Work Stuff

The Line Has Been Drawn – Now What?

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


Summer is over.


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.