Monday, May 18, 2015


I was off work for nine days last week and it was so much fun, you know? The grands are kinda' sorta' in "transition" so there's a lot of drop and run activity involved and guess who lives one mile away as the crow flies? I want them to be healthy and happy and well cared for and because of their fierce desire for independence it's not a safe situation. Thank the lort' for our new favorite doctor and the home health team. I see myself as a pretty savvy clinician but this situation looks pretty desperate.

Work was great what with the giant IS outage that tested the limits of those present who are able to maintain without connectivity. What was once a monthly routine is now an occasional upgrade and I can deal with that. Somewhere along the line corporate healthcare will be obliged to recognize the value of face recognition as an added value. Maybe not in my lifetime, but someday. The technology to track units of blood being hung at the bedside is widely available yet the scanners are not. The paper trail is tremendous and tedious and it's all so seriously not necessary. This big hotshot cardiac guy in Jackson got busted for doing stents that weren't quite necessary and the facility plus dude put up 2 million in sanctions. In my humble opinion malpractice lawyers are the sleaze of the earth. I read an article today from page ONE of the Commercial Appeal trashing the financial practices of mega-labs like Quest and LabCorp and AEL. I agree, BTW.

I've had a lot of favorite path docs in my life. Inclan was cool and we drank a lot. Palacios, well just bless him. Sonia's death hit me hard because we were fellow Methodists only she was Coptic and I was ummm..not sure. Cecil Kirk did her funeral with all the smoke and bells and stuff and I remember thinking at that point in time I would miss all the dreams she had for our lab. That's when the sharks moved in. Dr. Price was odd and did the best he could with what he had. Elaine did some time there too. When the group moved in after Sonia's death, it was 24/7 coverage from their hub in Shelby. Some poor fool with a specialty in derm or coag or whatever had to drive from Memphis to D'burg M-F just to do frozens. That their children were especially spoiled is not my concern. My tiny friend Sharry told me one time of the little man syndrome which is all about making up in charm what you lack in statu

Sunday, May 17, 2015

sneaky snake

That huge black snake I saw swimming in the driveway took to hiding in the asparagus bed and just about gave me a heart attack as I reached into the green. Two snake sightings in one day equals either extremely bad luck or major change on the way. As fate would have it, the grands took a turn overnight that required my presence this morning. They skipped church and when Lori pulled in Daddy was out wandering the yard doing his chores like light OFF on the flag and State Gazette in. I told her to head on out (this is twice she's showed up and got turned away) and I'd take today. When I called mama was all pitiful and said she was "trying to make daddy's breakfast" which consists of a bowl of cereal and a banana. OJ on the side. I arrived to find her trying to pour said OJ with the top on. He had lost his keys with the knife and we scoured every pair of everything resembling khakis all over the house. No keys. No knife. I told him we'd get another key and a knife from one of those 50 he's got tucked away. Nope, he wasn't gonna have it. After I loaded the washer and headed out, he stuck his head out the door to tell me he found 'em. Grrrrrrr. Mom and I plotted as I saw her back to the TV room to watch CBS Sunday Morning. I now know what the next step is and am preparing to arrange it. Somebody's medicine is wonky and I can't fix that from my home/work/non-existent social life. My dear friend and cheerleader Judy assured me yesterday that Prince Charming is just around the corner. Gawd, I hope so.

Add to that a very important financial summit this week plus work every day and there you have one stressed out gal. I am so thankful for the rest I've had on vacation because I've got a feeling it's gonna' get worse before it gets better. As my brother pointed out, things could be worse. Look at poor Aunt Granny. I think about that often, how she's in her own little world where we don't exist and my own mother is still running hers like a drill sarge. The irony is unbelievable. Granny still thinks KY cuz is alive and looks for her a lot. Same with Gaga.

I miss my Ryder's puppies and wonder if they're happy and healthy. I still have phone numbers from all those people so I should reach out see them virtually. Sam and Oscar and Sophie are happy that there's not so much frantic activity as when there were ten squirming little squealies by the porch. One by one following their mother's untimely death, they were plucked out of that flower bed and taken to new homes and lives. Miracles abound. As for me? I am broken...not really in spirit, but in initiative. I was raised to fight long and hard to do the right thing and more. It took many years of therapy for me to uncouple from the desire to be "perfect" and have it all done. It was only when I began to appreciate the beauty of the process and watching it unfold that I became truly spiritual. God doesn't care if I tithe or go to the building if I do his work in the world. I am blessed with a career which offers that opportunity on a daily basis.

I am liberal and proud of it. That doesn't mean I approve of everything Obama or any other Democrat or Republican does. Being liberal is a life philosophy that doesn't have a damn thing to do with the Dems except for a tasty hashtag. Fiscally, I appreciate conservative measures but not at the expense of the poor when the rich are getting richer. Jesus would NOT like that at all. It's in the book, in red letters.

It's raining again so I've got to be on swimming snake watch. I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

swimming upstream

I'm deathly afraid of snakes when they're all hiding and shit but I watched one through the window today floating on the rainwater in my driveway having a grand old time. It was a big one and black and "they" say that black snakes are good ones so I didn't shoot him. No wait, I don't have a gun! I ran over his brother accidentally last week on some mission or another. It only took a day for the buzzards to clean up. My week off was mostly mild and sunny which I count as a huge blessing and is much better than five days on the beach with all that drive time. I've spent a lot of quality time with my parents and know what the new normal will be.

Sub girl at the CE was all nervous about being there by herself on the day after a board got nailed up over the entry point of the crime. Now I ask you this...what sort of dumbass thinks this kind of place keeps cash after hours??? I guess they scored some free snacks and ink pens while they were there. That kind of random idiocy just wears me out. Most of it is bred from poverty. So my vacay is not yet over as I'm enjoying a lovely monsoonish day listening to music and working on piles. Dryer is still dead and washer almost in can't use. I don't even know where a pay laundry is so I guess we'll just keep depending on friends and family to help. The utility bill should be uber cheap for May but it won't. Freakin' TVA.

I have a very deep sense of unrest right now. I am angry that so many have so much and so many more have nothing. I don't believe in entitlements as reparation for past injustice. I believe that healthcare should be primarily preventive and separate from big pharm and insurance. One free glucose check on a fasting patient tells you more than 18 insulin levels. As long as it's coded right by diagnosis, the insurance will pay but there's a lot of auditing and checking and whatnot that goes along with that piece. All of this is controlled by CMS among other federal holders of the purse strings. When I first started to work at the county hospital there was one bill for all services and it was entirely on paper. With boiling test tubes. You can't make that shit up, you know? One time I watched as my supervisor performed an autopsy with a cig hanging out of his mouth while he ran the saw. I never ate liver after that. Daddy loves his new bed and I got the rest of their errands done during the monsoon. Pills are counted and delivered to be recounted and delivered again. All is right at Casa Poops!

Friday, May 15, 2015

google this

I've been using Firefox which I totally love except for the fact that I get "re-directed" when I try to check GMail on that browser. I think that's just tacky, especially since Chrome can't be uninstalled so that it's not all sabotaging the competition. Or maybe I just don't know what I'm doing. Most of my fact checking is done by email which is on the phone that is Google friendly out the ass. I still owe about 200 bucks on the previously shiny red bad ass Galaxy4. WITH a cracked screen. The dryer is pulled out ready for the recycle and the washer is probably headed that way too. Thanks to constant effort on our part, the clothes are clean. It takes a village, you know. My feeble Mom was folding my scrubs last night and mentioned she would like some of those to kick around in. Oh.Yeah! Drawstrings and velcro rock with the elder set. Daddy is being obstinate and not taking meds or using protection so there you go. The new bed was delivered and we're staying on top of that. I made him take the damn pills while Miss Faye fried him up some tilapia. She and I had DQ on the way home from x-ray. I swear to you, we had to wait for the truck to bring in Dilly bars.

I cruised up to see my CE friends this morning and found po-po busy on the scene dusting for fingerprints I had noticed this mini-cooper with their logo on it race ahead of me and turn in. The first character that came to mind when I saw her go running up in there was the admissions woman on Nurse Jackie. My parents were volunteers at the hospital for years on end, pushing wheelchairs and minding the desk and a whole lot of spiritual giving fo' free. The woman, Ms Joyce, who helped me get Mama in today used to work with both of them. Sis-in-law Kathy sits up front and greets so they got to visit while I was retrieving the trusty Camry. Mom says I'm getting door handles for my birthday so there's that to look forward to.

I am in the process of down sizing my life and having a big old yard sale to clear out corners. Look for the sign on the electric pole! It is dark and dreary spite of us doing our best to make it cheery and personal. It is rented and not properly cared for, thus the thousands I have paid over the years to heat and cool and and mow it. There comes a time when a tiny little apartment looks pretty damn good. I love this house but it isn't mine except in spirit. That includes both of the others that have housed an assortment of people that I love with all my heart. I'm not a young woman anymore, the kind who can move mountains and save the world. I do my best, one day at a time, to spread the love and endorse peace and naturalistic healing. #Lorna

Thursday, May 14, 2015

forced organization

Every time my life gets in this kind of mess I say "never again" yet I go right back out and procrastinate until the whole thing is unmanageable. Not this time peeps. I have some dear friends who are struggling with life and death issues and mine is only money. You can't take it with you. I think I've been so overwhelmed with other people's drama for the past few years that I just gave up on trying to make sense of the whole thing. Here's the thing about that sure does feel good to have it off your back. I have at least two of everything you can think of in this house and couldn't find just one to save my life. I was a borderline hoarder but the piles are so attractive I've just about kicked that chore to the curb.

Today is hair day and we were going to multitask and do chest x-ray too but it looks like rain so hair only. Bubba delivers and I pick up since Tippi is away dog sitting. I think the initiative to get my house organized comes partly from knowing there's a whole 'nother one to go through bit by bit. My mother is a historian like you would NOT believe. I guess it's what got her in the newspaper business. Corporate has asked for me to get some through the years pics together for display and I'm working on that this week. I took some good ones, even before the badass Leica. Twice I got a Kodak from work for a service award. I wore both of them smooth out.

Usually I have music blaring when I'm doing this but today it's quiet except for the hum of my ancient Dell trying to hold on until (a) i make my fortune or (b) find Sugardaddy. We shall see.


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

snowball reality check

My cousin used to refer to the snowball as that giant mass of debt that builds until it rolls right down the hill at you and it's do or die time. Everything we own and or do is based on credit, much of it predatory lending. That a middle class hard working should almost be retired person like me lives that way is a shame. I had a chance. I could have saved when the money was free and easy but the crashes of 80s and 08 pretty much put that out of reach. I was busy raising a child and trying to make a living as a healthcare provider mom, much of that time single. I was the poster child for my church's acquisition of our sawmill. They knew what a miracle I was and all. I've still got a t-shirt somewhere with their web address and that very slogan on front.

Against all odds Daddy is becoming a bit more umm, compliant, shall we say. That includes nighttime protection and me as pill counter. Poor mama still has to run the world and ask me how many pills he's taking and if it's too much. I see a big change since Lori came on board because she can make him mind and he never even knows he's been had. Ms. Faye still does lunch and oooooppppps! We forgot dilly bars on Monday. She's got me lined up for hair and a chest x-ray tomorrow so that should just about round out my week as parental advocate. She's all like "i'm sorry you're wasting your vacation, yadayada" and honestly? I'd much rather do it when I'm not working and trying to manage it all after getting up at 5AM. I've not slept past 7AM a day since I've been off. This bitch is on a mission.

So here's the thing with the economy. I make good decent money by standards set 20 years ago but others don't even make enough to survive on. When the middle class struggles to stay afloat, somebody is spending way too much on food at football games. I say this as I prepare to shove the dead dryer out on my back porch all redneck like and try to figure out how to buy a new one when I'm dead broke. Even in the best of days, I have never lived an extravagant lifestyle. I was raised humbly by one parent who knew what it was like to be rich and another who never dreamed of it.

I love the stream of consciousness thought that comes with an escape from reality. My days this week have been categorized thus far as fun,productive and lazy. Not real sure about today yet, but it's early. Whatever comes, I'm keeping the faith.

Monday, May 11, 2015

almost a nurse

My parents have been having multiple issues that need looking after so we went back to see their new favorite doctor this morning for a med tweaking session. Mama's congestive heart failure is flaring and her O2 was only 90% so there's nighttime oxygen in her future if she passes the Medicare field test. All you medical types will know that means when the DME people have to document that she needs it. Her Lasix was upped and an ACE and beta-blocker added to take some stress off that little heart, just bless it. Daddy's was uneventful except for deciding that I'm back to being pill counter, this time for him. He's totally not buying the bubble thing and it's just hit and miss. He's only on 3 things but they are important.

We arrived at the desk where I chatted with my co-worker who has been cured of liver failure by a new wonder drug that costs 1100 bucks a pill. Hey...if it works, it's worth it. The nurse took all my papers and we painstakingly went through the whole deal with the doc who has to take out his hearing aids to listen to your heart. It's hilarious. He and I conferred across the table in that crowded little room accomplishing more in 30 minutes for resolution of their issues than most people can after a week long hospital stay. The difference is because he's paying attention to detail. He and his older partner practice in a place full of cubicles in a facility run by my own employer. They asked a few questions but mostly just let us do the care plan. I love it when that happens.

Mom treated me to lunch from Sonic on the way home and Ms Faye had already folded my dry clothes so I was feeling twice blessed. I've got a handyman coming today to see if the dryer can be fixed so let's all sing kumbayah on that one. The washer has had a break so it's doing better. I don't even know where a laundromat is in our town. The dogs are digging for moles and getting muddy as heck. Monsoon hit at 8AM today and I had visions of carrying umbrellas over walkers and canes but it cleared off for us.

Stay tuned for more adventures in parental medical transport.