Monday, April 24, 2017

My two pens

When you have kids in your house, especially ones who can reach higher shelves, your stuff is not your own.

I have become irate in more than one occasion because I couldn't find tape when I needed it.  The kids can go through a roll of tape in an hour, then when I've got a present to wrap, I am tapeless.  So I keep one roll on a really high shelf (which they can still reach) and am very strict about anyone using that tape.

Pens are the other thing that drive me crazy.  I can never find a pen when I need one.  I used to keep them in my bookcase, but the kids would just take them.  They have a million crayons, markers, pens of their own, but somehow mine always get taken.  So again, I put two pens on the top shelf of my bookcase and said no one is allowed to touch them.  This is difficult to maintain though.

My daughter: "Can I use one of your pens?  I want to draw."

Me: "You have a million markers and crayons!"

Daughter: "No, I don't."

Me: "You do!"

Daughter: "Can I just borrow one of them?"

Me: "No."

Daughter: "Why not?"

Me: "You won't return it."

Daughter: "Why do you need two?"

Me: "In case one breaks." (or in case someone "borrows" one of them)

Daughter: "Ugh, fine!" [stomps off to her room and returns one minute later with gigantic bucket filled with ten thousand pens]

And don't even get me started on food.  Last week, I brought home an entire chocolate cake, and a day later it was simply gone.

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


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


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.