January 19, 2022
January 19, 2022
January 13, 2022
Last night was the first night I did not binge watch K-dramas for the first time. I had spent most of yesterday on and off prepping a climate talk with two of our other green-team MD friends. We had the opportunity to talk to nursing leadership, and since nurses are the most trusted profession in the country and these are decision makers with influence – we needed to show up in their space. We’ve given similar talks in the past but honestly it has to be geared to the right audience, and in the end it’s about recruiting more people into this space of helping with the climate and health work. Making healthcare more sustainable is a big part of what I can do.
It was a tough audience. It’s the middle of the pandemic and the end of a Wednesday, after these managers had already likely put in long days of work. Our country’s nurses and also their nursing leadership have bourne so much of the brunt of this COVID pandemic. The time slot was 4-5pm. I had talked to some of my nursing leadership friends and they had advised, try to inspire us and tell us the why and don’t give us another thing “to do.”
January 8, 2022
One of my families gifted me with this beautiful orchid yesterday. The clinical circumstances around the gifting and the family identities are obviously personal and protected, but let’s just say it was what is supposed to happen. In our HMO and our country, we should expect to meet at the first visit when you have a newborn baby to meet the pediatrician you will have for most of your child’s childhood. We should expect to respect eachother, and listen to eachother and care about eachother. We should expect you to be concerned and have worries, and bring your own identities to your journey as a parent. We should expect that I am not always in, and that other pediatricians are caring as well. You should expect that in those rare times when you are very worried about this child we share together, that we together will worry together and keep that child safe. And I should expect myself to look at a child, and know them well enough to know that when they have that look on their face that I’ve never seen before and their smile is gone and your smile is gone, that in my gut I know something is wrong. I should expect that I need to know you and your family and your child over years, and that knowing over the years and making sure we formed a relationship helps in those times when someone is really sick. And then we should expect that we make the right decision when that sickness occurs.
January 5, 2022
It has a huge climate day yesterday. I didn’t expect it to be a huge climate day, but it was. I’ve been doing this long enough to realize that serendipity is so much about climate work. And you have to spark something in someone who has some sphere of influence, and then you can change the world. And that is what happened yesterday in all honestly. I had just shot off a bunch of emails introducing some medical students who are interesting in single-use plastic reduction to our HMO higher-ups. And their California Medical Association resolution draft and their presence and their identities was enough to inspire some more senior doctors. And now the ball is rolling and single-use plastic reduction efforts are happening now in earnest in our organization. I honestly just shot off a few emails and cc’ed some people, and then just prodded to make sure we had at least one student there. Prepared a few power point slides and was there excited about waste audits and actual plastic reduction, and then the power brokers talked and the influencers influenced and the pieces of the plastic reduction puzzle are coming together.
January 3, 2021
Please forgive me dear reader because I did not meet the monthly bag picking total this month. I usually set out to do at least 20 bags but this month picked up 12 bags. It was December and my need to get outside and reconnect was less this month, because I was reconnecting with the Broca and Wernicke’s area of my brain that controls the Korean language part. I pretty much binge-watched all the relevant Korean dramas on netflix and I’m done now. Yes, I can be a bit obsessive. But I think it’s because my Broca and Wernicke’s area of my brain were on fire. I was even picking up some North Korean words from “Crash Landing On You.” Really good drama, Korean or otherwise, by the way. If you love good love stories without the gratuitious stuff and more of the emotional scaffolidng and traditional values, I highly recommend it. Plus the North Korean captain who multiple time sacrifices everything for the South Korean cosmetic CEO who mistakenly lands over on the North Korean side of the DMZ zone via a freak Wizard of Oz-esque toronado during a paragliding trip is really handsome. Just a big sigh when you think about him, and her, and their entire improbable romance.
December 29, 2021
I was a bit worried about my total plastic pollution bags total, but I’ve caught up. I’m at 9 bags today, and still a few days left. I’ll easily be able to get at least 15 if not 20 bags. But of course you are not really here to hear about my plastic pollution bag totals, right? I’m at bag 584 by the way. You are likely here because of my provocative title?
December 27, 2021
I’ve been in a cultural, linguistic and time warp. Lets just say I was in an alternate universe that was absolutely beautiful. But I’m back. Mr. Plastic Picker really loves me and really loves that I loved the K-dramas. My conversational Korean is definitely much better after so many hours of Korean-TV. I realized that as a young immigrant to this country, Mr. Plastic Picker is so Korean, and I’m definitely more what we call a 1.5 generation. He used to do and still does so many of the things that the characters in the K-dramas do. The way we used to sit on the floor of our medical storm to eat dinner with a small table. I thought it was so odd that my Korean boyfriend/fiance had these multiple containers of pickled dishes and go-chu-chang. But now I realize that so many of those things that he did and still does (like all the side dishes we have in the frdige) are indications of how rooted he is in his culture and traditions. I knew those traditions and we mostly follow them, but because I’m not Korean – I thought some of them were quirks of his family. I have always adored my husband but now he’s my living Korean-drama boyfriend!
December 25, 2021
Merry Christmas to the blog’s readership. My brain has literally been exploding because I’ve been immersed in Korean dramas. I’m taking a break right now but honestly I think it was really good for me. Language function is located in the left hemisphere of the brain mostly, Broca’s area which is associated with speech production and articulation and Wernicke’s area which associated with comprehension. My Broca and Wernicke areas are exploding like the leaves of my succulent rooftop garden after the much needed rrain. I think the Korean part pushed out the Spanish part, and I need to let it dry out for a bit before watching any more dramas. If you need something great to watch, definitely check out “Hospital Playlist” which was recommended to me by my brother. It’s really good. I’m rooting for the pediatric surgeon and his love interest, the general surgery resident to make it long term.
December 22, 2021
It’s the week before Christmas. I’ve honestly been in a Korean-drama haze. I’m watching a lot of dramas but at the same time I’m learning so much more Korean and also reliving moments in my life as a daughter-in-law to a Korean family. I’ve tried to be a dutiful daughter-in-law and it has not been always easy, but watching the dramas and seeing the echoes of our own lives in the traditions that are explained is helpful to me. My children and my mother and everyone thinks I’m in drama overconsumption mode, but honestly this is something I need to do for myself to deprogram some of my thought processess that I had over the last two decades. I affirms many of my values that I’ve held close to my heart, but are continually questioned by others around me. I’m happy and it’s keeping me off social media mostly anyway.
December 19, 2021
I’m not sure why I am sad this morning. I had a very nice and easy Friday staggered evening pediatric urgent care shift, and got home by 8pm. I used to get in by 10pm with the schedule from the old days. I had the morning to live my life, and got to see the kids and Mr. Plastic Picker off on Friday morning then start work at 1030am. I appreciate that time for whatever you call it, work-life balance, having breakfast, being able to think, self-care. This weekend I’ve been watching Korean dramas still, but I’m done with the last series which was really good. I’m kind of an intense person at times and when I really get into something, I really get into it. Case in point, my 19 year marriage 24 year relationship with my husband, almost at 600 bags of trash collected, acculumating accolades for a resume I don’t need. That intensity I think is important and a reflection of mental health and a soul that is strong.
And I’m not sure why but those intense feelings I’m having are intense saddness still at the middle management meeting we had last week as we were discussing schedules and mundane things. I’ve chosen to be true to myself, and to seek self-awareness and in that awareness I realize how scarred we all are. Senior physicians at meetings saying “we are getting through it, “it’s okay” and platitudes upon platitudes – when all of us know our back stories. A family that was deferred. Relationships and marriages shattered. Meals that were missed. Time. We loss time with family. Many of us didn’t get to see key moments when are children were growing up. And in that loss we all suffered from a medical staffing system that was broken, we weren’t able to be aware of the answers. We weren’t able to see beneath the source of all this scheduling cr@p that was one rogue idea that should have never left the gate. Another true manager that is not a physician or someone with power over our lives that is not one of us, telling us what to do. Why are physicians so scared? Why do people not listen to eachother at meetings? Am I guilty of that too? Did you hear people’s pain? Did you hear the replies that essentially were non-replies?
And most of my saddness were a few phrases that keep on playing back in my mind. I wish this particular meeting was recorded and the replies could be replayed and we could listen again to our back and forth. Perhaps meeting transcripts should be analyzed like Shakpearean verses or passages in hallowed tomes. I think if we dissected our phrases and replies, we’d understand more about why physician burn-out is still a real problem. Why physicians disproportionately get divorced and commit suicide, and why our own children sometimes don’t do well in life because we sometimes work in unbearable conditions. Words make such a difference.
Thank you for continuing to hear my ramblings about life. Here is the beautiful roots of a beautiful gift a neighbor gave to my in-laws. During my now two year foray into gardening, I’ve learned one important fact. The roots of any plant/system have to be healthy. You have to regenerate the soil to grow the roots, and only then will you get beautiful fragrant flowers. That’s the management metaphor I’ll leave you with today. Still at it. So fundamentally well and joyous. Wishing for everyoen the same, and hoping we can heal our profession and the earth at the same time.