Wednesday, November 28, 2012

CU DPT Log n Blog Team has arrived!!!

Some of you have seen me posting about the CU DPT Log n Blog Team lately.  I should probably have written this up sooner, but today we officially got preapproved for our team!

The short n sweet version of this is that it's a fundraiser for the Foundation for PT ( that has a little school rivalry component to it. 

The funds part is simple: to join the team, donate $10. All $10 goes directly to the Foundation. You can donate more (or you can convince others (parents, colleagues, favorite running/biking/outdoorsy shops, etc) if you'd like, but to join the team it's only $10.

The competition part of it is also simple: for the next year (starting January 22, 2013) you just run, bike, or swim as many miles as you can.

Each week you log your miles (either by sending me an email or by logging them directly on the website that goes live January 1) and we keep a running tally. At CSM 2014 (in VEGAS!!), there will be a big grand somethingorother where we are announced the winners for logging a mind-boggling number of miles in the year they announce the winners. I'm not sure what the prizes will be, but there are competitions for both the teams with the most miles accumulated and the most funds raised.

Rumor has it that at CSM 2014, there will also be a triathlon to run, so all your training will definitely pay off!

Aside from donations for joining the team, folks are also free to donate as they see fit - you could get a parent/friend/stranger to pledge $xxx per mile run/biked/swam (swimmed?) in a given week/month/fortnight, for example. Any flat donation that comes in can be counted towards membership dues - so if someone chips in $50, that's 5 new team members sponsored! If you know of someone who wants to donate but doesn't want to run/bike/swim, that's great too! Just send them my way and we'll talk logistics.

If you want to go a step further, you could also get involved in the blogging aspect of this. I'm not 100% sure how it'll all be set up (they're still developing it), but as I understand it, all team members will be able to blog about their experiences running/biking/swimming. Anything from hilarious mishaps to inspirational soapbox speeches are welcome! (There will be folks moderating it though, so nothing offensive please.) No commitment is required (so if you miss a week or whatever, no big), so any time you're feeling something worth sharing - share it!

This would also be a great gift to give if you're looking to encourage someone to be more active - you donate to a great cause AND you have a reason to hassle them about getting moving for the next year! (I actually threw together a certificate just for that...boom:

Anyone can be on the team - they don't even have to live in CO or be in any way connected to the PT field.  (Cough ROSE cough). We just want folks who crank out the miles.

If you're interested in joining the team or have any questions, leave me a comment but make sure I have an email address to get back to you!

I look forward to running/biking/swimming with you guys!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

So this just happened...

...this may be turning into a running blog after all. I just signed myself up for a 5-race series that culminates in a half marathon.



A half marathon.

Can we all just take a moment and panic about this please?

It's the RunDenver series, and it starts with a 5k on Sunday.

The best part? My folks are flying into town for the weekend from Austin, and they've agreed to run this first one with me!

I'm not setting any time goals for myself - I just want to run the whole thing without stopping.

I'm also thinking about signing up for this race:

They have hot chocolate aide stations and a sledding hill mid-course.

Anyway, that's what's up.

I'm also giving up on trying to write blog posts with any kind of length and/or substance to them. That clearly hasn't been happening, so I'm just going to start posting what comes instead of waiting for brilliance (HA!).

Oh, I also bought a membership to Rock'n & Jam'n finally, so I've been climbing...4 times this week I think? Something like that.


All good things.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Wild Wild West

Sometimes things live up to their stereotypes. On the way up to a race this morning, we saw buffalo, roaming free. Shortly after, we saw a tumbleweed float across the road, right before crossing town lines into Idaho Springs, "where the gold rush began".

Oh, and it turns out there are guys who (seriously) pan for gold in the creek a mile from our house. No, seriously. And they find stuff too.

It's the wild wild west, y'all.

The race wasn't half bad either. Not a 5k - more like 4 miles. But it's done and now I can sit on my butt for the next 24 hours guilt free.

Probably won't though.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

APTA National Student Conclave, Or: I Got More Swag Than P Diddy

Does P Diddy still have swag (is he even still relevant)? Did he ever? Am I completely out of touch with what "swag" means outside of the expo context? 

Whatever. Get off my lawn. 

National Student Conclave. I’d be lying if I said I knew exactly what to expect when I showed up at the Hyatt Regency on Friday morning. No, that’s not true. I was expecting, at the very least, to come home with a bunch of brochures and pens from the expo. In that respect, NSC more than delivered:

23 pens, 6 goniometers, 7 measuring tapes, 9 reusable tote bags, a laptop bag, 2 t shirts, and a magic 8 ball (among other things) later, I’d say the expo part of NSC more than lived up to what I was hoping for.

The vendors at the expo were impressive. I learned a lot about residency programs (before this I hadn’t even considered residency as an option, but now it’s definitely on my radar…just need to figure out what I want to be when I grow up and I’ll find a grown up to get me there). I learned a lot about options for clinical rotations, including a few that would REALLY help with flexible location options if hubs ends up across the country come August. I learned that not all companies are created equally, and that the personalities they send to conferences really do impact how the brand itself is perceived. (One girl texting and not making eye contact, sitting next to a pile of brochures and pens? Can’t imagine why that booth wasn't more popular… ) Some came off as genuinely passionate about their brand and what it’s doing to move PT forward – others came off as sales pitches so heavy-handed that I felt like I should have walked away with the keys to a used car in my purse.

For the most part, it was the former: representatives who humbly but passionately believe that their company is the best one to work for. They were inspiring and motivating, and made me antsy to get into the real world of patient care.

The APTA special interest group booths were interesting, but I felt like I didn't have any intelligent questions to ask. I was interested to hear that many groups provide journals for their members – that made me want to join a few of them, just to keep up on current research. The Sports Ortho group actually gave out current issues, which was really cool. They even gave digital copies on a 1 GB flash drive. Loved that.


Outside of the expo, there were lectures throughout both days that ranged from current specialty topics (peds, neuro, onco, etc) to post-graduation and political topics. I sat in on the neuro (Non-invasive Brain Stimulation to Guide and Enhance Poststroke Rehabilitation), oncology (Current Trends in HIV: What Every PT Student Needs to Know Today), and geriatrics (From Frailty and Fall Risk to Function and Fun: Improving Strength, Endurance, and the Quality of Life for Older Adults) sessions.

I have to admit, I didn’t get a lot out of the neuro session – it was full of charts and graphs that didn't make a lot of sense due to my currently limited exposure to all things neuro.

The oncology talk wasn't as PT-centered as I had hoped it’d be. There were a lot of interesting statistics (for example, 20% of people who are HIV+ don’t know it – terrifying), but I had hoped the speaker would focus more on how an HIV+ diagnosis would impact a patient’s PT care. There was one case study that briefly mentioned some neuropathies that patients may experience, but it was at the end of the session and we had run out of time so he really just glossed over it. I’m going to have to see if I can find the neuropathy he was talking about. Especially for PTs working in underserved areas, this seems like a pretty relevant topic.

Geriatrics is my current favorite area of PT (I’m torn between that and VA work – not that they’re mutually exclusive), so the geriatrics session was my favorite for obvious reasons. There wasn’t a whole lot of new information (mostly touched on balance issues, complications of dealing with patients who have dementia and Alzheimer’s, and general psych/soc issues of working with older adults), but a few points did hit home with me. One of the cases Lucy presented was about a brother and sister (Ed and Pat I think) duo dealing with the Pat’s Alzheimer’s. She often didn’t recognize her brother, but knew he loved her, so wouldn’t let him go. He stayed by her side until she died. The interesting part of the story, though, was the patient goals for the situation. Ed wanted to attend his granddaughter’s wedding, but wouldn’t leave Pat alone for that long. To that end, the PT worked with them both to make sure she was able to safely be transferred (by him or someone else, I wasn’t sure) to/from cars and chairs so that he could attend the wedding. In the end, she showed a picture of Ed dancing with his granddaughter at her wedding, with Pat in the background just smiling away. It was a great reminder that patient goals aren’t always as simple as “walk my daughter down the aisle”, and can even include making sure your own patient is a safe caregiver for another person. Love it.
The session ended with a video about a program called Laughysema. The gist of it is that there’s a group that gets together and does some light exercise (think Tai Chi style movements), then…laughs. The idea is that laughter, literally serving as medicine, helps COPD patients increase forced exhalation, which leads to improved ventilation.

Seriously, I dare you to watch that video and NOT giggle.

After that session Saturday morning, I wandered the expo again (for the 3rd time…don’t judge) and made a few more connections. One of the vendors (Evidence in Motion) actually used our labs at CU for their brochure photos, which was a great conversation maker. I’m excited to work with them when they come out again in March (just helping run AV and whatnot – pushing buttons is what I do).
They provided lunch for us both days, in pretty sweet reusable (and insulated!) lunch bags. Here’s a picture of the whole setup from another twitterer:

At lunch, we made friends with a couple of other PT students from…I don’t remember where. That was honestly the first time I’d spoken to anyone who wasn’t a vendor or a classmate though. I know these things are meant to be networking opportunities, but honestly…it was just so overwhelming and crowded, and everyone kind of clung to their own school groups that I found myself being far less outgoing than normal. (It didn’t help that I’d gotten in around 2 AM Friday either.) One of the students was a 3rd year, and he had some good insight on how to treat these conferences – I wouldn’t have thought to email vendors I liked, but that was his suggestion. Email the person you spoke with, with a single-line phrase to remind them of your conversation. They’ll remember you, and bam! Connection! I think the next time I go to one of these, I’ll bring some kind of notebook to keep track of who I talked to and want to keep in touch with, and what key things we talked about – if I can’t remember a single vendor, there’s no way they’ll remember me, right?

After that, my classmate headed out and I ran into one of my twitter followers (hey Nicole!). She was literally the first person I’ve ever met from Twitter, so it was kind of a trip to put a face to a username. I look forward to seeing her again at other conferences too. 

I have to admit – at this point, I was getting pretty worn out and was debating calling my ride to pick me up early. I still had one follower to connect with though, and I’m so glad I did! Matt DeBole, the famously bowtied PT twitter circles guy, was promoting a booth for this new program called Log N Blog, that’s going to raise a TON of money for the Foundation for Physical Therapy. There are a few more details to work out before it’s officially unveiled (and I really want to dedicate a whole post to it), but it’s going to be HUGE and a ton of fun! (Hint: dust off your running shoes, pump up your bike tires, and unearth your Speedo – you’ll need them all!)

On that note, I have a bunch of reading/studying to get done before class tomorrow, so I'm off!