The main source of my chaos...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Happy MT Week!!

When I graduated high school, I knew two things. First, I wanted to get married but I knew my daddy would balk unless I had a college degree. Secondly, I knew I wanted to do something in the medical field. I decided to get a degree in Medical Records from Wallace State. While most of the students hate the transcription part of the course, I loved it. I knew medical transcription was where I wanted to be. I got a job in a doctor’s office and loved it. When another transcriptionist in town unexpectedly passed away, the physician she transcribed for asked me if I could do his transcription until he found someone else. I told him I would have to take it home with me, transcribe at night, and then bring it back. He was fine with that and said he’d start looking for a replacement ASAP. I’m not sure what year that was, probably around 1995, but that doctor is a client of mine to this day. I started seeing a demand for transcriptionists in my area so I picked up work on the side, all the while cutting down my office hours. By the time Karlie was born in 1997, I was basically working from home full-time. The good thing about working from home is that I had flexibility to set my own hours and work around the family. That’s also the bad thing. I tended to take care of kids all day and spend half the night working. I wouldn’t change it for anything, but it got rough at times! Around this same time, my sister married a guy who I swear has ADHD. He sees opportunity in every situation, and the wheels in his brain NEVER stop turning. He stayed on me all the time about merging my business with his (he’s a doctor who also has a medical billing service). I was frankly just too scared to make any changes. Then one day he called me and told me he had found a new client for me. When he told me who it was, I immediately knew that there was no way I could handle it. He said “hire some people to work for you”. Ugh. The whole thought of that scared me. I would have to pay those people before my clients paid me, which meant floating a nice chunk of cash. I would need a more sophisticated dictation system for clients to call in to. The list went on and on. Ultimately, my bro-in-law and my husband ganged up on me and told me I HAD to go for it. My bro-in-law brought up the merger thing again, and it just made sense. I would bring the clients, and he would bring the money. A few months later, we brought in a friend of mine, Suzanne, who was also a MT with a small home-based business. Suzanne and I went from having a hand full of accounts, and 3 or 4 employees in 2002, to having 50+ employees in 2011. We have clients and employees all over the country… from Washington State to Maine to Florida and everywhere in between.

In the first few years after PMSI was formed (that stands for Professional Medical Services, Inc.), things were CRAZY all the time. My phone rang a billion times a day, there was always a problem that needed immediate attention, my transcriptionists had personality clashes with each other on a daily basis, and so on. Some days I felt like a firefighter, spending my life taking care of fires/problems. Then on other days, I felt sure that running a daycare would be easier than dealing with some of my employees. People would ask me to do things at school since “you don’t work” and I wanted to kill them. Not only did I work, I never felt like I was off. It wasn’t like I could clock out and leave. I was tied to a phone and computer all the time. Suzanne and I eventually worked out an “on-call” rotation that took some of the sting out, but there were still times when we would both work non-stop all day and well into the evening and weekends, just taking care of problems.

I don’t know exactly when things started changing, but at some point in the last few years, everything calmed down. I attribute this to having a group of excellent MTs who are dedicated to their jobs and are just generally good people. These women (and a couple of men!) are reliable and productive. They get along with each other, as well as the clients. They are true professionals who understand how many people rely on them to do their jobs correctly and efficiently. Believe me when I say I appreciate these MTs more than words can describe. They go above and beyond the call of duty. I know if I ever need any of them to do something extra for me, all I have to do is ask. Most of them have been with PMSI for years¸ and we really feel like family. When Suzanne fell seriously ill a few years ago, I was inundated with phone calls and cards from MTs worried about her. When my family was struggling with our adoption and facing the possibility that we might not get our babies, my MTs were constantly encouraging me and lifting me up. They’re more than just my employees – they are my FRIENDS.

In 1985, President Ronald Reagan, in his infinite wisdom, declared a week in May as “National Medical Transcriptionist Week”. In honor of MT week, I want the whole world to know that I love my MTs and I want to thank them for everything they do!!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Don't Judge Me!!

There are certain things about me - things I enjoy or things I like to do - that some people probably consider weird... or crazy... or selfish. I'm just here this morning to say - Don't Judge Me!

*** I get my nails done every 2-3 weeks. I have done this for almost 17 years now, and I don't expect that it'll be changing anytime soon. I look at it like this... I take care of 5 kids (at least), a husband, and run a business with 50+ employees. I figure I wash somewhere around 700 loads of laundry a year and haul kids to 300+ ballgames a year, not to mention practices. I DESERVE to have my nails done if I want. Don't judge me!

*** I don't eat condiments or anything green. That's correct. No ketchup, no mustard, no mayo, no salad dressing... well, no salad either because it's green. The only exceptions to the green rule are olives and lime jello. The mere sight of ketchup makes me want to vomit. I know, you're thinking that's weird. Don't judge me!

*** I like to travel - without my children. Yes, WITHOUT my children. I know there are people who don't leave their children at all. The thought of being without their babies for a night, much less a week, is more than they can bear. Well, I'm not one of those people. So sue me. I love my children more than anything in the world, but I need a break sometimes. Thank goodness for Carnival Cruise Lines and Sandals Resorts. Without them, I would have lost my sanity years ago. Does this make me selfish? Maybe so. But until you've walked in my shoes, don't judge me!

*** I love Lee Greenwood. Yes, I'm serious. This is not a new obsession. It goes back to 1983 when I reluctantly attended one of his concerts. It was not cool to be a country music fan when I was 13 years old. I was blown away when I heard him sing, and I became an official LG groupie right then and there. For the next 10 years, I slept on sidewalks in random cities just so I could get front row tickets. I manipulated my way backstage more times than I can remember. I'm pretty sure we were meant to be married, but one of us took a wrong turn somewhere along the way. (You're judging me... I feel it) Everybody laughs at me about this and I just don't get it. Okay, so he's old.  Age is just a number, people! His voice is like no other. He could probably talk me into robbing a bank for him just by singing the words. It had been years since I had seen him in concert until last year when my sister-in-law called and told me she got tickets for me and her to see him. Well, it turned into a true sister-in-law trip when all three of my sis-in-laws decided to go. We didn't have reserve seating, so we got there early... the three of them making it clear they were only doing this because it meant so much to me. When they opened the gates, I had to trample a couple of old ladies and jump a few rows of chairs, but I got FRONT and CENTER. Now, think what you want. This is not a one-sided relationship. He definitely feels that same karmic connection. He practically gave me a private concert - it was like nobody else was even there. I HAVE WITNESSES! You're laughing, I'm sure. Whatever. WE (me and Lee) know the truth and that's all that matters.

Wow.  I could go on and on.  Until I started actually writing this blog, I didn't realize how many idiosyncrasies I have.  I better stop now - I'm starting to judge myself!!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Summer is here!!

I was adomonished this morning by Haley Hensley Terry for not blogging recently.  I would like to try to blog once a week at least, but sometimes time just gets away with me.  I promise I'll try to do better.  I love the fact that people actually read my blog and miss me when I'm MIA!  :)  I've got lots of random thoughts to cover, so stay with me. 

I'm excited to say that SUMMER is here at the Garnett's.  I went to Fred's last night and bought the babies a pool, so it's official.  We spent a wonderful morning outdoors enjoying the sunshine.  I have an awesome job for lots of reasons, but I *really* appreciate it in the summer months when I can take the laptop outside and answer my four ba-jillion emails a day from my lounge chair.  I recently got Verizon MiFi, which means I will have wireless internet anytime and anywhere I want it.  Yes, that means I can work from Point Mallard if need be.  And what a coincidence... I just happen to have season passes this year!  Whoop, whoop!

Enjoying their first day in the pool

Yuri started tee-ball and it's so much fun.  I have to admit I was disappointed in her performance during the first game.  She stood too close to the plate, and because she has such arm extension on her swing, it caused her to hit the ball with the smaller part of the bat.  Then, on defense, she basically played in the dirt with her back to the batter.  Sigh.  We had a heart-to-heart after that game and she did MUCH better the next game.  She was under the impression that the season was only one game long, and she was pretty shocked to find out she had to play a second one.  I broke it to her this morning that she had TEN more games, and she was not a happy camper.  She says it "makes me too sweaty".  I'll keep you posted on how she embraces playing in the REAL heat when we play during the day on Saturday.

My boy is home from college -yay!  He has already been a big help to me, and I love having him close by.  He stayed home one night and decided that it was far too loud and there were too many girls here, so he's been staying with Momar and Pappa since then.  That's actually working out well because I still see him everyday, but Momar does his laundry. 

I don't think I mentioned that I had a couple of new foster babies last month.  I only had them for 2 days, but it was a looooong 2 days.  The little boy (14 months old) was really sick, and he cried the entire time.  The little girl (2 years old) was cute as a bug, but it was pretty crazy with them here.  DHR asked me last week if I could keep them again for 3 days this week (Thursday, Friday, Saturday).  I looked at the calendar and other than two tee-ball games, it was clear so I said "sure!".  Well... after I commited, I found out that Thursday night Haley's basketball team will be recognized at the Board of Education meeting for coming in second in STATE.  There's no way I can take four little ones, so I'll miss that.  Then I found out that the volleyball banquet has been scheduled for Friday night.... gonna miss that.  Then I found out the softball banquet is Saturday night... gonna miss that.  Fortunately,  Haley Rae doesn't care if I'm there or not.  Her opinion on banquets is about the same as mine.  I've never really been a fan, especially when we have the banquet 7 months after the sport ended.  Again... just my opinion.  I know some people are really into them, and that's fine too.

I host our family Mother's Day get-together every year.  I used to do Willard's family for lunch and my family for supper, but a couple of years ago we decided to do it all at the same time and it works well.   This year we got to meet Charles Woodrow Garnett  (aka Charlie), who is the first Garnett baby boy born since Hunter was born in 1992.  Charlie reminds me A LOT of Hunter and was a huge hit.  I don't know how many people held him but I can tell you he got tons of lovin' from everybody.  I intended to take some pictures this year, but I forgot about it.  I did get this one of some of the kids playing in the hammock.

Gigi, Karlie, Maggie, Yuri, Braden, Madalynn, Kylee
Haley Rae wanted to get a picture of all the "girls" before church on Mother's Day, so she propped her camera up and told us we had 10 seconds to get ready.  I love this picture because Haley, Karlie and Yuri all struck the same pose without even planning it.

The Garnett Women

And one last thing before I go.  A few months ago, we re-did bedrooms for the big girls.  I intended to do
Yuri and Gigi's room at the same time, but ran out of steam.  I finally got around to getting it done last week.  (thanks to Momar who actually came over and put it all together).

To fully appreciate this picture, you have to understand what I went through picking out bedding, etc.  For some reason (perhaps I was low on oxygen to the brain that day), I decided to let Yuri and Gigi help me pick it out. 
Yuri immediately picks out an adorable girlie quilt with bright flowers, and I loved it.  Gigi goes straight to the boy aisle and says "I want a racecar bed".  She proceeded to melt down completely when I told her she had to pick out something else.  When she stopped yelling, she said "okay, then... I want a dinosaur bed!".  Sigh.  Fortunately for us, we rounded the corner and she saw a solid green quilt and fell in love.  The child is a freak about green (hence the green walls, green quilt, green rug, etc).  Before we left, I told them they could each pick out a decorative pillow.  Yuri, of course, picks out the sweet flower pillow.  Gigi.... GREEN turtle pillow. (you can't see the turtle in this picture... she named him Superman Turtle, by the way) Somehow it all came together rather nicely.  I actually love it.

Yuri and Gigi's bedroom

That's it for now!

You happy, Haley Hensley?? :)