Sunday, September 12, 2010

Poor, neglected blog

Since I haven't written here in MONTHS, and haven't written consistently in probably years, I would be shocked if anyone is reading this. So thank you, whoever happens to be here!

I have now been graduated and working for a little over a year now, and am still adjusting to life outside the ivory tower. And, to be frank, I'm not sure if I really love it. So I want to go back to school for a PhD? No, not right now. But someday? I probably won't be able to resist.

It's funny, it's not that "real life" is hard and that I want to go back to the "easy" life of academia, as people would probably suspect. No, it's more that I am finding this working life is not as challenging as the academic world was and I'm finding my mind is gasping for more.

My job itself is pretty great, and I have done some things to make it more intellectually stimulating (and it is much more intellectually stimulating than many jobs out there), but it's still not quite enough, I think.

I want to push at the boundaries of what it is that we know, not just use already existing information, and find *answers* to the questions I have in the clinic.

In a typical clinic day, there just is not the time to hunt down answers to all the of questions that come up: how many times a week should I see this patient? How much progress can they make with factors X, Y and Z? Should I use this approach or this approach? And even if I did manage to hunt down answers to those questions, the odds are that I would find that zero research has been done on a given topic.

In an ideal world, half my time would be spent in a clinic and the other half would be spent doing research on clinical topics (or at least theoretical topics that could affect clinical practice).

Will that happen? Hopefully. Soon? Maybe not. It is pretty darn nice not having homework!

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Where have I been?

Excellent question, not really a very good answer. The short answer is: working and trying to have a life outside of work. Luckily, I'm doing fairly well at the latter, hopefully OK at the former.

I went to SF for a 2 week training (I KNOW). It was a really good experience, and actually I did OK with visiting the city that had so much emotional weight for me with Alicia. It was awesome to stay with my brother for so long and we even still liked each other at the end! Pretty remarkable.

We've been enjoying the great Colorado outdoors, as well. The last few weekends have been perfect Colorado weekends. One of them was spent tubing Boulder Creek with our awesome former neighbors, then getting froyo on Pearl Street after. Bliss.
Another, we drove 5 hours to the Western Slope to hang out in a cabin with other friends, fish a little, and enjoy the beautiful wildflowers. Jasper got to truly walk off leash for the first time ever since we've had him and he was an absolute champ. Then this weekend, we took Jasper on a 5 mile hike to a mountain lake, loaded up his little pack with water, and now he is POOPED today. He just was motoring up the mountain, and now he's recuperating!

We had brunch with friends (and a pool party afterward), then dinner with another friend tonight, so we have been quite the social butterflies!

I've also been sewing quite a bit. I have a quilt top I intended to finish this weekend, which definitely did not happen (see: pool party, but worth it!), and have made several little clutches for friends and myself. So fun to have a project I can finish quickly!

Sunday, May 23, 2010


In case you are reading my blog from the rock you are hiding under, tonight is the series finale of LOST, a series with MANY questions that people are hoping will all be answered tonight. Good luck.

We will not be watching the extravaganza (which I think is starting about now). This would have surprised the me from 5 years ago, who was deeply involved with the show. It was literally the only thing Peter and I planned on each week for a while. I rescheduled dates with friends because they conflicted. And yet, here we are... not watching it.

About 4 years ago, I think we just became too tired of the endless questions with NO answers. Ever. I could have been satisfied with a little explanation of a few minor points, but instead, everything was ignored in favor of yet more mysteries.

I understand that it's changed A LOT since then and now everyone is all swept up in Lost fever, but I am waiting for the final verdict after tonight. If I hear most people are satisfied, or even mildly satisfied, we'll go back and watch them all on Netflix (we are 9 years behind on the Buffy bandwagon, after all).

On the other hand, if fans are crying for blood or say, "Really? That was it?" then I can save 120 hours of my life and spend them rewatching Veronica Mars. Or watching more of The Wire. Or any of the other amazing shows out there.

Yes, this is kind of cheating, but I don't really care all that much. It IS just TV after all. I think I'll spend the next 2.5 hours of my life walking my dog in this gorgeous Colorado summer evening, instead of being frustrated, disappointed, confused, or, hope against hope, satisfied and delighted. For you Lost-ians, I hope you find what you've been looking for!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The path of grief

I intended to chronicle some of my grief here, but it has become so complicated, I'm not even sure where to start.

The private memorial for Alicia was this past weekend and Peter and I flew out to be there for it. I made a slideshow with pictures from friends and family of all stages of Alicia's life with her many, many different friends. It was really hard to make and really hard to watch.

As I said, though, my grief has become complicated. I have these feeling of guilt, like I don't have as much of a right to grief as others who were closer to her. I am remembering more and more the things I should have done, the things I should have said. The negative memories are overtaking the positive ones, especially those memories of the week in the hospital. I keep thinking that I should have just stayed. I didn't know it at the time, but it was only one more week until she was gone. I could have been there.

I can't remember why I didn't just stay, but then, if I really think about it, I can remember how uncertain everything was. Nothing was known. How much or how little time was left was the question upon which everything hung and for which there was absolutely no answer. I left because I could then come back and relieve those "on duty," and was planning to buy return tickets the very day she died. I also remember that I was thinking about my own patients, who would feel the absence of two weeks of therapy, even if it was not a life-or-death situation.

Other times, my grief is not complicated at all. The emotion just hits me full force, unexpectedly, triggered by something that shouldn't mean so much. It's as if the intellectual grief complicates the raw, primal emotional grief.

I can't rationalize away those body-wracking tears. I can't doubt the pain I feel. Until the brain takes over again, the emotion reigns and I can submit to that vastness, never hoping to try to understand it.

Monday, May 03, 2010


It's late, too late, and I just don't want to sleep. But in the day, I am so tired and all I want to do is stay home and sleep all day.

I know I should sleep, and yet I don't want to. I just want to stay up all night doing things that don't really matter, or connecting with people on Facebook (or blogging).

In the day, when I could easily email, call or text others, I just want to hide in my melancholy. I want to wallow.

I am realizing that even though I can rarely drum up the initiative to reach out and contact others, when I do, it's immensely rewarding and so very worth it.

So maybe I should try sleeping at night and talking to people in the day. I think that would be healthy. But not very vampiric*.

*I love that that is really a word and that my spellcheck doesn't blink at "vampiric," but it gets angry at "Facebook." Some programmer has their priorities straight.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

How I'm really doing

When people ask how I'm doing, the answer is usually either "OK," or "better than I thought I'd be doing." However, I'm starting to think that might not be true.

For the first week, I did feel like I was doing ok. I was sad, but I didn't cry every day and I could look back on memories of Alicia with joy for the person she was. The first few days especially, I felt like a little part of Alicia's light had landed in my heart and I could feel it burning bright with joy and love of life. It was an amazing feeling. But underlying all of that was a melancholy I still can't shake.

I have NO motivation to do anything beyond what is immediately required of me in that moment. All I want to do at home is read "comfort books" and sometimes play some video games. Peter has taken up all of the housekeeping slack, and even so, the laundry pile is enormous. I can manage at work because my job is very in-the-moment, but when I have downtime, I am extremely unproductive. Luckily, people at work have been incredibly supportive.

But. I have had more breakdowns in the past few days than in most of that first week. The melancholy is breaking through more and more. The motivation to do ANYTHING has not really come back as soon as I thought it would.

Lesson one: I'm not really doing as well as I thought.

I realized something else very important yesterday as well. I decided to go do a little shopping on Pearl Street for my favorite thing to shop for: gifts for friends. Peter couldn't come with me because he was preparing a poster for a conference. Not a big deal, I thought. Pearl Street was incredibly beautiful-- the tulips were aflame in red and yellow under spreading trees with new green leaves. The sun was shining with fluffy white clouds scudding across the blue sky, and everywhere people were laughing, playing and enjoying the spring day. The overwhelming JOY of it all hit me hard and the tears came quickly. I knew if Peter had been there, it might still have been hard, but I probably wouldn't have lost it quite so badly.

Lesson two: It's harder being alone.

Also, lesson three: For me, happy things are harder than sad things.

I must say, it has been fascinating to observe and recognize these and other patterns in my grief. This death is the closest I've experienced so far, and certainly the most "unfair," if that's possible to say (i.e., not my 92 year old grandma). So this is probably the most authentic grief I have experienced and it is teaching me so much. I hope that by embracing the emotions I feel, I can not only process things more fully, but also experience life (and death) more fully. I want to honor Alicia enough to not shy away from this pain, but face it as bravely as I can.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

One Week

I think today is going to be a really hard day. Last night was tough, for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was watching two of the saddest episodes of Buffy ever. I have to say, though, Joss Whedon knows grief and can write it. Damn.

One week ago today, during our weekly staff meeting, in the room we always meet in, I found out Alicia had left this world. I can't believe it's already been a week. I can't believe it's only been a week.

I'm so glad my weekly meeting is with amazing coworkers, otherwise there is no way I would want to face it. The best part, though? They will be filming our meeting today as part of a promotional video for the department. I might need to excuse myself for that because I'm just not good enough of an actor to be able to cover up this utter sadness. And I don't think that needs to be shown in a promo video.

Here goes nothing...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Goodbye to a friend

Alicia passed last week, obviously not unexpectedly, but the loss of a friend much, much too soon is never easy to bear. I've been doing better than I expected I would be, something I have heard echoed in several other friends. Today, going through some old photos of Alicia, I felt joy for the first time, joy in celebrating this wonderful human being I was lucky enough to be able to call a friend.

It's not right that she was taken from us so soon, and not fair that she had to endure so much in her time here on earth, but she lived a helluva life in the time that she had, and touched more people than most of us will ever dream of.

So if you are the prayerful type, please send some out to Alicia's family and friends, especially those incredible people who were there with her for several weeks, all the way through to the very end. I do have some guilt about not staying with them, but they have assured me I needn't feel that way (but that only helps a little. I know what they did and how incredible they are).

Life without Alicia is going to be hard, indeed.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Overwhelmed: Redux

OK, I have gotten over any selfish feelings I had and now I am completely undone by the amazing outpouring of support for Alicia. Hundreds of messages over just a few days, with messages of love and support. Between last night and today, I came to the realization that these messages are helping my spirits too. Just knowing how much love there is in the world and how many strangers are willing to express that brings me to tears (as do most things, these days).

I am overwhelmed by the messages from people who are also battling cancer, have loved ones with cancer, or who have been touched by Alicia's story. She has touched SO many lives. I can't even begin to comprehend the impact she has had on this world.

I am so, so, so lucky to know her and to be able to call her my friend, but I know thousands and thousands of others now call her "friend" too. Friends touch our lives and share their hopes, fears, and dreams with us, and she has done that with wit, grace and strength most of us can only dream of.

I love you, Leashie.

Friday, April 16, 2010


I am writing this on my iPhone, so this will be short.

The Chronicle ran a front page story on Alicia this morning and I have been overwhelmed (though unsurprised) at the outpouring of support and comments. There are almost 400 comments on the article already, the Facebook group has tripled in size and people are tweeting he news.

I'll be honest: I'm torn about this. On one hand, she wanted those people who care about her, in real life or through her story, to know, but on the other hand, I have this terrible, selfish, protective feeling. "She's MY friend" I want to say, but even as I have that impulse, I know that she is too great to belong to me, or to anyone. Plus, she would kick my ass for saying that, even now.

I'm about maxed out on my patience with iPhone typing, but I want to say this: thank you to everyone who has had the courage to write your words of gratitude, shared sorrow, and hope. It's amazing how many lives she has touched.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Visiting Alicia

I got back last night from a week in San Francisco visiting Alicia. Well, "visiting" isn't exactly the right word to describe what it was I was doing there. Frankly, I don't know if there IS a word to describe it.

I want to write in more detail about different aspects of my experience later, but for the time being, I will try to describe it in one of my favorite forms: listing*.

My week in San Francisco was:
Helpful (to some degree, I hope)

Things I did while there:
Acted confused and bewildered for the first two days
Started to get my shit together on day three
Fell into the "visitor organizer" role, somehow
Took over part of the on-site coordination when the high school crew left
Transitioned the RA crew in
Kept busy so I didn't have time to think
Just *was*
Tried to stay awake for an all-nighter, at the end, but definitely fell asleep
Forgot to eat real food until noon, most days
Dropped a dress size (see above)

Emotions I felt:
Really fucking angry
Protective of Alicia
Protective of Alicia's friends
Body-wracking grief
Friendship (see: rekindled, old)
Friendship (see: new, born of shared adversity)
Many moments of consciously noting the importance, symbolism, or otherwise consciously observing the situation**

Hopefully I can commit more of my thoughts on this incredible, awful experience to writing soon and share them with you. It might take me a little while, and no promises I will publish everything I write. However, if Alicia was brave enough to share her story, I think I can share mine.

*Alicia knew this about me and sent me one of the most awesome books ever, that was written in list form. I need to go find that book now...

**Doesn't fit with the rest of the list, but there isn't a word for that idea***

***I have put more thought into the writing, style, and most importantly, punctuation of this post than any other in this shoddy blog, because I know Alicia would kill me if I made a typo or error, being the great copy editor she is.****

****There are definitely going to be typos. It's unavoidable. Sorry, Alicia. And the style of these footnotes is dreadful. Woe.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Life takes unexpected turns

Last Thursday, I got information that would change my life forever. Alicia was very sick.

Alicia is my maid of honor (for my wedding and for life). Alicia is a kindred writer spirit. Alicia is my friend. And Alicia is sick.

I flew to San Francisco a few hours after finding out, still in an uncomprehending daze about the news. The news was not good.

Since then, I, like many of her amazing and numerous friends, have tried to busy myself with helping at the hospital, helping manage Alicia's Twitter feed and Facebook page, and generally trying to keep busy with tasks so I'm not left alone with time to think.

There's so much more I want to say, but I am very tired after a long night at the hospital, so I will leave you with this:

Go to Read Alicia's Story in the Chronicle. Let her know how her story touched you on her Facebook page. Donate a few dollars to honor her strength and courage in her fight to help pay the medical bills that mount with each passing hour. Follow her on Twitter for updates. Send out a prayer, good thought, or peaceful energy to her.

Then tell your friends to do the same.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010


This weekend is our big Easter egg hunt (yes, I am aware Easter was last weekend). As usual, we are upping the ante this year, and having the hunt after Easter proper has allowed me to find some mad bargains on eggs, grass and candy. We have well over 1500 pieces of candy and probably close to 400 eggs this year. Insane. Good thing we have a bigger place to hide them this year! We're also having a kid hunt for the first time, which will be outside if the weather holds, so that should help too.

In the meantime, we've been finishing the trim in the kitchen, I've been making these ridiculous little things to give away as favors, planning the menu, and I suppose I should get to cleaning at some point.

I am just SO ready for the summery part of spring to be here because waking to snow this morning was not my idea of fun (although it was heaven to snuggle under the down comforter for a few extra minutes of snoozing I couldn't really afford. Now I want to go home and go back to bed). And today I daydreamed about lounging by our complex's pool. We only used it twice last year and I am determined to get more use out of it this year!

And thus endeth my random ramblings.

Sunday, April 04, 2010


My new lifestyle of commute-work-commute-eat-sleep has resulted in some significant changes in the technology I use and the way I use that technology.

The biggest change happened last summer, when we finally got those iPhones Peter (and I) have been coveting for so long. It has turned out to be a fantastic thing for me, since my job only allows a few minutes at a computer at a time, barely enough to read my work email, let alone personal email or any other kind or media. When I get home, I would rather talk with my husband and watch a movie together, than stare at my computer screen. Crazy, I know! So I end up reading Facebook, email and Twitter on the iPhone, and read what news and blogs I can on the computer at breakfast.

Being an AVID blog reader, this has been a challenge for me, but it has also been good to cull those over blogs that are productive and underperforming (for my interest). So I'm reading less overall, but more stuff that interests me.

Yesterday brought another change. Peter managed to talk me into more new technology, although I wasn't resisting too hard.

I am now blogging on his brand new iPad! We had talked about this when it was first announced, mainly as a tool for me with the long bus rides. On the iPhone, I can read my email very well, but it's a massive pain to try to type anything.

Typing this entry has maybe taken marginally longer than a regular keyboard, but I think people might be surprised at how easy it really is. Of course, I will have to check more closely for spelling errors, because sometimes it makes the most bizarre word changes!

So you MAY just see more blogging going on here, now that I have an easier way to do it during my extended free time on the bus (but no promises!). Peter is having me test his iPad out on the bus for him (I don't remember what exactly I'm going to test that he can't, but I'm not complaining!). If it changes my life the way the iPhone has, I will very likely be getting my own soon!

Happy teching!

Saturday, March 20, 2010


I am on a de-cluttering rampage, which might come as a shock for those who know me most intimately.

I like stuff. I have always liked stuff. Having stuff makes me feel safe and secure and this probably means I have lots of psychological issues (uh, duh, as the kids used to say).

However, due to the change in the seasons, the inspiration of a recently redone bathroom, or a recent viewing of ten minutes of the show Hoarders, I have decided to purge our place of some of that "stuff" I love so much.

So far, it has been moderately successful. The kitchen looks great, as does the living room (at the present moment. Just give it a day or two, I'm sure.). The teeny little bathroom we recently almost-totally remodeled looks fabulous and actually NEEDS a couple more things in it to complete it (more stuff? Yes please! New Stuff is in a different category than Old Stuff To Be Purged).

It has even extended to my photos, which are massively overwhelming me. The digital age has been glorious for photography, but lots of photos equals lots of data. And just lots of photos.

I want to get several pictures printed to hang, but choosing which ones seems like a massively overwhelming task. How overwhelming? Well, my dear brother gave me a wonderful Christmas gift involving me choosing a photo to print and I STILL haven't been able to do so. I've barely managed to sit down to attempt the feat three times, each time just feeling like it was an impossible task. Too many pictures, no easy way to sift the wheat from the chaff (since I don't have a good workflow for tagging favorites as they come in) and many of my favorites relatively inaccessible on another hard drive.

I think my next big project (that may or may not be completed, but would ease my heart SO much if I did finish it) will be to perform a COMPLETE backup of all my pictures onto gold DVDs or CDs so they last, complete with a binder (or binders) of index pictures, so I know which disc each picture is on. And copies of those DVDs in another location, like my parents' house. I think the hardest part will be getting the photos ready to burn to DVD. The thought of it makes me break out into a cold sweat.

I think I'll just retreat to the clutterless bathroom for now, thankyouverymuch!

Saturday, March 13, 2010


So many changes! Well, not really, especially in comparison to last spring, wherein we house hunted, had two aborted attempts at purchases, bought a place, both looked for and got jobs, etc. But still! Some changes have taken place.

Braces are partially in place, more will be added over time, and so far, so good. I have to brush my teeth a lot more frequently and I narrowly avoided a truly classic moment of spinach smack on my front braces in an important meeting, thanks to a last-minute mirror check for that very reason.

Operation Home Improvement is back from a 6 month hiatus after the marathon that was the kitchen. We bought the most expensive shower curtain we've ever had (i.e., not vinyl and not from Target clearance), and will be painting our tiny tiny back bathroom tomorrow a (hopefully) lovely shade of gray. Actually, "Pelican," but who's counting? The most important aspect of this project is that it has a very high likelihood of being able to be finished, since the room is literally about 4 feet square.

We've been hiking a new trail every weekend for the past several weeks and it's been wonderful. Today we hiked about 4 miles along a trail with great views of the mountains, and Jasper had a fantastic time, as usual. It didn't hurt that it was over 60 today, with perfect blue skies. Everyone has spring fever. And it's supposed to snow again tomorrow (woo. hoo.). I'm so glad we were able to enjoy the weather today.

I finally finished Peter's quilt, which I have been working on for at least 2 years now, maybe more. I definitely work in fits and starts, but I was able to see this one across the finish line! If the light cooperates, I'll try to take a picture of it tomorrow. I'm really pleased with how it turned out, even if it wasn't exactly my own artistic vision being carried out (some clients are rather specific and hands-on in their art direction). Plus, I learned a TON about the whole process and the general idea of machine quilting, which will come in handy when I make my own quilt according to my own specifications.

And with that, I am off to bed, to get one less hour of sleep. Boo to springing forward!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Eating Eve

I have only told approximately three people in my life about this upcoming event, but since it will all go down tomorrow, no use hiding it anymore.

After 8 AM tomorrow, I will not be able to eat the following foods for at least one year:

Popcorn (I KNOW)
Whole apples, pears, carrots, etc.
Ice cream
Anything sweet
Anything crunchy
Anything delicious

I am getting braces tomorrow. For the third time in my life.

I am very conflicted about this. Obviously, this is my own decision and one I am lucky to have the option to make (hooray for good dental insurance!), and I think it really will be a good thing for me in the end, but I am still not psyched about enduring braces yet again. Not only can I not eat some of my most favoritest foods (she types after polishing off her last bag of popcorn and last Izze soda), but as anyone who has had braces can attest, they hurt. Poking wire, sore spots inside the mouth, not to mention the all-day headaches after tightening sessions. Fun.

On the other hand, my teeth have moved considerably since I last had braces, and will likely continue to worsen. When I have pictures taken, it looks like I have a gap between my two front teeth because of the angles they sit at. At which they sit. Whatever. I am definitely self-conscious about my teeth, even if: a) they are WAY better than what they would have been if my parents hadn't given me braces twice before; and b) they really are not super terrible.

And now everyone knows my secret. Please think of me fondly as you chomp away on your popcorn and wash it down with root beer. (And yes, I'm pretty sure I can eat these things occasionally, but I KNOW popcorn will be a PITA to try to clean out of braces).

Monday, February 15, 2010


Normally, this time of biennium, I would be glued to the TV at all possible hours, soaking in as much Olympic-ness as possible. This year, however, we do not have cable TV, since we literally never ever watch it. Normally not a problem, since we have the new-fangled version of rabbit ears, which I call the "bat ears," since they look very much like the Batman symbol. Through this fancy-Dan HD antenna, we can get, in beautiful, crystal clear high-def, any number of home shopping channels, Spanish-language stations, PBS, and even the broadcast networks! BROADCAST. As in, gov't lets them have the air waves so they can BROADCAST to people with antennae! (Yes, this is leading somewhere. Rather pointedly.)

Being a long-time Olympo-phile, I checked out which station bought the rights this year. NBC. Done. Let's check and make sure we get that station (why shouldn't we?). Aaaaaand the surprising answer iiiiiiiisssss......? No. Of course not. Neither of the NBC channels Yahoo TV says we should get are picked up in any form by our antenna. Sweet.

Well, this is twenty-ten, right? We are out of the dark ages of the aughts, and YouTube has been around for YEARS by now, so surely we can stream some form of at least the opening ceremonies and some of the main events, right?

Not so much. Apparently, you need to be a subscriber to cable to be able to access "Premium" content online, like anything more than a 5 minute clip of the hours-long opening ceremony. That was shown for free on the "free" broadcast network. Somehow, I feel like getting cable to watch the stuff online that we can't see on TV defeats the purpose.

Yeah, I know they have to make money, but I am still bitter. However, this did teach me an important lesson. The Oscars are NOT on NBC and I WILL be watching those.

In the meantime, you can find us parked in front of the TV at our former neighbor's house, since they still get the free cable from the university we used to take for granted, and they are also eternally patient and generous.

(Post-script: I love the Olympics so much that when I went to tag this post, I already HAD a tag for the Olympics!)

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Homebody weekend

While we didn't do much this weekend, we got a lot done. Finally tackled the boxes of papers that have been sitting in our extra room for months, set up a filing system, got started on taxes, cut out some new sewing projects, took some nice long walks with the pup, read, read, watched Buffy, did some laundry, and even managed to hang out with two sets of friends before 3:30 today!

This brief moment in my life is very nice. I finally feel like I have a little bit of footing in my job, have gotten several very nice comments from patients' parents about the job I am doing, and (for the moment), have a caseload that is light enough that I am getting home before 7 PM a couple nights a week. That will change, and soon, but I am enjoying it while I can.

It's amazing what a difference a few hours makes. With my commute and the bus schedule, I end up with 12 hour days when my schedule is full. 7 to 7 is hard. Hopefully I can enjoy my "break" a little longer.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Wrong number

I got the scariest phone call I've ever gotten tonight.

It was a blocked number, and my parents are the only people who call me who have a blocked number. So I answer friendly-like, as I do when my parents call.

Me: Hey!
Youngish male voice (my brother? he's supposed to be at home this weekend): Hey!
Me: What's up?
Presumed brother: How you doin?
Me (half-paying attention to something else): Good, how are you?
Definitely not my brother: What's up?
Me: Who is this?
Man (suddenly aggressive): Shut the fuck up!
Me: Who's calling? Who is this?
Man: You shut the fuck up when I'm talking to you!
Me: I'm hanging up now.
Man: (Still talking, but I hung up on him).

It was odd enough (especially the beginning when he didn't answer my questions and just traded more greeting type things) that I half suspected it wasn't real and was some type of AI scam or prank call (using prerecorded bits of conversation to make it feel like a real conversation).

But the other half of me was concerned that it WAS a real person and that this was some poor girl's abusive partner who dialed the wrong number and thought his girl was getting uppity with him. To be on the receiving end of that kind of verbal violence was terrible, awful, horrible.

I was incredibly unnerved by the call, regardless of its origin, and was quite shaken, especially thinking it was a real person who could turn so evil to another human being when they had been so friendly just seconds earlier.

And if it is a prank, I'd love to hear how they did it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

So frustrated

And confused.

Why are people opposed to health care reform? Is it because of the cost? Let me tell you about "cost." I just spent--today--2 hours of three professionals' time, including my own, plus one hour of and interpreter's, to try to figure out how to get a mother the access to the health care she *qualifies* for and NEEDS for her child. He has severe medical needs, but will only have 4 more visits under his current plan. I estimate it probably cost almost $1,000 for TODAY'S time alone. I have been working on this kid's case for more than a month. You do the math.

This does not count the 40-50 hours per person, per week, our support staff has been logging to deal with insurance changes with the new year, for the last four weeks.

If we had universal health care, these costs would not exist. If we had universal health care, the hospital would not have to jack up prices because the negotiated rates are so low (literally, we are reimbursed THREE dollars an hour for one plan!!!). Most importantly, if we had universal health care, families would not have to go bankrupt trying to ensure that their children can SURVIVE.

Call me a socialist, call me an idealist, but I think people deserve the RIGHT to basic health care.

Even if you don't want to go that far, can someone explain to me how they can be against reform? I haven't heard a convincing answer yet. And I'm sorry, but "your plan stinks" is not a reason. That just means you have to come up with your own plan. And it has to actually mean CHANGE.

Monday, January 18, 2010


Sorry about that... Some unexpected things came up over the holidays. My family came to town and we had a lovely time, until the very last day when everyone went cross country skiing while I went to work. I finished with a patient to find several texts from my husband (who doesn't really text) with the words "mom" and "fell" and "ambulance" and possibly/probably "hospital." He tried to soothe me with something about "she's ok," but frankly, all I saw were those other words.

Eventually we found out she had fractured a vertebra (though "broken back" sounds so much more dramatic and is technically true), and she ended up staying almost a week in the hospital while the neurosurgeons debated surgery. Another week later, and she and my dad were finally able to fly home, a mere three weeks after arriving. Luckily for everyone's sanity, Papa was able to get some seriously screaming deals on hotel rooms in the area (sometimes last minute pays off, if it's the off season!), so we could enjoy this unexpected family time with a little distance. It was wonderful to have my parents here, though I certainly wish it had been under better circumstances all around.

Needless to say, life was pretty much paused for those three weeks. We are now getting back into the swing of things, had a wonderful party on Saturday night, then a couple new friends over for dinner on Sunday. I'm also trying to get back into the sewing stuff. I know I want to start a new project, but I'm not sure what yet. Maybe I'll just stare at my pretty pretty fabric and wait for inspiration to strike.

May 2010 end more auspiciously than it began!