The Golden and The Cheetah

Every now and then a person in your life will drop a truth-bomb on you.  Typically, this person doesn't realize they've said anything particularly earth shattering, but it'll be something that you just can't forget.

When L and I lived together, she causally dropped truth-bombs on me all the time.  She was the master of the casual truth.

One day we were talking about life and nonsense and nothing in particular and she shouted at me that I was a cheetah and she was a golden retriever.

I was confused for a bit, but went with it because I thought we were just picking the sort of animal we'd be if we were animals.  That's a fun game.  I'm into it.

But when I thought about it I was confused.

I don't consider myself to be particularly cheetah-like.  I don't run.  I'm not fast.  I'm certainly not graceful like a big cat.

When I expressed this confusion she doubled down.

She insisted I was a cheetah and she was a golden retriever.

When she said, like…

On Being a "Real" Anything

A couple of weeks ago I was in the sandwich line at Publix, patiently awaiting my turn, perusing my emails, when I noticed this spammy seeming email from an editor at Really Prestigious Place telling me that Really Prestigious Place wanted to publish one of my essays.  Now, at first, I didn't think this email was real; as I mentioned, it was sort of spammy seeming.

But I verified the editor actually worked at Really Prestigious Place.  And I verified the editor was really talking about my essay.  And I verified the editor really wanted to publish my essay.

And then, well...  I got really really really excited.  Like, this is a huge deal for me.

What does anyone do when a hugely exciting thing happens?

I called my mom.

She was excited.

I was excited.

It was magical.

I texted everyone-  Bestie, Babydoll, Boss Lady Doctor, Le Boyfriend- everyone.

Everyone was as excited as I was.

My excitement bubbled over for days.  This was a huge deal.

And then someone said, "Oh, real writers…

Food and Sleep

The other day I read this article about high level chess players expending a ton of calories during play.  The whole point of the article seemed to be that people were surprised that being in a stressful situation burned calories, even perhaps, a lot of calories. 

But, of course it would. 

Your body is complex and all of your organs need fuel. 

When you increase stress on the body it needs more fuel.  The point about the chess players being that their metabolic fuel needs increased even though they were sitting still- it was intellectual/emotional stress that was causing their bodies to work harder.

If you drive your car in the mountains it uses more gasoline because you're working it harder. 

Your brain and body work on the same sort of principles.  The more you use, the harder you work, the more fuel you have to put in. 

We intuitively understand this in the sense of exercise, right?  We know that calories in need to equal calories out.  It's why weight lifters make sure the…

Residency Life Moments, Volume 2

(Lady) Residency Life Moment #15: The moment in which men who are less qualified than me explain things to me and then expect me to thank them for the privilege.

Residency Life Moment #78: when all you can do is laugh when fitbit suggests it might help your circadian rhythms to have consistent sleep times. #nobodygottimeforthat

Residency Life Moment #82: Just when you start to feel more confident, like "yay, I'm not an intern anymore," you get lost. Lost in the hospital you've spent the majority of the days of the last year in. There goes my sense of direction, keeping me humble. #residencylife
#stayhumble #lostinthehospital

Residency Life Moment #92: Winning residency is eating cake for breakfast at 5AM that your favorite nurses gave you. #cakewin #residencylife

Residency Life Moment #93: You never expect to hear things at work that floor you. Today I did. "I choose to be thankful for the things I've been given rather…

Semi-Annual Review: See the World

 Puerto Rico, April 2018

Sarasota- 2018

Talk nice to yourself

This sweet kid I know apologizes for everything.

This kid is wonderful.  This kid is a go-getter.  This kid is not someone who should be apologizing and the things this kid apologizes for aren't things worth apologizing for.

I kept telling this kid to stop, that it- whatever it was- was okay, but this kid kept apologizing.

It took me a while, but finally, I realized that this kid wasn't apologizing for things per se, this kid was apologizing for existing.  This kid was apologizing for taking up space.

How heartbreaking is that?

This kind, earnest, lovely kid somehow feels the need to apologize all the time for all the things because this kid doesn't think they deserve anything.

That's absolute nonsense.

This kid deserves all the things.  All the kids do.  So do you.

Do you ever notice that you apologize more for things when you feel worse about yourself?  The next time you notice, just try to remember:

You are wonderful.

Talk nice to yourself.

Stop apologizing for your exi…

Kindergartners do not make good minions.

I broke my first intern.

I didn't know I was supposed to feed them, so I didn't.  And of course, that didn't go well.

You do have to feed them though.  And show them where the restroom is.  And make sure you check their work.

They're pretty much kindergartners and I was unprepared to be a kindergarten teacher.

I thought I was getting minions.  I loved the thought of minions. Minions make me happy.  But kindergartners do not make good minions.

Instead of minions they are kindergartners with an exponentially high level of responsibility and as such an exponentially high level of stress.

They doubt themselves.  They speak up when they shouldn't and don't say enough when they should say more.  They work hard and they struggle.  They are confused all the time.

But so are all of us.

That's because there is a little kindergartner in all of us.

Since the universe gave me kindergartners instead of minions and I'm going to try my hardest to be  the best damned ki…

On Being an Intern

It's been my experience, over the past year, that no one really has any idea what interns do.* Our patients are pretty sure we're nurses or transporters or nutritionists.  The nurses are pretty sure we're medical students.  I'm even pretty sure that when I started out a I had no idea what I was supposed to do.

The other day I saw an article on medical site about what interns do and what you need to know to be an intern, and well, it was crap.  It was fluffy and not honest and disingenuous. And y'all know how I feel about the importance of being genuine.  So in the spirit of honesty and genuineness, here goes.

Dear Soon-to-be Interns,

You're suddenly going to be speaking from a position of authority.  People trust you.  People are vulnerable in your care. Don't abuse that trust.  Don't crush that vulnerability. Don't be a rascal.  Be calm.  Be patient. Make sure you're being clear.  Follow up when you say you will.  Follow through because you kno…

Residency Life Moments

(Lady) Residency Life Moment #3: the multiple times a day I have to resist shouting "It's 'DOCTOR' not 'Miss'"

Residency Life Moment #9: When you realize that you've been shouting at Uworld loud enough for the neighbor to hear... Wonder what he thinks "WE GOTTA DASH THIS GUY" means?

Residency Life Moment #10: When your nurse friends stall the pet therapy lady so you can get in some pet therapy too #pettherapy

Residency Life Moment #11: I'm not tired! I should exercise! Exercise is important! .... Then I promptly fall UP stairs. #nottired #residencymoments

Residency Life Moment #19: Every time you put on a clean white coat it's just asking the universe to throw something at you.
Today it was cranberry juice, which makes a surprisingly good projectile

Residency Life Moment #24: Me: It's been a long day Attending: It's a long career

Residency Life Moment #29: Patient: How old are you?
Me: Old enough to be y…

you can't see yourself

You can't see yourself.

Case in point: My Mama thinks she is quiet and shy.




Now that those of you who know my Mama have stopped laughing we can get back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Because, if my Mama, of all people, thinks she is both quiet and shy, then all bets are off in regards to the rest of us in how well our self-perceptions align with reality (aka: how the rest of the world sees us).

But the thing is, my Mama really does think she's quiet and shy.  She's adamant about it.  She's insistent.  She doesn't see that she's a bad--- who can talk to anyone and has never let fear stop her from doing something she wanted to do, ever.

Up until pretty recently, I'd have said that I was pretty in tune with how I come across.

I would have been wrong.

Because, repeat it with me, you can't see yourself.

I just hadn't had my own personal "quiet and shy" moment yet.

The other day a fellow resident mentioned to me after round…


"One thought of doubt in your mind is the devil."

When I was itty-bitty, probably 7-ish, I took a test to get into Gifted Classes.  Looking back now, I can tell you it was an IQ test, but at the time all I knew was that my best friend got to leave our regular class one day a week to go to this reallyreallycool  class where they built things and ate things and blew things up and boy did I want to join her, and to join her I had to take this test and do well.

From what I remember, tests in general didn't have a ton of consequences as a kid.  Either you got it or you didn't and if you didn't someone would help you figure it out.

But for this particular test, I understood the stakes.  I really really wanted to get out of regular class.  

The exam was administered by some Random Lady I only have a vague recollection of, but I'm pretty sure it happened in the guidance counselor's office.  I remember Random Lady asking me questions and giving me puzzl…

More Texts From Mama

I know, I know, it's been too long and I've been depriving y'all of the joy that is my Mama....

But this stuff is comedic gold, so here you go.

Things I have lost

My new-found ability to misplace things runs contrary to my continual protestations of not being too tired nor too stressed. 

Things I have lost*

1. A water bottle and a reusable coffee cup
-I can only hope that someone, somewhere is reusing them

2. My car in the parking garage
-This only happened once, but that one time I had to check multiple locations before I found it

3. My watch, which was a college graduation present from my parents
-This was literally ATTACHED TO MY WRIST....  How is this even possible?

4. Time, all the time
-I'll think it's 2PM all afternoon 

5. Three (yes, I really do mean THREE) pairs of sunglasses
-I managed to lose my favorite pair, backup pair, and the backup-to-the-backup all within about 2 weeks

6. The Christmas sweater I bought just to wear on Christmas in the hospital to spread joy and cheer
-This is the only one of these that I've actually found, but of course, I FOUND IT AFTER CHRISTMAS which does not bring anyone joy or cheer

7. One earpiece …

Year's End - 2017 in Review

Y'll know I don't post a ton of photos here, but that's mostly because I'm lazy, not because I don't actually take photos. 

So here's 2017 in review, in photos.  Enjoy.