Showing posts with label fizzy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fizzy. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Meat panic

In case you haven't heard, the WHO recently said that processed meats are in the same category of carcinogens as smoking cigarettes and asbestos. Popular processed meats include sausage, jerky, bacon, hot dogs, and kebabs, along with everyday lunchmeat such as ham, salami, corned beef, pastrami, and bologna, as well as canned meats and packaged meat-based sauces. Also, red meat "probably causes rectal cancer."

Granted, I haven't done a ton of research on this. But I'm a little confused about how big this risk actually is. And how panicked should I be?

If it were just me, I wouldn't panic. I eat very little red meat or processed meat. But my younger daughter eats nothing but processed meat. All she wants to eat are chicken nuggets, hotdogs, or ham. If those things weren't available, I'm pretty sure she would just starve. One article suggested making my own chicken nuggets, but not only will she not eat my homemade chicken nuggets, but she will only eat chicken nugget from Tyson and they have to be circle shaped. God forbid we get chicken nuggets shaped like a dinosaur. They are inedible.

So my question is, how much is it worth panicking? Is anyone making any real changes to their diet? Or should we all just go about our lives as usual?

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Help

One of the downsides of having kids that are a little bit further apart in age, is that it may very well require separate drop offs and pick ups. I'm lucky in that I can pick both kids up at the same place, but they need to be dropped off at two separate places.

You know what's really fun to do in the middle of the winter, when it's -2 degrees out? Having to pack two children into a car, race to one school, where I have a 10 minute window between when the school opens and when my daughter will be tardy, then race to a daycare to drop off child number two. And then finally get to go to work and embark on a long day, which practically feels like a relief at that point.

My husband was supposed to drop one kid off and I was supposed to drop the other one off. But it seemed like at least a couple of times a month, he couldn't bring either of them in, and the stress of doing the double drop off meant that I would sleep horribly the night before, which would make the whole thing that much harder. It resulted in more than one fight.

Finally, a few weeks ago I decided it was enough. I was going to hire somebody to drop one of the kids off in the morning.

So I did. We have a woman who comes in an hour before school starts, who tidies up our apartment, gets both kids ready, and then drives my older daughter to school.  (In case you're wondering, the school bus does not stop anywhere convenient.)

It feels decadent to have this woman come. After all, I am right there. Why can't I get my own kids ready for school? Why can't I drop them off?  Why can't I tidy up my own apartment?  Why am I throwing money away on things I could do myself?

Yet she's sort of a lifesaver.  So I'm just going to try to enjoy it and not let myself feel guilty.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Did I miss out?

It recently occurred to me that both my kids are getting to an age where staying home all day is not really an option. Whether she likes it or not, my older daughter has to go to school. And my younger daughter is at an age where most kids are doing at least part time preschool.

Basically, the period of time when it would make sense for me to be a stay-at-home mother is just about over. I can now go to work guilt free.

But there's something a little bit sad about it. I know a lot of women who have been home with their children during this entire time, and are now just starting to go back to work, and it makes me feel like maybe I missed out on something that is now gone forever.

Should I have taken a year or two off from work? Should I have been present for every bottle or lunch or afternoon nap?

My brain tells me no. Taking that kind of time off was just not feasible. And my kids are fine. I spent plenty of time with them.

But I didn't get to have that prolonged period of it just being me and my toddler. And now I never will. I can't help but feel a little bit sad.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Just like mom

My daughter Mel has one of those annoying friends at school who always has a bunch of things to say to me when I pick up my daughter. Before I met this girl, I thought annoying friends like Skippy, Kimmy, and Boner weren't real and just added in for extra laughs during 80s sitcoms (for bonus points, match the annoying friend to the 80 sitcom).

The other day, when I was picking Mel up, her annoying friend came up to me and said, "I fell down and scraped my leg today!"

"Oh, too bad," I said, trying to act like I actually cared about the fact that this random child had fallen and scraped her leg.

The friend smiled. "But Mel said that since her mom was a doctor, she knew exactly what to do to help me. So she did!"

My heart swelled with pride. There's nothing that makes you feel better about yourself than when your daughter wants to be like you. "So what did she do?" I asked.

"She brought me to the teacher," she said.


Well, it's the sentiment that counts.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Baby City

There are only three things in this world that are certain: death, taxes, and babies.

Nobody knows this truth better than Emily McCoy, a third year resident working in Baby City, the affectionate nickname for the busy Labor and Delivery unit at a New York City hospital. On a typical day in Baby City, Emily delivers more babies than the number of hours of sleep she manages to squeeze in that night. And definitely more than the number of dates she's been on since she started her training in OB/GYN two years earlier.

As Emily works tirelessly to safely herald baby after baby after baby (after baby) into the world, she becomes well acquainted with the three hard facts of Baby City:

1) Babies never come when you want them to.

2) Babies always come when you don't want them to.

3) You don't know who your true friends are until your baby is sliding down the birth canal.

Baby City was a joint effort, written by myself and Dr. Whoo of OB/GYN Kenobi. Do you remember the wonderful Dr. Whoo, who used to blog here? Well, now she's back… in book form! This book is all about the real events that take place on a labor and delivery unit, based on true stories.

This book is the ultimate book for mothers and medicine. Because it's about mothers (duh), both new and old, and it's written by two female physicians who are also mothers. It's light reading, but it deals with a lot of issues that are important to women and mothers and physicians.

Buy it today on the Kindle or in paperback!

Side note: We are donating 25% of the profits from the book to the fistula foundation, a nonprofit organization that does great things for women in Third World countries.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015


In the past, I've made several attempts to meditate regularly. But I've always failed for the following reasons:

-- meditation is boring

-- meditation is hard

-- I don't have enough free time... Or at least, I'd rather spend my free time doing something that isn't boring or hard

But I've decided to challenge myself. I keep reading about all these health benefits of meditation, so I'm gonna give it a fair try. I got the app for my phone, and I'm going to do it for 15 minutes at least four days a week for a month.  I'm posting my goal here with the Internet as my witness so that I will stick to it.

At the end of the month, I expect all my problems to be solved.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


I recently recommended my mother read a book called big little lies by Liane Moriarty because I thought that was one of the best books I have read all year, and dealt with a lot of important issues. One of the issues was that the daughter of a woman who had been abandoned by her husband when the daughter was a baby comes back into their lives, and now the daughter suddenly likes the father better.

My parents got divorced when I was a toddler, and my relationship with my father always frustrated my mother. She always told me when that I was older, I would "get it" and suddenly despise my father, yet now I'm older and I apparently still don't "get it." 

This book has gotten her all riled up.  Her latest email to me says that it's better if the father dies than if the parents get divorced, because then there's no bitterness. It's better not to have a father at all than divorced parents.

Right now, I'm older than my mother was when she got divorced. I've been married for over a decade. I've see many of my friends get divorced. I've struggled with my own marital problems. So I really do think that I do "get it." These are my feelings on divorce when you have children, based on my own childhood and everything I have seen:

1) sometimes divorce really is better. If you stay with a person that you hate just for the sake of the children, the children will notice this and they won't think it's better.

2) if you do get divorced, maintain an amicable relationship with your ex. Don't make the children pick sides.

And this is the hardest one of all…

3) if it all possible, don't leave your spouse for another person. If you're having an affair, presumably you're not happy in your marriage. Don't wait for the affair to be the impetus to leave, because it sucks to be left for another person. It's a lot easier not to feel bitter if you don't feel like you were discarded for a younger or better version of yourself. 

My hero is fellow MiM blogger Gizabeth.  She's written about her divorce here, and she's had an exemplary relationship with her ex-husband.  A divorced person should use her as a role model.

Obviously, it's better to have a marriage that is all sunshine and lollipops.  But sometimes (often) that can't be the case.  Sometimes divorce really is what's best for both the children and the whole family. 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

moar veggies

My older daughter has always been an amazing eater.  She eats her fruits, her vegetables, her meats, her starches, and of course everything in the baked goods food group. One of her favorite foods? Scallops.  I was a terribly picky eater as a child, so I always wondered what I did to deserve such a great eater.

Well, the second time around, I got what I deserved.

My youngest daughter is a terrible eater. The only thing she wants for dinner every night is chicken nuggets. And even then, I sometimes have to beg her to eat them.  And God forbid they have the wrong shape, like if I gave her the circular ones when she wanted the dinosaur ones, or vice versa. (I'm never going to know which one she wants until it's actually in front of her.)

Recently, she suffered a really pathetic bout of constipation, and my husband asserted that she needs to eat more fruits and vegetables. (He already slipped through some of his fiber cereal in with her Cheerios in the morning.) Well, maybe fruits are possibility, but how do you get a kid who won't even eat the yummy stuff to eat more vegetables?

And furthermore, I have to wonder if it's really worth it. If she has to be coaxed to eat french fries or chicken nuggets, I can't imagine what I'm going to have to do to get vegetables in her mouth. It would probably have to involve a slingshot. So what if she doesn't eat her vegetables? Is it really so awful?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


I'm sure almost every physician has experienced patients complimenting them, or more likely complaining about, how long young they look. I've been told that I look like I'm in college, in high school, ought to be suckling on my mama's teet, etc.  you know what I'm talking about.

As I get into my mid 30s, these comments are becoming more seldom, which is what I would expect. I've spent my life wearing a sun hat to protect my skin, despite years of ridicule, I don't smoke or drink, but no matter how good care I take of myself, I've never met a 40-year-old who looks like they could be in high school.  So like it or not, these comments are sure to stop in the next few years.

It's not like I feel young. I've been a doctor for nearly a decade, and I am the mother of two children. I certainly don't feel like a high school kid. So I don't know if it's terrible to not look like one.  I would rather be respected for my wisdom.

Before I run out and buy 10 bottles of concealer, share with me what you think the best things about looking older are for a woman.  There's got to be something!

Monday, December 1, 2014

I am starting to hate the holidays

A few years ago, I made a post that really bothered some people, suggesting that people who have small children get first picks for holidays off, because it may be difficult (or possibly impossible) for them to find childcare. Several people suggested to me that I was a… well, I don't want to use language on this blog, but let's just say a selfish female dog who should probably be fornicating with myself.

I don't want to stir the pot but I will give my experience trying to find coverage for the upcoming holidays when I will be working:

--me: working
--husband: working
--Schools: closed
--afterschool program: closed
--daycare: closed
--babysitter 1: Will be in church and at family functions
--babysitter 2: traveling for the entire holiday
--me: screwed

I'm currently putting together a piecemeal of various elderly grandparents coming by to watch the kids, and working out a plan to come to work at odd hours. It's hard, to say the least, despite the fact that I actually have a very flexible job.

I know I can't be the only one with this problem, yet it's clear that everyone feels really angry about the idea of making any accommodations for people with childcare needs. Maybe a better plan would be for there to be some sort of reliable group childcare out there for people like us (e.g. healthcare workers) who will be working at least some of the holidays. Because right now? The options suck.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

McDonalds dilemma

For a long time, I was not willing to take any time for myself. When I had a day off, I would keep the kids home and spend the day watching them, dragging them along with me to errands and doctors appointment, and not taking any time to relax.

Recently, due to my high stress level, I've decided to compromise. When I have a day off, I keep my youngest home in the morning, then bring her to daycare for the afternoon, when she would be napping anyway. (My older daughter is in school)

Initially, this didn't work very well. She would scream and cry during the drive to daycare and be inconsolable when I left.  To the point where I would practically be crying when I left.

The daycare wasn't crazy about this arrangement either. They said it was very disruptive to have her come in and be so upset.

Finally, I had what I thought was brilliant idea. There's a McDonald's on the way to daycare, so I would stop by the McDonald's and get her a happy meal to take with her. I did remove the toy for later, but she got to have the rest of it.

And you know what? It really worked. She was so excited to bring her little happy meal to school with her, and after a couple of trials of this, she was no longer upset about my leaving.

Of course, it's never that simple.

Apparently, there are a couple of kids in the class who cry inconsolably when my daughter is eating her McDonald's happy meal because they are so jealous. The teachers have tried to arrange things so that my daughter won't share a table with them, but it makes me feel bad every time I hear about it.

It's sort of silly because it's not any kind of amazing meal. It's a few chicken nuggets, apple slices, milk, and a handful of french fries.  She doesn't even get a dessert, which many other kids have.  I mean, I have literally seen kids there eating Dunkin' Donuts donuts for breakfast.

The daycare hasn't said a word to me about it or implied that I shouldn't do this anymore. But I still feel a little bit guilty. But maybe I shouldn't worry so much about other people's kids and worry more about my own.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Taking calls

I love my iPhone.  I take it with me everywhere I go: into meetings, into patient rooms, into the bathroom. (I don't use it in the bathroom, I swear.) 

Part of the reason I am so unwilling to separate from my phone for even a minute is that my phone is the only contact number that the daycare and the school have to reach me.

I assume when I get a call from daycare that whatever they are calling about must be vitally important. I'm immediately filled with terror until I answer the phone and discover that:

--my daughter was bitten by another kid

--my daughter bit another kid

--my daughter has a tummy ache

--my daughter is out of clean pants


But it doesn't matter that the content of basically 100% of these calls has always been non-urgent. If I get the call, I feel like I have to drop whatever else I am doing and answer it.  So I excuse myself from the patient I am with or the meeting, and I take the phone call.  Then I apologize profusely when I return.

I'm sure in the days before cell phones, the daycare would be less likely to call me, knowing they would have to go through a receptionist or page me. But it is what it is.  

I suppose I could not take the calls if I am with a patient. But I'm pretty sure that I would be so distracted, I would be completely worthless. I mean, what if it's not just that they're out of pants? What if something is really wrong?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Not a Soccer Mom

If I don't enroll my daughter in soccer this season:

1) she will not make friends

2) she will not get any exercise

3) she will not get a scholarship for college...

4) if she gets into college at all

5) I am just generally a bad parent

It's all about the extracurricular activities once your kid is in grade school. When I was a kid, it was somehow enough that I, you know, went to school. Not anymore.

I've spoken to several parents who have their kids involved in a different afterschool activity every day. Some of those parents work, so I'm not sure how they manage it. They do tend to have jobs where they can work from home. None of them are doctors.

I already have my kids in an afterschool program/daycare every day. Being able to pick them up in time to shuttle them to an extracurricular activity is not really within the realm of reality.

Of course, soccer is on the weekends. So that can't be my excuse. But we already do two different dance classes on the weekends. Is it possible for me to not be shuttling my kids around between extracurricular activities all weekend? I'm tired on weekends, for god's sake.

So my daughter isn't going to be doing soccer this year. I guess I have ruined her life.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

All Holidays

A friend of mine came to me with a dilemma I thought this community could be helpful in solving.

She is a nontraditional student who is midway through medical school. She is going through a divorce and about to become a single parent. For that reason, she asked me if it's possible to have a career in medicine where she could be off during all the school holidays. Not the entire summer, obviously, but during the Christmas break, the winter break, Easter vacation, all the major holidays, and the weeks between camp and school starting.

I told her probably not.

Considering in an earlier post years ago, I was skewered for suggesting that people with young children have some priority in getting to choose which holidays they needed off, I figured she would be burned at the stake for asking for every single holiday off every year. But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe there is some job for physicians that allows you that kind of schedule.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The things they carried (in their Dora backpacks)

I had been looking forward to the summer, thinking things would get easier once I didn't have to deal with making it to school in time to catch the late bell or nightly homework. I was really wrong.

With both kids in camp, the list of things I have to do prior to getting them out the door is overwhelming:

--pack lunch for both kids
--if needed, diapers or wipes
--put both of them in swimsuits
--clothing over the swimsuit or packed in bags
--swim shoes
--normal shoes
--remember if there's a trip that day, and if so, the cut off time for arrival (anywhere from 8 to 9:30)
--if there's a trip, remember camp T-shirt
--remember to freeze water bottle the night before, then remember to remove from freezer
--if Monday, remember to bring blanket for naptime

Honestly, it's a miracle we get out the door anytime before noon.

Is the summer over yet?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Being tough while pregnant

I was recently talking to a friend of mine who mentioned that another mutual friend was eight months pregnant and he was impressed that she was still walking around. Of course, I was offended because I was still working when I was in active labor.

But then I realized that maybe that wasn't something I should be proud of.

When I was eight months pregnant with my oldest, I totaled my car in a highway accident. I wasn't seriously injured and only required a night at the hospital. The worst thing that happened was I hit my head and had a concussion and a really bad black eye. I felt like with my pregnant belly, I looked like an abused wife. This was pretty much what I looked like:

My chief resident called me and told me he thought maybe I should start my maternity leave early. I didn't. Instead I went back to work only two days later.

When I went back, I was convinced that everyone was angry at me because I missed a call due to my accident. In retrospect, I'm pretty sure everyone felt really sorry for me.

Was it dumb to push myself that way? Possibly. I got through it and made it until my delivery day. And then I got the benefit of my six weeks of maternity leave with the baby instead of home alone.

Your turn. What's the dumbest tough guy move you made as a pregnant lady?

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A rare day of triumph

I'm not going to get into specifics, but there's been an issue that my mother and I have been arguing about for the last five years. Basically, I gave her a piece of advice and she's been telling me for five years that I've been wrong.

Then yesterday, she took my advice. And after five years of arguing, she admitted, "You were absolutely right."


Later that day, I made an offhand comment about how I was wrong about something. My older daughter quickly said, in all seriousness, "But you're never wrong, mama."

This day will live in infamy as the day I actually got respected in my house.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Brain Candy

I met Fizzy here years ago, and long ago posted one of her first cartoons on my blog when she spun off this blog to create her own space at The Cartoon Guide to Becoming a Doctor.

I was amazed by this cartoon. It spoke to me about my experience as a resident/mom in such a good way. She made light of the angst and agony that I had recently been through, and made me laugh about it. I was already hooked to her writing here on MiM, but that cartoon drew me in to her blog and made me an avid follower to this day.

She's funny. She's droll. But most of all, she's unrelenting. I have periods in my blogging where I lag and shut down. She never stops. She's like the Energizer bunny of blogging, and her constant wit and presence amaze me. Not just me - she has built up an enormous following of readers that also recognize her talent. I like to secretly pat myself on the back for being one of her first readers. It doesn't surprise me in the least that she has come this far.

I bought her first book (see above) and it sat on my coffee table until I caught my daughter reading it and asking me questions I wasn't ready to explain. Now it's tucked away in the reading cabinet for easy access. And I had the privilege to beta read her first novel - The Devil Wears Scrubs. Do you read brain candy? I do. I don't watch brain candy on TV, but I read it religiously during stressful times in my life. Chic lit - it takes the edge off. The Devil Wears Scrubs is the best kind of chic lit. It draws you back into that horribly abusive space in time of training when you have no control and you are at the mercy of warped personalities. It allows you as a reader, like the viewer of her cartoons, to make lemonade out of lemons. Her razor sharp wit and her sarcasm brings a new element to the genre. She's a pioneer.

If you haven't read her book, you're missing out big time. I hear there's more coming down the pipes. I remember standing in line for hours waiting to see Guns N' Roses at the Memphis Pyramid (I had to pee really bad - good training for OR cases). I remember camping out all night in front of BeenAround Records to get my college boyfriend Metallica tickets (his band not mine). I remember pre-ordering the next Harry Potter book during residency and counting the days until it was released. Here I am again at 40 dying to read Fizzy's next book. I hope there's lots more to come. I can't wait.

*This post was based off of one I wrote last week on my blog.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


I'm having a lot of trouble trying to relax.

Lately I've been just completely overwhelmed with the stress of working and managing two kids. My mind is always whirling with all the things I need to do. Feels a bit like the entire universe rests on my shoulders. It doesn't help that when I'm going to the bathroom there's usually somebody knocking on the door within 30 seconds asking when I'm coming out.

It's stressful.

For that reason I've really been trying hard to think of ways to relax. I know meditation would help me but it's just very hard to do. I can't seem to turn my brain off. Plus there isn't that much time to do it.

What are ways in which you relax?

Monday, March 10, 2014

Home sick days

I recently had one of those stomach bugs where I was spending the day racing from bed to the toilet to vomit all day. It was a fun day. I actually had to take one of my rare sick days from work.

But the hardest part of being sick nowadays is that I essentially never get a sick day from home. Not that my husband isn't willing to pitch in, but those days are even more precious than my work sick days. If I ask him to take care of dinner and get both kids into bed, that's not something I'm going to be able ask for again for a while. I certainly can't ask for three or four days of it in a row.

Everyone at work knew I was sick, and going into the weekend, everyone said to me, "Well, at least now you'll be able to relax." Ha! It's way easier to be sick on a weekday.

And this is why whenever we go anywhere, my daughter starts crying that I'm driving her insane with the hand sanitizer.