Saturday, November 13, 2010

if i'm a dummy, i'm a dummy...if i'm a sage, i'm a sage...

About a year and a half ago, my aunt and I enrolled in an online medical transcription course together. I worked at it for awhile and then after lots of frustration, I finally gave up. And with other things on her mind, eventually, she quit too. So earlier this year when she brought up the idea of giving medical coding a try, I was reluctant. Over the years, I've attempted medical transcription courses so many times and never had the interest or wherewithal to see them through. I was kind of curious how this would be different - and more importantly, how, and even if, my behavior would be different. My past is littered with numerous abandoned attempts at things. So, earlier this summer when I began taking this coding course, I didn't blog about it or anything because history would suggest that odds are I wouldn't see it through anyway - and then I'd feel like a big dummy...again.

So I signed up and decided not to say anything. For awhile there I was so glad that I didn't mention it to anyone or blog about it, because I did quit. I made my way through a big chunk of the course, and then just stopped. For a couple of months. My aunt, however, has been going steady pretty much this whole time; she's had some breaks, but she's coming right along. Anyway, this week, I decided to get back to it - and it has been challenging. Already I've hit spots and wondered why the hell I'm putting myself through this crap. But my aunt has wonderfully helped put my hesitations and objections in to their proper place, and I am so grateful for her truth-telling encouragement. It has all begun to sink in. Optimism has been restored and I'm back in full swing.

I blog about it now because number one, I'm excited to be doing it again! (I like it so much better than transcription!) And number two, I just can't care about that anymore. I can't control what others will think. I am what I am. A screw-up, a flake, a quitter - they're all just stories and not Who I Really Am, anyway. So I'll live what I live and blog what I am inspired to blog. I can only do my best, after all...just like everyone else. Who could find fault with that?


  1. I can relate to this on so many levels. The stops and starts. Good point - it doesn't matter what anyone thinks of what you ultimately decide. At the same time, sometimes floating these things on the blogs can help a person feel a certain sense of accountability simply because he/she said it. Even though nobody is going to "hold" you accountable in that sense. Does that make sense? That's how I felt when I did my first segment of my Leap of Faith series, which will be 12 parts...I was all, "now I gotta finish it"...& I'm on part 6 now, I think.

    I am glad you like it. There always seems to be plenty of work in medical coding. Who knows, maybe you and your aunt will start a business???

  2. Hi Jeff,
    Just had to let you know that I am - behind the scenes - a medical transcriptionist plugging away here far from the Sacred Groves of Academia, and even further, one might think, from my various life roles as "writer, psychic and astrologer".

    My first point being - if I can help you at some point in this medical world, I'll be glad to. My second point being - the medical, in some practical, boring form, may yet represent a deeper calling for you, an echo of the past, a prologue to the future, as a healer?

    When I did my (failed - or at least left after first year) R.N. training so long ago, I had no idea it would parlay into a full-time, self-taught medical transcription role forced on me years later by a department manager at a small hospital where I had taken, I thought, a casual few shifts per month in admissions, to help wtih tuition.

    Now, decades later, forced again and again by life, I seem to have become good at this, and despite my vigorous, daily protests, it does, I see now, suit my rather introverted nature. It grounds me, allows for my own version of your "sequesterment", and somehow, fits in, somewhere, in who I am, or am becoming...

    So take heart!! It's all good, it really is, even when we don't like it...and would rather be doing other things. I ask every day "How long, oh Lord?" and then settle in to what is usually a quite pleasant, quiet, at-home transcription session. The company I work for in Canada is looking for both MTs and medical coders, and tends to hire newbies, so take heart...

    And here is to blogging from the heart!!

  3. @ Autism Mom Rising: Yes, that does make sense! And that feeling of accountability is a good thing. I'm just wanting to keep myself in check, and to make sure I don't use it as a way of enslaving myself - which I've done before.

    It's funny that you mentioned starting a business, because that idea has been brought up. But we'll see. Let's first see how I manage with the discipline of study!

  4. @ Carol: Oh, that is so wonderful to know! Thanks for sharing this with me.

    I love knowing that even in the spots that seem so far from our ideal, that there really is a benevolent Force that tends to the pieces, making sure that they come to fit in all the ways they should. I just need to keep reminding myself that this situation is no exception.

    I was drawn to the idea of medical transcription in the first place because I thought it would allow me to work from home - but man, that just wasn't enough to keep me in it. Trying to decipher (to me, literally, a foreign language) what the doctors were saying was so hard - and some of them spoke unbelievably fast! I admire your ability. The cool thing is that with all of my attempts at MT, I really got familiar with medical vocabulary and that has helped me with this course.

    I've been under the impression that coders don't often get opportunities to work from home (or least until until after a significant time of employment). I knew that when I signed up, though, so the thought (threat?) does linger in my mind that with the end of the program, stepping from my "sequesterment" might be a requirement. And I don't know if I dare.

  5. Well, just take it one step, and one day at a time.

    There are many openings, I think, in the US for onine coders, where you would not have to work in a hospital or clinic...

    Frankly, you are wise to move in the coding direction (away, far away!) from medical transcription, which is becoming a ghetto.

    A full 2-year Health Information Management (HIM) program would be ideal as far as future independence is concerned. So much in the medical world is going online that I don't think you'll be forced to leave your hermitage!

    Just see where the trail may lead. Gaining knowledge is not a commitment to a choice down the Road. And like AMR says, an at-home joint business with your aunt might well evolve when all the foundation stones are laid. Already, the MT effort you previously put in is, as you say, smoothing the path into coding. Fingers crossed, CR

  6. "Gaining knowledge is not a commitment to a choice down the Road." - That's an excellent thing to keep in mind! I tend to want to make each step I take THE step. I'm right where I need to be, and I just need to enjoy these steps as I take them. Thanks, Carol.