Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Twelve Codes of Christmas: On the First Day of the Coder's Christmas... (R41.3)

I remember the Christmas of 2006 vividly.  I can tell you which small town in the Eastern time zone I was in and the name of the hospital where I did my training the week before Christmas.  I can tell you how I suggested to the client weeks before that training a week before Christmas was probably not a good idea.  I can tell you how the people I was training plugged in a Christmas tree behind me and snacked on holiday pot luck fair while I was presenting.  And most of all, I can tell you that I was training ICD-9-CM, Chapter 5 on Mental Disorders.

Stellar memory you say?  That's absolutely amazing you say?  I certainly can't remember that many details about my other trainings.  It's what happened after that which makes the trip memorable.  Or maybe I should say during.  Christmas was on a Monday that year and on the Wednesday before - you know, when I was training - it started snowing in my home town of Denver.  A lot.  The airport was closed by Wednesday evening and it wasn't looking good for my flight home on Thursday. 

Sure enough, I was up bright and early Thursday morning and all flights in and out of Denver were canceled.  A massive blizzard had dumped nearly 2 feet of white stuff all over the city.  Once my Central-time zone based travel agent made it into the office, she was able to tell me I could fly home on the 26th.  Holiday travel combined with catch-up from Wednesday put me low on the priority list. 

To try to shorten this story up a bit, after crying to my travel agent and placing a very early morning and tearful call to my brother in Phoenix, I had a very expensive nonstop flight booked that would get me into Phoenix at midnight.  My wonderfully accommodating brother picked me up at the airport and his hospitality-driven wife had the guest room and Friday manis and pedis all set up. On Saturday, the three of us set out for Denver along with a small U-Haul trailer and two large dogs: one with a urinary tract infection (many potty stops) and the other with amazingly terrible gas.  Good times.

Oh right.  The point.

Recently, I was perusing the internet and came across a list of Christmas Carols for the Psychologically Challenged and remembered that fateful trip.  In order to infuse a little Christmas spirit into that mental health training, I had written these Christmas carols in the margins of my trainer's manual and we all had a good giggle any time one came up.

So in honor of that memorable Christmas - I've decided to do a special subseries on the code for the day.  Here is the first of my Twelve Codes of Christmas series:
  • I Don't Remember if I'll Be Home for Christmas (R41.3, Other amnesia)
Tune in tomorrow for another installment!

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