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This Day in My History

2000:  Me and Granny Muffin
2001:  Ready or Not, Here I Come
2002:  California Thru the Back Door
2003:  Mountains and Molehills
2004:  Do I Remember?
Catching the Wild Yeast
2006:  And Then There Were Seven


Books Read in 2007

Updated 2/28:
"The Cat Who Turned Off and On"



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7 April 2007

As I sat at the computer, I realized that I was sitting in a way I hadn't sat in weeks.  I took this picture for my 365 project.

I remembered that this was how I sat for oh too many hours before my mother's accident, when I contemplated putting another tape in the transcription unit and starting the transcription.

The thought of hearing the psychiatrist's voice again and starting another report just depressed me so much that nothing ever got accomplished.  How happy I have been the past 3 months, after having told him that I would be out of commission until my mother was back on her feet again.

Now I opened the new envelope from the psychiatrist and found not one, not two, not three...five tapes from him.  I am behind and buried before I've even started.

Before I get lots of e-mail advice, I have to confess that this is a convoluted situation.  I had a recent e-mail from a friend, who is also a transcriptionist, detailing the doctors she had worked for yesterday.

Dr. X with his "dees ees a STAT dictation. Dees eees a procedure dictation. Dees is a 24 hour manometry dictation..... " Aggghhhh. It gets worse from there.

Dr. Y (extreemly ESL) trying to dictate an intraforaminal epidural steroid injection... Oh God give me patience!!! You should have heard what "22-gauge Quinke needle" sounded like.

Next, Dr. Z .... a Chinese doctor ... he makes a 4 syllable word out of "period." And he slurs all of his words, and barely has a grasp on English. Makes one wonder how he communicates with his patients.

I am so lucky.  The psychiatrist is one of the best dictators I have ever worked for.  Everything is crystal clear.  He's also not demanding.  He has never been angry with me about anything. He doesn't have a clue how much I charge, he just pays whatever bill I give him (once I accidentally billed him twice for one month and he paid both bills and when I returned the second check told me that if I had kept it he never would have known).  We have a good relationship, and our families have been friends for more than 30 years.

Not only that, but his work is moderately interesting.  There are patients he has been seeing for more than 10 years and I have an interest in their progress.  It's much more interesting than a physical exam report is.

So why do I hate this job so damn much?  Why can't I just start it and do it? 

I don't know.

The logical question, then, is why don't I just quit?  Walt is retired.  Why don't I retire too, if I loved not doing his work so much and hate starting it again?

I don't know that either.

There is a part of the situation that is a pride thing.  I have been doing his work for 25-30 years.  He's about 75 years old now and there is some sense of wanting to stick it out until he is the one who retires.  Surely any day now, right?  But he shows no sign of slowing down.  (His wife tells me that in another year or two, she is going to insist he retire so they can spend more time traveling to visit their grandchildren.)

I'm sure he has ambivalent feelings about this too.  It's difficult to find psychiatrists who do what he does and he is the only one in this area who does and I'm sure he feels a sense of responsibility to the doctors who ask him to monitor their patients' medications.

But oh god do I not want to start this all over again.

And yet I can't bring myself to say the words "I quit."

So I sit here, slumped down in my chair, staring off into space, wishing I were doing anything else, and knowing that the longer it takes me to start the first tape, the more will be in the "backed up" file.

It reminds me of when we grew zucchini during my one very brief "earth mother" period.  The kids hated zucchini and our zucchini grew to watermelon size.  My threat to the kids was always "the longer it takes you to eat this one, the larger the one in the back yard is going to be."

Might as well take a deep breath and plunge in.  But first let me sit here and stare off into space for a little longer...


Izzy, Jools and Lottie,
3 of Peggy's charges


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