The application for my promotion/new title/additional responsibilities is in. My updated resume is super shiny and comfortably padded. My bosses are sending their letters of rec this week. I have an appointment on the calendar to speak with my potential Co-P.I. at the end of this month, after I've refined what I'm probationally calling my Research Protocol Feasibility Assessment Tool. It asks the question 'Can patients actually complete the testing you want them to complete? Can you get the information/samples you need from them?' in many different granular ways. I worry about putting more barriers in the way of new studies being initiated, but at the same time if we're producing bunk data, what does it matter if we do the research at all?
I had a really great, relaxed Valentines day yesterday. We cooked steaks and fettuccine al pesto genovese, spent the bulk of the evening in gentle conversation about the future, our goals and dreams. I want to improve pediatric cardiac care and research, she wants to address mental health in specific and wellness in general, but isn't sure about exactly how she wants to pursue that line of interest. Discussion is ongoing. Rather than go out on Valentines day, I booked us a couples massage for Saturday and I'm planning on taking her to the Detroit Institute of Art afterwards.
Feeling human is wonderful. Feeling confident is narcotically pleasant.
Friday's concert with the Budapest Festival Orchestra went amazingly. 3500 people came out to hear Beethoven's 9th and the maestro was so exhausted after the performance he was allegedly slumped on a couch in his dressing room for a solid 45 minutes after he got off stage. Rehearsing with the BFO was a delight. The level of musicianship and ensemble they display is truly inspirational. The maestro takes the podium, all chatter stops, all eyes lock on his baton with a near-audible click, and magic happens. Performing with them has to be one of the highlights of my musical career.
Now I have to focus on Missa Solemnis in March with the Detroit Symphony, and start looking more critically at the Missa in Tempore Belli for NYC in June. My director sends out notes after each rehearsal and after Monday nights session with the Missa Solemnis, he sent out an email that said, in general, "I didn't expect us to have made so much progress on this piece back in August. Everything we work on now is just putting the extra layer of polish on an already shining performance. You have a lot to be proud of, I would encourage you to use that confidence and pride as fuel to work even harder on the nit-picking details that will elevate our performance from 'Amazing' to 'Beatific.' "
So I guess you could say I'm doing well. Onward 2017 with full steam and a big grin.
Edit, because relevancy
Biochemically, I am still doing phenomenally well. I am fully transitioned into the heart failure clinic and am being managed appropriately. Blood draws that I thought had to be every other week might only have to be monthly, as long as my chemistry stays stable. I'm having a throat-scoping in March because not drinking water in excess seems to be causing some issues when I swallow, and GI wants to be sure it's not some kind of mechanical issue before they start into the water/salt/diuretic titration conversation with the heart failure docs.
As it stands, the message I get is 'You're sick. Here's how and why you're sick. You know your treatment options as well as most of us docs, and better than some. We're here to help in whatever way we can, but the ball is really in your court. There's nothing we can tell you that you don't already know.' So, with that in mind, I've created my own cardiac rehab program. I use my exercise bike almost every day, striving for at least 10 miles pedaled each time. My goal is to push that to 15 miles come the end of March or so. After talking with some of our cardiac rehab pros, I've learned that there are two key components of a cardiac rehab program. The first is the physical change that regular exercise gives, the second is the mental change that occurs from pushing boundaries and exceeding them. Depression, crippling, life-ending depression is common in cardiac cases because we are constantly being told things we can't do, and pushing past erected mental barriers with regard to exercise capacity has been proven to help deal with that.