mellificent: (Xmas bow)
Bladder Botox
Refers to the procedure described in the code below, in which botulinum toxin (Botox) is injected to paralyze overactive bladder muscles.
New CPT code for 2013:
52287 Cystourethroscopy, with injection(s) for chemodenervation of the bladder

The presenter also threw around some jargon I hadn't heard before, which I present here for your edification:
  • GEMs - general equivalence mappings (refers to ICD-9-to-ICD-10 mapping - "general equivalence" seems to be a way of waffling around the fact that it doesn't always work out quite right)
  • Provider neutrality - refers to rewording that the AMA is doing to clarify that not all work must be done by a physician - this has led to the use of the term "qualified healthcare professional" (abbreviated QHCP or QHP), mostly meaning those people that you sometimes see in lieu of a physician, like physician assistants & nurse-practitioners

And, since this is not everyday jargon for most people, a quick guide to the acronyms:
AMA - American Medical Association
CPT - Current Procedural Terminology (aka procedure codes) - published by the AMA
ICD-9 - International Classification of Diseases, 9th edition (aka diagnosis codes) - to be replaced by ICD-10, the 10th edition, somewhere in the near future (currently scheduled for 10/1/2014, but it's already been changed several times)

Added I would like to note that I got the quiz afterwards (which earns you an extra CEU credit if you pass) 100% right on the first try, and all three of those items (i.e., "bladder botox" and the two bullet-point items) were on it. So I owe my stellar grade partly to the time I spent typing all that out!
mellificent: (Happy NY - sparkly)
We went to see The King's Speech this afternoon - I liked it more than I expected to. I liked it quite a lot, actually, and the rest of the audience seemed to too. The theater was almost full, too. I have been looking up various members of the royal family on Wikipedia ever since I got home.

I didn't come straight home, though, I dropped Rob off and went and got a sandwich at Schlotzsky's and then went to Starbucks, where I read about OB/Gyn codes for a couple of hours, in preparation for my interview on Tuesday. (Today I read about procedure codes, and tomorrow I need to do diagnosis codes; then I'll be as prepared as I reasonably can be, I think.)

I've apparently gotten over yesterday's relapse. I'm still sucking on cough drops, but that's not so bad. I always manage to be sick sometime between Christmas and New Year's, that's just inevitable.

I hear that the Texans actually won today - I suppose it taped, so I guess I'll have to watch it this time, instead of erasing it like I've been doing most of the year. Usually I've already heard before I get around to watching that they lost, and then it's too depressing to watch it. I'm just not enough of a masochist for that.

Minor Spoilers for Those Damn Martin Books )

Home again

Dec. 31st, 2010 07:00 pm
mellificent: (Happy NY - sparkly)
We are home from Dallas (again). I have to say the drive seems much shorter with some company. I think Rob enjoyed the trip, too, so that's good. I took my test, and I basically have no idea if I passed or not. I might have or might not have - I did a good bit of educated guessing, here and there, and it all depends on how well I guessed! If not, then I do this again later, although hopefully I'll be able to do it without another trip to Dallas, because I am very tired of that drive.

What with the intervening holidays and all, I don't know when I'll find out if I passed or not - sometime the end of next week, maybe. Before that, I have another job interview - for an OB/Gyn coding job, this time. I think that might be a very interesting job.

Oh, I did get over being sick in time for the test, thank goodness. I was still sucking on cough drops the whole time, but at least I wasn't sneezing and hacking and all that. Wednesday morning I was still feeling bad enough that I briefly considered trying to reschedule, but I really, really wanted to get it over with, and happily, it all worked out.

We went to the grocery store on the way home this afternoon, and oh my god, it was a zoo. Now we are home watching Doctor Who specials, and I am very happy to be here. I've spent so much time running around in the last week that home feels like a giant treat.

Happy new year, y'all!
mellificent: (Xmas light gif)
(This is not my official Holidailies entry, which was earlier - be sure not to miss it, though, as it's all about movie scores and the question of whether James Horner is a hack.)

With apologies to Col, who said he didn't want to hear any more about the L-word, I just have to link to this great NYT times article, which floats a number of theories about just what the hell is going on with the whole healthcare thing, my favorite being that "Joe's just not very smart." (The article is a couple of days old, so many of you have probably seen it already, but presumably I'm not the only one in the world who hadn't!)

I have finally "let" iTunes fully rotate the Christmas music in. I had forgotten that I bought a number of classical Christmas albums last year and the year before - mostly vocal music - so my Christmas music is dominated by lovely antiphonal choral pieces rather than by Bing Crosby - although he's in the mix somewhere too.

I have given up on studying for the evening. I listened to the lecture on the respiratory system three times because I kept looking at scrapbooking supplies and losing track of what the lecturer was talking about. (I apologize to her in advance if she happens to be reading here, but the lecturer in my class just plain lacks oomph. Losing track is a very easy thing to do.)wanna hear more about crafts? )
mellificent: (Xmas light gif)
I'm just now starting to get interested in Christmas music this year - this is late for me compared to past years. I've been adding holiday stuff to my iTunes queue for a while, but up til now I'd been deleting it every time it came up, unless it was "River" which is my favorite sort-of-Christmas song of all time, or maybe something like A Charlie Brown Christmas. But tonight I have been letting some other stuff sneak in.

And it's December 10th11th so I suppose it's time. Yike - Christmas is two weeks away? How did that happen? I mailed exactly four cards today. I do have some outdoor decorations up but not the tree, still. We went and bought a tree so I feel obliged to actually put the damn thing up, now. And gee, holidays or studying? I already let Thanksgiving interfere mightily with the study schedule and now I'm sure I will end up having the same problem with Christmas. (I'm already thinking, maybe I'll go to Ikea tomorrow...) Shit.

I am more interested in school than I was during the first half of the coding class - which isn't really saying much because the first half of this class was boring as hell - but I'm still really having trouble making myself concentrate. I'm almost wondering if an offline class might not have been a better choice. If I could even have found such a thing, I don't know. I know there were some Medical Terminology classes because I did check that out way back when I started this, but I didn't check again when it came time for coding. I really doubt that there are many CPC-H classes going in Houston right now. (CPC-H = certified professional coder, hospital. It's coding for outpatient surgeries, primarily. It's not as popular as the regular CPC class which emphasizes coding for doctors' offices.) Anyway, as Col pointed out when I was whining about this the other day, I'm probably learning this more thoroughly by going slower, but if I keep going slower and slower, as seems to be the trend lately, I'm never going to finish. Like the event horizon in a black hole - you never quite get there.

In case anybody was waiting with bated breath to know, here are the codes for H1N1:
CPT 90470, which is for administration of the vaccine
and there are two HCPCS Lvl II codes:
G9141 - admin
G9142 - vaccine

(Trust me, if you need to know what a CPT or HCPCS code is, you already know. Maybe some other day I'll attempt to explain that, but not today. Of course, if you really needed to know the H1N1 code, you probably would already know that, too.)

OK, time to go study some before bed. (Uh-huh. In 10 minutes I'll still be looking at Facebook or something. You can bet on it.)

mellificent: (nautilus)
Some guy who obviously takes Top Gear waaaay too seriously drove his Bugatti Veyron into the water outside Galveston. Now, I've said for years that I was going to drive off the road one day while watching the pelicans - I just left Galveston before I got around to doing it. But dude, a lesson for driving in coastal areas: don't try to talk on the cell phone and watch pelicans. Of course it's a bad idea in any case, but you especially don't want to do it while driving a million-dollar car. (Found via [ profile] dinda.)

I don't think I said here that I got a 92 on my midterm, which is very good considering that it covered that chapter I had so much trouble with a while back. I think that I'm going to enjoy the second half of this class much more than the first - it gets back to the anatomy and terminology stuff that I liked, with the addition of information about the specific procedures that are common for each body system and the codes you'd use for those procedures. (I might even find some new medical terms to teach y'all!)

The Houston Bead Society is going to have their annual show this weekend, and I'm going to go check it out tomorrow. There are 60 vendors, which sounds extremely dangerous. We just have to hope I don't come hope with more beads than I can carry.
mellificent: (fall landscape)
Have I mentioned that Col and I are playing WoW again? Well, we are. We were trying to finish Northrend before our memberships expired, but I don't think we're quite going to make it. I'm enjoying it enough that I volunteered to pay for another month, though. That should be plenty of time, near as I can tell. We're most of the way finished with Scolazar Basin (I don't think that's spelled right, but you get the idea) and we've already finished Zul'Drak, so all that's left is Storm Peaks and Icecrown. We are level 80 (woot!) and we both have Explorer titles and I even sprung for a fast mount (4000g for the training. Whew.). Then we're going back to LOTRO when that's finished.

I am about to take my midterm in the coding class. I should be studying right now, actually.

There are a whoppin' 5 items in the Etsy store now. (A couple more may be coming sometime tomorrow.)

Rob's movie report: He went to see The Fourth Kind this afternoon, the alien-abduction movie. He seemed to like it, although he didn't really have a whole lot to say about it. (He did make some comment about whether the "documentary" part of it was fake, at which I tried not to roll my eyes too obviously. Which could be why he didn't say much more about it.)

Oh, we are overloaded with invitations for Thanksgiving - my aunt, my sister, and my dad have all invited us. Daddy was third so he's getting left out, but we are going to try to make two stops on Thanksgiving Day and go to both Bryan and Austin. That should be doable. My sister has another significant other that she thinks is serious - more so than the last one, I hope! - and she's all anxious for us to meet him. Should be interesting.
mellificent: (buffy quote - stuck in hell)
I should be studying. I also need to wash my hair. Maybe I will alternate these things and get them all done at some point this afternoon. (Later: I did, except there wasn't enough studying in the equation, really.)

I slept for over 9 hours last night/this morning. This would worry me, except that I didn't get enough sleep Saturday night so I suppose I was just catching up.

In school news, I finally finished the Chapter From Hell. Apparently I am not the only one who calls it names to that effect. I haven't gotten my full grade back yet, but I made an 88 on the test so hopefully it will at least be some sort of passing grade. (The average grade on the test was 83; I don't remember exactly what the average grade on the homework was, but it was considerably lower than that. So I'll be happy with passing, in this case.)

Oh, my husband would like you to know that Zombieland is very, very funny. I refused to go with him because (a) I don't like zombie movies that aren't Shawn of the Dead, and (b) I can't stand Woody Harrelson, especially in large quantities. (The example I used was that No Country for Old Men was ok on (b) becausespoiler! ).) But Rob liked it a lot. The kid's narration was what made it so funny, he said. And he liked the Surprise Guest Star, which I won't spoil in case you don't know who that is. (I looked at IMDb to see who else was in it and of course found out the answer to that in the process. So don't look there, either, if you don't want to know. Evidently it has a very small cast if you don't count all the uncredited zombies.)

I tinkered with jewelry a while yesterday, while Rob was at the movie, and I declared my skull necklace finished, finally - although then when I showed it to Rob I started thinking about rebalancing it because the one stone bead on it is heavier than everything else and is making it lie funny. I intended to put a lot of charms on it and I put exactly one charm on it and then looked at it and decided I liked it that way. So there may be a Halloween necklace #2 because I have all these charms that I didn't use. (There are pictures of some of this stuff on Flickr, if you want to see.)

Alright. Off to study.


Oct. 1st, 2009 12:09 am
mellificent: (crayons)
I am awash (mentally) in diagnosis codes. I'm starting to get the hang of it, but it's a slow process. I am learning to resist the temptation to keep running back to look in the textbook for every question I have - most of the answers are right in the code book in the first place; after all, that's what it's for.

Because I'm compelled for some reason to catalog the catalogs, we've gotten more in the past few days:
Franklin Covey (that one followed me from my old job)
Angela Moore (painted jewelry)
Blair (grandma clothes, from which I occasionally order some of the hopefully least grandma-ish clothing)
Acorn (heavy on the PBS DVDs - seems to me I used to get a catalog with very, very similar merchandise called "Signals," so I don't know if they changed their name with unfortunate timing, or what.)

Also, do y'all get those mailers every week with the grocery ads and such in them? I'm not sure if that's just a suburban thing or not - I don't think we got them regularly in Galveston. Well, anyway, this week's batch had a Party City catalog in it that I just loved - it had little pictures of all the Halloween costumes, divided up into, y'know, Boys, Girls, Men, Women, Infants, Toddlers, even plus sizes. Not that I'm intending to buy any, but, I dunno, cheesy Halloween costumes make me happy, for some reason. And that reminds me that I saw somewhere that more people are intending to make their own costumes this year. Which may not be the best thing for the economy, but it's sort of cool.

(Col and I had a conversation the other night along similar lines about Christmas - he was wondering if people are starting to decommercialize Christmas due to the economic conditions. Once again, I am torn - it's a good thing, but then again, not really good for the economy. At least not all at once. Also I suspect a bounce-back effect at some point if people get too drastic about it.)
mellificent: (Buffy quote: subtext)
I am in the middle of printing a 73-page PDF, which is the reading assignment for module 4 of my class. I finished module 2 yesterday and got started on  module 3. I am mostly finished with it, except that I haven't actually taken the test yet - I've already taken an Ambien, just now, so I think it would be best to wait until later for that. I hope the 73 pages are interesting, at least. They are about diagnosis codes, which interests me in theory, at least. Did you know that diagnosis codes (the official name is ICD-9, for International Classification of Diseases, 9th edition) were developed by the World Health Organization to track mortality statistics? They are used these days for morbidity (disease) as well, but cause of death was where they started.

Anyway, my class has no pre-printed textbook, it is all PDFs. Luckily I have figured out how to do front-and-back printing on my printer and it's not too terribly time-consuming. I'm just eating up ink like crazy, that's all.

So one of our assignments is to make up multiple-choice test questions for the other students to answer. (Some people canNOT write a decent test question to save their lives but that is another topic.) Here's one of the two I made up. I was rather proud of myself for coming up with several perfectly reasonable alternate answers for this.

The abbreviation "US" in a medical record is most likely to mean:
A. United States
B. Urine sample
C. Ultrasound
D. Under sedation

The correct answer, per the textbook, is C. I phrased the question rather carefully since really the answers would all be perfectly legit as far as I'm concerned.

In other news, I have decided I need to record what catalogs come in the mail. It's that time of year.
Today's haul:
Levenger (a dangerous one, that - I have a thing for leather goods)
Woman Within (which is what used to be Lane Bryant)
Land's End Men
another Land's End which is unspecified but which seems to mostly be women's clothes
Connecting Threads (quilt fabric)
The Land of Nod

That last one annoys me somewhat - I ordered some gifts from them ONCE, a couple of years ago, and they won't go away. I occasionally want to scream, "I don't have children! I don't have grandchildren!" at them until they give up on me. On the other hand, I do end up perusing the things from time to time; they have some cute stuff.

Yesterday I got a Crate and Barrel Best Buys catalog, always one of my favorites. It made me contemplate a trip into Houston to go to the big C&B "uptown". But that's probably best saved until closer to Christmas.

Alright, my printing is finished, I am going to bed.
mellificent: (brain leaking)
I found a list that I was compiling somewhere along the line, so for your entertainment, I give you:

Fancy word

Normal word



Biliary colic

Severe pain from gallstones

Renal colic

Severe pain from kidney stones


Hair loss






Sore throat

Acute coryza

Cold symptoms












This is not near complete, but it gives you a few of them.

Meanwhile I have finally plowed my way through the last chapter of the anatomy book, so all I have to do is review and I'm done there. Meanwhile, I have also started working on the coding material. The second chapter of coding is a review of anatomy and terminology, so maybe I can overlap those and use it to study for my anatomy final!
mellificent: (buffy - patrol)
It's funny, we've had U-Verse since the beginning of February, and it's only gone out a few times, which means it's probably more reliable than Time Warner/Comcast was, on the whole - but I don't know, the times that U-Verse chooses to go out seem to be more showy, or something. I had gone out to run some errands, and I got home about the same time that Rob got home from work, and when we started turning everything on we found that the TV, internet and phone were out. The phone came on after a while, but the TV and internet stayed out for several hours - but finally, after a long time on the phone with AT&T, we got it to reset. The tech said that the signal was there all the time (well, all the time I was on the phone with her - I suspect that it had been out at some point) but that something somewhere in the system was blocking it. She tinkered with things on her end and I hit a lot of reset buttons on mine and eventually - about the time she was about to submit a ticket to have a tech come out to the house - it decided to cooperate.

In other news, I have finished reading the chapter about the urinary system - lots more about glomeruli - and I am planning on taking the test over that and the respiratory system tonight, and after that there's only one chapter and one test to go, not counting the final. I need to pay for the coding class soon, so that when I'm ready for it I have the materials. If I understand the syllabus right, I have to complete it within 4 months, so that means that around Christmas, I'll be done. Well, and then after that (hopefully very soon after that) I'll have to take the certification test. Which means I'll end up being out of work for just about a year, assuming that I then get a job very quickly - and everybody keeps telling me that I will. Everybody I talk to in the healthcare industry makes it sound like the shortage for coders is nearly as bad as the one for nurses. (Nobody has said that outright, but that's what they make it sound like. Like they're pretty much desperate, really.) I hope they're telling me the truth, and not just trying to make me feel better!

We watched a couple of Buffy Season 4 episodes while we had no other TV. We have been gradually working through S4 recently, but I have also been cheating during middle-of-the-night study sessions and have worked ahead to S5. There may be a Buffy post in the offing (sooner or later when I get around to it).
mellificent: (dragon)
Another nugget of medical history from my anatomy textbook:

Plato believed that the womb (uterus), if unused for a long period, became "indignant." This indignant womb then wandered around the body, inhibiting the body's spirit and causing disease. According to the male thinkers of the day, a woman was so controlled by her wandering womb that she was considered irrational and prone to emotional outbursts and fits of hysteria. This belief was the reason that the womb was named the hystera. The term has persisted in medical terminology...

I knew about the relationship between "hysterectomy" and "hysterics" - if I hadn't, it was pointed out in my Medical Terminology book as well - but what I hadn't heard before was the part about the indignant wandering womb. (However, the Greeks also believed that the arteries carried air, so it's not that their medical knowledge was otherwise all that sophisticated, in any case.)
mellificent: (Dr Who - blink)
Remember back when I posted the word cryptorchidism and I was all interested in why "orchid" was a root word for testes? Well, apparently I am not the only one interested in that - there's actually a whole "fun facts" box about it in the anatomy book, including exactly who's responsible. Here it is, verbatim:

Do You Know . . .
Why Aristotle called the testicle the
The root of the orchid plant is olive shaped; in Greek the shape is called an orchis. Noticing the similarity between the shape of the orchid root and the testicles. Aristotle dubbed the testicle orchis. The word orchis is still used in medical terms. For example, orchitis refers to inflammation of the testicles, and orchiectomy refers to the surgical removal of the testicles. The word testis comes from the Latin and means to bear witness to. The word testes shares the same Latin root as the word testify. In ancient Rome, only men could bear witness, or testify. To show the importance of their testimony, the held their testicles as they spoke.

Huh. Well, that's interesting.
mellificent: (Firefly - brain)
abnormal collection of fluid, usually causing swelling

I'm sure a lot of people know this word, but I'm putting it in here anyway because it lets me discuss the mechanisms of edema a little bit, and I thought it was interesting. I like this definition (from the anatomy book) better than the one from the medical terminology book, which was worded the other way around - something on the order of "swelling, usually caused by abnormal collection of fluid in the tissues". The excess fluid arises on a microscopic level, in the interstitium between the capillaries and the cells. Normally the capillaries take out the same volume of fluid that they bring in, keeping things in balance, but when things get out of whack the fluid builds up in the interstitial space and eventually becomes noticeable as swelling. One example the book gave was hypoalbuminemia - a lack of albumin, which is a protein, in the blood. The presence of the proteins in the capillaries - in some mysterious way that I don't entirely understand - draws water back in with them, so a lack of proteins means more water stays in the interstitium.

OK, the page is sort of swimming so I think that means it's my bedtime. Hope this makes a reasonable amount of sense!
mellificent: (Astros - retro)
Good lord, I just took a test on the two chapters of anatomy about the heart. The test before that was two chapters on blood; now I just looked to see what the next chapter is and it's two chapters on blood vessels. Now I hate to say there's not two chapters worth of stuff to say about blood vessels because obviously there is - probably if you're a specialist there's whole books worth, but jesus. That's six chapters on blood, circulation and the heart. I may have to skip this one and come back to it. (I probably won't. I'll probably just slog through it and get it over with.)

Oh, for those of you following along at home, I made a 96. I was surprised, because I figured I'd miss a couple of questions just because I tend to get left and right mixed up and that's kind of important when you're talking about the heart!


Jun. 26th, 2009 12:39 am
mellificent: (Dr Who - delete)
I joked to Rob that I am like those annoying commercials for that Microsoft Bing! or whatever it's called - where people start spewing all that random information on a certain keyword. Only mine's not really random, and of course I hope to god I'm not that annoying about it! But I'm full of all this newly-acquired information these days, and I'm dying to share. Where I am Bing-like is that if you say, oh, Parkinson's disease, you elicit an immediate brain-dump - I really did do that one the other day, but it was only Art, and he's increasingly deaf these days and won't wear his hearing aid, so I don't know that he even heard it. -- Which reminds me, Col asked for a brain-dump about nerves and I haven't gotten around to doing that one yet, so if I'm really as gung-ho as I say, I ought to get on the stick, shouldn't I?

The next chapters in Anatomy were two subjects that were at the end of the other book - the senses and the endocrine system - and so I am sort of sick of them and I decided to skip them for now. I will come back to them later. The next chapters were the one on blood (thus the "buffy coat" term the other night) and the one on fluid regulation, which didn't have its own chapter in Med Terminology. Something new, yay! (And blood is a very complicated subject so I certainly needed a refresher there.)

(I am tempted to talk about Michael Jackson or LOTRO but I think I will go study instead. The former subject, in particular, does not need any more input. I had to turn MSNBC off because they have abandoned politics for the evening in favor of 24-hr King of Pop, and it was making me nuts.)
mellificent: (Dr Who - adipose)
So I finished my Medical Terminology class, and I have a certificate for it and everything (I think my final grade was 98), and now I'm on to Anatomy. I actually signed up for the Anatomy class a couple of months ago, some of you may remember, and I took a couple of tests before I decided that it was too slow to do both classes at the same time, and so I went ahead and finished the other one instead. I think I had already taken three anatomy tests - and last night I took a fourth one. It covered three chapters, all on the nervous system (one chapter on the brain, one on the spinal cord and peripheral nerves, and one on the autonomic nervous system) and so I was kind of worried since that's a lot of material - but it was easy, it turned out, and I got every question right. (If it was not open-book I would not have made a 100, because I just have not gotten the numbering system down on the cranial nerves, mnemonics or not.)

Rob is on vacation the rest of the week, and we are going to see Terminator: Salvation in a few minutes. I know it didn't get great reviews, but most of the people who've actually seen it (the ones who aren't critics, that is) seem to like it okay. I'll have to report back later.

I've been re-reading A Little Princess and now I want to see that movie again. Maybe Amazon has it cheap! But I'll have to look at that later, too, because right now I have to go.

(Incidentally, I wrote this before I saw that Col was complaining about nobody posting. But here you go, Col, anyway!)


Jun. 16th, 2009 06:44 pm
mellificent: (Astros - retro)
I just took the final. I hadn't really studied as much as I intended to, but I made a 99, so oh well. My average for the whole class was 98.5.

I started to put "sorta" after the "Done!" in the title, because I can't really take any time off to celebrate - I took too darn long getting through this thing. Now I need to go through the rest of Anatomy fast, and never mind if I don't make an A because it's not actually required anyway. (If I hadn't already paid for it I'd be tempted to skip it entirely.)

Yay me.

Jun. 5th, 2009 02:19 am
mellificent: (brain leaking)
Wow, I just took my test (the endocrine & nervous system one) and much to my surprise, I made a 100. I was really not feeling at all sure about it - and I did double-check a couple of answers on the endocrine end. I felt much more confident about the nervous system stuff. Although it would help if they would quit including words and abbreviations in the tests that aren't in the book - or in the medical dictionary, in some cases. (One was "NIDDM" - which I decided meant non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. The term is in the book somewhere but that abbreviation isn't. Or in Stedman's, either.)

The endocrine system is hard. And I'm already starting to dread the final.

One chapter to go.

Added: I just added up how many terms were in the multiple panes of the vocabulary spreadsheet I've been keeping this whole time: a staggering 3700+. No wonder I'm tearing my hair out. Which would be trichotillomania, if you really want to know.

(The icon came from a fanfiction community, I think, but it seems pretty darn appropriate.)


mellificent: (Default)

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