Sunday, December 31, 2006

Grey's Anatomy Mix CD's - Thank You ! :) and Stuff

I am really enjoying the Grey's Anatomy mix CD's that my d-i-l made for part of my Christmas gift. She made four of them for me! I love them and am playing them all the time. I need to put them on iTunes so I can listen while working (or blogging) at the computer. I have my favorites that really speak to me and then there are other favorites that conjure up memories of some of the really great scenes in last year's season finale, along with other episodes.

I can't wait for the new episodes that will be starting this week! I watched the finale again tonight. It is the only show that I never tire of because it has everything in it. Humor, drama, romance and romance.

(I still have to see the first two seasons! That would be fun to do on a snowy day, all cozy inside. Where IS the snow???)

Having said that, by far - my favorite romantic scene is in the season finale, where he used the McDreamy eyes on Merideth and their eyes spoke volumes while they were dancing with other partners, yet looking at each other. (I already said this on another post, but it is my favorite scene and my favorite episode.) I wish Denny didn't have to die. I think he was a McDenny! :) SERIOUSLY!

Speaking of romance - I saw part of "It's a Wonderful Life" on Christmas Eve. I had forgotten about the scene where George is at Mary's house, they had just had a fight but were now close to each other because they were talking on the phone with a mutual friend. You could both see and feel the romantic tension between them and it was so obvious that they wanted to be together and then finally, they kissed. They played that scene really well. The entire movie is wonderful! My favorite thing about the movie is that it demonstrates how each of our lives are valuable and how we can affect things for good or bad, that can totally impact future events.

Tonight, Jane Pauly - talking about President Ford, demonstrated this concept. She said if President Nixon had chosen Ford to be his VP running mate in 1960, then he may have carried Michigan and won the election. If there was no Kennedy, then there wouldn't be any Johnson . There was more to this but too much to type now. Without Kennedy, would we have gone into Viet Nam? And if we did go, would it have escalated without Johnson? Mind boggling to think of the different outcomes abroad and on the home front.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Fight For Your Money Re:Health Insurance/Time For Last Minute 2006 Tax Deductions !

Yikes!!! 2006 tax year coming to an end! I just realized that I need to go through some medical bills NOW and pay as much as we can RIGHT now. It is hard to believe there is only a couple of days left to do this and I will have to do it by phone.

With all the Christmas preparations and getting stented - I totally forgot. Dang! Not exactly what I want to be doing during this holiday week. We hit catastrophic with all the medical bills this year and I am sorry to have to start a new year with this stuff (physically and financially) not cleared up.

I started this great medical notebook this year because there was so much to keep track of, so that will help some. However, I let it slide the last couple of months and need to update everything. This is good though, because this project will jump start me in to getting our taxes itemized and processed early. (A girl can dream!)

***The insurance company and hospital billing dept. can drive you crazy! You absolutely HAVE TO BE ON TOP OF EVERYTHING when it comes to payments, reimbursements, etc. I feel sorry for the little old people, or people in general who think they can blindly trust these corporations to do everything correctly. Trust me here - ERRONEOUS thinking!

The radiologists, anesthesiologists and ED docs are NOT on our plan, which means I have to pay them 25% of the bill for their services. (They are killing me this year!) This past June, I called the ins. co and stated that I did not think it was fair that I am going to a PPO hospital and don't have a choice in which doctors service me, consequently resulting in a higher cost for me.

Guess what?? Turns out that since I DON'T have a choice, my insurance company will pay at the full PPO rate of 90% of the UCR charges. So, they sent out checks with an additional 15% reimbursement to the doctors. So, that worked for awhile and then they reverted back to paying only 75%! I called them again about this and the ins rep. stated that it only applied to the radiologists! okaaaayyyyy....here we go AGAIN! I politely insisted that this was NOT the case - she disagreed- I assertively(yet politely) held my ground and requested a manager. She said she would submit it for further review. Suffice it to know that the checks for the 15% difference were sent out! Now they are doing it AGAIN! Also, I need to review all payments from last winter, including what I paid out. This will be work - all the phone calls, etc. Sigh!

The hospital billing department tried to double bill me 500.00 and something dollars for a bill from January!

First of all, someone at the hospital did not do their job in making sure I was pre-certified to stay the extra day and they had to eat 3- 4,000.00. I was responsible for the co-pay, which is the amount they were now in October trying to double bill me for.

Since I haven't worked through most of this, I needed to set up a payment plan with the hospital. We combined all the individual hospital dates/services into one big monthly payment plan.

I explained to the biller that this bill is a part of the original payment plan - THE 1st bill from the hospital for 2006 tax year. The biller maintained that I owe this money!

I have this uncanny ability to remember dates/numbers and so without anything in front of me but the bill they sent me for this - rattled off the dates for each hospital event AND explained that she was trying to bill me TWICE. She said she didn't understand and that I DID OWE the 500.o0 plus amount. (inside - I am beginning to feel like Steve Martin at the airport in "Planes, Trains and Automobiles!) Yet, I remained calm. :)

I asked her to get pen and paper and write down all the dates I was giving her. I then asked her if the info I gave her jived with her computer info? She had an epiphany moment and said "Yes - I see that is part of the payment plan and you don't owe us that extra amount.

And now we have touch down Houston! Gee - was she intentionally being obtuse, hoping I would cave, so she could collect some of the money they lost for themselves?

I am procrastinating - time to sift through the tax deductions..... I will be a happy, happy girl if I do get the taxes sent out super early!

P.S. I realize that most billing is done efficiently and correctly. They have to be up on all the current contracts (which can change at any time during the year) among other things and accuracy is key to getting a timely and proper reimbursement. I just know from my own experience that billing/insurance co. mistakes do happen.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Feeling Restless - Jobs! Stents! - What to do? What to Do?

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!

(After having posted everything below, which I never intended to do - at all, I realize that it is more of a catharsis for me. Hopefully, when I reread this, I will gain a better insight into what direction/decisions I need to take/make. There is one cute story regarding me working as a 20 year old nanny, but the rest is just me wrestling with some issues.)

I will be posting about Christmas soon. Today, I commented on other blogs. The Christmas post on Charity Doc's "Fingers and Tubes in Every Orifice" got me all sentimental when I was reading it and I started missing my job at the hospital. I have a lot of good (some sad, but mostly good) memories from there. I really related to his post on so many levels. (am tired of working holidays tho)

I am seasoned and well trained in the positions I would apply for and so it would be a short transition period for any training I might need to meet the specific requirements of the new employer. I am at a marketable age in that my children are older and so no call outs for a sick child etc. and I DON'T care if I have benefits. I only want part time, although I would step up and help where and when ever needed. I would be so flexible that I would make Gumby look like concrete! Vacation days would be nice but I really don't care about sick days, especially since an employer might think I might cost them money down the road if they know that I might have surgery.

A few years ago, I willingly gave up my right to accrued sick and vacation time at the hospital corporation I worked for. I was the senior person in my dept. and I accrued time at a high rate and quickly, but lost all that when I cut my hours back. Even tho the total work hours accrued between my two jobs more than met the hospital criteria, they said I had to work so many base hours in one dept or I would lose the benefits. I still chose to drop the accrued paid time bank hours for more flexibility in my personal schedule. It did kill me tho every time I looked at my pay check and saw "0" accrued time bank hours because I NEVER let the hours go down low. I always carried the allowed amount into the next year and then added to them. Anyway, seems there is always a trade off in life. I'm not sorry I did it then and I don't care if I have the benefits now. I definitely don't want to pay into a health insurance plan as I have my husband's insurance.

My dilemma has been that I didn't want to let any future employer down by taking a job and then going out for surgery later on. The fact is anyone, at anytime could leave for any number of reasons. There are no guarantees in life about anything! Maybe I have been over thinking this whole thing. If I had gone to work in September, I would have had 4 months of working and PAY CHECKS! And the distraction would be good for me.

Every time I go to a doctor's office or the hospital, I want to go to the other side of the counter and work and earn money. I have a hard time being "the patient" and identify more with the health care workers. It IS really weird being "the patient" and frustrating!

Last February I was in the hospital for a few days. Even tho I was a post- op patient (nothing big) I jumped out of bed to assist a nurse in helping her move an elderly patient who was my room mate! Of course, she insisted that I get back in bed and she was right, but that is just my instinct - to pitch in and help! That little old lady did rely on me to help her tho, with the tv, the phone, calling for help, her tray, etc. She was so sweet. Sometimes, I really did just want to sleep or not talk. As an out patient at the hospital and while waiting for my tests, I find little ways to assist the other patients - steady a wheel chair, carry things, walk them towards their destination, etc.

Ironically, a couple of years ago, I actually accompanied my girlfriend and her father to the very urologist office I go to now. Who could've known then that I would've become a frequent flyer there a year and a half later? He had to go in the restroom to give a urine sample and he opened the door while holding his urine sample and was confused because he had dementia. A nurse told him where to put it but he still looked confused, so I jumped up to help him and took it from him and put it where it should go. I wasn't wearing gloves and shouldn't have done that, but again, it was just my instinct to do that. I love working around patients in any capacity and do miss it.

I didn't intend to post much. I guess Charity Doc's post really did touch me, and even tho he was basically just venting his frustration, it was all so familiar. :)

I have turned down 3 job offers now - all through word of mouth. I am grateful, but when the right one comes along or I find it - I will know. The PT guy even told me that he knows a lot of doctors and that when I am ready he will help me get a job in a doctor's office. That's sweet of him and you never know. I have 2 hospital HR departments that are interested and a woman in one of them has told me to send my resume to her and she has a friend in HR in a significantly larger hospital. Again, that is nice, but I know I will get a job when I actively pursue it.

Life is funny. I got my hospital job because of a pap test I had and I got my Lifeline job because my mother fell and was on the floor for 33 hrs. I was at her appointment when it was being set up and hit it off with the coordinator of the program. A couple of weeks later, she called me to see if I wanted to be a regularly scheduled per diem (her assistant) and I said yes! I had actually just chosen to reduce my hours at the hospital and now by taking this job, I had actually increased my total hours. (I will talk about Lifeline sometime - it is such a good program!)

So, it will be interesting to see where my next job comes from. :) The only time I ever got a job from the newspaper was when I was 20 years old. I left my accounts receivable job and decided I wanted to work in the county for the summer before getting married in the fall. It was working as a nanny through some county agency.

I went for the interview and hit it off right away with the guy and his daughters. He was a 35 yr old state trooper and widower. His wife had recently died from kidney disease, leaving behind 2 beautiful young girls who were 12 and 8 yrs old. I was honest and told him that I didn't know how to cook or do laundry but that I could clean. Well, he appreciated anything I did, but I am sure it was more about the girls having someone around all day to care for them and I really did care about them. We also had fun. I used to take then swimming at the lake and do all kinds of things with them. They were a nice family!

Bob, (my new boss) was really funny and we got along well. (I remember he liked Frank Sinatra and Chicago) The first time I did laundry, he said he had to call a repair man because I had broken the machine. Evidently, I didn't realize all the clothes had to be pushed down into the machine (I am guessing that I overloaded it too) because a sock got wedged between the drum and outer wall of the washer.

One morning when I went in, he was there, sitting in his bath robe at the dining room table. He said that the pork chops I made the night before weren't cooked all the way and that he had gotten food poisoning and spent the nite up at the ER in a local hospital. I felt bad but he was really nice about it. (In retrospect - shouldn't HE have been able to tell if the meat was white and the pork cooked? I hadn't evolved that far in my cooking skills yet!)

Every nite he would come home at 5pm and he would make a gin and tonic with a lime twist for both of us. (I rarely drink, but if I do that is still my favorite drink) I would stay and chat a bit and then be on my way. Well one nite, while I was setting the dining room table, he turns to me and says "Pat, did you make ice?"

me - "Ice?"

Bob - "Yes Pat - ice."

me - " No, no I didn't make ice Bob." (I could see that he was really disappointed)

Bob - " Pat - the most important thing you have to do here is MAKE ICE!"

me - "o k Bob, from now on I will make ice."

From then on, every night when Bob came home, as he was walking up the stairs he would say "Pat - did you make ice?" and I would say "Yes Bob, I made ice." and we continued to have our evening gin and tonics with ice, until I left to get married.

In reflecting on this, I am totally amused that- a broken machine? Food poisoning? No big deal. No ice - BIG DEAL! I also don't remember cooking anything else but those pork chops, but I must have! He also never told me in the interview that making ice was a prerequisite to the job! :)

There was one other time that I used a news paper add and it was to apply at a doctor's office. It was in our county seat and the address was where a lot of the older houses are right next to each other. I was 24 years old and not familiar with that area. I walked into the wrong doctor's office and inquired about the job. The doctor from that office happened to be right out front with the staff and informed me that I had the wrong office. Then HE offered me a job working for him! He was really nice and friendly and I don't remember why, but I politely declined his offer. He told me where the other place was, but I decided not to go there either.

Not long after that, I conceived our first son and and so I went back to work at the ski resort, but had to leave after a month because I almost miscarried him.

Ever wish God would just drop a sign down out of the sky, complete with directions for which decision to make and what path to follow? I would take a job now if I thought they wouldn't care that I am stented etc. or might need surgery down the road. My doctor thinks if I put the surgery off that I am putting my life on hold and I guess he is right - because I feel like I am in limbo right now. Sigh!

And - I don't know what to do about surgical choices either! I need a sign dropped down here for sure. Really! If God himself somehow made it clear who should do the surgery, when and where I should have it done or if I absolutely have to have it - then I would promptly comply and relax because I would know that I was making the right decisions.

It would be even better if he would just heal me directly! He could and I DO believe in miracles! :)

starlitescones@hotmail.com

I have listed my most used e-mail address as the post title, should anyone want to contact me through e-mail. I have a google e-mail but have used my real name on that for my resume. Mail.google.com is a good e-mail site though, more storage and more options.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Murphy's Law Kind Of Day

Part 1

What a weird day! Nothing bad, just annoying - some positives, but mostly negative - just stupid stuff. Sigh!!

( Today, this is just a post for venting-a rant here, a rave there, nothing of any particular interest. Just me frustrated with my ineptitude to communicate, insurance companies and stupid stuff or gushing with gratitude for the good and did "I" shout at my doctor??)

Lately, I have been contemplating some significant decisions I have to make. In the grand scheme of things, I know that I will look back and see how everything worked out just fine. It's just the getting there sometimes. I initially was letting it get me down, but then rallied back and got back into the Christmas spirit.

Last night I was happily baking for a Christmas food basket I was putting together for a doctor's office I have been going to this year. Large office staff - large basket of goodies. Today, I ended up being in the doctor's office a lot longer than I would've normally been, because I had to have an unexpected x-ray and office procedure. Since I was there so long, I got to see the ladies there enjoy the goodies and they were all so appreciative. That warms my heart as I know they have spent a lot of time with phone calls for and to me, faxing test results, scheduling and who knows what else. They have consistently been compassionate, patient and professional throughout the year. Of course, there must be a special place in heaven for my amazing doctor in that group as HE is the one that ANSWERS all the questions and just follows up on everything even tho he is so busy. (I have had some great doctors but none of them as thorough as this guy.) Not only is he on top of everything, but he "listens" to me when I have had a complaint that goes against the clincal results. The other doctors are nice too, but I have only seen them if my Doc is away. Anyway, suffice it to know that it felt good to do something for them and even tho I know they are only doing their jobs, they have gone the extra mile and more and they have been a blessing to this girl.

I will start with last nite - which was fun in a Christmassy way.

The Christmas music was playing and in between getting the cookies out of the oven I was also putting the finishing touches on decorating the Christmas tree. I love doing things for people and as I have said before , I would feed the world if I could. Actually, there are so many people that I would like to bake for , but I haven't been feeling real good lately (ureteral stent is helping, but bothering me) and so I got behind on some of my Christmas agenda. I finally finished the last of the cookies for the doctor's office at 12:30 a.m. and had just finished the tree when I got the tiniest sliver of a glass ornament embedded into my foot.
It took a long time to get out as it was hard to reach and so far in - but I did it and then went to bed.

I got up early and immediately started packing up the basket, which took longer than I thought. Finally, a fait accompli - I took my shower.

Unfortunately, I nicked myself with the shaver (a raised capillary?) and blood poured out from this little hole like from a spigot. I did this about 4 years ago and it took a couple of hrs to stop the bleeding, even after elevation, ice and pressure.

(Here is a perfect example of how stubborn I can be when it comes to medical things - Even tho I worked closely with the ED and I knew they could've done SOMETHING simple to stop it (the Bleeding), I get stubborn and refuse to go to doctors sometimes. I did that last New Years Eve when I had a fever with chills x3 that caused symptoms that are beyond description. The 1st one hit at 2am New Years Day and my husband begged me to let him take me to the hospital. I had gotten meds for a UTI from the ED Doc I worked with the nite before and so I said "NO - the meds just need time to work." By the 3rd time it happened New Years nite, I actually thought I WAS dying and that maybe it was too late. I presented to the ED with a 124 heart rate, 104 temp and the Dx was sepsis among other things.)

So, back to the 1st time I nicked a capillary, every time I took the bandage off, it would bleed again and then eventually stopped. So, this time of course my shower got cut short, (my tub looked like the scene in Psycho) because now I had to attend to this and thought for sure I would have to cancel the appointment. However, after a bit, it MIRACULOUSLY stopped. There wasn't even a hole or anything! I guess it just clotted or ran out of blood from the source?

Now, I was going to run late, so I called the office to let them know what happened and that I would have the Christmas parade of traffic to contend with and this big basket to carry. (Thankfully, I was only 10 late and they were very busy! I actually had time to talk and show them pictures.)

Part 2

Fortunately, I ran into a nice, young girl (a stranger,with a beautiful smile - Jamie) in the parking lot who graciously helped me carry the basket up to the doctor's office. (it was a big Christmas Longaberger basket filled with home made and store bought goodies and it had leather loops on each side for us to hold) While in the elevator, she is the one who said I was having a Murphy's law day. I really am not at all superstitious, but it just seemed like nothing flowed the way it should. Except, that I did enjoy my conversations with the front office staff and had fun showing them pics of my granddaughter and the newly decorated Christmas tree.

I went there knowing I wasn't prepared for the consult. I have been so busy (and maybe in a bit of denial) that I just haven't focused on the questions I wanted to ask and info I needed to gather and so only brought a few questions. I am usually very detail oriented. Also, I am not at all familiar with NY hospitals or Cornell doctors or the criteria on which to base my decisions. So, even though I knew I wasn't ready for a consult, I still wanted to see the doc because my stent is causing a lot of discomfort and I was wondering if something was wrong. I haven't even felt comfortable enough to go out Christmas shopping.

The doctor was having a VERY busy day and he was actually on vacation which I didn't know and what am I doing at the beginning of the consult? I am wasting his time fumbling with my digital camera because some setting popped up that I didn't know how to get rid of.

(Hmmm THAT is a new complaint for Urostream.blogspot.com Dr keagirl is a female urologist who had a post on annoying things patients do. Patient playing with camera during consult could be added to the list.)

Finally, I shut it off. But I was also really tired, and since I was unprepared with questions, I feel like I wasn't at my best in communicating with him. He did give me some names and places to research. I did tell him the stent was more uncomfortable than I expected. So, I had to get a KUB (which revealed stent is in place the way it should be) and he informed me that he would be doing the procedure to gather the pure urine sample. I can NEVER remember the name of that (must be mental block because I HATE it) and so I think of it as a PUP - pure urine procedure. :) O k, between psycho bloody tub and now urine, I know I have lost a few of my friends reading this. :)

It would've been funny if I went to this doctor's office with my Santa Clause hat on. I like the way I look in it when I am dressed up. Even tho stressed by the shaving incident, I really was in a festive, Christmas spirit. I was wearing 2 Christmas tree pins on my coat and one lights up like a gaudy Los Vegas sign. I thought it would be fun to deliver the treats to them and some other people with my Santa Hat on, but decided against wearing it because I thought he might not be able to take me seriously with the hat on and if I had to take it off, then maybe I would have the dreaded hat hair.

*** I do think it would've been totally weird, yet funny if I were in the exam room, in THAT position - with a Santa hat on! Something surreal about that. :)

So, now I know I have to get undressed waist down for this. Remember shower cut short because of psycho tub? I didn't get to shave all the way up my legs. Thankfully, I wasn't growing trees, but still...sigh. AND my toenails (plum) didn't match my red fingernails (which were starting to chip and I had them PROFESSIONALLY done the day before.) I was going to do the toenails myself after shower, but instead of red nail polish I had to deal with red blood. The blood pours out in a stream and I could envision myself dying from blood loss that way. Obviously, I wouldn't let it happen but I wonder what would happen if I didn't intervene.

I KNOW the doctors DON'T care about these things - they are just there to do their jobs and move on to the next patient. When I got hit with that first big kidney stone (at 4 a.m.), I presented to the ED (at approximately 8a.m.) in a nightgown, and had been unable to brush my teeth, brush my hair or wash in any way and I WAS growing trees on my legs. I remember that particular week - I was really busy with both jobs and other commitments and every a.m. when taking a shower, I would have the thought to shave my legs and I kept saying "No - Tomorrow, no time now." and then that Friday a.m. I was hit with the kidney stone. Murphy's Law!

I do remember an ED Doc commenting on a patient's sexy panties that he had seen on her just before coming to dinner in the cafeteria. Having seen the patient - I can see why the patient and panties didn't jive and could appreciate his very funny comments. BUT *mental note made - Docs DO notice these things* and it is from that point on that I personally have always felt a little more shy in an exam. However, I know I am being silly about matching nail polish - that's a girl thing. Oh - and by the way- I would feel just as embaressed if it was a woman doctor - it's that whole getting undressed, feeling imperfect, vulnerable thing. Yet, I can honestly say, that whenever I was around naked patients in any capacity, I certainly didn't stare at anything and that there is this more professional way of looking at someone in that I would see them, but not be looking - if that makes any sense. And, I honestly don't remember any naked patient or even who they were - o k well, there is one. My M.I.A. ED nurse friend (Marge) knows which one I am referring to. It was back in my early days working around the ED and let's just say" sometimes "I could be a little naive. :) It is one of her favorite stories about me and she gets me laughing any time she brings it up. Wish I could share it... but - I can't! And - let me be clear about this - we are NOT laughing at the patient in any way but rather at me in one of my more "Lucy" moments in conjunction with this case!

There is a blogging urologist (the independent urologist) that says this procedure doesn't hurt. I just left him 2 comments on his xyfactor blog that it DOES HURT! :(

Part 3

So, when I got home, I went in to office mode and began the phone calls to start my research process. I started with my insurance company, which felt like an exercise in futility. I am usually strong in communications but I was definitely having an off day. My generally easy going personality was transforming into a biatch, internally of course, ok, maybe it was leaking out a little. I was making every effort to be patient with an ins. rep who appeared to not want to help with the research! I kept having thoughts of ending the call (or her life! - extreme, I know) and calling back to get someone else, but I persisted. Here is the funny thing (not then, but now), EVERY number she gave me was WRONG! The hospital information and the doctor information! She kept telling me there were 470 urologists on the list. In the end, I decided to go to my insurance site on line. I don't usually do this as I always prefer making that human connection because most people DO their jobs and you can get other questions answered as well, killing 2 birds with 1 stone sort of thing. Now.... the website is taking F-O-R-E-V-E-R- to access!!! I tried several times (our system is very fast so I knew it wasn't my computer) and then FINALLY got through. Then, "I" accessed the urologist's section and DO NOT UNDERSTAND why it was so difficult for her to narrow the choices down to a specific area!?? Then, I went back to the phone. Thankfully, when I called one of the ins rep's wrong hospital numbers, the person on the other end WAS ABLE to direct me to the CORRECT facility and then the next person there WAS ALSO ABLE to direct me to the correct dept and to the actual doctor's office. In the meantime , I scheduled for a consult with a doctor closer to home for Friday who works in a hospital closer to home.

Then, I called my doctor's office because it occurred to me that I probably need to go to the new Doc with all kinds of reports/x-rays and who knows what else. ( Now, I DON'T want to do ANY of this!! I want to cancel everything. ) I want my urologist to wave his magic urology wand(Urologists have them, don't they?) over me and make it all go away. Well, in MY perfect world - it could happen. You can't blame a girl for wishing! :)

I spoke with the nurse and told her my plans. (It seemed that all the doctors that my doctor was recommending were NOT on my plan) I, just for the heck of it, had looked up the urologists on my plan who are affiliated with this particular hospital and asked the nurse to ask him if any of these Docs would work. She called me back and told me to hold as he wanted to speak with me.

This nurse is the one who told me he was on vacation, and now I know I must be bothering the heck out of him, if he is having one of those busy days where he is NOT getting out of the office because now I AM ADDING to everything, although - I did need to know what I had to do before I saw this new guy in 2 days. (The only reason I was rushing to do this is that I have hit catastrophic this year and I am trying to save money any way that I can. Seeing a new doctor 3 days before Christmas is NOT my idea of holiday fun!) I am REALLY HAPPY to say he (my current Doctor) did say one of the doctors on my list would be a good choice. That means that maybe I will have surgery, etc. closer to home. Well, maybe same distance but just wouldn't have to deal with all the NYC stuff. I don't know for sure - still have things to sort through.

Anyway, he is talking to me on SPEAKER PHONE! I love/hate speaker phone! When "I" am using it - I love it! When I am the recipient of it - I hate it because it always sounds like I am in a cave and I don't like how the voices seem distorted and I feel weird about my voice being projected out into an unknown (to me) area. When I use it on my end, I tend to speak louder so people can hear me. Well, AFTER speaking with him, I am now thinking that I may have been shouting AT HIM!!! I hope not!

If I did - I do hope he realizes that: a. I DON'T think he's deaf b. that I wouldn't yell at him and c. it was because of the darn speaker phone. I am pretty certain I shouted back - sigh....

After all of this, I tried to go on our ins pharmacy program to order meds for my husband. I don't keep track of his meds and he left one of his bottles out for me to see and it only contained TWO pills! I order meds on line for him quarterly, always goes smoothly and they arrive within a few days. (But now it is the weekend and Christmas coming up)

Well, of course, because I decided to do this today - it did NOT go smoooothly. My fault! I changed the password 3 months ago and didn't remember it. Suffice it to know that I locked myself out! So, I called tech support. Thanks to HIPPA, she could not help me access the account or give the temp password to me. I set up the account. It was my password. It is my e-mail account. I pay all the bills (with his money) and I do all the federal and state taxes, itemizing everything. He has never e-mailed or paid a bill on line in his life. I don't care - I am just stating a fact. She was a lovely person who was truly trying to help me and I was doing my very best to be patient. I kept apologizing to her and warned her that if I snapped in any way it wasn't her, that I was just really, really tired and a bit testy. While waiting for him to come to the phone, I paid the bill with "my" credit card.

My husband comes to the phone gives the info to me and I get him set up.

I asked her about my son's info and of course because HE is now 18, and because of HIPPA laws," he" now has to have his own password to his own account. He is on my husbands plan. There isn't ANY med that he would get that comes thru the insurance plan that we would not
know about.

I do understand the whole privacy act thing and it's importance, but I also think it is over kill and creates a lot of extra paper work.

While our son was talking with this woman, I decided to access husband's account and it indicated that meds still had to be paid for. I questioned this and she reassured me that they were paid for with my credit card and would be sent out. That is key because if everything was done correctly, there is a good chance his meds might get here by Saturday.

So, it wasn't an awful day, just an off day. Maybe the lesson here is, that if it seems like the day is going to be a Murphy's law kind of day, then just try not to do anything you don't want to get screwed up! Too bad I can't collect a salary for the day's work!

Then Devan and I hung everyone's Christmas stockings up. The evening took a turn for the better. It always helps to view Christmas through a child's eyes.

p.s. I slept really well last night and slept in this morning. Also, this morning (Thursday) I got a recorded message from our mail order pharmacy program. The message indicated that the meds WOULD NOT be shipped unless they were paid for! No - please God - NOT another day like yesterday! I called the suggested number and as it turns out the tech support lady did not submit my payment correctly but it was corrected today....ah....bliss and the rest of the day was uneventful - tis a good thing.

Monday, December 18, 2006

My Blushing Face/Rudolph's Nose

It has bean a most dreary afternoon here in NJ. I needed to go out and do some errands and so I decided to take a nice, long and luxurious shower - you know - the kind where you pamper yourself with your favorite scented bath and hair products. Then after the shower I have this current absolute favorite body lotion I like to put on.

Ok, I'll give it a plug - it is Victoria's Secret "Dream Angels - Heavenly" and I am in heaven when I wear this. I always get compliments when I wear it, yet I don't smell it anymore after I apply it before I leave home. I wear it so much that I must be desensitized to it and should probably be careful not to over do it

I also was playing Christmas music, specifically, I had the "Christmas Canon" on repeat play which enraptures me every time. Suffice it to know that by the time I finished giving myself this practically spa treatment I was oh soooo verrrry relaxed. :)

And... then.... I turned around.....only to see that the window covering had silently and totally fallen off the window. Remember dreary day? My very bright bathroom lights were on, doing what they are supposed to do, shine light on everything, including ME, only I did not choose to be an exhibitionist for my neighbors or anyone else who may have been back there! YIKES!

I started to leap, lunge or whatever toward the window,while simultaneously emitting a high pitched shriek of horror! My lunge quickly turned to a duck low below the window, which mercifully was steamy. I then fumbled with the covering and slowly rose up with the covering and got it back in place.

Like I said, I love this lotion and so I was taking my time putting this Heavenly lotion on and so I don't have any idea how long I was on display and I am praying no one could see thru the steam anyway - although I am certain my blushing face probaly shined through like Rudolph's red nose on a foggy night!

Then I emerged from my relaxing spa shower experience- frazzled, blushing with hair standing on end, yet Heavenly scented!

***note - MUST call contractor back to put up that LAST window frame! We had a few new windows put up in Oct. and he ran out of the trim for one side of that window and so that is why I don't have the usual curtains hooked into the window frames.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Survivor Finale Tonight!!

It will be fun to watch the Survivor finale tonight and since the reunion part is aired live, we won't use the TiVo. Except for the talking heads, I rarely watch TV programs when they are aired. TiVo has definitely spoiled this girl!

Hmmm.... who is my pick to be the winner? I think it is a toss up between Yul and Ozzie. Yul and Jonathan were my favorites. Jonathan betrayed people, but gosh, to hear some of the contestants rant about him, you would think they think that they should be nominated for sainthood! "Get the log out of your own eye before you try to get the spec out of your brother's eye." Jonathan was more overt about his betrayals but they did it too.

Yul's "strategery" has been strong throughout the game. He has worked hard and done well with the challenges. However, Ozzie has dominated in the physical competitions, hasn't betrayed or offended anyone (that I can recall) and until recently has managed to stay under the radar.

The remaining two women are nice but not impressive and have basically coasted along. I don't have an opinion on Adam other than I think he was the pot calling the kettle black regarding Jonathan.

If I were on the jury, I would be torn between Yul and Ozzie. That said, you never really know who is going to be in the final two because it still comes down to who wins the final challenge.

Pavarti getting naked in the hot tub? The guys aren't stupid! That was soooo transparent and a moot point now.

Ok, I am predicting Yul - :)

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Anesthesia, Meredith Grey and Me

Grey's Anatomy was a repeat this week and while frustrating, still entertaining to watch. Meredith's reaction to her pain med/pre-op meds was unnerving me a bit - ok- a lot.

Over the last 10 years, I have had several occasions where I have gone into the OR either as an inpatient or an SDS and so have experienced the various effects of the meds given. Actually, in 1988, I had a spinal for a c-section and I remember the delivery clearly. I was expecting to experience the immediate post delivery events along with chatting with the Doc and staff. When I saw him the next day, I asked him why he put me out as I was hoping to talk afterward. My doctor said "You talked the whole time, but we gave you Versed and so you don't remember anything." I am sure my expression was priceless, that of OMG - WHAT did I say? I didn't say that, but he looked somewhat amused, which unnerved me all the more. That was 18 years ago and it STILL bothers me now that I am remembering it again! At the time, and through certain resources I had within the hospital, I was able to find out what happened after the delivery. According to someone in there with me, I kept saying the pressure hurt, etc. and they didn't say that I said anything else. However, knowing me - I probably did say it hurt and I probably DID talk the WHOLE time...sigh.

So, speed it up to the last 10 yrs where I have been through SDS, routine minor procedures and the OR where I have had several more occasions to experience the pre-op meds. (Thank God nothing really serious!) I REALLY feel like I have been in control right up to the point where I am on the OR table, chatting with the staff and then I am out.

I remember ALL the conversations, questions and friendly banter in the pre-op area and in the OR. I vividly remember getting situated on the OR table and who is in the room, the lights and overall logistics of the room. I remember everything that everyone in the OR does to get me set up or help me to be more comfortable.

I remember that warm, woozy feeling you get after the 1st injection and last week the anesthesiologist told me that he just gave me my margarita. :)


If they tell me they just gave me the meds that are putting me out, I play this little game with myself that I am going to stay alert and remember for as long as I can, but that works for a few seconds and then the next thing I remember is that I am waking up in post-op. Although, once I did wake up in the OR after the procedure, which was fine. I amazed everyone because I got back to my room quickly, got up (against nurse's advice - but she did let me) to use bathroom right away, had a sandwich and got out of there!

I don't know how common this is, but I have had times where I "am" conscious, listening to everything, but the staff thinks I am still out. I just can't open my eyes. The first time I had a meniscal repair done, I had it done in the hospital that I worked in. I was conscious, but couldn't open my eyes yet. A nurse walked in to post-op, recognized me and wanted to know why I was in there. They discussed my knee surgery, which knee etc. At another hospital, after having a large kidney stone removed, the nurses in post-op were discussing my procedure and some other things pertaining to me. (If only they were discussing what I said under anesthesia - DRATS!)

I had a laparoscopy to determine why I wasn't conceiving when I was 24. I remember waking up (eyes still closed) to hear myself sobbing and the recovery nurse on the phone saying " I can't take it. I gotta get this one out of here. She won't stop crying!" That is the only time I know of that anesthesia affected me that way. Maybe I was sad because I wasn't getting pregnant at the time? 7 years later, I went to work in that hospital and recognized the nurse's voice. We were friends and I told her what I remembered but I didn't tell her I knew it was her. I could see from her expression that she remembered the event and that she was surprised to see that I remembered it. I realize that is subjective on my part, but I know I am right and also, she had been a recovery nurse back then.

All OR staff should be really careful about what they say around a patient!

Also, when a person is dying, the hearing is the last to go, and so, even seemingly unconscious, they may very well hear everything being said. So,if a patient is unable to communicate for any reason, we should assume that they can hear us on some level. Something as simple as playing a music box for a comatose patient or talking with a dying person and holding their hand can have a profound effect. I remember when an elderly woman was brought into the ED who was seemingly out of it and a certain medical staffer was saying something really unkind about her and tears started coming out from under her closed eyelids and down the sides of her face.

OK - I digressed a bit - back to the drugs!

Versed! I hate the thought of a med that can cause me to forget something! I realize that can be a blessing as well. Who wants to remember their colonoscopy or EGD? (Actually, I do remember part of a routine EGD and then they must've given me more meds.)

In the ED a patient is often given conscious sedation while being worked on for an ortho case. The patients (all ages) often cry out in pain, etc. but because of the Versed/Fentanyl combination given to them, they don't remember anything of what just happened.

Back to Meredith Grey. While feeling the effects of her meds - she was happy AND her inhibitions were totally down. She said things that she would never say, to people she would never say them to and then didn't remember ANY of it!

I wonder if I have ever done that? I think I remember everything as I described. I in no way perceive myself to do the Meredith thing, but I am now wondering if at the point I "think" I have been put out - I was just given the Versed, etc. and just don't remember anything from THAT point?? And, if at that point I also am given more meds that REALLY lower my inhibitions and I am freer with verbalizing my thoughts?? For instance, what if some one in the OR is... let's say.. "easy on the eyes"? Or something catches your attention you wouldn't normally discuss? Would one then possibly comment about that? Or say ANYTHING they wouldn't normally reveal?? We ALL have SECRETS! Secrets about ourselves. Secrets about other people. I could picture myself being easy going and breezy like Meredith was and a little too free with the compliments - "YIKES" - like she was with George, McVet and McDreamy, although, believe me, that isn't MY life. Still, can't help but wonder......

So, SOMEONE please have mercy and tell me that from the point that I don't remember anything - they put me OUT!!! :)

Friday, December 15, 2006

The REAL Reason Surgeons and OR Staff Are Gowned, Gloved and Masked!

I just reread a post written by Medblog Addict called "Corn Pops" in which she was quoting another med blog discussing "Little Blobs of Fat" that look like corn pops. Evidently, open surgery on an obese person reveals fat hanging on everything and it looks like little mushy corn pops. The author of the original post said that if a retractor pops loose that the corn pops can be projected outward. In this one surgery, one flew out and stuck on a light and later dropped off onto another patient's shoulder who had just come into the OR. (There is more to that funny story and you can check it out in Medblog addict's November posts.)

I recently found out that I may- ok, probably am - ok, do have to have surgery, although in my mind it is NOT carved in stone yet and MIRACLES CAN HAPPEN. So, as I was pondering the complexity (seems so to me anyway) of decisions I need to make, I started thinking about the actual surgery and then thought about the corn pops. Ok, admittedly, this girl is on overload thinking about everything and the corn pops provide an amusing diversion from how I really picture the surgery.

Since I am not as thin as I would like to be - I know I will have those little corn pops and so I began envisioning my surgery, the retractors slipping and the surgeons yelling "O-U-T-G-O-I-N-G!!!....D-U-C-K!!! and then in slow motion, see them diving into the foxhole... er.. uh.. under the table. Or, a passive aggressive assistant saying "Ooops!" and the corn pops fly and then not unlike a cafeteria food fight - EVERYONE gets in on the action!! Hence - the REAL reason the surgeons and other OR staff are gowned, gloved and masked! ;)

Monday, December 11, 2006

ANTICLIMAX

Sigh......sigh....and..... SIGH! Why? Hmmmm....why, you ask? As I am here sitting at the computer, breaking away only to prop my forehead up with my hand, while leaning on the desk, eyes closed, shaking my head, sort of chuckling, quietly a few times - all of this intermittently while I type. Have you ever just been stupid? Or done something stupid? Or something stupidly, rediculous just happens? And it's frustrating? And you can't do anything about it? What is - is. You KNOW there are worse things and yet you are really annoyed in an amusing sort of way.

We have been watching The Amazing race ALL season. ALL SEASON! I have really followed it. I originally wanted the Cho brothers to win, but since they were out of the race, decided tonight that the boys should get it because in my opinion they were consistently at the top of the game, although one could make arguements for why the other two remaining teams should win. But, it's a moot point. We DIDN'T SEE THE WINNERS! Why? Ha! Ha! Because I am apparently technically challenged with the TiVo system.

Sunday night football has been causing time delays in the show schedules and so Tivo doesn't record past the normal time slot for any given show even though it might overlap. Now - I knew this and so I always made sure that I was around to record the overlapping time. I didn't last night because I thought it was an hour show and it had started on time. We never watch the show on Sunday nite as my husband always goes to bed at 8pm because he gets up at 4:30 am.

So we were all watching it tonight...and then the TiVo...cut the program off. I calmly, yet in that fearful disbelief state said to my younger son "No....No...tell me "that" didn't just happen". Everyone is really quiet and we all just look at the tv and then at each other. Then younger son (while grinning) says "Yes Mom it did" Then I say (as if denial will make it all work again) "please tell me it really didn't happen and we DO have the rest of this on another TiVo section - just tell me that." Younger son says "No mom - it isn't." He then proceeds to scan the list of all things I have saved on TiVo, but to no avail because as we all already knew - there was no continuation of last nights Amazing Race finale on there. Not a trace of the Amazing Race!

Older son then informed me of what I could've done to prevent this - ah... hindsight 20-20.

We had gotten up to where the boys and the other couple were racing in taxies up to the final destination in NY state. At that point it looked like the couple might have had a lead because their taxi driver said he knew where they were going. We didn't see who got there first, second or third. We didn't see the other contestants cheering them on. We didn't get to hear what everyone had to say. Sigh......

I am wondering how everyone responded. Any shared insights appreciated. :)

This is akin to watching a 14 round heavy weight fight only to have the lights go out and you don't get to see the final knockout punch or the excitement afterward. Or it's the ninth inning in the world series with a tie score, bases loaded and Derek Jeter slams the ball far, far into the air. Home run? Oh no - someone might catch the ball! Power goes out- tv off!

In sports there are replays to watch - but it's not the same as the first moment. Yes, we can read about it (younger son already did and said the boys won) and maybe catch a re-run somewhere. It's just not the same. Tonight was the anticlimax of an otherwise fun and entertaining program.

ahhh... there are still the memories of last week's tomato fights. :)

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Christmas Canon

I am in love with the "Christmas Canon"! I am simply crazy about Pachelbel's Canon in D Major and now with Christmas lyrics added to this classical piece - I am in Heaven!

My love for this piece reminds me of a Seinfeld episode where the characters would go into a trance like state when they heard "their" favorite song. Elaine's boy friend stopped everything he was doing when he heard "Desperado" and the surgeon stopped in the middle of surgery and stared off into the distance while he listened to "Witchy Woman".

This particular piece is performed by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and is on a CD called "The Christmas Attic" - 1998. I put this on iTunes and have it on repeat play while am doing some computer work.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Good Morning!

The coffee is brewing and I am so very tired. I just can not sleep before these procedures. I was going to take a lunesta,(which knocks me out) but thought better of it since I had taken that tramadl earlier for the headache. I think I read something somewhere about contraindications for mixing them even though it would've been at least 8 hrs apart. I took another tramadl instead and it didn't help me fall asleep. So, I tossed and turned and it seems like I just fell asleep when my husband's 4:30 alarm went off. I had mine set for 5:30 and basically just stayed there thinking that even if I couldn't sleep, that at least I was resting. I usually think it is better to just get up when you can't sleep and do something productive and then you eventually get tired. I have also heard that when you absolutely can't sleep that you are supposed to pray for whatever comes to mind as it may mean someone or something needs urgent prayer. I confess that I didn't even think to do that as I just wanted to sleep.

Back in a moment - getting that 2nd cup of java. :) I keep forgetting I can take the pot with me. I have a Bunn coffee maker, which I love because the water always stays hot and so when you pour the water in the top it instantly causes more piping hot water to drip through to the bottom. (The ED has a really nice coffee maker and I liked the concept of instantly brewed coffee!) This particular model pours into a stainless steel pot (I am into stainless steel) and doesn't stay warmed on hot plate. I think you have to drink the coffee fairly quickly as it doesn't stay as hot for later, although it doesn't get old tasting from being on hot plate too long. I am the only one in my house that drinks coffee. I wish they did. I miss having long, lingering talks on a weekend morning over a hot cup of coffee like my family used to do.

Spelling words accurately is my strong suit (usually) but I must be really tired because 1st I spelled POUR as PORE then POOR and then finally realized it is POUR! You could toss the most complicated medical word at me and I almost always spell it correctly.

I wonder if drinking my now 3rd cup of coffee is a good idea after all since I just took a diuretic and coffee is a diuretic and I have to go all day without drinking? Time to drink the water. I admit it - I am starting to feel panicky about not being able to drink water all day. I could have some dry toast and I have opted not to eat anything - but keep the liquids coming.

I think a patient needs to be proactive with their healthcare and is why I politely, yet assertively questioned the NPO past midnight instruction when I am not scheduled for OR until 4:30. After some hesitation, the nurse did check with anesthesia and THEY said NPO after 7 am.

Nine minutes and counting - time to really hydrate myself. :)

Well, have to call SDS to find out what time I should be there today and have to take my son over to the H.S. as his friend just called, sounding terrible,feeling sick and unable to drive and bus already came. Ok I have to be at hospital between 2 - 2:30. ***All prayers welcome. I REALLY would like to know why I still feel the discomfort I feel even tho clinically the tests show improvement. At the crux of this for me, is that I feel like I am blocking more than than I was last spring. I CAN live with it - annoying and sometimes really uncomfortable, but i can tolerate it. So, after today - I will know!

Off to the races! :)

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Let the Drinking Begin!!!

I will be posting some new topics soon, but I am exhausted and going to bed soon.

I Have been drinking and drinking. (I hope I don't have to pee, pee and pee) I want to get up @ 5:30 a.m. so I can continue drinking and drinking til I drink myself silly. I am talking about wonderful H2O and by morning some really good coffee and water, water and more water. Why? Because this afternoon I found out I am going back to SDS tomorrow for another ureteral stent placement, but because I am an add on, I'm not scheduled to go into the OR until 4:30 pm. I can't have anything past 7am.

I honestly do not care about the food, but do get PANICKY when I think I can't drink water. I probably get thirstier then I would normally be if I went without water for 8 or 9 hrs. It's like someone telling you not to think about something - you KNOW that IS what you WILL think about!

The irony here is, that when I worked my 3-11 shifts at the hospital, I routinely only drank maybe 4 0z of a beverage during 8 hrs or more, unless I really needed some coffee. There were nights when the coffee brewing in the ED drew me in like a moth to flame, only to later go home to sleep with eyes wide open. I didn't like to drink when I was busy (x THAT x years!) because I didn't want to have to stop what I was doing to go pee because bathrooms I chose to use, were totally on other side of the building. Sometimes, I would sneak into the cardiac room and use that one as it was only a couple of doors away but that only works if the room is unoccupied. I wonder if that is how I got the BIG kidney stone that started this whole debacle?

Of course I am uncomfortable now because My ureter is somewhat constricted and so the water backs up into the kidney - but drink - I MUST. I actually want to see if this stent makes a difference in relieving the pressure that I have been feeling. Part of me wants it to work because then I know I am not a crazy lady or like the patients "Dinosaur Doc" refers to in his Dinosaur laws of medicine - 2nd law "It is impossible to make an asymptomatic patient feel better.". However, if it does feel a lot better, than I know that I can't be stented forever and then I don't want to think of the alternative. What to do? What to do? I need to let tomorrow take care of itself and what will be - will be.

I guess I am NOT REALLY crazy because if you think you are - you're not, because the really crazy people DON'T know that they are crazy. Neurotic - maybe. A friend told me once, that he thought the whole world was neurotic and that it was a matter of whether or not your neuroses were compatible with everyone elses. :) Speaking of crazy, more specifically schizophrenia (ok, too tired to look that one up - hope spelling is correct) if you want a really funny read, click on one of the doctor's links and look for trench doc on their links and then go there. Read the post regarding the "red velvet cake" and the post "what is everyone's deal" about his day off. I am sorry for the patient and anyone that may've eaten the cake but this ED Doc is a hoot in the way he conveys his stories. :)

I'm STILL drinking!

So that is what I will be doing tomorrow. We were supposed to get our Christmas tree today at 3pm but instead I had to get the P.A.T. done. I didn't realize that dept. closes at 3pm but my head was in another place. For one thing ,I got an instant headache once I heard I was going in tomorrow and immediately got this mad rush of thoughts of everything I was doing at the time, what I wanted to be doing as the day progressed, what I was now going to have to do, what I STILL wanted to do (GET THE TREE) AND what I wanted to accomplish tomorrow BEFORE going over to the SDS dept . for the procedure and what I wanted to do afterward. If I were a transformer, I would've blown, hence the instant headache. Thankfully, I had already showered, but I took time to put my make-up on, worked on the area where we put the tree and filled out a card for the SDS nurse to go along with a box of candy. I was looking forward to seeing her because we have worked with the same ED Doc and hospital system and even tho it is a PAT interview - it's fun - we just click and do a lot of laughing and so I wanted to bring their dept. something.

I have a rule - NO using cell phone when driving but when I was half way there I decided I wanted to know the name of the other nurse and include that on the card as well. So, I called the hospital switchboard (my son says I am like rainman in that I am quirky and remember all kinds of numbers) and requested that I be transferred over to SDS. A recording comes on (no big deal - just means they are with a patient) and to my abject horror the recording says the PAT dept hrs are from 7-3! SEVEN to THREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I look at the clock and it is now THREE minutes to 3!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG!!!!!!!!!! At wharp speed, I had visions of SCREWING UP THE PROCEDURE PLANS AND ALL "THAT" WOULD ENTAIL.

Now, normally this scenario would cause me to feel weak at the knees as all the blood was draining from my face but instead my adrenalin kicked in along with my now pre- migraine headache. The blood wasn't draining - it was pulsating! This all transpired over seconds in time. Practically apoplectic, I call the swithcboard again and quickly relayed what is going on could she find a person - she put me thru to the same recording. I called her AGAIN and (calmly and politely - honest) asked her to please connect me to someone I could speak with that might be able to help. I kept driving over there - not willing to give up - just in case we could still do this. Mercifully, she connected me to SDS and the nurse I was speaking with also does PAT'S . She said she would call me back on my cell. After about 2 minutes, I called her back and she said she could do it. Thank you God and you wonderful nurse! The headache exacerbates as I hit traffic and every darn lite! She was a sweet nurse and very calming and reassuring, which was a good thing considering that my BP registered at 213 over 1oo and something. She took it twice after that and each time it came down more - so that was a good thing. I was worried about getting a migraine and can't take I-buprofen (which is a miracle drug for me - it always works on everything) She actually jumped up and started massaging my head and my hair. (touch my hair and I become an intant slave as it TOTALLY relaxes me) It really did help along with the tramadl (spelling?) she encouraged me to take. The rest of the time there was uneventful. Blood drawn on the first needle stick (luv that) and I actually KNOW where there is a good vein and can direct them 2 it. It has worked twice now and hope it does tomorrow.

We did get this amazing and huge christmas tree tonight and it is up in the stand, so I DO feel better about that. I will be doing a post about what I call our Chevy Chase Christmas moments as they relate to our trees - never goes smoothly. However, tonight - so far - perfect tree! :)


Tomorrow night- SURVIVOR, GREY'S ANATOMY and E.R.! I love my TiVo!

Have a wonderful day! :)

P.S. McDreamy eyes - I HOPE so! :)

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Dr.Sid Schwab's post ( Oct.7th) "Taking Trust"

I have been profoundly touched by Dr. Schwab's post called "Taking Trust" dated October 7, 2006. Maybe because I have been through a few surgeries myself and maybe because I thought I was about to have another one - one that was actually scaring me. It appears now that I am not and I will find out more about that tomorrow.

Taking Trust is eloquently written, taking you right into the OR, seeing thru the surgeon's eyes. He is truly a gifted writer. It reassured me to think that there are surgeons out there who would be that compassionate, respectful and yes, seeing the surgeries as something sacred.

Dr. Schwab has many interesting things to say and also a new book out called "Cutting Remarks". One of my other favorite posts of his are the ones about the relationship between surgeons and anesthesiologists. You can access his blog by clicking on his link, surgeons blog to the right of this post.

This year,I have been blessed with an excellent doctor who has been doing everything he can to facilitate my healing process and it is thanks to him that I am so much better and may not need the surgery after all. :)

Thank God for doctors!

P.S. For easier access, Dr. Schwab has put a direct link to his "Taking Trust" post in his comment to this post.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Survivor , Greys's Anatomy and ER - TONIGHT!!! :)

It's this girl's opinion that Jonathan, Yul and Ozzy deserve to be in the final 3 and I personally hope Jonathan and Yul are the final 2 players. Ozzy has been amazing in the physical challenges, but Yul and Jonathan have fascinated me with their "strategery" over time. :) Yul wants to take Jonathan to the final 2 because Jonathan has betrayed everyone at some point and figures the jury will still be angry with him and therefore, never vote for him. However, Jonathan is like a cat with 9 lives - just when you think he's dead - he comes back again. Both have played the game well.

I think it is rediculous when the ones voted off lose their cool on national tv because they feel so betrayed! It is totally naive of them to think ANYONE can be trusted. Sometimes alliances work and sometimes they don't. In the end, it is everyone for themselves and IS to be expected.

Go Jonathan! Go Yul! :)

Nothing to say about Grey's Anatomy right now, although, I DO hope McDreamy uses those eyes on Merideth tonight. ;)

ER- finally (in my opinion) picking up the pace and getting better story lines again. I really Like that new chief of surgery doc - he's so obnoxious. Is he the chief? Not sure. He seems to call the shots. Personally, I think I would turn into a spot of melted jello on the floor because I would feel so intimidated by him or if he didn't kill me first, I might get so irritated with him that that I would toughen up just to spite him - which I guess is what he really wants in the first place.

I still mourn the loss of bad boy George Clooney from ER! Hmmm... imagine HIM using the McDreamy eyes on Merideth............ Is there an AED in the house? ;)

***************

P.S. After seeing survivor tonight I just want to say I didn't like how obnoxious Jonathan was with flaunting the food or his cockiness during the bidding. I still think he worked hard and has been skillfull in his manipulations. The other tribe is so lazy - they didn't deserve to eat! Yul and Jonathan are still my favorites. I also think it was wrong when some people called him a cancer, etc - not necesssary.

Grey's anatomy was EXCELLENT as usual - even without the McDreamy eyes. It felt good to see everyone's troubled relationships start to heal. Also, thought the siamese twin storyline was interesting. I was totally amused when they started physically fighting with each other - something I never contemplated before. That whole dynamic was interesting.

Still have to watch ER on TIVO.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

PLEASE God - Let There Be LIGHT! ;-)

Be forewarned: The following is long. I should have broken it down into parts I,II and III. Hope it gives you a chuckle or two! :)

***As of 1:34 A.M. this morning, (Wednesday - November 29, 2006) the outside Christmas lights are are officially up !!!


The Heavens opening up over our house, revealing a multitude of
angels singing the Halleluiah Chorus was spectacular!!!

Too bad all the neighbors were sleeping - it was a sight to behold - all of our Christmas lights on and WORKING...SIMULTANEOUSLY.... uh, I mean the angels, the angels were a sight to behold!

After my extremely busy day and given the hour this job was completed, I was totally exhausted, yet I felt that I had just given birth to something wonderful. Too bad there was no one awake to share my bliss - well, yes... I did have the angels with me in the moment, but they were too high up in the heavens to share hugs and help dab the tears of joy from my face. Sigh... I know,they were with me in spirit. :) That is how yesterday ended (well there was the big black bear) or how today began. Now let me take you back to the beginning.

No matter what, ( drizzle,snow, freezing cold weather or late hour) I always get the Christmas lights up the nite after Thanksgiving. As I said in a previous post that between the hospital or Lifeline job schedules, I really only had this little window of time to get the lites up as I always had to work Thanksgiving weekend and black friday. It, along with putting up the fresh wreaths is the first thing I do. I prefer to do it at night as I like to see what it looks like as I go along. I don't want one of those Chevy Chase moments like in his "American Christmas" movie, where after ALL his hard work the Lights don't work. (I loved that movie!)

Ah...best laid plans....were not to be this year AND I am not even working! Chris (younger son) spent 2 days days ( we let him come down for meals ;) ) up in our BERMUDA TRIANGLE of an attic looking for the outdoor Christmas lites. (My joke has always been if it goes in the attic we will never see it again - except it's not funny - we never see it again! So, we tied a long rope to him - just in case! ;-) ) Finally, both triumphant and jubiliant, Saturday nite, he emerges with "a" tub of Christmas lites! I told him THEY weren't "the" lights. He insisted that they were and proceeded to point out all the reasons why they HAD to be the lights. I understand why he NEEDED to believe this - but, these were NOT the lights. (I think at this point he would rather have been getting a tooth filled or take an exam - but he was a good guy about it. Needless to say I OWE him, BIG TIME!) So, back up he went and brought other decorations down as well. Still, no lights! So, I decorated inside, all the while privately stewing about the missing outside lites. Several sets with hundreds of little white lites - M.I.A. !(Missing in Action) Later, Chris tells me that they are out in the shed. I said "No - they can't be - they DON'T go there." He said he remembered them being there and that he thought HE put them there. Well, perish the thought! Because then they would be burried under all the summer stuff, which is now stored for winter! He even suggested that they may have been thrown out! No, that scenario did not compute in my brain. I asked my husband if they were in the shed and he mercifully (or for self preservation) said that he thought they were in the attic. Ha! 2 to 1 - democracy rules - the lites ARE in the attic. I NEEDED to believe that!

However, it was late so I gave him a reprieve from the attic for the nite. I continued decorating inside but then the seed of doubt had been planted and I wondered if Chris would be using passive aggressive tactics to get back at me knowing that I would be obsessing about the lights in the shed. "Nah! He's my son and he's not that kind of guy and besides it could've backfired and I could've at that point insisted he start looking in the shed. Still....desperate people have been known to do desperate things.....where are those LIGHTS???? " I think it is a fair assumption to think that I lost my focus Saturday nite on the REAL meaning of Christmas. Yes, I went to bed obsessing about those darn lites.

Now, Sunday morning, I again mulled over the where abouts of the M.I.A Christmas lites ad nauseam in my mind. In reality, it was only a half of a BERMUDA TRIANGLE attic as in Novemebr 2005, I spent 4 days up there cleaning out one entire side of the attic. I set up a kitchen section, clothing section and CHRISTMAS SECTION. In my perfect world, the lights would've been in the Christmas section, which stands out because of all the RED and GREEN storage tubs.

You know how you want something to be true even when you know it's not? Well, I started to reason that maybe...just maybe, Chris was right... that he DID find the tub of Chrismas lites. Yes.. that's it ..sure that's the tub. After all, they were the same type of heavy duty lights, there were outdoor power cords in there and the plugs had my usual M.O. of zip lock bags, electrical and duct tape. So,I looked at it again, wanting it to be so.... longingly.... looking, as if wishing could make it true. NO! No! Wrong lites. Not enough in the tub. Evidently from a time when I didn't use as many lites. Sigh!

Sunday afternoon Chris goes back up to the attic, only this time armed with a plan,the 10 o'clock - 2'oclock method! (I love using this. Whenever a task seems daunting, implementing this method facilitates organization in short order. For example, if the entire kitchen needs to be cleaned - start at 10 o'clock,then 11 o'clock and continue around the clock until everything is clean. This is better than randomly doing something here and there because even tho working hard over all it still looks like nothing is done. With 10-2 , it is methodically being cleaned a section at a time and this method gives a good visual to the progress achieved.) He wasn't up there 5 minutes and he found them! Someone had moved them and left them in the kitchen section and covered them with a big heavy box! I KNEW they were up there! :) I spent Sunday nite testing and replacing bulbs.

Monday was a day filled with tasks, and by evening I started setting up the lites on the front bushes and my son helped me with the little pine tree. My husband was hungry for dinner (he's funny that way - wanting dinner at dinner time) and I had been simmering the turkey for home made turkey soup. At first I told him in a little while but quickly realized I would have to abort the mission and do the lites later. The turkey with dumplings soup was excellent (says me) but after that meal, I felt like a dumpling and lost MY ambission to finish the Christmas lites.

Tuesday - another busy day plus picked up my films at the hospital, went to the grocery store,picked up the fresh wreaths and got my granddaughter from her after school program. Then, I admittedly had a couple of hours to work on the lites but started reading the medical blogs and then it was time to pick up my younger son from his job at the local news paper. (He works in the sports dept. and is a senior in High School.) I didn't get back home until 10:30 and then I procrastinated. But then, after starting some wash etc., I decided I WILL put the remaining lites up after all!

All I wanted to do was go to sleep BUT rain was in the forecast and at the very least I needed to put electrical tape over ALL the open plugs/receptacles that were already out there. I am usually very methodical about this and do this when setting the lights up but didn't have any electrical tape the previous evening. By now it was 11:30 at nite. The bushes have gotten larger so I needed more lites. I got the first tub of lites that he originally found and pulled out 3 more strands of 100. They all worked! Then... I had a Chevy Chase moment! I started thinking of ALL the other places I could put the extra lites. We live on a corner property. I could go around to the side bushes! Heck! I could go to the back yard too! Or... maybe the fence? Now it is midnite. I am wearing a blue (color irelevelant - just like blue) ski jacket, I had a roll of duct tape shoved in one pocket and a roll of electrical tape along with 3 different sizes of ziploc bags in the other pocket,4 sets of lights in my arms (extra one for back up) and grabbed my hot tea on my way out into the black nite.

My family was nestled in their beds as was the rest of the neighborhood.

When I brought everything over to the front patio area I looked up and saw a moth. A moth! A moth in NJ in November! It's not right. November is supposed to be cold and my hair is supposed to be silky and shiny NOT frizzing from the humidity. And there were other little bugs flying by the porch lite. The only good thing is that my feet and fingers didn't feel like they were going to freeze off as in years past.

I put my tea down and walked over to the side of the house where I had left an extension cord ready to plug the lites in to. As I was rounding the corner I was starting to feel uneasy because it was so dark on that side of the house. It is the only side of our house that doesn't have outside lights. We live on a country road so there are no street lights either. There were no stars or moon out and everything was pitch black around me except for the Christmas lites and the porch lite. Also, my neighbor on the opposite corner had her porch lite on and that at least helped me to see where the power cord was to hook up the rest of the lights on that side. I felt a little better once the 1st set of lites got plugged in but I was going to be out there for a while and I couldn't shake this uneasy feeling. I am not afraid of going out in the dark. I do errands at night and I don't hesitate to be out in my yard at night or even in the neighborhood. Here I am, putting up HAPPY Christmas lights and I am feeling scared. You know the feeling you get when you become hypervigilent and you hear EVERY sound and it all seems magnified? (I remembered someone telling me that when you have that uneasy feeling that you should pay attention to your instincts because sometimes we sense things before we are fully cognizant of a situation.) I also realized that if I saw a moth fluttering about then the bears probably aren't hibernating either. Hmm... looking around.. don't see anything. Could sure use some Christmas music right about now...Fa la la lalala...

It was eerily quiet. I usually stand out by the road to get the overall view of the lights to see where they need adjusting, (if you stand back and squint your eyes you can see the gaps you may want to rearrange or fill in with more lights) but I decided not to this time. Not only was I thinking of bears but because of this uneasy feeling, I was also thinking of the possibility of some unsavory character being in the neighborhood. "Ok, you are being rediculous!" I say to myself. "These lights are getting done TONIGHT!" I looked uneasily down to the far corner where the little pine tree was and dreaded going down there to tape the wires, etc. Ok - ALL lights up - we have touch down Houston - everything is operational, all 1500-1600 of them! Yay! But still - I can't go back in the house because I practically gift wrap the darn plugs and connections to ensure that they are protected from the elements. Thats where the ziploc bags and tape come in to play. Then, just as I was going to go out to the corner to gift wrap the electrical things on the little pine tree, my husband came outside for a smoke, so I had him stay there until I finished the little tree. However, he went back to bed (chivalry dead?) before I finished wrapping the other electrical plugs/connections, but at least they were on the bushes closer to the house. At this point, I was seriously tempted with not trying to find EVERY connection but then I heard Aunt Janet's voice in my head saying " Patricia, if you're not going to do the job right - then you might as well not do it at all - because no one will think you did it anyway." In this case I reasoned that if I miss "one" connection then the whole thing could blow. DARN! Take me to your leader - I hunted them ALL down. Done - a fait accompli! And now... the angels..... and I go inside.

So, what was all that uneasiness outside about anyway??

I rested on the sofa as I still had one more load in the dryer. I never leave the dryer unattended for safety reasons. (know of 2 house fires) I fell asleep briefly and then, just as I awoke, looking out the sliding door into the back yard, my eyes focused on something moving under the spotlight - a REALLY BIG BLACK BEAR was lumbering across the yard, towards the pond. I immediately jumped up to get a closer look as did our german shepherd (Bob), who stood at attention, his eyes totally fixated on the bear. We both watched him walk up the little dirt lane, into the black nite. (I should have brought Bob outside with me earlier!)

I wonder if that bear was lurking around the neighborhood and THAT is what I was sensing? Glad I didn't do any baking that night and smell of pastries! :)

I know that the
REAL meaning of Christmas is the birth of our Savior and All that represents for mankind, but second to that - it's the Christmas lights. I KNOW people complain about the commercialism of Christmas and how we lose sight of the REAL meaning of the holiday (HOLYDAY ) but I like to think of it as one big birthday party for Jesus that is celebrated world wide. Some birthday bash! To me, the lights are symbolic of Christ being the LIGHT of the world - and....they SPARKLE!! :)

I enjoy everyone's lights - white lights, colored lights, flashing and not - they're all beautiful, especially cascading on the snow. We have non - flashing white lights on the bushes (3 seperate areas), a little pine tree towards a corner of the property and around the living room door so they shine thru the glass surrounding the door to the inside. They also light up the big wreaths w/red ribbons on the doors. We also have wreaths on every fence post of our split rail fence. Then, inside, there are the fresh pointsettias with white candles in the windows, except the kichen bow window has a small christmas tree with white lights along with a display of snowmen and other types of smaller pine trees and the living room has another small christmas tree/white lights displaying from a side window. Then there is the hanging garland with white lights and soon there will be a very large real Christmas tree with hundreds of white lights and hundreds of ornaments. Yes - I guess I DO like white lights! I also love the ambiance of using only the Christmas lighting in the home - so cozy! Then there is the Nativity scene to be displayed and other collections along with hanging all the Christmas cards and letters. I LOVE Christmas!!! I am SeaSpray - AKA Mrs. Christmas! :)

P.S. My neighbor jokes that she always knows when I am working at the hospital because the outside lights aren't on! My husband is NOT Mr Christmas and and just sees it as another day. He believes the Christmas story but just doesn't really get into all the festivities of the season. He doesn't dislike it - just not a priority for him. The rest of us love it tho! :) Also, if Chris is home, he always turns the lites on.

Also, If the electric meter on the side of the house were fixed on the roof with the glass cover removed and the spinning wheels reading the kilowats used were designed like chopper blades, then at the moment all the Christmas lites are turned on ... I do believe we would have lift off Houston! ;-)

And so, since I am not working this Christmas season - the lights will be on every nite. Please God - Let there be LIGHT!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Culmination of Past Experiences?

I just posted a comment on Laughing Pastor in response to his wife and daughter helping an elderly couple. I made reference to the other hat that I wore working for the Lifeline program that was contracted by the hospital system for whom I also worked doing ED registration. I always joked that Lifeline was a job that I would've paid to do. Maybe I did, considering how gas prices soared upward during my almost 5 yrs there. :)

It's been an unusual year. I had to leave these jobs because of urological issues. I miss the work. I miss the patients. I miss my co-workers. Oh, and getting a paycheck. :)

I believe that when things happen in our lives that are seemingly out of our control, that God has another plan for us and he is doing some re-directing for our greater good, even if we don't understand as we go thru it. I also think that if we are willing vessels, that he will work through us, using our experiences to help others.

I have been cleared to go back to work by my doctor but I am waiting on 2 more tests that I had recently to be sure before I commit to a new employer. I met a lot of really nice new people this year and there are some places that I am interested in working for. Even tho there has been a lot of uncertainty for me this year, I am optimistic about my future and do believe this next chapter in my life will be a good one. :)

If it is true that we are the culmination of all past experiences, then I wouldn't change a single thing regarding anything that happened this year.

Friday, November 24, 2006

She says PUNKMANS! :)

While I am still thinking about Thanksgiving and pumpkins, I am reminded of my granddaughter who calls pumpkins - punkmans. One October nite while riding in the car she said "Come on Mum-Mum, we have to get the punkmans and I want a punkman." As I said earlier, she wants to send "punkman" cookies to her other grandmother in Ohio. She is actually very articulate for her age, so much so that she astonishes me with her vocabulary. Children - so cute and truly a gift from God! :)

The Most Precious Blessing

Thanksgiving was wonderful! Everything turned out beautifully. We truly had a feast here because not only did we cook all the things I usually make but other family members brought food as well. My older son actually made cornbread (it was good Jon) and my daughter-in-law(peggy) made her totally awesome fresh green beans with ham and onions, her mom's delicious cheese potato casserole and she also made pumpkin cheesecake. My mother-in-law brought coleslaw, fruit salad and brownies. My granddaughter and I made two batches of the infamous Thanksgiving pumpkin cookies the nite before and we are going to make another batch over the weekend because she wants to send some to her other grandmother out in Ohio. There were 11 of us , including a friend my daughter-in-law and son invited to dinner, as all of his family is out in Oregon. The more the merrier! I am a born nurturer and would feed the whole world if I could. I love the sound of the guys getting loud and excited over football games or sports in general. Even tho it was rainy and cold outside, on the inside, our house was filled with love, laughter and the wonderful aroma of home cooked food.

The most precious blessing was having Aunt Dee here. She was diagnosed with cancer back in September. A breast cancer that had spread to her neck and groin and was causing so much groin/leg pain that she couldn't walk. They couldn't remove the breast because there wouldn't be enough skin to close the area. She has been thru a lot. However, thanks to God and a new chemo drug that is helping to save tens of thousands of lives, she is doing so much better. She did get to the point where they were talking about removing her breast around Thanksgiving, but she is responding so favorably to the drug that she may not have to go thru that. She has a couple more chemo treatments and then more radiation in January. Her hair has fallen out (my d-i-l knitted her some beautiful silk wool hats) and she is using a cane. She looked so good yesterday, even radiant with her beautiful smile. We are all very hopeful and having Aunt Dee with us yesterday was truly the most precious blessing. :)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Fish eggs, Vas Deferens or Multiple Nevi - Same Difference

I was thinking about Fat doctor's post regarding using products past their expiration date as I was thoroughly cleaning my fridge today.

How long does crisco last if opened last November and refrigerated? (I haven't used it since last Thanksgiving) It isn't anything real anyway - is it? I couldn't bring myself to throw it out earlier but I did by a new one at the store tonight, so I will toss it tomorrow morning. Then there was the mozerella string cheese dated for Nov. 8th. That is only 13 days past the expiration date and if they say you have a week past exp. for dairy products - then today is only 5 days past that. What will the cheese do? 13 days past expiration? I am thinking it is ok - at least for me. The moldy cat food? That's a no brainer - give it to him. I'm KIDDING ... or.. am I? I tossed it - the moldy cat food - not the cat, although.....

And then there are the fish eggs my husband and son use for bait, specifically Mike's Quality Salmon Eggs! Ugh! They have been kicking around the fridge for about 2 YEARS! Tonight, I asked my husband "3" different times if he thought the fish eggs were still good. (I think he is amused by my obvious disdain for those eggs!) He said they are good for awhile. Awhile? Define "awhile"'. As in short time? These are 2 yrs old! They have been knocking around between the condiments all this time. (hot dogs anyone?) When I clean everything - I also clean the egg jars, but I hate touching them. They remind me of the specimens I used to process - vas deferens, multiple nevi, etc. - same difference - all in a jar, interesting, yet gross and NOT something I want in our refrigerator! :)

P.S. And I got PAID to handle those specimens!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Love it when a plan comes together

I am so pleased with myself if I say so myself! Like most people, I have been busy, busy, busy with getting ready for Thanksgiving. My day was totally filled with tasks to accomplish and a hair appointment, non stop stuff, culminating with closing out 2 grocery stores, getting all the food for our feast. Even tho I hated going out into the cold nite (because I was so tired), it worked out perfectly as I was able to zip thru both stores quickly since they were practically empty. Admittedly tho, I didn't bargain shop. No, it was more like the frenzy of someone being allowed to have 45 minutes to have as much as they can for free, except my reward was getting out and getting done. I got it ALL put away, dishwasher on and here I am. I am soooo exhausted, but too tired to sleep. If I tried now my brain would be planning all the things I need to do tomorrow. I find this blogging thing relaxing and thoroughly enjoy reading other people's blogs.

So, tomorrow the baking and some cooking begins and I am glad I will be able to stay in. I plan on making the traditional Thanksgiving cookies with my granddaughter, Devan Cosette (pronounced Cozette named after the little girl in Les Miserables) as she loves to help bake. She is 5 yrs old and is truly the sweetest and most thoughtful little girl. :) Talk about things to be grateful for - she is a blessing from on high! I am glad that I am a young grandma or as she calls me Mum Mum. In my family everyone had their kids later in life and so I didn't have my grandmothers around for very long. I was 25 when I had my 1st son and 33 with my 2nd.

I feel guilty when I complain about grocery shopping when I know we have so much to be grateful for in this country. There are people going to bed hungry or starving and worse and they would love to be able to do the things we take for granted.

I am a traitor to my gender as I usually hate MOST shopping. I DO love toy shopping(then I get to play with them!), bridal and baby shower shopping. I love the sights, sounds and bustle of the Christmas season so I really enjoy Christmas shopping too, especially when I find the perfect gift. Antiques are interesting too, but everything else - bah! Humbug!

I am thrilled that I am not working on Thanksgiving or the days after this year. Usually, between my job at the hospital and my job at Lifeline I was committed to working one of those places on those days or else Christmas. I had holidays off at Lifeline but always filled in for the coordinator (I was her assistant) as she took the day after Thanksgiving off. I also filled in Christmas week. I worked last Christmas and New Years eve at the hospital and so this year I would've had to work Thanksgiving and Christmas eve. I love both Christmas eve and Christmas - but Christmas eve is my favorite. I also love being home Christmas nite enjoying the after glow of the days festivities. So, this year it will be nice to have the time off - unless I take a job in a doctor's office, in which case I will still have the holidays off. I am waiting for some test results and then I will decide what I am doing after I get them. That's why when I go back to work I want to work in a doctor's office, so that I can have holidays and Sundays off. I don't care what hours I work. After working 3-11 (and if it was a crazy, hellacious nite, I would stay much later to help and to catch up on all the paper work), holidays and every other weekend in a hospital for 20 years, anything else will have an easier schedule. Saturdays - no big deal, evenings - bring them on. Also, working all those holidays wasn't that big of a deal as the hours overall were perfect for raising my sons. Actually, for most of my time at the hospital I thought 3-11 was the coolest shift. Home for the boys in the daytime, could go swimming, get chores done and still go to work with lots of energy and the shift itself was fun. Conversely, when I did 7-3's on the weekend (always had fun on that weekend shift too), I would come home drained and not have the same energy to do things at home. However,I have paid my dues and am ready to make the switch to days/evenings. I would still even pull some late niters if I needed to. And of course if go back to a hospital then I will probably end up doing the holiday thing again. I just turned down a nice m-f full time job offer at one of the larger hospitals in the corporation I was working for. It would've been something totally different from what I was doing as it entailed overseeing the volunteers and managing the front lobby etc., so, there would have been a lot of patient/public contact, which I love. I just am not ready to commit so quickly as I want to see all of my options. Whatever I take I will commit to for a long time so I want to be sure. I really did appreciate the offer tho. The nice lady in HR really boosted this girl's confidence with all that she said! :)

I am also excited that I will be home Friday to start decorating for Christmas. I remember when I didn't start to decorate until the middle of December. I am like a kid with Christmas (favorite time of year) so the earlier the better.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

McDreamy Eyes!

I, along with everyone else that has become a part of the Grey's Anatomy cult am happy that McDreamy and Merideth got back together. The chemistry between those two is amazing and personally, I can't wait until he starts really using those McDreamy eyes on her. (Remember the season finale when they were on the dance floor? Their eyes spoke volumes.) They add a whole new dimension to elevator rides as well. I confess that I AM an incurable romantic! :)

Need Both Wings to Fly the Eagle

I have been politically depressed of late - ever since the recent elections. I know this because I have been avoiding all the talking heads on tv and talk radio along with not reading the news papers or anything on the net. This is temporary. I just need a little time to process the fact that Nancy Pelosi is our new Speaker of the House of Representatives. :(

Yes, I am a conservative republican. I call myself a bleeding heart republican because I do believe we need social programs to help the poor. Yes, it is a double edged sword in that the very system designed to help those truly in need is flawed and fosters abuses , even generationally, by people who are undeserving of the assistance. (Topic for another day) I don't consider myself a partisan voter in that I would vote for someone in a different party if I truly believed they were the better choice. ("If"- being the operative word here.) I believe a strong national defense trumps everything else because if we don't have that than nothing else matters in the end. The Republican party stands for a strong defense and I believe a strong defense prevents the offense or minimizes it. There are other reasons that I align myself with that party but again, a topic for another day.

I hope that both parties will work together for the good of the country. It SHOULD ALWAYS be that way! Perhaps, since the 2008 presidential elections are underway BOTH parties will be motivated to do their best for the good of the country so they can ride on their accomplishments all the way to the White House. In a perfect world - it could happen!

We need the checks and balances in our political system - we need both wings to fly the eagle.