Friday, May 18, 2007

I'm Here, Sort Of

The last time I was this frantic was when I was a resident in the ICU. I considered abandoning blogging, but I really don’t want to. I know I keep saying this, but please hang in there while I try to regain my balance. In the meantime, here’s an update:

Good news: I fired the temp assistant
Bad news: my old assistant still hasn’t come back, and it’s looking increasingly unlikely that she ever will
Good news: two of my associates in the outpatient offices had babies
Bad news: there is no one but me to fill in at the outpatient offices
Good news: I got a raise and a bonus
Bad news: I was given an offer I couldn’t refuse to take over as Medical Director of my outpatient office
Good news: I was relieved of several detested duties
Bad news: I have four months’ worth of unfinished work to get through
Good news: my parents are coming for the weekend
Bad news: TH is going away for the weekend
Good news: HB had a tiny growth spurt and grew out of his 2T overalls in time for his upcoming third birthday
Bad news: Nana is still convinced we’re starving him
Uncategorized: HB weaned himself (without ever learning any words for breasts)

I feel like I’m at a dead run from the time I wake up until I slide into bed, and sometimes all night long. But overall it’s a reasonably good busy.

And now I’m late for a meeting.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Two Medical Truths

Hearing stories like Snickollet’s makes everyone—including me—nervous. What if what happened to her husband happens to me? we ask. And then: How can I make sure that doesn’t happen to me?

The short answer is, you can’t. When someone comes come to me and says “I want to be tested for everything,” I try to explain that most dread diseases can’t be “caught early” and that it’s actually dangerous to be tested for things you’re not at high risk for, but I know that this isn’t reassuring.

The truth is scary. The truth is that any of us, no matter how healthy our lifestyle, can be struck down by something awful at any time. Most of us won’t, but there are no guarantees.

There are really only two things you can do to vastly increase your chances of living a long and healthy life, and neither of them is something that I can order a test or write a prescription for. Nor will they make the cover of any magazine. They are:

1. Don’t smoke


2. ALWAYS buckle your seatbelt.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t exercise, eat healthfully, wear sunscreen, get a Pap smear, or be checked for high blood pressure. But honestly, worrying about any of those things when you haven’t taken care of the first two is like worrying about whether your underwear is clean while you’re stepping in front of a bus. (As for worrying about any of the latest health fads—don’t get me started.)

My advice? Do what you can to keep yourself safe and whole; do your best not to fret about what can’t be foreseen or prevented; and savor your time on this earth.