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So Tired

As it turns out…I’m tired. Just really, really tired. My partners and I are participating in a study to examine the physiologic toll that nights on call have on our bodies. We are all wearing these little wrist bands that track our heart rate and sleep. We check our apps every morning…the little wheels spin and spew forth numbers about our heart rate variability, our sleep quality, and our “recovery”. This data will be matched with our call schedules and...

The Process

Following the invitation to our friends’ lake house for the weekend came one more text…”So glad you guys can come! The big meal is Sunday. But if you want to participate in the cook, y’all should head down on Saturday…” The boys throw on their old t-shirts, grab a cold drink, and head down to the outdoor kitchen. All. Day. The smoker and the grill and the barrel all get warmed up and stoked and prepared; the meat gets a...

Failure

I’m not really one who appreciates failure very much. I’m pretty used to working very hard for the things that I want and generally reaching some degree of success. It may be luck, it may be hard work, but in the end, I usually feel like I am successful in the things I put my mind to. But this time…it was different. Failure smacked me in the face. I was angry and frustrated and disappointed and sad…and very, very thankful....

A Different Conversation

Last week, Allie, my 14-year-old daughter, and I went to the doctor together. Neither of us are sick. We are preparing to travel out of the country together, so we set up an appointment with a travel medicine physician, to be sure our immunizations are up to date and that we have our malaria prophylaxis covered. I handed the doctor the tattered stack of papers I have been carrying around since medical school, proving I have had my tetanus shots...

The Sacred Cookie

I’ve been making these chocolate chip cookies for 25 years. These cookies have traveled from my hometown of Troy, Ohio, to my alma mater, Miami University; to Clarksville, Hopkinsville, Villa Park, Chicago, Memphis, New Albany, Columbus, and Indianapolis; they have a connection to Jamaica and Lima, Peru. They have fed hungry tummies, lonely hearts, homeless souls and the sickest of the sick. They show up when the spirit and the stomach need nourishment. When I was in med school, exhausted and...

Password Protected

I have spent many hours this week on hold with several kind customer service representatives trying to help me hack back into my life. Sadly, about two weeks ago, while syncing my phone to my computer, I must have unknowingly checked some box that indicated that I didn’t want to transfer my apps from my phone to my computer…because why, when you are doing a backup, would you want to preserve all of the data from your phone to your computer?...

Homework is for Parents

Last week, as I was sitting at my desk, mindlessly scrolling through FaceBook, I read that a former colleague, just three years older than me, met an untimely, rather sudden death, leaving behind a wife and two small children. Numb, tears rolled down my cheeks. I couldn’t believe it. On call over the weekend, I admitted patients much younger than me and watched their grieving parents as I told them there was nothing left to do; I admitted patients much...

Win-Win

I grew up in a baseball house. The carefully oiled glove, the bat taped in a certain way, the dusty cleats lined up in the garage. The radio tuned to 700WLW, I can hear Joe Nuxhall and Marty Brennaman calling the Reds games as I lay across the back seat in my Dad’s old Pontiac Ventura. I can smell the leather of the brand new baseball and hear the crack of the bat. The sweet taste of Big League Chew...

Redemption is greater than Prevention

This election cycle is really incredible. I mean, seriously. It’s a wild mix of comedy and tragedy. Everyone hates everyone. Both candidates are so profoundly flawed. And our world is in turmoil. There’s Syria and South Sudan. Closer to home, there’s racial tension and sexual aggression towards women. Republicans and Democrats alike are convinced that we are doomed if our respective candidate doesn’t win on November 8. It’s the train wreck we just can’t look away from. We are so stressed about...

The Alternate Ending

Saturday night was definitely not supposed to turn out like that! Scott and I and our two older kids hadn’t even made it to dinner when our poor babysitter back home was texting, asking how to troubleshoot the alarm that was going off. Our sweet sitter walked all over the house, pushing buttons and checking doors and smoke detectors. No fires. No broken windows. Just a loud alarm. We were sitting in traffic downtown, totally unaware that there was a Colts pre-game...