Reflections

May 2022 Reflections

(My Reflections posts are more stream-of-consciousness kind of posts so I apologize up front if some of what you read doesn’t make sense. But this is me we’re talking about here so … are you really surprised?)

(Thank goodness I’ve been writing in my bullet journal every day, otherwise, I wouldn’t have a clue what happened in May. This is also the second time I’ve written this post – WordPress’ auto-save function froze for a bit and I ended up losing everything – AAARGH).

Sun, May 1: Had a productive day at home today – mopped floors … that’s about it. Save for the normal bathrooms, vacuumed floors and laundry chores. I’m usually pretty lazy on the weekends. I don’t feel like my time belongs to me during the week when I’m at work so I’m pretty stingy with my time on the weekends – it’s MY time.

Made reservations to camp at Johnson’s Shut In for April 2023. Believe it or not, that was the first availability. Granted, the only time we really have time to camp is over the weekend and of course, that’s when most people want to go camping is the weekends, so it can be a challenge reserving a spot sometimes. We had heard about this park from Kevin’s sister and after seeing pictures, I wanted to try it out. We actually reserved a spot with sewer, which is unusual for a state park – usually the sites only have water and electricity. Our cargo trailer is not set up for boondocking, (which means camping with no water, sewer or electricity hook ups), but I really want to camp at some state parks because they are near water and are more peaceful. We’ll just have to figure something else out about the sewer. We have a small external black tank we can use, we’ve just never used it. I’m a bit nervous to camp without a sewer option – I can’t make it a whole night without peeing – but we’ll figure it out.

Mon, May 2: Reserved another campsite at Linn City. It’s a KOA campground. We decided to go ahead and become members of KOA because honestly, the facilities are nice and there are so many of them across the United States that we have lots of options. This campground is located right between Lake of the Ozarks and Ha Ha Tonka state park. I thought it would be fun to walk some trails and hang out at the lake for a few days.

Wed, May 4: Pissed off today. I feel like Dr. M. is picking on me today insinuating that I’m not returning phone calls, i.e. not doing my job. Nothing gets me more fired up than having people accuse me of not doing my job or not doing my job well enough. I work my ass off, thank you very much.

Thurs, May 5: It’s been raining a lot this past week. It’s been a very wet spring so far. Kevin and I drove by Springfield Lake and it was not only swollen, but churning and scary looking. Well here, look for yourself:

Usually, the water line is at the bottom of these stairs and out far enough you can walk to the water, not have the water come to you. This is on the other side of the dam. I’ve lived here all my life and have never seen it so angry before.

Had a co-worker come to me crying today. Management was mean to her. This actually happens a lot. I think par to the reason is because I’m the oldest person there and people think of me as a “mom,” but also, I’m a good listener. And wise. Apparently, I’m wise, too. At least, I’ve been told that. But it’s exhausting to be everyone’s sounding board.

Sat, May 7: I got my hair cut off today. It was to my shoulders but my stylist cut off about six inches and now I have a bob/lob do. It looks sort of like this:

I like it, not sure if Kevin is loving it. It looks better with some curl and/or wave to it but it’s still long enough to pull back into a baby ponytail. I just wanted something that had some style if I wore it down. I wore it up most of the time when it was long and I was sick of it. I’ve had my hair shorter than this in the past though – in fact, I had a boy cut at one point in my life. Kevin was definitely not a fan of that but I liked it – sort of – but it was fun while it lasted. I’m trying to get some ashy highlights put in next time so that when my gray grows out, it doesn’t grow out as gray but sort of blends with my highlights.

Yeah. My stylist loves me. lol

Anyway, I like it and will probably keep it this length for a while.

Sun, May 8: Mother’s day! Bah humbug. I’m not a holidays sort of gal. They are exhausting to me and honestly, EVERYDAY should be Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, your birthday, Christmas, etc. Celebrate every day – why do we save all of our appreciation and celebrating for certain days?

It was super chill. We just ordered pizza. The boys were supposed to come over at noon and eat pizza with us but only Brandon showed up. Apparently, Blake was still asleep. Blake has crazy hours. He goes to bed at about 5:00 AM and gets up about 1:00 PM. His works hours are 3:00 PM to 10:00 PM so I sort of get why he keeps such crazy hours but he’s trying to break the cycle and go to bed at a more reasonable time. Anyway, just Brandon came over and we had some good conversation. But I could tell he wanted to get back home so we gave him the leftover pizza and he left. About five minutes later, Blake shows up. HA! We didn’t have any pizza for him, but it was nice spending time with him before he left. It actually worked out kind of cool because we had a chance to spend some time with each son by themselves.

Blake says he’s having trouble seeing at night. He’s gotten his eyes checked in the past and apparently one of his pupils is “football” shaped and he needs glasses. But he never followed up on it and now he feels like his eyes are worse. I’m trying to encourage him to get his eyes checked again and he can buy his glasses from Zinni for cheap, but he hasn’t done it yet. Now that he’s having trouble seeing at night, maybe he’ll follow up on that. It’s hard not to worry about your children – no matter how old they get.

Mon, May 9: Today was the first day of nurse’s week. I bought my nurse something for every day this week. Today was a farm fresh mug filled with Andes’ candies and a cute chicken wall decor. (She likes farm decor). She wasn’t in a very good mood though so it wasn’t as fun as I hoped it would be. And no one said anything about my new hairstyle. Usually no news means people don’t like it. Whatever. I like it. Screw ’em.

Tues, May 10: Spent the day in Emily’s clinic today. Her MA just lost her son so her brain was understandably not working today. I tried really hard not to let it annoy me, but I was pretty annoyed. I’m a terrible human being.

Another MA put her notice in. We’re now down two MA’s but we have two MA’s hired and they should be starting at the end of the month. They will probably want me to train them, which is fine, but they are also going to pay me overtime because I can’t train them and get my work done, too.

Wed, May 11: Clinic went well. We all went to Garbo’s, a pizzeria, after clinic as a team to eat lunch to celebrate our nurse T. It was fun. I also really enjoy when we get together outside of work. Everyone is more relaxed and we all get along, (well, we all get along anyway but it’s more fun outside of the hospital) and have some laughs. Our server took our picture:

Dr. M. drove his Tesla and it was fun to watch it bling out to some music – his car entertained us, lol. I took a video, but his license plate is in the video and I don’t think he would appreciate it if I posted that online, so, you’ll just have to take my word on that one. lol I truly love this team.

Sat, May 14: Kevin and LeRoy went camping. Which means I had the weekend to myself. I did what I wanted when I wanted. Let’s face it, I do that every weekend. Kevin and I don’t spend a lot of time together on the weekends. I have my hobbies, he has his – then we eat dinner together and talk about our days. It works. I truly like being by myself. I’m perfectly fine with me, myself and I. But after about two days, I start getting lonely and it’s a little creepy being by myself at night. But it was a good day. I’ve been watching “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” on Amazon. It reminds me of Mad Men – that era, that level of innocence in the story line.

Mon, May 16: Had a good hair day.

Tues, May 17: Worked Emily’s clinic today. She sees about 10 patients per day. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but she spends a lot of time with her patients because they are coming to her with nothing – no images, nothing. So, Emily has to get all of the information and figure out the best course of action for them. After sending patients for conservative treatments and/or testing, if they are surgical, she then refers them to neurosurgery for evaluation. I think she could get away with only having one MA up there, but that MA would have to be strong. Someone who could handle a lot of multi-tasking as that person would be both rooming and scheduling patients. Right now, we’re all taking turns helping her with her clinic since Emily’s normal MA was let go, (she wasn’t a good fit) and she doesn’t have anyone permanent right now. Emily is Dr. M’s old nurse before she left to go to nurse practitioner school. I’ve always heard good things about her from him. She’s pretty great.

Wed, May 18: What a weird day. Worked Dr. M’s clinic today and we had a patient show up who no-showed another appointment but thought that day was the day of his appointment. Dr. M, being the kind guy he is, said yes and we saw him. Another patient, who we think has a touch of Dementia, told T that he wanted to get his gun out last night and shoot himself. Because he said that, we had to call security and they had to escort him out of the office to be evaluated by psych. Word to the wise – DON’T SAY THINGS LIKE THAT IN A HEALTHCARE SETTING. We have no choice but to report it and then it gets ugly.

Another weird thing happened today. Management pulled me into her office and asked if I would consider helping Emily out, semi-permanently, to help her get her clinic off the ground. What she is doing is important but she hasn’t had any decent help and she’s struggling. Ultimately, the surgeons want to grow her clinic so that the majority of new patients that get referred to neurosurgery have to go through her first. Because as I always tell people, seeing a neurosurgeon should always be your last option, not your first option. Too many people are being referred directly to neurosurgery and just because you have back pain does not mean you need surgery.

I told my manager I would think about it and wanted Dr. M’s thoughts on it first before making a decision.

And then one last weird thing happened – T., our nurse, told me she had interviewed for a school nurse job a few months back and was offered the job. She’s going to take it. So – Dr. M’s team is being broken up and I’m not sure how I feel about that. Both T and I always thought we would stick it out until Dr. M retired in ten years and now, in less than 48 hours, two of the dream team is being ripped out. Strange and sad.

Thurs, May 19: Worked Emily’s clinic. It was strange to work her clinic and know that I may one day be running it. I’m sure she was thinking the same thing. I’m weighing my pros and cons about this move:

Cons:

I would have to deal with patients every day instead of two days a week. I would never really have any down time. True, she only sees about ten patients a day as opposed to the 15 to 18 I’m used to with Dr. M., but they are stretched out over the course of the entire day so that by the time clinic is over, it’s 3:00 PM and I’m busy returning phone calls and getting ready for the next day’s clinic.

I’m pretty attached to my work family – I’ve been with Dr. M. for about nine years now. That’s not something you just throw away lightly.

Pros:

I don’t have to deal with suture/staple removals anymore, i.e., don’t have to touch people.

The clinic is on the 9th floor, the neurosurgeons are on the 7th floor. And though I would still be under the same management, I would be away from the drama – out of sight, out of mind.

She only gets about 6 phone calls per day as opposed to 15 to 20 per day in neurosurgery.

I would be in complete control – no buffer – no nurse to go through – just me and Emily.

Mon, May 23: Spoke to Dr. M. today about moving up to the 9th floor and helping Emily. He was all for it, encouraged me to go. I don’t know what I expected from him – did I think he was going to beg me to stay? Of course not. And this will ultimately be a good move for neurosurgery as a whole, but I was annoyed that he wasn’t at least a LITTLE sad about letting me go. Management is having a hard time getting rid of Emily’s MA. I know there are some hoops to jump through and red tape to navigate, but I feel like they are handling this poorly. As usual, everyone is talking and wondering what is going on and as usual, management is not talking to anyone. All I know is, the MA is leaving, and she’s super unhappy with her performance and she has gotten complaints about this MA and she doesn’t want her in her clinic anymore. The thing is, she’s still here and management doesn’t know how to rid of her, I guess.

Super awkward.

Anyway, I guess I’m going up to the 9th floor as soon as they can figure out how to boot the other MA out.

Tues, May 24: My day ended on a bad note – MY COVID TEST CAME BACK POSITIVE. I had to leave immediately and go home. And this means I won’t be able to come back until Tuesday after Memorial day. (The office was closed on Memorial Day).

I. WAS. FURIOUS. I wasn’t sick. I didn’t even have a sniffle!!! But hospital policy, (insert snotty tone of voice), dictated that I had to be off work for five days before being allowed back. What a crappy time for this to happen. We are pretty short handed and I’m trying to establish a working relationship with Emily.

This whole COVID process is bullshit. I know the hospital is just following the federal governments mandate nonsense so they can get Medicare money, but it’s bullshit. I’m not sick. I feel great. I’m sure it was a false positive – gotta keep those numbers up!

Wed, May 25: Spent the day in shock. I still can’t believe I tested positive for COVID. This whole thing is such a scam. I’m so pissed.

I spent the entire day watching the Johnny Depp v Amber Heard trial. It was interesting to listen to the lawyers ask questions. I could care less about both actors, but the legal process was interesting.

Coincidentally – I received my legal secretary certificate today. Talk about good timing! I am so OVER healthcare right now and I’m so GRATEFUL that I have a back up plan.

Thurs, May 26: IT’S OUR 32ND WEDDING ANNIVERSARY! We’ve been married 32 years today! Wow. I can’t believe Kevin has stuck it out with me for so long. I’m not an easy person to live with. *cough*. We ended up trying a new Thai restaurant and then went to Menard’s and bought a nice BBQ grill to take with us on our camping trips. We’re trying to cook more when we go camping. We ate out way too much this past camping trip.

And yes, we went out to eat and then went shopping – no, I don’t have COVID. Everyone calm down.

Fri, May 27: Our county health department called me today to ask how I was feeling. I told her I felt great, didn’t even have a sniffle and she paused after I told her that. I don’t think she hears that very often. She seemed surprised that I wasn’t having any symptoms at all, like zero. And I told her it’s because I don’t have COVID and it was a false positive. I wasn’t particularly nice to her because I’m still pretty pissed off about this even though the woman was only doing her job, but GAH, people – LEAVE ME ALONE! She sent me some sort of email that gave me “permission” to go back to work on Tuesday and I forwarded it to Kevin, who got really mad at the way it was worded. He still wants to hire a lawyer about this whole COVID fiasco that I have to deal with at work but nope, I don’t care enough to spend the money on a lawyer. At least, right now. Who knows how I feel in the Fall after I submit my flu vaccination exemption request.

I went for a long walk after that phone call and it was nice to get some fresh air and sunshine/vitamin D. Kevin and I then went grocery shopping, got some cashew chicken and came home.

I’m living my life, folks. Screw it.

Sat, May 28: Spent a considerable amount of time working on my resume today. I used Canva, which has a bunch of free resume templates. I now have a resume ready to go if/when I’m forced down that road.

I went for a walk and Kevin worked on cleaning out the gutters. Unfortunately, he forgot to clean them out this past fall so we not only had decomposing leaves but we also had helicopter seeds from our maple trees this spring and we had quite a few mini trees growing in our gutters. Oops!

We ate at McCalister’s for dinner, got our Saturday night ice cream, (a tradition) and had a quiet night.

Sun, May 29: Boys came over for chicken bacon ranch sandwiches, potato/macaroni salad and cookies to celebrate Memorial Day weekend. We then went for a walk after dinner to digest our food and I had a good conversation with the boys. I wish they would get out more – just a walk around the block does wonders for your mental health.

We also had a really good discussion about the possibility of them moving into our rental house across the street when their lease is up in March 2023. They both seemed pretty interested.

And right on cue – our air conditioner is not working. It still comes on but it doesn’t blow cold air. Kevin is calling someone Tuesday to come look at it.

Mon, May 30: It was hot today. I went for a walk early but not early enough and I had to take a few breaks under a shade tree because I started to feel lightheaded.

Kevin caulked the seam in the trailer near the wheels – when it rains and blows a certain way, water gets in there. He also fixed the step his dad built for us for the camper – it was a bit wobbly and LeRoy actually fell and banged his knee pretty hard against the doorframe in the trailer.

Tues, May 31: Back to work. No one really talked to me about this whole COVID scare – they all know how I feel about it and no one wanted to get me riled up.

Smart.

At least I won’t have to test again until August. Once you test positive for COVID, you don’t have to test again for three months. Because, you know, it will be probably come back positive again in that time frame. *eye roll* I want to take another one just so it will come back negative and I can say, “SEE!? I never had COVID to begin with. Now pay me back the vacation days I had to take for this fiasco.”

But whatever.

I’m testing again right before I go on vacation and if it comes back positive, awesome! I’m leaving for vacation anyway.

Can you tell I’m bitter about this??

I worked Emily’s clinic today. It was a lot of work. The previous MA left a mess and I felt disoriented and like a new MA again because I didn’t know my head from my ass. I can definitely handle this new position but getting there will take a little time as I organize the place and work on my time management. Since it’s just me, there is a LOT to do and a short time to do it so I need to figure out a good time to tackle daily tasks so I don’t get behind.

I have a feeling I will be working a lot of overtime in the next few weeks.

Thanks for reading!

Reflections

April 2022 Reflections

(My Reflections posts are more stream-of-consciousness kind of posts so I apologize up front if some of what you read doesn’t make sense. But this is me we’re talking about here so … are you really surprised?)

Apr 1: It was a quiet day at work. Everyone left me alone – BONUS. No one tried to pull a fast one on me being April Fool’s Day. Most likely because they know I don’t like surprises and when I am surprised I tend to get snappy and angry because DON’T SURPRISE ME. I’ve been taking my wireless earbuds into work on Fridays and slipping into my own world listening to music or some podcasts. My current podcast obsessions are:

Morbid: A True Crime podcast
“It’s a lighthearted nightmare in here, weirdos! Morbid is a true crime, creepy history and all things spooky podcast hosted by an autopsy technician and a hairstylist. Join us for a heavy dose of research with a dash of comedy thrown in for flavor.”

It’s a fun podcast hosted by two women who I think are related (?). They have a lot of fun with these stories and often make me smile/laugh. I will say though, sometimes I just want them to get on with it the story because the stories are FASCINATING! Especially the The Dyatlov Pass Incident – episode 3 – HIGHLY recommend. It will have you scratching your head far after you finish the podcast.

Crime Junkie

“If you can never get enough true crime… Congratulations, you’ve found your people.”

I know, they are a bit morbid, (ha! see what I did there?), but they’re fascinating, are great fodder for story ideas and the best part? They’re true! People are weird, ya’ll.

Anyway. I’m enjoying a chance to decompress at work and it makes Fridays go way faster than they do. (Why does time seem to stand still at around 2:00 PM on Fridays??)

Apr 2: I’ve been hooked on Solitaire lately. But not the traditional game, but a variation of it on my home computer. I know it’s because I’ve had a lot on my mind lately and it helps calm down my anxiety and center my brain for a bit. It’s been nice.

Took my quiz today. I’ll work on my assignments later. This class has been pretty easy, so far. But then again, I do a lot of this stuff in my current job so …

I’m dying to ask Branson how his date went but I don’t want to be one of those mothers that breathes down her children’s necks whenever something personal happens to them. I’ll ask eventually, or I’m hoping he just tells me. I’m excited that he has a date, but I’ll be honest, I can’t help but worry about him. Women are trouble, especially women nowadays – let’s face it ladies – there is a lot of indoctrination and crazy beliefs out there right now. But I don’t want our boys to grow old without someone special in their lives so we’ve just been praying that whatever woman they end up with is kind, intelligent, self-sufficient and has a sense of humor.

Is that asking too much? I feel like that might be, actually.

Apr 3: Ready for this class to be over. I’m learning a lot but then again, I’m not really trying all that hard, either. It’s just a back-up plan if this healthcare gig doesn’t work out. And by “work out” I mean, the hospital doesn’t honor my SINCERELY HELD BELIF about annual vaccinations.

Apr 4: I was in a really pissy mood today. Everything and everyone were getting on my last nerve at work today. Nothing bad happened, I just wasn’t in the mood to deal with people today. I had one scoop, ONE SCOOP, of regular coffee in my brew today, (I usually dump three scoops of decaf) and I thought my heart was going to beat out of my chest today. I can’t tell you how annoying it is that I can no longer tolerate caffeine. What the hell. I had to take a baby aspirin to calm it down today. And no, I don’t have heart issues, but I am prone to palpitations whenever I drink caffeine, or get this, also eat dark chocolate. I’m assuming, because of the caffeine in dark chocolate. And actually, I don’t even think it’s palpitations, but my chest … vibrates. It’s hard to describe. I check my pulse and my heart is beating fine but my chest vibrates. It’s a very weird feeling. It doesn’t hurt, but it is uncomfortable, mainly because I don’t know what the heck is going on and it freaks me out.

Kevin got a freaking jury duty summons today! AARGH! We’re supposed to go camping at the end of the month. We’re hoping he can get out of it. One of the acceptable excuses is legal guardian and he’s a legal guardian for his special-needs uncle and has documentation to back that up so hopefully …

Apr 5: Worked a different provider’s clinic today. I always get super nervous when I have to do that because I sort of have a reputation for being a good, (decent), MA and I feel like I have to live up to that expectation. This provider, she’s a nurse practitioner who is just starting out and she asked me for some suggestions on how she can run her clinic more efficiently after it was over. She’s not terribly happy with her permanent MA and I went up to help gauge what I thought could use improvement.

I’m flattered that I’m asked for my opinion so much, I’ve been working there for ten years, I know my way around a clinic flow, but it’s exhausting and I just sort of wish people would leave me alone. I know that makes me sound ungrateful, and I’m not but … *sigh*

Apr 7: Sat by myself behind one-way glass today and most people didn’t know where I was, nor bothered me. It was glorious. I got A LOT done and felt relaxed. Though, my blood pressure was high today. I don’t know why some days are like that. I don’t feel particularly stressed. I’m still doing alternate fasting – my window to eat anything is between 1:00 – 6:00 though I’ll be honest, I have gotten lazy and have been consuming way too much sugar. I need to whip myself back into shape.

Kevin’s jury duty excuse was granted! That’s such a huge relief. I really wanted to go camping the end of April and now we can!

Slept with an ice pack on my arm last night. My upper arms have been A.C.H.I.N.G. Again. I have no idea why. Maybe I’m over doing the vitamins? Maybe it’s the flu vaccine? I don’t know. All I know is my body has felt more achy these past few years than in my entire life. Yes. I’m getting older. Yes, some of this comes with age … but I also wonder what else is going on. That’s another reason I’m DONE with vaccines.

Apr 8: Today was weird. Management asked me to sit with a fellow MA who needs some .. um .. fine tuning and I was happy to help. We sat together, we went over some stuff, (which to be honest, the lack of knowledge on her part for the amount of time she’s been with us was a little alarming, not going to lie), and I thought it went well.

And then everyone and their grandma came up to me later to tell me this person was crying and upset. She apparently thought she was in trouble because she had to sit with me so I could go over a few things with her. After she had calmed down, I found her and apologized for making her cry, that I was only trying to help. She said it wasn’t me, that it was management, which to be fair, management is not always diplomatic in their approach, but we ended up hugging, (and you all know I HATE hugs – I have a bubble, remember?) and we’re good.

But here’s the thing – it exhausted me. It’s hard navigating young people nowadays. I feel like they get butt hurt so easily and of course, do NOT know how to emotionally handle constructive criticism. I mean, who does? It’s not easy swallowing a humble pill now and again – trust, I’ve swallowed my own bottle of humble pills in my decades of working life, but wow – her reaction was a bit over the top. I’m not trying to imply she’s a wimp and/or a cry baby, like I said, it’s hard to look someone in the eyes and admit you’re not “all that,” but I feel like it’s a good indication of where we are with our young people today. And that concerns me, quite frankly. No one is perfect, we all make mistakes, but you have to be mature and motivated enough to accept you made a mistake, that you’ll learn from that mistake and try very hard to not make that mistake again.

I know we talk about how young people today can’t emotionally handle anything remotely hard nowadays but I had a front row seat to just how bad it really is.

I’m concerned.

Apr 9: Made reservations for Ozark Outdoors in a few weeks. I love researching campgrounds. I’d like to stay at some state parks but a lot of them don’t come with a sewer option and though it’s not that big of a deal overall, Kevin and I can’t make it through the night without a pee, or two, (or three), so it’s definitely a consideration. We’re tossing some ideas around on how we can get around that, the biggest option, of course, is to get a small gray tank to push under our camper and dump every few days. We’ll see. I haven’t give up yet but for now, we’re sticking to private campgrounds until we can come up with a solution.

Apr 10: Today sucked. I took my week five quiz today for my class and bombed it – 74%. Are you kidding me right now?? WTH?!

Side note: I have two instructors for this class. Apparently, they got to talking and one felt like the other one was too strict in his grading and after talking it over, they re-evaluated the grading system and I ended up getting an 83% after it was all said and done. It was one of those quizzes where the multiple answers could really apply to more than one case scenario, which I can see would be harder to grade but at the same time, grading should be a bit more liberal given the multiple answers. Anyway, I was happy they re-evaluated because it made my grade go up.

I’m ready for this class to be over because it’s tough working on a class after working a full eight hour day – my brain is absolute mush. I see they are offering some extra credit at the end of the class and I fully intend to take advantage of that option to give my grade a boost.

Apr 12: One of the MA’s put her two weeks notice in. I knew she was teetering on the edge so I wasn’t surprised but *sigh* here we go again. Who knows how long it will take to hire someone and guess who they will ask to train this new person. Again, I’m flattered they have so much confidence in me but at the same time – IT’S A LOT OF WORK. Oh well, more overtime.

My garage door spring broke as I was leaving for work. I didn’t know it happened until Kevin text me later. He said it wouldn’t go all the way down. He thinks he can fix it. I can’t tell you the number of times I thank God he’s a fix-it-kind-of-guy. So thankful for him.

Apr 13: Found out by accident I was expected to cover another provider on Thursday. The revised schedule went out and I never really paid attention to it, (I have a bad habit of ignoring emails), because it doesn’t affect me, right? Only, this time it did. My manager didn’t bother to come to me to 1. ask if I could cover this provider, and 2. let me know that she put me on the schedule to cover a provider. Lack of communication drives me nuts. I don’t mind covering but I need to know! One, because it’s common courtesy to at least ASK me and Two, so I can manage my time. If I know my Thursday is going to be focused on a provider other than my normal provider, then I can make sure certain things are done ahead of time because I won’t have time to do it later.

Apr 15: My left shoulder KILLED me today. In fact, the palm of my left hand went numb. I can’t figure out if it’s my shoulder or my neck. And I can’t figure out WHY my shoulders are hurting to begin with. It must be something I’m eating, or maybe I’m taking too many vitamins. I need to research some exercises. Maybe it’s because I sit all day at a desk with my arms on the desk next to my keyboard. Maybe I just need to focus on stretching my arms more, surely holding them in on position for too long is not good for them.

I ended up sitting three different spots at work today. I don’t have a desk. I share a desk with another MA who has clinic on opposite days than me. I have clinics on Mondays/Wednesdays, she has clinic on Tuesdays/Thursdays. But on Fridays, there is no where for me to sit so I just have to sit wherever there’s a spot. Super annoying.

Apr 16: Class is finished! Turned in a bunch of documents – a compilation of the assignments over the past several weeks. It was a lot of work but not really that hard. Looks like the last week is a “dead” week so the instructors can grade our final work and we have a chance to submit an evaluation for the class. I have a few suggestions. 🙂

Apr 17: Easter! I woke up and hit the ground running. I did some last minute house cleaning and made some carrot cupcakes, (that no one ended up eating – oh well) and my parents came over for lunch. We had ham, scalloped potatoes, green beans, black-eye peas and rolls. Mom brought over a really yummy broccoli salad, carrot casserole, (SUPER GOOD), and deviled eggs. She also brought over a cookie cake. It was a great lunch and we had some great conversation. Love my family!

Apr 18: Kevin took the trailer for a test drive with the new truck. He said it pulled easier than the Ford 150, but not as easily as it pulled with the Ford 250. That’s fine. I’ll take it. He backed it into the yard so all we have to do is drive it out. Backing that thing stresses me out but we’re getting better working as a team. Can’t wait for the weekend!

Apr 19: Super frustrating day. It was one of those days when you take two steps forward and one step back. The hospital updated it’s mask mandate – if you’re vaccinated and around other vaccinated co-workers you can take it off but you have to put it back on when around patients. If you’re unvaccinated – TOO BAD – you have to continue wearing them all the time.

Bwhahaha – yeah, that’s not happening. I refused to be treated like a second-class citizen. So stupid.

Apr 20: We had a group lunch after clinic today – we brought all the fixings for tacos. It was a nice lunch and it was fun to relax and have some conversation without the stress of patients around. It felt like our old team dynamic again and it was really, really nice. I really do like the people I work closely with – they are good people. I hope I can continue working with them after the Fall. In the meantime, I want to continue making memories together. We need to take more pictures together. I’ve been taking pictures of our group over the years at various times, parties, etc., and turning them into magnets. They are stuck to the white board in our little break room and it’s fun to look back at all the incredible memories we’ve had together. I hope we can make more. We’ll see if the hospital honors my sincerely held beliefs!

Apr 21: I was supposed to be off work today but I opted to go ahead and work it. I wasn’t quite where I wanted to be as far as finishing my work and I didn’t want to leave a lot of unfinished stuff for my coverage while I was on vacation – I think that’s a bit rude. I got a lot done and I actually left at 3:00 PM. It was a nice, easy, catch up day.

I’m burning through my vacation time because who knows what will happen this Fall. Yes, they would pay me for any vacation time I didn’t take if I were to quit but why? Why not take that time off now and enjoy it while I can? I’m done working myself to the bone – it’s time to balance some of this hard work with some time off so I don’t get so burned out and snippy.

Apr 22 – 26 Camping at Ozark Outdoors! I’ll write more about this soon.

Apr 27: Still on vacation but now it’s a staycation. I didn’t really have any plans after we got back from camping so it’s nice to just relax and do what I want when I want. I found out my final grade in my class today: 89.81. I should be getting a certificate in the mail in the next six weeks or so. I also researched some resume templates. I don’t have a resume ready – yet. But it’s definitely on my list of things to do. I think the more prepared I am, the less shocking this will be if/when I have to put my notice in.

I really don’t want to put my notice in. You can read my final thoughts on the class here.

Apr 28: Shopped around for ideas for T for nurse’s week. It’s the second week of May. Otherwise, a pretty lazy, relaxed day of doing nothing. It was great.

Apr 30: Got my stamps from Studio Calico today and I LOVE them. I will definitely be buying more stamps from them in the future. I also put my May bullet journal spreads together. I love working on this bullet journal. It’s so fun and I think the boys will get a kick out of reading them when I kick the bucket.

I also spent a considerable amount of time researching state parks. Wow. The popular ones are already booked for the rest of the season!! Granted, we would be going over the weekend because we can’t really go during the week due to Kevin’s client that demands all of his attention during the week, but still. I really want to go Johnson’s Shut In. My sister-in-law raves about it and the pictures look incredible. It’s also one of the few parks that offers sewer but sewer is only available in a handful of spots so you can imagine, they go fast! So, I bit the bullet and reserved a spot for four days next April – as in 2023! But that will give us something to look forward to and I’m excited to camp there. I just hope it’s not too rainy. I would rather go to popular places in the off season because .. well, it’s just more relaxing without a lot of people around. But you do have to deal with the cold and wet during those times. That’s okay, we’ll make do.

Another nice thing about state parks – they are a lot cheaper than private campgrounds. Like half the price. If you live in Missouri, you can find out more about the state parks here. If you live outside of Missouri, here is a handy link to get you started.

Thanks for reading!

Reflections

March 2022 Reflections

Mar 1: Well. Let’s start this month off with a bang, shall we? I screwed up clinic. Only in that I overloaded the team with too many complicated patients, we got behind and that always makes Dr. M. and H extremely annoyed – they don’t like running behind. I work for one of those rare doctors that actually respects patients’ time and he usually runs on time, in fact, ahead of time, unless something comes up. I felt so stupid. I’m solely in charge of his clinic schedule, T, his nurse, is in charge of his surgery schedule, (she has the harder job, trust me), and he trusts me, meaning, no one really looks a the schedule, they just trust me to fill it. He had a clinic day open up and I got so excited because I had so many patients that wanted to be seen that I didn’t pay attention to the type of appointment, (because that makes a huge difference), that I got carried away. I know better, that’s the thing. I’ve done this before and I told him I wouldn’t do it again and what do I do? I do it again!! AARGH. Anyway, I felt terrible and I emailed him an apology because I could tell he was disappointed in me and I hate when he’s disappointed. Anyway, lesson learned, it sucked and I’ll be more mindful of that in the future. 

Mar 3: So much work drama. It started with me. I KNOW. But hear me out. I just asked if it would be possible, on some Fridays when we don’t have any providers in the office, to leave early sometimes. That’s it. That was the question but you would think I was asking to close the clinic down on Fridays. It blew up. I opened up a can of worms. People liked the idea but now, the nurses are mad because the benefits there were promised weren’t happening yet and it likely wouldn’t happen if the MA’s and medical secretaries were able to leave early sometimes. Which is ridiculous, but that’s how our manager made it sound. I think she likes to pit each of the groups against each other – the nurses, the MA’s and the medical secretaries. I asked the question because one of the things upper management is really big on is making sure we have work/life balance. We’re not working too much, we take time to be with family, etc. Well, My question piggy backed off that idea, right? Anyway. It soon became a “thing” and everyone in the clinic was pissed off and ready to walk out. 

It was just a question, sheesh!

Mar 4: I had the day off. It was great but then I get a call from Dr. S’s nurse – they are getting ready to head out to an outlying clinic and she calls to ask if I know where the clinic keys are. At first, I was like, “uh, no,” but then ….

CRAP! I remembered I had them in my purse!! So. Dr. S’s team sat in the company truck, ready to go, and was literally waiting on me to run the keys up to them. I was in sweats, no makeup, (though wore sunglasses – duh) and drove like a bat out of hell up to the hospital to pass off the keys. Good thing I live close to the hospital. Wow. Another grand mal mistake on my part. 

Mar 5: I’m not prone to depression, but I was depressed today. This past week was rough on me and I just feel stupid. I feel like a lot of people are mad at me and I’m just sick to death of the drama, this job and being tired all the freaking time. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but I am just not motivated to do anything. I need a change. I need a long vacation. And I’m tired of my body aching. Perhaps it’s getting older, and I’m sure that’s part of it, but the other part of me can’t help but wonder if it’s because of the flu vaccine I got in October. It took me nearly a year the vaccine before last to finally feel normal and then it was time for another vaccine. This makes me even more determined to make changes this go around. 

Mar 7: Felt much better today. Clinic went off without a hitch and Dr. M was more relaxed and more himself. I feel like the old team is finally starting to find our groove again. COVID nearly broke us and we’re not the same as before the scamdemic, but we’re finding our new normal, I think. 

Got my sign on for my Legal Secretary class. (You can read more about that here). I clicked around, read some syllabi and got a feel for the structure. No one has posted in the forums yet and I’m wondering if I’m the only student. I sort of hope so, but then again, do I want the SOLE attention of the instructor?? No. No, I don’t. Looks like I will submitting an assignment, posting in the Bulletin Board and taking a quiz every week. I’m excited to get started but at the same time, I’m ready for it to be over and I hope I made the right decision taking this class. It’s an investment for whatever happens in October, (that’s when our flu vaccine is due and if the hospital doesn’t accept my religious exemption, which quiet honestly, I don’t think they will, then I will have a backup plan –  hence, this class). 

Mar 8: Worked Emily’s clinic today. She’s a nurse practitioner that works with our surgeons – she triages patients – works them up and if she feels they need to see a surgeon, she will schedule them with one of our nine surgeons. I really like her, she used to be Dr. M’s nurse. I never worked with her when she was a nurse, that was before I started, but she’s smart, kind and very patient and I really enjoy working with her. 

My upper arms are KILLING ME. They’ve been hurting, on and off since I got my flu vaccine but here lately, it’s been brutal. It hurts to lift my arms whenever I brush my hair, wash my hair, etc. I haven’t really done anything about it, I just grit my teeth and get through it, I guess I’m hoping it goes away on its own, but wowsiers, they really hurt. 

Mar 10: One of the new MA’s had a car accident. She was T-boned by a woman who wasn’t paying attention and flew through a four-way stop. She’s okay, but the airbag knocked a few teeth out so she’s in some pain. This is the one who has six children. In addition to her wreck, her son has to be rushed to Urgent Care because he wasn’t breathing very well and they had to admit him. Her grandmother also died and she had to rush home to support her mother. This poor girl … Missouri has not been very kind to her since getting here. It really makes me thankful that my life is calm and drama free in comparison. 

Mar 11: Spring break is next week but my nurse and mid-level area already out. I always dread when they are out because that means I’m the only one left to really deal with any patient issues though anything too medical related I give to my covering nurse, but still, I handle the majority of issues, patient questions, etc. that comes along. T will be taking the first part of the break off, then I’ll take the last part off. Kevin and I are planning on taking a quick camping trip. 

Mar 12: Daylight savings starts! It’s nice to wake up to daylight. It’s so hard to wake up and start your day when it’s pitch black outside. I finished my first homework assignment and quiz and honestly, it was harder than I thought. I had some presumptions when it came to the legal field, I have watched numerous TV shows and read a bunch of legal thrillers so CLEARLY I thought I knew my way around the legal world but alas, I know nothing. 

Is anyone really surprised?

Mar 16: Super busy day at work, which of course, happens on the last day before I’m scheduled to be off. I handled it though. A medical secretary put her two weeks notice in because our manager is terrible and micromanages everyone. This secretary works the closest with our manager, (who is also a nurse for one of the doctors), and she flat out lied about some patient things and the secretary was, and is, over it. This started another whole drama thing at work and everyone is even more pissed off and several are looking for jobs. Upper management has gotten involved though, so we’ll see how this shakes out in the end. 

Dr. M. gave me and the medical secretary Yeti cups one Christmas and I still carry it around every day. I use it for my water. I put my Yeti cup and my coffee cup in a Joann’s craft bag and carry that into work every day and today, I left my legal secretary handbook in my bag, with my nearly full Yeti cup, when I got home from work. I guess Kevin got up in the night and knocked it over, not realizing there was water in it, he was half asleep after all, so by the time I discovered it the next morning, my legal secretary  handbook was completely drenched and soggy. I can still read it, thankfully, but it’s water logged and ruined. I wasn’t that upset about it, accidents happen, but I wonder if that’s a bad omen? Not that I believe in stuff like that, but still …

Mar 17: I was off work today and spent the day cleaning out the camper and packing up. We plan on leaving later this afternoon after Kevin gets done with his work. I honestly HATE packing. I would rather unpack and clean up than pack up. I hate feeling stressed – “do I have everything? What am I forgetting?” I load up my clothes hamper and make several trips out to the camper that way. It works pretty well. Especially since we are keeping a lot of things in the camper and really, the only things I have to pack are clothes and food. Making the bed is probably the most challenging because I have to crawl around to tuck in corners. I ended up getting Wendy’s for dinner and Kevin and I ate before we left. The campground was only about 45 minutes away but eating before we left was definitely the better plan. Will have to remember that in the future. I plan on writing about the trip in more detail soon, so stay tuned!

Mar 20: Clinic went surprisingly well. I always dread the first clinic back after getting back from a (mini) vacay. Everyone seemed to be relaxed and it felt like the old team again. It was nice. 

The whole clinic is very upset and ready to walk out. Upper management has gotten involved and has been telling everyone, “give us a month to make changes.” so, we’ll see. It’s not that A is a bad person, she’s actually a good person, I like her outside of work, but she’s a terrible manager. Primarily because she micromanages and you simply have to give people some freedom to do their work. You have to trust people, at some point, to do their jobs, without breathing down their necks. Management is giving us an opportunity to take charge of our own schedules and low and behold, they are going to allow us to take off early some Fridays, provided we don’t have any providers and our work is done. 

That’s all I was asking. I just wanted the OPPORTUNITY to do that. I feel vindicated, in a way, but also, I feel sort of sorry for A – her boss is now watching her like a hawk.

Mar 22: Grades are starting to come in from our first week of class and quite honestly, I could care less. I just want a passing grade. Remember, my goal is just to pass the damn thing, I’m not looking to be the best in my class. I want enough knowledge that I can get hired if/when the time comes for me to leave medical. 

Mar 24: Super quiet day at work today. I sat by myself, was not bothered much and though I had to cover hospital calls, (calls from the hospital floor), and another doctor because his MA was out on vacation, I got a lot done. I love days like this. I can stick my earbuds in and escape into my own world for a while. It’s nice. 

I had a pretty big anxiety attack that night though. I woke up and my heart was beating a mile a minute and it took forever for me to calm down. I have to really focus on breathing deeply when that happens and it usually goes away after a while. I haven’t had one in a while but with everything going on at work, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. I need to work on staying calm and not getting so worked up over things. These past two weeks, I got pretty worked up over all the office drama. It doesn’t help that everyone comes to me with their problems, too. 

Mar 25: Brandon’s birthday was today! He’s 27 years old. Wow. Our BABY is 27!!! How does this happen?? We took him, Blake and LeRoy out for Chinese. It was fantastic. Then we came back home and had cookie cake. The boys stuck around and we played two games of Forbidden Island. HIGHLY recommend. It’s a collaborative game and perfect for six people. Side note: Forbidden Island has two more in the series: Forbidden Desert and Forbidden Sky. I will definitely be buying those, too. 

(Oh my gosh, I just stumbled on to another cooperative game: Pandemic. Yep, buying that one, too).

Brandon also told us he was going on a date tomorrow night!! Our boys, to my knowledge, have not dated – ever. So this was welcome news! I’m nervous for him, though. I hope she’s nice and treats him well. One of my biggest fears is the boys get stuck with a woman who is a leech, an idiot or just downright bitchy. I would rather they be by themselves the rest of their lives than be saddled with someone like that. Yikes. 

Mar 26: Hold on to your wigs, girls. Kevin bought ANOTHER truck. He sold his Ford F150 and bought a pearl white 2018 Ram Longhorn. 

I won’t even talk about the price, but suffice it to say, I encouraged him to do it. Here’s why – the man has gone through three trucks in the past five years. All of his vehicles have been about 200,000 miles so you can imagine, things break down. And it’s not easy to repair these things anymore because they are computerized so it’s not like Kevin has been able to do much about these repairs. Which means, he sinks money into these trucks and they still give him issues. He DESERVES this. The man has worked very hard over the years and he deserves a truck that will last him ten + years. His truck has 27,000 miles on it!! It belonged to an older man who traded it in and ordered himself a newer model. Anyway, there is a big reason why I encouraged him to do this, and I’ll write about that soon, too. 

Mar 28: Got my yearly evaluation at work today. It was glowing and though I was happy to see it, it was embarrassing how much they gushed over me. Of course, let’s keep in mind that management is on thin ice with a lot of people lately so that might have something to do with it, but I kept a copy of it and fully plan on submitting that if/when I start interviewing for jobs this Fall. It will be a perfect recommendation, in my opinion. Anyway, I got a raise, which always a nice thing, too. 

We picked up the truck today. The dealership cleaned it up and it was my first time seeing it. WOW. 

Mar 29: Covered Emily’s clinic today. She asked me for some suggestions after clinic as she’s tired of always working late. Her full-time MA is great, but she’s slow. Changes will need to be made and you know how people are when you propose change – resistant. Once again, I’m flattered that they asked for my opinion/help, but honestly folks, I just want to be left alone, do my job and go home. I don’t want to be pulled into drama and projects. It’s exhausting. 

Mar 30: Governor Parsons “officially” called an end to the pandemic – we’re now in an endemic. We’ve been in an endemic for a year now but whatever. Let’s all move on. We’re still wearing masks at work, I’m still spitting into a test tube every week to check for COVID, but at least the world outside the hospital is getting back to normal. Now, if the airline industry and the cruise industry would settle down, maybe Kevin and I could go on a cruise in the near furture. 

We’re not holding our breath. 

Reflections

February 2022 Reflections

Feb 1: Pretty sure Kevin had COVID. He will swear up and down he didn’t have it, but I’m pretty sure he did. It started with LeRoy. He was pretty sick for a few days and then BAM, Kevin came down with something. He would alternate between being super cold, like teeth chattering, couldn’t bear to get out of bed cold, to sweating, like, we had to change his sheets because he sweat THROUGH them sweating – this went on for several days. He slept an entire weekend. Which is HIGHLY unusual for him. I have to FORCE him to slow down most of the time. And he said he felt like he was swallowing razor blades. Which I knew to be a symptom of Omicron as a girl at work at the exact same symptoms. It took him nearly a week to really get back on his feet though it really took him like two weeks before he finally started feeling like himself again. I, however, did not get sick. And that makes sense to me because I’m 99% sure I had COVID in April 2021. It could have been the Delta variant but honestly, who knows. All I know is that I have natural immunity and the fact that I didn’t get sick when Kevin got sick only confirms it in my mind. He seems to be fine now. Thank God.

Kevin finally, finally, got a regular mattress. He’s been sleeping on an air mattress for about … ten-ish years and no, I’m not exaggerating. He insisted it was comfortable. I’m sure it was otherwise he wouldn’t have put up with it for so many years. But we bought a mattress in a box and he’s been really happy with it and wonders why we hadn’t gotten him one earlier. *cough-never-listens-to-me-cough*

I’m happy to report that Blake is using the air fryer regularly and it warms my heart that he’s eating more than Ramen noodles.

Feb 2: Bad weather rolled in. Scrambled to turn the clinic’s patients to Telemedicine visits – that’s always stressful, especially when done at the last minute.

Feb 3: Got six inches of snow. And being the dummy that I am, I went to work. I’m kicking myself for not calling in. And I’m not the sort of person who ever, EVER, does that, but come on, the streets were TERRIBLE and if enough people called in they would have had no choice but to close the clinic. The thing is, our clinic NEVER closes. And I know what you’re thinking, “but Karen, you’re in health care, how can you close??” Because our clinic is an outpatient ELECTIVE clinic, we’re not emergency. Our clinic is not set up to handle emergency situations so even if there were an emergency you know what we would tell patients? Go to the emergency room! So annoyed with that whole situation.

Feb 5: Had a hair appointment today. I go about every 12 weeks for a trim and to get my roots touched up. I asked her to go a shade lighter this time – my theory is – if I gradually go lighter, then maybe my grays won’t be AS noticeable. I have naturally dark hair which means it’s VERY obvious whenever my grays grow in. I also had about four inches cut off the length. I would love to go shorter, like bob short, but I’m not there, yet. And I would love to wear my hair down but with the cold weather, it’s been so dry and there has been SO MUCH STATIC ELECTRICITY! I brush my hair and it’s like POOF, instant poodle. So annoying.

Feb 6: I’m pretty sure I’m a YouTube addict. It’s disgusting and I’m disgusted with myself. I WILL cut myself off. I want to start writing political articles and posting them on Locals – I also have an idea for a story series that I want to post on Kindle Vella – what am I waiting for??

Feb 7: Trained a new girl at work today. She’s sharp and catching on fast.

Feb 9: It was a good day in clinic. Everyone seemed to be in a decent mood and the clinic ran well. Days like this makes me wonder if I’m making the right decision in looking for another job. I look at my work family and I think, “I’m going to miss their faces.” But with that said, I’m seriously kicking around the idea of signing up for a Legal Secretary class. I researched and agonized over it for weeks and the bottom line is – I don’t want to work in healthcare anymore. The COVID response killed any feeling I had toward it and I’m worried this season’s flu vaccinations, which I can’t get out of, I tried last year and my religious exemption was denied, will be built with mRNA and there is no way in hell I’m putting that crap in my body. I haven’t signed up for it yet, though. Because it will cost $1000 to take the class and if I’m going to do this, then I have to commit to it and … I’m having trouble committing.

Feb 10: I finally bit the bullet and went to see an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) doctor today for my vertigo. Suffice it to say, it was a COLOSSAL waste of time and I will not be going back. (More on that later). I can definitely see why patients get disillusioned and upset when they go to see a doctor now. And remember, this is coming from someone who NEVER goes to the doctor so the fact that the one time I go to the doctor and feel like it was a waste of time only solidifies my determination not to go to the doctor.

Feb 12: Boys came over for dinner and I cooked Baked Pasta – it’s one of our favorites. Kevin is not the biggest fan of the recipe because it reminds him of his motorcycle accident – so it triggers him a bit. But the boys love it and we always have a bunch of left overs for them to take home. We then played a game of Forbidden Island afterward – which is a collaborative game where we all have to work together to collect the four treasures before the island sinks. Super fun and highly recommend if your family is into games.

By the way, here is the Baked Pasta recipe if you’re interested:

_______________________________________

1 16oz package of dry pasta (we buy the tube-shaped pasta)
1 pound of ground beef
1 28oz jars of spaghetti sauce
6oz sliced provolone cheese
1 1/2 cups of sour cream
6oz of mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup of parmesan cheese

Cook pasta about 9 minutes in a large pot of salted water. Combine cooked meat and spaghetti sauce and simmer 15 minutes.

Preheat over to 350 degrees.

In a lightly greased baking dish, place about half the pasta, top with a layer of provolone and mozzarella. Spread half of the spaghetti sauce mixture and layer all the sour cream. Next, cover with remaining half of pasta, remaining half of provolone and mozzarella and remaining half sauce. Sprinkle with parmesan.

Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

_______________________________________

You’re welcome.

Officially became addicted to Wordle. I play it every morning before work and Brandon and I compare notes on who many tries it took for us to guess the word. So fun.

Feb 14: My work family exchanged little gifts. T, my nurse, “made” us play this gift exchange, (though everyone actually seemed to enjoy it). We all jotted down a few of our favorite snacks and then our “Valentines” gifted us our snacks. I had K, our medical secretary, and H, our mid-level had me. As usual, she went overboard and I got a bunch of yummy snacks. It was a fun way to start the day.

Kevin and I didn’t do anything for Valentine’s day. Want to know why? Because every day should be Valentine’s day. You should show your love every day.

I did it. I bit the bullet and signed up for the Legal Secretary class. It sort of made me sick to actually sign up, but we’ll have it paid off in six months. It’s a seven week class and it starts March 7th – all online. (More on that later).

Feb 17: Heard back from the law firm I applied to – of course they rejected me. I would reject me too, I don’t know the first thing about what document to file for such-and-such situation. (I’ll elaborate more on this soon).

Feb 18: Got my Legal Secretary handbook today. *Squee!*

Feb 19: Kevin’s phone finally died. I’ve been after him to buy a new phone for years and now, he doesn’t have a choice. He ended up buying a Motorola, which to be honest, I didn’t even realize they still made Motorola phones.

We’re on the lookout for a gas 250 truck. Maybe a Dodge Ram? We need something a little bit bigger than our Ford 150 to haul the cargo trailer. We sure miss the diesel truck we had but diesels are too complicated. No thanks.

Feb 20: I’m currently addicted to Chinese dramas, this one specifically. Girl, don’t ask me why. I’m fascinated about the whole first, second wife, concubine hierarchy. It is not helping me kick my YouTube addiction.

Feb 21: Kevin text me that Carnival Cruise ships were no longer requiring face masks. GREAT. Still not going on a cruise until this COVID scamdemic goes completely away. If ever.

Feb 22: More bad weather today – got quite a bit of sleet. Weirdly enough, it was easier to get around in the sleet than it was during the 6 inches of snow we had.

Kevin’s phone arrived today! He’s a happy camper.

Feb 23: Completely gobsmacked. The girl I was training, who I thought was a rock star and was excited for her to start because she would have been SO good, told us she was going back to her old position. I caught up to her later and asked her, point blank, if I had done something to scare her off, (because let’s face it, I’m a bit overbearing – *cough*), and she assured me it wasn’t me, it was our manager. We’ve been having all sorts of issues with our nurse manager making boneheaded decisions and she’s pretty much pissed everyone off in the clinic. The new girl didn’t want to work under a manager like that and quite frankly, I can’t blame her. But still, I was heart broken. She would have been perfect for the job.

Russia invaded Ukraine. Awesome. That idiot in the White House is going to drag us into a war. The 2022 mid-terms can’t get here fast enough. Let’s hope we can regain the House and Senate back and try and slow this mofo down.

Feb 26: Made a run to Hobby Lobby and took advantage of a 50% sale. I bought some stickers and some washi tape for my journal. Yes. I’m still bullet journaling – this is my third year. I swear, this thing is the only thing keeping me sane right about now. And if anyone ever gets a hold of it, I’m screwed.

Reflections

December 2021 Reflections

(My Reflections posts are more stream-of-consciousness kind of posts so I apologize up front if some of what you read doesn’t make sense. But this is me we’re talking about here so … are you really surprised?)

Dec 1: Mood – Meh (Thought I would add my mood for the day)

And just like that, it’s December – 2021 is nearly over!! I’m sorry … WHAT?!?

I know I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating – how does time go so fast? How can we slow this down? I swear, we will blink a few times and we’ll be right back here, looking at another picture of Santa Claus and thinking, “where did 2022 go?!??”

As usual, I’m writing this reflections post at the END of the month but never fear! I did a bang-up job of keeping up with my journal this month so I’ll elaborate on my thoughts from that.

You’re welcome. I know you were worried for a minute.

Still training the new girl at work. Actually, one of the new girls, we have two. We are now fully staffed with medical assistants, so, that’s good. Now, if we can only find three more nurses, we’ll be set. At least, until the next upheaval because let’s be honest, no one is really fully staffed for very long because … life, am I right? She’s pretty sharp and I think she’s going to work out nicely for Dr. S.’s team. Not gonna lie, training DRAINS me but we can’t expect the new people to do well if we don’t invest some time in their training, right? I’m anticipating her being on her own by Christmas.

We talked about a team activity to celebrate Christmas today. We all went to an Escape Room last January, (we just can’t coordinate our schedules in December, everyone is too busy) and I think it would be fun to go H’s new house and have a murder mystery dinner. We could dress up, assume a character and find out who the murderer is! I know, this suggestion is really odd coming from me considering I HATE dressing up, but I think it would be fun, interesting and full of laughs. Someone on the team suggested we go someplace and shoot guns, which, honestly, I’m down for. I wouldn’t mind learning how to shoot a gun. Kevin and I talk about taking lessons all the time. Also, ax throwing – which – I’ll be honest, I don’t know if I’m strong enough for that one and I keep imagining someone getting an ax stuck in their arm. I don’t know, we’ll see what we come up with.

Dec 2: Mood – Grateful to feel normal

Did my wellness labs today. We weigh, have blood drawn and have our blood pressure taken every year to assess how healthy we are. We do this so that we get stickers in January that we put on our badges and we get 35% off cafeteria food. Which is already expensive and really comes in handy, to be honest. My labs were perfect. All within normal ranges. I was very pleased by my numbers. My A1C was a little high but I cheated that morning and had some coffee with some creamer instead of fasting like I was supposed to. Oops.

I also saw a nurse practitioner today to establish care with a primary care provider. Believe it or not, I don’t have a doctor. I’ve never had a primary doctor, I’ve never had the need for one. I’m very healthy and work to stay that way. The biggest reason I went to see her was for a referral to an Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor to try and address the Vertigo I had back in late October. And they drew more blood to do a full panel on me, test my thyroid function, etc. and I’m happy to say, even the extended labs came back all normal. Again, I was very proud of myself. The NP wanted me to come back and get a full physical, breast exam, pap smear, which I made an appointment for, but I have no intention of keeping it, I will be canceling it soon. Maybe I’ll reschedule – I don’t know. Why go looking for problems? Though I understand it’s good to have a baseline, I’m not having any issues at this time so it just feels … intrusive. I don’t know. I’ll think about it some more.

Super stressful day today. I was busy training, trying to get some stuff done for Dr. M and get his clinic ready for the next Monday while packing stuff up to take to Dr. S’s Harrison clinic tomorrow. I know my blood pressure was up, (and it was a little high at the doctor’s office). This was one of those days I end up asking myself, “WHY AM I DOING KILLING MYSELF FOR THIS JOB? WHY??”

Dec 3: Relieved

Went to Harrison AR with team S today. It was the easiest outlying clinic I’ve ever worked. In fact, I didn’t even work it, E did. And she did great. She really rocked it. I was available for questions, which she had very few. I actually drove myself to Harrison, the team went together in the company SUV. I drove myself because I knew it would be a cramped ride and I get car sick and I wanted to give E time to bond with Dr. S’s nurse, so I drove. And it was pretty fantastic. It was relaxing and it was an easy drive. I got there before the team and set things up so they were ready to go when they walked in the door. I’m hoping this was my last time going to an outlying clinic. The clinic we used to go to with Dr. M’s team, our lease expired and the facility didn’t renew it so we don’t have an outlying clinic to do now. DARN! (Totally being sarcastic in case you didn’t pick up on that). Today more than made up for the very stressful day I had yesterday. Thank God.

Dec 4: Relaxed

Spent some time setting up my new Garmin Venu SQ today. It looks a lot like an Apple watch. I like the square face. I also ordered some replacement bands because I get bored wearing the same thing over and over again. The band is super easy to change, pretty happy about that. I think I have too many settings because it seems like the battery is really draining fast. I’ll have to play around with it some more. But I dig the fitness watches because I like to keep track of my sleep patterns and steps. Also, I earn points that goes into a health account at work so if I rack up a medical bill, I can apply the “money” I’ve earned in my account to help pay for it. Win, win situation.

We went to Hobby Lobby and bought a really cool picture to put into the camper.

For those of you catching up – Kevin bought a cargo trailer and converted it into a comfortable camper for us. Since it doesn’t look like we’ll be going on cruises any time in the future, (because we refuse to inject ourselves with an experimental mystery that no one knows the long-term repercussions for a virus that has a 99% recovery rate for most people – but I digress), we decided camping would be the next best thing because we refuse to live our lives cooped up at home all the time. I promise! We’ll post an updated video on the camper this spring when we dig it out and start using it again. We’re loving it so far and it’s been really comfortable to use. Of course, we have some more tweaking to do, but i’ts been fun to use so far and we’ll only get better the more we use it. Stay tune for more adventures in 2022!

We went to a local hamburger joint for dinner and we had to wait quite a while for our food. But it’s okay, we all have to be patient right now because so many places are short staffed because of Biden’s stupid vaccine mandates for private businesses. Let’s go Brandon! The workers were stressed and I made sure to say loudly enough for the disgruntled near me to hear, “You guys are doing great! We appreciate you. Hang in there!”

Dec 5: Disappointed

Heard from my brother today – his family will not be joining us for Christmas because my family, and mom and dad, aren’t vaccinated. I wasn’t terribly surprised to hear this, but I was very disappointed. It’s hard for me to understand how people can be so scared of a disease that isn’t that bad for most people and yet be so willing to split a family up over. Especially since my brother and his family are vaccinated. Aren’t they protected? Why are they so scared? This whole topic is so backwards to me. And don’t think you’re protecting us with this decision, we’re fine being around people – we accept whatever consequences come from that decision. But whatever, man. You do you, bro.

Dec 9: Angry

I will never understand the need to fix something that is not broken. Case in point – there is one nurse at work needs to sit somewhere quiet so that she can focus and get her work done. I totally get that, I’m the same way. But in order to make this one nurse happy, instead of moving her desk to a more quiet office, management feels the need to move EVERYONE, separating the MA’s from their nurses, putting all the MA’s together and putting the nurses together(ish – they are spread out all over the clinic), thereby disrupting an otherwise good system that worked for most of the teams, (expect for the nurse that is unhappy). So now, instead of one unhappy nurse that you could have moved someplace else, you have a whole clinic that has been disrupted and not terribly happy with their new seating arrangements. And if that wasn’t bad enough. there aren’t enough desks to house all of the MA’s so I have to share my desk with E, (who has opposite clinic days than I do) so in essence, I don’t have a desk anymore. Did it have to be this way? Nope, it could have been handled differently but as usual, management won’t deal with a sole individual that is having trouble, or not doing her job, but instead, has to make blanket statements and policies that affect everyone and didn’t need to be changed to begin with because it worked for most people.

I had two choices – I could sit in a large room with six MA’s, or share my spot with E. I knew there was no way in hell I could sit in a large room with six other MA’s, all talking at once, all being loud, goofing off, without getting fired because I know me, that situation would make me lose my cool and I would inevitably tell someone to shut up, or get back to work, and then I would be fired. So I opted to share my desk because it was the lesser evil of the two choices. Am I happy about it? Nope. Not at all. But hey, at least that one nurse is happy now.

AARGH.

We had a group of parents protesting outside a local middle school today. The school district is continuing to mandate masks even though the state of Missouri was sued and it was determined that the local health department didn’t have the authority to make those mandates. It was nice to see people actually STANDING up for a change. That’s been my biggest beef with this whole COVID scamdemic – the fact that people didn’t question why they were being forced to wear masks, social distance, etc – everyone just blindly went along with whatever was suggested like mindless sheeple. So gross and disturbing to me. At least these parents had the balls to finally stand up and say ENOUGH.

Dec 13: Disgusted

Covering four clinics this week – sucks.

Dec 17: Confident

Worked Dr. W’s clinic today. One of the patients came in with oxygen and was clearly struggling to breathe. Took his blood pressure and it was super high, like stroke level. The nurse told him he needed to go to the ER, especially given his heart failure history, which only served to upset him further. I was walking down the hallway when I encountered both him and his son. I leaned over and very softly calmed him down. I explained that though he may have back pain, he could live with that, he couldn’t live without a heart. I encouraged him to get checked out because we didn’t want anything to happen to him. His son had to turn his oxygen up all the way and to constant because he was struggling so much. I don’t know what happened to the patient, I hope he’s okay, but it’s important to treat high blood pressure seriously – it could be deadly if left untreated.

Dec 18: Happy

Mom/dad came over for our Christmas party today. Small group, just us and them. But it was fun and we didn’t have to compete with anyone to have a conversation, so that was nice. We had sub sandwiches for lunch and mom spent three days in the kitchen making all sorts of goodies for us. (My favorite being the fudge – it’s the only time of year I eat fudge and this year mom made cinnamon fudge! Yum!). In addition to bringing over all sorts of yummy sweets over, mom brought over a saran wrapped ball. We passed the ball around and the person with the ball had to unwrap it and whatever fell out, that person got to keep. In the meantime, the person next to them is rolling dice and if that person gets a pair, then the person with the ball has to stop unwrapping and hand the ball to the next person. Mom bought a bunch of Dollar store items and put them in the ball. It was a really fun game. Brandon was the last person to unwrap the ball and he got a $20 bill! Here’s a video snippet:

We then played “Say Anything,” another really fun game where you ask questions and then you write down what you think the person asking the question would say. It could be a serious answer or something totally outrageous and that was also a lot of fun – a lot of laughs. Our boys came up with some really funny answers. Highly recommend if you’re looking for an easy, group game suitable for all ages. Mom makes us ornaments every year and every year, she will hang the ornaments in the Christmas tree and we have to find the ornaments with our name on it. She attaches some money to the ornaments and that is my parents’ gift to us. These are the ornaments this year:

Mom didn’t make the little tin camper, I just threw that in because I’m sort of obsessed with it right now. We found it at Hobby Lobby. (Or was it Wal-Mart?)

It was a fun day. We missed the rest of the family and maybe we can get together next year but like I said, we are going to continue living our lives – I guess people can come along if they so choose.

Dec 19: Tired

We went over to Kevin’s parents’ house today for our Christmas party. Again, it was super small and just us and his parents. Though there are a few kids that feel strongly about the vaccine, the biggest reason we didn’t all get together was because most of the kids were arriving at different times and Kevin’s parents’ house is not that big so there wouldn’t have been room to house everyone anyway. Kevin’s mom made us lasagna and we had pizza, too. After being completely stuffed, we played The Left/Right game. Here’s how it works. You grab a gift from a gift pile. One person reads a story and every time you hear left or right, you pass it either left or right to the person next to you. Once the story is completed, then you keep the gift you end up with. Here’s a snippet:

 

It’s sad when your holidays start changing but when your family grows up and starts having families of their own and we get too big to house everyone, you have to be flexible.

It was a fun weekend, but I was pretty pooped out by the time it was over.

Dec 21: Poopy

I felt pretty poopy today at work. I was worried that I had a cold, or God forbid, COVID, so I was pretty nervous taking my weekly COVID test. I have to take a weekly test because I filed a religious exemption against taking the vaccine and getting tested is part of my deal with my employer. It’s a spit test, I don’t have to stick a Q-tip up my nose, thankfully, but it’s still a pain in the ass to do every week.

Luckily, it came back negative. I wasn’t too worried that it would be COVID, because again, I’m not scared of the disease and I’m pretty sure I had COVID in April 2021 so I’m betting I have natural immunity, but I didn’t know how long I would have to be off work and I didn’t want to inconvenience my co-workers if that happened.

Dec 23: Impatient

UGH. The last day of work before a holiday is BRUTAL. It goes so slow and you just end up watching the clock, which moves slower than you’ve ever noticed before. I was practically crawling up the walls before the day was over, I was so anxious to GET OUT.

Dec 24: Happy

Boys came over about 2:00 PM. We played a new game I bought with the Barnes and Noble gift card my work peeps gave me for my birthday. The name of the game is “Forbidden Island” and it’s a lot of fun. It’s a collaborative game where everyone has to work together, grab four treasures then get off the island before it sinks. Highly recommend. It was really fun. We played that game several times on Christmas Eve and Christmas day.

We played another game, Codename, and though it was fun, it wasn’t as fun and it got too easy after a while. Blake wasn’t a big fan of that game and he got pretty frustrated with it so we didn’t play it as much.

We also watched UHF – do not recommend. It has Weird Al Yankovic in it and .. honestly, it’s just stupid. But Blake had run across it and thought it was funny and Brandon hadn’t seen it, so we watched it.

The boys spent the night with us Christmas Eve night and it felt good to have the whole family under one roof again.

Christmas Day! – Relaxed

We all rolled out of bed about 8, (Blake finally rolled out about 9), and we cooked the kids a big breakfast of scrambled eggs, waffles and bacon. (Brandon says this is his favorite part of the holiday). After breakfast, the kids opened their gifts. Christmas is not as exciting as it used to be. We don’t buy the kids anything fun anymore, we buy them things they need but hate to spend money on. Not exciting to open, but they appreciate them when it comes time to use them in their day-to-day life. We did buy them an Air Fryer and they seemed pretty interested in that. We kept the Air Fryer at our house so that we could experiment with it. Kevin chopped up sweet potatoes fries and we tried them in the fryer. They were good, but needed more oil, too dry. But we’re keeping the fryer at our house and we will learn how to make fried chicken in it on New Year’s Eve. That is one of Blake’s favorite meals and I know he won’t use the fryer unless we show him how to first, and I’m curious, to be honest, what it’s like and how it cooks the food.

LeRoy came over after gifts and Kevin made him breakfast and gave him his gifts. We all relaxed and did our own thing after that. We had pulled chicken wraps for lunch and then the boys and I went for a walk around the neighborhood because it was a beautiful, warm day. I heard on the news that our town hasn’t experienced a warm December like this since 1870’s.

Now, before you go calling climate change, read the last part of the previous sentence. The last time it was this warm was in the late 1800’s – meaning, it HAS happened before and that was waaay before gas cars and every other modern convenience that environmental wackos enthusiasts spout that is harmful to our climate.

Anyway …

After our walk, we played some more Forbidden Island and Sequence, then we ate turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans and corn for dinner. (And sweet potato fries in the air fryer). The kids stayed a bit after dinner then we helped them load up their gifts and they went home.

Christmas was chill and relaxed and I loved it!

Our 2021 Christmas Tree. I went minimalist on it this year. I quite liked it.

Dec 26: Sleepy

I took the day off from work so I enjoyed a four-day weekend. I’m not looking forward to going back to work tomorrow. Most of the providers are out-of-the office this week so it should be quiet. I plan on working on my CMA (certified medical assistant) credits this week because I have to have 10 credits before I’m eligible to renew my certificate and I have a 20% coupon that expires on 1-5-22 that I want to use because renewing that stuff ain’t cheap. It’s good for two years.

I spent a large part of my day planning what I want to post on this blog, my podcast(s) and writing this blog post today. It was nice. But I’m really sleepy so I’ll probably go to bed early tonight so I’m fresh and feeling sassy for work tomorrow.

Dec 31: Tired

Boys came over about 4:00. Blake and I made some chicken strips in the air fryer and they turned out great. I can’t wait to buy one for us. The oil sprayer I bought was disappointing – it doesn’t come with a mist feature?? Maybe I’m using it wrong. 

We watched The Matrix, both 1 and 2, and I really liked them. (Though the sex scene in the 2nd Matrix was really awkward to watch with the kids). Kevin wasn’t impressed with the second one and LeRoy was completely lost on both movies, but it was fun and relaxing. The boys have never been interested in watching movies with us in the past so it was a real treat to watch movies with them. I think they’re finally realizing there is a world outside their video games. We also watched Weekend at Bernies – it was Kevins’ suggestion. There are some funny moments, but overall, it’s a really dumb movie. 

Everyone stayed until about 1:00 AM – I was so tired I felt sick. But it was fun!

Welcome 2022! Please be nice!

Reflections

November 2021 Reflections

(My Reflections posts are more stream-of-consciousness kind of posts so I apologize up front if some of what you read doesn’t make sense. But this is me we’re talking about here so … are you really surprised?)

Nov 1: Today was the first day I actually felt “normal,” whatever that means nowadays. I wasn’t dizzy, I had energy, I felt great! It was such a relief to actually feel like myself again. And again, I will doing whatever I need to do to NOT sink into a Vertigo hole again – it was awful, would not recommend. Worked Dr. M’s clinic today and saw him for the first time since “THE INCIDENT.” I was a little embarrassed to face him but I gave him a big hug and told him thanks for basically holding my hand throughout that whole nightmare. I also hugged H, Dr. M’s physician’s assistant, and thanked her for making sure I had a fresh barf bag and for wiping snot from my nose. We all had cookie cake together after clinic today and it was nice to sit down and just chit chat for a change. I really do care about my work family. They are very good to me.

I had a little trouble getting my car started this morning. Actually, it wouldn’t start at all. I knew it wasn’t the battery, we just replaced the battery not too long ago. My car wouldn’t recognize my fob. Which has never happened before and I had no idea what to do about it. Kevin tried his fob and it did the same thing – just dead in the water. Since I needed to get to work, Kevin took me to work and then spent some time reading the manual to figure out what was going on. Apparently, there is a small panel inside my drink holder that I can hold my fob up to and it will connect to the car and come on. I had NO idea that was even there but it’s good to know for future reference. I guess the fob lost the sync with the car. I don’t know, I can’t pretend to know what I’m talking about here. My car only has a push ignition, it doesn’t take a key, which is weird and I’ve never liked it and this is the reason why – because if something happens to your fob you’re sort of SOL. After Kevin figured out how to get it started again, we figured the batteries in the fobs must be dead so he bought some fresh batteries to put into the fobs. What’s weird is that his fob also wouldn’t work – what are the odds that BOTH fobs’ batteries died at the exact same time? So crazy. But, at least I was home and we weren’t traveling or something – it could always be worse, right? Also, I will now put a notice to myself in my calendar to change the batteries every year.

I had to submit my first sputum sample today. That was fun. As a condition of my religious exemption being granted I have to test weekly for COVID. It doesn’t really matter when I test each week, it just has to be done each week. I’ll likely test after clinic is over on Mondays – that seems to be a good time for me. I received some papers with a map to tell me where to go to get a test and some stickers with my information on them to use for my samples. When I checked in, I gave them one of the stickers, they gave me a bottle and a biohazard bag and told me to spit into the bottle, put another sticker label on the bottle and put the bottle into the biohazard bag. I’m supposed to receive a text, I think, whenever the results come back. I have no idea what to expect if it comes back positive but of course, if it comes back negative, I’m cleared to work for the rest of the week. I guess I’ll just make sure I have some paid time off in my bank in case it comes back positive. Who knows what is going to happen. At any rate, this will continue for the unforeseeable future. No one really knows how long it will last but whatever, I don’t really mind, I still have a job, this is quick and easy and at least it’s not a Qtip up the nose – I’m good.

The boys came over last night for Halloween. The weather was nice enough we hung outside on our pergola, built a fire in our outdoor fireplace and ate chili dogs. We didn’t do much, just chit-chatted and enjoyed each others’ company. I think the boys enjoyed it, too. They really liked keeping the fire going. We saw a few trick-or-treaters out but not very many. We don’t get many trick-or-treaters in our neighborhood because our houses are spaced so far apart that it’s a lot of walking for little legs. We don’t even bother trying to hand out candy because no one ever comes.

IT’S GO TIME! NaNoWriMo starts today and according to my time management calendar, I’m slated to write 1000 words today. I didn’t really know what I was going to write or how I was going to start it until I got home from work today. I have a writing sprint up, (these videos REALLY help me get motivated to write), and I will hopefully write 1000 words before I go to bed tonight. Good luck, fellow NaNoWriMos!

Nov 2: Surprise! I don’t have COVID. Shocker! I found out by checking my chart in our system. (You can look up your own record, but you CAN NOT look up your family members or be in a chart without a damn good reason – like it’s a patient coming into the clinic). Then I received a robotic message on my phone. I didn’t like that because I thought they weren’t going to call you unless it was positive so now I will be holding my breath every time I get a robo call on my phone. Though to be fair, I will likely look it up in my chart before I get THE CALL. Anyway. I will doing this for the foreseeable future. Not ideal, but still, it’s not a Qtip up my nose, so that’s a plus.

Nov 3: I pretty much feel back to normal. I get a little woozy if I turn my head quickly, so I try not to do that and not look like a robot.  We had lunch as a team today because we’re still trying to celebrate PA (Physician Assistant) and MA (Medical Assistant) weeks because it’s hard to get all of us together at the same time though to be fair, it’s mostly Dr. M’s fault because he’s a busy man and usually needs to jet after clinics for various doctor stuff. I love these team luncheons, though. I especially love it when we just sit around and crack jokes or shoot the breeze. It’s nice to get away from the clinic setting and just … be people. Believe it or not, we don’t usually talk about patients, though we have, but just catch up on each other’s lives. That tells me we all care about each other and LIKE each other, which is such a rarity nowadays. I know we all appreciate the fact that we have a rare team dynamic and that it doesn’t happen very often, if at all, which I think is another reason why we’re all so close – it’s just unusual. For example, I work with another MA who desperately wants the same connection our team does but her and her nurse are just too different and it’s never going to work. They work together, but they don’t necessarily like each other, which is sad, but typical, I feel. I know how she feels – I used to work with a nurse that I DESPISED. And it wasn’t her personality that I hated, per se, though she was one of those loud, obnoxious people I would equate with fingernails down a chalkboard, but she was just a lousy nurse. She didn’t care about people, she wasn’t very smart when it came to applying her skills to real-life applications, though she was book smart, I guess, and she was just abrasive in nature. I don’t respond to that and by the time shit hit the fan, I just couldn’t even stand to breathe the same air as her. So I get it. It’s really hard to work with someone you dislike or just don’t jive with. That’s why I really, REALLY appreciate the people on my team that much more. IT’S RARE. So I live for these luncheons. I really do. They are fun, relaxing and give us all a moment to bond just a little bit more.

Nov 4: Dr. S’s MA – the other Dr. S, not the Dr. S I routinely work with, had a funeral to go and I was the only MA who wasn’t assigned to work a clinic that day. So I had to work his clinic at the last minute. I didn’t really mind – these things happen – LIFE happens, so I worked his clinic. T, the MA that had to go to the funeral, had prepped everything and all I had to do was put people in the rooms and start the ambulatory portion of the note so it was easy peasy. Dr. S has been working remotely since COVID hit so I knew I wouldn’t have to deal with him directly, which is a good thing, because Dr. S is a SCARY man, only in that he flies off the handle easily and he can be a monster to be around when that happens. Here’s how it works. Patients show up, I put them in a room, do my thing, take their blood pressures and then the PA comes in and does his thing. After he’s done, I put the patient into the “virtual” room and Dr. S. comes on and talks to them. It’s really not that big of a deal though patients aren’t necessarily happy about seeing/talking to their doctor on a laptop.  But that’s what Dr. S wants to do and we’ll continue to do that until he either gets tired of dealing with his patients that way or when insurance says they will no longer pay for Telemedicine visits. There’s some talk that that will happen next year, but who knows what will happen next year – hell, we though COVID was going to be over THIS year and that didn’t happen. And I’m predicting there will be another “variant” when it’s time for the 2022 mid-terms so … COVID is not going away. We just have to learn to deal with it.

Nov 5: I went into work nervous today. In order to be included in an MA program to recruit new MA’s from the hospital’s MA educational program and potentially get MA’s from the program to come work with us, we have to be “re-certified” every year. Which means, we have to be tested on blood pressures, drawing up injections and quizzed on various safety protocols. It’s a good idea, I’m not knocking the necessity of that being done, but when it comes to me, it makes me nervous because remember, I never had any formal education on becoming an MA – I just sort of fell into it. I learned on the job and I learned a TON when I studied up for my certification. I’ve been an MA now for nearly eight years so I know my stuff, but I know my stuff when it comes to my job at this clinic. We’re not a typical clinic – we don’t do blood draws or EKG’s like a lot of other MA’s are required to do in their offices so I went into this feeling anxious. We all had assigned times, my time was 10:00 AM. However, at 9:30 AM, one of the nurses dropped off the schedule and came to me to let me know that I could go in her spot and I walked/jogged to the room to make the appointment. By the time I got there, I was out of breath and they were getting started. I lucked out and was able to do the appointment with T, the nurse I usually work with, so that helped, but the first thing the instructor wanted to do was take my blood pressure.

I always cringe whenever anyone takes my blood pressure because I know it will be high. I’ve always run high. I don’t know why, I just do. Part of the reason, I guess, is because I’m always sort of worked up, hyped up and nervous at work because I’m always ON. I’m hyperaware of what is going on and I always have so much to do that I’m very focused on the job at hand. Anyway, I knew it was going to be high, especially since I walked/jogged to the appointment at the last minute and I wasn’t given a chance to calm down before the reading was taken. Pro tip: that’s usually the reason your blood pressure is taken at the end of your interview with the MA and not at the beginning because you need to give the patient time to settle down before taking their BP as it will likely give you a more accurate reading.

T, my nurse took my blood pressure on a teaching stethoscope, meaning, it was two stethoscopes in one so that the instructor could listen as well to make sure our readings were close and yes, it was high: 173/110. Yikes. I felt weird, too. Just … off. Not dizzy. My heart didn’t hurt, just … weird. I can’t really describe it. After it was over, I went to a quiet place in the clinic and took my pressure again on an automatic BP machine. (We routinely use an automatic – it’s quicker and it’s more accurate than you think it might be). It was 146/93. Still high, but not as high. After some time, I took it again and it was 134/88 – better. Anyway, I’m on a mission to lower my BP. I need to buy a machine for home and monitor it at home, too. I’m curious to see what it is when I’m relaxed and not at work – I’m betting it’s pretty close to normal. I need to know this as well as I’m sure the nurse practitioner I’m seeing on December 2nd will ask me what it runs at home.

Other than that, it was a busy Friday. the phones were CRAZY. I was covering the calls for another physician’s team and he had close to 30 calls, which is crazy. Dr. M only had about ten. Pro tip: if you’re a patient and you call the office multiple times and we try and call you back with an answer and you don’t answer, you go to the bottom of the priority list. If you’re expecting a call from your doctor’s office, keep your phone close and ready to answer because I can assure you, we do not, and will not, take the time to hunt your down because we have 15 other people who need to be called back. And you have to give the office time to process your question. This may mean they are waiting on an answer from the doctor, or your insurance is giving us trouble, or we simply haven’t had time to actually call you back. Be patient, please. It will happen it just may not happen as fast as YOU would like it happen but remember, you’re not the only patient. Chill.

Nov 6: I think I have finally figured out that I’m not cut out to write a novel. I just don’t like writing long pieces of fiction. I’m more of a short story writer. I’m not giving up on NaNaWriMo, but I am changing my strategy. I’m writing whatever the hell I want to write. Whether that’s a blog post, a short story, or parts of my “novel.” I don’t have ADHD but when it comes to writing, I am wondering.

I got my hair done today. I dye it back to my “original” color though it’s dark and I’m getting so much gray hair that I may have to start getting it worked on more often. I currently get my hair done every 12 weeks. And I only have her trim it because I end up putting it up most of the time, so why bother with an actual “style?” However. She cut my bangs too short so now I will have sideswept bangs until it grows out. Ha! No worries. It’s hair, it’ll grow back. I never quite understand these women you see on YouTube that agonize for hours about whether they should cut a few inches off or not and then end up regretting it and act like their lives are going to be over. It’s hair, people. I understand that hair can, and often is, part of one’s identity, but geez louise, enough with the drama. The thing is, I end up paying over $100 dollars for each salon visit, which makes me sick to my stomach. Is this price normal? I mean, she’s good, her cuts ARE really good and it’s not her fault she cut my bangs too short, I tell her to do that most of the time so I don’t have to worry about them getting too long before my next appointment, but wow – that’s a lot of money. But to be fair, she does spend two hours on me so … $50 an hour? I’m sure some of that money has to go to the salon and her booth rental but still … I’m just cheap, I guess. No. I don’t guess, I’m cheap.

Spent a considerable amount of time on Barnes and Noble’s website to figure out what to spend my $30 gift card on only to decide and get ready to check out and the website goes down. FRUSTRATING. (I’m buying two games, in case you were curious. We love board games. I don’t buy physical books anymore – I don’t have room for them! I’m strictly an Amazon Kindle reader now).

Nov 9: This is my least favorite day of the year – my birthday.

I was unreasonably angry this day and I’m not quite sure why. I’ve always hated my birthday – always. I don’t like the attention, to be honest. Yeah, yeah, it’s the day I was born and it’s nice to hear people tell me happy birthday, but you know what? I really don’t care.

But as I get older, I just get ANGRY. Time goes by so fast and I don’t want it to. Slow down! What’s the rush? And then when I look in the mirror, sure, I have a few more wrinkles but I don’t think I look THAT old and yet, when I think of the NUMBER … GAH. Seriously!?? It’s the weirdest thing, and just wait, you’ll get there, but when you get older, it’s almost like it’s happening to someone else. It can’t be my birthday, AGAIN? Can it? And so SOON?

And I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels like we lost two years of our life with this crazy pandemic crap.

And I know part of the reason I feel this way is because I haven’t achieved my goals yet and time is ticking! Father Time doesn’t wait for anyone and I’m left behind with my mouth hanging open and wondering how the old man got past me.

We used to decorate and give gifts for birthdays, doctor’s day, nurse’s week, etc. but there are so many of these celebrations every year that we felt like we were constantly throwing a party and spending way too much money, so now, we eat lunch and/or desert together and call it a celebration. I’m absolutely okay with that, by the way, I would prefer just to spend time together and have some laughs, that works for me. The lovely H brought me a cake and we ate part of that on Monday, (it was really funny because the icing was so heavy that it fell off the side and by the time we got around to cutting into it, it was lopsided and funky – which was perfect because ever since my vertigo episode that’s exactly how I’ve felt!) and T brought me donuts on Wednesday. Krispy Kreme donuts, I might add, because she knows they are Kryptonite to me. (I can seriously, and have, eaten a whole dozen in one sitting before).

I then worked late, came home, barked at Kevin because I wasn’t in the mood to talk about my birthday anymore because I was tired and OLD and went to bed early.

Bah humbug.

Also, one of the new MA’s started today and I’ve been assigned, (Okay, I volunteered. Also, I’ve been working Dr. S’s clinics and she will be Dr. S’s MA so it seemed the most logical thing to do to take her under my wing), to train her and though I’m very excited that she’s here, I know I’m going to be behind and working late to catch up these next few months. I get .50 per hour more for “mentor” pay so though it’s going to be hard and exhausting, the paycheck is going to look good! Booyah!

Nov 11: I’m off work! I took a little vacation time because I’m burned out and since I wasn’t able to take my vacation at the end of September because of the whole hanging onto my job with my fingernails thing and putting in my resignation only for the hospital to approve my religious exemption appeal at the last minute, I lost that time. I wanted to go ahead and head out to Branson for our camping trip, but Thursdays are the busiest day of the weeks for Kevin so I hung out at home, relaxed and just vegged. It was nice.

Nov 12: Kevin worked the morning and while he worked, I packed up the trailer. It’s getting easier. All I have to do is pack our clothes and food and we’re pretty much ready to go. We learn something every time we go on a trip, though to be fair, this was only our second time using the trailer, but we’ll get it down to a science before long.

I wrote about our trip here, if you’re interested in reading all about it.

Side note: I was shopping around on Etsy and ran across some cool stickers for the trailer. I really like this one and this one, but Kevin doesn’t seem to be overly interested in either option so we’ll see if I can talk him into something like this. I would really like to jazz up the outside of the trailer with either a decal/wrap around something on the outside of something like these stickers. I don’t like that the trailer looks so plain but that’s the part that Kevin likes. He likes being “incognito” and making people think it’s just a trailer and not a living space. He doesn’t want to draw attention to it but to be honest, when we’re parked in a campground with all of these $50,000 RV’s surrounding us, we sort of stick out – I like to affectionately call us the “Beverly Hillbillies” of camping – I don’t think Kevin likes my pet name for the trailer.

Nov 16: Back to work and hit the ground running. The new girl, E, was with me and we worked Dr. S’s clinic for the first time. Dr. S’s team had already met her, she interviewed with them briefly before she was hired, so they weren’t complete strangers though you know how it goes when you start a new job, it’s just awkward. She’s pretty sharp though and I think she’s going to catch on fast, thank goodness. I like Dr. S and her team, but I’ve been taking care of two teams now for six months and I’m READY to get back to normal.

Though we have a nurse quitting December 1st so … *sigh* No rest for the weary.

Continue reading “November 2021 Reflections”

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”