mellicious: pink manicure (Happy NY - sparkly)
I do hope we're not about to get invaded by Daleks. That would kinda mess up my plans to play Diablo for the rest of New Year's Day.

Also, before I forget, thank you to Richard and Jennifer for running Holidailies again (and I hope you manage to banish those nasty Daleks)! And thanks also to Jette, whose idea it was back in the day!

I don't normally make resolutions, because I just forget all about them by the end of the week, but this year I have one that I need to take seriously. As everyone who was around to hear about it endlessly at the time knows, I got certified in medical coding a few years ago, and then I happened on two part-time jobs that I liked - neither of which had anything at all to do with it - and so never got a coding job. I did keep up with my required 48 hours of continuing education (I know that's kind of a lot, but it's because I ended up with two certifications - one more intended for physician offices and one for hospitals - thus I have to do twice as much!) in 2011 and 2012 - it's 48 hours every TWO years. And in 2013 I slacked off. I didn't mean to, I just did, because that's how I roll. I am a procrastinator. So not only do I have to make up for that, but this is the year when I probably need to get a coding job if I'm ever going to, because October 1st is when ICD-10 finally is going to happen, and supposedly a lot of older coders are going to retire rather than learn a whole new system. As near as I can determine from what I've seen so far, there's nothing particularly difficult about it, it's just different, but you know how some people are about change! So the big window for getting a job exists, at least in theory, and also there is a possibility that my bookkeeping job (which like most jobs with small businesses, is contract work) is going to end at some point. In any case, it has come to stress me out unduly and it's probably best that I move on fairly soon, whether it ends or not. So, studying needs to ensue, both to catch up on the continuing ed, and to learn ICD-10, and also just to catch up in general, because I got certified, what, almost 4 years ago? and I am rusty. It's a big resolution, really, as far as the amount of work that needs to be done, but I've got to knuckle down and do it.

(Good news for those of you that enjoyed this little feature, though: the "medical term for today" entries might well be making a comeback!)
mellicious: pink manicure (Dr Who - adipose)
accumulation of fluid in the peritoneal cavity, most often due to cirrhosis

(This is pronounced with three syllables, accent on the long i.)

This is one of those words that I know I've come across before but it hasn't quite stuck in my brain for some reason. I usually think putting those here helps. I'm doing an A&P refresher as part of my next round of continuing education, and I definitely can use the refresher since I'm not doing this stuff on a day-to-day basis. If I was, I'm sure I'd know this one by now. (Actually, I suspect the picture on the Wikipedia page may be enough to make me remember. Don't go look if you're delicate, it's a bit gross.)
mellicious: pink manicure (Xmas bow)
Bladder Botox
Refers to the procedure described in the code below, in which botulinum toxin (Botox) is injected to paralyze overactive bladder muscles.
New CPT code for 2013:
52287 Cystourethroscopy, with injection(s) for chemodenervation of the bladder

The presenter also threw around some jargon I hadn't heard before, which I present here for your edification:
  • GEMs - general equivalence mappings (refers to ICD-9-to-ICD-10 mapping - "general equivalence" seems to be a way of waffling around the fact that it doesn't always work out quite right)
  • Provider neutrality - refers to rewording that the AMA is doing to clarify that not all work must be done by a physician - this has led to the use of the term "qualified healthcare professional" (abbreviated QHCP or QHP), mostly meaning those people that you sometimes see in lieu of a physician, like physician assistants & nurse-practitioners

And, since this is not everyday jargon for most people, a quick guide to the acronyms:
AMA - American Medical Association
CPT - Current Procedural Terminology (aka procedure codes) - published by the AMA
ICD-9 - International Classification of Diseases, 9th edition (aka diagnosis codes) - to be replaced by ICD-10, the 10th edition, somewhere in the near future (currently scheduled for 10/1/2014, but it's already been changed several times)

Added I would like to note that I got the quiz afterwards (which earns you an extra CEU credit if you pass) 100% right on the first try, and all three of those items (i.e., "bladder botox" and the two bullet-point items) were on it. So I owe my stellar grade partly to the time I spent typing all that out!
mellicious: pink manicure (Happy NY - sparkly)
We went to see The King's Speech this afternoon - I liked it more than I expected to. I liked it quite a lot, actually, and the rest of the audience seemed to too. The theater was almost full, too. I have been looking up various members of the royal family on Wikipedia ever since I got home.

I didn't come straight home, though, I dropped Rob off and went and got a sandwich at Schlotzsky's and then went to Starbucks, where I read about OB/Gyn codes for a couple of hours, in preparation for my interview on Tuesday. (Today I read about procedure codes, and tomorrow I need to do diagnosis codes; then I'll be as prepared as I reasonably can be, I think.)

I've apparently gotten over yesterday's relapse. I'm still sucking on cough drops, but that's not so bad. I always manage to be sick sometime between Christmas and New Year's, that's just inevitable.

I hear that the Texans actually won today - I suppose it taped, so I guess I'll have to watch it this time, instead of erasing it like I've been doing most of the year. Usually I've already heard before I get around to watching that they lost, and then it's too depressing to watch it. I'm just not enough of a masochist for that.

Minor Spoilers for Those Damn Martin Books )

Home again

Dec. 31st, 2010 07:00 pm
mellicious: pink manicure (Happy NY - sparkly)
We are home from Dallas (again). I have to say the drive seems much shorter with some company. I think Rob enjoyed the trip, too, so that's good. I took my test, and I basically have no idea if I passed or not. I might have or might not have - I did a good bit of educated guessing, here and there, and it all depends on how well I guessed! If not, then I do this again later, although hopefully I'll be able to do it without another trip to Dallas, because I am very tired of that drive.

What with the intervening holidays and all, I don't know when I'll find out if I passed or not - sometime the end of next week, maybe. Before that, I have another job interview - for an OB/Gyn coding job, this time. I think that might be a very interesting job.

Oh, I did get over being sick in time for the test, thank goodness. I was still sucking on cough drops the whole time, but at least I wasn't sneezing and hacking and all that. Wednesday morning I was still feeling bad enough that I briefly considered trying to reschedule, but I really, really wanted to get it over with, and happily, it all worked out.

We went to the grocery store on the way home this afternoon, and oh my god, it was a zoo. Now we are home watching Doctor Who specials, and I am very happy to be here. I've spent so much time running around in the last week that home feels like a giant treat.

Happy new year, y'all!
mellicious: pink manicure (Xmas light gif)
I don't know why I keep ending up in the Dallas area this past year. I'm not doing it on purpose, really - but events keep sending me there, somehow. The seminar I just went to is only held in about 5 locations around the country, and that's one of them. Both times I've gone to schedule a certification test, there weren't any in Houston on the dates I wanted, but there were ones in Dallas. And I've always wanted to go to BeadFest, which usually is held in more exotic locations like, well, Philadelphia - so when they announced the one in Arlington, I immediately signed up for a class on a whim. (That was an expensive whim, but the class was good.) I hadn't spent any appreciable time in that area in years and years, or when it comes right down to it, I'd never spent more than a few days there, total, ever. But now that I've been up there four times in less than a year, with one more that I know of to go, I'm starting to learn my way around, a bit. There are some pretty neighborhoods in Dallas proper - sort of like University Place in Houston used to be, before they started knocking all the cute old houses down and building McMansions. (Do they have zoning in Dallas? Those areas seem much more unspoiled than their Houston counterparts.) And there's some nice shopping, and of course there's Six Flags and the Ballpark at Arlington and all that, but other than that, what I've seen of DFW is mostly freeways and strip centers and suburbs, just like Houston. Not all that exciting, but really, I could bear to live there, if I had a reason to.

I did exactly the same thing I did the last time around - I went to sleep late Sunday night before I left, and got up early Monday because I couldn't sleep, and then when I got there I was totally exhausted and went to bed really, really early - like, I was watching "CharlieWillie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" around 9:00, and I fell asleep around the time Veruca fell down the garbage chute. (I did stay awake long enough for that. That was always my favorite part. But I must've sacked out moments after it happened.) Then in the morning I was dressed and downstairs so early that the breakfast buffet hadn't even opened yet. Very nice buffet, eventually, though, with omelets and the whole thing, exactly what I was in the mood for. The hotel was the Sheraton DFW (actually apparently there are two Sheraton DFWs, but it was one of them, anyway) and it was chock-full of people here for various conventions, plus a whole lot of airline employees - it was mostly those last eating breakfast around me at 6:30 this morning. I'm told one of the other conventions was a Christian thing of some sort, and I saw people carrying musical instruments into the big ballroom next door, although if they actually played anything we weren't close enough to hear it. (I was thinking that it was some sort of musician's convention, but it strikes me that they could also have been playing for the religious thing. That would seem to fit.)

Incidentally, Sheratons these days seem to have marvelously comfortable beds. I stayed in one in Arlington the last time, too, and it was just the same. I highly recommend the beds, if you have occasion to avail yourself of one. (The rest of the hotel is fine, too.)

The conference I went to was about next year's CPT changes. (That means the procedure codes for surgeries and doctor visits and such.) There are enough of them every year that they publish a whole book with just the changes (which was given to us as part of the price of admission, along with a 2011 CPT book) and more than enough of them to fill an all-day conference. Usually (in my vast experience of two of these things) there's one big issue every year - usually something that affects reimbursement. Last year it was that CMS (i.e., Medicare) had stopped paying for consults. It's not actually a CPT topic at all, really, but it was what everybody wanted to talk about. This year the big change was in coding for cardiac caths. From a purely coding point of view, they've made it much easier. You used to use multiple codes for each procedure and now they're bundling them and there will be only one. But if you add up the reimbursements for all the old codes, it was higher than the reimbursement for the one new one, so if you were really using all 3-7 codes for the old ones, you won't be getting as much money. What I'm wondering, though, is how many people were really using all of the possible codes. (But I have no immediate way of knowing the answer to that.)
mellicious: pink manicure (mermaid)
Anybody want a lemur for their profile page? Seriously, I get some free ones, apparently. (I mislaid the link but you should be able to look in the LJ store if you want to know what they look like.)

I'm back to going to Starbucks every afternoon and sitting for at least an hour or so and studying. Except now I'm working on continuing education units instead of studying for the certification test. I figure if I finally get an interview I need to be able to talk the up-to-date talk, and when I get a job it'll be good to be ahead on the CEUs, because I have to have 18 hours by January, which sounds like a lot to me.

I finished reading North and South - it was 500 pages of small print and I blew through it in two days so I think that tells you I liked it. I was worried it was going to be hard going (I think I was worried that it might go on excessively about the working conditions of 19th-century mill workers) but it wasn't. Now I want to watch the miniseries again. Actually I have threatened to make Rob watch the miniseries but I don't know if I'll follow through on that.

I made some little resin pendants - it's the first jewelry I've made in ages. It's harder to get the resin to work correctly than the tutorials would have you believe, but they look cute, anyway. If I ever get any pictures taken I'll put up a link. Next I need to drag out all of the skull beads that I've been collecting and make some necklaces so I can sell them in the fall. I took down my Etsy store because I wasn't doing the work to promote it and thus I wasn't selling anything, but I think the skull necklaces would sell, if I'll just get around to making them. (Fall feels like a long way away right now but of course it'll be here before we know it.)

(Speaking of Etsy and skulls, I bought these earrings which are the cutest thing ever. They just came today; they are incredibly light and they really truly don't seem to have sharp edges, although I'm not clear on how they manage that.)
mellicious: pink manicure (Potter - sit down)
I am trying to get some studying done, but it's not going all that well. I need a way to shut all the rest of the internet off except for the parts I need for class. This is the reason I do a lot of studying at Starbuck's and such places, but unfortunately I have to get on the computer sometimes, and if I take the laptop to Starbuck's that's just taking the problem with me. (The real problem being, of course, that I have no self-discipline. And that's pretty insoluble.)

I used this icon on my post last night, and it really fills me with nostalgia. I don't know if it was the very first LJ icon I ever used, but it was certainly one of the early ones. And it was my default for a long time - I think I eventually decided that "shut the goddamn hell up" was not really the message I wanted to be sending in general, though.

I suspect that Holidailies ending (tomorrow, that is) will help my productivity just a bit - I've been spending a good bit of time writing entries that could have been studying time. However, I have so very many ways to procrastinate that I probably will just spend that time doing something much more useless, like playing a Facebook game or something. At least with Holidailies I know some people are reading! I'm always sorry when Holidailies ends, though - I miss reading all those new and different people, as well as the regular entries from people who don't normally post near that much.

I am listening to Christmas music, believe it or not - I had bought some music that I never got around to listening to (the Leroy Anderson Christmas album, for one) and it seems wrong somehow to wait a whole year before I listen to it. I am cheating a bit by skimming over the ones I like less, though. -- And good lord, I have over 300 tracks of Christmas/Holiday/Seasonal music (that's how I know, I have a smart playlist set up that picks up those three genres). I knew I had a lot but I didn't know that it was quite that bad!
mellicious: pink manicure (Xmas light gif)
(This is not my official Holidailies entry, which was earlier - be sure not to miss it, though, as it's all about movie scores and the question of whether James Horner is a hack.)

With apologies to Col, who said he didn't want to hear any more about the L-word, I just have to link to this great NYT times article, which floats a number of theories about just what the hell is going on with the whole healthcare thing, my favorite being that "Joe's just not very smart." (The article is a couple of days old, so many of you have probably seen it already, but presumably I'm not the only one in the world who hadn't!)

I have finally "let" iTunes fully rotate the Christmas music in. I had forgotten that I bought a number of classical Christmas albums last year and the year before - mostly vocal music - so my Christmas music is dominated by lovely antiphonal choral pieces rather than by Bing Crosby - although he's in the mix somewhere too.

I have given up on studying for the evening. I listened to the lecture on the respiratory system three times because I kept looking at scrapbooking supplies and losing track of what the lecturer was talking about. (I apologize to her in advance if she happens to be reading here, but the lecturer in my class just plain lacks oomph. Losing track is a very easy thing to do.)wanna hear more about crafts? )
mellicious: pink manicure (Xmas light gif)
I'm just now starting to get interested in Christmas music this year - this is late for me compared to past years. I've been adding holiday stuff to my iTunes queue for a while, but up til now I'd been deleting it every time it came up, unless it was "River" which is my favorite sort-of-Christmas song of all time, or maybe something like A Charlie Brown Christmas. But tonight I have been letting some other stuff sneak in.

And it's December 10th11th so I suppose it's time. Yike - Christmas is two weeks away? How did that happen? I mailed exactly four cards today. I do have some outdoor decorations up but not the tree, still. We went and bought a tree so I feel obliged to actually put the damn thing up, now. And gee, holidays or studying? I already let Thanksgiving interfere mightily with the study schedule and now I'm sure I will end up having the same problem with Christmas. (I'm already thinking, maybe I'll go to Ikea tomorrow...) Shit.

I am more interested in school than I was during the first half of the coding class - which isn't really saying much because the first half of this class was boring as hell - but I'm still really having trouble making myself concentrate. I'm almost wondering if an offline class might not have been a better choice. If I could even have found such a thing, I don't know. I know there were some Medical Terminology classes because I did check that out way back when I started this, but I didn't check again when it came time for coding. I really doubt that there are many CPC-H classes going in Houston right now. (CPC-H = certified professional coder, hospital. It's coding for outpatient surgeries, primarily. It's not as popular as the regular CPC class which emphasizes coding for doctors' offices.) Anyway, as Col pointed out when I was whining about this the other day, I'm probably learning this more thoroughly by going slower, but if I keep going slower and slower, as seems to be the trend lately, I'm never going to finish. Like the event horizon in a black hole - you never quite get there.

In case anybody was waiting with bated breath to know, here are the codes for H1N1:
CPT 90470, which is for administration of the vaccine
and there are two HCPCS Lvl II codes:
G9141 - admin
G9142 - vaccine

(Trust me, if you need to know what a CPT or HCPCS code is, you already know. Maybe some other day I'll attempt to explain that, but not today. Of course, if you really needed to know the H1N1 code, you probably would already know that, too.)

OK, time to go study some before bed. (Uh-huh. In 10 minutes I'll still be looking at Facebook or something. You can bet on it.)

mellicious: pink manicure (winter snowflake)
(The first half of my trip to Dallas is here.)

Tuesday 8pm, Love Field gate #2
I was very early getting to the airport and my plane may or may not be late. It's supposed to be at 9:00 and it said 9:30 when I got here, but here at the gate it still says 9:00, so who knows. I ought to be studying but I looked at coding stuff all day and I can't make myself look at more right now. Maybe in a while I'll give it a try. I'm lucky I don't have a major splitting headache because I've been up since before 7, and I haven't gotten a full night of sleep the past two nights, although I think I might've gotten something like 6 hours each night, which isn't too bad. I went to sleep somewhere around 12:30 last night, but I woke up several times, too.

I just this minute finished a book about quilting that I've had for over a year, so hey, progress! It's not about quilting so much as it's about quilters, interviews with a lot of them. It was published by the UT Press, which ought to tell you it's not the average quilting book right there. I got it as a door prize at the spring quilt retreat, either last year or the year before. I know I didn't go this year, so I'm sure about that one, but I can't remember for sure about 2008. So anyway, I've had this book for at least a year and a half. And it turned out to be good, and also some of the people in the book are people I know, which made it extra-interesting.

So I was really worried that the seminar today would be mega-deadly-boring, but it wasn't bad at all, it turned out. It got dull at times, but there's not much that I can sit and listen to somebody talk about all day and not have my mind wander at some point. So that was okay.

(It's 8:25 now, and the 7:25 flight to Albuquerque and LA, which was at the same gate, is just now boarding. A lot of flights are delayed. My first thought was that it had just been raining in Houston, but that's not the problem with this one unless they came from there... which is possible. Southwest shuttles flights between Houston and Dallas every hour or so. I think in the old days it was every half an hour but they've reduced it some.)

I am looking down at myself and I am so color-coordinated it's scary. I talked about my LLBean coat and sweater and they are both purple. Not the same shade of purple - the coat is sort of a dull lilac and the sweater is a brighter marled purple - and then I went and wore a purple shirt today, too, a cute embroidered one that I bought at Sears, of all places. I hardly ever go in Sears, and for that matter I've hardly bought any clothes in the past year at all, but this shirt is one of the few things I did buy. And I also bought some socks someplace just last week that are purple (not really entirely a coincidence, it's just now gotten cold enough that socks are making their way onto my radar) so of course I put them on too. Then - this is the part that's a coincidence - the seminar people gave us a tote bag when we checked in that is - guess what - purple. It's a dark purple almost the same as my shirt. Seriously, I look down and I'm embarrassed.

The seminar cost several hundred dollars so they could afford to give us a tote bag. They did give us 2010 CPT books that were worth close to half of what we paid, though, that was what made me decide it was worth it. They also bound the handouts for the class into a softbound book, which is a new one on me. The book was 150 pages so I guess that means there were nearly 300 slides. Jesus. (The controversy of the year is apparently that Medicare will no longer pay for consults effective Jan 1. I am taking the class that's on the hospital side so this had flown under my radar until now, but the physician side was buzzing about it. So we spent quite a long while talking about that.)

It's now close to 9:00, and I just got up and went to the restroom and I'm so tired the tendons at the back of my ankle hurt when I walk. (That's the Achilles tendon, right? and I should know that by now, shouldn't I?) And it's not like I've walked that much today - how did sitting at a table looking at slides make my feet tired? Anyway, the plane is supposed to be here any minute, which is why I was getting in the last-minute potty break. They were saying 9:15 the last I heard.

Love Field is noticeably old, although of course they keep it pretty well-maintained. My seatmate yesterday, who lived in Dallas, said that they were building a new terminal that's supposed to be done in 2012, which is - coincidentally - when they Wright Amendment finally expires. I forget what the Wright Amendment does except that it puts a bunch of restrictions on this airport. I guess maybe they were trying to get people to use DFW when it was new? (I was just out at DFW and everybody is still complaining about it, 40 years or so in.)

mellicious: pink manicure (winter trees)
Just got home. A lot of flights were running late, including mine - some sort of weather system coming through, I think? and when our plane eventually pulled up to the gate in Dallas, they hustled us all on and were pulling out again in not much over 10 minutes flat, period. I thought they were just trying to catch up to the schedule, until we started to land, and then we came down through clouds, clouds and more clouds, and didn't see the ground until we were awfully close to it - in other words, we came very very near getting fogged out. They obviously knew exactly why they were rushing.

It's warm here - that's when we get fog - but it was damned chilly in Dallas yesterday when I was out and about, and it apparently is supposed to get even colder this weekend. Or so the people who live there were saying, anyway. I will talk more about Dallas later, because I wrote a lot of stuff down on paper while I was sitting around in various airports and I might as well transcribe it, since it's already written.

It looked like fall in Dallas, I don't think I said that elsewhere. There's a little bit of fall color here, but it was very pretty there. I'm sure up north the leaves are already gone, but in north Texas it's high season.

Somebody on Facebook linked to this YouTube video - I don't know what that weird guitar-like instrument is that that guy is playing but it sounds good!

OK, I'm very very tired - I got up really early this morning and had makeup on and my luggage stowed in the car before seminar registration even opened at 8. Go me.

One more thing - no, two more:
1. In case you were wondering, there is now a CPT code for H1N1. I can tell you what it is, if you really want to know, but I don't have it in front of me right now. I only know that it exists, but it's not in the new code book, because they didn't add it in time for the publishing deadline.
2. When I called to say I might be late, my husband informed me that he was taping "A Charlie Brown Christmas" for me. Aw.

mellicious: pink manicure (Xmas list)
It's a rare day, nowadays, when I get up before noon. I don't usually go to sleep until four or often later, and interestingly, I've found that I wake up almost exactly 8 hours later, on my own. Once in a while I'll wake up earlier than that but I almost never sleep more than 8 hours. So I mostly don't bother to set the alarm. It's a bit of an unexpected side-benefit of unemployment, I guess!

So anyway, in the morning I have to be at the airport well before I normally get up, and it's gonna suck. I'm going to Dallas to a coding seminar - I had a flight credit or I would be driving. I'm not sure I really ought to be going at all from a financial standpoint but it will be useful for (my theoretical future) work so I guess it'll even out eventually. So I'mna have to get my butt in bed at a decent hour tonight so I can get up - in the middle of the night, by my standards. The good thing is that I'll get to Dallas pretty early and have some time to fool around. I can't remember when I last went to Dallas - I think it's been about 5 years. (Actually, the seminar is out around DFW - so not in Dallas proper at all - but my flight credit was on Southwest so I'm flying to the airport that is in Dallas, Love Field. It might have been cheaper to just pay for the flight and skip renting a car, actually, but it sure wouldn't be cheaper now, if it ever was, so oh well.)

The profession I'm training for is one where you take a certification test and later you have to maintain it and there are CPUs and things like that to keep up with, so I see a lot more seminars like this one in my future. I decided to go to this one, even though I don't have a certification to maintain yet, because I'm not going to be taking the exam until 2010 and the codes are updated annually effective January 1st. So this is to make sure I'm coding by 2010 rules and not 2009 ones, when I take the exam. (I'm currently shooting for February, with the exam. Right now I'm nowhere near done with the coursework.)

Jette has put on the Holidailies site that we should introduce ourselves. I think you get a good little mini-picture of my life from the stuff about about unemployment and my classwork. The short version of how we got ourselves into this mess: 1st floor apartment in Galveston hit by Hurricane Ike - not flooded too terribly seriously but requiring relocation. Our employer (UT Medical Branch) was heavily damaged also and laid off half the employees two months afterwards due to cash flow. My husband was in the half that kept their jobs, luckily, but I was not. Last year at Christmas there was a lot of whining about how I wasn't looking forward to the job search. I finally realized that didn't really want to be a secretary any more - thus the training program that is related to my old job but hopefully will pay a good deal more, at least after a few years.

(I have had an Ambien, so I think I better stop. The last sentence of the paragraph above was very very difficult to type.)

mellicious: pink manicure (nautilus)
Some guy who obviously takes Top Gear waaaay too seriously drove his Bugatti Veyron into the water outside Galveston. Now, I've said for years that I was going to drive off the road one day while watching the pelicans - I just left Galveston before I got around to doing it. But dude, a lesson for driving in coastal areas: don't try to talk on the cell phone and watch pelicans. Of course it's a bad idea in any case, but you especially don't want to do it while driving a million-dollar car. (Found via [ profile] dinda.)

I don't think I said here that I got a 92 on my midterm, which is very good considering that it covered that chapter I had so much trouble with a while back. I think that I'm going to enjoy the second half of this class much more than the first - it gets back to the anatomy and terminology stuff that I liked, with the addition of information about the specific procedures that are common for each body system and the codes you'd use for those procedures. (I might even find some new medical terms to teach y'all!)

The Houston Bead Society is going to have their annual show this weekend, and I'm going to go check it out tomorrow. There are 60 vendors, which sounds extremely dangerous. We just have to hope I don't come hope with more beads than I can carry.
mellicious: pink manicure (fall landscape)
Have I mentioned that Col and I are playing WoW again? Well, we are. We were trying to finish Northrend before our memberships expired, but I don't think we're quite going to make it. I'm enjoying it enough that I volunteered to pay for another month, though. That should be plenty of time, near as I can tell. We're most of the way finished with Scolazar Basin (I don't think that's spelled right, but you get the idea) and we've already finished Zul'Drak, so all that's left is Storm Peaks and Icecrown. We are level 80 (woot!) and we both have Explorer titles and I even sprung for a fast mount (4000g for the training. Whew.). Then we're going back to LOTRO when that's finished.

I am about to take my midterm in the coding class. I should be studying right now, actually.

There are a whoppin' 5 items in the Etsy store now. (A couple more may be coming sometime tomorrow.)

Rob's movie report: He went to see The Fourth Kind this afternoon, the alien-abduction movie. He seemed to like it, although he didn't really have a whole lot to say about it. (He did make some comment about whether the "documentary" part of it was fake, at which I tried not to roll my eyes too obviously. Which could be why he didn't say much more about it.)

Oh, we are overloaded with invitations for Thanksgiving - my aunt, my sister, and my dad have all invited us. Daddy was third so he's getting left out, but we are going to try to make two stops on Thanksgiving Day and go to both Bryan and Austin. That should be doable. My sister has another significant other that she thinks is serious - more so than the last one, I hope! - and she's all anxious for us to meet him. Should be interesting.
mellicious: pink manicure (buffy quote - stuck in hell)
I should be studying. I also need to wash my hair. Maybe I will alternate these things and get them all done at some point this afternoon. (Later: I did, except there wasn't enough studying in the equation, really.)

I slept for over 9 hours last night/this morning. This would worry me, except that I didn't get enough sleep Saturday night so I suppose I was just catching up.

In school news, I finally finished the Chapter From Hell. Apparently I am not the only one who calls it names to that effect. I haven't gotten my full grade back yet, but I made an 88 on the test so hopefully it will at least be some sort of passing grade. (The average grade on the test was 83; I don't remember exactly what the average grade on the homework was, but it was considerably lower than that. So I'll be happy with passing, in this case.)

Oh, my husband would like you to know that Zombieland is very, very funny. I refused to go with him because (a) I don't like zombie movies that aren't Shawn of the Dead, and (b) I can't stand Woody Harrelson, especially in large quantities. (The example I used was that No Country for Old Men was ok on (b) becausespoiler! ).) But Rob liked it a lot. The kid's narration was what made it so funny, he said. And he liked the Surprise Guest Star, which I won't spoil in case you don't know who that is. (I looked at IMDb to see who else was in it and of course found out the answer to that in the process. So don't look there, either, if you don't want to know. Evidently it has a very small cast if you don't count all the uncredited zombies.)

I tinkered with jewelry a while yesterday, while Rob was at the movie, and I declared my skull necklace finished, finally - although then when I showed it to Rob I started thinking about rebalancing it because the one stone bead on it is heavier than everything else and is making it lie funny. I intended to put a lot of charms on it and I put exactly one charm on it and then looked at it and decided I liked it that way. So there may be a Halloween necklace #2 because I have all these charms that I didn't use. (There are pictures of some of this stuff on Flickr, if you want to see.)

Alright. Off to study.


Oct. 1st, 2009 12:09 am
mellicious: pink manicure (crayons)
I am awash (mentally) in diagnosis codes. I'm starting to get the hang of it, but it's a slow process. I am learning to resist the temptation to keep running back to look in the textbook for every question I have - most of the answers are right in the code book in the first place; after all, that's what it's for.

Because I'm compelled for some reason to catalog the catalogs, we've gotten more in the past few days:
Franklin Covey (that one followed me from my old job)
Angela Moore (painted jewelry)
Blair (grandma clothes, from which I occasionally order some of the hopefully least grandma-ish clothing)
Acorn (heavy on the PBS DVDs - seems to me I used to get a catalog with very, very similar merchandise called "Signals," so I don't know if they changed their name with unfortunate timing, or what.)

Also, do y'all get those mailers every week with the grocery ads and such in them? I'm not sure if that's just a suburban thing or not - I don't think we got them regularly in Galveston. Well, anyway, this week's batch had a Party City catalog in it that I just loved - it had little pictures of all the Halloween costumes, divided up into, y'know, Boys, Girls, Men, Women, Infants, Toddlers, even plus sizes. Not that I'm intending to buy any, but, I dunno, cheesy Halloween costumes make me happy, for some reason. And that reminds me that I saw somewhere that more people are intending to make their own costumes this year. Which may not be the best thing for the economy, but it's sort of cool.

(Col and I had a conversation the other night along similar lines about Christmas - he was wondering if people are starting to decommercialize Christmas due to the economic conditions. Once again, I am torn - it's a good thing, but then again, not really good for the economy. At least not all at once. Also I suspect a bounce-back effect at some point if people get too drastic about it.)
mellicious: pink manicure (Xmas - purple star)
I am in the middle of printing a 73-page PDF, which is the reading assignment for module 4 of my class. I finished module 2 yesterday and got started on  module 3. I am mostly finished with it, except that I haven't actually taken the test yet - I've already taken an Ambien, just now, so I think it would be best to wait until later for that. I hope the 73 pages are interesting, at least. They are about diagnosis codes, which interests me in theory, at least. Did you know that diagnosis codes (the official name is ICD-9, for International Classification of Diseases, 9th edition) were developed by the World Health Organization to track mortality statistics? They are used these days for morbidity (disease) as well, but cause of death was where they started.

Anyway, my class has no pre-printed textbook, it is all PDFs. Luckily I have figured out how to do front-and-back printing on my printer and it's not too terribly time-consuming. I'm just eating up ink like crazy, that's all.

So one of our assignments is to make up multiple-choice test questions for the other students to answer. (Some people canNOT write a decent test question to save their lives but that is another topic.) Here's one of the two I made up. I was rather proud of myself for coming up with several perfectly reasonable alternate answers for this.

The abbreviation "US" in a medical record is most likely to mean:
A. United States
B. Urine sample
C. Ultrasound
D. Under sedation

The correct answer, per the textbook, is C. I phrased the question rather carefully since really the answers would all be perfectly legit as far as I'm concerned.

In other news, I have decided I need to record what catalogs come in the mail. It's that time of year.
Today's haul:
Levenger (a dangerous one, that - I have a thing for leather goods)
Woman Within (which is what used to be Lane Bryant)
Land's End Men
another Land's End which is unspecified but which seems to mostly be women's clothes
Connecting Threads (quilt fabric)
The Land of Nod

That last one annoys me somewhat - I ordered some gifts from them ONCE, a couple of years ago, and they won't go away. I occasionally want to scream, "I don't have children! I don't have grandchildren!" at them until they give up on me. On the other hand, I do end up perusing the things from time to time; they have some cute stuff.

Yesterday I got a Crate and Barrel Best Buys catalog, always one of my favorites. It made me contemplate a trip into Houston to go to the big C&B "uptown". But that's probably best saved until closer to Christmas.

Alright, my printing is finished, I am going to bed.
mellicious: pink manicure (brain leaking)
I found a list that I was compiling somewhere along the line, so for your entertainment, I give you:

Fancy word

Normal word



Biliary colic

Severe pain from gallstones

Renal colic

Severe pain from kidney stones


Hair loss






Sore throat

Acute coryza

Cold symptoms












This is not near complete, but it gives you a few of them.

Meanwhile I have finally plowed my way through the last chapter of the anatomy book, so all I have to do is review and I'm done there. Meanwhile, I have also started working on the coding material. The second chapter of coding is a review of anatomy and terminology, so maybe I can overlap those and use it to study for my anatomy final!
mellicious: pink manicure (buffy - patrol)
It's funny, we've had U-Verse since the beginning of February, and it's only gone out a few times, which means it's probably more reliable than Time Warner/Comcast was, on the whole - but I don't know, the times that U-Verse chooses to go out seem to be more showy, or something. I had gone out to run some errands, and I got home about the same time that Rob got home from work, and when we started turning everything on we found that the TV, internet and phone were out. The phone came on after a while, but the TV and internet stayed out for several hours - but finally, after a long time on the phone with AT&T, we got it to reset. The tech said that the signal was there all the time (well, all the time I was on the phone with her - I suspect that it had been out at some point) but that something somewhere in the system was blocking it. She tinkered with things on her end and I hit a lot of reset buttons on mine and eventually - about the time she was about to submit a ticket to have a tech come out to the house - it decided to cooperate.

In other news, I have finished reading the chapter about the urinary system - lots more about glomeruli - and I am planning on taking the test over that and the respiratory system tonight, and after that there's only one chapter and one test to go, not counting the final. I need to pay for the coding class soon, so that when I'm ready for it I have the materials. If I understand the syllabus right, I have to complete it within 4 months, so that means that around Christmas, I'll be done. Well, and then after that (hopefully very soon after that) I'll have to take the certification test. Which means I'll end up being out of work for just about a year, assuming that I then get a job very quickly - and everybody keeps telling me that I will. Everybody I talk to in the healthcare industry makes it sound like the shortage for coders is nearly as bad as the one for nurses. (Nobody has said that outright, but that's what they make it sound like. Like they're pretty much desperate, really.) I hope they're telling me the truth, and not just trying to make me feel better!

We watched a couple of Buffy Season 4 episodes while we had no other TV. We have been gradually working through S4 recently, but I have also been cheating during middle-of-the-night study sessions and have worked ahead to S5. There may be a Buffy post in the offing (sooner or later when I get around to it).


mellicious: pink manicure (Default)

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