31 Jul 2007

Grumpy to Golden. Well kinda.

Wow. Insanely busy weekend. Involved roller derby, a wonderful dinner with friends, a DELICIOUS special brunch with friends, swimming, and a ton of errands/chores/organizing/cleaning. I did get some important things done, but was REALLY stressed last night and this morning about all the stuff due in the next two weeks – including 3 tests, a huge group presentation, another huge different group presentation, a carnival we are somewhat responsible for adaptation wise, and a few other things. I still want to write in depth about NDT, but realistically, it probably won't happen. I'll just say it was a fascinating lab and I took a lot of pictures and learned a lot about the importance of putting your hands directly on key points of control, guiding and cuing patients, making them work to the best of their ability to regain function instead of immediately going the adaptation route. Simple things, like having a hemiplegic adult go from sit to stand, gets a lot more complicated using the NDT approach. You have to put one foot on their affected food, one leg behind their legs, one hand firmly pressing down on their knee, and one hand across their shoulders. Then as you ask them to stand you have to use your thigh and push up on the back of their thighs to assist in the movement. Etc. Complicated. But really doable.

(Patti, I didn't get a chance to ask about IFRAH! It was really fast-paced and plus, I am pretty sure my classmates would have thrown things at me had I brought it up! I'm sorry!! You rock!!!)

Ok so back to the present. I was definitely grumpy this morning. I also had a bunch of stuff I needed to print out, two packages to ship, and needed to ask a teacher some questions. I walked out this morning with a gym bag, a lunch bag, a backpack bursting at the seams with binders/books, and a bag of packages. Not a good way to start the day. But it all got taken care of and the day improved.  It turned out our morning Neuro class, which I assumed was a lecture, was actually a lab on Parkinsons. We got to do a videotape protocol with an actual Parkinsons patient (he and his wife were so sweet and great), and it was really interesting to see his tremors and dyskinesia in general. My part of it was to stand behind him and pull on his shoulders as one of the final steps in the protocol, but that scared the crap out of me. I was scared of him falling on me, both for his sake and mine, especially since it was all taped!

During the afternoon, my fellow group members Brooke & Allison and I had a meeting on our frames of reference presentation (cognitive-behavioral), and we came up with some great (funny) ideas and that, I think, cheered us all up to have a game plan. Plus, our professor who is normally teaching us on TV from across the state, was actually here today and taught us in person for the first time, and that was a lot of fun as well. It was on mood disorders – the different types as well as how OTs can treat them.

After class, Allison & I went to Yoga. I can definitely feel I'm improving, even though I'm still not very strong. She threw a rubber block at me halfway through (subtly, nobody else saw) and continued with her normal silly antics. I got her back by taking a picture of her in a weird yoga pose with my camera phone. It's now my wallpaper. It was a good experience and helped me destress. Now I'm home and am about to jump in the shower but wanted to write here first. I also have 7 birthday cards to write for the month of August and I'm going to try and send my grandma a funny postcard each week this August as well, since it is the first anniversary of my grandfather's death in a few weeks.

Tonight my goals are to study for a big Group exam on Wednesday, and well, uh, yeah, that's pretty much all I'm going to do tonight – I hear the professor's tests are REALLY hard, so I want to be prepared. Oh, and I need to measure some furniture and my closet dimensions for our home adaptation project. That's reasonable, considering it's only 720pm! Once I shower/eat, it will be 8ish, and that gives me several hours to get stuff done. Yay. Today may have started out crappy but it's ending pretty well. Now if only I had a Fudgesicle, life would be perfect.

Tomorrow I have an eye appt in the morning, which is good since my eyes have been hurting me lately. I'm gonna get funky new frames! Then we have class on schitzophrenia in the afternoon. THEN I'm meeting my Home Adaptation partners, Camiell and Anna, to get a bunch done on that. THEN I'm going swimming for an hour workout. THEN perhaps Allison & Brooke will come over to study for the Wednesday exam, and I work 9 to midnight. Hmm. Long day. Shouldn't be too hideous though. Will probably blog next on Wednesday.

HAVE A GREAT DAY EVERYONE, if you're still awake!!! HmmI can already tell what my group role will be when we start groups this week: Self-Deprecator.

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 2

30 Jul 2007


BUSY weekend. No time to write here, no time to study as planned. Way behind. Stressed out. More later.

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

28 Jul 2007

Where you "smell like formaldehyde with glitter on your face…" – that's occupational therapy school for you.

I have lots to say just about the last two days, but no time. I still need to water plants, bleachify my air/conditioning room, take a shower, pay some bills, etc in the next two hours before I head out to watch roller derby with some friends. There's a possibility I'll blog tonight, but if not then for sure tomorrow. I especially want to discuss the NDT workshop! (stares at Patti)

So for today I'll just leave you with one of my favorite quotes summing up OT school. One of my professors said it last semester when we were doing a craft that involved glitter (for an activity analysis project), wearing our anatomy scrubs that by then smelled permanently of formaldehyde.

She said, “You know you're in OT school when you smell like formaldehyde and have glitter on your face…”

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

27 Jul 2007

A normal day in occupational therapy school

I hesitate to post today, because I don’t want to cover up my beloved feline SOAP note below! But I’m too bored not to. Sorry, Nikki. You had your 15 minutes of fame!

Today was a pretty good day overall. Fun, a lot of laughter. We had THE CUTEST MOST HOTTEST ORTHOPEDIC SURGEON EVER come in and talk to us about osteoarthritis and total joint arthroplasty. Then we had a class on research design (aughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh) and then we had a long lunch. Brooke and I went to a local Mediterrean place and had yummy chicken shewarma plates. We were going to meet up with Allison to work on our cognitive-behavioral frames of reference project for most of the lunch time, but there was a conflict with another group assigned a similar FofR and so we uh, gratefully didn’t work on it.

In the afternoon, we had a class on anthropometry and ergonomics. It was pretty cool. Talk about lighting, temperature, sound…even vibration. Things most people don’t think about affecting the work space. It’s definitely true that you can work harder and longer if you are comfortable, in a well-lit, well-ventilated environment with minimal noise and vibration. Duh, that’s obvious of course, but this lecture really went into the nitty-gritty detail. That included things like understanding biomechanics so that you understand how different parts of the body work as levers, and how that can affect torque, etc. Physics stuff, ew.

After THAT, Allison, Emily, and I went to the gym to take a Spinning/Zen class. It was fun. Luckily my bike did not fall apart this time. It was Emily’s first time joining us and it was great to have her, we’re trying to get as many people motivated to work out as possible. The more, the merrier.

Then I hit the grocery store and now I’m home, showered and typing here. Ideally I’d do a bunch of studying and catching up tonight, but I’m feeling kinda bad now. My lower back is really hurting. My only goal for tonight is to read a little bit about NDT, since we are having a workshop on it tomorrow.

This weekend I’ll aim to get a lot of stuff done for different classes, I don’t have too much planned (besides ROLLER DERBY on Saturday night and seeing another friend sometime Sunday) so that I can get caught up.

PS: I need to start sprinkling the words “occupational therapy” in the blog more often so that I inch up in google search!

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 1

25 Jul 2007

Nikki: a feline SOAP note

Last August I had to have my beloved cat put down and it was one of the most traumatizing experiences of my life. As the anniversary approaches, I decided to write a SOAP note in her honor. Not that it’s a very nice one, she was a mean cat to most people but she was all meow and no bite. Well, ok, a little bite. Maybe that makes this a DIRT note. Haha, I kill myself. Anyway, since we discussed SOAP notes in class today, I decided I should post this.

Initial evaluation with Nikki, a 17-year-old Tortoiseshell feline, home visit.

S: Nikki voiced her complaints of of arthritic pain in her joints
as well as stated she always has a generalized sense of anxiety.
Reports hobbies of watching ants, biting butts, sitting in windows,
and meowing.

O: Nikki was observed taking Amytriptline to calm herself. She
raced from room to room, meowing, as her owner cleaned. She jumped gingerly during window-ground transfers, and appeared agitated.
She bit the wrist of the owner’s friend and did not express remorse.

A: Nikki appears to have difficulty initiating appropriate social
interactions with other felines and humans. Sensory integration
approaches, such as a brush protocol and heating pad may help her
both with her anxiety and arthritic pain. ABA therapy could be used
to teach her to stop biting. She would also benefit from consistent
monitoring of her medications.

P: Discuss plan of care with owner & veterinarian. Visit home
again within one week to determine other possible negative environmental
influences. Train owner in proper sensory integration techniques, including Wilbarger brush protocol.
STG: Reduce Nikki’s biting by 50% using SI techniques, within two weeks.

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 2 | Tags: , , , ,

25 Jul 2007

A quiet day.

It scares me that I am trying to remember what we did today without looking at a schedule and have no idea. Hmmmm….ok it is coming back to me now. Our schedule changes EVERY DAY so it can be hard to keep track of things. We started at 8am and had class until 10am. It was about group process, groupthink, etc. Then I came home and studied some, napped some. Went back for class from 1pm to 3pm although we got out early. It was on borderline personality disorder, that one freaks me out. Then Allison and I went swimming- an hour total for me which is a huge achievement – and then studied for a test tomorrow. We just went through all the notes. It's on mood disorders, personality disorders, chronic mental illnesses, schitzophrenia, fractures, amputations, and traumatic brain injuries. Luckily we are allowed some resources so we don't have to memorize it all, since a lot of it is VERY medical and specific. Now it's 7pm and home and chilling out for a few minutes. Eventually I need to shower and prep for tomorrow before I work 9pm to midnight. Tomorrow won't be too bad a day, and hopefully the exam won't be too hard.

I feel weird sending this in as such a short paragraph, but maybe it means I'm finally learning the art of brevity!!!!

And yay, my air conditioning is fixed and my allergy-mystery-illness is dissipating….woohoo.

Can I just rant quickly though? The gym has a vending machine outside of it, and I was hungry today and looked at it, and almost everything was crap food like Fritos and M&Ms. They had nuts, but those are insanely high in calories. The only two remotely low-calorie options were pretzels and animal crackers. Why is it that in a health university, right next to a gym, they can't have a vending machine with more healthy or at least low-cal/fat snacks? They could add low-fat beef jerky strips, 100 calorie snack packs, granola bars, the list goes on and on. IT DRIVES ME NUTS!

The End.

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

24 Jul 2007

I'm a histrionic. No just kidding. No really. No….

Quickie today.

Professors were understanding about my a/c dilemna. Luckily karma worked for me and the air conditioner people came between 11 and 1pm, which was my break from class anyway. I had a friend on stand-by in case things went late. I only missed about 15 minutes of Neuro so it was a pretty good situation.

In the afternoon, we had a lecture on repetitive stress injuries by our normal professor, and then a guest lecturer on burns. We saw some pretty nasty pictures of burns! The lecturer did a good job explaining the different types of burns and what you can expect. She was pretty no-nonsense, which I think is probably necessary when you deal with burn patients. I don't think I have the heart or stomach for burn patients – give me a kid with cancer any day!

I'm still sick (but improving) and I think it might just be bad allergies, quite possibly exacerbated by the mildew/wetness that has been in my A/C area. I'm a little overwhelmed right now with all the things coming up in a few weeks – the Home Modification project is taking up a lot of my background thought, plus another project is coming up quickly with another group, plus the normal readings/assignments, plus a test this Weds and next, plus coming up with adaptations for a special needs rehab mini carnival (cake walk, bowling..any ideas anyone?)…I know it's not unmanageable, but I'm just not “feeling” it right now.

Hope everyone has a great week!  Hope you all enjoyed my a/c drama! Maybe I have histrionic personality disorder!!!

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 1

22 Jul 2007

update to the update: I am a magic sleuth, call me Sherlock

So I couldn't remember the air conditioner people my landlords use and have no way to get a hold of them as I said earlier, but the dude who worked for them had given me his cell phone number while flirting with me when he had previously checked my heater system around November. It turns out I had written his phone number down in my address book as “Heater Boy”. I called his number and while he totally didn't remember me  (thank God), I was asking him where he works now and if he worked somewhere else six months ago, etc. I was like  I am sorry for grilling you, it's nothing personal, I'm just trying to figure out who to call!  Luckily he didn't ask how I had his cell phone number yet not the main number. He was very nice and it turns out who he works for now is in fact who I needed to call. I called them and they are like little family operation and said they'd call me in the morning when the office opened. They asked if they could call my landlord and I told them they were in a remote mountainous area of Canada. She repeated that back to me incredulously and I guess her brother/owner heard that and said it was not a problem, he knows them very well. So that's my crazy story. You may be wondering, how is this applicable to OT school and why is this on an OT blog? Well, this blog is my student journey and that includes the fact that I have a life outside OT school that sometimes AFFECTS OT school, like when I desperately need to be here while a repairman comes for a vital household item yet I'm in school all day!  I e-mailed my professors to give them a heads-up and I'm hoping the repairman can come in the morning right away. I'd still have to miss a single class but it would be the first class I ever missed and it wouldn't involve missing a guest lecture. Phew. The End.

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

22 Jul 2007

Let's just add in a little cheery update

I'm sick and the slightest motion makes me feel breathless. I went in to change my a/c filter and the ground in the furnace room was all wet because apparently my a/c has decided to get plugged up and kinda die on me, I can use it if I don't mind changing out a bucket of water every few hours and hoping the water down the sides won't do anything, but I really shouldn't use it at all, and my landlords just went to Canadian mountains for 2 weeks and so I don't really know how to contact them and they have special people they use but I don't know who and there is a crazy man I could ask who lives in their upstairs place but talking to him could release the floodgates and cause him to start being obsessed with me again and it's like 90 degrees outside and I'm SICK and even if I can get them to come, it will probably take hours if not days and I HAVE TO BE IN SCHOOL ALL DAY EVERY DAY BECAUSE I AM AN OT STUDENT AND RIGHT ABOUT NOW THAT MAKES ME UNHAPPY AUGH!!!!!!!!!!

Calmer Shout-out: My good friend (Hi Burt) came over to try and help me patch up the water leak but it turns out it is a lot more serious than we both originally thought, so the patching didn't help much. He came up with the bucket idea and agrees it needs to be fixed asap. He has offered to come be here if needed to deal with a/c guy since I have to be in class pretty much all day. We'll see what happens. Thanks Burt!

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 1

22 Jul 2007

Ow. That will be all.

I am hurting, y'all. I tossed and turned all night and my allergies are really bothering me. I'm concerned it is turning into a sinus infection. I really hope not, especially since I probably contaminated a bunch of friends yesterday if so. And I hope not mainly because there is no way I can miss even a day of classes. I'm going to think powerful thoughts. It's only 830am on a Sunday and normally I'd still be asleep but because of my stupid sinuses, I can't. So I'm going to write to you all. First of all, I just got the newest AJOT, and there was an article on feeding that included the sentence “The re-presentation procedure involved scooping the expelled food with a plastic-coated infant spoon and placing the food back into the child's mouth.” Once you realize what that means….EW!

Also, it's starting again. The other day I was holding a soft grape and then felt hardness against my fingers. My first thought was “Myositis ossificans”. Or last night, I was trying to figure out my “short term goals” for the night. OT lectures are taking over my brain!!!!!

Bad joke I found in an article on hunters with disabilities: if an alligator eats a person in a wheelchair, does that make it “meals on wheels”?


My friend pulled out a ratchet/socket the other night and explained more about it to me. Now the next time I handle a wheelchair adjustment I have a better chance of knowing what I'm doing!!


I'm now going to go ponder if prescription liquid sinus medication that expired over a year ago is still good. Hmmmm. Have a good day!!

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none