May 2020 – Dr. Plastic Picker
 

Month: May 2020

Beyond Meat. It was really really delicious.

May 31, 2020

by drplasticpicker

I just posted on my personal facebook page what I thought was a moving post about #blacklivesmatter. For the record Dr. Plastic Picker supports racial equality and equal representation for underrepresented minorities. I won’t post it here because I try to focus this blog on plastic and the environment. But when I reorganized the categories yesterday and tried to give them snazier names like changing “Interviews” to “Pediatrician & Eco-Warrior (Interviews),” I realized I have written a lot blogposts. One of the Secondary Net Career Positives from picking up now 198 bags of plastic and writing almost 200 blogposts is I am able to communicate my thoughts more effectively at work. I had to write a few longer pieces for work recently, and it was easy to write and those pieces flowed nicely. This is a very important skill.

Another Secondary Net Health Positive (I love being able to coin my own random phrases here), is that we have been eating more plant based, vegan, vegetarian meals and the entire family is healthier. The blog started off after I became frustrated paying weight watchers $29.99 a month. I had lost weight but I felt horrible. I would rush to Vons to buy a rotissiere chicken and put so much salt on it because it was 0 points on weight watchers. I do not even like meat that much, but following that program made me obsess over food like I’ve never done before. I realized something was wrong and I had to rethink wellness. Now I concentrate on picking up bags of plastic either #litterpicking or #beachcleanups and reducing the plastic packaging in our food. Trying to eat more sustainable has led us to a more #vegan #vegetarian diet. Above is yesterday’s simple dinner, which was Beyond Meat, store-brand pasta, and fresh tomatoes from our garden. It doesn’t look that special but it was delicious, easy to make and filling. We ate at about 3pm yesterday, and in the evening I snacked on some left overs and chia seed pudding https://drplasticpicker.com/five-high-fiber-plastic-free-breakfast-ideas-for-toddlers/. I feel so much better and Mr. Plastic Picker has noticed. LOL.

But let us get back to this series’ category and away from my random tangents. Here are the Secondary Environmental Net Positives for May 2020. I have really come to love this series because it prompts me to make small changes for the environment. I knew I wanted to get to fifteen changes for the post, so I finished lining the kitchen shelves yesterday with reused plastic coated science poster on asthma that had been sitting in my office for five years! Now my office is cleaner and I’ve protected our nice custom built shelves from the spices and sauces.

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Did you know Vulcans live to 200?

May 30, 2020

by drplasticpicker

It is the last day of May and I think I’ve come to the natural conclusion of my time with Trip and T’pol in Star Trek Enterprise. I wrote a blogpost close to my heart regarding how being immersed in their romance helped me get through the last three months of COVID-19 quarantine https://drplasticpicker.com/the-star-trek-enterprise-romance-of-tpol-and-trip-im-going-to-give-them-the-ending-they-deserve/. I watched some of the fan montage videos and read more fanfiction that was on-line yesterday. I rewatched some of the key scenes from the first three seasons, and rewatched my favorite scene several times yesterday. The series helped me get through the last three months but at some point it is time to end this chapter. Sometimes the second or third time around you are experiencing just echos of the intense first moments, feelings.

Is this why people have extramarital affairs, sometimes without reasons continue to have many many children, or ask to change offices again? Are we always trying to recapture that intense first moment?

I am bag 196 today of ocean bound plastic gathered https://drplasticpicker.com/plastic-picking-round-up/. There is an entire litter picking/beach clean up Instagram world, about 800 that I am connected with, who “follow” each other. One of the beach cleaners just north of me found a set of dentures, and it was on her bucket list of things to find. Another person in LA mentioned that I was so close to 200. It’s an off-kilter group which I’ve come to enjoy being part of.

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My happy place.
I love love our house in Northern Virginia. Really nice pavers.

May 27, 2020

by drplasticpicker

It is almost the end of May and the third calendar month that we have been #shelteringinplace and #stay(ing)home. I talked to my sister yesterday and as a nonmedical person she gets frustrated that her neighbors are slowly breaking down those physical barriers, and may increase the spread of COVID-19. A friend traveling to a vacation area. Families now meeting in the backyard. While she holds the line because she has to make sure some important people remain protected. I’m the older sister who is a pediatrician, and I advised her to do what she knows is right. The world will do what it is doing, and we can’t stop the world from going what is it going through – but we should not accelerate it.

CNN and the major news outlets do not stress me out as much anymore. What is happening now in California is what we expected. We closed down early, and our rate of infections was slow. But now sandwhiched between the crazies in Orange County that are going to beaches without masks and our less medically equipped Southern neighbor Tijuana, of course our community will see an uptick in cases. We had thought through various prediction models and I think the Pediatric Infecitous Disease head had said also during one of the weekly lectures, that we should expect things to peak mid June. So here we are, rising slowly and peaking but slowly. We are not the travesty of New York City. But then people will get together like they did undoubtably like this last Memorial Day weekend, and there will be another peak. The second wave will come, and we are all just playing our bit parts.

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Spock doggy wants to know? Why not?

May 26, 2020

by drplasticpicker

It has been three years since I transitioned to physician middle management. This weekend was our three year anniversary of our six year term. I texted our group congratulations and reminded them that three years is a long time to do anything. Each of us have earned almost a bachelors degree worth of physician leadership, and another three years to go. Six years would be equivalent to a doctorate. At the three year mark in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, I can honestly say I would never have traded this leadership experience for anything. It has been a challenging three years, and we’ve had adventure after adventure – but it’s forced me to grow professionally and personally. Sometimes painfully but always worthwhile. I have accomplished and been part of projects I never thought possible, and have been pushed out of my comfort zone and forced to grow as a sentient emphathic person.

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Our daughter made butterbeer and we reused 2 plastic mugs we bought from Universal Studios a long time ago.

May 24, 2020

by drplasticpicker

I wrote what I think was my all time favorite blogpost yesterday about Star Trek https://drplasticpicker.com/the-star-trek-enterprise-romance-of-tpol-and-trip-im-going-to-give-them-the-ending-they-deserve/. I have reread that blogpost about 10 times and read it outloud to both my children and husband. I am now rewatching Star Trek Enterprise with T’Pol and Trip’s alternate ending in my heart. The magic of blogging is that I can do whatever I want, so I made it the Sticky Blog and tacked it on top. Who knows how many people will read it or if the Star Trek fansite I contacted yesterday will accept it as a guest blog piece? But that’s the beauty of blogging and financial freedom, I write mostly for myself. And yesterday I wrote about Star Trek. Isn’t it interesting that I love that silly piece more than the heart-wrenching ones that I needed to write about COVID-19? If you missed them these two were pretty good, one on the importance of social distancing https://drplasticpicker.com/covid-19-social-distancing-is-like-bedrest-kevinmd-version/ and another on physician sacrifice during the COVID-19 era https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/04/an-anatomy-lab-partner-lost-what-would-chris-have-thought-about-covid-19.html. But that is human nature. We would rather retreat into our fantasty worlds than deal with reality.

Last night our daughter wanted to have a special evening. She is in that inbetween age of tweendom https://drplasticpicker.com/dr-plastic-pickers-thoughts-the-age-of-in-betweenness/. She is a more gregarious person that I ever was, eventhough she is quieter in person. I am very loud-mouthed in person, but truly an introvert. I would rather blog and be home and not see anyone, which is the greatest of ironies because I see patients and parents all day. I actually enjoy work and patient-care and productive meetings, but I think I enjoy those actions because I know I am being paid to do them and like the feeling of competence and progression. If I am not getting paid or accomplishing something that is moving our organization forward, I’d rather be by myself or with my family. Weird I know. I hate socializing for work, and only enjoy our department parties if I get to man the check-in desk which is an odd place for a physician middle-manager.

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One of the happiest moments of my life yesterday. I laughed so joyously. Mr. Plasitc Picker loves me and understands me.

May 23, 2020

by drplasticpicker

I’m not sure how you have been dealing with the COVID-19 quarantine, but I have been watching Star Trek. I mean A LOT of Star Trek. I grew up watching reruns of the original Star Trek. Spock, the Vulcan Science Officer, spoke to me. Even then, the action scenes were corny and the alien world settings unrealistic – but the storylines and the pseudophilosophical delvings into space and time and logic, touched something in my teenage heart. Then Star Trek the Next Generation ran 1987-1994, right during my middle school and high school years, I watched that too. I became a big fan of Captain Jean Luc Picard and his Shakepearan take on a Starship Captain. But there was not a great Vulcan on the show, so I have always been more of an Original Star Trek fan and of course Spock.

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Bag #193!!! Recycled a can too. Can #249!

May 20, 2020

by drplasticpicker

I strained my hip flexors on Saturday morning. It was a semi-embarassing injury because the mechanism was relatively benign. I was getting ready for a quick plastic picking session at the beach, and was trying to leave early to avoid the COVID-19 crowds. But I sat down too quickly onto the hard concrete step and strained my left hip flexors. A weekend of rest and motrin helped, but it is still somewhat achy on the left. I’m not sure if I will need to use a cane today.

Wouldn’t that be the greatest irony? I’ve talked about sacrifice and being ready to jump into the COVID-19 fray. I’ve posted pictures on my personal facebook with me looking serious in an N95 and facemask and full PPE, and then I get sidelined due to a middle-aged musculoskeletal injury. Mr. Plastic Picker strained his back around the same time. At least we are injured together, and it actually keeps us more home-bound and less likely to get COVID-19. There is always a bright side of things. I am making us seem more middle-aged then we really are! Part of the character I create, but based on reality of course. Mr. Plastic Picker and I are thinking of starting a home yoga program together. I remember buying a DVD years ago from Costco, so will try to find it.

But it is Wednesday, and I was not sure if I would have any items for a Hopeful Wednesday post. I had thought I had skipped an entire month because hope has been rare these days. But looking back on the blogroll, I actually did write a Hopeful Wednesday post two weeks ago https://drplasticpicker.com/5-6-2020-five-reasons-to-be-hopeful-this-wednesday/. That was very reassuring. I am generally a happy person and it would worry me if I was feeling that hopeless for more than two weeks.

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Bag #192!!!

May 19, 2020

by drplasticpicker

Dr. Plastic Picker is similar to other pediatricians. We tend to be a more liberal minded democratic leaning demographic. We tend to vote for children-centric issues, which means more funding for education and more funding for social services. I do believe in the social determinants of health, and that large structural inequities need to be addressed. And of course Dr. Plastic Picker thinks Big Oil and Big Plastic need to be reined in to prevent the plastic pollution assault on our oceans.

But I also believe in free will and responsibility. I was raised in a very different definitely more conservative Republican leaning family and community. I remember going off to Boston for college, and a close family friend had predicted that moving to Cambridge would change my political leanings which it did. I became more liberal. But in Cambridge, being a Democrat in local politics was actually the most conservative option and there were actually communist on the ballot which I found very disturbing.

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Chia Seed/Oatmeal Pudding. Low sugar and can be a breakfast! Cooking and photo credit by Daughter Plastic Picker (age 12).

May 21, 2020

by drplasticpicker (with daughter Plastic Picker’s help)

Parents are cooking more meals for their children during COVID-19 quarantine. We have continued to do well child visits for kids that require vaccines, and several parents in my practice asked me for breakfast ideas. I think the combination of more inactivity due to quarantine and more screen time, has worsened the pediatric constipation crisis and widenened the pediatric fiber deficit. In addition, when we are scared to browse through the grocery store – I think parents are falling back on more processed foods and that as you know leads to Taste-Bud Dysfunction https://drplasticpicker.com/taste-bud-dysfunction-lets-dial-down-the-salt-and-sugar-in-snacks/.

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Brownies we paired with the movie Onward. Our daughter used a new recipe with avocado. It was a different texture and was decent. It’s always fun to try new things.

May 16, 2020

by drplasticpicker

Nothing profound this morning. It’s 552AM on a Saturday, and I am grateful for my fresh cup of coffee. The Upcycled Presidential Bird House is still bringing us great joy and the birds are singing outside https://drplasticpicker.com/five-plastic-free-things-that-weve-accomplished-during-stayhome-covid-19-quarantine/. I’m beginning to identify the different species and their bird songs are distinct. I never realized hummingbirds have different songs. I thought they didn’t have a song since they always seen pre-COVID-19 busy franatically beating their wings. But during this quarantine I’ve seen a hummingbird rest on a tree and I have learned to identify their distinct singing.

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