Physical Therapy/Chiropractic Treatments

I do not have the back of a typical 20 year old.  Unfortunately, I deal with almost constant neck and back pain, and when I can get relief, I am astonished with how it feels to not be in pain.  I try not to let my painful upper back impact my daily life, and I have kept up with playing sports and running, but I have had an increase in problems over the years.

Because studying/reading books and typing on the computer are two of the hardest tasks in terms of the amount of pain they cause, I have had tremendous difficulty with keeping my back pain under control in college.  I am studying to be an occupational therapist and sometimes I fear that I won’t be able to do my future job well enough just because I might be functionally unable to.

I have been working really hard this year to diagnose the problem.  I have spent countless visits at chiropractic offices and I went to a physical therapist for a few months, but no one was able to give me anything but very temporary relief.

A friend of mine from Concordia suggested that I try going to Wisconsin Family & Sports Chiropractic in Mequon, WI.  Although I have only been there for about three weeks, I am already seeing improvements that I have never seen before.  Due to the fact that the owners are a couple who specialize in both chiropractic AND physical therapy, they have been able to help me adjust my back AND do exercises to strengthen and rehab it back to normal.

I have been so grateful for their hard work and knowledge, and I have a newfound hope for a possible pain-free future.

CPR Training

I have always aspired to obtain my CPR certification, because I have worried that I will one day be placed in a situation where knowing this information will be vital to keeping someone alive.  Because my future profession is health-care related, I am required to have my certification going into my grad school program.

I wasn’t sure what to expect out of the 3 hour class I took with a few of my friends, who are also Occupational Therapy majors.  When we arrived to the class I was intrigued by the many large and small dummies that were evenly placed around the room.  After watching a few informational videos, we were able to start our hands-on learning.

The instructor gave us short demonstrations of how to actually perform CPR.  We learned how to do 30 quick compressions, followed by 2 breaths into the mouth.  We also learned how to use AED kits, which are located around hospitals, schools, etc. in order to keep a person alive during the wait of an ambulance arriving.  The AED kits include tags/cords that can be stuck onto a person’s skin.  This machine then verbally tells a person what to do next.  If the heartbeat is irregular, the machine will say “shock is needed,” and all of the surrounded helpers should clear the area.  Following this, the shock will be enacted and manual CPR should start again.

I couldn’t believe how exhausting performing CPR was.  I couldn’t last more than 2-3 minutes, because the compressions were so difficult to keep even and on-going.  I really enjoyed the experience, though, because I now feel that I could potentially save a person’s life in a time of crisis.

Ethiopian Restaurant

This semester, I have had the privilege to be in a class titled Culture in Rehabilitation.  Although understanding different cultures will be crucial towards my success as an Occupational Therapist, I certainly don’t think that health-care related fields are the only majors that should focus on being well-rounded in culture.

My culture class has opened my eyes to thinking about things that might otherwise not cross my mind.  After having to come up with cultural competency plan, I realized how many things I could be doing around my campus in order to become more culturally diverse and aware.  One of the major things that I, and quite a few of my other O.T. friends, noticed was that we do not go out to very many ethnic restaurants.

Because Milwaukee is a very culturally diverse city, we had no problem finding different restaurants that we wanted to check out.  After forming a group chat of about 15 people from my culture class, we found a date and a time to check out a local Ethiopian restaurant.  It was super interesting to be able to go to experience their style of dining.

When we arrived, we were definitely the stand-outs in the restaurant.  We ordered two giant group dishes, which included a variety of foods such as spicy lamb, fajita-style chicken/peppers, and tons of mixed vegetables.  In addition, we learned to eat the food by using our hands and breaking off palm-sized pieces of bread to hold the food in.  All of us enjoyed the food and the experience!

Following this, we went slightly back to our American trends, and we spontaneously decided to stop at Culver’s for some finishing custard.  The night was both cultural and fun!

Sociology of Aging

Last weekend, I was able to participate in one of the most meaningful conversations I have had in quite awhile.  For my sociology of aging class, my professor assigned the students to interview a person 65 years or older.  At first, the task did not seem very intriguing because I knew I would have to write an eight page reflection on it afterward.  To my surprise, I enjoyed the whole thing.

I decided to interview one of my great aunts.  To my surprise once again, the conversation was seemingly effortless for over an hour and a half.  Because I had prepared plenty of questions ahead of time, and due to the fact that my aunt was ecstatic to share her life story, we had absolutely no problem talking about everything and anything.

Even though it was a very enjoyable exchange, I had to bring up some pretty difficult questions.  For example, because I was writing my reflection for my sociology of aging class, I needed to ask her about some of the hardships she has faced during her aging process.  Unfortunately, this included the death of her spouse and one of her sons.  I found it difficult to make sure I was staying respectful of her feelings towards these events, while still realistically learning about the challenges of getting older.

I couldn’t believe the responses that I was getting from my aunt.  She told me about how she and my uncle met, and I could sense the free and happy spirit she had about all of it.  She told me she has no idea what would have happened to her if my family (whom she married into and absolutely loved) wouldn’t have become part of her life.

Assignments like these happen once in a lifetime, and I will always appreciate the fact that I was able to have such a deep and meaningful conversation with a family member that I likely never would have otherwise.

Bible Studies

I never realized the significance of being a part of a bible study group.  Because I grew up as a Catholic for my entire life, I never had any idea what it was like to truly open up the Bible and read straight from it.  Instead, I was far more used to going to mass and just listening to the priest speak.  Coming to college at Concordia, the concept of reading from the Bible was foreign to me.  In fact, when I took my first religion course, which was called the Bible, I was taken off guard.  Stories that many of my classmates knew practically by heart were stories I was hearing for the very first time.

more “Bible Studies”

Praising through Song

Haven is one of my favorite activities to partake in on Sunday nights.  I absolutely love being able to come together with my friends and to have the opportunity to sing.  Haven is a student-led organization that includes a band filled with roughly 5 students.

Haven usually consists of a few singers, a drummer, guitar players, and a pianist.  The students in the band lead the group who comes to worship.  Altogether, the students sing contemporary worship songs.  I find it super enjoyable to take an hour out of my study-filled Sunday to come together in fellowship, prayer and song.

more “Praising through Song”