Week 11, Day 3, Still Having a Sucky Week

Quote of day:
Six year old boy: Want to see my nipple? ::pulls up shirt to show belly-button::

Turns out he meant navel.
I am feeling about ready to explode right now. This has been the suckiest week overall, that I’ve had, in quite a while. I have tears in my eyes and rolling down my cheeks writing this because I am overwhelmed. I’m overwhelmed with my current OT student fieldwork, overwhelmed with future fieldwork, overwhelmed with personal life. I feel completely maxed out and at my limits in all ways.

I’m going to write about my day, therapeutically, to flow it out my fingers and out of my brain, then go into rant mode I guess.

Today at work was actually relatively calm minus a scramble this morning to pick up some stuff at new clinic. We saw our cute little baby that is blind, then saw two brothers with autism (person first language)…I took the younger one to the room with the lava lamp and fish tank, turned off the lights, and sat with them in the ball pit, gently and slowly covering his body with balls…he liked it. At lunch time, at this tiny restaurant on the square of this small rural town, we sat at a table close to a mom with a kid, who, seeing our scrubs, asked if we worked for a clinic because her sugar was low…then we all got to chatting about pediatricians since my OT supervisor is looking for a new one, and then a mom at another table joined in, so we were having this conversation about kids/pediatricians with these strangers, and then (shushed but audible) diarrhea talk came into play – not by me -, and there were men at a nearby table who were like ?!!! It was really funny.

We went and saw our little congested blind/deaf baby who lives in the projects…things are not going well for this family or baby, we’ve seen a decline…the mom and baby were asleep when we got there. The room was dark and the light bulbs were still out, and it smelled like smoke…so we took the baby outside. We (my OT, me, and speech aide) worked with the baby on a small mat we put under a tree for shade, for the entire hour.

Our next kid didn’t work out so I worked on mileage. Our final kid showed up and I did some gross motor ball work with him, then my OT Christy took him for table-top stuff so I could finish working on mileage (don’t worry, it’s very rare something like this happens), and then I finished up the session with some gross motor…he has severe behavioral issues, low frustration tolerance, etc…he needed some firm re-direction but was okay during session, but when it was time to go find mom and be with her, he quickly melted down…we see this a lot…a kid knows he/she can misbehave in presence of lax parents, and so the kid behaves during session with some verbal cuing and time-out and redirection, but then reallllly acts up in presence of parent. He screamed and cried for a long time as Christy spoke to the mom…I had started the talk with the mom, and when the kid freaked out, I started dealing with it, but Christy is a PRO with that stuff, so she came out (she had been standing by listening), and dealt with it way better than I could have, and with more knowledge under her belt too LOL.

Then we headed back around 440pm – the kid was technically done way earlier than that, but dealing with the temper tantrums (instead of letting them walk out with him screaming and no parent education), took a while.

I went back to the clinic because it’s on way home and because I wanted to drop off billing sheets and mileage and find out my schedule for tomorrow so I’d feel a little more prepared for the chaos that will ultimately reign. Ended up not leaving until 630pm because the director wanted to show me something, mileage took forever to fully calculate (over 1,300 miles this last few months for work…..not counting the 30ish miles round-trip I make every day to the clinic – since mileage doesn’t start until I hit the clinic). And then writing up some things our awesome COTA could do to help us out paperwork wise because of a gap in her morning schedule. I know it was my choice to stop by clinic so I can’t complain, but my sanity was at stake. 🙂

Stopped at Allison’s on way home to say hello and work a tiny bit on some OT stuff..my wireless wouldn’t work there though and I was kind of antsy to get Internet access because of all the fieldwork stuff etc going on – not to mention being tired and stressed – so I didn’t stay long

Ever since I got home around 8pmish? I’ve been chilling out with Lester and chatting online with real life friends on AIM, Facebook, and Gmail talk…have no energy to want to do anything else…don’t want to deal with e-mails or phone calls or texts or anything.

Ok time to rant I guess…

Fieldwork: Not yet ready to discuss publicly, suffice to say that although I’ve got placements, I’m still bummed that all three of my fieldworks are completely different than what I wanted/expected. I had good experiences on this one, am sure next two will be awesome in their own way, blah blah blah, but still disappointed.

Current fieldwork: I love all my co-workers, some more than others, but have fun with all of them…but don’t love the chaos and the long hours and the stress. It will be better for future students because they won’t be there in the midst of expansion like I was, while short an OT, while also expanding into early intervention, etc etc. Tomorrow afternoon promises to be pretty stressful starting at around 3pm as kids get out of school, at times there will be four kids at once for me and the COTA, four kids that do not match well…at 530 we have a shy little girl in like first grade, a crying little 3 year old boy, and two prickly kids that have behavioral issues and anger quickly. I have the two prickly kids, she has the little boy and older little girl. Not a good session for anyone in my opinion. Maybe a kid won’t show up, maybe we’ll have an amazing breakthrough. Realistically though, it just means chaotic and stressful sessions. So from 3pm to 7pm it will be crazy.

Personal life: Way too much going on for me to handle on top of all the work stress. It is impossible to say there is a thing as too many friends, because it is such a blessing, but it is possible to say that it can be overwhelming, especially at times like this when I feel so thinly stretched and have nothing to offer. I try to do what I can and what I think I can handle stress-wise, but I feel like I have a “waiting list” of unhappy friends waiting for their turn.

So, here is my entreaty to friends right now: I’m stressed out. I’m exhausted. I’m busy. If you’ve contacted me and now feel guilty, don’t. You are a friend reaching out. I appreciate it. I always love being contacted, and save such things to respond to when I get a chance. But please please please don’t give me a hard time about not responding in a timely manner (even in jest), and/or please don’t feel bad or ignored, if I don’t respond for a week or so. I’m very behind on phone call messages, texts, e-mails on multiple accounts, Facebook, etc. I’m behind on articles due, I’m behind on paperwork due, I’m behind on bills, grocery shopping, and everything else you can imagine as well. So…the best way to be a friend right now is to be patient, please. My last day of this fieldwork is September 19th. I have a lot to do in the week before the next fieldwork starts, and that includes catching up on e-mails and such….so…yeah.

Ok…I’m still bummed out and stressed, but at least I feel a little calmer after typing out this massive amount of stuff. Lester is meowing at me and running around screaming…I’m going to go find something for dinner (yes, it’s 1030pm), and to give him some brushing…maybe his sensory needs will subsequently be met and he’ll chill out. I need to chill out too. I sense Klonopin in my immediate future.

By the way, I do think OVERALL, things are going okay and I’ll be okay…I just need to get through the ne
xt few weeks. Send good vibes.

Sep 11, 2008 | Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none | Tags: