Sunday, June 19, 2011

The PhD

So it has been a while since I have posted anything, so I thought I would tell you a little about my PhD. As I said before I am pediatric physical therapist by profession and training and currently a PhD student. It has not been an easy journey, and while I know that no one has an easy journey to earn their PhD there are days I feel mine has been fraught with more complications than others. Complications aside it has been an interesting journey.

The current status on the PhD is thus: I am back in data collection mode. After spending 4 months away from my hubby last summer, with 3 kids in tow and baby B in the belly, I thought I would be done with data collection. The verdict with my committee late this spring was that my previously collected data would be considered pilot data and a chapter in my dissertation. Not what I wanted, but the bright side is that it is at least in the dissertation and not tossed aside. I won't get into the whys and major details of what happened, but the basic argument was that my data was not sound.

So moving on....... at this point you may be wondering what my dissertation is? Well I am investigating the use of the Nintendo WiiFit balance games for children with developmental disabilities. Basically I am trying to see if playing only the balance games will improve the balance, walking speed, hip strength and activities for children with developmental disabilities. I did a very similar project last summer with children with cerebral palsy and had generally good results. I took my pilot data and tweaked the project a bit to create the dissertation study. So the participants in this study get a really good deal: FREE IN-HOME physical therapy (no Wii required, I bring one if necessary), $80 if they complete the entire study and a chance to win their own Wii & WiiFit. Know of anyone who may be interested? Participants must live in Lexington, KY or the surrounding counties and be between 5 and 10 years old and have a diagnosed developmental disability.

Enough selling my study for now. When I'm not doing data collection I am writing. For anyone not involved with a PhD you may have no idea how much writing there is involved, I can honestly say I did not expect quite this much. I will say that sometimes I struggle with writing, but we all do at times. My current writing projects are to update my review of the literature chapter, which is going to be crazy since it was originally written for children with cerebral palsy alone, finish my pilot study chapter and update my current study chapter. WHEW! That's a lot. On the plus side I was invited to write an editorial and I finished that the other day. When I have a reference link I will post it.

So you must wonder how I have time to write, data collect and be a mom. Sometimes I wonder how I do it. I owe loads of credit to the hubby who has amazing patience for me when I say I have to write. We also have a great flexible sitter. We generally book her 3 days a week, sometimes more, sometimes less it all depends on what I need.

I will say this, never let anyone tell you that you can't have kids while pursuing your PhD. It can be done. It will make things more challenging and may take longer, but hopefully they give you the comedic relief that is sometimes absolutely necessary. And when someone from school says things like "oh you're pregnant again, not just fat?" keep your mouth quiet, smile and remember it is YOUR JOURNEY.

1 comment:

  1. I certainly have been amazed by your ability to get it all done - go mama!