The short answer is: studying.
In my online Medical Coding class, we had three weeks since our previous meeting to do the last six chapters. Our final meeting/final test was scheduled for yesterday.
I was pacing myself for two a week, but the second week I slipped because I worked a lot at the shoe store (good for the bank account, bad for studying). By a week ago Friday, I still had three chapters to go.
That seemed fine. I finished the next one on Monday and then discovered that the following chapter was not the usual 25 - 40 pages long. It was 100 pages, with 40 exercises (not the usual 10-ish) to complete throughout the chapter! I almost cried.
So I started the Killer Chapter 15 (diagnostic coding in the ICD-9-CM manual) late on Monday night, got through about 10 pages, when I started falling asleep. I had Tuesday off, so I spent the whole day studying, studied before and after work on Wednesday, studied all day Thursday (another day off). Thursday night I finally finished going through the chapter, then did my post-chapter exercises, did a few of the 208 questions in the workbook, and considering the late hour (about 3 am by then), decided it was time to tackle the online quiz. I finished that at 4:03 am, went to bed for about 4 hours, then got up again to try to do the final chapter Friday.
My test results came back in the morning: 79. Not passing (80 is the cutoff). My heart sank, until I noticed the teacher's note saying that I got the multiple answers correct (they were marked wrong, because I had them in a different order than the answer code), and I had passed. So I worked on Chapter 16 Friday and finished it just before it was time to leave for work after dinner.
In class yesterday, our final test was easy, with answers straight out of the CPT (procedures, not diagnoses). Since I'd finished all the work assignments (she didn't care that I hadn't done all the workbook exercises--those are for our own benefit), I passed the class, and I should be able to find a beginner coding job. If only I could find an opening somewhere.
Meanwhile, a week ago my friend the cardiac nurse called to tell me that a friend of hers from her widows growth group at another church (I've met this friend) had to fire the medical receptionist at her nursing care facility for saying horrible things out loud about some of the patients on multiple occasions. The friend was interested in hiring me. The job would only pay $11 an hour and would be four 10-hour workdays a week, Sunday - Wednesday. The friend would call me about it.
Only, she didn't call.
Yesterday, my friend told me that the other lady had been in class all last week, and she'll be back at work this coming week (except for Wednesday, when she'll be at Disneyland). Just as well, since I needed every waking moment last week for homework.
So tomorrow I'll give her a call, and we'll see what happens. It'll be a foot in the door to the medical world, and there are a LOT of jobs that want the crucial 1 year of medical experience.
Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!