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

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Early dementia

"We have a problem," my daughter's kindergarten teacher recently told me during a parent teacher conference.

"What's the problem?" I asked.

"You forgot to pack your daughter's snack today," she said.  "Also, you forgot it one other time.  I don't know what's going on there."

I pay a small fortune for my kids to get school lunch (which I'm convinced they don't actually eat), but in addition to that, we have to pack a snack.  I don't remember having snack time in elementary school.  I think we got lunch and that's it.  But regardless, snack time is the convention.  And on two occasions in a three month period, I forgot to pack it.

The thing that surprised me is... am I really the only mom in the whole class who forgot to pack a snack twice in three months?  Is that really something that should make the teacher look at me like I'm irresponsible?  I have a lot of things to do in the morning and I just forgot.

I used to have a great memory.  

I don't know what happened.  I can't remember anything anymore.  I have alarms in my phone to remind me to tell my daughter to pack her clarinet on band day, to remind her to study for her Friday exams, because I'd never remember otherwise.  I put reminders and alarms in my phone about every appointment, every social event, everything I do.  

And it's still not enough.  My kindergartner is totally incapable of remembering her backpack in the morning if I don't remind her, and yesterday, I forgot to remind her.  So we got to school and.... no backpack.  I had to call my husband and beg him to bring her the backpack on his way to work, which he did, but I forgot to put her dance clothes in the backpack, which was practically the only thing she needed in the damn thing anyway.

But at least her snack was in there.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Unreliable Moms

I'm going to come out and say it:

It stinks making plans with other mothers of young kids.

They are never free.  It's either date night or a soccer game or a kids birthday party.  And if I do manage to make plans with one of my mom friends for a playdate or girls night out, there's a 50/50 shot that someone will start throwing up and it will get canceled.

I used to think it was just me.  That my friends were particularly unreliable or they didn't think I was fun enough to make time for.  Then I joined the Facebook group for my town, and it opened my eyes. Women will make a post saying they are desperate to make friends and they will set up a playdate for a bunch of kids at the park.  Then the very woman who complained she didn't have any friends will flake and say she can't make the playdate!

I had a conversation with the woman who started the Facebook group.  She told me she organized an event for the moms in the group, multiple people RSVP'd, she reserved a location, and then she was the only person to show up.  I told her the same thing happened to me when I tried to organize a book club for the moms.

It honestly makes me want to just have friends who don't have kids.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Doctor Day

Recently, I had the opportunity to teach my younger daughter’s preschool class about being a doctor. Sometimes I think that part of the reason I became a doctor was just so I could get to do that.

I was nervous. I’m not sure why I was quite so nervous, considering in retrospect, I can’t honestly think of anything that could have gone wrong. It wasn’t like I was lecturing to a bunch of Harvard professors--these are individuals who pick their noses and eat it. In public. This was like the least discerning audience of all time.

I started out by introducing myself and asking the kids, “Do you know what a doctor is?”

One kid’s hand shot up and I called on him. “A doctor gives us s-----,” he announced.

I couldn’t make out the last word he said, so I took a guess. “A doctor gives you socks?”

The kids burst into hysterical laughter. He said “shots.” How did I not know that? That is literally the only thing children know about doctors.

I had this brilliant idea to bring in a pile of rubber gloves for the kids, so they could each put on a glove and feel like a doctor. Except this turned out to be the worst idea of all time. Kids are apparently unable to put on gloves on their own. Several teachers had to be recruited to help. This ate up, like, ten minutes.

After that, I had the kids listen to each other’s chests with my stethoscope. They came up in pairs of two so I could help them. Except about a quarter of the class was completely deaf.

Child: “I can’t hear anything!”

Me: [adjusts stethoscope] “How about now?”

Child: “No! Nothing!”

Me: [able to literally feel small child’s heart pounding with my hand on the diaphragm of the stethoscope] “Um… sorry?”

Then I broke out my reflex hammer. You want to hear something sad? I actually bought a new reflex hammer just to use in my daughter’s class. The fact that I was using it on patients wasn’t motivation enough, apparently.

The teachers looked a little nervous about that hammer. Understandably so. It was fine though. Nobody was beaten senselessly with the hammer or anything like that.

Soon after, we ran out of time, which was a shame because I was just getting into it. The teacher asked the children, “Do you have any questions for the doctor that aren’t stories?”

A boy raised his hand: “I went to the doctor and I got a shot.”

“Questions that aren’t stories,” the teacher clarified.

A girl raised her hand: “My mom took me to the doctor and I got a shot.”

And it just sort of went on like that.

In any case, it was a really fun experience. Highly recommended.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Why I Fired My OB/GYN

I apologize in advance that this story is a little bit TMI. Then again, I live in a world where about a third of the time, a cat or a child comes into the room to watch me pee, so nothing is really TMI anymore.

When I moved to a new town and found myself newly pregnant, I knew I had to find an OB/GYN practice. So I basically googled “OB/GYN” and picked a large nearby practice that popped up and selected a doctor with decent reviews. My first visit was pretty good, and I decided to stick with the practice.

Unfortunately, things went downhill. The worst thing was the wait. I’d come in for increasingly frequent pregnancy checks and end up waiting an hour for my five-minute visit. The most aggravating visit occurred when they called me to come in early because they were running ahead. I dropped everything at work to show up early, and STILL waited thirty minutes, until the time of my original appointment.

Also, they did the worst blood draws ever there. Any time they needed blood, I would end up with bruises all over my arm and severe pain for days. When I objected to doing the glucose tolerance test there for that reason, I felt like I was treated like a criminal by the staff and the very un-understanding OB/GYN.

But the straw that broke the camel’s back happened about a year after I delivered. I was having my annual exam done by a male OB/GYN that I’d seen a few times before and liked well enough. After he finished the speculum exam and the bimanual exam, he said to me, “Now I’m going to do a rectovaginal exam.” And then two seconds later, he just DID it.

I’m sure somebody could present me with a body of literature on the importance of the rectovaginal exam. But I don’t care. He didn’t give me fair warning. He didn’t ask if it was okay. And it was certainly not something I ever expected, considering in my 15-odd years of annual exams, not one doctor ever deemed it necessary to perform. Plus he was a man.

I’m not saying I’m traumatized or anything. I’m not having recurrent nightmares over it. I wouldn’t report him. I mean, let’s be real here—rectal exams happen. But I didn’t like the way it happened, and I would never go see that doctor again. And since I hated the practice so much, it gave me the impetus to finally leave.

(And my current practice has never made me wait more than five minutes.)

I do have to say, if you’re a male doctor, I think you do need to be careful about that sort of thing. You can’t just go around sticking your fingers wherever you like without warning your patients. Not that I can do that as a female doctor, but I think there is a little more wiggle room. (Literally and figuratively.)

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Doctor Day advice

The teacher at my younger daughter's preschool says that they're going to start a unit on different careers, and she asked me if I could come talk to the kids about being a doctor. Of course, I said yes.

While I did this once before for my older daughter's class many, many years ago, I feel like recently what I do has diverged significantly from what little kids think of when they think of a doctor. I still have the equipment, but I can't even remember the last time I took someone's blood pressure. (And that person was probably my husband, who is always convinced his BP is high.)

Has anyone else done a Doctor's Day for your child's class? If so, what did you do? What was a big hit?

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

My Confession

I have a confession to make. It's a secret that I keep for as long as I possibly can from people that I meet, and I feel dread in the pit of my stomach at the thought of a new potential friend discovering my secret. But I trust all of you, so I will share with you my deep dark secret. Here it goes…

I am a doctor.

Try not to all gasp in shock at once. Yes, it's true. Maybe it's just my imagination, but it feels like my occupation is something of a friend repellent. A lot of other mothers that I meet are stay at home parents or work very part time from home, and I feel like they get flustered when I mention that I'm a doctor. One woman weirdly started talking about how much money she made.

Don't get me wrong. Potential friends are not the only people I keep my secret from. When I go to the doctor, either my own doctor or at the pediatricians office, I try not to let it slip that I'm a doctor. That way I can ask stupid questions in peace.

So am I the only weirdo who is embarrassed about my career sometimes?

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Not a Soccer Mom

For years, my older daughter has done dance as her extracurricular. It was easy. Every Saturday afternoon, I would take both kids over to the dance studio, and my younger daughter would play while my older daughter would dance.

My husband has been talking about how he would like her to do a team sport, and my daughter has been talking more and more about how much she loves basketball at school, so this year I signed her up for basketball. And ever since, have been filled with regret.

At the end of a workday in which my pedometer usually tells me I walked about 3 miles, the last thing I want to do at 6 o'clock is drive my daughter over to another school, and either try to entertain my younger daughter or drag myself out to go back an hour later to pick her up, all in the freezing cold and snow. Then race everyone through dinner before bedtime half an hour later.

And the games are all super early on Saturday. There's no decent parking, so we have to walk pretty far to get there. And my younger daughter won't sit through them, and my husband doesn't want to watch her while I leave her behind.

Last night, I had my second argument with my husband in one week over basketball, and I couldn't take it anymore. This is not school, this is an extracurricular activity. It seems like if it's causing me this much stress, the answer is obvious:


I feel bad about it, because she really does like basketball. But I'm not a soccer mom. I work hard all day, and evening activities are difficult. I can't run myself ragged for an extracurricular activity.

Now I just have to find a way to tell her…

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.