(My Reflections posts are more stream-of-consciousness kind of posts so I apologize up front if some of what you read doesn’t make sense. But this is me we’re talking about here so … are you really surprised?)
Dec 1: Mood – Meh (Thought I would add my mood for the day)
And just like that, it’s December – 2021 is nearly over!! I’m sorry … WHAT?!?
I know I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating – how does time go so fast? How can we slow this down? I swear, we will blink a few times and we’ll be right back here, looking at another picture of Santa Claus and thinking, “where did 2022 go?!??”
As usual, I’m writing this reflections post at the END of the month but never fear! I did a bang-up job of keeping up with my journal this month so I’ll elaborate on my thoughts from that.
You’re welcome. I know you were worried for a minute.
Still training the new girl at work. Actually, one of the new girls, we have two. We are now fully staffed with medical assistants, so, that’s good. Now, if we can only find three more nurses, we’ll be set. At least, until the next upheaval because let’s be honest, no one is really fully staffed for very long because … life, am I right? She’s pretty sharp and I think she’s going to work out nicely for Dr. S.’s team. Not gonna lie, training DRAINS me but we can’t expect the new people to do well if we don’t invest some time in their training, right? I’m anticipating her being on her own by Christmas.
We talked about a team activity to celebrate Christmas today. We all went to an Escape Room last January, (we just can’t coordinate our schedules in December, everyone is too busy) and I think it would be fun to go H’s new house and have a murder mystery dinner. We could dress up, assume a character and find out who the murderer is! I know, this suggestion is really odd coming from me considering I HATE dressing up, but I think it would be fun, interesting and full of laughs. Someone on the team suggested we go someplace and shoot guns, which, honestly, I’m down for. I wouldn’t mind learning how to shoot a gun. Kevin and I talk about taking lessons all the time. Also, ax throwing – which – I’ll be honest, I don’t know if I’m strong enough for that one and I keep imagining someone getting an ax stuck in their arm. I don’t know, we’ll see what we come up with.
Dec 2: Mood – Grateful to feel normal
Did my wellness labs today. We weigh, have blood drawn and have our blood pressure taken every year to assess how healthy we are. We do this so that we get stickers in January that we put on our badges and we get 35% off cafeteria food. Which is already expensive and really comes in handy, to be honest. My labs were perfect. All within normal ranges. I was very pleased by my numbers. My A1C was a little high but I cheated that morning and had some coffee with some creamer instead of fasting like I was supposed to. Oops.
I also saw a nurse practitioner today to establish care with a primary care provider. Believe it or not, I don’t have a doctor. I’ve never had a primary doctor, I’ve never had the need for one. I’m very healthy and work to stay that way. The biggest reason I went to see her was for a referral to an Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor to try and address the Vertigo I had back in late October. And they drew more blood to do a full panel on me, test my thyroid function, etc. and I’m happy to say, even the extended labs came back all normal. Again, I was very proud of myself. The NP wanted me to come back and get a full physical, breast exam, pap smear, which I made an appointment for, but I have no intention of keeping it, I will be canceling it soon. Maybe I’ll reschedule – I don’t know. Why go looking for problems? Though I understand it’s good to have a baseline, I’m not having any issues at this time so it just feels … intrusive. I don’t know. I’ll think about it some more.
Super stressful day today. I was busy training, trying to get some stuff done for Dr. M and get his clinic ready for the next Monday while packing stuff up to take to Dr. S’s Harrison clinic tomorrow. I know my blood pressure was up, (and it was a little high at the doctor’s office). This was one of those days I end up asking myself, “WHY AM I DOING KILLING MYSELF FOR THIS JOB? WHY??”
Dec 3: Relieved
Went to Harrison AR with team S today. It was the easiest outlying clinic I’ve ever worked. In fact, I didn’t even work it, E did. And she did great. She really rocked it. I was available for questions, which she had very few. I actually drove myself to Harrison, the team went together in the company SUV. I drove myself because I knew it would be a cramped ride and I get car sick and I wanted to give E time to bond with Dr. S’s nurse, so I drove. And it was pretty fantastic. It was relaxing and it was an easy drive. I got there before the team and set things up so they were ready to go when they walked in the door. I’m hoping this was my last time going to an outlying clinic. The clinic we used to go to with Dr. M’s team, our lease expired and the facility didn’t renew it so we don’t have an outlying clinic to do now. DARN! (Totally being sarcastic in case you didn’t pick up on that). Today more than made up for the very stressful day I had yesterday. Thank God.
Dec 4: Relaxed
Spent some time setting up my new Garmin Venu SQ today. It looks a lot like an Apple watch. I like the square face. I also ordered some replacement bands because I get bored wearing the same thing over and over again. The band is super easy to change, pretty happy about that. I think I have too many settings because it seems like the battery is really draining fast. I’ll have to play around with it some more. But I dig the fitness watches because I like to keep track of my sleep patterns and steps. Also, I earn points that goes into a health account at work so if I rack up a medical bill, I can apply the “money” I’ve earned in my account to help pay for it. Win, win situation.
We went to Hobby Lobby and bought a really cool picture to put into the camper.
For those of you catching up – Kevin bought a cargo trailer and converted it into a comfortable camper for us. Since it doesn’t look like we’ll be going on cruises any time in the future, (because we refuse to inject ourselves with an experimental mystery that no one knows the long-term repercussions for a virus that has a 99% recovery rate for most people – but I digress), we decided camping would be the next best thing because we refuse to live our lives cooped up at home all the time. I promise! We’ll post an updated video on the camper this spring when we dig it out and start using it again. We’re loving it so far and it’s been really comfortable to use. Of course, we have some more tweaking to do, but i’ts been fun to use so far and we’ll only get better the more we use it. Stay tune for more adventures in 2022!
We went to a local hamburger joint for dinner and we had to wait quite a while for our food. But it’s okay, we all have to be patient right now because so many places are short staffed because of Biden’s stupid vaccine mandates for private businesses. Let’s go Brandon! The workers were stressed and I made sure to say loudly enough for the disgruntled near me to hear, “You guys are doing great! We appreciate you. Hang in there!”
Dec 5: Disappointed
Heard from my brother today – his family will not be joining us for Christmas because my family, and mom and dad, aren’t vaccinated. I wasn’t terribly surprised to hear this, but I was very disappointed. It’s hard for me to understand how people can be so scared of a disease that isn’t that bad for most people and yet be so willing to split a family up over. Especially since my brother and his family are vaccinated. Aren’t they protected? Why are they so scared? This whole topic is so backwards to me. And don’t think you’re protecting us with this decision, we’re fine being around people – we accept whatever consequences come from that decision. But whatever, man. You do you, bro.
Dec 9: Angry
I will never understand the need to fix something that is not broken. Case in point – there is one nurse at work needs to sit somewhere quiet so that she can focus and get her work done. I totally get that, I’m the same way. But in order to make this one nurse happy, instead of moving her desk to a more quiet office, management feels the need to move EVERYONE, separating the MA’s from their nurses, putting all the MA’s together and putting the nurses together(ish – they are spread out all over the clinic), thereby disrupting an otherwise good system that worked for most of the teams, (expect for the nurse that is unhappy). So now, instead of one unhappy nurse that you could have moved someplace else, you have a whole clinic that has been disrupted and not terribly happy with their new seating arrangements. And if that wasn’t bad enough. there aren’t enough desks to house all of the MA’s so I have to share my desk with E, (who has opposite clinic days than I do) so in essence, I don’t have a desk anymore. Did it have to be this way? Nope, it could have been handled differently but as usual, management won’t deal with a sole individual that is having trouble, or not doing her job, but instead, has to make blanket statements and policies that affect everyone and didn’t need to be changed to begin with because it worked for most people.
I had two choices – I could sit in a large room with six MA’s, or share my spot with E. I knew there was no way in hell I could sit in a large room with six other MA’s, all talking at once, all being loud, goofing off, without getting fired because I know me, that situation would make me lose my cool and I would inevitably tell someone to shut up, or get back to work, and then I would be fired. So I opted to share my desk because it was the lesser evil of the two choices. Am I happy about it? Nope. Not at all. But hey, at least that one nurse is happy now.
We had a group of parents protesting outside a local middle school today. The school district is continuing to mandate masks even though the state of Missouri was sued and it was determined that the local health department didn’t have the authority to make those mandates. It was nice to see people actually STANDING up for a change. That’s been my biggest beef with this whole COVID scamdemic – the fact that people didn’t question why they were being forced to wear masks, social distance, etc – everyone just blindly went along with whatever was suggested like mindless sheeple. So gross and disturbing to me. At least these parents had the balls to finally stand up and say ENOUGH.
Dec 13: Disgusted
Covering four clinics this week – sucks.
Dec 17: Confident
Worked Dr. W’s clinic today. One of the patients came in with oxygen and was clearly struggling to breathe. Took his blood pressure and it was super high, like stroke level. The nurse told him he needed to go to the ER, especially given his heart failure history, which only served to upset him further. I was walking down the hallway when I encountered both him and his son. I leaned over and very softly calmed him down. I explained that though he may have back pain, he could live with that, he couldn’t live without a heart. I encouraged him to get checked out because we didn’t want anything to happen to him. His son had to turn his oxygen up all the way and to constant because he was struggling so much. I don’t know what happened to the patient, I hope he’s okay, but it’s important to treat high blood pressure seriously – it could be deadly if left untreated.
Dec 18: Happy
Mom/dad came over for our Christmas party today. Small group, just us and them. But it was fun and we didn’t have to compete with anyone to have a conversation, so that was nice. We had sub sandwiches for lunch and mom spent three days in the kitchen making all sorts of goodies for us. (My favorite being the fudge – it’s the only time of year I eat fudge and this year mom made cinnamon fudge! Yum!). In addition to bringing over all sorts of yummy sweets over, mom brought over a saran wrapped ball. We passed the ball around and the person with the ball had to unwrap it and whatever fell out, that person got to keep. In the meantime, the person next to them is rolling dice and if that person gets a pair, then the person with the ball has to stop unwrapping and hand the ball to the next person. Mom bought a bunch of Dollar store items and put them in the ball. It was a really fun game. Brandon was the last person to unwrap the ball and he got a $20 bill! Here’s a video snippet:
We then played “Say Anything,” another really fun game where you ask questions and then you write down what you think the person asking the question would say. It could be a serious answer or something totally outrageous and that was also a lot of fun – a lot of laughs. Our boys came up with some really funny answers. Highly recommend if you’re looking for an easy, group game suitable for all ages. Mom makes us ornaments every year and every year, she will hang the ornaments in the Christmas tree and we have to find the ornaments with our name on it. She attaches some money to the ornaments and that is my parents’ gift to us. These are the ornaments this year:
Mom didn’t make the little tin camper, I just threw that in because I’m sort of obsessed with it right now. We found it at Hobby Lobby. (Or was it Wal-Mart?)
It was a fun day. We missed the rest of the family and maybe we can get together next year but like I said, we are going to continue living our lives – I guess people can come along if they so choose.
Dec 19: Tired
We went over to Kevin’s parents’ house today for our Christmas party. Again, it was super small and just us and his parents. Though there are a few kids that feel strongly about the vaccine, the biggest reason we didn’t all get together was because most of the kids were arriving at different times and Kevin’s parents’ house is not that big so there wouldn’t have been room to house everyone anyway. Kevin’s mom made us lasagna and we had pizza, too. After being completely stuffed, we played The Left/Right game. Here’s how it works. You grab a gift from a gift pile. One person reads a story and every time you hear left or right, you pass it either left or right to the person next to you. Once the story is completed, then you keep the gift you end up with. Here’s a snippet:
It’s sad when your holidays start changing but when your family grows up and starts having families of their own and we get too big to house everyone, you have to be flexible.
It was a fun weekend, but I was pretty pooped out by the time it was over.
Dec 21: Poopy
I felt pretty poopy today at work. I was worried that I had a cold, or God forbid, COVID, so I was pretty nervous taking my weekly COVID test. I have to take a weekly test because I filed a religious exemption against taking the vaccine and getting tested is part of my deal with my employer. It’s a spit test, I don’t have to stick a Q-tip up my nose, thankfully, but it’s still a pain in the ass to do every week.
Luckily, it came back negative. I wasn’t too worried that it would be COVID, because again, I’m not scared of the disease and I’m pretty sure I had COVID in April 2021 so I’m betting I have natural immunity, but I didn’t know how long I would have to be off work and I didn’t want to inconvenience my co-workers if that happened.
Dec 23: Impatient
UGH. The last day of work before a holiday is BRUTAL. It goes so slow and you just end up watching the clock, which moves slower than you’ve ever noticed before. I was practically crawling up the walls before the day was over, I was so anxious to GET OUT.
Dec 24: Happy
Boys came over about 2:00 PM. We played a new game I bought with the Barnes and Noble gift card my work peeps gave me for my birthday. The name of the game is “Forbidden Island” and it’s a lot of fun. It’s a collaborative game where everyone has to work together, grab four treasures then get off the island before it sinks. Highly recommend. It was really fun. We played that game several times on Christmas Eve and Christmas day.
We played another game, Codename, and though it was fun, it wasn’t as fun and it got too easy after a while. Blake wasn’t a big fan of that game and he got pretty frustrated with it so we didn’t play it as much.
We also watched UHF – do not recommend. It has Weird Al Yankovic in it and .. honestly, it’s just stupid. But Blake had run across it and thought it was funny and Brandon hadn’t seen it, so we watched it.
The boys spent the night with us Christmas Eve night and it felt good to have the whole family under one roof again.
Christmas Day! – Relaxed
We all rolled out of bed about 8, (Blake finally rolled out about 9), and we cooked the kids a big breakfast of scrambled eggs, waffles and bacon. (Brandon says this is his favorite part of the holiday). After breakfast, the kids opened their gifts. Christmas is not as exciting as it used to be. We don’t buy the kids anything fun anymore, we buy them things they need but hate to spend money on. Not exciting to open, but they appreciate them when it comes time to use them in their day-to-day life. We did buy them an Air Fryer and they seemed pretty interested in that. We kept the Air Fryer at our house so that we could experiment with it. Kevin chopped up sweet potatoes fries and we tried them in the fryer. They were good, but needed more oil, too dry. But we’re keeping the fryer at our house and we will learn how to make fried chicken in it on New Year’s Eve. That is one of Blake’s favorite meals and I know he won’t use the fryer unless we show him how to first, and I’m curious, to be honest, what it’s like and how it cooks the food.
LeRoy came over after gifts and Kevin made him breakfast and gave him his gifts. We all relaxed and did our own thing after that. We had pulled chicken wraps for lunch and then the boys and I went for a walk around the neighborhood because it was a beautiful, warm day. I heard on the news that our town hasn’t experienced a warm December like this since 1870’s.
Now, before you go calling climate change, read the last part of the previous sentence. The last time it was this warm was in the late 1800’s – meaning, it HAS happened before and that was waaay before gas cars and every other modern convenience that environmental
wackos enthusiasts spout that is harmful to our climate.
After our walk, we played some more Forbidden Island and Sequence, then we ate turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans and corn for dinner. (And sweet potato fries in the air fryer). The kids stayed a bit after dinner then we helped them load up their gifts and they went home.
Christmas was chill and relaxed and I loved it!
Dec 26: Sleepy
I took the day off from work so I enjoyed a four-day weekend. I’m not looking forward to going back to work tomorrow. Most of the providers are out-of-the office this week so it should be quiet. I plan on working on my CMA (certified medical assistant) credits this week because I have to have 10 credits before I’m eligible to renew my certificate and I have a 20% coupon that expires on 1-5-22 that I want to use because renewing that stuff ain’t cheap. It’s good for two years.
I spent a large part of my day planning what I want to post on this blog, my podcast(s) and writing this blog post today. It was nice. But I’m really sleepy so I’ll probably go to bed early tonight so I’m fresh and feeling sassy for work tomorrow.
Dec 31: Tired
Boys came over about 4:00. Blake and I made some chicken strips in the air fryer and they turned out great. I can’t wait to buy one for us. The oil sprayer I bought was disappointing – it doesn’t come with a mist feature?? Maybe I’m using it wrong.
We watched The Matrix, both 1 and 2, and I really liked them. (Though the sex scene in the 2nd Matrix was really awkward to watch with the kids). Kevin wasn’t impressed with the second one and LeRoy was completely lost on both movies, but it was fun and relaxing. The boys have never been interested in watching movies with us in the past so it was a real treat to watch movies with them. I think they’re finally realizing there is a world outside their video games. We also watched Weekend at Bernies – it was Kevins’ suggestion. There are some funny moments, but overall, it’s a really dumb movie.
Everyone stayed until about 1:00 AM – I was so tired I felt sick. But it was fun!
Welcome 2022! Please be nice!