Tag Archives: exciting

The end is near

This is it. I wrote my final exam this morning. What remains is the last weekend adventure to the Sun Moon Lake, some paperwork at department office and finding my way to the plane on Monday. Feels weird. This place doesn’t feel that special anymore and that somehow makes this place more special. Everyday life has replaced adventure and excitement of finding new things every day. I noticed that even though it is really nice to be hyped about everything, it also takes quite a lot of energy to be surrounded with odd and unfamiliar. Making odd to become familiar took something away but in a way it also gave something more. The feeling is totally different but really difficult to explain. I’m still wondering how I can feel this ordinary living on a rainforest like hill when my homecountry is so different. I guess this is the reason humans have survived in all different places on earth. We are superb at adjusting to the environment.

I have said many goodbyes already and avoided crying only slightly. It makes me sad to leave these people behind when I don’t know if I ever see them again. Still, I feel excited and anxious to go back to Finland. I was away 5 months.. I feel that I might get more of a cultureshock when I go back than when I got here. I wonder if I will feel that some Finnish habits are weird now. And being able to talk with random people! Wow.. That must feel weird.

All in all, I have really loved my time here. If you are thinking to come here I highly recommend you to do that.

But now, adventure awaits!

 

näkymä

Stories of Qi

We went to a hospital to see how some practitioners treat their patients in TCM outpatient clinic.With first doctor we saw many patients and he mainly used acupuncture to treat them. He was really fast and steady handed with the needles. I didn’t have any problems with the needles this time. This was interesting, but even more so was the next doctor. She had no patients at that time, so she started to tell us her own experiences and her point of view of stuff related to her profession.

She told us that some people can feel other persons Qi levels. Oh wait, I might need to tell you what Qi means. In TCM Qi is a kind of life energy that flows in every living thing. In humans it goes through meridians and if there is a problem in the flow of Qi we don’t feel that good. Acupoints are like gateways to regulate the flow of Qi and from them we can fix the problems of Qi flow. Of course there is more than this to Qi, but this is how I understand it. So back to the story..

Mainly these people are in professions where they help others, like doctors, nurses, massage therapists etc.Usually it is nessecary for these people to want to help others. If person has normal level of Qi there is no special feeling but if the Qi level is low then it feels like this person takes energy or Qi from persons close to them. If a persons Qi level is high then they give more energy to people around them too. I easily feel other peoples moods and I’m easily affected my them too. I have thought that I’m just really sensitive person, but according to this doctor it means that I can sense the Qi level of other. Cool..

The doctor also told us that sometimes there are ghosts or spirits around people or sometimes even inside some people. These spirits make the person they follow sick, but TCM doctor can release these spirits from the person. Sometimes this is simple and the spirits just leave but sometimes they attach to the doctor instead. Thats why people who are in a profession where they help other people, they need to practise Qi (like Tai Chi or Qigong) so that they can protect themselves from the spirits. If you are experienced in controlling your Qi, you can build shelter around you so that you are not so affected by forces from outside.

other students told me that here thay have a lot of news of doctors dying to the same disease they are treating. For them it means that the doctor has been affected by too many bad spirits of the same sort and so the doctor got the same problem and died. Like some heart surgeons die of an heart attack and so on. I also heard from other student that many people here believe in ghosts. I think that in Finland or in Europe not that many people believe in them. It is concidered a bit childish maybe.

It is facinating how different logic people have from each other. in the end I think words are just words and they are only a way to explain why things happen. To be different is not to be wrong nessecarily, not even if I don’t think the same way. And even if the story or the words are not “true” exactly the influence might be the same still. This is going to be so interesting.

Last days! Or so I thought..

Tomorrow will be my last day at the hospital. Feels a bit weird actually. I have got so used to this daily routine that I don’t know what I will do after tomorrow. Actually yes I do, I will travel! But it will probably feel really weird. I have learned a lot during these 11 weeks I have been on the practical training. Maybe not the things I thought I would or should but really important things never the less. I learned how much positive complimets affect your working motivation and mood, how it is always important to be kind and patient, how it makes a world of difference if you smile or not. Of course I also learned some actual PT stuff like assessment and treatment etc but those you can learn every where! I also learned some local specialities since my teacher wanted to teach me his own method of soft tissue release and joint manipulation techniques. Then there were some acupuncture points, acupressure technique and hydrotherapy.

All in all this time was really awesome. And now it is over. Or so I thought untill last Friday when I heard that there is small possibility that I could still get accepted to this summers Traditional Chinese Medicine and culture course. My teacher promised to look into it and yesterday I got an email that said “you are in”. So my time here is not over after all! Feel even more weird.. I will have about one month time to travel and I already have my plans made for that time but after that I will come back here. And study for a month. How weird is that? It is like actually living here. If you want to read more about my future course, go here

When I got here three months ago one of my biggest disapointments was that I couldn’t get proper lessons on Chinese medicine. That kind of was the reason why I wanted to come here at the first place so now when it suddenly is possible after all, I feel like king of the world. My life is awesome. There is some small problems like I don’t have any accomondation at the moment and I might need to skip the first day because of my previous plans overlap with it, but that is small. This is kind of once in a lifetime situation.

aikataulu

part of my future schedule.

Will be nice to have actual lessons here. Even though I’m really excited about this, it is also a bit scary. In July I will be the only Finn here. I would have been a long time abroad and I already miss home a bit. Things will change again and change is scary. It is nothing I coudn’t handle but it is still scary.

Rain and thunder storm

Today I gave up. I decided that it is too much to ask me to wear proper shoes in this weather, so I walked to the hospital wearing my shower slippers. It has been raining for about two weeks now. It started in the end or April and I have heard that it should end in two weeks. There has been hours and even a whole days when it doesn’t rain. I think once there was even two days in a row when it didn’t rain!

In the beginning the rain was really light. I didn’t even need my umberella all the time. For couple of days this rain has been really heavy and constant. It can start in a hearbeat and there is no end to it. Yesterday evening there was also some lightnings and thunder. When I went to sleep there was thunder, I woke up because of thunder in the morning and guess what we have now? That is right! Thunder! One lightning struck so close that I almost got an heart attack because of the noise.

Yesterday I walked outside in the evening. I had some staird in my route and I literally walked upstream for a while since there was a river in the stairs. I have almost stepped on a frog two times this month and last night even my umberella didn’t save me from getting soaked. I must admit that this rain is really interesting.. This is so different than in Finland that I am not even dissapointed with the weather. I’m mainly just amused. I’m constantly wondering, how can this be? Rain again? Really? And laughing inside my head since everything feels so unreal. If you can figure out some good proverbs describing heavy rain in english, I would like to hear those. I can only think of the Finnish ones.

Temperature is still over 20 degrees. Lowest has been 22 and highest nearly 30 or a bit over that. I wonder how the temperature will be next month when there should be less rain. This will be interesting. I guess that if I would live here, this rain would be annoying. Or then I would just get used to it, since it is raining all the time! Humidity has been over 70 % for a long time now. Yesterday it was 83 or something.. I heard that in finland humidity is something like 20-30 %. Must be nice, huh?

Oh and today I experienced my first earthquake in Taiwan. If I can say that because I didn’t notice anything. I only know that there was an earthquake because two PT’s came to ask if I am afraid of earthquakes. I was a bit confused before I realized that there has been one couple minutes ago. I did notice that one of the windows made some different noice than usually, but I just thought that it must have been because of the wind.

Never ending gifts and Watermelon Cup

Today was a great day! Last Wednesday I heard from a friend that this weekend we have a Watermelon Cup at university’s bascetball courts. First I was really not into that. I knew I had some writing to do to keep my schedule on school stuff. I was lucky and my schoolmate talked me into participating. I actually started to get a bit excited about the happening when I waited this Saturday to come.

When I walked to the bascetball courts a bit before our meeting time there, I was surprised. It was a proper festival feeling with music and market tables full of food and games. We started the Cup with Tug of War (we won our battle!), then there were 8 minigames that all included eating watermelon and in the end we had a really short all against all waterballoon war. Usually I don’t like these kind of games or things that much, but here I have learned to enjoy them a bit. It is nice to be outside with friends and do some active stuff instead of doing school stuff all the time. This is something I should try to add to my life in Finland too.

markkinafiilis

Enjoying the market day feeling.

Tug of War

Tug of War!

waterballoons

Ammo for the final war.

There was actually something else  I wanted to write about too. While working here I have noticed that most of the patients are really friendly and nice (like almost all people here). With us foreing students it sometimes feels that locals are almost too nice. This topic rised up this week when the amount of gifts got a bit out of hands. Yes, patients are bringing gifts to us and not just patients but other students too. Usually they are really small and something they wanted to give us to bring home with us. Sometimes the gifts get bigger though. I have recieved six tickets to a fine hot spring and my class mate just recieved a book this week. Sometimes our patients ask can they take us out for dinner and that kind of stuff.

lahjoja

Some of the gifts I have recieved.

This really confuses me. In the beginning I was just really happy and surprised that someone wants to give something for me. Now when I have 8th weeks behind me and the gifts just keep on coming I started to wonder about this habit. It seems to me that also the Physical Therapist recieve some amount of gifts and looks like they don’t pay much attention to those. Gifts vary from fruits and other edible things to small memorable stuff to really bigger stuff like those hot spring tickets. I am having problems to adjust my behaviour to this phenomenon. First reaction now days is more like “Really? Again? Why?”. I’m still happy and impressed that someone had thought about me, but it is a bit awkward.

This just proves that the level of kindness here is really impressive.

Ears full of Mandarin

Today it begun! My first real clinical practice day! I can admit, I was a bit nervous. My boyfriend will probably roll his eyes for this, because he needed to call me from Japan in the middle of the night because I was panicing. Just a bit.. Well, lets be honest, I might not have slept all night. In other hand, I must have slept some, othervise it wouldn’t have been possible to wake up so many times. I didn’t feel like the sharpest tool in the box when I started my walk forward the hospital in the morning.

kyltti

Our hospital!

sairaala

And the actual hospital too! That is the white building in the center of the pic.

Luckily just few meters before hospital door I met my good friend David (one of those local students who was in Finland last fall). He showed me where to change my clothes and kept me company for some day. Then other of my saviours arrived! James is one of the research students and he was my life line today.

We went to meet the first one of my six clinical advisors or teachers as they seem to call them here. My first expression was a bit shocked since this guy didn’t greet me, didn’t talk to me and as far as I could tell he didn’t even look at me. Just told James to show me the places. I was a bit confused and a bit scared. Would it be like this all the time? I am a person too you know.. But after the first four hours my impression was totally flipped. My teacher seemed like a really serious guy, but near the end he was smiling more and more all the time. Even thought he spoke only in Mandarin and James worked as a translater he started to aske me questions and I even got to do something small in my first hours there. I was told that since they usually have not that busy hour just before lunch, I can just tell them what I want to learn and they will provide me with lesson. My teacher also told me that my posture tells him that I might have some hip problems (and I do, my legs are not even) and that he likes to combine chinese medicine to the western way. This is a gold mine I tell you!

My first four hours were at orthopedical practice. It was a big room, full of tables and busy with physical therapists. One therapist had couple of patients at the same time and they used a lot of modalities like electricity and ultrasound. There were tables for cervical and lumbar tractio machines where patients were just put to the machine and then the therapist went to treat other patients while machine did the tractio. There were one other intern and some second year students as well. It was really nice to talk with other students and think about some problems we were given. I liked the athmosphere because it felt like people were discussing about treatments rather than just given one right solution from the teacher. James also praised my skills all the time, so what there is not to like??

sairaalanikkuna

View from the hospital window.

Other four hours were at orthopedic bedside. I felt familiar since my first clinical practice was at same kind of department in Finland. It was nice to notice that I had really learned something from my first training period and I had some selfconfidence about the treatments. I liked Matti’s teacher (mine had a meeting and wasn’t there today). She was really good at explaning everything and she provided enought info beforehand about conditions we didn’t know before.

In bedside department we discovered some unique features. All the patients we saw today had either a familymember or other caretaker at their bedside to take care of them sonce nurses didn’t have time for all of the patients all the time. And those familymembers really seemed to almost live there too! Well ofcourse it is a bit different here since they have different customs of taking care of parents and family. But I liked the feeling about it. Finland could use something like that..  Therapist used a lot of time to educate those familymembers about their relatives condition since they were the ones that were going to take care of them. They seemed to take it really seriously too. Two of them were taking pictures with their phones when the terapist showed some exercise stuff or how to for example sit down with a full hip replacement.

nohevat

Nohevat.

What else.. All the info we saw about the patients were on paper. Thay had one file per a patient and everything was put there. I don’t even know if they have files on computer. We also had to use masks all the time when we were with patients. This was more strict at the bedside than at the other department. Before this day we were also told that we should put neat clothes on (some local students even wear suits to make a good expression when they visit hospital), have shoes that don’t show toes (no sandals!) and we were given a white jackets to wear. I feel like a doctor when I’m wearing those! Our days are 9 hours long because between our two 4 hour periods we have 1 hour lunch brake that is not included to the hour count. There is no other breaks than that. So 4 hours straight without a break is a rough work I tell you.

All in all, I’m really happy about my placement at the moment. I have no doubt that this will be challenging couple of months, but it will be worth it. Even though would be easier if I could speak chinese. Today only one of the patients spoke English with me..

First ending

This first two weeks has been amazing. We have had a lot of time to get used to the country and these habits here. This far we have only had some lessons at university and next Monday our actual clinical training begins. It is exciting and at the same time a bit sad. We have met many students here and some teachers as well and all of them have been really friendly and nice to us. It is sad to think that some of those I have met last time now. It makes me think about the time when I will leave here and see all of this last time. But maybe this is not a time for that!

In these two weeks I have learned some new skills! This week we tried pilates torture machine. It might have had another name too, but I don’t remember it at the moment. It was actually really interesting machine and I started to think how could I make on of those for myself. It is funny how much different exercise machines people have made and there is no end to it..

pilates

Using the torture machine.

pilates2

Actually this wasn’t that bad..

pilates3

It was even slightly fun!

We also tried some gyrokinesis. It seems quite okay. We only had one lesson so I cant say much about it, but it seemed interesting and worth trying some more. That also has some kind of a torture machine but we didn’t see that one. In addition to these we have dug into our brains trying to solve some case assignments and I already opened my Magee to check out couple of things. (Magee is a really heavy book about musculosceletal assessment.)

häkkyrä

One can measure muscle strenght with this “häkkyrä”. I forgot the name..

Our Chinese improves all the time. I get small learning experiences almost every day. I still have no idea what these people are talking about..

chinese

Trying to learn new words. This is difficult because locals know their marks better and writing something we will understand takes some time usually.

I have also learned that I get really tired if I try to go out every day and do something awsome. But I get really bored if I just sit in front of my computer. Maybe I need to learn to do something a bit less awesome but still active. I guess I will be in best shape of my life when I leave here. I have decided that in the end of the exchange period I will run these stairs up. 😀 I have improved really well these two weeks I have stamped those stairs. Every. Day.

portaat2

Small portion of my everyday stairs. Okay, maybe half of them if I go up only once.

Cha Cha Cha!

Cha is mandarin chinese and means tea. Yesterday we two physiotherapists and one Finnish nurse (my roommate) went to Maokong hill. The trip there was simply amazing. First we took a gondola elevator which went quite fast. First it felt like being in a rollercoaster but after while I got used to it. The view was great. We could see part of the Taipei city and surrounding “hills” (Finn would call them mountains).

gondola

The view from the gondola. Maokong hill stop was about 300 m high.

After we got up there we were a bit hungry so we decided to find a teahouse, since the area is known for its tea. We picked one place at random because it seemed to have a nice terrace facing the cityview. It was just perfect! First we were a bit hesitating because we didn’t need to pay only for tea and snacks but also for the seats at the terrace. I glad we decided that it was worth it because it totally was. And in the end it was only about 370 NTD (about 9 €) per person.

parvekenäkymä

A set to prepare tea and some snacks at the terrace.

Our waitress showed us how to prepare tea properly and after that we just sat there for 3 hours drinking tea. We must have made at least 15 teapotfulls of that tea. We decided to stay to see sunset, because the view was just too great and we left after the citylights went on only to find out that there was a full moon at the other side of the gongola station. The expression on my travel companions face was great when he saw the moon: “wait a minute.. One shining ball just went down there, what is that?!?”

On our way down we admired the citylights on the other side and the fullmoon on the other riding the cabin in almost complete darkness just listening the silent hurring sound of the elevator and chirping (?) of the insects and birds from the forest we were crossing over. Just perfect I tell you!

How to prepare cha: (My tealoving friends, you must not judge me if I don’t remember everything correctly)

huuhtelu

Pour boilig water to the pot and over it to warm the pot.

kuppihuuht

Pour that same water to the teacups to warm them up.

kaato

Pour that water out using wooden pinching thingy so that you don’t burn your fingers.

teentäyttö

Add tealeaves to the pot filling it to 1/4 and add water. Leave it be for about 15-20 s.

kannuun kaato

Pour this first set of tea to another pot through a strainer.

1haudutus

Pour the tea to the cups and then pour it away since you don’t drink the first brewing.

kuppi

Fill the pot again and wait for 20 s. Pour the tea as explained before and then you have your first cup of tea you can actually drink according to all fine rules of tea brewing.

tyhjennys

You can use the same tealeaves for about 6-7 brewing. Then just take out used leaves and start from the beginning.

First week accomplished!

I left from Finland about a week ago. How I feel? Confused.. I have been having this vacation feeling because we don’t have that many classes at the moment. We have had time to see stuff, hike, walk, eat, adventure.. You know, the basic holiday stuff. Today I realized that after couple of weeks this feeling will probably go away. When the real deal starts. It is a bit scary.. It means that I have to accept that I’ll have my boring weekday routine, just like home. Actually I don’t know.. This is all just a bit confusing at the moment. I feel like I don’t want to have a routine and basic weekday stuff, but having everyday adventure for 3 monts will be a hard task to accomplish.

panda

Chiang Kai-Shek Memoriall Hall entrygate.

Am I energetic enought to change my daily routine from what I have at home? I hope so. I’m boring at home. But maybe I’m demanding a bit too much from myself. If I continue this, I will just stress about having fun. Sounds reasonable right? 😀 Well, that is me. Usually I have one or two things I stress about, without any real reason.

maisema

“the Battleship” rock from Mt. Junjianyan.

It will be interesting to see what happens!

Study plan

Today was our first actual study day. We met NYMU’s international cordinator Yi-Fen and she gave us our schedules for our time here. In first two weeks we will have some classes about assesment of upper and lower extremities and classes about gyrokinesis and pilates. In addition to that we might take some classes on Chinese medicine, if that is possible. With that course we had a bit of confusion. In Finland our cordinator told us that if we want to take any other courses we can choose them when we get here and local coordinator told us that she would have needed info beforehand to be able to discuss with the teachers. We might still be able to have that course if the schedule is okay for us.

For the actual clinical training we will have Orthopedic bedside training, Orthopedic practice, some Clinical practice with the musculosceletal department (I think..) and Hydrotherapy. Out tutor took us to the hospital today to see the enviroment. It was really different than in Finland. There were more people in less space. There was also some different instruments and machines than those we usually use. All in all it seemed really interesting and staff were really friendly.

I’m actually a bit surprised that I’m not as stressed about this clinical practice as I was with the Finnish one. Maybe now I feel that is more okay not to know everything from the beginning. Everything will be strange and new and I feel that there is not too much expectations. We’ll see if that changes in couple of weeks.