Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday, May 15th

The rest of the trip was relatively uneventful. After boring fifty or so gynecologists with my musings on drug safety in the perioperative geriatric patient, we were off south again. Stopped in Berea, Kentucky to have lunch with an old high school friend and his wife whom I had not seen for a while and caught up, then off to Pikeville, Kentucky to play with the mineworkers for the rest of the week.

Pikeville is a typical Appalachian town - small business district, some outlying shopping/big box retail, all winding through very narrow valleys. We got the new nurses trained in geriatrics over three days, sampled Pikeville's finest restaurants (which had pretty identical small town diner menus - but the steaks were good) and watched a lot of Sci Fi channel in the hotel room.

From Pikeville, off to Blue Ridge, Georgia for a couple of days. A friend has a lake house there and we spent a few days in the country air. Too cold for swimming still but the house was nice and the town, a small artists colony, was lovely.

Now, back at work and trying to cope with a lot of decisions made by high level administrators who do not understand what it is that a geriatrician actually does.

I need a drink.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Monday, May 4th - Chicago, Illinois

It's been a very peculiar ten days or so. It started out with Tommy's back surgery on the 23rd at an outrageously early hour of the morning. He did well with it and I was able to bring him home the next day. He had a couple of uncomfortable days but was more or less out of bed and moving around by Sunday.

His period of uncomfortableness, of course, coincided with dress rehearsal and performance of the annual tap show. I was a bit distracted but did manage to get through all five of my numbers without falling on my face, losing bits of costume, or looking like I hadn't the vaguest what I was doing. The show ended up being one of the better ones and a good time was had by all. After it was all over, word came down that our beloved Lulu Pigg, doyenne of Time Step Tap Studio, is hanging up her tap shoes after 29 years and this was to be the swan song. The aging tappers of Birmingham aren't going to let this tradition go so easily, however, and there is much talk of the studio continuing in different form next year, perhaps under the aegis of Alabama ballet. I shall wait and see and will leap with the rest of the Betty Ford Dancers. Although I don't see the ballet putting me in a batman suit with an ostrich feather fan or having me run around half naked the way Louise was want to do.

With the tap show out of the way, I was able to get Tommy up and around without too much difficulty. Some craziness at work, but there's a lot of that going on these days as the economy works its way through health care and then it was time for me to keep various out of town gigs I had scheduled months ago. Tommy was up to traveling, as long as he gets to stretch so we loaded up the car and headed for Chicago.

I wasn't able to make most of the geriatrics meetings I had hoped to as we have to travel slowly but I did make my speaking gig for the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology's annual pow-wow where I gave them 45 minutes on geropharmacy in the perioperative patient. Chicago has been very nice. We did some walking in nice weather, some shopping and went to Peter Brook's adaptation of 'The Tragedie of Carmen' at the opera. Interesting, boiling the opera down to six actors, only four of whom sing. The Don Jose was excellent. Carmen and Escamillo less so. I'm glad I saw it but think I prefer the Bizet original.

Now we are on our way to Kentucky to play with the mine workers for the rest of the week. Opening up a whole new clinical site in Pikeville and I have to train the new nurses for three days. Due back in Birmingham sometime between Friday night and Sunday afternoon, when I have first read through for 'Marriage a la Mode', the next show I am doing.