Hitting all the right notes: Blues music

This beautiful personal story of Wendy Hull, NP as told by Andre Smith, NORM Board Member.

Thank you for letting NORM share your story.


Blues is an integral part of Austin’s vibrant music history. Music venues such as Antones, Threadgills and Skylark have hosted some of the greatest musicians in the blues genre. It’s not uncommon to stop in one of these venues and be surprised by an impromptu performance by a world-renowned artist passing through. Austin has always embraced music in all genres and continues to celebrate new and exciting bands and artists via the SXSW (South By Southwest) music festival yearly. Many types of music, yesterday and today’s, can be traced back to the blues as it’s foundation. Blue’s influence is far reaching and exciting! Not to mention, Austin City Limits which is the show that introduces many great musicians to the world.

What is it about the Blues that resonates with you?

Blues is all about the story. The shared experience. The “you are not alone in your pain, sorrow or even joy” experience. Music is an incredible tool for healing.

Is there anything about your own story of living with an autoimmune disease that gives you “the blues” or makes you relate to this genre of music?

Chronic pain is challenging. Before my Rheumatologist and I found the treatment that worked for me; I had many blue days among the good days. Music, even the blues, has the ability to elicit emotion, and in that emotion, comfort. Of course, my faith is what gets me through the day to day along with my treatment, although a good blues story sung from the heart with a positive outcome that you can overcome whatever challenges you face can be a treatment in itself!

How long have you been singing Blues and what is your trademark or “go to” blues song?

I’ve been singing blues, jazz and big band for about 30 years. When I’m singing I become immersed in the stories. I have many influences: Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Muddy Waters, B.B.King…too many to mention. Hard to narrow it down to just one song, but I do love singing “At Last” by Etta James.

At last my love has come along,

My lonely days are over and life is like a song,

At last the skies above are blue,

My heart was wrapped up clover the night I looked at you.

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  • As a speaker at the first ad hoc meeting of rheumatology practice managers gathered in a single small room at its infancy a decade ago, I’m amazed to see how NORM has blossomed into a high energy organization of depth and professional meetings with parallel break-out symposia between plenary sessions. NORM has truly come of age. This is where the “business” of rheumatology gets learned. The ”guildmanship” for rheumatology practice management is now strong.- Paul H. Caldron, DO, FACP, FACR, MBA, Arizona Arthritis and Rheumatology Associates
  • In a time of demanding changes in the management of medical practices in the US, NORM has been a lifesaver to the community of Rheumatology practices.  NORM has allowed our practice to stay ahead of the many demands of CMS and others payors and has ensured that our practice remains cognizant of new issues that arise in HIPPA compliance, human resources and medical billing to name a few. Sending our Practice Manager to NORM's conferences has been cost-effective and beneficial to our practice because she returns to our office with an abundance of information that otherwise would have taken months to compile. Every Rheumatology practice that wishes to stay on top of emerging issues in practice management should consider sending a member of their staff to NORM's conference.- Michael S. Rosen M.D., Chester County Rheumatology PC
  • Thanks to all those wonderful people in the NORM Network who respond to emails, offering their advice, experience, time, and support ... I haven't even been a member a full year yet and I am amazed at the dedication of everyone who responds to helping via emails and the NORM Organization itself! I have barely had a chance to explore the resources and I have yet to really dive into requests for help still I am silently learning so much and do occasionally offer what I can! Thank you all!- Cheryl Piambino, Kenneth E. Bresky, DO

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