Monday, December 7, 2009

FINALS WEEK IS HERE

I feel like I've been in finals week for the last three weeks. It's been exam after exam after EXAM!!! But this is it--the FINAL week of exams. I had a project due today, I have one final tomorrow, two on Wednesday and two on Thursday. This wouldn't be so bad except that I leave for Costa Rica two days after finals and I have a lot to take care of before I leave. So, I kind of feel like I'm in overdrive right now.

Despite all this, I would not trade this time for anything else in the world. I'm VERY happy to be in school. I'm grateful for this constructive use of my time and for this wonderful experience of learning.

I still can't believe that after Thursday I would have completed my first full semester as an Occupational Therapy graduate student. It's so exciting!

Monday, November 30, 2009

A human heart is beautiful!



I held and cut open the human heart! It's beautiful! Just like this picture!

I'll write about it later. It's late, I'm tired.

I'm going to Disney World! Ooops, I mean Costa Rica!


So, remember I said I had some exciting news?? Well, I'm going to COSTA RICA! Yeah!

I've been studying Spanish for about a year now. It's coming along well but it could be sooo much better. I came up with the great idea of being immersed in spanish or doing my clinicals in a spanish speaking program. That kind of evolved into doing a spanish immersion program.

So, immediately after finals I'll be in Costa Rica for three weeks, going to school for spanish everyday for about 4-5 hours, AND living with a wonderful Costa Rican family.

My expectation is that my level of spanish will be greatly increased. I know 3 weeks doesn't sound like a lot but I'm an intermediate level of spanish. So 3 weeks of non-stop listening, speaking and reading spanish will have a significant effect. I'm extremely excited. I've been intentionally shopping at a mexican grocery store just so I can ask questions in spanish! Ha ha! Because I make such an effort, if I stumble or make a mistake the clerks AND the patrons are all so helpful in correcting me or assisting me. The seafood clerk always comments 'Wow, you speak spanish?' It cracks me up every time.

Naturally, learning spanish will enable me to better serve multi-lingual clients or spanish speaking clients that don't speak English or don't speak it well. The field is in need of bilingual therapists. And not just in Spanish but in ANY language--Vietnamese, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Chinese, etc.

I spend 2 weeks in a major city and 1 week on the beach. I'll be back in the New Year. This excursion will definitely open many possibilities in Occupational Therapy for me.

Naturally, I plan to update and upload pics from my pseudo-vacation as much as possible!

Hasta Pronto!

END OF THE SEMSTER IN ONE WEEK!

FINALS!!!!





'Nuff said!!!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Climbing 90 flights of stairs...TWICE!!!

Every year I try to do something interesting and challenging. It's time for me to start coming up with crazy ideas for 2010.

In 2009, I really challenged myself with skydiving and this super exciting trip I'll be taking in December (more details next week when I get confirmation).

Earlier this year I participated in the American Lung Association Climb. In this 'race' (I didn't race, I just climbed) you pay a fee, gather donations and climb anywhere from 45 to 180 floors for charity. Three weeks before the climb I decided I wanted to do it so I signed up, raised $100 and successfully completed 45 floors in 8 minutes! That's awesome considering that it was a last minute decision and I didn't even train!

So, this year I'm doing TWO of these races and I'm climbing 90 FLOORS and I started a team. With a team, lots of people, my friends and family, can climb in my group and we can participate together.

Guess what my team name is???

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY IS AWESOME!!!!

It's written just like that...in all caps and exclamation marks and everything! Ha ha! I just love OT!

I convinced a couple of OTs to be crazy with me and participate in the climb and I'm working on more friends and family.

So, here's John Hancock:




and here's the John Hancock building:


I'll be climbing all the way to the top!

This one I'll be doing alone because they sold out in one hour and I didn't tell people in time. This race is in February.

But this is the second race:

Four towers at 45 floors each. I'm doing two towers and I'll be climbing with my team.

Wish us luck!

School is almost over. I can't believe it!


Wow! There's less than 4 weeks of class left!

FOUR!

Time sure does fly when you're having fun!

Excuse me Ma'am? You tested positive for gonorrhea...I mean chlamydia.

So, I was at the clinic late on Wednesday, about an hour after closing. I was the only patient there. I was sitting in that room they always put you in to take your vitals (vitals are things like blood pressure, temperature, weight, height, medical history, etc.). I overheard the following conversation of a woman talking on the phone:

Person: Hi, Ms. Doe? This is Ms. Clinic Worker at ABC Clinic. I was calling to tell you that we received your test results back and you tested positive for gonorrhea.

(silence)
(Me: OH MY GOODNESS. THIS IS NOT HAPPENING.)

Person: Oh, wait, I'm sorry. I meant chlamydia, not gonorrhea. Sorry about that.

(silence)
(Me, rolling my eyes: OK, this is REALLY not happening while I'm sitting here at this clinic...)

Person: Ms. Doe? Are you okay? Well, you'll have to get a prescription for some pills. You take the pills over a period of time and it will clear it right up. And your partner will have to get tested and take the pills as well.

(silence)
(Me: Ok, this IS happening.)

Person: What was that? Ok, well, I'll call the pharmacy and submit the prescription for you.

(silence. I hear the phone hang up, then numbers dialed)

Person: Hi. This is Ms. Clinic Worker at ABC Clinic. I'm calling on behalf of Ms. Jane Doe. She needs a prescription for chlamydia. Her full name is Jane R. Doe. Her address is 1234 S. I'm-really-hearing-ALL-this-girl's-business Street, in Wow, I'm-really-hearing-this-at-the-clinic City, of This-is-crazy State. And her phone number is 123-456-7890. Her date of birth is 01-01-01.

(Me: Um...wow...this clinic is in my area, which means I could possibly know this girl by face. Thank God I don't know her by name...I don't think this nurse lady knows I'm still here...Please God don't let her be this stupid.'

Me: Excuse me, Ms? I was sitting in the other room and I overheard both of your phone conversations. I'm not sure what the confidentiality rules are here at the clinic but I think it's important that you know I'm here.

Naturally, she looked horrified and apologized profusely while explaining that she only makes those types of calls this late at night because all the patients are gone. She thanked me for telling her and I told her I'm a student and we talk about these kinds of things all the time in class so I understand it's confidential.

But still, I was horrified.



They need to hurry up and get this public insurance plan together--CHOP CHOP!!

Well, I went back to the clinic on Wednesday for the shots/tests/immunizations and I waited another THREE hours to be seen. I actually fell asleep. Like head-jerking-back-enough-to-wake-me-up typeof sleep.

I slept for about 45 minutes, woke up, and went to the front desk like 'Ya'll BETTER GET ME SHOTS RIGHT FRIGGIN' NOW!'

Ok, that was the way it happened in my head. In real life I asked them very sweetly to see me because I had been waiting only for FOREVER. The clinic closes at 7pm and I was there until 8pm and I only got one shot.

The nurse felt sorry for me. She told me to go to their other location on Friday. I didn't even know they had another location. Turns out this other location is right down the street from me. Well, the first location was too but just in the other direction.

So, I went this morning and they did everything in 30 MINUTES!!! I'm not even kidding you. They were much more efficient and very apologetic for the services at the first location.

So, I get my blood work results on Monday.

Hallelujah.

I still have to get health insurance for my OT program so I called my insurance agency and told them to hook me up with something affordable. I'll have some quotes later this afternoon.

Let us pray....

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I BROKE A RIB!!!

Well, not MY rib. The cadaver's rib. We had to literally cut into the ribcage to get at the lungs.

We used rib cutters that look something like pliers with scissors on the ends. Let me tell you, cutting through a rib is tough! I was practically sweating! Those ribs are no joke, they are strong. My classmate made it look like she was cutting a slice of cake. She's apparently a pro at this...I'll have to keep my eye on her.

Anyway, we cut through the ribs and the sternum (the breastbone, the bone between your breasts/nipple) and we pulled it off. The same way you pull a top off a pot on the stove. It was weird.

BUT WE SAW AND HELD THE LUNGS!!!!
(again, NOT our lung, just a random pic. Plus, our cadaver has been embalmed so his lung was more of a dark brown/maroon color. Not as bright red as this one.)

It was absolutely amazing, simply incredible. On TV and in books when you see a lung it looks something like a sac, or a balloon. In real life, it's more like a sponge, a super soft sponge, but without all the holes. It's smooth and slippery and bends and dips easily from the pressure of our touch.

We believe our cadaver has been smoking as there are black spots all over his lungs. He was only 20!!!! Hey kids DON'T SMOKE. It really DOES blacken your lungs. I've seen it with my own eyes. Same for you adults.

The other cadaver, the 80-something woman, had TUMORS on her lungs. They were hard as rocks! We cut through the lungs and they kind of look like rocks! Rocks in the lungs! Can you imagine??? Sounds painful. Our instructor says we may find it has metastasized (spread) in various organs in the body, including the brain.

We cut the lung out of the thorax (chest) and held it. It's really a beautiful organ. Then we stuck a turkey baster in the holes on the side where we cut and blew air into the lung.

IT INFLATED.

We all nearly passed out. This was a colorful, real-life illustration of the breath of life we all take every day. Who knew it was so...incredible??!! This is what happens inside ME as I take EVERY SINGLE BREATH!

WOW.

I held the lung as I made it breathe and I watched it inflate and deflate. It was so soft and so smooth. You're almost afraid to touch it for fear of mishandling it. Yet, it's so delicate and so important and vital to life. I was in awe. I'm STILL in awe.

Yet another reason to be humbled by the awesome-ness of our bodies.

Simply beautiful.

I noticed I'm dominating with space

While in my OT Process class I noticed that I practically need an entire table to myself.

Apparently, with all my stuff I take up a lot of space: notebooks, books, pencil bag, lunchbox, 1 gallon water jug and smaller water bottle, plus my coat and bookbag and you can see I also have some papers in the seat next to me...

This is ridiculous.
But I don't plan on changing my ways anytime soon.
:-)


Other disciplines with whom OTs work

OTs work with many other disciplines in order to restore a person's functionality. In class today we reviewed several disciplines that I thought were quite interesting. We may work with these people as a team or receive information from them on our clients. There were lots, like over 20 presented, but some of the more interesting disciplines that I can remember off the top of my head:

(these definitions are not comprehensive. They're abbreviated just to give you an idea of what they do)

Music Therapist-helps people with injuries, illnesses and various disabilities through music. This can be singing, creating a song, listening to or moving to music. How interesting! It's just like OT, but with music!
Art Therapist-helps people with injuries, illnesses and various disabilities through art! Again, just like OT, but with art!
Recreational Therapist-helps people with injuries, illnesses and various disabilities through play and 'fun' activities. Again, just like OT, but with play!

Prosthetist-creates artificial limbs OR body parts. This would be an interesting progression if I want add another skill to OT.

Life Coach-helps people find direction in life, create and reach their goals, fulfill their dreams and find their passions. The most interesting thing about this is you ONLY need to be 18 and pass a little certification course and some Life Coaches can make $90,000 in ONE weekend! I won't give a personal comment on this. Moving on...

Art, Recreation and Music Therapist have similar goals as OTs. OT is just more comprehensive I think. I hope I have the privilege of working with an individual in each of these fields. It would be interesting to observe this type of therapy.

OT is overtime and off topic


My skills at explaining OT are fading! I have to get back in the game:

After dinner Gus & Amber started to clean-up the table. While cleaning we were all talking and laughing.

There were some rolls leftover in a dinner plate on the table. Gus tried to place saran wrap over the plate to store the rolls. At the same time, Amber gently grabbed the rolls, took them off the plate and wrapped them alone in saran wrap.

Me (excited that I'm seeing an almost OT thing in living color): Wow! that was a very OT thing you just did!

Amber: Me? Really? What did I do?

Gus: What's OT?

Me: You took the plate from Gus, removed the rolls off the plate and wrapped them alone in saran wrap. Very OT-like. Way to go!

Amber: Thanks!

Gus: What's OT?

Me: I noticed because in class we talk about how we should be people-watching often. So, I'm starting to do that and I just noticed you did an almost-OT thing!

Gus: WHAT'S OT??!!!

Me: Oh, ha! Sorry! In this context, Amber sub-consciously saw a different way to wrap the rolls by wrapping them directly instead of wrapping the saran wrap over the plate. OT helps people do normal, everyday activities in a different way. OT is my grad school study, remember?!

Gus: I didn't know what code language you were saying. I'm like 'What's OT?' Over-time? Off topic?

Me: Ha ha!

I'm NOT a Guitar Hero. Maybe I'm a Guitar Villain.


So, remember I said I was going to spend time with some former co-workers?? Well, on Sunday they cooked an awesome dinner for me of baked Mac 'n' Cheese, buttery rolls, and a roasted chicken. Did you know Purdue sells prepared seasoned chicken in a bag that you just pop in the oven?? Me, either. It was pretty good, too. That's good to know for future OT use.



Anyway, we talked and caught up on business and laughed and joked. Then we played...drum roll please...

GUITAR HERO!!!



I've been trying to play this game with these two people for MONTHS. I just never had the time. Well, I found the time. Needless to say--I'M TERRIBLE AT IT. Just plain awful. I admit this humbly.
But, I look so cool in my Guitar Hero picture. I could be a real rock-star chick!


It was my first time and I'm probably being a little hard on myself, but I'm sure my friend Gus will agree--I suck! I kept making us lose. I just couldn't get the red, yellow and green buttons together, I just couldn't press them fast enough.

I'm turning into those old people that can't play video games!!!! Yikes!!!!

But on the positive side, I have lots of great qualities! I'm an awesome person! :-)

Still, maybe I need Guitar Hero OT.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Here's all my business out on the street!


They're finally making some progress on the Public Health Care bill!!!

I'm 100% for reduced health care coverage. I'm not sure if the government is the right medium for this effort because they have a tendency to screw everything up and I know it's gonna cost waaaay more than they think but right now it's the better option. Giving this responsibility to any other entity would lead to that entity wanting to produce a profit and then we're back to where we started.

So, anyway, I'm gonna put all my business out on the street and tell you people everything because I think it's important for people to know.

I don't have health insurance.

I don't have health insurance because I CAN'T AFFORD IT. Good coverage is expensive.

It sucks to be 'poor' and 'low-income' and not have health insurance.

It's a terrible feeling and I hate it.

As a future health care worker I have to be immunized for mumps, measles, Hepatitis B, varicella (chicken pox), etc. Because I'm not insured I had to go a clinic. I went to the clinic at 9am, waited, paid the fees, ate my snack and waited, went to a variety of desks, waited, talked to a bunch of people, ate lunch and waited some more, left to run a quick errand, came back and filled out a ton of paperwork, waited some more, talked to a lady, waited again and left at 2 pm.

BUT I STILL DIDN'T GET IMMUNIZED. It was five hours of nothing! Five hours of waiting and waiting and waiting! They were so backed up they told me I would be there at least another 2 hours. So, I asked to go home and return another day.

This should NOT happen to anyone. Not here in America where EVERYTHING is so plentiful.

This whole thing is a mess. The current system and the proposed system. It's all a wreck.

I hope they figure out something because I remember the days when I had good insurance...it was a really good feeling.

Right now it sucks.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Classmates pics

Some pics of some of my wonderful classmates...

This pic is just a few of us right before Anatomy class. This was our first day, before our first dissection!




Me & Erin in Movement Analysis class, getting used to 'Bob's' anatomy...

Bones are beautiful



Wednesday's Anatomy class presented the most AMAZING sight EVER!

(the picture above is NOT our cadaver. It's just an online pic I found. Even still, the one from our cadaver looks totally awesome, much better than this pic)

We fully dissected the arm of our cadaver in order to view the organization of the joints. We looked at the sternoclavicular joint, acromioclavicular joint, shoulder joint, elbow joint and wrist joints.

ABSOLUTELY.
AMAZING.


Wow! The ligaments that hold the bones together are so STRONG. Waaaaay stronger than any brand of duct tape you can ever buy. We were able to see the articulation (where the bones meet) of the joint bones and his bones are so white and pearly they look like expensive super smooth pearls. We moved his arm up and down so we could see how the elbow joint moves and it was just simply breathtaking. It was beautiful. We were all in awe just watching and touching and ooh-ing and ahh-ing. I wish I could find a way to better describe the sight to you but it's nearly impossible. It was just that interesting.

Naturally, I couldn't help but think, 'Wow, this is MY internal make-up...incredible...'

Nobody likes me...(I'm exaggerating of course!)

Before I left my job in August everyone told me to keep in touch. Because I actually like my co-workers I took this fairly seriously and I had every intention of keeping in touch. One co-worker told me that it would never happen. She said once you leave, that's it, people forget about you and you forget about them and it never happens.

Well, I was determined not to let that happen to me. Mostly because I've had some awesome relationships with all types of people since college and many of them I have not maintained. This is something I really regret that.

I'm older and wiser now so I'm really making the effort to keep in contact with all sorts of people, mostly by email and text. I communicate with my former co-workers this way as well, but with some we actually hang out. I'm having dinner with some co-workers on Sunday. They're cooking! Whoo hoo!

Anyway, recently, I've sent out some emails detailing my experiences and asking people how they are doing. Some folks didn't respond and yes, my feelings were hurt. Sniff, sniff.

So, I told my friend Brandon, who also used to work at super duper top secret company. Yet again, he comes up with something creative that I just totally walked into:

Me: Well, it's finally happened, just like people predicted. I'm emailing folks at super duper top secret company & no one is emailing me back. I'm officially out the group. They're ignoring me...

Brandon: Well, if everyone else is ignoring you, I guess I should, too.

Me: *Sigh*

CPR & the Heimlich maneuver




Because I will be a health care professional, as a requirement for my program I have to be certified in CPR. I was so excited about this because it sounds so interesting; we learned both CPR & the Heimlich maneuver (using abdominal thrusts to relieve choking).

So, about a month or so ago, some classmates and I took the course. And it was every bit as interesting as I thought!

In case you don't know, CPR--cardiopulmonary resuscitation--uses breathing and chest compression techniques to victims who may be in 'cardiac arrest.' Cardiac arrest is when the heart stops pumping. Your body, ESPECIALLY your brain, can't survive without oxygen, which is located in the blood. If the heart stops pumping the oxygen in your blood can't get to your brain and other organs. As a result, with severe oxygen loss, if you don't die, you will surely suffer brain and organ damage.

I'm sure you see how dangerous this can be! Without the pumping heart, there's no life!

So, now that the logistics are out the way, some interesting highlights:

  • CPR IS VERY VIOLENT!!! Not that I'm trying to scare you but whoa! I never realized that saving someone's life was so invasive. I learned that it's not uncommon for the victim's ribs to be cracked in the process. (Please don't be scared, CPR can be useful when done correctly)

  • CPR victim's have been known to sue the people who saved their lives using CPR! They generally sue for cracked ribs! I don't intend to judge everyone because I really need all the facts but gosh! Which would you prefer: a cracked rib, er, uh, DEATH???!!!!! (Those licensed, like myself, are exempt from such suits)

  • These days health care professionals may not breath into the victim without a mouth barrier due to the risk of so many diseases, such as tuberculosis and HIV.

  • CPR can be used on babies!!! Instead of using two hands and your palm, you only use 2 fingers and you don't press down as hard.

But the most interesting thing about CPR is the AED. The AED--automated external defibrillator--is, in a nutshell, a machine that uses electricity to restore the heart's pumping. Basically, it's the machine you see on TV that people hold in both hands and yell, 'CLEAR!' It's an amazing machine. We were able to practice with a test machine.

Learning CPR made me see how TV glamorizes both CPR & the Heimlich maneuver. There's so much you have to remember for an infant, child and adult. It's simple to do in a low-stress learning environment but when death is in your face you have to remember all the steps, along with the details and perform them in the proper order.

It's a very serious event that I hope I NEVER encounter.

I performed Occupational Therapy on my car!!!

So, you know how I so vividly described all the shortcomings of my mode of transportation to school. Well, as winter draws near that 'opening' in the window that never closes is becoming more of a nuisance. The heat works fine so I just crank that up but it would be better if that hole were sealed. I'm not really interested in spending the money to fix it because I'd rather deal with the cold and spend my money on more entertaining things. So, I've decided to perform some moderate occupational therapy services on the car.

I haven't given you a definition of occupational therapy in awhile so here's one: Occupational therapy (OT) teaches people new ways of performing activities.

In this case, my car needs a way of keeping the cold air out. So, I used the universal fixer-upper!

DUCT TAPE!!


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Tom Cruise, a Pirate and a Pink-Haired Woman go salsa dancing








Halloween 2009 with my occupational therapy and physical therapy classmates was quite possibly the most fun I've had on Halloween in a looooong time. I very rarely celebrate Halloween because it's just not my thing. But this year my classmates came up with the brilliant idea of....SALSA DANCING!

Isn't that an awesomely creative idea????

I had a GREAT, WONDERFUL, FUN time. I learned Cumbia from some stranger on the dance floor who asked me to dance (it's surprisingly simple) and my PT classmate helped me perfect my Bachata and Salsa rhythms. I had a ball!

One classmate went as the Woman with the Pink Hair from the infamous painting Woman with the Pink Hair by George Bajinski. She totally made it up but she said it with such passion I nearly believed her! Ha ha!

My other classmate went as a pirate. Somewhere through the night they decided to switch headgear...hence the beautiful brown-skinned man in the bright pink wig...

Another guy went with us, a friend of the Woman with the Pink Hair. His costume was 'Regular Guy Going Salsa Dancing With Friends & Strangers on Halloween Night.' It was very believable! (ha ha!) I'm sure you can pick him out...

I went as Tom Cruise from the movie Risky Business. You know the scene where he's in a shirt and briefs dancing in his living room (although I don't think many people got it...but hey, I'm a grad student on a budget).

Unfortunately, I left out the briefs part because my legs are so sexy I didn't think people would be able to handle all of me. So I wore shorts instead. My legs were still sexy...even with the tube socks and my 2-inch salsa shoes...

My glass is STILL half-full....

My sister and I visited my mother and my other sister (she lives with my mother) Friday evening. My sisters and I stayed up pretty late and my Mom went to bed. I went home about 3am. The next day I went back to Mom's about noon. As I walked in the house, this is the conversation I had with my mother:

Mom: Girl, I didn't even know you left last night. I thought you spent the night like Marcia. I just knew I was going to hear your car put-putting away in the wee hours of the night with that loooooooud engine...

(my sisters are cracking up...)

Me: No, Mom. Daddy paid for me to take it to the shop to get the muffler fixed so it's quieter now.

Mom: Oh, well I guess I won't hear you coming or going anymore. You're gonna have to start ringing the bell again.

Me: Oh my goodness! It just NEVER gets old, does it????

(Mom and my two sisters are doubling over with laughter)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Driving around in my automobile...or something like that



These are pictures of the car I drive to occupational therapy school everyday. I'm posting it because it's really quite...amusing. This illustrates the life of a graduate student perfectly.

I don't have a car. I sold my last car to pay for school. My dad is loaning me this car until he decides he wants to (fix it and) sell it. The car needs...how do you say this....work.

First, if you can tell from the picture, the hood is black and the rest of the car is bluish green. A very faded bluish green, but, that's a minor detail :-)

The pipe leading to the muffler has not one, but TWO, holes in it so the muffler is SUPER LOUD. Once when I went to visit my mother she opened the door for me before I rang the bell. She says: Do you know how I knew it was you? I heard you waaaaay down the street. (Naturally, she could hardly get this out because she was laughing so hard) Sometimes I like to pretend I'm driving in Nascar or the Indy 500. Sometimes I'm actually convinced my name is Jeff Gordon.

I think only two of the wheels have hubcabs. It might drop down to one real soon. You just never know...

I always pray no one drives in the blind spot on my right side. It's hard to see other cars when there is no right side mirror. I'm very adept at looking over my right shoulder now. I'd like to say I'm an expert.

If I ever get pulled over by the cops there may be a huge problem. He'll ask for my license and insurance and I'll have to give it to him through the passenger side window because the driver side window does not roll down more than a half inch. It also does not roll up completely either. So the window is always open about 1/2 inch. Yes, in the summer this sucks. Yes, in the winter this sucks. Yes, when it's raining this sucks. Yes, when it's snowing...well, you get the idea.

Most cars start in first gear when you push the gas pedal from the brake. But this car is oh so special! It starts in second or third gear, so you have to really push the gas pedal to get about 3-4 feet of movement. This takes about 10-15 seconds longer than most cars so people almost always honk at me at a stoplight. I'm strongly considering cutting out the platform and fueling the car with my feet. Yes, just like the Flintstones. It will work, I know it!

The stalling engine is even more pronounced when someone else is in the car. My friend and I went to a party and because we live near each other he wanted me to drive. He is 6 feet tall 200 pounds, solid muscle. It took us 2 minutes to get from one stoplight to the next because take-off was so slow. The 15-minute trip to the party took 45 minutes. After the party (and a few drinks), as we're driving home, he said: C'mon, I'll get out and race you home. I bet I win.

And, to top it all off, the car has a car alarm complete with remote. So now I can be super cool as I press the button and hear that well-known 'boop boop boop' car alarm sound. But of course, it's not just any alarm. It's the LOUDEST car alarm on all of Earth. As my running friend so eloquently stated, "This little sh*t car has an alarm?"


My glass is half FULL.
My glass is half FULL.
My glass is half FULL.
My glass is half FULL.
:-) :-) :-) :-) :-)

Monday, October 26, 2009

October is HEALTH LITERACY month!!



I know I'm late in reporting this but better late than never! :-)

So, what is Health Literacy anyway and what's it's relationship to Occupational Therapy?

Glad you asked!! First, a website for reference-- http://www.healthliteracymonth.org/

Second, a definition: long story short, Health Literacy is understanding health information.

How many times have you or a loved one been to the doctor and received instructions and medicine, only to go home and find out that you have no idea what to do with the medicine or you don't remember or understand any of the terms the doctor said to you? Did the doctor say take the blue pill in the morning or in the evening? Was it with a meal or before a meal? Was it biweekly as in 2x a week or 2x a month? Did she say stop taking this medicine when symptoms stop or after I've taken all the pills in the bottle? Can I take this on an empty stomach?

AAAUUUGGHHHH!!! This happens ALL the time and it's time it stops NOW!

With so much information available to us and with recognizing how important our health is there's no reason why anyone should leave a health care facility and not understand what's going on with their OWN health.

A bigger problem that frustrates me is that many people can't read. Yes, you read that right (thank God YOU can read). Millions of respectable people with good jobs and loving families CAN'T READ. They listen to their health care professional use large, industry-specific words like neutrophils and greater tubercle of the humerus and vertebrae and potassium chloride and heart striations and they are CONFUSED.

They can't fill out their medical paperwork and they somehow fake it through. Instead of asking their health care professional questions for clarification they nod their head, take their medications and/or instructions and go home and try to work it all out.

We watched a video of this in class of ARTICULATE, good-looking people who couldn't read and were confused. They went home and damaged their health further!!! The reading level of the average American is 8th grade level. WHAT???!!!

Also, health care pros COME ON!!! You know average people don't know words like scapula, flexion, phalanges, macrophages, humoral response, and so on. WHY WOULD YOU SPEAK TO SOMEONE THIS WAY??? You add to the problem and make it worse.

As health care professionals we need to be cognizant of our client's literacy levels and make the effort to ensure they understand. This includes asking them to repeat instructions back to us, demonstrating actions to them, using SIMPLE language, asking them to demonstrate what we've explained to them, and speaking slowly.

Clients! I encourage you to ASK your health care professional questions. If they are unwilling to answer you FIND A NEW HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL. Your health is not worth their impatience or stupidity now is it????

I mean really, how many chances do you have to get your health in order???

(btw, I'm not shouting with all the caps, exclamation & question marks and bold letters. I'm just excited!!!!)


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Nerd-girl, how did you get so smart? I study!

About 4 weeks ago a doctor made this comment to me:

"Graduate school will be the most inspiring and educational time of your life."

I asked him why he thought this was so and he went on to explain that:

"You will never be surrounded by so many like-minded people who are just as interested and dedicated as you to learning, asking questions and overall curiosity."

I'm finding this to be very true. I'm surrounded by people that, for the most part, are very good reflections of myself. Sometimes my classmates say things and I'm like, "Wow, they are SO in my head right now." They do some of the same weird and quirky things that I do, although none of them are quite as weird and quirky as me.

The things that we laugh about are a bit nerdy, and no one else would find them funny or understand them. We ask a lot of the same questions about the things we're learning and about things we're not learning in our classes. We're in curious mode right now. We're all so interested in just EVERYTHING. We all want to research and learn and ask questions. I don't find this kind of curiosity amidst the general public.

To be honest, I'm often teased because I enjoy learning so much; I research EVERYTHING. My friend made a song about me called 'Nerd-girl.' It has a chorus and lyrics and everything:

Nerd-girl, Nerd-girl
How did you get so smart?
Because I study!

(Isn't that too funny?! He sings it to me all the time. I just crack up laughing)

The Internet is my best friend. I love looking up answers to my questions on the Internet. When I was financially strapped about a year ago, I disconnected my cable and did not watch television for over a year. I survived on only the Internet. To this day, I'm not much of a TV-watcher. If I get bored at home on a snowy or rainy day I hop on the Internet or read a book. It's very relaxing.

Last Saturday my sister asked me a question about Folic Acid and I didn't know the answer. About 10 minutes later she came back to where I was and, naturally, I was on the computer looking it up:

Sister: Are you looking up the question I just asked you?
Me: Yup.
Sister: (sarcastically) How did I know you were going to do that? I just knew would you have to look up the answer...

Anyway, the doctor was right about this being the best time of my life. I have very little money, no job (well, I have a part-time job) and no car, but I have loads of time to LEARN and I enjoy learning so much. I'm in a low pressure environment with positive, forward-thinking, inquisitive people. I'm so grateful for this time to really focus on what I'm learning. Last year, I worked full-time and went to school full-time to fulfill my prerequisites for this program and that was very tiring. Now that I have the time to just focus on school it's so enjoyable! And I can appreciate it all the more.

I enjoy all of my classes so much because I'm learning something incredibly interesting EVERY DAY. How many people can say that?!

The confidence of a 3-year old!

Outside of 'Congratulations you have been accepted to our Master of Occupational Therapy program' and 'Congratulations you are the 2009 recipient of two grad school scholarships' the following is quite possibly the absolute BEST and MOST INSPIRING thing I've heard all year. It's a Facebook post one of my FB friends posted earlier today about an INCREDIBLE comment by her son:

Facebook friend: I asked Ian what his preschool teachers thought of him, and his response was "They think I am fantastic...they just haven't said it yet..."

Isn't this the most AMAZING thing EVER???? This is a PRE-SCHOOLER saying this! I'm so impressed by this confidence from such a small person. I'm going to have to adopt this train of thought into my daily mantra.

Out of the mouths of babes...Wow...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The spinal cord is the size of my pinky...

The dissection of our cadaver is coming along quite nicely. I know I say this a lot but WOW. The body is just amazing.

We dissected the spinal cord a few weeks ago. I'm still speechless over that. We took one of those hand-held saw's like you see on TV (the most recent episode of HOUSE used one...if you need a picture reference) in the autopsy room. We literally cut through the spine of both our cadavers! The smell was atrocious but the sight of it was incredible.

We performed a laminectomy on both cadavers. We cut a rectangular box from the spine and pulled it out! No joke! Then we examined the spinal cord and cut it out a piece of it for further review.

It's much smaller than I expected. But after collaboration with my classmates I realized it's just the right size. The vertebrae we view in class always have small holes so the spinal cord can't be THAT large.

It's about the size of a large pinky finger, maybe that of a woman with large hands, like myself. It's the consistency of squid or octopus, very spongy-like. When you pick it up and see how small and fragile it is you can't help but think, "Wow, electrical and chemical impulses travel from my brain to this small thing???" This super small thing is so important.

Everyday I'm amazed at the complexity and organization of it all. The body is so wonderful that man has not yet figured out how to replicate it. Isn't that amazing?

How did God create such an incredible machine?

On OTs, God & Mom's love...

My OT peers are pretty amazing people.

I knew one of the girls had a special needs child but today I just found out that 2 others also have special needs children. This is partly what inspired them to pursue OT.

One young lady commented about how hurt she was when her daughter finished her long-term therapy because the therapy office was the only place where she and her daughter felt they 'belonged.' She would go weekly and talk with other parents about life and the ups and downs of having a special needs child.

I didn't know there was so much effort and time that goes into caring for these children. I mean, I knew there was effort and time, but I guess I hadn't thought much about how much effort and time. You have to take the child to and from therapy sessions and work with the child on therapy at home. And if they have Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Speech Therapy, doctor appoints and whatever else they may have. It can be overwhelming driving to and from these appointments. And what if you have other kids?! How do you know if you're providing them with all the love and attention they need? Having one special needs child can be a full-time job in itself, as one of my classmates pointed out (she said she didn't work and she can't imagine how people work and take care of a special needs child). It's a lot of pressure on a family.

I was also intrigued by a comment one of the women made...it was something about how 75% of marriages with special needs children end in divorce. 75 percent! That's amazing to me. A comment was also made about how it's normally men that can't take the pressure.

As biased as my next comment will sound, I can see how men can't take the pressure. If you think about it, a mother has a bond with her child from conception. That's the very, VERY beginning. This is when the kid is just a speck, a speck so small you can't even see it. Mom loves it, cares for it, talks to it, feeds it, provides for it...she does EVERYTHING. The father may support and take care of the mother but his bond really starts when the baby is born...then he is really able to love it, care for it, talk to it, feed it provide for it and so on. Think about Mom's love compared to Dad's love. It's different. It's usually more nurturing. Think about all the Mom's who have kids that do terrible things, like steal, murder and rape. Mom's always love their kids. They're always there. Think about all the celebrities and sports players. What's the first thing they say when interviewed: "I just want to say hi to Mom," "I love you Mom," "I just want to thank my Mom," and so on. It's always about Mom.

Think about the Mom's of the two men that killed all those people in those terrible Brown's Chicken murders in Palatine, IL. I was watching the news and the mother of one of the killers was heartbroken, for both herself and the families of the victims. The jury did not rule for the death penalty for the killer and his Mom commented about how grateful she was for this decision. I thought to myself, 'My God...with all the hatred the community feels for these two men we forget that they have Moms that love them...no matter what they've done.'

If you're Christian, as I am, isn't this how God's love is? Unconditional..no matter what you've done?

Unconditional is pretty darn amazing...Interesting, isn't it? Definitely something to think about...

Interesting funeral comments

A conversation after the funeral:

Me: Man, that was one looong funeral.

Sister: Yeah, it was too long.

Me: When I die, just post a photo of me and keep the entire service under one hour. Short and sweet.

Sister: Ok, I'll be sure to remember that.

Me: Wait a sec, how do you know I'm gonna die first?

***********************************************

As we're driving through the cemetery to bury my grandmother:

Sister: Wow, this cemetery sure is empty...there's so much land...where are all the tombstones?

Me: Yeah, it is pretty empty. I guess the economy is slow for the funeral homes too. People just aren't dying fast enough...

Friday, October 9, 2009

When I have kids, will I drive a bus, too?



My Grandmother's funeral is tomorrow.

*Sigh*

I hate funerals.

Yes, especially those of family members. I'm still going of course, because it's the right thing to do but I'm REALLY dreading it. REALLY dreading it.

Funerals are so sad. And viewing the body is so morbid to me. I told my mother I was NOT viewing the body. I want to remember Grandma as she was. Most older, civilized nations of the world wrap the body and bury it immediately. There is no 'viewing' of the body. It's a gross practice. I told my family to never do that for me. Just post a (flattering) picture of me and place me in the casket.

This is the Circle of Life Mufasa talked about in the Disney movie The Lion King. Despite how sad these events are they must happen.

But, as I stated a few blogs ago, my Grandmother really loved her children, as most mothers do. It's the way it should be. Good parents produce productive children who have meaningful contributions to society.

A mother's love for her children is indescribable and immeasurable and I'm looking forward to experiencing this for myself. One of my classmates told me she drove a bus (yes, a bus!) when her children reached school age just so she could be home when they were home, have summers off and tote them around with her when necessary. That's incredible to me! My other classmate told me her mother worked in her school's cafeteria just so she could be closer to them and make sure they were okay.

I have another friend who fibs and tells her family 'the doctor said do it' just so she can feed her child wholesome breast milk and whole, organic foods without the criticism of the family. If she did not say it was the doctor's orders the family would feed the baby high fructose corn syrup, cow's milk, artificial milk, and processed and microwavable foods, which both she and I agree are huge no-no's. But she does it to protect the health of her child.

Anyway, Grandmother's funeral is tomorrow.

*Sigh*

I hate funerals.

The Michelin Man's competition


I was searching for something on the Internet, I don't remember what, and I came across this picture:



Isn't this a bit...(gross) over the top (gross)? How do you function with muscles like this? This man MUST be on steroids. It's to the point where the muscles are actually unattractive. They look like very large corn kernels.

Some people's muscles actually split in half (I'm not joking) from excessive steroid use. The body can only take so much stress.

I think he needs Occupational Therapy to help him engage in more daily activities. I can't imagine what simple tasks, like shopping for clothes, driving a car, or going for a drink with friends, must be like. I'm only 150 pounds and I eat a LOT of food per day to keep my weight down. Imagine what his grocery bill must be like! Imagine what his portion sizes must be like! Wow.

He looks like a real-life version of the Michelin man...Michelin man, looks like you have competition.

I'll bet that grandma in the last post is having way more sex than this guy!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Everyone is having sex! Even grandma!


One of the themes of Occupational Therapy is to enable people to engage in occupations, or their everyday activities, that make them happy or are meaningful to them. These activities vary from person to person and it will my job to discover what a client's occupations are and give them the tools to engage in it.

About a week or so ago in my Ethics course we discussed something that affects most people at some point and is as natural as breathing: S-E-X! There are eight Areas of Occupation in Occupational Therapy. An Area of Occupation is a 'category' under which any activity in which you engage falls. These areas are, in no particular order:

Activities of Daily Living (activities you do to take care of your own body, like feeding or dressing yourself)
Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (activities you do in home/community that are a bit more complex than ADL's, like taking care of a pet or balancing your checkbook)
Rest & Sleep
Education

Work

Play

Leisure

Social Participation


Under Social Participation falls sexual activity. Many people don't think about seniors or people with disabilities wanting to have sex, let alone actually having sex. But those that fall into these groups have these desires the same as everyone else.

As an OT, I have to consider that this subject may come up with a client--What sexual activities are available for a 23-year old male with a spinal cord injury? How do I address this with a client? How can I create an environment and a trusting relationship so that the client is comfortable discussing this with me? Am I willing to accept that my 80-year old male client in the nursing home wants to hump his 78-year old female peer?

Many of us can't think about our parents having sex, we often cringe--ewwwwww!--because it's too gross. But it happens! (How do you think we all got here anyway?) And others of us don't think about seniors or people with disabilities having sex because it's not a subject we deal with regularly or we don't believe sex is an option for them. But it is...

An illustration:

A few years ago, a gentlemen of about 45 or 50-years old who is an upper manager in a hospital called me and requested that I help one of his elderly clients with a real estate issue she was having. This woman was 71 or 72 years old at the time, I can't remember exactly which. When I showed up at her house to talk with her we got off the subject on more personal matters and the conversation went something like this:

Her: I'm glad you came by because I don't get many visitors. Who sent you again?

Me: Mr. X, you know, the Manager of Unit Y at Hospital Z.

Her: Oh my goodness! HE sent you! Wow, he is just so handsome! I want to marry him but he has a wife and I would have to find a way to get rid of her first. She's not all that cute anyway. So he sent you, huh? That means he was thinking about me! He makes me hot! I just want to throw him down on the table and kiss him. I would just let him have his way with me, I really would. I need to get over to that hospital and see him as soon as possible. And... (she goes on and on)

Me (stunned and trying not to look utterly appalled, but probably failing at this attempt): Lady this is NOT what I want to hear. Really, it isn't. You're old, like old enough to be my grandmother. Please keep those comments to yourself...

Ok, seriously, what I really said was something like: Wow, really? You should go see him. (but I said it REAL dry)

So you see, even Occupational Therapists have their faults. I'm really opening myself up to you all right now by admitting my thoughts on this conversation. But I'm doing this because I want to illustrate that everyone has sexual desires and we shouldn't put people in a box just because we can't imagine them doing things outside of that box. It's important to open our horizons because engagement in activities you enjoy makes life interesting and fun, right? Of course! And this is what Occupational Therapy is all about.

So, in a nutshell, everyone is having sex! Just accept it! Ha ha!


Monday, October 5, 2009

Study tips! How to get an A in every class...

Oh yeah, btw, through all the commotion with my Grandma I failed to say that I passed all my exams with A's. Yes, I received an A on every single one!

Studying hard pays off! So, if you're in an Occupational Therapy program (or any educational program at all) here are some of the things I did along with some things I will be doing in the future:

1. Preview notes before class so that you have some sort of understanding of what the instructor will talk about. Most instructors these days use Powerpoint so this should be easy to do.

2. Review notes after class or later that day to solidify what you've learned in class.

3. If you can, TAPE the lectures!!! This was a HUGE help to me. Then, listen to the lecture as if your life depends on it. Listen while you drive, while you take the bus, while you walk to wherever you going, just listen, listen, listen. Depending on how you think about this, as in your life (career), does depend on it!

4. Ask questions! You know how they say if you don't understand something chances are 1 or 2 other people in class don't get it either??? It's true!! Even if it's not true, ask anyway because you need to know the information. No one is going to think you're stupid. And if they do, then THEY'RE stupid!!! See, so now YOU think THEY'RE stupid...see how that all works out???

5. Use the Internet!! If you don't understand something and your instructor isn't explaining it well the Internet has all the answers! Really, it does. Just Google the key words and search, search, search! Use videos and pictures to help. YouTube is awesome also. My nephew picked up long division in a matter of minutes by reviewing videos on YouTube! The Internet is awesome. It works! I promise!

6. If you have the time and energy, rewrite your notes, or at least the most important parts, into your own words. This is another thing that helped me. It took me awhile to do it but it helps sooo much, especially if you're visual, as I am.

7. Be able to explain EVERYTHING in your own words. Pretend like your 80-year old Grandma asked you how something you learned about in class works, then explain that subject to her. You are, of course, talking to yourself but who'll know unless you're doing it in public? So, alk to yourself about it. If you can do this, then you truly understand the material.

8. Draw pictures!!! Pictures are worth a thousand words, right? Yes, they are! When you're in school, pictures are worth lots of A's! So, draw as many pics as you can to understand concepts and then talk (to yourself or that Grandma you just made up) about how it works.

9. Study the subject REPEATEDLY. Then start from the beginning and study it again. Then start from the beginning and study it again. Then start from the beginning and study it again...These are not typos...see a pattern here??? Repetition is the key to learning. Don't expect to review something once or twice and know it. How do you learn a song? Or someone's name? How did you learn to tie your shoe? You repeat it OVER AND OVER AND OVER. Studying is no different. I studied all my Occupational Therapy subjects so many times I started seeing their concepts in my everyday activities. When I looked at a door hinge I saw a second class lever. When I sat in a chair, I saw an eccentric, closed chain movement. When I lifted weights I imagined the actin and myosin in my muscles getting bigger. This tip works...maybe a little too well!

10. DON'T EAT!!! Eating wastes precious study time. Just kidding! I couldn't think of a real #10 so I put this one instead. Ten tips sounds better than 9 tips, right? Even though I really didn't eat during my study time, don't be like me! Dare to be different...be a leader, not a follower!

:-)

Happy studying!

OT job description!

Through this experience I have learned that it's important to recognize that during emotional times a family experiences a wide range of emotions--grief, anger, irritability, happiness, laughter, sadness...

Before my Grandmother died, I went to the hospital to see her. While there chatting with my family our cousin came to visit. As soon as she saw my Grandmother she asked my mother when was the last time someone came to 'turn' her.

(In case you don't know, it's important to literally 'turn' someone over every few hours so that they lay on different sides of their body. This process prevents bed sores which are terrible open wounds that develop when a body part has constant pressure with an object, such as a bed)

After some conversation it had been determined that no one had been in to turn Grandma for nearly 3 hours! She was supposed to be turned every 2 hours. The nurse was called.

While the nurse was turning Grandma I began asking all types of questions, it's totally natural for me to do this. My family gets on me about this all the time but it's my nature, I can't help it.

The nurse was sooooo non-chalant and disinterested that I found myself getting irritated and asking even MORE questions, but with frustration in my voice. Perhaps my family sensed this because then they became irritated with me.

It wasn't until a few days later that I realized there is an Occupational Therapy lesson in this. As an OT, I will be working with all types of people and their family and caregivers. People respond differently to grief, pain and confusion. It's my job as an OT to do my best to read between the lines, stay calm and ANSWER QUESTIONS. The nurse 'caring' for my Grandma failed to do this!

As health professionals, it's important that we are ALWAYS empathetic. If someone asks a question, and we are not breaking privacy or ethical laws, it's important to answer as best we can, in the simplest language possible, so that the family members understand WHY we are there and WHY we are performing certain treatments.

Many people don't understand what Occupational Therapy is so if I approach a client in a hospital room and start giving orders--'Raise your arm,' 'Lift your leg,' 'Grab this,' 'Close that,'--how the heck are they supposed to know who I am and the purpose of all the directions???? They won't know! This is why it's important for me to inform them AND answer questions as thoroughly as possible.

A family's job is to concentrate on loving and caring for their injured family member. My job is make sure everyone understands what's going on in therapy AND to be as empathic and understanding as possible.

Basically, my job is to be the exact OPPOSITE of my Grandmother's nurse.

I've never seen Mom cry...

This event has been hard on all of us. To watch someone deteriorate and die is a terrible, incredibly emotional process. But, I'm glad to have known my Grandmother before the disease took over. I'm grateful that she loved my mother, uncles and aunts enough to show them how to love their children.

I have yet to see my Grandfather. I can't imagine being married for 57 years and then one day your partner is gone. Isn't that nearly unfathomable? I'm 30 years old. And the only people I have known for all 30 years are my Mom and Dad. My sisters were not yet born so I've known them slightly less than 30 years but I've known Mom, Dad and senior members of the family my entire life.

Mom is 56. That means she's had her mother for 56 years. This is the only life she knows. She doesn't know life without her mother. I'm tearing up now thinking about this, what this all means. One day, my Mom will pass. What will that be like for me? I can't bear to think about it.

I have never seen my mother cry.

I've been trying to think of events but I can't. I just don't ever remember seeing my mother cry. I know she cries because my aunts have told me they've seen her in that vulnerable moment, but I've never seen it. I've seen my Dad cry once--when his father died. It's interesting to think of your parents crying.

My sister called me from the hospital to tell me Grandma died (Sis in the hospital is another story). Mom was sitting with my sister when Granddad called to tell her the news. Sis said she just broke down. I'm very grateful my Grandfather was with his wife when she passed. That's so important to me.

Sis called me asked me to meet Mom at the house so she wouldn't be alone.

When Mom drove up she was crying...it was odd to see her cry. I told myself I wouldn't cry and I didn't.

I hugged Mom for a long time and told her not to hold it in, just let it out. And she did. I just kept hugging her.

When she calmed a bit I said:

Me: Mom, Sis told me what you told Grandma before she passed. I'm glad you did that.

Mom: Yeah, people have been telling me that sometimes parents stay alive through pain because they're worried about their children. I wanted her to know we would be okay. I'm glad I went to the hospital to see Grandma before going to see your sister.

Me: Yeah, me too. What did you say to Grandma?

Mom: I told her that she's been a great Mom and that it's ok to go because she's done a great job raising us and we'll be ok.

Me: Wow, Mom, that was a great thing to say. She did do a good job raising you guys. Except for Uncle Fred...he's questionable.

Mom: HA HA HA HA HA! You so silly!

I've seen Mom laugh many, many times. I'm glad to have made her laugh in that moment.

Death of a Matriarch

Well, if you've been following me (what's my readership now, I wonder? How can I get one of those people counter thingies?) you probably noticed that I've been MIA for about two weeks.

My grandmother has had Alzheimer's for about 1.5 years now and over the last two weeks she fell extremely ill. She has been in the hospital undergoing multiple surgeries--kidney, gallbladder and so on. This past week she was completely unresponsive. Not even the almighty Occupational Therapy could help her. It was like she was in a coma. Her eyes were always closed, she didn't move much, she didn't speak at all.

Nurses would come in and turn her (at our prompting, they were NOT on their game! tsk tsk!) and wash her. She had to be fed through a tube in her nose. This is my mother's mother. My mother was at the hospital nearly every day. She would talk with her Mom (even though Grandma didn't respond or blink an eye), moisturize her face, put Cocoa and Shea butters on her lips to prevent dryness and soreness and call the nurses to care for Grandma.

It seemed as if my Grandma was holding on...but for what? Her body was failing her. The woman I knew as my grandmother didn't quite exist anymore. When she saw me she would request that I leave the house because I was not welcomed. The disease had taken over her physical and mental state.

My mother has been grieving internally for months. The end was inevitable, we all knew it.

So, through the advice of close friends my mom went to the hospital, sat with Grandma, and said what she knew would give Grandma ultimate rest.

Mom: Mom, we love you so much. You've been a good mother to us. You raised us to be good, productive people. You're tired and I hate seeing you suffer. It's ok to go rest. We'll all be okay. You did an excellent job raising us. We love you.

Grandma died a few hours later.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

KNOCK OUT!!!

Thanks for the encouragement Uncle Sam because I did it!

I promised myself that I wouldn't post my grades on my blog but I can't help it this one time.
98% = A

KNOCK OUT!!!

1 down, 4 to go...

Monday, September 21, 2009

BRING IT ON!!!


OK exams, whatcha got?! I'm ready.


This baby below looks like how I feel. Ready!

First exam is tomorrow.

Rocky music goes on in the morning...



BRING IT!!!

Guess what?



My brain hurts!

lol!


Despite this, I'm very grateful for the opportunity to go to school full-time (with no job) because working while going to school sucks.

Cayce's abusing her dog...well, sort of

So, here's another entry on our FIVE exams this week (I know I keep saying that, it's funny).


My Occupational Therapy student peer, Cayce, sent me this message and pictures via email. I think it illustrates how much we're all studying.



Cayce: So I know I've been studying too much when my dog gets jealous of my anatomy book...






and then when I make her move she just looks depressed!



Me: Poor doggie...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

THE BEST INVENTION SINCE SLICED BREAD...& I don't eat sliced bread...

Since I'm studying so much about muscles, I'm going to go the gym today to train my muscles. I haven't been as consistent with the gym since school started, partly because I needed to get a rhythm going. Now I have a rhythm so it's time to stop being lazy.

Normally, I'm at the gym 4-5 days a week. Over the last 3 weeks I've been to the gym 1-2 days a week. It's terrible! Especially when you don't adjust your eating habits for the lack of exercise. I used to eat 5-6 small meals per day. Now I'm eating 3-4 large meals, along with sugar and junk food. It's awful!

I've been a real bum, ha ha. My adipose cells are subtly growing! (that's code for I'M GAINING WEIGHT!!) If I keep this up, all my clothes will magically shrink (again, code for I'M GAINING WEIGHT!!). The only reason I haven't gained much weight is because my metabolism is so high from working out and lifting weights...well, when I was doing it consistently (more code for I'M GAINING WEIGHT S-L-O-W-L-Y). I'm used to having visible muscle so I have to continue to weight lift and eat well to keep all my sexy muscles. If not, they'll atrophy! Thus, I have to get back on my game!

The gym won't be a complete break because I will be listening to my digital recording of Physiology while I'm working out. Whomever invented the digital recorder is a genius!! A real Einstein! If anyone out there is going back to school or even in undergrad, I encourage you to record every lecture. You'll be amazed at the things the instructor said that you totally missed, didn't understand or need reinforced. It really helps to solidify the material.

Additionally, the recorder can mimic the iPod. As I will prove this evening at the gym, you can listen to it while working out, washing the dishes, cleaning, driving, cooking, flat-ironing your hair, brushing your teeth, washing your face, or sitting on your couch relaxing. If you're tired of listening through headphones, you can connect it to your speakers and it's instantly surround sound! :-) ha ha. As you can probably guess, I know all this first-hand because I've listened to my lectures while doing all of these things.

The only thing that is challenging is finding the time to listen to the full lecture. Each of my lectures are 1.5-2 hours long, which means, of course, that to listen to the whole lecture I need 1.5-2 hours of time. You're only brushing your teeth and washing the dishes for so long. So, the lectures get broken up and sometimes that can be distracting.

Despite that, the digital recorder is immensely helpful and serves as an excellent tool for studying. I wouldn't be me if I didn't exaggerate. So, it's the best invention since sliced bread! And I don't eat sliced bread...