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Organized

I am so organized. You don’t even know…My shirts are arranged in my closet by color; each of my upcoming conferences/trips has its own manilla folder complete with checklists and a pocket for receipts; I keep duplicates of all my toiletries and make up at home and work so I am never at either place without something; I catalog my favorite recipes on Pinterest and spend sleepless nights on call choosing what to make for dinner the next night. I...

We Can(‘t) Give Up

We just got home from a great family vacation…well, pretty great until the last day when I got mildly sea sick. (Thank you, Jesus, for Dramamine.) Fortunately, the giant ship rocked us very little on our way to Ocho Rios, Jamaica. We got off the boat for a few hours to go through the trinket shopping gauntlet but more impressively to Dunn’s River Falls where we donned our stylish water shoes and climbed up a gorgeous waterfall! It’s a 600 foot...

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...