Wrists, Hearts, and Psychosocial Care in the ICU

Hello all!

I wanted to write a post last month but then I developed a very unfortunate case of tendonitis in my wrists. Did you know that tendonitis really hurts? I always thought of tendonitis and carpal tunnel as just annoyances that hurt when you used the affected area. Not true. My right wrist was throbbing even with lots of ibuprofen. Obviously not a terrible medical event, but it made typing and working at the daycare really difficult considering picking up infants 20.000 times a day is what gave me tendonitis in the first place. I also stopped doing a lot of yoga because of it which was sad. Now I’m working on rebuilding some wrist strength and getting back into my yoga practice.

 

Having my yoga is actually pretty important right now because it is a big part of my self care during my internship. I started this week in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit and it is… intense. I expressed interest in high acuity environments during my interviews and I definitely got what I asked for. Did you know that in pediatrics the patient’s chest is left open after surgery to accommodate for swelling? They are sedated and medically paralyzed while their hearts beat under only a thin clear bandage. A lot of the patients on the unit are sedated and a lot are infants, so it is a very different environment than my very play-based experience last semester. I’ll be learning a lot about sibling support, validating and encouraging parents who are unable to hold their newborn, and bereavement support.I’m super excited for the opportunity and can’t wait to become more integrated into the unit.

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Midterm Madness (featuring a leisurely spring break)

This past week was spring break, which I spent at home with my cats (duh). I did a fair amount of homework, etc, but didn’t have to go in to my internship at all. So instead of being at the hospital every day I…

 

Napped


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Hid under blankets


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Did Yoga

(done with 30 Days of Yoga and on to Adriene’s Yoga Camp videos!)


Sewed a shirt

(while watching an entire season of Alias)

 


 

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Wore this tank top way too many times

Put the deck furniture back out


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And broadened Hunson’s literary horizons


 

This has been an episode of Michelle’s life in pictures. Tune in next time for an exciting glimpse of Internship Applications (that’s right folks, fall internship slots are filling fast!), Birthday Shenanigans (will Michelle ever pick a restaurant for birthday dinner? But what if she wants birthday brunch? How will she ever decide??), and our fan favorite: What Non-Food Item are the Cats Trying to Eat Now? (will Hunson find a cardboard box to rip to shreds with his teeth? Will Freyja ever find a snack tastier than Michelle’s hair at 5am when she is trying to sleep? Just what decadent treats are the humans hiding in the bathroom trash can?)

New Semester, New Goals

Today was my first day of internship! Today and tomorrow are mostly going over orientation materials, getting the lay of the land, and settling in. So far so good, it seems like the internship will have the right mix of structured time/tasks and independence for me to learn and grow. I’m anticipating a busy semester but I think it will be manageable.

I quit my job at the childcare center to make space for the internship, and though I intend to go back over the summer it was a little sad saying goodbye. I worked pretty  hard with a some of those students and am sad to no longer be their to work on their goals and watch them grow. I guess it’s time to work on my own goals and growth now!

Speaking of goals, I recently started a youtube yoga series! I’m doing the 3o Days of Yoga from Yoga with Adriene. I’m not doing it every day because I think I would lose steam on it and just don’t want to over commit. Realistic goals. So currently my plan is to do it four days a week, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday. Tuesday is my day off from internship so Thursday will be the only day that I will have to commit to coming home from the hospital and pulling out my mat. That said, it was kind of nice to come home from my first day at the hospital and take some time to myself, do my yoga and get my mind calm and organized before word vomiting about my day to Nathan.

Current/Semester Goals:

  • Yoga with Adriene 4x per week
  • Daily notes/journals about my internship
    • We have to turn in weekly journals, but I’m afraid that at the end of a busy week I wont remember enough details to write in depth. To help organize my thoughts I’m going to commit to writing at least a few notes every day. Today I did that on the train on my way home, which I think will be a nice routine.
  • Be honest with myself about my professional growth and actively seek opportunities to branch out and strengthen my weak spots.

Welcome Aboard!

It has been a jam-packed month and I am finally finding time to take a breather, read all your posts, and do some last minute Christmas shopping. Part of the reason this past month has been so crazy is because my cohort and I have been applying and interviewing for our super competitive Child Life internships. After many sleepless nights filled with stress dreams, at least one panic attack over an email typo, and occasional random outbursts of tears, I am pleased to announce that I will be interning at Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center! Do you know why it is called Floating Hospital? No? Allow me to enlighten you. IT USED TO BE A BOAT. About 100 years ago someone decided to take the “fresh ocean air is good for your health” idea to a whole new level. They made essentially a doctor’s office on a boat, and offered free boat rides around the harbor to impoverished children and their mothers, getting that lovely ocean air into their lungs and providing medical care and maternal education. Talk about Family Centered Care! Sadly the boat was lost in a fire, after which Floating Hospital became an actual building downtown Boston. My internship will be throughout next semester, so I start mid-January. I’m very excited and a bit nervous to finally be in the field. I’ve spent a lot of hours in multiple hospitals as a volunteer, but now I actually get to learn how to create care plans and provide procedural support.

I hope everyone is having a great December!

❤ Michelle

Michelle’s Life in Massachusetts

Hi all!

It’s been two years and I still need spell check when I write the word Massachusetts, I always add too many S’s. Anyway, I thought I would give a general outline of my current life to start this off? We are living in Somerville now, just one more step outside of the actual city, but Boston is pretty small and we are on the main public transit line so it’s easy to get places. Our kitties are going to be 1 year old next month, we’ve had them since March. Hunson is still pretty reclusive but he doesn’t freak out as much when we try to pet him and he wanders the house more now.

I swear he doesn't always look this evil.
I swear he doesn’t always look this evil.

Freyja is a super lovey kitty now and spends a ton of time climbing all over us. She loves belly rubs and is particularly helpful with my schoolwork.

Homework Cat

Speaking of school, I should be hearing sometime soon where I am interviewing for my internship. We have a coordinator that matches everyone to a couple of locations for interview and hopefully we are selected to internship at one of those locations. There are eleven people in my cohort and two people from last year who are interviewing again because they didn’t get an internship last year. Finger crossed we all get a placement this time around!

Nathan is working as an intern at a company called 4Front. They have several arms but he is in the journalism branch. It’s a company within the medical marijuana industry, and his job is to compile the daily newsletter that goes out about all of the relevant news, legislation, etc. He is looking for work to supplement that since it isn’t awesome pay, so we will see where things go!

It’s Nathan’s birthday today too! We celebrated yesterday by going out to dinner at our favorite place, Cambridge Brewing Co. They have awesome, locally sourced food and good beer, and they almost always have great seasonal sours which is my faaaaaavorite. I also made his grandma’s specialty, Sundae Cake.

I guess that’s the short summary of my life right now!

-Michelle