Saturday, January 24, 2009

Being in Charge of My Attitude

I am a very emotional person that reacts and sometimes relies on the feedback and response of others. I don't think this is a bad thing, as it is a great asset to my personality and position as a therapist. I care deeply about others and how they are feeling. But that also means that others' moods and attitudes can have a huge effect on me, in not always a positive way.

This has happened to me the past couple of weeks with being around others who have negative attitudes, have had bad experiences, and seem to have no hope for a certain situation to change. And in return it makes me in a bad mood. I'm not going to focus too much on the details about that, but I wanted to share how I responded to it. It took me a few days, but I realized that it is completely ridiculous for someone else's negative attitude to cause me to have one. My hope is not in other people, and I will not allow myself to be brought down by their attitude, which in turn effects how I deal with everyone else around me and how satisfied I am in my situation.

Sometimes what we think about something and what we feel about it are not the same thing. I know that it is silly to let someone else's bad mood make me in a bad mood, but I don't necessarily feel that way. But I choose to side with my knowledge and not my emotions. I choose to not let them bother me. Not that this is easy. But it really does help. I honestly believe you can think your way into a new way of feeling.

After I had made this discovery about my own attitude, I came across a great guest post on one of my favorite blogs. Check it out, PLEASE, at Back In Skinny Jeans (click here). The guest poster had a quote that I thought was applicable.

"Our lives are not determined by what happens to us but by how we react to what happens, not by what life brings to us, but by the attitude we bring to life. A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events, and outcomes. It is a catalyst, a spark that creates extraordinary results." ~ Anonymous

I know this all sounds cliche, but I believe this with all of my heart.

What attitude do you choose today?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Biggest Loser Blog Edition

I sent an e-mail to sign up for The Biggest Loser Blog Edition. I haven't seen my name on the blog yet, so I hope I'm still in it. I sent a follow-up e-mail so hopefully it'll get worked out.

For those on BLBE, I use this blog at blog to for my weight loss blog. That might be why my name isn't yet on the site, because I think they needed a blog through blogger or wordpress to show up on the RSS feed. Oh well.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Trying to Save the World

Just in case you are not aware, you will not be able to ask a person with autism "how are you feeling today? Are you feeling any different than last week? Have you noticed a change in your mood since we started the new medication? Do you have any complaints?" and expect them to answer you.

Just so you understand, when you ask me to 'do you a favor' and find these answers for you, I can't. The person with autism does not understand you asking him about his mood just as much as you don't understand him.

If only all doctors understood patients with autism like I do. But sadly they don't. And of course their answer is to shove more drugs down their throat. *sigh*

And it breaks my heart. Because this person with autism melts my heart, and no one else understands him.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Music and the Brain

Today the assistsant medical director of my hospital discovered I was the music therapist. He very much values music therapy and was sharing with me today about how he is collaborating with a professor in the conservatory of music at UMKC to teach a class with. Let me back up, our hospital is a teaching hospital and he is the Chair of the Department of Psychiatory at UMKC. So he trains lots of medical students. Well, he went on to say that next year he and this music faculty (a music composition professor, not music therapy) are going to have a class called Music and Medicine. He asked me if I would come and speak to the class. What?! For real?! Medical students, and me, talking about music and medicine? Scary.

Then I shared with him my thoughts on music and psychosis. (*See below, short explanation of what I e-mailed him upon his request). And he wants me to present at Grand Rounds. I told him I was just in the beginning stages of my ideas and really had not researched or learned much about it. He said I didn't have to worry, because it wouldn't be until next year anyway, because Grand Rounds is filled up through June. (Wait, just thought of this- I thought we were going to be privatized in July, so how can I do Grand Rounds in a year? Hmm, whatever).

So, I wonder what I will learn in a year. Is there anything out there to learn, or is this new stuff that hasn't even been researched? Either way, this is a great opportunity. Very scary, but still a great opportunity.

*In my 7 months here, I have run into a few patients that are excellent musicians and are high functioning enough to share that when they play the guitar their mind is free from racing thoughts and they feel calm. In a couple of lower functioning patients with psychosis, I am amazed at how delusional they are in a non-music setting, but how they engage in the music by singing and dancing, showing no response to internal stimuli. My challenge is wanting to figure out what is going on in the brain, and if/how I can facilitate live, therapeutic music interventions to reach functional outcomes. These are just my beginning thoughts, and I have hardly even begun to learn more and dig into the research and neurology of it

Friday, October 24, 2008

20 Years Younger

Yesterday someone at work was commented on how much weight I'd lost. She knew I had been losing, but was very dramatic when she saw me yesterday, saying that she almost didn't recognize me. Then she said that I looked 20 years younger. Seriously, twenty? Do I really look like I'm 3?


Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Year 2018

I was typing the date today to generate the census report for the patients in the hospital when I accidentally wrote 2018.

Whoa. Two thousand eighteen is so far away.

Oh wait, it's only ten years.


Will that be the only time I type 10/16/2018 to generate a census report, or will I be here in ten years on this date doing the same thing?

Those were the thoughts going through my head. At first I got excited about the thought of what I'd be doing in ten years, because it most likely would involve me being a mommy, which I so look forward to. Then the unknown soon hit me with fear. What will I be doing up until that ten years? Working here, at a different job, will I have gone to grad school, will I have my own little piano students or music therapy clients, will we live in a new house, a new town, will Thumper be old and have no energy left, will Chad's job still be bringing home the bacon? So many unkowns, and that's okay, because God is in control and these are not things I will have to worry about.

But you know what I can predict about myself in ten years? I will be 50 pounds lighter than I am right now. :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Attention-Seeking Behavior

Tonight I was spending some quality time bettering myself as a music therapist and learning the song You've Got a Friend. Usually, my sweet Thumper dog follows me around wherever I go in the house, and tonight was no exception. When I first headed downstairs to the piano, he bounded down because he thought I was going to take him outside. When I didn't, he whined, then came and laid by my feet, or paced up and down the stairs, sometimes peeking at me while looking down (so cute when he does this). All while still whining, but I didn't want to get distracted by having to take him outside and then wipe his muddy paws off because it had rained today. So I ignored him. Well, next thing I know, here is my sweet dog, shredding tissues at my feet. He had gone into the bathroom to get tissues, which he loves to do but he knows he can't. Yet, he still brought it to my feet. I don't know if dogs have this amount of insight into their actions, but it seems that Thumper was doing everything he could to get my attention just so that I would let him have what he wanted and needed.

Why can't the vegetables that I need to eat come and bother me until I can't ignore them? Or the amount of water I need to drink? Or other things I need to be doing, like reading the Bible and spending time with God. I guess it wouldn't be as meaningful if it was all done for me.