Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Where oh where has time for poker gone?

Don Wade, aka Miami Don/winner of 2010 WPBT, sent me a message the other day asking if I wanted to meet up and do a daily noon tourney at the Venetian, and if I had looked into the Red Rock Casino Heartland Poker Tour.

"Hmmmm," I thought. I could do a noon satellite next Thursday and play the main on Saturday and Sunday. Uh-oh, isn't my new leaf giving up multi-day MTTs??? Maybe if I really can prove to my wife I have been an exceptional husband I can....uh wait, I can't even make the noon tourney this Thursday at the V. Who am I kidding? I have far too much going on.

Nothing makes me quite as grumpy as having to miss my Thursday poker sessions... except maybe bubbling one. Seriously though, my mood has been as rotten as the straggling Thanksgiving leftovers lurking somewhere in my fridge.

Since I am in denial I left things open with Miami Don. The truth is that the new year has come fast and furious. It is a rather difficult time for me as I am making some major changes in my private life and medical practice that, at least for now, will put a major financial and time burden on my life. I'm pretty bummed that I wont have much time over the next 1-2 months for much more than a few low stake late night poker star MTT turbos. Online poker does not do it for me. I want to play and I want to play live.

For those of you interested here is a list of what I am contending with:

1. Teachers Health Weight Management Program - STOP (safely taking off pounds)

You may remember from an earlier blog post that I was in negotiations with a health insurance company to contract weight management services, something that insurances will typically not cover. This was a big deal and I was able to successfully negotiate a contract that went into effect January 1st, 2011. The new patients are seemingly infinite. A good problem that I am not fully prepared for. Click here for our provider profile.

2. Tenant Changes

For the last two years I have had a urologist renting space from me in my office. Aside from having pee all over the place at the end of the day it was kind of a drag having this practice in my office since they took a lot of my space and had a huge volume of very ill and grumpy folks (I guess not being able to pee right and having instruments probed inside my urethra would make me grumpier than missing poker). Having them as tenants was a necessary evil as I pay a very high rent premium being that my office is located on the posh St. Rose San Martin Hospital campus, considered one of the most beautiful hospitals in the US.

Click Here For Picture Reference

Although this too is a positive move for me, it will be a lot of work in terms of re-structuring my office and it will be a significant cut to my income.

3. Movement to a Concierge Primary Care Practice

It is no secret that Weight Management and Wound Care are my true medical passions. Primary care, aka general medicine has been something I have been hoping to phase out of my practice. I am not going to write a huge diatribe about the issues in primary care that hurt both patient and doctor. Basically, since to some degree I do enjoy primary care, I have decided that I am going to re-vamp my primary care practice and have a monthly fee for extra-ordinary services (eg email and phone consultations). I have yet to get to doing more work on my plate.

4. Health issues in my family...

In general I have a hard time separating my emotions from my patient care. It is something that makes me an exceptional physician, but at the same time is a weakness of mine that can, at times, interfere with my own emotional health. Since being the physician for members of my family can amplify these tendencies I made a rule that I would not see my family as patients. It didn't take long until I would bend the rule for a cousin here, a brother in-law there....but it was okay in my mind. Only my mother and father would truly be the ones I couldn't emotionally take on as my patients...that was until I discovered my Father, who is struggling with a recurrent MRSA urinary tract infection did not get appropriate care from a physician. So now I am left to care for him as well. Below is a picture of a portion of my rather large Italian family at my house on Christmas. I failed pretty badly at my rule, as I have seen every single person in this picture as a patient. I guess that is a privacy violation. That's fine, let them sue me.
5. Child Care

My mother-in-law lives with my wife and I. We asked her to move in with us last year to help watch our new addition while my wife and I both worked full-time. Unfortunately she has been having some health struggles as well and we have been doing a lot of scrambling to get acceptable child-care for our 9 month old...a never ending issue in our house. This causes more distress than I can describe.

6. Moving

Not much to talk about other than we are in the process of moving...something incredibly fun to do, especially when there are so many other things happening.


In addition to poker I would like to be doing some recreational activities like skiing etc...I don't see that I will find time to do these things. My exercising has hit an all-time nadir in 2010 and I don't see over the next few months it getting much better. Although I was a serious body builder when I was younger running has typically been my exercise of choice...mainly due to convenience. Put on your running shoes, head out the door and return in an hour. This all went down hill a few years ago when I was running with my rather large dogs and developed a grade III ankle sprain, when my labrador (aka bull in a china shop) bolted under my feet after he saw some quail scurrying by. Here is a picture of my dogs enjoying the Vegas snow fall that left as quickly as it came this Monday morning.

The other day I was reading a post by Dr. Chako on his blog and really liked the resolution idea he had on running 365 miles in 2011. Even though I am out of running shape I can still run at least 3 miles, and doing so just 2-3x per week would easily get me to that goal. Later I noticed when reading a post on the crAAKKer blog, that Grange95 also liked this idea and set up a friendly wager with Dr. Chako. I tweeted the two of them to see if I could get in on the action (three-way as commented by Chako). So now all I need to do is get me a new pair of running shoes, and possibly some inserts...should be easy with my light schedule.

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