Work Stuff

The Worst Four Days of My Life

Honestly, the title says it all.

Gah – just looking at this picture triggers me. LOL

I wish I were being dramatic.

It all started on Friday. Our team traveled to an outlying city, about an hour away, to hold clinic. We hadn’t been to this particular city in quite some time because we simply didn’t have the patient demand, but for whatever reason the moons aligned, the stars sent a message, (I don’t believe in that stuff, by the way), and we had a small clinic’s worth of patients scheduled. We were going to outlying clinic.

I was stressed. Not gonna lie. We haven’t been to this clinic in quite some time and I knew that the location of this clinic had changed from the last time we had gone and I didn’t know what to expect, how it was set up, where the patients would wait, nothing. Not to mention, we were renting space from a competing hospital, it wasn’t even the same hospital that we currently work at so I knew we would have to take EVERYTHING with us, including a hotspot that sometimes, sometimes doesn’t, work.

Awesome.

But being the perfectionist that I am and determined NOT to let this situation get the best of me, I prepared the sh*t out of it. I got a contact number for our contact person, we emailed back and forth several times with her to find out what rooms we would be using, I called all of the patients ahead of time and got all of the information that I needed from them so that it would take no time at all to plug in their information and Dr. M and H, his mid-level, wouldn’t be waiting on me. I hate that. I never want to be the reason for something being done wrong or not at all. I had the team sign on to their computers before we left to ensure they would be able to establish a connection for their dictation/microphone thingie they use to write their patient notes.

I was ready, or as ready as I could be.

The day of clinic was perfect. The weather was nice, sunny, no issues there. Dr. M told us that he had to get back to town early because he had a meeting he needed to get to so I had called all of the patients the day before and moved their check-in times up but that meant we needed to get on the road super early. I got up at 4:30 AM, got ready, got to the hospital, clocked on and started the first two patient notes so that all I had to do was put them in rooms and get their vitals. I had loaded the company vehicle the night before so all I had to do was meet everyone in the garage and we would take off.

And that’s what happened. It was perfect. We were on the road at 7:00 AM exactly. Everything was going according to plan.

We get to the facility, we unload, we lug our stuff in and settle into our rooms. The hospital was actually really pretty and the rooms were spacious and we had plenty of room to spread out. Everyone signed onto their computers and established a Wi-Fi connection and again, everything was going according to plan. I roomed the first patient, handed her off to H so she could work her magic and then I roomed the second patient.

I was anxious but not really that stressed. At least, I didn’t feel like I was, to be honest. T, our nurse, brought bagels and I was looking forward to having a bagel in between patients.

And then, sh*t hit the fan.

I started feeling dizzy. I have no idea why, it just came on suddenly. I have had a few dizzy spells the past few weeks but they didn’t last long and I went about my day. This time, when it happened, I felt like I was going to faint.

We thought at first my blood sugar was low because I hadn’t eaten anything that morning and T dug out a bagel and I took a few bites thinking that might help. But then I started to feel faint, so I put my head between my legs to get the blood flowing figuring that would help and we could continue on our way.

Big mistake.

BIG. MISTAKE.

When I came back up, I was suddenly transported to Funhouse Hell. I really have no idea what happened, but my eyes wouldn’t focus on anything and the room was spinning and swaying. I completely lost my equilibrium.  T noticed it first and then H got involved. Dr. M was with a patient. I remember thinking, “oh thank God, this would be embarrassing in front of Dr. M.” It was embarrassing enough in front of T and H, but they are my girls and I knew they would help me get through whatever was going on.

I remember just sort of staring at the ceiling – it was fascinating in a way to see the room just sort of liquify. I knew I was experiencing Vertigo, but I had no idea why or what to do about it. I immediately started feeling nauseous and knew I was going to vomit. Like, BAD. Of course, this is the moment Dr. M. comes back into the room. At least, I think so, it’s sort of a blur.

H guides me out of my chair and into a reclining chair. She took my blood pressure – 173/105 with a pulse rate of 90 and I was sweating BULLETS. The movement of that transfer is what did me in. Luckily, a barf bag came out of nowhere, I don’t know how the girls found a barf bag so quickly in a room we weren’t familiar with, but it was thrust into my hand and I immediately lost the few bites of bagel and the water/coffee I had drank that morning.

I remember filling the bag up halfway. This barf bag looked like a giant condom and for some reason, on the level that wasn’t freaked out and spinning, I thought it was funny.

The things you think about in the midst of a disaster, I guess.

I started to feel very disoriented and I just kept puking. Dr. M. and H said we needed to wheel me down to the ER and the fact that I didn’t resist speaks volumes – I NEVER go to the ER unless I am dying and in that moment, I thought I might be dying.

Keep in mind, I’ve never experienced Vertigo before so I had no idea what I was dealing with or HOW to deal with it.

We get to the ER check-in desk and there was a female patient sitting there. It sounds like they are shooting the breeze to me and I’m now dry heaving behind her with Dr. M and H standing on either side of me.

Sexy.

I remember H saying to Dr. M., “you want to pull some doctor strings here?” And Dr. M. just sort of interrupts the patient and check-in girl’s conversation though to be fair, I think the patient went to sit in a waiting room chair by that point, and the girl asks for my name but I’m having trouble forming words because I’m thinking, “if I open my mouth I will most likely projectile vomit all over the place.” I didn’t know what I would projectile vomit, since I didn’t have anything else in my stomach, maybe the tail end of my small intestine …? So Dr. M., or H, I can’t remember who, maybe both, gave them my information and then the girl asked me for the last four digits of my social security number.

Social security number? My head was so fuzzy that I remember having to force myself to focus and to run my SSN through my head before giving her the last four digits. I was rather proud of myself for answering that simple question and I was disappointed Dr. M and H didn’t quietly congratulate me.

Kidding.

Sort of.

They wheeled me back to the room and everything and I focused on keeping my head as still as possible. Because every time my head moved even a millimeter out of alignment I felt like my head was going to detach from my body and land on the floor.

Wouldn’t that have been embarrassing. And keep in mind, I’m already MORTIFIED that this is even happening let alone that I barfed in front of everyone.

Oh wait, it gets better.

Even though I knew what was happening around me, it was like it was happening to someone else, or that I was living in a dream world.

I WISH it had happened to someone else. (Well, not really, that would be mean, I wouldn’t wish this experience on my worse enemy). I WISH it was happening to someone else and I still couldn’t believe it was happening to ME, even when we reached the ER room and I stumbled from the wheelchair to the table and then promptly dry heaved some more. (I had a new barf bag by that point – still don’t know where the second barf bag came from to this day – it was like H was a magician with those bags).

At this point, no one really knew what was happening. A tech/nurse, someone, female I think, came in to start placing electrodes on me so they could determine if I was having a heart attack. I didn’t feel like I was having a heart attack but hell, I didn’t know what was happening to my body at this point so I was like, “cool.” I think H stepped out of the room at this point, it’s a little fuzzy, but Dr. M. was close and I remember the woman saying something about having to lift my scrubs to place the electrodes and I was like, “Um …” and Dr. M. stepped out of the room to give us some privacy.

After the woman placed the electrodes she asked me to lie still so they could get a reading on my heart. NO PROBLEM. I never wanted to leave that table and that position ever again. She got the reading and it was determined I was not having a heart attack.

Cool. We could check that box off at least.

The woman left and H came back in. I could sense Dr. M was in doctor mode, (because he’s a kick-ass doctor after all) and assessing the situation. He asked me to smile, stick out my tongue, reach my arms out “to catch raindrops”, (thought that was a cute way of putting it and perfectly described what action he wanted – good job, Dr. M), then touch my nose with each hand. I knew he was assessing me for stroke-like symptoms but I passed with flying colors. I wasn’t experiencing any numbness and tingling in my extremities, just the damn Vertigo.

Cool. Not having a stroke.

H left to try and figure out a clinic that we, and by we, I mean ME, left hanging, (another guilt point for me), with T, who was by herself and likely doing damage control on, and another nurse came in to stick me to draw blood and give me Zofran, Meclizine, and Benedryl. Zofran is for nausea and the Meclizine is for dizziness. While I was waiting for the medication to kick in, I was hunched over on my left side because I was still dry heaving what little bile I had left in my stomach at that point and I was afraid. to. move. at. all. Any time I moved, I dry heaved. I was still sweating and was pretty sure I had wet spots on my scrubs by this time. Also, I had snot coming out of my nose and my eyes were watering so much I was crying.

Or I was crying, or both, I can’t be sure. I was a hot mess and did I mention this was all happening in front of Dr. M?

GADS – THE MORTIFICATION!

However, to Dr. M’s credit, he didn’t leave my side, which I thought was super sweet and I’m pretty sure we’re friends now because I feel like the working relationship zone turns to friend zone whenever you see the other person’s snot run down one’s face.

We’re friends now, whether he wants to agree to that or not. Ha!

Anyway, he’s still in assess mode because he places a finger on my eye lid, (because keep in mind I kept my eyes shut for the majority of this hellacious experience because it was easier for me to cope in the dark as opposed to try and make sense of the revolving world around me – and honestly, I’m getting nauseous just typing this out thinking about it), and he could feel my eye twitching.

There’s something I wasn’t expecting, though it makes sense now. My eyes were in constant motion. It’s because my brain was trying to make sense of what was happening and my eyes couldn’t keep up with the movement. It was like I was reading, but I wasn’t reading, if that makes sense. Kevin actually took a video of my eyes twitching, I haven’t watched it yet, I’m not ready to relive the nightmare quite yet, but he said my pupils were pinpricks and with the twitching, I looked possessed.

Well, isn’t that special. Kevin wasn’t there yet, I’m getting to that part.

I remember thinking, “Damn, Dr. M’s fingers are COLD.” Like ICE COLD. But it sort of felt good because I was so sweaty. Then he asked if could look in my ear and I’m thinking, “you know what buddy? You are seeing me at my absolute worse, what’s a little ear wax between friends?”

He looked into my right ear because remember, I’m hunched over on my left side and you could have offered me a million bucks to move and I would have said, HELL NO, because at least if I didn’t move I wasn’t dry heaving, and he asked, “do you clean your ears out?”

Now look, sir, I don’t need your judgement right about now. I almost laughed and said something stupid like, “really? You’re going to comment on my ear wax build up right now?” but of course, the funny part of me was buried DEEP inside my horrified, embarrassed, scared self and I simply said, “well, not as much as I should, I guess.” He said, “hhm, you have some dried blood in there,” and my very next thought was, “great, I’ve busted a blood vessel. Was it an aneurysm? Wouldn’t I have blood coming out of my ear if that was the case?”

Again, add that to the mystery of my life right about now.

Nothing more was mentioned about the dried blood but if I had a penny to give him for his thoughts, I certainly would have given it to him in that moment. Well, maybe not in that moment since the thought of moving even one muscle made me want to holler like a crazed banshee.

Dr. M does mention possibly getting a head scan and I’m thinking, “awesome, let’s stretch this hellacious highway out a few more miles, shall we?” The ER doctor comes in, diagnoses me and then starts explaining what BPPV is.

BPPV stands for:

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is one of the most common causes of vertigo — the sudden sensation that you’re spinning or that the inside of your head is spinning.

BPPV causes brief episodes of mild to intense dizziness. It is usually triggered by specific changes in your head’s position. This might occur when you tip your head up or down, when you lie down, or when you turn over or sit up in bed.

Although BPPV can be bothersome, it’s rarely serious except when it increases the chance of falls. Source

He explains that the crystals in my ear have come loose and I likely have one in a canal it’s not supposed to be in. This disrupts the fine hairs in my ear that control equilibrium, hence Vertigo.

My rocks are loose. (Oh – so many comments to THAT one, eh?)

He then goes on to tell me there is no cure for BPPV and it’s more likely to occur in people who have had it before. BPPV can last from a day to a week.

When he told me that, I honestly thought I was going to cry. And I would have cried if Dr. M hadn’t still been in the room. Dr. M. didn’t say anything while the ER doctor was in there but I could sense he was still there and I caught a peek of his very stylish loafers beside me at times. (He was sitting on my left so he had a front row seat to my many, and very attractive, dry heaves. KILL ME NOW).

However, the ER doctor said there was something called:

The Epley Maneuver for BPPV

BPPV with the most common variant (crystals in the posterior SCC) can be treated successfully — with no tests, pills, surgery or special equipment — by using the Epley maneuver.

This simple, effective approach to addressing BPPV involves sequentially turning the head in a way that helps remove the crystals and help them float out of the semicircular canal. Several repositioning maneuvers performed in the same visit may be necessary.

The Epley maneuver and other bedside physical therapy maneuvers and exercise programs can help reposition the crystals from the semicircular canals. Recurrences can occur, and repeat repositioning treatments are often necessary.

After Epley maneuver treatment, the patient may begin walking with caution. He or she should avoid putting the head back, or bending far forward (for example, to tie shoes) for the remainder of the day. Sleeping on the side of the affected ear should be avoided for several days. Source

He actually put me through these exercises while in the room. Did they help? Not one bit. In the moment. But who’s to say it didn’t help lessen the length of my Vertigo? I will choose to believe that because being flipped around on the table only made it worse and my dry heaves started back up again. But this exercise is good to know for future reference because there is a good chance this could happen to me again. I pray to God it doesn’t, but I’m a realist.

Continue reading “The Worst Four Days of My Life”

Work Stuff

Well. This Was Unexpected

So apparently, I’m still employed.

After updating you last week, (I sound like a soap opera – and this week on Write From Karen), I went to work that following Monday. I was dreading it. Like, DREADING it. Largely because I was going to see Dr. M and his mid-level H in clinic that day and I didn’t know if they knew I had put my resignation in. I didn’t want to have the conversation, quite frankly, and I was hoping they heard all about it and I wouldn’t need to say anything, but at the same time, I felt like I needed to say something.

The day started as usual. We only saw recheck and post-op patients last week because Dr. M is going to be out these next few weeks to recover from his surgery so I knew it was going to be an easy day, and it was. But if felt tense. I tried my best to paste on a happy face and just sort of pretend that I was never going to see these people again after September 29th, but it was hard.

Another girl that I work with, M, was going through the same thing. She also submitted her resignation but her last day was going all the way to the deadline on October 15th so she had a ways to go. I took advantage of a little break between patients and went to her office to blow off steam. She hadn’t been in the office the Friday I announced to the clinic I was quitting though I did text her. I plopped down in the chair next to her and after a few dozen words, M says to me, “I submitted an appeal and they approved it.”

*blink*

“I’m sorry, come again?”

“I talked to a friend of mine and she suggested that I submit an appeal making sure to include a few keywords in my submission and I did that on Thursday. I heard back from them on Friday and they approved my appeal.”

*blink*

I just sort of sat there and stared at her for a few minutes. I was seriously shocked. I honestly had NO expectations for the hospital to approve ANY exemptions and yet, they approved hers. My wheels immediately started turning. Could I do the same? Would they accept mine? Did I want to try? Why wouldn’t I try? Did I dare allow myself to hope?

I asked M to send me what she put on her form. It wouldn’t hurt to see what she submitted, right? And what were these magical keywords she spoke of?

Now, before you go and think I’m a sneaky b*tch, because, I sort of am, using keywords to get what you want is not a novel concept. Whenever I was a scheduler I would have to contact insurance companies to try and get diagnostic testing approved and before long, I figured out they were looking for keywords, or phrases, something that would trigger their process into giving me an approval. I wouldn’t make things up, that’s dishonest and illegal, but if there was any hint of a condition or a diagnosis, in the doctor’s note you better believe I took advantage of that and used it.

Since we were still in clinic, I couldn’t stay in her office very long to talk to her about what she did in too much detail and I needed a moment to digest what she told me. I went back out to the clinic and it took everything I had to force myself to focus on the task at hand. But as soon as I got M’s email, I immediately sent it to Kevin and said, “What do you think? Should I try this?”

He helped me compile what I wanted to say because honestly, I was in clinic and didn’t have the time to devote to it and time was of the essence now that my employment clock was ticking, and by the end of the day, I had taken what he had given me, finessed it up a bit, took out some aggressive language, (because Kevin has been even more fired up about this ordeal than I have been), and I submitted my appeal.

I was really hoping I would find out as fast as M did because again, the clock was ticking and I just wanted an answer so I could move on with whatever answer they gave me. But I had hope. Why would they approve M’s appeal but not mine? And if they didn’t approve mine, I was planning on marching my butt into my director’s office and asking him, “What gives?”

I told Dr. M that I was submitting an appeal, just to keep him in the loop, because I thought he might be wondering what was going on and then the director of Neurosciences approaches me after clinic and asks if I have a minute.

Normally, I would be swallowing hard and wondering what I did wrong, but since I had submitted my resignation, I honestly didn’t care. Do what you want – I have one foot out the door anyway.

But he was very sweet and told me he was really sorry to see me go and if I needed to use him as a reference, I was free to do so. I thought that was so nice of him to offer that! I told him that I submitted an appeal to my religious exemption request and he perked up a bit when I said that. We did talk about the consequences of having the exemption approved, which I’ll talk about in a bit, but they are consequences that I will be willing to do, if accepted.

Tuesday rolls around and I’m covering Dr. S’s clinic. I’m actually really glad I covered her clinic that day because it didn’t give me a lot of time to obsess about my appeal but I was on pins and needles all day waiting for an answer.

Clinic was winding down and it was about 1:00 PM when I got the email.

I was afraid to open it. This email would literally decide if I stayed or left. This email would decide my future in healthcare.

I clicked it open and quickly skimmed it.

APPROVED!

What? What???

I calmed down a bit and then re-read the letter in more detail:

Your request for exemption has been granted through August of 2022, or the date upon which______________ again considers requests for exemption from the Covid-19 vaccination policy.  Please note that individuals will need to reapply for exemptions each year, unless otherwise determined by ___________. 

Now that your exemption request has been approved, we will begin assessing what accommodations can be made for you to continue to work.  Accommodations are determined on an individual basis and depend on several factors including the essential functions of a job, interaction with high-risk patient populations, and ability to work under varying levels of supervision.

In all accommodations, employees will be required to mask when on __________ property. Additional accommodations may include, but are not limited to, weekly nasal or saliva testing at ___________ expense; a change in work settings; possible work restrictions; and being moved to an alternative role if working with high-risk patients. 

We will coordinate with your department director to determine your accommodation, after which we will mail you a notification confirming your accommodation.  Because your exemption has been approved, you are not at risk of missing the October 15, 2021 deadline to be vaccinated.

Once you have been notified, your supervisor will be able to provide additional information to you regarding your specific accommodations.  Please also pay careful attention to the Connect Daily, which may contain additional information regarding requirements for unvaccinated staff. 

____________ reserves the right to take any necessary and appropriate steps, including but not limited to, imposing alternative COVID-19 prevention measures and accommodations, to ensure that individuals do not pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others in the workplace.

Okay. My approval has been granted through August of 2022. What does that mean, exactly? I’m reading it to mean they are thinking about mandating boosters. Or, yearly vaccinations, same as the flu vaccine. At any rate, I will need to re-apply each year. Annoying, but okay.

I do not work with high-risk patients so I don’t think I have to worry much about being moved to a different department. I work in an outpatient clinic. I’m assuming my “accommodations” will mean I will have to test weekly and wear a mask. We all wear masks at the hospital now as it is and quite honestly, I don’t see that going away any time soon so I’m not overly concerned about that, but the weekly testing will suck balls. But it’s still better than not having a job. And I was relieved to see the hospital will incur the cost of weekly testing. I was worried they were going to make me pay for it. I know some employers are penalizing their employees if they do not get vaccinated and have to be tested – like Delta airlines, actually. And the country of Italy says you can keep your job, but we’re not going to pay you. So, it could always be worse.

I forwarded the email to Kevin and then text him the good news. I’m honestly not sure if he’s happy or not. I think he has mixed feelings. He just wants me to be happy and not be treated like a 2nd class citizen or be discriminated against. I can appreciate that. And though this whole thing sucks, I DO get where the hospital is coming from, after all.

After texting Kevin, I went to our office to tell my nurse. I walked in, opened my arms and with a huge grin on my face said, “You need to hug me right now.”

“It was approved?”

And when I nodded she screamed, sprang from her chair and hugged me. I think she was as relieved as I was!

A HUGE weight was lifted from my shoulders. I knew I was under a lot stress but I don’t think I realized just how much until that email arrived and I could finally breathe again.

I. COULD. BREATHE. AGAIN.

I then went around the clinic and told everyone my appeal was approved and then went to speak to my manager to see what we could do to rescind the resignation.

(Spoiler alert: the hospital rescinded my resignation).

Wednesday, when I worked Dr. M’s clinic again, I told him that the hospital approved my appeal and that I would be there when he returned from his surgery. His reaction was underwhelming to say the least. I wasn’t expecting him to jump from his chair and pump a fist in the air, but a smirk, a nod, something would have been better than his “okay.”

Alrighty then. His lack of reaction hurt my feelings but I guess shame on me for thinking he would be glad that I was staying. I think he’s glad, I just think things are weird between us right now because he and I are not even remotely on the same page when it comes to this vaccine nonsense. In fact, none of my team are really on the same page as me, except for our medical secretary. I feel like the odd man out but I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. At any rate, it is what is and I still have a job, that’s all that really matters right now, I suppose.

So. It’s business as usual. I had to forfeit my vacation because it fell in my last two weeks and of course, you can’t take vacation during your final two weeks so I’m bummed that we weren’t able to go camping like we had planned. We couldn’t have gone anyway with Kevin’s truck being down for the count, but still, having some time off would have been nice. I plan on taking some time in November and we’ll likely go camping at that time. But I have to be careful with my vacation time because when I start my weekly COVID testing, if it comes back positive, I will be expected to be off work for about 10 days and I need to keep some vacation built up in case I need to use it for that reason. And the likelihood that it will come back positive is more than possible because remember the PCR tests are flawed and will be recalled at the end of year. So who knows how often I will be “positive.”

But we’ll see. For now, I’m taking one day at a time. I still have a job which is more than I can say for some other people and I’m grateful and thank God every day for looking out for us.

Now … let’s see if they accept my exemption request for the flu vaccine. And more importantly, how will I respond if they deny it?

Work Stuff

The Final Countdown

As you can probably tell from the title, my religious exemption was

DENIED.

Am I surprised? No, not at all, but I am disappointed.

Come to find out, there were approximately 2000 submissions, (which to be honest, I feel like is high, but maybe that’s right) and only two, TWO, were accepted.

Okay fine, what’s my back up plan. I would agree to weekly testing. How long can that go on for, right?

WRONG.

The DICK-tator-in-chief announced he was going to mandate vaccinations for all employers who employed over 100 people, OR be tested. And if they didn’t comply, they would no longer get federal funding for Medicare and Medicaid.

I knew it was over after that announcement. I knew the hospital was done trying to “accommodate” the difficult ones. I suppose the hospital’s patience has worn thin. (To coin a Biden saying, that is).

Not gonna lie, I was really hoping the hospital was using religious exemptions as an olive branch toward the vaccine-hesitant. On one hand, they were saving face by taking a stand on vaccinations thereby appeasing the public, on the other hand, they were giving an out to the vaccine hesitant so they wouldn’t lose a small chunk of people. I knew it wouldn’t have been easy, but it was SOMETHING.

I think I’m more upset by the fact that I allowed myself to hope. To think it might actually work and I would be “allowed” to continue working at the hospital. I guess that shows how naïve I can be, I suppose. This is one of the biggest reasons I’m a realist when it comes to things like this – I would rather approach an issue with a realistic attitude than try and hope for a different outcome. That way, I limit my disappointment. But alas, I didn’t do that this time and I was once again, disappointed.

And that pissed me off. Because quite frankly folks, I’m tired. I’m exhausted. I’m tired of being tired. I don’t want to worry or feel anxious anymore. I just want to return to normal and when you don’t listen to media, or you’re not in a medical facility, the pandemic really doesn’t exist anymore. The number of cases are going down and thank God, the number of deaths has gone way down, In fact, the Delta variant was contagious but the deaths seemed to be less this second go around. And that’s a good thing!! I think people hear cases and think deaths anytime numbers are mentioned in the media.

In fact, a lot of people think the chances you’ll end up in the hospital after contracting COVID is FAR GREATER than it actually is. The New York Times conducted a survey and here is what they found. (Play the video from Bill Maher).

(Side note: see how Twitter puts a disclaimer on “see the latest COVID-19 information” on this tweet? Because the social media Nazis CAN NOT stand the thought of you actually getting any information other than what they spoon feed you so they have to do what they can to make people who dare to think outside the Matrix that what they’re reading is false and shouldn’t be trusted. I don’t trust anyone and asking questions is how you get to the truth. Suppress questions and debate and what are you left with? A false narrative).

I’m not a member of the New York Times website, (and never will be), but I found the results of this survey on the Washington Examiner’s website. Perception is EVERYTHING.

The point being, the COVID hysteria is real and it’s sad that so many people are living in fear from a disease that has 99% recovery rate for most people.

I’m more afraid of the vaccine than I am of the virus. I just am. Yep, I said it out loud. The data on COVID is simply not as severe as the media is desperate to portray it. The data on the vaccines, however, is far more alarming. Chances are, I would be fine if I were to temporarily lose my mind and get the vaccine. But the point is – NO ONE KNOWS. No one knows what might happen because the damn thing hasn’t been out long enough for experts TO KNOW. I’m just not willing to potentially sacrifice my heath for, “well, we’re pretty confident it works.” And then if something SHOULD happen, no one is liable for pushing it on me.

No thanks.

Look. I just want to live my life. I just want to go about my days and not have to struggle to breath behind a face diaper that is not effective and purely for show and to give people a false sense of security or walk on eggshells because “I’m one of THOSE people.” I want peace.  I’m tired of enduring sly looks and feeling like I’m being left out of conversations because people have unconsciously already written me off. It’s not fun. Like, at all. I know my co-workers are not doing this to be cruel, in fact, I would even say they don’t even realize they are doing it and hell, maybe it’s just my over-active imagination because I’m uber-sensitive about this stuff right now, but all I know is, I’m done. I’m tired. And I. JUST. WANT. PEACE.

So. That’s the biggest reason I turned in my resignation on the 15th.

I played my hand and I lost. The game is over. It’s time to move on.

Do I want to? HELL NO. I’m very bitter that I’m being forced to walk away from people I care about. I’m very bitter that I just spent the last ten years of my life perfecting an industry that I knew ZERO about going in to. I’m very bitter that I don’t get to enjoy the pay raise that the hospital dangled like a golden carrot to try and entice people to stay. I’m very bitter that the industry is tossing people, good people, to the curb after those same people worked their asses off to save the industry when elective surgeries were canceled and the hospital was beginning to wonder how they were going to keep the lights on last year.

Heroes then, vermin now.

It’s sick and twisted how this is working out and everything about this situation pisses me off, but the dice has been rolled and the house won. It’s time to collect my belongings and move on. There is nothing else I can do. Or at least, nothing else I’m willing to do to keep this job. I would like to think everyone has a line, some THING that they will absolutely not compromise on and unfortunately, this issue is my line.

And to further crap on this dung pile, the people I care about are going to be left to find work arounds and to suffer extra work load because of the staffing holes. How is that fair to them?? Now the hospital is going to overwork the people who stay taking a chance they don’t lose more people because of pure burn out. I know, eventually, staffing will work itself out but who knows how long that will take?

The whole situation makes me feel like that graphic at the top. AARGH.

My last day is September 29th. I have eight days to go. I have a full week with my team this week and then three days after that to get through. I’m not looking forward to this – AT ALL. I’ve already cried more these past few months than I have in my entire life and I HATE. TO. CRY. I’m not looking forward to working with my team because it will be sad and weird and it kills me that it has to end this way. I will try my best not to be a Debbie Downer but this sucks – balls.

I know Kevin has been worried about me. I have STRUGGLED these past months. Torn between what I should do and not knowing when it would happen. In some ways, I’m relieved that a decision has been made and I’m moving forward. Being stagnant and not knowing what is going to happen DRIVES ME CRAZY. I’m a doer. I don’t like to stand around and talk a situation to death, I want to know what the plan is and then go with it. The end result is not anywhere near what I wanted to happen but it’s out of my control and the decision has been made.

It’s time to move on.

I walked around on Friday and told people personally that I was leaving. I just felt like an email was so impersonal and I care about my work family so I felt like I owed them that. I also made it painfully clear that I do not want any sort of going away party or any big hoopla because this is not a celebration. My leaving is not a happy event, for anyone, and I have no interest in celebrating anything at this point in time.

Did I mention I’m BITTER?

I have spent some time today being quiet and licking my wounds. I’m processing the avalanche of emotions I’m feeling right now and I’m allowing myself to feel sorry for myself – for a bit. Once that is over and I snap out of my self-imposed fugue, then I will get serious about making a resume and applying for jobs.

I see quite a few editing jobs out there that are interesting and I may apply for those. Banking is also a possibility as I did that back in the days that people actually went to banks to do their business and I really enjoyed it. Who knows which lucky employer will be stuck with me for the next ten years. *snort*

Speaking of ten years, my ten-year anniversary with the hospital is tomorrow. Happy anniversary to me!

*sigh* It’s a good thing I wear water-proof mascara because I will be putting it to the test this week.

At the Moment, Work Stuff

Will They Accept My Religious Exemption Request?

Now, it’s a waiting game.

I submitted my religious exemption request last week but I’m not holding my breath. A couple of other girls submitted their exemptions about one week before I did and they have heard back ….

DENIED.

I’m not surprised but I am disappointed. I really thought the hospital would use this as an excuse, an olive branch really, to meet us “anti-vaxxers,” though we’re really not anti-vax, we’re anti-COVID vax, and they would meet us halfway.

I am really confused, from a business stand point, why they wouldn’t jump on this opportunity, this chance, to keep people. They have to know they are going to lose a lot of people, all over the hospital and that is going to ultimately overwork the ones left, burning them out and potentially losing more workers before it’s all said and done. Or maybe they are just thinking of ripping the band aid off, get rid of the “anti-science” people, (*eye roll*) and starting over from scratch. Yes, it will be hard for the hospital at first, but they will eventually get fully staffed again and these new people will be vaxxed and ready to go. They will get rid of the trouble makers, I suppose. People like me who dare to defy their authoritarian rule.

At any rate, I haven’t received the dreaded letter in the mail yet, but I’m sure it’s coming this week. I’m predicting it will arrive by Friday as that is what they did this last go around. A strategic move, quite honestly. That way, disgruntled employees can bitch and moan at home as opposed to spreading “gossip” and discontent at work.

We’ll see. Again, I’m not holding my breath. I’m honestly not looking for them to approve it. Especially after reading and researching more about religious exemptions to begin with. I found this bit from a website that is geared toward employers, a guideline, if you will, of how to handle religious exemption requests.

Here’s the bit that caught my eye:

Importantly, the policy should inform employees that the law requires an employer to reasonably accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs or practices, unless doing so would cause an undue burden on the operations of the employer’s business. For example, an employer does not have to accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs if the accommodation is costly, infringes on other employees’ job rights or benefits, compromises workplace safety, decreases workplace efficiency, or requires other employees to do more than their share of potentially hazardous or burdensome work.

Because the current COVID-19 vaccinations are approved through the emergency authorization only, (though now I wonder if that has changed since the Pfizer vaccine has been approved (*snort*) there may be questions regarding an employer’s ability to mandate the vaccine. However, based on recent federal guidance, particularly the EEOC’s guidance, and court decisions in some jurisdictions, employers are likely on firm legal ground in mandating the vaccine at this point. Operating an interactive accommodation request process is crucial in limiting potential litigation. In furtherance of this, employers should follow these abiding principles:

  • Presume a religious belief to be sincerely held, then be selective and cautious when requesting further verification and documentation. Avoid a fishing expedition to reduce the chances of claims of discrimination, harassment, or intimidation
  • Be cognizant that religious beliefs are not static and are susceptible to change over the course of a person’s life
  • Remember that the fact that an individual is not a frequent observer of his or her faith or had not previously made his or her faith public does not necessarily limit its sincerity
  • An accommodation does not have to be limited to what is requested by the employee. If the accommodation is legitimate and non-retaliatory, there is a wide range of potential accommodations at the employer’s disposal. Should the employee elect not to accept the accommodation offered, and all other alternative accommodations would cause an undue burden, the employer can part ways with the employee

Source

The part I think they are going to focus on is the “compromises workplace safety,” because let’s face it, unvaccinated people are dirty, unclean and unsavory people. (*eye roll*), at least, according to Biden and his administration’s narrative.

(By the way, Biden, from this point forward, shall be called DICK-tator-in-chief on this blog).

They are going to focus on this because unvaccinated people are jeopardizing the other co-workers by putting their health at risk. Which makes zero sense to me as the vaccinated people SHOULD be protected – isn’t that the whole point of being vaccinated? If a person is vaccinated, why would he/she worry about little ole me and my germs? Right? But I guess that’s not how it works because the “vaccine” isn’t all that effective as evidenced by the fact that vaccinated people have been getting the Delta variant and the CDC is already looking toward pushing boosters. In fact, I would argue that we have a Delta variant BECAUSE of the vaccinated. Or, it has spread so quickly because of the vaccinated. But who knows what’s true and what’s false – everyone is lying, or not telling the whole truth so it’s hard to know what’s REALLY going on right now. I’m just looking forward to the day we can look back on this time period and hopefully sort through this mess and learn from our mistakes.

Because, there HAVE been mistakes – it’s just that no one wants to admit to anything right now.

Seriously, WHEN does it end?? How many injectables are they going to force into people before this madness stops? Is this going to be a yearly thing? Like the flu shot? Only with the COVID shots, we won’t be given a choice??

So I was already not really hopeful about the hospital accepting my exemption request to begin with, but what little hope I had was smashed into shards of reality when the DICK-tator-in-chief made his little announcement about losing patience with us little people and declaring this was now a pandemic of the unvaccinated.

The president has exhausted his patience.

He had tried all the incentives and emotional exhortations and even red-white-and-blue appeals to the patriotism that beats in American hearts. Yet, at least in his estimation, not enough people listened: One-fourth of those eligible still have not rolled up their sleeves, bared their arms, and voluntarily taken their COVID shots.

“What more is there to wait for? What more do you need to see?” an exasperated Joe Biden asked the unvaccinated on Thursday. “We’ve made vaccinations free, safe, and convenient. The vaccine has FDA approval. Over 200 million Americans have gotten at least one shot.”

But Biden won’t wait for an answer to his questions. He and his administration are done with the coaxing. Now, the president has picked up the stick by announcing new vaccine mandates.

Employers with more than 100 workers will be required to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or else provide weekly testing for the virus under penalty of stiff fines. Any health care provider that receives federal Medicare or Medicaid dollars must do the same. Anyone boarding a flight must wear a mask or incur a doubled fine, courtesy of the TSA.

How did it come to this? Biden explained not only the need for the sweeping mandates but also said exactly who is to blame. “This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” he said, “and it’s caused by the fact that despite America having an unprecedented and successful vaccination program, despite the fact that for almost five months free vaccines have been available in 80,000 different locations, we still have nearly 80 million Americans who have failed to get the shot.”

He scolded the unvaccinated: “Our patience is wearing thin and your refusal has cost all of us.” He dared Republican governors to try and stop him: “If these governors won’t help us beat the pandemic, I’ll use my power as president to get them out of the way.”

And he changed a course he set long ago.

While president-elect, Biden was asked about mandatory vaccinations just weeks after the first successful vaccine trials were announced. “No, I don’t think it should be mandatory. I wouldn’t demand it be mandatory,” he said in December, adding, “But I would do everything in my power — just like I don’t think masks have to be made mandatory nationwide — I will do everything in my power as president of the United States to encourage people to do the right thing.”

Source

So yes, the man lies. Consistently. Not that I ever believed a word out of his, or any of his administration’s mouths, to being with, but this just proves he will say and do anything if it furthers his agenda and/or doesn’t get his way. Apparently, us “little people” who aren’t falling lock/stock with his plan are making him lose patience – now he must mandate the damn thing. Which, for me at my hospital, was already mandated, but now everyone else in the country is now worried and anxious about losing their jobs. Swell.

In some ways, this may HELP my religious exemption case. The DICK-tator-in-chief said that people have to get the vaccine or succumb to weekly COVID testing. I’m not thrilled about this idea, AT ALL, however, if EVERYONE is subjected to this requirement then it seems a bit silly for me to quit my job at the hospital, find another job, only to have to subject myself to weekly testing someplace else anyway. I might as well stay where I am, where I know the job and am comfortable with the job, and take advantage of the pay raise.

By the way, my manager pulled me into her office the other day to let me know how the hospital’s decision to raise the minimum wage to $15.25, (I think I mentioned it was $15.50 in another blog post, that is not correct), will personally affect my hourly wage. Not gonna lie, it will raise my hourly wage by $2.66 an hour. Which amounts to a healthy paycheck. That’s another reason I’m working hard to try and figure out some middle ground in order to keep this job. Again, if I am going to be subjected to the same requirements where ever I go, I might as well stay at the hospital and take advantage of the pay hike. Right?

Side note: I watched a video of a hospital worker that showed up to work after the vaccine deadline and tried to clock in as usual. She wasn’t able to. Then, a member of human resources, (or some person of authority), along with a security person, tried to get her to leave and she refused. She said she hadn’t quit and she never got her letter of termination. So … now what? The video was cut off when the security person realized she was filming and said, “I don’t give you permission to film me.” She wisely shut it down as that would have been grounds for a lawsuit, I’m sure.

Also – side note – check out my Twitter timeline in my sidebar. There is a video of an Australian man in a quarantine hotel filming his “neighbor” going berserk because he was due to go home and the authorities won’t allow him to go home even though his quarantine time was up. That is some scary stuff, ya’ll. The government is getting more and more emboldened because the citizens are going along with these insane “rules” and not doing anything to stop them. As a results, they are taking more and more rights away from the citizens. WHEN DOES IT STOP?!

So what’s next?

Man, I don’t know. Just when I think things are starting to level out, something happens and things are more confusing and chaotic than before. And now, I heard that the DICK-tator-in-chief is supposed to come out with more crap tomorrow. Who knows what that will look like.

Kevin wants me to find a job at a company that has less than 100 people then I won’t have to worry about being forced to get a vaccine or have to take a weekly COVID test. And why is that, by the way? Why 100? Why not 200? 150? Everything is so arbitrary and random. But I guess when you’re the DICK-tator in charge and no one has the balls to step up and stop you, you can pretty much do whatever you want. Right?

All I know is, I’m tired. I’m SO VERY TIRED of feeling pissed off and on edge all the time. I just want this nightmare to end. I’m still fighting, but I need the bell to ring – tell me to go to my corner. Give me a moment to catch my breath and regroup. I’m sure most people feel this way. Every time I have a tentative game plan, “Okay, if this happens, then I will do this. Or, if it doesn’t happen, then I’ll go with plan C”, something else comes along and blows that game plan out the window.

I’ve been HAUNTING Indeed.com jobs. I actually have four saved in my favorites that I might try and go for, at some point. I’m looking at editing jobs, banking jobs – heck, I even spent some time watching YouTube videos on how to start a Twitch stream last night. I don’t think it would be a gaming stream because I don’t play games and am no where good enough to think people would want to watch me and my clumsy efforts to play something, though I guess I could put a different spin on it and market it like, “Watch the world’s worst gamer!” But it would be something that I could do at home. Kevin was telling me that he knew someone who knew someone who made their Twitch stream their full-time job because he was pulling in $14,000 a month! CAN YOU EVEN IMAGINE!?

Also, kudos to that person. He found something that worked for him.

I haven’t tossed the whole writing community idea away. I think it would be so much fun to build a writing community where we could get together, talk shop, exchange work, offer critiques, be Beta readers for each other, build a self-publishing network, etc., someplace like Patreon or Locals but I’ve been so distracted with the chaos that is my life right now, I haven’t taken the time to really focus on that. It’s not off the table, it’s still there and collecting dust in the corner somewhere.

But I’m ready to just about do anything to get out of this waking nightmare.

What’s my plan? Heck if I know. I’m taking it day-by-day but for right now, I’m waiting to hear back on my exemption and then once it’s denied, because I can’t allow myself to have any hope so that I can better handle my disappointment, I will talk to my manager about the possibility of being tested each week. And if that doesn’t work … who knows what my options will be at that time.

If there are any options.

If you’re out there in a similar situation, please know that you’re NOT alone though it may feel like it. There are 100 million people in the same boat right now, thanks to our DICK-tator-in-chief’s decree. All I can say at his point in time is pray, talk to your family and keep your career options open right now.

Talk to you soon,

Work Stuff

The Hospital Where I Work Mandated the Experimental Injectable – My Response and Experience

How fitting is it that I’m going to talk about work on Labor day. Eh?

Buckle up, it’s a long one. 

Good golly, Ms. Molly, where do I start?

I know I spoke a bit about the mandate in my August Reflections post but I thought it warranted more information. Not only for those of you that are going through something similar out there but I want to remember the mental anguish of this whole fiasco as well. 

I guess, let’s start with the reasons why I’m so opposed to this “vaccine.” 

The number one reason I’m hesitant is that it’s new technology. It has not been thoroughly vetted, it’s been out less than a year and the fact that the government is HELL BENT on MAKING people get it makes me suspicious. If you have to coerce, bribe, and threaten people to take this vaccine when the disease itself should be motivation enough to take the vaccine, something doesn’t add up. 

For example, and this is just the latest example: Birmingham-Southern College is bragging because they have 78% of their students vaccinated. Want to know how they did it? By coercing them to comply. How, you ask? By making the unvaccinated get a weekly COVID test that costs $500 each time they get the test. 

The small college doesn’t require the shots, but did charge all students a $500 fee for weekly COVID-testing. If students disclosed a COVID vaccination, they received a rebate.

The college goes on to say that they can’t “require” the students to get the vaccine but we thought if they are not getting the vaccine then the least they could do was absorb some of the cost when forced to take the test. And, you know, if it encourages students to get the shot, all the better!

And there’s Australia. That whole country has gone completely berserk in their response going so far as to put up quarantine facilities and making their citizens download an app that will track their movements. For you see, if you go outside five kilometers of your house, you could be in big trouble. So this app – they will call you at random times and if you don’t respond in 15 minutes and can prove you’re complying with their insane rules, they will arrest you. It’s absolutely insane. This reaction goes WAY beyond a disease that is basically a bad flu for most people.  For a disease that has a 99.5% recovery rate for most people

These are just two of MANY examples of crazy responses to this damn virus. 

I’d even go so far as to hypothesize that the vaccinated are actually shedding the Delta variant -they’re certainly not immune to it as it’s been documented that many vaccinated have come down with the Delta variant. Even if that theory proves incorrect, it doesn’t take away from the fact that a large portion of people who have been vaccinated have been infected. 

Again, WHY take an experimental injectable that doesn’t really protect you from variants? 

And WHY haven’t we talked about natural immunity? Or alternative medications? Oh right, we can’t, because social media censors us every time we TRY and have a conversation about it. 

My point is – there are A LOT of questions and very few answers. And even the answers that are given are sloppy and contradictory. All of this is enough for me to say, “Whoa cowboy. Let’s slow down and do some more research on this concoction you’re trying to inject into people.”

“But Karen, people are DYING.” 

I get that. So inject the vulnerable and leave the healthy people alone. Do more research. Run the vaccine through it’s paces, like every other vaccine that’s ever been created and dispersed to the public. The FDA supposedly “approved” the Pfizer vaccine, but did they?

And if these issues weren’t enough, now you have frustrated doctors out there touting the unvaccinated shouldn’t receive medical treatment. Not only if they get COVID, but for any medical issue. 

Again, these are just a SMALL number of examples that make me hesitant. There are many, many, MANY more out there if you bother to look for them and get off main stream media outlets. (Because they consistently lie about everything – here is just one example if you don’t believe me). 

So. Until the “vaccine” has been fully vetted, until we have a conversation about natural immunity and it can be proven that natural immunity is not good enough to protect you against this disease and that you have no other choice but take the vaccine, or that alternative medications can be given in the early stages and heal people so that they don’t need a vaccine, I am fully, and 100% against it. 

There are many more natural avenues we can explore before coming to the conclusion that it’s the vaccine or nothing else for me, personally.

Of course, you’re free to do whatever you want to do. If you feel like the vaccine is a good choice for you and your family, by all means, go for it. But people do NOT have the right to tell me what I can, or can not do, with my body. And if you feel otherwise, check yourself. Get off your high horse for a minute and stop being such an arrogant know-it-all. Doctors, government, my neighbors, hell, even my husband, does not have the right to tell me what to do when it comes to my health. Hence the reason so many people smoke, drink, do drugs, over eat – these people KNOW these things are bad for them but they choose to participate in these activities anyway. No one can tell them what to do. They can advise them, educate them on the negative effects of these activities, but ultimately, it’s their choice And they have no one to blame if their choices make them sick or unable to live a long, fulfilling life. 

Is it sad? Of course. But people have free will and they are free to choose what kind of life they are going to live. 

Just like me. I choose not to get the vaccine. So whatever consequences from that choice happens, it’s on me. No one else. And the same goes for the people who got the vaccine. Any consequences from that choice is no one’s fault but the person who chose that path. 

Especially since the drug companies and the government force you to sign a consent exempting them from any responsibility if things go south. 

Oh look, there’s yet another reason I’m vaccine hesitant. Go figure. 

I could go on and on and on about my reasons for not getting the experimental injectable but I’m not going to – if you want more of my thoughts and reasons, just listen/watch to  our Right From Us podcast

I would prefer to turn my attention to how this topic is affecting me and my future. 

July 7th, our competing hospital announced it was mandating the vaccine. That was the day everyone started getting nervous, speculating, gossiping, trying to figure out if our hospital was going to do the same. Rumors started flying and before long, our hospital was rumored to require the vaccine as soon as the FDA approved it. I was hoping that would be years because let’s face it, it typically takes that long to approve a vaccine. So, I was worried, but not overly much. 

The CEO of our hospital was interviewed for quite a few shows, even Good Morning America and I knew from that point forward, when the FDA announced it was going to approved the vaccine, there was NO QUESTION my hospital would mandate it, how could they not? Our CEO went on national TV and pretty much committed to it. And he HAD to now or lose face. I knew that wasn’t going to happen. 

In addition, he mentioned in an interview with one of our local TV stations that people who were vaccine hesitant were “less educated” than the people who just stuck out their arms and got the jab. This did not go well at the hospital and it pissed A LOT of people off. Myself included. In fact, I would argue that I was likely MORE educated than most of the sheeple that got the jab because I took the time to read anything and everything I could about the vaccine. In fact, I would argue that I read TOO much about it. 

The CEO then had the nerve to tell people who DARED question “the science” to SHUT UP. Yeah, he tweeted that little gem. Needless to say, that also pissed a lot of people off. Myself included. 

Now I’m thinking, why would I WANT to continue working for a hospital that thinks it’s people are stupid and who tells them to shut up if they DARE question anything to do with COVID injections. What an asshole. I was SO PISSED OFF at that man, I still man, truth be known, but someone finally gave him a bit of his own medicine and told him to shut up because I haven’t heard him say much since his verbal vomit. 

And because I have a big mouth – what, I can own it and admit it – I pretty much advertised my VERY STRONG feelings about this experimental injectable and how there was no way in hell I was going to get it so that Dr. M. heard about it and staged an intervention for me. Thankfully, the nurse I work with gave me a head’s up and so I wasn’t totally surprised, but the timing of his intervention did take me by surprise. It happened the last clinic before he went on vacation and I assumed he had too many other things on his mind to think about little ole me. 

Oh, how wrong I was. 

I call it an intervention though it really wasn’t, but it sort of was. 

I was eating lunch with our medical secretary when Dr. M., his mid-level (PA) and his nurse all walked into the room. And when he started off with, “Let’s chat,” I knew it wasn’t going to go very well. He had, (and has been), very cranky lately. He has a lot of personal things going on, along with an upcoming surgery he doesn’t want to have, along with starting a sporting organization for his children and other talented athletes and he’s just been super busy and super overwhelmed with everything right now. 

I don’t even remember most of that conversation, to be honest. Because I was so annoyed with everyone ganging up on me and cornering me that all I wanted to do was get it over with. I know the intervention wasn’t intended to make me angry or make me feel bad, I understand that their hearts were in the right place and they just wanted to make sure I had all of the information about the vaccine, not just the “incorrect” information, as they called opposing views, so I took it with a grain of salt. It didn’t make it easier to endure, but I understood where they were coming from. 

I didn’t fight back. I didn’t counter his “evidence.” And it wasn’t that I couldn’t counteract what he was saying but that I didn’t really want to. What’s the point? It would just make him, and everyone else in the room angry and considering I had no idea when the hospital would mandate the vaccine and I could potentially be working with these people for YEARS, I didn’t want to make it weird and awkward. So, I stayed largely quiet. The whole thing was terribly uncomfortable for me and whenever I’m embarrassed or put on the spot like that my go-to emotion is to get angry. 

AND. I. WAS. PISSED. OFF.

So much so that I went for a long walk after everyone left so that I had time to cool off and weigh my options. 

You have to understand – I don’t really have a dog in this fight. Meaning, I haven’t gone to school to be a medical assistant, I fell into the position and learned on the job as I went along, and working in the medical field wasn’t, and still isn’t, something I wanted to make my career. I applied at the hospital because I was afraid ObamaCare would make it impossible to get health insurance and since Kevin was self-employed and getting insurance going that route would be astronautically expensive, I got a job in medical so that my family would have insurance and I wouldn’t have to worry about it going away any time soon. I did it to protect my family. So, I can walk away at any time and be okay with that decision. 

I enjoy what I do, I’m good at what I do, I enjoy the people I work with and honestly, those are the only reasons I’ve stayed. And it’s gotten easy for me and leaving and learning another job would be so much harder. 

Dr. M. emailed me later that same day to say that he hadn’t meant to corner me, but that he cared about me and didn’t want to lose me and he gave me a link to some more information. Again, I appreciated the fact that he cared enough to do that, but there was, and is, really nothing he can say that will change my mind. 

And I think I annoyed him because he’s a neurosurgeon and let’s face it, he’s not used to being told no. 

After the email, I went for another walk, to do more thinking, and when the clinic closed for the day, I marched into my manager’s office, sat down, took a moment to compose myself and then said, “I can’t believe I’m going to say this ….”

And promptly lost my shit. I blubbered and cried and absolutely broke down in front of her. I never, NEVER do this sort of thing so I was super embarrassed and humiliated but to my manager’s credit, she said, “I think I know what you’re going to say, but don’t say it now. Go home, think about it, calm down and then we can talk.” 

And that’s exactly what I did.  

I HATE masks, but I was never so glad to be wearing one in that moment because I knew it was “masking” my ugly cry. Because it was an ugly cry. 

Luckily, this all happened the day before my vacation was to start so I had some time to cool off, think and weigh my options. And I decided, at that time, that I was just going to take it day-by-day. Again, we had no idea when the hospital would mandate the vaccine and I was biding my time. 

In the meantime, the hospital, in an attempt to coax and bribe the employees to get the vaccine, started some sort of lottery program where your name was entered to win cash and other prizes if you were vaccinated. At that time, 69% of employees were vaccinated. (That percentage was the same for nurses, too). 

And from that point on, even today, we get daily emails about employees vaccination times, “sobering” statistics, daily reminders of how many COVID patients we have in the hospital. Overhead announcements when a COVID patient codes, “Code Blue, Code Blue, Team19, room so-and-so.” Stickers are handed out to put on your badge if you’re vaccinated … 

It continues to be overwhelming and too much. My clinic has gotten to the point we just don’t talk about it and when we do, there are raised voices, eye rolls and “well, you’ve never taken a biology class, have you?”

How freaking insulting is that?? I’m probably one of the most educated people in that clinic – I graduated from college … I’m one of the oldest, and likely wisest, people in that damn place. Tell me I don’t know what  the hell I’m talking about. *deep breath*

But still, I’m taking it one day at a time because I heard that some hospitals that mandated the vaccine reversed their decision because they were going to lose too many people and if you haven’t been paying attention, healthcare is pretty short handed now, let alone what it will look like if they lose a small percentage of people, so who knows if my hospital will change their mind. 

And then, August 26th happens. 

Continue reading “The Hospital Where I Work Mandated the Experimental Injectable – My Response and Experience”

Work Stuff

Here We Go …

Nearly 200 staff members at a Houston-area hospital were suspended for not following a policy that requires employees to be vaccinated against Covid-19. Their suspensions followed a protest by dozens of workers on Monday night against the policy.

The hospital, Houston Methodist, had told employees that they had to be vaccinated by Monday or face suspension. Last month, 117 Houston Methodist employees filed a lawsuit against their employer over the vaccine policy. Source

The Houston Methodist Hospital deadline has arrived and 117 employees were put on a two-week suspension without pay – they have two weeks to “come to their senses” and get the experimental injectable …. or else.

I feel like healthcare across the country is watching this case. I know I certainly am because I’m QUITE sure that the hospital where I work is watching it very closely as well. And why wouldn’t they? If Houston Methodist wins it will only embolden hospitals across the country to pull the same stunt.

Including the hospital where I work.

On one hand, I get why they would require vaccines – their argument is to protect the patients. And I get that. They already mandate the yearly flu vaccine though the percentage of effectiveness is pretty low most of the time because it’s a crap shoot whether the drug companies “predict” what that season’s strain will be. And of course, I have a huge problem with this but I’ve gone along to get along for years. I don’t like it, but it was necessary to keep my job.

And now, here we are with COVID. Again, it makes ZERO sense to me to get an experimental injectable, that hasn’t been fully tested for a disease that has a recovery rate of 99% for most people. Not to mention, the really weird incentives that states are throwing out there to encourage people to get the vaccine. You mean, people are not scared enough of the disease? Shouldn’t the disease itself be motivation enough for people to get the vaccine if they so choose? Why do officials feel the need to bribe us to get the vaccine?

Is risking my health really worth a donut? Or a beer? I truly don’t understand how people can be so easily bought.

But whatever. Get the vaccine, don’t get the vaccine, I could give a shit, but DO NOT make me inject God knows what against my will. I’ll take my chances with the disease. (If I haven’t already had it).

Which by the way, health care workers have been not only exposed to COVID this past year, but likely a whole slew of diseases and will continue to do so while working at a healthcare facility. Just because you mandate a flu vaccine or an experimental injectable does not guarantee you will not contract the disease and take it to work with you. All you can do is take every precaution not to infect the patients you take care of and believe me, the hospital takes PPE VERY seriously. (Personal protection equipment). Not only to protect the employee, but the patients as well.

My point being, getting a vaccine does not guarantee anything. And since we don’t know what the long-term repercussions of this experimental mRNA can and/or will do to a body, I’m not willing to play that particular game of Russian Roulette.

The comments on this news story, and on Twitter, are alarmingly hateful. But then again, what did I expect? As with most issues, people are not seeing the big picture here. I daresay Houston Methodist is not seeing the big picture, either. Here’s why – we have been SEVERELY short staffed for a while. Even before COVID hit. Healthcare demand is going up but the supply is way down. I just don’t think a lot of people are going into healthcare right now, for a number of reasons. Can these hospitals really afford to lose 1/8 of their staff by mandating an experimental injectable? Or any other injection, for that matter. And if hospitals lose staff, that means the people that remain will be overworked to compensate.

When does it end?

All I know is, I DON’T want to lose my job. I love it, I love the people I work with, I’m confident in what I do but I’m mentally prepared to walk away if backed against a wall.

Let’s see what happens.

Work Stuff

College is Not Necessarily a Pre-Requisite to Success

I have a college degree. I graduated from college in 2003 with a Bachelor of Science in Technical Writing and a minor in creative writing.

I went to college for two big reasons:

— I wanted to prove to myself that I was smart enough to finish it. And I’m proud to say, I graduated Cum Laude. (Contrary to popular belief, I’m not that smart when it comes to book smarts. What saves me is I have LOADS of common sense).

— And I wanted to set a good example for our boys, to show them that you’re never too old to go to college, (I was one of those annoying, overachieving older students you see sprinkled throughout campus), and that if you wanted to make something of yourself, you needed to go to college.

I have since changed my mind on that.

College nowadays is not really about educating you and/or preparing you for the real world, it’s about indoctrinating you into a specific mindset and teaching group think. And for that completely worthless lesson you get saddled with tens of thousands of dollars of debt.

Whee!

When our boys graduated from high school, we didn’t really discourage them from going on to college but we certainly didn’t encourage them, either. We didn’t have to worry about that, actually, as both boys were firmly against going to college, primarily because they didn’t want to start life off in debt.

Smart kids, I wonder where they get that mentality? (*cough*)

At first, we were like, “but you’ll never get a good paying job without a college education! How will you be successful?” but now, I’m SO GLAD they didn’t go as I wouldn’t want them to be brainwashed to believe the sh*t that’s being taught now.

True. If you want a job in a specific field, accounting, law, medicine, you’ll need a formal education to pursue that goal, but it’s totally possible to be successful without a college education. And if the boys want to go to college at some point, we’ll certainly support their decision, (with some financial counsel, for example, take it slow, pay as you go, don’t take out loans and CERTAINLY don’t expect someone else to pay your bills for you). In fact, I think going to college later in life, when they are more mature and serious about what they want to do is preferable as opposed to right after high school when they are impressionable and easily manipulated – kids need to learn to navigate the real world first, get to know who they are as people first, before encountering pressures to learn and/or live someone else’s ideals.

I have a college degree, but I haven’t done anything with it, I’m ashamed to say. Primarily because

  1. I’m too scared to try
  2. I don’t think I’m good enough
  3. Technical writing is BORING

I know Kevin is disappointed in me. He has never come right out and said that, but I can see it in his face at times when it comes up.

Like now.

We had a “huddle” at work the other day, and my manager mentioned that she heard a “rumor” that the hospital was going to mandate the experimental injectable, i.e. COVID vaccine, this coming Fall. It will likely coincide with the annual flu vaccination, which, for the record, I HATE and don’t believe it and only get it to keep my job fully convincing myself that whatever poison they are injecting is not affecting my long-term health, at all.

Anyway, I was disappointed and sad, but not surprised. I was hoping I wouldn’t have to deal with this issue for at least another year, but it doesn’t sound like I’m going to get the luxury of time here. And it’s only a rumor at this point, maybe I won’t, but I think it’s going to happen, largely because I hear the hospital is requiring new hires to get the “vaccine” before starting.

So, it’s coming. I need to stop holding out hope.

I’m not going to lie, I have been waffling back and forth on whether to get it, or find another job. Let’s real talk here, I’m not getting any younger. I have about … ten working years left in me before retirement and do I really want to start over? Start from scratch? Learn something new and deal with the stress of that?

And the Johnson and Johnson vaccine is one jab and it at least resembles something like a normal injection in that it has a little bit of the virus in it as opposed to the Moderna and the Phizer which is the mRNA technology that is still …. pretty experimental.

The thing is, the hospital will make me sign a consent, (even though I technically DON’T consent), thereby releasing them from any liability if I have any sort of adverse reaction. And I know that according to OSHA guidelines, an employer could potentially be liable for any adverse reactions if they mandate the vaccine, though that wouldn’t apply if I’m forced to sign that damn consent, but it’s food for thought.

And I LOVE my job, I really do. It’s stressful and exhausting, but I’m good at it and the people I work with are pretty amazing, but is all of this worth my health? Remember, I never, IN A MILLION YEARS, thought I would find myself working in healthcare – I never wanted it and quite frankly, I could walk away from it without losing much – I don’t have a dog in this fight.

However –

There’s already talk of an annual COVID “booster” and where do I draw the line? I have to put my health and freedoms first.

I. HAVE. TO.

So now what? What are my options now?

I have my degree. Perhaps it’s time to pursue something in that field. What do I have to lose? I’m going to have to find another job anyway, I might as well see what’s out there. And honestly, NOW is the perfect time to look for a job since employers are practically begging people to come work for them.

That may not be the case in the Fall when people lose their unemployment checks and have no other choice but to get back out there and find work.

This situation is TEARING me up inside. I’m reaching a crossroads in my life and I don’t want to make the wrong decision.

Luckily, it’s only me and Kevin on my insurance now but quite frankly, when the boys dropped off my insurance, they found some pretty sweet deals on health insurance, which wasn’t an option ten years ago when Obama stuck his nose into the whole business, so I know we CAN find affordable health insurance (and quite frankly, it will likely be better than what we have now because contrary to popular belief, health insurance is not that great for healthcare workers).

So. I think I need to move forward. I need to think ahead and prepare myself for the very real possibility of not having a job this Fall. Where do I start? I haven’t been on a job interview in ten-plus years. I’m a bit rusty, to say the least.

I need to start with my resume. I will put that together and then I will dust off my LinkIn account and post my resume to my Indeed.com account. I’ll cast my line out into the employer waters and see what I can catch. Who knows what will come of that, if anything.

If that doesn’t work, then I’m not too proud to apply places like Wal-Mart, Hobby Lobby … whatever I can get. And quite frankly, I’ll likely make more money because again, contrary to popular belief, healthcare workers don’t make that much money.

Which is sad and wrong considering all they do for the public, but it’s just an unfortunate fact.

I haven’t made it a secret at work where I stand on this issue so if anyone from work reads this post they won’t be surprised to learn how I feel about this, but I definitely feel like someone turned an hourglass over and now my time at this hospital is running out.

To say I’m bitter and resent the HELL out of having to make this choice would be putting it mildly. Once again, I’m being forced to adapt to a situation not of my making and THAT PISSES ME OFF TO NO END. But I will NOT conform to something I don’t believe in. I just won’t. And if that means that makes my life harder, or I have to rearrange my life to accommodate the madness, so be it.

I don’t know. Won’t it be ironic if my college degree ends up saving my ass after all?