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

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.

Monday, February 3, 2014


Lately, I've been trying to get more exercise, which is hard for me because I've never been what you'd call an active person. Unfortunately, there have been several barriers:

1) My lack of stamina, which is just plain embarrassing. When the person next to me on the treadmill runs 5 miles while I can't even run 2, and most of that is spent walking, it just makes me feel bad. I'm sure I'd be humiliated in any class I tried to take.

2) No time. Finding even half an hour to go to the fitness room a couple of times a week is a challenge.

3) After I work out, I'm tired. That was fine when I was 25 and all I had to do after my step class was veg on the couch. But now I have two kids to take care of post-exercise.

But I REALLY want to get in shape.

Well, maybe next year.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

5 Ways Medicine Changed Me

I like lists so let's go for it:

1. I'm more outgoing

Except in certain fields (rads, path), you just can't be as good a doctor if you're not at least somewhat outgoing. I think introverted doctors come off as cold or aloof.

2. Sleeping with a pager wrecked my sleep

I used to be able to sleep through my husband snoring. Now I can't.

3. I'm a much bigger hypochondriac

I really wish I didn't know the worst possible case scenario for every illness.

4. I'm more humble

Because I know that there's no way I can know it all.

5. I've gone from being incredibly squeamish to feeling like there's nothing so bloody or disgusting that I have to look away

Well, except maybe in the movies.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Are We Allowed a Break?

It's genuinely not my intention to call anyone out or shame them, but the truth is, there was a comment on my last post that I can't stop thinking about:

"I'm reminded somehow of a lady I knew that took vacation from work but continued to drop her child off at daycare at the usual time every morning the entire week. He knew she was on vacation - he was only a toddler but he knew his mother was going to be hanging out without him. I think the attitude or message probably made him feel less valued and I have wondered how that turned out."

My thoughts are:

1) That is one smart toddler if he really understood that.

2) Are we really not allowed to take a week off all to ourselves once we have kids?

3) Is taking short periods of time to ourselves something we should worry will scar our kids for life?

4) If we do take that week to ourselves, should we expect that all other mothers are judging us for it?

Food for thought.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

2 (Parody of Taylor Swift's 22)

It feels like a perfect night to dress up in mom's clothing
And spill juice on it, uh uh, uh uh.
It feels like a perfect night for breakfast at 5AM
Wake up and make me Cheerios!, uh uh, uh uh.

We're happy, crying, confused, and noisy at the same time
It's exhausting and magical.
Oh, yeah
Tonight's the night we clog the toilet with baby wipes
It's time

Uh oh!
I don't know about you
But I'm feeling 2
Everything will be alright
If you catch me and wipe my poo
You've barely slept all year
But I'll bet you want to
Everything will be alright
If we just keep coloring on the wall like we're
2 ooh-ooh
2 ooh-ooh

It seems like one of those nights,
I want my socks off,
Now I want them on again uh uh uh uh
(Now I want them off again)
It seems like one of those nights,
We ditch the bottle and end up screaming
Instead of sleeping.

We're happy, stinky, hyper, and sleepy in the best way
I'm going to rip my hair out.
Oh, yeah
Tonight's the night when we climb into your bed and kick you in the head all night
It's time

Uh oh! (hey!)
I don't know about you
But I'm feeling 2
Everything will be alright
If you find my little pink shoe
(Where is it???)
You don't know about me
But I'm the one who spilled that glue
Everything will be alright (alright)
If we just keep bouncing on the bed like we're
2 ooh-ooh (oh, oh, oh)
2 ooh-ooh

It feels like one of those nights,
We run around the house naked
It feels like one of those nights,
Then pee on the carpet
It feels like one of those nights,
You look like scissors
I gotta have you,
I gotta use you.

Ooh-ooh, ye-e-e-e-eah, hey
I don't know about you (I don't know about you)
But I'm feeling 2
Everything will be alright
If you bring me back that toy I threw
I haven't napped all day (haven't napped all day)
But I'll bet you want me to
Everything will be alright
If we just keep watching Elmo like we're
2, ooh-ooh
2, ooh-ooh
2, ooh-ooh, yeah, yeah
2, ooh-ooh, no, no, no, NO!

(My daughter and I composed this yesterday and I had to share)

Note: Cross posted to my blog

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Does it get easier?

I keep putting off taking on extra responsibilities at work, saying, "I'll do it when my life gets easier." I figure having a kid in her terrible 2's is some sort of peak of difficulty. It's got to get easier than that, right?

However, this weekend it was my grade schooler who managed to:

1) Burn her finger and injure like three other body parts

2) Wake me up WAY before I was ready on daylight savings Sunday (daylight savings is meaningless when you have little kids)

3) Not allow me to have even ten minutes to rest after a several hour excursion to the mall

Plus, whenever I make comments along the lines of that it will get easier when they're older, people are fond of telling me, "Oh no, it just gets hard in a different way."

So which is it? Does it get easier ever?

Monday, November 4, 2013

Book Review: The Devil Wears Scrubs by Freida McFadden

I love to read books written by other doctors. I think doctoring can be kind of isolating sometimes, but reading about the experiences of our colleagues can be so... validating.

This book, which was written by Mothers in Medicine blogger Fizzy McFizz under the second pen name Freida McFadden, is a humorous account of an intern's first month in an internal medicine residency. It's light, it's a quick read, and it really is funny.

The story follows newly minted Dr. Jane McGill as she tries to figure out how to survive and thrive on the floors at a county-style hospital, with little to no instruction or guidance on what, exactly, to do (sound familiar?), and all the while being picked on by a seemingly sadistic senior resident. The senior, however, has a human side as well, and a few good lessons to teach.

While this fun little book is fiction, I get the sense that it's House Of God-style fiction, meaning, alot of it is likely sort of true. I don't know this, I'm just guessing, and it made the book so much more interesting to me, as this intern's experience is largely miserable, and it reminded me of my own miserable intern experience (and I blogged about those memories in a post titled "How a fun little book dredged up buried memories of my intern year" ).

I was again reminded of this book at a recent medical conference, a Virginia Mason seminar (all about running a more humane, efficient practice) and one of the speakers was describing how setting basic work protocols and standards is so key to a positively functional work environment. She asked us how we can expect people to do tasks if they have no formal instruction in how to do them, saying: "Asking people to do things that they have not been trained to do is an exercise in frustration: theirs, and yours. Most people want to do a good job, and if you repeatedly put them in a position where they are likely to fail, they become demoralized, angry, and difficult."

I sat there thinking: Well, that's medical residency in a nutshell.

And Dr. McGill's experience in this book exemplify this: An experience so miserable, it's funny.

The book is available on, here is a link.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Reaching (or not reaching) breastfeeding goals

Apparently, most moms who want to exclusively breastfeed their babies for three months fail.

There are all sorts of hypotheses for why women don't reach their breastfeeding goals. But I think we have a perfect sample here of educated women who can accurately assess the positives and negatives of breastfeeding.

If you didn't meet your breastfeeding goal, please share with us why not....

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The doctor problem

As other bloggers have mentioned in the past, it's always hard to tell new moms you meet that you're a physician. I worry about the reaction, that it will make people uncomfortable, that they won't want to be friends with me anymore.

But lately I've hit on a solution:

Other mom: "What do you do?"

Me: "I'm a physiatrist. Do you know what that is?"

Mom: [likely thinking: physiotherapist, podiatrist, etc] "Oh! Yes!"

And she has absolutely no idea I'm a doctor.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Devil Wears Scrubs

I did it! I wrote that book about my intern year!

It's fiction. But it kind of isn't. You know? In any case, if you enjoy my writing, I feel certain you'll really enjoy reading it. Here's the blurb:

Newly minted doctor Jane McGill is in hell.

Not literally, of course. But between her drug addict patients, sleepless nights on call, and battling wits with the sadistic yet charming Sexy Surgeon, Jane can’t imagine an afterlife much worse than her first month of medical internship at County Hospital.

And then there’s the devil herself: Jane’s senior resident Dr. Alyssa Morgan. When Alyssa becomes absolutely hell-bent on making her new interns pay tenfold for the deadly sin of incompetence, Jane starts to worry that she may not make it through the year with her soul or her sanity still intact.

Please buy it!

It's available for the Kindle. For now, I've kept it at the low, low price of only $2.99, although that is subject to increase in the future.

Also, you can get it in paperback!

It's short, it's fun, it's deliciously evil, and if you buy it, you'll make me really happy. And it also does involve a mother in medicine. What other incentive do you need?? :P

If you're not sure, you can read an excerpt.

(Cross-posted to my blog)