Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Pain management certification program

So, I'm into the second week of this post-grad university certification program in pain management out of U of A that I signed up for in June. I am loving the feel of having an academic rope between my teeth, swimming swimming swimming through oceans of information, pleased with myself for learning how to use the university's RefWorks reference manager and make automated bibliographies (the waterwings and flippers and mask provided). The university librarian who is connected to the class even made herself available by phone to support me through the hugely stressful process of learning how to use it (how to actually swim with the wings and flippers and snorkel mask). It's a lot different than regular, nose-barely-out-of-the-water sort of swimming I am more familiar with. It's a lot more three-dimensional and you can stay underwater a long time, build all sorts of underwater storage bins for the sea shells you collect - they stay alive but you can restrain them. Move them around however you want.

A lot of the information I already have investigated, so the content isn't really very hard so far - this gives me a chance to play endlessly with shaping it and investigating it from all sides.

I'm really glad I moved out of Vancouver and the struggle to survive there. It sort of sux that I needed a whole year to recover, but that's likely just my brain doing its thing. It feels like it works a lot better now than it did a year ago, and even though it still reacts to stress with overwhelm at times, the stress seems more manageable and the brain seems to recover a lot faster, like one good night's sleep.

I haven't been idle. Looking back over the past year, particularly the last 6 months, I've done more traveling than I, within the same time frame, ever did before in my whole life, have gone to new places and done new things, have stretched out lots of capacities that would never have been stretched had I sat in Vancouver and slowly rotted beneath the cloud cover, feeling like my mind was covered in green mold.

Now it feels perfect to be stretching in yet another new way, going back to school after 35 years of not going. I always loved going to university - went just for fun, studied the darnedest things just because I was curious. I love that the whole thing is online and the classroom is both synchronous and asynchronous - I don't have to get organized to leave the house, don't have to waste time commuting! I just wish I could go for free. I'm fifty-nine, and I think the university should cut people over 55 some slack the way UBC does (or at least did once - I don't know if it still does..)

Look out world. Diane might be ready to grow some new wing feathers one of these days. She said optimistically.


Unknown said...

Congratulations on your new endeavor.
By my standards, you refocused rather quickly. More than three years after my retirement from HP, I am now excited about my new job with the Benton County Mental Health Department. I am a peer wellness specialist. Psychiatrists and other county therapists can refer people to me for nitty gritty help in achieving goals related to their recovery. Like breaking social isolation, cultivating interests, etc. The county is the resource for the folks with the most grave mental issues. One of the qualifications for the job was that I had to have a history as a "consumer" of mental health care.
I have often referred friends to the resources on chronic pain on your blog. Especially Neil Pearson. Thanks for all you do.

Diane Jacobs said...

...And congratulations on yours! :-)
All the best - sounds like a great fit for you.