group that recognizes when the group has reached the limit of their knowledge base and needs extra help.
Next years goals:
1) Do a team-building exercise with team mates in order to work on attitude
2) Challenge herself by taking on an assignment she finds the hardest, every other month.
3) Wait for others to contribute their ideas before saying anything.
Monday, February 25, 2008
Health Care Disparities Symposium
> 2/24/2008 - The Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA) will be hosting a symposium on February 27th at 8pm. It will be held in the STC building, Room 337. The symposium will focus on the need for more minorities in the health care workforce. There will be a panel of speakers discussing the importance of increasing the number of minorities in the health care workforce.
> SOTA believes that diversifying the health care workforce is vital in providing quality health care for all Americans. It has become painfully obvious that in a country full of culture and diversity, minorities do not receive the same level of health care as their white equivalents. By increasing the representation of minorities in the health care workforce, the underserved populations could receive better health care. A culturally diverse workforce (much like the population at USP) can more effectively care for a diverse clientele, as many people prefer to discuss their health concerns with someone from a similar background.
> Notable Statistics:
> The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) reports that almost 91 percent of their members are white.
> The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) looked at ethnicity in their membership in 2002. Out of 33,003 members, 20 percent did not list ethnic origin, but of those who did, almost 72 percent were white.
> Sullivan Commission on Diversity in the Healthcare Workforce reports in 2004, that African-Americans, Hispanic Americans, and American Indians as a group account for only 6 percent of physicians, 9 percent of nurses, and 5 percent of dentists.
> This is a public discussion, members in the audience will be allowed to ask questions and express their concerns.
> Tracey Vause-Earland, Occupational Therapist at Thomas Jefferson Hospital.
> Cathy Poon, Pharmacy Faculty at USP.
> Alaa Abou-Arab (419-340-7319)
What are your thoughts? Do you have ways or ideas on how to make elders feel more worthwhile? I've got some ideas but they're still in an inchoate stage...
Just an OT student blabbering thoughts...maybe I'll be back tonight with my swirl of ideas, maybe I'll wait a while. Tomorrow we have a lab on some common balance/mobility assessments, and so I'll hopefully finally have some new pictures to put up!
I am on a Gerontology Listserv for Occupational Therapists, and I've gotten to read some really interesting posts lately by OTs about behavior in dementia they have encountered in practice, and how it even bizarre behavior has some sort of trigger. For example, there was a woman who kept on climbing on her chest of drawers and was at a high risk for falls, obviously. The OT assessed the situation and found out it mostly happened in the afternoon, and observed the woman. It turned out the woman's roommate had a crystal in the window and around 2pm the sun would hit it in such a way as to make a kaleidoscope of dazzling colors on the chest of drawers. This was the trigger for her climbing. The crystal was moved and the problem was solved. That was my favorite story because that would totally be me with the crystal. J Another story: an older man who fell constantly. The OT did research and discovered he loved biking. She also discovered that he needed a lot of vestibular input and sensory integration-based interventions, or he'd start trying to self-stimulate and would end up falling. Yet another few stories: A man always groped his caretaker at nighttime during bath time. It seemed like a huge problem, but the OT discovered that historically, the man had always bathed with his wife at night before lovemaking. By moving the bath to the morning, the problem was solved. Basically, the OT is often an investigator. There were other stories involving men urinating in potted plants and the like. I really liked the discussion because they talked about validation theory, retrogenesis, behavioral triggers, and more. It's amazing to me.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Today I'm working on the Little People Wellness project, Tai Chi research, Well Elderly Project. I also set up a person to do a geriatric occupational profile person on . I am doing it on my friend's grandmother.
I have some comments/thoughts going through my head about some of the answers the elderly people have been giving when asked about whether they are worthless (it's a standardized question on a geriatric depression scale - we have to ask).
MORE TO COME...
Thursday, February 21, 2008
MIFA 2 – 2/21/2008 (Memphis Interfaith Association, a meals on wheels type of program, that we are doing three times for school credit, including journaling the experience). I actually think it's a great thing for people to do, and a good way to remember how blessed most of us truly are. Below is what I wrote for my journal, it is somewhat free-form and informal, so don't judge me too harshly. The "you" I refer to is my professor.
Today was actually kind of fun and relatively different from last time. We were a little concerned because we had heard yet another horror story from some classmates about where they got sent. The route we got sent on today made me nervous at first because it involved being on Chelsea, which is notorious for being a scary street. However, it ended up being enjoyable. Allison was a lot less scared this time and didn't need me to keep turning off the car to go up with her, for most houses. Also, people came to the doors quickly. Last time it seemed every person took 5 minutes to answer their door, and it took us hours to get through 14 houses. This time we had 16 houses or so and we got done in less than an hour. When we were in an area with two MIFA houses, we'd split up, and if I could be right near the door with the car, Allison would go up alone. We only went together to houses that were extra scary or if there were a lot of people around. She had to help me open a simple gate at one point. I have so much advanced knowledge, yet lack some basic skills...ok, I know you are probably rolling your eyes at me right now, talking about how we were concerned about where we were and being frightened, but we're still sheltered in a lot of ways, and we have to get some experience under our belt before we stop being nervous. I'm sure that's a huge reason as to why you make us do this. But I get frustrated when seasoned people seem to think we are crazy for being scared. It's only prudent to be safe, and it's normal to be scared of being in unfamiliar bad areas of town. Also, as young 20-somethings, when people are out, we typically get cat-called, which can be scary too. After today, when it really wasn't that bad and it went quickly, I could see how it would be fun to do this regularly. I might try and do it every few months, I don't know. I wouldn't want to do it alone though.
It was an adventure, twisting around to get food, flinging ice around by accident, searching for addresses…it is like being a pizza delivery man and wasn't nearly as hard as I would have guessed. The instructions were surprisingly simple and easy to follow. The scariest part today was when we drove up to a house that had a German shepherd with a spiked collar hanging out next door, and several other strays near the car. We didn't know what to expect, especially in regards to the German shepherd. We kind of hesitantly opened the door, ready to close it again if the dogs came to us. Luckily they ignored us and so we went ahead. When we got back, we told Helen that was the scariest thing we dealt with, and she said she doesn't do dogs, and will keep driving if that happens to her. That made me laugh because here she guilt-tripped us about going to unsafe places but then admitted she won't do dogs, which we were okay with braving. Honestly, unless I was so scared I'd want to pee my pants, the guilt trip of knowing someone wouldn't eat because of me, motivates me enough that I'll push my boundaries far beyond normal limits.
Sometimes we would pull up to a house, then realize we could maneuver the car in an easier way, and frequently you would see movement in the house like WAIT STOP FOOD. So we'd stop maneuvering the car to avoid their heart attack and just run in. It seems like some people just sit there, waiting for us, and that is sad to me. At one house, we knocked on the door and got no answer. A man on the porch two houses down said, knock on the window to your left instead, she's in her bedroom. So we did and it worked. That was so nice of him. We haven't really had any problem at all doing this – I am having my eyes opened with this experience. Some people have more than others, and some areas might have more crime, but overall, most neighborhoods do have compassionate and kind people in them who are just doing the best they can under the circumstances. When you drive around, it's so stereotypical – vulgar graffiti on dumpsters and walls, stray dogs, trash strewn around, R.I.P alters, boarded up houses…it's like being in a movie. And now I realize the people in most of those houses are just normal people. Not every house has angry gang members inside waiting to pop out. That's not to say I'd go cruising in the area on a nice summer night, but overall it helped me have some more compassion. My anthropology professor in college once made us write a paper about a life changing experience, like going abroad, but he said – unless you went for at least a year, I don't want to hear about it. Don't tell me your life was changed after three months in another country, it takes longer than that for true change. So luckily I'd been gone a year and could do my story. But anyway, I feel like I'm being trite and stupid when I say that it changed me or opened my eyes – doing MIFA twice is not exactly a mind-boggling experience to most and it's certainly not much exposure. I'm really not trying to act like I'm now a new person just because I was in a bad part of town a few times or that I deserve some reward. I just mean I've gained some new insights, which are important to me, and I want to continue to do so. My twin sister used to live in the ghetto in Washington D.C. and when I visited her, I was freaked out when we visited her old area, and she thought that was amusing. Now I better understand why older/seasoned people find it funny when we act so scared - there's really not much to be scared of, after all.
One last thing – I've learned that in most cases, a friendly nod and smile or wave goes a long way. When driving slowly around, there are a lot of people walking on the street, and it's so easy to just acknowledge them briefly, instead of acting scared. I think it's true you have to fake it until you make it – show no fear, and hopefully you will A, not anger or hurt anyone, and B, eventually believe it yourself. I've always been a big fan of acknowledging others on the street even when my passengers think that's stupid. I guess in general I like talking to strangers. I honestly wish, sometimes, that I could just talk to random strangers about their lives, Tracy Kidder style. It fascinates me. I used to want to write a book just based on spending weeks with a bunch of total strangers in various areas. I don't know why I bring that up now – I guess because I can see how it would be neat to have the same route each week, getting to actually know your consumers and learn more about their stories. We have one more MIFA run coming up, and I'm almost looking forward to it. Watch us end up in the scariest neighborhoods EVER....lol
A) I still hate Google for dropping me - DO YOU HEAR THAT GOOGLE? DO YOU HEAR THE BITTERNESS??????!! lol...in process of trying to figure out why, via Google Help boards. An algorithm thing I think.
B) I did not make the ASD Steering Committee ::sobs::, I got an e-mail saying I was unsuccessful. Somehow the wording stung. Ouch. Oh well. Thanks all who took the time to vote for me, and it's gonna be okay, I'll make my OWN DAMN CHANGES TO THE CENTENNIAL VISION!!! In your face Penelope Moyers!! Just kidding I love you... (Kerri said I shouldn't say that because it would burn bridges, but if you don't know by now I'm the biggest exaggerator in the world, then, well, you have no brain.) I would totally hug Penelope Moyers if she walked up to me right now. I promise. Even if I am hurting with the devastation. Ok new topics.
A) I had my second MIFA (generic meals on wheels) run with OTS Allison for our occupation centered practice with adulthood class, and it was kinda fun and neat. More details later. The scariest part was probably the German Shephard with the spiked collar wandering one of the streets.
B) Writing the SOAP note/initial evaluation on a real patient was fun (as fun as homework can be, that is). It's due soon. I should probably go finish that.
C) The poor MOT 1's are really stressed right now with anatomy and frames of references presentations, and while I feel bad for them, the good news is, I should never have to be that stressed again. It's like a rite of passage, at least at my school. If you can make it the first year, you'll survive. It's gonna be okay, MOT 1s...remember us OT big sibs are here for y'all. We say "give me your poor, your tired, your...I forget the rest. Anyway, this semester, comparatively, is like a stroll down a sunny cherry blossom road. I should be a writer with that kind of poetry flowing from my neurons.
D) Cookie Gimp: I won't do any more narcissistic campaigning posts. :)
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
OT student M&M addiction, thought-provoking comments, and music as a therapeutic language....yeah I don't know how to NOT be random. Or concise.
I just got my e-mail back down...and I'm taking a quick break so thought I'd quickly share.
By the way, we did a media project the other day where we made cookie jars with ingredients (M&Ms) and decorated them etc. Well I made them for some friends, but then I rationalized
A) they are on a diet
B) It isn't their natural organic ingredients they use
C) I wasn't sure I measured the flour and sugar accurately
So. I decided I had no choice but to eat the M&Ms. I strained the flour and sugar out using my strainer for the first time in like a year, and got white powder all over my kitchen table and floor, and myself, and made a mess in the sink. And then I got white powder over myself as I ate M&Ms until I felt sick. That was dinner. Now I'm feeling sick because M&Ms is not the best dinner for a hypoglycemic, or anyone I guess. Just thought I'd share my story of M&M addiction. :( I almost took pictures of the incriminating white powder evidence...lol
Ok now onto the real point. I'm just copy/pasting some comments I got recently that I'd like you all to see due to it including neat information/valid points.
Joey, oh you awesome Joey, says regarding Little People "
Maybe you have seen this already....but just wanted to let you know about a movie about Little People that I watched a few years ago, as it seems you are doing a project about Little People. It's fiction, not a documentary. I don't remember how informative it was, but I remember some parts of it being interesting. As a warning though, I don't remember thinking it was cinematic brilliance. But just in case you are bored one night (unlikely with all the work you have I know!). The movie is called "Tiptoes" and it has Kate Beckinsale, Gary Oldman, and Matthew McConaughey. "
I've been on OT w/peds for about 8 years and I always tell my families that I do "play with a purpose!" It's supposed to be fun for the kids and most often they don't realize that they're working.
Anonymous said " Ahhhhh, that scares me! I thought OT was supposed to an in-demand career in itself!" about the OT in mortal danger post. Don't worry, anonymous, us OTs have a great job outlook. It's just an opinion piece with a doomsday outlook. My philosophy is to not be Chicken Little, but to wear a helmet just in case. :) SO GO TO OT SCHOOL!!!
OT student Karajojo, coolest name ever, says, regarding the movie Murderball:
we watched murderball the first year of my OT program and then one of the guys actually in the movie came to speak to us. it was really eye opening and covered a big variety of topics involving SCIs. it was crazy how physical they get...i could never do it. :) anyway, just wanted to say that. he came all the way to north dakota, so i'm sure he'd come to other schools!
One last random thing: My friend Suzanne, music lover, sent this article to me, about how "music mends minds after strokes", helping them with mental function and lessening depression. I thought this was particularly interesting as I just finished reading Temple Grandin's Animal in Translation (?) book, and she talked about her theory that music was possibly our first language, and that music IS a language. Pretty neat.
That's the main thing I'm working on tonight...well along with Little People project, and Tai Chi Research Introduction part of paper...
Today I spent the morning doing Tai Chi assessments, then the afternoon doing eval, walking landlord's dog while he was gone, and now working on SOAP note in a second.
Tomorrow is meals on wheels type thing in morning, then staff meeting for VPs of Academic Affairs & faculty, then finishing up SOAP note as needed, then preparing for management...etc.
Friday is Tai Chi assessments all morning, class all afternoon. Work 9 to midnight.
Phew. Kinda busy week... good thing it's kinda fun, even when it's stressful!!
I'll try to catch up on blog reader emails soon. I swear my mailbox balloons EVERY DAY AUGH
I need me some occupational therapy. Did you hear that Google? Did you? I'm a prolific OT poster and it's NOT FAIR YOU DROPPED ME IN RANKINGS FOR SOME OBSCURE STUPID REASON AND I AM SAD.
PS: I need to remember to write about our media presentation the other day, doing our memory fortune cookies....
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Q: What conclusion did the sweet potato come to, after doing an activity using the *Psychosocial Frame of Reference?
A: I yam what I yam!!!!
*This frame of reference (shudders at flashback of unfair and horrible test last semester) is all about SELF-IDENTITY!
Monday, February 18, 2008
Soapbox time!! Let's get sudsy! I am writing this to let professionals know how important it is in healthcare to take your time and inform patients of what you are doing and why you are doing it. My fiancé and I went to the hospital to visit his grandfather several months ago. He is in his eighties and was put in the hospital due to pneumonia and dehydration. He is very hard of hearing so when we spoke with him we had to talk loudly into his left ear. We were just about to leave when a respiratory therapist came in to begin his breathing treatment. She knocked on the door, came in, and went straight to business. As soon as she put the mask over his face, he began to pull at it to take it off. She stated to him that he couldn't take it off. As I sat there I wondered what I would think if I had been lying in bed in pain, and then someone comes in and puts something over my nose and mouth that is blowing cloud-like air all over my face. Scary! I quickly went over to his side and explained that she was giving him his breathing treatment to make it easier for him to breathe. I told him that he just had to wear it for a little bit, and then they would come and take it off. Everything was fine and he left it alone. Was that so hard? Two sentences. Just a little bit of extra time...or she could have spoken while hooking up all of the equipment. Do not underestimate the cognitive level of your patient, whether they are in a coma-like state or if they are elderly. So, let's take our time and remember that we are there for the well being of each patient we treat. Get personal- it's not the old, confused man in 408…It's Mr. Smith!
Speaking of which, voting stops Wednesday, so if you are an AOTA student member, PLEASE check out my sidebar and go vote for me and Brooke, we promise we'll represent your socks off.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
A lot of people look at OTs working with children and say "Why are we paying for this?". Well, for one thing, play is a major occupation for children, and it is almost always true that children learn about themselves and their environments through play. OTs are trained to assess the child in many different ways and to specifically tailor the play to challenge the child's abilities (the "just right" challenge).
Can y'all tell I'm cleaning out my e-mail box finally? LOL
I am on a listserv for Little People so I can get a better idea of some of the barriers they face, while working on our wellness project for this population. Somebody posted the link above, which is for smaller keyboards for smaller hands - it is intended for K-6th grade (cool idea) but it would obviously benefit LPs as well. Cool.
I have an idea for an activity your OT class might like - movie night. There are two films with disability related themes The first is "Murderball." You might have heard of it. It's a documentary about the U.S. paralympic rugby team and was nominated for an Academy Award. Those guys are brutal, disability or not! I had a student lunchtime attendant a few years ago who was on the school girl's rugby team and I went to two games. All of a sudden, it was like seeing a totally different person. I used to kid her that if I didn't finish my lunch some day, she'd probably put my head through a wall!
The other movie didn't get the same attention, but it's equally good. "Rory O'Shea Was Here" is about a young guy with M.D. who gets placed in a nursing home. He's the youngest person there and a rebel. He and a guy with C.P. eventually move into an apartment. It touches on themes of attendant care, accessibility, and most important, consumer control. Rory is sometimes a jerk, but it shows that people with disabilities are like everyone else.Both films are cool because they don't sugar coat people with disabilities or use "cutesy" language. They explore real world issues that much of society never considers.
The first thing they had us do is wrap a rubber band around our knuckles/thumb for resistance so that it required a lot of strength to move just a little bit, and range of motion was extremely limited. They also had us put three hard chickpeas in our shoes and stand on them. It was painful. I can't imagine being in severe chronic pain.
They taught us that we should start with inspection, then palpation, range of motion, and then function. I won't go into a ton of details, but basically an OT can help a patient with R.A. by recommending assistive devices, helping modify the home & environment, and teaching joint conservation/energy conservation techniques, pain reduction, etc. Lots of other things too I am sure.
We then divided into groups and each got to do hands-on work with the patients. They spoke like doctors and knew all the correct terms regarding movements/muscles/inflammation etc.
They pay around $18,000 a year for meds. Wow. Ouch.
PS1: I'm busily working like a bee on homework so I tried to utilize my very damaged brevity gene.
PS2: Tai Chi assessments start tomorrow so I'll be extra busy for a while.
PS3: Thanks for all the kind comments - on days I am discouraged and think I will be the worst OT in the world, I always seem to get a great comment that re-inspires me. :)
Saturday, February 16, 2008
My thoughts are this:
1) I am running for a national officer position. I can't be like "Hi...I'm Karen. I'm kinda self-deprecating. Vote for me anyway please?"...I have to be like OMG OMG I AM THE MOST AMAZING OT STUDENT IN THE WORLD I WILL BRING GLORY TO YOUR LIFE AND MAKE YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE VOTE FOR ME!!" So yeah, that then comes across as a little narcissistic, but I honestly think narcissism, fake or not, is a necessary campaign strategy. The problem is that voting lasts a MONTH (it ends in 4 days), so I've had a lot of that I AM AMAZING kinda stuff up. On the 21st I plan to resort back to my typical less self-congratulatory self. :)
2) The online world is an exaggeration, a caricature of our real selves. I don't seriously run around in circles screaming YAY OT all the time. I am passionate about OT and it makes me happy, but I'm not jumping in my chair or anything. It's a lot easier to say YAY I LOVE OT WOOT WOOT online then it is to go stand on a street corner waving OT signs.
3) I wouldn't mind having my own brand if it were like the most awesome OT products ever, kinda like Martha Stewart. Hmm. Is that narcissistic?
4) I am sure it has gotten a little to my head, having a blog and knowing more than just my best friend reads this. (I don't even think my mom reads it regularly). But I doubt you could find ANYONE in real life who would tell you I have an arrogant personality. So THERE!!!!!!
I'm going to go work on some homework before I head to some friends. More later, as always. I love blog therapy. :)
Friday, February 15, 2008
bunch more to go! Topics included exercise, yoga, sexuality, suicide...interesting
Then OTS Brooke and OTS Meg and I went for a yummy lunch, then I hurried home for a
management meeting and we divvied up our Little People Wellness project, then I went
to the local pediatric hospital and held babies for hours.
I've talked about this before, but I'm thinking about it again and this is my
therapy, so bear with me. The babies I want to work with are medically fragile.
Their chances of dying are somewhat high. I say I distance them from myself and it's
somewhat true - I soak them in and love them, but at the same time I keep them
separated from the rest of my heart. To make a REALLY REALLY REALLY bad analogy that
will make people cry it's so bad, it's like having "contained" tuberculosis in your
lungs - it's there but inactive.
Anyway. I held this one baby whose cheeks were covered with scratches because she
rubbed her face so much. She had a NG tube and an IV and all her other typical
tubes. I eventually put her down and held another baby for a while. Then went back
to the first baby because she was screaming hysterically. I picked her up and held
her vertically against my chest, her head resting on my neck. Within about two
minutes, I'm not exaggerating (for once), she was asleep. She had one arm wrapped
around my right arm, one arm clutching my grown, my head resting on her head, and
holding her across her diaper. It was really sweet. I just held on her and loved on
her and I was happy she was sleeping so well.
When you think about the environment these babies are in - lots of noise, lots of
light, lots of pain, lots of chaos, very little pleasurable human contact, and
almost no opportunity for tummy time or movement or exploration. I know nurses,
doctors, students, pharmacology, specialists, blah blah blah, all have their job to
do. But it seems like people could be quieter, and that they could make the machines
not beep so harshly (almost always false alarms), and that, MOST OF ALL, they could
streamline their jobs in such a way that a baby sleeping soundly does not have to be
disturbed. Most of these babies don't sleep well anyway due to the issues I listed
above, so when a baby is finally deeply asleep, it seems cruel to wake them.
I had that sleeping baby in my arms and she was finally, finally, resting well, and
then some employee came to check on her. She did the stethoscope on her back with no
problem of course since her back was exposed. But then she wanted me to turn her
around so she could have access to listen to the front. I did so with no hesitance,
but I was upset. I know it's important to get their vitals, but she was stable,
hooked up to monitors, and sound asleep. I felt like that is the kind of thing that
hinders babies getting better - unnecessary intrusions. I'm sure someone will tell
me I just don't understand, and maybe I don't - but I was not pleased. I look at
these babies lying on their back, with so many overwhelming problems, and it DOES
make me hurt for them. I do feel the unfairness and the sadness. Especially when
there could possibly be a way to keep the babies safe AND promote their well-being.
The hospital I am at is very well-recognized and has a great reputation, so I can't
imagine what other hospitals would be like. The nurses are kind and good to their
babies, but it seems like so much is missing. (What's up with this weird formatting?)
I'm not an emotionless monster being able to handle dying babies without being upset - I just contain my sadness and unfairness and try not to let it get the best of me, because I need to give these babies my positive vibes and energy. When I hold them. I call them my babies and I mean it. I soak them into me, I look into their eyes, I caress them, I sing to them, I stroke their heads, I try to let them lie in ways that lets them hear my heartbeat and feel my breathing...it's an experience. I wasn't even on schedule to volunteer today - I just called and asked if I could because I had a need to hold babies. I AM scheduled for tomorrow morning so I'm going again.
I then went home to play with my landlord's new puppy, before OTS Kerri came over and I went out to eat with OTS Kerri/Brent, and then OTS Virginia came over a while to study, and then I started work at 9pm. Fun day.
Two bizarre things:
1. Kerri told me about how a good friend of hers called her while she was assisting in anatomy lab, and since this was unusual, she picked up. Her friend said, What are you doing? And Kerri said "Dissecting a face. What about you?" LOL....that made me laugh.
2. I managed to ruin my landlord's puppy's training. Now when you say SIT, he rolls over. :( He had learned "Sit" and "Down" and I was trying to teach him roll over. Yesterday I did the roll over sequence with him (Sit. Down. Roll Over.) like a thousand times in a row - I'd stuff the biscuit in his mouth while upside down on his back. I thought I was being helpful and I was proud of myself. Well, the doggie decided to just shortcut the whole sequence, so whenever I would say Sit, it would sit, lie down, then half-way roll over. It took me a while to realize I had officially ruined the basic command of Sit. My landlord was like DOH!!!!
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Sorry, I sometimes lack a social filter (but you should still vote for me!)...:)
We had the MOST BORING LECTURE IN THE ENTIRE WORLD OMG on Medicare. The therapist who gave the lecture is very nice and competent and great, but insurance details, ESPECIALLY of Medicare, is so boring I could cry. I was not sure I'd survive the two hours of it.
I guess my feeling on it at this point is that we know the very basics - multiple parts, extraordinarily complicated (and often bizarre), elderly/disabled, yah yah...the DETAILS mean nothing to me at this time and won't start mattering to me until I start getting my feet wet in fieldwork. I know they just want us to have some exposure, but I'm pretty sure I'll have to take a Xanax if I have to hear more about Medicare in the next few months. Ugh. That will be the part about occupational therapy that will not be any fun - dealing with insurance and things like Medicare regulations. Ouch.
At least the morning started with a surprise by our superhero tech guy Neal, who arranged for a Sweet Adeline quartet (?) to sing us some V-day songs before the lecture started.
I had some OTS friends over for Valentine's Day and it was so much fun. They helped me clean out my closet - I'm not cool by nature but slowly I'm becoming cool....I guess saying I'm becoming cool is a dorky thing to say and therefore uncool, but let's just move on, shall we? Most of my clothes are going to Union University in Jackson, TN, that was hit hard by the tornado. Of course the students will probably be like um, are these clothes from like the 1970s? I guess maybe the dorkier fashionless students will appreciate them.
Tomorrow we have 3 hours of article presentations by fellow students, like on elderly suicide and the like...I went last week, and did mine on transcendental meditation and its possible use in the elderly!
I still haven't meet my blog goals and especially want to do my rheumatoid arthritis one, but for now I'm going to sleep. Good night.
PS: Google has rejected me yet again. I went from being in the top pages of searches for ot student, ot student blog, to being nonexistent? Conspiracy theory by AOTA and Google? Hmm. LOL.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
This is serving double duty as my journal entry for my MIFA "generic-Meals on Wheels" experience and my blog entry, woot.
My first MIFA meals experience was really interesting. I was nervous because of some horror stories I heard from other students. Allison and I showed up and found a few other OTS there, who informed us that the lower the route number, the worse the area. So when we got inside and were given a route number under 10 (out of like 50), it was scary to us. The main lady, Helen, explained how it worked to us, and we nervously set off. The first house we went to was not bad. A very tiny old woman slowly answered, talked to us about how some people just practically threw the food down, and told us repeatedly, God bless. She touched my arm several times and was adorable. The second house we went to had a poorly homemade wheelchair ramp. We walked up and delivered the meal through the crack he opened up to us, and then headed back down that ramp. It was rainy and the ramp was much slippier than I realized, because my feet slipped out from underneath me and I fell on my bottom, arms outstretched in classic Colles fracture pose. It was painful, shocking, and embarassing. My wrists stung and my bottom was sore and SOAKED. Allison and I both laughed about it since I was okay overall. Actually my forearm muscles are somewhat painful but oh well. Only 12 more houses to go! I put a jacket on my carseat and we moved on. It was very easy to find each house and the cold rain was actually helpful in the sense that it meant there weren't a lot of people loitering outside. Almost all of them opened their door only a crack for us to hand them food. I think we were allowed access to one or two houses. Those houses were INSANELY warm, dark, and cluttered. It was somewhat depressing and also scary to contemplate their lifestyles. All of them seemed to have miniature porches with rusty, depilatled (sp?), chairs on it.
At another point, I commented on how this wasn't so bad, and then a giant tree branch fell off a tree right next to me because of the stormy weather. It was pretty funny. Allison commented at one point that she was glad we were doing this together because we always seem to end up having fun adventures. (i just outed allison - she only PRETENDS to hate me)...jk
Allison and I went to each house together with the items, and some places it appeared the person was standing at the door, waiting for us. I was wondering if they literally sit there until it comes or what. We were told that if we were worried about safety we could just move on, but that it meant that person wasn't fed. Talk about a guilt trip.
When we got to the final house, we did actually start to get scared. The street was a little odd and it looked for a minute like we'd end up on this really bad street, and I was like I AM NOT GETTING ON that street because it is famous for being bad. It ended up working out but it was the scariest house we had seen, and we were both uncomfortable. A one-legged man in a wheelchair let us in and was kind. Getting back to the headquarters was actually an ordeal, as they had us go through nasty parts of downtown instead of turning us around and letting us go through the nicer area to get back (I didn't fully have my bearings to realize this until it was too late.).
Overall it was an overwhelming experience in the sense that I could not believe how they could coordinate so many neighborhoods and routes and keep up with all it. I was surprised so many elderly people volunteered considering it was kind of hard to twist around in the car to put the meals together. I could see it being beneficial from a social standpoint though.
I always got nervous about someone not coming to the door and then us skipping them when in reality they were there and just too slow. Luckily everyone eventually showed up at the door. I kind of look forward to our next two experiences, as long as we aren't sent to neighborhoods worse than the ones we were in. I guess my first experience was a little odd considering it started with a fall and I had to spend the next two hours in cold wet pants, but I thought it was rewarding to hand people food and know it would hopefully provide them with some easy nourishment. If I did not already have so many other things on my plate volunteer-wise, I would have considered making it my volunteer work! It kind of reminded me how blessed I am, and also how "simple" a simple meal can help someone. A smile and gentle touch is the dessert to that meal, for those that were receptive to it.
I'll let you ponder that one for a while. I have several projects due Friday that I need to keep working on. I also have a bunch of reader e-mails with questions - Annie, Nivea, etc - will get back to you this weekend I hope once I've finished up my projects. :)
On my blog goal list:
Rheumatoid arthritis details
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Do you wish from the bottom of your heart that you could vote for me?
I'm an AOTA Student Member and I totally will - 25%
You are my favoritest; I would if I could - 29%
I like giraffes...oh yeah I would vote for you...22%
Never, well maybe, so your feelings aren't hurt - 3%
I want to vote for you AND marry you - 19%
(This is where, if I were a clever drawer, I'd have well, a clever drawing)
Just thought y'all would appreciate this breaking news update. Chow.
Monday, February 11, 2008
Goniometry, how I despise you....(measurement of joint angles)
Working on palpation of individual muscles...
Learning to make splints...
I don't have anything new and exciting to share so I figured I'd take a stroll down memory lane. This is all first semester stuff and I'm in my 3rd and final semester now. WOW.
Tonight I have a TON of work to do so I better get started...grr
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Chuchai - thanks for your comment! My first Japanese reader :) Glad you love OT so much!!
Natan - thanks for checking OT Practice out and letting me know! You were the first to e-mail me!
Puppybraille - thank you for your kind comments. I haven't studied chronic pain in OT in detail, but we certainly do work with people who have chronic pain. Typically OT might help with figuring out ways to lessen pain or at least help get through the pain through relaxation techniques, energy conservation methods, biofeedback in some cases, helping you figure out if there are triggers that flare the pain up and if so how to avoid them, ways to make your chores/life easier, etc. That's just off the top of my head and maybe I'm a little wrong since I'm just a student - I'll try to look in one of my textbooks soon and see what else is mentioned and post on chronic pain sometime soon Enjoy your journey to becoming a social worker!!!
klmeq282 - THANK YOU for your kind words and for voting for me in AOTA!! I wish you'd e-mail me! Hope you do/did well on your first peds exam!!
KT - PLEASE remember to give yourself some breaks!!! A balance of occupation is no joke!! Learn a little yoga or meditation or go walk around the block. Clear your brain. Have some fun. You'll get even MORE done if you aren't so stressed and busy and you give your brain/body a break occasionally. I'm flattered your mom liked it too!!
Keith - thanks for all your wonderful insights.
Cookie Gimp - thanks for keeping me laughing, and mostly keeping me humble ...lol
Annie - I am really flattered you spent so much time reading up on my posts. I think you will have a great time in OT school, congratulations on getting in!! Read all the blogs on my sidebar, the students and OT clinicians and OT professors all have great standpoints!
Nivea - congrats on getting into OT school!! Glad you and your friend Erin will be together!!!
Mean person who said I didn't do my OTPF post right: I wasn't doing history on PURPOSE and my words were paraphrased so I didn't make anything up, so nyah nyah boo boo, please try not to deliberately try and hurt people's feelings in the future!!!
Everyone else who comments and/or loves me, including my awesome OT classmates and their moms (lol): I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH ::cries with joy:: Just kidding....well I mean, on the crying part. And the love is like, a non-intense, sweet kinda love, not a freaky weird kinda love. That's all.
Read below for some cool OT-related posts!
A post on how OT can help chronic pain as well as how anxious OT students can cope, coming up soon. And of course random other stuff because I am quite possibly the most rambly OTS poster in the entire world.
A couple of your recent posts hit home with me. Your one involving Lego blocks brought back a memory. I loved building things as a kid, but I have very limited manual dexterity. My friends without disabilities played with Legos, so they would come over to my house and I would tell them which color blocks and how to arrange them in order to build something. They sometimes had better ideas than me, and I was okay with that.
I'm the only member with a visible disability. Everyone is extremely helpful in a variety of ways. They readily answer questions and explain policies and procedures when I need clarification. They also flip through binders to find sections being discussed and organize my papers. Most importantly, someone always volunteers to get me a coffee refill!
Craig J. Phillips MRC, BA is a TBI survivor (traumatic brain injury) and a master's level rehab counselor. He sent me this information and I do think it could be helpful and/or inspiring for people who have TBIs, or know someone with a TBI. The text below is all copy/pasted from his e-mail.
I am interested in providing encouragement to our veterans and the soldiers who have been wounded while protecting our great country. Additionally, I am interested in providing practical information and insight to assist their families. My name is Craig J. Phillips. I am an alumnus of Oral Robert’s University Class of 1985, an alumnus of the University of Kentucky, graduate program in Rehabilitation Counseling Class of 1990, and a traumatic brain injury survivor. I sustained an open skull fracture with right frontal lobe damage and remained in a coma for 3 weeks at the age of 10 in August of 1967. I underwent brain and skull surgery after waking from the coma. Follow-up cognitive and psyche / social testing revealed that I would not be able to succeed academically beyond high school. In 1967 Neurological Rehabilitation was not available to me, so I had to teach myself how to walk, talk, read, write and speak in complete sentences. I completed high school on time and went on to obtain both my undergraduate and graduate degrees. For an in depth view of my process please read my post,http://secondchancetolive
Through out my lifetime I developed strategies to overcome many obstacles and in so doing I have achieved far beyond all reasonable expectations. On February 6, 2007 at the encouragement of a friend I created Second Chance to Live. Second Chance to Live, which is located athttp://secondchancetolive
"...increase the size of the font on the page I am reading from my keyboard on which I am typing.
Press and hold down the Control Key — Far left lower corner of your keyboard. While holding the control key down, click on the (+) sign at the top of your keyboard, next to the Backspace key. As you click on the +sign the font size of article you want to read should become larger and thus easier to read.
To decrease the font size, press and hold the control key down and click on the (-) sign next to the (+) sign. That should decrease the size of the font."
Most of the children were being treated with botulinum toxin products to control limb spasms caused by cerebral palsy, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Friday. The agency hasn't approved the use of the drugs for such treatment, officials added.
Thanks, OTS Jason, for the link....check it out. OTs frequently work with children who have CP (cerebral palsy), and we need to be aware of the various options available....but also risks associated with those options.
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Brooke makes pizza sideways where she has more support as a paraplegic
Our final yummy Mexican pizza and salad
Allison lovingly helps Emily make cinnamon bread
Virginia shows off her painful palms from using the walker in the grocery store
This is a picture of my OT Practice article since I had room for one more picture! Thanks all who commented or emailed on seeing it!
Remember to check below for Parts 1 and 2!
Julie, paraplegic, and Brooke, OTS, ready to roll.
In rehab kitchen: Cheryl is now the person with an amputation, making salad (that's my pretty giant pink bowl)
Brooke dices veggies as a paraplegic with Julie, OTS
I hesitantly brown meat with my walker ...
Finally ends on Part 3...Blogger is mean with pictures...
Planning to Shop/Cook:
Caption: Walking to the grocery store from the rehab hospital, which were side by side.
This week, we went to a local rehab hospital and met an OT, who went through our list of disabilities and assigned shopping/cooking responsibilities, and rearranged it some. She wanted the blind person to get the tomato and onion and have to feel/smell it, for example.
We then walked over to the large grocery store next door. We were quite a sight. Immediately a man offered OTS Virginia (my partner on the walker) an electric scooter. We smilingly declined. Virginia and I slowly walked to an aisle to get our first two items. She had to push a cart in front of her step by step with the walker. We then had trouble determining where the third would be (Boboli pizza crust). We discussed that in a case like this, someone like me might just run through the store, but in her case, due to fatigue and time, it would be best to ask people that came by -even random people. The first person we asked was deaf though, so we asked a few other random people. At one point we had like six people standing around us, a combination of employees and shoppers, trying to help us figure out where the pizza crust would be. We finally got an answer and headed that way. At that point, Virginia was fatigued enough that we pretended she was higher-level, putting the walker in the shopping cart and using that for stability. The OT told us that typically a person would have scouted out the store to know where things were in advance for fatigue/time, and that also the person probably would have used the electric scooter - she just wanted us to get a feel for the frustration and fatigue.
OTS Emily lead blindfolded Allison, which I'm sure was somewhat scary.
OTS Cheryl led OTS Marla, who had her leg rigged up behind her and on crutches.
OTS Julie lead OTS Brooke, in a wheelchair. She was a paraplegic, so she had good hand strength but poor trunk control, and had to anchor herself to her wheelchair with one hand to reach for something with her other.
We (the OT girls with the disabilities) all then paid for our various purchases using the cash given to us by the department for that purpose.
A strange older man touched blindfolded Allison's shoulder in the check-out line to say "I'm really good looking, you would like me". This really bothered Allison as she felt her space had been violated.
In our check-out line, our cashier asked the woman behind us (who happened to be the deaf woman from earlier), to borrow her savings card for us to use. The deaf woman did not understand what was being asked and was confused. Virginia said "She's deaf" to the cashier, and the cashier's face went blank and she turned away from the deaf person. It was a startling transition. It was like "You have no use to me then". No smile, no nod...just an immediate face-away.
Once we had our groceries, Virginia was back on the walker, and she had to figure out how to coordinate her walker, the groceries, the shopping cart, and her reacher. She wanted me to help and I refused. "How are you going to do this, Virginia?" All the bag boys around us were like, We can help! We can help! And I was like no, she has to do this by herself. We decided ideally it would have been best for Virginia to return the cart with the groceries and reacher in it, then take out the groceries and reacher at that point. Luckily someone took away her cart and I took her reacher (since ideally it was supposed to be attached to her walker and it unfairly wasn't).
I was at the walker and to work on standing endurance, I had to brown the meat at the stove. This actually freaked me out as I have a phobia of fire alarms, E.coli food poisoning, and appliances. So not the best choice for me. Brooke was in the wheelchair chopping veggies, Cheryl was on her crutches doing the salad, and Emily was blind and making the cinnamon sticks. I took pictures when I could.
By this time it was around 4:45 and we were antsy to head out due to severe weather headed our way. Most of us drove home while listening to the radio DJs tell us funnel clouds were popping up all over and it was very dangerous. That was a fun experience, I tell ya. We all (most of us) spent the rest of the night cowering as tornadoes went everywhere in the mid-South, including over Memphis.
I'm going to include as many pictures as I can in this post and then post the rest up above. Sorry this was so long but I wanted to share all the details.
PS: My email box is big again and I have a lot of readers to respond to - please bear with me - I'll try to get everything cleaned out and responded to within the next few days! I swear I love all you guys to pieces...
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
PS: I think my OT Practice came today, but I also think it got soaked in the rain. AHAHAHAHAHAA Oh well.
Sunday, February 3, 2008
I try to write in this blog frequently, typically multiple times a day, because I get so many ideas I can't wait to share them. Some are stupid, some are enlightening, some are funny, some are completely random. I also put up pictures whenever I can. And the occasional video. I do a lot of rambling, but I also try to share the "glory" of OT.
Not to toot my own horn or anything (toot toot) but I think reading the blog archives could be helpful - I've written about many diverse topics over the last 6 months and have made over 400 posts now. Which is scary, even to me. But 99% of the time, I'm posting because of the excited ideas in my brain, so I guess, well, I have a lot of ideas. The things coming up in this geriatric-focused semester include a lot of Tai Chi research, therapeutic media groups aimed at elders, managing an OT department, and more fun. It's the most fun I've ever had in my life. Is it bad if I say I sometimes skim through the OT book and wish I could just memorize the entire book and go around and like help everyone in the world? I'm like Mother Theresa, only a lot more selfish and not intimately familar with leprosy and well, okay, I'm more your average grad student who has a passion for OT and I should be struck by lightning.
I'm including some pictures I borrowed off Facebook from a sweet girl, Abby, in the new MOT Class of 2010. They started this January and are currently taking gross anatomy (aptly named), and have spent a lot of time with skeletons lately. Gotta love it.
So...read up on archives, as unless I get wildly excited (90% probability though), I might not post again until Wednesday. Gotta get those midterms under my belt!