Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Occupational Therapy Interventions.

I'm really running out of steam here. Probably because I know that spring break begins the day after tomorrow.

Today, I just have one class. I do not have my three hour lab this afternoon. This means I'll be on my way back home by 10. This is a good thing. I have three OT interventions to plan for the following day.

The first one is planned already. It is for preschoolers. My partner and I very quickly split it up. She's a craft master, one of those people with baskets of crafting supplies at home. This impresses the heck out of me. After my traumatic experience with a glue gun, I just. lost. interest. in crafts. Our letter for the day is 'W', and the activity for the day is measuring. So we settled on inch worms and her craft is to make a little worm, complete with googly eyes (fine motor skills). I am in charge of 'circle time'. I have "Inch by Inch" a story about an inch worm who measures. Then I have a lime green basket full of things (three china cups, three balls, empty pop bottles, rope, etc.) that we will compare. What is big? Small? Short? Long? Light? Heavy? Stuff like this is my cup of tea, and my partner and I work very well together. I think we put together a very good project.

The second two are for mentally ill adults. The first one is a group project. That project came together very quickly, even though two of the four group members are very difficult to work with. One has not shown up to one meeting. Even though he apologizes very prettily, he does not answer texts, he simply does not show up. I am working with 'young girl' again, and again, she took the written portion of everything, upset that it was not done to her satisfaction, and rewrote the whole thing allowing no one to have input to that but herself, and then waxes dramatic about 'the four hours' that she put into this project. This is a recurring theme for her. Her partner in the last project finally said, after she had rewritten things repeatedly, "That's enough!" He was making an exhibit to go along with it. She wanted changes made to go along with her new written portion. He said, "No. I am not making changes. Stop rewriting. We need to move on." The other person in the group is also a young girl. She works like I do, and she's having a hard time with our two impeding group members. But, we do have a good activity for our clients, and we can be proud of that.

My third intervention is to be designed for one person. My client. My first one. I tend to get tongue tied in one to one situations with new people. This is a mentally ill man, one who is about my age. I talked to him the first day, interviewing him to put together an occupational profile for him. "You're very intelligent," he said, and it was not a question. Surprised, I looked at him. "I don't know," I said awkwardly. "I very often feel stupid." And he peered closely at me as if something was written on my face that I could not see. He said, "Well, you're not. You're very intelligent. I saw that right away." I went on with that interview, and I said to him, "Do you like to read?" And he nodded his grizzled head. "So do I," I said. "What sorts of books do you read?" He said, "I like philosophy." I stopped. "So do I," I said. "Who do you read?" and he said, "I love Khalil Gibran," and once again, I said, "So do I."

Tomorrow is my last day there. He will be there for the rest of his life. Tomorrow when I go, I will have a gift for him. After our work, I will give him a gift wrapped volume from my own library...a big volume of the collected works of Khalil Gibran.


BUSH BABE said...

This post was wonderful Debby. Cannot pinpoint why... just feels rounded and complete somehow. That last line made me a bit emotional... he will remember you forever.

Hal Johnson said...

Danged sinuses.

Bob Barbanes said...

So, what's the takeaway here, Debby? You're either intelligent...or mentally ill? E) All of the above?

Debby said...

Bob, you are a smarty pants. Well, let's see here. Maybe I'm just sort of half and half. Like you, yourself. :^D

Hal? Have you heard of a neti pot?

Brianna said...

That's nice, Mom! I remember that book... couldn't make much sense of it at the time, all I knew was that he wrote very pretty words. Having read some of his work later in life, I can now say that as well as being pretty, his words speak truth on many different levels. BB is right, he will remember you forever! :)

Anonymous said...

A lovely post Deb. Sounds like you are now getting to the substance. The last line brought a tear to my eye. We are too prone to label mentally ill as TPI, when they, like us, have their moments. It is probably a matter of degree and sometimes I think a few people are getting around that need a bit of labelling too!

I guess that in the real world we don't always get to choose our work partners, or a relative of the patient may 'get in the way' a bit - sometimes with the best intentions - and working now with difficult partners is valuable practice. If you can get a result even with a difficult team member the one who needs the result, the patient, is the beneficiary - and that is what it is all about.

You are amazing Deb, with your energy and application and heart. What a lucky family you have! Love Barb