Monday Musings: Keeping away from the “Nega” (as in Negative)

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I am surprised that this is already the second post I’m drafting today, although this gets published ahead. I lay down in bed just a few minutes after midnight Sunday, and I could’ve sworn that I didn’t really get any sleep until I climbed out of bed just before 6am. I guess it was a combination of the long and deep nap I took mid afternoon to early evening, followed by some caffeinated soda for dinner that did me in. What was even more surprising was that I didn’t feel tired at all — I just wanted to stay in bed because it was warm and toasty. It felt like I just lay down to rest, closed my eyes, and let the hours pass by. And when it was time to get up, there I was ready to start the week.

Another cold Monday, it is. I actually quite enjoyed the warmer days last week when I even managed to wear a dress to work. (I kind of cheated by wearing leggings during the commute, with my feet warmly insulated by my winter boots.. still, it’s a brave step when temperatures can dip to below freezing later in the day.) We walked out into just almost freezing temps today — and again, I’m calling out to spring to come running to me. I want to start wearing my transition coats and sweaters… wear more dresses.. wear the heels again and put the winter stuff away.

It’s all in the delivery. One of my colleagues here at work always says that no matter how trivial or difficult a request may be, it’s all in the delivery or how you state it. I had a rather challenging day with a request for a refill of a prescription from my medical provider. I knew that a refill would probably need to come with an appointment — so I requested for one. After a half hour on the phone working with a representative from the practice, I ended up getting an appointment for May with another doctor, and my prescription refill request in the system. I was looking to get a new inhaler as I had discovered the one I had was already past its expiration date. I thought everything was taken care of when I got a call from the practice’s office, and I was told NO, I CANNOT GET A REFILL BECAUSE IT HAS BEEN TOO LONG SINCE I SAW MY MEDICAL PROVIDER. The prescription I was refilling was issued in 2019 for my maintenance medication to treat my asthma symptoms. Between that visit to last year’s three consultations in January, February and April, I had already exhausted the refill for the prescription. But it was NOT true that I had not been seeing the nurse practitioner. And this was NOT for a temporary ailment, but a pre-existing condition that actually made me qualify for all medical exemptions I needed.

She did set me up with a virtual consultation which was earlier NOT available, but not until Thursday or Friday because my medical provider did not do consults except for those days. Still no refill. I could go to urgent care, she told me, (and pay $125 out of pocket which was the minimum for an Urgent care visit under my insurance plan — not that that was any concern of theirs.) And why was I seeing another doctor in May – “YOU MUST CHOOSE A SIDE. YOU CANNOT SEE THIS DOCTOR AND SEE YOUR NURSE PRACTITIONER.” It’s one or the other. Well, the nurse practitioner wasn’t doing in person consultation, and a physical exam, per their own system had to be in person. The only other nurse practitioner was an uber ride away — literally more than a hundred streets uptown — when all the doctors I saw under their hospital network was 6 blocks away from where I worked. ‘YOU MUST CHOOSE A SIDE. SO ARE YOU KEEPING YOUR APPOINTMENT WITH US OR WITH THE DOCTOR? YOU CANNOT DO BOTH!” I said I will keep both, and my nurse practitioner can renew my prescription, and we can discuss my plan of care thereafter. Said in the calmest voice when I realized I had reached my emotional limit. (I told myself, Breathe..)

BlurbBeing the writer that I am, I wrote my nurse practitioner a total of 3 messages due to the character limit, explaining in brief my frustration over what has happened. I find it so disheartening that this Nurse Practitoner Group’s main page actually declares “CARE ABOVE ALL” as its mantra. I don’t think their “ALL” equates to everyone. Let’s see what happens.

So I kept my calm instead of riding on her negativity. I was actually surprised how I managed to retain my composure given that she kept talking over me. And yes, she kept repeating I have to take a side. I think she forgot that there are insurance plans (like mine) that don’t require a primary doctor. That’s why my deductible is higher — I don’t need a referral.

It’s sad because I do like my nurse practitioner. She’s smart and takes the time to listen and explain. Why else would I forego a Pulmonologist when she has ably taken care of me for almost four years now. When a specialist was needed, she patiently explained my situation and made referrals, but I always had the freedom to choose my doctors. In the thick of the pandemic, I consulted with her at least 4 times, and I always felt I knew she was in control even if we did it virtually. Sad indeed that it wasn’t even her who caused me all this aggravation, but someone who was supposed to be helping her take care of me.

Negativity begets negativity. I choose to stay away.

Monday Musings: Waiting on Spring

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I had about a dozen ideas lighting up in my head between the last post on February 7 until today. I decided I would spend my lunch hour typing away as spontaneously as I can, even if I’m not too happy about the fact that I’m writing about my Monday Musings again.

While most of the workforce is enjoying a long weekend, I’m here with that half of corporate America that doesn’t observe President’s Day as a day off. Luckily, I remembered to check the bus website to track my ride and made it in time to catch an alternative route which involved a longer —- but very pleasant walk—- down Park Avenue. I wish I had more time to spare, though, as I was just so taken by the sculptures dotting the islands between 34th and 42nd before I ducked into Grand Central station. I have quite the 30-second clip to upload to my Tiktok account later, and I have already vowed to take a more leisurely stroll down the avenue to capture all of the sculptures. (I had to skip some to make time to say hello at my favorite Park Avenue Catholic Church on 38th).

Park avenue

Kismet. Fate – or destiny.. or the universe speaking. Perhaps it’s simply age, but I’ve learned to be more accepting of what the universe lays on my feet. For example, if I am rushing out and find that I left something, I don’t fret about it or upset myself unnecessarily. I just say I wasn’t’ meant to be on that bus, or I have to be on the next one. Years ago, I would’ve run back to retrieve what I had left behind, and huffed and puffed my way to the bus stop to try to make the schedule work. Or I would be disappointed when something I thought would happen doesn’t happen. Just not meant to be – at least not yet, I tell myself. It leads to lesser and more manageable disappointment, if at all. And makes for a happier and less aggravated me. In no longer hold promises as a pact set in stone. It will come to be, in time.

My day in 30 seconds. Just as I blog for my own personal benefit (attempting to create a written journal to go back to at a later time), I’ve taken to summarizing my day in short clips I’ve been uploading to Tiktok. Why? Personally, it’s my way to appreciate or sum up the day. From my usual walk up to my perch in Midtown to maybe a lunch or dinner, a special project, or simply something that caught my eye on any given day – it’s a quick glimpse into what transpired. Those 3-second shots or longer clips actually serve a purpose and have a meaning only I really understand. It’s been fun trying to catch snippets of my day and weaving them together in such a short clip.

Palindrome Tuesday. Defined as “(a) word, phrase, sentence or number that reads the same backward or forward,” Tuesday, February 22, is a palindrome date. “2.22.22” backwards or forwards is the same. I participated in a group swap with the Philippine FB group and offered some to swap to a handful of others. I’ve slowed down considerably the last couple of weeks and have been doing other things. Time to start putting away the postcards? Not quite there yet, and don’t really intend to.

Palindrome postcard

Sewing away. So the fabric has been cut, and I’m searching for my interfacing. I’m trying to get this project going so I can move to the next. I still haven’t quite decided on the lining but I know I have more than enough to choose from.

Where art thou, Spring? One of my favorite parts about winter is actually putting away the winter gear and storing them until next year. We are nowhere near that as temperatures over the weekend dipped to below freezing yet again. But there are warmer days up ahead, even if uncharacteristic of the season. I will take any warmer weather I can get until spring finally makes it here.

Monday Musings: Rainy Days and Ice

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It’s another rainy Monday today and I’m watching the temps lest it drop again. So last Friday, it rained and temperatures didn’t stay at 39 degrees as promised, and instead plummeted to below freezing. Long story short, I went home a bit underdressed but still warm and toasty, but suffered the misfortune of slipping on the ice a few meters from my doorstep. I almost made it but miserably failed despite my lug sole winter boots. I’m lucky that I’ve always been good at breaking a fall, even if in the end, I have a scraped knee, tenderness at the palm of my hand and at times a sore bum. I survived. I think the temperature is holding above freezing today, so I am optimistic it won’t be as treacherous a walk home as Friday’s. Spring can’t come soon enough.

Rainy Monday

Do you ever think of those people who have drifted away and have stayed away? I have a very short list of once upon a time BFFs who now literally inhabit a different world. So here I was telling myself I’m in a good place and have enough friends that I don’t feel any void in my life — when the universe comes reminding me exactly that: those that are here are the ones that matter. I don’t begrudge those who have chosen to stay away for their absence, because my world has enough love to fill my heart many times over. Those are the people who truly matter.

Speaking of which, it’s a week to Valentine’s Day. For the last couple of years, my valentine has been my little guy who had complained why a box of chocolates with just 4 truffles cost $20, yet who upgraded me to the $50 box the following year. (I’ve trained him well.). It’s enough that his phone displays me as “Number 1 Girl”, even if I had insisted on that to assert my claim to the title. He’s taken to liking some of my personal creations which means a favorite set of stackable rings and a necklace that has traveled to many places overseas with me are now no longer mine. I’m hoping to surprise him with some new pieces and maybe I can get my favorite necklace back.

Picking up the needle and thread and getting the sewing machine going again. I have quite a hefty stash of embroidery skeins and yarns to knit or crochet with, but an even bigger trove of fabric waiting to be sewn into something to wear come Spring. The yarns have been put to good use with no less than 4 beanies added to my collection. I did resist the urge to crochet scarves this year, save for a multimedia scarf I am piecing together from knit fabric scraps. (Work in progress.). I’m piecing together the pattern for this jacket from MoodSewciety, and after some adjustments, hope to cut the fabric (also from Mood) to try my hand at finally sewing something I can wear to work.
Mood Sewciety free pattern

Sending the postcards and letters on their way. I have actually slowed down quite a bit with the swaps and the Random Acts of Kindness or RAKs, but continue to add to the collection. Postcard collecting can be quite a drain on my time, and I’m trying to focus more on My Postcard Shoppe over at Etsy, which finally has a couple of items listed. As my efforts to send out holiday cards this past Christmas was an epic fail, I’ve also decided to write letters sans the holiday cards to the people I meant to send cards to. (The few who actually got their cards should feel lucky their cards made it out!). I am hopeful that since that will be over a period of time, I might actually get it all done before next Christmas. (I am trying.)

Yes, I’m pulling together a “22 for 2022” list, even if it’s already the second month of the year. Surprisingly, I am whittling down the list instead of falling short on what to write as my personal goals for 2022. Reading more books, finding that rehearsal studio and sitting down with Bach and Beethoven, taking a solo vacation (finally), doing a postcard series and finally doing the podcast, to name a few. Maybe see Billy Joel again, and tracking down some old reliables who now perform in smaller venues in far flung towns.. Daunting and ambitious but I’ve always aimed high. (Previous lists have their own menu on the top of the blog front page.)

And yes, I’m still pining for home — and hoping this year, I finally get to go home again. Quarantine requirements in Manila have been lifted, but the flights are sparse, hence the higher fares. Some airlines of choice like Cathay Pacific aren’t flying yet.. Philippine airlines still isn’t flying daily and charging double the usual fares for the period I am looking to fly. I am trying to hold my excitement over the thought of the possibility at bay, but I am wishing very, very hard that I get to go. Soon.

And yes, I’ve been bitten by the Tiktok bug. You’ll find me there as Gotham_Chick (for the Etsy shop and crafting), PinayNewYorker for all things personal and unrelated to the business, and MyPostcardShoppe for the postcard collection and the new shop.

So for now I will ride out the winter and wait for the warmer days to find me. And I will hopefully get to write here more regularly. (That had become a mantra for the last few years that I hope I can finally live up to in 2022.). There is much to write about, if only I can find the focus to sit and write like I was able to today. Fingers crossed.