Sunday, July 29, 2012

Empty Nesters

Firefighter and I have the house to ourselves again.

It's been about a year since that was the case and I have missed it. In more ways than one. I have missed the privacy and the space. 

We have a small house, MAYBE 1000 square feet and for 3 adults to be sharing that space and only 1 bathroom... yes ONE bathroom, it felt a bit tight. 

And then Roommate got a girlfriend... and well that was interesting. When she was over the house felt even smaller. 

Almost two weeks ago Roommate left to move in with his girlfriend. It's been awfully quiet around here without him here. Roommate was quite the comedian and a good sounding board at times. Truth be told I do miss him. 

Now that Roommate has left us we can actually make the house more functional. 

See, the room that was occupied by Roommate was our "office" and since he has been living with us the "office" has been in, what I call the dining room for the last year. I have waited for this day to come and now that it is here I am excited to get started. The plan is to go through the house and get rid of things and get things organized and then paint the "office" and transform it into our Rays room. Once that is all situated we can have our house back. 

The same week Roommate left, is the same week we put Zazu to sleep. 

The house has also felt empty because of that as well. I see her everywhere and expect her to come prancing over to lay with me on the couch or to join me in the kitchen. But she doesn't, because she isn't here. We have her buried in the back yard and I can see her when I do the dishes and that eases me at times. 

Roommate is officially the last roommate that we are going to have. I do not want to disrupt my house anymore. I am looking forward to making the house a home for the first time since we lived here. It's about time. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The day we said goodbye

I promise that I am not going to go on and on about the death of my sweet Zazu. But for me part of grieving is writing and getting it out.... 

Friday, July 20, 2012... We arrived at the vet's office and were put in a room right away. A tech came in and talked to us about the decision we were making, ensuring that it's the right one. She explained that they were confused and stumped about the fact that the fluid from her insides was leaking out of her through her girl area. They feared that the fluid, being acidic, ate through her stomach and was invading her abdominal cavity and that was why she was leaking out of the vagina. So, she was basically reassuring us that we were making the right decision. 

The vet came in an hour later, they were extremely busy and we were worked in, and went over the series of events that would take place. 

He would inject a drug into her muscle that would relax her and make her sleepy, I think he said it was like a twilight drug a human would be given when getting dental surgery, but I don't remember. After that drug took effect he would give her a barbiturate that would stop her heart. He warned us ahead of time that after that shot was given there was a possibility she could have a physical reaction and let out a gasp. I decided not to stay for that part. 

When the first shot was administered she flinched and hissed. She got angry and fled from the table and tried to hide. She wouldn't let anyone touch her. After it became visible that she was relaxing I was able to pick her up and hold her. I held her as her breathing slowed and she relaxed. I laid her limp body on the vet's table and kissed her and hugged her and traced her body with my hand. I told her I loved her and that I was sorry over and over. 

The vet came in for the final injection and I left the room. Firefighter stayed. A few moments after I left the room, they emerged carrying a small cardboard box containing my precious girls lifeless body. We decided to bury her at home. 

Firefighter is a trooper. He never ceases to surprise me. He never shows emotion, but in that room, he got emotional. He teared up and his eyes reddened. When we got home with her, he went right to work finding a perfect place to lay our girl to rest. He bought a shovel at Home Depot earlier that day, and after he used it to prepare her final resting place, he broke it and threw it away. Something else that surprised me...his sentimental mentality. 

Zazu never knew a stranger. She greeted everyone with curiosity and affection. A new face, meant a new friend. She was spunky and loving. I still expect to see her running through the house or trying to sit on my lap while I am working on the computer. I wait for her to pop up from no where with a friendly meow to let me know she has arrived. I know as time goes on, her presence will fade. But for now I am just holding onto my memories as hard as I can.

Goodbye my precious girl....until we meet again. Keep dad company for me! RIP Zazu 

Job Update: Things are looking up!

I can not believe I have been at my new job for 3 months... well almost. At the end of this month it will officially be 3 months. Time has certainly flown by. I remember when I first started and how intimidated I was by the number of patients that would come in everyday. Granted that still makes me nervous, but I have a system and I know how to handle it. 

Even though I still have until the end of the month to reach my actual 90 day mark, I got my evaluation early. My supervisor is going to be on maternity leave when I hit my 90 days so she decided to give it to me before she left. 

And not to toot my own horn, but TOOT TOOT! 

I got a great evaluation. She really didn't have anything negative to say. She mentioned that I have a tendency to take on a leadership role with the coworker. And I do... and that infuriates me to no end. I don't want to be the "leader". I want us to be a team. My supervisor also praised me and my coworker for how well we work together and how we handle the work load positively and just tackle it head on. Apparently the previous ladies were not so positive and couldn't handle the work load they were given, which is less than what we have right now. Interesting isn't it?!?!?

However.... money was not discussed. I have never been one to ask about a raise and I know that it's something I need to work on, but its always made me uncomfortable. So, maybe I will have a surprise on my paycheck in a few weeks... haha! I am not going to hold my breath. 

I am so incredibly happy at my job. Even when I hate it, I love it. I love talking with the patients and I love the people that I work with. 

Next up I get to have health insurance... quite a novel concept after 4 years without insurance. 

Friday, July 20, 2012


Today, we are saying goodbye to our sweet Zazu. She isn't getting better and there is no cure. It hurts my heart knowing that I am watching her do all kinds of things for the last time.

Zazu has been sick for a happened out of nowhere really. Her condition, FIP, feline infections peritonitous, is to a cat what AIDS is to a human. Her belly swells with some gross fluid and we would have to take her to the vet to get it drained until the next time her stomach would swell. Each time we take her to the vet, they stick a needle in her to drain the fluid from her belly. For the most part, she would go along with it and seem unphased, although I know deep down she was hurting. Who wouldn't been after having a needle stuck in your side? The last time I took her for this procedure she was not nice to the vet techs. She peed in her travel case and then proceeded to vomit twice and was very stubborn and would not let them get as much fluid out of her belly as normal. This was the first that this had happened, and I can only imagine that if we decided to continue with this treatment, it would not go well. She knows where she is going when we would put her in the travel case... She knows the vet's office... She KNOWS that a needle is in her future. I can't do that to her anymore.

Since the last visit to the vet she is actually looking better. And that makes this decision SOOO hard. She doesn't look sick. She is thin but she is not behaving like a cat who is sick would behave. Firefighter has been against putting her to sleep as long as she wasn't suffering and according to the vet she isn't suffering, but if she knows what is going to happen when we take her to the vet, she is eventually going to have so much fluid in her belly that it would slowly kill her I fear. She had a little bit of a belly when I brought her home about 2 weeks ago and in a sick twist of fate, her belly has slowly gone down. Unfortunately, she is leaking the fluid out of her um, whoo whoo, and it's getting all over my furniture. I have my couch COVERED in stuff so that she won't lay on it. I have towels and blankets laid out where she can lay. Whatever it is that is oozing is so nasty. Firefighter fears that the fact that she is leaking could lead to infection... and well, that would be a horrible fate for her.

I am so mad at myself. I feel like I let her down, like I have failed her. I can't believe it has come to this. She deserves better. I did my best, and I feel like it wasn't good enough. I am sure this will pass and one day we will get another cat, but for tonight I just want to burn as many memories as I can into my mind. 


I wish I could snuggle with her and let her lay on me, but I can't.... :(

There are so many things I am going to miss.... kitty kisses, seeing her greet me at the door when I would get home, the purring, our "conversations", the way she would try to catch her tail, climbing into boxes, and when she would attack Buster. I hope these memories don't stray too far, I need them to keep me warm and calm my nerves. I need them to remind me that we gave her a good home, we loved her and she loved us in return. I know that this decision is in her best interest. She will never be healthy, and the treatment is torture...but I don't want to say goodbye.

My heart is heavy... and I have an ache that goes straight through. There will never be another Zazu... she was one of a kind! 

Guess Who Got a New Ride... Kind Of

WE GOT A NEW CAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A BRAND new 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe limited!! Not what we were in the market for exactly, but we got it for such a GREAT deal, that we couldn't pass it up! It has leather seats, a sun roof, seat warmers, dual control AC and other fancy stuff. I am IN LOVE with this car! I love sitting up high when I drive and I love all the room that we have and how it rides. It's nice to not feel every speed bump... So great! I am still in that phase of not wanting ANYONE to park next to me. I get panic stricken and worry that they are too close or that I could hit them... And that would not be good.

Had to say goodbye to my faithful Elantra... She was a good car, but it was her time. She needed to be traded in! 

But.... sadly, Firefighter and I are going to have to share the Santa Fe. One of the reasons we got the Santa Fe was for the room. Firefighter needs a LOT of room for all of his gear that he needs to carry around. BUT I told him that when he isn't working or volunteering than I get to drive it. And I will fight him to the death if he decides to be an ass about it. 

I am looking forward to enjoying a new car, for the first time in 9 years! Even if it means another car payment. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Scrubs: A Love/Not Love Relationship

One of the things I was most excited about when I got the job at the doctor's office was that I would get to wear scrubs every day... and sneakers too! But that lasted until I went shopping... 


I thought I would be happy not having to think about what I would wear, but the truth is, I liked getting dressed up and looking pretty. Granted I can still wear fancy necklaces and do my hair and makeup and stuff, but it isn't the same. And in an effort to make me feel good, I bought fun socks to wear to work, they are bright colors with stripes and polka dots! Hee hee!!!! It's the little things!

Mom and I went to Ann Taylor Loft outlet and I could have had a FIELD DAY!!! I have no real reason for buying anything there really, but I got 2 dresses and a cute top! I could not resist. It was hard to tear myself away from the store.

So now, whenever we go out, I tend to dress up a little. I don't care. I like to wear dresses once in a while dammit! Funny to say that considering the first month of my new job all I wore was dresses and I hated it. I was SO over it by the time I got my scrubs. And right now I only have 5 scrub pieces that were provided to me by the employer, so I have to do laundry a lot. I need to buy more, but I really have no desire.

Even though I miss shopping for clothes, I really do like the idea of knowing what I am wearing everyday. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

New Favorite Thing

I have no TV in my room anymore ( I will elaborate on that more later) and as a result I have been falling asleep using the Pandora app on my phone. A week or so ago Firefighter suggested setting up a Daniel Tosh station on Pandora.


The station offers all kinds of comedians but one of my favorites, other than Daniel Tosh, is Dane Cook. He is risque and vulgar at times, but he makes me laugh.

So... as a result of that, one night last week, Firefighter laid in bed listening to these two on the Pandora station and we were laughing or beehinds off. And that is how we fell asleep. 

That is my new FAVORITE thing! 

Monday, July 2, 2012

A Day in the Life

I am approaching my 90 day mark at my new job, which frankly is hard to believe. It seems like every day I am still learning new things to look for and to have to remember. Here is kind of an overview of how the day flows:

When checking in patients, new patients especially, we need to scan their insurance card, Driver's license or ID card and take their picture. We have to hand off their paperwork that they need to complete and make sure to mark the appointment off on the calendar in the computer, that way the MA's know the patient is here. IF we have a new patient and they didn't provide their insurance information at the time they made the appointment, then we need to make sure that we write down their insurance name, their number and if the copay is listed on the card.

THEN if they have Medicaid, which we only take for children, we have to log onto a website and check what kind of Medicaid they have and if they in fact have the coverage. And if they do have the coverage, do they have their referral from their Primary Care Provider, PCP? If they DO NOT have their referral then they have to wait to be seen while we try to contact their provider. IF we DO NOT reach their provider to request the referral than they have to reschedule until a referral has been received. Most of the patients that come in are not aware that they in fact need to have a referral.

THEN there is s kind of insurance referred to as Medicaid - Share of Cost. This is for those who are medically needy, but do not qualify for full on medicaid. They are responsible for a certain amount of their medical bills, but once they meet a certain threshold, Medicaid will take over from there.

While one person is checking in the patients as they arrive to see the doctor, the other front desk person is checking the charts and making sure that we have all of the insurance information and that the patients who need to update their paperwork have the paperwork in their charts. We need to make sure that their insurance is active and we need to indicate their co-pays. There are several other idiosyncrasies as well.

So to add to the pressure, for certain doctors we have to make sure that we are monitoring the clock. If a patient shows up 15 minutes late they need to reschedule. At times we have even had the doctor come up front and take the chart out of our hands. There are times when the MA will come up to get the chart for the patient while you are still scanning their cards or taking their picture or giving them their paperwork. While it's nice of them to wait quietly for you to complete the patient transaction, it also adds to the pressure.

This happens on the day to day.

Starting this week, we are going to have to take the co-pays from the patients as well as checking them in. While it may sound like an insignificant and totally tolerable addition to the work load, there is more to it than swiping a credit card or accepting cash. There is additional paperwork involved. We are still learning this process and it's supposed to take affect this week. Needless to say I am not overjoyed.

In light of the fact that this hasn't started yet, I am trying to be realistic about it and not so negative. There are going to be times when taking the co-pays will be no problem, but there are going to be times when it won't be ok. I am trying not to be a defeatist, but I can't help but feel overwhelmed by the idea of yet another thing we have to do. Given all that we already have to do, it seems like we are being set up for failure. We are spoken to if mistakes are made. If too many are made, than we have a counseling or coaching session. But with all that is going on, how can mistakes not be made?

Another thing that slays me... this decision for us to take co-pays was thought up by someone who doesn't even work in the front office. It's an order that was handed down my one of the higher ups. I will never understand why people insist on fixing things that aren't broken.