Friday, July 24, 2009

Our little family is growing

No, not with a child

Well, I figured since its been about 3 months since I blogged, I have some updating to do.

DISCLAIMER: This will be a pretty lengthy post, since I am recapping the last few months... don't say you weren't warned:)

We bought our first house at the end of April and I have tirelessly been working on it non-stop. It was built in 1959 and needed major updating. Yay! Project for me:) I love being busy and I have spent every waking moment on this house all summer... until today. I am pretty much done with the big stuff, except for the bathrooms. They are a looming project that will just have to wait. Right now, I am painting one door at a time. Its a slow process trying to paint those dang doors. You have to prime and prime then paint and paint. It takes about a day. So, maybe by October I'll have them all finished. We've completely re-done the kitchen, living room, dining room and both bedrooms. Exhausting but exciting

School's out for me!!! I told Chase, "no matter how many tears I cry during the school year, its worth it to be off 3 months in the summer." I've been super busy traveling and visiting friends and family. Loving life. Chase has been working a lot and wasn't able to come with me... and its true, absence does make the heart grow fonder. I've missed that kid.
I took Emily to see George Strait at the new Cowboy Stadium.. Absolutely Amazing! (sorry, no pictures. My hard drive crashed and I lost them... just imagine ok). Also had a roommate reunion in FW. It was so good to see everyone and catch up on life. I dont know what I would do without those girls.

Went to Abilene for Kim and John's wedding. So, so, so fun. It was like a college reunion with everybody there. Then the Edwards, Eyers and us made the ridiculously long drive to Hilton Head, South Carolina to spend a week at Jesse's parents house. Maybe one of the top 5 weeks of my life. No worries, no cares. Just fun, sun, dolphins, laughter, good food, good wine and great company. By the way, I'm ready to move to SC any day now. Surely everyone will want to come visit us there right?!?!

(Back story to me next update) We decided this summer was a good time to get a dog. We have a yard and Chase is starting to get really busy with school, so I needed a "best friend" close by. Some friends of ours had some boxer puppies, so we went and picked one out to actually not bring home until mid-July. Well the next day, the mom ate two of the puppies and the rest of them died the following day. Yikes!!! We think they all had some sort of infection. Yes I did say she ATE them. Crazy. So, we had to come up with a new plan. While we were home visiting the rents, I thought I would go around to the shelters and pick one out. So while Chase went golfing one day, I went dog hunting. Well within an hour I found the perfect puppy. I called Chase and told him I didn't have any luck, but I lied. When he came home to his parents house I was standing there holding little Tess.

Tess is a mutt. We think blue-healer/Rottweiler mix, but she is precious. We love her so much already. She was 5 weeks when we got her, so she's already about 9 weeks. Man, they sure do grow up fast:) As of two days ago, she had mastered "sit" and she knows to go to the back door when she has to potty. Her only downfall right now it the gnawing on your appendages. She is obsessed with Chase's feet and pants. Its almost funny how much she attacks him.

Did the yearly 4th of July extravaganza at Heath's lake house. Always a blast!!
I had a teacher conference at NASA for week. I am now obsessed with NASA. Not in a nerdy kind of way, but everything they do there is almost unfathomable to me. Some of the most brilliant minds in the world and also some of the most faithful people I've ever met. Almost every astronaut and NASA employee mentioned their faith and that God helped them land these amazing jobs. I was not expecting that; it was refreshing.
On the way home from NASA, made a pit stop in SA for Elena and Cherry's baby shower. Can't wait to see those little babies.

Whew, so that is the recap of the summer. Here's a few pics to capture the moments:)

Here's the view from Jesse's parents back porch. Breathtaking.

This is me with Dom... an astronaut that just retired. Nicest man ever.

This is an astronaut in training. He is getting all geared up to practice weightlessness in the training pool. They have to learn/practice doing mechanics in the water to simulate doing them in space. Way cool!

Here is a picture of the whole training pool. It has a mack space station built under the water.

At the baby shower for Cherry and Elena, we played a game to see who could drink the bottle the fastest. Please take note at Shaylee's playing stance:)

Meet Tess!!!

This was the first day we had her. Isn't she too cute!!!

Sweet puppy.

The crew in South Carolina.

Girl pic on the boat in South Carolina

Boys being boys. They all 3 decided it would be more fun to ride the tube together than by themselves. It really was some of the best entertainment of the week.

Beautiful mommies-to-be!

Beautiful bride-to-be!

Roommate reunion weekend. This was at Joe T's on Friday night. Erin met us there to catch up on life too.

Live. Love. Pray. Give Thanks.

Pictures of the house remodel coming soon...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What's in a sandwich?

So since we moved we now live about 5 minutes from campus which is awesome. And what's even more awesome is that this summer I've been working on campus so I spend like 20 minutes max in the car each day (yeah that's right big city folks, there is ONE advantage to living in Lubbock). But because of this close location I have been able to go home each day at lunch. Well last week Taryn was gone and so I had to go home and let Tess out and while I was there I made myself a sandwich. You know the typical turkey and cheese with mustard on wheat bread nothing out of the ordinary. However, as with most foods 4 straight days of the same sandwich with the same cracked pepper potato chips, baby carrot sticks and cherries you get a little sick and so you mix it up with a PB&J.

Well this week I haven't been feeling either of these two staple sandwiches and wanted to try something different. So since Taryn and I have just a stock-pile of flour tortillas we have been creating our own version of wrap sandwiches. And let me tell you when you throw them in a microwave and heat them up they are DELICIOUS. So since Monday we have had wrap sandwich made different ways. First day was basic turkey and cheese, the next we added lettuce (little did I know the lettuce was a month old and needless to say had a odd taste to it), and then today replaced the lettuce with some pepperoni. Each of these sandwiches was delicious in their own way, even the one with the nasty lettuce and I'm really excited to try some different salad dressings, different veggies, and different types of meat. But what is most surprising is that I just now realized how good a sandwich in a flour tortilla is. So for all you readers who have way too many extra tortillas and lunch meat make yourself a wrap and throw whatever you want into it.

Until next time

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I Don't Mind Waiting on a Woman, but 2.5 months is enough

So this is the first blog I have written since early May and the reason is simple Taryn wanted to blog about the house, the summer and our new puppy Tess. Well she hasn't because she's busy with the house, the summer travels and our new puppy Tess. So instead of stealing her thunder I would just like to take this time writing about something very near and dear to me. Relative Value Units or (RVUs)

Now for those of you who don't know what RVUs are let me explain. They are these ridiculously complicated value that dozens of Harvard minds have come up with that basically decide how much Physicians should be paid for each procedure or practice that they preform. For instance a 30 minute first patient visit has an RVU of 2.2 and a lumbar injection has one of 8.5. Interesting enough these values get multiplied by what is called a Conversion Factor that establishes how much each RVU pays. For instance this year the conversion factor is 36.06 so your patient visit you get reimbursed just around $80. While your lumbar injection gets paid about $300 or so. Now I need to add this is what the government pays you not a private insurance agent. That's too complicated and has nothing to do with my point so I will stop. Funny how you don't learn anything about these things until your LAST YEAR OF RESIDENCY, even though they are the most important factor in figuring out how much you get paid. Anyway I write my post to say this. We all hear that Medicare/Medicaid spending is out of control and is costing tax payers millions of dollars so it needs to be fixed.

A little known secret is that congress doesn't control these reimbursement rates they just pass legislation to create standards and decide what kind of people are eligible. But anyway our beautiful government in the form of the CMS or Center for Medicare Services has decided the best way to reduce our Medicare services is to decrease reimbursement rates by reducing the conversion factor 21%. That's right 21% and that's doesn't just effect physician's it effects nurses, the staff and even patients. For instance that lumbar puncture instead of receiving $300 they will receive $just under $250. Well new flash that procedure cost $250 so do you think physicians will be providing that procedure to those that can just pay the minimum rate? I think if they want their office manager to fire them they will. So what does this mean to people who the government is trying to help get care? In essence they are going to be denied care b/c a practice or hospital cannot afford to perform the procedure.

It's not just about physician's salaries decreasing or hospital guruys making 600 grand instead of a million, it's about people's healthcare treatment getting worse. Now I'm against Obama's plan of hiking up taxes to help pay for the spending as much as the next conservative, but people that plan does not have a direct effect of cutting the reimbursement rates.

I leave you with this illustration. This summer I'm working at a Pain Center (where people go to get treated for chronic pain, neat stuff Drs. make anywhere from $300 grand to $800 grand). They are the only pain center within a 300 mile radius that accepts Medicare patients and so they have a lot of low reimbursement rates and because of this they are not doing so well. With the continual cuts in reimbursement they are looking at a loss that triples their current one in 3 years. AKA they will go out of business and therefore patients that need chronic pain treatment won't be seen. So in effect these cuts that the government is making to help its citizens are actually going to be denying them treatment.

Sounds like were headed in the right direction.

Until next time