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!