California: "Good morning Jess-ee-ka, how are you?"

Me: "I'm doing well. My mother-in-law is down for the weekend. How are you?"

California: "Good, good. Jessica, we wanted to talk to you for a minute before bringing anyone else on. We've been running the program we discussed last time you were out here. We've made some changes based on your recommendations and we think it's really going well but we need someone to manage it. How would you like to move out to California?"

Me trying to get past the noise in my head which is one part Katy Perry's California Girls, a little California Dreaming and something like the best parts of Handel's Messiah: "It's certainly an interesting idea but I would need more information first. What were you thinking?"

California: "We want this program to focus on getting the G codes to the PCP's so they can start referring patients to the DPM's. Our program will show them how to complete the foot assessment, bill for the care and create a stream of patients for the DPM's who will then send their diabetic patients back to the PCP's and pharmacies."

Me: "I think focusing on the continuum of care is critical. Right now there's friction between the PCP's and DPM's and I think improved communication would enhance the billling process, facilitate SOAP note sharing and increase the quality of patient care. As far as I know no one else is doing this and I think this will give us a competitive edge especially when coupled with our scanning technology and customer service."

California: "We agree and we want you to manage the program."

Me: "I've been thinking about moving for a while now. This is just me thinking out loud but what would you say about me coming out to California, familiarizing myself with the program and taking it someplace like Florida or Texas?"

California: "That might work. We'd have to work out the details. How long would you be out here for?"

Me: "What if I came out there for a month or six weeks, took the C-Ped course and went to the clinic to see how you do things on that side of the business?"

California: "That might work. By the way, we haven't discussed this with anyone else so if you could keep it to yourself for now, we would appreciate it."

Me: "I'm viewing this as a brainstorming session which isn't really relevant to anyone else's position. We can discuss the details as we move forward."

California: "Thanks Jessica. We're really excited about this opportunity."

Me: "I'm excited too. I've wanted to take the C-Ped class for a while now and I can't thank you enough for giving me this opportunity. Having that backbone of knowledge will allow me to have better conversations with practitioners."

California: "Let us know as soon as you can if those dates work for you. It's over a weekend so that should be easier on everyone. We're looking forward to having you out here again."

****

Update: California just called again. The owner of the company wanted to discuss his healthy foot program to make sure I was clear about our goals and market. As a joke I told him I was packing my bags, when he asked for where I told him California and then he said he knew I was joking which was unfortunate. He thinks this program adds value and I'm inclined to agree based on what I know, what I've seen other companies not doing and what people I speak with tell me. To step back for a minute, I think that our group has chemistry and cohesiveness. They're trusting me not to take this information anywhere else. I wouldn't anyways because that's not the way I operate but I respect that level of confidence.

****

At home I'm scared. I don't have the backing and support of my spouse. I care about him and I believe that he cares for me but our relationship has never been strong. We have gone in separate directions which is now hurting our children. Friday afternoon I was informed that my mother-in-law was coming down for the weekend. Supposedly he told me this before but I don't remember hearing it. I cleaned the house as best as I could knowing that my mother-in-law has known me for years and is willing to overlook a less than spotlessly clean place.

Since she retired my mother-in-law has been going to the gym. She's lost quite a bit of weight and she's done it in a healthy manner. Today I made some juices for her. We talked about vitamins and supplements, she gave me a cookbook that features gluten free recipes in it and has been supportive of me as I go through challenges that make my life difficult. A couple years ago I met this guy. I haven't been on a real date in a while and I miss that. I want to be able to go out and meet people and do things like hold hands and be silly and laugh and feel free to be myself without worrying when the hammer is going to fall.

I've reached a point where I'm not mad any longer. I was for a very long time. It didn't help and contributed significantly to my stress level. Today, the owner of the company I want to work for asked me to pray for him. I am not familiar enough with the Armenian culture to know what their religious preferences are even though I have an Armenian friend who belongs to an Eastern Orthodox Church but that request went a little deeper than the comments about how much money we can make and ways that patients, practitioners, PLS, and physicians can benefit. I think there is a way that I can have my cake and eat it too.

For a long time I struggled with identity issues. Now I have health issues that trump those but I want to surround myself with people who don't care what I look like and can deal with me when I feel awful. It makes me cry when I think of the tremendous opportunities I've been given. I think that this is going to be big in ways I can't possibly imagine now but before I can help other people I need to build myself up. I don't know where this is going but right now I'm in an unhealthy relationship and I am working on getting out without destroying myself or anyone else in the process.

Selling education is what I've wanted to do for a long time. It is what has made me good at my jobs in the past and while I could use the money what attracts me is the passion these people have for the program and for their vision. When I stray they reign me in which is going to help me focus. While part of me is having trouble believing that this is happening another part is watching puzzle pieces snap into place and watching the gears of pedorthic progress mesh with one another. I love shoes, I love working with other people to build programs and I want to be a part of a company that has put together a win, win, win, win solution for everyone.

How is going to affect my life at home and my relationship with my spouse and the girls? Right now I don't know. I have to take it one tiny, baby, step at a time. California wants me to go back out there for some training before the classes start in February. I want to take the girls out there and I want to do my part to be supportive of their father because he's not a terrible person, he just isn't able to give me the things I need just like I have failed to provide the things he needs for his well being. It's interesting to me that this conversation with California came right after one with my sister who said we both need to move on. So I'm uncertain about where this is going to lead but I believe that this is in line with my goals, my philosophy on feet, shoes, and I am really looking forward to building something new that will allow me to grow both personally and professionally.

****

To all the people who have been there for me, thank you. For all those who are struggling, I wish I had something to say other than hang in there. I'm scared, nervous, excited, energized and really looking forward to seeing what else I can do with the rest of 2012.

With love,

jessica

P.S. Will I host a gathering featuring many fruits, vegetables, and much spring water for anyone willing to make the trip to Canoga Park? I think so.

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