Thursday, January 23, 2020


by Patti Vanderbloemen

January 23, 2020

So, this is the current state of many areas within my home right now:

The location above is actually what was my studio. The rest of the house is still waiting to be boxed...

Ugh.  Anyway, I have had a few messages from people asking me how it's this is just an update as of today!

Along with the mundane and physically exhausting pain of moving (boxes, boxes, and more boxes), there are so many details that have to be completed.  Final doctor appointments (mom's, too), purging (I cannot believe how much was purged...we were only here less than 12 months! haha), cancellation of memberships (church), cancellation of all the Florida business accounts (another big UGH)...just so much administrative stuff - smack dab in the middle of preparation for tax time.  Yippee!

What many people have commented, or messaged, can you leave that view?

The photo above was last night's sunset ... and is argument there!  It was 35 degrees here last night, and that does not include the massive winds one receives when they live on Tampa Bay!  I WAS IN HEAVEN!!! does get chilly in Florida (I refuse to say cold, because come on...35 degrees is NOT cold!)  But, I am not totally abandoning my water view when I move back to Virginia.  This is a picture of my new back yard:

New Home Site on the Occoquan River

The picture above will be the view from the back of the house - kitchen, patio, etc.  So.....I actually look forward to NOT seeing white caps on the water!  We break ground on the new home next month and will hopefully be in by Christmas.  And yes...I do feel very blessed that I am able to do this, especially at this stage of my life.  I do not take anything for granted.

So is it going?  I am doing fantastic - seriously!  I am counting down the days until I leave the State of Florida.  There is a light at the end of my tunnel, and it keeps getting brighter and brighter. 

I do have a word of advice for anyone who may be thinking of moving to Florida - or ANYWHERE out of there current state for that matter - please do your research on Health care!! We thought we did a thorough vetting of the available health care down here.  We are self insured -- have been for years --- so we found the insurance, checked the location of hospitals and doctors in our area. We found an excellent Primary Care Provider.  What we DID NOT do was actually research specific Doctor Specialists.  And by that, I mean check reviews - Health Grades, Yelp, etc.  We just looked on our insurance, found the doctors, and blindly chose specialists.  What a joke!

The rest of this blog post is just a therapeutic venting for me - I don't like to post personal, negative stuff on social media - including my personal blog, which I try to keep to jewelry making.  But, I have to here, 'cause I just cannot take it anymore!

Florida, Hillsborough County at least, has become so overcrowded in the past 10 years that there are just not enough qualified doctors for the number of people who reside here (this is just my humble opinion, and my neighbors opinions, and the nurses opinions, too). I just think 10 weeks to get in to see an orthopedic surgeon is ridiculous.  And, I could only see a Nurse Practitioner--- sorry ----I mean no offense to Nurse Practitioner's, but if I have to wait that long, I want to see a doctor! Today---nearly 5 months since trying to receive treatment for my chronic back pain - and after 2 visits with a Nurse Practitioner, X-Rays, an MRI, a Nuclear Bone Scan, 2 rounds of blood work, and 10 Physical Therapy Sessions-- I finally saw the orthopedic surgeon.

My 11:15 appointment began with my arrival at 10:50 am (why I have to arrive 30 minutes early is beyond me) with the receptionist advising me the doctor was running 1 hour behind. Pfft!  News Flash to Doctors - my time is as valuable as yours, especially when I have to drive an hour to get there to see you!  Anyway, he spent a total of 4, maybe 5 minutes with me. He fumbled through his file of my medical records. The bone scan images were on the screen - he was unable to zoom in on any area, though he did attempt many times.  Not sure he even read the written report, as he asked the nurse "Where is the report?"  After a few minutes of him cutting me off mid sentence when he would ask me a question, he declared that my 59 year old back looked like the back of a 40 year-old.  When I questioned him on the numerous bulging and herniated discs that were pressing on my nerves (another news flash doc - I can read a radiology report), he said "That happens to everyone your age".

He actually asked me, rather incredulously, "what do you want me to do for you"? At this point, I knew he was useless to me (and the rest of the world looking for answers) and I told him I was moving to Virginia in less than 5 weeks...I did not want him to do a thing - just give me the results of the tests and I will find a Pain Management Doctor in Virginia who can offer me some pain relief.  He said, "well good luck with your new doctor in Virginia", and left.  Just left.

I shocked myself when he left - I told the nurse, who looked just as shocked at his lack of empathy and compassion, that "he is an asshole with zero bedside manner".  I may have added another choice curse word or two (I did add THAT word)  which I have NEVER DONE IN MY LIFE. That's how angry I was, and frankly, it was liberating. And she just nodded, as if I was not the first person to voice those words to her.

I apologize for using this method of venting my frustrations. It's really more of a warning to anyone who may be considering an out-of-state move in the future. Please, I beg you, DO YOUR RESEARCH FIRST!

I did not write this blog post for sympathy - truly. The Physical Therapist down here was AWESOME and I perform the stretches and exercises daily, and they have helped immensely in managing my pain.

Looking at this face everyday also helps!

Thank you for letting me vent, and as always, thanks for stopping by!