Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Wait, I was supposed to remember that after the test?!

It is a terrible thing to drive I-70 the weekend after Thanksgiving and fighting a not so fun virus!  But after a wonderful week at home (and taking the Christmas Card picture) I have arrived back in Kansas City and started my 3 week clinical!  After 2 days it is safe to say that I fit in perfectly with my Clinical Instructor and my site.  I am in Lee's Summit at an outpatient rehabilitation site. 

Seeing as this is my first clinical rotation my instructor has been really great at easing me into the responsibilities of a Physical Therapist.  I have spent the last 2 days learning exercises and starting to oversee patients with those.  I was also allowed to do some basic range of motion and ultrasound today.  Tomorrow I am going to be doing a subjective exam (!?).  As my responsibilities increase I am surprisingly handling it better than I thought.  While I do not have the clinical experience to back what I have learned and I am not always confident in what I know.  The details of injuries are slowing starting to fill in, which is really exciting for me.  I am happy to say that I am enjoying my time so far in the clinic and can't wait to soak in all the opportunities it is going to give me the next few weeks.  It also is making me less anxious for my 9 weeks starting in June!

Downsides say what?!  It is definitely difficult to be on my feet 8 hours a day when I have been on my rump for the past 1.5 years 8 hours a day!  Anddddd I might have become slightly spoiled over break sleeping in until 9 so getting up to be at the clinic at 7 or 8 is testing my morning attitude!

The lesson I have been taught many times is coming into play.  If you don't know the answer find out, if you believe they will to.  So act confident even when your brain drawing a complete blank!  Trust is everything and there is nothing wrong with asking for help or finding answers!  While it is true we have been taught so much, there are also things we have forgotten, which is completely normal.  So things are becoming less murky!

So until December (since it is literally right around the corner), stay warm and enjoy your blessings!

Christmas Picture from the LeGrands

Friday, November 25, 2011

Giving Thanks for Thanksgiving

After spending some time babysitting and working with Trevor last weekend (a boy with special needs I have helped for 4 years), I took a much needed trip home to visit with some close friends, watch some movies on the ever growing list, and spend time with my beautiful family.

Rachel and I rockin' the brown boots
While some of you are out fighting the crowds and aggressively making your way through Target and the mall, I am avoiding it like the plague....not my cup of tea!  So instead the painting continues in our household and we have started the dreaded living room so we can get the Christmas Tree up and the Christmas card picture taken.  Ironically, Dad left this morning to go pheasant hunting in South Dakota, hmmmm, coincidence?  Just Kidding. 

Siblings, cousin Rachel and cousin-in-law Joel with our
Grandma Ornaments!
We drove up to Springfield IL for the holiday and I got to spend some time with my mom's side of the family.  I also got to go stalk by my clinical site where I will be this summer! But more importantly, Thanksgiving is my second favorite holiday (right behind Easter!) and I was so very excited for the Johnson traditions.....

  • Wild Turkey
  • Homemade wine
  • Catchphrase and pinball at Uncle Dave's
  • AND receiving the ornament Grandma makes us every year....they are one of my favorite parts of Christmas!

So in honor of the holiday, I have decided to list some things I am thankful for this past week (minus the cliche family, friends, etc, because those things I am beyond blessed with!)
  • Smores Poptarts....didn't know how much I missed them until I found them in my parents pantry
  • Yoga Pants....traveling just got an upgrade
  • Lifetime Christmas movies, because Lifetime movies alone are not quite cheesy enough
  • My Kindle and I reconnecting now that classes are over. 
  • Anddddd autocorrect on my Iphone....nothing beats a Bipolar program that is putting words into my texts or saving me from embarrassing spelling mistakes
So keep enjoying the weekend with the ones you love and I will be back in a few days!  Be thankful!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Reunited (with sanity) and it feels so good

Classes are officially OVER!  (only if we ignore the 3 assignments and 1 take home test that I must finish in the next few weeks...but for the sake of sanity, we are going to ignore those!)  It feels great to technically be done with semester 5 of PT School!  4 more to go! 

My patient and I doing a therapeutic
exercise during client lab!
While this week did have a big test and a bigger practical, there were some enjoyable things we got to do at school.  First was the client lab in our Neuromuscular conditions lab.  Catherine, our professor, got volunteers to come in and let us perform an exam and treatment on them in the course of 2 days.  The disorders ranged from stroke to spinocerebellar disorders or Parkinson's disease.  I was privileged to work with a patient with Parkinson's.  Even more fascinating was her surgery she had about a year ago to have a deep brain stimulator implanted.  This helps the basal ganglia work properly and significantly decreases the signs and symptoms of Parkinson's in some patients.  It was amazing to see how much she has improved with this surgery!  And she was super sweet to work with. 

Adventures in making Falafels!

My group in Professional Development also got to do a presentation on the Islam faith for our cultural awareness unit.  While we did an amazing skit (haha) the most impressive thing was Molly and mys very successful attempt to make Falafels!  What are those you might ask?  They are a mix of garbanzo beans, parsley, spices, onion and breadcrumbs that are fried and served on roadside carts in Egypt.  I would consider them a slightly healthier cousin of the Hush Puppies.  If PT school doesn't work out, it is safe to say that Molly and I have a pretty sound back up plan. 

One of the student's successful egg drop devices!
Finally, to wrap up our semester in the Physics Lab Emily and I were teaching, we did the egg drop!  The students had to construct a contraption (using only certain materials and weighing under a certain amount) based on the physics principals we have been learning about throughout the semester.  I am very please to say that only 2 of the 7 eggs broke!  It was a lot of fun and a great way to send them off for the semester!

Yesterday we had to say good-bye to our friends when class ended since we are setting off on a 3 week clinical after the holiday.  It is crazy to think that these people see up to 40 hours a week I will not see for 2 months!  It was a little sad but still so excited.  When we leave for our rotations in May, it is going to be really difficult.  We have gotten so used to our crazy dysfunctional family, the thought of not seeing some of them for 6-9 months is out of control!  But it will be an amazing journey!

So while I am off to clean my neglected duplex from the frenzy of finals, I am wishing you a beautiful weekend!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Queen of the gypsies

Unfortunately I do not have fun 80s prom or Halloween stories to grab your attention with this week.  But it’s the final countdown until the end of the PT semester!
Calibrating the spirometer for our project (monitors
the participant's breathing)
 That being said I saved this particular aspect of the PT student aspect  to talk about our research project.  I am in a group with Kim, Ali, and Megan.  The whole class is put into groups of four and does a full blast research project during their 3 year curriculum, from getting approved by the IRB to presenting at the state convention….with the help of our faculty advisors.  Ours is Jean, who teaches the Exercise Physiology and Cardiovascular/Pulmonary classes in our program.  So our research topic is very fitting.
My group is looking at the role of the diaphragm on postural control when doing single leg squats.  We are look at whether a person can squat farther when inhaling, exhaling, or holding their breath.  Our hypothesis (based on other research), is that the participants will squat further when holding their breath.  We will start collecting our data at the start of next semester and we are excited to get this moving!
Most exciting about this week was that we received our CLINICAL ROTATION SITES!!!!!!  This girl is going to live the life of a gypsy wanderer starting in June and getting to live with some of my favorite people, which is exactly what I wanted.  I will be doing my three 9 week internships in the following locations:
·         Springfield, IL (outpatient)
·         Tulsa, OK (inpatient acute)
·         Sikeston, MO….just south of Cape Girardeau (pediatrics)
I am very excited to have these great opportunities!  Is it June yet?
No, no it is not.  What it is is the weekend before our last week of class (and lots of musculoskeletal II testing).    So while my Dad and some of my friends enjoy the opening week of rifle deer season in the state of Missouri, I will be tediously dissecting my notes and the spine to survive next week. 
Linds finally got her wedding pics in, and I mus say we cleaned up pretty nice!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Take me home tonight, while I wear my sunglasses at night

What a crazy and busy, roller coaster week it has been!  But how beautiful! (if you can put on your aviator sunglasses to shield yourself from what is the awesome comeback of the 80s)

Allie assessing Brian's lifting technique at Summit Strength
The coolest thing we did in school this week was a Functional Capacity Evaluation, which is used to assess a person that has been injured to make sure they are able to return to work.  We went out to Summit Strength in Lee's Summit and spent an evening doing the functional tests that a normal worker would do (lifting, thepushing, pulling, squatting, etc), and assessing the proper body mechanics of it and maximum weight that can be safely lifted by the patient. Here is what I learned:

  • DO NOT lift weights the day before in your work out
  • expect to be sore the next day
  • It can definitely be counted as your workout for that day, cause it is hard work!

Friday morning some of my classmates and I volunteered at the "Stoke House", where our Neuro professor Dr. McKiernan (or Brian in the PT dept) leads a balance class for people who have had a neurological lesion.  I worked with a woman who had an aneurysm in September.  It was a really great opportunity to see what we have been learning in action!  We also surprised one of our classmates Trebor on his birthday Friday! After cramping 20 of us into his neighbor's apartment and blowing his socks off, we all went out for a laid back night of camaraderie.  Happy 25th Trebor!

But the best part of this weekend was Colleen's 30th birthday party!  It was Pretty in Pink and 80s themed and me and Lindsey (friend in Oklahoma) pulled out our best blue eyeshadow and puffy sleeve dresses for the occasion.  It was an absolute blast to dance the night away to my favorite 80s songs while looking like a complete fool to outsiders.  It is safe to say that the endless hours of running man dancing and screaming at the top of my lungs to Journey and Kenny Loggins wore us out! 

Now it is back to a mere 2 weeks of difficult concentration on the task at hand...finishing the semester strong!  Life can be so beautiful in so many ways! Sometimes it is the endless hours of laughter dressed in tacky outfits, or the easy conversations with friends during our lunch break. Life for the little moments and treasure them, cause wrinkles should be from all the laughter, not the stress! So in the words of Ferris Buller.... 

"Life moves by pretty fast, if you don't slow down and take a look, you might miss it" :)
Exhausted after a serious night of far out dancing!