Lets do it the hard way!

Image result for elctronic health record

Today was training, our group is changing EHR systems, that’s electronic health records for any of you lucky enough to not know…..

So the whole point of this is to save time, improve documentation, make things BETTER. Save paper, because everything is available electronically, right?…..right??!!

In a perfect world, this would make sense. In the most controlled of situations, it works. But it definitely doesn’t save time……. in fact most offices I know have hired more staff  just to help navigating and completing the charting now. We spend more time charting than with our patients….not by our choice.

There is still paper. Paper all over, paper to be scanned INTO the records…. paper kept in paper charts because our silly EHR system likes to freeze, or shut down a lot…. And funny enough, paper to be printed and given to patients each time they come if you want Medicare to like you.

So…. an example for you, to help understand the very special misery only using an EHR can provide……

Let’s use the example of getting dressed in the morning.

Used to be simple…. underwear items, outer layers, socks, shoes, coat….. whatever embellishments you liked, and done.

Now, you need to choose underwear that Medicare will recognize and give you credit for wearing, and so you have to get the fancy ones that you don’t wear very much and then you can only put them on if  you are facing east, and step into them with your right leg, followed by your left. You can’t sit down, and you can’t fall over or you lose 5% of  your reimbursement.

Your pants and shirt must be in the same color family, they can’t clash, and your shirt can’t be a shirt that too many people have or else you won’t get credit for wearing it unless you do something like rip a big hole in it, so it’s different enough but still the same shirt.

You have to ask your socks about their history, and their family history, and if they smoke, and if they feel depressed every time you put them on. Especially the smoking and depressed thing.

You have to chant a few nonsenses words, and do ten toe touches then turn around three times after each article of clothing….. and then you have to teach your shoes how to tie themselves, because otherwise you are just enabling them every time you tie the damn things.

A very loose example….. but the frustration would be the same…..

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My headache cure

It started yesterday evening, a stabbing into my skull ranging from a very light throb, to a vicious pounding that makes me wince. Of course, I keep thinking I need to take something for it, but never seem to make my way to the bottle of ibuprofen.

Woke up with same headache, trying to keep myself from scowling at everyone as I continue to forget to do anything about it except be miserable and crabby.

This afternoon, I forced the kids to lie down with me so I could try to close my eyes in a dark room. I finally remembered to swallow the medicine and wanted a chance for it to work. The kids took turns propping stuffed animals on me before the youngest finally cuddled next to me, falling asleep immediately.

Sammy was reading in his bed, I thought…..

And then before I knew it he was standing next to me, big smile on his face.

“I brought you a sandwich and a glass of milk for your headache.”

Sure enough, he had dragged a table next to my bed, and had laid out his headache cure for my enjoyment.

What kind of sandwich?

I was thinking it was going to be peanut butter and jelly…..but not from this fancy guy.

A combination of American cheese and sprouts, nestled between slices of dry wheat bread. Sure to banish any headache in moments.

I ate (some of) that sandwich because he is awesome and I love how much he loves me. Bonus points for his original sandwich making skills.

 

 

Farming in the burbs

Last year I had grand intentions of growing stuff, gardening, feeding my family the vegetables I lovingly tended…. but it just didn’t happen. Thank god for Trader Joe’s, picking up the slack for me in the whole fresh organic produce department…

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humble beginnings

 

This year, I found the ready to plant seed pods I had in the garage, leftover from last years pipe dream…. and for some reason found myself with a smidge more motivation. Well, I told the kids about planting a garden, and then was forced into action by their very effective nagging to get started on it.

I got these big container things as we zoomed through home depot, knowing we don’t have a good area for planting in the yard right now. Wasn’t sure how it would turn out, but we really had nothing to lose. The kids loved filling everything up with dirt, choosing which pods to plant, and watering. Of course we didn’t end up marking what we were planting….but all the more fun when we find out what’s growing.

See it!!! They actually started to grow!!  And Sammy has watered them daily, he takes his job very seriously.

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It’s alive!

first casualty….

It’s a daily event, Sammy waters “his” plants. We try to figure out what each one is, and wonder when we will notice actual food growing. IF actual food will truly grow.

Guess what I saw today?

hello zucchini!!

I told the kids we at least know one of our plants is “working” and we will be eating our very own zucchini soon!  They didn’t seem very excited. “But we don’t like zucchini!”

I don’t think it was wrong of me to suggest that home grown veggies taste a lot better than the stuff we buy at the store.

And it’s magical, and might make you fly.

Lazy and delicious dinner

I wanted to grill something for dinner. Had it all planned in my head, but my kitchen wasn’t producing the quick bottle of marinade or BBQ sauce I required.

Pondered going to the store, decided I was just too lazy to leave the house again, and turned to Pinterest for something I could throw together fast with things I already had in my kitchen.

My laziness paid off, in spades. You are welcome. Enter an amazing, delicious, FAST marinade for pretty much anything you want to throw it on.It’s called Easy grilled chicken, and it is really great on chicken…but I also used it on zucchini, red peppers, and tofu.

The ingredients are simple

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

This list is literally copied and pasted from the recipe at damndelicious.net. I did take some creative liberties with what I had on hand. Such as Balsamic salad dressing instead of balsamic vinegar. Stone ground mustard instead of Dijon. Dried parsley instead of fresh. I also just eyeballed amount of each ingredient to use, as I was still too lazy to dirty any measuring spoons…. Hmmm, I’m not sure I even used rosemary, I think I used basil instead.

Whatever. It was amazing. You can literally throw these things together and they will come out as a delicious way to season anything you want to grill. Try it!  I didn’t even have to let the food soak up the flavor, stick it all together and let the chicken or veggies sit 15 minutes then BAM, on the grill.

Here’s another gem, if you are into sweet/salty/bitter things.

My husband loves this watermelon salad I make in the summer…. I think there are lots of variations:

You need watermelon, feta cheese, sunflower seeds (I used roasted/salted), and olives. This time I used a mix of green and black. You need the kind that make you pucker when you eat them, pits are usually not removed. Just put it together according to your taste.

Yum!

 

Facing facts

Until this past year, I have lived my life blissfully ignoring “recommended calories” when I felt like it. I knew I ate horribly, but figured that box of swiss cake rolls I gobbled in the darkness of the pantry would be offset by the lack of breakfast or lunch on most days.

My night snacking was enjoyable. And again, in the spirit of refusing to face reality, I chose to believe that all the crap I ate right before bed would just kind of….disappear, and I’d have a reset the next day.

Why not, that’s how it’s always worked!

I was blessed by genetics, taking after my mother who had 5 kids, never exercised, and always had a tiny waist. My hip bones stood in proud defiance of the calories I ingested.

But one day, I noticed that my scale wasn’t working right anymore. In fact, it seemed to be stuck higher than I was used to. Then it went higher. I started to worry….. and finally panic as weeks went by, and the number never went down. Instead….it crept up.

Suddenly, I’m noticing a new softness across the midsection…. at the waistband…. and I consider my options. I won’t say I’m not very interested in smart lipo. I absolutely am in love with the idea…… except I would literally be spending my kids tuition to get it, so I sigh, and consider some more.

I’m no stranger to exercise, but still struggling to fit it in the schedule with these kids, and this job, and all this other stuff going on… and let’s face it….. working out for 20 minutes, and then stuffing my face with a chocolate lava cake is probably not going to help much.

I did recently download this app, called MyNetDiary.  It counts calories, tracks weight, give access to all sorts of tips and articles about weight loss, working out etc. I started plugging in what I ate, even more motivating was the option to scan barcodes… if only I ate more packaged food… it’s so fun to scan and see everything pop up for you!

I started this about 2 weeks ago. I’ve quickly become addicted. I put in my current weight, my goal weight, my level of activity, and a date I want to achieve my goal. I weigh myself in the morning, and log my food, even glasses of water.

It really works!!  For once, I feel like I have something keeping me in check when I go scavenging for sweets, although it was depressing to find out that each starburst has 40 calories. I’m actually starting to think about things being calorie-worthy….. am I finally a real grown up?

Today we had lunch with my mom for Mothers Day. Olive Garden…. who can survive that??!!  I ate 2 breadsticks, all the while fuming about the 300 calories they were costing me. Still smothered them in alfredo sauce. Salad, a scoop of shrimp scampi from the lighter fare menu, and half piece of tiramisu.

I think I usually eat a lot more than I did, but for the first time I was aware and made an effort to eat within my limit for the day. Since then I’ve had 2 cups of tea, and more salad. That’s it. I did go over calories, but only by 161—not the zillion it would have been.

And I’ve lost 3 pounds. First thinking it’s a fluke, but it seems to be real. I love to look at the graph and see the downward trend. It’s so motivating!

Oh, I’m not going to give up my pantry snacking completely, one must have some joy in life….. But finally, I think I might be motivated enough to stick to something. And I am working out more, running in fact! (well, jogging…. in a slow and painful, gasping way). In fact, this is how I started my Mothers Day today…..

Now let’s not get all metaphorical…. it’s not representative of the “road I’m going to travel for my health”, it’s not “my life’s journey”…

It’s a track. At the rec center. I ran/jogged/walked on it. But it’s a start 🙂

 

 

 

Meh.

Diet-cat

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For the past week, I’ve been walking around with aching muscles. I’ve been packing things like crunchy granola bars and fresh fruit to eat at work.

I’ve been working out, even though on one occasion the 5 year old had to shame me into it.

I have drastically scaled down my junk food snacking, depending on not just my gummy vitamin D’s, but gummy fish oil and gummy probiotics to pick up the slack.

Today…. Sammy and Jenna wanted pizza for dinner, he missed pizza day at school this week.

I ordered it…

then I worked out while I starved and watched them stuffing the greasy cheese pizza into their faces (with sides of fresh fruit and veggies). I did two workouts.

I then piled a plate with salad, got a glass of water, and ONE piece of pizza.

Normally I would have downed 2 or 3 pieces, NOT worked out, and chewed the pizza with mouthfuls of sprite or iced tea squishing together in blissful harmony before swallowing. I don’t drink much soda, but I find with pizza, it is the drink of choice for me. I love the interaction between carbonation and greasy crust…. fizzy, squishy, greasy goodness.

I did have a fleeting moment of what might have been real motivation to improve my lifestyle and health last week, but it didn’t last beyond a 30 second sense of supreme optimism.

I have since gotten very familiar with this feeling of…Meh. Basically mad at pizza for being bad for me, mad at chocolate for making me want it, mad at myself for being mad about wanting to be healthy, and forcing myself to do it anyway. I’m so MEAN.

I can’t wait until I’m 72. I’ve decided that is the age I will decide enough of this crap, and enjoy ho-ho’s and peppermint patties all day long if I want.

 

The girl I wanna be

I ran into her today, after taking Jenna to the splash pad this afternoon.

HER….being a woman near my age (I think), who looks completely AMAZING. Couple that with a winning personality, and smarts, it’s a no brainer. She ran a 5 mile race on her birthday this week, and came in FIRST. Who wouldn’t want to be her??

Now, I don’t mean this literally, I really enjoy myself and my life. I wouldn’t want to switch all that stuff. BUT… her arms. Her arms are perfect. I stared at them as we chatted for a second or two. And I envied them.

She is dedicated to working out, she runs…for like, miles. She tries to get enough sleep and adjusts her diet to allow her to reach her goals with her running.

And here I am….just snuck two bites of Jenna’s superman ice cream, and WOULD have ordered a hot fudge sundae of my own if the lady hadn’t rushed me at the counter….. addicted to stupid burger king onion rings…..

I'm pretty sure she looks like this when she races.... theathleticbuild.com

I’m pretty sure she looks like this when she races….
theathleticbuild.com

I imagine I look like this next to her..... istockphoto.com

I imagine I look like this next to her…..
istockphoto.com

I told her I was just getting back into working out. This is true….again. I’m ALWAYS just getting back into working out, I haven’t actually made it a habit for years… so the three days a week I am doing? I didn’t tell her that at least one of those is just a 10 minute superfast CD so I can “say” I worked out that day. And probably clenching my butt cheeks when I walk outside with the kids isn’t good enough. Dammit.

So I look at her, and admire her, and think…..I would love to look like her. And what will I do about it?

Perhaps because I’m turning 40 in a few short weeks…. suddenly the knowledge that I COULD look great if I wanted to isn’t cutting it. Suddenly, the excuse of having 4 kids isn’t enough…. genetics have been very nice to me, but maybe it’s time for me to help out a bit more.

By the way, getting back to this girl, it is impossible to hate her for her perfection. She’s too nice!! She offered to run with me when I mentioned that I might like to start. I think she was serious.

I honestly told her I would need to do some work alone, I had to look better first…before I could subject myself to that. I want to sit her down and find out what she does, besides running…what’s her super-effective workout secret??

So today I made myself a promise. Kind of. I told myself I would try really hard to avoid onion rings and eat more carrots and fruit. I am going to pack a lunch instead letting myself starve until only fried grease will satisfy me. Edamame!!!! I will eat more of it!! I will FORCE myself to start working out at least every other day…. probably I will start this tomorrow….

And I will still clench my butt cheeks when I walk, because I think it’s not hurting anything.