Sunday, June 10, 2012

Clinical Rotation Week 1

This first week was a mixed bag for me.   The atmosphere and location are fantastic and it's wonderful to see how relaxed and happy Anna is up here with the dogs just relaxing.    This is truly a gift to spend my first 2 month rotation with my wife in such beautiful country.    The clinic was both fantastic and challenging.   One on hand I saw a ton of new stuff and am amazed at how much of the learning from the past year is coming out when needed.   On the other, I'm reminded of my stubborn streak and that asking questions to enhance learning as opposed to just saying "uh-huh" is difficult for me.   Especially when my brain is full already.  

I don't really have anything super eye-opening to write about the first week.  It went well.   I think I was expecting it to be jaw-dropping excitement and it wasn't.   It was steady, constant and intense.   My goal for this coming week is to ask more questions, and to do 45 minutes of research every night related to something I saw or had a question about.  

Turkey Trail Marathon

I couldn't have asked for a better day!   The weather was great, the smoke from the fire just north of the course wasn't a factor and conditions were perfect.    The 4th Annual Turkey Trail Marathon is held just outside of West Pagosa on a section of local trails and forest roads.    GECKO puts it on which is a non-profit that works to give children an opportunity to get outside and experience the outdoors.   They put on several races in this area this year from running and mountain biking to a couple of new CX races coming up this fall.  

The course was a 13.5 mile loop that we did clockwise and then counterclockwise (marathoner's).   I had 13.5 on each trip so I'm pretty sure the course was slightly long, which at the end always matters.  The race started at 9am, an hour later than originally planned but giving enough time for morning winds to clear out any smoke that might have settled in the area from the fire.   

I started out with a fairly quick pace.   The first 6-7miles is a relatively quick descent and I was feeling pretty good.    There was a group of 5-6 half marathoner's in front of me but I was pretty sure I was the only marathoner in the bunch.    I picked up a couple of them along the way to the turn around and passed a really quick local runner that was having an off day.  He eventually dropped but would have been a strong contender for the marathon.  I couldn't really tell how far of a lead I had and until I hit the turn around I wasn't actually that I was in the lead.    I hit the turnaroud at 1:43:12.  

The return trip was relatively uneventful other than just painful.   It was hotter, the climb, though slight, was rough and I had some cramping in my left leg that slowed me down.    My return split was 1:51:42.   My official time was 3:34:59.


original artwork from a local guy

It felt pretty good to win my first trail marathon.   I ran well and felt strong throughout most of the race.   My goal to really push the last 6 miles didn't necessarily play out the way I'd hoped but I'm not complaining!   I'm getting more comfortable with being out in the lead pack more often and how to create my own race strategy as the race unfolds.   

All in all, it was a great day.  My wife, mother-in-law and brother in law and his wife and their son all got to be at the finish and the awards ceremony which was an extra special treat!  

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Pagosa Springs Clinical Rotation #1

In the course of the three year DPT program I will spend 34 weeks in clinical settings, taking the knowledge that has been stuffed into my head and put it to action.   One rotation will be in an acute care (inpatient) setting, one in a neuro setting and a third in an orthopaedic sestting; that's the one I'm in now.   We get to choose our 4th as an elective and I am planning on doing a more sports specific ortho rotation.  

I thought I'd describe a little bit about the experience as I go.   I just finished my second day and before some of my early thoughts ellude me, wanted to capture them on paper.   

The clinic I'm working in has two locations in Pagosa Springs.   There are two other small PT offices in the town as well which is actually kind of surprising given it's 2009 census of just under 2000 population.   I switch between each clinic every day and will do so for the entirety of my rotation.   Currently I'm working with one therapist for the first two weeks before switching over to work with another for the remainder. 

I've seen a fair number of patients already.  Most have been post-op rotator cuff rehab or TKA's.    There've been a few interesting anomalies but so far pretty straightforward.   It's been a weird transition from the classroom to the the clinic.  I knew it probably would be but it's hard to really know how strange it's going to be until you are in it.  

For me, the most difficult thing has been bridging the gap between what we've learned and been taught and what we are being instructed to do in clinic.   Already there have been several situations where things don't line up and I find myself in immediate inner conflict.   I tend to get locked into a way of doing things and have a hard time adjusting, especially when it is seemingly so radically different from what I've learned.  

I'm sure this will smooth out over the days and weeks ahead and I'm confident that I'll adjust but if there's one thing I need to make sure and do, it's keeping an open mind and a willing spirit to soak up as much as I can.  I would imagine that my classmates are going through some of the same emotions as well.   

So far so good - more to come...