Saturday, August 31, 2013


So, we've been in Nebraska for a few weeks now and things are starting to settle down, but only just starting it feels like:) We're basically moved into our house, but we're to that annoying part of unpacking where you just have piles of little crap all over the place that you have no idea where to put but you don't really want to throw up. This is when you ferret stuff away and then can't ever find it so you buy new and then when you move out again you find it and exclaim, "THAT'S where that was!" Hopefully with this long weekend we'll be able to get it all picked up and put away. Then there is wallpaper to strip and walls to paint. I"ll just have to get used to my house being in a relative state of chaos for a bit I think.

I started my job last Monday. I was talking to Rhonda a week or so ago, and I think that she said it right. Medicine is a weird world. I go from making hardly any money and having no control whatsoever as to when I work, how many patients I see, or anything. Then, all of a sudden, one day you are the boss. There is no slow gain of responsibility as you prove you can handle it. Just one day, that's it. And truly, for right now, Bonnie (my office manager) is my boss. She tells me what is what and I listen to her advice on pretty much everything. She's been so helpful. But ultimately I have to make the decisions.

And it's been going OK. I had her start me out slow with just 6-8 patients in a half day. By Friday I saw 11 in the morning and I was still sitting around a fair amount so we are going to add more spots still. I had surgery on Thursday, starting at noon. I told Bonnie to just put 3 cases on because I didn't know how fast I would be and I knew it would be a transition for the OR. I finished by 2:00 which means that we can probably go up to 5 or 6 cases, which is basically where Dr. Shreck was when he left. At his busiest he was doing 8 in a half day, but he's got a lot of arthritis in his hand and so had to cut back a year or so ago.

I've changed how some things work for me, which the technicians have been receptive to. I didn't know how they would do. Marji has been with Dr. Shreck for 21 years, and she was so nervous she was in tears before I got here because she didn't know how the new doctors was going to want to do things. From my standpoint that is just silly because I'm just not the kind of person to yell at people and I've gotten much more laid back in my old age. But she's done great. And I interviewed and hired a new technician with Bonnie's help this week as well. We needed another one, so she will probably start before the end of September.

Another interesting happening is that the other ophthalmology practice in town is sort of semi-closing. Originally it was owned by Dr. Young. He was from North Platte and started practicing here about 15 years ago or so. His wife left him when she found out about his girlfriend, and moved with their daughter to Omaha. Dr. Young stuck around North Platte for awhile and had brought on another employed ophthalmologist, Dr. Tennent, but he eventually left Dr. Tennent to run the practice and moved to Omaha where he's been working with another ophthalmology group there. Well, Dr. Tennent's wife lives in Chicago, so he's been commuting, so-to-speak, back and forth for the two or three years since Dr. Young left. But, a few weeks ago Dr. Tennent said he had family issues to take care of and was moving back to Chicago. So as of September 13 I will be the one and only ophthalmologist in North Platte. Dr. Young has an optometrist that is going to continue to see patients, and he has some cockamamie idea about shuttling patients to Omaha for cataract surgery after the optometrist approves them (which, unless he charges them for the shuttle, is illegal). I don't think that will work out very well for him, but we will see. From what Bonnie says he's somewhat of an alcoholic, which means he's fairly unpredictable. But I think that means that I'm about to get supremely busy. Which is OK with me, at least for now.

So, I still feel fairly unsure in my new role. Bonnie is helping me along, and I am very lucky to have a husband who understands far more of the business side than I do. I'm sure after a few months it will be no big thing, but for right now I feel like I'm in over my head. Which is what I expected:)

Once we get more furniture in the house and walls painted/wall paper stripped, I'll post some pictures on here:) Furniture comes September 17th!

Monday, August 12, 2013

New Beginnings

Back to this blog for a short (I hope) post. I'm sitting at one of my best friend's kitchen tables right now, thinking about everything that has happened and will happen in the next few weeks. It's been a crazy time. As most of you know, since I think only about 3 people read this, the follow up from my last post was not as Charlie and I would have hoped. I had a miscarriage in Ulan-Ude Russia, which went about as well as can be expected. We were fortunately able to finish the trip, and I'm feeling back to normal now except for the fact that a 2 mile run damn near kills me.

We got back to Columbus late last Thursday night, and have spent the last 3 days saying goodbye to many very special people. Max and Ellen, Billy and Nicole, Dominic and Katie. Shane and Sireesha are already gone to Wooster and starting their new life. It has been sort of bittersweet to be back. It is so good to see everyone one last time, but there is a finality to it. Being here without a house saying goodbye to everyone, I think it's been hard on both of us.

But I know that it must be done. Staying in Columbus was never the right decision for us, even though we love it so much. There are no jobs for Charlie and no good ones for me. Everyone in Nebraska is very excited about us coming, and it feels good to finally be moving to a place that it feels like we can put down some roots if we want.

So today, after my Ob/Gyn appointment, we head off. To Iowa City tonight, Omaha tomorrow for a few days, and then North Platte on Thursday so that we can close on our house. Hopefully our things come soon. And hopefully the transition to being an attending goes smoothly. It's nerve wracking, but there is only one thing to do... jump on in:)