Physician, Rate Thyself

Have you ever had an idea for an invention or a business or a website right before you find the exact thing you thought up? That happened to me just now.

I’m in the market for a new doctor and an orthopedist and a dentist and an optometrist and a dermatologist so I spent some time on my insurance provider’s website today looking for physicians that are in my provider network.

The problem is that, while you can find doctors that are near where you work or live and while you can find doctors that practice a given specialty, you can’t find out whether the doctor is any good or not.

This is why I’m in the market for a new doctor in the first place. I choose my current doctor based on proximity to my home and that’s pretty much the only criterion of mine that he meets.

Actually, I moved. He doesn’t even meet that criterion any more.

I did solicit referrals from my friends, btw. All I got were recommendations for various gynecologist. Very funny people, my friends.

Besides no longer being close to my home, my doctor also just doesn’t listen. I can enumerate symptoms but it doesn’t matter. He has me diagnosed within the first five syllables. I’ve visited the man twice in the last three months and he’s charged me $62 dollars in co-pay to refer me to an Orthopedist and to administer and prescribe both antibiotics and anti-allergens, just to cover his bases.

I have to pay for both those medicines, asshat, and I’d rather know what’s wrong with me than have you write it off as “allergies”. Last time I checked, most allergies didn’t involve people hacking up gobs of yellow phlegm for six weeks running.

He didn’t even recommend a particular Orthopedist. Just an Orthopedist. “Find one on your provider website”, he says. “That’s how I found you, jackass”, says I.

His diagnoses may or may not be correct but it’s fairly obvious the man is more interested in churning out patients than in getting them healthy. He’s anti-personable, averse to human contact, overly quick to diagnose and makes me wait an hour for the privilege.

And he has clammy hands. That creeps me out. Seriously.

He also takes off every Friday. Suddenly I realize why medical care is so expensive and why doctors are treating patients with a turnstile. Doctors have to earn a full salary working only four days a week. Nice work if you can get it.

The whole experience is so poor that I put off going to the doctor just because it’s such a useless ordeal. I just end up diagnosing myself over the internet and avoiding all the unpleasantness. The only reason I even go to the doctor is because I can’t prescribe my own antibiotics and I needed his referral for the Orthopedist to avoid being screwed by my insurance company. After all, he is my “primary care” physician.

Anyway, the point is that I came up with this idea for a website in which people could rate doctors and search for them by insurance provider. Kind of like an angieslist.com for physicians.

Then I find this. A Zagat Guide for doctors?

My work here is done.

Friday Minutia

Not much to talk about this evening. I just got in from the day. Work, gym, grocery store, home…pretty uneventful day.

I did get up to 1750 meters at the pool this evening, so that’s good news. That’s 35 laps for anyone that’s keeping count of such things. I hope to do 2000 tomorrow. I probably could’ve done it tonight but I was the only person left in the pool and my calves were threatening to cramp up during my only attempt at the butterfly thus far.

According to my scale, I’ve also converted about one-and-a-half pounds of fat into muscle. It’s not much, but it’s enough to keep at least one fitness metric moving in the right direction, and it’s enough to keep me motivated. Repeat that three more times and I will have met one of my goals.

I continue to find it difficult to consume enough protein to satisfy my nutrional log over at Gyminee.com. I am making a conscious effort every day to do so but, every time I manage to score enough protein, I bust the goal for carbs and fat. It’s maddening. I’ve upped my consumption of dairy to include 16 to 24 ounces of skim milk every day. I added two fried eggs to my breakfast routine. I’m even starting to add high protein smoothies from the gym. Still falling short.

Hell, I’m having a hard time consuming enough calories. The stupid tracker yells at me if I fall short of my calorie goals and I’m eating far more food per day than I have in years. Stoopid tracker. It gave me a “C” for nutrition this week. What does it know?

That’s pretty much it, folks. It’s a dull life, I know, but it’s all I have.  Thanks for stopping by and happy Friday the 13th!

De Rigeur

Just winding down from a long day and, though I have nothing worthwhile to say, I thought I’d jot down a few notes for my increasing horde of followers. I’m up to 80, count ’em, 80 page views today. It is the best traffic day of this young blog by…tens of page views at least. Thanks to all of you for stopping in. I’m sorry I don’t have something more worthy to share with you.

It’s not been my intention to share daily life here on the blog. My intention has been to practice my writing by telling tales. I have plenty of them and several of my good friends…well, one of my good friends (that’s you, L), has been encouraging me to write them down.  Some of them are on the old blog and some of them exist in oral tradition only. I think I’ll gradually move some of them from the old home to the new and, hopefully, will find time, energy, motivation and inspiration to pen the others.

I’ve been thinking of other ways I’d like to use this site and have hit upon some things I’d like to do. For one, I’m going to change the domain associated with this blog and use the current domain, charliestafford.com, as a broader umbrella. The blog will be my writings and the domain will a house for other projects.

The new blog domain will be http://www.talesofacharmedlife.com. I get a domain for free with my hosting so I figured I’d go ahead and grab it. And as long as I’ve got it, I might as well use it. It’s a little longer than I’d like but it should have the benefit of being easy to remember, at least. I’ll give you all a day or so to update your links before pulling the switcheroo.

I’m sorry to say it but I think that’s it for the evening. I’m tuckered out from a long day. I have less than half an hour to unwind and meet my self-imposed schedule for bed.

After all, I have to get up and do this all again tomorrow.

Feeding the Hungry Beast

Ah, feeding the blog. It’s an old, familiar feeling. This is why I stopped blogging in the past. It becomes a obligation rather than a pleasure and the pressure to create content for your readers to consume turns blogging into something of a chore. But…I also think once writing becomes habitual, it’s not so bad. So here I am, trying to start a new habit.

It helps that I’m totally obsessed with traffic to the blog. I have no less than…(one there…two there…two there…) six different ways to check visits, page views, etc.  Speaking of which, I need to check at least two of them to see how I’m doing.

Thanks to all of you who’ve stopped by to read and comment. There are a lot more of you than I thought I’d have at this point. Don’t think you aren’t appreciated, because you are. I’m adding many of you to Google Reader just so I can keep up with your blogs in return. It’s only fair, right?

Okay, this not what I came here to post so I’m going to publish and start anew.  See you in a few.

Playing Hooky from Church

I woke up this morning fully intending to go to church. I even got up early so I could make and enjoy a pot of coffee before going. I showered, shaved, made sure I had something clean and unwrinkled to wear…the whole deal.

And then I sat down to enjoy a few moments with just me and my coffee. Bad idea. One cup of coffee became two and getting to church early became getting to church just in time. Two cups of coffee became three and getting to church just in time became watching the live streaming version of the service over the internet.

The trouble with this is that my church doesn’t apparently offer a live streaming version of the service over the internet. If they do, I certainly couldn’t find it. And I looked.

So now I’m annoyed that I’m missing church. I can download the podcast later on but I don’t want to download the podcast. I want to watch live. Since I can’t do that, I feel like I’m wasting my Sunday morning. I could still go to church and catch the tail end of the service and do the mixing and mingling that happens afterward but…I hate getting the end of the message before the beginning.

Someone will inevitably point out to me that the church does indeed offer live-streaming and I just missed it. That will annoy me even more.

I’m pretty sure this is God’s way of telling me I should’ve just gone to church.

By way of penance, I’m feeding the new blog. I figure writing is a gift I’ve been given and using that gift is a way of honoring He who gave it to me. That’s part of the reason for starting this blog anyway. It’s a way to use my gifts to honor God. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep it up.

Well, now my coffee is cold and the pot is empty. Was it worth missing church? No. I really should invest in a good travel mug. Maybe I’ll put on my shoes and catch the post-church mix and mingle. I might at least score an invitation to lunch.

Maybe I’ll just make another pot of coffee.

Beginnings

Okay, I have been meaning to start this blog for some time. I’m a horrible procrastinator and I also start lots of things and leave them half-finished. (You should see the abortive list of blog posts that were going to launch this blog.)

Anyway, in the interest of “just doing it”, welcome to my new blog. I’m starting it because I no longer wish to blog anonymously on my old blog and I think having my own blog will allow me to use a wider range of voice.

I may still blog at the old blog but it’s been abandoned for some while since neither I nor my brother can find the time or energy to resurrect it from the mostly-dead.

Now, let’s see if I can keep this sucker populated with goodies on any kind of regular basis.