I have been very fortunate to have a primary care physician who listens to me, understands me and treats me me with respect. She knows my philosophy regarding my healthcare and applies it as best she can while still keeping me healthy and safe. We live by the philosophy, don't medicate forever what can be fixed today.
The hard part about my care is that I tend to choose specialists that I like and they are not always in the same network plan as my pcp (primary care physician). My pcp is part of the St. Mary's Medical Group and my orthopedic specialists are in the Wheaton Healthcare System. Now you would think that under the Affordable Care Act where there are rules regarding access to electronic medical records, things would get a little easier. I don't know if it's because we are dealing with the government or if it's just an easy excuse to blame others, however, The St. Mary's Group doesn't like to talk to the Wheaton Group and vice-versa. There always seems to be a lot of eye-rolling going on when I mention one doctor to the other. So to torture us patients they just keep making us fill out the same authorizations to send medical information back and forth over and over again. With electronic medical records in place I don't get why they just can't look in my electronic file and see that I authorized my doctors to share information. But it's never that easy.
All I know is that I like my physicians, they are very personable, competent, and I trust them. They are worth the little extra effort no matter how stupid their policies are. But I still don't understand if electronic medical records are the new law under the Affordable Health Care Act and take effect for 2014 - then why can't they just share my medical results? I am currently walking around with my MRI images on two discs so I can take them from one doctor to another. At least they are on disc and not giant images on film. So I guess I should be happy for that.
|Christmas Day 2013|
The girls got to open presents they received from my sister and mother yesterday and today it was all about presents from their mother and grandparents. They sure are spoiled. The funny thing is that at the last minute I found this silly 31-inch tall Power Ranger. Lately that is Chloe's favorite thing to watch on tv. It was on sale for cheap so I couldn't resist. Both the girls loved it so much I could have skipped Christmas shopping altogether and just got that!
Christmas Eve is celebrated at my sister, Kelly's house. Kelly and her husband Greg are both very good cooks so the food is always excellent. After a nice dinner, the kids get to open their presents. This year Chloe was pretty into it. Terms like Christmas tree and Santa Claus are words she can not repeat as well as the word presents. That made it exciting for all of us adults. Chloe's little sister Avery seemed excited just because Chloe was. Avery always wants to mimic her sister.
|Christmas Eve with Avery|
|Christmas Eve with Chloe|
Funny how some things in pop culture stick around for a long time. Like the concept of Festivus. The whole absurd idea of a festivus pole and the airing of grievances that the fake holiday is known for, is really a fun concept. So I think it's time to continue that tradition with a list of my own.
For 2013, here is my list of grievances:
- People who comment on Facebook posts without actually reading said posts. They make themselves look like fools making me have to fight the urge to correct their idiotic statements.
- Speaking of Facebook, people who share tons of junky pages of crap that they like. Doesn't anybody have personal status updates any more? I like knowing what you are up to today.(I gotta stop doing this too!)
- The new on-off ramp from I-94 that was completed recently and is practically in my back yard which makes it impossible to get in and out of my neighborhood now.
- Grocery shoppers who don't know the difference between the express self-service lanes and the full self-service lanes. The store had to actually put up signs that say '20+ items' in the full self-service lanes for those who do not have a full grasp of the English language.
- People who do not have a full grasp of the English language.
- Doctors' offices where the staff is proud of themselves for the doctor "ONLY being 45 minutes behind today". Isn't that something they should be ashamed of?
- Pinterest. It makes me feel inadequate because I know I am never going to use all those ideas I pinned.
Thank you Jerry Seinfeld, however I never really thought you were all that funny. I think this might become a new tradition for me. I feel so much better now that I've aired my grievances.
Lauren flew in from L.A. on Wednesday and we had planned on doing a little Christmas celebration by going out to lunch with the girls on Thursday. Unfortunately, the climate change between California and Wisconsin was a bit much for her and she ended up in urgent care on Thursday for a breathing treatment so we had to reschedule for Friday. The issue with Friday was that Jeff was having hand surgery Friday morning and I wasn't sure when we could be back home. So we played it by ear when it came to a lunch date.
Chloe pretty much opened all the presents whether they were hers or her sister's. And Bailee loved the cool California designer looks that the girls were now sporting. After we hung out at the house for a while we drove over to Burgey's Pub & Prime for some late lunch and some good Wisconsin craft beer - something Lauren misses in California. The bar very recently opened so it was pretty quiet which was great for letting the girls run around.
It was a wonderful Christmas visit. During the week that Lauren was in town, it snowed and the weather went from the high 20s to a frigid below zero. She got a good reminder of how nice it is to live in a warmer climate.
Today is our annual visit to the VA Hospital (the Clement Zablocki Medical Center to be exact). My church's quilt group, Sweet Sundays made a bunch of lap quilts for me to take along. Since we visit the spinal cord unit, most who are there are wheelchair bound so it is a nice useful gift for these veterans. Every year I make little treat bags in Christmas colors. I fill them with Hershey's Hugs and Kisses. That way, if these patients really aren't supposed to have sweets, this tiny little amount shouldn't really hurt. It's not much but they do look pretty.
This year was a special treat. We had some enlisted men with us who brought books and cans of hard candy. Our coordinator, Pat Moore also brought some t-shirts along that he got as donations from local businesses. We even had Santa Claus join us while we prepped our carts full of goodies to hand out.
The staff at the hospital are always thrilled when we visit. Some of their patients are far from home so they don't get many visitors. So we are glad to help. We broke up into groups and went from room to room wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and thanked them for their service. Many wanted to chat. We stayed as long as we could and listened to their stories.
These patients have spinal cord injuries, some severe, most unable to ever walk again. Funny thing, they never want to talk about why they are there. No conversations about surgeries, medical procedures or pain and suffering. They only want to talk about where they are from, what branch of the service they were in and their military experiences. I find that amazing. And inspiring.