drplasticpicker – Page 2 – Dr. Plastic Picker
 

Author: drplasticpicker

Sad little elephant I found on the beach this morning. Will wash it in the hot water cycle.

March 12, 2020

by drplasticpicker

I did my first COVID-19 testing swabs yesterday. When the testing tent personnel see a small child and need help, the pediatrician on call comes out. That was me yesterday. It was the first time I’ve worn the precious N-95 mask and gowned in full PPE. These were just pre-admission COVID-19 swabs on kids with complex medical issues, so these children are a lower risk category. But I felt helpful. One toddler was my own patient, and it felt good to wave to the mother and to know that I was a familiar set of eyes behind the faceshield. The other patient belonged to another pediatrician and had many complex medical issues. It was a very large truck and the adult nurse wanted me to do the swab through the window. Please remember I’m not even 5’2″, this was a very large truck, and the child was a tiny little thing smaller than her age due to chronic medical issues. It helps that I have been in charge of things for a while, and I know what I know well and know what I don’t know. I suggested to the nurse, “There is no way I’m going to be able to get this swab into her nose. I need to open that door. I’m too short and my arms are not that long.” So I opened the door and asked mom to hold her, and positioned my body to prevent her from falling out of the truck. And then gently used the precious swab to touch the back of her pharnyx both sides, and then did a nasopharyngeal swab in the left nostril. Done. She cried just a little bit and was fine. Mother was filming on her iPhone. Everyone does that these days. I didn’t think it was the time to ask her to stop filming (I think its against official policy). But everyone films these days and I’m sure it is just to document the little girls journey. I waved into the iPhone camera. Then mom put the phone down to give her child a hug.

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Baby steps. A delicious vegan meal my kids raved about.

May 10, 2020

by drplasticpicker

Sometimes you need to meet the right person to nudge you over to do what you have been wanting to do for a long time. My grandmother died in 2019, and she was Buddhist and vegan for most of her life. You could say then, that veganism runs in my family. I remember going to temple with her for a short time and meditating with a group of aged Asian grandparents, I also became vegetarian for a very short time in high school. It didn’t last long since I was too squirmy at that point to meditate and I couldn’t quite identify with my then 60-year-old temple-mates. So I returned to the normal American teenage life and started going with my friends to their Christian church. I have always admired vegetarians and vegans and Buddhist. It has always to me seemed a more efficient and kind way to live, but I never really thought much more than that.

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Wow. Up to 444 reactions and 41 comments.

May 9, 2020

by drplasticpicker

Dr. Plastic Picker in real life is an outpatient general pediatrician. Like many of my colleagues I am part of several COVID-19 MD Facebook groups, I think three now. Two months into this pandemic, I now try to review our weekly pediatric infectious disease lectures as a vetted source of information rather than these Facebook groups. They are actually really good. But early on the COVID-19 MD Facebook Groups had more trending information. I think we were all obsessively reading the posts as real time information was coming out to Italy, New York, Seattle and San Francisco. At this point, the activity on the Facebook groups has slowed down as there is more clinical understanding of this disease. Most people are asking for practical advice. I am visiting them more for camraderie. Above is my main contribution to the Facebook groups. It was amazing that it generated so many reactions and comments.

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The Facebook post that went relatively viral for a COVID-19 MD group. The other post that had this many likes was an obituary for someone. So weird the collective emotions we are going through.

May 8, 2020

by drplasticpicker

To say that this month has been a bit off is an understatement. We finished two months of COVID-19 quarantine. We are undergoing this collective experience. It has been documented on social media, including this blog. I made a comment on one of the COVID-19 MD Facebook Groups for Pediatricians under my real name. It was just a simple uplifting post about a patient encounter, and I kid you not – it generated already 373 likes and 32 comments of others sharing their stories. I was initially very excited but my wise high school son warned me that putting value in the number of likes one gets on social media is harmful. He is right. But I am still happy that the post resonated with my fellow pediatricians. It made them feel good. I think the story was straight forward, simply written and described a heartfelt encounter that many of us have as pediatricians. I was my gift to my colleagues as we are going through this collective angst.

What made me happiest about that post is that it was quickly written, well written and I think the by-product of now having written over 180 blog posts! I have now had 3 blog posts also accepted onto KevinMD. That my writing generates emotions is the greatest compliment I could receive. I’m still not quite comfortable with this new role I have taken (blogger/instagrammer/writer) but I love it. My old mentor in clinic years ago several times would send me grammatical corrections to my work emails, and I remember being unreasonably angry at him. I was so mad! Some of it was that I felt overworked as a younger mother and middle manager, but now I realize perhaps criticism of my writing hurt more than other criticisms because I valued writing as an artform.

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Mr. Plastic Picker wanted to spell Jettygland. We did not give it to him. Our beloved Scrabble Board, we will likely keep forever now.

May 6, 2020

by drplasticpicker

We are almost 2 months into COVID-19 quarantine, and there is positive news for the environment. Flamingos blanket the mudflats of Mumbai and turtles are nesting freely on empty beaches. Initially I thought these reports were overblown, but I’ve seen the increasing number of backyard birds and my sister describes deer and racoons taking over her Virginia neighborhood. Dr. Plastic Picker has to be careful with these posts, because hope for the environment has to be balanced with compassion for the human lives loss due to COVID-19 and repercussions of the downspiraling economy. So rather than celebrating the financial losses of the cruise and airline industries, I focus on the secondary environmental benefits of all of us living through a time of scarcity.

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Screenshot of a slide for a Pediatric Hypertension Lecture I attended at the AAP NCE 2019.

May 3, 2020

by drplasticpicker

Back in October, I attended the American Academy of Pediatric National Conference in New Orleans with Dr. Dear Friend. We were there with a group of pediatricians from our health-care system, and it was a high-yield conference. Part of it was because we actually traveled to the conference and it was a fun destination. We had too much fun attending the lectures during the day, exploring new Orleans at night and also trying to reduce our plastic use! One of the talks we attended was on Pediatric Hypertension.

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Making something out of nothing. The birds continue to visit.

May 2, 2020

by drplasticpicker

The days are running into each other during this Covid-19 shelter-in-place. Many of us are working from home. Our homes have become schools. Last night was a Friday evening, but on Thursday our daughter thought it was Tuesday when I asked her what she wanted to do Friday night. I had requested a vacation day months ago, as the children originally had one of those school Professional Development Days. Due to concerns for budget, our upper echelon management has not allowed people to “give back” their vacation as the pediatric outpatient clinics are busy. So yesterday was Friday and I was home on vacation but still doing work, which is the nature of middle management. I don’t mind as I am grateful for my job.

In November, Mr. Plastic Picker and I went to a regional meeting to celebrate our 10 years with our health organization. https://drplasticpicker.com/dr-plastic-picker-agitates-for-the-ocean-at-a-regional-meeting/ It was like a free date, as we stayed in a fancier hotel than we would ever had paid for. During that meeting, one of the speakers addressed the Science of Happiness and Power of Gratitude. It’s funny how work and life are intertwined, because our Girl Scout Troop was earning our Science of Happiness badge recently. I did a short presentation for the girls reusing those slide contents from that regional meeting. What struck me is that 50% of happiness is genetic. I believe it because I am generally a happy person. Dr. Dear Friend is too, which is why we get along well. I should really interview her for this blog soon.

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Everyone in our family saw something different? I think this was Arches National Park.

May 1, 2020

by drplasticpicker

It is May 1, 2020. Collectively we have completed almost 2 months of sheltering-in-place. California is at our first plateau but the curve has not been bent. There were too many people at the beaches on Monday especially in Orange County, and now stricter orders from Governor Newson are coming. I watched his entire news conference yesterday and he did very well. I feel confident in our state’s leadership and will heed his orders. I believe the dissenters are less than what CNN is portraying. I have become skeptical of a lot of media. Mr. Plastic Picker only trusts the New York Times now and I have agreed that the $15 we pay a month is worth it. Rather than reporting the news, some mainstream media is inflaming the population. One of my medical colleagues was asked to be interviewed on a local news show about how the healthcare industry was adjusting to the pandemic. This was supposed to be a standard “fluff” piece. He was essentially ambushed and the reporter began to try to rile him up and ask inflammatory questions. He stayed calm and answered her inflammatory questions with noninflammatory replies, and there was no news story. I will no longer patronize their network which is CBS.

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My bag from this morning. Picking up plastic litter motivates me to make other environmentally friendly changes in our lives!

April 30, 2020

by drplasticpicker

It’s the last day of April 2020. Blogging has become an important part of my day. Sometimes I will write a heartfelt piece that really stirs me emotionally that can be submitted to be published somewhere else. Sometimes I will write nonsense. In the beginning of the blogging I wrote a piece on “It is poop or is it plastic?” https://drplasticpicker.com/is-it-poop-or-is-it-plastic/ I don’t think anyone read that one. I wanted to recount the time a seagull pooped on my head in seventh grade. It was a powerful memory. All the blog pieces serve a purpose. I like rereading all of them and going back and editing minor grammatical errors. I am definitely of the school “Don’t let perfect get in the way of good.”

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Hummingbird I noticed at rest. Have you ever seen a hummingbird at rest?

It is just past 5am, and I am sitting in our kitchen in the dark except for the light of this laptop. There was also a small flame from the stove and it’s brief illumination, because my father-in-law made his cup of morning coffee. He heats the water on our gas stove in a small pot. He has gone back to his room now, and it’s just me with this laptop and my coffee and minimal light. I used to turn on the small overhead light above our coffee area, but I worry about the insect apocolypse and artificial human light disrupting insect circadian rhythm. So I type in the dark with minimal light.

I can hear the crickets outside our screen door. I know my makeshift birdhouse made from an old shoebox is just outside as well. It’s a funny little thing covered in small round plastic images of past presidents, that I cut and glued on from my favorite mousepad cover that Mr. Plastic Picker wanted to throw away. Now I get to look at those presidents still when I check my upcycled birdhouse. For some reason that birdhouse brings me so much amusement. Mr. Plastic Picker bought the premium birdseed for $20 and the actual birdhouse is made from things that were about to be discarded, a broken hanger, a cardboard shoe box, the plastic mousepad cover, a cardboard image of a Kodiak bear that adorns our pancake mix all hot glue gunned together. When I first sprinkled birdseed on top and then inside the birdhouse, I was unsure if any birds would come to my Upcycled Presidential Bird House.

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