Friday, August 31, 2007

Test and Specialist

The test went off without a hitch on Thursday, and the results were ready on Friday. They were somewhat confusing, but they were definitely much better than what they could have been. Blood tests will be done. By Wednesday, the lab results should be back and then we should have a better idea of what to do.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Birthday and Professionalism

As Birthday season continues, Chris turned 14 today! What a long way we have come from double strollers at Sea World. :) Chris picked the Collonade restaurant for his birthday dinner. As I pull into the parking lot, Travis calls. He tells me that one of my implementers emailed her resignation. I am shocked. She had only been there for 2.5 months, and I thought she was fitting in great and doing a great job. I send her a quick email asking if there is anything I can do and letting her know I am sad. I am also surprised to discover that Dana' parents and sister are also joining us for dinner. YIPEE. Dana and her sister try to one up each other throughout the meal - no my son is better at football, no mine is, etc. I am shocked by how much they do this. Chris says that he wants to have a couple of friends over to our house over the weekend for his birthday. I am excited that he wants to do it at our house. I can only stay for an hour at dinner as I have to rush back to the gym to get Morgan. I had clam chowder, an oyster rockefeller, and stuffed mushrooms (appetizers). The chowder was great. The oyster was so good that I gave the rest to Mike...ick. The mushrooms were so so.

On the way to get Morgan, I start to get mad over the implementer. She has received all kinds of training. Much less pressure was put on her than other people. I have given her positive feedback on her training. She didn't even have the professional courtesy to talk to me about whatever was the problem? As I start talking to other implementers in the group, it appears she was always looking for more money. I can only hope that my kids grow up to be professional, honest, hard-working people. I hope they they never do this to an employer. In case you are hiring an implementer in Orlando, you might want to ask me some questions first.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Referral Department Whatever!

So, I decide to pay the primary care physician's "referral department" a visit. Of course, the "person" (what a department) is not available. Surprise, surprise. So, I basically make an ass of myself in the office and tell them how much I do not appreciate how they have acted so far and that we have had no assistance from them to date. I decide that I can get the test scheduled without the primary care doctor. So, I call the insurance to get it authorized. They say that pre-authorization is not required. I call the testing center and make an appointment. They say they have an appointment tomorrow at 9am. I call the doctor's office and tell them that I need the prescription because I have already gotten an appointment and gotten it approved. They try to give me this "it normally takes 5 days to get authorization" stuff, and I tell them that no authorization was needed. They say, "Well, we had better verify that." I tell them they can verify whatever they want but that I need a prescription because the test is scheduled for the next morning. They assure me that it will be faxed. At 4pm, the testing center calls and says that they still do not have the prescription. UGH...I hate this office by now. I am so furious. Mike calls them and they finally get the prescription done. Wow, how hard can it be.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


So Morgan has a dentist appointment. I am pretty sure that her appointments with this dentist are always on the worst day/time possible. It doesn't matter how good the day looks when they are scheduled, anything that can happen to make it a bad day will happen and generally without much warning. So, since we cancelled the last appointment due to Morgan's emergency room adventure, I decide that we must keep this one. Of course, I totally forget about the appointment until 45 minutes before it starts. UGH...rush, rush, rush, rush...we hurry to get ready and rush out the door. Morgan is more concerned about how much school she could possibly miss on the whopping SECOND week of school than about anything else, so it is difficult to get her to concentrate on getting dressed, making sure her teeth are brushed, etc.

Second day of medical craziness...the dental hygenist determines that Morgan has a defect in her back teeth where she has a pinhole in all of them. Unfortunately, these are her adult teeth. Obviously, she did not get her mother's teeth. I seem to have trouble with ovaries, a uterus, kidneys, ureters, and a bladder, but my teeth ROCK. ANyway, the hygenist can't just say that she has something wrong, she has to call it a "birth defect." I think she was trying to make the point that Morgan couldn't have prevented it by brushing more or flossing more. I think she was trying to make sure that Morgan understood this. However, the term "birth defect" is a little harsh. Morgan is immediately thinking about real birth defects that she has helped raise money for with walk-a-thons, fund raisers, etc. She is obviously upset, and I just want to get out of there. So, we also get flouride on this visit. The hygenist discusses how bottled water prevents so many people from getting flouride these days (I later found out that our county doesn't even have flouride in the regular water). So, Morgan is to brush this flouride stuff on every night. Lovely, I really needed something else to remember. Great. Love it.

The dentist comes in for his 2 minute appearance, and Morgan tells him that she wants to do something about her front tooth. Last year, he told her that he could "fix" the discolored spot on her tooth "when it bothered her." Amazingly enough, Morgan actually discussed this with him without involving me. I love it when she shows signs of maturity. So he tells her that he will remove the discolored part and will put a filling in its place that will match her tooth color. At some point, she will have to have it replaced (probably in her 30s - man that freaks me out thinking about her in her 30s). So, we make an appointment for the 20th when I am already going for my cleaning. They will do the front tooth AND fix the "birth defect."

We get in the car, and Morgan starts crying about her birth defect. I try to explain that I think it is a poor choice of words and that I thought she was just trying to let her know that it wasn't something that was caused but instead it was just how the tooth was made. I told her that I was just missing one of my teeth. It just never came in. She then starts going through every member of the family and asking what their defect is. As I rapidly change the conversation, she realizes that we are almost to school. Can't she stay home? No, you have to go to school.

As the day goes on, I keep thinking about why we can't have the medical test until the specialist orders it. Even though my career has always been in healthcare, I am constantly amazed at the state of the industry.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Test Results

To protect privacy, I will not go into details here. However, this week started with test results coming back that were not good. Instead of the doctor delivering this news, the result report was handed over without a single thought as to what that would mean to the patient. I am continually amazed by our healthcare system. So, after a call was made to the doctor, THEN he spent time ON THE PHONE explaining the report (well, actually he spent time back stepping and avoiding saying anyting concrete). The report calls for an additional test which the doctor says will be scheduled by the "referral department." As any patient who receives part of the story wants, this patient does not want to wait for more information either. So, the "referral department" says that the test won't be paid for if it is ordered by the primary care physician and can only be paid if ordered by the specialist. Hmmmm...

The other striking thing is the different ways that men and women react to things. As many mars/venus kinds of analogies have mentioned, men like to solve things and talking about them doesn't really work if you can't solve them. Women like to understand what is happening and how the feel, and of course, they like to talk about it to help understand it. Never has this been more obvious than in health issues.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The 9th Birthday Party

Finally I get invitations on Wednesday for the party on Friday. Wow, someone nominate me for the mother of the year! I fill them out at the gym, and thankfully another mom offers to write on the invitation. Her handwriting is at least one million times better than mine. I am very thankful for the help. Morgan sees the invitations and says, "How did you make it look like that?" I quickly give credit to the mom. She is amazed. So, she gives out 3 or 4 invitations and saves the rest for Thursday. I have already talked to most of the moms before we went to Cocoa Beach, and I am hoping that they remember.

We are getting ready for bed, and Morgan is getting out of the shower. She wants me to go get her some different clothes to wear. Then, she remembers that there are no boys in the house. She runs naked to her room to get clothes and says, "I feel Freeeeeeeeee." I crack up.

Thursday, she hands out some additional invitiations. Some of the parents are giving me a hard time about handing them out so late. Ha Ha Ha. Krishan helps me shop for Morgan's presents. We go to Justice. I have never been, and I think I should have stayed away. What a need store. I get her a purse, high school musical writing kit, a speaker that plugs into an iPod and has a microphone so you can listen and sing at the same time. I also get some Hannah Montana stuff as well as the HSM2 (that's High School Musical 2 for all you non-kid types) and Hanna Montana CD. We get party favors (Krishan would be a great party planner). I was told that I had to bring cupcakes to her cheer practice for her birthday. When I get there with 60 cupcakes (I went to Sams and they only sold them in 30s. Of course, I needed 31), I learn that 2 other girls have birthdays that day, and there are 90 cupcakes and a cookie cake plus my 60 cupcakes. Wow...that is some serious sugar.

I leave work early on Friday to get Morgan from school. Of course, as I near the house 2 hours before the sleepover that involves swimming, the clouds turn from a nice blue Florida sky to BLACK. LOvely. As I try to imagine what in the world we will do all night with 11 girls (8-10 years old), I am thinking it will be a long night. Part of the pool idea was that it wears kids out! I wonder why I am paying for a birthday cake when I have 30 leftover cupcakes at home. Oh well. Morgan and I hang up the happy birthday banner (we think we can leave it hung in the house for a month until "birthday season" is over). We put balloons on the mail box, make the goody bags, unload the groceries, etc.

The girls start arriving at 5:50 - nothing like being early! Morgan is announcing each person's arrival through the microphone. WHAT WAS I THINKING?????? All 11 girls show, and they put their belongings in the master bedroom. Mike has agreed to give up our room so they can all be in one room. So, we are sleeping in Chris' room (well sleep is a relative term). The girls immediately start tumbling across the house. It is like a tumbling obstacle course. Can you go around the horse stable while doing 5 back handsprings? Well, can you do a front walkover, round off, 3 back handsprings?

We have the girls pick their favorite song and burn a CD of them. It is absolutely hysterical as I realize that I am SO far behind the times. Sean Kingston? Rhianna? Fall out boys? Help me!!!! The girls get up and sing and dance when their song comes on. I think it is actually fun, but Mike disappears. I think he is not having fun. Later, I hear all of this shrieking. I go check on the girls to see what is happening. They are all in their panties running around. They tell me that they are playing Truth or Dare and that the Dare was to run around the whole house with a tshirt and panties. I am SO not ready for a teenager. Do you think that bad teens get paid back by their children? Isn't there somewhere I can repent or something? Confession or something?

As we go to bed, it sounds like a herd of cows or horses or giants or something. After asking them to lie down and watch the movie at least ten times, I am in bed around 3:30. The herd of animals is still going strong. I go try again. As I get upstairs, the girls are trying to see who can create the most difficult tumbling pass from the bonus room, THROUGH THE DOOR, and into my room. One girl is crying because someone stepped on her, and the volume is definitely not ready for the library. I tell them that it is their last chance. They have to stop tumbling and lie down. I don't care if they go to sleep, but I don't want to hear them. I haven't even made it to the bottom of the stairs, and I hear tumbling. You have GOT to be kidding. So, I practicly run up the stairs. I am so mad. I am thinkng that I need a cigarette. I tell them that I will call all of their mothers at 3:30 in the morning to have them come and get them if I hear ONE more tumble or one more scream. My nervous breakdown must have worked because they were finally somewhat quiet. I found out later that they were up until 5am. Unbelievable.

The parents come get the girls around noon, and I am relieved that I survived. I think Morgan had a blast. Maybe next year we will go to a movie or something. As we get in the car to go spend some of Morgan's birthday money, she puts in the CD from the party. I guess this night will live on for a while. :) Happy Birthday Morgan!!!

By the way, Amy - smoke free for Two Months, Twenty Four Days, 9 Hours and 10 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 7 Days and 2 Hours, by avoiding the use of 2049 cigs that would have cost me $349.58. I spent $212 on patches but I have been patch free for 7 days!!! WOOO HOO!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The 23 hour trip

Tuesday, I go to Arizona for a demo with Travis and Miguel. I am not sure exactly why I am going, but they keep saying they need me for questions. So, Travis, Miguel, and I meet at the office. We leave for the airport around 10:20 for an 11:30 flight. Of course, Travis insists on parking on the 2nd level of Long Term parking instead of in the economy lot (or any other floor higher than the 2nd floor). He then realizes that we don't have boarding passes printed, and for some reason that throws a kink in the path we have to walk. So, Travis is mad now and is walking 100 miles an hour with his long legs, and my legs are only going 10 miles an hour. I finally catch Travis and realize that he has raced to the wrong airline counter. We are on Continential and he is trying to get the kiosk at Delta to check us in. :) So, we race to the Continental counter and start to check in on the kiosk. Uh oh...what does that say? It says we can't check in because it is too close to departure time. We start to panic, but we go to an agent. She says that it is only too late if we are checking bags. Travis and I work on a presentation on the flight to Houston. We eat in Houston and then get on the plane to Phoenix.

When we leave the airport, we have to check to see if we stepped outside or into a sauna. Holy crap it is hot in Arizona. Florida is hot but it doesn't even touch on the same level as Arizona. We get a cab and head to the demo. After the demo at 9:45 (almost 1:00am Florida time), we cab it back to the airport. We get through security and then realize that there is no restaurant open. Ugh....At least there was a crown room, so we go there and get some much needed alcohol and some snacks. We fly to Atlanta and arrive at 6:00am. Unfortunately, I couldn't get comfortable for half of the 3 and half hour flight, so I am a zombie. We have an hour and a half in Atlanta and arrive in Tampa around 9. So, almost 23 hours later, we arrive. What a trip! At least I was smart enough to bring a t-shirt and shorts in my briefcase. Travis and Miguel are in the same suits.... YUCK. :) Wonder when I am going to get invitations to Morgan's party done, clean the house, get presents, cake, balloons, etc? Not now...need sleep, need sleep, need sleep...

Monday, August 20, 2007

First week of school - 4th Grade!

When we got back from Cocoa Beach, I realized that we should probably go get the school supplies the school so kindly added to their website. Since we missed the meet the teacher day, we just have to wing it. So, we print off the list and head to Target. Sold out of composition notbooks and folders with prongs. We go to Wal-Mart. Sold out of composition notebook and folders with prongs. Morgan buys a fish (tiny fish and tiny tank) with her money. Lovely. Go to Walgreens. Also sold out of notebooks and folders with prongs. Woo Hoo...this rocks. I love driving all over town looking for school supplies.

First day of school - Have I mentioned that school starts at 9:45? Let me repeat that - 9:45!!!! So, we leave the house at 9 to make sure we are there plenty early, and the street the school is on is already PACKED. We finally part only 3 miles away (ok, ok, probably a half of a mile) and walk in the 150 degree heat (ok, ok, only 95) into the school. This man (he must be the new principle) says that we can't go to the classrooms until 9:35. Lovely. I think, we should go ahead into the office and get the bus pass ordeal over with now and get some of those car pick-up signs. So, we get in the line which is long but not too awful. We get 3 car pick-up signs after the lady is not so sure she wants to give me three. "Three? I will need to ask if I can give you three." I say, "Three different people could pick her up." Finally, after conferring with two other office people, they decide that I can have three. Then, comes the bus fun. Since Morgan is in the gifted class, she goes to this elementary school even though we are zoned for a different school this year (I was so sad too because they are putting the ENTIRE new school into portables behind another school until DECEMBER while the new school is being built). Anyway, back to bus, she can ride a bus but it is a little more complicated because it isn't just the neighborhood bus. So, I know that I am in for a complicated poke my eyes out conversation. So, after repeating my address 113 times, she finally says I have to talk to the next lady over. Her line has about 30 poeple in it. DAMN. So, I ask if she can give her the information while I walk Morgan to her class (see, I am good at multi-tasking).

We arrive at the portable classroom where Morgan will spend a lot of time. I guess she is just destined to be in a portable this year. Her teacher seems nice and actually lets them pick where they sit until they do something that makes her change her mind. Morgan thinks this is cool. As I start unloading the $5,000 of school supplies we did find, she says, "Oh, I didn't really want you to buy anything yet. I will let you know what we need." UGH...well, at least she is ok on not having the composition notebook and the notebooks with prongs. Morgan warned me on the way into the class to "Not embarass her" so I give her a quick hug and kiss and leave. I find my way back to bus hell thinking surely it is over by now and I can just pick up the pass and leave. HA HA HA HA. The line now has at least 100 people in it. I try to ask about my pass, but there is a man with 6 kids in front of me taking up a lot of time. Finally, the lady says she will call me with the information.

After work, I go to the gym to get Morgan. She is glowing. School was great. She loves her teacher. All is good with the world. I would give just about anything to see that joy coming from her face. Being a mother can be so amazing (when you don't want wring their necks)...:) I still can't believe that she is in FOURTH GRADE!!!!!!!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Cocoa Beach

Much to the disbelief of Travis, I got a ton of work done at Cocoa Beach. Saturday night, we got to have dinner at my favorite Mexican place with Grams and Uncle Mark. It was so good to see Mom one more time before she left. We had a great time and laughed a lot. We actually left around 10:30 in the morning, and arrived around 1:00. We got unit 501, and it was nice. The kids were ooohhhing and ahhhhing over the 42" Plasma screen TV. It is a 2 bedroom condo, and the girls slept in the room with twin beds and Michael took the sleep sofa. Michael brought his Nintendo game where you play the guitar in songs like "I love Rock and Roll." It was a lot of fun. On Sunday, we settled in, went to the pool, and just relaxed. We ate sandwiches and frozen

On Monday, I worked while Mike and the kids went to the pool. Morgan and Katie painted ceramics and got their hair beaded and braided, and Michael and Mike were in a pool volleyball tournament. It was great having Morgan's hair braided because her bangs were out of her eyes. Heaven. After work, we all went down to the beach for an hour or so. The sand was very shelly, but the ocean was beautiful. Michael made Chicken Parmigiana for dinner, and it was delicious. He went to a Junior Chef camp in Orlando the week before, and they made pasta, sauces, and chicken parm. We were thrilled with it. I love having a Jr. Chef in the house!

On Tuesday, I worked with Mike and the kids went to the pool. The kids relaxed in the condo some, and we ate at the Mexican restaurant for dinner.

On Wednesday, I worked and the kids played at the pool. A man came from a local zoo-like place, and he had baby alligators, a larger alligator, a snake, and a turtle. He told the kids all kinds of interesting facts about the animals. Mike and went to a timeshare speech, and we got passes to the water park at the timeshare place for the next day. I was very tempted by the every other year timeshare for 159 a month, but Mike was very good at saying no. :)

On Thursday, Mike took the kids to the water park with the free passes, and I worked. We went to the Florida Seafood Kitchen restaurant that night, and the kids were crazy about crab legs. They had a really weird balloon guy who came and made some pretty bad balloon animals. The kids didn't care. They loved them. Morgan, Katie, and Michael all ate an OYSTER. I was shocked that Morgan actually swallowed it.

On Friday, Dana came to pick up Katie and Michael because they wanted to meet their teachers that day at Open House. Mike's parents and Matthew took their place at the condo. I called Morgan's school and found out that her class is in a portable but it is with a teacher who was recommended. I worked while Mike, Matthew and his parents were at the pool. After work, Mike says that his parents will watch Morgan so that Matthew, Mike, and I can go on a Casino cruise. I think that sounds like a lot of fun but High School Musical 2 comes on at 8. Morgan has been waiting to see it for months and has literally been counting down the hours. I think she is not going to be happy that I won't be there, so I tell Mike that I can only go if Morgan is ok with it. I just couldn't stand to devistate her like that. So, I tell her that Daddy and Matthew are going on a Casino Cruise and ask her if she cares if I go. She asks what a Casino cruise is, so I tell her. She asks what she gets if I win, and I told her I would split whatever I won with her. She says, Ok and is totally fine with it. Shows what I know. So, off we go to the cruise. I have never been on a Casino Cruise that actually is a moving boat, so I am excited.

You have to wait until the boat is 3 miles from shore, so we hang out on the boat for about an hour. Finally, it is time and we can play. Matthew wants to play Roulette, and I am skeptical because I haven't ever played. I decide to try it. I place $5 on the second 12, and I win! They add $10 to my $5. I won more than I lost for the first hour, but I was only playing %5 at a time. I finally was brave and played $5 on the 2nd 12 numbers AND on the red/black or odd/even. Whoa...I am such a risk taker. :) I end up about $75 in the positive, and I decide it is time to leave the table as I have lost the last 3 hands. Matthew is up $300. Wow! We go listen to the band and hang out. Mike says he wants to play blackjack, so we go play. I quickly realize that I do not have the Blackhjack Mojo and stop while I am only $5 down. Mike is doing well at BlackJack, and he is working on earning his Roulette sending back. I go back to the Roulette table and play again. This time, I play the top 12, and it works well. I am daring now, and I play money on the 5 (mike's birthday), the 11 (because it is my birth month), 22 (my birthday), 24 (Morgan's birthday), and 45 (because it is a good number). I hit on 24 twice, 22 once, and on 5 once. Woo hoo! I leave up $100, so I split the money with Morgan. She gets $50...good deal for her! :) Matthew tells us that he put $100 on red 3 times and it turned up black each time. He gave back his winnings, but he had a good time.

Saturday, we hung out at the pool and went back to Florida Seafood for dinner. Morgan ate crab legs for dinner. Never thought I would see that day! The creepy balloon man came back again, and Morgan got another balloon animal - a rabbit.

Only two weeks until FOOTBALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

The Big Demo - Day 2

We arrive in the conference room a little better rested than Day 1. We realize that we accidentally took the power cord to one of the projectors to the room, so Tony leaves to get it since we have ten minutes left before we start. As Travis is plugging his laptop in, he is telling himself how nice the PowerPoint looks that he updated for Tony. He has been teasing Tony about his second grade PowerPoint since Tony did it. As the plug is going into the laptop (this memory is being replayed in slow motion as it was very, very painful), this lady in the audience (later nicknamed Janet Reno) asks (ok more like snarls), I want to know why Bond thinks its software is so secure that it doesn't require antivirus." Travis pretends to not hear it and acts as if he is still putting his laptop together. He says we will start as soon as Tony gets back. The lady repeats the question in a louder snarl (if that is possible) and Travis has no choice but to start the day with by answering the question.

As Travis tries to explain that the application doesn't require antivirus to run but that Bond certainly recommends antivirus, another person wants to know why a processor for video is required. As Travis explains that the video processor is optional if desired for patient education content/promotional videos that don't take up bandwidth. Tony is still not back. Travis is white and appearing visually shaken at this point. Next come questions about whether "our computers" have USB drives. Next comes CD drives and are they read only or read-write. Tony comes in at some point, but the chance to start the day with our planned presentations is gone. We are now trying to explain that a web application can run on any computer that can run Internet Explorer and that all of these questions are dependent on the company and what type of computers they want users to have. Next comes the statement that HIPAA requires data to be encrypted at rest which we are disagreeing with when they admit that it isn't HIPAA but instead the company who has this requirement. Finally, Travis acts like he is tapping a microphone and makes a reference to the two senators from (state left out on purpose). He says he always thought he would have a taller glass of water when he appeared in a congressional hearing. It was the perfect thing to do, and the crowd laughed and let us explain. Once they understood that we are web-based, most of these questions disappeared. Whew...The rest of the day went well, and we covered educational materials, implementation, EDI/Interfaces, security, and architecture. We celebrated with a few beers in the world's stinkiest airport bar. Travis and I had a fight on the way back, and I admired Lisa for the tenth time in as many days - how does she manage to be married to Travis, work at Bond, homeschool a 4th grader, and take care of 3 little ones (including a baby). Amazing! I am so glad that this trip is over. I am working remotely from Cocoa Beach next week, so I should be able to get a lot done.

The big demo - Day 1

So, it really started at 8 - not 7:30. I could have slept for 30 more mins. We walk in, and Travis asks if it is the NAPA auto meeting. As they are quickly telling us that wea re in the wrong place, Travis tells them that he is just kidding and that we are from Bond. They start laughing and say, "We should have known!" It is obvious that they adore Travis from the minute we get there. While we are hooking up the 5 computers and switch that we brought, one of them comments that it must be fun working with someone who is so fun and not stuffy. I think to myself, they obviously don't know that we work 20 hours a day! :)

After we get set up, Travis puts the scenario on one projector and I do the demo on another. Tony reads the steps. A facilitator is there to make sure we stay on task. She didn't have to interrupt very often, but she told us after every scenario whether we were ahead or behind schedule. It is difficult to do a demo like that from a script without talking about the cool things in the software along the way. It is very stressful as we go, but I think we are doing well. When we hit scenario 8, things got a little dicey as I am having to trick the software into thinking that a primary claim has been sent and that that the payment sent the claim to the secondary. Of course, I click Other instead of the insurance and it doesn't transfer to the secondary because it wasn't payment or rejection from the primary. DOH....thankfully, they let me do it again and it went much better the second time. :) We started joking that the patient in that scenario didn't like me. Artie is definitely NOT my favorite fake patient. :)

We leave and I want a cigarette SO badly. However, I am strong and I am so tired. It is very tiring to demo like that all day through all of those scenarios in front of a room full of people - especially with 45 minutes of sleep!!!!!!!! We go to dinner at a Japanese place. Tony is reqired to join the social club since it is a dry county, but somehow Travis, Nancy, and Justin don't have to fill anything out. I guess Tony drank the beer by himself as far as the records go. Good thing for his Mad Dog reputation! I tell Tony and Travis that I think we are home free as the functional piece is harder than the questions and answers on architecture and security.

I get in bed and instant message Morgan. Little did I know at the time that Grams was in bed with her trying to get her to bed. Oops...I heard about that one later. :) Grams admires our ability to put the kids to bed early every day. :)

I finally collapse into a very deep sleep, and I am still tired when the alarm went off at 6:15am.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Travel Day to Big Demo

We were invited to a huge demo for a company that all of you know but it must remain nameless for now. :) The RFP process was by invitation only, and only 8 companies were asked to participate. After the RFP, only 4 companies were invited to visit for a 2 day demo. The first day was to be a NINE (no that wasn't a typo) scenario functional demo. The second day was to be the security, implementation, process day. So, Travis, Tony, and I depart on our journey on Tuesday. We are actually at the airport an hour prior to the flight, and I am not sure what to do with myself since travel with Travis usually involves being out of breath, checking my watch 100 times, wondering if we will make it, you get the idea.

For the second leg of the trip, we catch a flight in Chicago. With 25 LONG minutes to spare, Tony decides to smoke. He heads outside of security. Amy is nervous but thankful that she has a patch to keep her happy. The gate agent gives the last call for boarding and there is no Tony in sight. I call him, and he says he is at security. The gate agent says there is no way that he will make it. Amy starts to panic but relaxes when the agent says there is a later flight. Whew...Travis hands me his bag and says he will wait for Tony. I am thrilled to have 2 bags to drag on board and to put in the overhead, and I skip all the way to the plane. Travis keeps asking the agent to please wait a few more minutes. Finally, Tony shows up but we are not sure that he will be able to make it on the plane. There is breathing hard and then there is breathing hard. Tony tells us that he was 4 lines deep at security and he asked everyone to go in front of them. He had a few angry people and a few who lectured him on smoking, but he made it through. Then, he forgot to get his license from the security container, but he is lucky in that the security people noticed and flagged him down. He then RAN to the gate (this was a LONG terminal). Anyway, you get the idea...he made it. We are relieved and are all on the plane. Next, the pilot says, we are waiting for someone to recheck the plane and we won't be leaving for 20 minutes. HA HA HA funny was that. Tony looks like he might puke.

We get settled in and wonder if we picked the right hotel to stay in as there is massive construction going on in the lobby. Ok, I think they were just replacing the fountain, but the noise level made you think they were tearing the building down. The nice guy who checks us in is very informative. 1. The noise will stop in 1 hour 2. It is a dry county, BUT his roommate is a doorman and can go get us beer in the next county for a fee. 3. There is $1 beer in the manager's reception. Whoa...he is the jackpot. We get settled in our rooms, and agree to meet in the party room (that would be my room). We decide that we need food and drink prior to working on the demo. We hit the manager's reception to find that there is no $1 beer because their beer isn't working. UGH...So, we get liquor (darn) and cheesburgers. We go to my room to work on the demo.

Thankfully, people at work had chipped in to prep the database because we worked until 5am on the database prepping for the demo. We wanted everything to be there at our fingertips so that it would show well. I thought Travis was going to have a nervous breakdown at 3am when we were only on Scenario 5, but I reassured him that the first 5 were the longest. :) Finally, at 5am, we agree to throw in the towel. We have done all we can and must have a little down time before we start at 7:30. I climb into bed at 5:15 and call the front desk to get a 6am wake up call. They chuckle, and I want to tell them that I really have been working but I decide to let it go. Wow, I am so glad that I am getting a whole 45 minutes sleep!!!! Night...

Monday, August 6, 2007


Thursday 5pm - we get the demo script for the biggest demo of my career.

4am Thursday - Morgan says, "Mom, my stomach hurts REALLY bad." Mom says, "Ok, go to sleep and hopefully it will feel better." :)
7:45am - Mom is brushing teeth and notices Morgan stomach contents are covering the bath mat and she is still emptying them on the rug. ICK...

By noon, I am wondering how in the world she can get sick that many times, so I call the doctor. Of course, they say that they are closing for the weekend ( is noon???). So, they say to go to the urgent care or the ER. Off we go to the urgent care. They check her blood count, seems ok, so they give medicine to keep her from getting sick and we go home.

Saturday, she is still sick. Sunday, she is getting worse. She is crying and keeps telling me how awful she feels. So, off to the ER we go. At this point, I am so tired of cleaning puke bowls, doing laundry, cleaning floors, and sleeping on the couch that I am not even making sense. I keep thinking about the demo script and wondering how I am going to get it done.

So, we drive to UCH with bowl in hand. She has puked 3 times by the time we arrive, and I am so glad that we decided to go. Thankfully, the ER was empty and we were taken right back to the back. She is having pain on the right side, so they think it is appendicitis. Off she goes for an ultrasound. The results are "suspicious but not confirmed." So, we have to get a CT scan which means she has to drink 3 large cups of the "dirty water." I am thinking that the "dirty water" is going to cause a "dirty floor" when her stomach empties on the floor, but thankfully they gave her "magic medicine" (Zofran) to help. They are also pumping tons of fluids into her which is good since she hasn't been able to keep any sips of water down. She managed to keep it down, and the CT didn't show her appendix at all. Since her white blood cell count was elevated, especially the bands, they were stil concerned. After a conference (isn't that always nice when all the doctors are discussing what to do), they decide to give IV antibiotics and to let her go home.

Mike is leaving to go out of town in a couple of hours, but he comes to the ER after he is all packed. He is taking my car to the car wash (I will skip the details but it is nasty and my mom is coming to visit later in the day). When he gets in the car, the gas light comes on. Great, wonderful timing. I go pick up the "magic medicine that melts" at the pharmacy while he takes the car to the car wash. When I get there, Mike tells me that my car battery died while it was inside the car wash! No way...what else can possibly happen to make this day even more fun is all I can think of. Of coure, there is nowhere open to get a new battery and my mom is going to be at my house in a few minutes (lovely, my house is a wreck). So, we chance it and go home. I am trying to figure out how I am going to leave town on Tuesday (less than 48 hours and counting) for the biggest demo of my career. Ugh...

I realize that I am never going to get set up for this demo by myself, so I send out a plea for help that night before I collapse on the couch with Morgan (downstairs is hard floors and upstairs is carpet - hard floors are much easier to clean).

Thankfully, the Zofran dissolving tablets (also known as magic medicine that melts) turned out to be a life saver. By Monday morning, she looks like a new kid. Whew... I start cramming for the demo. 24 hours before we leave. How much have I done? All of one scenario out of nine!!! Thankfully, my wonderful team has started getting ready for the demo and they have all started entering patients and helping me prepare. Uh oh, why do these scenarios keep talking about Attachements? A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J and K??? What is this thing talking about? We email the author, and they realize that they forgot to send the attachments. Lovely...I see no sleep in my future. I would have gone insane at this point but I am feeling much better as I see how much work my team has done. I think that it will be ok. At least my mom was in town to keep Morgan. It would have been much, much worse if she hadn't been there. By the time I get home, I realize that she is well enough for me to go on my demo trip. Phew!!! Maybe I should write a movie called Sicko....nah....:)

Somehow, I managed not to smoke during the ordeal...

Amy - smoke free for Two Months, Eight Days, 6 Hours and 54 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 5 Days and 18 Hours, by avoiding the use of 1663 cigs that would have cost me $283.50.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Two months smoke free!

-------------- smoke free for Two Months, 7 Hours and 18 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 5 Days and 2 Hours, by avoiding the use of 1471 cigs that would have cost me $250.75. Need some motivation to quit smoking? Try a quit meter and the Smoking Cessation Forum.

WOW... I made it to 2 months! For some reason, this seems like a big milestone. I am continually amazed at how hard it is to stop smoking. I consider myself to be a strong person who is pretty tough, but this stop smoking thing is ROUGH. Even after 2 months, I will stand up to go outside to smoke before I remember that I quit. I will get anxious every day at 3:00 when I would go smoke with my buddy Tony. When I get upset, it is the first thing I think of and I have been reduced to tears on many occasions just knowing that I can't have a cig. All of this, and I have been using the patch! There is something very, very wrong with this. I do not want to smoke. It is horrible for my health. I don't want my children to smoke or to be around it. Yet, it is still the most difficult thing I have ever done (no matter how many times I have quit in the past). However, the one thing that is different this time is that I don't ever think about just cheating and having one. I know that if I have a single puff, I will be right back where I was and will have to start this nightmare journey again. I believe I can do it, and I know that I must. I do have to say, thank GOD for the Nicotine Patch. I don't know if I would have survived without them. Can you just stay on the patch forever? :)

At gymnastics, Morgan now has to wear a sports bra. I was so not ready to purchase a bra with her, but I guess it all begins. Soon, my sweet (sometimes evil) daughter will be all into boys and will be a teenager on her way to college. I can't believe that she only has 2 more years of elementary school. I still think of her as a little girl, but I guess I need to get used to the fact that she is growing up. Try as I might, I don't think I can stop the process. She is thrilled with the sports bra though, and she can't wait to fill it in with real boobs. I have to keep telling her to put a shirt on because she wants to walk around in the sports bra and shorts like she seems some of the older girls at the gym do. I keep telling her that she doesn't want to be those girls. She doesn't seem to be buying it. In fact, she manufactured her own boobs just so she could see what it was like. I had to swear to not throw them away when she went to bed. I think I am going to have a rough few years...

On another subject, why is it so hard for doctors to move to electronic health records? I have decided that in my next life, I want to make a product for developers. When they find something they don't like, it becomes a challenge to find another way around it. Doctor's have to complain multiple times and then bring it up every day for the next five weeks (when they have found the next thing to complain about). Don't get me wrong, I understand that it is a life changing thing to go from paper to the computer for everything you do, especially when you are used to dictating. However, the benefits are enormous - especially with a cool product like Bond Clinician! :) I am glad that Craig Barrett has EMR's for his horses though...what a relief! I heard him talking at HIMSS 06, and he just couldn't understand why healthcare couldn't be more like banking. Hmmm....maybe adding and subtracting is a little easier than dealing with healthcare issues, patients, doctors, and such air tight standards as HL7 (this segment is for the patient name unless you don't have one and then you can use it for an account number unless you don't have one and then you can use it for date of birth or any other piece of information you feel like throwing in there).

Speaking of crazy things, did you hear that Club Penguin was sold for between 350 and 700 MILLION dollars????? Now that is amazing. Scratch what I said before...screw developers. I want kids as my market! I am pretty sure my kids haven't called the help desk once in the 9 months they have been members, and I don't think they have complained about it once. They do however tell their friends how cool it is and that they should get their parents to shell out $5.95 a month for it so that they can have puffles!

30 more days until Tennessee kicks off the football season at Cal! It's ALMOST football time in Tennessee!!!!!!! Rocky top, you'll always be, home sweet home to me, good ol' Rocky Top, Rocky Top Tennessee