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Doc's Progress Notes

Week of January 7, 2002

Last Updated: 1/13/2002 at 8:56 PM PST

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Monday January 7, 2002


Today was long, busy, and wet here. I had the meeting at 7 this morning which took its usual two hours, then I had one patient to see in the hospital. Unfortunately, that patient is not doing well and I had to spend quite a bit of time with the patient and family today. Despite that, this patient may not go home.

I then had the equivalent of a full day's work compacted into one less hour or so. I saw my usual number of patients in that time which meant I ate lunch on the run and saw one patient between bites. I had a few complicated patients in the office today which kept things hopping but I got everyone seen with no more than a fifteen minute wait, I think. I did not get all the refills and calls done until after I finished seeing patients rather than being able to do some of them as the day went by. Hopefully, no one had to wait too long for their refills at the pharmacies.

My office computer finally has Windows 2000 Professional installed on it. That means that Outlook 2000 is also installed on it and means I can now install Microsoft Active Sync on it and, once again, be able to synch the office and my home computer using my Compaq iPaq. I had not been able to do that since installing Outlook 2000 on this computer and only having Outlook 98 on the office computer. I have burned a copy of the latest version of ActiveSync onto a CD and will take it to the office tomorrow to install it there and configure the program. I am using a serial cradle for the iPaq at the office and the USB cradle at home. Now I wish I had two USB cradles but at the time I bought the iPaq I did not have USB connectivity at the office. Oh well, serial connectivity is better than nothing.

Stacey went back to school today. She took a long nap after she got home from school and I woke her up to feed her and get her started on her homework. She now understands why I did not want her trying to work out this afternoon at the YMCA. I knew she would be tired. I don't know if she will be able to work out tomorrow, we will see later tonight.

Tomorrow night I am on call. I had tried to trade off with someone else but no one else could trade so I am stuck with tomorrow night. The good news is that at present our hospital census is pretty low with the warm but wet weather we have been having for the last few days. Hopefully it will stay that way through tomorrow night.

Warm here means in the low 50's this time of the year. The all time record for this date is only in the low 60's. It has rained steadily all day today with high wind warnings at the coast. I saw one patient this morning who told me that water from a bay they were crossing on a bridge had blown over the car in the 70 mph gusts. It was not that windy here although the wind was blowing. Temperatures will be more seasonable later in the week but it is supposed to dry out here for a few days.

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Tuesday January 8, 2002


How to sum up the day today! Interesting, I would say. It is something to look at my schedule when I arrive in the morning and see less than ten people scheduled and then by the end of the day realize that I have seen 25 people. This means that open access scheduling is working the way it is supposed to work. I am full and most of the people are ones who called today and are being seen today. In addition my total numbers for December which included two weeks of this type of scheduling are higher than any month but one for 2001. Normally, December would be one of the slower months of the year. I think patients are appreciating this type of scheduling but there are still some who want to be able to make appointments several days to weeks in advance. We are trying to accommodate those people as well by having a few prescheduled appointments each day.

My iPaq now synchronizes my home computer's Outlook calendar with my office computer's Outlook calendar. I installed the latest version of Microsoft ActivSync at the office today and after several false starts I now have everything working correctly. For some reason, I had to decrease the baud rate of the serial connection on the iPaq before it would sync with the computer. Once it started synching correctly then I was able to increase it back to the maximum rate again. I am very pleased to have my calendar now available to me in three places again after several months without it.

Tomorrow looks like a full day again. I have a meeting again in the morning at 7 followed by another meeting at 7:30. Then I will be seeing patients until noon. After that I have some errands to run and a daughter to pick up after school and take to the YMCA to work out. While she is working out I will run. We then have church and choir practice tomorrow night. It looks like my half day off tomorrow will be busy. Hopefully I won't be up all night tonight answering calls or having to go to the hospital to admit patients.

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Wednesday January 9, 2002


Last night was a good night on call. I had no admissions throughout the night but I did have phone calls off and on all night. My sleep was interrupted repeatedly but I did not have to go back to the hospital. This morning was a little uneven in the office with one or two no-shows. I still did not get done until about thirty minutes later than I had planned. I did get all my paperwork done by going back and finishing up after running errands.

This afternoon was partly spent running while Stacey worked out at the YMCA. Then we went by and got the oil changed in Delanae's vehicle followed by taking it to the car wash for a much needed bath. It had gotten very dirty driving on the interstate last Wednesday while it was raining. I plan to leave it parked in the garage until we go to pick up Delanae at the airport Saturday and hope it will not be raining too much then.

I mentioned Monday that Windows 2000 is now installed on my computer at the office. I am still finding very irritating things that have happened since the installation. First, my Internet Explorer shortcuts are gone. Most of these were links to medical web pages which had information on them that I use from time to time. My IT rep, when told of this, said he did not think about it otherwise he could have saved the file before installing Windows 2000. Since my computer was the first of the physicians' to have Windows 2000 installed I hope he will do that on the others first. I am now trying to reconstruct a bunch of links.

Also, my desktop shortcuts were preserved but no longer are linked to files. These shortcuts were created under Windows 95 and I am having to go back and redo them. I am still happy to have Windows 2000 but there are some frustrations with the conversion. I do find that my office computer uses the swap file more now under Windows 2000; I guess I am just used to a faster processor with 512MB of memory.

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Thursday January 10, 2002


Short post tonight. Not much to report from work tonight. I saw a lot of patients and got finished on time. Nothing really memorable about the day. Tomorrow I have to have a family meeting about a patient who is hospitalized and will be making little if any recovery. It will be a fairly tough meeting as I have to be very realistic with them which is not what they will want to hear.

Stacey and I went to a high school basketball game tonight. Mark Morris, where Stephen goes and Stacey will go next year, played their cross-town rivals Kelso High in boys basketball. It was a real blowout for Mark Morris as expected. We left with some of the final quarter still to be played as Mark Morris was up by 30. There was an injury to a cheerleader which interrupted the game for several minutes while she was taken to the hospital where she is fine. She will be back on the sidelines tomorrow night but probably not as a cheerleader. She fell while being lifted by two other cheerleaders and does not appear to have any injuries that will keep her in the hospital.

Tomorrow night Stacey and I are going to Mark Morris to see the high school girls team take on Kelso. She and I have spent a lot of time together these past few days which has been fun for me and, I think, fun for her. She is really maturing but then will lapse back into the child that is still present inside her.

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Friday January 11, 2002


Very busy today! Lots of people in the office and a couple of patients to discharge from the hospital this morning before starting to see people in the office. I was pretty hurried all day long, especially by an interview of a prospective physician for an open position with our group at noon today. I needed to be catching up on the morning paperwork during that time. The candidate is a good candidate most of us think but we will see how interested in us the candidate is. They are interviewing at some other locations on the West Coast also.

I did get finished early enough tonight to go the basketball game with Stacey. The Mark Morris girls played Kelso tonight and ended up winning by five with a spurt in the last two minutes. It was a game in which the lead seesawed back and forth between the two teams until the last two minutes. These two teams are the top teams in their conference so I guess it was only fitting that the game was this close. Stacey really enjoyed the game, especially the end.

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Saturday January 12, 2002


Delanae flies home!

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Sunday January 13, 2002


I am taking a leave of absence from this journal. I do not know how long it will be but there are some things happening in my life that I are preventing me from enjoying doing this. It is too much of a chore at the present time. I will be back, I just do not know when. See you later.

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