Living in Italy: Changing Seasons

And the second half begins. We just finished up midterm paperwork and we’re looking ahead to the last four weeks of clinical before we return to Elon – to classes, to classmates, to professors and life as we knew it prior to the past two months of being away on two clinicals.  The first few weeks of clinical are always tough with adapting to new situations, patients, settings and CI’s, but by week four, it’s usually easier to settle into a still challenging but dependable stride (thankfully).

My classmate and I have continued to work here with our patients but were sad to see some of our favorites go. They had been here since we started and we had gotten used to them being a part of our days here. There were some hard good-byes as these patients had taken us under their wings when we started (our self-proclaimed “father” and a British woman whom we would catch up on all the news in English with). Thought we were happy that they had made enough progress to return back to their homes and families.

We have been working with a fair number of neurological patients (many strokes, some car accidents) and a lot of orthopedic post-op patients. We have been learning different approaches with which to treat, specifically the neurological patients, which has been very challenging to connect what we learned in classes and are now learning here. We are both starting to get the hang of the new approach and are hoping to be better for it in the long run.

At the end of last week, we observed aquatic therapy and hospice (more of a coma/TBI unit than is typical in the US) and will be starting work with both of these arenas this week. It will be a welcome change to add to our repertoire of patient-care.

Fall is in the air here and we are very much looking forward to the color changes that have begun, especially from our mountaintop views. We are missing the change of season back home, though, with apple picking and pumpkin spice lattes.

We have continued our travels to some smaller Tuscan towns and will be headed on to Lucca, Pisa, Rome, Florence and Pompeii on our remaining weekends. We will be finishing our time here after our clinical ends in Athens, Greece and doing some exploring there. Then US-bound we will be after 10 weeks away!

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