Last week Ashley and Ryan came to the office to visit and found in room 13 the fun of a wall hanging with holes in the spot for the faces. Despite feeling under the weather, they left with smiles on their faces and enjoyed the activity packs and the decor.
Today, I had a bunch of kids in to get flu vaccines and a bunch in for sick visits and even with the shots given and fevers and coughs, the kids left with their prize from the treasure box and smiles on their faces. Sophia even wanted to stay longer (and the TV wasn’t even on the room!). She loved the ‘spy scopes,’ as she called the binoculars, in some the activity packs and the dog phone too.
I even have fun at the office these days. I am getting busier again and running every day on the treadmill either before work or at lunchtime. I am appreciating my staff more and more every day. Paula has really hit her stride. She not only manages the phone calls and appointments but is now expert at entering insurance info in the system and even held her cool when a young boy passed out in the waiting room after getting his blood drawn! Tom has gotten the nuts and bolts of insurance posting down and despite the ongoing frustrations with United Healthcare and Gateway (my billing clearinghouse) we have a good cash flow and he is the reason for that. My nurses now know everything there is to know about me, my quirks and love of chocolate and even my bathroom schedule! They know I like my infants weighed naked, that I never recommend over the counter cough and cold medicines, and that if I don’t get my run in, I eat all afternoon.
The only thing that is missing is my mom. A few weeks ago, my mom got sick. An occupational hazard to be sure but one she can’t weather on a regular basis. She was too sick to even get out of bed for a couple of days and is, a couple of weeks later, still recovering. After a long, hard give and take, she and I decided that she shouldn’t return to work. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if the next illness she got was more severe. She was fantastic at helping get me off and running. Her sunny disposition and attention to parents and children alike really set a wonderful tone for me. She greeted everyone with warmth and even shared some stories about me or Tom or Chuck with all of you as you filled out your paperwork. Ok, that I might not miss quite so much! It was terrific to have someone I knew had my best interests at heart every single day and really understood my desire to make families the center of my office, not me or my scheduling needs. She is missed by Paula and the families and my brothers and my nurses and me.
Embrace change, run every single day, and eat chocolate Halloween candy and each day will be your best!
Molly O’Shea, MD Birmingham Pediatrics + Wellness Center