Friday, July 30, 2010

"I Love The Way You Lie"

By now I think everyone has heard the new Eminem song featuring Rihanna but in case you have been living under a rock check it out on the video below. Listen closely to the lyrics.



What do you think? I still haven't decided if I think this is helpful or hurtful? It raises awareness about domestic violence (DV) but does it send a healthy message to prevent DV?

Read the lyrics and see what you think. . . (Rihanna's are in purple and Eminem's are in black)

Just gonna stand there
And watch me burn
But that's alright
Because I like
The way it hurts
Just gonna stand there
And hear me cry
But that's alright
Because I love
The way you lie
I love the way you lie
I love the way you lie

I can't tell you what it really is
I can only tell you what it feels like
And right now there's a steel knife
In my windpipe
I can't breathe
But I still fight
While I can fight
As long as the wrong feels right
It's like I'm in flight
High of a love
Drunk from the hate
It's like I'm huffing paint
And I love it the more that I suffer
I suffocate
And right before im about to drown
She resuscitates me
She fucking hates me
And I love it
Wait
Where you going
I'm leaving you
No you ain't
Come back
We're running right back
Here we go again
It's so insane
Cause when it's going good
It's going great
I'm Superman
With the wind in his bag
She's Lois Lane
But when it's bad
It's awful
I feel so ashamed
I snap
Who's that dude
I don't even know his name
I laid hands on her
I'll never stoop so low again
I guess I don't know my own strength

Just gonna stand there
And watch me burn
But that's alright
Because I like
The way it hurts
Just gonna stand there
And hear me cry
But that's alright
Because I love
The way you lie
I love the way you lie
I love the way you lie

You ever love somebody so much
You can barely breathe
When you're with them
You meet
And neither one of you
Even know what hit 'em
Got that warm fuzzy feeling
Yeah them chills
Used to get 'em
Now you're getting fucking sick
Of looking at 'em
You swore you've never hit 'em
Never do nothing to hurt 'em
Now you're in each other's face
Spewing venom
And these words
When you spit 'em
You push
Pull each other's hair
Scratch, claw, bit 'em
Throw 'em down


So I saw them in an interview talking about how they wanted to share each of their perspectives on the issue since Eminem was once the abuser and Rihanna was was the victim (not with each other but in their separate relationships). I give them credit for bringing awareness I just hope kids will understand the message that any type of DV is wrong. I worry about kids just thinking Eminem is cool and not realizing that what he did in his past relationship was terribly wrong.

I do think that Eminem is a lyrical GENIUS. The way he expresses himself in this song is amazing. Oh and every time this song comes on the radio from the first time I ever heard it has caught my attention and I like it a lot. Not sure what it is but it keeps me listening.

What do you think of the lyrics? The message? The song in general?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Social Work Friends

I went to grad school with the two "big" girls, Emily and Marybeth, in this picture. The 3 little girls are their adorable daughters Julia, Emma and Reese. I love having social workers as friends. They "get" me and we can talk about work stuff and it is so nice. We also have SO much other stuff we can talk about too. It is so fun seeing them with and without kids. We always have fun and I always feel so supported by them. Emily is due with her 2nd baby (a boy) in Oct so we hope to get together before then. After that I guess we will have to let a boy into our girl group haha!

P.S. Emily scooped up a royal blue ring and white pearl ring (they are stretchy so perfect for swollen pregnant fingers) and Mary grabbed a pink ring (of course)! Thanks girls for supporting MS!

P.P.S. We missed you Kerri. Hope you can join us next time.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Check me out here!!

Lisa featured my blog in her blog! Check me out! Now I'm really becoming famous. Haha!




Monday, July 26, 2010

How Much Do I Love Necklaces?

Can you ever have TOO MANY necklaces? I don't think so! I have A LOT of necklaces. Two tie racks full of them to be exact and that isn't including all my sterling silver necklaces. Would you believe there are days when I don't have one to match my outfit, or that is the right length, or just works? Maybe I need more haha!!


Others may loves shoes or purses which is great too. Don't get me wrong I enjoy both of those things. But my fetish is a lot cheaper (most of the time) and it is always fun to jazz up an outfit with a fun necklace.


I am fortunate that I have two friends who make jewelry. So several of my necklaces are courtesy of them (thanks Taylor and Noelle)! I've also made a few myself but to be honest those aren't my favorites. Some of my necklaces are cheap and some are a bit more expensive - they are all fun and I've actually been know to pick my necklace first and then an outfit to go with it!


Here are some of my favorite places to get necklaces:

Lia Sophia

Silpada

Taylor's store, Aboca Beads

Designs by Noelle

I also like to browse at local clothing stores like Ann Taylor Loft and The Limited, craft fairs, gift shops, etc. Anyplace I kind find a unique and pretty necklace is good for me.

What about you? Do you love necklaces as much as I do?

Do you have other fetishes?

P.S. Since we are talking about jewerly I just wanted to remind you that I am selling Rings for MS so buy one in every color, buy one for every finger, buy one for your mom, or sister, or friend - they make great gifts and money goes to a GREAT cause!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A "Typical" Day at Work

I don't know if there is any such thing as a typical day as I never really know what to expect each day when I enter the hospital. But many of you have asked me what I do and how I like my new job so I'll try to answer those questions here.

I'm a clinical social worker for all the medical units in the hospital. I cover the ICU, 3 medical floors, the surgical unit and the ER if needed. There is a separate social worker for maternal services and 3 for Psych. Then ME for the rest - haha!! (There is another part time social worker who helps me out 3 afternoons a week but her main responsibilities are at another one of our hospitals.)


This is my office. This is where I start my day each morning. When I get to work I do the normal stuff - check voice mail and email. They I sign into Meditech and check my "status board" which is where the patients I'm following are listed. I read notes from the night shift and see how everyone is doing. Then I print out the hospital census which tells me all the patients for each of the floors I cover. I go through and circle the people I am following. I then check the printer to see if I have any new referrals.

Then I either head upstairs or kill some time in my office. I often take a stroll to the cafe to see what they have for breakfast and when they have bacon I might just have to get a few slices (shhhh don't tell anyone - I always eat healthy!)

Then I head up to the floors to check to go to rounds. I usually go to rounds on 4 everyday. On Tues and Thur I then go to rounds in the ICU after I go to 4. On the other days I go to rounds on 5 after 4. So the morning is usually pretty busy. During rounds I get updates on all the patients and get referrals for who needs a social worker that day. I then plan out who needs to be seen first.

I get referrals for all kinds of things - most often it is for brief counseling and support which is my favorite kind of referral. I also get referrals for a bunch of other random things - alcoholics, drug abusers, homelessness, mental health problems, family issues, etc.


So let me give you a few examples of patients I've seen this week.

  • A 58 year old man admitted for pancreatitis who has been an alcoholic for 10 to 15 years. He has hidden his drinking from everyone including his wife so needless to say she was in shock. I met with them to help them process everything that was happening. I provided them resources for AA, outpatient rehab, counseling, etc. I also met w/ the patient alone to do some counseling. He was ashamed and ready to get help - no denial - such a nice man who I really hope can get sober.
  • A 70 year old woman admitted to the ICU for respiratory issues among other things. Her 55 year old son died 2 weeks ago from an overdose, her daughter has social phobia, her other son is bipolar and in a psych hospital and her other daughter has an rare auto-immune disease that makes it impossible for her to work. So I was working with the daughter to provide support and counseling to her. She was dealing w/ A LOT!!! She doesn't have a car and couldn't come into the hospital during the day so I did the counseling over the phone. The patient has had other complications during the stay including paranoia, confusing, r/o strok and question dementia. It is all very sad.
  • A 70 year old man admitted for complications with COPD and recent lung cancer diagnosis. This patient is also suffering from many other medical problems and schizophrenia as well as other mental health problems. He lives independently and does pretty well for himself considering all he is dealing with. He has no family but is connected to a local mental health organization where he has a WONDERFUL case manager. This patient is the sweetest man and is just now processing that he is going to die. Hospice is now involved and he will be discharged to a hospice house where he will live out his days. I met with him daily this week to provide support and worked closely with his case manager.
Those are just some examples. I can often be following up to 10 patients at a time and they can all be for different reasons. The good thing about this is that my days are always different. I really enjoy that part of it. I also like the short term work more than I thought I would. I loved the long term work I did in adoption and I thought I would have a hard time adjusting to short term work (especially with mostly elderly patients) but I am really enjoying it. I also like the old people way more than I thought I would! Haha!

I do miss adoption and all of my adoptive families a lot. But I don't miss the stress associated with that job (or the crazy hours). I never thought I would say this but working in a hospital is WAY less stressful.

I really like the people I work with. Since I don't work closely with any other social workers I mostly am in contact with nurses, case managers and nutrition during the day. People are really nice and I already feel like I fit in and have made friends which is great. Community hospitals are big enough to see a variety of cases but small enough to know a lot of people and feel part of a team. I eat lunch everyday with a great group of people and the cafeteria food is pretty good (and cheap)!

So hopefully that gives you a better idea of what I do all day. If you have other questions feel free to leave a comment and ask. I love comments! :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

MAAV

I'm the newest board member of MAAV. It is actually part of my job as a medical social worker at the hospital but I'm excited for the opportunity b/c it is something I believe in too. I've always wanted to be on a board. I've volunteered for SO many organizations and I think it will be nice to help out in another way. So today I attended the board retreat and it was great to meet the other board members. Some have been on the board since the beginning of the organization!


The highlight of the retreat was the guest speaker, Kristen, a survivor of teen dating violence. Kristen shared her very personal story and the details of being abused - physically, mentally and verbally by her high school boyfriend. Her ability to connect to the audience was wonderful. She provided details that made you feel like you were there. I think we all wanted to kill the guy by the end of her story. Kristen shares her story with the junior high students during a presentation that MAAV does on preventing bullying and dating violence. I've heard that she is great with the kids and sucks them in from the beginning.

Seeing Kristen now, 20 years later, is amazing. She is a strong woman, wife, mother and more. She has survived what happen to her and she has turned her negative experience into something positive by sharing her story with others. I'm thankful to her for her bravery. By her sharing her story I have a better understanding of dating violence and what it does to a person.

I'm really excited to be involved with this organization and learn more about domestic violence so that in turn I can help my patients at the hospital. MAAV has two annual events - a walk in October which is DV awareness month and a run on Mother's Day. They also do a lot of trainings and small events throughout the year. One thing they are doing this fall is a "book club" sort of thing. We will choose a book (very soon) and publicize it in the community and encourage people all over town to read it. Then in Oct we will host a night at the library when we talk more about the book. The book needs to be about domestic violence, teen dating violence, bullying, etc. Here are the suggestions I have so far:

Letters To A Bullied Girl by Olivia Gardner

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen

Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

Please let a comment if you have other suggestions. We are looking for fiction or a memoir and need to pick a book very soon. Thanks!!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Scrapbooking

For those of you who don't know me well. . . I LOVE scrapbooking. It is my favorite hobby. I've been a "scrapbooker" since even before it was the "in" thing to do! Oh and I love paper. I must have 100s of pieces of paper and I still buy more. Finding the perfect piece for a layout is SO much fun.


I love to travel and make scrapbooks of my trips. It is such a great keepsake and a fun way to remember what I did and saw. I'm currently working on my Ireland trip that I took in May. I haven't had much time to scrap lately but I look forward to doing more very soon.



I have so many scrapbooks I've lost count! Here are my Creative Memories scrapbooks. I have many others both at my house and my parent's house. I get the majority of my supplies from Creative Memories and I love their products especially their albums and tape.


I love to scrapbook with friends. It is a great time to get together and catch up while scrapping. Stacy is my regular scrapping buddy! Stacy also loves to scrap her travels. In addition to my vacations I make a yearly scrapbook each year and usually need 2. I'm actually hoping this blog will help me reduce that to 1 a year b/c I won't need to scrap as much since I have records on here. I do love so scrap pics of my nieces and it is so hard to pick just a few.


Do you want to know what makes scrapbooking even more fun? Champagne!!! A little bubbly brings out the creatively and makes anything more fun. Haha! Oh and Stacy and I manage to use the whole room. We will have paper, punches, bling, etc all over the place!


I hope this doesn't make me sound really crazy but my mom and I have even been on "scrapbooking bus tours." It is a bus that takes you around to 4 or 5 different scrapbooking stores where you get to make a little craft and shop. It is really fun but I will admit there do tend to be some interesting people on them! :)


I've even been to a few bigger scrapbooking events where people come together to scrap. There is food, contests, make and takes, etc. It is a lot of fun and a chance to scrap all day! Don't worry I will never go on a scrapbooking cruise!


I tend to take A LOT of pictures so I end up putting a lot of pictures on my pages. I like layouts that call for lots of pics. No one pic per page for me!


Stacy and I have a favorite place to scrap - our friend Jenny has a studio and let's us use it. We bring dinner and champagne and camp out for the night. It is great. Unfortunately we haven't had as much time to scrap this summer as usual but hopefully we can plans some dates soon.

I'm so glad I've kept up with hobby since being diagnosed with MS. I can't always do it for as long or as late into the night as I use to but I still do it. It is something I can do while sitting and I find it pretty relaxing so I think it is a good hobby to have.

WHAT ARE YOUR HOBBIES??

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Can I just blame it on my MS?

So my Thursday night went something like this. . .

stopped at Target on my way home from work, bought a sundress that I really didn't need (but it is SO cute), drove home from Target, hung out in my room for a while, went to get my iPhone out of the side pocket of my bag where I always keep it and it wasn't there, looked around my room but couldn't find it, FREAKED out, drove back to Target and looked around in the places I was, nothing there, FREAKED out some more, checked at customer service, nothing, went outside and check in my car, came home and check my pockets from the outfit I wore that day, nothing and nothing, continued to FREAK out, emailed my mom, she called my phone many times, still nothing. . .I'm thinking I must have dropped it out of my bag while at Target. How do these things happen to me? Can I just blame it on my MS? If there was just a reason I think I would feel better. But I don't - I feel terrible.

On Friday I was so anxious and stressed at work I couldn't even concentrate on work. I had this big lump in my chest and my stomach felt nauseous. I can't believe how sick I felt over my iPhone. Am I really that dependent/obsessed with it? (Don't answer that please I think I already know the answer - lol).

So as of now I remain phoneless. My options are to continue waiting it out to see if it turns up or to go to the Apple store and buy the new iPhone 4 but my great friend, Joana, just called all the stores and nobody has any in stock and there is a wait list!!!!!!!!

I hate to admit it but I feel lost without my phone. It is terrible. I don't even want to leave my house b/c then I feel completely disconnected. At least at home I have my laptop!

So as I continue to grieve my loss here are some pictures to remember my wonderful iPhone:


This was the day I got my first iPhone - very exciting!!


Peyton has loved my iPhone every since she was a baby and she still loves especially the "Wheels on the Bus" game!


Ella also loves my phone and this was just taken on July 4th. The last known picture of my iPhone! haha!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Rings for MS!

Would you like to wear a beautiful ring (made by me) and support MS at the same time? Well if you answered yes do I have an offer for YOU! I made these beautiful rings and I'm selling them for $20 and will make a donation for every one sold to The National MS Society Greater New England Chapter and more specifically toward my fundraising for the 2011 Boston MS Walk.


From right to left: yellow, royal blue, light green, pink, light blue, orange (for MS), white pearl, red, black pearl


A close up of the pearl ring. Made w/ sterling silver beads. One size fits all. Very comfortable!


Here I am modeling the light green ring. Isn't it pretty?


This is the ring I actually wear each day. My aunt Nancy made it for me and I get compliments on it ALL them time. So I got the idea to sell them for a MS fundraiser - great idea right?!

So what are you waiting for? But one in every color, buy one for a friend, buy as gifts, buy one for yourself. . .

Other colors are available - just tell me what color you want and I'll see if I can get it!

$20 and includes shipping!!!!

Social Media and Chronic Illness

I found this so interesting since I started my blog back in April to journal my journey with MS and just last week I joined Twitter! I have found social media to be a great way to connect with others who have MS. What do you think?


Alexander B. Howard (@digiphile) is the Government 2.0 Washington Correspondent for O’Reilly Media, where he reports on technology, open government and online civics. He will share open source technology news at the OSCON convention in Portland, Oregon, on July 19-23.

This March, a report on chronic disease and the Internet by the Pew Internet and American Life Project and the California HealthCare Foundation showed that people fighting such illnesses are using social media to find information and connect with others who suffer similar ailments.

While the research showed that people who have chronic illness are less likely, on average, to have Internet () access, once they’re online they are more likely to blog about chronic disease and participate in online discussions or other forums. According to the report, “Living with chronic disease is also associated, once someone is online, with a greater likelihood to access user-generated health content such as blog posts, hospital reviews, doctor reviews, and podcasts. These resources allow an internet user to dive deeply into a health topic, using the internet as a communications tool, not simply an information vending machine.”

Finding the right balance between individual privacy rights and community benefit will, however, require online services to thread regulatory needles and provide clear guidance to users about how their information will be used. Below are five examples of online services, platforms or projects that are working to strike that balance, providing a means for patients and citizens to share their experiences.


1. Online Communities and Connections


<span class=patientslikeme image">

Online forums where people voluntarily share data about symptoms, environmental conditions, sources of infection, mechanics of injury or other variables continue to grow, and there are now dozens of other social media health websites to explore.

As Claire Cain Miller wrote in the New York Times earlier this year, online social networks bridge gaps for the chronically ill. And as Stephanie Clifford wrote last year, online communities like Eons or MyWayVillage can provide a reason to “keep going” for elderly patients that are isolated by geography.

The same characteristics that make social media a meaningful way for distributed populations to communicate, extend social media’s utility to those searching for a community of people with similar health conditions. The poster child for this trend is PatientsLikeMe, which now has over 65,000 members. While patients turning to social media worries some doctors, their value to certain populations is substantial. As Clay Shirky observed recently in the Wall Street Journal: “PatientsLikeMe has assembled a larger group of sufferers of Lou Gehrig’s disease than any pharmaceutical agency in history, by appealing to the shared sense of seeking medical progress.” Similarly targeted websites, like social networks oriented towards diabetes patients, have also become increasingly popular.

Sharing information about personal health does carry inevitable privacy considerations for those whose conditions might expose them to discrimination in the workplace or a community. Hospitals, clinics and other entities that hold such medical data, for instance, operate under tough privacy restrictions. These restrictions govern the use and storage of data as mandated by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996. Thomas Goetz wrote eloquently about these tradeoffs in a 2008 New York Times Magazine feature article about PatientsLikeMe, including the business model behind the site.

In aggregate, the potential benefits provided to fellow patients through analysis of such data may well outweigh those privacy risks, especially for those who suffer from diseases or conditions that traditional medical research has not paid great attention to. For instance, this spring Emily Singer reported in Technology Review that PatientsLikeMe had predicted a drug outcomebefore the medical journal Lancet Neurology published a study showing the same result.


2. Twitter, Telemedicine and Hello Health


As reported last year in the New York Times, medicine in the age of Twitter now incorporates social media that goes beyond stethoscopes and sterile waiting rooms. While some doctors won’t even answer patient emails, others have taken to social media with gusto, such as Dr. @PaulineChen, the surgeon who authored the article. Dr. Christian Sinclair, a physician from Kansas City Hospice, is another example. Dr. Sinclair tweets as @ctsinclair and blogs about palliative care on his blog.

A major challenge for Dr Chen and other physicians lies in the void of formal training for social media. Dr. Daniel Sands (@DrDannySands), a physician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Mass. co-authored the first set of guidelines published on using e-mail in patient care in 1997. In a profoundly public medium, doctor-patient confidentiality isn’t in the prescription pad nor locked in the inbox. New practices that combine health information technology and social media are springing up that rely on the discretion of the physicians. Hello Health, a paperless practice based in Brooklyn, New York uses telemedicine, email, IM, video chats and Twitter to communicate with patients after an initial visit. Dr. @SeanKhozin and Dr. @JayParkinson, who practice at Hello Health, tweet frequently. Dr. Parkinson’s talk on the future of medicine from this spring’s Gov 2.0 Expo is embedded below:


3. Socializing Community Health Data


<span class=communityclash image">

This spring, the United States Department of Health and Human Services took a step towards making community health information as useful as weather data. When used to power health apps, the release of community health data could unlock business value similar to what happened with GPS data a generation ago.

Community health data is being mashed up by Google (), integrated into Bing (), and visualized by Palantir. It will also be the focus of an upcoming “Health 2.0 Developer Challenge,” featuring a series of code-a-thons and team competitions. It’s further spawned “Community Clash,” a Web-based game that engages players to compare healthcare statistics for different cities around the country. Community Clash includes a social media component that pulls in a “Health Twiver” based upon healthcare-related keywords from the geographic regions compared, adding a real-time window into the communities in question.


4. Healthcare Wikis


<span class=medpedia image">

While Twitter (), Foursquare () and Facebook (Facebook" height="14" width="14">) may be grabbing most of the social media headlines of the moment, relatively old forms of social media like wikis continue to play a major role in online healthcare communities. As Jenna Wortham reported in the New York Times last year, Medpedia is a collaborative encyclopedia for health care that combines information from medical professional with forums for engagement with consumers. Medpedia was created in association with Harvard Medical School, the Stanford School of Medicine, The University of Michigan Medical School, the UC Berkeley School of Public Health, and more than a hundred other health organizations around the world.

Launched in February 2009, the platform now has thousands of medical professionals contributing to its pages and has added many new features, including sections for clinical trials, answers, news alerts and analysis.

In late June 2010, Medpedia launched RareSpace, “an online knowledge sharing platform designed in partnership with the R.A.R.E. Project and the Children’s Rare Disease Network to advance research and share information about the rare childhood diseases that affect 22.5 million American families.”


5. Open Source and Connecting Healthcare Communities


connect image

Long before Friendster (Friendster" height="14" width="14">), Facebook, Twitter and MySpace (MySpace" height="14" width="14">) connected hundreds of millions of people, listservs allowed distributed online communities to collaborate on open source projects like the code for the Apache Web server software. Brian Behlendorf, one of the primary developers of Apache, started an electronic mailing list in the mid-90s to coordinate the work of the other programmers.

More than a decade later, Behlendorf is now involved in another ambitious project: Developing and expanding an open source software gateway that allows healthcare practitioners to exchange health-related information called CONNECT (IRL Connect" height="14" width="14">). In 2010, those working on the project can use more than an electronic mailing list to collaborate; they also have access to a blog (), developer forums, a wiki to submit code and an issue tracking dashboard for bugs.

So far I LOVE blogging and reading others blogs I just wish I had more time to do it! I'm still not convinced about Twitter but I'm giving it a chance! I'm hoping to gain more blog followers and "meet" even more bloggers in the coming months. If you read leave me a comment so I'll know you are stopping by!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Another Great Cape Cod Weekend

Friday I was able to sneak out of work a little early and luckily read online before I left that Route 3 South was closed due to an accident. So drove an alternate route and got there in 2 hours which isn't bad on a Friday evening!

The weekend started out in Hyannis. I met up with my parents and Peyton who was having a "vacation" with Grammy and Grampy. We went on the merry-go-round which Peyton loves! This one was fast too! I then had to hurry off b/c I had a very important date!


Jaime and I went to see Hyannis Sound which is an a capella group of college age guys who come to the Cape each summer to perform. It was a lot of fun!

Jaime and I were laughing b/c they all looked SO young and it made us feel like cougars when we thought some of them were cute. Ha! I would recommend seeing them if you are ever on the Cape. I think my mom and I might go and check them out sometime soon b/c I think she would really enjoy it.

I had a sleepover with Peyton. She slept in a big girl bed and we shared a room. She looked so cute in the bed with her baby and giant Care Bear (remember those things!?) She was a "great" alarm clock at 7:00 AM on the dot both mornings. The funny thing is she didn't wake me. She would just play in her bed - whispering and talking to her baby. Then I would hear her and open my eyes and she would get SO happy.


On Sat night we went to a "fancy" restaurant called The Ebb Tide . Peyton was very well behaved and enjoyed her not so fancy pasta with butter. Haha!

I had a delicious Ebbtini that was bright blue which I wasn't expecting!

It was another great summer weekend on the Cape. But. . . unfortunately I've been dealing with another new MS symptom which isn't so fun. Just when I think I have everything under control it is something else. That is the pain in the butt part of MS! Not going to go into details yet b/c I want to talk to my doctor tomorrow. Wish me luck!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I AM A SOCIAL WORKER

Why is it that when most people hear the words social worker they immediately thing of someone who takes kids away from people? Don't they know that social workers do MANY different kinds of jobs and have skills and training to work with some of the most vulnerable clients? Social workers are professionals. Social workers are therapists. Social workers are clinicians. Many it the title - social worker - that is the problem - what does it really mean?

I think I was always meant to be a social worker. I've been helping people for as long as I can remember. I am proud to be a social worker and proud of the impact I have had on so many people's lives - the Habitat for Humanity families I worked with in CA, the chronically mentally ill patients I worked with at Riverside, the adoptive families I worked with at Act of Love and presently the patients and their families I work with at the hospital. Do you believe all the different populations I have worked with in my somewhat short career? It really is amazing when you think about it. How many other professions can do so many different kinds of jobs and work with so many different kinds of people?

So here is my PSA for today. Here are some fun facts about social workers I found on the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) website.

Social workers have the right education, experience, and dedication to help people help themselves whenever they need it. It takes a master's degree with a minimum number of hours in supervised fieldwork and a license (LCSW first then LICSW in MA)- to become a social worker.

  • More than 600,000 people in the United States hold social work degrees.
  • Social workers help people in all stages of life, from children to the elderly, and in all situations from adoption to hospice care.
  • You can find social workers in hospitals, schools, police departments, mental health clinics, private practices, military facilities, and corporations.
  • Professional social workers are the nation's largest group of mental health service providers. Social workers provide more mental health services than psychologists, psychiatrists and psychiatric nurses combined. (I bet you didn't know that!?)
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs—the largest employer of social workers in the country—employs more than 6,000 social workers to assist veterans and their families with individual and family counseling, client education, end of life planning, substance abuse treatment, crisis intervention, and other services.
  • Forty percent of mental health professionals working with the Red Cross Disaster Services Human Resources system are social workers.
  • There are hundreds of social workers in national, state, and local elected office, including two U.S. Senators and seven U.S. Representatives.
  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for social workers is expected to grow twice as fast as any other occupation, especially in gerontology, home healthcare, substance abuse, private social service agencies, and school social work.
So next time YOU meet a social worker remember that they are so much more than a person who takes children from people's homes!


This is me in 2005 of my grad school graduation. You can't really see it but I'm wearing a pin that says, "I AM A SOCIAL WORKER."

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

MS Challenge Walk

I don't think I've mentioned that my mom and I will be volunteering for the MS Challenge Walk on Cape Cod in September. I'm very excited about this opportunity because everyone I talk to says it is an amazing event. I can't even imagine what to expect but look forward to the fun and to meeting many new people. Oh and we will be sleeping at "the camps" which should be interesting! I'm not a big fan of camping but we have cabins so I'm sure we will be fine. We will be volunteering in "The Big Tent" which is where the fun events happen. I'm going to be a crew leader so have to learn a few things before then.

I'm sure I will have plenty of stories and pictures to share about the Challenge Walk. In the meantime if you would like to read their blog or check out their website the links are below!

http://www.challengeblog.org/

http://www.nationalmssociety.org/chapters/MAM/fundraising-events/ms-challenge-walk/index.aspx

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

To Tweet or not to Tweet?


I'm in a "twitter" about what to do. . . I've heard that twitter is a lot of fun and a great way to increase blog traffic. But what would I tweet about? Do you tweet? If you do, leave a comment and tell me why I should join twitter!!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Weekend Recap

I had a great weekend on the Cape. I drove down very late Friday night to avoid traffic and it was a good idea. Only problem is that I forgot my medications including my sleeping pills so I had to go to a 24 hour CVS in Yarmouth to beg the pharmacist for some. He gave me 2 for free so I was relieved! I got to my parent's condo finally at 11.


Saturday was a low key and lazy day. Then Saturday night Jaime and I had a Girl's Night Out and a belated birthday celebration for her! We walked around on Main St. in Hyannis and shopped a little too. We or course stopped at Colorful Creations were I purchased some scrapbooking paper. We were trying to decide where to eat and neither of us were very hungry so we sat outside at a Mexican restaurant and enjoyed some colorful margaritas and some not so good guacamole. It was a fun start to the night!


Next stop was a Tapas Bar. We actually sat inside this time to check out the atmosphere (a.k.a the men). We both got a yummy martini. The drinks were good the men were not!


We had dinner at the British Brewing Company which was very good. No drinks for me at this stop since I was the DD. After dinner we walked and shopped a little more. We went into this brand new jewelry store and I fell in LOVE with this starfish necklace. I didn't buy it b/c it was 50 bucks but I can't stop thinking about it so I might be purchasing it soon. . . What do you think? Do you like it?

We ended the night at an Irish pub - can't remember the name but Jaime and I sure felt old when we got there. Lots of young college kids! We had fun though. Jaime had an 11:00 curfew (had to get home to the kids) so we ended the night kind of early which was good b/c I was tired by then!


On Sunday the girls came down with Tim and Jenn. They were VERY excited to go to the beach. This might have been the only 2 seconds all day that they sat! No comments from the peanut gallery about my white skin! I'm working on the tan and the vitamin D intake. :)


Peyton is a fish and LOVES the water. She wasn't nervous at all and every time she came out for a second she immediately wanted to go back in. Thankfully my dad and Tim took turns swimming with her!


Ella on the other hand was more content on the shore and enjoyed playing in the sand. She even said my name (well kind of) for the first time! We were in the condo and she was looking from me and she came walking out of the kitchen to find me saying something that sounded like Jodi. Very exciting!! Of course the rest of the day I tried to get her to say it again.


I ended the day with Jaime and her girls, Emma and Cameron, at a cookout and fireworks at the beach. The fireworks were a lot of fun b/c people are shooting them off all up and down the beach for miles. It is so pretty!

Even as an adult I still LOVE glow necklaces!!! I couldn't wait to get my hands on this red, white and blue one!! haha! Thanks Jaime for inviting me to hang out with you and the girls. It was fun.

Drove home late Sun night and today has been a lazy day. Back to work tomorrow. Hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July weekend!!!