Coming at y'all live in the Beijing airport at 5:00 am!!
Fri-YAY!! We woke up and packed our bags. Hauling it like yaks up and down stairs, in and out of tunnels, to the 15th floor of the hospital. Carmen required several PT sessions throughout the day. We started off the morning with Carmen teaching on a variety of speech things, including tips for working with hearing impairments, vocal nodules, and how to administer a speech-language evaluation. The speech teaching session was completed with the therapists working on receptive language tasks. Amanda was the pretend child in the tasks, and she proved to be quite naughty at times, not following directions or attending to task. This provided all of us with some good entertainment and the therapists with some very realistic training.
Julie was tying up some loose ends.. She revisited the little girl with the de-gloving injury and educated on positioning and massage for decreased swelling and on use of the splint. Cassie took selfies with the girl to calm her nerves.
Cassie, Julie, and Shannon treated a young girl with torticollis who had previously come in that week. She was still super spicy!
We thought we were at a coffee shop as we returned to the Indian restaurant for muffins and coffee.
After lunch, Shannon taught on NICU information to the three local pediatric therapists. We also had a review session to discuss any questions and concerns before saying our goodbyes!
And now here we are... Waiting to come home to America! With just a tiny bit of luggage.. God bless America!! Momma, we're coming home!
Coming live at y'all from the Beijing airport at 3:30 am. Our bellies are full of French fries and double cheeseburgers! We're trying to remember what we've done for the past two days! It's all kinda blurry so we'll hit the highlights! Thursday morning, Julie and Shannon went with Jonathan, a pediatric neurosurgeon, on his rounds of the entire pediatric floor, pointing out children for Shannon and Julie to see that day. They went to the PICU to see a tiny baby who had multiple surgeries. Shannon returned to work on proper positioning using bendy-bumpers. Julie went straight to work on making a splint for a 6 year old girl who had a de-gloving injury from a noodle machine accident. Not exactly what Julie thought she'd be doing that morning, but flexibility is key here. Hashtag TIC. Carmen and Cassie assessed a newly adopted child with CP from the orphanage we visited earlier in the week. He was full of laughter and happiness. Carmen worked with him on certain sounds and provided techniques to work on these sounds to his adoptive parents who are ex pats. Cassie assessed his ROM and provided strategies for improved ROM and strength. She also fitted him for a benik splint, and she guided a local therapist in kinesiotaping him for hip external rotation and plantar flexion bilaterally.
Later in the morning, Shannon taught a session on AFOs, utilizing the adopted child with CP from this morning. There were frequent comments about how similar the AFOs looked, and Shannon explained in detail the differences and uses of each one. While Shannon taught, Carmen visited the ENT department. She got to spend time with a British ENT, watching ear suction around a perforated ear drum, wax removal, and observe video fluoroscopy. She was able to make recommendations for a patient who has vocal nodules.
Meanwhile, Julie was still working on that splint... Cassie joined her to no avail. Dr. Willy, our former splinting professor, would be so proud!
We treated the local therapists to a traditional hot pot meal. We were all on the struggle bus trying to use our chopsticks during this meal, except for our fearless leader, Julie. Chopsticks and slimy hot pot noodles are a dangerous combination!
Carmen's afternoon was back in the ENT department, where she gave a PowerPoint presentation on tips for working with hearing impaired children and explanations for why a child who CAN hear might not be speaking within appropriate age ranges. Currently, the ENT department does not have an audiologist. They test hearing abilities but don't have much to recommend beyond normal hearing or hearing impaired. In all, there were approximately 10 doctors, nurses, and the department head at the presentation. The entire department was pumped to learn that they can refer patients to the therapy clinic in the hospital. The department head was so excited that she asked to be notified a couple of months in advance prior to the next trip. More doors opening to provide services to a wider array of children and adults with needs! Praise, praise, praise!
Julie then taught on the PEDI to provide the local therapists with more standardized testing materials and to educate on age appropriate self care skills and mobility. Julie explained that while the PEDI is an evaluation tool, it can also be utilized for treatment strategies. With this evaluation being so concrete and straight to the point, the therapists were eating this up!
While Julie was teaching, Shannon treated a foreigner with pain from a previous knee dislocation. He was provided with a home program.
We wrapped up Thursday at the hospital with a session explaining and educating on everything we brought including fine motor and sensory toys, ADL equipment, speech cards and equipment, and the stander and gait trainer.
Thursday night was full of fun festivities including having dinner with the big wigs from the hospital and rocking out some karaoke with the local therapists. The big wigs presented us with gifts and showered us with toasts as they were very thankful to have us back this year! Cassie might have dropped the jade gift as it was being presented to her by the number one man in command. Oops! Everyone laughed, especially Amanda. Julie led the groups' toast expressing how thankful we are to be able to come and serve two years in a row and how we are excited to come back next year! We were then off to meet the therapists for KTV (KARAOKE)! We sang. We laughed. We danced. Ending the night, we presented gifts to all the therapists and highlighted their strengths. They then returned the favor!
Wicked Cute Wednesday:
We're actually going to back up to Tuesday night. Carmen joined Julie and Cassie in their room to write the blog while Shannon turned in early.... What Carmen did not know was that Shannon accidentally locked her out of her room. So, sleepover it was!
Wednesday morning praise: we had water! Thanks to all who prayed. We were able to shower!!!!
Now onto the wicked cuteness!!!! We started the day with Julie and Carmen seeing 2 sisters they saw last year, they were doing SO good. Carmen gave some oral motor and articulation advice while Julie educated mom on visual schedules and social stories. Shannon and Cassie provided pain relief and a home program to a foreigner with a partially torn tricep. They then evaluated an adorable 5 month old baby and provided strategies to her mother for improving ROM and strength.
Julie and Carmen then led a teaching session on Down Syndrome and how to organize and implement a support group for parents of kids with specific special needs. This topic was mind-blowing to the therapists, to say the least.
We walked to an authentic Indian restaurant for lunch where Carmen actually ate a whole meal! In her words, she.. "PUT IT AWAY!"
Back at the hospital, we hosted our first Down Syndrome support group. Only one family showed, but you have to start somewhere right?! We were able to treat a one year old girl and provide sure steps, hip helpers, and a home program. She was thoroughly assessed by each discipline, and she was super partial to Carmen! Julie and Carmen also treated a 3 month old baby with respiratory distress and jaundice at birth. Cassie was able to provide leg exercises and energy conservation techniques to a patient with multiple sclerosis.
We ended the day at the hospital with Cassie teaching the therapists about Parkinson's and multiple sclerosis and treatment strategies for each condition. We're learning that the therapists here are BIG on interactive hands-on learning. It makes for some interesting teaching sessions!
What's on the menu for dinner tonight? You guessed it. YAK BURGERS! Third times the charm.
We started off our Tuesday morning with a little therapy ourselves. Julie and Cassie joined in with some seniors who were dancing traditional Chinese dance set to techno music.
We spent most of our Tuesday at the hospital. Bright and early, we met an ex-figure skater with lower back pain. Shannon and Cassie provided him with pain relief via electrical stimulation followed by some exercises for strengthening. Carmen and Cassie then worked with a child with CP teaching the therapists treatment strategies and educating the parents on functional speech and functional play with bilateral hands. He was also taped for wrist extension and forearm supination. Julie and Shannon worked with a patient who lacked range of motion in his shoulder following being hit by a car. They then headed up to the NICU to present to the nurses about positioning and handling techniques. This was a big open door!!! PTL!
Julie then taught on kinesiotaping, building on the knowledge they had gained last year. They really appreciated this teaching session as they utilize kinesiotaping quite a bit!
Lunch in the cafeteria again proved to be equally as tasty. After lunch, Julie and Shannon revisited the 11 year old with a degloving injury and made plans to make a splint as soon as her staples come out. Shannon then went to the NICU, which is a HUGE breakthrough!! Cassie teamed up with one of the therapists making rounds to see patients, including a woman with bone tuberculosis in her wrist, a man with a broken leg, and a woman with a knee prosthetic. Carmen was able to work on oral motor skills with a woman who had a stroke.
Wrapping the day up, we broke off into teams with Julie and Carmen meeting with the entire staff of the international school in this province. They were able to educate teachers and staff on classroom strategies for children with sensory issues, low vision, articulation problems, and fine motor weakness. The teachers were very receptive and encouraged by this session with the teachers sharing their email addresses for further correspondence. Cassie and Shannon taught the therapists about electrical stimulation. They discussed how it works, patients appropriate for use, and logistics/settings for use. They thoroughly enjoyed trying this out on each other!
As if this wasn't a full day already, we then were off to dinner with some of the teachers from the international school at a traditional Chinese restaurant equipped with a lazy susan. We had good conversations and good food to end the day!
Getting back to the hostel, we were greeted at our door with water bowls and the information that we have no water for the next two days. Your prayers are welcome and needed!!
Monday in a nutshell was a whirlwind..... We're sitting here trying to remember this morning!?
When we arrived at the hospital we all ran in different directions. Julie assessed a little princess with scoliosis and torticollis. She was a spicy thing, but that's nothing new to Julie.
Cassie and Shannon visited the NICU step down unit to see a baby who had been in respiratory distress after birth. She displayed left sided weakness and some positional torticollis. Cassie and Shannon were able to give the treating therapist some pointers and praise her for the good job she was doing thus far.
Afterward, Shannon and Cassie were able to see the 21 year old boy with cerebral palsy. Cassie was able to share some treatment techniques with the treating therapist while getting the boy in quadriped to work on improved trunk stability and strength. He has already made much progress over the past three sessions. Shannon was able to teach two of the PTs how to cast for AFOs. Only one or two therapists almost lost a finger. The boy that was casted for AFO's was very curious and expressed that he was happy and excited! He got to pick his own design: red straps, yellow foam and motorcycles!
Carmen then taught on Autism and behavior, including treatment strategies such as identifying emotions and PECS. During lab time the therapists showed their playful side.
We broke for lunch at the hospital's version of a Chinese buffet, cafeteria style. Mmmmmmm......
We met with several foreign doctors and discussed several of the patients.
Shannon then went on the rounds with one of the doctors from the our meeting, we were late getting back for afternoon patients (and Cassie had to go to the bathroom!), so Cassie and Julie decided to climb 15 flights of stairs back to the therapy floor. Whew!!!
We were straight up bombarded with people to see during the afternoon- including, but not limited to, an ex pat's child with sensory/articulation concerns, a teenager with spinal stenosis, several children with cerebral palsy, a child with a de-gloving injury, and a two month old with a history of multiple surgeries and complications.
After that, Shannon taught on wounds and burn care with emphasis on treatment strategies such as splinting, positioning, and wrapping. Julie paired up with a translator to translate the PEDI to assist with providing further standardized testing for kiddos at the hospital.
We may or may not be back at the Yak burger place while writing this blog. It's super yummy!
The weekend wrap up!
The weekend was full of cultural adventures. We rested a bit on Saturday morning before heading out on a souvenir hunt. Amanda took us to a sweet local shop that sells goods made by Tibetan women to help support their families. We cleaned up for a good cause (and it's really cool stuff)!
After an explosive lunch (if you get our drift), we headed to the orphanage with some of the hospital staff. We got to love on some sweet kiddos, while educating the teachers as well as the hospital staff on positioning, range of motion, posture, oral motor and sensory techniques. The teachers were receptive, writing down everything we said. Afterward, we were taken on a tour of their very well equipped facility that included multiple PT rooms, sensory rooms and a fiber optic room. As we left, the director approached Amanda and inquired about us coming back next year for training on how to best utilize their facility with the children. The door has been opened. Praise The Lord!!!
For dinner, the adventure continued. We dined on Yak Burgers at a restaurant called Snow Mountain. They were surprisingly yummy! We topped it off with ice cream and headed back to our home sweet hostel.
On Sunday, we joined Amanda and some friends we met last year, and we had a great morning with them.
We ate at a traditional Chinese restaurant that was extra yummy! We then headed out on more cultural adventures which included visiting a Tibetan Buddhist temple followed by sipping on coffee at the brand new Starbucks in town.
Tomorrow we are heading back to the hospital to see more patients and provide additional training for the staff.