Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Harvest Moon

     I'm not sure if it's tonight or last night but it sure felt like a full moon today. Things got a little crazy from about 11-3. Jack had to leave school because he was seeing spots and getting dizzy and hypertensive. I had scheduled the job interview for Shelby at 1pm and learned yesterday I had to run a micro QA from 1-2. And I was covering needles. I couldn't clone myself, and I was worried about Jack. I told Marti and Amy I'd be late to the QA and to start without me. I went outside before I picked up Shelby at Boulevard at 5 to one and walked. Paced, stared at the trees to calm down. Micro QA used to be just lab but lately they've added all the ID docs and it's stressful. There was a strange guy, and old man in a black tracksuit with a black and fluorescent yellow backpack that was pacing erratically. I wondered if he was a geri psych patient. He unnerved me, so I went to the gift shop to peruse the merch.

    I walked over to BV to get a water and wait for Shelby. I walked right past the CEO, waiting on his coffee, and decompressed talking to Avery. You are a sight for sore eyes, she said, and we commiserated about our day. Then we talked about the fair. She hasn't been in a while, me neither, and we talked about wanting to go this weekend. She never liked scary rides, and I've had to step back from them as I have aged from vertigo. But the other stuff. The corn dogs. The funnel cakes. Both don't fit into my gluten free diet right now but to smell them would be enough. The turkey legs, she said. The livestock shows, I thought. We were going to heat the pool this weekend, but it looks cloudy so maybe I will go to the fair if I can talk S into it. 

    I got Shelby settled in to meet Jessica and Keith was late, so I called him. Oh! I forgot. I've got to do this thing and I'll be there ASAP. He showed up about 1:10 and said he did something he has never had to do in his career. A patient, coming from Hope, did not want to drive an extra two blocks to deliver a bill so Keith had to meet him at the hospital with a receipt to receive the payment. Was he wearing a black tracksuit? I wondered. That's the guy, Keith said. He had those things women use to put their hair up on his pockets. Bobby pins? Jessica and Shelby and I finally guessed and he said yes. The man said if you ever were pickpocketed in Chicago you would do the same it works. He painstakingly removed one and gave Keith cash - he showed us the proof in his front pocket. He then went for the 77 cent change owed in the other pocket and Keith said no worries, we will eat that. 

    Then I got called to rad for a thyroid. Sarah told me earlier when I went to the first one that there would be three. So we get to bond. Bond we did. I tried unsuccessfully to join the Microbiology Google meet and decided it was fate. I needed to chill and ponytail and breathe. Marti came later with the minutes to review and sign and we talked about what I had missed, which was nothing bc I attend huddle every day. I learned this morning Greg Crain finally approved the WASP. I saw a presentation on that like 7 years ago I said. Change does move at a glacial pace but this is HUGE. I googled it this morning geeking out before cases came and I cannot remember what the acronym stands for but it is super amazing. Revolutionizing specimen processing. It's a Biomerieux product. 

    Jack made us watch the first two episodes of Maid with him last night and it was super intense. So much so that my left eye kept leaking and I was filled with emotion. I told Kimberly this morning I always felt guilty if I felt sorry for myself as a single mom bc I had the financial means to secure aid. But it was hard, and that show brought it back. Working. Supporting. Attending all of the school functions - getting covered. My neighbor at the time, Birdie, told me I needed to get friends. I have friends, I said, but I'm too exhausted for friends. Work and kids and books and wine were all I had time for. An opportunity for growth, Kimberly said, and I agreed.

    I'm off next week - a staycation - and I texted Yousef and Lisa today to set up appointments it's been months. Need to plug in with chiropractor too my upper back is killing me. I did the best ever in OT today I think all that Marco Polo and racing underwater with Rennie over the weekend really loosened things up and helped me heal. Whitney and Steph were also watching Maid - Steph is a single mom to a 3 and 14 year old - and even though Whitney has no kids and has never been a single mom she said she was bawling. She told me that the daughter in the show is Andie McDowell's daughter IRL and it makes me even more excited to watch it. If Jack hadn't told me it had a happy ending I'd have to quit. 

    I assume Chief duties in January. I volunteered my house for Christmas Eve this week for all the Nestrud's and Dickinson's in town - I'm off. I also planned a retirement party for docs on December 4 for Rex. Crawling out of the pandemic, slowly but surely. Jeff from security - he's becoming fishing friends with Tina's husband Reggie - asked me what I was going to do next week. It's my fifth anniversary, I said, and we are headed to Eureka for a long weekend Friday. He has never been, so I launched into a diatribe about its attributes. 

    There's this restaurant called the Grotto built in the side of a cave. They have this appetizer, quail poppers, that is one of my favorite foods on the planet. Jeff grinned. I love quail! My college roommate and I hunted it all the time. It used to be easy to find, but now it is scarce. We baked it we grilled it you name it we enjoyed it so much. I hear they have good quail in Brinkley, if you are interested. I love the memories of my dad taking us to the Passion Play too, and staying in the Crescent and getting those cheesy old time photos were you dress up like you lived in the 1800's. Good times. 

    Planning to wind down and grill maybe when S is back from his bike ride. Just watched a Merlin with J. Went on an Epic shopping trip yesterday to feed these hungry boys - I won't let them touch the pantry or the fridge that is my territory to keep organized even though they offer. They have strengths in other areas that I depend on. I want to be one of them in my next life - the endless energy, the bottomless pits for food. Happy almost hump day. Much love, Elizabeth

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Hail to the Chief

     I wandered into the gross room around 3:45 after I had checked the board for late frozens. Jessica and Savanna were the only ones left - they were hunched over a catalogue. Jessica said we just grossed in two large dead bowels and are taking a break. Looking for stuff to buy. This catalogue is amazing! Tell me about it, I said. It's called Uline if I recall? Endless office supplies. Oh look! We need this. They were swooning. Zip ties!

    Jessica told me there was a woman that tried to sell them a 10,000 dollar piece of equipment a couple of weeks ago. It fit under the cassette labeler, and spit out something that attached a zip tie to all the cassettes to keep them in order while they were waiting in the queue and to keep them organized when they spit out cassettes for the PA's. She was like hell! Great idea. But I can get zip ties for 2 bucks at Home Depot and do that myself. We all laughed and I congratulated them on their ingenuity. They were also looking at cookie sheets. Something to use at the grossing station to gross on that will catch the blood and contain it and keep it from making such a mess. Genius, I told them. Go for it.

    Lindsey walked in from NLR - she is on call with me. I told her it looked like we were clear for late frozens and bonus! We are limping toward the weekend finally. Limping is about right, she said. She was looking at the schedule for tomorrow and exclaimed hell yes! Hagans and Fant are both off tomorrow. I didn't know about Hagans but Fant called me earlier in the day to fix a typo on a case and told me she was on her way out of town for a long weekend. We scored, I told Lindsey. Knock on wood for a good call weekend. Jessica said she cannot remember when both of the breast surgeons were off at the same time.

    Poor me, said Savanna, I am on call next week. You will be drowning in boobs, I told her, and Jessica guffawed. Savanna deadpanned, yes but not the good ones. LOLOL. They told me that once, about ten years ago, some visiting student walked into the lab when they were grossing in a dead bowel and said Wow! It smells like moist cherries in here. That is their running joke for dead bowel. What the heck is a moist cherry, I asked. Reminds me of the restaurant Juicy Seafood. S and I ate there once years ago and it was decent but we haven't returned. The name is off putting. They were looking for potent air fresheners for dead bowel. I told them the plants they have are supposed to help - they have three NASA air clearing plants - Jess is a green thumb she inspires me. Jess said we would need at least one for every grossing station. Savanna said no, we'd need a forest to combat that smell. 

    Another busy day but I joked to the girls that 130 blocks used to be a crazy hell day but now I'm like yay! Only 130! At least it's not 170 or 200, which is becoming a new norm. Savanna marveled when I told her we used to have 70 block days once a week, twice if we were lucky. No more. It's a grind. In other small news, I will be the next chief. I'm kind of secretly beating my chest and getting drunk on the possibility of power. I'll be the first female chief in PLA history. The staff doesn't even know it yet.

    To be fair, I'm kind of chief by default. Shaver has been doing it for years - he's going through a divorce, poor guy, and we commiserate about that. He's done. Hal, who is vice, doesn't want it. All the other guys who have been working ten years or more than me aren't interested. Melody, as head of clin lab in LR, is too busy for the extra meetings. There has been no fanfare. When I got elected chief resident many years ago it was much more of a big deal. Then they tried to take it away from me, because I was going to be gone on maternity leave for the first month. Such a toxic, misogynist environ. I pleaded my case (I got the most votes!) and suggested that the runner up co-chief with me to make it more palatable to them. They reluctantly agreed. 

    So I get to be in the room where it happens. A room, Shaver assured me, would become quite boring and too much. But I'm excited to be with all the other chiefs and the admins. Change might not happen with me, but I've got opportunity. My grandpa Jack on my mom's side, he was in the Navy, was nicknamed Chief. My brother Matt carries that nickname too. Move over, make some room, there is a new Chief in town. Happy Friday Eve, much love, Elizabeth

    

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

What is in the Water?

     I had OT at 10:00 today. It's like my Calgon Take Me Away moment, especially on a busy call week. Maria traded me an hour of morning frozens for an hour of afternoon frozens. I met a new girl, Susan - she is the Director of the Covid Unit at Baptist. WOW. She was fun and salty as hell. She injured her left hand on a car wreck and was getting therapy. She unapologetically had a take out container with French toast and bacon then set up her laptop and phone to work while she was getting therapy. She talked about Covid burnout and her history of working that belied her youthful appearance - she was director of a hospice in Dallas but worried she wasn't doing enough to help in the pandemic. She also helped process sexual assault victims at UAMS before she took this position. She managed to command the audience of OT with stories and work and entertain at the same time.

    Me, not so much. I told Stephanie I needed a light session like Friday. Recovery is not a straight line, mentally or physically, and I'm moving backwards. I got nerve impingement moving my mouse this morning, which never happened before. I told her I was picking up a brain from a bottom shelf in the corner to show a potential employee yesterday and someone must have poured more formalin on it, because was heavy as shit and it hurt my rotator cuff like hell and I had to get Savanna's help. 

    Shelby loved touching the brain, though, as a lot of people do. I though it would be softer, she said, and I told her it is when it's fresh this is some research brain that has been sitting on the shelf for at least a decade. Abby Normal, it says on the bucket. So the real brain owner is a mystery. She put on the gloves I gave her and caressed the cerebellum and corpus callosum in awe. She's going to be a great addition to the team. Sharp as a freaking tack, and helped me a lot with IT issues when I was trying to show her cases on my new computer over lunch. I marveled, and handed her the mouse to take over. I've been putting computers together and learning code since preschool. An untapped gold mine, this girl. We meet on Thursday to assess the needs of our group and my input is we need to hire her ASAP.

    Especially since IT is still a freaking mess - Jessica actually exploded yesterday in the gross room dealing with issues. She's kind of back together. I was supposed to meet them at Local Lime for drinks during happy hour this evening but it's been a day. Not just work. Jack texted the family gressage at 12:30 and told us there was a school shooting at Central and they were on school shooting protocol and lockdown. My blood pressure went into outer orbit and I was not able to concentrate until we had ascertained that 1) it came from outside the school - two bullets had hit a portable school unit and 2) the picture of the dead body with head pooling blood on social media was a fake. I had to take a beta blocker for the first time in a while. Nancy assured us on a school robocall message that they were working with the police and school security to find the shooter and find the person who made the fake picture. She actually sighed on the recording. This is the hardest day of my career. I'll say.

    Stephanie asked if I was up for adjustment even though I was historically too guarded and I was game. She kept telling me to relax. She's got one cold hand on my inner shoulder while I am lying supine and one holding my hand sticking it in her underarm and moving it around holding it between her ample cleavage. Who can relax?? With this state? I was thinking I was glad I wasn't a guy I'd need to cover my pelvis with a pillow. Jessica tried to come talk to me and she said no, she's in time out she needs to relax. I closed my eyes and thought of a dream I had last night, one that I desperately tried to hold on to at 5:30 am when I woke up but sleep was done with me. Five minutes later she was like wow. You've never relaxed that much before. Great job. You ready for some rowing? Remember, bring it to the girls. Then you get rest and ice and electrodes. Good thing, I felt much better and it prepared me for stress to come.

    Then as I was finishing up some hard cases Kimmie, Christy's other BFF, told me she was bringing her son Tristan to the ED - he'd had a work injury and fractured the tip of his finger so the clinic said he had to go to the ED. So I plugged in there and talked to all my docs and met the APN he was assigned to and made sure he was taken care of in a well and timely fashion. Our poor sons, I told Kim. Is this craziness ever going to end. I can't even. After I released my cases I told the secretaries I've got lots more work, but this day is done with me. I have to go home. Call week and it seems like Friday on a Tuesday. Enjoyed the last episode of Squid Games last night. Need to find and new show. Happy day, thank God none of the students got hurt. Much love, Elizabeth

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Friday

     I walked into the Dr. Lounge yesterday morning. Bit of a kerfluffle. Geisha - I haven't mentioned her I think - is leaving in a huff. Top secret where she is going. She's a little worried and paranoid. Shay and Tammish aren't talking either - about that anyway. I ducked behind the counter earlier in the week and talked to her. We aren't them. They don't care about us either. We commiserated. She's super cute and spunky. A few months ago I wandered into the dr. lounge and she was ranting to Tam, then me. Then she stopped, and left. I laughed at Tam. She does that? Just goes off and then leaves? It's her signature, said Tammy, and we both LOL'd. Tammy lives in England. She's got a daughter about my age. She isn't going anywhere, thank goodness. When the Dr. lounge moved with the new admin a few years ago everyone fought for her. They tried to replace her. She's irreplaceable. 

    Then I went to get a water or two and John Sims was the only doc eating. How are you? I said. I haven't seen you this week. I've been at an ENT conference in LA, he said. I'm making up for it in the OR today. I'd better warn Shaver, I told him. He's on call. John is the freezer, if you remember. No, tell him it's ok, I only have one case with frozens and I won't go past four. Shaver said I hope he holds up to his promise.

    I had five consults before 8, it sucked. Hard cases. Sometimes I don't have five consults in a week. I felt like the gross room earmarked me for bone and soft tissue, which is super rare and I abhor. C texted me at 9:16. Your therapist is calling me. I was super confused. I haven't used Yousef in months. She's from Baptist, C said. I grabbed a piece of paper with OT on it. Yeah, Stephanie was trying to call you. Wondering where you are. I was coming at 10? I got covered? Oh, we had you at 9 but that works she's free then. How in the holy hell she had C's number remains a hellacious mystery to me. 

    I had called Shaver at 9 to ask him to cover me for OT. He said sure, who are you having tea with? Good god me and the secretaries LOLOLd over that. I explained, and he said he thought I was really fancy going to have tea. But he was up to cover? What's next, I asked Tina and the gals. Massage? Hair did? Take the day off for fun? He opened a door that cannot be closed. 

    Stephanie said I was up for reassessment but I was so stressed and tight she decided to put it off. She took it easy on me. I brought pimento and cookies bc it was  Chris's last day (bawl). We made lists of our fave books for each other. It's gonna take me a year or so to get through his. I love that one of his faves is The Story of Edgar Sawtelle - I told him I loved that so much I read it twice. I didn't see him last week bc he was out due to migraines. He and his gf are headed to Kalahari next weekend on my rec I told him he has to tell me all about it. That buffet. The candied jalapenos. The smoked salmon. The capers. YUM. Planning to take Jack and a friend next summer. I think I'm going to invite Chris to the next book club. Gender be damned. He's a card.

    S is grouting and J is sleeping and I'm headed out to the pool. S heated it for the weekend and I cannot wait to read and relax. Recently started following Annika on Insta - she's a weight lifter like J. She spotted him two hundred this week. I graduated to three pounds LOL. I told Carrie to come over and see the house and catch up it's been way too long. Looking forward to that. Happy weekend, Much love E

    

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Gold Star

     Jack's here this week, which is AH-mazing. We've watched two episodes of Merlin in the past two days. We laugh about the cheesiness of it and the ancient special effects. He's downstairs studying right now, but I asked him tonight how many times have you watched this? And what age did you start? I was 11, he said, and this is my third go around. I love that he's sharing something that comforted him at a younger age and ages well and not so well with time.

    Learning more about boobs from Christy. She said as long as your boobs aren't bigger than your stomach you can eat as much as you want. Love that, wouldn't work well with size small B but leaves me lots of room for eating at a DD. Another good tip I learned from Monday afternoon from her was a rule of thumb. If your nipples sag below your elbows you don't have enough support and need to seek more to gain higher ground. At my stature I gain that status without any support so I feel like I've achieved something. A gold star.

    Work was crazy as hell - I had 5 needles before noon prompting me to convert from kitten heels to flats for the rest of the day. Sarah is the PA who does thyroids. Her first was a bust - a subcentimeter nodule that yielded nothing but blood. She wasn't surprised. It's one of those patients, she said, that is moaning and screaming before you do anything. I'll get a little more for cell block and be done. When I was summoned to her second thyroid, she informed me that if it wasn't adequate she would take it personally. So she was pleasantly surprised when I told her she had plenty of cells and colloid. Is it B9? she asked. I told her I thought so but FLUS's can sneak up on us when we see the cell block and the paps so don't get too reassured.

    Pam, the head of cytology, is on needles this week and I told her I was a little enraged. I had a case that was paratracheal mass vs parathyroid vs thyroid. I thought it was thyroid, but the history was so confusing I showed it to Shaver. He pointed out that there was no requisition - we need a req to accept a specimen. He agreed is was a FLUS (follicular lesion of undetermined significance - these go out for Afirma testing - that's a molecular panel - to further guide treatment). Oh! I was so locked up in Epic trying to figure out the location I failed to notice that.

    I called Beth and told her to find the req. She called me back and said Tony sent it up with you. I was like hell no there is no req I'm putting it in the cytology box he needs to find it and send it up. I was telling this to Pam and as I finished the thyroid got called to bronch lab by Tony. It was slam dunk malignant and he sheepishly told me that he changed his dx and sent the req to the recycle bin, where he recovered it. I'm so sorry, he said. Tony is a gem. He sees people, and helps out when needed. I'd risk my life before throwing him under the bus. We all make mistakes, I said, no worries.

    Speaking of mistakes I threw a huge fit yesterday when Van sent a case to Hal in NLR that needed flow. Pay attention to the damn schedule we are short staffed and we need to not make mistakes that cost us almost a whole day and cost us time problem solving. Poor Melody was so confused - she was taking day call duty bc Maria was acting as an expert molecular pathologist in a court case. She was so stressed I asked Shaver for a ride home instead of her. Luckily she was able to order and find the flow and take care of the patient. Van owned up to the mistake - he's pretty amazing too.

    I'm so excited on Monday Shelby from BVD is going to shadow me - she reads Judy Melenik and other pathologists and is so jealous of Kimberly for inhabiting our world. I hope we find a space for her ASAP I've been promising her for months. I want her to meet all the dept heads we may have an opening soon. She had a ganglion cyst removed a few weeks ago and I took pics and sent them to her - her response was so animated you'd have thought I saved her from a fire. She's sunny and wonderful. Hope she joins us. 

    The new girl at BVD is named Anna and she studied geology at Colorado Springs. She's brown haired and introverted but once I learned she loved rocks I was totally hooked. I showed her my trilobite and my crinoid and my angel's wings and we had an animated discussion of rocks this week - she said I have them all over my windowsills. ME TOO. 

    Saw some good articles on up and coming horror movies this week so excited about The Maid (Thai) and The Lamb (or maybe just lamb?) and The Manor - love Barbara Hershey. Seems she got the wrong end of the stick twice in her life - first for breastfeeding at 25 on a talk show (in 1973 - the year I was born) and another time for getting lip injections for a role and becoming the butt of ridicule about plastic surgery around the nation. Effing patriarchy. Strengthens her, doesn't diminish her, in my mind. Happy almost Friday. I start a week of call Monday so this weekend will be sweet. Take care, much love, Elizabeth.

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Testicles and Car Trouble

     Well my car didn't start this morning and it sucks anyway bc no music but I think it's just the battery. My friend Sean was T-boned last week - not his fault, and understandably the insurance companies are a pain in the ass to deal with. Kimberly recently got her van fixed after the brakes failed. Shaver told me that our business manager, Keith, fell out of his fishing boat over the weekend and has a huge hematoma on his thigh, so he has officially joined Hal and I's club. I was group texting Kimberly and Sean this morning asking what the hell is going on with the Universe. Sean posited that Arkansas was narrowly balancing over a fiery pit of Hell. Makes sense.

    Ugh there was some video I had to watch to meet my performance metrics for reimbursement due by Thursday called Value Based Care. I listened to about 20 minutes and then put it on mute. I'm scared to attest that I watched it without playing the whole thing because that's just the kind of money wasting Big Brother thing that might happen - them monitoring us in a lie. Like today when I was in OT and Jessica (Stephanie had way too many patients but Jess is sweet she teaches pilates or aerobics or something and gently guides my form to correct it while I'm exercising) told me she had a zit forming at the base of her nose. I was like hell no that's the worst the last time that happened to me was at a Lollapalooza I was with my friend Kallie and kept hitting the bathroom to pop it all day and it kept growing. It almost ruined the concert but I finally got relief by nightfall, and with a little beer on board. She said yeah it's so painful I've almost got referred pain to the top of my nose? Like it's involving a nerve. Ouch.

    Jessica mentioned that the paper masks she feels like dry her out and cause more acne. Why don't you use a cloth one, I said, and learned that a couple of weeks ago paper masks were mandated. What?? I told her I noticed everyone was wearing them in micro huddle and thought it was a little weird but had not realized the etiology of the new sameness. Sheep. I learned today when I glanced at a slide that ACO labels me as a proceduralist. That's almost, if not as insulting, as calling me a provider (which they did frequently in the video). I didn't go to school for 10 years after college to be called an effing provider. I'm a doctor.

    Luckily the cases weren't to bad until I got to the last tray - a bunch of placentas and amputated toes and gallbladders and easy things. Then I got to the testicle and sighed. By the time I had spent a half hour on it I took it into Shaver's office for a consult. I told him I went into Melody's office - she has the latest books - and asked her if she had a good testicle book - I thought I had a tumor fascicle but didn't. She gave me a male GU tome with a little bit of testicle at the end. After I played matching wallpaper (that's what Dr. Waldron called it may he RIP) and it matched three different tumors I decided I'd show it to him and send it out. I haven't had a testicle in 6 months! I lamented, and the last one I had I sent to Jesse. He said he got one today today too and hadn't had one in over a year. I went from no testicles to two testicles in one day. Haha he grew a pair too. We laughed. He wondered aloud that I might be looking at the wrong parts of the internet if I was having trouble finding testicles. I just want a book, I said. A testicle book.

    He came back and said I think it looks like a Sertoli-Leydig? Or a juvenile granulosa cell? Maybe stain it? I'm not smart enough for that tumor. I said that was the exact differential I'd landed on in Melody's book but there was a new entity maybe tumor related to adrenogenital syndrome and it looked like that too. I told him I was just going to get a block and send it - Jesse trained me not to stain testicles and if I do he would wonder aloud how I strayed so far from his wisdom at the scope. We commiserated. If it's not a straightforward seminoma or yolk sac/germinoma it's not in our wheelhouse. Melody agreed. Off it goes tomorrow with the block. 

    Well Kimberly and Sean and I decided if life's rough you just gotta hop on and enjoy the ride. She's calling I'd better run. Happy Tuesday! Much love, Elizabeth

    

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Day Three

         That's the day when you really suffer the sequelae of an accident. I was planning to take Kimberly and Tina out to dinner tonight - we had to postpone last time bc Kimberly's car was on the blink. But at about 11am I started having searing pain in my neck and my rib worse than even after the fall. An extra dose of prescription Ibuprofen didn't touch it - it was nerve pain. It hurt to breathe - I was compensating with shallow breaths. Yawning, belching (thanks Cherry Coke Zero) were excruciating. I was called to the OR to read a GI needle for Ali at 2 and it was tough to walk down the hall. I had Pam check the schedule - I was in the clear - and left early to rest. I told Hal I was going and why - he commiserated. I'm in terrible back pain, but still feel lucky to be alive, he said. 

    When I was complaining about the computer stuff to S the other night he remarked that he never saw someone so frustrated at getting a new computer. I thought they just added a monitor. I was incredulous when the mouse arrow went from one monitor to the next seamlessly - I still don't know what I'm going to do with the extra monitor but S uses three in his job and today I was thinking it might not be a bad thing to have Epic open on one and CoPath on another. Possibilities. I once told a venting Lucy, who has a fresh start at The Pantry (I need to go) that she needs to hold her cards closer to her chest. So I didn't tell S I wasn't sure about the new computer - I didn't want to look like an idiot. The next morning I looked under my desk and sure enough S was right - the black rectangle thing (hard drive? processor?) was brand new and about a fifth the size of its Draconian predecessor. 

    So I've been noticing the change - in CoPath the words I type glide rather than jumping staccato-like on the page. And in Excel there is a cool added visual feature when I order my special stains. And everything is faster. Still, dictation went down twice today and we were crippled. Jessica said it has wreaked hell in the gross room all week. The only reason they coughed up the bills to upgrade was because our computers only supported Windows 7, and we needed Windows 10 to continue to generate the reports. You'd think with such a major change they would station IT folks to help with the transition. Nope.

    When you have such a visible accident you get a lot of stories. Before my black eye came through on Tuesday I got a couple of people wondering if I was waxing my brow and left the strip on. I didn't even know that was a thing or what it might look like, but I was certain it was worse than what actually happened. I'll take klutzy over dementia any day. Stephanie my OT - I brought a dozen Boulevard cookies to the department yesterday - looked at me and asked if I had to fight for the cookies. My story is not so sexy, I told her, it's rather embarrassing. Whitney, the OT student, told me about her friend who broke her ankle over the weekend in a volleyball scrimmage. Cydney told me about the time he got a stray shotgun pellet in the skin under his eye while hunting - it caused bilateral black eyes for weeks and prompted his high school friends to text - we always knew you would be shot in the face but we never thought it would be by accident. But these people were doing things - sports. I'm just accident prone. But I'll gladly join that club.

    Speaking of clubs I told my head transcriptionist Tina about the D situation and she laughed and said Welcome to the Club! Christy has been giving me a lot of advice too. Strapless is apparently out, but demi cups are a thing? Need to google that. I walked in one morning last week and Tina called me D. It was early, I was wondering why she didn't call me E. Then I got it and LOL'd. Steph said you are Dr. D. She was demonstrating an exercise with stretchy bands anchored at the top of a door with a belt and said do this. Bring them down so, just to your girls. I smiled. My girls are a lot different these days. I asked Amanda at book club, she's breast rad, for an explanation she said if your girth is the same I have no physiologic explanation. So it's a miracle LOL.

    So excited to be heading up to Fville to see C on Friday - I'm off. Planning hair with Maddy in the am then driving in pm. Never stayed at the Chancellor (Graduate?) hotel it looks nice. Got reservations at Theo's early Saturday and C wants to take us to her favorite brunch place Arsagas on Sunday. She's calling less, which is a good sign. Amassing a huge care package to bring. So it's my almost Friday. Happy long weekend to me. Much love, Elizabeth