What I had Forgotten

I had a super, super interesting experience last week. In addition to the all-cash practice I've been doing both locally and all over the globe, through some weird co-incidence-type-thingies, I ended up also picking up a contract doing some insurance work in another state. I like going there in a general sense because I have family and friends in that particular area, so that was cool. Also, from a logical perspective, I felt the need to diversify my payor sources. I had basically two, the travel gig and the local gig, and going and doing this contract would throw a third into the mix: insurance.

I have a couple thoughts about this.

1) I'm not a big fan of insurance. I don't love having it in a lot of ways, and I'm less of a fan getting paid by it. It was worse than usual because they changed our CPT codes this year (for anyone not in the health industry, this is the five digit code that's supposed to describe what we did in a standardized fashion, presumably so the patients will have even less of an idea than usual what the fuck we're talking about); that left a great big looming "?" in regards to how much I might get paid by the time I went down there this first trip. We had knowledge basically on one company and how they were going to pay, but I had patients scheduled with three companies. So...meh.

2) Even though I needed to diversify, I really liked the other two things I was doing. Going back to the actual exact thing I trained to do was, for some reason, a bit of a buzz kill. It just doesn't have the cool unicorn-rockstar vibe as the other stuff. So also...meh.

3) I was also a little freaked out about the particular work I was doing since I had been doing the other stuff for over 6 months. I was thinking I'd be rusty at this stuff and potentially crash and burn. Realistically, I can still recite all the subtest questions without even looking at the stimulus books. I will probably be able to recite 16-item word lists verbatim from these same tests until I'm 104. But the thought was still in my mind. So I felt...meh.

Okay, so all that to say, I was not as enthusiastic as I should have been going into my first day there. The trip was fine, the rental car was fine, the accommodations were fine...all good. Got some groceries had a meal at a nice Mexican restaurant...everything good. Went to bed to get some sleep.

Now at home, if I don't get enough sleep (which is usually due to me having too good of a time the night before), I tell myself to suck it up and go to bed earlier the next night when the alarm goes off. Then I get up and am happy to do my thing. An odd thing happened my first day there. I laid in bed, hit snooze, and thought, in my whiniest possible mental voice....


This is not a flattering thing to admit. If I were alone in that home I probably would have said it out loud a few times and thrashed around in bed a little and generally pouted like a toddler.

I had forgotten what that felt like.

I had forgotten that was a thing.

I can't remember feeling like that since I left my day job.

It's crazy to me now to think that a short 9 months ago, I felt like that every day. And still, the vast majority of the working population feels like that every day. Once I processed what was happening, I thought about it...I think a little of it is kinda just baggage. To have to get up at a set time and go to an office with a boss and do what I used to do....even though it should be fine this time, it's on my terms, it just kind of struck that same chord in my brain. I got up and did my thing and in reality, it was totally fine. I had no issues with it. It was a good day.

Interestingly, after a few days, I woke up with that feeling again. At that point, although some of it may still be a little bit of baggage, part of it was just that I was over-working. My other little jaunts, I work really hard for like 3 days max, then I have some kind of break or I'm done or whatever. I zone out and watch movies all plane-ride back and it's fantastic. This time...I did five solid days, kind of a half day off, then a little more. It was just a little much. When I was back and doing my own thing the first day after, I didn't want to go to work that day either, although it was still a very different feeling than the one I had there. I'm still processing that a little.

All in all, I'm going to keep doing it for the term of the contract I signed, although maybe a little less than expected since it doesn't bring me joy. It'll also be interesting to work through those weird feelings and see if it's something old being revived or if I just genuinely no longer want to do something related to that experience and if so, what. I enjoy seeing my family, I enjoyed some of the patients I did have, it is still a different payor...it's worth holding on to for a while. I'll let you know if I have more thoughts about it as I go on. I have two more trips scheduled so far.

This contract does not spark joy.

How about y'all? Has anyone else had that weird experience of wanting to throw a temper tantrum, as though it's going to get you out of going to work?


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