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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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