February. Waiting for the other shoe

So it’s February.  I admit, we have had winter weather blow down from the North and I’m really not enjoying it that much.  it’s in the low 40’s with a wind chill… The odd science Americans use in February to predict the weather lied!


We have had a few 80 degree days which I’ve really enjoyed.

Honestly the end of January and the beginning of February… has been crazy. All sorts of good things have been happening and thus..I’m starting to think that the other shoe is about to drop. I did actually have to investigate exactly where that idiom came from…  I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the origin of the idiom, but it makes sense.

Given my life in the past couple of years, I kind of expect…



In late January I was notified that I was one of the lucky selected to attend a training class for the National Healthcare Safety Network, at the CDC.  I spend a lot of time engrossed with the NHSN definitions of health care acquired infections, or affectionately known by most infection preventionists as simply, “The Criteria”

NHSN is extremely frustrating in one way- you can not phone them at all, ever, about anything.  You can not email a particular person with a question, and you don’t really know what it is that goes on up in Atlanta.  If one has a question they must send it to a generic mailbox and hope that someone answers the question by email.  As you might imagine this can be kind of frustrating.  I usually get answers from them, but many many of my work colleagues have either heard no reply or have gotten “The Criteria” cut and pasted into an email.  Since Value Based Purchasing  is based heavily on the data provided by use of the criteria, it’s CRITICAL that IP’s understand how to apply the definitions – so not being able to ever talk to someone on a phone is difficult.

So, the opportunity to physically be at the CDC, learn more and discuss “the criteria” in great detail with other Infection Preventionists was very appealing to me. In addition it is AT the CDC physically, so that is super duper cool… I see they have a new exhibit up at the museum abut “Defeating Ebola” I can’t wait to see it, although it is my personal opinion that while the CDC may have done fantastic work in West Africa they did a horrendous job communicating and working with hospitals across the USA. It’s been a while since I traveled for work, and I know Ill make some great connections and friendships.  Deep down I keep hoping someone will slip me a REAL email address…or phone number.

SO Woot woot!  Atlanta Here I Come!!!!  I admit, I was slightly less enthused when I realized how cold Atlanta is compared to Florida.  I need to obtain a winter coat.

Secondly, my faithful 3 readers will recall that we have gotten a new Director at the job.  She is a firebrand. She is also, however, an overwhelmed firebrand. It would seem that they dropped so much on her that she is just running here there and everywhere.  I like her, she’s demonstrated the ability to rapidly and correctly assess situations, work with difficult personalities, show compassion and kindness, and provide support.  I had not had much interaction with her prior to my surgery, but in the past two weeks I’ve to do a lot of projects with her. I completed an analysis of one lab test that we thought was being overused. It was a huge pain.  After this I started doing observations in the OR for one of the service lines.  These types of observations are kind of tough because I sit in on cases and sometimes make people nervous.  Then, I make recommendations, which tend to upset staff, management etc.  There has been a lot of finger pointing and  I never like making recommendations because it requires some deep political finesse to get everyone to want to change things, without having them think they were being accused. My Director has several times now praised me in public and is helping me make it through those political nightmares.  It has made me feel enthusiastic to actually get up and go to work again.  I almost feel out of my chair one day because she called me Passionate about Infection Prevention….You’ll remember at my old job...So, this is good, but of course, since I am in a touchy area- the OR- I am expecting something or someone to complain.  Still it feels good to be doing good work, getting feedback that it is good, and contributing.

Thirdly- my SPINE.  I saw my Doctor in follow up a week ago.  I was actually feeling very depressed because I had had a few pain free weeks and then BAM! I had started to have very intense hip/calf and foot pain.  My X-rays look great, and he spent a great deal of time telling me that most likely I would improve over time and that the waxing and waning of symptoms was typical.  He cleared me to get a deep tissue massage, and PT which I scheduled right away. I was concerned about the massage, but it seems it really was the key.  I chose Mona the marvelous. She has so much experience, and given that I still feel freshly operated on, I didn’t want just anyone… She did a pretty short massage, and I walked out pain free.  In fact, the next day I noted that my pain in my calf was reduced and the sensation was increased to that area.  Had not really had any problems with pain since.  I’ll see her in two weeks.  I start PT on Monday and I’m looking forward to getting stronger.  I have so much more energy since I’m not in constant pain, and I am finding even the difficulties of standing for 8 hours in an OR…are not really that bad.

SO… I’m just waiting for a complaint from someone who matters, or a some other thing to come rain on my parade…don__t_rain_on_my_parade_by_kiku_chan13-d4juia4.jpg





5 thoughts on “February. Waiting for the other shoe

  1. No! No raining! 🙂 Sunny skies for you this year. Glad things, thus far, are going well for you. And yes, Atlanta is an anomaly and is weirdly cold this time of year, even more so than here in Charlotte. How cool about the NHSN conference there. SO excited for you!

    • I’m pretty excited! I have lists and lists of examples and concerns. The “criteria” are updated about twice a year and as one of the surgeon put it, “incredibly convoluted and dense” (Why I have a job!).
      I’m so hoping things do continue to go well.

  2. You have an extremely challenging job, one I don’t envy since you’re challenging the authority of doctors in the OR. And while recovering from back surgery! It’s great you have a supportive boss, especially after your previous place of employment. Just mind the stress and keep visiting that marvelous masseuse!

    • Well the nice thing is that I do not have to stop them right then and there. Mostly I compile a report, make an attractive power point of the findings, throw in some recommendations and then someone with more authority has the face to face, but the observations…can be tough, thankfully I wear a mask so every time my jaw hits the floor no one can tell.

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