Week 2: Very Big Teeth

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New Friend #2: “You know I was once a very talented football player.”
Me: “That’s wonderful! I’ve never been very athletic, myself.”
New Friend #2: “You like like an athlete. You also have very big teeth.”
Me: *laughs* “Thank you, unfortunately I have found that my teeth have not really helped with my athletic pursuits!”

My patients are the cutest. They say that kids say the darnedest things, but I would dispute that. They obviously haven’t worked in a skilled nursing facility πŸ˜‰

This past week has been a bit of a roller coaster. I got the chance to implement some meaningful activities into therapy, I’ve begun to evaluate new patients all by myself–I’m a big kid now! (yes, that was definitely meant to be read in the voice of the narrator of the Pull Up’s commercials), but I also experienced the death of a new friend.

This morning, I was told my resident had been placed on comfort cares, so I knew the end was near. I was going to make sure to stop in and say hello at some point during the day, but then a half hour later, someone read in an email that she had passed. She was so sweet. She had the kindest brown eyes and was always quick to smile even if she wasn’t feeling very well. I’m going to miss that little lady. β™₯

Back to things that aren’t as heavy… this past week I learned that one of my patients was previously an avid painter. She now has macular degeneration, and told me she hadn’t painted in over 15 years due in part to her visual impairment. She also told me that she did not want to paint because she feared her art would look like ‘rubbish.’ It took several attempts, but I finally convinced her of otherwise, and we painted on two separate occasions! Painting while standing addresses her goal of improving her activity tolerance and endurance. In doing so, it also helps prepare my patient to do other activities one handed while standing (hygiene and grooming tasks, light cleaning, etc).

Before painting, I did a quick assessment of her vision to determine if she could see best in a certain part of her visual field (many individuals with MD suffer primarily central vision loss). We determined that she could see a little bit better in her right periphery, so I placed the painting paper on a red paper to help my patient to see where the paper ended and we placed the paper slightly to her right. Her first day, she painted two different flowers. The first being a yellow flower, the second, a blue flower with a puddle. The second day, she came into therapy telling me that she was going to paint a woodlands scene. The fact that she already had determined what she wanted to paint showed me that it had been on her mind and that she was just maybe a little excited to give it another try. Her work was beautiful. She scoffed and said that her previous painting classmates would laugh at her work, but I reminded her that they weren’t there and that everyone else who had seen her work loved it. Tomorrow she returns to her assisted living facility and her beloved husband, so I’m excited to send her with her paintings and I hope that she shows them off to her sweety and the rest of her family. At the very least, I hope she sees the continued value in producing art and considers doing it for leisure in the future.

I will post a second time later this week as more of a way to fulfill the requirements of my class, but if you would like to know more about occupational therapy’s evaluation process and the things I have learned about documentation, be sure to read that next installment! πŸ˜‰ It will likely be a little more dry, but informative nonetheless.

Well folks, as always, thank you so much for reading and please let me know if you have any questions about what I’m doing or about occupational therapy or the weather or dogs. But especially if you have questions about dogs.

Have a blessed week β™₯

-Amanda

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