Time for another blog
Health update: My neck contiuned to hurt and the pain was worsening. I made my first trip to the campus health center last week. They weren't sure what was wrong with me, so they just gave me some muscle relaxers and pain killers. I was a little skeptical of this treatment. After that trip I made a wonderful decision to not go into practicum that day and slept a lot and it was wonderful. The muscle relaxers really helped with this (I had been having problems sleeping due to the neck pain). The next morning I got up early for work and my neck was not feeling better, but worse. As I was in the shower, I started feeling around on my neck for knots which caused everything to go black. So yeah I passed out in the shower, that was fun. I felt very horrible for a few minutes but decided to go to work anyways (well really I do not have much of an option on this one when I am the one that opens). I amazingly made it through 4 p.m. that day, however I was supposed to stay until 8 p.m. But I decided I had enough and went to the doctor again just as they were closing. Hmm...maybe it is a viral thing they said...again, I was very skeptical. So they gave me some stronger painkillers and told me to get some rest. But just to be safe, to get x-rays the next morning at the U of L hospital. So I got my x-rays and guess what they revealed - there is a reason why my neck is hurting! Anyways I don't know the technical terms, but things aren't lined up right and my muscles have experienced a lot of strain because of this. They asked if I had been in some sort of accident because it looked like whiplash - the only thing I can connect this problem to is that damn basketball hitting me in the head this past June! The doctor reccommended a physical therapist but I decided to go with a chiropractor instead. I had never been to one, but have heard good things and of course Abby Mo is becoming one, so I trust her opinion. Someone from church recommended a place and I made my first visit on Monday morning. Everyone in the office is really nice and I felt very comfortable (I think this is really important....I have very opposite feeling about the campus health center). Luckily I was able to get x-rays for free through my student health insurance so I do not have to worry about that cost. Unfortunately, with chiropractic I have a $250 deductible before I get any help (which still isn't that much) But they are giving me a cheaper rate since I am a student, which is nice of them. So the chiropractor said a lot of "oh that is not good" while looking at my x-rays. I got 4 adjustments and some "therapy" which involved ice and electrical something or others. Unfortunately right after the treatment I was feeling worse. This concerned me a little. But this morning I was feeling better, the best I have felt for a couple weeks. I even went back to riding my bike today (yeah another cost I have had to endure is parking garage fees since my neck prevented me from walking or riding a bike, or even walking to bus stops). I go back to the chiropractor tomorrow. I guess they will want to see me pretty often at first. It is going to be a little difficult to fit this into my schedule, but I guess I will have to manage.
So yeah that was a little detailed, but that has been my life the past couple of weeks. I am so glad I am finally starting to feel better. I guess this all goes back to that basketball incident. My neck never felt quite right after that, and I am not sure what caused it to hurt so bad all the sudden (stress?, heavy backpacks? bike riding? sleeping wrong?) I have lots of theories. I tried to explain to Juma how the consequences of his carelessness are still effecting me and his reply was "man Ms. Maria, you're weak!" ha
Americana update: Missing two days of practicum last week was a nice escape from the craziness there. So they are having interviews this week so there should be new people very soon. Praise the Lord. Oh and the other intern who works with me in the youth programs is going to be out for a couple of weeks now too (her father passed away). It seems like every week I learn of someone else who will be out for awhile or permanently. We barely have any staff as it is and they keep leaving! (this is not meant to be insensitve at all, just an observation)
This morning in my practice class we were asked to split into small groups and share with eachother how are practicum placements are going. This was helpful for me to realize how much I am struggling and upset by the fact that I cannot really do my social work duties because I am doing the jobs of everyone else who has yet to be hired. It really is frustrating. I can deal with the daily craziness, I am used to it. But what is hardest for me is I am not really getting the true practicum experience. I do not feel like I am really learning anything new at all, which is rather unfortunate. I have kept telling myself things will get better, and they still haven't, and now the semester is almost halfway over! I am trying my best to have a positive attitude about it, but I have raised my concerns with some people outside of Americana, which I think was important to do. During the youth programs I am doing the duties of a regular staff person (or how about five at the same time) and not what a social work intern should be doing.
On a positive note, this past Saturday I took three middle school boys to a college workshop at U of L called College 101. It was designed for middle school students and their parents to get them to start thinking about college. My supervisor asked for me to take some of our kids that don't get a lot of opportunities like this. Another group of kids went with one of my coworkers while I was responsible for three eigth grade boys. It was rather amusing (Juma was one of these by the way). Despite having to get up very early on a Saturday morning, it was a great day. I was really impressed by their behavior and I think they got some valuable information out of it. Plus we got free donuts and pizza. The funniest part of the day was Juma decided to call me mommy. Pretty much everyone was there with their parents. I really did feel like their mom. At one point we split up and then they said, ok go find your parents in the next room. All the sudden I hear Juma yelling "mommy" through the crowd until he finds me. I definitely got some odd looks. One kid actually asked if I was their mom. Yes, I have three 14 year old sons from Africa. I think he was just very confused.
Other random updates: School is still going well. I enjoy my classes. More assignments are starting to be due, but I am not overwhelmed yet. My first big paper is due next week though. And guess what is the topic? Assessing Americana Community Center. I do not think I will have many problems with that. Actually, I might even have trouble not going over 10 pages!
Our good friend Moses is joining the peace corps and leaving for Turkminestan this Saturday. We are having one last celebratory event for him tomorrow night. It will be sad to say goodbye to another great person. No more goodbyes please!
I realized how much I miss my Sundays from last year. They were always the go to church, take a nice nap, relax, then watch Extreme Home Makeover and Desparate Housewives days. Now it is go to church, go out to eat (which I like), then clean, cook and study all day. Which isn't all that bad, but not relaxing. I managed to watch the premiere of DH, while doing homework during the commercial breaks, but no extreme makeover :( Those days are gone. I will probably have to tape my shows and watch them when I have time (whenever that is...) Lost starts next week! I know Abby is excited. I'll definitely make time to watch the premiere.
I'll stop now. I should start blogging more frequently so my posts are shorter.