Sunday, November 1, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

Here I sit in my living room with my laptop watching the Today Show and decided to update my blog. I have been at work for 7 days straight and am beginning another week off. I love this schedule.
I have been dieting for 11 days now and have managed to stay within my calorie goals almost every day; but while working this week, I have not made enough efforts to work out like I should. This week contained some long days and I found plenty of excuses. I tried to work out in the mornings but the one day I did that I only made it 15 minutes, I was so weak and sluggish every move seemed like a chore. I could blame my facebook addiction, but if it weren't that, I'd find another excuse. I just hate exercise. I don't mind it so bad while I'm doing it, it's the getting started part that's hard. I did make it one time in the evening and did 40 minutes of weight loss yoga, and that felt great. The last week before I went back to work, I made it to a class at the gym and Patty, the awesome instructor, was kind enough to stay and do the workout even though I was the only one who showed up. In my heart I was hoping she would just cancel it and I could get on the treadmill, but NO! It was a step aerobics class and she wore me out - even though I spent half the time marching in place. She did cut it short, THANK GOODNESS, but I still had a great workout and my calves were sore for days.
I am trying to put together a hiking club of sorts. Most of the clubs that are out there are hard core hikers who go every weekend and backpack and I just don't feel like I'd be up to their standards. I am recruiting some facebook friends and acquaintances to join me on an occasional hike, which will likely involve a picnic, so not sure how much weight loss will occur as a result of these hikes, but building friendships and fellowship will surely be worth it. Our first one is planned for Tuesday to Clingman's Dome and I think Selina mentioned the Chimneys. Sounds like a good day to me, and I hope you can join us.
I'm still pondering the church thing. Currently not going at all. I've heard and considered all the arguments for and against. I finally don't feel guilty for not going, I guess because there is not a core group of friends anymore that are meeting anywhere, and to me that's the purpose - to meet with like minded believers for true Bible study and fellowship/worship. It's kinda like a divorce when your core group is no longer meeting, nothing else seems to fill that spot so you just avoid it altogether to keep from comparing and complaining about what and how others do things.
Hope you have a wonderful day!
p.s. please check out the blogs I am following on the left side of the page. The first one at the top is a cousin of my friend, Vivian. He is in the army in Afghanistan and his blog is much more interesting than mine...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Spending the day in medical offices with my mamaw causes me to realize that 40 is young. She is 86 and still lives alone, does her own housekeeping and takes care of various plants and animals. Some mild memory loss has set in but at 86 that's to be expected.
As we pass the nursing home she says she has no plans to go one of those, hopes to just keel over one day.
Referring to one of the nurses she says " I wonder where he finds little slim girls like that , most of them don't look that good."
She was fixated on weight today for some reason; when the doctor at the first office left the room, she said "boy he sure has got fat!" He was no more than I'm guessing, 180 pounds. LOL. Then at the second office as the doctor walked by the room she said "boy if that's my doctor he sure did get fat." He was even smaller than the first guy! As a matter of fact, she probably weighs more than both of them.
What a blessing to get to spend time with her though. You never know when it will be the last.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wow, I actually forgot about this blog I had going last year. I moved to another site, which I don't really like, so I think I'll try this one for a while. Let's see, what's new with me? I guess the most life-changing event has been that I changed jobs again. I know, you're shocked. I am now on my 8th job since graduating from NP school in 2001. That's a lot of jobs. It's hard to believe I was at MHHS for 7 + years before that without even a thought of changing jobs. Well, guess what, I am back where I started - MHHS! And I love it. Let me start by saying I wanted to stay at MHHS back then but they were not paying much more for NPs than I made as an RN, and I was looking for the big bucks... Let's back up. I know you're thinking I must be hard to please, but apparently becoming a nurse practitioner was not all it was cracked up to be. Each job I've had, I left for a reason. Let's see if I can remember...
The first job was with an urgent care clinic/primary care clinic. My hours were 2p to 10p. Hours that I knew up front would not work for me long term but I wanted the experience and they needed me, so it worked for a while until they decided to have a company Christmas party and not close the urgent care office (every other department was closed). Chalk that one up to not feeling appreciated...and besides that, I hated working evening shift on the weekends.
The next job was working for an agency that places NPs in nursing homes doing rounds and seeing patients for acute problems. This was one of my favorite jobs but it had it's problems because the company was pushing NPs to do visits that were not really necessary to meet "quotas," and I started to see big red medicare flags and got out of there quickly. (I was contacted by the FBI and asked to testify against them for possible fraud several months after I left, and they went belly up soon after). See, another good choice. I learned a lot in that position. Nursing home patients are very sick and don't want to be shipped off to the hospital for every little thing, so I learned to look things up and get them well without sending them out.

Job number 3 was in a clinic that was fairly new in Newport, TN. My friend Tina had been working there as an NP and had let me know a position would be open when she left to come back to MHHS as an NP, closer to home for her with her newly expanding family. So I took this job which was a dream (except for all those drug seekers,) providing primary care to all ages. I made some great friends while at that job, one of them who would become my greatest fan and my favorite patient. He knows who he is and I'm sure he's reading this blog. :) He came across like a gumpy old man initially when he came in with his high blood pressure and some other issues that needed to be addressed. But what really made my day was the day I sent him to the cardiologist and he stopped by to ask me if it was ok to take the meds the cardiologist has prescribed. UH, well, YES, I guess it will be ok. :)....That's when I knew I had arrived~LOL. This job ended when Tenncare made some cuts and it was a loss for the hospital so they closed the clinic. Tenncare was our primary income and we carried a large uninsured population as well. The hospital proceeded to close several other departments that year as well.

Job number 4: I made a direct transfer in the emergency room at that hospital, working for an agency that I already had a contract with to work some weekend hours. You see, I had seen the writing on the wall and I always was inching my way back into acute care, my first love. I worked a pretty good schedule, had pretty good pay, working about 3 twelve hour shifts a week. But then the ER needed another person for the busy hours which meant they added another shift, 6p to 1 am. Who wants those hours? It meant I had to work more days per month to get my hours in, and I was working Thurs-Monday every week. Again, I saw that I was going to have to look at other options if I ever wanted to spend any time with my family. And I really liked this job. I stayed and worked occasional weekends after I left full time.
I got a call one night while working the ER, from Dr. Maran. Great hours, decent pay, no weekends or holidays. Sign me up. Another great job, couldn't have a better boss - sent me on trips for continuing education all the time, nice trips and set me up in nice hotels. Chicago. Baltimore. Boca Raton (la di da). Very nice. BUT (no pun intended)...I got a little bored after a while with rectal exams and hepatitis patients whom I would pour a lot of time into treatment and teaching and they would turn around use IV drugs again, start drinking again, etc...I was also feeling a little worried that I would be stuck in this profession, losing my general knowledge in primary care and acute care. Despite this, I wasn't looking for a job. I felt a sense of comfort there and a sense of owing this doctor something for taking such good care of me for 2 + years.
The next job came hunting for me. A new doctor in town had been asking around apparently and somewhere he got my name and he called and called the office - I should have known that was inappropriate behavior. LOL. So finally I went to talk to him and he swept me off my feet with his presentation of the job and his "niceness." I got a lot of good experience there, worked mostly in the nursing home doing rounds and taking care of acute problems, so they didn't have to be sent to the hospital in the big white bus. This was not a good fit for me. I needed more security than a single-physician office could give me. I was looking for something larger to be a part of, something with long-term stability. More of a challenge. I wasn't feeling it here.
I went to a continuing education day in Knoxville and ran into my next job.

My previous blogs have mentioned this next job, working in a community health setting taking care of a large behavioral health population (primary care), uninsured, and Hispanics. I don't say that to sound like I'm profiling the population, but they have grants to take care of migrant workers. Unfortunately most of them weren't documented workers, many didn't work at all and were here illegally. This bothered me. I didn't share "the mission" where that was concerned. But otherwise this was a good job until some management changed and kept the nursing staff "tore up." When the nurses are training their boss for over a year it causes some animosity. There's so much to tell here, I can't even begin to say in this blog post. I'll have to come back to that later.
So anyway, now I'm back at MHHS as a hospitalist NP and I love it. Best thing about it? No paps! LOL. I work 7 days on and get 7 off. The pay is good. Can't beat that schedule. If you don't know what a hospitalist does - we are the ones who come see you in the hospital when your primary care doctor doesn't do hospital rounds. We write your orders throughout your stay, decide when you are ready to go home and hopefully help keep you informed of what's going on with your body. I am loving being back "home" in acute care.
So you see, every job I've had has prepared me for this one. It was all a part of the big plan. Now I hope to be with this hospitalist program for many years to come. I'll keep you posted. :)

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