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Dear Patients

Dear Patients,

We have failed you.  The medical system that you deserve no longer exists.  The time of personal relationships, long conversations with your doctor where they learn about your family and you know about theirs, those times don’t exist. Current visits are timed to the second.  If you or your doctor are 5-10 minutes late the whole schedule is thrown off. If your doctor has to deal with an unexpected emergency, you will likely be waiting for quite a while and your doctor will have no control.  If you book a visit for a cold there is no other topic that can be mentioned, not even if you have an acute concern.  For that you must schedule another visit because of the delicate and overbooked schedule.  Nothing could be squeezed in.

No, I cannot look into your other child’s ear, my schedule is booked and I can’t squeeze him in, I’m sorry.

But just a quick peak, you plead.  And here’s what runs through your doctors head:  what if the child has a another illness and I don’t fully evaluate them and miss something serious; what if I miss something and get sued, I’m not documenting this visit; what if they have an ear infection and I need to write for antibiotics…how will I find the time without delaying every other patient today?

This is the reality of medicine today.  I would love to spend 30 minutes with each patient and let them chat and answer every possible question they may have.  To reassure them about every vaccine, to tell them all the wonderful things they have to look forward to, and to assure them the guilt and doubt they feel is normal and they are actually doing a great job.

But the insurance companies only allow for 10 minutes at best, maybe 15 for a well child visit, and many visits are double booked. The result is doctors that are overworked and having a harder time caring.  Because if we cared the way we did when we started, if we cared the way we wanted to, if we cared too deeply, we would break so much faster than we already are.  We would not be able to withstand the onslaught from administrators, insurance companies,  and patients while maintaining an income to pay the overheard and our bills along with our student loans.

I too have experienced this as a patient.  I experienced it when my daughter’s pediatrician asked us to book a longer visit next time if I needed to discuss another issue with her.  I experienced it when my own doctor refused to see me when I was 10 minutes late because I drove to her prior office by mistake.  Even though she had canceled on me at the last minute the week before.  I was upset but I completely understood the delicate nature of the schedule.

Dear patients, we have failed you and the medical system has failed us.  We want to be there for you in every way but it has become physically and emotionally impossible.

The physician should not treat the disease but the patient who is suffering from it.-Maimonides

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Goal Setting: My Journey From Zero to Half Marathon

I’m not a runner.  Training and subsequently running a half marathon was one of the hardest things I’ve physically done.  I did not choose this race because I love to run.  It was actually the opposite, or almost the opposite.  I didn’t HATE running but I severely disliked it.  And it was really, really hard for me.  Especially in the beginning.  So why did I do it?  Because I knew it was time for me to get out of my comfort zone and challenge myself,  because it had been on my bucket list for years and  I had been too afraid to commit, because I had to prove to myself that I could do hard things!

Throughout my training journey, I shared quite a bit on social media.  I had many epiphanies during my long runs.  Lots of motivational shit going through my head.  And I realized, this goal was just like any other really hard goal we set…physical or mental and decided to share what got me through it and how it applies to all things we set to do.

1. It’s ALWAYS hard at first.  If it was easy it wouldn’t help you grow.  My first month of running was torture.  I thought no way am I going to be able to run 13.1…I couldn’t even do 2!  But I learned to trust the process, that I had months of training ahead of me and not to think about the final steps.  Just to focus on the next step.  I tried not to look ahead or think about those looming 10 mile runs, but just to follow my training day by day, week by week. I just had to take the first step, and then the next step, and the next step, and so on.

2.  Realize that your first steps will be the hardest.  Even in my very last training run, the first mile or 2 was so incredibly hard.  It just took time for my body to loosen up and fall into a rhythm.  In the beginning I so badly wanted to quit, but kept going because of my partner and because of my stubbornness.  But over time, I realized, it will get better if I just ride out the first mile or 2 no matter how rough it seemed.  It always gets easier!

3. Find a running partner, either a person literally by your side, a virtual one from far away, or someone you can turn to for support and guidance.  Thank goodness for my hubby.  I needed to know he was with me so I could have the confidence to even start this process. In the end, he didn’t run many of the training runs with me and knowing that I was able to do it by myself was priceless.  But just knowing that he had my back made a huge difference.  And on race day, his pacing made all the difference.  So whatever you’re trying to attempt, make sure you have your person to help guide and support you…even though you’re doing it all yourself!

4. Break down your goals into attainable smaller goals.  When I had to run my long runs, I didn’t think about getting to the final distance.  I only thought about the halfway mark.  Because I knew once I was more than halfway, I couldn’t turn back.  The distance was the same both ways.  So with any goal, we need to figure out our half way points, the point of no return so that we keep going.

5. Set your goal to music.  I really resisted this in the beginning and told my hubby that I just wanted to listen to my thoughts.  He urged me, (begged and pleaded with me!) to get a good motivating play list.  He was right! (I don’t say those three words lightly)  Music made a huge difference in running but really it’s good to have a soundtrack or just a motivational song with any goal.  Something that will get you to do all the things you don’t want to do, but you know you have to!  Or just something fun to move and destress with when a deadline is looming!

6. Share your goals with EVERYONE! Once I decided to run, I started posting about it on social media.  I wanted to be accountable.  It’s a lot harder to back out of something if everyone knows you’re doing it.  Although, there is a caveat to this…if you have people in your life that are not supportive, maybe don’t share with them.   Only people below you can bring you down, anyone ahead of you will lend you a hand to try to lift you up! Once I was accountable, it was harder to back track! Sharing with my network of people also had another unexpected benefit, I had a huge support group. This was especially remarkable on race day and so appreciated!!! If your people don’t support and lift you, it’s time to find new people.

We all need to do hard things in our lives, and whether we succeed or fail is really not the point.  Because if you just do it, and do it again, and redo it…you will eventually succeed, and you will only fail when you stop trying.

 

A goal should scare you a little, and excite you A LOT –  Joe Vitale

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Lessons From My Dog

I…am…NOT…a dog person!  I’ve said this many times over the years, and yet here I am sitting next to my dog while I write this post.  I’m really not though.  I always thought they were cute but didn’t really think they were for me.  And when we realized my daughter had an allergy to dogs and I knew we were never gonna get one…well, that  was A-ok with me.  But just as all things that you plan in life, things changed and we ended up with a cute hypoallergenic mixed breed rescue puppy who is very much a part of our family….Tank.  In a weird way he fulfilled that part of me that needed to take care of something again; since my babies were no longer babies.  Having another child was not in the cards for us for many reasons, but the mommy strings were still tugging at my heart…and this little guy filled that hole!

But….little did I know that #toughlittletank would actually have many lessons to teach me…

1.Love your humans hard…whether your loved one has been gone for 5 minutes or 5 years greet them with all the excitement in the world and show them your love!….Tank never ceases to greet us with all his love, attention and full wagging tail!  He really knows how to make a girl feel loved!

2. Work hard, play harder…..Tank never passes up time to play with a friend and always gives it his full energy and attention!…Time with friends is precious and something we have to make time for in our daily craziness!

3. Naptime is always a good idea!….Nuf said!

4. Never say no to a treat….Duh!

5. Follow your people where they may take you…trust the ones you love! …..In Tank’s case, that would mostly be the bathroom! But this could also be yourself and your dreams and goals.  Often times we down play that voice inside of us…DON’T…trust it, follow it…you never know where you might end up!

6. Maybe someone doesn’t want to hang out with you right now, but if you wait patiently the ones that love you will always come back to you!…..Tank is always right outside my door, waiting patiently when I’m ready to let him in! I imagine this piece of advice will serve me well when I have teenagers!

7. Always stop to smell the flowers. …..Ok, maybe he’s actually sniffing other scents but he really does stop and sniff and it’s always a great reminder for me to just slow down and appreciate my surroundings!

8. If a loved one hurts you, let them know, accept their apology and move on! If they say it was an accident; believe it!….Tank really only yelps when we hurt him, by accident of course, and he’s back to loving on us just the same right after!

9. Be resilient….I can not count the number of times I have scolded our little pup and coaxed him (pulled him) off of certain pieces of furniture.  But this little guy will try and try again.  True this is a sign that he should be better trained, but in the real world, we all  would do better if we (politely) don’t take no for an answer and keep fighting for the things that we want!

10. Just because you don’t think you’re a certain type of person, it doesn’t mean you can’t become a certain type of person!…I still say, “I AM NOT A DOG PERSON.” But I love this little guy to pieces!  So if I could become a dog lover, and cauliflower can become pizza, you, my friend, can become anything your heart desires!!!!

 

The only creatures that are evolved enough to convey pure love are dogs and infants.-Johnny Depp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My Soul Purpose

I am now THREE years old!  I know what you’re thinking….What the what?!?!?.  But I am not trying to make a (not funny) joke or just grab your attention.  My chronological age is 45, but my soul, she is barely turning 3.

I came up with the concept of my soul’s birthday listening to personal development speakers discussing the importance of not rushing ourselves, not giving up on something because it took too long, not putting an expiration date on our dreams and goals! For me, that was going back to the date when I realized I have a purpose, the date my soul was born, when it spoke up and cried and made it’s presence known.  That let me give myself grace in attaining my goals.  I  haven’t been working on them for 45 years, only 3 years!

Three years ago I went on a life changing journey to Israel with 50 other women.  I learned that I was put on this earth to serve a purpose…AND I FREAKED OUT!  What the hell was my purpose?  What if I never found my purpose?  What if I don’t have a purpose? But I was assured over and over that we all have a purpose.  It’s the thing that makes our heart sing, that makes us want to get out of bed every day, that serves others but serves us just as much if not more. I DID NOT HAVE A PURPOSE…not yet.  Being a doctor is great, it’s life saving, it’s important…but it wasn’t my purpose.  Being a wife and a mom are by far my most important “jobs”, but it can not be our “purpose”

Almost a year after our trip, my soul was turning 1, I was turning 43.  I didn’t know it yet but my soul was speaking to me, through tears.  My birthday always brings up so many hard emotions for me, I always thought I had high expectations, but I think it was my soul trying to speak to me all those years and I wouldn’t give it the space it needed.  I fought it, it fought back.  Last year my soul turned 2 and I turned 44.  My birthday was not as emotional, it was enjoyable.  My soul spoke to me in words now and I just had to listen, with grace and understanding.

After my soul’s birth, I started this blog, I started a buisness, I met new friends that became friends to my soul, I volunteered in a medical mission.  None of these were my purpose but all of it brought me joy and spoke to my soul.  All of it had me getting out of my comfort zone…you know, where the magic happens.

So now I’m turning 45, my soul is turning 3.  She is still young and immature.  She is still learning the world around her. But just like children her age, she knows what she needs and desires.  She is speaking to me louder because I am allowing her the space to dream big and bigger.  To run free and let her imagination run wild.  To let her express herself.

So yes, I am 45, but my soul, she’s only 3 and that allows me so much room to grow and learn.  I’m not too old to pursue my dreams, my desires, my goals and neither are you!  How old is your soul? Have you given it space to be born?  Have you nurtured your soul like you would your new baby?

Your soul is calling, just listen!

When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy-Rumi

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Becoming a Leader, Becoming Yourself

Growing up I never thought of myself as a leader.  This is not meant to be a self-depricating sentence.   Simply a fact.  For starters, I was very shy and introverted.  The idea of leading anyone to anything was not only out of my comfort zone but sounded ridiculous.  I’ll just be responsible for me and I’ll be here in my corner if you need me, thank you very much!  Second, I am a very “go with the flow” kind of person.  I don’t like to make decisions that will effect other people. For the most part, I really just don’t care…!  I may have my preferences but I can very happily go with the crowd and be absolutely content. (I’m a great vacation buddy!)

These qualities just did not shout LEADER to me and I was content with being (sigh) a follower.  I always thought, “what’s wrong with being a follower?  Everyone cannot be a leader…!”

Well, that’s where I was wrong. Everyone can and should be a leader.  In my mind being a leader was something grandiose, like being the president of the United States!  But there are SO MANY other ways that we are leaders every day.

My most important leader role….being a mom.  As parents, we automatically take on the leader role.  Our kids want to be like us in so many ways and they try to emulate us (especially when those kids become parents…oy!) I never, ever thought that being a leader was in my wheelhouse,  it was just not something I aspired for.  But I now look back at my life and I can easily see the leadership roles.  Some were handed to me, some I had to step out of my comfort zone and step into the role.  But every single one helped mold and shape me into who I am and little by little gave more confidence in the leader role.

If you feel like a follower, think about all the times people have followed you, the advice you’ve given, a project at work that you were in charge of, or someone you professionally or personally mentored.  We have all been placed in the leader role at some point in our lives and my guess is we have all risen to the occasion.

Whether you’re an introvert or you just don’t like to make waves, don’t sell yourself short.  Lead with your heart and the ones that matter will follow.

“Becoming a leader is synonymous with becoming yourself. It is precisely that simple and it is also that difficult.” – Warren Bennis