Week 3, Day 1, Pediatric Level II Fieldwork Placement, Occupational Therapy Student, BABY!
I'm so efficient. I write my blog posts while my hair dries. Pretty awesome, yeah.
Today I saw my two little girls and I tried a few new things with them based on the manic spree I had last night going through my house finding fun stuff. We did some magnetic tin girl-dress-up which they liked, some coloring in S's that I had done in Snake-Like formation, and umm, nothing very exciting beyond that. Oh yeah, I put a glittering star sticker on my forehead when I helped with the first little boy of the day and then forgot about it – and so when I went to the waiting room to pick up the little girls, they lit up, and the parents laughed at me. Oopsies. LOL. Then I had my little boy with gravitational insecurity who is getting a little better – each time I challenge him for a few seconds with things like a roller board, or a bolster, or just anything that challenges him – he doesn't like it much after about 5 seconds but he doesn't put up a fight immediately – once he starts whining I let him go, and I'm always holding onto him securely, so I'm not pushing him too far or anything. I think he's doing better and better. He's doing some great things in the ball pit, so that's giving him a work-out. I put some ankle weights on him (his feet were securely on a stool) and a weighted vest on him when it was time for tablework, and he liked it for a while…although he is NOT okay with touching a pencil or crayon – just because it is no fun to him at all. But he did like the magnets of the magna doodle, too bad it is missing the pen piece of it. I guess I could glue a magnet on the tip of a normal pen or something, hmm…..anyway He is nonverbal but he makes it very clear what is okay and what isn't, with his insistent “Eeeee's” either being smiling “Eeee's” or frowning “Eeee's” LOL.
Then it was time to head to the tiny town in Mississippi. We went in two cars – the clinic director and my OT in one, me and a new (to me) aide who knows the director well, in another car. We had lunch then saw my little boy who often plays dumb but is sweet and cute as can be….he transferred to the new clinic. Being in a new place was exciting so he didn't do as well as he has been, but did pretty well considering. It gets frustrating when he doesn't seem to know his colors one minute after he knew them 5 minutes before – it's basically all motivation driven. He knows them if he has the incentive.
THEN we had two evals…a mom with two autistic children. I won't lie, working with children who have autism is not my passion – I LOVE reading about them and am fascinated by autism in general, but I have a hard time with the lack of responsiveness…these two kids were soooo low level and nonverbal, and it was really hard to keep them from getting into everything. The younger one seems to have more “hope” – he loved being rocked and manipulated and I think it will be easier to reach him in general. I sang to him “Wiggle worm wiggle worm where do you go, wiggle worm wiggle worm I don't know” and he smiled as I jiggled him around singing, so that's a good sign I guess.
THEN, running late, we headed to go see the baby who is deaf-blind living in the projects. The family took forever to bring the baby out, which was a little frustrating. The baby was not in the best mood today, extra tired, so we didn't manage to get a lot of work from her, but she is tolerating vibration more, took her bottle well (although the flow of her bottle is way too fast), and overall is improving. We did figure out today she has right hemiparesis – weakness on her right side – and we noted it for the mom so she could ask the doctor about it – since they have a doctor appointment tomorrow after way too many months of not taking her. This baby has a massive soft spot on her head which is odd considering she is almost a year old. Or maybe it isn't, I'm curious to go research that.
Also, I've noticed, that many of the young black children we see, have HUGE belly buttons, like not just outies, but like, protuberances, it is really bizarre….anybody know what that is? Why?
Hmmmm what else. I ended up taking my OT back to the clinic in the clinic director/boss's car so that she could stay behind with the aide to finish hanging up pictures in preparation for tomorrow morning's open house in that new clinic. We were running late so we got back and finally left work around 5:45 instead of 5pm, whoopsiedoodles. Came home, ate and crashed, then met my friend and OT classmate Allison to go with her to the grocery store. Then we went walking on the track for a little while. She is under the weather with some sinus issues, bummer. I gave her expired medication because I'm an incredible friend. Kidding on the incredible part, not kidding on the expired part. LOL.
Also, tomorrow we have to be there at 8am to go straight to the little new clinic for open house…will be there in morning, then see kids in the afternoon in normal clinic. I don't know if we'll be staying until 7pm – depends on schedule – but I hope not considering the 45 minutes extra today plus the hour early tommorow! Am going to a friend's for dinner afterward. Wednesday we are in the new clinic in the small town most of the day. Thursday is hopefully only a half day since Friday we'll be in another small town for most of the day doing home visits/evals, etc. I kind of had to push for details today just to find out the most basic of plans for the week – while I know flexibility is key, I do at least like having a ROUGH skeleton idea of the week in terms of when I can expect to be there/go home, and roughly what TOWN we'll be in, and roughly how many kids I might be expected to see. Historically I would have wanted to know every little detail , like who was when, and then plan out a big ol treatment….now I'm like, hmm, okay, in 5 minutes I'm going to start seeing patients for three hours, guess I better think about what I want to do and find out what ages/kids I have…. 😉
I'm having a mini existentialist crisis here where I think….am I helping these kids enough that insurance should be billed? Am I really doing anything that a normal person wouldn't do?? How common is common sense? Is this child improving because of me or because of time? I guess I have a lot of doubt because even though realistically I know the theory behind play as an occupation, it's hard to validate playing with balls as a form of therapy. Even though rationally I can argue why it is, it's still kinda weird to think about. I dunno. I have low self-esteem/insecurity to some extent, regardless, so then add in BILLING people for my presence, and I'm like AUGH! Am I worth it!!
I talked with my blogging mentor and luviepoo Merrolee, and she confirmed this is a common feeling for OTs…at least the self-doubt…of…this seems like such common sense…but….common sense is NOT common…and a lot of what us OTs consider common sense is only common because we've had the training ingrained into us….I dunno. This is too deep for my brain, I want to sleep. Guess I should go blow-dry my hair first though – last night I slept on my wet hair and it was uncomfortable. I also dreamed that my fieldwork supervisor told my fieldwork coordinator that I was really inappropriate and in my dream I cried. I also dreamed my sister disappeared in the ocean and I cried a lot over that too. Craziness.
By the way, while my massive amount of supplements did make me gag this morning, I otherwise felt pretty good, so YAY!!!
I love my OT and employees I love my kids and I love the traveling…I even love the traffic-free commute and all the restaurants nearby…ahahahahaaha I'm so shallow..I wish I had a better grasp of what was happening when, and a better grasp of the process from start to finish (from referral to eval to being seen to discharge and Medicaid etc), which I guess wil
l come shortly, and I probably need to sit down with the OT to discuss goals and objectives soon, but other than that completely random stream of consciousness that just flew out of my fingers, everything is going pretty well. I'm going to bed. GOOD NIGHT.