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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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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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The Bonds of Motherhood

 

Recently, I  was able to finally get together with my preschool group of mom friends.  We first met when our kids were between 0-3 and we had an instant bond. We had each other’s backs, we had much needed girls nights AND we had play dates with wine!  These moms were my life line in those crazy, hectic, fly by the seat of our pants years.  They were my people.

The kids grew up (as they tend to do) and we all went our separate ways to different elementary schools,  some even moved to different cities, (which in LA you might as well be moving to a different country).  Our kids made new friends, we made new friends and life kept going.  Our kids got busier, we got busier. We’d get together for birthdays or for lunches here and there but those events became few and further apart.

But there was always that bond, the unbreakable bond of motherhood.  We could not be more different in how we parent our kids.  Some of us may be polar opposites in fact.  I tend to be more laissez-faire, whatever will be will be, knowing that  my kids will survive (that’s the pediatrician in me!)  While one friend will only buy organic everything and make sure the kids are in bed at an appropriate bed time, properly dressed and signed up for all the right classes.  Another friend will not adhere so closely to a schedule and knows her kids will go to sleep…eventually.  Two of my friends moved to different cities so that their kids would be in the best school environment for their needs, putting their own needs and desires aside.  You get where I’m going with this!

While we differ tremendously in our parenting styles, there’s 2 things that keep us together.  Our love for our children and our love for each other. Physically we may be far apart but in our hearts we could not be closer! When we finally met for lunch it was as if no time had passed and we were all talking as we would have 6 or 7 years ago when our bonds started to form.

adult business close up friendship
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

.  These are a group of women that I only want the best for, like sisters, and who only want the best for me.  We don’t always agree and that’s okay because the bonds we made don’t break easily and carry us through the roughest storms.  I know they will be there if I need them, I know they will call me out when they need to and I know the next time we meet it will be as if no time has passed.

  • Do you have mom friends that you count on for support no matter how far they are? What are your best support systems now?  Who’s in your village? (We all need a village!)

 

 

“The great motherhood friendships are the ones in which two women can admit [how difficult mothering is] quietly to each other, over cups of tea at a table sticky with spilled apple juice and littered with markers without tops.”

Anna Quindlen

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Don’t Judge Me…!

I think of myself as pretty non-judgmental.  I listen to my friends with an open mind and an open heart.  I know I don’t do it all perfect (or anywhere close to perfect) and have no expectations of anyone else doing it perfect.  I actually make a conscience effort not to judge.  BUT my subconscious on the other hand, that’s a different story!

I find myself waiting in line at the supermarket judging how people dress, peek into their carts to see what they’re buying.  I judge people when I’m driving and they are speeding, honking, cutting me off (like I’ve never done that…)  I judge people in a split second, literally.  But I’m trying to make those unconscious judgments conscious and stop them.  I know nothing about those people, nothing, and yet I have the gall to judge anything about them.

And knowing someone does not make it any better.  It could be your best friend in the whole world, your kids, your spouse.  You really can’t judge their behavior or their feelings or their actions.  We really don’t know what’s going on in anyone else’s life.  Even the people closest to us sometimes have things that we just don’t know about. Or feel something that they aren’t sharing with us.

My first child completely spoiled me, he literally only cried when he was hungry or tired.  And the first month he cried a bit more because I was starving him (blog about mom guilt in a future post).

Once we added formula he was angelic.  My daughter on the hand was a screamer…naturally. And of course after having Thing 1, Thing 2 had a hard act to follow.  So there were times that I wanted to launch her out of the window. I could picture the whole thing happening in my head.  I just wanted it to stop.  I was exhausted and not running on all cylinders….

But I would never act on it and I knew I would never actually do it.  At one point I even said I could understand child abuse, NOT CONDONE IT, but understand it. (I’m an advocate for the little people, child abuse is NEVER acceptable!)

If reading that last paragraph made you queasy or made you want to report ME for child abuse, I’m telling you now, we can’t be friends.  When I was feeling those feelings I needed my mom friends to say, I hear you, I’m here for you, and what you’re feeling is ok…hopefully while we are drinking a glass of wine.  There are so many things that we all do and don’t do, that we should do and shouldn’t do, that we want to do but can’t do, that we don’t want to do, but can’t stop.  I don’t need a lecture, and I usually don’t even need advice….I just need someone to listen and say; I hear ya sister…we’ve all been there!

So don’t judge me, I know I’m not perfect, not even close.  I know I have things that I can improve on and I’m  working really hard on trying to fix them (I really am) but I don’t need more mom guilt (I have enough).   The concept of judging favorably comes from the original self help book, the Bible.  (And if you’re not religious, that’s ok, because it’s really not about religion, it’s about living our best life!) I have attended a number of lectures on this topic (Lori Palatnik, Adrienne Gold, Sharon Shenker) and one of my favorite quotes is; “You are meeting this person in chapter 3, you don’t know what happened in chapters 1 and 2.” We can’t judge anyone if we are not walking in their shoes. And although you may know everything that’s happened with your kids or spouse, you don’t know their feelings, their interpretation of each situation and therefor you can’t judge their response.

If you need to vent about your kids driving you crazy, dreaming about running away to tropical Island, need to let off some steam about a fight you had with your spouse, even if you want to launch your baby out of a window…. come over, have a glass of wine and tell me about it…I won’t judge!

  • Do you feel like you get judged by others? In what circumstances?  Do you (consciously or unconsciously) judge? (No need to answer that, just something we all need to think about!)

Everyone has untold stories of pain and sadness that make them love and live a little differently than you do. Stop judging, instead try to understand. -Anonymous