Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Saturday, February 05, 2022

So I missed January completely in terms of writing

I've been very busy at both work and at home.  My backup at work is leaving next week, so I'll have to do her work plus mine until they get someone else hired.  The good news is they got headquarters to help do the outpatient visit authorizations so I'll just have to worry about the surgeries and clinic treatment room procedures, as well a scheduling offsite imaging and authorising those.

The unfortunate thing about that is headquarters is taking on more and more things within our system from our local hospitals, so if they decide they can do it more efficiently, I could lose half my job when there's a replacement in her position and I go back to just mine.  That's a fear of mine. I've been laid off three times in my life (never fired), and twice have been here at work. I've always made it back because I'm flexible, but I am a little afraid of this.

We had a fairly mild ice/wintry mix event on Thursday and Friday. I was off work on Friday because I had an appointment with my liver specialist in person and a longish teleheath (getting everyone on the call plus the actual appointment was about an hour) with my weight loss doctor.  I changed the in-person appointment to next week as a teleheath, and we moved up my other appointment from the late afternoon to late morning because the doctor was stuck in Louisville and was going to try to get back to Lexington that afternoon, I think.

Anyway, as a result, I didn't get to talk to the liver specialist about my MRI, but I have gotten the report through the patient portal.  While I do have fatty liver, stage 2-3 (which is moderate, I think), there is no sign of cirrhosis.  That means diet can really help (and being a little more active).  Also, since November 1st I have lost 25-30 lbs (my weight fluctuates...the other day I was 8 lbs less than yesterday, but might be down tomorrow, who knows). I usually weigh weekly, but because I was seeing my physician, I went ahead and weighed.

We had a good appointment.  Since portion control is a problem for me, and I don't have much time to really do meal prepping, she suggested frozen meals, which aren't ideal, but may help, and that way when my roommate isn't able to cook, I still have something.  He hasn't been able to lately because we have a new puppy (11 weeks old now)  he's house training and he's just been exhausted with watching her so closely and getting up with her at night.  But she is so adorable.  I'm helping when I'm home so he can get some rest, but I've never been in a house with that small of a dog before.  She is just about the size of both cats now, but was smaller when she came to us, and only about 9 lbs at her first vet visit.  She's grown some already.  We're not sure what she is.  I'm thinking Labrador/Boxer.  The shelter had her as part pit bull, but the vet said her bone structure is far too delicate for that.  She has sort a of a little jowl thing going, so maybe she is part Boxer.  But she loves to be held.

So I went out yesterday and got some vegetarian Lean Cuisine/Healthy Choice meals, pluse some Boost to try, as she thought meal replacement might be good for breakfast or snacks.  I'm willing to try.  She said to keep it to Boost, Ensure, or Glucerna because she can prescribe them so they're much cheaper, like $10 for 24 instead of 6. I bought some chocolate and strawberry Boost packs to try that are the blood sugar control ones.

Okay, my friend wanted to sleep a bit more, but it's time to wake up. I have to go get medicine, puppy food, and pay a bill. I couldn't do them yesterday, even being off, because I 'lost' the method of payment, and actually backtracked to the bill place to see if I'd dropped it on the ground.  Turns out it was in the closet with the dog food on a shelf.  I'd taken a picture o the puppy's food so I'd know which one to get and left it there.  I'd been so stressed out with all that because it was a full book of cheques, and I was looking at almost $500 to stop payment on them, and I couldn't find them anywhere. I hadn't had my ADHD medicine in days as I'd misplaced that.  I have some today, but it's not the full dose but an earlier prescription.   Sigh. I make life so much harder than I should due to messed up brain chemistry.

Anyway, I should go now.  I'll try to write more.

Tired of seeing this misused

I was perusing the news this morning and found several opinion pieces regarding the removal of music catalogues from Spotify (one called Neil Young's actions 'righteous censorship' but also Spotify's removal of about 100 Joe Rogan podcast episodes. All referred to these as censorship.)

I think there is a fundamental misunderstanding of the word censorship in this country.

Censorship is the action of the GOVERNMENT to remove information. An example is when elected officials such as those serving on a local school board vote to ban books at the public library, or a body of government votes into law a bill that does basically the same time.

Do you know what censorship is not? An artist's use of his control over his own product so that a platform whose actions he does not agree with does not profit from his work. Censorship is not when a business chooses to distance itself and remove content when it violates its terms of conditions. Censorship is not the removal by a private business of customers who violate those terms of conditions, such as Donald Trump being banned from Twitter. Censorship is not when subscribers or customers leave or boycott something to do with a business because they do not agree with some action or aspect of the business. For example, the CEO of Jimmy John's is within his right to go big game hunting. However, I do not want him to use even the small amount of money I might contribute to that activity for something I feel strongly is wrong (I have no trouble with hunting if it's for food, etc. But hunting endangered animals for sport is reprehensible, in my opinion. I just wouldn't hunt, say, deer myself.) So I don't go to Jimmy John's. Just like I don't go to Hobby Lobby or Chik-fil-A due to some of their practices regarding employee treatment, and in the case of Hobby Lobby, the purchase of illegally obtained artefacts. That's a matter of personal choice, but it's part of a free marketplace and supply and demand. Companies do not have a right to profit.. People spewing hate do not have a right to have a platform. Artists should have control over their work. Simple as that.

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Please send good thoughts

So the sensor to my glucose meter is expiring in a little over an hour, but I can't replace it, even though I do have others, because Tuesday morning I have an MRI and I can't wear it (it has metal in it), and I don't want to waste a ten-day sensor for just a little over a day's time. So it's back to pricking my finger for about 36 hours. Not bad, really, in terms of the timing.

I am nervous about the MRI for a few reasons. One, I'm claustrophobic. They've given me hydroxyzine to take a little while before to take the edge off. Second, it looks like I'll have to lie flat for about 45-60 minutes. I sleep with a CPAP. I'm a little iffy on breathing while flat for that length of time. I may ask if they can put the fan on. Third, it's an MRI/elastography of the abdomen to measure the pliability, of lack thereof,  of my liver. Back on the summer, I had an ultrasound/elastography and I had to spend some amount of the time exhaling all my breath out (in a mask) and then holding without breathing over and over, so my abdomen would be still. It made me light-headed. I'm thinking this might be the same, and that's why she didn't want to sedate me. (An open MRI was not an option, as the images would not have been clear enough). Lastly, this is to see just how damaged my liver is. I know it's enlarged. The ultrasound indicated cirrhosis due to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. If that's the case, it's very serious. It could mean liver tumours, advanced liver disease, paracenteses (drawing fluid off the abdomen that had built up with a long needle), encephalopathy from a build up of toxins (think loopy as someone dealing with dementia--my mom once put a lighter in the microwave, and my stepfather caught it before she turned it on...she'd thought she was making soup), even an eventual wait for a transplant. If it isn't full-blown cirrhosis, but a milder stage, that's great, and there are things I can do to reverse our stabilise it. I've already lost 25 lbs., although that was mostly from being put on another diuretic. That's one thing I can do, along with lifestyle changes and exercise. So it's good to know exactly what we're dealing with. But I'm nervous and a little scared. My mom died of this, and it was terrible. If you wouldn't mind, send some positive thoughts my way Thanks!

Sunday, December 05, 2021

Argh!!!

 I'm pretty technically-savvy.  I may not be able to do much with the smaller components on a laptop or build a whole computer, but I can change out periphery device cards and upgrade memory.  I know a lot of Windows and Android tricks, and I'm proficient with both.  I used to program in three older computer languages, so I know the basics of coding. And I've always been able to troubleshoot things to do with my computer or phone, eventually.


Enter the Amazon Fire.  This tablet (the latest generation of the Fire 10, which is the 11th generation) is so good in so many ways, and I'm actually able to use it as a min-computer because I have software compatible with Office and a keyboard.  I did the game notes entirely on it yesterday because my roommate was using my laptop (as a kind of desktop, as all sorts of things are plugged into that). But one trouble I have had is the headphone jack.  Right after I got my Fire this summer, the headphones I'd bought specifically for it that were wired, didn't work when I tried them.  I tried another pair, with nothing. I tried all the things I'd found on Google, including a factory reset, to no avail. I contacted Amazon and they couldn't help.  It hadn't even been a month, so they replaced it.


I usually use wireless Bluetooth headphones anyway, but sometimes I don't want to use up the battery, such as on Sunday mornings, when the wireless ones are better for my chores.  So I tried wired ones again, and lo, on the replacement tablet, it was the same.  The headphones didn't work. I tried everything short of a factory reset to no avail. As a last ditch effort, I tried a pair of headphones that I'd never used before, one that came with my last phone, the Samsung S7 (I'd preferred the ones from the S5, until they'd finally died, and the S20 has a USB-C jack instead of the 3.5 mm one).  I plugged in those, so frustrated with how my morning was going...and they worked, unlike two other headphones.  I checked the one set for any kittly nibbling and didn't find any.  I guess they were just somehow incompatible, even though they work on other devices.  So sending the other back didn't need to happen.


So everything works now. Now to determine why my Bluetooth earbuds are not pairing with each other (i.e. only the right one works).  But that is for another day.

Saturday, November 06, 2021

I know it's been awhile, but here's an update

Had my long-awaited liver consult today at the University of Kentucky. I took my roommate (who is also my medical surrogate) with me because I had a lot of trepidation and I knew he would ask any questions I forgot to). He said I was his emotional support animal. :) Met the nurse practitioner, who took a detailed history and was rather impressed by my ability as a medical historian regarding my personal health history, my medical terminology understanding, my (theoretical) knowledge of nutrition (I have a lot of that, it's the putting it into practice I have trouble with), and my willingness to work on my health.

I don't have definitive answers yet [they took a lot of specific bloodwork designed to give a better idea of my liver function, as opposed to just the enzymes--shout out to Miss Benita in the lab at UK Kentucky Clinic, who literally took my blood with the barest sensation of a needle stick] I need to have an MRI to get a better sense of the damage, as at this point it could be fatty liver disease, fibrosis, or Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis [NASH].  the latter is eventually what killed my mother, although she went through all the stages first.   I was a little reluctant to do an MRI because I do hate closed-in spaces and they didn't really want to sedate me, and open MRIs are not as good and often have to repeated anyway on a regular scanner, but she agreed to give me something to take the edge off and we'd go from there.  Since I hadn't eaten or drunk anything, there was another test they could have run today, but the MRI would be better, she said.  She is also sending me to a consult with an obesity doctor at UK who works with patients by helping keep them accountable for changes they're making in their lives.  She didn't think going to a dietician would really help, as I know what I'm supposed to do, but coming up with a plan and sticking to it by having to report to someone would be beneficial.  She did not give me the 'lose 30% of your body weight' talk.  She said it would help if I lost 10%, which for me is a little over 30 lbs, although even getting down the 25 I've gained over the last year would help.  I eat very healthy at home, rarely get take away or go out to eat, so my main nemesis is empty sweets from the vending machine, so that's an angle to work on.

They also got me set up on the patient portal so I could message her and get lab results, some of which have already come in.  I see her  in three months,  after the MRI and obesity consult are completed.  I feel better about where I am now.  We had a very detailed discussion (down to taking small amounts of acetaminophen vs. the large amount of ibuprofen I've been taking for my musculoskeletal pain (she'd prefer the former to protect my kidneys  even though acetaminophen isn't usually considered the best for the liver.  We have a plan in place.  It's a start.

Sunday, August 08, 2021

I've been processing some news rather than writing about it

For years I have been concerned that my bloodwork always shows my liver enzymes as very slightly elevated, because my mother had the same thing happen to her. It eventually progressed to fatty liver disease secondary to diabetes, then NASH Syndrome (non-alcoholic steatohepatitis), then cirrhosis, then to liver cancer, and then to liver failure, and it finally killed her.  It was terrible. 

I'd expressed this concern for some time with my PCP, but it was only a very little elevated, and so we took a wait-and-see tack, but I finally said something about my concerns to my endocrinologist. She ordered labs and sure enough, the values were higher than they should be. So Tuesday before last I had two liver tests: a regular liver ultrasound and an elastography, the latter of which measures the elasticity or rigidity of the liver. It wasn't a particularly painful test, it's just an ultrasound that I had to fast for, but it was difficult in that you had to (for the elastography) let out all your breath and then not breathe for awhile before letting in some air again. I was a little dizzy afterwards.

The next day, the results showed up on my patient portal and I read them. A couple of things were easy to understand. My liver was enlarged and I had asymptomatic gallstones. There was a mention of the wave result being correlated to a Metavir score of F4. That I knew nothing about, so being a former librarian, I looked it up, being congnizant that you shouldn't panic based on Google results. But the Metavir Scale goes from F0-F4. F0 is a normal liver. F1-F3 are various degrees of fibrosis in the liver. F4 is consistent with cirrhosis. That was a bit to make me think about panicking. I've had diabetes for aver 20 years with obesity and other risk factors. I thought there might be some damage. But cirrhosis is not good. Not at all. Fibrosis can be reversed in some cases, particularly in the early stages, as the liver has a great deal of resilency, but cirrhosis is another matter entirely, and can lead to liver cancer and liver failure.

I called my doctor's office to speak to her. Her nurse wasn't there that day, but they'd said they'd give her the message. The next day I hadn't heard anything, so I called back and spoke with the nurse. I explained what the score was supposed to mean and the nurse was like, oh, I didn't know that, let me get the doctor to call you right back, which she did. The F4 score is certainly concerning. She said she wanted to refer me to a specialist at the University of Kentucky, as they were the best ones in the area for this and if I went somewhere else, I'd probably wind up there anyway (I think she meant if it came to a transplant, as they're the ones who do that). So that was definitely hard news.

Fast forward to this Thursday and I hadn't heard anything about the appointment. I have the Informed Delivery from the US Postal Service that emails you scans of the mail you're getting that day and saw that I was getting something from my endocrinologist's office. I asked my roommate to open it in case it was the referral. It was just a copy of the results plus the intent to refer, so I went ahead and called her office and the referral clerk called me back. I do have an appointment with the University of Kentucky's Gastroenterology office (apparently that's where Hepatology goes under), but after reviewing my records the first available appointment was October 8th, when I'll be seeing a doctorate-level nurse practitioner. So maybe they didn't think I was as urgent as my endocrinologist's office thought. Or maybe, being a major univeristy teaching hospital, they just don't have the availability. I don't really want to make any assumptions. So it looks like I won't really know anything about my condition until then.  I have to admit, I'm pretty disappointed and more than a little scared.

I know that it often takes big things to scare us into making even small changes.  The best thing for fatty liver is to lose about 30% of your body weight.  For me, that's about 100 lbs.  Yeah, that's a lot.  I saw my rheumatologist the next day and told him about what was going on.  He asked me what I planned to do.  I told him I was cutting out the processed food in the vending machines.  I was trying to find ways to walk a bit each day beyond going to and from work (I get about 6200 steps in on average.  I'd like to slowly increase that to 8000.)  As far as losing weight, 100 lbs is too much to tackle.  My plan is to try for 15-20 lb. weight loss and then add another goal after that, taking it smaller bites.  He thought that was good, and he offered to get me to a nutritionist if my endocrinologist didn't.  I appreciate it.

I haven't eaten anything from the vending machines in over a week. I ordered and tried out some walking poles to help with my balance so I can walk around the neighbourhood, and some walking shoes are being delivered today (my New Balance work shoes, which look like black trainers, are actually steel-toed, and not flexible enough).  I went and spent $100 on things like large bags of nuts, raisins, craisins, jars of sunflower seeds, cheese I can cube, baked crackers, yoghurt, etc., so I have snacks and breakfast at work.  Here's hoping this helps.

UPDATE: My appointment has been pushed back to November 5th! Arrrgghhhh!

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Feeling a little better than last week

I had about a two week period in a funk, maybe longer, where I was depressed, irritable, and somewhat labile. It's unlike me at my norm. My lamotrigine had been upped about a year ago for some lability and more hypomanic issues. I was stable for years on my original dose, but my mood is still subject to my Bipolar II disorder. I spoke with my psychiatrist on Tuesday and he upped my mood stabiliser, lamotrigine, as well as my ADHD medicine, as I've been having trouble focusing lately. That puts me at the highest dose of Strattera, a non-stimulant, non-addictive medicine for ADHD. I'd recently walked off with a sink running at work (which half our sinks are automatic, but still), had a minor fender bender, and lots of little issues that were adding up to a bigger one. I've only taken it for a couple days (the pharmacy had to order it), but I think it's helping. I was able to up the lamotrigine immediately, and I feel a little better and think that it will help. Anyway, that's why I haven't been writing.

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Not your typical Friday night

Our plans were put on hold tonight so I listened to music, trying out some new headphones I have, and for whatever reason, I started listening to a lot of older Linkin Park, mainly the albums Metora and Hybrid Theory.  I remembered that Chester Bennington's death had been around this time of the year, and I checked, it was the 20th of July 2017. Hard to believe it's been four years.  It's a shame; he was very talented, and had a beautiful voice (when he was singing, as opposed to the occasional screaming, but you could never say he didn't put emotion into his work).  That's what first appealed to me about them--Mike Shinoda's speaking and Chester Bennington singing, their voices intertwining.  I think it was 'In the End' that I first heard them.  There's a dark aspect to their music, emotional, raw, and full of depression and hurt.  I spent so much of my early life feeling exactly those things--I was clinically depressed from much of my childhood and teens all through my 30s.  I felt trapped in circumstances in my early life, then wound up going from that to an emotionally abusive marriage where I walked on eggshells for a six-year relationship that culminated in my wedding and then finally getting my voice and leaving six months into the fiasco that was.  Then there were years of trying to rebuild my life, or rather build it, because I'd always been a mirror of what people wanted me to be, rather than my own person. And once I stopped doing that, I was much happier.  So you can see why their music appeals.  (It's also why I like Simon & Garfunkel and Ed Sheeran, who often sing songs that are beautiful and light musically, but really quite depressive if you look at the lyrics.  Simon & Garfunkel have suicide through several songs, and Ed Sheeran sings about drugs, prostitution, miscarriages, and all sorts of 'negative' things, but in a way that makes him sound happy.)  Somehow I get all those.  Linkin Park is a rawer kind of music, where the music itself expresses the pain, not just the lyrics.

I don't know why, even though I'm not in that place any more, I still feel comfort in this sort of music.  Most people feel depressed listening to that sort of music.  I feel more alive.  It reminds me of the demons I've conquered.  There are plenty I'm still working on, as it's a daily struggle with my brain to keep on an even keel.  Thankfully I have a good support system, a friend of over 30 years (the same one who helped me get out of that awful marriage) who still asks me hard questions I can't dodge that cuts down on lies I might tell myself, and then I can't tell you how different my life is with the right medicine.  My brain chemistry hates me, and while I sometimes wish that wasn't so, I know I need help, and there's no shame in that.  My roommate is very astute at sensing changes in my mood, and helping with my anxiety, which without medication would be crippling.

I know that's a fairly heavy post.  Sorry about that, I didn't mean to go all dark on you.  It's one reason I try to keep things upbeat here, because of that tendency. I'm feeling actually pretty decent tonight. It was a good week, I got a lot done, I feel good about myself.  But it did make me reflect on how far I've come.  If you told me at age 20 that I'd have connexions to so many people who make my life better, I'd think you were crazy. I was so alone for so long.  Thanks for being there.  You know who you all are.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Taking a bit of a break

I'm the last one at my office. It's been a very productive day, but I'm starting to run out of steam, so I was hoping giving my attention to something other than sheets of paper with codes and encounter numbers would help before going back to it.  I've requested a lot of clinical notes and I'm hoping I'll get those and can put in some more requests.  If not, I've got some paperwork to do involving putting information into two different spreadsheets.

On Monday I have an ophthalmologist visit and field of vision test in the morning, so I have parking at the hospital. Yay!  Parking days bring joy kind of like jeans day (every Friday is jeans day at work, along with certain other days throughout the year).  And then on Tuesday I have two virtual appointments shortly after work, so I'll clock out and stick around for a telehealth visit with my psychiatrist and a phone call from my health insurance care manager, which should be right after one another.  There are lots of appointments this month, and I rescheduled three just to keep it from being more than I could count on one hand.  But not all are during working hours, and I've been pretty lucky to get ones that are early or late.  I was afraid I'd be going back to a doctor with my foot yesterday.  I stretched to get something from atop the refrigerator, and being short, I overstretched, and my Achilles tendong went pop! pop! pop! It's a little sore today, but not bad, so I'm hoping I didn't do anything to it.  The older I get, I really should keep an orthopaedist on speed dial.

Okay, that was a quick 15 minutes.  Now for the final push through the work of the day.

Success!!!


(Well, I did burn my ring finger slightly because I dropped a potholder, but still....) Aren't they lovely? Now, off to bed (and yes, I turned the oven off). 

Tonight

my roommate cooked a lovely meal, we had a good time watching 'Murdoch Mysteries' during dinner (it was the one with William Shatner of all people as Mark Twain), and I've finally gotten all the dishes either washed or a load running in the dishwasher, the linens are put in the laundry, and I've got the bread in the oven. Last week's bread dough was like cake batter when it came out, and I had to put a LOT of flour in it to make it work.  This time, since it's been raining this evening, I put about 2 oz. less water in it than the normal cup.  The dough came out much better, a bit stiff, but it rolled well into the coils and it rose reasonably well.  We'll see how it comes out. I've got another 13-15 minutes left.  I really, really want to go on to bed, an I just have to go that little bit of time before putting the bread in the upper oven to cool and turning off the lower one.  Just 15 minutes.  It seems like an eternity.  So here I am, whiling the time away on the Internet.

It was a good day. I got a lot done, including some things that were on the back burner but needed to be done.

I found a raw amethyst pendant at UK on my way home, set in a silver setting.  There wasn't anyone around and it was outside, so there was no lost and found to turn it in to.  It wasn't anything expensive, just maybe sentimental.  It feels like a jangly mess whenever I hold it in my hand, so if I keep it, I definitely need to cleanse it or something.  But it is nice.  I've had things I've found and lost again like this; I think sometimes things just go through a variety of hands over their existence.

Three more minutes. Actually, I'm going to check now, as the loaves are poufier but shorter than usual.  But if I don't blog any more tonight, have a wonderful evening.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Stupidity in action

My roommate just told me he'd seen people online who contended that 'The Lord of the Rings' was racist in respect to orcs, the slathering, kill-you-dead creatures who, oh, yeah, are completely fictional.  Because there's not enough real racism to fight against, right, we have to worry about racism against imaginary people. [Sarcasm sign firmly displayed, just in case you didn't get that.]

Sigh.  Our world is becoming stupid.

We should do everything we can to fight racism in the real world. The fact that these people have lost sight of the arch of the holdoeck really saddens me.  I mean, who has time to worry about stuff like that when real people are dying?

Makes me angry.

Home

I came home today, fed the animals, and promptly took a 'nap' for about an hour and a half. Everyone else was napping, so it seemed like the thing to do.  I feel better.  Today I worked very hard and while of course what I do isn't physical at all, mental work can be tiring, too.  I got an awfully lot done today; I finished up everything for this week except for one new visit I have for tomorrow where I have to wait to see if they come and get the notes when dictated, sending a form in the meantime if they're not so they know we tried to get the authorization in time. A lot of insurance won't allow for a retroactive authorization.  So tomorrow I'll do that but also work into next week and do some other things that have been on the back burner.  So much of what I do is a blend of tracking packets of paper and submitting them via fax or online, but there's a lot of follow up as well.  So tomorrow I'd like to work on some of the follow up if there aren't too many add-ons surgery-wise or office visits, for that matter.

Life at home has been pretty quiet.  One of our good friends passed away last month and that was sad, although he was so riddled with cancer it was a blessing at the same time.  But he'd lived almost four years with a stage IV diagnosis.  He had colon and prostate cancer both.  We had his memorial Sunday, and it was the largest gathering we'd been around since the pandemic started.  He was a long-time teacher and speech coach, and he touched a lot of lives.  It was good to see people come out to remember him.

Taking a quick break

from work to test out my hotspot on my phone for creating an Internet connexion for my Kindle Fire.  I take it to work because the battery lasts for a very long time, even when playing music, and I play music offline while I'm doing paperwork.  But sometimes I want to blog. Years ago, I signed a paper to the effect that I would not blog using the company's  equipment or networks.  The main network can't reach things like Blogger anyway, as they are blocked along with social media sites, unless you get a special dispensation.  There is a public network for patients, families, and visitors, but again, I promised not to use it for blogging.

With my last phone, the hotspot never worked, but this is working fine.  Yay! It means I am more likely to write, as my Fire has a connected keyboard that works very well and has a 10.1" screen, so it's much easier than using my phone.  My roommate uses my laptop, which is connected to all sorts of things like TV and keyboard for use like a desktop.  So I have to rely on other devices.

Anyway, hi, and it is now time to have a quick bite before returning to my tasks.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

My day started rather rough

 My neck has been hurting quite a bit, and it's making pain and parasthesia going down through my arms, which has been quite annoying. So last night I took my dose of muscle relaxants I keep just for such an occasion. Tizanidine is really mild, and they're only 4 mg pills, but I take three at a time as directed.  Usually when I take them, the next morning I wake up early and refreshed, ready to go.  Not this morning.  I was sluggish, kept falling asleep and hitting snooze. I start my alarms (there are several) at 6 am so I can get up by 7 am at the latest.  It takes 15 minutes for me to shower and 15 minutes to get ready, then a 10 minute drive and 20 minutes between walking to the bus stop, taking the shuttle, and walking from the bus stop at the University of Kentucky emergency department.  So I realised that I was, indeed, going to be late when I finally crawled out of bed just before 7:30 am.

I took a shower, got dressed, grabbed my lunch, got in the car, took my COVID screening on my phone, and texted my supervisor and my manager.  Then I drove carefully to UK's Orange Lot. Right as I was getting ready to go through the second roundabout, I thought about combing my hair (I drive with both windows down), and I realised that I didn't have my comb, or my crossbody purse, just my backpack (and yes, there's a brush in the backpack, but that's beside the point.)  So I told me, that's fine, just don't get pulled over or get into an accident, as you don't have your licence with you.  I'm pretty poor right now, as it's right before payday, so I wasn't planning on spending money at least, and I did bring my lunch.  All good, right?  I had my phone and my receiver for my continuous glucose monitor.

So I parked and was getting my jacket on (it was raining a bit) and then it hit me. My badge was in my purse.

Yesterday I'd put my badge holder on a new lanyard one of my co-workers brought back from the beach. Because, unlike the one I usually use, it has a reel and snap joint for clipping in onto the lanyard, I'd decided to keep it in my purse rather than put in on for the trip, because I didn't want to take a chance of losing it at UK. It's $15 to replace the suckers.  The reason for that is they double as a proximity card, so in addition to clocking in and out, they get us through various locked doors (and my office happens to be one you have to badge into) AND you can't get into the computer and get to all your files unless you have yours.  And of course, then I left the whole purse, which is only big enough for my wallet, keys, lip balm, hand sanitiser, and glucose tabs, really.  I'd left it on a stool near my bed at home.  But if I'd gone to work, I wouldn't have actually been able to work, and I'd have to fork over money I didn't have to get a new one.

I called my boss and basically asked, since I was already going to be late (although it would have been maybe by five, ten minutes tops) if I could go back home and get my badge, and she said that was fine. So I got back in the car, went home (obeying all traffic laws) got my purse, made sure my badge was in it, drove back (which was interesting, as a jogger crossed against our green turn light and some yahoo in a truck in the oncoming lane decided he was supposed to go, too, so he ran a red light, nearly hitting the car in front of me, who had yielded to the jogger, who looked to be in his 60s and was certainly old enough to know how to cross a street and obviously just didn't care).

I got to work 45 minutes late, but got started on my work, and actually got a bit ahead today, so it was a pretty decent day all told.  But it was a little sketchy there for a bit.

Tomorrow I need to really be on my game because I have a meeting at 11 am and I have to prepare a couple of spreadsheets.  The other person who reads the material won't be there tomorrow, so I'll read both weeks of summaries.  I've gotten very good at pronouncing the word 'hemiepiphysiodesis' due to this meeting.  Wednesdays morning are usually me preparing for it, as she does her part the afternoon before.  After the meeting, I plan to get as far as I can on authorisations (I have a couple to do for this week, and then it's on to next week). I'd like to get a minimum of two to three weeks out this week, and preferably a month out, and then fill in the new visits or added ones.  I also need to work on some denials and do some housekeeping in terms of putting data into other spreadsheets so I can file some paperwork.  That doesn't all have to be done tomorrow afternoon, but it would be great if I could get some of it done this week.  I've been working really steadily and my days are certainly full; there's never really boring downtime some people have in their jobs.  There's always a lot to do.  But since we shuffled our duties between a co-worker and myself so she both schedules and authorises offsite imaging and I authorise surgeries and office visits, my anxiety has gone way down.  Scheduling was a juggling job that kept me constantly worrying about details of whether something would work, and it took a whole lot of time.  I hope she's doing okay.  We back each other up, though, so the other day I did both jobs and it wasn't too bad becuase it was a little quieter on the offsite front, at least, and I only had to schedule the urgent ones.

I guess I should sign off here.  I will try to write more.  I've been listening to Pandora, but I have a book I'm reading (or, as my roommate puts it, a computer file, as it's a Kindle book out of the library) that is fiction (something I've been struggling to read of late), over 300 pages, and I'm over halfway now.  It's called The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick. It's about a widower who finds a charm bracelet of his late wife which turns out to lead him on an adventure learning more about the woman he loved and the life she had before they met.  I'm really enjoying it.  The writing is very pleasant and the story drew me in.  It's taken me a couple of weeks to get this far, as it's hard to make time, but I checked it out again so I have it for another two weeks. Yay! Hopefully I can finish  before it's due.

Oh, I got to do a librarian thing today, finding out some information for a co-worker that involved calling an oral history centre and finding out how to access their materials.  It was fun.  That part of my life seems like it's in the past now, but it's still nice to be able to do things like that occasionally, plus I learned about some resources I didn't know about.

Okay, I really am going to sing off her for now.  Good night.