Saturday, March 29, 2008

Just Do It, Already...and random things...

My alarm sounds at 0500 every morning. Whether I get up lately apparently is optional. Yesterday I got up and we ran, lifted weights, jumped rope and various other things. We are always done by 0630. That's the bonus. I don't think I could ever work out at night again. This morning I was able to sleep in---0600 and be at the causeway (bridge over the intracoastal waterway). We have to run the causeway because since we are at sea level, hills are a little hard to find!
When I come home the house is still quite and I begin to read the paper as Sam gets up, comes in, gives me a hug and sits down. It's the same routine every morning. I think the boys like that. They know what to expect and I suspect they don't really wake up until after their cereal anyway!
It's a gorgeous day today!!! The palm trees are looking a little puny so they will get fertilized today. Funny how palm trees seem to grow and survive just fine after a coconut just floats up and takes root. Plant them in your yard and they have to be fertilized and watered regularly. Huh. That speaks volumes about something, I'm sure.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

"Supervisor, please".

So I called LabCorp Headquarters and told the customer service representative my experience at their Melbourne facility. I prefaced my complaint with "I am going to tell you EXACTLY what the technician said AND I apologize for having to say it, but I want there to be no doubt what was said." "OK", said the rep. So, I said what I had to say and there was "Oh, my" and "I apologize for that" and "I'm sorry you had to hear that." She said she would pass this on to the tech's supervisor. I said, "You can certainly do that, but I am assuming the supervisor is responsible for hiring this technician. I want my complaint to go to the supervisor's supervisor." I was assured this would happen. I also requested to speak directly with someone at LabCorp headquarters who was in charge of the Melbourne site.
For crying out in the night, why can't people behave? It seems that when you receive great customer service, it's a treat. So, let's see. Who are the people you don't want to make mad, because you may have to go back? Dentist (ouch), waitress(spitefulness can make people do strange things to your food), childcare provider and oh yea, phlebotomist. I have walked out of a Dentist's office and not returned to that office. I have boycotted at restaurant until a waitress left and not returned to a childcare facility due to poor baby care. So, why not return to a Lab that has unprofessional, finger licking, cursing phlebotomists? Well, I'm going to have to take that one up with my health insurance provider. In the mean time, I'll remain grossed out. Yuck.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Front row seat at the show...

Ya know, interacting with people is my job. Interacting nicely and professionally with people is my job, so I find it somewhat disturbing when people in the medical profession act like they were raised in a ditch. I am here to tell you, that my local LabCorp lab is an audition site for the Maury Povich or Jerry Springer Show. This week, I am not referring to the clientel, but to those who are behind the desk. Before I entered the studio, I mean Lab, I called LabCorp Headquarters to confirm that they do in fact draw the labs my Dr. was requesting. "Yes, we run all of those labs, Mrs. Niemeier" was the answer. Armed with this info. I entered and walked to the desk--no one in the waiting room, both techs at the desk. "Sign in and sit down", the 1st girl said. So I no more than sat down and she looked at the sign in sheet and calls out like there is a room FULL of people "Dana Nimee'er!" "Well," I look around the cavernous room, "looks like that would be me." She asks for my lab sheet. "Awww, I don't know what any of this s#$% is."(to her co-hort) "Do you know what any of this weird s!@#$ is?" Yea, she said it. Not that I haven't cursed(everyone has their struggles...), but come on.
"We don't do this here," she retorts, smug look and all to which I responded, "Apparently you do and LabCorp Headquarters says you do." She rolls her eyes and looks up at me, "Well, we need the codes. Your Dr. needs to send us a real prescription so we know what to do". I suggest nicely, "Why don't you call headquarters and ask for the codes if you don't know them. My Dr. has no idea what the codes would be." So instead, she pulls out this huge book, opens it up, LICKS her finger and starts flipping through hoping the magical numbers will jump out at her----except they won't because the numbers are so GROSSED OUT by the fact that she is licking her fingers they are hiding!!!!!!!!! God as my witness. I call my Dr. and ask if a prescription could be sent. While I am standing at the desk the script comes in over the FAX. "This has the same s#$% on it" Licky, Licky says. I think, "OK, where is the hidden camera? Is someone here on IV drugs and will soon face an intervention? Maybe that's why she works there---good at finding a vein."
At this point, it is time for Sam to be getting home from school. "I have to go", I say. "Here is my phone number, call me if you work it out". By the time I get home, I am so grossed out I can't think straight. Stinking health insurance. Will only pay if I go to LabCorp. I get a phone call an hour later, "Hon, we found the codes."
Hon. She was annoyed that I said I would be in tomorrow. You know, I thought it was the Jerry Springer show, but I bet it was Intervention.
What is health care coming to when you have to tell a lab employee what tests to run and practically find these "Codes" yourself????! What if I was elderly? What if these "weird s#$%" tests were being run to see if I had a disease? Hey wait, that is why they are being run! Where is the professionalism? Where are basic manners? I'm the one who should be cursing!!!! LOL.

Friday, March 21, 2008

For God so Loved the WORLD

....not just a few. Accepting Him is up to us.
Grace and Peace to Everyone on Good Friday.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Water, Water and an Old House

To 241 South Main Street, Henderson, KY--
With all the rain Henderson has been receiving...I hope there is a sump pump in your basement and that the concrete block wall is still doing it's job!! :)

Friday, March 14, 2008

NYC and Pizza Pizza Pizza!

Wow! What a 5 day blur in The Big Apple. Sam and I were there for the New York Pizza Show. Since he is the 2 time National Pizza Spinning Champ, he was invited to the New York Pizza Show to perform with the United States Pizza Team. Lucky for me, he couldn't go by himself! What a learning experience it is to stay and get around in New York! It seems like you are constantly rushing no matter what you are doing. After Sam spun Throw Dough all day and I sold Throw Dough and US Pizza Team Shirts all day, we were all treated to private receptions---and pizza---in some of New York's most famous pizzerias! By Wednesday, all Sam wanted was Burger King or mac and cheese! There WAS a place that sold only mac and cheese near Time Square! All I wanted was my own bed and a steak!
I returned home to a scheduled thyroid ultrasound today. Seems the radiologist and I are becoming fast friends. 3 nodules were detected on the right side of my thyroid making it 30% bigger than normal. Man, a goiter is NOT pretty! Of course he gave me the "I'm going to be frank with you," lead in and told me he felt sure these weren't cysts, but couldn't tell if they were benign or malignant. He suggested a Nuclear Medicine test involving radioactive Iodine. Io on the periodic table--i think. Anyway, long story short-- that is scheduled for the 24th, but I did have thyroid blood tests drawn today---on a Friday of course. LabCorp was not the Jerry Springer Show it was the previous blood draw and I was actually mildly disappointed. I digress...the dermatologist doesn't seem to think the thyroid, dermatomyositis symptoms and itching have anything to do with each other, but My internet researching buddies and myself are thinking otherwise...I am just glad it seems treatable at this point whatever it is. Having to become familiar with new medical terms is not my idea of expanding my vocabulary, but people have to do it every day, right? Life is good. Friends are great. Family is great. Prayer is great. God is great, God is good. Let us thank him for EVERYTHING, not just the obvious good stuff. I believe that there is a purpose for all things and we may never know the reason for it.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Boot Camp, Coffee, Prayers

I woke up on the couch (apparently too tired to make it to the bed) this morning at 0509 because my fitness instructor sent a text message to Get Up! I had already decided last night I wasn't going, but when I woke up I felt so blessed to wake up less burdened than yesterday! So, I got up, got dressed and went. So glad I did. What a view...sunrise over the ocean. Ahhhh. Afterwards we went to our nearest locally owned cafe--Cafe' O Beach for Larges. I told my instructor,Shana and friend Lisa of my previous days trials. Before we left, Lisa asked if she and Shana could pray with me. It made me teary-eyed to be so blessed with these new friends. Friends who would hold my hands and thank God for me and the blessings He has given all of us through His Son Jesus Christ. What peace. I thank God for ALL of my friends. Those that fly to Florida to visit. Those who take me to dinner because she knows I need to talk. Those who hug me and tell me they know that everything will be fine. Those who pray for me from 1000's of miles away and call/email to check on me. My Sunday School class. Those who go for strong coffee with me after my CT because we all know what Barium can do to your GI tract (Dani said, "Think sidewalk chalk". I love that girl).

Thursday, March 6, 2008

"Mrs. Niemeier, I'm going to be frank with you."

I thought, "Not Frank. Couldn't you be Brad Pitt or Bono with me? Not Frank." As I looked at the computer screen with my chest, abdomen and pelvis in multi-slices, I thought, "This is the last moment that I know that I am cancer-free. Remember what this moment feels like." The radiologist continued on, "I don't see any evidence of malignancy on this CT scan." And you know, he said a bunch of other things that I heard, but what I saw was my 10 year old baby juggling, pizza spinning and unicycling and my 14 year old yo-yoing and talking to his new girl friend. I saw my friends and I felt their prayers. I even told the Dr. that he had a lot of personality for a Radiologist. How about that? He said, "You should have your thyroid checked out though. It looks a little enlarged on the right." I walked out into the waiting room and watched my bff and my husband transfixed by "Saved By the Bell" and started laughing. I don't think the packed waiting room understood. Apparently, Dani and Curt were having a discussion about Screech and his venture into pornography due to his emasculating role on the show. Gaugh........! I can't leave those two anywhere.
Thank you, D for coming down here to be with us. Thank you for sitting with my husband in a crowded waiting room. Thank you for loving my family and making us your family. Thank you my friends for praying for for me and lifting me and my family to God. How blessed to have peace. How blessed to have Christ in my life. How blessed to have friends PRAY for me. Wow. It's overwhelming.
Hug your kids for no reason. Kiss your spouse. Live with no fear, because FAITH allows you to live without fear.

I Can do Anything For 12 Hours

When I was a new nurse, I worked nights on a post Open Heart Recovery Unit. It was a good job and allowed me to be at home during the day with my then 18 month old son, William. I would be soooo tired after just a few hours of sleep, but we had a new home with a mortgage. The nurses I worked with had been there forever and I was the youngest. Patsy was the only LPN on our floor. I LOVED HER! She had the funniest sense of humor and her best line was "I can do ANYTHING for 12 hours". That's how long our shifts were. When I moved back to Melbourne, I ran into another nurse that I worked with on that unit and I inquired about Patsy. She told me Patsy had died of cancer a few years ago. We talked about how funny her perspective on life was had a good laugh in her memory because this nurse remembered Patsy's famous line as well. I use this line in some fashion often and remember Patsy and how she could make a loooooong night shift pass a little more quickly.

It's 6am and I've been up since 0515 drinking Barium for a CT scan I'll have at 0800. That's "Ba" on the periodic table...I think. Anyway, I have to drink a liter of it in 2 hours. So I decided I would honor Patsy. I put a straw in it, drank some of it. Next I am going to pour it into this awesome martini glass that D gave me. It kind of tastes like coconut and I've decided it may just be like drinking a Pina Colada. Because "Ya know, I can do anything for 2 hours." Now where did I put those little drink umbrellas??

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

80's Video makes my moment!!!!

This was my favorite song in the mid-80's! I found it tonight and it really made me happy! This band broke up while I was at Boston University and we were devastated! It's little things that cost nothing that make us happy...songs, funny comments from a friend, watching my 10 year old hula hoop 5 hoops!!! It's all good.

Saturday, March 1, 2008


One thing in life that is guaranteed is that seconds will tick by and what your perspective is at second #10, may not be what your perspective is at second #11. My life perspective switched at about 0915 on Leap Day. Issues that were important at 0900 were not even on the radar at 0930. And what about the blood tests that take "several days" to come back? I mean, honestly...should we have to wait this day and time? Waiting has it's merits, though. It gives you time to sort things out, look up information and look around you. You find out within seconds who you think of first. "I have to call.....". "I Need to talk to.....". "I want ____ to pray for me." It's a bit overwhelming, actually, but who has a choice? Peace, Peace, Peace....that seems like a good prayer right now. When there's peace, thoughts can be gathered and organized much easier. Yep, that's what I am praying right now..... :)