August 2022 Reflections

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


July 2022 Reflections

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


June 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?)

June 1: Clinic went well. E. was very thankful for helping her out. I’m really enjoying working her clinic. She’s smart, articulate, gracious, considerate and accessible. She doesn’t see as many patients as the surgeons but it’s enough to keep us busy all day because we’re having to get more information on them than we would in the neurosurgery clinic. We had a really good conversation about where she wants to take the clinic and it was exciting, to me, anyway. I would like to be part of this process. To be part of something bigger, to help mold it into a successful clinic. My gut is telling me I should stay with her. But I don’t know if I can leave Dr. M. and H. I’ve been their MA for nine years – that’s not something you can easily just toss away. But staying with E. in some ways, in a lot of ways, would be easier but more challenging, if that makes sense. I know I’m only supposed to be with E for six(ish) weeks but … I’m torn.

June 2: I don’t know my head from my ass. The MA before me, who is no longer with us because 1. she was terrible and 2. she made some pretty bad choices, left everything in a mess. I can tell that she didn’t really know what she was doing. I’m trying to sort through it all. If I hadn’t tested positive for COVID, (I didn’t have COVID, folks – these tests are bogus), I would have had time to organize and be prepared to help E. out. In addition, there is an aspect to this job that requires secretary permissions – accessing PACS largely, (our imaging software – this is where MRI’s, CT’s, xrays, etc go and where doctors pull up the images to review), and other smaller permissions needed to other bits and bobs in order to get all of the information that E. needs to go over with patients and aid her with diagnoses. And let’s face it – rooming patients, getting that information, easy, I’ve been doing that for nine years. Scheduling testing, easy. I’ve been doing that on and off since starting with this job. But the secretarial part of this process, which is not hard, but time consuming and consists of a lot of moving parts, I’m unfamiliar with. So naturally, I need help with this part. And considering this is only my third day of helping E. out, I’m treading water here. So, I reach out to the secretaries in the neurosurgery clinic for help for example, in how to fill out FMLA paperwork. Again. We had secretaries for that in the neurosurgery clinic – I’ve never done it, I’ve never had to do it because it was someone else’s responsibility. My manager gets wind of my asking for help, even though she has repeatedly told me to ask for help if I need it and for once, I take her up on the offer, (because I don’t ask for help – I’ll figure it out on my own), and she comes storming up to my office and flat out tells me no.

EXCUSE ME?! She said I “needed to figure it out, that this is now my responsibility.” Um .. I’m happy to do the job but I can’t do the job if I’ve never shown how to do it! I was flabbergasted and PISSED OFF. And I wasn’t very nice back to her, I’ll be honest. It was an ugly conversation and one that E. heard every bit of because her desk is behind a wall behind my desk to give her some privacy and I don’t think my manager knew she was back there. E. was pretty pissed as well. We got through the rest of clinic, it was just me and E., but we talked about it later and she talked me off a ledge.

June 3: Today was much calmer. It was just me and E. but we only had a morning clinic so it was manageable. I prepared Dr. M’s clinic and E’s clinic for Monday and returned some phone calls. Luckily, it wasn’t that busy and I was able to get some things done. E. and I had another great conversation and I came to a decision, though let’s be honest, I knew this was going to happen – I told her I would like to stay with her permanently. I really enjoy working with her and I think we can do great things with the clinic. It was a spur of the moment decision, basically I said, “What do you say if we make this situation permanent?” She visibly sighed with relief and that’s that – I’m E’s new MA. I text Dr. M and H and told them and lastly, I told management, who can kiss my butt because I’m OVER them. So. They will post my old MA position for Dr. M. I will continue to prepare his clinics until they find and train someone to take over. I won’t work his clinics, another MA will do that, but at least they won’t have to worry about preparing his clinics – they can literally walk in and start rooming patients. Our assistant director, who is over my manager, came up to talk to me at the end of the day. He apologized on my manager’s behalf – no one should deny anyone help, especially when they ask for it, and told me there would be changes in the near future. Who knows what that means but I no longer care, my first priority is to E and turning her clinic into a well run machine. I really feel like God plopped this opportunity into my lap. I’m feeling very grateful.

June 4: Took Kevin to see my new desk today. I’m actually on a whole new floor, so that’s exciting. He helped me move our fridge around to figure out where we could put it. I’m really looking forward to this new challenge. I just hope I get to stick around and don’t have to leave in the Fall when the flu vaccine mandate rolls around. That’s like a black cloud always following me around. Starting to have some pain in my left lower jaw. It’s probably a tooth problem. I haven’t been to the dentist in years.

June 5: Went up to the middle school and used their track to walk on. It was a beautiful day. I really want to get back into walking again. I passed an old man and he said, “you are a beautiful woman.” Ha! He needs his eye sight checked. Gas is up to $4.29. FJB. If you know what that means, you know.

June 6: Strange day. E’s old MA came over to get some stuff she forgot out of her desk, so that was super awkward since I technically took her place. Then, about 20 minutes later, I don’t know what she said, but it was bad enough that security was called and she was escorted out of the building. It upset E. and we ended up canceling the rest of the day. There is more to this story but I don’t feel right sharing that here, suffice it to say, it was serious and she will never work for the hospital again.

June 7: I’m starting to get a handle on who clinic runs. I still have a lot to learn about E. and her preferences but I’m starting to get organized and I’m finally ahead of the rolling ball always right on my heels. I’ve been working insane hours – twelve hour days just to stay ahead. I’m preparing Dr. M’s clinic as well as E’s clinics, rooming, scheduling, returning phone calls … it’s been nuts. It’s been a challenge and I’m loving the multi-tasking but I don’t want to keep this pace up forever – hopefully, they will get me help soon. My paychecks are AWESOME though.

June 10: Fridays are half clinic days. E. only sees patients in the morning so it gives me a chance to get caught up from the week and prepare for the next week. It’s been rough having clinic every day. We only had clinic twice a week in neurosurgery, (the surgeons are in surgery the rest of the week), so the pace is sort of grueling, wash and repeat kind of thing. Getting an handle on it and the more I get to know E., the more I truly like her.

June 11: Kevin figured out how much it would cost us in gas to drive to Galveston, Texas in August if gas gets up to $5.00 a gallon – $800! Ouch. Hopefully, it won’t get that high but too bad, we’re doing this. FJB and his stupid, asinine policies.

June 12: Really hot today. I made the mistake of going to the middle school and walking and nearly passed out from dehydration. I had to sit under a tree to cool off. So annoying getting older. I used to be able to tolerate hot weather a lot better when I was younger. Sucks.

June 13: Good clinic day. I’m definitely finding my groove. I’m learning I can NOT procrastinate in this clinic – there’s no time to procrastinate because we will have a whole batch of new patients and problems tomorrow. In some ways, this is good for me because I’m a huge procrastinator. Another MA quit today. Our management sucks and it’s really taking a toll on everyone. There’s a lot of drama on my old floor. I’m so glad I’m on a different floor and drama free. God was definitely looking out for me.

June 14: Some asshole scrapped up Blake’s car. I felt so bad for him, he loves that car. People are jerks.

June 15: Another MA bites the dust. The director of the clinic pulled me aside and told me that they simply didn’t have the staff to help me right now so I’m basically on my own. I told him that’s fine but I will be getting a lot of overtime. He told me that was the least of his concerns right now. I’m up for it but let’s hope they find me help soon – maintaining this crazy pace is going to get old FAST.

June 16: Kevin and Brandon talked about moving into the rental house in February. The boys are ready to get out of their apartment. They are sick of noisy neighbors and the parking situation.

June 17: We took off at 12:30 today and headed to Linn Creek up by the Lake of the Ozarks. I felt really nauseous packing up, I have no idea why, but thankfully it subsided by the time we were ready to take off. I’m rarely sick so when I do feel bad, it always sort of takes me by surprise. It’s super hot today – in the 90’s. This might be too uncomfortable to camp in, but we’ll see. We got to the campground and the site they assigned us had little to no shade. The guy that was guiding us to our site felt bad and changed it to a site that had some shade trees. I’m so thankful, that would have been miserable. The KOA site is right off the highway and nestled in the trees so there was very little wind. This might be a mistake.

June 18 – 21: Will write more about this camping trip soon.

June 22: Back to work. E. and I went through her upcoming schedule template to try and figure out how many patients just her and me can comfortably see. That’s another reason I really like E., she thinks ahead like this. Makes life SO much easier when you have someone that thinks ahead. We now have three neurosurgeons that do not have an MA so realistically, this means E’s clinic will likely be the last priority as far as getting anyone to help. I’m up for it, though. And I have to say, I’m DIGGING not having a nurse to run things by. It’s just me and E. And she’s so accessible and available at all times to ask questions – it’s really freeing in a lot of ways. I’m loving it. Booked another camping trip – we’re going to a state park for the first time and it won’t have sewer. That will be a challenge.

June 23: Had some patients no-show their appointments today so the day dragged by. That’s the thing with her schedule – it’s VERY fluid. I find myself having to re-wire my brain as far as expectations and such. But at least I don’t feel as out-of-control anymore. I’m definitely getting into a groove.

June 25: Boys came over for a belated Father’s Day celebration. Kevin made us curly-cue hotdogs on the grill. He’s such a good cook. WAY better than myself. I hate cooking. I hate spending 30 minutes on something that literally takes five minutes to consume. I was hoping they would stay for games, but neither of them were feeling it. We talked more about them moving into the rental house with LeRoy. They seem pretty excited about it though I’m not sure LeRoy is very excited having to share a house he’s had to himself for about six/seven years.

June 26: Super tired and super not motivated today. I think my crazy work schedule is starting to get to me.

June 27: E is worried about me. She doesn’t want me to burn out and quit. The long hours are starting to take a toll but I’m determined to make this work – I want to be indispensable so that they won’t be able to let me go when vaccine exemption time rolls around.

June 28: Had a man with one leg and a body full of tattoos tell me I smelled good today. Um .. yuck. I really do love working with E. I get to schedule patients for appointments and testing and I really missed doing that as a scheduler. I’ll be honest, I don’t really like being an MA. People exhaust me anyway but to have to listen to their painful stories … it’s almost too much for my introverted personality.


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:


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.


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.


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!


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!


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. 


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.