Day 3: Better day!
Whew, today was a way better day than Tuesday! Really long though!
By the way, I have recently skimmed a bunch of articles on how to increase blog readership. One of the issues mentioned was to be concise. I pondered over this because let's face it, I don't have a brevity bone. I decided that while I worked hard in June to build up this blog, my current function while back in school is just to spill out my thoughts. I type very quickly and just pour out what's in my brain, both for my own memory-keeping and for others to maybe get a glimpse into the occupational therapy student world. I don't have the time to sit here and edit my thoughts to be concise, so uh, yeah. Sorry. And see, I just took a paragraph to explain I would not be concise…
Today was a 8 to 5 day with an hour for lunch. We started with the class involving neurological impairment and it was so fascinating to learn about how spinal cord injury patients function when it comes to activities of daily life. Things like bladder and bowel care are SO much harder, it's amazing what we all take for granted. We learned how C6 and above patients, who don't have use of their hand muscles but do have wrist extensors, can use the anatomical phenomenon of tenodesis (sp) to pick items up (basically how extending your wrist opens your hand and dropping your wrist closes it…try it!). Anyway, it reminded me of the book I read recently called Miracles Happen, about the first ventilator-dependent quadriplegic to graduate from Harvard, and her story about a car accident changing her life at age 11. Very interesting stuff and our professor is so knowledgeable and had tons of great very uh, vivid pictures. He's been an OT over 50 years now so he has a lot of experience to share with us.
After that we had FOUR HOURS of discussion/lecture of our newest class, which is all about Group Practice! We will get to facilitate groups on certain topics, and just in general learn how to use group therapy effectively as an OT. But more importantly, we learn about our own strengths and weaknesses and are forced to confront them. Our professor pointed out that if we are going to fall on our face, it is better it happens in school instead of in a real clinic. True. I already know some major things I need to work on. Like 1, I cry immediately when frustrated, 2, I take any criticism VERY personally and it hurts my feelings, 3, I am afraid of conflict and have no assertiveness when it comes to confronting people. Etc. I am a little scared because I think dealing with my issues will be hard, but I am also thrilled that perhaps I'll come out of this class with new tools to face problems that may affect me as an OT…as well as in my personal life.
Then it was time for a class on visitable/accessible environments, where we learned about ratios, like 1:50 for ramps, how wide doorways should be, lamp glare, carpets, adaptive living, all sorts of things. Also FASCINATING and we didn't get far into the lecture because everyone kept on chiming in with stuff since it was so interesting and we all had so many thoughts. I was thinking a lot about my mom's roommate who is Deaf-Blind and some of his accommodations, and also trying to figure out how my own apartment would work for someone with a handicap. In fact, one of the projects we get to do involves doing some home adaptation on a budget!
Today, everything we learned was so cool. I really was thinking oh, I could write an entire post on this, or an entire post on this, or this, or this, or this…but obviously there is not enough time in the day. Classes ended at 5pm, I got home and called a friend, then another friend called I was supposed to meet, then an OT girl called to rant and then my other friend called, etc, then I got an email from the cashier's office about a registration error (terror, it is hopefully a computer glitch…) anyway…then I met a friend to quickly eat a healthy meal before we went walking on the track for 2 miles. Came home, talked to another OT girl, then another OT girl…I talked to at least five different OT girls tonight. By then it was already 9pm and I did a few quick weights and jumped in the shower before another OT girl called. I just quickly looked in my binder to make sure I didn't have much to do for tomorrow since um, I'm tired. Now it's 1015pm and I am going to blow-dry my hair then go to bed. Although I'm kind of keyed up since I've been on the go ALL day long. I've had energy to spare today. I was doing lunges and wall slides during our breaks!
Last night I worked my shift until midnight and then my left wrist stayed numb and tingling for several hours so I didn't actually get to sleep until close to 2. Had to be up at 640 so I guess I was delirious from sleep deprivation and it appeared as an overload of energy, I dunno. I am pretty sure I have carpal tunnel syndrome in my left hand (my dominant hand) and I'm concerned. Luckily we had splinting last semester and my partner made me a resting hand splint, so I guess I'll be using that!
Ok, this is getting really long but this is how I relax, spilling my thoughts, so bear with me. I know I've talked about this before ad nauseum, but there are truly no words to describe how fun it is to be in classes with friends! Getting to glance at friends or occasionally write notes (ooh bad me) and hang out during lunch is so much fun. I think most people have experienced that kind of fun their entire life, but since it is new to me at age 24 it is like DISNEYLAND. Last semester and in general I used to always just read during breaks because I rarely had someone to talk to, but now I'm like hmm, I can study later, now is for hanging out! One girl in the class,(dontworryIwontuseyournameAllison) made me laugh so hard I cried today. That's what OT school is all about. Being stressed, being tired, but LOVING the material and LOVING your classmates.
Tomorrow we only have class from 930 to 4, so yay! I can catch up tomorrow on any readings and other things I should be working on instead of writing on this blog. But hey, we are all supposed to have a balance of occupations….this is my leisure time!