And let the blogging begin….

A little bit of this and that

So far this Winter season, patients have been few and far between.  I’ve had a few success with little issues here and there, which have been really nice, as those things tend to nag my patients and often reoccur several times throughout the season.  For example, I had a patient who is a wrestler come find me in the gym, c/o right shoulder pain after he reached out to do a move and “jarred” his arm.  He stated he forcefully thrust out his arm to grab his opponent and he immediately felt pain.  There was no real contact or anything else, so he didn’t know why it kept hurting and felt a little weak due to the pain.  He had pain in shoulder flexion and abduction and he rated it a 6/10.  So I thought to myself that maybe he got his joint a little out of whack and since it just happened I could try a little MWM on his shoulder to see if it went away.  Now, normally I would have just told my patients to get through practice, come get some ice afterwards and we would see how it felt the next day.  I ABSOLUTELY would have said those exact words, and then dismissed him.  So, I had him sit down, I did the shoulder MWM, posterolateral/diagonal direction (back, up and out) and he did 5 or 6 reps with pain free motion while I sustained the position.  After we finished he lifted his arm in flexion and abduction on his own with no pain at all.  It was amazing, it took all of 30 sec and he went back to practice with no problems.  It’s nice to feel like a miracle worker and even better when it takes less then 1 minute to work the miracle.  

I’ve also been trying to incorporate more PRT into my clinical practice with some decent results and some misses.  I think it’s some user error, so I will continue to work out the kinks.  I haven’t had as much TMR being used lately, but that’s been OK, because it’s given me the chance and motivation to look up different techniques and try out some of the other techniques that some of you are using a little bit more and I have let get a way from me a little bit.  It’s still the same ‘ol grind, but I’ve noticed I’m getting a little bit quicker in my eval’s while still staying pretty thorough, and I’m also quicker in my decision making process which has helped me to help patients faster and keep me from getting as overwhelmed in the hour or so span that I have to treat patients.  Slow and steady wins the race!

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Winter season is here

So for the last 2 weeks, I have had almost no patients come in to my clinic.  I have been reorganizing the room, my paperwork, my patient data is now all in one place and in somewhat of an order and I feel like I got a lot more organized so I can sit and analyze my data further.  It’s nice to do a little bit of spring cleaning in the winter, although its been in the 80’s up until 2 days ago so it feels like spring down here.

I am officially in winter sports season now, with basketball, wrestling and the newly added flag football for the girls.  Since Clark county was named in a lawsuit out of northern Cali, we have had to add 2 women’s sports this year, so even more little kiddos to deal with, YAY!  I am excited to begin dealing with patients again and I am even more excited that I will hopefully have a little more time to do treatments since I will be inside mostly and have less ground to cover, and less athletes playing in general.  I have gotten a new book, Positional Release Techniques, by Leon Chaitow.  It includes PRT, MWM, SCS, and several other techniques that are being used and goes over causes, theroies behind dysfunction, etc.  Its not very big but it covers each of these things pretty decently and is a good introduction to these techniques without having to buy books on each one of them separately.  I haven’t gotten too far into just yet, but I like it so far and will keep you all posted.  There are also books by this author on muscle energy techniques, neuromuscular techniques and approaches to breathing pattern disorders that some of you may be interested in.  Has anyone read anything by Chaitow? Any thoughts or suggestions??

I hope everyone is doing well and are continuing to be successful in all that you do!  

Although I have had some recent patients in which I haven’t had much success with, I have to say that I am more open with them and have included them in the problem solving process more than I normally would have.  I have continued my use of TMR and still continue to see success with that, however, I have had a case in which it didn’t work as well as I had hoped and I was utterly stuck as to what to do next.  I realized I had gotten in my little world of TMR and when that didn’t have as good of results, I was like “well shoot!”  Needless to say, it was inevitable and I am glad it happened before I got too much further into the world of TMR and only TMR.  I had to step back and think of some of my other tools that I had let slip way down to the bottom of my toolbox but low and behold they were still there and all was well again.  I was proud of myself for not panicking or getting frustrated or just throwing in the towel like I am sure to have done in the past.  I know that it wasn’t the ideal way to treat this particular patient, and was a more round about way to get them feeling better, but we got there and that’s the important thing.  My patient was happy that I was up front and honest about it, I was happy that we overcame a little hump, and in the end we were both able to feel better about ourselves.  It’s definitely a different and very rewarding feeling when you can grow along side a 17 year old, and have mature conversations, and see both of you go from a crappy attitude about a situation to a positive and EXCITED attitude. Its even better when they go out and practice and tackle at full speed, when the day before they couldn’t move at all.  And it’s the BEST when you have had the entire coaching staff doubting the both of you the whole time and seeing their faces when your patient gets an interception against the starting offense in practice and comes over and hands the ball to the head coach with a big smile on his face…. (I had to walk away and say in a loud whisper YEEEEESSSSSSS!!!!!!!)

Fall is winding down

As the Fall semester winds down, I find myself seeing less and less patients.  We are currently in play-offs out here and for some of my sports teams, they are coming quickly to an end.  On the plus side, my football team has made it to round 2 of play-offs, and it’s the first time in 5 years that I have had a football team go past the last regular season game.  It’s exciting to see them do well, but I have to admit, I am ready for the Fall sports season to be done and to have only two sports going in the winter rather than six.  I am hoping that when basketball and wrestling start I will see more patients and have more time to do treatments since I will only be indoors and will have less students to manage in general.  

It’s been a little more difficult to focus on school work.  I have found myself less enthusiastic to go and look up additional things, outside of what I have to do for school.  Not being in class each week and getting bogged down by life outside of school is beginning to take its toll.  I was lucky enough to get a check in phone call from a classmate a few days ago and it was nice to hear a fellow DAT voice.  I didn’t realize how much it helps to have those regular check-ins and how much I missed them.  I also look forward to checking in with Cat for one of her sports medicine classes and talking to some students about the profession, about my clinical practice, etc.  I think it will help to talk with some fresh, young minds and answer some questions about what I do and how I operate.  

That’s about it from down here in the south.  I hope everyone is safe from the hurricane out there in the east and I hope the rest of you are doing well and staying out of trouble.

I don’t want to say I enjoyed reading about all your stresses and problems and breakdowns, etc…. But I felt sooooo much better reading about all the other stress cases out there because it means that I’m not the only one still suffering.  I’m so glad you sent out an email Lindsay, to lift our spirits, and I really appreciate everyone else sharing their stories, good and bad, because it is helpful to know that we are not alone and that we are a group, here for one another.  

For me, I have just been grinding away, trying to keep myself on task and up to speed on everything.  It hasn’t been easy, especially when I don’t get any face time with the group anymore for our classes, but I’m still here, trying to figure out what I can, when I can.  I have been using TMR more and more and am really enjoying learning more about the brain and how our magnificently complex bodies work.  It is definitely more in depth then I ever imagined it could be, so I’m slowly chipping away at the information.  It’s challenging, fun, tiring, interesting, confusing, etc, etc…..  I haven’t had too many patients in my clinic for treatments lately, but lots of taping, first aid, equipment malfunctions, games and referring going on.  Anyone else having trouble getting patients?? I’m finding it more and more difficult to get these high schoolers in for treatments, especially when they aren’t seniors who are out of class earlier or they are seniors who have other more important things to do and choose not to come in at all.  I’m sure you H.S. AT’s can relate, maybe??  

Well I hope everyone is learning how to cope and manage what they can effectively and I hope all is going well with everyone. Please feel free to share any thoughts or comments or suggestions.  Keep on keepin on!

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Rollercoaster ride

Well, we are almost half way done with our first semester away and all I can say is that is has been an up and down rollercoaster ride thus far.  I’ve seen and done some really amazing things with my patients, I have found a fun and successful new technique to implement in my clinic and have used several others that I have had successes and failures with.  I have read more in the span of 3 months then I did in two years of grad school and I have had more conversations about changing my practice then I ever thought I would need to.  I have also never been so stressed out in my entire life or had so many dreams (or nightmares) about school, projects, patient problems or work in general.  I guess they don’t just give out those pesky doctorates after all.  I just felt like I needed to write about the ups and downs because I feel like we are all struggling with our own issues and are feeling bogged down by everything and if it’s any consolation to everyone, I am right there with you.  There is an end in sight and now is the time to get down to the nitty gritty and do the best we can with what we have in our current situations.  No one said this was going to be easy, in fact it’s much harder than I ever thought it would be, but that just means it will be that much more satisfying and awesome when we look back on what we have accomplished.  

Remember that we have each other to chat with, cry with, complain with and share new, exciting information with so keep the lines of communication open and hopefully we can all make it through this in one sane piece.  Keep up the good work everyone!

Slump week

After reading several of your blogs, I can’t help but feel the same as several of you.  I have to say that I am feeling a little lost and confused like Donita and this week has me feeling more frustrated and overwhelmed than usual.  I have not been having the success and have been questioning my treatments lately, which is never any fun.  I feel like the honeymoon period is over and it’s back to the grind.  This new way of collecting data and all this reflection is like looking into an all revealing mirror that you can not escape from.  I am no longer able to write things off and continue going about things as I always have.  Ignorance is no longer an excuse and is no longer acceptable.  I have to continually remind myself that this is a process and I am not alone in this, but it is definitely more difficult than I had anticipated.  With all this new knowledge of research, treatment methods, techniques, etc., I feel very overwhelmed and “frozen” like a deer caught in the headlights; the headlights of a semi full of information that my brain is incapable to retaining.

Now that we are in the middle of the season, it’s becoming more and more difficult to give quality treatment because I am seeing more and more patients in my room for more and more little boo-boo’s.  It’s increasingly difficult to weed out those who need my help and those who want to get out of practice.  Up to this point I have had time to try out new things on a few of my patients, like TMR, Mulligan and SFMA.  Although I did not do these things 100% correct at the time, I was able to play around with them and get more comfortable with the technique.  Now, I have 10-15 students in my room after school and have to spend time getting people ready for practice rather than spending that time treating those who need it.  It’s a barrier that I knew I would have to deal with sooner or later, so this week I will be attempting to tackle this in a swift and efficient manner.  This may mean that I have to take a little bit extra time in the next week or so to teach my patients how to put a bandaid in themselves and even wrap it up themselves if needed.  I think my AT clinic needs to be more organized so that my patients are able to help themselves when they have minor cuts or other ailments, and that way they are being more responsible and I have more time to devote to my patients who need more attention.

That’s all my rambling for now, and any suggestions are always welcome.  I will reiterate Donita and say to myself “baby steps.”  I will get there….

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