Reflections

October 2021 Reflections

Oct 1: I don’t know if you guys actually visited my blog in October but this was the header. When I saw it on Unsplash, it IMMEDIATELY resonated with me. I’m not sure why. Sure, it’s creepy, but there’s something compelling about all of the hands on the wall, like they are begging for help. I feel like this was a common theme this past year, and really, this year as well. Who knew that 2021 would be just as awful as 2020. Well, maybe not AS awful –  our lives pretty much went on though my job situation was stressful, but still, definitely not normal. And the quote I put on the header:

Stare at the dark
too long and you
will eventually see
what isn’t there.

I feel like that perfectly captures people’s mindsets nowadays. We’ve all been staring, obsessing, over this COVID thing and what the media and the government was telling us that we couldn’t see the truth behind the handprints. We didn’t stop to use any sort of critical thinking skills, we just blindly went along to get along, and though we’re slowly getting back to normal, at least some aspects of the country are, the keyword is S.L.O.W.L.Y.

I was Dr. S’s medical assistant today and we traveled to an outlying clinic. I have mixed feelings on outlying clinics. On one hand, I hate them because you have to pack, you have to work in an unfamiliar environment, you race to get things set up when you get there and it’s stressful until you have some rooms full and you give your doctor and your mid-level something to do. On the other hand, it’s nice to get out of the office, the team is much more relaxed and you get to know them a little better than you would in the clinic and though the change is stressful, it’s also challenging – break out of the same ole, same ole.

The clinic ran smoothly – like REALLY smoothly. Like, not one thing went wrong. All of the patients showed up, Dr. S’ got two surgeries out of it so it was worth her time to go and everyone was in a good mood. I really enjoyed it. I like this particular clinic because we use a family provider’s office and it’s part of the hospital so we don’t have to worry about Internet connections, which is REALLY nice because I have worked some clinics where we use a competing hospital’s office and we have to take Wi-Fi hot spots and connecting with that is sometimes a challenge and then the doctor is waiting on me and I can’t do anything because I don’t have Internet … it’s stressful. Not fun. But this was a pleasure to work and I wouldn’t mind working that clinic more often, to be honest.

My manager gave me the green light to leave early so it was really nice to get home an hour early and just breathe. When we had our MA meeting, I again brought up the proposal of taking turns leaving early on Fridays – just leaving a few hours early on a Friday, once in a while, does the mental health GOOD.

Oct 2: Kevin bought a fancy-smancy camera for our podcast. Like, a professional-grade camera, like a $1,500 camera. *gulp* I don’t really have a problem with him spending that much money because A. cameras are his hobby and I know he actually got a good deal on it because he bought it from eBay and the normal price for this type of camera is $5,000 new but B. I trust his judgement. It’s not like he goes out and spends money like this all the time.

I was really more worried about the timing of the purchase, to be honest. Again, I have no idea what is going to happen with my job. Though my religious exemption was approved to opt out of the COVID jab, I still haven’t heard back about the flu vaccine and the clock is ticking. I have no idea what I’m going to do if they deny it but at the same time, how can they deny it if they approved my COVID jab request? My point being, I have no idea how long I will have this job. Not to mention, the “conditions” of this approval haven’t been discussed yet so again, I have no idea how this is logistically going to work out and for how long. And how long will I put up with it? I’d like to stay at this hospital for my remaining working years but again, who knows with everything else going on right now? At any rate, we filmed our Right From Us podcast last night and the camera worked like a dream and Kevin seems really happy with the quality of it. He’s editing it now and will post it soon. You can find that podcast on YouTube, (though only an introduction since YouTube won’t allow free speech anymore), Rumble and Gab TV for the full, unedited versions.

Oct 3: Jumping into Preptober! I freaking love this time of year and it really gets me excited to write fiction. I plan on buying Natalia Leigh’s Preptober Workbook. It looks like it has a lot of fun stuff to help prepare for NaNoWriMo next month. She’s asking for donations, just give what you can and what you think it’s worth. Then you can print it off and pay a place to bind it for you if you wish. I am happy to donate some money to her because she spent a lot of time on the project and it’s going to help so many people. I don’t know if I’ll bind it and I likely won’t use all of the pages, but there are some that look really promising.

Kevin still have his diesel truck. He’s had a few bites but no luck so far. He actually took it off Craigslist because he wants to try a few things to see if he can get it up and running enough to maybe ask more for it. The truck body itself is in excellent condition and F250 diesel trucks go for a lot of money so it makes him sick to think he might sell it and come to find out, it was an easy fix. So, he’s not giving up on the diesel truck yet. I have yet to ride in his new truck.

Oct 7: I found out today that my flu vaccine exemption request was denied. I was not surprised. I’m not even that upset about it because I understand it. I’ve taken flu vaccines in the past, how could they approve it? I’m at peace with this decision. I will do what I think is best for me and my family at this point in time. I will get the vaccine. However, I know, at some point, likely in the near future, this decision will likely come back and bite me in the ass. Because at some point in time, they, the government, Big Pharma, are going to come up with a flu vaccine that will incorporate the mRNA because it supposedly makes producing vaccines faster. And perhaps it does. But until mRNA has been thoroughly vetted and tested, and until I’m convinced that it will most likely not harm me, as opposed to now when I don’t have that opinion, I will NOT succumb. So. What does this mean for my future with the hospital? I don’t know. And I don’t care at this point in time. I’m sick of thinking about it, I’m sick of stressing about it, I’m sick of living under this black cloud. I am at a point in my life right now that I am DETERMINED to live my life the best way I know how and right now, that means one day at a time. A lot can happen before next August, which is the deadline for my religious COVID exemption, I don’t know what that means but I suspect something is coming that I will not be on board with, but for now, I have a job and I’m thankful. I was told today that the hospital is working out the logistics on where and how I will succumb to a weekly COVID test – again, I will deal with that when it happens.

You know what’s weird? I’ve done such a good job of just pretending and moving past this nightmare that when my manager came to me today to tell me about the flu vaccine decision, I was surprised. I had momentarily forgotten that I was on probation, so to speak. I had forgotten that it was even an issue. I want to go back to to those days. When people minded their own damn business and left me the hell alone.

I will get back to those times. Mark my words.

Brandon has been having a lot of problems with his hands. He is very sensitive to a lot of things. We took him to an allergist when he was small – they poked his back with a number of different things and he had a reaction to a lot of them – the worst being oak. Which was unfortunate because we have four huge Oak trees across the street from us. But his hands seem particularly sensitive. He has had outbreaks for years – red, splotchy, peeling, itchy. He’s tried all sorts of OTC creams and some of them helped for a bit, but here lately, it’s gotten bad. He works at a bank so I’m betting handling all of that filthy money all day only makes it worse. I finally talked him into going to a doctor and they prescribed him something today that he says seems to be working pretty good. I don’t know what the medication is yet because he hasn’t answered my text yet (*ahem*), but I’ll let you know when he does. But it warms my heart that he took the initiative to seek help. That he’s being helped. That he’s healing and will get better. There is nothing worse than seeing your offspring hurting or in pain. It’s a very helpless feeling and I don’t know how much more helpless I can take. I want to be in control of my life and I feel like this past year and a half, has been complete chaos. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way. I want off this merry-go-round. And I’m jumping off in 3…2…1…

Oct 9: So tired today. This is one of those days I could sleep all day. Sometimes that happens to me, I just want to sleep. I remember doing that a few times back before I met Kevin and lived on my own. There would be entire days I would sleep and then sleep all night. It didn’t happen often, but when it did, it was just exhausting. And of course, I was exhausted the next day, too. I could easily do that again.

Trying to make plans to go camping in November. There is a campground just off the strip in Branson that we have stayed at before and it’s walking distances to so many attractions. We haven’t made reservations yet, but I really want to go.

Question – when they start requiring me to test weekly for COVID, (*eye roll*), how will that work when I’m out of town or on vacation? I’m assuming I will have to test on Saturday to give them time to get the results back before Monday, what if I’m not in town on Saturday? For example, this upcoming mini vacation – I’m taking off Thursday and will be back on Tuesday. How will I test then? Will I have to take the rest of the week off? Will it be a rapid test? It will be interesting to see how this shakes out.

This is the last hot weekend of the season, I think. I’m ready for cooler temperatures and sweatshirt weather.

Oct 11: Dr. M was back in the clinic today. He was a good patient and wore his sling all day. He was back to his old self and it was really good to see. I hope it lasts. I, however, was bored. This job is never slow but sometimes boring. Just because it’s the same thing, over and over again, at least, the process. Patients, of course, are never the same. It make me feel good when patients recognize me and greet me like we’re old friends. I guess that’s what happens when you work for one doctor for ten years.

Oct 13: Dr. M was pretty frustrated today. He had three surgeries that needed immediate attention and obviously he can’t do surgeries for a while so he had to refer them to his partners to take care of. This is his livelihood, this is what he’s gone to school for so many years to do and he can’t do it until he heals. He was a bit cranky today but considering the circumstances, I completely understand and empathize with him.

Kevin sold his F250 today! He didn’t get as much for it as I had hoped but he didn’t do too badly, either. Some guy in Arkansas bought it – he and his buddy work on trucks so this will be the perfect project for them to tackle. I think Kevin is relieved that it’s going to someone that can work on it because if he can get it up and running, he’s got a great truck on his hands. The body is in great shape. The truck is still sitting at LeRoy’s house, the guy has to have his buddy come back with him to tow it back home. I think Kevin is relieved but he’s also sad to see it go. It was a BEAST of a truck. His new(ish) F150 is nice but it’s not as mean as the F250. I’m relieved he’s getting rid of it because I didn’t realize when he bought it how much maintenance a diesel engine was. It’s a handful.

Continue reading “October 2021 Reflections”

Reflections

September 2021 Reflections

Sept 2: I was out of my head today. I just couldn’t think straight and was very distracted. I know part of the reason is that it’s allergy season for me, I have a hard time with Ragweed, but part of the reason was because I was so distracted thinking outside my job that I couldn’t focus. For you see, in my mind, I’ve moved on. Not physically, but mentally. I applied for a banking job last night and I received a confirmation that they received my application today. Just that small acknowledgement has me nervous. Who knows if I get the job but it’s the first application I’ve submitted in ten years and the thought of going through the interview process makes me want to vomit, but this is what I need to do to move on. It’s gotten so bad that I FANTASIZE about putting my two weeks notice in. I. CAN. NOT. WAIT. I’m planning on submitting some more applications tonight. I would rather not say where, but suffice it to say, I’m not too proud to work ANYWHERE at this point in time. I would prefer to make at least as much as I’m making now, (which shouldn’t be too hard since I really don’t make that much, to be honest), but again, I’ll take just about anything if it means getting out of this environment. It’s so bizarre working at the hospital because it’s COVID all the time, and then you leave hospital grounds, and it’s like COVID doesn’t exist. That should tell you something. 

I have to confess, it’s sort of fun to look through all of the job openings on Indeed.com (not sponsored). I’m opening the door to something new and different and I’m excited but really nervous at the same time. 

Sept 3: Had a talk with the nurse I work with. Her and I are on completely opposite sides of this COVID agenda, erhm, topic. I know she’s desperate to keep me at the clinic, I get her heart is in the right place, but the fact that she doesn’t know half of why I have no intention of taking the vaccine and doesn’t really listen to the few reasons I’ve given her without allowing me to fully explain myself is proof positive that people like her are not truly interested in what I’m saying, only in that I do what her, and the others at the hospital, do. The fact that we can’t have a conversation about this very important issue and that the vaccine is THE only solution to this COVID problem, is a problem. The more my questions are pooh-poohed, or the more trying to talk about alternative treatment options for COVID are immediately shut down and censored, the more I’m suspicious that it’s not really about the disease but about something else entirely. I don’t know what that something is, but it’s creepy and disturbing how adamant the vaxxed have become about this topic. 

Not to mention, don’t you think it’s weird timing that the Delta variant came out and was so “contagious” shortly after half the country was vaccinated? I find that coincidence a little timely, don’t you?

Anyway. I semi-promised I would try and file a religious exemption. I heard that about 2,000 people filed an exemption. I don’t know if that number is accurate and I’m betting a large portion of that 2,000 will cave and get the injection before the deadline but whatever, I don’t care what other people do – you do you. For me? I’m moving on. I don’t want to stay someplace that is going to treat me like a 2nd class citizen. No job is worth that stress.

I need to stop telling Kevin some of things that people say, it just makes him angry and he WANTS. ME. OUT. He told me when we were at dinner tonight that he feels so sorry for me when I go to work in the mornings. Apparently, I look super sad and defeated and it crushes his soul. I didn’t realize I looked that way but I’ll be honest, that’s how I’m feeling right about now. 

Sept 5: Kevin is working on a “religious” exemption for me. He’s so sweet. He doesn’t really want me to continue working at the hospital, but he knows I want to at least try and see what happens with the exemption. I don’t know even know if you could call it a “religious” exemption though he is combing through the Bible for supporting verses. It’s more of a philosophical exemption, if you want to get technical. At this point, I really don’t care, I just want to give them something and if they take it, great, we’ll go from there, and if not, then I’m out. I’m not really invested in this attempt, I’m sort of going through the motions more than anything else, but at least if I try I can say I tried, you know? We’ll see how it goes. 

The boys are heading over shortly to have enchiladas and tacos. We haven’t seen the boys since Brandon had his wisdom teeth removed so I’m looking forward to catching up with them. 

Sept 6: Boys came over and we had enchiladas and tacos for dinner. Enchiladas are so much work but worth it in the end. Brandon’s face is back to normal and he’s feeling good so that warms my heart. It was nice to see both of them and catch up. 

Kevin did a REALLY good job putting some stuff together for me for the religious exemption I plan on turning in tomorrow. He found quite a few verses that back up what I’m trying to say. Now the question is, will my employer accept it? I read an article today that companies are challenging religious exemptions and I anticipate quite a few lawsuits around the country as a result, but for me, they can take it leave it – I don’t care enough to put up much of a fight. I will halt my application process in the meantime though if the bank I submitted an application to calls, I will go on that interview for a few reasons. 1. I’m curious to see what they offer and the bank itself is gorgeous – I’d like to have a reason to see the inside of it and 2. I need to practice my interviewing skills because it’s been a HOT minute since I’ve been on an interview. At any rate, we’ll see what the hospital says. I’m hoping they are so desperate to keep people that submitting an exemption is just an excuse to please the people out there that are pressuring the hospital to pay the mandates and keep the people who are vehemently opposed to it, like myself. We’ll see. 

Sept 9: Why are short weeks so long? I feel like I’ve worked two weeks in three days. 

Dr. M saw a patient in between surgery cases today and we had the patient in a room and waiting for him when he arrived. He seemed to be in a better mood today and he actually smiled and talked to us today. I hope this means he’s getting over his funk. It was nice to see a glimpse of the old Dr. M. I felt like saying, “There you are! I missed you!”

Talked to my manager today and told her I submitted an exemption on Tuesday. She was relieved. She said she had received a list of all of the people in our clinic that submitted exemptions and she was worried when my name didn’t appear on that list. She said that from all of our neuroscience departments, there were about 36% of employees that filed exemptions, which could mean, potentially, 30% of our staff leaves by the deadline. So – to give you some perspective – we have 24 employees in our clinic when we’re fully staffed. We’re currently down to 20. She said that if we lose the people that she’s projecting to lose, that will put our clinic down to 14 people and there is no way we can run our clinic on that few people – they would have to shut the doors and our physicians would only have enough staff to run one clinic per week instead of two. Maybe. For some strange reason, I’m lifted up by that information. Not because I want to see the clinic fail but because I’m proud of the people that are against mandatory vaccines standing strong and not giving in to bully tactics. 

In addition, my manager told me how much my hourly wage would go up after the hospital announced it was raising the minimum wage – over $2.00 an hour!! Um … that’s pretty good. Not good enough for me to get the vaccine, but definitely good enough for me to consider being subjected to weekly COVID testing, assuming they accept my exemption request. My manager said the hospital will be mailing something to me soon letting me know if they accepted, or rejected my request. In the meantime, I’m in limbo and again, just taking one day at a time. We ended up canceling our upcoming camping trip – partly because of the crap that is going on at work and partly because Kevin’s truck is at the shop.

Speaking of Kevin’s truck – we haven’t heard a peep from the garage. They have had the truck for two days now and they haven’t reached out once to give us an update. Kevin is starting to suspect they are scamming him. He’s driving out to the place tomorrow to find out what’s going on. 

Biden announced he’s pulling an executive order to mandate all employers with more than 100 employees to mandate the vaccine, except for Postal workers and illegal aliens. Biden is an evil man and showing his true colors – a dictator. I hope if you voted for Biden you have buyer’s remorse because this lunatic is going to go down in history as the worst president we’ve ever had – and we’ve had some really bad ones!

But hey, no more mean tweets, right?

Sept 10: Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse …

The dictator in the White House, aka the weasel in charge, the yellow-bellied cockroach, the dog poo on the bottom of my shoe, made an announcement that “his patience is running thin” and it’s time to take the unvaccinated by the short and curlies and FORCE them to get something they don’t want. And because these lions won’t bow to his idiocy, he is going to hit them where it really hurts, in the pocketbook. 

He is mandating that ALL employers with more than 100 employees (why the random number?) will be forcing their employees to either take the experimental injectable or get tested weekly for COVID. 

I don’t even have words to express my anger and frustration right now. And that’s saying a lot coming from a person who is generally pretty wordy. 

On top of that, the first round of religious exemptions came back today – DENIED. I can’t help but wonder if they were emboldened by the DICK-tator’s announcement. And if that’s not bad enough. I was called into my manager’s office and told I was getting $2.66 more an hour beginning October 1st, because you know, the disease is not serious enough for me to get the vax, so now they’re trying to bribe me. 

I admit, I’m SORELY tempted. 

So I don’t have much faith that my religious exemption will be accepted. And that’s fine. When I get my denial letter in the mail, Kevin and I will look it over and determine whether it’s worth fighting for an appeal. Or, more likely, if I have to get a weekly COVID test anyway if the exemption IS accepted, I won’t waste my energy on an exemption and just go for the weekly test. However, I WILL fight to use a test that is NOT a PCR test, since those things are faulty. 

Why don’t I just go ahead and quit? Well, I still might, but I’m hanging on to this job by my fingernails and giving them every opportunity, other than taking the poison, to work with me here. Also, I can’t help but be nervous – if I quit the hospital, who’s is say I won’t be expected to take the vax and/or test weekly for COVID somewhere else and if that’s the case, why did I quit a job where I will make decent money, am familiar with it, good at it and is easy for me as opposed to taking a job in a new environment doing work I’m not familiar with and getting to know a whole new team of people and personalities. 

I have so many emotions right now I have a migraine. Truly. I don’t know my head from my ass right now because I want to fight but I don’t even know where to start. Not to mention, I HAVE to work. We need health insurance and we have bills to pay, though Kevin assures me we would be fine if I had to quit and wasn’t able to get another job right away and there’s always, *gulp* Obamacare if push comes to shove. 

AARRGH. I can’t STAND not knowing what to do or where to go from here. This whole thing is just insane. Sometimes I wonder if WE’RE just making a mountain out of a molehill and why not just get the damn thing, you know? But no, I will not comply. 

My heart goes out to those out there in the same boat. I understand and I empathize. We MUST stand strong and not allow this DICK-tator crap all over this country. 

And just think, we have THREE more years of this hairy, disgusting pig scrotum. 

Sept 14: My religious exemption was DENIED. I’ll be honest, I really hoped the hospital would accept it. I was thinking maybe the hospital would want to extend an olive branch, maybe use the exemption as a way to please both side of the aisle – show the public that they are taking steps to protect people and yet, find a way keep all of their employees. So when I received my denial, I was a little surprised and disappointed. I was also mad at myself for once again holding out any hope that it would work. I hate being disappointed. That’s why I’m a realist. I would rather be prepared for the bad and surprised by the good than hope it turns out good and it’s bad. 

Does that make sense? 

Sept 15: I turned in my resignation. I was so put off and disgusted by the hospital’s response to my “sincerely held belief” that I just ripped that bandaid off and took the plunge. I couldn’t justify, in my head, sticking around a few more weeks, until the October 15th deadline, when I. WAS. DONE. I’m tired of thinking about it, worrying about it, feeling like people are looking at me differently, almost with pity … No. It was time to move on. Why prolong the inevitable? 

Sept 17: I had no intention of telling anyone anything until the very last minute. And the reason I wanted to do it that way was for purely selfish reasons – the EMOTIONS of it all. I didn’t want the whole clinic to come to me and make me rehash my reasons why I was doing what I was doing. My leaving is NOT A HAPPY THING. I’m angry, bitter, sad, disappointed, disgusted and all the feels, honestly. I can’t believe it’s come to this. I can’t believe I’m going to leave a job that I truly love, and am confident and thrive doing, because I won’t succumb to an injectable that has been out less than a year and no one knows a whole lot about. 

Anyway, you can read all about my resignation and the day I told my peeps at work here

Sept 19: Happy work anniversary to me! Today is exactly ten years since I’ve worked for the hospital. It’s sad that I won’t be there another ten years, which is what I had planned on happening, but in some ways, it’s a new beginning. I’m closing a chapter in my life and at the same time, I’m starting another chapter. It’s scary, daunting, but somewhat exciting, as well. 

This month has been hot and mostly sunny. It’s been beautiful actually. I’m glad for the beautiful weather as that has made this past month at least bearable. I can’t imagine having to endure the stress of this past month with dark and gloomy weather on top of it. I wish we could have gone camping, it’s perfect camping weather but Kevin’s truck is still out of commission and it’s looking like it’s not going to get fixed any time soon. He’s thinking about selling it, as is, which is less than ideal and we won’t get as much money for it, but he’s a little out of his league when it comes to a diesel engine. It’s not that he couldn’t figure it out, but the way the truck is designed, it needs to have the cab lifted off in order to get to the area that needs to be worked on and he obviously doesn’t have the tools necessary to do that so … plan B is to sell it and buy an F150, or maybe an F250 gas truck so that we can pull the cargo trailer. I think he should get an F250 as that will EASILY pull the trailer and since we are wanting to spend some time in Colorado we won’t have to stress about the truck not being able to navigate the steep mountains. 

Brandon came over to get their water today. He’s pretty dissatisfied with his job. Not because of any vaccine issue, (yet – and thank goodness), but because they have scheduled him for the next eight Saturdays in a row when they are supposed to be rotating with the other tellers and his third anniversary came and went without a review and potentially a pay raise. I encouraged him to speak to his manager as it could have been an oversight and his manager deserves to know how he’s feeling as I’m sure they don’t want to lose him, too. In addition, he talked a bit about how he’s fed up with cranky, difficult customers and he’s tired of being yelled at. I get it. People are on edge and stressed out right now but you can’t take it personally because it’s most likely it has nothing to do with him. But still, I get it. It’s exhausting dealing with jerks. So – reminder – please be nice to your fellow humans. 

Sept 20: I had been dreading this day for weeks. This was the first day of clinic that I had to work with Dr. M and H since I announced my resignation date. I knew it was going to awkward but I tried my best to keep a smile on my face and not allow it to sour my mood or my work performance. The morning was underway and I had a brief break between patients and I sought out another girl, M, is was in the same situation as me to just blow off a little steam when she told me something that literally changed my life. 

Her religious exemption appeal had been approved. 

. . . . . . . .

I was literally gobsmacked. I had to sit down because I suddenly felt weak. 

What??? How???

She explained that she talked to a friend who encouraged her to submit her appeal and to use certain keywords/phrases that would increase her chances of getting accepted. So she did, and it was. She said she submitted it the Thursday before and had an answer by Friday. She was actually out of the office that Friday so I had no idea what was happening otherwise I wouldn’t have put myself the emotional torture of announcing to everyone in the clinic September 29th was my last day.

Now I know what you’re thinking – keywords? Really Karen? But that’s not that unusual. When I was a scheduler and I dealt with insurance companies concerning authorizations for diagnostic testing, I knew there were certain keywords they were waiting to hear before they would approve something. And as long as those keywords were SOMEWHERE in the doctor’s documentation, I could use them and had great success getting things approved.  So when she told me there were keywords the hospital was looking for, it didn’t sound too far fetched to me. 

I immediately emailed Kevin and forwarded him an example of what M submitted to give him ideas. I would have done it myself but I was working a clinic and didn’t really have the time to just stop what I was doing and write something. So Kevin, being the awesome man he is, went to town and put together an appeal. I read it over when it sent it back to me and made a few changes and hit send. 

Now, it was a waiting game. I was truly hoping I would find out, either way, the next day since M got her answer to quickly, but you just never know with this kind of stuff. All I knew was that it wouldn’t hurt to try. I hadn’t planned on trying before because I didn’t think I had a snowballs chance in hell that it would be approved and I didn’t want to give myself false hope – again. 

And I tried very hard not to have too much hope this go around but I knew that if mine came back denied I was going to march my butt into my director’s office and ask why. 

Speaking of my director – the director of Neurosciences summoned me to his office after clinic that day to tell me that he was sorry to see me go and gave me his card offering to give me a reference if I needed it at my new job. I thought that was SO SWEET! He said he could tell my entire team was stressed out and that things were tense and though he and I didn’t agree on the issue, he thought I was an outstanding worker and would be happy to offer his two cents if I wanted him to. I told him I submitted an appeal and he perked up a bit. 

I also told Dr. M that I filed an exemption but he didn’t act too enthusiastic by that news. He was probably thinking there would be no way I would be approved either. 

The rest of the day was sort of a blur. All I could think about was … what if?

Sept 21: The next day I worked Dr. S’s clinic, which I was really grateful for because I knew I would be on edge waiting to hear back from human resources about my appeal. Almost exactly 24 hours later, I heard back. 

IT WAS APPROVED!! 

I. Was. ECSATIC!! I couldn’t believe it! They actually accepted my appeal!! I immediately text Kevin the good news then went to find my nurse. She was in our office since she wasn’t covering anyone that day and I walked in, gave her a huge, goofy grin, held my arms out and told her she needed to hug me. She immediately screamed and we hugged, hard. I can’t even tell you the HUGE weight lifted off my shoulders by that news!!

I could stay! Which – on the surface sounds crazy that I had to fight for the right to say no to something pertaining to my body, but whatever – they approved my appeal! 

Now, for reality. It’s only good until August 2022. I’m not sure what that means, exactly, but I guess I’ll deal with that when the time comes. Also, I will be expected to take a weekly COVID test. I’m not sure how that will work out, exactly, but again, I’ll cross that bridge when it’s time to address that. In the meantime, all I wanted to do was savor the moment, the small victory, though I guess to me, it’s not a small victory but pretty major, and BREATHE. I feel like I’ve been holding my breath for months and for the first time I would BREATHE. 

You can read more about this here

Sept 22: Now that the COVID hurdle had been jumped, I still had another hurdle to jump – the flu vaccine. It’s time. So of course, I submitted a religious exemption for the flu vaccine. Who knows how this will work out. For one, I think I might have submitted it after the deadline to do so because when I went on our Intranet at work to fill out the form, it was no longer there. So, a co-worker searched for “flu vaccine exemption” and the form popped up. I filled it out, then wrote out my supporting documentation and submitted it to the same email address I received my COVID approval from. 

Maybe I’m pushing my luck, but I’ve NEVER felt right taking the flu vaccine and now that I’ve committed to not taking the COVID vaccine I feel hypocritical not submitting an exemption request for the flu vaccine. I have no idea if they will accept it and I have no idea what I will do if they don’t. 

I know I will be expected to do certain things, like get tested weekly for COVID and wear a mask throughout the flu season as a condition for my approval and I’m assuming that will be the case if they approve the flu vaccination exemption request.

But I don’t know. I’m not as worried about the flu vaccine as I was for the COVID vaccine, but again, I’ll just take every day as it comes and cross that bridge when I come to it.  

Sept 23: Kevin text me to say he needed a ride to pick up his truck after work. Which meant, HE BOUGHT THE TRUCK. He had been looking at a Ford F150 for a bit and he went to test drive it without my knowledge. Not that he needs my permission to buy a new vehicle but I think the reason he didn’t tell me he was seriously thinking about buying this truck is because he knew I would try and talk him out of it. 

And he’s right. I would have. 

He listed his Ford F250 diesel on Craigslist and had a few people bite, but no buyers yet. Now that he has this truck, he’s thinking of keeping the diesel and putting more research and effort into trying to fix it. He was told, by a guy that worked at O’Reilly’s, that the truck is likely worth $20,000 if it’s driveable. So now Kevin is on a mission to make it driveable. He has to be careful though, because he doesn’t want to put too much money into the truck because A. he’s not sure what he does to it will be successful and B. who knows if the $20,000 estimate is even accurate. But it’s a challenge and Kevin doesn’t shy away from challenges, so we’ll see how it works out. I have to admit, he got a pretty good deal on the F150 and it’s nice to see him smiling again. He’s just a man that NEEDS a truck given all of the projects he does and how he needs a truck to haul materials for said projects around. I get it. I just hope he can figure out what is going on with the F250 so he can sell it for a profit. 

It looked pretty nice when we picked it up. I drove him to the guy’s house to get it. He had already paid for it and had the key, so I didn’t even have to get out of my car when I dropped him off. 

Sept 25: I’m bummed. We were supposed to be on vacation right now and we had plans on staying at this super campground by Meramac River up by St.  Louis. But with everything going on at work, that sort of disappeared. After submitting my resignation, giving my two weeks, you can’t take vacation time in that time period so I had to forfeit the time. And when I rescinded my resignation I felt funny to turn around and demand my vacation time back. It felt a bit rude, truth be known. 

I asked off for some time in November, but who knows if it that will happen. I’m planning on being pretty stingy with my earned time off because if I test positive for COVID during one of my weekly testing sessions, (yes, I will have to test every weekend to see if I can come to work on Monday), and if I happen to test positive, then I will need some earned time off to pay for the time I HAVE to be off to give myself time to “get over it.” *eye roll* But whatever, I’m just thankful to have a job at this point. Talking about vacations seems pretty trivial when you think about it that way, but still, I am bummed about having to cancel our plans. 

Sept 30: Today was supposed to be my last day of work. Weird. I called a meeting with all the other medical assistants, (we have seven, we’re supposed to have nine and have been two short for a while – no applications – imagine that!) and we just talked, caught up on each other’s lives and talked about various work-related issues we want to bring up to management. It was nice to just get together. Our clinic is so spread out, our offices are so isolated, that it’s nice to just get together sometimes and SEE one another. It made me thankful that I wasn’t leaving them. It was an odd feeling, to work my last day, only it’s no longer my last day. I’ve never quit and then rescinded my resignation before. This is new territory and I still feel like I’m taking one day at at time. But at the end of the day, I’m just thankful to still have a job. I know there are a lot of people in the country right now that don’t and that just sucks. However, I’m also realistic – who knows how long my current situation will last. I would like to think I will be with the hospital until I retire in ten years, but with the way things are going, who knows. And especially for the next three years with the bumbling DICK-tator in the office. It’s been a roller coaster month and I’m ready to get back to boring, thank you very much. 

Reflections

August 2021 Reflections

As usual, I’m starting this post mid-month. But not to worry, I have my bullet journal to reference. 

And I apologize, I legit forgot to post pictures of my bullet journal for last month, so I’ll post both July and August soon. 

I’ve had a lot of emotional turmoil these past few months, cut me some slack!

Aug 1-3: We went on our first camping trip in our cargo-conversion trailer! You can read all about it here

Aug 4: Back to work after a short vacation. Was grumpy and didn’t want to be there – AT ALL. 

Aug 6: Friday clinic with Dr. S. We had a promising applicant – she was going to medical school though didn’t pass her MCATS, (a college admission test to get into medical school), so while she was waiting to take her MCATS again, she was going to work as a medical assistant in our clinic. She’s from a different state and we were supposed to have a ZOOM interview with her, but she withdrew her application so that didn’t happen. I wasn’t crazy about the idea of this applicant as it seemed a little too good to be true and I wasn’t surprised she withdrew her application but I was disappointed as that means, still ZERO applications and ZERO prospects of getting anyone hired. The girl who was out for maternity leave is back, the other one who was getting married is gone so that still leaves us down two MA’s. I also learned from management that if we lose anymore people, which is a possibility if/when they mandates vaccines, I know of at least three people who will leave, the doctors will be forced to cut down the number of clinics they have due to lack of staffing. Once again, the COVID response is way worse than the actual disease. 

Aug 9: First clinic day back for Dr. M after my COVID “intervention.” (For those that don’t know, my team cornered me and basically had an intervention for me to try and talk me into getting the jab. It was weird and uncomfortable and though I appreciated them caring enough to try, hell will freeze over before I get the jab). It was a quiet clinic. We were all a bit subdued. I arrived to work feeling super bitchy and grumpy, but I forced myself to turn my frown upside down and by the end of clinic, we were close to being back to normal. However, we DON’T discuss all-things COVID. Dr. M. told us he will need shoulder surgery soon so we’re all scrambling to figure out how we’re going to handle his clinic and surgery schedules. This should be interesting …. and stressful. *sigh*

Aug 11: Working A LOT. I got 11 hours of overtime over a two week period. Again, largely because I’m working two doctors clinics and schedules. It’s a lot. And I’m super tired but I’m handling it. I’m getting a flow now but I couldn’t do this WITHOUT working overtime. Kevin is not thrilled about this but my paychecks are nice and fat, so that’s a plus. We still have a lot of people in the hospital with “COVID”. I put that in quotations because I wonder just how many of those cases are actually COVID cases. You can’t trust the tests and you can’t trust administration to be honest about this stuff. It’s all about an agenda so I’m taking everything I hear/see with a grain of salt. The “get the jab” propaganda is still super thick and we’re now up to 70% of employees, including nurses, are vaccinated. So after pushing the lottery incentive and placing pop-ups in front of our faces every day as we work on the computers about employee vaccination clinics – IT’S FREE- I’m a bit encouraged to see that the percentage only went up about 5% since before they started hard-core pushing this jab shit down our throats. We’ll see what happens. 

Aug 14: Experimented with filming myself as I do my podcast. That was fun. Learned a lot about editing as well. Kevin uses the Wondershare Filmora editing program and it’s pretty great. Highly recommend. Obviously, I’m a newbie at this video editing thing but I had so much fun playing around with it I’m hooked and ready to play some more. 

Aug 16: Brandon had his wisdom teeth cut out today. His teeth weren’t bothering him like Blake’s were bothering him, (Blake had an infected wisdom tooth – he suffered for about a year before having his cut out), but Brandon’s dentist told him he had two that were impacted and it would only be a matter of time before he would likely have to have them removed as well, so he though he would bite the bullet and get his removed. Kevin brought him home and he slept at our house for three hours before I came home. We bought him some spaghetti to eat but he was too sore to make much of a dent. I worried about how Brandon would handle the surgery. I feel like his pain threshold is not as strong as Blakes. Dr. M’s team ate lunch together today. We had a few birthdays that we hadn’t had a chance to celebrate so we ate lunch and had cookie cake afterward. It was nice to sit down and have some laughs outside of work. It felt like old times, quite frankly. 

Aug 17: My Kindle stopped working. It would turn on for a second, show nothing but black lines and then die. I looked at my Amazon orders and I’ve had this Kindle for almost four years. I don’t feel like that’s very long but to be fair, I use it CONSTANTLY so I feel like I got my money’s worth. I’m now three books behind on my Goodreads goal and it’s stressing me out. I had the worst night’s sleep that I’ve had in quite some time. I had a wicked bout of insomnia and since I didn’t have my Kindle and I’m not about to pick up a normal book and read it, I felt a little lost. So, I stayed up until 2:00 AM watching YouTube before I felt sleepy enough to go to bed. My alarm went off at 5:15 so I worked a clinic on three hours of sleep. I was really struggling to think and I was slurring and stumbling over my words. I’m betting my team though I had COVID. Because that’s what everyone thinks nowadays whenever someone isn’t acting right. Don’t deny it!

Aug 20: What the hell is happening with Afghanistan?? I can’t believe our idiot president withdrew our troops before making sure all American citizens and allies were evacuated before hand. Now, it’s an absolute mess over there and the Taliban are wearing our uniforms, using our weapons and mocking America. And either Biden is not aware of the mess he’s made or he doesn’t care because he keeps taking off on “vacation.” Maybe it’s both. Either way, he’s an asshole and any deaths that happen over there is all his fault. His approval rating is now down in the 40’s. Stupid old man. Those poor people over there must be terrified out of their minds. 

Aug 23: Well, the day has come. Not only did the FDA “approve” the Pfizer vaccine, (but did they though?) but the hospital where I work mandated the vaccine. I have until Oct 15th get the injection or lose my job. As you can imagine, there was A LOT of buzz and side conversations today. I’m pretty sure our clinic will lose three people, one medical secretary and two MA’s, when this is all said and done. A few people have already caved, which, whatever, it’s your life, your body, your choice, you do what you need to do, no judging. But for me? We all know how this will end for me. I feel like this whole get the jab or lose your job thing is sort of like the five levels of grief: Denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. I’ve gone through all of these stages and am now in the acceptance stage. So when they made the announcement, I hardly blinked an eye. I was expecting it. I was disappointed that the hospital jumped on the opportunity to mandate it mere HOURS after the FDA announced the “approval,” but I’m not surprised. I wrote about all these levels here along with what my future plans now look like. 

Aug 25: Talked to Kevin about filing a religious exemption at work. Not sure if it will work, not sure I really want to, but playing around with the idea. I’ve been understandably very distracted at work and I’m so tired of worrying/stressing about this whole subject that quite frankly, I’m ready to move on. 

Aug 26: Kevin used to be in a band. Way back when. In fact, he’s been in several bands. He plays guitar, for those curious. His truck has been making all sorts of weird noises lately so he took it to a friend, someone who used to be in a band with him and plays drums, who looked it over and did some work on it. The guys started talking and before you know it, this friend asked Kevin if he would be interested in getting together with some guys to jam. They came over today and they’re over at LeRoy’s house now jamming to their hearts content. I’m not exactly happy that Kevin is getting back into it but if that’s what he wants to do, I’m certainly not going to give him grief over it. It does make him happy and that’s all that really matters. 

Aug 27: It was a beautiful, sunny, hot day today and I suggested me, my nurse, our medical secretary and another nurse leave campus and go to lunch together. I drove them all and we went to a sandwich/pizza place. It was great conversation and we had a lot of laughs. It felt so good to get out of that oppressing place and have some fun. I was in regular clothes but the other girls were in scrubs and the place where we went were wearing masks, we were not. I wonder what they, and the other customers though that members of the medical field were not wearing masks. I personally don’t care what anyone thinks, judge away, but the though did cross my mind as we were being seated. We took a group picture afterward. I wanted something to remember that day and my friends for when I move on. Because I WILL move on. 

Aug 28: Kevin’s truck is out of commission and he’s super bummed about it. It wasn’t anything his buddy did, he only worked on the truck itself. Kevin updated his computer software in the truck and now it won’t run. Well, it runs, but he can’t drive it. The previous truck owner modified it quite a bit and Kevin thinks those modifications messed up the update. He’s kicking himself for updating it. I’m not a huge fan of updating anything because it always seems like every time you do that, something gets messed up. He’s got an appointment with a guy who works on car computers but it’s not until September 8th. In the meantime, he doesn’t have a truck and he’s not quite sure what to do with himself. He took his car out treasure hunting today but he will have to keep his purchases on the small side so he can get them into his car. I encouraged him to call the guy on Monday and check for any cancellations hoping that will get him in sooner. I hope he gets it fixed soon because we’re supposed to go on our second camping trip the end of this month and I’m selfishly not wanting to cancel that. Speaking of vacation, I’m asking my manager on Monday if I have to work two weeks after my vacation in order to get paid. If I do, then I’ll likely cancel the vacation as the deadline is not quite two weeks after my vacation. That answer will likely determine when I put my two weeks notice in. I still can’t believe I’m planning on leaving the hospital. I had fully intended on retiring there, but they forced my hand and NO ONE puts baby in the corner. (Dirty Dancing reference, if you didn’t catch that). 

Aug 31: I’m absolutely blown away by the fact that it’s September. Do you all realize that we’ll, (well, I will be, I don’t know when you guys are), be putting our Christmas tree up in two short months?!? That blows me away. But I LOVE this time of year. Fall is my favorite season, hands down and this Fall will be extra special, I will starting a new job. 

I’ve been sort of obsessed with this whole COVID topic. (Which is evident if you listen to my podcast – which I have two episodes to post and haven’t yet, but I will). I can think of NOTHING else right now. I want my exit to be as smooth as possible as I want to try and avoid any mushy goodbyes. I hate crying in public and I really don’t want to do that in front of the people I work with. Kevin text me a picture of my 10-year pin that I received in the mail today. How sad is it that I will be leaving very close to my work anniversary? I had a conversation with my boss the other day and asked a few questions about when my insurance will run out, etc. and I told her, flat out, I felt like the hospital was treating people who chose not to get the vaccine as second class citizens. I think she was a little taken aback, but that’s how I feel. 

Though the policy doesn’t say this yet, it will, but if you file an exemption and it’s accepted, then you will have to agree to take a weekly test for COVID. So I asked my boss what the logistics of that would look like. Let’s talk this out, shall we?

So. I’m forced to take a PCR test. Which is faulty and can’t be trusted as the FDA are recalling the tests at the end of the year because they’re having trouble distinguishing between influenza and COVID. I’m now forced to take a faulty test and if it comes back positive, because let’s face it, it likely will because the tests are faulty, what does that mean? My boss told me that if I’m asymptomatic I will be off work for 10 days and will use vacation time, if I have it. If I’m symptomatic, then I’m out for 14 days. Okay, so I’m out for ten days, come back, have to take another test and it comes back positive again. Now, I’m out for almost three weeks out of the month, I’m out of vacation time, not getting paid and it’s putting a strain on my co-workers. 

Sounds like a hell of a deal to me. 

I understand why the hospital is doing this. I get it. They are trying to protect themselves and don’t want to get sued, but they are purposefully making it extra hard for people who choose not to get the experimental injectable so that they basically give up and quit. 

No thanks. I will not be playing that game. I told my boss I will not be filing an exemption. So now, it’s just a question of timing for me. I do have a plan, but I won’t be sharing that plan with you guys, yet. 

We shopping at the Wal-Mart that Blake works out the other night and he told us that Brandon was still in a lot of pain from his wisdom teeth extraction. He says he’s doing better but still needs medication to help him sleep at night but he’s okay during the day. It’s Labor Day weekend this weekend, hopefully we can all get together. 

Things are tense at work. I’m sorry I keep talking about work, but it sort of consumes me right now. I feel like everyone is cranky and on edge, which, I guess they are, to be honest. And I feel like everyone is watching me and treating me differently. I’m sure it’s my imagination, but … everything just feels different. I feel like an outsider, which is sad but I guess not to be unexpected. At least a decision has been made and I can move forward. Being indecisive honestly drives me nuts. 

I’m not looking forward to learning a new job and I think the rest of this year is going to be unsettling for me, but I’ll soon settle into a new routine and it will be nice not having to be subjective to all the propaganda, bullying and bribing that I’m experiencing now. 

It’s so weird to think that (hopefully) this time next month I will have a different job. 

Reflections

July 2021 Reflections

So I’m actually starting this post on July 17th because quite frankly, I’ve had so much on my mind that I completely forgot to write anything. But I’m DETERMINED to start this new “habit” so I’m starting today – I have my mood tracker in my bullet journal to look back on and elaborate on but who knows, maybe I’ll make something up. I’ll leave it up to you to guess whether is really happened or not.

And my right eye will NOT stop watering and it’s really starting to annoy me – also – I hope my false eyelash doesn’t come off because there is nothing worse than a wonky eyelash. Well, there are worse things and yes, I wear false eyelashes.

July 2: The nurse I work with – her youngest daughter – was “exposed” to COVID though it’s unsure whether someone actually contracted COVID or if Bonnie’s husband, first cousin’s friend had it. Her daughter wasn’t sick but she still had to self-isolate for ten days which meant my nurse and her husband had to scramble to figure out who was going to stay home with her and who was going to go to work. I’m so glad we don’t have small children in this day and age. Not just when it comes to COVID and the fact that parents are having to fight to even get their children in the door of schools and who knows what it will look like this Fall, but because of all the of the crap that school boards and unions are trying so hard to shove down children’s throats to start indoctrinating them to a certain way of thinking thereby molding them into voters who will vote for their crazy agendas in the future. I honestly think, if we were raising our boys in today’s society, we would yank them out of school and homeschool them. I know that’s not an option for many people because – bills – but if you can swing it, I would encourage you to give it a hard look – for your children’s sake.

I’m starting to find my groove with Dr. S’s clinics. I’m starting to get to know her a bit better and understand her preferences. As a result, her clinics are running better and she seems more relaxed and happy, at least, I hope so. Her patients, though, are needy and demanding. And it’s largely because she’s had team members in the past who weren’t firm and allowed themselves to be bullied into bending the rules. Look. People will be people and if you give someone an inch, they will likely take a mile. Not everyone, thank God, MOST people are great and it’s a pleasure to take care of them but there are the select few who will throw a fit and just be rude and nasty primarily because it’s worked for them in the past and why stop doing what works? Nope. That’s not going to work for me. There’s a new sheriff in town and I will do everything I can to help you but you will NOT bully me.

Period.

July 4: This is Blake’s favorite holiday. He loves blowing things up, lol. However, our July 4th has changed over the years and now we’re downright boring. We used to go to my in-laws who lived on the outskirts of town, with a bag full of fireworks and shoot them off but with my in-laws getting older and needing a smaller, more easily accessible place to live, we no longer have anywhere to go shoot off fireworks and so we stopped buying them.

The boys, my nephew, LeRoy and my parents came over and Kevin cooked steak burgers. They are the best hamburgers and by far my favorite. We had a nice dinner together and some great conversation and it was really nice to see my parents in the flesh – the hugs were pretty great, too. In fact, every time my mom hugged anyone my dad would say, “now you have the Rona.” Every time I think back on this past year and the fear we succumbed to it just makes me SO ANGRY. Never again.

After dinner, we went to a parking lot across the street from a nearby country club and mooched off their fireworks. The weather was perfect and we had excellent seats – we had a front row seat. And the fireworks were great – the ones at the end of the show looked 3D, like they were coming right for you. It was a lot of fun.

July 7th: The whole COVID experimental injectable thing is really starting to ramp up at work. Cases are on the rise and we have quite a few people in the hospital now with COVID. The hospital “claims” it’s due to the Delta variant that 100% of the patients in the hospital are not vaccinated but I find it hard to believe. I find it hard to believe anything “experts” say nowadays since these same “experts” keep changing their story every other day. It’s hard to know what’s true and what’s agenda. I still find it so fascinating, in a horror-kind of way, the sheer PUSH to get people vaccinated. Almost to the point it feels like desperation. Which makes me ask the question – why?? When you look at all the data, look at all sides of the issue, all of this for a disease that is not that serious for the majority of people? I’m not saying it’s not real, I’m not saying it’s not serious for some people, but the majority of people get through it fairly well … and there are medications and treatments that have proven effective to help combat the symptoms if given early on – why get a vaccine given this information? People are pushing vaccines in the hopes that life will get back to normal – news flash – it’s not. The hysteria and the lockdowns from this past year has changed our country. And the more people BULLY others to try and get this experimental injectable the more people are hesitant to get it.

And when the CEO of our hospital comes out with tweets telling people that DARE TO QUESTION THE EXPERTS to , SHUT UP, and then come out and say that the employees at our hospital that are hesitant to get something we don’t agree with and don’t know what it contains injected into our arms are hesitant because we’re not as educated as say, our doctors, is truly insulting.

That hesitation almost correlates directly with your educational level in our organization,” he said. “So our doctors have least hesitation. And lesser educated people have a higher hesitation. We get that it is very complicated.”

You arrogant piece of shit.

And on top of all of that, our competing hospital announced they are mandating the vaccine for their employees and they have until September 30th to get it done. The hospital I work for hasn’t mandated it yet, but it’s coming. It would be naïve of me to think it’s not happening soon. And on one hand, I get it, it’s a medical facility, they don’t want to inadvertently infect someone in the hospital when they are already vulnerable but what about MY rights? Is this something that I have to forfeit because I work there?

So, I’ve had a lot on my mind. I’m busy planning and plotting my next move. I’ve been very distracted and that’s the biggest reason I haven’t blogged much this month, or participated in the July Camp NaNoWriMo – I just don’t have the desire to create anything right now when my reality has been tilted on its axis.

July 9: Very disgruntled at work. Everything and everyone is annoying me. It’s like my eyes have been open and I feel like I already have one foot in and one foot out of this hospital. I’m mentally preparing myself to make changes though I’ve done very little as to actually make that happen. It’s not that I hope it won’t happen, it’s happening, I’m just trying to figure out the best course of action and timing is everything, quite honestly. Kevin is 100% backing me in whatever I decide to do. He thinks I should quit now while the job market is hot, and I don’t disagree with him, but I’m leaning more to waiting until they actually make an announcement. I’m so conflicted!

July 10: Kevin and I did something on our bucket list – we went and reserved our grave plots today. Ha! I know, how weird and morbid and no, it doesn’t have anything to do with COVID. We’re getting older, though we hope we have decades of living still left to do before we fall asleep, and it’s time to start thinking about where we want to be buried and to start paying for it as we don’t want to saddle our boys with the cost of our funeral. This all started with Kevin and LeRoy going out to visit Nanny’s grave, (LeRoy’s adopted mom), along with Kevin’s parents to pay their respects. While they were there, Kevin’s parents talked about their plots and how they would love it if the family would choose to be buried with the rest of the family. This got Kevin to thinking about our conversation, because we’ve had quite a few over the years, of where we wanted to be buried and to have it completely paid for before the day of our death. As it so happened, there were plots available near his parents so he came home to talk to me about it.

The whole subject makes me squirm because it’s so uncomfortable and morbid but death is a fact of life and we can’t pretend it’s not going to happen at some point. (Hopefully, not for DECADES to come). Before I wanted to give my consent, I wanted to talk to our boys and to my parents. My parents said they would likely be buried in a National cemetery since my dad was in the Army and the boys could care less what we decided or where we would be buried. It’s hard for them to think about that kind of thing because they’re in their mid-20’s and you feel immortal when you’re that age. So, we made an appointment and talked to the funeral .. representative. (I don’t know if they have an official name – this is new territory to me, give me a break!)

The girl we spoke with was very nice and even made us laugh telling us about a March Madness sale they had. I have no idea what death and sports have in common but their products were 40% off and we told her if they had any other kind of “promotions” like that to let us know because let’s fact it, 40% off caskets would be a good deal.

We have now reserved our plots. We know where we will be buried. It feels weird but it’s something we needed to do because you just never know what sort of curveball life will throw at you. We’re not scared of death, primarily because we’re saved and believe that Christ will come back to raise us from the dead, but we’re not welcoming it with open arms either. I think that’s one reason why people are so freaked out about this COVID crap – because they don’t have hope for the future. I find that sad, quite honestly.

Get saved – it’s easy.

Continue reading “July 2021 Reflections”

Reflections

June 2021 Reflections

So, instead of posting little blog blurbs here and there, I thought it would be fun to just blog my thoughts throughout the month and share them with you. Here are my thoughts for this month:

June 1: Covered Dr. S’s clinic today. It was a weird day though we did a pretty good job of staying ahead of the game. We had a surprise patient – someone that is related to someone at work. She started exhibiting signs of not being able to speak or put a thought together so this person got an MRI and it was discovered that she has a brain tumor. A pretty sizeable one, too. We worked that patient in to see Dr. S. and she ended up admitting the patient and will plan on doing surgery soon. It really makes me appreciate life and I’m very thankful that my pathetic problems are nothing when compared to other people’s struggles. I’m gearing up for this month – it’s going to be crazy busy but I have a few days off soon so that will help restore my mental stamina.

June 5: Beautiful Saturday, sunny and upper 70’s today. Kevin went treasure hunting, i.e., thrift stores, yard sales, etc, looking for merchandise for his booths. He says he’s been selling a lot of stuff lately and his stock is running low. I just got back from tanning, (Yes, I tan a few times a week in the summer months, not all year long – judge away), and now I’m getting ready to remotely access our charting system at work and look over Dr. M’s and Dr. S’s schedules for next week. I need to get ahead of the game because I’m taking a few days off in a few weeks and I want to make sure not only are the docs in good shape for the time I’m out but I’m automatically ahead when I go back. I don’t know what it is about short weeks, but this week felt like ten years long. I worked a lot of overtime and I was so tired Wednesday night I felt sick. I haven’t been getting that much deep sleep so I’m a walking zombie today. I’m forcing myself to write this and will be propping my eyelids open with toothpicks in order to get some work done today. Kevin and I will visit Eat, Fit, Go later tonight to buy healthy meals for the next week as we’re both so busy we don’t have the time, nor the desire, to cook anything. I canceled our Hello Fresh subscription because it’s just too expensive to keep it up. I’m getting ready to buy another pair progressive glasses – I just get bored wearing the same ones over and over again. Also, I wish my eyesight was better – I am getting to the point that I can’t see anything without wearing them now – depressing.

Went to an outlying clinic with Dr. S yesterday – it was actually a lot of fun. The town was about an hour away. It’s part of my hospital though so getting connected to the Internet and accessing our programs was a breeze. She saw seven patients which was very manageable. We got back to town about 3:00 PM – just enough time to make a few phone calls and get ready for Dr. M’s clinic on Monday. Taking care of two doctors is challenging, as long as I continue to tread water, we’ll be good.

Actually watched a series on Amazon Prime Video this past week instead of reading. Watched “Panic” – thinking I might do a review of that on my podcast. Are you listening?

June 7: Very productive day. I was working Dr. M’s clinic and calling patient’s for Dr. S’s clinic for tomorrow. I had to calm down a veteran that was scheduled to see Dr. S but we didn’t have an authorization for him to do so and he was quite upset. For those that don’t know, military personnel, whether they are active, retired, or retired/injured in the line of duty, have to have an authorization from the government to see our doctors, any doctors, actually. This is to ensure the government will pay the bill when it comes due. If we see a veteran without an authorization then our doctors don’t get paid. I get why we do this because the government wants to know what they’re paying for, but at the same time, I wish we didn’t have to jump through so many hoops in order to get our veterans taken care of. It’s very frustrating to see Medicaid patients who are approved for everything and LITERALLY pay .50 cent co-pay, (No, I’m NOT exaggerating), when we have to basically pull teeth in order to take care of our veterans – our men/women who sacrificed a chunk of their life in order to serve our county to ensure we continue to keep our lovely freedoms. It irritates the SHIT out of me, but that’s where we are.

Anyway, I stayed until 7:00 PM and got a lot of stuff done because once 4:30 rolls around and people leave and the phones flip over to the night service, it’s BLESSEDLY quiet and I get a ton of stuff done. Even though I’m pretty brain dead, (even more than usual), I THRIVE on this stuff because I have to multi-task and I love doing it and am good at it. It’s a great exercise for my brain.

June 14: Excited about my upcoming six days off. Granted, it’s only four working days, plus the weekend, but STILL! May was brutal and I’m ready to take some time to decompress, clean house, write, do a little painting, walk. Speaking of walking, I’ve been walking around the neighborhood after work. It’s so nice to breathe fresh air and get away from a computer monitor. I feel healthier and certainly more relaxed. I’ve been working late trying to get caught up so that everything is done while I’m gone. I hate for anyone having to pick up my slack when I take time off. Not to mention, I want to have worked far enough ahead that I’m already “caught” up when I return as opposed to scrambling trying to play catch up. Sometimes, taking time off is more trouble than it’s worth because you have to work twice as hard before you leave and after you return. I wish we could afford to go somewhere for my time off, but it’s fine. I’ve got more time coming up the first part of August and the last part of September – we’ll see. One of the MA’s who has been out for medical leave returned to work today. That will take some pressure off the other MA’s. However, I will continue to cover Drs. M. and S. for the foreseeable future. We haven’t been getting any applications and the interviews we’ve had so far have been duds. I would rather hire someone with potential than just get a warm body in there. Not gonna lie though, I’m slowly pulling away from this job. I’m mentally withdrawing. I will continue to give my 100% but I sense a big, black cloud just over the horizon.

June 16: Worked my ass off to “earn” my four days off. And by that I mean, I worked a few weeks ahead and got the clinics ready for whomever is assigned to work them. This does not mean that I will be caught up when I get back. My nurse is planning on taking off the days I return so I’m sure I will have a lot to keep me busy. But it’s such an amazing feeling to leave work and know that you’re starting vacation. I have six days, (four work days, two weekend days) ahead of me and I feel like I can BREATHE for the first time in a while. I asked for these days off because I knew after working a stressful May, and it was, I would need some time off and yep, I was right. I know myself so well. lol I don’t really have any plans at this point in time, but trust me, it doesn’t matter because I’m not at work. That’s all that matters.

June 19: Currently on Staycation – I will have six days off from work – four work days and the weekend. I forgot how much fun Staycations can be. It’s quiet, I’m well rested, and I have the energy to do something fun – like painting. No, I’m not an artist, but boy, I wish I were. I LOVE watching artists work on YouTube, one, because it’s relaxing to watch them, and two, I wish I could be that talented. So when I say I’m painting, I’m filling in a paint-by-number. Yes, I realize it’s kind of cheesy but I don’t care, I’m having fun and that’s all that matters. I want to hang it in my office when it’s done. It’s a street scene in Paris with outdoor cafes and flower shops. I really want to go to Paris someday, who knows if it will happen because there is no way in hell I’m getting a vaccine passport and if they require it, then I guess I’ll have to settle for looking at pictures.

I’m also watching a video about dopamine detox and I have to say, I’m really relating to it. I think more people need to be aware of this and to consciously step back from the dopamine traps, (unhealthy foods, social media, video games, etc) and just be quiet – listen to the sounds around you, take a walk, get some fresh air, allow your mind and body to decompress and recharge. I feel like I’ve been doing this during this Staycation. It’s been nice. More than nice, it’s been amazing. I have another Staycation planned for the end of July. Kevin will be taking LeRoy camping in our homemade cargo trailer that LeRoy has been helping him with, also, it’s LeRoy’s birthday, so I will truly be alone with nothing but what I want to do on the agenda. I’m looking forward to that. I don’t have a problem with being alone – at all. I enjoy my own company.

I’ve also got an inkling of a new writing project. I wrote about it in this post. I plan on working on it during the July Camp NaNoWriMo. We’ll see how far I get. Maybe not very far, but I’m excited to work on it, nevertheless.

I’m also working on trying to get more organized. I have so many projects and things I want to do but then I start the project, get bored, and when I’m ready to come back, I don’t remember where I left off and abandon it. I’m looking hard at the Kanban method and I currently have four different colored post-it notes to signify four projects I want to work on so we’ll see how successful trying that is in organizing me. I’m also going to try a smaller version for my bullet journal, stay tuned for that.

We went to one of our favorite restaurants to eat last night only to see that it was closed with a sign on the door that they were closed “for the foreseeable future.” It was for “the protection of their employees.” So I’m assuming that someone contracted COVID and the whole place freaked out and closed down. *sigh* I’m so tired of people being scared. Live your life – it’s too short to cower in the shadows from a disease that has a high recovery rate and has medications that can help. (If only the government would stop being so tyrannical and “allow” it to be sold an distributed). Plus, we have a “vaccine” so … what the hell? Anyway, seeing the restaurant closed and that sign made me more sad than anything else. Fear is too powerful.

June 22: I am so uncomfortable right now. I don’t know what I did, well, I suspect I know what I did but can’t confirm, but I “threw” my back out and I could hardly walk this morning. If I had had to go to work, I would have called in, that’s how bad it was. It’s better now, but I’m still hobbling around and Kevin pulled his cane out for me which has been SUPER helpful. I have a bad back. I’ve had problems with my back on and off for YEARS. However, I haven’t had “an attack” for YEARS. I remember my last really, really bad attack was back when I was in college and I had to walk from my car, to the English department, to take a test that consisted of nothing but writing my answers. It took a few hours and I remember walking back to my car in tears because it hurt so much to walk. I was so weak, my legs were shaking, my back SCREAMED at me and driving home … gads, it was bad. I was flat on my back for a few days after that attack. In fact, I believe I even went to the ER it was so bad. I couldn’t figure out what was happening to me. I’ve always had back aches but nothing so severe that I had trouble walking. The ER told me they didn’t see anything, that it was muscular and to take Ibuprofen and use heat/ice and give it time.

And that’s what I did. I even went so far as to have Kevin massage my back. He commented how he could feel multiple knots and he rubbed them out pretty hard. Again, it was excruciating and it made my pain 100 times worse. Heat was also not helpful. The only thing I found helpful was ice and ibuprofen.

I slept with ice packs on and off all last night. Then I used a heating pad after my shower today and, yep, it made it worse. I’ve been taking breaks, standing, walking around, with my cane, and laying down to give my back some rest. It feels better right now, but it’s still really sore and I have a muscle spasm at times.

I’m not a good patient. I get very cranky and withdrawn whenever I’m not feeling well and the last thing I want around me are people. Let me suffer in peace, please. I’ll get through it but I need time. Like I said, I don’t really know why my back attack happened but I suspect that it was me sitting on our hard kitchen chair, with no cushion, bent over my paint-by-number for hours. I don’t know what else it could be, I haven’t done anything different.

My manager text me and told me that she needed me to cover to Dr. J’s clinic tomorrow and I flat out told her I wasn’t sure I was physically up to it. I plan on going to work tomorrow but I had planned on sitting most of the day, (with breaks to walk around and stretch), and get a lot of administration work done. I then asked her if I could “clock” on for a few hours to catch up on my messages. (I had 25 messages). She allowed that and I got my messages organized so I can jump right into it tomorrow and I offered to take hospital calls and calls for not only my doctor, Dr. M., but for Dr. S, too. So, hopefully, that’s what I end up doing because I don’t think I’m ready to be on my feet all day rooming patients. Hopefully, I feel better on Thursday because I’m scheduled to cover Dr. S’s clinic that day.

I don’t know if any of you have bad backs out there but it sucks BALLS. This is a lesson to me that I need to remember to do more stretching and NOT sit on really hard surfaces without a cushion, or something. It’s a sucky way to end my staycation but whatever, I’m just thankful I had the day off so I could get a handle on it. It’s back to work tomorrow. I have another staycation scheduled for the end of July, first part of August. I’m sure I’ll need it as I think these next few weeks are going to be super busy as we’re still down two MA’s.

Continue reading “June 2021 Reflections”
Reflections, Work Stuff

Thinking Outside Yourself

I was recently told by someone I see nearly on a daily basis:

“I like your blog. You’re a good writer and I really enjoy reading your work. You should write a how-to-live manual.”

(Hi Tiff)

I don’t know if she said those exact words, but that’s the take away from what I heard.

First of all, it’s SUPER weird to be outed by someone in real life. Sure, Kevin, my mom, possibly my sister, knows about my blog but I cringe whenever they mention anything about what I wrote in my blog. I honestly try to walk the tightrope between being honest, fair and authentic without coming across as a know-it-all bitch. Pretty sure I fail most of the time.

When you have a presence, or lack thereof in my case, online, when you carve out a piece of cyber space and make it your own, you really don’t think about how people in your real life would react to this “persona” you’ve developed, or nurtured, online. You feel safe because the web is so massive and anonymous, right?

Not really. Not truly. There are ways of secret identities bleeding into your reality. And when that happens, you just have to grab the exposure by the balls and own up to it. I try really hard to live by my own rules – don’t write anything you wouldn’t say to someone’s face. It’s definitely not my first choice to tell people what I really think but if push comes to shove, here’s my thought: don’t ask me if you really don’t want to know because, sweetie, I’ll tell you.

Some of this bravado comes with age, though to be honest, I’ve pretty much always been the sort of person who just doesn’t give a shit about what someone thinks of me. True, I may not have been as bold in the past and the degree of my bravado may have changed over the years but my motto has always been, on some level – I am who I am – take it or leave it. 

Because baby, if you leave it, then I didn’t want it to begin with.

I think this mind shift started in high school. I secretly wanted to be part of the popular crowd but I never was. I was one of those fringe people who just stood on the outskirts of … everything. I wasn’t popular, goth, nerdy or super smart. I had just enough personality, instinct, common sense and grit to somehow fit in with every group. A chameleon, I suppose.

And I feel like I’m like that now. I can get along with everyone, truly. Now that doesn’t mean I LIKE everyone I “get along with,” in fact, it’s safe to say most people truly get on my nerves. I don’t TRULY like very many people. I feel like people nowadays are self centered, selfish, whiny, lazy, and looking for excuses to excuse away poor planning, time management or simply incompetence.

I feel like most people have a hard time thinking outside their existence and that attitude and inability, or unwillingness, to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, or be emphatic to someone’s plight totally and completely TURNS. ME. OFF.

Which leads me to the reason for this blog post.

Though I was flattered that my real-life person said the above thing to me, it got me thinking. Why would she say that? What is it about what I have to say that she finds refreshing or worth spending her valuable time reading?

Again, I’m not especially smart. I’m not Gandhi – I don’t have any life-changing wisdom to share though I suppose if you want to count age then perhaps the mere fact that I’m more “mature” (i.e. older than most of the people I work with) could count as “wisdom”.

I’m pretty sure I’ve talked about this in older blog posts but I wonder if what Tiff sees is my ability (ability – *snort* like I’m some sort of sage) to think outside of myself.

Now don’t think this means I’m a super-giving person or self-sacrificing servant, no, I’m not. In fact, I’m incredibly selfish with my time and if I don’t want to do something, I’ll flat out tell you I’m not interested, in a nice way, of course. I’m not one of those people who like to disguise my disinterest in partaking of an activity I’m less than enthusiastic about simply to be polite and says, “Sorry. I really don’t have time for that.”

Bullshit. Just tell me. You’re not interested. Don’t try and sugar coat it and try and make yourself look more important than you think you are in your head. You have time for ANYTHING if you WANT to make the time for it.

If you don’t want to do something, then simply say, “no thanks. I’m not interested.” Okay, thanks, got it. This whole “I don’t have time to do that” , or, “Gee, I WISH I had time to do that.” just pisses me off and makes you look superficial, fake, condescending and stupid. You’re no busier than I am, I just choose to spend my time on activities that interest me. If you don’t, that’s your problem. Prioritize your time.

But I digress.

One of the best pieces of advice, or lessons, that my mom taught me is to have empathy for people – train yourself to look at the situation from the other person’s perspective.

I feel like this is a foreign concept in today’s world. Today, it’s all about ME. And NOW. Or WHAT I’M FEELING AT THIS MOMENT.

I think that’s evidenced by people assuming you care about the latest baby picture, or family drama, or emotion of the moment.

I get feeling proud. I get wanting to share excitement when something great happens in one’s life, but I also feel like most of these same people don’t take time to ask, “Hey, how are YOU feeling?” “How is YOUR family?” “What can I do to help YOU today?”

If it’s not about them, then they are not interested.

It’s sad, annoying and exhausting.

I don’t like to talk about myself much at work. I bet there are less than five people who can tell you the names of my husband and boys. On one hand, it’s sad but on the other, I haven’t exactly offered that information either.

I’ve always told the boys, if you can’t think of anything to say in a group setting, just ask the person about themselves – people LOVE to talk about themselves.

I’m not saying this is a bad thing – just that it’s the normal thing nowadays. People are truly not interested in hearing about something that doesn’t involve them, or something they’re interested in. I’m guilty of this as well, I admit.

But I feel like I have to constantly interject whenever someone comes to me with a problem, or the person needs to get something off her chest about something or someone and remind said person that there are two sides to a story.

Have they taken the time to look at that side?

Have you?

I’m not talking about just at work. I’m talking about society as a whole. Would we have the political divide we have now if people would just stop and CONSIDER the viewpoint from the other side? I’m not saying that you have to change the way you think or your opinion on something just by looking at the other side, but I do think that people would make better decisions or at least understand why something is done if we made it a habit of looking outside ourselves.

I think exercising a little empathy would help society be more patient, understanding and compassionate, but we’re all so ready to think badly of one another when again, unless you’ve walked in the shoes of that other person, you really have no right to make assumptions.

I wonder if that is what my friend was trying to say about my writing. Because I do make a CONSCIOUS effort to stop, think and reverse roles for a minute in my writing because I think it’s important to at least see all sides to a story before coming to a conclusion.

I may not change my mind, or your mind, but at least I UNDERSTAND where that other person is coming from. Ultimately, I feel like that helps guide me, people, society to come up with better solutions.

Or – maybe I’m overthinking this whole thing and she was just trying to be nice.

 

 

 

Reflections

RemembeRED: Sour Milk

Every Tuesday, The Red Dress Club gives us a prompt to, well, “prompt” us to remember something from our childhood/youth.

This week’s prompt: Kindergarten

Her name was Mrs. Bacon.

For some reason, I remember my kindergarten’s teacher’s last name, but I don’t remember what I had for dinner last night. Or maybe I remember her name because we’re scheduled to have breakfast tonight, and bacon is on the menu.

Whatever works, I suppose.

She was tall, or maybe she just seemed tall because I was only five years old at the time, everyone and everything seemed tall to me back then (though I don’t know, I’ve always been tall for my age, so chances are she wasn’t as tall to me as she was to other kids), and she was skinny.

She had a shag hairstyle with pointy lady sideburns – If I had her as a teacher in say, middle school, I might have thought she was a lesbian. She wasn’t, but she had a boyish frame and a boy haircut – you can see where I might make that leap.

She was nice, which is probably the real reason I remember her. She made school fun. School WAS fun until the fourth grade and Mrs. Hill.

*shudder*

Let’s not talk about Mrs. Hill.

We sat at round tables and we used a lot of crayons. The smell of crayons, to this day, reminds me of kindergarten.

I remember those little half-pint milk cartons and how we had milk every day at snack time , and how every day, I would force myself to drink the rank stuff because even though it smelled sour and tasted like warm cottage cheese, I drank it to please Mrs. Bacon, so she would like me – that was back in the days when I cared what people thought of me.

Those days didn’t last long.

I remember toys, in cubby holes, that we were allowed to play with if we behaved. I don’t remember really learning anything in kindergarten, but I do remember learning to get along with other children, which I suppose was the reason for kindergarten back in those days. Now you can’t even get into kindergarten if you don’t know your letters, numbers and how to write your name.

Screw socialization.

I want to say I went to half-day kindergarten, but I can’t be sure. I know half-day kindergarten was more readily accessible back in those days, now full days are expected, and sometimes required, after completing two years of preschool.

And yet, America is still behind in educational skills. You would think putting our children into a school-like structure at such a young age would give them a head start, but alas, the system breaks down somewhere in the middle school range.

Now we’re talking about making our children stay in school longer and dumping more money into our educational system when that’s not where the problem lies, our educational problems lie in an ineffective government and their insistence on taking over nearly every aspect of our lives.

But I digress.

I remember wearing dresses to kindergarten. My mom made a lot of our clothes and I was always wearing something pretty to school. I also remember her pulling my hair back really tight to keep it out of my face. Sort of like this picture … or maybe I’m remembering the tight ponytails because of this picture.

However that works, I suppose.

I remember kindergarten being an age of innocence, of being happy, of being a carefree child … as kindergarten should be remembered for every child.