Exciting week, with two breathtaking days of work and “extremely high call volume” followed by a root canal and my annual ob/gyn exam and one dog in heat. All accompanied by the comforting rainfall of a thousand rains. To the last event, Bee was scheduled for spaying next month because I wanted to beat the next heat cycle (which in my short experience has always been in January) but her uterus had other plans. She is now sporting a very fashionable pair of underwear with maxi pad attached and my plans today include a house-wide cleanup of the crime scene.
Work has been exhausting. To say that healthcare in general is overwhelmed is an understatement and, while I think most people know this, you would surprised to know how many folks are surprised that it is “taking several hours to receive a call back” from a nurse. We are so short-staffed in the triage room (where on some days literally ONE nurse is taking all the calls) that part of my verbiage for every. Single. Phone. Call is “we are advising everyone that we are having extremely high call volume and it is taking several hours for a call back” so that we don’t have angry families calling back with, “I called an hour ago and I’m still waiting for a call.” I have told Todd to wake me up if I start repeating it in my sleep.
To that end, most folks are grateful for the heads up and that’s the end of it. However, I got a call from a dad complaining he was on an “interminable hold” for a nurse and he “just” has a question about RSV and vaccines. His child is NOT EVEN OUR PATIENT. This happens occasionally where people think all offices in the network are interchangeable and that leaves us to explain that they are not and we each operate as independent practices and therefore, your child is not our patient. He argued that we’re all the same and I explained, multiple times because I love repeating myself, that our nurses cannot answer questions about his child because she has never been seen in our office and he will need to call the office where she is established. But he could not get a live person on the phone and …. I’m sorry, sir, we are experiencing extremely high call volumes across the network and you will need to contact that office. He hung up on me.
What’s currently cycling through the under 18 population? Flu – yes FLU – because it made its debut early this year. Also, coughing, sore throat, headache, runny nose, pink eye, vomiting, coughing, wheezing, strep, and did I mention coughing? There’s a lot of persistent coughing for weeks on end and some that leads to vomiting. I mean, EVERYONE is coughing. And RSV. RSV has come early this year and it is filling up ERs with upwards of nine hour waits and – as my husband, now with professional knowledge of these statistics, said simply, you don’t want to go to the ER. A family member with very recent personal experience told me as they were leaving, there were at least 100 people in the waiting room. If this scares you, it should. Healthcare is in crisis on so many levels and **I am stating this opinion as a private citizen, not as a healthcare worker.**
The time I have to get stuff done, make appointments, etc is constantly evolving and I’m not sorry. Today’s ob/gyn appt was rescheduled from two weeks ago because I just wasn’t up to it and I also had a followup the same day with orthopedics and didn’t feel like running all over two states on my day off. I don’t feel like going today either, but I’m going because health matters, right?
Speaking of, I read up on a health and eating plan designed to shed the “menopausal middle” and it sounded appealing until I started drinking the recommended detox liquids which left me feeling nauseated most of the day Monday. SO. Once again I am in start-over mode because, despite the title of today’s post, I do eat healthy most days – I just have a weakness for Reese’s and, this week, tiramisu from Costco. The biggest problem – in my honest opinion – for women, is alcohol. Alcohol is the devil wrapping himself around your waistline, disrupting your sleep and – possibly – aggravating non-erosive gastritis and diverticulosis. That’s a mouthful, aint it?
I am having a similar experience with alcohol that I had in 1996 in San Diego. San Diego 1996 had me in a Mexican restaurant minding my own business until somebody’s sizzling steak fajitas went smoking past my table and the smell so turned my stomach I almost left. That was the day I realized I couldn’t stomach red meat, including the smell of it cooking, for over twenty years. To this day I still cannot explain it.
I have dabbled in vegetarianism in the years since but never fully committed. I blame tofu. I never fell in love with tofu and I have yet to meet someone who did. And now, everyone who knows me knows that I enjoy some red meat from time to time with no nausea or adverse effects. No explanation for that, either.
Anyway, alcohol is not good to me. I have friends who are older than me who say they can’t drink anymore because it makes them sick, no matter how much they consume, and I think that’s me now. I have noticed in the recent past that it disrupts my sleep and body temperature so profoundly that it is totally fucking with my anxiety too. So – hard pass.
Also on hard pass – emotional drama. I decided not to write about my past trauma of abuse and toxic home as I had planned, because I don’t live there anymore and it no longer serves me. I am refocusing my energies on a fictional novel I started some years ago that I left marinating since 2018, where I can dive into others’ stories (help from friends who volunteered – thank you!) and hopefully write something worth reading.
Other projects are forthcoming from multiple-open-tabs Tara, so it’s anyone’s guess if NaNoWriMo will produce 50,000 words of ANYTHING.
Meanwhile, I need to get on the treadmill, or the elliptical, or the bike this morning, but I am not taking any bets on that because I don’t want anyone to lose their money.
*Title brought to you by a diagnosis I read recently.
**I am a private citizen who just happens to read the news – the REAL NEWS, not the far-right-Biden-blamed-Elton-John-for-AIDS news that literally missed the real reason the two of them were together and why he gave him a medal but I’m not here to argue the merits of actually doing the research.
***Per the novel, I AM seeking people with personal experience with narcissistic personalities so if you haven’t already volunteered but would like to, message me.
****Also, while I may not be writing about personal experiences, there may be a separate tab coming called Truth Tellers.
*****NaNoWriMo = National Novel Writing Month (it’s a thing) (with goals) (and encouragement)