Presenting

It turns out there's a lot of work between writing a proposal for something and then bringing that something to life. In preparing for my very first poster presentation, I've come to understand that like with many endeavors, the work you end up doing often seems much different than what you envisioned in your head.

In part, I think this is because the more you dive into something, and the more you think about said something, the greater it changes your own understanding of it.

In my case, I proposed a two-hour workshop which ended up being accepted as a poster. The poster format left me puzzled at first, but once I understood the challenge was for me to distill the heart of my ideas into something that was straight-forward and cohesive, I embraced it.

Another motivating factor? Seeing this on the ASHA Connect Schedule:

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I've spent countless hours researching, writing, editing, re-writing, and researching again, and finally have something I'm proud to have put together. I have more questions at this point than I do answers, but nonetheless I can't wait to share what I've learned.

Rainbow Bridge

It's been two weeks, and the tragic shooting in Orlando is still strong in my mind, and I know I'm not alone. A few years ago, I met Crom Saunders at an interpreting conference, where I attended a few of his workshops. His poetry is captivating, and he created a beautiful and sad poem in memory of Orlando.

Thank you, Crom, for your heartfelt and heartbreaking poem. May it remind us to always keep the Rainbow Bridge strong.

Perspective

As with many things in life, the people to listen to in difficult times is the people who have first-hand experience. From Gabby Giffords:

The victims are young and old — but always with so much life ahead of them. They are white and black, Latino and Asian, and Native American. They are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and straight. They are Christian and Muslim, Jewish and Sikh. They are veterans and government workers and union members. They are rich and poor. They die by murder, they die by suicide, and they die by negligence. Often, they don’t die, but they carry the scars, and their lives change forever.

For many SLPs, injuries by guns are not unfamiliar. Whether you work in medical settings or in the schools, many of our patients have been affected by gun violence. One of the best things we can hope for in our work is that our patients are able to go on and make a difference. Gabby Giffords inspires me both with her activism and her continued determination to keep talking.

Speaking is difficult for me. But I haven’t been silenced. And neither should the American people. Their Representatives must vote to prevent gun violence.

Heartache

On Saturday, I was celebrating Pride with my beloved LGBTQ community. From the moment I attended my first Pride celebration over ten years ago, I was awash with the feelings of genuine love, acceptance, and beauty I found there. For someone who spent a lifetime never knowing where I belonged, it was overwhelming to be in a place that felt so completely like home. Whenever and wherever I am with my community, I am at peace.

That peace was shattered on Sunday, when I awoke to the horrific news of a shooting at a gay club in Orlando. That evening, my partner and I attended a vigil to be surrounded by friends, family, and the community.

A day later, I am still reeling.

I wanted to take a moment out from my usual range of topics here to express my sorrow, and to remember that we all come from so many walks of life, religions, cultures, experiences, and identities. Our differences are what make life a richer and more beautiful experience. For up to date information, Equality Florida will keep you informed. If you would like to make a contribution, blood donations are very much needed (if you live in Florida, you can find out more at OneBlood.org) and there is also an official GoFundMe page set up by Equality Florida.

Motivation

When I worked in acute care, I was a strong advocate for the idea that everyone deserves a chance to get therapy. I still believe that strongly, but having now worked in both home health and outpatient settings (in addition to previous placements also in skilled nursing facilities during my clinical fellowship), I've come to a new realization:

Not everyone is a good candidate for therapy.

As a new clinician, and working in such an intense setting, it didn't occur to me that not everyone responds well to therapy, and more than that, not everyone even wants therapy.

Many folks want to tell clinicians what they think they want to hear. Keep an eye on body language, and consistency with attending appointments, and motivation (or lack thereof) will become readily apparent.

See enough people do the same, and you'll get better at recognizing motivation in the moment. Part of patient-centered care is respecting when patients don't want our help.