Blacksburg withdrawal

Today marked the first day of classes for VT, and everyone’s status updates and twitter posts have made me realize how much I miss living in that sweet little town. When I graduated in May I always knew that things would be different, but I never realized how weird things would feel. I don’t start my classes for another two weeks, so until then, I’m stuck here killing time while many of my friends will be heading to ABP for lunch, Sharkey’s for happy hour, and Lane Stadium for football games. I am still grasping the fact that life in Blacksburg goes on without me (weird, I know), but I’m hoping that my little dose of VT Football in a few weeks will be just what I’m looking for. Here are a few of my favorite pictures from the past 4 years;

Fall 2007 after Virginia Tech beat Florida State and we all rushed the field!


Fall 2007, my suite in my dorm and the boys' suite across the hall during our Christmas party


Spring 2009 when Mallory and I decided to "get away" and didn't tell anyone that we were going to Philly for the weekend :)

New Year's Eve with some of my favorite people in the world


My XΩ family after Big Sister Reveal 2010


Spring 2010 Seniors before formals

The Senior Crawl


GRADUATION.

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Rainy Days

There is something about a rainy Sunday that always makes me smile. No obligations, no pressing matters.. just a good book and some trashy tv. I managed to run a few errands this morning, and made it home in time for grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup for lunch. What a wonderful surprise 🙂

I feel like the house is so lonely now that Corbin is gone. While I love this whole “being an only child” thing, I feel the need to interact with people under the age of 50. Luckily, I will be starting work this Thursday (at Lilly Pulitzer! yay!) and classes on September 7th, which will take up the majority of my week. I’m looking forward to getting back on a schedule and being productive all week. There are a few exciting events in the upcoming weeks, and I’m excited for this fall to get started!

I am going to go make use of the rest of this cozy day (and keep trying to find old school computer games that will actually work on my MacBook Pro *cough Where in the USA is Carmen Sandiego*).

xx
Ashley

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On the road again

Today was filled with some of my favorite shopping of the year — back to school! I have a sick obsession with school supplies, and everything college related, so while it’s depressing that I was not shopping for myself, I still loved every minute of it. My family is hitting the road again tomorrow to go to North Carolina to bring my brother back to school (and stop and visit the OT school there!), so another 9 hour drive is in store. While I’m not so excited about moving furniture into my brother’s house, I am pretty excited to get my grad-school search started. I’m hoping to make it for a tour to see the facilities and the gyms and everything OT! Hopefully all will go well!

Hope everyone is having a great week!

xx
Ashley

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Internship, week 4

Today I finally got back into the grind of the internship, and running entirely TOO MANY errands! It was so warm in my room last night I couldn’t sleep, so my alarm going off at 7am was not pleasant. I got to my internship early (thank God!) and was in the Ortho unit for the morning. I worked with 2 OTs and worked with 3 patients and a group session.

The first patient I worked with was the CUTEST little old lady EVER! She had a knee replacement, and was scheduled to be discharged this afternoon, so most of our time was spent working with her to get her back into the community. We worked on getting her in and out of the shower, getting around the kitchen, cooking, doing laundry, and getting into a car. This was the first patient I worked with that was close to discharge, and it was incredible to see the progress that people can make in such a short time period.

The next patient that I worked with was an older woman who was almost ready to go home, but did not feel comfortable enough to do so, and was trying to get out of having to work to make herself better. I watched the OT work with complete confidence that she would be ready to leave the facility soon, and her attitude change within the session was amazing. Someone who was so pessimistic and down-talking themselves had a complete attitude change and was ready to embark on the next part of her journey in rehab. Since she was so close to being ready to go home, we taught her exercises to do while sitting in her wheelchair, or while lying in bed. We also worked with her on transitions, similar to what we did with the first patient.

The third patient I worked with was a younger woman who had had a double knee replacement. I can honestly say that joint replacements are some of the most incredible surgeries out there. They take people from barely being able to walk as a result of extreme arthritis, put a new joint in, and within 12 hours of surgery, the patients are up walking around! I can’t say that it isn’t also a VERY painful experience for the patients, but the fact that they have the ability to just get a new joint absolutely blows my mind. This woman, who was probably in her 50’s, was not excited about being in a center with such intense therapy. She was very easy to give up on herself, and was hesitant to do anything that we asked her to. However, we pushed through, and while it was a long, drawn-out session, finally ended.

Finally, in the last slot of my time today, I got to observe a group OT session. This was focused on patients who had hip surgeries (mostly hip replacements). It gave the patients a chance to talk about their questions and concerns about their recovery with others who know how they feel. Everyone seemed to enjoy participating and I was amazed at how many precautions that these patients have to take during recovery, and for the rest of their lives. I learned that these men and woman must be incredibly strong emotionally in order to endure surgeries like this because the road to recovery is LONG and takes a lot of hard, hard work. Every time I go back to these sessions I see how rewarding this profession really is. Since I have been observing here for so long, it is hard for me sometimes to not jump in with suggestions and helpful hints that I have learned along the way. There has been so much that I have gained from my experience thus far and am SO excited to see what the next phase of my life has in store! Let’s just hope that I get into a program somewhere!!

xx
Ashley

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Home Sweet Home.. for a few days

After 17 long hours in the car, we finally made it home! This past week was so relaxing. I love days where nothing matters except making sure that you apply sunscreen regularly (which I occasionally forgot, and the result is some painful spots on my legs). The trip was filled with tons of laughter, lots of booze, and just plain ‘ole fun. I think that one of the things that draws me to Hilton Head is the fact that the routine is always the same. Stumble out of bed around 9, eat some breakfast, pack up for the beach, spend the whole day there (taking a few breaks to cool off in the pool and grill some lunch), get back from the beach, cook some dinner, and play (drinking) games all night long (and by ‘all night’ I mean until 11pm when I’m too tired to function and pass out).

I’m bracing myself for some major changes in the next few weeks, but hopefully they’ll be good ones. Here are a couple of my favorite pictures from this vacation (from my camera anyway)


I hope everyone had a great week, and is getting the chance to relax!

xx
Ashley

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I never want to come home!

It’s already Tuesday, and I am already beginning to get depressed about leaving gorgeous Hilton Head Island. The weather has been absolutely perfect, with no rain in the forecast for the rest of the week. Days have been warm and sunny, but a cool beachy breeze makes all-day tanning possible, and late night swims even more refreshing. I cherish all of the moments that I get to spend with my family and all 27 (yes, 27) people from my town who are down here this week. Endless games of Cornhole, running bases, and beach football consume our days, and more games of beer pong, and Kings take up our night. I wish that this could be my permanent life!!

I hope that the rest of the week is just as enjoyable! I will be sure to post pictures of this week’s ridiculousness as soon as I get back to New York on Saturday! Hope everyone is enjoying their week!

xx
Ashley

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Ready, Set, VACATION!

Vacation has finally approached, and I can honestly say that I have never been more ready for a week of relaxation. This next week will be spent all day on the beach, entirely too many games of cornhole, and nightly runs for fresh ice cream. I cannot wait.

Hope everyone has a fabulous week!

xx
Ashley

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Errands, errands, and more errands

Today was filled with lots of running around to get things together for the trip on Friday! I got up early with my brother, and went to drop off some job applications, and pick up some last minute things at Target. By the time we got home at noon, we were both so exhausted and ready for a nap when we were sent out to pick up some more things, and Corbin wanted to get some new video games for the car ride down (14 hours is going to be loooong). Finally picked up our cornhole set to bring to the beach with us! So excited to have lots of things to keep all 20-something of us busy all day while we crisp up in the sun 🙂

I finally have everything straightened out for classes this fall (except for a parking pass and a student ID card…), which is a relief since this particular college is a pain in the butt to deal with! I’m eager to begin this new phase of my life in a few weeks!

Tomorrow is going to be crazy, but completely worth it once we get into the car at 5am (yikes!) on Friday morning!

Goodnight!
xx
Ashley

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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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Productiveness

Today had to be the most productive day I’ve had in a LONG time. Woke up early, got to the gym at a reasonable hour (and stayed for a large amount of time.. gotta get my life in order for the calories that will be consumed via alcohol this weekend), ran tonssss of errands (including getting a “really good price” on running shorts.. except for the fact that I got children’s instead of women’s.. woops! No wonder the price was so “good”!), a trip to walmart, finally finishing the picture wall in my room, and cleaning the house for my sisters to come tomorrow! I even finished the FIRST chapter (out of 15) of my Medical Terminology class! Overall, I think I did pretty well!

Other than running around all day, nothing exciting enough to write about went down. I’m so excited to have visitors this weekend and to get this upcoming week over with so I can go to the BEACH! Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!

xx
Ashley

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