Doc's Progress Notes
Week of July 17, 2000
Last Updated: 7/20/2000 at 9:09 PM PDT
A little late but back again. Yesterday was kind of a blur but the end result was no update last night. Had a great dinner with a candidate for a position with my group and when we got home I was so sleepy that I went to bed right away. That was caused by me not sleeping well Sunday night as my back was hurting after working in the garden and yard Sunday afternoon. I am now caught up on my sleep again so here I am writing this.
Summer is traditionally a very slow time in the office. Not so this year as far as I can see. My clinic numbers are staying up moreso than last year I believe. The people I am seeing are sick too. The hospital census seems to be staying up pretty well too. The only thing that lowers my numbers are no-shows which are always frustrating. Most just never bother to call so I am left with a block of time with no one to see but I can use it to get my paperwork caught up and maybe get done a little earlier. That happened today so I was able to run before my mens' group meeting tonight.
My numbers from last month show that my hospital work is slowly increasing. One of my partners remarked today that my hospital work had gone from zero to busy almost immediately it seemed to him. I told him that was what I was accustomed to before coming here and taking two years off from hospital work. It looks like it will stay busy judging from the new patients I have been seeing.
We have been having a miniepidemic of neck masses. Actually, Kathy,my nurse, was remarking today that I had seen several patients with neck masses in the past month. Only one has turned out to be cancer thus far but a patient I saw today might be another. I thought it was in her thyroid gland but the scan was negative for a thyroid mass. I will be sending her to an otolaryngologist(ear, nose, and throat specialist) for a second opinion on further workup. The last one I sent to them was the young man who turned out to have an enlarged lymph node secondary to lymphoma. I almost forgot, I saw a new patient today with a neck mass too. His may also turn out to be a tumor and he is going to the same ENT specialist soon. I am ready for this run of neck masses to end.
In nonmedical news, today I got a flyer from the US Postal Service advertising their new eBillPay here. It looks like a good deal except I already have that through my bank and for a slightly lower cost per month. I can understand the USPS wanting to recover some of their lost revenue by utilizing the internet but I wonder how long it will be until the banks really start competing by lowering their monthly cost even more for the same service. I have been really pleased with electronic bill payment and with Quicken I have everything recorded when I make out the payment. I don't foresee myself using this service unless the USPS tries to undercut the banks rather than the other way around.
Tomorrow is my day off again. I have a couple of patients in the hospital that I need to see and a meeting at the hospital at noon. I also need to try and find a new cell phone so will look at several cellular "stores" also. I shouldn't have any trouble as there seems to be one on every other block. See you later.
No new cell phone yet. I have made no decision as yet, I want to look some more. The variety of plans is very confusing and since I use less than 60 minutes a month I don't need the real fancy plans with hundreds of minutes at the present time. I am looking for a light, compact digital cell phone which will hold a charge for a few days and gives you a few hours talk time. I really like Nokia phones and will probably end up getting one unless someone proves to me that another brand is better. I do like the looks of the Samsung flip phones as well as the StarTac flip phone however.
Today was a fairly lazy day off. I went in and saw my two patients in the hospital then took care of some paperwork at the office until it was time for my noon meeting. After that, I came home, caught up on some reading, and then ran. Delanae and I then walked and now I have a little time to do this update. Tomorrow looks very busy. To start off, I have five people to see in the hospital as of right now. I am also supposed to be at a meeting at 7AM tomorrow and my office starts at 8:30. Something will have to give and the meeting is what will be giving. I know what the subject is and it is important but I just can't get everything done before 8:30 unless I get to the hospital at 5:30AM or earlier. The patients don't enjoy being awakened that early for me to talk to them. I will be calling our medical director before the meeting to explain why I won't be there for the entire meeting but will try and come for a little of it. See you tomorrow.
Today is almost over. I made it to the hospital at 6:15 this morning and managed to see three patients before 7:05. I then went to the meeting for thirty minutes then back to the hospital to finish rounds. I finished in time to get to the office on time and starting at 8:30. Every patient showed today and I had one or two add ons and still managed to finish the patients themselves by 5:30 which is on time. By the time I finished the paperwork and phone calls it was time to meet Delanae at our church so she and Wendi(who stayed with us for a month) could rehearse a duet they are doing for Sunday morning worship. Now I am finally home and looking forward to getting some sleep tonight to get ready for the weekend on call. That means I will probably not get to hear Delanae and Wendi sing although I will try hard to make it.
One thing that will make the weekend bearable is that I get Monday off to recover. I haven't had a Monday off in over two years. It should be interesting since both kids will be home then and Stephen will want to go lift weights at the school to get ready for football. He has already asked me to put him on a running program to get in shape for football and to show him what he needs to eat that is healthier for him than the junk food he likes. We will also be playing catch so I will have a sore arm here for a few weeks especially since it has been a few years since I have thrown any kind of ball on a regular basis. I don't think I am ready to throw an "out pattern" yet and never had the arm to throw one either. "Fly patterns" were another thing however as long as the receiver wasn't too fast.
Posts for the next three days may be even shorter than this and may be nonexistent. Just thought I would warn you. The hospital is staying surprisingly busy for this time of the year which is good for the hospital and its employees but means we have some sick patients if they need to be hospitalized now. It also means the patients are missing a very nice summer here with clear days and cool nights. We are supposed to have a chance of rain tomorrow night and Saturday which, if it comes, will be the first rain here in more than two weeks. My garden could certainly use a break from watering by me. Good night.
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