Busy, busy couple of days

What an eventful few days it has been! Such a change from the last few weeks!!

This past weekend, a few friends from VT came to visit, which was such a nice treat! I picked up Carrie from the airport and went to get Lesley in NYC from the BoltBus Stop near Chinatown. It was definitely an adventure getting down and back, but luckily, my Dad drove, so I did not have the opportunity to get us seriously lost or even killed, haha! We got back to my house and obviously immediately started the festivities of pong on the deck, and catching up. It felt so wonderful to actually have people my own age around (not that I don’t love the company of my parents), and be able to just have fun! It was a late night, but completely 100% worth it!

Early Sunday morning all of us headed into NYC to have lunch and take Lesley back to her bus. The trip downtown was great, and we got there quickly, however, the return trip was not as easy. We ended up walking over 5 miles around NYC looking at shops, and little restaurants, getting Lesley back to her bus, and then attempting to find a subway to take us back to Grand Central. All of the uptown 6 trains were not in service unless you wanted to go on a wild goose chase to find one, so we attempted to take a cab, which ended up sitting in traffic for $5 worth of our time before we realized we were going to miss our train anyway. At that point, we took our time wending our way back uptown. Stopped at Magnolia Bakery in Grand Central for cupcakes, and finally got on the train. Getting home from that point was uneventful, but since we had missed our early train, we had to rush to get back down to LaGuardia to get Carrie to the airport! Luckily, the drive down was quick and easy, but, I had no such luck on the way home. It took almost 3 hours to make the drive that usually only takes about 40 minutes. So not fun. Needless to say, I was completely exhausted when I finally got home, and went straight to bed!

Yesterday was the 3rd week of my internship at the rehab hospital. Every time I walk out, I realize how much I love this field. The feeling of being rewarded everyday is something that I look forward to when I finally get through grad school and get a full time job. I was lucky to be able to pick which unit I wanted to observe in! I love the spinal cord and brain injury unit, so I jumped on the opportunity to stay there for the morning. The first patient I saw (with the CUTEST OT ever! such a crush!) was an elderly woman who had had a stroke in 1994. She did not have the ability to speak, and she was definitely not all “with it.” The OT fitted her for a brace for her hands, because her brain is not sending the right messages to her hands to let them unclench on their own. Therefore, her hands are stuck in a fist position and she cannot really move them on her own without having someone stretch them first. The brace that we ordered was one that would allow doctors and nurses to stretch her fingers, and then place the brace on her wrist and hand so that her fingernails would no longer be digging into the palm of her hand causing breaks in the skin, and eventually infection.

The second patient I saw had suffered from a heart attack and was in a coma for almost two weeks before he came out of it. He was in OT to work on his balance and his endurance while standing, walking, and doing other daily activities that he would need to put himself back into the community. It was remarkable that he had only been in rehab for two weeks and he was making such progress. We did activities like sliding across a bed in order to build upper-arm endurance, as well as stepping on a block to build the endurance in his legs. I could visibly see how tired he was after each of the tasks, but he was determined to finish so that he could be healthy enough to go home as soon as possible!

The next patient I saw had a flare up from his MS. He had lost almost all of the feeling in his right hand (mostly his fingertips) and it was his first day at the rehab center, and I worked with the OT to do diagnostic tests to see where he was at, and compare his right and left sides to see what needed to be worked on. We did a timed test to see how long it took each of his hands/arms to grab 9 pegs and place them one by one into slots. He was timed on each side to compare the coordination. In his case, there was not much difference, which was good for him. He was then given a test where he had to close his eyes and we placed different objects in his hands and he had to feel around to see if he could figure out what they were. In his left hand, he was able to identify every single object, and pretty quickly (they were mostly easy things, such as a key, or a coin, etc.). However, his right side was not so great. If things were placed in an area where he had lost feeling, he could not even feel the objects in his hand. The final test was for him to close his eyes and he had to decide whether we were poking him with the sharp side of a pin, or the soft side. It was incredible to see how different his responses were depending on which arm/hand we were working on. He was quick to respond to everything on his left hand, but he had a lot of hesitation on the right side.

I really really love going to my internship every week. Like I said before, I am SO excited to be able to do this for the rest of my life (provided I actually get into a school somewhere!). I just wish that I could do this NOW and I did not have to go through all the applications and standardized testing and pre-requisites before I could begin on this journey!

Today was also quite busy, getting everything together for my classes at community college this fall. I’m taking an Anatomy & Physiology I course (and the lab) as well as Intro to Sociology. I had to gather tons of different documents for registration, so I spent most of the day doing that. The afternoon was spent with Corbin running errands and getting things together for our vacation on Friday!! I got a new iPod Shuffle so that I can use it when I run (the iPod Touch is SO inconvenient for exercising!), so I’m excited to get back to that routine! Tomorrow is going to be spent running even more errands and getting more things together for vacation! For now though, I’m beyond exhausted!

Hope everyone had a great weekend!!

xx
Ashley

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