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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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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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No Shaming Allowed

girl standing in the middle of the road
Photo by Andre Melcher on Pexels.com

Recently I received that dreaded call, no, not the one about lice (although we’ve had our share!), you know the one from another mom about your kid hurting their kid.  Yup…that one!  My thing 2.  It wasn’t her first and probably wouldn’t be her last time.  Of course, I was a little devastated, went through the stages of denial, anger, and finally acceptance. (Denial stage was very short)   I told my husband, distressed and distraught, and he responded “good for her,” until he realized that’s the wrong answer.

So why am I writing about this in a public forum that’s read mostly by people I know?  Why aren’t I hiding under a rock or changing schools? Mostly because I refuse to believe I’m the only mom that’s dealing with behavioral problems.  Because I hope my friends (my true friends) would not judge me or my daughter based on this incident. Because I believe in having “a village of support,” whether it’s virtual or actual.  We can not and should not be doing this alone.  Our modern times have made it so that we move away from family and isolate ourselves in our own lives because of our busy schedules.  But here’s the thing,  I need you.  I need you to tell me it’s ok and your kid has done something else that isn’t stellar.  Because we’ve all been there.  In some form or another, we have ALL had that moment that we wish we could hide and pretend that thing that happened never happened.  But it did and it will probably happen again.

So, the big question….what did we do? Or more importantly what didn’t we do….? Well, we didn’t ground her for life.  We didn’t take away every fun toy she owned, we didn’t take away all privileges for the foreseeable future.  We just didn’t see the point in all that.  The “punishment” just wouldn’t have fit the “crime!” My thing 2 is a free spirit.  She is bold and strong willed.  She is fiercely independent and will try endlessly to do it her way. (Don’t ever try to help her without asking!)  Are these amazing qualities…YES!!!! Do they sometimes (a lot of times) drive me crazy…..yes! But I’m not going to change her nor do I want to! I love her free spirit and at times envy it.  (I was and still am such a rule follower.)

We set up a consequence that fit the incident, we made sure she apologized. We talked with her about the possible appropriate ways she could have handled the situation. And then I hugged her tight and looked in her the eyes and said I know the warm, loving person that she is and I don’t want anyone else to ever think she wasn’t that person because of her actions. I don’t condone her actions but I made sure she knew that SHE was not those actions and that she needed to portray herself as the beautiful, caring, loving person that she really is.

We should support our children and we should support each other.  There’s no shame in the mothering game. All of our children will at some point do something that is unacceptable and will make us cringe.  But it also stems from all the wonderful attributes in them.  We need to nurture these qualities and lead them on the path to use their skills for good and not evil!

  • How do you deal with your children’s behavior?  Do you share with your friends and hope for support?  Do you usually get that support or advice or just glaring stares?

Your kids require you most of all to love them for who they are, not to spend your whole time trying to correct them. —Bill Ayers

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