So, instead of posting little blog blurbs here and there, I thought it would be fun to just blog my thoughts throughout the month and share them with you. Here are my thoughts for this month:
June 1: Covered Dr. S’s clinic today. It was a weird day though we did a pretty good job of staying ahead of the game. We had a surprise patient – someone that is related to someone at work. She started exhibiting signs of not being able to speak or put a thought together so this person got an MRI and it was discovered that she has a brain tumor. A pretty sizeable one, too. We worked that patient in to see Dr. S. and she ended up admitting the patient and will plan on doing surgery soon. It really makes me appreciate life and I’m very thankful that my pathetic problems are nothing when compared to other people’s struggles. I’m gearing up for this month – it’s going to be crazy busy but I have a few days off soon so that will help restore my mental stamina.
June 5: Beautiful Saturday, sunny and upper 70’s today. Kevin went treasure hunting, i.e., thrift stores, yard sales, etc, looking for merchandise for his booths. He says he’s been selling a lot of stuff lately and his stock is running low. I just got back from tanning, (Yes, I tan a few times a week in the summer months, not all year long – judge away), and now I’m getting ready to remotely access our charting system at work and look over Dr. M’s and Dr. S’s schedules for next week. I need to get ahead of the game because I’m taking a few days off in a few weeks and I want to make sure not only are the docs in good shape for the time I’m out but I’m automatically ahead when I go back. I don’t know what it is about short weeks, but this week felt like ten years long. I worked a lot of overtime and I was so tired Wednesday night I felt sick. I haven’t been getting that much deep sleep so I’m a walking zombie today. I’m forcing myself to write this and will be propping my eyelids open with toothpicks in order to get some work done today. Kevin and I will visit Eat, Fit, Go later tonight to buy healthy meals for the next week as we’re both so busy we don’t have the time, nor the desire, to cook anything. I canceled our Hello Fresh subscription because it’s just too expensive to keep it up. I’m getting ready to buy another pair progressive glasses – I just get bored wearing the same ones over and over again. Also, I wish my eyesight was better – I am getting to the point that I can’t see anything without wearing them now – depressing.
Went to an outlying clinic with Dr. S yesterday – it was actually a lot of fun. The town was about an hour away. It’s part of my hospital though so getting connected to the Internet and accessing our programs was a breeze. She saw seven patients which was very manageable. We got back to town about 3:00 PM – just enough time to make a few phone calls and get ready for Dr. M’s clinic on Monday. Taking care of two doctors is challenging, as long as I continue to tread water, we’ll be good.
Actually watched a series on Amazon Prime Video this past week instead of reading. Watched “Panic” – thinking I might do a review of that on my podcast. Are you listening?
June 7: Very productive day. I was working Dr. M’s clinic and calling patient’s for Dr. S’s clinic for tomorrow. I had to calm down a veteran that was scheduled to see Dr. S but we didn’t have an authorization for him to do so and he was quite upset. For those that don’t know, military personnel, whether they are active, retired, or retired/injured in the line of duty, have to have an authorization from the government to see our doctors, any doctors, actually. This is to ensure the government will pay the bill when it comes due. If we see a veteran without an authorization then our doctors don’t get paid. I get why we do this because the government wants to know what they’re paying for, but at the same time, I wish we didn’t have to jump through so many hoops in order to get our veterans taken care of. It’s very frustrating to see Medicaid patients who are approved for everything and LITERALLY pay .50 cent co-pay, (No, I’m NOT exaggerating), when we have to basically pull teeth in order to take care of our veterans – our men/women who sacrificed a chunk of their life in order to serve our county to ensure we continue to keep our lovely freedoms. It irritates the SHIT out of me, but that’s where we are.
Anyway, I stayed until 7:00 PM and got a lot of stuff done because once 4:30 rolls around and people leave and the phones flip over to the night service, it’s BLESSEDLY quiet and I get a ton of stuff done. Even though I’m pretty brain dead, (even more than usual), I THRIVE on this stuff because I have to multi-task and I love doing it and am good at it. It’s a great exercise for my brain.
June 14: Excited about my upcoming six days off. Granted, it’s only four working days, plus the weekend, but STILL! May was brutal and I’m ready to take some time to decompress, clean house, write, do a little painting, walk. Speaking of walking, I’ve been walking around the neighborhood after work. It’s so nice to breathe fresh air and get away from a computer monitor. I feel healthier and certainly more relaxed. I’ve been working late trying to get caught up so that everything is done while I’m gone. I hate for anyone having to pick up my slack when I take time off. Not to mention, I want to have worked far enough ahead that I’m already “caught” up when I return as opposed to scrambling trying to play catch up. Sometimes, taking time off is more trouble than it’s worth because you have to work twice as hard before you leave and after you return. I wish we could afford to go somewhere for my time off, but it’s fine. I’ve got more time coming up the first part of August and the last part of September – we’ll see. One of the MA’s who has been out for medical leave returned to work today. That will take some pressure off the other MA’s. However, I will continue to cover Drs. M. and S. for the foreseeable future. We haven’t been getting any applications and the interviews we’ve had so far have been duds. I would rather hire someone with potential than just get a warm body in there. Not gonna lie though, I’m slowly pulling away from this job. I’m mentally withdrawing. I will continue to give my 100% but I sense a big, black cloud just over the horizon.
June 16: Worked my ass off to “earn” my four days off. And by that I mean, I worked a few weeks ahead and got the clinics ready for whomever is assigned to work them. This does not mean that I will be caught up when I get back. My nurse is planning on taking off the days I return so I’m sure I will have a lot to keep me busy. But it’s such an amazing feeling to leave work and know that you’re starting vacation. I have six days, (four work days, two weekend days) ahead of me and I feel like I can BREATHE for the first time in a while. I asked for these days off because I knew after working a stressful May, and it was, I would need some time off and yep, I was right. I know myself so well. lol I don’t really have any plans at this point in time, but trust me, it doesn’t matter because I’m not at work. That’s all that matters.
June 19: Currently on Staycation – I will have six days off from work – four work days and the weekend. I forgot how much fun Staycations can be. It’s quiet, I’m well rested, and I have the energy to do something fun – like painting. No, I’m not an artist, but boy, I wish I were. I LOVE watching artists work on YouTube, one, because it’s relaxing to watch them, and two, I wish I could be that talented. So when I say I’m painting, I’m filling in a paint-by-number. Yes, I realize it’s kind of cheesy but I don’t care, I’m having fun and that’s all that matters. I want to hang it in my office when it’s done. It’s a street scene in Paris with outdoor cafes and flower shops. I really want to go to Paris someday, who knows if it will happen because there is no way in hell I’m getting a vaccine passport and if they require it, then I guess I’ll have to settle for looking at pictures.
I’m also watching a video about dopamine detox and I have to say, I’m really relating to it. I think more people need to be aware of this and to consciously step back from the dopamine traps, (unhealthy foods, social media, video games, etc) and just be quiet – listen to the sounds around you, take a walk, get some fresh air, allow your mind and body to decompress and recharge. I feel like I’ve been doing this during this Staycation. It’s been nice. More than nice, it’s been amazing. I have another Staycation planned for the end of July. Kevin will be taking LeRoy camping in our homemade cargo trailer that LeRoy has been helping him with, also, it’s LeRoy’s birthday, so I will truly be alone with nothing but what I want to do on the agenda. I’m looking forward to that. I don’t have a problem with being alone – at all. I enjoy my own company.
I’ve also got an inkling of a new writing project. I wrote about it in this post. I plan on working on it during the July Camp NaNoWriMo. We’ll see how far I get. Maybe not very far, but I’m excited to work on it, nevertheless.
I’m also working on trying to get more organized. I have so many projects and things I want to do but then I start the project, get bored, and when I’m ready to come back, I don’t remember where I left off and abandon it. I’m looking hard at the Kanban method and I currently have four different colored post-it notes to signify four projects I want to work on so we’ll see how successful trying that is in organizing me. I’m also going to try a smaller version for my bullet journal, stay tuned for that.
We went to one of our favorite restaurants to eat last night only to see that it was closed with a sign on the door that they were closed “for the foreseeable future.” It was for “the protection of their employees.” So I’m assuming that someone contracted COVID and the whole place freaked out and closed down. *sigh* I’m so tired of people being scared. Live your life – it’s too short to cower in the shadows from a disease that has a high recovery rate and has medications that can help. (If only the government would stop being so tyrannical and “allow” it to be sold an distributed). Plus, we have a “vaccine” so … what the hell? Anyway, seeing the restaurant closed and that sign made me more sad than anything else. Fear is too powerful.
June 22: I am so uncomfortable right now. I don’t know what I did, well, I suspect I know what I did but can’t confirm, but I “threw” my back out and I could hardly walk this morning. If I had had to go to work, I would have called in, that’s how bad it was. It’s better now, but I’m still hobbling around and Kevin pulled his cane out for me which has been SUPER helpful. I have a bad back. I’ve had problems with my back on and off for YEARS. However, I haven’t had “an attack” for YEARS. I remember my last really, really bad attack was back when I was in college and I had to walk from my car, to the English department, to take a test that consisted of nothing but writing my answers. It took a few hours and I remember walking back to my car in tears because it hurt so much to walk. I was so weak, my legs were shaking, my back SCREAMED at me and driving home … gads, it was bad. I was flat on my back for a few days after that attack. In fact, I believe I even went to the ER it was so bad. I couldn’t figure out what was happening to me. I’ve always had back aches but nothing so severe that I had trouble walking. The ER told me they didn’t see anything, that it was muscular and to take Ibuprofen and use heat/ice and give it time.
And that’s what I did. I even went so far as to have Kevin massage my back. He commented how he could feel multiple knots and he rubbed them out pretty hard. Again, it was excruciating and it made my pain 100 times worse. Heat was also not helpful. The only thing I found helpful was ice and ibuprofen.
I slept with ice packs on and off all last night. Then I used a heating pad after my shower today and, yep, it made it worse. I’ve been taking breaks, standing, walking around, with my cane, and laying down to give my back some rest. It feels better right now, but it’s still really sore and I have a muscle spasm at times.
I’m not a good patient. I get very cranky and withdrawn whenever I’m not feeling well and the last thing I want around me are people. Let me suffer in peace, please. I’ll get through it but I need time. Like I said, I don’t really know why my back attack happened but I suspect that it was me sitting on our hard kitchen chair, with no cushion, bent over my paint-by-number for hours. I don’t know what else it could be, I haven’t done anything different.
My manager text me and told me that she needed me to cover to Dr. J’s clinic tomorrow and I flat out told her I wasn’t sure I was physically up to it. I plan on going to work tomorrow but I had planned on sitting most of the day, (with breaks to walk around and stretch), and get a lot of administration work done. I then asked her if I could “clock” on for a few hours to catch up on my messages. (I had 25 messages). She allowed that and I got my messages organized so I can jump right into it tomorrow and I offered to take hospital calls and calls for not only my doctor, Dr. M., but for Dr. S, too. So, hopefully, that’s what I end up doing because I don’t think I’m ready to be on my feet all day rooming patients. Hopefully, I feel better on Thursday because I’m scheduled to cover Dr. S’s clinic that day.
I don’t know if any of you have bad backs out there but it sucks BALLS. This is a lesson to me that I need to remember to do more stretching and NOT sit on really hard surfaces without a cushion, or something. It’s a sucky way to end my staycation but whatever, I’m just thankful I had the day off so I could get a handle on it. It’s back to work tomorrow. I have another staycation scheduled for the end of July, first part of August. I’m sure I’ll need it as I think these next few weeks are going to be super busy as we’re still down two MA’s.
June 27: Back is still pretty sore, but manageable. I just need to keep moving – sit, stand, sit, stand. It hurts the most whenever I get up from a seated position to standing. After a bit, the soreness abates and I’m able to hobble, then walk normally. I slept with an ice pack under my lower back last night and that really seems to help.
Side note: if you’re experiencing pain, alternate heat/ice. Heat is will relax your muscles and ice is good for inflammation. Considering ice seems to be working the best for me, I have some inflammation going on. It’s probably pressing against a nerve. It’s fine. I’ll recover. This is what happens when I don’t stretch and keep my body limber. Lesson learned. I’ll start light yoga whenever my back heals.
Last week was ROUGH. I went back to work on Wednesday and I could barely hobble around all day. Thank God I didn’t have a clinic to cover, I don’t think I could have. I spent the day on the phone and getting messages caught up. Thursday, I covered Dr. S’s clinic and I was a new woman. I prayed, used ice and took a crap ton of Ibuprofen and I was virtually pain free throughout clinic. I started to get sore when the IB wore off and that’s where I am now – sore. The spasms are gone, thank God, just the soreness. I just need to keep moving and keep my muscles warm – not stay in one position for too long. Periodically, I get up from my desk and walk around the house – it seems to really help.
It could be an annular tear. (Look at me using medical terms!) An annular tear is:
An annular tear occurs when the outer layer of a spinal disc, also known as the annulus fibroses, suffers damage and tears. This can cause the gelatinous contents inside the disc, aka the nucleus pulposus, to rupture or herniate.
Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do about a tear – just time. Unless it’s a big enough of a tear that it causes the disc to ooze out. It’s curious to me though how I have these episodes periodically. I wish I knew exactly what brought these “attacks” on so I could avoid that activity but it’s a crap shoot. Granted, I haven’t had one in a very long time, losing weight likely helped with that, but still. It’s painful and annoying when they do occur.
Kevin is working on the trailer today. He got the split level air conditioner into the trailer and it works great! He also got the toilet in and plumbing in. He’s keeping it really simple. He will run a hose into the sewer whenever we are at a campground. We only plan on using the toilet for number one as number two will just be too messy to clean up. But that will work for the late night pees. I’m so excited to use it! We have a trip planned for the end of September. Kevin and LeRoy are planning on taking it out for it’s maiden trip the end of July. It’s LeRoy’s birthday and let’s be honest, LeRoy has been a huge help to him in putting it together so they will enjoy that time together.
Kevin and I looked at grave sites on Friday. I know, how morbid, but this is something that has been on our to-do list for quite some time and we just want it to be taken care of so that we’re not saddling our boys with a huge bill when that time comes. I would like to speak to my parents and the boys first before committing. We’re undecided on whether we want to be cremated or buried. I mean, we’re dead, what do we care, but I feel like the boys should have some say in that decision. It’s a terrible subject to think/talk about, but death is part of life, whether some people want to admit that or not, and you can’t avoid it. It’s a subject that we all have to talk/think about at some point in our lives.
Dr. M is back from vacay tomorrow. I’m sure we’ll have a busy day of getting him caught up. He will answer a bunch of questions and look at test results from patients who have had diagnostic testing done and we’ll be busy calling those patients and taking care of his recommendations. Dr. M is taking a week in July and a week in August so his schedule is really tight right now. It stresses me out not knowing where to put patients and he doesn’t like to be overbooked – I have to get his permission to overbook. I’m sure these next few months are going to be like a bottleneck for his patients. And just think how crazy it will be if the hospital mandates vaccines and I have to quit.
Speaking of which, the CEO of our hospital was featured on a few news sites basically spreading doom/gloom. Missouri is one of the “hot spots” in the country right now because of the Delta variant.
And people can get the vaccine, or not, they know about, have chosen not to get it and are willing to accept the risks that come along with the decision. As well as the ones who got the “vaccine” and are willing to accept the risks that come along with that decision. I just don’t understand the near hysteria of health care officials – if you are vaccinated, and you choose to wear a mask, you’re protected, are you not? Then what do you care if other people chose the same or chose differently? Mind your own damn business. People will get the vaccine if they feels it’s the best choice for them and their families. How do we know that the patients in the hospital are there BECAUSE of COVID? It was reported that 87% of people in the hospital are not vaccinated, that means 11% in the hospital were vaccinated?
The bottom line – my body, my choice. You’re not going to bully me into something I know in my heart does not make sense at this time.
Anyway, I digress. My point is, since he’s been a public figure, (and likely EATING up the five minutes of fame), he can’t NOT mandate the vaccines now. He has to save face and do it “for the safety of the dumb Republicans who don’t know what what’s good for them.” Because, clearly, our CEO and ID doctor know what’s best, right? Like Dr. Fauci? I’m about 95% certain mandates are coming, how can they not? And I don’t care enough about this job to hire a lawyer and fight it. I’m lucky – I didn’t go to school to do this job, it’s not my career, I can walk away. I do feel sorry for those that can’t as easily walk away, though.
Hence, polishing up my resume, posting it on Indeed.com and updating my LinkedIn profile. Who knows what will happen.
June 29: My back feels SOOOO much better. I stretched last night, both my back and my hips and I felt pretty great today. I ordered a yoga mat and I’ll start doing yoga regularly every evening before bed. I think that will help me relax and hopefully get better sleep. I don’t sleep that great. I wear a Garmin fitness tracker and according to the tracker, I get about 3/4 hours of deep sleep every night. I don’t know how accurate the tracker is, but I can do better. I also noticed a significant drop in my heart rate whenever I don’t eat sugar before bed, too. It will drop to the mid-60’s when I don’t eat sugar. That has to be good for my heart, give it a rest. Anyway, I’m grateful to God for helping my back heal. I don’t if you guys ever have your backs go out on you, but it sucks balls. You can’t do anything and everything is uncomfortable. I will actively work on avoiding that happening again any time soon.
The hospital where I work handed out rainbow masks this week in recognition of Pride month. It actually pissed a lot of patients off, they didn’t appreciate the hospital’s “wokeness.” Some national survey went out that resulted in our rival hospital here in town getting a four out of five stars and my hospital getting one out of five stars. I’m pretty sure I know why that happened. Here are some quotes from an article about the survey.
“Our continual focus on quality while, you know, people did not lose focus of what they are here for. Yes COVID was a huge focus, there were still surgeries taking place. There were still babies being delivered. There were still a lot of other things non-COVID-related.”
That quote is from our rival hospital and BOOM, they hit the nail on the head. My hospital OBSESSED about COVID, making everyone fearful and shut surgeries down all to make room for the hundreds of patients that never showed up. (Thankfully). Whereas our rival hospital, though taking precautions, ran like business as usual. In addition, the rainbow masks to recognize PRIDE month – how exactly does that relate to healthcare again?
I think my hospital administration could work on paying more attention when it comes to running out hospital and leave the politics out of if. I’m also hoping this bad publicity discourages the hospital from mandating vaccines because they can’t afford any more bad publicity.
This is what happens when you’re “woke” and lose all common sense. Things just sort of implode. All I can say is, serves you right hospital. Stop trying to push an agenda and get back to helping sick people.
June 30: Patients were assholes today. Yes, I can say that. Because people will be people. I’m pretty forgiving whenever someone is snarky because the people we see are in pain and it’s hard to be Polly Anna whenever you feel like your insides are on fire and/or your skin is melting off. However, healthcare workers work very hard, and sometimes move mountains, to make things happen for patients and when those patients are jerks and/or want more and/or are super bitchy and ungrateful, well, it sucks.
Luckily, that doesn’t happen very often. We have those “gems” here and there but by and large, the majority of patients are pretty great and it’s heart warming to see them come back after surgery a new man/woman. It makes me proud that I played a very small role in that process.
So. Here’s a pro tip: don’t bite the hand that is helping you. The doctor is great and of course central to any care plan but remember, his/her staff is who make it happen and if you piss them off, well, it may not happen as fast as you want it to. Right or wrong, it’s a fact because WE are human, too, and we can, and/or will, only take so much before we’re done.
Not to mention, and you may not know this, but doctors CAN fire patients. Meaning, you’re an asshole to the staff, I should say a CONSISENT asshole, because again, everyone has days, and/or unreasonable or expect yourself to be put ahead of all the other patients that need help or are worse off than you, then the doctor has the option of firing you and you will then be forced to go see another doctor and start the process all over again. I don’t say that to scare you but it doesn’t happen very often but remember, doctors are in business – their practice is their business and they have the right to refuse to see you. I think a lot of people forget that – so, moral of this story – don’t be an asshole.
The hospital is freaked out because of the Delta variant. So, we’re sort of back to where we were a few months ago as far as the propaganda and the doom and gloom daily updates. “Today, we have 80 employees out with COVID today.” Okay – out of 9,000 employees.
I’m so SICK of this crap. We will be fine. Everyone calm down. This too shall pass. Until the next variant, I suppose. Still nothing on the mandatory vaccines but I’m expecting an announcement very soon. I hate living on the edge like this. I can deal with anything as long as I know what I’m dealing with, but this NOT knowing … gah.
I don’t have clinics for the next two days so I’ll have a chance to kick butt and get a lot of thing done. Dr. S’s PA just told me that they want to thin out Tues/Thurs clinics next week, (they do have a lot of patients scheduled) and move the excess to Friday – so the will have a small Friday clinic. I really don’t want to work the Friday clinic but I suppose I will if no one else volunteers. This means, our “short” week next week feel super long. Awesome.
I can’t believe it’s July – DUDE, IT’S JULY! I always feel like the year speeds up after the 4th of July and a few blinks later and we’re putting the Christmas tree back up. Life – can you slow down, PLEASE??
Thanks for reading.