Don’t worry, I’m not going to go on and on about this topic. So many other people have already done just that. What I am going to say is that I spend too much of my day sitting. It’s just too easy to do just that, especially in the UK, where the weather generally isn’t very supportive of your spontaneous desires to go outside. (It’s cloudy and windy outside now, right when I want to play some badminton in the garden.) And now I’ve stumbled upon a rather terrifying infographic about the consequences of sitting. Some of its statistics seem a bit exaggerated, but even if they are, it might be necessary to scare us out of our seats. Take a look! Continue reading
Yesterday was my last day of lectures for the academic year. Actually, it was my last day of lectures for the year, as come September 5th, I’ll be going straight to a three-month placement, lasting until December 9th. The last day of lectures involved terrifying us all with what is expected of us in this final placement as well as telling us how to prepare for job-hunting, which is what we’d be doing this time in a year!
This all means that today I technically started my summer holiday, but it doesn’t really feel like a holiday. For a start, I have so many projects I want to work on, from this and my online log of journal articles and books I’ve read, to learning HTML, Italian and knitting, to passing by driving test. Oh yeah, and Flan and I are on a special diet for my benefit for the month so I can lose some weight (half of which will probably be put back on when we go to Verona on June 30th). On top of all that, I also hope to do some more nursery work, as I have to buy birthday presents for both Flan and my brother this month, as well as get a bit of spending money together for Verona!
So expect some more blog posts and hopefully a link to my reading log site using Drupal Gardens!
Tomorrow, I have to start another week of full-day seminars. So far, the general consensus amongst the students has been that what we have learned in the seminars we already learned far better on placement, and that the lecturers have a tendency to stretch material more suited for an hour into three hours of chatter.
The theme for tomorrow is titled “Furthering your professional development”. We were instructed to prepare two things beforehand:
- Consider what you’ve learned in the past week and how it could be presented on a poster. (In groups, we’ll make said posters.)
- Think of something that inspired you on placement that you can talk about for five minutes. That’s right, five minutes of talking to a group of people about something I can’t think of. Oh, and I’ll have to answer questions. Now, I’m not saying I wasn’t inspired during my ten weeks at the hospital. What I mean is that I was inspired to work with adolescents and I now have a greater understanding/respect for mental health OT, but I can’t think of a specific occupational therapy practice that was inspiring or innovative or exemplary. Everything, on the whole, was amazing, but very little seemed to be structured or evidence-based or new to me. So, I shall probably end up talking about Animal-Assisted Therapy, as that’s one thing I sort of witnessed at the hospital, and it’s what I ended up writing about in my case study’s evidence-base section.
At least tomorrow’s session ends at 15:30.
Otherwise, look forward to some videos and whatnot that I watched in a seminar from last week on Safeguarding Adults. I personally believe everyone, not just healthcare workers, should be introduced to the issue.
Also, tomorrow is the day Flan and I start our awesomely awesome health month. More on that tomorrow as well…hopefully…
It’s been a while, I know. All I can say is that this placement has made me far busier and stressed than the previous one. In fact, I actually had a mini breakdown last week.
Anyway, I’ll give you a little bit of everything here.
- After much debate, I’ve chosen my case study, a girl with autism and a history of eating disorders who deliberately self-harms through cutting and headbanging.
- I’ve read a pretty decent, useful article titled ‘The Role of Occupational Therapy in the Treatment of Adolescents with Eating Disorders as Perceived by Mental Health Therapists’ by Elizabeth Kloczko and Moses N. Ikiugu, published in 2006 in Occupational Therapy and Mental Health.
- I’m terribly amused by these pictures of microscopic creatures, particularly the one of the bluebottle fly larva.
- I think celebrating Osama Bin Laden’s death is a little stupid, as it’s not as if it will end terrorism. In fact, it’ll probably make things worse. I can understand feeling relieved and a sense of closure in some cases, but celebrating out in the streets simply provides a target for revenge bombers.
- A while ago, another OT student contacted me, asking me to look at her website. Basically, they got involved in beta-testing mind map software and have put it to use building a giant OT mind map. When I first saw it, there wasn’t much up, but I just took another look, and it’s starting to come together, so if you’re interested, take a look at www.otstudent.info.
- My eczema has gone crazy. I’m embarrassed to go out these days.
I’ll try to get back into the swing of things, I promise.
Again, today’s been up and down. I was in tears this morning before work. I’d rather not say why, as it’s personal, and it’ll seem insignificant and ridiculous to most people.
Things at work were a little better in that I got to do a few new things today. First, and this is pretty silly, I got to also make something in activity centre today rather than watching the girls do their arty things. I made a little card in the shape of a bird using different paper, and I’m going to send my mom her first Mother’s Day card! (It was never a big thing in my family.) I thought she’d like it, as it’s made with cherry blossom patterns and neutral tones, and it’ll remind her of the things she loved in Japan.
We were supposed to take one girl out to the park with some of the patients from other wards, but she refused. She wasn’t in the most obliging mood today. Instead, I was given the opportunity to take my first independent step – my PE let me do an initial interview. Granted, this girl has been on the ward for six weeks already, but she’d always refused to do it before. When my PE suggested it, she warned that the girl probably wouldn’t want to do it, but the girl was actually really eager to! My PE simply sat and watched, letting me ask the questions and take the notes. It was a bit embarrassing, I’ll admit, but I’m rather glad I managed to do it, and my PE was happy with how I’d led the session.
I’m also quite proud of myself for going to the gym induction I signed up for and exercising for 45 minutes. I did a little bit of running and some upper limb exercises. The gym is quite limited in things to use, and I’m more used to using dumbells and Swiss balls, which they didn’t have. However, I made do with what there was, and I know I’ll be sore tomorrow. I was a bit disappointed that I’d lost some of the flexibility I had a couple years ago when I was in Japan working out twice a week with a personal trainer, so I’ll be aiming to get that back. I used to be able to touch my nose to my knee with one leg straightened at a time, and now I can just about touch my toe with my fingertips, so you can see how much I’ve lost. Hopefully, I can slowly build up my tolerance for running, the weight settings of the machines and my flexibility over the next 8.5 weeks.
Baby steps to better work, better physical health and better mental health. That’s the way forward.
So let’s go back to Friday. On Friday, I experienced irritation, disappointment, despair, apathy, pride and elation.
I woke up feeling irritated for no apparent reason, although it could have possibly been because every night that I’ve been here, the two men I live with have been rather disruptive past 11pm, which is the definite point at which I try to walk and talk quietly. Every night I have struggled to go to sleep, including on Tuesday (?) night, when the one set the fire alarm off multiple times after midnight while drunkenly trying to make cheese on toast.
Disappointment joined the lot when I discovered that my job is hindering my attempt to lose weight (yes, I do need it, but not as much as some people). My diet is pretty open to tons of food as long as fats and oils are limited. I don’t cook with oil, instead using a spray thing, yet I eat heaps of carbs. This has been very successful in the past, but working every day doesn’t easily allow for sticking to this diet, especially when the office biscuits are positioned right next to me. Also, when doing cooking sessions, we try to eat the food the patients cook, which, of course, won’t be tailored to my diet. So, lo and behold, I put on a couple of kgs last week (which have thankfully dropped again this weekend). I was always an overweight (but not obese) child, and I don’t want to go back to that.
Despair - I wasn’t the only one feeling kind of low on Friday morning, though. Some of the patients who are usually more cheerful were also a bit down. One of them had a bit of tantrum in a meeting and said all of the staff were terrible and careless at their job, and I had to battle not to take this personally. All of the patients are prone to saying things like this, and I was told that I shouldn’t listen to the negative, but still try to see where the anger is stemming from. It was a struggle, though, and the hurt only calmed a few hours later via apathy.
Things changed after lunch when I had my formal supervision. My PE was so encouraging, and couldn’t think of anything negative to write on her portion of the form. It really helped to hear that, despite the patient’s earlier raging, I was doing well so far. She commended me on my eagerness and my ability to connect with the patients. She also said I was excellent at being aware of the patients and potential risks, which I said was probably a result of my years of experience being an older sister, cousin and babysitter.
Finally, elation. There was a disco for the building’s patients yesterday, with karaoke and the option to come in fancy dress. It was incredible to see some of my patients so engaged in such a normal teenage event. So many chose to sing, as well, something I didn’t expect. Even I was roped into singing, and it took me back to years of living in Japan, singing karaoke and organising dances for the younger students at my school. I felt so at home and so happy then. It only got better when I was leaving to go home and saw the two most timid patients in my ward coming down with smiles on their faces. If they didn’t know already, they know now that I’m a bit loopy, as I did a whole double fist pump act. At least this amused them, and I saw one smile for the first time.
That was my rainbow of emotions at the end of my first week.
…but I’m sick.
I not only have infected eczema, but I also officially have a cold and am just generally overwhelmed by life at the moment. Everything is just seriously sucking right now. And though I have an unconditional offer to the University of Sussex in 2012 to study Biology, I’m starting to think I should give up on that dream.
My major achievement of the day is sorting out my EOPII (Physical) folder into a more logical order, based on topic rather than week. Well done, me.