Day-By-Day

Don’t Use the Microwave If …

You know it’s winter when you have to put a sticker on your microwave to warn everyone in the house that they need to turn off the portable heater in the office before using.

Because if they use the microwave the same time the portable heater is on, we’ll blow a fuse.

Yes – we live in an old house.

Day-By-Day

A New BFF? Going to Court. A New Job Opportunity?

I think I could easily become BFF’s with one of the nurses. We just seem to … hit it off. Our sense of humors are in sync and trust me when I say, there aren’t many people who truly “get” my sense of humor.

Just sayin’.

I was feeling goofy and pretty good the day this nurse started. And she happens to work for one of my favorite doctors, AND, one of the doctors that I routinely schedule for. So when I met her, I laughed and said, “You’re gonna love me, I’m pretty awesome.”

Luckily, she laughed. “I’m sure you’re right.”

I was pretty horrified at my audacity but yo, I am who I am. Take it or leave it.

Lucky for me, she took it. She’s been coming up to my window the last few days to talk about patients, but I get the feeling she just wants to talk to me and uses the patients as an excuse. It’s pretty cute, actually. I think she likes me. And I think she’s trying to get to know me better. She’s young. And pretty. And has a great personality. And she’s married to a pretty hot man, who she made a point of introducing me to when he came to the clinic several weeks back.

Funny. She didn’t introduce him to the other girls, now that I think about it.

I think we could be BFF’s. If I were looking for a BFF.


I took my Mr. Coffee Keurig coffee maker to work Friday; I was a barista for a day. The girls seemed to like it, but they only had one cup. I think they were afraid to drink any more. It might have had something to do with my “and these little cups are freaking expensive” comment.


Dude bought this … interesting figurine the other day.

I have no idea what this thing is, or what character it is from what game but … *shrug* Dude absolutely loves it. In fact, he gushed all over it when he showed me. “Just look at this shield, mom. They did such a great job painting it.” (It’s hand painted).

I won’t even tell you how much he spent on it – actually, I wish Kevin hadn’t told me how much it cost because DUDE, WHOA. But hey, spend it right now because when he turns 21? He’s gonna have to start paying for his car insurance, schooling, monthly phone bill, and saving up to move out … someday.

Reality is gonna bite this boy REAL soon.


Jazz’s court date is Friday. He’ll have to miss his 1st period class in order to stand before the judge, take responsibility for rear ending someone, and get slapped with a fine.

Boy #2 is about to get a spoonful of reality.

We’re becoming a family of realists.

Jazz also has a Jazz festival at a local high school next Friday, too. So, between his court appearance and getting out early for the festival, he’s pretty much going to miss school on Friday.

I plan on leaving work at 2:00 on Friday so that I can go watch him play.

Work can stick it.

Family first, always.

I’ll post a video and some pictures.

Of course.

The kids aren’t wearing their normal jazz band polos and khaki slacks this year – instead, they’re wearing all black: black slacks, black dress shirt, black dress shoes and a white accent. I bought Jazz a skinny white tie as his white accent. In fact, the kids played some sort of charity gig last night and he looked uber sharp. I tried to talk him into wearing his fedora, but he chickened out. I meant to take a picture, but we had to leave the house so quickly that I didn’t have time.

I’ll definitely take some pictures at the festival on Friday. And according to the band schedule, I think he has to play at a home basketball game Friday night, too. If so, that means he’ll have court Friday morning, a jazz performance in the afternoon and a pep-rally-sort-of-gig Friday night.

Why does everything have to happen all in one day?


And speaking of court dates: Kevin has been subpoenaed. He has to testify in court on March 18th in the trial against the woman who hit him, head on, on his motorcycle in April 2010.

Finally, after three years, this woman is finally answering to the felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident. Because not only did this … woman … hit him head on, she took off afterward.

Coward. Idiot. Loser.

I could go on, but I won’t.

I plan on taking off work that morning and going with him for support. Also. This will be the first time that Kevin has faced this woman, he’s never even seen her, so I’m sure it will bring up all sorts of emotional anguish for him.


And finally … there may be a job opportunity soon. The schools are converting all of their websites into some sort of universal Blackboard program where parents can make personalized accounts and access various customized documents for their kid. I’m supposed to be invited to attend some training sessions on how to access/manipulate the program. At first, I thought, no way, I can’t take on any more responsibility right now, but then I got to thinking … what if I can somehow talk the school district into hiring me full time to maintain these school websites? For security reasons, they no longer allow non-district employees to maintain their websites and I’m only allowed to continue because I’ve been “grandfathered” in and they trust me. I mean, I love doing the websites. L.O.V.E them. I would rather maintain the websites, as a full-time job, than doing what I’m doing now. And I would “hopefully” make more money.

So. I’ve held off saying anything to the schools and I’m sort of strategizing my plan of attack here. Nothing may come of it, but then again, it’s worth a shot – you never know until you ask, right? If they shoot me down, then my plan B is to drop most of the schools and maintain two – one high school and one middle school – because honestly, it just takes too much energy and I can’t keep up with it all and work 40 hours.

Day-By-Day

All Aboard the Crazy Train

I’m mentioned, a few times (okay, more than a few times), that my job is stressful.

It was stressful with two doctors … now I’m responsible for three doctors and there are days I’m quite convinced my head is going to explode.

We lost a girl this past week.

I walked into a mini-pow-wow on Wednesday. Three of us were there, one was not.

My stomach dropped. Because I had suspected, for quite some time, that my co-worker, let’s call her “Jane”, had been skating on thin ice.

Apparently, I was right.

Jane had been making all sorts of mistakes, little ones, but big enough to cause a ripple, or two, or (eleven). And then, she really dropped the ball on a patient – it was serious enough that this patient could have died.

And shortly after that fiasco came to light, she made the mistake of scheduling a patient to have a brain MRI the same day of her appointment with the doctor. And this particular doctor? Does. Not. Like. That.

In fact, he was so upset, that he ended up throwing a temper tantrum, along with his mouse and several papers. It was not pretty.

The next day, Wednesday? I walked into a mini-pow-wow and found out that “she had chosen to pursue other career choices.” That, “this, in no way, was a reflection on her job performance.”

Jane’s desk hadn’t even been cleaned out yet – excuse me, we’re not idiots.

But to be fair, this girl had been making way too many mistakes and she didn’t appear to take her reprimands too seriously, so either she was completely clueless, or didn’t care – maybe she wanted to be fired to collect the unemployment. I don’t know. I really don’t care, quite frankly. It’s a done deal now – I’m more concerned with surviving and keeping my job so I can continue to provide insurance for my family and pay for groceries.

But now that Jane is gone, we had to take on extra doctors to compensate, at least until they hire someone new. That means, I now have three doctors I’m responsible to schedule for. And I have the doctor that threw the temper tantrum. Which means, I’m walking around with pretty much all of my nerve endings raw and exposed and these past few days have been insane while we scramble to compensate, re-adjust and re-group.

And did I mention we also switched cubicles and I’m now “in the hot seat??” I.E. the first cubicle, the cubicle everyone stops at instinctively and by default, I now help the most patients on a given day.

It’s a good thing I’m pretty freaking awesome at multi-tasking.

Seriously.

So. We’re down to three schedulers. And when word got around the clinic of what happened, a few girls, from different areas of the clinic, who were interested in possibly applying for the position, picked me, ME, to sit with and “job shadow.” Well. Okay. I’m flattered. But also out of my mind with worry and new things to do … but I kept my cool and I took the time, I pretty much talked through everything I was doing, while they watched, so they would get a better understanding of what, and why, we did things.

I scared one girl off.

The other girl applied for the job.

I just hope, that whomever they choose, has the intelligence to do the job and the mental stamina to keep up with the job.

AND – related to this story, but sort of not – since I work the 8:30 to 5:00 shift and hear things I probably shouldn’t hear my boss talking about in her office when it’s quiet and she has forgotten I’m out there all by my lonesome, I think the hospital administration is looking at re-evaluating our job description. Which NEEDS TO BE DONE because OMG, we do waaaaaaay more than our “official” job description states. And if they determine that we’re doing several duties from several different job descriptions, maybe, maybe, we’ll get a pay raise.

And if that happens, even though I’m not expecting anything huge, then all of this stress will somehow be a little more tolerable.

(Notice I didn’t say worth it).


Kevin has been working non-stop; He hasn’t had a day off in two weeks.

He’s been busy training to be an Intuit Turbo Tax help guy.

So who knows? If you do your taxes through Turbo Tax, and you need help and call the help line, you might end up talking to my husband!

Just keep it tax related, please. *wink*

He’s been going in to his office at 6:30 and coming home after 5:00. He has to be online and ready to learn from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and then he stays after a bit to catch up on his regular clients.

In short, he’s been working like a dog – all of us have, actually. Kevin, me, Dude and now Jazz. Because Kevin has hired Jazz to come in and work about an hour and a half after school because yes, he’s been busy enough to keep both Dude and now Jazz busy with stuff.

The boys are really getting some pretty cool experience in bookkeeping and general accounting tasks.

It’s hard to imagine Dude working at a fast-food restaurant now after doing data entry, cutting checks, filing and whatever else Kevin has him doing on a daily basis.

Kevin is still thrilled to death with Dude’s work performance. He is impressed that Dude gets in there, gets it done and then asks for more work. He doesn’t goof off and he makes good use of his time. In the meantime, Dude is making money and learning how to spend his money wisely. (That costs $10.00?!? Um. No thanks). Now. To make him save some of that money because living on your own ain’t cheap.

When Kevin gets more clients, he’ll be able to afford Dude full time, granted Dude is out of school and WANTS to keep working with his dad. Who knows how that will pan out.

In the meantime, Jazz wants to work for enough money, at least for now, to build himself a new computer. Dude just upgraded his computer, (again), and Jazz is feeling a bit left out. Dude is going to give him his old parts (Dude is generous like that), so Jazz needs to buy a new, bigger case and a new video card, (which are not cheap, by the way).

Kevin is also thinking of adding his logo to the huge sign above his office. Which will look cool, no doubt, but it cost a small fortune. Maybe if he gets another client, he might go ahead with that plan. I’m trying to talk him into moving into a little bigger (nicer?) office closer to home, but he seems pretty attached to his current location (it IS easy to get to – just right off a busy thoroughfare) and he gets along with his landlord, so there’s that.

We can’t even think of going anywhere for vacation until after tax season is over. Which is fine because given my rocky work situation, that probably wouldn’t have worked out that great anyway.


Dude starts back to class on Monday. He’s only taking three classes this semester and one of them is online. I’m glad his work load will be a little lighter – he’s starting to get burned out.

We had to take his car to the garage this past week. Dude said it was acting funny and would accelerate, and then hesitate, leaving him with very little power. He also said the check engine light was on.

But the garage had it for a week, ran it through their machine thingy and said they couldn’t find anything wrong with it.

???????

I think Dude was embarrassed. But honestly, how many times has that sort of thing happened to us? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to the doctor only to be looked at like I was crazy because they couldn’t find anything wrong with me.

Hence the reason I don’t go to the doctor unless I’m dying … or need three feet of my guts cut out.

We think his car troubles may have something to do with the chip in his key. We had to take the car in about a year ago to have the ignition switch replaced and, I don’t know, maybe there is some incompatibility issue with the new switch and the key. Kevin gave Dude one of his spare keys, it doesn’t have a chip, and we’ll see if that helps.

In the meantime, the guy at the garage gave Dude his card and told him if it ever happened again, to just drive to his garage and he would take a look at it. I thought that was awfully nice of the guy – that and he didn’t charge us anything because he couldn’t find anything.

In some ways, I’m sort of glad this happened. It will teach Dude that he needs to have a plan B and that when life throws you a curve ball, you better know how to duck out of the way.


Jazz continues to do well in school. This is it – THE LAST SEMESTER OF HIGH SCHOOL!!!! His last semester grades were good and we’re on the right track this semester. If the kid can keep this up, he’ll have gone through high school without one C on his grade card. Which means, his GPA is pretty decent and with his music experience, he might be eligible for a scholarship/grant.

Which reminds me, I need to start looking into that. Jazz told me he didn’t want to go to college right away. He wants to take the summer off (which, in fairness, we allowed Dude to do before starting college) and that he’s not even sure he wants to go to college. He really wants to find a job right away and start making money.

I will not discourage that route. Make that money. Get a taste of real life, by all means.

I just learned that his jazz band is not going to the Jazz festival in Pittsburgh Kansas this year. I’m TERRIBLY disappointed as I was looking forward to going. In fact, the kids aren’t doing much of anything this year. I wonder why? Jazz did tell me they are having some overnight trip somewhere shortly after he graduates and OF COURSE he wants to go … so I don’t know if I’ll have very much to report on with jazz band this year.

*sniff*

Day-By-Day

I’m So Over the Holidays

I’m cranky.

I’m starting another four-day weekend and all I want to do is stay home in my PJ’s, watch movies, maybe eat a tub of popcorn (or two), drink some Bailey’s and be a complete waste of humanity.

Instead. I’m dressed up, have on my sparkly jewelry, my false eyelashes and my new boots and am waiting to load our gag gifts into the car and go over to Kevin’s family’s house for Christmas. We’re doing it today because it’s getting harder an harder to get everyone together nowadays – all of the kids are grown and scattered all over the US …

I like Kevin’s family, honestly, I just didn’t feel like dressing up and donning my “social” face. I never choose to be social, but I’m quite good at it when I put my mind to it.

I need to snap out of this mood because it’s not fair to allow my grumpiness to spoil what will likely be a pleasant evening.

Are the holidays over yet?


My boss has asked me to write a blog at work.

*zoink*

I’m not sure how I feel about this … Flattered? Nervous?

Mostly nervous, I think. I’ve already warned him, I’m VERY opinionated. Like, almost obnoxious … well, I don’t have to tell YOU ALL this, you read the nonsense I write.

He wants me to write about the new healthcare fiasco, erhm, law, LAW (I can’t believe it’s a freaking LAW), and tips on how to communicate more effectively with people highlighting Aristole’s The Art of Rhetoric. (You know. The whole ethos, pathos and logos thing).

I can actually get on board with this. I honestly think learning this in college helped me to become a more effective communicator and I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard people at work tell a patient something which makes me cringe.

The whole purpose of writing this blog is to get people talking – oh, I’ll get people talking alright, more like people screaming. He wants, and will encourage, people to comment to “start a dialogue.”

He just “sounds” like management, doesn’t he.

He’s already bugging to me to write something, but honestly, I don’t know when he expects me to write anything. I don’t want to do this at home as it will require a little research and it’s for work so I should be paid for it. But it’s virtually impossible for me to get away during clinic hours so … I don’t know, we’ll see what happens with his “idea.”

If this writing “gig” pans out, I have a feeling I’m going to surprise quite a few people as I “appear” pleasant and mild mannered on the outside…

I have a feeling I’m going to surprise, tick off, quite a few people.

Meh. What else is new.


I’m growing my hair out.

And even though it’s driving me nuts because I don’t know what to do with it, people are complimenting me again. Which tells me that it does indeed look better longer.

Kevin is happy. He has finally admitted that he likes it better long – but honestly, what man doesn’t??

My goal is to grow it out and style it like this.

Now. To get there …


Kevin’s new gig starts in a few days. He’s going to be an Intuit support guy for Quickbook questions. He’ll need to be available from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday.

He got his phone yesterday. I’m relieved that he has his own phone for this gig, that way, he’ll know if it rings that it’s someone needing help with Quickbooks. He can keep his regular business, and his Intuit consults, separate.

I’m not sure how he’s going to swing this and take care of his other clients, too. Though he does have Dude working with him now and he swears up and down that he’s been extremely helpful. In fact, he said that Dude is the best employee he’s ever had.

And he’s not just saying that because he’s our son, either.

So. Dude will continue to do data entry things for him leaving him free to concentrate on other things.

Dude is LOVING it. He’s making steady money, paying taxes and is finally on track to adulthood. Now. To get him to pay his own bills. Kevin told him the other day that when he turns 21, he’ll be expected to pay his monthly cell phone bill, and his car insurance.

I just want him to save money so he can move out. I don’t really WANT him to move out, but I don’t want him living with us when he’s 30, either.


It’s about time to start planning for our next vacation. We, (and by “we” I mean “me”), have been talking about taking a cruise to Alaska. I’d like to fly into Vancouver a few days early, explore Vancouver, then catch the boat to Alaska. Kevin is not terribly thrilled about the idea. He thinks you can only see so many moose/mountains before it gets old.

But too bad. It’s someplace we’ve never been and I’m a mission to see the world, one tiny part at a time, before I die.


It’s time to get serious about writing again.

And reading.

I don’t think I’ve cracked a book since I started this job, over a year ago.

I really must do something about that.

Soon.

Day-By-Day

So Much to Talk About … So Little Energy

Holy cow you guys. These past three weeks have been a WHIRLWIND of activity and has required WAY MORE energy than I’m capable of.

I have so much to talk about: the band competitions and our cruise down the Pacific coast … but OMG, by the time I get home, sit down and prepare to write, my brain just goes black and I can’t keep my eyes open.

So here are some bite-sized morsels of my life to chew on … nothing worth an entire blog post, but things I’m dealing with right now …

An email was sent out at work today – my boss’s husband was just diagnosed with stage four cancer. He went in to take care of what he thought was a sinus infection and some vision problems only to walk out with a death sentence – he has tumors all over his internal organs, including his brain. The cancer is bad and it’s spreading. The kicker? He hasn’t had any symptoms! He was/is feeling fine!

My boss just found out last week and we were all wondering why she would suddenly leave, take long lunches, come in late … honestly? If that were me? I wouldn’t even go to work. I’d take a leave of absence and spend every waking moment with my loved one. In fact, I know the other supervisors are trying to talk her into doing that very thing.

Can you imagine?

CAN YOU FREAKING IMAGINE WHAT THAT POOR WOMAN IS GOING THROUGH RIGHT NOW??

Her husband is her best friend. I can’t even fathom the pain she’s in right now. She’s definitely in my prayers.

Poor woman.


The time is now. I can’t put off getting the flu shot any longer. I have until November 9th to get it or … or … or I don’t know what. I guess they will fire me. I haven’t started receiving the threatening emails/notices yet, but I’m sure they’re coming.


I haven’t heard anything from the place I interviewed with a week ago. Honestly, I’m expecting to get a rejection letter in the mail any time. I suppose I could take this no news as good news, but honestly? I did such a piss-poor job at the interview … I just can’t see myself being hired on there.

But who knows. Stranger things have happened.


My boss asked me if I wanted to work the Harrison clinic this past Friday. The regular gal couldn’t do it. I felt so bad, but I had already asked off for that day so we could go to St. Louis (more on that trip later), so I had to turn her down. That left one of the gals I regularly work. She HATES outlying clinics and she’s always the last person they ask, but they didn’t have a choice this time – there was no one else to do it.

So. She went. And when I asked her how it went, she said pretty smoothly. I was relieved because this particular doctor can, erhm, be a challenge to get along with sometime, but it sounded like he was in a good mood and all went well. This gal already takes care of three doctors and I knew she was stressed out having to schedule the clinic patients, so I offered to take some patients off her hands.

No big deal. We’re all a team and that’s what teams do – they help each other out.

The next thing I know, my boss and my co-worker are standing behind me and they present me with some hospital bucks, which are sort of hard to come by and are given out as a thank you to deserving workers (I’m a deserving worker, ya’ll!). She had nominated me to our boss as a thank you for helping her out. I was so touched! And a little troubled because she said that was the first time anyone had offered to help her with outlying clinics.

Really? Really? How sad is that?? And it was really no big deal – I couldn’t have spent more than thirty minutes helping her. How sad is it that people are reluctant to help each other out now and again?

And my co-worker had tears in her eyes when she thanked me. I was sort of speechless, quite honestly.

And now I’m more determined than ever to volunteer more because wow … it takes so little to bring such joy to someone’s life.


One of my doctor’s hired a new nurse. And she started this week. When I met her I flat out told her that I was awesome and she was going to love working with me. hahaha!

I don’t have an over-inflated opinion of myself.

Not at all.


Eighties tomorrow – mid-70’s Wednesday/Thursday and then high of 44 degrees on Friday.

FORTY-FOUR DEGREES.

Hello sinus problems, meet Aleve.


Dude is old enough to vote this year. And he’s registered and ready to go.

“Hey Dude,” we asked, “who are ya gonna vote for?”

“The Libertarian on the ticket.”

Ex-squeeze-me??

I’m sure he’s just telling us that to get under our skin.

SURELY he’ll make the RIGHT choice (see what I did there??)

Heh. Stinker.


One of Dude’s oldest friends came over the other night. The boy just turned 21 and he’s already had about three jobs, dropped out of school, has toured with a band all over the country, moved out, got engaged, broke off the engagement, has had his scooter stolen, raced his car in a street drag race, became estranged from his mom, made up with his mom, is about a few thousand dollars in debt (thanks to his ex-fiance) and is now going back to college this next spring to try and get his life back on track.

And Dude? Rarely leaves his room.

*SIGH*

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t wish some of this friend’s experiences on Dude for the world, but OMG, I’m so ready for the kid to start his life.

Any life. A life away from us and away from home.

Please. Please. Vote Obama out of office so this crappy economy will get better and businesses (I.E. the RICH people *snort*) will start hiring young people again.

For the love of God people, I’m begging you.


I think my hair has stopped growing. Suddenly, I want it longer, and softer.

The fact that it hasn’t really grown out that much tells me that I got it cut WAY too short this last time.

I’m never happy. I realize this.

Day-By-Day, Work Stuff

Wednesday: It’s Been One Year??

It didn’t dawn on me until the day was half over …

TODAY IS MY ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY!!

For you long-time readers, can you freaking believe this??? It’s already been one year since I started in the healthcare field.

That just boggles my mind. And even though I’m going to leave healthcare at some point in the near future … I’m not sure I thought I’d last a whole year. The first few months were rough – REALLY ROUGH. Like I would go-home-and-cry rough. There was SO much to learn. Not only was I learning about the industry, and all the terminology and acronyms, and policies and HIPPA rules, etc., but I was scrambling to learn brand new software and terrified I was going to schedule the wrong patient with the wrong doctor (check), or a wrong test (check) or forget to put them on the Imaging schedule for a test (check) … it was nerve wracking.

It didn’t help that I had no help – AT ALL. There was virtually no training. I watched my office manager for maybe – maybe – two days before she said, “Okay, you’re on your own. Just jump in, that’s the best way to learn.”

Now granted, I’m a fast learner, but COME ON, I’m human and I was completely lost for several weeks. Slowly, I started getting the hang of it and I must say, looking back on the experience one year later, my office manager is the worst office manager on the face of the earth. She openly despises her job and she in no way ever, EVER offers to help anyone out.

It’s really quite sad, if you want the truth. She’s an alpha female (which technically, I guess you could say I am too, but I’m also a smart alpha female and I’m aggressive in more effective ways – heh) and she likes to feel like she’s in control of everything. So … she doesn’t teach anyone anything so you have no choice but to rely on her.

Meh. Whatever. She can sit on her throne and feel self-important – I could give a monkey’s butt.

So yeah, I’ve been there for one year now and it never ceases to amaze me how people refuse to take responsibility for their health. I had one lady I was trying to set physical therapy up for and she whined and fought me every step of the way. She kept complaining how she couldn’t afford it and yes, I realize it’s expensive, but this is your health we’re talking about – I’d say that’s a good investment, wouldn’t you? I’ve moved past the point where I allow people to bully me. That happened a few times when I first started, but I quickly got over that and now I know when to stick to my guns and when to compromise. I stuck to my guns with this woman and after a while, she laid her head down and mumbled, “I just want an injection.”

Yeah. I thought so.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the crux of it. People want a quick fix. They want an injection. They want a pill. They want surgery. They want the solution that requires the least amount of work from them possible. It annoys me to no end when people act this way. Or. They get upset with the doctor because he didn’t immediately suggest surgery.

First – contrary to popular belief – surgery should be the LAST option, not the first option. Our doctors put patients through physical therapy, injections and pain management programs in an effort to see if any of these conservative treatments will work. Secondly, the doctors prescribe conservative treatment because insurance companies will not pay for surgery if the patient hasn’t at least TRIED conservative treatment … and you can see why. If we all skipped conservative treatment, insurance companies would go broke paying for everyone’s surgeries.

It’s also frustrating to try and explain to patients that they are not surgical. Our doctors are neurosurgeons – if they determine they can’t help a patient, that that patient is not surgical, then we have to refer them to a pain management doctor or back to their primary care physician (PCP) because we can not help them. Patients simply do not understand, or accept, the fact that our doctors can’t help them. i know they pin all of their hopes on our specialists being able to fix them, to help them get past their pain and if surgery is ruled out, they are left feeling hopeless, scared and frustrated because now what? The quick fix is no longer an option and CRAP, they are going to have to start taking responsibility and make lifestyle changes – exercise, lose weight (which is about 85% of the problem, if you want the truth), stretching, etc. …

It’s really hard to NOT lose patience with people sometimes. Most of the time, I’m pretty sympathtic, even empathetic because my back goes out sometimes and I get it – I GET IT. But there are some patients that you can’t just get through to … and it gets so bad, our doctors refuse to see them back for whatever reasons.

And trust me when I say, you really don’t want to get to a point where your doctor “fires” you and yes, that happens more than you think.

So the next time you go to the doctor and he/she prescribes conservative treatment remember three things:

1. He/she is trying to avoid an invasive procedure.
2. Insurance companies demand conservative treatment options first
3. It’s a process of elimination and if the doctor can rule out certain possibilities, then he/she can come make a more accurate diagnosis.

And the ultimate goal is to feel better, right?

Day-By-Day, Work Stuff

Tuesday: Avoiding Doctors

I avoid doctors at all costs – both the ones I pay to look at my various body parts and the ones I work for. It’s a game really. I’m a peon – and I’m COMPLETELY okay being a peon. I wouldn’t want to be a doctor. Doctors get a bad rap, you know, but have you ever stopped to think about how much responsibility doctors have??

The brain doctors I work for quite literally have the patient’s life in their hands. Would YOU want that much responsibility? And because having that much responsibility comes with MASSIVE stress, don’t you think they DESERVE to be paid well to endure all of that on a daily basis?

Of course you do. Don’t be a jerk and say no.

My doctors are intimidating. I don’t really talk to the doctors. In fact, any time I have a question, I avoid the doctors and go straight to the nurses.

But once in a while, when I have to leave my desk and go back to the clinic area, (where the exam rooms are), I run into a doctor. And I have no choice but to address my question to them because, well, it concerns their patient.

Most of the doctors are pretty cool. Their answers are always short and concise because they have so many things running through their very intelligent brains at any given time, but a few of the doctors are not personable at all and scare the hell out of me, quite frankly. One doctor never addresses me directly – I will be standing not five feet away from the man and he’ll answer my question THROUGH the nurse, who in turn looks at me and repeats what he just said.

It’s sort of insulting.

This tends to bother some people but me, meh. I honestly don’t care. I think it’s sort of amusing, actually. I mean sure, the man has several intelligence points on me, but he’s not any better than me as a human being, he’s just more accomplished and way more successful than I am. And he’s in his element – I’m sure if the man tried something I was good at, he wouldn’t hold a light to me, either.

(Or maybe he would).

At any rate. Doctors have Texas-sized egos. It just sort of comes with the territory. And I suppose they sort of HAVE to have this arrogant, confident attitude so patients will trust them. Who wants to turn their health over to a man who can’t complete a sentence or who acts like he’s scared of his shadow?

Exactly.

And I’m proud of our doctors – like mama bear proud. These men are amazing human beings. They comfort people. They fix people. They SAVE people.

Case in point:

This patient checked out with me today and he talked my head off. Sometimes, I get impatient with patients who feel the need to tell me their life stories because I’m thinking in the back of my head of all the things I need to get done in the next few hours, but then I take a breath and force myself to slow down and listen, really listen, to what they’re saying.

People have incredible stories. If you ever think your life is hard, you should try listening to people who have health problems. It’ll put you in your place pronto.

This patient I talked to today had a brain bleed – two bleeds, actually. And he passed out whacking himself on the head so much hard that his brain swelled. He was out for two days. One of our doctors fixed him. And he was fully functioning, and speaking clearly and it was really a miracle that he was alive.

And he was sitting in my chair telling me about all of his near-death experiences in his life.

And how he praised God for protecting him and helping him through every single incident.

It’s stories like that that make health care worth it.

And patients like that that make me feel proud to be in a position to help them.