Saturday, April 22, 2017

Last day

Today is the last day to buy a copy of Brain Damage for only 99 cents!

Also, I want to thank everyone who has bought a copy of 11 out of 10 over the last two years.  I just donated another $150 to Deworm the World for last month's revenue, and have been able to give nearly $10,000 from profits.  Please consider donating to this charity, which is one of the few highlighted by Givewell.  There are children in developing countries who can't afford medicine that costs pennies to treat parasitic infections causing illness and blindness.... this is the most bang for your donated buck.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Nurses week

I think the nurses I work with are really awesome.

They have a really hard job.  I think every single one of the nurses I work with does a really great job and is incredibly kind and considerate.

So here's my dilemma....

Nurses week is coming up and I don't know what to do.

In an ideal world, I'd get every nurse I work with a nice present or little gift bag and that would be enough.  However, I work with a LOT of nurses.  There are probably eight or nine regulars, then a few more nurse supervisors, then a bunch of nurses' aides that I also wouldn't want to leave out.  And then there are nurses that don't usually work with me but sometimes do.  All told, this could be thirty people.  And I suspect if I do individual gifts, no matter how hard I try, I'm going to leave somebody out.  And as somebody who has gotten left out in these situations, I know that's the worst possible thing.

Another dilemma is that each nurse only does three shifts per week.  So if I, say, bring in bagels or pizza one day, only half the nurses will get to partake.

In the past, I've bought two big cakes and done it two days in a row on days that as many of our regular nurses are around as possible.  I guess I could do that again.  I don't know... I just want to make sure I'm appreciating the nurses enough.  Because they deserve it.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Men at Work

The sign indicating work being done in my town reads "Men at Work."

I know this is a standard sign.  And also it's an Australian band that has one good song (that manages to mention vegemite).  Still, when I'm driving around with two little girls in the car, it bothers me.  Why men at work?  I feel like I'm being told, "There are men doing important things here.  You women should stay away."

Granted, I've never actually seen a woman in one of these work crews.  Still.  I figure if women are going to have to sign up for the draft now, we should be included in the work signs.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Brain Damage

Happy Easter Sunday!

In honor of the holiday (or else just totally coincidentally), Brain Damage is on sale for only a dollar!

Pick up a copy today!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

hugs

I am not a hugger.

I have some friends who will hug me (and sometimes kiss me) every time we meet up.  I have friends that I have literally never hugged.  I don't mind hugging my friends who want this, but my personal preference is that none of us ever touch each other except possibly by accident.

That probably makes me sound like a terrible person.

I love to hug and kiss my kids, and probably am more or at least as affectionate with them as most parents.  I love to hug and kiss my husband.  I like physical affection, but only with certain people.

Lately in my book club, we've all started hugging at the end of the club.  Now I like all these women very much, but I don't know some of them very well.  Some of them I've only met a few times and I just feel weird hugging them!  Is that wrong?

Ditto with patients.  I've had a handful of patient that I bonded with who want to hug me when they're discharged, and while I always oblige, I feel that it's uncomfortable for me and I'm never sure it's appropriate.

Why can't we all just fist bump?

Monday, April 10, 2017

Fluoride

We live in one of the freak towns that doesn't have fluoride in the water.

My kids have both already had cavities, so I want to make sure to follow our pediatrician/dentist recommendation to get them fluoride pills, but it hasn't been so easy.  So we don't have to wait in line at the pharmacy every month, we had been getting our pills from Express Scripts, but we changed insurance, so now we can only use Walgreens online pharmacy.  This has proved to be quite the challenge.

Walgreens would not allow me to add the kids to my pharmacy account until I placed an order with physical pharmacy, so I did this first.

The local pharmacy would not fill the medication because they covered only drops but not pills unless they got "extra info" from our pediatrician.  After a week, this was not received. Our giant peds practice did not know somehow that this info was being requested.  Finally, we just paid $11 each out of pocket for the month's worth of pills.

I was still unable to add the kids online to the pharmacy and had to call to do it.

I then asked the pediatrician to call in the pills to Walgreens online.  They assumed that was the same as Express Scripts and called it in there.  I assure you, they are not the same.

I called the pediatrician's office again and convinced them that Walgreens and Express Scripts were not the same.  I gave them the fax number for Walmart, and they said they had to look it up themselves.  I suggested calling the adult branch of their practice, which I know uses Walmart online.  They said they weren't allowed to do this.

A week later, I got a letter from Walgreens saying that our prescription plan would not cover the 1 mg fluoride pills.  So they would not fill it.

I called my health insurance.  They said the reason they wouldn't cover it was because they only covered 0.5 mg pills but not 1 mg pills.  So I needed to call the pediatrician to ask them to write for 0.5 mg pills and they would cover that.  And the cost would be $25 for a month, and $60 for a 90-day supply from Walgreens online.

I was like, "WTF?  It was $11 to pay out of pocket for the pills!  How could it be more expensive if the insurance is paying for it???"

It took me a while to wrap my head around this one.  The copay for any med is $25, so I have to pay that no matter what, even if the drug is cheaper than that.  Insurance is quite a racket.

Finally, I called Walgreens and asked how much it would be if I paid out of pocket for the 90 day supply.  It would be $13 apparently.  So I said I'd just pay for the fluoride myself.

To date, I still don't have the fluoride.  I don't know what other hurdles I will have to go through to get fluoride.  I can't even imagine the hurdles people who are on like ten meds have to go through.

Thank God it's only fluoride.  If it were a real med, they'd be dead by now.

Me: "Fluoride pills should just be over the counter."

Mr. McFizz; "No!  It's not safe to sell over the counter!  It's only safe to dump in the drinking water."

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Are you a flirt?

It's a fact that if a patient likes your personality, they're going to like you, almost regardless of how smart you are or the sort of care you provide.  And I've noticed that a few of the male doctors I work with actively flirt with their patients.

I'm not saying they're doing it in a bad way.  I don't think they legitimately want to get with 80-year-old Mrs. Rosenberg.  But there's a flirtatious air that they put on with female patients that I think earns them lots of brownie points. Trust me.  

Do I flirt?  I don't know.  I don't think I'm naturally that flirtatious a person, but I've actually been making more of an effort to be flirty and friendly with both male and female patients, if they give me cues that's what they want.  But sometimes I do worry that since it's not as natural to me, I'll do it wrong and end up with some old man falling in love with me.



Monday, April 3, 2017

Fist bump

I used to have a bit of an obsession with fist bumps. When I was in residency, there were these two residents I worked with who were constantly fist bumping each other and I developed fist bump jealousy. I wanted a fist bump.

Ever since, any time I say something that warrants a guy reaching out to fist bump me, I get super excited.  When my boss gave me a fist bump, I almost died of joy.

Last year, we had a young male patient on our unit who has a severe brain injury. He couldn't really speak, but the one thing he really, really loved to do was fist bumps. We parked his wheelchair in the hallway and every time anyone passed him, he wanted to fist bump them. So I got the most fist bumps I ever had in my life.

He was on the unit for two months.  And I never got sick of it.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Book recommendation

My newest medical lit recommendation is Nerve Damage by Tom Combs:


I really liked this one.  It was a medical thriller that hooked me immediately. The protagonist is an ER doc and it's written by an ER doc, so it's very authentic.  If you read the first chapter, you won't be able to stop reading.  Really enjoyed.

By the way, just wondering if these book recommendations are appreciated?  I was considering trying to do one a month, but I could also not do any at all if nobody is interested in my recommendations.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Worst bowl evah

A little while ago, in an attempt to get my kids to eat healthier, I decided to purchase a fruit bowl.  I figured that if the fruit was right in their faces, there was a tiny chance they might eat it.  They'd be like, "Hey! Oranges!  I'll have one of those!"

I use Amazon for most of my online purchases, so I typed "fruit bowl" into Amazon and I purchased a wooden bowl on the first page of results that looked nice.

A few days later, the bowl arrived.  It was about the size of my hand.  I could probably fit a single orange in it.  Calling it a fruit bowl would be laughable.  Well, unless "fruit" was in the singular.  So I returned it. And I wrote an angry one-star review saying that the bowl was deceptively small.

Now I've written maybe a hundred Amazon reviews in my time.  Some of been good and some have been bad.  The review of this bowl certainly wasn't my first bad review.  But it's the only review I've ever written that's ever received comments.  And in fact, it received THREE comments.  One told me that I was clueless and didn't bother to look at the bowl's dimensions (7 inches) and I should have measured my current bowls, to which I responded that I shouldn't have to get out a ruler to know that tiny bowl wasn't a fruit bowl. (The description of the bowl actually said it was "generously sized.") And then most recently, I got this comment:

"You apparently don't know what "serving" means. Serving is when you bring food to a person, to serve them a meal or food. It is not a fruit bowl. It is a bowl that can be used to serve a side of fruit or salad. You generally don't serve 5 pieces of fruit in a bowl at dinner. You shouldn't need a ruler to know what 7 inches looks like. The product isn't deceptive or misleading, you're just a moron."

Um, WTF?  This is a bowl.  Why are people getting so angry over my review of a ten-dollar bowl.  What is going on here?  Usually when I don't agree with the review of a product, I just downvote it... I don't call the person names.  Especially if it's just a bowl.

My question was: Are these people sellers of the bowl?  Are they trolls?  Or are they people who just really love bowls?

I looked at some of the other bad reviews and the majority of them were complaining that the bowl was smaller than they expected (although only one of them got a comment).  So clearly this was an issue a lot of people had, and my review probably kept people from purchasing the product who would have returned it or given it another bad review.

Anyway, in case you're curious, I bought a normal-sized fruit bowl after that.  But the kids still won't eat their fruit.  (Now it's a "fruit fly" bowl.)