Friday, April 27, 2012

5 Years Ago Today...

Matt asked me to be his wife.
Let's go back a few years...
I was a finishing up my junior year at UCA. It was our Dead Day, the Friday before finals began, and it was so pretty outside. Matt and I had made plans to celebrate the end of the school by having dinner at Mike's Place that night... and he surprised me by sending me for a day at the spa. I got the works. He bought me a whole day of pampering- pure bliss. I had a massage, a facial, a pedicure, manicure, and my hair colored.... and a gourmet lunch with a glass of wine. PERFECT. I was there all day, and I loved every minute of it! Little did I know Matt had sent me to the spa so I would be busy and he could do a little shopping! :)
I was ready to go and Matt called me to go back to his office. He turned around in his chair and got down on a knee... the rest is history! So, after screaming and crying and kissing, we headed to Mike's Place. But not to celebrate ending the school year! We walked in and the whole family was there. He had called my dad earlier in the week and invited my mom, dad, his whole family, and some really close friends to meet us there. They all knew and had kept such a HUGE secret!

 Jeremy was so tiny... He had just turned 4. And, it was at his birthday party the weekend before that Matt decided to ask me to marry him. He talked to his dad at the party and decided to ask me the next week!

I love thinking back and remembering everything that happened that day... and that night! After dinner, the gang (Matt, Zak, Lori, and me) rode around, went to Palarm (if you live in Conway, you know why!) and partied the night away! I was so excited and ready to get married, but we waited until we were out of school... and half way thru grad school to tie the knot, so I had more than enough time to plan and make our day perfect! 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Being the Good Wife

I feel like I have been in a funk lately. Since we got home from our cruise, I have just felt off. I have been sick, which really isn't anything new during the winter/spring in Cleveland, but I have fallen into a bad routine. I get up and go to work early, and when I get home, it's like a dead sprint upstairs to make myself look as homely as possible. The past few weeks, I have taken my meds and slept the afternoon/early night away. Matt would wake me up for dinner, we would eat, I would shower, and go back to bed. I haven't made an effort to spend time with Matt or make dinner for him. Nothing. Wife of the Year, right?
So. I woke up today and I feel like a new person. I picked up the house, went to the grocery store, put a load of laundry in the washer, and I am making a plan. I want to  will be a better wife. It's so easy to just fall into a routine and not make any effort to change it up. I am changing that right now. Matt will be home Sunday night, and I am so ready to see him. I have healthy dinners to make every night this week and a bottle of red wine. When I get home from work, I am going to leave my make-up on, make dinner and spend the afternoon/night with my husband. Every night this week.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Big Bass Classic

Wilkins Brothers Outdoors is sponsoring the Big Bass Classic on Lake Dardanelle Saturday and Sunday! (4.21 & 4.22) 
1st Place could win $10,000!!! 
Ed Bassmaster will be making an appearance at WBO Friday afternoon, and he'll be at the Big Bass Classic Saturday! You can check him out here!

Sign up Wilkins Brothers Outdoors! Good Luck!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Life as an SLP

I love being a Speech Pathologist. I love getting to help people. I love going to work every day. But, my job isn't always easy. I work at skilled nursing facilities for 2 companies around Cleveland. Many of my patients are long term residents, but some are there to get better and return home. It breaks my heart to see patients leave and come back a month or so later due to a fall or mishap at home. The majority of of my patients at older; in their 70's, 80's, 90's, but some of them are much younger. At the inner city facility where I PRN, I see people in their 30's and 40's. Drugs. They will screw your whole life up. A particular resident is now a quadriplegic due to bad choices. He is my age. He lives in a nursing home. In his 20's.

But, that's not the point to this post. The point is to share what I do every day.

Cognition: Memory, Attention, Orientation, Judgment, Insight, Problem Solving, Safety Awareness
Swallowing: Oral, Pharyngeal, Esophageal Dysphagia
Language: Expressive and Receptive Aphasia
Speech and Communication: Dysarthria, Apraxia

Cognition treatment is the most prevalent speech issue in skilled nursing facilities, followed by swallowing. For cognitive treatments, I use calendars, worksheets, puzzles, games, and functional safety techniques, like wheelchair safety and being attentive around their homes. I LOVE cognitive treatments! I always incorporate my patient's interests and upcoming holidays with my therapy. My patients are usually very receptive to working with me for their cognitive function because I try to always plan fun activities for them.
Dysphagia (swallowing) therapy is a lot of teaching compensatory strategies for a safer swallow. However, this can prove nearly impossible for someone who is also having difficulties with short term memory loss, so teaching the nursing staff strategies for these patients becomes part of my job. For those who don't have memory deficits, teaching strategies and working with them on diet changes is the course of treatment. We have several different diet textures for patients who are exhibiting swallowing difficulties; regular, mechanical soft, chopped meats, and pureed. For liquid textures, we have thin, nectar thick, honey thick, and pudding. After a bedside evaluation, I determine the safest diet for each patient. In treatment, we work on upgrading back to the least restrictive diet. Changing orders aren't just as simple as writing an order and taking a form to the kitchen. Family members have to be called and, sometimes, Hospice is brought in to allow comfort for a patient. 
Language deficits are seen with strokes a lot of times. Strokes can have a terrible effect on speech and language. I see people who are no longer able to identify body parts or objects around their rooms, like the television or the chair. They can't name pictures or find words to communicate their needs. Others can no longer understand what people say to them. They don't process that information. This is such a touchy issue because people get frustrated when they can't get their words out or understand what's happening to them.
Communication and Speech go hand in hand. Dysarthria is a motor speech disorder and is characterized with articulation deficits. A person with dysarthria has problems forming words, so oral motor exercises are used to strengthen the facial muscles and help with articulation.  Dysarthria can also be very frustrating because my patients, being older, don't want to feel like they are in grade school learning to speak. Treatment can sometimes be very challenging!
Voice therapy is not my strong suit. I have only treated one or two people for voice disorders. I don't dislike voice, but I just haven't had the opportunity to work with this population!

I love being a Speech Therapist. Everyday brings excitement and challenges. I have lost 2 patients over the past 2 years, and I think about them and their families all the time. Loosing a patient is hard, but it comes with my career. And, it's a little comforting to know that I was able to increase their quality of life for the last few days of it.

So, this is my life as an SLP. It's easy and hard and challenging and rewarding all at the same time. And I love it.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

This and That

Matt's graduation is just a few weeks away, and before that he has finals, we are moving, and just a ton of stuff to get done! I have been looking for a while for a dress, and I finally found the perfect one for his big day.
The Blue Door Boutique is a little store out of Georgia. I found them on Facebook, and I have ordered a dress before that I absolutely love! I decided last night that this is the dress I need! I am thinking nude heels... but what kind of jewelry? Silver, Gold, Pearls??
You can shop at the BDB here!

His graduation is on a Sunday, so we are celebrating the night before at Lola... Michael Symon's restaurant. It is one of our favorite places in Cleveland, and we don't a chance to go often, so we are excited!

We have BIG news...

We are moving to Fayetteville!! 
It is 100% happening! We already have an apartment, and after Matt takes the bar, we will be house hunting! This is so exciting for both of us. I have always wanted to live in NW Arkansas... Not only is it fun for us with all the games and friends who are there, it is a wonderful place to raise a family! 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Opening Day

Opening Day is a BIG deal around here. Everyone goes downtown, even if they don't have tickets for the game. And win or loose, it is party time after the last out. I would love to surprise Matt with tickets because, believe it or not, he enjoys going to the baseball games! And I am so tempted to buy some Indian's gear for our last spring... Victoria's Secret has the cutest Indian stuff!

So, tomorrow we will celebrate the Cleveland Indians... Hope they come away with a win!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

My Lazy Weekend

Matt has been gone since Wednesday. That is just too long. During the week, it wasn't so bad because I scheduled to PRN after my full time job. But, my weekend was kinda lonely. Friday when I got home, I took a long, and much needed, nap. Then I caught up on my DVR shows and picked up the house. Saturday, I was up early to head to West Lake. I get my hair done at Charles Scott at Crocker Park, and have grown to LOVE my hair girl, Keri. She will be missed when we move! After a little pampering, I stopped at Chick-Fil-A on the way home. I wanted to see a movie, but the time just didn't work out. Saturday afternoon I made White Chocolate Raspberry Scones. I am becoming quite the baker! :)
They are amazing. And I am so proud of myself because they are so good! You have to try them...
Get the recipe here!
That night I was all ready for the Final Four games... sad about Louisville's loss, but ecstatic about Ohio State's loss! I know we live in Ohio, but we are not, and will never be, OSU fans. And, as much smack as I talked at work Friday, I was going to have to call in sick Monday if they had won! LOL! I really hope Kansas can hang in with Kentucky... and beat them!
Today was just my day. I slept in. Then I drove out to Strongsville for a little window shopping, had lunch, and saw Mirror Mirror. I love that all my favorite movies as a kid are being remade as adult movies. So fun! Julia Roberts did an amazing job... she played the part perfectly!
On the way home, I stopped at Target and Liquid Planet... now I'm home with my hair rolled in socks :) and waiting on the ACMs tonight. And for Matt to get home... I have missed him!