Monday, January 06, 2014

Keyboard Lethargy

In looking at my dear blog, I see that I haven't posted in an entire month. (I even missed a scoop: Dr. Robert Taylor, formerly CEO of TeraRecon, is now vice president of global business development and technology innovation for Siemens' syngo imaging informatics business unit, according to AuntMinnie. Maybe he will be able to get Siemens PACS going properly.) I'm certain, well, I hope in a perverse way, that my readers are horribly disappointed in me. But did you call? Did you write? Did you check to see if I was still alive? Ugh...sorry, I was channeling my Jewish grandmother for a moment. There, I'm better now.

I'm sitting in a hotel room in a Big City in the Midwest, where my son had his colonoscopy this morning to monitor his Crohn's Disease. Thanks to God, it went well, and he looks good from that end. We fly back to our small town in the South tomorrow, weather willing. You see, we're caught in the Polar Vortex, and temps here are well below zero, where they will stay for several more days. We got a foot of snow last night, which nearly paralyzed this Big City that is used to such things.

Our current situation is a study in unexpected consequences. The original plan was for Mrs. Dalai and I to drive with Dalai, Jr. from the Deep South to the Big City, and stay in the Fancy Hotel, miles from the hospital. However, last week the Senior Dog started limping, and wouldn't play nicely with Auxiliary Dog. A trip to the vet with expensive radiographs revealed an expansile lytic lesion at the tip of what was once a dew-claw. So Mrs. Dalai and I divided our efforts: she is taking care of the convalescing dog following Thursday's surgery (the tumor was not malignant says the vet, but Senior Dog did have tremendous swelling of the paw which required healing by tertiary intention) and I got to fly to the Big City with the kid. By some stroke of genius, I decided to save some money by staying in the hotel attached to the Big Medical Center in the Big City. As it is connected by skywalks to the hospital, we haven't had to go outside at all in this miserable (but beautiful) weather, and Dalai, Jr. actually walked to and from the procedure. Tough kid. This has been his medical month from Hell. He caught mononucleosis (no comments) right before finals, then had his wisdom teeth out, then had a Remicade infusion, and now this insult to his dignity. But I think things are looking up, and I'm not referring to this morning.

But none of this explains my lethargy at the keyboard.

I can honestly tell you that I can't honestly tell you everything that has kept me away. Suffice it to say there has been some less than inspiring dialog with colleagues and with children that doesn't merit repeating, lest I embarrass someone, particularly myself. Children have a way of not listening when you see them going down some of the paths we wish we hadn't taken, and, well, I'll leave that one at that.

Professionally, I have decided to take the next step in my evolution. For the last year or so, I've been paying for other members of the group to take call for me. This has been satisfactory up until now, but for various reasons, it is time to formalize the arrangement. Thus, I have requested the group to allow me to go permanently off of call. Normally, this triggers a five-year clock with retirement at the end of that period, and a significant financial penalty. I've asked for a two-year clock with a less painful fee. We shall see how that request is received.

For various reasons, I won't go into the machinations that led me to this point, but again, suffice it to say that many things came together. Mrs. Dalai and I decided that it was worth the hit on our lifestyle to spend more time together (don't laugh!), and we realized that with Dolly about to finish medical school, we would be receiving a raise of sorts. I realize time with family is precious, something I wish I had grasped when my children were younger. This was made crystal clear today when we heard that a friend of Dolly's from home was in a terrible wreck a week ago and is now in a coma. Life is way too short to spend it all at work. There are several negative motivations as well that won't be discussed, but everything finally made sense. I see light at the end of the tunnel, but fortunately it isn't that blinding white light described by folks who have made it to the edge of death and back.

Once out from under the burden of the daily grind, I have some grandiose ideas of how to evolve into Dalai 2.0. I hope to continue writing about PACS and life in general, and perhaps to continue to assist my group and any others in need of PACS or Nuclear Medicine faux-expertise. I might possibly be available to PACS companies for my unique advice, which won't come cheap, well, not not real cheap, anyway. Maybe I can hook up with the PACSMan (NOT THAT WAY!!!) and together we'll terrorize the PACS world! There are a few other opportunities in this realm that may or may not pan out, but I'm open to exploring many different possibilities.

I plan to do charity work as well, and travel to the ends of the Earth as long as our health and funds hold out.

I'm ready to go! I just hope the rest of the world is ready for me!

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