Tuesday, April 2, 2013

PTSD sucks.

March 25th – March 31st

So Monday was fairly boring. We had to go to some science and technology company to sit through a lecture on pursuing a career in technology, none of which was applicable to me. Lol Tuesday was rather uneventful as well. The most notable part of the day was passing out surveys in Radiology which assess how happy employees are with their jobs. The answers for the questions were just agree, neutral, and disagree. I honestly think a Likert scale or something similar would have been better. Having only those three options is really limiting. A Likert scale would give greater feed back on if the VA was doing amazing in some areas, where they are doing good but could still improve, and where they just suck. Haha But that’s just my opinion!

Wednesday was the highlight of my week!!!! I got to sit in on a neuropsychological evaluation! It was so cool. Obviously, I cannot say anything about the individual due to confidentiality, but I can talk about to the process since it is standard! Dr. McCarron, the neuropsychologist I talked to a while back who works in the polytrauma department, interviewed the person extensively and then administered a number of tests that test cognitive skills like memory, attention, and executive function. There was an effort test as well to make sure the person was not malingering, which basically just means faking it. It took about 3-4 hours to complete! Now Dr. McCarron has to analyze the test results, and then she will give the person feed back, which I will hopefully be able to watch as well. That afternoon, I got to sit in on the Polytrauma department meeting! The different people sit around  a table and discuss the different patients and cases. It was really cool to watch! That afternoon I also interviewed a potential intern for the VA! That was a fun experience too.

On Thursday, I was able to sleep in and just relax. Diane gave Lauryn and I Thursday and Friday off. After sleeping in and getting ready, I went in to work anyways because I am such an over achiever! Jk, I went in to conduct another interview and meet with Dr. Cueva, the psychologist I accidentally skipped a meeting with a while back. We talked for close to an hour! He is the head of the trauma department, which pretty much just deals with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). We talked extensively about what he does there and how treatment for PTSD has improved significantly over the past few years! He gave me two pamphlets that discussed the two manual treatments for PTSD. One has to do with repeat exposure to the event that helps modify behaviors. It is a very cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) oriented treatment plan. The person determines certain behaviors that are a result of the traumatic events, like fear of sitting with a back to a door or fear of crowds, and then exposing their self to that behavior by sitting with their back to the door at home, then on a bus, then at a restaurant, etc. or going to the mall during the afternoon three times midweek, then in the evening mid week, then on the weekends, etc The other one deals more with fixing false perception and seems to be more of a psychodynamic treatment. They figure out what emotion or thought is a result of the trauma, like guilt or survivors remorse, and then walking through it and determining how that thought or feeling is wrong. It was extremely interesting! We also talked a lot about the schooling process as well. He added some more insight and ideas to what other psychologists have told me so far.

Friday was very relaxing! I slept in, worked out, hung out, and then went to my friend’s house. We hung out, watched Modern Family, which is incredible, and ate some good pizza. On Saturday, we made a day trip to Baltimore! We explored the Inner Harbor, watched some street performers, ate at Dick’s Last Resort, which was quite the experience, and went to the National Aquarium. It was so cool!!! We were supposed to go in at 3:15, but we decided to sneak in early. It was so freaking crowded at first, which was quite annoying. It reinforced the idea that I do not want to have children for a long time, and when I have kids, they will be better behaved than most of those kids there! While there, I got a text from my dad saying he was in my back yard, and he meant Baltimore. He didn’t even know I was there! We tried to meet up before I left, but I did not work out. On Easter Sunday, my friend and I were going to hit up the National Cathedral wearing suits, but we did not realize that we had to reserve a space. Instead, we got Wendy’s, which I have not had since I got here, and killed zombies. That evening, when I got home, my roommate Sean made an Easter meal, so that was nice! I had Easter with some TWC friends. 

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