May 4, 2021

S2:E10 Kate | "Trauma is as Individual as a Fingerprint"


Welcome to Mental Health Awareness Month! We've got a series of interviews we really think you'll enjoy. We begin with Kate, a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, specializing in complex trauma and complex PTSD. Some of her work includes the Crisis Intervention Team for the Knoxville police department which involves helping EMT service, fire rescue, and police sheriffs. We describe her as "the helper's helper" and take comfort that there's someone out there to aid our first responders. Trauma therapy is more important than ever in this pandemic and she says, “We’re coming in in the midst of your worst nightmare … and I’m coming in as a stabilizing force to get a sense of what do these people need, and what can we do to be a soft place to land for them as they are navigating a very difficult situation." We also talk about her self-care routine which involves plants! Lots and lots of plants! Kate is a ray of sunshine in a dark world, enjoy! 

Transcript
Caroline Amos:

Hi, I'm Carolyn Amos.

Raymond McAnally:

And I'm Raymond McAnally.

Caroline Amos:

And we are

Caroline Raymond:

Fatigued (laughter)

Caroline Amos:

Okay, welcome. Welcome. It is so nice to see you and to have you here on our podcast today.

Kate:

I'm excited to be here. It's my first podcast so

Caroline Amos:

Yeah! Congratulations!

Raymond McAnally:

You picked a great one.

Kate:

Yeah, I love teaching actually. And so this is a this is a good format and just general conversational stuff.

Raymond McAnally:

That's not a surprise to me that you love teaching.

Kate:

Yeah. (laughter)

Raymond McAnally:

That makes total sense.

Kate:

Yeah. Would you like me to introduce myself just a little bit?

Caroline Amos:

Oh my gosh, we would love it. Go for it!

Kate:

Okay. Okay. So, my name is Kate Sullivan. I am a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner from Knoxville, Tennessee. And I specialize in trauma - complex trauma, but I treat the gamut. So, you know, I can see schizophrenia. I can see OCD, I can see all the all the things but one of my favorite areas is trauma and PTSD. And so I'm on the crisis intervention team for Knoxville police department here. And that involves going to multiple different departments including ambulance EMTs, service fire, rescue and police Sheriff and doing education with them on trauma, vicarious trauma, which they're all experiencing a lot of this year. Yeah, in particul r. Um, so first responders is ne of my specialties. But so is abuse, medical trauma, you kn w, everything you can think of, ou know that that could b a traumatic experience. So, I ve been doing this for 12 years I love it. Um, it takes a lot of self care. It's inten

Caroline Amos:

I can imagine. Wow

Kate:

Yeah, that's that's me. My husband lives with me and my six year old son Gabe.

Raymond McAnally:

And your husband is also a frontline worker?

Kate:

Yes, yeah, he works. He's in it, which you wouldn't think is frontline, but he's in it at a community mental health center. That's doing a lot with homeless population here in Knoxville. And, and then all kinds of other groups as well. So yeah, we're busy. Busy bees.

Caroline Amos:

I'm so interested, you just said that you love you love your job, and it requires a lot of self care. I'm really interested to know what got you into this.

Kate:

There are many, many answers to that. I actually this made me laugh. But I took an entire year to soul search about whether or not I wanted to go into this field. My father is a neuro psychologist of 40 plus years. And for the longest time, I'm like not gonna do what my dad did. You know, the jeans caught up with me. And I just absolutely loved it. I ended up in nursing school prepared to do pediatric nursing. Got into the pediatric hospital, I was terrified I was gonna hurt a kid ended up in my psych rotation and just felt perfect. And so that's Yeah, that's how that got started.

Raymond McAnally:

The simple fact that you took a year to soul search. Whether or not you wanted to do this, you had you had that kind of study and foresight to look ahead and say, okay, is this something I want to do? That!

Kate:

it's a big decision! (laughs)

Raymond McAnally:

That speaks volumes about your ability to do it and do it in a self care? You know, looking after yourself sort of way.

Caroline Amos:

I think that's actually really inspiring. I'd rather hear that someone's soul searched for a year before going into a profession like this than someone just jumping into it for the paycheck. Because this is a job that requires so much heart and, and soul and I mean, God, wow.

Raymond McAnally:

As actors, we're not used to soul searching before you jump in. We tend to you know, you tell people Oh, yeah, I know how to jump through rings of fire. I know how to do any and everything you could possibly want me to do. Just give me the job and then I'll figure it out later.

Caroline Amos:

Yeah.

Kate:

That's funny.

Raymond McAnally:

That is inspiring. (Laughs)

Caroline Amos:

Yeah,

Kate:

That's not to say there aren't rings of fire in my job. (laughter)

Caroline Amos:

Well speaking of rings of fire. I know this. This past year has been an absolute dumpster fire. How has your How is your job and your daily life changed?

Kate:

So that's a great question. And honestly, I could spend probably the whole podcast on it. I won't, for your benefit, but

Raymond McAnally:

That's what we're doing today,

Kate:

Okay. All right. Well, yeah, to put it, I guess succinctly. So I changed. I work in private practice number one, which is different than agency work agency work, you're, you know, seeing 22 patients a day. It's, you know, bam, bam, bam, private practice, you get to choose more who you see how many you see in a day, how you how you do your whole practice. And occasionally, you end up moving your practice because one place is a better fit than another. So I was in that found myself in that place in January of 2020. And moving it was still in Cedar Bluff, Knoxville, but I moved to just a couple of offices up. So I got there, I got settled, got my caseload, my people kind of getting used to coming to a new office. And then I start hearing whispers of, I mean, I'd already heard whispers about the pandemic at that point, COVID and what was going on in Busan, but um, you know, it was just kind of in the background at that point. And, you know, we got through February, I saw, you know, all my folks face to face at that point, and then March hit, and they close the schools. My son is six years old, and he's in first grade. And so we were landed with what do we do? We're a two working parent household.

Raymond McAnally:

Yeah, that's that age group. Were you an adult has to be on camera with the with the child?

Kate:

Yes, for sure. And so it was a question of what do we do you know, both of us are in health care. We're in the middle of a pandemic, but we've got to figure out childcare at the same time. So with me being in private practice, I'm the one with the greater flexibility between the two of us because Kevin's agency, so I came home and really had to reorient my whole everything around just this new normal at home. We, my colleagues and I, private practice colleagues did a crash course in telemedicine and how to how to even do telemedicine over it was literally three to four hours of a tutorial and then it was bang the next day, it started.

Caroline Amos:

Oh my god.

Kate:

Yeah. So I figured out my platform and what I was going to use, and, you know, we ended up having to contact all our clients that you know, we're going to be engaged with telemedicine for the foreseeable future, I'm all kinds of laws went into place very quickly that forced insurance to cover that which I'm grateful for. Otherwise, I think a lot of people would have lost services. And so I've been exclusively telemedicine, aside from probably to patients who just have to be seen in person. since that point, pretty much my son has been in virtual school this whole time. So um, I've never juggled too many plates in my life.

Caroline Amos:

No kidding.

Kate:

But, you know, I do. I'm at the point now, in the pandemic, where I can feel a little bit of a sense of number one, I've got this, because I've done it, you know, for a year or more and to my son is probably going back to virtual or in person school in August. So that's gonna let me get back to my face to face work. And frankly, that is, it's just preferred for trauma work, because I love seeing people's faces and I'm, you know, on a screen, and I'm glad that we had the opportunity for telemedicine instead of nothing at all. Because those people needed those services. But face to face work is what I do best. And it's what I enjoy the most.

Caroline Amos:

I bet your patients appreciate and enjoy that too. When it comes to your patients. You mentioned in your questionnaire that obviously things like domestic abuse and suicide rates have have gone up. What are you? I don't know how to word this in a way that would make it be. I don't want to sound insensitive. But like, have you noticed? Have you noticed a massive change in your patients because of the pandemic has there been especially working with people with PTSD? Have you noticed that this is triggering? Is it like a whole new level of trauma for everybody? What's that looking like?

Kate:

It's, I will say it's as unique as a fingerprint for each person. And frankly, trauma always is and always has been. But there are definitely some sort of threads and common threads that I've seen in this past. Last year in particular. So, interestingly, at the very, very beginning, when everything was just blowing up, and there was a lot of fear, most of my a lot, not all, but most of my PTSD folks, were actually probably the calmer of, of, you know, out there. And I say that because they've dealt with.

Raymond McAnally:

Yeah, I was about to say they have their they've been consciously working on those coping mechanisms as well.

Kate:

Yes.

Caroline Amos:

And also, when you come from a background where there's like chaos, sometimes there's something about chaos that feels really comfortable. And the pandemic is as chaotic as it gets real.

Raymond McAnally:

In our family, we actually joked about the fact that my mother in law, who will clean everything, and she's the type of person who as soon as she's done eating, she starts cleaning, even if you're still eating. So her house is always meticulous. And she's always worried about germs and those sorts of things. So this was like, this was what she has been training her whole life for. Yeah. And all of a sudden, she calmed down, like she got kind of Zen Yes, when all of the cleaning protocols and stuff hit because she was like, I know how to do this, like this all.

Kate:

Yeah, and that's actually what a lot of my trauma folks would say is now everybody knows how I feel every day. Everybody knows what my normal is. And so their normals often didn't change too much. With the exception of I think, a few populations. I think that people who already deal with abuse in the home, were absolutely sort of, I would say more trapped, you know, then they have less freedom to leave, and good space and things of that nature. Kids really struggle a lot. You know, I see primarily adults, but I've been dealing with it, especially recently, the aftermath of kids falling apart and how that's impacting, you know, parents and, and other things. But you know, the kids are at number one, some of them are having to transition their schooling. If they have special needs, sometimes they're not getting their needs met. You know, depending upon that you there may or may not be enough to get there. I have IEPs taken care of I APS are specialized schooling plans for week.

Caroline Amos:

Yeah, we talked about that in a couple episodes ago with our friend Jill, who is a special education teacher.

Kate:

Oh wonderful. I treat a few of those special education teachers, and they're wonderful humans. Yeah. So and then just, you know, kids dealing with, frankly, the sort of reverb and ricochet of the stress their parents were dealing with and sort of that landing on them to some degree, then you get into, you know, job losses in the family, you get into financial fears, you get into loss of family members to COVID. And so, you know, there were definitely periods in the last year, that felt like the best way to put it as just this dark tunnel. We were just all in this dark tunnel, you know, and it wasn't that, oh, I have all these, you know, magical answers, you know, for I was in the tunnel with them. And so that was a very, I would just say unique, not easy, but unique experience to be sort of going through this societal trauma, but also partaking of it myself. And, you know, we're, we're all just trying to get, you know, put one foot in front of the other. So I'm trying to think of other pieces that I guess the other big one for me as first responders. I work with a lot of EMTs a lot of nurses and trying to think police probably the big, the big two groups that I saw the most stress were the nurses in EMTs. And I've treat several nurses that work on COVID units and COVID overflow units. Oh, God. So I was hearing a lot from them about, you know, very specific about, you know, various deaths that they've witnessed. And then, you know, also I think struggles organizationally, just in terms of in terms of burnout in terms of sometimes not always, but sometimes not feeling advocated for, you know, not having peepee and being asked to go in, you know, when you're sick, you know, other things. Yeah. And so, yeah, the stress level for those folks was was massive in it. It's still is I think they've, they've sort of gotten they're telling me anyway, I, I'm used to it at this point. Yeah, there was definitely this period of not that.

Caroline Amos:

Not being used to it. Yeah.

Kate:

And it was it was really quite something I think, to to witness.

Raymond McAnally:

One of the things we've talked about here as, as our both ourselves and other people we've talked to who've had COVID, we've all kind of expressed a similar sentiment that one of the hardest things about all of this is it wasn't like, it was more like being told you have some sort of weird short term. chronic illness. Yeah. Because the psychology of not knowing when the end date would be, you know, you go in for you get the flu, and you're told, Oh, you've got a 48 hour flu or, or you're going to feel like this for five days, and then you'll be fine. We're experiencing that difference in how people are reacting to the side effects from the vaccine, for example, I know of I know, I'm gonna feel horrible if I have bad side effects, but it's only 48 hours brand. And you see that light at the end of the tunnel when you can't see that light? At the end of it? Yes. I can only imagine that's what your healthcare workers and the folks you see, in part are dealing with? I'm glad to find out that, that your occupation, your level of therapeutic care, mental health care exists for these medical professionals. Yeah. Because it's kind of like that old, you know, the old series of jokes, who's your doctor's doctor? You know, your mind nurses nurse, and you look after them? And that to me that that's something I wasn't aware of? And I can't

Unknown:

Oh, yes,

Raymond McAnally:

I can't believe I never even thought about where did the people who help everybody go to get help?

Kate:

Yeah. And the in Knoxville, that I definitely am one of those people. That, you know, that also begs the question, well, who do you write? And the answer is, I do see people to help support me through this as well. And I see a therapist too. And I have for a long time. But I went from the beginning of the pandemic, we were maybe going went monthly, something like that. I went up to weekly, very quickly, like, I've just got to get through, you know, it was it was very much survival from week to week there for a minute. So especially just trying to juggle so much

Raymond McAnally:

When you work with a client, I know, not asking at all for any specifics other than a general idea of when a client comes to you and say the pandemic is weighing on them heavily. I know you said it's a trauma is as individual as a fingerprint. Is there a an amount of general protocol that you could share? How much is coping mechanism? How much is, you know, why not? That's about the extent of my psychology knowledge, I know, coping mechanism. I know, I know, clear boundaries. I know terms like that

Caroline Amos:

Oh, man. It's that part of the podcast where Raymond talks about all the things he doesn't know how to do? (laughter)

Raymond McAnally:

Because I want to know how to do everything!? (laughter)

Kate:

That's awesome that you do. And I actually can relate to that. So um, that's a great question. And it gets a little bit into So what exactly do you do in your job, which is, there's a lot of different answers to that. If you think about nurse practitioners in general, traditionally, we prescribe medications. And that's definitely what we're thought of in psych, primarily, some of us will do continuing education to mix in some therapy with the medication. And then you know, depending upon what the need is, I may also refer to a therapist and we work as a team. In terms of supporting that patient, it just depends upon sort of the, I'd say, the amount, the, the intensity of the need, and how I would say acute, you know, the need is so, you know, I, every one of my patients is on some kind of medicine of some kind, but that can be as light as a supplement, depending upon what's going on for them. There are actual supplements out there for anxiety and things there are supplements you can take for mood as well. So I try to explain that to people when they come to me that, you know, we can go as light handed on this or as you know, that guns on it, it's we need to depending upon your unique sort of goals and needs. You know, typically I do I do a lot of assessment Let's see at the big like, at a very first appointment, I have people do lots and lots of different forms so that I can really eyeball how depressed is this patient? How is their concentration? How is their fatigue? How is their sleep doing? And then at repeat visits, I will get something called a Ph. Q nine, which is it sits a depression screen to really just plot over time. How is that score shifting? Is it going up? Is it going down? And it allows me to track numerically, you know, what, what's impacting this patient? Sometimes it'll be situational stressors that make that number go up. And sometimes it's their meds aren't working. And so, you know, we'll dig into that and figure out, do we need to tweak something? Do we need to add therapy, that kind of thing. You know, trauma based stuff, I deal with a decent amount of like crisis work. So, for example,

Raymond McAnally:

And that's your work with the police station?

Kate:

So some, yes, some is with a police station it some of its with civilian. So we have, we've had multiple, unfortunately, multiple shootings here in Knoxville, in the last year that have been especially probably for the community. And it's another manifestation, frankly, of some, you know, violence increasing. There was a restaurant literally right up the road from my house where a domestic situation played out literally in public and three people died. When I say crisis, oftentimes, you know, it could be that I'm seeing a police officer who's just worked a shooting or, or let's say, I'm trying to think of another good example, an EMT that has had an especially traumatic call. I've had EMTs threatened with guns this year, I've had, you know, hugely terrifying exposures, those kinds of things. And so we'll bring them in, we'll we'll debrief about what occurred, we'll see Do we need to stabilize sleep here sleeping mask, because often in a crisis like this a mess, things like that, to try to get some roots and stabilization for that that person trying to think of other crises. We just this last week, I saw two parents who lost unfortunately, a young one to suicide. And so again, like that's, that's a good example of crisis work. It's, it's we're coming in, in the midst of that your worst nightmare? I mean, you know, you don't know really how else to put that. And I'm coming in as the stabilizing force to try to get a sense of what do these people need? And what can we do to be a soft place to land for them? No, as they are navigating a very difficult situation?

Raymond McAnally:

And in those situations is it your - Is it someone capable of self identifying that they're they've had a trauma experience? Or are you being called into the situation?

Kate:

So a little mixture of both. So I certainly have people on my caseload that I've seen for 10 plus years, you know, long periods of time, and then occasionally though, even those patients will come up with a crisis of some kind, they'll encounter a death and they need to come back in and wait, you know, we're working through that more acutely. But I so I'm on with the crisis intervention team. And that's really all first responders here in Knoxville have access to that. If a first responder of any kind has a need around debriefing support, or regular therapy medication, there are people in the community that know that I do that. And I get calls fairly regularly. I did a talk out it was more Ambulance Service this past week. And I do talks about PTSD among the first responder population to do education for them on a fairly regular basis. This was one of those in that I ended up getting three calls from people who were in the talk that needed services. Yeah, and so you know, a lot of it's word of mouth, but if if, you know, if you get if you've been doing it for a minute and you you do a not terrible job at it. word word spreads, just keeps going in and that's really kind of how it's, it's landed for me.

Raymond McAnally:

It's so interesting because we actually were having our team meeting this morning and I brought up that I just found out that where I live in Burbank, that we have a unit I don't know how new it is. Who if someone if an average everyday citizen is having a mental health issue or their mental health could be the catalyst for whatever is happening. Then this unit gets called in, in lieu of just a couple of police officers. Yes. I think it's a police EMT and a mental health professional and the mental health professional is leading the the investigation or whatever you should call it. But that's different from what you're describing, you're describing being support for the first responders,

Kate:

Correct. Yes, yes, they're coming to me they have they're using their insurance the way anyone else who would use their insurance to come if they had depression or you know, some other issue that needed treatment, and I'm, then I'm billing insurance on an outpatient basis for that. What you're talking about Raymond is actually it's wonderful. That's a new model that's being tested across the United States, and Knoxville is also in has implemented one of those models here. And at least from what I'm hearing, it's going extremely well. You know, they're I think they're mixed opinions on having the column lcsw. W, so licensed clinical social workers

Raymond McAnally:

(sarcastically) Wait, mixed opinions on this topic. Really?

Kate:

Yes, absolutely. Um, I have, I've heard LCS W's get really frustrated about it and say there shouldn't be any police presence at all. You know, in, you know, in those -

Raymond McAnally:

Sorry, I was making a politics joke. (laughter) You were being serious and professional.

Kate:

Yeah, I love it. I love it. You're so funny. So yeah, that being said, I think it's much preferable to the alternative, which is police only who and you know, there are police out there that are wonderful professionals, and who do things like crisis intervention training, so that they can engage with crisis situations on a more educated level. But that's not everybody. And from state to state. crisis intervention, training isn't a uniform requirement for everyone. So some officers have had it some habit.

Raymond McAnally:

We also ask our officers to pivot on a dime, they might, they might go from a high stress someone's wielding a knife situation, to writing a speeding ticket to talking to somebody about, you know, a noise violation, right. And those mental shifts are not easy to process, if you've been in in a really high stakes situation, and then all of a sudden, immediately have to go do something else. You haven't you haven't had time to process what you just saw? i? Absolutely, I mean, that, hopefully, as time goes on, and we do discuss these things more openly that we can all understand everybody else's humanity.

Caroline Amos:

And well, it's clearly not working especially, I mean, it is no coincidence that there are so many police murders, police murdering people these days. And I think it's because of their PTSD, not to humanize that I think there's a lot of pieces of shit out there who are extremely racist, and are using this as a playground for living out their big boy fantasies. But at the end of the day, it's a system that doesn't work. And it's not working, and it continues to let us down. And I think it's great that we can get people the help that they need, especially if there's people out there that know how to de escalate situations involving guns and knives. Why do we need to why do we need to involve any more weapon weaponry in the matter?

Kate:

Yeah, that's a good, good question.

Caroline Amos:

I want to I want to pivot this because I could talk about this and get really, really heated about it all the time. (laughter) And I do talk about it a lot. And I have a lot of opinions about it. But something that you said earlier that I was really struck by is that is that you, you mentioned the fact that because of your job, you need to administer a certain level of self care, in order to keep doing what you do. Any tips and tricks? Do you want to share your self care routine with us or anything you feel comfortable sharing?

Kate:

Oh, yeah, absolutely. Um, so I will say, this is Yeah, this I think this applies to all humans. And I just cannot underscore the importance of sleep enough in terms of its impact to us globally, and just our function and our filters, and, you know, our ability to be our best self and so probably the biggest place I go to when someone is really struggling first out the gate is how are you sleeping? Now,

Raymond McAnally:

I love that we're talking about sleep on a podcast called fatigued (laughter)

Kate:

Yeah, no kidding. That's not to say that I have the world's best sleep. I do not have a young child who occasionally has nightmares himself and so I'm gonna crawl into his bed with him you know, things like that. You know, I I have tried to be really kind to myself around that though truly in allowing myself to nap if I can, if I can even get 30 minutes in there, I'll take it and it can make a huge difference.

Caroline Amos:

I love a power nap. Yeah, nap is one of the most beautiful things in the world.

Kate:

I am a an avid gardener, and cannot say enough about just that as a, an outlet for me. It's it's a creative outlet. I've like I'm an artist, in addition to being a nurse and I think about when I do Gardening, I'm thinking I feel like I'm painting with flowers is probably the best way to put it. I know that sounds bizarre, but it feels

Caroline Amos:

amazing.

Kate:

And and so you know, if you think about it, so grounding and grounding is important in trauma and trauma recovery, I'm exposed to a lot of trauma on a daily basis. And so you know, you have to think about vicarious trauma exposure, which is a lot of what the EMTs are also dealing with the police, that kind of thing. So for me, if I've had an exposure really hard, long day, I can't get certain words or images out of my head, that kind of a thing. And that does happen. I will do what I can to physically ground, I go outside, I get that sunshine on my face if I can help it. And honestly, if it's raining, I'll get the rain on my face, whatever I've got to try to be in that immediate moment.

Raymond McAnally:

There is something to tactile,

Kate:

sensory,

Raymond McAnally:

sensory things that can can really drastically change your mindset. They can

Kate:

Yes, helps to now brings you into now. And that you know being in now and just now takes away a lot of burdens because burdens of the past past memories and then burdens of the future. What have I got to do for the rest of the day, all that gets it just gets put down. And for me now this isn't for everyone. But for me. That's the garden you know, I'm I'm in there. I've got all these colors everywhere. I can smell the soil. I've sometimes I've got butterflies landing on me. I mean, you know, all kinds of different things. And, you know, you can hear the birdsong outside, it's just you get the sense again, the sunshine, I think I was a plant in a former life, just in terms of like, I get seasonal affective disorder when the light goes down. And oh, yeah. And so that sun exposure is it can't be underestimated for its ability to just kind of rejuvenate us. And then if you're lugging around 50 pound bags of soil, you're getting your exercise.

Caroline Amos:

Oh God, you are. You are speaking my language right now. I I buy plants whenever I'm sad, and I buy plants when I'm happy. I really I just buy a lot of plants. Yeah, but it's so you know, it's the type of thing I actually feel like putting more like living organisms into my space. Yeah, really, really. My anxiety has weirdly gone down in the pandemic. Like you're not the only one to say that. Yeah, yeah, I think it's like, I mean, I'm unemployed. So I'm never really like, expected to be anywhere. And I'm sort of living my life on my own schedule. And if I can take a whole day and water my plants and water myself, it is it is it is so lovely. So there's something about something like these beautiful green things. That is the vibration they generally do. Yeah. Wait, so you said you think you were a plant in the past life? What kind of plant Do you think you were?

Kate:

That's a good question. That's a really good question. Maybe. I'm trying to think my biggest favorites right now. My obsessions are and this is odd, but they're I have found a Jack in the Pulpit. Have you heard of them?

Caroline Amos:

No, but I'm Googling it now.

Kate:

Okay, so my number one I love native plants. So native to Tennessee.

Raymond McAnally:

Yeah, get those invasive exotics outtahere? (laughter)

Kate:

Yes, exactly. And when I so I've been gardening for probably four or five years in my current home and adding more and more natives as I go and it's brought all the wildlife back to the our yard. We have birds constantly we have chipmunks that come right up to our deck we have Oh my god, a whole array of different insects that are just you know, gorgeous in the summertime to see. And you don't get that with with non native plants. So yeah, I'm obsessed. So honestly, for me, it's simple stuff. It's coneflowers and rudabeccia things like that,

Raymond McAnally:

I can tell you love it. You just lit up!

Kate:

Yeah. I know that's the best that that saved my sanity, honestly this year.

Caroline Amos:

That's amazing. Oh, good.

Kate:

I can just step out and I'm there you know, it's not a, oh my gosh, I can't get to Florida or you know, to relax situations

Caroline Amos:

Why does anyone need to go to Florida anyway like Florida who cares about Florida, Florida.

Raymond McAnally:

Carolina's anti-Florida (laughter)

Caroline Amos:

That's where I caught COVID

Raymond McAnally:

Because a through line to what I'm hearing you say is that moment to moment component, it gets you out of the past in the in the future. And into the moment at hand, it reminds me of the acting training I had, it's called Meisner technique, and it talks about being in the moment giving yourself an activity so that you can trick your mind and hyper focus on something so that what the other actors doing can surprise you. I

Kate:

love that!

Raymond McAnally:

And so there's there's something that feels very, very familiar about what you just described. And I realized that the things that have brought me joy, and and distracted me or whatever you want to call it, in this pandemic have been just that they've, they've made me, you know, shrink my focus to the present. I think,

Kate:

you know, what a big piece I, everyone's world just got so much smaller, you know, in the midst of the pandemic, and if we can, just what you said, Raymond, if we can find areas to trick our mind in terms of, you know, focusing while that world is small, it can help us get to the next day for sure. I had a therapist friend who was extremely like burnout and isolated and we were in the height of like gray January. And he's also he was also a plant in a former life because he was having a lot of seasonal affective. And I gifted him it was just a bird feeder. That's it. It was a bird feeder, and some birdseed, I said just put it out on your deck, fill it up, and see what happens. This is somebody who's got three kids, and they've got a lovely set of windows that they can, you know, look out and see. And it's it's transformed. It transformed things for them. They and they're talking about it to me all the time. We still have Cardinal tonight we saw this, I saw that. So, again, it's it's, um, it's it's the little stuff, honestly. Yeah, that can help us to just come back to now for sure.

Caroline Raymond:

Hey, this is Caroline Raymond. Thank you so much for listening to Fatigued! From patients to paramedics long haulers to lessons learned. Sure, it's the same virus but these are very different stories. If you have a question or a story you'd like us to address on an episode, please email us at fatigued podcast@gmail.com. And don't forget to check us out on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, club house, right club house, what is that? I don't even know. But whatever it is, we're here to offer genuine conversation so we can humanize the issues surrounding COVID and the pandemic. These stories deserve the space to be remembered and we relish the opportunity for connection in this isolated time. Perhaps you will to stay positive test negative and thanks for listening. Bye