Work Stuff

The Line Has Been Drawn – Now What?

Hello – it’s been six weeks since my last blog post.

Blink.

Summer is over.

Blink.

It’s September 3, 2022.

Blink. Blink.

How does this happen!? The summer of 2022 is OVER. I’m afraid to blink any more because every time I do, more time passes. Not just a day or two, not even a week, but MONTHS. It alarms me how fast time goes. Truly alarms me. It may not seem like that big of a deal to you guys, but when you’re older, it’s a big deal.

Side note: I watched this video about keeping a journal, (yes, I’m still keeping up with my bullet journal – I’ve written in it every day this year), and in this video, he talks about a number he writes in large numbers inside the front cover. This number he writes in his journal represents the number of days he has left to live. Assuming he lives until he’s 90. Which most of us do not.

Yes. This is a bit morbid, but honestly, we are all going to die so we might as well face our mortality now and appreciate this life that God breathed into us.

How did I get this number? Assuming you live until 90 – 90 X 365 days = 32, 850 days. Again, assuming you live until 90. Take your age, times it by 365 – that’s the number of days you have lived so far. Now, take that number and subtract it from 32,850 and that’s the number of days you have left to live.

Again, assuming you live until 90.

Not a precise science, but it gives you a ball park figure and again, it’s meant as a prompt, a reminder, that life is short, so enjoy it.

My current number? 20,805 days lived. That means, if I live until I’m 90, I only have 12,045 days left.

Sobering, isn’t it.

Anyway. My point is – time goes by WAY too fast and 2022 is already half over. So, what has been going on in my world? I’m glad you asked.

As I’ve hinted in other blog posts, whenever I disappear for a time from my blog, this usually means one of two things: 1. I’m in one of my lazy funks or 2. something big has happened to rock my world and I’m adjusting to the changes.

In this case, it’s option #2.

Actually, when I go back and re-read some of my older posts, I DIDN’T drop a hint – interesting. Anyway, I have a new job.

Sort of.

And I’m not sure how much longer I will have it.

Let me give you the cliff notes version.

Back in May, when I tested “positive” for COVID, (*snort* I didn’t have COVID – I was completely asymptomatic, not even a sniffle, and yes, I realize that some people are completely asymptomatic, but I really think it was more likely that I had a false positive because the tests are flawed at best, deceiving at worst), and I was forced to be off work for five days because SCIENCE, *eye roll*, I came back and started a new job. I was thrown in with little to no warning and I was forced to swim my heart out and figure it out.

This didn’t happen against my will, I volunteered for the change, but I had planned on using those days I was out with “COVID” to prepare for the transition. Which didn’t happen.

So what did happen. For those of you just tuning in, (HI), I’m a medical assistant. I work in Neurosurgery and I’ve worked for the same surgeon for the past 8 years as his medical assistant. I was quite happy with him and the team members. QUITE happy. We all got along, we’ve had a lot of fun times together, (multiple lunches outside of work, Christmas parties at my doctor’s house, we even did an Escape room together), and we dubbed ourselves the “dream team.” You don’t have five people in a group that all get along and like each other very often and we had fun working together.

However. With every sweet situation there tends to be one fly in the ointment and that fly in our case was management. We had a manager that liked to micro-manage and make everyone’s lives miserable and our nurse had had enough of the crap and started looking for a new job. Well, she’s awesome and as expected, she found a new job – she’s a school nurse and so far, she is LOVING it. Which I’m really happy about, to be honest. It sounds like an amazing gig.

So. I knew she had one foot out the door. In the meantime, our Spine Care Clinic (SCC), which is a new clinic that our neurosurgeons/management created in order to triage patients to see if they need to see neurosurgery, was struggling. (By the way, just because you have back pain doesn’t mean you need to see a surgeon. Have you tried physical therapy? Injections? Do you have an MRI? These are the kinds of things the Spine Care Clinic prescribes and if, after all of that, our nurse practitioner feels like you need to see surgery, we will THEN make a referral for you to see a surgeon about your back/neck pain).

The SCC was struggling primarily because of staffing issues. A lot of businesses are short staffed right now and healthcare is no exception. And the staffing that was available wasn’t doing a very good job, (in fact, she was dropping the ball so badly our nurse practitioner was ready to throw in the towel), so they needed someone strong, someone with experience, to help out and get it under control because no one wanted to see it fail.

Cue – me.

Management asked if I would help the SCC out, get them up and running, iron some things out, for about five or six weeks until they could fill the spot with someone more permanent. Dr. M., the doctor I’ve worked with for the past eight years, was fully on board with the idea because again, everyone wanted to see it succeed and they thought my experience would help. I was a little hurt that Dr. M. didn’t act a little more sad to lose me, but it was temporary, right?

Well …

I started working with the nurse practitioner, E, and let me tell you, we hit it off immediately. (We could actually be friends outside of work and I NEVER say that). I actually knew who E was before working with her because she used to be Dr. M’s nurse before she went to nurse practitioner school but I didn’t KNOW her. Other than saying “hi”, I had never really spoken to her.

After about a week of working together, getting to know her and getting an idea of how screwed up the clinic was, (it was bad), and working loads of overtime to get it up and running, then listening to the struggles E had to endure while working with the mediocre employee, (who ended up being escorted out of the hospital for inappropriate comments – that’s all I’ll say about that), I knew I had to make it a permanent gig. So, I asked E if she wanted to me to stay and work with her? She said yes and it was a done deal. I didn’t even talk to management about it beforehand – we just made the decision.

I text Dr. M and H, his physician’s assistant, and told them the news. I don’t think they were surprised, maybe a little disappointed. At least, I would like to think they were.

It wasn’t an easy decision to leave Dr. M., I was, still am, very loyal to him, but E CLEARLY needed me. And like I said, we work really well together and since my nurse was leaving to be a school nurse, that meant I would have to “break” in a new nurse and quite frankly, I didn’t want to do that because what if the new girl was crap – I’ve already dealt with a crappy nurse and I didn’t want to take the chance of going through that again. So, deciding to be E’s permanent medical assistant wasn’t that hard of a decision, to be honest.

So it’s been me and E all summer long. AND I LOVE IT. The clinic includes me, E. and one other MA who helps out. This other MA rooms patients, then E sees them, then she brings me her plan and I schedule the patient for what he/she needs and then I walk the patient out. I keep track of testing that has been ordered so that when it’s completed, E. will review it and I call the patients to give them the results. I return phone calls and work ahead to make sure we have images, if the patient had images before at some other facility. We see, on average, about 10 patients everyday, Friday we see five patients. It doesn’t sound like a lot but when it’s consistently just the two of you going through this every day together, every week for months, it’s a lot and I stay quite busy. In fact, I’ve worked no less than 45 to 48 hours every week this entire summer.

But we’re in a good place, I LOVE what I do, (largely because E is great and we’re so much alike, but also, the job reminds me of my old scheduling days and I miss those days), and we’ve gotten to a point where we have established a routine that works for both of us. We even hired a new person to be with us and she’s currently in training. And the best part? I LIKE her. The future is looking bright. I’m excited about getting this clinic off the ground and E has so much confidence in both me and M, (the new girl), that she’s expanded her clinic template and we’ll start seeing around 13 patients every day starting 9-19-22. I’m excited to go to work again and I don’t have to deal with the stress and drama from the neurosurgery clinic. (The neurosurgery clinic is on the 7th floor, SCC is on the 9th floor).

The future is looking good. God is good. He took care of me because He knew how stressed out and burned out I was in neurosurgery.

We just got back from vacation, (more on that .. some day – no promises on time frame), and I checked my work emails so that I didn’t walk in next week with 50 emails to wade through.

And IT came. I’ve been dreading this for an entire year. I’ve been mentally preparing for this time even going so far as to earning an online certificate in another industry in case I had to change jobs.

It’s time for the annual flu vaccination. We have until 10-31-22 to get the flu shot or get out.

Here we go. Either crap or get off the toilet.

I’ve been researching religious exemptions for a few days now and I have a pretty good idea how I’m going to approach this. In addition to a religious exemption I will be filing a medical exemption as well. Why you ask? Because I had a WICKED bout of Vertigo about two weeks after my last flu vaccination that landed me in the ER, in a different city, when I was working an outlying clinic with Dr. M, who witnessed the whole thing. You can read more about that here.

Why the exemptions? Because there is NO WAY IN HELL I’m getting any sort of injection right now. I don’t trust the government, the drug companies or any narrative that it’s “good” for me, not after the whole COVID disaster. I’ve been reading articles on mRNA and how scientists are looking into incorporating this new technology into future vaccines because of how fast and easy it is to develop blahblahblah – I don’t pretend to know the ins and outs of this new technology and I’m not saying this won’t be a good thing eventually, but maybe after testing it for another decade or so, we’ll talk.

It’s not going to happen right now, thank you very much.

My health is way too important for a JOB.

I’m not worried about a COVID booster being mandatory. There has been so much negative publicity about the (in)effectiveness of the jab and the side effects of the jab and so many people have finally woken up to the scam I don’t think they could successfully sell it again. And I did get a religious exemption for the COVID jab. Which is THE reason I’m still in healthcare at all.

But the flu vaccination is a different monster to slay. I’ve gotten the flu vaccinations in the past. I’ve never liked them, I don’t really even believe in them, quite frankly, but I was like, meh, whatever. I wasn’t worried about them in the past. And who’s to say that they didn’t do something nefarious with the vaccinations I’ve taken in the past, who knows what sort of poisons I have had injected the past. But now, HARD PASS. I simply don’t trust in the “science” anymore. Sorry. But that trust has been broken. Think what you will, I’ll think what I will. And I will be exercising my free will in this decision.

My body, my choice. Right?

I don’t even like taking Tylenol for anything, why would I chose to continue injecting God knows what into my body??

Anyway. I will print off the exemption forms when I get back to work on Tuesday. I can’t access the company Intranet at home. I will submit the forms, along with my reasons and ER medical records from my vertigo and I fully expect them to deny them. Then I will appeal them with a little more information and … we’ll see what happens at that point. If they deny my appeal, then I will be looking for another job – I have until 10-31-22 to find something. And when I find something, I will be turning in my resignation.

I would like to stay. I want to stay. ESPECIALLY now. I truly love what I do and I’m very good at what I do. But I feel VERY STRONGLY about this and I simply can not continue to give in to something I fundamentally don’t trust, nor believe in.

This is my line in the sand. I will simply NOT stand by and allow anyone to dictate what I put into my body. ESPECIALLY when I don’t feel it’s necessary nor good for me.

The countdown has begun. Stay tuned.

Thanks for reading.

Glamping

Cargo Trailer Glamping – Trip #4 – Ozark Outdoors

Our camping goal is to get as much camping in during the Spring and Fall month as possible as opposed to summers when kids are out of school and it’s too hot to really enjoy being outdoors.

We’ve discovered that camping when the temperature is below freezing is also not comfortable, so we really only have a few months that are “ideal”, for us anyway.

So. We went to this campground in April and apparently, no one camps in April. I shouldn’t say nobody camps in April, but there seems to be a lot less people camping in April.

In case you’re not aware, we’re newbies to this whole camping thing. Well. we’re not newbies, per say, we went camping a lot when the boys were little. We started with a pop-up camper, graduated to a hybrid, (a trailer with pop-out tent beds on either end) and then we stopped camping all together because the boys got older and we just sort of got burned out. We burned out primarily because the hybrid would leak every time we took it out and we got tired of having to deal with the stress of waterproofing the canvas and then still having it leak when we camped).

Then COVID happened and Kevin and I suddenly couldn’t go on cruises anymore:

  1. Because the CDC shut down the cruise industry for nearly two years and
  2. We weren’t willing to jump through hoops dealing with the restrictions that came with the whole unvaccinated stigma

But we didn’t want to stop taking vacations or exploring different areas, or basically living our lives, so what did we decide to do? Convert a cargo trailer into a camping trailer.

And by “we” I mean Kevin. I was little to no help actually helping him build the thing.

Sorry. I didn’t mean to go into the details of why we started our “glamping” adventures but there you go.

Back to this trip.

We had no idea this Ozark Outdoors campground existed. LeRoy talked to someone in the neighborhood who told him about this campground and we had to try it out. It sounded amazing. It’s basically Disneyland for campers.

Sort of.

It also made me wonder how many more campgrounds were we missing? And how in the world do you even LOOK for them??

Here are a few resources I’ve stumbled upon:

  1. BSC Campground – this is specific to Missouri but I’m sure there are similar sites for other states out there.
  2. Recreation.gov – this is a site for all state parks across the United States. I’ve been haunting this site for weeks. The thing about state parks – not all parks/sites have water/electric/sewer, though most have water/electric, most do not have sewer. Something to keep in mind for your neck trip. However, these sites are RIGHT on the lakes and off the beaten track so they are beautiful, peaceful and cheap.
  3. RV Camping – this site is helpful in that you can look up your state, you do have to do a little digging and follow a few rabbit holes before you find some great resources in your state – but at least it gets you started.
  4. Missouri State Parks – again, specific to Missouri but I’m sure other states have similar sites you can research for your state.

Anyway, back to Ozark Outdoors.

Ozarks Outdoors is located between Rolla and. St. Louis and it’s situated right off the Meramec River. The biggest selling point is that they have a tubing route. You can take a shuttle to the start of the route, ride your tube down the river and get off at the end of the route to take the shuttle back to the beginning, if you wish. The campground is all along that tubing route. The campground itself is a little over one mile long. It’s huge. Now of course, we didn’t do any tubing when we camped in April because it wasn’t an available option when were there. It was too cold and the river was too choppy at that time. But it’s a cool feature.

We left home on Friday, April 22nd, at 12:30 PM. We’re on this kick where we go on vacation Fridays and come back Tuesdays. We choose these days because these are the days that work the best for Kevin’s work schedule. We arrived at Ozark Outdoors at 3:15 PM. This was the first time that Kevin pulled the trailer with his new Dodge Ram and the truck did great though it was a challenge as it was pretty windy on the way to the campground. The trailer is heavier than traditional RV’s and we really have to distribute the weight toward the back of the trailer so there is less “bounce.”

As I mentioned, the park is huge and though there were a few other campers, everyone was spaced out and we had lots of privacy. After setting up, we walked down to the river to take a look around. We had gotten a ton of rain and the river was pretty muddy so we had to take our shoes off back at the bathroom/showers at the outdoor spigot and wash them off before we could go back into the trailer. Oops.

The campground has really nice bathrooms and showers. Here’s how they are situated: there is an apartment complex on the 2nd floor and the ground floor consists of concrete rooms where the bathrooms are on one side of the structure, the showers are on the other side of the structure. So there is not one bathroom that have showers – they are separate. And they are unisex – no women/men separations here! (I’m sure the 97 different types of gender people will appreciate that).

This campground is quite a bit off the beaten track, meaning, it’s sort of out in the middle of nowhere, so there aren’t any places close by to eat. However, the campground does have an onsite restaurant, (called Paddlers Grill), and that’s where we ended up having dinner that first night. It was a little awkward because we were the only people there and the restaurant was only open on Friday and Saturday nights and only for a few hours, but the food was decent and it was close, so we weren’t complaining.

Saturday, April 23rd, we slept in. Kevin cut out Styrofoam window coverings and we use those to put in the windows at night and they do a really good job of keeping any sort of light out so that it’s a perfect sleeping environment. As a result, we typically sleep in when we go camping because no light can come in and wake us up. We slept in till 9:00 then made our way down to the showers.

We both went into a shower room, side-by-side, (not together!), stripped down and realized, at the same time, that you had to pay $.50 in order to shower. So, we got dressed, met back outside at the same time and started laughing because we had no idea it cost money to shower. I don’t believe I saw that little tidbit on the website, but maybe I missed it.

Good thing I had some change in my purse! (Pro tip: Always make sure you have some change when you go camping).

We paid $.50 for five minutes which doesn’t sound like a lot, but it really wasn’t that bad. Knowing there was a time frame definitely made us hurry. I get why they charge a fee – some people take really long showers.

It was super windy and hot this day. We had planned on hiking a trail but we felt like it was too hot. Again, since this campsite was in the middle of nowhere, we weren’t really sure what to do. Onondaga Cave State Park was right next door to the campground, which was a nice surprise, so we headed to the cave to see how much a tour would cost. We arrived just as a tour had started and we didn’t want to stick around and wait for the next tour, so we drove around the area, took some pictures, headed into Cuba MO to check out some places to eat, picked up a few things at Wal-Mart, went to a flea market and picked up some interesting pieces for Kevin’s flea market booths, (also, we can write the trip off as a business expense – I’m not married to an accountant for no reason!), then went to Hickory BBQ and had dinner. Our movie for the night was Alexander. (We never watch movies until we go camping).

Sunday, April 24th, we had another late-start to our morning. Kevin used to be pretty militant when it came to vacation agendas. We had to be HERE, at a certain time, then HERE for another activity and BACK for dinner or whatever else we had planned. Thankfully, he’s mellowed out in his old age and now we do what we feel like doing. No agenda, no schedule, just play it by ear. Vacations are a lot more fun now.

We went back to the cave and this time we arrived just as they were putting another group together. We really like cave tours – it’s interesting to see how powerful water can be over time. This cave was very pretty and had a lot of interesting formations. We took some pictures, but this video also has some cool shots, too.

The cave tour took about an hour and a half and by the time we got back to our campground, the few people who had moved in on Friday were gone and we were one of two people left in the entire campground!! Talk about strange, weird and a little creepy. Keep in mind, this campground is about a mile long so that’s A LOT of empty space. They do have a security guard, an old guy that we waved to when we got back from dinner, but still – quiet and spooky.

See that spot of white where the arrow is pointing? Yeah – that’s our campsite. Notice how there is NO ONE else around??

But it was sort of nice to have the place to ourselves.

We spent some time sitting by the river reading and enjoying nature. It was awesome because it was so peaceful. It was one of the few times in life where it was absolutely quiet. You didn’t hear another human sound – no airplanes flying overhead, no barking dogs, no screaming kids, no loud music – just nature. It was very peaceful. I want to do more of that kind of camping. Which has made me re-think the possibility of camping at state parks. They are set up to be more peaceful – spaced out, right next to the lake – than say a commercial campground like Ozark Outdoors. Sure, it was peaceful then, but I’m betting it’s a mad house in the summer time.

We drove back into Cuba and ate at a Mexican restaurant – the decor was so loud it was almost painful to look at.

We then went back to our campground and watched RV and Blades of Glory. (Both funny movies, actually).

Monday, April 25th started off slow again. We slept in and tootled around the campsite for most of the morning. Then we went back to Onondaga park and walked the Deer Lane Trail. About a quarter of a mile into the trail, we ran into the entrance for the Cathedral Cave. The entrance consists of a heavy metal door into the side of a hill. What’s cool about the Cathedral Cave tour is that it’s a lantern tour, meaning, there are no lights in the cave, each person carries a flashlight into the cave and that’s how you explore it! Doesn’t that sound like fun?! Unfortunately, they don’t have as many tours for the Cathedral Cave as they did for the Onondaga cave so we didn’t get a chance to do that tour, but we would like to go back someday and try it out – it sounds fascinating. (Actually, I think they told us it was flooded because we had had so much rain).

The trail itself wasn’t very pretty, largely because the time of year we walked it was on the cusp of spring and the trees and vegetation hadn’t bloomed so everything was gray and brown. It was a long trail though, 2 1/2 miles. And what’s funny about this trail is that it wasn’t marked very clearly so there were a few times we took the wrong path. (One time I literally almost walked off a cliff!) We were looking for green markers on the path and if you happened to see a green marker, it wasn’t on the trail but on the trees alongside the trail. It was frustrating and after a while, I was completely convinced that we were lost. I was starting to get a little worried because it was getting late in the day and I was afraid we would be lost in the woods after dark. And we did not have cell service.

I wanted to turn back but Kevin, who had a map, said that we were nearly at the end of the trail and going back would take longer so we trudged forward. We finally stumbled our way back to the visitor center after several more wrong turns. I was pretty annoyed by that time and wanted to tell someone at the visitor’s center about the lack of signage but the center was closed and we were getting hungry so we ended up driving back into Cuba again and ate at Audrey’s Eatery. It’s supposed to be based on the movie “Little Shop of Horrors” and I thought it would be fun to eat there. However, it was a huge disappointment. The place was a dump. It doubled as a comic book store and had all sorts of gaming paraphernalia and we instantly regretted going there. However, after speaking to the waitress we found out they were in the middle of moving to a new building which explained the clutter and the chaos. They were very nice and the food was decent and I’m glad we went because we had a good laugh afterward, but it wasn’t really our kind of place.

We headed back to camp and Bill, the security guy, stopped us and talked to us for a bit and then we drove to our lone campsite in the middle of nothing. (Still makes me laugh thinking about how we had the ENTIRE place to ourselves). We built a campfire and Bill, who was driving around because he’s the security guy, stopped by our campsite and we talked for quite a while. He’s an elderly man and he had some interesting life stories. I could tell he was curious about our trailer so I offered to take him on a tour of the place. He seemed really interested in how our trailer was set up and I think he was surprised to see how comfortable it was. He stayed until the fire was nearly out and after he left we watched Wedding Crashers – a classic in my opinion.

Tuesday, April 26th we packed up and headed home. I was almost relieved to be leaving because like I said, having such a huge place to yourself is cool, but very weird. We made it back home at 12:45 PM and Kevin went straight to work and I unloaded the camper, cleaned it up and did five loads of laundry.

I also spent some time planning out our next camping trip. I worry that Kevin is get burned out on camping, Between camping with me and LeRoy, he will be camping a lot. Speaking of LeRoy, Kevin went ahead and reserved another trip with LeRoy at Ozark Outdoors because after all, LeRoy is the one who found out about this place – we wouldn’t have known about it otherwise. They are planning on going next weekend, as a matter of fact. It will be interesting to see how busy it is when they go now that it’s in the middle of summer and so hot. I’m sure the river is going to be super busy with tubers.

I wouldn’t mind going back to this campground again but it’s really for people who love spending time in the river. Personally, I can’t bring myself to swim in a lake or river because I can’t get past the fact that I don’t know what lies beneath me. It creeps me out. And if we aren’t planning on spending any time on the river, there’s not much else to do there. And the closest town with restaurants was about 15 minutes away.

Ozark Outdoors does have a cool Aerial Treetop Park. It’s basically like an obstacle course in the air. It looks like fun and I’m sure it will be a big hit with the kids and young adults. It was closed when we were there, not that we would have done anything on it if it was opened – that’s a little out of our league.

They also have a cool area called “Canoehenge” – a spot where a group of people can gather and have meetings, picnics, etc. Bill, the security officer, also told us they have outside movies in the summertime, too.

See the canoes?

Overall, it’s a cool place and I’m sure it’s a lot of fun in the summer months. They were building another bathroom/shower facility when we were there which tells us they must really be hopping in the summer months. I’m looking forward to Kevin taking some pictures to see how busy it is when compared to when we were there. I don’t think Kevin and LeRoy plan on tubing while they are there, but you never know.

If you like to spend time on the river, this is the place for you. It’s a great place for families and they have several sites throughout the park where you could camp together with your family – family sites, I guess. I’m glad we went. It was interesting to see something different and so off the beaten track. Bill did tell us though that since they are so close to the river and it’s a pretty flat campground, they do have trouble with flooding from time to time. I don’t think we have to worry overly much about floods right now with it being so hot and dry, but it’s definitely something to consider if you’re planning on camping there. They also have cabins and as I mentioned before, apartments above the bathrooms/showers if you had family that wasn’t big into camping but wanted to “camp” with you.

The people were friendly, the facilities were super nice, there is a restaurant on site and they even advertise live music on the weekends.

Overall, I would give this campground 4 out of 5 stars.

Reflections

May 2022 Reflections

(My Reflections posts are more stream-of-consciousness kind of posts so I apologize up front if some of what you read doesn’t make sense. But this is me we’re talking about here so … are you really surprised?)

(Thank goodness I’ve been writing in my bullet journal every day, otherwise, I wouldn’t have a clue what happened in May. This is also the second time I’ve written this post – WordPress’ auto-save function froze for a bit and I ended up losing everything – AAARGH).

Sun, May 1: Had a productive day at home today – mopped floors … that’s about it. Save for the normal bathrooms, vacuumed floors and laundry chores. I’m usually pretty lazy on the weekends. I don’t feel like my time belongs to me during the week when I’m at work so I’m pretty stingy with my time on the weekends – it’s MY time.

Made reservations to camp at Johnson’s Shut In for April 2023. Believe it or not, that was the first availability. Granted, the only time we really have time to camp is over the weekend and of course, that’s when most people want to go camping is the weekends, so it can be a challenge reserving a spot sometimes. We had heard about this park from Kevin’s sister and after seeing pictures, I wanted to try it out. We actually reserved a spot with sewer, which is unusual for a state park – usually the sites only have water and electricity. Our cargo trailer is not set up for boondocking, (which means camping with no water, sewer or electricity hook ups), but I really want to camp at some state parks because they are near water and are more peaceful. We’ll just have to figure something else out about the sewer. We have a small external black tank we can use, we’ve just never used it. I’m a bit nervous to camp without a sewer option – I can’t make it a whole night without peeing – but we’ll figure it out.

Mon, May 2: Reserved another campsite at Linn City. It’s a KOA campground. We decided to go ahead and become members of KOA because honestly, the facilities are nice and there are so many of them across the United States that we have lots of options. This campground is located right between Lake of the Ozarks and Ha Ha Tonka state park. I thought it would be fun to walk some trails and hang out at the lake for a few days.

Wed, May 4: Pissed off today. I feel like Dr. M. is picking on me today insinuating that I’m not returning phone calls, i.e. not doing my job. Nothing gets me more fired up than having people accuse me of not doing my job or not doing my job well enough. I work my ass off, thank you very much.

Thurs, May 5: It’s been raining a lot this past week. It’s been a very wet spring so far. Kevin and I drove by Springfield Lake and it was not only swollen, but churning and scary looking. Well here, look for yourself:

Usually, the water line is at the bottom of these stairs and out far enough you can walk to the water, not have the water come to you. This is on the other side of the dam. I’ve lived here all my life and have never seen it so angry before.

Had a co-worker come to me crying today. Management was mean to her. This actually happens a lot. I think par to the reason is because I’m the oldest person there and people think of me as a “mom,” but also, I’m a good listener. And wise. Apparently, I’m wise, too. At least, I’ve been told that. But it’s exhausting to be everyone’s sounding board.

Sat, May 7: I got my hair cut off today. It was to my shoulders but my stylist cut off about six inches and now I have a bob/lob do. It looks sort of like this:

I like it, not sure if Kevin is loving it. It looks better with some curl and/or wave to it but it’s still long enough to pull back into a baby ponytail. I just wanted something that had some style if I wore it down. I wore it up most of the time when it was long and I was sick of it. I’ve had my hair shorter than this in the past though – in fact, I had a boy cut at one point in my life. Kevin was definitely not a fan of that but I liked it – sort of – but it was fun while it lasted. I’m trying to get some ashy highlights put in next time so that when my gray grows out, it doesn’t grow out as gray but sort of blends with my highlights.

Yeah. My stylist loves me. lol

Anyway, I like it and will probably keep it this length for a while.

Sun, May 8: Mother’s day! Bah humbug. I’m not a holidays sort of gal. They are exhausting to me and honestly, EVERYDAY should be Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, your birthday, Christmas, etc. Celebrate every day – why do we save all of our appreciation and celebrating for certain days?

It was super chill. We just ordered pizza. The boys were supposed to come over at noon and eat pizza with us but only Brandon showed up. Apparently, Blake was still asleep. Blake has crazy hours. He goes to bed at about 5:00 AM and gets up about 1:00 PM. His works hours are 3:00 PM to 10:00 PM so I sort of get why he keeps such crazy hours but he’s trying to break the cycle and go to bed at a more reasonable time. Anyway, just Brandon came over and we had some good conversation. But I could tell he wanted to get back home so we gave him the leftover pizza and he left. About five minutes later, Blake shows up. HA! We didn’t have any pizza for him, but it was nice spending time with him before he left. It actually worked out kind of cool because we had a chance to spend some time with each son by themselves.

Blake says he’s having trouble seeing at night. He’s gotten his eyes checked in the past and apparently one of his pupils is “football” shaped and he needs glasses. But he never followed up on it and now he feels like his eyes are worse. I’m trying to encourage him to get his eyes checked again and he can buy his glasses from Zinni for cheap, but he hasn’t done it yet. Now that he’s having trouble seeing at night, maybe he’ll follow up on that. It’s hard not to worry about your children – no matter how old they get.

Mon, May 9: Today was the first day of nurse’s week. I bought my nurse something for every day this week. Today was a farm fresh mug filled with Andes’ candies and a cute chicken wall decor. (She likes farm decor). She wasn’t in a very good mood though so it wasn’t as fun as I hoped it would be. And no one said anything about my new hairstyle. Usually no news means people don’t like it. Whatever. I like it. Screw ’em.

Tues, May 10: Spent the day in Emily’s clinic today. Her MA just lost her son so her brain was understandably not working today. I tried really hard not to let it annoy me, but I was pretty annoyed. I’m a terrible human being.

Another MA put her notice in. We’re now down two MA’s but we have two MA’s hired and they should be starting at the end of the month. They will probably want me to train them, which is fine, but they are also going to pay me overtime because I can’t train them and get my work done, too.

Wed, May 11: Clinic went well. We all went to Garbo’s, a pizzeria, after clinic as a team to eat lunch to celebrate our nurse T. It was fun. I also really enjoy when we get together outside of work. Everyone is more relaxed and we all get along, (well, we all get along anyway but it’s more fun outside of the hospital) and have some laughs. Our server took our picture:

Dr. M. drove his Tesla and it was fun to watch it bling out to some music – his car entertained us, lol. I took a video, but his license plate is in the video and I don’t think he would appreciate it if I posted that online, so, you’ll just have to take my word on that one. lol I truly love this team.

Sat, May 14: Kevin and LeRoy went camping. Which means I had the weekend to myself. I did what I wanted when I wanted. Let’s face it, I do that every weekend. Kevin and I don’t spend a lot of time together on the weekends. I have my hobbies, he has his – then we eat dinner together and talk about our days. It works. I truly like being by myself. I’m perfectly fine with me, myself and I. But after about two days, I start getting lonely and it’s a little creepy being by myself at night. But it was a good day. I’ve been watching “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” on Amazon. It reminds me of Mad Men – that era, that level of innocence in the story line.

Mon, May 16: Had a good hair day.

Tues, May 17: Worked Emily’s clinic today. She sees about 10 patients per day. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but she spends a lot of time with her patients because they are coming to her with nothing – no images, nothing. So, Emily has to get all of the information and figure out the best course of action for them. After sending patients for conservative treatments and/or testing, if they are surgical, she then refers them to neurosurgery for evaluation. I think she could get away with only having one MA up there, but that MA would have to be strong. Someone who could handle a lot of multi-tasking as that person would be both rooming and scheduling patients. Right now, we’re all taking turns helping her with her clinic since Emily’s normal MA was let go, (she wasn’t a good fit) and she doesn’t have anyone permanent right now. Emily is Dr. M’s old nurse before she left to go to nurse practitioner school. I’ve always heard good things about her from him. She’s pretty great.

Wed, May 18: What a weird day. Worked Dr. M’s clinic today and we had a patient show up who no-showed another appointment but thought that day was the day of his appointment. Dr. M, being the kind guy he is, said yes and we saw him. Another patient, who we think has a touch of Dementia, told T that he wanted to get his gun out last night and shoot himself. Because he said that, we had to call security and they had to escort him out of the office to be evaluated by psych. Word to the wise – DON’T SAY THINGS LIKE THAT IN A HEALTHCARE SETTING. We have no choice but to report it and then it gets ugly.

Another weird thing happened today. Management pulled me into her office and asked if I would consider helping Emily out, semi-permanently, to help her get her clinic off the ground. What she is doing is important but she hasn’t had any decent help and she’s struggling. Ultimately, the surgeons want to grow her clinic so that the majority of new patients that get referred to neurosurgery have to go through her first. Because as I always tell people, seeing a neurosurgeon should always be your last option, not your first option. Too many people are being referred directly to neurosurgery and just because you have back pain does not mean you need surgery.

I told my manager I would think about it and wanted Dr. M’s thoughts on it first before making a decision.

And then one last weird thing happened – T., our nurse, told me she had interviewed for a school nurse job a few months back and was offered the job. She’s going to take it. So – Dr. M’s team is being broken up and I’m not sure how I feel about that. Both T and I always thought we would stick it out until Dr. M retired in ten years and now, in less than 48 hours, two of the dream team is being ripped out. Strange and sad.

Thurs, May 19: Worked Emily’s clinic. It was strange to work her clinic and know that I may one day be running it. I’m sure she was thinking the same thing. I’m weighing my pros and cons about this move:

Cons:

I would have to deal with patients every day instead of two days a week. I would never really have any down time. True, she only sees about ten patients a day as opposed to the 15 to 18 I’m used to with Dr. M., but they are stretched out over the course of the entire day so that by the time clinic is over, it’s 3:00 PM and I’m busy returning phone calls and getting ready for the next day’s clinic.

I’m pretty attached to my work family – I’ve been with Dr. M. for about nine years now. That’s not something you just throw away lightly.

Pros:

I don’t have to deal with suture/staple removals anymore, i.e., don’t have to touch people.

The clinic is on the 9th floor, the neurosurgeons are on the 7th floor. And though I would still be under the same management, I would be away from the drama – out of sight, out of mind.

She only gets about 6 phone calls per day as opposed to 15 to 20 per day in neurosurgery.

I would be in complete control – no buffer – no nurse to go through – just me and Emily.

Mon, May 23: Spoke to Dr. M. today about moving up to the 9th floor and helping Emily. He was all for it, encouraged me to go. I don’t know what I expected from him – did I think he was going to beg me to stay? Of course not. And this will ultimately be a good move for neurosurgery as a whole, but I was annoyed that he wasn’t at least a LITTLE sad about letting me go. Management is having a hard time getting rid of Emily’s MA. I know there are some hoops to jump through and red tape to navigate, but I feel like they are handling this poorly. As usual, everyone is talking and wondering what is going on and as usual, management is not talking to anyone. All I know is, the MA is leaving, and she’s super unhappy with her performance and she has gotten complaints about this MA and she doesn’t want her in her clinic anymore. The thing is, she’s still here and management doesn’t know how to rid of her, I guess.

Super awkward.

Anyway, I guess I’m going up to the 9th floor as soon as they can figure out how to boot the other MA out.

Tues, May 24: My day ended on a bad note – MY COVID TEST CAME BACK POSITIVE. I had to leave immediately and go home. And this means I won’t be able to come back until Tuesday after Memorial day. (The office was closed on Memorial Day).

I. WAS. FURIOUS. I wasn’t sick. I didn’t even have a sniffle!!! But hospital policy, (insert snotty tone of voice), dictated that I had to be off work for five days before being allowed back. What a crappy time for this to happen. We are pretty short handed and I’m trying to establish a working relationship with Emily.

This whole COVID process is bullshit. I know the hospital is just following the federal governments mandate nonsense so they can get Medicare money, but it’s bullshit. I’m not sick. I feel great. I’m sure it was a false positive – gotta keep those numbers up!

Wed, May 25: Spent the day in shock. I still can’t believe I tested positive for COVID. This whole thing is such a scam. I’m so pissed.

I spent the entire day watching the Johnny Depp v Amber Heard trial. It was interesting to listen to the lawyers ask questions. I could care less about both actors, but the legal process was interesting.

Coincidentally – I received my legal secretary certificate today. Talk about good timing! I am so OVER healthcare right now and I’m so GRATEFUL that I have a back up plan.

Thurs, May 26: IT’S OUR 32ND WEDDING ANNIVERSARY! We’ve been married 32 years today! Wow. I can’t believe Kevin has stuck it out with me for so long. I’m not an easy person to live with. *cough*. We ended up trying a new Thai restaurant and then went to Menard’s and bought a nice BBQ grill to take with us on our camping trips. We’re trying to cook more when we go camping. We ate out way too much this past camping trip.

And yes, we went out to eat and then went shopping – no, I don’t have COVID. Everyone calm down.

Fri, May 27: Our county health department called me today to ask how I was feeling. I told her I felt great, didn’t even have a sniffle and she paused after I told her that. I don’t think she hears that very often. She seemed surprised that I wasn’t having any symptoms at all, like zero. And I told her it’s because I don’t have COVID and it was a false positive. I wasn’t particularly nice to her because I’m still pretty pissed off about this even though the woman was only doing her job, but GAH, people – LEAVE ME ALONE! She sent me some sort of email that gave me “permission” to go back to work on Tuesday and I forwarded it to Kevin, who got really mad at the way it was worded. He still wants to hire a lawyer about this whole COVID fiasco that I have to deal with at work but nope, I don’t care enough to spend the money on a lawyer. At least, right now. Who knows how I feel in the Fall after I submit my flu vaccination exemption request.

I went for a long walk after that phone call and it was nice to get some fresh air and sunshine/vitamin D. Kevin and I then went grocery shopping, got some cashew chicken and came home.

I’m living my life, folks. Screw it.

Sat, May 28: Spent a considerable amount of time working on my resume today. I used Canva, which has a bunch of free resume templates. I now have a resume ready to go if/when I’m forced down that road.

I went for a walk and Kevin worked on cleaning out the gutters. Unfortunately, he forgot to clean them out this past fall so we not only had decomposing leaves but we also had helicopter seeds from our maple trees this spring and we had quite a few mini trees growing in our gutters. Oops!

We ate at McCalister’s for dinner, got our Saturday night ice cream, (a tradition) and had a quiet night.

Sun, May 29: Boys came over for chicken bacon ranch sandwiches, potato/macaroni salad and cookies to celebrate Memorial Day weekend. We then went for a walk after dinner to digest our food and I had a good conversation with the boys. I wish they would get out more – just a walk around the block does wonders for your mental health.

We also had a really good discussion about the possibility of them moving into our rental house across the street when their lease is up in March 2023. They both seemed pretty interested.

And right on cue – our air conditioner is not working. It still comes on but it doesn’t blow cold air. Kevin is calling someone Tuesday to come look at it.

Mon, May 30: It was hot today. I went for a walk early but not early enough and I had to take a few breaks under a shade tree because I started to feel lightheaded.

Kevin caulked the seam in the trailer near the wheels – when it rains and blows a certain way, water gets in there. He also fixed the step his dad built for us for the camper – it was a bit wobbly and LeRoy actually fell and banged his knee pretty hard against the doorframe in the trailer.

Tues, May 31: Back to work. No one really talked to me about this whole COVID scare – they all know how I feel about it and no one wanted to get me riled up.

Smart.

At least I won’t have to test again until August. Once you test positive for COVID, you don’t have to test again for three months. Because, you know, it will be probably come back positive again in that time frame. *eye roll* I want to take another one just so it will come back negative and I can say, “SEE!? I never had COVID to begin with. Now pay me back the vacation days I had to take for this fiasco.”

But whatever.

I’m testing again right before I go on vacation and if it comes back positive, awesome! I’m leaving for vacation anyway.

Can you tell I’m bitter about this??

I worked Emily’s clinic today. It was a lot of work. The previous MA left a mess and I felt disoriented and like a new MA again because I didn’t know my head from my ass. I can definitely handle this new position but getting there will take a little time as I organize the place and work on my time management. Since it’s just me, there is a LOT to do and a short time to do it so I need to figure out a good time to tackle daily tasks so I don’t get behind.

I have a feeling I will be working a lot of overtime in the next few weeks.

Thanks for reading!

General

Still Here. Still Alive.

This is an old picture but whatever. I’ll update my profile picture – one of these days.

Hi.

Still here. Still alive.

I would never say that I post regularly on this blog, but when I’m absent, that usually means something happened. And something has happened. Nothing bad, there’s been yet another career shift, a pivot, if you will, to my working life. I’m adjusting. And this change is requiring all of my energy, focus and mult-tasking skills.

Of which I must say, are pretty darn good, if I say so myself.

But things are settling down. I have sorted through the mess and am getting organized. I’m settling in and am figuring out – I quite like this change. I think it will be better for me in the long run and I’m quite excited to see where it goes. Providing of course, I still have a job after flu vaccination season this Fall. That thought is a constant black cloud that follows me everywhere. I try not to think about it, but it does block my peace of mind.

A visual representation of my future as a healthcare worker

I’m spending this Independence day writing my heart out. I FEEL the need to write again. (I go through spurts). I want to document this crazy thing I call life and share it – I hope you find it interesting enough to read about it. Here are some things coming up:

Monthly reflection posts – both for May and June.

Two camping trips – and another one happening soon. This latest one is a doozy and the one I’m most excited about.

An update on the cargo trailer conversion. Kevin and I put a video together – I’ll post it soon.

I cut my hair off. Seriously – chopped six inches off and I have a bob – sort of. And I love it. (I would take a picture of it and post it but it’s a no-makeup day and I don’t want to make you nauseous. You’re welcome).

Our boys are moving into the rental house across the street in February of 2023 when their lease is up. I’m excited they will be so close.

My thoughts about the crazy political stuff happening right now. (Spoiler alert: I’m a conservative [libertarian?] so if you can’t stomach those viewpoints, this is not the blog for you – though I do try my best to be fair to all points of view).

I feel like there’s more but that’s all I can think of right now. Anyway, just know I’m typing posts as you read this and thanks for sticking around for as long as you have.

(Also – I just changed my banner on my blog and it’s a cute kitten – come see).

Work Stuff

Things You Shouldn’t Do When You Visit Your Doctor – Part One

(The things not to do “rules” came from this website. I thought I would run through the most common ones here and offer my thoughts since I work in a doctor’s office).

1. Do not be a passive listener

This means, don’t just simply sit there and nod like a robot. We can tell by your glassy-eyed expression you’re overwhelmed and don’t really understand what we’re saying. This is why I always tell patients that we encourage an “extra pair of eyes and ears” at your appointment because you’re the patient, you’re hurting and stressed out – what is the doctor going to do to me? Having someone there with you will help you retain more of what is being said. That person can write things down and/or will have additional questions that you, Ms. Patient, didn’t think of when you were in the office.

This is your body, your procedure. The more you know, the more you will be able to prepare for whatever is advised. We don’t have it happen very often, but we do have patients that will call us, RIGHT AFTER THEIR APPOINTMENT, and ask, “I’m not sure I understood what the doctor wanted me to do.” It’s very frustrating for the doctor, and the staff and once in a while, it requires another appointment so that the doctor can go over his recommendations – AGAIN. Bring someone with you. Bring your questions with you. Pay attention. Ask questions! And if you have a doctor that doesn’t want to answer your questions, find another doctor. Yes. I’m serious. You should feel comfortable with your doctor and if your personalities are not meshing and/or you are unhappy with your care, request another doctor in the practice or go somewhere else. Again, this doesn’t happen very often, but it does happen.

2. Do not self-diagnose yourself and then try and tell the doctor what to do

Welllll …. yes and no. Let me explain.

You want to take an active interest in your health/body, so researching things on the Internet is not necessarily a bad thing. However, it IS a rabbit hole. There are so many symptoms that can mean so many different things and before long, you’re convinced your dying and completely freaked out. So if you’re going to jump down that rabbit hole, take everything you read with a grain of salt – it’s informative but it doesn’t necessarily mean it applies to YOU.

If you want to tell your doctor that you did a little digging and think this condition might apply to you, by all means, let your doctor know. He/she will give you his/her opinion on that theory but ultimately, you can’t compete with years of education and experience when it comes to a final diagnosis. And if you’re wanting a specific outcome, a certain test, or some medication, again, talk it out with your doctor and again he/she will offer an opinion on that request.

NEVER demand something specific to be done because I’m telling you right now, doctors will not respond in a positive way and you don’t want to risk hurting your relationship with your doctor because “you think it’s best.”

But, at the same time, you DO know your own body. You know what’s normal for you and what is not. So that should be taken into consideration. Just don’t act like you know more than your doctor or the visit will be awkward and unproductive.

3. Do not lie!

I always tell people, this is a no-judgement zone. You have to be honest with your doctor and his staff, otherwise, your doctor won’t have all of the information that he/she needs to diagnose you. Trust me when I say:

  1. We’ve pretty much heard it all and
  2. We don’t care if it’s weird or embarrassing. No really. We don’t.

4. Do not leave things out

Don’t neglect to tell your doctor something because you think it’s not important nor relevant to the situation – let your doctor be the judge of that.

BUT –

At the same time – he doesn’t need to know what happened to you in 1970 – unless it has something specific to do with why you’re there to see him/her.

Oh – and if you’re seeing a specialist, say, a neurosurgeon, who specializes in the brain and spine, do not waste his/her time complaining about an issue he/she doesn’t address. For example, don’t think you can just kill two birds with one stone and use your specialist as a one stop shop – if you have issues outside of the brain and spine, then speak to your family doctor – that’s what he/she does. Family doctors address the general complaints and then refer you to the specialist that can help you with a specific problem. Think of a family doctor as an air traffic controller – they will direct you to the correct doctor after assessing the problem.

5. Do NOT be late!

Doctors’ offices have a late policy – some will cancel your appointment if you’re five minutes late, some will give you 15 minutes to show up and then cancel your appointment. This policy does not exist to piss you off but to keep schedules on track. It’s not fair to make someone who showed up for his/her appointment on time to wait any longer because you couldn’t get your butt to your appointment. If you’re going to be late, then call the office and/or reschedule the appointment.

It’s rude. You have an appointment, arrive when you’re supposed to. And secondly, when you’re late, then it makes patients scheduled after you late, too. And then the whole day is thrown off balance and every one is cranky.

And if you know you can’t make the appointment, please call the office no later than the day before your appointment and let the staff know so they can give your spot to someone on the cancellation list. And yes, we use the cancellation list! It’s just courtesy.

And speaking of wait times – nothing annoys me more when people get pissy about wait times. Look. I get it. Your time is valuable, too. And if it’s going to be a long wait, by all means, reschedule the appointment. But you can not expect to be shown back to your room at EXACTLY the time of your appointment. Most of the time, doctors are behind because they’ve had complicated cases that require more explanation and/or patients are super chatty and have a lot of questions, (which is fine, but it does take time), and/or patients spend a stupid amount of time going over history that your doctor doesn’t care about thereby wasting valuable time. People are complicated. Every case is different and comes with it’s own set of challenges. When you have to wait, there is usually a pretty good reason why – I can promise you, the doctors are not making you wait because it amuses them. They are spending time with their patients and when it’s your turn, they will spend time with you as well. Be patient.

And for the love of God, bring something to do – a book, play a game on your phone, etc. It makes time go by faster.

6. Do NOT be a jerk to the office staff

One – it’s rude – don’t be rude. I can tell you if you’re rude, then the staff has ZERO motivation to help you, let alone go above and beyond.

Two – I can PROMISE you, the doctor will hear about it and if it’s bad enough, or happens often enough, the doctor will fire you as a patient. And yes, the doctor can 100% do that. Doctor’s practices are their own, they have the right to decline to see patients – just because they are doctors does not obligate them to see you.

Doctors are very loyal to their staff. We are a work family – we see each other more than we see our families. And if you’re rude to the staff but nice to the doctor, he will hear about it and if it’s bad enough, he will refuse to treat you.

Yes people, they can and they will. Be a decent human being. It’s fine to be frustrated, we expect that – it’s hard to be nice when you’re hurting. But we know the difference between hurting and just being an asshole.

Don’t be an asshole.

7. Do not show up with stinky body odor – take a shower

I wish I didn’t have to mention this one, but yes, this happens A LOT.

You think doctors want to smell your unwashed body when they examine you? I can tell you, it doesn’t give them a good impression of you. If you can’t be bothered to take a shower and do the bare minimum to take care of your body, how do you expect to convince us you’re going to take care of yourself after surgery?

Not to mention, it makes them want to rush through the exam, or even the consultation, because they can’t stand the smell of you. Take a damn shower.

And for me? I have to go in and not only sanitize the room afterward, (which I do after each patient anyway), but I have to spray the room down with Lysol because the smell lingers.

Not a good impression, folks.

8. Do NOT tell us the medication you’re taking is “a little yellow pill”

Guys. It ASTOUNDS me the number of patients that have NO idea what medications they’re taking. Some don’t know the names, some don’t know why they’re taking a specific medication – sometimes both! You’re putting this substance in your body – its kind of important that you KNOW what it is!!

You should always have a list of medications on your person at all times. You never know when someone needs to know this information, for example: an EMS person may need to see that list when they take you to the hospital via ambulance. It’s very important that you give your doctor, and his staff, what medications you’re taking. This is especially vital when other medications are prescribed as your doctor doesn’t want to prescribe something that could have a potential interaction with a medication you’re already taking.

Take a medication list, or better yet, take the bottles with you to your appointment – especially if you’re seeing a new doctor. Do not rely on your memory and I can promise you, trying to pronounce medications, or spell medications, is a nightmare because there are a lot of medications that sound, and are spelled, very similar. Medications are not a guessing game.

9. Do not bring people to the appointment who monopolize the conversation

Again, it’s encouraged to bring an extra person with you to your appointments. However, that person should not be the one to supply all of the patient’s answer, unless, of course, the patient is not able to verbalize his/her own answers or is a minor.

But. When the person giving the information is not the patient, it’s suspect. Is the patient really feeling this way or is the person supplying the answers just tired of the patient complaining. I’ve never had to ask someone to step out of the room because he/she wouldn’t shut up, but I’ve gotten really close. When a situation like this happens, I will purposefully ignore the person talking and focus all of my attention on the patient often waiting for the patient to answer the question even though the person with the patient already answered it. I’ve pissed some people off with this tactic but ultimately the hint will be taken and the patient will start answering questions.

This happens a lot with married couples. The wife will do all the talking and the husband, who is the patient, will just allow her to answer for him. Or, there are times when the wife tries to answer for the patient and the husband will turn to her and bite her head off.

It’s a bit satisfying, not gonna lie.

I know support people think they’re being helpful when they talk for the patient, but I can assure you, they are not. Allow the patient to tell us what is wrong. The appointment is about them, not about you.

Hush.

10. Do not be a no-show

Not showing up for your appointment is extremely rude. This tells the doctor that the patient doesn’t respect his time. And when you don’t show up for an appointment, again, it throws the schedule off because now we have a doctor twiddling his thumbs. Which is NEVER a good thing.

And I will tell you, if you no-show three appointments, doctors WILL fire you. No-showing appointments takes time away from patients who are desperate to get in and it’s a colossal waste of everyone’s time.

Don’t do it.

That wraps up part one! There is still so much to say, so, part two is coming soon!

Thanks for reading.

Reflections

April 2022 Reflections

(My Reflections posts are more stream-of-consciousness kind of posts so I apologize up front if some of what you read doesn’t make sense. But this is me we’re talking about here so … are you really surprised?)

Apr 1: It was a quiet day at work. Everyone left me alone – BONUS. No one tried to pull a fast one on me being April Fool’s Day. Most likely because they know I don’t like surprises and when I am surprised I tend to get snappy and angry because DON’T SURPRISE ME. I’ve been taking my wireless earbuds into work on Fridays and slipping into my own world listening to music or some podcasts. My current podcast obsessions are:

Morbid: A True Crime podcast
“It’s a lighthearted nightmare in here, weirdos! Morbid is a true crime, creepy history and all things spooky podcast hosted by an autopsy technician and a hairstylist. Join us for a heavy dose of research with a dash of comedy thrown in for flavor.”

It’s a fun podcast hosted by two women who I think are related (?). They have a lot of fun with these stories and often make me smile/laugh. I will say though, sometimes I just want them to get on with it the story because the stories are FASCINATING! Especially the The Dyatlov Pass Incident – episode 3 – HIGHLY recommend. It will have you scratching your head far after you finish the podcast.

Crime Junkie

“If you can never get enough true crime… Congratulations, you’ve found your people.”

I know, they are a bit morbid, (ha! see what I did there?), but they’re fascinating, are great fodder for story ideas and the best part? They’re true! People are weird, ya’ll.

Anyway. I’m enjoying a chance to decompress at work and it makes Fridays go way faster than they do. (Why does time seem to stand still at around 2:00 PM on Fridays??)

Apr 2: I’ve been hooked on Solitaire lately. But not the traditional game, but a variation of it on my home computer. I know it’s because I’ve had a lot on my mind lately and it helps calm down my anxiety and center my brain for a bit. It’s been nice.

Took my quiz today. I’ll work on my assignments later. This class has been pretty easy, so far. But then again, I do a lot of this stuff in my current job so …

I’m dying to ask Branson how his date went but I don’t want to be one of those mothers that breathes down her children’s necks whenever something personal happens to them. I’ll ask eventually, or I’m hoping he just tells me. I’m excited that he has a date, but I’ll be honest, I can’t help but worry about him. Women are trouble, especially women nowadays – let’s face it ladies – there is a lot of indoctrination and crazy beliefs out there right now. But I don’t want our boys to grow old without someone special in their lives so we’ve just been praying that whatever woman they end up with is kind, intelligent, self-sufficient and has a sense of humor.

Is that asking too much? I feel like that might be, actually.

Apr 3: Ready for this class to be over. I’m learning a lot but then again, I’m not really trying all that hard, either. It’s just a back-up plan if this healthcare gig doesn’t work out. And by “work out” I mean, the hospital doesn’t honor my SINCERELY HELD BELIF about annual vaccinations.

Apr 4: I was in a really pissy mood today. Everything and everyone were getting on my last nerve at work today. Nothing bad happened, I just wasn’t in the mood to deal with people today. I had one scoop, ONE SCOOP, of regular coffee in my brew today, (I usually dump three scoops of decaf) and I thought my heart was going to beat out of my chest today. I can’t tell you how annoying it is that I can no longer tolerate caffeine. What the hell. I had to take a baby aspirin to calm it down today. And no, I don’t have heart issues, but I am prone to palpitations whenever I drink caffeine, or get this, also eat dark chocolate. I’m assuming, because of the caffeine in dark chocolate. And actually, I don’t even think it’s palpitations, but my chest … vibrates. It’s hard to describe. I check my pulse and my heart is beating fine but my chest vibrates. It’s a very weird feeling. It doesn’t hurt, but it is uncomfortable, mainly because I don’t know what the heck is going on and it freaks me out.

Kevin got a freaking jury duty summons today! AARGH! We’re supposed to go camping at the end of the month. We’re hoping he can get out of it. One of the acceptable excuses is legal guardian and he’s a legal guardian for his special-needs uncle and has documentation to back that up so hopefully …

Apr 5: Worked a different provider’s clinic today. I always get super nervous when I have to do that because I sort of have a reputation for being a good, (decent), MA and I feel like I have to live up to that expectation. This provider, she’s a nurse practitioner who is just starting out and she asked me for some suggestions on how she can run her clinic more efficiently after it was over. She’s not terribly happy with her permanent MA and I went up to help gauge what I thought could use improvement.

I’m flattered that I’m asked for my opinion so much, I’ve been working there for ten years, I know my way around a clinic flow, but it’s exhausting and I just sort of wish people would leave me alone. I know that makes me sound ungrateful, and I’m not but … *sigh*

Apr 7: Sat by myself behind one-way glass today and most people didn’t know where I was, nor bothered me. It was glorious. I got A LOT done and felt relaxed. Though, my blood pressure was high today. I don’t know why some days are like that. I don’t feel particularly stressed. I’m still doing alternate fasting – my window to eat anything is between 1:00 – 6:00 though I’ll be honest, I have gotten lazy and have been consuming way too much sugar. I need to whip myself back into shape.

Kevin’s jury duty excuse was granted! That’s such a huge relief. I really wanted to go camping the end of April and now we can!

Slept with an ice pack on my arm last night. My upper arms have been A.C.H.I.N.G. Again. I have no idea why. Maybe I’m over doing the vitamins? Maybe it’s the flu vaccine? I don’t know. All I know is my body has felt more achy these past few years than in my entire life. Yes. I’m getting older. Yes, some of this comes with age … but I also wonder what else is going on. That’s another reason I’m DONE with vaccines.

Apr 8: Today was weird. Management asked me to sit with a fellow MA who needs some .. um .. fine tuning and I was happy to help. We sat together, we went over some stuff, (which to be honest, the lack of knowledge on her part for the amount of time she’s been with us was a little alarming, not going to lie), and I thought it went well.

And then everyone and their grandma came up to me later to tell me this person was crying and upset. She apparently thought she was in trouble because she had to sit with me so I could go over a few things with her. After she had calmed down, I found her and apologized for making her cry, that I was only trying to help. She said it wasn’t me, that it was management, which to be fair, management is not always diplomatic in their approach, but we ended up hugging, (and you all know I HATE hugs – I have a bubble, remember?) and we’re good.

But here’s the thing – it exhausted me. It’s hard navigating young people nowadays. I feel like they get butt hurt so easily and of course, do NOT know how to emotionally handle constructive criticism. I mean, who does? It’s not easy swallowing a humble pill now and again – trust, I’ve swallowed my own bottle of humble pills in my decades of working life, but wow – her reaction was a bit over the top. I’m not trying to imply she’s a wimp and/or a cry baby, like I said, it’s hard to look someone in the eyes and admit you’re not “all that,” but I feel like it’s a good indication of where we are with our young people today. And that concerns me, quite frankly. No one is perfect, we all make mistakes, but you have to be mature and motivated enough to accept you made a mistake, that you’ll learn from that mistake and try very hard to not make that mistake again.

I know we talk about how young people today can’t emotionally handle anything remotely hard nowadays but I had a front row seat to just how bad it really is.

I’m concerned.

Apr 9: Made reservations for Ozark Outdoors in a few weeks. I love researching campgrounds. I’d like to stay at some state parks but a lot of them don’t come with a sewer option and though it’s not that big of a deal overall, Kevin and I can’t make it through the night without a pee, or two, (or three), so it’s definitely a consideration. We’re tossing some ideas around on how we can get around that, the biggest option, of course, is to get a small gray tank to push under our camper and dump every few days. We’ll see. I haven’t give up yet but for now, we’re sticking to private campgrounds until we can come up with a solution.

Apr 10: Today sucked. I took my week five quiz today for my class and bombed it – 74%. Are you kidding me right now?? WTH?!

Side note: I have two instructors for this class. Apparently, they got to talking and one felt like the other one was too strict in his grading and after talking it over, they re-evaluated the grading system and I ended up getting an 83% after it was all said and done. It was one of those quizzes where the multiple answers could really apply to more than one case scenario, which I can see would be harder to grade but at the same time, grading should be a bit more liberal given the multiple answers. Anyway, I was happy they re-evaluated because it made my grade go up.

I’m ready for this class to be over because it’s tough working on a class after working a full eight hour day – my brain is absolute mush. I see they are offering some extra credit at the end of the class and I fully intend to take advantage of that option to give my grade a boost.

Apr 12: One of the MA’s put her two weeks notice in. I knew she was teetering on the edge so I wasn’t surprised but *sigh* here we go again. Who knows how long it will take to hire someone and guess who they will ask to train this new person. Again, I’m flattered they have so much confidence in me but at the same time – IT’S A LOT OF WORK. Oh well, more overtime.

My garage door spring broke as I was leaving for work. I didn’t know it happened until Kevin text me later. He said it wouldn’t go all the way down. He thinks he can fix it. I can’t tell you the number of times I thank God he’s a fix-it-kind-of-guy. So thankful for him.

Apr 13: Found out by accident I was expected to cover another provider on Thursday. The revised schedule went out and I never really paid attention to it, (I have a bad habit of ignoring emails), because it doesn’t affect me, right? Only, this time it did. My manager didn’t bother to come to me to 1. ask if I could cover this provider, and 2. let me know that she put me on the schedule to cover a provider. Lack of communication drives me nuts. I don’t mind covering but I need to know! One, because it’s common courtesy to at least ASK me and Two, so I can manage my time. If I know my Thursday is going to be focused on a provider other than my normal provider, then I can make sure certain things are done ahead of time because I won’t have time to do it later.

Apr 15: My left shoulder KILLED me today. In fact, the palm of my left hand went numb. I can’t figure out if it’s my shoulder or my neck. And I can’t figure out WHY my shoulders are hurting to begin with. It must be something I’m eating, or maybe I’m taking too many vitamins. I need to research some exercises. Maybe it’s because I sit all day at a desk with my arms on the desk next to my keyboard. Maybe I just need to focus on stretching my arms more, surely holding them in on position for too long is not good for them.

I ended up sitting three different spots at work today. I don’t have a desk. I share a desk with another MA who has clinic on opposite days than me. I have clinics on Mondays/Wednesdays, she has clinic on Tuesdays/Thursdays. But on Fridays, there is no where for me to sit so I just have to sit wherever there’s a spot. Super annoying.

Apr 16: Class is finished! Turned in a bunch of documents – a compilation of the assignments over the past several weeks. It was a lot of work but not really that hard. Looks like the last week is a “dead” week so the instructors can grade our final work and we have a chance to submit an evaluation for the class. I have a few suggestions. 🙂

Apr 17: Easter! I woke up and hit the ground running. I did some last minute house cleaning and made some carrot cupcakes, (that no one ended up eating – oh well) and my parents came over for lunch. We had ham, scalloped potatoes, green beans, black-eye peas and rolls. Mom brought over a really yummy broccoli salad, carrot casserole, (SUPER GOOD), and deviled eggs. She also brought over a cookie cake. It was a great lunch and we had some great conversation. Love my family!

Apr 18: Kevin took the trailer for a test drive with the new truck. He said it pulled easier than the Ford 150, but not as easily as it pulled with the Ford 250. That’s fine. I’ll take it. He backed it into the yard so all we have to do is drive it out. Backing that thing stresses me out but we’re getting better working as a team. Can’t wait for the weekend!

Apr 19: Super frustrating day. It was one of those days when you take two steps forward and one step back. The hospital updated it’s mask mandate – if you’re vaccinated and around other vaccinated co-workers you can take it off but you have to put it back on when around patients. If you’re unvaccinated – TOO BAD – you have to continue wearing them all the time.

Bwhahaha – yeah, that’s not happening. I refused to be treated like a second-class citizen. So stupid.

Apr 20: We had a group lunch after clinic today – we brought all the fixings for tacos. It was a nice lunch and it was fun to relax and have some conversation without the stress of patients around. It felt like our old team dynamic again and it was really, really nice. I really do like the people I work closely with – they are good people. I hope I can continue working with them after the Fall. In the meantime, I want to continue making memories together. We need to take more pictures together. I’ve been taking pictures of our group over the years at various times, parties, etc., and turning them into magnets. They are stuck to the white board in our little break room and it’s fun to look back at all the incredible memories we’ve had together. I hope we can make more. We’ll see if the hospital honors my sincerely held beliefs!

Apr 21: I was supposed to be off work today but I opted to go ahead and work it. I wasn’t quite where I wanted to be as far as finishing my work and I didn’t want to leave a lot of unfinished stuff for my coverage while I was on vacation – I think that’s a bit rude. I got a lot done and I actually left at 3:00 PM. It was a nice, easy, catch up day.

I’m burning through my vacation time because who knows what will happen this Fall. Yes, they would pay me for any vacation time I didn’t take if I were to quit but why? Why not take that time off now and enjoy it while I can? I’m done working myself to the bone – it’s time to balance some of this hard work with some time off so I don’t get so burned out and snippy.

Apr 22 – 26 Camping at Ozark Outdoors! I’ll write more about this soon.

Apr 27: Still on vacation but now it’s a staycation. I didn’t really have any plans after we got back from camping so it’s nice to just relax and do what I want when I want. I found out my final grade in my class today: 89.81. I should be getting a certificate in the mail in the next six weeks or so. I also researched some resume templates. I don’t have a resume ready – yet. But it’s definitely on my list of things to do. I think the more prepared I am, the less shocking this will be if/when I have to put my notice in.

I really don’t want to put my notice in. You can read my final thoughts on the class here.

Apr 28: Shopped around for ideas for T for nurse’s week. It’s the second week of May. Otherwise, a pretty lazy, relaxed day of doing nothing. It was great.

Apr 30: Got my stamps from Studio Calico today and I LOVE them. I will definitely be buying more stamps from them in the future. I also put my May bullet journal spreads together. I love working on this bullet journal. It’s so fun and I think the boys will get a kick out of reading them when I kick the bucket.

I also spent a considerable amount of time researching state parks. Wow. The popular ones are already booked for the rest of the season!! Granted, we would be going over the weekend because we can’t really go during the week due to Kevin’s client that demands all of his attention during the week, but still. I really want to go Johnson’s Shut In. My sister-in-law raves about it and the pictures look incredible. It’s also one of the few parks that offers sewer but sewer is only available in a handful of spots so you can imagine, they go fast! So, I bit the bullet and reserved a spot for four days next April – as in 2023! But that will give us something to look forward to and I’m excited to camp there. I just hope it’s not too rainy. I would rather go to popular places in the off season because .. well, it’s just more relaxing without a lot of people around. But you do have to deal with the cold and wet during those times. That’s okay, we’ll make do.

Another nice thing about state parks – they are a lot cheaper than private campgrounds. Like half the price. If you live in Missouri, you can find out more about the state parks here. If you live outside of Missouri, here is a handy link to get you started.

Thanks for reading!