As I have come to learn this summer, being unemployed can have its perks (napping all day, Law and Order: SVU marathons whenever I feel like it, staying out all night.. oh wait, I have no friends here), but it has become more of a bore than I had hoped. No job means no paycheck to play with, and since I have no car, I really have no way of getting around (and for those of you who have been to my house, you know that anything remotely interesting is at least a 20 minute drive.. except for the “balanced rock,” but that is a separate story). This is the first summer since I was 13 that I have not had a job of some sort, and this boredom is starting to take a toll on my sanity.
My mother had to drive me to my internship on Monday. Memories of Middle School came flooding back, being dropped off at dance practice and having to stumble out of the dark green minivan (also fondly called “Shrek” in our family). The only difference between those memories and this past Monday was that I had no choice in Middle School, and I am 22 years old now. How embarrassing.
Speaking of the internship, one item on my checklist was to keep record of every visit. This might just be the place to do it. As many of you know, I’m (hoping to) start Graduate school in the fall of 2011 for Occupational Therapy. But, one of the requirements for a number of the schools I’m applying to is a minimum of 60 non-paid observation hours/non-paid internship. I’m “observing” at a rehabilitation hospital for the next 10 weeks, going through all of the different OT units and seeing what my areas of interest are. I started on Monday (hopping out of that green van) and after only a few hours have fallen head over heels in LOVE with everything OT. I worked with three patients and one group session throughout my time there, and it boggles my mind how specialized and unique each of the cases are. One woman I worked with had just had a knee replacement. Caitlin (the OT) and I helped her to walk through the halls to the mock apartment that is set up in the hospital (complete with 3 different types of showers, kitchens, bedrooms, toilets, etc). We helped her learn how to get in and out of bed properly, and some tips and techniques for getting in and out of the shower safely. It was amazing to see how this elderly woman’s attitude changed from being pessimistic, feeling like she would never be able to get around her house, to feeling confident that with a little work, she would have the tools she needed to live on her own again, even with a bad knee. The second patient I worked with was a young woman (only 21) who had fallen 15+ feet when stairs collapsed and she landed on her neck. Needless to say, she had massive spine and brain trauma, and was having a much harder time recovering. Nancy (the OT) and I worked with her on a scavenger hunt on the computer. It was helping her to remember how to do things again, that she once excelled at. I could hardly believe that someone so young is having to work so hard to do things that I take advantage of everyday, even as simple as typing this post. The last patient I worked with was a middle aged man who fell off of his roof trying to fix his air conditioner. He landed on his back (which, needless to say is broken), and broke his femur (pretty tough to do). Even though he is expected to make a full recovery, he is going to be wheelchair bound for at least two months. That would suck. But let me tell you, this guy was so happy, and so eager to learn how to get around his house and get in and out of the shower and on and off of the toilet on his own that it blew my mind. I have never seen someone like that before. It was absolutely inspiring. These people are the ones who make me so excited to begin the next chapter in my life, and move on to a job that I know will be rewarding far into the future!
So, after this entry, I guess I’ve already kept up with 2 of my goals for the blog — posting everyday (even though this is only day 2) and keeping a record of my internship. Tomorrow starts a busy weekend, but I’ll be sure to make time to post (even though I’m not sure anyone reads this anyway)!