April 2024 – Dr. Plastic Picker

Month: April 2024

Fancy hotel room

April 26, 2024

by Dr. Plastic Picker

I’m in Tuscon with Dr. Bear. Dr. Bear, the AAP San Diego Social Media animal. I’m speaking at a conference (did not take any honorarium!) at the Integrative Medicine Conference and I’m realizing that even these physicians don’t all “get it.” I’ve worked with so many different physicians on climate advocacy and a good number have been amazing integrative medicine fellowship trained. My friends Drs. Melanie Fiorella, Kathy Kemper and Sandra Gee are all collaborators and amazing. But as I was sitting at dinner with the other conference presenters, I realize that probably a majority don’t know how dire the climate crisis is and that someone needs to try to activate them.

So I’m in Tuscon in a nice hotel room with a stuffed animal, by myself. I miss my family honestly. I actually don’t like traveling, and if there wasn’t a huge global heating problem – I wouldn’t be here and honestly don’t want to be here. But I’ve accepted my life being pushed by the universe to go where I’m meant to go and I’m noticing the things I’m learning and the experiences I never would have had. If I hadn’t become Dr. Plastic Picker, I would never had the conversations I had yesterday and life is honestly interesting.

I get to have several famous UC San Diego professors as friends. One of my friends Prof Adam Aron told me to come to this event, and to speak to these doctors. He was the original one who was invited to speak. But he is very tired and has been doing so much for the climate movement, and it’s important to share in this work. So I was there sitting across from very famous integrative medicine doctors and researchers, and I had absolutely no idea who they were. I saw the famous Andrew Weil though, and I only really know him just because I saw his picture on the internet. But I got to see the dynamic and community they have here in Tuscon in the Integrative Medicine Department – and the mix of personalities. I probably will never get to see them again, but I talked to them and connected as much as I could.

Today I’ll give a talk. It’s the best that I had. I tried.

First slide.

And here I am, and I think I did create a new talk for them. And I’m reminded that I’m enough. You are enough. And I flew here (it just didn’t make practical sense to drive) and used two of my precious vacation days to speak at a conference of people I don’t know and would never take and cannot take any honorarium. This conference is about 370 attendees and it takes an entire team to put this together and they charge quite a bit. I think the economics of conferences is interesting. Our H3SD Heat and Human Health Summit in San Diego will only be local attendees and will be free, and will be amazing. That’s the conference of my heart. But I still have to travel to these summits, and I am hoping that integrative medicine doctors will be key in helping to address decarbonization and global heating.

But I think today the most important person I will see is a high school friend who is a professor at University of Arizona. Ricardo Valerdi I actually know and is founder of “Science of Sports.” I’m getting to talk to the sports medicine department at University of Arizona and their team physician Mark Sakr. I texted Ricardo on the plane over from San Diego, and yesterday he was able to snag me a speaking spot with Mark and his team today. I’m going to share the extreme heat and youth sports workflow. And share my brief story. I think that will be the most impactful.

I haven’t been blogging as much and I thank the readership for their patience. Earth Day and April as Earth Month has been absolutely a whirlwind of conference talks and projects. And here on the blog I can be honest. It’s been exhausting. But I’m almost done. And I get to see a close friend from childhood, and have dinner with his family tonight. Gosh, I can’t remember when we saw each other. And I want to go home and be with my daughter. We are planning her sweet 16 and this weekend it will be just the two of us (and Mr Plastic Picker) but she is the light of my life. I love her brother too. But there is just something about having a sweet almost-16 year old daughter who still likes to hang out with me.

Wearing her state speech Tshirt! We bought three and a sweatshirt!

Thank you for following along my journey as Dr. Plastic Picker. I’ll be home soon. It’s a 55 minute flight to Tuscon so close. But it’s not home. And I know that my climate fight needs to mostly be at home.