Friday, June 29, 2012

Health Care Response

While I was sitting in the sun I guess some pretty monumental stuff was happening in the high courts.

Isn't that just like the proverbial doctors wife? Sitting in the lap of luxury, sipping water from plastic bottles she will throw away carelessly, watching her offspring dance in the surf in designer swim wear, ignoring Rome as it burns (I am not saying Rome is burning) or issuing the order to "let them eat cake". Who cares about the little people when I am having fun?! 

I do have a heart, but this issue is completely overwhelming. Not overwhelming because I am not smart enough to handle the arguments. Overwhelming because it pulls me in so many directions. I don't want people to suffer. I don't want people to go broke from illness. I don't want sick people dying needlessly. I don't want people not seeking medical treatment because they can't afford it. I don't want people to lose their jobs. I don't want doctors to have to consult anyone other than their patients for decision making. I don't want doctors refusing treatment based on ability to pay. And I do care about clean air and clean water for my children and yours.

I love politics, but hate all the political dancing. So much of what happens in our government seems like a complicated waltz, meant to dazzle and convince us that we could never move like they do or that we aren't brilliant enough to understand why they changed directions and paused just so with that little head tilt. In reality a two step could get the job done and everyone could figure it out in one lesson.

The problem I have had with healthcare (since I became a part of the system in a small way by marrying it) is that patients and doctors don't have a vested interest in working toward true health.

When it comes down to it I am not convinced that we (collectively) care about health that much. What we care about is having someone treat symptoms with as little inconvenience to the ill as possible. Wait times, co-pays, unacceptable  - we want on demand medical care. If the cable company can do it why can't health care follow that model?

You could give every American free membership to a local gym, including free babysitting and fancy aluminum water bottles engraved with their name and still the number of people who actually go to the gym wouldn't change much. No one is just that interested in prevention.

We know what we should do to optimize our health but how many people really do it? Stop smoking, eat more fruits and vegetables, lay off the potato chips at 2 am, eat less, exercise more, drink more water  and less soda, whole grains, lean meats. It would be difficult to find one American who couldn't name at least 3 things that would immediately improve their health.

We know it, we don't do it. Why? Because it doesn't really matter. Why doesn't it matter? Because no matter what we do to our bodies the miracle that is modern medicine can take care of it. There is a pill/procedure for that!

You can give free screenings, free contraceptives, free prescriptions all day long and still not everyone who needs them will get them. You can give away fruits and vegetables, but they won't get eaten. It is just the way we are.

How can a group of people with different beliefs, and motivations be moved to change the way they think about their own health? That is the key. Not everyone will respond in the same way to whatever carrot is dangled in front of them. Penalties? Taxes? Liens? Public humiliation? Cash rewards? TV's? Gas cards? Movie tickets?

My husband operates on obese patients all day long with back problems. Guess what is causing the back problems? All that excess weight!!!! If they would lose the weight they would solve the back problems (in most cases). Guess what is easier than losing weight for back pain? That's right, it is easier to operate (i.e. faster, less inconvenient, no lifestyle change, and very cheap if insured) and if it does not work you can always blame your doctor!

The part that really gets me is that there always has to be a bad guy. Why does it always have to be the doctor? Probably because he is an easy target. Overworked, tired, having been slowly "managed" out of reimbursements, regulations driving up overhead costs, and always promised that it will get fixed this time. It's not getting fixed.

When did we go from honoring and respecting the people who care for our health to demonizing them? This would never happen to a firefighter! It shouldn't happen to anyone. Every contribution to our economy/community should be respected. 

Some where the doctor has become the poster child for all that is wrong with healthcare. As if it is their own greed and self-preservation that is causing the problems. Right now we have people deciding what our healthcare system should be, how it should be delivered, who should pay for it, how much providers should get paid, etc who have absolutely no medical experience.

It doesn't give me warm fuzzies thinking that politicians, law makers, and judges are making decisions about healthcare, an area where they have very limited experience and are so very easily swayed by interests that often compete against what is truly best for all the people they claim to serve.

Would you let a mechanic represent you in a court of law. NO! 

The ideal panel of participants in a true reform bill: doctors, patients (insured/uninsured), insurance providers, hospital administrators. Put them in a room for a week, I am sure something useable would come out of it. Let's add a doctors wife to the mix just to make sure it all gets done and no one gets hurt.


Because the Supreme Court decision basically held that this was a taxation issue I thought I would include my two cents here. Who really pays taxes? I have given my complete tax history here in previous posts. Bottom line, I haven't paid federal income taxes in the last 7 years (state taxes is another story). In fact, they keep giving me my money and some back. Maybe some of it was your money... sorry.

So who is going to foot the bill? If it isn't me (and probably isn't you), who?

Well, it will be us (as in me for sure) in 2013. Have you looked at the tax brackets that we are going to be in? Above $218,450 taxable income 36% to 39.6%. That is some serious cash and that is only the federal income tax. Talk about eye opening.

Salaries sound really good, but after taxes..... oh my. The people providing the care will also be the ones paying for it.  There are a whole host of other taxes that we will pay, not to mention the expenses that come with practicing medicine. I am thinking of malpractice insurance to the tune of $50-100K per year (or let's just say another 10%), and then employees/facilities..... how will a doctor be able to afford to provide care when everything they have is taxed or spent in the pursuit of practicing medicine? 

And here is where I have to pause and go hmmmmm. Is it fair that some people will pay 39.6% and others will pay absolutely nothing? And this isn't a question I ask just because I am going from the zero tax payer to the crazy tax payer in the near future. I have always wanted to pay something, but that's just me. 

I belong to the school of "everyone should have skin in the game". Those who have more should pay more, those with less should pay less, but everyone should pay something (unless you really have nothing). For me it is a matter of principle. There never was a free lunch and there never will be, someone always pays.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Blog Redesign Coming Soon... One Day

I've been tinkering with the idea of changing my blog design to mark the transition from residency to fellowship. I haven't settled on anything just yet, but have been collecting design ideas from friends, and the world wide web, hoping that something will strike me as just perfect.

Some of my favorite blog transformations have been by some of my fellow readers and bloggers.

Have you visited the blog Your Doctors Wife? I highly recommend it. She is witty, clever, and funny. Not to mention she is married to a real-life doctor (the kind that has long ago finished the exhaustive training), and therefore my "one day maybe I will be like you" figure.  The reason I mention it is because I adore her blog template and header. It is perfect - but taken, and I don't steal.

One day you may visit my blog and notice that something looks different. At least I hope you will notice that something has changed. Now I have said that it will by golly I am going to get it done!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

An Invitation

Things just keep getting better. We haven't even started fellowship and we have already received our first invitation for 4th of July bbq at a real doctors house!

I have only been to two other real doctors house. (I know we are real doctors, and have been - but you know what I mean). I am excited!

What to wear? What to bring? What to do with the kids? They might not even be invited, I haven't actually seen the invitation yet. I hope that I am invited:-)

So many decisions. All I hope is that the invitation is for real. It is quite possible that when he starts work on the 2nd he could find out that he is the man on call and won't be attending any bbq's that day.

Cross your fingers and say a little prayer for me that he isn't on call, that the kids are all healthy, that my face doesn't break out, and that our van starts. I need a little encouragement and seeing what the future could hold would do me good.

My husband is a car guy. I am a house girl. I shop for dream houses. I drool over magazine covers. I used to be an HGTV addict, especially their dream home series. My obsession may have something to do with the fact that the home is my domain, it is where I spend a significant portion of my life. My husband could rightfully argue that his car is his domain because he spends a large portion of his time in that little Toyota (bless it and keep it running).

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Mid-life Crisis

Yesterdays post was all about graduation, but I left out a piece because it deserved it's own post.

My DrH is coming up on 40. I know!!!! And he is officially in midlife crisis mode. I understand why, but I feel awful for being the one to put the brakes on his urge to go crazy and spend like a drunken sailor.

When he was down last month we stopped at the local Porsche dealer and picked out our "date" car: a cayman. I love that car. I have a great picture of me leaning up against that beautiful car. Could I ever really own one and feel good driving it around. Maybe. I'd be willing to give it a try. It would be a far cry from the 2001 mini-van!

After graduation, we spent Saturday test driving BMW's:-) It was lovely. In fact, I fully support his desire to have a nice car.... when the time is right. Sadly, now is not the time. I do feel bad about it. I want him to have a nice car. I want him to have something that marks his achievement and hard work. I do. It would be great if we had loads of money in the bank and not a care in the world. As it is we have a lot of expenses coming up. Most of those have to do with that fellowship. We could have been done!

But we aren't really done yet, are we? We still have a fellowship to start and finish and we don't have a job offer, yet

He has always been a car guy, but lately it's become obsessive. It doesn't help that all the other residents in the program have nice cars. They also don't have 4 kids and a stay at home wife. That makes a difference.

He has been driving their cars. Looking at their cars. He compares his old Camry with the other cars in the doctors parking lot and feels sad. I get that.

We compromised a little. I told him the 1 series looks cheap. The 3 series are all over the road. If he wants to get a 5 series sedan I will totally support that after he has a signed contract for a lucrative job. That seems fair, doesn't it?

I thought so, but now he tells me he has changed his mind about what he wants. Now it is an Infiniti FX. If I wait long enough maybe he will come back around to the Toyota Camry way of thinking.

Monday, June 25, 2012

THE Graduation

Oh My Goodness.... WE DID IT!

My parents watched our kids and I flew out for a quick weekend trip. Nothing like a Friday morning flight, Friday evening event and turn around flight on Monday morning.

We had a few hours before the dinner so DrH asked if I wanted to see surgery. I hear about it all the time. I have a general idea of what he does, but I have never seen him in action. It is hot:-)

They were nice enough to call my presence in the OR job shadowing. I suited up in scrubs and all. Watched my husband chip away at a brain tumor and finally got to see what it is my husband does all day. Really ALL day.

Then it was graduation time. It was very nice. And the most important part was he graduated (again)! Certificate in hand, means we are ready to work. Or in our case start a fellowship.

These dinners are always somewhat of a let down for me. Don't get me wrong I like that they have them. I just wish they focused more on the residents. Instead it feels like they pat themselves on the back for producing such fine surgeons. I am grateful.

And there is always something or someone at the dinners that provides some amusement:-)

Perhaps the best part of this weekend, was that is was an ALONE trip. No kids. We also had a hotel room. The house my husband is staying in while he finishes up (did I mention he is done) has a no over night guest policy. I didn't mind at all. In fact I prefer staying in hotels.

Earlier that day he ordered flowers and had them sent to the room with a note that said "I couldn't have done it without you" and a basket of my favorite munchies. We really have been through a lot, and that note made it all worth it :-)

We rushed through the rest of the weekend visiting friends for the last time and saying our final goodbyes. It was bitter sweet, but mostly sweet. Before I knew it I was back home again. Missing him again, and counting the days until it will finally be over... for good this time.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Stay Tuned

It's graduation time! WE DID IT!!!!!!

The kids are being watched by the grandparents and I am heading out for a quick weekend with my DrH.

Check back Monday for my report.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Single Digits

HOLY FREAKING COW!!!!  (that is as close to expletives as I get)

We are now in the single digits for residency countdown. Look at that gadget... it should be singing songs and displaying fireworks. I am doing a happy dance!

Technically residency has already ended and we are in transit, but still it doesn't really count as over until the contract says it is over and that day is just days away. 10, 9, 8, 7.... it is coming. It is going to end. We are going to start a fellowship and in 365 days from then we will be done. For real this time.

I know this sound cliche, but it really has gone by quickly. Six years is a long time, but looking back it is hard to believe it ever happened.

Did we really live there? Did we really know those people? It seems like a dream that has already started to go foggy. How quickly you can forget things and move on. Wait, do I have PTSD?

Fellowship is going to FLY! 12 months is not a long time, especially when 3-4 weeks in the beginning and the end will be spent unpacking/packing and setting up/taking down. 12 months is 1 summer, 1 fall, 1 winter, and 1 spring. It is one school year. It is 1 Halloween, 1 Thanksgiving, 1 Christmas, 1 New Years, 1 Valentines Day, 1 Anniversary, 1 Birthday. It is just 1.

I am going to totally rock fellowship. I've got this completely under control, there is no way I am going down. It's a year... I just did 6, I can do anything.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Time To Grow Up

I realized today that as a thirty-something (nearing 40) wife of a doctor I should probably get a more grown up email address. Maybe one that includes my name as an identifier, instead of a funny hobby I had in my twenties.

I was setting up our utilities and they were gathering my contact information, including email address, when it became clear it was time to grow up. As I was giving my response I even shuddered. What was I thinking?

Do you ever see some one's email address and go "huh, I wonder what that's all about".  It is like trying to decode a vehicle's vanity license plate. I am afraid I might have an email address like that. I have to spell it every time I give it because in 2003 when I created that particular account I thought it would be cute to spell a normal word differently because it would be pronounced the same way, but would start with my first initial.

At the time it all made sense. It conveyed a piece of who I was, what I did, what I enjoyed. It was fun and not just a boring old name. I had a boring name email address at work (when I worked), I wanted something else for my personal use.

But, seriously now (almost 10 years later) it is time that I drop the cutesy email address and join the ranks of other grownups who use email addresses for respectable purposes.

Trouble is, someone has already taken my name. So now I am left with xxxxxx1, or xxxxxx2, or adding some number/character/letter than is meaningless just to get my name in there. If only I would have used my name in the first place I might have gotten it first. Well, that might be true - but I have a different last name now. Darn, I just can't win!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The "M" Word

Malpractice. Nothing can ruin a perfectly good day as much as a patient throwing out the "M" word.

It was DrH third to last day of residency. A patient with a recurring GBM (bad brain tumor, terminal) had come into the clinic for his follow up. Wife chews doctor out because patient didn't get his Rx steroids when he should have. Doctor leaves room. Leaves clinic. Goes home.

That is the short version.

When I talk to him as he is on his way home, I get the full story. The story about how they have operated on this patient 3 times. The tumor keeps coming back. It will come back again.

I listened to how my DrH described how he went over the discharge orders with the patient who was completely lucid and alert. How he checked for understanding. How he went over the medications (including the steroids) that he was to take when he went home.

I listened to how my DrH  gave his patient the most comprehensive discharge he could, not just to cover his tail, but to make sure the patient knew what he needed to do because his doctor cares. And then, how that patients wife told him to "get his hands off her husband", and to never touch him again when he walked in the room to say Hi and wish him well.

I feel sorry for that poor woman. I know that she is scared. I know that she probably doesn't mean what she says. I know that she is angry.

Her husband is going to die.

I feel like our entire future is hanging in the balance. Not over this particular case (because there isn't one), but because any time a patient is unhappy with an outcome they can throw this word around as a threat. Some are empty, others not so much.

Right now as we are on the cusp of applying for real world jobs, future employers are going to want to know if the doctor they are hiring has been named, or is currently named in a malpractice suit. I don't want my husbands name ever to appear on a legal document as the defendant.

I wish things were different. I wish I could tell this woman that my DrH is a good man. I wish I could tell her that he wants nothing more than to cure brain tumors like the one her husband has so that it isn't a death sentence. That is what this fellowship is all about. I wish I could tell her that his entire family is making a sacrifice so that one day no one will lose a spouse this way.

I wish I could tell her that it isn't nice to use the "M" word just because you are upset. It isn't a word that should be thrown around lightly, and frankly I don't think a patient should ever utter the word in the presence of their doctor.

I wish I could take away some of the power the "M" word holds.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Happy Father's Day

My kids miss their dad. We have been apart for the last two months. Sure he made a visit in May, but it isn't the same as seeing him every day, or at least a couple times a week:-)

I can tell that things have started to take a toll on us all. Yesterday my son had a serious meltdown. His behavior has been getting progressively more belligerent and angry (for a 7 year old). A simple talk on the phone with his dad for 20 minutes cured everything.

This exchange further reinforced my belief that children need both of their parents. Our children respond differently to their dad. And I couldn't do this without him (even though he is gone a lot), he is still in it with me.

I don't think that is just my imagination. When I think of what happens when he is home I am struck by the differences.

When dad is home we eat dinner together, as a family. When dad is gone, the kids eat at the table and I retreat for some "alone" time.

When dad is home there is always something to do. When dad is gone, the TV is on... a lot.

When dad is home my mood greatly improves. When dad is gone, there is a good chance mom is going to yell... a lot.

When dad is home the kids have someone to jump on. When dad is gone, I don't want anyone touching me.

When dad is home we laugh more. When dad is gone, laughter usually means that someone is doing something they aren't supposed to do.

When dad is home, mom can get things done. When dad is gone, mom can only think about all the things she needs to get done.

When dad is home life feels better, calmer. When dad is gone, life feels....blah, and chaotic.

When dad is home we actually get out of the house. When dad is gone, we rarely go anywhere.

My kids obviously miss their dad! I miss him too.

I always tell him that this journey would be so much easier if we didn't love him so much:-) Instead we miss him every minute of every day.

I cannot wait to be reunited again, as a family. I cannot wait to get back into a routine, even if that routine means that he will be working a lot. Just knowing that he is in the same city, and will be coming home soon will make a world of difference.

Only a few more days. I wish it were today.

He really is an amazing man, and we don't tell him often enough. Happy Fathers Day!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Macaroni Kid

If you haven't been introduced to Macaroni Kid, please allow me the pleasure. I love this FREE site!

I became acquainted with this treasure of a website a few years ago when a friend of mine, had a friend who became a local publisher for this national site.

There are sites all over the country!

It has come in handy as we have traveled out of state, and now as we are preparing to move to another state.

Today I subscribed (FREE) to our new cities newsletter and already found three things to do the week that we move in. The first is discounted summer movies, where for $1 you gain admission to a 2nd run movie. The second and third are free museum dates. One is for the Natural History Museum, and the other is for the Children's Museum. Score!

Their publishers scour their cities for things to do for the family/kids and then publish every thing that is going on during that week. They also offer tips and articles on other things as well. Honestly, I am only interested in the finding stuff to do!

From their national site, just enter your state and city. You will be automatically directed to that city's page. Their format is such that the first entry is usually a blog post of some sort and then a listing of activities for that week. For fun you should go and check it out. You might find something new to do!

If you don't have an up and running Macaroni Kid site in your town, you could even start one. My friends friend makes a nice paycheck writing for them. Something to think about if you are so inclined.

Disclosure: I have absolutely no affiliation with Macaroni Kid. No one asked me to review their site. No one is compensating me for recommending them. I just really like having someone else do the work and publish a list of things for me to do. I think it is nice, and perhaps you may get just as much use out of it as I do. I like it, therefore I share:-)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Is There a Doctor In The House?

Isn't there always a doctor around when you need one?

Heart attack at 30,000 ft, there is probably a doctor on board.

Five care pile up on the freeway, there is probably a doctor on the same freeway.

Woman faints in Nordstroms, probably a doctor there too.

Where isn't there a doctor? Well at my house when we need one!

Yesterday we were celebrating a cousins birthday and the kids were doing something they weren't supposed to do. That something was turning the big leather recliner onto it's back. They were warned. And that is usually when somebody doesn't listen and then somebody gets hurt.

And she did. My daughter did. Smacked her pretty little forehead on a tile step that was behind the chair. There was blood. There were tears. There was panic. There was no doctor.

The doctor got called alright. I took a picture of the orange sized lump on her forehead and the copious amounts of blood streaming from her nose and asked "should we take her to the ER". Mind you it was already 8:00 pm where we were. 10:00 pm where he was and I am certain he was asleep. The lump had developed in less than the time it took for me to rush to her, seconds. The blood was scary, I was afraid that she had knocked her teeth out.

He called immediately to ask a few questions and walk me through a neurological exam. The verdict: watch her.

That was a good move. A trip to the ER out of state would have been a serious set back. I didn't sleep well that night worrying if she had a head bleed and I should have just taken her to the ER.

I was positive that she was going to be black and blue in the morning. But, morning came and the orange sized lump had less defined edges and it was a little blue, but no black. Maybe it is saving the big bruising for tomorrow.

Can't wait to finally have the doctor in the house!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Samples, A Perk and A Review

I am sure there are more perks to being a doctors wife than just knowing the best doctors for every procedure known to man. But, one of the best perks may be samples of prescription drugs. I am not talking the hard stuff, I am talking primarily about children's Tylenol and Advil.

Our programs GME office is also located in the family clinic that interns and family practice residents run. It seems as though every time my DrH steps through those doors for something the nurse is handing him samples of children's medications. They probably have ample supplies because I don't think they see children on a regular basis, or they feel sorry for the resident with ALL those kids:-)

We have used many of these samples ourselves. I can't remember the last time we had to buy any. In fact I have two bottles in my suitcase right now that have come in handy lately. Darn teething!

We have used many more of these samples as "gifts" to our friends with children, or in baby shower gifts. Yes, I regift and no one seems to mind getting free drugs.

But the sample that perhaps has been the most useful has been the birth control pills. Yes I use the birth control pill. I am scared to death of having a foreign object in my body, but love the idea of a IUD. Maybe I will get past it.

So this is how I came to receive a rather large sampling of birth control pills from my OB/GYN.

I had been fretting about having to find an OB/GYN as soon as we move just to get a Rx for the pill. Come on, I married a doctor - can't you just write one for me? I would rather put off having the annual "peek and a poke" until we move for a real job and I can establish a doctor/patient relationship for the last time. I don't need someone to look at my lady parts just once. I don't take pleasure in having as many people as possible perform the inspection.

I needed to find a way to get enough birth control pills to last me through fellowship. I already had a prescription for the pill, but it needed to be refilled, and my refills would run out before the fellowship did.

Then came the phone call to my house. It was my OB/GYN! She wanted my recipe for chocolate chip cookies. I make them for the office after I have a baby, and they are that good. So I gladly shared my recipe and sent my DrH into the office to deliver it. Since she had asked for something, I didn't mind asking for something in return.

We had already talked about asking for samples but I don't like asking for things. This is the one time that I didn't do something to save money (although it is doing that).  I am perfectly happy to pay for my birth control - having 4 kids will do that to a person. I should let Sandra Fluk know (off topic). Yet again, I made my husband do the begging. I kind of feel bad about it now, but he was happy to do it (you know he was). How awkward is that, a man asking for samples of birth control pills for his wife? Hey, I don't care. He brought me some pills!

So this new pill that I am taking is called Generess FE. It is a chewable pill that tastes of mint! What a great idea. I have taken allergy tablets that were chewable and loved them. But a birth control pill that was chewable. That seems weird.

I am pleased to report I have been taking them for a month and I am not pregnant, and I am fertile (or at least I have been in the past) so I am pretty confident that they are doing their job. Well, and the fact that I am not living with my husband so relations are non-existent might have something to do with it. We will find out in a few weeks how well it really works.

The only downside to this particular pill: I have been spotting. I don't spot. My cycle comes and then goes, regular like clock work (especially when I have been on a combination pill). According to the reviews I have read online, many people experience light spotting. Just enough to be annoying but not enough to require intervention. They should go away in a few months. I am not exactly happy with that, but I just scored some free birth control pills and will be saved from having to locate an OB/GYN for a few extra months.  I will try to keep my complaints to a minimum.

If you are in the need for a birth control pill, try the yummy tasting Generess FE. I should totally do commercials.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

From My Inbox

I am going to put this out there for those readers who might actually have enough experience to write something for this publication.

I am fairly certain they aren't wanting to hear about my experience as a resident's wife.... I am sure they are looking for a full-fledged attending's wife.

So if this is something you think you would be interested in you should give it a shot!


MEI is a statewide magazine reaching out to over 80,000 health care providers such as MD, Chiropractors, Mid-level providers, as well as hospital upper management groups. As our name indicates, Medical Exchange aims to promote an exchange of ideas critical to the health-care industry, while providing up-to-date and essential information to physicians and other professionals in the field.
I am reaching out to you to request a contribution for our lifestyle section . We will like for this contribution to be about the perks of been a doctor spouse as well as his benefits. The contribution article could be a full page (580 words) or a half page (290words). The contribution will be needed by June 13th or earlier, in order to be place in our upcoming issue which will be release on June 25th. Please feel free to contact me with any questions and concerns you may have.  My number is305.820.1119 ext: 2002 or email me at I look forward to working with you. 
Thank you,

Jennifer Escalante
Traffic Coordinator


If you consider submitting something, please send me a link I would love to read it!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Dream BIG

We are in the early stages of job searching. Between now and Christmas we hope to have a contract in hand and a destination for our future.

Our dreams are to be closer to our family. What are the odds? We recognize that we might have to settle for something "nearby". But could we really be in the same city as one of our family members? Is it possible that it might work out that way?

Last week a job hit the wire in our hometown.

My DrH called to tell me about it and he kind of laughed it off. The laugh that says, "there must be something wrong with this job". Faculty appointment, research connections, residents, nice salary, etc. It sounds too good to be true.  At this point they all do!

Most of the job listings don't give exacts. They give "bait" to get you to call so the recruiter can ask questions and size the candidate up before giving away the secret location. There are certain locations that everyone wants to be in. There are certain hospitals that people want to work for.

Recruiters don't want to just give the location away..... but they skirt around the edges talking about the culture, the seasons, the amenities, the schools, etc. Reading the description would have given it away to anyone who knew the area as intimately as we did. But those jobs are usually snapped up quickly.

What started out as a call to just see where it was and what it was about, has turned in to a "this could be the ONE"!

The recruiter initially said they were looking for someone for 2012 but since he was familiar with the area and the patient population she would send his CV on. Within two days one of the doctors called to talk.

It is a group of three, and as fate would have it my husband shares authorship of a abstract with the doctor he is talking with. They know many of the same people, we are doing a fellowship at the same location this surgeon did his. They have the same ideas as far as plans for the future, and group positioning. They hit it off so well the Dr. even said "I want you."

Now we wait and see if "I want you" means what it sounds like it means. We are crossing our fingers hoping that we get the call that says "Dr. we would like to fly you out for an interview".

Friday, June 8, 2012

We are Renters!

We will soon become the proud temporary occupants of a home in another state that we have never stepped foot in.

Strange business, renting is.

We have been looking online. Digesting descriptions, pouring over small photos, using Google earth to get a feel for the area, and Mapquest to plot distances. After exhaustive looking we have finally secured a place. We have a signed lease!

As you recall, back in March/April we took a trip to scout out potential areas and get a feel for distances. We narrowed down our search to a particular master planned community, and school district. Since that day we have been watching homes come and go and tried to snag one earlier but no one was interested in waiting for us. Their loss, we are a catch.

This particular house had turned down 12 other applicants before accepting ours. Why? Lots of people with less than stellar credit. Thank heavens all that responsible financial living has actually paid off in one way!

A couple of things we learned about finding a home from a distance is that you can't trust the pictures to tell the complete story. They only posted about 15 pictures, none of which included pictures of bathrooms, or a good pictures of the kitchen. Those are some very important rooms to leave out. Come of find out the pictures were not recent!

How did we find that out? We asked the realtor to go over and take pictures of the things we were interested in and walk through it. She knew what we liked and we trusted her assessment. The pictures came back and I thought we were looking at a different house.

Online the main floor living areas were a very light carpet. In the photos the realtor sent they were laminate floors. The landlord used old pictures! Why would they do that? I understand they don't live in the state, but it seems like making false claims if you have changed something and don't mention it. One of the things that I was worried about was having light carpet in the dinning room with 4 small kids. Who puts carpet in the living room? Had they included recent pictures with laminate floors, I would have liked it much sooner.

Hopefully we will still like it when we pick up the keys and move in!

Going through this process confirmed to me, once again, that I am happy to not be a landlord! Thank heavens.

Thursday, June 7, 2012


A few months ago after failing to finding a home for our family to share during the last few months of residency we made a tragic mistake. You can read that post here.

The kind of mistake you know in the minute you make it that you will regret it.

The kind of mistake that is made because you feel hurt, rejected, humiliated, and hopeless.

The kind of mistake that could cost you a small fortune.

After leaving with our tails between our legs and combing the area only to come up empty handed, we went to the car dealership and drove a new van to soothe our pain. Notice I say we drove, didn't buy.

It was tempting to just say "the heck with it" and buy something large and beautiful and new. Sooooo tempting.

We used all sorts of justification/rationalization techniques.

  • We deserve it (that is my favorite) 
  • We have worked hard.
  • We have already sacrificed so much.
  • We need a bigger car we barely fit in our small van and we are driving cross country.
  • Safety and Peace of Mind! "I am worried about you in our old car. I would feel better if you were driving something that we knew wouldn't break down and I could save people's lives without wondering if yours were in danger!"
  • It is getting old, and will probably need to be replaced or repaired soon.
  • We are going to have the money soon enough, let's enjoy some of it now.
  • The terms right now are great!

But you know me, in the end none of these perfectly valid reasons worked on me. I am made of steel!

YES, I wanted one! But the thought of committing to a huge van payment (upwards of $600) when we didn't have a place to live, didn't know exactly how much money we were going to have, etc was enough to squelch that desire in it's tracks.

I still think about it. Once you have sat in a new leather trimmed, top of the line van every time you sit in your old, getting ready to fall apart van you think to yourself maybe the mistake was not buying it:-)

You especially think of it when driving down the freeway at top speeds the weather stripping on your windshield starts to come off and whips in the wind beating the sides of your van and at your next stop you have to tack it down with some silver duct tape. It reminds me of a joke: "You might be a redneck if...."

Yes, I am a redneck - but apparently I am also a doctors wife:-)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Pimp

Why must they call it pimping?

Couldn't they think of another word to describe what happens when the attending or chief resident asks questions meant to humiliate and embarrass junior residents in front of their peers. Surely another word would do.

I hate hearing that word PIMP, PIMPING, PIMPED!

Every time it is used I automatically see a scantily clad woman with cleavage leaning over a car pulled over on the side of the road. Thanks to the movies I know what she looks like. The pimp is a little less obvious, but the ones I have seen have typically been dressed in poor Halloween attire: funny hat, gold chains, leisure suit, creepy smile - you seen him too! Anyone notice that Halloween brings out the pimps and "ladies of the night" in otherwise normal decent people? (Another topic for another day).

I have had to ask my husband to refrain from using that word in our house, I dislike it that much. Not only does it conjure up the image I just described, it makes me think of dirty "relations" - and I don't want to associate those thoughts with where he works.

There is plenty of "dirty" business going on in the hospital but I'd prefer to think that when he goes to work there are angels singing and healings performed. That all those white coats symbolize all that is pure, noble, and clean. I don't want to know about who did what with who and where. I don't need to know about all the talk that goes on over the operating room table or the awful music they play. I don't want to hear about how his mentor is just looking for a sexual harassment lawsuit with some of the stuff he does/says to the OR staff.

My husband is about as clean and innocent as they come (or he used to be before medicine started to slowly corrupt him). We have both come to the conclusion that we are oblivious to most of what goes on around us because we just assume the best about people.

So and so would never cheat on his wife. So and so would never just up and leave her kids. People don't go around having non-committed "relations" in janitor closets, call rooms, etc. People are generally decent right? The more we find out, the more I think we are just totally clueless. I'd like to keep it that way.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Self Reflection and Shoes

Every now and again it is good to take a step back and think. I wish I had more time for that. To just let my mind wander and focus on a topic for longer than a commercial break.

As I have tried to make time to sit and think, one of the things that keeps coming back is that no two families, no two journeys, no two situations are identical. While there may be similar situations, basic principles and values that people share, but when it comes down to making decisions and living life, the only thing that matters is what is best for me and my family right now.  What appears to be the right answer for me may not be the right answer for someone else.

I am a black and white person, so coming to this conclusion hasn't been easy.

I have been guilty of getting caught up in the decisions that other people make because they seem to be contrary to what I would do. Because I am right:-) But in reality, maybe I would make the same decision under the same circumstances. Walking in others shoes is hard to do.

Have you ever worn shoes that didn't belong to you? They feel weird! Even if you wear the same size as the other person- it is different. Their shoes are worn in different patterns. Their shoes are broken in to their feet. The shoe has stretched in just the right places for them. The impressions in the sole match only one owner.

Walking in shoes that don't belong to you is meant to be uncomfortable. You would be uncomfortable in my shoes. Sometimes I am not comfortable in my shoes - not every one can wear stilettos all day! You wear the shoes you are given and in time they become comfortable to you and no one else. It may take a while, and you may get blisters and have aching feet - but they are yours.

Sometimes shoes you have worn and thought you had broken in can cause you problems. I got a blister from a pair of shoes I have had for a year! I guess those stilettos weren't made for walking around all day:-) Variables outside of the shoe can make the experience of wearing them different. In my case it was extreme heat.

These are the shoes I was given/or bought (whatever). This is the way I choose to live my life. I choose to make my own mistakes. I choose to live with the consequences. It is about time I let others make theirs and wish them well as they break in their new shoes. They are gorgeous shoes!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Full Moon

You'd better watch out - tonight is a Full Moon.

When ever there is a rash of crazy people at the hospital my husband says it must have been a full moon. Could he be right? 

I am no scientist, just a mother with some time on her hands late at night. But thanks to the power of the Internet you can find just about anything.

Unrelated: the other night my son wasn't feeling well and I went in to check on him. We talked about what could be the problem. It sounded like he was hungry, but we don't eat in the middle of the night. (By we, I mean I don't feed my children in the middle of the night - if I want a mid-night snack that is a matter altogether different). Anyway, he asked me to Google something to make him feel better. And why not? You can Google anything! (So Google is a noun and a verb - cool).

Here is an interesting article on Moon Myths: The Truth About Lunar Effects On You.

They cover studies on Epilepsy, Psychiatric visits, Emergency Room visits, Surgery outcomes, Menstruation, Sleep Deprivation, etc.

"If police and doctors are expecting that full moon nights will be more hectic, they may interpret an ordinary night's traumas and crises as more extreme than usual," explains our Bad Science Columnist Benjamin Radford. "Our expectations influence our perceptions, and we look for evidence that confirms our beliefs."

No direct correlation. Bummer. 

Personal experience tells me otherwise. Maybe the full moon gives me (and others like me) a heightened ability to "see" the crazies around us. They are always here, but this one night a month we know who they are. 

Might want to stay inside tonight.

Friday, June 1, 2012

I Hate When That Happens

It always happens the same way.

I stay up late watching tv. I head to bed because I realize that somebody is probably going to be up in a couple of hours wanting some comfort (baby). I lay down and a great idea for a blog post comes to me. So good, I contemplate getting up and just writing it. But I convince myself, in my weary state, that it is so good that there is no way that I could ever forget it.

I smile at my brilliant thought and my sharp memory and go to sleep. When I wake up I remember that there was something I wanted to remember, but can't remember what. It is gone never to be seen again.

Maybe it is time to start sleeping with a pen and paper by my bedside, or maybe just my phone so I can make a quick voice note.

So what do I have for today? It isn't brilliant. It is desperate.

Have you seen my countdown gadget lately? Oh, yeah. Almost done!

I remember when I started this blog we had almost 400 days left. Then I remember it being around 200. And just like that it dropped and here we are in the low double digits. It is almost over. Finished. Complete.

Time to start a new countdown for fellowship. Only 365+ days to go. It's going to fly!