I have been in Ireland for a week and a half now and I absolutely love it. While traveling to my new home in Wexford from Dublin I was able to see beautiful valleys filled with varieties of sheep and cattle alongside dark blue rivers that can only be compared to dark wash jeans.
I am living in the south of Ireland only a couple miles from the coast. My host family has made me feel at home here and they are absolutely great. It’s fun being an older sister to four young kids. Tom, Sam, Max, and Harriet have become my favorites in less than a week. I introduced them to UNO, Pictionary, and Barrel of Monkeys, which keeps us busy before bed every night and before breakfast every morning. We love to have basketball and soccer matches at night after I get home from the clinic. Max and I have a rematch against Tom and Sam tonight in soccer, stay tuned. They are also teaching me Gaelic Football and Hurling, which is absolutely hilarious to watch.
I have been slowly getting used to being five hours ahead of everyone, chatting with my family before they eat dinner and before I go to bed is very different. The food is amazing, the milk and butter is very creamy and I have also fallen in love with Cadbury chocolate. Sorry Hersheys!
I was introduced to the youngest member of the family, who is just over a week old this past week. Paul and his wife Dee gave birth to a beautiful baby boy named Jack. He is absolutely adorable and has a full head of hair!
I am still getting accustomed to the driving styles, but I have stopped gripping the dash when they pull out into the left lane instead of the right. I have fallen in love with the narrow roads cascaded with trees and plants. The forty shades of green are absolutely breathtaking at any time of day. I am baffled by how they have no fear around sharp turns since each road looks like it could fit one car and one car only. We have had great weather that reminds me of home. I have an inside joke with my host family that I brought the good weather with me. I’ve only heard the saying twenty times so far, and since we have more good weather, I know the number will increase.
In Adamstown, I am a interning at Berry Sports Medicine and Physiology under the supervision of Paul and Majella Berry. They are amazing teachers and I have learned so much already and cannot wait to see what else I will learn. The people who come in for treatment are delightful and are always willing to let me either run their exercise programs, or let me listen in on what Paul or Majella say to them about their condition and how they plan to fix it.
On Friday I got to supervise my first Gaelic Football match. I watched videos before coming, but watching the game firsthand was amazing. The game moves so quick, and is very physical. The players do not wear any padding so collisions are watched carefully and they are monitored for injuries constantly. Our players are in amazing shape and players ages range anywhere from 18-40. They also consist of men in the town/parish. The team is very close knit and work well together.
I was able to tape or “strap” numerous athletes for ankles, thumb and the occasional blister from breaking in new cleats or “boots”. I was told before the match that if I player goes down during the game to run out quick with a water bottle because they usually just need a drink just to catch their breath. A player collided with an opposing player so I ran out but was too late and the play began again while I was out on the field! … classic Corinne move. Gaelic Football does not stop for injuries because coaches, ATs, water boys can run out on the field at anytime to tend to the players. We lost by 2 but should’ve won … I blame the ref. A tough loss but the guys are now getting ready to play Hurling this upcoming weekend!
While in the clinic I have gotten the opportunity to see various injuries. I have seen a lot of lower back pain patients and discovered that the source of the pain was actually tightness in their hips and glutes, which caused their backs to spasm. I have learned that a lot of problems, such as lower back pain, knee pain and even foot pain can be linked to hip tightness. Without the mobility of your hips, your back can compensate and spasm, you could also change the way you walk which can damage your knee, ankles, etc.
I have also got to work with a woman who had surgery for a stomach issue which ended in nerve injury and caused her to loose feeling in her legs. I have been working alongside Majella to help her regain her muscle and reeducate her muscles to perform everyday tasks, such as walking and going up stairs. I am learning a lot about the importance of properly heating, icing and using STIM to relax, and repair muscles.
“All work and no play” is definitely not the case here in Ireland. I went to a festival in town to taste the delicious famous strawberries grown around the area. They are very sweet and massive compared to strawberries back in New York. We went into town to run errands the day before and stumbled upon it as they were shutting down for the day.
Over the weekend I got to visit Heritage Park which is a 1-mile trip that takes you through the history of Ireland. I really enjoyed seeing how they lived and the massive viking ships they had on the bank of the water. Later that day I met up with Paul and Dee and visited a residential mansion open to the public for the day to listen to an Irish Orchestra and relax for the day. This upcoming weekend I am traveling to Galway to sightsee and explore! I can’t wait to share my experience with you all!