Non-fiction Saturdays

It Won’t Always Be Like This

And I Take Comfort In That

Photo by Engin Akyurt via Pexels

“It Won’t Always Be Like This.”

I take comfort in that phrase because I have to. There are many changes being implemented at my job. We are not urgent care or an emergency facility and most of our imaging services are elective procedures. However, the great powers that be over our organization will have the facility open to help with the overflow of patients who need certain scans done, who wish not to go to any PUI (Patient Under Investigation for the COVID-19 virus) facilities. As long as we have some volume and patients on the schedule, we will remain open. The moment that volume drops to a number they do not want to see, we will close imaging operations until further notice.

We will close imaging operations until further notice.

That has a pulsating ring to it, doesn’t it? Try saying that phrase five times fast. Trust me, it is not easy to do. I have tried it. I have broken down, fought an invisible enemy with my fists, combatted a wave of depression shortly after, and am doing all of this without the direct aid of my therapist. I cannot see her at this time but have been notified that virtual and email options are available. I will have the time to take advantage of those options during the coming weeks.

Quickly going from a 40-hour per week employee to a “whatever-we-have-available-hour” per week employee is a blow to the gut that will linger. This week, I was on the schedule for 24 hours only. Next week, I am on the schedule for 16 hours only — subject to change at any given time. I will have to use PTO (paid time off) to assist me in gaining my full-time status each week until my PTO dwindles. That will not take long. When my PTO is depleted, the company will allow me to go into a negative PTO bank, but up to 80 hours only. And when that negative 80-hour bank has been depleted and there are no patients on the schedule, I will not get paid.

I have broken down, fought an invisible enemy with my fists, combatted a wave of depression shortly after, and am doing all of this without the direct aid of my therapist.

Knowing all of this, living alone, being alone, and having to rely on myself only for income, has been overwhelming. I am positive, though. I am also grateful to still say that I am working, even if my change in hours is significant. Many are not in my shoes — the hammer came down on them and it came down hard — switching them from gainfully employed to unemployed in a matter of days.

On my days off, I am also given the opportunity to fully participate in the Stay-At-Home order implemented by our Governor so as to flatten the curve for the spread of the virus. I would rather continue to do my part in combatting this thing rather than be a part of contracting it and spreading it to others. This news — the reduction of my hours, is also happy news for The Powerhouse, my mom, and many of my family members and friends. They have been worried about me since the virus touched down in the United States.

I have direct contact with our patients on a daily basis and although, I now wear a mask and gloves too, the percentage of me contracting the virus while at work is higher versus if I were to simply stay at home. I see this as two things: a welcome break that I have needed for years and the opportunity to finish up many of my projects while taking on a few collaborative ventures as well. I am open to every potential lead to being more creative that is thrown my way. I am ready and I am willing.

Many are not in my shoes — the hammer came down on them and it came down hard — switching them from gainfully employed to unemployed in a matter of days.


Far too tired at work, masked photo. “You wear the mask well.” — Aura Wilming

A patient, one whom I delight in greatly, brought a gift to my job for me. He and his wife are patients I register regularly and she thought to give me a little something that would provide us with luck. She sanitized the item and placed it in a tiny plastic bag and ordered her husband to give it to me when he had his next appointment with us. I was at lunch while he was registering with one of my co-workers, however, I came out of our breakroom to get something from my desk, and immediately lit up when I saw him and waved.

He called me to my co-worker’s desk and said with joy, “Tre, get over here! You gotta get this. My wife said I gotta give this to you!” I walked over to him and he was careful in taking the item out of his pocket and handing it over to me. He said sweetly to both my co-worker and I, “It’s for good luck! We need y’all here. We just do. Thank you, girls, for what you are doing. God bless y’all.”

I nearly teared up right then and there, but I smiled. I told him had we not been moved to practice social-distancing, I would come out to the waiting area and give him a hug. I asked him to please thank his wife for me and to let her know that I am most appreciative. I thanked him too before heading back to the breakroom. I am blessed to be able to do what I do. I love the connections I have made and the connections that are probably awaiting me in the future. But, it is deep in my spirit that when this is all said and done, that I may not continue at my facility for the rest of the year.

I am playing things by ear and being mindful of “taking life fifteen minutes at a time,” but my heart wants to move. My mind wants to move. My body aches and everything within me says, “Get out of this field.” That is now. Who knows what my mind may drum up two weeks from today or a month from today.

“It Won’t Always Be Like This.”

No. No, it truly won’t.


Originally published in A Cornered Gurl via Medium.

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New News

Effective, Friday, March 27, 2020, we will be on Shelter-In-Place, however, they’re still keeping our center open. As of Monday, March 30, 2020, I will not be working a full week every week for however long this thing goes on. *Ahem* I will have to use my PTO to fill in my lost hours and can do so until I get to -80 hours. That’s our best offer from my company, and we’ll have our new schedule by the end of the day on Friday and the schedule will be done each week.

If our volume continues to drop, they’ll reassess keeping the center open. If they close, then we do not get any pay at all.

This my friends–is my reality and the reality for many others across the globe. These are scary times in which we live–quite scary, indeed. But, I look at it this way, this lessens my exposure to the virus as I’ll be able to stay home on my days off and away from the facility and I’ll also finish up some projects that need a little love.

This could be a blessing in disguise.

Making a Deal with Wednesday

I will be working a short shift today. Because I am scheduled to work this coming Saturday, I’ll end my shift today at 11:00 am. I am already willing Thursday into my realm. I hope it’ll be kind to me and to you too. Peace.

Today, I Wanted To Tell You I Love You

*I am sharing this here as well.

Today, I Want To Tell You I Love You

Because I Do

Photo by Hush Naidoo via Unsplash

Many of you know I work in the medical field. This is my sixteenth year being in some form of this industry and I do not recall senses and anxiety levels as heightened as they are now. What I want each of you both here in A Cornered Gurl and on Medium to know is: I love you. The work I do puts me on the front lines of our facility and my face, along with my six co-workers’ are the faces our patients see first. I work for a prominent imaging facility in my area and as of today, we are still open.

We will be open, We are there to provide scans and invasive procedures to those who need them. This is our job.

I have a background in medical claims accounts receivable with a focus on insurance. Prior to this job, I worked as an Insurance and Patient Accounts Representative for five years and prior to that, as a Medical Billing Specialist for five years. At the very beginning of my adventurous tour of the medical world, I worked in primary care. What I did then, prepares me for what I do now.

I register anywhere from forty to sixty patients on a daily basis. Many of their questions used to be; “Is my insurance going to cover this?” “How long will this procedure take?” “Will I need to fast (be NPO or nothing to eat or drink for a certain amount of time) for this scan?” The questions I get now are far more difficult to answer, however, my organization equips us with the tools we need by keeping us up-to-date with numbers and medical terminology to be able to direct our patients to the professionals who can better assist them when we cannot.

I can tell you many stories ranging from happy to sad to indifferent to overwhelmingly fearful. People are wrought with fear mostly and the media does not make it any better. Am I afraid? Sure, I am. What I do puts me in close contact with many who have communicable diseases and it has for nearly two years. But, we are trained and taught how to operate in a facility such as this one so washing my hands, using hand sanitizer, wearing the proper PPE whenever necessary, making sure my vaccinations are up-to-date, taking multi-vitamins, and disinfecting exposed surfaces throughout the day is second nature to us. But, this does not mean we will not contract COVID-19.

What I hope for all of you is that if you can, you practice social-distancing, quarantine or isolate yourself whenever you feel any symptoms related to COVID-19 (properly research them and communicate with your Primary Care Physician), adhere to any curfews or lockdowns your city, state, and countries implement, and be smart, be kind, and be loving.

Over the next few weeks, there will be challenges at our facility that I have never experienced. I want all of you to know that I will be using all the tools given to me during orientation and throughout my career to properly handle those that arise. I work with an awesome group of people and we do what we have to in order to provide the best care for our patients.

If you need an uplifting word or a virtual hug or just someone not too far away to let you know they care — I do. I love you. Be safe. Help others when you can, but by practicing the best methods so as to not harm them or yourself.

I am working the closing shift tonight and I can already envision a bit of havoc, but I will conquer it as best as I can. I wanted to let you all know what I am facing — from my perspective.

Peace and blessings.


Originally published as a letter in A Cornered Gurl via Medium.