August 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?)

August 1: I think I’m finally starting to get a handle on this new (ish) job. It was rough going at first, being thrown into the lion’s den and trying to sort through, organize and then come up with a system to keep track of everything. But I think I’m getting there. I’m not bored with this job, not sure that will ever be a problem since I’m E’s liaison between patients and other co-workers, but I’m definitely becoming more comfortable with the job itself and being around E. She is brainstorming to re-work/organize the clinic with the new girl starting soon. I’m very, VERY grateful she’s so organized and efficient as I think working with someone who is more seat-of-my-pants sort of person would be very hard for me. I’m not OCD, per se, but I definitely work better when there is a process. I bet it’s sort of fun for E to see her clinic expand and grow. She wants to eventually see 14 people per clinic day, which roughly works out to be about 55 to 60 patients per week that all three of us (when the new girl starts) will handle. That’s a lot. But our clinic is set up for the short term – E determines whether the patients we see are surgical or not and if they are, we schedule them with a surgeon, if they are not, then we refer them to non-operative doctors for further treatment options. We do end up seeing quite a few patients at least twice though to discuss how physical therapy or an injection went, so it’s not like a one and done sort of deal. She does a lot of test results, too. Meaning, if I set patients up for an MRI or CT then she will read the results and offer her recommendations and I will then call the patients and go through that with them and carry out E’s recommendations. That means I have a lot of phone work, which I detest, but it’s part of the job. Talking about this with her makes my chest tight because that’s a lot of pressure on me, but I can handle it. Pretty sure I had an anxiety attack today, though. Not fun.

August 2: Felt much better today. According to my Garmin Tracker, my heart rate got down to 61 last night. That might be a new record. In fact, my resting heart rate now stays in the mid-to-low 60’s. This is unusual for me because my resting heart rate rarely got below 75 in the past. What changed? Two things: I’ve gone through the change (menopause) and I do intermittent fasting (IF) every day. Yes. I’m still doing that. I eat between 1:00 PM and 6:00 PM every day. (Though honestly, if I really wanted to amp things up, I could shorten that window but I’m not disciplined enough or motivated enough to do that right now). Every since I started IF I’ve been feeling better and my labs certainly show it. The last time I had labs done, all of my numbers came back where they needed to be – so I must be doing something right. We only have Sarah for one more day before she has to go back to take care of her doctor. I’m going to miss her. She’s phenomenal. I wish we could keep her. The president of our clinic came up today and gave us kudos for jobs well done. She says she’s been hearing good things about our clinic from other doctors and the ER (we get a lot of patients from the ER). That was really good to hear. I think E was very pleased.

August 3: Days are blending together – I frequently forget what day of the week it is. Since we have clinic every day, it’s hard to keep them straight. When I worked with Dr. M., who only had clinic twice a week, (he was in surgery the rest of the week), it was easy to keep track of my days – clinic days and off clinic days. But now that we see patients every day, I struggle to remember what day it is. It’s sort of embarrassing, to be honest. I’m getting a small taste of what it must be like to work in a primary care physician’s office. Though you couldn’t PAY me enough to work in a PCP’s office. (Kudos to those of you that do).

August 4: We had a goodbye lunch with Sarah today. I’m actually going to miss her. I don’t really like a lot of people, but I really liked her. And I like E. She’s pretty great. I’m very blessed to be working with her. We get along so well. Blake rear-ended someone today. It was just a tap, thank God, no one was hurt, but still, I think it woke him up a bit. Unfortunately, it takes things like this to wake people up. Not that he doesn’t take driving seriously, but you take it MORE seriously when something like this happens. It didn’t really do a lot of damage to his car, just scratched it up. But that poor guy – he had someone scratch his car in the apartment parking lot, someone broke in to his car but luckily he didn’t have anything valuable in it so they didn’t take anything and now this. He loves that car, too. I’m just thankful no one was hurt. It doesn’t matter how old your kids get or how long they’ve been driving, they are still your children.

August 5: We bought black out curtains for the trailer. They are way too long but oh well.

August 6: Cut my hair shorter. I had asked for a lighter color last time and all it did was pull out too much red, which I hated, so I asked her to go darker this time. I’m thinking of getting highlights but probably not until next summer. It already costs so much to get my hair done, I shudder to think how much highlights will cost on top of cover my gray and trim cost.  Though my stylist does a good job, I hate how she styles my hair. And she puts all of this product in that does nothing but weigh it down and it feels and looks greasy. I always hate my hair when I leave the stylist. I should just ask her not to dry/style it next time. (Would that be cheaper? Hmm). And I’m too stubborn to wash my hair for a few days after getting it done because I’m afraid I’ll wash some of  the color out, so I look like a drowned rat for a few days. Pretty sure this is the opposite result of what you expect when you go to the salon but … been thinking a lot about the flu vaccine mandate coming up. I’ll be so glad when that issue is resolved however it turns out. (Pst – you can read this to find out how that turned out).

August 7: I woke up upset. I dreamt I couldn’t find my car and I was late to work and crying. I honestly fear getting older and losing my mind. I never want to live like that. I hate my hair but I’m glad it’s shorter. I’m clearly conflicted. I’m thinking of going shorter in November, (when I go to the salon again – I only go every 12 weeks because I’m too cheap to pay more often than that). I’m just thankful I still have hair, I suppose. Dear God I pray I still have my hair and my mind when I get older. It’s all about priorities.

August 8: I have mixed feelings about this job. I love it, but I get lonely. Now that I’m on a different floor than the rest of my co-workers, I get forgotten. And I get it. When I was on the 7th floor I completely forgot about the people on the 9th floor, too. Now, I’m one of those people that are being forgotten. We are kicking ass though, E and I. Our new girl starts next week. But I’m worried. Our patient load has decreased substantially. Our first new patient spot was three weeks out, now it’s tomorrow. I’m not sure what changed. We did have a new doctor start so I suppose that’s a big part of it, but E thinks there is something more going on and she’s looking into it. I’m just worried that our patient load will drop down and management won’t be able to justify the new girl coming in or even keeping our clinic open. I really like what I’m doing up here and I believe in what we’re doing – getting patients to doctors that can help them faster. (What patient can’t relate to feeling frustrated and tossed around from one provider to another). But if we don’t have the volume, then management will have to make some decisions. A lot of people have been leaving healthcare, too. I don’t blame them, healthcare has gotten a really bad wrap these past few years and it’s almost become toxic now. Which is a shame, honestly.

August 10: E brought in an $8 watermelon today. She bought it at a farmer’s market. It was a very good watermelon, but I’m not sure it was $8 great. EIGHT dollars for a watermelon?! No wonder people don’t want to eat healthy, it’s freaking expensive. Reached out to T, my old nurse. She’s loving being a school nurse – I bet the kids love her. I’m SOOO happy for her. Life is too short to be miserable.

August 11: E. is restructuring her clinic cheat sheets. We use these sheets to gather information for the providers. All of the doctors have cheat sheets though they vary from doctor-to-doctor. Now that I’m here, (that makes me sound so important), and the new girl is coming, she’s an LPN and will already have the basics down, E is starting to feel a bit more confident in her staff. So, she wants us to get more information from the patients when we room them so she has more information before going into the room and can focus more on the diagnosis and the plan as opposed to getting the information. It’s an art to communicate with patients. You want to get the information you need without rushing the patient and at the same time keep them on track so that you’re not in the room for 30 minutes. The goal is not to be in the room for more than 10 minutes and even that’s a bit too long. But we have to keep the pace going because there are other patients waiting, not to mention your provider is waiting on you so he/she can do his/her part. That’s why we always seem to be in a hurry when you go to the doctors’ office because we are. The MA’s are responsible for maintaining a flow so that we don’t put the provider behind and make other patients wait longer. That’s why it’s important for patients to answer our questions and not veer off into left field about an issue they are not seeing our provider about. I know patients don’t get that, but hopefully this gives you a bit of a glimpse into the healthcare world.

August 12: Kevin and I did our usual Friday night shopping. Groceries are definitely costing more money thanks to the bumbling idiot in the White House and a Democrat-run Congress that continues to spend money on crap we don’t need and can’t afford.

August 13: Woke up to a sinus headache. I haven’t one of those in a while. It’s likely because the weather is changing. I had to take half of a Sudafed. I can’t handle a whole one, it makes my heart race. I ended up sleeping another hour while waiting for it to kick in so my day got a late start but at least it got rid of the headache. If I don’t get those under control, it makes me nauseous and I throw up. Fun. Kevin asked me if I remember when I got my ears pierced, both times. I know, random question. I don’t remember what we were talking about that prompted that question but no, I don’t remember. At all. I have such a terrible memory, which is another reason I NEED to get back to blogging. But I just don’t dwell on the past, I’m always focused on the future. I need to re-train my brain. We bought locks for our trailer cabinets. I’m always afraid we are going to get to our destination and open the trailer door only to see every cabinet open and all of our stuff broken and on the floor.

August 14: I nearly fainted today. I went up to the middle school to use their track to walk and I got too hot. It was 88 degrees today. And the track is all in the sun – no shade at all. And I’m a dummy and didn’t take any water. About an hour into my walk I started feeling woozy and dizzy and had to sit in the shade for a bit. Any time I start to feel dizzy I freak out. I’m traumatized from my Vertigo episode, I guess. Ever since I’ve gone through the change I can’t tolerate heat like I used to. I don’t feel like I sweat as much as I used to, either. I used to sweat so much I would be SOAKED – like I just stepped out of a shower soaked – when I exercised. I get sweaty, but nothing like I used to. Something else I have to readjust to. Still worth not having a period though.

August 15: Getting nervous. I honestly don’t see how Emily is going to be able to run this clinic without me. (Yes. I have a healthy ego, why do you ask?) Sure. Management can rob Peter to pay Paul, (i.e., ask people from the 7th floor to fill in), but she’s really relying more and more on me and she’s getting to the point where she is expanding the clinic and seeing more patients so I’m feeling pressure to do a good job. If the hospital doesn’t approve my exemption, she’ll have to cut her patient load down again and basically start over. Went to today and saw that the law firm that drew up our living will is urgently hiring. Wouldn’t that be something to work for the lawyer that we used for our living will. My parents used them for their will and they weren’t impressed with the staff, probably because they were short staffed. Which I feel like every industry is short staffed right now because no one wants to work – but that’s a topic for another day. Have to re-start the stupid COVID tests soon. I had four months reprieve because I tested positive for COVID in May, (but didn’t even have a sniffle – suuuure), but now it’s time to pay the piper and start back up. Goody.

August 17: M, the new girl, is bored with her training on the 7th floor. They’ve been showing her how to room a patient and because it’s the same process over and over again, she feels like she has that down. I suggested she hang out with me so I can start teaching her our programs and how to schedule so she’ll be with us tomorrow. I really hope I get to continue scheduling patients. I don’t mind rooming patients but I LOVE to schedule. It reminds me of my old scheduling days. I also love to train people. I know. I’m one of THOSE people.

August 20: The boys hung out with us today. We ate at Culverts then had ice cream afterward. We had some good conversations and it warms my heart to get to know the adult version of our children. They are great people. We are very blessed.

August 21: Went for another walk around the track at the middle school today. I was smarter and actually took water and drank water about halfway through my walk. I like to walk about three miles. I really enjoy walking outside.

August 23: Rachelle, (my nephew’s wife), went into labor. I feel like she was one month overdue as there was some question about her actual due date but I’m sure I’m wrong. That’s a long time to be overdue. She had a mid-wife but she had complications during labor and ended up going to the hospital for a C-section. They had a boy! I’m sure my sister-in-law is thrilled as she has eight granddaughters and one grandson. E told me that if the hospital does not approve my flu vaccine exemption then I could work for her husband – he needs an assistant. I thought that was very sweet! We paid my legal secretary course off today! We’ll see if I actually have to use it. I tell you though, it’s nice to have a plan B, not gonna lie.

August 25: Trying to wrap things up at work so that we can drive to Texas tomorrow. Why is it when you are trying to leave work that’s when you get dumped on? So frustrating. I ended up staying at work until 6:00 PM even though I worked like a fiend today to try and get it done before closing. Oh well. Overtime. E is nervous about me leaving. In fact, she ended up moving a few clinics when I’m out. It’s not that she and M can’t handle it, but M is so new – it’s just too much too soon. I totally get that. I had big plans to go grocery shopping, pack and make the beds up in the trailer when I got off work but all I had energy for was to get shop for food. I’ll have to do the rest of it in the morning before we leave. Darn it.

August 26 – 31: Drove the trailer to Galveston Texas! (I’ll post about that vacation soon-ish – ha!)

At the Moment

I Did Something …

Yes, we’re one of THOSE people.

Kevin put our house lights up, too. We’re one of the first to put our lights up in the neighborhood. We’re now the house that everyone sniffs at as they drive past …

“Oh! Can you believe those people?! We haven’t even gotten through Thanksgiving yet!”

Meh. Think what you want. Though I will say this is the earliest we’ve ever put our decorations up. Why this year, you ask?

Beats me. I just felt like it. I love Christmas. It makes me happy. And when we turned the Christmas music on to decorate the tree … *swoon* – I just felt nostalgic, happy, peaceful and content.

I love those feelings.

By the way, our tree is fake and I’m not ashamed.

One of the reasons I’m posting this is because every year. EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR. When it comes time to put our tree up, Kevin and I have a debate on what color of lights we had the previous year.


And every single year, neither one of us can remember.


So this year, I thought I would take a picture and then post it, (because I take pictures and then can never locate them the next year) so that WHEN we have this conversation next year, we’ll remember what color lights we had.

Smart, eh?

Personally, I think white lights are my favorite, but Kevin likes the colored lights better. I like colored lights, especially since they remind me of the trees we had when I was little, but I don’t know, I like the white lights better. They’re … classier, I guess?

The boys, who have now fully moved into the rental house across the street, (LeRoy is in HEAVEN), walked across the street to help me decorate. It’s SO COOL to have them close. I think I’ve seen them more in the past week than I have in the past three months. And I didn’t even have to ask them. They found out I was putting the tree up and came over to help.


We usually put up our homemade ornaments every year. You know the ones, the ornaments that the kids made when they were in school. And the ones we have collected over the years on our travels. But this year … I don’t know, I just felt like doing something a little more … boring traditional, I guess?

I don’t think the boys liked it. They would prefer the handmade ornaments though they would rather have their eyes poked out than admit that. And I swear I detected a note of disappointment in Brandon’s voice when he found out I wasn’t throwing the cheap tinsel “icicles” on this year and instead used these:

Santa still comes to our house. At least for the boys. (Kevin and I don’t buy each other gifts anymore – we go on vacations together – that’s our gift to each other). In years past, the boys came over on Christmas Eve, we played games, snacked and then they spent the night. We then dragged their butts out of bed the next morning, they opened their gifts then we had breakfast together. I’m sure we’ll do something like that this year but they may just want to WALK over the next morning since they will literally be across the street from us.

We have a busy few weeks ahead, as I’m sure ya’ll do as well. We’re having a birthday/Thanksgiving day party at my parent’s this weekend. Then we’re hosting Kevin’s family on Thanksgiving day. And we’ll be hosting Christmas for my family at our house next month. I’m sure Kevin’s mom will want to have a Christmas party at her house sometime next month, too.

So yes. I put our tree up early. And I plan on enjoying every single moment.

When do you put your tree up? What color of lights do you like better? Do you have a real tree or a fake tree?

Talk to me. I’m curious.

Work Stuff

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

(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. You can read part one here).

1. Never Ask Your Doctor to Lie

I know this seems self-explanatory and when would you ask your doctor to lie, but it happens more than you think it does.

The incidents that come to my mind are when patients want to stay off work longer, or not wanting to go back to work at all, or they want the doctor to document that they are sicker than they really are because they need to appear that way in order to qualify for something or get something.

I can ASSURE you, doctors are not willing to forfeit their licenses to help you be dishonest. It’s morally and ethically wrong and they won’t do it. Don’t even ask. And if you ask, you’re risking the possibility the doctor will not see you back.

Yes. Doctors CAN refuse to see you and they can most certainly “fire” you from their practice. Don’t be that person.

2. Never Get Too Many Opinions

A second opinion is fine, in fact, we encourage it and it’s certainly the patient’s right to do so. You want to make sure what the original doctor is telling you is correct and it’s helpful to get a second pair of professional eyes on the situation just to ensure nothing was missed or missed diagnosed. And mayyyybe a third opinion, but you’re pushing it. Anything more than three opinions and you’re running the risk of the doctor not seeing you at all.

When patients seek multiple opinions it doesn’t send a very positive message. Why so many? Do you not trust the doctors you’ve seen so far? Are you just looking for someone to give you the answer you want? It’s not a good look and if doctors find out you’ve seen six other doctors for the same issue, they will refuse to see you at all.

3. Never Drink Coffee Before You’ve Been Shown Back to the Exam Room

Okay, maybe NEVER is a strong word. Of course, bring your coffee with you to your appointment but it’s best NOT to drink it before we have a chance to get your blood pressure because it will absolutely affect your blood pressure, i.e. elevate your blood pressure. It’s not that big of a deal, but it’s better not to do it just so we can get a more accurate blood pressure.

And a quick note about blood pressure in general. There are MANY reasons your blood pressure could be elevated. Pain, of course. Diet, caffeine, your overall physical health, being nervous. Remember, when we get your blood pressure, that number reflects what your blood pressure was IN THAT MOMENT. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s that way all the time. That’s why your general doctor will ask you to keep a log so that they can calculate the average, which will give them a better overall idea on what your blood pressure truly is.

4. Never Forget to Report Over-the-Counter Medications, Vitamins and Supplements

I know. Talking about medications every time you go to a doctor, especially when your doctors are all part of the same medical system, is a pain in the butt. Trust me when I say, we hate going through them with the patients just as much. So please, stop the attitudes, okay?

It’s important to go through medications every visit because quite often, patients have discontinued a medication but it wasn’t removed from the list. So, if a doctor sees you’re on something they will be less likely to prescribe you a refill or something else – it’s important to keep the medication list updated. So when we ask if there have been any changes, you need to tell us so we can ensure those changes are in your chart.

I probably get the most attitude about vitamins, supplements and OTC medications. The doctor needs to know EVERYTHING you’re taking. (And this includes marijuana!). The biggest reason is because supplements can sometimes be contraindicated (which means they negatively interact with another medication) with a prescription medication and we don’t want to inadvertently send you to the ER because of a reaction.

Don’t blow this off. Keep track of what you’re taking and let your doctor know.

5. Never Forget to Ask Questions

Patients have a lot of questions and understandably so. They are trying to make sense about what is happening with their bodies and the more information a patient knows, the better.

And we want to answer their questions. But the clinical staff can only answer so many questions – we’re not the doctors. So. PLEASE write down your questions and bring them with you to your appointment. When you get here, you’re hurting and distracted and 9 times out of 10, people forget to ask something, call the office and then get frustrated when we don’t have an answer for them. Appointments are YOUR reserved time with the doctor to ask him/her your questions. Make the most of that time because trust me when I say, a doctor’s time is VERY valuable.

And side note: Once a doctor leaves the room, he/she is DONE. Appointment over. Patients will remember something they forgot to ask and they will ask the staff to ask the doctor to go back into their room. I can pretty much guarantee you that is not going to happen. You’ll just have to leave your questions with the staff and they will ask the doctor when they can and get back to you.

Sorry. But that’s just the way it is. If a doctor had to backtrack on every patient he/she saw that day, he/she would not only be behind, he/she would never get anything else done. Use your appointment time wisely.

6. Never Save the Most Important Part for Last

Look. You’re there to see the doctor about specific issues, (most likely). Doctors and the staff simply don’t have time to work up to the issue you’re there to see the doctor about. Get to the point. Tell us where it hurts. The quicker we get to the problem, the quicker the doctor can diagnose you and the quicker the staff can carry out his orders and get you on your way.

And please. Don’t give us attitude when we’re asking you questions about your pain. I promise, there is a good reason we’re asking these seemingly benign questions. Believe me when I say, we have much better things to do than stand there and play 20 questions with you to find out what is wrong. Be patient.

7. Never Show Up with Small Children

There is nothing more distracting than trying to talk around, or over, a crying, fussy child. Not to mention, it’s distracting to the doctor and the patient and questions don’t get asked and everything is rushed and inefficient.

It stresses us, the doctor, the patient and other patients out when we have to deal with a screaming child.

Doctors’ offices are incredibly boring to a child. And we have better things to do than to try and distract your child while also doing our job. I know it’s not always possible to leave a child with someone when you have an appointment but if you can avoid it, please make arrangements for someone to watch your children while you’re at the doctor’s office. You will be more relaxed, your doctor can focus and we can work on giving you the best care we’re capable of.

8. Never Say “I Know My Body”

Look. I get it. I’m one of those people that know their bodies, too. And it’s not a bad thing to be in tune with your body so that when something weird happens you notice it.

However …

Doctors have years of education and experience so they know what they’re talking about. Can they get something wrong? Of course, they’re human, but don’t assume you know more than they do because it’s just insulting. That’s why is so important for you to be honest with your doctor about your pain and symptoms so that he/she can accurately diagnose you.

But …

If something feels wrong or off, absolutely tell your doctor about it. Just don’t insult their intelligence when you do so.

Doctors have BIG egos, in case you weren’t aware. 🙂

9. Never Stay on Your Cell Phone when Staff Walks In

People, seriously, I PROMISE you the world will not end if you rip your eyeballs from your phone. Put it down. You will survive without it.

First of all, it’s rude to not put down your phone when people are talking to you in general. But it’s SUPER rude when you can’t look away from your phone to pay attention to medical staff or the doctor. Think of it this way – you’re PAYING for this appointment, don’t you want to get your money’s worth? And if someone calls you while you’re in the exam room with staff or the doctor, let it go to voicemail. We had a lady answer her phone one time while the doctor was with her and he walked out of the room! The lady opened the door and asked if he was going to come back and we told her yes, he would be back but he was with the next patient and she would have to wait on him now. She wasn’t happy but she deserved it. Don’t be that lady!

Another note about cell phones: sometimes we have patients ask if they can call someone that couldn’t make it to the appointment with them and put them on speaker phone so they can hear what the doctor has to say. Doctors are not crazy about this idea, but most of the time they will say yes because they understand people have to work and can’t get away. But ask the medical staff before the doctor goes in so we can give him/her a head’s up on the request before they walk in. They don’t like surprises.

10. Never Try and Get Advice for Someone Who is Not the Patient

It is unethical for the doctor to give out medical advice for anyone other than the patient. Don’t even try and bring it up, I promise you, the doctor will shut it down, fast. If you know someone that needs medical help, that patient needs to make an appointment.

End of discussion.

Work Stuff

A Walk Through My Working Life

(Ignore my hair – I was bored and experimenting).

These are a few work “diaries” I made when I first started my job as an MA. I wish I had kept up with these videos, just to document my journey and struggles, but in some ways, I’m glad I didn’t – they just would have been videos complaining and who wants to hear that.

But these two videos were made at pivotal moments in my “career”, (and that’s in quotations because I still, to this day, don’t think of my job as a career – probably because I’m prepared to walk away at a moment’s notice), so I thought you might find it interesting to watch them. The first one was on September 27, 2011. I had just gotten hired on September 19, 2011 and I had no idea what I was doing. I was grappling to figure what was going on and how I could make sense of it enough for me to jump in and do my part.

I wasn’t trained well. I was trained with blinders one, meaning, I didn’t SEE the big picture. How was my work affecting everyone else’s job. I would literally stare at the computer and the different programs, and all of the options just to try and make sense of it because no one taught WHY we did what we did.

I would go home CRYING because I was so frustrated and felt stupid because I wasn’t “getting” it. But I didn’t give up and I slowly starting figuring out what my role was and what I was supposed to do. And then I started figuring out ways to be more efficient and soon, I was ROCKING it.

But it wasn’t easy and I’m proud of myself for conquering a career I knew NOTHING about. Google was my best friend back in those days and if I came across a term I didn’t understand, I looked it up. I listened to pronunciations through Merriam Webster so that I could correctly say medical terms because I didn’t want to embarrass myself in front of patients, or my co-workers.

Because of my training experience, when it came time for me to train new people. I made a point to focus on the WHY we did things. I wanted to make sure the new people coming in saw the big picture so that what we were asking them to do would make more sense. I’ve been told I’m a good trainer, I don’t know about that, but I do know the people I train tend to stick around longer and do better, overall.

I felt confident in what I was doing and I truly loved it. I THRIVE on multi-tasking to this day and scheduling for three, (sometimes more because I was that good – not cocky, just honest),back then required a lot of quick thinking and volleying back and forth between taking care of patients that were in front of me, patients on the phone and internal messages from the clinical team asking me to do various things.


But it was an exhausting pace. There was NEVER a down day, or a slow day – it was a marathon sprint from the moment I clocked on to the moment I clocked off. And everything was on a deadline. I would schedule testing and the clock would start ticking. Would the insurance companies approve the testing in time for the appointment? Patients that called yesterday will start calling back because they haven’t heard back or haven’t gotten an answer yet. In the meantime, I still have to go through my doctors’ upcoming schedules to make sure the patients have completed the tasks that the doctor recommended they complete before they come back. If not, I had to call them and reschedule them because nothing makes a doctor more cranky than to see a patient back that didn’t do what they wanted them to do.

What’s the point?

I got to the comfortable stage. I’VE GOT THIS. I was confident, fast, efficient and people were now coming to me for help. It was awesome.

Fast forward two years and then this happened:

The result of that meeting? My scheduling job ended up being absorbed into an MA position. I had mixed feelings. I was scared, because what do I know about being an MA, I was angry, because I loved being a scheduler, I was nervous, because I had no idea which doctor they would assign me with and let’s face, neurosurgeons are SCARY. Some of them had a reputation of being volatile and hard to please.

My world, the world I struggled to understand, control and then conquer, just imploded.

I’ll make a follow up video soon about my experience entering the world of being a Medical Assistant and what these past NINE years have been like. This is actually a good time to make another video because my working world has just changed again these past few months and now I’m entering a new phase of my working life.

Stay tuned.


July 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?)

July 1: It was T’s last day – Dr. M and H’s nurse. She got a job as a school nurse and our dream team was officially broken. It was sort of broken when I made the decision to be E’ full-time MA, but now it was truly broken. I went down to talk to her a few times and I cried the last time. I just didn’t know what to say and I couldn’t keep my emotions under control. I truly thought we would all be together for another ten years – I was fully convinced of that. But our crappy management ended up tearing us apart and well… It’s so rare to find people that you enjoy, first of all, and work well together, secondly, that when it breaks up, it just guts you. I’m so glad that we got to do so many fun things together and made some pretty great memories. I turned a lot of our group photos into magnets and the front of our fridge is full of memories. I smile every time I open the fridge. Fun times. It’s so sad that it had to come to an end.

July 2: I was absolutely drained today. Too many emotions from yesterday, I guess. I did manage to take a shower and go tan but that was about it. I feel a little depressed today. It’s been so hot! The grass is crunchy.

July 3: Since Blake has to work tomorrow night, we decided to get together today so Blake could eat with us. Kevin grilled hamburgers and the boys came over. We ended up chatting for a few hours about them moving into the rental house. They have been in this apartment … I want to say five years and they are ready for a change. They are tired of dealing with noisy neighbors and their parking lot situation is awful. If they get home late there are no parking spots and they have to park far away and they’ve both been having problems with people dinging their cars. Blake even had his car broken into but luckily, there wasn’t anything valuable in his car. He forgot to lock it one night. I bet he doesn’t forget to do that again. The rental house doesn’t have a garage but it does have a car port so at least they don’t have to worry about anyone parking too close or breaking in. They seem pretty excited about moving in. Their lease is up in February so we have a ways to go but it was nice to seem them perk up.

July 4: Spent the day purging my thoughts out via my blog and my journal. Yes. I’m still journaling. I haven’t missed a day all year so far. It really helps me clear my mind and give me peace. I highly recommend it. You don’t have to do anything fancy, just get a notebook and start writing. You’ll be surprised how much better you feel after writing stuff down. I picked Brandon up and we went to sit at our usual place across the street from the nearby country club to mooch off their fireworks. They weren’t as good this year and didn’t last as long. Probably budget cuts. Who can afford to be a member of a country club in this day and age? Still. It was nice and didn’t cost us anything so win! Kevin used his telescope and looked at the moon. He actually got a few really good pictures with his phone.

Don’t you think it’s weird we haven’t been back to the moon? The technology is far superior to what it was in the 60’s. Why haven’t been back? I have a theory – we never went to begin with.

July 5: Sounds like Dr. M is getting an MA faster than I thought he would. Not sure how I feel about it. Of COURSE he needs a new MA, he can’t go without one forever. But I’m jealous. I feel like she’s stealing my work family. I know it’s silly to feel that way, but I do. I’m supposed to cover for him a few times next week and I’m sure the new girl will be with me those days – I’m withholding judgement until that time. I want her to be a decent MA but I’m not going to lie, I hope she’s not as good as I was. I know it’s selfish to think that, but well, I’m selfish, I guess. Had a patient yell at me today. Can’t even remember why. But here’s the thing with me and patients – I will always give 150%. But I have a line and cross that line, and all bets are off. I no longer care enough to get upset. *shrug* That’s just the way it is.

July 6: Had someone helping with clinic today. It was nice to have someone room the patients giving me time to return phone calls and work on messages and tasks I’ve been putting on the back burner. However, this girl is not the greatest and E won’t be actively trying to recruit her full time. Besides, she’s applying other places so she likely won’t be around much longer anyway. We haven’t really had any applications so I’m anticipating being by myself for a while. I can do it, but the pace is exhausting.

July 8: E. brought me flowers from her garden today as a way to say thank you and they were PERFECT. Even more beautiful than what you would buy in a flower shop. That’s one of many thing I like about E., she’s VERY appreciative and it feels nice to be told that. I know my old team appreciated me and H. and T. were great about showing that, but D. M., well, he’s a man, so what do you expect, but a simple thank you once in a while would have gone a LONG way, you know? E. thanks me every day and though it’s a little embarrassing I would by lying if I didn’t say that it makes me feel good that I’m helping her. She’s going on vacation next week and I think she’s a little nervous. Last time she went on vacation with her old MA she came back to absolute mess which makes me even more determined to make sure I take care of things while she’s gone. It’s so weird not having a nurse to go through like I did with Dr. M., on the 7th floor. Up here, it’s just me and E. I’m the one everyone comes to with questions, (of course, I run these by E., I don’t make decisions without her approval), but it’s both nice and stressful to be in that position. To basically be the spokesperson for our little clinic. It’s a little nerve wracking.

July 9: Holy cow I’m tired. It was one of those days I simply could not summon any energy at all. I could have easily slept all day. I remember days like this before I met Kevin when I was working at Wendys and living by myself. Some days off I would literally sleep all day and then go to bed early and sleep all night. I felt great the next day, though. I think sometimes, my body just shuts down and says, “nope, you’re done.” I think it’s all of the stress I’ve been under lately learning this new clinic and trying to be perfect for E. I have a motto: I never want to the be the reason something didn’t get done or got done incorrectly. Not very realistic but I’m a perfectionist and I give EVERYTHING to my job. I do wonder sometimes, though, if I don’t have a touch of chronic fatigue. Maybe I just need more iron.

July 10: My right arm is killing me. I don’t know if it’s coming from my neck or my shoulder. It hurts between my shoulder and my elbow and reaching behind me is excoriating. I think it might be because I have my right arm up on my desk hovering over my mouse all day – keeping that position can’t be good. I’ll use the heating pad tonight and see if that helps.

July 11: Since E. is out, I worked Dr. J’s clinic today. It was a Telemedicine clinic which is challenging as you have to put your IT hat on and troubleshoot to get people into the virtual room. I also like it because you don’t have to physically deal with people. But working his clinic today really emphasized the stress and general unhappiness on the 7th floor and I’m so grateful that I don’t have to deal with that anymore. It makes me appreciate E that much more. I hope she’s having a good vacation with her family. She deserves from fun. She’s had a rough year.

July 12: Got a text from Dr. M’s medical secretary today – the MA for Dr. S. called in sick and she asked if I could cover the clinic. Of course I said yes. I really like Dr. S. That’s one thing with this job, you have to be flexible and willing to pivot at a moment’s notice.

July 13: Worked Dr. M’s clinic today. I worked it with his new MA. It was weird to work his clinic after so much time away from it. It felt off and weird without T there to spearhead things. The work dynamic felt off. It was cathartic for me, though. It felt like closure. I needed that, I think. I highly doubt I work his clinic again any time soon.

July 14: Dr. M’s new MA was supposed to sit with me so I could go over some specific preferences with her and she came up with a lame excuse to get out of it. It made me so angry that I text H to let her know because I didn’t want her think that I dropped the ball if/when the MA screws up. H wasn’t happy to hear that and management came up to me later and asked me not to do that in the future, to give this new girl a chance. It’s hard to give someone a chance when she’s not interested but whatever, she feels like she knows it all. Fine. Knock yourself out. Speaking of management. Our assistant director sat down with me, (with everyone, not just me), to let me know that our old manager was no longer our manager and she didn’t have any authority to tell us what to do. All management duties were being transferred to him from that point forward. It was great news! This manager was the reason several people, including T, left. It’s too bad they couldn’t have made this change before T put her notice in!

July 15: My teeth are really starting to bother me. *sigh* I can’t put this off much longer. I made an appointment with my dentist. Let’s see how bad my teeth have gotten. It’s always bad news when I go to the dentist. My teeth are terrible.

July 16: Tossing around the idea of doing a book review podcast. Probably won’t happen but it’s fun to think about.

July 17: Watched a productivity video today and the guy said he puts a number in the front of his journal every year. This number is the number of days you have left to live. Sounds morbid but bear with me. He gets this number by taking your age, times 365 and subtracting that number from 32850. The 32850 is the number of days you would live assuming you lived to be 90. Now, not everyone will live to be 90 and a some people will live longer than 90 but it gives you a ball park number of the number of days you have left. This is to impress upon you the importance of living each day to it’s fullest and I have to say, it’s sobering but eye opening.

July 18: E is back from vacation! She told me all about and it sounds like she had an amazing time. She went to Arizona and it really makes me want to go. I really want to go to Montana, Utah, Wyoming and the Dakotas, too. We’ve never been that far north and it’s on my camping list, for sure. We’re supposed to be borrowing an MA from Neurology for the next three weeks. The Neurologist she works for is from India and he’s going back home to see his family so she’ll be free to help us. I hope she’s good. If not, I would rather be by myself, quite frankly.

July 19: Sarah, the girl from Neurology, is AMAZING!! We would LOVE to steal her but alas, she’s pretty attached to her doctor. She was a huge help and the day went smoothly. We had a few fires to put out by the end of the day and E and I stayed late to take care of that, but overall, it was a great day. We had a potential hire come by today and I had to give her the elevator pitch on what we did in our clinic. I hope I sold it. She seemed nice. She’s an LPN. I think that would be a great addition to the clinic but I don’t know if she would this position, it’s really more geared toward an MA rather than an LPN and I would worry that she would get bored with us. I had to push two patients out to their cards in the parking lot today and my shoulder KILLED me. I’m not at the point where I want to go to the doctor about it yet, but GAH, it was painful.

July 20: E. gave me a pouch that she picked up on her vacation – it says “I hate people.” She’s starting to know me! Ha! Brandon came over and surprised me as I was eating dinner. His electric window broke and he had picked up the part and was waiting on Kevin to get home so they could fix it. I’m SO THANKFUL for Kevin. He’s a jack of all trades and it’s so nice that he can fix pretty much anything. It was 102 degrees today and it’s supposed to be 100 the rest of the week. Super hot summer this year!

July 21: Sarah had a scare today. A neighbor called her to tell her her mom was experiencing severe vertigo and asked if she could check in on her when she got off work. I felt so bad for her! Speaking from experience, Vertigo is NOT FUN and it brought back my four days of hell.

July 22: Kevin and LeRoy left for their camping trip. I tried to talk Kevin out of it because it was supposed to be over 100 this weekend. That’s MISERABLE weather to camp in. Trust me.

July 23: Kevin said they lost power at the campsite. Not good on a 100 degree day!! He’s talking about maybe installing some solar panels on the trailer in case this happens in the future. Sounds expensive.

July 25: The hired the LPN and she’s going to work with us! Yay! I’m so excited to have someone permanent in the clinic. I guess I did a pretty good job selling our clinic to her! Ha!

July 29: We spent $120 grocery shopping tonight for virtually NOTHING. Fuck Joe Biden and his “Build Back Better” bullshit. I can’t wait to vote his ass out of office. GRR.

July 30: Went Kevin’s parents’ house. Jeanne made tacos for LeRoy’s birthday. I felt SO BAD when we got there and it was very obvious she was having teeth pain. Her face was swollen and she said had a tooth abscess and here we are, eating the dinner she worked hard to make feeling like crap. Discovered Stationary Pal today and I’m hooked. You can get super cheap stationary items from China. Which makes me feel guilty but did I mention they’re cheap?


Cashing in Trash

Did you know … that we go through people’s trash?

And by “we” I mean, Kevin and LeRoy.

Did you know … that we live in a throw away society?

It never ceases to amaze me the kind of stuff Kevin finds on his “treasure hunts.”

He and LeRoy go out several times a week and hit garage sales, estate sales, thrift stores, even the trash people leave by the side of the road with “FREE” signs on it, looking for treasures to either fix up, our personal use, decorate our house(s), (remember we have the rental house across the street), or, put in one of Kevin’s booths.

He has three of them.

Booths, not houses.

He started this “hobby” about five years ago. He started small, just some shelves but he quickly upgraded to a booth when he started to consistently find some pretty great finds for dirt cheap. His hobby soon turned into a business.

And more booths.

All of these booths are in the same building; he’s vendor 5150.

He not only enjoys the hunt, he makes some decent money as well. Sure, he has to pay booth rental but he still makes a nice profit every month. It’s a lot of work but he truly enjoys it. I also think it’s a great outlet for his creativity because Kevin is very creative he’s creative with his hands, I’m creative with my words. He sticks most of his stuff in his booth, as is, though he does fix up a few things and ups the price for his labor of love, but for the most part, what you see is what you get.

I don’t go with him. This is something that he and LeRoy enjoy doing together but I have gone with him a few times when we’re out-of-town and I have to admit, it’s sort of fun. Instead of seeing a piece of junk, I’m learning to view it as potential. Just because it’s used doesn’t mean it’s trash, right? One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, right?

And honestly, it’s more like an act of service for the community – who has time to scour all of these outlets to find treasures? Kevin does the work for you and literally displays his wares in his booths for people to sort through and (hopefully) buy.

He talked me into going to a Goodwill with him one night after one of our dinners out and I found a NICE leather jacket for $25.00 and a blazer for $10.00 and I was hooked. I definitely don’t go as often as him but I no longer turn my nose up at the thought of shopping at Goodwill.

Yes. I was one of THOSE people.

He’s constantly arranging, re-arranging his inventory. He says he “layers” his inventory so when the first layer is bought he can just pull out the second layer and so forth.

Speaking of “inventory,” Oh Lord. I’m constantly coming home to new items either lying on the table for him to take on his next trip to the booths, or new pictures on the walls, or little knick-knacks he finds and puts on my desk. It’s like treasure hunting in my own home. And apparently, I haven’t seen it with my own eyes but I can just imagine, the basement at the rental house is wall-to-wall “inventory”. (I hate to call it junk but …). It’s starting to look like those nightmare houses on the show “Hoarders.” He calls this inventory his “savings account.” I’m still not sure what that means even after he has explained it to me like a 100 times, but … whatever makes the man happy, right?

I think he will continue to do this even after he retires – which he plans on doing in about a year. He thoroughly enjoys it and when he finds a true treasure and he tells me about the “hunt” with sparkling eyes, I can tell he truly loves the process. It keeps him busy and active and who am I to stand in his way?

Happy husband, happy wife, right?


Cargo Trailer Glamping – Trip #5 – Lake of the Ozarks

Newsflash: don’t go camping in 95 + degree weather.

Holy cow, it was HOT!

Lake of the Ozarks KOA was our June glamping trip. I picked this campground because it was located in between Ha Ha Tonka and Lake of the Ozarks State Parks. I’m sort of on a kick to visit state parks. I have no idea why.

Side note: we’re also members of KOA and Good Sam now, too. We figure, why not? Since we’re going to be camping a lot more might as well save money, right?

Check in wasn’t until 2:00 so I had plenty of time to pack up our clothes and food. I felt pretty nauseous getting everything ready but I think it was mostly because I was hungry, once I ate something the nausea went away.

Side note: I’m still intermittent fasting. I eat between 1:00 – 6:00 – most days. I could definitely do better with it but my labs look good so I must be doing something right.

We left the house at 12:30 and got to the campground at 2:00 PM. The Lake of the Ozarks KOA is right off Hwy 54. And when I say right off the highway, I mean RIGHT OFF THE HIGHWAY. It was a nice a campground but not very peaceful, nor pretty. I wouldn’t say it was a parking lot, per se … okay , it was a parking lot surrounded by trees.

We were originally supposed to have site 76, but when the guy guided us to our spot and saw that it was completely sunny, no shade at all, and we were already melting, he took pity on us and moved us to site 74 which was a lot more shady. We thought that was pretty nice of him to do that.

We got set up and pretty much stayed around the campground the rest of the day. It was just too hot to really do anything other than … nothing. Even though we had a shady site, the campground is tucked back into the trees and there was virtually NO wind. It was stifling. But I have to say, our mini-split worked like a charm and kept the interior of the trailer nice and cool.

Kevin grilled some hamburgers for dinner. We buy the sirloin chuck with a pat of butter on it from Harter House and they are SO GOOD. Kevin is an excellent cook and a mean griller!

We used the table that Dr. M. and his wife bought for me for Christmas. We LOVE it!

After dinner, we watched “Pelican Brief” then went to bed. (This is the only time we watch movies – when we go camping. We watch it on the PS3 that Kevin got for free, or dirt cheap, somewhere).

We slept in the next morning. (This is also the only time Kevin and I sleep in – when we’re camping). We took a shower and I didn’t bother putting on makeup and I’m glad. It was so HOT!!! We went to Ha Ha Tonka State Park and walked around.

We saw the castle, (this has a really interesting and tragic story, if you’re interested in history):

The water tower:

And the natural bridge:

We also walked some trails:

The views were breathtaking:

Kevin’s hip started to bother him and we hadn’t brought any water with us, (yes, I know, stupid newbie hikers), so we took some wraps to the lake and relaxed by the water.

We bought some blueberry slushies from Taco Bell on the way back to our trailer. Kevin then BBQ’d some chicken and we had chicken bacon ranch sandwiches for dinner. Our movie that night was “Minority Report.”

The next day, we got up early and headed back to Ha Ha Tonka. There were a few trails that Kevin wanted to explore. We wanted to hit the trails before it got too hot. We were pretty pooped out from walking around the previous day and this hike was rough – a lot of climbing stairs and big roots and rocks but I’m glad we stuck it out. We saw a sheer rock wall and a cove popular with swimmers.

We then veered off onto another trail and came across this balanced rock:

It was starting to heat up by that time and so we headed back to the campsite and relaxed. We had tacos for dinner, (on the new countertop hot plate I bought) and watched the new Mad Max movie with Charlize Theron.

The next day, we were tired of trails and sweating, so we went into Linn City and shopped through a few thrift stores. The first place had some nice stuff but it was way overpriced. We hit pay dirt at the consignment store next and the third store was a boutique and again, way over priced. (Kevin has some booths at a thrift store so he’s always looking for things to buy for it).

We went to Pizza Hut for dinner then went back to the trailer where we walked around the campground a bit. We thought about going swimming but there was a family at the pool and we gave up on that idea. We tried to sit outside for a bit but it was too noisy from the traffic on the highway so we went back to the trailer and watched Aviator, which we hated.

We packed up and were back home by 11:00 AM the next day. I spent the rest of the day researching state campgrounds. We have avoided them in the past because most of the sites do not have sewer though they do have electric and water. Now I’m on a mission to figure out how we can comfortably camp with no sewer. I’ve been haunting the website and am excited to try out different options. We’ll see.

I don’t know that we’ll be back to this specific area again, but I’m glad we had a chance to explore!

Thanks for reading!